All Apologies

Am I the only one who’s enjoying Bibi Netanyahu’s obvious discomfort during Obama’s visit? The latest is what I’m sure was an ugly call with Turkey’s PM, where Netanyahu apologized for the 2010 flotilla raid that killed some Turks. But, overall, the news I’ve seen has been a mash note to Obama. Here’s an example from Haartez:

Obama’s visit is a royal visit of love, says Ari Shavit, referencing the poem by Israel Pincas. Here the president displayed in his actions a heart yearning for peace, with perhaps a touch of naivete, while his speech in Jerusalem served as a softly admonishing wake-up call for Israelis to enact a promising future.

Sometimes it takes someone from the outside, says Yossi Verter, to tell it like it is. […]

After Obama’s visit, it will be more difficult for his rivals to claim that he has Israel’s worst interests at heart, says Chemi Shalev. […]

Haaretz is not Bibi’s paper, but it’s pretty clear that Bibi is the guy who came at the king and missed, and there’s some making up to do. Realistically, Obama is highly constrained by the pro-Israel lobby, but there’s a hint of truth in this Onion piece: Netanyahu, the leader of a state that is completely dependent on our money, was a fool to gamble on Romney, and the Israeli reaction to Obama’s visit makes him look even more foolish.

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89 replies
  1. 1
    MattF says:

    Right-wingers keep underestimating Obama. Why is that, you think?

  2. 2
    the lost puppy says:

    Alan Greenspan’s wife does not approve.

  3. 3
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Haaretz is not Bibi’s paper

    That’s putting it mildly.

    Serious question: is there any large circulation newspaper here in the US that is as ideologically distant from our domestic right-wing (the usual phrase would be “as far to the left” but I don’t think that terminology fits well in this case) as Haaretz is from Israel’s domestic right-wing? Sure, we had the WaPo circa 1973, but recently, aside from the McClatchy reporting regarding the Iraq War, what have we got? I can’t think of anything.

  4. 4
    Ben Franklin says:

    What happened to ‘Friend of Hamas’, Cardinal?

    A major chink in the armor is asking the Palestinians to give-it-up over freezing settlements.

    It’s a necessary precondition for talks; everyone has seen how seriously the Israelis view peace talks. Time to show some commitment.

  5. 5
    Redshirt says:

    I am so tired of hearing about Israel. It’s like a distillation of everything that’s crazy with our world.

  6. 6
    Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Here’s a few more:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....s-reaction

    I don’t think there’s a paper like Haaretz in the US. Part of that is that most towns are one or two paper towns. There are like a dozen in Tel Aviv. Each of them can carve out a smaller political niche.

  7. 7
    Hill Dweller says:

    @the lost puppy:

    Alan Greenspan’s wife does not approve.

    She is an awful journalist. Ineptitude seems to be a bonus at NBC.

  8. 8
    some guy says:

    Apartheid: What’s Not To Like?

  9. 9
    Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix says:

    @Ben Franklin: That dirty proto-commie DougJ is a friend of Hamas. Cardinals may be special friends of little boys, but never friends of Hamas.

  10. 10
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix:

    Part of that is that most towns are one or two paper towns. There are like a dozen in Tel Aviv. Each of them can carve out a smaller political niche.

    I get your point about population density, but there has to be more to it than that. Otherwise, what’s the excuse for Washington,DC being a one-paper town? Not a big enough city? Not enough readers interested in politics? Sounds dubious to me.

    I’m wondering if this is one of the side effects of a parliamentary system of govt vs. a 2-party system, or perhaps is it that on average Israelis are just more avid newspaper readers than Americans are?

  11. 11
    catclub says:

    “After Obama’s visit, it will be more difficult for his rivals to claim that he has Israel’s worst interests at heart, ”

    How can a journalist be this naive? It will be no more difficult than it was to claim he is a soshulistislamocommunistfascistdictator.

  12. 12
    piratedan says:

    was watching the TRMS show last night where Racheal and Ezra had the long awaited epiphany that the Republicans really don’t give a shit about policy, they’re simply anti-Obama, doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn what the fuck it is. Essentially there are only two constants in Republican policy, one – taxes don’t go up on Rich people and smaller government means that women shouldn’t be fucking anyone ever, unless they’re a Republican sugar daddy. That’s essentially it. Welcome back to plantation politics. Nice that some of the beltway and media are finally copping to that fact belatedly. These guys could give a shit about outcomes as long as those two outcomes are met.

  13. 13
    catclub says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: ” but recently, aside from the McClatchy reporting regarding the Iraq War,”

    Charlie Pierce notes that all the good stuff on Iraq was done when the papers were still owned by Knight-Ridder. Then McClatchy bought it. I did not know that.

  14. 14
    Mary G says:

    Meep, meep, Bibi!

  15. 15
    catclub says:

    @piratedan: “Nice that some of the beltway and media are finally copping to that fact belatedly.”

    Well, nice that perhaps the two of the least representative examples of beltway media, are copping to it.

    I think ‘copping’ is the wrong term. “tumbling”? “running up against and realizing”? “acknowledging”?

  16. 16

    Netanyahu, the leader of a state that is completely dependent on our money, was a fool to gamble on Romney, and the Israeli reaction to Obama’s visit makes him look even more foolish.

    Sure, he looks silly, but there still isn’t the political will in Israel to deal the the apartheid state of affairs that Jeffrey Goldberg wrote, about two years ago, was coming within five years.

    Even though Obama made some very good, well-received points, Israel’s political system lacks the ability to correct course. So does ours, but we’re not a country of about 7 million people surrounded by more people who don’t like us, proceeding as if we can just do whatever we want forever.

    I’d love to be wrong, but I see nothing but catastrophe ahead for Israel.

  17. 17
    eric says:

    Perhaps the GOP is looking to scrap the Voting Rights Act to allow them to bring Israel on board as the 51st state….

  18. 18
    catclub says:

    “The latest is what I’m sure was an ugly call with Turkey’s PM, where Netanyahu apologized for the 2010 flotilla raid that killed some Turks”

    In the news item it says that Obama was in on the call.

    I figure he was holding a knife to Bibi and telling him:
    “say you are sorry”. Otherwise why would Bibi bother.

    There have been no other consequences of that raid.

  19. 19
    Gene in Princeton says:

    “…that killed some Turks.”

    An American citizen included. Waiting for apology.

  20. 20
    catclub says:

    @eric: Wouldn’t that actually be cheaper? We might get some income taxes. Even Mississippi pays some income taxes.

  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Redshirt: I feel like Israel is like the Boston Red Sox. There was a time when the story was that they were snakebitten underdogs who never quite made it, and then they finally won, and most everyone (even the ones who weren’t fans) was happy. But then they kept winning, and everyone started to get sick of it, but their fans were still all mentally wedded to the idea that they were plucky underdogs, and they can’t understand why everyone else is _so tired_ of hearing about their suffering team.

  22. 22
    piratedan says:

    @catclub: point taken :-) I think tumbling may apply here but I do often wonder if there isn’t more tacit acknowledgement offscreen by these folks that it’s simply anti-Obama all the time and they just can’t bring themselves to the point where they can simply state that the Republican Party has devolved into something akin to the National Party of 1960 South Africa for it’s open contempt for all things Obama.

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    @Gene in Princeton: They will get to it as soon as they finish apologizing for attacking the Liberty.

    I heard on NPR that the real key is releasing (convicted traitor) Jonathan Pollard. Probably will have to give him a Medal of Freedom, too.

  24. 24
    PeakVT says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I think some of those “newspapers” are not full-service, multi-section newspapers like the Test Prep Daily. And several are probably run at a loss. The pro-Netanyahu rag sponsored by Adelson almost certainly falls in that category.

    Plus DC isn’t really a one-newspaper town. There’s also the Moonie Times, the Fried Bacon, The Examiner, The Hill (which prints, sometimes), The Washington City Paper, and probably others. Plus some suburban papers (Falls Church News-Press, for instance).

    ETA: A list.

  25. 25
    eric says:

    @catclub: The South is a net taker, so it would be the exact same…

  26. 26
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @catclub:

    I think ‘copping’ is the wrong term. “tumbling”? “running up against and realizing”? “acknowledging”?

    My first thought was: they’re only just figuring this out now!? And these are two of the smartest people we’ve got on TV? Sweet Santa Claus in a red suit at the North Pole on the 4th of July, we are so fucked.

  27. 27
    eric says:

    @catclub: Our Jesus freaks really want Israel to settle to create even greater hostilities to bring about the tribulation. Pick a side: are you post-trib or pre-trib??? google if you must.

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    Love that Obama moderated that call. “Bibi, do you have something you’d like to say to Tayyip?” “Not really.” “Bibi, we talked about this.” “Oh, all right.”

  29. 29
    eric says:

    @shortstop: “Don’t make me cut your allowance from 23 fighter jets to 7!”

  30. 30
    catclub says:

    @eric: The Yiddish Policeman’s Union had a novel (pun intended) concept. Ask the Jews: “Do you want Israel, or do you want a safe homeland.” How about a piece of Alaska?

    Too bad it was not tried.

  31. 31
    scav says:

    @eric: OK, but if a really big masking tape line appears down the middle of Jerusalem . . .

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @shortstop: I was first. you said it better.

  33. 33
    eric says:

    @catclub: I am always reminded of the scene in the Piano in which Brody looks outside the wall built to ghettoize the polish jews and how how horrible it is supposed to be and how we are supposed to side with the freedom fighters getting killed in the background. Never ceases to amaze me that my people cant see the universality in that scene and why walling in the palestineans is (to use a great phrase from Dame Iris Murdoch) a “moral monstrosity.”

  34. 34
    patroclus says:

    I actually think that Bibi is enjoying the visit immensely; even if all that happens is marginally improved relations with Turkey. He is post-election and he just constructed his government – he desperately needs to rebuild international credibility and at least some marginally centrist credentials and this visit will help do that. He’s in his Wye River mode even if it’s only temporary.

    I agree on the Bosox analogy; which was made much worse by the fact that the Patriots have been so good recently. Boston was always a great sports town whose teams (other than, obviously, the Celtics) never did anything and always failed on the big stage. Now, that’s gone, but their fans don’t realize it at all and still think they’re like the Cubs fans. I don’t hold out much hope that either Red Sox fans nor Israelis will change their tune any time soon.

  35. 35
    shortstop says:

    @eric: @scav: He will stop this car. He will.

  36. 36
    MomSense says:

    That Onion piece was genius.

    @piratedan:

    “Welcome back to plantation politics. Nice that some of the beltway and media are finally copping to that fact belatedly.”

    Yup.

  37. 37
    MattR says:

    @catclub: I was trying to figure out how to respond to your initial remark, but shortstop hit it out of the park. So sad that 6 year olds are such an apt comparison.

  38. 38
    Ed in NJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The other similarity is that most of their supporters are assholes.

  39. 39
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ed in NJ: Ha! It’s funny to hear the wistful tonalities of the Ken Burns _Baseball_ documentary every time the Red Sox are mentioned, because that was all before ’04/’07.

  40. 40
    cmorenc says:

    @piratedan:

    was watching the TRMS show last night where Racheal and Ezra had the long awaited epiphany that the Republicans really don’t give a shit about policy, they’re simply anti-Obama, doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn what the fuck it is

    Rachael had this dynamic nailed a very long time ago, you just caught iteration #eleventy-something. She keeps hammering at the point in part because she realizes that a small, but important part of her audience consists of villagers still clinging to the illusion that the GOP might become less intransigent if only Obama would make some of the right concessionary/social moves toward them, and the GOP is constantly generating new proof of the fallacy of this view. However, in part, because it’s relevant to her core audience to periodically have yet another convincingly proven and explained instance why “both sides do it” or “Obama isn’t doing what he should on his part” is total bullshit.

  41. 41
    Redshirt says:

    @Ed in NJ: Well, let’s not cast stones now, glass house Yankee fans. We’re all assholes up here!

    But for real: You know it was not long ago large numbers of Jews lived in Arabic countries, quite happily?

    How did our entire world get more radicalized in the last 50 years on the subject of Religion, of all things? Shouldn’t we be going to other way? Enlightenment and all?

  42. 42
    f space that says:

    @catclub: Beat me to it. And fuck Pollard.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    I think a lot of these people know this, they’re just not allowed to say it, until now.

    That’s a breakthrough. You’ll recall the two guys who have an entire book out that says upfront that the problem is entirely with the Rethugs, and they became Village pariahs for being so, well, indiscreet in being so damningly accurate.

  44. 44
    cmorenc says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    I’d love to be wrong, but I see nothing but catastrophe ahead for Israel.

    The problem for Israel is that it must be able to successfully defeat or intimidatingly deter EVERY effort to destroy it, however many there might be, forever into the future, whereas its enemies who desire its destruction and obliteration only have to succeed once. It takes considerable hubris for any Israeli government to believe they’ll never, ever lose even once, or that even should it happen to occur with the most pro-Israel President in office ever, the United States will necessarily be able to successfully intervene in time to save them from effective defeat. For some of Israel’s enemies, absorbing enormously punishing retaliation would be a worthwhile price to pay, if they could pull off achieving its destruction.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cmorenc:

    the GOP might become less intransigent if only Obama would make some of the right concessionary/social moves toward them,

    You mean like getting a reverse tan or something?

  46. 46
    Elie says:

    Ya know, at the end of the day, no one wants to do the hard work of this — changing and being changed in the face of known wrong. Its easier for both sides just to keep taking offense at the other and experiencing the suffering and lost lives. Easier, apparently than the process of turning hearts and perceptions over to a different possibility and vision.

    All change comes first in the heart and out of mouths before any real action can be motivated… you have to imagine the change, speak to it, and “see” it as a possibility first. I have to conceive that I can stop hitting you and you may stop hitting me before that can ever start to happen.

    The Pres took the Israelis to that place — to face the vision of it and hopefully prepare the way for the hard hard work to actually change. There is no glory in this process any more than there is glory in labor itself before a new baby is born. Its just pain and work, hopefully to accomplish that dream of having the newborn.

    I so pray for this and hope that others do too. Its very easy to say that it will never work, the work is too hard and the pain too great. Its always easier to say NO. But we must say Yes — The world, the Palestinians, the Israelis, – Yes, at last, Yes – we must SAY it years before it is given birth….

  47. 47
    different-church-lady says:

    @MomSense: Scroll down and you hit a link to this little nugget:

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....-gr,31753/

    How long before it gets cut-n-pasted to the wingnut Wurlizer without them understanding it’s parody?

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:

    @Redshirt:

    How did our entire world get more radicalized in the last 50 years on the subject of Religion, of all things? Shouldn’t we be going to other way? Enlightenment and all?

    I think the extra noise is because religions are finally going downhill, at least in the first world. It will still take a long time.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @different-church-lady:

    How long before it gets cut-n-pasted to the wingnut Wurlizer without them understanding it’s parody?

    These morans think that Stephen Colbert is one of them.

    I’d say it’s already happened.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Redshirt:

    How did our entire world get more radicalized in the last 50 years on the subject of Religion, of all things? Shouldn’t we be going to other way? Enlightenment and all?

    Despite the sound and fury from religious fanatics of all stripes these days, I think we are moving forward. What we are seeing form the fanatics is more akin to a furious last stand than a coming ascendency. They are fighting so hard and so noisily because they see they are on the verge of becoming irrelevant. Can they do damage over the next 50 or so years? Certainly, but they aren’t winning.

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    @Elie: Somebody just read the last passage in Ulysses. Good on ya.

  52. 52
    Elie says:

    @cmorenc:

    Then it is hopeless by your view. The Israeli’s can never accept that they can be a relatively safe world with the Arab/Palestinian countries?

    Why would black Americans ever want to live in the United States, if there is never any release and moving on from hatred and wrongdoing? Or the Native Americans?

    What countries that were bitter enemies, live in peace now? Surely there are examples…

    Your point is understood, but it gives nothing to any possibility but more of the same. There is no reason to hold that dark vision as the only one possible.. It is just your fear that speaks… and that cannot dictate all possibility forever..

  53. 53
    MomSense says:

    @Elie:

    Such a powerful post.

    Amen to your prayer. Yes to peace!

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elie:

    What countries that were bitter enemies, live in peace now? Surely there are examples…

    There are no examples. If you exclude France and Germany, France and Britain, and Britain and the United States. For starters.

  55. 55
    Elie says:

    @catclub:

    Actually I hadn’t, but now I want to go read it…James Joyce?

    I’m always looking for words to give me the strength to move ahead in this frequently hard and unsure life…I am always looking for the crocus pushing up through the snow…

  56. 56

    Bibi is no Omar. If you come at the king you’d best not miss.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP-lrftLQaQ

  57. 57
    Schlemizel says:

    @ Cardinal mistermix:

    Well it just occurred to me that Twitter turned 7 . . . maybe THATS why the popenfurer suddenly took an interest in it

  58. 58

    @eric: Neither mate.

    My own personal belief is that Jesus will show up once we’ve screwed up the planet so badly that humanity is doomed to extinction. No rapture, no tribulation (other than the one’s we’ve created for ourselves), just bam. Followed by, “Seriously, people? I was only gone for a second! How did you even manage to do all of this!?! Do you have any idea how long it’s going to take to clean this up? Time outs in Purgatory for all.”

    That said, I do not think it is a valid strategy to blow up the Earth to get Him here sooner.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    That said, I do not think it is a valid strategy to blow up the Earth to get Him here sooner.

    I am not remotely religious, but I have argued to people who believe in the Rapture stuff that it is blasphemous and presumptuous to try to rush things along. “Won’t Jesus reappear in His own time? And until then, should we not try to live according to his rules? Who are you to try to hurry Jesus along? Do you think you know better than Him? Is that the sin of pride I am seeing?”

  60. 60

    @cmorenc: Very few political leaders are utterly suicidal. Even the North Koreans haven’t been insane enough to nuke Seoul or the DMZ.

    Israel’s nuclear deterrent should be enough to keep its enemies at bay indefinitely.

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @Elie: Yep, James Joyce.

    All those giant books that nobody reads? I love them.
    Because they are really good. Very long slogs, but even more rewarding.

    Don Quixote. Proust. Dante. Joyce.
    I have heard good things about Jane Austen.

    I have not got around to much Faulkner.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub:

    I have not got around to much Faulkner.

    Do not start with “As I Lay Dying.” Just don’t.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    One of the consequences of the 1st Amendment is that there is no authority in this country to stamp out obvious heresy. We have entire organized churches upon which blasphemy is the basis of their dogma. The entire “prosperity gospel” movement being the most obvious example of Jesus’ teachings being upended by moral midgets.

    They don’t even pretend to be true to the words in their own holy scripture, unless those words happen to coincide with their bigotries and prejudices, and their base emotions.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: True enough, but it is kind of fun to call them blasphemers and see their shock.

  65. 65
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Redshirt:

    How did our entire world get more radicalized in the last 50 years on the subject of Religion, of all things? Shouldn’t we be going to other way? Enlightenment and all?

    I think these are two sides of the same coin. Religious fundamentalism of the sort we are dealing with today is a reaction to moderization and secularization of society. Prior to that, there was little agitation regarding the things which fundamentalists today consider the burning issues of our time. They are a byproduct of modernization, sort of like the body’s immune system running amok in reaction to changes it is programmed to resist.

  66. 66
    Joel says:

    @Ed in NJ: Hear, hear.

    But that applies to every sports fan in the DC-Boston corridor.

  67. 67
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It has long been my opinion that most American Christians worship Satan (or more properly, Mammon) and delude themselves into thinking that Satan is Christ and that He, at some point, just changed his mind about everything he said in the New Testament.

  68. 68
    KXB says:

    From Truman through Bush I, most presidents kept Israel at arm’s length. Not out of dislike, although many Presidents found Israeli PMs frustrating, but because they understood that the U.S. had a number of interests in the region, and could not tie itself too closely with just one nation.

    Starting with Clinton, things started to change. He spoke eloquently about his admiration for Israel, and specifically for Rabin. Israelis started to like the sound of that. George W. Bush also firmly sided with Israel in most matters (except attacking Iran), although he did not visit until 2008. Now, presidents are expected to show affection and admiration for this tiny nation, a treatment that no other nation gets – including those that fought alongside us in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It’s largely a media and DC-phenomenon. But when you have an empire to govern, why concern yourself about people in the MidWest or Southwest losing their homes to foreclosure, when we have maps of the Middle East to re-arrange?

  69. 69
    Paul in KY says:

    @f space that: Fuck Pollard with a chain saw.

  70. 70
    catclub says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I know, since my mother is a fish.

    The Reivers is a great start, though.

    Maybe I have just forgotten most of what I read of him.
    Since I did The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion,
    (Flem Snopes! my hero)
    and seem to remember a bit of Light in August.

  71. 71
    Paul in KY says:

    @Elie: France & Germany get along pretty well, considering the last 300 years or so.

  72. 72
    Paul in KY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Excellent point.

  73. 73
    catclub says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: “there was little agitation regarding the things which fundamentalists today consider the burning issues of our time”

    Huh? Was that because they were actually burning witches? And Cathars? And having 30 years wars over religion?

    I figure that Christianity is about 600 years older than Islam, so give Islam another 400 years or so to not be completely violent and irrational (just irrational, like the present Christians.).

  74. 74
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s why they concentrate on the Old Testament. Lots more smiting there.

  75. 75
    Paul in KY says:

    @KXB: I don’t think you can divorce the fact that many media opinion makers seem to have an inordinate fondness for Israel that seems to be religion based.

    You saw how that worked in the run-up to the Iraq debacle.

  76. 76
    KXB says:

    @Paul in KY:

    That becomes especially apparent when you watch/read non-US media. Charlie Rose did a number of shows this week about Obama’s trip, and all of his guests were either American or Israeli Jews.

    OTOH – you look at the tens of thousands that have been killed in Mexico over the past 4-5 years due to the drug war, and it gets nowhere near the coverage, either by the press or by DC power brokers. It is a nation right next door, and more people are killed there than between the Israel-Palestinians in the past 20 years, multiplied by several factors. I can’t help but think if Mexicans were as prominent in the press that the story might get a bit more coverage.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub:

    Was that because they were actually burning witches?

    One hangs witches. One burns heretics. Do try to keep it straight.

    I have at least four convicted witches in my family tree; three were hanged. One was pregnant at the time, so her hanging was postponed. By the time she had given birth, the Salem witch scare was more or less over.

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @MikeJ: Dirty little secret: Islam is also losing its influence in the Middle East. A lot of the young folks are getting disillusioned with the promises the mullahs keep making with nothing to show for it.

  79. 79
    priscianus jr says:

    @MattF: Right-wingers keep underestimating Obama. Why is that, you think?

    It’s that old psychological defense mechanism they call “denial”. Also a bit of “dehumanizing” your opponent. Stuff like that.

  80. 80
    priscianus jr says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: is it that on average Israelis are just more avid newspaper readers than Americans are?

    I think they’re probably just more avid readers period. People of the book, people of the newspaper.

  81. 81
    priscianus jr says:

    @catclub: How can a journalist be this naive?

    Actually I don’t think it’s naive at all. Israel is a different country, not everything the same as the US. Oh sure, the right will continue to vilift, along with Fox News. But I think a lot of Israelis were impressed with our president. They’ve been fed a lot of garbage.

  82. 82
    AxelFoley says:

    @MattF:

    Right-wingers keep underestimating Obama. Why is that, you think?

    Because he’s near.

  83. 83
    stickler says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: In England and its colonies, witches were usually hung. On the continent, however, burning was quite common indeed. Sometimes in very large numbers (more efficient that way).

  84. 84
    priscianus jr says:

    @Paul in KY: an inordinate fondness for Israel that seems to be religion based.

    Yes, mainly the Protestant religion. If you know anything about the history of American Protestantism, that is. It’s the dominant religion of this country.

  85. 85
    Heliopause says:

    Netanyahu apologized for the 2010 flotilla raid that killed some Turks.

    My inner conspiracy theorist is uneasy about this. It tells me that making nice with Turkey could be a prelude to action against Iran.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @stickler: Sure, but they use the metric system too. Tain’t right.

  87. 87
    Pococurante says:

    Why should anyone apologize for pushing back a planned attack? A blackade run meant to bring in arms with a few hundred pounds of expired prescriptions drugs as cover…

    We’ve seen the footage. These ships were manned by people with guns and axes. They wanted a provocation. And martyrdom.

    They wanted to kill and die as martyrs.

    I read the accounts of 1930s Britain and wonder how their populace could have been so ready to twist the word “appease” to mean giving up someone else’s land…

    And then come here or Juan Cole to see more of the same.

    Shame on you.

  88. 88
    Visceral says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I feel like Israel is like the Boston Red Sox. There was a time when the story was that they were snakebitten underdogs who never quite made it, and then they finally won, and most everyone (even the ones who weren’t fans) was happy. But then they kept winning, and everyone started to get sick of it, but their fans were still all mentally wedded to the idea that they were plucky underdogs, and they can’t understand why everyone else is _so tired_ of hearing about their suffering team.

    This. If there’s one thing that explains Israel more than anything else does, it’s that the Jewish-Israeli self-image is stuck in a time warp. In their collective imagination, it’s still 1947 and the Arab armies are closing in on a bunch of tent-dwelling settlers. It’s still 1942 and the Wannsee Conference just ended. It’s still the late 19th Century and the residents of the shtetl are huddled in the synagogue as a pogrom rages across the Russian countryside. Ant-semitism still exists and anti-Jewish violence still occurs, but the omnipresent threat of total annihilation is no longer representative of the Jewish experience.

    But tell that to people whose entire raison d’etre boils down to: “This time, we fight”.

  89. 89
    Pococurante says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    There are no examples. If you exclude France and Germany, France and Britain, and Britain and the United States. For starters.

    And remember the millions of refugees moved across Europe, with no right of return.

    Entire ethnic conclaves disappeared.

    And by the way, right when many new countries appeared.

    Many of whom ethnically moved out peoples that were inconvenient. And many Arab countries that ethnically cleansed themselves of non-Muslims.

    There is no belief of right to return for any of these displacements.

    Except for Israel.

    Why do so many believe this one and only Jewish country should be the one and only exception for all the Christian and Islamic countries who were much more violent, much more abusive, much more bloody…

    There is no answer to that that involves reason and responsibility.

    Shame on you.

    Explain why Israel should be held to your new cruel standard.

    Remember that there are still those of us alive who remember Wounded Knee.

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