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Why the U.S. Media Barely Covered Brutal Right-Wing Race Riots in Tel Aviv

World  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', conflict, crime, ethics, freedoms, government, israel, politics, violence, world )

- 2194 days ago -
Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees in Tel Aviv. The thuggery was frightening - refugees were attacked, African-owned businesses and stores were vandalized

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Kit B (276)
Monday June 18, 2012, 6:26 pm

Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg discusses the Israel lobby, Iran and the xenophobic riots that shook Israeli society.

Several weeks back, Israel was rocked by a night of right-wing race-riots targeting African refugees in Tel Aviv. The thuggery was frightening – refugees were attacked, African-owned businesses and stores were vandalized and a community was forced to hunker down behind closed doors in fear for their lives.

Perhaps more disturbing still was that the riots, which began with an anti-immigrant demonstration, were incited by Israeli politicians representing the increasingly influential hard-right. They fired up the crowd, calling the refugees “infiltrators,” and a “cancer,” and accusing them of violence and rape. It was a classic example of “othering” – eliminationist rhetoric that led directly to action by the xenophobic crowd.

While a small number of people carried out the violence, they represented the views of many Israelis. A poll released this week found that 52 percent of respondents agreed with the characterization of African refugees as “a cancer,” and a third condoned violence against them.

The story received very little coverage in the United States. Worse, some outlets that did report on the riots advanced the rioters' narrative that African refugees were responsible for a massive wave of street violence, despite the fact that crime statistics don't bear out the claim.

Recently, Middle East analyst MJ Rosenberg appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the Tel Aviv riots, the stand-off over Iran's nuclear program and how the Israel lobby helps narrow the discourse around Israel in the United States. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole interview here.)
Go to Visit Site to listen or read the full interview.

AlterNet / By Joshua Holland |


Kit B (276)
Monday June 18, 2012, 6:31 pm

Before this begins, I do not hate Israel. I am not anti-Semitic, not a self-loathing Jew. I do loath a government that promotes this behavior, that incites riots and hate. One of the really good things that Israel did was to aid the Ethiopian Jews in a time of crisis. They are Jewish, they are a part of the community. So what is the government thinking?

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Monday June 18, 2012, 6:41 pm
Kit, you know that despite my unceasing support for the continuation and prosperity of the Jewish state, I fully support you and your positions on this completely. Haredim, the right wing Israelis are not representative of the liberal Jewish values that we share and like all extremists look at things in an "us vs. them" mentality completely.Israelis in the past have aided Ethiopian Jews and Jews from the former USSR in decades past It is an abomination that Israelis do not welcome refugees fleeing persecution. I don't understand it!

michael h (42)
Monday June 18, 2012, 6:54 pm
Maybe they were just drunk, became confused and they simply thought they were committing mindless racist maniacal violence on Palestinians and Arabic Israeli's as usual not on African refugees?

Kit B (276)
Monday June 18, 2012, 7:12 pm

I know Cal. This was not even the article I opened to read on Alernet, it caught the corner of my eye. Once I read the full article and found it was true, I was stunned. Can anyone imagine the president of the US actually - openly, supporting riots in the streets?

Being drunk just might be an excuse for a few, Michael, but not for the many involved in this.

pam w (139)
Monday June 18, 2012, 8:55 pm
(First of all, Kit...I'm sorry you even had to make the "I am not an anti-Semite" comment. I know why you did it but I"m sorry it was necessary. Nobody who knows you would think this of you.)

Israel is overwhelmed with external and internal pressures no other country must endure. And in addition, a constant flow of immigrants threatens their stability, especially to fundamentalists. This has been going on for decades--they have citizens who have never NOT known what it is to be besieged in this way.

Is this an excuse? OF COURSE NOT!

Is it an explanation? Possibly.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:16 am
protect life, prosecute those that seek to destroy our shared home and our fellow beings
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love
*********** WALL OF SHAME ************
┬┴┬┴┬┴ The Wall ┬┴┬┴┬┴┬┴┬┴
DEMOLISH ------>>>>> THIS WALL !!!!

Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:25 am
Kit, I don't know where this article comes from: even Haaretz doesn't write anything about those riots. It looks like just another show of Arab propaganda against Israel.

Israel and South Sudan came to the joint conclusion about returning Sudanese refugees back to Sudan, and those who want to return get over $1,000 in cash.

There are no business owned by Sudanese refugees - they are not Israeli citizen first and of low qualifications second. They just did menial jobs.

I think the story about riots is a lie.


Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:30 am
Cal: "Haredim, the right wing Israelis are not representative of the liberal Jewish values that we share and like all extremists look at things in an "us vs. them" mentality completely."

One could say exactly the same about you: "Liberals, the assimilated Jews, are not representative of the Jewish traditional values that we share and like all extremists look at things in an "us vs. them" mentality completely."

If you don't want to be assigned a label, don't assign it to others.

The bottom line is, no Israeli press reported this riots, and Israeli press would be the first one to scream about it, like it usually does. All Margaret's stuff was coming from Haaretz, and nobody ever could accuse Haaretz in missing sympathy for Arab and other Non-Jewish causes.


Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:32 am

Several hundred more citizens of South Sudan have applied to leave Israel. More than 500 are already waiting for flights out of the country.

The departures are being arranged by the government in an operation dubbed “Going Home.” The operation combines a police crackdown with financial incentives for those who leave by choice.

In addition to the voluntary departures, 40 people have been arrested for illegal entry.

Minister of Internal Security Yitzchak Aharonovitch criticized Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai for turning the operation into a “media festival.” Yishai spoke at the airport Sunday evening as the first plane left carrying illegal entrants back to South Sudan.

Coverage of the event did serious damage to Israel’s international image, Aharonovitch argued, speaking to Voice of Israel radio. He also criticized the practice of allowing pictures to be taken as illegal entrants are arrested.

Aharonovitch called to boost police presence along the border in order to keep would-be illegal entrants out.

He also called on government figures to avoid any incitement against illegal entrants, warning that strong statements against illegal aliens could lead citizens to take the law into their own hands. “We must remember where we came from and where we are going,” he cautioned.

Elaine Pequegnat (0)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:45 am
I know that I can never truly know what it is to have been a persecuted people for so many generations. So, no, I can never truly understand the fears that are the source of Israel's "defensive" offensive against others in need. But isn't it frightening that Israel can talk of wanting to be a "pure" nation of only Jewish heritage. It was the Nazis who spoke the same language and then tried to wipe out all Jews, gays and Romas. Scary parallels.

Ioannes J (1)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 8:31 am
I heard about reporting of riots in Israel from Asia News network live and online (CCTV-News, Hong Kong News channel, Taiwan Newscast, Singapore News, Japan News). News mention a riots between two groups. Clearly Explain by Kit B Riots about Racism in Israel.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 10:21 am
I have to say, I didn't hear about this here in the U.K. either.

Indeed, we haven't heard much of late regarding Israel. I'd love to believe there's not much going on in the region, so there's nothing to tell. But who in their right mind would believe that?

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 11:18 am

Sure, Bob people really want to go South Sudan. Or did you not know there is a major conflict there?

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 12:22 pm

Well said, Charles. That would be the ideal model of America, not the current one, I assume. When the state takes supremacy over the individual, it has historically led to failure.

Kerrie G (116)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 1:02 pm
Noted, thanks.

Vicky P (476)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 1:05 pm
anything bad about Israel doesn't usually get reported in mainstream media

Gene J (290)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 2:06 pm
I agree Charles but would go further. I would prescribe your idea for the planet. The individual should always have primacy over tribe or state. Anything less is inevitably going to lead to oppression by one group or another. It is only when we look at each other as individuals that we can begin to understand each without traditional or new conflicts obscuring the view of brother to brother, sister to sister. It is only that individual level that we do not commit crimes of hatred, we are all family, closer than we think, and it will only be true that our planet has become a civilization when we truly see each other that way, not as X group or Y country our traditional enemies. We need let go of the past and forge a future where each individual is treasured and celebrated. Pie in the sky? Perhaps, but it is the only real way out of the genocidical mess we live in now.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 3:14 pm
A sensible immigration policy could go a long way towards preventing this kind of violence in the US.

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 4:15 pm
Bob , simply put, the difference between us liberal sand them Haredim is tolerance. We tolerate them and their views, but hey don't tolerate us. IF the labels sticks, apply it!

Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 4:26 pm
Kit, of course many people would prefer to live in prosperous Israel than in South Sudan, facing attacks from Sudanese Muslims. But Israel has a right to decide if these economic migrants have a right to stay. LIke Australia decides for itself, Canada for itself, US for itself. Israel let people to stay for the war, now the war ended and Sudanese Christians got their homeland, they can and have to go back.


Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 4:30 pm
Cal, Israeli haredim do not come to you to tell you how you should behave here. Often, Liberal "enlighten" Jews come to tell them how to behave, and this is exactly where the tolerance ends.

All labels stick, because they reflect elements of essence, but I won't be the one placing them on either side.

Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 4:39 pm
Charles, I took your quote and replaced Zionism with Islamism and a Jew for a Muslim. Here is what I've got:

"“Islamism is a form of fascism, and fascism is the ideology of national suicide.

It's an inherently unstable ideology. It divided people along ethnic lines, Muslims on one side, non-Muslims on the other, and gives special rights to Muslims. But then arguments arise over just who is a Muslim. And the artificial ethnic divide creates a precedent for further divisions and further strife.

Ethnic supremacist ideologies put the collective above the individual. That's a disastrous mistake. It's easier for individuals to get along than it is for collectives, because collectives are ruled by demagogy and xenophobia. "

Islamist supremacy is much more militant and active than any other political movements of the day, and shows itself on a daily basis in intolerance against Jews, Christians and even Muslims of the "wrong" sects.

As of "failed Zionist Paradigm", it would be interesting to see what you will say about failed 22 Arab National Paradigms, failed on much larger scale and with much more dismal records than Zionist Paradigm.

You know, those tens of thousands of Arabs who are searching most weird ways to move to live to Israel know something that you are missing.

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 5:19 pm
It just goes to show you HAVE to read the Real News Online! "Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet." I also subscribe to Truthout & RSN, the Daily KOS, etc.... and Labor related blogs. The Reichwing has their own "fair & balanced" select "news" too - but I don't tread in those snake dens.

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 5:39 pm
Bob, the entire structure of Israeli civil society and law is geared towards preference to right wing groups and the haredim, their values and rules. SO if you're not a haredim in Israel their restrictions are very restrictive. I disagree wholeheartedly with you and don't know which Israel you are describing, the real one or one that should exist.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 5:44 pm

Thanks Cal and Yvonne, good comments. I'm not surprised to learn we read similar news articles. Unfortunately, Cal is correct. I'm hopeful that the young can finally lead Israel to more freedom and begin to respect the rights of all people.

David C (129)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 6:05 pm
....all we are saying is People are People.....and give peace a chance....

Antonia Windham (6)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 6:16 pm
Sounds like a 21st century Kristallnacht.

Robert B (60)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 6:33 pm
What a shame that humanity is STILL in the primitive "Tribal/gang" mode. The old territorial "us against them", "we must attack those we don't know, understand, are not related to, not of our religion, race, etc. THIS is why we need a modern, compassionate and ABOVE ALL: SECULAR SOCIETY that considers all people on the planet as one.

Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:13 pm
Cal, when was the last time you visited Israel? I was there about 10 years ago.

I saw haredim, everywhere, but the vast majority of Israelis were wearing modern clothes. Cars were driving on Shabbat, though in lesser numbers. TV was not particularly friendly toward haredim, and some newspapers were openly hostile. The crowd in Universities which I attended had very few of them. Popular Israeli writers are proud of their support of Arab cause and their ignorance of Jewish religious laws.

I happened to have contacts with several Haredim Hasidic families, who happen to be extremely friendly and extremely creative. They showed me their sukkahs and pieces they made for the decoration were real pieces of art.

They have their dress code, and I respected that. After all, you won't come to Pride Parade wearing a tuxedo.

Which Israel are you referring, Cal?


Alexander Werner (53)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:32 pm
Kit, this news is actually a month old! That's why this is not a news anymore!

60,000 illegal migrants may be too much for the tiny Israel. Llike 3 million illegal migrants to US.

pam w (139)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 9:10 pm
Gene writes" The individual should always have primacy over tribe or state. Anything less is inevitably going to lead to oppression by one group or another. It is only when we look at each other as individuals that we can begin to understand each without traditional or new conflicts "

+++++++++++ TRIBALISM or a social nature has been one of the defining qualities of primates since we began to evolve. (Only orangutans are solitary.) That sense of being part of a tribe gives us knowledge, security, education and identity.

Anyone reading this should ask themselves how many tribes THEY belong to---be they ethnic, geographic, religious, fraternity/sorority, athletics, social/service, etc. We LOVE our tribes!

Asking humanity to give up tribalism is an enormous thing....rather like the communists expecting every person to be happy working only for the State. A "noble" concept, perhaps, but fundamentally doomed to failure.

Hector Rodriguez (4)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 11:35 pm
Disgusting behaviour.
Jews keep remind us of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, (and I agree, every human life is sacred).
But now they are doing the same things to poor African immigrants.

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1067)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 2:12 am
Hmmm... Bob, let's see why media might not be favorable towards Haredim in Israel and how laws are just now changing away from the favoritism that Haredim and the ultra Orthodox have been granted since Israel's inception.

They want to take advantage of the opportunities that living in Israel presents without equally sharing in the responsibilities of civil life, including military service for one>..

See this recent
New York Times article:

"The Israeli Supreme Court has invalidated a law that exempted from military service ultra-Orthodox Jews engaged in religious studies, adding a new urgency to the government’s negotiations with religious parties over a more equitable distribution of the burdens of citizenship."
"Using data presented by the army, the decision noted that last year fewer than 1,300 ultra-Orthodox youths enlisted out of a pool of 8,500, a rate of 15 percent. Among the rest of the Jewish population, the enlistment rate is 75 percent."

Friendly or not, Bob, taking advantage of the system while not putting one's life on the line in modern Israel is not equitable. Bible Studies, though admirable and culturally relevant, aren't a substitute for stepping up to the same burdens of military service that other Israelis are expected to carry.

The degree of personal religious observance is NOT the question here in any way. Fairness in the law and the desire for understanding between diverse Jewish groups in Israel is more on target here, Bob.


patrica and edw jones (190)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 2:14 am
Frankly this sort of thing is happening everywhere - so why single out Israel to be the whipping boy? We are beginning to see this in Australia and it is rampant in the E.U and U.K. People live in fear because the way of life that is theirs by right - is usurped by the flow of immigrants enmasse - by Governments who do not care. Immigration has to be halted - people must start sorting out their own problems on their own turf. They cannot just run away. We certainly had to do the hard yards during WW2 - there was no other place to go.

Antonia Windham (6)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 5:12 am
Bob Algeron, sounds as if you've developed a strong dislike for Mohammedanism. And also sounds as if you've perhaps developed a liking for the concept of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. Sometimes of practical use in wartime but I've not found it to be useful in judging people or nations. Israel's among the banes of our existence. A theistic expansionist state we here in the U.S.'re hated and physically attacked for supporting. I've no liking for Israel's national enemies either but I'm not fool enough to think Israel's a good thing for that. One tiny little state that should never've been created in the first place has caused such a worldwide ruckus. If they've a wish to be seen as an enlightened nation, let them purge their government of theism, get out of other people's territory, and stay within their own borders.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:01 am
Thank you Antonia for your comment.Most of the comments here mention the so called "illegal African immigration to Israel " Only few comments were posted about the native inhabitants of Palestine,namely the Palestinians who lived in Palestine for thousands of years before May 1948 whether they were Jews,Christians or Muslims.Those who were subject to the Zionist project .The hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forced to leave their land,homes and property by the Zionist terrorist gangs and are still denied the right to return despite UN resolutions.Let us read few paragraphs of an article by Alison Weir .

The Real Story of How Israel Was Created
Background of the U.N. Partition Recommendation
In 1947 the U.N. took up the question of Palestine, a territory that was then administered by the British.
Approximately 50 years before, a movement called political Zionism had begun in Europe. Its intention was to create a Jewish state in Palestine through pushing out the Christian and Muslim inhabitants who made up over 95 percent of its population and replacing them with Jewish immigrants.
As this colonial project grew through subsequent years, the indigenous Palestinians reacted with occasional bouts of violence; Zionists had anticipated this since people usually resist being expelled from their land. In various written documents cited by numerous Palestinian and Israeli historians, they discussed their strategy: They would either buy up the land until all the previous inhabitants had emigrated or, failing this, use violence to force them out.
When the buy-out effort was able to obtain only a few percent of the land, Zionists created a number of terrorist groups to fight against both the Palestinians and the British. Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later bragged that Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large.
Finally, in 1947 the British announced that they would be ending their control of Palestine, which had been created through the League of Nations following World War I, and turned the question of Palestine over to the United Nations.
At this time, the Zionist immigration and buyout project had increased the Jewish population of Palestine to 30 percent and land ownership from 1 percent to approximately 6 percent.
Since a founding principle of the U.N. was “self-determination of peoples,” one would have expected to the U.N. to support fair, democratic elections in which inhabitants could create their own independent country.
Instead, Zionists pushed for a General Assembly resolution in which they would be given a disproportionate 55 percent of Palestine. (While they rarely announced this publicly, their stated plan was to later take the rest of Palestine.)

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:07 am
Cal, I agree with you that the service in the Army is important in any country facing enemies and threat of a war.

I think you will agree with me that the Army has to accommodate religious need of the soldiers and save them from enforced indoctrination of any kind.

I spoke to one haredi man who served in Israeli Army and asked him how it was. He said his non-religious commander was in-essense teasing him, assigning him duties to perform specifically on Shabbat knowing full well that he is a Hareidi, while lots of other non-religious soldiers could do those duties instead, and he would be happy to do more on other days of a week.

Another episode was well publicized recently: when haredi solders left hall where female singers were singing, they were punished for disobedience, even though they did not interrupt the concept, did not throw shoes or stone, and just quietly left the room. This concert was for their entertainment, after all.

I don't remember exactly, but think that Israeli Army had special divisions for Haredim, which were disbanded at some point.

My point is, that Israeli Army has to show more considerations to haredi people who serve in it to get more of Haredi people.

Now, speaking of Liberal "Enlightened" or Fun-Loving Israeli Jews, many of them avoid Army service as well, and the percentage are quire similar. The only difference is that Liberal Jews either fake to be religious, or crazy, while Haredi honestly answer their motif.

And of course I agree with you that taking advantage of the system is not good - at least for the system.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:13 am
Thank you Charles for your comments in response to Bob's comments .

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:19 am

Israel is not the reason Islamists hate US and West. The reason is that the personal freedoms and strive for wealth permeating Western culture is the anti-thesis of Islam (and other religions and doctrines). Islam just tries to prevent its followers from exercising these personal freedoms in the most cruel way, and as such quite correctly identified the Great Satan - the US.

The Small Satan - Israel - is also bad for Islamists because it shows that democracy, women rights, prosperity and equal rights are not far, behind the ocean. They could be built in any country, even the one empty of natural resources, if its inhabitants want it.

Your opinion is that recognition of Israel was a mistake. My opinion is that creating 22 countries for one ethnic group - Arabs - gave them disproportional leverage in all World institutions and created an eternal bias to their benefit.

I see a creation of a new Arab state of "Palestine" as another tragic error at least as of now, because it will be ruled my militant extremist fanatics, expanding the war with Israel and deeply hostile to America despite all US aid going there.

Arabs got 10,000 times more territory that Israel got. Jordan, the first state of Palestinian Arabs, already got 80% of the land allocated for both Arab and Jewish state in San-Remo. Why do you think that giving Arabs even more land, taken from tiny Israel, will solve anything? I don't.


Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:24 am
Abdessalam, you somewhat exaggerated: " Palestinians who lived in Palestine for thousands of years before May 1948".

UN considers any person a Palestinian, if he or she as an economic migrant resided in future Israeli lands just for 2 (TWO) years, between Jun 1946 and May 1948. Please save your THOUSANDS for Islamic PR shows, where people burn Israeli and American flags together.

Besides all "Palestinian" Arabs are coming either from Egypt or Jordan, and certainly do not represent a separate ethnic group.

As for mentioning Christians and Jews, Christians are forced to live lands under Islamic rule in masse, and Jews were forced to do just that many years ago. Just see what your compatriots are doing to Copts, and expect that people here read some newspapers.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:37 am
Let us continue with Alison Weir story about Israel and just neglect any trash comments . Alison Weir continues

U.S. Officials Oppose Partition Plan
The U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and U.S. interests.
Author Donald Neff reports that Loy Henderson, Director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, wrote a memo to the secretary of state warning:
[S]upport by the Government of the United States of a policy favoring the setting up of a Jewish State in Palestine would be contrary to the wishes of a large majority of the local inhabitants with respect to their form of government. Furthermore, it would have a strongly adverse effect upon American interests throughout the Near and Middle East ….” [Citations.]
Henderson went on to emphasize:
At the present time the United States has a moral prestige in the Near and Middle East unequaled by that of any other great power. We would lose that prestige and would be likely for many years to be considered as a betrayer of the high principles which we ourselves have enunciated during the period of the war.
When Zionists began pushing for a partition plan through the U.N., Henderson recommended strongly against supporting their proposal. He warned that such a partition would have to be implemented by force and emphasized that it was “not based on any principle.” He went on to write:
[Partition] would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future ….
Henderson went on to emphasize:
[proposals for partition] are in definite contravention to various principles laid down in the [U.N.] Charter as well as to principles on which American concepts of Government are based. These proposals, for instance, ignore such principles as self-determination and majority rule. They recognize the principle of a theocratic racial state and even go so far in several instances as to discriminate on grounds of religion and race ….
Henderson was far from alone in making his recommendations. He wrote that his views were not only those of the entire Near East Division but were shared by “nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the Department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems.”
Henderson wasn’t exaggerating. Official after official and agency after agency opposed Zionism.
In 1947 the CIA reported that Zionist leadership was pursuing objectives that would endanger both Jews and “the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”
Truman Accedes to Pro-Israel Lobby
President Harry Truman, however, ignored this advice. Truman’s political adviser, Clark Clifford, believed that the Jewish vote and contributions were essential to winning the upcoming presidential election and that supporting the partition plan would garner that support. (Truman’s opponent, Dewey, took similar stands for similar reasons.)
Secretary of State George Marshall, the renowned World War II general and author of the Marshall Plan, was furious to see electoral considerations taking precedence over policies based on national interest. He condemned what he called a “transparent dodge to win a few votes,” which would cause “[t]he great dignity of the office of president [to be] seriously diminished.”
Marshall wrote that the counsel offered by Clifford “was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the president were to follow Mr. Clifford’s advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the president ….”
Henry F. Grady, who has been called “America’s top diplomatic soldier for a critical period of the Cold War,” headed a 1946 commission aimed at coming up with a solution for Palestine. Grady later wrote about the Zionist lobby and its damaging effect on U.S. national interests.
Grady argued that without Zionist pressure, the U.S. would not have had “the ill-will with the Arab states, which are of such strategic importance in our ‘cold war’ with the Soviets.” He also described the decisive power of the lobby:
I have had a good deal of experience with lobbies but this group started where those of my experience had ended …. I have headed a number of government missions but in no other have I ever experienced so much disloyalty …. [I]n the United States, since there is no political force to counterbalance Zionism, its campaigns are apt to be decisive.
Former Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson also opposed Zionism. Acheson’s biographer writes that Acheson “worried that the West would pay a high price for Israel.” Another Author, John Mulhall, records Acheson’s warning:
[T]o transform [Palestine] into a Jewish State capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East.
Secretary of Defense James Forrestal also tried, unsuccessfully, to oppose the Zionists. He was outraged that Truman’s Mideast policy was based on what he called “squalid political purposes,” asserting that “United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.”
Forrestal represented the general Pentagon view when he said that “no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point where it could endanger our national security.”
A report by the National Security Council warned that the Palestine turmoil was acutely endangering the security of the United States. A CIA report stressed the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil resources.
Similarly, George F. Kennan, the State Department’s director of policy planning, issued a top-secret document on Jan. 19, 1947, that outlined the enormous damage done to the U.S. by the partition plan (“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine”).
Kennan cautioned that “important U.S. oil concessions and air base rights” could be lost through U.S. support for partition and warned that the USSR stood to gain by the partition plan.
Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s nephew and a legendary intelligence agent, was another who was deeply disturbed by events. He noted:
The process by which Zionist Jews have been able to promote American support for the partition of Palestine demonstrates the vital need of a foreign policy based on national rather than partisan interests …. Only when the national interests of the United States, in their highest terms, take precedence over all other considerations, can a logical, farseeing foreign policy be evolved. No American political leader has the right to compromise American interests to gain partisan votes ….
He went on:
The present course of world crisis will increasingly force upon Americans the realization that their national interests and those of the proposed Jewish state in Palestine are going to conflict. It is to be hoped that American Zionists and non-Zionists alike will come to grips with the realities of the problem.
The head of the State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam, warned against the partition plan on moral grounds:
U.S. support for partition of Palestine as a solution to that problem can be justified only on the basis of Arab and Jewish consent. Otherwise we should violate the principle of self-determination which has been written into the Atlantic Charter, the declaration of the United Nations, and the United Nations Charter — a principle that is deeply embedded in our foreign policy. Even a United Nations determination in favor of partition would be, in the absence of such consent, a stultification and violation of U.N.’s own charter.
Merriam added that without consent, “bloodshed and chaos” would follow, a tragically accurate prediction.
An internal State Department memorandum accurately predicted how Israel would be born through armed aggression masked as defense:
[T]he Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the U.N. …. In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.
And American Vice Consul William J. Porter foresaw another outcome of the partition plan: that no Arab State would actually ever come to be in Palestine.
Pro-Israel Pressure on General Assembly Members
When it was clear that the partition recommendation did not have the required two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly to pass, Zionists pushed through a delay in the vote. They then used this period to pressure numerous nations into voting for the recommendation. A number of people later described this campaign.
Robert Nathan, a Zionist who had worked for the U.S. government and who was particularly active in the Jewish Agency, wrote afterward, “We used any tools at hand,” such as telling certain delegations that the Zionists would use their influence to block economic aid to any countries that did not vote the right way.
Another Zionist proudly stated, “Every clue was meticulously checked and pursued. Not the smallest or the remotest of nations, but was contacted and wooed. Nothing was left to chance.”
Financier and longtime presidential adviser Bernard Baruch told France it would lose U.S. aid if it voted against partition. Top White House executive assistant David Niles organized pressure on Liberia through rubber magnate Harvey Firestone, who told the Liberian president that if Liberia did not vote in favor of partition, Firestone would revoke his planned expansion in the country. Liberia voted yes.
Latin American delegates were told that the Pan-American Highway construction project would be more likely if they voted yes. Delegates’ wives received mink coats (the wife of the Cuban delegate returned hers); Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres reportedly received a blank checkbook. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its original vote opposing partition.
Longtime Zionist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, along with 10 senators and Truman domestic adviser Clark Clifford, threatened the Philippines (seven bills were pending on the Philippines in Congress).
Before the vote on the plan, the Philippine delegate had given a passionate speech against partition, defending the inviolable “primordial rights of a people to determine their political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of their native land.”
He went on to say that he could not believe that the General Assembly would sanction a move that would place the world “back on the road to the dangerous principles of racial exclusiveness and to the archaic documents of theocratic governments.”
Twenty-four hours later, after intense Zionist pressure, the delegate voted in favor of partition.
The U.S. delegation to the U.N. was so outraged when Truman insisted that they support partition that the State Department director of U.N. affairs was sent to New York to prevent the delegates from resigning en masse.
On Nov. 29, 1947, the partition resolution, 181, passed. While this resolution is frequently cited, it was of limited (if any) legal impact. General Assembly resolutions, unlike Security Council resolutions, are not binding on member states. For this reason, the resolution requested that “[t]he Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation,” which the Security Council never did. Legally, the General Assembly Resolution was a “recommendation” and did not create any states.
What it did do, however, was increase the fighting in Palestine. Within months (and before Israel dates the beginning of its founding war) the Zionists had forced out 413,794 people. Zionist military units had stealthily been preparing for war before the U.N. vote and had acquired massive weaponry, some of it through a widespread network of illicit gunrunning operations in the U.S. under a number of front groups.
The U.N. eventually managed to create a temporary and very partial cease-fire. A Swedish U.N. mediator who had previously rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis was dispatched to negotiate an end to the violence. Israeli assassins killed him, and Israel continued what it was to call its “war of independence.”
At the end of this war, through a larger military force than that of its adversaries and the ruthless implementation of plans to push out as many non-Jews as possible, Israel came into existence on 78 percent of Palestine.
At least 33 massacres of Palestinian civilians were perpetrated, half of them before a single Arab army had entered the conflict, hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed, and a team of cartographers was sent out to give every town, village, river, and hillock a new Hebrew name. All vestiges of Palestinian habitation, history, and culture were to be erased from history, an effort that almost succeeded.
Israel, which claims to be the “only democracy in the Middle East,” decided not to declare official borders or to write a constitution, a situation which continues to this day. In 1967 it took still more Palestinian and Syrian land, which is now illegally occupied territory, since the annexation of land through military conquest is outlawed by modern international law. It has continued this campaign of growth through armed acquisition and illegal confiscation of land ever since.
Individual Israelis, like Palestinians and all people, are legally and morally entitled to an array of human rights.
On the other hand, the state of Israel’s vaunted “right to exist” is based on an alleged “right” derived from might, an outmoded concept that international legal conventions do not recognize and in fact specifically prohibit.
[Detailed citations for the above information are available at "The History of Israel-U.S. Relations, Part One."]
This item was first posted at


Abdessalam Diab (145)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:44 am
Contrary to the massive propaganda, Jews and Muslims had a very long tradition of peaceful coexistence:
"Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations"...
Israeli Jewish author and peace activist Uri Avnery in Mohammed's Sword.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:47 am

Did you even bother to read the article, Bob? One of the first statements is that this took place several weeks ago. This is about Why the Main Stream Media avoided reporting what happened. This article critiques the choices made by the MSM in America, as in avoiding the fact that the high placed people in the Israeli government encouraged and supported this riot against people of African heritage. Therefore, Israel is not the whipping boy, the choices of the Media are the prime focus here, for those who bothered to read the article.

Armies like governments should have no authority, indoctrination, acceptance or rejection of any soldiers/citizens religious affiliations.

Pam, you have a point in that we are in our most basic element tribalistic. Would it not also be true that evolving to deal with the 21st century and beyond would be the collaborative effort to move away from tribal thinking? Perhaps, that is still over the horizon. Currently, we squabble over territory like children over toys.

I would like to see the proposal that land have no boundaries, it's not yours or mine, land becomes for the sharing, for the betterment of all. Then what excuse is there for war? The land belongs not to those who bleed the most, the land belongs to no one, it's there for the improvement of life and liberty.

Bob, your feelings toward those approximately 1.3 + billion Muslims, is archaic and leans towards outright theological bigotry. There are also approximately 1.3 + billion Christians, yet I don't read that you offer any criticism of their thinking.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:54 am

"Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations"...
Israeli Jewish author and peace activist Uri Avnery in Mohammed's Sword.

Thank you, Abdessalam.

It might be noted that during the time of the Crusades, there was but one leader that showed an attempt at justice, and negotiation toward his "enemy" that was Salah ah Din.

Most here presented interestng and note worthy insight.

Antonia Windham (6)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 6:59 am
Bob Algeron, I've no belief that the creation of Israel was a mere 'mistake'. I've a belief it was an immoral act done by an organization whose authority I don't recognize. Neither the LON nor its successor, the UN, had or has any ethical right to arbitrarily hand out territory to foreigners.

And Mohammedanism's no more disliking of freedoms, women's rights, and such than its brethren, Christianity and Mosaicism. In fact on the issue of women's rights the Koran's more liberal towards women than the Bible. Neither's in any way to my taste, but it's a fact.

Absent colonialism and the Israeli fiasco, I've more than a suspicion that the attitude of the majority-Mohammedan countries would've been far less antagonistic to the West than they are today. Antagonism's going to exist regardless since religion's always been a sore point between differing believers, but we in the West are reaping what to some extent what we've sown. A disliking for someone's brand of piety shouldn't blind us to the facts. If you've a disliking for Mohammedanism, then dislike it on what its official beliefs and rules actually are. If you've a disliking for how some people interpret and enforce those official beliefs, then save your dislike for those people. And if you've a disliking for all theistic beliefs, then spread the dislike around rather than concentrating it in one area.

pam w (139)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 7:11 am
I've had the thought you suggest, Kit....what would happen if we abolished borders? The ONLY answer I can come with is this....asking people to dissolve borders is asking them to "give up" their country. Asking them to "give up" their country is asking them to release part of their identity.

Even if they'd do would you govern a "one-world" nation? Can you imagine THAT power struggle?

But, assume you're would you manage that government? In which language? India has hundreds of languages and ELEVEN "official" ones. Talk to them and they'll tell you it takes an impossibly long time to accomplish anything due to translations, presentations of translated materials, etc.

Eliminating tribalism is asking someone to evolve something so innate that it would require some sort of IMPOSED MANDATE....which brings us back to would be rather like the communists expecting every person to give up the concept of "private property" and be happy working only for the State.

Another powerful "tribe" is that of religion...many nations as we know them are the result of religious domination and the attempt to "conquer infidels and spread the gospel." How to manage THAT aspect of tribalism? Personally, I would love to see the elimination of organized religion but I'm not holding my breath. I've been to Russia and seen people rapidly embracing the "old" religion which the commies tried to eradicate. It's a TRIBAL thing...and, on some level, we crave it. You mention above..."during the time of the crusades, there was BUT ONE LEADER that showed an attempt at justice and negotiation".....everyone else was defending their tribe.

The communists gave us a good example of what happens when you tinker with human nature. Elimination of borders is only one tip of it....erasing tribalism is a "noble" concept, perhaps, but fundamentally doomed to failure.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 7:34 am

Then perhaps we are doomed. This adoration of country, 'this land is my land', thinking has led to countless wars. The same bit of land changing hands within a single generation. I own land, that land is in America, therefore, I am free and others are not. I'm free to own that land until the state decides that my land is of better use for a corporate entity and uses the right of public domain to take that land. Borders and property rights are a contrivance of the mind, we believe therefore, it is.

We watch Star Trek, from the TV show through all of the various off-shoots including many movies. None of that could exist in any sort of harmony on a space ship bound for exploration of the universe. That unity among people from foreign places, can only come from complete acceptance of each as an equal.

I grant that this idea would be a tremendous disaster for years. Languages and customs, need be considered, but dare I say that in some future time it will be a necessity. We - the world, are spoiling all of our natural resources, corrupting the land, air and water for the benefit of the few. Perhaps, that sounds like Karl Marx, the fact is we don't know if any of his ideas would work. No country has ever lived under a communist style of society. The Russian revolution used Marx to perpetuate a take over from the Monarchy, beyond that the USSR was a totalitarian system, by no means can it compare to the ideas of Karl Marx.

Not to worry, I haven't lost my mind...just musing here.

Antonia Windham (6)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 7:35 am
I'd dispute, Kit, the belief that boundaries should be abolished. Pam makes good points about that. I'm a believer in boundaries (everyone sets boundaries and I'll not tolerate anyone coming through my front door without my permission any more than I'll tolerate anyone violating the boundaries of my country without permission). People've a need for clearly-defined borders. And have a need for things which'll bring people together in a shared culture. My tribe is American and I like being part of that tribe. Citizen-of-the-world doesn't cut the mustard - too vague and includes too many things I'd not like.

Gene J (290)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 7:46 am
I agree with you Pam, but. There's always a but isn't there? "+++++++++++ TRIBALISM or a social nature has been one of the defining qualities of primates since we began to evolve. (Only orangutans are solitary.) That sense of being part of a tribe gives us knowledge, security, education and identity."

When I said we need see each other as individuals not "others" I meant it in this way. When we view others as objects we dehumanize them and it is easier to oppress them. When we view other groups as "them" not "us" it is easier to hate them and persecute the. I know that humans have always grouped themselves together, in the beginning for survival, but it is those groupings that are at the heart of our global discord. So I take it to the smallest unit possible, the individual, it all begins with me. We need to evolve past traditional thinking to achieve civilization which I define as a place where no one will have something that comes at the expense of another. It is not near, but it will one day be the norm here, if we survive that long. When we look at others as people, individuals but part of our family we are more likely to talk with them about our differences than try to kill them. I came to this notion through a discussion group I was part of in 1998, we centered around a common theme but the discussion was wide-ranging covering all of life. There were people on that group (about 600 of us, though perhaps 200 wrote with frequency, many were silent observers - though I did hear from them directly from time to time) from every faith, tradtion and part of the world possible. We became friends, I still count many of them as close personal friends. I realized then that all over the world we share common hopes and dreams for ourselves and our children, love, peace, tolerance and understanding.

I realized then that when you take away the trappings of contact in the flesh, when you don't know if you are talking to a man or a woman or what country they are from or what they believe religiously, or not believe, when you simply talk to them, you have no differences, no reason to dislke them based on race, creed orientation, indeed on the Internet you don't know any of those things unless someone chooses to tell you. But as I thought about that, I realized that if you extended the concept, it could end wars as we know them. I couldn't bomb New Zealand, Mike lived there, I couldn't bomb Hong Kong because Ami lived there, I couldn't bome England because Radha lived there. People don't hurt their friends and family, so if you begin to consider ALL individuals your friends and your family, you have no desire to hurt them, only talk to them. And it requires being willing to make your own choices about things and allowing others the same freedom. I think it is the template for a civilization. One to one, which doesn't mean we aren't still part of many groups, but does mean that we have a new way of looking at those groups and handling our differences, even when that means agreeing to disagree - which is a perfectly valid idea. Killing someone because they don't believe what you do or don't do what you want them to is much easier when you see them as "them", not "us".

So by emphasizing our differences we really make it easier to do harm to one another. That isn't a civilization, it leads to world conflicts. So, reduce things to the smallest common denominator and reduce the odds of global violence, even interpersonal violence - if one gives up the idea that one's religion allows one to take anothers life for honor, or dishonor or any silly human dreamt up idea. That must be part of the package, a secular world is the only safe world for all of us. Exercising power over others for the sake of it is a not okay thing to do. Helping each other, loving each other, no matter our differences because we are one is the answer. I didn't say it would happen over night, but it will happen even if it is another millennia or more before we achieve the level of spirituality necessary to truly love others simply because they ARE. We were taught this, or we have been taught this by many teachers through the centuries, Jesus being the best example, but we are slow to learn. Still, I believe we will one day accomplish peace on earth once we stop thinking of each other as groups full of differences and start thinking of each other as individuals with common hopes and dreams. :^)

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 8:07 am

Musing, thinking a loud of idealistic possibilities. As Gene said, acceptance is the first step toward becoming civilized. I could not kill people I know whether from letters on the Internet or because I know them as real, living breathing humans. Of course, we will have limits and boundaries, we know only too well that humans as individuals are capable of terrible things. I am not suggesting that we forgo the self for the growth of the collective, though we have in many situations. When Jonas Salk first used his vaccine on himself and his family, then friends, that was for the betterment of all.

pam w (139)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 9:07 am
(Musing right along with you, Kit) One thing which took me by surprise when the USSR broke up was the almost immediate resurgence of ethnic conflicts....and religious ones, too, of course. These people had been literally forced for DECADES to live in "solidarity with the State."

And they broke it up and went right back to being who they saw themselves to be prior to the "union."

How anyone who understands anthropology could have ever thought the USSR would work for long is beyond me.....too much vodka, maybe?

You wrote "Then perhaps we are doomed." I think you may well be right. As we continue to breed ourselves into starvation, I'm mindful (as a zoo educator) that ALL animals will fight if you put them into an enclosure too small for increasing numbers. Even great us.


Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 10:28 am

Thanks Charles, I read the article. Though I believe the problems stem not from being Jewish, as those of the Jewish faith are not using their faith to support the radical government. It is those who cleave to the Zionist ideology, the extreme right thinking that only the few are entitled the rest can find a map and compass, and get the hell out. One need not be Jewish to be a Zionist.

The relationship between Haredim and Zionism has always been a difficult one. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, the majority of Haredi Jewry was opposed to Zionism.[1] However, after the de facto creation of the state, each individual movement within Orthodox Judaism charted its own path in their approach to the State of Israel. A study in late 2006 claimed that just over a third of Israelis considered Haredim the most hated group in Israel.

Ashkenazic religious Jews, both Hasidim and the Perushim, started to immigrate to the Land of Israel in the 18th century, a century before the founding of the Zionist movement, and continued to do so in the 19th century. Karliner Hasidim had an early foothold, and the Lelover Rebbe settled there in 1850. Sanz established itself in Safed in the 1870s, and Ruzhin had a major presence in Jerusalem at about the same time. During the 19th century there was a vibrant Haredi community in Jerusalem. In 1925 the Hasidim of the Imrei Emes of Ger established the Sfas Emes Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

After 1918, immigration was controlled by the British, who had been given a mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations. They restricted immigration of Jews - but not of Arabs - and operated a quota by means of certificates. The distribution of these certificates was in the hands of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, a Zionist organization. The allocation of certificates to Haredi Jews was severely restricted so as not to compromise the goal of a secular state.

In Europe, haredi Jews were active in Jewish communal politics as anti-Zionists, mainly in the Agudath Israel movement, formed in 1912. In the Yishuv, Agudat Israel was formed after World War I to represent the haredim; one of its leading spokespeople was Jacob Israël de Haan.

After World War II

After World War II many Jewish refugees found themselves in Displaced person camps. The Zionists controlled a camp for Jewish refugee children in Tehran where they operated an anti-religious policy in an effort to cut off Haredi children from their spiritual roots. To a large extent they were successful, and many children from Haredi homes were dispatched to irreligious settlements.

The relationship between Haredim and Zionism became more complex after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Some Haredi groups adopted a pragmatic position, and involved themselves in the political process of the state by voting in elections and accepting state funding. Others have maintained a more hardline rejectionist position, refusing all funding from the Israeli state and abstaining from taking part in the political process. The positions of specific Haredi groups are discussed in greater detail in the remainder of the article.

There is also a growing group of Orthodox Jews known as Hardalim. They are formerly Religious Zionists who moved in their religious observances and philosophy towards Haredi Judaism. Socially, however, they still form a part of the Religious Zionist world, and not of the Haredi world.

United Torah Judaism and She are the only two Haredi parties in the Israeli Knesset which advocate a halachic state. In addition, even the anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidim do take part in municipal elections in some places, such as the Haredi stronghold of Bnei Brak.

Notably, there is a substantial difference in the positions taken by Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredi, the latter generally being quite supportive of Zionism.

Separate and not equal.

Pam, I think we are a bit like the caged animals. Though our keepers are suffocating and poisoning us with polluted air, water and food. We need freedom, even when that freedom may lead down roads that are not positive. As humans we have craved freedom from and freedom to.... I don't see the USSR as an experiment in society or any form of social justice.

Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 12:16 pm
Kit, National Post is sort of a "noticeable" media. News which are one month old are hardly considered news.

At about the same time, Egyptians debated in their newspapers Islamic permissibility to have sex with dead spouses and if it's OK within 6 hours after the death. So what? It's already history. African migrants are paid to go back, and many illegal immigrants to Canada are not, when they are kicked out. I would rather NOT to pay to these guys.


Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 12:28 pm
Antonia, I agree with you that UN in some aspects is compromised by the huge weight given to particular groups of population. Arab nation got 22 votes, while US or Canada or Russia or China or India has one each. That is nonsense.

Also, free-loaders have a huge say, because their numbers are many.

But said that, the alternatives are even worse: Brits who divided the Ottoman Empire and rewarded local Arab chiefs created huge mess. I would say that making this mess of 22 countries is more "immoral" than creating Israel under UN authority.

I really don't see what makes you say about Israeli fiasco, when Israel in fact is doing pretty good, and much better than the vast majority of its neighbors, even the ones filthy rich in oil. I've been to Israel and saw a Western friendly nation, I saw Arabs and talked to them, and they were not in the mood for Jihad and bombings but just for making a living.

As for "Mohammedanism", I always separate Islamists from Moderate Muslims, which under no circumstances can be combined together. I fully support Moderate Muslims living side by side with other people, who don't kill their kids for leaving Islam and who do not want to impose their rules on others.

And I protest painting these good people with the same paint as Islamists, throwing acid to girls going to school. These groups are different. There are enough of Islamic scholars justifying each of these groups, so none of us here can judge what the "True" islam is. We can only judge if that particular sect is militant or not.

pam w (139)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 3:39 pm
Kit...."I don't see the USSR as an experiment in society or any form of social justice. "

Well, I respectfully disagree, Kit. In the same way that the Chinese used communism to equalize the horrible mistreatment of poor peasants by nobles, the Russians revolted against the near-slavery of the serfs. The idea was "from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs." It was designed to foster ONE the State!

It was the great equalizer...a "classless" society. eliminating religion, they encouraged focus on the State with unswerving allegiance....the State was EVERYTHING. It didn't take long for those in power to realize it wasn't going to work. People needed identity (and identity was TRIBAL.)

So, they had to institute stern measures to maintain control. You couldn't break with the "faith" or you'd be killed. You couldn't express an opinion other than the State's or you'd be killed. ( Know any religions like that? I figured you'd come up with at least one!)

Kit B (276)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 4:56 pm

Exactly Pam, so where is the justice? Take out the religious factor and replace it with the state. I see the US, Sweden, Denmark and others as an experiment in social justice, not the USSR nor the Chinese system. Neither followed the ideas of Marx, then again I'm not sure we can.

I think we could name of some religions like that. To follow with unquestioning obedience. I have too many questions to fit into a religious profile.

pam w (139)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 8:18 pm
Kit, you're right, of course.....the communists certainly had their own agendas but I believe the original "purists" like Lenin did believe they were doing a good thing.

Antonia said (up above) "I'm a believer in boundaries (everyone sets boundaries and I'll not tolerate anyone coming through my front door without my permission any more than I'll tolerate anyone violating the boundaries of my country without permission)" and it's a valid point of view, especially since human nature includes a STRONG territorial's a TRIBAL thing.

You know I work in a zoo and "specialize" in primates and their behavior. It's fascinating to watch as they set out and maintain their territories...with many different behaviors. Once you become familiar with those--you'll never look at humans in quite the same way! :-)

If we think about efforts to eradicate tribalism....look at the Shakers. They lived communally but only because everyone else thought they were nut jobs (WHAT? NO SEX?) and they died out. In the '60s, we had all those well-intentioned communes....they died out. There are SO many examples...all failed.

Socialism in the purest sense is probably our only hope but you'll have a HELLUVA time convincing people of it, especially when you have fear mongers associating it with "godless communism," and "SATAN" himself.

I honestly think it will be imperative to save ourselves by imposing a Chinese-style limit on famliy size. If we could shrink our numbers and dwindle the pressures of tribes literally bumping into one another, we MIGHT be able to find ways to co-exist.

BUT...we WILL have to curb religions which DEMAND to spread and conquer!

We WILL have to curb religions which seek to suppress individual liberties and especially, women's rights

We WILL have to curb religions which seek to suppress scientific pursuit because science is the ONLY hope we have of surviving the climactic disaster which is ahead of us.

Eliminating tribalism would deny us the richness of who we are and who we have been! It would take away our "identities." I can't imagine a human world without it.....can you?


Alexander Werner (53)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 8:33 pm
Charles, I understand your constant obsession with blaming Israel, but see that Arab states demonstrate their tribal nature in a much more explicit and cruel way!

Very recently a Palesitnian Arab boy died at the gates of Lebanese hospital which refused to take in the boy! Those constant bombings of Shia-Sunni mosques, and recent bombing of Shia funerals by Sunni suicide bomber, leaving thens of people dead.

We are not talking about a war for territory or a war between peoples. We are taking a war between the same ethnic group, done without mercy and without limits.

Another strange point you brought: "Were the alleged 9/11 hijackers Islamists? " Of course they were, Charles, even for a ruse they wen to a strip club. Otherwise, they would go to relax the next day, and not to kill people! Their tutor Osama Bin Laden was a Sheih and a teacher, and himself he learnt from reputable Islamic scholars. You may not recognize his level because you follow Shia line, but Sunni media praises him quite high, and I believe them.

pam w (139)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 8:46 pm
It's very interesting to travel as an atheist in the middle-east.

Without a religious agenda or connection, you look at the obvious characteristics of various cultures and see that the Jews, Muslims (and even Christians of the area) are VERY MUCH alike...

They eat the same foods, enjoy the same cooking methods, use the same spices, make music which is amazingly similar, wear the same clothes, live in the same buildings, dance the same steps and behave physically in the same ways...waving their hands, spitting in the streets, drinking in coffee houses, smoking water pipes, etc.

But--point that out and watch the hair stand up on their necks.....see the tribal WHISKERS come the FIRE flare in their eyes and listen to the DENIAL in their responses.


Antonia Windham (6)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 9:40 pm
I've always seen and enjoyed that connection amongst all us primates, Pam. Wish more would realize we humans're not so unique as we think - we got cousins.

And also wish that more would realize that conspiracies don't necessarily lurk behind every tree and that more often than some'd like things actually are as they seem to be.

pam w (139)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 11:23 pm
THANKS, Antonia!

It's a sad thing .... too many people refuse to accept the clear evidence for evolution and too many people will NOT accept the idea of humans as greater apes!

But, whether or not THEY like it....we ARE part of the great ape family and carry within us all of the evolutionary complexities and genetic traits which we've brought along in our struggle for survival.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 3:53 am
Cal - don't bother wasting any air on Bob. Bob will claim that Haaretz and 972mag (both Israel, predemoniantly Jewish publications) are the arms of the Arab propaganda machine while in the same breath posting from internationally known hate websites, such as Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugged. As for Haaretz not covering this Bob? Really. Considering there were a ton of articles about this in it, I think you better recheck.

Alexander Werner (53)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 7:55 am
Charles, I agree with the appraisal of "Divide and Conquer" situation to Syria. Politics don't stay on one place, so time came for Saudi Sunni battle against Shias.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories that the rift between Sunni and Shia is only external. Fanned out - yes, but internal to their nature - also yes.

The question why 9/11 perpetrators did a night before - cannot be answered correctly by either of us, because we don't know. The had detailed instruction on what to do and in which sequence. They surely knew that "War is deceit" concept of Mohammed to apply.

The main point is that Osama Bin Laden running that show was a Sunni religious authority, and a teacher. His teacher was another big Sunni Islamic scholar. Claiming that OBL is un-Islamic would be wrong and baseless. You may belong to a different sect, or to the same sect which does not recognize OBL authority, but OBL WAS part of Islam, and his terrorists were a part of it as well, despite drinking in a strip bar at a night before their mission.


pam w (139)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 9:50 am
"internationally known hate websites such as Jihad Watch"......

which actually reprints articles from other sources, many of them within Islamic countries.

When all else fails...

1. Deny, deny, deny
3. Blame Jews

Alexander Werner (53)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 3:58 pm
To angry anonymous troll (5): "As for Haaretz not covering this Bob? Really. "? Yes, really, because the events described by Kit as news actually happened about a month ago, and that's why I could not find them as news.

Even in Arab propaganda sources, like Haaretz.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Friday June 22, 2012, 4:24 am

Kit B (276)
Friday June 22, 2012, 9:33 am

@Abdessalam - ditto!

@ Pam and Antonia, now your daring to challenge creationism and propagating the factual idea of evolution. :)

Scarlett P (126)
Friday June 22, 2012, 10:10 am
You can challenge creation and the Creator all you want... But God spoke it and it all came to be..

The Creation

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

6Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. 8God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

9Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

14Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

24Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

LOL and yes Kit... I copied and pasted... Does not make it any less true.. Praising His Holy Name!!

Hope you all have a very blessed day and weekend..

Antonia Windham (6)
Friday June 22, 2012, 12:07 pm
Evolution doesn't rule out a creator. I've no belief in any such creature but in the event one's actually in existence then it would have set evolution in motion. And if that creator's a physical being who's part of the physical world scientists'd really like to study the evidence. And if it's supernatural, then believers'll just have to take it on faith, with the rest of us sticking with reality.

Antonia Windham (6)
Friday June 22, 2012, 12:11 pm
Just to be clear, unless you're speaking, Kit, of young-earth creationism. If so, I've a certainty it's disproven malarkey.

pam w (139)
Friday June 22, 2012, 8:06 pm
That lengthy proselytization demonstrates my point very well. Despite the fact that many of us refute it, some of us insist on living their lives by it (or at least, PRETENDING to do so.) Those are people who often insist on breaking into our tribal boundaries with their tribal boundaries.

I repeat what I said above....."BUT...we WILL have to curb religions which DEMAND to spread and conquer!

We WILL have to curb religions which seek to suppress individual liberties and especially, women's rights

We WILL have to curb religions which seek to suppress scientific pursuit because science is the ONLY hope we have of surviving the climactic disaster which is ahead of us."


pam w (139)
Saturday June 23, 2012, 7:42 am
Charles, "we" as anyone who objects to the blatant imperialism of Islam ....that's who!

If you're ignoring the bloody, arrogant and deliberate attempts to drive any non-Islamic "infidel" out of Indonesia, for example....let me point out that they are murdering an overt way. (Of course, they murder Muslims, too...but that's nothing more an an attempt to control women and anyone who does anything they dislike. If I don't like what you say, Charles, I'll just get a rabid mob of my buddies and we'll cut off your head.)

"Curbing" other religions means standing firm against intrusions into our freedoms, standing firm for our principles of personal liberties and keeping our focus.

I was not suggesting taking a page from the Islamic "book" and trying to overwhelm them.

In addition, we have to curb the fundamental Christians who insist on shoving their narrow beliefs into public schools and public life...not to mention PRIVATE lives. They're as dangerous as the Muslims....ANY religious fundamentalist who insists on intrusion into the lives of someone outside their circle needs to be "curbed."

I never suggested violence.....I never suggested becoming a Leninist or (here's your favorite subject)...ZIONISTS.

Kit B (276)
Saturday June 23, 2012, 10:02 am

I don't accept that any religion is better or more useful in the political process than any other. Religion as an institution must put it's own agenda before the government or the day to day needs of the people.

The problem is not that Scarlett shared her bible, rather she assumes that others have not read this bible.

I wonder if anyone, posting and sharing thoughts on a political article will read a few choice passages and, suddenly have a Eureka moment.

The device of using biblical text a counter argument is not new, nor does it affect those who have come their own conclusions. The greater problem is the full invasion by the religious right into public, tax funded schools. Most Muslim countries do not separate church and state as America once did. I can not see this as one-to-one comparison. Brutal things are done in the name of a god everyday, we can single out religions as being the fault or individuals as using their chosen god to justify their own criminal behavior.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Saturday June 23, 2012, 1:55 pm
This post is not about religions.Let me remind you and other commentators that the post is about a certain behavior done by a certain group of Zionists/racists towards African immigrants and the way the US main stream media ignored/covered it.So I think we better stick to the subject of this post.
As for your comments about Islam,I am afraid you have no real knowledge about Islam and is giving yourself the right to describe Islam and Muslims according to hate websites.Being agnostic doesn't give you the right to judge other people ( Muslims and Christians). For this reason I pray for you to have peace of mind and heart as the Quran advises us when it says " The true servants of the Most Merciful are those who behave gently and with humility on earth, and whenever the foolish quarrel with them, they reply with [words of] peace."
(al-Furqan 25: 63)
Peace on you Pam and alike.

Antonia Windham (6)
Saturday June 23, 2012, 3:33 pm
I'm in agreement, Pam. The issue's not one of eliminating religion, it's one of keeping it out of areas it doesn't belong. Other than that, people've a right to enjoy as much piety as they please.

pam w (139)
Saturday June 23, 2012, 6:00 pm
Abdessalam.....Kit and I were discussing the role of religion in public life.....agreed, she and I deviated from the original topic

I have, in fact, traveled in more than a few Islamic countries....I have seen with my own eyes what happens there. I'm really weary of people using the same "according to hate websites." And I can judge what religious people DO, Abdessalam, because I see how those actions affect others in the world.

NOWHERE have I said "eliminate" religion. Unfortunately, far too many people need to feel safe from uncertainty.

pam w (139)
Sunday June 24, 2012, 10:26 am
Charles...I won't nit-pick verbage with you.

I think you understand my point but, if not, I'll re-state it.

Religions have no right to attempt to conquer others.

Religions have no right to attempt to make my reproductive decisions.

Religions have no right to destroy the property of other religions. If Christians were burning mosques, you know perfectly well that the outcry would shatter clouds....but there's a strange SILENCE from Islamists on that activity....isn't there? Hypocrisy abounds in Islam.

And before you LEAP onto your keyboard....yes, hypocrisy abounds in Christianity, too! I've little patience for those who, since they can't defend the actions of Islam, like to point out the evils of other faiths and call those who rightly criticize Islam ISLAMOPHOBES. I guess that means THEY are Christianophobes?

The world community should step up and demand that Islam stop murdering, burning, stoning, etc, "infidels." So-called "moderate" Muslims and Christians should step up and demand that fundamentalists of both faiths stop harmful incursions into the lives of non-believers and believers who don't share their particular LUNACY.


Scarlett P (126)
Monday June 25, 2012, 8:46 am
It really doesn't matter what people accept.. The Word of God has stood for generations and will continue to stand... His Word is truth and life... Being a christian doesn't me I am religious... There are many religious leaders I do not agree with. If they are not teaching the true Word of God then they are in the wrong... That is just how it is...

God is good... All the time...

I just pray that those who are blind to His Word eyes and hearts will be opened to the truth of His Holy Word...

Kit B (276)
Monday June 25, 2012, 9:48 am

Which god? Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Wicca and some other Neopagan religions, Zoroastrianism, and Druidism, and there are many others. All are wrong any only one group of Christians are correct?

Live a good life, be kind to others, accept their differences and do not attempt to judge others. In every religious group there are some with a criminal bent, do not attempt to the judge the whole by few, and please do not pretend that any of us have all the answers, none of us do.

Each of us finds a path to walk through this life, that path will be what each finds of greatest comfort or fits their own logic and reasoning. I can not say that should anyone not follow my path of reasoning, their life will not be fulfilled, no one can say that. The assumption is based on belief, and that is a choice. A deeply personal and private choice, it can not be forced, and should not be threatened.


Antonia Windham (6)
Monday June 25, 2012, 10:06 am
Some people, Charles, are actually in favor of curbing their own group. I'm atheist and I want the radicalized atheists (and they're out there) curbed whenever they've tried to step over the line and tried to restrict legitimate freedom of religion. Whatever my own beliefs may be there're restrictions on how I can push those beliefs on other people. And I've a real liking for those restrictions - since they protect as well as restrict me.

Kit B (276)
Monday June 25, 2012, 10:41 am

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

First amendment: an overview
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

Restrictions? Just what kind of fair and equitable restrictions would you have? For many religions proselytizing is their way of sharing their belief system. Even some atheists attempt to proselytize.
What if we all just accept that each of will develop our own choices, and mind our own business? There is a national penchant for attempting to force a singular religious thinking for all of us. We each have the ability to ignore that, and defend our rights under the constitution.
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