Annotating the Congressional Letter Affirming US-Israel Relations

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Obama Netanyahu Abbas.jpg
I received a note today reacting to a set of Congressional letters reaffirming US-Israel relations from Sama Adnan, executive director of the new political action committee advocating for Palestinian interests, NewPolicy.org.
He notes that 24 US Senators and 102 House Members did not sign on to the AIPAC-supported letters to Secretary of State Clinton reaffirming the close bonds between Israel and the US and encouraging the Obama administration to move past the current discomfort. (pdf text of Senate letter; pdf text of House letter)
Interestingly, the percentage of holdouts in both chambers of Congress is about 24%. I have no idea why the proportions would be similar, but this perhaps trivial fact jumps out.
These relative support/don’t support levels also indicate that AIPAC‘s sway in Congress and the general grooves of the US-Israel relationship are very solid despite the current controversies. But at the same time, given other AIPAC letters I have seen work through Capitol Hill, one could argue that this is not near their best in terms of recruitment letters.
That said, I don’t think AIPAC’s powerful operation is getting wobbly, and I found the letter itself constructively nuanced in many places and more cautious than other recent statements that AIPAC has released (admittedly, this is a Congressional letter and not an AIPAC release).
I have respect for what AIPAC has done in Washington as this city is essentially a free-trade zone for people and interest groups pursuing their policy goals in competition with one another. AIPAC has done a great job of doing that, and I work to maintain good and constructive relations with AIPAC as well as with J Street, Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum, the American Jewish Committee and others. I want to put that truth in advertising item out there as I think through this interesting Congressional statement.
So, what of the letter itself?
So, without being knee-jerk pro or con on the AIPAC Congressional letter to Hillary Clinton, I decided to annotate it with my own views.
The letter follows below — as do my comments which have been italicized.

Dear Secretary Clinton:
We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension.

An “unbreakable bond” is flourish here, and not part of the gravity of this world. All bonds are breakable. All relationships have conditions. It is not helpful for legislators in the U.S. to further a fiction that the relationship between the US and Israel is not sensitive to the negative and positive realities in that relationship. Former Senate Majority Leader and US Ambassador to Mike Mansfield was famous for saying that the US-Japan relationship was the most important relationship in the world, “bar none.” Mansfield’s edict was also more pomp than real, though there were elements of truth to it — just as I believe the US-Israel relationship is a vital one of great strategic and domestic political importance to the U.S. But the relationship requires good stewardship on both sides.

In every important relationship, there will be occasional misunderstandings and conflicts. The announcement during Vice President Biden’s visit was, as Israel’s Prime Minister said in an apology to the United States, “a regrettable incident that was done in all innocence and was hurtful, and which certainly should not have occurred.” We are reassured that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment to put in place new procedures will ensure that such surprises, however unintended, will not recur.

The Israeli government may in fact implement new procedures so that embarrassing expansion of controversial, and many believe illegal, settlements does not occur at important political moments, but what is important to remember is not what was happening in broad public daylight in terms of Vice President Biden getting mugged, purposefully or inadvertently, on his trip — what was important is that US-Israel relations were historically icy behind the scenes. Israel’s leadership has as much if not more responsibility for the paralyzed peace process and the very bad relations with the White House than anyone in Washington. It is important to keep that in mind.

The United States and Israel are close allies whose people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to core values including democracy, human rights and freedom of the press and religion.

This is true, and it should also be said that the US-Israel relationship is not one that should ever be set in a “false choice” mold between Israel’s close relations with the US and the importance of close relations between the United States and Arab states and people. Israel’s democracy runs the risk of tragically eroding if it continues to divide the Palestinian people away from mainstream Israel without either a strategy for political inclusion in one state or a credible two state plan on the other.


Our two countries are partners in the fight against terrorism and share an important strategic relationship. A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East.

The US and Israel are partners — but not exclusive partners. America’s security relationship with Israel is like a New Orleans levy that is still working but year by year eroding. It is important to revision Israel’s security in the region in a loose federation of interests with other key Arab states. The US, Europe, the UN, and Russia could be pillars with Israel and other nations of an ASEAN Regional Forum-like approach to Middle East security. But Israel’s insistence on a regional massive retaliation, massive superiority of force in the region, is simultaneously helpful and hurtful in moving a new regional security plan forward. Israel will no doubt maintain conventional and nuclear weapons superiority in the region for years — but it’s behavior towards Arabs in the region, and towards Palestinians over which it has responsibilities are helping to generate instability in the region.

We are concerned that the highly publicized tensions in the relationship will not advance the interests the U.S. and Israel share.

I agree with this point from AIPAC. Although I think that the public incident with Biden only revealed what was the very lousy tenor of the relationship in private, punishing Israel or feeding a sense that this is incident was defining is a mistake. What is needed is a vision from the US and other regional stakeholders that pushes the US-Palestine track forward and which makes clear, crystal clear, US expectations of what the track to an end game will look like. That would propel Israel and the US out of the tensions between them now to a more important vision of how Israel’s long term security interests can be achieved via resolution of a Palestinian state and normalization of relations with the Arab League.

Above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.

I agree with this too. I do believe that Iran is on course to either develop a Japan-like, large scale, full fuel cycle capacity that provides a dual use foundation of material either for peaceful energy use or for bombs or wants warheads. But it’s important for Israel and its supporters to stop denying the relevance of an unresolved Palestinian conflict to the fuel that feeds a narrative of humiliation and anger around the Middle East. Iran exploits this narrative to help ‘legitimate’ its realpolitik efforts to rise as a powerful new regional hegemon. There is a linkage between Israel/Palestine and Iran — and that linkage is based in the importance of robbing Iran of political, military, and psychological running room in the mostly Sunni Arab states whose streets are filled with ongoing anger over Israeli treatment of the land it occupies and the Palestinian people it controls.


From the moment of Israel’s creation, successive U.S. administrations have appreciated the special bond between the U.S. and Israel. For decades, strong, bipartisan Congressional support for Israel, including security assistance and other important measures, have been eloquent testimony to our commitment to Israel’s security, which remains unswerving.

Yes, but Israel has responsibilities in this relationship as well. Israel has an obligation to work with the United States in securing achievements in its long term national security interests – not allowing short term or reflexive problems undermine core national interests which the US is helping Israel to achieve.

It is the very strength of this relationship that has, in fact, made Arab-Israeli peace agreements possible, both because it convinced those who sought Israel’s destruction to abandon any such hope and because it gave successive Israeli governments the confidence to take calculated risks for peace. In its declaration of independence 62 years ago, Israel declared: “We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.” In the decades since, despite constantly having to defend itself from attack, Israel has repeatedly made good on that pledge by offering to undertake painful risks to reach peace with its neighbors. Our valuable bilateral relationship with Israel needs and deserves constant reinforcement.

This is an excellent statement in AIPAC’s letter. It would be worthwhile for Israel’s President and Prime Minister to publicly double down on this statement and its meaning — and to commit to policies that will take Israel towards normalization with its neighbors. Israel’s settlement and border/control point frequent harassment of Palestinians fuels anger and resentment and seems inconsistent with Israel’s extended hand and Israeli democracy. I have visited with great awe Israel’s Supreme Court and felt that there was an institution struggling with justice in a fair-minded way for Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli press is more balanced and full of free-wheeling debate than Washington D.C.’s press debates about Israel. AIPAC and the Israeli government would do well to compel a public reconciliation of the governance behavior of the state and the goals expressed above. I have seen leaders like former Prime Minister Ohlmert and former Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon do this — and it was moving and real. I think that needs to become a part of the framework of Israel’s current government.


As the Vice-President said during his recent visit to Israel: “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space.”

I don’t believe that there is ever a “no space” situation between Israel and US interests. Just the name of one person should help reasonable supporters of the US-Israel relationship get by this platitude: Jonathan Pollard.
But as far as servicing the important closeness of that relationship, Israel must get away from a policy course driven by incessant incrementalism and inertia in which it does not heed the importance of helping the US to generate a new equilibrium in the Middle East.
Israel’s intransigent positions on numerous fronts often appear as support for a two state process when in fact they are designed to undermine the legitimacy and posture of their negotiating partner on the Palestinian side. The world is witnessing America allow Israel to continue to squeeze the Palestinian people and territory, to consolidate what Israel wants into the Israel security orbit, and to offer only crumbs now and then to Palestine’s leadership. While Israel may think that this strategy furthers its own interests; this is undermining the American brand and seriously harming American interests. If these trends continue, there will be not only “no space” between Israel and the US but a giant ravine.

Steadfast American backing has helped lead to Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And American involvement continues to be critical to the effort to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

This is very good to acknowledge, and I agree.

We recognize that, despite the extraordinary closeness between our country and Israel, there will be differences over issues both large and small. Our view is that such differences are best resolved quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies. We hope and expect that, with mutual effort and good faith, the United States and Israel will move beyond this disruption quickly, to the lasting benefit of both nations.

I do too. I want this episode to be behind us — but to get it behind us, Israel and US political leaders must tailor the strategy each is pursuing to be more convergent with a realistic pathway to a two state solution between Israel and Palestine. Israel is good at articulating what can’t be done, what can’t be given away, or who can’t be at the table — but it is lousy at articulating a constructive course. Israel pretends that it can’t offer concessions outright to get to this goal while at the same time demanding that the US not publicly force it towards those goals. In other words, Israel’s posture simultaneously requires that a greater power push it and the Palestinians in the right direction while also rejecting and trying to counter through the Congress Executive Branch pressure. This is a game that needs to end.

We believe, as President Obama said, that “Israel’s security is paramount” in our
Middle East policy and that “it is in U.S. national security interests to assure that Israel’s security as an independent Jewish state is maintained.” In that spirit, we look forward to working with you to achieve the common objectives of the U.S. and Israel, especially regional security and peace.
[Members of the US Senate and US House of Representatives]

I am a believer in Israel and view myself as pro-Israeli while at the same time viewing myself as pro-Arab. Israel’s security is one of several paramount issues. One of those paramount issues is American security which is being undermined by this unresolved Middle East-roiling ulcer of Palestinian occupation. Another is the paramount goal of achieving a horizon of hope for Palestinians within and outside of Israel.
As Haim Ramon once told me, if this issue of a Palestinian state is not soon resolved, Israel will either have to forfeit its status as a “democracy” or as a “Jewish state.”
That sounds like a paramount issue to me.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

146 comments on “Annotating the Congressional Letter Affirming US-Israel Relations

  1. questions says:

    If I’m a drone, I don’t got a life.
    What hypocrite?

    Reply

  2. rc says:

    Get a life drone! It might just show the difference between the face of a hypocrite and that of a respected journalist who stands up and reports what he sees and hears in the field — and in these examples, the media system bias that panders to plutocratic power rather than the people.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    cryptic. very cryptic.
    am i looking in the mirror at the difference between what i watch and what i listen to? so the mirror would show the difference between sight and hearing?
    that’s quite a mirror, then.

    Reply

  4. rc says:

    Just watch and listen carefully … and then look in the mirror at the difference. You might learn more that is useful.

    Reply

  5. questions says:

    It’s not the first picture in my head, but it’s a good one!

    Reply

  6. Sweetness says:

    Like the Marlboro Man?

    Reply

  7. questions says:

    I’ve been looking for something(one)
    fire in the belly
    this guy is a real person
    a real man at work
    in the real world
    an “agent of truth”
    not a “courtier of power”.
    Keep up the outrage.
    *******
    It’s always a good idea to look at rhetoric closely. You can learn a lot.

    Reply

  8. rc says:

    For POA
    I’ve been looking for something(one) with fire in the belly to keep the home fires burning.
    I’ve just viewed this by John Pilger (Obama and Empire, 31 Jul 2009).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXL998q7skI
    This one (John Pilger “The Invisible Government” in 4 parts) is also worth a listen imo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-uq7O1RqQQ&feature=related (part 4 comments on Israel topics).
    If you have not seen these then I recommend a viewing of what he has to say — including what is not normally available via public media.
    In contrast to whimpering ‘nardinites’, this guy is a real person, a real man at work in the real world as an “agent of truth” and not a “courtier of power”.
    Keep up the outrage.

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    Interesting question, Kotz. But don’t you think that your
    hypothetical situation requires some additional context?
    Sure, if the Icelanders did this just because they are nasty and
    evil and fanatical anti-Norwegians; if they simply wanted to
    exterminate all the Norwegians and take our country, inspired
    by some old, pre-Christian religious texts – and were militarily
    strong enough to do a lot of harm – I may have supported a
    pretty aggressive defense strategy.
    But what if, say, we Norwegians had occupied Iceland during a
    war some decades ago, and still controlled it? What if half a
    million Norwegians over the years had migrated to the island,
    thrown out Icelandic families from their houses and moved in,
    blessed and supported by our King and our government?
    In that situation, I hope that I would blame my own people more
    than the Icelanders (despite their weird old texts and their
    intense hatred of Norwegians), demand that our colonists got
    the hell out of there, and insist on making serious efforts to
    settle this conflict as soon as possible.

    Reply

  10. nadine says:

    Is that your only choice, Paul? Racism or reverse-racism?
    And you accuse conservatives of having a Manichean outlook.

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Yes Nadine, it’s hard to ignore that you prefer original racism to
    “reverse-racism” – you prefer to ALWAYS side with “us” and
    criticize those from the other tribe – the ones with a different
    color, religion and culture.
    Because that’s what you always do – and the theoretical position
    you’ve always defended here. Is this position preferable because
    it is somehow more honest and straightforwardly nasty? Or is it
    just a question of nihilistic survival in a brutal world?

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    Sweetness, it ties into the reverse-racism of multi-culturalism, where those who are declared “us” can be judged, but those who are declared “other” must be exempt from judgment, because their good and bad is so different from ours.
    When you bring such a skewed judgment to any conflict that pits an “us” against an “other”, you will always side with the “other” — they are de facto saints because all you are morally allowed to notice is their victimhood, not their actions. Then you must magnify the crimes of the “us” to justify your position. It’s really warped.
    It’s no accident that the philosophy of multi-culturalism flourishes in academia and Europe, places where there isn’t actually any external threat that needs to be combatted.

    Reply

  13. Sweetness says:

    Paul writes: “I say it’s a feeling of shame within the family.”
    Plausible. Externalized shame, which is kind of sort of the
    scapegoat idea.
    And a new word: Paulsible.
    Nadine, look a little deeper…or not.

    Reply

  14. Jerry says:

    Next Year, The Two State Solution.
    Neither the Palestinians nor Israel can exist without outside support, and the outside supporters have agreed to a Two State Solution.
    The point has been reached where what the Palestinians or the Isralies demand is no longer determinative.
    One way or another the ‘World’
    wants this problem solved; there is no other option but constructive engagement for the Palestinians or Israelies if they have any hope of maximizing their self-interests.
    It is time to put the bickering children, each in their own state, in time out.

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    I am not saying “Europeans”; I am saying “Westerners” (Americans
    included). And I am not talking about “guilt”; I am talking about
    “shame”.
    Why all that anger against South Africa in the 1980’s? Why not
    against Mengistu in Ethiopia, or Mobuto in Zaire instead? Why this
    Western obsession with South Africa and boycott for several
    decades?
    Anti-Semitism, perhaps?
    I say it’s a feeling of shame within the family.

    Reply

  16. nadine says:

    Nice try, Paul, but doesn’t go nearly far enough.
    Do you expect us to believe that the grandsons of a continent that excoriated the Jews as “Christ killers” and “Levantine outsiders”, that stood by mute when they were murdered by the millions, has now clasped them to their bosom as “one of us”? — only to excoriate them in one-sided fashion, not only for every real crime they have committed in their 80 year war with the Arabs, but a thousand imaginary crimes as well, supplied by a Pallywood propaganda machine to an ever-credulous Euro press?
    And you expect us to believe that it is only by some odd coincidence of history that this is the Jews we’re talking about? Does the term “scapegoat” come to mind?
    No, sorry, more is at work here than lingering European guilt for imperialism and colonialism.

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    Why all this Western outrage against Israel – not only among
    Americans, but also among Europeans? Why not against China?
    Russia? Sri Lanka?
    Israel claims that it’s the old (European) anti-Semitism. The
    hatred of the Other, who wasn’t tolerated in Europe through the
    centuries… The one we hate because he is different from us, or
    perhaps envy because he is clever, wealthy etc…
    On a very general level, I actually think it’s the opposite. When
    the Jews escaped from Europe, or migrated from Russia or
    America, into Israel, they become ONE OF US. In the context of
    the Middle East, among dark skinned Muslims with a very
    different culture, the Israeli is the one we identify with, the
    same way the white South African was perceived as one of us in
    the African context. AND WE JUST DON’T DO SUCH THINGS!
    Or – more precisely: We did such things for hundreds, for
    thousands of years, until yesterday. But now we have stopped
    doing such things. You Israelis remind us of what we did
    yesterday, and we don’t tolerate that any of us do such things
    anymore.
    No, it is not anti-Semitism. And not self-hate among
    Westerners. It’s probably more akin to anger and outrage within
    the family, where some members, of our own generation, still
    do the stuff we are ashamed that our grandparents did.
    They say that Westerners feel guilt, not shame. But I think we
    are ashamed of the Israelis. Thus the deep anger.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Israel and America are diametrically opposite kinds of social
    experiments with huge differences in size, geography, origin,
    and other conditions. Comparing them sounds in my ears like
    comparing Chile with China, or Ghana with Russia.
    Yes, Israel is a young and immature nation. Some of it’s critics
    may often be too harsh, because it’s obvious that you can’t use
    the same criteria for judging or criticizing Israel as when you
    speak about, say the peaceful and homogenous Scandinavian
    countries, or old, relatively mature European democracies.
    But it’s not less absurd witnessing Israel and many of it’s
    defenders often comparing the actions of Israel with the worst
    regimes on the planet – as if having a better track record on
    human rights than Saudi Arabia or Myanmar is something worth
    mentioning when you boast of being a democracy.

    Reply

  19. Sweetness says:

    First a shout out to Dan K above about improving the balance. I AGREE.
    Now to pruning back Karroll’s Kudzu:
    ..isn’t our badness the point, didn’t we evolve, isn’t that what the Nuremberg trials, civil rights, human rights and all the heavy lifting we did to correect it after we realized our badness was all about.
    SN: How far have we advanced? Right now, we’ve got our military in two foreign countries, mostly to satisfy our oil habit (t/h to JohnH). We have our first black president in 400+ years. We barely allow gays to marry AND we kick them out o the military (even Israel doesn’t do that!).
    We, as a country, had EVERY advantage in the world. No predators except some prehistoric “Indians,” backward Mexicans, and ball-less Canadians. Oh, and the French! Abundant natural resources. A dominant racial group. Amazing founders. And it still took us 400 years to become a democracy and finally realize that it was in our national self- interest to kill 1,000,000 Vietnamese. Even the Israelis haven’t done THAT! George Washington couldn’t have killed 1,000,000 Vietnamese, even if he had tried, even if he had known what a Vietnamese was. These. Things. Take. Time. LBJ’s democracy wasn’t built in a day, you know.
    KK: What’s wrong?.. Israel hasn’t learned from our sinning and reforming, they are deaf, dumb and blind? You’re saying Israel is stupid and needs 250 years to learn even though we have already given them the examples we have lived?
    SN: Well, since we still haven’t given back any of the land we stole (Israel has done some of that already)…since we still haven’t paid reparations to the original owners or the slaves…since we have military bases all over the world…since we are the only ones to have ever used a nuclear weapon…since we just invaded two countries (9 years ago!) which has led to the deaths of 1,000,000+ people and more on the way…since our military is larger than the next 40 militaries combined… since we just elected our first half-black president (and he’s already hated by half the folk in the south who I guess missed that lesson about reformation)… since we can’t even pull off national health care (even Israel has that!)…
    …what, exactly, are we modeling? Or is that only the Jews, Zios, and other assorted “traitors” and not “real Americans” doing that nasty stuff?
    KK: That’s a really lousy excuse…’we ain’t learned nothing yet give us more time’.
    SN: I agree, no excuses, and I hope Israel has more success than we’ve had. But who knows? Meanwhile, you should also keep an eye on how all those Muslims are doing on the “following the US example” front because I know how important it is to you.

    Reply

  20. rc says:

    I’ve heard of complexity but this is almost surreal. While Israeli leadership wails at the wall about Iran being some ultimate menace to civilization these people act with honest conscience.
    —quote—
    Scores of orthodox Jews have staged a demonstration in al-Quds (Jerusalem) to protest Tel Aviv’s policies and its mistreatment of Palestinians.
    Members of Neturei Karta (Guardians of the City) gathered in al-Quds’s Shabbat Square late on Sunday. The demonstrators shouted anti-Zionist slogans and were carrying sings which read “Jews aren’t Zionists.”
    They also burned the Israeli flag, a move that infuriated security forces who clashed with the protestors and arrested one of them.
    — end quote —
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=123766&sectionid=351020202

    Reply

  21. questions says:

    POA,
    You’re totally right. I went through See Spot Run and The Cat in the Hat last night for a few hours and I couldn’t find anything about sewage pipes, Palestine, or Israel. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to wait til Dr. Seuss writes a new book.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “On this one, I really have no information, so I’ll stay out of it”
    Actually, theres plenty of information out there about the issue. But unfortunately, undoubtedly not by any authors whose name you can drop in your quest add to your imagined superior cranial swelling.

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    On this one, I really have no information, so I’ll stay out of it.
    On stopping Charlie Manson — well, stopping one murderer isn’t so hard. But I don’t think we actually stopped murder itself. In fact, I think lots of crazy people have committed lots of crazy violent deeds since Manson’s reign.
    Stopping a single incident, or wiping one’s hands clean of involvement doesn’t stop the structures that cause the problems in the first place.
    The real goal for I/P should be some kind of peace such that people can get to work on their lives. As for washing hands, or dumping alliances, if they don’t stop the structures, if they make things worse, then what will you have done?

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    questions, I notice POS’ propaganda sheets are now blaming Israel for lack of sewage. The billions the PA has had to develop infrastructure, 90% of which got embezzled, are not mentioned. Oops, somebody used the sewer pipes to make Kassams. Quick, blame the Israelis. Where does reality end and Pallywood begin?
    In a sane world, people who have been discovered to have staged or made up so many false claims would not have credibility left. But it’s not a sane world.

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “But, as usual, POA will find this to be unacceptable because the immediacy of the now clouds long term thinking. And if the injustice goes on after the POA-supported US pull out, at least it won’t be on his dime”
    Reading Questions’ idiotic bullshit, one has to ponder why we stopped Charlie Manson before he had a chance to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Reply

  26. Jerry says:

    Next Year, The Two State Solution.
    Neither the Palestinians nor Israel can exist without outside support, and the outside supporters have agreed to a Two State Solution.
    The point has been reached where what the Palestinians or the Isralies demand is no longer determinative.
    One way or another the ‘World’
    wants this problem solved; there is no other option but constructive engagement for the Palestinians or Israelies if they have any hope of maximizing their self-interests.
    It is a question of standing up or being stood up.

    Reply

  27. nadine says:

    “SN: But he also had no public honeymoon whatsoever. The utterly vicious and spurious attacks began virtually immediately. And he faced a Republican minority thoroughly committed to the filibuster. His majority in the Senate was largely illusory because of the Blue Dog phenomenon, and when Progressives chimed in, the caucus was split (at least) into three and was “Democratic” (almost) in name only.” (Sweetness)
    Hm, something doesn’t add up here. Obama came in with 70% approval ratings, large majorities in Congress, and a sycophantic press, a Republican party flat on its back, and yet had “no public honeymoon whatsoever”? What could have been the reason for that? Try looking at the substance of his bills, and the process used to jam them down on narrow partisan majorities. Don’t tell me that the Blue Dogs made his majorities “illusory”. FDR had a Congress full of conservative Southern Democrats, yet his majorities weren’t “illusory”. That’s because FDR was careful to submit legislation for which he could get public support. Obama’s bills have split the Democratic caucus and united the Republican caucus. Not what you want to achieve.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I`m curious what POS would do if a small group of perhaps 40-60 people (nomadic goat farmers from guatamala for example)set-up camp in the local municipal park and in complete defiance of city by-laws built some ramshackle houses”
    Been to East Bakersfield lately? Shafter??? Arvin??? Wasco? Pacoima? San Fernando? Lamont??? What do you suggest, asshole, that we dump White Phosphorous on ’em?

    Reply

  29. marcus says:

    I`m curious what POS would do if a small group of perhaps 40-60 people (nomadic goat farmers from guatamala for example)set-up camp in the local municipal park and in complete defiance of city by-laws built some ramshackle houses.
    I wonder how long THOSE houses would remain standing ?
    frenchconnection QUOI ? Q`est qu` tu va dit par ca?
    My very secular sister thinks too that judaism is just a religon/culture I tell her – go ask one of your neighbors.

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If you live on land that was stolen, centuries ago, from the original inhabitants, than don’t bother to read the following. The original status of your land precludes your right to be concerned or activist about modern day attrocities.
    Right Questions? Is that your twisted and ridiculous assertion? You know, you shoulda confined your reading to “See Spot Run”, and you’d be more useful to humanity.
    INVISIBLE PALESTINIANS
    April 18, 2010 at 07:37 (Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing, Home Demolitions, Israel, Occupied West Bank, Palestine, zionist harassment)

    Reply

  31. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel seizes water pumps in Palestinian farming community
    Israeli soldiers raided Khirbet al-Farsieyah village in the Jordan Valley Friday and seized four water pumps, Ma’an News Agency reports.
    Sewage treatment facility – Newark, NJ
    The water pumps were used for crop irrigation and drinking water. Village locals say the pumps irrigated thousands of crops, and farmers say each pump costs an approximate NIS 25,000 (6,750 USD). The pumps were removed from the Ali Az-Zuhdi, Fayeq Sbeih, and Taleb Radi farms.
    Fathi Ikheirat, coordinator the Campaign to Save the Jordan Valley, said the raid was part of “a series of attacks that carried out against the residents aiming at expelling them from their land.”
    Sunday Israeli authorities shut off main water sources only four days after threatening to do so if “Palestinians did not start treating more of their wastewater.”
    Ikhdeirat explains the water situation in Khirbet al-Farsieyeh:
    At the time, Ikhdeirait said Israeli water company Mokorot built three wells to area aquifers since the 1970s, dispensing 5,000 cubic meters of water per hour, largely benefiting the nearby settlements as “Bardalah only gets 65 cubic meters of water per hour before they stopped pumping water. The last aquifer was built two years ago underneath the village.
    “We hear the sound of water passing through the pipes in the middle of the village, but we can’t drink from it or use it. The water pipelines extended by the Israeli water company is separating the village into two sections,” he added.
    The village farmers have appealed to the PA and other international organizations to “re-pump” water to their farms and fields.
    Wednesday Uzi Landau, Israeli infrastructure minister, said Israel should shut off water to the West Bank if they did not begin treating sewage. He told Isaeli Army Radio, “[The Palestinians] get clean water from us, and in return they give us sewage. This destroys nature, and I would also say that this is the way that wicked people behave.”
    But a 2009 B’Tselem report reveals only 81 of the 121 West Bank settlements were connected to wastewater treatment facilities:
    “The result is that 12 mcm of wastewater from settlements is treated, while 5.5 mcm flows as raw wastewater into West Bank streams and valleys.”
    THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT HAS REPEATEDLY OFFERED TO CONSTRUCT WASTEWATER TREATEMENT FACILITIES FOR PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES, BUT THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT CONSISTENTLY REFUSES THEIR OFFERS.
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/news/archive/2010/04/17/israel-seizes-water-pumps-in-palestinian-farming-community.aspx
    But hey, we gotta keep subsidizing these nazis because the Catholic missionaries gave the Chumash Indians syphilis and stole their land. Right “questions”? Your convoluted long winded idiotic horseshit ain’t even worth reading, much less the expenditure of the bandwidth.
    Read another book, you jackass.

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    Well, we’re getting to the core determination for Americans on Israel slowly but surely.
    First we had to expose the zionist anti Semitic slur for what it is.
    Then we had to bust the taboo and be honest in identifying the racist and naiz like mentality in zionist Israel and it’s supporters.
    Now we have to, as these groups below are doing, exposed the fact that there is nothing of true American values in Israel or their zionist supporters to more and more of the public.
    While organized groups are doing this, individuals need to bust the next taboo and call Traitors, traitors.
    “Dual loyalty” will be be changed to ‘foreign loyalty’ when speaking of and identifying these people among our elected politicians and anyone else in government and those spokespeople for the zionist cause who hold a foreign loyalty.
    The only way we will finally destroy this hideous US-Israeli-I/P-ME aberration is by being brutally honest about what it is, why it exist and labeling those who maintain it as what they are, Traitors.
    And the best example to use, the one where there is no wiggle room, that no amount of spin can cover, is the revelation by Rosenberg that the US congress ‘strips’ the US National Security Clause out of legislation and bills that pertain to Israel at AIPAC’s request.
    Groundbreaking Chicago Hearing to Ask : Does US Policy on Israel/Palestine uphold our values?
    by Adam Horowitz on April 17, 2010

    Reply

  33. Sweetness says:

    Hey Wig, I’ll try to give you an answer…
    Wig: As you know, Sweetness, Clinton was elected in the middle of what was still a Republican surge. He won by a plurality not a majority both times. During the years he was President, the Reagan Revolution was still firmly under way. Getting health care reform passed was dramatically harder when Clinton tried it than when Obama tried it.
    SN: Yes, in general, you’re right. But how strong was it, given that his VP, who had just come off a VERY successful foreign operation, couldn’t get re-elected? But leaving that aside–it’s somewhat hard to “calculate” the strength of the RR–I have a VERY clear memory that the time for “health care reform” had arrived. Before Harry and Louise, the Republicans were VERY worried that they were going to end up on the wrong side of that issue and started coming up with all kinds of plans of their owns. So Clinton had the wind at his back on this issue, initially, and bungled it with the help of his wife. I don’t blame them particularly. It was/is a hard thing to do, and mistakes will be made. But they had the big mo going in and had their asses handed to them.
    Wig: Obama came into office not only with a significant popular mandate but he had two other major advantages. He had all the benefits that come from a sycophantic press and he had extraordinarily large margins in both Houses of Congress; something Clinton didn’t enjoy. Public support for major health care reform was greater than ever.
    SN: But he also had no public honeymoon whatsoever. The utterly vicious and spurious attacks began virtually immediately. And he faced a Republican minority thoroughly committed to the filibuster. His majority in the Senate was largely illusory because of the Blue Dog phenomenon, and when Progressives chimed in, the caucus was split (at least) into three and was “Democratic” (almost) in name only.
    Wig: Despite this, Obama blew it. The plan that passed was marginally acceptable at best and a disaster at worst. It enriches health care companies by requiring people to buy their product; it does nothing to control costs and much in the plan that is good isn’t implemented for several years. To make matters worse, Obama handled the whole thing so incompetently that instead of being a major political asset for Democrats, health care reform has become an albatross around their necks.
    SN: A win is a win, and it’s better than a defeat because it can be built upon, as we’ve seen happen with other major pieces of social legislation. I won’t go tit for tat with you on the specifics, because the immediate benefits of the bill have been enumerated endlessly, even by the likes of Krugman if you like him, and you know what they are. Any Democrat should be proud of them in terms of their impact on the needy (at least). I think Obama made some mistakes, as do all presidents, but he came away with a win, and that’s what counts. In terms of single payer, it MIGHT have been easier to sell only because it’s easier to understand, but he took that off the table during the campaign. So he was fulfilling his campaign pledge! Plus, the bill started to become more popular publicly as soon as it was passed.
    Wig: When it comes to health care, Obama’s performance wasn’t brilliant it was grossly incompetent.
    SN: When you come out with a win, “grossly incompetent” is just inaccurate.
    Wig: It is inaccurate to say that no President in 100+ years has given Americans health care reform. Medicare extended health care to tens of millions of Americans 65 and older. This is the segment of the population that was far and away most in need to health care services. When Lyndon Johnson got that passed, he didn’t need to rely on private insurance companies and there was no talk about excluding the public option; the entire plan was the “public option.”
    SN: True, but I’m talking about universal health care. LBJ had HUGE wind at his back and could have gone down as FDR Redux had it not been for Vietnam. You really can’t compare the two eras. Had Vietnam not interfered, LBJ could have broadened Medicare to the entire population.
    Wig: It’s hard to understand how you think Obama has been a great President; in 18 months he’s accomplished next to nothing.
    SN: Let’s see: the stimulus (which should have been bigger), health care (which probably should have been better), making real moves on don’t ask don’t tell, real moves on nuclear disarmament, a good start on clean energy (though not enough), a good start on reforming NCLB, a start on trying to resolve the IP conflict, Marines are out of Iraq (I believe), trying to stabilize Af-Pak (a tough nut for anyone), some real movement, though not enough improvement, on the economy, trying to make progress on Iran. And he’s only 1.5 years into his presidency. Clinton tried to address gays in the military right out of the gate and had his ass handed to him. Obama doesn’t really have the nominal majorities you claim for him, and he hasn’t lost the Congress yet.
    So we will see…the other presidencies are closed books. Obama is at chapter 1.5. So maybe you see the glass half or .75 empty, and I see the opposite. But Obama has some BIG legislative victories in a highly polarized, whacked out political environment, and no moss is growing between his toes.

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  34. Sweetness says:

    Questions: “But, as usual, POA will find this to be unacceptable because the immediacy of the now clouds long term thinking. And if the injustice goes on after the POA-supported US pull out, at least it won’t be on his dime.”
    An under-appreciated and under-noted truth.

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    In which we learn that the “superpredator” crack baby myth that the right pushed in the 80s and 90s and which myth was behind the cocaine/crack sentencing differential is a MYTH. Is’t possible race was involved in the panic? Hmmm. Let me think about that.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/15/AR2010041502434.html?hpid=moreheadlines
    When we set policy without knowing what we’re doing, we get really bad policy. Funny, that.

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    Ruh roh….
    Two links, very different in topic, but similar in theme. Sometimes, going the most direct route in a good-feeling sort of way — the LAW must be enforced and obeyed, or do-gooders actually do good and problems are easily solved — sometimes these solutions are actually problems.
    If you read with nuance, you can see that ruh roh isn’t necessarily the right response. Being off topic, that is, can be on topic.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-arizona-immigration18-2010apr18,0,4768115.story
    Winslow, AZ and the enforcement of Arizona’s new law that empowers police to stop any brown skinned person and check immigration status.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/4/18/858266/-Looking-Past-the-Spin:-Teach-for-America
    Teach for America might not be the savior. Can we find a new job for Arne Duncan already?

    Reply

  37. questions says:

    So then any Israeli who spends 5 years helping an addicted Palestinian gets to keep his/her house free and clear without any right of return? Kind of like being sentenced to 5 years of community service to pay your debts to society. Not a bad deal.
    And there’s the Mexico issue, too, with California.
    The point of course is that many have benefited greatly from the wicked acts of oppression of our ancestors and we’re perfectly happy to go about using carbon energy, typing on computers, living in a state that keeps itself stable via worldwide oppression. We do well on the misery of others. It’s simply a fact.
    The easy-to-protest oppression gets protested. You don’t see the NEED for Israeli nastiness, so you protest. But you benefit quite directly from unbelievably wicked labor practices and oppressive regimes around the world.
    What do you think a gallon of gas would cost were the externalities actually incorporated into the price — that is, if labor conditions were fair, if profits were shared, if pollution and war costs were included as well? You were pretty unhappy when gas hit 4 dollars not that long ago. Imagine having to pay fair labor costs. But, no, the social damage of extractive industries is borne by the bottoms of oil-producing exporting nations, not by the end-users. So you get pretty damned cheap gas and I don’t see you screaming for price increases to make oil-rich nations more egalitarian.
    And don’t forget, by the way, the fact that some will bear the costs of global climate change while others, not so much. So there’s another round of externailites you’re not paying for.
    That’s either because you just don’t get it, or because you would find it pretty hard to pay an actual fair price to fuel your truck.
    But since you think you’d pay no price at all to have the US dump Israel, you’re for it.
    It’s not that Israel’s behavior is desirable, moral, the thing anyone really wants them to do. It’s that there’s a structural problem in the region and it has to be worked through the way that all such structural problems are worked through. Time, negotiation, generational shifts, a sudden desire to be done with a conflict that’s done so much damage already, a swift victory.
    In this, Israel and Palestine are not exceptional. It’s a fairly normal dispute over land and resources, kind of like what the US went through over, ummm, land and resources.
    There seems to be some evidence that terrorism doesn’t stem from the I/P conflict, that it really is a largely localized issue. Of course, for the people involved it’s pretty damned horrific, and it might be nice for the world to think creatively about how to ameliorate some of the damage. On the other hand, some people have noted that if you make conflict cheaper, you increase the length of conflict. An interesting, sobering, scary thought.
    Might be nice if Palestinian leadership would think about amelioration, though. And the Israelis too.
    Give up on the fantasy of return (the Cubans should do the same.). Your ancestral home/parental home, the home you grew up in, is long gone. Sad, but true. Israel isn’t going anywhere. You might not get a military. But you might get some stability and nation-building and some protection against the craziest of the settler-gang bangers. They’re not a sympathetic bunch all in all.
    And Israel should really start policing its own settlers, stopping the 19 year old border guards from being such obnoxious, wicked jerks, starting to think that the militarization of its own babies is really not what it’s all about. Much in Judaism is about healing the world, building, taking on tasks that need to be done. Get back to it please. There’s nothing “building” about razing people’s homes and orchards. In fact, that kind of attachment to labor and productivity is what you should be pushing instead. A petit bourgeois farmer isn’t as likely to be radical as is an unlanded urban dispossessed guy. If nothing else, it helps to have something to do all day.
    But, as usual, POA will find this to be unacceptable because the immediacy of the now clouds long term thinking. And if the injustice goes on after the POA-supported US pull out, at least it won’t be on his dime.
    But what is also on his dime that he doesn’t note? And what keeps dimes in his pocket, that he also doesn’t note?

    Reply

  38. chumanist says:

    The worrying Robert Gates should not realise the fact that the issue of Iran’s capability of having a nuclear fuel cycle has largely been a matter of an in-volunteer policy mechanism as for the Iranians are concerned .The issue of external influence to stop the ongoing process of fuel enrichment seems to be an outbox-diplomacy riddle.

    Reply

  39. Jerry says:

    The era of the ‘special’ and the era of the ‘exceptional’ are over.
    Correctly, the world is walking back to square one. Now that the cult of personality is over, it will be possible to see the correct path.
    Sadly, when you persist in living in a make believe world, you only achieve make believe results.

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    From today’s NYT: Defense Sec Gates is worried that President Obama has no plan for when his “smart” diplomacy fails and Iran gets the bomb:
    ” Several officials said the highly classified analysis, written in January to President Obama

    Reply

  41. nadine says:

    “In one breath that “Jewish populations have genetic markers” and then in the next breath that if they convert to another religion — say Buddhism, Christianity or Islam (or athleticism?) that “bingo” these strange and allegedly identifiable special eugenic ‘Jewish’ markers suddenly fade away ”
    No, the markers stay, but once you convert you’re not Jewish anymore, regardless of markers. Jews are a ethnic group of over 3000 year’s duration with their own religion. Which part of this do you not understand?
    And you can shove the Nazi references where the sun don’t shine. Israel has to fight to survive, and the grandsons of those who shouted “Jews, Out of Europe!” now get their jollies shouting “Jews, Out of Palestine!” while aiding and abetting the planners of a second Holocaust. But how pure they are! How noble! How humanitarian!
    Those who leave Israel alone, get left alone. Until the PLO took over southern Lebanon in 1970 and started the Lebanese civil war, Lebanon had never attacked Israel or been attacked by Israel. If the stupid US hadn’t saved Arafat’s ass to Tunis in 1982, history might have gone a lot better since then.

    Reply

  42. rc says:

    So what are you saying nadine? (i.e. at Apr 18 2010, 12:00AM)
    In one breath that “Jewish populations have genetic markers” and then in the next breath that if they convert to another religion — say Buddhism, Christianity or Islam (or athleticism?) that “bingo” these strange and allegedly identifiable special eugenic ‘Jewish’ markers suddenly fade away — either physically or, in terms of relevance, to a distorted ‘superior race’ myth? They obviously fade politically.
    I suggest you either stick to the long ongoing struggle to psychologically differentiate a sub-branch of Semitic identity from the generic Baalism of the area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba%27al) — or to the science of DNA and genetics which implies we humans share 99% with mice. (e.g. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/04/coolsc.coolsc.mousegenome/)
    Attempting both is not logical and exposes the weakness of your thesis.
    I’d assume that the 99% rodent also applies to those humans who call themselves Jews?
    So, even if this microscopic difference in human DNA between Jews and non-Jews exists, and can be detected (which I doubt) — what are you implying it signifies by way of any importance to today’s mess in the ME? That you can drop white phosphorus on defenseless Palestinian women and children because they they don’t have “the gene”?
    Was Hitler’s argument any different? Do you think with that this alleged ‘marker’ is a meaningful difference at the human level and that therefore one cohort can be gassed as animals by another?
    Very dangerous turf lady! You have not thought this one through very well!
    Until this point I thought Stalin’s Russia was a better comparison to understand the ‘way of doing things’ in Israel today than German’s NAZI past. If the Ashkenazi Jews are not Slavic, then at least they are tared with the same ‘true blood’ superiority complex.
    But perhaps Hitler’s eugenic based world view is the closer model after all?

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    Dan, I’ll look into it.
    There’s a very good exchange of emails between James Risen and Yossi Klein Halevi at TNR:
    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/the-tnr-exchange-trust-fall

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    POS, of course you benefited from the oppression of native Americans. You have a country. Who owned the land your house stands on three hundred years ago?

    Reply

  45. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, I would recommend you read the books *On Murder* and *On Combat* by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman.

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And in respect to POA and his ‘ugly’ settler ancestors (assumption) — no he/she should not do any more than apply the same criticism from a modern perspective to them and get on with trying to improve things today and tomorrow.
    I worked for five years with members the Flathead tribe in Montana, while living in Idaho, helping them deal with, and overcome, their dependency on drugs and alcohol. I paid my dues, in spades. I was never involved in their oppression, and I assisted in helping tribal members to stand on their own two feet, free of addiction.
    The oppression of the native Americans is not a crime I participated in, nor is it one I have personally profited from.
    “Questions” asinine bit of diversionary intellectual drool is EXACTLY the kind of bullshit that has earned his maggot status with me. Its probably about time he dropped an author’s name or two, hoping it will somehow elevate his purely academic world view into something realistic, life based, or demonstrative of an ability to make the decision about whether or not to wipe his own ass.

    Reply

  47. nadine says:

    frenchconnection, your second post just agreed with me, that Jewish populations have genetic markers, not just cultural ones as you said before.
    “I used the term “abandoned” because the movement assumed that the “real Jews” were the people in the diaspora, not the Palestinians who had stayed there all the time.”
    It’s not clear if the Palestinians are those who “stayed” or not, since lots of people and conquests have passed through the region since the Arab conquest. At any rate, Zionism always identified “real Jews” as people who were Jewish and not Muslim or Christian. This may come as a shocker to you, but there it is.

    Reply

  48. rc says:

    (frenchconnection, Apr 17 2010, 9:15PM) = Excellent distillation! Thanks.
    (nardine, Apr 17 2010, 4:17PM) — the difference between the biblical fables and the Koranic ‘fables’ as you call them is precisely that the latter emerged from a real historical person now buried in Medina who believed (and convinced many others) that new divinely inspired words were being given to the Arabs – and by extension to mankind.
    Whether one believes the Koran’s content as revelation is another matter — the event happened in our recent recorded historical time and the transmitted information is generally accepted as accurate.
    I suggest people practice what is good in their respective given (by chance of birth) culture/religion and leave the rest — and judge what is “good” by the highest general universal ethical standards agreed by all humans (e.g. as embodied in the UN principles).
    If Israel followed the UN directives (as representing collective wisdom) then I’m sure there would be a better outcome for all — including the recent immigrants from Europe, America and Russia.
    BTW: my comments about biblical uncertainly equally apply to the Islamic Sharia and Hadith which is also an eclectic collection of tribal bias and vested interests accumulated over time.
    And in respect to POA and his ‘ugly’ settler ancestors (assumption) — no he/she should not do any more than apply the same criticism from a modern perspective to them and get on with trying to improve things today and tomorrow.

    Reply

  49. Michael Kahn says:

    Steve, thank you so much for this. It is moving and very
    instructive.More and more I count on NAM to guide me through
    these very turbulent waters. Again, many thanks!
    Warmest,
    michael

    Reply

  50. frenchconnection says:

    1) “During a scientific conference in 2003 in the United States, the Jewish American biologist Robert Pollack, Columbia University and several scientists have clearly rejected the fact that we can determine the biologically “Jewishness” of an individual because there is simply no DNA sequence that is present among Jews and absent among non-Jews.[6]
    It may seem paradoxical, at first sight, to say on one hand, there is no Jewish gene and on the other hand, a number of Jewish communities in the world have a common genetic origin. This is because population genetics is not concerned with individuals but with statistical studies on populations. They seek to determine, for example the percentage of “genes” (or more exactly haplogroups) shared between two populations.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_studies_on_Jews
    which means that one theory produced by somebody isn’t “the truth”.
    2) “Zionism is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.[2] Almost two millennia after the Jewish diaspora, the modern Zionist movement, beginning in the late 19th century, was mainly founded by secular Jews, largely as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to antisemitism and the Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire.[3]”
    I used the term “abandoned” because the movement assumed that the “real Jews” were the people in the diaspora, not the Palestinians who had stayed there all the time. Even if it’s true they have been “Arabized” the claim is as preposterous as saying that the Brits of today are not Brits because the original Celts have been invaded by Anglo-Saxons and Normans.
    Besides what have been the dominating force in Israel is not the original Herzlian Zionism, but revisionist Zionism (Jabotinsky). Practically all Israeli leaders have their roots in the Irgun, Lehi etc… either directly of as second generation.
    “Revisionism was distinguished primarily from other ideologies within Zionism by its territorial maximalism, while not alone, they insisted upon the Jewish right to sovereignty over the whole territory of Eretz Yisrael (originally encompassing all of Mandatory Palestine). The British handing of control of Transjordan to the Hashemites disrupted this dream, however. After this and until statehood, Revisionist Zionism became known more for its advocacy of more belligerent, assertive posture and actions against both British and Arab control of the region.
    Revisionism

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    frenchconnection, your notions of Jewish genetics are simply wrong, as modern genetic studies show the relation of Ashkenazi to Sephardic Jews and the common Mideast Origin of both. Google Cohen Levi Modal Haplotype.
    Yes, the modern notion of the nation state arose in modern times, duh. The usual starting date given is the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The notion of “people” and “country” is far older.
    Zionism wasn’t founded on demanding “abandoned” land. It was founded on buying land and building a country and the institutions of a state in the ancient Jewish homeland, which was at the time a lightly populated backwater region of Syria. It was a response to growing nationalism and growing racism in Europe.

    Reply

  52. marcus says:

    “Palestinians declare that Jerusalem is their true capital” ???
    ” I`ve never heard such a fairy tale in my life”
    A BIG SHOUT-OUT TO MY ILK…Nadine..HI,you seem to be getting smarter..what`s up girl ? have you been working-out ? you seem like you`ve got a real good mind/body thing going-on.
    Just Kidding around !
    But I will say that your patience is remarkable,you too Wig Wag (somebody wrote that you were a woman…I guess your like that wise Latino woman..you sound authoritative and wise.
    Nadine, btw, I think of you as more than just a pretty face,I think your smart too.

    Reply

  53. questions says:

    Nadine, read up on Nate Silver’s take on Rasmussen. It’s pretty interesting.
    Ruh roh, diversionary tactic!

    Reply

  54. frenchconnection says:

    Marcus
    “Israel is a moral question everyone must ask themselves – Do people have the right to a nation state or are some people jews,gypsies,kurds,tibetans,chechens,sudanese and many others not worthy ( i have decided that the arabs in judea and samaria are in fact not worthy)
    …. The jews on the other hand possess all the national characteristics to form a nation.”
    this is pure racism
    1) what you have decided is uninteresting says millions and millions of Palestinians
    2) Today’s Jews are not a people by common ethnic standards. They are a culture based on religion and following habits. The last time you could talk about the Jews as a people was during the Roman conquest. After the destruction of the Temple, the vast majority of them converted to Christianism and 400 years later to Islam. The few remaining Judeans of Jewish faith were down in some periods to 25 families, which would make around 500 people.
    3) There is no explicit proof of genetic relation between early European Jewish communities and Judea. Probably the vast majority of them were converted locals. It applies to Oriental Jews too, except for some very old groups like the ones deported to Babylon. When Sephardic Jews arrived to Tunisia in the 1600 (invited by the Bey, probably to manage the slave trade), they didn’t recognize the local Jews as “real Jews”, called them “Tounsis” and forbade even common burials, not to talk about marriage. That the “Tounsis” owned one of the oldest known Torahs in their synagogue, didn’t bother them.
    4) the concept of nation-state is recent (1700+). Most modern nations are a conglomerate of former ethnic groups more or less previously unified by force by Kings resulting in a common border and a common administrative language. Applying Israels definitions, today’s Brits are not real Brits except for Celts. . Besides all true Brits should be pagans. All the other ones are invaders including Anglo-Saxons. What stands in legends is neat stuff but Solomo has no more historic evidence than King Arthur. FYI Great Britain was founded 1707, the US became really a nation after the Secession War even if today at least 50% of Texans wouldn’t agree with that.
    5) Claiming a territory that has been abandoned in nearly 2000 years, this by non-etnhic descendents, based on more or less legendary records in a religious book is the most preposterous claim ever made. Specialy when the real descendents have occupied that territory all the time, with obviously the serious flaw that they changed religion.
    6) The comparisons you make with other groups or people are preposterous. Chechens, Tibetans etc… have always lived where they were, Gypsies are a nomadic people which has never seriously claimed a nation-state (of course if they had written the Bible they could claim return to Punjab). At least they could prove an ethnic lineage.
    Conclusion :
    – the concept of “moral character” allowing you to claim right to a nation-state is of course pure BS. Actually it’s nazism.
    – Israel’s existence is the result of a complicated story having to do with the demise of two Empires (UK, France) after WWII who could not stand attacks from Jewish terrorist groups like the Irgun, Lehi etc… groups founded on revisionist Zionism with sources in Mussolini’s Italy as a political system and a national-religious-messianic motive as credible as Al Quaedas demands of recreating the Caliphate.
    The context of the Holocaust repentance syndrome and the fear of the West to see extremely important geostrategical areas (Suez, oil fields) fall into the Sovietic influence sphere, permitted the creation of a so far “sustainable” state. Politically it was a huge mistake going against the West’s interests, which has been paid by 3 or 4 major wars so far (the fifth to come is with Iran) and the creation of international terrorism on an unprecedented scale, including the first major attack on US soil since 1812. Another very important factor is the backing from the American Evangelical Armageddon mafia, which of course has the “same” background in religious extremism.
    Israel would never have existed without those premises. Most surviving European Jews stayed in Europe after 1945, not to talk about US Jews. Very few embarked to the newly created state (they weren’t that stupid, and a good part, if not the majority were secular), to which immigration was fueled by oriental Jews who seized the opportunity or were expulsed after the first Israeli conquest war. But those stayed under Ashhenazi control. The second immigration wave came after the demise of the Soviet Union in a similar process and among them (“Russian Jews) a lot were not seeking a “return to the sources” bur primarily a better living standard.
    so much for your fascist “nation-state” theories, Marcus. Try to open another book than the Bible, and you’ll see how your perception of the world changes.

    Reply

  55. DonS says:

    I know the concpet of ‘off topic’ is generally observed in the breech here at TWN. But discussing clearly domestic affairs, healthcare legislation, etc.;, seems diversionary.
    Maybe sticking to the topic — US Israel relations — is too difficult???

    Reply

  56. questions says:

    tc,
    So damned witty!

    Reply

  57. questions says:

    POA, of course there’s a relationship. You benefit from one set of atrocities and you’re content. You can afford to see the other set, I/P, because it doesn’t help you directly.
    You can’t “undo” the American version, but you could offer compensation by, say, giving up your house and land to its “rightful” owner’s descendants.
    Of course, you don’t see it. You don’t see how you benefit from all sorts of political violence, and that blindness lets you condemn over and over the stuff you choose to see without compelling you to see some pretty inconvenient stuff. Willful blindness.
    But whatever.
    As for the genital reference, do you have any metaphors in your brain that rise above belt level and aren’t weather conditions? Any notion of human interaction that isn’t paid sex or forced sex? Anything that’s not related to petroleum jelly?
    Really, there’s no point. You’ll continue to see yourself as brave and not taking it, whatever “it” is, and you’ll continue to demonize those who disagree with you. Because you, POA, are the only one with a moral compass in the entire universe. Everyone else, apparently our host as well, has been bought off by AIPAC. It’s the plot for an apocalyptic movie: POA Against the World or something.

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  58. nadine says:

    Jerry, Israel exists very well with a $100 million GDP and the region’s most advanced military. They can take care of themselves. If you want to worry about somebody, worry about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are dependent on American protection. They couldn’t protect themselves for a day against an Iraqi or Iranian invasion.

    Reply

  59. nadine says:

    “Despite this, Obama blew it. The plan that passed was marginally acceptable at best and a disaster at worst. ” (Wigwag)
    When it passed, 58% opposed it. The latest Rasmussen poll says 58% now want to repeal it. We’re not done talking about Obamacare by a long shot.
    There’s a reason FDR and Johnson never passed major social legislation against popular disapproval, needing to use all sorts of parliamentary process tricks like reconciliation, despite having large majorities. FDR and Johnson wanted to win the next election. Obama doesn’t seem to care.

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  60. truly confused says:

    “questions, I’ll ditto that.” (nadine)
    Was that the “limp dick” part???

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  61. nadine says:

    But Maw, Israel isn’t ruling 95% of the Palestinians in the territories now, and hasn’t been since Oslo took effect. They are ruled by the PA and Hamas. So why would any new ‘apartheid’ need to come into being?

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  62. nadine says:

    questions, I’ll ditto that. No land was ever acquired by peaceful merger & acquisition…in fact, Israel is the only place where peaceful acquisition was tried in the first place. Didn’t work.
    As for the death totals, the numbers in Iraq (probably around 100,000 from the best sources without axes to grind) come mostly from sectarian violence perpetrated by insurgents of one stripe or another with AK47s, suicide bombs and IEDs. The totals killed by modern militaries, American or Iraqi, are far lower.
    Which the is the point — modern militaries are operating with far lower casualty rates than the old WWII style carpet bombing methods. Modern militaries, esp. in assymetrical warfare where support of the population is most important, are trying to avoid civiilian casualties. The terrorists they fight are trying to increase civilian casualties to send the message: the government can’t protect you.
    Some people, esp on the left, like to assume the ‘deep pockets’ theory of casualty accounting, where all casualties get ascribed to Americans (or Israelis) if they are anywhere around, whether they did it or not, whether they tried to prevent it or not.
    This actively prevents understanding what’s going on. But it does allow multi-culturalists to put all the onus on white people, which seems to be an important point for them.

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  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Questions…
    Yesterday’s American attrocities have NOTHING to do with the immorality of our subsidation of Israel’s attrocities.
    Frankly, questions, you are just as full of shit today as you were when you first got here. You are an intellectual coward. You take no moral stand while hiding behind your bookcases and the insecurities that have rendered you impotent to tell black from white, instead choosing to live in dull shades of gray. Its the coward’s way out, and has produced a moral eunich. At least these despicable bigots like Nadine or Marcus have made a decision, no matter how loathsome. But you? Your presence here is like a limp dick in a whorehouse; useless to all concerned, with absolutely no reason to be in attendance.

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  64. Maw of America says:

    It is truly silly season on The Washington Note message board. Very entertaining!
    But I have yet to see anyone with a coherent response to the inevitable collision. I believe there are three issues that must be reconciled:
    1 – Israeli sentiment is that the city of Jerusalem is a sacred transfer from god and cannot be taken or given away.
    2 – At some point, demographics will force the Israeli government to either enact apartheid or surrender the idea of a “Jewish state.” (by the way, if you have demographic evidence to the contrary, please cite it – mine is below)
    3 – Palestinians declare that Jerusalem is their true capital.
    I suppose the question is, will this be resolved by the governments, the people, outside forces, or armed conflict?
    This could get ugly…
    “…Palestinians have higher fertility rates than Israelis, currently 5.4 and 4.2 children per woman in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, respectively, versus 2.9 children per woman in Israel, and this leads to more rapid rates of population growth among the Palestinians – 3.2 percent versus 1.8 percent annually, respectively. Consequently, the difference in population size between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory becomes progressively smaller with the result being that by 2050 the two populations would be roughly equivalent in size, or about 10.5 million each.”
    from Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division, and research director at the Center for Migration Studies, New York.

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  65. questions says:

    POA,repetition over and over and over and over again. Yes atrocities. Welcome to the not so wonderful world of nation building. Every self-defined nation that there is had some kind of foundation sacrifice. People get killed. People get dislocated. It’s ugly and brutal and we’d all like it to stop. And many would still like the nation founded, secure, and present at the end of it all.
    Your outrage is both beautiful in the sense that, yes, the behavior is outrageous, and naive in the sense that you benefit directly from the very same kind of violence. The difference is that you see the violence in I/P, but the violence in California, you missed by a few generations. And the violence of founding the US in general, you missed by several generations. And the violence of slavery, by some number in between.
    But the fact is, the violence made possible your life. And you seem to be keeping your life, your home, your property, your constitution, your voting, your truck and your dog or whatever you’ve noted over the course of posting here.
    You’re keeping it, quite happy in the secure possession of a plot of land and a newly built chimney that’s been superglued together to withstand the next earthquake.
    Your fight is over, was over long before you were born.
    There are other fights. Ugly, nasty, brutal, animal, tribal, socio-biological fights. Killing, torture, death, squishing, raping, pillaging…. All the same stuff that got you your house is getting other people houses and land and water in other parts of the world. It keeps going on and on, and seems to be the story of mankind. We had our own jackbooted thugs, and now you have a house and a job. But you can feel clean because it was long ago.
    Now, if you can’t see what I’m getting at, or if you deny the validity of the point, there’s not much I can do to impart to you irony or acceptance. You simply don’t see how you are implicated. You bear witness to the horrors on antiwar dot com and in gaza dot whatever, but not in California before you were born.
    The horror is real. Real people really suffer. We actually all know that, and I’m guessing no one relishes the suffering.
    We would all like the suffering to stop, but we would like it to stop under certain circumstances rather than other circumstances. And somehow, that preference is wicked, naziistic, jackbooted, spawn of the devil.
    So are you going to do some genealogical research and turn your home back over to some other family who was there before you? Do you owe it to them? What does anyone owe? These are real questions worth thinking about.
    I’m sure you’ll call me foggy, wish me ill, assume you are the only moral force in the universe, the only witness, the only one with real true insight into the nature of things, picked at random to bear witness to the horror and fix it yourself. You have chosen this task, but maybe you should as some surrounding questions along the way. You might find yourself better able to convince someone.

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  66. Jerry says:

    It is important to realize that Israel is not a viable country since it cannot exist based on its own resources and capabilities. Especially now that it has become a liability rather than an asset, the question is what to do with it? Sooner rather than later Israel is going to be made an offer that it cannot refuse. The real question is what is Israel going to do with itself being essentially an incompetent state?

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  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Marcus???
    Truly a scumbag, is he not? Reading this thread, if you are not repulsed by the nazi-like ruminations of these bigots, there is something seriously wrong with you.

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  68. DonS says:

    “Israel is a moral question everyone must ask themselves – Do people have the right to a nation state or are some people jews,gypsies,kurds,tibetans,chechens,sudanese and many others not worthy
    “( i have decided that the arabs in judea and samaria are in fact not worthy)
    “The reason this particular group(pals) does not warrent a state of their own is multifaceted-namely that it is a disparate collection of tribes,not one people,there is no precedent of a state,no national literature or even a narrative independent of neighboring countries,the roots in the area of most of them are less than a hundred years old,they do no have a distinct language,or ethnicity,they are not self-sufficient and on and on.
    “The jews on the other hand possess all the national characteristics to form a nation.
    Marcus, you do write some garbage and I’ve extensively quoted your latest pile because it is so revelatory of your ignorance.
    So, homogeneity is a requirement for a nation state is it. That would seem to disqualify the US.
    How many millions of ‘gypsies’ (that would be Rom to the non-bigoted) were annihilated during WWII? Do they have a nation? Or are they dispersed, even reviled still where they travel and abide?
    Marcus, you are an embarrassment to the ’cause’ you gush over.

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  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “and BTW I don`t think that pointing out the obvious truth makes me a despicable murderous devilish degenerate lying traitorous demented slimey bucket of nazi shit”
    Well, if the shoe fits…..
    What the hell does “understanding” your “religion” have to do with recognizing the sheer evil of some jackbooted piece of shit shooting a farmer at 500 yards out? Or these state sponsored nazis bulldozing farmlands and orchards out of hatred and racial spite?
    One of the most telling aspects of the vomit you use to justify Israeli attrocities is your complete avoidance of recognizing the many instances of IDF attrocities that occur on a DAILY basis. You scumbags act as if you simply ignore the many instances of verifiable crimes and atrocities committed daily by the IDF that they will simply not be considered as part of the overall picture. You are in the worst kind of denial, justifying murder and mayhem by simply refusing to address it.
    You people make me sick. As do these limp and cowardly people posting here that refuse to call a spade a spade, or think they can simply cite a recently read bit of think tank blather to make the case that Israel is anything other than a racist and murderous blight on mankind in its current national personna. You don’t want the jackbooted thugs running things in Israel compared to nazis? Then perhaps they should stop acting like nazis.

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  70. questions says:

    Oh WigWag, you LOVE Obama and you know it!! (insert smiley emoticon here!)
    Seriously, though, if you want to excuse Clinton from stuff because of the Republicans, you have to give Obama some space because: Blue Dogs brought in by Raham Emmanuel’s 50 state strategy — strike that — Rahm Emmanuel’s realizing that actual dems couldn’t win in many places; the utter solidarity and intransigence of the Republicans in the Senate; Fox News; a dollop of racism; the economy stupid (not that I’m calling you names, just quoting the Clinton admin); the fact that the HCR debate went on and on and on in a reasonable attempt to create laws according to the Constitution. I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out.
    What Obama could have done better, in my view, I don’t know. He cut taxes, people think he raised them. He’s not jailing anyone for not having insurance, but O’Reilly pushed this one many times and it showed up here, even. He could have not gone near Israel at all, but honestly, I think Israel needs to soften up a bit.
    He’s doing stimulus, executive orders when they will work, trying to manage an intransigent security apparatus, financial reform, nukes, slowly dismantling American unilateralism, trying not to turn the entire security bureaucracy into a fearful lawyer-retaining group of people incapable of functioning, dealing with the dems in Congress….
    That’s a plateful even for a big guy with a big appetite.
    I think over the next couple of years, we’ll notice some significant changes in how the government operates.
    What I hope is that they can somehow convince some of the Fox-people I know that he’s a) not a Muslim hell-bent on destroying all that is valuable on the planet b)not a non-citizen loyal to Kenya or whatever c) not a socialist who is happily gobbling up car companies and running them rather than, say, socializing losses while the companies capitalize the profits. This message machine is really hard to fight. It’s too much fun for the press to pick this stuff up and ignore basic fact checking.
    Just think about how the ACORN story went — even the NYT failed on basic fact checking.
    As much as I HATE populism, probably going in hard on Goldman is sound politicking. When you get a guy who “earns” 3 BILLION in a year profiting from dirty dealing behind some guy’s lost family home, you do have a legitimate case. If they can milk this between now and, say, November, that could be something. Repub intransigence on this one is just beautiful.
    One more issue out there somewhere that would work in conjunction with finance reform — this would be beautiful. I have no idea what. It won’t be: peace in the ME, Afghan pullout, love fests in Iraq, cap and trade (THERE’s a winner!). But maybe someone has figured out a really good populist policy that’s even sound policy, and that’ll emerge late summer.
    I think that I will predict (please don’t save or remember this!) that incumbents won’t do as badly as predicted at the worst end. I haven’t done a race by race look, but I think incumbent protection will still be a force. Open seats will depend largely on candidate recruitment. A lot of local issues involved in MA went far beyond “sending a message”. (But please, again, don’t save this!)

    Reply

  71. marcus says:

    There are people who think that US support for Israel is perpetuated by financial control of the legislature by american jews.
    If this was true how can you explain Canadas support for Israel (which in recent years is much stronger than americas ) ? Afterall Canadians think very much the same as americans,especially with your new administration`s policies. Except for Obamas hostility towards Israel (it`s irrational and disturbing to many people,including our Government.
    Jews in Canada have no political power we are un-electable here,our electoral system does not revolve around money (publically financed campaigns)with strict spending/donating limits.There is zero prospect of having a jewish Prime Minister and there have only been 1 or 2 jewish cabinet ministers in the history of the country.
    Yet, we are a strong ally of Israel
    Why ?
    Because it`s the right thing to do,that`s why.
    It has nothing at all to do with jewish lobby`s or jewish fundraising that puts pressure on a government official(that would be illegal)it does not exist here as far as I know it certainlly has never been made public if it ever happened.
    Israel is a moral question everyone must ask themselves – Do people have the right to a nation state or are some people jews,gypsies,kurds,tibetans,chechens,sudanese and many others not worthy
    ( i have decided that the arabs in judea and samaria are in fact not worthy)
    The reason this particular group(pals) does not warrent a state of their own is multifaceted-namely that it is a disparate collection of tribes,not one people,there is no precedent of a state,no national literature or even a narrative independent of neighboring countries,the roots in the area of most of them are less than a hundred years old,they do no have a distinct language,or ethnicity,they are not self-sufficient and on and on.
    The jews on the other hand possess all the national characteristics to form a nation.
    and BTW I don`t think that pointing out the obvious truth makes me a despicable murderous devilish degenerate lying traitorous demented slimey bucket of nazi shit.

    Reply

  72. questions says:

    Ummm,
    Korea? Viet Nam? Iraq? Sanctions?
    “The Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups which began in 1991. It is estimated to have cost between 150,000 and 200,000 lives.”
    94,000-1,000,000 in Iraq depending on who’s counting and what they are counting. “War death” is a really ambiguous term.
    Somewhere around 250,000 in Viet Nam from the late 50s on.
    And I just found this “lovely” wiki chart:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_disasters_by_death_toll
    With all sorts of death tolls.
    Korea, 2.5-3.5 million.
    400,000-2 million Iran/Iraq proxy war
    Massar al Sharif (under a different spelling) looks like small potatoes in comparison.
    Everyone kills. Not just in the last 50 years.
    Plenty of death numbers at Wiki….
    Cambodia — around 2 million
    170,000-half a million Iraqi children — this one is complicated as it includes variations on what counts as a death from sanctions. The cruelty is still pretty obvious.
    Rwanda half a million to a million

    Reply

  73. larry birnbaum says:

    JohnH,
    “”Yes their could be peace” also if some people stopped regarding themselves as “chosen people” and everyone else as “unchosen.”
    “”Chosen people” evokes “ubermenschen.””
    You haven’t the slightest idea what the meaning of this concept is in Judaism; why you think it’s appropriate for you to comment on the meaning of other people’s theological notions in the absence of any actual knowledge is beyond understanding. In any case this concept certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with other people being “unchosen.” And bringing up Nazi terminology in this context is just the icing on the cake of your, at the least, disrespectful stance towards a religion you know nothing about.

    Reply

  74. WigWag says:

    “Don’t underestimate Fla. teachers and Crist as a third partier.” (Questions)
    I would like to think that you’re right, Questions. I’m supporting Kendrick Meek who I like very much. In a straight up race against Rubio or Crist I can’t see how Meek can win. Polls show him lagging both Republican contenders. But if Crist runs as an independent, it is possible that Crist will take enough votes away from Rubio for Meek to squeak by. That’s what I’m hoping for at least although I have to admit that in my heart of hearts I suspect that Crist would siphon more votes away from Meek than from Rubio.
    By the way, as anyone who has seen Meek on the stump will attest; he

    Reply

  75. nadine says:

    “The only line that Israel is holding is the one in its own local neighborhood against one Iranian proxy, the militia group and political party Hizbollah. As important as this local squabble might be to Israel, it holds almost no strategic significance for the rest of the world.”(Dan Kervick)
    Bullshit. Proxy wars can be very important, or why did the US and the USSR fight so many of them? They send important information about who is up and who is down, whose side has the better weapons, which side has the will to win and which doesn’t. You also forget that Hamas and Fatah have become Iranian proxies as well. You could really say the Sunni Arab states have been hoist by their own petard on this one. They fear Iran and the rise of the Shia crescent even more than they hate Israel.
    What’s important is the US/Israel alliance held Iran in check, and the US is bailing under Obama. It keeps appeasing Syria and Iran, it throws March 14th in Lebanon to the wolves, it checks Israel from bombing the Syrian Scuds on their way to Hizbullah, and what does it get back from Syria and Iran? Contempt. Open contempt. Gee, are we realpolitiking yet? I thought the realpolitik crowd cared about results.
    “On

    Reply

  76. Dan Kervick says:

    Nadine, I didn

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, what about it, people? Do these bigots and wannabe Mengeles on this thread, using the bible to justify nazi-like attrocities, “share” any “values” with you?

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  78. nadine says:

    rc, I’d be more impressed by the guys who boldly tell Israelis not to pay attention to the fable that is the Bible, if they were equally bold telling the Arabs not to pay attention to the fable that is the Koran. Unfortunately, they tend to go all mum and deferential when the subject is Islam.

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  79. nadine says:

    “Obama’s already deeply in trouble in Florida; a Republican surge in Ohio and Pennsylvania could finish him.
    That is, if the Republicans don’t deep-end and instead nominate a moderate main stream candidate.” (Wigwag)
    Don’t forget the messages that were already sent by the gubernatorial elections in VA and NJ, and by Sen. Scott Brown. The Obami already seem to be running a kamikaze administration, where they don’t care if their legislation is unpopular, they just want to shove as much of it as they can past the goalposts and dare the Republicans to repeal it. They know that by next Congress, it’s over. Did you see Sean Trende’s column at RCP yesterday? He thinks it’s possible the Dems could lose 80 seats in the House, conditions are so bad for them.
    What the Republicans need is not what you call a “moderate main stream candidate,” but a candidate with clear ideas for reversing the unpopular Obama overreach. The kind of Republicans Dems call mainstream tend to be the squishy, bipartisan types like McCain, who don’t have a clear vision for where they are going and wind up being the custodians of the welfare state. The entitlement problems we were already in before Obama made them worse are too severe for that. We need a Reagan type this time. I hope Bobby Jindal runs.

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  80. nadine says:

    Dan, that was the most confused muddle I ever saw you write. First you blow off the idea that Israel could be doing anything useful because it’s a small country. That’s just stupid. It’s a small country with the region’s most effective and advanced military. Without Israeli technology and know-how, the US army would be doing worse than it is. Everybody in both armies knows it. Then you go on about US soldiers being turned into “killer-zombies”. I suppose that means because they have actually been fighting. Well, here’s a news flash – Saddam Hussein would have been a problem without Israel. So would Iran. It’s America who is the enemy to these guys. Maybe that’s why you keep wanting to side with them. You don’t like America either.

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  81. nadine says:

    Sweetness, you are having trouble telling your friends from your enemies. What’s your “new medicine” – appeasement? conversion to Islam? Do you really want to stay in a party of anti-Semites like Carroll? I’ll say this about conservative threads – they do not tolerate the Jew-hatred that is on daily display at TWN.

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  82. marcus says:

    POS(hit)wonders why I post on an american blog?
    little does he know.
    I`ve swum in lakes, dead,killed by acid rain blown over from the US.
    The canadian Gov`t was just forced to bail -out GM(american) to the tune of 15 billion tax dollars.
    WE just lost the 143rd canadian solider in war we were dragged into by the states.
    Our retail and manufactoring sectors are being pulverized by american competitors(economy of scale and all that)
    Asian carp from the states is invading our waterways
    American sporthunters have decimated our grizzly/moutain sheep/cougar populations
    American GUNS are flooding our cities (like alway`s)
    illegal immigrants are pouring in by the tens of thousands because of your porous southern border
    Traditional canadian allies are being snubbed by your pres.(in canada we treat our allies with respect and I would not be surprised if Canada begins to distance itself away from the states in foriegn affairs)You can keep all your new best friends)and your arrogant sec.of state was just here and decided it was her business to tell us if we should leave afghanistan or not I DON`T THINK SO ! We are leaving july 2011 every last solider is leaving FINALLY !
    BTW I have lived in the west bank and jerusalem and everywhere I went it was israelis who were being attacked EVERYWHERE by gun toting thieves/car-jackers,or rock-throwing punks,or knife wielding lunatics who would love to stab an elderly person in the back EVERYWHERE EVERYDAY (it doesn`t make the american news but their is arab on jew violence in the street EVERYDAY EVERTWHERE
    every town inside or outside of the west bank has to post armed gaurds,patrol every night,every building needs security,every bag needs to be checked
    The jews of israel in the west bank or in israel proper are under constant threat from arabs .This is how it is and has been for the last century.
    I have fought arabs UNFORTUNATLY I didn`t have a bulldozer handy,so I had to use my fists to protect myself. Once I was attacked in the old city and a second time by a mob of rock-throwing “youngters” in jericho.

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  83. Carroll says:

    Posted by Sweetness, Apr 17 2010, 1:55PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    LOL…yea I know we Southerners are terrible, Americans are terrible, slavery in the South and indentured servitude in the North, our greed and hubris and all that. We admit it, we’ve been very, very bad.
    But,but,but…
    “”Personally, I’d rather be part of a people who cared what other people thought, than be part of a people who didn’t give a shit. It’s the basis for having a conscience. Maybe this is why it took the South, what, 250 years to begin to treat blacks like human beings. And they never tried to push you into the sea! Plus, you’ve still got a ways to go as we can see from recent events. Israel, let it be said, is only about 70 years into the problem.”””
    ..isn’t our badness the point, didn’t we evolve, isn’t that what the Nuremberg trials, civil rights, human rights and all the heavy lifting we did to correect it after we realized our badness was all about.
    What’s wrong?.. Israel hasn’t learned from our sinning and reforming, they are deaf, dumb and blind? You’re saying Israel is stupid and needs 250 years to learn even though we have already given them the examples we have lived?
    That’s a really lousy excuse…’we ain’t learned nothing yet give us more time’.

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  84. Carroll says:

    I meant to point this point earlier in the above article:
    “A small village mosque, used only on the weekend, had the word ‘Muhammad’ sprayed in Hebrew and a Star of David. Haaretz also found graffiti with the Jewish prayer ‘Praise be onto him for not making me a gentile”
    ..a jewish prayer for not making me a gentile?
    I didn’t know this was in any jewish prayers.
    But I’am not much into my own religion much less anyone else’s so perhaps someone can verify
    exactly where this prayer comes from. How would thank you for not making me gentile apply to Arabs in Palestine? Unless it is part of the new Death to America and Obama by the Israel extremist groups as some kind of expression to let the Arabs know the gentiles in the US aren’t going to stop them attacking Palestines.
    Do the whacko evangelicals have any prayers that say thank you for not making me a Jew or Arab?

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  85. questions says:

    Sweetness,
    I’m going to play dittohead. Assuming Obama can keep checking things off his to-do list, he and the country should be fine.
    The Repubs are so screwy on financial reform — they’ll take a hit. This Goldman thing might very well be the beginning of something.
    Don’t underestimate Fla. teachers and Crist as a third partier.
    And toss in a Paul Muldoon interpretive interview link just to lighten things up a bit. It’s really quite a piece of work:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/16/princeton-keha_n_541229.html

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  86. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its actually quite amazing seeing these assholes offer a biblical argument in Israel’s defense.
    So, I guess God condones targeting Palestinian farmers who are merely attempting to till their fields. Or the razing of orchards. Or incinerating Muslim women and children in white phosphorous? Or harrassing, beating, and abusing Palestinian children trying to walk to school? Or shooting people engaged in peaceful protest against such atrocities?
    You could almost forgive these bigots if they were honest, and used the timeworn old sarcasm of “The devil made me do it”.
    But no, these despicable nazi clones say instead, “God implores us to do it”.

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  87. Sweetness says:

    Well, it’s nice to see everyone’s getting along so nicely…as usual. I’ll just add a few things.

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  88. susan says:

    Remember Rep Jane Harmon? She’s the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.
    Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference.”
    Marcy Winograd, the progressive community activist who has been endorsed by Blue America, is on the verge of pulling off the year’s biggest upset and ending a political career (Harmon’s)that has been all about serving corporations and collaborating with Republicans on war, torture and the curtailment of civil liberties.
    Blue America has Marcy on its main endorsement page, on our Sending Democrats A Message page and on our page dedicated to fighting against the Blue Dogs. Can I ask you to pick one and contribute what you feel comfortable giving, even if only $5 or $10? Like I said, Harman is the wealthiest Democrat in the House, and she will spend whatever she thinks she has to to hold onto her power base. Marcy could never match her– but she doesn’t need to. All she needs to do is get enough grassroots contributions so that she can get her message out to the people of the 36th District.
    http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/

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  89. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Marcus….
    Why don’t you just worry about your own nation instead of importing your racist/zionist/nazi/religious fanaticism bullshit onto American blogsites?
    Frankly, its fairly telling seeing cowards like yourself or Nadine, spewing your hatred and fanaticism from the comfort of your nice secure living rooms, far from the reach of those you advocate as being fair game for your despicably murderous and bigoted world view. You’re too much the coward to go over and bulldoze a home or two when you can see the whites of your victim’s eyes, aren’t you?
    Why not move to an Israeli settlement so you can kick the shit out of Palestinian school children and paint Stars of David on their houses of worship with the rest of your cowardly little wannabe nazis and stormtroopers?

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  90. marcus says:

    If israel were to be dumped and dumped upon as your president likes to do to all your allies in the developed world, Israel would be freed up to develope strategic military/scientific/political ties with China Russia India
    Israel is currently forbidden as a condition of the military aid and political cover given to her by the US to sell high tech stuff to china or build her own fighter jets.Israel must buy american made weapons with the aid money (it`s more of a make-work programne for the pentagon than anything else)
    What a different world it would be if israel were to build military/commercial/scientific ties to china instead of the US.(israel would not like this but would have to deal with it) Not only will you remain obcenely in-debted to china,you will also lose any tech advantage(in many fields) your currently hanging on to.
    The US could replace israel with the “allies” mentioned above Kuwait,Oman and afghanistan
    GOOD LUCK America this is the future your pres. and the israel haters have in mind.
    In Canada we are already seeing a change in our historical alliance ,we are being bought up by the chinese,specifcally the tar sands,your pres.doesn`t like them (too bad since there is more oil in alberta than there is in saudi arabia) but china likes it fine.(our limits on foriegn investment in natural resource companies is being eroded by chinese persistence and american indifference)
    the same would go for israel`s scientific/military resources the Chinese would gobble them up.
    America seems so befuddled these days,trading good relations with the most advanced richest most admired nations to the lousy most backward dictatorships
    BTW It was the jews who wrote the bible not the arabs (some people seem confused about this)But this reminds me of something I witnessed a few years ago,the arabs and assorted israel-haters were doing alot of street demos,making alot of noise and pollution,they actually got so cocky that they started to claim that canada was first discovered by muslims(phonicians)they call every one muslims;so that it was justified to introduce sharia law because afterall muslims discovered canada! What chutzpa!
    Abraham was the first jew NOT muslim, isacc was his intended sacrifice NOT
    Ishmael Moses was NOT a muslim Jesus was NOT a muslim etc.
    If arabs don`t like the Isacc story then THEY SHOULD WRITE THEIR OWN and LEAVE THE JEWISH STORIES ALONE
    Their currently having their own nuke summit in iran (a re-visionist utopia where its the US that`s a criminal rouge regime)they already had their, the holocaust never happened summit, next they could re-write the bible and just black-out the parts they don~t like
    That`s exactly what they would like to do,burn every other bible and just allow their revisionist edition — like someone said there`s no “proof” that the jewish bible stories are true so just re-write them RIGHT ?
    It semms like steve would like a more balanced bible something that coforms better to his contemporary world view,at the same time he could help erase the armenian genocide from the history books,the jewish historical connection to jerusalem and anything else that disturbs americas new “allies”dmz

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  91. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 17 2010, 11:56AM – Link
    “Fuck the social unacceptability of such comparisons”
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Yep, the public anty needs to be upped for the Israelis and for their supporters. In the early days when some of us were pointing out the similarities in what Israel was doing there were those who were Shocked!..Shocked I tell you!..that the Jewish state and people were being compared to the nazis.
    Well it is what it is…if it walks, talks and quacks like a duck it’s a duck.
    And I am finding it just as imperative to call our congress what they are…Traitors.
    The legal definition is immaterial, that is in essence what they are and how more and more Americans see them. The teabaggers are just one symptom and tiny splinter of what most Americans feel about our government now, that they consistently sell out the American people to special interest for political benefits.

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  92. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Homes and livelihoods gone in an instant
    Israeli bulldozers destroyed three homes and 17 dunams of agricultural land in eastern Khan Younis on 18 February.
    Radia Abu Sbaih, 47, lives with her sister and one niece on family land roughly 700 meters from the

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  93. JohnH says:

    Wigwag places her faith and trust in the 80% of Congress who vote for Israel. But it would be interesting to know how deep that support really is. IMHO, it could crumble in fairly dramatic fashion.
    While Congressmen are used to being led around by their noses by powerful lobbies, most do it quietly and out of public view. But the Israeli lobby relishes its ability to control Congress and arrogantly trumpets it. It can’t imagine that that many Congressmen appreciate being publicly humiliated or would hesitate to exact payback, given the opportune moment.
    Also, there’s the small matter of the US military, a lobby more powerful than even AIPAC. If they seriously believe that Israel is threatening US interests, then who will Congress support?
    The times are changing…

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  94. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I think it is too late for people to object to comparing Israel to the Nazis”
    The parallels are glaring. The only reason such comparisons are not publically aired is because of the imposed social unacceptability of making such statements, no matter their basis in logic and simple moral deduction.
    As I noted above, prior to reading the article you link to, the Star of David is becoming the swatstika of modern times. The defacing of mosques and Palestinian neighborhoods, using this symbol, is an EXACT replication of the nazi’s use of the swatstika as an expression of hatred based in bigotry and a belief in racial or religious entitlement.
    Fuck the social unacceptability of such comparisons. These comparisons MUST be made, because they are the kinds of moral assessments, based in truth, that we MUST make if we are to counter the influence of these monsters that have coerced, bribed, and blackmailed our government into subsidizing atrocities that rival those of Nazi Germany. The numbers of victims may be less, but they ARE victims nonetheless, of the same kind of fanaticism and bigotry that marched Jews into poisonous showers. Of course, should these monstrous bigots and religious fanatics choose to attack Iran, the end result may be global numbers of victims that far surpass those tallied by Adolph Hitler.

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  95. DonS says:

    “The US has military relationships and presence in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is conducting active military operations in three of those countries. Our warships patrol the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. In other words, the US has Iran militarily surrounded. . . .
    The above-mentioned US deployments and operations come at considerable cost to the American public, and especially to families of American soldiers, something the haughty and aristocratic blunderbuss Pryce-Jones apparently holds in little regard.” (Dan K)
    It should never be forgotten that the meteoric rise in importance and influence of Iran in the region is a direct consequence of the US invasion of Iraq which really upended the tenuous regional balance. And that invasion can be in major part attributed to the planning policies, prejudices and [in some cases no doubt’ dual loyalties of the neocon cabal working to further its interpretation of Israel’s interests.
    I say it should never be forgotten, but apparently the Congressional signatories are all too willing to forget.

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  96. Carroll says:

    The headline to the article at Salon.
    “Is the Star of David the new swastika?”
    In a disturbing reversal of symbolism, Israeli extremists are defacing Palestinian property with the Jewish symbol
    By Judy Mandelbaum
    Time was when Nazis used to slather swastikas on synagogues and Jewish businesses to prepare the local population for expulsion or much worse. It’s sad that this sort of behavior persists around the world, as a new study by Tel Aviv University shows. But it’s even sadder to see Israelis regularly defacing Palestinian property with Stars of David with equal glee and with what appears to be the same brain-dead mindset.
    Your local paper might not have covered it, but in the wee hours of Wednesday morning a gang of Israeli settlers attacked the West Bank village of Hawara. “Palestinians reported two torched cars on the village

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  97. rc says:

    Is Benjamin Netanyahu a US citizen?
    If yes, then do his actions come under US law?
    If yes, then the alleged Israeli non-NPT compliant nuclear facilities are in fact under the control of the American government.
    This places a new alternative perspective on a secret meeting between two US citizens — one the President of the United States of America, and the other, a law abiding citizen under US law and flag.
    Surely, one does not need to only consider the irony of the alleged “dressing down” of the leader of the ‘chosen ones’ by a son of Ham, but also the possibility that a high-level US-to-US briefing occurred?
    In either case, both may have occurred. However, my question is: does Israel have depleted uranium munitions?
    If yes, then what does President Obama, a ‘son of Ham’ in the true Zionist sense (referring to their famous narrative about dark skinned people of Africa cursed by their G-d), think about these being used on Palestinians, Arabs, Persians, Lebanese?
    Given he’s written one book covering the nuclear issue, I’ll be interested in what Professor Obama has to write about in his next book after his presidency!

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  98. JohnH says:

    “Israel is holding the front line against Iran whose power is spreading through the region via Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas.”
    I’m amazed and saddened by the junior high mentality of some of the commentators. It seems that everyone wants to conquer the world. Everyone it seems wants to conquer poor little Israel, who has done nothing—nothing at all— to generate hostility towards them.
    It never occurs to these types that a lot of countries simply want to be left alone. Iran has not invaded anyone in hundreds of years. Their entire defense budget is less than what the US spends in Iraq in 3 months. Yet someone they represent a threat equivalent to the former Soviet Union, or worse.
    Where do these delusions come from?
    And how can they eternally assert Israeli victimhood? Poor, little nuclear armed Israel!!! They suffer so much as they wreak havoc on Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank. They suffer so much as they kick Palestinians out of their homes in East Jerusalem and off their farms throughout the West Bank. They suffer so much as they deplete the West Bank’s aquifers. They suffer so much as they fulfill “God’s will” to dominate the region.
    Poor little Israel just wants to be left in peace, except when they are combing the world to find the next “existential threat,” a threat worthy of ever more aid from the diaspora and welfare from American taxpayers…
    Spare me your crocodile tears!

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  99. WigWag says:

    “2012 is indeed a long way away, but the exit polls of this November will provide some useful information.” (Nadine)
    I think that you’re right; the 2010 mid term elections could be unusually predictive. Of course, during Clinton’s term, the Democrats lost the mid terms badly and lost control of Congress; nevertheless Clinton was reelected. Clinton did have one major asset Obama won’t have; Clinton could count on Ross Perot siphoning votes from George H. W. Bush.
    Here’s why I think this year’s mid terms will be very telling; Obama is sure to lose most of the red states that he won last time. This includes: North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa and Indiana.
    I am also almost certain that Obama will lose Florida. He’s antagonized Florida’s Jewish community; the Cubans will revert to form and vote Republican and there is less passion in the African American community for Obama than there was in 2008. Despite outspending him massively, Obama only beat McCain in Florida by 3 percent. Florida is lurching to the right; look what’s happening in the campaign between Crist and Rubio for evidence. The health care plan is massively unpopular with senior citizens. I think we’ve already reached a point where Obama can kiss Florida good bye.
    This means the only states up for grabs will be Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
    Obama can’t win if he loses Ohio and Pennsylvania and he would have trouble winning even if he loses just one of those states; he would have to win 100 percent of the other states up for grabs.
    Is it really possible for Obama to lose Ohio and Pennsylvania?
    Maybe. The 2010 elections should tell us alot.
    Ohio and Pennsylvania both have senatorial and gubernatorial races in 2010.
    In Pennsylvania, Attorney General Tom Corbett will probably be the Republican nominee for Governor; the Democratic nominee is still unclear. The early polling shows Corbett beating any candidate the Democrats send against him. In the Pennsylvania Senate race, arch conservative Republican Pat Toomey is polling amazingly well against either Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak.
    In Ohio, Republican candidate John Kasich (the former congressman) seems to be running slightly ahead of incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland. In the open Senatorial race (Voinovich is retiring), likely Republican nominee, Rob Portman is running somewhat ahead of both potential Democratic nominees, Jennifer Brunner or Lee Fisher.
    I think the results of these four races will tell us alot. If the Democrats win all four or three out of the four, then Obama is in fine shape. I think Obama is probably still okay if the Democrats and Republicans split the four races. But if the Republicans win all four or three out of the four races, then I think Obama has very serious problems.
    Obama’s already deeply in trouble in Florida; a Republican surge in Ohio and Pennsylvania could finish him.
    That is, if the Republicans don’t deep-end and instead nominate a moderate main stream candidate.
    What

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  100. WigWag says:

    Errata!
    My post at Apr 16 2010, 9:01PM is in error. The Senators I listed were the Senators who have not signed an AIPAC sponsored letter calling on the Administration to impose harsh sanctions on Iran. 79 Senators signed that letter; 21 did not.
    Steve is correct, 76 Senators signed the Boxer/Isakson letter and 24 did not. I apologize to Steve and his readers for my mistake.
    WigWag

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  101. Dan Kervick says:

    “Appreciate the candor, Dan. So, do you favor an alliance with Iran instead, like Flynt Leverett does?”
    An alliance? No. I favor full and open diplomatic relations with all countries in the region, and opportunistic cooperation with any of those countries on matters of mutual interest. And I would like to see cooperation with countries inside and outside the region to preserve balance, regional peace and energy security in the Middle East. But I would prefer that none of our relationships with countries in the region be “strong”. The US should have no BFFs or “special” relationships in the Middle East.
    In the present context, I prefer moving somewhat closer to the Iranians and somewhat further away from the Israelis and the Saudis, but only to balance an imbalanced US posture, not to create a new special relationship – this time with the Iranians.

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  102. Carroll says:

    Uh oh…if CUFI, the christian zionist lobby and not AIPAC, the Jewish lobby is the biggest force in lobbying for Israel as wig says..then the Jews are in a pile of trouble. A guy as nuts as Hagee could easily be the next Hitler.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagee
    Despite Hagee’s professed “Christian Zionist” beliefs and public support for the state of Israel, Hagee has made statements that some have interpreted as antisemitic, including blaming the Holocaust on Jews, stating that Adolf Hitler carried out a divine plan to lead Jews to form the modern state of Israel, calling liberal Jews “poisoned” and “spiritually blind,” and stating that the preemptive nuclear attack on Iran that he favors will lead to the deaths of most Jews in Israel.[46]
    In his book Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee claims that Adolf Hitler was born from a lineage of “accursed, genocidally murderous half-breed Jews.”[47] On page 149 in a chapter with the ominous title ‘Who Is a Jew?’, Hagee writes:
    “It was Esau’s descendants who produced the half-breed Jews of history who have persecuted and murdered the Jews beyond human comprehension … Adolf Hitler was a distant descendant of Esau.”[47]
    Hagee has attributed the persecution of Jews throughout history, implicitly including the Holocaust, to disobedience, thereby attracting accusations of antisemitism:[48]
    “It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day… Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of antisemitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come…. it rises from the judgment of God upon his rebellious chosen people.”[49]
    In the book, Hagee cites material from the Jewish tradition (Jeremiah 9:13

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  103. Carroll says:

    There is something very cockroachy about people who would do something like this. With the zionist the more honorable a man is in his ethics and work, the more they despise him. It was the same with Carter and Tutu. This is so low.
    Goldstone barred from grandson’s bar mitzvah
    by Philip Weiss16 April 2010
    Yesterday it was reported that the South African Zionist Federation and other religious bodies had participated in the decision to bar Richard Goldstone from attending his grandson

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  104. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Apr 16 2010, 11:32PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I can help with the chosen people complex types. As usual I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn last night and am not a psychiatrist..but my sister in law is one of 25 years.
    In a nutshell when you see a “superiority striving” as she calls it, like we see in some people, it actually stems from a inferiority complex, lack of self-esteem and deep seated fear of inadequacy. The insecure person will express superiority over and over because he or she wants others to see him as someone who ‘must be respected’ or feared or admired.
    The way to tell those who have a true superiority complex from the ones who have an inferiority complex but try to express superiority is that the real superiority complex people don’t give a shit for anyone’s opinion except their own. They plain don’t care what anybody besides themselves thinks.
    The inferior complex ‘striving as superiority’ on the other hand constantly talks or ‘plays’ that they are superior in some way because they do actually care how people see them and feel weak or unsafe being seen as less then superior to others.
    The bad news that came along with my sister in law’s observations of our board interactions is she says all Southerners have superiority complexes..but they don’t give a shit…..LOL
    She said you were a ‘Driver” ( a category within the personality types recongized) but with a ‘heart’ POA.

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  105. rc says:

    “It was Isacc not Ishmael who was almost sacrificed at the temple mount.” (marcus, Apr 16 2010, 11:58PM) — uninformed, biased and without factual evidence. Moslems believe it was Ishmael.
    Quoting self-serving biblical myth may smooth your cognitive dissonance resulting from the divergence between good ethics and bad behavior, but the reality is: a) it cannot be proved either way (and therefore is irrelevant to any rational justification process); and b) alleged events of many thousands of years ago, with the status of little more than unproven folk lore, can be no legitimate basis for a modern democratic state and fair and equitable public policy.
    In respect to POA — I generally agree with much of the comments made, and enjoy the outraged humor in which it is delivered. However, in this point on shared values I choose to disagree: American values, as demonstrated against the indigenous population (native Indians), are exactly in tune with the Israeli settler behavior.
    This contemporary process of ‘outing’ Palestinians from their land is simply a continuation of the US wars against the native Indians and Mexicans etc. (e.g. read “Bury My Hearth at Wounded Knee”)
    It may not be your personal values, nor mine, but it is ugly and it is human nature when there is a cultural divide and technological imbalance.
    The upside is, Zionists in Israel, and others supporting Israeli behavior, have no historical or contemporary basis for any claim of superiority. Their self-justifying narrative is an interesting study in religious cult behavior writ large — but then again so is much of the US today.
    What is really going on? Nature has some amazing things to show us, and some things are better communicated through metaphor etc. This link shows the fateful relationship between host and the parasitoid. I suggest it is a good example of US foreign policy. The only question is — which is the wasp and which the roach in any ‘relationship’? See:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN2XMyxAs5o

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  106. nadine says:

    Carroll, the only “push” that the Holocaust gave to Zionism was that it made people like you shut up about how much they hated the Jews.

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  107. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I have an idea…let’s give Israel to China….”
    Gosh, I don’t know.
    Its sounds good, but is melamine kosher???

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  108. nadine says:

    Wigwag, interesting. I too voted Democratic all my life, until 2001. The reaction of the two parties to 9/11 told me that the blame-America-first leftists had taken over the Democratic party, so I could no longer stay.
    2012 is indeed a long way away, but the exit polls of this November will provide some useful information.
    It’s too early to talk about Republican candidates until 2011. The Democrats fear Sarah Palin as a candidate more than anyone, judging from their fascination and vituperation (or why do they spend so much time talking about her? Who talked about John Edwards in 2006? Not Republicans, for sure). She would certainly make a perfect Democratic candidate, if she were a liberal Democrat. But Republicans don’t usually chose Presidential candidates for charisma.
    They say American politics is played between the 40 yard lines. Obama has seized the ball and is running for the left-side goalposts. The only question is how far he will get before he is tackled, and how far the line of scrimmage will move back towards the right. I do not think Obama is capable of triangulating the way Bill Clinton did. He won’t be able to run as a moderate a second time. If the Republicans nominate any decent candidate, I think Obama will be repudiated like Jimmy Carter was. How will Jews vote? Depends how open Obama is about his pro-Palestinian p.o.v. Over time, I think Obama can’t help but reveal his true feelings.

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  109. Carroll says:

    Just think how this all started. Britain had, back when, what they referred to as “Jewish problem” so they went along with the zionist and gave approval of a sort for Jewish nation. Then the holocaust gave it some real push and Britain tossed the whole problem of an Israel to the UN and the US. Somehow the US ended up footing the bill, probably paying as much or maybe more by now than Germany has to the Jews after WWII..and I guess still does.
    I have an idea…let’s give Israel to China, we can trade them Israel for all the US debt they hold. Just do like Britain, unload the problem on someone else. We could have Goldman Sachs do a nifty Enron style profit and lose glossy brochure on Israel and do a presentation to China on the benefits of adopting Israel.
    All problems solved. We get rid of a liability, and all future Israeli drains on US taxpayers.
    AIPAC would move to China. China would catch the Israeli flu, screwed up trade policies and foreign policies under AIPAC and Israeli influence, huge aid outlays.. and this would give the US a chance to start working toward normal.
    Voila! I like it!
    Just one catch. China probably isn’t that stupid.

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  110. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Think about that for a minute…removing the US National Security clause for Israel”
    Any minute now that obsfucationist “questions” will amble through with some long winded convoluted muttering about the overstated power of the Israeli lobbies.
    He doesn’t wanna hear about “hasbara” either. I guess that another known fact that he thinks we all should simply ignore.

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  111. WigWag says:

    Wigwag, do you think Obama will be the politician who finally makes American Jews vote Republican? (Nadine)
    I can’t speak for American Jews, Nadine, but I can speak for myself. I have never voted for a Republican in my life (and I’m happy to report it’s been a long life). If I’m still sentient in 2012 I will vote for any serious Republican over Obama. I’d vote for Romney; I’d vote for Pawlenty; I’d vote for Guiliani (who I despise by the way almost as much as I dislike Obama); I would vote for McCain if he ran again.
    But I won’t vote for Palin, Gingrich or Huckabee.
    Obama will still win the Jewish vote nationally but I am virtually certain that he won’t win the Jewish vote in Florida.
    I still think he’s the odds on favorite to win because the Republicans simply don’t have a really good candidate. Romney would be the Republican’s best candidate but I think the Morman thing will really hurt him.
    But I think Obama has been so bad on so many fronts that it’s hard for me to conceive how I could vote for him again.
    But 2012 is a long way in the future. Alot could happen between now and then.

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  112. nadine says:

    Succinct and coherent, unlike the “realist” muddle:
    Presidential Mistakes
    April 15, 2010 11:45 AM
    By David Pryce-Jones
    President Obama is reported as saying that American policy towards Israel is “costing us significantly in blood and treasure.” First mistake. It’s the other way round, Israel is holding the front line against Iran whose power is spreading through the region via Syria, Hizbollah and Hamas. If Israel was not holding the line, then the United States would face a most uncomfortable choice: either to tackle Iran head-on or concede that Pax Americana didn’t work and it is time to withdraw from the Middle East with as little ignominy as possible.
    From his way of thinking, Obama goes on to conclude that Israeli-Palestinian peace holds the key to Middle East stability. Second mistake. If there was genuine peace tomorrow and a state of Palestine, it would make no difference to the Sunni-Shia divide, to the ambitions of Osama bin Laden or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to the civil war in Yemen, to the sectarian conflict in Lebanon, to the hard-wired despots in Egypt and Syria, and so on and on.
    Obama also thinks that this projected state of Palestine is a practical proposition. Third mistake. The Palestinians are irremediably divided between Fatah and Hamas, and a state would trigger civil war to determine which faction would own it.
    And from all this bog of misconception and ignorance, Obama finally is weighing using his presidency to impose some solution on Israel. Fourth mistake. No such solution exists. Any attempt at imposition would oblige Israel to see its existence now an urgent issue of self-defence and survival. The consequences boggle the imagination.
    In the White House, it seems, someone likes playing with fire.

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  113. Carroll says:

    I think I will just “Ditto” POA, DanK, DonS and JohnH.
    And I’ll add this from mj rosenberg who knows how AIPAC operates internally and in congess.
    The link is his comment on the senate letter
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/04/13/did_your_representative_sign_one-sided_aipac_lette/
    Then in the comments he added this:
    “Back when I worked on the Hill (until the 90’s), foreign policy bills (and all related to Israel) had a “national security waiver” which said something like “notwithstanding the provisions of this bill, the POTUS may waive their requirements if they conflict with national security interests.”
    Starting with the bans on aid to Palestinian institutions after Hamas won the elections in 2006, AIPAC has insisted that the waiver be removed.
    Sometimes the Senate insists on keeping it in but, in conference, the House takes it out. I don’t know that AIPAC succeeds every time but they try. The amazing thing is that Members of Congress would vote to strip a national security waiver but they do”
    Yep, it sure is amazing mj, that congress “””strips the US national security wavier””” out of legistation pertaining to Israel at the direction of AIPAC.
    Think about that for a minute…removing the US National Security clause for Israel.
    After which we can all join in saying …HOUSTON!..WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!

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  114. nadine says:

    Wigwag, do you think Obama will be the politician who finally makes American Jews vote Republican?

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  115. WigWag says:

    More annotations of Steve’s annotations.
    “Yes, but Israel has responsibilities in this relationship as well. Israel has an obligation to work with the United States in securing achievements in its long term national security interests – not allowing short term or reflexive problems undermine core national interests which the US is helping Israel to achieve.” (Steve Clemons)
    One of Israel’s core security interests is protecting itself from incoming rockets. With advances in rocket technology this is hard enough when you are being shot at from scores of miles away. If Israel leaves land just hundreds of yards or a few miles from its new and final borders, the threat of rocket attack becomes even worse.
    Does anyone really believe that if Israel vacates Palestinian territory in the West Bank that in short order that land won’t be full of rocket launchers? Who exactly is going to prevent it? The U.S. military that took three years to secure the ten mile road from the Baghdad airport to the city’s downtown? The French and Italians who led the peacekeeping forces in Southern Lebanon who couldn’t prevent Hezbollah from rearming?
    The only military power capable and motivated enough to protect Israel is the IDF. Contracting out its defense to anyone else is simply too great of a risk. That is until the Palestinians truly come to understand that most of the West Bank is all they are going to get. Unless Israel is allowed to defeat the Palestinians militarily, the Palestinians will never acquiesce to this reality.
    “This is an excellent statement in AIPAC’s letter. It would be worthwhile for Israel’s President and Prime Minister to publicly double down on this statement and its meaning — and to commit to policies that will take Israel towards normalization with its neighbors.” (Steve Clemons)
    Is it time for Israel’s Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians, to “double down” on the search for peace? Do supporters of the Palestinians ever plan to tell us what they think will be required of them? Why are the requirements that the Palestinians will be responsible for always absent from the discussion?
    “I don’t believe that there is ever a “no space” situation between Israel and US interests. Just the name of one person should help reasonable supporters of the US-Israel relationship get by this platitude: Jonathan Pollard…The world is witnessing America allow Israel to continue to squeeze the Palestinian people and territory, to consolidate what Israel wants into the Israel security orbit, and to offer only crumbs now and then to Palestine’s leadership.

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  116. nadine says:

    “I am against having a strong US-Israel relationship.” (Dan Kervick)
    Appreciate the candor, Dan. So, do you favor an alliance with Iran instead, like Flynt Leverett does? Of course, Iran’s support for the Taliban and al Qaeda might be a tad problematic. In some quarters.
    It’s just not possible to be “pro Israel” and pro entities who want to destroy Israel at the same time. You have to choose.
    For a long time, I think liberals actually believed that the Arabs had accepted Israel’s existence. Now they just play “let’s pretend” Hamas and Hizbullah don’t exist.

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  117. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It would be interesting to know what nation subject to thousands of incoming rockets and hundreds of suicide bombers would retaliate in a manner other than massively”
    Theres the myth again. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead was a response to no such thing, and this Wig-wag abomination KNOWS it. Its a LIE, pure and simple, and Wig-wag is a LIAR, pure and simple.
    Nor do these daily incursions into Gaza that the jackbooted Israel GESTAPO engage in resemble any kind of “defensive” operation. Nor does the targeting of Palestinian fisherman or farmers, which occurs daily. Nor does the act of shooting Palestinian or AMERICAN protestors resemble a “defensive” action.
    Wig-wag is a bald faced filthy liar for claims such as I quote above. Operation Cast Lead was a war crime of epic proportions, and it is ISRAEL that broke the cease fire with a Nov. 4th military incursion into Gaza. That is the FACT of the matter. And Israel commits military operations against Palestinian non-combatants DAILY. It is truly a shame that the Palestinians have neither the weaponry, nor the international support, to defend themselves.
    IT IS THE PALESTINIANS THAT ARE BEING DEPRIVED THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES, NOT THE ISRAELIS.

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  118. nadine says:

    “Yes their could be peace” also if some people stopped regarding themselves as “chosen people” and everyone else as “unchosen.” (JohnH)
    That’s the Arab attitude, John. Arabs have the one true Word of Allah, and Jews are apes and pigs who have no right to one acre of Muslim land. So Israel must be destroyed because “Palestine is an eternal Muslim waqf” to quote Hamas.

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  119. JohnH says:

    Hosea 4:16. “Israel is as stubborn as a heifer, so the LORD will put her out to pasture. She will stand alone and unprotected, like a helpless lamb in an open field.”
    Which verse contains God’s “get out of pasture” permit?

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  120. JohnH says:

    “Yes their could be peace” also if some people stopped regarding themselves as “chosen people” and everyone else as “unchosen.”
    “Chosen people” evokes “ubermenschen.”

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  121. JohnH says:

    “The truth is that one side of this conflict has a greater claim over the west bank-and it 1s not the arabs.”
    Actually, I thought God kicked the Jews out of the land of Israel because they did not obey HIS laws. Isn’t that what the Bible says?

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  122. marcus says:

    Yes there could be peace-if Iran `s government is turfed,syria`s government toppled/replaced,hizzbolah vanquished,hamas replaced,al queda destroyed,anti-semitism eradicated,oil use greatly diminished,
    and most of all
    There could be peace if every western country agrees to ship their blond women over to arabia to work/live as sex slaves
    Yes their could be peace.

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  123. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I believe that if the world could make muslims understand that they owe the “people of the book” RESPECT for the foundational role they played in religous/ethical philosphy ,their could be peace”
    There you have it, folks. Do you “share” any “values” with this religious bigot that would have us believe that “God” sanctions what Israel is doing to the Palestinians?
    And these people are different from nazis how????

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  124. WigWag says:

    I thought it might be fun to annotate Steve’s annotations.

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  125. marcus says:

    Great article– NOT
    What`s wrong with it is the basic premise ie;that both sides have equal legitamacy to claim land.
    The truth is that one side of this conflict has a greater claim over the west bank-and it 1s not the arabs.
    The conflict is about which religon(and it`s followers) should have soveriegnty over biblical sites/territory particullarly Jerusalem-paticularlly the Old City.
    Obama say`s he`s Christian SAY AGAIN ?????
    The Old and New testaments (both part of Chritian scipture) are unambiguous they prove that Judaism is the foundational religon of Christianity AND Islam.I wonder if Obama has ever read very much of it)more and more archeological proof is unearthed every year/none of it cotradicts the biblical narrative.
    Islam is a legitimate path to God,only because it has enough Talmudic content,
    A pale emulation , the Koran,does not give the Arabian Peninsular Arabs any kind of legitimate religous claim over Judea and Samaria the birthplace and burial grounds of the Jewish Kings and Prophets.
    (If you think that religous concerns are irrelevant just ask the next muslim you meet)
    In fact the Koran ackowledges that Israel is the jews land.
    It was Isacc not Ishmael who was almost sacrificed at the temple mount. No amount of blooging will ever change this most documented historical event in human history, no one can deny what has been documented (in black on white)in the best selling book of all time,for all time.
    These are historical facts(plus there`s a bunch more) that steve chooses to ignore
    This is what it comes down too,not UN resolutions ,cease-fire lines,or land title deeds
    Crazy,definitely but it`s real
    I believe that if the world could make muslims understand that they owe the “people of the book” RESPECT for the foundational role they played in religous/ethical philosphy ,their could be peace.

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  126. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Palestinians: Settlers vandalized West Bank mosque
    (AP)

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  127. JohnH says:

    Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir explained the Likud policy of “peace processing,” (stonewalling) in an interview with Ma’ariv:
    “Moderation should relate to the tactics but not the goal. That is how I acted as prime minister. In my political activity I know how to display the tactics of moderation, but without conceding anything on the goal–the integrity of the Land of Israel. In my eyes, anyone who is not in accord with this, does not belong to the national movement…What is this talk about ‘political settlements’? I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.” Sharon, Olmert, and Netanyahu never deviated from this policy.
    And Likud’s strategy has so far resulted in 400,000 settlers moving into Judea and Samaria and another 280,000 into occupied East Jerusalem.
    But naturally someone had to be blamed for the stonewalling. Nadine Shill-4-AIPAC simply repeats the hasbara narrative by condemning the Palestinian side for lack of cooperation.
    It’s all part of her game.

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  128. nadine says:

    “As Haim Ramon once told me, if this issue of a Palestinian state is not soon resolved, Israel will either have to forfeit its status as a “democracy” or as a “Jewish state.”
    That sounds like a paramount issue to me.” (Steve Clemons)
    For Israelis, maybe, but why should Steve Clemons care? I thought realists didn’t care how other countries governed themselves. They certainly don’t seem to care about any other country’s internal organization.

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  129. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israelis demolish West Bank homes
    A Palestinian woman weeps as she stands in front of her house that was demolished by Israeli army bulldozers in the village of Hares, near the West Bank city of Nablus, on Wednesday (AFP photo by Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
    Israeli bulldozers, flanked by troops, demolished properties in two West Bank villages on Wednesday, leaving nine Palestinians homeless, Agence France-Presse reported citing Palestinian rights organisations.
    The Israeli military confirmed demolition of a home in the village of Khader, near Bethlehem, and what it said was an unfinished and uninhabited building in the northern village of Haris.
    A military spokesman said both structures had been put up without the necessary construction permits.
    The West Bank-based Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said the Khader building had been home to nine members of the Musa family, including a baby.
    Under a 1993 agreement with the Palestinians, Israel has complete control over 60 per cent of the West Bank, where it frequently demolishes unauthorised buildings. Palestinian and Israeli rights groups say that permits to build there are rarely granted, leading to the demolition of thousands of structures over the past decade.
    Jewish settlers vandalised a mosque in the West Bank on Wednesday, Reuters cited Palestinian officials as saying, the latest in a series of attacks blamed on settlers that have fuelled tension in the occupied territory.
    The Israeli army said the Bilal Ben Rabah Mosque in the village of Hawara near Nablus had been vandalised by

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  130. nadine says:

    I wouldn’t have thought that Bret Stephens would be your kind of commentator, JohnH.
    It’s true enough that the talks were fruitless, though the Israelis kept trying; Olmert made his offer after the Stephens column was published. But the talks weren’t paralyzed. The two sides met face to face. Palestinian intransigence just kept them from producing any results.
    Obama has not only produced no results, he has prevented the two sides from even meeting face to face.

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  131. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I share NO VALUES with these people. NONE. Israel has become a nation of racists and religious fanatics. Our Congress should all bow their heads in shame for supporting what Israel has become.
    Settlers uproot WB olive orchards
    Thu, 15 Apr 2010 05:58:07 GMT
    Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinian orchards in central West Bank, damaging a vast area of olive stands by uprooting hundreds of trees.
    The assault came Monday night in groves near the village of Mukhmas, a few kilometers northeast of Jerusalem (al-Quds), close to the illegal outpost of Migron, Haaretz reported.
    Locals said this was the third time the settlers had attacked their gardens in the relatively quiet area, seldom a scene of confrontations with Israelis.
    The extent of the destruction and the damage done to the trees across a wide swathe suggested the raid had been well-organized and carried out by a group of people.
    The deputy mayor of the village, Mohammed al-Haj, said the village had seen similar attacks once in May 2008 and again in October 2009, where more damage was done to local olive orchards.
    The villagers filed complaints with the police and the Civil Administration, while rights groups regret very few investigations into the uprooting cases have resulted in indictments.
    Palestinian villagers complain that if Israeli forces guarded them as they guard the settlers, “none of it would have happened.”
    Some of the villagers that own groves close to Migron accused Israeli settlers of sparking clashes every time Palestinians go there to take care of their trees, inflicting immense financial losses on the grove owners.
    Palestinian olive orchards have long been a target of attacks by Israeli forces and settlers, something the Palestinians have described as a systematic move aimed at mounting financial pressure on Palestinian families and further undermine the territory’s crashing economy.
    Earlier this month, Palestinian sources accused the Israeli regime of destroying some 400,000 trees during their incursions into territories under the Palestinian Authority’s rule in the last two years.
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=123388&sectionid=351020202

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  132. Dan Kervick says:

    “No one in the United States is against having a strong U.S-Israel relationship.”
    I am against having a strong US-Israel relationship.
    Of course, I am in the minority, so it doesn’t matter. But while I can endure being in a minority, I resent being depersonalized entirely as “no one”.

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  133. DonS says:

    So Steve how does it feel to be fully reamed by the hasbarists.
    There is a thread in Jewish tradition that is prejudiced against the ‘schwarz’, the black, that would be Obama. Interesting that this thgread is antithetical to the Jews who were in the forefront of the civil rights movements of the 60’s.
    You will never be trusted by these people, nor can you trust them in matters pertaining to Israel.

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  134. JohnH says:

    OK, Nadine, here is Bush’s most significant effort at breaking the paralyzed peace process and getting an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians–the Annapolis fiasco. It is recounted by none other than an editor at the Wall Street Journal, a source with a lot more credibility than Nadine Shill-4-AIPAC:
    “Skepticism about Annapolis grows [as] its perceived significance shrinks. What was originally billed as a conference is now being described by the State Department as a “meeting.” What was originally envisaged as a three-day event has become a one-day event. There is, as of this writing, no firm list of participants. And there are whispers the date of the meeting may be pushed back, perhaps to December.
    As for the agenda, there isn’t one. Substantive discussions have been ruled out….Why, then, hold a conference at all? The short answer is that Condoleezza Rice demands one, and she has spent countless hours over eight mostly fruitless trips to the region this year trying to arrange it. But this hardly addresses the deeper mystery of why this administration has gotten itself caught in the Venus flytrap of the Arab-Israeli conflict, after vowing not to do so, and why it has done so with a degree of ineptitude that recalls the dimmer moments of the Carter administration. Maybe it’s a matter of bureaucratic inertia. Or maybe it’s about being seen to try. Or maybe it’s the kind of fourth-quarter, fourth down Hail Mary pass that appeals to a secretary of state with a mania for football and a thin record of accomplishment. Then again, maybe it doesn’t really matter.
    But look on the bright side: Annapolis may yet serve us well as an object lesson in how diplomacy–the competent kind–just isn’t done.” http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/bstephens/?id=110010885
    It’s sad that we have to constantly counter Nadine’s false assertions. But Nadine counts on the reader having the same tenuous grasp of the historical record that she does. And her hasbara could easily win the day–as it has in the mainstream media–if no one bothers to counter it.

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  135. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The United States and Israel are close allies whose people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to core values including democracy, human rights and freedom of the press and religion”
    HORSESHIT.
    This type of slobbering fiction has no basis in reality. Its pure unadulterated CRAP. All one need to is consider the million or so DEAD Iraqi non-combatants in Iraq, MURDERED by falsehoods and war crimes, as well as this bloodbath Israel engaged in known as Operation Cast Lead, and one cannot help but laugh at the sheer hypocrisy and disingenuosness of such sacharin blather.
    What other nation, or slimeball lobbying organization, can be fingered for blatant and serious acts of espionage against the United States while masquerading as a key ally?
    Shared values, MY ASS. These murderous racist fanatics share NOTHING with me or the ideals of the founding fathers.
    Ask these people in Gaza about the shared “values” of the United States and Israel.
    What a bunch of syrupy and transparent crap.
    Read the blather, natter, and despicable propaganda rolling off the keyboard of this Nadine fanatic, and ask yourself just what the hell these “values” are that we “share” with such a person. Or perhaps we “share” Wig-wag’s stated position that we should carpet bomb Gaza.
    What we “share” with Israel is our hard earned tax dollars, and the implements of war, such as the white phosphorous these ghouls dumped on Palestinian women and children.
    Frankly, there is no more transparent indicator of what characterless SCUM our politicians have become than their pathetic and immoral support, servitude, and subservience to what Israel has become.

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  136. DePetris says:

    No one in the United States is against having a strong U.S-Israel relationship. Likewise, I can find no one in this country that wants to see Israel’s security jeopardized by terrorist groups, Syria, or Iran. I would like to think that all Americans are supportive of a country’s right to self-determination, whether that country is Canada or the Islamic Republic of Iran. The problem here is that a lot of the criticism that one hears from the Israeli right (like AIPAC) questions these basic assumptions.
    The Israeli-Palestinian issue has been one of the most ideologically divisive in the last six decades. Historical animosity between Jews and Arabs, Israel’s settlement policy, and the use of violence by some Palestinian groups makes solving this conflict an even more difficult task. This is why I get a little “p.o’d” when I hear people screaming “if your with the Palestinians, then you are against the Israeli people.”
    More often than not, right wing Israeli organizations lambaste anyone who raises concerns over Israel’s expansion into Palestinian land. Showing displeasure over Israel’s illegal occupation is equal, in their minds, to an anti-Semite who is only trying to de-legitimize the Jewish state’s very existence. Heck, you can’t even write in the press freely about the subject without getting heckled by the Israeli lobby a few days later (just ask Stephen Walt and any other scholar or blogger who tries to take an objectionable view of Israeli foreign-policy).
    This is not to say that the Palestinians are in the clear. They too have their issues, particularly their inability to forge a unified front at the negotiating table.
    But to this observer, it just seems that criticizing Israel in any way, shape, or form gets you slapped down in the court of Washington opinion. If anything, speaking against the status-quo (settlement growth, outposts, roadblocks in the West Bank, and the deportation of Palestinian families) would help advance Israel’s chances as a legitimate, credible, and peaceful nation.

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  137. WigWag says:

    By the way, Walter Russell Mead did an interesting post on his blog on April 5, 2010 entitled “Why AIPAC is Good for the Jews-and For Everyone Else.”
    Here’s the link for anyone who might be interested (scroll down to find it),
    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/

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  138. WigWag says:

    “I have respect for what AIPAC has done in Washington as this city is essentially a free-trade zone for people and interest groups pursuing their policy goals in competition with one another. AIPAC has done a great job of doing that, and I work to maintain good and constructive relations with AIPAC as well as with J Street, Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum, the American Jewish Committee and others. I want to put that truth in advertising item out there as I think through this interesting Congressional statement.” (Steve Clemons)
    AIPAC is a great organization that has done a brilliant job, but I do think you give it a little more credit than it deserves. There are other, primarily Christian organizations that have worked tirelessly on behalf of Israel. These organizations played an active role in getting House and Senate members to sign the letter to Secretary of State Clinton; they worked tirelessly to get the House of Representatives to repudiate the Goldstone Report and they are working as hard if not harder than AIPAC on the Iran issue.
    The main organization is CUFI (Christians United for Israel). AIPAC may have had several thousand people at their recent convention but when CUFI meets in Washington this July, they will also have several thousand people in attendance.
    If anything, CUFI is even more passionate in its support of Israel than AIPAC is. After all, AIPAC is primarily but not exclusively a Jewish organization. Jews tend to be far more leftist than the rest of the American population and they are willing to consider numerous other issues when deciding how to vote not just the candidates position on Israel. Jewish support for the Obama candidacy is the perfect example of this; he was clearly less supportive of Israel than McCain yet Jews voted for him in overwhelming numbers. Jews now make up less than 2 percent of the American population; without the overwhelming support of American Christians, especially devout American Christians, Israel would simply not enjoy the support of the American Government that it does. Considering the centuries of Christian bigotry and oppression of the Jews what a wonderful transformation it is to see so many Christians rallying so enthusiastically behind the Jewish State.
    If you meet CUFI supporters it becomes clear immediately that candidates who aren’t passionately in support of Israel are disqualified from even the slightest consideration. That’s one of the reasons I wouldn’t be surprised if Shelby and Sessions signed the letter in the next few days. Their offices are being inundated with letters, calls and e-mails from CUFI members right now.
    I do appreciate your kind words about AIPAC. Volunteers for that organization work tirelessly on its behalf. We meet with our elected representatives, we raise money for candidates we support, we try to convince voters not to vote for candidates we oppose and we raise as much Cain as we can to make sure our point of view is heard. In short, we take advantage of every opportunity provided to us by American democracy to sway people to agree with us. I can assure you that hundreds of thousands of AIPAC members donate far more money than we can afford to candidates who agree with our point of view; at least I do.
    Of course we are delighted that all of this is paying off. Despite the recent wars in Gaza and Lebanon and all the bad publicity that came from those conflicts, a higher percentage of Americans support Israel than at any time in modern history. Support for Israel’s adversaries, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Iran and Syria has never been lower.
    Many of us believe that Obama doesn’t just support a two-state solution (which most AIPAC supporters think is fine under the right circumstances) but that he is actively hostile to Israel. He comes out of a cultural milieu, the academic left, that isn’t just suspicious of Israel but is actively suspicious of Jews. I’m beginning to come to this point of view myself. It’s not just his previous friendship with people like Reverend Wright and Professor Khalidi, it

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  139. nadine says:

    Your facts are wrong, JohnH. Until 2008, the peace process continued; the parties met face to face. In 2007 Ehud Olmert offered Abu Mazen 100% of the West Bank (with 3 or 4% land swaps) for a Palestinian state. Abu Mazen never even made an answer, never mind a counter-offer. (And Steve says the Israelis don’t offer a constructive solution. It’s the Palestinians who have never offered a solution.)
    All Obama has actually achieved is that the Palestinians now refuse to meet face to face with the Israelis. So much for his boasts.

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  140. JohnH says:

    Wow! Steve’s measured comments were enough to drive Nadine to hysteria! Nadine, next time you should check your facts before you dump all this hasbara. Statements like “the peace process wasn’t paralyzed until Obama showed up” just make you look stupid. Anybody who follows these things at all knows that the peace process has been moribund ever since Bush/Sharon took office ten years ago. Condi’s lame “peace process” was just a joke to the Israeli cabinet, and they all but ignored her.
    I’d be surprised if you even get paid for this comment…

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  141. WigWag says:

    This is an extremely interesting and thoughtful post by Steve. It’s nuanced, fair-minded and makes a good deal of sense. Nadine’s response to it is also very smart and contains a number of facts that critics of Israel are usually unwilling or unable to rebut.
    Steve does make an error in his post; he says (quoting Sama Adnan),
    “…24 US Senators and 102 House Members did not sign on to the AIPAC-supported letters to Secretary of State Clinton reaffirming the close bonds between Israel and the US and encouraging the Obama administration to move past the current discomfort.”
    Actually 79 Senators have signed the letter to date and only 21 have neglected to sign, not 24.
    As of this afternoon, the following Senators had not signed the letter addressed to Secretary of State Clinton:
    Max Baucus (D-MT), Jeff Binghamin (D-NM), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ed Kaufman (D-DE), John Kerry (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reed (D-NV), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Jim Webb (D-VA).
    It should be pointed out that it would be a breach of protocol for either the Majority Leader (Reed) or the Minority Leader (McConnell) to sign a letter of this kind but there is very little doubt where either of them stand on the issue. Similarly it would be a breach of protocol for either the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to sign (Kerry) or for the Ranking Member (Lugar) to sign. Knowing their positions, my guess is that neither would have been thrilled to sign the letter if they weren’t in their current positions but Kerry would have and Lugar might have.
    It is also interesting to note that four of the Senators who didn’t sign are retiring; Bunning, Dodd, Gregg and Kaufman. Moreover, it would have been a breach of protocol for Kaufman to sign. The incident that occurred to inspire the letter implicated Vice President Biden during his recent trip to Israel. Senator Kaufman, who was appointed to Biden’s seat when he became Vice President was Biden’s former Chief of Staff when he served in the Senate.
    My guess is that over the next several days a few more Senators will sign the letter.
    I wonder how often nearly 80 United States Senators agree on anything. And of course if Nate Silver is to be believed, the Democrats are likely to lose 7 or 8 seats in November. The Democrats who lose are all supporters of Israel; the Republicans who replace them are likely to be fanatical supporters of Israel.
    Again, this is a good post but the error should be corrected.

    Reply

  142. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, I marvel that you have the patience to read and annotate this kind of vacuous boilerplate. Thank you for having the stamina to wallow through the depressing muck shoveled out by the US Congress, so that we don’t have to.

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  143. nadine says:

    “The Israeli government may in fact implement new procedures so that embarrassing expansion of controversial, and many believe illegal, settlements does not occur at important political moments, but what is important to remember is not what was happening in broad public daylight in terms of Vice President Biden getting mugged, purposefully or inadvertently, on his trip — what was important is that US-Israel relations were historically icy behind the scenes.” (Steve Clemons)
    It wasn’t an “expansion”. It was a routine building permit in a long existing neighborhood of north Jerusalem, that was started 12 years ago on undeveloped land. To say that for a Jew to build a house in an existing Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem is a “settlement expansion” is a lie. To create an international crisis over this so-called “settlement expansion” is to deliberately change US-Israeli relations from good to icy.
    This was a choice of the Obama administration, nobody else. They picked this fight over a nit and are displaying their open hatred of Netanyahu. You are kidding yourself if you think most Americans don’t see it just like that.
    “Israel’s leadership has as much if not more responsibility for the paralyzed peace process and the very bad relations with the White House than anyone in Washington. It is important to keep that in mind.”
    The peace process wasn’t paralyzed until Obama showed up. He began by issuing orders to Israel on Jerusalem that no Israeli PM could obey. Meanwhile, he made it clear to the Palestinians that the Palestinians have NO responsibilities in the peace process. None. Announce you don’t intend to negotiate but only collect freebies? That’s fine. Refuse to sit at the table? That’s fine. Announce Fatah doesn’t recognize Israel? That’s fine. Appoint hard-liner Abu Ghaneim as your successor? Swell. Name the major streets and squares of Ramallah after PLO terrorists? Great, no problem. We’ll only blame Israel.
    Well, why the hell should Abu Mazen alter this state of affairs by ever agreeing to negotiate? Obama has made it in Abu Mazen’s interest to start another intifada, secure in the knowledge that Obama will only blame Israel for an outbreak of violence.
    Abu Mazen would be an idiot to negotiate now. So he won’t. He doesn’t have the power to negotiate anyway.
    Gee, how come you never mention Hamas, who rules Gaza and has veto power over any deal?
    Obama’s Mideast policy is a game of “let’s pretend”. Let’s pretend Hamas isn’t there. Let’s pretend a functional Palestinian entity exists who could sign a deal. Let’s pretend Iran didn’t respond to Obama’s extended hand with a spit in the eye. Let’s pretend Russia and China are going to support sanctions against Iran. Let’s pretend things aren’t getting worse and worse under the arrogant, inept Mr. Obama. I know! Let’s blame Israel! They are the only “white” “Western” player in the region, so they MUST be to blame. Can’t blame the other guy. Wouldn’t be culturally sensitive.
    Does Obama WANT a third intifada? He’s working for one. Does he realize it? Does he even comprehend that Hamas will take the West Bank if the IDF withdraws? Do you? Is that what you really want? A repeat of the Gaza withdrawal in the West Bank?
    Here’s what Congress’ letter says: Obama’s far left blame-Israel-first positions are out in the open now, and Congress has put him on notice that they won’t follow him there.

    Reply

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