Swedish-Israeli Tensions

Shourideh Molavi

‘Obviously, we have reason to be worried,’ the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, said last November, three days after the attacks in Paris, ‘because there are so many that are being radicalised. Once again, we are brought back to situations like the one in the Middle East, where not least, the Palestinians see that there is not a future.’ Her words were immediately condemned by the Israeli government. But the Israeli ruling coalition had been the first to make the connection. Officials compared the recent ‘wave of anger’ by Palestinians – the random knife attacks that have killed 28 Israelis, while more than 140 Palestinians have been killed in street executions – to the co-ordinated Bataclan massacre; an attempt, and not the first, to tar Palestinians with the Isis brush.

‘When we look at the Europe of today,’ the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said on 14 November, ‘which is busy labelling settlement products when the Middle East is on fire... we understand the problem.’ Two days before the Paris attacks, the speaker of the Knesset, Yuli-Yoek Edelstein, had blamed product labelling for the migrant crisis: ‘As well as being foolish, it is also hypocritical to deal with the origin of a tomato instead of helping, from the source, millions of miserable people in the world, including the refugees who are flooding Europe after fleeing the battles in Syria.’ (Israel hasn’t accepted any Syrian refugees.)

The attacks in Paris didn’t change Edelstein’s argument. On the contrary. Should the labelling of settler goods lead to the shutting down of factories, he said on 17 November, in a message of condolence to France, ‘it will increase unemployment and despair on the Palestinian side, and the way from there to terrorism is short.’

Wallström didn’t let up either. In a Parliamentary session in early December, she criticised Israel’s use of ‘disproportionate force’. Earlier this month she called for an investigation to determine if Israel was guilty of extrajudicial killings, a prospect dismissed by Israel’s foreign ministry as ‘delusional’ (which it almost certainly is, given that Palestinian deaths are rarely regretted by Israeli officials, much less investigated). Israel has responded by refusing official visits from Swedish delegations, and Wallström has been declared persona non grata. Lieberman has called for boycotts of Ikea. Sweden’s ambassador was officially censured for Wallström’s comments (the Knesset was largely united in this). Last week fifteen Israeli mayors announced they would no longer be attending a management conference in Sweden.

In the nationalist newspaper Makor Rishon (‘First Source’), the former head of the Israeli education ministry, Zvi Zameret, compared Wallström to Count Folke Bernadotte, saying that both were motivated by ‘ignorance’ and ‘anti-Semitism’ (never mind that Bernadotte, as vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross, negotiated the release of thousands of prisoners, including 450 Danish Jews, from Theresienstadt in 1945). Bernadotte was sent to Israel in 1948 to draw up a resolution for the withdrawal of Israeli military forces – and the return of Palestinian refugees – as part of the UN Partition Plan. He was assassinated in Jerusalem by the Stern Gang.

Only Joint List, an alliance of four Arab political parties and the third largest faction in the Knesset, has officially criticised the Netanyahu government’s attacks on Wallström, arguing that the roots of Palestinian violence lie in the anti-Arab racism of Israeli society. But Israel doesn’t preach only to Sweden. Earlier this week the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, was accused by Netanyahu officials of ‘encouraging terror’ for suggesting, in condemning the Palestinian knife attacks, that it may be natural for oppressed peoples to resist occupation.


  • 29 January 2016 at 9:53pm
    stettiner says:
    While at the EU-parliament, Mr Per Gahrton, the founder of the Swedish Green Party fought ferociously against what he called ”militarization of EU”. Being a peace project, EU was supposed to use soft power and never ever succumb to the temptation of forming an army. No exemptions. Well, maybe one: EU could build up a striking force, but exclusively in order to go to war with Israel.

    Since Autumn of 2014, the Green Party rules Sweden in a minority government together with the Social Democrats, FM Wallströms party.

    The love affair between Social Democrats and PLO began in 1982 when a delegation from Hisdatrut, the Israeli Trade Union Federation, was disinvited from the May 1st celebrations, an event they took part in for many years. Instead of Hisdatrut, a gang of Arafat’s boys could be seen marching the streets of Stockholm at the occasion. Despite the fact that PLO at that time was busy blowing up Jews in Parisian restaurants and on the streets of Copenhagen (does it sound a bell?) Party Secretary Sten Andersson (later FM) could often be seen holding hands with his good friend Yassir. To this day Fatah is a sister party of the Social Democrats.

    The red-green government is facing many problems and it’s on the verge of collapsing. In the year in power they managed to break every promise and to abandon every principle. But one.

    Barking at Israel seems to be the only remaining common cause of the coalition. The government recognized the PLO-kleptocracy as a state, invoking a decision by the party congress; a decision to recognize Western Sahara was ignored. After a row with Saudi Arabia, FM Wallström went out of her way to assure muslim countries of her respect for islam and its great contributions to mankind. It didn’t help a lot; even her friend Abbas voted against her when Arab League threw her out from a meeting at which she was supposed to be the guest of honour.

    Wallströms Israel-tourette syndrome is supposed to help Sweden to gain a seat at the UN Security Council. The idea – very true in my opinion – is that Israel bashing gives votes at UN. This could be seen as a cold political calculation and in part it is. But the hate is real enough.

    • 1 February 2016 at 6:18pm
      Alan Benfield says: @ stettiner
      Just being picky, but could you give us some links to information which supports your assertions?

      Not all of us has your encyclopaedic knowledge of Swedish-Palestinian-Israeli relations...

    • 2 February 2016 at 1:38pm
      stettiner says: @ Alan Benfield
      What links do you need? About Per Gahrton and his wish to send an EU army against Israel? In Gahrton explains in detail how it can be done: "European soldiers roll in into Palestine from Jordan and Egypt (...)"

      The fact that the Greens form a minority government with the Social Democrats? Check out

      The protocol from the Congress of the Social Democratic Party:

      Margot Wallström: "The question of recognizing West Sahara is not on the table"


    • 3 February 2016 at 8:56pm
      stettiner says: @ stettiner
      After two days, my comment is still awaiting moderation....

    • 3 February 2016 at 10:58pm
      benDov38 says: @ Alan Benfield
      Just being picky, but why don't you also request supporting links for any of Molavi's one-sided assertions? --such as his bald misdescription of Bernadotte's UN mandate or his claim [based on what evidence??] that Bernadotte was assassinated by the Stern Gang.
      Perhaps you suppose that anti-Israel screeds need no support.

    • 6 February 2016 at 6:40am
      benDov38 says: @ Alan Benfield

      You asked for "some links to information which supports your assertions" --albeit without specifying which assertions you had in mind--and he seems to have done exactly as you asked. But if you have done anything with these links--such as read some of them--you've given no indication of your reaction to them, nor have you commented further on any of his assertions which are now supported-by-links-to-information.

      Shall I infer that you now persuaded of the truth of those assertions or do some doubts remain for which you want more links? You haven't said. Common courtesy suggests that, at least, you thank him for satisfying your non-specific request so promptly. Since you haven't troubled to do this, I [hereby] thank him for you.

      I wonder: does asking for "some links to information which supports your assertion" exhaust your discursive repertiore?

    • 7 February 2016 at 8:02am
      akvartany says: @ stettiner
      Shourideh Molavi you are extremely biased twards Israel and all the crimes they commit. Do you really expect the world to just stand buy and do nothing!! as we do here im America where our senators are Bought by AIPAC and now you have joined the list of the "Bought"

  • 30 January 2016 at 7:05am
    Fred Skolnik says:
    It is next to idiotic to label as "street executions" the shooting of crazed, knife-wielding Arabs in the midst of murderous rampages.

    • 7 February 2016 at 8:05am
      akvartany says: @ Fred Skolnik
      Didn't the Israeli Minister called for No Prisoner policy with the inferior Arabs!!!

  • 1 February 2016 at 3:01pm
    David Gordon says:
    Well, Fred and stettiner, your comments are interesting and noted.

    Let me ask a question. How do you justify the murder of Bernadotte? Or (while we are thinking abut murders), the murder of Lord Moyne?

    • 1 February 2016 at 4:13pm
      Fred Skolnik says: @ David Gordon
      I don't. What makes you think I do? The entire leadership of the Yishuv condemned the actions of Lehi and Etzel.

    • 1 February 2016 at 6:28pm
      Alan Benfield says: @ Fred Skolnik
      Yes, but what happened next is almost a paradigm of responses by the Israeli state to such occurrences. To quote Wikipedia:

      "Lehi was forcibly disarmed and many members were arrested, but nobody was charged with the killings. The Israel Police, along with the military police and security services, investigated the assassination, but failed to identify any of the participants in the assassination, and the case was eventually closed without any of the participants having been identified."

      Sounds familiar? Well, perhaps not, but only because there was actually an investigation, of sorts, which seldom really happens in the case of assassinated Palestinians. In this case, a foreign diplomat was involved, so I guess they had to display due diligence...

    • 4 February 2016 at 4:16am
      benDov38 says: @ David Gordon

      Let me ask you a question. How do you justify the face-to-face murder of pregnant women and 3-mo-old infants? [At least in these cases, the murderer was actually identified, not merely supposed.]

      Perhaps you think--as Molavi seems to think--that Ban's remarking "it may be natural for oppressed people to resist occupation" [quoted from Molavi, supra] is adequate justification for such behavior? Do you also think, as Molavi seems to think, that Wallstrom is on target in blaming the Paris massacres on Israel?

      In this string at least, you seem to require justification for killings only when [allegedly] done by Israelis. Palestinians, on the other hand, are easily justified on account of [alleged] Israeli oppression..

    • 7 February 2016 at 8:09am
      akvartany says: @ benDov38
      Well when you occupy a nation for 50 years and treat them like dirt what the hell do you expect. I say why not get the hell of of Palestine.

  • 1 February 2016 at 9:28pm
    Fred Skolnik says:
    And not all of us have your encyclopedic knowledge of the Middle East, Alan. Wikipedia? Is that where you run where you want to get the lowdown? And why the sarcasm? If you didn't open your mouth when Israeli women and children were being blown apart in buses and restaurants by Palestinian terrorists, you're a hypocrite and a fraud.

    • 2 February 2016 at 7:56am
      Alan Benfield says: @ Fred Skolnik
      I don't claim to have one, Fred, which is why I go to various sources to find information and then cite the source. I wasn't being sarcastic: just asking stettiner for chapter and verse. You see, I am a scientist and assertions unsupported by facts and their sources don't impress me much.

      Neither am I impressed by those who descend to common abuse when they don't have an argument to put forward.

    • 2 February 2016 at 8:30am
      Fred Skolnik says: @ Alan Benfield
      But how, Alan, do you evaluate and verify your second- and third-hand English-language sources that purport to describe events in countries you've never seen where people speak languages you don't understand? Scientists don't read Wikipedia. To the extent that they read rather than observing, they read primary sources in their original language if they are scholars or, if they are unequipped to, as you are, they have the sense to keep their mouths shut. There are a lot of Israel haters out there, and I'm sure you can "cite" them, but you have no way of knowing if what they say is true, so I imagine that you stick with those who give you what you want. Isn't that so?

    • 2 February 2016 at 9:14am
      David Gordon says: @ Fred Skolnik
      Well Fred, I think that first you should reflect on Alan's comment on "common abuse".

      When you have done that, please look at the paragraph that Alan quotes from Wikipedia, and tell us which points in it are wrong, and give sources for what you say. The Wikipedia paragraph refers to a number of primary sources and to one book. Are those incorrect, and if so, why?

      One line that has been taken before on these pages is that someone who does not understand the languages cannot understand Middle Eastern history. Can we please get rid of that nonsense? It suggests that only those who speak at least Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi - and probably several other languages as well - are allowed an opinion.

    • 2 February 2016 at 9:41am
      Fred Skolnik says: @ David Gordon
      Like you and Alan, I have no idea whether the paragraph is right or wrong. If I wished to know I would make a historical study of the subject using the tools that historians use, which do not include Wikipedia.

      Everyone is allowed an opinion, but opinions based on second-hand sources that you are unequipped to verify or evaluate are next to meaningless and only reveal biases.

    • 2 February 2016 at 10:14am
      Alan Benfield says: @ Fred Skolnik
      Yes, and I am sure you (and the likes of stettiner) always do that before commenting here, Fred. Your opinions are clearly always based upon primary sources and lack any form of bias whatsoever.

      I am truly humbled by your awesomeness and obviously should just shut the fuck up.

      By the way, as David points out above, apart from occasional lapses and wilful distortions perpetrated by trolls and deliberate mischief-makers (which are usually quickly corrected by the community), Wikipedia is widely acknowledged as an accurate and well-documented source (look, for example, at its medical and scientific content) and often (usually?) quotes primary sources for its text (indeed, it is one of the major rules of Wikipedia etiquette that articles must be supported by sources and you will often see a remark added by another user to the effect that an assertion requires support). I am sure that historians generally don't use encyclopaedias of any kind, but I'm not a professional historian and, like most normal people, I do, working back to original sources later (if I can read them).

      But why not carry on sneering at anything you don't agree with, rather than actually engaging in debate?

    • 2 February 2016 at 10:42am
      Fred Skolnik says: @ Alan Benfield
      What specifically are we debating here? You made some snide remark about "assassinated Palestinians" and I wondered how many tears you shed about Israeli women and children blown to pieces by these same assassinated Palestinians.

      My opinions are based on an understanding of the conflict derived from having experienced it at first hand. My historical understanding of the conflict derives an ability to evaluate sources of information, official, primary or secondary, from the standpoint of someone who has first-hand knowledge of the forces and players at work in the Middle East.

      By "community" I take it you mean the community of Israel haters who get their information the same way you do. But once again, please tell me how you evaluate and verify the sources of your information, other than by pointing to someone who thinks like you. I will be more than happy to engage in a dialogue with you with regard to any assertion you may wish to make about the conflict and point out your errors if such there are.

    • 2 February 2016 at 3:01pm
      Alan Benfield says: @ Fred Skolnik
      Apparently, nothing, as you have all the answers already. All I have to do is to sit at your feet and drink in the wisdom.

      In any case, you come to the blog with so many preconceived ideas (about me, amongst others) that it is almost impossible to write anything which deviates from your party line without the usual accusations: "Israel-hater", often 'Anti-Semite". One gets used to it after a while. What exactly is someone who 'thinks like me'? I have a great deal of sympathy for both sides in this conflict.

      And as for snide comments - I am sorry but you are the past master here: how do you know what tears I may have shed for whom on either side? And how dare you make assumptions about my sympathies or attitudes based upon no information at all?

      I am critical of both sides in this, as and when criticism is due. This doesn't make me an Israel-hating anti-Semite who cheers every killing of an Israeli (I mourn ANY death) and weeps for every Palestinian, just someone who can see right and wrong on both sides.

      By the way, the community I was referring to was the community of Wikipedia users and editors. I don't think they can all be Israel-hating anti-Semites. They undoubtedly number among them quite a number of Jews, Israeli or otherwise.

    • 4 February 2016 at 5:09am
      benDov38 says: @ Alan Benfield

      I wish you held Molavi and others whose prejudices you share to similar epistemic standards, and that--as a scientist--you were not so much impressed by their unsupported assertions.

      The Wikipedia article you quoted above [I missed its full cite] makes clear that no one was ever identified as Bernadotte's killer, much less tried for and convicted of killing him. Yet you require no support for Molavi's [or your Wikipedia author's?] assertion that "He was assassinated in Jerusalem by the Stern Gang." While this belief was widespread among the anti-Reconstructionist Left in Israel, the only part of it that can be asserted without qualification is that Bernadotte was shot in Jerusalem.

      I am not a scientist; but in the same sense, I suppose, in which you are a scientist, I am a philosopher of a moderately skeptical bent. So I resist accepting widespread belief, in the absense of any corroborating evidence, as adequate support for unqualified assertions. It is widely believed that OJ Simpson murdered his ex-wife and her [alleged] lover, despite that a competent jury found him Not Guilty. Altho, for all I know, this widespread belief may be true, I would not assert without qualification that he did it--even if I had read it in Wikipedia.

      Is this difference between us--re. who killed Bernadotte--traceable to our different professions, or might there be other factors at play here?

    • 4 February 2016 at 2:15pm
      John Cowan says: @ Alan Benfield
      To clarify, Wikipedia rarely uses primary sources, as they are almost always biased sources. Wikipedia articles are review articles in scientific terms: that is, they make use of scholarly articles (secondary sources) that filter and review the primary sources. That's why Wikipedia editors don't need to be subject-matter experts: they are reporting not the truth nor the directly recorded truth, but what subject-matter experts have said.

    • 4 February 2016 at 2:18pm
      John Cowan says: @ benDov38
      Another jury using the civil "preponderance of the evidence" standard (i.e. more likely than not) rather than the criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", concluded that he had indeed killed his ex-wife. As historical evidence goes, that's not too shabby.

    • 5 February 2016 at 2:45am
      benDov38 says: @ John Cowan

      If I were to write an encyclopedia article--or even an op-ed piece--I would not state as a matter of fact, without any qualification, only what was "beyond reasonable doubt". Given less compelling evidence, I might report that the "preponderance of evidence" favors the view that OJ killed his ex-wife, but I would not state that as a fact without any qualification. An historian who asserted, without qualification, that OJ killed his ex-wife, and supported that assertion by citing the conclusion of the civil jury, yet failed to mention or cite the contrary criminal result, would IMHO, be a biased and unreliable historian.

      Your rebuttal is well-taken, but it doesn't vitiate the fact that belief in OJ's guilt was widespread even during the period before the civil jury "concluded that he had indeed killed his ex-wife", but after the criminal trial had found him Not Guilty. My point, as I'm sure you realize, is that widespread public belief is an inadequate warrant for unqualified assertion, emotion-laden disputes.Given the conflicting pair of [criminal vs. civil] findings, would you write an encyclopedia article asserting OJ's factual guilt without qualification? I would not.

      The apt epistemic standards for op-eds may be less obvious;so I don't expect as much from LRB bloggers, like Molavi, as I would from Wikipedia article, such as that quoted [but not cited?] by Benfield, supra.
      Editors often give op-eds far more leeway--and maybe rightly so, if the editors' motivation is really to ventilate some controversy, and they show this by promptly publishing an opposing op-ed. But I fear that some editors, including the LRB Blog editors, have looser epistemic standards with op-eds whose opinions they share, and often fail to balance those op-eds with opposing ones.

    • 5 February 2016 at 2:52am
      benDov38 says: @ benDov38

      Please ignore the inadvertent "not" in the 2cd line of my prior Reply.

    • 6 February 2016 at 6:45am
      benDov38 says: @ Alan Benfield

      Would you prefer uncommon abuse? If so, see mine [above].

  • 2 February 2016 at 3:35pm
    Fred Skolnik says:
    Maybe I'm wrong about you, Alan, though aside from your snide remark, which reveals a certain animus, you really haven't said anything. I do remember getting an impression of strong anti-Israel feeling in previous posts and may have even have replied to you. But if you recognize Arab terrorists for what they are, and understand what brought on the 1948 and 1967 wars, you have my apologies.

    • 2 February 2016 at 5:28pm
      David Gordon says: @ Fred Skolnik
      I am sure there is not much point in going on when one side in this argument points out problems in, and asks questions about, the other side's posts; and the other just resorts to bluster and "you don't understand" kinds of comment (linked to allegations of anti-Israel and anti-semitic bias).

      However, let us just try two things:

      To say "My opinions are based on an understanding of the conflict derived from having experienced it at first hand" is fair enough, but how much have you experienced at first hand of countries other than Israel? Have you been to Jordan, Egypt, Iran (say) and seen it from their point of view? If first hand experience is the touchstone, then you need to have been out and about in such countries, and in Palestine, and so on.

      Second, Alan is absoloutely right about Wikipedia. "Wikipedia is widely acknowledged as an accurate and well-documented source ... and ... quotes primary sources for its text (indeed, it is one of the major rules of Wikipedia etiquette that articles must be supported by sources ...)". In my own area of science it is very accurate.

    • 2 February 2016 at 6:25pm
      Fred Skolnik says: @ David Gordon
      I certainly have no intention of arguing with you about how historians operate. It is fine if Wikipedia cites primary sources but it is not enough to look at the source and nod your head. You have to be equipped to evaluate the source and that is what people like yourself who have categorical views about the conflict but no direct or intimate knowledge of it are unequipped to do.

      I have been in Palestine, that is, the West Bank, and have had intimate contact with Arabs both there and in Israel. My further advantage is that I am in a milieu where the Arab world and what it is up to is constantly before me and I am also listening to what informed people on the Israeli side are saying about the conflict and about the Arab/Muslim world and in a position to understand where they are coming from, that is, to evaluate their reliability as sources, and so on.

      As I have written about the subject of choosing sides in foreign conflicts I invite you to read the following:

    • 3 February 2016 at 9:28am
      David Gordon says: @ Fred Skolnik
      Fred - thank you for that article which I read with interest.

      The tragedy of Israel and Palestine is the violence that has dogged history for more than the last 70 years. Whatever perceptions may have been before 1947, UN Resolution 181 emphatically gives Israel the right to exist. Violence on the Israeli side (whether against individuals such as Lord Moyne and Count Bernadotte, or against groups, such as at Deir Yassin and the King David Hotel) and return violence on the Arab side has wrecked whatever hopes there might have been for peace.

      Adherence to later UN resolutions might have been a useful start.

    • 4 February 2016 at 6:05am
      benDov38 says: @ David Gordon
      AB & DG,

      I wonder whether you'd both be as uncritical of Wikipedia sources whose bent and/or conclusions you didn't share?

      I don't know whether there are any on-going controversies in your area[s] of science; but there are plenty in my areas of philosophy. In these controversies, Wikipedia is not Gospel and the Pope is not Infallible [except when he's sitting in the Chair]. I might rely on Wikipedia for the dates of Galileo's Trial [tho even here, I'd probably cross-check], but not to decide the degree to which that trial was influenced by Cardinal Bellarmine's attitude toward Gallileo. I might go there for what has been written recently on "the Free Will Problem" [tho there are far better sources even here], but not for deciding who got it right. Nor would I rely on Wikipedia to apportion blame in Middle East conflicts.

      Supposing that Wikipedia, or any other single source, can be equally trusted in controversies--such as placing blame for Arab/Israeli conflicts--because it can be trusted in uncontroversial scientific matters is simply foolish. So also is supposing that its reliability in notorious disputes is guaranteed by the "community" of readers, authors, and editors. One might as well guarantee the reliability of what is writ in this Blog via the "community" of its writers, editors. and trolls.

    • 4 February 2016 at 6:43am
      benDov38 says: @ David Gordon

      Your choice of words, "Violence on the Israeli side...and return violence on the Arab side..." makes it pretty clear who started this mess and, hence, who's to blame for it.

      Unfortunately, saying so don't make it so. Arab violence against Palestinian Jews long predated the birth of Israel, and prior to 1948, it was pretty one-sided.
      In 1936, more than 100 Jews, mostly students, were massacred in Hebron [David's capital, before Jerusalem], heeding the call of their Grand Mufti to "Remember Khaybar" and exterminate the Jews. There was no response by the Jewish population, because it had no power to respond and--guess what--the Mandate authorities didn't do squat about it. No "cycle of violence" in 1936. Btw, this same Grand Mufti--spiritual leader of all Sunni Muslim Arabs in Palestine-- spent WWII in Berlin, urging Hitler to extend his Final Solution to Palestine. [This is attested by both German and British documents.]

      So, re. your insinuation that Arab violence is in response to Israeli violence: your horse is pushing its cart.

    • 4 February 2016 at 2:20pm
      John Cowan says: @ benDov38
      Indeed, Galileo wasn't tried because he was openly preaching heresy, but because he was an Internet flamer and troll born long before his time, with a terrible habit of alienating his friends, including the then Pope.

    • 5 February 2016 at 3:23am
      benDov38 says: @ David Gordon

      I share your view that "Adherence to...UN resolutions might have been a useful start." In fact, if the Palestinian Arabs and the member-states of the Arab League had adhered to the UN partition resolution in 1948--the partition of 'West Bank' Palestine between Arabs and Jews--their might now be three viable states comprising what had been Mandate Palestine, instead of just the current two [i.e., Jordan and Israel]--and no "occupied Palestine", at least not occupied by Israel. .

      It is a significant fact of history that the [only] thirteen votes opposing the UN partition included all eleven member of the Arab League. The Yishuv accepted the partition resolution and promptly declared the State of Israel according to it. Rather than declaring a parallel Arab state in Palestine, [Trans]Jordan occupied the Arab 'West Bank' and the Arab League united in their war to "drive the Jews into the sea."

    • 5 February 2016 at 3:57am
      benDov38 says: @ John Cowan

      His publishing [not blogging] "Dialog on the two chief world systems"--which clearly prefers heliocentrism, despite Galileo insisting that he was merely explaining both views--at least occasioned his Inquisition.
      But you might be right about the real reason for bringing him to trial. Altho heresy was one charge, probably the more important charge was "resisting Church authority". [He had earlier promised to 'cease and desist' from teaching Copernican astronomy.] For a 'flaming troll', he had some pretty good arguments on his side--as the Church has recently conceded.

    • 5 February 2016 at 8:55pm
      Graucho says: @ benDov38
      Off topic, but what is seldom mentioned in this disgraceful affair is the fate of Giordano Bruno who was burnt alive at the stake and whose works are still, I believe, on the Vatican's no-no list. This was all about asserting the absolute power of the Pope, Godfather style. Bruno was rubbed out and Galileo made an offer he couldn't refuse.

  • 3 February 2016 at 7:15pm
    davidnoelgardner says:
    The reality is that Wallstrom is scraping of the the bottom of the barrel.
    This is purely a political ruse by Wallstrom for her party, the Social Democrats, to feed the rhetoric and appetites of Middle Eastern immigrant voting population in Sweden.
    Each time the Social Democrats fall in the polls as they have enormously to their lowest rankings in recent history as a result of the loss of voter support (for their lack of governance re the hundreds of thousands allowed into Sweden's borders since August 2015 with no checks of any kind and all now supported totally at the tax payers expense), Wallstrom will make her strident anti Israel noises hoping to bring in those immigrant votes.
    Even the day after the November 13 Paris massacre, her first comment to the media was that the conflict in Israel was what a major cause of the terrorism.
    Shameless scraping of the the bottom of the barrel.
    All other mainstream political parties in Sweden have been critical of Wallstrom's constant seeking headlines by haranguing Israel.
    She has made this the major agenda of her foreign policy and the other center parties condemn her for the frittering away of Swedish Foreign policy effectiveness in this blatant use of Swedish foreign policy solely for her party's domestic political agenda.

  • 3 February 2016 at 10:34pm
    mideastzebra says:
    Avigdor Liberman was not foreign minister November 2015.

  • 3 February 2016 at 11:50pm
    Graucho says:
    Over the centuries Britain wrote the book on stealing other people's land. She also, consequently, wrote the book on counter insurgency. If you will go around stealing people's land you will get terrorism as surely as night follows day, it's a law of human nature. Israel has made its bed and is just going to have to lie on it.

    • 4 February 2016 at 7:08am
      benDov38 says: @ Graucho

      Buying isn't "stealing" and public land isn't "other people's land". But I concede that repeated falsehoods will Trump honest discourse every time.
      [So yr ready for a great career, either as POTUS or as CHIEF TROLL--if you just stop making fun of Marxism.]

    • 4 February 2016 at 9:28am
      stettiner says: @ Graucho
      Funny... Ban Ki-Moon's pen name is Graucho??!!

    • 4 February 2016 at 9:45am
      Graucho says: @ stettiner
      Had to surf the Ban Ki's name to see what you were on about. Well he's trying to offer a solution and I'm saying there isn't one. Some 400 plus years ago the English in their wisdom invaded Ireland and then proceeded to build settlements on occupied territory. The resulting bitterness and hatred has lasted from that day to this and is still being sorted out. Terrorism and violence is just something Israel is going to have to live with for the foreseable future.

    • 4 February 2016 at 10:23am
      Graucho says: @ benDov38
      I guess we can agree to differ on the definition of buying and public land.

    • 4 February 2016 at 3:51pm
      benDov38 says: @ Graucho

      The difference in meaning between 'stealing' and 'buying' is not trivial, nor is it merely a matter of personal taste/opinion. In the context of Arab/Israel conflict, "If you will go around stealing other people's land..." suggests, casually, that this is normal Israeli behavior. It isn't.

      Anyway, IMHO, the crucial issue is not land or boundaries, but rather ethnic self-rule [or sovereignty]. If you think Arab/Israeli conflict is really a dispute over land, would you please tell me what boundaries would suffice to settle it? Would the Arab/Muslim world accept a sovereign Jewish state that was reduced in size to Tel Aviv + the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem? I doubt it.

      You may recall that, when Israel declared its independence in 1948, its territory was about 20% of the land "between the River and the Sea"; the 2/3+ of Mandate Palestine that lay east of the Jordan River had already been handed over to non-indigenous Arab exiles from [now] Saudi Arabia and was made completely Judenfrei. In brief, the UN Partition assigned 20% of less than 1/3 of Palestine to Palestinian Jews, roughly, 6% of Mandate Palestine. Instead of declaring a "Palestinian [Arab] state" in the remaining 80% west of Jordan, the Arabs rejected partition. Egypt promptly bombed Tel Aviv, Jordan occupied 'the West Bank' and most of Jerusalem [demolishing its Jewish Quarter in the process], and Arab armies from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria [plus smaller contingents from Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia] invaded Israeli territory, with the declared intention of "driving the Jews into the sea."
      You may also recall that Hamas didn't bother to declare a Palestinian state in "liberated" Gaza; instead, once Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip, Hamas turned Gaza into a giant rocket launcher aimed at Israel.

      These historic facts strongly suggest, IMHO, that the Arabs don't want a "Palestinian" state nearly so much as they don't want a Jewish state on any land that is anywhere near them.

    • 4 February 2016 at 4:56pm
      Graucho says: @ benDov38
      My point is that I don't think it can be settled and that terrorism is a natural consequence of occupation as experienced in Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden, Northern Ireland to name but a few instances. I agree with your view that your opponents prefered solution is no Jewish state at all, so Israel would be well advised to stay on the right side of its Washington paymasters..

    • 5 February 2016 at 4:51am
      benDov38 says: @ Graucho

      You claim that "terrorism is a natural consequence of occupation." I doubt this.
      So far as I know, there has been little or no Greek terrorism in Turkish-occupied Cyprus [and, nb., the EU doesn't bother to label products from this occupied territory]. Nor Tibetan terrorism in Chinese-occupied Tibet.Nor Hindu terrorism in the Raj. Nor Siberian terrorism in the Russian occupied 'Far East'. Nor Berber terrorism in Arab-occupied Morocco. Nor aboriginal terrorism in Anglo-occupied Australia. Nor Cherokee terrorism in occupied Georgia. etc. etc. etc. The people of some occupied territories resort to terrorism; in other cases, they don't. I don't see why the former response is any more "natural" than latter.

      I will accept that resentment is a "natural" response to foreign occupation; but resentment need not, and does not always, lead to terrorism, and it certainly doesn't justify terrorism. Arousal may be a "natural" respone to the presence of a desired person, but that doesn't justify rape.

      While I think yr claim [quoted above] is just wrong, I realize that yr in good company, including Molavi, Ban, Wallstrom, and apparently, several contributors to this Blog.

    • 5 February 2016 at 4:54am
      benDov38 says: @ stettiner
      Funnier...I thought it was Wallstrom.

    • 5 February 2016 at 2:55pm
      Graucho says: @ benDov38
      I'm refering to terrorism in Cyprus when it was occupied by the British. There is no terrorism now as it has been partitioned. The Tibetans did rise up against the Chinese in spite of being Buddhists and were ruthlessly crushed. Likewise Native Americans who were also demonised and crushed. By the way are the proponents of greater Israel going to grant them the right to return to their ancestral homelands in Spring Valley, Monsey and large sections of Broolyn ? Anyway this isn't an issue of justification and morality. simply of observed human behaviour.

    • 5 February 2016 at 2:57pm
      Graucho says: @ Graucho

    • 5 February 2016 at 9:17pm
      Graucho says: @ benDov38
      I forgot to mention the Indiam mutiny and there were no shortage of terrorist acts in India especially after Amritsar. The eastern parts of Russia regarded them as a lesser evil than being dominated by China and the southern parts a lesser evil than being dominated by the Ottomans, though over time Chechens, Tartars and Cossacks have had cause to change their minds. It helps of course if, like the Maoris, you are full citizens and have voting rights. Does Israel intend to make West Bank Palestinians Israeli citizens with passports and MPs in the Knesset ? This was interesting ...

    • 6 February 2016 at 1:20am
      benDov38 says: @ Graucho

      Please take note that Aboriginal Americans [my children are "Native Americans", tho I was born overseas] were not esp. concentrated in areas of the US whose current population is largely Jewish.

      In any case, why shd "proponents of Greater Israel"--whomever you may mean by that phrase--have any special interest in or responsibility for "grant[ing] them the right of return to their ancestral homelands"? I wd think that this question cd be posed, with equal moral relevance, to all US citizens alike.

      Do you suppose that the Jews stole Aboriginal American lands, just as you suppose that the Jews stole the lands belonging to Palestinian Arabs? If so, yr view is just about equally accurate in both cases.

    • 6 February 2016 at 1:31am
      benDov38 says: @ Graucho
      I have no idea what Israel intends to do with West Bank Palestinians, and it seems to me that neither do the Israelis.
      Do you have any good ideas on this vital issue?

      However, I do know that there are c.1.3 million Israeli Arabs with passports and MKs in the Knesset. In fact, the Joint Arab List is the 2cd largest party in the Knesset [and my elder daughter once clerked for an Israeli Arab Supreme Court Justice].

  • 4 February 2016 at 10:11am
    davidnoelgardner says:
    Germany in keeping with the justice and fairness demanded by history along with some other European countries should in justice and fairness and by a humane law give land for a Jewish homeland in Europe.
    The majority of Jews living in Israel are there because they were forcibly exiled from Middle Eastern countries and gassed and shot by Germany and virtually exterminated by Germany and its sidekick countries in Europe.
    Living on the brink of survival and elimination in the Middle East is a reality most Israelis would gladly forsake if they had land to call a home in Europe.
    The lessons and justice due that address the extermination of Jews in Europe in our own time is yet to be made whole with honor in Europe.
    All we see are the victims of the Shoah being interviewed as if they were the ones who were the only actors in the extermination of millions by cruelty beyond human imagination. It is not enough to put a few of those actors in prison.
    Rather than the victims what should the focus is a honest searching examination and the called for interviews in the media of those whose culture, nationhood, identity, history and political and social dna led to the exterminations which a large part of the populace participated in.
    And as importantly history and truth and honorable reporting and analysis command that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his progeny now should be examined and analyzed in light of his meeting Hitler and urging him to kill all the Jews long before the State of Israel was formed.
    That fact reveals the true nature of the underlying character of the land and intolerance and inhumanity that the few remaining European Jews were forced to escape to. Blaming the Jews and Israel for all the hatred, intolerance and violence is ignoring the lessons of history to all our peril.
    History and the present day realities are yet to be written and spoken with courage and truth.
    It remains convenient to blame the victims for trying to survive in the only place most of them had to flee to from being gassed and shot to death, in this hostile ever warring Middle East.
    Even if and when Israel ceases to exist in the Middle East, the terror, the violence, the hatred, the wars, the medieval mores will rule the day there.
    Yes, the Middle East and Germany and its many partners in the Second World War and most of all, all of us Europeans need to look in the mirror and see the truth which we are yet to do shamefully.

    • 4 February 2016 at 1:25pm
      Graucho says: @ davidnoelgardner
      The position is indeed as messy and nasty as you describe. A group of people who were in the main Christian committed the crime of the millenium against a group of people who were in the main Jews and a group of people who are in the main Muslim are being made to pay the price for that crime. It will take a superhuman effort of empathy, forgiveness and generosity on all sides to undo this triangle of hurt pain and injustice. The culpability of previous British governments in this mess is nothing to be proud of. We lied to the Arabs about granting them independence and then added injury to injury with the Balfour declaration, but we are where we are.

    • 5 February 2016 at 6:01am
      benDov38 says: @ davidnoelgardner

      I think you wildly underestimate Jewish attachment to Eretz Yisroel. While a few Israelis have indeed 'gone down' to Germany, Hungry, Holland, and France, and some to Uruguay, most Israeli Jews consider "the Land of Israel" to be their historic and much beloved home. ["If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning,..."--even Israeli Leftists express such sentiments.] For nearly 2000 years, until 1948, most Jews have considered ourselves to be in Exile from our homeland.

      Despite recent attempts to deny Jews' historic connection to Eretz Yisroel, there is no reason whatsoever to doubt that most Jews once lived in present-day Israel--including Judaea and Samaria [currently called 'the West Bank' or the 'occupied territory']--long before there were any Arabs living in any part of "Palestine" [the Roman re-naming of Judaea in c.70 CE, after Rome had finally won its 'Jewish Wars' and expelled most Jews from Jerusalem and its environs]. David's capital was Hebron [in the "occupied territory"] until he conquered the Jebusite city of Jerusalem early in the 10thC BCE; an Arab army first conquered Jerusalem from its inheritors seventeen centuries later.
      Abbas may deny that there was ever a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem [as he did in his doctoral dissertation], and the New York Times may doubt its precise location, but the basic historical facts are beyond any reasonable doubt.

      Therefore, I deny your contention that "most Israelis would gladly forsake [the Middle East]if they had a land to call a home in Europe.", and my denial is supported by at least three millennia of Jewish history.

    • 5 February 2016 at 9:47am
      Graucho says: @ benDov38
      In trying to find out why I was being likened to Ban Ki Moon I came across this
      and was struck by the following paragraph -
      "Israel is not occupying the West Bank at all. The West Bank – or what we call Judea – is the heart of our ancestral homeland. This was affirmed by the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, which recognized the historic rights of Jews in Judea. Indeed, because this is our beloved native land, many Jews (400,000 at last count) chose to build their homes and their lives here."
      Well, I thought, if it's all about ancestral homelands then Washington should implement this policy in the U.S. After all native Americans were kicked off their ancestral homelands a mere 200 years ago as opposed to 2000 so their claim for return must be even stronger than the Jewish one.

    • 5 February 2016 at 4:09pm
      davidnoelgardner says: @ benDov38
      Most people would choose to live in peace and safety in their own lives and of their children and their generations to come.
      For those who choose to stay the three religions can share their common sacred space in peace with international armies securing that safe access to all or they can continue to fight it out as they have for thousands of years.
      For most now in Israel there will be their own nation in Europe where Jews have lived longer than those tribes that almost succeeded in anhiliating them altogether, where they will have their own land and governance, democracy, own military, membership of NATO, which history, morality and legal justice demands that Europe owes the Jews and is obliged to deliver on now with no further delay.
      The Middle East in their wars will then have to look elsewhere to blame for all that they never seem to take any responsibility for.

    • 6 February 2016 at 2:03am
      benDov38 says: @ davidnoelgardner

      Please speak for yrself. As I said in my earlier Reply, above, I don't think you represent the attitude of most Israelis or most Jews, and certainly not mine. I was born in Vienna [at the time of the Anschluss] and have since lived, gratefully and happily, in the US, bit I consider Eretz Yisroel to be my ancestral homeland [and one of my children has dual citizenship].

      I think Vienna/Europe is a great place to visit--now, not then--but I wouldn't want to live there.
      [I might make an exception for Florence.]

    • 6 February 2016 at 3:44pm
      davidnoelgardner says: @ benDov38
      Fine to consider your ancestral homeland from afar and from your life of safety, the land where the lives of your kith and kin who live in that land and who along with their children and generations past and generations to come live with daily perpetual killings and violence starting with the Mufti of Jerusalem joining in with Hitler in planning the extermination of all Jews.
      Another land of stability and peace has to be found as the moral and urgent task by the Europeans and the UN which is the least Jews are owed after the Shoah carried out by Germany throughout Europe in living memory.
      The rest is ugly and fantasy.

    • 6 February 2016 at 4:54pm
      davidnoelgardner says: @ benDov38
      For all those who from a safe distance want to preserve their ancestral homeland at any cost, they and their children and families only have the right to that if they themselves are fighting in those military tanks and armoured vehicles and present at the border posts on the frontlines in Israel and as civiiians each day on the streets of Israel risk being stabbed to death at any time and lose their own lives and those of their children and generations to come.
      It is only those on those deadly front lines and streets of Israel who can have any moral claim by the honoring and preserving they do with their own and children's lives each day and night, the ancestral land.

    • 6 February 2016 at 6:05pm
      davidnoelgardner says: @ davidnoelgardner
      These who live once again in this land of Israel of violence and killings deserve a legacy other than this one to follow the horror of the Shoah.
      They are due the option to have a nation and land elsewhere where they can live in freedom from terror and racism and hatred and in peace.
      They deserve to be free from the threats to drive into the sea.
      They deserve internationally guaranteed borders and security and stability and sovereignty and internal safety and security.
      They deserve most of all peace and to be free from war and free from the need to sacrifice their lives and those of their children and generations past and to come.

    • 7 February 2016 at 2:00am
      benDov38 says: @ davidnoelgardner

      I don't share your view that, because of the [European] Shoah, Europe owes us a homeland in Europe. It's not easy for me to explain clearly why I disagree--tho this problem is part of an ongoing research project--so please allow me to theorize at length in Reply. [I cdn't do this on Twitter.]

      The Jews' right to a Jewish Commonwealth in their ancestral homeland--from which their ancestors were expelled by force of arms--does not result from the Shoah; that right results from the whole history of the Jews-as-a-people ["the children of Israel"] over 3-4 millennia. The Shoah provides further proof of our need to exercise that right; but that need was already clear to Herzl, Jabotinsky, and others a half-century before the Shoah, and it was clear to Nachmanides in the 12th C.

      Here's my supporting analysis/argument. The right of any people--Jews, Kurds, Scots, Tibetans--to what Woodrow Wilson called "self determination" ['self-government' may be clearer expression of this idea] requires that they can identify some region as their and that right pertains only to those members of the people who reside in their ancestral homeland. Hence, the Scots have a right to self-government [= a Scots Commonwealth] in Scotland, but not in England, the US, Greece or China. Analogously, the Jews ['children of Israel']. have a right to a Jewish Commonwealth [self-government] in Judaea/Israel, but not in the US, England, or BiroBijan. [The last of these was Stalin's kooky proposal.].
      Some people may, in fact, self-govern outside their ancestral homeland, but this historical fact is not the exercise of any inherent right. For example, Anglos may in fact govern themselves in New Zealand, but [so far as I know] only the Maori have the inherent right to self-govern in NZ.

      Therefore, the Shoah can't give Jews a right to a Jewish Commonwealth in Europe--unless you suppose, mistakenly, that Europe is the "ancestral homeland" of the Jewish people; and if it were, we'd have that right independent of the Shoah. On account of the Shoah, Europeans could offer us, and we could accept, a European substitute for our ancestral homeland; but we do not have an inherent right to that substitute JC; whereas, we do have an inherent right to a JC in Israel, our ancestral homeland.

      [Some problems with this theory include the following:
      1. Suppose some people as a whole [willingly] migrate from their ancestral homeland to another region--leaving few of them behind-- where they reside as-a-people for some centuries. Does their new domain eventually become their "homeland", and if so, how long does it take? E.g., Magyars, Crimean Tartars, or Mayflower Puritans.
      2. Do a people whose ancestral homeland is unknown--e.g., Roma--have an inherent right to self-govern anywhere?]

      I realize that the notion of one's "ancestral homeland" can be problematic. [One of my current research ambitions is to arrive at a clear and uncontroversial definition of that notion.] However [returning finally to the crux of our disagreement]it is no more problematic re. the Jews than it is re. the Germans or the Arabs.
      In fact, I wd contend that, on "ancestral homeland" grounds, Palestinian Jews more clearly have an inherent right to establish a JC in "the land of Israel" than Palestinian Arabs have to establish an Arab Commonwealth anywhere west of the Jordan.
      [Finally, I've said something that will waken the trolls from sleep induced by my earlier analysis.]

      Thanks for reading thru this dissertation--if you have--and I'd welcome feedback from anyone who takes these issues seriously. [Trolls need not Reply.] This analysis/argument is still only rough, and comments may help me see problems that I'm missing and/or help me see my way thru problems of which I'm aware.

    • 7 February 2016 at 11:54am
      davidnoelgardner says: @ benDov38
      The realities have to be seen for what they are. The Middle East is a hostile warring brutal fanatical landscape and has been for millennia and will be for millennia.
      Jewish people can establish a peaceful "word" led life and nation in another part of the globe and build a new Jerusalem elsewhere.
      It can never grow in the Middle East because the seeds that built the earlier Jerusalem have withered to extinction there. Nothing will bring those back to civilized life.
      The power of their word and their civilization is the bedrock and foundation and source of the three religions that cover a great deal of the planet.
      That so called Holy Land is bloodied beyond redemption and will remain soaking in blood and violence because history has overrun it and extinguished its power altogether.
      Jews can establish a fair, inspired, "mensch" nation and be a light to the world again where they finally have their sovereign national borders, the international security and protection and recognition, democratic peaceable neighbors, where the new air itself, and the soil and water can nourish them in peace.
      The stark undeniable realities of the Middle East, the history and present, need to be left behind and a new reality built elsewhere anew based on the European Enlightenment.
      Shedding more Jewish blood any longer for a past that has fled that land, and taken with it the divinity, the inspired heart and mind of the human soul that led us int he past. All that has fled that land.
      Time to move on.
      We owe it to history to sow the seeds and grow them for a new Jerusalem in a more fertile land, clean, welcoming, inspired and inspiring and above all peaceable in itself and with peaceable neighbors.
      Every time one more Jew sheds blood for this now arid blood soaked Jerusalem in the Middle East the hope and possibilities for a new Jerusalem that can for sure be built is contrary to the promise made there to humanity and contrary to our obligation to that promise made to humanity by that land. That promise is in another soil now and elsewhere.
      To fail to act on this reality is immoral.
      Those who wish to stay and cling to that despoiled land can do so along with all the other religions that want to. The international community is able to then provide that safe universal access and governance for all those who wish to do so.
      For those who from a distance want to hold on that long lost acre should as moral thinking empowered people now help nourish a new acre elsewhere and build a new Jerusalem.

    • 8 February 2016 at 1:33am
      benDov38 says: @ davidnoelgardner

      I guess I'm just less willing than you to give up on "that long lost acre" and the old Jerusalem. I visit both as often as I can and take great delight in doing so.

      I agree with you that [old] Jerusalem is blood-soaked--tho it's not so bloody as my current home [Chicago]. In either case, I'm not willing to surrender to those who soak the streets in blood.

      1. Given the recent experience of Jews in various European cities [Paris, Toulouse, Brussels, Malmo, etc.], how can you be reasonably confident that the kin and/or allies of those who currently bloody old Jerusalem would leave us in peace in yr European new Jerusalem?

      2. Since the Expulsion in 70, many more Jews have been murdered in Europe than in the MidEast. So why do you think we'd be safer in Europe? {Nb. Many more French Jews are migrating to Israel than Israeli Jews are to France.]

      3. Do you have any particular acreage in mind?--and why do you suppose that its current inhabitants wd be willing to surrender it to us??

      Shalom v'kol tov.

  • 4 February 2016 at 4:55pm
    davidnoelgardner says:
    And Merkel has insured that millions who can be counted on to practice and preach violent rabid antisemitism on the streets of Europe once again, Paris, Marseilles, Malmo, Copenhagen, just to name a very few cities, are now imported in the millions and well entrenched and so this is the established status quo once again in Europe.
    Hate crime prosecutions are yet to take place for the routine physical attacks against anyone who appears Jewish, there is the freedom once again to commit hate speech against Jews in Europe, be violent against them, call to kill "Jews" on the streets of Malmo without any hate speech prosecutions, the virtual license to harangue as and when and always as a matter of right.
    Yes, this is Europe again where it is unsafe to be Jewish again and now even more dangerous with the added millions who practice this violent racism and intolerance and hate, and where any hate crime prosecutions for these acts in the public square are yet to take place.
    Those who fail to admit these dangers will soon wake up to the ominous stench of the 1920s, 30s and 40s of Europe, of lies, censorship in the media and by governmental action, the Orwellian double speak, the smashing of the democratic voice of the European citizen, the breakdown of the rule of law, and the dangerous silence, which is lived in the heartland of Europe once again.
    The changed landscape of many parts of Europe where hard earned freedoms prevailed are now utterly dark and degraded with governmental inaction that is staggering to the extent that the police refuse to police the constant violence they are unable to contain any longer. Bloodshed, stabbings, rapes, fear, on a daily basis and the social and political order (and the economic) is on the very brink of collapse.
    Ignore and deny this at all our peril.

    • 4 February 2016 at 8:04pm
      Alan Benfield says: @ davidnoelgardner
      Wow, a truly apocalyptic vision.

      So, where do you live, exactly? Sounds like a tough area...

    • 5 February 2016 at 6:06am
      benDov38 says: @ Alan Benfield

      Yr a jerk.

    • 5 February 2016 at 9:13am
      David Gordon says: @ benDov38
      Well benDov, that is a really analytical response, full of insight.

      What about Israel doing something constructive, and working with the international community, rather than just with its USA paymaster? We are where we are, and the tragic events of the 1940s cannot be undone, but we must try for progress, not just settle down to yet more bare-knuckle fights.

    • 5 February 2016 at 9:30am
      Alan Benfield says: @ David Gordon
      benDov: you are too kind.

    • 5 February 2016 at 12:53pm
      davidnoelgardner says: @ Alan Benfield
      Not many cared to heed the stench of the 20s, 30s and 40s.
      And we all have the Chamberlain in us.

    • 6 February 2016 at 2:21am
      benDov38 says: @ Alan Benfield

      Yes, I am; but this Blog probably wdn't allow me to speak truly.


      I don't see where either you or Benfield has Replied to my more "analytical" remarks [above]. Moreover, while I concede that my prior response to Benfield was not 'analytical', I insist that it was quite insightful.

  • 5 February 2016 at 2:50pm
    davidnoelgardner says:
    "Racist" and "xenophobic" name calling are inaccurate silencing mechanisms to shut down essential democratic discourse and dialogue amongst European citizens.
    What is accurate is that Europeans want returned to them the free democratic sovereign voice to effectively stand up to the "racism" and "xenophobia" in those who do the massacring, beheading, murdering little European children because of their race and abusing and attacking and assaulting and threatening and murdering any and all European citizens at random and in the hundreds and on our streets because of their race and religion, murdering us for our hard own freedom of speech, thought and religion, for our dignity and freedoms as women in the public arena, for our young girls' rights to safety and respect, and all this with self righteous brutality and violent hatred that emanates from the same regions that are now given unfettered unchecked entry by Merkel unilaterally by her invitation.
    Abusive inaccurate name calling is to silence the right to be free to voice and protest as part of essential participatory democratic citizenship the loss of sovereign rights and the broken desecrated sovereign borders and to insist on the paramount mandate of elected governance to prioritize the sacrosanct hard won rights, national security and internal public safety within democratic sovereign European borders and nations.
    And all this without the knee jerk convenient blanket labeling as extreme right wing or racist or xenophobic in order stifle and to abuse into silence.
    It is the voice of the bread and butter everyday citizen of any and no political persuasion to speak out that is silenced and abused into silence by the undemocratic fist of the autocratic mendacious seizing of power now returned to Europe, and the failure of and lack of governance in Europe and in the EU in particular.
    That far right political parties and groups would rise from this failure of democratic governance was clear as day would happen, and it has, with far right Neo Nazi groups and political parties now the only option in many EU nations for those and whose democratic rights and own moderate voices are abused and shut into silence.

  • 5 February 2016 at 5:33pm
    davidnoelgardner says:
    Re extra judicial killings and accurate reporting on the rule of law now in place and being formed and established in self governed Palestinian regions towards the formation of the democratic state for the two state solution as propounded by those who do so, this below reality is dangerously omitted and censored, blacked out, and needs urgent scrutiny to enable reports such as this one and Wallstrom's harangues to have the truth, accuracy, credibility and value and worth, with inclusion of facts as herein reported below,
    AP/The Huffington Post UK
    Posted: 22/08/2014 15:16 BST
    "Hamas gunmen killed 18 Palestinians accused of spying for Israel, some of whom were lined up along the wall of a mosque after Friday prayers and shot in the head.

    The Hamas-linked Al Majd website said the killings, which are the largest number of suspected informers ever killed by the militant group in a single day, were "choking the necks of the collaborators." It warned that suspects would not be dealt with through the justice system but "in the field".

    • 6 February 2016 at 2:35am
      benDov38 says: @ davidnoelgardner
      Selling land to Jews is also a capital offense in Hamas-land.

      It's one thing to execute-without-trial someone who is in the act of trying to murder an innocent person [as Israeli police have done]; it's quite another to execute-without-trial someone who is already in custody [as both Hamas and the PLA have done]. Wallstrom is, of course, more outraged at the former than the latter; Ban doesn't seem to distinguish between them.

  • 5 February 2016 at 6:15pm
    stettiner says:
    Meanwhile, in Sweden:

    Hillevi Larsson is MP for FM Wallström's Social Democrats...

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