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Non-story about a non-event

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday June 2, 2009 01:12 AM

Shown above, a little Light Unto The Nations action, somewhere on the West Bank (aka Judea and Samaria).

Ah, the gathering storm. To hear Politico tell it, the Israel lobby and its bought legislators are really concerned that Obama might get off the reservation:

Obama faces growing pressure on Israel

As President Barack Obama prepares to depart for his first trip to the Arab world, the administration’s escalating pressure on Israel to freeze all growth of its settlements on Palestinian land has begun to stir concern among Israel’s numerous allies in both parties on Capitol Hill.

[But]the rhetoric, even from Obama’s critics, remains relatively sedate compared with the open insurrection other presidents, from Carter to the elder Bush, have triggered with attempts to apply direct pressure on Israel.

The whole item is worth reading if you're interested in the process by which "news" is fabricated on a slow day.

Obama hasn't said or done anything yet that might actually cause the slightest alarm to the Ultras in Israel and its lobby here at home. There isn't any "escalating pressure". There isn't any pressure at all. Obama has repeated the standard pieties about Israeli settlements uttered by every American president since 1967, without the least attempt to look like he means it.

The "defense" being mobilized by the Lobby and its multitudinous congressional mouthpieces is -- as usual with Israel and anything connected to it -- an offense. Buried in paragraph 23 of the Politico story is this gem:

[Florida Democratic congressman Robert] Wexler, an early Obama ally and a staunch defender of his Middle East policy, said in his view, the settlement freeze should apply only to settlements outside Israel’s security fence, or wall, and should exclude territory that appears likely to ultimately remain part of Israel.
The goal, obviously, is to get Obama to back down even from the standard hypocritical legalisms about settlements and acknowledge explicitly that the apartheid wall will be the border of any Palestinian Bantustan that may ever come into being -- at least until the Israelis see fit to move the goalpost yet again. The tactic is a contrived indignation about Obie's supposed "pressure" on our dear little plucky ally, The Only Democracy In The Middle East™.

There's also some wonderful tortured casuistry in this story about the "natural increase" in settlements -- as opposed to "expansion". For some reason this makes me think of Ezra Pound's ideas about usury.

Comments (13)


Someone commented yesterday the real issue at the moment, the one that would indicate serious pressure, is the wall, not the settlements. That's the word that cannot be spoken, because it's too unambiguous, whereas settlements has many meanings, including "natural increase", indicating something organic and living, not contrived as policy.

"Two state solution" is another ambiguous term useful for diplomatic evasion. Israel actually wants a "two state solution", by which it means the current powerless bantustan of the West Bank, ruled by the compliant Fatah. The US will continue to earnestly push for this noble and distant goal, which bibi would crow obscenely if he could sign into law right now.

To my eye, this is evidence that ZerO pays very close attention to retaining the loyalties of the KosNoBots, whose energies he'll need as a pacifiying force in the run-up to "Change 2012."

There's not a single serious sign ZerO will impose a single thing on our Theocracy of Choice. But the dropped intimations of concern and preferences for things that won't get enforced is catnips to the yuppa-liberal kittenry.


where are the pro zionical smbiva-ites ??

must i become one ???


Owen -- This is an interesting development. Not so many years ago, the fans of Zion would have shut down the site -- comment bombing, DOS attacks, SQL injection, Lord knows what. You probably remember the anonymous phone calls, the meeting-crashers, the bullets through the window, that we got for saying similar things back in, what, the first Reagan administration? Or was it Carter?

Now we can get away with it. The toothpaste is out of the tube. The thought police just don't have the manpower any more to play whack-a-mole with everybody who pokes his head up.

They seem to be concentrating on the campuses now -- a characteristically middle-class over-estimation of just how important education is.


Incidentally, I've had a chance recently to use a computer that has McAfee filtering "inappropriate" sites. You folks, Dennis Perrin, Arthur Silber, John Caruso, Black Agenda Report, and Jews sans Frontieres are all blocked. Surprisingly, Lenin's Tomb is okay with them. The disgusting Ace of Spades HQ is blocked, but Little Green Footballs, the BNP, and Stormfront are apparently okay.


Fascinating. I'm so flattered. I miss the anonymous phone calls, actually.


My SO, who sees Martians in the cauliflower bin, says GIYUS (Give Isreal Your United Support) has increased its volunteer troll/mole base to 30,000. That's a big enough number to think they may have begun spying on themselves.


I hadn't heard of GIYUS before, but one wonders if there's a parapraxis involved. The acronym at first glance is likely to be read as GIVUS.



I think it's the "Uncle Leo" effect that's changing things. One can only scream "anti-Semite" so much until people respond with a collective yawn.

The most absurd thing I've ever heard before is that leftists who condemn Israel are hypocrites because so many of them supposedly used to be pro-Israel. It is true that Israel was supported by left/liberal factions in its early years, but that was before the rise of the Israeli far right and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Al Schumann:

There's also been a steady whittling away of likable Zionists. Over the last thirty years or so, Israelis with a civic sense beyond violent aggrandizement have been emigrating. The fundies and bellicose 'wingers have shredded the social fabric of the country. They've been importing neoliberals to manage the transition to a patronage kleptocracy. The glamour of the socialist kibbutz is gone and the desert blooms, for now, at the expense of Palestinian groundwater.


despite the raft of comments confirming my fearss
there is no zionic left ...left

i'm convinced by super al's comment
that the last thing zionia maxima needs
now its so shy the beloved
human left lollipops
is ....MOI
wading in to the cess pool
an amicus he-bray-icus simplicissimus


the record requires correcting

father writes:

"You(moi) probably remember the anonymous phone calls, the meeting-crashers, the bullets through the window, that we got for saying similar things back in, what, the first Reagan administration? Or was it Carter?"

yes alas

but only from the relative safety of bean town

seeing it all about to come down
as u may recall
i slinked out of laputa by the dark of nite
shortly before you ...father S
straightened some dear chaps..tie
simply for petitioning U in person
at that ramshackle second floor rookery
of a press room/club house/tree fort
of yours
where you scribbled demonic marat type
flammable swill
to print in that that that
community incendiary of a rag
you edited back then
when we both were
young dashing and restless


That's right, Owen. I had forgotten. You missed all the fun!

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