Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When he's cranky, he hits hard...

Max Ajl from Jewbonics, that is. Sometimes a bit OTT but always hard hitting, incisive and in parts real funny, his latest piece is simply called:

hey Eric didn’t I tell you you were too dumb to write about Palestine?

I have just seen Eric Alterman’s response to the response to the Nation’s cool-tempered editorial on the massacre on the Mavi Marmara:

You know, it's funny. Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are all engaged in this blockade (which I strongly oppose). But if you read The Nation's editorial on the topic, "Free Gaza," you'd have to assume that they are all doing this because it's fun, or because they are big meanies or, at best, for no reason at all.

Never mind priorities, that the siege in intolerable and must end. Never mind reality, which is that Israel is engaged in a terroristic blockade to overthrow a democratically elected government. Never mind that Egypt complies because it does what America and Israel tell it to do, or that Fatah complies because its policy-making component is populated by a group of collaborators who do whatever Israel tells them to do. Never mind that senior Israeli officials openly admitted that the blockade was a failed policy on its stated terms, and that they kept it in place in the face of the flotilla to assert the inviolable principle that Israel will not give in to resistance, because they are the boss—or, in Alterman’s cutesy rhetoric, precisely because they are “meanies.” Never mind that pace Hamas’s charter it’s not a particularly anti-Semitic political movement in practice, nor is it opposed to “liberalism in all its forms,” since it has repeatedly attempted to sign reconciliation agreements that would have created a legislative council with representation from both Hamas and Fatah, while impossible Fatah demands scuppered them.

Alterman is afflicted with a serious case of White Liberalism. This disease turns the pseudo-intellectual into a very picky consumer of resistance movements. Not that one, they have funky red beards, and those folk aren’t very nice to their brown women, who we do the honor of bombing without gender discrimination. This complex suggests that resistance movements must fit into the box we construct—white, secular, liberal, Western—to receive principled, unqualified support for ending the suffering of the groups on whose behalf they resist.

None do.

Hamas doesn’t have to placate Alterman’s audience at the 92nd Street Y in order to justify ending the suffering of the people who voted for it, any more than those expressing sympathy for American suffering on 9/11 and who were concerned about its causes needed to quibble about the fact that America was a barbaric country that executed children, condones penal rape, and in which half the population believes the Earth is around 6,000 years old before saying so. Such facts are irrelevant except to those who think that Palestinian suffering must be gingerly framed to be sure not to offend American Zionist sensibilities. This is racist anti-universalist thinking, and it’s intolerable and even “illiberal.”

Reading Eric, you think that perhaps he saw Senator Ribbentrop Schumer speaking in front of the Orthodox Union and decided that so long as he was several picometers to the left of a call for outright “strangulation” of the Palestinians in Gaza he could grandstand about the “complications of the conflict.” Eric, here are the complications: American Zionists have been indoctrinated with a victimization complex from a tragedy that almost none of [them] directly experienced. We think our people died because we were weak, intellectual, effeminate. We think the solution, more psycho-social than practical, is a fascist Sparta in the Middle East, because none of us go to live there except the haredim from Williamsburg and Borough Park. That Sparta does good work for the Empire, its intellectual backers in Brooklyn collect money from the Empire, their egos are assuaged, and the merry-round keeps going round and round, while Israel descends into madness and Palestinians are more and more mired in misery and hopelessness, and the Erics of the world prance around podiums in New York, so distant imaginatively, morally, and intellectually from the conflict that it becomes totally clear that the people living there—the Jewish Israelis too, living in a fantastically unequal racist society—aren’t even the point. The point is positioning within a native community, the point is social status to be gained by transcribing and condensing the consensus of that community rather than challenging it. And who cares that Israel prevented oxygen machines from coming into Gaza this week, or that Gazans can’t leave for medical treatment? Not them, for sure, despite not even remotely convincing parenthetical avowals of concern.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Us, us and us

By Nimrod Aloni

Faced with the pictures of the barely conscious and bloody and beaten naval commandos on the deck of the Mavi Marmara, it's doubtful that anyone in Israel doesn't feel heartbroken, with his stomach turning and rage percolating, and the desire for revenge rising. This isn't a matter of political opinion, and it doesn't only apply to people serving in the navy. It also does not stem from knowing one of the soldiers personally. It's part of belonging to a community, to the Israeli family, in which everyone has a human face and a genuine human presence, just like each of us, our children and our close friends.

And now, with your empathy at its height, pain still fresh and rage boiling - think about, even just as a theoretical exercise, our Palestinian neighbors, for the most part enemies for these 43 years, who every day see their children and parents shot, beaten and bloody, barely conscious and completely helpless, under our occupation. And if they are indeed human beings, in the intellectual spirit of conjecture, they bleed when shot, and they scream in pain when beaten and call out to be freed when imprisoned. And when they are treated with contempt they feel humiliated and miserable. So imagine how their hearts break, stomachs turn and rage boils as their desire for revenge fills their lives and daily routine.

There is nothing new or revolutionary about this intellectual exercise. All it requires is a simple step away from a tribal mentality and family feeling toward a universal moral awareness, about which uncounted artistic, philosophical and religious texts have been written. In other words, to look at the other, even if he is a stranger or an enemy, as a human being in the full sense of the term, exactly like you and your near and dear ones.

And here lies our big problem; here is where our process of barbarization begins. This fundamental human value of seeing others as human beings just like us is disappearing; some people even consider it a betrayal. From so much self-love and narcissism about the Land of Israel, the dogma of Israel and the Israeli people, we have sealed our eyes and ears and shut down our minds and consciences until we can no longer see or hear others. We can no longer be attentive to their point of view and give legitimacy to the logic of their claims and cultural narrative.

We are so full of ourselves and so good at understanding our own arguments that others have become invisible; for us, there's no one else but us. No one wants peace more than we do, the Israel Defense Forces is the most moral army in the world, and no one can investigate our actions better than we. As Jews it's obvious that we're allowed to settle everywhere; of course it's our right to wipe out enemies in every country and on every continent, and anyone who denies this is nothing but an anti-Semitic non-Jew or a traitorous Jew consumed by self-hate.

One of the editions of the television news recently showed a group of extremist settlers who arrogantly and contemptuously challenged U.S. President Barack Obama's peace initiatives with the words, "This kushon won't dictate our fate here," using a derogatory term for black people. Some people say these are simply extremist settler youths from the illegal outposts, like those who console themselves that only a small handful of Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans who curse Arabs are really racist and tell themselves that Interior Minister Eli Yishai is an exception in his racist incitement against immigrant workers. Friends, let's not fool ourselves: For some time, this has not been a vilified handful, but rather a large camp of fanatic pioneers. The majority first becomes reconciled to them and then adopts their ways.

The settlement enterprise is an impressive product of every Israeli government and the crowning success of everything connected to the perpetuation of the occupation and the undermining of any genuine option for peace under two states for two peoples. Add to this a survey conducted two months ago in which more than half of Jewish high school students would revoke Israeli Arab citizens' political rights, and we get a clear picture of what people almost everywhere in the world see and we manage to hide from ourselves. We don't see others, especially the Palestinians, as human in the full sense of the word, so, just like the ultra-Orthodox community vis-a-vis secular people, we, the Israelis, seek more rights for ourselves than we grant others.

In sum, when the mind and conscience are enslaved to nationalist narcissism, others become invisible to us, and we look like bullies and become lepers in the eyes of others. One's heart breaks over the insensitivity that's having a field day here, and its many victims - ours and the others'.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Palestinians need not apply?

Inspired by Anthony Loewenstein

The following video is a sleek ad for up market apartments called Eshkol Heights in an unspecified settlement in the hills of Jerusalem.

The ad clearly targets 'foreign residents', presumably mainly Americans (the phone number is American e.g.)

On Anthony Loewenstein's post a commenter with the moniker 'palestinian' asks:

are “foreigners” who are not Jewish allowed to live here? What kind of ownership ie. deed would they have?

Push the question a little harder: would rich American Palestinians be able to successfully apply for ownership or tenancy of an Eshkol apartment? Answers on a post card in the comment section, please...

Factoid: turns out that the music to the promo which has a decidedly Celtic twang to it, is the theme from 'Last of the Mohicans', at least according to commenter 'Strelnikov'...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

American Idiot: John Void

No, American actor John Voight I meant, has an open letter in the Washington Times to show off his Zionist credentials:

June 22, 2010

President Obama:

You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone’s enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm’s way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.

You have brought this to a people who have given the world the Ten Commandments and most laws we live by today. The Jewish people have given the world our greatest scientists and philosophers, and the cures for many diseases, and now you play a very dangerous game so you can look like a true martyr to what you see and say are the underdogs. But the underdogs you defend are murderers and criminals who want Israel eradicated.

You have brought to Arizona a civil war, once again defending the criminals and illegals, creating a meltdown for good, loyal, law-abiding citizens. Your destruction of this country may never be remedied, and we may never recover. I pray to God you stop, and I hope the people in this great country realize your agenda is not for the betterment of mankind, but for the betterment of your politics.

With heartfelt and deep concern for America and Israel,

Jon Voight

Well spotted by Anthony Loewenstein...

Kenneth O'Keefe: a Hero...

I don't use that word lightly: hero... or ever, really. And I vowed not to waste too much time on Cast Lead Sur Mer: Israel scored a massive own goal. Period. The lunatics have taken over the asylum and they'll do it again and again and again until it's too late for any Hasbara damage control and apart from one last yelp of 'antiiiii-Seeemiites!' Zion will find itself so isolated it'll have no choice but to finally try and come to its senses and accept some 'compromises'.

And Ken? He'll have played a part in all that and it won't be forgotten. He's a hero: a Nobel Peace Prize for almost not being someone else is probably not on the cards but who cares? Here he is, confronted by a BBC bimbette on 50 k+, on HardTalk, in three parts (about 25 min in total)...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who wants to condemn the racism of Geert Wilders?

From Ynet via Loewenstein:

Of Geert 'I'm in love with Israel' Wilders you really get the impression that he's a buffoon of unprecedented proportions of the kind that worryingly seems to increasingly make inroads into the political culture of quite a few European countries. Wilders claims to have nothing against Muslims (presumably like Griffin who 'has nothing against people of colour' - oh, and Muslims too) but considers the Qu'ran comparable to Mein Kampf and calls for it to be banned from Europe...

Like many deeply Conservative politicians with things to say about Israel/Palestine, Wilders, presumably for demagogic reasons, resorts to promoting 'remedies' he knows damn well aren't going to work and won't be implemented before all hell freezes over.

Geert Wilders, who leads the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) in Holland, said last week he believes Jordan should be renamed Palestine. The Jordanian government responded by saying Wilders’ speech was reminiscent of the Israeli right wing.

Jordan is Palestine,” said Wilders, who heads the third-largest party in Holland. “Changing its name to Palestine will end the conflict in the Middle East and provide the Palestinians with an alternate homeland.” Wilders added that Israel deserved a special status in the Dutch government because it was fighting for Jerusalem in its name. “If Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Muslims, Athens and Rome will be next. Thus, Jerusalem is the main front protecting the West. It is not a conflict over territory but rather an ideological battle, between the mentality of the liberated West and the ideology of Islamic barbarism,” he said. “There has been an independent Palestinian state since 1946, and it is the kingdom of Jordan.” Wilders also called on the Dutch government to refer to Jordan as Palestine and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

The PVV has been going from strength to strength, going recently from 9 parliamentary seats to 24...


Sensing that Melanie Phillips might rise to the bait, I took a quick look and Bingo! Phillips is normally hard to pin down for her anti-Arab racism because she usually carefully skirts around the Palestinian issue. But people who consider the Occupied West Bank 'Disputed Territory' usually aren't great fans any solution that involves/includes Palestinians. Does that make her a racist? Of course. It means that in Phillips' mind Palestinian rights must be negated because unlike the Zionists they're not a Real People (with a Real Religion and a Real Language). Politely put, the Palestinians must make room for the Real Indigenous People of Eretz Israel. Put slightly more brutally: the sandniggers must clear off for the Greater Good of the new Herrenvolk.

Here she is, replete the infamous 'Trouw' quote (an 'argument' I really thought had been relegated to the open sewers of the American Conservative Zionist blogosphere a long time ago).

It's official Mad Mel, you're a transferist! Arabs to the East!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday tidbits...

Mad Mel Phlipsy claims Obama "exacerbated the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster to push his ideological agenda." (Mel of course is neither an ideologue, now does she have an agenda). Mad Mel's an arch-Zionista, climate change denier, Obama hater and anti-MMR crusader nut (yep, still today).

Richard Silverstein has a great post on Jon Stewart (Daily Show) on the flotilla, Hamas' crutchapult and Charlie Krauthammer's Dead Sea heart. And Jennifer Mizrahi's (the Israel Project) Hasbara effort that Silverstein rightly calls an "e mail blast to its activists which is so nakedly honest (and damaging) that it must be seen to be believed".

Anti-Zionism from down under: Loewenstein - Don't show them anything their government does...

And from Haaretz:

Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar announced recently that he planned to promote a new initiative which would defend Israel's right to exist, as "if Israel goes down, we all go down," the former premier wrote in London newspaper The Times on Thursday.

Spectacular misjudgments aren't alien to Aznar: he insisted for a long time that al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid were the handiwork of ETA, a position which cost him his premiership.

Interesting names on that Friends for [sic?] Israel panel: John Bolton and Fiamma Nirenstein. Mad Mel Phlips and Pamela Geller Oshry: eat your hearts out!!!

The former Spanish premier ended his opinion by highlighting Israel's central role in defining the West and said that "the West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined."

You've gotta love that Judeo-Christian thingy...

Friday, June 18, 2010

With supporters like these...

States Promised Land blog: When that’s the way your supporters look, you need to ask yourself what has gone wrong. Here is nutcase Rep. Michele Bachmann (1:06) winning applauses from a pro-Israel crowd in a California rally, while Peace Now man (3:25) is booed so hard, the organizers try to calm things down (with very limited success).

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Septet Steams on...

Like a supertanker (this one mainly on the rocks) the Septet of Israel's leadership is predictably very slow to change course and its ingrained tendency to blame anyone but itself is on full display here. The latest stunt in Israel's agitprop is an attempt to claim 'real terrorists' were on board the Marmara, in particular Ken O'Keefe, in a message that seems tailor made to rally the US Far Right wing, as those are the only numpties that will pay any real attention to this part of the saga and who probably consider moi a 'Hamas activist' too...


In a statement, Israeli authorities named five passengers it said were "known to be involved in terrorist activity".

But at least one of those named told Al Jazeera that Israel's claim was baseless.

Rejecting Israeli allegations that he was a "radical anti-Israel activist" who was travelling to Gaza to "train a [Hamas] commando unit", Ken O'Keefe, a British-American citizen, said he had never carried arms for the group.

"The only weapons I ever carried were while I was a US marine serving in the Gulf War," he said speaking from Turkey following his deportation from Israel.

"If they had a supposed terrorist in their possession, why the hell did they let me go?" O'Keefe said.

Fatima Mohammadi, another activist on board the Mavi Marmara that Israeli soldiers stormed last Monday in an attempt to stop a flotilla of aid ships from reaching Gaza, was accused of attempting to smuggle banned electronic components into Gaza.

She told Al Jazeera through a spokesperson that she refused to dignify the accusation with a response.

Good woman. Not entirely sure also how being a "radical anti-Israel activist" justifies being nabbed from a ship and apparently also being 'roughed up' (I'm mincing my words here) after having been dragged to Israel?

The not-so-wise-men in Tel Aviv/J'sem just don't seem to get it. Had on board the Marmara been bin Laden himself, his second and third in command and a handful of battle-hardened Jihadists/Hamasniks, it would not have made one iota of difference: the Israeli Navy didn't board the ships to arrest terrorists but to rise to the challenge of what was seen as a provocation by mostly peaceful and unarmed humanitarians. To try and maintain the integrity of their siege of Gaza, not to fight terrorism...

The Marmara debacle is in fact the smaller (but visually more spectacular) story that leads to the much, much bigger one: Palestinian dispossession in 1948, 43 years of military Occupation in the West Bank, a 3 year long crippling siege of Gaza, operation Cast Lead and a naval blockade. Many will include that 'we're all Hezbollah' moment too...

Wake up and smart up, guys...

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Don't count on the 'opposition'...

Israel is a Western-style democracy, right? The 'only one' in the Middle East, yeah? Well, apart from the fact that Zionist democracy really more a democracy for Israeli Jews that it is for Israeli Arabs, of late we're hearing increasing internal complaints about the state of democracy in the Jewish state.

Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz seriously questions whether there's a functioning opposition in Israel, so vital for the functioning of any democratic state. In view of the developments of the past days, this does not bode well for any course adjustments needed vis-à-vis the blockade, the 'Palestinian question' and peace... In short: don't count on Livni.


Suddenly Tzipi Livni's authoritative voice was heard in the Knesset. "Let MK Hanin Zuabi have her say. Democracy is tested by its tolerance and readiness to hear other voices, even subversive ones," Livni said. Silence fell over the hall.

Zuabi ended her speech uninterrupted and the Kadima leader rose to the podium. Knesset members of all factions sat up straight, in anticipation of what she had to say. This always happens when Livni takes the podium. For an hour the opposition leader outlined her impressive credo, blasted the government and proposed a well-formulated alternative. Stop the blockade, it has only caused damage. I would have allowed the flotilla to reach Gaza; I'd call all the Palestinian people's representatives to the negotiating table immediately, to reach peace based on the 1967 borders and a solution to the refugee problem. Israel's international status and democratic character are immeasurably more important to its future than continuing the occupation.

Are you pinching yourselves? Of course you are. None of this actually happened, nor could it ever happen.

Read the rest...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Occupation: Happy 43 years!

Yes, she's getting on a bit, what is apparently the longest standing military occupation of our times, while possibly now also facing a mid life crisis. You don't see many that are the result of an alleged 'pre-emptive war' that make it into their forties...

Promised Land blog has some excellent stuff, including videos.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

It's official: British Zionist Federation and EDL in Love Fest!

If we needed further proof of the fascistoid (I'm being polite here) EDL supporting Israel, its collusion with the British arch-defenders of Israel, the British Zionist Federation led by their clown Jonathan Hoffman, should have been obvious at the recent London demo in favour of the Jewish Pirate State. Tony Greenstein has the gory details and juicy pictures.

Hoffie further managed to implicate himself:

Jonathan Hoffman himself gave an interview to a reporter where he openly defended demonstrating with the EDL as ‘there was no proof of any link with the BNP.’ Presumably the fact that they have repeatedly been photographed giving sieg heil salutes is not enough? And in fact there is copious evidence that the EDL and BNP members work hand in hand.

Hoffman, you know we love you, don't you? Remind yourself never to go for an interview for 'Damage controller'... Seriously, we anti-Zios couldn't do it without you, honest. Don't go away, pleaeaease???

Update: over at Greenstein's, Jonathan Hoffman and the CST have posted a right of reply in Greenstein's comment section. Hoffman also claims the quote above is false ('a Lie', in his own words). Where appropriate this post may in the future be amended in accordance with any modifications to Greenstein's source text.

The Good Ship Exodus and the Flotilla: Turning the Tables...

How and why all this is seriously bad news for Israel, analysed by Stratfor.

Hat tip to blogroller Renegade Eye. Here's a taster:

The bid to shape global perceptions by portraying the Palestinians as victims of Israel was the first prong of a longtime two-part campaign. The second part of this campaign involved armed resistance against the Israelis. The way this resistance was carried out, from airplane hijackings to stone-throwing children to suicide bombers, interfered with the first part of the campaign, however. The Israelis could point to suicide bombings or the use of children against soldiers as symbols of Palestinian inhumanity. This in turn was used to justify conditions in Gaza. While the Palestinians had made significant inroads in placing Israel on the defensive in global public opinion, they thus consistently gave the Israelis the opportunity to turn the tables. And this is where the flotilla comes in.

The Turkish flotilla aimed to replicate the Exodus story or, more precisely, to define the global image of Israel in the same way the Zionists defined the image that they wanted to project. As with the Zionist portrayal of the situation in 1947, the Gaza situation is far more complicated than as portrayed by the Palestinians. The moral question is also far more ambiguous. But as in 1947, when the Zionist portrayal was not intended to be a scholarly analysis of the situation but a political weapon designed to define perceptions, the Turkish flotilla was not designed to carry out a moral inquest.

Instead, the flotilla was designed to achieve two ends. The first is to divide Israel and Western governments by shifting public opinion against Israel. The second is to create a political crisis inside Israel between those who feel that Israel’s increasing isolation over the Gaza issue is dangerous versus those who think any weakening of resolve is dangerous.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Part of Tel Aviv jubilates...

Inspired by Lenin's tomb...

Israelis celebrating in front of Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv:

Video from LiveLeak.

Olay, olay, olay olay olay...

Remarked Lenin:

How sad for them that they didn't have the opportunity to watch the assault from afar, perched on deckchairs, binoculars in hand, as some of their compatriots did during Cast Lead [my link added].