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Two State Solution: Why A Jewish Democracy Is An Impossibility

by on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm EDT in Middle East, World

In Peter Beinart’s NY Times Op-Ed, To Save Israel, Boycott the Settlements, he begins by painting the picture of a ‘noble’ ideal being attacked by two antithetical extremes:

TO believe in a democratic Jewish state today is to be caught between the jaws of a pincer.

He first points out the threat to Israel’s status as a democracy, namely Israel’s continued occupation and settlement expansion of Palestinian lands, where “millions of West Bank Palestinians are barred from citizenship and the right to vote in the state that controls their lives.”

He then points towards what he feels threatens Israel’s Jewish majority, namely BDS supporters’ calls for “the right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes,” which if were to happen, would “dismantle Israel as a Jewish state.”

What strikes me as odd, is the fact that Beinart cannot see the blatant incongruity of the two core components of his Utopian ideal for Israel: ‘democratic Jewish’ state.

It is farcical to believe that a two-state solution, even if it prohibited the Palestinians’ right of return (which international law, by the way, accords every human being on the planet), would bring a ‘Jewish Democracy.’

Democracy is a government by the people, as ruled by the majority. If one subgroup within what constitutes ‘the people’ is permitted to enforce discriminatory laws to ensure that their group always enjoys a ruling majority, then the government is not really one of ‘the people’ — i.e. a democracy — but a government of that one subgroup. 

Those outside that dominant subgroup, in this case non-Jewish Israelis, could not claim to enjoy democracy inside their own country, because the laws have been stacked against them to ensure they will always remain outnumbered, and thus, their voices forever silenced in government.

To predetermine that ANY group will always remain powerless within their own government is to pervert the very concept of democracy in ways that might even make Vladimir Putin blush.

Liberal Zionists should at least be honest, like Netanyahu has been, and state unequivocally that their notion of Israel’s ‘survival’ is predicated on a country where ONLY Jews will have a voice in government, and all non-Jews effectively silenced by a permanent minority status, which can only be ensured by systematic discrimination. 

VP and Assist. General Counsel Of NY Times: How Can Corporations Blacklist WikiLeaks, But Not The NY Times?

by on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm EDT in Politics, WikiLeaks

At the ‘Media Law in the Digital Age‘ conference at Kennesaw State University last weekend, the Vice President and General Counsel of the New York Times, David McGraw, addressed the disturbing trend in which private for-profit corporations have been doing governments’ bidding by shutting down publishers like WikiLeaks:

Lucy Dalglish, Exec. Dir. RCFP: Even organizations like WikiLeaks need money to survive, and one of the reactions wasn’t so much the governments trying to shut them down, but the vehicles by which they got their funding have tried to shut them down: Paypal, Amazon, Visa, all of these folks, have basically said “We don’t want to have anything to do with you.”

And my understanding is that WikiLeaks has been suffering because of that. Do you have any thoughts about basically good old fashioned Capitalism having a role in whether or not the public gets access to this information?

McGraw: … It is a hard question, but a very very troubling development that people who are private actors on the financial side are going to be making these decisions. Whether its Mastercard and Visa cutting off donations; whether it’s Amazon shutting people out of the cloud — preventing access to books they disapprove of — if they were to go down that route.

Unfortunately, at this point, it is legal for them to do that, it appears — absent some restraint on trade concerns which haven’t surfaced — for them to make that decision. I think it puts a great deal of power in the hands of people who — while they probably have cash registers for brains, as Russell Baker once said — that making that call is, putting that power in their hands, is troubling. 

It’s odd of course, and WikiLeaks was quick to point this out, that while Amazon is throwing them off of their server storage and asking them to find a home elsewhere, that they continue to offer the New York Times through Kindle. How do they justify the difference between those two things when both were publishing these documents? I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think it raises a scary proposition when private companies not in the publishing industry, not part of the marketplace of ideas, are controlling that marketplace.


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WATCH: Max Blumenthal Discusses Role Of US Media In Normalizing Israel’s Occupation

by on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm EDT in Middle East, World

Sternchen Productions recently recorded a must-watch series of interviews with Max Blumenthal, where he discusses a wide gamut of Israel/Palestine-related topics. 

In the video entitled “The role of the media in the Israel/Palestine conflict” (the video follows) Blumenthal describes instances of the US media insidiously crafting pro-Israel narratives to overshadow if not to flat-out whitewash Israel’s brutal policies:

On Fox News:

I had a friend who was working in Fox News, and she got a memo from management during the Israeli assault on Gaza — Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 — that told them to essentially not report what was happening, and gave them a list of talking points to highlight about Hamas being a terror organization.

I was on a Fox News program at that time and that all came out. They actually brought in a special guest to talk about the terrorist roots of Hamas. And they cut me off when I attempted to question any of the prevailing narrative that was coming out on Fox News and they told me that I wasn’t being collegial. 

On The New York Times:

It’s more revealing to look at what’s happening at the New York Times — which is the newspaper of record in the US. […]

There was better reporting when Steven Erlanger was the Middle East Bureau Chief, and even when John Burns was covering the second intifada, although his reporting was incredibly flawed. 

Now, the Middle East Bureau Chief is Ethan Bronner, who appears to be a committed Zionist; whose son served in the Israeli army; who lives and works out of a home in Jerusalem that was confiscated from the [Palestinian] Karmi family, which now lives here in London — Ghada Karmi. It was bought by Thomas Friedman when he was the Middle East Bureau Chief, without a second thought.

I would be deeply uncomfortable working in that building.

And if you look at who [Bronner] quotes — these are his friends — and how he quotes them: “the head of the Jewish National Fund was walking through Sderot yesterday when a rocket fell.” What does the Jewish National Fund have to with that, and who are they anyway? It’s just, he’s quoting his friends.

He referred to the Israeli assault on Gaza as “Israel’s anti-rocket invasion”, and he uses this kind of language constantly. You don’t even see that from Mark Regev. It’s much more dangerous than Mark Regev, because it’s insidious.

And Bronner recently did a story about a — what he claimed — was a bold, new, grassroots initiative of Israelis and Palestinians communicating online on Facebook and reaching out to one another. You know, because he’s constantly trying to normalize occupation. He didn’t mention that this initiative was AstroTurffed by the Peres Center For Peace, run by Shimon Peres — the architect of the Qana massacre in Lebanon. It didn’t have very many members at all, and that the Israelis who were writing in on the Facebook page — to say how great it was to talk to their Palestinian brothers — were employees of the Peres Center For Peace and the Palestinian administrators were as well. So, it’s completely insidious. And I think it plays a role — not turning people anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian — but really in normalizing occupation.


In the interview, Blumenthal goes on to describe the western press corps who often do their reporting from within the confines of Israel-proper, and the Israel Lobby’s bullying tactics back in America, where they relentlessly work to intimidate individuals in both the media and academia.


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You can watch the rest of Sternchen’s Max Blumenthal interviews, by following the links below:

1. Israel’s ‘response’ to the Eilat bus shootings >> watch HERE

2. His experiences as a facts-based citizen journalist, including: online Hasbara trolls, the main stream media (when covering right-wing politics versus Israel/Palestine), Israel’s racial-profiling screening process when entering the country >> watch HERE

3. The power and the impact of the Christian Zionist lobby in the US >> watch HERE

Obama’s Top Strategists Appear To Have Forgotten That The Economy Decides Elections

by on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm EDT in Economy, Politics

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post reminds us that Obama’s new all-time-low approval rating (dipping below 40% for the first time) is less an indicator of a President’s reelection prospects than the state of the economy: Ronald Reagan started the third year of his presidency with his approval rating at 35 percent, while George H.W. […]

Julian Assange: Western Newspapers Hesitant To Publish Israel-Related Leaks

by on Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, WikiLeaks, World

In a new, largely unreported Al Jazeera interview (with Julian Assange’s responses overdubbed in Arabic), the WikiLeaks founder reveals that he intends to release 3,700 documents pertaining to Israel. 2,700 of these documents, he said, originate from within Israel, and include “Sensitive and classified documents” on the 2006 military excursion into Lebanon (which resulted in […]

NY Times’ Paul Krugman: Supply Side Economics Creates Deficits

by on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 10:43 am EDT in Politics

Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, attempts to educate a largely ignorant Republican/Tea Party constituency on the documented failures of Supply Side economics.  He focuses on the Carter and Reagan years (since Republican politicians tend to cite Reaganomics as their model for economic success), and he demonstrates that revenues actually dropped decisively with Reagan’s tax […]