Fascism has reached a new level in the 21st Century: nationalists/right-wing parties across East and West Europe, dictatorial regime in Russia, half a century rising fascism in Israel and a new leader of the Western world in the White House. A sad, sad day … I’m out of town and won’t watch any of the ceremonies, official formalities and festivities before of after. Neither any of the media chat shows, entertainment has replaced investigative journalism. This is a very sad day in history.

Israeli ministers to vote on annexing major settlement block two days after Trump enters office | Mondoweiss |

An Israeli bill to annex the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim will be voted on by Israeli ministers on Sunday, two days after Donald Trump takes office and will also include a clause annexing the controversial E1 area, as a result of its inclusion in the settlement’s municipal boundaries. But the bill’s sponsor, MK Yoav Kish (Likud) said he would be willing to exclude the controversial bloc from the draft law in the event its inclusion created a crisis within the governing coalition.

“It absolutely could happen that as part of a compromise we would put the bill through without E1. It’s something to think about … I don’t want someone to say he isn’t willing to join the process as a result of [Israeli] sovereignty being imposed also on E1,” Kish said …

Development plans for E1, an area of 12 square kilometers, north and west of Ma’aleh Adumim, that was previously placed inside the settlement’s municipal borders, have raised strong objections from the Palestinians and the international community in the past, and all such plans since 2005 have been put on hold.

US Abstains On UN Vote :: Netanyahu: ‘It’s A Declaration of War’

Before there was ‘fake news’ there was …

The current theater critic and Fox News commentator is undoubtedly best known for fact-free reporting on Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” for The New York Times that helped create the pretext for the 2003 war in Iraq. So it was rather odd yesterday when this person criticized President Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning [NYT] by wondering …

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President Obama granted 64 pardons and 208 commutations on Tuesday {Photo credit: USA Today)

Did ‘The Times’ Leave Judy Miller Out in the Cold Because She Was Jewish? And Other Parochial Asides from an Angry Bill Kristol | Mondoweiss – Jan. 18, 2008 |

I’ve often written that the neoconservatives became far less transparent about their devotion to Israel  once they attained
power. It was one thing to write as Jewish intellectuals about Middle East policy in books and little magazines in the 1970s, as Norman Podhoretz did when he said American isolationism was “a direct threat to the security of Israel,” and quite another to be actually affecting that foreign policy and talking openly as Jews about Israel.

Thus all the 2000-era neocon manifestos for invading Iraq-David Wurmser’s book, or Perle and Frum’s, or Lawrence Kaplan and Bill Kristol’s, or even neolib Paul Berman’s-put the emphasis on reforming tyrannies in the Arab world, and were rather quiet about Israel per se. Though yes, the idea that Israel is a perfect democracy and there is nothing wrong with the occupation is inherent in all these books, as well as the idea that Saddam’s paying for suicide bombers in Israel was somehow a reason for the U.S. to invade.

The Israel agenda got even quieter after the Iraq war turned into a disaster and suspicions grew in the antiwar movement and among the paleoconservatives that the neocon planners of the war were motivated in good part by concerns for Israel’s security. I’ve been on one side of this argument; but it’s interesting to consider that the neocons feel hunted, and maybe even afraid.

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