Archive for July 2016

Democrats bankrupt on Israel

July 26, 2016

The Hilary Clinton team knows that she is one of the most unpopular Democrats ever to run for the presidency. The Senator for Goldman Sachs and Israel’s proxy in America, Clinton was desperate to shore up her cred with progressive Democrats.hence she allowed 5 Sander’s delegates onto the 15 person Platform Drafting Committee

On June 25 in the dead of night the face off began between the five Democrat progressives appointed by Sanders and the ten hacks appointed by the Clinton team. All were pro-Israel to the core with nothing but bankrupt status quo ideas to add to the mix.
In order to give as little exposure as possible to the issue of Palestine, the second round of debates took place at night. This is the Nicodemus effect named after the sneaky hypocrite who could only come to jesus by night.The Clinton campaign has done everything to shut down any serious discussion of Israel’s occupation. It took a Jew, Bernie Sanders to bring it to the fore.
It was downright embarrassing to see the incredible logic used by Clinton team to justify the ugly status quo in Israel/Palestine
Robert Wexler, a former congressman from Florida and president of a pro-Israel advocacy group used the old canard of “delegitimizing Israel” to pan BDS movement. Nobody wishes to do this. What critics need to do is delegitimize apartheid Israel, to make it a democracy for all.


As most people know Israel is losing the PR war in the Middle East and are desperate to shut down the BDS movement.
The worst Clinton surrogate and a major Jewish donor to the Clinton campaign, Bonnie Schaefer, former joint-CEO of the jewelry chain Claire’s Stores,came up with wildest non-sequitur of the night when she didn’t even bother addressing the issues raised in the amendment. Instead, she engaged in pinkwashing.
“As a gay Jewish Zionist, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, as we all know, the only place in the Middle East that I can walk down the street with my wife hand in hand and not be afraid.
Pinkwashing is a tactic often used by Israel in its defense. Toleration of gays is supposed to make people forget the 50 years of occupation. What a silly woman–albeit with deep pockets and with noting to say.


Schaefer was answered by James Zogby the president of the Arab American Institute who said “you can go and walk down the street of Tel Aviv holding the hand of your wife, I can’t get in the airport without seven hours of harassment because I’m of Arab descent. We have to be able to call it what it is. It’s an occupation that humiliates people, that breeds contempt, that breeds anger and despair and hopelessness, that leads to violence.”
Cornel West, professor and political commentator blew the whole meeting to smithereens


When the IDF [Israeli army] kills innocent people, over 500 babies in 51 days, no matter how many shields they say Hamas uses, it’s wrong,” said West, referring to Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza.

The “Democratic Party must tell the truth,” West implored. “We can never fully respect the Palestinians unless we can name … the boot on their necks.”
“I come from a people who’ve been hated,” West added, drawing an analogy between the long history of denying the horrors inflicted on African Americans and the refusal to recognize the oppression of Palestinians.
Over 2000 were killed and over 500 babies killed and not a word from our political elite.
What is going on in this country What is going on among our elite, are we so paralyzed? Are we so debilitated by either the money flowing or indifference in our hearts, I would hope not. That’s what the legacy of Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day and so many others was all about….

If we are not able to deal with that then we’re in the same condition this party was in 80 years ago when it didn’t want to deal with Jim Crow, didn’t want to deal with lynching, locked in a state of denial and saying, Somehow these Negroes are going to make it through with this misery. We refuse. I refuse to reach that conclusion.

The real question is going to be that a commitment to security for our precious Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel can never be predicated on an occupation of precious Palestinians. We’re going to have to talk seriously about occupation.

I don’t know if you’d allow a use of the word occupation, West said, when the New York Times can’t even state it directly.

But he said the Palestinians have been “demeaned devalued dominated exploited” for over 50 years. And “for too long the Democratic Party has been beholden to AIPAC.”

We’re at a turning point now,” West said. It will go slowly inside the Democratic Party and more quickly outside it, which is “why I support the BDS.”

But the Party must downplay “the unbelievable misery we see in Gaza, the West Bank and other places.”

Of course the Clintonites outnumbered the Sanders supporters 10-5 and the Democrats will keep giving Israel a blank cheque.


Nicodemus, the base, hypocrite of John 3 won again—out of sight of the majority of American people. The whole sordid event however was seen on C Span at in the early morning.


An article in the Electronic Intifada by Rania Khalek was posted on June 27.


One of the respondents named Sage nailed the whole sordid mess when she wrote;
There is no doubt about it, Clinton is pro occupation and illegal settlements. She knows fully well what Israel’s crimes are, in fact the US State Department has condemned illegal settlements, and yet her hunger to be President has made her put any concern for the Palestinians aside, so that she can please her wealthy Jewish pro Israeli donors. Clinton has thrown the Palestinians under the bus at this stage of the game, imagine how things would be when she is in the White House and Netanyahu will have a great influence in our policies. It is frightening.


“Alfredo” weighed in as well:


The posture adopted by the DNC and Clinton surrogates is an insult to human rights and spits on the face of those who see the illegal and immoral abuses committed against the Palestinians and other minority groups within Israel. There is no way that this travesty of platform is going to attract those who support Bernie Sanders’ vision of a long overdue political revolution. Shame on each and every democrat who stock to Clinton’s hypocritical double talk about Israel and the Palestinians. History won’t be kind to these people.

Democrats try to bury Palestine “at night.”

July 23, 2016

One of my least favourite characters in the New Testament—a a man I have met many times in my life, call him a sanctimonious prig, a weasel, a sycophant or double dealing hypocrite—we’ve all met Nicodemus who appears in John 3
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night
Yes by night. Folks like Nicodemus simply want to work undercover, don’t want to be seen in the daylight. They have something to hide. Meet Hilary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, a group of pro-Israel toadies named by Clinton to abort the truth on Palestine and keep right wing Jewish American money flowing into Clinton’s coffers.The Committte, purely advisory deemed necessary by Clinton who realizes she has no progressive principles at all, is in hock to Wall Street and her pro-Israel Jewish backers. One fifth of the committee of 15 was named by Sanders. As you will see, a group of social justice advocates


It hath been decreed: there will be no mention of Occupation in the Democratic platform. No wonder people give up on politics when you see even a party which attempted to raise the voice of the oppresed in the past, cave to the power of finance in national elections. Meet the Clintons and Tony Blair. Forget Blair for the moment.
The work of the majority Clinton  hacks by day was bad enough. The supposed antithesis to the wealth dominated Republicans, the puppetry  Hilary surrogates shot down motions endorsing universal health care, a carbon tax, stronger support for raising the minimum wage, forceful opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and a moratorium on fracking. This is the Democratic Party of today.


As Gore Vidal often said, America has one party —with two wings both corrupted by money.


All of the above was done in the day and strategically they had to wait for the night to deal with Israel, an issue which Bernie Sanders “a Jew of Conscience” had raised.

What happened was revealing.

Next time. Nicodemus comes on stage.

America the failed state

July 21, 2016

In the Land of the Free and exceptionalism—we’re talking america the Beautiful—there have been 1,000 mass shootings in 1,260 days

You want to know what a “failed state’ looks like, go no further than Ohio at the republican convention.

Also you could probably go to half of the USA and make the same analysis.


Ohio is an “open carry” state.Firearms legally permitted can be carried unconcealed by Ohio residents and visitors if they have an agreement with Ohio. So in the Event Zone around the convention it’s ‘open carry” season.So even assault rifles are just dandy.

Yes it’s where pro and anti Trump supporters jaw at each other.

Now look what is not permitted in the Event Zone


Yes, keep those pineapples, oranges, locks and lightbulbs out—and hey, watch those tennis balls.

“Is that the standard you aspire to?”

July 14, 2016

Michael Chabon, , best selling novelist Pulitzer Prize winner and and his wife Ayelet Waldman , a successful writer as well, are a Jewish power couple on the literary scene. Unlike too many Jewish tribalists who reflexively support Israel no matter what they decided to actually go to Israel and see for themselves.

Well they saw for themselves. All you have to is visit Hebron. Go there because “the only democracy in the Middle East’ will not let you in to Gaza.
I thought I’d see a few miserable people, a few settlers, some pressure between them and the Palestinians,” she recalls now (speaking Hebrew). “But when I got to Hebron, I went into shock. Literally. Totally. I couldn’t believe it. To see a road on which I was allowed to travel because I am a Jew and hold an Israeli passport, and opposite me a person who lives there and whose family has lived there for generations but who is forbidden to set foot on that road – that was a shock to me. I returned brokenhearted and furious. That evening I said that I would never come back here again, that I couldn’t understand how people can stand to live here.”
I wanted to come back for another visit immediately,” she gushes. “I wanted to be part of this Israel, I felt I belonged. And then I told myself that if I feel I belong, that I’m connected, that it’s my place, too – then the problem is mine, too. I can’t just go home and not think about it anymore. If I feel part of this, I also have to assume responsibility for changing the situation there.”

The husband Michael Chabon brought international writers to see for themselves. Soon a book will appear which will tell the truth.
They have seen the Israeli angle – that is the Israeli angle. We saw settlers,” he says sarcastically, “they were real nice. The checkpoints, where they arbitrarily stop people and get you out of your car for no particular reason – to me, that is the Israeli angle. You could talk to the settlers and they would say ‘God gave us this land,’ but that is not the other side of the story. The other side of the story is what’s happening at the checkpoints.”

Brought to Hebron by a brave IDF soldier Yehuda Shaull a spokesperson for Breaking the Silence, a group of soldiers IDF veterans who dare to speak truth to the brainwashed citizenry who never taste Palestinian immiseration.
A war has two sides, but the occupation doesn’t have two sides. There is occupier and there are the occupied, and this book will be about the people who are occupied. We saw plenty of settlers, and we spoke to them, even when we didn’t want to. The ones in Hebron especially were very, very aggressive. They surrounded us and they attacked [Yehuda Shaul, from Breaking the Silence]. We didn’t talk to the settlers in Susya. Why? Because that’s a false dichotomy. There’s a village whose homes were stolen and there are the thieves. I’m not interested in the thieves.

His wife was just getting wound up:
Bibi is a charlatan, he’s a con man,” she says. “He has convinced this country that the Jews of America are on his side. I will tell you who is on his side in America: the crazy evangelical Christians, the worst of the worst. Seventy-five percent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama. The American Jewish community is the single most liberal religious community in the United States. What just happened with AIPAC when Trump spoke and they stood on their feet – that I believe signals the death knell of AIPAC in the Jewish community. It might take five years, but they are finished. That’s why you saw them apologizing so fast, because the moment the Jews of America saw AIPAC standing on its feet and applauding Trump, that was the end. There’s this crazy dichotomy, where Israel takes $3.5 billion from the American government every year, and more money in donations, but it resists and resents the American influence. There’s a reason that every Jewish kid, no matter how rich his daddy is, gets a free trip to Israel ‘on the back’ of the Bronfman family. They’re worried that they are losing them, and the reason that is happening is the occupation.”

Well good for this couple of conscience for speaking the truth and admitting their prior ignorance.
“We live in Florida” a friend wrote “and are surrounded by an overwhelming presence of the New York Jewish population that actually has no clue as to how the Middle East got to where it is, but nonetheless, vehemently supports Israel no questions asked.”

Chabon alluded to these ignorant tribalists when he said:

Nobody knows. Nobody knows. Nobody knows. I didn’t know, and if I didn’t know – and I pay attention, I read the newspapers, I care about Israel, I’ve cared about Israel my whole life, but I didn’t know – nobody knows. Israelis don’t know. But Israelis always say: Why don’t you look at what the Turks are doing to the Kurds, at what’s going on in Syria? Chabon: “You know what I say to that? That’s who you want to be compared to? Why aren’t we comparing you to Sweden, why aren’t we comparing you to Denmark? You yourself are creating this category, which includes North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Turkey, Congo and Israel. Is that the standard you aspire to?”

Anti z

Must be anti-Semites. They’re Jewish? they must be self-hating.

Trudeau at Auschwitz

July 11, 2016


PM Trudeau visited Auschwitz on Sunday and like any sentient being was deeply affected by what he saw and wiped away tears several times as the survivor Nate Liepciger pointed to the massive ruins and shattered masonry that had once been gas chambers where millions met their deaths.

Trudeau to his credit made a point of asking to visit Auschwitz following the NATO summit in Warsaw. Anybody who gets to Warsaw and ignores  nearby Auschwitz is terminally incurious.

Visiting this replica of hell prompts serious thinking about the human condition.

My visit has remained indelible. I spent much time in the showers and crematoria with my bible.It served to deepen my pioneerin work on the shoah. It eventuated in my double solidarity to the state of Israel but also to the humiliated face of the Palestinians mabdated by the gospel.

Post Auschwitz I journeyed  to Israel, a sad country which has never internalized the universal meaning of the Nazi atrocity, a country in former speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg’s words “where today there are horrible layers of racism that are not essentially different from the racism that exterminated many of our ancestors.” Burg’s Orthodoxy is universal in its understanding. He reminds Jews today that ” since the shoah took place there is no genetic Judaism, only ethical, obliging Judaism. Automatic Judaism, bereft of self-criticism and moral obligations is for mer an abominable race theory.”


Burg  an intrepid critic of israel’s brutalization of the Palestinians said in his classic book The Holocaust is Over, We must Rise from its Ashes,”never again not just for us Jews but for every suffering victim in the world today”—and I would add to the Jews of israel, the Palestinians.

My fear is that once again holocaustmania will be used to mute any criticism of Israel and Trudeau will continue as has until now, become blind to Palestinian suffering.

The late British-Jewish historian (d.2005) Tony Judt writing in the Nation in 2005 made this point:

The Shoah is frequently exploited in America and Israel to deflect and forbid any criticism of Israel… It gives American Jews in particular a unique, retrospective “victim
identity”;  it allows Israel to trump any other nation’s sufferings (and justify its own excesses) with the claim that the Jewish catastrophe was unique and incomparable….
This modern instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political advantage is ethically disreputable and politically imprudent.”

One can only hope that Trudeau will grow in his understanding. A sensitive man, right now he sees with one eye and his clouded vision will continued to be manipulated by people with no shame and les sensitivity to others’ suffering.

Next stop Gaza if the jailers will let him in




The endgame is in sight

July 6, 2016


For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it[ will certainly come
and will not delay.
Habbakuk 2:3

When a public highway sign appears on highway  on Vancouver island near Duncan you know the end game in Israel is rapidly approaching. The horrific occupation of humiliation and suffering imposed on the indigenous people of Palestine is  quickly reaching a critical mass in North America.

The cynical Israeli government has lied for decades, trumpeting itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Its hasbara (propaganda) has been effective keeping the oppression hidden for much too long. With the advent of computers, cell phones Facebook and the many exposure tours to Israel/Palestine the cover behind the curtain has been blown.The unconscionable mass murder in Gaza in 2010 and 2014 has shocked the civilized world. A defenseless people with no army, navy or air force penned in for 365 sq miles was mercilessly  bombarded by missiles, Apache helicopters and Merkav tanks. The world including Jews of conscience finally awole to the savagery of the deaths of so many innocents.

Triste dictu, the Canadian government is still held hostage by the last remnants of holocaust guilt and a well organized pro Israel counterattack where once again the Anti-semitic card is played.

These pathetic rejoinders wherein Israel and its local allies, losing the battle of credibility are becoming more and more hysterical as the world responds to a time-honoured Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) campaign. The BDS campaign helped end apartheid in South Africa and its nonviolence will be remembered as an effective tool which finally ended  aprtheid in Israel..

Elie Wiesel “cheerleader for apartheid Israel”

July 3, 2016


The Nobel winner Elie Wiesel has died and the tributes are flowing in. Mr. Wiesel became famous in 1955  for his autobiographical novel  NIGHT a chilling account of Auschwitz , the most famous Nazi extermination centre.

Night for decades has become  a staple in high school courses for many good reasons. It has many powerful lessons to inculcate, maybe the most pressing is that the Nazi holocaust means never again —to anybody.

Most teachers however are not aware of the strong criticism Wiesel has received for his inability to include other than Jews under the umbrella of the word Holocaust. It belongs solely to Jews.

In the past few decades Wiesel’s Ulster has severely diminished for his failure to understand with Palestinian suffering

The late historian Howard Zinn, a fellow Jew called Wiesel’s refusal to include the suffering of non-Jews at the hands of the Nazis at Washington’s  Holocaust Museum, along with exhibits documenting Jewish suffering, one of the most “shameful moments” in recent memory. In that episode, Wiesel  described the inclusion of the terrible affliction of non-Jews by the Nazis in the Museum as an attempt to “falsify reality” and that such calls were tantamount to “stealing the Holocaust from us.”

This post by theologian Marc Ellis sums up a progressive Jewish view on Wiesel’s flawed witness:

Elie Wiesel is dead. The Holocaust world I cut my teeth on is coming to an end.

Is the world that cut its teeth on the Holocaust also coming to an end?

In their life and death, iconic figure like Elie Wiesel move us in different ways. The day after Wiesel’s death, it is time to take stock. In which direction are we heading?

I have been reading and writing about Wiesel for more than forty years. Though I have my arguments with Wiesel and other theologians and philosophers of the Holocaust, I never dismissed them as fakes or fools as some have. I will not do so today.

Those who explored the depths of the Holocaust were a great and deeply flawed generation. With reference to their hawkish stands on Israel, Wiesel and other Holocaust commentators simply did not understand what they had become involved in. If and when they understood, it was too late.

In the end, Wiesel was deeply corrupted by his use of the Holocaust he suffered so deeply from. Once an insurgent in Jewish life by insisting on the overriding importance of the Holocaust, in his later years, Wiesel became a cheerleader for an apartheid Israel and American military sanctions and intervention in the Middle East, all revolving around his support for Israel.


Wiesel became a caricature of himself. He trivialized the Holocaust he wrote so movingly about.

Through his invocations of the Holocaust, Wiesel achieved great wealth and garnered many honors; both compromised his witness. Politicians used him as the tributes accorded him in the coming days will no doubt show. But Wiesel and the Jewish establishment also used politicians to further entrench and extend their power and influence. So it goes, it seems.

We Jews live after the Holocaust and after Israel. By after Israel, I mean what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinian people. Those of us who live in the shadow of the Holocaust – and Israel – must ask ourselves the same questions we ask of Wiesel. What is our witness in the world? Has our standing in the world and what we represent corrupted us?

Elie Wiesel was hardly alone in becoming so stuck in Holocaust suffering that he failed to realize or care about what Jewish power was and is doing to the Palestinian people. We, the Jewish people, averted our eyes. We, the Jewish people, became corrupted through our use of unjust power against others.

Through Wiesel, Christians became heavily involved in the meaning of Holocaust suffering and support for the state of Israel without regard for the plight of Palestinians. Christians averted their eyes. Christians became corrupted through support of Jewish power against others.
So Elie Wiesel’s death must become our challenge. After the Holocaust and Israel, what are we to do? Do we really understand who we have become?

Once understood, we must stand for justice, at a personal and, if need be, at a collective cost. Lest we become other than whom we are called to be.

Here lies the unintended aspect of Elie Wiesel’s flawed witness. In the beginning Wiesel and others who reflected on the Holocaust invoked solidarity with the suffering as the key lesson of the Holocaust. True, again from the beginning, Jews were a priority. Yet, this solidarity also extended to those suffering after the Holocaust. Missing, of course, were Palestinians.

With the ascendancy of the Holocaust and Israel as the epitome of the Jewish and Christian witness, Wiesel helped ignite Jewish and Christian resistance to the oppression of the Palestinian people. By making the Holocaust and Israel central to the destiny of the Jewish people, Jewish and Christian resistance to Israel’s abuse of power was destined to take hold.

Today this resistance is exploding. Among others, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Christian struggle for divestment in a variety of denominational settings are deeply indebted to the flawed witness of Elie Wiesel.

As Elie Wiesel is honored and buried in the coming days, we would do well to reflect on other iconic figures of our day and those who use them for their own ends. Unlike iconic figures, injustice cannot be buried.
Resistance is always waiting in the shadows of unjust power. Thus our challenge as Elie Wiesel – and his generation – is laid to rest.

England humiliated in Euro Cup. So what.

July 1, 2016

Quite a time to be in Yorkshire for 2 weeks.First BREXIT then England’s humiliating loss to Iceland in the Euro Cup.

Back home Jeremy, an ex-pat Brit said he had to reprogram himself after his hysterical reaction to the loss. His wife came into the room while he was screaming at the television.

The British papers and the talking heads all wrote a variant of the above:This is the worst thing to happen since…world war ll.People were literally beside themselves and the jocks were inconsolable.some of the papers went after the millionaires who let the side down.


This from the Daily Mail:

England team has now landed in Luton Airport with luggage including coffee machines, golf clubs and guitars
What does all of this mean?

In 1938 Bertolt Brecht wrote this truism:

Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.
Galileo: No, Andrea: Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.

Having lived in England for a year and closely watched its response to Sportsworld, I agree with Brecht. 40 years ago Jackie Charlton a legendary Manchester footballer hipped me to the role of “football” in English working class towns.He was managing a Division 2 club and actually said, “It’s very impoirtant that the lads win on Saturday or the whole town will get depressed for 3 days.”


Legendary soccer coach from Liverpool Bill Shankly put it this way:

Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed … I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.

Really, Bill. Somebody should have told you that you were full of crap.But then e never speak to our idols like that.

People (read true citizens) should never surrender their agency to external forces or unworthy idols like athletic teams.They re simply idols which suborn our energy and our critical faculties.. Bread and circuses have always been the tools of the elite. They are simple diversions from more serious issues which should be attended to. appreciating the skill of athletes is fine but investing too much energy in sport and its clay figures demeans us.

Around 100 C. E. the satirist  Juvenal coined the expression “Panem et Circenses“, literally “bread and circuses”, a way in an increasingly corrupt Rome of diverting the common people from the truly important affairs of state. Give them public baths, gladiators, exotic animals, chariot races, sports (Go Leafs,Cavs, Jays!) and theatre. Things have not changed much particularly in the USA—where celebrity, entertainment and sports fill the void of civic engagement

Iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim 
already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties;

Continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses. 
everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses

The more alienated and disengaged one becomes from the heart of life the more one surrenders vital energies best used to build up the commons.

Listening to and watching the hysterical reaction to a football game reminds me of my years as a coach and my line: Do not call me coach, I am a teacher.

My friend Jeremy is to be congratulated. His conclusion to England;s defeat: I need to deprogram myself.


No more tears or apoplexy, Jeremy.