Nov 7, 2010

Blog | The Occidental Quarterly

Michael Santomauro
@ 917-974-6367

What sort of TRUTH is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?

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Jewish Tribal Review | The Occidental Quarterly

Michael Santomauro
@ 917-974-6367

What sort of TRUTH is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?

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League of American Patriots Successfully Defends US Political Prisoner (6/18/09) | The Occidental Quarterly

Michael Santomauro
@ 917-974-6367

What sort of TRUTH is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth?

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Geithner Visited Jon Stewart in April, Though Not for Laughs


Geithner Visited Jon Stewart in April, Though Not for Laughs (real name, Jon Leibowitz)

ron sez: Jon Stewart's brother is COO of the New York Stock Exchange.....this is why you never hear Jon Leibowitz, excuse me, Jon Stewart discussing the fact U.S. support of Israel was the primary motivation for the 9/11 hijackers, the first WTC bombing (1993) and remains the primary motivation of Islamic terrorists.

In the midst of debates on financial regulation and China's currency in April, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner sat down to discuss the U.S. economy -- with comedian Jon Stewart.

Geithner and Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," held an off-the-record meeting at Stewart's office in New York on April 2, according to Geithner's appointments calendar, updated through August on Treasury's website.

Geithner didn't stay for a television interview with Stewart although other administration officials -- most notably President Barack Obama last week -- have turned up for on-camera chats.

"Jon Stewart is influential in America, so we took the opportunity for the two to meet and to discuss the economy," Treasury spokesman Steve Adamske said in an e-mail yesterday. Stewart's program has poked fun at Geithner, including a segment last year about the Treasury secretary's trouble selling his New York home.

On the same day he met with Stewart, Geithner spoke on the phone with Democratic lawmakers including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, according to the appointments calendar.

Geithner also spoke with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Max Baucus of Montana, all Democrats.

The Geithner-Stewart summit-of-sorts was held on a day of some good news for the administration: Labor Department figures for March showed employment figures had improved the most in three years.

China's Currency

Geithner the next day announced that Treasury was delaying a report to Congress on whether to accuse China of manipulating its currency. At the time, he was also trying to push the Obama administration's financial-regulation overhaul through Congress.

On April 2, Geithner also visited the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he was president for more than five years, and had an on-camera interview in New York with Bloomberg News.

Spokesman Steve Albani of the Comedy Central network declined immediate comment on the meeting between Geithner, 49, and the 47-year-old Stewart.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at;

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American Third Position / Nov. 7, 2010


American Third Position

Third World Immigrants Bring Third World Culture to America

Posted: 06 Nov 2010 05:39 AM PDT

The arrest of another three Somalis living in California for links to the fanatic Muslim guerrilla army in Somalia has highlighted once again the fact that Third World immigrants do not stop being Third Worlders simply by acquiring an American passport.

According to media reports, three Somalis living in San Diego have been arrested and charged with "aiding Somalia's al-Shabab militia, an al-Qaida-linked rebel group behind murders, beheadings, and bombings in East Africa."

The three arrested men were named as Basaaly Saeed Moalin, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamud (obviously naming him Mohammed twice was not enough), and Issa Doreh.

Moalin was arrested Sunday while trying to board a flight out of San Diego, and the two others were arrested a day later.

San Diego is home to one of the largest Somali communities in America, apart from the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In addition, a media report said, "many Somalis living in California have come to the U.S. through Mexico, raising questions about legal cross-border immigration by non-Latinos."

The three newest arrests are the latest in a long list of such Third World immigrants with American citizenship who have been arrested or linked to the Somali murder gang.

According to a five-count indictment, the men are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and conspiracy to kill in a foreign country.

Al-Shabab has been linked to two bombings that killed more than 70 people, including many foreigners, watching World Cup matches on TV in Uganda, as well as several other attacks inside Somalia.

In August this year, charges were laid against another 14 "Americans" by Attorney General Eric Holder for trying to fund or join al-Shabab.

Holder said at the time that an "increasing number of U.S. residents have become captivated by extremist ideology," and that about 20 young men left Minnesota from 2007 to 2009 to join al-Shabab.

The implication is obvious: the importation of Third World immigrants has caused the importation of Third World culture.

The liberal belief that racial origin, belief systems, and ethnicity can be cast aside by the issuing of an American passport, is proving to be a deadly delusion.

The time has come to halt the Third World invasion of America. The traditional parties have not only utterly failed to protect our borders and people, but have actively betrayed them to the enemy.

The American Third Position exists to set all of these wrongs right. Isn't it time you joined up to play your part?

Time to Get Rid of the United Nations Parasite

Posted: 06 Nov 2010 05:22 AM PDT

A new report by the United Nations "Human Rights Council," compiled by many of the biggest human rights abusers in the world today, and which condemns America, has provided final proof that the time has come to get rid of this useless and parasitic monstrosity.

The UN, which relies on America for 22 percent of its budget of billions of dollars, now represents a pale shadow of its former self and has degenerated into an anti-white, anti-Western circus.

The United Nations Human Rights Council represents 47 of its member states, and boasts China, Cuba, Libya, and Saudi Arabia as members.

None of these states are democracies and all violently suppress even the slightest dissent of any sort, while in Saudi Arabia, human rights are so low on the agenda that women are even banned from driving.

Nonetheless, this gaggle of Third World miscreants and savages have seen fit in a new report to "question the United States about its human rights failings."

The report claimed that America "discriminates against Muslims." In fact, the treacherous vermin infesting Washington DC are doing all they can to promote the Muslim invasion of our country, as evidenced by the disgraceful plot to import thousands of Somalis into Minnesota, previously one of our whitest states.

The report also claimed that American police are "barbaric." This is rich coming from a county like Saudi Arabia, whose police regularly publicly behead people for "crimes" such as extramarital affairs.

The report also said that America has been holding "political prisoners behind bars for years." Ironically, this is true, as the outrageous policies pursued by the George W. Bush presidency have been continued by Obama — but even so, this is an incredible comment to come from China, a nation which literally drives tanks over its dissidents and keeps them locked up for decades.

The Muslim nation of Indonesia said in the report that America "must better promote religious tolerance" — that from a nation where police actively cover up and refuse to investigate murders and hate crimes against Christians.

Mexico complained that "racial profiling had become a common practice in some U.S. states" — this from a nation which actively builds walls to keep its southernmost neighbors out and which punishes illegal immigrants as felons.

The American Third Position is sick and tired of these miscreants using our money to lie and hypocritically attack America. Let them be gone and use their own tax money to spew their hatred elsewhere. They are not welcome in our country.

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The Latest from Mondoweiss for 11/07/2010


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Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 11/07/2010:

Jewish Federations acknowledge Israel's 'paradigm shift,' then circle the wagons
Nov 06, 2010 03:53 pm | Philip Weiss

I like to say the fat is in the fire, and the fat is in the fire. This week the Jewish Federations, the leading civic Jewish organizations in American cities, are holding their General Assembly in New Orleans and the big theme of the event looks to be fighting the boycott movement, or Israel's "delegitimizers." (Go to that link and you see Netanyahu's picture. Mr. Charm. The idea that Israel ought to reform itself to gain the support of liberal American Jews doesn't seem to be on the table.)

We've reported before on the Federations' $6 million initiative to fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Well, below is some of the literature from the conference. It feels very circle-the-wagons. Shouldn't Israel change? Shouldn't 62 years of Palestinian statelessness call on the Jewish conscience?

An email from a Federations spokesperson named Adam Muhlendorf hitting the big theme follows the break:

Important General Assembly Information re: Israel Action Network

A growing wave of individuals and groups across the United States are using radical rhetoric labeling Israel as an apartheid state, calling for boycotts, divestments and sanctions to wreck havoc and severly weaken Israel's economy, and generally working to achieve what terrorist groups have been seeking for decades – turn Israel into a pariah.

The North American Jewish community has had enough and they are stepping up their efforts to confront Israel's antagonist head on. And it begins at the GA… One of the major themes of this year's General Assembly includes discussions on the North American Jewish community's new efforts to proactively lead the conversation about the legitimacy of the State of Israel and to collectively counter those who challenge Israel's existence.

Chief among these efforts is the Israel Action Network – a multi-million dollar project of The Jewish Federations of North America in cooperation with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs whose goal is to organize the collective ability and unique community-based infrastructure of the Jewish Federations movement to proactively promote a fair and balanced understanding of Israel and Middle East issues....

Throughout the GA, there will be numerous sessions that will discuss this new effort in detail. I have included a schedule (and additional details) of these programs below. As always we are happy to help facilitate any interviews with Israel Action Network spokespersons, Federations officials or panelists. Additionally, we expect Vice President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu and others to reference the Israel Action Network or the Jewish community's efforts in their remarks.

Some of the events:

Confronting Israel's Delegitimizers: The Jewish Community Responds

12:15 pm- 1:45 pm in the Mardi Gras D, Marriott New Orleans

In recent years, we have witnessed an intensifying, highly organized and well-financed assault on Israel's legitimacy. Those engaged in this campaign have urged the use of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as tactics to weaken Israel economically and diplomatically while using other means to demonize and isolate Israel. The delegitimization of Israel/BDS has taken place in many arenas. This workshop will focus on arenas heavily targeted by anti-Israel activists where we regularly encounter divestment initiatives, association of Israel with the heinous policy of apartheid, academic boycotts, accusations of human rights abuses and war crimes, and claims of international illegality. What strategies and messages have proven to be effective in dealing with these challenges, particularly on college campuses, with church leaders, and in the artistic community? This workshop will also touch on other arenas affected by the delegitimization/BDS movement, including cultural events, civic and labor organizations, and political elites, and on the overall attempt to influence public opinion about Israel.

Moderator: Dr. Michael Kotzin Executive Vice President, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Ethan Felson Vice President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs Julie Bernstein Director of Campus and Community Programs, Middle East Project, Jewish Community Relations Council, San Francisco DJ Schneeweiss Anti-Boycott Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Israel Erez Cohen Israel Fellow, Hillel at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Global Assault on Israel's Legitimacy: How Do We Respond? 2:30 pm- 4:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom C, Sheraton

From 1948-1973, the image of Israel in most of the world (outside the Middle East) was of a plucky, peace-seeking little democracy defending its very existence against a solid wall of Arab hostility. Today, outside of North America, where it still enjoys widespread understanding and support, Israel increasingly is seen as the Goliath to the Palestinians' David, with virtually every attempt to defend its citizens regarded as an "aggression." This paradigm shift, in large measure, is the result of a steady drumbeat of anti-Israel invective emanating from governments (e.g., Iran) and international forums, especially the UN Human Rights Council, combined with a global initiative of NGOs and anti-Israel activists seeking to delegitimize and demonize Israel. In recent years, these efforts have intensified in North America and gained some traction within certain sectors. This session will provide an overview of this major global challenge facing Israel and the Jewish people, and will explore effective responses.

Moderator: Rabbi Steve Gutow President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs Gil Troy Professor, McGill University The Rev. Dr. Katherine R. Henderson President, Auburn Theological Seminary Barukh Binah Deputy Director General, Head of North American Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Israel

Monday, November 8, 2010 U.S. - Israeli Relations in a Changing World 8:00 am - 9:30 am in the Grand Ballroom C, Sheraton

The geopolitical map of the world, including the Middle East, has been fundamentally transformed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, with radical Islam emerging as a serious threat to global security. In this context we have witnessed the rise of an Iranian regime with hegemonic and nuclear aspirations, endangering regional stability, posing an existential threat to the State of Israel, and creating significant foreign policy challenges for the U.S. At the same time, the U.S. is deeply engaged in the Middle East, prosecuting war and closing out on another, while engaging in outreach to the Islamic world. While there have been occasional periods of strain, the U.S. and Israel have historically maintained a close relationship solidly established on shared strategic interests and values. This session will explore the current status of the U.S.-Israel relationship and its potential evolution in a rapidly changing world.

Moderator: Martin Raffel Senior Vice President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs Shoshana Bryen Senior Director for Security Policy, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs Ambassador Michael Oren Ambassador to the United States, State of Israel Ambassador Marc Ginsberg Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco;

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Iran at a Crossroads: The Jewish Community Responds 8:15 am- 9:30 am in the Armstrong Ballroom, Sheraton

The threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is a matter of the gravest concern and utmost urgency to the world. Indeed, preventing the regime in Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons is a defining issue of our time and it is imperative that the voices of all those who seek a more peaceful world are heard. This session will focus on how the North American Jewish community can address this urgent crisis by mobilizing a broad range of American voices to fill the public square across religious, ethnic and political lines. Moderator: Midge Perlman Shafton Co-Chair, Israel Advocacy Initiative Hindy Poupko Director, Israel and International Affairs, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York Bradley Gordon Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, American Israel Public Affairs Committee Ambassador Mark D. Wallace President & CEO, United Against Nuclear Iran Dr. Oded Eran Director, Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv

Advocating for Israel Online 9:45 am- 11:00 am in the Rhythms I room, Sheraton

If we are to effectively respond to the delegitimization/BDS campaign against Israel, the People of the Book also have to become the People of Cyberspace. Understanding how much anti-Israel material is out there, monitoring attacks and crafting tailored pro-Israel messages to the right audiences—especially to the younger generation—is now dependent on our ability to strategically and effectively utilize the Internet, new media, Websites and social networks. This workshop will provide hands-on guidance on how Federations, and other organizations, networks and individuals can implement advocacy and communications strategies for the 21st Century.

Moderator: Jay Sanderson President, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Ido Aharoni Acting Consul General, Consulate General of Israel in New York Howard English Vice President, Strategic Communications, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto Dr. Frank Luntz CEO, Luntz Global, LLC Margot Stern Marketing Director

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The settlements have been a project of main street Jewish America
Nov 06, 2010 10:40 am | K. Feldman

The ironic part about this Al Jazeera video is that, because it's Al Jazeera, they have to frame their story as "going undercover" to expose sales in the settlement of Efrat by real estate giant Anglo-Saxon (motto: "have a foothold in Israel"). And yet, there's nothing secret about the very mundane way that the Green Line has been erased for the past 30+ years. I approach real estate agents as simply a New York-based reporter, and they are happy to talk my ear off. Just this past June, the Jewish Agency hosted a real estate expo in the Times Square Marriott, where property on both sides of the Green Line was for sale—with no mention of the 1967 borders in sight.  Notice how the Anglo-Saxon real estate agent in the video has an American accent? She's probably from New York. In reporting a print story, four of the four real estate agents I've talked to who sell settlement property to Americans--either immigrants or people buying second homes--have been from New York. 

According to the Jewish Agency, 580 New Yorkers (state, not city) made aliyah in 2009. The aliyah coordinator at Efrat, having moved from Ditmas Park (Brooklyn) herself, told me that of the 20 *families* that moved to Efrat in 2009, HALF of them were from the NY/NJ area. (In total, 85 North Americans moved to Efrat that year.) She wanted to make sure I knew that Efrat was itself founded in 1983 by New Yorker Shlomo Riskin with members of his Lincoln Square Synagoguein the Upper West Side (where, not incidentally, the current head rabbi has studied w/ Riskin in Efrat). 

"Since, compared to other places, a large percentage of the residents of Efrat are English-speaking, it is only natural that other Anglo-Saxons would find Efrat to be a comfortable and familiar place in which to make their home," Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat, wrote me an email. (Efrat's practice of dumping their sewage on surrounding Palestinian farmland went unmentioned.) Mayor Revivi added, "In addition, Efrat was planned and continues to be built on a high standard with beautiful homes, gardens, playgrounds, cultural activities, award-winning educational institutions and a warm and caring community, making it an ideal place to raise a family." And where does the land for those playgrounds come from? 30% of Efrat is built on property confiscated from the Palestinian village of al-Khader. Occupation is a process of expansion, of course. Just one example: in 2008, the IDF's Civil Administration declared that another 90 dunums of al-Khader's property was now (Jewish) state land. It was needed to build a park for the residents of Efrat. 

At a recent Nefesh B'Nefesh Aliyah expo in October, I picked up a booklet published by the Jerusalem Post, "A Tribute to Western Aliyah: Building a Stronger Israel, One person at a time." (With nothing labeled as a "settlement," be sure to peruse the NBN Israeli community database if you want to "live the dream"—and don't care on which side of the Green Line you realize it.) In the JPost booklet, there's a contribution from Dr. Karin Amit of the Institute for Immigration and Social Integration in which she boasts "only 7.3% of [North American immigrants] live in Judea and Samaria." That's a significant number when you consider Amit's other stat--that 30,500 immigrants have moved to Israel from Canada and the U.S. since 1990. Problem with the math is that I don't think it's right. At all. Consider one anglo-concentrated settlement: Hashmonaim, across the Wall from Ni'lin, population 3000, is 40% American (according to the settlement's aliyah coordinators). 

Then, too, there are all the Americans who live in Efrat and elsewhere—both in Israel and "Israel"—who telecommute and actual commute back to their jobs in the U.S. At the Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyah expo, I went to an extremely informative telecommuting presentation by former New Yorker Eric Guth of Efrat Networks. Highlight from the Efrat Networks testimonials page

I'm constantly traveling back and forth from Israel to New York, working in both locations. I needed a solution that would allow me to be on top of my business in New York, even when I am away from the store. Efrat Networks created a powerful, yet very simple to use solution for me that allows me to communicate with my clients, vendors, and employees as if I was in the store every day. The bottom line is that I can spend more relaxed time with my family in Israel, while keeping the business going at full steam in New York. Thanks Efrat Networks for taking the time to first understand my business needs and then come up with a creative set of communication and computer solutions that not only work, but also fit my budget.

Jeffrey Mark, JMark Interiors, Cedarhurst, NY. / Efrat, Israel

Efrat is just a single settlement—and, to be sure, one that draws more Americans than most other settlements. But it should help us remember: when we talk about the Occupation and American Jews' relationship to it, there's more to the picture than the U.S. political leadership not having a spine and caving to the Israel lobby. There's a real flow of not just funding from American magnates like Irving Moscowitz--but also dollars and bodies from main street Jewish America to the settlements. As the mayor of Efrat, Oded Revivi, put it to me in an email, the settlement "needed a strong and idealistically motivated population base which Rabbi Riskin's New Yorkers, NJers and other economically strong Anglo-Saxons provided."

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It's time to dismantle the PA
Nov 06, 2010 10:39 am | Ahmed Moor

Salam Fayyad is surviving on borrowed time - or money. By now everyone's aware that the Netanyahu-engineered "economic miracle" is the predictable result of periodic cash injections into a closed economic space. Pretending that Palestinian growth in the West Bank is viable is like pretending a six-year-old is rich because his mother handed him twenty dollars.

But it's more insidious than that. The unsustainable bubble economy fails to capture the means of production and therefore strengthens the occupation. That's because the European donor funds (that's how the Europeans remain 'relevant' to the 'peace process' - they pay for what Israel breaks) are meted out in salary form to sustain Fayyad's repressive police statelet.

Those salaries are then spent on regular commodity goods - yogurt, laundry detergent, cellular phones - that are either produced by Israel or are subject to exorbitant import tariffs. At the same time, Israel imposes anti-market, anti-competitive, protectionist economic policies in the West Bank and Gaza to prevent the genesis or development of genuine Palestinian industry. The result is a badly developed Palestinian service economy whose primary function is to consume Israeli goods.

Israeli reliance on captive Palestinian markets was on full display recently. Fayyad (to his credit) implemented a modest boycott policy in the West Bank. Palestinians were asked to avoid consuming settler goods and they did. The Yesha Council - a settler umbrella organization - incisively proclaimed that "this is economic terrorism." Naturally, the prospect of being prevented from exploiting Palestinian markets and the implications for colonists' standard-of-living must have been terrifying.

Fayyad's repeated refrain - which is parroted by Thomas Friedman and others like him - is that the chief virtue of his undignified capitulation strategy is the opportunity to enhance and grow Palestinian institutions. Netanyahu evidently doesn't see it that way.

The unelected Palestinian Prime Minister apparently directed European development monies to occupied East Jerusalem. According to the Ma'an News Agency, the donor money was used to rebuild two schools there. Fayyad was keen to celebrate his modest achievement and rented a reception hall in the city. But Yitzhak Aharonovitch - the Israeli security minister - banned Fayyad from entering the occupied Palestinian territory. The tragicomic irony of the situation is that Fayyad is incapable of posing a genuine threat to the Israeli occupation in any case.

But if the Palestinian Authority cannot secure economic growth, and it cannot promote Palestinian institution-building (and appears to actively destroy them), and it cannot create a Palestinian state, why does it exist?

The answer is well-known to many people:

The Palestinian Authority exists to secure the Israeli occupation against Palestinian resistance (the PA killed the Goldstone report). It exists to act as an intermediary between the ruling race, of Jews, and the governed Palestinian race in an apartheid state.

In return, Palestinian functionaries are permitted to wrap themselves in the accoutrements of power. It's anyone's guess whether they're aware of how insulated they are from the real thing. But that's how Salam Fayyad can brunch with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton one day and find himself banned from East Jerusalem the next.

None of this would be so bad if Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad's pretence at power wasn't so destructive for the Palestinians.

People are beginning to understand that there will never be a viable Palestinian state. Today the Palestinian grassroots are organizing around a full enfranchisement movement, or the one-state solution, in Palestine/Israel.

But "regional experts" have told Robert Wright of The New York Times "that in general officials on the Palestinian side don't welcome a one-state solution because that would deprive them of the power they have now, whereas they would remain prominent during the implementation of a two-state solution."

In light of all this, it's impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Palestinian Authority must be dismantled. The so-called peace process is a farce, and the Palestinian Authority is its most farcical element. It exists to enrich a few colonially-appointed functionaries at the expense of the Palestinian people as a whole. The Palestinians will be better off in its absence.

Besides, maintaining the PA is expensive. Rather than pay the middle man to administer an occupied people, the Israelis and their American benefactors can save the difference by administering their occupation themselves. That will leave the Palestinians free to wage the society-wide civil rights struggle that will result in their freedom.

To be sure, the de-PAification of Palestine can't be a one-fell-swoop process. It would be a mistake to replicate Paul Bremer's process of de-Baathification in Iraq. One cannot abruptly cut off the salaries of so many public service employees. Instead, the Europeans will provide money to the actual authority in Palestine/Israel for salary payments (the way it used to be before Oslo). All of the heavily-armed PA militiamen will have to be retired and outfitted for real work. The challenge will be evaluating how much damage was done to the social fabric after years of palling around with Israeli Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin and American General Keith Dayton.

The real value offered by the PA used to be the appearance of self-governance - that's why it was worth paying for from the perspective of the Americans and Europeans. But an altered reality and an optics-indifferent Israeli Prime Minister have set the farce in bas-relief. Can anyone pretend that the Palestinians in the West Bank govern themselves when their "most powerful man" isn't permitted to attend a high school party?

It's time to let the mask slip away. Benjamin Netanyahu - not Salam Fayyad - is the unelected Palestinian Prime Minister. It's only by recognizing that reality that we can begin to fix our apartheid country.

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My breakfast with Zizek
Nov 06, 2010 10:35 am | Udi Aloni

After very nearly liberating Palestine at the Church of St. Paul and creating worldwide brotherhood and peace between the three religions, we invited Mustafa and Miriam over to brunch on our Brooklyn porch, to discuss why and whether the word "communism" should be dragged back into international discourse, despite the monumental failure and cruel actions of the movement throughout the twentieth century.

Since I was not entirely persuaded, I decided to take Zizek to the beach at Montauk and examine him more closely in a more romantic atmosphere. Montauk is where Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was shot, which is a movie about the eternal repetition of love and its failure – and still, love. That's how it is with Zizek, too, who loves communism so much that he ends up comparing it more to death than to love. That's also the name of his new book, Living In The End Times. The official excuse for going to the beach was working on my own book, What Does a Jew Want?, which will be published next spring, as part of a series Zizek is co-editing, but since we didn't say a word about the book and just enjoyed the amazing, and almost entirely empty, beach, I also decided to ignore (for now) the question of the Jew, and to post two unedited video clips.

The first one above is Zizek on communism, Jenin, and other animals, and the second one below is Zizek on the beach. The question that springs to mind is, of course, "What does a communist want?" Heed this warning and watch at your own peril.

Udi Aloni is writing a regular column for the Israeli website Ynet called Brooklyn-Jenin about his experience living between New York City and the Jenin refugee camp, where he is teaching a film production class. You can read the entire Brooklyn-Jenin series here. This article was translated by Dena Shunra.

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'Let us out of the box'
Nov 06, 2010 09:24 am | Scott McConnell

On Thursday, Palestinian chief negotiatior Saeb Erakat sat down for an hour and half "conversation" with former peace processor Aaron David Miller at the Woodrow Wilson Center in DC. They spoke in a cozy theater on the sixth floor, a setting perfect for peace process theater. Erakat is a decent and intelligent man, who said wryly that negotiating with Israel is the only thing on his CV, he's been involved in such things for twenty years. The same could be said of Miller. 

The conversation was not clarifying. Erakat expressed frustration in various ways, and must have used some variant of the phrase "in a box" , or "let us out of the box" a dozen times.

What are the Palestinians supposed to do while engaging in endless negotiations, or talks about having negotiations, which Israel drags out while it continues to gobble up the West Bank? Erakat floated two possibilities. The Palestinians could declare a state conforming to the '67 boundaries, and ask the United Nations to recognize it. Aaron David Miller said immediately that the US would veto any such demarche at the UN—because "we believe in negotiations." It seemed to an absurdist answer, but no one laughed.

Secondly, Erakat floated the possibility of the PA dissolving itself, and forcing Israel to carry out its duties as an occupier. He recognizes that the PA has become a shell. "I'm supposed to be a servant for the occupation" he said mordantly. But I wonder if the threat of dissolution isn't an empty one. I haven't found firm and up to date statistics on what part of the Palestinian economy comes from foreign aid, channeled through the PA. But it must be huge. Here the CIA Factbook says $1 billion since 2007. Plus there are lot of internationally-funded projects that don't go through the PA, but depend on it to some degree. The fact is that occupied West Bank has no real economy separate from international aid. Most of its middle class depends in some way, to foreign assistance. I'm being impressionistic, and welcome corrections. But that means a large number of West Bank Palestinians who have middle class jobs, opportunities to secure higher education for their children, etc. have considerable stake in the status quo not getting worse. They are sort of a nomenklatura—a phrase I use without condemnation.

There was a little time for questions, but not many were taken. I wanted to ask Erakat whether it would be helpful, even towards a two state solution, if the Palestinians began a civil agitation for the right to vote. I wanted to ask him about negotiations with Hamas (which unlike the PA is able to maintain itself without massive infusions of foreign aid). I wanted to ask him how he viewed Israel efforts to sever the West Bank from Gaza, thus making the Palestinians easier to manage. But no such luck. It was a kind of dispiriting forum, but the situation is dispiriting. The Woodrow Wilson Center plans to post it here.

Update: This post initially went up with Weiss's byline. Apologies.

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Sheldon Adelson and Lester Crown, together again
Nov 06, 2010 09:09 am | Philip Weiss

Eli Clifton did some good sleuthing on Steve Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism... You know Emerson, he is the man with the golden hair, a right wing terror expert who shows up justifying anything to take on Islamic radicalism, including going after the American Muslim community. 

The records show more than $1.6 million in contributions to the "Investigative Project," "Investigative Project on Terrorism," and "IPT" in care of a largely unknown group called the Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation (CTSERF)....

CTSERF's stated  mission is to "develop education programs and materials for security professional and the general publics that will enhance our understanding of the causes of terrorism and the measures necessary to deter and combat it."...

Other high profile donors to the CTSERF include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose foundation contributed $250,000 in 2006, and billionaire Obama supporter Lester Crown, whose foundation wrote grants totaling $75,000 between 2006 and 2007. Neither Adelson nor Crown specified the Investigative Project as the end recipient of their funding.

What I find fascinating about this is that Adelson is a giant Republican backer. He was on good terms with George Bush. He's very Zionist. And Lester Crown is a major force behind Obama, on the Democratic side, and has been very supportive of Israel in his funding of the foreign-policy establishment. While Clifton has not been able to walk Emerson's cat directly back to these men, the link is there; and it goes to show--when it comes to Middle East policy, the interest of older conservative Jews who make up the Israel lobby transcends partisan politics. And as a result, the issue is not politicized in a democratic sense, there is not public debate.

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Upper West Side synagogue and Brooklyn Jewish Center to commemorate extremist Kahane
Nov 06, 2010 08:59 am | Alex Kane

Alex Kane reports (full post at his site):

Three memorial events for the racist, far-right ultra-nationalist Rabbi Meir Kahane are to be held throughout New York City this Sunday in ceremonies marking twenty years since the killing of Kahane.

The events are to be held at the Ocean Avenue Jewish Center in Brooklyn, at the site of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, which describes itself as a "warm and vibrant modern orthodox synagogue located in the heart of Manhattan's Upper West Side."

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An appeal to Arabic-speakers
Nov 06, 2010 08:58 am | James North

To my great surprise I just discovered that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has its own web site -- in English.  The Brotherhood is committted to nonviolence, and would probably be the largest single political force in Egypt were the U.S.-backed Mubarak dictatorship to permit free elections.  At first glance, I find the site impressive and intriguing -- especially the feature "MB (Muslim Brotherhood) vs. Qaeda," in which the organization takes on the violent jihadists.

Here's my question: Is the Arabic-language Brotherhood site roughly similar?  Does it include similar attacks on Al-Qaeda? 

I would appreciate a very quick comparison and brief summary; I'm not asking any of our Arabic speakers to spend hours translating.  I just want to be comfortable that what I read in English is not radically different than what is appearing in Arabic.

Thanks in advance. 

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The audacity of dopes
Nov 06, 2010 08:52 am | Rick Congress

Rick Congress at his blog, Politics, Music & Irony (full post at the link):

It's important to look at the political and economic trajectory of the USA over the last 50 years (it's possible to go back farther,but does it matter?). Year after year income inequality has grown as industry was shut down and/or went overseas and high paying working class jobs disappeared, leading to the shrinkage of union membership from a high of 35% in the 1950s to something less than 12% (and most of that in government services). Even though only 35% of the workforce was organized during the peak years of the AFL-CIO, it forced many employers to offer higher wages and benefits just to keep the unions out.

The share of taxes paid by the rich and big business has gone down. Surveys show a decline in social mobility. All in all the standard of living is lower than decades ago and is getting lower and the amount of wealth concentrated in a few hands is staggering.

What social gains that were made from the FDR great depression era and LBJ's Great Society of the 1960s have been or are being dismantled, despite the alleged bold national health care plan which greatly benefits insurance companies, and include cuts in Medicare. The new legislation that attempts to reinstate some regulation of Wall Street is half-baked and easily evaded. But it does create the illusion that Obama and the Democrats are looking out for the little guy.

There's more: The infrastructure has been allowed to collapse. Privatizations schemes which rip off the public and give no benefit for their fake "services" are promoted: For profit prisons, youth detention camps, mercenaries disguised as "security firms" operate (as we know) in Iraq, Afghanistan, in this country, and who knows where else.Now the threat of destroying public education for all and replacing it with for profit schools (both "charter" or otherwise) is taking real form and gaining ground. Arne Duncan, Obama's Secty. of Education is part of the privatization crowd. He and Obama have chimed in on the latest sport of blaming everything on the teachers unions.

The huge enrichment and the extreme predatory nature of the banks was enabled by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

The Clinton White House enacted neo-liberal domestic financial and international trade policies. These policies are exactly the same as the Republican policies of deregulation and anything goes capitalism. And why not? Since any strong organized labor movement has been wiped out, where else can Democrats raise money but from banks and corporations? George W, son of George H W, just expanded on what Clinton had begun. They are both complicit in the 2008 crash. Obama has staffed his administration with Clintonian free market idiots and he's going to find us a way forward?

The political spectrum has moved steadily rightward. Obama, a timid centrist and pro-business politician is branded as a flaming bolshevik. Anything resembling decent pro people policies has become marginal. The chances of a progressive electoral movement getting anywhere are less than nothing...

What's my point? For the last 50 years everything has been going to hell. The rich get richer. Everyone else gets poorer, real democracy declines, corruption is now public policy, America is the world's warmonger state and low income youth are the cannon fodder. With no jobs, many "volunteer" because of lack of options. The Democrats are just as responsible for all of this as the Republicans,

There is no choice here. Why fool yourself? If you are in sympathy with the Palestinian's fight for basic human rights, or you want us to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, et al. If you are worried about basic democratic rights, or oppose racism, then Obama is no more your friend than man-tan Boehner from Cincinnati.



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A scene from the boycott movement, 2010
Nov 06, 2010 08:24 am | Philip Weiss

rickysEva-Lee Baird took this photo in September outside Ricky's cosmetics store in Brooklyn. That's Nancy Kricorian of Code Pink on the left, she's led the boycott against Ahava products made from stolen minerals in the occupied West Bank, and she's giving a piece of her mind to some of the young men who come out to mock the boycotters wearing clown wigs. Great street theater.

The next protest, sponsored by Brooklyn for Peace, is Tuesday, November 30th from 5:30-6:30, at Ricky's on Montague Street (between Henry & Hicks) in Brooklyn Heights. 

Here's a recent Forward article on the protests. Notice the unbridled sexism in the comments section. 


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Being happy–is it good for the Jews? "Before Professor Dershowitz accused me of being an anti-Semite (news to me), I was a happy person. Since then, I'm still a happy person". –Michael Santomauro

An antisemite condemns people for being Jews, I am not an antisemite.--Michael Santomauro

Most of us are mentally trapped to think Jewish. Actually, it is safe to say that virtually every mainstream publication or or other type of media organ is "nothing more than a screen to present chosen views." The great battle over the last century has been a battle for the mind of the Western peoples, i.e., non-Jewish Euros. The chosen won it by acquiring control over essentially the complete mainstream news, information, education and entertainment media of every type, and using that control to infuse and disseminate their message, agenda and worldview, their way of thinking, or rather the way they want us to think. Since at least the 1960s this campaign has been effectively complete. Since then they have shaped and controlled the minds of all but a seeming few of us in varying degree with almost no opposition or competition from any alternative worldview. So now most of us are mentally trapped in the box the chosen have made for us, which we have lived in all our lives. Only a few have managed to avoid it or escape it, or to even sometimes see outside of it, and so actually "think outside of the (Jewish) box." --Michael Santomauro

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