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Is Obama’s Upcoming Israel Visit as Fictitious as That of The Rolling Stones?

1:25 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Rolling Stones - Jewish-Press Punked

I.  A whole lot of people hooked on Ziocaine got punked last week by a prank article published in The Jewish Press.  The article touted an upcoming concert in Israel by The Rolling Stones:

Despite a barrage of attacks from British, European and U.S. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) groups, the Rolling Stones will perform their planned concert in Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day, Monday, April 15.

“We’ve been slammed and smacked and twittered a lot by the anti-Israeli side,” said Mick Jagger, the band’s leader and most recognizable member since 1963. “All I can say is: anything worth doing is worth overdoing. So we decided to add a concert on Tuesday.”

Needless to say, tickets to both concerts, Monday night in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem and Tuesday night in Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, have been sold out even as Jagger was speaking.

The hoax article went further into details of the fictitious concert series.

Unsurprisingly, some took the bait in spite of a disclaimer (“This has been a Purim prank…”).  My favorite:

Some of the web sites or publications falling for it were jns.org:

Legendary rock band The Rolling Stones has announced it will not cancel its planned concert in Jerusalem, to be held on Israel’s Independence Day April 15, despite pressure from anti-Zionist groups. Instead, the band decided to add a second Jerusalem concert the next day.

and Abby Martin’s favorite fake news source, Allgemeiner, about whose punking Phan Nguyen wrote, “the reliably unreliable Algemeiner“:

Legendary rock band The Rolling Stones has announced it will not cancel its planned concert in Jerusalem, to be held on Israel’s Independence Day April 15, despite pressure from anti-Zionist groups. Instead, the band decided to add a second Jerusalem concert the next day.

“We’ve been slammed and smacked and twittered a lot by the anti-Israeli side. All I can say is: anything worth doing is worth overdoing. So we decided to add a concert on Tuesday,” said Mick Jagger, the band’s lead singer, according to the Jewish Press.

and my favorite, the amazing Pamela Geller, who was in ecstasy over this, in her original post that lauded the Stones’ courage:

ROLLING STONES TELL JEW-HATERS TO KISS THEIR ……. ADDS ANOTHER DATE TO ISRAEL TOUR ON ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY

and:

It is so delicious to see very cool people standing against savagery, thuggery and injustice. I’d wish I could get to Jerusalem just to see this show.

When Geller’s punking was exposed by commenters to her post, she lied and turned on them. According to Phan Nguyen:

Thus—essentially saying, “I was testing you”—Geller pretended to be in on the joke. However, there are several reasons why this is implausible:

1. Geller acknowledged that it was a Purim joke. But by the time of she had posted her story on February 26, Purim was already over. It would be like making an April Fool’s joke on April 2.

2. Geller didn’t quote directly from the original Jewish Press article but instead based her post on Robert Miller’s Joshuapundit article. To this day, Miller appears unaware that the story is a hoax and his post stands uncorrected. There is no indication that Geller had seen the original article in The Jewish Press before she posted.

3. Despite claiming that she was proving a clever point, Geller later removed the posting from her website and also deleted her tweet referencing it. What’s the point of making a point and then deleting all references to the point?

II. So The Rolling Stones aren’t going to Israel in April, after all. How about Obama in March, especially if he doesn’t have an Israeli Government with whom to meet?

President Barack Obama’s historic first visit as US leader to Israel this month could be in jeopardy after Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to plead for extra time to cobble together a new coalition government.

The Israeli prime minister was granted a two-week extension by Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, after missing Saturday’s deadline to reach agreement with rival parties following January’s inconclusive general election.

He now has until March 16 to form a government – otherwise Mr Peres will ask another party leader to lead coalition talks.

White House officials have said Mr Obama will call off his visit if no government is in place by then.

The US president is scheduled to arrive on March 20 for a two-day trip that will also include the West Bank city of Ramallah.

If you find Israeli party politics bewildering, you are not alone. I suppose Netanyahu himself is bewildered by the maze he helped build, and in which he is now all but trapped:

Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu won 31 of the Knesset’s 120 seats – an eroded lead that forced him to cast a wide net for partners while juggling their disparate demands.

During the 28-day period, Netanyahu managed to forge a pact only with the party of former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, whose six-member faction “The Movement” has given him 37 seats, way short of the minimum 61 needed to confirm a new coalition.

In a brief statement following his meeting with Peres on Saturday night, Netanyahu hinted that at least one potential coalition partner refused to sit alongside others.

Netanyahu has faced demands from the parties that placed second and fourth, Yesh Atid (There is a Future) and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), to slash mass exemptions from military conscription and cut welfare stipends to ultra-Orthodox Jews.

In coalition talks on Friday with Bayit Yehudi, Netanyahu’s chief negotiator said the right-wing party was unwilling to sit alongside ultra-Orthodox parties but Bayit Yehudi officials denied this.

At Mondoweiss, Annie Robbins has provided an excellent, detailed analysis of Netanyahu’s pickle, which most likely adds up to no Israeli ruling coalition by the date set for Obama’s trip.  She observes that in spite of gains by moderate factions in the January election, the hardliners seem to hold the last trump.  Playing it – accepting the notion of outright annexation of Palestine without giving the non-Jewish Palestinians any citizenship rights – will isolate Israel internationally, certainly from Europe and most of Latin America.

Pressures on the disagreeing parties to come up with something so as to avoid a cancellation or rescheduling of Obama’s trip are probably there, but insignificant.  One shouldn’t forget that there is far more antipathy toward Obama in Israel than there is, even among white GOP conservatives and Tea Party fanatics, in the USA.

hat tips to Phan Nguyen and Annie Robbins

Anders Breivik May Be Sane, But the Ideas He Espouses Are Nuts

6:42 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Anders Breivik

Mass murderer, Anders Breivik, who had already admitted his guilt in the killing of 77 people in Norway last summer, has been convicted and sentenced:

There are many reasons to welcome the verdict in the trial of Anders Behring Breivik: that he is sane and legally responsible for the murder of 77 people – mostly members of the Norwegian Labour party – on 22 July last year.

The guilty verdict recognises the monstrosity of Breivik’s acts, carried out in pursuit of his political beliefs. It also delivers the outcome wanted by the majority of Norwegians, in particular because it means he will spend no fewer than 21 years – and most likely life – in jail. Justice has been done to the fullest extent possible under Norwegian law.

Breivik, who gave strange Nazi-like salutes and smiled a lot today, said in his closing statement that he only wished he had killed more:

In his final words, Breivik regretted not killing more people, apologizing to other “militant nationalists” for not achieving an even higher death toll. He said he wouldn’t appeal the ruling because that would “legitimize” a court he said got its mandate from a political system that supports multiculturalism.

Breivik is a hero to many Islamophobes and white supremacists.  His philosophy, clearly explained in the “sickening but coherent 1,500-page manifesto” he left behind after his arrest, takes its ideas freely, almost wantonly from everyone from right-wing uber Zionists Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes, to Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell.  His fervent desire to fully restore Western civilization to a mandatory patriarchy might have gotten him a prime time speaking spot at next week’s Republican Convention, were they uttered by a GOP Senator.  His belief that Israel is some sort of utopian ideal, rather than an increasingly mean, apartheid, racist society, is not only common on the far right, but almost as common among Democrats elected to our national Congress in the USA.  Some European Islamaphobes still have trouble distancing themselves from Breivik:

From Europe’s far right, the reaction was mixed. Some argued that Friday’s verdict played into their core beliefs, though they have spoken out against his violent rampage.

“It was obviously wrong what he did, but there was logic to all of it,” said Stephen Lennon, the 29-year-old leader of the English Defense League, an anti-Muslim group. “By saying that he was sane, it gives a certain credibility to what he had been saying. And that is, that Islam is a threat to Europe and to the world.”

To a certain degree, one of the reports issued by the Norwegian court looking into Breivik’s mental state found a bit of insanity in the ideas he adopted, not in Breivik himself:

The main form this depoliticisation took was the medicalisation of Breivik’s actions in terms of psychological or psychiatric pathology. Within days, everyone from forensic psychiatrists to the London mayor, Boris Johnson, felt the need to put Breivik in a diagnostic box. Occasionally, even reportage of his personal history and psychology went to ludicrous extremes to seek his motives in anything but what he actually said. This reached its pinnacle with the first court-ordered psychiatric report, which found him to be suffering from “paranoid schizophrenia” on the basis of clumsy and inappropriate interpretation of ideas and behaviours common in far-right and online gaming subcultures.

Outrage over the findings led the court to take the unusual step of commissioning a second report. This one paid more attention to his political milieu, as well as his behaviour in jail, and found him sane – at most exhibiting signs of a personality disorder. Friday’s verdict confirms this conclusion and denies to Islamophobic ideologues the comfort of a clear line of sanity separating their influence from Breivik’s actions.

There have been many examples of shooters running amok, inspired by their readings of far right fearmongers.  Whether a shooter has been inspired by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes or some other purveyor of racial hatred, the men or women who inspire such lunacy almost always get away with denying linkage, and get to keep on spreading their ferociously malignant ideas.

There was a bit of an exception to that rule today.  One prominent and up-and-coming Islamophobe, Josh Treviño, was fired today by the British news outlet, The Guardian.  Treviño had been hired recently to offset The Guardian‘s hire of columnist Glenn Greenwald.  Several activist writers quickly raised a number of issues about Treviño, most notably Max Blumenthal and Ali Abunimah.

Treviño is a twitter addict, and had left behind a long history of venom toward Palestinians, Americans who support Palestinian rights, and those who don’t show proper deference to the state of Israel.  Once again, here we have somebody who could easily swap brews with Anders Breivik, or take the podium at the GOP Convention.

Here’s Henry Norr, writing about Treviño for Mondoweiss:

Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada responded with a post reproducing tweets from last summer in which Treviño declared that it would be “cool” with him if the Israelis shot the participants in the 2011 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, then went on to observe that the flotilla was “not morally different from a Nazi convoy”

Not surprisingly, several participants in that flotilla, including me – and, no doubt, scores of other Guardian readers – immediately protested to Janine Gibson, editor in chief of the Guardian US, who was quoted in the press release about her pleasure at bringing Treviño’s “important perspective” to readers. We acknowledged the Guardian’s desire to present diverse points of view, but questioned the choice of someone whose approach to political debate is to call for gunning down those he disagrees with.

More tweets were found, all the way up to Wednesday of this week.  One in particular, offended me, as I’ve covered the story of Rachel Corrie in many ways, and am a close friend of her family.  In the tweet, he gleefully referred to Corrie as a “pancake,” after being killed by an Israeli Army bulldozer.

Josh Treviño is like Anders Breivik, in reveling in violence against innocents who seek justice for people being oppressed.  And, like Breivik, Treviño has seen a bit of justice today.

The Guardian, ostensibly has fired Josh Treviño for violating their code of ethics.  Here is the “joint statement” announcing the columnist’s demise Friday:

Joshua Treviño wrote a piece for the Guardian on February 28, 2011 titled “Peter King has hearings, but is he listening?” The Guardian recently learned that shortly before writing this article the author was a consultant for an agency that had Malaysian business interests and that he ran a website called Malaysia Matters. In keeping with the Guardian’s editorial code this should have been disclosed.

“Under our guidelines, the relationship between Joshua and the agency should have been disclosed before the piece was published in order to give full clarity to our readers,” said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief, Guardian US.

“I vigorously affirm that nothing unethical was done and I have been open with the Guardian in this matter. Nevertheless, the Guardian’s guidelines are necessarily broad, and I agree that they must be respected as such,” said Joshua Treviño.

We have therefore mutually agreed to go our separate ways and wish each other the best of luck.

It is too bad that he was given this kind of cover, but it is more balls than many of us had thought The Guardian would be able to muster.

There are a lot of gigs out there for people like Josh, most of them very well-paid.  No doubt, he will be offered a new job soon, perhaps writing speeches behind the scenes for Mitt Romney.  Let us hope, though, that somewhere down the line, the hatred in some future essay by  Treviño doesn’t inspire another Anders Breivik.

My Thanksgiving Letter to Pamela Geller’s BFF in the Alaska Legislature: Rename the Turkey the “Winged Marmot”

12:21 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

November 24, 2011

Dear Rep. Gatto

Happy Thanksgiving!

A matter of grave concern has been brought to the American people by that tirelessly vigilant, level-headed Patriot, Pamela Geller. As you have been shown to recognize, we are truly fortunate to have such a clear view of the imminent threats posed to Americans as those taken up by Geller. Her views have been adopted here in the USA, and abroad.

Last legislative session, you had her testify on behalf of your House Bill 88, designed to stop the insidiously well-hidden move afoot here in the Mat-Su Valley to adopt Sharia Law as the basis of our legal codes.  With so many less important issues like domestic violence, Alaska jobs, declining educational standards crowding your extremely vital bill out of the limelight it deserved, it hasn’t yet passed.

When do you plan on finishing up that bill in the 2012 legislative session?  We need it soon!  I think there’s a vacant building in Palmer and are several in Wasilla that could easily be converted into mosques overnight.

This week, Ms. Geller brought my attention to something that might even have a more profound effect on my daily life in Wasilla than Sharia Law. But in concentrating on only one aspect of the real problem here, she may have missed a far more important issue. First, here’s what Ms. Geller observed: Read the rest of this entry →