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I have been away from Israel-Palestine blogging, happily moonlighting about EVs instead...

...well, that's not quite true. I've raised a bit of I-P ruckus lately - but in Hebrew. In August I researched and put together a long blog post that was finally published in Hebrew on September 1st on the Haokets ("The Sting") website, a site dedicated to social, economic and ethnic justice in Israel-Palestine.

An English translation was posted on the influential 972mag website last week. That translation was laid out very nicely by the editors, with many pictures. I'm too lazy to just copy it now, and besides it won't look as nice. What I'll do here is a short "Cliff's Notes" summary, together with some FAQ that keep arising around that text, and observations about the sad state of talkback threads :)

Follow me through the barbed orange wire...

The Gossipy Context



The story leading up to Janet Yellen's Fed nomination had a farcical doppleganger playing out in Israel, almost simultaneously. In both cases, the outgoing Central Bank head recommended his deputy as successor, which would make her the first-ever woman at the job. In both cases, the government had originally looked for someone else having a more "appropriate" set of chromosomes instead. And in both cases, the woman was eventually nominated, with the government getting nicely embarrassed in the process.

Dr. Karnit Flug, Governor of Israel Central Bank, 2013-
Dr. Karnit Flug, recently appointed Governor of Israel's Central Bank, despite her lack of a Y chromosome

The Israeli case was more grotesque, with Prime Minister "Bibi" Netanyahu opposing the nomination of Dr. Karnit Flug for longer, more openly and more vehemently than Obama ever did. Bibi's hostility towards Flug could not be explained by male-chauvinism alone (although that does exist, of course). Rather, sources point towards a 2007 macro-economic research report lead-authored by Flug (pdf; is it in English), analyzing Israel's growth and recession cycles in 1960-2006 (the first year for which comprehensive data exist). While praising Israel's adherence to neoliberal recipes in recent decades and claiming it does have a "statistically significant" positive effect on growth, the authors had to concede that the impact of Treasury policies in Israel is dwarfed by what they euphemistically called "geopolitics".

This admission invoked Bibi's wrath. For years he has built his reputation as "Mr. Economy", who supposedly "saved" Israel's economy in his 2003-2006 tenure as finance minister. Flug's report, while polite and even reverent regarding Bibi's macroeconomic leadership, still indicated that his claim to saving the Israeli economy is about as truthful as the proverbial fly riding on an elephant and boasting "Look how much dust we're making!..."

It is this report that I dug my teeth into, easily finding what I had looked for. I called the original post "Dr. Karnit Flug's Dark Secret", an ironical reference to the failed-nomination farce that has been playing out in full swing at the time. Of course, to clarify: Flug has no personal "Dark Secret". Rather it is Israel and entire its economic-intellectual elite, that is lying to itself about the nation's economy.

Israel's Biggest Boom - and Its Worst Busts



In essence, things are really really simple. Here is the article's "Table 1" of raw economic data summarized by major episodes, as identified by the authors. The most recognizable and internationally comparable number, is the per-capita growth rate (3rd column of numbers).

Table 1 from the Flug-Strawczynski (2007) report.
One episode sticks out as exceptional: 1967-1973, the "Post Six-Day War" Period. It has by far the highest growth, and is also among the longest periods (by rights it should have been the longest episode, but the authors had for some reason cut it 9 months short in December 72 instead of September 73).

In the article's entire study period of 1960-2006 - and, now we know, also beyond it to 2013 - there is no other episode whose impact upon Israel's economic growth has been so positive and so dramatic.

My article painstakingly goes through the consensus boilerplate theories explaining Israel's relatively phenomenal growth since the 1950s, and shows that none of them even remotely accounts for the 1967-1973 growth boom.

What can? What really happened during these years: Israel redefining itself as "Greater Israel", and setting up the Occupation regime. First and foremost, by far the greatest single factor, was the incorpoation of Palestinian day labor into the Israeli market. Within a couple of years after 1967, almost no manual labor was done by Israelis anymore; it was all Palestinians, with Israeli former laborers becoming their bosses. Add to this the exploitation of newly controlled natural resources and captive market, and the use of Occupation and its crises as a vacuum-pump siphoning in billions of foreign money - and you have a 4-cylinder boom-generating engine.

Look at the Gapminder map below. In these 6 years Israel's per-capita GDP grew some 70-80%. It took Israel another 25 years or so, in fits and starts, to grow the next 70-80%.

Gapminder.org trace of Israel's annual per-capita GDP growth in 1961-2010.
Gapminder.org trace of Israel's annual per-capita GDP growth in 1961-2010 (vertical), vs. the existing per-capita GDP (horizontal, long-transformed). The huge 1967-1973 boom is impossible to ignore... unless you are Israeli.

Here's the thing: the fact that our biggest economic boom happened in 1967-1973, is largely unknown among Israelis - not to mention outside of Israel. If you care to read the comment threads to the Hebrew and English versions, you'll see that much of what went on there was people trying to deny the fact, or deny that it signifies anything, and being insulted at my "leftist" attempts to explain it (rather than ignore it as everyone else conveniently does).

Par for the course, Flug and Strawczynski who wrote the report didn't feel compelled to explain the 1967-1973 boom, beyond the "geopolitics" lip-service.

What about Israel's rather frequent economic busts? Start with the one that ended that very boom: the crisis triggered by the October 1973 war. The Israeli media in recent months has been full of stories and features commemorating that war's 40th anniversary. But its fundamental nature is usually blurred.

The 1973 war was first and foremost an Occupation-generated crisis. Political memory in Israel is notoriously selective. People don't realize that pre-1973, the Occupation's crown jewel was not the West Bank, but the Sinai. Not only was the Sinai huge and spectacular; it also contained oil wells that could meet half Israel's consumption.

It was Israel's insistence on holding the Sinai indefinitely, that led Egyptian leader Saadat to launch the 1973 war. This war hurled Israel into one of its worst politico-economic crises. At its height, people had to down their vehicles for one day a week to save gas, and Israel immigration balance turned negative for the first time in its history.

Again, the 1973 war's Occupation-caused nature is routinely sidestepped, ignored, even denied in mainstream Israeli discourse.

Schematic map of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
Schematic map of the 1973 war - fought because Israel had insisted it can continue to control (and economically exploit) Sinai, Golan, and all the other Occupied Territories, for as long as it sees fit. Most Israelis still largely support this stance (sans the Sinai).

Two other major economic crises - in the late 1980s and in 2001-2003 - were directly triggered by the Palestinian revolts. The 2001-2003 one was perhaps the worst in Israel's history in terms of relative depth and duration (of course, it was exacerbated by the global 9/11 recession; but we started our crisis many months earlier).

The period between the late 1970s and the mid-1980s provides an illuminating contrast. These years, divided into no less than 4 episodes in the Flug-Strawczynski table, have seen perhaps the worst economic mismanagement in Israeli history. Finance ministers changed almost every year, and switched policies even more frequently. Reckless experimentation alternated with strict austerity and crass electoral bribery of the public. To boot, the military invaded Lebanon in 1982 and occupied half of that country for 3 years, saddling the government with a huge additional debt. A bubble-generated stock-market collapse in late 1983 sealed the deal, forcing the government to buy all major banks, leading to a 400% hyperinflation in 1984, and to talks about indexing the Shekel to the US Dollar.

But throughout this period, except very short spells of grazing around 0% per-capita growth (on absolute level growth was still positive), the economy didn't grind to a halt and people's standard of living hardly suffered. I went through my teenage year and into military service during that time. Having prices creep up every week was inconvenient and even unsettling. But people's salaries were COLA indexed, and there was almost none of the massive suffering associated with the deep recessions mentioned above. What gives?

"What gives" is that the Occupation prosperity-generating engine was at its zenith during that time. Palestinian labor was fully harnessed and still docile (not for much longer...). New settlements were established at a record pace, and mainstream Israelis discovered the advantages of buying a much larger home for less, on (stolen) West Bank land, and receiving far better government services there than at the crowded central-Israel cities. And the peace agreement signed with Egypt in 1979 (in exchange for returning the Sinai) reduced the Occupation's overall geopolitical risk, and opened up new trade opportunities and more ways to receive foreign aid.

So the economy of a small 30-year-old nation survived almost unscathed, a dose of economic mismanagement that would have completely downed a much larger beast (think Argentina 2001). Mostly thanks to the Occupation.

Nowadays the tables have turned: Israel is larger (population-wise) and wealthier. Israelis still depend upon others for most manual labor - but nowadays Palestinian laborers are outnumbered by a motley crew of temporary(?) foreign migrants. Israel's economy has increasingly gravitated towards its hi-tech sector (which really came into life only in the 1990s). As the 2001-2003 crisis showed, Israel's hyper-modern economic aspirations are incompatible with an Occupation in the back yard. Certain sectors and businesses still profit from the Occupation, but overall it has become more of an economic burden than an asset - even before factoring in the resurgence of economic sanctions.

But it's hard to get rid of something, when you deny its existence and impact.

Doesn't It All Remind You of Something?



Here's a bit that was not mentioned in the full texts, in either language:

From an economic-history perspective, Israel's Occupation experience clearly identifies it as an experiment in colonialism. The world has seen it all before: at first, massive exploitation of labor, natural resources and captive markets delivers a sugar-rush of wealth. For a while, it seems like the perfect system for the ruling nation. Then the backlash: revolt, conflict, spiralling military costs. Corruption and rot destroy the colonial structure from within... and finally it's over.  

How can Israel's experiment survive for so long? Perhaps because it is unique in so many ways:

  1. The colony is in the home-country's own back yard. Some of the new Territory was even added to Israel's capital city.
  2. All previous borders between "home country" and "colony" were erased from all official and quasi-official maps.
  3. Israeli citizens were settled inside the Territories and gradually afforded all amenities and political-participation rights as if they still lived inside Israel;
  4. Occupation expenses and revenue are embedded in a zillion places in the national budget, without demarcation;
  5. The very nature of this experiment in colonialism is denied, and again, deliberately blurred.
  6. Israel embarks upon this experiment, right after the very last major global colonialism projects are being dismantled. Politically, this makes the Occupation hard to justify from the get-go.
  7. But for a self-denying, camouflaged colonial experiment, the timing is actually good because people don't expect to encounter "classic" colonialism anymore - so this helps Israel to maintain "Plausible Deniability" about the Occupation.
  8. Nowadays, the colonial regime can make use of post-modern technological tools of bureaucracy and surveillance.
  9. The regime is heavily subsidized, if not completely funded, thanks to massive American military aid.

Finally, to clarify what the full-length post tried to convey, here are two "money quotes" from there:

“Start-Up Nation”? The most amazing start-up in Israeli history remains the establishment of the Occupation regime. One teeny problem: we forgot to make our strategically timed exit...

...If you are still confused as to what this little post’s message is:

Post-1967, Israel’s economy became an Occupation economy first and foremost. Setting up the Occupation regime gave us our biggest economic growth spurt. Since then, the Occupation’s woes have given us our worst crises.

Yes, there is also Israeli hi-tech, and there is also macro-economic policy. But studying Israel’s macro-economy without explicitly entering the Occupation regime into the picture, is – my apologies if this offends anyone – tantamount to economic malpractice.

Ok, enough Cliff's Notes. Feel free to comment on them, or about the full-length post, down here.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Juan Cole and Chris Hedges - Monday stories (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, SCFrog

    Juan Cole, history prof Univ of MI

    ain't that just grand! land grab and resource extraction!!! and going on during peace talks!! and USA govnt support with the largest payment to any other government!

    Israelis plan new Colonies, Oil Drilling, on Palestinian Land during “Peace Talks”

    and Chris Hedges who spent 7 years in Mid East and for some of that time the head of the NY Times Mid East bureau

    he uses his experience along with book by Max Blumenthal which is a scathing treatment of the right wing government in Isreal

    Imploding the Myth of Israel

    Israel has been poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It has been morally bankrupted by the sanctification of victimhood, which it uses to justify an occupation that rivals the brutality and racism of apartheid South Africa. Its democracy—which was always exclusively for Jews—has been hijacked by extremists who are pushing the country toward fascism. Many of Israel’s most enlightened and educated citizens—1 million of them—have left the country. Its most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists—Israeli and Palestinian—are subject to constant state surveillance, arbitrary arrests and government-run smear campaigns. Its educational system, starting in primary school, has become an indoctrination machine for the military. And the greed and corruption of its venal political and economic elite have created vast income disparities, a mirror of the decay within America’s democracy.

    And yet, the hard truths about Israel remain largely unspoken. Liberal supporters of Israel decry its excesses. They wring their hands over the tragic necessity of airstrikes on Gaza or Lebanon or the demolition of Palestinian homes. They assure us that they respect human rights and want peace. But they react in inchoate fury when the reality of Israel is held up before them. This reality implodes the myth of the Jewish state. It exposes the cynicism of a state whose real goal is, and always has been, the transfer, forced immigration or utter subjugation and impoverishment of Palestinians inside Israel and the occupied territories. Reality shatters the fiction of a peace process. Reality lays bare the fact that Israel routinely has used deadly force against unarmed civilians, including children, to steal half the land on the West Bank and crowd forcibly displaced Palestinians into squalid, militarized ghettos while turning their land and homes over to Jewish settlers. Reality exposes the new racial laws adopted by Israel as those once advocated by the fanatic racist Meir Kahane. Reality unveils the Saharonim detention camp in the Negev Desert, the largest detention center in the world. Reality mocks the lie of open, democratic debate, including in the country’s parliament, the Knesset, where racist diatribes and physical threats, often enshrined into law, are used to silence and criminalize the few who attempt to promote a civil society. Liberal Jewish critics inside and outside Israel, however, desperately need the myth, not only to fetishize Israel but also to fetishize themselves. Strike at the myth and you unleash a savage vitriol, which in its fury exposes the self-adulation and latent racism that lie at the core of modern Zionism.

  •  it appears the RW will continue to defend the (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, poco, Assaf, lotlizard, SCFrog, Aunt Martha

    status quo even if the current situation is unsustainable in the long run.  There are several time bombs facing future Israeli leadership, the most obvious being the population or demographic bomb which Sharon feared so much.  Without immigration, the ethnic non-Jewish population is outpopulating the Jewish population.  Immigration has always been the great leveler.  The fall of the USSR and domestic upheaval in other countries gave Israel a windfall of new immigrants.  (From memory) it seems that immigration from the former USSR has diverted itself to the EU rather than Israel while other countries that are the source of new Israeli immigration also seems to have declined with small hopes of immigration returning to former levels in the long term.
    Second time bomb is water.  While Israel has been successful in annexing those West Bank areas with aquifers, these water sources are inadequate for future development.  This was the reason behind the Israeli incursion to Lebanon headed for the Litani.  Israeli access to the Litani would have solved some of their water problems short term.  Long term, they are still dependent on their neighbors, such as Turkey, not turning off the tap.  The current crisis with the Dead Sea and its continuing depletion illustrates the problems of water and development issues.  This does not take into account any future droughts such as the most recent one.
    Third time bomb is the political unrest in the region.  It appears there may be a Shia' Renaissance in the offing in the guise of the Arab Spring.  Certainly, Israeli and Saudi interference in other countries in the region was to preserve current Sunni leaderships and to block Iran's regional ambitions as the fear is for a Shia' Crescent to emerge from the unrest (this would also include any Sunni or other allies with Iran; this is the ME after all and alliances there can strain credulity at times)
       

  •  What an amazing, eye-opening diary. Well done! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Assaf, lotlizard, Aunt Martha, poco

    Talk about your Kuhnian paradigm-shift. You have truly blown my mind.

    In your final 9 points, you show how the official Israeli version blurs the lines of reality on so many levels. And no wonder the idea of Boycott Divestment & Sanctions is so frightening to the Israeli powers that be, and is treated as heresy. If you pulled apart this tangled mess of oppression, you'd burst an economy built on bubbles for 40 years.

    And your original article has even more. I'll go read that, and the comments there, later today.

    I'm in awe, Assaf. Thanks for bringing this to I/P. I look forward to seeing it on the rec list, where it belongs. It will be particularly interesting to see The Nation, Mother Jones, or other publications and websites spreading this article and discussion further.

    As I said, this offers a massive paradigm-shift to our views of Israel, her apartheid policies, and how the rest of the world can work to undermine them with BDS and united political pressure.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:50:42 AM PST

    •  Thanks Brecht! I'm humbled. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, lotlizard, Aunt Martha, poco

      You might be interested to know, that the most common type of comment, esp. to the Hebrew version, was that I'm a sloppy fraud who "forces his leftism on reality". That I should leave economics to "the real economists" and stop dissing neoliberals (the Hebrew version did have a bit too many mentions of neoliberals - even though anyone with minimal reading comprehension could still figure out they are not the main topic).

      •  We're in an age of fear, reaction and inquisitions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Assaf, SCFrog, Aunt Martha, poco

        Israel's right-wing is playing the same game as our own: denying the tide of history. Immigration is a time-bomb (though Israel has too little, while our right-wing fears too much - which is economic idiocy, as we thrive on immigration). Running out of water is a time-bomb. But ripping apart the middle-class, the engine of our prosperity, is the worst. I know it's true in the US; and I think in Israel, too.

        This lousy neoliberal economic fairytale, which traded a robust American middle class in for a dream of creating billionaires and praying for trickle-down: It's the second most dangerous American lie, after climate-change denial. Why are we still clinging to a myth, which reality has conclusively disproven? But there's too much substance in your article, for me to turn sideways into a tangential rant.

        Your article is hard enough for conventional wisdom to digest that I know many mainstream publications will be in a desperate hurry not to publish or address it.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:15:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The irony is that 1967-1973 gave a huge lift to... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, Aunt Martha, poco

          ...Israel's working class and turned most of it into middle class, with Occupied Palestinians becoming the new working class.

          Then on the shambles of the 1980s fiscal mess, neoliberalism showed up as a "Shock Doctrine" recipe, and has dominated economic policy ever since.

          Now the worn-out middle class is crying out as these policies shred it. Completely ignoring, of course, the Occupied Palestinians who over the same time period have lost even the privilege of being Israel's servants, and are now warehoused as "human surplus" (to use the ingenious words of Mike Davis).

          But no, we are a "Start-Up Nation" whose shrewd neoliberal economics have made it immune to its "geopolitical" surroundings.

          Ya right.

          •  Quaere, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Assaf, Aunt Martha, poco

            if the labor and markets of Palestinians are necessary to underpin the Israeli proper's economy, why is there such constant pressure to remove them to some other place, ANY other place. Then who will do the work and buy the goods, according to those pushing and pushing for Palestinian removal?

            •  Palestinians have already been largely pushed off (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aunt Martha, poco

              from their pivotal position in the Israel labor market (see in the diary). Although Occupied-Palestinian laborers for Israeli businesses still probably number well into six digits.

              Anyway, the forces pushing to outright expel them are ideologically driven; economic considerations are way down the list for them compared with their main issue which is racist supremacy and nationalist purity.

  •  Taking action (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, SCFrog, Assaf, Aunt Martha, poco

    One of the things people in the west can do is to use their local advertising laws like the US "Truth in Advertising" regime to prevent Israel disseminating the lies about their borders.

    In London a few years ago the Israeli  tourist board put up posters on the Underground showing sites in the OPT claiming they were in Israel. These were subsequently banned but I noticed the maps on their web site wiped Palestine from the map. I complained to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority which required them to amend the map. Last time I checked (some time ago) the US version of their site still shows no borders and extends the borders of Israel.

    Earlier this year, there was a diary about SodaStream's claim that their factory in the OPT was in Israel. This was also reflected in the body of one page on their web site - now no longer at least in the UK site.

    USE these laws to fight back against this Israeli propaganda effort. Contact the Federal Trade Commission if you see this sort of false claim.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:30:45 AM PST

  •  How do levels of US aid play into Israel's growth? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SCFrog, Assaf, Aunt Martha, poco

    I'm reading your original article in +972 mag, and I came across:

    1967 established Israel as a regional power. But this geopolitical upgrade came at a direct geopolitical price: the Soviet bloc immediately cut off all ties with Israel, turning it into an explicit Cold War pawn for better or worse. The Arab economic boycott, in place since 1948 but rather toothless during its first two decades, began to intensify, reaching its peak after 1973. . . . It is after 1967 that Palestinians make their appearance as an autonomous player, launching guerrilla and terror attacks, first from Jordan and Gaza, then from Lebanon and worldwide. By contrast, the years immediately before 1967 were among the calmest in Israeli history. So neither geopolitics per se nor the objective security situation were the economic ATM making Israel rapidly wealthier between the summer of 1967 and the fall 1973.
    Between all these developments, and Kissinger having the ear of Nixon, I'd guess that Israel was looking both beleaguered, and vital to US Cold War and Middle East influence. Have you looked into levels of US aid to Israel, historically?

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:43:20 AM PST

    •  You do address this in your article, somewhat: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Assaf, Aunt Martha, poco
      The number of employees in Israel’s “security industries” increased by 150 percent from 1967 to 1973 (h/t Shir Hever for the datum). This was yet another stimulus to Israel’s economy, and an increasing chunk of it came from the United States as military assistance (which was essentially nonexistent pre-1967). . . .

      On an overall calculation, my guess is that Israel is still somewhat ahead, economically, on the cumulative gains and losses from its occupation gamble. This is mostly at the expense of Palestinians, of course, but also increasingly at the expense of the U.S., the EU and others who have poured increasing amounts of money and effort to keep the situation in Israel-Palestine from falling completely off a cliff. . . . Yet, the occupation’s annual balance is probably negative nowadays, and getting worse, on average, every year.

      I'm still curious how US aid has varied over the last 40 years; and how Israel has found oblique ways to benefit from the US and other countries. By propping up Palestine with charity, we have relieved Israel of economic and political responsibility for the suffering they perpetuate.

      My gut sense is, the status quo in Israel is unsustainable, and things will be changing radically over the next decade.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 08:06:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AFAIK, US aid was nearly nonexistent pre-1967. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, Aunt Martha, poco

        1967-73 it started to mushroom, then post-1973 and even more so as part of the 1979 Egypt agreement, it was set in stone at the present levels.

        So yes, Israel has found a way to leverage the Occupation and its troubles as a racketeering scheme to siphon in foreign aid.

        I'm too rushed to find a bona fide source for you on that - but the data are probably available.

        •  I'm glad you wrote this diary, which is the best (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Assaf, poco

          diary I've seen out of Adalah in months, and indeed the best diary I've seen on Daily Kos in weeks.

          It really should have made the rec list, and led to wider debate. Yesterday we had a diary on the rec list all day, which was a 6 line quote and 7 lines of original writing. It was billed as breaking news, but was in fact a two-year-old story, which left out half the story, thus distorting the while thing. The diarist left after six comments, rather than take responsibility for the diary's obvious shortcomings. Please may we have a better rec list?

          Thank you for writing a solid diary for Adalah. David Harris Gershon and InAntalya have been doing all the heavy lifting. I'd really like to see more diaries on I/P.

          I don't know what your schedule is like, but I'll bet if you sent a message out to Adalah, and perhaps some kosmails and emails, you could republish this diary on Friday or Saturday and get a lot more participation. Whatever you do or don't, well done.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 02:31:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. My bad 4 posting on post-election morning. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht, poco

            In general, my impression is that DKos has turned staunchly domestic recently. The only global issue people have been passionate about in recent months is global warming (and good that people care about it!).

            I can't really complain, I-P has been a perennial attention-hogger, and indeed the recent "news" out of I-P have been either the usual spate of political red herrings or the usual bad (but not catastrophic) news from the ground.

            Getting a diary on the rec list is a bit of a crap shoot, unless you're a first-tier diarist (in terms of # of followers) like David.

            It's good we have him :)

            Indeed, it seems that the most recent foreign-policy diary to make the rec list, on any FP topic, was his diary from Saturday (I just checked).

            But he, too, has been writing far less I-P recently.

            It's ok... I did it for posterity and b/c I wanted to share the info with the community. The original Hebrew story is the one that got the most attention, which is usually the case. I will repost on The Only Democracy in a couple of days.

            Cheers, Assaf

            •  "DKos has turned staunchly domestic recently" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Assaf, poco

              Mostly. Syria was buzzing hard for a few weeks, and InAntalya got a lot of props for his coverage.

              The other world story that DKos covers is, Snowden in Moscow, and the global fallout from his revelations, in Germany, England, Brazil et al.

              Come to think of it, we even had an Australian election, where Rupert Murdoch used his 2/3 ownership of Aussie newspapers to help tip the scale, and that got hardly any diaries.

              Republicans-from-Hell keep us pretty het up here at home. Thanks for bringing some research and an original view in this diary.

              "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

              by Brecht on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 04:40:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Israel/Palestine History (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Assaf, Brecht, Aunt Martha, poco

    Excellent diary.  Most Israelis have successfully avoided confronting the undersides of their history, and of course, Americans are mostly ignorant, thanks to our media's acceptance of the preferred Israeli narratives.  See my diary, published a little while ago today, which points out a few examples.    

    Author, Chomsky's Challenge to American Power www.tony-greco.com

    by Tony Greco on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:25:59 AM PST

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