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06 November 2015


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Outrage Beyond


"Trump at least has enough money to where he does not have to fawn over Bibi for crass money-raising Iron Triangle reasons."

If this story is correct, the idea that Trump has enough money does not appear to be true.



Oh, that was you alerting me to Larry Lessing, ex-PfC, or should I use Chuck only? Seems he has withdrawn his candidacy. Has ever a candidate that did not have the core party institutions and big money behind him succeed historically?

Besides, what chances does political content, programs have in times of fame as the core argument? And post Obama, and his assault on hope, how will the voter turnout be? (slowly moving towards numbers in Iran? I was kidding of course ;) )


Sorry, that FEC link is no good. This should work:


Without following your link, and after I admittedly only read the quote you pick up, moving downwards, no harm meant to dc, it feels essentially that "brand" HC faces "brand" DT. ;)


I'll try to respond to the issues all of you have raised concerning my comment. First, there has been a significant change in Israeli attitudes over the last decade or so, not only toward the Palestinians but also toward the rest of the world the U.S. included. Jews have always held themselves somewhat aloof, and, to be honest, somewhat disdainful of the rest of the world. This aloofness has been exacerbated by the boycott movement and the more negative public image of Israel worldwide. The feeling is the world doesn’t care about Israel and Jews so we won’t care about you. The current $3 billion in transfers to Israel or even the requested $5 billion of U.S. aid will not change this attitude one iota. Maybe $50 billion/year would change Israeli attitudes but I’m not sure.

This attitude change among the Israeli public is what allows Israeli politicians to be so open about their disdain about the US, the EU and Palestinians. As to Shabbat dinners, the peace camp in Israel has been shrinking dramatically since Rabin’s death and anyone who harbors any faith in a peace agreement has learned to keep their mouth shut in mixed political company. To openly advocate peace with the Palestinians is to invite vicious derogatory verbal and sometimes physical attacks. Netanyahu is probably left of center of the general Israeli population at this point in time – that is how much Israel has changed.

Peace with the Palestinians has become a very remote possibility. The most popular proposed peace plan is the one offered by Bennett of the HaBayit HaYehudi (Israel Home) party. His plan would annex Area C of the West Bank and leave the Palestinians with autonomy in their scattered cities. G-d forbid one offers something more generous to the Palestinians, you will be called a freier (sucker) which no Jew ever wants to be.

I hope all of you understand my attachment to Israel. My grandfather was Irgun and fought to establish Israel – rightly or wrongly. I believe in a Jewish homeland in Israel but I am appalled at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians who were native to the land as well as their attitude towards the rest of the world. Some day I hope Israeli Jews realize that G-d gave us many talents and the rest of the world doesn’t owe us anything.

The Beaver

@ Lisa

I am not an American and it is not my leader and President who have been insulted but it is that kind of attitude that encourages the Zionists in the US and their enablers from Israel to keep insulting the west ( they keep pushing the envelope year after year).
You want to impose Democracy in the ROW but ordinary Americans can't even protest against Isreal on their campuses and Academia as a whole is scared to say Boo against the Zionists for fear of being kicked out of their tenured posts because of the influence of AIPAC, Israel Firsters and so-called journos like Brooks et al.

Yet you have spies working on behalf of Israel in the corridors of the govt agencies and promoting false news in the studios of Hollywood. As a litigated society, the NYC judicial system is ready to make foreigners ( banks, individuals, countries) pay millions even billions but the Israelis companies are never fined for misleading the American people or killing American citizens in the ME.

different clue


If it comes to "brand" Hillary versus "brand" Donald in the general, then I will be set free to vote "brand" Third Party. "President Trump" wouldn't scare me as much as "President Clinton". Unless Candidate Trump came out supporting TTP, TTIP, TISA and etc. Then my mood would really worsen.

different clue


Are the dwindling ranks of Rabinists and peace campers discussing among themselves the concept of giving up and emigrating? While they still can?

It would appear that the Likudists calculated correctly when certain of them engineered the Rabin assassination.


I don't think it's a matter of policy, or people, or people (singular) on *either* side anymore, it's a feedback loop gone awry, the end result won't be pretty.
This was well explained by David Habakkuk in another thread:



There are many well funded lobbies. Congressional candidates raise money from several of them. The total domination and complete subservience to the Likudniks by Congress and our media goes beyond campaign cash IMO. I can't put my finger on it, hence my question.


In fairness to Hillary, we should admit that she is hardly alone among those seeking a presidential nominations. Indeed, it is only with a slight stretch of the imagination that I expect one or more of the kookier members of the GOP contingent might come out and say we should be prepared to nuke the Palestinians if the Israelis are feeling angst. (Sorry. I live in Texas where kooky politicians are as ubiquitous as feral pigs.)

It occurred to me that I don't recall reading anything about Bernie Sanders, a Jew, and his position on Israel. Here is an interesting article. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/backstory-bernie-sanders-and-palestine

Nancy K

My husband immigrated to Israel when he was 16 and joined the IDF at 17 and was a paratrooper in the IDF in 67 and served again in 73. He agrees with every sentiment you have just expressed. It breaks his heart what Israel has become also. His oldest daughter was born in Jerusalem but now resides in Peru. He would write this himself but he happens to be in Peru at this time visiting family.

David Habakkuk


You have done us all a great service with your comments on Israeli attitudes over the years. Writing them must have been painful, and have taken a great deal of moral courage.

A few observations. A few days back, Philip Weiss had an entry on his 'Mondoweiss' blog, entitled 'Why I am a Zionist.' Of course, the point of his discussion is that Weiss is not a Zionist: what he was doing was reviewing a series of explanations by influential American Jews of why they are Zionists, and what precisely they saw that commitment as entailing.

(See http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/why-i-am-a-zionist )

Reading it, I felt as though I was passing behind a row of ostriches, all with their plumage raised towards the sky, and their eyes and ears firmly buried underground.

An example. The 'liberal Zionist' Peter Beinart wrote:

'Is my view shaped by the fact that as a Jew I'm attached to the idea that in a post-Holocaust world, there should be one state on earth devoted to Jewish self protection and Jewish self-expression? Yes. I plead guilty. I'm not a pure universalist.'

I read this with utter amazement. Is this man such an over-educated ass that he cannot grasp that – precisely because of the truths you are telling – such danger there is to Jews outside Israel in today's world lies primarily in the fact that people may come to believe that what that country has become is the 'self-expression' of some kind of authentic Jewish identity?

What becomes of, for instance, Billy Wilder, or indeed the great French 'Dreyfusard' intellectuals, like Marc Bloch – or indeed Benjamin Disraeli, or so many other exemplars of that great flourishing of creativity unleashed by the emancipation of Jews from the ghetto?

Are they to be reduced to 'galut'?

Surely there should be some limits to human stupidity, but from Beinart's remarks, it seems not.

On a different, but related, issue, you write:

'Jews have always held themselves somewhat aloof, and, to be honest, somewhat disdainful of the rest of the world.'

This makes me wonder whether the Jewish experience in the United States and in Britain may be radically different.

Back in April, Jeffrey Goldberg published, in 'The Atlantic', an article entitled 'Is It Time for the Jews to leave Europe?'

(See http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/is-it-time-for-the-jews-to-leave-europe/386279/ .)

One of the most interesting aspects of the article is the picture at the top. One would certainly find the kind of Jew photographed for the article in Stamford Hill in North London, which hosts Europe's largest Hasidic Jewish Community.

But although the circles in which my life and I have lived are lives are Anglo-Jewish through and through, we have never met any.

If Goldberg, and the editors at the 'Atlantic', think that the image of a man in a large black hat has any relation whatsoever to the – very complex – realities of the life in Britain of people of Jewish ethnicity, they are frankly, not simply ignorant but borderline insane.

What has long characterised Jews in Britain is enormous diversity.

Certainly, there are those Jews who are 'aloof' and 'somewhat disdainful of the rest of the world.' But ever since it became possible, as a result of the Enlightenment, for Jews to escape from the ghetto, there have been deeply divided responses. Some liked the world of the ghetto – for others, they embraced the opportunity to get out of it with alacrity.

Precisely the reason why Nazi anti-Semitism seemed from early on so unspeakably evil to many people here was that it was targeted, indiscriminately, not simply at Jews who wanted to remain 'aloof', but at people whose only desire had been to assimilate.

And by the same token, many of the Jewish refugees who would in a happier world have assimilated in their native countries assimilated here.

Again, Goldberg's article is of interest. At the end of it, he explains that his grandfather grew up in a pogrom-afflicted village, not far from Kishinev, called Leova. And he goes on to write:

'I am predisposed to believe that there is no great future for the Jews in Europe, because evidence to support this belief is accumulating so quickly. But I am also predisposed to think this because I am an American Jew – which is to say, a person who exists because his ancestors made a run for it when they could.'

If Goldberg wanted to begin to understand some of the complexities of Jewish experience in Britain, he might start by Googling 'Michael Postan.' If he did so, Goldberg would find that Postan was born in 1999 in Tighina, just down the road from Kishinev – so he was probably roughly contemporary with Goldberg's own grandparents. Arriving as a refugee in Britain after the 1917 Revolution, Postan studied economic history.

He married his professor at the LSE, a very wonderful, and extremely English, lady called Eileen Power – her own Wikipedia entry is interesting. She died tragically, and he then married the daughter of the Duke of Albemarle, so his children aren't Jewish. He ended up as Sir Michael Postan, Professor of Economic History in the University of Cambridge. Among his pupils was my late father.

(The school from which Eileen Power came – my sisters' school – also produced two of the great post-war British comic actresses – Maggie Smith and Miriam Margolyes.)

As it happens, Postan was a committed Zionist. Other Jewish refugees were not – Sir Karl Popper, for instance, was quite consistent in his denunciations of 'tribalism', and had no time for Zionism.

But then, as the saying goes, 'the past is another country'. The times when your grandfather was busy blowing people up in order to create Israel were very different from today. One should be cautious about judging people acting in extreme circumstances – but also, should be ready to accept that circumstances have changed.

If Zionists – including both Israelis and Americans like Goldberg – want to delude themselves that the ultimate truth about the attitudes of the 'goyim' is demonstrated by what happened in Kishinev in 1903 and 1905, then the worst anticipations expressed by Edwin Montagu, when he tried in vain to stop the Balfour Declaration, may yet be vindicated.

Not only may Israel chart a course towards self-destruction, but it may well end up compromising the position of Jews in the wider world.


Great contributions, and I thank you for them.

Is it not time, now, to think of and compare "end results", with the idea of open debate about which is going to be the least painful.

Babak Makkinejad

My understanding has been that being against Zionism in Israel is analogous to being against democracy in US - and it has been so for decades.



I am afraid that the Zionist as they self-destruct will take the rest of us along. I believe a time will come when a politician, more likely a demagogue will arrive on stage in America and pose the question of loyalty. In particular divided loyalty. It will get ugly then as it will likely bring out some of the worst characteristics in humans.


Well since virtually the entire US military, 'national security', political, fundamentalist Christian elites and establishments (etc) are 100% with Israel whatever they do, along with a heck of a lot of very wealthy and powerful people...then it is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

The entire US 'grand strategy' is dominated by those 'Israel first' neo-conservatives.
When you see near unanimous votes in the Senate and Congress condeming Obama and supporting Israel for some supposed slight he gave them...well what can you say.

A fascinating social, religious and political phenomena. This is not even 'the tail wagging the dog', it is 'a hair on the tail wagging the dog'.

But you have to admire their poltical skils though. Somehow getting all those Christian fundamentalists on side was a master stroke. Apart from anything else it neutralised the more skeptical WASP poltical establishment perfectly and they are now irrelvant.
The main effect is that it is now totally impossible for a GOP (and nearly impossible for a Democrat) political candidate for anything to get elected without genuflecting to Israel and its lobby.


David - Phil Weiss asked me to write an entry on his Blog titled "Why I call Myself a Zionist". Looking in his archives here is what I wrote.


If you read the comments, I got lambasted as I expected from Phil's crowd.

SAC Brat

One leaked video like Mitt Romney's would work well for a needed "A Face In The Crowd" moment.


J Villain

I am curious. Are any of the contributors here in a position to do a sitrep on Yemen? The Houthis don't seem to be following the script Qatar and KSA wrote. I would love to get peoples views here on where this is going. Any effort would be much appreciated.



Carter seems to really be onto some thing here.



thanks for sharing your perspective here jdledell - here, down below and on mondoweiss back in 2011.. perhaps your viewpoint has changed somewhat from your comments back in 2011.. it would appear so. thanks regardless.


Strange that he doesn't see that he should resign immediately as he can't control his temper: a clear job requirement. It's just not normal for a professional diplomat to let their amygdala do the talking.


Jefferson and Madison insisted on the establishment clause because the people of Virginia were afraid that the New England Episcopalians would establish themselves as the official national church.


I have never been to Israel but I do have some in laws that have lived there. I have heard similar anti-American comments especially contempt for American Jews who don't have any attachment to Israel. I always attributed this hatred to the very fact that we are Israel's benefactor. They resent that. They believe that they have built an independent nation but know at some level they are in fact a charity case dependent on the US.


.... We continue though in Afghanistan, even though our primary missions is train, advise, and assist, we’ve actually retained a U.S.-only – this is actually not coalition, but it’s a U.S.-only unilateral role of being able to conduct counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan primarily against al-Qaida and its remnants, but ISIS would be fair game as well. What we’re not doing counterterrorism operations against is the Taliban. We don’t – we actually view the Taliban as being an important partner in a peaceful Afghan-led reconciliation process. We are not actively targeting the Taliban. [1]

Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis

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