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In the grand scheme of things, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky is one of my favorite Members of Congress: progressive, smart, articulate, willing to stand up for what's right even when the pressure is on from the party leadership to go along with injustice, as when she worked to block the President's deficit commission from recommending cuts to Social Security.

But when it comes to U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, Rep. Schakowsky not only fails to be progressive; she seems to go out of her way to sign onto the most outrageously right-wing "pro-Israel" initiatives imaginable, when she could just say: "let's let this one pass us by," as the vast majority of Democratic Members of Congress do, when confronted with the most outrageously right-wing initiatives of the "pro-Israel lobby."

This past week, Rep. Schakowsky signed a letter signed a letter to the Turkish government "Urging Turkey to Stop Another Flotilla from Departing for the Gaza Strip." The letter slammed the upcoming Gaza freedom flotilla as a provocation.

Anyone who knows anything about the region knows that a letter from these Members of Congress urging Turkey to stop the flotilla is likely to have about as much influence in Turkey as a group of Turkish parliamentarians would have in Washington if they urged President Obama not to veto a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank.

The feedback that Turkey got from the region following last year's flotilla was: you rock. Arabs were coming to demonstrations carrying pictures of the Turkish Prime Minister. Not only was this high praise for Turkey, it was an obvious reproach to all the Arab leaders: Turkey is doing something about the blockade of Gaza, and you're not doing anything. Even the slavishly pro-US Mubarak government in Egypt got the message right away, and moved to ease the blockade by partially opening the Rafah crossing. For these Members of Congress to tell Turkey to stop the flotilla is like telling someone that they should give up acting because they are no good at it, right after they won an Academy Award.

So, if the letter's authors have any sense at all, they are trying to do something else with their letter besides move the Turkish government. Presumably, they are hoping to discredit the flotilla politically, so that if Israeli authorities use violence against the flotilla, their supporters will feel free to say: "they had it coming."

I have a direct interest in Rep. Schakowsky's signing of this letter. When she participates in trying to discredit the flotilla by characterizing it as a "provocation," as this letter does, she helps put its passengers in danger, because when something is characterized as a "provocation," the implication that many will draw is that violent repression of the "provocation" is justified.

And I have a direct interest in that, because I am a passenger in the flotilla.

So, Jan, I have to ask you: do you consider me to be a "provocation"?

If Israeli authorities kill me, will you say that the action was justified?

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy.

Poll

The participants in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla should not be killed

73%28 votes
26%10 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes you are a "Provocation" IF you (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, livosh1, Lujane, Mets102, 1918, MBNYC

    try to run that blockade and fight the Israelis when they try to stop you.

    My piece of advice is learn to say: "Ani Lo rotzeh biyot" (I don't want problems) with your hands in the air, in plain sight.

    You might also say "Ani lo midaber Ivrit, raq Anglit" (I don't speak Hebrew, just English).

    I hope you and your shipmates won't fight them.

    DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

    by volleyboy1 on Tue May 17, 2011 at 04:09:50 PM PDT

  •  Be careful, Robert. (9+ / 0-)

    Can you post from the flotilla? Or afterwards, perhaps? It'd be cool to get a first hand perspective from a kossack.

  •  No, you're not a provocation. (15+ / 0-)

    Israel's barbaric and inhuman siege is.

    Rep. Schakowsky and the other signers are simply demonstrating the cravenness that it takes to be a politician in this country.

    I wish you nothing but success and a safe arrival in Gaza.

    If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

    by unspeakable on Tue May 17, 2011 at 04:18:11 PM PDT

  •  Why was Rep. Schakowsky singled out... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canadian gal

    ...for discussion and focus in this diary?

    •  Jews in the House and Senate often are (3+ / 4-)
      Recommended by:
      Marjmar, JNEREBEL, MBNYC
      Hidden by:
      heathlander, soysauce, Celtic Merlin, Brecht

      slandered as having "dual loyalty" to Israel and the United States.

    •  I dunno, maybe it's just what the diarist wrote: (7+ / 0-)
      But when it comes to U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, Rep. Schakowsky not only fails to be progressive; she seems to go out of her way to sign onto the most outrageously right-wing "pro-Israel" initiatives imaginable, when she could just say: "let's let this one pass us by," as the vast majority of Democratic Members of Congress do, when confronted with the most outrageously right-wing initiatives of the "pro-Israel lobby."

      That's all it takes, really...pressure and time.

      by Flyswatterbanjo on Tue May 17, 2011 at 07:18:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  re: why was Rep. Schakowsky singled out (6+ / 0-)

      Because, in general, she has the well-deserved reputation of being very progressive. Also, because I know people in her district. Also, because I have worked closely with her office in the past on other issues, and so it really hurts me that she is doing something that is increasing the probability of me and my friends getting hurt.

      •  Makes sense (5+ / 0-)

        Thanks for explaining.

        These are the demands and sayings of Lee!

        by Red Sox on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:58:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your response is lacking, in my opinion. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, canadian gal

        Her well-deserved reputation for being very progressive should not make her your single target for criticism when there are 36 others who signed the letter, some also very progressive.  

        "Know[ing] people in her district" is irrelevant to reasoning your way through singling her out for criticism.  Did you write directly to those people, requesting support for your efforts and urging them to contact their representative on your behalf?  Are those people in her district, whom you know, Daily Kos readers?

        Having "worked closely with her office in the past on other issues" you are probably aware of her and her staff's openness.  Did you write to Rep. Schakowsky, directly, before offering this public criticism?  What was her response, if any?

        As for:  "it really hurts me that she is doing something that is increasing the probability of me and my friends getting hurt."  

        1)  So, it's personal then?  Then you could have pursued "personal" contact/remedies first.  

        2)  I disagree completely about who is doing that which may result in you and your friends getting hurt.  Asking that your flotilla be prevented from embarking strikes me as an effort to stop what you and your friends already know may be a violent confrontation with the Israelis...something you and your friends are pursuing, with knowledge of what has happened before.

        All that said, you have every right to criticize Rep. Schakowsky, just as you've done.  And I maintain it is my right to disagree with your reasoning and your pursuits.  I find your arguments weak and unconvincing, though I appreciate the small effort you gave to your explanation.

      •  Robert... if you are worried about your friends (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mets102

        and yourself being hurt then I would suggest not running a military blockade of Gaza.

        In the end this has nothing to do with Jan Schakowsky. If you are not running the blockade there is no way you are going to be hurt.

        Further, you are running the blockade to an area run by people (Hamas) that openly support enemies of the United States of America and who openly criticized our taking out of Osama Bin Laden, a man that I don't think I need to remind you, was the head of an organization that took responsibility for the single largest terrorist strike on American soil and the deaths of hundreds of other Americans.

        It would be one thing if this were some dictatorial regime but Hamas was elected in what everyone considers to have been quite fair elections. Now would they be elected again? Not in the Palestinian Polity as a whole, but I cannot speak to Gaza where they do have political strength.

        In any case, you are the one responsible here. You know the Israelis are going to stop your boat. You also know that they most likely won't do anything to you as long as you are peaceful and don't attempt to stop them from boarding your ship. Let's hope that is what happens.

        You are making a choice here though and ultimately you are responsible for that choice.

        DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

        by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:20:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shame on you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soysauce, Brecht, Flyswatterbanjo

          There are 1.5 million people under a very nasty economic blockade by a country that is busily stealing other people's land.

          If Naiman wants to embarrass Israel into ending the blockade he should be encouraged -- and praised for his heroism.

          First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

          by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:28:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The truth sucks sometimes doesn't it? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mets102, TLS66

            This flotilla is trying to make a political point to get Israel to stop blockading an elected government that advocates for the destruction of Israel as well as the annhilation of the Jewish people.

            This government (again elected by it's people) ALSO, have put forth a number of comments condemning the United States for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. A man who as the head of Al-Qaeda has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.

            Given Hamas' actions Israel has every right to blockade Gaza and inspect cargo to make sure that weapons are not reaching Hamas or other radical elements.

            Now, personally I believe that Israel should allow humanitarian items into the strip but that is not what this flotilla is about. This flotilla is an attempt to break the Israeli blockade so that any item can land at Gaza and that is simply unacceptable.

            Shame on me, no Ptah shame on you for advocating the material support a government that attacks civilians and advocates genocide.

            Just how progressive is that?

            DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

            by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:52:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's hard arguing against (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht, Flyswatterbanjo

              Israel's supporters. Some say Hamas was elected, other say it stole power in a coup d'etat.

              No need to play the OBL card on me. I'm not buying it. Perhaps for the folks in Kansas.

              Palestinians are pissed off at the Israelis, and rightfully so. If Hamas says nasty things, well, so do Israelis. Its foreign minister advocated wiping Egypt off the map, something that bothers me since I live in Cairo.

              As has been well demonstrated, Israel's blockade is not merely against war materiel, it is also against normal consumer items. A calory-specific blockade, may we say? (But let's not go there, lest we run up against the dkos censor.)

              First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

              by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:27:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ptah.. wow.... just wow.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mets102

                First of all, and I am no defender of Lieberman but that is not what he said. Coming from a guy like Juan Cole who is more than happy to nuance for Ahmadi, funny that he did not nuance for Yvette.

                Second of all, I am not "playing the OBL Card" for anyone - it is a fact that Hamas is an enemy of the U.S. particularly in light of the fact that they were outspoken critics of our action in Pakistan.

                Apparently you missed this:

                Now, personally I believe that Israel should allow humanitarian items into the strip but that is not what this flotilla is about. This flotilla is an attempt to break the Israeli blockade so that any item can land at Gaza and that is simply unacceptable.

                I support humanitarian aid to Gaza, but I support the blockade of military items.

                This flotilla has nothing to do with delivering humanitarian items. If it did, it would allow Israel to board and inspect each ship and those carrying only humanitarian items would be let through.

                Pretty simple really.

                DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:53:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wow, I mean wow (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Flyswatterbanjo, IM

                  wow, wow, wow. So wow. wowowowow. wow wow wow, I mean.

                  Give me a break on the Israel boarding and inspecting. That's such transparent nonsense it's not worth wowing about.

                  Lieberman did say that.

                  First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

                  by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:05:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No... he didn't (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mets102

                    What he said was he thought in the event of another war with Egypt that he thought Israel should bomb the Aswan damn. Juan Cole provided the rest.

                    Look I think Lieberman is an A-1 douchebag (and that is an insult to douchebags) but given how everyone around here wants to play the nuance game.. well there you have it.

                    All of a sudden when it's an Israeli saying something, oh.. then we don't need context or nuance.

                    You are going to have to do better than you are doing.

                    DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                    by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:24:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Twisting the truth a bit? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Flyswatterbanjo, IM

                      He said:

                      "Mubarak continues to act against us and to travel for consultations with Saddam Hussein. If he carries out his threat and puts forces into the Sinai, it would be an example of a (crossing) of the red line to which we would have to respond strongly, including by bombing the Aswan Dam."

                      One can similarly parse what Ahmedinejad said.

                      Believe me, I'm trying to do better. But since I'm up against such a formidable opponent as you it's not easy.

                      First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

                      by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:35:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  HAHA nice snark... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mets102

                        that was a good one...

                        Anyway, that is my point. If I had said that Ahmadi, you or some other person would be rushing in here to say "BUT... BUT... as Juan Cole points out..." - yet when Lieberman says something that can be parsed... we get crickets and not only do we get crickets but we get it presented in the non-parsed fashion.

                        Let's just try for a tad bit of consistency and less hyperbole shall we?

                        DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                        by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 01:14:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  We know that there is something deeply (9+ / 0-)

    flawed with the reflexive one-sided support our politicians give to Israel. But it's people like you and your efforts that are part of changing the global dialogue and with the uprisings all over the Middle East and the recognition of the state of Palestine by over 100 countries, the global dialogue is changing. US politicians are either going to go along with the global flow or be left behind, Their choice.

  •  this is not exactly a sit-in... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Mets102

    an elected official is slamming american activists that are attempting to break through a foreign military blockade on international waters. - seems that schakowsky's response is completely on the mark and stays true to her liberal values. kudos.

    "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

    by canadian gal on Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:14:50 PM PDT

    •  The letter states (8+ / 0-)

      that Israel is allowing all the necessary aid to go through and that Palestinians have been positively impacted by the siege. And you're saying her response is on the mark?

      Once again, I'll link to the March report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which details exactly how bad (not good) Palestinians have it there.

      Collective punishment of the kind that Israel is pursuing is not liberal nor is denying the serious physical and psychological effects on the population.

      If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

      by unspeakable on Tue May 17, 2011 at 09:49:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is this the same UN... (0+ / 0-)

        that has Libya, Cuba, China, Saudia Arabia, and almost had Syria, on its Human Rights Commission?

      •  not addressing the blockade... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, Mets102

        as is practiced here with a variety of persons and their positions, its probable that schakowsky agrees with parts of the letter and disagrees with others. there were after, 36 other signatories to the letter who certainly have just as nuanced positions on the matter. here's the crux of the message, to me:

        We fear violence could erupt just as it did last year.

        "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

        by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:15:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh. (5+ / 0-)

          No, this isn't some comment on a online public forum. I hold politicians to a higher standard than anonymous internet users.

          The lies and filth in that letter about the condition of Palestinian lives in Gaza and the denialism of what they've gone through is sick. It is not some minor point in the letter, on which we all can "agree to disagree."

          The crux of this letter is not worrying about violence, it's about protecting Israel from another PR disaster like last year's example. If any of the politicians were interested in the safety of the peace activists on board this flotilla they would also be writing a letter to Netanyahu asking him to be restrained. But they won't ever do so, will they, canadian gal?

          If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

          by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 06:58:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  perhaps they should write... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1, Mets102, JayinPortland

            an additional letter to netanyahu. outlining that safety and non-violence are the matters of utmost importance. the outrageous suggestion that 36 members of congress are water-carriers for israel's PR efforts non-withstanding, the letter seems to be completely in line with the US position on the matter:

            We are seeking your active participation in finding a resolution that prevents violence. On April 21, Ambassador Susan Rice, the United States’ representative to the United Nations, stated, “[t]he recent seizures of advanced weaponry underscore that Israel has clear security interests regarding cargo bound for Gaza”, and she urged member states to “use every legal means at their disposal to discourage additional flotillas to Gaza”. We echo those remarks and hope that your government can help work out a mechanism with Israel to allow legitimate humanitarian assistance to go to Gaza without provoking a needless confrontation.  We are confident that Israel, as it has in the past, will continue to allow such aid to flow subject to appropriate security screening. By finding a constructive solution as an alternative to another flotilla, you have a unique opportunity to potentially save lives and be a force for stability at a particularly volatile time.

            but alas, here we will have to disagree about the crux of the letter.

            "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

            by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:11:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not outrageous (5+ / 0-)

              to suggest that American politicians regularly defend Israel's image and that in the P-I conflict that is one of their main concerns. It's the truth, documented in the countless resolutions and open letters to the President that are always sent out by members of Congress.

              On the other hand, there are lies in this letter. Outrageous lies, even, that Palestinians are actually benefitting from the siege. What purpose does it serve to deny the plight of Palestinians and behave as if there isn't extreme poverty and food insecurity in Gaza?

              My argument is not that this is in line with American foreign policy. That's a non sequitur. The point is that it's wrong and immoral because it directly ignores the reality of what Palestinians are going through while accepting the alternate reality of Israel's PR office.

              The fact is that not a single one of these politicians will ever write a letter to Netanyahu to ask him to do anything that he wouldn't ever do. As far as this letter goes, their main concern is Israel's image.

              If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

              by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:25:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  again... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1, Mets102, JayinPortland

                the purpose of the flotilla is to break through a foreign military blockade, one which, whatever these particular congresspersons position on the matter, is irrelevant.

                however the idea that israeli PR is a concern for congress though, is more than a bit out there and just a different (albeit unintentional) version of jewish-americans own or hold hostage the government meme. these politicians actions most certainly reflect that of the US populace and their constituencies.

                that said, this point is completely on the mark:

                What purpose does it serve to deny the plight of Palestinians and behave as if there isn't extreme poverty and food insecurity in Gaza?

                none - it doesn't.

                "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

                by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:43:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, it's not. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  soysauce, callmecassandra

                  American politicians care about Israel's image, and it's one of their main concerns in this conflict. There is not a single anti-Semitic element in that claim.

                  these politicians actions most certainly reflect that of the US populace and their constituencies.

                  That doesn't contradict what I wrote at all. It still means that these politicians are writing this letter because they care about Israel's image.

                  I never said that Israel or Jews control the government, nor did I even come close to implying it. The only way you can arrive at the conclusion that what I said is a version of an anti-Semitic meme is by being supremely dishonest. I suppose when you can't defend what Israel is doing, all you have are these childish accusations.

                  I gave you the benefit of the doubt the first time you said it so I explained what I meant, but here you are repeating it. You're acting in bad faith, so I'm done here.

                  If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                  by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 07:55:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  good stuff. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    volleyboy1, Mets102, JayinPortland

                    if you choose not to see why stating that israeli PR is a main concern to congress rather than staying true to their own principles (or that of their constituencies/party) is just another version of ZOG, well then perhaps its worth considering that your version of anti-semitism ain't the same as mine.

                    as to acting in bad faith/dishonesty/childish...

                    if calling one names, misrepresenting their position and questioning their integrity, rather than addressing the content of the comment is the method of choice, then perhaps it is a good thing we've stopped the discussion.

                    "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

                    by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:22:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What U.S. Congressperson (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      callmecassandra, Flyswatterbanjo

                      responses to principles or their constituencies on any issue?  This is not only about Israel.

                      Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

                      by soysauce on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:43:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Do you notice (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        soysauce, callmecassandra, IM

                        how she managed to turn this thread into whether or not I'm an anti-Semite?

                        I say that American politicians care about Israel's image, and suddenly that becomes "36 members of congress are water-carriers for israel's PR efforts" and "a different (albeit unintentional) version of jewish-americans own or hold hostage the government meme" and "just another version of ZOG". And she accuses me of distorting her views.

                        This is the definition of bad faith.

                        If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                        by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:59:40 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  the diarist... (4+ / 0-)

                        made the claim:

                        Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky is one of my favorite Members of Congress: progressive, smart, articulate, willing to stand up for what's right even when the pressure is on from the party leadership to go along with injustice, as when she worked to block the President's deficit commission from recommending cuts to Social Security.

                        But when it comes to U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, Rep. Schakowsky not only fails to be progressive; she seems to go out of her way to sign onto the most outrageously right-wing "pro-Israel" initiatives imaginable, when she could just say: "let's let this one pass us by," as the vast majority of Democratic Members of Congress do, when confronted with the most outrageously right-wing initiatives of the "pro-Israel lobby."

                        which was followed by the comment by unspeakable:

                        The crux of this letter is not worrying about violence, it's about protecting Israel from another PR disaster like last year's example.

                        the message is clear, schakowsky is a great and admirable progressive except when out practicing nefarious PR for a foreign country.

                        "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

                        by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:15:11 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  This comment isn't right, (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          callmecassandra, Flyswatterbanjo

                          it's not even wrong.

                          You're accusing me of engaging in the "dual loyalties" smear, not the "ZOG" smear. When I have to correct your false accusations, that should tell you something.

                          In any case, this goes back to my point, which is that you're distorting what I'm saying. I never accused any politician of being disloyal to this country. I never accused any politician of not having this country's best interests at heart. I never accused any politician of only caring about Israel.

                          Yes, I am critical of the politicians who signed on to this letter for endorsing the lies about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and for placing the blame on the peace activists, who are trying to bring international attention to that plight, while ignoring the fact that Israel's policies have caused it. That doesn't make me an anti-Semite.

                          PS Glad you dropped the pretense that you're not accusing me of anti-Semitism, as you clearly are in this comment.

                          If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                          by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:42:06 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, for fuck's sake. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      callmecassandra, Flyswatterbanjo

                      There aren't "different versions" of anti-Semitism, and you know it. I never implied that Israel or Jews controls the US. What I said was that American politicians care about Israel's public image and that they buy into Israeli PR, and that in this case, that was the prime motivator for this letter. How that translates into "Jews control the government" is something only you can explain (and have so far failed miserably to do).

                      In reality, you're the one misrepresenting my position and questioning my integrity by accusing me of peddling in anti-Semitism. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and addressed your comment's substance the first time, but you still repeatedly your ugly lie that I'm engaging in anti-Semitism. If you choose to make false and unsubstantiated accusations against me, I'm going to respond.

                      If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                      by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:45:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  indeed... (4+ / 0-)

                        there is only one version of anti-semitism of which you seem to fail to see here. there is quite a difference in saying:

                        American politicians regularly defend Israel's image and that in the P-I conflict that is one of their main concerns.

                        and

                        they buy into Israeli PR

                        one suggests that there is a deliberate effort on the part of elected officials to falsely maintain or build israel's positive image and the other is that they actually believe in it, this distinction is more than a bit important.

                        oh and incidentally - i stated at the outset that i felt your framing was unintentional. so - to be clear - i don't believe you are engaging in anti-semitism, rather failing to see how making that claim, in that way, is problematic.

                        "You can make a profound intellectual statement just by basing your efforts on silliness." -- Donald Roller Wilson

                        by canadian gal on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:08:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nothing I said is problematic. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          soysauce, callmecassandra, IM

                          You just don't like it.

                          There is nothing problematic about saying that American politicians believe Israel's PR. They do. There is nothing problematic about saying that they defend it in countless resolutions, "Dear Colleagues," and letters to the president. They do. And finally, there is nothing problematic about saying that this is the motivation behind this letter is the protection of Israel. Because it is.

                          I have not implied or said that Israel or Jews control Congress. I have not implied or said they are acting against their own will. That's what "ZOG" means, and that's the part of your false claim you won't ever be able to back up.

                          If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                          by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:23:00 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh yourself (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mets102
            No, this isn't some comment on a online public forum. I hold politicians to a higher standard than anonymous internet users.

            Anonymous internet users are far more honest than most politicians. But here's your problem, you should hold everyone to that standard. Everyone should tell their version of the truth as they see it.

            As for Politicians.. you know when they are not lying? When you can't see their lips moving.

            As for writing a letter to Netanyahu to be restrained.. I think that is a good idea. At the same time would you really be happy to see a letter saying in effect: "Please remember that when stopping and towing the boats of the next Gaza flotilla, please act with the utmost restraint should those activists trying to get to Gaza peacefully resist."

            DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

            by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:29:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, (0+ / 0-)

              I would be happy about that.

              But it wouldn't be enough to mitigate the letter's lies about how bad things are in Gaza.

              If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

              by unspeakable on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:43:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Just as the SS Exodus (3+ / 0-)

      was a provocation?

      First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

      by Ptah the Great on Tue May 17, 2011 at 10:57:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and no (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, Mets102, JayinPortland

        Yes, they both were boarded in international waters.
        No, the Exodus wasn't full of people committed to the destruction of Britain.
        No, the Exodus wasn't headed towards an area used to launch rockets against British cities.
        No, the passengers of the Exodus weren't given the option of reaching their destination after being inspected by British authorities.
        Nice try...

        •  Well, yeah, but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1, Mets102, JayinPortland

          besides all those differences, it was the same, right? ;)

          These are the demands and sayings of Lee!

          by Red Sox on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:56:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Though it was headed toward (0+ / 0-)

          an area that was used to launch terrorist attacks and assassinations against British officials, even as Britain was battling Hitler.

          First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

          by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:08:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow Ptah.... that's a big swing and a miss... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mets102, JayinPortland, TLS66

            First off, I could have sworn Hitler died and WWII ended in 1945. I didn't realize that Britain was still fighting Hitler and WWII in 1947. When will you be realeasing your revolutionary findings that WWII was still going in July of 1947 (when the Exodus launched) and that Hitler was still actually alive. I look forward to reading about that.

            Second, Are you seriously comparing a Flotilla running a military blockade of an area run by a group that was rocketing Israel to a ship full of Holocaust surivors trying to immigrate to the future Jewish State. Seriously?????

            And those who uprate(d) you... WOW, seriously?

            DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

            by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:41:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you study English grammar (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Flyswatterbanjo

              you will discover that "as" modifies to the verb "launch".

              Yes. I am seriously comparing the flotilla to the Exodus. I don't see the significance of who is running Gaza.

              First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

              by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:53:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL nice try (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mets102, JayinPortland

                BTW... you realize that it was the Haganah - the official military of the Yishuv that was fighting for the British during WWII. You do know that right - that it was the Jews of Palestine that were on the side of the British during WWII.

                Just checking.

                As for your comparison between the S.S. Exodus and the Gaza Flotilla.... Holy crap, that is just delusional. Simply and completely delusional.

                The only thing similar is that they both involve boats and the Mediterranean Sea.

                DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:30:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, my favorite fighters (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Flyswatterbanjo, IM

                  were the Stern gang, who had a funny way of being on the side of the British.

                  As for my comparison, if you go to the top of this comments thread, the original commenter's objection was that the flotilla organizers:

                  are attempting to break through a foreign military blockade on international waters.

                  That is the similarity that matters.

                  First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

                  by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:45:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What all 20 of them? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mets102, JayinPortland

                    Stern was a terrorist organization. They were seriously nuts. Funny enough they were a combination of extremes of Left and Right.

                    They represented far fewer parts of the Yishuv than say the nutjob salafists that killed that Italian Activist in Gaza.

                    Are you trying to make the point that Stern was anywhere close to Hamas in representation? Please tell me that you are not.

                    Like I said the similarity was Boats in the Med.

                    DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                    by volleyboy1 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:00:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Canadian gal (0+ / 0-)

                      introduced parameters. I inserted a Jewish example that met her parameters (of course ruffling feathers).

                      I naively believe that most rockets fired from Gaza into Israel are not from Hamas, but rather from other groups. I note that even when Israel occupied Gaza with troops on the ground it could not control the attacks on Israeli territory. Hamas cannot do so either.

                      First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

                      by Ptah the Great on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:15:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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