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06 November 2015

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Cee

Bibi's plans. He doesn't care how we feel.

The prime minister’s office said Netanyahu would review the appointment upon his return from Washington.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.684543

Stonevendor

I am always troubled by the term "anti-semite", it lacks precision. This is especially true when discussing tensions or conflicts among Jews and Arabs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_people I prefer Woody Allen's "Classic Jew Hater".

Following Hillary's statement yesterday about committing the U.S. to the support of a Jewish state in Israel, I have been mulling over a personal bee that has been in my bonnet for some time. It stems from the Establishment Clause of the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." We take pride in, and make a big deal out of, our constitution and the Bill of Rights. What does it say if we ignore it when we conduct our foreign policy? I wish no ill to the people of Israel, but I don't see why my taxes and our soldiers should be committed to the establishment and maintenance of their religion. And the same goes for Sunni vs. Shia. Why would a secular society want to get drawn into struggles arising from differing religious views?

Ishmael Zechariah

Could you all imagine the furor which would be created by the izzies and their 5th column if an aide of Obama made similar remarks about them? USA certainly has a special relationship with this bunch.
Ishmael Zechariah

LZA

Col. Lang:

I definitely agree. Not only should Balzac be fired, but Netanyahu should publicly apologize to the president. Jim Baker appeared on "Charlie Rose" at the end of Obama's first year in office, and strongly criticized the administration's handling of Israel. He advised Obama to "never give an inch" to Israel. The administration should have taken that advice.

Balzac's comments are especially contemptible because the Israelis may now be pulling the US into yet another war in the Middle East. The prospect of a "war for greater Kurdistan" was raised in a recent column by David Ignatius, popularly referred to as the "unofficial CIA spokesperson". Ignatius wrote: "I had visits over the past several weeks from leaders of Kurdish political movements in Iran and Syria who envision a day when a greater Kurdistan dissolves the borders of those nations, as well as Turkey and Iraq."

Apparently, the Yukon plan may live even if Russian-led forces defeat ISIS.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-the-syrian-conflict-could-get-even-bigger-and-bloodier/2015/11/03/1973d678-826a-11e5-a7ca-6ab6ec20f839_story.html

Jack

I'd be curious to learn how the Likudniks got to own our Congress and corporate media. The fact that all the "serious" candidates for President fawn over Bibi is rather incredible. How did we get to this place?

HankP

Stonevendor -

The Constitution forbids legal religious tests for office, but does not prevent people from voting, or politicians creating policies, based on their religious convictions. For a variety of reasons many Americans support Israel. I think it's a mistake to base our foreign policy on emotional reasoning, but to change it you'll need a different electorate.

jdledell

Baratz comments are not surprising. In any gathering that includes Knesset members this is the kind of comments you will hear you will hear them make privately. Usually the people in the gathering will voice universal approval of such slander. In fact at a typical Shabbat dinner, the negative comments about the U.S. would make Baratz seem like an American patriot. I don't not know where Israel's current anti-world trajectory will take her but I fear her slow demise.

Imagine

Iron triangle: Congress pays billions to Israel; Israel funds AIPAC with tens/hundreds of millions; AIPAC pays Congress with tens of thousands apiece. Instead of a buyer/seller balanced system, this sets up a positive feedback circuit that amplifies until it saturates. It's systemic; and no one has any real reason to stop it.

AIPAC was set up by an agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/aipac-is-seamlessly-linked-to-israel-and-should-register-as-foreign-agent-grant-smith

The Congresscritters' job is to support the squeaky wheel w/the most grease. So there is an argument that they are simply doing their job. W/gusto. :-/

ex-PFC Chuck

Exactly! And this is why Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, moved the goal posts so as to keep Larry Lessig out of the party's debates. Lessig is the only announced candidate who has proposed a concrete plan to address the electoral dysfunction that hobbles our political system. They fear his message, if he has a chance to get it out, will derail their gravy train. It's the Iron Law of Institutions: it works for them, but not for us.
http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/132425036707/on-suspending-my-campaign
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Wasserman_Schultz
https://lessig2016.us/
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_institutions

bell

if only yemen was given the same constant coverage in the new york lying times as israel, anti-semitism and etc. etc. is.. but alas, it must be all about one thing and not another and yemen has to remain off topic!

Matthew

Cee: The President is not running for reelection. If he doesn't mind Netanyahu spitting in his face, then why should we?

Nancy K

I imagine President Obama would love to slap that smirk off Baratz's face.

Medicine Man

jdledell: I actually find that a bit shocking. They feel this way about a country that is their biggest benefactor?

Matthew

jdledell: You fear the end of something that never really existed. Israel today is the same Israel as in 1948 but social media has destroyed the filter.

The entire state was built in ethnic cleansing. The land had a people and the people already there had a land.

optimax

Mondoweis says Israel wants its aid increased to 5 billion a year. Netanyahu is probably coming to tell Obama we owe him that for making a deal with Iran. The worst part is we will give it to them.

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/israel-billion-military

different clue

Jack,

Sanders does not fawn over Bibi. If enough people voted for Sanders through the Dem Primaries to force an unwilling Dem Party to accept Sanders as nominee, then Sanders will be a serious candidate. The various establishments don't want Sanders to be a seriously powerful candidate so they mock and belittle him and call him "not serious" in hopes that enough media-absorbers will take their cue from the media to decide that if the media says that Sanders is not "serious", then Sanders must not be "serious".

So it really is up to people to make Sanders "serious" or not. The only way I can think of to make Sanders "serious" is to force him onto the DemTicket instead of Hillary. And that all depends on what enough people do.

Meanwhile, for people on the Republican/Conservative side of things . . . Trump at least has enough money to where he does not have to fawn over Bibi for crass money-raising Iron Triangle reasons. So perhaps Trump is the best possibility on the R side for an agnostic-on-Bibi nominee? I don't know, I just raise the possibility.

Babak Makkinejad

I know facts do not matter in such cases but Kurds speak at least 3 different mutually unintelligible languages in Iran, Iraq and Turkey. I think Kurdish identity contains more negative content ("I am not you") than positive content: "I am me because of X, Y, Z attributes.

They live in the mountainous regions, they speak various Indo-European languages related to modern Persian, they fly the tri-color that is raised also in Iran and Tajikistan; they celebrate Noruz on March 21th - just like so many others in Central Asia or Iran or Afghanistan, they wear the baggy pants that one can see on the frescoes of ancient Iran and are still worn by people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to this day.

They have an unsophisticated traditional music that is shared by other ethno-linguistic groups in Iran, Turkey, and Central Asia.

And they like their tribal social structure and like low intensity war and rebellion.

So did, of course, the plain Indians.

different clue

jdledell,

Would this be true of a typical Shabbat dinner among whatever Rabinists and semi-liberals still remain? Or would this be true of a typical Shabbat dinner strictly among the majority composed of Likudists, Liebermanists, Bennetists, settlerists, price-taggers, etc.?

different clue

I can imagine Obama being induced to keep Netanyahu out until Baratz was fired first. It would depend on successfully appealing to Obama's personal dislike of Clinton. It would also depend on relieving Obama of any fear that keeping Netanyahu out would substantially reduce the size of Obama's after-office payout.

I think that fear could be relieved by pointing out that Obama expects the Big Payoff to come from Big Insura, Big Pharma, Big Banka, Big Stockbroke-a and other Big Interests that Obama saved or made Big Money for all through his two terms. Big AIPACa won't give him much money regardless. And the other Bigs won't want to be seen withholding their payoffs after all he did for them. Being seen to do that would make any future President wary of making Big Money for Big Interests in the hope of getting a Big Payoff that might not come. Obama's patrons won't want to take that risk by setting that precedent. So keeping Netanyahu out won't cost Obama any big money. He can ease his mind about that.

Would keeping Netanyahu out hurt Hillary? If she shrilly-enough demanded that Netanyahu be let in and condemned Obama shrilly enough for keeping him out till Baratz got fired, those Jewish liberals ( and other DemParty primary voters too) who feel uneasy and distasted about Netanyahu might be driven to vote for Sanders in greater-than-otherwise numbers. Perhaps in numbers great enough to attrit and degrade Hillary's numbers all the way into defeat territory. So if Obama thought that keeping Netanyahu out would cause Hillary to react in such a way as to "suicide" her own numbers in the primaries, then he might keep Netanyahu out for just that reason. To hurt Hillary.

different clue

Obama could direct State to declare Baratz to be persona non grata for the rest of Obama's term. If there are legal reasons Obama couldn't do that, perhaps Obama could still direct State to give Baratz the most humiliating possible kind of "tourist" visa if Baratz wants to come here.

Lisa

"This disdain for the US cannot be tolerated" Suck it up it has happened for decades and it will continue..

William R. Cumming

Why indeed! I live in Tidewater Virginia where there was an established church prior to the Revolution but that ended thanks to Tom Jefferson!

William R. Cumming

What few Americans understand is that much of the lobbying helping to destroy the USA nation state is funded by the American Congress.

turcopolier

Lisa

No. I will not "suck it up." I never have. pl

D

No! Polls have shown for many years that the American people want an even-handed Middle Eastern policy. A recent example is included below.

This is almost entirely a problem of campaign contributions being targeted for or against Federal politicians' Middle Eastern stances. Donors favoring US support for Israel no matter what have formed a major portion of Democrats' contributions for decades. The Age of Citizens United has made things much worse; witness the recent parade of Republicans kneeling before Sheldon Adelson and the massive support of Haim and Cheryl Saban to candidates and super PACs for pro-Israel Democrats.

The examples of Sen. Chuck Percy and Rep. Paul Findley are instructive.

Please don't blame the electorate for the sins of the leadership. Campaign finance laws must change for this situation to improve.

You can look up individual contributions and see what I mean at:

http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/qind/

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/08/05/u-s-should-be-even-handed-on-israel-palestinians-wsjnbc-poll/

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