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The words in quotes in the title are not my words. They are those of former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Avraham Burg. They are the opening salvo in his brutally honest op-ed, The End of Zionism. I wish I could publish it in its entirety here - the flow of words should not be broken into partial quotes. I urge you to click the link and read it ALL, from the first to the last word. It is not long, I promise.

Except for the lack of mention of the "hand over" of Gaza, the war/s on Gaza and the mention of an Israeli leader in power who is no longer alive, ie, Ariel Sharon, you might think this was written recently. Actually, it was published 11 years ago. I first saw it back then, on a Guardian Talkboard, and I was floored by it - by the "what" of it said by the "who." I will never forget it. Perhaps you will agree with me that it is even more relevant today than it was eleven years ago.

The End of Zionism

[... ]The Israeli nation today rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice. As such, the end of the Zionist enterprise is already on our doorstep. There is a real chance that ours will be the last Zionist generation. There may yet be a Jewish state here, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly.
It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive.
[... ]Travelling on the fast highway that skirts barely a half-mile west of the Palestinian roadblocks, it's hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the despised Arab who must creep for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to him. One road for the occupier, one road for the occupied.
Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centres of Israeli escapism. [... ] We could kill a thousand ringleaders a day and nothing will be solved, because the leaders come up from below - from the wells of hatred and anger, from the "infrastructures" of injustice and moral corruption.
If all this were inevitable, divinely ordained and immutable, I would be silent. But things could be different, and so crying out is a moral imperative.
The prime minister should present the choices forthrightly: Jewish racism or democracy. Settlements, or hope for both peoples. False visions of barbed wire and suicide bombers, or a recognised international border between two states and a shared capital in Jerusalem.

Very telling, isnt it? Like the first line of the 4th blockquote: "Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centres of Israeli escapism."

As I finish this, with the TV on, I hear Israel is calling up 16,000 reservists, because they must "finish this task." Tunnels. Martin Fletcher says 90% of Israelis want this to continue. The Israelis are running away from their border towns, afraid of the tunnels - "we cannot live with that." That being the idea of rebels popping out and killing them.

What is one to make of 90% roaring approval for such undeserved slaughter of a people?

I can only imagine them yelling, as they run from the border, "We cannot tolerate a rebellion against our 47 year brutal occupation! We cannot give back what we stole! We are a majority addicted to the status quo of occupation and domination! Give us the Protective Edge!

I can only imagine this 90% elects and supports the best bullies they can get and then calls in their fear & loathing chips, cries for protection from those who threaten the status quo by daring to fight for this odd thing called freedom. They run to hide behind the steel skirts of their awesome military (Made in the USA), as they cheer it on to bomb, bomb, bomb! Bomb to oblivion those who dare intrude on their far more advanced "modern" lives. Cry, cry, cry, run, run, run, bomb, bomb, bomb...

What is next in the queue for these Israelis, for the 90%, if they dont achieve the level of comfort they demand while continuing this brutal occupation? If the bombs dont do the trick, if the shells dont, as Bibi said, "finish this task," if the automatic weapons dont do it, what is next? Bring out the nukes?

This is a delusional nation run by mass murderers supported by the masses. They are mass murderers on a rampage. I can only conclude they actually see those "human shield" children (non existent) as human targets of necessity. Dont let the "little snakes" grow up. As Knesset member Ayelet Shaked says of the Palestinians:

“They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads,” the post reads. “Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
Shaked was the former head of My Israel, a Zionist activist group she formed in 2010 with Naftali Bennett, the current Minister of the Economy in Israel. Daily Beast

It does appear that we are seeing the manifestation of Avraham Burg's dire predictions, including,

"There may yet be a Jewish state here, but it will be a different sort, strange and ugly."


(Quote from Ilan Pappé on Democracy Now!, 7/28/14):

"I think Israel in 2014 made a decision that it prefers to be a racist apartheid state and not a democracy," Pappé says. "It still hopes that the United States will license this decision and provide it with the immunity to continue, with the necessary implication of such a policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians wherever they are."

In 2007, Israeli professor (University of Haifa) and historian, Ilan Pappé, along with his family, left Israel for the UK due to death threats he received over critical positions he has taken regarding the occupation and treatment of Palestinians, especially after he supported a boycott of Israeli universities. He believes in a secular, one state, equality for all solution. Now, along with other positions and pursuits of his, he is a professor at the University of Exeter in England.

I was glad to catch him on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! - the show which I think has the best coverage of the current situation in Gaza - Israel's horrendous ongoing massacre/obliteration of the Palestinians, and the I/P conflict in general. It's so good at showing what is so bad - so much so, it is sometimes hard to watch. All of Monday's show, 7/28/14 was extremely informative and excruciatingly sad, which is why I am posting all 3 segments. Ilan Pappé is interviewed in the 3rd segment. I have posted some quotes from Pappe below the fold - reasonable thoughts on what spurred the Israeli incursion, beyond the tropes we are typically fed.

I urge you to watch the 2nd segment. It is Amy's in-studio interview of an incredible young Palestinian man, Amer Shurrab. He was lucky to have been one of the few to leave Gaza to come to America to study in our universities. However, luck is relative. And the adjective "unlucky" seems terribly inadequate to describe what happened to his family during the current incursion, but also five years ago, in Operation Cast Lead. Some things are just beyond words. But somehow, Amer finds the words - articulate, dignified, while dealing with the awful emotion that rises up, from what he knows.  His first utterance is a painful sigh, and it is not the last one. He teaches us well too.

The 1st segment is reported by DN's excellent on-the-ground reporter, Sharrif Abdel Kouddous. He takes his knowledge of the region (Egyptian born) and conscientiously delivers uncensored comprehensive reporting of this ongoing assault, of what Palestinians endure, what witnesses such as himself encounter. This segment focuses on what Gazans find upon returning to their bombed out houses and neighborhoods... hurriedly combing through rubble for their own relatives, everything decimated, while the carnage continues. Just a pause, not the end.

Since Monday's show there's been widespread reporting of another UN sanctuary bombed, 20 killed, many injured... the main power plant destroyed, kids slaughtered as they ran to get sweets for Eid and played a bit in a playground... I cant really digest all this... it is too overwhelming and insane. Today, the death count is climbing toward 1,300.

What you probably wont get elsewhere is today's DN interview by Amy of American Jewish leader, Rabbi Henry Siegman. What he has to say about Israel, the occupation, Israel's founding, Hamas, and our propaganda (e.g., US Govt: "The US will not talk to terrorists/Hamas!") is very interesting. And he is given a lot of time to say it. His eyes were opened some time ago, he has a conscience, morals, and he calls bullshit on the propaganda. As Amy says, what he has to say "might surprise you."

I have to echo Amer, who, at the close of his interview, gave a very touching "thank you for all you do." to Amy. I too thank her and the DN staff, all of them, for what they do. Democracy Now proves to be a an essential voice in the wilderness of Palestinian coverage, a clear mirror on the hideous things that are being done in these terrible times.

This is a fight for independence. Remember that, Americans, the next time you get a tear in your eye on the 4th of July.  

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Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 02:45 PM PDT

We Have Mad Nation Disease

by NYCee

Israel policy madness. General Foreign Policy madness. Death penalty madness. Gun madness. War madness. Wealth madness. Abortion madness. Education 'Reform' madness. Fill in the blank madness (because there are more) _____ Oh, PS: Elected officials who dont give a hoot about representing us madness.

Now that my sweeping, but I think true, diagnosis of our national health has been made, I'm just gonna rant a little, wherever the urge takes me...

First up. So, we have these New York City cops who continually harass and then kill a man over frickin cigarettes! Selling loose cigarettes! Well, these are Bloomberg's legacy cops. And if there was one good thing we learned from MayorForLifeMike, it was: CIGARETTES BAD!!! And like he said, cigarettes kill.

You all know Mike. He just flew El Al to Israel to protest... the massacre of people oppressed by a 47 year occupation? A 7 year siege upon said people? No, he was protesting an FAA ban on American flights to Israel, put in effect to keep Americans safe while rockets fly over Israel. Mike was outraged that American lives should take precedence over Israeli cash. (Rockets dont kill, Cigarettes Do!) So he grabbed a wad of dough from his billions and flew El Al to Tel Aviv in protest. Bibi was there on the tarmac in person to give him a great big hug. Ahhhh!

Mike's Message

"First, I want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for welcoming me here. He’s been a great friend of New York City and America, as have the Israeli people.

"I flew here to show solidarity with the Israeli people, who have come under attack from Hamas, and to show that it’s safe to fly in and out of Israel.

How smart you are, Mike! Because you made it there safely, it proves it is safe for one and all! And yes, "Israel" is a GREAT "friend" to "New York City" and "America". I personally know both New York City and America (though we dont travel in the same circles - I fly coach) and I can tell you, not a day goes by that they don't feel the love from their great friend, "Israel." XOXOXO
Good Friends, NYC & Israel, sittin' around talkin'
NEWSFLASH: FAA ban lifted! Israel thanks Mike!

Pack my bags, Ima goin' t'Israel! This "great friend" needs my money, all the money it can get to keep doing what it's doing. And hey, if Mike isnt right and I die trying, flying, hey man, it's for a really good cause! (Hopefully, if the Iron Dome springs a leak and we get hit, they could salvage my money from the wreckage. Note to self: Carry it in a rocket-proof container.)

Speaking of madness...

We have a nation that still kills people because it says killing is wrong. We achieved a brief spell of sanity here when the Supreme Court suspended the death penalty, which lasted a whole 4 years, from 1972 to 1976. But you know how it is when you suffer from an addiction... RELAPSE! Dropped us right back down into Crazytown. Seems we're crazy about killing. Death becomes us.

So, have we at least been having hot debates over this, over the decades?

Of course not. (We're mad!) However, this issue is flashing in the pan for another reason at present - looks like Arizona doesnt know how to execute a state execution 'humanely.' That is our legal pretzel-twist of a national headache at present, when it comes to state-sanctioned murder.

And it's not just an Arizona problem (or Ohio's, or Oklahoma's), it's a national one, because the world's developed nations, which long ago banned the death penalty, and most of our own pharmaceutical makers, will no longer sell us the drugs we need so we can murder humanely. That's the practical problem. Additionally, although no one in the political sphere touches the moral dilemma anymore, something tells me that when you allow even 1 of your 50 states to murder, it's on you, nation.

Am I the crazy one here? Maybe, but I hear tell it takes one to know one, and I, for one, do declare we have Mad Nation Disease. It may not have infected your particular cell space within the organism yet, but just give it time. It aint goin nowhere but everywhere.  


Fresh off the election, we are all aware of how that craptastic Citizens United ruling allowed billionaires like Adelson and the Koch Duo to flood their GOP candidates with money. They ended up firing duds, but it still is a damaging thing to our democracy. Not that CU made everything so much worse. It's bad, but let's not kid ourselves - our elections were tainted by way too much private money before CU became law.

Yet, while many liberals bemoan CU, the billionaires fouling our public education nest, hurting teachers and teaching, seem to largely fly below their radar. It seems they also pay little attention, overall, to the buy-in by elected officials like Obama to Wall Street's new object of affection and attention: Education reform. And boy, has Obama ever delivered!  

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A recent diary on the rec list (link) laid a lot of blame on Texas, Rick Perry, and assorted rightwing players and policies, for cutting and mauling public education. This continued in the comments, where blame was also laid at GWB's doorstep for No Child Left Behind -Texas, again - as well as other GOP-led states. But the outrage in the posts failed to tell the whole ugly story of who is responsible for the assault on public education and educators, or rather, they stopped short at Texas, GWB, Perry, and conservatives in other state governments who are currently whacking at public education and teachers' unions (targeted because they were the last strongly unionized bastion for the middle class). But cutting funding and overtly taking down unions isnt the only game in town when it comes to undermining these institutions. And conservatives arent the only players.

GWB did indeed usher in the "Texas (education) Miracle," but have we forgotten that it was breathed into being under the cozy "reform" bipartisanship of Democrats and Republicans? The journey down that road to ruin began early in W's tenure as President, perhaps at the point where Teddy Kennedy (aka, Liberal Lion) famously ambled over to the Oval Office for a bipartisan movie and a bipartisan hot dog and left with his stamp of approval on NCLB. The rest, as they say, is history. Dominoes.

What about the nearly 4 years since we saw the back end of George's horse slipping over the horizon? At that time, to much fanfare, the white hat Democrats rode into town, to the rescue, on a majority, with a hope and change agent sheriff in the lead, ostensibly to undo the bad that black hat GWB and his badass gang had done. Or at least not to make it worse. Take what Bush & Co. did to education policy (Take it, please!), brought to us with the Democrats cooperation on NCLB, under Senator Kennedy's leadership, I reiterate. (But surely, by then they knew the error of their ways...)

Oh... wait. It didnt quite turn out like that...


Obama's education policies are:

73%17 votes
8%2 votes
4%1 votes
4%1 votes
8%2 votes

| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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Morning Joe's Joe passionately opined today, at the show's round table (temporarily on the road, in Florida) on the need for Romney to launch some bold ideas to win conservatives and draw a stark contrast with Obama, as opposed to just running on a nebulous "successful businessman will save economy" positive and a barbed "Im not Newt" negative. This was spurred by prior discussion that zeroed in on Jeb Bush declining to publicly throw support behind Romney. Joe likes Jeb a LOT and used Jeb's unwillingness to endorse as one more reason why Rommey should go for big conservative ideas, ie, Jeb would be more likely to support Romney if only he would draw a sharper contrast between himself and Obama.

Joe then helpfully offered just such a move for Mitt - go up against the teachers unions! (Joe is a BIG fan of teachers' unions... as the reason Johnny  can't read and as evil propagator of multiple national afflictions) According to Joe, not only would this BOLDly distinguish Mitt from the union-enthralled Obama (On this planet?), as the candidate he and other conservatives yearn for, but it just might follow that this would endear him to Jeb. It appears Joe thinks Jeb frets and fumes, as he does, that Obama is in the clutches of the nasty teachers' unions. Putty in their underhanded hands.

News flash beneath the fold, Joe.

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The day before yesterday, Joe Scarborough led off on Morning Joe (Yes, I watch. Propaganda watch should go beyond FOX) by spotlighting the sort of "liberal" he loves, e.g., Gov. Cuomo for his Gov. Christie-like behavior, on whom he lavishes praise on an almost daily basis.

But 2 days ago he lauded yet another sensible "liberal" (Joe's "L" word usage here, not mine, given it's him -->>), Richard Cohen, quoting from his  latest column in the Washington Post. What Joe's reading spotlit for me was how Richard Cohen would make Rasmussen pollsters envious, given the way he skews his "data" in order to attack the gluttonous public union retirees and assist conservatives attack on them.

One need only look at Joe's opening salvo, which was a quote from Cohen's opening salvo, to raise the red flag high. (Joe liked this mess so much, he made sure to repeat it throughout the show...)

It is this:

In New York City, the No. 2 guy in the fire department retired on a pension worth $242,000 a year.
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A piece after my own heart is Glenn Greenwald's recent: Daley is a reflection, not a cause. (Since I last looked, it's fallen below a pile up of pieces on our eroding civil liberties, our globally feared "justice" system, first under Bush, now under Obama - alarming articles which folks would do well to read.)

Not that I have much to say about the Daley appointment, but it really isnt the focus of Greenwald's piece either. Rather, the appointment, having stoked a recent billowy emission of outrage from Progressive Central, serves as a jumping off point to examine a deeper problem - that of progressives highly dysfunctional relationship with the Democratic Party.

I posted a diary here recently, Happy New Year, Progressives! Ready to Get Shafted (again)? In it, I went down some of the same paths as Greenwald (although not all, and down some where he didnt go). Where we converged is where chronically betrayed progressives insist on keeping their powder/power dry when it comes to the party that takes them for a ride, time after time.

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Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 12:46 PM PST

Gun Control (and Christina)

by NYCee

I'll start with Christina Taylor Green, the latest highly publicized child victim of gun violence in America, one of the 6 people killed in the Arizona shooting.

As for this little girl, Christina, I find, wrapped in the sadness of her murder, the sadness of a wayward nation, which her short life-span symbolizes, given that she was born at the time many Americans were rudely awakened, from their state of distraction to the world at large, by the violent explosion of 9/11/01. She was killed by a bullet a decade later (if you count the time she was in the womb - all technical "life" language aside - she was living almost exactly a decade). Violence that consumed our  national attention ushered in her life and ended it, like bookends on a shelf called America.

She came and she left in events of widely publicized violence, which should not be unexpected or considered all that random. Given our culture, it is perhaps shocking, but not surprising. How in the world could it be surprising when it is violence that our nation encourages with its ubiquitous embrace of weaponry and war, of death by violence - a cultural norm that is just WRONG. We remain extremely primative here, even as we advance by leaps and bounds technologically - not a comforting reality.

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Well, why not, if your issues are hitched to a donkey that has a far different destination than you? As the Dem establishment's cohorts (corporate media) are so willing to sneer: "Where else do they you have to go!" (Question mark denied, purely rhetorical.) As long as you remain hitched, clothespin or not, whingeing and furiously posting your dissent or not, as long as you vote for them, they gotcha.

They dont care about your petitions, they dont care about your majority view in polls (tax cuts, public option, Afghanistan, SS), they dont care about their meaningless pledges to you - the only thing left is your vote. If you are willing to give it to them, they gotcha. The scoffing, dismissive media is right. And you have no right to bitch about what they say - you keep going to the hair salon to get a plunger, you're gonna get a haircut and your toilet will still be swimming in shit.

Funny side note: The East Village, Manhattan, where things used to be funkee, actually had a "Hair Salon/slash/Hardware Store" on Avenue B. And a storefront that provided "Income Taxes & Numerology," on East 14th St. Them days are gone, gone with the corporate sweep of the last vestiges of ye olde funkytown, NYC... and them days are gone of ye olde "Party of the People," ie, Democrats.

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Progressives of all walks, educators, public education and union workers/supporters on site, can we please dig ourselves out of the mountain of feel-good Obama/Dem jottings that pile up here to note that Obama is once again going stage right non-progressive on a major issue - education "reform"?

Obama just wrapped up his health reform victory, ie, Romneycare writ large - which is markedly non-progressive at its core (since I began this diary, a few days ago, we now have his offshore drilling plan and a move to break his promise on the whaling moratorium, to add to an alarming pile up of bad policies and broken promises... ask Greenpeace about the whaling issue) and now President Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, are seeking to further GOPify education, to more deeply embed and widely spread the worst aspects of NCLB, the privatization/race for money of our schools and the implementation of off-target policies that target teachers for punishment, which only hurts teachers and does not helps kids.

But dont take it from me - take it from Diane Ravitch whose quote I pulled for this title, from a recent interview on Democracy Now!  

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Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 11:45 AM PST

Scarborough's an Effin Liar... (again)

by NYCee

Off work today, I cast an eye on Morning Joe. Jeers is too nice a word for my reaction. Instead, I prefer a Fuck U to Joe Scarborough and assembled YES-people gathered 'round the Starbucksy lord and master's table.

This morning, Joe Scarborough had a field day mocking Jesse Ventura for claiming he had left MSNBC because of the network's bad reaction to his criticism of the Iraq War (happily leaping onto Geist's prickish tee up of said mockery... MSNBC do that?! Oh my stars, get Jesse a straitjacket!) Joe proclaimed, with much bluster and zero factitude, that no one was ever fired from MSNBC for expressing criticism of the Iraq war...

I got two names that spell: Y-o-u  A-r-e  a  F-u-c-k-i-n-g  L-i-a-r,  J-o-e,
and those names are:

*Phil Donahue

*Ashleigh Banfield

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