• Israel

    Lessons from Brooklyn College BDS, Barghouti, and Butler

    . This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on February 22, 2013. Reader and correspondent David Lurie has directed me to some not well-publicized revelations about the Brooklyn College BDS event. To begin, the campus BDS chapter defended itselfagainst various accusations of selective and prejudicial admission to the event and other claims, including the discriminatory eviction of four Jewish students. On the face of it, the account of circumstances surrounding admission is conceivable. One can easily imagine the organizers having become overwhelmed by the notoriety and numbers drawn by the event. One can imagine, but since there is no video record of events, we have only the current claims and counter…

  • Israel,  The Political Animal

    Reflections on the Spirit of Resistance

    . Paul Newman’s 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, the apex of journeyman Stuart Rosenberg’s directorial career, imbued popular culture with many iconic scenes and memorable lines. (“What we have here – is failure to communicate.” “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”) Among the famous scenes is that of the prison camp boxing match between George Kennedy’s alpha prisoner (the role that won him an Oscar and made him famous) and Newman’s smaller Luke. As expected, Kennedy’s “Dragline” beats Luke good. But Luke will not stay down. He is woozily staggering with every blow, even knocked down by some of the head shots, but each time, against cries from…

  • Israel

    Not So Random Questions, Facts, & Observations about Gaza & Israel

    . If forces in Mexico – drug cartels, for instance – were firing rockets and missiles into an area roughly covering 25% of the United States this is what it would look like. If the U.S. equivalent of one million Israelis were under threat of this bombardment on a daily basis, running for cover, hiding in bomb shelters, suffering damage to their homes, roughly 45 million Americans would be victims of this terror. Imagine the reaction of the American people. Imagine the political and national defense requirements of the U.S. government in response, even if no one had yet been killed. The United Nations categorizes 48 nations, with a population…

  • Israel,  The Political Animal

    Glenn Greenwald criticizes Bibi AND Obama’s “policies” of intentionally killing innocent Muslims

    . Cross posted from Cif Watch by its managing editor, Adam Levick. “Every person has their own definition of terrorism.” –Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald makes characteristically hysterical claims about Israel and the US in his latest ‘Comment is Free’ piece titled Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza‘: Here are the most egregious examples: 1. He claims that “overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians, including children”. There’s nothing new here in Greenwald’s use of the most unserious hyperbole to impute the most violent and malevolent motives to Israel. Greenwald ignores the fact that Israel uses unprecedented restraint in targeting only Hamas leaders and terror targets, which would explain that…

  • Israel

    Los Angeles Times Slants Coverage of Israel-Gaza Conflict

    . Years from now – How long, O Lord? – when the historical studies are done of yet another period of profound human and political failing, the evidence of even journalistic prejudice against Israel and Jews in the first part of the twenty-first century will be too bountiful for the whole to be encompassed. Yesterday, I posted about how National Public Radio offered an account of the growing threat of Greece’s fascistic, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, inclusive of analogy to the rise of Nazism out of Germany’s troubled Wiemar Republic. Astonishingly, while recounting current offenses against foreigners and gays in the context of this analogy, reporter Joanna Kakisssis, never once mentioned Golden…

  • Israel

    The Israeli-Palestinian Enthymeme

    . This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on on October 18, 2012. In rhetoric, an enthymeme is an argument that contains an unarticulated premise. Commonly this is because the conversation is among a group of people with shared values, among whom one or more of those values — premises to an argument — it is assumed, requires no expression. Among a collection of crime–busting DA’s in a death penalty state, the argument “it was a coldblooded, premeditated murder — he should be executed” does not require expression of the major premise “people who commit premeditated murders should receive the death penalty.” That commonly-held belief is understood. Sometimes people assume too much.…

  • The Political Animal

    Said the Sad Red Earth

    . I’ve been lying low, collecting evidence… Brought to mind by recent events for David W. Blight And Allison Scharfstein in their Op-Ed at the New York Times, the little known proposal by Martin Luther King, Jr. to President Kennedy in May 1962 to issue another Emancipation Proclamation, to end segregation. Kennedy took it under advisement and never acted before it was too late. Even Lincoln did not act until the nation was already at war. Marriage equality is not a matter of localized state ordinance governing a mundane civil procedure. It is a human and civil right to be addressed federally and universally. Even the partisan pollsters know what is coming. But the…

  • Israel

    Dear Nicholas Kristof, You Are a Fool

    . Let’s begin with the title of that ejaculation of tendentious nonsense you and The New York Times have passed off as thoughtful commentary by a serious commentator on international affairs. “Is Israel Its Own Worst Enemy?” Really, you mean that? You haven’t heard that spoken around the block a time or two. It’s your own, its original, you came up with it yourself in a flash of wordsmithing insight? In comparison to anti-Semitic terror organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and whole national governments of like nature – Iran – and Palestinian and other Arab public officials who repeatedly reveal in interviews to Mideast media that their true, private…

  • Israel

    The State Solution: Yes, for South Sudan; No, for Israel

    Hedar Sela has an incisive piece at The Propagandist that sharply zeroes in on the true nature of the so-called “one-state solution.” (H/T CiFWatch). Readers of political commentary on the Middle East will frequently see reference to the ‘one-state solution’ in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict. What perhaps is often not sufficiently clear is what lies behind that particular political ethos, exactly who is promoting it and why. Advocates of the ‘one state solution’ are, by definition, opposed to the two-state solution – i.e. the creation, as a result of negotiations between the relevant parties, of a Palestinian State which will exist side by side – hopefully in peace and…

  • Israel

    Framing Israel

    It is inevitably so that when two parties are in protracted conflict, neither will be faultless in conduct. Wrongs will be committed, misbehavior will be rationalized, and the sense of one’s own righteousness will excuse even long-term, strategic misdirections in course. The first two of those categories are why political settlements of disputes cannot come from attempting to argue to resolution the “original” wrong: there are always wrongs and Rashomon complexities to grasp onto to make one’s case. The latter is why the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza was such an historic error. Israelis would be happy – even I, inconsequentially, would be happy – never…

  • The Political Animal

    Quotes of the Day

    Glenn Greenwald: CNN yesterday ended the 20-year career of Octavia Nasr, its Atlanta-based Senior Middle East News Editor, because of a now-deleted tweet she wrote on Sunday upon learning of the death of one of the Shiite world’s most beloved religious figures. Glenn Greenwald: And Nasr herself wrote a moving explanation after the controversy over her tweet erupted, explaining that the respect she expressed for Fadlallah had nothing to do with some of his uglier views about the justifiability of civilian attacks on Israel or Holocaust disparagement. Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah (Registration required.) I say that America, in its policy that aspires to impose hegemony on the world is an evil with no…

  • Israel

    The Hypocrisy and Bullshit of Glenn Greenwald: II

    What follows is the transcript of Hugh Hewitt’s January 2009 radio show interview of Glen Greenwald, taken from Hewitt’s blog. It is of some length, so if you want to save time, you can scan for the bold highlights I have made and my commentary broken out along the way. I recommend reading the full interview. To Greenwald’s credit, he appropriately accepts his role in the dialogue. Though both he and Hewitt refer to it as a discussion, these are interviews Hewitt conducts, not exchanges, and Hewitt, like Greenwald, is a lawyer. This is neither Larry King nor a sympathetic partisan questioning Greenwald, but a man skilled at examination. Hewitt…

  • Israel

    Politics as a Continuation of War by Other Means (Update)

    Apropos of my post of earlier today, Normblog, offers one of his periodically superb guest posts from Eve Garrard: Israel, human decency, common humanity. Garrard scores writers Fintan O’Toole and Iain Banks for their own indecent attacks on Israel by running through the litany of human and national indecencies that enemies of Israel purposefully ignore. She ends, Third, and most importantly, every point I’ve made in this post has been made before, by many others, many many times: forcefully, cogently, analytically; both passionately and dispassionately; with humour and with despair. It hasn’t made the slightest difference to the likes of Banks and O’Toole. Nor to the many others shouting or…

  • Israel

    Hamas Must End the Blockade of Gaza Now

    The Hamas apologists showing up in such great numbers over the past thirty-six hours must contend with what Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki said just days ago in Buenos Aires. They are running an authoritarian, fascist system and it’s for this reason that leaders of Hamas know they are losing the support of the people. It’s they who sent us signals that they wanted to open a dialogue. The leadership of Hamas in Damascus, by contrast, is more intransigent because they live far away and receive the support of Iran. Hamas is starting to split. We are trying to liberate Hamas from the influence of Iran and talking to…

  • Israel

    The Mystery of Judgment

    Too often, it can be hard to figure how some people can be so wrong. That’s why we have political parties, so we can put all the wrong people in the other party. That way we don’t have to put bells on them to know when they’re coming. As Graham Greene wrote in The Quiet American Innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm. Poor judgment is like Greene’s leper without his bell, the vital error that has strayed from the other side and sits with you supping with a smile. Judgment isn’t intelligence, or maybe better said, intelligence isn’t judgment.…

  • Israel

    Mind Games IV: Cause and Defect

    Remember all those soul searching headlines? Why Do They Hate Us? Question: who is “they” and who is “us”? And do we mean I-want-to-cut-your-head-off hate or how-do-I-get-a-green-card hate? The Pew Research Center’s latest polling results, “Mixed Views of Hamas and Hezbollah in Largely Muslim Nations: Little Enthusiasm for Many Muslim Leaders,” supports some compelling perspectives. Despite a bare majority of favorability in Jordan and Egypt, Hamas is viewed mostly unfavorably by Palestinians, especially those actually governed by Hamas in Gaza. The popular narrative, of course, is that the various social and humanitarian services offered by Hamas blinds those it destructively governs to its flaws. Apparently not. Turkey, subject of another…

  • The Political Animal

    Hamas and War Crimes

    We approach a more complete understanding of the Hamas definition of a war crime. One wonders if the U.N. will accede to Hamas wishes, and what conclusions one would then have to draw about the U.N. It’s worth wondering too, as many consider the hardships of life in Gaza with purported compassion and complaint, whether Hamas and its supporters would be willing to acknowledge the truth of the Holocaust and accept the existence of Israel in order to end those hardships. Courtesy of Normblog. AJA

  • The Political Animal

    The World’s a Funny Place

    Yaacov Lozowick points out that today is both Holocaust Commemoration Day in Israel and Adolf Hitler’s birthday. It is also the first day of the incipiently anti-Semitic U.N anti-racism Conference, informally known as Durban II, follow up to the notoriously anti-Semitic Durban I. The world is nothing if not an ironic jokester. Lozowick also provides this must-see video (if you wish to know the nature of one of the parties to this conflict) of Ziad Abu Alhaj on Hamas television on April 3, 2009 providing a sermon on how Jews (not merely Israelis) are inherently evil and must be exterminated. And he doesn’t just incoroporate the infamous anti-Semitic forgery of…