Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 03, 2014

Palestine: U.S. Negotiator Asks For Third Intifada

Kerry had fooled himself believing that Netanyahoo would ever allow for a Palestinian state. One hundred meetings later he finally admitted that such will never happen. Without robust U.S. pressure, unlikely to happen due to U.S. domestic politics, Netanyahoo and other right wing Israelis will never move from their absolutist position.

There is something to learn about self-illusion and the painful process of recognizing it in the Ynetnews interview with the U.S. negotiating team members, Inside the talks' failure: US officials open up. This line though stands out:

And then one of them added bitterly: "I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress."

Maybe. Maybe a third intifada could help move the U.S. towards some serious pressure on Israel. I doubt it though. The Palestinians have better options. Join all possible international clubs including the International Court system, sue Israel, threaten to dissolve the Palestinian Authority, other steps. What is needed is unity and better, more decisive leaders. When will those evolve?

Posted by b on May 3, 2014 at 15:57 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

re 86 they have a long history of oppressing jews but no apology,no acknowledgement,

Do we really have to read this hasbara rubbish? It is well known that the Jews were very well treated in the Islamic world. They flourished and prospered, and succeeded very well. Of course they suffered sometimes, but then everyone did from time to time. But now it's become the fashion to pick out every small slight, and magnify it, for today's political purposes.

I'd ban mcohen, if I were you, b.

Posted by: Alexno | May 4 2014 13:24 utc | 101

Once again (Feb 2013): Obama and Putin - will they share the Middle East?

In an article published on 26 January in Russia, Thierry Meyssan exposes the new partition plan in the Middle East on which work the White House and the Kremlin. The author reveals the main data of the current negotiations without prejudice to a final agreement or its implementation. The interest of the article is that it helps to understand the ambiguous positions of Washington pushing its allies in a stalemate so as to impose a new order in the near future they will be excluded...

Once stabilized Syria, an international conference to be held in Moscow for a comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors. The United States considers that it is not possible to negotiate a separate between Israel and Syria peace because the Syrians first require a solution for Palestine in the name of Arabism. But it is not possible to negotiate a peace with the Palestinians, because they are extremely divided, unless Syria is loaded to force them to abide by a majority agreement. Therefore, any negotiations should be comprehensive on the model of the Madrid Conference (1991). In this case, Israel would withdraw as much as possible to its 1967 borders. Palestinian Territories and Jordan would merge to form the final Palestinian state. His government would be entrusted to Muslims that would make acceptable solution in the eyes of current Arab governments Brothers. Then, the Golan Heights would be returned to Syria in exchange for dropping the Sea of ​​Galilee, according to the scheme previously proposed negotiations Shepherdstown (1999). Syria would guarantee respect of treaties by the Jordanian-Palestinian side...

The gift of the new Obama administration to Vladimir Putin twice more calculations. Not only divert the Russian Far East, but also use it to neutralize Israel. If a million Israelis have united states dual citizenship, another million Russian-speaking. Installed in Syria, Russian troops would deter the Israelis to attack Arabs and Arabs to attack Israel. Therefore, the United States would no longer have to spend huge amounts of money for the security of the Jewish settlement...

Posted by: ProPeace | May 4 2014 13:43 utc | 102

Someone at a recent thread had it wrong, the fact is that Obama Rejoins ICC, US No Longer “Rogue” State

Posted by: ProPeace | May 4 2014 13:51 utc | 103


Lol US will never join ICC.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4 2014 14:01 utc | 104

The US brokers for ‘peace’ where there is no war, only an occupier.

Following the same logic, it should have sent Kerry to Iraq to broker ‘peace’ between the invaders and the population. Ha ha, he could have lectured Booted Bremer and some Mullah.

In this so-called peace negotiation, Kerry proposed only ‘the’ 2-state solution. In *some* situations one might propose partition and population exchange, various forced concessions from both sides, international surveillance, help, etc.

But Kerry was just following an extremely long line of Arab/Brit/Jewish quarrels and negotiations. All of which failed, or limped along for a while, created more conflict, etc, etc.

The Brits threw in the towel in 1947, the UN proposed ‘partition’, and ‘democratic states’ and ‘free economic exchange’ with the Holy City under some multi-culti mandate...I mean plus ca change..!

Note that conflict has almost always resulted in Isr. gaining ground, so the more of it the better! (Another intifada?)

Still, Palestine gains in recognition step by step, all the time. Palestine now has a PO (you can actually send a letter to Palestine) and Google gave it a country domain name .ps a year ago. Details, but they show that what is happening on the ground is partly out of the control of Obama, the UN, the Arabs, etc.

Palestine joining UNESCO was tough - the US cut the funds (22% of the budget, with Isr. iirc) and Unesco had to restructure. (In imho muted and unavowed retaliation it cut programs on gender equality, Holocaust and genocide awareness, etc.) But there it sits, behind a sign saying PALESTINE. .. a semi-recognized country. Plus, Ramallah is sorta boom-time-buzz, economic and cultural.. it has become cool like Berlin..

Many of these moves - or acceptance of them - stems from pro-Palestinian / anti-US-Isr / pro-Arab / inclusive and pacifist sentiments. At the same time, the legal - official situation CANNOT change, because US will not allow it.

Personally, I don’t consider the ‘territory’ of Palestine - in its political, economic, geo. context - to be adequate for a 2-state solution. (See Bowles at 25.) But weirder things have happened in history..

The Pals. themselves are going down this road, with the possible joining of Hamas and Fatah, partly because it is all it can do. This potential ‘joining’ is imho aimed at gaining more international recognition, that is their strategy for now. This poses various problems, raises questions, my post is already too long.

Posted by: Noirette | May 4 2014 14:05 utc | 105


Briefly, so as to allow myself and others a break and to stay OT:

I really only mentioned the originally LRAD tech as a way to introduce the rest of the posters to the possibilities of the V2K technology so that they might look into the other microwave weapons. That's it. Sure, it's elaborate but TPTB have often used elaborate methods to take care of their dirty work - e.g., Sirhan Sirhan, John Hinckely Jr. to name just a few - as obviously muddies their tracks and just fucking confuses everyone for a long time afterwards. This a big topic w/ many offshoots. I don't think I know you but you may know I have a permanent bug jammed up my ass about everything and I can be a queeny little bitch for no reason.

Hey look, bevin, I called myself a queeny little bitch! Can we still be friends? tsk tsk...tarded

@ others

Re: the fake left.

I could use the term fake right as well but what I'm really speaking to is logical consistency. A great example? Liberal zionism. That fucking term makes no fucking sense as liberal multiculturalism should be inherently antithetical to Jewish supremacism. But it is allowed to continue to exist for some fucking reason and no one has said boo about it until recently.

When NF tells us all about the Holocaust industry and how evil, fascist and criminal the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is but then does a near complete about-face when BDS starts at least gaining the attention - however minimal - of the yute, that to me is fake leftism: the abandonment of principle when it starts to hurt.

When Chomsky tells us that US/Israeli intel has been guilty of false flags throughout its history but then denigrates people when 9/11, Syria, Ukraine and Israel pop up that is what I call fake leftism: once again he abandons his principles and life work to take a position that a child can see doesn't make ANY fucking sense.

Do I even need to speak to all of the multimillionaire fake left personalities who seemingly discuss "all things left" but somehow never have the wherewithal to speak to the their OWN ESTABLISHMENT niches and class?

Again, there is fake rightism too but fake leftism is to me more insidious and inimical to society because in general the aim of leftist thought is the helping out of the common man. That is why I get so fucking pissed. Because these gatekeepers and whores on the fake left are doing even MORE damage than their shilling counterparts on the right because the right-wing philosophies - again, in general - could give two cold shits about the peon from the outset.

Obviously since I like others think our world is reaching/has reached massive systemic crisis points filled with millions of horrible and unpunished crimes I don't think people who truly want to see the left-wing precepts take hold in our society - so that the common person's life is not an exploited pile of shit forever - should have to be "polite" and waste time in engaging these fake left celebrities/"lions" who are held up to us by the Establishment especially as paying attention to them - even when they are BLATANTLY spouting nonsense like NF and NC - and being drawn into faux "debates" is exactly what TPTB want us to do as it keeps us busy.

I mean, fuck, it's like no one has learned a goddamned thing and we're still allowing the same people who came up with ideas like NAFTA etc to sell us/happy talk people into even deeper and deeper shit - e.g. R2P - and I think it's because we on the left have been WAAAAAYYYY too polite and tolerant of said happy talk nonsense bullshit and the bullshitters who spew it.

And before Professor Bevin and guest77 pore over all of my posts looking for my own logical inconsistencies all I have to say is:

NF and NC etc. = well-paid and celebrated personalities whose entire lives are supposedly dedicated to studying their respective fields.

JSorrentine = a non-paid pissed off fucker who shouldn't have to spend his time pointing out how fucking unbelievable some of the shit that comes out of the mouths of the above group and what that nonsense says about who they are and what they are really doing.

Posted by: JSorrentine | May 4 2014 17:47 utc | 106

You mean about illegal construction of the wall? It was only advisory opinion. In other words - not worth the paper it was written on, as proven by Israel, who started building the wall few months after. ICC and ICJ will never make important binding ruling against US or its alies, if you think otherwise, how many cases of do you know? I'm not aware of any.

Posted by: Harry | May 4, 2014 9:07:51 AM | 99

You are quite a bull shitter, it's obvious where your loyalty lies. Israel began building the West Bank barrier in June 2002.

Advisory Opinion

The Court finds that the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory and its associated régime are contrary to international law; it states
the legal consequences arising from that illegality

THE HAGUE, 9 July 2004. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has today rendered its Advisory Opinion in the case concerning the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (request for advisory opinion).

In its Opinion, the Court finds unanimously that it has jurisdiction to give the advisory opinion requested by the United Nations General Assembly and decides by fourteen votes to one to comply with that request.

The ICJ in The Hague provides a binding opinion where all parties involved agreed to the request. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations. The ICJ has absolutely nothing to do with the ICC also seated in The Hague.

Posted by: Oui | May 4 2014 18:34 utc | 107

"Cuba didn't beat the shit out of the SA forces; largely the reverse happened, but the Cubans managed to hold on. When they held out long enough to finish their landing strip at Cuito Canavale, South Africa asked for negotiations (Namibian skies, and all that)."
Thanks for the correction, Johan. I was not only wrong but weakening my case which was that South Africa was increasingly conscious of the change in the strategic balance after the Portuguese Revolution and the end of Rhodesia. In other words they were responding to military and strategic realities rather than boycotts of their products, important though these were as political agitprop.

J Sorrentine. Calm down, if it makes you feel any less persecuted I do not affect any authority for my opinions apart from their content.
I am often wrong, as pointed out above, by Johan Meyer, I believe. And you are often right.
I wish that the fact that we are all sometimes right and sometimes wrong would convince you of the utility of treating each other's opinions with respect and honesty. Leave the cheap debating points and abuse to the bourgeoisie, they have the excuse of necessity.

Posted by: bevin | May 4 2014 18:56 utc | 108

@Oui | May 4, 2014 2:34:11 PM | 107

You are quite a bull shitter, it's obvious where your loyalty lies. Israel began building the West Bank barrier in June 2002.

I wasnt very specific (since it doesnt matter to the core points I was making), and you instead of finding out prefer ad hominem, not very wise approach.

If you want details, "On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion that it is a violation of international law. At the beginning of September 2004, Israel started the southern part of the barrier."

This shows how much Israel "cares" for advisory opinion, as I mentioned.

The ICJ in The Hague provides a binding opinion where all parties involved agreed to the request. It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations. The ICJ has absolutely nothing to do with the ICC also seated in The Hague.

Not even sure what you are talking about since it has nothing to do with my points, so stop imagining things. My point is, both ICC and ICJ are in the West's pocket, which part of it you dont understand?

Posted by: Harry | May 4 2014 19:02 utc | 109


What are you talking about? ICJ is not binding.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4 2014 19:03 utc | 110

I wish that the fact that we are all sometimes right and sometimes wrong would convince you of the utility of treating each other's opinions with respect and honesty.

what a fucking hypocrite

Sorrentine is correct - you regularly retreat into bitchy queenie behaviour when anyone effectively challenges your nonsense

I do not affect any authority for my opinions apart from their content.

"Affecting authority" is exactly what you do - that is why Sorrentine dubbed you 'professor' a while back - you have opinions on everything but actual personal knowledge of very little it seems.

Few of your opinions on world affairs ever seem to stem from actual personal knowledge of anything, as becomes clear nearly every time you discuss anything that occurs outside of the North American landmass - like your little attack poodle sidekick gimp77, as demonstrated by his recent pathetic attempt to appear somewhat knowledgeable about the Anti-Fa movement, it doesn't even look like you have ever even left the confines of the North American landmass but it doesn't ever prevent you from portraying your pathetic self as all-knowing especially when discussing the goings-on other.

The ridiculously sterotypical images you conjure up when discussing other countries shows how utterly clueless you really are

And actually knowing nothing about some subject matter doesn't ever seem to prevent either you or you poodle sidekick gimp77, you two complete and utter knob-jockeys, from portraying yourselves as some sort of experts

Posted by: lol | May 4 2014 19:21 utc | 111

"when discussing the goings-on other." = when discussing the goings-on in other lands

Posted by: lol | May 4 2014 19:22 utc | 112

@Anonymous - #110

I provided a link to the ICJ website, you can find all the facts.

The Court has a twofold role: to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States (Contentious cases) and to give advisory opinions (Advisory proceedings) on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.


The International Court of Justice acts as a world court. The Court has a dual jurisdiction : it decides, in accordance with international law, disputes of a legal nature that are submitted to it by States (jurisdiction in contentious cases); and it gives advisory opinions on legal questions at the request of the organs of the United Nations or specialized agencies authorized to make such a request (advisory jurisdiction).

Posted by: Oui | May 4 2014 19:41 utc | 113


It decides with the help of international law and give advice to the parties.
Thats why there is ICJ AND ICC which is the binding court.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4 2014 19:51 utc | 114

@Anonymous @Harry

The UNGA can request an opinion by the Court as was done by Israel's construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The opinion is based on International Law by the highest court. Only the UN Security Council can enforce International Law, the US has protected Israel for political reasons by using its veto multiple times.

II. The Discretion of the Security Council Under Article 94(2) [pdf]

Article 94(2) of the Charter, in vesting the Security Council with the power to give effect to a judgment of the ICJ, seems to provide a potential element of cohesion between the two UN organs.

The few scholars who have dealt with this topic in the past have lamented the almost total lack of relevant practice. After almost fifty years of functioning of the UN, the instances in which action by the Security Council has been invoked under Article 94(2) are still rare: this Article was used by the UK, in 1951, with respect to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company case; by Nicaragua, in 1986, in the case against the United States and by Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1993, in the case against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

PS The ICJ is not in any way a tool of a major power. Pls provide sources.

Posted by: Oui | May 4 2014 19:58 utc | 115

Perhpas someone has some later info on the position of the NF on Palestine?

"She does not hide her opposition to the settlement policy or her support for recognition of Palestine at the United Nations. She does not hide her opinion that the Iranian nuclear plan is "defensive" and that she is opposed to attacking its nuclear facilities, an attack that she says would be "a flagrant violation of international law".

Posted by: truthbetold | May 4 2014 20:11 utc | 116

@Anonymous - #114

ICC is of course the International Criminal Court founded in 2002 and binding to signatories.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The ICC is an independent international organisation, and is not part of the United Nations system.

Enjoy reading …
Visit to the Peace Palace, the home of the International Court of Justice, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Peace Palace Library, and Hague Academy of International Law.
The ICC: Peace by Peace

Posted by: Oui | May 4 2014 20:24 utc | 117


So you explained who the 'fake left' are but who are the 'real left'?

Posted by: Massinissa | May 4 2014 21:50 utc | 118

So the ICC declines to hear cases where one party is absent and the like. Russia and China can use those precedents, by widening their tactics against US client states in their vicinity. Then let the ICC whine, and let the media organs owned by and/or sympathetic to Russia and China (and Iran, etc.) show the original dismissals with a sour face, mock the ICC as a tool of NATO and US/Israel, contemptuous of claimed precedent, etc.

Basically show the general NATO populace that there is no substance. And keep on bringing up Nicaragua (given the ICJ's ruling, if the ICJ continues to be roughly honest). Remind NATO citizens of the actual conduct of the Contras*, so that ICJ has to squeal and really pick sides (raise the cost of their honesty). Try to get the NATO countries to play games with the ICJ, and expose their games. Bring the terrorist conduct of the NATO and NATO allied countries to the ICJ (I'm thinking them coups---start with Latin America, as the evidence is massive), then run to the ICC, and make them betray their position. One way would be for China and Russia to bring a case to ICC, as the opposing parties, on a given act of NATO terrorism, with alternative proposals of how to deal with the NATO/allied terrorism.

Destroying the aura of international law will force several issues. As to Palestine, I disagree with Finkelstein's claimed approach of running with a legal judgment to change US/Israeli conduct, even if these courts give brutally honest repeat judgments... Instead, as they serve criminal organizations, e.g. NATO, their judgments will probably be hypocritical, so use that.

But as activists in NATO/allied states, we should be pushing this IMAO---why do they go after small time thugs, e.g. Kony, while doing nothing against genocidal thugs like Museveni, Kagame, Clinton, Blair etc? This is an educational responsibility for serious anti-imperialists.

Another game to play is 'subliminal' messaging---make posters of various crimes, and include visually subtle swastikas made of nato stars, and the like, while explicitly stating the obvious as well. Ditto e.g. with Israeli and US flags.

Demoralize NATO country civil servants, e.g. by bringing terrorism charges against the local state or against another NATO state, as perpetrated against citizens of other states, and run with it. Add enough graphic and legal evidence, and make the legal pretense painstakingly obvious to the magistrates and prosecutors. Bring funding of terrorism wrt Israel. If the civil servants don't want to take it, put it on public blogs---Zionist activists have become somewhat agitated in their claustrophobic 'the world hates us' framework, so they'll make plenty of mistakes.

And run with every fake legal pretense, showing all its hypocrisy. Explain to normal small-time criminal defendants awaiting their hearings how the precedents affect them, so that embarrassing questions keep on being brought up in open court.

And thanks for showing my muddle-headedness wrt ICJ versus ICC.

*The contras would round up peasant families, and with the children present, castrate the father, cut the mother's breasts off, then slit the father's face and peel his facial skin off. Out of boredom, they'd occasionally swap the parents' and the children's roles.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | May 4 2014 22:11 utc | 119

I'd like to point out, esp. to those complaining about me using Finkelstein's train of thought, that what I suggested in the above comment (119) was a more detailed version of my suggestion in my first comment on this OP. That is, I'm interested in e.g. Finkelstein's thought process (or Chomsky, or others), and the evidence they bring to bear. I'm not automatically buying their conclusions. And that makes me even more confused with regards to your arguments---let it be, for argument's sake, that they are stooges---stooges also have thought processes.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | May 4 2014 22:33 utc | 120

Who ya crappin'? If the Palestinian side actually wanted a state, they could just declare one where they are and start governing.

Posted by: Tom W Harris | May 4 2014 23:14 utc | 121

Gee, I thought they did that on 15 November 1988. Just those wee little problem of water rights, controlling their own borders, foreign settlements, etc.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | May 4 2014 23:47 utc | 122

@Rowan Berkeley

There is nothing wrong with Atzmon reply, he is actually
a very brave man who does not care much for PC.
An example of what Gilad was referring to can be found
in an article by Neil Clark on RT. He writes:

On the one side we have a government that has carried out renationalization, which has confronted the greedy foreign-owned energy companies, and presided over a rise in real wages and a fall in unemployment.

Also, this government imposed a bank tax and implemented other measures to help ordinary people – including a government-decreed cut in energy bills.

On the other side, there is an opposition alliance that supports further privatization, wants more policies to benefit global “investors,” which is unashamedly pro-banker and pro-globalist and whose main alliance partner when last in government imposed swingeing cuts in public spending, destroyed state-owned companies including national airline Malev, and left millions of ordinary people worse off.

Now, you'd probably think that the government is question was “socialist’ or “leftist” and the opposition “conservative.” But in fact, it is the other way round. The Hungarian government, which has just been returned to power with around 45 percent of the vote, has undoubtedly done more for ordinary people that the “socialist” opposition did when in power from 2002-10 (and I say this as a lifelong socialist, not as a supporter of Fidesz).

Hungary shows us that we should beware of “labels” when it comes to elections in the era of neoliberalism and globalization. For sometimes it is “conservative” parties who can – and do – offer ordinary people far more than “socialist” ones, or ones which claim to be on the “left” or “center-left.”

Continue reading

Posted by: Luca K | May 5 2014 3:11 utc | 123

In order to better grasp the dirty plots used by
the zionists to create the monstrosity that is
Israel, and to be free of many misconceptions
about it, read Alison Weirs new book:
'Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History
of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel'
Find it at Amazon here

Listen to some of Alison's new book findings at

Listen to Jeffrey Blankfort, as he exposes the
leftist gatekeepers for Israel and zio power,
including Chomsky!

And former CIA analyst Philip Giraldi on the great
"friend" that the zionist entity is to ZUSA.

Posted by: Luca K | May 5 2014 3:31 utc | 124

Blankfort claims that the left opposed linking Israel to Apartheid (Fateful triangle, pages 35, 483, etc. thank you google books). Oops. All page references are from the online google books version of Fateful Triangle, 1999 Black Rose edition.

Then he claims that the left specifies what the acceptable parameters are for criticism of Israel without being labled anti-semitic. Which he could have pulled off had he not made the mistake of citing the Democracy Now interview with Chomsky that he falsely alleges was about Mearsheimer and Walt (see below---it's kind of funny).

Anyhow. He (Blankfort) speaks of the Chomsky parameters, which he lists as
1. US tells Israel what to do in major policy decisions. He gives as a counterexample the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Now I recall that the US was in Lebanon around the same time---surely, if they disapproved of the Israeli presence, they'd have taken action against the Israelis, rather than shelling Muslim areas. This doesn't exclude Israeli control of US policy, but it sure doesn't demonstrate it either.

2. US supports Israeli settlements and opposes peace. This Blankfort describes as a plain falsehood, but doesn't elaborate.

In the following sentence (around 4:06), he says something that sounds like "Israeli soldiers haven't shed a drop of blood on America's behalf; both Bushes, father and son, have paid off Israel in both Gulf wars, hasn't dissuaded Chomsky, or his followers, from that position."

Well, gee, I recall the Israeli support for Apartheid, which he recalls earlier in the video, and of course their support for all manner of thugs especially in Latin America and Africa, and more recently in Ukraine (Svoboda, Pravyy Sektor et alia)---I presume that is not in support of the US cabinet. The mind boggles. Perhaps Mr Blankfort has Israeli blood in mind. One is left to wonder how much of their own blood other client states shed on US behalf.

Next he claims that the left allowed Democrats to go unchallenged on Israel, as long as they were 'good' on other issues. Ahem. Allowing for argument's sake that it was Israeli rather than US interest to genocide in Iraq (I'm agnostic on this point), what then of all the other issues? Where is the left's implied (by Mr Blankfort) power on questions like labour rights, Latin American policy, African policy, and so forth? The left has been losing battles for a long time, and the identity politics drive didn't exactly help either. I'm particularly interested in Democrat candidates who were elected from the early 80s onward on labour issues and the like.

He mentions that there is no mention of AIPAC in Fateful Triangle. The reason might have had something to do with Chomsky's modus operandi, namely using others' research, were the claim accurate. The earliest MSM reference that I found to AIPAC was in 1987, several years after the first publication. But as luck would have it, google books has a copy online: Reference 45, page 36. So Blankfort lies. The other reference is on page 465. Meh. And it is kind of funny in terms of the Goldmann quote below (which I found while looking for the Naqbah in the book).

Then he claims that the Zionists conducted their ethnic cleansing without imperial backing. Now that's a half-truth. Without all the prior imperial backing up to that point, they wouldn't have been able to pull it off---I refer to the Ottoman and British support. This does not of course affect Zionist moral responsibility. But there is a further issue---how does it relate to Chomsky, who is in fact the focus of his attack? But let's put that aside, as you cite a book (and a video relating to said book) that would seem to contradict Blankfort, to wit, that they had (albeit self-organised, i.e. Lobby) US imperial support. Ahem.

He then says that Chomsky fits the 1967 war into his analysis as being against Nasserism. This is a most interesting statement, for what it implies is that Chomsky says the US supported Israel in 67 to undermine Nasser, which is a plain reversal of what Chomsky said, namely that Israel showed its worth as a potential client state by defeating Nasser. Again, whether Chomsky is right or wrong on this issue is one matter, but mr Blankfort is equivocating.

Next he says that Chomsky says that the founding of Israel was 'as legitimate as any other state,' and that the Palestinians should accept it, i.e. the theft of half their country. Again, google to the rescue (page 382): "States are recognised because they exist and function, not because they are 'legitimate,' or 'have a right to exist.' I'm curious where Mr Blankfort gets his information.

Then he brings up the Naqbah, in a sentence where he is careful not to accuse Chomsky of denying Jewish culpability, but just comes and goes. Of course, chapter 4 is clear enough, and describes the Naqbah in some detail, e.g. 700k fled/forced to flee in the face of Zionist terror, the fraudulence of the Zionist claim of the radio broadcasts. Some major Naqbah denial there, to be sure.

Next, Mr Blankfort claims that Chomsky and Massad attacked Mearsheimer and company (as opposed to disagreeing with their conclusion). This is doubly amusing, when one actually bothers to find out what Massad and Chomsky say on Zionist versus US responsibility for Zionist crimes:

Massad: "Are they primarily responsible for U.S. policies towards the Palestinians and the Arab world? Absolutely not." [The lobby is not responsible for Israeli or American crimes. This leaves open whether the US state or the Zionist state is responsible for each others' crimes, or whether they are only responsible for their own respective crimes.]

Chomsky, quoting Goldmann (p98) "What Israel is doing in this regard is very bad," he added, "and equally bad is the effect of the screams uttered by American Jewry." [The lobby is responsible for Israeli crimes. Though in fairness, this isn't necessarily Chomsky's view---he lists it as a view of a high-ranking Zionist government personnel, with a source.]

Some confluence of arguments.

Meh. Next he claims that Chomsky was invited to Democracy Now to discuss Mearsheimer and Walt's book. This is at best a very interesting interpretation. While Goodman did fail to invite Mearsheimer and Walt, she asked the question about Mearsheimer and Walt, in the course of an interview on Chomsky's book, Failed States, to illustrate the abuse that people suffer when criticising Israel, and while disagreeing with their conclusion [stated rather subtly], Chomsky praised their work. Some damage control. Note also that in this interview, which Blankfort clearly watched, we find the actual reference for the self-hating Jew/antisemitism story, namely an Israeli diplomat. Oops.

Then he tells another lie, namely that Goodman never reports on sanctions against Israel's enemies. Google to the rescue---earliest coverage of sanctions on their website relating to Iraq was in 1998, and to Iran in 2003. Next!

Next: A factual but misleading claim, namely that she doesn't report on AIPAC conferences. This is hilarious---her reporting of AIPAC personnel caught spying predates Mearsheimer and Walt, by two years. Then a complaint that there was minimal coverage of a conflict between Obama and AIPAC---sure, he's such a peacenik, but that's just my covering for the lobby. Ahem. OK that takes us to 9 minutes into the video. I'd like my two hours back.

I was hoping to learn about actual deficiencies in Chomsky, that I'd missed. Here's my list:
1. He relies too much on other peoples' research, which leads him to take seriously some questionable work, and thus makes him trust authorities too much. Case in point being the Mumia and MOVE cases, which are hilarious (if grotesque) violations of conservation of momentum; ditto the official coup version of the sniping on the Maidan. Until an established authority goes and publishes a mickey mouse article on the BS nature of these claims, he will be blind to them, because he lacks the basics in these fields.

2. He is overly conservative, and neglects very personal dirty tricks of authorities in his writings. One example is the Canadian spying in North Vietnam to support the US bombing. In the references he gives for that (I think for that co-authored book, Indespensible, which borders on hero worship, yuck), the one actual reference mentions that Canada Post opened the mail from the US government, and replaced the damning documents with Canadian Tire catalogues. Finally, the guy had to get the documents delivered to the embassy, through a diplomatic bag. Chomsky would have had a tad nicer book had he mentioned these details. The whole 'tell no lies, hide no difficulties' shindig.

3. There is a real cult that has grown around him. Citing him, for them, is more valuable than citing actual sources. They are more interested in defending him than his claims (or worse yet, checking his claims). But this problem has an associated problem, namely the anti-Chomsky cult, which uses the same tactics against him. And this video that you linked is a prime example of the latter.

Maybe I'll give that last video a look in the coming week. And I'll try to get a copy of that book.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | May 5 2014 6:22 utc | 125

There appears to be some misunderstandings regarding the status of an ICJ Advisory Opinion.

It differs from a "contentious issue" because the court isn't being asked to adjudicate a dispute between two parties.

Instead the court is being asked "what is the law?", and its opinion on that matter is regarded as authoritative.

In this case the UN asked what does international law say about the wall, and the ICJ opined that "what Israel is doing is illegal, dude".

Which means that Israel's actions are illegal, dude.

Now, sure, the court can't enforce that but - let's be honest here - it also can't enforce a ruling in a "contentious issue" in situations where the losing party throws a temper-tantrum, precisely because there is no International Police Force.

Or, put another way: an advisory opinion is "not worth the paper it is written on" only for as long as the organization that asked for it (in this case, the UN) is unwilling to act upon it.

But such inaction doesn't prove that the ICJ "got it wrong", nor does it mean that the Advisory Opinion has ceased to be THE authoritative statement of what int'l law has to say on this issue.

So, consider what would happen:
if the UN finally grew a pair, or
if the ICC wanted to indict Netanyahu, or
if the EU wanted to sanction the living shit outta Israel

Answer: they can still pick up that Advisory Opinion and use it as a club to beat down the howls of outrage from the Israeli-firsters because - du'oh! look here sunshine! - the highest court in the world has said that "what Israel is doing is illegal, dude".

Now, don't get me wrong.
I'm not predicting that the UN will grow a pair any time soon.
I'm not suggesting that the ICC has an indictment ready to go.
I'm not claiming that the EU will shut down the Israeli economy tomorrow.

None of that.

But what I am pointing out is that if any of them did decide to move against Israel then that Advisory Opinion can be used as a very big stick indeed, and that remains true even today.

All (!!) it takes is for someone to have the guts to pick it up and start swinging it.

Posted by: Johnboy | May 5 2014 11:16 utc | 126


Most people here know the difference between ICC and ICJ I can assure you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5 2014 12:15 utc | 127

@ Johan Meyer 125.

Chomsky knows where the red lines are and will not cross them to ensure preserving his position.

Therefore he relies on ‘official’ versions, other’s work, authority (as said.) His main approach is of the top-down kind which permits him to seldom if ever (or only by cherry picking what is allowed, accepted, and documented, often far in the past..) descend into nitty-gritty detail, as what counts is the ‘broad narrative’, the ‘general analysis’...

His work in Linguistics is exactly the same, as a Structuralist Linguist, that is OK, he can say, my work, theories, povs. are pretty much immune from criticism - except for the detailed technical kind that fall within the theory - as they are set in a certain ‘frame’ - other linguists such as semanticists, functionalists, etc. simply do something different, that is not my concern.

The ‘cult’ arises because quoting or relying on Chomsky is ‘safe’ - he is a highly respected figure.

Posted by: Noirette | May 5 2014 13:04 utc | 128

The ‘cult’ arises because quoting or relying on Chomsky is ‘safe’ - he is a highly respected figure.


eg: the zios can reply to anything intelligent said about Israel, for instance, with the refrain "But even that far left loon Chopmsky doesn't go as far as that!!!" for example - any claim that a racist zionist "Jewish state" called Israel is complete illegitimate.

the very definition of what a gate-keeper is for

Amazing that so many here stubbornly refuse to understand this very simple point

Posted by: lol | May 5 2014 13:30 utc | 129

SYRIA Just wondering if the beginnings of an Arab Nationalist movement and militia (shown in this Al Akhbar article) is the natural re-balancing to armed groups operating in Syria & supported by Gulfies & the West? If so isn't it funny how the wheel turns if it is forced on one direction?

Posted by: MIDAN | May 5 2014 17:15 utc | 130

@Oui #115: The Security Council does not "make" international law. In the case of the sanctions against Iran, it violated it. There IS, however, a standing commission on international law as part of the UN, but that is it.

Posted by: g_h | May 5 2014 18:27 utc | 131

@131 Indeed true, the Security Council can not "make" international law.

But in his defence Oui did not make that claim. He said: "Only the UN Security Council can enforce International Law,"

There is a world of difference between "making" international law and "enforcing" international law.

Posted by: Johnboy | May 5 2014 21:52 utc | 132

"It makes sense, in my opinion, to contemplate a future binational secular democracy in the former Palestine, from the sea to the river."

Posted by: truthbetold | May 6 2014 0:20 utc | 133

Unable to post at Mondo, for whatever reason, that was never explained to me, I was heartened to see b put up this topic. Somehow Annie at Mondo got it in her head that I am a "holocaust denier", (I base that on an email she sent me, containing that accusation), when in fact I have never even mentioned the holocaust prior to this post, much less denied its occurence.

Anyway, I really wanted to draw attention to a recent lengthy essay that appeared in the op-ed section of "The Bakersfield Californian", the main paper serving an extremely conservative Bakersfield (and surrounds) community and readership. (Sat. May 3rd) This essay defended Kerry's use of the word "aparthied", and found fault with Kerry using the word in the future tense, arguing that the word was an accurate description of Israel as it exists today.

To see this kind of opinion being aired to a conservative readership reflects a turn in the narrative. Are we finally wising up?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | May 7 2014 13:54 utc | 135

New Media Guerilla War Challenging Old Dominance

Whether it was Libya, Syria, Ukraine or the Middle East … in a long read and excellent article I found at Open Democracy … challenging the Israeli narrative of The New York Times et all.

New media and the changing narrative on Palestine by Victoria Brittain

I want to dedicate this paper to the great journalist and writer on the Middle East, Patrick Seale, who died last week – for decades he set an example of writing counter-narrative, and generously gave help and encouragement to others trying to do so.

Posted by: Oui | May 8 2014 13:21 utc | 136

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