"Israel, on the other hand, is a tiny ethnic-religious minority in a hostile region on a permanent war footing with its neighbors. Israel believes (wrongly) that it has done everything it can to make peace and been turned down, and so it trusts its security to the subjugation of the Palestinians and the periodic bombing of Syria and Hezbollah, with no expectation or even reasonable hope that things will change. This is a much more deeply entrenched and volatile problem than the Western Europeans, or, certainly, Americans have been dealing with. What ails Israel is the sort of condition that’s just made for a long-term takeover by belligerent, xenophobic ultranationalists, which is what’s happened here and hasn’t happened there. No, unfortunately, this is not a Western country we’re living in. " Haaretz
"Negotiations meant to enshrine U.S. defense aid for Israel over the next decade have snagged on disputes about the size, scope and fine print of a new multibillion-dollar package, officials say. Five months into the talks, several U.S. and Israeli officials disclosed details about the disputes to Reuters on condition of anonymity. The U.S. and Israeli governments said negotiations were continuing, declining to elaborate. Israel is seeking up to $10 billion more than the current 10-year package and billions more than the U.S. administration is offering, partly by asking for guaranteed funding for missile defense projects hitherto funded on an ad hoc basis by the U.S. Congress, the officials said. U.S. President Barack Obama wants to ensure the funds, thus far spent partly on Israeli arms, are eventually spent entirely on U.S.-made weapons." Reuters
"Allegations in the state comptroller report related to the use of state funds for purchasing furniture designated for the Caesarea home. The furniture was apparently purchased for the official residence in Jerusalem and then moved to the Netanyahu home while their older furniture was taken to the PM’s residence to replace it. State Comptroller Yosef Shapira’s report noted that Fahima, the electrician, was listed as having been called to make repairs at taxpayer expense nearly every weekend over many months, including on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, raising suspicions that the reporting of these payments may have been inaccurate." Times of Israel
———— The Haaretz commentary makes a tough case for the increasing domination of Israeli politics AND SOCIETY by people who can only be described as hyper-nationalist nasties. I haven't been to Israel for quite a few years now because this trend became so evident to me that I simply made a decision not to participate (even as a visitor) in an emerging fascist state. The Reuters recounting of the ongoing "negotiation" between Bibi's government and the US would not be credited as reality if it were occurring between normal countries. Think about it, pilgrims …. The Izzies are refusing to accept a gift of US taxpayers' money unless they like the amount and the terms. IMO the name of the country should be changed to Eretz Chutzpah. And now, Avigdor Liberman is going to be in charge of this "negotiation." The Times of Israel piece basically says that the Chutzpahi (Israeli) police want Sara N. tried for grifting on the government account as though said accounts were the Natanyahu family piggy-bank. Ah sorry, an unfortunate analogy. I say that because it is reported that more and more Chutzpahis and tourists are telling restaurants that they won't eat in their establishments if there is pork in the kitchen, That's too bad. I used to enjoy the pepperoni pizza in Tel Aviv. pl
If the US didn’t give them the money they would have to stop massively subsidising the houses in the West Bank to pay for their own defence. Wouldn’t it be nice if the US government was subsidising houses in the US rather than paying to build houses in Israel that are eventually going to have to be torn down? If the deal is going to be done it should have the phrase “permanent settlement freeze” in it.
Col Lang –
Your comment is somehow cut off at “I say this because..” – at least on my screen
Does it look right now? pl
Looks a OK now.
Col: Sad days indeed. My wife wants to visit relatives in Jordan, the West Bank and East Jerusalem next year. No dice. I will never, ever allow my children to being subjected to Israeli “security.”
There is plenty to see in Jordan, though.
Yes! All fixed..
“No, unfortunately, this is not a Western country we’re living in. ” Haaretz
30 years ago Israel’s politicians and supporters insisted that Israel was a Middle Eastern country and, therefore, should be accepted by its neighbors.
Now they insist they are a Western country and, therefore, should be defended by the West.
Odd that in the context of the time each claim was made that they are both misrepresentations. 30 years ago secular Ashkenazim (Western Jews) were the group with the most political and cultural influence. Today, Ultra Orthodox and Mizrahim (Middle Eastern Jews) are eclipsing the secular Ashkenazim culturally and politically.
If I was a secular, Western-oriented Jewish Israeli who valued his personal freedom, I’d be looking for an exit.
Nah, even 30 years ago they wanted to be considered a European country.
I suppose one could say that they are – more like an Eastern European country, such as Poland or Russia, but not one like France or Italy – not even Spain.
Well, Donald Trump has said, among other things, that all William Kristol is interested in is killing people. And that he is a loser. A debate between Trump and Clinton would be interesting to say the least. I truly wonder if Clinton will agree to debate Trump.
I personally cannot find a difference between Clinton and Jeb Bush for example. I would have no trouble letting them use the same restroom (preferably with a Turkish toilet). Trump took on Bush in the debate in South Carolina and put him out of the race for good. That wasn’t supposed to happen. South Carolina was Bush country.
But for those who think Trump might win, there are very, very smart people (Sam Wang) who are not predicting it.
Philip Giraldi on… Israel Moves Right – And might not carry many Democrats along with it http://www.unz.com/article/israel-moves-right/
Bibi has more fun coming- the French are moving forward with their peace initiative and the EU has warned Israel about continuing to destroy Palestinian homes. A recent meeting between coordinator of activities in the territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai and the EU ambassador to Israel was described as “tense and difficult.” That is diplo-speak for a meeting gone downhill.
Just remember that Israel wants to join the EU. Of course, on their terms. They consider themselves part of Europe.
“If I was a secular, Western-oriented Jewish Israeli who valued his personal freedom, I’d be looking for an exit.”
There is evidence of a brain drain from Israel.
“I personally cannot find a difference between Clinton and Jeb Bush for example.”
Why not a Hillary-Jeb ticket?
It would heal the wounds of a divided nation, lol.
The economist Robert Wenzel says that the notorious and annoying neocon, Bill Kristol, is trying to get David French to run as some sort of independent candidate for president–
Wenzel notes the Bloomberg article about it, which says that Kristol was reached in Israel. This is not surprising, as Kristol’s conduct is that of an agent for Israel, and he was also part of the “Project for a New American Century”, which laid out the “policy” that kicked off when Bush jr. was elected president. The Bloomberg article should be here–
Kristol is also the editor of a little magazine, The Weekly [Sub]Standard. Being connected, he still gets on television. However, he has obviously been fuming that Donald Trump, who would not be a lapdog for him, is approaching the Republican nomination. In fact, Trump is starting to use his counterpunching technique on Kristol–
It seems to me they think like the Russians.
I was surprised to learn from a recent conference on AIPAC that part of U.S. aid to Israel is classified. When did that start and why?
There’s been a storm in Israel lately: Ya’ir Golan, who is something like deputy chief of staff of the army, gave a speech that “”If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the holocaust it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in europe in general, and in germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016”. He was in uniform on Holocaust Day. There was an uproar. He backed down. The defence minister backed him up. Bibby fired the DM & replaced him with Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman’s only qualification for a post overseeing the military is that he used to be night club bouncer back in Moldova. He is a fascist too.
The process of replacing ashkenazi military commanders with the children of the settlers will accelerate.
Most ‘liberal’ families have second passports & for while now their children have been avoiding military service; foreign studies, doctor’s note etc.
Israel is already shrinking; educated, secular people are getting out. The settlers are taking over.
There are apparently some nasty films online showing Israeli mobs running down Palestinians, usually women. The victim is usually dispatched by a uniform, so there are no repercussions.
I no longer believe there will be any deal, not for one state of for two.
An article by Roger Tucker crystallized my thinking: the country of Israel should just be wound down!
Israel has been making withdrawals from its international goodwill account since 1967, and increasingly rapidly in recent years, as the nationalist right has become more influential.
Time and science will erode this account in the future, independently of whatever the Israeli Government may do.
As the Second World War recedes in memory, invoking the Holocaust will be less effective as a way of deflecting criticism of Israel’s behaviour. The international community will be increasingly unwilling to cut Israel as much slack as it has in the past.
Science is also complicating matters by showing many of the essentials of what is claimed as Jewish history to be origin myth, and thus undeserving of sympathy. Recent DNA work shows Ashkenazi jews originated from an area in the north of modern Turkey about 2000 years ago, ie not from Palestine, as the result of a diaspora caused by cruel Romans. These results confirms earlier work based on historic sources, such as Schlomo Sand’s ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’. And then there’s the Israel-sympathetic Old Testament origin myths most of us grew up with …
There is an interesting treatment of Jewish perspectives on the ‘evolving Israel’ issue in the graphic novel ‘Not the Israel my parents promised me’ by Harvey Pekar.
pl: don’t worry about an impending lack of pork in Israel. I understand that the several hundred thousand Russians that arrived in Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union have maintained a vigorous Russian tradition of pork-eating.
Yes,they are very much like the [“mongoloid”] Slavs whom they so hate: they NEVER reveal all of their cards – a VERY Asiatic trait.
It’s a contradiction that the very ones people hate most often are the ones they mirror.
What gives ’em the arrogance to see & think themselves occidental volk?
They are not gullible goyim…
It would seem to me that many are Russian and Eastern European migrants, and as such, more conservative, and approving of order.
Your first Haaretz link leads to the second Reuters’ article.
Peace activist Uri Avnery, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War veteran who joined the Irgun as a fifteen year old a decade before, wrote a column in Ha’aretz recently that was re-posted at Counterpunch yesterday, suggests that the skids are being greased for Netanyahu’s unwilling departure.
thanks. I think it is fixed now. pl
Absolutely. But also racist enough to make a Texas Klan member blush.
There is little shame in eastern Europe over racism. If you are polish, and dislike gypsies, how are you gonna feel about Arabs or blacks?
Rather it would lay bare the real divide.
I read that article as well yesterday and was intrigued/perplexed by the last part which made reference to a proposal for some current Knesset members of the Zionist Union to leave and form their own party. Did you understand that proposal? Is it wishful thinking on the behalf of Avnery or is it something that has been put on the table in some way. I tried to find the reference to the editorial by Yair Assulin in Ha’aretz that Avnery mentions but could not find it. Do you have any read on this idea/proposal?
Neither in Judaism nor in Islam nor in Buddhism there is a notion of Personal Liberty. That is, a theoretical or customary basis for the existence of Liberty does not exist; that is all owed to the Roman Republic, Germanic Tribes of Northern Europe, and late Medieval Catholic Thinkers – in my opinion.
How many Syrian refugees will they be admitting under the EU requirements? It would be even funnier to see the Muslim residents of the EU move there for work.
I always try to read his articles on his webpage……an oasis in the desert.
steve: “Leave No Oligarch Behind.”
Les: the Myth of Leon Uris’s Exodus dies hard. The State of Israel was never the Land of Israel.
Sorry, Lefty, I don’t know enough about Israeli politics to have any sense of how influential the MKs mentioned are, or the Zionist Union for that matter. I do know that Avnery has been an icon of the withering Israeli-Palistinian peace movement since the ’50s, and that he was politically active both Ben Gurion and Begin left the PM’s office. So I presume he has some insight on how these things happen there. Like Nonlurking, who commented below, I make a point of reading whatever Avnery writes.
Thanks. “The Center Doesn’t Hold” is an interesting article. There is an explanation. The leftist parties from the Democrats in the USA to New Labour in UK or the Labor Party in Israel have sold out. The Socialist government of France is forcing EU labor reforms on its workers despite strikes and protests. The death and despair in Middle America is ignored. Robber Barons have seized power again and are stealing anything they can get their hands on. Government is doing nothing to stop it. Like a replay of the 1930’s, the neo-Fascists from Israel to the USA are using the economic depression and planned chaos to rise to power once more.
Why Trump will win, if he goes up against Hillary and the media does not tweak to his methods real soon:
A large part of aid to Israel comes in the form of annual billion-dollar “loans”, which are then “forgiven” the next year. This allows Congress to say with a straight face that Israel always repays its loans on time. It also allows that portion of the aid to be kept under the table and off the accounting/books. I don’t know about classified.
Israel invaded Egypt a week or two after it finished constructing its first atomic bomb. This fact needs to be made better-known. Egypt suspected it was about to be invaded, hence its build-up, but got the projected time-frame wrong by a year. I believe the United Nations still has been unable to get Israel to disgorge all the territory it conquered.
http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/ Rabbi Michael Lerner
Jewish American, liberal, transcendental
The good Rabbi is apparently quite a self promoter & has been linked to the Clintons
But the website is carrying a good debate between supporters of Clinton & Sanders
https://electronicintifada.net/ Ali Abunemah
The palestinian view, domiciled in the west
http://mondoweiss.net/ Philip Weiss
New York is the most important foreign Jewish centre to Israel
But not all Jews embrace the party line.
They report Palestinian issues as well.
http://icahd.org/ Jeff Halper
Jeff is a retired US Sociology Prof.
For the past ten or more years he & his friends have rebuilding the houses of Palestinians, knocked down by Israeli authorities.. He also documents how Israel establishes “facts on the ground”; Displacing Palestinians
A new style online magazine/blog staffed with both Palestinians & Israeli Jews
http://www.richardsilverstein.com/ Tikun Olam
It takes a Jew to penetrate the labyrinths of the Israeli Security State.
His website also has beautiful picture of middle east frescoes & tiles.
Robert Fisk; Indedendent
Patrick Cockburn; Independant
Ramzy Baroud; various, writes lucidly on Palestinian issues
Ha’aretz has good reporters but everything is behind a paywall
Miko Peled, Israel-born black-belt teacher now living in Calif, former Israeli special forces soldier, peace activist, fluent in Arabic, uncle of martyred 13-yr-old niece, author of “The General’s Son” [Gen. Matti Peled]. p. 205 he describes the Israeli massacre of Rafah Refugee Camp in Gaza, 1967.
Israel Shahak, deceased, book author, important source on Israeli strategy and nuclear policies. Lays out Oded Yinon plan. See e.g. “Open Secrets”.
“Is Israel an Apartheid State? Rhetoric or Reality?” Halper’s short readable pamphlet,
detailing Israel’s two sets of laws, two sets of court systems, economic and systemic discrimination, summarizing a very thorough and unreadable report done by a South African / British legal team available on-line or published as “Beyond Occupation” (Tilley).
Col. Warner Farr’s report on Israel’s historical nuclear program, “The Third Temple’s Holy of Holies: Israel’s Nuclear Weapons”
U.N. Report “Gaza in 2020: A liveable place?”(2012) goes briefly into systematic water deprivation as a form of oppression:
I believe this counts as quiet and effective long-term genocide. Limited running water and sewage in a city of over a million means flush toilets don’t work, means wastes are collected in open cess pits, where they seep back into what’s left of the groundwater, rendering well water unfit to use.
“Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in Military Detention”
311 case histories of children arrested by midnight goon squads, and how trial without effective representation goes. 99% conviction rate, when a trial is held (Israel allows jailing without trials/charges).
“Children in Military Custody”, another objective and thorough study by British lawyers. Actual Palestinian children are complaining of torture in one reality. They find Israel lives in a different reality where Palestinian children want to get behind bars, because of the superior elementary schooling given there. They make no judgments, but report both sides.
Yoav Shamir’s documentary “Defamation” is worth watching, esp. the parts on Abe Foxman/JDL and the indoctrination of teens. Skip through Norm Finkelstein. Various places, try
Videographer Corey Gil-Shuster’s youtube channel “Ask an Israeli / Ask a Palestinian” records person-on-the-street responses to basic attitude questions; useful reality check: