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05 June 2010


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R Whitman

I think all of us reading and contributing here worry too much about the US attitude toward Israel.

In the final analysis, Israel is on the road to self destruction, no matter what the US says and does. US support may delay it but the Israelis will continue to screw up. Israel, in the next few years will join South Africa, East Germany, The Soviet Union and Rhodesia as "disapeared Countries".

The Palestinians can hurry this along by dropping the pretense of the Two State Solution that has gone nowhere for 16 years and opt for a One State Solution with one-person-one-vote. The US, UN, and EU would have to support it.

Lets hope the US is smart enough to avoid going down with Israel.

Paul Escobar

Thanks for putting it altogether for us, Dr. Silverman.

And in case you thought Americans were treated differently by Israel:


PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine video producer recalled hearing shots amid the chaos that broke out as Israeli troops raided the aid flotilla...

After being brought to an airport to be put on a plane, two deportees were attacked by soldiers when they refused to sign deportation orders, he said.

One of them, he said, was an American citizen who was beaten and bloodied. When soldiers gave him water to wash his face, he refused to do so, saying he wanted people to see what they did to him, Hamann said.

"Then they beat him up really bad and we haven't seen him since. The status, the last I heard, isn't good," he said.

Just so we don't end on a depressing note, here's the funniest line to come out of this tragedy:

US citizens from the flotilla have been released. USA, please try to control our taxpayers. - IsraeliGlobalPR


Notice that no one from the mainstream press has said that Israeli naval commandos were being criminal for gunning down unarmed aid workers aboard the flotilla. The most negative thing our mainstream press has to say about these commandos is that they were being stupid.

But if evidence emerges that these killings were done premeditatively -- and they probably were given that all of the dead were Turkish nationals, or of Turkish descent -- and if evidence emerges that most of these killings were done execution style -- and they probably were given that most of the dead were shot in the head at close range, then the Israeli commandos weren't merely being criminal, they were acting as cold-blooded killers! But this truth will be never be known because the head honchos of the Israeli government went to great lengths to make certain that all incriminating evidence against their naval commandos, from the planning stages to the actual execution, was destroyed.


The hijacking of the truth: Film evidence 'destroyed'

Protesters say Israel had an assassination list.[

Israel says soldiers fired only in self-defence. So what really happened on 31 May? Catrina Stewart reports

SubKommander Dred

The day after the attack on the Turkish aid flotilla, I called my congressmans office (Tom Perriello, 5th District, Virginia) and told the office manager, in no uncertain terms, that there are constituents of his who do not support Israel 100%. I am beyound disgust at this point regarding Isreali influence in Congress and The White House, and their actions vis a vis the Palestinians. I have no illusions that my feeble protest to the distinguished gentleman regarding US support for the Israeli government would have much of an impact: AIPAC is a far more powerful lobby than some cynical, redneck, middle aged punk like myself can ever be. Nonetheless, let me say this...this Isrealis don't have to worry about Hamas, or Hezbollah or even the Iranians destroying them. It would appear the Isrealis are quite capable of doing that themselves.

Pete Deer


R Whitman: I was under the impression Israel had decided it would incinerate it's neighbors and possibly as many European cities as it could possibly hit with nuclear weapons before it 'vanished from the page of history'. That at least is why I pay attention to the Israeli situation. A solution has to be found soon if the rest of the world is going to avert some of the more catastrophic scenarios that are looming on the horizon, and the US shifting it's attitude towards Israel is going to be important in determining what kind of solution finally emerges.


From where I come from, caste and ethnic identity is important. Very Important. If I were to sum the situation since 1948, for isreal, it is FUBAR.

This is 100% tribal without any distinction. No one in ME or the East cares about the Holocaust(that's history) but they can see what's happening to people here and now.

The Occupiers will NEVER be at peace even if they compromise now. They have no friends, not even the USA. There's not a single country that the US has stood by from Turkey, Tibet, Vietnam, Pakistan in Asia. This is geopolitiks based on what Vidal(rightly or wrongly) call 'national interest'. And so too will these bonds fray.

If Truman's election was dependant on Jewish money(is this true?) then and Obama's next election too now(true??), the shekels only 'buys' you a certain kind of loyalty not one of friendship.

These chaps better make no missteps ever, the other ethnic group has the machetes ready for a deir yassan return favour.

And they know how to do this too in reverse; they can read books and find the instructions.

1 Samuel 15

15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

My grand personal conspiracy theory is that Xianity is setting the Jews up as a fall guy in the fight against Islam. What else explains the insanity of a sliver of land taken over by 'slavic' jewish nutcases to punch above their weight?


For true hypocrisy on how Congress reacts to US citizens killed abroad, look up the Koby Mandell Act of 2001.

Sidney O. Smith III

Dr. Silverman was correct in relying upon the Touro Synagogue letters, although I would like to offer another angle for consideration.

The evidence simply is overwhelming that in the 21st century and among unassimilated Jewish Americans, the Satmar Rabbis are the ones both continuing and fulfilling the American spirit that was born in the language of the Touro Synagogue letters.

Check out this beautiful prayer offered by Satmar Rabbis for the office of the US President and, more specifically, President Obama.

If you examine this prayer very carefully, you will see that it tracks similar language contained in the prayer offered by those of the Touro Synagogue for George Washington.

It is important to point out that the Satmar rabbis offer this prayer while (I am rather certain) they do not agree with President Obama on all his positions. It is called respect for the American way of life.

Meanwhile, post Martin Buber and post 1967 Zionists -- both Christian and Jewish -- seem to be doing everything possible to break the (secular) covenant created between Gentiles and Jews in the Touro Syngague Letters. And less we forget, Israelis call President Obama the “n word” while an Israeli rabbi referred to President Obama as an Egyptian Pharoah -- a somewhat loaded suggestion.

In my opinion, extreme danger looms because the Touro Synagogue letters basically created a society where systematic anti-Semitism was not part of the national ethos. Worded differently, the USA is the greatest gift to the Jewish people in the Diaspora.

The dissolution of the “Touro Covenant” will only accelerate the fragmentation of American society and create new faultlines underneath the American political body. And you can see evidence of such in light of the Flotilla massacre, about which Dr. Silverman eloquently describes.

If I may, I tried, as best as I could, to make the same point in regard to the USS Liberty incident in which I argued, for better or worse, that the the Touro covenant must survive the attack on the USS Liberty. The same applies to the flotilla massacre.

However, I made a mistake in that essay and I am using this opportunity to apologize. While showing complete respect towards Phil Weiss, I took an unnecessary shot without failing to explain why. Basically, I thought Wiess had rejected the work of (Weiss’ Jewish friend) Jack Ross. And Ross, at least from what I can tell, has great respect for some of the Satmar Rabbis as well as the work of the sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel.

I was wrong about Weiss' treatment of Jack Ross. Phil Weiss, as an assimilated Jewish American, has transcended the rather narrow and insulated confines of the New York progressive tradition. And when it comes to moral courage, only the Sam Damon’s of the US Military can match him, imo. Weiss (like Sam Damon) made a stand under his own name and like the Satmar Rabbis, Weiss calls the United States his spiritual home.

David Habakkuk

Adam Silverman,

Having penned the vision of a disintegration in the 'liberal Zionist' middle ground which you quote, Peter Beinart goes on to argue that 'saving liberal Zionism in the United States -- so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel -- is the great American Jewish challenge of our age.'

In a forceful critique of Beinart in Tablet Magazine, Daniel Luban -- apparently a doctoral student in political science at the University of Chicago -- says forcefully what I think to be the case: that it is simply too late to try to rescue 'liberal Zionism'.

It is, Luban suggests:

naive to think that the old post-1967 liberal Zionism can be revived simply by speaking out more forcefully against Avigdor Lieberman and the settlers'.

In conclusion, he writes:

It is likely that American liberal Zionism was always destined to founder eventually on its own intellectual contradictions and political compromises, and those who are nostalgic for it should consider the possibility that at this point we simply can't go home again. The way forward can only come if we shed the pathologies that have stunted thinking to this point, and take a hard and pragmatic look at what concrete steps could lead to a better future.

(See http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/35105/no-direction-home/.)

What however if a 'hard and pragmatic look' led not only to the conclusion that there is no prospect of the kind of solutions suggested by 'liberal Zionists' leading to a better future -- but that there are no apparent solutions which seemed to hold out much promise of preventing the current degenerative dynamics ending in some kind of catastrophe?

After the remark to which you refer about Israel 'gradually turning from an asset to the United States to a burden', Meir Dagan noted that the American government had recent recently examined the possibility of coercing a settlement on Israel and the Palestinians, but retreated from the idea after realising it would not lead to a peace agreement.

But if American pressure is not going to lead to a peace agreement, nothing else will. If there is no peace agreement, then the logic points to the one-state solution.

But can one really envisage the kind of relatively harmonious co-existence which exists between black and white in South Africa between Arab and Jew in Palestine, given the directions in which relations have been developing?

What is the least worst way out of this incredible mess?


US citizens killed abroad?

Anyone expecting this administration to do something about it is quite deluded. Especially when the Administration itself holds to its own policy of using both our own military forces and our clandestine intelligence services. We citizens are not even privy to how or through what "due process" the national security star chamber (led by the likes of John Brennan and Jim Clapper) arrive at the target list!

And expecting outrage at the murder of U.S. citizens by our putative "best ally" in the Middle East? The name of the aid boat intercepted today (M/V Rachel Corrie) should say it all.

Our conduct in this affair is not only despicable, but it makes us look extraordinarily weak - perhaps even weaker than we already appear given the "unwinnable" insurgencies in remote, backwards countries like Afghanistan. Surely, the next near powers took notice (again) and adjust their strategies going forward. And no doubt our staunch NATO ally Turkey will not soon forget. Or ever forget.


R Whitman

Grimgrin: Thank you for your thoughtful response, however, you talk in terms of a solution in which the US or some other external force can modify Israeli behavior.

My point is that the Israelis are beyond any external influences and they are rushing toward some form of national suicide. Your point that they might take others down with them is well taken, but I do not see the US being able to change that.

I am doing something here that is a poor practice. I am making linear predictions in a non-linear world. Invariably some outlier comes along and upsets the prediction but in this case the chances of a positive outlier for Israel is extremely remote.

Patrick Lang


"Sam Damon," What an interesting reference! There are no generals like that today. The tendency to produce such officers has been systematically bred out of the force. Group think and caste solidarity are the behaviors that are rewarded. There is actually a daily conference call among Army GOs in the Washington area to make sure that there is no variation among the positions that they take. All concerned know that any objection to the party line is fatal. pl


Regarding the subs with nuclear cruise missiles in the Gulf, Phil Weiss wrote: "I theorized a long time ago that Obama caved on settlements because Israel has nukes and is out of control, and the game is containment."


Is that possible? Is the US abetting Israel, or trying to contain it? Or both?

Patrick Lang


The "containment" thing seems right. That is what I hear on the DC jungle telegraph. pl

Sidney O. Smith III

Col. Lang

As a civilian, I remain puzzled by one aspect of Anton Myrer’s “Once a Eagle”.

Background: Anton Myrer, while a Harvard, joined the United States Marines and fought during WWII. According to Wiki, he participated in the Battle of Guam and was wounded.

Yet -- and here is the confusion -- when he wrote his extraordinary American work, “Once an Eagle”, he chose the United States Army for his character Sam Damon. In other words, the archetypal Sam Damon wore the uniform of the United States Army.

Now, I cannot help but assume that Myrer, when creating the plotline, had to mull over his decision to choose the United States Army for the Sam Damon character. Choosing the US Army, in all likelihood, is the most significant decision he made. So, as a civilian, I am ask myself, “Why did Myrer choose the United States Army instead of the United States Marine Corps as the proper literary device to portray the great Sam Damon?”

I am unable to answer this question. Perhaps by choosing the US Army, he had a larger historical canvas to work with but I really dunno’.


@ Shanks

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Thanks for the biblical quote. I met my 22 yr-old son last night for dinner at a NJ diner, and we discussed this mess. He reminded me that Israel's conduct was right out of the Old Testament.

I immediately conceded the point, and reminded him that the biblical analogy has a "what goes around comes around" element. I looked that up this morning:

Luke 19:41-44:

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

I'm not normally into biblical quotes, or much of a believer, but one can't help notice the comments here that this "stiff necked people" is headed for self-destruction.

As for me, I think our mindless support of anything the Jewish State does--including murder of our citizens on the high seas (how little things have changed since 1967 and the USS Liberty)--is beyond disgraceful. It makes us pathetic chumps in thrall to an interest group whose influence is as pervasive as it is obscene. (And no, I don't think I'm "anti-Semitic" for pointing out the obvious.)

Events simply cannot go on like this. If Israel continues down this course, there must come a point where we say "No" and act like we mean it. What will it take, if not this?

Patrick Lang


Marine readers will be outraged again, but it really is "a larger canvas." Also, he may not have wanted to have some of the crummy generals in the book said to resemble some of the crummy marine generals of WW2. pl

FB Ali

David Habakkuk,

You ask: “What is the least worst way out of this incredible mess?”

Implied in the question is the assumption that it has to be within the bounds of possibility. The only one I can think of is a solution for this whole area imposed by the USA, Europe and Russia (probably through a Security Council resolution). The solution would cover the establishment of a Palestinian state (on the basis that seems to be already acceptable to most ‘middle roaders’ on all sides), fair recompense to Palestinian refugees, return of the Golan to Syria, establishing the Israel-Lebanon border, and a just division (or plan for management) of the region’s water resources. The settlement to be then guaranteed by these powers.

It is not very likely to happen. But it is certainly feasible.


Also, he may not have wanted to have some of the crummy generals in the book said to resemble some of the crummy marine generals of WW2.

I "hafta ask." Who are you referring to? Maj. Gen. William H. Rupertus because of Peleliu? Who else?

I have been told that a major (historical?) difference in tactical philosophy between "the Corps" and the US Army is the former's preference for direct assaults (and higher casualties) on the theory that "the quicker you get it over with, the less expensive it is in the long run," whereas the Army has always preferred more time-consuming "maneuver warfare" with artillery preps, etc. to save lives, even if it makes them less "gung ho" in Marine eyes.

Was this ever true? Is it still today?

Sorry for going OT, Col. Lang, but you piqued my interest with that comment.


"Containment" is very worrisome. It implies a rogue state with nuclear weapons using the threat of "craziness" to get its immediate way. I can't put my finger on it but I suspect that increased geopolitical instability is converging with economic instability.

I am significantly more concerned today than I was in December 2008 that our financial policies are creating more economic instability and our politics will not allow the USD based global monetary system to survive. Fundamental changes to global monetary regimes are epochal. As we have seen with the initial stirrings in the loss of confidence in the Euro project they become difficult to "contain" since the "containment" policies only engender further loss of confidence.

We have moved beyond just a balance sheet recession. The strident belief from our economic elites from Benjamin Bernanke at the Fed to all the Wall Street apologists in Congress and academia that only massive government intervention of easy money would return the global economy to its growth path is slowly being shown for its insanity. This defeat of common sense also extends across most of the western world. The UK monetized its entire government deficit over the past year. It took the Chinese 30 years of savings and increasing productivity to create their reserve balances. In the past 12 months our Geithner-led Treasury emulating the Paulson-led Treasury has emitted more credits than what it took the Chinese 3 decades to build on the other side of the ledger. The loss of confidence can be swift and precipitous when financial markets have become inherently unstable.

I worry that unstable financial markets and economies not only create economic flash points but could be the trigger for geopolitical miscalculation. I also worry that our contemporary social environment filled with economic and political angst could lead to demagogues and war. The ray of hope however is Pat's belief that we Americans do not have a penchant for "dressing up".


@Redhand -

you are mixing the old testament with the new one. The Jewish texts do not include Luke. For them it is just Amalek. They genocided them. No consequences.

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:
The answer to your question, “What is the least worst way out of this incredible mess?, has been supplied by Moshe Arens in the opinion page of Haaretz @ http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/is-there-another-option-1.293670. In a nutshell, one-state solution and the granting of citizenship to the Palestinians. This is very close to the position of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran – though not identical.

I observer here that more Muslims have been murdered by Hindus mobs over the last 30 years in India than by Israelis, ever. Yet, the emotional content of the Arab-Israeli communal war has surpassed that of Hindu-Moslem war in India because the (Israeli) state is perceived to be murdering Muslim (and Christian) non-citizens.

The way forward is quite clear. In my opinion, a deal is possible among Israel and the United States on one side and Hams, Iran, Lebanon, PA, and Syria on the other. This state grouping will be the core of the Concert of the Middle East – the dominant military power in the Middle East (and her junior partner) on one side and the members of the Steadfastness Front on the other side. No other state or combination of states should be present in these (early) negotiations.

The negotiations will serve to formalize the modalities of the creation of the one-state solution, the return of Golan Heights, and the disposition of Jerusalem and the Al Harem al Sharif. [Here, given the fact that Sunni Muslim control the other 2 holy shrines of Islam in Mecca and Medina, a way could be found to pass control of the Nobel Sanctuary to the Shia Muslims; be they 12-Imam or Ismaili or Allawaite]. These negotiations must be confined only to this narrow scope – the disposition of Iraq, the nuclear program in Iran, and the situation of Afghanistan will require a larger Concert of the Middle East with a larger number of states.

The Arab League or any of her member states will not and should not be involved in these early negotiations for they are politically irrelevant now. Nor should these negotiations among the core antagonists involved the European Union, Russia, or China – they will cause more problems.

Other states, including members of the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, EU, Brazil and others should only be brought-in to politically and financially support the ensuing peace. They will be useful for building sewages systems in the West Bank and Gaza as well as funding schools, hospitals, light-industries and so on. They should have absolutely no say in the negotiations among the principles.


Breath.....shooosh.....breath.....shooosh......breath.......soft clank........breath.....shooosh.........all done. One lippet mine attached to a runaway Israeli nuke sub.

Heee Heee.....containment hell, an Israeli sub loaded with nukes visiting Davy Jones's locker is better.

Cloned Poster

Interesting that the dregs of the Cold War (Russian Thugs) are "no big deal" for the dregs of US Politics (aka Joe Biden).

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