I identify fairly strongly as a liberal (although this was not always the case), so perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that one of the most frustrating phenomena I experience as a politics junkie is watching liberal leading lights latch on to stupid ideas. Today, for instance, whoever was running the Mother Jones Twitter account sent out this:
The link points, as you can see, to Adam’s Serwer’s latest piece, When the US Government Can Kill You, Explained. His lede:
On Monday, the Obama administration explained when it’s allowed to kill you.
The piece, which discusses Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech Monday on the legal reasoning behind the administration’s national security policy, is accompanied by a stock photo of U.S. Air Force “Reaper” drone armed with guided HELLFIRE missiles — the sort used to kill the American-born al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.
I have roughly zero time to post today, but I suspect some folks might be coming by to see what I think about President Obama’s AIPAC speech, or about his talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu, or about the whole Israeli effort to lead the world into a cataclysmic war with Iran. The thing is I don’t have time to write about any of that, or anything else! (Though I may have just tipped my hand with the use of the word “cataclysmic”).
So instead, I bring you the opinion of the editorial board of Israel’s newspaper of record, HaAretz:
Obama, who was playing on Netanyahu’s home court at the height of an election year, criticized the excessive talk about war with Iran. Hinting at both Israeli government officials and the Republican presidential candidates, who have been vying with each other in calling for war, Obama said this was causing oil prices to rise, which in turn helped finance Iran’s nuclear program. The president said that excessive public discussion of the Iranian issue not only undermined the security of both America and the world, but Israel’s security too.
As a long-time advocate for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with people who seem to think that “two states for two peoples” is code for “the Jews don’t really belong here but since they’re here already and have cities and whatnot, I suppose we’ll have to figure something out.”
Which is not what I mean. I mean “two states for two peoples.”
Part and parcel of the “Zionists are foreign colonists who should be consigned to the age imperialism” meme is the notion that Jews have no actual stake in Jerusalem and to the extent that Palestinians are willing to recognize reality and share the city with them, that’s an act of real politik on their part. Nothing to do with history, or facts, or actual Jews and their actual lives.
Which, you know, despite my personal dislike for Jerusalem? Is also not true. When I advocate for “a shared Jerusalem as the capital of two states living side-by-side in peace and security,” I mean that, too.
I bring this up because Lara Friedman, American for Peace Now’s Director of Policy and Government Relations, is currently in Doha at the Arab League conference, where she ran straight into the fact that for many supporters of Palestinian rights, the notion of a Jewish claim to Jerusalem is laughable.
On Friday, I posted a clip of Billy Bragg singing to a dancing Canadian lobster. (Nova Scotian, to be more precise). I allowed as how I would like to know more about this dancing lobster fella and Canadian kids’ TV in general, and an obliging commenter helped me out – check out her knowledge and prodigious Google-fu here. Bottom line for our purposes? Dude’s name is “Captain Claw.”
You might well imagine that armed with this information, I proceeded to the YouTube. Whereupon I found the following piece of sheer delight: Captain Claw singing the undeniably catchy “When You’ve Got to Go” song.
Rick Santorum recently told Fox “News” host Greta Van Susteren that “The president was willing to jump in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and in Egypt….”
It’s true. President Obama actually was wrestling around between the sheets with the M.U.S.L.I.M. B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. long before he officially took office.
But who cares? What’s so bad about the “Moral, Unwaveringly Sane, Liberty-Inclined ‘Mericans who Believe Russia Offers Traitorous Hicks an Ominous Oasis away from Democracy”?
It’s not some evil socialist Kenyan Muslim thing. It’s a self-deportation program made specifically for negro-fearing bigots like Santorum.
He should Google it.
Petition #1: The US should pursue diplomacy with Iran, not military action.
To my great relief, some in the US Congress have figured out that war against Iran would be a really, really bad idea (here are two good pieces on that: Experts Say Iran Attack Is Irrational, Yet Hawks Are Winning the Debate by Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast and Military action isn’t the only solution to Iran by Thomas Pickering and William Luers in The Washington Post).
Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Walter Jones (R-NC) are circulating what’s called a sign-on letter, asking Representatives to urge the Administration to pursue diplomacy in order to resolve our differences with Iran.
Word came out this morning that Khader Adnan has agreed to stop his hunger strike in exchange for being released by Israel on April 17 when his period of administrative detention is up, with a promise of no renewed extensions. For details about the case up to this point, you can read my post from last week, and for more on the deal he reached, click here for HaAretz’s story. I would also highly recommend that you read this excellent piece by Israeli national treasure Gidon Levy, in which he interviewed Adnan’s wife.
I don’t know what to think about it all, really. Adnan is still being held without charge, which is still illegal and flies in the face of both due process and the most basic notion of human rights — and he’s not alone: Click here for more on administrative detention and the 309 Palestinians held under its provisions (the highest number of administrative detainees since October 2009, and one of them has been thus held for five years). I have to wonder if the survival instinct, and possibly a desire to see his children again, kicked in. Or if maybe there’s more to the deal than we’ve heard. Or both.
At any rate, I’m glad that Israel/Palestine is not being plunged into violence this week. I confess to not being overjoyed, because I can’t help but feel that it’s just a matter of time before something sparks insanity, but maybe that’s just me being sick and tired of being an Israeli. I am surely glad that Adnan is alive, and that more blood isn’t being spilled right now.
Crossposted at Emily L. Hauser In My Head.
Ride for your lives, Dutch ladies! Ride like the wind!
You know all the GOP palaver about how President Obama has wrecked America’s place in the World Cup of Global Domination and Awesome?
Here’s what people in the Netherlands are talking about these days, when they talk about America:
Rick Santorum’s invocation of a nightmare of mass murder of the elderly in the Netherlands has provoked a storm of incredulity and criticism in the Western European country, where the local press say his statistics are wildly inflated.
“Rick Santorum Thinks He Knows the Netherlands: Murder of the Elderly on a Grand Scale” is Saturday’s headline in the daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
As I obsess about Khader Adnan and what will happen in Israel/Palestine if he dies in Israeli custody, and meanwhile also try to fit in actual paying work that is almost all about advocating for the two-state solution that Israel appears bound and determined to destroy, I find that all I can feel is how tired I am of being Israeli. Again. I wrote about it once, and nothing’s changed. So, a re-up:
I’m sick of being Israeli.
I am sick of watching my home lurch from bad to worse — from the unavoidable xenophobia of any hounded and nationalistic people, to creeping-vine-xenophobia, the kind that the holds the whole house up at a certain point, having all but replaced whatever was once between the bricks. Israel had one good, shining year when it seemed it might be stepping forward rather than back, but 1993 came and went and here we are, worse off than we were before the Oslo Accords, because the Palestinian economy is more thoroughly wrecked, the Palestinian people more thoroughly occupied, Palestinian land more thoroughly gobbled up, and thousands of people (the vast majority of them Palestinian) more thoroughly dead.
And to those who would say “Is America really any different?” (as some friends have) I would say: Yes. In America, we go from bad to better — slowly, painfully, splutteringly, we move forward. Israel? Not so much. Have you seen the recent spate of anti-democratic laws passed in The Middle East’s Only Democracy ™? Or read up on why all those protesters were out on the streets for all those weeks? Not to mention the continual erosion, by design, of any and all hope for a genuine, mutally acceptable peace with the Palestinians? Bad to worse, bad to worser, bad to worsest (until the next worsest comes along).