On Good Authority. . .

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podesta and co.jpgJohn Podesta on Obama team. I am hearing that Financial Times Washington Bureau Chief Edward Luce has a pretty significant interview with Center for American Progress President and former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta coming out on Monday. Luce recently did a video interview with Senator John McCain. One source tells me that Podesta “goes farther” in his critique of the Obama team than his already pretty direct comments in Luce’s recent survey of the Obama White House’s inner workings.
General David Petraeus’ Suit. Earlier this week, I mentioned that I had told General Petraeus at a dinner that he looked quite good in a well-fitting suit and out of uniform but that if I twittered that, it would send a shudder through DC political circles. He laughed. But a source who I think is pretty plugged in tells me that the suit in question was bought off the rack four years ago but looks new because the General has been constantly deployed over the last four years. Fair enough. My broader point (and respectful chuckle) still stands.
Greek PM George Papandreou Fights Back. Papandreou has launched a vicious attack at Greece’s holier-than-though EU critics, stating that the EU’s financial regulatory incompetency and dereliction of duties allowed the previous Greek conservative government’s “criminal record” in falsifying data to go unchecked. Germany’s Angela Merkel is going tough on Greece as tensions rise. I am reminded of Fniancial Times’ Martin Wolf‘s admonition last year that Germany is neglecting its hegemonic regional responsibilities in the EuroZone — and AEI Scholar Desmond Lachman‘s warning that the Euro could go under.
Health Care Reform Lobbyist Hypocrisy. The Sunlight Foundation’s Paul Blumenthal goes after Obama White House for hypocrisy in nailing down key agreements on health care reform legislation with the same corporate interests and lobbyists — particularly Billy Tauzin — that candidate Obama specifically harangued during his presidential race. Watch the video clip and read the piece.
Goldstone. Just came by this website for those interested in a defense of the UN Report on War Crimes in Gaza (2008-09), the so-called Goldstone Report. . . .And an opposing view. And another.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

49 comments on “On Good Authority. . .

  1. nadine says:

    “I don’t know this for a fact but I would guess that several people were considered for Goldstone’s job and that his being jewish factored in his favor because it was assumed that he would not have any “anti semitic” leanings, as the UN is constantly accused of, and thus cries of anti semitism and anti Israel could not be raised over the report results.” (Carroll)
    Too funny, as if the UN worries about charges of anti-Semitism. The UN wanted anti-Semitic results and they got them. Instead of speculating in the absence of fact, why don’t you look at Richard Goldstone’s own history, at his meteoric rise on the Appelate Court of South Africa, which he was appointed to in 1980, and his willingness to work for and help provide cover for the old apartheid regime? He was on the bench enforcing Botha’s state of emergency laws in the 1980s. Goldstone is not picky about the masters he serves, as long as it advances his own career.

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  2. Bloix says:

    I had wanted to comment on the Luce article and on Steve’s appearance on To The Point last night, where, he discussed it, but I can see that it’s far too late to start anything on this thread.

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  3. nadine says:

    Was that supposed to be clever, Carroll? What can anyone conclude but a) you don’t actually know anything about Gaza or Israel, and b) you hate Jews so much that any bad thing must automatically apply to them.

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  4. Carroll says:

    “So when I ask questions like, have you noticed the Islamicization of Gaza? How is Israel supposed to make peace with religious fanatics dedicated to Israel’s destruction? I get called a “racist ghoul” in lieu of an answer.” (Nadine)
    Too funny!….
    So when I ask questions like, have you noticed the zionist Juderizing of Israel? How is it Hamas is suppose to make peace with religious fanatics dedicated to Palestine’s destruction? I get called a racist “anti semite” in lieu of an answer.

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  5. Carroll says:

    nadine…you have a problem.
    And no I am not going to do the usual hatchet job on you just point out something obvious in this…
    “I find it rather strange that you think I “singled out” Richard Goldstone: of course I did. He was the head of the commission, and the man who lent it credibility as a Jew and a jurist. Had it just been composed of people like Col. Travers and Prof. Chinkin, who had made their prejudice evident, it would not have carried much water even with the left.”
    I don’t know this for a fact but I would guess that several people were considered for Goldstone’s job and that his being jewish factored in his favor because it was assumed that he would not have any “anti semitic” leanings, as the UN is constantly accused of, and thus cries of anti semitism and anti Israel could not be raised over the report results.
    Evidently it is not conceivable to you that a Jew could be objective, could put the truth and the facts above personal ideology or ethnics.
    And now you are upset that a “Jew’s” report is being taken seriously?
    I agree with many jews on a whole host of things, disagree and outright despise the uber zionist on Israel. That’s not being an anti semite, that’s being against some people who are in most informed people’s estimate crazy and dangerous to our own country and other regions.
    But you are anti any and everything and everyone except the militant, jewish,supremacy,power, wing ..the whole ball of wax of zionist revenge and enemies and total domination of all those who have anything Israel’s wants or challenges them.
    I expect my point in this to bounce right off your head like a rubber ball but can’t say I didn’t try.
    BTW, I am not and many others on here are not far left by any means or even left….or belong to any idelogical group. Most here are about as objective as you can find in the political issues sphere.

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  6. nadine says:

    Paul, Barry Rubin is speaking of the mainstream reporting, not the commentators at TWN, or DailyKos, or any other hang-out of the far left. Even at TWN attention is focused far more on Israel than Afghanistan.

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  7. nadine says:

    Hi questions, yes I do consider al Qaeda and Hamas very similar, and for good reason: they are both spin-offs of the Muslim Brotherhood with essentially identical ideologies. They are both Sunni religious fanatics fighting for Allah’s promised victory over the infidel — and since they are takfiris, the definition of “infidel” has very wide latitude. They differ in chosen targets, that’s all. That’s one reason why Egypt is now building an Iron Wall (literally, down to the water table) to seal the border with Gaza. Egypt has quite enough problems with the native Muslim Brotherhood types; they don’t need an MB safe haven on their border, and the Hamas-Iranian alliance makes it even worse.
    However, I’ve noticed that very few people here are willing to even consider the political program of Hamas, or Fatah either. That would be a step towards treating them like responsible actors, instead of helpless victims. So when I ask questions like, have you noticed the Islamicization of Gaza? How is Israel supposed to make peace with religious fanatics dedicated to Israel’s destruction? I get called a “racist ghoul” in lieu of an answer.

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  8. nadine says:

    “There is a lot of anger over the civilian killings in Afghanistan, both there and in the West. Perhaps there is not the same uniformity you see regarding Israel’s actions, but it’s there.” (MarkL)
    Chiefly among the Afghans, as is natural, and among people who are always looking for reasons to hate America. But this I can promise you: Richard Goldstone won’t be heading up another commission to investigate the matter, and he won’t conclude, as he did in Gaza, that since the Americans have precision weapons they obviously intended to smash all these civilian houses and kill these civilians.
    Barry Rubin is addressing the question of why similar conflicts get such different treatment.
    I find it rather strange that you think I “singled out” Richard Goldstone: of course I did. He was the head of the commission, and the man who lent it credibility as a Jew and a jurist. Had it just been composed of people like Col. Travers and Prof. Chinkin, who had made their prejudice evident, it would not have carried much water even with the left.

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  9. DonS says:

    ‘And the world says, “The Palestinians say they are suffering? Oh bad, bad, bad Israel. White Israel, Colonialist Israel, Apartheid Israel, double plus ungood Israel.”‘ (Nadine) Is that an actual quote, or just another rephrased talking point?
    *************************
    “I see a land illegally occupied . . .” )Clemons)
    “I don’t think Steve realizes how much summations like that strengthen the hand of Likud, who turns to Labor and Meretz and says “And you thought we would get diplomatic credit for our painful concessions, our offers, our withdrawals that put our cities under missile fire?” (Nadine) No one believes you have the slightest interest in providing actual analysis or advice that would lead anywhere towards peace and justice for the Palestinians, or the Israelis. Moreover, if [Steve] telling the bare fact truth results in political blowback in Israel, then Israel should address their rotten politics and policies of oppression.

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  10. nadine says:

    carroll, what I said was that Goldstone never talked to any soldiers or attempt to reconstruct the fighting. The IDF wouldn’t cooperate, and Hamas claimed not to know any Hamas militants. There are some quotes in the report that came from IDF soldiers: these quotes were supplied by various far-left NGOs who are finanicially supported by the New Israel Foundation, which is another scandal that is brewing in Israel. The Goldstone commission didn’t interview them.

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  11. nadine says:

    “There have been specific criticisms of the deals that were arrived
    at Camp David and Taba that could be corrected…and a final
    status proposal with borders put forward by Israel. And kept on
    the table. I guess that’s not done in diplomatic circles, but why
    not? If the Palestinians truly reject a truly fair proposal, then I
    think they have chosen a nihilistic path. They can continue to
    “fight,” but I think any world sympathy they have achieved will
    evaporate. And Israel won’t be any less safe for having tried.” (Sweetness)
    Sweetness, that is well-meaning. Unfortunately, it is also absurd, or perhaps I should say your plan is sane but the actual situation is absurd?
    If Israel leaves ANYTHING on the table, the Palestinians put it into their pockets, and say: Okay you just gave us that, while we agreed to nothing; now what more are you going to give us? Indeed, that is what they try even when Israel doesn’t leave anything on the table. Arafat was a master at this game and his successors still play it.
    The Palestinians rejected Camp David. They rejected Taba. They rejected Olmert’s offer in 2007, which matched Taba. They made no counter-offer, unless you count a terror war as a counter. And the world says, “The Palestinians say they are suffering? Oh bad, bad, bad Israel. White Israel, Colonialist Israel, Apartheid Israel, double plus ungood Israel.”
    Look at Steve Clemons’ one line summation of the conflict: “I see a land illegally occupied, the consequences of which are having massive global effects — and I see a superpower fighting an assymetric insurgency and rebellion…Israel has killed many and has more control over the temperature in the region than those opposing it.”
    That line doesn’t even recognize ANY of Israel’s concessions or peace-making attempts of the last 20 years — not Oslo, not the PA, not the offers, not the withdrawals from Lebanon or Gaza, nothing. It also seems to think that the more powerful side in a conflict can end the conflict unitarily. Well it can, but only by crushing the weaker side; when that’s not allowed, the conflict continues.
    I don’t think Steve realizes how much summations like that strengthen the hand of Likud, who turns to Labor and Meretz and says “And you thought we would get diplomatic credit for our painful concessions, our offers, our withdrawals that put our cities under missile fire? Hoo-ha! We told you what would happen! Now look at the position you fools have put us in! We are much weaker on the ground and twice as hated diplomatically!”

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  12. Carroll says:

    The guys at Lobelog separate the facts.
    “And how many rockets were fired into Israel in October?
    According to the very figures [PDF, p. 6] that Gordon cites against Travers, only one.”
    The Goldstone Report and the Gaza Truce
    February 14th, 2010 |
    Daniel Luban
    In a recent interview [PDF] with the Middle East Monitor, Colonel (ret.) Desmond Travers of the Irish Army — best known as one of the members of the U.N. commission that produced the Goldstone report — attracted attention for his statement that “the number of rockets that had been fired into Israel in the month preceding their operations was something like two.” Critics of the Goldstone report like Commentary’s David Hazony and Evelyn Gordon have seized on the comment as proof that Travers and the rest of the Goldstone commission are irredeemably biased against Israel; Gordon cites figures [PDF] from the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center showing that over 300 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza during the month of December 2008. (Operation Cast Lead began on Dec. 27.)
    As Jerry Haber notes, however, these criticisms are based on a simple misunderstanding. In fact, the “operations” that Travers refers do not commence with the start of Operation Cast Lead on Dec. 27, but rather with Operation Double Challenge on Nov. 4. Double Challenge was an IDF incursion into Gaza that left six Palestinians dead, ending months of calm; because the operation came the day of the U.S. presidential elections, it vanished without a trace in the U.S. media.
    Paul Woodward explains that the ceasefire was, in fact, functioning quite well until the Israelis broke it on Nov. 4; only after the IDF raid did the number of rocket attacks increase.
    Therefore, when Travers speaks of “the month preceding their operations,” he is referring not to December but to October 2008. And how many rockets were fired into Israel in October? According to the very figures [PDF, p. 6] that Gordon cites against Travers, only one. (According to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were two rockets fired in October, and twelve in the four-month stretch from July through October.)
    The fact that the ceasefire was actually working quite well in preventing rocket fire into southern Israel is one reason that we should be skeptical of the claim that Israel had no choice but to use military force to prevent the rocket attacks. (This is not, of course, to deny that the rocket attacks constituted war crimes in their own right.) If Israel’s primary goal were simply to end the rocket attacks, it could have worked to maintain the ceasefire (or better still, lifted the siege of Gaza). Why, then, did Israel choose to violate it instead? I suspect that the Israeli government, wary of the incoming Obama administration, believed that the blank check it enjoyed during the Bush years was coming to an end, and was determined to make one last sustained effort to root out the Hamas government before it did.”
    *Lebanon fires on Israeli planes…in the news.
    I see a solution to it all..it goes like this….Israel finally succeeds in starting a regional war in the ME about the time the US declares bankruptcy and can’t finance Isr any longer.
    This scenario would probably prove that every cloud has silver lining.

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  13. Carroll says:

    Let me be more specific on that.
    Soliders came forward that were not put up by the Israeli IDF.
    Which were included in the report.

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  14. Carroll says:

    Posted by nadine, Feb 14 2010, 6:33PM – Link
    Sweetness, it is easy to show the report is shoddy and biased. Goldstone’s methodology is obviously faulty — it lacks any of the basics a real jurist would cover before adjudicating war crimes, like talking to soldiers and trying to reconstruct the fighting, just for starters — and it completely one-sided assumptions (Hamas: always innocent IDF: always guilty) were designed to arrive at a pre-baked conclusion
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    O.K.
    You’ve just proved you haven’t even read the report. You just spout the pro zionist talking points that you pick up God knows where.
    Soldiers were interviewed.
    I put up the link to the UN report several articles ago.
    I would suggest you read the official report…but we see you don’t deal in facts that would destroy your propaganda.

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  15. Carroll says:

    Posted by Paul Norheim, Feb 15 2010, 2:03PM – Link>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Correct.
    If I had a dime for every time those of us who criticise Israel also criticize the US for it’s
    policies and actions I could buy out our entire congress.

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  16. Carroll says:

    Posted by DonS, Feb 14 2010, 11:32AM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Ditto.
    We the people, most sane and reasonable people that is, know the US is also at fault in what Israel does…and yet we have no representation to stop it.
    One of the biggest indications of how corrupt our political system has become.

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  17. Paul Norheim says:

    On a thread somewhere below this one, there was a discussion
    about why some people blame America for deaths in Iraq and
    Afghanistan, when the culprits were al Qaeda and the Taliban?
    Some of those who defend America accuse their opponents of
    being anti-American. Some of these pro-US people also happen
    to be pro-Israel, and many of those criticizing America
    frequently also criticize Israel frequently.
    But when they do so, the pro-Israel/pro-America people often
    say: Why do you always criticize Israel, and not … eh…America,
    when civilians are killed in wars or attacks where US troops are
    involved?
    Yeah: WHY DO THEY NEVER BLAME AMERICA?
    The Barry Rubin quote in a comment above is an example of
    this: why zero criticism of America in Afghanistan – and all that
    criticism of Israel in Gaza?
    Speaking of commenters at TWN, there is one problem with this
    argument: It is not true. The fact is that those who frequently
    criticize Israel also happen to be harsh critics of America.
    You may agree or not agree. But please stop this nonsense,
    blaming those who criticize Israel for not criticizing America.
    Because they do. All the time. Some times they even criticize
    China.

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  18. Sweetness says:

    I would only add to Questions post this way…
    There have been specific criticisms of the deals that were arrived
    at Camp David and Taba that could be corrected…and a final
    status proposal with borders put forward by Israel. And kept on
    the table. I guess that’s not done in diplomatic circles, but why
    not? If the Palestinians truly reject a truly fair proposal, then I
    think they have chosen a nihilistic path. They can continue to
    “fight,” but I think any world sympathy they have achieved will
    evaporate. And Israel won’t be any less safe for having tried.
    Both sides have to give up some of their cherished bits, like East
    Jerusalem for Israel, like 1947 for the Palestinians. Per Wigwag,
    the Palestinians HAVE been defeated and they will have to move
    on. I think MOST Palestinians are ready to do that, and have
    been for some time.
    My guess is that if Israel and a Palestinian state can arrive at
    some sort of modus vivendi, over time, the two countries will
    blend to some degree–if for no other reason than intermarriage
    will take place, people will play on the same soccer teams, all
    sorts of intermingling will take place because that’s what
    humans do if given a chance.
    This doesn’t mean that Jews will lose a homeland; they will have
    a richer one. And the Palestinians will have a much more
    advanced country than any in the Arab world. My crystal ball.
    For what it’s worth, I DO think there’s a bit of a double standard
    as regards Israel. Some of it is anti-Semitism, but some of it is
    a twisted philo-Semitism. Long discussion there.
    Just to sketch in the last few pieces, I think it would be a
    mistake for the U.S. to pull its support for Israel. But more
    importantly, the argument makes no sense. For one, you then
    lose all leverage, and leverage is what all peace lovers should
    want. But second, if the claim is that “the lobby” prevents all
    evenhandedness in our policies vis a vis Israel, what makes
    anyone think that “the lobby” will “allow” us to pull out all our
    financial support for Israel? The argument is circular.
    Palestine is a rallying cry for AQ, but solving that problem won’t
    make AQ go away. Nor will it make Muslim antipathy toward us
    go away. Eisenhower, one of Carroll’s favorite presidents, was
    the one who ordered the assassination of Mossadeq and the
    installation of the Shah which, much more than Israel, is the root
    of Iranian antipathy and suspicion toward us.

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  19. questions says:

    MarkL,
    I think you have Nadine wrong — not uncommon around here….
    While I disagree with her basic stance, her point seems to be that the threat against Israel is actually real. The security situation is real. It’s fantasy for us in the US to judge Israel given that we would likely do the same or worse were we to be rocketed by a neighboring government. We don’t do well with the very minor issues related to Mexico, and we don’t have close neighbors hell-bent on seeing to it that our country doesn’t continue on the planet. Where there are enemies perceived (commies or terriers), we actually do go on pretty massive killing sprees with a fair amount of public support.
    So the thing to realize about Nadine’s worldview, near as I can tell, is that she thinks that Hamas: Israel as al-Qaeda: the US — or some fairly similar analogy.
    So where you have to argue against her is in the following: Hamas is utterly incapable of killing Israelis and could easily be trusted to behave well were Israel to drop all of its defenses (not an easy on to argue), OR, since Israel created the mess single-handedly, Israel should suffer all of the slings and arrows of outraged Palestinians until the whole things burns out (not likely), OR Israel could soften its offense while keeping its defense and needs to find a range of compromise positions that allow for Palestinian political development and the humanization of Palestinians w/in Israel but Israeli political culture has its limits too and so there’s a stand off that would be nice to deal with. This latter is somewhere around my position. It takes seriously the rocket threat and Hamas’s ability to get vaguely more accurate rockets over time, it takes seriously what is politically possible in both places currently, it hopes for better in the future.
    And as for US just out of the mess, MarkL, that really doesn’t work. Try reading Steve Coll’s book on Afghanistan to see what happens when the US doesn’t maintain intel presence in rocky places on earth, imagine what happens if we show no support to Israel — what kind of signal does that send to nations in the region and around the world? International policy is as much about signaling as it is about resources, allies, domestic political possibility (kiss Florida and New York goodbye…). We have internal politics and external concerns that make support of Israel, even in the face of Israeli intransigence, pretty well determined.
    I think Nadine is a little too certain that the security issues can’t be dealt with in other ways, and so her position does not allow for as much nuance and shift of policy as would be helpful. But I think POA, as usual, goes further over the line than I would in accusations. But then, he’s directed the same crap at me for years. But then, MarkL, you don’t bother reading anything I write, so don’t read this either!

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  20. MarkL says:

    Nadine,
    There is a lot of anger over the civilian killings in Afghanistan, both there and in the West. Perhaps there is not the same uniformity you see regarding Israel’s actions, but it’s there.
    Re 4:58—ouch.
    In my opinion there are two clear anti-Semites here: One, the obvious suspect (Washington and Mencken hate the Jews—hurray!), and the second I can’t remember at the moment.
    I know for a fact that criticism of Israel, by itself, is grounds for a charge of anti-Semitism by many conservative Jewish writers.
    The charge is so devalued that your words about members of the Goldstone commission are meaningless—particularly given that Goldstone is a Jew who claims to be a Zionist himself, yet you singled him out, besides the other member.
    Finally, as you know, media coverage of Israel’s own actions shows a far wider spectrum than it does in the US in the main media outlets. People have definitely been cowed into submission and silence by AIPAC, ADL, et al.
    I wish Israel well, but not on so many of my dollars. Since Israel is sucking up so many US dollars, I wish our government would put the kibosh on the settlements. You may think they are reasonable, but the US should not be footing the bill.

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  21. nadine says:

    Barry Rubin discusses the different way dead civilians get reported in Afghanistan vs. Gaza:
    The Associated Press reports: “Twelve Afghans died Sunday when two rockets fired at insurgents missed their targets and struck house during the second day of NATO’s most ambitious effort yet to break the militants’ grip on the country’s dangerous south.”
    Those twelve Afghans are, of course, civilians, a word the report omits in the lead, though it is mentioned further down in the story. Those militants are Taliban who could be called terrorists, though in some ways even that designation would be too generous. They brought a regime to Afghanistan which murdered thousands of people, treated women like cattle, and helped make possible the September 11, 2001, attacks that slaughtered 3,000 Americans.
    Later in the article it is mentioned in passing that the “militants” are firing on the U.S. Marines from civilian houses in the town, which is the kind of thing that leads to civilian deaths.
    This incident will quickly be forgotten, as have previous similar ones. Indeed, after taking the town NATO commanders reported there was little resistance in Marjah. Two NATO soldiers, twelve civilians, and a reported twenty “militants” were killed in the operation. That’s sixteen Afghans per one NATO death.
    If the above-mentioned incident happened due to Israeli rockets it would bring massive demonstrations, a UN report claiming that this proved Israel was a war criminal state, calls by many governments for sanctions against Israel, proposals by others for an international investigation, and a rationale for Western intellectuals to say that this country has no right to exist.
    Yet the errancy of these NATO rockets was no doubt an accident, just as happens sometimes (probably with far lower frequency in proportional terms) when Israel is defending itself from Hamas and Hizballah, two groups that seek genocide against its people. Such events are in the nature of warfare, and especially in the type of warfare pursued by Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban. Is it really so hard to understand these things?
    Why, then, does Israel get such different treatment than this event in Marjah, Afghanistan? There are lots of reasons but the outstanding one is this: the United States is a big powerful country which lots of people don’t want to alienate or attack. Israel is a small country without energetic, powerful defenders. Despite appearances, Israel is still “David,” while Hamas and Hizballah–backed in some manner by Iran, Muslim-majority countries, Arab states, and the Western left–is the “Goliath.”
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/

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  22. nadine says:

    Nope, I don’t call the vast majority of criticism of Israel anti-Semitic. Being anti-Israel is not being anti-Semitic, though it sure does help to grease the skids. However, treating Israel with extreme bias in a report that was designed from the outset to declare Israel guilty of war crimes without bothering much with evidence or method, comes pretty damn close. Dragging irrelevant “evidence” of Israel’s or Jews’ general hatefulness into every discussion comes even closer.
    For instance, you have criticized Israel but I have never called you anti-Semitic. But if you think the shoe fits, you can wear it.

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  23. MarkL says:

    Nadine, you’re a Jew who stands for the proposition that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, especially if the writer expresses any sympathy for those subhuman Arabs the Jews are forced to live with over there.
    It just drives you crazy that people don’t see things the sensible way you do. You’re Israel in a microcosm: if only the Palestinians (Arabs) had been SENSIBLE and given up claim on the land they had lived on for hundreds of years, the way the Jews gave up all claim to Israel when the Romans defeated them 2000 years ago.
    And spare me the “From time immemorial” cut and paste as your response.I’ve heard it before.
    Honestly I don’t care much for the politics of either side in the Is-Pal conflict. What I don’t like is the US involvement propping up and expansionist nuclear state.

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  24. PissedOffAmereican says:

    Oh bullshit. Do you really think you haven’t exposed yourself to this blog community for what you are?
    You aren’t fooling anyone here, Nadine.

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  25. nadine says:

    It’s the other way round, POS. You find me a “hateful bigot” and a “racist ghoul” and all the other charming epithets you’ve tossed in my direction because nothing is more outrageous to the anti-Semite that a Jew who stands up and argues for his/her own position as if s/he were an equal to everybody else and entitled to be judged by the same standards.

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  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Nadine epitomizes the reasons anti-semitism exists. It amazes me that no Jews have blogged here with requests that she just shut the fuck up, that her racist propaganda is harmful and destructive to zionism, Israel, and the Jewish people.
    Am I an anti-semite because I find Nadine to be a hateful bigot of the first order?

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  27. nadine says:

    Professor Christine Chinkin was another member of the Goldstone Commission. She wrote a letter published in The Times on January 11, 2009. The letter stated, “Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is not self-defence – it’s a war crime.” and “The rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas deplorable as they are, do not, in terms of scale and effect amount to an armed attack entitling Israel to rely on self-defence…Israel’s actions amount to aggression, not self-defence”.
    This is the most literal form of prejudice you can have. She had pre-judged the case and would have had to recuse herself if she had been a judge on the case. Incidentally, in talking about his report after the fact Goldstone himself began weasel-wording it. It was not a “judgment” he said. It was a “fact-finding mission”. Nothing would have been proven had it been a court of law.
    Now does that not imply that Goldstone himself knows perfectly well that his inflammatory language — he did far more than “fact find” he accused Israel of war crimes numerous times — cannot stand up to judicial scrutiny? So let’s ask ourselves, shall we, for what reason he could have used such language if he knew it couldn’t be warranted legally?

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  28. nadine says:

    Sweetness, it is easy to show the report is shoddy and biased. Goldstone’s methodology is obviously faulty — it lacks any of the basics a real jurist would cover before adjudicating war crimes, like talking to soldiers and trying to reconstruct the fighting, just for starters — and it completely one-sided assumptions (Hamas: always innocent IDF: always guilty) were designed to arrive at a pre-baked conclusion.
    After you read Halbertal I can point you to a number of other detailed critiques by trained jurists pointing out the flaws in detail. But do start by reading Halbertal. He is after all a man of the left who would readily have listened to a serious critique.
    As for intent, that’s always harder to prove, but examining the virulently anti-Israeli track records of the others on UN team it’s very hard to make the case that Goldstone didn’t know what his real job was, and fair adjudication had nothing to do with it.
    Irish Colonel Travers, for example, is a real beaut. Here’s an interview with him where he describes how the British government is controlled by the Jews, Hamas wasn’t shooting at Israelis, Palestinians have no connection to Hamas, and the IDF chose which Gazan homes to bomb only after using secret weapons which identify civilians, and always preferring the ones where there were lots of them. Travers was the only military expert on the Goldstone commission. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1149044.html

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  29. Sweetness says:

    Nadine, what you say is true, he wouldn’t be the first.
    But…
    You have to SHOW that it is the case. You can’t simply say that he
    has high ambitions to rise at the UN, so therefore he wrote a report
    that was biased against Israel.
    You have to show that the report is wrong AND you have to show
    that Goldstone intentionally wrote a biased report. For example, he
    could have written a report that was incorrect in places, even
    though he tried for accuracy.
    You have the affirmative in this case…

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    sweetness, so Goldstone has claimed. However, as is also obvious, he is a man with ambitions to rise high at the UN. You get one guess what route gives you the most popularity for the least effort in those quarters. Goldstone is not the first Jew in history, nor will be the last, to lend Jewish credentials to anti-Semitic smear jobs.
    BTW, after whining that nobody read his report or would debate it seriously (both obviously untrue) Goldstone welshed out of a promised debate with Alan Dershowitz over it. He just refused to show.

    Reply

  31. Sweetness says:

    I guess it should be noted that Goldstone himself is a self-avowed
    zionist and lover of Israel. Which removes that point is a wedge to
    use against the report’s veracity…or at least attempt at accuracy
    and fairness. No hater of Israel he.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    POS, you dope, I cannot be anything in Israeli society, because as I have mentioned several times before, I’m an American.

    Reply

  33. nadine says:

    Oh really? Israel laid siege to innocent monks and civilians holding services in the Church of Nativity for no reason whatsoever? You’re just going to airbrush the militants holding them hostage for a month out of the picture?
    You prove my point over and over. What’s more amusing, you’re unable to even realize it.

    Reply

  34. Outraged American says:

    Israel laid siege to the Church of the Nativity in 2002. No one
    rational is buying Israel’s propaganda/ hasbara anymore, Nadine.

    Reply

  35. nadine says:

    Steve, I see your faithful blog anti-Semites have come out to play, as usual citing some controversial issue from Israeli sources to “prove” Israel is bigoted, racist, etc, etc. They are quite unable to notice that you never have such controversies from Arab sources because persecuting Jews (where there still are any) or Christians are rarely controversial issues in Arab papers and oppressed minorities have no Supreme Court to apply to. The whole purpose of their posts are to drag in whatever they can find, relevant or not, to make Jews look bad (and yes, it’s not just Israelis).

    Reply

  36. DonS says:

    POA, your points are well taken. But there is a bigger problem than Steve’s attempt at diplomacy. And that is the government of the United States, executive and legislative branches that have been coopted successfully by the Israeli propaganda machine. So very interesting, too, in that the folks I know, preminently the Jews that I know, hold a contrary view to that represented by Congressional rubber stamping for Israel.
    Now the Nadines and the typical propagandists will point to the backing the US government gives, really increasingly monolithic, as evidence of right policy — as against what one might call the general view worldwide which sees Israel as a ursurper of land and a disproportionate aggressor.
    But we live in the US, and our government fosters the big lie, in our name. And we the people are basically powerless to bring this nation into line with the truth. For the few of us who dissent actively, the harsh truth remains that our nation is an accomplice in Israel’s big lie and its brutal behavior.
    Though Israel is a land of Jews, their behavior is unrelated to religious persuasion, except as propaganda. Their behavior is increasingly thuggish. As an American, I despise our governments acquiescence and enabling.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The Los Angeles Times did a double opinion piece on the issue Carroll posted on above, one pro, one con. The pieces ran on the Opinion page on Friday, if you want to look them up. One thing that came out clearly in the “pro piece”, written by Rabbi Hier was the condecension and disdain the Rabbi has for the Palestinian people. Where the piece decrying the Israeli’s desecration of Palestinian graves, (cannot recall the author’s long name) addressed facts and history, Hier’s piece was full of thinly disguised animous and sarcasm. Anyone that cannot perceive the bigotry that permeates the Israeli narrative, as well as their policies, is blindly living in a state of denial. And this bigotry seems to be spreading to all aspects of Israeli society and infrastructural commodities. Schools, medical facilities, public transportation, roads, historical sites and their preservation, respect for the deceased, the courts, the manner the police treat citizens. Any reasonably informed person cannot convincingly deny this rampant bigotry that has come to define Israeli policies and public mindset.
    In analyzing the motives behind the actions of our own politicians who are unwavering in their defense and support of all things Israel, one cannot help but reach the conclusion that they too are driven by bigotry and racial animous. What else could fuel such blind loyalty to a nation that has become so blatantly and openly murderous, slanderous, and disdainful of the Palestinian people, and Muslims in general, as Israel has become? Such callous disregard for the suffering of an entire people cannot possibly be the result of a mere quest for land, or a belief in having God’s sanction.
    Its time to give words to the truth. Israel is racist, and Israeli society is history repeating itself, embarked on a campaign designed to rid the world of a people they deem inferior and unworthy of comfortable or secure existence.
    Unfortunately, Nadine is no longer an anomoly in Israeli society, she is the rule rather than the exception. True history will not be kind to us for supporting what Israel has become. Whether ovens, poisonous showers, or white phosphorous bombs, the motive, and the results, are the same.
    And Steve, there will come a time you will rue the respect you pay to those such as Nadine. Her bigotry and blatant propagandizing belies her right to a podium. Do you really doubt the veracity of the Goldstone Report? Do you really suppose that Goldstone is anti-semitic or a “self-hating Jew”? Do you really believe that Goldstone compiled this report to somehow inflict unjust damages to Israel, or sully the “reputation” of the Jewish people? Because, to discount the Goldstone Report, you must believe some or all of these premises. Do you think Nadine, and her ilk, actually BELIEVE these premises? That their attempts to discount, discredit, and slander Goldstone are truly an effort to expose truths?
    We know better, don’t we? Don’t you think its about time to get off the fence, and stop using tact and diplomacy where none is due?

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    I quit posting shocking things going on in I/P because ..well… everything was shocking..and happening over and over again.
    But this got me. I truly do not know what to call people like this. Barbaric? Grotesque?
    You know Israel could have found a better place to build parking lots and their ‘Center for Human Dignity” than on the graves of 1000’s of Muslims.
    Center for Human Dignity? Do they know what human dignity means?
    Mondoweiss
    The War of Ideas in the Middle East
    ‘LA Times’ gives Wiesenthal Center a platform to spin falsehoods about Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem
    by Philip Weiss on February 13, 2010 · 22 comments
    Yesterday, and somewhat shockingly, the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece by Rabbi Martin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) defending the desecration of the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem so that the SWC can build its “Center for Human Dignity– Museum of Tolerance” there. I say shockingly because the piece contained so many falsehoods. I excerpt Hier below. Then I will point out the stretchers. Rabbi Hier:
    The museum is not being built on what can rightfully be called the Mamilla Cemetery, but on a three-acre site in the heart of West Jerusalem that, for more than half a century, served as the city’s municipal car park. Each day, hundreds of people of all faiths parked in the three-level underground structure without any protest from Muslim religious or academic leaders or interest groups. Additionally, telephone and electrical cables and sewer lines were laid deep below ground in the early 1960s, again without any protest.
    As the [Israeli] Supreme Court noted in its ruling, “for almost 50 years the compound has not been a part of the cemetery, both in the normative sense and in the practical sense, and it was used for various public purposes.” It also noted: “During all those years no one raised any claim, on even one occasion, that the planning procedures violated the sanctity of the site, or that they were contrary to the law as a result of the historical and religious uniqueness of the site. . . . For decades this area was not regarded as a cemetery by the general public or by the Muslim community. . . . No one denied this position.”
    Now take a look at this week’s petition to international human-rights bodies by a coalition of groups trying to preserve the Mamilla cemetery. In that petition, you will read the following facts:
    There has never been any doubt about the centrality of the 33-acre Mamilla cemetery to Muslim practice in Jerusalem. Throughout the 1800s, Ottoman rulers “fastidiously” recognized the boundaries of the cemetery, surrounding it with a wall and roads. As for the Brits who followed as governors, they officially recognized the cemetery as an “Islamic endowment” (1938) and an “antiquities site.” (1944)
    Then in 1948 the Israelis took over West Jerusalem; and from the beginning of Israeli rule, Muslim authorities appealed to Israel to protect the cemetery. In 1948 the Israeli Relgious Affairs Ministry duly said the cemetery “is considered to be one of the most prominent Muslim cemeteries,” with remains going back to the great general of the Crusades, Salah-ah-Din. “Israel will always know to protect and respect this site.”
    For a few years the Israelis kept their word. And then the encroachments began. The petitioners write: “Israel has gradually expropriated and destroyed most of the cemetery.” It began by building an “Independence Park” over half the cemetery in the 1960s. Then in 1964, it built that parking lot Hier refers to, over about three acres of the cemetery. Then it built an underground parking garage and ran cables and other infrastructure through the site.
    Palestinians have never been silent about the desecration. On at least one occasion they petitioned UNESCO to stop it.
    In recent years, the Israeli Antiquities Authority awarded the 3-acre parking lot site to the Simon Wiesenthal Center to build its Tolerance hall on, and an archaeologist was sent in to see what was going on. The report of this “Chief Excavator” was emphatic: There are thousands of graves under the parking lot that date to the 12th century. They have already been disturbed by construction. Some of the bodies have been removed. The construction zone is shrouded in secrecy.
    If just one of those bodies were Jewish, the petitioners state, construction would stop in a nanosecond.
    The archaelogist, Gideon Suleimani, was pressured to conclude his work in a perfunctory manner. But he said that the project was an “archeological crime” and “We’re talking about tens of thousands of skeletons under the ground there, and not just a few dozen.”
    Suleimani’s report was suppressed by the Israeli government when it went to the Supreme Court to get the opinion that Hier quotes so approvingly above. That is why the Mamilla petitioners, who include Muslim and Jewish groups, are going to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN special rapporteur on religious freedom, the UN special rapporteur on racism, and UNESCO.
    As Rashid Khalidi, whose own ancestors are buried in Mamilla, has said: We have exhausted all recourse inside Israel against this “grotesque” project.
    The desecration of Mamilla is all about the violations of occupation. It is about the fact that Jerusalem was declared to be an international space under the 1947 UN Partition plan– “a corpus separatum”–but its religious independence has never been respected by the Israelis.
    Finally, consider this: Over the last 40 years under its “Protection of Holy Sites Law,” the Israeli Government has recognized 137 designated holy sites. ALL OF THEM ARE JEWISH. The U.S. State Department has protested this discrimination. “Non-Jewish holy sites do not enjoy legal protection under it because the government does not recognize them as official holy sites,” the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report of 2009 stated.

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Steve,
    I have to say that I interpreted Tony C’s first post as an attempt to ridicule the opposing view you linked to,
    and not an attempt to ridicule you.

    Reply

  40. Tony C. says:

    Steve,
    You misunderstood my post above. I am far more sympathetic to
    the Palestinian point of view on this issue, but was making the
    point that the view opposing the Goldstone report was ridiculously
    weak.
    Even though I personally find the Goldstone report to be
    compelling, there must be more serious critical responses than the
    one to which you linked. That was my point; sorry for the
    misunderstanding.
    Regards,
    Tony C.

    Reply

  41. Carroll says:

    “I respect your views on this but don’t agree with the broad point. I see a land illegally occupied, the consequences of which are having massive global effects — and I see a superpower fighting an assymetric insurgency and rebellion. So, yes, Hamas fires lots of inaccurate rockets that have killed some and terrorized many. But Israel has killed many and has more control over the temperature in the region than those opposing it”>>>>
    Steve says it so much nicer than the rest of us, but still honest.
    I think I will quote this next time I am pounced by the Israel right or wrong fans.

    Reply

  42. Steve Clemons says:

    Nadine..thanks for the link to the TNR piece which I hadn’t seen. I was rushing and trying to find something on the other side of the debate. For all of the complaining (Tony C), at least I posted something. I have added the link you put above Nadine to the post. Thanks.
    Tony C. — I respect your views on this but don’t agree with the broad point. I see a land illegally occupied, the consequences of which are having massive global effects — and I see a superpower fighting an assymetric insurgency and rebellion. So, yes, Hamas fires lots of inaccurate rockets that have killed some and terrorized many. But Israel has killed many and has more control over the temperature in the region than those opposing it. We see things differently. I made an attempt — albeit a lousy one — at providing two perspectives as I was rushing out the door. Not good enough for you — and I apologize for that. But seriously, your attitude makes me hardly want to even try to provide an alternative view.
    But ultimately I can’t take that course — and need to ignore the kind of comments you put above.
    So, either improve your tone — or please go spend your time at other blogs.
    thanks, steve clemons

    Reply

  43. nadine says:

    Steve, there have been several serious works written on the Goldstone Report, why did you link to blog posts?
    Moshe Halbertal, who is a left-leaning professor who hoped Goldstone might have something serious to say about the nature of assymetrical war, was very disappointed to find the document biased, shoddy and not serious. He has a long detailed critique of it in TNR, pointing out the issues Goldstone ought to have addressed but didn’t:
    The Goldstone Illusion
    What the U.N. report gets wrong about Gaza–and war.
    Moshe Halbertal November 6, 2009
    In 2000, I was asked by the Israel Defense Forces to join a group of philosophers, lawyers, and generals for the purpose of drafting the army’s ethics code. Since then, I have been deeply involved in the analysis of the moral issues that Israel faces in its war on terrorism. I have spent many hours in discussions with soldiers and officers in order to better grasp the dilemmas that they tackle in the field, and in an attempt to help facilitate the internalization of the code of ethics in war. It was no wonder that, when the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war was published, I was keen to read it, with some hope of getting a perspective on Israeli successes or failures in this effort to comprehend war, and to fight it, morally. Unlike many who responded to the report, in praise or in blame, I gave this immensely long document a careful reading.
    rest at http://www.tnr.com/article/world/the-goldstone-illusion?page=0,0

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    I’ve got snow!
    Two of my favorite things from an afternoon spent reading congressional actions at the Library of Congress.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    “Condemning Palestinian efforts to revive the original Palestine partition plan of November 29, 1947, and condemning the United Nations Commission on Human Rights for its April 27, 1999, resolution endorsing Palestinian self-determination on the basis of the original Palestine partition plan
    JERROLD NADLER ( 1999 ) ( Concurrent Resolution originating in the House )
    Source: Legislation, Congressional Activity [106th Congress, Bill 131]
    “A concurrent resolution condemning Palestinian efforts to revive the original Palestine partition plan of November 29, 1947, and condemning the United Nations Commission on Human Rights for its April 27, 1999, resolution endorsing Palestinian self-determination on the basis of the original Palestine partition plan
    CHARLES E. SCHUMER ( 1999 ) ( Concurrent Resolution originating in the Senate )
    Source: Legislation, Congressional Activity [106th Congress, Bill 36]
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Threatening Palestine if it dares declare statehood and threatening the UN and every country on earth with big bad things if they dare recongize or help Palestine declare statehood.
    Plenty more where these came from:
    http://www.loc.gov/fedsearch/metasearch/?cclquery=Palestine&search_button=GO#query=(Palestine and su=”Foreign policy”)&filter=pz:id=lcweb|ammem|catalog|ppoc|thomas

    Reply

  45. Mr.Murder says:

    Israel Violates Economic Sanctions Against Iran by Grant Smith —
    Antiwar.com
    Economic sanctions don’t produce regime change in and of themselves.
    They mainly hurt the little people in places like Cuba or Iraq. And,
    they create black markets for the unscrupulous.
    Obama Iran sanctions another buying opportunity for the Marc Riches of
    the world.
    End/ (Not Continued)

    Posted By Juan Cole to Informed Comment at 2/12/2010 02:43:00 PM

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    NPR did a segment on the Goldstone Report last week, and I was incensed and appalled at the content. The entire segment was devoted to Israel’s efforts at PR, and how they were falling short, supposedly, of framing the narrative. Not one time was the issue of whether or not the Goldstone Report was credible or accurate discussed. It was as if Israel could successfully launch a program of propaganda, that successfully convinces the global community the war crimes did not occur, then, in fact, Israel will be vindicated.
    What horseshit when the issue becomes not what you did, but how well you can lie about what you claim you didn’t do. NPR should be ashamed of the segment.

    Reply

  47. Tony C. says:

    Gee, Steve, I’m relieved to note that you are being fair and
    balanced by linking to an “opposing view” on the Goldstone
    Report. And the two-pronged thrust of that view? Israel’s right to
    self-defense (“8,000 rockets”!), and the IDF’s lack of the necessary
    PR to properly defend itself from slanderous attacks.
    I mean really – you can’t make this stuff up.

    Reply

  48. Steven Clemons says:

    thanks POA — I had not seen this site below, and it was being set
    to some influential listservs…and thus am putting it up as a
    resource. best, steve clemons

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Suprised you just “came by” that website, its been around for some time now.
    I don’t really understand the issue with Goldstone. Anyone that has paid attention KNOWS that the Goldstone Report is not only credible, but in fact outlines Israeli actions that can ONLY be described as criminal. Our own politician’s complicity in trying to erase the facts completely negates Obama’s overtures to the Muslim global community, contained in his Cairo speech or his tepid and shortlived concern for the “plight of the Palestinians”.
    To pretend this report is irrelevent, biased, or consists of falsehoods is obvious political posturing at its worst, and exposes the majority of our politicians as dishonest and fearful of AIPAC’s political hammer.
    Whats worse, our own government’s complicity in Israel’s crimes against humanity has created an atmosphere of permissiveness, and emboldened Israel to openly commit crimes against the Palestinians on a daily basis. Razing farmlands, destroying water sources, sniping over the border, desecrating gravesites, evicting families, stealing land, preventing rebuilding, blockading non-military essentials from entering Gaza, denying Palestinians medical care and supplies, suppressing peaceful protest, assassinations, continued settlement expansion, all financed by the American taxpayer, and abetted by these sacks of shit like Harry Reid, Lieberman, Pelosi, Cantor, Huckabee, and many many more.
    Any knowledgeable American, concerned for human rights, should be ashamed and outraged by our complicity in this modern day holocaust that Israel is waging against the Palestinians.
    Look here for a dose of reality……
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/

    Reply

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