Israel’s Team of Rivals — Netanyahu, Lieberman, Perhaps Ehud Barak — Could Leave Livni Head of the “Peace Camp”

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lieberman avigdor.jpg
The Washington Times’ omnipresent Potus Notes political and foreign policy blogger Jon Ward did a very nice write-up of some parts of a “blogger breakfast session” that I hosted this morning with Mark Schmitt, editor of The American Prospect. This morning’s topic focused on the state of Israel/Palestine “stuff” and broader Middle East dynamics and featured New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force co-directors Daniel Levy and Amjad Atallah.
This is a slice from Jon Ward’s good report:

[Daniel] Levy, a former Israeli government policy adviser, talked about Israel’s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a hardliner’s hardliner on issues regarding compromise with the Palestinians.
Levy said that with Lieberman’s success in last month’s elections, which gave him the leverage to gain the foreign minister post in Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition, it’s “very difficult to pretend … it’s business as usual” in Israel.
“Lieberman chose to run a campaign of overt ugly pretty much no holds barred racism against Israeli’s arab citizens,” Levy said.
Lieberman received popular support from Israelis, he said, because “48 years of occupation has a brutalizing effect on a society.”
Lieberman, however, “sees himself as a future israeli leader,” Levy said, and is currently on a charm offensive to soften his image abroad. One obstacle to his ascent to prime minister, Levy said, is a perception among Israelis that “this former bouncer, which is what he is, thug, will never be accepted in the world.”
“He needs to show to Israelis, the world will accept me, the world will love me,” Levy said.
U.S. officials, meanwhile, need to meet with Israeli Arabs to send a message that they do not agree with mistreatment of this 20 percent minority, Levy said.
Atallah, who has advised the Palestinian Authority on peace negotiations, said that Israel will not work toward a two-state solution unless the Obama administration pressures them to do so, especially under the new government.
“We’ve made it easy for Israel to continue doing things it shouldn’t do,” Attallah said.
For example, he said, the U.S. has in the past made statements of disapproval about Israeli settlements that the Israelis have not taken seriously because the U.S. has not inflicted consequences for Israel’s continued construction of settlements in Palestinian territories.
“That’s an incentive for them to continue building settlements,” Attalah said.

There was a lot more to the discussion as well — particularly more on the possibility of the Ehud Barak-led Labor Party joining Netanyahu’s government which would leave Tzipi Livni as the de facto head of the Israeli peace movement.
Maybe Netanyahu will give Barack Obama some tips on his approach to a “team of rivals.”
— Steve Clemons

Comments

44 comments on “Israel’s Team of Rivals — Netanyahu, Lieberman, Perhaps Ehud Barak — Could Leave Livni Head of the “Peace Camp”

  1. arthurdecco says:

    Questions, a careful reading of your posts confirms your assertion – spelling is the one thing you can be proud of.

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  2. questions says:

    Well, I guess if I can’t get any policy points correct, at least occasionally I can pride myself on spelling?? One ought to have SOMEthing.

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  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I am seriously crushed. It seems you are 100% correct about the spelling of “slimy”.
    Oh, woe is me. The visual is completely destroyed for me.
    Gads, questions, have you no shame?

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  4. questions says:

    Not sure, though, that I agree that “unhelpful” is a backing off of rhetoric.
    “Illegal” hasn’t helped anyone. In fact, “illegal” doesn’t bother many people. It’s illegal to do vast quantities of things that people do endlessly from teen smoking and drinking to waging war on Iraq.
    “Unhelpful” actually sounds to me like a violation of sociality which goes deeper into violative territory than does “illegal.” So maybe the change in rhetoric is for the good. It’s a thought at any rate.

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  5. questions says:

    I suppose you could be making some other point, but “slimy” is the correct spelling near as I can tell.
    New computer works.
    You won’t find me defending the Israeli army. Or Israeli politics. Or the right wing tilt to Israeli society. Or saying it’s distinctly different from what the US periodically goes through. In fact, you won’t find me disagreeing with many of your posts. But I will maintain that at least in my reading of history, sanctions and disengagement do less, internal social dynamics need to run their course, people tire of war after a time (sometimes a very long time). So once again, yes the events are real, but I have a different take on what results from those actions.

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  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22270.htm
    The Forked-Tongue Eunuchs and Israel
    By Rami G. Khouri
    March 21, 2009 “Information Clearing House” — —
    If rhetoric is the first step toward action, then one of the rhetorical trends of our time indicating a giant step backward toward inaction is the American and European tendency to describe Israel’s aggressive and illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian territories in increasingly soft and imprecise terms.
    For years, US administrations called Israeli settlements “illegal” and an “obstacle to peace,” but in recent years those terms have been replaced by a mere “unhelpful.” On her first official trip to the region earlier this month, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton referred to the Israeli demolition of Palestinian Arab homes in East Jerusalem as “unhelpful.” Earlier this week, the European Union presidency said that Israel’s demolition of homes in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem “threatens the viability of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement, in conformity with international law.”
    If I were the Israeli government, I would be laughing all the way to my next colonial adventure in destroying Palestinian homes and infrastructure, uprooting Palestinian Arabs and replacing them with imported settlers from Israel, or Brooklyn, or Russia, or from wherever the world’s longest running modern colonization venture gets its human ammunition and reinforcements.
    It is bad enough when two of the world’s powerhouses pull back from their previous positions of branding Israel’s contraventions of international law and United Nations resolutions as illegal and impermissible and instead call them “unhelpful” or just a threat to a lasting settlement. It is infinitely worse when the United States and the European Union, who spend half their waking hours trying to spread democracy and the rule of law to the rest of the world, end up watering down Israeli contraventions of international law so that Israel spends half its waking hours laughing at every American and European official in sight.
    The rhetorical downgrading of Israel’s criminality is a problem (assuming it is still okay to use the word criminality to describe undermining the law). That, at least, is what my British and American teachers in primary and high school taught me when I learned English: Use the precise, accurate word when you have it at hand, and do not beat around the bush. Clarity is good for communication.
    The first problem with Western obsequiousness to Israel is that it perpetuates the Zionist colonial enterprise in a manner that is harmful to all concerned, including Israelis, Palestinians and Westerners who end up being sucked into our maelstrom of violence. The second problem is that it helps to disqualify the US and EU and others who share their position – such as the UN, increasingly – from playing the role of an active, credible mediator. Arabs and Israelis cannot solve their conflict on their own, and mediation by the Turks or Egyptians can only move things forward so much. A permanent, comprehensive negotiated peace agreement requires intensive American and European involvement in negotiations, consummating an agreement, peace-keeping, and promoting post-peace economic growth. This is impossible if the US and EU have no credibility.
    A third problem with the cowardice of sheltering in the safe world of “unhelpful” rather than “illegal and impermissible,” is that those Western powers that choose this route send a terrible message: They deny and ignore the rule of law when it comes to more than four decades of Israeli actions, but enthusiastically promote it when it comes to their aspirations to transform the Arab and Islamic world. A little bit of hypocrisy is standard fare for politicians; but when this becomes elevated to the level of official policy that transcends administrations, decades and generations, it enters the realm of the pathological.
    Great powers and noble organizations that disrespect their own rules are not so great in the eyes of a bewildered world that thought that decolonization concluded about half a century ago, but wakes up every morning to find itself the continuing victim of new forms of criminal colonization – in the form of Zionist-Israeli settlers, or Western diplomats whose tongues are so forked they often resemble rattlesnakes walking on two feet.
    Colonialism is either legal or illegal, acceptable or criminal. Laws matter or they don’t matter. There is no such thing as “unhelpful” colonialism, any more than there is merely naughty rape, awkward murder, or unfortunate incest. Why is it that those in the West who celebrate and seek to export their commitment to the rule of law find it so hard to adopt both the rhetoric and policies that acknowledge the criminal illegality and political catastrophe that is the modern and continuing Israeli colonial rampage? What is it that makes giants in the West become eunuchs in the face of Israeli deeds?

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  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Not sure what’s so crazy with this position, but I’m sure you’ll either ignore my post or tell me how slimy I am”
    “Slimey” has an “e” in it. Sans the “e”, the word just doesn’t visually convey the gravity of the insult.
    But seeing as how its impossible to do both, I’ll just settle for saying that your research was unnecessary. I was already aware of specific examples of racism, notably and particularly in Somalia, where some of our soldiers labeled the Somalians as “skinnies”, and showed a great disdain for the people. One has to assume it was because they were black. It is your “lack of specificity” that I was calling to your attention, not the actual grist of your accusation. If you are going to demand specificity, you should probably get into the habit of providing some.
    However, I can find no, nor recall any, instances where officers encouraged, ignored, or condoned racist slogans. Not saying it didn’t occur, just saying it certainly didn’t occur in the blatant and open manner it is currently occurring in Israel. And therein lies the difference. The racist manner in which some of our soldiers conducted themselves in Somalia WAS NOT condoned, nor was the raw sentiment shared, by the citizens here in the states. Nor can we attribute the treatment of the blacks here in the states influenced by our actions in Somalia. But the treatment of Arabs in Israel is obviopusly racist, and it is widely condond by both the military sector and the civilian sector.
    Unfortunately, in Israel, considering the open manner in which these soldiers feel they can exhibit their racism, the obvious racist Lieberman’s rise to power and popularity, and the polled sentiments of the Israeli people, it seems the racist attitude of the IDF troops is echoed on the streets of Israel by its citizenry.

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  8. questions says:

    POA,
    http://www.arabworldbooks.com/arab/ahdaf3.htm
    I can’t post endless links on US soldiers and racism, but this came up on the first google page of my search. It’s a cardboard sign instead of a t-shirt. My guess is that google image searches will turn up some clothing as well, but I’m not going to do the search.
    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2007/s1867167.htm
    Two links is the max here, but this second one will give you some specifics.
    War is hell, in Gaza, in Iraq, anywhere it is. Hell. Israeli soldiers, US soldiers, any soldiers at all. Hell.
    Really read up on mirroring neurons. (Unless it’s “mirror neurons”.)
    Again, POA, there’s nothing you can say about Israel’s bad behavior that is going to a)shock me b)get a counterargument from me. I think that the war culture there has done serious psychological damage to the society. I think the universal military service program is horrific. Every kid MUST prepare to kill, except for the most religious who are the most desirous of expelling the Palestinians. Not a good system at all. BUT once again, I don’t think defunding works. I don’t think Philip Weiss, your newfound hero, is providing enough context for Israeli violence within human violence. If you tell all war stories, then Israel’s is of a piece. If you tell only Israel’s story, then you may be rightly horrified, but not with the right target.
    Again, even as I don’t defend, I don’t defund. Not sure what’s so crazy with this position, but I’m sure you’ll either ignore my post or tell me how slimy I am.

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  9. sami jamil jadallah says:

    We Will Not Forgive The Jews For Their Silence; for Turning Israel Into a Racist, Criminal State.
    22 03 2009
    The Jewish War on Gaza and its resultant destruction of the Gaza Strip and the horrible killings of innocent women and children in cold blood and as reported in series of articles in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and in statements made by UN officials were not surprising since Jewish soldiers are educated and trained to do that, simply kill. And so the total silence of the Jewish community around the world and especially the US Jewish community should not come as a shocking surprise but was and is expected and so their dancing in the streets of New York City as their army was leveling Gaza, destroying homes, schools, hospitals, clinics, and UN supply depot and so their successful push for a an overwhelming resolutions in both House and Senate supporting Israel’s crimes in the name of “self defense”.
    Ehud Barak, the Jewish Defense Chief in charge of the War on Gaza had the Chutzpah to declare the Jewish Army as “the most moral army in the world” as he went about justifying the killing and mayhem in Gaza. Of course Ehud Barak is right. The war on Gaza and the War on Lebanon, the many wars on the Arabs, and the crimes committed by his Jewish army are part of a culture, religious and value system that makes killing and murder of Arabs, a moral thing. For sure neither Ehud Barak nor the Jewish communities around the world and especially in the US seems to have heard of the word of the late Chaim Weisman, the first Jewish president as he warned “ I am certain that the world will judge the Jewish State by what it will do with the Arabs”. Chaim Weisman had good reasons to worry about how these Jewish settlers of Palestine and how they treat the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the Palestinians.
    The Jewish State was not founded by peaceful new immigrants seeking refuge and escape from the Pogroms of Russia; it was founded by angry, racists militants committed to ethnically cleanse Palestine from its Arab inhabitants by all means preferably by military means and cold blooded murder. That philosophy of the past continues today some 100 years later. The Jewish Occupation of 67 not only inspired the Jewish communities around the world, it was the rallying cry of Jews energized and drunk with victory giving Israel total unconditional and unquestionable support for all of its actions and the many wars initiated and engaged in by the Jewish state since 67.
    The political, theological and social ideology that inspired the killings in Gaza, is the same that inspired the force expulsion of 700,000 Arabs, the total demolitions of 550 Arab villages, the killings in Dir Yassin, Qibya, Lod, Sabra and Shatilla, Qana I and Qana II, and the same that inspired the dropping of high explosive bombs over the school in Dir Albaqr in Egypt, the same that inspired the dropping of 1.5 million cluster bombs over civilian targets in Lebanon, the same that inspired the dropping of phosphorous bombs over civilian targets in Gaza and bombings of hospitals, schools, homes and mosques. Such theological value system also inspired the American Rabbi Baruch Goldstein to gun down dozens and injuring more than a hundred Muslim worshipers as they kneeled in early Morning Prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hebron. This theological philosophy was well explained in an essay titled “Ideology behind the Hebron Massacre” by the late Professor Israel Shahak.
    For many Jews, secular or religious, believe that true redemptions comes about through murder and killings of Arabs, such were the views of the late American Jewish Rabbi Meir Kahane proponent of “ extermination of the Arabs as the surest way to bring about “True Redemption of the Jews”. Rabbi Kahane calls on the Jews not fear Gentile but fear God only as “they go about expelling all Arabs from the land of Israel”. This view remains the rallying cry of the Jewish Settlers movements and the Hill Top Jews.
    That religious and theological philosophy is the prevailing philosophy of the Gush Emunim, the Jewish Settlers movement benefiting from the large generosity of American Jews especially philanthropic Jews engaged in gambling, prostitutions, liquors and Bingo Games and Gods knows what else? According to Ian Lustic, Gush Emunim believe that “Jews are not and cannot be normal people” due the covenant made with God in Mount Sinai. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner one of their leader believe “while God requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of “justice and righteousness” such laws do not apply to Jews”. Rabbi Israel Ariel was quoted as saying “a Jew who kills a non-Jew is exempt from human judgment, and has not violated the prohibition of murder” Such religious philosophy prevails among the leaders of the Gush Emunim the likes of Rabbi Aviner, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, Rabbi Ariel all of whom are of the views that” Arabs living in Palestine are thieves because the land was once Jewish all the property to be found on that land “really” belongs to the Jews”. As such the Arab-Israeli conflict must not be seen as political conflict but a theological conflict that justifies the crimes in Gaza.
    Eric H Yoffe in an article titled “Promoting Racism in Israel” provides a very similar and frightening interpretation of the prevailing views among leading Rabbis especially the explanation of the commandment in Deuteronomy 25:17 where quoting from February 26,1980 article published in Bat Kol, the student paper of Bar-Illan University and titled “ The Mitzvah of Genocide in the Torah” written by Rabbi Israel Hess where theological justifications for are found for “Killing of babes and sucklings, and forbid the showing of mercy”. This theological view comes from “milchment mitzvah” or war of religious obligations “Jewish Jihad”. Unlike the views held by suicide bombers that God provides them with 70 virgins for killing innocent people, the Jews believe that God Him Self comes down on the side of Jewish soldiers as they engage in cold blooded murder of non-Jews. This view was recently confirmed by Grand Rabbi Joseph Ovadia who claimed as reported in Haaretz that God interfered on the side of the Jewish soldiers during the War on Gaza and telling them where the terrorists were hiding.
    In the same article Eric H. Yoffe, reports of exchange between Rabbi Shimon Wiser and one Yeshiva student who is also a member of the Jewish Army where the later ( student) concludes “ during wartimes I am permitted, even obligated to kill every Arab man and woman who happens across my way. I am obligated to kill them even if this leads to complications with military codes”. It seems this was the prevailing views not only of soldiers, but commanders and civilians leaders as well. It should not be so shocking for American Jews who secured congressional support for their Jewish Army to note the recent testimony of soldiers who reported in certain instances the cold blooded murder of an old Palestinian woman as she drudged alone on a lonely road, or the killings of a women and her children as she confused the orders of going left rather than right. I am sure such acts of cold blooded murder made those who prepared and shoved the congressional resolutions down the throat of members of Congress very proud and is part of the value system prevailing among Israeli supporters.
    This racists and criminal attitude goes toward the views that Palestinians Arabs do not belong and should not belong in Jerusalem, in Jewish towns and cities and certainly not in Israel. Thus the views of politicians the likes of Avigdor Lieberman who is committed to “transfer” of Arabs out of Israel/Palestine, and leading scholars such as Rabbi Elieser Waldenberg, the winner of the 1976 Israel Prize who is of the view that Palestinians, Muslims and Christians should not be allowed to live in Jerusalem and if the Jewish State to follow the covenant with God “it must expel all non Jews from Jerusalem, in like manner, it is forbidden to us to permit non-Jews to be a majority in any cities among the cities of Israel” ( Haaettz, May 9, 1967. Thus the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem has nothing to do with security as claimed, and the recent demolitions of Arab homes in Jerusalem has nothing to do with city regulations and housing codes, but has every thing to do with a theological and religious fatwa’s that forbid non-Jews to live in Jerusalem.
    I always wondered why there is so much enmity between the Jewish State and the Arabs, between the world Jewish community, especially the American Jewish community and the Arabs, since the Arabs never committed the kind of crimes the Jews had to face for thousands of years, from the expulsion to Babylon, to the Inquision of Catholic Spain, to the Pogroms of Orthodox Czarist Russia to the Holocaust of Protestant Germany and the defamation of the Protocols of Zion. The Arabs and Muslims never did commit the kind of crimes that makes the Jews hate the Arabs so much. The golden age of Jews was during the periods of Muslims empires. However now I understand. It must be part of a religious, theological and cultural philosophy that must have been dormant for thousands of years and was dusted off and given a new life with the founding of Zionism and founding of a Jewish State to be a light among all nations.
    With very few exceptions there is a defending silence among “Diaspora Jews”, as if a conspiracy of silence exists and in fact it does exist, especially in the US where very few Jews dare to speak out against the racist and criminal acts of Israel, against the Jewish Occupation, against the more than 500 “security” check points where Palestinians of all ages are subject to the most demeaning of human humiliations on daily basis. There is absolute silence against Israel Apartheid policies and practices, against the Jewish settlements on stolen Arab lands ( including mine), against the Apartheid Wall, against the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem, against the destruction of farms and uprooting of hundreds of thousands of trees, against house demolitions, against targeted killings, against arbitrary arrests, against the use of civilians as shields for the very brave Jewish soldiers and against the siege of Gaza and against war crimes committed by the Jewish Army in Gaza. Those brave Diaspora Jews (very few) who dare to speak out find themselves in the cold, out on the streets, dismissed from jobs and denied tenures and otherwise blackmailed by a Jewish community that pride itself to be among the first to support the Civil Rights movement, the first to stand up against the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his “un-American inquisition”. Yes we have every right to be angry at “Diaspora Jews” and we have every right not to forgive them for turning what would and should have been a safe heaven for Jews that turned to a racist and criminal enterprise called the State of Israel. Of course no one expect Jewish leaders, commanders and soldiers to ever face war crimes, since Jews are not subject to abstract codes of justice and righteousness.
    This essay was inspired by:
    – “The Ideology Behind Hebron Massacre” by Professor Israel Shakah.-
    – “Promoting Racism in Israel” by Eric H. Yoffe.
    – “On the eve of destruction” by Ari Shavit
    – IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism and lax rules of engagement: Haaretz 19/03/2009.
    – ANALYSIS/ Can Israel dismiss its own troops’ stories from Gaza? Haaretz 19/03/2009.
    – IDF orders probe into allegations over Gaza war. Haarets 19/03/2009.
    – Barak seeks legal okay to move civilians from homes. Haaretz 04/03/2008
    – Judges, scholars call on UN to probe war crimes by both sides in Gaza. Haaretz 20/03/2009.
    – Reserve IDF generals: Ethics probe necessary but difficult to carry out. Haaretz 20/03/2009.
    – UN envoy: Gaza op seems to be war crimes of greatest magnitude. Haaretz 19/03/2009.
    – Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques- IDF fashion 2009. Haaretz 20/03/2009.
    – Special Note: The Jewish State in addition to banning pasta, it also banned jam, biscuits, tomato paste, tea, sweets, and date bars, as security items from going into Gaza.
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  10. sami jamil jadallah says:

    The Hell With Israel, Open the Sea Port of Gaza!
    4 03 2009
    The Gaza donor conference concluded couple of days ago in the Egyptian city of Sharm-El-Sheik and was attended by more than 70 countries, pledging more than $5 Billions exceeding any and all expectation. Of course this sum of money and the US pledge of $300 millions is dwarfed by the $30 Billions George Bush pledge to Israel in arms and weapons.
    Nevertheless, I think the attendance and the generous amounts contributed shows finally how much the world care about the people of Gaza and is an indirect indictment of the crimes committed by Israel during its 22 days of 24/7 assault on the Gaza Strip. Of course very few head of states or government officials dare to criticize Israel as it went ahead with its war crimes on Gaza, but the world rallied around to bandage the wounds of the more than 1.5 million Palestinians who had to endure the most criminal war assault since the closing days of WWII perhaps with the exception of Israel’s summer war on Lebanon couple of years ago when some 1.5 million cluster bombs, gift from George Bush to the Lebanese people, were dropped in the last 10 days of the war.
    The Gaza Reconstruction Conference in its closing statement called on Israel to open with immediate effect all crossing for all humanitarian aids and for contraction materials needed for the massive work ahead. Somehow every one forgot the geography of Gaza and that Gaza has some 50 km of shoreline and has a sea port.
    However Israel given the angry unhappy nation it is, full of hate and contempt for the world and human value, is a country that will not even consider world opinion because it does not give a damn about the world public opinion to begin with, and is unlikely to open the border crossing with Gaza for pasta let alone front loader.
    The newspapers carried accounts of the secret list of forbidden or restricted items Israel concluded as threats to its own security including “pasta, pasta sauce, lentil and hearing aids”. Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee had to inquire with Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister why “pasta” is a restricted item? This should tell you and the world how pity this nation is, “the only killing democracy in the Middle East” and I will not be surprised if Israel added Humus, fool, falafel and kinafeh to the list of forbidden items. One has to imagine if the Palestinians wants to import heavy construction material or cement. Perhaps Israel has new building technology made up of bagels, motzaball or corn beef as construction material. Israel needs serious mental help.
    What I am most surprised about is the call by almost every one, from Mahmoud Abbas, to Hillary Clinton, to Nicolas Sarkozy, to Husni Mubarak and their calls, almost begging calls for Israel to open the border crossing, I say hell with Israel and its border crossing with Gaza, Let Israel build a 1000 meter high Apartheid Wall between it and Gaza. Who needs Israel and who needs its product and services? Israel is giving the impression to the world it is doing the Palestinians a big favor when it allows fuels and food supplies to come into Gaza, For God sake Israel and Jewish suppliers get paid for every thing that comes through to Gaza, at much higher prices, nothing is for free, so why bother with Israel when Gaza has access to the sea and has a port much older than any ports in Israel.
    Let Israel go to hell, and let Israel keep its borders crossing closed and let the people of Gaza open their port and import every thing they needs and wants through the Port of Gaza. No need to reward Israeli suppliers with billions of supply contracts. I know the world is concerned about Hamas smuggling weapons, and all I can say is that Hamas is simply too stupid to smuggle any thing of significant threat to Israel such at RPJs and other serious weapons of significant risk to Israel. In more than 2 years under siege Hamas has managed to smuggle enough material to produce useless, and militarily insignificant Qassam rockets that some 15,000 of these failed to even totally destroy one single house. Though I believe the issue of weapon smuggling is more political and a powerful propaganda tool than strategic issue for Israel, nevertheless I concede that something has to be done to make sure that Hamas or any one else does not use the opening of the Port of Gaza for weapon smuggling. Beside, I am not convinced that armed struggle Hamas style is the answer to liberation.
    I am sure the Americans and the Europeans will be very pleased if Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas announced to the world their willingness to entrust the management and operation including security operation of the Port of Gaza to the Americans and perhaps some European partners. Let America manage and operate the port making sure only constructions materials, food suppliers and consumers goods comes through the port. Let American and the European break the siege of Gaza and end once and for all the Israeli Occupation of Gaza that has lasted some 42 years. Let America and Europe operate all of the security measures, not to Israel’s satisfaction but to the American and European satisfaction that all materials coming through are for civil purposes and nothing to make atomic weapon out of. And yes, let Egypt close the Rafah Crossing for all goods but allow it for people to cross if they chose to travel through Egypt. Let the US and Europe open and operate both the Sea Port and Airport of Gaza. Let the world this time end the siege of Gaza. Hamas must not hold the people hostage to its own agenda. And yes, let the US Navy and US Coast Guard patrol the coast lines off Gaza for good measure.

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  11. Babak Namdar says:

    Perhaps you should first conduct some preliminary research regarding myself and MPG before spouting off with baseless allegations. Please cite where I sought to “steer American foreign policy away from our own self interests.” The US government must puruse its own interests, anything else would be un-natural.
    As far as “what would you have us do”, I would recommend formulating a coherent Iran policy for starters. During Clinton’s tenure when asked about the student uprising in 1999, State Department said it was an internal matter, while during the regime’s [s]election State suddenly hinting support for reformists. When Bush’s official policy was “regime change” State Department called the theocrac a democracy. The point being that the American government has consistently had a fragmented Iran policy.
    Did the world not support crippling sanctions against South Africa for it’s apartheid policies? There is religious, gender and ethnic apartheid taking place in Iran. Surely if the US really wanted to, they could weaken the regime even further. Iran is not like Iraq, there are 3 demonstrations taking place daily throughout the country. Is moral support so expensive for the US?
    The Israeli’s would have to be pretty stupid to launch strikes against Iran for a whole host of reasons. One of which, when bombs start dropping Iranians unite around the very same entity that got them into the conflict, the Islamic Republic.
    True, the regime is the sole party available to reach a diplomatic agreement, but you don’t come to the table from a point of weakness. Obama is all but begging Khamenei! How sad to see a world power plead with a force that does not even enjoy legitimacy by its own people.
    I don’t have any plans to join the American military, and I don’t see how my comments advocate a strike against my motherland.
    As far as getting the current regime removed, again you’re not versed in our activities and thus are making many baseless allegations.
    We are responsible for the student uprising of 1999 and I can share newspaper clippings and the regime’s own report on our activities.
    So in simple terms, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

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  12. questions says:

    Not substantiated — no time — 30 seconds on the computer….
    Wasn’t there something about, I dunno, torture, Korans being desecrated, finding things that were decidedly not the cultural norm and subjecting inmates to it? And wasn’t this done by troops?
    Read, I think it’s _Bananas, Beaches and Bases_ for some other stuff. _Blowback_ has some useful anecdotes about US soldier behavior off bases around the world. I’ll look soon for more. “Demonize”???????? Hardly. How did we talk about the Vietnamese? Read it and weep. How do we manage to kill Iraqi civilians? Why are there so many dead civilians in Iraq? War is hell.

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  13. Daro says:

    Well Steve, As ye sow… See what happens when you call Lieberman a “hardliner” instead of the fascist racist he is? Your audience has spoken its comments and you should take note. People won’t tolerate verbal pandering anymore which puts you in a hard spot. If you DO call out the truth, a lot of your insider access will dry up. What to do?

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  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA the Aipac website is often filled with inaccurate and inflammatory statements about Iraq, Iran, the Palestinians. I have followed that site for years and the lies are endless. Someone with the tech capabilities needs to put together and Aipac Watch website to analyze and debunk the false statements on that site”
    I too monitor the AIPAC website, on a daily basis. The amount of exageration, lying, spinning, fearmongering, and boasting about which politicians are promising fealty is truly astounding.
    What “questions” fails to address when he makes his laughable attempt to minimize AIPAC’s influence is the long list of politicians supporting what he admits is a “propaganda” slinging organization. Also missing from “questions” excuses is the observation that quite often Obama’s rhetoric, and that of his advisors, is almost a verbatim repeat of the distortions we can find at the AIPAC website.
    And “questions” feeble attempt to explain away the racist slogans used by the IDF by using the “everybody does it” defense is truly despicable. Questions is fond of requesting “specificity”, even when it slaps him in the face. Yet in rebuttals, he often offers non-specific and specious generalizations and unsubstantiated horseshit. I challenge him to offer just one specific instance of American officers allowing, condoning, or ignoring the use of racist slogans on our troops garments. In fact, I challenge him to produce ANY evidence of racist sloganing by our troops, in the form of graffiti, garments, or actual public statements. I would be the last to deny our troops involvement in probable war crimes and egregious abuses, but when I point my finger at our own troops, at least I point to specific examples of known abuses. Instead, Questions seeks to accuse our troops of the same kind of blatant racism attributed to the IDF troops by their KNOWN actions, without providing us with any cold hard facts to buttress his assertions. Simply put, this kind of argument is just as despicable as wig-wag’s known untruths about Freeman were. Questions is willing to demonize our own troops with unsubstantiated accusation, not as cause for reform, but instead to minimize the gravity of the KNOWN racist actions of the IDF troops. And that is truly despicable.

    Reply

  15. downtown says:

    POA, at 7:41PM wrote:
    “A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.”
    I’m sure Chuckie Schumer, David Paterson and all the other assorted slime bags are not terribly offended by this. Time for another pro-Israel rally on 2nd Avenue, wearing red caps and paying homage to these war criminals. How telling that those slogans are written in English. With friends like these….
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/01122009/news/regionalnews/paterson_joins_israel_supporters_in_midt_149826.htm

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  16. Kathleen G says:

    A dear friend CPT (Christian Peace Maker Team Member) Art Gish just returned from a small village in the West Bank AT Tuwani. Art has been to Israel and Palestine up teen times. When he goes to the West Bank he spends time in non-violent actions having to do with the I/P conflict. Walking Palestinian kids to school, standing in front of Israeli tanks, bulldozers etc. He has interacted with Israeli soldiers and settlers many many times.
    One thing that Art shared on his returned is that may Palestinians that he interacts with think that Netanyahu and especially the role that the radical and racist Lieberman will do is directly expose the racism innate in Israeli policies and the apartheid situation that the Palestinians find themselves in
    Art Gish in front of Israeli tank
    http://philsclips.blogspot.com/2003/01/art-gish-staring-down-tank.html
    Art Gish and Peggy Gish have stood in front of the Athens Court House almost every Monday for 30 years in support of a two state solution based on the 67 border and other issues of Peace and Justice.
    Peggy Gish has been in Iraq off and on since before the invasion. Peggy and the rest of the CPT were in Iraq before the invasion and began documenting the abuse that was taking place in Iraq in the spring of 2003
    She is in Iraq now.
    They are two of my heroes
    Peggy Gish
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4066835.stm

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  17. Kathleen G says:

    POA the Aipac website is often filled with inaccurate and inflammatory statements about Iraq, Iran, the Palestinians. I have followed that site for years and the lies are endless. Someone with the tech capabilities needs to put together and Aipac Watch website to analyze and debunk the false statements on that site.
    This morning on Washington Journal National Review’s Nile Gardiner was repeating one unsubstantiated claim about Iran after another. He repeated the false and debunked claim that the Iranian President said that Iran wanted to “wipe Israel off the face of the map” three times. Professor Juan Cole debunked that false claim years ago with the direct translation of what the Iranian President actually said which was “Zionism will vanish from the pages of history” A far cry from the radical warmongers claims that Iran wants to “wipe Israel off the face of the map”
    I kept e-mailing Washington Journal asking them why they have allowed this debunked statement to be endlessly repeated on their program? This is almost as bad as allowing the Bush/Cheney mantra that Iraq had something to do with 9/11 to be repeated. Infuriating that Washington Journal allows this to be repeated. We expect that from MSNBC, and the other main line news outlets
    #####Professor Juan Cole was over at FDL for a discussion yesterday. Here are a few things that he had to say about the middle east.
    “Three concrete steps Obama can take:
    1. Withdraw from Iraq but make good political arrangements so it does not fall apart afterwards (e.g. there needs to be a compact between the Kurds and Arabs over who gets what.)
    2. Move quickly to the declaration of Palestinian state and new elections in the West Bank and Gaza. This move would include granting Palestinian citizenship to the Israeli settlers and placing them under Palestinian law, with the ability to vote. That is, Palestine will be multicultural just as Israel is. Further Israeli immigration would depend on the permission of the Palestinian legislature. If Netanyahu won’t cooperate, just do it anyway.
    3. Offer Iran a grand bargain– 1) airtight international guarantees that no military or covert attempt will be made to overthrow the government. 2) UN and US sanctions lifted in return for cessation of nuclear enrichment and 3) international help in developing Iran’s enormous natural gas fields.”
    Juan Cole
    Robert Farley March 21st, 2009 at 2:23 pm
    25
    In response to Juan Cole @ 19 (show text)
    On #2, the “if Netanyahu won’t cooperate” would seem to be the sticking point; the Obama administration can certainly do some of what you suggest without Israeli collaboration (and the presence of A. Lieberman may encourage them to be more confrontational with Netanyahu), but there would seem to be some hard ceilings on what can be accomplished without Israeli cooperation.
    Juan Cole March 21st, 2009 at 2:34 pm
    40
    In response to Robert Farley @ 25 (show text)
    American presidents are way too timid about the Israeli political establishment. I don’t understand why.
    A two-state solution is still the cleanest and best solution. The US has been committed to it for a long time now. It is the only thing that might save Israel from ultimate dissolution. We are the world’s sole superpower. Netanyahu leads a small country of 7.2 million. Obama should not be afraid to give him marching orders. If the US and the UN Security Council just announces a date for Palestinian independence and elections, what will Israel do? I think it would have to acquiesce, or risk becoming an international pariah like Iran. And Israel doesn’t have Iran’s resources, such that it could survive.
    Admittedly, this course would cause a firestorm. But the crisis in Palestine helped cause 9/11 and will generate lots more terrorism, and why should we all be endangered and inconvenienced because a few fanatics from Brooklyn want to illegally settle Hebron?
    http://firedoglake.com/2009/03/21/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-juan-cole-engaging-the-muslim-world/

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  18. questions says:

    And on the t-shirts and the like, I believe Weiss points out that it’ll be pointed out that all military adventures have their own version of this kind of thing, but that it doesn’t excuse Israel…. I will say the following: I was reading 25 or so years ago feminist work hitting on the US for the very same kinds of things. Watch porn, go bomb, degrade women, dehumanize “the enemy” — note it’s “the enemy”, not mom, dad, and a couple of babies, and grandma blind and barely able to walk. The enemy.
    War is precisely the undoing of what is empathetic, humane, caring, decent, right, worthwhile, social, valuable, lovely about us all. War seems pretty universal and ugly wherever it is. US wars are ugly. Humans who for 18 or so years are taught to love and respond kindly are suddenly upended and taught to kill and respond with hatred. Those who survive to be repatriated need to be unprogrammed and reprogrammed. It probably never works quite right. So war is bad all around. Unnecessary wars are worse. And maybe there’s never been a “Great War.” I don’t know.
    Read up on “mirroring neurons” (Wiki will do!) and tell me what has to happen for anyone to kill anyone else. Think through the issue BIOLOGICALLY. What do our bodies need to go through for us to become soldiers, killers, orderers of death.
    Think through something as small as the anger over Nadya Suleman — Huff Po is riding this one all the way to the bank. Look at the obsession with her, the anger, the name-calling and jeering. And what was her crime? Fecundity? Sheesh. The very nastiness that Weiss points out isn’t unique to Israel. It’s a flaw in the species. Maybe some of us don’t display the full workings of mirroring neurons.
    All of this about Israel I admit over and over. I am as familiar with your arguments (and Weiss’s) as you are with mine. I come to a different conclusion. Not mutely, not AIPACly, not from reading a website I don’t bother with. Through my own thinking, reading, talking, writing and thinking some more, I come to a different conclusion from the one you arrive at.
    And by the way, going to a propaganda site, quoting the propaganda, and then being “shocked, shocked” that there’s propaganda going on here, is kind of disingenuous. AIPAC’s website isn’t exactly authoritative or representative. If you want to make it so, try to find stats that show that X percent of readers of AIPAC become fully controlled AIPAC robots.
    And, sadly it was I think on Wikipedia (that bastion of accuracy!), I came across one stats project on the “Israel Lobby” entry. Seems to suggest that generally Congress votes along with the president, not with THE LOBBY, but that I think it was 27 percent of the time in this particular survey Congress broke with the pres. on I-LOBBY issues. So is the 27% a huge number? I need context to evaluate that. Note also how difficult it is to set up these kinds of surveys because what counts as a “pro-ILOBBY” vote is more difficult to determine than one would think.
    So again, the workings of this LOBBY need way more scholarship than has been granted.
    Sorry to stuff so much in. Not gonna have lots of computer time today…..
    I’ll be baaaack!

    Reply

  19. questions says:

    POA,
    I’m not mute. 3 cases of the flu in the house (the real flu with high fevers and the like), limited computer time (the new one should be here this week some time, and then I have to figure out how to turn it on, load it with necessaries, and I’ll be back more regularly.) Correlation is not causation. Just because I haven’t been posting hourly doesn’t mean that you’ve chased me away some how.
    I stand, so far, by my basic argument. Yes Israel has significant, huge, massive, wide, deep and thick pathologies. No to disengagement. Yes there is Israeli/AIPACKY influence, no it’s not beyond what other lobbies do, making it somehow illegal might not actually square with the Constitution, and influence is not CONTROL. There aren’t robots, there are no remote controls, and Carroll’s story about CBS and interested parties’ being hired in media places is right up there with normal practices. Why not go on a CNBC rant for a while? There’s the world’s economy — talk about a human rights disaster….. How promerican could it be to manipulate the market for personal gain and wrecked pensions for everyone else? Is that ‘merica for ‘mericans?
    The same kinds of moves Obama is trying in Iran (engagement to an iffy government) I would say are right for Israel. The human rights tragedy for the Palestinians is real and must be managed. But disengagement, so far as I can see, is not the best way to manage anything.
    I’ll write as I have time (both computer and real), not on your schedule.
    I remain fully voiced and not the least bit mute or afraid to respond…..
    questions

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is a transcript of Obama’s EXACT statement.
    So, tell me, how does this square with the AIPAC website’s description?
    The AIPAC version….
    “In a video address to the Iranian people in celebration of the Nowruz holiday, the president urged Iran to discuss “in mutual respect” the issues that have led to the Islamic Republic’s international isolation, including Iran’s illicit nuclear program, support for global terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric”
    The actual official transcript….
    THE PRESIDENT: Today I want to extend my very best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world.
    This holiday is both an ancient ritual and a moment of renewal, and I hope that you enjoy this special time of year with friends and family.
    In particular, I would like to speak directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nowruz is just one part of your great and celebrated culture. Over many centuries your art, your music, literature and innovation have made the world a better and more beautiful place.
    Here in the United States our own communities have been enhanced by the contributions of Iranian Americans. We know that you are a great civilization, and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world.
    For nearly three decades relations between our nations have been strained. But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together. Indeed, you will be celebrating your New Year in much the same way that we Americans mark our holidays — by gathering with friends and family, exchanging gifts and stories, and looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope.
    Within these celebrations lies the promise of a new day, the promise of opportunity for our children, security for our families, progress for our communities, and peace between nations. Those are shared hopes, those are common dreams.
    So in this season of new beginnings I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders. We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.
    You, too, have a choice. The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right — but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create.
    So on the occasion of your New Year, I want you, the people and leaders of Iran, to understand the future that we seek. It’s a future with renewed exchanges among our people, and greater opportunities for partnership and commerce. It’s a future where the old divisions are overcome, where you and all of your neighbors and the wider world can live in greater security and greater peace.
    I know that this won’t be reached easily. There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences. But let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: “The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.”
    With the coming of a new season, we’re reminded of this precious humanity that we all share. And we can once again call upon this spirit as we seek the promise of a new beginning.
    Thank you, and Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak.
    END

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is a prime example of the AIPAC website fabricating fictional statements through insinuation.
    Did any of you hear Obama make reference to Iran’s “illicit nuclear program” in his video speech?
    http://www.aipac.org/
    In Video Appeal to Iran, Obama Offers a ‘New Day’
    Obama said Iran’s goals could not be acheived with ‘terror or arms.’
    Invoking art, history and “the common humanity that binds us,” President Obama offered Iran a “new day” in its relationship with the United States, The New York Times reported. But he warned Iran’s leaders that their access to Iran’s “rightful place in the community of nations” would not be advanced by “terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions.” In a video address to the Iranian people in celebration of the Nowruz holiday, Obama urged Iran to discuss “in mutual respect” the issues that have led to the Islamic Republic’s international isolation, including its illicit nuclear program

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  22. dwg says:

    Kathleen:
    I’m inclined not to rely on Indymedia reports for for getting all the facts straight.
    However, according to GE’s corporate website, GE owns MSNBC, CNBC and NBC (sports, news and entertainment divisions among others) and quite a number of the other media outlets.
    See: http://www.ge.com/products_services/media_entertainment.html

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    Taylor Marsh writes, “I’m hoping [Livni] stays on the outside, yielding her influence, which could be considerable.”
    So what? Would she use her considerable influence in any constructive manner?
    Let’s not forget that last time Livni used her influence, she teamed with Barak and Olmert to conduct a pogrom in Gaza. How exactly is that any different from what Lieberman and Bibi will do?
    The Israeli cabinet leaders are all different, but it is just difference without distinction (in all senses).

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Speaking of the media.
    Remember the questions about who leaked the FBI investigation of AIPAC to the press and media?
    Well here’s how the jewish-Israeli “network” works in the US…
    Once upon a time a guy named Adam Ciralsky was fired from the CIA after he had been observed having questionable contacts and then failed a polograph test several times when questioned about his meetings with some foreign (Israel) interest and his dealings with them. He sued the CIA claiming he was a victim of anti semitism but the court threw out his lawsuit.
    Then in 2000 60 minutes Leslie Stahl did a program on Ciralsky being fired and then CBS ‘hired’ Ciralsky as a ‘producer’ for CBS.
    Then according to Laura Rosen and other reporters on the AIPAC- Franklin case…..
    “In May 2004, the FBI tapped Franklin making a call to CBS producer Adam Ciralsky. [Ciralsky had served as an attorney at the CIA before leaving the agency and suing it for allegedly harrassing him because of his ties to Israel. CBS’s 60 Minutes covered the case, and then apparently hired Ciralsky as a producer. “In the conversation with CBS, Franklin’s remarks reportedly revealed sensitive intelligence intercepts, potentially compromising sources and methods of intelligence gathering, according to some sources aware of the call.” [Meantime, it seems a bit tangled over at CBS, where CBS’s Leslie Stahl reported the story of Ciralsky’s lawsuit against the CIA in 2000, shortly after which CBS apparently hired Ciralsky to be a producer, and then, this past August, Stahl broke the story of the FBI investigation of an alleged Israeli “mole” in the Pentagon — an investigation in which Ciralsky’s receipt of a call from Franklin reportedly played some role.
    You can call the US jews or zionist a lobby, a “network”, a conspiracy or whatever you want you want to call them…Fifth Column is probably most accurate.
    The CBS, Stahl, Ciralsky example is exactly how it net-works in the US.
    Yes Virginia there are US Israeli moles/sympathizers/activist, whatever, in the media, in the government, in congress.
    …What… a brick has to fall on our heads? This is how the US Israelis network for Israel. Expanding and recruiting for their network,placing sympathizers in high and low positions, anywhere they can be useful to the cult’s cause

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  25. JohnT says:

    Livni head of the peace movement! Isn’t that like calling Sharon a “man of peace” or giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Kissenger?

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh goody, another special interest lobbyist seeking to steer American foreign policy away from our own self interests.
    What would you have us do, Babak? Ignore the ruling regime in Iran, hoping for a more “moderate” future governing body? Before or after Israel bombs the shit out of Iran, further destabilizing the entire middle east?
    Unfortunately, Babak, the current regime is the only one available for diplomatic engagement. Are you advocating letting Israel set the tone here? Are you going to join the United State’s Army when your and Israel’s special interests set the region aflame, and then beg our soldiers to die for your folly?? Somehow I doubt it.
    Gads how I loathe you special interest lobbyists. You could care less about the interests of the United States. You’d fry us in a cloud of nuclear dust if you thought it would advance your own intersts, and you could get away with it. If you want the current regime removed, then get your ass over there and do it yourself, don’t ask us to die for your agenda.

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  27. Babak Namdar says:

    With regards to Obama’s message for the Iranian New Year, it should be noted that the Islamic Republic has tried to abolish pre-Islam Iranian traditions since they have come to power.
    To then deliver a new year greeting to the very same force who has tried to destroy the said holiday is very strange. Surely, the American president has enough advisers that are “Iran experts.”
    It seems the United States does not learn lessons well. It supported a unpopular dictator, the Shah and now is proceeding in supporting another tyrannical regime, the Islamic Republic.
    You know things in a sad state of affairs when one of the most powerful clerics, Rafsanjani, openly declares that 85% of Iranians despise the regime, and yet the US is seeking normalized relations with the theocracy.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Thanks for the philipweiss tee shirt link POA. That one should get further coverage”
    Its interesting to me that some of our most vehement and steadfast supporters of Israel, and deniers of “lobby” influence, are always mute when links such as that are put up. “Questions” just spent two long threads lamenting the lack of specificity to our arguments, when in fact you can’t get much more “specific” than the myriad of links that appear here on a weekly basis, outlining the racist behaviour that has now become the status quo in regards to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
    And as Kathleen and I have discussed here, one has to consider the silence of MSNBC and the other news networks as completely and utterly inexplicable if we are to discount “lobby” influence on the American news media. Are we to think that stories such as the Freeman castration or the Tristan Anderson attempted murder are deemed irrelevent by the entire body of American newscasters? It is painfully obvious that the influence of “the lobby” has insidiously infested itself into the management of what is bandied before us as “news” in regards to Israel.

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  29. Taylor Marsh says:

    I was at the breakfast and also happened to be the person who asked about Livni’s place in the mix as Netanyahu and Lieberman join together.
    As Steve says, Daniel Levy did talk about Livni ending up being a leader of sorts of the peace movement, which though some of you scoff at the notion, could be a real power lever for Livni.
    The other thing said by Levy (at least as I interpret it), which I don’t think Steve heard, as he had to leave momentarily to do a radio interview, is that Livni’s importance and her outreach could not only enhance her power, but also possibly position her to have leverage amidst what’s going on with the Netanyahu – Lieberman alliance. THAT IS, if Livni decides to stay outside the Israeli government, instead of joining forces. I’m hoping she stays on the outside, yielding her influence, which could be considerable.

    Reply

  30. Kathleen G says:

    POA wonder who Steve Rosen( I lobby) knows or owns at MSNBC?
    Does GE own MSNBC?
    http://la.indymedia.org/news/2003/04/47530.php

    Reply

  31. Kathleen G says:

    So if they claim “that no one but themselve determined content on their two shows”. They are admitting that their own personal agendas keep stories like Freeman’s withdrawal off their shows. Does not say much for their agendas.
    I know when I challenged Chris Matthews at the Libby Trial (had an opportunity to talk with him..politely). I asked him why no coverage of the I/P conflict, no stories on the I lobbies influence…his response “I do not control programming”
    So Rachel, Olbermann Matthew are either too chicken shit to touch this story or….in their books Freeman’s withdrawal was not important. How many important folk wrote about or had something to say about his withdrawal Hell it dominated for over a week
    Silence out of MSNBC that says it all

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  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “But Rachel has still been too chicken shit to do a segment on the Charles Freeman withdrawal (yes even Rachel is chicken shit) or her handlers will not let her touch this critical story”
    Kathleen, I don’t know if you caught it or not, but on “Olberman” last night Keith did a segment with Rachel where the two of them over-stressed the premise that no one but themselves determines content on either of their two shows. Although the segment was designed to counter RW accusations that some sort of liberal scriptwriter is providing both of them with subject matter and talking points, I had the distinct impression that Keith and Olberman were trying to make a much broader point, and deny “lobby” influence without actually having to mention either “the lobby” or Israel. I felt a lack of sincerity on both of their parts during this segment, and it seemed way over-played, kinda like “thou dost protest too much”.
    Keith and Rachel’s silence on the Freeman issue is inexplicable UNLESS someone has told them to leave the story alone. It is far too important a story to have escaped their attention. Even more damning is their avoidance of a number of stories, not JUSt the Freeman issue. If it was JUST the Freeman story being ignored, one could almost make the weak argument that it simply doesn’t interest either of them. But to advance the theory that the Tristan Anderson story doesn’t “interest” Rachel is ludicrous. That story was made in heaven for Rachel’s kind of activist approach. The fact that she has ignored it is quite damning, and actually points more to outside controlled content than the Freeman story does. Then, of course, you have her silence about our withdrawal and boycott of the Durban Conference.
    Just call it three strikes, and Rachel is out. It is obvious that someone outside of Maddow and Olberman are controlling content, and that “someone” has put the kabosh on stories that are less than favorable towards Israel or “the lobby”. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever seen either of them touch the issue of settlement expansion either.
    Unfortunately, this shoehorns these two into the same box with the likes of Hannity or O’Reilly, and underscores how this unhealthy “pro-Israel/deny the existence of the lobby” influence has insidiously inserted itself into both sides of the aisle and the political spectrum, even as it applies to our media.

    Reply

  33. benjoya says:

    hell, even JStreet couldn’t find it in themselves to support Freeman,
    leaving it to people who actually know him. Why did I send them a
    check again?

    Reply

  34. JamesL says:

    Thanks for the philipweiss tee shirt link POA. That one should get further coverage. Our American tax dollars at work. Probably should send a sampler to each of our congress personnettes asking which one they prefer.
    I admit to being hopeful for far too long that each new Israeli war crime, backed by American dollars, was just a fluke, caused by a few armed Israeli dregs, that there were lots of good people in Israel, that a lunatic fraction held the steering wheel and that reason would soon prevail. But that view has pretty much been beaten out of me by what is now a lifetime of Israeli actions, pushed aside by an Old Testament perspective, namely that the Jews were God’s chosen people simply because they were the world’s greatest screwups and provided a pallette of human actions God (whoever she is) could point to say “Don’t do that.” I know I should draw a distinction between Jews (J’s), Israelis (I’s), Zionists (Z’s), and Rabid Zionists (RZ’s) because no people is all bad, but the RZ’s aren’t interested in clarity and continually mix them together so that if I don’t make the seperation, I am a racist worthy of being killed. But the message is pretty clear at this point, and the tee shirts make it even clearer to anyone with a heart: Don’t do that.

    Reply

  35. Kathleen G says:

    John H you hit the nail on the head.
    I have heard Andrea Mitchell refer to Netanyahu as “Bibi”
    Wonder if Lieberman will hire Burston Marstellar to work on his image around the world?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xVsYc-y7IY
    Rachel did a segment on which big shots have hired Burston Marstellar. But RAchel has still been too chicken shit to do a segment on the Charles Freeman withdrawal (yes even Rachel is chicken shit) or her handlers will not let her touch this critical story. Olberman, Chris Matthews have not touched it. Hell even Diane Rehms has not brought Charles Freeman on as a guest…and generally Rehm will go where no other MSMer will go.
    Pleast contact Diane and her producers and ask her to bring Freeman on as a guest. Please call and email..hopefully the messages and request will get beyond her screeners.
    http://wamu.org/programs/dr/contact_us.php

    Reply

  36. JohnH says:

    “Tzipi Livni as the de facto head of the Israeli peace movement.” That’s rich! Kind of like making Joe Lieberman head of the peace camp in the United States…

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Obama Administration’s rhetoric on Iran up until this video has been an echoing of the AIPAC website’s fearmongering, exaggeration, and disregard for the IAEA’s findings.
    After eight and a half years of being demonized, having it’s leaders quoted out of context and purposely mis-translated, to say nothing of being branded as a member of the “Axis-Of-Evil”, suddenly Iran is supposed to pretend all is forgiven because of one questionably sincere video overture by Obama?
    I see this video as just a prop, so that in the near future Obama can say, “Well gee, I tried”, after which he will say Israel’s bombardment of Iran’s nuclear facilities was “justified” and “an act of defense”. The handwriting is already on the wall. If Israel did not intend to bomb Iran, what possible reason do they have to exagerate the threat? They’ll bomb Iran, Obama will condone it, and we will get dragged into a ME mess that will make today’s ME mess seem like a minor hangnail.
    Like our leaders, Israel has been allowed to get away with anything they do, so there is absolutely no incentive to act differently. Not one time has the billions we ship them been jeopardized by the repeated disdain they have shown for the peace process, human rights, requests to roll back expansion, or the security of United States intelligence information.
    Obama’s Iran overture is a joke. On the one hand he exagerates the threat they pose, using rhetoric that is remarkably similiar to that on the AIPAC website, and on the other hand he poses as if he’s holding an olive branch.
    If Obama really wants to make an overture to Iran, he will admit to the world that nothing “illicit” has been uncovered about their nuclear program, and quite to the contrary, they have fullfilled all their obligations as spelled out in the NPR treaty.

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  38. danl says:

    Steve– no comments on the Obama video reaching out to Iran?

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.antiwar.com/ips/kesskloch.php?articleid=14431
    March 20, 2009
    Israeli Soldiers Expose Atrocities in Gaza
    by Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
    JERUSALEM – Based on testimony from Israeli soldiers who took part in the recent war in Gaza, Israel is being confronted directly with the serious charge that permissive rules of engagement allowed for the killing of Palestinian civilians and widespread destruction of Palestinian property.
    The disclosures created a stir after first publication Thursday in a major front-page spread in the Tel Aviv daily, Haaretz. The charges are all the more telling in that they are based on first-hand accounts from dozens of combat soldiers who served in the war. Their testimonies were compiled by an academic college the soldiers had attended in a prep course before being drafted.
    This represents the first uncensored recording in Israel of what occurred within combat units which took part in what Israeli codenamed Operation Cast Lead. The picture drawn by the soldiers differs radically from the refined version of the war provided by military commanders to the public and Israeli media.
    The report includes the testimony of one NCO (non-commissioned officer): “A company commander with 100 soldiers under his command saw a woman walking down a road some distance away, but close enough that you could’ve gunned down whoever you identified…She was an elderly woman – whether she raised any suspicion, I don’t know. But what the officer did in the end was to put men on the roof and with the snipers bring her down. I felt it was simply murder in cold blood.”
    As presented in the report, Danny Zamir, head of the army prep-course, who compiled the transcript of the testimonies, intervened: “I don’t get it – why did he have her shot?” The soldier who witnessed the incident replied: “That what’s great in Gaza, you could say – you see someone walking down a track, not necessarily armed, and you can simply shoot them. In our case, it was an elderly woman. I didn’t see her with any weapon. The order was to bring the person down, that woman, ‘as soon as you sight her’. There are always warnings, and there’s always the saying – ‘it could be a suicide bomber’. What I felt was a lot of bloodthirstiness. Because, we weren’t in many engagements, our battalion was only involved in a very limited number of incidents with terrorists.”
    According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 1,434 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli offensive, 960 of them civilians, among them 288 children. Palestinians have spoken insistently of atrocities by Israeli troops and of random destruction of thousands of homes. Israel has brushed off the accusations and calls for investigations into “war crimes” committed during the war, dismissing it as “anti-Israel propaganda.”
    In the report, another infantry squad leader gave this account of an incident where an IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) sniper shot and killed a Palestinian woman and her two children: “There was a house with a family inside….We put them in a room. Later we left the house and another platoon entered it. A few days later there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof,” the soldier said.
    “The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right. One of the women and her two children didn’t understand the instructions. They went to the left. No one told the sniper on the roof that they had been permitted to go, that it was okay, and he should hold his fire and he…he did what he was supposed to, like he was following orders.”
    According to the squad leader’s account, “The sniper saw a woman and children approaching him, they crossed the line he was told no one should cross. He shot them straightaway. In the end, what happened is that he killed them. I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because, as far as he was concerned, he was doing his job according to the orders he’d been given. The atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to…I don’t know how to describe it…The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, are very, very much less important than the lives of our soldiers. As far as they’re concerned, that’s the way they can justify it.”
    “I was in shock at what I heard,” said Zamir in an interview on Israel Radio. “The incidents involving the killing of civilians are the most disturbing and need to be investigated. What I also found very distressing was how the norms of the army’s code of conduct have been eroded and how widespread the aberrations are at junior commander level.”
    Zamir said the soldiers reported that officers never intervened when troops deliberately damaged property, harassed civilians or wrote “Death to Arabs” graffiti. The report also quotes individual soldiers reporting that, when they tried to remonstrate with fellow soldiers who were causing wanton damage, they were met with the response, “Because they’re Arabs.” “This is not the Israeli Defense Forces that we used to know,” said Zamir.
    Amos Harel, the Haaretz military affairs correspondent who broke the story, says the accounts have a ring of authenticity. “The soldiers are not lying, for the simple reason that they have no reason to do so. There’s a continuity of testimony from different parts of the Gaza war zone. Read the transcript and you won’t find any judgment or boasting. This is what the soldiers saw in Gaza.”
    Israel’s army is a temple of social consensus and a national melting pot. It is one of the fundamental tenets of Israel’s social fabric that the army does not commit war crimes, and operates according to “the highest ethical standards,” even in war time. They call it “purity of arms.”
    The accounts expose a dehumanizing view of ‘the enemy’ that seems to be more extreme than ever among Israeli soldiers. But the deterioration has been going on for decades – since Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands has meant that the Israeli army has been principally engaged in fighting guerrillas in civilian populated areas; this has included fighting two Palestinian Intifada uprisings and two wars in Lebanon, one against the Palestinian Liberation Authority and one against Hezbollah.
    The report of what happened in Gaza was submitted three weeks ago to Israel’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi. The army says it will investigate the allegations thoroughly.
    But Harel says that “if the army never heard about these incidents, it’s a reasonable assumption that it didn’t want to know. The soldiers describe the reality in combat units, from the level of company commander down. In debriefings, the participants usually include company commanders up. It seems that, except for isolated incidents, the rule is ‘you don’t ask, we won’t tell.'”
    Asked on Israel Radio to comment on the report, Defense Minister Ehud Barak stuck to the credo: “I only heard of the charges this morning. I’m convinced that the army will carry out a thorough investigation. There are always exceptions, but our army is the world’s most moral. Our soldiers talk openly when they return home.”
    Moshe Negbi, a leading legal expert, told IPS that an independent inquiry was essential – “not only for justice to be seen, but also as a most effective way of heading off increasing world pressure for a war crimes inquiry against the Israeli military.”
    Whether there will be a major public grappling within Israeli society that will press for such an inquiry is improbable. Ever since the beginning of the occupation more than 40 years back, and especially in the last decade since the Second Intifada, attitudes and public and political discourse in regard to the Palestinians, and to Arabs in general, have been degraded.

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  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its never been a “good time” to be a Palestinian. But with this new government coming in, Lieberman’s rise in popularity, and Obama’s sniveling cowardice in the face of Israeli demands, one has to assume Israel will feel “entitled” to amp up the amount of Palestinians it can slaughter, starve, dehumanize and spit on.
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/racist-and-sexist-military-shirts-show-the-fruits-of-israeli-militarism.html
    March 20, 2009
    Racist and sexist Israeli military shirts show the mindset that led to war crimes in Gaza
    There is another report in today’s Ha’aretz that I do want to comment on. Uri Blau’s article “‘No virgins, no terror attacks'” describes the practice of Israeli soldiers getting custom clothing printed with their unit’s insignia along with graphics and text. Below are some examples of shirts that were printed, along with some of the images. These images only appeared on Ha’aretz’s Hebrew-language website:
    A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription “Better use Durex,” next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him.
    A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.”
    After Operation Cast Lead, soldiers from that battalion printed a T-shirt depicting a vulture sexually penetrating Hamas’ prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh
    A “graduation” shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, “No matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it.”
    There are also plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages. For example, the Lavi battalion produced a shirt featuring a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, “Bet you got raped!”
    A few of the images underscore actions whose existence the army officially denies – such as “confirming the kill” (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim’s head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants.
    “Let every Arab mother know that her son’s fate is in my hands!” had previously been banned for use on another infantry unit’s shirt. A Givati soldier said this week, however, that at the end of last year, his platoon printed up dozens of shirts, fleece jackets and pants bearing this slogan.
    “It has a drawing depicting a soldier as the Angel of Death, next to a gun and an Arab town,” he explains. “The text was very powerful. The funniest part was that when our soldier came to get the shirts, the man who printed them was an Arab, and the soldier felt so bad that he told the girl at the counter to bring them to him.”
    In 2006, soldiers from the “Carmon Team” course for elite-unit marksmen printed a shirt with a drawing of a knife-wielding Palestinian in the crosshairs of a gun sight, and the slogan, “You’ve got to run fast, run fast, run fast, before it’s all over.”
    Below is a drawing of Arab women weeping over a grave and the words: “And afterward they cry, and afterward they cry.” [The inscriptions are riffs on a popular song.]
    Another sniper’s shirt also features an Arab man in the crosshairs, and the announcement, “Everything is with the best of intentions.”
    A shirt printed after Operation Cast Lead in Gaza for Battalion 890 of the Paratroops depicts a King Kong-like soldier in a city under attack. The slogan is unambiguous: “If you believe it can be fixed, then believe it can be destroyed!”
    These shirts have to get the approval from IDF commanders and are a military tradition, although the explicit nature of these shirts seem new. Bar-Ilan University Sociologist Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy is quoted as saying the shirts are “part of a radicalization process the entire country is undergoing, and the soldiers are at its forefront.” Israeli anti-militarism activist Sergeiy Sandler, who works for the important organization New Profile, emailed this article out saying the shirts are “a long-standing tradition in Israeli military units; you see those shirts, although usually with less outrageous designs, on the streets all over the place. A picture’s worth a thousand words, isn’t it?”
    I don’t imagine these types of shirts are unique to Israel. I bet there are similar ones created by US soldiers in Iraq. But the shirts do point to an environment where mass war crimes can be carried out. They reflect a mindset where Palestinian life is disdained, when it’s even acknowledged. One of the soldiers says it best in their testimony describing the killing of a mother and her two children: “the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to … I don’t know how to describe it …. The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way.”

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  41. Dan Kervick says:

    “[Daniel] Levy, a former Israeli government policy adviser, talked about Israel’s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a hardliner’s hardliner on issues regarding compromise with the Palestinians.”
    What’s interesting is that while it is true that Lieberman is a racist hardliner, when it comes to the issue of a Palestinian state, he is actually *less* of a hardliner than the bigoted wingnut Netanyahu and his maximalist Likud friends.
    And yet because Netanyahu was born and reared in the United States, speaks fluent English, and is called “Bibi” by a host of highly placed American Jewish pals, he is regarded as more acceptable than Lieberman.
    And the day Tzipi Livni is the default head of the peace camp is the day Zippy the Pinhead is the default head of MENSA.

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  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    DAVINCHI….
    Assuming you will spam this thread with your advertisement like you’ve done on all the other threads, I thought I’d give ya a little food for thought….
    I noticed your link the other day, with your first post. I set the link aside, intending to take a look later in the day. But between setting the link aside, and finding the time to click on it and examine your site, I began to notice that you were spamming Steve’s site.
    Bottom line? I won’t be examining your site. Any jackass that presumes its OK to spam someone’s blog with repetitious advertisements can’t possibly have much to offer. Your idiotic and irritating marketing campaign doesn’t exactly instill confidence that one will find anything worthwhile at your site. In any case, I’ll never know, because it’ll be a cold day in hell before this TWN reader clicks on your link.

    Reply

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