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August 14, 2010

Five Dollar Friday

Explanation of Five Dollar Friday here. Follow who else is giving on twitter.

Because I'm a day late and the amount doubles every day that happens, $10 goes to Max Ajl of Jewbonics to support his past and hopefully future writing from Gaza. He was there a few months ago and (I assume) will be going back at some point. Here's part of one post from May 6th, "A Merkava for fifty of us???":

We heard what sounded like an Apache whirring over the horizon, just beyond the sand hillocks on the Israeli side of the border. The kids pointed out a surveillance plane against the brilliant sky. I could not see it. Three jeeps, churning up the sand, showed up and soldiers got out, conferring with one another. They apparently decided not to shoot. We were pretty far from the border. Then we heard a tremendous grinding mechanical sound, like metal tearing. It was a Merkava. This was our quiet demonstration. The Merkava's turret wandered around; it spent an inordinate amount of time pointed directly at us, and also at the knot of people, press and teenagers, 5 or 6 meters away. Intimidation. There is something scary and simultaneously pathetic about the IDF's response. Three army jeeps, a Merkava tank, an automated gun-tower, a surveillance drone, and, I think, an Apache, to deal with 50 unarmed civilians carrying a banner, video cameras, and their flag. What's scary is that their rules of engagement permit them to open fire on children's legs with live ammunition. What is pathetic is that they are scared. But what is also scary is that their fear will translate into more crippled and more dead, until live ammunition is banned. [And even then...]. And that won't happen amidst the media blackout. This is the problem with non-violence in a situation of such unequal strength. People keep dying until the symbolic costs become too high, when they threaten to translate into real costs: political support, economic support.

nuestro amigo the Merkava

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at August 14, 2010 10:01 AM

Yes, the IDF can kill and maim with impunity and the coalition forces can blow up a house for fun!


"And that won't happen amidst the media blackout"

Of course, THE ONLY DEMOCRACY in the middle east where.........

"Cozy Relationship Between Israeli Judiciary and Military Facilitates Gag Orders and Other Free Speech Violations eg Anat Kam-Uri Blau story"


Posted by: Rupa Shah at August 14, 2010 10:45 AM

Max is indeed brilliant, though I vehemently disagree with his position on Jeff Blankfort and Chomsky.

Posted by: demize! at August 14, 2010 05:07 PM

I think I'm with Max as opposed to Jeff Blankfort. The Israel Lobby exists and has a great deal of influence, but I think the US government policy of supporting thuggish Arab dictators repressing their own people would be the same even if Israel had never existed.

Here's Max writing on the subject--

" I don’t think we have a sat is fac tory synthesis explain ing the Israel Lobby’s role in shaping American foreign policy. I don’t think the Walt-Mearsheimer argument is very sat is fac tory, and am con sis tently stunned at the welcome their work has received from leftists. Various domestic interests assert them selves in various ways. Some do so through lobbying, some through Congress, some through the executive, some through the Pentagon. Ideology plays a role, too, man i fested in this case most pow er fully as Jewish nation al­ism and tribalism–Zionism. The Lobby and Israel uses these forces to mobilize people, often enough against more tangible economic interests. What the Lobby–defined narrowly, say, focusing on AIPAC–is , is an orga ni za tion that advises the affluent, and espe cially affluent Jews, as to how they should disburse their money, telling them which con gres sional can di dates they should support. The notion that the Lobby does nothing for American capitalism-imperialism (same thing) more broadly isn’t serious. Gabriel Ash has pointed out that the Lobby and fears of anti-Semitism stalled the Durban process, and canned Cynthia McKinney when she got out of line by doing her job–representing her con stituents, or starting to. Likewise the canard of anti-Semitism, pushed by the Lobby, has been used to attack Venezuela, an enemy of the Empire. I’m sure there are other examples. In the absence of a rigorous mate ri al ist analysis, there’s no analysis at all."

End of Max quote.

I can't argue at his level, but that sounds about right to me.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at August 15, 2010 10:19 AM