Taxi's Articles

Mondoweiss: Bird In A Cage

No doubt those of us who’ve been around the Mondoweiss block a few times have seen its gradual morphing from Phil Weiss’s sanguine personal blog to a media arm for the dubious JVP corp.

How visions change when the poet is reduced to using borrowed words:  waxing un-lyrical at the drunken image in the mirror.  How easy for some to abandon the principles of revolution in the name of small celebrity.  How sad that the bird should desire the cage.

All revolutions are about freedom. Let us not forget this when we find ourselves lost in a forest of waring ideas.

A leaderless cause is easy to infiltrate.  It’s easy for a snake to hide in the tall grass.  And in the history of political revolutions, many a good cause has died or been rendered ineffective from poison administered by insider infiltrators.

JVP’s evident gatekeeping, its divisive and destructive tactics beg for highlighting, for discussion and for action against it.   The facts stacked against them speak for themselves.  JVP are now held in high suspicion and low regard by many of their old and would-be supporters and sympathizers.  And the negative trend continues due to their uncompromising, self-authorized power-grabs and self-appointed dictatorial executive-ship.  The conclusion to draw from the damning facts is that JVP have been literally hunting down the best brains in the movement, knowing very well that weakening their brainy targets would indeed weaken the movement.  This level of self-serving cravenness, thought-policing, ruthless character-assassination and ruinous smears should not for a second be tolerated by anyone who lives for the cause of freedom for self and equally freedom for others.

It is not JVP’s place to determine what kind of Palestine narrative is ‘acceptable’, or what information should or should not circulate around the community.  They have not been elected by the majority to determine the boundaries of our discourse.  Everyone has an angle.  Different people have different levels of resistance to the Zionists’ symbiotic occupation of Washington and Historic Palestine.  There will be different levels of expression to this resistance, naturally – a variety of curiosity of thought is normal in a cauldron of people. But when a rogue group in the cauldron start behaving like an authoritarian government, it is time to dismiss them.  Spill them over.

Boycott them.

And this can easily be done: somewhat deflating their divisive influence and covert malevolence towards the Palestine cause.

But JVP need to hear this message loud and clear.  And they need to hear it now.  Everyone has a valuable voice – use it and express your disdain at JVP’s unacceptable skullduggery and dictatorship.  Act against JVP by stopping all donations and joint activism with them.  Let them know how deeply you disapprove of vile Zionist tactics used against members of the pro Palestine community, regardless of who is employing these fascistic and oppressive tactics..  If you are a JVP member and dissenting on this issue, it behooves you to gather like-minded souls and to form a separate branch, a separate name, a separate flagship.  It serves the survival of the cause to disassociate from the punctured boat and its drunk-on-power captain.

JVP have indeed by now earned themselves a very, very bad reputation.  One of unfettered narcissism and sabotage.

Wholeheartedly, in their defense, JVP will claim a long list of good they’ve indulged themselves in.  But what good is that when their very intentions towards the Palestine cause are now questionable?  No, there is no way out of this for them this time  round – no justification or excuse for kneecapping, with intent to destroy,  a stellar moralist and thinker such as Alison Weir.  If JVP are not halted now, they will do it again to another community ‘brain’.  This is a Zionist tactic:  kill the brains of the resistance and the people will be rendered lost and foggy and visionless.  Israel practiced this against the finest Palestinian intellectuals back in the 60’s and 70’s – a string of assassinations that led to a crisis in Palestinian leadership and to loss of unity and direction – decades and continuing: the Palestinian struggle is still suffering the reverberations of these high-valued leadership assassinations.  Assassinating the brain instead of the body is  a simple and most effective method of controlling resistance.  And prolonging an occupation.

Our beloved Mondoweiss is unfortunately now dependent on the patronage of JVP.  It is entangled and finds itself in a moral and careerist quandary.  Or does it?  Certainly, we of its community, ex MW members or otherwise, find ourselves in an unexpected and uncomfortable place.  Speaking only for myself here, I will say with an ache in my heart that I do not trust the editors of MW anymore.  I hardly ever visit now – I  often forget it exists.  I know they still put out good information here and there – but mostly it’s stuff that suffers from intellectual lackluster.  The commentary section has suffered the JVP fallout the worst.  Through JVP-imposed censorship, a loss of variety of educational points of view have demoted the energy of threads from excellent to mediocre.  This is the effect of the JVP embrace.

Mondoweiss will continue as is, no doubt – judging by the intellectually flaccid introduction Adam Horowitz penned yesterday when he finally and belatedly addressed the JVP/Weir controversy.  It is clear that the editors at MW will not be shifting their energies and policies away from JVP any time soon, if at all.  Indeed, it would seem that the editors and their minor celebrity jurno friends have entrenched themselves deeper and declared a full-on war on Ms. Weir and her supporters.  It is truly troubling that MW would lose their revolutionary spirit at this stage of the struggle, after all the good work they’ve done in bringing the plight of Palestinians especially to American audiences.  It is very disappointing to see MW editors choosing to align themselves with entities that practice an overt form of McCarthyism.

This is all just too sad and too bad…

The tree is leafy, the sky is open blue but alas, the bird sings blindfolded inside its cage.



    • Fantastic to have you visiting, Walid. How I’ve missed your insights and occasional melancholia heh.

      Yes, the banning of Jeff Blankfort marked a historic bathos for MW.

      Phil is the blindfolded bird in the cage. I must admit that I instinctively like him better than I do Adam, despite Phil’s fall from grace in my eyes.

      Walid, I’m still in your Lebanon. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve renewed by visitor’s visa – they all know me now at the ‘Amn al-3aam’ (passport office) – heh.

      Today is the anniversary of the 2006 Hezbollah victory over israel. I’m gonna post up something on that in a bit. Maybe you can give your POV on all that when the post is up. If you feel like it, that is.

      Welcome again – I love it that you reached out here at Plato’s.

      • Been reading Plato along with MW for a while. Haven’t commented much lately because I got tired of hearing my own voice repeating the same arguments over and over again. Looking forward to your post about today’s victory commemoration from the Merkava cemetery at al-Hujeir Valley. By Israel’s own account, 50 Merkavas were immobilized in that valley with some totally destroyed and the rest towed back to their base.

      • I believe it’s 124 Markavas by Hezbollah’s count – and they’re not exactly known for ‘creative accounting’.

        I don’t know what I’ll be putting up to commemorate the victory yet – I’m going to listen to Nasrallah’s speech on the occasion at 5:30pm Levant time , and then figure it out from there. I don’t know if I’ll have time to pen an original article as that takes concentration and I’m now distracted by my guests who’ve just returned from a day on the beach in Tyre.

        But to get back to your point of “got tired of hearing my own voice…”, yeah I know exactly what you mean. I too suffer from bouts of political auto-phobia. When I first started Plato’s, I was feeling the same malaise you speak of and decided that I would use visuals and images as a form of commentary. This is why I originally started using choice google images as accompaniment to articles I posted up. It was my way of commenting without having to hear my own voice.

      • seanmcbride says:

        The endless hysterical wrangling about Israel is the biggest energy suck on the planet. Most of us after a time feel a strong urge to get away from it completely. But the problem is that Israel keeps pushing Americans into increasingly destructive wars — it is impossible for Americans to disengage from these conflicts and debates.

      • We’re barely up for air before we have to dive into another war gain for israel – either on the battlefields or at the UN. Constant over-caffeinated activity on behalf of the dastardly Apartheid state.

      • There is. But not on the question of Palestine it seems. The other side is too strong, well-equipped. The long haul is the hero’s journey.

      • seanmcbride says:


        (Expanding on my earlier comment:)

        These may be the most insightful words ever uttered about the entire Mondoweiss experience:

        “Haven’t commented much lately because I got tired of hearing my own voice repeating the same arguments over and over again.”

        Who among us hasn’t felt that about ourselves and others there?

        And at what point do you wake up and realize that you’ve been sucked into a neurotic and narcissistic infinite black hole that is absolutely empty at the core?

        But we keep being drawn back in because pro-Israel activists and militants won’t leave us alone. They keep demanding ever greater sacrifices for Israel and Zionism from Americans and everyone else in the world. Israel keeps becoming more abnormal among the community of nations with each passing year.

      • MRW says:

        “Who at Mondoweiss instigated the decision to ban Blankfort? Did that person (or persons) have ties to JVP?”

        I have a different memory, which may help put the pieces together by jarring other memories.

        One of the last posts in which Jeffrey Blankfort was allowed to participate was this:
        “A regular commenter on this site seeks a more temperate comment board”

        Note this Bruce character. Bruce Wolman, but known on MW only as Bruce, so his handle has been around (on WordPress?) for a long time. Came in for Kamikazi drops.
        Wolman took it upon himself to act as a conduit between MW and Edwin Black. Wolman was reporting to Black what I knew about what happened to Black just before his book came out. Black was getting death threats and had to hide out at Marilu Henner’s brother’s house. Her brother, the photographer. Even the book buyer at Scribner’s on Fifth knew the story about the death threats. Black in 2012 was denying what I was saying, and I knew damn well that I was right. Woman got into nit-picking the name of this, the time of that, and would check with Black. Edwin Black has turned into a settler scribe, probably to save his own life. Back then his mother threatened to sit shiva unless he pulled the book. There was a two-year stand-off before she would permit it.

        Anyway, here’s Bruce warning Danaa on January 24, 2012: “Besides, MW and Edwin Black are now involved and the issue is not going to be dropped regardless of what I think. I hope to be able to diffuse the problem.”

        Or you can read Wolman’s comments around that time on his archives page: He only shows up to stir the pot for someone.

        Sorry if this is disjointed. I can’t reread. Family standing at door screaming at me to get in car. Vacations!

      • I have saved many of the FF feeds for record. Jeff wrote a few paragraphs on his banning, I saw yesterday that MRW said he could email Jeff to see if he’s around.
        FF would truncate long comments, so part of this one was cut off at the end. There were 526 comments on that thread.

        It was okay to post it and I’ll add it at the end of this intro because I am more angry now than when I was first notified of the banning by apparently Phil under pressure by his minder, Adam, since Phil was obviously uncomfortable in passing on the news of my banning in an email the day before the second post on the rules enforcement was posted. Frankly, I was unaware that the site had established any new rules concerning what it would and would not allowed to be discussed on the site and only be going back in the archives did I see that post from last September and then the more recent update. For me, any criticism of Jewish censorship that either Phil or Adam may criticize on MW in the future will have more than a whiff of hypocrisy. It is all very sad and Weiss’s Mondo has become very much smaller. Here’s what I wrote to anonymous: Thanks for asking. As a matter of fact, I have been banned. Phil emailed me on Jan. 24 that the “moderators have elected to ban you from commenting, given anti-semitic tone and persistent posts about Jewish responsibility for rise of Nazis, a subject that henceforward is going to be censored on the site.” He added “that your analysis of lobby and politics is valued at the site and we would like you to continue to post on occasion, that is if you choose to.” I told him I didn’t choose to contribute under those conditions and that I had never written any comment that could reasonably be interpreted as ” Jewish responsibility for rise of Nazis,” ignoring the spurious charge that my comments had an “anti-semitic tone.” Phil and the site’s unnamed moderators, all of whom I assume to be Jewish, are understandably uncomfortable with the mention, let alone, discussion of Zionist-Nazi collaboration, it being a far, far more taboo subject for most Jews than is The Lobby. My reaction, when I first learned about it and then read Ben Hecht’s Perfidy was one of outrage, but I was lucky to have been raised in a non-Zionist, non-religious,… more… – Jeff Blankfort

      • Wow – I actually do remember reading this particular Jeff post. Great job, Chu – fantastic that you kept record of it! Wow, you and Danaa have more foresight than all of us ex FriendFeeders put together. Thank you so much again for sharing this. I’m sure Hostage and others will now get a better handle of the Jeff controversy.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Phil and the site’s unnamed moderators, all of whom I assume to be Jewish, are understandably uncomfortable with the mention, let alone, discussion of Zionist-Nazi collaboration, it being a far, far more taboo subject for most Jews than is The Lobby. My reaction, when I first learned about it and then read Ben Hecht’s Perfidy was one of outrage, but I was lucky to have been raised in a non-Zionist, non-religious,… more… – Jeff Blankfort

        That’s just as inexplicable as all the other reasons I’ve heard for his banning. Annie and I have both written about Ben Hecht’s book on Nazi-Zionist Collaboration. I’ve written about the Kastner libel trial scandal and his assassination.

        I’ve commented on the play Hecht wrote for the Irgun Terrorist group in America, headed-up by Hillel Kook (aka Peter Bergson). He was in charge of its production on Broadway, starring Marlon Brando, and was sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt and Justice Brandeis widow, who led a campaign to raise money from the public for the Irgun. Rabbi Judah Magnes wrote a New York Times Op-Ed condemning the First Lady and the whole undertaking to provide financial and material support to a terrorist group.

      • re Atzmon and Jewish identity (595 Comments)

        The comments from TomPessah and MaxAjl direct at Atzmon are the same ones that are being used against Alison today. Different actors are making them, but the message is still similar.
        *and Danaa and Tree have good responses to those two.

      • Yeah right, MaxAjl and TomPessah – I remember them. They’re in the Donald Brotherhood. The list of people that campaigned against Jeff and got him banned is now becoming longer and clearer.

        Thank you, Chu.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: The comments from TomPessah and MaxAjl direct at Atzmon are the same ones that are being used against Alison today.

        I’m living proof that you can’t be banned for simply insulting MaxAjl, e.g.:
        Re: I think Max Ajl details these influences quite ably on his website,

        There’s an old Latin proverb that explained “to each his own is beautiful”. I’d rather not waste my time on simplistic Marxist totalizing theories that pretend to explain the whole of social reality.

      • They may be “long hard to follow”, but it’s definitely worthwhile documented information to have.

        And that ‘Evildoer’ – lol lol and another lol. Why not just call yourself ‘satanmotherfucker’? He/she got banned from Plato’s after a single racist and vulgar posting. I don’t remember him from FF or from MW – when he visited Plato’s a few days ago, I suspected him/her to be a plant by the usual suspect.

      • Danaa says:

        Chu, thanks for posting the Jeff Blankfort reply. I have a few more comments of interest from Blankfort that he posted on FF but I’ll have to wait and perhaps post elsewhere on the site as this thread is getting a bit unwieldy.

        Yes, that was one epic thread on MW re the Atzmon banning. There were actually two voluminous threads.

        And indeed, MaxAjl and TomPessah were two commenters who articulated the kind of arguments we are now seeing against Alison Weir – illustrating the methods used to tear up the anti-zionist Jewish camp, in the process ejecting effective voices because of the supercilious “anti-semitism” charge. BTW, the techniques are not dissimilar to the ‘signs” what the Old catholic Church used to “ferret out” Maranos in Spain, who remained secretly jews. That is, before subjecting them to the inquisition, where confessions could be extracted, no matter the charges. OF course, the reality often was that “signs” could be found easily enough against anyone, if someone(s) had cause to be rid of them.

        And Taxi, interesting what you say about Evildoer. If it’s the same individual, this was, I believe, a nom de guerre of Gabriel Ash who is associated with the JSF site (am pretty sure I recall correctly the name, but the JSF connection is certain). One can’t prove it’s the same, but I find it interesting he popped up here. If I knew the more or less nature of the comment, I could be sure.

      • Danaa,

        Sorry but I trashed the evildoer’s comment already. But it was like a short paragraph of five or six lines. First line was kinda angry but you didn’t know to whom it was directed at, then fast came the “final solution” in the second line, followed by what felt like a short but frantic stabbing frenzy of words. Horrid motherfucking hater!

        I mean a lot of dark stuff that would disturb jewish people were crammed into a small space – pre-configured stuff that a stereotype of an antisemite would say. It read like a bad Hollywood dialogue of what a white supremist would say about the jews.

      • Here was more explanation from Jeff about his exit:

        I’ve been away from my computer for a bit but not surprised to see things still steaming re MW and not just from my banning but of others who have contributed to the site. I assume Phil, though physically away, is following this thread as well as the one on MW and whether or not he made some kind of Faustian deal to keep him and the site alive, is feeling at least if not more “shitty,” than he said he was when we exchanged emails after my banning. I told him that he should and that I would feel the same way if I had done the same thing. – Jeff Blankfort

        I genuinely feel sorry for Phil. He was the first and only Jew I have ever known who both closely identified with the Jewish community as a whole and who at the same time openly criticized the power and influence of the pro-Israel Lobby. The others, such as myself, who take that position and, believe me, we are a minority within what passes for the Left, have nothing to do with the community as a whole and see ourselves as part of the larger human community. I suspect the controversy stirred up by Atzmon which brings most Jewish “anti-Zionists” to link arms with Dershowitz in their denunciations, plus discussion of the Zionist-Nazi collaboration, a greater taboo than the Lobby in Jewish circles, is what pushed him over the line and to do something that would never have occurred to him when he launched Mondoweiss. It’s a sad tale but one that needs to be told. – Jeff Blankfort

        What also rankles, personally, is that “anti-Zionists” Max Ajl and David Green, tribalists to the core, who are in denial re the Lobby and openly pushed earlier for Phil to ban me, not for anything about the Zios and the Nazis or about Atzmon but just for my take on the Israel lobby finally got what they wanted. – Jeff Blankfort

        Shortly before I was banned, Bruce Foreman (Wolman?), who I believe was one of those lobbying Phil to 86 me, wrote a post after digging up a number off comments I had posted over time, including one in which I called for the “dismantling” of Israel as a Jewish state which should be a sine quo non of any solution and part of the recognition that Israel/Palestine has been one state since the 1967 war with only its Jewish population and those Palestinians on the other side (for the sake or argument) of the Green Line enjoying “democracy.” That Finkelstein, like Chomsky, refuse to see that and insist on defending the integrity of Israel as it is, would be enough to give both their walking papers, and had they taken a similar stand in defense of apartheid South Africa, that’s what would have happened. To repeat again that both men also oppose the Palestinian right of return, oppose boycotting, sanctioning and divesting from Israel itself, raises the question: why do people who claim to support “justice” for Palestine, a word that neither Noam or Norm ever use in the Palestinian context, let them get away with it? – Jeff Blankfort

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Bruce Foreman (Wolman?) … wrote a post after digging up a number off comments I had posted over time, including one in which I called for the “dismantling” of Israel as a Jewish state which should be a sine quo non of any solution and part of the recognition that Israel/Palestine has been one state since the 1967 war with only its Jewish population and those Palestinians on the other side (for the sake or argument) of the Green Line enjoying “democracy.” That Finkelstein, like Chomsky, refuse to see that and insist on defending the integrity of Israel as it is, …”

        I’ve said the same thing on many occasions, i.e. that Israel has an on-going legal obligation to: (1) permit all the refugees from 48 and 67 to return and restore their property; (2) reconstitute itself as state with equal rights and protection for all under the law. I’ve stated that the international community is under no more obligation to preserve the Jewish character of Israel than it had to preserve a German Sudetenland or a White Southern Rhodesia.

        I disagree with Finkelstein and Chomsky about their contention that international law doesn’t have anything to say about minority rights or the rights of refugees. I’ve commented almost ad nauseam about the subject of the minority rights treaty contained in UN General Assembly resolution 181(II) and the fact that Israel provided evidence that it had supplied the required treaty declaration accepting its terms, during the hearings on its membership application.

    • Hostage says:

      Actual directional shift happened way back in January 2012 with the banning of Jeff Blankfort.

      I was commenting in that thread, and can’t imagine what Jeff could have ever said that got him banned from commenting. I’ve made dozens of comments about the same Worldwide Jewish boycott, the Haavara Agreement, the Zionist Executive plans to scuttle the Evian Conference on Refugees, & etc.

      • Obviously, Jeff was targeted as a rogue anti zionist upstart.

        Everybody is scared of you, Hostage – you know, of your legal prowess. Heh.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Who at Mondoweiss instigated the decision to ban Blankfort? Did that person (or persons) have ties to JVP?

        Ultimately the responsibility for all Mondoweiss policies lies with Phil Weiss — it’s his blog.

        Another question: who currently are the lead funders of Mondoweiss? Of JVP?

      • seanmcbride says:

        Is Adam Horowitz willing to enter into a reasonable discussion about these issues and to clear the air?

        Still, the bottom line is that apparently Phil Weiss granted Adam (and Annie Robbins) the power to gatekeep. One presumes that he must share their values and agenda — except: his own articles often push beyond the gatekeeping rules.

        The main point never to forget: with the Internet, it is easy to route around all obstructions and to build new communities on the fly. It is difficult for self-appointed gatekeepers to impose their authority on the world these days.

      • Sean,

        I doubt that we’ll be hearing any further words about the JVP/AW from either Adam or Phil. Don’t hold you breath is my advice.

        For clarification – annie is not the only mod on MW, there are others who chip in and they are anonymous.

        And in the interest of full disclosure here, even though I have declared Plato a censorship-free zone, I do actually delete posts that are savage, offensive or irrelevant to the thread. Does that make me a gatekeeper too?

        Very tricky business, this moderating comments thang.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Modern social media platforms do away with the need for moderation — independent parties can freely interact with one another to whatever degree they choose, with full control over their own editorial content. No one can control the free speech of anyone else.

        Traditional forums (like this one) of course all require moderation — otherwise malicious parties could quickly destroy them.

        Moderation at Mondoweiss over the years has become increasingly heavy-handed and erratic — which is why I made the decision to stop posting there. A few moderators (some of them anonymous) are using their power to push a particular narrow editorial line — often the politically correct JVP line. They’ve killed the creative energy on the site. They are more into simplistic and crude activist agitprop and party discipline than in-depth and well-informed discussions about Mideast politics in all its dimensions.

        The main takeaway from these controversies: some Jewish progressives and anti-Zionists are as mired down in obsessive ethnocentric identity politics as Likud Zionists. It gets boring fast. Most of us have more important concerns.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Who at Mondoweiss instigated the decision to ban Blankfort? Did that person (or persons) have ties to JVP?

        So far as I know, he is only banned from making comments. Phil has offered to publish Blankforts articles. JVP had nothing to do with banning Blankfort, and an anti-Zionist, like Phil “The Talmud is bullshit” Weiss is a very unlikely JVP operative.

      • For some, questioning the ‘aspects’ is by far worse than actually questioning the event.

        That’s because it’s a lot easier to dismiss a ‘denier’ than it is to dismiss an ‘aspect investigator’.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Obviously, Jeff was targeted as a rogue anti zionist upstart.

        Well I don’t see how I could be viewed as anything else. For that matter, Phil is a self-proclaimed anti-Zionist. The proposition that anyone who “self-identifies” themselves as Jewish must ultimately be trying to protect Israel, doesn’t explain Phil’s devotion to the subject of a “one state solution” and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to one. I don’t see any evidence that he does anything more than report on JVP. He would most certainly be on the JVP list of anti-Zionist/anti-apartheid activists which must logically, in their opinion, be excluded from their coalition. No?

      • Hostage says:

        Re: They would definitely take serious umbrage with you if you started questioning the holocaust like Jeff did.

        I’m not aware of the facts in that case. Did Jeff publish anything that you know of?

      • Casting doubts on official zionist WW2 story-lines – Questioning the role of zionists during the holocaust – I remember reading years ago comments by Jeff that talked about zionist jews colluding with the nazis against German jews; reciting historic letters and references and stuff. So yes I remember reading some holocaust stuff by Jeff, maybe even on a couple of different threads – but to be honest with you, I only remember impressions of his posts and not specifics – it was a long time ago.

        I certainly don’t remembering reading Jef at the time and thinking: ooh that’s a bit harsh and fucked up – his posts were always very well researched and gathered and erudite – often soulful.

        The MW community was in shock and funereal for quiet some time after his sudden forced departure.

      • W.Jones says:

        You wrote that a directional shift began when Blankfort was banned, and that you had said the same things as Blankfort yourself.

        Notice that in 2007-2011 a report came out by Political Research Associates on Finkelstein, Blankfort, and Alison aimed at portraying them as anti-Semitic. Ostensibly the report was a left wing one also directed against Islamophobia.

        Notice that one of the charges against Finkelstein in the report was that a CUNY trustee denied a pro-Palestinian writer Kushner a degree because “Kushner had disparaged the State of Israel, an assertion (the trustee) said came from Finkelstein’s website.”

        The two paragraphs about Kushner seem to draw a practically non-existent link between Finkelstein and the attack on Kushner. Why?

        Notice also that all three activists targeted in the report have become somehow persona non grata in both the Solidarity movement and for JVP, all based on questionable grounds.

        It’s true that Finkelstein has a pretty mixed take on BDS, but so does Chomsky, and Chomsky still gets invited to speak at events. Blankfort gets into very touchy subjects, but you and Brenner have written the same things. And now Weir is non grata for doing a few of the same things mostly six years ago that Chomsky and others have done in their lifetimes.


      • Hostage says:

        You wrote that a directional shift began when Blankfort was banned, and that you had said the same things as Blankfort yourself.

        No, I quoted another comment which said that was when the shift began. I would hazard a guess that any shift or transfer of editorial control to Adam had a lot more to do with the Daily Kos and the Washington Post campaigns (2008-2015) labeling Mondoweiss as “a hate site”. See “Mondoweiss” is a hate site (UPDATED)”

      • W.Jones, that the directional shift when Blankfort was banned was by me. It was right after that a new setoff rules of conduct were issued.

        Blankfort as a war correspondent wrote extensively on the horrors committed by the Israelis in Lebanon in 1982, especially on how the Israeli army kept baiting the US marines in Beirut to get into fights with them by actually shooting at the marines. He recounted these stories on MW. He was banned at just about the time I posted a few times on the Jewish Boycott of German businesses in 1933 that preceded and undoubtedly triggered Kristallnact. All 3 of my posts on the subject were refused.

      • MRW says:

        Re: @Hostage, “I’m not aware of the facts in that case. Did Jeff publish anything that you know of?”

        He published or quoted Lenni Brenner’s stuff, and contradicted people like Bruce Wolman, which incurred his wrath.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: He published or quoted Lenni Brenner’s stuff, and contradicted people like Bruce Wolman, which incurred his wrath.

        I’ve quoted Brenner myself. If you check my MW archives, you’ll even see that I’ve quoted portions of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” to illustrate his actual views about alien looking Hasidic Jews, so-called “Progressive Jews”, and Zionists right from the horse’s mouth.

        It should be perfectly safe to quote Brenner, since he has never failed to inform his readers about the difference between Zionism, Jewish groups, and Judaism. Here’s a relevant example from the Preface to Zionism In The Age of Dictator’s:
        “Zionism, however, is an ideology, and its chronicles are to be examined with the same critical eye that readers should bring to the history of any political tendency. Zionism is not now, nor was it ever, co-extensive with either Judaism or the Jewish people. The vast majority of Hitler’s Jewish victims were not Zionists. It is equally true, as readers are invited to see for themselves, that the majority of the Jews of Poland, in particular, had repudiated Zionism on the eve of the Holocaust, that they abhored the politics of Menachem Begin, in September 1939, one of the leaders of the self-styled ‘Zionist-Revisionist’ movement in the Polish capital. As an anti-Zionist Jew, the author is inured to the charge that anti-Zionism is equivalent to anti-Semitism and ‘Jewish self-hatred.

        It is scarcely necessary to add that all attempts to equate Jews and Zionists, and therefore to attack Jews as such, are criminal, and are to be sternly repelled. There cannot be even the slightest confusion between the struggle against Zionism and hostility to either Jews or Judaism.”

        I normally have very little against the “pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-bye-and-bye” sort of religious Jews, who look forward to a return to Zion together with all the nations in “The World To Come”. They’re not ordinarily an existential threat to the Palestinians. I think everybody knows by now, that I’m opposed to their beliefs about the fundamental human right to marry non-Jews and to found a family or their views on issues, like gender equality. I never miss an opportunity to point out that the official civil religion of the Zionists who govern the State of Israel is incompatible with democracy and equal rights. I prefer to do that by quoting the Knesset Members, who have said as much, on the record, time and time again and quoting Hannah Arendt’s explanation of the situation, which got her books banned in Israel for several generations. If I can do all that and not even get censored, I’d naturally like to know what it was that Blankfort submitted that was so objectionable.

      • Hostage,
        Why don’t you write Phil and ask him why Jeff was banned. Straight up ask him. Do the same with Adam. See if you get the same answer.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Why don’t you write Phil and ask him why Jeff was banned. Straight up ask him. Do the same with Adam. See if you get the same answer.

        I suppose, because Phil, Adam, or Jeff Blankfort could have easily published an account after they parted ways, if any of them had really wanted that or were willing to offer us an explanation. There were almost 400 comments asking for one under the article “Responding to commenters on recent bannings”. For whatever reason, Jeffrey has remained mum on the subject, so it may be something that even he doesn’t want revealed at this point. It might be something so minor or petty that it would detract from the legendary nature the feud has taken on.

        He certainly has had many opportunities, like his Gatekeepers speech at Alison Wier’s National Summit, where he mentioned the subject of Lenny Brenner, Zionist-Nazi collaboration, and claimed it was a taboo subject according to Phil.

        But Phil has never objected to discussions about Zionist-Nazi collaboration, he merely said that he and Adam don’t want to host a discussion about the role Zionists played in the Nazi Rise to Power. For that matter, I don’t think they are partial to any conspiracy theory discussions (e.g. 9/11).

      • seanmcbride says:


        You, quoting Lenni Brenner:

        “Zionism, however, is an ideology, and its chronicles are to be examined with the same critical eye that readers should bring to the history of any political tendency. Zionism is not now, nor was it ever, co-extensive with either Judaism or the Jewish people.”

        But the contemporary worldwide Jewish establishment, including the Jewish religious establishment, has for more than half a century conflated Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish people — often using Jewish religious sources throughout the ages to justify its claims.

        So how big a problem is that? And how can it be fixed?

        Occasionally Phil Weiss has shown an interest in this issue, but overall Mondoweiss would prefer to ignore that elephant in the room — or even censor discussion about it.

        Israel Shahak, Yehoshahfat Harbaki, Yeshayahu Leibowitz and other important Jewish thinkers have discussed this problem in depth — but they haven’t made a dent on the thinking of the Jewish mainstream — or even on the thinking of the JVP left.

        From which I can safely make the following prediction: Zionism will continue to drag mainstream Judaism behind it, probably right over the cliff. It is meeting very little resistance from the constituent members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

        Have you read Yehoshafat Harkabi’s Israel’s Fateful Hour?

        Any opinions?

        Harkabi identifies numerous ideological currents from traditional Judaism that have been feeding into Zionism. His book is carefully documented. He was a former head of Israeli military intelligence and taught international relations at Hebrew University.

        As we speak, Jewish religious Zionism is continuing to gather force in Israel — and helping to fan the fanaticism of Christian Zionists in the United States.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: But the contemporary worldwide Jewish establishment, including the Jewish religious establishment, has for more than half a century conflated Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish people — often using Jewish religious sources throughout the ages to justify its claims. .. So how big a problem is that? And how can it be fixed?

        They can’t control anyone learned enough to simply read those same Jewish religious sources and recite the relevant portions of the Halakhah that I mentioned in my “Jewish Theory of Everything”, when they say “no thanks you’re a racist fringe cult”.

      • seanmcbride says:


        You wrote: “They can’t control anyone learned enough to simply read those same Jewish religious sources and recite the relevant portions of the Halakhah that I mentioned in my “Jewish Theory of Everything”, when they say “no thanks you’re a racist fringe cult”.”

        But this is my concern: if a large majority of the contemporary Jewish establishment defines Judaism and Zionism as a single messianic ethno-religious nationalist ideology, isn’t this in fact the case?

        All cultures are defined by a critical mass of their intellectual leaders and authorities — not by their minorities (especially extremely small minorities).

        In the Jewish world — including the Jewish religious world, the world of Judaism — Zionists have won the battle — decisively and overwhelmingly.

        And the Jewish world in general now owns Zionism lock, stock and barrel — their beliefs and actions can’t be blamed on European imperialism and colonialism. They have chosen the path they are on, and they are using their religious texts to justify their behavior.

        And then we see many Jewish progressive anti-Zionists (some of them JVP/JSF types) attempting to censor any discussion of this issue with heavy-handed smears — in effect, providing cover for this continuing state of affairs.

        I know crazy when I see it — and being in denial.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I know crazy when I see it — and being in denial.

        Fair enough, but as you said: “each and every one of us — have different perspectives on the same situations.” I’ve never written about any of this, so here’s mine:

        The situation that you just described exactly parallels the prevailing “crazy” White establishment religious nationalist ideology of the intellectual leaders and authorities in wide swaths of America, right up until my own children were toddlers.

        White Supremacists, like Clay Douglas, are relatively rare and harmless today. But back then the Mayor’s office, the City Commission, the County Commission, the Governor, the State Legislature, and the Courts were controlled by people very much like him – and they all had the power to do anything they wanted to do to us. If that situation could be changed in one generation, then the situation in Palestine can be changed too.

        Our whole society simply forgets the real history of that day and age in our country and glosses it over nowadays. Israeli-born Atzmon can’t begin to know how clueless he sounds to me, complaining about Jewish hatred of “Whites” and Alison Weir.

        In any event, the answer both here and in Southern Africa, was a civil rights movement with acts of civil disobedience, arrests, boycotts, divestments, demands for legislative reform, and real legal sanctions.

        Re: “One might look to psychological explanations, as well as religious, ideological and cultural factors, to try to get an understanding of this distinctive behavior. The behavioral pattern cuts across religious and secular lines, and across a wide variety of religious and secular factions.”

        No there are plenty of legal, sociological, and medical explanations. Pardon me if this gets a little long and scatter brained. The Court of Appeals ruling that persons of Syrian descent were supposed to be consider “white people” (Dow v. United States 226 F. 145 [4th Cir. 1915]) impressed no one in the “Bible Belt,” except for a few naturalization Court Judges. Nobody in my family has practiced Judaism for generations. But that didn’t make a damned bit of difference to the racists, screwball Christian Zionists, and Klansmen who still considered us members of the mystical “Jewish race,” because my Dad had inherited dark skin from his mother.

        My mother was descended from Irish and British Jews and my father was descended from Jews from Syria and Sephardi Jews from Poland (whose families were originally from Portugal). They grew-up on farms about five miles apart in Benton Hollow on Big Sugar Creek. My mom lived just outside Jacket, Missouri and my Dad just lived outside Pea Ridge, Arkansas. But they had to get married in Kansas, because of the anti-miscegenation laws in Missouri and Arkansas and the difference in the color of their skin.

        I had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a pink complexion. My brother and sister had already gone through 1st and 2nd grade at segregated schools, before Brown vs the Board of Education (a lawsuit regarding the schools here in Kansas). I’ll always remember my indoctrination on the first day of school. The teacher called out a list of names, including my own. She made us follow her, so she could show us the location of the hastily installed “colored” drinking fountains and restrooms in an old janitor’s closet that we all had to use to keep from contaminating the white students and teachers. Years later, during a middle school student assembly, there was an awards ceremony, with the Principal handing them out on stage in front of everybody. When he got to me, he stopped and explained that I was a “credit to my race.” You could have heard a pin drop, until one of the teacher’s explained “There’s more than a few niggers in that boy’s woodpile” to everyone within hearing distance.

        I didn’t marry a local Jewish girl because of “tribalism”. When I asked non-Jewish girls for a date, they were usually mortified and explained that they’d like to, but that they just couldn’t do it. There were only two other Jewish girls in town by that time, and one of them was my sister. Note even though my oldest son married a “Gentile girl”, they discovered that she had Jewish great-grandparents from a genealogist, after their doctor diagnosed their youngest child as a victim of a fairly common Jewish Mendelian disease.

        I lived two blocks from Main Street growing up. When you ventured that far, there was the river straight ahead, and a City Park to your left that had a “Whites Only” sign. If you turned right, you could go into any Jewish establishment on either side of the street for the next two blocks. But starting at the ice cream parlor in the third block, “Don’s Dixie Dip,” there were crude signs in the windows that read “No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs”. So my “universe” was a small one and books provided an escape. Ours was a progressive town. The neighboring towns were what sociologists today have dubbed “Sundown Towns,” where “Whites Only within the City Limits After Dark” signs were de rigueur and there were no Jewish, Black, Mexican, or Native American neighborhoods in town at all.

        The local newspaper here ran a story a few years ago that began with the words, “Believe it or not, there used to be a vibrant Jewish community in this town.” The author told readers that a former resident, an elderly Jewish lady in California, had just written a book about it’s establishment and its eventual demise. He portrayed us all as members of a successful merchant class, who had become so prosperous, that we all left small town life behind, and moved on to live “happily ever after” in big cities somewhere else. In fact, most of us were routinely persecuted and driven off, just like every other racial minority. The few of us who still live here remember that, the father of the guy who authored that newspaper article, owned the ice cream parlor which barred all of us from the premises.

        In Kansas and the neighboring states, historians blithely write stories like that about Russian, Swedish, Czech, German, & etc. farming communities that were established in the 1880s and which still exist to this very day. But they never seem to question the reason that there are no surviving Jewish, Black, Mexican, or Native American communities here anymore. They simply relate that such towns once existed and were either wiped out by disease, drought, or mismanagement.

        When my 90 year-old paternal grandmother had a stroke, all of her eight children and their families dropped everything and rushed back to Northwest Arkansas to see her. We all stayed on the old family farm and took turns going to the hospital in town to see her. I was on leave from the Air Force and was heading overseas for a year-long unaccompanied tour. I was in my uniform and was accompanied by my wife, my first baby, and my Mom and Dad. The last memory that I’ll ever have of us all together was interrupted when a white nurse came in an said, “She’s had a stroke and can’t go nowhere, but y’all better git a move-on, if y’all are gonna get out of town before the sun goes down.” Here’s an article about racial cleansing which explains that in 1970 (long after the Civil Rights Act) “Sundown Towns” in Northwest Arkansas were “at their peak”.

        Re: I see ethnic and religious identity politics as interesting only in this respect: they are rich targets for study and analysis by cutting-edge social science methods and technologies.

        My sister is an even bigger nag than all of you about my todo list. As a teenager, I used to work the harvests every summer with a custom cutting crew. We’d start out in Texas in May and slowly work our way north thru Oklahoma and Kansas, and finish-up in Nebraska. My sister has an advanced degree in psychology and was a licensed social worker in the local hospice until she retired. She is picking my brain for a complete list of all the Sundown Towns that I can remember from back in those days as part of historian James Loewen’s social science project to catalog all of them in an online database. See the Home page of “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen” and click on the map.

        Despite the fact that I and my siblings had bad experiences in the past, we turned out pretty normal. I imagine most Palestinians have better mental armor than I do and will learn to cope just as well. My sister thinks we’re still fairly “normal”, at least by the standards of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, 1994 (the DSM-IV)….;-) YMMV

      • seanmcbride says:


        That may be the best piece of writing I’ve ever seen you post — thanks for sharing those autobiographical details so eloquently — very engrossing.

      • Hostage says:

        LoL! Re: and contradicted people like Bruce Wolman, which incurred his wrath.

        That won’t get you banned either. I contradicted Jerome Slater, Bruce Wolman, and Robert Werdine in the very same thread, right along with Blankfort, as I’m sure some of you must recall. I think that I upset Donald, who thought I was being inhospitable to Slater.

        Here’s a post where Wolman complained that he wasn’t going to spend “another week” (on the loosing end) arguing with me.

        IIRC he claimed that Black’s book said that the Worldwide Jewish Boycott wasn’t effective and wouldn’t have accomplished anything. I simply pointed out that Black had written a short essay on the Transfer Agreement (Could We Have Stopped Hitler?) that was available online at the Jewish Virtual Library, which said the boycott was a source of very serious concern for the Nazi Regime and that “no one can say what combination of factors might have worked” to stop Hitler. Obviously we’ll never know now, since the Zionists decided to violate the Jewish boycott and go into full partnership with the Nazi regime. I’ve also debunked the bogus claim that the WZO-Nazi business partnership “saved Jewish lives”.

        During the discussion I cited many other authors/authorities on the subject, including Francis R. Nicosia, Simha Flapan, Mordecai Paldiel, The Encyclopedia Judica, and The Jewish Telegaphic Agency. Wolman didn’t seem to have a very good grasp of what Black had actually published on the subject.

      • seanmcbride says:


        This description of your exchanges concerning Edwin Black reminds me of why I consider you to be the most valuable commenter to Mondoweiss by far.

        Your multitude of important facts are always in order and you are always a truth-seeker. You almost never lose your cool. Your posts are a model of how to communicate effectively on Internet forums.

        I still wish, however, that you would organize all your documentary resources into a carefully structured standalone wiki. Perhaps someone else could do it.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Regarding that wiki — among thousands of sections, one might find, for instance, the following five sections:

        +Max Nordau/quotes by
        +Max Nordau/quotes on
        +Max Nordau/timeline
        +Max Nordau/works by
        +Max Nordau/works on

        One might even want to subdivide quotes by and on by subject:

        +Max Nordau/quotes by/subject
        +Max Nordau/quotes on/

        The Mondoweiss archive is loaded with valuable documentary material, much of it from commenters, but you can’t do much with it — it’s a sprawling mess.

        (I hope eventually we will be able to post comments to this blog with line numbers. In the meantime, I am using a plus sign to signify list items.)

      • Hostage,

        Actually Jeff posted up on FriendFeed straight after the banning – Iif memory serves, I remember reading him saying that he had fallen out with Phil over it – that Phil wasn’t into banning him but had to go along with Adam. Jeff didn’t seem too clear on the reason for the banning either. But I only really caught snippets of his FF conversations. Unfortunately FF no longer exists to check their archives. But there were a few MW-ers who were hanging with Jeff af FF after the banning – maybe one of them can step forward and give more information on Jeff’s FF posts. I think Chu was there at FF with Jeff – no?

      • seanmcbride says:


        There is a wealth of solid scholarly material out there which one can use to analyze the ideological connections between ancient Judaism and contemporary Zionism. One example:


        TITLE Remember Amalek!: Vengeance, Zealotry, and Group Destruction in the Bible according to Philo, Pseudo-Philo, and Josephus

        AUTHOR Louis H. Feldman

        DATE October 30, 2004

        PUBLISHER Hebrew Union College Press

        SERIES Monographs of the Hebrew Union College

        SUMMARY “The divine command to exterminate Amalek—men, women, children, and even animals who have no free will—is what in contemporary terms has been called genocide. Louis Feldman explores how the earliest systematic commentators on the Bible—the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo in his many essays on biblical themes; the mysterious, still unclassified Pseudo-Philo in his Biblical Antiquities; the premier Jewish historian and polymath Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities; and the Rabbis in the Mishnah, Talmud, and other literature—wrestled with the issues involved in this divine command, especially its provision that an entire people must be eternally punished for the misdeeds of their ancestors.”

        AUTHOR BIO “Louis H. Feldman is Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature at Yeshiva University. He is the author of 164 articles and eleven books, including Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World (Princeton University Press, 1993) and Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible (University of California Press, 1998). Professor Feldman is the recipient of the 2003 Cultural Achievement Award for Scholarship in Textual Studies from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.”



        Mondoweiss rarely gets into deep scholarship on the subject of Judaism and Zionism — let’s be honest — Phil’s mind doesn’t operate at that level — he is primarily a journalist, not a scholar. And much of Mondoweiss consists of political chatter (interesting political chatter, to be sure).

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Mondoweiss rarely gets into deep scholarship on the subject of Judaism and Zionism — let’s be honest — Phil’s mind doesn’t operate at that level — he is primarily a journalist, not a scholar.

        You must understand that many American Jews have only been taught an occasional platitude from the Talmud or some homilies about it. Many wouldn’t recognize a passage from it, even it they stumbled upon it by accident. To put it mildly, I think Phil finds the subject too tedious, and it taxes my patience at times too.

      • Danaa says:

        Taxi, for what it’s worth, I saved all the archives of FF on which I commented or which I posted. Took me a day to do that, but I can search through it (not very hard) and find the jeff Blankfort threads (there were two long ones with many comments in which he engaged). He eventually moved on, but if I have time, I can perhaps cut and paste some comments (obviously, can’t give link to FF sinc)e their evil master disappeared the whole site – for which I hope they suffer in perpetuity, and for which reason I’ll do nothing to encourage, promote or work through Facebook – other than cat pictures, of course).

      • Wow Danaa – what a precious thing you did, taking the time to preserve all these documents for postery. Amazing foresight you have.

        Do you think you should stick them here on this thread, or do you want me to open a new thread and you can email me the materials and I will post them up all nice. But I’ll have to do that tomorrow (you night) as it’s getting close to my bedtime here in the Levant. Other readers interested in Jeff can also advise on this.

      • Danaa says:

        Hostage, interesting story but I wonder about something:

        In Israel there were many Syrian descendant Jews as well as jews from Egypt, Iraq, yemen and North Africa. I knew two who came from Syria and they were not very dark compared, say to the ones who hailed from Egypt or yemen. In fact many Syrian jews had relatively lighter complexion than other Mizrahi, and were taller too, which allowed them sometimes to pass for Asjkenazi. Generally, I can’t believe that people in say Arkansas will confuse the somewhat tanned, probably light brown complexion of someone from a Syrian background with a black person. The difference as are quite striking, based on my own experience. In fact, the Syrians of today in general look for all intents and purposes as just somewhat tanner version of caucasians. So they seem to be in all the photos coming our way. So, how could your father be possibly included with the “colored”? to the best of my knowledge, at worst he might have looked a bit “Mexican” or south of the border, but the segragation was not as intense against latinos (though it was there, to be sure).

        The other thing I’ll mention is that what you describe is nothing like the much more horriifc discrimination and segragation imposed on Jews of Mizrahi descent in early israel (of the 50’s to the late 70’s). To be a Mizrahi in israel was to be a third class citizen – just barely a step above Arabs who were considered basically sub-human (second class citizens were BTW from the caucasus – georgian, kazakhstan, Kurdistan,Bulgaria, etc. They were treated essentially as second rate Russians – actually not unlike the way they were treated in the Soviet republic).

        The segregation i israel, the racism, and the spitefulness was far more strict in Israel than anything you describe in America, even if just a rural part of say, Arkansas. I never once met any Mizrahi kid on anything like an equal footing and in fact the first I spoke to anyone (other than say, a shop keeper or taxi driver) was in the Army, where I was ‘exiled’ to a corner of the base where several of “them” had their Parts warehouse assignments (that pBTW turned into my “Queen of Sheba” period (cf. my-one-of-these-days-to-come-out memoirs), as that’s how they treated me. I was a good 4-8 inches taller than all of them, which was, well, conspicuous, and, I must admit, not unenjoyable for the not totally commendable person I was turning into). That was sometimes How the army punished you for misbehaving in the israeli “service”, which I totally did – you got delegated to “their” part of the base).

        In any case, our schools were totally segraggated (theirs belonged to the religious stream, ours were secular), we never mixed socially, and we lived in different parts of town -they in the housing projects outside, we in the center. As poor as we all were, they were that much poorer. The differences between us were rigorously enforced by the educational and social system and there was never the slightest doubt these “darkies” as they were called (though they were not all that much darker than us, at least not in the summer when we became super sun-tanned). They were generally considered intellectually inferior, culturally backward and a bit primitive. And no, you couldn’t bring one home to dinner, though no one said not to specifically. It just wasn’t done.

        While in the university i actually dated for a while a really handsome-in-artistic-way guy whose family hailed from Morocco (he was “only’ 2 inches shorter, which was OK). He talked different than others, had a similarly awkward/rebellious time in the military as I did and wrote poetry. Naturally, steps had to be taken not to be seen in together in public too often lest a word will get to my parents who were already concerned about my future. I remember the mint tea his mother made – unbelievably delicious!. that might have been the real reason i hung out with him for all I know, my appreciation of poetry at the time leaving something to be desired. I once brought him along to University party for the students (just another one of my in-your-face actions). Everyone was very polite and they kept asking him where he is from and how we met. I remember that to this day. All in all, I think I understood very little about how it hurt his confidence – to have to grow up and be treated as a member of really inferior race. I just didn’t understand why he couldn’t become a student just like me, him being obviously bright and all.

        The purpose of this story, Hostage, is to impress upon you that, as troubling as your experiences were in small town mid-west, they pale compared to the grievous racism and bigotry that would have been inflicted upon your father in Israel, which practiced an officially sanctioned and enforced segregation against the “colored jews”. For one thing, he would have never been able to marry a Polish girl, which means no existence for your blond/blue-eyed self! It’s a good thing your father’s family emigrated to the US rather than to that godforsaken place along the beautiful Mediterranean. I know I never stopped asking my parents how on earth we ended up there and knew, practically from early childhood, that I will leave pretty much as soon as I could. So did everyone else. And so it happened in my early twenties. I can only wish I could have grown up in a small mid-western town as you did – their many flaws notwithstanding. At least i would have been more temperate!

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Hostage, interesting story but I wonder about something:

        Good questions, I’ll have to answer them tomorrow. This just in, Abbas resigned as Chairman of the PLO. I’ll have a Jack Daniels to celebrate and go to bed for now.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Generally, I can’t believe that people in say Arkansas will confuse the somewhat tanned, probably light brown complexion of someone from a Syrian background with a black person.

        But all Syrians and Black persons were considered “colored persons” back then. In theory the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 USC § 1982 – Property rights of citizens) should have guaranteed them equal rights:

        All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

        The immigration and naturalization laws were employed to get minority groups here as a source of cheap labor, but deny them “citizenship” after all was said and done.

        Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) upheld the constitutionality of various state laws requiring racial segregation of members of those groups in public facilities under the doctrine of “separate but equal”. Many interpreted that decision to empower state authorities and their allies in the Klu Klux Klan to have a free hand to reserve entire neighborhoods or entire towns for the exclusive use of white persons in exactly the same way Jewish and Arab citizens have been historically governed as separate sectors by the country’s lawmakers and government ministries.

        Let me explain that my Dad was born in 1904 and would have been 111 years old this year if he hadn’t died in 1985. His brothers and sisters had similar family features, but the color of their hair, eyes, and skin divided them into two groups that looked more or less Sephardi or Ashkenazi. My Dad was one of the Sephardi-looking ones. But he had brothers and sisters with blue eyes, light brown or reddish hair, and fair complexions too.

        I’ve mentioned elsewhere that in 1913 a federal judge ruled that neither Faras Shahid, a native of Syria, and a Christian nor Jesus Christ himself could be considered “free white persons” eligible to immigrate to the Eastern Federal District of South Carolina – unless they could establish their European heritage.

        There was nothing truly “scientific” about the fanciful “Caucasian” European racial theories of origin espoused by governments and their courts back in those days to justify their bigoted notions about the inferiority of others and their desire to exclude them from being naturalized so that they could participate in American society and polity as citizens with equal rights. Portuguese and Spanish Jews were already in the New World before American Independence. Jews were initially considered citizens for the purposes of the Constitution and the federal government, but were ineligible for public office in accordance with the provisions of many state constitutions, which imposed religious tests.

        Generally speaking, they adopted the “one drop rule” and held that any person with one non-white ancestor, no matter how remote, was a “colored” person. In all of the states we are talking about, that legal category included Negroes, Jews, Arabs, “Indians”, Mexicans, Japanese, Chinese, & etc. All of those ethnic minorities were represented in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) when it was founded in 1909. The battle over the definition of “white person” had already been raging for several decades by then, and it continued unabated for several more, because opinion among the Federal District Courts remained divided and the Supreme Court avoided the issue.

      • Hostage says:

        @ Danaa My bad, l meant to say that after Plessy the states managed whites and colored people as separate sectors, like the Israeli government treats the Jewish and Arab citizens as separate sectors for the purposes of funding education, communal settlements, & etc.

        Let’s see if I can prevent the text of the 1866 Civil Rights Act that I quoted from scrolling off the page this time:
        All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

        If you are compiling my MW comments, then you’ll find the US Supreme Court ruled in the St. Francis College v. Al-Khazraji, and Shaare-Tefila Congregation v. Cobb cases that the Congress considered Arabs and Jews to be non-white citizens back in those days, who could file civil rights suits pursuant to that and other federal statutes that have continued in force ever since 1866. Although we are now considered “white persons” by the Courts, we can still file discrimination lawsuits against those who deny us the same rights as other white citizens, just like other ethnic and racial minorities. Racism and discrimination are based upon unscientific perceptions, not on modern social or anthropological perspectives.

        Re: The other thing I’ll mention is that what you describe is nothing like the much more horriifc discrimination and segragation imposed on Jews of Mizrahi descent in early israel (of the 50’s to the late 70’s).

        Perhaps. I was simply trying to illustrate that my Jewish identity wasn’t entirely self-inflicted and that it had legal, social, and medical bases. In the case of the legal and social ones, they were usually the result of irrational non-Jewish “white” behavior, not mine.

        I wasn’t trying to catalog the horrific aspects of Jewish life back then. But they were more akin to the experience of the Palestinians than the Mizrahi Jews. In my home town and the neighboring ones, they included every constituent act of the crime of apartheid, including all of the crimes of violence that the KKK were infamous for employing everywhere else in those days: white demonstrations, parades, rampages, and riots staged in our neighborhoods as a show of force; arbitrary arrests and imprisonments; shooting sprees; price tag lynchings in reprisal for government reforms; beatings; unsolved disappearances; the policy and practice of creating, shrinking, and then eliminating isolated ethnic enclaves; crimes against property including theft or destruction of entire towns, homes, businesses, automobiles, farm animals and crops; threats and violence at the polling stations and denial of the right to vote – all with the government’s blessing and done for the purpose of dominating us or maintaining that domination.

        Other than the Native Americans, each of these groups were encouraged or forced to immigrate into the country as a source of cheap labor, until they became a demographic threat to the white establishment. Then they were excluded by law, beginning with the Chinese in 1866. The quotas imposed on European Jews via the Immigration Acts of 1913, 1917, and 1924 actually created labor shortages during the First and Second World Wars that the government and businesses in Kansas solved by bringing in Mexicans to work on the railroads, mines, and farms.

        Occasionally the fog lifts and the public discovers stories, like the ethnic cleansing of thousands in Forsyth County, Georgia, Pierce City, Missouri, the Tulsa Riots of 1921, or the Rosewood massacre of 1923. But the same things happened to other colored communities in places like Kansas and they weren’t limited to just the Black populations, neighborhoods, and towns. In most cases, the survivors have never been given any justice or compensation and can’t expect any even when the events are brought to the public’s attention.

      • Danaa,

        Syrians who hail from the borders between Iraq and Syria tend to have a darker skin color, whereas Syrians who hail from areas closer to the Lebanese border tend to be of much lighter skin.

        In other words, the closer to the Mediterranean sea, the whiter the skin – and the closer to the Arabian deserts and peninsular, the darker the skin color. Going eastwards, you get darker skin, and going westwards, you get lighter skin.

        My Syrian gardener has really dark skin, and his wife, who is Syrian too, has skin as white as snow. Their third child who is literally one day old is as white as snow too.

        In Italy, southerns there have a darker complexion than their northern compatriots – the south being closer to north Africa and the North being closer to northern Europe.

      • Danaa says:

        Taxi, yes, that is my impression too – the closer to the desert-like areas betweeb Iraq and Syria, the darker the complexion. Makes sense.

        To the best of my knowledge, the jewish people of Syria (of whom hardly any are left) came largely from the cities of Damascus, Aleppo and Tartus (there was a sizeable community along the coast). So chances are, they would have been lighter skinned if evolution has its say. The two I knew in Israel (first generation Syrians) were lighter than other Mizrahi who came from north Africa and yemen. But obviously, my sample is small.

      • american200 says:

        ” Hostage

        August 23, 2015 at 1:25 am

        Re: I know crazy when I see it — and being in denial.

        Fair enough, but as you said: “each and every one of us — have different perspectives on the same situations.” I’ve never written about any of this, so here’s mine:


        Wow. I believe everything you say..that that’s how it was.

        But it makes me feel like I grew up in some more unique small town South in regards to others.
        In regard to Jewish discrimination at least, not black discrimination.
        Born in 1949 and a child in the 50’s my first awareness of racism was a incident when our black nanny/housekeeper took my brothers and I to the movies and when she was going to go upstairs to the ‘colored section’ my youngest brother threw a fit and started crying at being separated from ‘Macie’ which got all four of us throwing howling fits—it ended with us going upstairs with her to the colored section of the theater. Some busybody woman later called our father and told him how we behaved .and he told her we considered “Macie ‘ a member of the family so it was a natural reaction on the children’s part….lol.

        Never heard a bad word about Jews—in fact I have a memory of our Cub Scout Master being a Jew due to his having to miss something because of some religious observance and never overheard any criticism of him from the adults because of this. He was as a matter of fact, also USAF, from the base about 10 miles from town.,,,I had a little boy crush on his wife who had red hair.
        Even into my grown up years of college and on I never had occasion to see any anti Semitism–at least in my circles. Cant say I ever date-dated a Jewish girl but I did ‘befriend’ one—Jewish friend of my uncle’s asked him to ask me to take his daughter out because she was sort of a wallflower and very shy–so I did– no romance just including and making her comfortable with her peer social group. That she was Jewish was neither here nor there at the time—recalling that she was is only in relation to current discussions on anti Semitism.
        My recollections are naturally from a white & gentile perspective but I think where people lived and their respective ‘societies’ edu/eco/relig….some good, some bad…had the most to do with attitudes about blacks and Jews.

        NC had a “Sundown town….at the Outer Banks. Every time you crossed to the bridge to Manteo you would see a big sign on the right hand side warning blacks ‘not to let the sun set on them’—it stayed there until 1980 I think it was. Several people and groups tried to get the guy who owned the property it was on to remove it but he wouldn’t. Finally he sold the property and the new owner removed it.

        But other incidents come to mind for what they are worth. For two–Once when our parents were out of town and my brother was about 19 , ‘Dora’ another black lady who also helped Macie and my Mother with running a house of 4 hyper active boys, called the house in hysterics. Her boyfriend or some man was assaulting her ..and I guess we were the first she thought of to call for help—or could have been she didnt think the local police would give her priority. My brother took off for her house.. when he got there a drunk man wielding a knife and had cut Dora from ear to chin. He disarmed him, got Dora out of the house, into the car and took her to the clinic.
        On another occasion a local black boy was feared drown at the lake when he didn’t come home after saying he was going fishing and his boat was floating empty. The Eagle Scouts who were all white—because blacks were excluded—organized their best swimmers to dive the lake –they did this for 3 days until they did finally recovered his body.
        I could recount some other examples –not being to say there was no racism or excuse any pre civil rights and thereafter racism but I feel qualified to say that ‘among the whites I knew’ none of them would have behaved differently or been indifferent to or refused to get involved in helping any blacks because they considered them lesser ‘humans’ than whites.
        Was this ‘perfect”?…did it smack of white paternalism ? No it wasnt perfect and yes maybe it did smack of white paternalism, but it was the best many whites could do in those times until civil rights became organized.
        Maybe people ..and towns..are like a box never know what you’re going to get…depends who made the chocolates.

      • “Only yesterday someone was betting me that Abbas would resign by end of year and I brushed them off ” (Taxi)

        Had to take a taxi to work my way back to the reply button.

        You were right in not believing about his umpteenth resignation or threat of resignation. I think he beat Erekat’s record in that department. The WSJ also believes that it’s a stunt to shore up his sagging popularity in a reelection that he would win.

        In short, it’s a gimmick and since Israel has a direct or indirect say on who becomes Palestinian president, you can be sure that he will be definitely reelected. Abbas, that served Oslo to the occupied territories to Israel on a silver platter is the next best thing that happened to the cause since Herzl. In the last election, Israel worked miracles at tripping at every opportunity Abbas’ main opponent, Mostafa Barghouti.

        BTW, I’m perplexed about Hostage’s celebration at news of his resignation (which will be formally made in writing in a month; here we go with the threats again). As far as I can remember, the one and only disagreement I ever had with Hostage was his rationalization of whatever Abbas did that was not in the interest of the Palestinians and since then, I’ve been admiring him from a distance.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: BTW, I’m perplexed about Hostage’s celebration at news of his resignation (which will be formally made in writing in a month; here we go with the threats again). As far as I can remember, the one and only disagreement I ever had with Hostage was his rationalization of whatever Abbas did that was not in the interest of the Palestinians and since then, I’ve been admiring him from a distance.

        It’s time for a national plebiscite. I’ve explained many times that the prohibitions of war crimes and crimes against humanity, like forced displacement or population transfer, are black letter peremptory (jus cogens) law and that states cannot make their circumvention the object of a peace treaty according to Article 53 of the UN Convention on the Law Of Treaties.

        Likewise the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by war is jus cogens and the conclusion of any treaty obtained by the continuing threat or use of force, such as a military occupation, would also be null and void. If any State, including the USA, wishes to contest that fact, the latest state party to the Convention, Palestine, can finally request an ICJ judgement in accordance with Article 66 of the Convention. So, it’s finally possible to stop pretending to be “negotiating” endlessly over refugee RoR and borders and start talking about the 174 countries, including Palestine, which have ratified Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol. It allows states to prosecute officials for the on-going crime of unwarranted delay in repatriating prisoners and refugees.

        Once Abbas obtained recognition of Palestine’s right to Independence from Israel and the Secretary General’s consent to sign-on to the UN Convention on the Law of Treaties, the Rome Statute, and the Hague and Geneva Conventions and their Protocols, plus all of the major UN Human Rights Conventions on behalf of “Palestine,” – and he had finally charged Israel officials with the crime of apartheid in the ICC, he was like a drone bee after the mating ritual. He had self-actualized and exhausted all of his remaining functional utility, e.g.:

        Just: Abbas gets heaps of blame for lots of stuff. I tend to stay silent about it, because I cannot fathom the situation that Palestinians are in.

        Hostage: I think Palestinians backed the moves in the UN and ICC, but his time has come and gone too.

        So far as I’m concerned, he was explicitly tasked by the Middle East Quartet and both the Security Council (resolution 1515) and the 10th Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly (ES-10/15) to put a stop to the suicide bombings and “to undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks” in exchange for UN recognition of a Palestinian State within provisional (armistice) borders. People complain that doing that constituted collaboration, but they need to blame the “Powers That Be” who really imposed those terms on the Palestinian government.

        I’ve made it clear that I didn’t trust Abbas personally, but that I supported his tactics at the UN and other world bodies for pragmatic reasons:

        “I’ve stated that I’m no fan of the Hamas regime and that I’m convinced beyond any doubt that they have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity that have targeted Jews and Palestinians alike. I’ve commented about the fact that I think the other governing faction of the PA in Ramallah has an adequate set of basic laws, but a damned poor human rights record so far. I’m glad that they’ve all signed-on to the ICC Statute and the major UN Human Rights and Hague/Geneva Humanitarian Conventions, since that means they can be subjected to more formal oversight by the treaty monitoring bodies and the other contracting state parties who can demand an official accounting and corrective actions or sanctions.

      • Abbas… poor little pencil-pusher for peace.

        He gets more support from the west than from his own people because he gave up the armed struggle and the west likes that.

        He shoulda really said yes to peace but the gun is an option to be left on the table.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: He gets more support from the west than from his own people because he gave up the armed struggle and the west likes that.

        Armed struggle against one of the world’s most powerful and well supplied military empires over what it considers to be “home turf” is a risky proposition that has never turned out well in the past. If the situation were different, for example if Hezbollah had an S-300 system and could impose a no-fly-zone over Israel and Palestine, then I’d be willing to think twice about it.

        Abbas advocates non-violent “popular struggle” just like his harshest critics: Diana Butto, Omar Barghouti, Ali Abunimah, et al.

        It would be irrational to suppose that the Mossad has infiltrated JVP, but that Palestinian civil society on both sides of the Green Line isn’t riddled with people who have been compromised during 60+ years of brutal occupation. That situation doesn’t provide fertile soil for the growth of a viable underground resistance movement. I may not know much, but when I see thousands of family members, including under aged children, hauled off to jail by the IDF in the middle of the night on trumped-up charges, I know for certain that more than a few of those families are going to succumb to pressure and do anything or say anything to protect their loved ones, that the rest of the world have abandoned to their fate.

        General Washington relied on foreign French support and used firing squads against his own disaffected troops of the New Jersey Line, when the tide of popular opinion turned against him and the Continental Congress during the American war for independence. His own general staff was infiltrated with turncoats, like Benedict Arnold. The bottom line is that anyone who aspires to national leadership during a prolonged occupation and war for independence is likely to be viewed as unpopular when things go wrong, as they always do – and they are just as likely to be pretty ruthless and corrupt in their dealings with those who try to undermine their authority from within.

        The Palestinian people surely knew that when they elected Abbas as the President of the PA with a 62 percent majority and a 70 percent voter turnout in the 2005 Presidential election. His platform for ending the occupation and establishing the State was no secret. The whole idea was to enlist international pressure and UN demands for an end to the occupation, like the UN demands that South Africa withdraw from Namibia and that the Israel withdraw to the Blue Line. The fact that Palestine wasn’t recognized as an occupied State by the Security Council, like Namibia and Lebanon both were, had ultimately resulted in UN condemnation of Palestinian tactics of armed resistance and loss of public support in the West.

        Whatever armed struggle alone can accomplish during an IDF siege had long since been accomplished in the Faluja pocket when Nasser was bottled-up there for four months in 1949 or during the Siege of Beirut in 1982 when Sharon had Arafat and the PLO leadership bottled-up there, while Abbas (in Damascus) and the whole Arab and Muslim world stood by watching helplessly and unable to do anything.

        If armed struggle can be an effective bargaining chip, then the PLO was never more powerful than it was on the day when 160,000 Iraqis with heavy armor and artillery were occupying Kuwait and menacing the Saudi oil fields and they offered to withdraw peacefully in exchange for the withdrawal of the IDF from the Occupied Arab Territories. We all know what a show of Muslim and Arab solidarity was triggered when Arafat endorsed that proposal. Afterwards, the PLO had to go to Oslo with heads bowed and beg for whatever interim plan Israel was willing to table, because their Arab and Muslim brethren had pulled the plug on their financial and material lines of support. Armed struggle has produced nothing but stalemates, pyhrric victories, and the prospect of reoccupation for the victims of the on-going siege in Gaza. There’s a danger in doing that over and over again, in the absence of some game-changing development (e.g. some S-300s nearby), and expecting a different outcome.

      • The last words out of Saddam’s lips were: “Long live Palestine”. It would be interesting to hear what Abbas’ famous last words will be.

        An occupied people may not have all the armory it needs to defeat the occupier, but that doesn’t mean they should ‘announce to the world’ that the ‘gun’ in not an option for them anymore. I think it’s wrong to take that option off the table, even if your weapon is rock. It’s the principle of it.

        You say the armed Palestinian resistance hasn’t worked. Well neither has the peaceful resistance. Exactly the same logic and data can be applied to that too. And here I say that one shouldn’t give up peaceful resistance either.

        My point is that if you’re an occupied people, you must not give away any of your weapons – be they weapons for peace or weapons of war.

        It was Abbas’s denounciation of the armed struggle that actually cleaved asunder Palestinian unity – and Palestinians are still living the unsettling reverberations of that.

        And let’s not forget here, Abbas lost the election to Hamas and yet…need I say more.

        He’s a mixed bag of nuts, really – I see the good Abbas points that you list – and I agree with you on them. I can see that he has the worse job as a leader in the whole goddamn world. It ain’t easy at all being the leader of Palestine. But like any leader, he did make some very serious mistakes. Like giving up his occupied people’s right to armed resistance.

        Say – this is kinda off topic but connected too – but have you ever read a Steinbeck book called ‘The Moon Is Down’? It’s an incredible story of occupied and occupier – the way the psyches of both occupied and occupier morph under the pressures of occupier-occupied relationships. Abbas reminds me of the mayor of the occupied town in Steinbeck’s novel. I recommend visitors to Plato’s to read this story packed with insights into the human condition of both occupied and occupier

        Armed resistance for Palestinians is having a better day of it these days. The problem with advancing Palestinian armed resistance in the past: the axis of zion would not let them buy or acquire arms. But times are changing now.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: And let’s not forget here, Abbas lost the election to Hamas and yet…need I say more.

        No, government’s created by violent revolutions and revolutionary councils seldom convene elections for their own jobs or request a vote of confidence in the midst of wars for their own independence. The “PA”
        was never anything but an interim subordinate organ of the PLO Executive and National Committees.

        Ismail Haniyeh and his list of candidates only ran for election to the Palestinian Authority, an interim creature of the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel that functioned at the behest of the PLO Executive, pending full independence in accordance with the November 1988 Declarations of the PNC.

        Abbas was the President of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine, the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, as well as the President of the Palestinian Authority, before and after the elections.

      • I remember a fair and democratic election, Hostage. Hamas won. The PA, egged on by USA and israel, refused to accept the results – Abbas’s men tried to illegally wrench power from Hamas in Gaza by force of arms. They got beat back by Hamas .and they got kicked out of Gaza.

        The Palestinian elections had international observers monitoring it – one of them was President Carter. There were no reports of vote-cheaters. One doesn’t have to like Hamas to just simply acknowledge that they won a democratic election fair and square. But USA, israel AND Abbas just simply would not allow that degree of democracy in Palestine.

        I often think that if they had let Hamas rule fair and square, Hamas would have evolved into a more pragmatic organization.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I remember a fair and democratic election, Hostage. Hamas won. The PA, egged on by USA and israel, refused to accept the results – Abbas’s men tried to illegally wrench power from Hamas in Gaza by force of arms. They got beat back by Hamas .and they got kicked out of Gaza.

        That’s certainly the fanciful propaganda narrative that everyone peddles today, based upon David Rose’s far-fetched saga contained in his Vanity Fair “Gaza Bombshell” article. It starts out with a classic example of old fashioned bait and switch. He was contacted and promised incriminating documents that had fallen into the hands of his informant, but they were never ultimately produced. Instead he publishes an unlikely yarn that “critics of the Bush Administration Palestine Policy” and of Secretary of State Rice, named “David Wurmzer”, “John Bolton”, and an unnamed “associate close to Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliot Abrams” supplied to him. If you’ve ever had a stovepipe that large shoved up your ass without noticing, you must be a stringer for the Rendon Group and be writing filler, while awaiting your next assignment for the Iraqi National Congress.

        But even Rose admitted that it was Hamas that initiated the war, as a so-called preemptive measure. His accusations regarding Abbas didn’t even rise to the level of good gossip. Every time Secretary Rice ordered Abbas to dissolve the government, he ignored her instructions and continued to negotiate with Haniyeh over a coalition agreement. The so-called secret Palestinian plans that were quoted in US State Department documents that were left unattended in a briefcase by a negligent US Official, were nothing conspiratorial. They were subsequently published almost word-for-word in the official “Plan to End The Occupation and Established the State”. There was plenty of skulduggery alright, but it was hatched by the USA, the Israels, and General Dayton’s Palestinian associate Mr. Dahlan.

        Even the Fatah militia members that were interviewed by Rose noted that Dahlan was acting alone and independent of other Fatah party factions – and that “Bush and Rice must have wanted Hamas to takeover Gaza”. Wikileaks confirmed that Israel wanted that to happen so it could treat Gaza as an enemy state.

        The wheels should have fallen off the Abbas conspiracy bus a long time ago, when sources like Wikileaks and +972 started publishing exposés about the Israeli “policy of separation,” and the fact that it had nothing to do with the PA’s wishes.

      • Never heard of David Rose.

        Too late in the night for me to respond as your post deserves, Hostage. I’ll be back on it tomorrow buddy.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Never heard of David Rose.

        Progressives have always cited his Gaza Bombshell article as evidence that Abbas intended to overturn the elections and seize power from Hamas.

        Similarly, there were Israeli disinformation reports issued during the fighting, which claimed that Abbas had participated in the planning and okayed Operation Cast Lead. That libelous idea pretty much evaporated when he subsequently accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC for all crimes committed on the territory of Palestine by any party (including himself) since July of 2002.

        Re: Too late in the night for me to respond as your post deserves, Hostage. I’ll be back on it tomorrow buddy.

        I think you guys have always read too much into my remarks about factual situations. I like some of the tactics employed by Khalid Meshaal too and have cited his interview with Charlie Rose

        So, there’s no need to preach to the already converted about the legitimate use of force for self-defense. Article 1(4) of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions has been ratified by 174 States. That’s an overwhelming majority of the international community and makes it black letter law. It provides that armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes are to be considered international conflicts. The UN General Assembly has repeatedly affirmed that peoples fighting colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes are not committing aggression.

        I’ve commented in the past that when people are denied justice in violation of their fundamental rights, they are entitled to take the law into their own hands:

      • Bornajoo says:

        Thanks for the link with the book Taxi. I’ll definitely read it after that recommendation. And great debate between you and Hostage!

      • OMG Walid, you weren’t kidding about “taking a taxi” to get to the reply button! LOL! Very funny. Working on redesign for smoother commentary experience. Sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

        You know, yesterday I couldn’t even be bothered to post up an article about Abbas’s so-called resignation. It just seemed so unbearably boring and inconsequential. Soon as I read that the Palestinian ‘council’ (or whatever they call it) would have to approve the resignation, I just though “peh”!

        Maybe Hostage doesn’t know Abbas like you do. And his reaching for his bottle of Jack Daniels when he heard the news of Abbas’ resignation shows that at least he now sees him as a failed leader.

        Admiring someone from a “distance” is the best place to admire someone from. Otherwise disappointment will surely follow admiration.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: And his reaching for his bottle of Jack Daniels when he heard the news of Abbas’ resignation shows that at least he now sees him as a failed leader.

        No, I see a guy who has given his adversaries in the US Congress, Obama, Netanyahu, and the EU Foreign Ministers the raised middle finger at every step along the way. He applied for membership in the UN, UNESCO, and the ICC against their wishes – and filed criminal charges against Israeli leaders in the ICC, including the crime of apartheid, in spite of threats that they would all cut off funding to the PA and turn the west Bank into another Gaza if he did so. When Netanyahu said that he could either have peace with Israel or have a coalition with Hamas, he chose Hamas, despite the resulting international sanctions and acrimony. When Arafat tried to do half of those things he found himself a prisoner under house arrest in his own compound, surrounded by a fleet of Merkava tanks.

        In the best case scenario, Abbas is leaving now, before the PA finally collapses entirely and the Israeli’s are stuck with a civil rights movement in all of the territory between the river and the sea. He has exhausted every other avenue for a peaceful solution that the world demanded of him, i.e. through negotiations, the UN, and both of the international courts. In the worst case scenario, his adversaries in the Congress, the Obama Administration, the Knesset, and the EU Council will have to beg him to stay-on and let him pursue his agenda in the UN and the Courts or risk the possibility that he will be replaced by someone they dislike a hell of a lot more. If you told me that Khalid Meshaal would be vsiting Riyadh and that Abbas would be visiting “sister Tehran” a couple of years ago, I’d have told you that the chances of “The Rapture” happening were a much safer bet.

        All I know is that, for a guy who’s been dealt a losing hand from the very outset, Abbas has played his cards about as well as anyone could have expected against the leaders of all the Great Powers that have been assembled against him in his day.

      • But what Palestinian leader was ever dealt a good hand? None.

        What you say about Abbas’s legal endeavors is true. It’s very difficult though – to like him, I mean – very difficult to accept that a leader of an people under a seven decade occupation would agree to put his gun down just to be able to ‘talk’ to the occupier. Trying to force his people to do likewise too.

        I guess to analyze Abbas fairly, one would have to be a master of nuance.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: But what Palestinian leader was ever dealt a good hand? None. … What you say about Abbas’s legal endeavors is true.

        It’s not just legal endeavors, he’s the only Palestinian leader who has ever managed to marginalize and politically isolate the US government, while looking almost completely subservient to its demands for a two state solution. But the Palestine Papers revealed that the PLO’s position was always that the BATNA [Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement], if all else fails, is the one state and a campaign for equal rights and the vote.

        There isn’t anyone who really expects him to negotiate with Israel now, after Netanyahu pledged to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, so long as he is the Prime Minister. So, Abbas has put everyone in a spot where something different may actually happen for a change.

      • I hope you’re right, Hostage. But the sad truth is that every time the zios in tel aviv and Washington feel that a Palestinian leader has been too ‘rebellious’ or too dried up to serve their interests, they just simply kill him.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I hope you’re right, Hostage. But the sad truth is that every time the zios in tel aviv and Washington feel that a Palestinian leader has been too ‘rebellious’ or too dried up to serve their interests, they just simply kill him.

        Well, unless Abbas can pull-off a hat trick in September and get full UN membership, he’s done about everything that he set out to do whether he stays or goes. Let’s face it, once you’re 80 years old most of the people you represent are dead and buried. So its time to let someone else take over the job of setting the national agenda. At this point, none of the self-appointed Palestinian leadership has any legal mandate from the voters.

      • The best men and women from Abbas’ generation were assassinated either by Mossad or Shin Bet back in the sixties and seventies. People like George Habash and Ghassan Kanafani. It was a deliberate israeli policy to do this – to kill the brains of Palestine so that its body would be easier to lead astray or subdue. If Palestinians like Habash and Kanafani were still alive today, the Palestinians would be politically unified, cogent and in a more secure place. These assassinate d men were political scientists as well as literary masters and master communicators. Very sophisticated and cool-headed thinkers. The political assassination of these men is truly an immeasurable loss to the Palestine struggle. One can only hope that they can make people like that again.

      • Bornajoo says:

        Taxi, I don’t think Habash was assassinated. Didn’t he die a few years ago from cancer? I think he was one of the few PFLP leaders that didn’t get assassinated

      • Absolutely right – my mistake – I was thinking Kamal Nasser, assassinated allegedly by Ehud Barak dressed as a woman.

        Here’s a wiki list of assassinated Palestinian political leaders, some of them exceptionally brainy:

        Here’s wiki on Ghassan Kanafani:

        Wiki on Kamal Nasser:

        Wiki on George Habash:

        Okay – gonna hit the sack now – almost midnight in the Levant. G’nite y’all.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: The best men and women from Abbas’ generation were assassinated either by Mossad or Shin Bet back in the sixties and seventies. … One can only hope that they can make people like that again.

        Even when Hamas and Fatah swore a coalition government into office, and Netanyahu applied sanctions, set the IDF loose on a weeks long rampage in the West Bank, and reduced Gaza to rubble yet again in an obvious effort to divide and rule, we reward him by acting as if they never got together and agreed to go to the ICC and bring Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO Executive. I don’t think the root problem is really Palestinian disunity or a lack of adequate leaders.

  1. seanmcbride says:

    I just got around to reading Jennifer Hitchcock’s comments on this article:

    “Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir”

    and I am appalled. This is the most painfully stupid set of comments I have ever encountered on Mondoweiss — and apparently this is the core mentality of the JVP on display. By comparison, even Hophmi is a refreshing voice.

    Hitchcock is not capable of engaging in an informed and useful discussion about the substance of Atzmon’s and Weir’s writings — that much is clear. And it is also clear that a fresh and original thought will never spring from her own mind because she has the soul of a party apparatchik.

    JVP appears to be a progressive version of the ADL or even JDL — it’s in the business of enforcing conformity and punishing dissidents. Think Orwellian/Stalinist thought police. Earnest groupthink.

    To the extent that Phil Weiss has permitted JVP to infiltrate his world, he has damaged Mondoweiss, which was once an outpost of vibrant independent thinking.

    Some members of JVP are no doubt idealistic and sincere (as Annie reports), if not very bright. They are probably regarded as useful idiots by whatever clever operators are pulling their strings from the shadows.

    The best way to handle JVP, which is just another one of the Lobby’s hundreds of tentacles and propaganda ops, is to ridicule it, and to marginalize the would-be marginalizers — which is easy to do on the Internet. It would be nice to debate JVP on substance, but JVP doesn’t do debate — they are into censorship, not debate.

    By the way, most Americans who are involved in these interminable controversies care about the plight of the Palestinians, but their main focus, without apologies, is on the American interest. They are no more interested in taking marching orders and obeying political directives from the Palestinian lobby than they are from the Israel lobby. JVP is off in its own little world — confused about whose interests truly enjoy its most passionate attachment.

    • W.Jones says:

      It’s Adam and Alex Kane who are the two on MW who are on board with JVP and ETO vs. Weir. Not sure where Deeger and Roth stand.

      The fact is, there is a group in ETO and JVP who are very much against promoting seeing the Lobby as a major problem. Chomsky himself debated the topic.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Can anyone recall seeing Adam and Alex engaging in substantive and extended debate on these issues? I can’t. Perhaps I missed those moments.

      • Jones, you give Weiss way too much credit. Even his wife says he’s slippery, and Weiss says that that slippery-ness is part of his Jewish culture in dealing with the mostly gentile world.

      • Weiss:
        “That [gentile] blandness I had learned to despise when I was a kid I now call straightforwardness, and I’m drawn to it, maybe because I have so little straightforwardness myself. My wife says that I am incredibly tricky. Two weeks back, I asked her what she wanted to do with the dogs Saturday night when we are going out of town, and she said that she wanted to take them to the kennel, and I then said that I was seeing about our neighbor looking in on them in our house, and she stormed at me, “You always do this. You are manipulative and creepy.” – See more at:

      • W.Jones says:


        See: (on Weir) (pointing to the SWU dossier on Weir in 2014) (blog) (Kane’s article on sponsors of the Lobby)

        Why would Alex support Weir being banned when he writes on the Lobby himself and knows they made a dossier on her a year and a half before her banning?

      • W.Jones says:


        Notice that Atzmon is conspicuously missing from the otherwise extensive list in the dossier that Kane posted mentioning Weir.

      • seanmcbride says:


        How do you interpret Alex’s behavior on this issue? Mondoweiss’s behavior in general? It does raise questions.

        Btw, tree yesterday (Friday) composed what are probably the most effective replies to Jennifer Hitchcock and JVP — did you read them yet? — devastating. (She also praised your contributions.)

        This dossier thing — it has a Mossad/ADL vibe. Is that what these “progressives” are really all about?

        Alison Weir has been stalked and harassed by some very sinister forces — and it is apparently an ongoing campaign, one that has included death threats. JVP and ETO are mixed up in it.

      • W.Jones says:


        In this case, most of the action (50-90%) is going on offline. like who is contacting whom to get support for the blacklisting, who believes what, who is for real, what are their actual motivations, even why they are writing or silent on the scandal.

        You and I can only speak for ourselves and a few other people, generally those we’ve talked to offline when it comes to these questions.

        I can say that you can’t treat the main arguments behind expelling her at face value. Weir’s appearances don’t explain why she got the axe, because other activists appeared on the same programs.

        Certain people like Henry Norr and Annie you can take at face value when they explain their opinions on the controversy.

      • seanmcbride says:


        There is a strong impression that this lobby over decades (centuries?) has developed sophisticated institutional customs and practices for operating in the dark, in the shadows, in complete secrecy. This is how it does business, perhaps with the calculation that using these methods will provide competitive advantages over other interests that operate openly and honestly.

        JVP and ETO appear to he highly opaque in their operations — not transparent at all. And people who are associated with these outfits rarely defend their views and policies in fair and open discussion and debate. They come across as paranoid and defensive.

        Blacklists, whispering campaigns, harassment, threats, you name it — it all comes across as rather conspiratorial and underhanded. You never know who is really pulling their strings.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: The fact is, there is a group in ETO and JVP who are very much against promoting seeing the Lobby as a major problem. Chomsky himself debated the topic

        No, you have a personal pet peeve and tend to distort what Chomsky said about the Lobby, i.e. that it is one of the two main deciding factors driving US foreign policy in the Middle East and that it isn’t always all-powerful or successful. They failed miserably, for instance, in securing congressional support for the visa waiver program and Obama’s request for an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles despite the fact that hundreds of lobbyists were dispatched to capitol hill by all of the so-called “Major Jewish” organizations.

        Like all of us who debate members of The Lobby, Chomsky has to deal with the fact that members of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad have published anti-Semitic diatribes from time to time and are members of the “Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine,” which has always topped the list of “Palestinian Civil Society” organizations and “current members” of the “BDS National Committee”. My position (and his) has always been to admit that fact, while (1) explaining that a lifetime of armed conflict and injustice have polarized the debate and naturally breed hatred and xenophobia among some of the actors; and that (2) even racists have fundamental, inalienable human rights that we are all bound to respect and enforce if we ever hope to end the conflict and the toll it continues to take on humanity.

        Please do name some names in JVP or ETO then, and cite some evidence to back up the claim “They are very much against promoting seeing the Lobby as a major problem.” “They” must be really pissed off with Mondoweiss then, because the power and activities of The Lobby is one of Phil’s constant, recurring themes in the articles that he authors himself. The power and bigotry of The Lobby is also one of Rebecca Vilkomerson’s pet peeves, e.g. See “AIPAC Fosters Islamophobia and Elevates Power Over Justice” @ Tablet in the collection of essays “Do We Need a Pro-Israel Lobby?”

      • seanmcbride says:


        As you point out, certainly Mondoweiss hasn’t been shy about investigating and criticizing the activities of the Israel lobby — in fact, that is Philip Weiss’s main theme. (Make that the Jewish lobby as well — that is also a main theme on Mondoweiss. Review, for instance, Mondoweiss articles on Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Chuck Schumer, Dan Senor and dozens of other Jewish leaders and organizations.)

        With regard to Noam Chomsky: he has acknowledged the power of the Israel lobby now and then, but he hasn’t been very energetic in analyzing its detailed operations. If you searched his collected writings, I doubt you would find many mentions of AIPAC, JINSA, the Conference of Presidents and related organizations. Correct me if I am wrong. On the subject of neoconservatism — and the prominent Jewish role in neoconservatism — Chomsky has been rather reticent.

        Certainly a clear distinction should be drawn between Philip Weiss and some leaders of JVP. Mondoweiss isn’t strictly a JVP shop. But a feeling of JVP repression hovers around Mondoweiss.

      • W.Jones says:

        Dear Hostage,

        It is interesting and nice talking with you because you have a great brain. And now that you are against stoning Alison Weir, I think you have a great heart too.

        Regarding Chomsky, I think you and I beat that horse so much it is not reacting anymore. The main problem I see is the exclusion of Alison, and I tend to think that Chomsky wasn’t involved in that, although of course I would be interested in knowing.

        Neither Weir nor Chomsky consider the Lobby the near-exclusive cause or not a cause at all for US support of the ongoing oppression in the Levant. Weir focuses a lot on it in her work while Chomsky doesn’t seem to. You can find Chomsky’s debate against the AADC’s positon on the Lobby here:

        As for JVP’s people whose position on the Lobby reflects the JVP Statement’s condemnation of her that she has a “tail wags dog” theory (the second half of JVP’s Statement on Weir), See:

        “No, it’s the dog that wags the tail”, by Mark Levine
        Levine is a JVP Academic Advisory Council member

        Mitchell Plitnick, former director of education and policy at JVP, gave a talk at Berkeley saying:

        We need to understand that lobby, what its effect is, and what its nature is. That means asking, directly and fairly, is this a “Jewish lobby”, and does this lobby truly have the power to be a tail wagging the dog of American Middle East policy?

        …Current support for Israeli policies is the result of an entrenched foreign policy, and an aversion to taking a risk on a new one… Policy continues to be decided by a perception of US interests, and the mainstream of that perception continues to see Israel as the key to US influence in the Middle East…

        The myth of the powerful lobby intimidates and disempowers many people. But the idea that policy is decided in halls of inscrutable power is equally disempowering.”

        Gabriel Ash of IJAN challenges Plitnick’s solution to the Lobby issue in his essay here:

        SEE ALSO:
        Phyllis Bennis, ETOC director, “Of dogs and tails”,+the+unc+hanging++nature+of+the+U.S.+-+Israeli+alliance&source=bl&ots=ze7DK71umR&sig=cUe3y01hnYbpggHKRRLDzCp42Gs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMI-p2tysquxwIVRReSCh21WgEb#v=onepage&q=%29.%20Of%20dogs%20and%20tails%3A%20The%20changing%20nature%20of%20the%20pro%20-%20Israeli%20lobby%2C%20the%20unc%20hanging%20%20nature%20of%20the%20U.S.%20-%20Israeli%20alliance&f=false
        “The intersection of these pro-Israeli right wing ideologues, the arms indusry, influential institutions and powerful people in government make the question of who are the dogs and who wags the tails essentially moot.”

        My impression from Bennis’ essay is that the main emphasis she gives as to the driving forces is to US strategic imperial goals in the Mideast, with a lesser emphasis on the Christian Zionists and pro-Israeli lobby itself, although her thesis statement is that the question is moot.

        In any case, JVP’s Statement clearly makes their disagreement over what they see as Weir’s “tail wags dog” theory to be the second main grounds for censuring her. And that is probably the impetus for the timing of the censuring, since her book tour is current-day, but her Douglas interview was 6 years ago.

      • Hostage says:

        Regarding Chomsky, I think you and I beat that horse so much it is not reacting anymore.

        Nonetheless, you still try to get a reaction from time to time by claiming that Chomsky thinks BDS is anti-Semitic, when he was actually just saying that his adversaries in the Harvard/MIT discussions had made that allegation and that it was not without some justification. So let me get this out of my system.

        During his debates with the likes of Summers or Dershowitz, Chomsky couldn’t deny that Hamas or Islamic Jihad are full members of the Palestinian Civil Society Organizations responsible for the 2005 Call for Action or that they are members of organizations represented in the BNC. He has been banned from entering Israel; invited to lecture at a symposium sponsored by a Palestinian University in Gaza; and asked to address the UN on the subject Palestine and Palestinians. So, somebody must like what he’s been saying – and it isn’t the Zionists. See Chomsky: Hamas had won free and fair elections

        I’ve never considered him to be an interesting “issue” or initiated a conversation about him myself. So far as I know, the only time I’ve ever cited anything Chomsky published in support of my own views, was a quote from the former State Department office director for Israel and Arab-Israeli affairs, David Korn debunking Eugene Rostow’s claims that the settlements are legal and that he helped author UN SC resolution 242. The State Department subsequently devoted an entire chapter of the FRUS to the subject. So there’s no need to employ Chomsky or hearsay to explode those old myths anymore.

        And there are many real areas of disagreement between his views and my own. For example, my work in the military required me to periodically review the regional annexes to omnibus war plans to see if they needed any revision in light of changed situations. I never saw one scintilla of evidence in all of my years on the job to support Chomsky’s proposition that the United States viewed Israel as a “strategic asset”. All of the visits to Israel by our Joint Chiefs, programs to stockpile US war readiness materials in Israel, and the joint military exercises between it and the US armed forces are very recent developments. All of that transpired in the aftermath of the war in Iraq. I also disagree with Chomsky and Finkelstein about the idea that international law doesn’t have anything to say regarding the human, political, and civil rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel or its exiled refugees.

        Like Atzmon, I think they cross the line of informing or educating their audience sometimes and try to needlessly provoke them on occasion. Chomsky and Finkelstein have attracted a lot of attention and criticism for saying things about “the right of return, in principle” versus “what is attainable” that Rashid Khalidi and other Palestinians were saying almost 20 years ago in essays like “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: Elements of a Solution to the Palestinian Refugee Issue” (in the Ghada Karmi & Eugene Cotran eds. The Palestinian Exodus – 1948-1988, Ithaca Press, 1999). The heated debate over Chomsky’s and Finkelstein’s remarks completely overshadowed reporting about on-going court cases and final decisions that reaffirmed the “inalienable right” of refugees to return after hostilities have ended – and the immediate obligation of states to assist them in accessing their property and homes – without regard to the status of so-called “on-going final peace negotiations”. Those legal rights are universal and do not become recommendations when they are mentioned in a UN resolution. There’s no reason Israel should be the lone exception or that it shouldn’t be required to pay all of the costs for operating the UNRWA, until the refugees exercise their options regarding repatriation and compensation. 173 countries have ratified the 1st Additional Protocol, including Palestine. It stipulates that unwarranted delay in repatriating civilians and prisoners is a war crime.

        Re: You can find Chomsky’s debate against the AADC’s positon on the Lobby here.

        Yes, and at 29 and 58 minutes Chomsky explains that it isn’t much of a debate or disagreement. He really doesn’t want to engage in an abstract discussion over which of two factors (that all sides admit determine US foreign policy on the subject) while a nation is literally being torn apart right before our eyes.

        Re: As for JVP’s people whose position on the Lobby reflects the JVP Statement’s condemnation of her that she has a “tail wags dog” theory (the second half of JVP’s Statement on Weir)

        Levine’s 2007 book review of “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” by Mearsheimer and Walt, was just an opinion piece, not a JVP policy. There was no national board that could impose a policy back then.

        FWIW, anyone who has bothered to consult the official documentary historical record of declassified major US Foreign Policy decisions knows for certain that the US government has always opposed Arab majority rule in Palestine, even if the only alternative is “rule by machine gun”. So, I couldn’t agree more with this part of Levine’s review:

        “Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s book is also naive. It assumes that US political and economic leaders, especially those close to the Bush administration, want to build peace and democracy in the Middle East, and that therefore supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestine hurts this cause. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. As I showed in great detail in my last book, Why They Don’t Hate Us, and my new book on the Oslo peace process, An Impossible Peace: Oslo and the Burdens of History, the US has never supported democracy and peace in the region.”

        Re: Mitchell Plitnick, former director of education and policy at JVP, gave a talk at Berkeley

        Once again, Chomsky is on the JVP advisory board too and has never denied that the Jewish Lobby exists or that it dictates US policy regarding anything directly involving Israel or the settlements in Palestine. He simply dismisses the idea that it can control policy concerning the rest of the Middle East. He also dismisses the idea that the Jewish Lobby can really deliver decisive votes on election day outside of a very few congressional districts.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Yikes another Chomsky dual – I’m outta here!!!!

        No that’s why I went out of my way in that post to explain that my position on the issues is not inline with either his views or Finkelstein’s on many of the most important issues.

      • seanmcbride says:


        I just want to say I greatly appreciate and respect your valuable contributions to the Great Mideast Debates — as I appreciate those of Noam Chomsky, Philip Weiss, Norman Finkelstein, Gilad Atzmon and many others.

        I don’t expect any of these people to agree with one another or with me on all issues , but I do expect them to discuss their differences in a civil and reasonable way, without censorship or evasion — as you have through the years on Mondoweiss.

        From the big vision perspective: the Jewish community should have resolved the key problems with Zionism at least two decades ago. Now it is probably too late and a disaster is inevitable. That’s my opinion.

        In general I’ve grown tired of all the fighting about Israel and Zionism — as have many other people. It has consumed too much time, energy and attention in a world in which there are many other more pressing problems and issues.

      • W.Jones says:

        Hello, Hostage.

        I am not sure it is worth debating you on this. Were you arguing in favor of JVP’s banning of Weir for emphasizing the importance of the lobby in her campaign, it would be different.

        Here, I was just responding to your question:
        ((Please do name some names in JVP or ETO then, and cite some evidence to back up the claim “They are very much against promoting seeing the Lobby as a major problem.”))
        It’s clear that JVP’s objection to Weir is that she is emphasizing the lobby in her advocacy work, and they complained that she has a “tail wags dog” theory.

        So to answer your request for naming names about this, I listed the writings and talks by several JVP and ETO figures who appeared to have downplayed the lobby’s importance. It’s true that Chomsky and the others did not deny that the lobby was any problem, but I found the thrust of their arguments, like Levine’s “it’s the dog that wags the tail” to downplay that importance, even while some of them called it a “moot” point because of the intersections of the lobbies involved. Personally, I don’t see it as a moot point, because you have just debunked the Strategic Asset claim from your personal experience. Consequently, I think that there is a valid point to discussing the different roles played by the different power players.

        While I agree that there is a context of imperialism, I also think that it’s legitimate and not “chauvinist” for some activists to emphasize the importance of lobbying like Weir does, because of how important lobbying is in our current system.

        If you want to argue that those authors are not necessarily wrong, it’s OK, Hostage. I am mainly concerned like you are about totally banning people over their positions on that topic.

  2. american200 says:

    The birdies have carried their cage with them from country to country for 2000 years.
    A few escape the cage, but not many.
    Its hard if not impossible to turn flocking birds into eagles.

  3. american200 says:

    Concerning Phil being ‘one of the good guys.’

    I don’t think so. I don’t personally dislike Phil but his ‘character is ‘crippled’ ethically and morally by his intrinsic ethnocentric Jewish ‘identity’. That is a observable fact.
    As an example I suggest you read Henry Norr’s comment below. Norr wanted to do a review of Weir’s book ‘Against Our Better Judgment”. Phil refused him because he said he had heard many things in the book were untrue.

    Henry Norr August 13, 2015, 11:12 am

    I’m actually trying to reply not to myself but to Annie Robbins’ reply to me, and for some reason there’s no “Reply” link below her message.
    In any case, just to clarify, you did ask me about reviewing the book, and I said yes, but also that I wouldn’t be able to get to it for a while. When I finally did, Phil said no (and also said some things about the book that he said he’d’ “heard” were flat-out wrong, totally). ”

    If there’s one thing people like Weir and Grant Smith and M&W and credible ‘non Jewish’ writers on Israel and the Jews do its making sure they have the documented evidence for what they say and write. I have read the book and frankly much of it is what I (after 12 years of research myself) had already found in either official documents from Presidential Libraries, FOIA’s , national archives of the Us and other countries or other credible sources.

    I don’t know how many ways to keep saying this——the so called Jewish good guys on Palestine are not about justice and Palestine first. ..they are about Jews first, last and always.
    The Jewish ‘peace’ groups are about saving Israel for the Jews’ by ending the occupation.’ But not for or about ending US aid and protection that enables Israel to keep on with its crimes. They want to preserve the US support at all cost and advocate against the Palestine occupation ‘ at the same time’—regardless of how many slaughters of the Palestines go on and on while they mealy mouth about on anti Semitism and ending the occupation.
    The other group of so called lefty and/or anti Zionist Jews like Phil, Blumenthal, Rosenberg, Slater, et al…..are about shielding and protecting US Jews from the fall out, lose of status, eliteness, special benefits, government favoritism, etc. due to the Jewish State problem they created.
    This is ‘the purpose’ of MW and is also a observable fact for those paying enough attention.

    For the 100th time, for whats its worth—DO NOT Join with Jewish Groups on I/P.
    Its a trap. It will ‘dilute’ and try to control your own non Jewish voice and interest. if you speak for your own non Jewish interests, whatever they may be, or if you speak for instance for ‘majority American’ interest over minority Jewish or foreign Israel interest you will get the same treatment as Weir, Berlin, Atzmon, Helen Thomas and 100’s of uncountable .
    Whoever you are, speak for and by yourself—the others who agree with you will find you.

    • American, it’s not about liking or disliking Phil but about the vocation of the site. I agree with you that many organizations and sites, such as Phil’s that are supposedly pro-Palestinian are actually pro-Israel and Phil doesn’t hide that fact and in the end are diluting the efforts of those speaking up for justice for the Palestinians. Phil’s site is for anti-Zionists to debate pro-Zionists. All the other participants such as you, Taxi and others are comparses to add colour to the discussion, but nothing much more. It’s Phil’s bus and he’s free to take it wherever he wants to. If we don’t like it, we simply get off.

      • From that comment section:

        OyVey00 December 18, 2014, 9:57 pm
        I’ll start believing in Jewish universalism when they’ll stop teaching they’re the “chosen people” and allow Jews to marry gentiles.

        hophmi December 19, 2014, 12:09 am
        Who is they? Most Jews are ok with intermarriage and most liberal rabbis perform them. Chosenness does not equal superiority; that is a myth.

        OyVey00 December 19, 2014, 4:33 am
        Religious Jews.

        As far as superiority is concerned: Believing you or your people are a special snowflake among mankind is just asking for trouble. Israel’s current dilemma stems mostly from the collective inability of Jews to hold themselves to the same standards they hold up for gentiles.

      • Danaa says:

        hello Walid – good to see you here as well.

        Your point” Phil’s site is for anti-Zionists to debate pro-Zionists.”, is right on the money. Another way of putting it is, to use Naomi Klein’s words, “a bull pen”, a place to coral the “un-approved” dissenters.

        Sometimes, as happened in 2012, the “un-approved” start rattling the cage bars a bit too loudly. Then we get the official “blog keepers” doing a little cull. So the birdies (Taxi’s birds?) sing a little less boisterously their not-quite-approved bird songs, staying well below the disapproved dog whisles’ frequencies.

        Alas, on this last round table, a decision has been made to open the cage doors a crack and all kind of interesting birds flocked in. As I mentioned in another comment earlier, I found it interesting that over 80% of the comments on the post ran counter to JVP and CIO’s position, often, way counter. IF you remove jhitchcock’s responses, the proportion goes to over 90%, with just 2 or 3 commenters carrying the load of the remaining 10% arguing for the cage to be locked again.

      • I think some bloggers were surprised by the unexpected education they received anew on JVP and they instinctively rejected it as prejudice or gatekeeping.

        JVP have definitely lost support over the publishing of the ‘Roundtable’ yesterday. JVP were more popular yesterday than they are today.

        I bet Adam is sorry he ever opened this pandora’s box – heh.

      • seanmcbride says:

        The beef (buzz) against JVP (culled from multiple sources):

        -con artists
        -control freaks
        -controlled opposition
        -fake Palestinian activists
        -fake universalists
        -Israeli op
        -limited hangout
        -Mossad op
        -party apparatchiks
        -thought police
        -useful idiots

      • american200 says:


        Exactly why I got out..that and the constant delaying of my every comment..and then having my every comment stalked by MW’s two junk yard dogs when my comment did finally appear.

        And way too time wasting having to rebut the gatekeepers twisting of my comments.

        However to be accurate Phil should change ‘ the war of ideas’ to the ‘jewish war of ideas.

      • american200 says:

        ”….from the collective inability of Jews to hold themselves to the same standards they hold up for gentiles”….pepsi

        Its more than that, its the refusal, by at least the kind of Jews we are are dealing with/discussing, to accept ‘equality’. They demand superiority and superior rights and treatment. They do not believe they should have to live by the same rules and standards as lesser others. Jews to them will always be the exception to the rules.

        While they call we who point out any Jewish culture flaws or group attitudes anti semites or bigots or like the KKK , it is really they who hold this supremist KKK attitude.

        Hence MW’s Jewish KKK rule that examining Jewish cultural flaws is verboten.

        Everyone else’s cultural flaws have been examined and bashed to death… I said they think they are the exception…what is good for the goose is definitely not good for the Jewish gander….lol

        So hypocritical.


    • Danaa says:

      American: “The other group of so called lefty and/or anti Zionist Jews like Phil, Blumenthal, Rosenberg, Slater, et al…..are about shielding and protecting US Jews from the fall out, lose of status, eliteness, special benefits, government favoritism, etc. due to the Jewish State problem they created.”.

      There is a lot of truth in this view, American. MW has become a kind of firewall, allowing circumscribed discussion of jewish privilege – following Phil’s lead, but only in the manner of “coloring within the lines”.

      Phil’s MW is probably the furthest line in the sand drawn by a jewish American, separating the “civilized” from the “barbarians”. Adam’s MW, evidently, is the inner moat, there to protect the ‘core” in case the “barbarians” (yes, that’s us) breach the outer line.

      My way of looking at it. A battle.

      The protected target is jewish privilege, the mere mention of which gets arrows prepped and moat bridges drawn up.

      • seanmcbride says:


        My impression is that there is a major change underway in discussion about Israeli politics in American life. The role of prominent Jewish leaders over the last months in attacking the American government over the Iran nuclear deal has been so conspicuous, so brutal, so bullying and so brazen, that I think we are now in a brave new world — one in which the gloves are off, with no apologies. You can hear it in the forceful language of Barack Obama and John Kerry. There will be no turning back from this point.

        We are approaching a point where both that outer line and inner moat are going to be overrun in a great flood of outrage.

      • american200 says:

        Danaa, yep protecting Jewish ‘privilege’ is the accurate description for it.
        And I did long ago predict that the more heat on Israel got turned up, the more they would circle the wagons.

        You can add to them being lousy at propaganda–to also sucking at PR disaster

      • My experience at MW has been mostly good having been censored only twice (I think) over the years. The first was before the “edit” was introduced, a nasty post that got deleted about something I had said that was way out of line and downright racist about the Friday sundown, which I regretted having posted and was actually relieved when it got deleted. The other was about a chicken or egg discussion I was trying to open on the 1933 American Jewish boycott of German businesses and its fallout on German Jews. It was a MW taboo subject at just about the time that Blankfort was banned and a new set of MW rules of conduct were introduced, which toned down any possibly volatile discussions. But all in all, I enjoyed myself there until it became mostly a Jewish-Jewish battle zone such as with this current JVP-Weir affair, in which I have no business. The site’s masthead about it being about the Middle East is misleading; it’s all about Israel and what it’s doing to its neighbours or what its neighbours are doing to it.

      • I share your insights, especially the Adam one. Doctor Littleman in his media lab. (Heh I don’t know what that means exactly, I just liked the way it rolled off my tongue).

  4. seanmcbride says:

    Jennifer Hitchcock is babbling like a brook — so many words, so little concrete content. She gives me a headache. And she is trying to set herself up as a commissar of politically correct speech with regard to Israel and Zionism, using rhetoric that is often indistinguishable from that of AIPAC and the ADL.

    The Mondoweiss comments section didn’t used to look like this. This is a sad state of affairs.

  5. american200 says:

    Trying again.

    Let’s get rid of the ‘white racism’ meme currently being used by the Jewish left.
    It began over a year ago after several racist incidents in the US–notably kicked into high gear by Blumenthal while he was attacked in Germany

    If you had scanned the Jewish blogs, writers, twitters of those like Max, Rosenberg, Kampas, Adam, and other x dozen Jewish lefties you would have see the unified, concerted effort, many times word for word, of the usual suspects to position ‘white racism’ as the sole evil in anti Muslim and in Israeli anti Palestine. Their message was Israel is guilty of ‘white racism’ not of Jewish Supremism.
    Then with Church shooting in Charleston they kicked it into high gear. The propaganda then became that ‘only’ a segment of the US was racist, the South –just as ‘only’ a segment of Israel and therefore the Jews are racist
    Blumethal for instance posted a picture that was suppose to show a confederate flag in some anti Muslim rally in some European country. The confederate flag, if it was, it was such a speck you couldnt really tell what it was. But what it proved was that was a concerted effort among the al crowd to find something to show that Confederate white racism was inspiring the anti Muslim rallies–not Jewish attitudes. He and other also posted picture of Israeli settlers with confederate flags as the settlers ‘inspiration’ for their attacks on Palestines.

    It works like this—-> the white racism evil in the US is attributable “only’ to the confederate South——> Just As—> the crimes against Palestines in Israel are “only’ attributable to it’s racist Settlers.

    The Jewish left is using the racism slur now for several reasons.
    1) the world is tired of the anti semite smear
    2) the current climate and events in the US make the racism slur more damaging then the anti semite slur.
    3) racism in general and white racism takes the focus off The Jews as the main actors behind the Jewish State and Jewish supremism attitude that is the cause and most responsible for Israel’s treatment of Palestine.

    This is why JVP went after Allison more heavily on ‘racism’ than on anti Semitism. Its a more deadly accusation in our current national climate.

    Don’t fall for it.
    Its just another propaganda and hasbara ploy to deflect from the CORE problem of Israel—the Jewish lobbies,Fifth Column, etc—-the very thing Weir concentrates on and advocates against most—and the reason they went after her with the hokey ‘racism’ accusation.

    • Danaa says:

      very smartly put, American. Can I borrow some of your phrasing for a comment I am fixing to put up? seeing as you are not commenting much on the “Round able” thread? what you said here is right along the lines I wanted to bring up – kind of a summary of several others’ points.

      It’s actually very perceptive of you to notice this attempt of conflating ‘white racism” with “anti-Islamism” and “anti-lobbyism”. Watching events unfold on the jewish front is like catching new gambit on the chessboard.

      • american200 says:

        Danaa, be my guest. I did finally go over and read thru the thread on MW. I thought your comments were totally on target.

      • american200 says:

        Danna, I enjoy, if you can call it that, following the propaganda memes as they evolve…it reminds me of my long ago Jesuit schooling in propaganda 101.
        I have to say the lefties as well as the zionist suck at propaganda. too transparent

  6. If you are a JVP member and dissenting on this issue, it behooves you to gather like-minded souls and to form a separate branch, a separate name, a separate flagship.

    And while you are at it, how about a name that isn’t “xxxxx for…”, as in “jews for …”, unless your intent is to be deliberately exclusive – in which case, I have to patience for you. I will make one exception: “Americans for …”, although that would be redundant.

    As for MW, I stopped visiting unless someone directs me to a specific article or comment. I find the site mostly boring and repetitive these days and only a few of the comments are worth reading.

    It is far to annoying to sit there waiting for comments to be approved, and is frankly quite disrespectful to commenters. There are other ways to prevent spams and inappropriate comments, rather than the brute force of passing every comment through a physical filter. I see Annie complaining about her moderation load, and it seems that it is self-inflicted by MW. Perhaps it is by design to tailor exactly which comments get to see light of day, no matter how appropriate. They have an elite set of commenters (I used to be one for a while) whose comments get published without moderation, while the rest of the riff-raff kick their heels, sometimes for over a day. Then, if the comment doesn’t pass moderation, there is no notification to the commenters or reason provided.

    Why would any sane person want to frequent MW, unless they belong to that elite group. Come post here on Taxi’s blog or my blog and speak your mind without the censorship.


    HHM August 14, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I post as a person with Jewish family members and a parent of a bi-racial child.

    Please note that many Jews including JVP members and people of color are listed on the petition in support of Alison. Apparently they do not agree that the examples USCEIO provide indicate endorsement by Alison/IAK of white supremacist views.

    Some critics of Alison may imagine her supporters indifferent or insensitive to racism and bigotry but I believe that untrue. The problem is the secretive process used to draft the US Campaign statement and its particular wording.

    I have encouraged and worked with our local Occupy to endorse such a statement but one worded quite differently than the USCEIO’s. Our Occupy community has agreed to the wording of the following statement:

    “This statement represents a commitment to confront all forms of racism and the political and economic structures that normalize it.

    Occupy Eugene is opposed to all forms of discrimination and racism, both explicit and implied through beliefs and actions that categorically dehumanize people, including but not limited to, Blacks, Latinos, Palestinians and other Arabs, Muslims, Jews, gender minorities, the socioeconomically disadvantaged including our homeless, women, alter-abled, children and elders and indigenous peoples worldwide.”

    Please compare it to the US Campaign’s statement (link to

    Note in our statement that the word “anti-Semitism” is not used, for good reason. As Auschwitz survivor, Dr. Hajo Meyer, writes in The End of Judaism, An Ethical Tradition Betrayed, “An anti-Semite used to be a person who disliked Jews. Now it is a person who Jews dislike.” Specifically, it is a manipulative code word used reflexively by Israel and its lobby.

    Another troubling component of the US Campaign’s statement is the phrase, “…we must also ensure that our actions and the actions of those within our organization and coalition do not serve to support or perpetuate other racist or bigoted behaviors, practices, and structures.”

    Are we expected to search out and take responsibility for people who may misuse well-established facts regarding Israel, its mythistory and cultural scripting base, its self-justifications, its lobby, its misframings and it’s propagandists, and edit out anything that might be misused?

    The statement itself seemed designed to set up a formal structure on which to go after Alison and possibly other perceived undesirables. General membership had little if any input in its content. Some of us participated in two or three US Campaign conference calls a year or so back and expressed concern about the wording and intent of their new racism policy. Some of us strongly sensed then that something was up.

    As one participant recalled, “First, the statement had to be drafted and enacted. For the sake of ‘transparency’ three committee meetings were held, with all interested members attending. The meetings were held by conference call, but not the kind of call that permits cross talk and discussion. Instead, it was like a VIP fundraising call, where the moderators and speakers do most of the talking, and the commenters go on a stack where they get a chance to talk uninterrupted but not respond except possibly by getting on the stack again.” and “…To no one’s surprise, the wording of the statement was pretty much the same at the end of the three meetings as it had been at the beginning. It then went to the annual convention, where it was approved by the less than 10% membership attending, on the recommendation of the Steering Committee.”

    I encourage everyone to compare the information on the US Campaign and JVP websites with that of If American’s Knew. The broad, deep and compelling information on her site (and in her book, Against Our Better Judgment) is not to be found on theirs. If not for Alison and IAK, our Palestinian human rights advocacy movement would arguably have been far less effective in expanding and arming the choir.

    Shame on those trying to discredit her and for introducing a potential blacklist for those who continue to support her.
    – See more at:

  8. “Is Soros pumping up JVP?”

    “JVP has been growing by leaps and bounds, with their 2011 form 990 (a tax form which all non-profits are required to make publicly available) showing an income from contributions and grants of $871,250. This is very big money for an organization whose membership appears to be mostly students and young people, and there is reason to believe that they have recently started to receive much more.”

    “”Someone is pumping JVP up, and I think we can get a clue about who from the partnership with Avaaz. Avaaz is not (yet) big in the US, so you may not have heard of it. But let me quote from NGO Monitor’s analysis:

    “Avaaz was co-founded in 2007 by “Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and” The former received grants totaling $290,000 from the Soros Open Society Institute in 2008. The latter received a $1.46 million grant from George Soros in 2004. Res Publica describes as its “primary current project.”

    According to a 2007 ABC News report on’s call for the firing of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, is a “global advocacy group funded by philanthropist and financier George Soros, and the labor group SEIU.”

    According to the 2009 Form 990 (page 87) filed by the Open Society Foundations, OSF gave $600,000 to via New York-based Res Publica; $300,000 for “general support to” and $300,000 for “’s work on climate change.”

    A check into OSF 990s for 2010 or 2011 show no grants for Avaaz nor Res Publica. According to its 2011 990,’s total revenue for that year was $7,519,028. claims it is “wholly member-funded.” Avaaz does not publish a detailed list of donors on its website or 990 forms, and therefore this claim cannot be verified independently.”

    “Soros also funds J Street, the phony “pro-Israel” lobby, although J Street’s director, Jeremy Ben Ami lied in an attempt to keep it secret.

    Avaaz, with its huge budget, is as slick as it gets (here is a discussion of how it managed a fake grassroots Internet campaign for Palestinian recognition). My guess is that Soros is getting behind JVP as well, and with the same objective: to create a ‘popular’ Jewish anti-Zionist movement.

    Soros, in other words, is pitching a whole line of anti-Israel merchandise to Jews. Are you a progressive who wants to distance himself from Israel along with your left-wing friends, while still remaining a member of your (liberal) synagogue? Buy some J Street! But suppose you want to see Israel replaced by an Arab state and don’t care who knows it — if you are suffering from stage-4 Oslo Syndrome — then JVP is for you.”

    • 2011, JVP Seeks Seat at Communal Table
      “The group’s current $660,000 budget is funded by many small donors — between 4,000 and 5,000 of them, according to Vilkomerson — and a few large family foundations, which she declined to name. At the moment, there are only 500 core members, but according to Vilkomerson, 100,000 people are on the group’s lists as having participated in a JVP action or event.”

    • Pepsi, Avaaz was spun off Move-On. I got aboard the Move-On bus with Iraq and a few years later was told that my membership had been shifted to Avaaz. The 2 founders of Move-on and Avaaz were also among the 15 or so co-founders of JStreet. I got off the bus in 2009 because of the inaction on Gaza. It’s all tied up in a neat package.

      • Walid, you will find this article pretty fascinating
        Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
        By MATT BAI
        Published: July 25, 2004

        Soros and the DLC Elders basically bought Move On just because it had a recognizable name.

        Soros and these DLC Elders basically created the artificial left that we see today. Max’s father was probably inside the group of Soros elders.

  9. Hi there,

    I have been reading MW for some time, occasionally commenting (under a different screen name than here), but I must say this whole unsavoury fracas has been an education, and not a particularly pleasant one. I was aware of JVP, but from outside the US they don’t mean much, other than as one of the many organisations lobbying for some kind of sanity on Israel. I had naively assumed we were all kind of on the same side.
    However, reading the posts of Jennifer Hitchcock is deeply disturbing, and I find it very surprising that she is taken remotely seriously. Nothing she says sounds genuine, everything sounds exactly like a zionist tract designed to pay lip service to Palestinians, while its true aim is to discredit one of the most consistent anti-zionists in the US and to sow discord and suspicion in the movement at large. Were she a zionist agent (who knows?) seeking to undermine the movement then it would all fit seamlessly. There is zero evidence that she either cares about Palestinians, or has any in-depth knowledge about the situation. Everything she writes is utterly insincere, and deeply questionable, including the fake bonhomie she tries out, the false.consideration in her replies to others, and the faux sympathy. It all sounds fake to me. She neglects to explain anything about herself or why she has selected herself to do such a vacuous hatchet-job on AW, who has more integrity in her toenail than she will ever have. What credentials does she have, that she takes it on herself to make such disingenuous half-baked assertions, carefully and misleadingly culled from AW’s work, and who is she to judge what is anti-semitism and what isn’t? Certainly she displays no intelligence or rigour in a blatant character assassination, and is very feeble in her assertions, and at times false. Her credentials are zero, yet she casually asserts the moral high ground with no evidence she has any idea what ethics are. Who are these people to control the discourse, and decide who is ‘out’ and who cannot be considered as spokespeople on campuses and public forums? That is the evident aim – to deny Alison a platform in order to educate Americans, which she has been doing selflessly for years. First comes the accusations of anti-semitism, then the smearing and isolating, and finally the push to silence them from the media and public activities. Always under the same old charge of anti-semitism, a charge that is seldom scrutinised rigorously, but is repeated enough in the hope that the public perception of it will stick and put these people beyond the pale. Atzmon had the same treatment, Ken O’Keefe too. They make me sick.
    I had no idea they are such a two-faced organisation, and have hoodwinked many of us. Now it is out in the open, I hope they are discredited. Certainly I cannot take them seriously now, and will treat anything they say with deep suspicion. They do not speak for anybody, least of all Palestinians, yet they are mounting a putsch to be some kind of US gatekeeper and thought police for people who they don’t own. They are snakes.
    The one good thing is that I have found this blog now, and seen many of the good contributors to MW here, who I missed.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Other people had the same response to JH’s posts.

      Many or most JVP members may be sincere idealists, but the organization as a whole may be an op of some kind (Israeli?), controlled and manipulated by a few clever players.

      You’ve got to wonder if JVP is more about Jewish activism than Palestinian activism — at least for some JVP members and supporters.

    • seanmcbride says:


      In political discussions and debates about Israel, one encounters the following methods on a regular basis:

      -con games
      -death threats
      -dirty tricks
      -false flag ops
      -personal attacks
      -whisper campaigns

      Even assassinations, of course (think Yitzhak Rabin). This is why many people steer clear of the subject altogether — it’s not worth the hassle. The level of malevolent crazy pervading Israeli political issues is through the roof — truly scary stuff.

      A recent example:

      “Rivlin in wake of threats: Political assassination possible”,7340,L-4688148,00.html

      Try Googling [rivlin threats] for the full background on that situation.

    • Henry Norris posted a KPFA radio interview he did on this. He said he and the host postponed the interview for a week in an attempt to get a pro-ostracism JVP/ETO spox to talk live. They couldn’t. In fact they said they were stridently turned down multiple times.

      No official response at MW either. What’s up with the avoidance? Any official word on why they’re not defending their decision? Is this silence a case of “We’ve decided. It’s over!” (or “We’ve protected our funding. It’s over!”) or some less nefarious and/or arrogant reason?

      JVP/ETO are really losing a lot of cred over this. Is it possible that MW posted this forum as a non-attributable editorial warning/demonstration that a course correction was needed in those “leadership” circles to avoid irrelevance?

      • Yeah I read that post on MW and was tempted to post up the link but got distracted.

        And about “loosing cred” – no kidding! I sure would like to know why Adam published it – and why he published it so belatedly – and what did he expect out of publishing it. The motive. The REAL motive.

      • Danaa says:

        ritzl – I think it’s the latter. MW putting up this round table, without entering the discussion themselves (but giving Annie a free hand to rebut jhitchcock) is a way of interjecting, without saying so.

        Surely everyone has by now noticed that huge backlash against JVP/USC among the commenters. many new we haven’t seen before. i put the preponderence of opinions, (to the tune of 9:1) on the side of Weir, some very forceefully indeed.

        No way MW will not have not which way the wind will blow on this one. They probably have a pretty good idea that the vast majority of their supporters are firmly in the anti-zionist camp (rather than the weaker non-zio, or semi-non-zio etc). They have seen comments exploding on the piece put up by Avigail Abarbanel, so the interest level and its direction come as no surprise to them.

        This tells me both of them (Phil AND Adam) probably feel this entire gambit of shunning and denouncing a well known and much respected activist, who happens to be non-Jewish, is beyond the pale, and is doing no favors for the cause of the Palestinians. It cannot but make JVP and USC look heavy-handed and high-minded. So this is how they chose to weigh in – through their often very capable commentariat. And they did so knowingly, as in “let it ramble!”. perhaps they are aware of JVP and other jewish organizations’ tendencies to become censorial – things must be going on behind the scenes that are not necessarily visible except when they produce a loud echoe, like in this case. Who knows how many movements and individuals JVP has been shunning?

        Given that MW must have some kind of support from JVP – as many said – it’s probably the best they could do. personally I think it’s quite a lot, given the strength, breadth and cogency of the pro AW voices.

      • Great study, Danaa.

        But would Phil and Adam put ‘smarts’ before the tribe? They’re quite attached and membery – regardless of israel’s fuck-ups that they keep whining about.

        I really read a lot of underlying nervousness and uncertainty in Adam’s intro – it’s threaded intermittently with a cowardly stoop and a nervous verbal twitch here and there. The non-committal content – he’s like handing you a note and saying: ‘I really don’t want anything to do with this but here it is anyway’, then he quickly rushes out of the room. What’s unclear to me is ‘why’ he’s nervous. – is it because he’s afraid of MW being exposed as a liberal lite-zionist propaganda outfit? Or is Adam nervous because JVP are holding a purse-gun to his head?

        We still have not gotten a statement from the editors of MW regarding where they stand on the JVP/Weir crisis.

        Maybe “Roundtable” was the pin the pricked the bubble.

      • That’s my sense too, Danaa.

        Maybe when it’s “safe” they’ll publish an “Anatomy of a Movement Fracture” piece detailing (analysis and conclusions to be left to comments) the complete, behind the scenes story. Love or hate (or something in the middle…) MW, I think they’re in a unique position to provide some valuable insights on this and the larger movement implications. Implications that could avoid this baloney in the future and help create a broader, CONSENSUAL, understanding of shared goals enabling a more potent political dynamic. IOW the ability to say to self-arrogating groups like JVP, “Here’s the consensus/rules. Are you in or out?”

        A formal annual umbrella leadership plenary might not be such a bad idea either, including Palestinian-Palestinian input. It appears it’s sorely needed.

        Last thought, I wonder if Munayyer was brought in to clean up what appears to, as you say, 90% of interested people/activists, to be a grand mess. Or was he brought in as a “name” enforcer of biz as usual?

        All grist for an inside analysis.

      • Danaa says:

        Taxi, I still think Phil may be quite disheartened about the goings on with JVP, regardless of his own position on Weir. MW did on occasion take up the Lobby theme – many times, in fact. never as forcefully as we’d like but not quite as cowardly as J Street either. Phil, in particular, is on record as having wished for the great split within the jewish community. Of course, he means the partisan split, between left and right, and this has now come to pass, but he also has been expecting further splintering of the movement on the left between the Lib-zio and the non-zio/anti-zio camps. What he may not be happy about is this counter push from the officially Non-Zio JVP, which is freying the left wing of the left. I am willing to bet he is seriously against this battle against Alison Weir, of all people. It can’t possibly be a good thing for the BDS movement he supports.

        That being said, there’s a gun pointed to his head. May be he even wanted to write something and Adam talked him out of it. Adam is the minder who probably also does a lot in the fund raising department. And the chunk they get from and through JVP may not be a minor matter. The last fund raising round they sure didn’t seem all that desperate. I think they have some serious monetary support from certain corners and that’s what renders the site mute if not deaf. After all, that’s how the other side fights to silence the rabble-rousers – by crook, or if that’s incovenient, then by hook. “They” did it to Glenn Greenwald, so why not MW. And let’s not be naive – “they” can do it to you or me.

        Watching for Annie’s comments – I see a pattern – I think that she says many of the things Phil would have wanted to say, in the usual circumspect Annie way (that may be too circumspect for some). In all fairness, Phil may not be the kind of guy who goes out to battle single-handedly, David vs Goliah style. Not his DNA. Poor Phil, I always thought he could use a champion who doesn’t mind getting bloodied in the arena, then sent into exile for daring to win. Annie is OK, but she withdraws just before the coup-de-grace. That’s her DNA as someone doomed to be nice. Still, for some reason I can envision Phil on the stands with his thumb down. Annie did a great job tiring Jennifer, I thought (with a little help from W. Jones…). But she is not the one to go for the kill. Darn…..

        You like my visuals?

      • W.Jones says:

        “I am willing to bet he is seriously against this battle against Alison Weir, of all people. It can’t possibly be a good thing for the BDS movement he supports.” ~ Danaa

        Yes, he is.

      • “Given that MW must have some kind of support from JVP – as many said – it’s probably the best they could do.” (Danaa)

        There is surely support from somewhere since in its semi-annual fund drive, MW used to state that the amount contributed by members are matched by an outside source provided members collectively contribute a minimum ceiling amount of $50,000. The mystery “matcher” doesn’t have to be limited to JVP as everyone here is assuming, if at all.

        This reminds me somewhat to the fund drives by local PBS stations whose pledged amounts were matched by the government to allow it to operate.

      • american200 says:

        ” I thought (with a little help from W. Jones…). But she is not the one to go for the kill. Darn…..”…danaa

        That’s the problem. They are under the delusion that they can cure I/P and I-Firsters with moral appeals and teachings.

        Will never happen.

        The US has for 70 years told Israel not to do something and in the same breath told them nothing will ever break the US support of Israel.

        And you see how that has cured the problem. NOT

      • Yeah, as you know American, that’s my trap there as well. Writing dire warnings from the outside in the hope that thoughtful members of the MW Jewish readership might reflect without a painful poke in the eye. I don’t think it works.

  10. Hello Maceasy. Great to have you visit AND comment – welcome!

    You describe Jennifer Hitchcock to a T – using much nicer language than I would have. I was about to take her on at MW yesterday but then realized that she’s such a fucking amateur hasbarat that it’s actually a waste of my time – and time was not in abundance for me yesterday. I thought that she was loving the attention she was getting, like she’s a fucking rockstar or something – yet another zionist personality giveaway: incessant narcissism. I especially hated her ‘polite society’ approach, treading carefully around dissenters etc. waffling on and fucking on in wider and wider circles and failing to sway them. Well how could she? She was so under-informed! And prejudiced. I read like 4 or 5 of her numerous posts – that was more than enough!

    She made Sean McBride crazy too – he posted his outrage of her upthread.

    I think Adam panicked when the thread got unexpectedly swooped on by hundreds of bloggers, probably thousands of readers too (visitor/hits stats are available only to editors). I think Adam thought he could maintain street cred (after a long and deafening silence), if he just made quick mention of the ongoing crisis (caused by his patrons, no less!), then fast swept the whole ugly thing under carpet. But the more comments that came in, the harder the dissent of the majority was getting – like it was slowly sinking on bloggers new to this information, the shocking implications of JVP’s tactics and suspect pattern of behavior. Because IT IS A PATTERN of gangsterism and ideological chauvinism, it begs addressing and it demands of one to take an honorable stand.

    Yes, the MW majority were against JVP on this issue, and from here on JVP’s activism will be viewed with suspicion by MW readers. No emotional sympathy there for them. Considering how many pro-JVC articles are regularly published on MW, I’d be very curious to look at the hits stats on these JVP articles and compare to old hits data – to pre “Roundtable” stats.

    Now, MW is a different story. Bloggers there are emotionally attached to MW and would be naturally therefore more inclined to give MW the full benefit of the doubt. Initially, that is. Then very slowly, the MW bloggers will start to see a similar JVP pattern of gatekeeping, a softer, more subtle kinda gatekeeping going on with MW too. Some bloggers will eventually rebel against this revelation with disgust.

    Bloggers will be outraged to realize for themselves that they’ve been hoodwinked by MW for the past several years now and that what stands today is: JVP = MW, and MW = JVP. They will realize that MW is no longer about “The War Of Ideas in the Middle East”, but about a sophisticated hasbara op – another shield to protect the tribe with.

    I think that “Roundtable” article has now caused a very serious PR problem for MW – definitely for JVP, but I think MW itself has sustained image damage from it too.

    I don’t think there will be any more Alison Weir articles published by MW any time soon. But Plato’s happily keeps us with all this stuff and so do keep checking in with us, Maceasy. And enjoy the censorship-free experience of commenting on Plato’s. Again, welcome to Plato’s.

    P.S. Say, Maceasy, what name did you use at MW?

    • “They will realize that MW is no longer about “The War Of Ideas in the Middle East”, but about a sophisticated hasbara op – another shield to protect the tribe with.”

      I agree, and Atzmon, I believe, has been saying this for years. Perhaps MW was never designed to discuss a “war of ideas,” but was always intended to be a “firewall,” as Danaa states. Who knows? Perhaps it’s necessary that all of these tentacles be exposed, but, imo, it’s also important that they not divert our attention from the source of the problem.

      Danaa stated: “The protected target is jewish privilege, the mere mention of which gets arrows prepped and moat bridges drawn up.” Atzmon has also stated this and I agree with this assessment, but it’s interesting that Jews rarely, if ever analyze, at least publicly, how this privilege has been attained. It has often been attained at the expense of the suffering of others via the dark age, parasitic paradigm of zionism. zionism is in the process of being systematically exposed and dismantled and is also in the process of self-destruction. All of the tentacles will naturally fall away as zionism and it’s enablers are increasingly exposed to the clear light of day.

      • “… Jews rarely, if ever analyze, at least publicly, how this privilege has been attained.”

        Try cronyism, nepotism and tribalism.

      • seanmcbride says:

        “Try cronyism, nepotism and tribalism.”

        Add extreme ethnic narcissism, ethnic self-obsession and ethnic grandiosity — all the products of a mystical and cult belief in ethnic exceptionalism.

        These folks never come up for air or smell the roses. They can drive the rest of the world insane. You can bet the farm that Barack Obama and John Kerry are feeling this way as we speak. Enough of this sh*t.

      • Danaa says:

        Sean, Taxi, wearone,

        I wouldn’t be surprised to learn some day that, among the many briefing summaries that reached Obama’s desk, were snippets of comments culled from the faithful MW’ers. People over the years have sure dropped some great zingers to describe zionism and its malevoent tactics.

        Anyways, it’s just a funny thought that occurred to me, given that Obama – and kerry – are probably brief regularly on the “battles of the Jews”.

    • Danaa says:

      Just one more thing about MW. The loyslty people seem to have for this site, a loyalty that goes far and beyond the “war of ideas” has everything to do with Phil himself. It’s ever been his personal musings and ramblings (yes, the ones pepsi likes so much to bring up as proof pof something nefarious in his character) that made the blg as popular as it is. It’s something about Phil himself – basically we’d all like to have a dinner conversation with him. Just one of those things. Entirely personal. Almost inexplicable. Some people are like that and I, for one, would hate to see him change because of the pressures from every which way.

      I compare his blog to Richard Silverstein sometimes. Richard writes cogently, in depth and with no small passion – mostly about Israeli shenanigans of all sorts but sometimes he wades into broader anlysis, quiote well, often (if not always. No, I don’t forgive him the Syria take. not with so many victims. Wrong is as wrong goes).. But Richard’s manner unfortunately is brusque, especially the way he deals with commenters. he is a fighter and I wouldn’t want him on my opposing side. But somewhere along the way he got brittle. IF not for that, I believe he would be – and by rights should be – very popular indeed. It’s just that – dinner with Richard? I wouldn’t mind at all, much to discuss that’s worth discussing (assuming we can stay away from Syrioa, and probably Russia and Donbass), but others? not sure.

      There is no rhyme or reason why we like some people so. I am sure this will get me some choice quotes detailing Phil infractions from the past from pepsi, my faithful stalker. Still, I like Phil – as a person – and so does pepsi (his disclaimers notwithstanding). So does Annie. Taxi too. several others, no doubt. C’est la vie.

      • I don’t know that I’d want to have dinner with Phil – I don’t mind him, but I don’t know about dinner. But if it was a toss up between dinner with Phil or dinner with Adam, hands down Phil gets my choice-vote.

      • That’s what I meant when I said Phil is one of the good guys. So is Annie, of course. I wouldn’t know Adam from Adam so I can’t say anything about him.

      • seanmcbride says:


        My current impressions of Philip Weiss:

        -not a fanatic
        -a more interesting blogger on Mideast politics than Richard Silverstein, Josh Marshall, Gilad Atzmon, Juan Cole, Stephen Walt, etc.
        -produces high-quality editorial content on a regular basis
        -always gets his many valuable facts in order
        -has an eye for the most important emergent stories, situations and trends
        -fearless in criticizing himself and his own culture (up to a point)
        -surrounded by people who aren’t as talented and free-thinking as he is and who may be a drag on his meditations and writing

        I think Mondoweiss has had huge subterranean impact on the public conversation about Israel, far out of proportion to its fame.

        Cutting-edge Mondoweiss from a few years ago is now mainstream New York Times and Washington Post (in the comments sections, that is).

        The recent debate about JVP showed off Mondoweiss (as a forum and debating club) at its best. High-quality conversation in the cause of sorting out the truth.

      • Dinner with Phil:

        ● Do you stay (or why don’t you, or OK, it’s dinner… what keeps you from staying) the duration in the WB when you travel there?

        ● I’m dying to know if you’re an Israeli citizen.

        That’s me. Life if the party.

      • american200 says:

        ” It’s something about Phil himself – basically we’d all like to have a dinner conversation with him. Just one of those things. Entirely personal.”

        I would like to have dinner with Phil except I am afraid I might lose patience with him and have him for dinner instead…lol

        What I see in Phil is a person who is deeply ‘conflicted’ between his ‘my people’ loyalty, where all his identity and ego is tied up, and his individual inclination toward justice, equality and human rights. He goes back and forth like a ping pong ball in this.

        He has made a lot of offensive statements comparing gentiles to Jews in which he appears to be entirely ‘unconscious’ of how racist/supremist they were.
        Its that sort of naïve unconsciousness he has about his ‘my people’ ego fixation that makes you not want to really go for the kill on him…it would be like beating up on a marshmallow.

  11. american200 says:

    I just joined this group and donated. They have Real balls and yes you do need ‘straightforward balls’ to get rid of the Jews First crowd. Yahoo!…bring it on.

    Free Palestine Movement Resignation from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

    To: The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
    From: The Free Palestine Movement
    Date: July 21, 2015
    Subj: Free Palestine Movement Resignation from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

    Please be advised that the Free Palestine Movement resigns from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, effective immediately.

    We resign because of the disgraceful, disrespectful and unjust treatment of Alison Weir and her organization, If Americans Knew, in the procedures to expel her from the Campaign on the spurious grounds of insufficient avoidance of anti-Semitic persons and institutions.

    We resign because it is clear that the decision had been made to expel IAK before the proceedings to do so had ever begun.

    We resign because, in defiance of the most basic principles of justice, Ms. Weir was not given the opportunity to confront her accuser.

    We resign because no evidence was presented that she herself is anti-Semitic.

    We resign because the USCEIO policy on racism is so broad that someone who is not racist can be found in violation for being insufficiently vigilant about confronting and challenging anti-Semitism whenever it is encountered. This is so vague that the rule can be applied arbitrarily, as has been the case with IAK and Alison Weir.

    We resign because the language of the policy on racism was formed through procedures and meetings that allowed persons selected arbitrarily by the staff and leadership of the USCEIO to control the wording, consultation and approval process of the policy and to disregard, disrespect and manipulate attempts by member organizations to participate in the process.

    We resign because the policy implicitly gives priority to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as forms of racism and does not even mention Zionism in the policy statement.

    We resign because the cause of Palestinian suffering and ethnic cleansing is not anti-Semitism, but rather Zionism.

    We resign because the USCEIO is in violation of its own policy on racism because it tolerates Zionism in its midst and neither confronts nor challenges it.

    We resign because the mission of the USCEIO is hypocrisy: to apply double standards to racism and to tolerate Zionism while using anti-Semitism as a tool to determine who may be permitted to participate in the Palestine Rights Movement.

    We resign because we prefer to take the courageous Palestinian resistance as our standard, and not anti-Semitism.

    We resign because, unlike the USCEIO, we recognize that Zionism is the main problem and almost the only problem for Palestinians, and not anti-Semitism, and that the eradication of a state founded on Zionism must be our primary goal and almost our only goal.

    We resign because we believe that a manipulative USCEIO gatekeeper entity does not serve the interests of justice for Palestine and Palestinians, nor for Americans, nor for Jews. We will seek the future of justice in more likely places, which is to say almost anywhere.

    We do not give our consent to be considered one of the many cameo organizations, used to inflate the apparent size and importance of the USCEIO even though they have long stopped participating. We believe that the USCEIO is a much smaller organization than it pretends, and should be treated as such. Please remove us from all mailing lists and from the regional list serve, with its threats to remove anyone who steps out of line.
    Finally, we join others in thanking the USCEIO for revealing its true face of arrogance, repression and hypocrisy to all who care to see. In this respect you have rendered a great service/”

    • I recall Sandra Tamari saying that when she was trying to do Palestinian outreach/teach-ins during the peak of the Occupy craze, that it would alienate Jewish participants and be too divisive. Palestinian advocacy was unceremoniously dropped from the Occupy platform.

      I always thought that was just a product of a unique mix of people and events, but apparently it’s been a long-term effort. It’s great people are wiseing up.

      Thanks for the heads up, American.

      The FPM resignation (interesting bit about not being active members for a while) also begs the question of whether a new umbrella org is needed or in process.

  12. american200 says:

    This guy is one of if not the most disgusting bigot and hypocrite in MW’s rat pack. He’s been ranting on ‘white people’ and the South ever since I was at MW. Would love to know who he ‘really” is…he sounds like a black militant Zionist Jew. But he claims he is white and was a evangelical raised in the South for short period of time. There must be something in his background to account for him being so totally obsessed with hating whites and the South.

    Donald August 12, 2015, 10:50 pm

    I looked at the Hitchcock link to the end the occupation website link to According to the link,, Weir seems comfortable hobnobbing with a white supremacist and Jew hater though apparently she denies he is that. So either the link is full of lies or she is an amazingly unobservant person. People have made an interesting argument–if some are willing to work with Zionists than why shouldn’t Weir reach out to white racist apartheid sympathizers? It occurs to me that talking to Zionists and trying to win some of them over seems directly relevant, whereas embracing racism in all its forms might be taking the logic in the wrong direction, but let’s go with it– maybe the key to winning over America is to ally with the white nationalist crowd. That’s an inspiring thought. No more apartheid analogies then, because we wouldn’t want to confuse our new pals. Any chance Mondoweiss could sprinkle some Confederate flags across the top of the website? A burning cross motif might also broaden the appeal.
    – See more at:

      • I’ve read several Donald posts where he claims he’s from the south (can’t remember where), and that he’d lived through segregation etc. He’s involved in inter-faith activities etc – talked about that too. Of course he uses this info as a boot to assert his higher moral credentials over other posters who step over his red ‘moral’ line.

        Donald is such a bossy boots and a know-it-all. I really don’t understand how anybody could successfully ‘inter-faith’ with such an authoritarian plank.

        And W.Jones – he’s got a tad of that albino from the Da Vinci Code movie.

  13. AbuMalia says:

    seanmcbride says “The endless hysterical wrangling about Israel is the biggest energy suck on the planet.”

    How true – exactly my sentiment. I have always found the I/P issue to be one of the least complicated, black and white where who is wrong and who is right is as clear as a gamma ray burst. Sure, I, like most others at times enjoy watching unreconstructed zionists twist themselves into a moral pretzel but it quickly becomes tiresome and boring. I do appreciate nuance when it is required, however, this situation is clear cut – white people came to Palestine from far off lands and removed the indigenous folk by force of arms – what did i miss?

    As for the JVP, they’re, just like all the other J-groups, primarily concerned with the preservation of Jewish privilege be it in the US or the Levant – AW’s hardcore American firsterism is contrary to that core mission. The times have changed however (damn Al Gore for inventing the internet) and even tho they can stand posted at the gate the walls have been breached.

    Thank you Taxi and C&D for providing alternative platforms.

  14. Sean: “You can bet the farm that Barack Obama and John Kerry are feeling this way as we speak.”

    Hi Sean—Great to see you again here on Taxi’s lovely newsstand! Great set of comments on JVP/MW, btw. Maybe you’re right about Obama and Kerry, but given their history of obsequious support for Israel and it’s sadistic minions, I remain very skeptical of their motives.

      • Taxi, yes, perhaps so. But with either priority–empire or Israel, if the motive is tainted, can the outcome be otherwise? We’ll see, I suppose…

      • Everything that Empire does or thinks is “tainted”. This is what Empire does. It lives off others. Mean ol’ giant sponge.

      • “Empire-Firsters. Obama and Kerry” (Taxi)

        Speaking of empire-firsters or empire-builders, keep in mind the Neo-Ottoman Empire that the tag-team of Erdogan and David Oglu have been trying to kick start since 4 years under the guise of it being supposedly an “economic” one. It hit a brick wall in Syria.

      • The neo-Ottoman empire project failed, Walid. And the Frankenstinian experiment has killed close to half a million innocents, injured and traumatized multitudes upon multitudes and displaced close to 5 million civilians.


        We’ll see about that.

        Syria limps but lives and the Ottomans are fast running out of oxygen.


    Citizen August 16, 2015, 9:54 am

    Here’s a review of Ms Weir’s book–Not hard to see why there’s not many other reviews out there:
    Review of Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgement: How the U.S. was used to create Israel” link to @rinf_community

    Here’s an extremely brief review:
    link to

    Ms. Weir, on the origin of her own motivation to bring information to the general US public: link to

    • W.Jones says:

      “Furthermore, privileging a white middle-class target audience can lead into traps. For example, the postcard by If Americans Knew that asks, “What would you do if the world demanded that we ‘recognize the right’ of another country to take over 78% of our land?” uses a slogan that many of us have used in some version over the years, but we have come to realize that this slogan insults the many millions of Native Americans, past and present, who already know exactly how this feels. We can’t afford to ignore that large-scale ethnic cleansing was central to the founding of the US as well as Israel.” – (from the Rachel Corrie statement)

      I don’t get how that question necessarily insults the Amerindians. Why can’t Amerindians respond that they know how it feels and are therefore in solidarity with Palestinians?

      • “Why can’t Amerindians respond that they know how it feels and are therefore in solidarity with Palestinians?” (W.Jones)

        I believe the Amerindians have already paid their dues and amply. I don’t recall the Arabs having ever done anything to stand with them for the justice that was due to them. And why hold it against the Amerindians when Arabs themselves are hardly standing in solidarity with Palestinians?

      • W.Jones says:

        Walid, I found a few articles about Native American Solidarity. Additionally, if you recall also, Salaita was a Palestinian who focused on Amerindian studies and draw a parallel.

        Native American Indians Take a Stand For Gaza

        American Indian Palestinian Solidarity Network

        Abunimah: The Native American analogy doesn’t work
        Ali Abunimah on December 5, 2010

        Earlier today Weiss did a post mentioning Native Americans and the argument that American historical sins immunize the Israelis from the Palestinian right of return. Citing the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans as a way to justify not recognizing the Palestinian right of return, as I’ve often heard people do, is usually disingenuous.

        See more at:

        Native Americans and Palestinians
        Issue: 1999, Volume 32, Issue 5
        Subject: Civil Rights|Human Rights|Land and Homes|Native Americans|Refugees
        Author: Finkelstein, Norman
        Issue Description: In 1998, a delegation of Palestinians visited the Lakota Indians on their Pine Ridge Reservation. Soon after, a delegation of Native Americans visited Palestine. What they found is the subject of this issue.

  15. seanmcbride says:

    Awesome — Plato’s Guns is now like early Mondoweiss — pre-censorship Mondoweiss, the Mondoweiss with spontaneous and stimulating conversations on sensitive and taboo subjects in near real time — before JVP pressure strangled it to death.

    • W.Jones says:

      The ROUNDTABLE post on Alison is a bit like a tiny barometer or like sticking the toe in the water. Phil and Adam did not write out 2 opposing articles on how each of them feel. You can guess how they feel based on Phil’s past letters on Alison and on Adam’s signature against Atzmon.

      If Phil and Adam had both written how they felt, it might have run similar to that: Adam’s essay using the mentality in the petition against Atzmon, and Phil’s essay reiterating what he already said about Weir, except the context being the recent scandal. And the comments section would have worked out about the same as it did in real life with the comments to Jennifer and Russ’ articles.

      So in effect the Roundtable was a way to play it safe.

    • Glad you’re enjoying your visits, Sean.

      But really, I don’t want Plato’s to be “like” MW. MW is too judocentric – I would like Plato’s to be global-centric.

      And you should be pleased to hear that this week I’ll have time and focus to improve the comment’s section.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Global-centric and humanity-centric are good. Too much ethnocentrism is a major mental disorder — always a train wreck in the making.

      • “But really, I don’t want Plato’s to be “like” MW. MW is too judocentric …” (Taxi)

        This is my only complaint about MW. It’s always about Israel eventhough the site claims that it’s about the Middle East. There are 16 countries in in the ME but as far as MW is concerned, there’s only Israel and it’s at the center of its universe. Other than that, I have no problems with MW.

        Taxi, your move to discuss everything under the sun will keep it colourful and fun.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Actually, Mondoweiss is mostly about intra-Jewish debates about Jewish identity politics. It tends to be a highly ethnocentric platform — but still valuable and interesting.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Wrangling about ethnic identity politics can become tedious quite quickly — even when (or especially when) the ethnic identity in question is your own.

        Sometimes I think Americans should seek major reparations for having been subjected to this torture.

        And this is the horror: with current trends in Israeli politics (like the appointment of Danny Danon as Israel’s envoy to the UN), you know this self-absorbed clamor is only going to escalate in ear-splitting volume — with no end in sight. What a nightmare.

        The only way to escape it is to filter out most media.

      • Sometimes when I’m reading yet another judocentric MW article, it feels like I’m watching someone looking at themselves in the mirror while the world is passing me by.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Time to get our lives back. But is that possible when Benjamin Netanyahu (“The King of the Jews”) controls the US Congress — and — in cooperation with leading Jewish establishment organizations — is pushing Americans on a course towards endless Mideast wars on behalf of an officially and militantly Jewish Greater Israel? Really, the situation looks hopeless.

        American politics for the foreseeable future is going to be dominated by rancorous Judeocentric issues.

      • Thanks, Walid.

        I have a deep interest in mideast geopolitics, which of course the occupation of Palestine is it’s epicenter. I have written several geopolitical analysis pieces and published them here on Plato’s. Some of my projections in these pieces are already unfolding. If you haven’t read them, I’ll see if I can dig them out for you from the archives. I’m so lazy, I should have already given them a separate archival page for easy access but I didn’t. And right now I can’t actually remember a single geopolitical headline that I’ve published here on Plato’s, lol. But I’ll be happy to roll my sleeves up and seek them out for you if you like.

      • seanmcbride says:

        One definition of Jewishness: Jews arguing with Jews about Jewishness. (As I mentioned earlier, this is a highly recursive mindset. Also quite insular.)

        One gets the impression that non-Jewish perspectives on these tribal controversies are tolerated — but just barely.

      • “One gets the impression that non-Jewish perspectives on these tribal controversies are tolerated — but just barely.” (Sean)

        A non-Jew getting himself into such controversies is guaranteed to come out of them with a bloodied nose. Stay away from them.

        About the wrangling over their identities you mentioned, oddly I frequented and befriended many Jews in my lifetime but I never met one that did not feel “well in his skin”. It’s only since a few years on forums and blogs that I started experiencing the “looking for oneself” in his Judaism and questioning everything about it and its various forms and this mostly from American Jews.

        I’ve never heard of any other religious or ethnic groups questioning themselves so much about who they really are, where they came from and where they are going. It must have something to do with ingrained exceptionalism.

      • seanmcbride says:


        One might look to psychological explanations, as well as religious, ideological and cultural factors, to try to get an understanding of this distinctive behavior. The behavioral pattern cuts across religious and secular lines, and across a wide variety of religious and secular factions.

        The arguments and battles are interesting up to a point, but eventually they become wearing and tedious — one has more interesting and productive topics to attend to. And too often they devolve into titanic (but petty) ego holy wars, detached from any meaningful substance.

        What is mind-boggling is that these internecine struggles now occupy front and center on the American stage — the mess is all out in the open, conspicuously so, dangerously so.

      • AbuMalia says:

        “But really, I don’t want Plato’s to be “like” MW. MW is too judocentric – I would like Plato’s to be global-centric.”

        A big thank you from the this African.

    • “You mean they organized a roundtable then promptly hid under it.” (Taxi)

      The hiding was behind Annie, something like a human shield. Poor Annie, she must be feeling like a little orphan having to face over 600 posts all alone; brave woman.

      Is there anything more annoying than a writer that does not bother replying to comments made about his or her posted article. The most gentlemanly of writers that has the courtesy to reply to almost all comments to his articles is David Samel. An example of the discourteous ones is Professor Ellis that lives in another universe.

  16. seanmcbride says:

    A few key datapoints in the JVP discussion — any others?

    +accusations of antisemitism
    +accusations of fascism
    +accusations of racism
    +accusations of white supremacism
    +Adam Horowitz
    +Alex Kane
    +Alissa Wise
    +Annie Robbins
    +attacks on Alison Weir
    +attacks on Counterpunch
    +attacks on Gilad Atzmon
    +attacks on Greta Berlin
    +attacks on Jeff Blankfort
    +attacks on Ron Paul
    +controlled opposition
    +Emma Rothschild
    +ETO (US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)
    +guilt by association
    +Jennifer Hitchcock
    +Jewish activism
    +Jewish collectivism
    +Jewish interests
    +Jewish lobby
    +Jewish progressives
    +Jewish self-interest
    +Jin Jirrie
    +JSF (Jews sans frontieres)
    +JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
    +Karen MacRae
    +limited hangout
    +Louis Proyect
    +Mark Elf
    +Max Blumenthal
    +Noam Chomsky
    +Philip Weiss
    +PRA (Political Research Associates)
    +secret tribunals
    +Sylvia Posadas
    +thought police
    +Tony Greenstein

    (I use lists like this to keep track of the overall field of play in any area of activity. You may be unaware of, or forgotten, a few of those topics. What is interesting here is connecting the dots.)

    JVP seems to have been successful in shifting the focus from Palestinian to Jewish problems — and to a preoccupation with “the enemies of the Jews” in particular.

  17. Hostage says:

    JVP’s evident gatekeeping, its divisive and destructive tactics beg for highlighting, for discussion and for action against it. … This level of self-serving cravenness, thought-policing, ruthless character-assassination and ruinous smears should not for a second be tolerated by anyone who lives for the cause of freedom for self and equally freedom for others.

    Fair enough. JVP chapters were locally owned until 2009-2010 when JVP transformed into a national organization with an empowered board of directors. A couple of months ago, they had everyone vote on a logo that they registered as a trademark with USPTO. So this is a page taken right out of the Hillel International Israel Guidelines play book.If push comes to shove, they can sue for trademark infringement (meeting in your own building and using their brand in connection with things they consider disparaging or defaming).

    The old guidelines that went missing, which some of your articles here have cited, said that local chapters could form coalitions with other groups that have policies different from the new national guidelines. It specifically cited the Wichita Kansas JVP as an example of that. They were prohibited from having coalitions with groups that had pro or anti Zionist slogans.

    So far as I know, the members of the Wichita JVP did not accept that and the chapter is now defunct. In fact there are no JVP Chapters at all in Kansas.

    Our Wichita group was one of the “Wichita Peace and Social Justice Center” coalition. Over the years some of us have engaged in activism on behalf of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, Latin American refugees, Native Americans, Palestinians, Chagos Islanders, & anti-War protests in connection with operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen. Many of the coalition members believe, as I do, that the WZO Settlement Division and the State of Israel are guilty of the crime of apartheid on both sides of the Green Line. In fact, I might have given some of them that idea. In any event, we reserved the right to use anti-Zionist slogans for things like annual Apartheid Week activities.

    • W.Jones says:

      That’s remarkable, brother.

      The decision on Weir is tough. I don’t know if you have trawled through all Taxi’s, American’s and Pepsi’s comments, but some of their views are offensive. If just posting here somehow means you and I automatically agree with every single thing they say, it’s a huge problem, isn’t it?

      • W. Jones,

        “I don’t know if you have trawled through all Taxi’s, American’s and Pepsi’s comments, but some of their views are offensive.”

        Sweeping statements like this really piss me off. No quotes to indicate the offense, no context, nothing. Pompous holier-than-thou bullshit.

      • W.Jones says:

        ((Sweeping statements like this really piss me off. No quotes to indicate the offense, no context, nothing. Pompous holier-than-thou bullshit. ~Taxi))


        This is a good example of why Weir didn’t go through and debunk Douglas’ claims like ETO expects her to. If she had tried to, the same thing would have happened that I could be led into doing with Taxi. Taxi or Douglas would demand evidence for the objections, and then the conversation could get totally sidetracked into debating the ins and outs of what is racist and how it doesn’t have merit or there is a tiny grain of truth to it.

        I am sure Weir strongly wanted to avoid going down that path.

        It doesn’t mean that somehow Weir actually agrees with every thing Douglas said.


      • W. Jones,

        I ask you for the last time to provide backing for your underhanded insinuations and objectionable accusations.

        Hiding behind Hostage’s apron won’t do.

        If you post another comment without addressing this then I will ban you from Plato’s. One thing I can’t stand is a hit and run coward.

      • Sean,

        Yes it’s true that Jones can write “valuable posts”, but he also makes smears that he then refuses to back up with evidence. One hand giveth and the other taketh away – that’s Jones.

        He did exactly the same thing back on FF and I banned him from my page then too.

        Worse of all, the dude is a sanctimonious chauvinist who goes around trying to wack people on the knuckles with Donald’s moral ruler.

        Like, Donald, he is deluded and falsely believes he is the moral power-center of any discussion. A self-appointed lofty position, I may add. I once referred to him as “Donald in Jesus sandals”.

        To bunch me and American up with Pepsi: that excitable, combative, misguided conspiracy-theory nationalist with a fixation on things jewish is just not right and it would be impossible for Jones to prove such a ludicrous connection cuz the quotable material is simply not there. If i allow Pepsi to post here, it is to look and examine an extremist POV close-up, just like one would do with a zionist extremist POV, just like one would do with a christian extremist moralist POV like Jones’ or Donald’s. I do not see the difference between these three branches of extremism – they all seek to dominate by hook or by crook. And BTW, whatever one makes of Pepsi, he does occasionally put forth researched material that is useful – his conclusions might be off, but his research is informative. Pepsi’s problem is not really what he’s trying to say, it’s the perpetual hostility of his energy that determines his choice of word and angle. This is the off-putting part about Pepsi.

        What the Jones’ of the world would like is to gag people like pepsi – literary cut off their tongues and throw them into a dungeon somewhere where they cannot speak or be heard and seen. Very Spanish inquisition of that good ‘christian’, Jones . Well as much as I disagree with most of pepsi’s schtick, I don’t think it’s Jone’s place to gag Pepsi or others like him. Pepsi has as much right to be heard as Jones. You don’t have to agree with Pepsi, but you have to allow him his right to freedom of thought and freedom of speech then simply state your disagreements (if you can be bothered). Hostage did that with him, no problem.

        Plato’s is NOT Mondoweiss. I do NOT share its penchant and standards of censorship. I am open to having discussions on topics that MW has banned – for the simple reason of gaining a better understanding of both the political and human condition of the blogger and his/her ideology. But I will ban people from my blog for personal attacks and for unrepentant hostility towards other posters.

        As it happened yesterday, I had already banned Pepsi for his reflexive hostility before Jones’ above post turned up. Then I banned Jones because again, he started with his all too familiar holier than thou bs, a stance he usually holds while smearing. He smeared me as a racist and I asked for quotable evidence, which he completely ignored, so…. he asked for it.

        How ironic, right? Pepsi and Jones consigned to the same outhouse yesterday.

      • seanmcbride says:


        I appreciate your point of view on this, and respect whatever moderating policies and decisions you make, but I just want to register a vote for permitting W. Jones to post here.

        What creates useful conversations: a combination of shared and differing points of view by people who are committed to civil, productive and creative exhanges on mutual topics of interest.

        Too much similarity in points of view is boring. Too much difference in points of view usually leads to emotional and abusive interactions. There is an optimal balance point there — some shared views, some differing views. The differing views are a goad for forward-moving and clarifying dialectic.

        W. Jones is one of the best educated, most articulate and most civil commenters on Mondoweiss — and he certaintly hasn’t been shy about challenging Israel, the Israel lobby and Zionism.

        With regard to his remark about Pepsi and American: I think he was observing that they have made some inflammatory statements that would be easy to exploit by ADL/JVP types — and he was wondering if it might be a problem to be associated with those kinds of statements. For me, that is a subject that should be open for legitimate debate. But if you disagree, it’s your blog — do as you will.

        There is, in fact, a well-defined class of classical anti-Jewish rhetoric — see, for instance, Hitler’s Mein Kampf or Henry Ford’s The International Jew. One could make the case that that kind of language isn’t helpful in debating Israeli policies (understatement).

        On the other hand, the Israel lobby (and much of the Jewish establishment) has gone so far over the line in attacking a sitting American president over the Iran nuclear deal that for many, worrying about classical anti-Semitic rhetoric is no longer the most urgent issue on the table.

        Also, the intensity and volume of vicious and hardcore hate speech flowing from the keyboards of Jewish pro-Israel activists in many mainstream Jewish and Israeli publications is mind-boggling. That behavior significantly changes the dynamic on this issue. They have aggressively targeted for attack Christians, Muslims, Europeans, Arabs, blacks, whites and often all non-Jews in general (Israel vs. “the world”). They are provoking a backlash — possibly a titanic backlash.

      • Hi Taxi, I share Sean’s concern for W. Jones but as he said, it’s your blog and final decision of who gets to stay.

        I’ve had a few very interesting exchanges with W. Jones in the past but mostly on non-Israel things, especially on religion. I guess just raising the issue of Israel and Zionism brings out the worst in us. The less we talk about Israel, the better off we’ll be. Plato’s will be more interesting with people having conflicting viewpoints. At MW, it has become a mutual admiration society with members continuously praising each other.

      • Walid’ s correct that you don’t want to have a ‘+1’ praise fest here. I wouldn’t ban either commentor – both have made good points. If they can respect others and debate without being a troll for zionism, then no problem. I’ve learned it’s inevitable that emotions run not with this topic.

      • Chu,

        I don’t feel emotional about the banning at all – it’s simply a practical measure that fits better with my limited time availability and with my peace of mind.

      • Walid and Sean,

        I don’t have a problem with people with opposing views blogging on Plato’s – I allowed Pespi to post, for example.

        But I do have a problem with W. Jones’s attitude. And I do take particular issue with his attempts to ‘control’ the standard of censorship here. He’s obsessed with censorship. And he sucks at it.

        Take for example back on FriendFeed when I generously gave him access to ‘author’ on my FF page – this basically meant that he had administrative access to post articles that were of interest to him. Well, he posted his first article and made a couple of comments. I did not agree with his comments and responded thus. Next thing I know, W. Jones had moderated my own comment and actually deleted it – he banned my own comment on my own site lol – the cheek! So then I posted another comment asking him why he deleted instead of debated and the motherfucker deleted that comment too – lol, well I had to stop all that whacky nonsense pronto and so I went into the ‘master dashboard’ and with a single click, deleted his whole goddam post and chucked him out.

        You know what guys, I have limited time on my computer per day and half of that time is taken up by reading and posting up articles for Plato’s, finding artwork for articles, making it all look good and interesting; cleaning the spam files, writing original articles, analyzing, blogging, responding to comments etc. I really don’t have the extra time to either babysit Pepsi or get disrespected by power-grabbers and censors like W.Jones. He had no qualms whatsoever about censoring me on my own blog, I’m sure he’ll have no problems with me banning him either. Censorship and banning: it’s the language he understands, it would appear.

        If there was no bad history between us, if he hadn’t already tried to pull such a despicable outrage on me before, I woulda easily given him the benefit of the doubt and a second chance, even without your glowing references. But that just ain’t gonna happen. I don’t care how ‘intelligent’ a person is, if they start getting assholey, then I simply don’t care to know them or to have them around.

        Plato’s doesn’t need backstabbing, ingrate, thought-police motherfuckers around. Plato’s is NOT a business – I don’t care about losing hits on my stas page. Plato’s is not exactly starved of “intelligence” either.

        I graciously welcomed Jones here when he first visited and blogged and I was hoping he’d remember to behave with respect – but he didn’t – he didn’t learn the simple lesson from our last encounter so I don’t know how ‘smart’ he really is. Knowledge is not wisdom.

        Sometimes it’s better to trust the nice guy and not the smart guy.

      • (I wasn’t aware of the FF story. Another guy used to butt heads with Jones on FF and same story about deleting threads, although I think they were direct messages (?)).

      • seanmcbride says:


        I didn’t know about your background with W. Jones on FF — I understand better now where you are coming from on this issue.

        I would make this suggestion: if W. Jones sets up his own blog on WordPress (it’s simple to do), I will read and perhaps post comments on it, as well as on here.

        In fact, there is nothing to prevent all the commenters on Mondoweiss from setting up their own blogs and building communications networks and protocols with each other under their own control. They should take the initiative and do it.

        Why in the world would anyone want to be constrained by Mondoweiss gatekeepers in communicating with others? The attitude should be, get out of my way. I’ll communicate with whomever I want in whatever way I want. We shouldn’t be passive elementary students controlled and disciplined by a censorious teacher. Be proactive. Seize power. Kick out the jams. Throw JVP commissars and apparatchiks to the curb.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Why in the world would anyone want to be constrained by Mondoweiss gatekeepers in communicating with others?

        Because it has an Alexa Internet (Amazon services) ranking of #47353 out of 30 million worldwide and lots of eyes are on it? Hamas and the PLO Delegation to the USA include its headlines in RSS feeds and tweets.

        Re: Be proactive. Seize power. Kick out the jams. Throw JVP commissars and apparatchiks to the curb.

        Fair enough, but several contributors with WordPress site access to Mondoweiss signed the petition for Alison Weir right along with me, and the roof didn’t cave-in on any of us, e.g. Kate, the Muslim editor of the “Palestine Today” section of Mondoweiss.

      • Hostage,
        “Re: Why in the world would anyone want to be constrained by Mondoweiss gatekeepers in communicating with others?
        Because it has an Alexa Internet (Amazon services) ranking of #47353 out of 30 million worldwide and lots of eyes are on it? Hamas and the PLO Delegation to the USA include its headlines in RSS feeds and tweets.”

        Ah, but some people prefer their freedom of speech to social popularity.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Ah, but some people prefer their freedom of speech to social popularity.

        Agreed. Some people’s comments have been deleted, but none of mine ever have been. I wouldn’t characterize what we do there with folks like Richard Witty, Hophmi, Robert Werdine, eee, Froggy, Obsidian, Jackdaw, JeffB, Nurit Baytch, et al as “socializing”. Annie once mentioned that they discovered one of the trolls was a member of the Prime Minister’s Communications Office staff.

        I just try to focus on providing third party verifiable information from reliable or official published sources that people new to the issue can use to judge things for themselves.

      • seanmcbride says:


        ME: “Re: Why in the world would anyone want to be constrained by Mondoweiss gatekeepers in communicating with others?”

        HOSTAGE: “Because it has an Alexa Internet (Amazon services) ranking of #47353 out of 30 million worldwide and lots of eyes are on it? Hamas and the PLO Delegation to the USA include its headlines in RSS feeds and tweets.”

        In a world of independent communications nodes, self-organizing systems and highly adaptable social networks those Alexa ratings can change quite rapidly.

        I see WordPress blogs (like Mondoweiss) as being very 1990s — and intrinsically authoritarian in terms of basic communications structures. For instance, we don’t need Annie Robbins to moderate a conversation between us.

        Internet users should be able to communicate with whomever they want on whatever topics they want without any intrusive gatekeepers.

        With regard to JVP: think Bolshevism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, etc. Some JVP leaders, at least, seem to be coming out of that hard left authoritarian/totalitarian 20th century tradition, which was responsible for the deaths of as many as 100 million innocent civilians. Thought police are the enemy. For them, it’s always about imposing their narrow and usually simpleminded ideology on the world through diktats and force.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Walid wrote: “At MW, it has become a mutual admiration society with members continuously praising each other.”

        You know that all the vitality has been leached from a forum when many of the members spend most of their time stroking one another and celebrating their mutual genius and moral superiority. Philip Roth could have done up these people nicely — the situation is begging for parody.

      • american200 says:

        Not that’s its my business but I think Taxi made the right decision.
        I saw what Jones said and was just going to ignore it because that my Jones ‘policy’. lol

        But I don’t consider Taxi’s action to be ‘censorship’.
        There’s banning for ‘ideas’ you object to and then there’s banning of people who engage in personal attacks and smears.
        Frankly ,what Jones did here is what he has a history of doing on FF and on Taxi’s original WP.
        I think Sean forgets what Jones did while on FF or maybe he didn’t know about the weird private messaging Jones did to me and Chu while on FF. Asking personal questions about who we really were and what religion we were and how we got involved in I/P. In my case I explained to him I wasn’t interested the religious aspect of I/P and got involved after 911 when I started researching the ME and when he asked me what I thought the solution was I said I thought I/P could only be solved by outside forces. Then he told me I was a ‘immoral’ person.
        Next thing I know he posted on Sean’s pubic FF he didn’t want to talk to me–‘as if’– I was the one who had privately messaged him to initiate a conversation instead of visa versa.
        Then he went all over FF and WP posting comments saying I wanted to kill or advocated ‘killing Jews”. ..but when I confronted him on it he had no reply.
        Then maybe when he realized some of us were comparing notes on his messaging and grilling us for personal info he then deleted his private messages to us so there would be no records of them in our message folders.

        So ‘Donald in jesus sandals’ is correct plus liar, plus sneaky…all of which can cause trouble and chase people off blogs.
        Its too weird.

      • seanmcbride says:


        I didn’t know about all that background until you just mentioned it now.

        I exchanged some private messages with W. Jones on FF — they all struck me as reasonable and civil at the time. The reports from you and Taxi differ from my experience — but I am sure you are telling the truth as you see it.

      • I find Pepsi’s approach misguided and his communication style way too combative and personalized. Yet simultaneously, I sense a youth enraged and a kinda sad innocence. Whereas Jones is a fucking baiter and schemer and a gagball merchant on steroids. No innocence there.

      • seanmcbride says:

        When Pepsi talks about his birds, you get a glimpse of a real person there. Those posts are touching.

      • Yeah, Pepsi definitely has a very sweet side. It’s true, we’ve seen glimpses of this tenderness in his posts about his pet birds, for sure.

        It’s the frantic energy he’s got – its a problem – he’s gotta find a way to cool it off. Otherwise his good points will keep getting lost in the hiss and frazzle of it all.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I find Pepsi’s approach misguided and his communication style way too combative and personalized.

        I can’t blame anyone for refusing to believe in Jewish universalism, when we practitioners are almost as scarce as unicorns. But I’m descended from Utopian socialists who raised us on that doctrine as an intransgressible rule of authentic Jewish culture. I really do subscribe to a “Jewish Theory of Everything” that you can, and should read about right here:

        I don’t know what Mark Ellis or Max Blumenthal mean to say when they mention the “Jewish Prophetic.” I’m afraid that the series that Mondoweiss has published on the subject so far has done nothing but confuse most readers. Not only has it failed to enhance awareness of an important subject, it has obscured it from the reader’s view almost as effectively as the proverbial bank of fog on a still day. The issue that tore apart the Jewish community 2000 years ago was xenophobic hatred of Gentiles, and the sacred Jewish literature explicitly states that a Voice from Heaven instructed Israel not to listen to those who counsel them to put an end to friendly relations and communications with their Gentile neighbors.

        The ethical lessons framed in the religious myths teach that:
        * Israel was a chosen people, not the chosen people.
        * The blessings and privileges bestowed upon them were of no avail because of misplaced pride, obstinateness, idolatry, and hatred of others without a cause.
        * The Torah itself prophesied a life of exile, scattered among the other nations and the latter day prophets advised that God did not regard us more highly than the other neighboring nations (e.g. Amos 9:7).
        * If there ever is a “return to Zion,” it will be accomplished in the World to Come, and not in the current age. The Temple will be a house of prayer for all of the Nations, not for Israel alone.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Got it, Taxi. I merely meant to say that we all — each and every one of us — have different perspectives on the same situations. I didn’t see this side of W. Jones in my interactions with him, but you and American did — and I believe you. You wouldn’t make this stuff up — you are honest people to a fault.

        But I am still curious to follow Jones’ thinking about Mideast politics. If he sets up a blog feed, which is as easy as pie, I will subscribe. Managing zillions of feeds with Inoreader is a breeze.

      • american200 says:

        Sean, I don’t know if you remember the one and only back and forth I had with Jones. I usually didn’t comment on his comments because as I said I don’t subscribe to using religion to explain all human actions and views in the world and am not interested in that view.

        But Jones had claimed that the Dec of Indep and/or the Constitution came from Hebrew text or the Torah or some Jewish document.
        As I am a big, big Thomas Jefferson kind of American I rebutted his claim with numerous gov and other historical links to the writings, correspondence, arguments, documents, drafts of the founder authors and signers which clearly proved that was a absurd claim.

        I asked Jones for the source of his claim and he gave me a link to some obscure Judeo-Christian preacher site.

        I don’t have much patience with people who use religious babbling instead of real, actual, factual history. But I think that was the beginning of Jones’s ‘get american’ campaign. ….just because I disproved his claim.
        This is the problem with some so called ‘religiously educated ‘people.

      • seanmcbride says:


        It’s useful to possess enough knowledge about the history of religions to be able to deconstruct and rebut the cult claims of religious zealots operating in the political sphere. That’s how I look at it. Beat them at their own game — kick out the foundations of their beliefs. Neutralize them. If necessary, ridicule and humiliate them, if they are not responsive to reason. They can be extremely dangerous people.

        (I never noticed that W. Jones was a religious zealot — he strikes me as a traditional and moderate Christian — but I haven’t been privy to all his communications with you and others. I hear you when you make these reports — thanks for sharing.)

      • ‘Tis true, Jones can be extremely reasonable and “moderate”… till the horns suddenly jab out.

        Needing to censor and being intolerant, the state of mind of it, must be about the most boring state of mind a human mind can experience. Anti wonderment of life – that’s what censors are.

      • american200 says:

        With regard to his remark about Pepsi and American: I think he was observing that they have made some inflammatory statements that would be easy to exploit by ADL/JVP types….sean

        Before we leave this subject let me own up to using ‘very blunt’ edgy talk/comments on the Isr and the I- Fifth Column issues.
        I don’t know that I’d call them actually inflammatory as in urging people to some kind of violence or racist attitudes, that’s not my purpose.
        But I do do it deliberately ….I do it to hopefully ‘desensitize’ people to the Jewish Israel ‘sensitivities’ gatekeeping shield. To encourage them to not be afraid to call a spade a spade as long as what they are saying is the truth.
        I don’t believe anyone’s ‘sensitivities’ or fears are as important as Palestine’s or other people’s lives. There is no comparison between feeling hurt and being dead.
        So if it does inflame the ADL and JVP types or hurt feelings so much the better–as I said play offense not defense.
        Playing defense and playing nice with I-Firstdom or J- Firstdom for 70 years has only gotten us 1000’s of more dead Palestines. And billions more US dollars thrown down the Israel toilet.
        So I don’t think anyone can convince me or show me evidence that
        being nice and sensitive has or will work.
        Change strategy….

      • american200 says:

        Sean, you have done a lot of research into Judaism and other religions and are educated enough on it and willing to have long detailed discussions with him.
        That’s why Jones has a different attitude toward you.

      • American,

        I too have used banging colorful and acrobatic phrasing to expose and humiliate the fucking occupiers – I certainly don’t apologize for any of it one bit.

        I think what might be happening now is that because more and more ‘regular’ people are discussing the I/P, have at least minimal knowledge of it now (as opposed to knowing zilch just a handful of years ago) – now that the ‘vibe’ of criticizing israel is spreading, this new negativity is slowly being normalized by the collective. There’s like a surge of verbal israel trash-talk and stuff rising and this is just something that ‘sensitive’ (gatekeeper) people in the I/P aren’t used to hearing. They’re used to the I/P being discussed within a very strict linguistic confine and they’re being jarred by all the open israel smackdowns.

        But the days of regular people making nice for israel 24/7, those days appear to be gone now.

        Stuff like images of Gaza children massacred by the idf and stuff like the decrepit and warmongering Sheldon Adleson horsetrading our senators in public for israel – all that doesn’t exactly help put a kaboosh on this present and palpable wave of anti israel.

        I think the gatekeepers had better be careful not to willfully confuse this legitimate wave of resentment with ‘antisemitism’.

        The zionist’s biggest PR problem right now? You simply can’t un-internet israel.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I don’t know if you have trawled through all Taxi’s, American’s and Pepsi’s comments, but some of their views are offensive.

        Wow! You turn in for the night with a few unread emails, and return the next day with 40 that each deserve a book-length response. I’m certain that after 10,600+ comments at Mondoweiss, that I’ve said countless things that seem utterly clueless or offensive to Walid, Taxi, et al as well. I don’t know anyone, except for a few trolls, who hasn’t decided to just “let sleeping dogs lie” on more than one occasion.

        Oddly enough, the stereotypical comments about all things “Jew-ish” that rub me the wrong way are nearly always so personal that they don’t even register or resonate with the younger members of my own family, let alone anyone else – even people like Phil, Danaa, or Atzmon. The world that I grew-up in simply doesn’t exist anymore (thank goodness) – and “you just had to be there” to understand what makes people like me tick.There’s an old cliché that sort of describes the situation: “You are what you are today, because of where you were back when.” I see the exact, same things radically different than Jews or Jewish people who grew-up somewhere else or in a different era.

        I grew-up in a community run by empowered white supremacists, where anti-Semitsm was the daily norm, and it wasn’t merely a case of naivety or unawareness on the part of others.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Your old neighborhood sounds rough,man. … A parallel universe to Palestine.

        No, it was one of the few safe havens for miles in any direction. I’ve explained before at MW that our home was on a parcel of land that was part of an Indian Tribal Land Grant.

        Fortunately, in 1943 when my parents moved to Kansas and were looking for a home, they found the section of town that the original owner had parceled-out for “colored” family homes. Most towns in the region didn’t have one. IIRC he had been an Osage emigrant (forceably displaced) who acquired it from the Kiowa Nation. He took pity on other people who were excluded from buying homes everywhere in the region due to racial covenants. That included my dark-skinned Dad, who inherited that gorgeous year-round golden tan look from his Sephardi ancestors.

        In Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948) the Supreme Court held that those racially-based exclusions were no longer enforceable in State Courts, but that was a mere technicality. The Court explained that they were still enforceable between the private parties concerned, like the banks, land developers, and mortgage insurance companies. Until 1958 the Federal government itself required segregated neighborhoods as part of its own FHA and VA guidelines. They thought racially homogeneous neighborhoods were more socially desirable.

        There were plenty of old poor white people right next door. But there were also about 200 Jewish people in the subdivision too back in those days. There were a similar number of Black, Hispanic, and Native American neighbors – and we all looked out after one another.

      • seanmcbride says:


        A model of decentralized communications on public policy issues is quite appealing — it does away with the problem of power-hungry cabals acquiring the tools to censor their opponents. It’s all about self-organizing and infinitely adaptable systems. Thank the Internet for creating this social revolution in the making.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Thank the Internet for creating this social revolution in the making.

        I maybe old, but I don’t think anyone can accuse me of having a lack of vision in that connection. A long time ago, you asked me if I understood how a Wikipedia/Wikidata-style reference tool would work, and I replied:

        Yes. One of my guilty pleasures, while working in a U.S. Air Force MAJCOM staff position in the 1970s was the opportunity to obtain R&D funding for projects in my functional area of responsibility and to visit the folks doing the related work on UNIX applications at MITRE Corporation, the Berkeley Computer Science Research Center, and at Bell Labs.

        The biggest thrill was getting acquainted with my late friend Dennis Ritchie. He was on the DARPA Advisory Board at the time. It’s been a while since I poked around his interesting collection of UNIX “incunabula” @ but there are still a couple of items there that dmr credits to yours truly;-)

        We were all working together on the hardware and server operating systems that were the building blocks of the ARPANET, which was the basis of the Internet.

      • seanmcbride says:


        As I mentioned before, I am much impressed by your tech chops and involvement with the predecessor of the Internet — ARPANET/DARPANET.

        You mention Dennis Ritchie. I’ve been thinking lately that some of the most impressive intellectual accomplishments of all time have been achieved by the creators of our leading programming languages (a few examples):

        +Alan Kay (Smalltalk-80)
        +Bjarne Stroustrup (C++)
        +Brad Cox (Objective-C)
        +Brendan Eich (JavaScript)
        +Charles Moore (Forth)
        +Dennis Ritchie (C)
        +Guido van Rossum (Python)
        +James Gosling (Java)
        +Joe Armstrong (Erlang)
        +John McCarthy (Lisp)
        +Larry Wall (Perl)
        +Lua (Roberto Ierusalimschy)
        +Martin Odersky (Scala)
        +Niklaus Wirth (Pascal)
        +Ramus Lerdof (PHP)
        +Rich Hickey (Clojure)
        +Simon Peyton-Jones (Haskell)
        +Yukihiro Matsumoto (Ruby)

        Also, whatever DARPA, IARPA, In-Q-Tel and related organizations are up to 2015 is probably much more interesting and important than the endless wrangling about Israel and Zionism, and about ethnic and religious identity politics in general.

        Increasingly I see ethnic and religious identity politics as interesting only in this respect: they are rich targets for study and analysis by cutting-edge social science methods and technologies. The people who are mired down in these conflicts are, in many cases, lost souls (in my opinion).

      • Hostage,

        “I really do subscribe to a “Jewish Theory of Everything” that you can, and should read about right here:

        Thank you for the link to your comment – very informative.

        This “jewish Theory of Everything” sounds like a mix of christian esoterica and muslim sufism – to my limited knowledge of the Abrahamic religions, that is.

        It’s tragic that ‘Jewish Universalists’ are now such a minority within the tribe that they now sadly deserve the label of ‘protected species’. I personally didn’t even know they existed till a couple of years ago – so prevalent and entrenched zionism’s definition of what is a Jew ‘ in the minds of the masses of non-jews.

        I don’t see a way of insuring the longevity and survival of Jewish universalim without the absolute destruction of zionism and its hold on the Jewish psyche. You’re getting shafted by zionism almost as badly as the Palestinians.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: This “jewish Theory of Everything” sounds like a mix of christian esoterica and muslim sufism – to my limited knowledge of the Abrahamic religions, that is.

        Islam is not my area of expertise. I believe that they all agree on some vital points. IIRC Sunni Muslims don’t believe that a person can automatically become ritually impure through normal association with a neighbor, but Shia’s do. In fact you don’t see much evidence that the mitzvah’s were interpreted in such a misogynistic and xenophobic way, until after Ezra and Nehemiah returned from Persia. The sect of Pharisees (Farsi?) may have imported those ideas from there. The Zoroastrians certainly have similar views about women and purity.

        The Talmud was completed in the 4th century. So the legends about these legal disputes between the famous pairs of ancient sages was codified after the Christian scriptures where put down in writing. They are certainly in agreement that the Jewish authorities had made it unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit any member of another nation (Acts of the Apostles 10:28) and that in both the Talmudic and Christian accounts, God intervened to overrule the errant religious authorities and racist zealots and commanded that we love one another.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I’m not sure about your “ritually pure/sunni-shia’ thing.

        I’m not either. I may have it ass-backwards and upside down. I’ve seen the comparison between Sunni and Shia in reputable journal articles and books. I remember well enough that the authors were Jewish scholars and that I wasn’t familiar enough with either of them to accept everything they said at face value. Neither of their names spring to mind. Here is a link to yet another Jewish scholar who makes the claim about Shias, but is silent about Sunnis. It’s a book about Jews of Iran, so that’s probably to be expected.

        Re: I was actually referring to Islamic Sufism. A supra passive and esoteric interpretation of Islam.

        Yes, I’ve heard of it. I just don’t know if it’s a parallel or if they arrived at the same conclusions on a different basis. The Talmud and Christian scriptures employ a Voice from Heaven to divinely reveal that the Halakhah (literally “the way to go”) is to follow the example of the disciples of Hillel and stop being impolite, racist, xenophobic assholes to the Gentiles living in our midst.

        Why on Earth would you want to NOT bring THAT subject up in a conversation with a so-called “Jew” who considers Gentiles an existential or demographic threat, and claims that we can only live normal lives once we have our own Jewish state where we can deny them equal rights and dominate them? I mean if you’re JVP or Mondoweiss that part of the “black letter law” of the Oral Torah needs to be front and center in the debate. All these veiled references to “Jewish tradition” or “family ties to the Middle East” look like superfluous digressions and a lot of “beating around the bush”.

      • Hostage,

        The Sufis, they do all that dervish dancing, don’t they? They spin endlessly and trance out on god. I’m not a religious person at all but I find that primordial and intriguing. I really only know Sufism through the writing of the Persian poet, Rumi, plus passages and references here and there. Of course, the Wahabism consider the Sufi as dangerous heretics even though the Sufi practice complete non-violent lifestyles – spending much of their time on prayer and purifying rituals.

        I’d go ask my Syrian moslem gardener about the suni/shia thing you mentioned, but a couple of hours ago he dashed off to hospital with his very pregnant wife – she’s due imminently. But tomorrow I will ask him and a couple of other religious people from the nearby village to get a consensus. I’ll let you know. I will have to go this route cuz I don’t know how much I personally can trust the authenticity of islamic writings found on Jewish sites – hasbara and distortion of the other is particularly targeted at moslems by mainstream Jewish academia.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I don’t see a way of insuring the longevity and survival of Jewish universalim without the absolute destruction of zionism and its hold on the Jewish psyche. You’re getting shafted by zionism almost as badly as the Palestinians.

        Sorry to say that plenty of Anti-Zionists groups are every bit as misogynistic or racist as the rest (no intermarriage).

  18. So who exactly “transformed” JVP from locally owned to national organization? What was the purpose of that? Can a group not be both locally owned and national too – kinda federated? Who selected the new board of directors? Who paid for all this?

    Your post is very informative to someone like me who is not well acquainted with the ‘organization’. Thank you for providing us the latest news on the Witchita/Kansas branch and all the good work they do.

    The whole set up now stinks of a cult.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Taxi wrote: “The whole set up now stinks of a cult.”

      Some powers behind the scenes have worked to transform what was once an outpost for vibrant independent minds into the tool of what appears to be an oppressive and repressive cabal — one quite likely acting as a covert arm of the Israel lobby.

      Who are they? What are their connections?

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Some powers behind the scenes have worked to transform what was once an outpost for vibrant independent minds into the tool of what appears to be an oppressive and repressive cabal — one quite likely acting as a covert arm of the Israel lobby.

        Not at all. There were always religious Jews there, who support equal rights and Jewish settlement in all of Eretz Israel or Zionists who support the State of Israel and its policies, but opposed the occupation of the West Bank for purely pragmatic reasons. They always skewed the polling within the group on questions regarding the mission statement. But they couldn’t prevent the adoption of a plank on RoR in accordance with international law; termination of arms sales to Israel, or support for BDS.

    • Hostage says:

      Re: Your post is very informative to someone like me who is not well acquainted with the ‘organization’.

      First of all, the Zionists don’t have to “infiltrate” Jewish organizations. There are always some of them there in the first place. They can’t control grassroots organizations or individuals. The pattern and practice of purchasing ownership, branding, or government charters out-from under incorporated anti-Zionist and non-Zionist national organizations dates back at least to the 1940s, (if you don’t count the transformation of the non-Zionist Ottoman Yishuv into a WZO-controlled fiefdom).

      The only reason I stayed in JVP, was because their Mission statement was minimally acceptable and it was moving in the right direction. For example, this year they finally endorsed the aims of the BDS movement on BOTH sides of the Green Line, just before the leadership started shooting themselves and everyone else in the foot again.

      I don’t really predict or think they can be useful gatekeepers, as such. They don’t have access to any Jewish Federation venues and don’t own or control any of their own. They advertise a quarter of a million online subscribers, but there are only about 5500 dues paying members. Bottom line, neither, JVP, Chomsky, Finkelstein, nor Mondoweiss are media moguls capable of exercising some sort of monopoly.

      I am willing to chip in some money for travel expenses for anyone who wants to counter the Zionist efforts to derail Church-led BDS initiatives. But I’m not willing to pay for Rabbi Alissa Wise to go and insult Christians over their alleged failure to prevent the Holocaust; the adoption of a ineffective five day work week compromise (i.e. the whole Saturday/Sunday sabbath drek); and the bogus Christmas celebration guilt trip she lays on them, because she’d rather light candles for eight days in remembrance of ancient Jewish nationalist xenophobia.

      • Hostage,

        It could very well be that JVP don’t have any fancy connections on Capitol Hill or the ear of the WH Chief of Staff, but they do have muscle in alternative media and in the collective Palestine movement, of which there are probably several million combined in the USA. (Has anyone ever done a comprehensive statistical study on American pro-Palestine activists?). People like Chomsky and Finkelstein, outfits like Mondoweiss – it’s true they’re no “media moguls” but they are political trend-setters and that’s not to be underestimated. This is a position of power and influence of sorts. For the propaganda movers and shakers and architects, infiltrating their influence into popular political circles is a worthy pursuit. Chomsky, Finkelstein and MW disseminate information to a vast audience, Hostage. There is very good reason to infiltrate a Chomsky, a Finkelstein or a Mondoweiss. Even JVP is a worthy and popular apple to infiltrate. The shaping of the minds of the masses, mass brainwashing today is much more sophisticated than it was back in the 1940’s – we’ve had huge advancements in human psychology since then, in unraveling and understanding better both individual and mob psyche. We are now so very sophisticated at conning the human masses – just look at the power of advertising, for instance. In a world where everyone is blatantly after your wallet and your mind, it’s no surprise that conspiracy theories are now the norm. Everyone has at least one in their back pocket, including the devout realist.

        Who to believe? This is a big problem for the “We the People”.

        But as far as JVP’s shocking behavior is concerned, one has to ask why the heck did they turn the original organization upside-down and go McCarthyesque? It’s not too far fetched here to point at a zionist agenda for an answer. They certainly were not fulfilling a Palestine agenda with their atrocious behavior.

        And I’m curious, did JVP and MW ‘turn’ about the same time? It’s way too late in the eve here in the Levant for me to do research on this, but it would be interesting to see if there are any time correspondences between these heavy-handed changes that occurred in both organizations.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: But as far as JVP’s shocking behavior is concerned, one has to ask why the heck did they turn the original organization upside-down and go McCarthyesque?

        They didn’t. There was always a battle raging within between the Zionist “two states for two peoples (I don’t want Israel to stop being a Jewish State)” and the more pluralistic, progressive members. Some of the latter group were simply wolves in sheep’s clothing, in the mold of Moshe Arens. They only paid lip service to a one state solution for pragmatic reasons, in order to maintain the status quo and the ability for Jews to settle anywhere between the River and the Sea.

      • Danaa says:

        I think the timing of JVP “turn to Mc Cathyism” is very interesting, and is hardly coincidental. For one thing, they have done well in spreading the word and generating activism on US campuses. Even if the “JEWIS VOICE for PEACE” nomer has always been problematic. They relatively recently endoresd the full BDS, which drove some circles crazy, no doubt. IT probably made them an instant target for infiltration.

        In addition, there’s the Iran thing which opened more than a little “day light” between US administration and Israel. IT left the Lobby quite exposed in fighting to scuttle the deal, and for a flower that thrives in the dark, that’s a problem. They are clearly beginning to shrivel, even if their power is not yet dimmed. Many jewish Americans are getting nervous about being “outed” to the majority Americans as too privileged, possibly too arrogant, but worse than that (as privilege and arrogance are not exclusively jewish domains. Indians got it too, but they are quieter. So far) awing allegiance to an unappetizing foreign power the interests of which do not coincide with America’s. Taken together, we are about to witness a second major loss for the Lobby, and that is very scary for lots of people.

        Questions are already being asked from both left and right. Yes, the Lobby still has the Christian Zionists backing, but, based on what I know from getting to know a few of them, this is the very quarter where actual, real anti-semitism is alive and well. By which I mean the irrational kind. Those CZ’s – their support for israel (and the third temple!) is a millimeter deep. They view jews not as something to admire but as a force to “beat” at the end days. The CZs beliefs are truly irrational in the worst ways and what’s scarier is that many of them are in fact intelligent and relatively educated people. I know one eminent professor, a super-smart individual who is, for example, a messianic jew, whatever that means. Something to do with that elusive Third temple.

        This is why Alison Weir going on right wing radio shows is significant. I think the potential turn of the right is what many Jewish establishment figures are losing sleep over. I know they know what I know. The support on the right is skin deep and rests entirely on either ignorance or irrational belief or both. That does not give them comfort and no reason it should. because ultimately, my reading of the great US of A, my adopted country, is that it isn’t the left that will break things to pieces here, even though the left may cry foul most loudly. Ultimately, the left prefers using the law. IT’s really on the right where respect for law in general is vulnerable. And Weir’s words may resonate with elements that are, in truth, dangerous. And not just to jews.

        I made a allusion in a previous comment (forgot to who. Frankie P may be?) to the Chinese cultural revolution. probably because of a book I just read. The forces of darkness, once unleashed, can be very destructive indeed, and the ill wind will blow from the right. So the left, and perhaps the jewish left that is, subconciously at least concerned, is doing some gatekeeping out of misplaced panic. They fear the radical anti-lobby voices may open a pandora’s box on the right.

        Of course, it could just be the crazy zios with their addiction to subversive propaganda. If so, they are no doubt busy going crazier seeing the passionate support Weir is getting.

        These are just some idle thoughts, expressed as I am trying to avoid doing something that badly needs doing.

  19. Hostage says:

    Hostage, Weiss basks in Jewish power … Just like your hero Chomsky doesn’t want the Jewish mafia to lose any power. That’s why he downplays the Israel Lobby.

    I assume that anyone who thinks Chomsky is my hero and who manages to conflate Phil’s almost constant and glowing endorsements of Mearsheimer and Walt’s thesis with Chomsky’s position that the Israel Lobby only finished in second place in the race to go to war with Iraq has more than a few screws loose to begin with. If you think that Phil or I are trying to shield the Jewish Lobby from criticism, then you really should get your head examined.

    • Danaa says:

      And Hostage – don’t get discouraged again. I, for one, always learn something from what you say, even if you are martyr for International law. I do think, cynicism aside, that it’s great that some people do hold up both international and national law as something we should strive for. You provide us with great reminders of what our species could be, if only we chose – en mass – to evolve a bit.

      Martyrdom aside, yours is a good cross to bear.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: And Hostage – don’t get discouraged again. I, for one, always learn something from what you say, even if you are martyr for International law.

        I’d much rather discuss history and political science than international law. It’s just that nobody in the solidarity movement seems to be able to find their asses with both hands (or enough backbone) when it comes to explaining the subject or taking on the Zionist experts.

        Believe me, when I take on the PhDs and official government legal advisors at the European Journal of International Law, Just Security, Opinio Juris, and disassemble their arguments like a cheap watch, I do get discouraged by the fact that our team’s legal experts (Noura Erekat, Diana Butto, et al) are still missing in action for reasons I can’t begin to fathom.

      • ” I do get discouraged by the fact that our team’s legal experts (Noura Erekat, Diana Butto, et al) are still missing in action for reasons I can’t begin to fathom.”

        They do that? You godaabekiddingme?!!!

        I despair!

      • Hostage says:

        They do that? You godaabekiddingme?!!! I despair!

        It’s Catch 22. The Nuremberg Charter didn’t care about the juridical status of the victims. It mentioned “crimes against persons and property” and “civilian populations”. Paragraph 7 of the Rome Statute “Crimes Against Humanity” stipulates that the enumerated acts under that heading result in individual criminal responsibility when they target “any civilian population”. Apartheid is one of those crimes. One of the very first international conventions that called for the establishment of an international penal tribunal was the Apartheid Convention. When we finally got a Court that could exercise jurisdiction over that crime, a Black Muslim Prosecutor from Africa actually refused to accept a complaint from “Palestine” because Israel and the USA argued it was a “non-existent,” “non-sovereign,” (Bantustan) “State”! And of course, Butto, Erekat, and company seem to be in checkmate, because their own technical arguments have been turned against them and the victims.

      • “” I do get discouraged by the fact that our team’s legal experts (Noura Erekat, Diana Butto, et al) are still missing in action for reasons I can’t begin to fathom.””

        YOU get discouraged???

        Where are the Catholic intellectuals?

        Fordham, Catholic U., Georgetown, Notre Dame trip all over themselves to see who can be more zionist- friendly.

        The Catholic (liberal) press is brain-dead.

        Catholic media is dominated by evangelicals, converts from messianic denominations, most of them (like the late Richard J Neuhaus).

        My fantasy is that if Catholics in the pews could be educated, they might lead their hierarchy in a more forceful direction, toward Bernardin’s “seamless garment of life” that includes strong opposition to war (and away from their live affair with foetuses).

        THAT would be a force to be reckoned with.

  20. Danaa says:

    I really think we should not relive the eternal Chomsky debates. For whatever reason he has become the linchpin for all accusations against those who would overlook the power of The lobby and/or the trappings of privilege. I think those debates have totally run their course, Whatever Chomsky is, isn’t was, said, will say, holds dear or doesn’t, this is one man, who has, apprently been far too productive for his own good.

    If Chomsky runs afoul of purists on the left (yes, that’s my side – left of the left) then so be it. I really hate these circuitous arguments, picking pins out of straw piles. In the long course of his life and works I’d be surprised if somewhere along the lines Chomsky did not say something, or was silent on something – enough to upset just about anyone.

    Mind you, there are issues to discuss and positions to nail down and arguments to sharpen. We should each strive to be our own people in this department and stop leaning on what someone more famous than us said, could have said but didn’t, thought, felt or theorized. Let the man do his thing and let us do our thing (each of us, separately and together). We’ll agree on some things, disagree on others.

    I can’t believe that now the accusations against Chomsky have boiled down to him not being foreceful enough on this or that. Why do so many people look for heroes only to cut them down when they fail to live up to some ideal we foisted upon them? why do some people need hereos anyways/

    same with Phil. He is what he is. His blog has been alive and well for quite some time. We commenters have become perhaps a bit too attached, and that’s a problem. In the world of difficult politics and power plays, too much attachment is a burden we should not try to bear.

    I agree with hostage a lot, accept his expertise on much (expertise he keeps earning) and here and there I take an issue, not because he is wrong, but because his trust in law and especially international law, while commendable and important, puts the cynic in me on my tippy-toes and curly paws (am indeed a cat in one of my many embodiments. Just please don’t ask for proof. Suffice it to say that cats have love-hate relationship with human strictures of law, order and legality in general. They are petit criminals at heart, which is why they win on the internets). But I see no reason to appoint him as water carryer for anyone in particular, be they Chomsky, Finkelstein or Phil Weiss.

    So please, everyone, let’s cut out the silly argumentation on how many Chomsky angels can dance on a hair pin.

    Disclaimer: I heard Chomsky recently speak on the global empire machinations, and frankly, there are few who can say so much, so to the point, so succintly and so clearly. For that reason alone, it’s kudos to the man. Yes, would be nice if he put ALL his efforts towards the Palestinians camp. but I still like to hear his take on Ukraine, China, Yemen, Isis, Syria, and all the other shenanigans going on. Clarity. I like it. Wish we had more of it on the Tele. Wish Chomsky would never get old.

  21. Hostage says:

    Re: Just like Israel ending martial law right before the 6 day war in 1967.

    Clarification: Under the Hague IV rules, territory is considered “occupied” when it is placed under the authority of the military and it is capable of exercising jurisdiction. The military commander is encouraged not to alter the existing laws, unless it is an absolute necessity. Under no conditions can he require that the occupied population swear allegiance to the government of the belligerent power. Both Israel and Jordan retained the laws in effect during the mandate and granted their officials the powers that were formerly exercised by the British King, Privy Council, and High Commissioner.

    The Knesset’s abolition of the Military Government wasn’t just “an end to martial law,” because all of the Israeli territory occupied by the Palestinian Arabs still remained under the very same Defense Emergency Regulations (1945), just as before. But it eliminated the Hague VI military armistice occupation regime that had been employed to govern all of the territory beyond the UN partition lines up until that time and required its inhabitants to pay allegiance to Israel. So, placing that territory under the direct jurisdiction of the civilian regime and the Israeli municipal code by operation of a Knesset bill was an act of de jure annexation.

    • american200 says:

      The only thing I object to about Chomsky is his over simplifying all US actions into ‘imperialistic empire-ism’ and downplaying the Lobby and whole Fifth Column’s manipulations.

      its late I am tired but let me give one small example out of x dozen of similar actions by the US “strong arming other ME countries ” (contrary to what Chomsky says about Israel not dictating our policy toward ‘other countries’ for Israel’s benefit.)

      Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ)

      ”In 1996, the U.S. Congress established the Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) initiative to support the peace process in the Middle East. The QIZ initiative allows Egypt and Jordan to export products to the United States duty-free, —-as long as these products contain inputs from Israel. The QIZ legislation also authorizes the President to proclaim elimination of duties on articles produced in the West Bank, Gaza Strip; The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with other U.S. Government agencies, designates QIZs. Until December 2004, all QIZs had been established in Jordan. ”

      There was no US security, US political, US capitalist, or US consumer benefit in * requiring and denying * Egypt and also Jordon free trade with the US unless Israel got a piece of their business and their billion dollar cotton exports in particular. 10% of all their production has to contain Israeli provided material.

      While this is not on the level of lobby sending the US to war against Israel’ ‘enemies’ what it did was royally piss off the Egyptian and Jordon Arab street…and x dozens of this kind of the US playing mafia Don so Israelis can dip their vulture beaks in all their neighbors business mounts up to constantly falling straws on the Arabs’ backs.
      Consider right now what they have done with the US TPP–inserting punishments for any trade members who don’t take action to prevent boycott Israel movement in their countries.

      So I don’t want to fucking hear his one note Johnny routine that misleads people about how the Us doesn’t ‘really’ do anything against its own interest for Israel. ..this kind of crap is against our interest…it makes your average Arab whether they even support Palestine or not despise America for this economic bullying and who can blame them.

      • American, I agree. The only reason that Chomsky’s position is even worth discussing in the first place is because, as Jeff Blankfort stated back in 2003:

        “The problem is not so much that Chomsky has been wrong. He has, after all, been right on many other things, particularly in describing the ways in which the media manipulates the public consciousness to serve the interests of the state.21 However, by explaining US support for Israel simply as a component of those interests, and ignoring the influence of the Israel lobby in determining that component, he appears to have made a major error that has had measurable consequences. By accepting Chomsky’s analysis, the Palestinian solidarity movement has failed to take the only political step that might have weakened the hold of Israel on Congress and the American electorate, namely, by challenging the billions of dollars in aid and tax breaks that the US provides Israel on an annual basis.

        The questions that beg asking are why his argument has been so eagerly accepted by the movement and why the contrary position put forth by people of considerable stature such as Edward Said, Ed Herman, Uri Avnery and, more recently, Alexander Cockburn, has been ignored. There appear to be several reasons.

        The people who make up the movement, Jews and non-Jews alike, have embraced Chomsky’s position because it is the message they want to hear; not feeling obligated to “blame the Jews” is reassuring.”

        The significant difference that has occurred since this piece was written is 2003 is, imo, that the term ‘anti-semitism’ has lost it’s sting due to misuse and over-use and also the lobby and it’s tentacles are systematically being exposed.

        Jeff also addresses another point of yours in this article with which I agree–“The slogans that have been advanced by various sectors of the Palestinian solidarity movement, such as “End the Occupation,” “End Israeli Apartheid,” “Zionism Equals Racism,” or “Two States for Two Peoples,” while addressing key issues of the conflict, assume a level of awareness on the part of the American people for which no evidence exists. Concern for where their tax dollars are going, particularly at a time of massive cutbacks in social programs, certainly would have greater resonance among voters. Initiating a serious campaign to halt aid, however, would require focusing on the role of Congress and recognition of the power of the Israel lobby. ”

        This, I believe, is finally occurring.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Concern for where their tax dollars are going, particularly at a time of massive cutbacks in social programs, certainly would have greater resonance among voters. … This, I believe, is finally occurring.

        Agreed, but the only reason I ever gave any money to OtE was to help buy billboards calling for an end to military and foreign assistance to Israel. I assume that’s why Alison was a member too. In essence that was their raison d’etre. You could always buy Fair Trade Palestinian goods and sign petitions on the same issues through other organizations.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: (contrary to what Chomsky says about Israel not dictating our policy toward ‘other countries’ for Israel’s benefit.) … Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) … So I don’t want to fucking hear his one note Johnny routine that misleads people about how the Us doesn’t ‘really’ do anything against its own interest for Israel.

        That’s not quite what he says. He notes that Jewish individuals and groups in this country are part of both the establishment and the Lobby, so it can be difficult to tease out which of the two overlapping interests are at play in some cases. The situation that you mention is a case in point, where the benefits to US, US-owned or US-backed interests may seem non-obvious, but were probably the real driving force behind the trade deal all along. You forgot to mention that the QIZs could also export items that were partly Israeli sourced under the same tariff and duty free terms.

        When my wife’s enlistment in the Air Force was finally over, I went back to work as a self-employed systems integrator on factory automation projects for some Fortune 500 companies for about a decade, until I had earned enough money to retire again for a while.

        The large corporations that employed my services were usually restructuring brand name product manufacturing lines and facilities they had acquired through leveraged takeovers and were moving everything possible to QIZs straddling the US-Mexican border in order to exploit the much cheaper labor there and what amounted to US-Mexican-government franchised monopolies that had been created under the NAFTA especially for them in the new Free Trade Zones. Those were set-up for the benefit of US interests so that they could import material and equipment on a duty-free and tariff-free basis and process, assemble, or manufacture items that could in-turn be exported back to the USA, Canada, or other markets worldwide. They would hire me to go to factories in places like Wisconsin, where workers were making $21 an hour, to see if it was (a) economical to upgrade existing, immovable processes and lay-off workers; (b) more economical to sell things off and start over from scratch elsewhere; or (c) relocate some existing production equipment for reuse in one of their maquiladoras on the US-Mexico border.

        The Israels have never lived up to the terms of their own Free Trade Agreement with the US that call for it to remove the barriers to US trade. The QIZs were just a sideshow for the government of Jordan, which has a separate Free Trade Agreement with the US in its own right.

        Under the cover of the peace process, the US government struck a deal with Israel that allowed the US to exploit cheap Palestinian, Jordanian, and Egyptian labor to assemble US-sourced goods, in return for laundering and channeling some illegal settlement-sourced materials to the world markets. In any event, the Palestinians had no access to export markets without Israeli consent and Israel had no means of laundering settlement goods without the good offices of the US government, its corporate beneficiaries, and the cheap labor supplied with the blessing of the Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian governments. I suspect that all of the officials involved were heavily influenced by interested Jewish middlemen in the US, and that it wasn’t done solely out of concern for the financial interests of their Israeli brethren.

      • american200 says:

        ”..The situation that you mention is a case in point, where the benefits to US, US-owned or US-backed interests may seem non-obvious, but were probably the real driving force behind the trade deal all along. You forgot to mention that the QIZs could also export items that were partly Israeli sourced under the same tariff and duty free terms……” Hostage

        That explanation doesn’t really fly….for the simple reason that ‘requiring’ Egypt or Jordon to use Israeli produced materials has no effect and could have a negative effect on the ‘cost’ to importer or end manufacture.

        You will have to show me how the ‘inclusion’ of Israel imputs into goods produced by Egypt or Jordon help keep the cost low .
        Because it may in fact have ‘increased’ the cost to include Israeli goods unless Israel uses the same semi slave wage imported foreign workers as Jordon in particular does.

        This ‘requirement’ for Egypt to use 10% Israeli goods is fairly recent and occurred when the Us ‘re-negotiated’ its free trade with Egypt back in 2004 or there about.
        Tom Freidman of the NYT wrote one of his typical misleading articles about how this ‘cooperation’ between Israel and Egypt proved ‘the world was indeed flat’ (like his brain).
        While he was writing that Egyptians were celebrating in the streets, the major European press was describing the riots by workers who were going to lose some of their production jobs to the Israeli buttons and bows ‘imput.
        And the Egyptian papers were reporting the ministers were trying to get the required Israeli ‘imput’ into their cotton exports lowered.
        I think they finally did get it lowered to 8%.

        So I remain unconvinced Us business or any other business interest except Israel got any benefit from this.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: That explanation doesn’t really fly….for the simple reason that ‘requiring’ Egypt or Jordon to use Israeli produced materials has no effect and could have a negative effect on the ‘cost’ to importer or end manufacture. … You will have to show me how the ‘inclusion’ of Israel imputs into goods produced by Egypt or Jordon help keep the cost low .
        Because it may in fact have ‘increased’ the cost to include Israeli goods unless Israel uses the same semi slave wage imported foreign workers as Jordon in particular does.

        The relevant US and Israeli textile and apparel manufacturers can’t compete with China, India, Bangladesh, et al in the US marketplace, without WTO product dumping quotas, these tariff and duty free industrial zones, and cheap foreign labor. Use of labels like “Israel” and “Egypt” may be something of a misnomer, when there are billions of dollars in US foreign direct investment driving these deals that are consummated by the US Trade Representative.

        The companies that are established in QIZs are required to use those US and Israeli manufactured textile products in a fixed percentage of their finished apparel goods in return for the business advantage of duty-free access when they eventually reexport the goods to the USA and US territories in the Carribean and Pacific. The US doesn’t have Free Trade Agreements with India, Bangladesh or China, so any importer has to pay customs on manufactured goods from those countries. Despite the fact that Jordan has its own free trade agreement, three-quarters of its US exports come from the QIZ. That trade has gone from a few million per year to nearly 2 billion per year. So importers have obviously been able to compete with goods from other countries and sell products to Walmart, the Gap, Old Navy, et al. like everyone else. The use of indentured low wage foreign immigrant or guest workers as leverage against the indigenous population in “the race to the bottom” is an age old capitalist tactic.

        Re: This ‘requirement’ for Egypt to use 10% Israeli goods is fairly recent and occurred when the Us ‘re-negotiated’ its free trade with Egypt back in 2004

        Yes, that’s because the WZO product dumping quotas on goods from China and India expired. According to the Congressional Research Service, Egypt was facing 150,000 lost jobs in its textile and apparel industry, not just the button and bows business. At the time, it was the USA’s 7th largest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa and there were billions of dollars in foreign direct investment from the USA that was also going to evaporate without the deal and US-backed IMF aid for trade and value chains in textile and apparel.

        Re: So I remain unconvinced Us business or any other business interest except Israel got any benefit from this.

        Fair enough, I’ve mentioned that what governments do is patently obvious, but that their motives can remain a mystery. Whatever was on Mickey Kantor’s mind in 1996, it quickly became obvious that creating jobs in Gaza and helping the businesses there access US export markets was not what the governments of Egypt and the USA actually had envisioned. If you look at the results, it appears that the deal protected US manufacturers and US foreign investments. Those are the metrics that the Trade Representatives were required to include in their reports to Congress.

  22. Hostage says:

    And ever notice that for as much as they talk about BDS, they never promote the “S”?

    Adam and Phil co-authored an entire book about the Goldstone Report that called for criminal sanctions. Finkelstein did the same thing with his two editions of the book “This Time We Went Too Far”. Chomsky has likewise written articles about US efforts to prevent Palestine from approaching the ICC over US-backed Israeli acts of criminality.

    Phil has asked me to write articles on the subject of the ICC Prosecutor’s efforts to avoid taking any action on Palestinian criminal complaints. I can’t speak for the Arab language press, but only a few Palestinian or Muslim experts (e.g. Susan Akram, Victor Kattan, & George Bisharat) are willing to drop the pointless statism debates long enough to write about the subject in the English press. None of them have mentioned the simple techniques that could be employed to overcome the Prosecution and Israeli objections, stonewalling, and delaying tactics.

    Phil has also emailed me asking for articles based upon my comments about prosecuting American nationals among the settlers and US-owned or operated corporations for war crimes (plunder and pillage of public and private property) they’ve committed in Palestine by employing the civil and criminal provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

    • Danaa says:

      Ditto here. Hostage, please do. Many more people will appreciate your viewpoint and suggestions, were you to put them up in a post, rather than just as a comment that gets lost easily in the shuffle.

      It’s a worthy undertaking and well worth your time, I think.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: because no prosecuting attorney would live to write his memoirs of the case.

        Well here is a long series of comments between a Zionist “trial lawyer”, Jackdaw, and myself about the methods that Palestinians could employ to initiate a civil RICO lawsuit against US nationals and corporations, including billionaire Haim Saban. Phil emailed me about turning it into an article.

        I’ve explained in detail elsewhere that Palestinian victims do not need a prosecuting attorney’s permission to initiate a civil RICO suit for war crimes involving US nationals and they are automatically entitled to treble damages in accordance with the applicable statutes if they win.

        To make matters worse, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals just re-instated a civil RICO lawsuit filed by the European Union against R.J. Reynolds/Nabisco for its complicity in international organized racketeering activities. I hope I live to see the day that the EU starts enforcing its own racketeering laws against its indigenous EU Zionist crime syndicates.

      • true, people I work with said Obama probably has it tougher that we imagine, as fighting Zionism is probably tougher that it seems for a presidente. His own party stabs him in back in broad daylight.
        And with little rats like Lindsey and McCain on the USS America eating the soft deck wood, he still has Chuckie and Hikund in his quarters to worry about. Not a pretty scenario at all.

      • Danaa says:

        Hostage – again, please write a top post on MW on the means and ways palestinians have of bringing lawsuits based on the statutes you mention. Most of us have no familiarity with the finer details of the law, and it seems clear that there are numerous ways of bringing pressure against Palestinians not to take certain courses of action.

        But, in the end it’s about momentum and having wind in your back. There are, IMO, enough people who support Palestinians to give at least some individuals the cover they need. But we all need to know that there’s a chance of success.

        I’ll keep holding your feet to the fire Hostage on this. Time to take the trouble perhaps? I think a post from you will be very well received. besides, each of us needs to do what they can. I can’t do what you do but I do other things to spread the word. From each according to their own abilities?

        PS I do realize, as i said in my recent comment on MW that the Palestinians, as a coquered people in Palestine – and under-suspicion in the US – are under tremendous pressure to not do certain things. It’s one thing to say they should. It’s another thing to withstand the collective punishment that Israel can met out at the drop of a hat. With the help of the US PTBs, of course.

        Conquered people need help. They always did, from the time of Vichy’s France and colonial Algeria, and from long before.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I’ll keep holding your feet to the fire Hostage on this. Time to take the trouble perhaps?

        I have no control over how articles or comments get published at MW. Some times Phil will reply in the comments section and say that anytime I want to write an article on that particular subject, that I’m welcome to do so. Some of those articles have been published, while others have been sitting around for over a year now (and are probably a little dated). Recently, he said that Adam doesn’t really want to publish material from anonymous authors, but we’ve still discussed articles on a variety of issues in the news, that could be published under the “Mondoweiss Editors” moniker and Annie has expressed an interest in doing one.

        Re: I still wish, however, that you would organize all your documentary resources into a carefully structured standalone wiki. Perhaps someone else could do it.

        FYI, you would probably be amazed at the scope of my interests, my activities, and correspondence. I’ve found that most political science experts know little or nothing about the relevant international law or the relevant history. Most legal experts know nothing about the history or the relevant rules of international organization that governed treaty bodies, like the LoN, the PCIJ, the UN, the ICJ, or the ICC. Most historians don’t know anything about the relevant rules of law or international organization. Amazingly enough, they are all so specialized that they seldom encounter the stuff that I write about Palestine, until they bump into me.

        Ages ago I started composing narrative talking papers on various topics comprised of blockquotes from the relevant authorities and sending them to Phil, Adam, James North, and Annie. Those usually result in a flurry of emails containing follow-up questions, a flurry of replies, and one or two articles.

        I do exactly the same thing with a couple of faculty members of the London School of Economics and Political Science/School of Oriental and African Studies, and some faculty members and post-doctoral historian research fellows at the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies. I frequent their personal blogs and we exchange emails and advice, One of the LES/SOAS professors also moonlights for Al-Haq, Al Mezan, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

        They all want the same thing that you do. But there is no “documentary resource”, except what’s stored between my two ears. I’ve always read everything I can get my hands on and passed-along my books and periodicals to my relatives and friends when I was finished reading them. My wife threw-out or packed away the ones nobody wanted in the attic, and “cuts me off at the pass” any time I even head in that direction to see what’s still up there;-) Fortunately, I can usually remember some verbage from those published sources when I’m in a discussion. Nowadays if you can remember where you read something and a bit of what it said, you can usually find a copy online and provide a link to it.

      • seanmcbride says:


        You wrote: “FYI, you would probably be amazed at the scope of my interests, my activities, and correspondence.”

        I wouldn’t be amazed at all — I have always assumed that what you’ve posted on Mondoweiss is the mere tip of the iceberg — just a small taste.

        Keep in mind that with a well-organized standalone wiki of your text files, anyone in the world at any time of the night or day could instantly access valuable facts, quotes and documents with the utmost speed and precision. You could reach an audience of everyone for all time in the most effective way possible.

        Mondoweiss comments get lost in the sprawl — which is a pity.

        (And it is a pity that much valuable documentation in the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group was erased in one fell swoop.)

      • seanmcbride says:


        There is a deeper level to the librarianship angle on my suggestions to Hostage that he wikify his material:

        +artificial intelligence
        +automated A/B testing
        +automated counterarguments
        +automated counterfacts
        +automated talking points
        +global superintelligence
        +IBM Watson
        +rapid self-learning
        +Unit 8200

        Hostage will probably grok the key inferences from that list.

        Wikipedia approaches+semantic markup > superintelligent debatebots.

        But you will be glad to know that I am not going to bore people to tears on this subject on your blog. 🙂

        If anyone is curious about this subject, Google [ibm watson debate].

        Let me assure you that Israel is determined to master and dominate this research front — they have many bright minds working on the core tech issues. And they are going to run circles around many critics of Israel and Zionism, who won’t have a clue what is happening.

      • Hostage, I have never understood why the remedies you describe(d) are not pursued. Seems pretty straighforward and there are Palestinian legal aid groups out there. They should be all over this, but you never hear about even attempts being made.

        Funding? Some “national security” catch, or peculiar standing requirements that filter for Palestinians?

        Since the GoI has just specifically named the Duma arson murders Jewish terrorism, doesn’t that open up a sort of “Miracle on 34th Street” (Post Office recognizes Santa, therefore he exists…) claim against at least the settlers, but also GoI assets because Israel clearly facilitates this Jewish terrorism, legal clarity TBD.

        Any thoughts? Apologies if you’ve already gone into this.

        A link is great, if you have one handy. Or a couple of sentences. Just looking for some non-statute place to start exploring context.

        Appreciate’cha. Cheers.

      • Hostage says:

        @ ritzl Re: Hostage, I have never understood why the remedies you describe(d) are not pursued. … there are Palestinian legal aid groups out there & etc.

        Here is a little by way of explanation and a few examples.

        From the outset, the Courts in the USA have always said comeback and see us after there is a negotiated final settlement or Palestine is a state. Meanwhile, Israel and the USA have a gun to the head of the Palestinian negotiators and demand a final settlement that will prevent any such individual private claims. Never mind that any such treaty would violate a jus cogens norm and be legally null and void under customary and conventional law as a result. We enjoy setting unattainable Kafkaesque/Catch 22 goals for others who burden our busy Court dockets.

        There are many Palestinian lawyers who are understandably loath to argue that the current Bantustan is a state, since the UN and 140 countries have recognized it, for fear of permanently entrenching the current territorial status quo. But as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, stateism (1 state versus 2 states) is irrelevant to displaced persons under international law, since any change in sovereignty over a territory does not effect heritable family rights and honors or title to private property situated therein.

        The Nuremberg Charter and the Control Council Statute employed in the US Zone of Occupied Germany both recognized pillage and plunder as “crimes against persons and property” and pursued claims on behalf of victims, who were considered “stateless” under international law.

        But the USA and other governments have raised legal objections and created jurisdictional obstacles in the past to prevent other displaced persons from having the necessary legal standing to pursue claims on their own behalf.

        With 50 million people displaced worldwide, the international human rights Courts have grown impatient with those lines of argumentation. Neighboring governments who allow tyrannical regimes and transnational corporations to drive-off undesirable populations in order to plunder a country have discovered that they end-up with an expensive, intractable refugee problem inside their own borders.

        So those lines of argumentation are either no longer applicable or can be challenged in light of subsequent political and legislative developments in many countries. See for example the recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgment in the CASE OF SARGSYAN v. AZERBAIJAN and the CASE OF CHIRAGOV AND OTHERS v. ARMENIA

        The Court reaffirmed the inalienable right of refugees who have abandoned their homes and countries due to armed conflicts to access their land and property once again after hostilities have ceased and to be paid compensation for use without regard to on-going or insincere negotiations over “final peace” agreements – and the affirmative obligation of the state governments concerned under both (1) the rules of customary International Humanitarian Law that apply to all conflicts; and (2) the corresponding rules reflected in the EC Human Rights Convention to facilitate refugees in doing exactly that.

        Likewise the ECHR has previously ruled that EC settlers in Turkish Northern Cyprus have to return plundered property that they have acquired to the rightful owner and pay compensation without regard to the conclusion of a final settlement. Here is an article which explained that a British couple were being ordered by the regular Courts in Cyprus to demolish their home, return the land to the rightful owner, and pay rent until they settled the matter. They were arguing that the Cypriot Court had no territorial jurisdiction in the northern area of Cyprus. So, the original Greek owner had gone to the UK Courts to have the judgment enforced and put a lien on their assets:

        Here is the Opinion and Judgment from the Grand Chamber of the European Court instructing the British Court of Appeals that it must respect the default judgment of the Court in Cyprus in favor of Meletis Apostolides in the matter of Meletis Apostolides v David Charles Orams and Linda Elizabeth Orams.

        The conclusion of treaties by the State of Palestine has altered the legal landscape. For example, the Village of Bil’in filed a lawsuit in Canada a few years ago against Canadian firms who were developing and constructing Israeli settlements on their plundered land. The Canadian Courts dismissed the case, because they hadn’t exhausted their remedies in the municipal courts of Israel, which had long-since declared the legality of the settlements a non-justiciable issue (see HCJ 4481/91 Bargil v. GoI).

        That’s irrelevant now, since Palestine and Canada are both signatories to the Rome Statute. Municipal Palestinian, not Israeli Courts, would be the relevant ones for the purposes of territorial jurisdiction, whether or not the Harper Administration or EC governments like it.

        The Hague Conventions and the Geneva Conventions were not considered “self-executing” treaties in western countries and in Israel, which inherited their legal systems from the British. The USA had extradition treaties with various countries for all of the war crimes and crimes against humanity, but no particular enabling statute on the subject of its own.

        The Clinton Administration testified to Congress that none was needed, since all of the relevant acts were crimes anyway under existing US law. When the Congress adopted explicit enabling legislation anyway (the War Crimes Act of 1996) it chose to follow the example of Germany and many other countries and did not provide for a private right of action. The Attorney General and the Supreme Court held that only signatory state governments had the right to pursue claims on behalf of their citizens. In this country, only the US Attorney General can initiate action on behalf of victims under the War Crimes Act, which makes pillage and plunder of public and private property, murder, torture, & etc. Class A Felonies. Palestine is now a signatory state to those conventions, whether Obama likes it or not. The Geneva Convention itself explains that it applies to armed conflicts in which one or more contracting parties are not internationally recognized. So the PA should be able to pursue claims in our Courts.

        Private Palestinian groups had previously employed the Alien Tort Statute (ATA), which doesn’t provide for criminal action. The Supreme Court recently ruled that there is a presumption against any extraterritorial application of that Statute and insist on a connection to wrongful acts in the USA, not their foreign subsidiaries. But the Congress and the Executive branch deliberately designed the RICO Statute to apply to international crimes committed by corrupt organizations and transnational criminal rings laundering property and money acquired as a result of unlawful transactions involving Class A Felonies or acts that are considered extraditable offenses. There are both civil and criminal remedies available, which means that there is a private right of action regardless of any decision to prosecute by the Attorney General.

        The Current Special Counsel to the Department of Defense, Ryan Goodman, testified to Congress about the use of the civil and criminal provisions of the RICO Act and the IRS tax code to prosecute US Citizens for War Crimes committed abroad when he was serving on the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law and the US Naval War College’s Board of Advisers for International Law:

        So it’s not just my personal hair brained idea.

      • Bornajoo says:

        “So it’s not just my personal hair brained idea.”

        How do you do this Hostage?! Are you really a super computer? Come on, own up! Incredible

        So there is a good legal basis for reparations and compensation now, regardless of any so called final agreement? Do you think we will see a test case at some point soon? Would make sense…

      • Hostage says:

        Re: How do you do this Hostage?! Are you really a super computer? Come on, own up! Incredible

        I have a lot of help from my friends. I started out chatting on the Internet, just like we’re doing here, when the majority of users were PhDs at institutions devoted to full time research. While I’ve met a lot of new friends, I’m still staying up late at night talking to some of those wizards. A lot of them email me and keep me up-to-date on developments in their fields.

        Re: So there is a good legal basis for reparations and compensation now, regardless of any so called final agreement?

        Actually restitution of property to the rightful owner(s) is the preferred solution whenever it’s possible, rather than compensation. Thanks to the 30-year declassification rule, it’s a matter of public record that the government of Israel instigated deliberate Jewish exodus from the Arab and Muslim states as part of its state building program. Here is a discussion about one example involving the exodus from Iraq: – See Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs (Jones), Secret [WASHINGTON,] August 2,1951. Subject: Israel’s Concern Re Peace With the Arabs and Other Matters. Participants: Mr. Theodore Kollek, Embassy of Israel and Mr. G. Lewis Jones, NE, Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa, page 815

        Re: Do you think we will see a test case at some point soon? Would make sense…

        I’m not a prophet, but yes. I think that its inevitable that the countries, like Sweden, which have recognized Palestine, will have to enforce the EC own rules against Israeli Banks, Realtors, Foreign Charities, Mortgage Insurance Companies, & etc. and the whole house of cards will collapse from its own weight.

      • Bornajoo says:

        “I think that its inevitable that the countries, like Sweden, which have recognized Palestine, will have to enforce the EC own rules against Israeli Banks, Realtors, Foreign Charities, Mortgage Insurance Companies, & etc. and the whole house of cards will collapse from its own weight.”

        Amen to that!

        Thanks once again Hostage

      • Danaa says:

        Hostage, Sean, I actually started some time last year collating Hostage’s posts (which are voluminous indeed) and organizing them into subjects and cross reference. Got about 1/3 of the way (in the specific area I was interested in) and then work piled up and I had to give it a rest. It’s kind of hard to get back into it now, but believe it or not, just as I did with FF files (the ones that interested me and/or I was engaged in), I have assembled the full collection of hostage’s posts. But because it’s so scholarly it’s a bit time consuming to break into chunks. After all, hostage hhad to educate us all time and again, so there’s some necessary repetition (which bears repeating again, even now).

        Sorry, Sean i don’t do wiki stuff – if you recall I’m the all-analog person, but once that’s done, the digitization into capturable bits will be another expert’s job. My beat is strategy and tactics not data entry. To each their expertise, I guess. Still, I wouldn’t mind working with a digitizer, if I had one. The Wiki-like idea is a good one, especially for reference-rich, scholarly subjects. I am working on a Wikipedia entry of my own now and find the going laborious.

      • Danaa – your studious spirit is wowing me out. And you’re giving me the image of a monkette (female monk) slaving over desk by candlelight, meticulously and with utmost care copying giant volumes of forbidden, sacred knowledge by hand – while a cat naps curled on rug below desk.

        I’m getting the image of ancient scribe and alchemist with you and Hostage in hooded cloaks. Heh.

        But seriously, Danaa – very fantastic that you took on these knowledge-preserving and arduous tasks off your own volition. Thank you.

      • seanmcbride says:


        You are without a doubt a writer:

        “your studious spirit is wowing me out. And you’re giving me the image of a monkette (female monk) slaving over desk by candlelight, meticulously and with utmost care copying giant volumes of forbidden, sacred knowledge by hand – while a cat naps curled on rug below desk.”

        Certainly one of the best ever to appear in the Mondoweiss comments section. Immersing yourself in all those poets we mentioned earlier paid off.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Bless you, you are a saint and an angel. What a revelation to hear that you’ve been working on collecting and organizing these materials.

        Hostage definitely needs a James Boswell (that’s a reference to Samuel Johnson). And critics of Israel definitely need to get up to speed on information operations — a field in which the Israeli government and the Israel lobby excel above all competitors.

      • Danaa says:

        Very funny image, Taxi – turn into a TV series, perhaps? Monkette indeed – is it OK if I turn on my LED powered desk lamp though? the hood can stay – –

        One part where you may want to revise is the ONE cat. Alas, it’s a “bit” worse than that. They say however that this was Hemingway’s secret!

        I really hope I can get back to my Hostage collage soon.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: One part where you may want to revise is the ONE cat. Alas, it’s a “bit” worse than that.

        My wife, my son, and I already had our own pet cats, before a stray kitten showed-up at our house about a month ago. So it’s official, we’re crazy cat people.

      • Hi Hostage. I’m kinda losing track in this thread, so apologies in advance if you’ve already answered this…

        A) Thanks, as always.

        B) Re: Palestinians are loathe to [my words] risk endorsing a/any political outcome. I totally understand the pragmatic wisdom of that. There be dragons.

        C) What I don’t understand is why they can’t and/or won’t pursue “simple” private tort actions given that the Jewish victims of terrorism have just won huge judgements against both private AND ostensibly non-state (the PA) defendents. It seems that the findings that enabled that decision would be reversible as applied to Palestinian victims of Jewish terrorism, especially now that the GoI has explicitly stated that (specifically in Duma, but maybe extendable to link a broader pattern of similar events). Not reversible in the sense of “overturnable,” but reversible in the sense of suing and getting judgements against private facilitators on exactly the same basis as the Jewish victims won.

        The Duma victims seem, to me anyway, to be provable victims of a huge private network of material settler-enablers of their deaths. That doesn’t, again “seem,” to be related to states, refugee status/rights, or any IHL or international criminality considerations. The Duma murders were just terrorism/crime facilitated by private Israeli/US installations. To the extent that US entities enabled those murders, the family “should” be able to sue in US courts, and win, just as the Jewish victims did.

        I know it’s never that simple. Perhaps the obstacle to standing is US residency of the victims, or some such, but there does seem to be an obstacle preventing “mirror” private and successful lawsuits by Palestinians.

        I only ask this because maybe if that specific obstacle(s) is identified, people reading this may be able to point out the incongruity and push to eliminate it in the forum of their choice, or better, help fund a “mirror” claim if such a claim is possible.

        D) The Duma murders and GoI pronouncements describing them as terrorism may establish a completely new, actionable, legal paradigm (jeez I hate that word) for Palestinians to bring similar [successful] suits. There seems to be enough specific correspondence to the recent judgement there to believe so, if articles like the Silverstein article that Taxi posted is accurate and/or indicative of the facts.

        But maybe not.

        I guess what it took me this long to ask is whether there IS a new paradigm or not.

        Thanks again.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: C) What I don’t understand is why they can’t and/or won’t pursue “simple” private tort actions given that the Jewish victims of terrorism have just won huge judgements against both private AND ostensibly non-state (the PA) defendents.

        Well there are difficulties using the Alien Tort Statute, unless you can establish some connection to the USA.

        The Jewish victims you mentioned were using the Anti-Torture Victim Act (1992)

        They sued the Palestinian Authority, and relyed on evidence of (what where essentially welfare) payments to the families of prisoners or perpetrators to establish a mode of legal liability.

        That Statute only applies to acts committed “under actual or apparent authority, or color of law, of any foreign nation.” But not to private terrorist groups.

        So you’d have to establish that the perpetrators were acting at the behest of the Government of Israel (GoI). The USA has had the Kahanists on the list of designated terror groups for a decade, but doesn’t consider them to be part of the GoI. The fact that Israel has called them terrorist too, probably doesn’t prevent Palestinian plaintiffs from establishing that the WZO Settlement Division, the various GoI ministries, and the IDF Civil Administration have been funneling financial and material support to them, like all of the other illegal settlers, for decades.

      • Hi Hostage,

        It looks like the legal dots are being connected for a Palestinian case under the Alien Tort Statute.

        Kay24 posted this Haaretz article over at MW.

        It shows an explicit financial support mechanism for perpetrators of Jewish terrorism toward Palestinians. The description of the mechanism, its rationale, and its recipients sounds very similar to the findings of the recent judgement against the PA (and your description of that actionable financial connection).

        That’s only public domain info. Sworn discovery may solidify and broaden this connection in a Palestinian suit.

        It’s coming, imho, but still some big “are the courts willing to go THERE?” obstacles to overcome. The evidence of a broad pattern of Jewish NGO financial support for terrorism would probably have to be overwhelming to overcome that hurdle.

        Then there’s issues of standing. But inching closer it is…

        ■Is U.S. taxpayer money subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs?■

        “Channel 10 expose shows that an organization which provides financial support to Jews convicted of or on trial for violence against Palestinians is funded by a U.S. NGO.

        Uriel Heilman
        25.08.2015 | 10:20 3 comments
        JTA – Taxpayer dollars in the United States and Israel are subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs, a complaint filed with the New York state Attorney General’s Office alleges. …”

      • Hostage says:

        Re: It looks like the legal dots are being connected for a Palestinian case under the Alien Tort Statute.

        No that’s a Federal statute, this complaint was filed with the New York State Charities Bureau. So, it’s not even lawsuit. The decision to investigate or take action is strictly up to the State Attorney General’s Office “Social Justice Branch.” (not for instance the Criminal Justice Branch or the New York State Courts).

        There is presumption, after the Supreme Court decision in Kiobel, that the Alien Tort Statute has no extra-territorial scope of applicability to violations of customary international law the take place outside the USA. The recent ATA lawsuit involving the PA and welfare payments to families of jailed members of Hamas was the “Anti-Terror Act” (ATA), not the “Alien Tort Statute” (ATS).

      • Hostage says:

        @ Sean and Taxi
        Re: (And it is a pity that much valuable documentation in the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group was erased in one fell swoop.)

        Checking on this situation finally got to the top of my TODO list. There should be about 28 working copies of your old FF Mondoweiss site here. Just click on the relevant year and one of the blue circled dates on the calenders below:*/

        FYI, the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive says: “ was Saved 28 times between January 30, 2012 and June 28, 2015.”

        The last date is a 302 not found. The last full copy was in 22 December 2014

        I navigated around a bit and the “Newer Items” and “Older Items” links at the bottoms of the pages had been crawled and copied.

        You should be able to navigate around and read everything, but things like the Search box and Login at the top of the page, that relied on the Facebook server side backend are obviously non-functional now.

      • Sean, Danaa, American, Chu et all are gonna be thrilled you dug up this little FriendFeed treasure trunk from the proverbial and cryptic cyber-graveyard.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Thanks for taking the trouble for bringing the Wayback Machine to our attention.

        But I ran into a problem: when the Blankfort discussion reemerged here again on Plato’s Gun, the Wayback Machine was the first place I turned to to try to pull up the old posts on Friendfeed. I quickly discovered that there are large gaping holes in Wayback’s coverage of the site (including the Blankfort material). Alas — there were many interesting posts during that period in 2012.

        I really miss the power and fluidity of the FF interface — Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms don’t come close.

        (There is a possibility that I have failed to grasp the ins and outs of the Wayback Machine interface — if someone can find the Blankfort discussions there, please let us know.)

      • Hostage says:

        Re: I quickly discovered that there are large gaping holes in Wayback’s coverage of the site (including the Blankfort material). Alas — there were many interesting posts during that period in 2012.

        I’ll see what I can find. It’s a shame that someone didn’t grab a copy of the site or mirror it with wget or HTTrack before they took it down.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Btw, earlier I commented to you:

        “Also, whatever DARPA, IARPA, In-Q-Tel and related organizations are up to 2015 is probably much more interesting and important than the endless wrangling about Israel and Zionism, and about ethnic and religious identity politics in general.”

        Actually, DARPA, IARPA and In-Q-Tel activities regarding advanced information technologies (especially in the field of AI) are extremely relevant to Mideast politics, as should be evident in this article that Taxi shared to Plato’s Guns the other day:

        “How the CIA made Google”

        One should pay close attention to all the details in that article.

        Lately I use bundles of well-crafted Google search expressions to try to get a handle on these developments, for instance:

        g; artificial intelligence amazon
        g; artificial intelligence big data
        g; artificial intelligence biometrics
        g; artificial intelligence books
        g; artificial intelligence business trends
        g; artificial intelligence cia
        g; artificial intelligence cinematic trends
        g; artificial intelligence computational linguistics
        g; artificial intelligence creativity
        g; artificial intelligence cultural trends
        g; artificial intelligence cyber war
        g; artificial intelligence dangers
        g; artificial intelligence darpa
        g; artificial intelligence data mining
        g; artificial intelligence deep learning
        g; artificial intelligence defense science board
        g; artificial intelligence drones
        g; artificial intelligence economic trends
        g; artificial intelligence facebook
        g; artificial intelligence financial trends
        g; artificial intelligence future
        g; artificial intelligence games
        g; artificial intelligence gchq
        g; artificial intelligence google
        g; artificial intelligence group profiling
        g; artificial intelligence hacking
        g; artificial intelligence hedge funds
        g; artificial intelligence iarpa
        g; artificial intelligence in-q-tel
        g; artificial intelligence intuition
        g; artificial intelligence investments
        g; artificial intelligence israel
        g; artificial intelligence knowledge
        g; artificial intelligence knowledge representation
        g; artificial intelligence linguistics
        g; artificial intelligence machine learning
        g; artificial intelligence machine translation
        g; artificial intelligence mit
        g; artificial intelligence movies
        g; artificial intelligence musical trends
        g; artificial intelligence natural language processing
        g; artificial intelligence neural networks
        g; artificial intelligence news analytics
        g; artificial intelligence novels
        g; artificial intelligence nsa
        g; artificial intelligence personal assistants
        g; artificial intelligence personal profiling
        g; artificial intelligence political science
        g; artificial intelligence political trends
        g; artificial intelligence predictive analytics
        g; artificial intelligence programming
        g; artificial intelligence programming languages
        g; artificial intelligence religion
        g; artificial intelligence religious trends
        g; artificial intelligence robots
        g; artificial intelligence science fiction
        g; artificial intelligence semantic networks
        g; artificial intelligence semantic web
        g; artificial intelligence semantics
        g; artificial intelligence sentiment mining
        g; artificial intelligence social trends
        g; artificial intelligence stanford
        g; artificial intelligence supercomputers
        g; artificial intelligence superintelligence
        g; artificial intelligence text mining
        g; artificial intelligence thought vectors
        g; artificial intelligence trends
        g; artificial intelligence unemployment
        g; artificial intelligence universal
        g; artificial intelligence virtual assistants
        g; artificial intelligence wall street
        g; artificial intelligence world models

        And one should be able to fill in these blanks:


        sort AI * by importance in 2015

        research centers

        The real game is going over the heads of most political activists — they don’t have a clue. Knowledge is power.

        Regarding those search expressions above, I would pick out this one as being exceptionally important:

        g; artificial intelligence hedge funds

        Can you guess why? (Bilderberg obviously gets it — thus the presence of Demis Hassabis, Alex Karp, Eric Schmidt, Peter Thiel and Regina Dugan at this year’s meeting.)

      • seanmcbride says:

        Quite a few efforts were made to salvage the site, but they were spotty and disorganized — and the total dataset to capture was huge. Bits and pieces of particular feeds and groups may reside in various archives — but it will be very difficult to stitch them together.

  23. “My impression is that there is a major change underway in discussion about Israeli politics in American life. The role of prominent Jewish leaders over the last months in attacking the American government over the Iran nuclear deal has been so conspicuous, so brutal, so bullying and so brazen, that I think we are now in a brave new world…” says seanmcbride.

    How naive. The point of the hysterical attacks on the Iran deal is to make it look as if it is a setback for Israel. In fact, it’s the guarantee that only Jews have the ability to murder their neighbors with impunity. It’s another confirmation that American politicians serve Israel. The tail wags the dog.

    • couldn’t agree more.

      I think the deal is terrible, shameful, unworthy of a strong nation, and calculated to cause maximum amount of trouble.

      Bibi bluster is theatrics. My guess is that he’s assured the deal will pass, he just wants to extort the maximum amount of weapons, money and Israeli access to Iranian sites, personnel, and secrets.

      The deal puts the Iranians in a very dangerous spot.

      Obama’s speech at American University as well as subsequent comments, i.e. “Iran’s behavior must change,” and “we retain military options” indicate the deal is just the preparatory phase of what is intended to be the ‘cold’ version of Iraqing Iran.

      The behavior that needs to change is US behavior. imo if Congress votes down the deal in veto-proof numbers, Israel will be blamed and the US might get some of the comeuppance it needs to reform itself.

  24. “Casting doubts on official zionist WW2 story-lines – Questioning the role of zionists during the holocaust – I remember reading years ago comments by Jeff that talked about zionist jews colluding with the nazis against German jews…” (Taxi)

    Taxi, perhaps this is what you’re referring to–a comment made by Jeff on Jan. 23, 2012:

    “The holocaust survivors who arrived in Israel, and I am speaking of those from the camps, were treated like shit by the smug Zionists in Palestine after the war as Tom Segev describes in all the ugly details in “1949: The First Israelis,” a story which has been buried as deep as the history of the Zionists’ earlier collaboration with the Nazis. Is it not curious that not a single survivor from the camps, to my knowledge–and I know you’ll correct me if I’m wrong with their names–ever reached a high political office in Israel? I was there in 1983 when the terrorist and and war criminal Begin resigned and was replaced by his fellow terrorist, Shamir (nee Yezernitsky), a group of survivors sent a petition to the government protesting Shamir’s appointment claiming that it was a sacrilege that this man who offered to collaborate with Hitler while with the Stern Gang should become the country’s prime minister. Their petition, of course, was ignored and received only a brief paragraph in the Jerusalem Post. About a decade or so ago, a group of survivors sent a letter to the government with another telling complaint, that Israel was treating the Palestinians similar to how they were treated by the Nazis. That story, like the protest against Shamir, never made it to the Western press and received short shrift from the Israeli government.”

    It would be wonderful to have the benefit of Jeff’s insight here. Perhaps he’ll comment sometime.

      • Hi Walid,
        Agree with you and Taxi–I’ve learned a great deal from him also and am still learning from him. I search for his articles and interviews. He has clarity, integrity and transparency, which is a rare combination, in my experience, in discussing I/P/US issues.

    • Hostage says:

      Re: Taxi, perhaps this is what you’re referring to–a comment made by Jeff on Jan. 23, 2012 …

      No, whatever got him banned didn’t make it past the moderator. Phil mentioned afterward that it had something to do with the Zionist role in the rise of the Nazis, and that he would be willing to publish Jeff’s articles in the future, but that he and Adam didn’t want to host that particular conversation.

      I’ve commented about all of those things myself, in great detail, and have never had a single one of them rejected, redacted, or deleted.

      • In that case, Hostage, ‘someone’ in MW has it in for Jeff – or, MW is petrified of your legal skills.

        It’s a weird compromise to ask Jeff to submit articles but not to mingle with the commentators. I’d be most offended by this if I were Jeff.

        The mystery of Jeff Blankford’s banning continues.

      • “It’s a weird compromise to ask [Jeff] to submit articles but not to mingle with the commentators. I’d be most offended by this if I were [Jeff.]”

        same thing happened to yours truly.
        Even as Phil & I were email-negotiating an article of mine that he wanted to post, I was banned.
        The article was front-paged/posted.
        I was not able to comment on it or any other subsequent MW article.

      • Good grief!!


        Why the heck did you agree to have your article published without being able to defend it in the comments section?

        As I recall, and as far as I know, Jeff never published anything on MW after his banning – he wouldn’t accept Phil’s condition. (But I many need correcting or confirming of this from others).

      • american200 says:

        If just occurred to me that perhaps some bannings are because of other commenters complaining about them..not just The Donald but some others.
        I remember Jeff got into a huge knockdown on the ‘Transfer Agreement” with some commenter called Bruce and a few others.

        What I notice is if certain people on MW gang up on a commenter he is soon gone.
        Several weeks ago when I was reading a thread on MW I saw ‘Giles’ keep getting ‘the treatment’ from 2 who shall go un named for now….and said to myself he is going to get banned…and sure enough he did.
        I looked thru his comments and the thing is he wasn’t racist or insulting he was just very ‘no bs and challenging’ of some who think their opinion is the only right opinion.

        So that might have also been the case with Jeff.

        Another thing Zios central does is put trolls on a blog who bait people and start slurring people to get a heated argument going and then they get some uber brethren to start writing the blog owner and start a campaign about how he is ‘hosting anti Semites’ on his blog.
        Thats what happen to Steve Clemons at TWN when I was there.
        They even got Jennifer Rubin at the WP to do a hit piece on him.
        Wasn’t long after that that Steve left the New America Foundation and moved over to the Atlantic and TWN became a shadow of its former self.

  25. Weareone,

    Thanks for digging up Jeff’s old post. Yes, this be the very post I remember reading on MW.

    And, like yourself too, I would love to have a chinwag with Jeff – especially about Iran. Cuz I won a bet with him, a bet that took years to play out – heh.

    Back a few years ago, when John MczioCain was singing “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” on stage and giggling like a fucking schoolgirl – back when the warmongers and their frightful media megaphones were making everyone convinced that a USA/Israel military attack on Iran was imminent, I had a long and involved to-and-fro with Jeff about it. He was convinced that a war with Iran would happen because the determined ziocons had, more or less, all their ducks lined up. I disagreed and gave what I remember being a logical deconstruction of the middle east’s geopolitical zeitgeist and concluded that no such war would take place, a war instigated by either Iran, USA or isreal. He wasn’t quite convinced but I did give him new food for thought that he said he would chew on… And I was right in my analysis at the time. Evidently.

      • Like I had explained to Jeff back then, simplified: Europe, China and Russia won’t allow a war on Iran. An attack on Iran (by anybody) would simply break the economies of Europe and put China and Russia’s investment portfolios under dangerous duress – the overall effect of this pressure would kick the teetering global economy right over and into the abyss. Therefore attacking Iran is really tantamount to attacking billions of other people’s lives worldwide.

        The Iran deal was not signed for the love of Iran, but for fear of the collapse of our global economy. We had a lot to lose if our side (P5+1) didn’t clinch the deal with Iran. Actually, contrary to what the media was and has been saying, the onus was on us to show Iran that we genuinely want a deal, a win-win deal. We needed the Iran deal a little bit more than the Iranians did and the Iranians knew it. We gave the Iranians concessions that set the eyeballs of zionists on fire with rage. But we had to give concessions. We had no other choice. We knew we absolutely need the fucking deal. Not for ‘political’ reasons, but for dollars.

        Clearly, to us, the dollar is more desirable than israel.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: Clearly, to us, the dollar is more desirable than israel.

        Probably true enough. WHAT governments do is patently obvious, but WHY they are doing it can sometimes take decades to come to light, unless a Manning or Snowden intervenes. By the time that my real hero, Simha Flapan, got his hands on the declassified documents from the US National Archives in the late 1970s, the Zionist narrative regarding the events of 1948 was firmly entrenched in the standard textbooks used in university-level Middle Eastern Studies programs. It took another generation for the works of the New Historians to gain that degree of academic acceptance.

        One way or the other, Netanyahu will get his consolation prize and Lockheed Martin, and its subcontractors will certainly help the Lobby behind the scenes to seal the deal. They’ve been trying unsuccessfully to give the asshole a free wing of F-35s ever since the proposed settlement freeze in November of 2010. If he keeps refusing to scratch their backs, and graciously accept the President’s offer, he risks offending a dozen key Congressional districts that will neither forgive nor forget being slighted.

      • Hostage says:

        Re: F-35 are not the belle of the ball on the battlefield, Hostage

        I’m fully aware of its shortcomings and it’s ridiculous price tag. Years ago the Atlantic quipped that “We used to be content to outspend Australia on aircraft. Now we literally spend [the GNP of] Australia on aircraft.” See “The F-35: A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia”

      • And what’s the alternative-

        Bombing Iran in a coordinated strike with Israel? How subjugated would the US military appear – serving the apartheid Judah state because a fifth column hard at work twisting the arms of US politicians. The US military has already failed with Iraq – attacking Iran returns us to the Clean Break strategy and the PNAC fiasco.

        I can see Israel disappearing, in a few decades. As modern and progressive as they think themselves to be, they’ve created this corrupt Jewish kingdom, where everything around it is has to suffer for it to exist. Do they have one true ally in the region (or the world today)?

        And all the while, Haim and Adelson grouped with the lesser Jewish billionaires (Braman, East Hampton Jews, etc) are actively buying off the future president & senators. The current US media will never connect the dots – but will enough grass roots web activity make it happen? We need media watchdogs who aren’t bought off
        and a series of firewalls to prevent the current corrupt media empires, but how do you install such a system when it’s already polluted?

    • american200 says:

      I think I am convinced a war on Iran wont happen in Obama time.
      After Obama who knows, I have learned to never underestimate the pure ignorant insanity of politicians.

  26. “We need media watchdogs who aren’t bought off
    and a series of firewalls to prevent the current corrupt media empires, but how do you install such a system when it’s already polluted?” (Chu)

    I believe we have this already, Chu, in the internet, but it’s decentralized, as I think it must be in order to be effective. Each of us, as involved individuals, is a “media watchdog”–millions, perhaps billions, of individuals globally sharing information. A reassuring thought, at least for me. A “system” seems a much easier target.

    • good point wao – Places like Huff Post where 5 years ago you couldn’t be critical of Israel often (with their Jewish deputies and self appointed mods), have somewhat exploded with anti Israel rhetoric, etc. I read a thread about Chuck Shumer on Iran and the peanut gallery was fired-up calling him Israel’s senator/traitor. etc.

      It seems the masses are waking up, although at a slower pace. What’s next are smaller msm media groups that challenge the narrative – RT & Al Jazeera do this which benefit US citizens, albeit they’re not a ‘domestic’ media organization.

      Next we need pols that will stand up and speak to the power of Zionism. Not one pol does this! Even people like Paul or Bernie (libertarian/socialist) don’t say jack about the Gaza prison camps.
      or vocally oppose the decades long occupation of the West Bank.

      • Exactly—not one— and the ones that have confronted zionism and the lobby head on have been removed. But, the dam is breaking and perhaps it’s even possible for this election cycle to herald the transition in the thinking of American citizens in which the litmus test for any would- be representative of the people is their position on Israel, zionism and the lobby.

      • echinococcus says:

        “Even people like Paul or Bernie (libertarian/socialist) don’t say jack about the Gaza prison camps.”
        You don’t seem too well acquainted with the candidates, Chu.
        Paul the Son is a flake that supports the Zionists most of the time.
        Sanders is a committed Zionist himself. Enough to watch him lose all control over himself and attack his critics directly at a meeting in defense of the last Gaza massacre, or “the right of Israel to defend itself” from firecrackers and stones, etc.

      • Ecci,
        I only used them as alternates to the dem/repub system but I can’t even recall Kucinich using any rhetoric against apartheidville when he was in office. A few years back there was a woman who was running for Conn. Senate (?) and she laid into Israel – no surprise she didn’t make it and Chris Murphy won.

        Lee Whitnum: (2 minutes)

      • echinococcus says:


        People running as official candidates of the dems or repubs are hardly “alternates to the dem/repub system”. Just sayin.

      • seanmcbride says:

        And, as I’ve remarked several times, the comment sections of the New York Times and Washington Post often sound like the Mondoweiss comment section these days — the transformation over the last few years has been amazing. There will be no turning back.

      • It’s unfortunate that Whitnum resorted to name calling. Her statement was important and controversial enough without giving the inevitable opposition a cheap and easy way to diminish the message.
        Style matters.

  27. Taxi, I agree with Chu–both commenters have made good points. Perhaps commenters could agree to limit themselves to debating only the point made by another, as opposed to engaging in personal attacks.

    • Yes wearone, believe me I really don’t like to concern myself with bannings etc. In pepsi’s case, he received 3 private emails from me, all politely asking him to be cool-headed, plus a few comments here on the blog asking him to be at his “smartest” etc, but alas, the boy just can’t help himself. I realize that and I accept it, but I just don’t want it on my blog.

      And as to Jones, well goddamn it a ‘smart’ man like that should not need telling about social boundaries and whatnot.

      Civilized rules of behavior should not need listing and spotlighting amongst conscientious people. If I have to spell it out for people then there’s a problematic incompatibility of life-skills there and really they should go get an education on it from somewhere else. I was not born either a babysitter or a charm-school educator.

  28. Taxi, thanks for the link to Sufism. I don’t know a great deal about this path, but I have a lovely interpretation of “The Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyamm, (an 11th century Persian mystic and Sufi)–“Wine of the Mystic” by Paramahansa Yogananda (who was an Indian mystic). The forward to the book states that “though commonly mistaken for a Moslem sect, the Sufis are at home in all religions…If they call Islam the ‘shell’ of Sufism, this is because they believe Sufism to be the secret teaching within all religions.”

    “Sufi teachers enumerate four stages of spiritual training through which the soul has to pass if it desires to realize its union or identity with the ultimate source of all things: 1) Belief in the Unseen; 2) Search after the Unseen; 3)Knowledge of the Unseen; 4) Realization…some later Sufi fraternities…borrowed from the Indian Vedantist, other means of bringing about this Realization. They taught, imitating the Hindu doctrine of Kundalini, that there are six great centers of light…in the body of man…the Sufi employs certain methods of meditation to achieve spiritual enlightenment…”

    The first quatrain of “The Rubaiyat”

    Awake! for Morning is the Bowl of Night
    Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
    And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
    The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

    “Glossary–Morning-dawn of awakening from delusive existence
    Bowl of Night–darkness of ignorance, which imprisons the immortal soul in mortal consciousness.
    Stone: spiritual discipline
    Stars: attractive twinkling of material desires
    Hunter of the East–Eastern wisdom, a mighty slayer of delusion
    Sultan’s turret: the sovereign soul
    Noose of light–the divine illumination of wisdom, which destroys the captive darkness surrounding the soul.”

    • Thanks weareone for the ‘Rubaiyat’share – I’m very familiar with the included poem and with Omar Khayam’s work – I’ve owned a few copies of the ‘Rubaiyat’ in my lifetime (I love all them Persian-Arabesque paintings that usually are included in the ‘Rubaiyat’). When I went to Egypt a couple of years ago, I was surprised to learn that Sufism is deeply injected into several moslem sects there and the dervish dancing in these moslem sects was the norm – I saw drummers and dervish dancers at sunset in the old square of a poor neighborhood in Cairo – unforgettable sight and experience – a touch of moslem Africa there. I think the Sufi masters of old felt an affinity with islamic teachings and aligned themselves with it because of parallel understandings of the ‘unseen’ god and also because islam, unlike judaism and christianity, is actually all inclusive and is anti-racism. Judaism divides the world into tribes; biblical Christianity justifies slavery; and islam judges people by their deeds and by their love of god and not by skin color and tribal inclinations. I think the old Sufis saw much good in islam because of this and because of moslems striving for goodness and closeness to god through prayer and through purification rituals and ablution. In islamic societies, Sufism is accepted as an innocuous mystical islamic practice – except of course by wahabi moslems who basically hate everyone who is not a wahabi. Wahabis don’t even follow the prophet Mohammad’s teachings, they follow another Mohammad who was born in the 18th century (some 400 years after the prophet) – the Wahabi Mohammad’s full name is: Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, hence: ‘wahabism’. They specifically call themselves Wahabis and not Mohamaddians. And the connection you mention between Indian mysticism and Sufism is there too – back in the day, people borrowed good principles from each other in an attempt to perfect their belief systems.

      But really, like I said above, I only know Sufism mainly from Sufi poets – I don’t know the specifics of all their principles – just general knowledge – to my mind, they’re like peaceful Buddhic moslems.

      • Taxi, I thought you might be familiar with the ‘Rubaiyat’ given your love of poetry and your poetic spirit. Your experience in Egypt sounds enchanting. I love the paintings, as well, and this particular interpretation has exquisite illustrations, imho.

        “because islam, unlike judaism and christianity, is actually all inclusive and is anti-racism. Judaism divides the world into tribes; biblical Christianity justifies slavery;” My understanding is that the unadulterated essence of all religions is the same, as given by the masters of each–Christ, Krishna, Muhammad, Buddha, etc– but the dissension and misunderstanding among various creeds is due largely to dogma and ignorance of the underlying unanimity in the truths propagated by each. I’m certainly not a religious scholar, but this is my understanding.

      • In truth, discussing Eastern or Abrahamic religions gives me a headache. I find validity and morality in some of the stories, and I love the poetics of ‘inspired’ writings, but beyond that, I have a natural disinterest in religion. No disrespect to no religion here – for all I know they could all be right about their stuff – it’s just that I am naturally not magnetized towards that particular tunnel of light for my personal life instruction.

        Really, the distinction I wanted to make with my above statement is that the Quran specifically instructs against racism – it addresses this issue directly. The bible and the torah don’t. As far as I understand it, that is – and I too am no religious scholar.

        For instance, an African follower and friend of the prophet Mohammad during his lifetime was the first man to ever sing out the moslem call-to-prayer (sorry I forget the African man’s name). The prophet Mohammad wanted it that way and asked him to sing out. There was a very relevant sociopolitical reason behind Mohammad’s decision to ask the African to be the first to call out for prayer.

        This moslem Levant lady from the village nearby once told me that prophet Mohammd brought the message of god to Arabia so he could free slaves and free women and fight ignorance. She said these three issues were his motives for spreading his prophetics – so rife with ignorance and prejudice and debauchery was Arabia back in pre-islamic Arab pagan societies.

    • Lol, Sean, that was actually funny! I wish you’d let the Irish in you out more often. But for real, my eyes are drooping right now and I really will definitely google your suggestion tomorrow when my brain is more sponge than fog.

      And to your long alien list of alien names above, yeah right I got that – NOT! Whistled right over my sleepyhead.

  29. MRW says:

    Taxi, I just read this comments of yours on the tail-end of the Weir thread on MW. Cracked me up. 😉

    Jennifer Hitchcock: “Oh, and I almost forgot: thanks again, Annie, for all your hard work!”

    Taxi: You “almost forgot”??? Gimme a break will ya?!

    You didn’t come back to specifically “thank” annie. You came back here because you’re a ziocain zombie looking to excuse the wanton crimes of your so-called tribe.

    Your insincerity towards the ‘other’ is revolting.”

    • She really deserved a tennis racket bouncing off her head repeatedly till she cried uncle.

      Her zionism, I couldn’t care less for her arguments, felt utterly unmotivated to respond to her hasbara. It was her insincerely towards non-zionists that really got my goat.

    • Dear MRW,

      Yes please – do contact Blankfort and invite him over. Tell him I’m blogging from south Lebanon and would love to talk Iran-Levant-zionism with his good self.

      I’m just thinking that maybe after all these years he’s forgotten me. But that don’t matter, I haven’t forgotten him – heh.

      • Frankie P says:

        I have already contacted Gilad Atzmon and introduced him to this blog. We had a short email exchange and he was impressed. I hope that he will stop in and comment.

        Frankie P

  30. Bornajoo says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for so many amazing comments here, especially the personal stories from Hostage and Danaa. I have no idea where this is going to end up as I can’t find a reply button!

    Danaa, most of our family from both my mother and father’s side ended up in israel directly from Iraq in the early 50s. The discrimination they suffered was pretty terrible. The Iraqis even had their own song:

    What did you do, Bengurion?
    You smuggled in all of us!
    Because of the past, we waived our citizenship
    And came to Israel.
    Would that we had come riding on a donkey and we
    Hadn’t arrived here yet!
    Woe, what a black hour it was! To hell with the plane that brought us here!

    The discrimination was also immediate. As soon as they got off the plane they were literally put in makeshift communal tents but the Ashkenazim were given actual houses and proper cabins. I got this information first hand from my family while that generation was still alive

    Interestingly Begin exploited this discrimination when he set up Likud in the late 70s. He got the Mizrahi on board in huge numbers with his promises of so called social equality. And now the main voting and support base of Likud/Netanyahu is the Mizrahi who have ended up more right wing and racist than the Ashkenazim in Tel Aviv and elsewhere

    • seanmcbride says:


      You wrote: “I have no idea where this is going to end up as I can’t find a reply button!”

      If you subscribe to WordPress comments in email, you can use the reply button at the bottom of every message to land you at the correct position on the WordPress web page when posting replies.

      Also, if you have a capable mail reader (I use Gmail), you can easily search all previous comments within your reader, using complex search expressions.

      I don’t know how anyone is able to manage comments in long threads without using the email option. I use Gmail to easily and efficiently track all new comments on a post and to retrieve earlier comments that flowed by with a few keywords.

      I am using this method right now to respond to your message.

      • Bornajoo says:

        Hi Sean. Great to hook up with you again. Thanks for the advice. Actually I do use Gmail otherwise this whole comment thing would be impossible. What I meant was (i should have made myself clearer, sorry!) is how do I insert a comment in the right place when you enter the conversation for the first time. Once I’m in, I use Gmail to keep track but when you want to make an initial reply there is sometimes no reply button in sight

        You’ve always advocated inclusiveness and been against any kind of exclusion and I fully agree. I don’t believe in banning and purging, unless of course the contributor is simply unable to, or refuses to conduct themselves in a civilised manner. Like you, I think it’s healthy to hear every point of view as possible. Unfortunately some are only interested in vitriolic hit and run stink bombs

        I think some of the most interesting and thought provoking responses on mondoweiss was on those Atzmon threads a few years ago and recently on the Avigail Abarbanel articles. I remember Tree and Danaa amongst many others being outstanding in defence of Atzmon and free speech. But then I also have to take into account what Annie says which is that there is a limit to how much she can moderate and those threads do go on and on. The recent Alison Weir one on mondo stands at around 1050. There is definitely also a time/resources issue involved. I think mondo is wrong to exclude anyone as long as they remain civilised. It’s very, very important to hear what people really, honestly and truly believe. I actually think it’s helpful to expose those honest thoughts so people can see their real bigotry and decide for themselves

        That’s why I wanted (like many others) to have Netanyahu/Likud reelected because the real deal is on show under the bright lights instead of the two faced snakes from the libzio side.

        I don’t want to see mondo become more restricted. It needs to be as open as possible but maybe there should be a time limit or volume limit on comments on the ‘heavy’ articles

        The first thing they need to do, in my opinion, is make a clear statement about the Alison Weir issue

      • seanmcbride says:


        I agree — encourage as much free speech and open intellectual inquiry as possible, but enforce basic standards of civility and reasonableness — otherwise trolls and saboteurs could take down any forum quite quickly.

        I think Mondoweiss began to go off the rails when it banned Jeff Blankfort — someone who was always civil and reasonable and who always had his facts and documentation in order. That is when the real agenda of JVP/JSF members and associates began to surface. They are basically a “progressive” arm of the ADL — in the business of policing self-interested politically correct thinking.

        I would like to see Phil Weiss, Adam Horowitz, Max Blumenthal and Alex Kane engage in an extended online debate with Gilad Atzmon over Zionist and Jewish issues. Why not let them sort out their disagreements in a rational way and let readers come to their own conclusions about who is making the most sense?

        We know how most Mondoweiss commenters feel about the Alison Weir issue — they have sided with Weir.

        (Good to know that you are already using Gmail to manage WordPress comments!)

      • Bornajoo says:

        “I would like to see Phil Weiss, Adam Horowitz, Max Blumenthal and Alex Kane engage in an extended online debate with Gilad Atzmon over Zionist and Jewish issues. Why not let them sort out their disagreements in a rational way and let readers come to their own conclusions about who is making the most sense?”

        I absolutely agree with that Sean. What’s the point in having a site sub titled as “war of ideas” if you are going to just go to war with someone who has some ideas you don’t like?

        I remember that debate and Danaa, Tree, Citizen and so many others came out on Atzmon’s side and an even higher percentage has come out on Alison Weir’s side

        My own opinion about Atzmon is that he was banished not so much for what he said, but more for who he is and how he actually frames and presents his ideas. His “Jewishness” theory is not that different, if different at all, to statements made by Avigail Abarbanel or Shlomo Sand. It’s just that they are *respectable and professional * whereas he’s a (terrific) jazz musician and comes across in a very melodramatic loose cannon manner. The content is nearly the same, the presentation is very, very different and they just didn’t know how to deal with him.

        He was also accused of holocaust denial. This is untrue. He was trying to show that the holocaust had moved from an historic event into sacred religious dogma and this affected his right to question it, in other words his right to free speech

        Banning Blankfort and Atzmon was wrong. I hope Alison Weir doesn’t get the same treatment. All this banning business is just a terrible idea

  31. Thanks, Bornajoo – thank you for adding first-hand information, evidence of enduring Ashkenazim racism against not just non-jews, but against dark-skinned and Arab jews as well.

    I can only imagine the disappointment at israel and zionism in the hearts of your elder family members. So sad. Iraq was too good a homeland to emigrate from back in the day. I know Iraqi jews who only left when the Iraq-Iran war started in the1980’s and they didn’t move to israel, they moved to Morocco.

    “I have no idea where this is going to end up as I can’t find a reply button!” – Bornajoo.

    Not to worry, pal, people will find and read it. Next time, try scrolling upwards, just keep going upwards past comments till you see the first ‘Reply” box and hit that (sometimes it’s a ways up there). And just to let you know: I’m currently working on redesigning the commentary section with a tec – hopefully within a few day, bloggers will be having a smoother and more pleasant experience blogging on Plato’s.

    • Bornajoo says:

      Thanks Taxi. I’m looking forward to the new blogging experience on Platos!

      What made it worse for those relatives is finding out that it was the Zionists who actually forced them to leave via false flag bombing operations. Walid is very knowledgeable about that whole sorry episode. They were coerced over there to be the slave untermensche class and that’s how most of them ended up. They all LAMENT the life they were forced to leave behind. The Zionists fucked everything up for a lot of people and continue to wreak havoc on this poor planet

      Back to the main topic, I’m with Ritzl (but I can’t find his comment now). I believe in the broad tent and I think mondoweiss is an important part of it. Annie is wonderful, she exudes pure innocence and goodness and the best of universalist values. I think Phil is a good guy whose heart is the right place and he’s made a difference. But I personally hate exclusion and witch hunts. It’s exactly what the Zionists want.

      Jvp have been doing good work but their attack and excommunication of Alison Weir is a disgrace and has brought into question what their real motives really are. It seems that they want to purge and cleanse the movement of anyone that they don’t approve of because apparently only that bunch of Jews are able to go up against those other nasty zionist Jews and they therefore need to control and gatekeep the whole project. And it looks like Barghouti and Abunima have bought into it.

      Weir says jvp should at least change their name to jvpj (Jewish voices for peace AND justice). She’s absolutely right because how can there ever be real peace without justice? But it appears that’s not what jvp really wants. So as much as I would like the broad tent, it is they who are doing the attacking and purging. It’s all coming from that side, first with Atzmon and now with Weir. So regardless of what I want, they don’t want me because I have no doubt that my views don’t suit them. The Weir controversy has made that very clear

      I do feel that this has put mondoweiss in a tricky position. You could argue (but not very strongly) that there was a case against Atzmon, even though I strongly disagree with the decision to ban him. But there is no case at all against Weir. She answered all the allegations with sincerity and dignity. Having now read through every accusation, her response, seen all the videos and read all the texts (including the counterpunch article) I’m in no doubt whatsoever that the allegations have no substance whatsoever and this witch hunt has a completely different motive

      I’m not sure if mondoweiss will just try and stay silent and hope this all just blows away but I’m not sure if that is their best strategy. Phil has supported Alison Weir in the past and I think that a statement from him about this would be helpful or indeed necessary

      • I think most MW-ers would agree with your assessment of the JVP/AW situation, and also with your reflections on the editors at MW and the right path for them to take.

        A large part of me does not think that Phil et all will step up to the challenge, but, well, you never know.

        Right now, actually, your grandparents’ story has truly seeped sadness into me and the JVP thing seems somehow unimportant in context. The thing is, Arab jews cannot get rid of either label: they will always be Arabs, regardless of what country they live in – and they will always be jews, regardless of who rules the country they live in. Therefore as Arab jews, their true homeland is the middle east and its corresponding Arab countries. We may, at the end of this nightmarish ISISian period, we just may end up with a cleaned up and democratic Iraq with laws in place for minorities. We may end up with a “new middle east” – a non-ziocon middle east. We live in both hope and in resistance.

      • Bornajoo says:

        It is indeed a sad situation for them Taxi. My mother’s first language is Arabic until this day. She only watches Arabic film and only listens to Arabic music (I’m at her place now and she’s watching a Farid Al Atrash movie she must have seen a dozen times). She only cooks Arab cuisine and when the family get together they only ever seem to talk about the good old golden age days back in Baghdad and Bahrain. But the Zionists will tell you that they were being persecuted and were ‘saved’ just in time. We have to admit their mastery in propaganda, unfortunately.

        My mother always says that “the Zionists made us homeless”.

        “we live in both hope and resistance “. Well said

      • Man, that just makes me sadder. You will please send your mother warm greetings from the Levant where I am currently chilling with the natives.

      • Bornajoo says:

        Thanks Taxi! I just told her and she sends warm greetings back. (BTW, my uncle, her younger bro, lived in Beirut/lebanon for a few years in the 50s and he never stopped yapping about how wonderful it all was. In fact it was all he ever spoke about)

      • You uncle was telling no lie – Lebanon truly is a most beautiful and wondrous place – but for the bastard current government and the motherfucking thieving zionists on the border, of course. There are several hundred Lebanese jews left in Lebanon and an old synagogue in downtown Beirut was recently restored. I posted something about that here on Plato’s:

        All I can say is that I’m glad you guys left israel for England – for all it’s despicable political zionism, the UK remains by far a more civilized country than israel can ever hope to be.

      • Bornajoo says:

        Thanks for the link Taxi. Will read. Several hundred Lebanese Jews?! Don’t tell the zios because they’ll have to explain why they’re still alive and well and restoring a synagogue!
        (BTW we never lived in israel. My mother somehow knew better and chose the UK. Most of the rest of the family ended up there. Bad Fucking choice!)

    • “enduring Ashkenazim racism against not just non-jews, but against dark-skinned and Arab jews as well”

      Surely intra-Jewish racial prejudice tends to undermine the ethnic solidarity on which Israel depends, and is therefore not an entirely bad thing.

  32. Great article below on the indigenous Jews.
    Poor Arabs with only 22 countries.
    Thats not enough countries for Taxi and the Arabs.
    Who’s indigenous here?
    (Vic Rosenthal)
    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Take up the White Man’s burden, The savage wars of peace—
    Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease;
    And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought,
    Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.
    – Rudyard Kipling, 1899

    The other day I was talking with friends and the discussion turned to the unique situation of Israel as a nation-state that constantly has to justify its existence. Other countries may be engaged in struggles over who will be the dictator, president or ruling party, but I can’t think of another one whose very being is controversial.

    For example, last year Iranian ‘Supreme Leader’ Ali Khamenei called for the destruction of the “barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel” and the dispersal of the Jews that had emigrated to Israel from some other place:

    All the original people of Palestine including Muslims, Christians and Jews wherever they are, in Palestine or in refugee camps in other countries or just anywhere else take part in a public and organized referendum. Naturally the Jewish immigrants who have been persuaded into emigration to Palestine do not have the right to take part in the referendum. …
    the ensuing government … will decide whether the non-Palestinian emigrants … can continue living in Palestine or should return to their home countries.

    This is illuminating, because it exposes the narrative that underlies most anti-Israel arguments. You know, when you say “Israel is completely legitimate under international law” and they say “who cares, you stole Palestinian land and colonized the indigenous inhabitants.”

    That is the line that always ends the discussion. Israel is gay-friendly? Who cares, you are just bringing that up to distract us from your crimes against the Palestinian people. Israel is a democracy? Who cares, it’s built on someone else’s property. Because Israel is said to be a “settler-colonial state,” a European interloper parasitizing an indigenous Middle Eastern people, we have no moral or legal right to be here.

    In the 19th century, colonialism was considered legitimate. “Take up the White Man’s burden,” wrote Kipling, and do the natives a favor despite their often violently-expressed ingratitude. But today, there is no greater national sin than exploitation of indigenous peoples.

    There is only one small flaw in this argument, so beloved by leftists and academics: the Jewish people are indigenous to the Land of Israel, and the so-called ‘Palestinians’ are the colonists, invaders and occupiers of other people’s land. Like so much of their rhetoric, Arabs calling themselves ‘indigenous’ to our land is a precise inversion of reality, an employment of the big lie technique.

    Here is one modern definition of ‘indigenous people’:

    Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system.

    This historical continuity may consist of the continuation, for an extended period reaching into the present of one or more of the following factors:
    · Occupation of ancestral lands, or at least of part of them
    · Common ancestry with the original occupants of these lands
    · Culture in general, or in specific manifestations (such as religion, living under a tribal system, membership of an indigenous community, dress, means of livelihood, lifestyle, etc.)
    · Language (whether used as the only language, as mother-tongue, as the habitual means of communication at home or in the family, or as the main, preferred, habitual, general or normal language)
    · Residence in certain parts of the country, or in certain regions of the world

    · Other relevant factors.
    The Jewish people in Israel are occupying their ancestral lands, and they have a common ancestry with the only ‘original inhabitants’ that still exist as a people. There are no more Philistines, Jebusites, Hivites, etc. (despite the fantasies of the Arabs). There are still Jews, with a religion, culture and language whose connection to the original inhabitants is well-documented.

    It is true that the Jewish population of Israel and Judea fluctuated throughout the centuries, as the land was invaded and colonized by Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, British, etc. But the continuity was unbroken while the Jewish people suffered the vicissitudes of an indigenous people oppressed by colonial powers. Some Jews remained in the land and others went into exile throughout the world, but our peoplehood persisted.

    The Arabs consider Western support for the establishment of a Jewish state a colonialist usurpation of their indigenous rights. But in fact it was the recognition, by Balfour and others, of the truly indigenous status of the Jewish people that justified the formalization of the Jewish people’s right to the land, from the river to the sea, which was ultimately expressed by the Mandate for Palestine.

    The Mandate for the first time concretized our moral right to the land as its historical owners into a legal right under international law. It is ironic that Israel, whose right to exist is seen as controversial, actually has a stronger moral and legal justification for its sovereignty than others – like Jordan, truly created by colonial fiat, or Saudi Arabia, the product of violent conquest.

    On the other hand, the so-called ‘Palestinians’ – although they make wild claims to be descended from ‘original’ inhabitants like Canaanites or Philistines – are primarily descendents of people who migrated into the land, a few going back as far as the Arab conquest in the 7th century. Most of them, however, arrived after Muhammad Ali’s expedition from Egypt into Syria around 1830; and the migration accelerated after the Zionists began to improve and develop the land in the 1880s.

    Jewish nationalism has existed for thousands of years. But a strictly ‘Palestinian’ consciousness did not develop among the Arabs in the region until they began to confront what they saw as the threat of Jewish sovereignty in the early 20th century; and even then, much of the opposition to a Jewish state was based on a more diffuse Arab nationalism. A distinct Palestinian people didn’t emerge until the mid-1960s with the advent of the PLO. And the central tenet of ‘Palestinian’ culture is its violent hatred for and struggle against Jewish sovereignty.

    Yasser Arafat and others have done their best to deny Jewish provenance in the land of Israel, claiming that there was no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and so forth. But thearchaeological evidence – which continues to be discovered – is overwhelming, despite pseudo-academic attempts to refute it.

    Unfortunately, it’s not only our enemies who have adopted the upside-down narrative of indigenous Arabs and colonizing Jews. When our own government rests its argument for our continued presence in Judea and Samaria on security considerations rather than our moral and legal right to the land, it is as if someone has stolen your car and then asks to keep it because he needs a car to drive to work.

    When our own government agrees to limit construction in certain parts of the land of Israel or agrees that any ‘settlements’ we keep after a peace agreement must be swapped for other bits of land, the implication is that we do not truly own the land even though we control it. But while we certainly may decide that we want to waive the right to some of our land in the interest of peace – assuming that this is possible – we are not morally obligated to do so.

    The Europeans, with a history of being colonial oppressors, smugly insist that we are morally obligated to give away part (or all) of our country. But we are not them. Although some of our ancestors were exiled to Europe and other places, we did not give up our peoplehood in exile. We belong to the land of Israel and it belongs to us.

    The Zionists did not arrive as colonists from Europe after 1945 and dispossess the long-rooted Palestinian people, as their narrative tells us. The true story is that Jews were here all along, an oppressed and colonized indigenous people like many others. One of our distinctions, though, is that we succeeded in throwing out the European colonialists and achieving the self-determination that is the highest political goal of an indigenous people.
    Now it’s up to us to keep it against those, like Khamenei, who wish to end it.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Margaret Kelso,

      Why do you think that nagging, harassing and haranguing the world about Israel and Zionism with canned propaganda is going to have any effect other than to than to turn off most people?

      How would you feel about being nagged, harassed and harangued by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists or Mormons? (And Zionism is a much crazier and more dangerous cult than those three belief systems.)

      Most of us consider that kind of behavior to be rude and obnoxious — especially when accompanied by insistent demands and shakedowns for money and other sacrifices.

      The more that pro-Israel activists lobby for Israel and their brand of narrow ethnic nationalism, the more they undermine their cause — rather a delicious paradox.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Margaret Kelso,

      If, as Vic Rosenthal reports, many of his fellow Jews find his strident ethno-religious tribalism to be irritating, tiresome, obnoxious and alienating, imagine how many non-Jews feel about it.

      See: Vic Rosenthal: The lost tribe of America

      Some of us know a lost political cause when we see it — one that is on the wrong side of history.

    • Poor Ashanazim colonials. They really got nowhere to go to expect their original homelands in 28 european countries plus Canada, USA, OZ, NZ, half of south America and Timbuckfuckingtu.

    • Hostage says:

      Re: The other day I was talking with friends and the discussion turned to the unique situation of Israel as a nation-state that constantly has to justify its existence.

      That’s a fairly clueless statement. In the Kosovo ICJ case, the US government’s statement said that. in general international law doesn’t govern declarations of independence. But there is an exception for the ones that are conjoined to serious international crimes, like ethnic cleansing or ones which attempt to establish minority rule. “Israel” can only exist, as such, because Jewish minority rule was established over areas which were allocated by the UN to the Arab majority population, and in which few, if any Jews resided. Zionists drove-off the bulk of its own Arab population and plundered their lands and properties. So your “nation-state” can only go on existing, by refusing to permit the Palestinians that were displaced during its wars from returning to their country. Those are all serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, for which no statutory limitations apply.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Margaret Kelso,

      Are you a propaganda robot or a human being capable of discussing your core beliefs in a spontaneous and thoughtful way?

      What is your ethnic, religious and national background? What traditions and works have most influenced your thinking and feelings about Mideast politics?

    • Margaret,

      You can talk all that Palestine denial shit till you’re blue and purple in the face. The fact remains that back in the day, ALL JEWS WERE ARABS! Not like the bitter and salty khazarian gumbo that we got today.

      Please don’t try and tell me that a name like ‘Margaret Keslo’ is a name that’s “indigenous” to the middle east.

      Long live Arab Palestine.

    • Hostage says:

      Re: 1695: No sign of Arabian names or Palestinians.

      No legitimate historian would accept that proposition. Arab and Arab place names appear on the earliest tax records from the year 1520:

      ” The Palestinian peasants were incorporated in the imperial network of Ottoman provincial administration with the conquests of the early sixteenth century. Names of villages familiar to local residents even today were first recorded in the Ottoman tax registers around 1520. This process was not abrupt or disjunctive, but was part of the gradual integration of the Arab provinces into the Ottoman empire, thereby informing another aspect of the underlying compromise. Ottoman provincial administrative mechanisms did not replace existing structures of that government and taxation in conquered areas.”
      — Amy Singer, Palestinian Peasants and Ottoman Officials: Rural Administration Around Sixteenth-Century Jerusalem” Cambridge University Press, 1994, page 3

      It doesn’t make any difference what year you check, there’s no sign of any “Jewistan” in those same Ottoman tax records.

      If you need to borrow some clue, here’s a little hint for you: Ottoman tahrir (tax census) register of the liva of Tripoli situated in the vilayet of Arabistan from 925 (1519).

      Here’s a link to a whole lot more of them:

      Note: “Arabistan” is Turkish for “Land of the Arabs”.

      Here’s a link to the Ottoman tahrir (tax census) register of the liva of Gaza situated in the vilayet of Sham, from 932 H. (1525 AD). Those are the same familiar Arab place names that are still used today:

      Here’s a typical one for 1807, long before the 1st Zionist Aliya, with Arab place names:
      Ottoman administration, Iyalet of Sham, Liva of Sham, Liva of Kudus (Al Quds), Liva of Nablus, Liva of Gaza, Liva of Lejun, Timars, Sipahis, Timariotes

      FYI, We’ve all seen Hebrew words written with the letters of the English alphabet. Archaeologists have found Arabic and Arab language inscriptions, written phonetically in scripts borrowed from other languages too. They date back to the 1st century of the current era, like the one written by an Arab speaking person in the Nabataean alphabet at Ein Avdat canyon near Ben Gurion’s home in Sde Boker, Israel (i.e. Palestine).

      So the Arabs were there all along.

    • Bornajoo says:

      Thanks for the links but unfortunately all four links in your last four posts are from four pro israel propaganda sites. If you want people here to take your posts seriously then you do need to present us with information from credible sources and not those which act as propaganda tools for zionists and israel.

      Otherwise my only reaction (and probably many others here) can be a quadruple yawn….. Followed by zzzzzzzzz

      • echinococcus says:

        Walid: ” Without them, we’d have little to say to each other.”
        If that were true, the web site would be redundant. We sure don’t need one more Mondoweiss.

    • “And where are all the mosques for those “over 1 million Palestinians” who are suppose to have lived there already in the early 1800′s like “Palestinians” claim?”
      (Kelso’s Jews News link)

      A rather stupid link that raises stupid questions that doesn’t take into account the Zionists’ destruction of Palestinian patrimony as soon as the state was established. A few years back, Helena Cobban wrote:

      “… Recently I read Meron Rapoport’s painfully evocative article “History Erased: The IDF and the post-1948 Destruction of Palestinian Monuments”. It originally appeared– I believe only in Hebrew– in Ha’aretz in July 2007, and was published in English in the Journal of Palestine Studies in Winter 2008.

      … Rapoport also noted that Israeli historian Meron Benvenisti has written of the 160 mosques in Palestinian “villages” incorporated into Israel under the 1949 Armistice Agreements, “fewer than 40 are still standing.”

      • seanmcbride says:


        Good reply.

        By the way, this is just my opinion, but I think pro-Israel activists (at least a few of them, the best of them) should be permitted to make their strongest points here — where they can be rebutted.

      • Sean, like you, I have no problem with pro-Israel activists on this or any other site. Without them, we’d have little to say to each other.

      • Oh I got plenty to say with or without them, Walid.

        Zioscum are welcome to visit but I don’t think they’ll learn anything here and I doubt we’ll learn anything new from them either.

        But Sean likes to play with them so I will give him playmates here on Plato’s – I mean he needs them for his important sociopolitical work and studies in Zionism and Deep Denialism.

      • Point taken Walid, but people who swoop in and thread bomb, without debate are pretty dull like this troll above- using the name of a non Jew of course. All has the stink of withering fruit – nothing fresh, nothing at their core to tap into to.

        And I can’t say I’d much want to welcome a hophmi here either. They don’t accept when their proven wrong, because they are fanatics and tribalists.

    • Hostage says:

      Re: 9,000 Photographs from 1800′s Palestine / Israel – with no trace of ‘Palestinians’

      That article is pretty typical of the sort of thing that moronic Zionists, who aren’t very well educated or very well read, circulate to feel good about themselves.

      Never mind that I own 19th century accounts and travelogues, including at least one printed by the Jewish Publication Society of America itself, which contain accounts of American and British travels in Palestine. They reported that Americans encountered small numbers of Palestinian Arabs in places as far away as Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, and Alleppo who were willing to serve as their guides to the peoples and places of the Holy Land that they called home.

      Articles like the one you cited and this one make tendentious use of cherry-picked materials:

      You could just as easily select quotes from the same original sources, like Mark Twain, to illustrate that many locales in Palestine, like Nablus and its surrounding hills, were heavily populated and under full cultivation.

      Of course, the Arabs of Palestine were very well known to the French people, like Bonfils. Long before his belated arrival there. They were mentioned in published accounts of Napoleon’s campaigns in Egypt and Syria against places like El Arish, Khan Younis, Gaza, Ishdud (Ashdod), and Acre in 1799. While the reports mentioned Mameluks and Turks too, they also described the local Arabs and said they could be divided into four classes: pure Arab descendants of the original conquerors, Motuales, Druzes, and Ansaries. See for example Jacques Miot, “Narrative of the French Expedition in Egypt, and the Operations in Syria”, 1816

      There is no shortage of American and British diplomatic and trade correspondence about the Palestinian people from western consulates in Palestine or photographs by Bonfils himself showing the streets of Jerusalem outside his studio full of Palestinian Arabs. For example, just zoom into the 3rd thumbnail in the series “Félix Bonfils (1831-1885), Photographer The Holy Land — a collection of 65 photographs of landscapes and architecture in and around Jerusalem” on the Christie’s Auction House website and pan around until you find the sign advertising “F. Nicodemes Photographs by Bonfils, Maps to Sites of the East, And Other Articles for the Use of Travelers”. You can’t fail to notice over a hundred persons in the intersecting streets dressed in traditional Palestinian Arab attire. Note: Bonfils specialized in picturesque architectural and landscape photos for postcards, not photos of people.

      For a better selection of photos of the inhabitants and their culture visit the Library of Congress and the various contributions there from groups, like the American Colony, and other individuals under the heading “Palestine–History–1799-1917”

      The 19th century British Foreign Office Confidential Prints FO 424 and early 20th century Arab Bureau Papers FO 882 discuss the origins of the local Husayni (aka al-Husseini), Khalidi, Nashashibi, ‘Abd al-Hadi, Tuqan families, and the many clans and tribes – including the Beersheba Bedouin. They all pre-date the first Zionist Aliya. All of those groups had been settled there for centuries.

      Israeli historian Ruth Kark also records that there were American Consulates in Acre, Jaffa, and Jerusalem connected by telegraph to Washington by the time Félix Bonfils (1831-1885) ever arrived in the Holy Land. See for example “American Consuls in the Holy Land”, 1832-1914, page 151

      Some of them had obviously been there ever since the era of the Palestinian Arab Peasants Revolt (1834) against Muhammad Ali and his eldest son Ibrahim Pasha and had mentioned it in their official reports. So the claims to the contrary in your article are pretty absurd.

      • What a marvelous response, Hostage. Thank you.

        It amazes me that you can be bothered to respond to brainless bottom feeders. You are a very patient man.

  33. american200 says:

    If you can get some of these I-cultist on a feeding tube and insert this into their empty top most might take. ..maybe.

    c.1150 BCE: Medinet Habu (temple): records a people called the P-r-s-t (conventionally Peleset) among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III’s reign.[1][2][28]
    c.1150 BCE: Papyrus Harris I: “I extended all the boundaries of Egypt; I overthrew those who invaded them from their lands. I slew the Denyen in their isles, the Thekel and the Peleset (Pw-r-s-ty) were made ashes”[29][30]
    c.1150 BCE: Rhetorical Stela to Ramesses III, Chapel C, Deir el-Medina[31]
    c.1000 BCE: Onomasticon of Amenope: “Sherden, Tjekker, Peleset, Khurma”[32][30]
    c.900 BCE: Padiiset’s Statue, inscription: “envoy – Canaan – Peleset”[33]

    Assyrian period[edit]
    c.800 BCE: Adad-nirari III, Nimrud Slab[34]
    c.800 BCE: Adad-nirari III, Saba’a Stele: “In the fifth year (of my official rule) I sat down solemnly on my royal throne and called up the country (for war). I ordered the numerous army of Assyria to march against Palestine (Pa-la-áš-tu)… I received all the tributes […] which they brought to Assyria. I (then) ordered [to march] against the country Damascus (Ša-imērišu).”[35]
    c.735 BCE: Qurdi-Ashur-lamur to Tiglath-Pileser III, Nimrud Letter ND 2715: “Bring down lumber, do your work on it, (but) do not deliver it to the Egyptians (mu-sur-a-a) or Palestinians (pa-la-as-ta-a-a), or I shall not let you go up to the mountains.”[36][37]
    c.717 BCE: Sargon II’s Prism A: records the region as Palashtu or Pilistu[38]
    c.700 BCE: Azekah Inscription[39]
    c.694 BCE: Sennacherib “Palace Without a Rival: A Very Full Record of Improvements in and about the Capital (E1)”: (the people of) Kue and Hilakku, Pilisti and Surri (“Ku-e u Hi-lak-ku Pi-lis-tu u Sur-ri”)[40]
    c.675 BCE: Esarhaddon’s Treaty with Ba’al of Tyre: Refers to the entire district of Pilistu (KUR.pi-lis-te)[41]

    Classical antiquity[edit]

    Persian (Achaemenid) Empire period[edit]
    c.450 BCE: Herodotus, The Histories[42], First historical reference clearly denoting a wider region than biblical Philistia, referring to a “district of Syria, called Palaistinê”[43][10][44] (Book 3[45]): “The country reaching from the city of Posideium to the borders of Egypt… paid a tribute of three hundred and fifty talents. All Phoenicia, Palestine Syria, and Cyprus, were herein contained. This was the fifth satrapy.”;[c] (Book 4): “the region I am describing skirts our sea, stretching from Phoenicia along the coast of Palestine-Syria till it comes to Egypt, where it terminates”; (Book 7[46]): “[The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine], according to their own account, dwelt anciently upon the Erythraean Sea, but crossing thence, fixed themselves on the seacoast of Syria, where they still inhabit. This part of Syria, and all the region extending from hence to Egypt, is known by the name of Palestine.” One important reference refers to the practice of male circumcision associated with the Hebrew people: “the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine themselves confess that they learnt the custom of the Egyptians…. Now these are the only nations who use circumcision”[47]
    c.340 BCE: Aristotle, Meteorology, “Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine, such that if you bind a man or beast and throw it in it floats and does not sink, this would bear out what we have said. They say that this lake is so bitter and salt that no fish live in it and that if you soak clothes in it and shake them it cleans them.” This is understood by scholars to be a reference to the Dead Sea[16][19][17][18]

    Hellenic kingdoms (Ptolemaic/Seleucid/Hasmonean) period[edit]
    c.150 BCE: Polemon of Athens, Greek Histories, quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea in Praeparatio Evangelica: “In the time [reign] of Apis son of Phoroneus a part of the Egyptian army was expelled from Egypt, who took up their abode not far from Arabia in the part of Syria called Palestine”[48][49][50]
    c.130 BCE: Agatharchides (5.87, quoted in Diodorus Siculus’s Bibliotheca historica; Strabo’s Geographica, and Photios’ Bibliotheca): “Near (Tiran) island is a promontory, which stretches towards the Rock of the Nabataeans and Palestine”.[51][52][53][54][55][56]

    Roman Jerusalem period[edit]

    Palestine in c.43 CE according to Pomponius Mela (map by K. Miller, 1898)c.30 BCE: Tibullus, Tibullus and Sulpicia: The Poems: “Why tell how the white dove sacred to the Syrians flies unharmed through the crowded cities of Palestine?”[57][58]
    c.2 CE: Ovid, Ars Amatoria: “the seventh-day feast that the Syrian of Palestine observes”[59][60]
    c.8 CE: Ovid, Metamorphoses: (1) “…Dercetis of Babylon, who, as the Palestinians believe, changed to a fish, all covered with scales, and swims in a pool”[61] and (2) “There fell also Mendesian Celadon; Astreus, too, whose mother was a Palestinian, and his father unknown”[62][60]
    c.17 CE: Ovid, Fasti (poem): “When Jupiter took up arms to defend the heavens, came to Euphrates with the little Cupid, and sat by the brink of the waters of Palestine.”[63][60]
    c.40: Philo of Alexandria, (1) Every Good Man is Free: “Moreover Palestine and Syria too are not barren of exemplary wisdom and virtue, which countries no slight portion of that most populous nation of the Jews inhabits. There is a portion of those people called Essenes.”;[64] (2) On the Life of Moses: “[Moses] conducted his people as a colony into Phoenicia, and into the Coele-Syria, and Palestine, which was at that time called the land of the Canaanites, the borders of which country were three days’ journey distant from Egypt.”;[65][66] (3) On Abraham: “The country of the Sodomites was a district of the land of Canaan, which the Syrians afterwards called Palestine”[67][19]
    c.43: Pomponius Mela, De situ orbis (Description of the World): Syria holds a broad expanse of the littoral, as well as lands that extend rather broadly into the interior, and it is designated by different names in different places. For example, it is called Coele, Mesopotamia, Judaea, Commagene, and Sophene. It is Palestine at the point where Syria abuts the Arabs, then Phoenicia, and then—where it reaches Cilicia—Antiochia. […] In Palestine, however, is Gaza, a mighty and well fortified city.[68][69][19]
    c.78: Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Volume 1, Book V: Chapter 13: “Next to these countries Syria occupies the coast, once the greatest of lands, and distinguished by many names; for the part which joins up to Arabia was formerly called Palaestina, Judaea, Coele,[a] and Phoenice. The country in the interior was called Damascena, and that further on and more to the south, Babylonia.”; Chapter 14: “After this, at the point where the Serbonian Bog becomes visible, Idumea and Palaestina begin. This lake, which some writers have made to be 150 miles in circumference, Herodotus has placed at the foot of Mount Casius; it is now an inconsiderable fen. The towns are Rhinocorura and, in the interior, Rafah, Gaza, and, still more inland, Anthedon: there is also Mount Argaris”;[70] Book XII, Chapter 40: “For these branches of commerce, they have opened the city of Carræ, which serves as an entrepot, and from which place they were formerly in the habit of proceeding to Gabba, at a distance of twenty days’ journey, and thence to Palæstina, in Syria”[71][19]
    c.80: Marcus Valerius Probus, Commentary on Georgics: “Edomite palms from Idumea, that is Judea, which is in the region of Syria Palestine”.[72]
    c. 85: Silius Italicus, Punica: “While yet a youth, he [Titus] shall put an end to war with the fierce people of Palestine.”[73][74]
    c. 90: Dio Chrysostom, quoted by Synesius, refers to the Dead Sea as being in the interior of Palestine, in the very vicinity of “Sodoma”[75]
    c.97: Josephus, Against Apion: “Nor, indeed, was Herodotus of Halicarnassus unaquainted with our nation, but mentions it after a way of his own… This, therefore, is what Herodotus says, that “the Syrians that are in Palestine are circumcised”. But there are no inhabitants of Palestine that are circumcised excepting the Jews; and, therefore, it must be his knowledge of them that enabled him to speak so much concerning them.”[76][19]
    c.94: Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews: “…these Antiquities contain what hath been delivered down to us from the original creation of man, until the twelfth year of the reign of Nero, as to what hath befallen us Jews, as well is Egypt as in Syria, and in Palestine”[77][19]
    c.100: Statius, Silvae, refers to “liquores Palestini”[21][60] and “Isis, …gently with thine own hand lead the peerless youth, on whom the Latian prince hath bestowed the standards of the East and the bridling of the cohorts of Palestine, (i.e., a command on the Syrian front) through festal gate and sacred haven and the cities of thy land.”[78][79]
    c.100: Plutarch, Parallel Lives:”Armenia, where Tigranes reigns, king of kings, and holds in his hands a power that has enabled him to keep the Parthians in narrow bounds, to remove Greek cities bodily into Media, to conquer Syria and Palestine, to put to death the kings of the royal line of Seleucus, and carry away their wives and daughters by violence.”[80]
    c.130: Pausanias (geographer), Description of Greece: (1) “Hard by is a sanctuary of the Heavenly Aphrodite; the first men to establish her cult were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians the Paphians of Cyprus and the Phoenicians who live at Ascalon in Palestine; the Phoenicians taught her worship to the people of Cythera.”;[81] (2) “In front of the sanctuary grow palm-trees, the fruit of which, though not wholly edible like the dates of Palestine, yet are riper than those of Ionia.”;[82] and (3) “[a Hebrew Sibyl] brought up in Palestine named Sabbe, whose father was Berosus and her mother Erymanthe. Some say she was a Babylonian, while others call her an Egyptian Sibyl.”[83][84]

    Roman Aelia Capitolina period

    Palestine in c.150 CE according to Ptolemy (map by Claude Reignier Conder of the Palestine Exploration Fund)
    “Syria Palaestin[a]” mentioned in a 139 AD Roman military diplomac.135: Syria Palæstina[b] was a Roman province between 135 and about 390.[85] It was established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt.
    139: A Roman military diploma from Afiq names military units “in Syria Palaestin[a]”.[86][87][88][89]
    c.150: Appian, Roman History: “Intending to write the history of the Romans, I have deemed it necessary to begin with the boundaries of the nations under their sway…. Here turning our course and passing round, we take in Palestine-Syria, and beyond it a part of Arabia. The Phoenicians hold the country next to Palestine on the sea, and beyond the Phoenician territory are Coele-Syria, and the parts stretching from the sea as far inland as the river Euphrates, namely Palmyra and the sandy country round about, extending even to the Euphrates itself”[90]
    c.150: Lucian of Samosata, Passing of Peregrinus: 11. “It was then that he learned the wondrous lore of the Christians, by associating with their priests and scribes in Palestine. And—how else could it be?—in a trice he made them all look like children, for he was prophet, cult-leader, head of the synagogue, and everything, all by himself. He interpreted and explained some of their books and even composed many, and they revered him as a god, made use of him as a lawgiver, and set him down as a protector, next after that other, to be sure, whom they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.[91][92]
    c.150: Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri:[c] “Tyre then was captured, in the archonship at Athens of Anicetus in the month I lecatombacun…Alexander now determined to make his expedition to Egypt. The rest of Syrian Palestine (as it is called) had already come over to him, but a certain eunuch, Batis, who was master of Gaza, did not join Alexander”[93]
    c.150: Ptolemy, Geography (Ptolemy), including map[94]
    155: First Apology of Justin Martyr, refers to “Flavia Neapolis in Palestine” in the introductory paragraph
    c.225: Cassius Dio, Historia Romana, The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70CE: “Such was the course of these events; and following them Vespasian was declared emperor by the senate also, and Titus and Domitian were given the title of Caesars. The consular office was assumed by Vespasian and Titus while the former was in Egypt and the latter in Palestine”[95]
    c.300: Antonine Itinerary[96][97]
    311: Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, History of the Martyrs in Palestine. As the “Father of Church History”, Eusebius’ use of the name Palestine influenced later generations of Christian writers[98][99]

    Tabula Peutingeriana of c.400 CE showing a section of Palestine (Copy by Conradi Milleri 1888)

    Undated Classical inscription from Constantinople, published by George Dousa in 1599, mentioning “Syriae Palaisteinae”[101]c.362: Julian, Against the Galilaeans: “Why were you so ungrateful to our gods as to desert them for the Jews?” Was it because the gods granted the sovereign power to Rome, permitting the Jews to be free for a short time only, and then forever to be enslaved and aliens? Look at Abraham: was he not an alien in a strange land? And Jacob: was he not a slave, first in Syria, then after that in Palestine, and in his old age in Egypt? Does not Moses say that he led them forth from the house of bondage out of Egypt “with a stretched out arm”?[102] And after their sojourn in Palestine did they not change their fortunes more frequently than observers say the chameleon changes its colour, now subject to the judges,[103] now enslaved to foreign races?[104]
    c.380: Ammianus Marcellinus, “Book XIV”, The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus: Book XIV, 8, 11. “The last province of the Syrias is Palestine, a district of great extent, abounding in well-cultivated and beautiful land, and having several magnificent cities, all of equal importance, and rivalling one another as it were, in parallel lines. For instance, Caesarea, which Herod built in honour of the Prince Octavianus, and Eleutheropolis, and Neapolis, and also Ascalon, and Gaza, cities built in bygone ages.”[105][101][106]
    c.384: Saint Jerome, Epistle 33: “He (Origen) stands condemned by his bishop, Demetrius, only the bishops of Palestine, Arabia, Phenicia, and Achaia dissenting”[21][107][60]
    c.390: Palaestina was organised into three administrative units: Palaestina Prima, Secunda, and Tertia (First, Second, and Third Palestine), part of the Diocese of the East.[108][109] Palaestina Prima consisted of Judea, Samaria, the Paralia, and Peraea with the governor residing in Caesarea. Palaestina Secunda consisted of the Galilee, the lower Jezreel Valley, the regions east of Galilee, and the western part of the former Decapolis with the seat of government at Scythopolis. Palaestina Tertia included the Negev, southern Jordan—once part of Arabia—and most of Sinai with Petra as the usual residence of the governor. Palestina Tertia was also known as Palaestina Salutaris.[110] Recorded in the: Synecdemus of Hierocles (c.530 CE) [111]
    Descriptio Orbis Romani of George of Cyprus (c.600 CE)[112]

    c. 400: Genesis Rabba (90.6), Jewish midrash, explains that the word “land” in Genesis 41:54 refers to three lands in the region – Phoenicia, Arabia and Palestine.(ויהי רעב בכל הארצות: בשלש ארצות בפנקיא ובערביא ובפלסטיני)[60]
    c. 400: Lamentations Rabbah (1.5), Jewish midrash, mentions the dukes of Arabia, Phoenicia, Palestine and Alexandria as joining forces with Roman Emperor Vespasian. (שלש שנים ומחצה הקיף אספסיאנוס את ירושלם והיו עמו ארבעה דוכסין, דוכס דערביא, דוכס דאפריקא, דוכוס דאלכסנדריא, דוכוס דפלסטיני)[60]
    c. 400: Cursus publicus, Tabula Peutingeriana: map: Roman road network, map index.
    c.411: Jerome, Hieronymus on Ezekiel:[113] iuda et terra israel ipsi institores tui in frumento primo; balsamum et mel et oleum et resinam proposuerunt in nundinis tuis. (lxx: iudas et filii israel isti negotiatores tui in frumenti commercio et unguentis; primum mel et oleum et resinam dederunt in nundinis tuis). uerbum hebraicum ‘phanag’ aquila, symmachus et theodotio ita ut apud hebraeos positum est transtulerunt, pro quo septuaginta ‘unguenta’, nos ‘balsamum’ uertimus. dicitur autem quibus terra iudaea, quae nunc appellatur palaestina, abundet copiis frumento, balsamo, melle et oleo et resina, quae a iuda et israel ad tyri nundinas deferuntur.[114]
    c.414: Jerome, Letter 129: Ad Dardanum de Terra promissionis: You may delineate the Promised Land of Moses from the Book of Numbers (ch. 34): as bounded on the south by the desert tract called Sina, between the Dead Sea and the city of Kadesh-barnea, [which is located with the Arabah to the east] and continues to the west, as far as the river of Egypt, that discharges into the open sea near the city of Rhinocolara; as bounded on the west by the sea along the coasts of Palestine, Phoenicia, Coele‑Syria, and Cilicia; as bounded on the north by the circle formed by the Taurus Mountains and Zephyrium and extending to Hamath, called Epiphany‑Syria; as bounded on the east by the city of Antioch Hippos and Lake Kinneret, now called Tiberias, and then the Jordan River which discharges into the salt sea, now called the Dead Sea.[115][116]
    c.430: Theodoret, Interpretatio in Psalmos (Theodoretus in notāre ad Psalmos):[117] PSALMS. CXXXIII. A Song of the Ascents, by David. Lo, how good and how pleasant The dwelling of brethren —even together! As the good oil on the head, Coming down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, That cometh down on the skirt of his robes, As dew of Hermon —That cometh down on hills of Zion, For there Jehovah commanded the blessing —Life unto the age![118] [Per Psalm 133 (132), Theodoretus Cyrrhi Episcopus wrote the following commentary;] Like dew of Hermon falling on Mount Sion (v. 3). Again he changed to another image, teaching the advantage of harmony; he said it is like the dew carried down from Hermon to Sion. There is so much of it that the jars release drops. Hermon is a mountain —in Palestine, in fact— and some distance from the land of Israel.[119]
    c.450: Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History: “The see of Caesarea, the capital of Palestine, was now held by Acacius, who had succeeded Eusebius.”[120]
    c.450: Proclus of Constantinople: “Iosuae Palaestinae exploratori cohibendi solis lunaeque cursum potestatem adtribuit”[121]
    c.500: Tabula Peutingeriana (map)
    c.500: Zosimus, New History: “Finding the Palmyrene army drawn up before Emisa, amounting to seventy thousand men, consisting of Palmyrenes and their allies, [Emperor Aurelian] opposed to them the Dalmatian cavalry, the Moesians and Pannonians, and the Celtic legions of Noricum and Rhaetia, and besides these the choicest of the imperial regiment selected man by man, the Mauritanian horse, the Tyaneans, the Mesopotamians, the Syrians, the Phoenicians, and the Palestinians, all men of acknowledged valour; the Palestinians besides other arms wielding clubs and staves.”[122]
    c.550: Madaba map, “οροι Αιγυπτου και Παλαιστινης” (the “border of Egypt and Palestine)
    c.550: Christian Topography
    555: Cyril of Scythopolis, The Life of St. Saba[123]
    c.560: Procopius, The Wars of Justinian: “The boundaries of Palestine extend toward the east to the sea which is called the Red Sea.”[124] Procopius also wrote that “Chosroes, king of Persia, had a great desire to make himself master of Palestine, on account of its extraordinary fertility, its opulence, and the great number of its inhabitants”[125][126]

    Middle Ages[edit]

    Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates period[edit]

    Reconstruction of the c.700 CE Ravenna Cosmography showing “Palaestina”629: Heraclius, In 629 Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in a majestic ceremony:[127][128] I.e. the so-called Fast of Heraclius, which immediately preceding Lent, forms the first week of the Great Fast. The origin of this fast is said to be as follows: that the emperor Heraclius, on his way to Jerusalem, promised his protection to the Jews of Palestine, but that on his arrival in the holy city, the schismatical patriarch and the Christians generally prayed him to put all the Jews to the sword, because they had joined the Persians shortly before in their sack of the city and cruelties towards the Christians. (Abu Salih the Armenian, Abu al-Makarim, ed. Evetts 1895, p. 39, Part 7 of Anecdota Oxoniensia: Semitic series Anecdota oxoniensia. Semitic series—pt. VII], at Google Books)
    c.670: Adomnán, De Locis Sanctis, or the Travels of Arculf: “Que utique Hebron, ut fertur, ante omnes, non solum Palestíne, civitates condita fuerat, sed etiam universas Egyptiacas urbes in sua precessit conditione, que nunc misere monstratur destructa.”[129] translated: “This Hebron, it is said, was founded before all the cities, not only of Palestine, but also preceded in its foundation all the cities of Egypt, although it has now been so miserably destroyed.”[130][131]
    c.700: Ravenna Cosmography
    c.770: Thawr ibn Yazid, hadith, as quoted in Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Wasiti’s Fada’il Bayt al-Muqaddas (c.1019): “The most holy spot [al-quds] on earth is Syria; the most holy spot in Syria is Palestine; the most holy spot in Palestine is Jerusalem [Bayt al-maqdis]; the most holy spot in Jerusalem is the Mountain; the most holy spot in Jerusalem is the place of worship [al-masjid], and the most holy spot in the place of worship is the Dome.”[132][133]
    c.770: Hygeburg, The Life of Willibald: “Then, having visited the church of St. George at Diospolis [he passed] through Joppe, a coast town of Palestine, where Peter raised to life the widow Dorcas, and went along the shore of the Adriatic Sea, and adored the footsteps of our Lord at Tyre and Sidon. And then, crossing Mount Libanus, and passing through the coast town of Tripoli, he visited Damascus again, and came to Emmaus, a village of Palestine, which the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem called, after the event of the victory, Nicopolis.”[134][135]
    810-815: Theophanes the Confessor, Chronicles:[136][137] Since Muhammad was a helpless orphan, he thought it good to go to a rich woman named Khadija …to manage her camels and conduct her business in Egypt and Palestine… When he [Muhammad] went to Palestine he lived with both Jews and Christians, and hunted for certain writings among them. (Theophanes 1982, p. 35, The Chronicle of Theophanes)
    c.870: Ibn Khordadbeh, Book of Roads and Kingdoms: “Filastin Province 500,000 dinars of taxes” (c.864 AD)[138][139]
    c.870: al-Baladhuri, Conquests of the Lands Wrote that the main towns of the district, following its conquest by the Rashidun Caliphate, were Gaza, Sebastia (Sebastiya), Nablus, Caesarea, Ludd, Yibna, Imwas, Jaffa, Rafah, and Bayt Jibrin.[138]
    c.880: Qudamah ibn Ja’far, Kitab Al Kharaj (The Book of the Land Tax): Filastin Province, 195,000 dinars (c.820 AD)
    891: Ya’qubi, Book of Lands: “Of the Jund Filastin, the ancient capital was Lydda. The Caliph Sulayman subsequently founded the city of Ramla, which he made the capital…. The population of Palestine consists of Arabs of the tribes of Lakhm, Judham, Amilah, Kindah, Kais and Kinanah”[138][139]
    c.900: Limits of the Five Patriarchates: “The first See and the first patriarchate is of Jerusalem, James, the brother of God and apostle and eyewitness, and minister of the word and secrets of secrets and hidden mysteries, contains the whole Palestine a country until Arabia.” (Πρῶτος θρόνος καὶ πρώτη πατριαρχία Ἱεροσολύμων, Ἱακώβου τοῦ ἀδελφοθέου καὶ ἀποστόλου, αὐτόπτου καί ὑπηρέτου τοῦ λόγου γενομένου καὶ μύστου τῶν ἀπορρήτων καὶ ἀθεάτων αὐτοῦ μυστηρίων θεαμάτων, περιέχων πᾶσαν τὴν Παλαιστίνων χώραν ἄχρι Ἀραβίας)
    903: Ibn al-Faqih, Concise Book of Lands[138][140]
    c.913: Ibn Abd Rabbih[138][140]
    c.930: Patriarch Eutychius of Alexandria, Eutychii Annales:[141][142][143] CHAPTER II: ADVERSITIES OF THE CHURCH.: 1 Persecutions of the Christians.: …The Christians suffered less in this than in the preceding centuries. …In the East especially in Syria and Palestine the Jews sometimes rose upon the Christians with great violence (Eutyrhius, Annales tom ii., p. 236, &c. Jo. Henr. Hottinger, Historia Orientalis, lib. i., c. id., p. 129, &c.) yet so unsuccessfully as to suffer severely for their temerity. (Mosheim 1847, p. 426, at Google Books)
    943: Al-Masudi, The Meadows of Gold[138][144]

    Fatimid Caliphate period

    World map c.1050 CE by Beatus of Liébana951-978: Estakhri, Traditions of Countries and Ibn Hawqal, The Face of the Earth: “The provinces of Syria are Jund Filstin, and Jund al Urdunn, Jund Dimaskh, Jund Hims, and Jund Kinnasrin…. Filastin is the westernmost of the provinces of Syria… its greatest length from Rafah to the boundary of Lajjun… its breadth from Jaffa to Jericho…. Filastin is the most fertile of the Syrian provinces…. Its trees and its ploughed lands do not need artificial irrigation… In the province of Filastin, despite its small extent, there are about 20 mosques…. Its capital and largest town in Ramla, but the Holy City (of Jerusalem) comes very near this last in size”[138][140]
    985: Al-Muqaddasi, Description of Syria, Including Palestine: “And further, know that within the province of Palestine may be found gathered together 36 products that are not found thus united in any other land…. From Palestine comes olives, dried figs, raisins, the carob-fruit, stuffs of mixed silk and cotton, soap and kercheifs”[145]
    c.1000: Suda encyclopedic lexicon: “Παλαιστίνη: ὄνομα χώρας. καὶ Παλαιστι̂νος, ὁ ἀπὸ Παλαιστίνης.” / “Palestine: Name of a territory. Also [sc. attested is] Palestinian, a man from Palestine.[146]
    1029: Rabbi Solomon ben Judah of Jerusalem, a letter in the Cairo Geniza, refers to the province of Filastin[147]
    1047: Nasir Khusraw, Safarnama[138] / Diary of a Journey through Syria and Palestine: “This city of Ramlah, throughout Syria and the West, is known under the name of Filastin.”[148][149]
    c.1050: Beatus of Liébana, Beatus map, Illustrates the primitive Diaspora of the Apostles and is one of the most significant cartographic works of the European High Middle Ages.
    1051: Ibn Butlan[138]

    Tabula Rogeriana, showing “Filistin” in Arabic in the middle of the right hand page1101 Nathan ben Jehiel, Arukh: The Lexico Aruch is a talmudical lexicon authored by Rabbi Nathan ben Jehiel, of Rome. The occurrence of פלסטיני Παλαιστίνη [Palestine] in the Genesis Rabbah is noted.[150]
    1100-27: Fulcher of Chartres, Historia Hierosolymitana (1095-1127): “For we who were Occidentals have now become Orientals. He who was a Roman or a Frank has in this land been made into a Galilean or a Palestinian.”[151]
    c.1130, Fetellus, “The city of Jerusalem is situated in the hill-country of Judea, in the province of Palestine” [152]
    1154: Muhammad al-Idrisi, Tabula Rogeriana or The Book of Pleasant Journeys into Faraway Lands[138][153]
    1173: Ali of Herat, Book of Indications to Make Known the Places of Visitations[138]
    1177: A Brief Description, by Joannes Phocas, of the Castles and Cities, from the City of Antioch even unto Jerusalem; also of Syria and Phoenicia, and of the Holy Places in Palestine[154][155]
    c.1180: William of Tyre, Historia Hierosolymitana[156]
    1185: Ibn Jubayr, The Travels of Ibn Jubayr[138]

    Ayyubid and Mamluk periods

    Map of Palestine published in 1482 version of Claudius Ptolemy’s Cosmographia by Nicolaus Germanus.

    Map of Palestine published in Florence 1482 and included in the Francesco Berlinghieri expanded edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia (Geography)1220: Jacques de Vitry, History of Jerusalem: “And there are three Palestines, which are parts of Greater Syria. The first is that whose capital is Jerusalem, and this part is specially named Judaea. The second is that whose capital is Caesarea Philippi, which includes all the country of the Philistines. The third is that whose capital is Scythopolis, which at this day is called Bethshan. Moreover, both the Arabias are parts of Syria: the first is that whose capital is Bostrum; the second is that whose capital is Petra in the Wilderness.”[157]
    1225: Yaqut al-Hamawi, Dictionary of Geographies “Filastin is the last of the provinces of Syria towards Egypt. Its capital is Jerusalem. Of the principal towns are Ashkelon, Ramle, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesarea, Nablus, Jericho, Amman, Jaffa and Beit Jibrin”[138]
    c. 1266 Abu al-Makarim, “The Churches and Monasteries of Egypt”, Part 7 of Anecdota Oxoniensia: Semitic series Anecdota oxoniensia:[158] At the beginning of the caliphate [of Umar] George was appointed patriarch of Alexandria. He remained four years in possession of the see. Then when he heard that the Muslims had conquered the Romans, and had vanquished Palestine, and were advancing upon Egypt, he took ship and fled from Alexandria to Constantinople; and after his time the see of Alexandria remained without a Melkite patriarch for-ninety seven years. (Abu al-Makarim c. 1895, p. 73, at Google Books)
    1321: Abu’l-Fida, A Sketch of the Countries: “The Nahr Abi Futrus is the river that runs near Ramla in Filastin”[138]
    1322: Ishtori Haparchi, Sefer Kaftor Vaferach, mentions twice that Ramla is also known as Filastin
    1327: Al-Dimashqi[138][159]
    1338 Robert Mannyng The Chronicle
    c.1350: Guidebook to Palestine (a manuscript primarily based on the 1285-1291 account of Christian pilgrim Philippus Brusserius Savonensis): “It [Jerusalem] is built on a high mountain, with hills on every side, in that part of Syria which is called Judaea and Palestine, flowing with milk and honey, abounding in corn, wine, and oil, and all temporal goods”[160]
    1351: Jamal ad Din Ahmad, Muthir al Ghiram (The Exciter of Desire) for Visitation of the Holy City and Syria: “Syria is divided into five districts, namely: i. Filastin, whose capital is Aelia (Jerusalem), eighteen miles from Ramla, which is the Holy City, the metropolis of David and Solomon. Of its towns are Ashkelon, Hebron, Sebastia, and Nablus.”[138]
    1355: Ibn Battuta, Rihla[138] Ibn Battuta wrote that Ramla was also known as Filastin[161]
    1355: Jacopo da Verona: Liber Peregrinationis: “Primo igitur sciendum est. quod in tota Asyria et Palestina et Egipto et Terra Sancta sunt multi cristiani sub potentia soldani subjugati solventes annuale tributum soldano multa et multa milia.”[162][163]
    1377: Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah: “Filastin Province taxes – 310,000 dinars plus 300,000 ratls of olive oil”[138]
    c.1421: John Poloner “The land which we call the Holy Land came to be divided by lot among the twelve tribes of Israel, and with regard to one part was called the kingdom of Judaea … with regard to the other part it was called the kingdom of Samaria… Both these kingdoms, together with the land of Philistim, were called Palestine, which was but a part thereof, even as Saxony and Lorraine are parts of Germany, and Lombardy and Tuscany are parts of Italy. And note that there are three Palestines. In the first, the capital city is Jerusalem, with all its hill country even to the Dead Sea and the wilderness of Kadesh Barnea. The second, whose capital city is Caesarea by the sea, with all the land of Philistim’ beginning at Petra Incisa, and reaching as far as Gaza, was the Holy Land toward the south. The third is the capital city of Bethsan, at the foot of Mount Gilboa. This was once called Scythopolis, and is the place where the corpses of Saul’s soldiers were hung up. This Palestine is properly called Galilee”[164]
    1430: Abu-l Fida Ishak, Muthir al Ghiram (The Exciter of Desire)[138]
    1459: Fra Mauro map
    1470: Al-Suyuti[138]
    1480: Felix Fabri “Joppa is the oldest port, and the most ancient city of the province of Palestine”[165]
    1482: Francesco di Niccolò Berlinghieri, Geographia, a treatise based upon Ptolemy’s Geographica: map: Present-Day Palestine and the Holy Land
    1492: Martin Behaim’s “Erdapfel” globe
    1496: Mujir al-Din al-‘Ulaymi, The Glorious History of Jerusalem and Hebron:[138] According to Haim Gerber: “Among other things Mujir al-Din’s book is notable for its extensive use of the term “Palestine.” The simple fact is that Mujir al-Din calls the country he lives in Palestine (Filastin), a term he repeats 22 times. One other name he uses for the country is the Holy Land, used as frequently as Palestine. No other names, such as Southern Syria, are ever mentioned… What area did he have in mind when speaking about Palestine? It stretched from Anaj, a point near al-Arish, to Lajjun, south of the Esdraelon valley. It was thus clearly equivalent to the Jund Filastin of classical Islam.”[166]

    Early modern period[edit]

    Early Ottoman period

    1570 map in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, captioned “Palaestinae Sive Totius Terrae Promissionis Nova Descriptio” (“Palestine, the whole of the Promised Land, a new description”)1540 Guillaume Postel: Syriae Descriptio[167]
    c. 1560 Ebussuud Efendi: Ebu Suud is asked in a fatwa, “What is the meaning of the term the Holy Land, arazi-i mukaddese?” His answer is that various definitions of the term exist, among them the whole of Syria, to Aleppo and Ariha in the north. Others equate it with the area of Jerusalem (al-Quds); still others equate it with the term “Palestine.”[168]
    c.1561: Anthony Jenkinson, published by Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nation: “I William Harborne, her Majesties Ambassadour, Ligier with the Grand Signior, for the affaires of the Levant Company in her Majesties name confirme and appoint Richard Forster Gentleman, my Deputie and Consull in the parts of Alepo, Damasco , Aman, Tripolis, Jerusalem, and all other ports whatsoever in the provinces of Syria, Palestina, and Jurie, to execute the office of Consull over all our Nation her Majesties subjects”[169]
    1563: Josse van Lom, physician of Philip II of Spain: A treatise of continual fevers: “Therefore the Scots, English, Livonians, Danes, Poles, Dutch and Germans, ought to take less blood away in winter than in summer; on the contrary, the Portuguese, Moors, Egyptians, Palestinians, Arabians, and Persians, more in the winter than in summer”[170]
    1563: John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: “Romanus, a native of Palestine, was deacon of the church of Casearea at the time of the commencement of Diocletian’s persecution”.[171]

    This probably enough feeding for now…don’t want to over do it.

      • american200 says:

        lol …apologies for the length….just wanted give her a full meal of the Palestine she/they claim never existed..

      • Hostage says:

        Re: lol …apologies for the length….just wanted give her a full meal of the Palestine she/they claim never existed.

        Don’t apologize for the length. In fact, there’s at least one relevant historical fact that your narrative left out. Netanyahu claims that Jerusalem was always the capital of the Jewish people alone. You mentioned:

        “Of the Jund Filastin, the ancient capital was Lydda. The Caliph Sulayman subsequently founded the city of Ramla, which he made the capital…. The population of Palestine consists of Arabs of the tribes …”

        Even the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a web page which acknowledges all of that and (implicitly) the fact that Palestine and Palestinian identity can be traced back at least as far as the Arab Golden Age. See “Ramla – Arab Capital of the Province of Palestine” —

        But you may NOT be aware of the fact that Jerusalem eventually became the capital of Jund Filistin, after the Fatimids conquered the district from the Abbasids. Its principal towns at that time spanned the two banks of Jordan and were: Ashkelon, Ramla, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesarea, Jaffa, Jericho, Nablus, Bayt Jibrin, and Amman. — See page 29 of Palestine under the Moslems; a description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500.

        During both the Fatimid and Ottoman eras the Ashkenazi pilgrims became so notorious for failing to pay their debts and defrauding Gentiles, that they were banned from Jerusalem entirely. The Jewish Virtual Library explains that there were small groups of resident Ashkenazim who pretended to be Sephardi in order to circumvent a ban against any Ashkenazim living in the City of Jerusalem. After the ban had lapsed, they simply retained their distinctive style of dress and customs.

  34. Hey folks,

    W. Jones signed in under another name (W.J.) and wanted to share a list of events pertaining to the Weir/JVP situ. I had to ban his new IP address (loathsome work for me), but i figured that he would still be up for sharing his list below. *(And also I just wanna say thanks W.Jones and for crumb’s sakes stop being so sneaky!)


    A Round Up of the most important discussions on the topic.:

    2013: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (CEIO) Adopts Anti-Racism Principles
    Counterpunch: Free Palestine Movement makes a critique and CEIO responds
    link to
    link to

    May-August 2015: JVP bans cooperation with Weir and CEIO expels her
    JVP Statement
    link to
    CEIO Statement
    link to
    CEIO Steering Committee member’s explanation
    link to
    Scottish PSC supports the expulsion
    link to
    Corrie Foundation, SEAMAC, and PSC-Seattle support the expulsion
    link to
    AUHPR supports the expulsion
    link to
    Free Palestine Movement resigns from CEIO in protest
    link to

    Weir Responds
    “Please Help Us Overcome the Accusations”, Weir’s defends herself
    link to
    Weir’s radio interview, in which she asks why exaggerations and misrepresentations are used in the accusations
    link to

    Solidarity Activists Discuss
    JSF makes five posts in July-August against Weir and Counterpunch, before and after the expulsion
    link to
    Petition with about 2000 signatures defending Weir
    link to
    Mondoweiss Roundtable with J.Hitchcock, S.Landau, R.Greenleaf, and about 1000 comments, a very large majority of which favor Weir (you are reading this entry.)
    A.Gupta critiques JVP and its banning of Weir
    link to
    JVP member A.Kisch’s “Response to JVP regarding their excommunication of Alison Weir”
    link to
    “Open Letter to JVP” on Democratic Underground
    link to
    Anonymous JVP Member writes a “dissident view” of the expulsion (“Ned Rosenberg isn’t his real name. Being a dissident voice within JVP is proven to be a dangerous adventure.”)
    link to
    Media With a Conscience, “Open Letter” to CEIO
    link to
    H.Norr on VOMENA radio “on the Accusations against Alison Weir”
    link to

    Ripples: the Counterpunch Controversy
    E.Hendick: “CounterPunch or Suckerpunch?” (following Counterpunch writer L.Proyect’s posting of A.Gupta’s critique)
    link to
    L.Proyect, “In Defense of Counterpunch” (countering Hendrick’s tally of leftwing vs. rightwing Counterpunch articles)
    link to
    – See more at:

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