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Jun 30, 2010

Smith's Report July 2010: The Hungarian Holocaust Debate

 



headder
  • Jurgen Graf enters The Hungarian Holocaust Debate, with a prefatory note by Arthur Butz.

  • Carolyn Yeager introduces a new CODOH Website to challenge Elie Wiesel on a number of identity issues.

  • Paul Grubach on Richard Dawkins as a Hardcore Atheist and Holocaust Theologian.

  • Thomas Kues examines implications of Jewish losses published in the American monthly the Soviet Union Today.

  • Bradley Smith reports on "Intellectual Cleansing at the Mises Institute."


Jurgen

Jurgen Graf

"Holocaust" Debate in Hungary
A Prefatory Note

by Arthur Butz

In March 2010 the Hungarian parliament adopted an anti-revisionist law making it illegal to dispute the orthodox version of the "holocaust." Hungarian nationalist and revisionist Otto Perge suggested a debate on the topic. One of the country's most prominent "holocaust" scholars, Dr. Laszlo Karsai, accepted the challenge. Having learned this, our old friend Jurgen Graf contacted Mr. Perge and offered his assistance, which Perge accepted. Graf then sent Perge 17 questions for his opponent, in English. Dr. Perge translated them into Hungarian and had them published on a web site supportive of the nationalist Jobbik party (http://kuruc.info). Having read them, Dr. Karsai told Perge that he did not intend to answer these questions.

However Dr. Karsai attempted to refute the revisionist point of view by making 15 statements, which he sent to Otto Perge, who has a sound knowledge of the subject but is not a specialist. Perge translated these statements into English and forwarded them to Graf.... (READ MORE)

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Dalton's Holocaust Radio Debate on April 24, 2010:

http://www.americanfreedomradio.com/Barrett_10.html

Peace.

Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367
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Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton

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Mondoweiss: Israel reported to have seized Palestinian legislator in Jerusalem

 


Mondoweiss


Israel reported to have seized Palestinian legislator in Jerusalem

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 08:27 AM PDT

No link available, but, Maan is reporting that Muhammad Abu Tir (a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council who is affiliated with Hamas) has been taken from his Jerusalem home and his expulsion is imminent.

And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land theft and destruction/Ethnic cleansing
IOA razes Palestinian buildings in OJ
Israeli occupation police escorted bulldozers of the Israeli-controlled municipality of Jerusalem as they leveled Palestinian buildings and installations in Isawiye town, occupied Jerusalem.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9r


Bedouin Families Face Further Expulsions
The al-Quds Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights reported that some 40 Bedouin families in the al-Farsiyya area, in the northern plains of the Jordan Valley, received official notices from Israel ordering them to leave their areas.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59032

4 residents issued stop work orders in Hebron village
Hebron – Ma'an – Four Palestinian homeowners were presented with stop work orders by Israel's Civil Administration on Tuesday in the Al-Burj village south of Hebron, alleging that the homes were built without the necessary permits.  Residents said the orders were delivered by Israeli forces accompanying Civil Administration officials. The orders, known locally as "demolition orders," demand that home owners appear before a magistrates court to defend allegations. Because legal action at the court rarely succeeds, the stop work orders essentially constitute a demolition order.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295559


Israeli production company desecrates mosque, makes offensive remarks
The Islamic Movement in 1948 occupied Palestine condemned an Israeli movie production company for violating the sanctity of an old mosque in the city of Qalansuwa in central Palestine.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcyQOSy10a8U%3d


Israel erects 2 barriers in Jenin
Jenin, June 30, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli occupation forces erected today tow military checkpoints at Arabah and Mithlon towns in Jenin city, in the West Bank.  Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers stopped citizens' cars and searched it carefully and verified their ID cards which resulted in obstructing their movement from and to the towns.  Israel erects more than 500 military checkpoints in the West Bank where they used to stop the citizens and verify their ID cars searching for wanted Palestinians and aim at humiliating them too.

http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/west-bank/6559-israel-erects-2-barriers-in-jenin

'Israel's plan to raze E. Jerusalem homes is an obstacle to peace'

EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton says 'settlements and demolitions of homes are illegal under international law.'

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-s-plan-to-raze-e-jerusalem-homes-is-an-obstacle-to-peace-1.299171?localLinksEnabled=false


Israel must avoid further violations of international law in East Jerusalem – UN human rights expert
GENEVA (29 June 2010) – UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk urged Israel to prevent further violations of international law in East Jerusalem, most urgently in relation to the situation of four Palestinians threatened with the loss of their right of residence and the Mayor of Jerusalem's plan to demolish 22 buildings, representing 89 Palestinian homes, in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-86VLRS?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P


Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Protest Netanyahu's Visit to the U.S.
Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Time: 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Location: Israeli Consulate
456 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=138062659544125

Solidarity As A Weapon: The MST In Palestine
"There is a weapon more powerful than any Israeli tank or U.S. missile, which is international solidarity," said Marcelo Buzetto, a São Paulo native visiting Haifa last month. The weeks following Israeli's deadly flotilla raid on May 31st initiated an outpour of global support for the people of Gaza. As Israel deflects attention from ending the crushing blockade through its purported "easing," people standing in true solidarity with Palestinians—including those in the West Bank, the 1948 areas, and the diaspora—should remember Buzetto's words.

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1467


Israel's anti-boycott belligerence | Miri Weingarten
A bill seeking to outlaw boycotts of Israeli institutions and products – including in settlements – is diplomatically explosive

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/30/israel-anti-boycott-bill


Violence/Detainees
Pictures of the Day: Gaza and Elsewhere

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/pictures-248/


Palestinians protest in front of Askalan jail
Jenin, June 30, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – The prisoners affairs committee in the Palestinian occupied land of 48 organized on Wednesday a protest in front of Askalan Israeli jail condemning the jail  administration arbitrary policy.  The protesters chanted slogans and shouted against the Israeli occupation demanding the release of the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails.

http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/west-bank/6563-palestinians-protest-in-front-of-askalan-jail


Gaza prison committee praises Shalit family's efforts
Bethlehem/Gaza - Ma'an - The Detainees' Support Committee in Gaza called on the Shalit family on Wednesday to continue to pressure their government to secure the release of their son.  The Shalit family is on a 12-day march to Jerusalem, where they plan to camp outside Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's residence until their son is returned home. Gilad, an Israeli soldier, was captured in along the Gaza border four years ago.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295755


Retaliation
Qassam rocket fired from Gaza destroys Negev packing plant
Rocket also seriously damages other structures in the Sdot Negev Regional Council; no one hurt.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/qassam-rocket-fired-from-gaza-destroys-negev-packing-plant-1.299124?localLinksEnabled=false


The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)
Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – May 30 – June 26

http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/06/goods-needs-vs-supply-may-30-june-26/

Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – May 30 – June 26

http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/06/industrial-fuel-needs-vs-supply-may-30-june-26/

Haniyeh calls on Arab world to break siege
Gaza – Ma'an – Gaza government premier Ismail Haniyeh said US and Israeli efforts to ease the Gaza blockade are "only lies," as he met with an Indonesian parliamentary delegation on Tuesday.  Haniyeh called on Arabs and Muslims to "continue their political and public efforts" to bring the Israeli-imposed siege to an end, adding that media reports of an apparent alleviation of the blockade were deceptive.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295562


West Bank poverty 'worse than Gaza'
The European Commission funded study found that in "Area C"- the 60 per cent of the West Bank under direct Israeli control - the poorest sections of society are suffering disproportionately because basic infrastructure is not being repaired due to Israel's refusal to approve the work.  Homes, schools, drainage systems and roads are in urgent need of repair, but instead of work being allowed, families are being forced to live in tents and do not have access to clean water.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/06/201062916845576597.html


PMRS: "52% of Gaza Children Suffer From Malnutrition"
A study conducted by the Palestinian Medical Relief Association (PMRS) revealed that %52 of the children in Gaza suffer from Anemia, and severe deficiency in phosphor, Calcium and Zink, while a significant number of children suffer from infections in their respiratory systems.

http://www.imemc.org/article/59031


Israel confiscates medical appliances donated by Norway
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has confiscated medical equipment that were on their way to the West Bank and Gaza Strip hospitals, Hebrew press reported on Tuesday.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/defauHxN8gVRO8AfUubjCieaJbgj9KA8A%3d

OPT: Obstacles on road to Gaza rebuilding
GAZA CITY Wednesday, June 30, 2010 (IRIN) - Eighteen months after Israel's 23-day offensive in the Gaza Strip, three-quarters of damaged homes, buildings and infrastructure remain unrepaired, according to a reconstruction needs assessment published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Jerusalem.

http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=89679


No World Cup in Gaza as Strip drowns in darkness
Bethlehem/Gaza – Ma'an – While football matches entertain the rest of the world, few in Gaza will enjoy the privilege, as most houses do not have electricity.  Gaza local Abu Muhammad followed the Algeria – Slovenia match on the local radio, but said he was sad that he could only hear the game and not watch it.  Although coffee shops and restaurants are showing the games, the high unemployment rate in the Strip means most residents of Gaza cannot afford to go.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295561


Human Rights
In violation of Medical Ethics and International Law: Israel Restricts the Access of Gaza Patients to Urgent Medical Treatment if their Condition is Not Life-Threatening
A new position paper by three human rights organizations, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL), Al-Mezan and Adalah, reviews Israel's exit policy at the Erez Crossing regarding Gaza patients seeking medical treatment unavailable in Gaza. The paper argues that there is a consistent Israeli policy of distinguishing between life-threatening cases and cases that affect quality of life, as a basis to deny their exit from the Strip for medical treatment, which violates the principles of medical ethics and international law.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MMAO-86WG54?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P

'Litzman's words on hospital - racist', Deputy minister accused of delaying funds for Arab-run gov't facility
The Israel Medical Association charged Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman on Sunday with delaying the transfer of ministry budgets to Nahariya's state-owned Western Galilee Hospital because its director-general is an Israeli Arab.  Litzman's recent statements in the Knesset about the hospital "raise the smell of racism," said IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=179717


Israeli soldier says Palestinians better off under occupation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaBj5e771E8&feature=youtube_gdata


Gaza young man uses his voice to defy physical disabilities
GAZA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Leaning on crutches, the physically disabled Osama Abu Safar, resident of Gaza City, went everyday to work at Fursan al-Iradah (Knights of Will) radio station.  He defied the life's intricacies, mainly the lack of living means, care and accommodate for Gaza disabled people.  Abu Safar, 27, born in Libya with disability in both legs, never thought about surrendering to the reality of his physical disability. He insisted with determination and challenged to achieve a proper position for himself in the society of the Gaza Strip.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-06/29/c_13376021.htm


Refugees
Palestinians in Lebanon demonstrate for their rights
As cars plastered with the flags of Brazil, Germany, Argentina and other favorite World Cup teams drove across Beirut on Sunday, Palestinian refugees and their supporters carried Palestinian and Lebanese flags as they marched through the capital. They called for their human rights in Lebanon, where they have lived without them for more than six decades. Matthew Cassel reports for The Electronic Intifada.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11359.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Palestinian diplomat urges Lebanese unity on refugee rights (AFP)
AFP - The Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon on Tuesday urged consensus among Lebanese parties on granting basic rights to hundreds of thousands of refugees living in decrepit camps across the country.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100629/wl_mideast_afp/lebanonpalestinianrefugeerights


Lebanon's Palestinians, the shame rises,  Rami G. Khouri
The current debate in Lebanon about the legal status of several hundred thousand resident Palestinian refugees reflects the best and worst of the Arab world. The mistreatment, abysmal living conditions and limited work, social security and property rights of these Palestinians are a lingering moral black mark – but change is in the air, initiated largely by Lebanese.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=116519#ixzz0sHKvFSDG

    
Aoun: Funds to Grant Palestinian Refugees Rights Unavailable
29/06/2010 The head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun backed on Tuesday granting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon their rights, but noted that this requires funds that are unavailable.  Speaking to reporters following his bloc's weekly meeting, Aoun said that Palestinians cannot be granted right of ownership in Lebanon, and said that houses for Palestinians should be built in refugee camps, similar to those that were constructed at the Nahr al-Bared camp.  "We cannot scatter the refugees throughout the Lebanese territories because if they lose their communication then they will lose their cause," Aoun said.

http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=144347&language=en


Israel's Arab Helpers
Egypt police kill Eritrean woman at Israeli border
38-year-old woman shot three times midway along the Sinai border; another two Eritrean women, child arrested.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3912638,00.html


Russia To Send 50 Armored Vehicles To The P.A.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, stated that the Palestinian Authority will soon receive 50 Russian armored vehicles that were donated by Russia several years ago but Israel opposed the delivery.

http://www.imemc.org/article/59030


Flotilla Fallout/Investigation
Turkey twice barred Israel from airspace: diplomat (AFP)
AFP - Turkey has twice refused Israeli military planes permission to use its airspace after the deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships in May, a diplomat said Tuesday, but denied there was a blanket ban.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100629/wl_mideast_afp/israelconflictgazaturkeyarmyairspace


Charlie Rose Interviews:  Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11091#frame_top


IHH report on the freedom flotilla

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=45521038


Israeli panel probing Gaza flotilla raid asks Netanyahu to expand its authority
Turkel commission held first meeting on Monday, nearly one month after May 31 raid on Turkish-flagged ship left nine dead.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-panel-probing-gaza-flotilla-raid-asks-netanyahu-to-expand-its-authority-1.299038?localLinksEnabled=false

Head of Israel fleet raid probe threatens to resign: TV (AFP)
AFP - The head of an Israeli commission set up to investigate a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla threatened to resign unless the probe is given wider powers, Israeli TV said on Tuesday.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100629/wl_mideast_afp/israelconflictgazaprobe


ANALYSIS / Israel doesn't seem to want to really probe Gaza flotilla raid
Turkel quickly discovered that a panel with a limited mandate and no authority to subpoena witnesses, which is at the mercy of officials' willingness to appear before it, cannot do its job properly.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/analysis-israel-doesn-t-seem-to-want-to-really-probe-gaza-flotilla-raid-1.299058


Political Developments
Israel's Barak to meet Palestinian PM Fayyad (AFP)
AFP - Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak is to meet with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad in the coming days, the two sides said on Wednesday, for a rare high-level meeting between the two.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100630/wl_mideast_afp/mideastusdiplomacy

Fatah document to urge Abbas into unity deal
Bethlehem/Jerusalem – Ma'an – Fatah's Revolutionary Council has prepared a document for President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to guarantee a Palestinian unity deal with Hamas, Jerusalem Affairs chief Hatem Abdul Qader told Ma'an on Tuesday.  While the document commends Abbas for his contribution toward reconciling rival movements Fatah and Hamas, it aims at "paralleling" the pressure on the president to close a unity deal, Abdul Qader said.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295594


Israeli radicalism foremost obstacle to peace - Ahmed Qrei'a
The realization of the just and lasting peace in the Middle East is still possible. This is the primary conclusion that could be deduced from our long quest for peace, despite the scarce achievements and unlimited failures that marked the 18 years of faltering negotiations.  Achieving the desired peace, however, will only be possible when certain objective requirements are present and met. In fact, these requirements are already present and well-established in the principles of international legitimacy and law, as articulated clearly in the UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295649

    
Az-Zahhar: Hamas not affected by regional pressure
Gaza – Ma'an – Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar said Wednesday that the faction's decision making process is not affected by regional pressure but rather by internal politics.  Az-Zahhar's comments were made during a lecture in Gaza on Hamas' political thought and regional relations, where he said the movement maintains "strong ties" with its allies.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295719


Lawmaker says EU must stop funding 'Israeli war machine'
Bethlehem - Ma'an - MEP Bairbre de Brún called on the European Commission on Tuesday to stop funding Israeli companies which "develop military technology," until Israel complies with international human rights standards.  De Brún asked the EC to reveal the extent of funding it provides to companies whose research has military applications, which she said "ends up helping the Israeli war machine."

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295812


Russian foreign minister says Palestinian state might be formed by 2012
RAMALLAH, West bank, June 29 (Itar-Tass) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday a Palestinian state might be formed by 2012.  "A (Middle East) Quartet statement adopted at a ministerial meeting in March says that we are seeking to do our best to settle the problem by 2012," Lavrov said after a meeting with the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. "If everyone shows good will and mutual trust, if external players push the sides to reach accord, it is quite possible."

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15275815&PageNum=0


Obama, Abdullah pledge ties on Middle East, beyond (AP)
AP - President Barack Obama says he and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia agreed Tuesday on the need to press for Middle East peace in a "significant and bold way," including the creation of a Palestinian homeland.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100629/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_saudi_arabia


Minister Landau: Another withdrawal? Barak like battered woman
Yisrael Beitenu member slams defense minister for saying Israel will be required to take additional unilateral steps. 'We are partners in the same government,' he says.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3912673,00.html


Other News
Man jailed for selling land to Israel
Qalqiliya – Ma'an – The Palestinian Authority Court of First Instance on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to 10 years imprisonment on charges of selling land to Israel.  The accused, identified only by the initials AF, 44, from Qalqiliya in the occupied West Bank, was convicted in accordance with the 1960 article 144 of the penal code number 6.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=295550


Farrakhan charges Jews with 'anti-black' behavior
Nation of Islam minister writes to leaders of more than dozen major US Jewish groups, denominations seeking 'repair of my people from the damage' he claims Jews have caused blacks for centuries.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3913034,00.html


Nature guides may be hiding facts to avoid offending religious hikers
The Knesset is expected to look into the possibility that Israel Nature and Parks Authority guides at the Soreq Cave Nature Reserve are concealing the true age of the cavern's stalactites, stalagmites.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/nature-guides-may-be-hiding-facts-to-avoid-offending-religious-hikers-1.298848

Analysis/Opinion
Is Gilad Shalit a prisoner of war?, Ali Abunimah
In a stunt labelled the "True Freedom Flotilla" Gabriella Shalev, Israel's ambassador to the UN, other diplomats and Zionist activists set sail last week on New York's Hudson River towards UN headquarters.  Their goal was to draw attention to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas four years ago as he was enforcing Israel's occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip.  Shalev reportedly carried an "aid" package containing underwear, eyeglasses and food intended for Shalit.  Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Zionist umbrella group that organised the event, complained that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been prevented from visiting Shalit, while Israel allegedly allows "some 15,000 to 18,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid" into the besieged Gaza Strip each week.

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/06/2010628132553801841.html


Ambition and Zionism, Philip Weiss
Who is Barak? In
Beyond Chutzpah, Norman Finkelstein says that Aharon Barak was "a leading proponent" of guidelines allowing torture-- making Israel the "only country in the world where torture was legally sanctioned," according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. He also gave a green light to administrative detentions, even as the judge conceded, "there is probably no State in the Western world that permits an administrative detention of someone who does not himself pose any danger to State security."

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/ambition-and-zionism.html

EU states 'use outsourced torture'
UK, France and Germany urged not to use information gained by torture in other countries.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/06/2010629134355923668.html


NPR corrects itself – to a point, Henry Norr
Several updates from the National Public Radio front:  Last week, just a day after I sent a
complaint to Fresh Air and NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard about the misleading account of the origins of the siege of Gaza presented by Terry Gross's guest Lawrence Wright, a correction of sorts appeared on the network's corrections page. As several commenters here predicted, the correction is minimal: "Our guest misstated the year of Hamas' election victory. The elections were held in January 2006, not June 2007." (Wright actually just said 2007 - it's not clear why the correction mentions June.)

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/npr-corrects-itself-to-a-point.html


The scarecrow, Gideon Levy
There is a long tradition of frightening people over the release of terrorists. The suggestion of talking to the Palestine Liberation Organization was once an especially frightening scarecrow, as was the establishment of a Palestinian state.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-scarecrow-1.298879


We won't relinquish the enemy, Akiva Eldar

Israel refuses to recognize that the Arab world has offered an end to the conflict through the Saudi peace initiative.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/we-won-t-relinquish-the-enemy-1.298686


Strenger Than Fiction / Israel must admit to its mistakes
Like Abbas admitted that the second intifada was one of the worst Palestinian mistakes, Israel needs to admit to its worst mistake: the settlement enterprise.

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/strenger-than-fiction-israel-must-admit-to-its-mistakes-1.299206?localLinksEnabled=false


Us, us and us, Nimrod Aloni
The fundamental human value of seeing others as human beings just like us is disappearing; some people even consider it a betrayal.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/us-us-and-us-1.298687


'Is the open sea your father's meadow? Do you think you have the right to kill someone who has a death wish?', Philip Weiss
Translation below of
a piece in Taraf, a Turkish daily, about an interview that aired on Israeli television with a leader of the Turkish IHH charity that organized the flotilla. Thanks to Lonso for translation. The remarkably-philosophical Bulent Yildirim says more boats are ready to go, and his statements about paintball, knives, death wishes, and the open sea are halfway through what follows.

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/is-the-open-sea-your-fathers-meadow-do-you-think-you-have-the-right-to-kill-someone-who-has-a-death-wish.html


USS Carrier Harry Truman Now Officially Just Off Iran, As Israel Allegedly Plotting An Imminent Tehran Raid
As we first reported
last week, in an article that was met with much original skepticism, the Pentagon has now confirmed that a fleet of 12 warships has passed the Suez Canal, and is now likely awaiting orders to support the escalation in the Persian Gulf. The attached image from Stratfor shows the latest positioning of US aircraft carrier groups as of June 23: the USS Harry Truman (CVN-75) is now right next to USS Eisenhower (CVN 69), both of which are waiting patiently just off Iran.

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2010/06/uss-carrier-harry-truman-now-officially.html


On Israel's 'Right to Exist' and on Racism, Denis G. Rancourt
Surely the Israeli government would agree that the right of a nation state to exist is a question of international law.   Under international law, no other country has ever demanded or been granted that another nation state be forced to officially recognize the claimant nation's "right to exist", under the threat of military reprisal no less.  But since this is an original and unresolved question of international law and since Israel has forcefully put it on the table, it is relevant to examine whether Israel is following established principles of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions for example, or foreign country assassinations and kidnappings, or international waters commando attacks of civilian ships, etc.

http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16096

Iraq
Tuesday: 21 Iraqis Killed, 36 Wounded
At least 21 Iraqis were killed and 36 more were wounded in a string of attacks that targeted police and other officials. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Maliki met with his rival in talks that could break the political impasse that is fueling some of the violence.

http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/06/29/tuesday-21-iraqis-killed-36-wounded/


Iraq's main rivals meet on government to end impasse (Reuters)
Reuters - The two main contenders in Iraq's March election met on Tuesday for only the second time since the inconclusive vote as concerns mounted at the lack of progress in negotiations to form a government.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100629/wl_nm/us_iraq_politics


Lack of help for Iraqi police was 'quite breathtaking'
British and American efforts to rebuild Iraq's police after the 2003 invasion were under-funded and unrealistic, the resumed Iraq war inquiry heard yesterday. The first UK chief police adviser in Baghdad said there was an assumption that an efficient Iraqi police force would simply "rise like a phoenix" within months.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/lack-of-help-for-iraqi-police-was-quite-breathtaking-2014113.html

Iraqi exiles plot fall of Maliki from Damascus
SEVEN YEARS after the fall of Iraq's Baathist regime, Baathist, Arab nationalist and independent dissidents based here are plotting the downfall of the its replacement.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2010/0629/1224273556157.html


Female Circumcision Rife in Iraqi Kurdistan, Says Report
For many young girls in the world, a life-changing experience might be reaching puberty or discovering a first crush. For Gola, a 17-year-old student from Iraqi Kurdistan, it was the moment her mother and sister-in-law took her to get circumcised. "They put us in the bathroom, held our legs open and cut something," Gola, whose real name has been withheld for privacy reasons, recalls in the new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, "'They Took Me and Told Me Nothing': Female Genital Mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100630/wl_time/08599199896600


Marine in Iraq war crime case reports back to duty (AP)
AP - Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III is reporting for duty, four years after he was imprisoned for a murder conviction in a major Iraqi war crimes case.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100629/ap_on_re_us/us_marines_iraq_shootings


Video:  Iraq: The Hidden War
Iraq: The Hidden Story shows the footage used by TV news broadcasts, and compares it with the devastatingly powerful uncensored footage of the aftermath of the carnage that is becoming a part of the fabric of life in Iraq.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2179700192640504810&hl=en#


Lebanon
Hezbollah vows to 'defend Lebanese gas'
In interview with al-Manar television, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said that organization will not hesitated to use 'all means' in order 'to exercise Lebanon's sovereignty over its natural treasures.' He accuses US of being biased towards Israel.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3913152,00.html


IDF career soldier suspected of spying for Hezbollah
Suspect allegedly participated in drug smuggling gang that transferred sensitive military information to Hezbollah-linked figure in Lebanon.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-career-soldier-suspected-of-spying-for-hezbollah-1.299184?localLinksEnabled=false


Alfa Spy Makes Headlines: Telecoms under Israeli Control!?
29/06/2010 For the second consecutive day, the discovery of the dangerous 'Alfa spy' made the headlines in Lebanon…  Everyone in Lebanon believes the catch is hefty. They even believe is the very most precious treasure in terms of services and data the detainee has been providing Israel for more than 14 years. Investigations with the spy are ongoing after confessions made by him showed the seriousness of the work he did for the Israelis over the past 14 years in his capacity as both an Alfa employee and communications ministry staffer.  According to Lebanese daily As-Safir, the Telecoms spy confessed that he had planted software and chips made available to him by Israel across Alfa's broadcasting stations, making the possibility of manipulating the data in any contact lines much easier for Israeli communications experts.

http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=144340&language=en


Report: Lebanon to probe top government officials in Israel spy ring case

Lebanese officials: Investigation will continue until the Israeli intelligence is blind and deaf in Lebanon.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-lebanon-to-probe-top-government-officials-in-israel-spy-ring-case-1.299146?localLinksEnabled=false


Hezbollah thanks Syria for its support
BEIRUT, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Hezbollah's deputy chief Naim Kassem thanked Syria on Tuesday for its support to the Shiite armed group.  Kassem met with Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdel Karim Ali with talks featuring high on latest progress on local, regional and international scenes, said a Hezbollah's statement.  During the meeting, Kassem confirmed that the Lebanese-Syrian relations "are not discretionary but stipulated in Taef agreement to be special".  "We thank Syria once again for its support to the Resistance, the Army and the people," he added.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-06/30/c_13376063.htm


Berri: World rages over captured Israeli, forgets Gazans
BEIRUT: The world is in an uproar over the capture of an Israeli soldier while the same outrage is not afforded for a people under siege, Speaker Nabih Berri said in Damascus in reference to the Israeli occupation of Gaza.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=116553


Iran
Israel and US allegedly preparing military strike on Iran
Reports have surfaced in the Middle East claiming Israel and the US are making military preparations for a possible attack on Iran.  It comes after Washington called for tougher measures to be taken against the country over its nuclear ambitions.  The reports first appeared in Iranian media and were later picked up by more mainstream Israeli and Iranian media. According to them, Israeli helicopters have dropped large amounts of military equipment in northern Saudi Arabia, eight kilometers from Tabuk, the closest Saudi city to Israel.

http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-06-28/iran-us-military-preparations.html


Military strike on Iran will destabilize region: Mullen
The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said it would be "incredibly dangerous" for Iran to achieve nuclear weapons, and that there's "no reason to trust" Iran's assurances that it is only pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, especially after the discovery of the secret nuclear facility in Qum.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/29-Jun-2010/Military-strike-on-Iran-will-destabilize-region-Mullen


If CIA has new info on Iran's nuclear plans, Russia interested in details – Lavrov
"If the CIA has information proving that Iran has actually started to enrich its uranium to a weapon-grade level, this information is new and we are interested to look into it in detail."

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=15274214&PageNum=0

Iran says nuclear talks to resume with Brazil, Turk
TEHRAN: Iran said on Tuesday it would soon resume nuclear talks with Turkey and Brazil - a tentative first step back to international negotiations after Tehran was hit with a new wave of sanctions over its disputed nuclear work.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=116550


The Iranian Threat, Noam Chomsky
"They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran," according to Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London. "US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours," he said. "The firepower of US forces has quadrupled since 2003," accelerating under Obama.

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-iranian-threat-by-noam-chomsky


7 Potential Economic Effects Of A War With Iran
Are you ready to pay 8 or 10 dollars for a gallon of gasoline? What do you think that would do to the U.S. economy?

http://english.pravda.ru/business/finance/29-06-2010/114054-war_iran-0


U.S. and other World News
'What kind of America'? Hate-filled rally to stop mosque
Angry Sheepshead Bay residents came out in a show of force on Sunday to protest a planned mosque and Muslim community center in their neighborhood. 
"If they build a mosque there, I'm going to bomb the mosque," said one outraged resident who lives across the street from the proposed house of worship between East 28th and East 29th streets on Voorhies Avenue. The resident, who refused to give his name, identified himself as a former Israeli soldier who had lived on Voorhies Avenue for eight years.

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/33/27/bn_tt_baypeoplemosquerally_2010_07_02_bk.html


www.TheHeadlines.org

Will mainline American Protestants give Palestinian Christians a voice?

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 08:14 AM PDT

B'nai B'rith has issued a statement criticizing the recommendations of the Middle East Study Committee of the Presbyterian Church USA. These recommendations include possibly withholding US military aid to Israel in order to encourage it to abide by international law as well as an endorsement of the important Kairos Document, recently put forth jointly by the leaders of the Palestinian Christian community.

Among B'nai B'rith's complaints is that the PCUSA Middle East Study Committe's report

"fails to recognize that Israel is the Middle East's only free, pluralistic society and the only country in the region whose Christian population has grown in actual numbers."

Of course, such a statement conveniently fails to mention that as much as 35% of the Arab population of pre-1948 Palestine was Christian, whereas today the Palestinian population in the 1948 borders is perhaps 5% Christian (9.1% of the Palestinians in Israel are Christians).  Birthrates and emigration cannot explain this precipitous collapse in numbers. The Nakba, however, can.

Picking up on this one sentence may seem to be a small point, but it actually matters quite a bit for a number of reasons.

1. There is the question of the 'clash of civilizations.' Post 9/11, Israel garnered much sympathy in many quarters because it was viewed as a bastion of Western civilization holding out against the dark and obscurantist forces of radical Islam: the Arab-Israeli conflict is often simplistically reduced to a Muslim-Jewish binary. Lost in the black-and-white are the Christians of Palestine--a significant minority whose members, from George Habash to Edward Said to Hanan Ashrawi, have played an important role in the Palestinian struggle. Sadly, many (most?) Americans have no idea that there is even a Christian population in the Middle East or in Palestine. In my own experience, for example, I have been asked if my family were Muslim converts to Christianity. I would laugh at such questions if they were not so sadly ignorant. Palestinian and Middle Eastern Christians are in fact the oldest Christian communities in the world and their existence has the effect of throwing a wrench in Huntingtonian perspectives on the conflict; such (racist, tribalist) perspectives, I suspect, unfortunately account for a lot of soft support for Israel in the US.

(I should add that if you are only going to begin supporting justice for Palestinians once you discover there are Christians there, then I don't want your support.)

2, There is the question of representation. What we are dealing with is nothing less than a battle for the right to speak and represent oneself and not have others arrogate that right to themselves and presume to speak for you. The B'nai B'rith statement attempts to do just this--part of Israel's legitimacy, it suggests, rests in the treatment it has granted Palestinian Christians (as opposed, the implication is, to the treatment meted out to Christians in other parts of the Middle East by various Arab regimes). I remember during the Second Intifada watching an Israeli government official speaking from Beit Jala (a majority-Christian town in the West Bank, near Bethlehem) with the 700 Club and talking about what the Christians there in Beit Jala liked and didn't like; unsurprisingly, to hear him tell it, Israel was on the side of the Christians.

My reaction was: why don't you go down there and ask them themselves rather than let a paid minister of the Occupation tell Americans what the Natives prefer?

The Kairos Document, by contrast, written by Palestinian Christians themselves, condemns in no uncertain terms a litany of familiar Israeli abuses of Palestinians: the separation wall, the humiliation of occupation, illegal settlements, Israeli restriction of access to holy places (thus giving the lie to common Zionist assertions about the freedom of worship in Jerusalem), the denial of the right of return, the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, etc. In short, Palestinian Christian criticisms of Israeli policies and the Zionist project are pretty much the same as those of Muslim criticisms. What we are dealing with here are human beings, Christian and Muslim.

3, and perhaps most importantly, is the larger question which is raised by the Middle East Study Committee's recommendations: that of the unanimity of the Zionism of the American Establishment. Andrew Sullivan was recently unable to come up with an example of any columnist in any major newspaper who was anti-Zionist.  Indeed, the entire mainstream discourse within this country operates within a Zionist framework: non- or anti-Zionist perspectives are ipso facto excluded as beyond the pale. This means that the only Palestinian, Arab or Muslim voices that are allowed to be aired are those which are perhaps the least representative of the Palestinian perspective and experience--the kind of Arabs the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy likes to bring in and use in much the same way minorities are used as window-dressing at every GOP convention. In terms of getting their voices heard and their perspectives expressed, the best Palestinians are usually allowed is the pen of a liberal American Jew or the voice of a left-wing Israeli.

This near-systemic exclusion of Palestinian and non-Zionist views on the question of Palestine is one of the main reasons why the American discourse on the issue bears so little resemblance to the views of much of planet earth. By endorsing the Kairos document and by expressly valuing the voices of indigenous Christians in coming to their conclusions, the Middle East Commmittee's recommendations represent an important reversal of the traditional pattern of Westerners dictating to the indigenous population of the Middle East how they should think, feel and behave and deciding the fate of that population with little or no consideration for their own wishes.

Although the Protestant mainline is demographically in the decline, it is still part of the American Establishment, still very wealthy, and still wields considerable, though perhaps dwindling, soft power. Of the various institutions in the American Establishment--elected politicians, the media, universities (the institutions themselves, not individual professors)--the Protestant mainline, and especially the Presbyterian Church, represents perhaps the wobbliest support for the Zionist project. Historically, there have been very strong ties between Presbyterianism and the Middle East--the American University of Cairo was a Presbyterian foundation, for example--and the legacy of these ties abides in terms of continuing connections between Middle Eastern churches and Presbyterian churches in the US, and also in the form of the children of Presbyterian Middle Eastern missionaries, now often white haired, who can be sitting in the pews of many Presbyterian churches on any given Sunday morning.

If the PCUSA adopts the recommendations of its Middle East Study Commission, we would have the first significant crack in the facade of Zionist support in the US Establishment. This could be a bellwether for further cracks.

The PCUSA General Assembly will begin July 3. Attacks on the MESC report have already begun.

In the coming several weeks, I expect we'll be seeing many more.

Elena Kagan thought experiment

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 08:04 AM PDT

Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearings:

"As you know, I don't think it's a secret I am Jewish," she added. "The state of Israel has meant a lot to me and my family."

How would Kagan have been received by the Senate, by the media, and by the lobby if she had said instead:

"As you know, I don't think it's a secret I am Palestinian [or Muslim]," she added. "Palestine has meant a lot to me and my family."
 

'Is the open sea your father's meadow? Do you think you have the right to kill someone who has a death wish?'

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 07:35 AM PDT

Translation below of a piece in Taraf, a Turkish daily, about an interview that aired on Israeli television with a leader of the Turkish IHH charity that organized the flotilla. Thanks to Lonso for translation. The remarkably-philosophical Bulent Yildirim says more boats are ready to go, and his statements about paintball, knives, death wishes, and the open sea are halfway through what follows:

Bülent Yildirim, organizer of the boat "Mavi Marmara" that was attacked by Israeli commandos on its way to Gaza and President of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms (IHH) gave an interview to the Israeli Channel 10 Television.

During the interview that took place at the IHH headquarters and was aired day before yesterday in Israel, the atmosphere occasionally overheated between interviewer Oshrad Kotler and Bülent Yildirim.

At the opening of his program Kotler underlined that Yildirim did not admit to any provocation by the boat, and wanted to mediate for the release of Gilad Shalit, who has been prisoner in Gaza for four years. 

To Kotler, who started by asking "You stated that you will organize another aid shipment to Gaza. When will that be?" Yildirim answered: "We receive many requests from all over the world. We don't, however, want the current crisis to worsen. All we ask is the end of the blockade. We are giving the Israeli government a chance to end it. We'll equip even larger ships if the blockade is not lifted, but not right now." Answering Kotler's next question, "Are you going to sail again with the intention of becoming a martyr?" Yildirim said: "No one got on the boat to become a martyr. This is not a result that we were expecting". This is when a movie fragment with some boat passengers saying in English "I want to be a martyr" and repeating the basic Muslim incantation, then a speech by Yildirim urging the stopping of the commandos. Yildirim interrupted by saying "I know this speech". The question directed to him at this point was "You said that everything should be done to stop the soldiers. Don't you feel a responsibility for the deaths?" The IHH president answered: "The Mossad, too, asked the same question; this is a trap" and continued: "All Muslims, considering that we all will die one day, would like to die on that day as martyrs. When our consul in Rhodes saved the Jews from Hitler his house was bombed, he missed becoming a martyr... Among those who saved the Jews from Spain and brought them [here] possibly many did become martyrs..." -

Yildirim was reminded that gas masks, bulletproof vests and commando kniives were found on the boat and asked: "You were ready to fight... What did you expect?" and said "Where did you find the right to attack us? The soldiers attacked us without any warning. Three submarines, forty Zodiacs, four gunships, ten helicopters... and they threw bombs... Then they fired pistols. They say now that they shot plastic bullets... So the first who died were killed with plastic bullets... We were then forced to self-defense". When the Canal 10 correspondent said: "You said not to let any soldiers get on board... this is calling the passengers to war" Yildirim countered "Why are you boarding that ship? Is the open sea your dad's meadow?"

A tense exchange between Kotler and Yildirim followed that question. When Kotler said that "the soldiers used paint balls at the start" Yildirim interrupted him: "They are lying... Those weren't paint balls... We have their pictures.. You are being lied to". Answering Kotler's insistence he added "So it seems that your paint balls kill people... a measure of your murderousness". 

The videos of knives and assorted objects said to have been found on board were commented by Yildirim as "these ones are from the kitchen... those are a plant..." Kotler's question "Do you mean that we planted these knives so that you could become martyrs?" was answered with "Do you mean that you have the right to kill anyone with a death wish? These ideas of yours are damaging for the Israeli people."

The Channel 10 correspondent said that the invitation for the approximately 2 1/2-hour interview came from Yildirim through AKP [Justice and Development Party] members that the interviewer knew from earlier. He added that Yildirim offered him tea after the interview and said that both sides had made mistakes and they should stop fighting with each other. 

Speaking with the Taraf newspaper, IHH president Yildirim said that he presented his four conditions to stop running more ships but that these conditions were not mentioned in the aired interview. The four conditions were that Israel must apologize, pay for the damage, lift the blockade and open its doors to human rights organizations.

Yildirim also said: "They asked me also about the captive soldier Gilad Shalit... We will set up an international committee to work on this. We will discuss both Shalit and the eleven thousand Palestinian prisoners. Israel did not make a request from us about Shalit. If it does, we will work to help Shalit".

Taraf (Turkish daily) 6/28/10, Istanbul

'Balto Jewish Times' piece calls BDS 'powerful form of nonviolent resistance…'

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 07:29 AM PDT

The Jewish community knows something is breaking loose. Thus J Street's recent statement on BDS that begins to crack open the door on the idea of targeted divestment. Now here is Donna Nevel of Jews Say No! with a piece in the Baltimore Jewish Times that calls upon the Jewish community to engage on the BDS issue. Nevel played a role in the forum on BDS that was held at a Unitarian church two weeks back in NYC.

[U]ntil now, despite the continued devastation of Palestinian society by the Israeli government, the primary response of the Jewish establishment and many Jewish organizations has been to try to discredit, rather than engage with, this call of conscience and those associated with it.

What can we do? Like the group I stand with, many Jewish voices are speaking out and taking action, trying, among other things, to disrupt the normalization of acquiescence and silence of the mainstream Jewish community and of those who claim to speak in our name. As part of this effort, we can join others who are insisting that the Jewish community engage directly and honestly with the BDS campaign. We can challenge Jewish institutions that have consistently blocked this issue from being addressed and insist that BDS, a powerful form of nonviolent resistance, be given the attention it deserves. We can insist that it—and the conditions it is a response to—be pushed to the forefront of the Jewish community for open discussion and serious consideration.

Good, important. Will Jews wake up? I was reading Norman Finkelstein's book Beyond Chutzpah and seeing the sketches in there of the various tortures used on Palestinian prisoners. Well that didn't wake anyone up, years ago. I think we're dealing with one of the most conservative, stiffnecked communities in recent history. Still, I celebrate Nevel's hopefulness, hard work, and engagement.

Kagan's Jewish identity seems unh– adolescent

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 06:47 AM PDT

Everyone's talking about Elena Kagan's remarks about Jewishness and Israel yesterday during the Senate hearing. My two cents.

First, the woman is charming. You don't get so far in life without having interpersonal gifts, and she has 'em. I admired the way she took Lindsey Graham's scary question about what she does on Christmas and spoke with sincerity about being Jewish. Speaking for myself, I would been deer-in-headlights.

That said, her construction of Jewish identity is predictable, unreflective and old school: her joke that "all Jews" go to Chinese restaurants on Christmas is really dated. More than half of young Jews marry out now, and I bet many are doing what I do: I go to a Christmas dinner, thanks to my marriage to a woman who was raised Christian but has less active connection to that tradition than I do to my Jewish one.

Also, the Israel romance in Kagan's comments upset me. I asked if she's a "sleeper Zionist" the other day, she is. Israel faced many "existential" threats, she says, and being Jewish she cares deeply about Israel. Israel has meant a lot to me and my family, she says.

Notice that she places herself in a familial social framework in that thinking in a way that I bet she doesn't explicitly when it comes to gun rights or freedom of speech. Books have meant a lot to my family? No. But when it comes to Israel, clan nakedly asserts itself. My feeling is that unwed Kagan is wed to her parents' values. Very traditional, unexamined. We're progressives because we loved Thurgood Marshall (who died 17 years ago).

Can we break these rusty manacles? Can young Jews take Thurgood Marshall forward and form a more universal identification, which includes concern for the hundreds of thousands of people dispossessed, and now oppressed, by Israel?

Christopher Hayes had the best take on this, on twitter yesterday:

Gotta say, I think POTUS over-stepped by nominating an Israeli justice to the SCOTUS. Oh wait...

P.S. When will Chris Matthews address the Kagan nomination in Jewish terms? He keeps bringing up the Upper West Side cultural markers that the Republicans are talking about, and asks Schumer and Specter what it means. He's afraid to say Jewish, wants a Jew to say the word first. Seems like only Kagan can open the door, and her colleague Noah Feldman in the NYT. So the discourse wants to talk about Kagan's Jewishness, knows that it's important, but all we get is affirmative complacency from Jews who think it's cool that there are no Protestants on the Supreme Court anymore, but three Jews. Does Matthews share that feeling? Can the man who thinks in ethnic political terms even discuss this significant shift in the character of the elite?

'Tablet' piece calls upon Jews to recognize the 'underlying grievances' that fuel resistance

Posted: 30 Jun 2010 06:23 AM PDT

Here is an interesting piece on Hezbollah in Tablet, by Nicholas Noe, that essentially warns Jews that the Jewish state is finished unless you can reach a deal soon. Because the threat picture is only getting bigger, and you can't deal with it with an iron wall anymore. No, you must come to terms with your neighbors. Assuming they are not all radicalized by now. As I say myself, those who hope to redeem the Jewish state politically must act fast and act now, sincerely. The piece's realpolitik conclusion: 

In a late April 2010 speech to AIPAC, Clinton warned:

"We must recognize that the ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to guarantee Israel's security. For six decades, Israelis have guarded their borders vigilantly. But advances in rocket technology mean that Israeli families are now at risk far from those borders....Only by choosing a new path can Israel make the progress it deserves to ensure that their children are able to see a future of peace, and only by having a partner willing to participate with them will the Palestinians be able to see the same future."

Perhaps not surprisingly, shortly after her remarks were delivered, news reports citing unnamed U.S. officials surfaced charging that Hezbollah had acquired the infamous SCUD missile via Syria. Whether true or not, the SCUD magnified the underlying point implied by Clinton and wholly endorsed by Nasrallah: Hezbollah is growing militarily stronger by the day, and Israel is inexorably losing its qualitative military advantage over its enemies.

///It is time, Clinton and Nasrallah are both saying—though from diametrically opposed ends—for Israel to change the "hardware" and "software" of its negotiating positions.

For if Israel does not—if the change is not decisive enough vis-à-vis the underlying grievances to put the Resistance Axis, especially Hezbollah, definitively outside the vital realm of reason (and therefore on a path to isolation and implosion should it continue to violently resist)—the war that the Party of God has said it "does not want" but that it nevertheless "craves" will draw ever closer until, by miscalculation or one small decision by one party, great or small, war is upon us.

In his speech late last month to mark the 10-year anniversary of the liberation of South Lebanon, Nasrallah went so far as to quote Clinton's AIPAC speech at length, exhorting, "This is Mrs. Clinton, and this is the U.S. State Department, and this is the evaluation of the U.S. stand. This is not the evaluation of President Ahmadinejad or anyone in Palestine or in Lebanon."

"Now," he continued, "the Americans are telling the Jews, openly and frankly: If you do not help us; if you do help Obama to reach a settlement, then there will be no purely Jewish state. This state is threatened. Everything in it will be threatened. Now you might find someone to reach a settlement with you but you will not find anyone in the future. This means that you are heading toward the abyss, to ruination."

Of course, the winner of this contest is anything but certain—despite those who still believe in the unchallenged military hegemony of Israel and the United States and those, on the opposite side, like Nasrallah, who believe the State of Israel is facing immediate ruination.

Two things, however, are certain: First, that in the absence of a credible settlement process, Nasrallah's dialectic, which should be radically unstable, is only growing in strength—gaining the party allies who no longer see any other option and who no longer view Hezbollah as the only "insane" party in the Middle East.

No contest on whether to protect Israel or protect U.S. citizens

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 03:46 PM PDT

My oh my, what a sad state of affairs it is when the prime minister of another country takes a stronger stance than the U.S. government has on the killing of an innocent U.S. citizen.

Charlie Rose interviewed Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last night, and Erdogan explained why Turkey was so angered at the Israeli massacre on the Mavi Marmara:

This is state terror. It would be impossible to define it in any international legal terms. In one of the ships, there were volunteers, and the other two ships had toys, food, medicine, construction material, et cetera, humanitarian aid.

And the attack came from the sea and from the air, and there were plastic bullets used, guns used. Nine people died, eight of them Turkish, one a U.S. citizen. The American citizen, the U.S. administration should take ownership of this situation because there was an American citizen involved.

We as the Turkish government do the same because the families have a right to ask their government what has happened. That's what they do. They ask us, why? Why what has happened, happened? What about my husband or my son? And the same thing is true for all countries. And we will act within international law, taking into consideration the medical reports.

Why hasn't the Obama administration taken a similar tack on the death of Furkan Dogan, or the injury of Emily Henochowitz

One reason was offered up in a recent Yedioth Ahronoth article highlighted by Didi Remez:  Obama can't put pressure on Israel (in this case regarding the settlement "freeze" and the Gaza blockade) because doing so would jeopardize relations with the Netanyahu government at a time when Democrats need all the help, funds and friendly pictures they can get. 

But considering the firm demands to be made in the private meetings, White House officials are planning quite a warm reception for Netanyahu. Obama's advisers are preparing quite a few "photo ops" in which the president and Netanyahu will be seen together in public. According to the plan, they will go out into the Rose Garden, which overlooks Obama's office, where they will answer questions from the media.

Reliable sources say that one of the reasons for the special effort is requests from Jewish Democrats running in the interim Congressional elections this coming November, who are urging the White House to provide them with "friendly pictures" of Obama and Netanyahu.

White House officials are even looking into the possibility that Obama will invite the Israeli prime minister to come with him to Camp David for talks that will go far into the night. The president's advisers are examining the idea, the purpose of which, in essence, is to see first-hand which compromises Netanyahu is willing to strive for in a final status arrangement with the Palestinians and with Syria.

What a wonderful country.  There's just no contest when it comes to deciding whether to placate the Israel lobby or whether to bring justice to American citizens who have been harmed by Israel.

Ambition and orthodoxy (Kagan's hero is also Dershowitz's)

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 02:19 PM PDT

Elena Kagan, the nominee to the Supreme Court, was dean of Harvard Law School in 2006 when she introduced Aharon Barak, chief judge of Israel's High Court of Justice, during an award ceremony as "my judicial hero." She explained (per the New York Times):

He is the judge or justice in my lifetime whom, I think, best represents and has best advanced the values of democracy and human rights, of the rule of law and of justice.

Turns out that Kagan (who testified today that "Israel means a lot to me") is not alone. In The Case for Israel (2003), Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz writes:

This book is respectfully dedicated to my dear friend of nearly forty years, Professor Aharon Barak, the president of Israel's Supreme Court, whose judicial decisions make a better case for Israel and for the rule of law than any book could possibly do.

Who is Barak? In Beyond Chutzpah, Norman Finkelstein says that Aharon Barak was "a leading proponent" of guidelines allowing torture-- making Israel the "only country in the world where torture was legally sanctioned," according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. He also gave a green light to administrative detentions, even as the judge conceded, "there is probably no State in the Western world that permits an administrative detention of someone who does not himself pose any danger to State security."

And he approved the barrier wall that crosses through occupied territory, of which Finkelstein says: 

If all branches of Israeli government and society bear responsibility for this impending catastrophe [the end of the two-state solution], the share of the HCJ and especially its liberal chief justice, Aharon Barak, is relatively larger. Due to its moral authority the HCJ was in a unique position to sensitize the Israeli public. Beyond helping fend off external criticism of Israel's annexationist policies, the HCJ chose to mute the collective Israeli conscience.

Of course Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul not long after he published that book. 

Martha Minow replaced Kagan as dean of Harvard Law School. In 2006, she co-authored an Op-Ed for the Boston Globe with an Israeli army lawyer; the piece is titled, "The Israeli model for detainee rights," and touts Israeli measures developed "during a long and difficult experience with terrorism."

P.S. Andrew Sullivan has recently asked whether there are any vocal anti-Zionists on any Op-Ed pages in the U.S. Good question; the answer is No. You can't be.

Today I was reading Geoffrey Wawro's book Quicksand when I came across this passage that resonates with the above examples.

"There was no Iraqi who was not in the [Baathist] party," an ex-factory manager in Baghdad told an American reporter in April 2003. He meant Iraqis who were "highly educated and technical." Among that cohort, "if you weren't a Baathist, you wouldn't be able to rise in the hierarchy."





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Dalton's Holocaust Radio Debate on April 24, 2010:

http://www.americanfreedomradio.com/Barrett_10.html

Peace.

Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367
ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

http://www.DebatingTheHolocaust.com

Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton

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