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Israel should remember: Obama is down, not out

Israel is dependent on the U.S. in every sphere. There is reason to fear that the present government will think that in a year when Obama is a lame duck, it can do as it pleases.

By Yoel Marcus

While we are toying with the notion that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will bring forward the elections here in order to gain a decisive majority, we are simultaneously entering the real thing: the U.S. elections. This is not only the matter of President Barack Obama's potential second term, it's also election year for the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Although we don't vote in America, we are keeping very close tabs on the elections' progress.

Officially and unofficially, we don't usually stick our noses in, one way or the other. But Bibi's associates have been heard voicing opposition to Barack Obama, claiming he is naive, doesn't understand, makes mistakes and, chiefly, is not really on our side. It seems that Bibi, who knows how to bring the members of Congress to their feet with hysterical applause in a single speech, aspires to be the mentor of the U.S. president. It's a shame his friend, billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, hasn't taught him that gambling is a dangerous business. And gambling on the possibility of a Republican president is a serious mistake.

Primarily, it contradicts Israel's policy of nonintervention in U.S. elections. In her time, Prime Minister Golda Meir scolded Yitzhak Rabin (Israel's ambassador to the U.S. at the time ) for his support of Richard Nixon. Ezer Weizman, meanwhile, flew in President Jimmy Carter's election plane in order to help him (unsuccessfully ) claim a second term in the White House, and had problems with the Democratic party.

Despite what the Arabs think, the United States is not in our pocket, and we don't intervene over the issue of who will or won't be elected in America. What is important is that Israel informs the presidential candidates of its policy. Our major failure was that we ignored Obama and didn't inform him of our problems. Instead, the first to influence his behavior toward Israel was his Jewish assistant, Rahm Emanuel. Because of him the president skipped Israel and began his peace campaign in, of all places, Cairo. And in doing so, he also gave Bibi an excuse to find an enemy in the White House.

The relationship with Obama is conducted on two parallel tracks that don't intersect. On one track, the security issue, an exceptional relationship has been formed with a commitment to Israel, including maintaining its qualitative military advantage. That's why we didn't hear any Israeli protest this time against equipping Saudi Arabia with advanced fighter planes.

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Sat Jan 7, 2012, 01:17 AM (0 replies)

Bigotry against minority groups at DU3...

I'm starting a new thread on this because it's an issue being discussed in another thread that was started on another topic, and this discussion deserves a thread of its own...

A lot of us have seen the way many juries are voting to leave blatantly bigoted posts alone, and I'm putting some of that down to jurors doing the free speech trumps all thing, some of it down to jurors misunderstanding the alerted post or the community standards or that something they think looks innocuous is anything but if it's posted in some groups (I was on a jury in the first day or so here where I voted to leave a post alone, went back afterwards, reread the entire thread and went 'Oh crap!').

The thing is that the safeguard against blatantly bigoted posts getting past a jury is supposed to be the TOS system. And in some cases that works, but in others it's not working. It's definitely not working when it comes to bigotry against Muslims at DU, and I don't understand why. That Muslim women can be called 'some bobble head Islamic woman', the person who alerted on it was not only greeted with a 6-0 vote not to hide it, but the TOS alert that was sent straight to the admin after the vote appears to have met the same fate that a TOS alert I sent on the same thread did. If that post had said 'some bobble head Jewish woman' or 'some bobble head lesbian' in a thread where that same person was making nasty generalisations about either of those groups, they would have been shown the door pretty quickly...

I'm going to give two contrasting examples of how the TOS system works. In the first case it worked as it should have and a DUer with a history of making bigoted comments was banned. In the second case it didn't work that way. My intention isn't to call out any other DUers banned or still here, but to bring attention to what looks to be a big inconsistency in the system....

Example 1 -

Someone I know alerted on an antisemitic post in Good Reads.The jury result was 5-1 to leave it alone, but the person who alerted had to cop abuse from one of the jurors for alerting on it.


Twofer. Either the president is compliant in the Elders of Zion conspiracy, or pure anti-semitism on parade.


A randomly-selected Jury of DU members completed their review of this alert at Wed Dec 28, 2011, 01:40 AM, and voted 1-5 to LEAVE IT ALONE.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I'm slightly confused about this alert -I presume it is on Hardrada's post and not on the actual article. If so, then I find Hardrada's post to be quite an unusual one in this context and slightly suspicious but nevertheless sufficiently vague for me not to be able to determine whether it is anti-Semitic or conspiracy theorist or whether it is trying to make a point about the debate that I'm not getting. I'm slightly uncomfortable with it but I don't think there's evidence once way or the other to make a conclusion about it. I vote to leave it.

Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT and said: Anti-semitic

Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given

Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I don't see anything problematic with this post.

Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I took the time to look over this thread just in case I was missing something. I'm unclear specifically what they're calling a pity. Whether responding to the title of the article, the rhetorical question posed in the beginning of the article or something else, is unclear. To the person who alerted: "Twofer. Either the president is compliant in the Elders of Zion conspiracy, or pure anti-semitism on parade.", YOU SOUND UNHINGED. If this person really is posting stuff about President Obama and the Elders of Zion conspiracy, alert on THAT (check the TOS box).

Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given


This came up in the Hosts forum and within minutes Skinner announced he'd banned the DUer responsible for the alerted post for having a history of anti-Jewish posts at DU.


So in this case the TOS system worked as it should as a way of being a protection against blatantly bigoted posts getting past the jury system. Not so with the next example...

Example 2:

I alerted on a post in this thread where there were nasty generalisations about Muslims happening...


Again, the jury voted to leave it standing, though I didn't cop the abuse the alerter in the previous example did:

AUTOMATED MESSAGE: Results of your Jury Service

At Fri Dec 30, 2011, 01:06 AM an alert was sent on the following post:


This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/? com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)


I've hit TOS on this one because that poster is making ugly and untrue negative generalisations about Muslims, and in the past at DU2 has come straight out and said she doesn't like Muslims.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Fri Dec 30, 2011, 01:24 AM, and the Jury voted 2-4 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT and said: You can't paint all Muslims with the worst that Islam has to offer. That's what they do at Free Republic. Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: It IS inaccurate and ill-informed, but she is being called on it. Let it stand, and allow DU-ers to comment pro or con. I see well-informed replies in opposition. That is what debate is about. Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: The post didn't break any rules, imo. Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT and said: The poster is sincere, and well-intentioned, but her information is simply incorrect.

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.


I'd selected the TOS option when I alerted and knew the alert would go straight to the admin. This was a few days ago, and despite the fact that it's another case of someone having a long history of very questionable posts about a minority group, this time there wasn't any action taken. And not only that, but since then there were other TOS alerts on the same person in the same thread for other bigoted comments. Rather than repeat it all or give examples of the past history of bigoted comments, it's all in this subthread from this post onwards...


Bigotry should be treated consistently, regardless of what minority group it's aimed at, imo. Not taking the same firm action against anti-Muslim bigotry as is rightly taken against other forms of bigotry sends two messages: that Muslims aren't welcome at DU, and that it's Happy Hour for anti-Muslim bigotry....

btw, sorry for how long the post became with the copies of the two juries, but I hope it doesn't stop people from reading the post...
Posted by Violet_Crumble | Mon Jan 2, 2012, 01:12 AM (187 replies)
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