517 Comments

We have to get to the point of separating the nation/state of Israel from the religion of Judaism. To criticize Israel for years of the ignoring international norms by expanding their territory through force is not anti-Semitic. Palestinians understandably feel unseen after years of ignored security sanctions. That doesn’t change the fact the Hamas’ actions were horrific and can never be justified. But it’s time to hear Palestinian voices. If theocracy is wrong, it is wrong regardless of where it is manifest

Expand full comment

This black-and-white attitude is the principal reason the people who live in the Holy Land will never be able to enjoy their lives in peace and security. Paul VI said, "If you want peace, work for justice." He did not say "send more guns".

Expand full comment

Thank you Heather. I remain deeply concerned about the continuing suffering and loss of innocent life throughout the conflict.

"Performative nonsense" would be the best description I've heard of the GOP "leadership" -if it wasn't the cause of so much polarization, fear, and hate throughout America. Adversaries do not have to attack the United States directly, the GOP has become far more effective at weakening America for short-term political gain. It is unfortunate that far too few voters understand how this party continues to diminish any aspirations they may have toward a better future for themselves, their families, their communities, and future generations of Americans.

Expand full comment

Thank you Heather.

Like many, we viewed and listened intently to President Biden’s speech re Hamas’s atrocities committed against civilians in Israel. Their depravity is hard for me to comprehend. It’s like a horror story from out of the Old Testament.

IMHO, it’s good for US to support the nation of Israel - and the Palestinian people. It’s good that Biden made the distinction between Palestinians and Hamas, and that he exhorted Netanyahu to play by the rules of war.

Expand full comment

"There is no monopoly on common sense, on either side of the political fence,

We share the same biology, regardless of ideology;

Believe me when I say to you

I hope the Russians love their children too"

Sting's famous words from back in the late 80s thaw leading to the breakup of the former Soviet Union evoke an odd admixture of the quaint and the prescient.

Fast forward to today, nearly forty years after he sang those words that should have been sung much earlier, and flip the protagonists/antagonists around a bit to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, and step back and think........

As I write, families in the previously placid southern part of Israel adjacent to Ashkelon are grieving and mourning for the loss of loved ones cut down viciously in the prime of their life and indeed, some in the infancy of their life, by gunman blinded by the hatred that only desperation combined with religious inflexibility can wield.

As I write, families in the densely populated open air prison that constitutes the Gaza Strip, anxiety and desperation ruling their days in the best of times, are now crouching beneath the lowest of their expectations in the worst of times, as the high priced missiles and artillery shells produced in the US of A for the "only democracy in the Middle East" rain hellfire and destruction upon them.

I hope the Islamist narcissists/I hope the Israeli supremacists LOVE THEIR CHILDREN TOO

Expand full comment

As a history professor, you might include the 75-year history of oppression that is behind the Gaza uprising. Not to condone violence anywhere by anyone, but to give context to the frustration of the Palestinian young men in Hamas who have been prisoners for decades in what little was left of their own country.

How fitting that this happen near US Indigenous Peoples Day, when the parallel between Native Americans being destroyed by the Europeans (who were fleeing oppression in their own country...al la the Zionists after WW 2) is very apt to Hamas trying to take back their country stolen by the Zionists 75 years ago.

And now Israel has declared they will wipe out all Palestinians...the final solution...and ask questions later. Collective punishment is against every tenet of international law, but the Zionists in Israel and the US don't care about that. And PLEASE don't make the grave error of calling Israel a democracy, when it only benefits Jewish citizens and treats all others as less than them. May peace prevail.

Expand full comment

What is it with men who seek control through force? Do some just like to kill women and children? Is it testosterone or did their god tell them to slaughter innocents? Are we men so ignorant that violence is our only answer. Reason never "wins" and I just don't get it

Expand full comment

In Politico I am reading that President Zelenskyy of Ukraine is meeting with the EU to ask for support getting through the winter. He knows that the Hamas attack on Israel, and the ensuing war declaration from Netanyahu means a greater US military presence and support in the Middle East. It is an opening Putin will exploit. We know that Putin will want to bomb critical infrastructure so that Ukrainians spend a third winter without heat. I am again hoping it will be a mild winter, not that I want global warming to speed up, but we need to be conserving on fossil fuels as it is. Of course, Ukraine is not given a choice on this. Zelenskyy also wants weapons to protect his grain shipments. Letting up our support for Ukraine is dangerous as antidemocratic countries try to take over the world. It seems like a lot of people streaming to democratic countries from undemocratic ones do not necessarily embrace the democracy, just the freedom from poverty and perhaps the fighting that many undemocratic countries are engaged in in many places in the world. We need to have our full military and diplomatic corp to best be able to protect this country and our allies. Tommy Tuberville, and Paul Rand's blocking of these appointments should be circumvented by any means necessary.

Expand full comment

Thank you for clarifying our position articulated by President Biden especially as it refers to the prioritization of collaboration with Egypt to protect innocent Palestinians from escalating violence both be Hamas and potentially by Bibi. Watching the evening news on tv I didn’t appreciate the distinction Biden was making. I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the horrors revealed in this terrorism. That and the continuing gamesmanship of Repugs like Cruz and Santos …leave me speechless.

Expand full comment

Below is an article from CNN on what today will bring in the quest for the Speakership if the Republicans vote to change their conference rules. The change in the Republican conference rules are designed to have the Speakership choice be limited to Jordan and Scalise by making it extremely unlikely that any Republican other than Jordan or Scalise will emerge. And that will insure maximum dysfunction and obstruction in Congress and likely a cut off in aid to Ukraine that Biden will have to work around.

The idea here is to make the choice between Scalise and Jordan a done deal before Democrats get to vote. The only hope then will then be that enough brave Republicans to be absent or to vote present to lower the threshold for Jeffries to be elected.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/house-speaker-race-10-10-23/index.html

House GOP expected to debate rules change raising threshold to win nomination before going to floor

From CNN's Haley Talbot

House Republicans will gather behind closed doors at 10 a.m. tomorrow and are expected to debate and vote on a change to conference rules to raise the threshold to win the speakership nomination.

This is expected to take place before they proceed with the speaker selection process.

If adopted, the proposal would raise the threshold to win the nomination from a simple majority of the conference, which is 111 members, to a majority of the House — currently 217 with vacancies — before a House floor vote, per the amendment obtained by CNN.

Here’s how it would work: As detailed in the amendment, once a candidate gets a majority of the support from the conference, members vote by secret ballot for two rounds to try to secure the needed 217 votes. If that hasn’t happened, the third round is a manual roll call. If a candidate doesn’t get 217 after five rounds of voting, then new candidates (and candidates who have not dropped out) can emerge and be nominated by members.

The idea is to make sure that the internal squabbling happens out of public view, so the candidate can emerge from the conference with enough votes to be elected speaker on the first floor ballot. If successful, this could avoid a protracted floor fight like the one that occurred when Rep. Kevin McCarthy won the gavel after 15 ballots in January.

That means the candidate could only afford to lose four GOP votes before winning the conference nomination.

Expand full comment

Right now, one of my best friends who is a secular, but active cultural Jew, is very concerned about one of her daughter's best friend's, who is in Jordan. She and another Jewish friend are over with this young Jordanian-American woman's mother trying to provide comfort and support. Everyone I know in the USA, who is from either Israeli, or Palestine, and other countries in the region is extremely upset and worried by this renewal of war in the Middle East. My friends and neighbors who belong to Israel and Palestine (often with Jordanian passports so they can travel), tend to be more secular or moderate and get along together, which makes it harder to understand that this war is going on. I am glad that deescalation is being discussed. My head is reeling from Bucha to Be'eri Kibbutz. However, I am also shocked by the reminders of conditions for Palestinians in Gaza, who honestly have not been in my thoughts for a while. I remember when all of the Jewish settlers, largely from former Soviet countries settled in Israel, further squeezing the Palestinians out. Europe, which is notoriously anti-Semitic, whatever the official rhetoric is, displaced people from their countries and gladly sent them to Israel regardless of what effect this had on the Palestinian population. Their problems are gone. They do not have to accommodate the tension between Jews and Muslims that exists here in Europe if they can support Israel as being an independent state for the Jews. Israel from its inception in 1948 has been a convenience for European countries, and they perceive the Arab-Muslim populations there to be too weak to turn on Europe as a source of this settlement incursion.

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2015/02/09/europes-jewish-population/

As long as the fighting remains between Muslims and Jews it is not really Europe's problem, which considers itself Christian, even though it is filled with both Muslims and Jews, although many more Muslims.

https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2017/11/29/europes-growing-muslim-population/

Look at Ukraine. Look at France. Now, we can expect new peoples to come flooding into an already anti-Semetic, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab Europe, which is increasingly voting for Christianity only as a way of life even as they are increasingly secular too. There is fear amongst Christians, just as there is fear amongst White Nationalists that they will not longer be able to dominate in places that they consider their home territory. As an atheist, I am struck by the way that religion is interpreted as an excuse for hatred and to foment war.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/10/03/kate-cohen-atheism/

We do not however, need to look to Israel, or the middle east to find terrorism. We can start right here at home with the Republican party and Donald Trump, whose people practice terrorism in the US, and whose policies support terrorism all over the world. We need to name them for the terrorists they are. We have lots of people dying from their policies too. One brutal act, or systemic oppression, which kills more? Which gains more attention? We need to be clear headed about what is going on even as our hearts bleed for the violence and suffering people are being submitted to. We need to continue to have policies of deescalation and support of democracy around the world.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Heather, for your balanced news today.

Expand full comment

1. AOC/JEFFRIES - 2028

2. How can treasonous traitors like Cruz and Toobie (and especially Santos) not get censured or impeached. The line for impeachment is high crimes and misdemeanors. All 3 of these criminals, predators and grifters have gone WAY beyond the line.

3. I feel the worst for those poor Palestinians who have known nothing but war for 50+ years and now are being disenfranchised again. It ain't right and Joe should be standing behind them as much as the Jews. The equation is unbalanced.

Expand full comment

After the ignorant violent attack on Israel, almost certainly planned by Iran, after all missiles and guns do not appear from thin air, i have come to the opinion that whatever the mistakes of Israel, and there were many, they have the total right to protect their citizens from barbarism.

I only hope that the plight of Ukraine is not forgotten. McCarthy had an embryonic cartilaginous embryonic vertebra, singular, in keeping the government open but for some reason, collusion or whatever, Ukraine was deleted.

Given that the Iranian regime and the Puta are besties, I have to wonder about the timing.

Palestinian people are being used as human shields by Iran.

Without continuing support from the US Ukraine will struggle.

Expand full comment

EU warns Elon Musk over ‘disinformation’ on X about Hamas attack

Failing to moderate content such as fake news could incur fine of 6% of X revenues or EU blackout under new laws

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/oct/10/eu-warns-elon-musk-over-disinformation-about-hamas-attack-on-x

Expand full comment
Oct 11, 2023·edited Oct 11, 2023

Has anyone in power -- apart from isolated figures like Egypt's Sadat and warrior turned champion of peace Yitzhak Rabin, both murdered by fanatics for their courageous stand -- has anyone ever taken adequate account of the time factor in the perpetuation of evil?

When you read these words, do you even begin to see the immensity of the horror? Roots lost in time.

One thing is clear: those who planned and perpetrated 9/11 and today's assault on Israel acted and act in the very long term. Both were designed as infinitely more than what they seem -- these are not one-off aberrations, they are trigger mechanisms, their purpose, to set off a chain-reaction bomb.

Success or failure of this unimaginably vast strategic weapon therefore depends, not on the aggressor but on the victims, it depends on maximum shock producing immediate maximum reaction. Action unmediated by thought, entirely the product of vengeful rage.

In this sense, 9/11 succeeded beyond its planners' wildest dreams, thanks to such aberrations as the occupation of Afghanistan and the Second Gulf War. The long-term effect of Bush, Rumsfeld et al's so called "War on Terror" is the perpetuation and spread of chaos and terror. Abroad and at home in America.

Having written this, I fear that I may have wasted my time. I don't have the impression that, despite the noble labors of HCR and others to bring home to us the true, immediate, yet lasting relevance of history, western minds are capable of seeing beyond action/reaction. Like Pavlov's dogs.

I hope I am completely mistaken in this view.

It seems plain that the restoration of peace must depend on a very long-term perspective, stretching into the remote past and the distant future. Going deeper than the latest trauma.

The victory of peace must depend on the outlook and action of the bomb disposal squad -- not the fastest gun in the West.

And we, who now face an infestation of psychopaths, conmen, illusionists, the golems of Mammon, need to cleanse our space of these diseased influences if mankind is to survive.

Expand full comment