“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Two views on “terrorism” between Israelis and Arabs

Jewish settler attacks on Palestinians listed as 'terrorist incidents' by US

Israeli leaders condemn recent extremist violence, the growth of which human rights groups blame on lack of law enforcement
Palestinian villagers and firefighters
Palestinians tackle a fire in a West Bank field they say was started by Jewish settlers. According to UN, violent attacks by settlers on Palestinians and their property has increased by almost 150% since 2009. Photograph: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters
Violence by Jewish settlers has been cited for the first time in a US state department list of "terrorist incidents", as Israeli political leaders condemned a string of recent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The inclusion of assaults on Palestinian targets in the annual report on terrorism reflects growing concern in Israel and internationally that violence by a minority of Jewish extremists could trigger a new cycle of conflict and further damage the prospects of a peace agreement between the two sides.
"Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property and places of worship in the West Bank continued," said theCountry Reports on Terrorism 2011. It referred to "price tag" operations, meaning violence committed by radical settlers against Palestinians in retribution for actions by the Israeli government or army deemed to be "anti-settler".
US and European officials have become more vocal in criticising settler violence amid fears that the actions of a minority of Jewish extremists could provoke a militant response from Palestinians. According to the UN, violent attacks by settlers on Palestinians and their property, mosques and farmland has increased by almost 150% since 2009.
On Friday, the US state department condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the firebombing of a Palestinian taxi near Bethlehem, in which six people – including four-year-old twins – were injured. It urged expeditious action by Israel to bring the perpetrators to justice and for "all parties to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of violence".
The attack was widely blamed on settlers, with military sources suggesting "Israeli civilians were responsible". A second firebomb was found near the scene. No arrests had been made by Sunday afternoon.
Israeli politicians were also swift in their condemnation. The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said it was a "very serious incident", and on Sunday, Moshe Ya'alon, minister for strategic affairs, described it as "a terrorist attack".
He linked the firebombing to a separate incident in Jerusalem at the weekend, in which a Palestinian youth was severely beaten by dozens of Jewish teenagers, who witnesses said were searching for Arabs to attack.
"The hate crimes committed over the weekend against Arabs in Judea and Samaria [the biblical terms for the West Bank] and Jerusalem are intolerable, outrageous and must be firmly dealt with," Ya'alon said. "These are terrorist attacks. They run contrary to Jewish morality and values, and constitute first and foremost an educational and moral failure."
Jamal Julani, 17, from East Jerusalem, was admitted to hospital in a critical condition and placed on a respirator in the intensive care unit. A 19-year-old Jewish man was arrested, and further arrests were expected. A police spokesman described the incident as a brawl, and said it had no connection to settlers.
The Country Reports on Terrorism cited several incidents of settler violence during 2011, including attacks on Israeli military personnel and a base. Over the year 10 mosques in the West Bank and one in an Israeli-Arab town were attacked, it said.
Human rights groups which monitor settler violence say it routinely includes assaults against individuals and groups of Palestinians, harassment, uprooting trees, burning fields, attacks on livestock and damage to cars and houses. It usually peaks during the autumn olive harvesting season.
According to the UN office for humanitarian affairs, the number of settler attacks causing casualties or damage to Palestinian property has increased by 144% between 2009 and 2011(pdf). Three Palestinians were killed and 183 injured by settlers last year; about 10,000 trees were damaged or destroyed; and more than 90% of complaints filed with Israeli police were closed without charges being brought.
"One of the key factors in the growth of settler violence is the lack of effective law enforcement," said Sarit Michaeli of human rights group B'Tselem. "The Israelis have been calling settler violence 'terrorism' for a while now, but that in itself is not a guarantee that they will fulfil their obligations to protect Palestinians."
According to B'Tselem, Israeli security forces often fail to intervene to stop settler violence when alerted to it or already present at the scene. In May, a video posted by B'Tselem on Youtube showed settlers shooting at a group of Palestinian protesters while soldiers and police officers stood by.
A recent article published by Foreign Affairs last week, The Rise of Settler Terrorism, attributed the increase in attacks to "the growth of a small but significant fringe of young extremists, known as the 'hilltop youth', who show little, if any, deference to the Israeli government or even to the settler leadership … These settlers – likely no more than a couple of thousand, a small but dangerous minority within the broader community – are the ones leading the 'price tag' attacks against Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers."
The US state department report also said that in 2011: "Israel faced terrorist threats from Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, particularly from Gaza but also from the West Bank, and from Hezbollah in Lebanon."
Among the terrorist incidents it listed for 2011 were the murder of five members of the Fogel family at their home in a West Bank settlement, the death of a British national and the injury of 50 other people in a bomb explosion at Jerusalem's central bus station, and the killing of a resident of the Israeli city of Ashkelon by a rocket fired from Gaza.


  1. How any Jew can vote for Obama is beyond my comprehension, but 70% of them will.

  2. 9:00 to 10:00 he talks about how the Israelis developed the place, even mentioning the marshes that I have read about being drained. Place was a mess I do know that. Then he says the Arabs began to arrive. I have read that other places too.

    Good interview. Will watch the rest tomorrow.

    "Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property and places of worship in the West Bank continued," said the Country Reports on Terrorism 2011. It referred to "price tag" operations, meaning violence committed by radical settlers against Palestinians in retribution for actions by the Israeli government or army deemed to be "anti-settler".

    Not certain of the rational of attacking Palestinians when the settlers are pissed off at the Government or Army. They must feel the Government and Army has not punished the Palestinians enough for their acts of terror.

  3. I agree with that, how any Jew can vote for Obama. Really good interview with a well spoken intelligent man.

    Levy Report on the west bank -

  4. I "looked up" the West Bank, and I couldn't find anywhere where it was referred to as the "West Bank of Israel." The United Nations (the organization that gave Israel its charter) puts it under the control of "The Palestinian Authority."

    As a result, I can't understand why those people are referred to as "settlers." It seems the more proper term would be "Criminal Trespassers."

    This is another one of those deals where my give-a-shitometer just isn't registering - kind of on a scale of Syria, and the Isle of Man.

    1. what is "occupation"Mon Aug 20, 10:02:00 AM EDT

      As a result, I can't understand why those people are referred to as "settlers." It seems the more proper term would be "Criminal Trespassers."

      The West Bank is not a "legal" name. To suggest the tern "criminal trespassers" tells us you do give a shit... your meter is just broken.

      What is a settler? what is an occupier?

      The West Bank is HISTORIC jewish lands. It was the last time it held a NATIONAL identity was with the jews. There has been wave upon wave of occupying invaders, INCLUDING the ARABS.

      In the last 50 years hundreds of thousands of arabs have MOVED into the "west bank" illegally, built hundreds of illegal structures, but to you? they are not criminal trespassers...

      Are Americans criminal trespassers in America?

      Americans have less rights to America than Jews (no matter where born) have to the west bank.

      Now for the arabs? What right do they have to live in the west bank? In dearborn, MI? In Paris? Why do arabs have the right to settle anywhere but from where they come from?

      Arabs have invaded and settled in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran. They have invaded and settled in India. Are they not "criminal trespassers"..

      Playing fast and loose with the term "criminal trespasser" shows how you "do give a shit" and you support the fake nationalistic criminal gang called "palestinians". Your choice.

      To me? it proves what a ignorant shit you are.

    2. .

      The West Bank is HISTORIC jewish lands. It was the last time it held a NATIONAL identity was with the jews. There has been wave upon wave of occupying invaders, INCLUDING the ARABS.



  5. The majority of Jews probably vote for the Democrats because the Democratic Party is most closely identified with Civil Rights, and non-descrimination.

    Also, the Democratic Party probably mostly promotes those things that the people of Israel initially promoted - an excellent example of this would be in the area of Healthcare.

    The Israeli Healthcare System (that Romney was bragging about the other day) is a very Socialist System, much more so than Obama/Romneycare. It is basically a cross between Obamacare, and a One-Payer System.

    1. Then I'd think you'd want to welcome Jews in the West Bank for the sake of the health of the Palestinians. Because their health care system when they were squatting in the desert was probably no better than that of Afghanistan, the third worst in the world.

    2. You don't understand, Bob. I don't care about the health of the Palestinians. And, I don't care about the health of the Israelis. Nor the Dutch, or the Germans, or the Zimbabweans. I don't care about Any of them.

      My priorities Are: My Family, Myself, . . . . . . the sound of my shit-o-meter in freefall, . . . . other things.

      I just don't want My people dragged into a stupid, Middleeastern conflict between Religious zealots.

    3. Bob, try to figure this out. I Don't Care.

  6. If I crossed over into Canada, burned the local farmers' wheat crops, and built a ramshackle house, I doubt very seriously that either government would refer to me as a "Settler."

    I would, almost surely, be referred to as "Convict."

    1. Rufus, there were few Palestinians until the Jews showed up. Most were squatting in Jordon or the desert somewhere. There was no Canada. And there was no wheat. The "Palestinians" mostly began to move in when the Jews began to make it go, and there were some jobs. Think Mexicans, maybe, coming for jobs. That's what this guy said, and I have read that many times also in non-Jewish sources.

    2. Again, I don't care. To me it's one group of religious fanatics fighting with another group of religious fanatics over "who was promised what by God." I very much doubt that "God is in the Real-Estate Promising Business."

    3. sure you care.

      your bias against israel is clear.

      the arabs control 899/90th of the middle east and have thrown every jew out of it.

      you focus on 1/900th of the middle east and call the sides equal

      your lack of perspective is deafening.

      the jews of the middle east have been cornered into one tiny area and have been attacked repeatedly by the majority arabs.

      but you bitch that the israelis fought back genocide and actually liberated their lands..

      fuck you....

  7. Meanwhile, the world moves on

    At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human.

    One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year.

    All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai.

    This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Factories like the one here in the Netherlands are . . . . . .

    Skilled Robots Replacing Skilled Workers

  8. Cheer up Rufus and start the day out right - our country is hopelessly broke -

    According to Kotlikoff's calculations, the U.S. government has promised its citizens almost four times the entire net worth of the nation. If the government confiscated everyone's net worth, people would be left penniless, and the government would still be unable to fund these promises.

    At the risk of confusing readers, the annual government deficit using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is $11 trillion per year, not the $1.3 trillion that will be reported. Kotlikoff's calculations of the unfunded liabilities may be high. Other estimates are lower, but not enough to alter the conclusion that the U.S. is hopelessly broke.

    Read more:

    We are bankrupt, it's everybody's fault, there is nothing that will or even can be done about, and our civilization is bound to collapse.

    Day Three - Miss Dove hard at work

    1. Bob, that's pure economic illiteracy. Why do you read that crappy, ignorant rag?

    2. I agree it's crappy. They had a crappy article the other day too. And, I pointed it out. There have been a little 'off their feed' the last two days. Most of the stuff is good, as when they described how Sarah had tattooed Biden to Obama's ass, even though Q was too dim to understand it. Which is often the case.

  9. Rio Tinto says worker shortages contributed to a decision to boost the number of driverless trucks at its WA iron ore mines from ten to 150.

    The trucks will be used at the company's Pilbara mine sites, controlled remotely from its operation centre in Perth, 1,500 kilometres away.

    Rio Tinto says the purchase makes it the owner of the largest fleet of driverless trucks in the world.

    Spokesman James Petty says the technology is necessary to meet the company's targets.

    "Now we're pulling people from the likes of Perth and the east coast; we're flying people from the east coast as well," Mr Petty said.

    "There won't be enough people to be able to run all the trucks that we need to run.

    "And it's not just us; our competitors in the Pilbara are growing at the same sort of rates that we are."

    First they came for the "Mine Truck" Drivers

  10. This is more like it - things getting back to normal -

    Rasmussen Tracking 8/17 - 8/19 1500 LV 3.0 43 44 Romney +1
    Gallup Tracking 8/12 - 8/18 3050 RV 2.0 45 47 Romney +2

    In other recent polls most people by a large margin say they are no better off than they were in 2008. Romney ought to bring back Reagan's old question.

  11. ..NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

    The home of the Masters has invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.

    Both women have accepted. The invitations end a 10-year controversy that began when former club chairman Hootie Johnson said the club would not be pressured "at the point of a bayonet" to change its all-male membership.

    Augusta National chairman Billy Payne described Monday's announcement as a "joyous occasion" as he took the rare step of confirming its latest two members. He says it is a "significant and positive time" at the club. Augusta typically does not discuss membership.


  12. Rasmussen says

    Yesterday was the lowest level of support for Romney since March. On a combined basis, today shows the lowest level of combined support for the two major party candidates since January 27. See daily tracking history.

  13. He also says ...

    Obama, however, retains a slight lead in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. This includes new numbers from Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio.

  14. By Rasmussen's count of the Electoral College

    Obama: 247 - Romney: 206 - Toss-up: 85

    While RCP sees it

    Obama 237
    Romney 191
    Toss Ups 110

    Bubblebullshit is out in left field.

    1. The spread 'tween Rasmussen and RCP projections, only 10 Electoral votes.

    2. Some sort of major event in the last couple of weeks would very likely swing this election one way or the other.

      I wouldn't bet an Amero against one of them $Trillion Dollar Titaniums on this election.

  15. what’s supposed to happen over the next 10 years.

    On the tax side, Mr. Ryan proposes big cuts in tax rates on top income brackets and corporations. He has tried to dodge the normal process in which tax proposals are “scored” by independent auditors, but the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math, and the revenue loss from these cuts comes to $4.3 trillion over the next decade.

    On the spending side, Mr. Ryan proposes huge cuts in Medicaid, turning it over to the states while sharply reducing funding relative to projections under current policy. That saves around $800 billion. He proposes similar harsh cuts in food stamps, saving a further $130 billion or so, plus a grab-bag of other cuts, such as reduced aid to college students. Let’s be generous and say that all these cuts would save $1 trillion.

    On top of this, Mr. Ryan includes the $716 billion in Medicare savings that are part of Obamacare, even though he wants to scrap everything else in that act. Despite this, Mr. Ryan has now joined Mr. Romney in denouncing President Obama for “cutting Medicare”; more on that in a minute.

    So if we add up Mr. Ryan’s specific proposals, we have $4.3 trillion in tax cuts, partially offset by around $1.7 trillion in spending cuts — with the tax cuts, surprise, disproportionately benefiting the top 1 percent, while the spending cuts would primarily come at the expense of low-income families. Over all, the effect would be to increase the deficit by around two and a half trillion dollars.

    Yet Mr. Ryan claims to be a deficit hawk. What’s the basis for that claim?

    Well, he says that he would offset his tax cuts by “base broadening,” eliminating enough tax deductions to make up the lost revenue. Which deductions would he eliminate? He refuses to say — and realistically, revenue gain on the scale he claims would be virtually impossible.

    At the same time, he asserts that he would make huge further cuts in spending. What would he cut? He refuses to say.

    What Mr. Ryan actually offers, then, are specific proposals that would sharply increase the deficit, plus an assertion that he has secret tax and spending plans that he refuses to share with us, but which will turn his overall plan into deficit reduction.

    If this sounds like a joke, that’s because it is. Yet . . . . .

    An Unserious Man

    1. He's cute, but he's just a Con Man, pure and simple.

      Remember (what was it, 2010?) when that Wisconsin Senate Seat came open, and he decided Not to run?

      What do you suppose his internal polling (of the people that know him best) was saying?