Israel Undermining its Own Project in the Middle East

-

Israel_Palestine_Flag.pngLater today, I will post video here at TWN from a presentation author and filmmaker Eugene Jarecki made at a meeting I hosted under the auspices of the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program. Jarecki made the homage to Eisenhower film, Why We Fight and authored the book, The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril.
One of the things that Jarecki said near the end of the Q&A session in response to a question about the Israel-Gaza war was:

As a son and nephew and grandchild and cousin of those lost in the Holocaust, this is a hard one for me. (pause) But I have to say. . .that I think that Israel through its actions in Gaza is undermining its own project in the Middle East. . .

Jarecki was anguished when he said this — and the moment was powerful, revealing and human. We aren’t seeing enough of that introspection from those who are connected to this conflict and what Aaron David Miller calls “the much too promised land.”
Today’s New York Times has a powerful editorial, the bottom line of which I think is basically an instruction to Israel: “enough already.”
From the Times piece:

We agree that Israel had to defend itself against Hamas’s rocket attacks. But we fear the assault on Gaza has passed the point of diminishing returns. It is time for a cease-fire with Hamas and a return to the peace negotiations that are the only real hope for guaranteeing Israel’s long-term security.
We are encouraged that a cease-fire finally seems to be gaining traction. Although not much detail is known, reports have focused on an Egyptian proposal for a phased-in truce, followed by a pullout of Israeli forces and the reopening of border crossings to ease the economic blockade of Gaza.
The sudden diplomatic activity came as Israel unleashed its heaviest shelling of Gaza neighborhoods, including a hit on a United Nations compound where hundreds of Palestinians had taken shelter.
Israeli officials acknowledge that the 20-day offensive has not permanently crippled Hamas’s military wing or ended its ability to launch rocket attacks. It is unlikely that Israel can achieve those aims militarily any time soon. The cost in human life and anti-Israeli fury would be enormous. Already more than 1,000 Palestinians have died in the densely populated Gaza Strip, where an always miserable life has become unbearable. Thirteen Israelis have died.

I agree with most elements of the kicker line in the piece, which reads:

President-elect Barack Obama says he will work for a peace deal from Day 1. We hope Israel picks a new leader in elections next month who is truly committed to a two-state solution. With the support of the new American president, he or she must make an early downpayment on peace by ending settlement construction, cooperating seriously with Mr. Abbas and improving the lives of all Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza.

This makes sense for the most part — with the exception that any approach to the Middle East peace process must eventually involve all of the substantial elements of power in the region and that we have to suspend the illusion that Israelis and Palestinians can ever responsibly negotiate a stable outcome without other neighboring powers deeply engaged as stakeholders and guarantors of the outcome.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

234 comments on “Israel Undermining its Own Project in the Middle East

  1. rich says:

    Sweetness,
    Two observations:
    “Rich, I’ve rarely seen anyone on these threads “admit a point” unless the agreement is ironic, or a parry and thrust, or is made
    by someone with whom the poster already agrees.”
    I agree and I find that mode unproductive and disappointing. Paul’s been doing yeoman’s work. People wonder why the I/P conflict can’t be resolved, but come here and absolutely refuse to yield a single point — even when confronted with a reasonable approach and plain facts. It’s disappointing because it’s a setup for continued conflict; denial doesn’t dispose of the reality.
    “I’m always amazed at the assertion that such and such an Israeli action or policy “causes” anti-Semitism to break out somewhere else, like Britain or France. As if this were some natural, predictable, understandable, or justifiable law of nature.”
    No one has said that–I surely have not. You seem to elide the issue. What I have observed is that, knowing anti-Semitism does exist, engaging in behavior that confirms common stereotypes is gonna feed bigotry, and is foolhardy at best and self-destructive at worst. It will obviously provide a big old excuse for those predisposed to bigotry, and stoke latent fires.
    Combine that with open abuses of power, unprovoked violence and unapologetic militarism—and, as news reports indicate, the result will inevitably be a spike in anti-Semitic incidents, some violent. Now, I am very carefully, explicitly NOT saying that because Jewish people are stereotyped as “tight” they should buy everyone lunch. But there are several dynamics happening that are worth paying close attention to.
    First, it’s a non-specific point. Any nation carrying out harsh repressive policies tends to attract condemnation. Does it make sense for Israel, knowing anti-Semitism lingers and is virulent (even if it doesn’t lurk behind every tree), to adopt and defend repressive policies? I don’t think so.
    At some point it has to be recognized that many people are reacting to the behavior, not Jewish identity. The criticism is not of Jewish people in general, nor is it a total condemnation of Israel.
    Maybe it’s a cultural clash. The hundreds of Jewish people I interact with daily conduct a fruitful give-&-take. Personally, I find aggressive, one-sided conversation from ANYone so overbearing that I might as well not exist at all so objectionable that I’ll resist and challenge that person even if I agree with them. Yet I’m continually amazed at the high cost accruing to Israel by the overbearing, close-minded, nonsolution-seeking behavior of some, whose behavior is not uncharacteristic.
    So glorying in negative behavior that some people wrongly associate with Jewish people not only confirms pre-existing bigoted beliefs and provide pretext for anti-Semitic acts–it disappoints and abuses the trust of friends and allies. Aggressively asserting one’s viewpoint at the expense of fellow discussants in a conversation, for instance (or, say, in a blog forum), while absolutely refusing to recognize the validity of other perspectives, to the point of a near-totalitarian denial of other voices — well it’s certainly counterproductive and alienating — to your friends.
    Sweetness, the point is rather simple. Abuse of power leads to resistance, and extreme abuse of power results in the overthrow of tyrannical regimes.
    I object to torture because America was founded on armed resistance to torture and abuse of power committed by the British Crown against its own citizens. The offense is torture–not my accusation that America is using the same reviled torture techniques that led to our own founding. The same holds for Israel: I cannot be accused of offensive language just because I identify a policy or tool or method or rhetoric used by Israel that is the same as those used by Germany. The offense is that they is being used by any nation, anywhere.
    Bush’s preemptive war is case in point. The French & Germans went back and forth insanely for aeons. Much fingerpointing. Yet Hitler didn’t wait for provocation: he just made the accusation and sent the tanks in.
    Germany lost because they were in the wrong. The backlash and our strength came from Germanyy’s use of preemptive war, collective punishment, torture, onslaught, demagoguery technocratic efficiency and bureaucratic euphemism to carry out genocide, the genocide itself. Our ability to fight a just war made all the difference. That did not stem only or solely from the Holocaust.
    That reaction and our strength is not a matter of identity. It was what was done: the killing, the abuse, the methods. To the extend that America and Israel adopts preemptive war, torture, bigotry and ethnic cleansing–we’ll pay a price as well. This attitude is leading down a bad road, and the endpoint won’t be predictable or arrive gradually. I only write on this to avoid that end.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    In general, you may say that if you are a passive consumer of
    news, you`ll be fed by what ever propaganda that is in vogue in
    your country, wherever you live. If you are an active and critical
    information and opinion seeker, internet is a wonderful tool.
    Books are even better…
    However, after having spent some time in several European and
    African countries, reading plenty of news papers, magazines,
    books from those areas, as well as plenty of American news
    sources etc.. i realize that it may be difficult to see through the
    angle, what is mentioned and what is omitted in the coverage –
    and why.
    For instance, if you read certain english sources, areas outside
    UK that are not very significant politically for England, or that
    are not former colonies, are rarely mentioned, if at all.
    To get news from certain former French colonies in Africa, for
    instance, you will not get much info if you don`t understand
    French. The same goes for former Portuguese or Spanish
    colonies, and they are always covered with a certain angle. You
    have to be damned knowledgeable in history and politics to see
    through the optics of the coverage.
    Conflicts like the one in Congo, with an enormous amount of
    killing and huge implications for certain neighboring countries,
    have been more or less ignored in the in the english speaking
    world, since it`s a former Belgian (french speaking) colony.
    And you really have to do a huge amount of active research in
    the Rwandan conflict, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe or South Africa to get
    beyond “genocide”, “starvation”, “African dictator”, “Apartheid” –
    i.e. the actual and complex history of the countries.
    The biggest problem with regards to the Middle East and the
    Israel/Palestine is, I believe, perhaps not lack of information for
    those who are actively searching it, but the highly charged
    symbolic nature of the conflicts in the area, the biased,
    propagandistic coverage, and the conflicting world views.
    To understand what is going on, you have to know a lot of
    background history, religion, ideology, economy, geography,
    mentality, the role rumors, fear and suspicion plays, etc… And
    your own convictions may even be the biggest obstacle to real
    insight.
    The info from Congo may be scarce, but less filtered, while
    the Middle East info is abundant, but much more filtered.
    However, I wish I could read some Arab…

    Reply

  3. ... says:

    sweetness, you’re right that the internet has been helpful in finding out more on a wide range of issues including a different take on the mideast then the one that is generally seen in the mainstream media.. and you’re correct in pointing out how difficult it is to access info as you mention above.. generally though i do think we still know very little about arabs in general and i would agree with edward saids words from 1980 still today…
    So far as the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Muslims and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Muslim life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world. What we have instead is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.

    Reply

  4. Sweetness says:

    Well…c’mon.
    The Web is AWASH with all kinds of information on the
    Palestinians.
    Even the MSM is coming around, at least the WaPo.
    If you go on Amazon, you’ll find many, many books on the
    Palestinians, both by Palestinians and by Israelis and others–
    many of which are sympathetic to the Palestinian people and
    their cause.
    I myself have been reading Uri Avnery since the early 1970s!
    Benny Morris did say that when he was writing his histories, it
    was difficult to impossible to get access to official Arab
    government records in the way he had access to the (damning)
    Israeli records–so you’re right there.
    And you’re also right that the official US/Western organs have
    been one-sided in their presentation of the conflict in favor of
    Israel.
    But these days, there’s no excuse that I can see for anyone being
    ill-informed who wishes to be informed about the Palestinians.
    When did Edward Said’s books come out?

    Reply

  5. ... says:

    sweetness, it’s difficult to know much about the palestinians…we’re inundated with info on israeli’s views, thoughts and outlook, but never the palestinians.. what we do get, we have to access via a controlled atmosphere where almost exclusively only israeli views are considered worthy of distributing.. it doesn’t appear set to change either as there’s very little interest on the part of many to know or consider the views of palestinians.. your posts don’t appear to be an exception either…

    Reply

  6. Sweetness says:

    Maybe some day a Palestinian will write a book called The Naqba is
    over, but instead Hamas and Hizbullah keep the masses enthralled
    with the idea that they can recover all of Palestine.

    Reply

  7. ... says:

    The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes
    by Avraham Burg
    Burg’s central thesis is that Israel has changed, and become like some of the nations it abhors – specifically through its constant abuse of Palestinians and increasing belief the Israelis are “God’s people” (racism), all the while using the Holocaust as cover. Doing so continues to victimize current generations of Jews.
    “The Holocaust is Over” can be seen as a plea for Israelis to stop seeing themselves as victims. Hopefully it will also lead to American politicians ceasing their non-stop slathering over Israel.

    Reply

  8. Sweetness says:

    Quite a thread…
    A few points in no particular order…
    • Rich, I’ve rarely seen anyone on these threads “admit a point”
    unless the agreement is ironic, or a parry and thrust, or is made
    by someone with whom the poster already agrees. Paul is the
    exception to this rule. Questions, too. Seems to be the culture
    on TWN.
    • Transfer Agreement. There is nothing remarkable that the
    Zionists made a deal with the Nazis. The Zionist analysis was
    that European anti-Semitism was incurable and Jews were
    permanent outsiders and the only solution lay in a Jewish state.
    Nazis wanted them dead and/or out of Europe. This favorable
    reviewer of the book gets it right, I think: “The Transfer
    Agreement was just that a business arrangement to transfer
    German Jews to Palestine in return German exports would be
    bought through Zionist entities to ensure the economic growth
    and wealth of Palestine.”
    AD’s and OA’s real point (whether paraphrasing the author or
    not) and what they seem to think this book proves appears to be
    that Zionism was what allowed Nazism, and therefore the
    Holocaust, to flourish, etc. This strikes me as utter hogwash,
    but totally in keeping with AD’s worldview. At a minimum, AD
    and OA should be required to prove this assertion.
    • The Arab Bomb strikes me as pure science fiction for all the
    reasons mentioned above. But who knows? Only those who
    know that Israelis are Nazis, I guess.
    • I’m always amazed at the assertion that such and such an
    Israeli action or policy “causes” anti-Semitism to break out
    somewhere else, like Britain or France. As if this were some
    natural, predictable, understandable, or justifiable law of nature.
    Or law of society.
    First of all, anti-Semitism doesn’t need any help from Israel; it
    long pre-dates it. Second, even if an Israel action provokes the
    desecration of a Jewish cemetery, who’s to say the desecrators
    aren’t simply using the Israeli action is a pretext for something
    they might want to do anyway. Lynching parties in the South
    weren’t the products of some inciting event, real or imagined;
    they issued from the deep reservoir of racism and hatred that
    was ALWAYS present and waiting for an opportunity to express
    itself. And third, why does this law only seem to apply to Jews?
    When the Protestant English were oppressing the Catholics in
    Northern Ireland, you didn’t hear about Catholics targeting
    Protestants in, say, Germany or South America? But somehow,
    Jews worldwide, from Mumbai to Argentina, become fair game
    when Israel does something horrible. I don’t get that.
    • Finally, Israel needs to find a DIFFERENT way to deal with
    Hamas–namely a just solution to the IP conflict. If not, she will
    do terrible damage to herself and her people, not to mention the
    innocent Palestinians on the other side. Only THEN will Israel
    see if the Palestinians are interested in two sovereign states side
    by side or in continuing the 1948 War. And if she doesn’t
    genuinely pursue this approach, then more and more people will
    conclude, rightly or wrongly, that she isn’t interesting in a just
    solution. I’m hopeful that Obama will put them in a room with
    each other and throw away the key until they start to really deal
    with each other. I’m a bit with Tony on this: The more each side
    tries to wipe out the other, the more the other side’s resolve to
    resist by any means is strengthened. If the balance of power
    were reversed, the result would be the same, IMO.
    • It is interesting how other conflicts that are manifestly much
    worse–with many more dead and much more gore–never
    seem to excite posters’ passions the way this one does.
    •

    Reply

  9. Cee says:

    Adam Entous
    JERUSALEM, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Israel intends to exert control over the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following its 22-day offensive, and is seeking guarantees that no U.N. projects will benefit Hamas, officials said on Monday.
    Israel, which declared a unilateral ceasefire on Sunday, retains full control over Gaza’s commercial crossings, through which goods and other materials for rebuilding must pass.
    Western diplomats, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Israel has asked the United Nations and other aid groups to provide a detailed list of goods, equipment and personnel that they want to bring into the Gaza Strip, both to meet immediate needs and for rebuilding.

    Reply

  10. questions says:

    It’s worth remembering that Hamas has several “masters”, not just Israel. If the bombing gets to the point that Gazans can’t take it anymore, then the Hamas leaders lose political control, and become targets of their own people. So Hamas has the same kind of dance that any political ruling party has — how much energy to you put into foreign relations/warring to keep your party in line/and maintaining coalitions, and how much warring becomes too much. Bush way overstepped this line with Iraq — it worked at first and then failed. If Hamas had kept going without the cease fire, then it, too, would have overstepped and risked losing its popularity among Gazans. Believe me, at some point religiosity goes out the window and death-and-destruction is a great way to encourage people to dump their gods in despair.
    Hamas needs to refigure its calculations. If it becomes the hero of rebuilding, if the “Muslim World” can solidify over rebuilding Gaza, then that will create a particluar set of loyalties. If the “Judeo/Christian World” becomes the hero of rebuilding, then there MIGHT be a slightly different set of loyalties. (Remember that if Bush had INSTANTLY rebuilt New Orleans, his response to the flooding itself would have been forgotten in the relief of rescue and rebuilding.)
    If Hamas were to continue the war, it would eventually be seen as the dealer of domestic death — not what you want to be if you want to maintain domestic power.
    At this point, as the grass starts to cover the bodies and the shame of human destruction sets in and fades simultaneously (see the Sandburg poem I posted elsewhere), the question remains: How does the calculus change so that Hamas’s and Israel’s interests can be better aligned? They both have domestic concerns and structures that determine much of what can be done, and neither has much wiggle room. Maybe the rebuilding project can rechannel some negative energy. Maybe they’re stuck forever in this dance., killing and being killed, and crying crying crying.

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    As hit by a strong earthquake… entire neighborhoods
    flattened… this is how the BBC describes the worst hit areas in
    the Gaza strip after the Israeli offensive. And some people still
    believe that they were strictly targeting Hamas fighters?
    Shimon Peres borrowed the fancy metaphor: “the topography of
    peace” from the 1990`s academic jargon during the Oslo-
    process; but it was soon replaced by the fatal contrasting
    metaphor: “the infrastructure of terror”.
    The expressed goal of several Israeli high officials,
    spokespersons and pundits, endlessly repeated on CNN, BBC
    and al Jazeera during the last years, has been exactly that: to
    destroy the infrastructure of terror. Which, translated to warfare
    implies that everything and everybody within a defined area are
    legitimate targets. Fully implemented, the concept may be
    characterized as a total destruction within a defined area
    against an absolute enemy. Although the metaphor is new, this
    kind of warfare is not new, and the bombing of Dresden,
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki is motivated by the same mindset.
    By defining “the infrastructure of terror” as the target, the
    concept of “collateral damage” – which principally accompanies
    the pursue of a militarily defined target – becomes meaningless
    and irrelevant, since buildings, vehicles, roads, trees, human
    beings, animals, water, earth, air… in short absolutely
    everything can be interpreted as potential or actual parts of the
    infrastructure of terror.
    The only considerations with regards to such old fashioned
    concepts as “innocent civilians”, consist in asking how far they
    can go and still get away with it.
    Israel has for decades possessed the suitable tool for such a
    target, the nuclear bomb. Restricted by practical circumstances
    and the possible reactions from the outside world, they have
    not used it yet. Only time will tell if the metaphor turns out to
    be a part of the preparations for events on a different scale.
    We`ll know if they start to connect the metaphor to more
    distant enemies, like Iran.

    Reply

  12. ... says:

    Posted by rich Jan 19, 7:32PM
    GAZA, (PIC)– A report issued by the Saudi Al-Watan news paper revealed Saturday that Jewish rabbis in the Zionist entity have issued a religious edict allowing the killing of Palestinian women and children and exonerating every Jew doing such a thing….
    Let’s stop the pretense only Muslim clerics issue fatwas. Or that Iran is the only country seeking to wipe another nation off the face of the earth….
    if judaism as practiced by these rabbis condone such acts of murder they are giving judaism a very black eye… i have always thought religion had its fanatics, but to have them having influence politically or on the general public is a disturbing thought… and, it has nothing to do with religion…

    Reply

  13. Cee says:

    highly contagious but not revealing tell-tale symptoms.
    POA,
    If this Sun story is true I expect some of the contaminated to be walking our streets in revenge.
    Hamas militiamen have rounded up hundreds of Fatah activists on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel during Operation Cast Lead, Fatah members in the Gaza Strip told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
    History does repeat.
    The Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto executed Jewish collaborators with the Nazis and bravely faced up to the Nazi army with what little weapons it had before being massacred. Their uprising was always inspirational to the Palestinians. In the heyday of the PLO as a symbol of Palestinian liberation, the organization would lay flower wreathes at the Warsaw Ghetto monument to honor these fallen Jewish heroes.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    No mystery, rich. Just that I haven´t noticed anyone pointing this
    out re. Hamas during the last days. I may have overlooked a lot of
    comments in the newspapers etc..

    Reply

  15. rich says:

    Paul @ 5:50PM
    “Has this parallel occurred to anybody else? ”
    The parallel is with every other liberation movement that has an armed resistance. It’s classic guerilla warfare. Melt away from a superior Army, minimize casualties, live to fight another day. Attack when and where you can win, and to capture resoures. Win popular support through the clumsy, indiscriminate excesses of the occupying/invading army. Where’s the mystery?

    Reply

  16. rich says:

    Egypt is already refusing international monitors and balking at closing the border to imported weapons. Mubarak basically told the Israelis “You lost.”
    Hamas has been strengthened, and will live to fight another day. Their credibility has been increased in the classic dynamic of guerilla warfare in which the mistakes and overreaction of the IDF results in spiking support for the local resistance forces.
    Why? The answer is obvious”
    http://tinyurl.com/842bbk
    Meanwhile:
    Israeli rabbis to Olmert:It doesn’t matter even if you kill million Palestinians
    http://tinyurl.com/8sgctr
    GAZA, (PIC)– A report issued by the Saudi Al-Watan news paper revealed Saturday that Jewish rabbis in the Zionist entity have issued a religious edict allowing the killing of Palestinian women and children and exonerating every Jew doing such a thing.
    The paper also added that one of the rabbis opined that there would be no problem at all in exterminating the Palestinian people even if one million or more of them were killed at the hands of the occupation troops.
    For his part, Safad rabbi Sholomo Elyaho underlined, “If we kill 100 of them but they refuse to halt this [firing of rockets] them we should kill 1000; and if we kill 1000 of them but they didn’t stop, then we should kill 10000 of them, and we must continue killing them even if they reach one million and despite the time spent in killing them”.
    ________
    So the question is, how many is enough? Will killing 1,000 be enough? 100,000? Will it take 100,000 to satisfy Israel and bring it to the negotiating table? A million? How many is enough?
    Let’s stop the pretense only Muslim clerics issue fatwas. Or that Iran is the only country seeking to wipe another nation off the face of the earth.

    Reply

  17. WigWag says:

    “By weakening and delegitimizing Hamas while ensuring that Fatah is perceived as a bunch of quislings, the reality behind your ironic remark is that Israel has the choice of leaving a ruined and traumatized Gaza with a power vacuum or re-occupying it.”
    Actually, I don’t think that’s right. The Europeans, the Americans, the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Egyptians and the Israelis all seem to be in favor of adopting a strategy that I think is a good one. It is basically this:
    1) Take all military options away from Hamas. Destroy their weapons and ordinance (done, at least in part); prevent them from rearming (the Europeans look like they’re taking responsibility for that); deter them (so that if they continue to shoot off rockets, Gazans will kill them for inspiring an Israeli response before the Israeli’s even get there); humiliate them before their own people by having the Palestinian Authority man the Rafah crossing (the Egyptians insist on this). Basically, the idea is to incapacitate Hamas as a resistance force so it’s only option is political. The idea is to allow Hamas to become a political force only or let them slowly perish.
    2)Do whatever is necessary to reenergize Fatah and the Palestinian Authority by continuing to support Abbas, by putting pressure on Israel to make concessions (such as a halt to settlement expansion)and by dramatically improving conditions in the West Bank. (This is the responsibility of the new Obama Administration)
    There are many ways in which this strategy can go wrong. And in the Middle East, if things can go wrong, they usually do. Ironically, the Europeans, the Israelis (at least Kadima and Labor) and the Americans probably want this strategy to work because they hope things will improve.
    While Israel’s Sunni Arab neighbors would also like to see things improve between the Israelis and Palestinians, their real aim lies elsewhere. They have tremendous animosity towards Iran, Persians and Shiites and they don’t want to see local Sunni Arab groups like Hamas or Hezbollah which are Iranian proxies, thrive. The fact that Iran and Hezbollah (which watched and did basically nothing) were given a black eye and Hamas was taken down a notch or two makes Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority absolutely delighted.
    Two additional points are crucial. The Steve Clemons/Daniel Levy crowd and their fellow travelers have been arguing that a rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah is a necessary prerequisite for a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. This is wrong. As the article I posted above demonstrates, the animosity between Hamas and Fatah is bitter, growing and unlikely to abate (even if a temporary understanding is reached between them). What Clemons/Levy et al don’t understand is that the differences between Hamas and Fatah go well beyond differences about how to engage the Israelis. Their differences are a reflection of a larger struggle in the Muslim world that can’t be fixed by papering over strategic differences about how Palestinians should respond to Israel. The only practical strategy is to “fix” the West Bank first (even if it means some type of semi-imposed settlement) with the hope that Gaza can be integrated later on.
    Obama and Clinton need to do their part. First they have to subtly try to influence the Israeli election so the next government is a coalition between Livni and Barak. The Obama/Clinton effort can’t be too assertive or it will backfire. But the Israelis are worried about Obama and love Clinton; a good guy/bad guy routine might push the Israelis in the right direction. If Netanyahu wins, the Obama Administration will need to get much tougher on Israel (along the lines of the first George Bush). George Mitchell would be a huge asset in all of this.
    The Europeans and especially the French have done a remarkably good job. By shedding their reflexive anti-Israel bias they have won the trust of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority and they are true honest brokers. Obama/Clinton need to move a little away from the Israelis and towards the Palestinians in much the same way that the Europeans have moved away from the Palestinians and towards the Israelis.
    Despite the fact that it is widely criticized, the UN force in Lebanon (which is made up of lots of French soldiers) prevented a second war between Israel and Hezbollah when it could easily have been sparked. This should give the Israelis faith that European forces can be inserted as peace keepers and be effective. This will bode well if a force is ever established in the West Bank to separate the new State of Palestine from the Sate of Israel.
    Wasting time and effort trying to engage Hamas (other than perfunctorily) is a fool’s mission. It’s not just that they are irreconcilable with the existence of Israel, but they’re also irreconcilable with their secular Palestinian brethren.
    As for the Israeli settlers on the West Bank, they need to be dealt with assertively in the next year or so. After a territorial settlement is reached (based on the 1967 borders with some mutually agreed to exchanges of land) the settlers need to be induced to leave (bribed), forced to leave whether they like it or not (like the Gaza settlers were), or allowed to live as a small minority in a Palestinian State with their Israeli citizenship revoked. The Israelis should pay to compensate the Israeli settlers to leave and (as Walter Russell Mead suggested) the international community should recompense the Palestinian refugees. Jerusalem needs to be the Capital of two states and the Old City can be dealt with along the lines suggested by Bill Clinton in 2000.
    Will any of this happen? Who knows? But it is more likely with a militarily weakened Hamas than it was before.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    I repeat: I have to admit that I did expect Hamas to show more
    resistance. Not during the arial attacks, the “Shock and Awe”
    phase, but after the ground invasion. Urban warfare.
    Just like I (like most people) was surprised when the Iraqis
    didn`t show more resistance during the ground invasion in 2003.
    The analysts predicted urban warfare like Stalingrad – but the
    Iraqi resistance vanished… And we forgot about them, and
    amused ourself quoting comical Ali. Mission accomplished.
    Has this parallel occurred to anybody else? (I admit that I am
    speculating, guessing).

    Reply

  19. ... says:

    bang on points paul.. and this one too..
    Posted by Paul Norheim Jan 17, 2:07PM – Link
    Looks like varanasi can`t wait responding to posters harassing
    him, but has a habit of avoiding relevant questions asked in a
    more polite tone.

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    “Posted by WigWag Jan 19, 3:25PM – Link
    Looks like reconciliation between the Palestinian factions as
    called for by Steve Clemons, Daniel Levy, Zbig Brzezinski and so
    many others has already started.”
    —————
    By weakening and delegitimizing Hamas while ensuring that
    Fatah is perceived as a bunch of quislings, the reality behind
    your ironic remark is that Israel has the choice of leaving a
    ruined and traumatized Gaza with a power vacuum or re-
    occupying it.
    The first option will be intolerable both for Israel and for the
    Palestinians; the latter will be even more intolerable, not only
    for the occupied and the occupier, but also for the outside
    world.
    So how do the “international community” deal with that? The
    US/European/Arab approval of delegitimizing Hamas and letting
    the IDF do their “work” on Gaza (transforming the PA into
    collaborateurs as an unintended – or perhaps intended, but in
    any case predictable – side effect), make them co-responsible
    for the current situation.
    Sometimes wars – like them or not – open up new political
    opportunities. It`s difficult to see ANY realistic political options
    left in the messy aftermath of the Gaza slaughter.
    I expected Hamas to show more resistance during the war. But
    the outcome was predictable. Of course Hamas did not “loose”
    the war in a strict sense. A couple of rockets a week fired into
    Israel, and the Israelis will – within the current logical
    framework – be forced to re-occupy Gaza or attack the
    population in new collective punishment raids. Both options will
    create more international outrage against Israel, and Israel itself
    has nothing to gain from any of those options. Even the
    Americans may find it hard in the long run to conceal the
    injustice and intolerable situation for the Palestinians.
    The current feeling of joy and triumph among Israelis and old
    school hard liners in the diaspora like WigWag, reminds me of
    the joy felt when the Iraqis destroyed the statue of Saddam
    Hussein in Bagdad.

    Reply

  21. ... says:

    rich – israels agenda is to sow division on all levels including politically… they aren’t interested in much else it seems… i am sure this isn’t what many ordinary israelis want, but like the bush admin – oftentimes the public has to put up with the bullshit which runs counter to their own best interests..

    Reply

  22. rich says:

    Huh.
    Maybe Israel erred in cutting the legs from under Fatah while feeding and nourishing Hamas.

    Reply

  23. WigWag says:

    Looks like reconciliation between the Palestinian factions as called for by Steve Clemons, Daniel Levy, Zbig Brzezinski and so many others has already started.
    To wit:
    Jan 19, 2009 20:58 | Updated Jan 19, 2009 22:00
    ‘Hamas torturing Fatah in Gaza’
    By KHALED ABU TOAMEH and JPost
    Hamas militiamen have rounded up hundreds of Fatah activists on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel during Operation Cast Lead, Fatah members in the Gaza Strip told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
    They said the Hamas crackdown on Fatah intensified after the cease-fire went into effect eary Sunday morning.
    The Fatah members and eyewitnesses said that the detainees were being held in school buildings and hospitals which have been turned by Hamas into make-shift interrogation centers.
    Hamas has also renewed house arrest orders that were issued against thousands of Fatah officials and activists in the Gaza Strip shortly after the military operation started.
    A Fatah official in Ramallah told the Post that at least 100 of his men have been killed or wounded as a result of the massive crackdown by Hamas. He said that some of the Fatah activists had been brutally tortured by Hamas militiamen.
    He said that the perpetrators belonged to Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, and the movement’s Internal Security Force.
    According to the Fatah official, at least three of the detainees had their eyes put out by their Hamas interrogators, who accused them of providing Israel during the war with information about the location of Hamas militiamen and leaders.
    A number of Hamas leaders and spokesman claimed in the past few days that Fatah members in the Gaza Strip had been spying on their movement and passing on the information to Israel.
    Two Hamas officials, Salah Bardaweel and Fawzi Barhoum, accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his “spies” in the Gaza Strip of tipping off the Israelis about the movements of slain Hamas interior minister Said Siam, who was killed in an IAF strike on his brother’s home in Gaza City last week.
    The Fatah official said that apart from being baseless, the allegations were aimed at paving the way for a ruthless Hamas attack on Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip.
    “They were afraid to confront the Israeli army and many Hamas militiamen even ran away during the fighting,” he said. “Hamas is now venting out its anger and frustration against our Fatah members there.”
    Eyewitnesses said that Hamas militiamen have turned a number of hospitals and schools into temporary detention centers where dozens of Fatah members and supporters were being held on suspicion of helping Israel during the war.
    The eyewitnesses said that a children hospital and a mental health center in Gaza City, as well as a number of school buildings in Khan Yunis and Rafah, were among the places which have been turned by Hamas into “torture centers.”
    A Fatah activist in Gaza City claimed that as many as 80 members of his faction wee either shot in the legs or had their hands broken for allegedly defying Hamas’s house-arrest orders. “What’s happening in the Gaza Strip is a new massacre that is being carried out by Hamas against Fatah,” he said. “Where were these [Hamas] cowards when the Israeli army was here?”
    The activist said that Hamas’s security forces have also confiscated cellular phones and computers belonging to thousands of Fatah members and supporters in the Gaza Strip.
    Relatives of Abed al-Gharabli, a former Fatah security officer who had spent 12 years in Israeli prison, said that he was kidnapped by a group of Hamas militiamen who shot him in both legs after severely torturing him.
    Ziad Abu Hayeh, one of the commanders of Fatah’s armed wing, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, is reported to have lost his sight after Hamas gunmen put out his eyes. Abu Hayeh, according to Fatah activists, was kidnapped from his home in Khan Yunis by Hamas militiamen.
    In a number of incidents, the Fatah men said, Hamas militiamen kidnapped Fatah activists while they were attending funerals of people who were killed during the war. In other cases, Fatah activists were detained and shot in the legs after they were spotted smiling in public – an act interpreted by Hamas as an expression of joy over Israel’s military offensive.
    On Saturday night, three brothers from the Subuh family were abducted by Hamas militiamen and taken to the Abdel Aziz Rantisi Mosque in Khan Yunis, where they were shot in the legs, a local journalist told the Post.
    In a more recent incident, Hamas gunmen shot and killed 8-year-old Hisham Tawfik Najjar after storming his home and beating his four sons – all Fatah activists.
    Fahmi Za’areer, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, revealed that at least 16 Fatah activists were executed by Hamas in the past few days. He strongly condemned the Hamas clampdown on Fatah and warned against a bloodbath in the Gaza Strip.
    A leaflet distributed by the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in various parts of the Gaza Strip called on Hamas to “respect the blood of the Palestinian martyrs” and stop pursuing Fatah members. The leaflet said that Hamas has placed hundreds of Fatah men under house arrest in the past 48 hours, warning that anyone who does not comply would be shot.

    Reply

  24. ... says:

    saudi arabia – the country where most of the 9-11 hijackers came from and where whabbism started… the usa’s friend, lol… or is it citicorps major investor??

    Reply

  25. Paul Norheim says:

    I wonder if Abbas can visit the prison without being killed by the
    inmates?

    Reply

  26. WigWag says:

    “It looks like the wealthy Arab nations will provide a big chunk of the money to rebuild the Gaza prison.”
    The plot thickens:
    “Head of the Saudi National Security Council reportedly visited Washington in December and held a number of meetings with top U.S. administration officials to whom he recommended weakening Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
    The purpose behind Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz’s recommendation is to tangibly target and weaken the maneuverable capacity of both Iran and Syria, ultimately limiting the capabilities of the militant groups, according to a report carried by the daily al-Akhbar.
    Prince Bandar held a chain of meetings with current Bush and Obama administration figures, and officials who are expected to play a major role in the Middle East under the new U.S. president, the newspaper said.
    Prince Bandar reportedly told his U.S. hosts that he speaks for all Gulf Cooperation Council countries including key Arab states and players such as Jordan, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and March 14 Forces in Lebanon.
    Talks are said to have focused on three main items: the Iranian nuclear file, Syria and Palestine.
    On the issue of Iran, the Saudi official is said to have blamed the Bush administration for talking a lot and doing very little, and for not taking necessary steps to curb Iran’s nuclear ambition and influential expansion.
    Regarding Syria, he warned the Obama administration against opening up to Damascus, rather to maintain isolating the Assad regime, stressing the dire need for an internal change inside Syria.
    Bandar focused on Syria’s internal problems and difficulties, adding that the Assad regime was about to collapse if it wasn’t for French, European and Turkish interventions.
    He is said to have recommended to the Obama administration the need to reactivate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by adopting a few steps:
    1- Securing a U.N. Security Council resolution supporting bilateral negotiations (UNSCR 1850 was issued a few days ago with Saudi backing).
    2- Providing the ‘Annapolis Process’ and its “reached understandings” with a strong push forward. Prioritizing Annapolis would de-claw radical forces in the region in particular Hizbullah and Hamas.
    3- The U.S. to strongly support the Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas.
    The extension of Abbas’ term that ends on January 9 should receive American support.
    All of the above-mentioned Saudi recommendations coupled with attempts to put pressure on Iran and Syria and backing Abbas would weaken Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad and foster a proper containment of both Tehran and Damascus in the region, according to the report.”

    Reply

  27. ... says:

    paul – world diplomacy at work…

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    It looks like the wealthy Arab nations will provide a big chunk of
    the money to rebuild the Gaza prison; the Europeans have offered
    their services as prison guards; and the Americans will continue
    to provide the money for bullets against the prisoners in future
    revolts.

    Reply

  29. ... says:

    tony foresta – we all realize you hold both sides responsible for the situation in palestine/israel, in spite of the very lopsided dynamics that have unfolded recently.. the mass murder of plastinians by israel recently, with israel ongoing confiscating their land, and the list is long, but you see it as both sides being equally responsible for the blood of innocent citizens..
    just who were you referring to as ‘vampires’ as it came across as very personal and i thought you might have something to do with that???

    Reply

  30. WigWag says:

    Some interesting comments from EU Officials about the Rebuilding of Gaza:
    By ASSOCIATED PRESS (Jan 19, 2009 16:49 | Updated Jan 19, 2009 19:32)
    The EU’s 27 foreign ministers will meet with Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday, and meet with the other countries on Sunday, the EU presidency said in a statement.
    The meetings were organized by the Czech government on Monday.”
    “Earlier Monday, a senior European Union official said that she expected humanitarian aid to Gaza to flow quickly, but signaled that reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure would only begin when the EU has an acceptable Palestinian partner
    Visiting EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner did not explicitly single out Hamas, but she strongly hinted that it would be difficult to rebuild Gaza as long as the Islamic movement remains opposed to international peace efforts.
    “For reconstruction you also need on the other side an interlocutor, so how will this be done? Is there a reconciliation process in the meantime? What will be done? All that is open,” she said
    She also said that Hamas’s confrontation with Israel was hindering prospects for a better life for the people of Gaza.
    “We don’t want to go on to reconstruct Gaza every I-don’t-know-how-many-years,” she said. “This is not what we want. What we would like to see is a clear sustainable peace.”
    “We have been at the side of the Palestinian population always and we will be at their side, but at the same time it’s also for the Palestinian population on both sides to say, ‘We want this peace,”‘ she said.
    “We know that many people have been killed and we felt terribly sorry. We don’t want to see civilians killed but at the same time the population has to decide if it wants to go to peace.”
    She suggested a rapprochement that returns Fatah to Gaza could be key to arranging international help”

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    Remember this line from the PNAC manifesto?
    “advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific
    genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of
    terror to a politically useful tool.” (Cee)
    You bet! In my view it`s the most morally revealing sentence
    these monsters ever wrote.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interesting.
    I don’t usually pay much attention to “The Sun”, but I found this to be somewhat in tune with Cee’s post……
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2146286.ece
    Deadliest weapon so far… the plague
    ANTI-TERROR bosses last night hailed their latest ally in the war on terror — the BLACK DEATH.
    At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages.
    Epidemic … in Britain in 1665
    The killer bug, also known as the plague, swept through insurgents training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa. It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside.
    The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East.
    It trains Muslim fighters to kill British and US troops.
    Now al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells — or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
    Advertisement
    One security source said: “This is the deadliest weapon yet in the war against terror. Most of the terrorists do not have the basic medical supplies needed to treat the disease.
    “It spreads quickly and kills within hours. This will be really worrying al-Qaeda.”
    Black Death comes in various forms.
    Bubonic Plague is spread by bites from infected rat fleas. Symptoms include boils in the groin, neck and armpits. In Pneumonic Plague, airborn bacteria spread like flu.
    It can be in the body for more than a week — highly contagious but not revealing tell-tale symptoms.
    Deadly … the plague bacteria causes horrific symptoms
    The al-Qaeda epidemic began in the cave hideouts of AQLIM in Tizi Ouzou province, 150km east of the capital Algiers. The group, led by wanted terror boss Abdelmalek Droudkal, was forced to turn its shelters in the Yakouren forest into mass graves and flee.
    The extremists supporting madman Osama bin Laden went to Bejaia and Jijel provinces — hoping the plague did not go with them.
    A source said: “The emirs (leaders) fear surviving terrorists will surrender to escape a horrible death.”
    AQLIM boss Droudkal claims to command around 1,000 insurgents. Training camps are also based in Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria.
    AQLIM bombed the UN headquarters in Algiers in 2007, killing 41. Attacks across Algeria last year killed at least 70 people.
    In an interview last July, Droudkal boasted his cell was in constant contact with other al-Qaeda “brothers”.

    Reply

  33. Cee says:

    Norwegian doctor: Israel used new type of weapon in Gaza
    This reminds me of another reason that I turned away from the Mengele of the Middle East.
    I was stunned to learn that Israel was cooperting with South Africa to develop ethnic bioweapons.
    Remember this line from the PNAC manifesto?
    “advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”
    Does Israel Have Smart Germs?
    by Eric Margolis
    Israel is developing a biological `ethnic bomb’ that kills Arabs, but leaves Jews unharmed. So claimed the respected London Sunday Times on 15 November, citing Israeli military and western intelligence sources.
    In 1986, the Times broke the story of Israel’s covert nuclear weapons arsenal, based on evidence supplied by an Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, who was subsequently kidnapped from Rome by Israeli agents. Vanunu is currently serving 18 years solitary confinement in Israel.
    Numerous reliable sources assert Israeli scientists at super-secret Nes Ziona bio-warfare laboratory near Tel Aviv are attempting to engineer deadly micro-organisms that only attack DNA within the cells of victims with distinctive Arab genes. Some leftwing Israeli parliamentarians have accused the government of `carrying on the work of Dr Mengele,’ the notorious Nazi geneticist.
    At least one of Israel’s world-renowned scientific institutes is also said to be deeply involved in the biowarfare project. Nes Ziona roduces a wide range of chemical and biological weapons: it is reportedly larger than all Arab and Iranian biowarfare laboratories – combined.
    Embarrassingly for Israel and the US, Dutch authorities recently revealed an Israeli cargo plane that crashed in Amsterdam in 1992 was secretly carrying precursor chemicals for the deadly nerve gas, Sarin. The chemicals, supplied by a US company, with full US government export approval, were consigned to Nes Ziona.
    A 1993 report by Russian intelligence said Israel began producing chemical weapons in the mid-1960’s, had a very large stockpile, and was conducting advanced research into `physiologically active substances.’
    Israel’s government strongly denies accusations it is making a `gene bomb,’ insisting they are disinformation planted by Arab sources to justify Iraq’s biowarfare program. Many scientists say such a weapon is impossible – a fiction right out of Fu Manchu. However, Porton Down, Britain’s biowarfare centre, admits genetic-specific weapons are theoretically possible.
    South Africa’s Truth Commission revealed the apartheid government conducted extensive efforts in mid 1980 to produce a `pigmentation’ bio-weapon that would kill blacks, but not whites. South Africa’s director of biowarfare stated his team had been unable to develop a weapon.
    I learned of this project while in South Africa in 1988.It was referred to as a `Kafir buster,’ and designed for use in urban warfare, primarily against mobs of uncontrollable rioters. My sources say South Africa was much closer than admitted to developing an `ethnic bullet.’ This technology, claim a number of sources, was passed on or sold to Israel. Former allies South Africa and Israel also extensively shared nuclear technology.
    Why would Israel need bioweapons? Israelis say to counter Iraq’s small, but still worrying, biowar capability. But Israel’s huge nuclear arsenal adequately deters any potential Iraqi attack. It’s very hard for me to believe little Dr Mengele’s at Nes Ziona are developing fiendish weapon to `cleanse’ the region of Arabs. Besides, Arabs are a genetic hodgepodge, lacking uniform DNA. Many Sephardic Jews and Arabs are genetically similar.
    A selective `ethnic bomb’ would only be useful at close quarters. Israel cannot employ its tactical nuclear weapons – nor advanced neutron bombs – near its own borders. Even nuclear strikes on Damascus, Golan, Beirut, or Cairo would carry clouds of radioactive dust over Israel. Short of mass extermination, targeted genetic weapons would only make sense used against the West Bank and Gaza, in Jordan, or to open gaps in echeloned Syrian fortified lines before Damascus.
    US intelligence says Russia is also working on targeted bioweapons, likely aimed at Chinese, as well as newly engineered germs resistant to all known drugs. Many Russian scientists have emigrated to Israel, already a world leader in biology, bringing a cornucopia of biowarfare secrets with them.
    Let’s hope these reports are false. Ethnically targeted bioweapons are truly terrifying – and, if they spread, a excellent way to speed the human race to extinction. In fact, these `smart germs’ make nuclear weapons look downright medieval.
    [Eric Margolis is a syndicated foreign affairs columnist and broadcaster based in Toronto, Canada.]
    Israel’s Ethnic Weapon?
    Wired News Report 11.16.98
    Israel is reportedly developing a biological weapon that would harm Arabs while leaving Jews unaffected, according to a report in London’s Sunday Times.
    The report, citing Israeli military and western intelligence sources, says that scientists are trying to identify distinctive genes carried by Arabs to create a genetically modified bacterium or virus.
    The “ethno-bomb” is reportedly Israel’s response to the threat that Iraq may be just weeks away from completing its own biological weapons.
    The “ethno-bomb” program is based at Israel’s Nes Tziyona research facility. Scientists are trying to use viruses and bacteria to alter DNA inside living cells and attack only those cells bearing Arabic genes.
    The task is very complex because both Arabs and Jews are Semitic peoples. But according to the report, the Israelis have succeeded in isolating particular characteristics of certain Arabs, “particularly the Iraqi people.”
    Dedi Zucker, a member of the Israeli parliament, denounced the research in the Sunday Times. “Morally, based on our history, and our tradition and our experience, such a weapon is monstrous and should be denied.”
    Last month, Foreign Report claimed that Israel was following in the ignominious footsteps of apartheid-era research, in their supposed efforts to develop an “ethnic bullet.”

    Reply

  34. Paul Norheim says:

    Well varanasi,
    the interviewed doctor above was among the handful of
    westerners who actually have a passport and also had access to
    the Gaza strip during the war.

    Reply

  35. Paul Norheim says:

    FROM HAARETZ TODAY:
    Last update – 06:54 19/01/2009
    Norwegian doctor: Israel used new type of weapon in Gaza
    By Amira Hass
    Tags: Weapons, Hamas, Gaza
    Some Palestinian casualties in the Gaza Strip were wounded by a
    new type of weapon that even doctors with previous experience
    in war zones do not recognize, according to Dr. Erik Fosse, a
    Norwegian cardiologist who worked at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital for
    11 days, during Operation Cast Lead.
    However, he added in a telephone conversation from Oslo, most
    casualties were people hit by shrapnel from conventional
    explosives.
    Fosse, a department head at a university hospital in Oslo,
    worked in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation and several
    times in Lebanon, also in 2006. That was when he first heard
    about the new kind of weapon, but did not see any such
    wounds with his own eyes.
    Advertisement
    The unknown weapon appears to mainly affect the body’s lower
    part, he said. It severs the legs, leaving burns around the
    stump, small punctures in the skin and internal bleeding.
    According to Fosse, these injuries appear to be caused by a
    pressure wave generated when a missile hits the ground. His
    best guess, he said, is that the pressure wave is caused by a
    dense inert metal explosive, or DIME, a type of bomb developed
    to minimize collateral damage. A military expert working for
    Human Rights Watch also told Haaretz that the nature of the
    wounds and descriptions given by Gazans made it seem likely
    that Israel used DIMEs.
    Fosse and a Norwegian colleague, Mads Gilbert, arrived in Gaza
    on December 31 and remained until January 10. They were
    financed by the Norwegian government.
    On his return, Fosse submitted a report to his government in
    which he accused the IDF of deliberately targeting civilians.
    Fosse said he believes Israel deliberately chose to attack while
    Westerners working for international organizations were back
    home for the Christmas vacation.
    “The Palestinian witnesses, as medical workers, are very
    accurate in their reports, but if we hadn’t been there to confirm
    their testimony, it would all have been presented as Hamas
    propaganda,” he said.

    Reply

  36. TonyForesta says:

    I’ve avoided this thread because of it’s inate futilty and fruitlessness, but now that the carnage and horrorshow may be coming to an end, I offer this comment: In a few short months or maybe weeks you will all revisit this debate, because NOTHING will really change in the Gaza. Israel lost credibility and so did hamas. In the end it is the innocents that suffer because of leaderships refusal to change. Tragic! Horrible! Senseless! Idiots! Nothing will ever change in this nightmare until one or another blooddrenched party works in some way to alter the underlying dynamics of this conflict.
    Israel’s and hamas’s actions are unconcsionable!
    Palestinian innocents pay a terrible bloody cost for the ill and depraved actions of socalled leaders in Israel and Palestine. Until, there is real change in the Gaza, these terrible, horrible, bloody nightmares will continue.
    Have it your way vampires.

    Reply

  37. rich says:

    As expected, Mubarak is bowing to internal pressure and international realpolitik. Egypt told Israel to desist; Israel agreed. Mubarak delivered the military reality to Israel: “You lost.”
    http://firedoglake.com/2009/01/18/egypt-tells-israel-you-lost/
    {Reuters)
    “In a televised speech that appeared to anticipate the decision, Mubarak said Israel would not achieve its objectives against Hamas.”

    Mubarak said his country would not agree to the presence of foreign observers on its soil to monitor the border with Gaza.
    “I say that this is a red line and I will not allow it,” he said in the speech.
    Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said earlier in the day Egypt was not committed to a U.S.-Israeli deal, signed on Friday, to halt arms smuggling into Gaza.”
    _____
    Get that? Egypt will NOT allow international monitors to monitor border crossings.
    _____
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2009/01/an-inevitable-outcome-in-gaza.html

    Reply

  38. rich says:

    wigwag — “I neither said nor implied that Israel has universal support.”
    That is clearly the impression you are trying to create. But it’s not the reality. Why else would you cite Germany and England but not Norway and Turkey? Your intent is to create a false idea of the impact Israel’s decision to bomb civilian targets.
    Re Russia & China:
    Don’t elide the issue, wigwag. Diplomats choose their words carefully and can’t afford to dump vitriol and a pyre already raging out of control.
    China and Russia are clearly putting heavy pressure on Israel to put an end to this.
    Russia:
    “Russia called for a stop of “large-scale acts of force against the Gaza Strip, which has caused considerable victims and suffering amongst the Palestinian population,” and
    “Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added that “the disproportionate use of force by Israel, which causes suffering to the civilian population, can be neither understood nor justified”.
    Referring to Israel, “China expresses serious concern about the escalation of the tense situation in Gaza, [and] denounces actions that cause injuries and deaths to ordinary people.”
    “China supports the efforts … especially [of] the Arab countries, to realise a comprehensive, just peace in the region”.
    They are being less even-handed than Sarkozy.

    Reply

  39. WigWag says:

    Wow, Rich. Those comments from the Russians and the Chinese sure are vitriolic. After seeing them, the Israelis must be freaked out that the Russians and Chinese are really pissed at them.

    Reply

  40. rich says:

    ” ‘Israel does not have universal support as you imply.’
    I neither said nor implied that Israel has universal support.”
    This is clearly the impression you are trying to create. But it’s not the reality. Why else would you cite Germany and England but not Norway and Turkey? Your intent is to create a false idea of the impact Israel’s decision to bomb civilian targets.
    “But I am pointing out that commenters at the Washington Note and elsewhere who believe that Israel’s attack on Gaza has turned the world against Israel or turned Israel into a Pariah state are wrong.”
    No one said Israel would be abandoned. In fact, our continued support for Israel’s security should tamp down the cries of anti-Semitism, prompt greater recognition of even-handedness on our part, and lessen the insecurity that lead to shrill and irresponsible fingerpointing at Palestinians in general.
    Even the consciously even-handed EU leaders like Sarkozy have condemned Israel’s actions. The focus on behavior, not essential qualities of Jewish people or attacks on Israel itself, should return Israel’s attention on the issue at hand rather than perceived bigotry or real enemies.
    Let’s add it up: Egypt is under extreme public pressure to take a more action-oriented and even-handed stance—so much so that govt and party officials are extremely worried. (link upthread). Turkey’s the same, and elsewhere.
    The wave of anti-Semitic incidents demonstrates that Israel has played into the hands of the anti-Semites it claims to confront. 500+ anti-Semitic attacks in Europe already and that’s bound to grow as bigotry is confirmed by the bombing of civilians.
    So political conditions are rapidly changing. The UN is outraged:
    “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, visiting Israel, said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told him the attack on the U.N. compound was a “grave” error and apologized for it.
    “I conveyed my strong protest and outrage to the defense minister and foreign minister and demanded a full explanation,” said Ban, who arrived Thursday from Egypt.
    ______
    The UN resolution called for keeping Gazan border crossings open–not closed. You’ll note reports indicate Gazan rockets were homemade from sewer pipe and black powder–not smuggled.
    _____
    Israel cannot dictate who it will negotiate with after Hamas won the election–not after Israel cut Fatah off at the knees, fed & nurtured Hamas, and took out the more moderate PLO.
    _____
    I think you actively misrepresent international positioning on the conflict, wigwag. Saying China and Russia are ‘quiet as church mice’ just isn’t accurate insofar as you imagine they support Israel. The EU, Arab states also are displaying an evenhandedness designed to bring a truce and a workable solution. That doesn’t mean any of them supports Israel’s methodology. That becomes clear when you look at the details:
    China:
    “China expresses serious concern about the escalation of the tense situation in Gaza, denounces actions that cause injuries and deaths to ordinary people, opposes the use of military force in resolving disputes, appeals to related parties to exercise maximum restraint and to settle differences through dialogue”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.[71]”
    “During an official visit to Kuwait, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said he was shocked and seriously concerned by the military operations in Gaza. Li reiterated Chinese calls for an immediate ceasefire and stressed China’s support for the peace process, saying, “China supports the efforts made by all parties, especially the Arab countries, to realise a comprehensive, just peace in the region”.[wikipedia]
    Russia:
    “Russia called for a stop of “large-scale acts of force against the Gaza Strip, which has caused considerable victims and suffering amongst the Palestinian population”, but also called for Hamas to “stop shelling Israeli territory”.[184].”
    “In his talk to Prime Minister Olmert President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev “Voiced serious concern over numerous civilian victims and humanitarian problems stressing the need for the soonest ceasefire in Gaza”. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added that “the disproportionate use of force by Israel, which causes suffering to the civilian population, can be neither understood nor justified”.
    Read the tea leaves, wigwag. It’s clear many of these nations are worried Israel will go further. They clearly recognize Israel has gone too far, but are choosing their words carefully, and couching their language so as not to provoke a greater disaster. The evenhandedness is important, but two things are wrong with your interpretation of it. It doesn’t imply support for Israel’s methods or war crimes. And it doesn’t deny or contradict the tectonic shift in the public’s view of Israel and its methods. That’s been widely documented. Diplomatic calls for peace is only responsible—it doesn’t mean the political landscape hasn’t changed. Potential for more damage from certain parties is too unpredicatable right now. Everybody’s just waiting for the biggest change of all–in 48 hours, somebody who’s more serious about resolving these issues will take the stage. How he does it may or may not differ much from standard policy. That he’s willing to do it makes all the difference.

    Reply

  41. ... says:

    varanasi – traveling and experiencing other cultures and ways of life is a good thing, so we agree on this.. i do think to suggest that because someone hasn’t traveled somewhere or lived a certain life that it disqualifies them from commenting on it much like we are here on the mid east confilct… i used rumsfield as an example.. although he had the experience of having traveled to iraq, it didn’t appear to broaden his perspective on the country so much as pad the bank accounts of those he was closely connected to while overseeing the collective murder and punishment of an entire country thanks to his position in the bush admin..
    it would seem to me the ‘rationalizations’ you are referring to are your own in thinking that if someone hasn’t traveled to a certain place they can make no intelligent comment on it..
    but lets go with your thinking a step further and see if you care to offer a response to this… if you’ve never experienced some form of collective punishment as the people of gaza have, do you think you’re in a position to pass judgment on their actions that come out of this same situation??
    that is what you appear to do here regularly towards palestinians while showing very little insight..referring to them as muslims and lumping them in with all muslims and quickly making a connection to jihad for all of them, the only step missing is to be murdering them all as ‘suspected terrorists’… when a country is having it’s citizens murdered en mass, being bullied militarily, having its land stolen gradually over an extended period of time, and being cut off from free movement (essentially an israel prison camp for palestinians) do you think you’re in a position to comment directly on their actions with any real conviction or special insight?

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, using varanasi’s argument, (his asinine passport tangent), which is basically;
    “You have to see it and experience it to form an honest and informed opinion”…
    Would explain why israel refused to let journalists into Gaza, eh?

    Reply

  43. WigWag says:

    “Israel does not have universal support as you imply.”
    I neither said nor implied that Israel has universal support. But I am pointing out that commenters at the Washington Note and elsewhere who believe that Israel’s attack on Gaza has turned the world against Israel or turned Israel into a Pariah state are wrong.
    In fact, given the terrible civilian toll, one would think that Israel would be getting less support than it is. Instead, as the Jerusalem Post put it, “the lightning visit by the six leaders, who came to Israel after attending a peace summit earlier in the afternoon at the Egyptian resort of Sharm e-Sheikh, was the single largest contingent of world leaders to come to Israel at one time since the funeral of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995…”
    And one of the main topics of discussion was how the Europeans could be helpful in preventing Hamas from rearming. Apparently the Europeans view Hamas as the main instigator of the trouble in Gaza or they wouldn’t be doing everything they could to prevent Hamas from obtaining weapons and ordinance and they wouldn’t be offering Israel additional assistance. Despite the fondest hopes of European leftists and Europe’s Arab and other Muslim immigrants, it looks like European leaders have decided that it’s Hamas that needs to be treated like a pariah. Or to put it more accurately, it seems like they’ve decided to continue to treat Hamas like a pariah.
    The European position is clear; they want the crossings open to the free-flow of humanitarian goods but only if they can monitor the Rafah crossing with the Palestinian Authority not Hamas. And they want Hamas incapacitated as a military entity.
    Even Berlusconi from Italy agreed to help. According to the Jerusalem Post Berlusconi said at the Sharm e-Sheikh conference that “he was willing to make Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri police force available for any maritime patrols.”
    But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised about the Italians; after all, just a few months back, Berlusconi was quoted in ANSA (the Italian news agency) as calling Hamas scum.
    So let’s add it all up; the Europeans are going to work to stymie the flow of weapons to Hamas; the Americans have signed an agreement to use US and Nato forces to prevent smuggling of arms from Iran to Hamas; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority all prevented the Arab league from meeting to criticize the Israeli invasion and the Russians, Chinese and Indians have all been as quiet as church mice.
    But you’re right about one thing, Rich; the Turks (and the Venezuelans, Bolivians and Mauritanians) are really mad at the Israelis. The Norwegians might be too.
    I’m sure the Israelis are quaking in their boots.

    Reply

  44. rich says:

    You only cite one side of sharply divided world opinion, wigwag. The EU rightly does not support Israel’s bombing of civilians—but even so adamantly supports Israel’s security and status as a permanent state.
    None of that means Germany, England or France are pleased with Israel’s bombing or support it.
    Israel does not have universal support as you imply. Turkey you admit. Norway has condemned Israel’s bombing–as you know. These reactions matter. The UN matters. Overall public opinion matters. (Noway article below.)
    Note carefully, wigwag, the impact on internal public sentiments in Europe and the political dynamics that may generate. You of all people should appreciate this:
    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/3745
    Anti-Semitism Sweeps Europe in Wake of Gaza Operation
    Soeren Kern on Sat, 2009-01-17 11:30
    A second front to the conflict in the Gaza Strip has opened up in Europe, where a wave of reprisal attacks against Jewish targets is stoking fears of a wider resurgence of anti-Semitism on the continent. Far from simply being a spate of isolated incidents, as many Europeans claim, anti-Semitic violence is becoming more commonplace in every country in Europe. At the same time, anti-Israel demonstrations, which have strong anti-Semitic overtones, are being held with alarming frequency in cities across Europe.”
    ___
    I’d suggest, wiwag, that in the context of real anti-Semitism (not perceived) it is all the more important for Israel to act with integrity, with honesty, and according to the rules of war. Israel would be safer and more secure. Its defenders would get further as well by not fulfilling the stereotypes they claim to fight, by honestly and consistently assessing behavior and events, rather than one-sidedly spinning news and rhetoric to paint one side as evil and the other as sainted. If nothing else, the European public knows Orwellian news coverage and fascist military methods when they see it. That’s authentic. Why give them real & substantive reasons to retreat into bigotry and embrace anti-Semitism? Helping combine authentic behavior-based complaints with real bigotry is the worst mistake Israel cold ever make–because then it’s not so much about bigotry any more. Why stoke the fires that killed so many in WWII, the 20th century and the hundreds of preceding years? It’s rather obtuse.
    I just wish you and others would listen more constructively and contribute to building a mutual understanding, and a truly consistent, fair and just way of applying the standards of behavior we all want to see used in practice.
    The attackdenyattack attitude can be more than a little odious.
    _________________
    Norway urges Israel to withdraw from Gaza
    STOCKHOLM, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) — Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere strongly condemned the Israeli military operations in Gaza and urged Israel to withdraw its troops from Gaza immediately,according to reports reaching here from Oslo Sunday.
    “The Israeli operations on the ground in Gaza is a dramatic escalation of the conflict. Norway is strongly opposed to warfare which results in major civilian suffering, and ask that the troopsbe withdrawn immediately,” Stoere said in a statement.
    “The continuing bombing of the Gaza Strip and the full military ground operations are hitting a civilian population which cannot defend itself nor flee,” he was quoted as saying by the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

    Reply

  45. WigWag says:

    Rich, for once you and I are in complete agreement. The Israeli attack on Gaza has caused the relationship between Israel and Turkey to take a serious turn for the worse.

    Reply

  46. WigWag says:

    More from European leaders about how they plan to treat that international pariah, Israel:
    This is from the Associated Press
    France
    “Visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Sunday that the European Union would never do anything that might harm the security of Israel.
    Speaking in Jerusalem alongside other European leaders, Sarkozy praised the cease-fire in Gaza and called on Israel to withdraw all of its troops from the Gaza Strip as soon as possible.”
    In Jerusalem, Sarkozy also said that France would be willing to provide monitors to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza and supply technology to help locate smuggling tunnels.”
    Germany
    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said that Israel has the right to self defense and to live in peace and not under threats. Merkel added that arms smuggling into Gaza, whether by sea or by land, must be prevented and that Germany is willing to help address that matter if necessary.”
    Great Britain
    “British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the European Union will do everything to support the cease-fire, as a step toward achieving a comprehensive peace and offered the assistance of the Royal Navy.”
    Brown called on Hamas to stop firing rockets on Israel and also expressed willingness to do everything possible to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza.”
    It must have been a lovely dinner Olmert, Livni and Barak had with the Europeans.
    But I have to admit; those Europeans are sure hard to fathom. Can anyone explain why their willing to have dinner with the pariah but not willing to even talk to the innocent victim in all of this; Hamas?

    Reply

  47. rich says:

    Most EU leaders have been taking a balanced approach that condemns Israel as much as Hamas. Some emphasizing one side or the other. Will Sarkozy also blockade the smuggling of food and medicine? I don’t think there will be a blockade–which is an act of war and a war crime–at all after this.
    So pasting a smiley face over political dynamics doesn’t turn it all into a love-fest for Israel, wigwag. You’re misrepresenting the new political rally. Two example suffice to shoot down your major hobby horse:
    At least 101 anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, so far—in direct reaction Israel’s bombing of civilian population in Gaza. On track to reach an all-time high this month.
    Israel’s foreign relations are fraying, dynamics of continuing relations are undergoing a sea-change; just a single example:
    Turkey–Israel’s pivotal/major diplomatic, military, and economic trading partner in the region–is rapidly shifting ground. Peace/diplomatic negotiations are dead; a boycott’s been organized; and Erdogan has been frank: “They say my criticism is harsh, I assume it is not as harsh as phosphorus bombs or fire from tanks … I am reacting as a human and a Muslim.”
    Your happy face, wiwag, belies the the harsh reality; Israel is losing ground and provoking a and angry and violent backlash.
    Gaza War Sours Turkey-Israel Relations
    “One of the little noticed side effects of Israel’s war on Gaza has been a substantial souring of relations with Turkey. The Israelis had had a relatively close diplomatic, military and trade relationship with secular, Kemalist Turkey. The rise of the Justice and Development Party from 2002, however, has created new complications, since that party is mildly tinged with Muslim political themes. It is the first such party that has managed to survive any length of time without provoking a coup by the militantly secular Turkish military.
    In this crisis, PM Erdogan has been scathing toward Israel, deeply angering the current government. He told parliament on Tuesday, They say my criticism is harsh, I assume it is not as harsh as phosphorus bombs or fire from tanks … I am reacting as a human and a Muslim.”
    All across Turkey on Tuesday at 11 am, students in schools were ordered to observe a minute of silence for the victims in Gaza. I’ve been following Turkey since I first went there in 1976, and I can’t remember hearing anything quite like this.
    The Turkish Consumers Association is spearheading a Turkish consumer boycott of Israeli-made goods. Turkey is Israel’s eighth largest trading partner, with trade between the two countries worth over $2.6 bn a year in 2007. Israel’s economy depends heavily on foreign trade, which accounts for 80 percent of its GDP.
    http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/gaza-war-sours-turkey-israel-relations.html

    Reply

  48. WigWag says:

    Yes, the Israelis have become international pariahs, especially in Europe.
    This from today’s New York Times,
    President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, which is trying to broker a longer-term deal between Israel and Hamas, and President Nicholas Sarkozy of France, hosted a summit meeting on Sunday afternoon in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheik…
    “We are ready to use all methods — diplomatic, ground and coastal — to stop the smuggling” of weapons into Gaza, Mr. Sarkozy said at a news conference after the meeting. “We support the idea of a major summit to put in place a structure for a continuous peace.”
    French, British, German, Spanish, Italian and Czech leaders then made their way to Jerusalem for dinner with Prime Minister Olmert.”
    I wonder when the leaders of every major country in Europe will be having dinner with Mashaal, Haniyah and Zahar.
    Oh, that’s right, it’s not the Israelis who are the pariahs, it’s Hamas.
    Sorry, I forgot.

    Reply

  49. rich says:

    Of course there are good and bad in all religions, varanasi, so it’s imperative to recognize the good as well as the bad among Muslim religious leaders. Yet the clip I cited received no response or acknowledgment. All you could do was cry “bullshit”—but it’s becoming obvious the reverse is the case.
    Yet one more example of Israel’s dishonesty:
    “Or check out Woodward’s own piece on War in Context about how the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs took down its web page that was up before the invasion, which included a graph that clearly showed that Hamas had honored the truce between Israel and Hamas over the last few months, and replaced it with a graph in which the size of the bars bear no relation to the numbers the bars represent, giving the false impression that Hamas did not honor the truce.”
    http://warincontext.org/2009/01/04/editorial-israeli-propaganda-campaign-downplays-the-success-of-the-truce/
    This is why no one believes the PR spin about Hamas using civilians to hide behind. It’s an excuse Israel uses to hide war crimes. Jewish resistance fighters did the same thing in the Warsaw Ghetto. Did the willingness of Jewish fighters to use homes and homemade weapons legitimize Hitler’s actions? Of course not. Even Hamas had used whatever means available, it hardly legitimizes Israel’s bombing of civilians (which is a war crime). It’s what all freedom fighters and liberation movements do.
    Israel bombed its 4th UN school–hardly a coincidence. Yet varanasi hasn’t said that can’t be done, that it must stop, that it’s a war crime, nor conceded it’s a tactic obviously intended to hit refugee civilians and disrupt relief efforts. Israel lied about Hamas firing from the 1st UN school. They have other targets—or maybe they don’t: doctors and international observers noted 95% of the dead in Gaza were NOT Hamas fighters. 95%. If true, Israel is getting in deeper and deeper.
    Resraint? Yeah, Muslims and Arab governments are showing enormous restraint. I can assure you, if a British or American school was being bombed like this, there’d be hell to pay. That varanasi, many Americans can’t see that is a huge part of the problem.

    Reply

  50. varanasi says:

    but one more thing…
    rich wrote:
    “Because the evidence is rolling in: Muslims have done more for peace than most of us–and the great restraint shown is a big part of that.”
    absolute bullshit. restraint? gimme a break.
    islam is on a crash course with the rest of the world.
    to ignore this obvious reality is to once again betray your bias and ignorance of world affairs.
    ciao.

    Reply

  51. rich says:

    varanasi @ 1:29PM –
    “Where is your proof?”
    varanasi: “read this for starters, rich:”
    I’m sorry, varanasi, but I’ve pasted a dozen+ links disproving your claims. Until you respond to the evidence we’ve presented, you’re in no position to make demands.
    Never mind that we’ve proven Israel has lied about Hamas’ supposed tactic of ‘hiding’ behind civilians or taking refuge in civilian facilities.
    It is not an excuse. It is not a justification. It is not even relevant.
    Further, the real question is: So what?
    Even if they had, it’s standard practice for liberation fighters.
    Resistance movements are civilians-turned-fighters. Using every means at their disposal is what citizens defending their lives and families do.
    Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto used homes and civilian structures and whatever weapons and support they could get. They were right to do it. And Hamas is right to use whatever means is available to defend their homes and families.
    It’s standard practice from the Minutemen in 1776 and extends to every other liberation momement. Next thing you’ll be blaming Russians at the siege of Stalingrad for burning the furniture for heat, eating dogs and taking refuge among!!! civilians!!!
    By your logic, Hitler was RIGHT! because the Russians fought back from schools and homes. The idiocy of your argument is staggering.
    Meanwhile, Israel has bombed its 4th UN school. Coincidence? Or just covering all the bases?
    Even the one ‘historical’ example eagerly cited about story about using UN schools has been proven false by CNN. There is just no moral high ground for Israel to retreat to.
    Concede a point, varanasi, any point. Consider it a sign of personal development.

    Reply

  52. varanasi says:

    rich wrote:
    “You’ve never been able to admit a shred of nuance, varanasi”
    absolutely not true, rich. i’ve said countless times that BOTH parties to the conflict are guilty of abetting it!!!
    and no comment on the link i posted, huh? doesn’t buttress you’re idiotic argument that palestinians haven’t used school, hospitals, mosques and other civilian centers as military staging grounds, huh?
    meanwhile you, POAhole, and arthur will have to carry on without me this afternoon. i have a flight to catch.
    and guess what POAhole? i actually have a passport in my bag!

    Reply

  53. rich says:

    POA,
    The equation of Israel’s war crimes and lies with the other nations, together with the one-sided exposition, is really exposing the inherent contradictions in varanasi’s mindset. He can’t admit a thing, grant a piece of data, cede a point, or extend a scintilla of evenhandedness to his perceived opponents. The fingerpointing, evasions and attacks are just the most obvious failings. I like when he accused you of being a carpenter, hardly an insult–(The comeback wasn’t jesus a carpenter? is a great comeback to xtians, but it’s too literal-minded here, for several reasons) Still, this must be humiliating for him–the typo thing is insignificant given his routine errors.
    ______________
    varanasi,
    I’m not ‘inferring’ anything, I’m stating a fact.
    Somebody has to lead the bumblefvcks currently dictating status quo policy in Israel and among their wider base of support. Other voices are out there, but who’s turning the tide? Who has the creibility to make a difference? Who’s being heard by statesman and world leaders?
    Hey, I spoke up first, too, but that doesn’t make me a leader. Me, you can dismiss and smear with as anti-Semitic (in my case it’d be a first)—–but you can’t call a Holocaust survivor anti-Semitic.
    Are you saying the voices of Holcaust survivors, their families, and Jews who fought Hitler don’t matter? They are right, but you can’t maintain the denial or smear their good name–and that’s why they’re a threat to you.
    Of course they’re leaders. BY DEFINITION! Kaufman is a Labor MP–Member of Parliament–i.e., a political leader. Jarecki is an author and filmmaker, traveling and giving lectures. Nouschi joined the Free French Forces to fight Hitler—and at 86 years of age, is STILL leading! He’s writing letter, publishing columns and is being quoted around the world!
    Yet you have the nerve to ask “this is your empirical evidence? 3 individuals?”
    I could run a regression analysis and get back to you. But it’d be a waste of time and the point hs been proven:
    Families of Holocaust surivors and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace.
    What’s more, it’s becoming clearer that “The reality is Muslims have done more for peace than most groups”
    We’ve seen that Britain is hitting a historic high level of anti-Semtic incidents unleashed by Israel’s bombing of civilians. Yet who steps in to calm the waters? Who reaches out in peach and reconciliation to defend Jewish citizens and stop the rise of anti-Semitism? Muslim clerics.
    You’ve never been able to admit a shred of nuance, varanasi, yet here we have Muslim clerics stopping the anti-Semititic incident that Israel’s bombing has caused. Yes, I think our overall view of Muslim culture is absolutist, generalized and racist. And you’re so ungenerous you can’t acknowledge the facts of a single news clipping. C’mon, varanasi, let a leeetle bit of sunshine into that thing you call a heart. Admit your enemies are human beings. Because the evidence is rolling in: Muslims have done more for peace than most of us–and the great restraint shown is a big part of that.

    Reply

  54. varanasi says:

    “btw, varanasi, really read “The Transfer Agreement” by Edwin Black. Don’t just pretend to. If you actually read the book, you will return to the discussion chastened and apologetic – a different person, angry with the lies you’ve been convinced to believe are truths.”
    and thank you, arthurdecco for your self-righteousness. come visit me in north india and YOU “will return a different person, angry with the lies you’ve been convinced to believe are truths”

    Reply

  55. varanasi says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican Jan 18, 1:26PM – Link
    “do you even own a passport?”
    Amazing, isn’t it?
    How much longer do you think this jackass will continue to humiliate himself here?”
    i’ll take that non-answer to a legitimate question as a “no.”
    and i’m not at all surprised.
    POAsshole is american ignorance personified. and you blame israel for the fall of your empire? ha.

    Reply

  56. varanasi says:

    i wrote:
    “but the truth is that palestinians HAVE used schools, mosques, hospitals and the homes of innocent civilians in the past to plan and execute attacks as well as store weapons.”
    rich responded:
    “Where is your proof?”
    read this for starters, rich:
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/09/africa/ME-GEN-Palestinians-Israel-U.N.-School.php
    a quick search of the internet and you will find much more documentation about this type of tactic employed by hamas and arab fighter throughout the region.
    btw, this muslim tactic is COMMON KNOWLEDGE in the ME and south asia. but you wouldn’t know that because you’ve never been here and you have blinders on.

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “do you even own a passport?”
    Amazing, isn’t it?
    How much longer do you think this jackass will continue to humiliate himself here?

    Reply

  58. arthurdecco says:

    Thank you for your calm clarity, rich. Thank you, POA, for refusing to take your eyes off the ball. And most of all, thank you, varanasi, for the window you provide into the pitted soul of the average Israeli apologist/propagandist.
    Thank you, Cee, for the link. I’ll follow up on it.
    btw, varanasi, really read “The Transfer Agreement” by Edwin Black. Don’t just pretend to. If you actually read the book, you will return to the discussion chastened and apologetic – a different person, angry with the lies you’ve been convinced to believe are truths.

    Reply

  59. rich says:

    varanasi:
    “but the truth is that palestinians HAVE used schools, mosques, hospitals and the homes of innocent civilians in the past to plan and execute attacks as well as store weapons.”
    Says who? Are you saying their willingness to defend themselves gives you/Israel the right to exterminate civilians?
    Resistance movements are civilians-turned-fighters. Using every means at their disposal is what citizens defending their lives and families do. It’s standard practice from the Minutemen in 1776 and extends to every other liberation momement.
    And — Where is your proof? The Israeli spokesman lied about mortar fire coming from the UN school–he couldn’t even maintain the pretense on CNN and managed to humiliate himself as he backtracked. The Israeli naval and embassy spokemen lied about ramming the relief ship–that has been proven by eyewitness CNN reporters. Each IDF claim has been proven a lie.
    4 UN schools now. Israel has now bombed its FOURTH UN school–even though they have the coordinates for each facility.
    Even your ‘in the past’ story about using UN schools has been proven false by CNN.
    And even IF they HAD used whatever buildings are available, so what? That’s the only option of a nation whose ENTIRE population is being bombed by another nation. Russians used every available means in the siege of Stalingrad. and it’s ludicrous and barbaric for you to blame the victims because they defend themselves.
    Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto used homes and civilian structures and whatever weapons and support they could get. They were right to do it. And Hamas is right to use whatever means is available to defend their homes and families.
    Think about it, varanasi—you’re safe and warm. Put you in a cage and bomb the shit out of it and you’d use every means at your disposal. Bombing people in a cage is not a heroic act, and it can’t be justified.

    Reply

  60. varanasi says:

    interesting question for POAsshole:
    do you even own a passport?

    Reply

  61. varanasi says:

    rich:
    you cite 3 references to jewish holocaust survivors (and their families) who objected to the gaza war.
    seems like quite a leap to infer that,
    “Holocaust surivors (&/or families) and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace.”
    this is your empirical evidence? 3 individuals?

    Reply

  62. varanasi says:

    “The reality is Muslims have done more for peace than most groups”
    bullshit.

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yep, comical.
    Spelling lessons, and slurs on my profession.
    And he doesn’t want to be called a shallow little worm?

    Reply

  64. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “everyone DOES do it and i have NEVER claimed that israel is “innocent!”
    “i haven’t seen ANY proof that israel intentionally tragets schools and relief workers that don’t have a connection to militants”

    Reply

  65. rich says:

    “Holocaust surivors (&/or families) and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace.”
    varanasi: “what do you base this assertion on, rich?”
    It’s like you don’t even read. Jarecki, Nouschi, Kaufman, are joining many others here, in the midwest and elsewhere.
    Steve Clemons cited Eugene Jarecki:
    “As a son and nephew and grandchild and cousin of those lost in the Holocaust, this is a hard one for me. (pause) But I have to say. . .that I think that Israel through its actions in Gaza is undermining its own project in the Middle East. . ”
    I cited André Nouschi:
    Nouschi, a Jewish member of the Free French Forces wrote the Israeli Ambassador that “It is not possible anymore to remain silent with respect to the Israeli policy of assassination and imperialist expansionism. You are behaving exactly like Hitler behaved in Europe with Austria and Czechoslovakia.” Why? Silence = Death.
    Commenter “…” cited Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Jewish UK Labour MP:
    “… when the Nazis came to her home town of Stasz�w .. a German soldier shot her dead in her bed. Madam Deputy Speaker, my grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
    varanasi, of course many Israelis are disgusted by what they see—but they are getting nothing done. They are not controlling the government, nor their military. The intentional bombing of four UN schools is not a coincidence. Bombing densely populated civilian areas is expressly forbidden under international law.
    Israel’s bombing has provoked an upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents and has led/will lead to a spike in regional/global terrorism. At least 101 incidents in England alone. Yet who is standing up against this? We are. Muslim clerics are. The reality is Muslims have done more for peace than most groups; you display remarkable gullibility in refusing to catch up:
    British Muslim leaders slam surge of anti-Semitic attacks, 101 incidents recorded
    LONDON (AFP-EJP)—A group of prominent British Muslims condemned Friday a surge in anti-Semitic attacks since the start of Israel’s Gaza offensive and urged Muslims to help prevent assaults on Jews.
    The 20 Islamic figures, including imams, writers and academics, made the call in a letter sent to some 1,200 mosques and Islamic centres around the country.
    The initiative came after lawmakers voiced alarm at a “wave” of incidents targeting British Jews since the deadly offensive against Hamas began three weeks ago.
    “The ongoing killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces has angered us all. However, this does not, and cannot, justify attacks on our fellow citizens of Jewish faith and background here in Britain,” they said.
    “Most Muslims are completely against such behaviour. However, we call on all Muslims to continue to remain vigilant against attempts to bring our own faith and community into disrepute,” said the letter.
    Usman Raja, a former supporter of jihadist groups and now a youth-worker tackling Islamist extremism, said: “On the streets the outrage among the Muslim youth is reaching fever-pitch.
    “Attacks on perceived Jewish targets are on the increase and we can’t let this continue.

    One synagogue has been subject to an arson attack, others were defaced and some Jewish people have been verbally abused and threatened, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism said.
    “We must all do everything we can to reassure every community that we will not tolerate attacks, abuse or hostility aimed towards Jews, Muslims or anyone else on the back of the ongoing situation in Gaza.”

    According to The Jewish News weekly, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in January looks set to exceed any previous month since records began.”
    __________
    Let’s get one thing clear, and keep it straight: Muslim leaders are working for peace, for an end to anti-Semitic attacks, and to end the spiral of violence. As are commenters here, Holocaust survivors, and many Americans. Those in denial about the reality in Gaza, who deny Israel’s dishonesty and IDF war crimes, can’t say the same thing.

    Reply

  66. varanasi says:

    POAsshole wrote:
    “But regardless, here we see this shallow non-responsive canard of “everyone does it” offered once again. Doesn’t the dissembling little worm understand that it just underscores my argument, that Israel’s claims of innocence cannot be believed??”
    but, POAsshole, everyone DOES do it and i have NEVER claimed that israel is “innocent!”
    far from it, but then again, so are the elected leaders in gaza.
    clearly nuance is not in your vocabulary. but then again, what need does a middling carpenter have for nuance?

    Reply

  67. varanasi says:

    “…” wrote:
    “rumsfield had visited iraq prior to his direct responsibility for murdering the iraqi people.. probably bush had to… i suppose that gave them some special insight they wouldn’t have gotten if they had never visited the place…”
    so does this mean that real life experience doesn’t matter? sounds like a rationalization to me.
    and excuse me but i DO believe that there is something to be gained by traveling and forming opinions based on international EXPERIENCE – not merely surfing the internet.
    This is a gripe that i have long harbored against many north americans, who feel that they know what is best for the entire world EVEN THOUGH THEY NOTHING ABOUT LIFE IN THE REST OF THE WORLD.
    the arab/israeli conflict is the perfect case in point. no expert worth his salt, INCLUDING palestinian and arab nationalists would ever claim that there is no moral complexity and ambiguity to the situation. the same can be said for the much larger muslim revolution which is also taking place.
    to reduce the conflict to the “bad guys” vs. the “good guys” demonstrates a lack of judgment and intellectual facility.

    Reply

  68. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Comical, really. Now its spelling lessons?
    Is anyone else tired of varanasi’s shallow crap?
    Does the fraudulent little worm think I deny my own government’s history of deception? Thats a particularly and long standing acidic pill for me to swallow, considering our obscene support of Israel’s actions in regards to the Palestinian people. Of course my government backs the lies and propaganda of the Israeli blodsuckers. Thats one of my most often cited complaints here, is it not??
    But regardless, here we see this shallow non-responsive canard of “everyone does it” offered once again. Doesn’t the dissembling little worm understand that it just underscores my argument, that Israel’s claims of innocence cannot be believed??
    He offers the excuse that Israel bombs these facilities such as hospitals, schools, ambulances etc. as a result of them being “connected” to Hamas. Then, when it is pointed out that Israel has often and prolifically lied to us, he drools the ‘ol “everyone does it” excuse. Uhm, well, how does that somehow exonerate Israel?
    I don’t know who he claims to be consulting for, but if true, I hope his fees are refundable, because you’d have to be a blithering idiot to take his advice on anything.

    Reply

  69. varanasi says:

    “…” wrote:
    “Ari Shavit, a leading columnist on the newspaper, ”Haaretz”, was a fervent proponent of the “just war” at the outset. By Friday, he was writing: “Shelling a United Nations facility is something not to be done at any time, but doing it on the day when the UN Secretary-General is visiting Jerusalem is beyond lunacy.”
    agreed. but the truth is that palestinians HAVE used schools, mosques, hospitals and the homes of innocent civilians in the past to plan and execute attacks as well as store weapons. this is also a reality. to deny it is to avoid the complexities of the conflict.

    Reply

  70. Cee says:

    IDF soldiers use Nablus youths as ‘human shield’
    (Video) Peace activist films IDF soldiers ordering two Palestinian youths to stand in front of their vehicle to prevent locals from stoning it; military advocate general orders investigation into incident, commanding officer suspended
    Ali Waked Latest Update: 04.12.07, 23:52 / Israel News
    Despite repeated promises by the Israel Defense Forces not to make use of Palestinian civilians as ‘human shields’ during its activity in the territories, troops operating in Nablus were filmed ordering two Palestinian youths to stand in front of their vehicle to protect it from stones thrown by locals.
    ———————————————–
    B’Tselem’s initial investigation indicates that, during an incursion by Israeli forces into Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 17 July 2006, soldiers seized control of two buildings in the town and used residents as human shield.
    After seizing control of the buildings, the soldiers held six residents, two of them minors, on the staircases of the two buildings, at the entrance to rooms in which the soldiers positioned themselves, for some twelve hours. During this time, there were intense exchanges of gunfire between the soldiers and armed Palestinians. The soldiers also demanded that one of the occupants walk in front of them during a search of all the apartments in one of the buildings, after which they released her.

    Reply

  71. ... says:

    rumsfield had visited iraq prior to his direct responsibility for murdering the iraqi people.. probably bush had to… i suppose that gave them some special insight they wouldn’t have gotten if they had never visited the place…
    the simplistic logic is flawed, but then that is obvious to most..

    Reply

  72. ... says:

    “Ari Shavit, a leading columnist on the newspaper, ”Haaretz”, was a fervent proponent of the “just war” at the outset. By Friday, he was writing: “Shelling a United Nations facility is something not to be done at any time, but doing it on the day when the UN Secretary-General is visiting Jerusalem is beyond lunacy. The level of pressure the Israel Defense Forces have been exerting on Gaza may be squeezing Hamas, but it is destroying Israel. Destroying its soul and its image. Destroying it on world television screens, destroying it in the living rooms of the international community… ”

    Reply

  73. varanasi says:

    Rich:
    interetsing that you do not acknowledge the reality that hamas and arab militants often use schools, mosques, hospitals and the homes of innocent civilians to plan/stage attacks and store weapons.
    your bias against israel blinds you to the realities of the ME, but that doesn’t surprsie me because you’re talking about a region of the world THAT YOU HAVE NEVER EVEN VISITED! the same goes for POA.
    rich wrote:
    “Holocaust surivors (&/or families) and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace.”
    what do you base this assertion on, rich? many israelis and jews are probably disgusted by what they see, in fact, as far as i can tell jewish youth were leading the call for a cease fire.
    poa wrote:
    “Israel has a long history of deciet and propaganda”
    uh, ok, poa and so does every other country in the world, including your own AND every arab state including the palestinians.
    and btw, poa, the word is spelled “deceit”

    Reply

  74. varanasi says:

    Rich:
    interetsing that you do not acknowledge the reality that hamas and arab militants often use schools, mosques, hospitals and the homes of innocent civilians to plan/stage attacks and store weapons.
    your bias against israel blinds you to the realities of the ME, but that doesn’t surprsie me because you’re talking about a region of the world THAT YOU HAVE NEVER EVEN VISITED! the same goes for POA.
    rich wrote:
    “Holocaust surivors (&/or families) and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace.”
    what do you base this assertion on, rich? many israelis and jews are probably disgusted by what they see, in fact, as far as i can tell jewish youth were leading the call for a cease fire.
    poa wrote:
    “Israel has a long history of deciet and propaganda”
    uh, ok, poa and so does every other country in the world, including your own AND every arab state including the palestinians.

    Reply

  75. Cee says:

    Arthur,
    You might also want to read Zionism in the Age of Dictators by Lenni Brenner
    Prior to the Nazis, German Zionism was no more than an isolated bourgeois political cult. While the leftists were trying to fight the brownshirts in the streets, the Zionists were busy collecting money for trees in Palestine. Suddenly in 1933 this small group conceived of itself as properly anointed by history to negotiate secretly with the Nazis, to oppose the vast mass of world Jewry who wanted to resist Hitler, all in the hope of obtaining the support of the enemy of their people for the building of their state in Palestine
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Israel/Zionism_AgeDictators.html

    Reply

  76. ... says:

    Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Jewish UK Labour MP has again spoken out about Israeli Government aggressive policies in the House of Commons. He said on Thursday:
    “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Stasz�w. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. Madam Deputy Speaker, my grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count. On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli Army Major Livovich was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, eight hundred Palestinians. The total is now a thousand. She replied instantly, “Five hundred of them were militants.” That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw Ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”
    He was just as scathing in 2002 when he said: “It is time to remind Sharon that the star of David belongs to all Jews, not to his repulsive Government. His actions are staining the star of David with blood. The Jewish people, whose gifts to civilised discourse include Einstein and Epstein, Mendelssohn and Mahler, Sergei Eisenstein and Billy Wilder, are now symbolized throughout the world by the blustering bully Ariel Sharon, a war criminal implicated in the murder of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila camps and now involved in killing Palestinians once again.”

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “i haven’t seen ANY proof that israel intentionally tragets schools and relief workers that don’t have a connection to militants”
    It always amuses me to see such statements.
    Here you have someone that claims that the comment section is full of “jewish/Israel conspiracy BS”, yet is unable to clearly and honestly give us an example of such “BS”.
    In the same breath, “varanasi”, and “Questions”, assert that the lengthy list of esopionage committed against us by Israel, its false flag terrorist attacks, and its wanton murder of American sailers on the Liberty is irrelevent when discussing current events.
    Hogwash. Israel has a long history of deciet and propaganda, that I have provided a small sampling of in links, sourcing, and mainstream media accounts. Israel also has a long history of bombing UN facilities, striking ambulances, bombing hospitals, and bombing aid storage facilities, DESPITE THE FACT THE UN PROVIDES THEM WITH COORDINATES. You can accept and believe in isolated incidents as being accidental. But these are not isolated incidents, they are in fact a repetitious pattern of behaviour.
    The KNOWN AND DOCUMENTED incidences of espionage, deciet, and actual attacks on American interests, such as the Liberty incident, robs Israel of any benefit of the doubt. Just the amount of explanations, excuses, justifications and rationales Israel offered for both the school bombing and the UN HQ bombing casts extreme doubt on Israel’s innocence. They simply could not get their story together on either incident.And for those that doubt Israel’s willingness to target civilians, media, and UN facilities, a look back in history to Israel’s actions in Lebanon should dispel all such doubts. Millions of clusterbomblets, unleashed on a civilian population, both in the cities and in farmlands, rendering some land far too dangerous for tilling, and killing and maiming children in the urban areas.
    Time and again we have witnessed what Israel is capable of, which renders statements like “i haven’t seen ANY proof that israel intentionally tragets schools and relief workers that don’t have a connection to militants” as laughably ludicrous.

    Reply

  78. rich says:

    varanasi @ 11:05AM –
    “Rich wrote:
    ‘(israel) bombing schools, targeting relief workers’
    i haven’t seen ANY proof that israel intentionally tragets schools and relief workers”
    I have.
    Don’t you read the news? It’s being widely reported in multiple venues. UN and Red Cross relief drivers and ambulances have been killed by Israeli snipers/rifle fire. Ambulances have been intentionally held up. UN warehouses filled with food and medicine were bombed. No connection to Hamas fighters in any of those cases.
    But then, there was no mortar fire coming from the UN school that Israel bombed either. The IDF PR line was proven false. There was no gunfire coming from the house the Israeli Army mortared — after herding 100 members of a single family into it.
    _____
    Interesting, isn’t it? varanasi ignores the major point to quibble about widely known facts. It’s evasive, so I’ll repeat:
    Holocaust surivors (&/or families) and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace. Not Hamas fighters. Not militants. Israel is bombing an entire populace, women and children and families and doctors and peace activists and ambulance drivers.

    Reply

  79. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/jan/26/00006/
    Another War, Another Defeat
    The Gaza offensive has succeeded in punishing the Palestinians but not in making Israel more secure.
    By John J. Mearsheimer
    Israelis and their American supporters claim that Israel learned its lessons well from the disastrous 2006 Lebanon war and has devised a winning strategy for the present war against Hamas. Of course, when a ceasefire comes, Israel will declare victory. Don’t believe it. Israel has foolishly started another war it cannot win.
    The campaign in Gaza is said to have two objectives: 1) to put an end to the rockets and mortars that Palestinians have been firing into southern Israel since it withdrew from Gaza in August 2005; 2) to restore Israel’s deterrent, which was said to be diminished by the Lebanon fiasco, by Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, and by its inability to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
    But these are not the real goals of Operation Cast Lead. The actual purpose is connected to Israel’s long-term vision of how it intends to live with millions of Palestinians in its midst. It is part of a broader strategic goal: the creation of a “Greater Israel.” Specifically, Israel’s leaders remain determined to control all of what used to be known as Mandate Palestine, which includes Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinians would have limited autonomy in a handful of disconnected and economically crippled enclaves, one of which is Gaza. Israel would control the borders around them, movement between them, the air above and the water below them.
    The key to achieving this is to inflict massive pain on the Palestinians so that they come to accept the fact that they are a defeated people and that Israel will be largely responsible for controlling their future. This strategy, which was first articulated by Ze’ev Jabotinsky in the 1920s and has heavily influenced Israeli policy since 1948, is commonly referred to as the “Iron Wall.”
    What has been happening in Gaza is fully consistent with this strategy.
    Let’s begin with Israel’s decision to withdraw from Gaza in 2005. The conventional wisdom is that Israel was serious about making peace with the Palestinians and that its leaders hoped the exit from Gaza would be a major step toward creating a viable Palestinian state. According to the New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman, Israel was giving the Palestinians an opportunity to “build a decent mini-state there—a Dubai on the Mediterranean,” and if they did so, it would “fundamentally reshape the Israeli debate about whether the Palestinians can be handed most of the West Bank.”
    This is pure fiction. Even before Hamas came to power, the Israelis intended to create an open-air prison for the Palestinians in Gaza and inflict great pain on them until they complied with Israel’s wishes. Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s closest adviser at the time, candidly stated that the disengagement from Gaza was aimed at halting the peace process, not encouraging it. He described the disengagement as “formaldehyde that’s necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” Moreover, he emphasized that the withdrawal “places the Palestinians under tremendous pressure. It forces them into a corner where they hate to be.”
    Arnon Soffer, a prominent Israeli demographer who also advised Sharon, elaborated on what that pressure would look like. “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”
    In January 2006, five months after the Israelis pulled their settlers out of Gaza, Hamas won a decisive victory over Fatah in the Palestinian legislative elections. This meant trouble for Israel’s strategy because Hamas was democratically elected, well organized, not corrupt like Fatah, and unwilling to accept Israel’s existence. Israel responded by ratcheting up economic pressure on the Palestinians, but it did not work. In fact, the situation took another turn for the worse in March 2007, when Fatah and Hamas came together to form a national unity government. Hamas’s stature and political power were growing, and Israel’s divide-and-conquer strategy was unraveling.
    To make matters worse, the national unity government began pushing for a long-term ceasefire. The Palestinians would end all missile attacks on Israel if the Israelis would stop arresting and assassinating Palestinians and end their economic stranglehold, opening the border crossings into Gaza.
    Israel rejected that offer and with American backing set out to foment a civil war between Fatah and Hamas that would wreck the national unity government and put Fatah in charge. The plan backfired when Hamas drove Fatah out of Gaza, leaving Hamas in charge there and the more pliant Fatah in control of the West Bank. Israel then tightened the screws on the blockade around Gaza, causing even greater hardship and suffering among the Palestinians living there.
    Hamas responded by continuing to fire rockets and mortars into Israel, while emphasizing that they still sought a long-term ceasefire, perhaps lasting ten years or more. This was not a noble gesture on Hamas’s part: they sought a ceasefire because the balance of power heavily favored Israel. The Israelis had no interest in a ceasefire and merely intensified the economic pressure on Gaza. But in the late spring of 2008, pressure from Israelis living under the rocket attacks led the government to agree to a six-month ceasefire starting on June 19. That agreement, which formally ended on Dec. 19, immediately preceded the present war, which began on Dec. 27.
    The official Israeli position blames Hamas for undermining the ceasefire. This view is widely accepted in the United States, but it is not true. Israeli leaders disliked the ceasefire from the start, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the IDF to begin preparing for the present war while the ceasefire was being negotiated in June 2008. Furthermore, Dan Gillerman, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, reports that Jerusalem began to prepare the propaganda campaign to sell the present war months before the conflict began. For its part, Hamas drastically reduced the number of missile attacks during the first five months of the ceasefire. A total of two rockets were fired into Israel during September and October, none by Hamas.
    How did Israel behave during this same period? It continued arresting and assassinating Palestinians on the West Bank, and it continued the deadly blockade that was slowly strangling Gaza. Then on Nov. 4, as Americans voted for a new president, Israel attacked a tunnel inside Gaza and killed six Palestinians. It was the first major violation of the ceasefire, and the Palestinians—who had been “careful to maintain the ceasefire,” according to Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center—responded by resuming rocket attacks. The calm that had prevailed since June vanished as Israel ratcheted up the blockade and its attacks into Gaza and the Palestinians hurled more rockets at Israel. It is worth noting that not a single Israeli was killed by Palestinian missiles between Nov. 4 and the launching of the war on Dec. 27.
    As the violence increased, Hamas made clear that it had no interest in extending the ceasefire beyond Dec. 19, which is hardly surprising, since it had not worked as intended. In mid-December, however, Hamas informed Israel that it was still willing to negotiate a long-term ceasefire if it included an end to the arrests and assassinations as well as the lifting of the blockade. But the Israelis, having used the ceasefire to prepare for war against Hamas, rejected this overture. The bombing of Gaza commenced eight days after the failed ceasefire formally ended.
    If Israel wanted to stop missile attacks from Gaza, it could have done so by arranging a long-term ceasefire with Hamas. And if Israel were genuinely interested in creating a viable Palestinian state, it could have worked with the national unity government to implement a meaningful ceasefire and change Hamas’s thinking about a two-state solution. But Israel has a different agenda: it is determined to employ the Iron Wall strategy to get the Palestinians in Gaza to accept their fate as hapless subjects of a Greater Israel.
    This brutal policy is clearly reflected in Israel’s conduct of the Gaza War. Israel and its supporters claim that the IDF is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, in some cases taking risks that put Israeli soldiers in jeopardy. Hardly. One reason to doubt these claims is that Israel refuses to allow reporters into the war zone: it does not want the world to see what its soldiers and bombs are doing inside Gaza. At the same time, Israel has launched a massive propaganda campaign to put a positive spin on the horror stories that do emerge.
    The best evidence, however, that Israel is deliberately seeking to punish the broader population in Gaza is the death and destruction the IDF has wrought on that small piece of real estate. Israel has killed over 1,000 Palestinians and wounded more than 4,000. Over half of the casualties are civilians, and many are children. The IDF’s opening salvo on Dec. 27 took place as children were leaving school, and one of its primary targets that day was a large group of graduating police cadets, who hardly qualified as terrorists. In what Ehud Barak called “an all-out war against Hamas,” Israel has targeted a university, schools, mosques, homes, apartment buildings, government offices, and even ambulances. A senior Israeli military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, explained the logic behind Israel’s expansive target set: “There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel.” In other words, everyone is a terrorist and everything is a legitimate target.
    Israelis tend to be blunt, and they occasionally say what they are really doing. After the IDF killed 40 Palestinian civilians in a UN school on Jan. 6, Ha’aretz reported that “senior officers admit that the IDF has been using enormous firepower.” One officer explained, “For us, being cautious means being aggressive. From the minute we entered, we’ve acted like we’re at war. That creates enormous damage on the ground … I just hope those who have fled the area of Gaza City in which we are operating will describe the shock.”
    One might accept that Israel is waging “a cruel, all-out war against 1.5 million Palestinian civilians,” as Ha’aretz put it in an editorial, but argue that it will eventually achieve its war aims and the rest of the world will quickly forget the horrors inflicted on the people of Gaza.
    This is wishful thinking. For starters, Israel is unlikely to stop the rocket fire for any appreciable period of time unless it agrees to open Gaza’s borders and stop arresting and killing Palestinians. Israelis talk about cutting off the supply of rockets and mortars into Gaza, but weapons will continue to come in via secret tunnels and ships that sneak through Israel’s naval blockade. It will also be impossible to police all of the goods sent into Gaza through legitimate channels.
    Israel could try to conquer all of Gaza and lock the place down. That would probably stop the rocket attacks if Israel deployed a large enough force. But then the IDF would be bogged down in a costly occupation against a deeply hostile population. They would eventually have to leave, and the rocket fire would resume. And if Israel fails to stop the rocket fire and keep it stopped, as seems likely, its deterrent will be diminished, not strengthened.
    More importantly, there is little reason to think that the Israelis can beat Hamas into submission and get the Palestinians to live quietly in a handful of Bantustans inside Greater Israel. Israel has been humiliating, torturing, and killing Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since 1967 and has not come close to cowing them. Indeed, Hamas’s reaction to Israel’s brutality seems to lend credence to Nietzsche’s remark that what does not kill you makes you stronger.
    But even if the unexpected happens and the Palestinians cave, Israel would still lose because it will become an apartheid state. As Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently said, Israel will “face a South African-style struggle” if the Palestinians do not get a viable state of their own. “As soon as that happens,” he argued, “the state of Israel is finished.” Yet Olmert has done nothing to stop settlement expansion and create a viable Palestinian state, relying instead on the Iron Wall strategy to deal with the Palestinians.
    There is also little chance that people around the world who follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will soon forget the appalling punishment that Israel is meting out in Gaza. The destruction is just too obvious to miss, and too many people—especially in the Arab and Islamic world—care about the Palestinians’ fate. Moreover, discourse about this longstanding conflict has undergone a sea change in the West in recent years, and many of us who were once wholly sympathetic to Israel now see that the Israelis are the victimizers and the Palestinians are the victims. What is happening in Gaza will accelerate that changing picture of the conflict and long be seen as a dark stain on Israel’s reputation.
    The bottom line is that no matter what happens on the battlefield, Israel cannot win its war in Gaza. In fact, it is pursuing a strategy—with lots of help from its so-called friends in the Diaspora—that is placing its long-term future at risk. __________________________________________
    John J. Mearsheimer is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and coauthor of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.

    Reply

  80. varanasi says:

    rich wrote:
    “It’s sad because Israel could easily have it all if it chose the path of justice and humanity. Much responsibility falls at the feet of Israeli ‘moderates’.”
    israel can have it all? HAHAHAHA maybe you should ask hezbollah, hamas, islamic jihad, and iran what they think about that!
    and while i do agree with you that some responsibility falls at the feet of israeli moderates, much more falls at the feet of israeli settlers and hawks.
    and because i know that you have a balanced geopolitical world-view, rich, can you also admit that some responsibility for the ongoing war in the ME falls at the feet of hamas, hezbollah, islamic jihad, iran and syria???

    Reply

  81. varanasi says:

    Rich wrote:
    “(israel) bombing schools, targeting relief workers”
    i haven’t seen ANY proof that israel intentionally tragets schools and relief workers that don’t have a connection to militants.
    of course, in the heat of battle mistakes are made. such may have been the case with the u.s. school in gaza, but it is disingenuous to say that the Palestinians and many other arab fighters don’t use schools, mosques, hospitals and the homes of innocent people to store weapons and execute attacks.
    those are the arab tactics, not israeli.
    further, it obfuscates the truth about the many israeli failures to make such inflammatory, biased and untrue allegations

    Reply

  82. rich says:

    Notable that Holocaust surivors (&/or families) and Jews who took up arms against Hitler are leading the opposition to Israel’s bombing of the Gazan populace. As the tide of world opinion rapidly erodes, and Israel loses allies, we’ll see more and more vocal opposition as people come to grips with the calculated war crimes being committed–be they white phosphorus, bombing schools, targeting relief workers, or maintaining the blockade itself.
    Steve cites Eugene Jarecki:
    “As a son and nephew and grandchild and cousin of those lost in the Holocaust, this is a hard one for me. (pause) But I have to say. . .that I think that Israel through its actions in Gaza is undermining its own project in the Middle East. . .”
    I quoted André Nouschi, 86, former combatant with the Free French Forces, historian, [and Jewish] wrote to the Israeli Ambassador to France:
    For you it’s shabat, it should be a day of peace but it’s one of war…It is not possible anymore to remain silent with respect to the Israeli policy of assassination and imperialist expansionism. You are behaving exactly like Hitler behaved in Europe with Austria and Czechoslovakia.”
    The NYTimes is advocating an end to the settlements:
    “President-elect Barack Obama says he will work for a peace deal from Day 1. We hope Israel picks a new leader in elections next month who is truly committed to a two-state solution. With the support of the new American president, he or she must make an early downpayment on peace by ending settlement construction, cooperating seriously with Mr. Abbas and improving the lives of all Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza.”
    Though it’s naive to think any Gazan will support Abbas after this–or Israel will ever do so after cutting he legs out from under Abbas and feeding Hamas (funny how that didn’t work out).
    The tide is turning in Egypt, where citizens are having an unusually big effect on leadership:
    Egyptians Seethe Over Gaza, and Their Leaders Feel Heat
    By MICHAEL SLACKMAN
    “The pressure is mounting on Egypt,” said Abdel Raouf el-Reedy, a former Egyptian ambassador to the United States. “How come you keep the Israeli ambassador here? How come you keep the Egyptian ambassador in Israel? How come you still export gas to Israel in spite of a court order to stop? The system is on the defensive. Public opinion is more clearly on the side of Hamas.”
    European and the EU is finding a middle way, but condemning Israel’s methods:
    EU Parliament head criticizes Israel’s ‘disproportionate’ reaction in Gaza
    STRASBOURG (EJP)—The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering …Speaking at the opening of a plenary session of the parliament Monday in Strasbourg, France, Poettering, declared: “It is not acceptable for people to continue to suffer, for violence to continue, and now United Nations staff are under fire. How far must the spiral of violence continue before commonsense and reason gain the upper-hand?” he asked. “A state’s inviolable right to protect itself does not justify violent acts which affect first and foremost civilian populations,” he said.
    Turkey, Israel’s pivotal ally, which has been cooperating on military, diplomatic and economic matters–is reversing course:
    Gaza War Sours Turkey-Israel Relations
    “One of the little noticed side effects of Israel’s war on Gaza has been a substantial souring of relations with Turkey. The Israelis had had a relatively close diplomatic, military and trade relationship with secular, Kemalist Turkey.
    “In this crisis, PM Erdogan has been scathing toward Israel, deeply angering the current government. He told parliament on Tuesday, They say my criticism is harsh, I assume it is not as harsh as phosphorus bombs or fire from tanks … I am reacting as a human and a Muslim.”
    “All across Turkey on Tuesday at 11 am, students in schools were ordered to observe a minute of silence for the victims in Gaza. I’ve been following Turkey since I first went there in 1976, and I can’t remember hearing anything quite like this.
    “The Turkish Consumers Association is spearheading a Turkish consumer boycott of Israeli-made goods. Turkey is Israel’s eighth largest trading partner, with trade between the two countries worth over $2.6 bn a year in 2007.”
    (Informed Comment)
    Israel’s actions in Gaza are backfiring. Just as Hezbollah was left stronger in 2006 after Israel bombed civilian populations, support for Hamas has spiked. Any solution will require Israel coming to the negotiating table–something it doesn’t want to do–and the agreement will be enforced on all sides, benefiting Gazans and their ability to live in peace. Which means the blockade will have to end, something Israel doesn’t want to see happen, preferring to provide Hamas with the same casus belli Israel used to justify military action in 1967. Evidene that Israel’s disproportionately responsible for the spiral of violence is inconvenient, but incontrovertible.
    It’s sad because Israel could easily have it all if it chose the path of justice and humanity. Much responsibility falls at the feet of Israeli ‘moderates’.
    .

    Reply

  83. varanasi says:

    ba dum bump… good line poa.
    i’ll give her the message.

    Reply

  84. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You didn’t need to show her, varanasi. She already knows.

    Reply

  85. varanasi says:

    poa wrote:
    “But you, varanasi? You can go fuck yourself. You’ve shown me all I need to know, and you’re nothing. And with your weaselly wormy shallow ways, you’re always going to be nothing.”
    another one for the ages!!! poa hall of fame!
    this one was so good, i just had to show it to my wife!

    Reply

  86. varanasi says:

    paul,
    read poa’s last post. this is what i object to and it is nothing new. he speaks this way to strangers and he attacked me this way from day 1.
    sorry. i’m not the one who started pissing all over TWN.
    hasn’t poa been reprimanded in the past by steve?

    Reply

  87. Susan says:

    here is the you tube of the follow up press conference:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh_F0p8Jcrc

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What right does this insipid little worm varanasi have to demand honest debate from anyone? Time and again he has refused to provide links or collaboration for his outrageous bullshit, resorting instead to the absolute garbage that comprises 99.9% of his comments.
    A number of times now on this thread he has DEMANDED that other posters collaborate claims, when in fact the asshole has NEVER responded honestly for a request for sourcing, links, or collaborative media accounts.
    “so let me get this straight, poa, since day 1 of me posting on this blog you have accused me of being a hasbara agent, a fraud, a liar, and not the ethnicity/nationality that i say i am and i’m supposed to believe that you are a cabinet maker to the stars?”
    Varanasi, what does my accurate assessment of what a fraudulent little worm you are have to do with my own credibility?? And no, you little jackass, I am not “a cabinet maker to the stars”. Thats tabloid stupid talk. I do high end finish carpentry for people with money. That happens to include, occassionally, media celebrities. Not so much anymore, because of where I now reside. My last commission with a celebrity was Cher’s moroccan style house in Malibu that was on the bluffs over the colony. I did quite a bit of woodwork, some design work for the wrought iron exterior light fixtures, and designed the main interior balustrade.
    Currently,however my work consists mainly of people in the agri-business and oil field business, due to my choice to move to the Central California mountain region from the San Fernando Valley.
    If you really wanna know, the contractor on Cher’s place was the same outfit that did Versace’s place in Florida before he was murdered. Originally Cher had a local contractor building the place on a handshake, which is NEVER a good idea, particularly for a project that size. The deal soured, and she bvrought in this outfit from Florida. Thats not common knowledge. It also isn’t common knowledge that the gal running the show was Janet, and her accountant on the job ended up suing them, (not Cher, but the contractor), for sexual harrassment because he was quite gay, and they were constantly fucking with him with jokes and snide remarks. Thats also not common knowledge.
    I’m not trying to convince YOU of anything, varanasi. I’m just salting my post with enough information that the other readers here can draw their conclusions as to my honesty, although I imagine most of them have already done so, for better or for worse.
    But you, varanasi? You can go fuck yourself. You’ve shown me all I need to know, and you’re nothing. And with your weaselly wormy shallow ways, you’re always going to be nothing.
    Cheers.

    Reply

  89. Susan says:

    Palestinian doctor’s home shelled while he is live on air with an Israeli TV news. He was giving them an update via his cell phone. Three daughters were killed. The doctor worked at an Israeli hospital, and the TV news anchor got an ambulance to the border and the surviving injured daughter was taken to the Israeli hospital where her father worked.
    more info here, including the you tube of the TV station phone call with the doctor.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/16/145932/668
    Also, al Jazeera English filmed the press conference the next day, and two Israelis accused the doctor of having Hamas fighters shooting from his home. The doctor is a pacifist and he said: “They don’t want to know the truth.” No you tube of that press conference, so far.

    Reply

  90. varanasi says:

    thanks for the concern, paul, but no need to worry about me. things are going well. when i happen to be online, i pull this page up and try to follow the threads while doing other things. obviously, the few minutes a day i spend at TWN does not interfere with work or family. i assume that the same is true with you, even though you are more prolific poster than me.
    in regards to POA and the lack of meaning in our back and forth, i agree with you. but, if you can’t already tell, i’m a very stubborn person nd i have never suffered fools gladly. my father taught me when i was still a young boy not to back down from anyone and i won’t.
    and i will never let someone talk to me the way POA talks to me. in person or on this website. HE threw the first stone by calling me a “little pissant prick,” “sniveling idiot,” or one of his other epithets. not me. am i guilty of mirroring his tone and rhetoric? yes. but did i start this rock fight and introduce profanity and derision to TWN?
    absolutely not.

    Reply

  91. Paul Norheim says:

    “let’s be clear: i don’t have all day to sit around debating people
    on someone else’s blog. i’m sorry, but i have a family and more
    work than i can handle right now. i’m in the midst of a several
    intensive consulting projects and i’m travelling overseas twice this
    month.”
    So why are you spending all day exchanging insults, childish
    remarks, showing contempt for other people`s work etc. etc?
    You seem to be neglecting your family, consulting projects and
    travel planning. You are certainly not playing a meaningful or
    constructive role here at the moment.

    Reply

  92. varanasi says:

    save me the lecture, paul.
    calling me “varanazi” is the least of the profane insults that POA has offered, and you know that is true!
    simply put, he gets what he gives.

    Reply

  93. Paul Norheim says:

    Varanasi,
    the fact that POA several days called you varanazi doesn`t give
    you a carte blanche to screw up every thread by extremely
    insulting and dismissing personal remarks.
    You seem to believe that your contempt raises you above those
    you despise. In fact, that contempt is not based on a displayed
    dignity or substance from your side. You are the one
    systematically degrading yourself into the intellectual pariah cast
    here.

    Reply

  94. varanasi says:

    paraphrase – noun
    a rewording of something written or spoken by someone else
    paraphrase – verb
    express the meaning of the (writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using YOUR OWN WORDS.
    but, i will give you the benefit of the doubt arthur and ask you directly, do you think that “american zionist jews” were responsible for WWII??

    Reply

  95. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, you irritating little gnat, I have NEVER accused you of being Hasbara.
    But thats ok, we’ve already got a fairly accurate idea of your honesty level, so keep piling shit. Sooner or later there won’t be a single poster here that can fail to recognize the stench of a pathological liar and fool.

    Reply

  96. varanasi says:

    POA wrote:
    “The Jews caused WW11. Who said that, you disingenous lying little prick? ”
    i responded:
    arthurdecco at 12:27
    arthurdecco wrote:
    “No, you lying sack of shit, Edwin Black said it in his book “The Transfer Agreement”. I was simply paraphrasing the book in 20 words or less.”
    uh, arthur, perhaps you want to look up the meaning of the word paraphrasing…
    what a stellar crew here at TWN!!

    Reply

  97. varanasi says:

    POA wrote:
    “Oh, and by the way, reading your comments, the slang you use, and the kinds of insult, anyone would have to be a blithering idiot to buy into this story about you being an Indian.”
    so let me get this straight, poa, since day 1 of me posting on this blog you have accused me of being a hasbara agent, a fraud, a liar, and not the ethnicity/nationality that i say i am and i’m supposed to believe that you are a cabinet maker to the stars?
    uh, ok.

    Reply

  98. varanasi says:

    “In short, you insipid little no-count internet troll, I am now at the top of my trade. ”
    classic!!! this goes in the POA hall of fame!!!

    Reply

  99. arthurdecco says:

    “The Jews caused WW11. Who said that, you disingenous lying little prick? ”
    arthurdecco at 12:27
    “Without the behind the scenes arm-twisting of American Zionist Jews in collusion with Hitler’s Nazi Party in 1933, Hitler would have remained a footnote to modern history. There wouldn’t have been a Second World War. There wouldn’t have been any Dachaus or Stalingrads or Dresdens either.”
    No, you lying sack of shit, Edwin Black said it in his book “The Transfer Agreement”. I was simply paraphrasing the book in 20 words or less.
    What makes you idiots think you can lie so brazenly and get away with it?
    Read the book before you start jabbering at me, you over-educated simpleton.
    Go to your room.

    Reply

  100. Paul Norheim says:

    And since varanasi honestly have been far more disturbing than
    constructive lately, here is what I said yesterday, for your eyes
    to read, POA, and anybody else who cares:
    ———————
    “Posted by Paul Norheim Jan 16, 3:53AM – Link
    Someone on this thread said that “Chomsky called Israel a blood
    stained monster”, and added: “Apt”
    This triggered an idea in varanasi`s head, and he replied:
    “true. but can you name a modern nation-state that is not? i’m
    having a hard time coming up with one.”
    I wonder why he said that. Correction, I do not wonder; I know
    why he said it. He admitted, for the first time in these
    discussions after the attack on Gaza started, that Israel at the
    moment actually is “a blood stained monster”. But somehow, if
    no one could come up with names of modern nation-states that
    had not been a “blood stained monster” some time in their past,
    then this would justify the fact that Israel currently is a blood
    stained monster. Since countries like Japan and Germany had
    committed grave crimes in their past, that would somehow
    justify the crimes Israel are committing today. Since Holland,
    Belgium and Denmark have a colonial past, nobody can blame
    Israel for the undeniable fact that it currently is a blood stained
    monster.
    So he must have thought. Because who can blame someone for
    being a murderer, if everybody else are or were murderers.
    Unfortunately for varanasi, rich actually suggested a lot of
    modern nation-states lacking a blood-stained, monstrous past.
    Obviously, rich interpreted varanasi`s challenge as mentioning
    contemporary examples. But varanasi claimed that he had
    defined “modern” to include the last, say 200 or 300 years. This
    gave him the opportunity to ridicule some of rich`s examples,
    and to claim that rich was ignorant of the colonial past of
    countries like Denmark, Holland and Belgium.
    Reading rich`s post, it was clear that he had initially interpreted
    varanasis challenge differently then varanasi apparently had
    intended it. Still, rich offered plenty of names of modern nation-
    states with a relatively “clean” past. Varanasi must have realized
    that he had lost, that he could not argue that history somehow
    justified the fact that Israel currently is a blood stained monster.
    But varanasi did not want to admit that. So he used the initial
    misunderstanding to further ridicule rich, calling him a fool,
    accusing him of being ignorant of history, and even teasing
    POA, in the hope that POA should react and insult him, thus
    make us ignore that he had lost the argument. And then insults
    were exchanged back and forth, as usual…
    If you ask me, history does not justify the current crimes
    committed by Israel. What Israel is doing against the
    Palestinians – the blockade, the starving, the systematic
    establishment of settlements on Palestinian soil, robbing them
    for hope, stealing their homes, denying them work, medicine,
    bombing them – is simply morally wrong, regardless of history.
    Among the countries rich mentioned as “relatively clean” was my
    own country, Norway. This does not mean that Norwegians are
    or were very good people (the documented history of the
    Vikings in pre-modern times suggest the opposite), but is due
    to several circumstances, among them a small population on a
    relatively large areal, an egalitarian society etc. etc.
    I got the idea of bringing in new elements into the discussion,
    but not directly related to varanasis suggestion. Thus I
    compared Israel to several African countries, especially with
    regards to the difficult transition from guerilla fighter to
    politician, from a nation at war to a nation at peace with its
    neighbors, as well as its former rivals within the country. Some
    of the African nation states were born ca 10-20 years after the
    establishment of Israel.
    I have no idea why, but these reflexions somehow resulted in a
    rather grumpy reaction from rich, accusing me of an “appalling
    moral relativism” and several other things. He did not refer to
    specific statements in my post, and I am still clueless as to what
    he meant. So be it.
    And the whole “debate” ended with rich throwing in a handful of
    new names of `clean” nation-states, to which varanasi replied:
    “never heard of ’em. never visited ’em. never cared” – as if it was
    not himself who had suggested that someone should try to
    bring up such examples, and that he couldn`t care less about
    the whole debate that he just lost.
    And then, as an afterthought, he writes:
    “i hate to say it, but i feel like i’m arguing here with a mentally
    challenged 13 year-old.
    i’m actually embarrassed to have been engaged with the likes
    of rich and POA for the last week or so.
    it certainly doesn’t speak highly of me. i definitely have more
    productive things to do. clearly their ramblings are ridiculous.”
    The quote speaks for itself.
    And if anybody should feel “embarrassed” through the
    discussion on this particular thread, it has to be us, for having
    “been engaged with the likes of” varanasi.
    It certainly doesn`t speak highly of us.”

    Reply

  101. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Consulting”, indeed. Right.
    Gads, varanasi, do you think you’re talking to a bunch of idiots?

    Reply

  102. Paul Norheim says:

    Never mind, POA, I have visited Ninas blog before, and I liked
    what I saw and read, but you reminded me of taking a new and
    closer look.

    Reply

  103. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You know, varanasi, I rarely do this, but for whatever reason, your comment about “pounding nails” finally got to me.
    Varanasi, I do high end finish carpentry, furniture grade cabinetry, and occassionally, fine furniture.
    The body of my work, beginning in my teens when I apprenticed with a west coast master furniture maker, is in Cher’s house, Spielberg’s, Barbi Benton’s, Hefner’s, Albert Lee’s, Dennis Conners’, William Cowles III, the Merle Norman Museum, and a host of other names, institutions, and entities that don’t have a habit of contracting with wood butchers, or, as you put it, “nail pounders”.
    In short, you insipid little no-count internet troll, I am now at the top of my trade. I can ply my trade anywhere I please, and when the economy goes to shit, I’ve still got work, because of my rep, my talents, and the economic class of people that desire my work.
    So, whatever. You can believe me, or not. I really don’t give a shit. But, varanasi, this constant infantile assault on me because I am in the trades says far more about YOU than it does about me. It reveals you as a petty vindictive shallow little prick.
    So keep it up, worm.
    Oh, and by the way, reading your comments, the slang you use, and the kinds of insult, anyone would have to be a blithering idiot to buy into this story about you being an Indian.
    And Paul, Nina has in the past had a regular visitor to her blog that is from Norway, according to her “FEEDJIT” feature. We just assumed it was you, because of the links I have posted here to her artwork blog. Sorry if we assumed wrong.

    Reply

  104. Paul Norheim says:

    “Thats a bit more than simply mis-applying the word “debate”.
    You INVENTED a whole scenario that simply NEVER HAPPENED.”
    You forgot what I said after that: “POA, understandably, threw in
    a lot of links to prove the simple fact that the Mossad agents
    actually danced on that roof.” That was my description of your
    role: providing links to prove that the Mossad agents was not a
    conspiracy, but a fact, referred to by several credible sources.
    And POA did so UNDERSTANDABLY.
    I had no intention to portrait you negatively here, and if you
    read it that way, I cant help it. Now will you read the post where
    I offered my opinion re. varanasi yesterday (linked to above)
    before you assume more here, or do you intend to misinterpret
    my words and intentions into absurdities?
    And BTW, I can assure you that normally I love your comments.
    But once in a while I get irritated, even really pissed off. But
    usually I`m a fan of your posts. That`s a fact, whatever you
    think.
    Now, you go and read my varanasi comment from yesterday!

    Reply

  105. varanasi says:

    poa: paul is right. he’s taken me to task several times. however, unlike you, i respect his opinions and world view.
    since i am usually offering a minority opinion around here, people seem to get really bent, directing myriad questions towards me and taking me to task for not answering.
    let’s be clear: i don’t have all day to sit around debating people on someone else’s blog. i’m sorry, but i have a family and more work than i can handle right now. i’m in the midst of a several intensive consulting projects and i’m travelling overseas twice this month.
    just to be clear, these are comment threads and i treat them as such. if i choose not to engage in some ridiculous debate about the inanity of POA’s “5 laughing israelis” theory, it’s not because he has me stumped, but rather because i don’t deem the subject worthy of discussion or the writer worthy of a response.
    cheers.

    Reply

  106. Paul Norheim says:

    BTW, Nina tells me her regular Norwegian visitor hasn’t visited
    her blog lately. I hope that you aren’t transposing your irritation
    with me into neglecting to treat yourself to her artwork and
    unusual and eclectic blog content.
    WHAT?

    Reply

  107. Paul Norheim says:

    Varanasi,
    you`re getting less substantial and more ad hominem for every
    hour passing. There was once a commenter here who called
    herself Ironbelle… Since then, I can`t remember anyone at TWN
    being so intent on disrupting the discussions by mean personal
    attacks and infantile remarks.

    Reply

  108. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul, what you said was “he and POA got entangled into a debate about 9/11 and the dancing Mossad agents”.
    Thats a bit more than simply mis-applying the word “debate”. You INVENTED a whole scenario that simply NEVER HAPPENED. Maybe a little introspection is in order, you might wanna look into why you would feel the need to do such a thing.
    Look, heres the deal Paul. One of these days you MIGHT just wise up to how you encourage these jackasses like varanasi. Then, when you begin to get a clue, you try to soft-shoe your own role in unleashing their nonsense on these threads.
    BTW, Nina tells me her regular Norwegian visitor hasn’t visited her blog lately. I hope that you aren’t transposing your irritation with me into neglecting to treat yourself to her artwork and unusual and eclectic blog content.

    Reply

  109. Paul Norheim says:

    Excuse me, POA, but I`m getting tired by your countless accusations of me being so naive
    and getting hoodwinked etc. etc. I know what I`m doing.
    “I woulda sworn you were smarter than this.” Yeah, you say that every time you claim that
    I`ve been “hoodwinked” by some of your opponents. If I`m getting more and more stupid in
    your eyes for every time you claim that I`ve been hoodwinked, I either must have just one
    remaining brain cell in my head now, or you must have regarded me as Einstein a year ago.
    But of course it´s just an empty rhetorical trick and rude manners from your side.
    Did you ignore my post against varanasi yesterday – the 4th last on the thread?
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/01/bushs_legacy/#comments
    Hoodwinked?

    Reply

  110. varanasi says:

    POA: the gift that keeps on giving!
    i’ve got to honestly say, i get a real laugh out of watching him swat at flies. i wonder if he’s this passionate and charged up in real life or if his online persona and incessant posting and bullying at TWN is an outlet for a meek fellow who is deeply disappointed and frustrated with his lowly station in life.
    in his own words, he carries on here in the hopes that political personalities and policymakers pay attention to him. that’s just… sad. he is so sure of his brilliant geopolitical insight, yet he pounds nails for a living. he’s a self professed expert on the ME, yet he’s never once been there. he screams ad infinitum about inequality and the harsh treatment of others, yet he acts like a brutal dictator, spewing hatred at at everyone he disagrees with.
    i wonder about his family. clearly he is unmarried – what woman would be attracted to his negative energy? clearly he is frustrated and miserable. clearly this website plays a HUGE (probably unhealthy) role in his life.
    anyway, carry on, poa
    your slimey prick asshole hasbara dissembling little pissant fraud interlocutor,
    varanasi

    Reply

  111. Paul Norheim says:

    I agree that “debate” was not the correct word, as varanasi
    basically was challenging people, and ridiculing them when they
    responded.
    But claiming that he has me “hoodwinked” is nonsense. Calm
    down, please.

    Reply

  112. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “btw, there’s a dead tree in my backyard that i’d like removed. that is your area of expertise, right?”
    Actually, I heat my home with wood. I prefer to cut my own firewood.
    That is somehow fodder for insult, you shallow little gutless prick?

    Reply

  113. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “When Varanasi challenged his opponents, he and POA got entangled into a debate about 9/11 and the dancing Mossad agents”
    What debate? Are you daft?
    Show me where varanasi “debated” about 9/11 or the dancing Israelis.
    There has been no “debate”.
    This slimey little prick varanasi held the dancing Israeli story up as a “conspiracy theory”, and after it was demonstrated that it was an actual event that occurred, and was widely reported at the time by a number of news sources, including Haaretz and the Jeruselum Post, he refused to discuss it further, admit his “mistake”, or even try to buttress his own assertion. That jackass has really has you hood-winked, Paul. I woulda sworn you were smarter than this. Or, if not “smarter” at least more astute. I’m not ready to accuse you of purposely misrepresenting, but I’m getting close, man.
    Stop giving the dissembling little pissant credit where none is due, Paul.

    Reply

  114. questions says:

    Oh dear! I am not one to run away from complexities EVER! But the set of complexities I’m interested in is not “who caused 9/11” but rather how in heaven’s name do we get the COMPLEX(!!) set of desires, fantasies, calculations, and interests to align for peace rather than for war.
    Neither Hamas nor Israel seems able to move towards extrication because both depend on the warring for their sense of self — a really horrific situation for anyone stuck there.
    Hamas is a local hero in Gaza for its provision of social services and for its standing up for fighting back. Hamas may also be seen by many as causing problems even as it solves others. Can Hamas function as a provider without the heated rhetoric? Would Israel allow Hamas to preserve the rhetoric? What kinds of changes can Hamas make and still maintain electoral support? And maybe even gain Israeli support?
    All these questions must be asked about the Israeli political system as well. The incursion into/war upon/ war crimes committed against Gaza is very popular in Israel. How much change in rhetoric and action can Israeli political parties undergo and still maintain political viability? If Israel went all mushy/granola, would Hamas cooperate or decide that NOW is the best moment of attack?
    Both sides play these kinds of guessing games, looking for small and medium advantages over the other. What needs to happen, clearly, is that the calculus must be altered at some significant level. If Hamas sees a granola advantage, granola it will become. Likely, though, it won’t. Intolerance and heated rhetoric tend to garner more political support than granola does. So Hamas is rhetorically trapped and cannot make a first step.
    Similarly, Israel is trapped by its rhetoric and parliamentary system. If it extends an honest hand to Hamas, but Hamas is unable to reciprocate because of its own structures, then the Israeli party offering the hand gets whacked. Politicians don’t like being whacked, they like winning elections and will go along to get along.
    They are at a standstill on both sides. The current truce will likely do what all these pause moments do. Everyone just gets ready for the next round, the next set of elections, prior beliefs intact.
    I am not familiar enough with Israeli society to know what to suggest in terms of changing attitudes. Sometimes it seems that lefty Israel has some power, but this round of the war seems popular across the board. When Steve called for gay marriage, I remember posting that cultural change happens slowly as the old guard dies off and younger people are exposed to the basic humanity of humans. Could film and drama and exchange programs make a difference? This is all the supersoftgranola power stuff. I have no idea if it could work. And meanwhile Gazans die from lack of food and water and medical care. Sometimes cultural change really is too slow.

    Reply

  115. Paul Norheim says:

    I sense a certain irony on this thread.
    Here we have Questions, an American Jew who in the past have
    reacted against what he perceived as biased anti-Israel attacks
    and reductionism, often related to the Israel-US connections. He
    have chosen a moniker that fits his approach: few definite
    conclusions, lots of questions, founded in a belief that the world
    is a very complex phenomenon.
    And then we have POA, who is far from stupid, but who often
    choose a simplistic approach to problems, well aware that they
    may be more complex, but recognizing that a simplistic
    approach is more effective, and being sick of all the BS and talk,
    he acts sort of like a mixture of a zen monk and a bully,
    attacking and ridiculing anyone who dare to display a more
    complex set of ideas or mindset.
    When Varanasi challenged his opponents, he and POA got
    entangled into a debate about 9/11 and the dancing Mossad
    agents. POA, understandably, threw in a lot of links to prove the
    simple fact that the Mossad agents actually danced on that roof.
    Then Cee and Outraged American got involved as well.
    And Questions? He responded in a manner atypical for him, but
    very sensible, given the context: the war in Gaza and the cease
    fire. He said:
    “Nevermind the conspiracy stuff…..
    Most likely the facts are that yes, indeed, Israel’s behavior is the
    stuff of war crimes. They are using inexcusable tactics on
    civilians, they are limiting medical access, press access, food
    and water. As it says in Heart of Darkness, “The horror, the
    horror.” We have seen the heart of darkness, and for now, it’s in
    Gaza and in the heart’s of Israeli soldiers.”
    And this is the heart of the matter right now, isn`t it? This is
    what is on topic? The 9/11 stuff is important and interesting,
    but given the complexities of the facts and lack of facts re 9/11
    and the interpretations of the facts, a discussion worthy
    anything would require a megamonster thread the size of a
    Dostojewski novel – a monstrous distraction from the real issue
    here.
    Questions says: forget that right now. Israel committed war
    crimes. That`s the issue. On this thread, 9/11 is a distraction.
    TWN`s biggest advocate for complex thinking says: “Occam’s
    Razor reminds us to take the simplest explanation rather than
    adding epi-cycles. Let’s leave out the epi-cycles, they don’t
    help. There’s enough REALITY that’s bad without adding
    speculation that’s unproven.”
    But most of the critics against the Israeli bombing don`t want
    to discuss that, and while POA has a brake from commenting,
    they insist on continuing with the Mossad people dancing and
    singing, the first sentence in a potential Dostojewskij novel. THE
    BIG DISTRACTION. And Questions get entangled into the
    complexities…
    This time I agree with both POA and Questions: hey folks, stick
    to the simple stuff! There will be plenty of new threads at TWN
    suitable for interpreting and explaining the 9/11 event.

    Reply

  116. questions says:

    Cee,
    It depends on what “document the event” means, doesn’t it? It’s not clear in this video, and I’m not sure I’ve seen anything about it.
    One could speculate thus: Bush’s daily briefing that contained the phrase “Bin Laden determined to strike in the US” is pretty suggestive that there was prior evidence that SOMEthing was going to happen. Maybe there was more evidence that Bush covered up because HE wanted the attack to happen. Or maybe Cheney wanted it and so suppressed evidence. Maybe Mossad tried desperately to warn the US that this was coming and maybe they even had the flight numbers, times and locations of all the planes. Maybe the US failed to listen because the US was the one gunning for the war. Maybe they just didn’t mind at all that destroying the financial capital of the US would cause problems. After all, Halliburton and Bush/Saudi family and Erik Prince (sp?/the Blackwater guy) and Bush re-election and Republican ascendancy all resulted…..Maybe Cheney has a foot fetish and was psyched to have us all walk barefoot through security at airports (snark warning). Maybe (snark attack) Ashcroft had bought stock in a company that makes mini-toothpaste tubes….
    The fact is, you can tell coherent, if totally false, narratives given any set of data points. I don’t have the truth any more than you or POA or anyone else here. But I can tell as good a story as anybody. Keep stories separate from truth. That, OA, is what critical thinking is about.

    Reply

  117. varanasi says:

    OA:
    no offense, but your posts are becoming increasingly melodramatic. forgive me for not answering every question you pose and engaging you in an ongoing dialogue, but we all have to pick and choose what we do with our time, and you just don’t make the cut. sorry.
    but, do you really believe that “Because of one horrible day, 9/11/01, we (the u.s.) lost everything that matters”?? i’d argue that this is completely hyperbolic and totally untrue.
    further, you go on to write that,
    “We (america) deserve what we will get. A fascist, bankrupt state, and our children used as foot soldiers for Israel and the military/ industrial complexes never ending wars.”
    why no compassion for the multitudes of your countrymen who have no influence on policymaking? is all your compassion and sympathy reserved for the palestinians and their elected leaders? and finally, are you prepared to say that Hamas has greater moral authority than the united states of america?!?!
    we all know that bush/cheney and many of their sycophants were failures of the highest magnitude, but american history did not begin in 2000.
    as an indian national, grateful for the opportunities that your country and taxpayers have given me, i completely disagree with your assessment of the united states of america.

    Reply

  118. questions says:

    OA,
    We did not lose our Bill of Rights or anything else BECAUSE OF 9/11.
    What we’ve lost, we have lost because of our RESPONSE to 9/11. Our response is not the event itself. Please, in your best critical thinking mode, keep these distinctions clear.
    Be clear also that Clinton engaged in extraordinary rendition, some wiretapping, a certain amount of bombing and the like. There’s nothing new under the sun.
    9/11 was perhaps less a watershed moment and more an excuse to make public and larger what had been private and smaller. A difference in degree, not kind.
    Again, I take for granted all international espionage. Critical thinking should make you see that when you have nation states in contention for allies, resources, advantage over one another, you’ll get spying. (Corporations spy on each other, as do middle schoolers….)
    Remember that you can, in your best critical thinkingish way, create conspiracy theories about 9/11 with lots of footnotes. The Saudi family members who left on planes on the 12th or so, even though all flights had been ground-stopped – remember that one? There is “evidence” that the Bush admin is the guilty party. So why not one with Mossad in the mix? Filming the building doesn’t necessarily mean what the narrative above suggests — that they KNEW/CAUSED the event. Many readings are possible.
    In the end, what we have control of is always and only our own response to events. We didn’t control ourselves well, and many have suffered. Read some Epictetus and do some critical thinking. The “Handbook” is short, beautiful, and wise.

    Reply

  119. WigWag says:

    “Nobody knows your true feelings or character, but I have to admit that I have no problems understanding the surprise and outrage directed at you, when the only feeling you have chosen
    to express during and after the carnage is a sense of triumph. Reading what you are saying, I share that surprise and outrage.”
    Okay.
    “your polemics against Levy, Kervick…”
    They weren’t polemics. They were just comments.

    Reply

  120. varanasi says:

    paul norheim wrote:
    “would you say that Walt and Mearsheimers theories are above that (protocols) tradition?”
    clearly, walt and mearsheimers theories are not akin to the scree included in the “Protocols.” i disagree with their much of their thesis and underlying assumptions, but i would not have studied with someone i felt was a bigot.
    sorry for the delay in this response, paul, but i’m very bust aside from my occasional posts on TWN.
    i simply don’t have the time to monitor these threads.
    cheers

    Reply

  121. Paul Norheim says:

    “No one is cheering at civilian deaths.”
    As you know very well, WigWag, at TWN we relate to texts,
    whether we want to or not. And we also relate to the context of
    texts. The rest is speculation and suspicion.
    I just quoted you above, approvingly: “The only intelligent thing
    to do here is to critique what others say, not what kinds of
    people they are.”
    But many people have been surprised and outraged by your
    recent LOL`s, the triumphant tone of some of your comments
    related to the current outcome of the war, and how you often
    seem to see the drama as if it was a back ground film to the
    real scene: your polemics against Kervick, Levy, and others at
    TWN and beyond; as if the real horror, losses and victories just
    provided raw material for petty polemics in the blogosphere.
    Nobody knows your true feelings or character, but I have to
    admit that I have no problems understanding the surprise and
    outrage directed at you, when the only feeling you have chosen
    to express during and after the carnage is a sense of triumph.
    Reading what you are saying, I share that surprise and outrage.

    Reply

  122. Outraged American says:

    We lost our Bill of Rights because of 9/11. That matters. We
    launched endless war against this nebulous enemy called
    “Terror” That matters.
    We might kill endless amounts of people in this “War on Terror”
    while further eroding every single value that America supposedly
    once stood for. That matters.
    Seriously, is critical thinking taught in the U.S. anymore?
    Le Monde and Jane’s Defense (which is one of the oldest
    publications devoted to military issues around: IIRC it started as
    “Jane’s Fighting Ships” back in the early 1800s) both tracked the
    Israeli spies following the alleged 9/11 attackers.
    Both publications are extremely well-respected.
    Because of one horrible day, 9/11/01, we lost everything that
    matters, and yet we are not supposed to analyze that day, and
    the rather odd series of “coincidences” surrounding it?
    Rather, we’re supposed to slaughter people around the world
    who are Muslims and anyone else who stands in US Rael’s way,
    lose our rights to free speech, habeas corpus, etc.
    And never question the event that our government used as an
    excuse to do this? Even when the Project for the New American
    Century (the Cheney/ Perle/ Wolfowitz/ Zakheim/ You name the
    Israel Firster and or Military Industrial complex link here) eerily
    predicted 9/11 almost exactly one year before it happened?
    We deserve what we will get. A fascist, bankrupt state, and our
    children used as foot soldiers for Israel and the military/
    industrial complexes never ending wars.
    I have to go tend to my rose garden. Luckily, I have very low
    blood pressure, otherwise it would shooting through the roof
    over some of the stupidity and outright lies posted here.
    BTW: Questions, you seem like a good person, please do some
    critical thinking because it’s your kids next to go fight if this
    “War on Terror” continues.

    Reply

  123. Cee says:

    Questions,
    Prior knowledge does matter. This YouTube clip shows the dancing deported Israelis saying they came here from Israel to document the event.
    Did they recieve a Odigo warning that morning and took a Concorde or were they already in place?
    Did Daniel Lewin know?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OyUoGUV7b8

    Reply

  124. WigWag says:

    “Civilian deaths are nothing to cheer, even for the most pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian being on the planet.”
    No one is cheering at civilian deaths; they are tragic and the suffering in Gaza is terrible. But I agree with President Abbas who said that “every drop of blood spilt in Gaza was because of Hamas.” That also seems to be what alot of other Arabs think as well, including the Egyptians, the Saudis and the Jordanians. I’ll take there word about the real culprit in all of this over the word of Hamas, the Iranians, the Syrians or the South Lebanese, any day. And certainly they are in a better position to know the truth than a few over-stimulated readers at the Washington Note.
    As for Noam Chomsky; Professor Chomsky should stick to linguistics. His theory of “universal grammar” which he invented (and has recently partially abandoned)is quite innovative and brilliant. As a political commentator he’s more like the left’s version of Bill O’Reilly.

    Reply

  125. DonS says:

    Wigwag: “Those French, German and British leftists must be down right livid ”
    Shorter Wigwag: leftists aren’t in favor of steps to end Israeli carnage; they favor greater apolcalyse because it makes Israel look bad.
    Pathetically cynical. Whose surprised that your every word on Israel can’t be trusted.
    The real objection is not from the “western” left, but from the radical Islamists. Thanks Israel for the next wave of terror.

    Reply

  126. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions, thanks for your last post.

    Reply

  127. questions says:

    WigWag,
    Just because Israel might end up on the supported side of this mess, and just because Hamas’s rockets are seen as destabilizing and European powers are siding with Israel on the smuggling doesn’t really mean that Israel is a humanitarian hero.
    Civilian deaths are nothing to cheer, even for the most pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian being on the planet.
    What works strategically may not be moral, and for some reason, morality still matters to me despite the state of the world.
    Power might feel good for us wimpy types, but I’ve actually made peace with my own inner wimp. And I don’t think I feel better about bombed kids, bombed houses, bombed utilities, bombed anything. And I especially don’t feel great about how a completely immiserated people is going to rebuild after this mess. Sure shows them not to vote for the most emotionally compelling political party — the one that provides social services, an identity strong enough to help deal with deep poverty, that fights the oppressor power.
    Kos, maybe, or Huff Po, has an recent interview with Chomsky on Israel’s colonialism and US identification with Israel as based on similar national stories. (Taking over land from natives, that is.) It’s a piece to think on, as is everything that David Bromwich writes for Huff Po. He’s a good interpreter of texts.

    Reply

  128. Paul Norheim says:

    In his cease fire speech Olmert thanked Bush and Rice for their
    support during crucial times. Even more embarrassing for
    America.

    Reply

  129. questions says:

    OA,
    There are footnotes in pieces “proving” that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq…. Footnotes don’t prove things, actually. They note sources. Sources don’t prove things either. They indicate things. And, again, I don’t really care if a)there were no planes, b)the US government did it c)the Bush/Saudi connection is implicated d)the zionists did it e)you did it f)explosives were planted around both towers because buildings don’t just collapse g)Giuliani did it so that he could run for president (some of these conspiracy theories I’ve seen around, some I have just invented on the spur of the moment feeling of snark)….
    Who knows if a true narrative can be constructed from the white vans full of dancing Israeli Mossad agents who worked for a “moving” company but really were filming a KNOWN IN ADVANCE DISASTER and had bombs bombs bombs and faked calls to 911 (get it) about bombs and vans in other tunnels…. Occam’s Razor, please?
    It happened. We responded in a foolish way — one which was supported by lots of footnotes — and now we are where we are.
    So what do we do about the specific situation in Gaza right now?
    And remember, a steep rise in unemployment can lead to a “good day for Wall Street.” Doesn’t mean Wall Street CAUSED the joblessness, just means investors benefit from misery. So if Israel benefits from 9/11, what of it? (Already made this basic point above, sorry to repeat….)
    Keep causation and correlation separate and not equal, keep narratives simple, respond to what matters and not what doesn’t matter, don’t broaden the search to include EVERYthing. We don’t need a unified field theory of politics, we need a specific response to a specific historical event.

    Reply

  130. WigWag says:

    Remember all that talk of world outrage about Israel’s invasion of Gaza? Well here are Israel’s chickens coming home to roost.
    The British Navy will be patrolling the Mediterranean to prevent arms smuggling from Iran to Gaza. And the French and the Germans will be helping too. Those French, German and British leftists must be down right livid (and appalled at their own emasculation).
    Here’s the citation from the Associated Press:
    UK Prime Minister Brown offers to send Royal Navy to help fight Gaza smuggling
    “British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Saturday that Britain had offered naval resources that could be used to help prevent arms smuggling into Gaza as part of an arrangement to end the fighting there.
    Brown told reporters that France and Germany had made similar offers in a bid to curtail the bloodshed.
    In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office released a statement indicating that she, Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have sent letters to Israeli and Egyptian leaders expressing a willingness to take a series of concrete measures to combat arms smuggling.
    She said they all expressed support for the efforts of the Israeli and Egyptian governments to reach a lasting cease-fire in Gaza.
    European diplomats are part of a global push to calm the situation in Gaza, where more than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed since an Israeli offensive began in late December.
    The Israelis said they were trying to prevent Hamas-led militants from firing rockets at civilian targets inside Israel.
    The prime minister spoke as the Israeli Cabinet was nearing a vote on whether to declare a unilateral cease-fire in the battle.” (Last update – 21:50 17/01/2009, the Associated Press)

    Reply

  131. Outraged American says:

    Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, former, and perhaps future, Prime
    Minister of Israel, remarked on the DAY of 9/11/01 that it was,
    “…a good day for Israel.”
    Bibi Netanyahu was the one that Perle, Feith and the Wurmsers
    co-wrote their blue print for Israel’s hegemony of the Middle
    East “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.”
    This is the blue print that has been turned into action, with,
    currently, the Palestinians paying the price in blood and the U.S.
    just paying. The Iraqis are still paying in blood.
    Let’s not waste our time on Wig Wag and Varanasi. Rather, let’s
    attempt to change the minds of our fellow country people. Let’s
    post links that, if we spread them, can inform Americans about
    the true nature of the Israel lobby and the havoc it’s wreaked.
    That will greatly help turn the American public against a war on
    Iran/Lebanon/ Syria/ any country that Israel choses to target
    next.
    Questions, the article that POA posted was FOOTNOTED. That
    would mean that “credible” new organizations reported on the
    “dancing Israelis” and it didn’t come out of POA’s head or the
    person who wrote the original piece.
    Also the New York Times is hardly credible. An example? Judith
    Miller’s “reporting” of phantom WMDs in the run-up to the
    invasion of Iraq. Tom Friedman. Bill Kristol.
    If you want to help the Palestinians in Gaza you can do it
    through the U.N. It has a special fund set-up:
    http://www.un.org/unrwa/

    Reply

  132. Paul Norheim says:

    Attempts at character assassinations may or may not hurt the
    feelings of the target, but basically their only effect is to
    entertain readers less interested in the issues, and more in the
    fight.
    Arthurdecco may “wager” (as he writes on a thread below) as to
    whether WigWag`s face get a red taint or not, while she write
    the sentence: “The only intelligent thing to do here is to critique
    what others say, not what kinds of people they are”, but he
    can`t go beyond wagering.
    WigWag has written countless of comments that deserve a
    critique, just like varanasi recently. But as we have seen,
    varanasi has enthusiastically responded to almost every single
    attempt of character assassinations, while he avoids most
    attempts of on topic critique. This should make some people
    rethink their tactics. Nothing is easier than exchanging insults,
    and varanasi is eager to participate in the enterprise. And this
    results in most of the debates degenerating into infantile
    entertainment with a moral pretext.
    I have no idea whether WigWag blushed or not while she wrote
    it, but I envy her for being capable of writing a sentence so
    precise and truthful as the one quoted, and it deserves to be
    repeated: “The only intelligent thing to do here is to critique
    what others say, not what kinds of people they are.”
    It should have been the motto of the comment section at TWN.

    Reply

  133. questions says:

    POA, note that I wrote “But probably not” right after the Clinton snark. It was marked as snark, not as a claim.
    What am I denying about the dancing Israelis story? I’m denying that it matters. I’d guess that many danced and many more mourned. And if Israel thought 9/11 worked to their advantage, perhaps it did. It also seems to have worked to the advantage of a lot of war profiteers, people gunning for fights, and mediocre members of Congress and the administration who got to keep their jobs a while longer. 9/11 was milked by many for all it was worth and then some. Academics made their careers, a new cabinet department was created, someone somewhere is richer after selling 3 oz. travel bottles for shampoo….. And a lot of people’s lives were destroyed and a lot of pain entered the world. It’s what we do next that matters, not what a van full of dancing Israeli Mossad agents may have done on Sept 11, 2001.
    I suppose I’m lying, though I can’t see a single false claim in what I’ve written. You could disagree with the conclusion I suppose, but try to stay away from “liar.”
    (By the way, it’s “undue influence” not undo.)

    Reply

  134. questions says:

    POA, a bit of satire, not a sneaky reference. I am not an “Israeli Firster”, nor am I anywhere near where, say, Carroll seems to be on the USA for “USA Americans” (to quote some hapless beauty queen much commented on via YouTube.) I have granola wishes coupled with a realization that plenty of people don’t; that irrationality and miscalculations pervade international relations; that individual actors can be misinformed, insane, or plain stupid; that entire nations can be misled by propaganda, national fantasy, or desire for wealth and control. And if all of these things go wrong at once, we get a pretty good picture of the world around 9/11.
    What I would prefer is to limit the set of concerns to a few immediate issues. Right now, it seems that Israel’s clear commission of war crimes currently underway in Gaza is THE issue. Mossad’s spying I don’t care about. I assume every country spies on all other countries as much as budgeting allows. That’s what an international system does. We probably monitor Canada, too. If some Mossad guys were happy at the thought of the 9/11 towers, well gee. I’m not particularly shocked that one people’s pain is another people’s pleasure. That’s part of the international system, and likely part of human nature.
    Oh, and OA (as opposed to POA), nothing I read at the time of Bush’s speech (lefty news magazine material) supported Bush. Not at all conspiracy theory. Bad government propaganda coupled with wishful thinking on the part of some neocons in power coupled with Cheney’s deep deep deep paranoia and fear of death, coupled with some moneyed interests…led to that speech.
    And POA, why do you call everyone “lying” whatevers? Why is it the case that no one could believe what they post? Maybe you could try to take the views at face value and argue with VIEWS not with perceived people. Supporting Israel is indeed a position that many people take. Try to figure out why and argue with that position. You’ll get further in life by dealing with structured arguments than you do by handing out insults.
    I don’t knowingly lie, troll, deceive, sneak things in or the like. Occasionally I get a bit snarky, for sure. Bits of satire come out, especially with regard to conspiracy theories. But in general, I’m sincere in my postings. And I would guess that WigWag and Varansi and Sweetness (long time absent) and Paul Norheim… are equally sincere. Passion is fine, but passion coupled with argument is effective.

    Reply

  135. Paul Norheim says:

    Looks like varanasi can`t wait responding to posters harassing
    him, but has a habit of avoiding relevant questions asked in a
    more polite tone.

    Reply

  136. Paul Norheim says:

    Varanasi,
    you said above that you studied under Stephen Walt. I`m
    curious. Would you say that “The Israel Lobby”, by him and John
    Mearsheimer, is similar to “much of the jewish/zionist
    conspiracy BS” you claim to see posted here, and that you claim
    have the “Protocols” as the “reference point” – or would you say
    that Walt and Mearsheimers theories are above that tradition?
    I ask, because as I see it, the “Protocols” are a reference only to
    very few people, mostly non regulars on this blog, while the
    majority of Israeli critics at TWN actually have Walt and
    Mearsheimers book as one of their main reference points, and
    NOT the “Protocols”.
    And that makes all the difference in the world, in my book. “The
    Israel Lobby” is a *political* critique of the relationship between
    Israel and the US (that you may agree or disagree with), while
    the “Protocols” is one of the main reference points of modern
    anti-Semitism.
    Too me it seems like you (just like WigWag recently in a debate
    about European anti-Semtism) intentionally blur the line
    between anti-Semitism and legitimate political critique.
    I look forward to your reply.

    Reply

  137. varanasi says:

    POA wrote:
    “The Jews caused WW11. Who said that, you disingenous lying little prick? ”
    arthurdecco at 12:27
    “Without the behind the scenes arm-twisting of American Zionist Jews in collusion with Hitler’s Nazi Party in 1933, Hitler would have remained a footnote to modern history. There wouldn’t have been a Second World War. There wouldn’t have been any Dachaus or Stalingrads or Dresdens either.”

    Reply

  138. varanasi says:

    POA wrote:
    “So tell us, you slimey dissembling little pissant fraud,”
    “by these assholes like yourself”
    “you slobbering zionists ”
    thanks for the kind words, POA!
    btw, there’s a dead tree in my backyard that i’d like removed. that is your area of expertise, right? you’re welcome to the firewood.

    Reply

  139. varanasi says:

    OA wrote:
    “I don’t mean to be rude but I do think that Varanasi is a fraud. He or she can’t punctuate to save his or her life, and certainly can’t construct a cogent argument, much less a sentence, yet
    claims to have been taught by some of the greatest minds in existence.”
    what. is wrong, with, my punctuation; OA?
    and get. with/the program’ i’ve already admitted that i’m fake. i’m an agent. of. the, hasbara: being paid. by,,my zionist handlers in Hummus.
    and i claim to have been taught by “some of the greatest minds in existence?”
    on this point i must disagree. trust me, this is not the case. i have been largely underwhelmed by the scholarship and teaching ability of most of my professors, with a few major exceptions.
    but, what’s your experience been at community college?

    Reply

  140. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Varanasi, I suspect you’ve fooled far fewer people than you assume.
    Its interesting, varanasi, that on this thread you cannopt seem to define the “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS” that you accuse the comment section of being riddled with.
    There are two main avenues of discuission that are usually dismissed as “conspiracy theory” by these assholes like yourself. First, that Israel actively works against the best interests of the United States. Yet, when faced with irrefutable evidence of actual hostile intent, false flag attempts to spend American blood and treasure treasure on Israel’s insanely antagonistic nature towards its neighbors, you have no comment. The Liberty comes to mind, as does incident after incident of Israeli agents committing espionage against the United States. Once again, you disingenuous and fraudulent little prick, I’ll ask you about the dancing Israelis story. What exactly are you denying?
    But more often than not, the so called “jewish/zionist conspiracy theories” that you slobbering zionists seek to rebut is the assertion that AIPAC and other Jewish lobby groups, as well as the Israeli leadership, have an undo and powerful influence on American foreign policies. Seeing as how you are bragging about just such an influence in your prior post, it seems you cannot use that as one of your examples of “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS”.
    So tell us, you slimey dissembling little pissant fraud, what, specifically,are you referring to when you cite this imagined “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS”??
    And Questions, the “dancy Israelis is NOT a conspiracy theory. Its a fact. Slick, the way you snuck that in. Gazds yopu people are despicxable in the lengths you will gop to to0 discard the truth. And it is the epitomy of ignorance to thinbk that honestly examining Israels VERY REAL AND DOCUMENTED incidents of espionage against the United States “is not helpful”. Maybe its not helpful to you lying disingenuous slimey decietful Israel Firsters, but is is sure as hell helpful to the increasing numbers of Americans that are beginning to see Israel as the parasitic drain on American resources and reputation that it has far too long been.
    Notwe now this asshole varanasi is citing examples NO ONE HERE HAS ADVANCED.
    The Jews caused WW11. Who said that, you disingenous lying little prick?
    Who here has claimed “the jews are responsible for 9/11??”
    Who here has denied the holocaust?
    Who here has claimed Clinton was Mossad, as questions brings up, to muddy the waters?
    None of these are premises that you see advanced here. The above WRH article was only cited because it contained the links to the actual news accounts of the “dancing Israelis”.
    Note how questions slips in the ‘ol “unproven” canard in the same paragraph that he cites the dancing Israelis? So, uh Questions, I’ll ask you, what are you denying about the dancing Israelis story?
    So, this jackass varanasi, and apparently Questions, in order to support varanasi’s claim, actually INVENT the so called “BS” that he claims exists on these threads. And that is somehow honest?

    Reply

  141. Outraged American says:

    Israel’s advocates WERE NOT ASHAMED that Olmert swayed U.S.
    Middle East policy, they were just angry that Olmert boasted it
    about it, thus unveiling that Israel is the U.S.’ puppet master.
    See, Olmert, via his boasting and his refusal to backdown on his
    boast, even after the U.S. State Department said he was basically
    lying, let the leopard out of the bag. It is now on the record,
    from an Israeli Prime Minister himself, that Israel controls U.S.
    Middle East policy.
    Honestly Varanasi, how much is the Israeli government paying
    you?
    Why don’t you reply to the proof that arthurdecco and I
    presented that Zionist Jews collaborated with the Nazis to
    transfer Jews from Germany to Palestine?
    I don’t mean to be rude but I do think that Varanasi is a fraud.
    He or she can’t punctuate to save his or her life, and certainly
    can’t construct a cogent argument, much less a sentence, yet
    claims to have been taught by some of the greatest minds in
    existence.
    Wig Wag and Varanasi are wasting our time. Time that would be
    better spent actively working for real change, not Obama/ Rahm
    Emanuel’s “change.”
    And Questions, the greatest conspiracy theory of this century
    was George W. Bush’s statement in the 2003 State of the Union
    Address was that Iraq had WMD.
    Honestly, we now know that the Gulf of Tonkin was a fake event,
    that the Lusitania was carrying weapons AND that the British had
    broken the German U-boat code, that the Maine was not caused
    by Spain, that the U.S. had broken the Japanese code before
    Pearl Harbor, and yet so many Americans believe anything that
    our or the Israeli government feeds us.

    Reply

  142. questions says:

    Nevermind the conspiracy stuff…..
    Most likely the facts are that yes, indeed, Israel’s behavior is the stuff of war crimes. They are using inexcusable tactics on civilians, they are limiting medical access, press access, food and water. As it says in Heart of Darkness, “The horror, the horror.” We have seen the heart of darkness, and for now, it’s in Gaza and in the heart’s of Israeli soldiers.
    The Israelis have both no reason and no desire to try to trust Hamas. Hamas has no reason and no desire to trust Israel. If the roles were reversed, they’d likely be doing the same stuff on the other side.
    Calling people trolls, alter egos, and the like doesn’t help anything, as usual. Trying to figure out some way to get all the parties to recalculate their interests is way more significant. If Israel becomes a pariah state (See Naomi Klein’s call for sanctions), then clearly Israel’s calculations of its interests will change. If Hamas can be given some reasonable incentive, not a kooky one, then perhaps its calculations will change.
    Conspiracy theories about how George Bush ended up president (also Mossad — big presence in Florida, I hear!), about dancing Israelis and the like don’t help the situation. It seems that there’s enough scholarship at this point to suggest that 19 guys, mostly Saudis, took flight lessons w/o landing lessons and then crashed planes. Did Mossad recruit Saudis? Oy vey. The Clinton White House had long fingered Bin Laden as a problem. Maybe Clinton worked for Mossad, and maybe Mossad is the one organization NOT listed as a donor to the Clinton foundation — because in fact it’s the only donor…. But, probably not. Occam’s Razor reminds us to take the simplest explanation rather than adding epi-cycles. Let’s leave out the epi-cycles, they don’t help. There’s enough REALITY that’s bad without adding speculation that’s unproven.

    Reply

  143. varanasi says:

    arthurdecco:
    thanks for the link to “the transfer agreement.” i have not read the book, but i just put it on my list. edwin black is a good historian. i read his book “IBM and the Holocaust.”
    but, after a cursory examination of the abstract of “the transfer agreement” it’s not clear to me that this is an indictment of jews or zionists and i CERTAINLY wouldn’t characterize this extortionist relationship the way rich does as the “Jews working with Eichman and the nazis. basically, the nazis were holding germany’s jews hostage and fellow jews paid a ransom to free them to palestine. not that there was anywhere else for them to flee – europe was a hotbed of anti-semitism and was about to go up in flames and the u.s. had severe quotas on jewish immigration.
    further, it seems like quite a leap mr. decco to proclaim that without this episode of zionists rescuing and resettling 50,000 german jews, that hitler would have remained an historical footnote, that there would have not been a WW II or stalin!!!
    this is a uber-sensational claim that surely would not pass muster in the world of serious academic scholarship.
    actually, it sounds to me more like another example of “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS.” 😉
    just to recap, jews are responsibe for 9-11, WWII, the holocaust (but i’m sure someone else here will deny its existence and the 1/3 of world jewry that perished in it), and stalin.
    nice.

    Reply

  144. varanasi says:

    poa wrote:
    “This varanasi troll oozes dishonesty, disingenuousness, and deceit with his every post. Whats more, he does it with the exact style of puntuation, phrasing, slangs, slurs, failure to capitalize, argument lines and tactics as three or four prior “visitors” here. The exact duplication of both argument, insult, and style cannot possibly be be coincidence.”
    you’re getting punked, people. This varanasi jackass is as fake as three dollar bill, is completely and utterly dishonest and disingenuous, and is making idiots out of a good many of you.”
    oh, poa. how many times do i have to tell you that i AM a hasbara agent sent to TWN to upset your apple cart?! you’re right i’m “punking” all of you (but, aren’t you too old to be watching MTV?).
    i really impressed by your sleuthing. looking at grammar and syntax of past posts? outing imposters? trying to protect TWN from dissenting opinion? wow. i guess the construction biz has slowed down a bit, huh? don’t you have some more firewood to chop?
    a little hint to you poa: stick to manual labor and conspiracy theories. you’re immenently suited for both. but, intellectual debate? not so much.

    Reply

  145. varanasi says:

    OA wrote:
    “Will Varanasi respond to actual proof that Israel’s advocates are not ashamed that Olmert swayed U.S. Middle East policy, but only upset that Olmert boasted about controlling U.S. policy, thus proving to one and all that Israel controls U.S. ME policy?”
    Countdown to Varanasi / Wig Wag actually rebutting a fact: 5,4,3,2,1…NEVER!!!
    OA: you make no sense. why would i rebut the obvious? why should israel’s advocates be ashamed that the P.M. allegedly “swayed u.s. ME policy? that’s the name of the game of international relations, junior.

    Reply

  146. arthurdecco says:

    “The Times is playing its role right on cue.” Dan Kervick
    It’s a dog-eared script they’re reading from, Dan. May even be missing its cover and a couple of pages…but I’m sure most of the principals have been playing their roles long enough to confidently perform from memory when necessary.
    Too bad about the audience getting killed, though.
    “i find it impossible to believe that “jews worked with nazis to transfer jews to palestine.” can you prove it?” varanasi
    We don’t have to prove it. It’s already been proven and published. It was written by a well respected Jewish historian and writer, Edwin Black, and published by Carroll and Graf.
    The whole sordid story is in his book, “The Transfer Agreement”. Without the behind the scenes arm-twisting of American Zionist Jews in collusion with Hitler’s Nazi Party in 1933, Hitler would have remained a footnote to modern history. There wouldn’t have been a Second World War. There wouldn’t have been any Dachaus or Stalingrads or Dresdens either.
    Amazing, Even horrifying. But true, nevertheless.
    link: http://www.transferagreement.com/

    Reply

  147. rich says:

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/17-5
    “The Palestinians say: “This is a war of extermination.” They describe bombs which break into 16 parts, each part splintering into 116 fragments, the white phosphorus which water cannot put out; which seems to die and then flares up again.
    No one I spoke to has any doubt that the Israelis are committing war crimes. According to the medics here, to reports from doctors inside the Gaza Strip and to Palestinian eye-witnesses, more than 95% of the dead and injured are civilians. Many more will probably be found when the siege is lifted and the rubble is cleared. The doctors speak of a disproportionate number of head injuries – specifically of shrapnel lodged in the brain.
    They also speak of the extensive burns of white phosphorus. These injuries are, as they put it, ‘incompatible with life’. They are also receiving large numbers of amputees. This is because the damage done to the bone by explosive bullets is so extensive that the only way the doctors in Gaza can save lives is by amputating.
    One of the nurses said to me that the nurses and paramedics were horrified by what they were seeing. “We deal with cases all the time,” she said. “But what we’re seeing these days we’ve never seen before or imagined.”
    Upstairs a professor of economics, accompanying his brother, sees me staring at my notes and says: “Exaggerate. Whatever you write will not be as bad as the truth.”
    In the silence that followed someone put a mobile in my hand.
    “Look!” On a rubble-strewn street lay the body of a roasted and charred child. Two bones were sticking out where her thighs had been. “The dogs ate her legs,” he explains. For a moment I put a hand over my eyes. The phone goes round the table, each man gravely contemplating the burned child on the screen. Then someone asks: “What will it take to make the Israelis stop?”

    Reply

  148. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Reading Wigwag’s posting of these last couple of days has instilled a new level of revulsion I feel towards him.
    His callousness towards the attrocities committed on a civilian population these last three weeks is disgusting, and can only be the sentiment of a bigot of epic proportion.
    Wigwags unwavering, incessant, and and despicable defense of the indefensible is monstrous and sociopathic. He has exposed himself as a truly detestable human being.

    Reply

  149. rich says:

    Uri Avnery, Israeli journalist:
    “The Hamas movement won the majority of the votes in the eminently democratic elections that took place in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. It won because the Palestinians had come to the conclusion that Fatah’s peaceful approach had gained precisely nothing from Israel – neither a freeze of the settlements, nor release of the prisoners, nor any significant steps toward ending the occupation and creating the Palestinian state. Hamas is deeply rooted in the population – not only as a resistance movement fighting the foreign occupier, like the Irgun and the Stern Group in the past – but also as a political and religious body that provides social, educational and medical services.
    From the point of view of the population, the Hamas fighters are not a foreign body, but the sons of every family in the Strip and the other Palestinian regions. They do not “hide behind the population”, the population views them as their only defenders.
    Therefore, the whole operation is based on erroneous assumptions. Turning life into living hell does not cause the population to rise up against Hamas, but on the contrary, it unites behind Hamas and reinforces its determination not to surrender. The population of Leningrad did not rise up against Stalin, any more than the Londoners rose up against Churchill.
    He who gives the order for such a war with such methods in a densely populated area knows that it will cause dreadful slaughter of civilians.
    Apparently that did not touch him. Or he believed that “they will change their ways” and “it will sear their consciousness”, so that in future they will not dare to resist Israel.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery01122009.html

    Reply

  150. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see varanasi has once again been unable to extract his foot from his mouth. On a number of fronts he makes claims or queries, and when recieving credible rebuttals or answers, ignores them.
    He denies the “dancing Israelis” story of 9/11, despite the fact it was widely reported at the time from AP, Fox News, ABC news, and Haaretz.
    Is this the only example he can give of this myth he has created as to the “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS” he claims to exist on these comment threads at TWN?
    Norhiem has made a point of clouding the relevence of “honesty” in the comment section of this blog. He approaches it as if dishonst commentary is merely a difference in perception, that those who seem less than honest have, from those of us that do seek the truth and try to convey truth and honesty in our comments and debate.
    I strongly disagree. This varanasi troll oozes dishonesty, disingenuousness, and deceit with his every post. Whats more, he does it with the exact style of puntuation, phrasing, slangs, slurs, failure to capitalize, argument lines and tactics as three or four prior “visitors” here. The exact duplication of both argument, insult, and style cannot possibly be be coincidence.
    If one reads every thread that that this varanasi troll has engaged himself on, one sees a pattern of unfounded claims, and a complete failure to provide any sort of collaboration or sourcing to assertions he claims to be fact. One also finds a steady effort on his part to twist, ridicule, and exagerate the arguments or assertions of other posters when he is asked for foundational collaboratiuon of his purposely misleading and outrageous assertions.
    It amazes me that so many of you, who have posted here long term, repeatedly fall prey to this troll’s deceptions and charades. The naivete of of some of you is awe inspiring.
    Of course, as usual, Wigwag and this new “personna” will cast my post as “paranoid”, and unrealistically conspiratorial.
    Same oh, same oh. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. But you’re getting punked, people. This varanasi jackass is as fake as three dollar bill, is completely and utterly dishonest and disingenuous, and is making idiots out of a good many of you.

    Reply

  151. Outraged American says:

    Here’s the link to The Forward article Cee quotes. Will Varanasi
    respond to actual proof that Israel’s advocates are not ashamed
    that Olmert swayed U.S. Middle East policy, but only upset that
    Olmert boasted about controlling U.S. policy, thus proving to one
    and all that Israel controls U.S. ME policy?
    Countdown to Varanasi / Wig Wag actually rebutting a fact:
    5,4,3,2,1…NEVER!!!
    Olmert’s Boast of ‘Shaming’ Rice Provokes Diplomatic Furor
    ‘The Mistake Was To Talk About It In Public,’ One Critic Says
    http://www.forward.com/articles/14957/
    In other news, in the run-up to the truce vote, Israel bombs
    another U.N. school in which refugees had taken shelter.
    This kind of reminds me of what Israel did in the last 72 hours
    of her last assault on Lebanon — dropped an S-load of cluster
    bombs (payed for by us) in hopes of maiming generations of
    Lebanese children.
    Here’s a horrifying account coming from an Egyptian hospital
    taking Gaza casualties — from all I’ve read and heard Israel is
    testing new weapons on the Palestinians.
    Dogs are eating the corpses that ambulances can’t get to,
    makes me rethink how much I love dogs, but I guess those dogs
    are as hungry as the rest of the survivors in Gaza.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/17/gaza-israel-
    palestine

    Reply

  152. WigWag says:

    “Hamas had said it would enter into an extended cease-fire in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal and opening of the border crossings. Israel has rejected this approach previously, since they believe negotiating such a deal gives legitimacy to Hamas.”
    The “deal” Hamas offered was that the borders be opened with Hamas police at the border crossings. This would have facilitated the flow of weapons and ammunition into Gaza so it was rejected not only by the Israelis but also by the Egyptians and the Europeans (who refused to participate in a monitoring campaign with Hamas).
    The “deal” that Hamas has apparently acquiesced to (or more accurately surrendered to) places Palestinian Authority monitors at the border with the Europeans. This dramatically impedes the ability of Hamas to smuggle in weapons; it reduces their political influence and it humiliates them by placing PA Authority inspectors at a border that they fought to control. It represents a terrible defeat for Hamas and they know it; that’s why Meshal sitting in Syria objects to this provision so vociferously.
    “Israel’s position was that Hamas must agree to stop the rocket attacks *before* it would withdraw, and that the smuggling along the Egyptian border must also be halted *before* Israel would end its operations. Israel is now unilaterally stopping, with no prior agreements from Hamas whatsoever. Hamas might continue to fire rockets until Israel completes its withdrawal.”
    The point is that the rockets attacks will stop; and they will stop in a manner far more beneficial to the Israelis than the extension of the original cease fire would have been. The rocket attacks will stop because Hamas has far fewer rockets than they did before the Israelis attacked. They will stop because Hamas will have a far more difficult time smuggling them in. Most importantly for a durable end to the rocket fire is that the missile launches will stop because the Gazans will no longer tolerate them. If Hamas (or Islamic Jihad) launches rockets they won’t have to worry about the Israelis deposing them; the Gazans themselves will destroy Hamas for inspiring another round of devastating Israeli attacks. The Israelis have succeeded in deterring Hamas and this is far more powerful than a mere extension of the original cease fire would have been.
    “Israel appears to have gone into this business with the multiple aims of closing down all the smuggling tunnels, forcing Hamas to stop the rocket attacks, dislodging Hamas from power and isolating them from the Gazan people, ad re-installing the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. If they now stop the attack now, it will be widely seen as a failure to achieve their war aims. But they have little choice but to stop. Having publicly humiliated Rice and the US State Department earlier this week, US support is hanging by a tether.”
    It looks like the Israelis, with the help of the Egyptians, Europeans, Americans and NATO will make substantial progress in impeding the flow of arms (most of which originate in Iran) into Gaza. This is a major achievement. The goal of the invasion was never to reinstall the PA in Gaza (although some Israelis may have hoped for this). Dan Kervick’s suggestion that US support is hanging by a tether is too laughable to even respond to. As for the attack being widely seen as a failure; Israel’s critics can keep telling themselves that if it makes them feel better; but the Israelis don’t believe it; Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority don’t believe it. Hezbollah and Iran don’t believe it. Most importantly, Hamas doesn’t believe it.
    “Yes, only the future will show whether this war produces effects more favorable to one side or the other. But so far it looks like Hamas and Gaza have withstood a brutal pounding, but with Hamas left standing, while Israel’s reputation has taken an even more savage pounding.”
    The only place where the Israeli reputation has taken a “savage pounding” is in all the places that don’t matter. The Arab Street, to the extent it really exists, isn’t happy; but the Arab Street couldn’t be less relevant. The European Press and European leftists aren’t happy; but the democratically elected governments in Europe mostly took an even-handed approach to the conflict (France) or sided with the Israelis (Germany, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Baltic States). Some were hardly heard from at all (Gordon Brown and Great Britain). The only European governments that were blatantly opposed to the Israeli action were Spain, Ireland, Norway, Cyprus and that great bastion of peace and prosperity, Greece.
    The Israelis emerge from the conflict with the rockets stopped; less smuggling; an open border manned by the PA and Europe, a militarily degraded Hamas, a message sent to Iran, an increasingly deterred Hezbollah and the gratitude (secret though it may be) of its most important Sunni Arab neighbors.
    I think Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni are sleeping very well tonight. As for the Hamas leaders, most of them are sleeping forever.

    Reply

  153. Paul Norheim says:

    “It reinforces what the rivals of Israel say about the enormous
    clout Israel has in Washington, and I see nothing wrong with
    that.”
    But Bloomfield added, “It is a mistake to talk about it.””
    And if you commit the mistake of talking about it, and criticize
    that, AIPAC and Bloomfield will be the among the first to label
    you an anti-Semite. And that`s the problem.

    Reply

  154. Cee says:

    Biting the hand that feeds you.
    Olmert’s Boast of ‘Shaming’ Rice Provokes Diplomatic Furor
    ‘The Mistake Was To Talk About It In Public,’ One Critic Says
    By Nathan Guttman
    Thu. Jan 15, 2009
    Washington — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert didn’t do anything wrong — but he should have kept his mouth shut.
    That was the reaction of several Jewish leaders to Olmert’s public boast January 11. He said he left Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “shamed” by getting President Bush to block her at the last moment from voting for a Gaza cease-fire resolution that she herself had hammered out over several days with Arab and European diplomats at the United Nations.
    Olmert bragged of having pulled Bush off a stage during a speech when he called on the phone and demanded the president’s intervention. Administration officials, however, have sharply challenged Olmert’s account.
    “I have no problem with what Olmert did,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “I think the mistake was to talk about it in public.
    Douglas Bloomfield, a former chief lobbyist for the Washington-based pro-Israel lobby the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, dismissed the episode as “a spitting match between two lame ducks.”
    “This reinforces the perception that the Israeli prime minister and Israeli leaders have easy access to the leaders of the U.S.,” Bloomfield said. “It is a fact that the Israeli prime minister can get the president on the phone. Not every prime minister in the world can do that. It is no secret that Israel tried to influence the U.S. regarding U.N. votes. It reinforces what the rivals of Israel say about the enormous clout Israel has in Washington, and I see nothing wrong with that.”
    But Bloomfield added, “It is a mistake to talk about it.”

    Reply

  155. rich says:

    DonS, “salient enough”?
    How does one dismiss “Bomb a Ghetto, Raise a Cheer,” sung by Israeli, American and/or Israeli-American citizens? Nothing gets more salient than that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo
    The celebratory, gleeful impulse, exploited by American and Israeli politicians alike, is common among Isreael’s right-wing, orthodox, and settler groups. The self-righteousness is on continual display. Continual. Worse, of course, is the banality of those whose thought process start and finish with the assumption that ‘it had to be done’, as though bombing civilians is like cleaning the kitchen. The normality is a devastating indictment.
    The celebration doesn’t stop with the deaths of Palestinian civilians. Glee, self-congratulation and open celebration at the death of Jewish-Israeli citizens is standard behavior in some quarters.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article586206.ece
    Settlers celebrate tenth anniversary of Rabin murder
    November 4, 2005
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/911946.html
    Rightists to launch campaign to free Rabin assassin Yigal Amir — Haaretz
    “A time for peace, a time for reconciliation -it’s about time to release Yigal Amir.”
    You see, assassins of courageous peacemaking statesmen deserve forgiveness. Compromise and reconciliation is for other people to agree with rightwingers, and basically just give in to whatever Israel’s most radical factions dictate.

    Reply

  156. Outraged American says:

    Here’s an article describing a study done by Israeli general
    Shlomo Brom (ret.) that links false Israeli intelligence to claims
    that Iraq had WMD. What fake intelligence is Israel cooking up
    for Iran?
    I’ll just quote Brom’s report (please note that Israel was behind
    the claims that Saddam transferred WMD to Syria –“Clean
    Break” anyone?:
    “In the questioning of the picture painted by coalition
    intelligence, the third party in this intelligence failure, Israel, has
    remained in the shadows,”
    and
    “Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented
    by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq’s non-
    conventional capabilities.
    “A critical question to be answered is whether governmental
    bodies falsely manipulated the intelligence information in order
    to gain support for their decision to go to war in Iraq.”
    Israel linked to Iraq intelligence failure, general says
    http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-
    bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?
    path=/articles/2003/12/05/1070351789502.html
    (the original article was in the Washington Post)
    Brom was a retired Israeli Brigadier General and former deputy
    commander of the Israeli military’s planning division. Brom did
    the study for the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv
    University in late 2003.

    Reply

  157. rich says:

    DonS, “salient enough”?
    How does one dismiss “Bomb a Ghetto, Raise a Cheer,” sung by Israeli, American and/or Israeli-American citizens? Nothing gets more salient than that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo
    The celebratory, gleeful impulse, exploited by American and Israeli politicians alike, is common among Isreael’s right-wing, orthodox, and settler groups. The self-righteousness is on continual display. Continual. Worse, of course, is the banality of those whose thought process start and finish with the assumption that ‘it had to be done’, as though bombing civilians is like cleaning the kitchen. The normality is a devastating indictment.
    The celebration doesn’t stop with the deaths of Palestinian civilians. Glee, self-congratulation and open celebration at the death of Jewish-Israeli citizens is standard behavior in some quarters.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article586206.ece
    Settlers celebrate tenth anniversary of Rabin murder
    November 4, 2005
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/911946.html
    Rightists to launch campaign to free Rabin assassin Yigal Amir — Haaretz
    “A time for peace, a time for reconciliation -it’s about time to release Yigal Amir.”
    You see, assassins of courageous peacemaking statesmen deserve forgiveness. Compromise and reconciliation is for other people to agree with rightwingers, and give in mmjj
    http://www.counterpunch.org/doron1.html Rosenblum recounts the agenda the jubiliation and dancing celebrates and is designed to carry out:
    “Shir Lashalom” (“Song of Peace”) replaced by cries of “Israel demands war!” at the rally of settlers and their supporters. At Rabin Square, of all places, the settlers, of all people, came to dance on the grave of hope for peace and blow the shrill trumpet of war.
    “And yet the general message, and the closing of the circle, were unmistakable. The settlers for years have done whatever they could to obstruct territorial compromise, the settlers fought tooth and nail against all initiatives for peace or separation, the settlers waged an incitement campaign against the only prime minister who opposed them and was murdered by one of their supporters in this very square.
    “And these are the people now jubilantly sounding the bugle and calling the nation to war. They’re the ones who are pushing for escalation and rallying the “Jewish people” around them. They’re the ones, who after supplying some of the pretexts for war, and more than a few reasons to keep it going, have now taken it upon themselves to dictate its goals and dimensions.
    “Secular Zionism has got it all wrong. We’re going to build a Temple on the Temple Mount, and the mosque will be torn down,” a settler told Ha’aretz correspondent Daniel Ben Simon in September 2001). … the settlers have commandeered the national agenda, sabotaging normalization efforts for 30 years and now openly embracing the greatest of anomalies–kindling and escalating war.”
    Now, that strain of triumphalism, jubilation, self-righteous and willful blindness has long been openly performed, widely reported, comprehensively documented and confrontationally exhibited as both a message and a tactic. There is no denial of the specific and general salience.

    Reply

  158. Paul Norheim says:

    Varanasi,
    you said above that you studied under Stephen Walt. I`m
    curious. Would you say that “The Israel Lobby”, by him and John
    Mearsheimer, is similar to “much of the jewish/zionist
    conspiracy BS” you claim to see posted here, and that you claim
    have the “Protocols” as the “reference point” – or would you say
    that Walt and Mearsheimers theories are above that tradition?
    I ask, because as I see it, the “Protocols” are a reference only to
    very few people, mostly non regulars on this blog, while the
    majority of Israeli critics at TWN actually have Walt and
    Mearsheimers book as one of their main reference points, and
    NOT the “Protocols”.
    And that makes all the difference in the world, in my book. “The
    Israel Lobby” is a *political* critique of the relationship between
    Israel and the US (that you may agree or disagree with), while
    the “Protocols” is one of the main reference points of modern
    anti-Semitism.
    Too me it seems like you (just like WigWag recently in a debate
    about European anti-Semtism) intentionally blur the line
    between anti-Semitism and legitimate political critique.
    I look forward to your answer.

    Reply

  159. Cee says:

    The Israeli army said troops fired on Aboul Aish’s house because a sniper had fired on soldiers from the building.
    Rich,
    Do they ever stop lying? They are shameless.
    I don’t know if anyone posted any information on the Israeli celebrating this attack.
    I turned away from the televison when they showed the bombing of Iraq.
    Sick people. They remind me of the crowds who used to celebrate lynching.
    Gaza Border: Israelis Cheering the Attacks
    By Aaron J. Klein / Kibbutz Nir-Am Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008
    The clear skies have also afforded ordinary Israeli citizens a chance to watch the onslaught — and applaud. At noon Sunday two Israeli Apache combat helicopters hovered in the air two miles east of Sderot, an Israeli town less than four miles from the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip. Below the choppers, a dozen Israeli spectators perched on a hilltop watched with anticipation. A minute went by and the first Apache fired a Hellfire missile, which went rumbling into the Palestinian side of the border. A few seconds later the crowd broke into cheers at the resulting sight: somewhere between the Jibalya refugee camp and the outskirts of Gaza city a ball of heavy black smoke was rising.

    Reply

  160. Outraged American says:

    Geez,Varanasi, you went to great schools and studied with great
    minds and you can’t construct an argument to save your life.
    I noticed that (at least as far as I read down the thread) you
    hadn’t responded to my proof that Jeremy Ben-Ami, one of the
    founders of the pro-Israel lobby J Street, talks openly about his
    father negotiating with Eichmann to transfer Jews from Germany
    to Palestine.
    I provided the links to the articles from Ben Ami, articles that HE
    HIMSELF WROTE.
    The fact that you ignore hard evidence if it doesn’t support your
    worldview means that you’re a waste of time.
    And Wig Wag, seriously, give Megaphone a rest — you are so
    transparently echoing Israel’s hasbara (propaganda).
    Maybe emigrate to Israel. IMO all Jews who support Israel (and
    Christian Zionists too) should emigrate there, otherwise they’re
    hypocrites.
    Or are you too chicken to fight Hamas “terrorists” (i.e., old
    people and children) with your own hands? Be assured that you
    will have the best American weapons at your disposal — you
    know, the ones so accurate they “mistakenly” hit things like UN
    headquarters/ food warehouses, hospitals, ambulances, UN
    schools sheltering refugees, international press…
    Here’s a website of photos from Gaza. WARNING: they show
    Israel’s “just war” i.e., genocide, in full gory detail.
    I was especially affected by the picture of two dead toddlers side
    by side. One’s body was charred, the other was covered with
    dust. I would guess by the length of their hair that they were
    little girls. Israel and her whores in the U.S. congress and public
    have no shame)
    http://youngfoxredux.blogspot.com/2009/01/take-walk-
    through-gaza.html

    Reply

  161. DonS says:

    varanasi, while you are berating Rich for not providing salient examples enough, unless I missed it, you did not reply to the call for you to give examples to justify your statement to me that “i reference “Protocols” because that is the reference point for much of the jewish/zionist conspiracy BS that i see posted in these threads.”
    Perhaps you were using the phrase “jewish/zionist conspiracy” loosely, but it has an undertone, as you imply, that smacks of anti-Semitism. The me, and the role of Israel in the equation plays a big part of what get’s vigorously discussed on this site. The host is very interested in the dynamics as are commenters.
    “Anti-Semitism” has always been a safe and useful charge to throw around because, quite successfully in general currency, it has served to both stifle debate, and inoculate against question. Invocation of WWII ‘guilt’ is often involved. That hardly exists hear, and apparent true anti-Semites are quickly exposed and challenged.
    We need to get beyond the idea of Israeli excepitonalism and treatment by American media, government and common wisdom if the US is to be removed as a stumbling block to any chance for ME peace.
    Israeli-centrists, Israeli firsters, dual nationals, and the lot are free to hawk their wares; they will not receive a free pass here and, hopefully sooner than later, in general.

    Reply

  162. Bob h says:

    America is now ushering out the self-destructively stupid and incompetent representatives of the worst of America. Israel is still managed by its own mediocre equivalents of Bush, et. al.
    The seeming Israeli fascination with “shock and awe” in Gaza just gives those people with an inclination to hate them reason for doing so.

    Reply

  163. ... says:

    dan kervick – i agree with your summary and view.. it is difficult to understand why israel is being so blatantly stupid in all this other then to think they are hoping to do to the palestinians, what hitler did to them, except in a more drawn out way whereby the world’s apathy continues while they continue with their pr campaign that runs directly in conflict with reality.. they can’t win and they are doing things here to ensure much worse…

    Reply

  164. rich says:

    Song, dance, cheering–sounds like a celebration to me. Courtesy Max Blumenthal.
    “Bomb a Ghetto, Raise a Cheer”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo
    Suddenly your vision is sharp, varanasi, when it’s so muddied at distinguishing between Hamas, and Gazan civilians; etc. You had trouble differentiating the apocryphal fairytale of your enemy’s ‘celebrations’, but have the temerity to fingerpoint rather than behave like an adult.
    The celebration is real–which you denied–and it goes on in Israel as well as New York. I have no doubt there were plenty of Israeli citizens in that video–and it hardly matters if there weren’t. The harm is the same. The support for Israel is the same. The sentiment is the same. The callousness is the same.
    And attitudes of equal banality are persistent and widespread in Israel.
    After all, if Israeli settlers will celebrate the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, there’ll be no hesitation about a few dead Palestinians. It’s not as though we don’t have TV varanasi. The clips of Israeli children happily painting religious greetings on bombs is rather telling. They’re taught to do that. It’s not something that occurs to a 5-year-old.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article586206.ece
    November 4, 2005
    Settlers celebrate tenth anniversary of Rabin murder
    From Stephen Farrell in Tapuakh
    FAR BELOW the jagged Samarian boulders and winding scar of the West Bank razor fence, secular Tel Aviv lies just out of sight and in another world.
    It was there ten years ago today that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a Jewish religious fanatic enraged at the Israeli Prime Minister’s decision to sign the historic Oslo peace accord with the Palestinians.
    From today, many will gather to mourn the Nobel laureate, who is widely regarded as a martyr to peace. But not here.
    In the hills of the occupied West Bank, the ultra-religious settlers of Tapuakh celebrate the assassin and voice contempt for Rabin. “Of course he deserved it,” Koby, a 19-year-old, American-born settler, said. “He was a traitor.”
    It is a minority view, but not a unique one. In one poll last week, nearly 20 per cent of Israel’s population said that Yigal Amir should be pardoned.
    Disturbingly for Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister, 83 per cent believe that there are more Amirs waiting to strike, particularly after the pullout from Gaza that infuriated ultranationalists who believe it is Jewish by divine right. The bus stops around Tapuakh bear slogans warning: “Sharon, Rabin is waiting,” and extremist rabbis recently invoked a mystical death curse against Mr Sharon known as the pulsa denura (whip of fire).”
    I’m just amused. The record is plain. The attitude is unmistakable. There is no shame for the embrace of death, of killing, not only of the innocent, but of the peacemakers. Some Israels want war. Some embrace it, and say it’s the dead guy’s fault. Par for the course. But, unmistakable.

    Reply

  165. varanasi says:

    “I cannot tell the difference between your (israel’s) leaders and those of Nazi Germany!”
    well than nouschi is a moron and so are you for posting this tripe.

    Reply

  166. varanasi says:

    btw, these demonstrators are also NOT israeli!
    substantiate your claim, rich.
    “Plenty of Israelis have celebrated these actions”
    some might take to calling you a liar.

    Reply

  167. varanasi says:

    “If you think it’s an isolated incident, you’re mistaken”
    clearly this IS an isolated event involving a very small but vocal minority. BUT these people are NOT celebrating the death of innocent children, like the doctor’s family you reference above. these warmongers are demonstrating support for action against HAMAS – the sworn mortal enemy of israel!
    there is a HUGE difference, rich. shame on you for trying to conflate the issues. your bias sure looks like bigotry.

    Reply

  168. rich says:

    varanasi @ 1:16AM
    I did not write that. (but then you know that)
    “André Nouschi, 86, former combatant of the Free French Forces, historian, [and Jewish] wrote to the Israeli Ambassador to France.
    Nouschi fought Hitler from 1938 to 1945, so if anyone can honestly, accurately and honorably write:
    “I [Nouschi] cannot tell the difference between your leaders and those of Nazi Germany!”,
    Nouschi can. He saw Hitler’s methods first-hand. We all know those memories never fade in the minds and hearts of the survivors.

    Reply

  169. rich says:

    Song, dance, cheering–sounds like a celebration to me. Courtesy Max Blumenthal.
    “Bomb a Ghetto, Raise a Cheer”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo
    This video’s all over the internet–and it’s a chilling indictment. If you think it’s an isolated incident, you’re mistaken. Taken together with the lies routinely deployed to slur Palestinians, varanasi (also by you, which you’ve never retracted) — the onus is on you to prove any of the charges leveled. The ‘celebrating jihadis’ is as apocryphal as the fairytale about firing from schools and using human shields; simply not true.
    Oh, btw–Tom Friedman is back endorsing terrorism again in a remarkably fact-free column:
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3679
    As Juan Cole points out, Friedman committed a war crime to do it:
    “Uh, calling for or endorsing war crimes is itself a war crime, and some people were tried for that sort of thing after WW II.”

    Reply

  170. varanasi says:

    “I cannot tell the difference between your (israel’s) leaders and those of Nazi Germany!”
    then you are beyond the realm of reason. if you believe this you are an utter fool, rich.

    Reply

  171. varanasi says:

    rich wrote:
    “Plenty of Israelis have celebrated these actions”
    substantiate this claim now or admit your bigotry.

    Reply

  172. rich says:

    It’s hardly me, varanasi—the plate tectonics of world opinion are undergoing an enormous shift.
    You’ll note that IDF soldiers, Israeli civilians, Holocaust survivors and their children, veterans of the French Resistance, and many Jewish Americans, many of whom I’ve cited, concur with my observations. Avraham Burg, MJ Rosenberg, Norman Finkelstein.
    Here’s one more:
    André Nouschi, 86, former combattant of the Free French Forces, historian, [and Jewish] wrote to the Israeli Ambassador to France:
    (translation mine)
    Tuesday the 13th, January 2009
    Mr Ambassador,
    For you it’s shabat, it should be a day of peace but it’s one of war. For me, and for a few years already, colonisation and the theft of Palestinian land by Israel is exasperating. I’m therefore writing to you as a French citizen, as a Jew and as someone who worked for the agreement between the Univerity of Nice and that of Haiffa …
    It is not possible anymore to remain silent with respect to the Israeli policy of assassination and imperialist expansionism. You are behaving exactly like Hitler behaved in Europe with Austria and Czechoslovakia.
    You are in contempt of UN resolutions like he of those the SDN and you are assassinating women and children; do not invoke terrorism, the Intifada. This is a direct result of ILLEGAL and ILLEGITIMATE colonisation. IT IS THEFT. You are behaving like land thieves and you are turning your back to the rules of jewish morality.
    Shame on you! Shame on Israel! You are digging your grave without realizing it. Because you are condamned to live with Palestinians and the Arab states. If you’re lacking this political ingenuity, then you are unfit to be in politics and your leaders should retire. A country that assassinates Rabin and glorifies his assassin is a country without moral and without honor.
    May the heavens and your God kill Sharon the assassin. You were defeated in Lebanon in 2006. You will be defeated again, I hope, and you will send to their death many young Israelis because you did not have the courage for peace.
    How can jews, who have suffered so much, imitate their hitlerian tormentor? As far as I’m concerned, since 1975, colonisation brings back old memories, those of hitlerism. I cannot tell the difference between your leaders and those of Nazi Germany!
    Personally, I will fight you with all I can just like I did between 1938 and 1945, until the justice of man destroys hitlerism which is at the heart of your country. Shame on Israel. I hope your God will launch against its leaders the vengeance they deserve. I am ashamed as a jew, as a WW2 veteran, for you. May your God curse you until the end of times! I hope you will be punished.”
    http://fr.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090114152729AAckWe6
    Think about that long and hard. An 86-year-old French Jew who fought Hitler states unequivocally that Israel “is behaving exactly like Hitler,” and vows that “I will fight you with all I can just like I did between 1938 and 1945.”
    Personally? I’m betting on the 86-year-old man.

    Reply

  173. varanasi says:

    rich wrote:
    “Plenty of Israelis have celebrated these actions”
    back up this claim now.

    Reply

  174. rich says:

    varanasi @ 2:30AM –
    “c’mon rich. you make it sound as if the israeli’s stated goals for this war were to bomb and kill civilians.”
    To be honest, that is the real goal–as has been shown. The more they can radicalize and intimidate the entire population, the less a thoroughly traumatized people can function. It’s a classic tactic, and its intent has been amply demonstrated in the past few weeks.
    “… to say that the israeli public’s approval of the war is the same as celebrating these horrible and tragic killings.”
    I didn’t say they were the same, I said the banality and ordinariness with which many Israeli citizens accept the bombing of civilians as normal–is worse. Plenty of Israelis have celebrated these actions. The majority view it as normal, an ordinary task—all so Israel can avoid grappling with its political responsibities. It is killing to finish the job, finally, while it has the chance. Israel wants the military path; Israel intentionally worked itself into this situation—but it never ‘had to’ go this route.
    I stated you make a false distinction in generalizing about one group (who’d never dream of celebrating deaths) and the other group (who celebrate death). *grunt* Us good! Them bad! *grunt* Yes, varanasi, there is a banality of evil at work, and it is worse than those you despise, who at least have a just cause.

    Reply

  175. varanasi says:

    personal question for rich: have you ever been to israel and the ME???

    Reply

  176. varanasi says:

    sorry rich. your knife only cuts one way.
    that ain’t the way of the world… or the ME

    Reply

  177. rich says:

    wigwag @ Jan 16, 11:13PM – Link
    ” . .. but if Hamas didn’t fire from civilian areas, didn’t hide ordinance in the basements of the homes of ordinary people and didn’t use civilians as human shields, the civilian death toll would be far lower.”
    Blame the victim much? That canard is an excuse, the excuse of a coward with nothing left to say.
    The diarist wrote:
    “I have been an IDF combat soldier, I have been to Gaza, there is no way in heck the IDF and Israeli government should be allowed to explain away all of this. The IDF spokesman unit in particular has lost all credibility over the past 8 years.”
    “To the shrill few who have nothing but “Hamas fault, Hamas fault” to say to all these stories: even my 3-year-old toddler is beyond the stage of denying any responsibility for his actions.”
    You see, wigwag? Even IDF soldiers know it’s wrong; even 3-year-old toddlers display more more responsiblity than you.
    More important:
    It’s been proven time and again that Israel’s lied in saying that guns or mortars were fired from the UN school or the UN relief warehouse.
    Or from the home of Dr. Ezz-El-Din Abu El-Eish, the Palestinian gynecologist and pacifist who lost his entire family during that broadcast interview. They couldn’t use his house because he wouldn’t let them.
    But even if they had; there are no ‘other places’ to go. Every occupier has used the same excuse while bombing civilians–it’s the other guy’s barabarity at fault. An ineffectual inversion of reality. In a ghetto, where else is there to go? When an army makes war on an entire populace, what other options are there? Jews did the same thing in the Warsaw Ghetto; they fought next to ‘civilians’ because they were defending them, and fighting so those same civilians could live. This is the same thing. Those civilians are being targeted anyway, for other reasons, bombed whether or not they’re int he way. In fact, the IDF has openly admitted when they go in “we are very violent”; we “don’t distinguish between people”; “we can’t see to account for who gets in the way.” Repeating a few flimsy lies, wigwag, won’t ever make them true.

    Reply

  178. varanasi says:

    c’mon rich. you make it sound as if the israeli’s stated goals for this war were to bomb and kill civilians. we both know that is not true. the intended targets of this military operation were hamas leaders and their command and control capability. to say that the israeli public’s approval of the war is the same as celebrating these horrible and tragic killings – this conflict’s collateral damage – is asinine.
    no you won’t find happy faces in israel over the killing of this poor man’s innocent daughters, unlike the celebrations that took place in some pakistani madrasas when 10 jihadis strategically attacked mumbai and killed nearly 200 innocent people.

    Reply

  179. rich says:

    varanasi: “but, i will bet you that the Israelis don’t .. ”
    rich: “I betcha they take an attitude that’s plenty cavalier and callous …”
    varanasi, I was mirroring your language, but stating a fact. Your error is in generalizing about a whole group of people: ‘Israelis don’t do X horrible thing; militant jihadis do X horrible thing’. Us good; enemy bad. It’s a false construct that assigns absolute, and therefore necessarily false, characterizations to the Us you like, and the Them you hate. It’s a recipe for and the foundation of bigotry.
    And I base the observation of the open callousness not on the poll numbers (94%!). Not on the well-documented enthusiasm of Jewish settlers for reveling in the havoc they wreak on the lives of innocent Palestinian citizens. The observation is true, however, because I don’t generalize. But the sheer ordinariness of the reaction, the docility with which the bombing of civilians is just taken, as if it is a thing ‘that had to be done’, with a shrug, like buying potato chips or cleaning out the shed. There is a familiar banality about it, one might say. But it is a banality that should make you very uneasy.

    Reply

  180. varanasi says:

    the text of a long but interesting essay by youssef m. ibrahim:
    The War with Israel Is Over…..and they won.
    By Youssef M. Ibrahim
    To my Arab brothers:
    The War with Israel Is Over – and they won.
    Now let’s finally move forward With Israel entering its fourth week of an incursion into the same Gaza Strip it voluntarily evacuated a few months ago, a sense of reality among Arabs is spreading through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic-language TV networks. The new views are stunning both in their maturity and in their realism. The best way I can think of to convey them is in the form of a letter to the Palestinian Arabs from their Arab friends:
    Dear Palestinian Arab brethren: The war with Israel is over. You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children. We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the “eternal struggle” with Israel. Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one y ou could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years.
    Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness. At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn’t going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.
    You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa , Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem . You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation.
    Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins. Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank , while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.
    In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day. What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all? More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world’s have-nots? We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.
    Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace
    treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us, who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.
    Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last
    Palestinian Arab. Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods – more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives – while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.
    The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?
    Youssef M. Ibrahim, a former New York Times Middle East Correspondent and Wall Street Journal Energy Editor for 25 years, is a freelance
    writer based in New York City and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

    Reply

  181. Dan Kervick says:

    Hamas had said it would enter into an extended cease-fire in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal and opening of the border crossings. Israel has rejected this approach previously, since they believe negotiating such a deal gives legitimacy to Hamas. Also, since Hamas had offered an extended cease-fire and truce in exchange for lifting the blockade *before* the war started, if Israel were to agree to these terms with Hamas now, the world would immediately start asking what exactly Israel meant to accomplish by pulverizing Gaza and killing 1000 people.
    Israel’s position was that Hamas must agree to stop the rocket attacks *before* it would withdraw, and that the smuggling along the Egyptian border must also be halted *before* Israel would end its operations. Israel is now unilaterally stopping, with no prior agreements from Hamas whatsoever. Hamas might continue to fire rockets until Israel completes its withdrawal.
    Israel appears to have gone into this business with the multiple aims of closing down all the smuggling tunnels, forcing Hamas to stop the rocket attacks, dislodging Hamas from power and isolating them from the Gazan people, ad re-installing the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. If they now stop the attack now, it will be widely seen as a failure to achieve their war aims. But they have little choice but to stop. Having publicly humiliated Rice and the US State Department earlier this week, US support is hanging by a tether.
    The bombing of the UN compound, the Olmert-Rice flap, the growing chorus of international condemnation, the impending Obama inauguration, and and the opening up of discord among Barak, Livni and Olmert appear to have conspired to force Israel to stop short of its goals. The US was brought in to help save face, so Israeli leaders can tell their public that the US will now help them do what they couldn’t do themselves: shut down the weapons flow to Hamas.
    Yes, only the future will show whether this war produces effects more favorable to one side or the other. But so far it looks like Hamas and Gaza have withstood a brutal pounding, but with Hamas left standing, while Israel’s reputation has taken an even more savage pounding.

    Reply

  182. varanasi says:

    rich wrote:
    “I betcha they take an attitude that’s plenty cavalier and callous. That’s the attitude openly displayed, time after time. Too many Israelis are eager to celebrate those deaths, varanasi.”
    that has NEVER been my impression or experience in israel or while working with israelis. quite the opposite actually. let’s be clear about this, you are accusing israelis of celebrating the deaths of innocent civilians in war?! you are completely incorrect about this, rich. your bias is huge.

    Reply

  183. WigWag says:

    The New York Times is reporting “A senior Egyptian official said that Hamas was unhappy with Israel’s plan to leave its forces in Gaza during a short cease-fire, but that it had accepted the idea of placing the Palestinian Authority in charge of the border crossing into Egypt and the presence of European monitors there.”
    If this is true, it demonstrates that the Gaza branch of Hamas (as opposed to the Syrian branch)has sent up the white flag. Allowing Palestinian Authority monitors to join the Europeans at the Rafah crossing is the thing Hamas most desperately wanted to avoid. It restores the status quo ante at the border to what it was before Hamas ejected Fatah from Gaza. It represents a humiliating defeat for Hamas and a victory for Egypt and for Abbas.
    The rockets will stop; the crossing will be staffed by Europeans/Palestinian Authority personnel and measures seem to be in place to make smuggling harder.
    If this is true, it represents the almost complete achievement of Israel’s goals and the goals of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
    It also represents a defeat of sorts for Iran and to a lesser extent for Hezbollah (which stood by meekly and watched Hamas get ripped to pieces)
    Now the next step is up to Obama and Clinton.

    Reply

  184. rich says:

    I betcha they take an attitude that’s plenty cavalier and callous. That’s the attitude openly displayed, time after time. Too many Israelis are eager to celebrate those deaths, varanasi. You seem content not to force a change of policy, and have been swift to defend the policies without regard to the costs.
    Bloodless lip service about the cost of war doesn’t weigh very heavily in this; nor do those costs register much in Israel’s national psyche:
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231950849022&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    “A whopping 94% of the public support or strongly support the operation while 92% think it benefits Israel’s security, according to the Tel Aviv University survey.”
    “The poll found that 92% of Israeli Jews justify the air force’s attacks in Gaza despite the suffering of the civilian population in the Strip and the damage they cause to infrastructure.”

    Reply

  185. WigWag says:

    There’s no question that urban warfare is dreadful and violent and that innocent people are killed, but if Hamas didn’t fire from civilian areas, didn’t hide ordinance in the basements of the homes of ordinary people and didn’t use civilians as human shields, the civilian death toll would be far lower.
    Actually The Israelis did everything they could to diminish the prospect of civilian causalities up to and including placing warning telephone calls advising people to leave their buildings before they were bombed. I don’t recall the European Allies and the RAF doing this before they bombed Dresden or Hamburg or the Americans placing similar calls to residents of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
    For that matter, the Israeli record for protecting civilians during the urban warfare that took place in Gaza compares very favorably with the record of the “coalition of the willing” in Iraq, the American-European effort in Afghanistan, the behavior of either the Iraqis or Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War or the behavior of the French in Algeria. If there is an example of an army conducting urban warfare that was more attentive to protecting civilians than the Israeli army was, I’d like to know what it is.
    The President of the Palestinian Authority said it best when he bemoaned that “every drop of blood spilt in Gaza was because of Hamas.”
    And the reality is that until Hamas comes to terms with the fact that it is militarily defeated; it will keep trying to rearm; the Israelis will keep having to attack and the Gazans will keep suffering.
    As bad as the suffering is; those who hope that Hamas survives as a military force are themselves complicit in the destruction of Gaza.

    Reply

  186. varanasi says:

    absolutely horrible story, rich. another example of the terrible realities of war.
    but, i will bet you that the israelis don’t celebrate the murder of this innocent family like their enemy – militant jihadists – would.

    Reply

  187. rich says:

    POA,
    Notice it’s not just ‘liberals’ reaching the same conclusions that many TWN commenters have taken flak for. Recognizing the sky is blue can’t make the whole world anti-Semitic, even if a few bashers think liberals around here make easy targets. Even Free Republic has picked up the story:
    Jewish British lawmaker likens Israel to Nazis
    The Vancouver Sun ^ | January 15, 2009
    Jewish British lawmaker likens Israel to Nazis
    AFP January 15, 2009 10:02 AM
    LONDON – A veteran British Jewish lawmaker compared the Israeli offensive in Gaza Thursday to the Nazis who forced his family to flee from Poland.
    Gerald Kaufman, a member of the Jewish Labour movement linked to Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s ruling party, also called for an arms embargo against Israel.
    “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town . . . a German soldier shot her dead in her bed,” Kaufman said during a parliamentary debate on the 20-day-old war which has left over 1,000 dead.
    “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.
    “The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”
    Israel’s claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants “was the reply of the Nazi,” he said, adding: “I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”
    Kaufman, a well-known critic of Israel, said Hamas was a “deeply nasty” organization, but said it was democratically elected.
    He urged Britain to impose an arms embargo on the Jewish state.
    “It is time for our government to make clear to the Israeli government that its conduct and policies are unacceptable and to impose a total arms ban on Israel,” he said.
    “It is time for peace – but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is Israel’s real goal but which is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals, they are fools,” he added.
    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2165321/posts

    Reply

  188. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “thanks for proving my point”
    What exactly are you denying, varanasi? Is that really the best you can do? I’ll ask you once again, are you denying the dancing Israelis story as it was reported?
    I asked you to provide us with an example of the “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS” that is posted on these threads. Now, you have a huge volume of material, above, in which to demonstrate your assertion that the Israels are not actively engaged in espionage withing the United States, AND IN FACT ISRAELIS WERE CAUGHT CELEBRATING AND PHOTOGRAPHING THE FALLING TOWERS AND WERE SUBSEQUENTLY DETAINED, DEPORTED, AND LATER CONFIRMED TO BE MOSSAD AGENTS.
    You’re the one that called it BS, varanasi. Your response is shallow, and you have once again been shown to advance an argument that you cannot support.
    You didn’t demonstrate any “point”, varanasi. You just once again showed yourself as dishonest, disingenuous, and unable to support your claims with a credible argument.
    Now, once again, care to tell us what “BS” you’re referring to?

    Reply

  189. WigWag says:

    “My impression is that Israel was looking for a formal cease-fire with Hamas as a participant, and for some major Hamas concessions, something that would be seen as effectively a Hamas surrender, a document that Israel could use to declare victory.”
    Actually that’s incorrect. If you visit either Al Jazeera or Haaretz tonight you will see it’s just the opposite. Hamas wants a formal agreement while the Israelis don’t. According to both newspapers, Hamas wants a formal agreement because a formal agreement, that they along with the Egyptians and the Israelis are a party to, gives them legitimacy and official standing. That’s precisely the reason the Israeli’s don’t want a formal agreement; they don’t want to give any kind of defacto recognition to Hamas.
    As for whether Hamas surrendered, you won’t need a formal agreement to tell. If they stop firing rockets, the Rafah border is opened with European and Palestinian Authority monitors (instead of Hamas monitors) and there is a real anti smuggling program in place on the Philadelphia corridor, it means not only that Hamas was defeated but that Hamas was humiliated. If these things don’t come to pass, it means that Hamas didn’t lose although the Gazans certainly did.

    Reply

  190. PissedOffAmerican says:

    U.S. Police and Intelligence Hit by Spy Network
    Charles R. Smith
    Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2001
    Spies Tap Police and Government Phones
    In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, the FBI has stumbled on the largest espionage ring ever discovered inside the United States. The U.S. Justice Department is now holding nearly 100 Israeli citizens with direct ties to foreign military, criminal and intelligence services.
    The spy ring reportedly includes employees of two Israeli-owned companies that currently perform almost all the official wiretaps for U.S. local, state and federal law enforcement.
    The U.S. law enforcement wiretaps, authorized by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), appear to have been breached by organized crime units working inside Israel and the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad.
    Both Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were warned on Oct. 18 in a hand-delivered letter from local, state and federal law enforcement officials. The warning stated, “Law enforcement’s current electronic surveillance capabilities are less effective today than they were at the time CALEA was enacted.”
    The spy ring enabled criminals to use reverse wiretaps against U.S. intelligence and law enforcement operations. The illegal monitoring may have resulted in the deaths of several informants and reportedly spoiled planned anti-drug raids on crime syndicates.
    Global Spy and Crime Network
    The penetration of the U.S. wiretap system has led to a giant spy hunt across the globe by American intelligence agencies. U.S. intelligence officials now suspect the spy ring shared and sold information to other nations.
    “Why do you think Putin so nonchalantly and with such great fanfare announced the shutdown of the Lourdes listening post in Cuba?” noted Douglas Brown, president of Multilingual Data Solutions Inc. and program director at the Nathan Hale Institute.
    “Besides the PR benefit right before his visit here, the Russians don’t need it anymore. They’ve scraped together a cheaper, more effective monitoring system. Is the Israeli company an element of that system? I don’t know,” stated Brown.
    “With all the whining and crying about Echelon and Carnivore, critics, domestic and foreign, of U.S. electronic eavesdropping vastly overestimate our abilities to process and disseminate the stuff,” noted Brown.
    “The critics also underestimated the incompetence and total ineptness of the people running our intelligence and law enforcement services during the Clinton-Gore years. One guy uses his home computer for storing top secret documents; another high-tech guru guy can’t figure out how to save and retrieve his e-mail, and the guy in charge of everything is having phone sex over an open line with one of his employees,” said Brown.
    “On the other hand, the Europeans, including the Russians, have been much more focused on the nuts and bolts of practical systems to process the information they scoop up. The stories linking German intelligence and the L&H scandal got very little play here but were widely noted in the European software community,” said Brown.
    “Except for a few Germans and an occasional Pole, nobody can match the Russians in designing and developing algorithms. We may have some of the world’s greatest programmers, but the Russians and Europeans do a better job of matching up linguists and area experts with their programmers,” noted Brown.
    The discovery of a major spy ring inside the United States is straining the already tense relations with Israel. Although, Israel denied any involvement with the penetration of the U.S. wiretap system, the CIA and FBI are investigating the direct government ties to the former Israeli military and intelligence officials now being held by the Justice Department.
    Israeli Company Provides U.S. Wiretaps
    One company reported to be under investigation is Comverse Infosys, a subsidiary of an Israeli-run private telecommunications firm. Comverse provides almost all the wiretapping equipment and software for U.S. law enforcement.
    Custom computers and software made by Comverse are tied into the U.S. phone network in order to intercept, record and store wiretapped calls, and at the same time transmit them to investigators.
    The penetration of Comverse reportedly allowed criminals to wiretap law enforcement communications in reverse and foil authorized wiretaps with advance warning. One major drug bust operation planned by the Los Angeles police was foiled by what now appear to be reverse wiretaps placed on law enforcement phones by the criminal spy ring.
    Flawed laws Led to Compromise
    Several U.S. privacy and security advocates contend the fault actually lies in the CALEA legislation passed by Congress that allowed the spy ring to operate so effectively. Lisa Dean, vice president for technology policy at Free Congress Foundation, delivered a scathing critique of the breach of the U.S. law enforcement wiretap system.
    “We are exercising our ‘I told you so’ rights on this,” said Dean.
    “From the beginning, both the political right and left warned Congress and the FBI that they were making a huge mistake by implementing CALEA. That it would jeopardize the security of private communications, whether it’s between a mother and her son or between government officials. The statement just issued by law enforcement agencies has confirmed our worst fears,” concluded Dean.
    “How many more 9/11s do we have to suffer?” asked Brad Jansen, deputy director for technology policy at the Free Congress Foundation.
    “The CALEA form of massive surveillance is a poor substitute for real law enforcement and intelligence work. It is an after-the-fact method of crime fighting. It is not designed to prevent crime. Massive wiretapping does not equal security. Instead, we have elected to jeopardize our national security in exchange for poor law enforcement,” said Jansen.
    “For example, FINCEN monitoring of all money transactions did not detect al-Qaeda, nor did it find Mohamed Atta before he boarded his last flight. It was an ATM receipt left in his rental car that led the FBI to the bin Laden bank accounts,” noted Jansen.
    U.S. National Security Compromised
    “The CALEA approach is the same approach law enforcement has been pushing for a number of years. It’s the same approach that was used to push Carnivore, Magic Lantern, FINCEN and even the failed Clipper project. This approach leads to a compromise in national security and in personal security for the American public,” said Jansen.
    “In addition, there is always government abuse of these kinds of systems,” stated Jansen. “Law enforcement on all levels does a very poor job in policing itself. We need to hold our police and government officials to the highest standards.”
    “This also hurts the U.S. economy when the whole world knows that our communication systems are not secure. We cannot compete with inferior products when other countries are exporting secure software and hardware. New Zealand, India and Chile already offer security products that actually provide real security,” stated Jansen.
    “The current mentality of law enforcement is what failed to protect us from 9/11. CALEA wiretaps will not protect us from terror attacks in the future. The system does not provide better intelligence information. It actually leads to less security and more crime. We get the worst of both worlds,” concluded Jansen.

    Reply

  191. varanasi says:

    poa wrote:
    “I’m not interesting in a tit for tat pissing match with you. Just give us an example of the “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS” that you are referring to.”
    thanks for proving my point.
    cheers.

    Reply

  192. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2002/03/24475.html
    U.S. Deports Israelis Amid Warnings of Espionage Activities
    Auntie Beeb | 07.03.2002 20:25
    Associated Press Writer Ted Bridis reports how US authorities have arrested and deported dozens of young Israelis since early last year who attempted to gain access to sensitive federal office buildings and the homes of government employees.
    A draft report from the Drug Enforcement Administration – which first characterized the activities as suspicious – said the youths’ actions “may well be an organized intelligence-gathering activity.”
    Immigration officials deported them for visa violations; no criminal espionage charges were filed.
    The arrests, made in an unspecified number of major U.S. cities from California to Florida, came amid public warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies about suspicious behavior by people posing as Israeli art students and “attempting to bypass facility security and enter federal buildings.”
    The Israelis were arrested and deported on charges of working in the United States without authorization or overstaying visits on tourist visas, said Russ Bergeron, a spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Washington. He described dozens of arrests since early 2001 but gave no exact figures.
    The DEA report said a majority of the young people questioned by U.S. investigators acknowledged having served in military intelligence, electronic signals interception or explosive ordnance units in the Israeli military. The DEA said one person questioned was the son of a two-star Israeli general, one had served as the bodyguard to the head of the Israeli Army and another served in a Patriot missile unit.
    Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Yaffa Ben-Ari said it was “nonsense” that the students were spying on the United States.
    Another Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Irit Stopper, confirmed that a few Israelis posing as art students were expelled from the United States for working without permits. However they were not accused of espionage, she said. She did not say how many Israelis were expelled and did not give any additional details.
    The DEA report was first obtained by a French Web site that specializes in intelligence news, Intelligenceonline.com. DEA spokeswoman Rogene Waite in Washington confirmed that the agency had written a report on this subject and forwarded it to other law enforcement agencies.
    “That these people are now traveling in the U.S. selling art seems not to fit their background,” the report said.
    An FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted there were no espionage charges filed against any of the individuals and that they had been deported. Asked whether any spying activity occurred, the official repeated that no charges had been filed.
    A Justice Department official, also asking not to be publicly identified, said investigators have been aware of some “alleged linkage” between the students and alleged espionage activities in the United States since early 2001, and said authorities have made arrests in Dallas, Chicago, San Diego and in south Florida. INS spokesman Rodney Germain in Miami said five or six people were arrested in that area at least six months ago on immigration counts.
    Although security experts at the DEA first characterized the youths’ behavior as suspicious, and INS authorities later arrested them, the FBI typically investigates espionage cases in the United States.
    The DEA report said that among U.S. sites apparently targeted was Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, home to the military’s AWACS surveillance planes and the place where many of the nation’s B-1 bombers are repaired. Investigators also said that one female art student went to the home of a worker for the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver to sell paintings and returned later to photograph the house, according to the report.
    “At this time, the Department of Justice does not have information to support these accounts of Israeli students possibly committing espionage,” said Susan Dryden, a department spokeswoman. The deputy U.S. attorney general, Larry Thompson, declined to discuss the arrests when asked about them during a news conference Tuesday.
    The U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, a federal agency, circulated a public warning in March 2001 urging employees to report contact with people describing themselves as Israeli art students.
    “These individuals have been described as aggressive,” the warning said. “They attempt to engage employees in conversation rather than giving a sales pitch.”
    Cooperation with Israel, a longtime key ally, is increasingly important in the U.S. war on terrorism.

    Reply

  193. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=75266&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
    5 Israelis detained for `puzzling behavior’ after WTC tragedy
    By Yossi Melman
    Five Israelis who had worked for a moving company based in New Jersey are being held in U.S. prisons for what the Federal Bureau of Investigation has described as “puzzling behavior” following the terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York last Tuesday. The five are expected to be deported sometime soon.
    The families of the five, who asked that their names not be released, said that their sons had been questioned by the FBI for hours on end, had been kept in solitary confinement for three days, and had been humiliated, stripped of their clothes and blindfolded.
    The mother of one of the young men explained the chain of events as she understands it to Ha’aretz:
    She said that the five had worked for the company, which is owned by an Israeli, for between two months and two years. They had been arrested some four hours after the attack on the Twin Towers while filming the smoking skyline from the roof of their company’s building, she said. It appears that they were spotted by one of the neighbors who called the police and the FBI.
    The mother said that the families and friends of the five in Israel had known nothing of the men’s whereabouts for a number of days.
    “When they finally let my son make a phone call for the first time to a friend in the United States two days ago, he told him that he had been tortured by the FBI in a basement,” the mother said. “He was stripped to his underwear; he was blindfolded and questioned for 14 hours. They thought that because he has citizenship of a European country as well as of Israel that he was working for the Mossad [Israel’s secret service].”
    Seven FBI agents later stormed the apartment of one of the Israelis, searched it and questioned his roommate. The Israeli owner of the company, who has U.S. citizenship, was also questioned. Both men were subsequently released.
    The families here complained that the Israeli consulate in New York and the situation room set up by the Foreign Ministry there to locate missing Israelis had done nothing to help their sons. The Foreign Ministry told the families that the FBI had denied holding the five and that the consulate had chosen to believe the FBI, the mother said.
    The five were transferred out of the FBI’s facility on Saturday morning and are now being held in two prisons in New Jersey by the Immigration and Naturalization Services. They are charged with illegally residing in the United States and working there without permits.
    The Foreign Ministry said in response that it had been informed by the consulate in New York that the FBI had arrested the five for “puzzling behavior.” They are said to have had been caught videotaping the disaster and shouting in what was interpreted as cries of joy and mockery

    Reply

  194. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/fiveisraelis.html
    The Five Dancing Israelis
    Arrested On 9-11
    As the world watched in disbelief and asked the question…
    …Mossad operatives were seen dancing with joy.
    A Mossad surveillance team made quite a public spectacle of themselves on 9-11.
    The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards. (1)
    Police received several calls from angry New Jersey residents claiming “middle-eastern” men with a white van were videotaping the disaster with shouts of joy and mockery. (2)
    “They were like happy, you know … They didn’t look shocked to me” said a witness. (3)
    [T]hey were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage. (4)
    Witnesses saw them jumping for joy in Liberty State Park after the initial impact (5). Later on, other witnesses saw them celebrating on a roof in Weehawken, and still more witnesses later saw them celebrating with high fives in a Jersey City parking lot. (6)
    “It looked like they’re hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park.” (7)
    One anonymous phone call to the authorities actually led them to close down all of New York’s bridges and tunnels. The mystery caller told the 9-1-1 dispatcher that a group of Palestinians were mixing a bomb inside of a white van headed for the Holland Tunnel. Here’s the transcript from NBC News:
    Dispatcher: Jersey City police.
    Caller: Yes, we have a white van, 2 or 3 guys in there, they look like Palestinians and going around a building.
    Caller: There’s a minivan heading toward the Holland tunnel, I see the guy by Newark Airport mixing some junk and he has those sheikh uniform.
    Dispatcher: He has what?
    Caller: He’s dressed like an Arab. (8)
    (*Writer’s note: Why would this mystery caller specifically say that these “Arabs” were Palestinians? How would he know that? Palestinians usually dress in western style clothes, not “sheikh uniforms”)
    Based on that phone call, police then issued a “Be-on-the-Lookout” alert for a white mini-van heading for the city’s bridges and tunnels from New Jersey.
    White, 2000 Chevrolet van with ‘Urban Moving Systems’ sign on back seen at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, at the time of first impact of jetliner into World Trade Center Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion. FBI Newark Field Office requests that, if the van is located, hold for prints and detain individuals. (9)
    When a van fitting that exact description was stopped just before crossing into New York, the suspicious “middle-easterners” were apprehended. Imagine the surprise of the police officers when these terror suspects turned out to be Israelis!
    According to ABC’s 20/20, when the van belonging to the cheering Israelis was stopped by the police, the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers:
    “We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem.” (10)
    Why did he feel Palestinians were a problem for the NYPD?
    The police and FBI field agents became very suspicious when they found maps of the city with certain places highlighted, box cutters (the same items that the hijackers supposedly used), $4700 cash stuffed in a sock, and foreign passports. Police also told the Bergen Record that bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the van and that they reacted as if they had smelled explosives. (11)
    The FBI seized and developed their photos, one of which shows Sivan Kurzberg flicking a cigarette lighter in front of the smouldering ruins in an apparently celebratory gesture. (12)
    The Jerusalem Post later reported that a white van with a bomb was stopped as it approached the George Washington Bridge, but the ethnicity of the suspects was not revealed. Here’s what the Jerusalem Post reported on September 12, 2001:
    American security services overnight stopped a car bomb on the George Washington Bridge. The van, packed with explosives, was stopped on an approach ramp to the bridge. Authorities suspect the terrorists intended to blow up the main crossing between New Jersey and New York, Army Radio reported. (13)
    “…two suspects are in FBI custody after a truckload of explosives was discovered around the George Washington Bridge … The FBI … says enough explosives were in the truck to do great damage to the George Washington Bridge.”
    WMV video download (545kB)
    It was reported the van contained tonnes of explosives (14).
    What’s really intriguing is that ABC’s 20/20 (15), the New York Post (16), and the New Jersey Bergen Record (17) all clearly and unambiguously reported that a white van with Israelis was intercepted on a ramp near Route 3, which leads directly to the Lincoln Tunnel.
    But the Jerusalem Post, Israeli National News (Arutz Sheva) (18), and Yediot America, (19) all reported, just as clearly and unambiguously, that a white van with Israelis was stopped on a ramp leading to the George Washington Bridge, which is several miles north of the Lincoln Tunnel.
    It appears as if there may actually have been two white vans involved, one stopped on each crossing. This would not only explain the conflicting reports as to the actual location of the arrests, but would also explain how so many credible eye-witnesses all saw celebrating “middle-easterners” in a white van in so many different locations. It also explains why the New York Post and Steve Gordon (lawyer for the 5 Israelis) originally described how three Israelis were arrested but later increased the total to five.
    Perhaps one van was meant to drop off a bomb while the other was meant to pick up the first set of drivers while re-crossing back into New Jersey? If a van was to be used as a parked time-bomb on the GW Bridge, then certainly the drivers would need to have a “get-away van” to pick them up and escape. And notice how the van (or vans) stayed away from the third major crossing -the Holland Tunnel- which was where the police had originally been directed to by that anti-Palestinian 9-1-1 “mystery caller”. A classic misdirection play.
    From there, the story gets becomes even more suspicious. The Israelis worked for a Weehawken moving company known as Urban Moving Systems. An American employee of Urban Moving Systems told the The Record of New Jersey that a majority of his co-workers were Israelis and they were joking about the attacks.
    The employee, who declined to give his name said: “I was in tears. These guys were joking and that bothered me.” These guys were like, “Now America knows what we go through.” (20)
    A few days after the attacks, Urban Moving System’s Israeli owner, Dominick Suter, dropped his business and fled the country for Israel. He was in such a hurry to flee America that some of Urban Moving System’s customers were left with their furniture stranded in storage facilities (21).
    Suter’s departure was abrupt, leaving behind coffee cups, sandwiches, cell phones and computers strewn on office tables and thousands of dollars of goods in storage. Suter was later placed on the same FBI suspect list as 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and other hijackers and suspected al-Qaeda sympathizers, suggesting that U.S. authorities felt Suter may have known something about the attacks. (22)
    The Jewish weekly The Forward reported that the FBI finally concluded that at least two of the detained Israelis were agents working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and that Urban Moving Systems, the ostensible employer of the five Israelis, was a front operation. This was confirmed by two former CIA officers, and they noted that movers’ vans are a common intelligence cover. (23). The Israelis were held in custody for 71 days before being quietly released. (24)
    “There was no question but that [the order to close down the investigation] came from the White House. It was immediately assumed at CIA headquarters that this basically was going to be a cover-up so that the Israelis would not be implicated in any way in 9/11.” (25)
    Several of the detainees discussed their experience in America on an Israeli talk show after their return home. Said one of the men, denying that they were laughing or happy on the morning of Sept. 11, “The fact of the matter is we are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event.” (26)
    wmv video download
    How did they know there would be an event to document on 9/11?
    It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to connect the dots of the dancing Israeli Mossad agents – here’s the most logical scenario:
    1. The Israeli “movers” cheered the 9-11 attacks to celebrate the successful accomplishment of the greatest spy operation ever pulled off in history.
    2. One of them, or an accomplice, then calls a 9-1-1 police dispatcher to report Palestinian bomb-makers in a white van headed for the Holland Tunnel.
    3. Having thus pre-framed the Palestinians with this phone call, the Israeli bombers then head for the George Washington Bridge instead, where they will drop off their time-bomb van and escape with Urban Moving accomplices.
    4. But the police react very wisely and proactively by closing off ALL bridges and tunnels instead of just the Holland Tunnel. This move inadvertently foils the Israelis’ misdirection play and leads to their own capture and 40 day torture.
    5. To cover up this story, the U.S. Justice Department rounds up over 1000 Arabs for minor immigration violations and places them in New York area jails. The Israelis therefore become less conspicuous as the government and media can now claim that the Israelis were just immigration violators caught in the same dragnet as many other Arabs.
    6. After several months, FBI and Justice Department “higher-ups” are able to gradually push aside the local FBI agents and free the Israelis quietly.
    Osama bin Laden was immediately blamed for the 9/11 attacks even though he had no previous record of doing anything on this scale. Immediately after the Flight 11 hit World Trade Center 1
    CIA Director George Tenet said “You know, this has bin Laden’s fingerprints all over it.” (27)
    The compliant mainstream media completely ignored the Israeli connection. Immediately following the 9-11 attacks the media was filled with stories linking the attacks to bin Laden. TV talking-heads, “experts”, and scribblers of every stripe spoon-fed a gullible American public a steady diet of the most outrageous propaganda imaginable.
    We were told that the reason bin Laden attacked the USA was because he hates our “freedom” and “democracy”. The Muslims were “medieval” and they wanted to destroy us because they envied our wealth, were still bitter about the Crusades, and were offended by Britney Spears shaking her tits and ass all over the place!
    But bin Laden strongly denied any role in the attacks and suggested that Zionists orchestrated the
    9-11 attacks. The BBC published bin Laden’s statement of denial in which he said:
    “I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks. There exists a government within a government within the United States. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; to the people who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks. … The American system is totally in control of the Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States.” (28)
    You never heard that quote on your nightly newscast did you?
    [A] number of intelligence officials have raised questions about Osama bin Laden’s capabilities. “This guy sits in a cave in Afghanistan and he’s running this operation?” one C.I.A. official asked. “It’s so huge. He couldn’t have done it alone.” A senior military officer told me that because of the visas and other documentation needed to infiltrate team members into the United States a major foreign intelligence service might also have been involved. (29)
    Bin Laden is not named as the perpetrator of 9/11 by the FBI:
    When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page (30), [Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI] said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.” (31)
    “So we’ve never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden [sic] was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming” – Dick Cheney. (32)
    To date, the only shred of “evidence” to be uncovered against bin Laden is a barely audible fuzzy amateur video that the Pentagon just happened to find “lying around” in Afghanistan. How very convenient, and how very fake. (33)
    There is no evidence, be it hard or circumstantial, to link the Al Qaeda “terrorist network” to these acts of terror, but there is a mountain of evidence, both hard and circumstantial, which suggests that Zionists have been very busy framing Arabs for terror plots against America.
    “I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted not just in financing — although that was part of it — by a sovereign foreign government … It will become public at some point when it’s turned over to the archives, but that’s 20 or 30 years from now” – Senator Bob Graham. (34)
    If the sovereign foreign government mentioned by Senator Graham was an enemy of the United States the “compelling evidence” would not be kept secret for 20+ years.
    One final point; at 09:40 on 9-11 it was reported that the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attacks (35). This claim was immediately denied by the DFLP leader Qais abu Leila who said it had always opposed “terror attacks on civilian targets, especially outside the occupied territories.” (36)
    Why would a Palestinian organisation comprising of less than 500 people (37) make the suicidal move of immediately claiming responsibility for the attacks?
    Sharon and the other Israeli leaders aspire to fulfil what the goals of the political Zionist movement have been since its origin a century ago: to turn all of historic Palestine into an exclusively Jewish state. A central tenet of the Zionist ideology is expressed in the racist slogan, “A land without people for a people without a land.” (38)
    The implication of Palestinians in the 9/11 attacks would have handed Zionists a golden opportunity to achieve the above because all Palestinians would have been labelled terrorists.
    ——————————————————————————–
    “Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.”
    US official quoted in Carl Cameron’s Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring.

    Reply

  195. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “”aren’t you the guy who goes on and on about “dancing israelis” on 9-11??
    Are you denying that story?

    Reply

  196. WigWag says:

    varanasi, I have heard good things about Khalidi. It would be great if Steve could get him to do a guest post at the Washington Note (instead of the weaker guest posters he gets like Daniel Levy or Nir Rosen). I don’t know if Steve Clemons actually knows Rashid Khalidi but he has mentioned several times on the blog that he knows Rita Hauser. Ms Hauser and her husband endowed the Khalidi chair at Columbia. Interestingly, like the couple that endowed Walt’s chair at Harvard, the Hausers are a prominent New York Jewish family.
    You may remember that during the Presidential Campaign there was alot of controversy about Khalidi because he ran a fundraiser for Obama in his home in Chicago (at the time he was at the University of Chicago) when Obama was running for Congress. The Obama-Khalidi relationship became a political hot potato and Obama really tried to down play his relationship with the professor. About three weeks ago, the New York Daily News interviewed Khalidi and asked him if he would be going to the inauguration. Khalidi responded that he hadn’t been invited.
    Speaking of Walt, you say “I must admit he is not nearly on my “A” team.” If you feel like revealing it, I would like to know some of the people who are on your “A-team.” I would like to look them up.

    Reply

  197. varanasi says:

    POA wrote:
    “I’m not interesting in a tit for tat pissing match with you. Just give us an example of the “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS” that you are referring to.”
    aren’t you the guy who goes on and on about “dancing israelis” on 9-11??

    Reply

  198. varanasi says:

    wigwag:
    i took walt’s course on international relations at KSG. clearly, he’s a brilliant man, and for the most part i enjoyed his lectures. his “balance of threat theory” still informs my world view.
    but, like many accomplished academics his mind is not, how should we say… as open as it should be. imo, this is the great paradox of academia. i never subscribed to the full extent his views on israel and AIPAC and neither did many of my classmates. i would say that his bias against both borders on obsession, but i must say that he was tolerant of differing views. i received an A- in his class and i still keep abreast of his scholarship, although, i must admit he is not nearly on my “A” team. i didn’t know anything about the funding of his chair, but hey, we’re all hypocrites, right? let’s just say that he didn’t strike me as someone who wasn’t sleeping soundly at night.
    but, in terms of sheer mental horsepower and ME expertise, walt doesn’t hold a candle to rashid khalidi. professor khalidi is one of the best lecturers and most gifted minds in academia. i was lucky enough to study with him while working at columbia’s SIPA.
    for those who don’t know, khalidi’s family (and his wife’s) are palestinian refugees. obviously, his views on the palestinian/israeli conflict are as strongly held and raw as anyone’s here, yet professor khalidi doesn’t reduce the complexities of the situation to simple black and white. he acknowledges the nuance and ambiguity; the failures and victimization of BOTH israelis and palestinians.
    khaladi is a man whose family has suffered (and suffers) greatly at the hands of the israelis (and the jordanians, egyptians and other palestinians), but he does not demigogue any actors, rather he empathizes and tries to understand resulting policies in terms of motivations and fears. i learned from professor khalidi that both israelis and palestinians are victims and both are oppressors.
    thanks for the heads up on steve’s post on the subject. i’ll try to look it up.

    Reply

  199. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Walt mentions on his blog that he looks at the Washington Note every day”
    Gee, fancy that. Damn, I though Steve’s blog existed in a vacuum.

    Reply

  200. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “i reference “Protocols” because that is the reference point for much of the jewish/zionist conspiracy BS that i see posted in these threads”
    Care to give us an example of what you are specifically referring to?
    I’m not interesting in a tit for tat pissing match with you. Just give us an example of the “jewish/zionist conspiracy BS” that you are referring to.

    Reply

  201. Outraged American says:

    Another article from the co-founder of the new pro-Israel
    lobby, J Street, confirming that the Nazis helped the Zionists.
    Again, Jeremy Ben Ami is confirming that Adolf Eichmann AKA
    “the architect” of the Jewish Holocaust was actively involved in
    getting Jews out of Germany into Palestine.
    Jeremy Ben Ami, writing in The Forward
    Nov. 10, 2006
    “While official German policy encouraged Jews to emigrate,
    Jewish lives were always subject to the whims of individual Nazi
    officials with whom they came in contact. My father had a
    particularly harrowing moment in Vienna with the infamous
    Adolf Eichmann just days before Kristallnacht, as he helped
    Jewish immigrants board the S.S. Melk on the Danube River.
    Eichmann was one of several Gestapo officers supervising the
    emigration. A shipping company official who was there later told
    my father that an argument erupted among the Germans
    because Eichmann suspected that one of the European countries
    through which the boat had to pass might send them back to
    the Reich.”
    Ben Ami’s entire article at the link
    http://www.forward.com/article/8395/

    Reply

  202. DonS says:

    Good reading, I think, Dan. Kills ya though to see the US embroiled formally at any level, though the imformals far outweigh the formal understandings Still, it makes digging the US back towards the light of “honest broker” even more impossible. And it creates the impression that the Gazans are to become even more like fish in a barrel, albeit an imperfect equation given that Qasam rockets really are negligible. So is it just window dressing, or does it have some importance as far as stopping material arms supply?

    Reply

  203. Dan Kervick says:

    I’m not sure how binding the Livni-Rice agreement is. It’s a memorandum of understanding, which I assume means it is not going to be ratified by Congress, and is only binding to the extent it continues to express a meeting of the minds between the two parties. Legally, I’d guess that Obama can notify the Israelis any time he wants to that he is no longer in accord with the “understandings” reached in the document, and can tear it up.
    Of course, it would be very difficult politically for Obama to do that. And he and his new Secretary of State were probably consulted during the diplomatic process leading up to the signing of the MoM … so he is probably on board.
    My impression is that Israel was looking for a formal cease-fire with Hamas as a participant, and for some major Hamas concessions, something that would be seen as effectively a Hamas “surrender”, a document that Israel could use to declare victory.
    Instead, Israel is going to do a unilateral cease-fire, Both the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration were probably eager to clear the decks before the change of government. It looks like this MoM might be the price they had to pay Israel in exchange for getting a cease-fire by Tuesday, without a formal knuckling under by Hamas.

    Reply

  204. Outraged American says:

    Jeremy Ben Ami, co-founder of pro-Israel lobby J Street IN HIS
    OWN WORDS talking about his father working with the Nazis to
    smuggle Jews out of Europe. I confused Ben Ami’s father with
    his grandfather, my apologies.
    For Israel’s Sake, Moderate American Jews Must Find Their Voice
    April 15, 2008
    The Forward
    Jeremy Ben Ami
    “My grandparents went on to be among the founders of Tel Aviv.
    Family lore has it that my father was the first boy born in the
    city. A hard-line Revisionist, he worked closely with Zeev
    Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin and other heroes of the right in the
    struggle to create the State of Israel.
    Dispatched abroad before and during World War II, he negotiated
    with Hitler’s henchman Adolph Eichmann over payments to
    smuggle Jews out of Europe ”
    BTW: Adolph Eichmann has often been called the architect of the
    (Jewish) Holocaust.
    Here’s the link to Ben Ami’s op-ed in The Forward.
    http://www.forward.com/articles/13154/

    Reply

  205. WigWag says:

    Varanasi, you studied with Walt? What was he like? He has a new blog over at Foreign Policy that is really quite interesting. I don’t agree with him often, but his blog is provocative and entertaining. Walt mentions on his blog that he looks at the Washington Note every day.
    What I always found ironic about Walt was that he always felt so free to criticize the funding of what he calls the Israel Lobby but yet was always so insulted when anyone dared to mention how his own academic career is financed.
    In case your interested on where Walt’s funding comes from, here’s the story.
    As you probably know, Walt is the Robert and Rene Belfer Professsor of International Relations at Harvard’s Kennedy School. As has been widely discussed, the Chair that Walt occupies was funded as part of a $7.5 million endowment gift that the Belfer family made to Harvard’s Kennedy School (Center for Science and International Affairs) in 1997.
    Income from the endowment is used to pay Walt’s salary, fringe benefits and probably also provides him with funding for assistance from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or research associates. In all likelihood, Walt also derives travel funds from the income from the Belfer gift.
    So who is Robert Belfer? He’s the son of oil magnate, Arthur Belfer and the sibling of the late Anita Saltz Belfer and Selma Rubin. The Belfer family’s tremendous wealth came almost entirely from oil. Robert Belfer himself is the founder of Belco Petroleum. In the 1980s Belco Petroleum was merged into Houston Natural Gas, Inc, the Company that in 1985 was renamed Enron.
    Belfer became a Board member of Enron along with Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. In 1995 Belfer’s Enron Stock was worth at least $475 million; by 2001, Belfer’s Enron stock was worth $750 million. Belfer along with his wife Renee endowed the chair occupied by Professor Walt in 1997. Although Belfer himself did nothing illegal, the vast wealth that allowed him to fund Walt’s chair was based almost entirely on Enron’s fraudulent activities. In fact, although only Walt and the Development People at Harvard know for sure; it’s highly likely that Walt’s chair was actually funded with appreciated Enron stock.
    According to Forbes, Belfer’s wealth collapsed when Enron collapsed and he lost more than $500 million. He went from being a near-billionaire to being a mere multi millionaire.
    Parenthetically, Robert and Renee Belfer are ardent Zionists who have contributed tens of millions of dollars to Jewish and Israeli causes. They have repudiated Professor Walt and his views and they have expressed regret that they funded his Chair. Walt was relieved of his responsibilities as a Dean shortly after his superior, Marvin Kalb (the former CBS correspondent) criticized the rigor and quality of his work. It is unclear whether Walt was fired from his Deanship, whether he resigned voluntarily or whether he and Harvard reached some “meeting of the minds.” Of course, because he has tenure, Walt himself cannot be fired from the Harvard faculty (like him or hate him, this is a good thing).
    To his great credit, Walt has not altered his views to suit the administrators at Harvard or to placate the benefactors whose contribution makes his career possible. Of course, Walt did not know when he accepted the Chair that Belfer’s wealth was based on fraudulent activity by Enron; even Belfer didn’t know.
    But none of this changes the fact that Walt’s salary, fringe benefits and the stipends he pays to graduate students or research assistants are paid for by Harvard with income derived from a gift that originated in the Enron fraud. If Walt found this troubling; he could have resigned. He didn’t.
    I don’t think Walt should have resigned, but I do think that people who live in glass houses should be at least a little reticent about throwing stones.
    Steve Clemons did a post on all of this at the Washington Note entitled “Stephen Walt, the “Israel Lobby” paper, and Academic Freedom” on March 31, 2006 (4:26 pm). It’s worth a look if you’re interested.

    Reply

  206. varanasi says:

    my apologies, DonS. i have the utmost empathy for what your family went through at the hands of the nazis – one of the worst chapters of human history.
    i reference “Protocols” because that is the reference point for much of the jewish/zionist conspiracy BS that i see posted in these threads.

    Reply

  207. DonS says:

    Varanasi, no, of course Moon of Alabama is not hard news. It is what it is, an often-interesting blog, descended from “Whiskey Bar”, with which you may be familiar.
    In any case, I don’t appreciate your inference with regard to “Protocols . . .” since my family are Holocaust victims and survivors.
    Understandably, you have undergone some trial by fire, to an extent, as a newbie commenter. And you seem to have come out unscathed, full of ‘piss and vinegar’, as we say. Good for you. However, your bravado may easily wind you up on the ‘ignore’ list. Perhaps having a solitary pulpit would suit your needs?

    Reply

  208. varanasi says:

    “…” wrote:
    “interesting response varanasi… does it imply you believe israel or the jews have some special controlling relationship to money??”
    no

    Reply

  209. varanasi says:

    thanks for the link, DonS. “moon of alabama” blog. hard news, eh?
    and here’s a link to book you may like:
    http://tinyurl.com/83533z
    thanks OA, but i’ve studied with professor walt and i’ve read his work with mearsheimer. i earned a master degree from one of your countries elite universities and i’m well aware of the history of zionism and the ME.
    i’d like to read Jeremy Ben-Ami’s op-ed piece, though, if you can post a link. i find it impossible to believe that “jews worked with nazis to transfer jews to palestine.” can you prove it?

    Reply

  210. ... says:

    interesting response varanasi… does it imply you believe israel or the jews have some special controlling relationship to money??

    Reply

  211. Outraged American says:

    Varanasi, I would suggest that you read the “The Israel Lobby &
    U.S. Foreign Policy” by Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard and
    Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago.
    Iraq was for Israel, Iran will be for Israel.
    I would also suggest that you study the history of Zionism.
    Jeremy Ben-Ami, co-founder of the new pro-Israel lobby, J
    Street, wrote an op-ed a few months ago in which he discussed
    how his grandfather worked with the Nazis to transfer Jews to
    Palestine.
    Let me make it simple: According to one of the co-founders of
    the new, “more moderate” pro-Israel lobby, Zionists Jews
    worked with the Nazis to transfer Jews to Palestine.
    What does Israel want? More Jews in Israel.
    How to get more Jews into Israel, given that many Jews of the
    Jewish diaspora are quite happy where they are, and many
    young Jews are emigrating from Israel? Convince them that if
    they don’t live in the Zionist state they will be constantly under
    attack.
    How to make sure that Jews are constantly under attack? Make
    sure that they’re hated.
    How to make Jews hated? Conflate the actions of Israel with all
    Jews and then BOMB THE UN AND USE WHITE PHOSPHORUS AND
    DIME WEAPONS ON INNOCENT CHILDREN.
    QED

    Reply

  212. DonS says:

    This is a piece, front paged on ‘Moon of Alabama”, related to the Zionist propaganda network. I link to it, although I have not entirely read it, so that others may glance at it:
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2009/01/i-was-recently-asked-to-answer-the-following-question-in-the-original-post-there-is-mention-of-israel-controlling-us-policy.html

    Reply

  213. btchakir says:

    A Prince of an Idea.
    Glenn Greenwald made a definitive statement in Salon in a post he wrote on Tom Friedman:”Terrorism” is probably the single most elastic and easily manipulated term in our political lexicon. Who the perpetrators and victims are of “terrorism” is almost always a function of who is wielding the term rather than some objective assessment. Therefore, we are told that Hamas is a “terrorist” organization, and the Arabs in Gaza accuse Israel of Zionist “Terrorism.”
    We call Al Qa’ida a “terrorist” organization, yet, from the Taliban’s point-of-view we inflicted “Terrorism” on them, driving them out of their place in Afghanistan. Like beauty, terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. Which is why the article by Prince Hassan of Jordan in Prospect appears to me to strike a chord that might be explored in solving the Israel/Gaza conflict:Given these dire circumstances, one question should be seriously considered: could a temporary international stabilisation agency take over formal legal jurisdiction in both the Occupied Territories and the disputed areas of Israel?
    Such an agency would assume a temporary caretaking role, and would establish and oversee the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions: institutions potentially able to ensure the conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Israel and Palestine. It would also meet simultaneously the demand for an end to occupation while minimising fears of being seen to concede on political positions. The Israelis, given their previous record, are unlikely to welcome such an agency; but its primary responsibility would be to undertake effective peace enforcement, inclusive of decisive action against any act of terror or violence. As such, the agency would be an even-handed, international mediating force which could protect Arabs from Israelis, Arabs from Arabs, Israelis from Arabs, and Israelis from Israelis.This, of course, would be in lieu of the United Nations, which doesn’t seem to be having an effect on the situation.
    Prince Hassan may be imagining the positive outcome of such an agency’s creation and operation. He thinks much of the work has already been done:There is no need to reinvent the wheel; rather the team could build on the positive aspects of Madrid (1991) and of all the plethora of initiatives since. For example, it could draw on the positive experiences resulting from the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty which opened the door to numerous joint Jordanian-Palestinian industrial, commercial and financial ventures which have had a positive impact on the Jordanian labour market for both men and women, inclusive of Palestinian workers living in Jordan.Such hopefulness, however, does not seem to be well-founded given the politics of both the Hamas and the Israeli groups. If either side could come around to it, and if the United States and the other members of the Quartet could get behind it, perhaps the first step toward a real two-state solution could be found.
    Under The LobsterScope

    Reply

  214. sdemetri says:

    Boycott all Israeli products. Don’t buy anything Israeli. Divest from
    all Israeli investments. Treat Israel as a pariah state in the same
    manner So. Africa was treated. Naomi Klein writes in this week’s
    The Nation, “To end the bloody occupation, Israel must be the
    target of the same kind of global movement that finally ended
    apartheid in South Africa.”

    Reply

  215. Cee says:

    As Condi and Livni are lying and kissing, Israel is still killing civilans.
    The IDF attacked a mourning tent killing ten.
    varanasi
    wrote:
    perhaps you should let jews make their own determination
    Great. I want them to do it without my money,US weapons and the guarantee to defend them.
    Good luck to them.

    Reply

  216. WigWag says:

    Interesting information on the US-Israel agreement signed today by Rice and Livni.
    Apparently it binds the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton signed off on the deal in advance. The agreement seems to call for US commitments as well as commitments from NATO.
    The Jerusalem Post says:
    Jan 16, 2009 18:59 | Updated Jan 16, 2009 20:33
    US, Israel to jointly battle smuggling
    By JPOST.COM STAFF AND AP
    “Some of the clauses in the memorandum, that would bind the incoming US administration as well, included measures against Iran, Hamas’s main backer as regards funding and armament.
    During an interview to Channel 10 shortly after concluding her meeting with Rice, Livni hinted that some US forces, as well as NATO and other regional countries, will work directly with Israel “in land and at sea” to combat weapons smuggling.”
    This undoubtedly means some type of blockade or aggressive reconnaissance mission off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast as well as a world-wide campaign against Iranian weapons smuggling to Gaza.
    If Clauswitz is right that “War is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means,” it looks like the US and NATO are about to join the War. It may be a cold war instead of a hot war, but the agreement suggests that the US and NATO will be squeezing Hamas and Iran harder than ever.

    Reply

  217. varanasi says:

    i wrote:
    “but, i’m sure that there are a few on this blog that will blame these problems on the secret, international cabal of jews who are actively plotting to destroy the world.”
    12 minutes later … wrote:
    “varanasi – all of the problems you cite are directly connected to money – who has it, who controls it, and how it is being spent…”
    didn’t take long.
    (if i’ve misconstrued the implication of your comment i apologize, but ti seems pretty clear to me)

    Reply

  218. ... says:

    varanasi – all of the problems you cite are directly connected to money – who has it, who controls it, and how it is being spent…

    Reply

  219. varanasi says:

    OA also wrote:
    “And Israel is sure as hell is not good for the U.S. because hell is where she’s forcing us.”
    this is demagoguery.
    from my perspective, the u.s. is facing a host of debilitating problems, most having absolutely nothing to do with israel, i.e. trade deficits, stratospheric debt, the near collapse of the banking system, a broken health care system, ineffective primary education and accelerated climate change.
    but, i’m sure that there are a few on this blog that will blame these problems on the secret, international cabal of jews who are actively plotting to destroy the world.

    Reply

  220. John says:

    “Ending settlement construction” doesn’t cut any ice. Those illegal settlements need to start being dismantled.

    Reply

  221. varanasi says:

    OA wrote:
    “Israel is not good for Jews”
    perhaps you should let jews make their own determination. i’d guess that a majority feel differently than you.

    Reply

  222. Dan Kervick says:

    JohnH, I don’t think you should be surprised by the Times call to Israel to wrap things up. The choreography has been fairly predictable here, and not much different from the 2006 war with Hizbollah: strong early support from Israel’s friends in US; fervent pro-Israel rallies; growing international condemnation; growing UN pressure for a cease-fire; eventual expressions of concern from Israel’s friends about the international impact on Israel’s reputation; all leading finally to a cease-fire. I suspect that from the beginning Israel was determined to do their bloody business during the presidential transition vacuum, and then wrap it up for the Obama inauguration. My only question is whether they will end the fighting before the inauguration following Livni’s trip to Washington, or if they will wait until Obama’s first day or two in office, and end it then as a sort of gift to him that makes it look like either Obama, Clinton or Emanuel had a big role in resolving the crisis. The Times is playing its role right on cue.

    Reply

  223. Outraged American says:

    Jarecki – what the F did the Palestinians have to do with the Jewish
    Holocaust??? All Israel is doing is making all Jews hated, and Israel
    knows it. She is losing the population war so she needs Jews to be
    hated so that they will feel so threatened that they move to Mother
    Israel.
    Israel is not good for Jews and is not good for the world. And Israel
    is sure as hell is not good for the U.S. because hell is where she’s
    forcing us.

    Reply

  224. Cee says:

    I just watched Condi repeating the script that Israel gave her.
    Haven’t they whipped this slave enough??
    Now Livni is talking and blaming Iran for this.
    Awwww. Condi and Livni kissed.
    Disgusting.
    Chief Rabbi of the 1948 ethnically cleansed Safed advocates genocide
    The Chief Rabbi of Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Elyahu, visited a Bnei Akiva yeshiva in Ashdod Thursday where he declared the war against Hamas as “a war of the people of Israel against Amalek.” ( Haaretz )

    Reply

  225. JohnH says:

    “We have to suspend the illusion that Israelis and Palestinians can ever responsibly negotiate a stable outcome.” Such “even handed” condemnation is unfortuante and inaccurate.
    I agree that Israelis can never be trusted to negotiate a stable outcome. It’s a canon of Zionism (Jabotinsky), who said that Zionists could never negotiate a voluntary agreement with Arabs.
    However, why include Hamas in that blanket statement, when they have barely been given an opportunity to prove themselves?
    When it was tried, last June, negotiations were successful. Hamas showed itself to be a trustworthy negotiating partner. Rocket attacks and suicide bombings stopped.
    Israel showed itself to be an untrustworthy partner by refusing to lift the blockade and by violating the agreement in other ways, such as its Nov. 4 bombing.

    Reply

  226. alan says:

    This sounds like a repeat recording. The Israelis don’t give a fig for anyone’s opinion because, thus far, they “control” the White House. Hamas, equally, does not care because all those dead Gazans will be remembered and lead to the creation of yet another cadre of suicide bombers. Shedding blood guides this dispute; and none of this will end anytime soon. All the Arab leaders we support are about as useless as those who oppose us. Our ability to effect outcomes is diminished. Frankly I don’t think the incoming President can do much. We need to get our economic house in order, first. I know enough neighbours who think Israel and Hamas deserve each other.

    Reply

  227. PissedOffAmnerican says:

    Remember when Wigwag was all aflutter with indignation every time someone would claim that Israel held undo sway on the foreign policies of the United States?
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/15/us-israel-work-together-to-prevent-un-from-criticizing-attack-on-hq/
    US, Israel Work Together to Prevent UN From Criticizing Attack on HQ
    Israeli Envoy Brags of “Thwarting An Attempt to Act Against Us”
    Posted January 15, 2009
    An attempt by the British government and other members of the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel’s attack on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency headquarters in the Gaza Strip was foiled today, after Israel found out about the attempt and demanded United States ambassadors prevent it.
    According to Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Carmon “this is the first time we have succeeded in thwarting an attempt to act against us thanks to reliable firsthand information received from the Foreign Ministry and the IDF.”
    European Union ambassadors called the meeting following the attacks, but the Israeli diplomats alerted the United States to it and the later prevented the council from achieving a resolution. Instead, Security Council President Jean-Maurice Ripert made a speech calling for both sides to stop fighting.
    The attack on the compound destroyed several tons of food and fuel aid intended for Gaza’s civilian population and injured three aid workers. The United States has stymied several attempts by the United Nations Security Council to bring an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Perceived Israeli influence over US policies was brought to the fore this week when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert claimed to have ordered President Bush to abstain from voting on a Friday vote on a Gaza ceasefire.

    Reply

  228. WigWag says:

    “This makes sense for the most part — with the exception that any approach to the Middle East peace process must eventually involve all of the substantial elements of power in the region and that we have to suspend the illusion that Israelis and Palestinians can ever responsibly negotiate a stable outcome without other neighboring powers deeply engaged as stakeholders and guarantors of the outcome.”
    I agree with this sentiment for the most part, but have no illusions that it will be possible any time soon.
    There is currently an Arab Summit taking place in Qatar to discuss the Israeli invasion of Gaza. The summit is being boycotted by the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians and the Palestinian Authority. Those Sunni Arab States and six others decided they would rather boycott the summit than appear at a gathering with Khaled Mashaal and his colleagues from the Syrian branch of Hamas.
    The rift in the Arab world is getting angrier. The rift between Sunni and Shiite is getting more severe and the rift between the religious and the secular in the Muslim World is slowly reaching the boiling point.
    The fact that the Arab States are unwilling to sit in a room together in Qatar to even discuss the current fight between Israel and Hamas is extremely telling.
    If the Arab world can’t even sit together, it’s hard to see how the Israelis and Hamas or even Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are supposed to sit together.
    Are these squabbling Arab States currently engaged in an increasingly bitter internecine battle, the States that Steve thinks need to be “deeply engaged as stakeholders and guarantors of the outcome?”

    Reply

  229. JohnH says:

    I never thought I would see the day when the New York Times would say “enough already.” The 60 years of this conflict have been characterized by ever more bloody rampages and massacres on Israel’s part. After it was over, Israel would always look back and say, “that wasn’t so bad. Nobody of importance cared about our brutality, so we are free to be even more brutal next time.”
    Unfortunately, the groups that Israel listens to are once again mute. The United States will apparently set no limit on Israeli behavior, so they are almost guaranteed to behave more atrociously next time.
    The silver lining here is that major Jewish groups are no longer cowed by the Israeli lobby and are beginning to speak out, creating a voice of moral conscience that the US government lacks.

    Reply

  230. DonS says:

    It is true, as long as Obama buys into the skewed rhetoric that sees Israel as defending itself, and not the aggressor by virtue of diproportionality, or at least the “co-combatant”, words will continue to play a one-sided Israeli centric role.
    For example, I heard an NPR report on the “3 rockets” fired from Lebanon a day ago. The report said that most authorities agreed that this did not represent a “second front in the attack on Israel”. Now tell me that isn’t Orwellian to the hilt?

    Reply

  231. Cee says:

    is undermining its own project in the Middle East. . .
    It pained me to come to the realization that the project was aalways to drive the Palestinians out.
    From the Times piece:
    We agree that Israel had to defend itself
    STOP!! They aren’t defending themselves. Until people acknowledge that, Israel will continue to think they can get away with murder!!
    an Egyptian proposal for a phased-in truce,
    That better not include bringing Fatah
    anti-Israeli fury would be enormous.
    Would be? I’ve thought some things about Israel that I never dreamed would cross my mind.
    President-elect Barack Obama says he will work for a peace deal from Day 1. We hope Israel picks a new leader in elections next month who is truly committed to a two-state solution.
    A person being interviewed on PRESS TV said that Obama and Netanyahu don’t like one another. What are Bibi’s chances?
    With the support of the new American president, he or she must make an early downpayment on peace by ending settlement construction, cooperating seriously with Mr. Abbas
    And Hamas. Abbas isn’t even the president any longer!
    “Thursday was Abbas’s last day in office,” said Osama Hamdan, who represents Hamas in Lebanon. “Our position on this issue is clear: Abbas’s term in office has expired.”
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/01/09/Hamas_Abbas_no_longer_president/UPI-19361231560412/

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *