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DailyKos bans writer for mocking settlements

What’s up with DailyKos? This isn’t the first time they’ve banned bloggers for writing about Israel and Palestine, but this surely is the dumbest case.  Guess that free trip to Israel really went to their heads.

Mondoweiss reports that Jane Stillwater got booted from DailyKos for making fun of, um, settlements.

Seriously. She made fun of illegal, immoral, ridiculously anti-peace, settlements, and US support for them as in:

“Our American government is currently financing and maintaining a fabulous all-comprehensive housing program that can provide you with modern newly-constructed state-of-the-art housing at either subsidized prices — or free!  And talk about location location location.  This wonderful model housing program isn’t located in undesirable places like the grungy old Boston inner city or shabby run-down parts of L.A.  And, unlike those tacky bankrupt schools in California and Mississippi, this place has outstanding schools too.  And its healthcare services, shopping centers and freeways are also top-of-the-line.

These fabulous new housing programs are located in a place that is sunny, modern, upscale and family-friendly — Israel!

According to USA Today, “Nefesh B’Nefesh, a non-profit organization, provides grants of $3,000 to $10,000 as an incentive for Jews to move [to Israel].  Nefesh B’Nefesh, which means ‘Soul to Soul,’ also helps arrange housing, jobs and schools for immigrants’ children.”

Read my less tongue-in-cheek op-ed here about the real horror of settlements, which, in fact, are made possible through US support.

Shame on DailyKos.

-Cecilie Surasky

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DailyKos (and others) get free trip to Israel, but won’t touch Israel-Palestine

Back in April, we were very upset to learn that the Israeli Foreign Ministry was organizing an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel for progressive American leaders and bloggers, led by the director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. (See the video above for folks you’ll recognize from outfits like HuffingtonPost, DailyKos, MyDD, and MoveOn. Let us know if you recognize any progressive Israeli leaders like folks from Rabbis for Human Rights, New Profile, ICAHD, or Tayush or… ).

Apparently, this was the first trip to Israel for the bloggers. Participants went to Sderot to see the devastation wrought by Qassam rockets, but needless to say, the group didn’t bother to head to the West Bank or Gaza beyond a meeting in Ramallah with the PA’s chief negotiator.

We wrote to some bloggers to urge that them to visit the Palestinian Occupied Territories, but got no response. At the time, most were keeping their names secret. (We think it was shame–how many of these folks actually wrote about the propaganda educational trip they were on? The few who did deserve kudos for their transparency. )

Israel, AIPAC and private philanthropists have long funded free trips to Israel as a way to shore up support for Israel’s so-called “war on terror”. What was so shocking was the ease with which left bloggers and leaders allowed themselves to be purchased with the promise of a free trip. (There’s no doubt about the objective of the trip.)

Now, Richard Silverstein at Tikun Olam points out, that the issue has been deliberately cleansed from one of the internet’s most influential liberal blogs.

Silverstein reports a recent interaction with a blogger who apparently has some sort of official capacity at DailyKos beyond a Diarist:

I introduced myself to the visiting blogger as a local political blogger who writes about U.S.-Israel relations and the presidential election. I asked her whether her blog (remember, I didn’t at the time know it was DK) ever covered the foreign policy implications of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

She shook her head sagely and said: “No.” I asked her why. “Because there’s just no upside in it for us. Too much dissension and disagreement.”

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