Guardian

Nick Cohen’s masterful deconstruction of the Israel-obsessed Guardian Left


This is perhaps the first time I’ve posted an essay from the Guardian without critical comment, but Nick Cohen’s post on the hypocrisy of the Israel-obsessed Guardian Left is a masterpiece.  So, here it is:

The Arab revolution is consigning skip-loads of articles, books and speeches about the Middle East to the dustbin of history. In a few months, readers will go through libraries or newspaper archives and wonder how so many who claimed expert knowledge could have turned their eyes from tyranny and its consequences.

To a generation of politically active if not morally consistent campaigners, the Middle East has meant Israel and only Israel. In theory, they should have been able to stick by universal principles and support a just settlement for the Palestinians while opposing the dictators who kept Arabs subjugated. Few, however, have been able to oppose oppression in all its forms consistently. The right has been no better than the liberal-left in its Jew obsessions. The briefest reading of Conservative newspapers shows that at all times their first concern about political changes in the Middle East is how they affect Israel. For both sides, the lives of hundreds of millions of Arabs, Berbers and Kurds who were not involved in the conflict could be forgotten.

If you doubt me, consider the stories that the Middle Eastern bureau chiefs missed until revolutions that had nothing to do with Palestine forced them to take notice.

• Gaddafi was so frightened of a coup that he kept the Libyan army small and ill-equipped and hired mercenaries and paramilitary “special forces” he could count on to slaughter the civilian population when required.

Lieila Ben Ali, the wife of the Tunisian president, was a preposterously extravagant figure, who all but begged foreign correspondents to write about her rapacious pursuit of wealth. Only when Tunisians rose up did journalists stir themselves to tell their readers how she had pushed the populace to revolt by combining the least appealing traits of Imelda Marcos and Marie-Antoinette.

Hearteningly, for those of us who retain a nostalgia for the best traditions of the old left, Tunisia and Egypt had independent trade unionists, who could play “a leading role”, as we used to say, in organising and executing uprisings.

Far from being a cause of the revolution, antagonism to Israel everywhere served the interests of oppressors. Europeans have no right to be surprised. Of all people, we ought to know from our experience of Nazism that antisemitism is a conspiracy theory about power, rather than a standard racist hatred of poor immigrants. Fascistic regimes reached for it when they sought to deny their own people liberty. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forgery the far-right wing of the decaying tsarist regime issued in 1903 to convince Russians they should continue to obey the tsar’s every command, denounces human rights and democracy as facades behind which the secret Jewish rulers of the world manipulated gullible gentiles.

Read the rest of the essay here.

35 replies »

  1. ot

    am viewing the kominsky chat right now

    without saying as much, in answers to the questions, he has pretty much proven that he never set out to make a balanced drama

  2. here is the entire chat…i will leave it without comment

    C4CommunityProducer:
    Let us just say It has been an epic series, how does it feel now it’s all over?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:11 C4CommunityProducer
    11:12

    Peter Kosminsky:
    I fell completely emotionally drained, but very proud of the cast and crew who all worked so hard to make this possible. And huge thanks to Channel 4 and the commissioning team for keeping faith with the project.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:12 Peter Kosminsky
    11:12

    [Comment From rica bird rica bird: ]
    was one of your locations REALLY in Gaza??
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:12 rica bird
    11:13

    Peter Kosminsky:
    No. We filmed the Gaza sequences in an Israeli town called Jazr-al-Zirka. It is reputed to be the poorest town in Israel and looks very like Gaza in many ways.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:13 Peter Kosminsky
    11:14

    [Comment From Lisa Lisa: ]
    In episode 2 a blue clue cross is put on a women’s head as she is put into a van with her family. What does the blue cross mean?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:14 Lisa
    11:16

    Peter Kosminsky:
    During the operation on which this scene is based, the British soldiers stripped out those Jewish civilians who they wanted to take to a park in Tel Aviv for further interrogation. They identified those they wished to interrogate by marking their foreheads with a blue cross. I obviously was conscious of the unintended parallels with the concentration camp experience, a fact that would have been particularly poignant for Len who took part in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:16 Peter Kosminsky
    11:16

    [Comment From Hope Hope: ]
    Hi Peter, the letter has inpired you to write the 40s part of the drama, what has inspired you to write the current part of the drama?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:16 Hope
    11:19

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Hope. Good question. During the research for the 1940s story, for which we interviewed more than eighty veterans of the British mandate forces, a number of unexpected parallels struck me between tactics used by the British and those in evidence in Israel today. I think it was these parallels that first set me thinking about a present-day story. For a long time, I’ve wanted to write about a young girl who learns to see the young man inside the shell of an older, sick man. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to combine these two stories.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:19 Peter Kosminsky
    11:20

    [Comment From Fredi Fredi: ]
    Hi. I was wondering how you are dealing with, and would respond to, criticism of the drama saying it gives an unbalanced view, unfair towards Israel?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:20 Fredi
    11:22

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Fredi. I don’t see it that way. I’ve tried as hard as I can not to suggest that there are any easy answers to such a complex problem. There are no good guys and bad guys in this sad situation and we have tried very hard to show pluses and minuses on both sides. Having said that, our research with veterans of 1940s Palestine clearly showed that British soldiers arrived in Palestine feeling very pro-Jewish, as a result of things witnessed in the war, but by the end of their stay had almost all shifted their allegiance and were feeling a great deal of sympathy for the Arabs. It was always going to be necessary for us to faithfully reflect this in our drama.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:22 Peter Kosminsky
    11:23

    [Comment From Barry Blue Barry Blue: ]
    a powerful and immensely moving drama although I feel it was very bias towards the Arab community – I am very surprised the Israeli government allowed this series to be shot in their country when the veiewer will immediately identify with one side and not the other ?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:23 Barry Blue
    11:27

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Barry. Thank you very much for the very kind comments. You do not need official government permission to film as a foreign TV production in Israel. In that respect, it differs from Morocco, where I filmed for Channel 4 on The Government Inspector. So, although we were always completely clear about the nature of the project and open with our script, we did not require it to be approved officially. Having said that, we did require official help with military equipment, official locations and the like, and I’m sorry to say that this was almost always refused – usually without explanation. But do bear in mind that the production company with whom we worked in Israel, the vast majority of the crew and all the Jewish characters in the cast were from Israel, were very well aware of the script we were shooting, have seen the final film and have given us their support.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:27 Peter Kosminsky
    11:28

    [Comment From leia leia: ]
    Do you expect a backlash from the Jewish community?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:28 leia
    11:31

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hello Leia. I’m glad to have the chance to address this question. One of the difficulties that faces a programme-maker when attempting to make a considered and realistic programme about the current situation in Israel is that that programme-maker is almost immediately accused of anti-Semitism. I do think one has to be careful to avoid always seeking to equate any criticism of the domestic or foreign policy of the state of Israel with racism. Israel is a country, and it acts as a country as part of the community of states. Jews are a race and many live in countries other than Israel. If criticism of Israel becomes entirely synonymous with anti-Semitism it becomes almost impossible to attempt any kind of reasoned analysis of what is clearly one of the saddest and most intractable conflicts facing the human race today.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:31 Peter Kosminsky
    11:32

    [Comment From tigger tigger: ]
    Hi Peter. The series has been an interesting watch, although the grandfather’s story has turned out to be considerably more compelling than Erin’s. Mainly this is due to Erin’s extreme naivety which never seems to go away. She constantly seems to do stupid things which endanger those she cares about, and never learns from her mistakes. Still, it’s good to have a major drama about an under-explored subject.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:32 tigger
    11:36

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Tigger. Thank you very much for the kind words. So sorry to read that you find Erin unsympathetic. I find this particularly tough as I really love her as a character. She’s had a truly horrible upbringing, received very little love and so finds it hard to give love in return. It’s easy to like the endlessly heroic and gentlemanly Len. He is in many ways the personification of everything we love in a hero. I set out intentionally to make Erin more difficult. Her background dictated it, (Len has had a miserable later life and inflicted his unhappiness on his daughter and, by extension, grand-daughter), and I thought her bravery and single-mindedness in the later episodes would be more powerful if we had to grow to love her, rather than loving her from the start. As far as her naivety is concerned, she’s an eighteen-year-old kid from London. In my experience, not all such young people know a great deal about the Middle East conflict. However, I’m happy to be told that I’m wrong on this point.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:36 Peter Kosminsky
    11:37

    [Comment From Andrew Andrew: ]
    what happened to Omar???
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:37 Andrew
    11:39

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Good evening Andrew. Good question. As I’m sure you can tell, The Promise is told entirely from the perspectives of its two central characters; we see only what they see, hear only what they hear and understand only what they understand. Omar disappears from Erin’s life when he leaves her behind to flee Gaza. We would only be able to learn what happened to him if Erin found this out and, within the timescale of the drama, she does not.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:39 Peter Kosminsky
    11:39

    [Comment From Aisha Aisha: ]
    What is ‘The Promise’ in the series?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:39 Aisha
    11:41

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Aisha. Thank you for your question. The title of the show works on a number of levels, I think. In very literal terms, The Promise refers to the promise Len makes to Hassan to give the key back to Mohammed, a promise he is unable to fulfil. As you have just seen, Erin is able to finally fulfil this promise for him. In a wider sense, The Promise obviously also refers to the Biblical Promised Land – the centre of a dispute over territory that has overshadowed almost the last hundred years.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:41 Peter Kosminsky
    11:41

    [Comment From Abida Abida: ]
    Is the ‘Key’ or ‘Al-Naqba’ a real concept in Palestine as Omar explained to Erin?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:41 Abida
    11:43

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hello Abida. Yes it is. Exactly as Omar relates, many Palestinians fleeing their homes in 1948 took their front-door keys with them and the key that Omar shows Erin is actually an original Naqba key. These keys have taken on a huge significance for Palestinian refugees living outside their historical lands – many mount them on their walls and treat them as highly valued family heirlooms.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:43 Peter Kosminsky
    11:44

    [Comment From Peta Peta: ]
    What was the significance of Erin’s dream in which she may have been making love to the young Len?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:44 Peta
    11:48

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Good question Peta, I’m so glad you asked that. I see The Promise as a love story, but an unusual one, in that the lovers in question never actually meet – at least not in the same timeframe. Erin slowly falls in love with her grandfather as a young man. She is reading his private, internal monologue in his diary – not a document he would ever have wanted anyone else to read. For a young girl of eighteen to read such a personal, private narrative, written by a young and heroic man she has never met, is increasingly seductive. In the dream, I tried to show that this emotion is starting to overtake Erin, to the extent that she is subconsciously fantasising about a physical interpretation of that infatuation. I think you see this very directly when Paul attempts to remind Erin that the young Len she is focused on no longer exists. “He does to me, he does to me!” says Erin, in one of her most passionate moments. I find this deeply affecting. I hope it worked for you too.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:48 Peter Kosminsky
    11:49

    [Comment From Emma Emma: ]
    Were the characters based on any particular people or were they all fictional?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:49 Emma
    11:51

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Emma. I’m really glad to have a chance to acknowledge my debt here. Len is a fictional character but I draw very heavily on the extremely generous recollections given to us by the more than eighty veterans of the Palestine campaign we interviewed. Bear in mind that some of these guys were in their mid-to-late eighties when they spoke to us. One or two of them have very sadly subsequently died. Len is very consciously intended as a tribute to these brave and, I’m sorry to say, long-forgotten heroes. Erin? I have two daughters. What can I say?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:51 Peter Kosminsky
    11:52

    [Comment From Iman Iman: ]
    Did you find it difficult to put aside your own preconceptions about the conflict in order to make the series?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:52 Iman
    11:55

    Peter Kosminsky:
    What a great question Iman. It’s essential that you do. Having said that, I have no recollection of what I thought about this subject before I began the very lengthy research process with our six wonderful researchers. Since starting on this programme in earnest, eight years ago, I have read several hundred interviews, forty books, as well as literally thousands of notes and documents held at the various libraries and museums that protect this particular part of our national heritage. If I’ve learnt one thing as a result of all this study it is that there are no easy answers to what is undoubtedly the most intractable dispute facing the human race today. By the time I came to write the script for The Promise, my primary concern was to present the true complexity of the situation, not to fall back on any residual, personal opinions I might have held.
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:55 Peter Kosminsky
    11:56

    [Comment From Lucy Lucy: ]
    Hi Peter, I am jewish and live in london, having visited Israel before I found the show to be interesting but very one sided – were many israeli jews interviewed or was it only british veteran and palestenians?
    Sunday February 27, 2011 11:56 Lucy
    Monday February 28, 2011
    12:01

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Lucy. I’m very sorry to hear that you found The Promise one-sided. That was absolutely not our intention. As I think we all know, feelings run very high on this subject and no matter how carefully one attempts to tread, it is obviously impossible to please everyone all the time. We carried out an extensive research process for the modern-day story, both within Israel and outside. In this I was helped extensively by Israeli colleagues who generously gave their time and contacts to ensure that we could present a rounded picture. We also drew heavily on testimony from two sources – Combatants for Peace, (a local organisation dedicated to bringing former combatants from both sides together in the quest for peace), and Breaking the Silence, (a group of IDF soldiers who served primarily in Hebron and have spoken very powerfully and honestly about what they witnessed there). Both these sources are readily publicly available via the Web. We also drew on homegrown Israeli documentaries about the current situation and on films made by outside documentarists, particularly in Hebron.
    Monday February 28, 2011 12:01 Peter Kosminsky
    12:02

    [Comment From Guest Guest: ]
    Hi Peter Well done for producing such a marvellous factual drama. The question I wish to ask is do you feel excited at the fact you have created such an amazing Middle Eastern drama just at the point at which the region is changing beyond recognition?
    Monday February 28, 2011 12:02 Guest
    12:05

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi there. Thank you for what I’m afraid I’m going to take as a compliment. I have to say that one does need a certain amount of luck in this business and to work on a show for eight years, and have it reach transmission just as the Arab world becomes the focus of all our gaze, is certainly fortuitous. I suppose like most observers I’m thrilled to see the possibility of democracy spreading, and am reminded of the exhilarating feelings when the Berlin wall came down. However, as we will all remember, a heavy dose of realism, or should I say realpolitik, set in very shortly after the initial euphoria in Eastern Europe. I dare say the same may be the case here.
    Monday February 28, 2011 12:05 Peter Kosminsky
    12:06

    C4CommunityProducer:
    We are unfortunately running out of time and have to round up the evening, we hope you have enjoyed it. We have 2 more questions to be answered by Peter and then we must finish up. Thank you all very for your time and we hope you have enjoyed The Promise.
    Monday February 28, 2011 12:06 C4CommunityProducer
    12:06

    [Comment From zahra zahra: ]
    what was the most difficult part to film, and whats your favorite scene from the series?
    Monday February 28, 2011 12:06 zahra
    12:12

    Peter Kosminsky:
    Hi Zahra. That’s very hard to answer because this was, without question, the toughest shoot I’ve ever experienced. If it hadn’t been for the support of an incredible cast and crew, I really don’t think this particular old man would have got through it. The most difficult scenes were never the scenes that were the most technically challenging. They were always the scenes that were closest to the bone politically in modern-day Israel. For example, in episode 4, where a Palestinian woman tries to prevent the IDF using her child as a human shield. This scene was always going to be difficult but when the IDF soldier is being played (brilliantly) by a current IDF reservist and the Palestinian woman is being played by an Israeli Arab, who has direct personal experience of life in the Occupied Territories, the emotion generated and feelings raised are always going to be hard to channel. You ask me for my favourite scene. It’s eight hours long, Zahra! So that’s not an easy question to answer. One of my favourite moments must be the moment when Erin realises she has found the family she is looking for; when she places her copy of Len’s photo next to Jawda’s. Claire Foy made a very interesting performance choice – to laugh through her tears when she realised that, against all expectation, she had succeeded in her task. This is a girl who, at least in her own mind, has never succeeded at anything – always sees herself as useless. The poignancy of that moment is one of my favourites.
    Monday February 28, 2011 12:12 Peter Kosminsky
    12:12

    [Comment From Maxine Maxine: ]
    Do you have any other projects in the pipeline? It was a brilliant series well done.

  3. Kosminsky says (see walt kovacs’ comment above):

    “I’m very sorry to hear that you found The Promise one-sided. That was absolutely not our intention.”

    “We also drew heavily on testimony from two sources – Combatants for Peace, (a local organisation dedicated to bringing former combatants from both sides together in the quest for peace), and Breaking the Silence, (a group of IDF soldiers who served primarily in Hebron and have spoken very powerfully and honestly about what they witnessed there).”

  4. so you caught that….good

    now i want to know…did pete misrepresent his production to the suits, when he told them that he had done extensive research on both sides…or did they know all along

    here is what we know

    for his research regarding the brit occupation, he only spoke to former brit soldiers….that means men from their late 70s to 90s

    he did not speak to any members of the irgun, hagannah, or to any jews who lived in israel at the time

    he says he read books and papers….well, if his current sources are so biased…i am sure that his main source was someone like pappe

    and he doesnt really know much about breaking the silence…the vast majority served in and near gaza….and there arent that many of them….as far as i know, less than 100

    hope you go back and read where he calls jews, “a race”

    either peter is deluded, stupid, or a bald faced liar….or all three

    all i know is…if i had a project that had to do with historical incidents…i would not allow him anywhere near the project

  5. Thanks Walt. This was interesting:

    “We also drew heavily on testimony from two sources – Combatants for Peace, (a local organisation dedicated to bringing former combatants from both sides together in the quest for peace), and Breaking the Silence, (a group of IDF soldiers who served primarily in Hebron and have spoken very powerfully and honestly about what they witnessed there)”

    The use of BTS as a source is especially worth noting – a highly politicized NGO with a clear agenda.

    http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/breaking_the_silence_shovirm_shtika_

  6. “either peter is deluded, stupid, or a bald faced liar…”
    I guess that describes anyone who is not a fawning and unquestioning supporter of Bibi…., oops, I mean Israel ….. but aren’t they one and the same on this site ?

  7. “The use of BTS as a source is especially worth noting – a highly politicized NGO with a clear agenda.”

    It seems that the patriotic initiative to investigate these traitorous organisations has been blocked by the subversive wing of the Likud. Deluded or stupid cabinet ministers such as Ruby Rivlin, Gidon Sa’ar, Dan Meridor and others were not ashamed to stand up and say NO ! How can we sustain the “only democracy in the Middle East” if we do not ruthlessly persecute anyone who has the temerity and audacity to express an opinion that contradicts this infallible government ? Thank God that we have true patriots in Am Yisrael like those rabbis who have signed a letter in support of Moshe Katsav.

  8. “I guess that describes anyone who is not a fawning and unquestioning supporter of Bibi…., oops, I mean Israel ….. but aren’t they one and the same on this site?”

    Coming from this site’s resident kapo that really is rather rich.

  9. “A good editorial”

    “Great article in Haaretz today”

    Translation: anything that could possibly put Israel in a bad light and give comfort to her enemies. When the Guardian publishes anti-Semitic articles, he’s exactly the kind of Jew that that newspaper invariably hides behind.

    “tsk, tsk”

    Rumkowski’s last words.

  10. Actually, I don’t think that Cohen does write for the Guardian (although the distinction between the different products in their stable is not so clear online), but rather its (still ,justabout) superior Sunday sibling, The Observer.

  11. Hoi Polloi:

    “anything that could possibly put Israel in a bad light and give comfort to her enemies.”

    Obviously you failed to notice the subject of the article, as expressed clearly in the title:

    “Netanyahu is exploiting anxiety over instability to stave off peace”

    Not Jews, not Israel, but BIBI !

    But you took offense when I wrote “I guess that describes anyone who is not a fawning and unquestioning supporter of Bibi…., oops, I mean Israel ….. but aren’t they one and the same on this site ?” and yet exactly four comments later that is exactly what you do.

    Thank you for proving my point.

  12. MTC

    The article in Ha’aretz is really great in the sense that it is a perfect example of the rants of a witless Bibi basher, it doesn’t contain the slightest track of reality and probably you could count the number of Israelis who reads it with the help of the five fingers on your extra left hand. (Half of these probably stops its reading after the second sentence and archives it for future use when s/he intends to write something about journalistic incompetence, stupidity and disconnection of the real world.

    You don’t have to fisk it to prove this, let’s check only the sub-headline – it will be enogh.

    Rather than pursuing negotiations with the Palestinian national movement concerning territories in the West Bank…

    The reader has the impression that Mr. Eldar was so busy to write his BS that had no time to read or watch the news during the last month.
    Doing it maybe he’d know that Bibi called Abbas during the last month about ten times begging him to continue to negotiate and Abbas refused.

    And now your minding the crap:

    “The use of BTS as a source is especially worth noting – a highly politicized NGO with a clear agenda.”

    As it is totally and absolutely clear from Adam Levick’s post that this sentence relates to the fact- declared by Kosminsky himself – he used BTS and B’tselem as the only sources, both of these organisations have a clear political agenda – their exclusive use is really makes his documentary useless, one-sided and biased.

    Your opinion:

    I guess that describes anyone who is not a fawning and unquestioning supporter of Bibi…., oops, I mean Israel ….. but aren’t they one and the same on this site ?

    I see now. Who is not with Akiva Eldar must be a fawning and unquestioning supporter of Bibi.
    The world according to MindTheCrap.

  13. Peterthehungarian:

    “probably you could count the number of Israelis who reads it with the help of the five fingers on your extra left hand.”

    judging from the number of people who post comments on this site, how many people do you estimate read the articles posted here ?

    “maybe he’d know that Bibi called Abbas during the last month about ten times begging him to continue to negotiate and Abbas refused.”

    Begging ? Is that the way a proud Zionist behaves ? Shame on Bibi !! And please tell me what is negotiable according to Bibi.

    As Eldar says:
    “Twelve years later, due to his own fanaticism, and/or inanity, an Israeli leader is reinforcing harmful elements and weakening moderate forces in the region.
    Last week Netanyahu declared that Israel needs to take into consideration the fact that extreme Islamic forces, particularly Iran, are trying to exploit the upheavals that have occurred and to undermine democratic reforms. And how has he “taken into account” these threatening forces? Rather than pursuing negotiations with the Palestinian national movement concerning territories in the West Bank, the prime minister keeps pointing to the precedent of the unilateral transfer of areas of Gaza to the “subsidiary” of the Muslim Brotherhood, without negotiations.”

  14. Todays encouraging news:

    MK Shelly Yachimovich to run for Labor Party chairmanship.
    Yachimovich says she is aware of the immense challenge, but she is ‘not deterred’; Haaretz poll found last month that Labor would win more seats next election with Yachimovich as its head.

  15. I like Eldar’s mention of Bernard Lewis. The only problem that he turns Lewis’ opinion upside down and tries to make the readers believe him. His problem that some days ago Lewis gave an interview to the JP and anybody taking the time to read it can see the truth.
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=209770

    But my favorite is the last sentence:
    What would happen if, after Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain, the democratic revolution ousts the ayatollahs’ regime in Iran? Would the prime minister then agree to freeze the settlements, relinquish the Jordan Valley and divide East Jerusalem? What exactly needs to happen for Netanyahu to lift his head out of the bunker?

    If the all of these countries really would become democracies then not only Bibi but the Israeli electorate could lift his head of the bunker. But until then we have to wait a bit more…

  16. Haaretz poll found last month that Labor would win more seats next election with Yachimovich as its head.

    Maybe correct. Instead of two mandates they will have three.

    Israel needs Yachimovich and similar social-populist demagogues (Amir Peretz, Eli Yishay) like a קוץ בתחת

  17. judging from the number of people who post comments on this site, how many people do you estimate read the articles posted here ?

    I don’t believe that you are so dumb to compare this blog with the third biggest paper in Israel. Anyway the owners of this site must be very proud.

    Begging ? Is that the way a proud Zionist behaves ? Shame on Bibi !! And please tell me what is negotiable according to Bibi.

    So you agree that Eldar lied saying that Bibi doesn’t want to negotiate.
    What is negotiable according to Bibi we will know for sure when the Palestinians will be ready to continue the negotiations.

  18. “Israel needs Yachimovich and similar social-populist demagogues…”
    Right – what Israel needs is more political-military demagogues.

    “So you agree that Eldar lied saying that Bibi doesn’t want to negotiate.”

    Every heard of “irony”?

    “What is negotiable according to Bibi we will know for sure when the Palestinians will be ready to continue the negotiations.”

    Bibi has been a major play on the political scene for nearly 20 years. If you haven’t figured out “What is negotiable according to Bibi” by now you have a real problem (and when saying this I don’t care whether you agree or disagree with him).

  19. OT
    but somehow suiting the conversation and surely an observation highly enjoyable to people who like this blog – Savour and Enjoy!!! (a pity they put “sometimes” in there)

    The opinion section of The Guardian is blessed with the name “Comment Is Free”, and sometimes what they publish is worth every penny of that.

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3001

  20. Right – what Israel needs is more political-military demagogues.

    You are at it again.
    If I don’t need one kind of demagogues in your world means that I need an other kind. Have you ever thought about the possibility that one would prefer being without any of them?

    Bibi has been a major play on the political scene for nearly 20 years. If you haven’t figured out “What is negotiable according to Bibi” by now you have a real problem

    Correct. he has exactly as Sharon, Olmert, Rabin etc.
    Have yiou ever realized that their positions changed during the years?
    Especially after Bibi’s speech at Bar-Ilan publicly accepting the existence of a Palestinian state on the occupied territories. That this acceptance is genuine or not we will see when the Palestinians will be ready to continue the negotiations.
    But I hope you realized now that Eldar’s BS has nothing to do with the political reality.

  21. Well, we agree on one thing: Eli Yishay is a social-populist demagogue. He does absolutely nothing for the underprivileged that he represents, in fact it seems that his goal is to perpetuate their poverty by denying them a proper education. The “military demagogues” are the ones who use the “situation” as an excuse for not dealing with the social problems in the country.

  22. Well, we agree on one thing: Eli Yishay is a social-populist demagogue.

    Only him? Not Mr. Peretz who does every possible to protect the rights of the parasites in the ports, the Electricity Company and the Israel Railways and gives a shit about the flowering busines of the slave traders called manpower companies? Or Yachimovich whining about poor haredim just for the sake of her friend Yishay, but has no word about Ethiopians and development towns where there is very few potential voters? Give me a break…

  23. Once again, MindTheCrap achieves his aim which is to prevent debate on an interesting topic. He arrives, tosses in a gratuitous insult or two and makes yet another thread all about himself. It’s obvious that it is not Israel he cares about (certainly not the Jewish people) so much as attracting attention. God alone knows what kind of miserable existence he must have in the real world. Given that he believes few people view these pieces, what other explanation could possibly explain his continued presence here? Yes, I suppose it’s possible he is a Guardian employee, but I think it far more likely he’s just a bitter little man venting his anger and frustration.

  24. Hoi Polloi

    he strikes me as a she, I get this “gals like us” whiff from her

    as to the limited readership anybody can hope to reach around here, how about being on a mission to achieve a conversion?

    Christian missionaries get all hot when they see a chance for that …

  25. British know NOTHING about their own mass murdering campaigns in Palestine and the Middle East. HEre is what Peter said:

    “Having said that, our research with veterans of 1940s Palestine clearly showed that British soldiers arrived in Palestine feeling very pro-Jewish.”

    BULLSHIT! The British soldiers were EXTREMELY ANTISEMITIC, especially those in Palestine. Remember, many of Israel’s future leaders – Yitzak Rabin, Moshe Dayan, they all fought against Vichy Nazis in Lebanon during the wars in the 30s and 40s. They fought alongside the British and the pro-allied French.

    But that didn’t change the bigotry and hatred of the British. One of the reasons why the British government endorsed the Balfour Declaration was because they believed the Jews controlled America and that this would encourage the US to join WWI.

    I said before many British soldiers who went to Palestine fought alongside the white russians during the russian civil war, and they were notoriously antisemitic.

    Most of today’s Palestinian antisemitism is EUROPEAN, IMPORTED DIRECTLY FROM BRITAIN!?

    Most of the massacres of Jews in Palestine during the British occupation were based on B.S canards. For example, Arabs would spread rumors that Jews were baking Arab blood into bread.

    This is a classic European trope. Never heard of in the Muslim world.

    And hundreds of Jews were killed because of this.

    As far as parallels to Israel’s modern IDF policies, what a load of GARBAGE. Compare 30 years of conflict between Israelis and the British occupation. The British are nazis in comparison.

    Hell, after 7/7 Israel was the first country Britain came begging to for yourself. The Shin Bet has practically designed London’s modern security apparatus – though the government does it bests to keep the relations quite.

    God I am so sick of this fucking Europeans. Israelis are always self critical and constantly evaluating themselves.

    There is no European Benny Morris or Pappe. There will never be a Britain history that looks down on British history in a negative way.

  26. CillianCapa

    “God I am so sick of this fucking Europeans.”

    You should read this article that appeared in Slate:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2284198/pagenum/all/
    “Finally, the only other conclusion one can draw is that “European civilization” is an oxymoron. These horrors, Nazi and Communist, all arose out of European ideas, political and philosophical, being put into practice. Even the Cambodian genocide had its genesis in the cafes of Paris where Pol Pot got his ideas. Hitler got his ideas in the cafes of Vienna.”