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First allow me to say to the Bigots who think this is Mondoweiss and or related anti-Semitic hate sites like Stormfront, or davidduke.com... You are right. This is. It is pretty fucking obvious that Jewish Posters who are not "Good Jews / Kapos" or don't toe the line on "Israel is Teh Suck" pretty much are not welcome here. It seems that Markos in his infinite wisdom has decided that "Fuck all, I want to be just like that rousing success of a website; Firedoglake".

Well ok.. you might say... vb1 is ranting here and frankly he can't back up his claims. I can understand that. BUT you would be wrong. For example, in this diary where I disagreed with the Presidents pick on Chuck Hagel, because I thought we could a lot better than picking a Conservative Republican for Sec. Def. when we should have picked a liberal or prog. Democrat... T.U. Wattlebreakfast HR'd me in conversation with him - a clear violation of the rules (see the bottom conversation of the diary). Of course mine and other Jewish users who complained were met with dead silence from the Admins. To this day Wattlebreakfast remains a T.U.

ALSO, we have a diarist Obamalover20122 who wrote a diary comparing Israel to the Nazi's (supposedly... that too is not allowed here) and HR'd someone in his own diary. Yet what has happened to him... Why nothing. Nothing at all.

YET, when I comment in a diary that clearly entertains anti-Semitic dogwhistles saying things like:

The reason for this disproportionate, obsessive focus on Israel with no regard for U.S. troops in Afghanistan? Simple: AIPAC and the "pro-Israel" lobby's ill-founded concern about the Hagel nomination coupled by the lobby's disproportionate influence on our representatives to echo that concern.
Where AIPAC actually has nothing to do with the Hagel nomination both by their own admission and from commentary by people close to them. AND then adds this standard dog whistle for anti-Semites of all ages:
But when the hawkish, "pro-Israel" lobby in America can influence our representatives to sound as if they – well – are representing Israel's citizens more than our own?

We have a problem. A problem that must be discussed openly and honestly

Where else do we see this "we have a problem about the "Pro-Israel" lobby that we must discuss"..  Well here is one place where many "questions about the "pro-Israel lobby" in America are raised. And notice the rhetoric that Duke uses - sounds pretty similar to what the The Useful Idiot (The Troubadour) uses.

And of course who can forget where STILL trusted users here straight up supported commentary that told everyone else, that the Government of the U.S. is controlled by the Ebilz Izrailees (Jews). WHAT you don't believe me... Why here is the comment:

Recommended by:Eiron, Terra Mystica, Celtic Merlin (two of the three still trusted users)

The US  is  becoming the sick man of the Pacific, scaffolded by the encumbrance of having recently been almost an economic empire (where else is China going to put its surplus cash ? is there any substitute for treasury bonds?), has a non-functioning government whose single aim seems to facilitate colonialism in Palestine and is so co-opeted  by the colonialist lobby like AIPAC that its members really have no function aside from funnelling goodies from these lobbies and avoiding its reprimand.

Well anyway, when the anti-Semites and other assorted bigots complain about me, the admins. are on it like lightning. I mean they can't have their Useful Idiot criticized when he in fact is playing to the anti-Semites like a good little boy. SO when the anti-Semites get nothing for their bigotry and hatred, but when someone uses fact based criticism of them, well I get NR'd. I mean, people that I and other Jewish posters complain about for outright rules violations and bigotry.. Get Nothing. No admins. The violators are free to go along their merry way with absolutely ZERO repercussions. But we get hammered.... and right away I might add.

Amazing how that works... isn't it?

It's pretty freakin' obvious that this is where you want to take the site Markos. And you know, it's your site so you can do whatever the fuck you want with it. But, you are losing some good people along the way. You are losing people that actually support reasonable and sane politics just so you can get clicks from a bunch of cranky LaRouchies, batshit insane Paulbots, and a smattering of unrepentant Naderites.

OH and for the record so that you and the shitballs that you are allowing to inherit the commentary of your site - I want to leave you with the politics that I espouse so there is a record of that. And so that folks can see that when you and the Useful Idiot and friends are sitting their chuckling about this rant let's be clear about the folks leaving your site.

I am a proud Democrat and co-founded the group "Jews for President Obama". Honestly, I think the guy is going a great job considering all of the obstacles he has to face. I am a tad disappointed in his willingness to deal with the Republicans who won't "play fair" no matter what, but, on the whole a President like him is far better than any alternative out there.

Along those lines I strongly support a rational Gun Control Policy based on the Israeli System of Gun Control. Here - this diary pretty much explains it all: I Shoot, I Support Gun Control

Also, I very much support Civil Rights for all Americans and I applaud the Administration for it's work in supporting Marriage Equality as well. I believe that as a society we have a responsibility to every member of that society to treat people with dignity and respect.

As for the Middle East and the bigotry that is happening here in the U.S. ... I support a just and fair Two State Solution along the lines of the 2007-08 Olmert plan. I reject the continued settlement policies of the Likud-Betainu government of Israel, and I reject calls from Israeli Rightists to Annex the West Bank. If you want to look at politicians I support in Israel, look at Avodah and HaTanuah

See, despite the hatred I see here towards Jews who don't willingly accept a collar, unlike others, I don't have to hate. The anti-Semitism and bigotry I see here is just symptomatic of what is happening on the Hard Left, particularly where it marries the Hard Right. Where Ron Paul meets Lyndon LaRouche and they all get to party with the Greens and Naderites.

I believe that the Islamophobic campaign of the Hard Right in the U.S. is just as insidious as the anti-Semitism that has found a home on the Hard Left. Both feed on hatred and distrust. I see many similarities between the two to be honest. They strike me as just being different sides of the same coin.

And I am not the only person who thinks along these lines that is or has decided to leave. There are many more of us reasonable, and progressive Democrats who really don't want to be associated with the shit-hole of CT and hatred that you are allowing to thrive here.

So why the epic flameout? Well I have spent four years here and written a number of diaries. Most have been reasonable commentary on what has been happening in the world with a focus on the Middle East and Democratic Politics. Lately I have been focusing on Gun Policy and how I believe that America needs a sane Gun Policy that allows for people to maintain their Second Amendment rights BUT stands firmly on the side of Public Safety.

So honestly I have put a bit of myself into the community and I am disappointed to see that the community is becoming home to a bunch of serious whacknuts, bigots, and irrelevant assholes.

So, Markos.. have fun with bigoted shitballs who you seem to want to party hearty with. Please allow the ignorant haters free run of your site and wipe away their over-dramatized tears of impotent rage at Teh Ebilz Zionists influence over our government (snark for those of you too stupid to figure it out). And of course don't let them "go numb" with sadness over some issue or another. We don't want the batshit insane Paulbots, LaRouchie's, or Naderites to lose a wink of sleep, now.. do we?

Oh and to you, Markos, elfing and especially the Shitball bigots... Go Fuck Yourselves. Really. Just go Fuck Yourselves. Racism and bigotry suck no matter which end of the political spectrum it comes from and you boys (and girls) wallow in that shit like the little piggies that you are.

To those who want to read my stuff thanks for four pretty good years and for being cool and smart people... You know where I am and the two sites I am posting at. Both are decent and don't tolerate the racist whackjob bullshit that this site has come to represent.

Discuss

Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM PST

I Shoot, I Support Gun Control

by volleyboy1

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Yep, that's right. Just like the Title says... "I Shoot" AND "I support Gun Control". Not Gun Bans (though I understand the call for bans on "Assault Weapons" and I can see why people do support this - I am agnostic on them leaning towards supporting the ban), but reasonable Gun Control.

I add this so that people have some context.

Understand.... I am no pacifist. At one point I thought I was. I was wrong. I practice a very aggressive style of Martial Arts called Krav Maga. I do abhor violence for the purpose of assault or other crimes and I would NEVER initiate violence for that purpose. But I do enjoy fight sports and enjoy sparring. I think people should be fully equipped with knowledge of how to defend themselves if the need arises.

That said... I also enjoy shooting my pistol (A Glock 17 9mm)

Here is me shooting said Gun:

I enjoy shooting. There is something about it that I just really enjoy. I take classes in Israeli Tactical Point Shooting - (which has an emphasis on dealing with terror situations and not criminal assault, rounds are not chambered until the gun is actually pulled). The more I go through these classes the more I realize just how powerful a gun really is, and how it should never be taken lightly or be a weapon of "first resort". The rhetoric coming from the NRA and hard-core supporters sickens me. In my opinion, when a gun becomes a response of "first resort", these are the people that should absolutely NOT have guns or any deadly weapon.

So I just want people to understand when I come out in support of the gun control laws I support, that people understand I don't want to take away peoples rights to sport shoot, hunt, or protect their family. What I do want is to regulate the availability of Guns and their destructive power.

Follow me over the Squiggle for discussion

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Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:50 AM PST

TED CRUZ: THE NEW VILLAGE IDIOT

by volleyboy1

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Over at the Maddow Blog we have reports from the newest Village Idiot (even by Congressional Standards) Ted Cruz (R-Secessionist Republic of Texas).

Here let's let the idiocy speak for itself:

In this clip, at around the 0:44 mark, Cruz notes that the Senate has "two pending nominations, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel." Describing the nominees, Cruz added, "Both of whom are very prominently..."

After pausing for a few moments, the event's moderator said, "Anti-us?" Cruz responded that Kerry and Hagel are "less than ardent fans of the U.S. military."

Perhaps Ted Cruz would benefit from a reminder about the men he's attacking. John Kerry is a decorated war hero who was awarded combat medals including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Chuck Hagel is a decorated war hero who was awarded combat medals including the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Purple Hearts, Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

Cruz, meanwhile, who apparently considers himself an "ardent fan of the U.S. military," has never worn a uniform, except maybe on Halloween.

But then watch some more... Cruz goes on to solidify his claims to the title by saying that Ronald Reagan should have won the Nobel Peace Prize because he "caused the downfall of the Soviet Union and won the Cold War".

Anyway, the sheer stupidity / ignorance of saying that two decorated War Heroes (no matter what else one may feel about either man), don't love "us" (he did not say "the U.S." he said "us") are "anti-the U.S. military" is mind boggling in it's wrongness. To say that both men only favor judicious use of the military or are anti-militarism would be far more accurate. BUT for someone who has never served in any military role to accuse two decorated war heroes, in leadership positions in the U.S. Government as being anti-U.S. military is mindblowingly dumb.

OH yeah, AND in the case of Chuck Hagel. These morons at the National Review Institute Summit should remember that not too long ago their guy Hagel was racking up scores from the American Conservative Union of over 95 on his voting record.

Oh well just another day in wingnuttia.

 

Discuss

Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:20 PM PST

PEACE THROUGH WAR

by volleyboy1

Cross Posted at the Progressive Zionist

Hat Tip to Jed Lewiston and his Front Page Diary: Remember when Paul Ryan blamed the attack in Benghazi on the sequester?

In reading Jed's diary something struck me in one of Paul Ryans quotes:

We should always stand up for peace, for democracy, for individual rights.
Ok... on it's own sounds fine.

Then Ryan goes on to say:

And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts, because what that does when we equivocate on our values, when we show that we're cutting down on defense, it makes us more weak. It projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us.
And this is where Ryan channels Big Brother. Allow me quote from George Orwell's Masterpiece 1984:
So... what Ryan here is directly saying is... (In my words): "Let's stand for PEACE and the way we stand for PEACE is to build up our WAR machine to a point where no one will be able to challenge us, because if they do, we will utterly destroy them."

Now, aside from the facts that Guerilla movements in SouthEastern and Central Asia give lie to his commentary (after all, we outgunned the Viet Cong and Taliban 10,000 to one and we were able to wreck complete destruction upon their relative nations and yet that didn't stop them). This is a dangerous fallacy that has infected the American Polity in a number of ways.

OH, and before we go on I want to make it clear that I am not an isolationist, I am not a Green, and I have no issue with the United States having a presence around the Globe (though I am certainly not a supporter of "Empire Building"). Further, I fully support the notion that the U.S. and our allies should have what I term a "Stout Defense". But, that said, I also support an honest commentary on what that means and NOT use of Orwellian terminology to create a false meme.

But here... Here is a chart of our Defense Spending relative to the rest of the world

1. United States                      711.0    
2. China                             143.0    
3  Russia                               71.9
4  United Kingdom                62.7
5  France                             62.5
6  Japan                               59.3
Now, notice... IF the U.S. Cut it's military spending by over $ 400 BILLION per year. That's right... you saw it $ 400 BILLION PER YEAR, we would STILL outspend the next five countries on the list added up together.

Let's break that down even further. IF we cut our Defense budget by $ 500 Billion for one year we would still almost outspend our main rivals Russia and China together (they would have us by $ 3 billion).

NOW, does anyone in their right mind think that Al Qaeda for one second looks at our defense spending and says: "HOHOHO America cut it's spending - well they must be weak" and further does anyone even further out really think that our main allies, Britain, France, Israel, Australia, etc... think that we are somehow "weak" even though we are outspending the next five nations (Nations 3 2-#6) collectively???

No.. What this is, is a blatant Orwellian Chant of "War is Peace", "We destroyed that village to save the village".

Paul Ryan's words are hypocritical. His party stands firmly against Democracy (look at his party's efforts to not count the popular vote), his party party stands firmly against individual rights (Marriage Equality, voting rights, civil rights). Ryan talks about Peace but in this, he is only talking about the Peace that comes from utter destruction left in the wake of War.

Discuss

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Now that the Israeli elections are over the questions are just beginning. Questions such as, What coalitions will form? What if any change going forward will the nation face on such issues as The Occupation, the Economy, or on issues of Social Justice. These are all, of course, large questions and can't be answered now - but as the government forms it is interesting to explore them.

First however, lets take a look at the "numbers behind the numbers". The Times of Israel does a very nice job of breaking this down.

The chart corresponds to these totals:
Likud-Beytenu (31 seats):880,972 ballots, (23.32%)
Yesh Atid (19): 541,033 (14.32%)
Labor Party (15): 430,305 (11.39%)
Jewish Home (12): 344,028 (9.11%)
Shas (11): 330,359 (8.74%)
United Torah Judaism (7): 195,577 (5.18%)
Hatnua (6): 188,425 (4.99%)
Meretz (6): 171,660 (4.54%)
United Arab List (4): 137,983 (3.65%)
Hadash (4): 113,336 (3.00%)
Balad (3): 96,788 (2.56%)
Kadima (2): 79,064 (2.09%)
One interesting fact here... There were approx. 250,000 votes cast that did not count. Why? Because in the Israeli system to get into parliament, a party needs to cross a 2% of the total vote threshold. Those votes went to parties (22 parties) that did not meet that threshold and in Israel, that means the votes get tossed out.

So... for the election:

Out of all the 5,656,705 eligible voters, 67.52 percent cast their ballots in just under 10,000 voting stations throughout the country. The turnout was some 4% higher than in the previous elections.

A total of 3,818,441 votes were cast. Of those, 40,464 were disqualified. The remaining 3,777,977 votes were legal and counted by the election committee.

More than 250,000 votes were cast by people away from their local voting station, the majority of them by soldiers and the rest by Israel’s diplomatic corps, prisoners, hospital patients and sailors of the merchant navy.

The threshold needed to enter the Knesset was set at 2% of the general vote, which, in light of the number of votes cast, translated into slightly over 75,000 votes.

And yes.... apparently in Israel... People in Prison can vote.

SO what... Cross the Orange Cloud with me for the discussion

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Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM PST

Blogging the Israeli Elections

by volleyboy1

Cross posted at The Progressive Zionist

So today is the day for the Israelis. The elections are up and running and many wait to see the results.

The Polls are due to close at 10 PM Israel time (12 noon PST, 3 PM EST) and then results can start being reported. As of now, Turnout is looking to be at it's highest point since 1999 with The Times of Israel projecting a possible 70% turnout was at 55% as of 4 PM Israel Time.

On social media and throughout the nation one thing I am hearing is that Likud-Betainu is NOT going to get the mandates they thought they were (Assaf called this one on Sunday). Haaretz is running a "liveblog". Sources there are saying Likud-Betainu may get as few as 31 Mandates (down from 42 they currently hold though it is still way to early to tell)

According to Haaretz:

7.52 P.M. Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu officials are trading accusations, imputing the responsibility for the electoral failure of their joint ticket.

5:33 P.M.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Haaretz  that voter turnout in Likud strongholds in Israel are low, highlighting the growing fear within his party that it's heading for collapse. As the evening wears on, Netanyahu is continuing his efforts to awaken Likud voters across the country.

5.27 P.M. Likud is concerned with low turnout at the party's traditional bastions. "We're lucky if we get 31 seats," one party official said.

On some other interesting notes - Yesh Atid is claiming that polling from Channel 10 shows that they will be the # 2 Party in Israel. This is of course complete speculation but it does pose some interesting questions if true.

Other stories seem to be Arab Turnout which was around 10% in some places was starting to pick up and in Nazareth has hit 44%. The Arab parties are working hard to get out the vote and in an unusual move the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah has urged Arab citizens to get out to vote.

Along with this turnout on the IDF bases are also high with 60% turnout (up 13% from 2009) with five hours to go.

What will happen here is anyone's guess and depending on vote totals things could shift in the country dramatically.

A few days ago I wrote a diary based on possible coalitions... Now.... with what I am hearing. Who knows?

I will be posting updates throughout the day. I seriously hope our Israeli friends will come in and comment and share what they are hearing as well.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS DIARY IS AN INFORMATION DIARY. SPECULATION ON THE ELECTION IS WELCOME. WHAT THIS IS NOT, IS THAT IT IS NOT AN ADVOCACY DIARY ON I/P. I AM NOT TAKING A POSITION HERE ON POLICY. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THOSE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WRITE YOUR OWN DIARY AND LEAVE IT OUT OF HERE. HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS / QUESTIONS ON POSSIBLE COALITIONS AND/OR PROJECTIONS REGARDING THE ELECTION. THEN I HOPE YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE.
And let the Parodies begin...
LOL Image of Jeremy Gimpel from HaBayit HaYehudi who said he would like to see a Third Temple built where a "blown up" Dome of the Rock was
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Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM PST

Israeli Elections are a comin'

by volleyboy1

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Well, if you thought the campaign season here (in the U.S.) was fraught with vitriol, charges against patriotism, all manner of crazed predictions... (as they say) "You ain't seen nothing yet". Welcome tot he run-up to the Israeli Elections to be held in one and a half weeks.

So here is a simple graphic I grabbed from Haaretz that should explain the likely / and unlikely coalitions that could come from the next Israeli Elections (Jan. 22nd):

GRAPHIC ONE - The Hard Right Coalition

So... what are you looking at here in these graphics. Well in the first graphic you have
P.M. Netanyahu (Likud Betainu), Naftali Bennet (Ha Bayit HaYehudi), Ariyeh Deri (Shas) and what looks to be MK Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism). This is a Hard Rightist coalition that would command approximately 64 seats. Would be dedicated domestically to at least favoring a religious agenda (because both UTJ and Shas would hold the keys to keeping the coalition in tact) and on foreign policy and the Occupation would mark a veer away from PM Netanyahu's plan of an eventual Palestinian State on the West Bank (albeit with only 60% of the West Bank and no Jerusalem) and into a solution like that proposed by Habayit Hayehudi who would Annex Area C, Spend millions of Shekls to create connectors in Area's A & B and create autonomous homeland areas (but not allowing for an independent State) within the remaining parts of the West Bank. Economically, it would be very strongly "capitalist" in a country that is basically a Socialist or Social Democratic nation.  

Despite much of the nonsense spread here - this is NOT the Prime Ministers preferred coalition, though it may indeed be the coalition that is most likely to happen. Why? Because, P.M. Netanyahu first of all DOES NOT really want to be dependent on the Religious elements of society to run the government. While he may be a Rightist he is not a theocrat. This coalition would place the stability of his coalition into the hands of the religious (and in the case of Habayit Hayehudi - religious nationialists). ALSO, Netanyahu does have a plan for at least some of the West Bank and Gaza to be a Palestinian State. While it may not be something that anyone will accept it is a plan. If he has to take on Habayit Hayehudi... that plan goes out the window.

GRAPHIC TWO - The Broad Based Coalition

This is the Prime Ministers favored government. It shows Likud Beitainu (34 seats projected), HaTanuah (Tzipi Livni's new party) (11 Seats), Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid's new party) (11 Seats), Shas (10 seats) and UTJ (6 seats) for a solid Knesset majority of 72 seats. While this coalition would still have to hold on to either of the religious parties to maintain the coalition, either party could leave and not crash the coalition. Given the more politically moderate nature of Ariyeh Deri (compared to Eli Yishai of Shas), this would allow for a foreign policy that is more flexible and more security minded than religious nationalist minded.

This would in appearances and policy represent a Center (Yesh Atid and HaTanuah) / Right (Likud - Betainu) coalition. It would be more more socially responsible than option # 1 in terms of national economics, and would have a religious presence but not necessarily a religious - nationalist presence. HOWEVER, when I say this that is not to say that there would be NO religious - nationalist presence there. Likud, in their primaries, purged a few prominent "moderates" and took on a much more rightist perspective with Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin moving up the ranks. Interestingly enough... Likud Betainu (who are bleeding votes in the polls to Habayit Hayehudi) are now so pissed off that they are threateing the settlers that vote for Bennett's party instead of Likud.

Support for Naftali Bennett’s ascendant right-wing Jewish Home party comes largely at the expense of the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list and its leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — and nowhere is this more pronounced than among the largely Orthodox settler population. Reportedly, the trend has prompted Likud to “play rough” and convey the message that if these Israelis fail to vote for Likud-Beytenu in January 22′s election, the consequences for the entire settler movement could be grave....

...But now, the sources said, “there’s pressure on the settlers. The message is that, this time round, you have to be with us. Otherwise, there will be repercussions for the future of the settlement movement.”

Along with this very direct threat:
Another Likud member was quoted as saying that, after the elections, the party would compare the number of votes it received in various settlements to the number of Likud members in the same locations.
NOW... how will Likud be able to make good on this threat with people like Danon and Feiglin in the mix, I don't know. It seems to me that no matter what, the settlers will have support from Likud-Beitainu.

The real question is whether Lapid and Livni will "play ball" with Netanyahu and his plans. Both are relative moderates on foreign policy issues (which includes the Occupation). Neither one wants to Annex the West Bank into Israel and create a demographic nightmare that would effectively force Israel to become a minority run state. SO, I am not sure how I can see Livni in coalition with Danon, Feiglin or Lieberman (that already did not work out once).

Also, Given Netanyahu's record of absorbing more moderate groups in (Kadima and Labor), I am not sure how far either of them can trust the Prime Minister to work with their agenda's. I think that if either of the two "centrist" parties do go into a coalition government with Likud - Betainu they would try to exact some heavy promises from that group however, as Shaul Mofaz, and Ehud Barak found out... those promises from Likud don't really amount to much.

GRAPHIC THREE - The Left/Center Coalition

Personal Note: (this is the coalition I personally support).

This coalition has virtually no chance of happening however... it is nice to see. This coalition as shown would consist of Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) (18 Seats) heading up a government consisting of Livni, (11 seats), Lapid (11 Seats), Shas (10 Seats), UTJ (6 seats), and Zehava Gal On (Meretz) (5 seats) for a total of 61 seats. A bare majority that would strongly be beholden to the religious parties on those issues.

This has a low likely hood of happening for two reasons. The first is that Likud/Betainu would be able to put together that Rightist coalition without any of the Center - Center Left parties on his own and since it is pretty obvious from the polling Likud - Betainu will win a strong majority of seats they will have the "first crack" at building a government. ALSO.... as the chart indicates the religious parties seem to both prefer that Likud be given the first shot at the government and I don't think would hold out for Yachimovich's very secular and leftist economic platforms. Still it is a nice dream.

GRAPHIC FOUR - The UNITY GOVERNMENT

This is an interesting situation because I think this would probably not happen but... it would have Likud-Betainu (34 seats), Labor (18 Seats), Lapid (10 seats) and Livni (11 seats) plus the religious parties (16 seats). This would give 73 seats NOT counting the religious parties (89 seats with the Religious Parties). Why do I see this as not probably not happening?

Well first of all, I can't see Labor EVER going back into coalition with Likud given their previous experience. I don't see how Yachimovich and Co. could co-exist with Danon and Feiglin, it just doesn't make sense. Plus, Yachimovich has sworn not to enter into a coalition with PM Netanyahu (though we all know how much politicians promises are worth) and to lead a strong opposition. For a long time, Yachimovich and Labor were not outspoken on the Occupation and Settlements, preferring a more neutral path and in fact had not touched the settlement budget but, in response to ever growing criticism (as Assaf noted in a diary a few weeks ago I believe) she has now come out as opposing increased settlement activity and promises to take steps opposite that process.

One might also ask "Where are the Arab Parties and Hadash (a combination of Arabs and Jews with a Communist bent) in this discussion? They sit at 11 seats total. As any observer of this will tell you, all of these parties are non-Zionist in nature and do not accept the idea of Israel as the National State and Homeland of the Jewish people. Because of that, or until they change that, they will never, ever, ever, ever be asked into or be part of an Israeli Ruling Coalition. It just won't happen.

SO that is a very brief rundown of what is happening in the Israeli elections. Of course there is much more to this and I hope that our Israeli Kos folk will add to this and enlighten us with some more info.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS NOT A DIARY FOR META I/P WARS - IT IS INFORMATIONAL IN NATURE. IF THE INFORMATION IS WRONG, THEN CORRECT IT IN A POLITE MANNER. IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD THAT CAN HELP SHOW RESOURCES - GREAT. HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO "RAIL" ON THE NATURE OF ISRAEL OR THE META I/P ISSUES, PLEASE FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO DO SO AS THAT IS NOT WELCOME IN MY DIARY. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.
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Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:13 PM PST

Racist Pamela Geller at it Again

by volleyboy1

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

First it was calling Muslims and Arabs "Savages" and during that time I got push back from the lunatic fringe and racist droolers who said accused me of racism due to the fact that they said I was "conflating Jihadis with Muslims" and that Geller was really making a distinction between the two.

Of course, given any study of her history, she was not making any distinction and really she was just trying to find some bigoted bullshit to smear all Muslims with. I mean here are some of her comments (noted in my other diary):

"Hussein [meaning President Obama] is a muhammadan. He's not insane … he wants jihad to win."
— Pam Geller, AtlasShrugs.com, April 11, 2010
and
"Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth."
— Pam Geller On Fox Business' "Follow the Money," March 10, 2011
and
"I don't think that many westernized Muslims know when they pray five times a day that they're cursing Christians and Jews five times a day. … I believe in the idea of a moderate Muslim. I do not believe in the idea of a moderate Islam."
— Pam Geller, The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2010
But of course, according to the Raving Lunatics on the Right Wing... there's no conflation between Savages and Muslims by Geller - she is just talking about Jihadi's... Including President Obama (/snark).

So what his this hateful person done... She has put up the following ad in the NY Subway System:

Notice the website listed in this horrible ad: truthaboutquran.com

Well to that I say: THE WHAT???

First of all, she is quoting a passage written over one thousand years ago in very different circumstances. Now are there those who twist the religion to make this a central part of Islam, yes. But of the literally more than One Billion people on the planet who are adherents to the Muslim faith, this is just one of those passages all religions have that one looks at and takes in the context of the times and realities around those writings and simply files it as "Oh that is interesting"

But more to the point, why does this piss me off so much. You know why? Because throughout history MY PEOPLE have been victimized by this tactic. For thousands of years AND even today and even at this site people have been finding egregious quotes from the Old Testament and using that to justify hatred of Jews and Israel. I mean how would some of this Rightwing bigots like it if someone ran ads in the NY subways that said:

"Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses." (1 Samuel 15:3)

with a picture of IDF soldiers or Planes in action...

or maybe:

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
or perhaps something like this:
Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
and it had something like truthaboutoldtestament.com as a link...

We would be furious (and rightly so). What would be the point of that... Well it would be to say that all Jews are Savages and should be dealt with accordingly.

Hatred and bigotry in any form is a disgrace and while the First Amendment does protect our freedom of speech it DOES NOT protect one from "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" (so to speak). These ads do nothing but to inflame people to go out and hate and perhaps in some cases take action. These were the kinds of things that the Nazi's did in their run-up to persecuting the Jews. This is a tactic modern anti-Semites take throughout the world to justify their anti-Semitism. SO when I see this happen and it happens from a part of a polity that I am from I feel the need to denounce it.

People who are Jewish and Pro-Israel don't need Geller and her band of low grade morons to go out and represent our side. We don't need to take on the absolute lowest forms of hatred to make our case. This hatefulness serves no good purpose at all, all it does is reinforce separation and bigotry amongst people.

I constantly rag on people on sides opposite me for not confronting the worst elements of their polities and sitting back while people regurgitate the lies of racists against my side. Those who sit back and say "Well any ally will do as long as they agree with my goal". Well I say SCREW THAT. Racists and bigots are some of the lowest kinds of human beings there are and if one has to use their arguments to make a point... well that goes for those that would accept their help as well.

Don't this outrage stand. Though the MTA can't do anything at this point and though they have a disclaimer out - demand that this goes further. Ask that they put a stop to these hateful ads that do nothing but promote bigotry. There has to be something.

Discuss

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

I write this diary because even though I in general oppose the Hagel nomination I think it is one of those things that will ultimately end up being about as significant as a "fart in a blizzard" (for lack of a better term).

So here are my thoughts... there are good and bad things about this nomination. In general I still oppose it because I think there are other politicians out there who are Democrats who would be more in line with Democratic Politics. Four names I can think of off the top of my head are General Wesley Clark, Admiral Joe Sestak, Admiral James Webb, and Former Senator Bob Kerrey.

There is also longtime Pentagon official and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy who would be a historic choice given that she would be the FIRST female Defense Secretary. From everything I have read about Flournoy (and (here is an interesting article), she would be a good choice. So there are four names that I think are well qualified, and who could do a fine job AND are also Democrats.

Aside from some what I consider bigoted remarks regarding Jewish Americans and LGBT Americans the irksome thing for me in this nomination is that President Obama felt it was necessary to choose a Republican for this post. I didn't vote for, support or donate to the guy to put Republicans into the highest positions in our government. I really didn't. I voted for President Obama because I don't think the Republican Party is particularly good for our nation (and hasn't been for a long time) and having Republicans in high office is not positive. Chuck Hagel... is a Republican, and yes, though he bucks the establishment of the Party on a few issues, he is still a Republican through and through.

BUT.... again, the Sec. Def. doesn't have the power of the Sec. State and though the position has a guiding voice in government, it doesn't set our foreign policy agenda so really... there is not much there that I think will make any bit of difference one way or the other.

Anyhow, in the past few days I have been inundated with Chuck Hagel news.... Hagel this, and Hagel that. BUT, what is the reality of a Hagel appointment. Well on the Far Right we hear the screechings of the batshit racists who are pissed because they are certain that Hagel will help Iran get nukes, thinks that Hizbollah and Hamas should be our best buddies, wants to drop Israel into the ocean and wants eventually to enslave America to "Teh Ebilz Mooslim Empire" (Ok, that's an exaggeration but really not much of one - check out the bullshit that flows from the Hard Right).

At the same time we have the drooling bigots on the Hard Left who are absolutely positive that a Hagel nomination is the bestest thing in the world since the invention of indoor plumbing AND sliced bread. They are positive that Hagel at Defense means the absolute end of "Teh Ebilz JOOOO / IZRAILEE lobby111!!!!11" and that "Teh Ebilz IZREEL" is finally going to get theirs. Oh yeah and Iran will next become our "bestest friend in TEH WHOLE WORLD"... Just read some of those blogs.

Of course neither the batshit fringers on the hard right or the drooling bigots on the hard left are right. Most likely, none of those things will come to pass should Hagel clear confirmation. We will still be friends with Israel, there will continue to be military cooperation with the IDF. Yes, there will be friction with Israel due to the ascendency of the Hard Right, but and at the same time there will be friction with the Palestinians due to the rising popularity of Hamas and the Religious Islamists within the Palestinian Polity (not too mention friction with Egypt and the future rulers of Syria over that same issue).

The Middle East will come into hard focus in the coming years as the threat of Iranian Hegemony will need to be faced, and the U.S. will be angling towards building a regional coalition against the Iranians. SO, I think that there will be a focus on Israel and the West Bank in regards to the Occupation but, I think that was coming anyway, no matter who the Sec. Def. happens to be. Official U.S. policy stands diametrically opposed to the directions of both the Israeli AND Palestinian polity. Anyway, enough on that.

Although there is one funny aside with regards to the droolers on the Hard Left (particularly where they meet with the batshit Paulbots on the Hard Right). All these fools are absolutely convinced that AIPAC and TEH JOOZ (though they use Zionists and Israelis as cover terms) run the nation and our government. Just read hate sites like Stormfront, davidduke.com and MondoFront - you can see it there. YET, if this is the case, then how in the world did (snark coming) Superhero and all around scourge of the "Jewish Lobby" (Hagel's comment) Chuck Hagel even get the nomination? I mean if AIPAC runs things... that could never have... ROH 'ROH....

All this said and outside of the silly meta regarding the intertoobz, there are some good things about Hagel's nomination as well (at least in my opinion). The guy was a combat vet and was an enlisted man (rather than an officer). He led people in tough situations, made life and death decisions and apparently made them well (according to what I have read). I think he has a distinct understanding of the results of war policy. I can respect that. Though I am not not well versed in his politics as some, it seems that he is a strong advocate for veterans rights and did buck the Reagan administration (actually resigning from his post of Deputy Head of the VA) when they wanted to cut funding over benefits for Vietnam Vets.

SO for that, I think in his post (should he win confirmation) he will be a good addition. I am all in favor of our nation taking care of those who we ask to give everything. I have no issue when it comes to spending my tax dollars on support of veterans and veteran care. Given how crucial that is now, with our soldiers dealing with not one but TWO crappy situations (because Iraq is still really not yet over), I think it important that we have someone in the Sec. Def. post that understands veterans issues in personal terms.

I also support his position on extending rights of habeas corpus to AMERICAN prisoners at Guantanamo (though he voted AGAINST that for all prisoners). And his stand on ending the camp and it's practices there. I also support his stances on NOT capping America's foreign aid budget and support for funding regarding AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Also, though I think his positions are over-hyped by his supporters (and over-stated by the lunatic fringe), I generally agree that engagement is preferable to "gunboat diplomacy" and ever increasing hyperbolic rantings as people on the right try to resurrect that wonderful time known as The Crusades (/snark). Just because you talk to someone doesn't mean you agree with them or will do what they want. That said, there also comes a time when you can talk as much as you want, but, it is not going to change anything. I think given Hagel's background and voting record on these things, he seems to understand that.

But through all that.. remember that Hagel voted FOR the Patriot Act and its re-authorization. Remember, he also voted to support FISA and EXPAND on Federal Wiretapping. So

HOWEVER, as I said before in general I oppose Hagel's nomination and think the President is making a mistake here. I can see WHY he is doing it, but, as I also mentioned before, I think there are others that are just as if not better qualified for the position and who are Democrats.

I also oppose the Hagel nomination on a number of other points. One is that, though he did apologize for his vindictive remarks towards Ambassador Hormel (offering only a tepid apology which did not seem particularly heartfelt), he does seem to have an issue with the rights of the LGBT community. From the New Yorker:

When Hagel served in the United States Senate, as a Republican from Nebraska, he consistently voted against gay rights—his record earned him a zero-per-cent rating (three times) from the Human Rights Campaign, the leading gay-rights lobby. Among other things, Hagel voted against extending basic employment nondiscrimination protections and the federal hate-crimes law to cover gay Americans.
As a Jewish American - I also have issues with this nomination. Hagels commentary on the "Jewish Lobby" is frankly DISGUSTING. I don't know where he really stands on Israel as I don't trust the screeching racist dingbats on the Right on anything they say and I understand that he said in 2008 that he felt Israel's character as a "Jewish Nation" was not negotiable. But, that is honestly not that much of an issue to me as the Sec. Def. really doesn't have shit to do with our policy towards Israel and as Peter Beinart commented on "Stand Up! with Pete Dominick" today, (Paraphrasing) "Hagel is certainly NOT the most Anti-Israel Sec. Def. we have ever had... George Marshall and Casper Weinberger were far harder line there".

Finally, I have to say I have issues with this: Hagel has a rating of 84 (reaching into the high 90's during the Bush Admin.) with the American Conservative Union and he received constant high grades from the American Taxpayers Union - I mean... COME ON! That is NOT what I voted for when I voted for President Obama. Someone who is that high on these lists is certainly no one that I could support.

I have to say, that this nomination SHOULD be opposed by liberals and progressives. Why in the world President Obama would nominate ANYONE who has been a staunch conservative is beyond me. I didn't vote for the man to put Republicans/Conservatives anywhere near the White House and inviting them into his cabinet just doesn't sit right here. There are others that would do a great job and who could and should have been considered. And though I do in the end feel that this won't amount to anything, I think the President is making a mistake here and I do think it is important to let him know that it is not necessary or acceptable for him to promote conservatives.

Discuss

Cross-Posted at The Progressive Zionist

Yep... apparently I have "Nazi Tendencies"...

Silly me, A guy who lived in Israel for a year, was part of many Zionist Youth Groups, speaks a bit of Hebrew, practices the Israeli Martial Art of Krav Maga, goes to services on the High Holidays (Rosh Hashannah and Yom HaKippur), co-founded Team Shalom AND Jews for President Obama here at Daily Kos... well I didn't know this but... I have "Nazi" tendencies.

Just what are these tendencies? Here I will let you read the Facebook conversation that got me called this and you can see for yourselves. This was in response to my saying that the richest Americans should pay their fair share:

xxxx Fair share? I busted my arse 16 hours a day, holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, sun up to sun down for 35 years...and you have the audacity to tell me I am not paying my fair share? All said and done, the Government is in my pocket for over 50 percent!!! You my friend, have Nazi tendencies (vb1 emphasis) and have drank the whole jug of poison.

xxxx 50 percent of so called "Americans" DO NOT, DO NOT PAY TAXES! Are you effin' kidding me?

ME: Ummm Nazi Tendencies??? I am Jewish just FYI! Wow... And yeah pay fair share. I bust my ass too, at my job AND I run a small business. But I want schools, and roads, and social security that I paid into, and Medicare and all those things. And that is bullshit that 50% of Americans Don't pay taxes. They don't pay Federal Income Taxes but they pay everything else.... Look, only the Nazi's were the Nazi's and Government spending DOES NOT make one a "Nazi". Learn the fucking history man. Ok.. that's it.. this conversation is going nowhere... NAZI's for G-d's sake..

xxxx: Read about Austria, they voted for Hitler. 98% of Austrian's voted for Mr Hitler to rescue Austria from 33% unemployment, 25% inflation and 25% interest rates. So YES NAZI tendencies.

Me: Ok... look xxxx... I'm done here... I know more about the history of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Movement (the Reich) that followed it than you apparently will ever know. I don't mean to be an ass to you, but honestly this Nazi thing is way out of bounds. So look you may have the last word but I am going to suggest you do a little reading up from real historians abut what actually happened in Germany following WWI. It is nothing like what is happening here and nothing like that is being proposed. SO... have a good day and please drop the Nazi Stuff.. That is like saying: "Well the sky was blue over Germany and so it is over the U.S" - There is absolutely ZERO comparison between the two situations. Not too mention what the Nazi's proposed and did. Just leaving out that. Sigh......

xxxx Our schools are doing fantastic (run by the Feds)...Our roads are the best in the world (run by the Feds)...Social Security - is yours there (run by the feds)...Medicare is solid as a rock (run by the Feds). Shall I go on? The Government can't run anything but the Government. Have you seen the PORK PORK PORK in the bill to HELP SANDY VICTIMS? Get it? Yes, Nazi tendencies? Keep giving the drug addict money! Keep giving power to the Nazis...it is what the Jews did. You do NOT understand history.

yyyyy: How about the new medical device tax.2.3% on anything used in the medical field. Most small companies operate at a 2 to 4 % profit margin. And this is on gross sales not profits. This will cost companies millions, and will sink small companies.A michigan co. already laid off 10,000 employees.My wifes co. is considering taking their manufacturing out of the US and i don't blame them!!!

xxxx: "After America, there is no place left to go"

xxxx: (volleyboy1 - my name was here), "No Nazi comparisons? Sounds like something Hitler would say?"

So what are my Nazi tendencies that he cited... Well it stems from this comment:
Then raise revenue... That means taxes on the $ 250,000 level and cut defense. We spend 6-7 times the amount of the rest of the world combined on outdated and wasteful weapons systems. Let's take care of our own citizens, with strengthening social security, medicare, veterans benefits, etc. We have the money, but, business likes its corporate welfare. Oh yeah, and cut subsides to big oil and close tax loopholes for the rich.....

I don't hate corporations... but I think they need to pay their fair share AND I don't want to live in a corporate society. So... it's a difference in perspective. BUT I guarantee you that for all the complaining you do about Obama... The real Socialists hate him a lot more than you do. And yes, they really do.

Apparently, according to the wingnuts, a strong social safety net, strengthening medicare, supporting VETERANS RIGHTS, cutting subsidies to Big Oil, and closing loopholes for the rich.. well those are "Nazi Tendencies". Of course, according to the genius I was talking too... Most Jews in Germany (or Austria) at the time supported the Nazi's as well... Who knew.

THIS is what we are dealing with out in the Grassroots of the Republican Party. This is what gets people like Michelle Bachman and other teahadists elected. It is amazing in it's incredible pride in lack of anything that resembles any kind of knowledge. These people's pages are all full of "Support the Troops", "We Love Guns", "Obama is Teh Ebilz, Kenyan, Mooslim, Socialist, Nazi, Communist" type postings. Oh, and these people are not a small group. They certainly are not the majority in the U.S. but not for FOX News, Glen Beck and a whole lot of other people trying.

How crazy is this... these people are from NY (I grew up with these guys). Our town was literally almost destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. AND YET... these folks stand up for the Republican Party despite the fact the people they voted torched Sandy Relief. And what makes it worse... they think there was "too much pork" in the Sandy Bill so they are happy to wait for a new bill without pork (like that will ever happen) and WITH Offsets because while they get their aid (which is Good Government Aid, they can pay for it on the backs of the Poor who are just a bunch of "lucky Welfare Abusing, Food Stamp collecting, lazy people".

SO... We need to understand that this is what we are dealing with. I can tell you that this is NOT an anamoly. I have heard it before. There is no real rational discourse (or very limited amounts). When supporting a strong social safety net, a just economic policy, support for veterans, makes one have "Nazi Tendencies"... well... what's next?

Discuss

Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist

It' s unbelievable... freakin' Drudge has become the newest version of Weekly World News which features headlines such as "Batboy Goes Mutant" and Alien Spaceships to Attack Earth in November 2012. We all see this stuff in line at the Grocery Store and then we chuckle to ourselves at just how ridiculous this crap is.

But Drudge... Well, while we here may discount that on-line rag with the same contempt as one might have for the Weekly World News, millions of Conservative Americans take this site as truth.

As the NY Times Discussed:

Mr. Drudge understood the whole high-low bifurcation that news consumers are drawn to long before there was such a thing as Gawker. Andrew Breitbart, the founder of several conservative Web sites including Breitbart.com and the author of “Righteous Indignation,” met him in 1995 when Mr. Drudge was still working at the CBS gift shop in Los Angeles and running the Web site on the side. Mr. Breitbart immediately began helping him.

“Matt Drudge is an American original,” Mr. Breitbart said. “He does not rig search optimization, he does not care about the next big Web innovation, he just has the best nose for news there is. He gives people everything, every single thing, they want to know in a single stop.”

A big part of the reason he is such an effective aggregator for both audiences and news sites is that he actually acts like one. Behemoth aggregators like Yahoo News and The Huffington Post have become more like fun houses that are easy to get into and tough to get out of. Most of the time, the summary of an article is all people want, and surfers don’t bother to click on the link (vb1 emphasis). But on The Drudge Report, there is just a delicious but bare-bones headline, there for the clicking. It’s the opposite of sticky, which means his links actually kick up significant traffic for other sites.

SO... with that here is the top headline at today's Drudge Report "CIVIL WAR:SENATE TO GO FOR HANDGUNS". I noticed this because a co-worker had it sitting up on his desktop. Well, seeing that and with the fact that I am a handgun owner I figured I would take a look so I pulled it up. What does this ominous headline lead too... Senator Diane Feinsteins page regarding the Assault Weapon Ban.

NOW... if you read the bill that Feinstein supports it does mention handguns, HOWEVER, it only mentions handguns in the context of them having "Fixed Magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition" in them.

Now that is quite different story from the headline which screams "Senate Going After Handguns". But Drudge is meant to get clicks and readers so he doesn't care what he posts. However, he should care. There are a number of gun owners out there that buy into the paranoia that "President Obama is coming for their guns", and because of that they lash out and start shooting. That number of people is not high at this point, but we see the violence of this manifestation on a daily basis.

I have some acquaintances (Ron Paul supporters) who talk in terms of "revolution" if someone tries to take away their guns. Will they do anything? I don't know, I don't think so but, they are trained to use these weapons to a high degree. Here is the rantings of one them on Facebook:

Idiots, well I called this six years ago just like I called iraq before that, thanks idiots...you voted for hitler cause hes black this time.... You stupid retards and your abortion/healthcare/wellfare crap destroyed amurica you fucking idiots....the holocaust only happened cause.people voted for it under the mask of protection...sheep.
and
BULLETS BULLETS BULLETS!!!! woohoo!!!! gun control gun control!!!!!!! fucking sheep. if i accidentally have a kid, its going to school in kevlar and with a 9milly

before you start crying and voting our civil rights away watch some glorious police murders....its real... enjoy reality.

I mean this is the stuff that gets posted and they really believe it: The Government is coming to get you. SO... when Drudge posts this headline what is he doing? He is actively engaging in getting people that are heavily armed completely riled up. He is also engaging in mass consumer fraud to get people to buy up guns and ammo "before the ban goes into effect".

This is serious stuff. These headlines are meant to inflame. How many wingnuts are even going to actually click the link? My bet... not many. But what will be the result of this. How many people need to die before people like Drudge and his ilk actually take responsibility for their lies?

A possible solution? Get your conservative friends who read this ridiculous rag to actually click the link and call Drudge out. When I did - here is the conversation:

Me: You know this is bullshit right?

Co-worker: No way, Obummer is coming for our guns

Me: Well, did you actually read the story - it is about the "Assault Weapons Ban", what the hell does that have to do with Handguns?

Co-worker: I don't have to read the story - I know it's true. What do your read, the Huffington Post?

Me: Just READ the fucking page, NOW! Stop making shit up - just read it

Co-Worker: Ok, ok... (reads the link).

Me: Where is there anything about taking away Handguns?

Co-worker: Hmmm I don't really see anything but, it doesn't matter anyway, first it will be assault weapons then handguns.

Me: Oh for G-d sakes!!!!

Now at first this seems like a failed conversation, but after I saw him clicking on other misleading links just to check. You could tell that something about "Hmmm, this is not right" was going on. And so things change little by little. I think this is how we get the conversation started, by demonstrating that a lot of the fear around politics is just fear-mongering by a few.

Start and have the conversation. Fear is born of ignorance. The Right depends on ignorance for their strength. Deny them that fear and you deny them their meme's.

Discuss

Cross Posted to The Progressive Zionist

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Tragedy, social media and Wing-nut sites have been rife with stories about Israeli teachers being armed and carrying weapons. Throughout Facebook you see this image from SemDem's recommended Diary:

Many, on the Right, have seen this and credited the lack of Israeli School shootings to having a heavily armed populace. I remember before the election a "gun nut" acquaintance of mine telling me that if President Obama won, that he was going to move to Israel because the President was going to take away all of his weapons (well, it was that or stick around for the "second American Revolution"). He was heartbroken, when I shattered his image of Israel by explaining that actually they have incredibly strict Gun Control there.

In the wake of Sandy Hook now we see this from the Israelis: Israelis shoot down NRA's claim that the Jewish State uses more weapons to keep schools safe

Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, NRA honcho LaPierre said: “Israel had a whole lot of school shootings, until they did one thing. They said we’re going to stop it and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since then.”

 But Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said the situation in Israel was “fundamentally different” from that in the United States.

“We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism,” said Palmor.

“What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years,” he said. “It would be better not to drag Israel into what is an internal American discussion,” he added.

“There is no comparison between maniacs with psychological problems opening fire at random to kill innocent people and trained terrorists trying to murder Israeli children,” said Reuven Berko, a retired Israeli Army colonel and senior police officer.

Having lived in Israel and trained in courses in Israeli Tactical Point Shooting, I can say that this is very true. There is a very strict emphasis in Israel on gun safety and much less of a "cowboy mentality". Guns are highly regulated and the only people that are out there "carrying" are Soldiers and others connected to Security. The emphasis on safety and accidental discharge are much more stringent than they are here. For instance, in the U.S. even the Police will carry a "round in the chamber" in Israel that is strictly forbidden. They worry about civilian shootings so that even anti-Terror units don't pre-load that round.

Here are Israeli Gun Control Statistics and Regulations. A sampling of that is here:

Gun Owner Licensing
Genuine Reason Required for Firearm License:
Applicants for a gun owner’s license in Israel are required to prove genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example, self-defence, hunting and sport

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession
The minimum age for gun ownership in Israel is 27 years and 21 years if served in the military30

Gun Owner Background Checks
An applicant for a firearm licence in Israel must pass background checks which consider health, mental and criminal30 records

Gun Owner Licensing Period
In Israel gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every 3 years

Licensing Records
In Israel, authorities maintain a record33 34 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition
A licensed firearm owner in Israel is permitted to possess a limited quantity of ammunition.

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms:The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in Israel is 500,000

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population
The rate of private gun ownership in Israel is 7.32 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking
In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Israel ranked at No. 81

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking
In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 179 countries, Israel ranked at No. 79

Number of Registered Firearms:
The number of registered guns in Israel is reported to be 403,000

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population:
The rate of registered firearms per 100 people in Israel is 5.98

As one can see... It is not quite the picture that the Right and the NRA like to push.

Anyway, it is time that Americans come to the "table" to have a sane and realistic conversation about Gun Control in America. As I mentioned, I am a gun-owner and I support our second amendment rights to have guns. HOWEVER, having handled these weapons, I understand the power involved in guns. I personally support strict controls and testing requirements for gun ownership. I am all in agreement with a thirty day waiting period, some sort of formal class training leading to licensing, some form of psychological profiling, severe background checks and other methods for making sure that these objects are strictly regulated.

I strongly believe the adage "Guns don't kill people, People kill people - But GUN'S Sure make it a lot easier". They do, and it is time, as Americans, that we understand this and begin a rational discussion around just this issue so that incidents like Sandy Hook, Aurora, and the horror of daily events in our urban areas that go unreported don't ever happen again.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN I/P DIARY SO PLEASE KEEP THE META I/P STUFF OUT. TO INCLUDE THAT EITHER WAY WILL BE CONSIDERED A VIOLATION OF THE "LIVING ROOM RULE". THIS DIARY IS STRICTLY ABOUT GUNS, GUN CONTROL AND MIS-PERCEPTIONS AROUND GUNS. THANK YOU.
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