Why do American Jews find it so difficult to be critical of Israel’s policies?

This issue of Tikkun looks at the “ongoing fear and tribalism within the Jewish comunity. Kim Chernin analyzes the Seven Pillars of Jewish Denial, while Joel Kovel attacks Zionism’s Bad Conscience. Neil Altman draws on the psychology of denial to urge us Not to Get Polarized, and Starhawk asserts that Loving the Jewish Community Means Supporting Justice. Is Alexander Cockburn in denial? Dennis Fox invites him to Join the Expanding Middle searching for Middle East peace.” Tikkun Of note, Tikkun‘s email system has been hacked, according to a recent warning message to their mailing list from its managing editor. Recipients either get hateful letters about Tikkun, Michael Lerner and the efforts toward peace and reconciliation in the Middle East; or messages which purport to be from Tikkun attempting to alienate readers with a distorted message. According to the warning,

this assault has been happening across the board of all groups

supporting peace and justice in Palestine and also groups who

question the wisdom of the Iraq war. We know for sure that the first

set of emails are being put out by a group of right-wing Jews in

Israel and the U.S. There is considerable debate about who is

doing the second set–some people believe that this is the first

step in the new campaign of dis-information and disruption of peace

groups being sponsored by the FBI or CIA now that the domestic

restraints on their activities imposed in the aftermath of the Vietnam

war have been lifted so that they could participate more aggressively

in the war against terror. Others believe that this campaign is one

initiated by domestic right-wing groups who have media

sophistication. We have no idea who is doing this or how to stop


USB On-the-Go gets going

A new technology that allows handheld devices to share files directly, without the need for a PC, could be on store shelves by the end of the year. Several manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, are evaluating ways to use an offshoot of the Universal Serial Bus 2.0 specification called USB On-the-Go. Using it, a person could plug a handheld or digital camera straight into a printer to produce a photo. PDAs also could swap documents directly or back up data by connecting directly to a portable hard drive. The technology is also expected to be used in cell phones and MP3 players. CNET

XPdite – Quickly replace a dangerous Windows XP file

If you use WinXP and are hesitant about installing SP1, which seems problem-ridden

, at least fix the gaping security hole that, according to Brian Livingston,

“allows a malicious person to erase all

the files in an entire Windows XP folder — such as

C:\Windows — merely by sending victims an e-mail, no

attachment required.

I’m choosing not to say exactly how to do this. But the

gist is that Microsoft has created a new protocol it

calls hcp:// for the Help and Support Center

introduced in XP. This protocol can be initiated by a

Web page or an e-mail. Help then runs with elevated

privileges, to devastating effect.”

XPdite, from Steve Gibson, fixes this vulnerability with a single download and click.

Bush’s Nuclear Gamble:

Robert Parry: “The U.S. debate over invading Iraq has so far focused on only one part of the nuclear danger. George W. Bush has pushed an emotional hot button by alleging Saddam Hussein is close to having a nuclear bomb and is ready to share it with terrorists…

But what has not been examined in any detail is whether invading Iraq might actually hasten the day when nuclear weapons fall into the hands of anti-American terrorists. Indeed, that nightmare scenario might be as likely or even more likely if Bush gets his way on an invasion.”

At this juncture, inexorably tumbling toward war without much effective opposition, the antiwar Left resorts to more and more dramatic warnings of consequences governed by the laws of unintended outcomes (or is it ‘outcomes governed by the law of unintended consequences’?) and paradoxical intent. A credible antiwar argument has to be plausible and coherent and not seem to be grasping at straws to justify emotionally- or sentimentally-based opposition, if it is to influence any thoughtful listener who is not an absolute pacifist. Criticizing Bush for “alarmist rhetoric” in citing the Iraqi threat, its supposed linkage with al Qaeda, etc., can look like the pot calling the kettle black to some.

There may be a tendency to dismiss as particularly alarmist and manipulative warnings that Bush’s war plans may incinerate us all. As I’ve written in FmH over and over, we are lulled into complacency about nuclear threats by several factors. The first is what one of my mentors, antiwar psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, has called “nuclear numbing”, the difficulty thinking the unthinkable. Moreover, we have recently been further lulled, even if we broke through our denial to be able to contemplate nuclear annihilation in all its gruesome awe-ful detail, into thinking that the doomsday clock has been turned back by the end of the Cold War and that the nuclear threat is a thing of the past.

So it may be a struggle, but shouldn’t we consider with eyes wide open a scenario in which the US invasion inflames Muslim sentiment, Musharraf’s government falls to fundamentalist rioting, and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons fall into the hands of his extremist successors? Or one in which such a radicalized Pakistan inflames India into a nuclear exchange over the festering sore of Kashmir? Or that the US, under its recently revised nuclear posture, will use tactical battlefield nuclear armaments if the going gets rough on the road to Baghdad, or that Israel will be attacked during the war and use nuclear retaliation? And finally,

Another risk from a U.S. invasion would be the possibility of “copycat” interventions by other nuclear powers against their own “terrorists.” The Russians already are eyeing an invasion of Georgia to wipe out Chechen rebels hiding in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge. Farther east, the Indians want to wipe out Pakistani-backed Islamic extremists fighting in Kashmir. Communist China sees challenges from nationalist groups on the mainland and in Taiwan.

By throwing away international rules against invading other countries, the Bush administration might find it difficult to enforce the same rules when other countries are caught in their own wars against “terrorism.” The Consortium