Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 2014

 

Got Arrested Outside the Israeli Consulate: Norman Finkelstein and 20 others opposing Israel genocide preemptive war on Gaza

Why It Matters That Norman Finkelstein Just Got Arrested Outside the Israeli Consulate

Michelle Goldberg on July 29, 2014

Israel Palestine protest
Israeli-Palestinian peace protesters in New York City on July 29, 2014. Photo by Michelle Goldberg.

At 12:30 pm today, a few dozen people laid down in the street at the intersection of 43rd Street and Second Avenue, stopping traffic from reaching the 42nd Street block housing the Israeli Consulate.

Around them, a hundred or so people chanted from the sidewalks for the end of the occupation and the slaughter in Gaza.

The writer Norman Finkelstein, a fierce critic of both Israel and of the BDS movement, had called the protest the day before.

A lot of people feel that going to a demonstration every 3 days doesn’t rise to the occasion, the immensity of the horror,” he told me.

He noted that the Israeli bombing of Gaza is now in its twenty-first day, “which means it’s one day short of Cast Lead,” the assault on Gaza that began at the end of 2008. And there is no sign that this war is going to stop anytime soon.

The action didn’t last long.

After issuing a few warnings for the demonstrators to move, the police swooped in, handcuffing people and carrying those who let their bodies go limp.

Traffic was stopped for twenty minutes.

Still, it didn’t seem like a futile effort, because this is a moment when it’s particularly important to break through the illusion, which pervades our politics, that American support for Israel and its war in Gaza is unshakable.

Already, there are anecdotal signs that conventional New York opinion, which tends to be liberal on everything except Palestine, is starting to shift.

“If Netanyahu is so bothered by how dead Palestinians look on television then he should stop killing so many of them,” wrote Benjamin Wallace-Wells in a piece on New York magazine’s website last week, a sentiment that would have been hard to imagine coming from that publication a few years ago.

Today, the magazine’s DC columnist Jonathan Chait, an occasionally hawkish veteran of The New Republic, has a post titled, “Why I Have Become Less Pro-Israel.”

According to a recent CNN poll, while a majority of Americans continue to support Israel, 38% have an unfavorable opinion of the country, up 14 points since February.

Please support our journalism.

I don’t want to overstate this—after all, 10,000 people showed up at a pro-Israel rally in front of the United Nations yesterday.

Even there, however, there were a couple of people with signs, in English, Arabic and Hebrew, mourning the dead in Gaza.

“To the older woman who kept following me with her own ‘Stand with Israel’ sign to block my own sign and yelling out loud—look at the traitor—he’s a mamzer—a bastard—I turned and said, calmly—my father is a Holocaust Survivor, please respect him if not me,” wrote the rabbinical student Amichai Lau-Lavie.

“To which she replied—he should have died there. There were other obscene and racist statements that I won’t describe.”

People like this woman, obviously, are not reachable. But others might be. What’s happening is simply so brutal and inexcusable that it makes the rote rationalizations of Israel’s apologists sound ever more risible.

So it’s important for people who feel, intuitively, that there is something deeply wrong happening in Gaza to see others fighting for that conviction. Among those who were taken into custody today was Corey Robin, a Jewish professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

Robin is a longtime critic of Israel, but he’d never before been arrested over it. “I finally felt like I had to do something,” he said a few moments before lying down in the street. “This is my first time doing this for Palestine. If it’s my first time, it’s going to be somebody else’s first time, if not now, then another time.

News from Lebanon the week of (April 12, 2014)

What changed in 6 months?

Here’s some of the most important news stories you might have missed from the past week.

1. Parliament Passes Civil Defense Bill

(image via english.al-akhbar.com)

On Wednesday, after public sector workers went on a strike in demand of a wage hike, and despite the objection of Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, Parliament approved Wednesday a draft law to grant Civil Defense volunteers full-time employment.

(The red cross are also volunteers, should they be paid as full-timers?)

Earlier that day, a group of Civil Defense volunteers gathered on the Ramlet al-Baida beach and plunged into the sea in a symbolic act of defiance, as others demonstrated outside Parliament demanding the passage of the law.

Why Parliament chief Nabih Berry passed the bill? Are the  Civil Defense volunteers part of his political party?

The syndicate of public high school teachers of about 60,0oo, “silsilat al rawateb wa rotab” movement, has been steadfastly demonstrating for 2 years demanding to obtain their agreed upon rights in cost of living increases and ranks, at no avail.

All the politicians say that their demands are 100% rights. All politicians are against ratifying their demands on political grounds. Why?

This movement is felt to be acting politically against the rotten political and social system and not just demanding their just and fair rights since 1996.


2. Heavy Rainfall Waterlogs Vehicles in Keserwan


Early morning rain on Thursday caused severe traffic jams on the highway from Beirut towards Jounieh and in Keserwan.

A number of cars were waterlogged and significantly damaged in the Al-Wadi neighborhood located between Zouk Mikael and Zouk Mosbeh.

The heavy rainfalls also lead to the injury of six people in traffic accidents in the regions of Harissa, Safra, Naameh, and Kfardebian.

(Since then, Lebanon started its 7 months of total dryness and acute water shortages.)

(Mind you that snow barely cupped our mountain tops this year, and the rainfall was half the normal, and yet at every shower, roads and houses are flooded and traffic halted)

3. Parliament: Parents Have a Right to Smack Children

(image via essentialkids.com.au)

A recommendation to overturn a law on child physical chastisement submitted by Change and Reform bloc MP Simon Abi Ramia was refused, on Thursday by most of the MPs that were present at the session.

However, parliament agreed to amend the law according to the following:

The law allows non-violent [physical and verbal] chastisement inflicted on children by fathers and mothers, provided that it does not leave any impact on their psychological and physical health.”

4. Health Ministry: Lebanon Faces Polio Threat

(image via: now.mmedia.me)

“The closest danger for Lebanon lies in Syria where 38 [Polio] cases have been observed.

This means there could be [as many as] 200 hundred cases that have not been discovered until now,” Health Minister Wael Abu Faour announced this week.

Children in Lebanon are in danger of contracting the disease as new cases are being detected in the region.

Abu Faour urged media outlets to provide coverage of the issue so as to promote awareness among citizens. 

Currently, Syrian refugees are plagued with skin diseases (jarab) due to sanitary deficiency.

5. Top Ain el-Hilweh Cleric Survives Assassination Attempt

(image via naharnet.com)

An unknown gunman on Wednesday tried to assassinate the top official of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects in Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

According to Naharnet, Sheikh Orsan Suleiman suffered severe head wounds in the incident. The hospital says he is alive but in a “very critical condition.”

The development comes after 8 people were killed and ten others were wounded on Monday in fierce clashes at the nearby Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp.

6. Mystery Surrounds Death of 52-Year-Old Lebanese Woman


Instead of being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering from fractures to both her hands and legs, and bleeding profusely from the head, Samira Shedid was rushed to a Burj Hammoud police station, according to LBC.

Shedid, 52, was found injured in Dora. The circumstances behind her injuries remain a mystery. 

According to the Internal Security Forces, various citizens reported that Samira was taking off her clothes in the Dora roundabout, adding that ISF members transported her to the police station and handcuffed her “to prevent her from harming herself.” 

Her family was only able to transfer her to a nearby hospital after going through a legal process.

Shedid later died at the hospital.

Stories of 13 million refugees from the four corners of the world: 3 million from just Syria

And what Hanan reported

Half of Syria population of over 20 million has been displaced in the last 4 years of internal/external wars on its territory.

3 million took “refuge” in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. 8 million are internal refugees and cannot return to their hometowns.

And the US is still deliberating on “how appropriate it is” to coordinate attacks on Da3esh with the elected Syrian government.

We have refugees from Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Yemen…

And Lebanon is barely receiving crumbs from the world community to aid the refugees.

And the children of refugees (far more numerous than Lebanese children) who need to join our rickety and badly funded school system.

And refugee mothers giving birth in far greater numbers than Lebanese mothers… in our rare public hospitals, which are barely funded

Half the population in Lebanon are refugees of some kinds

And the other half took refuge in other countries, just to enjoy basic human rights and facilities.

Hanane Kai posted a few weeks ago on FB:

I spent the day yesterday in Halba (town in north Lebanon in the Akkar district) listening to the stories of women Syrian refugees for my illustration book.
For me stories like this existed only in the movies and on TV.

To hear a woman talking, for one hour, about her 10-hour barefoot walk from Syria to Lebanon, carrying on her shoulders her 6 year old daughter and next to her, her 9 year old boy, and all the things that happened on the way…

To hear another woman say that at some point she even thought about leaving behind her disabled child so she could save her other 4 children, but she couldn’t.

(It actually happened for the Yazidi minorities on mount Sinjar in north Iraq, fleeing ISIS Islamic extremists)

To hear a woman tell us about the prefect relationship with her sweet brother, and how she heard about his death on the news, with the word terrorist attached to his name.

To see a woman cry to the thought of the situation she’s living in now, compared with all the lands and houses and pride she had in Syria.

To hear about how all these women had to leave their lives behind to save their lives, is just overwhelming!

These women are strong!

They are strong even to have shared what they have shared with us.
What hurts even more is that one of the hardest thing they are facing now is the way Lebanese look at them, the way Lebanese look at Syrians.

Their wishes? To go back to their homes, farms, lands and businesses in Syria, even if they are demolished.
After all, women say الحمد لله ‘thank god’ we have a place to live now, and we are able to eat.

After this day, I go back home, and I’m thanking god I have a home.

I open the door and William smiles at me, and I thank god I have a partner, I have a family, I have friends.

I thank god for everything my parents had gone through to provide me with food, care, support, and what they believe is the best education.

Lebanon is the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide.

I understand that this is hard on us Lebanese, though it’s way harder on the refugees.

The least we can do is respect these people, put ourselves in their shoes for at least one single moment.

PS: yesterday I was part of a team working on a project to make the voices of Syrian refugees heard.

It’s a beautiful project with the American journalist Masha Hamilton, through Concern Worldwide, an NGO that works with the world poorest people to transform their lives. More details about the project very soon.

 A few Genocides committed in the 19th century and early 20th

In 1864, Russia under Alexander II, massacred 600,000 Cherkess  around the region of Sochi (men, women, and children) and forced over one million to be displaced toward Turkey.

(The same Tsar who was assassinated shortly after by “anarchists”, the day he was supposed to sign on a new constitution.

What happened?

In 1861, 12 tribes from this Caucasus region united to fend off another Russian invasion, and demanded a self-autonomy within Russia, but the demand was rejected.

In the 19th century, Russia expanded greatly at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. At each Russian incursion, the “Christian” Armenians in Turkey supported the invading Russian troops. One of the cursed city was Kars in Turkey, and situated strategically by the border to Russia.

By 1915 and the engagement of Turkey on the side of Germany, it was a golden opportunity for the Turks to transfer the Armenians far away from the Russian borders. Destination: Deir el Zour in north-east current Syria, and in control of the ISIS extremist Islamic faction, a century later.

The Turkish leaders appointed the Kurds to execute the transfer and turned blind eyes to the exaction, massacre, looting and grabbing the properties of the Armenians. Most of the refugees died on their way to Syria from all kinds of inhuman treatment, famine and thirst.

Shall I mention a few of the recent genocide?

1. In Rwanda (Africa) against the Hutu ethnics. The genocide lasted 6 months.

2. Serbia against the Muslims in Kosovo Srebrenica Genocide,

3. Cambodia. The genocide lasted 2 years.

4. Darfur in Sudan. a still ongoing problem

All of these genocide took their full time to complete, and the international community refused to intervene to stop the genocide, until the genocide was exhausted.

A few of ongoing genocide:

1. Zionist Israel dehumanizing the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Israel apartheid had been at it for over 70 years and the western States kept aiding Israel preemptive wars and settlements.

2. South Sudan, in the newly established “independent” State

3. ISIS in north Syria and Iraq, committing atrocities on christian sects and all religious sects and…

4. Boko Haram in north Nigeria

 May Al Awar posted this photo.
‎حملة كفى اطلقها اتراك بمئات المواقع والصفحات التركية</p><br /><br /><br />
<p>ارادوا ايصال صوتهم الى العالم ليضغطوا على اردوغان والعثمانيون الجدد لايقاف جرائمهم ضد البشرية<br /><br /><br /><br />
3.5 مليون ضحية جرائم العثمانيون ضد البشرية‎

(I’m not sure of the number of massacred Greeks  who occupied Turkey. But the Greek troops were routed and vacated Turkey)

Stages of genocide, influences leading to genocide, and efforts to prevent it[edit]

Hassan Kakar wrote in Wikipedia:

For genocide to happen, there must be certain preconditions.

Foremost among them is a national culture that does not place a high value on human life.

A totalitarian society, with its assumed superior ideology, is also a precondition for genocide

Members of the dominant society must perceive their potential victims as less than fully human: as “pagans,” “savages,” “uncouth barbarians,” “unbelievers,” “effete degenerates,” “ritual outlaws,” “racial inferiors,” “class antagonists,” “counterrevolutionaries,” and so on.[89]

In themselves, these conditions are not enough for the perpetrators to commit genocide.

To commit genocide, the perpetrators need a strong, centralized authority and bureaucratic organization as well as pathological individuals and criminals.

A campaign of vilification and dehumanization of the victims by the perpetrators is carried out over decades, who are usually new states or new regimes attempting to impose conformity to a new ideology and its model of society.[88] 

(The same process done by Zionist Israel against the Palestinians for over 70 years)

In 1996 Gregory Stanton, the president of Genocide Watch, presented a briefing paper, shortly after the Rwandan Genocide,  called “The 8 Stages of Genocide” at the United States Department of State.[91]

Stanton suggested that genocide develops  8 stages that are “predictable but not inexorable“.[91][92]

The preventative measures suggested, given the briefing paper’s original target audience, were those that the United States could implement directly or indirectly by using its influence on other governments.

Stage Characteristics Preventive measures
1.
Classification
People are divided into “us and them”. “The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend… divisions.”
2.
Symbolization
“When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups…” “To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden as can hate speech“.
3.
Dehumanization
“One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases.” “Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen.”
4.
Organization
“Genocide is always organized… Special army units or militias are often trained and armed…” “The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations”
5.
Polarization
“Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda…” “Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups…Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.”
6.
Preparation
“Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity…” “At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. …”
7.
Extermination
“It is ‘extermination’ to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human”. “At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection.”
8.
Denial
“The perpetrators… deny that they committed any crimes…” “The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts”

 

Top of British society is a racket for the privileged

Judges sit in the House of Lords

Do you believe graduates from public universities would be caught dead wearing these stupid lawyer hats?
71% of senior judges in Britain were privately educated. Photograph: Toby Melville/REUTERS

Much of the upper crust of British society is a racket for the privileged in defiance of the democratic wishes of the majority.

That really is the core of Elitist Britain, that while 95% of Britons believe “in a fair society every person should have an equal opportunity to get ahead”, the figures in a government report published on Thursday reveal an ingrained unfairness.

Only 7% in Britain are privately educated.

And yet this section of society makes up 71% of senior judges, 62% of the senior armed forces and 55% of permanent secretaries.

It is quite something when the “cabinet of millionaires” is one of the less unrepresentative pillars of power, with 36% hailing from private schools.

The statistics should provoke Britain’s media into a prolonged period of self-reflection.

They probably won’t since 54% of the top 100 media professionals went to private schools, and just 16% attended a comprehensive school – in a country where 88% attend non-selective state schools.

43% of newspaper columnists had parents rich enough to send them to fee-paying schools.

In the case of the media this has much to do with:

1. The decline of the local newspapers that offered a way in for the aspiring journalist with a non-gilded background.

2. The growing importance of costly post-graduate qualifications that are beyond the bank accounts of most; and

3. The explosion of unpaid internships, which discriminate on the basis of whether you are prosperous enough to work for free, rather than whether you are talented.

Why does the unfairness highlighted by the report matter?

As it points out, elitism leaves “leading institutions less informed, less representative and, ultimately, less credible than they should be”.

They focus “on issues that are of salience only to a minority but not the majority in society”.

If there are so few journalists and politicians who have experienced, say, low wages or a struggle for affordable home, then the media and political elite will be less likely to deal with these issues adequately.

Instead, they will reflect the prejudices, assumptions and experiences of the uber-privileged.

The flaw with the report is an implicit assumption that inequality is not the problem, but rather that our current inequality is not a fair distribution of talents.

If only a few bright sparks from humble backgrounds could be scraped into the higher echelons,” seems to be the plea.

Certainly Britain is in desperate need of radical measures to ensure all can realise their aspirations, including the banning of unpaid internships, the scrapping of charitable status for private schools, investment in early-years education, and dealing with issues such as overcrowded homes that stifle educational attainment.

But surely Britain’s chronically unequal distribution of wealth and power has to be tackled too.

Fracking (Fracturing) waste’s radioactivity? To be recycled in oil drilling?

Horror zeal to extracting oil and gas stories.

RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI posted on  Associated Press this Jan. 14, 2014 

Lab study cuts fracking waste’s radioactivity

HOUSTON (AP) — Researchers believe they have found an unlikely way to decrease the radioactivity of some hydraulic fracturing wastewater: Mix it with the hazardous drainage from mining operations.

The wastewater is created when some of the chemical-laced water used to fracture thick underground rocks flows back out of the wellbore.

The water is tainted with chemicals, toxins and in some parts of the country — such as Pennsylvania — naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as radium.

Research has shown that even wastewater that had been treated with conventional means was changing the chemistry of rivers when discharged into waterways.

In 2011, Pennsylvania barred drillers from taking the wastewater to treatment facilities, forcing them to haul the fluid waste to be disposed in underground injection wells in Ohio.

This, along with a lack of freshwater in other parts of the country needed to drill new wells, has scientists and the industry looking for creative solutions.

The discovery by Duke University researchers would allow oil and gas drillers to combine flowback waters from the fracking process with acid drainage from mining, or any other salty water.

The solid materials that form, which include radioactive materials, are removed and dumped at a hazardous waste landfill, and then the now cleaner water is used to drill a new well, said Avner Vengosh, the Duke professor who oversaw the project, which included scientists from Dartmouth College and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

The metals and radium in the drilling wastewater automatically attract to sulfates — or salts, he explained.

It’s a romance. It’s inevitable it will combine,” said Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry and water quality.

Vengosh’s research was published in December in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, but still needs to be field tested, he said.

Finding solutions for safely dealing with contaminated water and having enough usable water to drill new wells is crucial for the oil and gas industry. It has booming in recent years due to new methods of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — a method that uses millions of gallons of chemical-laced water to crack thick layers of underground rock so fossil fuels can flow out.

But as drilling spreads to more areas, the industry has faced obstacles. In the gas-rich Marcellus shale region of Pennsylvania, wastewater disposal is problematic.

In drought-prone areas, such as Texas and California, drillers face a shortage of freshwater. As a result, the industry is seeking to recycle wastewater.

Vengosh’s researchers blended fracking wastewater from the Marcellus shale with acid drainage from mines, materials collected in western Pennsylvania by the industry.

The researchers had hypothesized that the salts, metals and radium would combine so they could be removed as solids, leaving behind water clean enough to be used in another fracking operation, though not quite pure enough to be potable.

After two days, they examined the chemical and radioactive levels of the 26 different mixtures they had created and found that within the first 10 hours the metals — including iron, barium and strontium — and most of the radium had combined to form a new solid. The salinity of the remaining fluid had been reduced enough to be used in fracking, Vengosh said.

“I’m not sure it resolves all the problems, but it can have some improvement,” Vengosh said.

Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, which represents drillers in an oil-rich, desert-like area of West Texas, said maximizing water use is a top priority for the industry.

Those of us who live, work and play near oil and gas activities place a premium on efficient water uses,” he said in an email.

But Tad Patzek, chairman and professor of the petroleum engineering department at the University of Texas in Austin, cautioned that the method could present problems in the field. The remaining water would still be jam-packed with chemicals and toxins, he noted.

“That water can get spilled,” Patzek said. “That water can get into a shallow aquifer. There are many other considerations.”

Still, freshwater and wastewater are such serious issues that Donald Van Nieuwenhuise, director of the University of Houston’s geosciences program, said researchers are seeking solutions on several fronts: by recycling flowback water, by creating ways to use less water to begin with or by using a liquid other than water to crack the rock.

Texas doesn’t have acid mine waste, an environmental threat to the Appalachian basin, to mix with the fracking fluids, but the method could be applied in the Lone Star state differently, Van Nieuwenhuise noted.

The contaminated drilling water could be mixed with fluids from brine aquifers that are too salty to be used as drinking water, he said.

“This is novel. It’s a really neat idea,” he said, adding that solid waste is safer than liquid and the amount created in this process would be manageable.

___

Plushnick-Masti can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RamitMastiAP

The accents of the Israeli team

For many, following all the ins and outs of the Israeli-Palestinian saga can be confusing.  Hamas did that, the Israeli army did that.

They started the war. No, they started the war.  They broke the ceasefire.  No, they broke the ceasefire.  Hummus belongs to them. No, it belongs to them.

It is all very overwhelming.  One thing is glaringly clear.

American journalists seem to have a much easier time having conversations with Israeli officials than they do with their Palestinian counterparts.  The reason is obvious.

All of Israel’s official mouthpieces speak perfect unaccented English.  And why wouldn’t they?  After all, they are not from Israel.

 

Amer Zahr published this August 6, 2014:

Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, and speaker living in Michigan. He is also the editor of “The Civil Arab.” Email Amer Zahr.

Here are the cast of characters acting as Israel’s cheerleaders to the American public.

1. Peter Lerner is the foreign press spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces.  He was born in London in 1973.  He immigrated to Israel in 1985.

Hebrew, one of the two official languages of Israel (yes, Arabic is an official language too, because Israel is a democracy), is his second language.  You might have wondered why Peter Lerner sounds more like a spokesperson for the Queen than he does for Israel.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

20140805_zahr

2. Dore Gold is a diplomat who has served in many Israeli governments.  He was once Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.  He is currently the president of an Israeli think tank in Jerusalem.  He was born in Connecticut, attended high school in Massachusetts, and earned a BA, MA, and PhD from Columbia University in New York City.

He has appeared on television numerous times during Israel’s latest offensive defending and explaining the policies of the Netanyahu government.  As you might expect, his English is perfect.  Mr. Gold lives in Jerusalem.

He might even live in a house that once belonged to Palestinians:  trust me, in Jerusalem, it’s a safe bet.  You might have wondered why Dore Gold sounds like a Yankees fan.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

3. Mark Regev is the official spokesman of the Netanyahu government.  In 1960, he was born in Australia, where he grew up and finished college.

He immigrated to Israel at the age of 22, when he began his graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He has remained in his adopted homeland ever since.  Hebrew is also his second language.

You might have wondered why the official Israeli spokesman sounds like Crocodile Dundee.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

4. Michael Oren was most recently Israel’s ambassador to the United States.  He was born in upstate New York.  He earned his MA and PhD from Princeton University in New Jersey.  He immigrated to Israel in his mid-twenties. He has lectured at dozens of American campuses.

He articulately defends Israeli policies on American televisions across our great country.  Well, he is usually articulate, if you don’t count his recent interview on MSNBC when he suddenly (and quite conveniently) couldn’t hear Andrea Mitchell when she asked him about reports that Israel had eavesdropped on John Kerry last year.

But even when he flusters and fumbles, he speaks eloquent East Coast English.  You might have wondered why Michael Oren sounds like an American university professor.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

5. Micky Rosenfeld is the Israeli police spokesperson to the foreign press.  He speaks English flawlessly.  That’s because he is English.  Yup, he was born in England and grew up there.  He is blond and blue-eyed.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.  He grew up with Duran Duran, the English Premiere League, and bland food.

The garlicky cuisine of his new homeland must have come as a bit of a shock to him.  You might have wondered why Micky Rosenfeld sounds like Piers Morgan.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

6. Ron Dermer is Israel’s current ambassador to the United States of America. He has been all over CNN in recent weeks.  He attended the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Israel is his twenties.  He was born in 1971 in Miami Beach, where both his father and brother were once the mayor there.

He is one of Netanyahu’s closest advisers, writing many of his speeches, in English I assume.  He is highly educated, yet for some reason he still sounds obnoxious and rude during just about every interview.  You might have wondered why Ron Dermer sounds like a whiny kid from Florida. Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

 

Now I don’t really mind that all of these Israeli messengers speak perfect English in American, Australian, and British accents.  However, I do mind that with all that Western education they still can’t pronounce “Hamas.”

They insist on continuing to say “Khamas.”  This is just offensive.  Hamas is already frightening enough with its crappy rockets, ancient rifles, and hooded militants.

Do they really have to add that chilling “kha” sound?

Do they do that with all “h” sounds?

It would make some nursery rhymes seem just downright scary.  “Khumpty Dumpty sat on a wall” just sounds alarming.  C’mon guys. It’s “Hamas,” like “happy.”  Just think that.  Hamas. Happy. Hamas. Happy. See, it works.

In any case, this is the cast of characters acting as Israel’s cheerleaders to the American public.

Justifying racial supremacy, ethnic cleansing, and indiscriminate bombing campaigns definitely sounds better when it’s done in an accent we can all relate to.

But I’m sure every American listening to them still wonders why all these Israelis sound like the next door neighbor.  Why wouldn’t they?  They are, after all, foreigners in the land of Israel.  Foreign colonist settlers.


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