This is one to save and read over and over again.

O at the Edges



No snakes here,
but a little voice

says the mice
will return,

and which
do you prefer,

the one that
gnaws open

ramen packages
then craps

on your plate
or the one

who takes
its prey

under the house
and swallows

it whole,

no bones


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Pursuing ideals


The important thing is to never give up. Here is a poem that describes what we must do in crazy times like these.

~ ~ ~

Even though our reality
Is filled with discrepancies and problems
We should not stop
Pursuing ideals.

Even though our life
Is filled with failures and regrets
We should not give up
Our search for aspiration.

The place we aim for
The aspiration we seek
Continues to shine
No mater how distant and challenging it may be.

Even if dark clouds Hang over the era
We must believe in
Our future ahead.

—Keiko Takahashi

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President-elect Trump and Israel


If President-elect Donald Trump wanted to put himself, his family and the rest of the United States in IS’s terrorist sights, he could hardly have found a better way than sending Jewish attorney David Friedman to Israel as his Ambassador. David Friedman is a staunch supporter of building unlimited Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a pet project of Israel’s Naftali Bennett, who has said “with Trump, the era of the Palestinian State is over” (Emily Tamkin, Foreign Policy, November 14, 2016). Bennett is building new settlements as rapidly as possible, so that Palestinians will have very little land to live on in the West Bank.

Following are comments from Jason D. Greenblatt and David Friedman, Co-Chairmen of the Israel Advisory Committee to President-Elect Trump:

“Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.” A perfect Zionist point of view that, however, is not true. The State of Israel was founded by invading Zionist militias bent on ethnically cleansing Palestine no matter how murderous it was.

“Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.”

“The U.S. should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.”

“The U.S. should cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State. UNESCO’s attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.”

“The U.S. should view the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner. The BDS movement is just another attempt by the Palestinians to avoid having to commit to a peaceful co-existence with Israel. The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.” Another Zionist “poor persecuted us” remark as Israel, of course, does nothing all to deserve this.

“The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.” (Presenting the view that Palestinians also have rights is viewed as “intimidating students.”)

A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” (A Zionist “poor me” remark, denying that Israel does not and never has, attacked or discriminated against Palestinians.) “Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state.” “We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.” Once gain, Israel has never done any wrong.

“Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.”

“The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.”

There is a lot of work to be done to make certain that the Palestinian side is heard and supported, and the Israeli side is propaganda that tries to hide the truth.

Posted in Israel, Palestinian people, Settler colonialism, Uncategorized, War | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Comments on an Israeli propaganda video


Israel has one response to critics like historian Ilan Pappe, author of “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” attack the book and its author as frauds, the object being to kill the book and destroy its author. That is the only purpose Israeli propaganda (hasbara) has. Unless you’ve read his book, as I have done twice, the video looks convincing. If you don’t know otherwise, all the violence in Israel’s early history was directed at Jews by the Palestinians. The Jews were, and are, innocent victims. “Arab behaviour enormously impacted the welfare of the Palestinians in 1948, just as it does today” (emphasis added). But what of the Zionists, and their part in this?

Zionists? No mention of them is made in the video, though Zionism’s purpose from the beginning was, and is the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. All one needs to do is look at East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to an article in “Informed Content”, A new video released by Israel’s Negotiations Affairs Department, titled “East Jerusalem: Israel’s Colonial Project Unraveled,” declares that Israel’s policy in the city, since the 1967 occupation, is three fold: creating a Jewish majority, reducing Palestinian presence and isolating East Jerusalem and dividing it from its West Bank parts. . . According to the video, Israel has turned 35 percent of the area in East Jerusalem into land for settlement construction, leaving only 13 percent of the area for Palestinian construction, amounting to a severe housing crisis and forcing many Palestinians to build without a permit.

“A total of 3,500 homes were reportedly demolished under the pretext of being built without permit, and around 25,000 more are slated for demolition under the same pretext, leaving 100,000 Palestinians at risk of displacement.”
Clearly the fault is Israel, not the Palestinian people living there.

The problem with propaganda is that little-to-no attention is paid to truth, and this little video is a glaring example. The object of Israeli propaganda is to destroy the reputations of anyone and any organization that accuses Israel of wrongdoing against the Palestinians, even when such wrongdoing, as Juan Cole’s article shows, is happening. According to the video, Palestinians terrorized innocent Jews. “Arab behaviour enormously impacted the welfare of the Palestinians in 1948, just as it does today.” There is no mention of Zionists or Zionism, or the role they played in ethnically cleansing Palestine, Zionism’s brutal attacks on Palestinian villages, its blatant racism, and its involvement in building illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank that Palestinians will have no room on which to live.

Being propaganda, the video says that historian Ilan Pappe “blames the Jews for everything”, a claim so absurd that it’s comical.

If you want to look at the video, look under “comments” to my book review

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The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, a book review and commentary


From the time of modern Israel’s birth in 1948, the message from Israel to the world was a simple one: For the first time in over a thousand years, Jews have a home where they can live free of the pogroms and other horrors they have suffered for so long. What was not public was the terror the Zionists inflicted upon Palestine’s indigenous population which, from the beginning, was the Zionist’s main goal. “A land without a people for a people without a land” was their mantra. There was one problem: Millions of Palestinians lived there in cities, villages and farms. What to do? Eradicate them.

“Over more than seven decades of occupation,” writer and scholar Jeremy Salt wrote in a recent article in The Palestine Chronicle, “the Palestinians have had their lives taken from them. They have had their homes taken from them.  They have had the possessions in these homes taken from them, down to the furniture, the carpets, the books and their children’s toys. They have had their right to be buried in the land of their ancestors taken from them.  They have had their history and culture taken from them. They have had their mosques taken from them.  They have had their orchards and gardens taken from them.  They have had their olive trees taken from them.  They have had their wheat fields and orange groves taken from them.  They have had their rivers, streams and seas taken from them.  They have had their collective rights taken from them. They have had the public buildings, roads and bridges built by their forefathers taken from them.  They have had almost everything taken from them and if anything is certain it is that in years to come more will be taken from what little remains.  They have been left with nothing to defend themselves but knives, scissors and, if the accusations of their oppressors are true, boxes of matches or cigarette lighters.”

Historian Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is not easy reading, and it shouldn’t be. Often nightmarish in its details and the cynicism and brutality of its leadership, the picture that emerges is of a dysfunctional and abusive nation that treats the indigenous Palestinians with contempt. Land thefts, murders, rapes that are justified by rabbis (a rabbi advised some soldiers that it was acceptable to rape a Palestinian woman), bulldozing a house on top of an elderly man and killing him, and shooting children on the way home from school. It’s been this way from the beginning, with the Zionist forces attacking villages and slaughtering hundreds of men, women and children until 800,000 of them fled for their lives into Syria and Jordan. Are any of them safe? Pappe says no. “The Palestinians of Israel,” who are by law called Arabs, “may also be targeted in the future. 68% of the Israeli Jews expressed heir wish in a recent poll, to see them ‘transferred’.”

“The problem with Israel,” he says, “ was never its Jewishness . . . it is its ethnic Zionist character,” which is committed to cleansing all of Palestine of Palestinians. Recently, Naftali Bennett, the Israeli Minister of Education, proclaimed that he will establish hundreds of new settler towns in the West Bank so that Palestinians have nowhere to live. Israel resembles Hitler’s Germany, with Prime Minister Netanyahu playing the leading role. Ironic, isn’t it, how well the Zionist’s philosophy mirrors Hitler’s.


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Jerk is a word that shows contempt.
We don’t talk with jerks, we ridicule them,
push them away, and call them names.
So when I read an article online about an
elector on his state’s electoral college who
had resigned his position as an elector,
and noticed someone had written “jerk” above it,
I scratched my head. How does resigning
one’s position as an elector made him a jerk?

Have we reached the point in our country that
when we disagree with someone we call them names?
When I posed that question, I was told that I am
one of those “liberals” who doesn’t understand
what a lot of people are going through these days
because if I did, I would know why the former elector
is a jerk. The conversation went rapidly downhill,
and I bid him goodbye, and left.

Sad, isn’t it, when dialogue fails to happen,
we end up fighting with each other,
and problems get worse.

~  ~  ~  ~

What do you think about this? Comments are appreciated.

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The terrifying power of “Othering”. There’s nothing new in Donald Drumpf’s tactics.

Well, This Is What I Think


Comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles – three of which may be poisoned, so best to discard the whole bowl – is an idea that has deep roots.

The concept of one bad apple threatening the peace of society dates back at least to 1938 and a children’s book written by an especially nasty demagogue called Julius Streicher, called Der Giftpilz, or The Toadstool, in which a mother explains to her son that it only takes one Jew to destroy an trump handsentire people.

Active in politics from 1919 onwards, Streicher’s arguments were primitive, vulgar, and crude but he believed in what he said and was an uninhibited, wild agitator, to whom masses would listen; which was what mattered to the Nazis and their backers.

streicher hitlerIn November 1923, Streicher participated in Hitler’s first effort to seize power, the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. Streicher marched with Hitler in the…

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