Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Nelson Mandela Said About Israel (+playlist)

Eric Alterman on loyalty to Israel (many occasions support Israel over U.S.)

Eric Alterman: ... it was drummed into me that I should do what’s best for Israel. I was at the Center for Jewish History not long ago where I heard Ruth Wisse, the Yiddishist professor at Harvard who happens to be the Martin L. Peretz professor, instruct a group of young Jewish journalists that they should think of themselves as members of the Israeli army. That in Israel young people have to serve in the army – well, they didn’t have to serve in the army, but they should think of themselves as members of a Jewish army, supporting the Jewish people, supporting Israel, putting aside their intellectual qualms and concerns about things. Like Lieberman. Now it so happens that because so few people are willing to say this, and there’s certainly good historical reasons for this, I end up being quoted by Walt and Mearsheimer as the only person saying, I am a dual loyal Jew and sometimes I’m going to actually go with Israel, because the United States can take an awful lot of hits and come up standing. Whereas if Israel takes one serious bad hit it could disappear. So there’s going to be some cases where when Israel and the United States conflict I’m going to support what’s best for Israel rather than what I think is best for the United States.

Jane Eisner: Can you imagine a time where you would feel that dual loyalty and go with Israel?
Eric Alterman: I just said, there are many occasions.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chomsky Exposes Israel's Crimes

Chomsky Exposes Israel's Crimes, Hear Facts the Media isn't making the public aware of. See Hope and Prospects PASS VIDEO ON: Hijacking boats in international waters and killing passengers is, of course, a serious crime.  The editors of the London Guardian are quite right to say that "If an armed group of Somali pirates had yesterday boarded six vessels on the high seas, killing at least 10 passengers and injuring many more, a NATO taskforce would today be heading for the Somali coast."

 It is worth bearing in mind that the crime is nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking boats in international waters between Cyprus and Lebanon, killing or kidnapping passengers, sometimes bringing them to prisons in Israel including secret prison/torture chambers, sometimes holding them as hostages for many years. Israel assumes that it can carry out such crimes with impunity because the US tolerates them and Europe generally follows the US lead. Much the same is true of Israel's pretext for its latest crime: that the Freedom Flotilla was bringing materials that could be used for bunkers for rockets.  Putting aside the absurdity, if Israel were interested in stopping Hamas rockets it knows exactly how to proceed: accept Hamas offers for a cease-fire.

 In June 2008, Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement.  The Israeli government formally acknowledges that until Israel broke the agreeement on November 4, invading Gaza and killing half a dozen Hamas activists, Hamas did not fire a single rocket. Hamas offered to renew the cease-fire.  The Israeli cabinet considered the offer and rejected it, preferring to launch its murderous and destructive Operation Cast Lead on December 27.  Evidently, there is no justification for the use of force "in self-defense" unless peaceful means have been exhausted.  In this case they were not even tried, although — or perhaps because—there was every reason to suppose that they would succeed.  Operation Cast Lead is therefore sheer criminal aggression, with no credible pretext, and the same is true of Israel's current resort to force.

The siege of Gaza itself does not have the slightest credible pretext.  It was imposed by the US and Israel in January 2006 to punish Palestinians because they voted "the wrong way" in a free election, and it was sharply intensified in July 2007 when Hamas blocked a US-Israeli attempt to overthrow the elected government in a military coup, installing Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan.  The siege is savage and cruel, designed to keep the caged animals barely alive so as to fend off international protest, but hardly more than that.  It is the latest stage of long-standing Israeli plans, backed by the US, to separate Gaza from the West Bank. These are only the bare outlines of very ugly policies, in which Egypt is complicit as well.

 BTW, the preceding statement was part of a longer interview for an Egyptian weekly which you can read online (see link below) BUT, the Egyptian weekly edited this out, Chomsky's mention of Egypt's complicity in Israel's crimes. And largely the press in the US really isn't better than this. Along with the other topics he deals with, Chomsky writes about the press's poor performance in his latest book Hopes and Prospects. See the link in the video info.

 Link to the Egyptian weekly's Chomsky interview: "One of the world's major intellectual voices and a leading critic of Israel, Noam Chomsky has sided with the powerless throughout his career, while at the same time reminding the powerful of the inconvenient truths they would rather forget. He spoke to David Tresilian in Paris." PASS IT ON:

Overcoming Zionism

Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism, talks with Amy Goodman about Zionist pressure which caused University of Michigan Press to drop his book from distribution. Only after fellow academics and civil libertarians led a campaign to get the book published did University of Michigan Press overturn their decision and agree to continue the distribution of Kovel's book.

Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism, said, "What we don’t have is any kind of real debate on this subject in our country at this time ... basically these Zionist repression groups have had pretty much a free hand ... that’s why I wrote the book. I mean, I wanted to -- I disregarded all the taboos, that you're not supposed to talk about Israel in any depth in this country."
[The distributor dropped his book after receiving threatening emails from a Zionist pressure group.] "They panicked this summer when they dropped my book. I mean, they were pressured by this Zionist watchdog team." [But the Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism
was able to convince them to continue distributing it.] "We have a committee forming, Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism, [UPDATE: Link apparently expired]And we’re planning a conference and all. But the committee leapt into action, and we were amazed at just how eloquent and, you know, basically fed up a lot of people were with being intimidated by these kinds of tactics. They just want to suppress an open discussion of this subject. ... I grew up in a very conventional Jewish home, except for the fact that there was a lot of division on this subject, so I think from an early age I learned   to take a certain distance from it and to think critically about it."