More threats, less peace

Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t want peace. All he wants is to give Israel preconditions and ultimatums.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time spoke about the Palestinian demands for extending peace talks: A three months freeze in settlement construction during which time talks would focus on delineating the border of the future Palestinian state.

“If Israel believes in the two state solution… let us define the borders – where Israel will be and where Palestine will be,” he said in a special press conference to Israel journalists covering peace talks Tuesday.

And what are the Palestinians going to do?

Nothing. Or break up the PA. And they can’t even keep their stories straight on that. The only thing they have perfect unity on? Blaming Israel.

“No Palestinian is speaking of an initiative to dismantle the Palestinian Authority,” Erekat told AFP.

“But Israel’s actions have annulled all the legal, political, security, economic and operational aspects of the prerogatives of the Palestinian Authority,” said Erekat.

Meantime, word is that Kerry and Obama are about a week away from giving up. What took them so long?

Posted in Israel, palestinian politics | Leave a comment

The Russian bear awakens

Snoopy the Goon has long been on my reading list. He is a former Soviet Jew and knows Russia better than anyone I can think of. This post is a translation of an article by a Belarusian writer.

“There is a feeling that the country is at war – continues the writer – People are wishing each other more victories: ‘And what about Alaska?’ It is scary to switch on the TV. The TV threatens to transform America into a nuclear dust, discusses occupation of the whole of Europe … The media is being “cleaned up” according to the laws of war. Any alternative sources of information that allow other points of view are destroyed. Any word of truth or protest is being equaled to calls for the overthrow of government, unwanted Internet sites are blocked.”

“Whither Russia? Today we prefer war to reforms. The thirst for return of the lost lands drives the minds of millions crazy. The same intelligent and reasonable people who have dreamed about westernized Russia just yesterday. Today they avow in a chorus: ‘For the Crimea we forgive Putin everything!’… We got back not just the Crimea, but the Soviet Union… Putin worked on this for fifteen years. Day after day the TV was reviving Soviet ideas. And we thought they were dead.”

Read it all. It is not a comforting article. Mitt Romney is looking more and more correct about Russia being our biggest international problem. Remember that our president mocked him for that in the debate.

“The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” Right. And Putin is doing his best to bring it back.

Posted in The One, World | 1 Comment

Easter Sunday briefs

Happy Easter, my Christian friends and readers!

CNN now publishes Iranian propaganda: Apparently, CNN wants to be just like the New York Times. It’s publishing an op-ed favorable to Iran by members of NIAC. NIAC is an arm of the Iranian government, though its members like to pretend it isn’t. So of course they would think that the Iranians are negotiating in good faith and it’s those evil, warmongering Israelis that are messing things up.

It’s a chess move: Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and let Israel run all of the West Bank by itself. Of course he will. Because Abbas is going to willingly give up the source of billions in aid from which he steals hundreds of millions of dollars, just like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. But here’s the real reason:

Such a move would annul the Oslo Accords and revoke the status of the PA as a sovereign authority, leaving Israel with full responsibility of the Palestinian population in the West Bank.

If the plan proceeds, the Palestinian leaders will [lose] their official authority, but settlements will be significantly more vulnerable to litigation in international courts.

It’s a hollow threat, because I’m pretty sure Abbas doesn’t want the money that crosses his bank account to go directly to Israel and the Palestinians instead. But watch for the news media to freak out at the prospect. Oh, and the other reason it’s a hollow threat? He made it three years ago and didn’t follow through then, either–even though Robert Serry (see below) was pretty sure he was serious.

Of the foreign diplomats serving in Israel and the PA, Serry, who is from the Netherlands, is considered one of the closest to Abbas. The Mideast envoy, who also serves as the UN secretary-general’s personal representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, meets with Abbas almost every week, and like other diplomats, Serry has heard from Abbas that he intends to resign within a few months if no progress is made in negotiations.

UN “envoy” now making stuff up to blame Israel: Robert Serry, who just happens to be Mahmoud’s Abbas closed UN buddy (see above), is claiming that he was treated badly while trying to attend the Christian “Holy Fire” eremony yesterday. And while the story is racing around the world, you would think that there might be pictures, what with the ubiquity of phone cameras. And yet, there are none, leading me to believe that Serry is, shall we say, exaggerating. Or perhaps, he just doesn’t like hobnobbing with the riff-raff.

Serry added in separate remarks to Reuters he had waited with Italian, Norwegian and Dutch diplomats for up to a half hour, crushed by a crowd against a barricade, while Israeli officers ignored his appeals to speak with a superior.

“It became really dangerous because there was a big crowd and I was pushed against a metal fence the police put up there, the crowd tried to push really hard,” Serry said, adding they might have been trampled had police not finally let them pass.

“I don’t understand why this happened,” he added. “I’m not saying I felt my life was in imminent danger, but this wasn’t something you associate with a peaceful procession for Easter.”
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman denied Serry’s charges and accused him of displaying “a serious problem of judgment” as there was no reported violence during the prayers and a customary torch-lit “Holy Fire” ritual held at the church.

He also called Israelis terrorists. Because some of them cut down Palestinian olive trees. Yeah, that’s just like going onto a bus and murdering people with a bomb.

Yeah, it was a hoax: The rabbi of the congregation that was the target of a letter saying Donetsk Jews would have to register under new Russian rule says it’s a hoax and that the Russians and Ukrainians should leave Jews out of the conflict. Oh, like that’s going to happen. Not in these internet days, when the media war is as important as boots on the ground. But fuck you, whoever wrote that note and fuck you, people who handed it out. You terrified the Jews of Ukraine, if you accomplished nothing else.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, Israel, palestinian politics | Leave a comment


Meimei, this morning: “Are you getting out of bed anytime soon?”


And Tigger, who likes to use the molding for a pillow. Yes, really.


Posted in Cats | 2 Comments

Happy Tiggerversary!

Six years ago today, I drove north to Wendy’s Feline Friends and picked up my orange boy.

Yesterday, my friend Sarah took this amazing picture.


I think I have a can of tuna in the closet. So it will be a very happy Tiggerversary for Tig and Meimei.

Posted in Cats | 1 Comment

This is why I hate the AP

Look at this misleading headline and lead.

Iran: Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
Iran’s president underscored his moderate policies and outreach to the West in a speech Friday during a military parade on the country’s National Army Day.

Referring to the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the world powers over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran has shown it has no hostile intentions toward anyone in the world, including the United States, which has long been considered an enemy.

“During the talks, we announced to the world and we say so again … we are not after war, we are after logic, we are after talks,” Rouhani said.

Sounds just wonderful, doesn’t it?

Now look at the Reuters lead.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic had the might to deter any attacks as its military displayed a range of drones and missiles at an annual parade in Tehran, state television reported on Friday.

Chanting “God is Greatest”, troops paraded missiles carriers, some bearing banners saying “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”, armoured personnel carriers and unmanned surveillance aircraft as well as small submarines with men wearing aqua-lungs alongside.

Unlike hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani did not use his speech to lash out at the United States and Israel, which Tehran refuses to recognise.

The AP whitewashed all mention of the usual anti-Israel and anti-America propaganda. Because narrative.

And this is why I can’t stand the AP. It almost never gives you the full story, though it claims it does. AP obviously stands for All Propaganda–all the time.

Posted in Iran, Israel, Media Bias | 1 Comment

Does the New York Times see Antisemitism When it Looks in the Mirror?

The recent killings in Overland Park, Kansas, though they didn’t kill any Jews were perpetrated by a man, Fraiser Glenn Cross Jr., who cited the work of “Jew journalist Max Blumenthal,” as a reason for his hatred of Jews. According to a posting at an online forum, Cross cited Blumenthal for explaining an “attempt by a foreign government Israel, to buy the presidential election.” While conservative outlets, like PJ Media, the Washington Free Beacon and Legal Insurrection reported on this sentiment of Cross, the MSM has largely ignored it.

This is a classic antisemitic trope, why was it ignored?

Could it be that there are those in the MSM who largely agree with this sentiment? To call it hatred is to acknowledge how offensive their own views truly are?

Here are seven selections from the the opinion pages of the New York Times in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

The Outsourced Party, Kevin Baker, March 24, 2012

Gingrich has his own sponsors, the casino billionaires Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, hawkish supporters of Israel. Does what these individuals care about most fit in with the Republican party’s election strategy? So what?

It’s not that these individual donors believe in things — conservative Christian stands on abortion, unmitigated support for Israel and so on — that are so different from what much of the party’s base believes in.

What Sheldon Adelson Wants, Editorial, June 23, 2012

Given that Mr. Romney was not his first choice, why is Mr. Adelson writing these huge checks?

The first answer is clearly his disgust for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supported by President Obama and most Israelis. He considers a Palestinian state “a steppingstone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” and has called the Palestinian prime minister a terrorist. He is even further to the right than the main pro-Israeli lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which he broke with in 2007 when it supported economic aid to the Palestinians.

Mr. Romney is only slightly better, saying the Israelis want a two-state solution but the Palestinians do not, accusing them of wanting to eliminate Israel. The eight-figure checks are not paying for a more enlightened answer.

Why not in Vegas?, Thomas Friedman, July 31, 2012

I’ll make this quick. I have one question and one observation about Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel. The question is this: Since the whole trip was not about learning anything but about how to satisfy the political whims of the right-wing, super pro-Bibi Netanyahu, American Jewish casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, why didn’t they just do the whole thing in Las Vegas? I mean, it was all about money anyway — how much Romney would abase himself by saying whatever the Israeli right wanted to hear and how big a jackpot of donations Adelson would shower on the Romney campaign in return. Really, Vegas would have been so much more appropriate than Jerusalem. They could have constructed a plastic Wailing Wall and saved so much on gas.

50 Shades of Scalia, Timothy Egan, August 2, 2012

You can see this imbalance at work in the person of Sheldon Adelson, the orange-haired, creepy-voiced casino magnate who has promised to contribute up to $100 million to super PACS to knock out President Obama. If you wonder why Mitt Romney was reduced to a pandering stooge in Israel a few days ago, you can blame the traveling companion who held the candidate’s leash — Adelson.

Gadding of a Gawky Gowk, Maureen Dowd, August 2, 2012

Poor Mitt Romney had no such magic carpet ride. He insulted the British and infuriated the Palestinians while pandering to the Israelis and American Jewish voters, including donors like the Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson who tagged along.

Egged on by some of the same neocon advisers who brought us the Iraq pre-emptive invasion, Romney offered “Go ahead, make my day” diplomacy, signaling he would support Israeli action to pre-emptively strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The Romney Package, Bill Keller, August 12, 2012

On foreign policy, Romney has so far largely bypassed his party’s mainstream in favor of advisers with a decidedly neoconservative bent — confrontational, unilateral, with a missionary urge to spread American-style democracy and a particular affinity for Israel’s hard-liners. Romney’s more conventional insiders call it the “Bolton faction,” for John Bolton, among the most hawkish of George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” interventionists. Bolton is now on the Romney team, but Dan Senor is the one who has Romney’s ear. At 40, he is next-gen Bolton, smoother, TV-savvy, post-cold war in age but cold war in spirit. (He co-founded a think tank with the Soviet-era neocon William Kristol.) Senor helped choreograph Romney’s recent foreign debut, in which the candidate needlessly offended the British and the Palestinians.

Buying the Election?, Joe Nocera, October 8, 2012

What feels different now is that the sums are so large, and that it has the potential to influence not just Congressional and Senate candidates but the presidential candidates as well. If Romney wins, will he really be willing to take a position on Israel that is different from Adelson’s? One suspects not.

“This can’t be good for Democracy,” Bennet told me in an e-mail. It’s not.

Each one of these pieces argued that money – often Sheldon Adelson’s money – was distorting Romney’s or, more generally, the Republican agenda to be too pro-Israel against American interests. (Keller’s mention of Adelson appears later in the column, though not in the section I quoted.)

If there’s a reason Blumenthal thought he could get away with writing his conspiracies, it’s because his views aren’t that far removed from those of one of America’s most read newspapers. His views don’t differ significantly from the editorial pages of the New York Times.

To a large degree this form of Jew hatred is tolerated if not considered uncontroversial. But as Charles Asher Small argues, tolerating it leads to violence.

Today, our policy-makers and members of the human rights community are reticent to speak out against the scourge of contemporary global antisemitism. In this horrific case, where a known Nazi has been apprehended, it is easy to know how to respond. Not all acts of antisemitism are dealt with so simply. They are often met with silence or attempts to look away, so as not to confront the haters for ideological, political or economic reasons. When reports emerge of vicious anti-Semitic slogans sung by the leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Regime or by the Muslim Brotherhood, we should condemn them, but too often we do not. …

Let us be vigilant and uproot this ideology that creates an atmosphere of intolerance and empowers haters everywhere. Regardless of the race, nationality or religion of those who espouse an antisemitism that incites to murder and genocide—let us all speak clearly in one united voice for human rights and basic human decency. Our voice must never be muted for political interests. For it is not possible to stop hate at our borders—these ideas know no quarantine. The message that we must send is that racism, in all of its forms, must be fought every time it rears its dangerous head.

Will the New York Times and other members of the MSM come to terms with the fact that the sentiments of the Protocols of the Elder of Ziyon, have no place in public discourse? Or will they continue to tolerate the continued demonization of the Jewish state and its supporters?

Cross, by the way, did not kill any Jews.

Posted in Israel | 1 Comment

Everything old is Jews again

Last Sunday, a despicable Jew-hater decided, for some reason, to drive to a Jewish Community Center and murder Jews. After killing a teenage boy and his grandfather while they sat in their car–first blocking the car with his own so they couldn’t escape–he left the community center and headed to a nearby Jewish assisted living facility. He took some shots at people on the way, but missed. Once he got to the assisted living facility, he again murdered someone in the parking lot, this time a middle-aged woman. Then he drove to an elementary school, presumably to murder more people, but thankfully, the police caught him before he could. And just to be sure we all knew what he was doing, he yelled “Heil Hitler” while being loaded into the police cruiser–a statement caught on video.

Here’s the kicker. All three of his victims? Christians.

Though killed outside of Jewish facilities in Overland Park, all three victims were members of Christian denominations.
Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, 69, were killed about 1 p.m. outside the Jewish Community Center. LaManno, 53, of Kansas City, was killed at the Village Shalom assisted living facility in Overland Park. She was a Catholic.

That’s right. A notorious Jew-hater tried to murder Jews at two of the most Jewish facilities in Kansas, and he killed three Christians instead. I’m betting he’s sitting in his cell blaming the Jews for that, too. Because that’s how the deranged Jew-haters roll. Everything is our fault. Nothing is theirs.

Some journalists have begun to catch on to the damage that the mainstreaming of Jew hatred is doing. There’s a sudden rash of investigation into FBI hate crime reports, and the journalists are stunned to discover that attacks against Jews dominate the list of religious hate crimes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps statistics, the most recent of which are for 2012. In the United States that year there were 6,573 hate-crime incidents reported to the bureau (a fraction, no doubt, of all that occurred). While most were motivated by race, about 20 percent were motivated by the victims’ perceived religion — roughly the same percentage as those motivated by the victims’ presumed sexual orientation. I didn’t expect a number that high.

Nor did I expect this: Of the religion-prompted hate crimes, 65 percent were aimed at Jews, a share relatively unchanged from five years earlier (69 percent) and another five before that (65 percent). In contrast, 11 percent of religious-bias crimes in 2012 were against Muslims.

You know who wasn’t surprised by those statistics? Me. Or most of the rest of the JBlogosphere, the people who have been screaming to the rafters about the hatred that permeates so much of the conversation about Israel and Jews. Every time another magazine comes out with another anti-Semitic cover, it normalizes Jew-hatred. And really, New Statesman, running an article about anti-Semitism after years of demonizing Israel? it doesn’t make up for the damage you caused. J’accuse.

The world has been ignoring the virulent anti-Semitism of the Muslim world, where the Russian forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” is a perpetual bestseller. The media covers up the Jew-hatred spewed from the Arab and Muslim world, minimizes the anti-Semitism of Iran, glosses over the anti-Semitism of rabid anti-Zionists on the left and right, ignores the anti-Semitism of the Occupy Movement–I could go on and on.

What happens when you demonize Israel and Jews? The haters strike out. They may even be inspired by people like Max Blumenthal, whose virulently anti-Israel book resonated with the neo-Nazi Kansas murderer. If you truly want to understand the enemy, go take a look at Vanguard News Network or Stormfront. The hatred there is shocking–and yet you will see many of the same things there that you hear from the anti-Israel BDS movement.

Over in Ukraine, leaflets were distributed telling Jews that they had to register or be deported. There are some who think this is a false flag operation to make the Russians seem anti-Semitic. Then there are the Russians, who are saying that Ukrainians are anti-Semites–a charge denied by Ukrainian Jews.

Do you see what’s happening here? I do. Jews are being assaulted from every side–sometimes physically–but usually only verbally.

Only. Because demonizing Jews never led to anything more, did it?


The American chattering class is finally starting to realize that when you demonize Israel, you demonize Jews.

In a 2013 survey of 1,200 American adults for the Anti-Defamation League, 14 percent agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much power” in our country, while 15 percent said Jews are “more willing to use shady practices” and 30 percent said that American Jews are “more loyal to Israel” than to the United States.

That’s disturbing, as is the way in which the Holocaust is minimized by its repeated invocation as an analogy. In separate comments this year, both the venture capitalist Tom Perkins and Kenneth Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, said that the superrich in America were being vilified the way Jews in Nazi Germany had been.

It’s not just Kansas and the heartland where anti-Semitism, sometimes called the oldest hatred, stays young.

Frank Bruni’s eyes are opening. The question remains whether the rest of the chattering class will pull back on the constant stream of anti-Israel articles, op-eds, and news stories.

I don’t think they will. And there will be another attack like the one on Sunday. And another round of articles by journalists who are shocked, shocked, to discover so much anti-Semitism in the world.

Well. It’s time to end this post with the mantra, which we haven’t seen in some time. Anti-Semites of the world, just die already. And yes, I do really mean it.

Posted in American Scene, Anti-Semitism | Leave a comment

Israel and the U.S.: No longer exclusive

Zev Chafets has an analysis about American-Israeli relations that is going to send the Jew-haters’s spittle-flecked rants off the charts on the Israel-hate scale. Just look at the headline:

American-Israeli relations: US still Israel’s best friend but no longer country’s only friend

The problem arose because Israel did not vote on the US UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s seizure of Crimea. The Obama administration was extremely upset.

Lieberman blandly blamed it on a strike at the foreign ministry. What was he supposed to do, ask Israeli diplomats to cross a picket line?

At home he was more candid. “We have good, trusting relations with the Americans and the Russians,” he told a TV interviewer. “I don’t see why she needs to get caught up in this.” General Amos Gilad, a senior figure in the Ministry of Defense, seconded this new, even-handed approach. “Our security interests should not be defined as identical to that of anyone else, even the United States,” he said.

Ha’aretz, a left-wing Israeli newspaper, reported that White House officials “nearly went crazy” with shock and anger when they heard such ungrateful sentiments.

I can well imagine. The Obama administration is under the impression that Israel should shut up and do what it wants, always. Let us not forget the 45-minute dressing-down Hillary Clinton gave Benjamin Netanyahu over the release of tenders for new settlements on the eve of talks with the Palestinians–tenders, I might add, that Netanyahu had nothing to do with. Why, it’s almost as if the Obama administration is the abuser and Israel is the abused wife, and the abuser has just discovered that the wife has a life of her own outside the marriage.

If so, Rice and her colleagues haven’t been paying close attention. Israel is no longer an impoverished, embattled, emotionally needy client state. It is an emerging international power with options it never had before. Locked doors are now wide open. Old enemies want to be given another chance. America is still Israel’s best friend, but it is no longer its only friend.

There follows a list by Zev of Israel’s good relations with other nations.

I think it’s a great thing that Israel has diverse international relationships, because that is the way the world works. Do I think Israel should have supported the resolution? Yes. Do I understand why they’re cultivating Russia? Yes. To keep S-300 missiles away from Syria and Iran. It is in a nation’s interest not to rely on other nations for its self-defense, Israel more than most. When other nations get involved, Israelis die. Israel went along with George W. Bush’s insistence on elections in Gaza including Hamas. Look how that turned out. UN Peacekeepers actively aided Hezbollah and prevented the IDF from getting crucial evidence that may have helped them find kidnapped soldiers. And of course, Hezbollah has rebuilt and strengthened its hidden missiles in southern Lebanon, right under the noses of UN peacekeepers.

Jews no longer count on other nations for their security. We learned the hard way what happens when we do. So good on Israel for being an up-and-coming power that other nations are courting. We’ll let Zev have the last word.

Next month, Israel will celebrate its 66th Independence Day. Sixty-six is adolescence in nation-years. This country is just at the start of its growth spurt. Washington is going to have to accept that its young ward is not a kid anymore (Israel needs to internalize this, too, but that’s a different story). And, as Rice and her fellow policymakers know better than anyone, being a grown-up nation means making complicated choices, pursuing your own vital interests and, unavoidably, sometimes disappointing even your very best friends.

Posted in American Scene, Israel, The One, United Nations, World | 1 Comment

The chutzpah of Michael Bloomberg

There are just so, so many things wrong with this quote from Michael Bloomberg

But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

First, the man is supposedly a Jew, yet he is envisioning the Christian heaven, complete with an unmentioned St. Peter waiting at the gate. Because gee, that’s what they teach you when you go to synagogue regularly. Oh. Wait. No it isn’t.

As to the rest, well, I saw this Forbes “Forbes Thought Of The Day” recently that perfectly enumerates what’s really wrong with Bloomberg.

“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.” — Samuel Butler

Oh, and the contxt for the Bloomberg quote? He’s going to spend $50 million to form a “grassroots” organization to combat the NRA.

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.

I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means. I think he’s actually looking for the word “astroturf”.

There is also a perfect example of the utter hypocrisy of the media and the left when it comes to conservatives and liberals spending money to push their favored political causes. Note that the Koch brothers have literally nothing to do with the NRA, and yet, the Times reporter drags their name into the article. Because Koch brothers! Influencing politics with their money!

The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.

The strategy will focus not on sweeping federal restrictions to ban certain weapons, but instead will seek to expand the background check system for gun buyers both at the state and national levels.

The $50 million could be significant: In recent years, the N.R.A. has spent only $20 million annually on political activities. The political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, who are seeking to help Republicans take over the Senate, have spent about $30 million in the last six months.

And oh yeah–Warren Buffett, another billionaire, is going to sit on the board. But Koch brothers! Influencing politics with their money!

The hypocrisy is strong in this one.

Posted in American Scene, Guns | Comments Off