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11 November 2013


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Babak Makkinejad

Not divorce/separation; there is too much inertia and history for that to occur - regardless of how desirable that might prove to be.

I think it is more like the fellow who has reached his limits in indulging his mistress with whom he has been madly in love for a very long time.

He is not ready to ditch her but he is not going to go to ends of Earth for her either.

Charles I

Bibi's in a tizzy.


David Habakkuk

Hubris may well be followed by nemesis, and it could happen much more rapidly than most people expect.

In the ‘Jerusalem Post’, ‘America’s rabbi’, Shmuley Boteach, has just published an expanded version of an earlier article, denouncing the supposed anti-Semitism of leading British political figures, and the supposed cowardice of British Jews in not standing up for Israel.

In this, he calls the former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s statement of what many people here see as a blindingly obvious truth about the role of the financial inducements provided by the American Israeli lobby in making impossible any settlement in Palestine a ‘blistering, Protocols of Zion-like comment warning the world of Jewish political hegemony.’ And he brackets this 'warning' together with a range of other remarks and incidents, including the attendance of Aidan Burley, a Conservative MP, at a Nazi-themed bachelor party.

(See http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/No-Holds-Barred-British-animus-and-Anglo-Jewish-silence-on-Israel-331370 )

It may very well be the case that Burley is crypto-fascist scum: there are quite a few of them lurking among British Tories. What Straw said however is what seemed to me blindingly obvious when I first had occasion to try to make sense of the Middle East, back in 1976. And I am a classic British philosemite, as I suspect Straw is also. Had Boteach learnt anything from his time in Britain, he might have been able to see that it is precisely the children of those here who were utterly appalled at Kristallnacht who were among those were most repelled by what the Israelis did in Lebanon and Gaza.

What Boteach really fails to understand, however, is that very many British Jews are civilised people, who have contributed an enormous amount to life of this country – rather than thugs like his financier Adelson, or indeed Netanyahu and Lieberman.

The beaver

"is that very many British Jews are civilised people, who have contributed an enormous amount to life of this country – rather than thugs like his financier Adelson, or indeed Netanyahu and Lieberman"

In George Jonas book: Vengeance (used to make the movie Munich), he described that difference well: European Jews versus the Eastern Europe Jews who settled in Israel.


Boteach conflates criticism of Israel with anti semitism about Six times and even though he quotes Jonathan Sacks:"that Israel’s posture in the Middle East was “incompatible” with the deepest ideals of Judaism and was slowly becoming “corrupted.”" He just doesn't get it.

Babak Makkinejad

This is not an issue of the so-called "civilized" people vs. the "un-civilized" - as you know I am an un-civilized beige person.

A Palestinian once observed the following:

"Dayan is a gentleman - he slaps you in the face and then he picks up your head and gives it to you."

No amount civil behavior could make the facts of the displacement and occupation go away; in my view.

Babak Makkinejad

You might wish to include the impact of the uprooted from Iraq, Egypt, and North Africa as well.

different clue

Many threads ago I wrote a question-comment to a comment of yours but so long after that you probably never saw it. So I will venture asking again, if that may be permitted.

I read somewhere that Oliver Cromwell invited the Jews to re-immigrate to England. What different countries did they come from? And what percents of today's British Jews are descended from arrivals from which different countries? Has anyone done the research?

Charles I

o/t but Ray Ordierno will be on Letterman tonight.

The beaver

Can someone edify me as to what games Kerry is playing?

Looks like he does not want to offend the French and now he is putting the blame on the Iranians whilst the social worker Wendy Sherman went to 'papa" to report that FUKUS and Germany have danced according to the choreography of the motherland.


The graphic explains quite clearly why there will be another intifada.


Re; "[Kerry] will be responsible, as far as we’re concerned, for any uptick in violence.” Daube went on to caution Kerry of the powerful consequences of his words. “I’m hoping the secretary of state will give more thought to his comments in the future because this could have deadly consequences"

Quite clearly, there is only one reason why a Palestinian would commit an act of violence against Israeli occupation forces, and that is Kerry's reckless talk, because they suffer the daily deprivation, humiliation and harassment at the hands of the Israelis gladly.

If it wasn't for Kerry's meddling, the Israelis and the Palestinians would long live happily ever after.


Well, well, as the images illustrate, Israel is under permanent siege by the Palestinians, who from their enclaves hold Israel in an iron grip.

If not for Israeli perseverance in light of such overwhelming odds, the Palestinians would have long pushed the Israelis into the sea!


Babak Makkinejad

Meant "hat" rather than "head".

David Habakkuk

different clue,

This is a fascinating history, and I wish I knew more about it. All I can do is supplement the Wikipedia entry with somewhat subjective impressions.

Jews were expelled by Edward I in 1290. After Ferdinand and Isabella followed his example in 1492, finally destroying the rich Jewish culture of medieval Spain, Jews had to convert, or pretend to convert, or leave. Converts who stayed, who were suspected, sometimes rightly, of practicing their faith in secret, were I understand called ‘marranos’. Sometime in the mid-seventeenth century, a colony of ‘marrano’ merchants, who were indeed covert Jews, settled in England: it may well have seemed safer than Spain.

This was part of the background to Cromwell’s decision, which was however not a formal endorsement of readmission, but rather a letting it be known that the ban would no longer be enforced.

A massive increase in the Jewish community – from 46,000 to 250,000 – came between 1880 and 1919: although the vast majority of Jews fleeing the upsurge of persecution in the Russian Empire went to the United States, a considerable number came here. A result was to increase the diversity among British Jews. The world of the ‘Cousinhood’ – the well-established Anglo-Jewish elite comprising heavily interrelated and families such as the Rothschilds, Montagus, Abrahams, and Montefiores – had little in common with that of refugees from the ghettos in the East End of London, to put it mildly.

Another element of diversity came from the numerically not so significant, but culturally very important, influx of Jews from Germany, the territories of the former Hapburg Empire, and indeed the former Russian Empire in the interwar years. Many of these were not people who had hitherto been disadvantaged in their own societies – rather they came from well-educated business and professional families who had commonly hitherto identified closely with the cultures and societies from which they came. Other than the background of persecution, in particular from the Nazis, and an origin in the ghetto in what was generally a distant past, they had nothing in common.

The Balfour Declaration, incidentally, bitterly divided the ‘Cousinhood’. The only Jewish member of the Cabinet at the time, Edwin Montagu, who had recently been appointed Secretary of State for India, fought it tooth and nail. In his view, the Zionist conception of the Jews as a ‘people’ having a ‘national home’ clearly implied that they could never be completely loyal to the countries in which they lived, which he regarded – with justice in my view – as a vicious anti-Semitic slur.

Everything was changed by the Holocaust. And in post-war Britain, it has been common to find Jews who combined a very deep attachment to Israel with a profound loyalty to Britain. However, the issues raised by Montagu are coming back, both here and in the United States. While Philip Weiss may not wear a frock coat or a top hat, the underlying concerns behind his ‘Mondoweiss’ blog have I think a great deal in common with those raised by the Jewish opponents of the Balfour Declaration.


Beaver -

This is interesting as I heard an extended Kerry interview on BBC World Update radio news this morning where Kerry was quite positive about Iran and stated he was confidence that a deal would come together soon, Ducking a question about France, Kerry stated the delay resulted from new language added by the P5+1 that required the Iranian negotiators to return to Iran to discuss. Kerry definitely did not blame Iran.

Much different tone and message than on the TV clip??


The Jews who were moving to England under Cromwell were mostly Sephardim who were already resident in the Netherlands and already had close commercial ties to the English economy. I had a student who did a paper on the "re-admission;" the rhetoric surrounding the Jews in Puritan England was fascinating. Jews, like the Puritans, suffered from persecution from the Catholics (remember Spain as England's archenemy), and from the Muslims (less so in reality but useful rhetorically in 17th century England). Puritans also admired Jewish monotheism and the fact that they preserved the language of the Old Testament -- Hebrew. For the Puritans, the (Separdic, Dutch-based) Jews were in large part an admirable, heroic people. Very little Christ-killer rhetoric in Cromwell's England.


CP, I guess the Palestinian Marines have them under attack and their Air Force have the Israelis running for cover. No telling what the wily Palestinian Army and Navy will do to terrorize Yahoo and crew.

What a farce!!!


In answer to your question, Colonel, I can only say Gawd I surely hope so.

Don't know if you've seen this from veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar:

"Kerry didn’t enter the world of politics yesterday. In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s words, Kerry is no dupe. Not for one moment did he intend for the peace initiative to be remembered as an initiative for the release of prisoners and the expansion of settlements. He understands very well that the release of prisoners plus the expansion of settlements, minus a final status agreement, equals a third intifada plus an American disgrace, and a big deficit in the prestige of his direct supervisor, President Barack Obama.

But like the Americans say, there are no free lunches. The prisoner release-settlement construction deal is a sweet dish cut with bitterness; Kerry made clear to Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) the price that each of them separately or both of them together would have to pay for the generous advances they got during the negotiations. The price is fixed in the hard currency of relations with the United States and a bonus or penalty in European currency.

If the Israeli side is accused of sabotaging the negotiations, the American government won’t stand in the way of the Palestinians receiving full recognition by the UN of their independent state within the 1967 borders. The legal and diplomatic significance of this step is that Israel will gain the status of a state that controls the sovereign territory of a UN member state. A byproduct of this will be the loss of a grant worth hundreds of millions of euros from the “Horizon 2020'' agreement with the European Union and a serious crisis in the field of research and development. If the Palestinian side hardens its positions, Abbas won’t get to change his official title from “chairman of the Palestinian Authority” to “president of Palestine.”

Obviously, the two sides aren’t interested in paying the price of disgracing the great superpower. Thus each is doing all it can to throw the ball back into the other’s court. But in contrast to his predecessors at the state department, Kerry set a firm timetable for the end of the game. He doesn’t intend to let the players drag their feet indefinitely. He will not wait idly until April 2014. According to sources close to the negotiations, if by the end of the year Martin Indyk still can't report to Kerry significant advancement in the direct talks, the United States will pull out the draft of the final status arrangement that has been carefully prepared at the White House and the state department, with the help of experts from Washington think tanks.

When the time comes for the release of the third group of Palestinian prisoners — or at the latest, when the time comes to release the fourth and last group — HaBayit HaYehudi won’t be able to comfort its voters in the settlements with another several hundred construction permits in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Kerry didn’t recruit the heads of the Arab League to support an initiative based on the Arab-Saudi initiative for Netanyahu and Abbas to leave him in the cold. Obama didn’t give Kerry his blessing in order to sink into the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire along with him.

This Israeli winter, Netanyahu will have to decide if he wants to escape the shackles of the right and those of his own fears and to embark on new horizons in the region, or to put Israel in solitary confinement and on a road to a conflict in the territories without international backing.

Abbas will also have to do with less than what he’s convinced his people deserve. One way or another, the future won’t repeat the past."



Kerry set a deadline? Really? He works for Obama. I'm glad the latter, as President of 'the great superpower' that neither side wants to disgrace has asked for advice from - not the State Department (Kerry)- but a buch of think tanks. Good luck with that. See the graphic to the post, maybe when it's all one color there will be a settlment.


Fred: And it will be justified!


You can take that up with Akiva Eldar, Fred. He's a well-connected Israeli political analyst and this is his take.

The part of this report that thrilled me, reading as a citizen of the great superpower: "If the Israeli side is accused of sabotaging the negotiations, the American government won’t stand in the way of the Palestinians receiving full recognition by the UN... "

When the US ambassador to the UN declines to give the expected veto there will be dancing in the streets. It will be like the second american revolution for independence. Not so good for Israel because full UN recognition of Palestine means the Palestinians will have recourse to the International Criminal Court. International sanctions against Israel for as long as the occupation continues. And the great superpower might decline to give the veto against sanctions.

Divorce can be a very messy business. Sometimes it's easier to settle out of court.

Babak Makkinejad

It will not happen - this divorce.

The beaver

Looks like Zarif doesn't not agree :

Susan Rice is also putting the blame on Iran at her talk at the Atlantic and Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Week



Susan Rice is a walking mass of ambition. She knows what AIPAC expects her to say. pl

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