Friday, October 21, 2011

Zionist ‘Humour’ and 'counter arguments' from a Settler…

That modern Zionism really doesn’t have a great deal of moral arguments left is quite undeniable: its prolonged and over time strongly accelerated colonial designs on territory acquired by means of military conquest, a practice considered illegal even by its perennial apologist and enabler (or ‘pusher’, to use Gideon Levy’s ‘occupation addiction’ parallel) the USA, means any moral claims or declarations of peaceful intent must be considered totally bankrupt.

This bankruptcy manifests itself among other things from highly reductionist stances a la Alex Stein’s ‘it’s [Israel] good for the Jews’ to Richard Millett’s ‘I’m for a TSS but the territories are disputed, not occupied’.

But today I received the ultimate Britzio argument from Daniel Marks, a Jewish settler from Croydon(*), from Ma’ale Adumim (for some 38 years) and a devout Jewish person who undoubtedly sees himself as a fully paid up settler member of the ‘chosen people’, in the form of an email sent to me from a account at 11.45 am.

Daniel’s main contribution was to type ‘Any use?’, and below the fold was then inserted an advert for Maxgentleman Enlargement Pills:

MaxGentleman Enlargement Pills have been featured across major media outlets around the world, including ESP and Fox News, with dozens of positive reviews.

This is the only Male enlargement supplement that has been PROVEN in clinical trials to enlarge your penis ג€“ safely, quickly, and importantly ג€“ PERMANENTLY

Follows then the ubiquitous list of claims and testimonials.

Clearly one can take the Britzionist out of Albion but one can’t take the puerile toilet humour out of the Britzionist.

(*) No, he’s probably not from Croydon, I'm just guessing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meet Mad Rachel Abrams…

The wife of Elliot Abrams, George W. Bush’s Middle East advisor, on her blog ‘Bad Rachel’ (what’s in a name???) has this anti-Palestinian and Manichean screed about Gilad Shalit, Israeli Jewish children, Palestinians, their mothers and… unmanned animals:


He’s free and he’s home in the bosom of his family and his country.

Celebrate, Israel, with all the joyous gratitude that fills your hearts, as we all do along with you.

Then round up his captors, the slaughtering, death-worshiping, innocent-butchering, child-sacrificing savages who dip their hands in blood and use women—those who aren’t strapping bombs to their own devils’ spawn and sending them out to meet their seventy-two virgins by taking the lives of the school-bus-riding, heart-drawing, Transformer-doodling, homework-losing children of Others—and their offspring—those who haven’t already been pimped out by their mothers to the murder god—as shields, hiding behind their burkas and cradles like the unmanned animals they are, and throw them not into your prisons, where they can bide until they’re traded by the thousands for another child of Israel, but into the sea, to float there, food for sharks, stargazers, and whatever other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose.

Mad, bad, stark raving bonkers and… the wife of a Neocon Jewish ME advisor!

H/T Mondoweiss.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Lunatics Have Taken over the Asylum

Israeli society is standing by as settlers take the reins

Zeev Sternhell - Ha'aretz

Like every year during the days around Yom Kippur, the big question arises once again: How is it possible that we didn't notice the signs of the approaching war? But not only wars have early-warning signs - destructive social and political events do not come like a bolt from the blue either.

There is a growing tendency for the right to distance itself from "price tag" hooligans and to make us forget the fact that these belligerent groups, which are increasingly reminiscent of phenomena in Europe in the interwar period, are only the vanguard of the entire settlement movement. Of course, the vast majority of people living on the other side of the Green Line are disgusted by the torching of mosques, but I don't recall that many of them went out to demonstrate against the pogrom that took place in Anatot at the end of last week, nor that they condemn the daily harassment of Palestinian farmers, the uprooting of trees or the daily reign of terror in Hebron.

They consider the torching of mosques unnecessary and harmful, but daily control over the lives of Palestinians helps to perpetuate the occupation regime, and here the hilltop gangs play an important role in the service of the settlements: The hooligans' activity is living proof of the hopelessness of contemplating any change in the territories. After all, these gangs are drawing the boundaries of the government's power: Even if some day the right is no longer in power or Israel is forced to give in by dint of international sanctions, policy in the territories will not change substantially, because there the rioters are in control, in cooperation with the police and the army and with the general consensus of silence. They hold all the cards; threatening the possibility of a violent uprising against any government that does not serve their interests.

Under these circumstances, any negotiations for an agreement with the Palestinians, whether direct or indirect, are no more than a sad joke. The truth is that Israeli society and its governmental institutions are standing by helplessly in the face of the settlers' regime of fear and blackmail.

The other arm of the pincers closing in on Israel is that of the "respectable right." The two arms combine symbolically in the person of the justice minister: Well ensconced among Israel's wealthiest citizens, Yaakov Neeman serves in the present administration as the envoy of secular and "socially oriented" Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and, at the same time, does not conceal the fact that he hopes for the implementation of a halakhic (religious ) rule of law.

The religious community and the secular ultra-nationalists do, in fact, have a common basis and common objectives: They all consider the principle of Jewish supremacy as the only basis for Zionism and for Israel's existence. Just like ultra-nationalists in Europe during the dark period of the previous century, just like racists all over Europe today, the Israeli ultra-nationalists nurture ethnic solidarity by means of xenophobia and hatred of the other.

In their eyes, a community of all the citizens of the state, which includes the Arabs, is an artificial community, just as the concept of citizenship is artificial, and therefore inferior to the ethno-religious community, which they consider natural. Religion serves as a tool to exalt the privileged Jew and to trample those inferior to him. In this overarching concept, human rights and universal values are seen as infantile principles.

In this situation, signs of disintegration are multiplying in all areas of life. Antidemocratic legislation that has already been approved in the Knesset, with the support of Kadima, and legislation yet to come, is encouraging the erosion of liberal components of state education. That is also how we have come to accept as self-evident the expulsion of foreigners whose children were born in Israel and - according to accepted practice all over the Western world - should have been considered Israeli to all intents and purposes.

These are only a few examples that make radical, Israeli ultra-nationalism seem retrograde and alienated from the best of the democratic tradition. We can reasonably assume that there will be a continuation.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Two States solution is no longer feasible

From Wish you Orwell

If anyone wanted to know what Binyamin Netanyahu actually thinks about the peace process, he said it clearly himself last week: according to Netanyahu, the Palestinian appeal to the UN “will gridlock the negotiations for 60 years”. So, 44 years after the occupation and 18 years after the Israeli government and representatives of the Palestinians began negotiating, Netanyahu thinks it feasible to carry on for some 60 more years, give or take. And, naturally, should anything of the sort happen, this will be the Palestinians fault. If it were up to him – who refused to accept Obama’s plan and commit himself to the 1967 borders – this would all be over by now. But those sinister Palestinians prefer going to the UN.

And with good reason. Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, as mentioned, began 18 years ago. They were supposed to be finished by May 1999 with a final agreement. Unfortunately, we’ve been ruled by Netanyahu for three critical years during that time – and, as Netanyahu told his base, the settlers, he did everything possible to undermine the Oslo Accords while pretending to follow it. Then Barak was elected, Arik Sharon climbed Temple Mount, the IDF fired a million rounds in October 2000 while ignoring the government’s orders for a cease fire, the Palestinians began their great terror wave, Sharon became prime minister, and the rest is history. During this period – between September 1993 and September 2011 – the number of settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories more than doubled.

And not by accident: the West Bank settlements were Israel’s most important national project. During the last decade, while the government axed its support of municipal budgets in Israel proper, the budget per settler rose: It reached 951 NIS per settler per year, which the average in Israel was 303 NIS per person per year. Designated Support – another aid budget by the government – was 2,264 NIS per settler, versus 1,478 NIS per Israeli dwelling in a well-to-do city, 1,859 per person in Arab towns and 1,719 NIS per person in the “development towns”, poor Jewish towns. Furthermore, the government was responsible for 50% of houses built in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as for 35% of the funds invested in building there – as compared to 18% of the houses built in Israel proper, which were founded by the government in only 10% of the cases.

If population growth in Israel proper was 18% on average, in the occupied territories it was 47%. In the early days of the J14 movement, it was noticed that housing in the settlements was much, much cheaper than in Israel; again, this wasn’t an accident. Rather, this was the result of a long-range government plan – beginning in the days of Begin – intended to seduce Israelis to abandon Israel and move to the occupied territories, particularly the West Bank.

Given the fact that a significant part of the settlers is composed of Ultra-Orthodox, this government plan was a major success. In the 1980s, the Ultra-Orthodox were considered to be stubborn opponents of the settlement policy, with the leader of the Lithuanian faction, Rabbi Shach, defining them as baiting the nations and risking of lives. The housing crisis among the Ultra-Orthodox, which came much earlier than to most other Israelis, was quietly solved by shelving these objections and mass exodus of tens of thousands of Ultra-Orthodox to the West Bank.

To quote Ali Abu Nimeh, Israel pretends to negotiate the division of a pizza pie, while munching on the pie. Israel has already swallowed 78% of Mandatory Palestine – even the 1949 lines do not resemble the 1947 UN decision’s borders – and now it is grabbing more and more of the remains, while insisting that any negotiations must recognize “facts on the grounds”, meaning the war crimes it carried out. Anyone negotiating with an Israeli government unwilling to grant the bare minimum, a freezing of settlements during the negotiations (or, in plain English, insisting on right to grab more lands during negotiations) is an idiot. No other way to describe it.

The Palestinians have wised up. They had the sense to turn the situation into an easily understood moral play. They’ll go to the UN, and show Israel, Micronesia and the US as they are: lepers in the international community, the last bastions of an occupation regime which, under Netanyahu, even stopped pretending it is temporary. 60 more years, remember? Remember a settler foreign minister telling the UN there will be no peace?

But, terrifyingly enough, it is not at all clear a return to the 1967 borders is still feasible. In the 1980s Miron Benbenishti presented a scandalous thesis: that given the number of settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the two state solution is a fiction; the facts on the grounds were that of a bi-national state. It did not make him many friends on the Israeli left.

When Benbenishti wrote, the number of settlers in the West Bank was about 30,000. Now it is more than 300,000. Given what happened during the Disengagement, Israel will not survive such an evacuation – if only for the reason that giving each West Bank settler the same terms granted the spoiled Gush Katif settlers will drive it bankrupt. And even if it were to offer such terms, there’s a strong chance of a military coup.

Furthermore, the settlements were built, on purpose, as mines – intended to blow up any chance of a Palestinian state. A few days ago I participated in a tour held by the Ir Amim association, which explains the complex, not to say insane, reality in greater Jerusalem. A quick look at the map they gave us (
you can see it here) says all there is to say: You can’t divide this place. Have a look: the blue line is Jerusalem’s fictive municipal border after the annexation of 1967. The blue smudges are settlements. Note the bulge of the red line eastwards – this is the plan of the separation wall, euphemistically called Otef Yerushalaim, “Wrapping Jerusalem”, intended to make the settlements of Ma’aleh Adumim, Kfar Adumim and the rest a part of “Jerusalem”.

Look to the southwest. Here we have a series of settlements – Gilo, Har Homa, and others – whose residents don’t even know they’re settlers. They’ve been taught they live in Jerusalem. They have no idea, and not by accident, that the place they live in was never a part of Jerusalem in any meaningful way. These settlements simply cannot be evacuated.

This makes the Palestinian move in the UN, which will make it clear to Israel that the current situation cannot go on, a good first move, which ought to be supported by all Israeli patriots. But, given that the Netanyahu government will remain obdurate, and will not allow the creation of a feasible Palestinian state, the second act of the Palestinians should be clear cut: they ought to demand that Israel will recognize anyone living in the de-facto country between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River as an equal citizen. Because the other solution, the existence of an apartheid state while waiting for Netanyahu’s 60 years to pass is morally unacceptable.

And no, it won’t be easy. And yes, this will have a cost in blood, treasure and abandoned paradigms, foremost among them Zionism. And yes, terrorists from both sides, supported by elements of their side’s armed forces, will try to prevent such a solution. And it’s not at all clear that Jews and Muslims – and in the Middle East, of all places – can recognize others as equals. But, 44 years after the occupation, we have exhausted all other possible solutions. Time to make a decision.

FBI: Thwarting its Own Terror Plot again…

Glenn Greenwald.

The FBI has received substantial criticism over the past decade — much of it valid — but nobody can deny its record of excellence in thwarting its own Terrorist plots. Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out — only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI.

Last year, the FBI subjected 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud to months of encouragement, support and money and convinced him to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas event in Portland, Oregon, only to arrest him at the last moment and then issue a Press Release boasting of its success. In late 2009, the FBI persuaded and enabled Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year old Jordanian citizen, to place a fake bomb at a Dallas skyscraper and separately convinced Farooque Ahmed, a 34-year-old naturalized American citizen born in Pakistan, to bomb the Washington Metro. And now, the FBI has yet again saved us all from its own Terrorist plot by arresting 26-year-old American citizen Rezwan Ferdaus after having spent months providing him with the plans and materials to attack the Pentagon, American troops in Iraq, and possibly the Capitol Building using “remote-controlled” model airplanes carrying explosives.

None of these cases entail the FBI’s learning of an actual plot and then infiltrating it to stop it. They all involve the FBI’s purposely seeking out Muslims (typically young and impressionable ones) whom they think harbor animosity toward the U.S. and who therefore can be induced to launch an attack despite having never taken even a single step toward doing so before the FBI targeted them. Each time the FBI announces it has disrupted its own plot, press coverage is predictably hysterical (new Homegrown Terrorist caught!), fear levels predictably rise, and new security measures are often implemented in response (the FBI’s Terror plot aimed at the D.C. Metro, for instance, led to the Metro Police announcing a new policy of random searches of passengers’ bags). I have several observations and questions about these matters:

Read the rest.