The Moskowitz Menace, Jewish Settlements & Middle East Peace

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Video journalist Max Blumenthal talks to many in the Jewish settler movement who put it all out there. Winners of the Moskowitz Prize state frankly that they want to continue the ethnic cleansing of Occupied Territories — and young kids parrot the meme that Palestinians have no right to lands that are Israel’s holy lands.
This cult of land expropriators needs to be rolled back. I understand the realities that there are certain settlements that will remain part of Israel when a Palestinian state is created — but in a fair land swap.
But the expansion of settlements that “bingo tycoon” Irving Moskowitz keeps pushing is undermining the security interests of all parties in the region — particularly Israel’s.
Blumenthal’s work is some of the most vital and creative journalism out there today.
– Steve Clemons
Update: For more thoughtful commentary on the Israeli settlements and their corrosiveness, read the blog Ibn Ezra.

Comments

38 comments on “The Moskowitz Menace, Jewish Settlements & Middle East Peace

  1. my name says:

    its too late already…. we all are going to be whiped out by God….. its too late….just too late…….
    Global warming….floods….hurricanes…earthquakes…..tsunamis….Asteroids…. Earth’s magnetic field reversal….
    total jewish control …i mean total…on media of every sort including internet….
    they are holding all the keys … they are guarding all the Gates…
    Persians and jews have same approach….
    and they are shouting against each other but on the inside they are one….
    their weakness…and filth…and hate…and jealousy…makes them twins….

    Reply

  2. David says:

    Video journalism of the first order. Kudos to Max Blumenthal, and thanks to Steve for the link.

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    And then there’s the 3 State Solution currently being badied about…look for John Bolton’s name in this one http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22766.htm

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  4. Kathleen says:

    Three Cheers for J Street on the pushback of liberal Jews against the right-wing monopoly on political thought vis a vis Israel. WigWag…I disagree that ending the settlements will not improve Israel’s security…the settlements were the stumnbling block to peace and will continue to be, as well as providing motive for other Arab countries to finally take action…after all, haven’t we all been making Iran the big boogey man ‘threat to Israel? Perhaps Isreal needs their settlements as an excuse to attack Iran and suck us into another ME mess. Once WigWag ridiculed me for suggesting that the one state solution be re-considered…is it better coming from Bibi?
    In any case, with key figures in BO’s administration having dual citizenship with Israel, I am not holding my breath for change. In fact, there are times as I watch BO et al go through their moves, that I feel like I’m watching Eddie Murphy in Trading Places. Perhaps Teddy and Newt the Brewt made a back room bet. It wouldn’t be the first back room deal between them.

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  5. rich says:

    Josh Marshall has been documenting that Netanyahu has been “stunned” by a coordinated pushback by key Jewish members of Congress on the issue of settlements that back up, in no uncertain terms, the President’s position that Israel live up to its obligations. Links:
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/among_those_lobbying_hardest_for.php
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/shut_down.php?ref=fpblg
    Of course, hard-liners are tarring Obama as anti-Semitic, Muslim, etc. to demonize him for simply speaking accurately and even-handedly about the situtation. NOTE that Max Blumenthal’s latest film documents full-bore hatred of young Jewish Americans of dual-citizenship — making threats against President Obama.
    Threatening to kill President Obama.
    These are Americans. One said Obama “is just anoter n—– from the [Palestinian] Towns.” And yeah, American parents enable and encourage a form of prejudice and violence contradicted by American political vlaues.
    Further, they openly lie about President Obama’s politics, who has been EQUALLY harsh on real radical anti-Semites:
    “In Thursday’s speech in Egypt, Obama issued a scathing indictment of those who question the Holocaust, saying that to do so “is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful.”
    ” ‘Threatening Israel with destruction or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews is deeply wrong and only serves to evoke in the minds of the Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve,’ Obama added.” —via TPM

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  6. Mr.Murder says:

    If we don’t let the Israelis wipe them out, how we can we have a theme park at the Sea of Galilee(yes indeed, Abramoff buddies once pushed that).
    Can’t they be happy with their reservations and casinos?(/American)

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  7. David says:

    The question is, what leverage is the Obama administration willing to use to actually push an end to settlement building and an end to the Israeli occupation–and how willing informed civil society actors are to create the conditions under which the exercise of such leverage would be realistic.
    The Obama administration’s FY2010 budget request includes $2.775 billion in unconditioned, direct military aid (foreign military financing) to Israel. That’s not including loan guarantees or any of the other economic or political means we use to support Israeli policy. That is a huge amount of leverage.
    It’s up to us, though, to create the circumstances under which the use of that financial leverage becomes possible: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=2143

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  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama doesn’t have the balls to counter Congress and Israel. He’ll go with the flow, and the flow is with people like Lautenberg, who is in the majority, not the minority.

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    There are two things I have said consistently regarding Israel for the past seven years.
    1) Israel does not want peace, has never wanted peace, it wants instead the land and resources of Palestine. Period.
    2) We need to seriously up date our treason laws to reflect the current realities of the perversions of the “right to representation” so obvious agents or and loyalist to foreign countries like Lautenberg can be routed out.
    http://tinyurl.com/p3lhmk
    JPost.com » Iran news » Article
    May 28, 2009 1:21 | Updated May 28, 2009 8:59
    Interviewed during a short visit, Lautenberg – a consistent backer of Israel who is also a Democratic Party supporter of Obama – said, “Israel didn’t ask us permission to drop bombs twice on Syrian nuclear facilities. I didn’t hear America scolding Israel for what it did then.
    Hypothetically, if Israel were able to get rid of Iran’s nuclear bomb-making capability, I’m sure that America would not send Israel a chastising e-mail message. We have to give Israel the courtesy of [allowing it to] make its own decisions.”
    He added that if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad failed in his bid for reelection on June 12, “we’ll celebrate – unless there is someone worse in his place… Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities would be a desperate act for Israel. I’m certainly not promoting it. But all free countries are endangered. The battle has to be fought together. Obama is a leader, and he will do what is necessary.”
    The senator – one of 13 Jews (not all recognized as such according to Jewish law) in the 100-member Senate – said he disagreed with Obama’s policy of linking US action against Iran with an Israeli limitation of settlement activity.
    “I agree that each is a major problem deserving of attention, but one is not dependent on the other,” he said.
    Israel is a “humane democratic society, a bastion of decency and freedom. It is a vital asset for America. It deserves not only respect but support,” said Lautenberg, who has visited Israel 80 times since 1968. “It is a necessity for the US, a drop of sanity in the middle of so much madness.”
    When Lautenberg, who after 24 years in office has served longer than any other New Jersey senator in history, said that at first, he had worried that he might have to face a situation in which America’s position stood in blunt contradiction to the good of Israel.
    “There have been occasional moments when relations were chilly, but [a confrontation between the two countries] has not been a problem,” he said.
    Lautenberg said that Israel “won’t return to the ’67 borders. They are insufficient to permit Israel to function. I can’t predict what the map will look like. As for the old settlements, Israel captured the territories when it was attacked, and it won the war. It was entitled to build defenses to promote its security. Older settlements are a reality. But the newer settlements and outposts are counterproductive and threatening in a way that almost prevents discussions with the Palestinians.”
    The senator met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his visit and held meetings in Jericho and Ramallah. “>>>>>
    So Lautenberg gives Israel the wink and nod on attacking Iran.
    And Obama’s most famous recent statement was…”Israel’s action are NOT in America’s security interest”.
    Let’s see what happens to the dem majority if they undermine Obama.
    Cause…”NOT in American security interest” plays well with the public and will be his campaign against the zionist if they go after him.

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  10. Carroll says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090166.html
    ‘We’re launching a campaign against anti-Semitic Obama’
    By Raphael Ahren, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Sevice
    Some 130 protesters gathered in front of the American Consulate in Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon to rally against U.S. President Barack Obama, who had just launched his Middle East tour, during which he is expected to reach out in friendship to the Muslim world.
    As more than a dozen local and international journalists looked on, the protesters chanted “No, You Can’t” and waved posters saying “20 new ‘settlements’ by 2010 – Yes We Can!”
    Far right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who attended the protest, told Channel 10 that “it appears that we’ve arrived at a red line, which has already been crossed by the most anti-Semitic American president.”
    “We are launching a campaign against Barack Hussein Obama. He is bad for the people of Israel and for the state of Israel and his policies could bring about disaster. We expect our prime minister to say ‘no’ to anyone who tries to harm us,” Ben-Gvir added.
    National Union MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari addressed the crowd, largely made up of native-English speaking Israelis.
    “I’m here to tell Obama that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish people,” said Scottish-born Edith Ognall, who drove to the capital from her hometown of Netanya to attend the event. “What right does anybody have to tell us to stop building in the land that was given to us by God? I’m not going to stand by and let Obama, or anybody else, tell me where I can live and where I can’t live.”
    Nadia Matar, the Belgian-born co-chair of Women in Green, which organized the event, made a point of repeatedly mentioning Obama’ middle name, Hussein, because “we have to remind ourselves that he received an Islamic education in Indonesia.”
    “We are connected to our land like a mother is connected to her children,” the well-known activist told reporters. “And I want to warn you: Don’t mess with a Jewish mother who feels her children or her homeland are in danger. Every part and parcel and hilltop and stone in the Land of Israel is like one of our children. And we’e going to protect it like lionesses.”>>>>>
    Check out the picture the settlers are passing out in Israel at the Haaretz link. It has Obama in Arab dress with anti semite and jew hater written on it.

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  11. easy e says:

    Wonder if Moskowitz money makes it way to MEMRI and Rita Katz’s and SITE Institute?
    “Bin Laden threatens Americans in new tape”
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31082752/
    Perfect timing, eh?

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel OKs contentious hotel in east Jerusalem
    Israel approves hotel complex in east Jerusalem, drawing protests from US, advocacy group
    MARK LAVIE
    AP News
    Jun 02, 2009 12:34 EST
    Israel plans to build a 200-room hotel next to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Interior Ministry announced Tuesday, drawing a mild protest from the United States at a time when Israeli construction on land Palestinians claim for a state has become a contentious issue in U.S.-Israel relations.
    The new hotel was approved by the Interior Ministry’s planning committee, according to a statement. The hotel is to be built into the side of a hill across from the Old City, and its roof would double as a public square, the statement said.
    An official at the U.S. consulate in east Jerusalem expressed concern about demolition of Palestinian properties that are part of the construction plan. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the U.S. did not issue a statement, said that Israeli media reports of a rift over the hotel issue were “exaggerated.”
    continues…….
    http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/06/02/israel-oks-contentious-hotel-in-east-jerusalem/
    More “natural growth” expansion, I suppose.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama Plays Down Divide With Israel
    ALAN COWELL and HELENE COOPER
    Published: June 2, 2009
    LONDON — On the eve of a visit to the Middle East and Europe, President Obama on Tuesday played down a dispute with Israel over his demand for a suspension of further Jewish settlement in the West Bank but reiterated his call for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians that Israel’s hawkish leaders have not accepted.
    continues……
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/world/middleeast/03prexy.html?_r=1&ref=world
    The backpedaling begins in earnest. How dare Obama deviate from the script!
    Observe, America, as reasonable demands and requests are replaced by cow-towing subservience to a racist and murderous state intent on ethnic cleansing.
    And watch as your “Representatives” cheer, finance, and abet the carnage.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Dems Tell Obama to Back Off Israel Criticism
    Congressmen Say Obama Should Stop Pressing Israel, Spend More Time Pressuring Iran
    by Jason Ditz, June 02, 2009
    Congressional Democrats are reportedly irked by the Obama Administration’s persistent criticism of Israel’s settlement growth. The Congressmen said it was inappropriate to pressure an ally about “domestic policies” and that instead the administration should spend more time “pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran.”
    continues….
    http://news.antiwar.com/2009/06/02/dems-tell-obama-to-back-off-israel-criticism/
    The best Congress money can buy. Makes ya proud to be an American, don’t it? Carry on, Israel, barbeque Palestinians to your heart’s delight. I understand the young ones are easily sauteed, but only after being leaned up by a year or two of forced hunger.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Honestly, saying that Israel should stop cleansing and colonizing Palestine because it is bad for Israeli security is like saying that Steve Clemons shouldn’t kick his dog Oakley because it is bad for Steve’s feet”
    Perfect.

    Reply

  16. Dan Kervick says:

    In a recent BBC World Service poll of global public opinion, Iran, Israel and Pakistan were the three most negatively viewed countries, with over half of respondents describing the impact of these countries on the world as mostly negative. Israel’s position is about where it has been in previous recent polls. It has improved a bit in Russia, but deteriorated in Spain, India and Nigeria. Australia, Germany and the Philippines are three countries outside the Middle East that have particularly negative views of Israel.
    Most of the poll data was accumulated prior to the Gaza War, and it is hard to imagine Israel’s global reputation was not harmed by the war. The Gaza assault provoked intense outrage across Europe, harsh condemnation from Ban Ki-Moon and Human Rights groups, and a US Security Council resolution of condemnation, which the United States did not veto.

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  17. Dan Kervick says:

    Some above have presented interesting arguments for the claim that the ongoing occupation and colonization of the West Bank is a threat to Israel’s own security. I and others have expressed skepticism about that point. But whoever is right, I believe one thing that needs emphasizing is that the continued, obsessive focus in the United States on Israel’s own security interests and preferences misses the point in a rather large way.
    The frequent, and frequently weakly defended, rhetorical tactic of trying to base opposition to Israel’s actions in Palestine on concerns about Israeli security interests is both weak and cynical. The routine, exclusive appeal to such considerations among American leaders and elites, although no doubt often employed in good faith by people trying to exploit whatever desperate rhetorical tools lie available to reverse Israeli policy, in the end weakens the moral stature of Americans and America. It is also likely to prove ineffective, because the security argument is so tenuous and disputable.
    I continue to harbor a faint, naive hope that at some point the United States, a nation of laws with a nominal commitment to justice, and itself the chief architect and underwriter of the international legal order built on the ashes of the Second World War, would make a clear statement that it opposes, on grounds of principle, the completion of a program of ethnic cleansing and colonization carried out by a wealthy and militarily potent modern state against a weak and relatively defenseless people, a program whose purpose is to remove those people from their land so that it can be annexed to the more powerful state.
    I thought this was just the sort of thing the world didn’t countenance anymore, even in cases where the more powerful state could make the case that colonization and annexation of coveted territory by means of ethnic cleansing might enhance that state’s security. Yes indeed, conquest and expansion frequently enhances the position and furthers the interests of the conqueror. But clear and established principles of international justice and order tell us that these interests do not trump the claims of right.
    When Iraq invaded Kuwait, did Americans say Iraq should leave Kuwait because staying in Kuwait was bad for Iraqi security? Or did we say that we, and the rest of the civilized world, would not accept the taking of territory by brute force?
    The sole focus on Israeli security interests by American leaders is a tactic that will prove as ineffective as it is muddled and obtuse. It will prove ineffective, because it is a rhetorical policy built on shifting sands of current assessments of security interests, assessments that change from week to week, rather than the enduring foundations of long-established principle. And by failing to place those principles front and center in the US diplomatic position, the dangerously neglected principles of international law are further weakened by an all-too-obvious policy of conspicuous disdain and disregard. By neglecting and disrespecting law and right, by ignoring these considerations in our global appeals, we undermine their power to influence international affairs going forward.
    But beyond august principles of international law, there are also homely considerations of manifest decency, the sense many of us feel that the world’s miserable underdogs shouldn’t be forced by some weapons-packing state leviathan out of the houses and villages and towns which they have long inhabited.
    Are we so lost in the snares of our own doublethink and doubletalk that we can look at what has transpired in Palestine for four decades, and pretend not to see or understand the brute aggression that is happening there? What kind of credibility can the United States have when it assumes such a posture of affected blindness and imbecility?
    Honestly, saying that Israel should stop cleansing and colonizing Palestine because it is bad for Israeli security is like saying that Steve Clemons shouldn’t kick his dog Oakley because it is bad for Steve’s feet.

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  18. WigWag says:

    To Jdledell and Paul Norheim,
    1) I agree that there are other factors of importance, not just security factors. But I was responding to a specific sentence penned by Steve Clemons. He erroneously said that “expansion of settlements…is undermining the security interests of all parties in the region — particularly Israel’s.” But it is demonstrably false to say that settlements make Israel less secure rather than more secure. There are many legitimate reasons to object to settlements, but when and if Israel abandons them it will be a smaller state with less secure borders. In all likelihood it will have to outsource part of its defense to a security force (probably NATO) that will police the Palestinian territories for a prolonged period. Nothing about this enhances Israeli security; everything about it causes Israel’s security situation to deteriorate. Israel may very well decide (or be induced) to abandon the settlements anyway. But if it does, it will be in spite of its security concerns not because of its security concerns.
    2) Jdledell, it is nothing more than a myth to believe that Israel’s “reputation in the world continues to sink.” The objective facts suggest that Israel’s reputation in the world is better than ever. During the cold war Israel had no meaningful relations with either China or India. Israel now has strong and developing trade, financial and military relations with both of these budding superpowers. Neither of them pays anything but lip service to the Palestinians. Political and trade relations with Europe are better than at anytime in its history. When David Cameron is elected as the next British Prime Minister, ever major nation in Europe will have the most pro-Israel Chief Executive that it has ever had (Cameron, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Merkel plus the Poles and Czechs). While the Arab “street” may hate Israel, the Sunni Arab States are more aligned with Israel than they have ever been (primarily because of their shared hatred of Iran). Remember the Israelis attacked Hamas in Gaza not only to stop the rockets but also as virtual proxies of the PA, Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians. Suggesting that the rest of the world considers Israel in the same way South Africa was viewed is simply belied by the facts. Israel can continue to exist quite comfortably within ill-defined borders and occupying territory that it captured during war time for at least another generation.
    3) You are right, Jdledell, having the West Bank does not protect Israel from nuclear weapons. Having their own nuclear arsenal is what protects Israel from nuclear weapons. Non State actors who may not be deterrable in the manner of traditional states will not be deterred whether Israel gives up the West Bank or not.

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  19. ... says:

    i concur with dan kervick as well… the reality is nothing’s going to change…. as for wigwag, the local spokesperson for zionism here at twn, one can see the head space held to by many settlers and politicians in israel, as well as their ardent supporters in the usa… until the usa gets its head out of its ass, it will continue to be used and duped by israel 24/7..

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  20. Paul Norheim says:

    A reply to WigWag`s comment:
    The “physical security”, i.e. proximity, is admittedly one element
    of the security interests of a country, but those two concepts
    are not identical – and less so now than 100 years ago.
    If this pre-industrial way of thinking was still valid, the United
    States would have nothing to fear from others than Mexico and
    Canada; and the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have
    no reason to worry in the summer months of 1945.
    When Nelson Mandela got the Nobel Price together with De
    Klerk, he said that they succeeded because the “good” forces
    won over the “evil” forces. De Klerk, the then Prime Minister of
    South Africa gave a different explanation, admitting that he and
    other members of the white elite realized that in a world of
    modern media and communication crossing the borders
    (resulting in boycott etc. etc.), the Apartheid State was not
    viable anymore. Modern media and distant countries threatened
    the security of the Apartheid State. If the defenders of the
    Apartheid system had persisted, it may have threatened the
    security interests of the nation as such.

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  21. jdledell says:

    WigWag – There is more to Israel’s security than just the military dimension. Yes, having more land as strategic depth adds to Israel’s military security. But that is not the primary danger to Israel at this point. No one is going to take on Israel in a conventional war.
    Having the West Bank does not protect Israel from nuclear weapons. Keeping the Palestinians stateless and under occupation does not endear Israel to the rest of the world. I’m sure you are aware that Israel’s reputation in the world continues to sink. It’s not as bad as South Africa at this point but it’s trajectory is certainly going in the wrong direction. At what point are economic sanctions and boycotts going to start hurting Israel. There is nothing made there that cannot be purchased elsewhere.
    Israel deludes itself that it can stand up to the entire world and say F#@K You and continue to prosper. At what point does Aliyah become a shrinking proposition, I had for the past year been exploring aliyah options while in Israel and the election of Bibi and his positions finally convinced me last month to reject it.
    Israel forging a peace agreement with the Palestinians and their arab neighbors does not, in itself, assure Israel that it won’t be attacked in the future with nuclear weapons. BUT the odds certainly seem more favorable to Israel if it is trading with all the arab countries rather than having them all hate Israel’s guts.

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  22. Curious says:

    Dan K says: “Another myth is that “realistic” Israelis must now
    realize that they have to really make this deal, because their own
    security is somehow threatened by the continued ethnic
    cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs. But Israelis have a few
    hundred nuclear weapons that say otherwise.”
    What do nukes have to do with it? The sense in which
    settlements undermine Israeli security, if true, has nothing to do
    with nukes. How valuable are nukes at close close proximity to
    Israel? No the real point here is that Israel becomes more and
    more isolated; missile warfare spans any land barrier between
    Israel and her neighbors, and pretty soon, Israel is no longer a
    democratic country unless the Palestinians are full integrated as
    citizens. These are the dangers.
    I don’t think any of her neighbors has any intention of engaging
    in a war with Israel. They might think about it, but they have
    much bigger problems to deal with.
    Israel’s nukes are often cited as sort of a big bogey man, you
    know the proximate cause for everyone else wanting nukes.
    Well Israel has had nukes since the JOHNSON administration at
    least. If Israel is the cause of a ME arms race, it’s being run
    pretty slowly. Certainly Iran doesn’t feel the need for nukes
    because Israel has them. If that were so, they’ve had 25 years
    since the revolution to get them and they’ve had lots of oil
    wealth to do it. Saudi Arabia, too.

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  23. WigWag says:

    Steve Clemons is perpetrating a myth when he says,
    “But the expansion of settlements that “bingo tycoon” Irving Moskowitz keeps pushing is undermining the security interests of all parties in the region — particularly Israel’s.”
    If he has evidence that the Israeli settlements are undermining Israel’s security interests he should present it; otherwise his comment is just so much blather.
    The idea that Israeli settlements make Israel less safe rather than safer is a tired old canard that people like Steve Clemons and his fellow travelers assert but never try to prove. My guess is that they don’t attempt to prove it because they know they can’t.
    There are many reasons to disapprove of Israel’s settlement policy. It is reasonable to suggest that it is unethical; there is reason to suggest that it’s against American long term interests in the region. It’s even reasonable to argue that the benefits to Israel of abandoning most of the settlements outweigh the costs of keeping the settlements.
    But there is no rational way to argue that Israel’s security interests will be enhanced by abandoning West Bank Settlements. Israel will be less physically secure not more physically secure when (and if) it leaves the West Bank and a Palestinian State is created. That’s why Israel will only leave the West Bank if it’s convinced it has more to gain by leaving then staying.
    Suggesting that Israel should take “chances for peace” is just stupid. No nation takes chances for peace. Nations act in a manner that they think advances their self interest. Israel will do the same.
    In my humble opinion, blog posts that spout clichés as this one does are not very illuminating.

    Reply

  24. samuel burke says:

    By Chris Hedges
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090601_war_is_sin/
    The crisis faced by combat veterans returning from war is not simply a profound struggle with trauma and alienation. It is often, for those who can slice through the suffering to self-awareness, an existential crisis. War exposes the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. It rips open the hypocrisy of our religions and secular institutions. Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home. We are not a virtuous nation. God and fate have not blessed us above others. Victory is not assured. War is neither glorious nor noble. And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.
    Those who return to speak this truth, such as members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, are our contemporary prophets. But like all prophets they are condemned and ignored for their courage. They struggle, in a culture awash in lies, to tell what few have the fortitude to digest. They know that what we are taught in school, in worship, by the press, through the entertainment industry and at home, that the melding of the state’s rhetoric with the rhetoric of religion, is empty and false.
    The words these prophets speak are painful. We, as a nation, prefer to listen to those who speak from the patriotic script. We prefer to hear ourselves exalted. If veterans speak of terrible wounds visible and invisible, of lies told to make them kill, of evil committed in our name, we fill our ears with wax

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  25. pacos_gal says:

    I have to agree with Dan Kervick on this one.
    There is No motivation for Israel to stop doing
    anything that it is doing now or has done in the
    past. The U.S. in totally ineffectual in this
    matter, other than to write the checks and that
    will continue.
    There will be no peace in the middle east.
    So for any U.S. administration, the question is
    going to be what kind of relationships do they
    want with other middle eastern countries, outside
    of the Israel/Palestine issue.

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  26. Dan Kervick says:

    POA,
    The B’Tselem site alos has a lot of good resources on the colonies:
    http://www.btselem.org/English/

    Reply

  27. easy e says:

    When one considers the handlers that got Obama to where he is and who presently control his agenda, not to mention key admin appointments (Emmanuel, Ross, Holbrooke), reasonable minds would have to conclude that there will be no change in ME policy.
    The Lobby is stronger than ever. Israel knows it has the necessary U.S. gov’t/policy making assets in place. It’s just a matter of time…..
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/06/20/israel.exercise/index.html

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  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As I posted below, the “Peace Now” website is a fantastic source of information about the true nature of the Israeli settlements, their illegality both internationally and as it pertains to Israeli law, and the propagandized bullshit Israel feeds us about “natural growth” and “settlement evacuation”.
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/homepage.asp
    Meanwhile, while Netanyahu tells Obama to go screw himself, we have a State Department representative standing before the UN pledging our undying support for Israel, and drooling assurances that we will continue to see that Israel is “treated fairly” by the UN. How many UN resolutions is Israel in defiance of???? 62, I believe.
    And we just keep sending them money and arms.
    And Tristan Anderson will never grow a new frontal lobe.

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  29. samuelburke says:

    max blumenthal has another story that phil weiss of mondoweiss has posted along with the video showing the occupation forces of the government of israel arresting a protester.
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/05/violence-and-repression-from-occupied-safa-to-tel-aviv.html
    Violence and Repression, from occupied Safa to Tel Aviv
    Max Blumenthal reporting for Mondoweiss from Israel and the occupied territories:
    TEL AVIV–Violence erupted in the Palestinian town of Safa today as fanatical masked settlers from the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin set upon a group of activists from the peace group Ta’ayush, destroying their cameras and badly vandalizing one of their cars. According to Ta’ayush member Joseph Dana, the Israeli army scrambled to the scene with a “closed military zone order,” allowing the masked settlers to remain while ordering the activists to leave under threat of arrest. When the activists failed to leave rapidly enough, the soldiers also turned violent, forcing several of them into a jeep and hauling them away to prison. The army’s action directly contravened an Israeli Supreme Court decision ruling the army could not used closed military zones to prevent Palestinian farmers from working their land. The West Bank is a legal gray zone where even high court rulings are voided by the violent whims of soldiers and settlers. (video below and Ibn Ezra has photos and updates.)

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  30. samuelburke says:

    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2009/04/26/some-might-call-it-treason/
    One dictionary defines treason as “disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government,” but Article III of the U.S. Constitution takes a narrower view, specifically limiting charges of treason to time of war “in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” The Federalist Papers reveal that this definition of treason was crafted deliberately to avoid politically motivated ex post facto exploitation of the only crime named as a capital offense in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers knew full well from their own personal experience that English kings had played fast and loose with the concept of treason, frequently trying and executing opponents without any actual evidence that a crime had been committed. Charges of treason intended to destroy political rivals would not be permitted in the new republic.
    Treason trials have been rare in the United States. Elected officials and government employees with access to classified information are bound by statutes authorizing severe penalties lest they betray that confidence. Congressmen are elected to represent the best interests of the voters in their districts and, in a broader sense, the citizens of the United States, a trust that they frequently betray when they give in to the importunities of lobbyists and vote for pork or laws that help only special interest groups. That is generally referred to as corruption. But what does one call it when a senior elected official tells a citizen of a foreign country that he or she is willing to interfere in a judicial process in exchange for that country’s support to obtain a more senior position in the government? A single word appears to be lacking, though “betrayal” and “treachery” seem to come close. Some have resorted to “obstruction of justice” or “influence peddling,” both of which are actually crimes when committed by a government official. If the U.S. Constitution had not limited treasonous activity to wartime, the word “treason” might well be considered.
    Until the transcripts of Rep. Jane Harman’s telephone conversations are made public, if they ever are, her transgression can only be assessed secondhand. It appears to have consisted of talking with someone who may be an Israeli citizen regarding influencing the outcome of the ongoing trial of ex-American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman. The conversation took place in late 2005, when it appeared that the two men might well be convicted. The Israeli citizen appears to have been on the receiving end of an FBI wiretap because he was an associate of a known Israeli intelligence officer based in Israel’s Washington embassy, possibly station chief Naor Gilon, who was responsible for running influence operations in the United States, or Uzi Arad. Both Gilon and Arad were involved in the FBI investigation of AIPAC that led to the imprisonment of Larry Franklin and the indictment of Weissman and Rosen. Both now hold senior positions in the Israeli government.
    Intelligence officers refer to influence operations as covert actions because they are designed to manipulate the activity of a foreign government without that manipulation being attributable to any outside source. In this case, Israel wanted the men to go free to minimize any public perception that it was engaged in spying on the United States, which is what the AIPAC trial was all about, but it did not wish to be seen as directly interfering.

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  31. samuel burke says:

    i am glad to see you taking on this issue on behalf of your nation mr clemons, heaven knows america has been played like a fiddle by israel and the myth making machine that it employs (the u.s media mainly) to maintain an image as americas only friend in the middle east, truth be told israel may very well be the cause of americas biggest threat in the middle east…
    think how much better a country this would be if our politicians wouldnt be pressured by aipac to keep the myth alive.
    http://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2009/06/01/navy-vet-who-foiled-israeli-attack-honored/
    Netanyahu needs to be confronted without delay. And June 8, the 42nd anniversary of the attempted sinking of the USS Liberty, could prove an interesting time to be in Tel Aviv.
    Col. W. Patrick Lang, USA (ret.), who was the Defense Intelligence Agency’s top analyst for the Middle East for eight years, recounted the Israeli air attacks as follows:
    “The flight leader spoke to his base to report that he had the ship in view, that it was the same ship he had been briefed on, and that it was clearly marked with the U.S. flag. …
    “The flight commander was reluctant. That was very clear. He didn’t want to do this. He asked them a couple of times, ‘Do you really want me to do this?’ I’ve remembered it ever since. It was very striking. I’ve been harboring this memory for all these years.”
    In sum, on June 8, 1967, the Israeli government learned that it could get away with murder, literally, and the crime would be covered up, so strong is the influence of the Israel Lobby in our Congress – and indeed, in the White House. And those USS Liberty veterans who survived well enough to call for an independent investigation have been hit with charges of, you guessed it, anti-Semitism.
    none other than former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin! In an unguarded moment in 1982, when he was prime minister, he admitted publicly:
    “In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that [Egyptian President] Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

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  32. Dan Kervick says:

    Do you think Barack Obama’s handlers let him watch videos like this? Or do they have him safely tucked away inside the usual pocket of presidential cluelessness?
    The discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the elite national level is still burdened by myths, childish hopes and a thick psychic wall of unreality. The chief myth is that Israelis really, really, really, truly want a reasonable peace, somewhere deep in their hearts, and are prepared to decline ultimate conquest and victory, and make the settlement of which “everyone” supposedly knows the contours. All that is needed is a magic speech by Barack Obama and then some friendly encouragement to get the parties to the negotiating table. Once there, the Israelis will reverse four decades of expansionist policies, and suddenly stop craving the land in the West Bank that they have been swallowing up steadily since 1967, under governments of both the left and the right.
    Some days, I hear vague talk among the chatterati about the need for the US to exert pressure on Israel. But the proposed “pressure” never seems to amount to much more than a stern talking to from the president. That is, the envisaged pressure is only more magical Obama verbiage.
    Another myth is that “realistic” Israelis must now realize that they have to really make this deal, because their own security is somehow threatened by the continued ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs. But Israelis have a few hundred nuclear weapons that say otherwise. There is no real reason at this point for them to end the ethnic cleansing campaign before it is completed, a campaign that they are confident the United States will never seriously or materially oppose. They also know they can count on the United States to help guarantee that Israel never faces a serious military rival in the region, so given the aforesaid nukes, it is hard to see how seriously Israelis have to take this supposed security threat.
    If the more patient, grinding methods of ethnic cleansing fail to do the trick, there are always the more Gaza-like methods, including white phosphorous and other hi-tech means of slaughter and dismemberment. When they turn to those means, they can count on the moral assistance of some rabbinical fatwas, and from a US Congress whose members will be eagerly climbing over one another in order to cast the first vote of unambiguous, full-throated support for our Israeli heroes. Yes, upon the completion of this operation Israel may have to face a few decades of opprobrium and tsk-tsking from the international community, but Israelis and their ancestors have faced abundant harsh opprobrium, and much worse, throughout their history. Unlike glad-handing and touchy Americans, who fall into despondency every time they learn someone, somewhere doesn’t love us, Israeli can handle opprobrium and ride it out.
    I hear the settlers have now taken to throwing rocks at the nearby Palestinians. How long before the US media starts tear-mongering about the noble settlers and their brave Yiddifada against their Palestinians Arab oppressors?

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  33. jonst says:

    There is no way this is gonna end peacefully. No way. I hate to conclude that….but I think it the truth. And I think it is about time Americans understood this painful truth.
    Fivish’s mentality provides a small glimpse of why I think this.

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  34. Steve Clemons says:

    Fivish — with all due respect, you are simply wrong. The United Nations has made clear that these are Occupied Territories. The United States, all member states of Europe, Russia, and other global states recognize the lands in dispute as “occupied.” The State of Israel also recognizes the territories as “occupied territories.”
    I am familiar with the ZOA mantra on what it considers to be greater Israel — but even most AIPAC members completely disagree with this formulation — so the truth-telling really needs to be reversed.
    All best,
    Steve Clemons

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  35. Fivish says:

    It seems that politicians (and journalists)ignore International Law when it suits them and invent International Law when it suits them! By the principle of estoppels, the 1919 Paris agreement between King Feisal and Weizmann which divided Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state is the one and only defining instrument of International Law. Under this law, there is no ‘occupation’, there are no illegal ‘settlements’ and no ‘Palestinian land’ being miss-appropriated! Jews are in fact obligated and encouraged to settle the land. The only illegal action was by Churchill who ‘gave’ the Hashemites the land between the Jordan River and the Hejaz railway. In creating the Kingdom of Jordan it was made illegal for Jews to own property there. A clearly racist and illegal act.
    We get nothing but Big Lies and propaganda from politicians, journalists and Jihadists and their Useful Idiots. It’s about time people new the facts and acted upon them.

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  36. Lurker says:

    Brilliant video by Max Blumenthal. Definitely worth watching, and will create huge debate over Obama’s trip to Middle East.
    (sorry that I also posted this below)

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  37. Woody says:

    HOT HOT STUFF!!!
    Good job MAX!
    This will burn retinas all across the US…this is what I call Bibi’s Big Problem!

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