Cut US aid to Israel and do everybody a favour
05 Nov 2010

Andrew Sullivan, a leading American blogger and increasing critic of Israel, mirroring the justified mood of the times:

I’d cut off aid myself – because they don’t need it and we cannot afford it – not as a pressure tactic. But even if you did, the key issue seems to me to be the UN veto. Until the US stops protecting Israel from isolation in the Security Council, the US’s foreign policy and Israel’s Palestinian policy are inextricable from one another.


What media companies support (and it’s not mostly stray dogs)
05 Nov 2010

With news that MSNBC star Keith Olbermann has been suspended after donating money to some Democrat candidates – the lack of transparency is worrying and frankly no major media figure should want to get too close to any politician of any stripe – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting unpacks the bigger picture:

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay in the wake of a Politico report (11/5/10) that revealed Olbermann had donated $7,200 to three Democratic candidates, in violation of NBC‘s standards barring employees from making political contributions.NBC, and at NBC‘s parent company General Electric?Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company’s political action committee). The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. The company has also spent $32 million on lobbying this year, and contributed over $1 million to the successful “No on 24″ campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations (New York Times, 11/1/10). , the cable company currently looking to buy NBC, has dramatically increased its political giving, much of it to lawmakers who support the proposed merger (Bloomberg, 10/19/10). And while Fox News parent News Corp‘s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association caused a stir, GE had “given $245,000 to the Democratic governors and $205,000 to the Republican governors since last year,” reported the Washington Post (8/18/10).MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s $4,200 contribution to Republican candidate Derrick Kitts in 2006 (MSNBC.com, 7/15/07). When that was uncovered, though, NBC dismissed this as a problem, since Scarborough “hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter.” Olbermann, of course, is also an opinion journalist–but MSNBC seems to hold him to a different standard.
A journalist donating money to a political candidate raises obvious conflict of interest questions; at a minimum, such contributions should be disclosed on air. But if supporting politicians with money is a threat to journalistic independence, what are the standards for Olbermann’s bosses at
According to the
Olbermann’s donations are in some ways comparable to fellow


Fisk on US lies over Wikileaks
05 Nov 2010

Oh I’ve missed seeing Robert Fisk talking about the Middle East. Recent Australian interview about the Wikileaks Iraq documents saying that the online release merely confirms what many journalists often thought; the Pentagon knew about Iraqi and US torture and abuses. And lied about it:
Why privatising our lives must be highlighted and stopped
05 Nov 2010

Investigating privatisation, the scourge of our times, receives an appropriate reward:

The Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2010, worth £5,000, has been won by Clare Sambrook for her investigating, reporting and campaigning against the government policy of locking up asylum-seeking families in conditions known to harm their mental health, and scrutinising the commercial contractors who run the detention centres for profit.


The Left don’t want or like Obama and that’s more than fine
05 Nov 2010

I’m still in shock to see two progressive Americans talking on American cable TV about Barack Obama and the Left. Enjoy the view, it happens so rarely:
The power of music in the horror of the Holocaust
04 Nov 2010

Very moving trailer about the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world, Alice Herz-Sommer:
Counterfire interview on Israel/Palestine
04 Nov 2010

I was recently interviewed by Elias Stoakes for the British website Counterfire on the Israel/Palestine conflict and the one-state solution:
Liberals should love Israel (if Palestinians are absent)
04 Nov 2010

A Zionist claims Israel is a left-wing paradise. Gay sex! Pot! Freedom!
Of course, Arabs don’t exist in this utopia.


Bush and Obama see “terrorists” in the same way
04 Nov 2010

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald spoke this week at the University of Wisconsin on “Civil Liberties and Terrorism in the Age of Obama”. Suffice to say anybody on the Left who thinks Barack Obama is radically different to George W. Bush needs to get their head read:
Glenn Greenwald on civil liberties and terrorism after Obama from The Badger Herald on Vimeo.


The colony building business is making less business sense
04 Nov 2010

Another victory in the growing BDS movement:

Africa Israel, the flagship company of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, announced this week that it is no longer involved in Israeli settlement projects and that it has no plans for future settlement activities. Africa Israel subsequently denied that this was a political decision. However, in the last few years numerous organizations, firms, governments and celebrities have exerted pressure and severed their relationships with Leviev and his companies over their involvement in settlement construction and other human rights abuses, in response to a boycott campaign initiated by Adalah-NY.
Israel’s Coalition of Women for Peace disclosed on Monday that in an official letter to the Coalition, Africa Israel stated, “Neither the company nor any of its subsidiaries and/or other companies controlled by the company are presently involved in or has any plans for future involvement in development, construction or building of real estate in settlements in the West Bank.” In follow-up articles in the Israeli media on Monday, Africa Israel said that the statement was “a description of the business today” and that “Africa Israel builds for all the public in Israel, and does not deal in politics or any other policy.”
Ethan Heitner from Adalah-NY explained, “Following years of settlement construction, and pro-settlement statements and activities by Lev Leviev, the public announcement by Africa Israel that it has no plans to build Israeli settlements is clearly a result of pressure from the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This provides concrete evidence of the way in which the BDS movement can change companies’ behavior. But Africa Israel can’t speak out of both sides of its mouth and expect a clean bill of health. Africa Israel must unambiguously renounce settlement activity, and all other involvement in violations of Palestinian rights. And Lev Leviev needs to end his involvement in settlement construction through other companies like Leader Management and Development, as well as his support for human rights abuses in the diamond industry in countries like Angola and Namibia.”

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