Monday, October 20, 2014

Spinoza opines about Muslims in his Theological-political Treatise:

“In this the Turks have achieved the greatest measure of success. They hold even discussion of religion to be sinful, and with their mass of dogma they gain such a thorough hold on the individual’s judgment that they leave no room in the mind for the exercise of reason, or even the capacity to doubt.”

Turks in Spinoza's Europe would be generally understood as referring to Muslims since the Ottomans were the most influential Muslims in Europe at the time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

John Kerry shares an understanding of the Middle East with Neo-Nazis: 

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Re: UK: Goldsmiths University Row As Holocaust Motion Voted Down Over 'Colonial' Fears

Stating the obvious:
We would not be having this problem with ISIS if the jews had not decided to poke the bear in his cave... and steal his cave off him. Palestine.

Either way you slice it, If ISIS is a false flag operation, they are still feeding on the fuel of the Palestinian occupation and genocide.
A "Holocaust" that won't be on the jews list.

So, as for Goldsmiths, the whole subject is completely toxic.
With jews not willing to accept any responsibility it makes it all a pointless exercise.

Friday, October 17, 2014

David Gergen's Displeasure with Honest and Correct Israeli Media

This is for the record:

U.N. School, Market Hit in Gaza; Dozens Reported Dead; Rocket Attacks on Israel From the Gaza Strip; U.S. Resupplies Israel with Ammunition; John Kerry Truce Bid Assailed; Ukraine Accuses Rebels of Laying Landmines Near MH17 Crash Site; Mapping the Wreckage from the MH17 Crash; House Votes to Sue President Obama
Aired July 30, 2014 - 21:00   ET

COOPER: Secretary of State John Kerry's work to broker a ceasefire in the Middle East has been met with strong criticism from the Israeli public where support for the war tops 85 percent in one recent poll. Critics include some columnist who say that Secretary Kerry's effort have been doing more harm than good.

Joining me now are CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen and Ari Shavit, Columnist for Haaretz newspaper and author of the new book "My Promise Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel."

Ari, thanks very much for being with us. I want to start by reading part of a recent column you wrote on Secretary Kerry. You said and I quote, "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ruined everything." And then you went on to say, "The Obama Administration proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of it are friends. The man of peace from Massachusetts intercepted with his own hands the reasonable cease-fire that was within reach, and pushed both the Palestinian and the Israeli's toward an escalation that most of them did not want."

What exactly did Secretary Kerry do that in your opinion basically pushed the escalation?

ARI SHAVIT, COLUMNIST, HAARETZ: Anderson, let me start by saying with this terrible evening, a terrible day that we had. I'm a proud Israeli and I think Israel is right to defend itself. But I am horrified by the pictures that we've seen this evening. And my heart, my heart goes out to the innocent victims in Gaza and to so many Israelis or victims of this terrible tragedy.

Now, this has to do with what you asked me about. I belong to those Israelis or in the minority who do not want to see an escalation and do not want to see the Israeli army, God forbid, conquering Gaza. It's a difficult battle we have back home because 85 percent of Israelis want to move on. The right wing ministers are very aggressive. And it's a great battle to prevent further escalation that would lead to total catastrophe.

So, it is within this context that the moderate Israelis are looking for American leadership. And I think the few that these Israelis have is that there is a misreading of the map. The only way to stop this terrible carnage that we see today is to have assertive diplomacy building the alliance of the moderates that will lead to some sort of solution. The alliance of the moderates is the moderate Arabs mainly Egypt but also Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf countries and the moderate Palestinians lead by Mr. Abbas in Israel.

COOPER: And so you see John Kerry basically as having at one point though he supported the Egyptian process basically the next that within 24-hour period flipped over supporting a process that's supported by Turkey and cut it out? SHAVIT: Exactly. The tragedy and never mind the details. The tragedy, the specific tragedy, within the greater tragedy was that it was perceived. Never mind the details. It was perceived as if he is not giving the Egyptian option. This is not an Israeli but the Egyptian option enough support. I believe that if America will lead this coalition of moderates, this is the only way to end this terrible tragedy now and actually to have a kind of political solution that will give hope for the people of Gaza by giving them much more life and the (inaudible) prosperity while demilitarizing Gaza.

The only way to do it to prevent this horrible violence is this assertive diplomacy and a political, economic alliance between these ...


COOPER: I'm sorry. You don't believe John Kerry is giving that assertive alliance. I do want to bring in David Gergen.

David, what about that? Is that a fair assessment? And certainly it is the perception among many Israelis that John Kerry has done more harm than good here.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there is a perception among many Israelis and, you know, it's a perception that is shared among some American columnist on this that Kerry purposely put on the table. The most recent one favored Hamas too much. And Ari's argument is that it led to the collapse of the middle and the extremist came to power and grew in power on both sides both in Gaza and Israel. And I respect Ari. His book here has got great reception in America.

But what is -- I'm sorry, what I can't understand, Anderson, and even here with Ari. Ari basically has wrote in his column, if there is more offensive, there is more blood, its going to be -- we should blame it on John Kerry. And A, I don't think that's fair. But B, I don't understand why Israelis are targeting John Kerry and brutalizing him the way they are from left and right with the government part of this. And in fact, they're making it so personal and making it almost impossible for America to play a leading role among moderates.

You know, America has been Israel's best friend. We stand up for Israel. Again, we just learned tonight, a moment ago, Anderson, in your show that Israel is asking us to resupply ammunition. Why then go after your best friend and humiliate him and brutalize him in the way he's being treated in the Israeli press and to a degree by the government?

COOPER: Ari, what about that?

SHAVIT: So, first of all, let me say where I stand. I'm the greatest supporter of that great alliance between your great democracy and our frontier democracy. I am deeply grateful for everything America has done for my country. And by way, I am sometimes more pro-American than many of my American friends. I think America saved the world in the second half and in the -- true, to 20th century. And I really pray that the America will go on leading the world into 21st century.

So, I'm grateful. I respect. I admire America. And by the way, I share totally Secretary Kerry's vision, values, ideals to hope for two-state solution. We are totally on the same page.

I think that what happens is that in times of crises when you see the catastrophes eminent and you try to prevent what we've seen now which is going on, which is so horrific throughout the country. You really try to -- in these sense, it's a cry of despair. So many moderate Arabs and moderate Israelis are actually want a new way that will turn the wish to end the violence into a realistic, assertive diplomacy that will be realistic.

So, if anyone is offended, I really understand it and I'm deeply sorry for that. That's not the idea. I really think that they align first of all as Israelis, America is saving us, America is supporting us, America created -- supported, I am done with this saving but America, there's no other country in the world where America is so admired and loved. This is really a debate within a family and within people and the countries and nations that I think loved each other very much.

COOPER: David, do you think ...

SHAVIT: I think that we as Israelis have the duty to be grateful. I hope that some Americans will listen to what their friends, their closest friends, in the Middle East had been saying to them for sometime.

COOPER: David, do you think it's gotten so personal that at this point John Kerry can no longer be a mediator here?

GERGEN: I worry about that. I think there is going to come a time, I hope sooner rather than later when we actually get a cease-fire. And at that point, it's going to be very important for United States to be at the table to help lead those negotiations and the man the president's going to want there is John Kerry. And if he's seen as such a lawsome (sic) figure and he's been so brutalized, I think it may -- I think it makes his job a lot harder. And I think to go to Ari's point which I support the general point that what we want to do is encourage bridges along the moderates and strengthen the moderates on both sides.

I think that's absolutely right. I don't think that the way he's been brutalized as a way to get there.

COOPER: Unfortunately, we ran out of time on this but Ari Shavit, I appreciate you being on. We would like to have you on again. You're a good voice to have and David Gergen as well. Thank you both very much.

GERGEN: Thank you.

SHAVIT: Thank you.

David Gergen asks: "Why then go after your best friend and humiliate him and brutalize him in the way he's being treated in the Israeli press and to a degree by the government?"

And one wonders how David Gergen is going to explicate the meaning of the words Israel's best friend  has been speaking and how exactly are Israelis supposed to embrace and trust such a very good friend, who sounds so much like an enemy:
"As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition," Kerry said, "the truth is we – there wasn't a leader I met with in the region who didn't raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to."

Monday, October 06, 2014

The strange case of Obama's problem with words
What is it with President Obama's problem with language? I remember the greatly missed Norm Geras puzzling over this issue as well. As in here, for example:

"I wouldn't want you to get the idea that I'm obsessive or anything - not that you possibly could get such an idea - but here is another FKATWOT update. If the three reports I'll be linking to in this post are to be believed, serious thought is being given by President Obama's national security team to the question of how to rename the war on terror (please forgive the crudity). In case you might be hoping to find out from them why it needs to be renamed, don't. It's the same bunch of irrelevancies as before. Like:

After all, "terror" or terrorism is a tactic, not a country or some other identifiable foe to be targeted, confronted or defeated.


Critics have long decried the use of the phrase "war on terror" on the grounds that terrorism is a tactic, not an identifiable enemy.

I have news for these guys: perceptive as they are in this matter, crime, drugs and poverty are also not countries or identifiable foes or enemies in the sense they intend, and yet metaphorical wars have been fought against all three. The president himself seems at a loss for a good reason for ditching the phrase. He is quoted as saying:

I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations... But that those organizations aren't representative of a broader Arab community, Muslim community.

So for him it is a battle or a war, and against identifiable enemies at that, the 'interpreters' who preceded him here notwithstanding. But the terrorist organizations against whom this battle or war is being fought aren't to be thought of as representative of all Arabs or all Muslims. Indeed not. 'War on terror', however, doesn't say anything to the contrary, since what it says is, not 'Arabs', not 'Muslims', but 'terror'. I think I'll contact Obama's security team to suggest 'the struggle formerly known as "the war on terror"'. Meanwhile, in these words just quoted from the president we have the wherewithal for FKATWOT 9."

 These days we see another linguistic oddity from the change&hope President: his refusal to name, to provide a proper title, to the campaign against ISIS. This lacunae has some pundits (Not Peter Beinart, though) scratching their heads in befuddled mystification. What can it mean? Why the reluctance to define a project by a short and to-the-point name?

Obama, who seduced the entire world by the magic of his words when he ran a campaign to be elected or re-elected, is at a loss for words? There are not two or three words he can put in the proper sequence to provide clarity of purpose and action for an American military operation at one of the world's most combustible regions?

Is Obama engaged in a war on language? Refusing to name the obvious?

Albert Camus is reputed to have warned that: "Mal nommer les choses, c'est ajouter au malheur du monde." 

But Obama's eccentric refusal to use language to communicate clarity of meaning goes beyond "malnommer". He refuses to use language at all, as if the very absence of a name or a title will impact a course of the rapidly developing events to the better. As if, to channel Camus again, he is de-facto saying "There are no rats in Oran". Remember Oran, Camus' doomed seaside town whose houses were built to face away from the sea?

Once there was an Iranian blogger, Selma, who wrote on a blog she named "With love from Tehran". She was a poet and a translator and she went silent when she applied for a teaching job at the university. Before she made the momentous decision to erase her words from the Internet, she wrote:

poor poor, poor words
butchered so bad
lucky, lucky, lucky words
pampered so well

What shall we name Obama's fear of words?

A phobia is a name for a mental condition that is associated with irrational, paralyzing fear. These   fears  have acquired names, like agoraphobia., In some cases, the naming of phobias has become a joking game, as in  a 1998 humorous article published by BBC News.

Can we name Obama's phobia Logosphobia or Nominophobia?

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Frederick Forsyth: Why is Israel demonised yet again? 

But as always there is another, less publicised activity going on. Whatever one thinks of the policies of Premier Netanyahu - and there are many Israelis and Jews who deplore them - it is the Arabs who are now ripping the Middle East apart in blood and pain. As always the most piteous victims of adult madness are children.

Without propaganda or slogan-shouting Israeli doctors are performing scores of operations on wounded Syrian children as they are brought across the border by their devastated parents. In the operating theatres where the surgeons work for nothing no one mentions "Arab" or "Jew" - or cares.

The injured children mostly come across the Golan Heights border where Syria and Israel abut. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are creaking with oil wealth and providing the anti-Assad rebels with tons of lethal weapons but I have yet to hear of a children's hospital set up on the Syrian-Jordanian border with Gulf money.

The simple truth is that there is no pain the Israelis have ever visited upon the Arabs that comes within 1,000 miles of the horrors the post-Ottoman Arabs of the Middle East have inflicted on each other.

I wonder why the BBC never mentions this. There must be a good reason. It can't be bias can it? Perish the thought.

Frederick Forsyth: Where is the justice for the Israeli victims?

ONE tries to remain even-handed in contemplating the 60-year-old enmity of Israelis and Palestinians but facts are still facts.

The Israelis have pulled out all the stops in trying to hunt down the murderers of the Palestinian teenager Abu Khdeir, whose body was discovered in a forest hours after he was kidnapped off a Jerusalem street.

But I have not seen a single report indicating that Al Fatah (which controls the West Bank) or Hamas (which rules Gaza) have lifted a finger to track the abductors and killers of the three Israeli teenagers murdered while hitch-hiking home across Palestinian territory.

Inside Israel the government of hard-line premier Benjamin Netanyahu has clamped down on rioting while the Palestinians have let it rip.

If the Palestinian authorities cannot even show common cause and co-operation when harmless boys are snatched and killed whose respect do they deserve?

Friday, October 03, 2014

From a Comment on an article The New Republic:

When communism failed, the intellectual infrastructure for that vast enterprise did not uniformly leave the debate.  Indeed the dialectic has been transformed from workers and capitalists to colonies and colonizers. If you thought for one second about the way things work in the real world you would realize that your basic assumptions are false.  Lets start with the premise that the land is by definition Palestinian.  It is not.  You conjure up a mythical period where palestinians worked with their olive trees in comfort and independence but that time never existed in History.  The last recognized sovereign in the West Bank and Gaza was Great Britain and before them the Ottomans who ruled as an empire for over 400 years in the area. Indeed there are the names of many of the past peoples of this land who if they existed as a cohesive unit could make the same claim as the Palestinians to being the indigenous peoples.  How about the Samaritans?  It is for this reason that the Palestinians claim to be Jebusites or Canaanites, because only in this way can they claim to be before the Hebrews who most certainly controlled the land at one point in the past.  The falsehood here is that the line of the Canaanites is dead because the culture is dead.  What exists among the Palestinians is Syrian Arab culture and Arab culture was an import to the region by force, much later than the expulsion of the Jews from the land.  In other words, your history of indigenousness is a tissue of lies, easily exposed by a grammar school student.  The Hebrews predated the Palestinians as a people, their language predates Arabic and their religion predates Mohammed (even he admits it).  If indigenousness really mattered Israel has the better claim to it. 

( )

Master of Forgiveness ..

Not pro-democracy crowds in Hong Kong nor an anti-Israel hatefest in some European capital. Just a bunch of Jews congregating in front of the Western Wall, begging for God's forgiveness on the evening of Kippur 2013.

"Master of forgiveness, who can examine our hearts, uncover our deepest thoughts, who speaks charitably, bedecked in glorious wonders, experienced in consolation, remember your alliance with our ancestors, look into our very souls

Master of forgiveness, have mercy on us, Yes, we have sinned against You, have mercy, we prostrate before you in remorse, have mercy."
But ... It's not so easy to get forgiveness, even if it's begged to beautiful music. In Judaism, one must go to those she/he has harmed in order to be entitled to forgiveness. One who sincerely apologizes three times for a wrong committed against another has fulfilled his or her obligation to seek forgiveness. This means that in Judaism a person cannot obtain forgiveness from God for wrongs the person has done to other people.

In other words, if you wronged another and feel guilty about it, God will not help you relieve that guilt. It's between two human beings that forgiveness is sought. Turning to God on Yom Kippur will be futile, unless you have done the heavy lifting before that.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

 Golda Meir on Jerusalem 
Here is an excerpt from  Oriana Fallaci’s interview Golda Meir, as she recorded in her 1974 book  “Interview With History“:

Oriana Fallaci: Mrs. Meir, when will there be peace in the Middle East? Will we be able to see this peace in our lifetimes?
Golda Meir: You will, I think. Maybe…I certainly won’t. I think the war in the Middle East will go on for many, many years. And I’ll tell you why. Because of the indifference with which the Arab leaders send their people off to die, because of the low estimate in which they hold human life, because of the inability of the Arab people to rebel and say enough. 
Do you remember when Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s crimes during the Twentieth Communist Congress? A voice was raised at the back of the hall, saying, “And where were you, Comrade Khrushchev?” Khrushchev scrutinized the faces before him, found no one, and said, “Who spoke up?” No one answered. “Who spoke up?” Khrushchev exclaimed. And again no one answered. Then Khrushchev exclaimed “Comrade, I was where you are now.” Well, the Arab people are just where Khrushchev was, where the man was who reproached him without having the courage to show his face. 
We can only arrive at peace with the Arabs through an evolution on their part that includes democracy. But wherever I turn by eyes to look, I don’t see a shadow of democracy. I see only dictatorial regimes. And a dictator doesn’t have to account to his people for a peace he doesn’t make. He doesn’t even have to account for the dead. Who’s ever found out how many Egyptian soldiers died in the last two wars? Only the mothers, sisters, wives, relatives who didn’t see them come back.Their leaders aren’t even concerned to know where they’re buried, if they’re buried. While we… 
Fallaci: While you?… 
Meir: Look at these five volumes. they contain the photograph and biography of every man and woman solider who died in the war. For us, every single death is a tragedy. We don’t like to make war, even when we win. After the last one, there was no joy in our streets. No dancing, no songs, no festivities. And you should have seen our soldiers coming back victorious. Each one was a picture of sadness. Not only because they had seen their brothers die, but because they had had to kill their enemies. Many locked themselves in their rooms and wouldn’t speak. Or when they opened their mouths, it was to repeat a refrain: “I had to shoot, I killed.” Just the opposite of the Arabs. After the war we offered the Egyptians an exchange of prisoners. Seventy of theirs for ten of ours, The answered, “but yours are officers, ours are fellahin! It’s impossible.” Fellahin, peasants. I’m afraid… 
Fallaci: Will you ever give up Jerusalem, Mrs. Meir? 
Meir: No. Never. No. Jerusalem no. Jerusalem never. Inadmissible. Jerusalem is out of the question. We won’t even agree to discuss Jerusalem. 
Fallaci: Would you give up the West Bank of the Jordan? 
Meir: On this point there are differences of opinion in Israel. So it’s possible that we’d be ready to negotiate about the West Bank. Let me make myself clearer. I believe the majority of Israelis would never ask the Knesset to give up the West Bank completely. However, if we should come to negotiate with Hussein, the majority of Israelis would be ready to hand back part of the West Bank… 
Fallaci: And Gaza? Would you give up Gaza, Mrs. Meir? 
Meir: I say that Gaza must, should be part of Israel. Yes, that’s my opinion. Our opinion, in fact. However, to start negotiating, I don’t ask Hussein or Sadat to agree with me on any point… 
Fallaci: And the Golan Heights? 
Meir: It’s more or less the same idea. The Syrians would like us to come down from the Golan Heights so that they can shoot down at us as they did before. Needless to say, we have not intention of doing so, we’ll never come down from the plateau. Nevertheless, we’re ready to negotiate with the Syrians too. 
Fallaci: And the Sinai? 
Meir: We’ve never said that we wanted the whole Sinai or most of the Sinai. We don’t want the whole Sinai. We want control of Sharm El Sheikh and part of the desert, let’s say a strip of the desert, connecting Israel with Sharm El Sheikh. Is that clear? Must I repeat it?… 
Fallaci: And so it’s obvious you’ll never go back to your old borders. 
Meir: Never. And when I say never, it’s not because we mean to annex new territory. It’s because we mean to ensure our defense, our survival. If there’s any possibility of reaching the peace you spoke of in the beginning, this is the only way. There’d never be peace if the Syrians were to return to the Golan Heights, if the Egyptians were to take back the whole Sinai, if we were to re-establish our 1967 borders with Hussein. In 1967, the distance to Natanya and the sea was barely ten miles, fifteen kilometers, IF we give Hussein the possibility of covering those fifteen kilometers, Israel risks being cut in two and…They accuse us of being expansionist, but believe me, we’re not interested in expanding. We’re only interested in new borders. And look, these Arabs want to go back to the 1967 borders. IF those borders were the right ones, why did they destroy them? 
Fallaci: But since the 1967 cease-fire, the war in the Middle East has taken on a new face: the face of terror, of terrorism. What do you think of this war and the men who are conducting it? OF Arafat, for instance, of Habash, of the Black September leaders? 
Meir: I simply think they’re not men. I don’t even consider them human beings, and the worst thing you can say of a man is that he’s not a human being. It’s like saying he’s an animal, isn’t it? But how can you call what they’re doing “a war”? Don’t you remember what Habash said when he had a bus full of Israeli children blown up? “It’s best to kill the Iseaelis while they’re still children.” 
Come on, what they’re doing isn’t a war. It’s not even a revolutionary movement because a movement that only wants to kill can’t be called revolutionary. Look, at the beginning of the century in Russia, in the revolutionary movement that rose up to overthrow the czar, there was one party that considered terror the only means of struggle. One day a man from this party was sent with a bomb to a street corner where the carriage of one of the czar’s high officials was supposed to pass. The carriage went by at the expected time, but the official was not alone, he was accompanied by his wife and children. 
So what did this true revolutionary do? He didn’t throw the bomb. He let it go off in his hand and was blown to pieces. Look, we too had our terrorist groups during the War of Independence: the Stern, the Irgun. And I was opposed to them, I was always opposed to them. But neither of them ever covered itself with such infamy as the Arabs have done with us. Neither of them ever put bombs in supermarkets or dynamite in school buses. Neither of them ever provoked tragedies like Munich or Lod airport. 
Fallaci: And how can one fight such terrorism, Mrs. Meir? Do you really think it helps to bomb Lebanese villages? 
Meir: …Maybe more than any other Arab country, Lebanon is offering hospitality to the terrorists. The Japanese who carried out the Lod massacre came from Lebanon, The girls who tried to hijack the Sabena plane in Tel Aviv had been trained in Lebanon. Are we supposed to sit here with our hands folded, praying and murmuring, “Let’s hope that nothing happens”? Praying doesn’t help. What helps is to counterattack. With all possible means, including means that we don’t necessarily like. Certainly we’d rather fight them in the open, but since that’s not possible…