Venezuela admitted as full member of the MERCOSUR
On June 29, 2012, Venezuela was accepted as full member of MERCOSUR, while Paraguay was formally suspended due to the June 22 putsch. MERCOSUR is an EU-styled agreement between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay; Venezuela had signed a membership agreement in 2006, but was unable to join since the extremist, right-wing Paraguayan Congress refused to ratify the agreement. Yesterday, Paraguay was suspended until democratic elections take place; these are planned for next year. After the suspension, the remaining MERCOSUR members had ratified Venezuela’s joining agreement, thus in the same session—held in Mendoza, Argentina—it was announced that Venezuela’s official inauguration to the trade bloc will take place on July 31 in Río de Janeiro, Brazil. Does that mean that the American-backed putsch failed?
The Paraguayan putsch was odd since it came just a few months ahead of general elections. It was performed by a Machiavellian manipulation of the Paraguayan Constitution adopted after the end of the appalling military dictatorship of General Stroessner, who was a close ally of the USA. After the impeachment process was begun, a new law was rushed through to allow the lightning-fast procedure. Incredibly, the impeachment began on Thursday and was over on Friday. What was the rush? President Lugo was successfully implementing reforms that were opening the Paraguayan society, an oligarchy run by landowners. Former American President George W. Bush is among these. The parliamentary putsch was initiated after the occupation of lands by landless farmers in Canindeyu, an area in the fertile northeastern part of the country, ended in violent clashes with the police on June 15. Eleven farmers and six policemen died in the incident. Landowners decided to restore the old order before it was too late.
The fact this was a putsch run by the landowners was evident even while the parliamentary crime was being perpetrated. Federico Franco, who was Vice President at the moment—found time to give an outrageous interview to the CNN. “Is it true that 2% of the Paraguayan people own 80% of the country’s lands?” The CNN reporter asked in what looked like a question requested by Mr. Franco himself. “That is not true! 10% of the people own 80% of the land,” countered the soon to become president. Not surprisingly, the CNN report was highly partial; the shooting at protesters next to the Congress and the brutal takeover of the Paraguayan Public TV by the police were not reported by the American network. Following the successful impeachment, the former Vice President runs the country until the elections scheduled for next year. The militaristic Colorado party—which in the past was led by General Stroessner—is expected to return to power then.
The no-reaction—at least no-condemnation—of the putsch by the American government-which on paper supports democracy-is odd, especially considering that soon the power in Paraguay will be handed to the militaristic party which was an important ally of the USA during Operation Condor and other events related to the Cold War. One must seriously consider the option that this was an American-backed putsch, in the best fashion of the 20th century. Then, there is the Bush involvement.
Bush Involved in the Putsch?
It is difficult to find reliable reports on George W. Bush land ownership in Paraguay. The data brought here was compiled from the British Guardian—a respectable enough source—and from various South American media sources. On October 23, 2006, The Guardian reported “Rumours of Mr. Bush’s supposed forays into South American real estate surfaced during a recent 10-day visit to the country by his daughter Jenna Bush. Little is known about her trip to Paraguay, although officially she travelled with the UN children’s agency UNICEF to visit social projects. Photographers from the Paraguayan newspaper ABC Color tracked her down to one restaurant in Paraguay’s capital Asunción, where she was seen flanked by 10 security guards, and was also reported to have met Paraguay’s president, Nicanor Duarte, and the US ambassador to Paraguay, James Cason. Reports in sections of the Paraguayan media suggested she was sent on a family ‘mission’ to tie up the land purchase in the ‘chaco.’” Chaco is the name of the semi-arid lowland divided between Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina; the first two fought a bloody war over it in the 20th Century. The war was encouraged by oil-companies, which sought control over hypothetical oil fields. “Erasmo Rodríguez Acosta, the governor of the Alto Paraguay region where Mr. Bush’s new acquisition supposedly lies, told one Paraguayan news agency there were indications that Mr. Bush had bought land in Paso de Patria, near the border with Brazil and Bolivia,” the newspaper added. There are reports also involving Neil Bush, brother of the former American President, in the purchase. There is no need to rely on newspapers; official sources also commented on the issue.
In 2006, Luis D. Elia, Undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo partially reproduced by digital INFOBAE.com, in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842-acre farm in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia. He considered this Bush step counterproductive for regional power policies expressed by Presidents Nestor Kirchner (Argentina), Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) and Fidel Castro (Cuba). He added that “it is a bad signal that the Bush family is doing business with natural resources linked to the future of MERCOSUR.” The farm is not only large; it sits atop a vast field of natural gas. Moreover, it is near the Guaraní Aquifer, one of the world’s largest fresh water reserves. It is so large that it could provide 100 liters of water to every human for 200 years! As of now, the farm is inactive.
“This is just another Conspiracy Theory!”
The fact that the Bush family owns a ranch in Paraguay doesn’t make it part of a local putsch. That is for sure; yet, there are worrying signs that the landowners hit on democracy may have been influenced by this case. Paraguayan newspaper “E’a” reported in September 2011 on an ongoing investigation regarding the illegitimacy of the purchase. Apparently, the farm was bought with the silent help of the militaristic Colorado party which was in power back then. A fence was placed all around the farm, trapping native groups inside the area. The farm is inactive, and thus it violates the Paraguayan Constitution. In other words, the land belongs to the native groups and to the Bush family. Eventually, had the recently deposed elected government been allowed to implement its policies, the ranch would have been confiscated from the Bush family. Is that a good-enough reason for an American-backed putsch in Paraguay?
In the rest of the show, Jonathon Azaziah examines the efficacy of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, and reflects on the different groupings with the movement that seek to exclude Gilad Atzmon.
Originally published on CNI
How the “Special Relationship” was created
While many people are led to believe that US support for Israel is driven by the American establishment and U.S. national interests, the facts don’t support this theory. The reality is that for decades U.S. experts opposed Israel and its founding movement. They were simply outmaneuvered and eventually replaced.
Like many American policies, U.S. Middle East policies are driven by a special interest lobby. However, the Israel Lobby, as it is called today in the U.S., consists of vastly more than what most people envision in the word “lobby.”
As this article will demonstrate, it is considerably more powerful and pervasive than other lobbies. Components of it, both individuals and groups, have worked underground, secretly and even illegally throughout its history, as documented by scholars and participants.
And even though the movement for Israel has been operating in the U.S. for over a hundred years, most Americans are completely unaware of this movement and its attendant ideology – a measure of its unique power over public knowledge.
The success of this movement to achieve its goals, partly due to the hidden nature of much of its activity, has been staggering. It has also been at almost unimaginable cost.
It has led to massive tragedy in the Middle East: a hundred-year war of violence and loss; sacred land soaked in sorrow.
What is less widely known is how profoundly damaging this movement has been to the United States itself.
As we will see in this two-part examination of the pro-Israel movement, it has targeted virtually every significant sector of American society; worked to involve Americans in tragic, unnecessary, and profoundly costly wars; dominated Congress for decades; increasingly determined which candidates could become serious contenders for the U.S. presidency; and promoted bigotry toward an entire population, religion and culture.
It has promoted policies that have exposed Americans to growing danger, and then exaggerated this danger (while disguising its cause), fueling recent actions that dismember some of our nation’s most fundamental freedoms and cherished principles.
The Israel Lobby is just the tip of an older and far larger iceberg known as “political Zionism,” an international movement that began in the late 1800s with the goal of creating a Jewish state somewhere in the world. In 1897 this movement, led by a European journalist named Theodore Herzl, coalesced in the First Zionist World Congress, held in Basle, Switzerland, which established the World Zionist Organization, representing approximately 120 groups the first year; 900 the next.
While Zionists considered such places as Argentina, Uganda, and Texas, they eventually settled on Palestine for the location of their proposed Jewish State, even though Palestine was already inhabited by a population that was 95 percent Muslims and Christians, who owned 99 percent of the land. As numerous Zionist diary entries, letters, and other documents show, Zionists planned to push out these non-Jews – financially, if possible; violently if necessary.
Political Zionism in the U.S.
In the 1880s groups advocating the setting up of a Jewish state began popping up around the United States. Emma Lazarus, the poet whose words would adorn the Statue of Liberty, promoted Zionism throughout this decade. A precursor to the Israeli flag was created in Boston in 1891.
Reports from the Zionist World Congress in Basle, which four Americans had attended, gave this movement a major stimulus, galvanizing Zionist activities in American cities that had large Jewish populations.
By the early 1890s organizations promoting Zionism existed in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. In 1897-98 numerous additional Zionist societies were founded in the East and the Midwest. In 1898 the first annual conference of American Zionists convened in New York on the 4th of July, where they formed the Federation of American Zionists (FAZ).
In 1887 President Grover Cleveland appointed a Jewish ambassador to Turkey, which at that time controlled Palestine, Zionists’ target location for a Jewish state. Jewish historian David G. Dalin reports that presidents recognized the importance of the Turkish embassy for Jewish Americans, “…especially for the growing number of Zionists within the American Jewish electorate, since the Jewish homeland of Palestine remained under the direct control of the Turkish government.”
Every president, both Republican and Democrat, followed this precedent for the next 30 years. “During this era, the ambassadorship to Turkey came to be considered a quasi-Jewish domain,” writes Dalin. 
By 1910 the number of Zionists in the U.S. approached 20,000 and included lawyers, professors, and businessmen. Even in its infancy, when it was still considered relatively weak, Zionism was becoming a movement to which Congressmen listened, particularly in the eastern cities.
The movement continued to expand, and by 1914 several additional Zionist groups had cropped up. The religious Mizrachi faction was formed in 1903, the Labor party in 1905 and Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization, in 1912. And this was still just the beginning.
By 1922 there were 200,000 Zionists in the U.S. and by 1948 this had grown to almost a million.  The Yiddish press from a very early period espoused the Zionist cause. By 1923 only one New York Yiddish newspaper failed to qualify as Zionist. Yiddish dailies reached 535,000 families in 1927.
The State Department Objects
State Department officials – not dependent on votes and campaign donations, and charged with recommending and implementing policies beneficial to all Americans, not just one tiny sliver working on behalf of a foreign entity – were less enamored with Zionists, who they felt were trying to use the American government for a project damaging to the United States. In memo after memo, year after year, U.S. diplomatic and military experts pointed out that Zionism was counter to both U.S. interests and principles.
Secretary of State Philander Knox was perhaps the first in the pattern of State Department officials rejecting Zionist advances. In 1912, when the Zionist Literary Society approached the Taft administration for an endorsement, Knox turned them down flat, noting that “problems of Zionism involve certain matters primarily related to the interests of countries other than our own.”
Despite that small setback in 1912, Zionists` garnered a far more significant victory in the same year; one that was to have enormous consequences both internationally and in the United States and that was part of a pattern of influence that continues through today.
Louis Brandeis, Zionism, and the “Parushim”
In 1912 prominent Jewish American attorney Louis Brandeis, who was to go on to become a Supreme Court Justice, became a Zionist. Within two years he became head of the international Zionist Central Office, which had moved to America from Germany a little while before.
While Brandeis is an unusually well known Supreme Court Justice, very few Americans are aware of the significant role he played in World War I and of his connection to Palestine.
Brandeis recruited ambitious young men, often from Harvard, to work on the Zionist cause – and further their careers in the process. Author Peter Grose writes:
“Brandeis created an elitist secret society called the Parushim, the Hebrew word for ‘Pharisees’ and ‘separate,’ which grew out of Harvard’s Menorah Society. As the Harvard men spread out across the land in their professional pursuits, their interests in Zionism were kept alive by secretive exchanges and the trappings of a fraternal order. Each invited initiate underwent a solemn ceremony, swearing the oath ‘to guard and to obey and to keep secret the laws and the labor of the fellowship, its existence and its aims.’”
At the secret initiation ceremony, the new member was told:
“You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life–dearer than that of family, of school, of nation.”
‘We must work silently, through education and infection’
An early recruiter explained: “An organization which has the aims we have must be anonymous, must work silently, and through education and infection rather than through force and noise.” He wrote that to work openly would be “suicidal” for their objective.
Grose reports their methodology:
“The members set about meeting people of influence here and there, casually, on a friendly basis. They planted suggestions for action to further the Zionist cause long before official government planners had come up with anything. For example, as early as November 1915, a leader of the Parushim went around suggesting that the British might gain some benefit from a former declaration in support of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.”
Brandeis was a close personal friend of President Woodrow Wilson and used this position to advocate for the Zionist cause, at times serving as a conduit between British Zionists and the president.
In 1916 President Wilson named Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Although Brandeis officially resigned from all his private clubs and affiliations, including his leadership of Zionism, behind the scenes he continued this Zionist work, receiving daily reports in his Supreme Court chambers and issuing orders to his loyal lieutenants.
When the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) was reorganized in 1918, Brandeis was listed as its “honorary president.” However, he was more than just “honorary.”
As historian Donald Neff writes, “Through his lieutenants, he remained the power behind the throne.” One of these lieutenants was future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, another particularly well-regarded justice, and another whose Zionist activities have largely gone unnoted.
World War I & the Balfour Declaration
Unlike some wars, most analysts consider WWI a pointless conflict that resulted from diplomatic entanglements rather than some travesty of justice or aggression. Yet, it was catastrophic to a generation of Europeans.
The United States joined this unnecessary war a few years into the hostilities, costing many American lives, even though the U.S. was not party to the alliances that had drawn other nations into the fray. This even though Americans had been strongly opposed to entering the war and President Woodrow Wilson had won with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.”
Americans today are aware of these facts. What few know is that Zionists pushed for the U.S. to enter the war on Britain’s side as part of a deal to gain British support for their colonization of Palestine.
From the very beginning of their movement, Zionists realized that if they were to succeed in their goal of creating a Jewish state on land that was already inhabited by non-Jews, they needed backing from one of the “Great Powers.” They tried the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Palestine at the time, but were turned down (although they were told that Jews could settle throughout other parts of the Ottoman empire and become Turkish citizens).
They then turned to Britain, which was also initially less than enthusiastic. Famous English Arabists such as Gertrude Bell pointed out that Palestine was Arab and that Jerusalem was sacred to all three major monotheistic faiths.
Future Foreign Minister Lord George Curzon similarly stated that Palestine was already inhabited by half a million Arabs who would “not be content to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the latter.”
However, once the British were embroiled in World War I, and particularly during 1916, a disastrous year for the Allies, Zionists were able to play a winning card. Zionist leaders promised the British government that Zionists in the U.S. would push America to enter the war on the side of the British, if the British promised to support a Jewish home in Palestine afterward.
As a result, in 1917 British Foreign Minister Lord Balfour issued a letter to Zionist leader Lord Rothschild. Known as the Balfour Declaration, this letter promised that Britain would “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and to “use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”
The letter then qualified this somewhat by stating that it should be “clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The “non-Jewish communities” were 90 percent of Palestine’s population at that time, vigorous Zionist immigration efforts having slightly expanded the percentage of Jews living in Palestine by then.
While this letter was a less than ringing endorsement of Zionism, Zionists considered it a major breakthrough as it cracked open a door that they would later force wider and wider open.
These Balfour-WWI negotiations are referred to in various documents. For example, Samuel Landman, secretary of the World Zionist Organization, described them in a 1935 article in World Jewry:
“After an understanding had been arrived at between Sir Mark Sykes and [Zionists] Weizmann and Sokolow, it was resolved to send a secret message to Justice Brandeis that the British Cabinet would help the Jews to gain Palestine in return for active Jewish sympathy and for support in the USA for the Allied cause, so as to bring about a radical pro-Ally tendency in the United States.”
British Colonial Secretary Lord Cavendish, in a memorandum to the British Cabinet in 1923, reminded his colleagues:
“The object [of the Balfour Declaration] was to enlist the sympathies on the Allied side of influential Jews and Jewish organizations all over the world… and it is arguable that the negotiations with the Zionists…did in fact have considerable effect in advancing the date at which the United States government intervened in the war.”
Former British Prime Minister Lloyd George similarly referred to this deal, telling a British commission in 1935:
“Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word.”
American career Foreign Service Officer Evan M. Wilson, who had served as Minister-Consul General in Jerusalem, writes of Balfour:
In 1917 President Wilson, who had been voted into office by Americans who believed his promises that he would keep them out of the war, changed course and plunged the U.S. into a tragic and pointless European conflict in which hundreds of thousands were killed and injured. Over 1,200 American citizens who opposed the war were rounded up and imprisoned, some for years.
The influence of Brandeis and other Zionists in the U.S. had enabled Zionists to form an alliance with Britain, one of the world’s great powers, a remarkable achievement for a non-state group and a measure of Zionists’ immense power. As historian Kolsky states, the Zionist movement was now “an important force in international politics.”
Paris Peace Conference 1919: Zionists defeat Christian leaders’ calls for self-determination
After the war, the victors met in a peace conference and agreed to a set of Peace Accords that addressed, among many issues, the fate of Ottoman Empire’s Middle East territories. The Allies stripped the defeated Empire of its Middle Eastern holdings and divided them between Britain and France, which were to hold them under a “mandate” system until the populations were “ready” for self-government. Britain got the mandate over Palestine.
Zionists, including Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, the World Zionist Organization, and an American delegation, went to the conference to lobby for a Jewish “home” in Palestine and to push for Balfour wording to be incorporated in the peace accords. The official U.S. delegation to the Peace Conference also contained a number of highly placed Zionists.
Distinguished American Christians posted in the Middle East, who consistently supported self-determination, went to Paris to oppose Zionists. Numerous prominent Christian leaders in the U.S. – including two of the most celebrated pastors of their day – also opposed Zionism. However, as a pro-Israel author notes, they were “simply outgunned” by Zionists.
The most prominent American in the Middle East at the time, Dr. Howard Bliss, President of Beirut’s Syrian Protestant College (later to become the American University of Beirut), traveled to Paris to urge forming a commission to determine what the people of the Middle East wanted for themselves, a suggestion that was embraced by the U.S. diplomatic staff in Paris.
Princeton Professor Philip Brown, in Cairo for the YMCA, provided requested reports to the U.S. State Department on what Zionism’s impact would be on Palestine. He stated that it would be disastrous for both Arabs and Jews and went to Paris to lobby against it.
William Westermann, director of the State Department’s Western Asia Division, which covered the region, similarly opposed the Zionist position. He wrote that “[it] impinges upon the rights and the desires of most of the Arab population of Palestine.” Westermann and other US diplomats felt that Arab claims were much more in line with Wilson’s principles of self-determination and circulated Arab material.
President Wilson decided to send a commission to Palestine to investigate the situation in person. After spending six weeks in the area interviewing both Jews and Palestinians, the commission, known as the King-Crane commission, recommended against the Zionist position of unlimited immigration of Jews to make Palestine a distinctly Jewish state.
The commissioners stated that the erection of a Jewish state in Palestine could be accomplished only with “the gravest trespass upon the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine,” pointing out that to subject the Palestinians “to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle [of self-determination] and of the peoples’ rights…”
They went on to point out that “the well-being and development” of the people in the region formed “a sacred trust,” that the people should become completely free, and that the national governments “should derive their authority from the initiative and free choice of the native populations.”
The report stated said that meetings with Jewish representatives made it clear that “the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine,” concluded that armed force would be required to accomplish this, and urged the Peace Conference to dismiss the Zionist proposals. The commission recommended that “the project for making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth should be given up.”
Zionists through Brandeis dominated the situation, however, and the report was suppressed until after the Peace Accords were enacted. As a pro-Israel historian noted, “with the burial of the King-Crane Report, a major obstacle in the Zionist path disappeared.” The US delegation was forced to follow Zionist directives.
Ultimately, the mandate over Palestine given to Britain, supported the Zionist project and included the Balfour language. According to the mandate, Britain would be “responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration … in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….”
Brandeis and Frankfurter vs. U.S. diplomat
There are various documented cases in which fanatical Zionists exploited, exaggerated, invented, or even perpetrated “anti-Semitic” incidents both to procure support and to drive Jews to immigrate to the Zionist-designated homeland. A few examples are discussed below.
One such case involved a young diplomat named Hugh Gibson, who in 1919 was nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland. After he arrived in Poland, Gibson, who was highly regarded and considered particularly brilliant, began to report that there were far fewer anti-Semitic incidents than Americans were led to believe. He wrote his mother: “These yarns are exclusively of foreign manufacture for anti-Polish purposes.”
His dispatches came to the attention of Brandeis and his protégé (and future supreme Court Justice) Felix Frankfurter, who demanded a meeting with Gibson. Gibson later wrote of their accusations:
“I had [Brandeis and Frankfurter claimed] done more mischief to the Jewish race than anyone who had lived in the last century. They said…that my reports on the Jewish question had gone around the world and had undone their work…. They finally said that I had stated that the stories of excesses against the Jews were exaggerated, to which I replied that they certainly were and I should think any Jew would be glad to know it.”
Frankfurter hinted that if Gibson continued these reports, Zionists would block his confirmation by the Senate.
Gibson was outraged and sent a 21-page letter to the State Department. In it he shared his suspicions that this was part of “a conscienceless and cold-blooded plan to make the condition of the Jews in Poland so bad that they must turn to Zionism for relief.”
In 1923 another American diplomat in Poland, Vice Consul Monroe Kline, echoed Gibson’s analysis:
Zionists and Nazis
Perhaps the most extreme case of Zionist exploitation of anti-Semitism to further their cause came during the rise of Adolf Hitler. Historians have documented that Zionists sabotaged efforts to find safe havens for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in order to convince the world that Jews could only be safe in a Jewish state.
When FDR made several efforts to provide havens for Nazi refugees, Zionists opposed these projects because they did not include Palestine.
Morris Ernst, FDR’s international envoy for refugees, wrote in his memoir that when he worked to help find refuge for those fleeing Hitler, “…active Jewish leaders decried, sneered and then attacked me as if I were a traitor. At one dinner party I was openly accused of furthering this plan of freer immigration [into the U.S.] in order to undermine political Zionism… Zionist friends of mine opposed it.”
Journalist Erskine B. Childers, son of a former Irish Prime Minister, wrote in the Spectator in 1960, “One of the most massively important features of the entire Palestine struggle was that Zionism deliberately arranged that the plight of the wretched survivors of Hitlerism should be a ‘moral argument’ which the West had to accept.”
He explained that “this was done by seeing to it that Western countries did not open their doors, widely and immediately, to the inmate of the DP [displaced persons] camps.”
Childers, author of several books on conflict resolution and peace-keeping who later became Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, commented: “It is incredible that so grave and grim a campaign has received so little attention in accounts of the Palestine struggle – it was a campaign that literally shaped all subsequent history. It was done by sabotaging specific Western schemes to admit Jewish DPs.”
Zionist fake “hate” attacks on Iraq Jews
Zionists wished for a massive “in-gathering of Jews” in one state, but most Iraqi Jews wanted nothing to do with it, according to Iraq’s then-Chief Rabbi. “Iraqi Jews will be forever against Zionism,” the rabbi stated[AU1] .
“Jews and Arabs have enjoyed the same rights and privileges for 1,000 years and do not regard themselves as a distinctive separate part of this nation,” the rabbi declared.
Zionists worked to change that by covertly attacking Iraqi Jews so as to induce them to “flee” to Israel. Zionists planted bombs in [AU2] synagogues and in an American building [AU3] “in an attempt to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews,” according to Author and former CIA officer Wilbur Crane Eveland.
“Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel,” writes Eveland, and “… most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had ‘rescued’ really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish population.”
Similarly, Naeim Giladi, a Jewish-Iraqi author who later lived in Israel and the U.S., describes this program from the inside: “I write about what the first prime minister of Israel called ‘cruel Zionism.’ I write about it because I was part of it.”
Giladi states that “Jews from Islamic lands did not emigrate willingly to Israel.” In order “to force them to leave,” Giladi writes, “Jews killed Jews.” He goes on to say that in an effort “to buy time to confiscate ever more Arab lands, Jews on numerous occasions rejected genuine peace initiatives from their Arab neighbors.”
The modern Israel Lobby is born
The immediate precursor to today’s pro-Israel lobby began in the early 1940s under the leadership of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, originally from Lithuania. He created the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), which by 1943 had acquired a budget of half a million dollars at a time when a nickel bought a loaf of bread.
In addition to this money, Zionists had become influential in creating the United Jewish Appeal in 1939, giving them access to the organization’s gargantuan financial resources: $14 million in 1941, $150 million by 1948.
With its extraordinary funding, AZEC embarked on a campaign to target every sector of American society. In the words of AZEC organizer Sy Kenen, it launched “a political and public relations offensive to capture the support of Congressmen, clergy, editors, professors, business and labor.” 
AZEC instructed activists to “make direct contact with your local Congressman or Senator” and to go after union members, wives and parents of servicemen, and Jewish war veterans. AZEC provided activists with form letters to use and schedules of anti-Zionist lecture tours to oppose and disrupt.
A measure of its power came in 1945 when Silver disliked a British move in 1945 that would be harmful to Zionists, AZEC booked Madison Square Garden, ordered advertisements, and mailed 250,000 announcements – the first day. By the second day they had organized demonstrations in 30 cities, a letter-writing campaign, and convinced 27 U.S. Senators to give speeches.
Grassroots Zionist action groups were organized with more than 400 local committees under 76 state and regional branches. AZEC funded books, articles and academic studies; millions of pamphlets were distributed. There were massive petition and letter writing campaigns. AZEC targeted college presidents and deans, managing to get more than 150 to sign one petition.
Rabbi Elmer Berger, executive director of the American Council for Judaism, which opposed Zionism in the 1940s and 50s, writes in his memoirs that there was a “ubiquitous propaganda campaign reaching just about every point of political leverage in the country.”
Berger and other anti-Zionist Jewish Americans tried to organize against “the deception and cynicism with which the Zionist machine operated,” but failed to obtain anywhere near their level of funding. Among other things, would-be dissenters were afraid of “the savagery of personal attacks” anti-Zionists endured.
Berger writes that when he and a colleague opposed a Zionist resolution in Congress, Emanuel Cellar, a New York Democrat who was to serve in Congress for almost 50 years, told them: “They ought to take you b…s out and shoot you.”
When it was unclear that President Harry Truman would support Zionism, Cellar and a committee of Zionists told him that they had persuaded Dewey to support the Zionist policy and demanded that Truman also take this stand. Cellar reportedly pounded on Truman’s table and said that it Truman did not do so, “We’ll run you out of town.
Richard Stevens, author of American Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1942-1947, reports that Zionists infiltrated the boards of several Jewish schools that they felt didn’t sufficiently promote the Zionist cause. When this didn’t work, Stevens writes, they would start their own pro-Zionist schools.
Stevens writes that in 1943-44 the ZOA distributed over a million leaflets and pamphlets to public libraries, chaplains, community centers, educators, ministers, writers and “others who might further the Zionist cause.”
Alfred Lilienthal, who had worked in the State Department, served in the U.S. Army in the Middle East from 1943-45, and became a member of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism, reports that Zionist monthly sales of books totaled between 3,000 and 4,000 throughout 1944-45.
He reports that Zionists subsidized books by non-Jewish authors that supported the Zionist agenda. They would then promote these books jointly with commercial publishers. Several of them became best sellers.
Zionists manufacture Christian support
Secret Zionist funds, eventually reaching $150,000 in 1946, were used to revive an elitist Protestant group, the American Palestine Committee.
Historian and former New York Times journalist Peter Grose, sympathetic to Zionism, writes that the Christian committee’s operations “were hardly autonomous. Zionist headquarters thought nothing of placing newspaper advertisements on the clergymen’s behalf without bothering to consult them in advance, until one of the committee’s leaders meekly asked at least for prior notice before public statements were made in their name.”
AZEC formed another group among clergymen, the Christian Council on Palestine. An internal AZEC memo stated that the aim of both groups was to “crystallize the sympathy of Christian America for our cause.”
By the end of World War II the Christian Council on Palestine had grown to 3,000 members and the American Palestine Committee boasted a membership of 6,500 public figures, including senators, congressmen, cabinet members, governors, state officers, mayors, jurists, clergymen, educators, writers, publishing, and civic and industrial leaders.
Historian Richard Stevens writes that Christian support was largely gained by exploiting their wish to help people in need. Steven writes that Zionists would proclaim “the tragic plight of refugees fleeing from persecution and finding no home,” thus linking the refugee problem with Palestine as allegedly the only solution.
Stevens explains that the reason for this strategy was clear: “…while many Americans might not support the creation of a Jewish state, traditional American humanitarianism could be exploited in favor of the Zionist cause through the refugee problems.”
Few if any of these Christian supporters had any idea that the creation of the Jewish state would entail a massive expulsion of hundreds of thousands of the non-Jews who made up the large majority of Palestine’s population, creating a new and much longer lasting refugee problem.
Nor did they learn that during and after Israel’s founding 1947-49 war, Zionist forces attacked a number of Christian sites. Donald Neff, former Time Magazine Jerusalem bureau chief and author of five books on Israel-Palestine, reports in detail on Zionist attacks on Christian sites in May 1948, the month of Israel’s birth.
Neff tells us that a group of Christian leaders complained that month that Zionists had killed and wounded hundreds of people, including children, refugees and clergy, at Christian churches and humanitarian institutions.
For example, the group charged that “‘many children were killed or wounded’ by Jewish shells on the Convent of Orthodox Copts…; eight refugees were killed and about 120 wounded at the Orthodox Armenian Convent…; and that Father Pierre Somi, secretary to the Bishop, had been killed and two wounded at the Orthodox Syrian Church of St. Mark.”
“The group’s statement said Arab forces had abided by their promise to respect Christian institutions, but that the Jews had forcefully occupied Christian structures and been indiscriminate in shelling churches,” reports Neff.
He quotes a Catholic priest: “‘Jewish soldiers broke down the doors of my church and robbed many precious and sacred objects. Then they threw the statues of Christ down into a nearby garden.’ [The priest] added that Jewish leaders had reassured that religious buildings would be respected, ‘but their deeds do not correspond to their words.’”
After Zionist soldiers invaded and looted a convent in Tiberias, the U.S. Consulate sent a bitter dispatch back to the State Department complaining of “the Jewish attitude in Jerusalem towards Christian institutions.’”
Zionist Colonization Efforts in Palestine
As early Zionists in the U.S. and elsewhere pushed for the creation of a Jewish state, Zionists in Palestine simultaneously tried to clear the land of Muslim and Christian inhabitants and replace them with Jewish immigrants.
This was a tall order, as Muslims and Christians accounted for more than 95 percent of the population of Palestine. Zionists planned to try first to buy up the land until the previous inhabitants had emigrated; failing this, they would use violence to force them out. This dual strategy was discussed in various written documents cited by numerous Palestinian and Israeli historians.
As this colonial project grew, the indigenous Palestinians reacted with occasional bouts of violence; Zionists had anticipated this since people usually resist being expelled from their land.
When the buy-out effort was able to obtain only a few percent of the land, Zionists created a number of terrorist groups to fight against both the Palestinians and the British. Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later bragged that Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large.
By the eve of the creation of Israel, the Zionist immigration and buyout project had increased the Jewish population of Palestine to 30 percent and land ownership from 1 percent to approximately 6 percent.
This was in 1947, when the British at last announced that they would end their control of Palestine. Britain turned the territory’s fate over to the United Nations.
Since a founding principle of the UN was “self-determination of peoples,” one would have expected to the UN to support fair, democratic elections in which inhabitants could create their own independent country.
Instead, Zionists pushed for a General Assembly resolution to give them a disproportionate 55 percent of Palestine. (While they rarely announced this publicly, their stated plan was to later take the rest of Palestine.
U.S. Officials Oppose Zionism
The U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and US interests.
For example, the director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs consistently recommended against supporting a Jewish state in Palestine. The director, named Loy Henderson, warned that the creation of such a state would go against locals’ wishes, imperil US interests and violate democratic principles.
Henderson emphasized that the US would lose moral standing in the world if it supported Zionism:
“At the present time the United States has a moral prestige in the Near and Middle East unequaled by that of any other great power. We would lose that prestige and would be likely for many years to be considered as a betrayer of the high principles which we ourselves have enunciated during the period of the [second world] war.”
When Zionists began pushing the partition plan in the UN, Henderson recommended strongly against supporting their proposal, saying that such a partition would have to be implemented by force and was “not based on any principle.” He warned that partition “would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future.…”
Henderson elaborated further on how plans to partition Palestine would violate American and UN principles:
“…[Proposals for partition] are in definite contravention to various principles laid down in the [UN] Charter as well as to principles on which American concepts of Government are based. These proposals, for instance, ignore such principles as self-determination and majority rule. They recognize the principle of a theocratic racial state and even go so far in several instances as to discriminate on grounds of religion and race.…”
Zionists attacked Henderson virulently, calling him “anti-Semitic,” demanding his resignation, and threatening his family. They pressured the State Department to transfer him elsewhere; one analyst describes this as “the historic game of musical chairs” in which officials who recommended Middle East policies “consistent with the nation’s interests” were moved on.
In 1948 Truman sent Henderson to the slopes of the Himalayas, as Ambassador to Nepal (then officially under India). (In recent years, virtually every State Department country desk has been directed by a Zionist.)
But Henderson was far from alone in making his recommendations. He wrote that his views were not only those of the entire Near East Division but were shared by “nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the [State] Department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems.”
He wasn’t exaggerating. Official after official and agency after agency opposed Zionism.
In 1947 the CIA reported that Zionist leadership was pursuing objectives that would endanger both Jews and “the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”
Henry F. Grady, who has been called “America’s top diplomatic soldier for a critical period of the Cold War,” headed a 1946 commission aimed at coming up with a solution for Palestine. Grady later wrote about the Zionist lobby and its damaging effect on US national interests.
Grady argued that without Zionist pressure, the U.S. would not have had “the ill-will with the Arab states, which are of such strategic importance in our ‘cold war’ with the soviets.” He also described the decisive power of the lobby:
“I have had a good deal of experience with lobbies but this group started where those of my experience had ended….. I have headed a number of government missions but in no other have I ever experienced so much disloyalty…. [I]n the United States, since there is no political force to counterbalance Zionism, its campaigns are apt to be decisive.”
Former Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson also opposed Zionism. Acheson’s biographer writes that Acheson “worried that the West would pay a high price for Israel.” Another Author, John Mulhall, records Acheson’s warning of the danger for American interests:
“…to transform [Palestine] into a Jewish State capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East.”
The head of the State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam, warned against the partition plan on moral grounds:
“U.S. support for partition of Palestine as a solution to that problem can be justified only on the basis of Arab and Jewish consent. Otherwise we should violate the principle of self-determination which has been written into the Atlantic Charter, the declaration of the United Nations, and the United Nations Charter – a principle that is deeply embedded in our foreign policy. Even a United Nations determination in favor of partition would be, in the absence of such consent, a stultification and violation of UN’s own charter.”
Merriam added that without consent, “bloodshed and chaos” would follow, a tragically accurate prediction.
An internal State Department memorandum accurately predicted how Israel would be born through armed aggression masked as defense:
“…the Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN.… In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.”
And American Vice Consul William J. Porter foresaw one last outcome of the “partition” plan: that no Arab state would actually ever come to be in Palestine.
Truman Accedes to Pro-Israel Lobby
President Harry Truman, however, ignored this advice and chose instead to support the Zionist partition plan. Truman’s political advisor, Clark Clifford, believed that the Jewish vote and contributions were essential to winning the upcoming presidential election, and that supporting the partition plan would garner that support. (Truman’s opponent, Dewey, took similar stands for similar reasons.)
Truman’s Secretary of State George Marshall, the renowned World War II General and author of the Marshall Plan, was furious to see electoral considerations taking precedence over policies based on national interest. He condemned what he called a “transparent dodge to win a few votes,” which would make “[t]he great dignity of the office of President seriously diminished.”
Marshall wrote that the counsel offered by Clifford “was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the President were to follow Mr. Clifford’s advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the President.…”
Secretary of Defense James Forrestal also tried, unsuccessfully, to oppose the Zionists. He was outraged that Truman’s Mideast policy was based on what he called “squalid political purposes,” asserting that “United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.”
Forrestal represented the general Pentagon view when he said that “no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point where it could endanger our national security.”
A report by the National Security Council warned that the Palestine turmoil was acutely endangering the security of the United States. A CIA report stressed the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil resources.
Similarly, George F. Kennan, the State Department’s Director of Policy Planning, issued a top-secret document on January 19, 1947 that outlined the enormous damage done to the US by the partition plan (“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine”).
Kennan cautioned that “important U.S. oil concessions and air base rights” could be lost through US support for partition and warned that the USSR stood to gain by the partition plan.
Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s nephew and a legendary intelligence agent, was another who was deeply disturbed by events, noting:
“The process by which Zionist Jews have been able to promote American support for the partition of Palestine demonstrates the vital need of a foreign policy based on national rather than partisan interests…. Only when the national interests of the United States, in their highest terms, take precedence over all other considerations, can a logical, farseeing foreign policy be evolved. No American political leader has the right to compromise American interests to gain partisan votes.…”
He went on:
“The present course of world crisis will increasingly force upon Americans the realization that their national interests and those of the proposed Jewish state in Palestine are going to conflict. It is to be hoped that American Zionists and non-Zionists alike will come to grips with the realities of the problem.”
Pro-Israel Pressure on General Assembly Members
When it was clear that, despite US support, the partition recommendation did not have the two-thirds support of the UN General Assembly required to pass, Zionists pushed through a delay in the vote. They then used this period to pressure numerous nations into voting for the recommendation. A number of people later described this campaign.
Robert Nathan, a Zionist who had worked for the US government and who was particularly active in the Jewish Agency, wrote afterward, “We used any tools at hand,” such as telling certain delegations that the Zionists would use their influence to block economic aid to any countries that did not vote the right way.
Another Zionist proudly stated: “Every clue was meticulously checked and pursued. Not the smallest or the remotest of nations, but was contacted and wooed. Nothing was left to chance.”
Financier and longtime presidential advisor Bernard Baruch told France it would lose U.S. aid if it voted against partition. Top White House executive assistant David Niles organized pressure on Liberia; rubber magnate Harvey Firestone pressured Liberia.
Latin American delegates were told that the Pan-American highway construction project would be more likely if they voted yes. Delegates’ wives received mink coats (the wife of the Cuban delegate returned hers); Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres reportedly received a blank checkbook. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its original vote opposing partition.
Longtime Zionist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, along with ten senators and Truman domestic advisor Clark Clifford, threatened the Philippines (seven bills were pending on the Philippines in Congress).
Before the vote on the plan, the Philippine delegate had given a passionate speech against partition, defending the inviolable “primordial rights of a people to determine their political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of their native land…”
The delegate went on to say that he could not believe that the General Assembly would sanction a move that would place the world “back on the road to the dangerous principles of racial exclusiveness and to the archaic documents of theocratic governments.”
Twenty-four hours later, after intense Zionist pressure, the Philippine delegate voted in favor of partition.
The U.S. delegation to the U.N. was so outraged when Truman insisted that they support partition that the State Department director of U.N. Affairs was sent to New York to prevent the delegates from resigning en masse.
On Nov 29, 1947 the partition resolution, 181, passed. While this resolution is frequently cited, it was of limited (if any) legal impact. General Assembly resolutions, unlike Security Council resolutions, are not binding on member states. For this reason, the resolution requested that “[t]he Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation,” which the Security Council never did. Legally, the General Assembly Resolution was a “recommendation” and did not create any states.
What it did do, however, was increase the fighting in Palestine. Within months (and before Israel dates the beginning of its founding war) the Zionists had forced out 413,794 people. Zionist military units had stealthily been preparing for war before the UN vote and had acquired massive weaponry, some of it through a widespread network of illicit gunrunning operations in the US under a number of front groups.
The UN eventually managed to create a temporary and very partial ceasefire. A Swedish UN mediator who had previously rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis was dispatched to negotiate an end to the violence. Israeli assassins killed him and Israel continued what it was to call its “war of independence.”
At the end of this war, through a larger military force than that of its adversaries and the ruthless implementation of plans to push out as many non-Jews as possible, Israel came into existence on 78 percent of Palestine.
But let us take a closer look at the violence that followed the UN recommendation.
Massacres and the Conquest of Palestine
The passing of the partition resolution in November 1947 triggered the violence that State Department and Pentagon analysts had predicted and for which Zionists had been preparing. There were at least 33 massacres of Palestinian villages, half of them before a single Arab army joined the conflict.
Zionist forces were better equipped and had more men under arms than their opponents and by the end of Israel’s “War of Independence” over 750,000 Palestinian men, women, and children were ruthlessly expelled. Zionists had succeeded in the first half of their goal: Israel, the self-described Jewish State, had come into existence.
The massacres were carried out by Zionist forces, including Zionist militias that had engaged in terrorist attacks in the area for years preceding the partition resolution.
Descriptions of the massacres, by both Palestinians and Israelis, are nightmarish. An Israeli eyewitness reported that at the village of al-Dawayima: “The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead….One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her.”
One Palestinian woman testified that a man shot her nine-month-pregnant sister and then cut her stomach open with a butcher knife.
One of the better-documented massacres occurred in a small, neutral Palestinian village called Deir Yassin in April 1948 – before a single Arab army had joined the conflict. A Swiss Red Cross representative was one of the first to arrive on the scene, where he found 254 dead, including 145 women, 35 of them pregnant.
Witnesses reported that the attackers lined up families – men, women, grandparents and children, even infants – and shot them.
An eyewitness and future colonel in the Israeli military later wrote of the militia members: “They didn’t know how to fight, but as murderers they were pretty good.”
The Red Cross representative who found the bodies at Deir Yassin arrived in time to see some of the killing in action. He wrote in his diary that Zionist militia members were still entering houses with guns and knives when he arrived. He saw one young Jewish woman carrying a blood-covered dagger and saw another stab an old couple in their doorway. The representative wrote that the scene reminded him of S.S. troops he had seen in Athens.
Richard Catling, British assistant inspector general for the criminal division, reported on “sexual atrocities” committed by Zionist forces. “Many young school girls were raped and later slaughtered,” he reported. “Old women were also molested.”
The Deir Yassin attack was perpetrated by two Zionist militias and coordinated with the main Zionist forces, whose elite unit participated in part of the operation. The heads of the two militias, Menachem Begin and Ytzakh Shamir, later became Prime Ministers of Israel.
Begin, head of the Irgun who later became Prime Minister of Israel, sent the following message to his troops about their victory at Deir Yassin:
“Accept my congratulations on this splendid act of conquest. Convey my regards to all the commanders and soldiers. We shake your hands. We are all proud of the excellent leadership and the fighting spirit in this great attack. We stand to attention in memory of the slain. We lovingly shake the hands of the wounded. Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue thus until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.”
Approximately six months later, Begin (who had also publicly taken credit for a number of other terrorist acts, including blowing up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people) came on a tour of America. The tour’s sponsors included playwright Ben Hecht, a fervent Zionist who applauded Irgun violence, and eventually included 11 Senators, 12 governors, 70 Congressmen, 17 Justices, and numerous other public officials.
The State Department, fully aware of his violent activities in Palestine, tried to reject Begin’s visa but was overruled by Truman.
Begin later proudly admitted his terrorism in an interview for American television. When the interviewer asked him, “How does it feel, in the light of all that’s going on, to be the father of terrorism in the Middle East?” Begin proclaimed, “In the Middle East? In all the world!”
Terrorists set up U.S. front groups
The Irgun had been operating in the U.S. since the 1930s. As one of their leaders later wrote, “It was in Europe of those days that the idea of transferring the focal point of our activity to the United States was born, and it was from there that we left on a mission that lasted far longer than originally planned…”
The “we” referred to a small group known as the Irgun Delegation that operated in the U.S. from the late 1930s until 1948 and that formed a half dozen front organizations for what they themselves called “a military operation” and that largely consisted of propaganda aimed at the American public.
Two of the leaders were Yitshaq Ben-Ami (father of the founder of today’s J-Street) and “Peter Bergson,” the pseudonym of the senior Irgun officer working outside Palestine, Hillel Kook. The group is often called the Bergson Group.
Among their numerous activities they lobbied Congress and the White House, organized a march on Washington, D.C. of 500 Rabbis, placed full-page ads in newspapers around the U.S., and produced a pageant “We Will Never Die!” celebrating the Jewish contribution to Western civilization, written by Ben Hecht, directed by Moss Hart, featuring music by Kurt Weil, and starring Edward G. Robinson.
While the various organizations created by the Irgun Delegation frequently pushed for rescuing European Jews, one of the major demands was for the creation of a “Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews.” This was a goal that Revisionist Zionists had sought even before the Nazi holocaust had begun and is believed to have had a mixed agenda.
Author William Rubinstein writes: “It is rather difficult to believe that Bergson’s implausible proposal did not have far more to do with creating the nucleus of a Jewish Palestinian force, to be used against the British and the Arabs, than with saving Europe’s Jews from the Nazis.”
Bergson-Kook’s uncle was Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, originally from Eastern Europe, who became the “Chief Rabbi of Palestine,” worked toward the Balfour Declaration in Britain, and most importantly, devised an ideology that merged a kabalistic version of religious Judaism (the Cabbala holds that every non-Jew is an embodiment of Satan) with political Zionism, founding an extremist religious Zionism that continues today.
Rabbi Kook, who achieved saintly status among his followers in Israel and the U.S., stated: “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews… is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.”
In addition to spanning the Jewish religious-secular continuum, the Delegation spanned the political spectrum, its historian Judith Baumel writing that it “evinced many of the unique characteristics of Eastern European protofascism” while also forming partnerships with communists and Jews who belonged to left-wing American groups.
All of this was hidden from view, however, as the “Bergson Boys” aimed for the American man in the street, using tantalizing slogans, illustrated advertisements, and “seductive curiosity-whetting gimmicks.” As Baumel notes, the Irgun Delegation’s primary triumph was to understand “the power of Madison Avenue.”
Another terrorist front group, the Political Action Committee for Palestine, was formed by Rabbi Baruch Korf, who indirectly admitted that the financing of terrorism was among its activities.
In 1948 Korf published a large advertisement in the New York Post calling a State Department policy against enforcing partition “pure and simple anti-Semitism… plain everyday anti-Semitism, incorporated in the hearts and minds of those who govern free America.”
Author Grant Smith, filing numerous Freedom of Information Requests, has uncovered information on numerous such illegal Zionist activities. The Truman administration, with Feinberg as a major campaign donor, failed to act on CIA reports about Feinberg and Zionist illicit arms trafficking from the US.
Sonneborn had first met Zionist leader and future Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion in 1919 when Sonneborn, at the behest of family friend Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, had traveled to the Versailles peace conference as secretary of a Zionist delegation and afterward gone on a tour of Palestine.
In 1945 Sonneborn and Ben Gurion hosted a meeting of 17 well-connected guests at Sonneborn’s Manhattan penthouse. They came from Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, Birmingham, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Newark, New Haven and New York. One was a rabbi, five were lawyers, and the others were highly successful businessmen.
The purpose, Ben Gurion explained, was to create a secret underground organization that would be the American arm of the Zionist paramilitary in Palestine, the Haganah. The organization was to have a representative in at least 35-40 industry groups, and in one month alone there were meetings in Memphis, Ohio, New Jersey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Washington DC, and 40 more were scheduled.
Their objective was to raise money and support “for purposes which could not be publicized or even fully disclosed.” A variety of front groups were created for military arms and equipment smuggling of everything from machine guns to B-17s.
Zionist youth groups were organized, the members sometimes helping load guns onto boats headed for Palestine.
US authorities tried to stop what were not only illegal but also extremely damaging activities.
In 1948 the Director of Central Intelligence, Rear Admiral R.H. Hillenkoetter, filed a top-secret report with the Secretary of Defense about the Zionist arms trafficking. He warned:
Author Grant Smith reports that under Truman “the role of Feinberg and Haganah operative groups active in arms trafficking within the US, like the terrorist charges, would only be lightly investigated and seldom prosecuted.”
Infiltrating displaced person’s camps in Europe to funnel people to Palestine
A similar underground campaign was operating in Europe. Zionist cadres infiltrated Europe’s displaced person’s camps to orchestrate a clandestine operation to funnel people to Palestine.
When it turned out that only a minority of Jewish refugees wished to go to Palestine, a Zionist report by Rabbi Klaussner concluded that “the people must be forced to go to Palestine.”
Author Alfred Lilienthal reports that numerous means were employed, including confiscation of food rations, dismissal from work, expulsion from the camps, taking away legal protection and visa rights; in one case, “even the public flogging of a recalcitrant recruit for the Israel Army.”
The American public, however, was led to believe that European Jews desperately wished to go to Palestine, and the well-organized and well-funded operation behind this (including $25 million from the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) was hidden from view.
A British general who had been Eisenhower’s deputy credited with the buildup for the Normandy invasion, Sir Frederick Morgan, publicly noted that many of the refugees were well dressed and well fed – “their pockets bulging with money” – and concluded that something must be encouraging their travels.
Morgan commented: “The Jews seem to have an organized plan for becoming a world force, a weak force numerically, but one which will have a generating power for getting what they want.”
He was attacked viciously by the press and others; comedian Eddie Cantor took out a New York Times ad saying, “I thought Hitler was dead.”
The World Jewish Congress stated officially and duplicitously, “General Morgans allegation of ‘ secret Jewish force inside Europe aiming at a mass exodus to Palestine’ is… fanatically untrue.”
The Sieff group:
Blocking a counter-Balfour declaration
Another secret group working on behalf of Zionism was formed in 1942 by Israel M. Sieff, a British clothing magnate who was temporarily living in the U.S.
The Sieff group was, as historian Grose puts it, “a sophisticated version of Brandeis’s Parushim.”
While its existence was never openly acknowledged, it grew into the secret back channel through official Washington during the last years of FDR’s presidency and the critical first years of Truman’s.
Its members included such men as Ben Cohen, a member of the White House staff; Robert Nathan, in intelligence; David Ginsburg, a New Deal bureaucrat; David Lilienthal, chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and David Niles, a high White House official under both Roosevelt and Truman. Grose reports:
“The little nucleus possessed the entree and the clout to carry the message of Jewish Palestine into the highest policymaking circles – through casual suggestion, indirection, chance remarks among well-placed colleagues in the corridors of power and the salons of social Washington.”
When State Department and English diplomats, concerned that Zionist activities were causing serious harm to the war effort, were about to issue a “reverse Balfour” declaration on July 27, 1943 calling on these activities to cease, the Sieff group, Felix Frankfurter, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., David Niles, Bernard Baruch, et al took emergency, and successful, action to block it.
By 1949 as a result of Israel’s “War of Independence” and its campaign to cleanse the land of as many non-Jews as possible, there were hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. The U.S. Representative in Israel sent an urgent report to Truman:
“Arab refugee tragedy is rapidly reaching catastrophic proportions and should be treated as a disaster. …..Of approximately 400,000 refugees approaching winter with cold heavy rains will, it is estimated, kill more than 100,000 old men, women and children who are shelterless and have little or no food.”
The number of refugees continued to grow, reaching at least three-quarters of a million. U.S. Diplomats in Cairo and Amman described a disastrous situation in which the “almost nonexistent resources” of Arab countries inundated by desperate, starving Palestinian refugees were stretched almost to the breaking point.
The State Department reported that during the last nine months of 1948 Arab states had donated $11 million to refugee aid, stating, “This sum, in light of the very slender budgets of most of these governments, is relatively enormous.”
Journalist and academic Anders Strindberg reports:
“In the process of ‘Judaizing’ Palestine, numerous convents, hospices, seminaries, and churches were either destroyed or cleared of their Christian owners and custodians. In one of the most spectacular attacks on a Christian target, on May 17, 1948, the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate was shelled with about 100 mortar rounds—launched by Zionist forces from the already occupied monastery of the Benedictine Fathers on Mount Zion.
“The bombardment also damaged St. Jacob’s Convent, the Archangel’s Convent, and their appended churches, their two elementary and seminary schools, as well as their libraries, killing eight people and wounding 120.”
Truman, whose caving in to Zionist pressures had helped create the disaster, now tried to convince Israel to allow the refugees to return to their homes. His main representative working on this was Mark Ethridge, former publisher of the Louisville Courier Journal.
Ethridge was disgusted at Israel’s refusal, reporting to the State Department:
The State Department finally threatened to withhold $49 million of unallocated funds from an Export-Import Bank loan to Israel if it did not allow at least 200,000 refugees to return. The U.S. coordinator on Palestine Refugee Matters George C. McGhee delivered the message to the Israeli ambassador and later described his response:
“The ambassador looked me straight in the eye and said, in essence, that I wouldn’t get by with this move, that he would stop it… Within an hour of my return to my office I received a message from the White House that the President wished to dissociated himself from any withholding of the Ex-Im Bank loan.” 
Edwin Wright, a State Department Middle East specialist from 1945-66, was the subject of an oral history interview many years later for the Truman Library. He stated when this was completed:
“The material I gave Professor McKinzie was of a very controversial nature–one almost taboo in U.S. circles, inasmuch as I accused the Zionists of using political pressures and even deceit in order to get the U.S. involved in a policy of supporting a Zionist theocratic, ethnically exclusive and ambitious Jewish State. I, and my associates in the State Department, felt this was contrary to U.S. interests and we were overruled by President Truman.”
Zionist influence in the media
As historian Richard Stevens notes, Zionists early on learned to exploit the essential nature of the American political system: that policies can be made and un-made through force of public opinion and pressure. Procuring influence in the media, both paid and unpaid, has been a key component of their success.
From early on, the Zionist narrative largely dominated news coverage of the region. A study of four leading newspapers’ 1917 coverage showed that editorial opinion almost universally favored the Zionist position. Author Kathleen Christison notes that “editorials and news stories alike applauded Jewish enterprise, heralding a Jewish return to Palestine as ‘glorious news’.” Other studies showed the same situation for the 1920s. Christison writes:
“The relatively heavy press coverage is an indicator of the extent of Zionist influence even in this early period. One scholar has estimated that, as of the mid-1920s, approximately half of all New York Times articles were placed by press agents, suggesting that U.S. Zionist organizations may have placed many of the articles on Zionism’s Palestine endeavors.”
At one point when the State Department was trying to convince Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return, Secretary of State Marshall wrote:
Marshall underestimated the ability of Zionists to minimize the amount of information on this from reaching Americans. A State Department study in March 1949 found the American public was “unaware of the Palestine refugee problem, since it has not been hammered away at by the press or radio.”
As author Alfred Lilienthal explained in 1953:
“The capture of the American press by Jewish nationalism was, in fact, incredibly complete. Magazines as well as newspapers, in news stories as well as editorial columns, gave primarily the Zionist views of events before, during, and after partition.”
When the Saturday Evening Post published an article by Milton Mayer that criticized Jewish nationalism (and carried two other articles giving opposing views), Zionists organized what was probably the worst attack on the Post in its long history.
The magazine was inundated with vitriolic mail, subscriptions cancelled, and advertising withdrawn. The Post learned its lesson, later refusing to publish an article that would have again exposed it to such an onslaught, even though the editor acknowledged that the rejected piece was a “good and eloquent article.”
This was typical in a campaign in which Zionists exploited sympathy for victimized Jews, and when this did not sufficiently skew reporting about Palestine, they used financial pressure. Lilienthal writes:
“If ‘voluntary’ compliance was not ‘understanding’ enough, there was always the matter of Jewish advertising and circulation. The threat of economic recriminations from Jewish advertisers, combined with the fact that the fatal label of ‘Anti-Semite’ would be pinned on any editor stepping out of line, assured fullest press cooperation.”
Author Christison records that from the moment partition was voted by the UN, “the press played a critical role in building a framework for thinking that would endure for decades.” She writes that shortly before May 15, 1948, the scheduled beginning of the Jewish State, a total of 24 U.S., British, and Australian reporters converged on Palestine.
“Virtually all reporting was from the Jewish perspective. The journals the Nation and the New Republic both showed what one scholar calls ‘an overt emotional partiality’ toward the Jews. No item published in either journal was sympathetic to the Arabs, and no correspondent was stationed in Arab areas of Palestine, although some reporters lived with, and sometimes fought alongside, Jewish settlers.”
Bookstores were inundated with books espousing the Zionist point of view to enthusiastic press reviews. Conversely, the few books published that dared to provide a different perspective were given scathing reviews, when they were reviewed at all.
When Professor Millar Burrows of the Yale School of Divinity, a distinguished scholar and archaeologist, wrote Palestine Is Our Business, the American Zionist Council distributed a publication labeling his book “an anti-Semitic opus.”
In fact, Professor Burrows’ life history showed the opposite. He had been one of the organizers and Vice-President of the National Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism and had long been active in the interfaith movement in New Haven.
When the eminent dean of Barnard College, Virginia Gildersleeve, a highly distinguished personage with impeccable credentials as a humanitarian, wrote that Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return to their homes, a campaign was begun against her as a Christian “anti-Semite.”
Gildersleeve, who had been instrumental in drafting the Preamble to the U.N. Charter and had taken a leading role in creating the U.N. Human Rights Commission, later devoted herself to working for human rights in the Middle East. She testified before Congressional committees and lobbied President Truman, to no avail. In her memoir, she attributed such failures to “the Zionist control of the media of communication.”
Dorothy Thompson, played by Katharine Hepburn & Lauren Bacall
America’s most famous female journalist of the time also attempted valiantly, but unsuccessfully, to tell Americans about Palestinian refugees.
Her column was in newspapers all over the country, her radio program listened to by tens of millions of Americans, she had been married to one of America’s most famous novelists, graced the cover of Time magazine, been profiled by America’s top magazines and was so well-known that “Woman of the Year,” a Hollywood movie featuring Kathryn Hepburn and Spencer Tracey and a Broadway play starring Lauren Bacall, were based on Thompson.
She had been the first journalist to be expelled by Adolph Hitler and had raised the alarm against the Nazis long ahead of most other journalists. She had originally supported Zionism, but then after the war had visited the region in person. She began to speak about Palestinian refugees, narrated a documentary about their plight, and condemned Jewish terrorism.
Thompson was viciously attacked in an orchestrated campaign of what she termed “career assassination and character assassination.”
She wrote: “It has been boundless, going into my personal life.” She wrote of this organized attack:“…when letter after letter is couched in almost identical phraseology I do not think the authors have been gifted with telepathy.”
She was dropped by the New York Post, whose editor Ted Thackry, and his wife, Dorothy Schiff, were said by other Post editors to be close to the Irgun and Menachem Begin. Begin, the Irgunists, the Stern Gang and other Zionists organizations had what was termed “inordinate access” to the Post’s editorial board.
Thompson’s mail was filled with ferocious accusations that she was “anti-Semitic.” One such correspondent told her that her “filthy incitements to pogroms” would not be tolerated by New York’s Jews.
Before long, her column and radio programs, her speaking engagements, and her fame were all gone. Today, she has largely been erased from history.
In the coming decades other Americans were similarly written out of history, forced out of office, lives and careers destroyed; history distorted, re-written, erased; bigotry promoted, supremacy disguised, facts replaced by fraud.
Very few people know this history. The excellent books that document it are largely out of print, their facts and very existence virtually unknown to the vast majority of Americans, even those who focus on the Middle East. Instead, false theories have been promulgated, mendacious analyses promoted, chosen authors celebrated, others assigned to oblivion.
Perhaps by rediscovering the past, we’ll gain control of the present, and save the future.
End Notes and additional information
Alexander, Michael. Jazz Age Jews. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2001. Print.
Abu-Sitta, Salman H. Atlas of Palestine, 1917-1966. London: Palestine Land Society, 2010. Print.
“Balfour Declaration Author Was a Secret Jew, Says Prof.” JWeekly (Jewish Bulletin of San Francisco) Jan 15 (1999). Print. Accessed at http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/9929/balfour-declaration-author-was-a-secret-jew-says-prof/
Ball, George W., and Douglas B. Ball. The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present. New York: W.W. Norton, 1992. Print.
Barrett, Mary. “In Memoriam: A Respectful Dissenter: CIA’s Wilbur Crane Eveland.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs March (1990). Print.
Baumel-Schwartz, Judith Tydor. The “Bergson Boys” and the Origins of Contemporary Zionist Militancy. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 2005. Print.
Beisner, Robert L. Dean Acheson: a Life in the Cold War. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.
Berger, Elmer. Memoirs of an Anti-Zionist Jew. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978. Print.
Brownfeld, Allan. C. “Book Review: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs March (2000): 105-06. Print.
Burrows, Millar. Palestine Is Our Business. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1949. Print.
Canfield, Joseph M. The Incredible Scofield and His Book. Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 2004. Print.
Christison, Kathleen. Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy. First Paperback Printing ed. Berkeley, Calif: University of California, 2000. Print.
Cornelius, John. “The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Nov. (2005): 44-50. Print.
Curtiss, Richard H., and Janet McMahon. Seeing the Light: Personal Encounters with the Middle East and Islam. Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1997. Print.
Davidson, Lawrence. America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood. Gainesville (Fla.): University of Florida, 2001. Print.
Davis, John Herbert. The Evasive Peace: a Study of the Zionist-Arab Problem. First American ed. [N.Y.]: New World, 1970. Print.
“Dorothy Thompson.” Encylopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/592960/Dorothy-Thompson>.
Esber, Rosemarie M. Under the Cover of War: the Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians. Alexandria, VA: Arabicus & Media, 2008. Print.
Eveland, Wilbur. Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East. London: W.W. Norton, 1980. Print.
Finkelstein, Norman G. Beyond Chutzpah: on the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History. Berkeley: University of California, 2005. Print.
Gildersleeve, Virginia Crocheron. Many a Good Crusade: Memoirs of. New York: Macmillan, 1955. Print.
Ginsberg, Benjamin. The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993. Print.
Goldberg, Jonathan J. Jewish Power: inside the American Jewish Establishment. Reading, Mass. [u.a.: Addison-Wesley, 1996. Print.
Grady, Henry Francis, and John T. McNay. The Memoirs of Ambassador Henry F. Grady: from the Great War to the Cold War. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri, 2009. Print.
Green, Stephen. Taking Sides, America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel. Brattleboro: Amana, 1988. Print.
Grose, Peter. Israel in the Mind of America. New York: Knopf, 1984. Print.
Gurock, Jeffrey S. American Zionism Mission and Politics. London: Routledge, 1998. Google Books.
Hadawi, Sami. Bitter Harvest: Palestine between 1914-1979. New-York: Caravan, 1979. Print.
"The Israel Lobby Archive." Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. Web. <http://irmep.org/ILA/default.asp>.
"The Israel Lobby Archive." Web.
John, Robert, and Sami Hadawi. The Palestine Diary 1914-1945 Britain's Involvement (Vol. I). Reprint of Third Ed. Charleston: BookSurge, 2006. Introduction by Arnold Toynbee. Print.
Kauffman, Bill. Ain't My America: the Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-imperialism. New York: Metropolitan, 2008. Print.
Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains: the Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992. Print.
Khalidi, Walid. "The Palestine Problem: An Overview." Journal of Palestine Studies 21.1 (1991): 5-16. Print.
Kolsky, Thomas A. Jews against Zionism: the American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1990. Print.
Kurth, Peter. American Cassandra: the Life of Dorothy Thompson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1990. Print.
Lilienthal, Alfred M. The Zionist Connection: What Price Peace? New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978. Print.
Lilienthal, Alfred M. What Price Israel? 50th Anniversary ed. Haverford, PA: Infinity.com, 2004. Print.
Maisel, Louis Sandy, Ira N. Forman, Donald Altschiller, and Charles Walker Bassett. Jews in American Politics. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Print.
Marton, Kati. A Death in Jerusalem. New York: Arcade, 1996. Print.
McCarthy, Justin. The Population of Palestine: Population History and Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate. New York: Columbia UP, 1990. Print.
McGowan, Daniel A., and Marc H. Ellis. Remembering Deir Yassin: the Future of Israel and Palestine. New York: Olive Branch, 1998. Print.
McKinzie, Richard D. "Oral History Interview with Edwin M. Wright." Truman Library. 26 July 1974. Web. 21 July 2011. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm>.
REMOVE McKinzie, Richard D. "Oral History Interview with Edwin M. Wright." Truman Library July 26 (1974). Print. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm
McKinzie, Richard D. "Truman Library - Edwin M. Wright Oral History Interview." Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Truman Library, July 26, 1974. Web. July 2011. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm>.
Medoff, Rafael. "The Bergson Group vs. The Holocaust – and Jewish Leaders vs. Bergson." The Jewish Press June 6 (2007). Print.
Menuhin, Moshe. The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1969. Print.
Merkley, Paul Charles. Christian Attitudes towards the State of Israel. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 2001. Print.
Mulhall, John W., CSP. America and the Founding of Israel: an Investigation of the Morality of America's Role. Los Angeles: Deshon, 1995. Print.
Naeim, Gilad. "The Jews of Iraq." The Link April-May (1998). Print.
Neff, Donald. Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945. Reprint ed. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2002. Print.
Neff, Donald. Fifty Years of Israel. Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 2000. Print.
Nur, Masalha. Expulsion of the Palestinians: the Concept of "transfer" in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948. Fourth ed. Washington, DC: Inst. for Palestine Studies, 2001. Print.
Pappé, Ilan. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: Oneworld, 2007. Print.
Qumsiyeh, Mazin B. Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle. London: Pluto, 2004. Print.
"The Press: Free Speech for the Boss." Time Nov. 17 (1958). Print. online at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,810661,00.html
Rubinstein, William D. The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis. London: Routledge, 1997. Print.
Rubinstein, William D. "The Secret of Leopold Amery." History Today 49.Feb (1999). Print.
Said, Edward W., and Christopher Hitchens. Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question. London: Verso, 1988. Print.
Sanders, Marion K. Dorothy Thompson: a Legend in Her Time. New York: Avon, 1974. Print.
"Sands of Sorrow (1950) Palestinian Arab Refugee Camps Video - YouTube." YouTube. 1950. Web. 09 July 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ6lIsl-pHU>.
Sarna, Jonathan D., Ellen Smith, and Scott-Martin Kosofsky. The Jews of Boston. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, 2005. Print.
Schmidt, Sarah. "The Parushim: A Secret Episode in American Zionist History." American Jewish Historical Quarterly 65.Dec (1975): 121-39. Print. Online at http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/news/israellobby/item/1217-the-parushim-a-secret-episode-in-american-zionist-history
Shahak, Israël, and Norton Mezvinsky. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. London: Pluto, 1999. Print.
Shahak, Israel. Jewish History, Jewish Religion: the Weight of Three Thousand Years. London [etc].: Pluto, 1997. Print.
Sheean, Vincent. Dorothy and Red. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, 1964. Print.
Sheean, Vincent. Personal History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Comapany, 1935. Print.
Slater, Leonard. The Pledge. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970. Print.
Smith, Grant F. Declassified Deceptions: the Secret History of Isaiah L. Kenen and the Rise of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Washington, D.C.: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, 2007. Print.
Snetsinger, John. Truman, the Jewish Vote, and the Creation of Israël. Stanford Calif.: Stanford Univ., 1974. Print.
Stevens, Richard P. American Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1942-1947. Reprinted by the Institute for Palestine Studies, 1970. New York: Pageant, 1962. Print.
Strindberg, Anders. “Forgotten Christians.” American Conservative May 24 (2004). Print.
Supplement to Survey of Palestine Notes Compiled for the Information of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. Washington, D.C.: Inst. of Palestine Studies, 1991. Print.
A Survey of Palestine. Prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the Information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, by the British Mandatory Commission, 1946. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991. Two volumes. Print.
“Time Line for Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook (1865-1935).” Rabbi Kook on Weekly Torah Portion (Parsha), Jewish Holidays and Psalms (Tehillim). Web. July 2011. <http://www.ravkooktorah.org/timeline.htm>.
Tivnan, Edward. The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987. Print.
“Truman Library – Edwin M. Wright Oral History Interview.” Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Web. 09 Dec. 2011. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm>.
“Truman Library – Edwin M. Wright Oral History Interview.” Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Web. July 2011.
REMOVE “Truman Library – Edwin M. Wright Oral History Interview.” Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Web. July 2011. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm>.
Uni, Assaf. “Hans Herzl’s Wish Comes True – 76 Years Later.” Ha’aretz [Israel] 19 Sept. 2006. Print. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/hans-herzl-s-wish-comes-true-76-years-later-1.197621
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Peter Bergson.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. Http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007041. Accessed July, 2011
Urofsky, Melvin Irving. We Are One: American Jewry and Israel. Garden City, N.Y: Anchor/Doubleday, 1978. Print.
Wilson, Evan M. Decision on Palestine: How the U.S. Came to Recognize Israel. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1979. Print.
Wilson, Evan M. Jerusalem, Key to Peace. Washington: Middle East Institute, 1970. Print.
Wright, Edwin M. The Great Zionist Cover-up: a Study and Interpretation. Cleveland, OH: Northeast Ohio Committee on Middle East Understanding, 1975. Print.
 In Israel it is typically called “the Jewish lobby,” perhaps reflective of the fact that today virtually all the mainstream Jewish organizations in the U.S., both religious and secular – the ADL, Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Studies departments, etc – advocate for Israel. Benjamin Ginsberg, in the anthology Jews in American Politics, notes that the “greatest triumph of American Jewish organizations during the postwar period” was to secure recognition of the state of Israel over the objections of the U.S. State and Defense Departments and then to successfully urge the U.S. government to provide Israel with billions of dollars over the subsequent decades.
However, such unanimity was only created after years of strenuous and sometimes secretive efforts to overcome the objections of anti-Zionist Jewish individuals and organizations, and even now, JJ Goldberg’s contention, made in his informative book Jewish Power, may hold considerable truth: “…the broader population of Americans Jews… are almost entirely unaware of the work being done in their name.”
Goldberg, Jonathan J. Jewish Power: inside the American Jewish Establishment. Reading, Mass. [u.a.: Addison-Wesley, 1996. 7.
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/34000.html [accessed July 21, 2011]
is online at: http://fliiby.com/file/239266/f8rd51benn.html
“Herzl devoted all his time to this movement, eventually dying at the age of 44 leaving his family penniless. An article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that his daughter Pauline suffered from emotional problems from youth and eventually died of morphine addiction. His son Hans converted to Christianity in 1924, at which time he was abandoned by the Jewish community and denounced publicly. He committed suicide following his sister’s death. A book about Herzl’s children was written in the 1940s but was suppressed by the World Zionist Organization, which decided to bury Pauline and Hans in Bordeaux, despite their wish to be buried beside their father in Austria, “probably to avoid tarnishing Herzl’s image.”
– Uni, Assaf. “Hans Herzl’s Wish Comes True – 76 Years Later.” Ha’aretz [Israel] 19 Sept. 2006. Print.
Davis, John Herbert. The Evasive Peace: a Study of the Zionist-Arab Problem. First American ed. [N.Y.]: New World, 1970. Print. 1.
It was first just called the Zionist Organization; its name officially changed to the WZO in 1960. Most people use the two names interchangeably.
According to the WZO website, today the organization “consists of the following bodies:
The World Zionist Unions, international Zionist federations; and international organizations that define themselves as Zionist, such as WIZO, Hadassah, Bnai-Brith, Maccabi, the International Sephardic Federation, the three streams of world Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), delegation from the CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union), the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS), and more.”
 Khalidi, Walid. “The Palestine Problem: An Overview.” Journal of Palestine Studies 21.1 (1991): 5-16. Print. Online at http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.palestine-studies.org%2Fenakba%2Fhistory%2FKhalidi%2C%2520Walid_The%2520Palestine%2520Problem.pdf&ei=NungTvyWJIOdiAL2v9D_Dg&usg=AFQjCNGyYU86-Jf9T5qsvLiPl43bNIlHWQ
The best resources on the pre-Israel population are:
Abu-Sitta, Salman H. Atlas of Palestine, 1917-1966. London: Palestine Land Society, 2010. Print.
McCarthy, Justin. The Population of Palestine: Population History and Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate. New York: Columbia UP, 1990. Print.
Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains: the Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992. Print.
A Survey of Palestine. Prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the Information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, by the British Mandatory Commission, 1946. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991. Two volumes. Print.
Supplement to Survey of Palestine Notes Compiled for the Information of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. Washington, D.C.: Inst. of Palestine Studies, 1991. Print.
An example of the fanaticism to be found within some segments of the movement is represented by a statement by Dr. Israel Eldad:
“Israel is the Jews land… It was never the Arabs land, even when virtually all of its inhabitants were Arab. Israel belongs to four million Russian Jews despite the fact that they were not born here. It is the land of nine million other Jews throughout the world, even if they have no present plans to live in it.” – Wright, p.1, citing The Times of Israel, August 19, 1969.
Eldad was a strategist for a pre-state underground militia who later became a lecturer at several Israeli universities, authored a number of books, and in 1988, Eldad was awarded Israel’s Bialik Prize for his contributions to Israeli thought.
Another example is described by Israeli Uri Avneri, who quotes a song that was being sung while he was growing up in Palestine (cited by Wright, 9):
“We have returned, Young and Powerful
We have returned, We the Mighty
To conquer our Homeland, In a storm of War,
To redeem our land, with a lofty hand,
With blood and fire, Judea fell
With blood and fire, Judea shall rise.”
 An earlier project with both a domestic and international focus,“The Board of Delegates of American Israelites,” was organized in 1861, which coalesced to block an effort by the Union during the Civil War to prepare a constitutional amendment declaring America a Christian nation.
In 1870 the group organized protest rallies around the country and lobbied Congress to take action against reported Romanian pogroms that had killed “thousands” of Jews. The chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee suggested that such reports might be exaggerated, but under pressure from “Israelite” board, the Senate ordered the committee to take up the matter with the State Department. Eventually, it turned out the total killed had been zero.
Encyclopaedia Britannica; online at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1355322/Israel-flag-of
 Dalin, David G. “At the Summit: Presidents, Presidential Appointments, and Jews.” Jews in American Politics. Editors: Maisel Louis Sandy, Ira N. Forman, Donald Altschiller, and Charles Walker Bassett. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Print. 32-34.
(The appointee was Oscar Straus, whose brothers owned Macy’s Department Store and whom TR later named to his cabinet. Dalin reports a humorous incident that occurred at a dinner years later for Straus and Roosevelt:
“In his remarks, Roosevelt had stated that Straus had been appointed on the basis of merit and ability alone; the fact that he was Jewish had played no part in Roosevelt’s decision to appoint him. A few minutes later, in introducing Straus, [another speaker, the Jewish financier and philothropist Jacob] Schiff, who was a bit deaf and had evidently not heard Roosevelt’s remarks, recounted how Roosevelt had sought his advice as to who would be the most suitable and eminent Jewish leader to appoint to his cabinet.”
Neff, the author of five books on Israel, was Jerusalem Bureau Chief and then a Senior Editor for Time magazine.
 Neff, 10. Christison, 28. John, Robert, and Sami Hadawi. The Palestine Diary 1914-1945 Britain’s Involvement (Vol. I). Reprint of Third Ed. Charleston: BookSurge, 2006. Introduction by Arnold Toynbee. Print. 59.
The Menorah Society was also a secretive Zionist organization. An essay from the time states that the Menorah Society “camouflaged its Zionism by organizing itself as a purely nonpartisan body so as to obtain a larger membership.” The writer reports that “practically all the leaders and active workers in the Menorah organization are Zionists… the thing of which the Menorah boasts now…is its little list of prize conversions to Zionism. – Kosofsky, 256.
Schmidt writes: “The image that emerges of the Parushim is that of a secret underground guerilla force determined to influence the course of events in a quiet, anonymous way.”
Schmidt gives the entire oath and response of the Parushim initiation:
A member swearing allegiance to the Parushim felt something of the spirit of commitment to a secret military fellowship. At the initiation ceremony the head of the Order informed him:
You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life-dearer than that of family, of school, of nation. By entering this brotherhood, you become a self-dedicated soldier in the army of Zion. Your obligation to Zion becomes your paramount obligation… It is the wish of your heart and of your own free will to join our fellowship, to share its duties, its tasks, and its necessary sacrifices.
The initiate responded by swearing:
Before this council, in the name of all that I hold dear and holy, I hereby vow myself, my life, my fortune, and my honor to the restoration of the Jewish nation, -to its restoration as a free and autonomous state, by its laws perfect in justice, by its life enriching and preserving the historic speech, the culture, and the ideals of the Jewish people.
To this end I dedicate myself in behalf of the Jews, my people, and in behalf of all mankind.
To this end I enroll myself in the fellowship of the Parushim. I pledge myself utterly to guard and to obey and to keep secret the laws and the labor of the fellowship, its existence and its aims. Amen.
Schmidt reports that Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, was an early member of the Parushim.
She writes: “Brandeis … began to assign the Parushim to carry out special “missions” for him. In particular the Parushim were to serve as a school for leaders, and under Kallen’s direction its members initially became the leading activists of the reorganized American Zionist movement.”
American professor Horace Kallen was a major mover and the original founder of the Parushim.
In his book American Zionism: Mission and Politics, Jeffrey Gurock writes (p. 135): “Brandeis conducted a vigorous search of his own for ‘college men,’ particularly young graduates of Harvard Law School, whom he co-opted to leadership or special assignments for the regular and emergency Zionist organizations he controlled. Among those recruited were men like Felix Frankfurter, Judge Julian Mack, Walter Lippmann [who seems to have largely turned them down], Bernard Flexner [one of the founders on the Council on Foreign Relations], Benjamin Cohen [high official under both FDR and Truman], and others who achieved national and international eminence.”
Read online at:
Brandeis also “played a decisive role in planning Wilson’s economic program, and particularly in formulating the Federal Reserve.”
– Ginsberg, Benjamin. The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993. Print. 93
Felix Frankfurter’s work on behalf of Zionism spanned many years. FDR was to appoint him to the Supreme Court in 1939, and even before this time he used his “access to the president to bring Zionist issues to his attention and urge his intercession on behalf of the Zionist cause. – Christison, 47
“At Brandeis’s behest, Frankfurter also became involved with American Zionism. In 1917 Frankfurter accompanied Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to Turkey and Egypt to see what could be done for the settlements in Palestine during the World War. Frankfurter also attended the peace conference in Paris as a representative of the American Zionist movement and as a liaison for Brandeis.” – Alexander, Michael. Jazz Age Jews. 91
online at http://books.google.com/books?id=4pR5SQPEYfMC&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=Jazz+Age+Jews+frankfurter+schiff&source=bl&ots=UUzxgZ9hPr&sig=wAGgdIcd1E53sGSubDVLwEA-5yU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DC09T8LlGenUiALCqNWUAQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
Financier Jacob Schiff had created a position for Frankfurter at Harvard early in his career.
 Mulhall p. 66. This was a sadly deft prognosis, writing of Jerusalem in the early 1960s, the American Consul General in Jerusalem found: “I think I can safely make the general comment that in present-day Israel… the Arabs are very much of ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’” for the dominant Israelis – Wilson, Evan M. Jerusalem, Key to Peace. Washington: Middle East Institute, 1970. 33.
 John, p 68-70: “The British government was advised that ‘previous overtures to American Jewry to support the Allies had received no attention was because the approach had been to the wrong people. It was to the Zionist Jews that the British and French governments should address their parleys.’ Sir Mark Sykes was particularly weighed down by the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement, which had promised that the British would support Arab independence, insisting that it was impossible to offer Palestine to the Jews. He was told that Brandeis had just become a Supreme Court Justice, and that he had President Wilson’s ear. This began the negotiations with the Zionists.
Zionists had retained Lloyd George’s law firm in approximately 1903. For a detailed discussion of the Lusitania incident and other aspects of the U.S. entry into WWI see Cornelius, John. “The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Nov. (2005): 44-50. Print.
Rubinstein, William D. “The Secret of Leopold Amery.” History Today 49. Feb (1999). Print.
Amery, who had kept his Jewish roots secret, worked for Zionism in a number of ways. A pro-Israel writer reports: “As assistant military secretary to the Secretary of State for War, Amery played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Jewish Legion, consisting of three battalions of Jewish soldiers who served, under Britain’s aegis, in Palestine during the First World War and were the forerunners of the IDF. ‘I seem to have had my finger in the pie, not only of the Balfour Declaration, but of the genesis of the present Israeli Army’, he notes proudly.
“As Dominions Secretary (1925-29) he had responsibility for the Palestine Mandate, robustly supporting the growth and development of the Yishuv – Weizman recalled Amery’s “unstinting encouragement and support” and that Amery “realized the importance of a Jewish Palestine in the British imperial scheme of things more than anyone else. He also had much insight into the intrinsic fineness of the Zionist movement”. In 1937, shortly after testifying before the Peel Commission on the future of Palestine, Amery helped to organise a dinner in tribute to the wartime Jewish Legion at which his friend Jabotinsky was guest of honour. Amery became an increasingly vociferous critic of the British government’s dilution of its commitments to the Jews of Palestine in order to appease the Arabs, and fulminated in the Commons against the notorious White Paper of 1939, which set at 75,000 the maximum number of Jews to be admitted to Palestine over the ensuing five years. ‘I have rarely risen with a greater sense of indignation and shame or made a speech which I am more content to look back upon’, he remembered. And he became an arch-critic of Chamberlain and Appeasement.”
Moshe Menuhin, scion of a distinguished Jewish family that moved to Palestine during the early days of Zionism (and father of the renowned musicians), also writes about this aspect. In addition, he states that the oft-repeated claim that the British rewarded Weizman for his “discovery of TNT” was false, quoting Weizmann’s autobiography Trial and Error, p. 271:
“For some unfathomable reason they always billed me as the inventor of TNT. It was in vain that I systematically and repeatedly denied any connection with, or interest in, TNT. No discouragement could put them off.” – Menuhin, Moshe. The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1969. Print. 73-74.
http://www.taphilo.com/history/war-deaths.shtml [accessed July 21, 2011]
“Walter C. Matthey of Iowa was sentenced to a year in jail for applauding an anticonscription speech. Walter Heynacher of South Dakota was sentenced to five years in Leavenworth for telling a younger man that ‘it was foolishness to send our boys over there to get killed by the thousands, all for the sake of Wall Street.’…Abraham Sugarman of Sibley County, Minnesota, was sentenced to three years in Leavenworth for arguing that the draft was unconstitutional and remarking, ‘This is supposed to be a free country. Like Hell it is.’” – Kauffman, Bill. Ain’t My America: the Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-imperialism. New York: Metropolitan, 2008. Print. 74.
One of the songs that helped recruit Americans to fight in the war, “Over There,” was written by George M. Cohan, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for it in 1940, when America was about to join another world war:
 While this subterfuge was used in the beginning years, the goal was to create a state, as Felix Frankfurter wrote: “ ‘I need not tell you that the phrase, ‘that Palestine be established as a Jewish Home’ was a phrase of purposeful ambiguity.” [John, p. 118]. In the Zionists’ Memorandum to the Peace Conference they stated that Palestine “shall be placed under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will ensure the establishment therein of the Jewish national home and ultimately render possible the creation of an autonomous Jewish commonwealth. [John, p. 125]
Harry Emerson Fosdick – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/pastorsandpreachers/fosdick.html
Henry Sloane Coffin
Mulhall, p 77. Online at http://www.al-bushra.org/America/ch5.html
Mulhall p. 77 Online at http://www.al-bushra.org/America/ch5.html
Mulhall, 79 Online at http://www.al-bushra.org/America/ch5.html
 From its earliest days Zionism espoused what Zionists call the “ingathering of the exiles” — all Jews worldwide were to come to Israel to live. See articles on this topic on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and elsewhere.
 He was admitted to the Foreign Service in 1907 with the highest grades of those entering that year. One commentator called him “one of the greatest diplomatists the USA has had in two generations.” Wikipedia, accessed Feb. 16, 2012: Letter to Michael Francis Gibson, February 14, 1955, copy on file at the Hoover Institution.
 The article “Denying Nazi-Zionist collusion: The Sacramento Bee, Darrell Steinberg, and Islamophobia” refers to the various books that described this: http://ifamericansknew.org/media/sacbee.html
This was well known in the State Department. For example, State Dept. Near East expert Harry N. Howard states: “…there was discussion of liberalizing American immigration laws in this period. The Zionists opposed that liberalization on the ground that this would not be a solution as far as they were concerned. They wanted a political, not necessarily a humanitarian, solution –that is, they wanted a state.” – Oral History Interview with Harry N. Howard, Truman Library, Washington, D.C., June 5, 1973:
http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/howardhn.htm [accessed July 2011]
 Naeim, Gilad. “The Jews of Iraq.” The Link April-May (1998). Print. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ref-giladi.html
 Researchers may wish to explore an interesting though speculative discussion about what may be an earlier effort by Zionists to influence Christians. Many years before AZEC targeted Christians, an annotated version of the bible known as the Scofield Reference Bible had been published, which pushed what was a previously somewhat fringe “dispensationalist” theology calling for the Jewish “return” to Palestine.
Some analysts have raised questions about Scofield and how and why the Oxford University Press published his book. Scofield, who had been something of a shyster and criminal and had abandoned his first wife and children, mysteriously became a member of an exclusive New York men’s club in 1901. Biographer Joseph Canfield (The Incredible Scofield and His book) comments:
“The admission of Scofield to the Lotus Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C. I. Scofield.”
Canfield suggests that Wall Street lawyer Samuel Untermeyer, who was also a member of the Lotus Club, may have played a role in Scofield’s project, writing that “Scofield’s theology was most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer’s pet projects – the Zionist Movement.”
Prof. David W. Lutz, in “Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem,” writes: “Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas city lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter’s career, including travel in Europe.”
Irish journalist Maidhc O Cathail (“Zionism’s Un-Christian Bible”) suggests
“Absent such powerful connections, it is hard to imagine ‘this peer among scalawags’ ever getting a contract with Oxford University Press to publish his bible.”
Online at http://books.google.com/books?id=_8gNHXHBh-8C&pg=PA1&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false [accessed July 2011]
Medoff, Rafael. “The Bergson Group vs. The Holocaust – and Jewish Leaders vs. Bergson.” The Jewish Press June 6 (2007).
http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/21747 [accessed July 2011].
Among the groups they formed were “American League for a Free Palestine,” “Hebrew Committee for National Liberation,” and “the Emergency Committee for the Rescue of European Jewry”, often with a dual message: demanding the rescue of European Jews and the opening up of Palestine to Jewish immigration. Most Zionist and anti-Zionist organizations opposed the Bergson group, but it managed to enlist a number of prominent Americans, from Ben Hecht to Eleanor Roosevelt.
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-3819418/The-Bergson-Group-America-and.html [accessed July 23, 2011]
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states:
“Bergson’s primary assignment in the United States was to mobilize support for the IZL and for the creation of Jewish military units, and, later to gather support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Bergson set out to accomplish these tasks by creating a series of interlocking organizations, including the Committee for a Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews, the American League for a Free Palestine, the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, and the Hebrew Committee for National Liberation. Supporters of these organizations included Harry Truman, Dorothy Parker, Herbert Hoover, Will Rogers, Jr., Labor leader William Green, U.S. Solicitor General Fowler Harper, and U.S. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes.”
– United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Peter Bergson.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. Http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007041. Accessed July, 2011:
. Web. July 2011. <http://www.ravkooktorah.org/timeline.htm>.
Shahak, Israël, and Norton Mezvinsky. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. London: Pluto, 1999. Print. ix, xiii, 55-69.
Professors Shahak and Mezvinski emphasize the writings in English intentionally obscure many facts. “The role of Satan, whose earthly embodiment according to the Cabbala is every non-Jew, has been minimized or not mentioned by authors who have not written about the Cabbala in Hebrew.” (p. 58)
“According to the Lurianic Cabbala, the world was created solely for the sake of Jews; the existence of non-Jews was subsidiary.”
Dr. Israel Shahak, was a holocaust survivor and, until his death in 2001, a highly regarded Israeli professor of biochemistry; Dr. Norton Mezvinsky was a professor of history (now retired) who in 2002 was named by the Connecticut State University Board of Trustees an official “Connecticut State University Professor…a signal honor, reserved for faculty members who fulfill the highest ideals of outstanding teaching, scholarly achievement and public service.”
Another book on this subject matter is Shahak, Israel. Jewish History, Jewish Religion: the Weight of Three Thousand Years. London [etc]: Pluto, 1997. Print., which can be read at:
Brownfeld, Allan. C. “Book Review: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs March (2000): 105-06. Print.
 Smith, Grant F. Declassified Deceptions: the Secret History of Isaiah L. Kenen and the Rise of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Washington, D.C.: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, 2007. Print. 34.
“The Israel Lobby Archive.” Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy: http://irmep.org/ILA/default.asp
Ball, p. 24: “This weapons smuggling and other Zionist preparations for war were well-known to British and American analysts, who knew from the beginning that the Arabs would be certain losers in a war with Zionists, whose well-trained and armed combatants would outnumber the Arabs’ similar combatants by at least four to one. Analysts were also aware that the Zionists planned to expand beyond the partition allotment.”
Also see the exhibit “Ties that Bind: Washington Area Jews and the Birth of the State of Israel,” the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.An active supporter of the United Jewish Appeal in the 1940s describes raising money for weapons: “Any contributions that were made had to be made in cash…It was a sort of a hush-hush operation because it was not entirely legal.”
Its “Securing the Dream” exhibit states: “Local members of the clandestine Sonneborn Institute held secret meetings to raise money for a Jewish state and its underground army, the Haganah.”
The local Zionist youth group, Habonim, helped load weapons onto ships.
Habonim camps are still active today, with seven summer camps across Canada and the US, an Israel summer program, and a year-long program based in Israel. See https://www.habonimdror.org
 Oral History Interview by Richard D. McKinzie for the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum with Edwin M. Wright. General staff G-2 Middle East specialist, Washington, 1945-46; Bureau Near East-South Asian-African Affairs Department of State, since 1946, country specialist 1946-47, advisor U.N. affairs, 1947-50, advisor on intelligence 1950-55. The interview was conducted in Wooster, Ohio on July 26, 1974. On April 3, 1977 Wright added a letter and footnotes to the interview.
http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/wright.htm [Accessed July 21, 2011]
Wright, Edwin M. The Great Zionist Cover-up: a Study and Interpretation. Cleveland, OH: Northeast Ohio Committee on Middle East Understanding, 1975. Print.
Dean Gildersleeve, a Protestant Christian, had been the only woman member of the U.S. UN delegation in San Francisco. For more information on her see: http://www.vgif.org/a_vg.shtml
. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/592960/Dorothy-Thompson>.
 The information from this section comes largely from American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson, by Peter Kurth; Dorothy Thompson: A Legend in her Time, by Marion K Sanders; Personal History, by Vincent Sheean, and Dorothy & Red (Dorothy Thompson & Sinclair Lewis), by Vincent Sheean.
 “Sands of Sorrow” by Council for the Relief of Palestine Arab Refugees, 1950. View online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ6lIsl-pHU Also available at
“The Press: Free Speech for the Boss,” Time, Nov. 17, 1958. Online at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,810661,00.html
Interestingly, a biographer states: “In his last years, unlike several of his comrades around Tribune, Orwell had little sympathy with Zionism and opposed the creation of the state of Israel, as attested by his friend and Tribune colleague Tosco Fyvel in his book George Orwell: A Personal Memoir.”
Another discussion is here:
Honor given to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Wars seldom limit themselves to violent attacks on military targets. Except for the shortest conflicts, wars often deteriorate into the cultural and social arenas. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has reached this stage a long time ago; the cultural repercussions of this war include topics that from outside may seem trivial and irrelevant in the context of a generations-long war. One such manifestation is the nomination of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This UN program names sites of cultural or natural importance, granting them conservation funds and tourism prominence. Since it lists them on national parameters it has become part of several wars. Recently, I wrote about the White City of Tel Aviv, one of the sites UNESCO listed under Israel. Regardless its beauty, the fact that a hundred year-old site was listed while many vastly more important sites in the Holy Land were skipped is odd. This was a testimony of the political pressures exercised on the selection committee; in this case by Israel. Yet, on June 28, 2012, during its 36th Session in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the World Heritage Committee finally recognized the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a World Heritage Site. No less important, it catalogued it under Palestine.
Church of the Nativity | World Heritage Site, Bethlehem, Palestine
Following its admission, Palestine filed for the urgent recognition of the church as a Heritage Site. The site obviously fills the criteria needed to be recognized; the Palestinians centered their petition on the urgency issue. They explained that the church needs restoration, including repair of a leaky roof. Until now, restoration was impossible due to the political situation. Since 1967, when Israel occupied the territories, there are difficulties placing equipment in the site due to the lack of free movement imposed by Israel. These facts are undeniable; thus the site was easily recognized.
The size of the Palestinian victory was evident on the immediate reaction of the U.S. ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, who said the United States is “profoundly disappointed by the World Heritage Committee’s decision.” The choice made by Palestine was clever. The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world; moreover, it is directly related to Jesus. The current building was constructed in 565AD by the Emperor Justinian I. The site is widely recognized as Jesus birthplace; in written form the first testimony of that belongs to Christian apologist Justin Martyr (circa 100-165AD) in his “Dialogue with Trypho.” Nowadays, the church is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities, who greet around two million visitors per year; few other World Heritage Sites can present such impressive credentials. Yet, the importance of the site transcends religion.
In 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield, the church was under IDF siege from April 2 to May 10. The Israel Defense Forces occupied Bethlehem and tried to capture wanted Palestinian militants. Shaldag—a special commando unit, see The Cross of Bethlehem for more details on the event—was delivered, but it never arrived at the site. The Palestinians sought by Israel fled into the Church of the Nativity and got refuge. After 39 days an agreement was reached; the militants turned themselves in to Israel and were exiled to Europe and the Gaza Strip. Yet, the IDF behaved violently; the white marks in the image below belong to IDF bullets shot into the Catholic section of the church.
“The message to Israel today is that unilateral actions will not work and that Israel cannot continue challenging the world despite its powerful allies,” Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi said. As of now—less than a day after the groundbreaking decision—Israel keeps quiet, though it is a certainty that it will retaliate violently.
Church of the Nativity | Damage due to the Israeli siege
The Huffington Post reported yesterday that “Hava Hershkovitz, 79, was crowned ‘Miss Holocaust Survivor’ at a pageant held in Israel on Thursday.”
On Thursday, in a most unusual event, 14 Jewish women who survived the horrors of the Shoa paraded vying for the honour of being crowned Israel’s first “Miss Holocaust Survivor.”
Billed by the organizers as a ‘celebration of life’, the nearly 300 women from across Israel who registered for the competition were whittled down to the 14 finalists who appeared on Thursday.
As ever, suffering, victimhood and survival were shown to be at the heart of Jewish and Israeli culture. “I have the privilege to show the world that Hitler wanted to exterminate us and we are alive. We are also enjoying life. Thank God it’s that way,” said Esther Libber, a 74-year-old runner-up who fled her home in Poland as a child, hid in a forest and was rescued by a Polish woman.
The Miss Holocaust Parade seems to be one of the last remaining opportunities to extort cash out of the elder community. Today, nearly 200,000 aging survivors live in Israel – enough to keep some businesses afloat and I guess it is only a matter of time before we learn from the Huffington Post about the Shoa bodybuilding contest. (I understand that some survivors like my great uncle Yanka’le still visit the gym once a week). Such a contest could be endorsed by food supplement and weight lifting equipment companies – ideally Germans.
Apparently, Gal Mor, editor of the popular Israeli blog “Holes in the Net,” has already envisioned such a development, Yesterday, he pointed out that the Miss Holocaust pageant was misguided.
This is one step short of `Survivor-Holocaust’ or `Big Brother Auschwitz.’ It leaves a bad taste. Holocaust survivors should be above all this,” he wrote.
Actually, I disagree. The Israeli TV should seriously consider launching such a Shoa reality-TV show. They could call it ‘Big Mirror’ and in it they could, once again, incarcerate elder survivors – but this time in Gaza or Guantanamo Bay. Sitting comfortably on our sofas with a pizza and a beer, we could watch our Jewish heroes 24/7. And we can learn from them, the very people who survived Hitler, how to survive in our Zionized universe. Such a program would clearly yield huge revenues as well as being educational and ethically driven.
Legendary Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban must have seen it all coming when he coined his famous adage ‘there is no business like Shoa business.’
International conference to take place June 30, in Geneva, may get creative…
This Saturday, June 30, 2012, the UN is hosting an international conference in Geneva in another attempt to find a peaceful solution to what is already defined by all as a fully fledged war in Syria. The ongoing military tie between the sides may continue for years; thus, the UN Security Council is trying to be creative in finding a solution that will grant Bashar al-Assad’s regime a safe exit. Until now, there is an agreement between the council members on the creation of a transition government in Syria, but that’s not enough. Bashar al-Assad will not sacrifice himself for the sake of the American military interests. The recent downing of a Turkish F-4 by the Syrian army shows the latter is in good shape and ready for a long conflict. Under these circumstances, the Alawi Republic of Latakia may be revived to rescue Assad.
The complex situation in Syria includes two main struggles. The most obvious one is between the Syrian Army and the West-backed Free Syrian Army. In parallel, there is a violent conflict between the Alawi minority-closely related to Shia Islam-and Sunni Arabs. The Alawi comprise roughly 12% of the population and hold the power; the Assad dynasty is Alawi. The Sunni are 74% of the population and are attempting to use the ongoing mayhem in order to gain power. The ethnic conflict is conducted by paramilitary organizations trying to evict each other from their respective territories. The most visible result of this conflict is the gathering of Syrian refugees in Turkey, and the incessant reports on massacres of civilians. The Syrian Army-where Alawis enjoy a privileged position-favors the Alawi population, thus the ethnic struggle is a tie despite the unequal forces involved.
Syrian Casualties Graph | Fully Fledged War
Also the military conflict is in a draw. The Syrian Army gets support from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, while the rebels are financially supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, and get military help from Western sources smuggling weapons via Turkey. Reliable sources claim that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying the salaries of the rebel army. The Syrian regime is presenting this conflict to the Syrian people as a war between Shia and Sunni Arabs. Yet, there is more than a religious and ethnic conflict in this war. Tarsus is one of Syria’s two main ports; it is also the only Russian navy base in the Mediterranean Sea. Russia is unlikely to give up this strategic asset for the sake of the creation of a Western puppet-regime. To complete this complex picture, Turkey is helping the Syrian Kurds-which seek the creation of a Kurdish state-in an attempt to sabotage the creation of Kurdistan in regions now belonging to Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Under these conditions, the fighting could persist for years. The downing of the Turkish F-4 proved to NATO that Syria is not Libya. Any Western country attempting to violently oust the Syrian regime will pay dearly. During an elections year in the USA, there is no chance that will happen. Coffins of USA soldiers arriving on the eve of the elections will spoil President Obama’s celebration. Thus, this Saturday, the international conference will try to find a different solution.
Alawi Republic of Latakia
Bashar al-Assad may be forced out of power if he loses the support of the Alawi people. This may happen in three different ways. All Syrian pilots and most senior officers in the army are Alawi; if they turn against him, he’ll have no armed forces left. Then, the Alawi mid-class running the Syrian administration may reject him and bring the country to a standstill. Finally, the Alawi-majority coastal areas may decide to support a different leader. These scenarios are unlikely to happen since the Alawi reasonably fear a Sunni-ruled Syria. This is a clear tie.
Syrian Map| Latakia is along the coast
A creative solution to the conflict may look back at events that took place in the previous century. An Alawi State already existed between 1920 and 1946, under the French Mandate of the League of Nations. The city of Latakia was its capital, and it occupied territories that nowadays form the Syrian Latakia and Tarsus governorates. The Alawis may agree to the destitution of Assad in exchange for the revival of their republic. In this scenario, Syria will be split in at least two parts. The Alawis clearly gain despite their losing control over most of the country. The West will gain since a major country opposing it will be split. The Kurds will gain; a weaker Syria increases their chance to obtain an independent state. In the short term, the Russians will get to keep their military port. Iran will have a stronger position in this state than it has in current Syria, gaining influence along the coastal areas next to the vast gas fields of the Eastern Mediterranean. In the short term most players will gain, thus it is a feasible political solution.
Syria has already been sliced in the past. In 1938, Hatay—a small territory on the Mediterranean coast—became independent from the French mandate of Syria as the Republic of Hatay. Following a referendum in 1939, Hatay decided to join Turkey, forming the singular panhandle shape that can be seen on the maps of Turkey. Syria still doesn’t recognize that event as legitimate. An important aspect of that event is that the Alawis are one of two main ethnic groups inhabiting Hatay. Essentially, the breakup of Latakia may be seen by Turkey as a repetition of the past. After a few years, a referendum may be held on the issue of the gathering of the Alawis with their brothers in Turkey, under a single political entity. Latakia will join Turkey, giving the latter better access to the strategic gas-fields. This scenario is so tempting to most players that stopping it may be impossible. One more country-which is keeping silent until now-will profit.
If Syria is split, Zion and its elders will applaud. Israel will cement its illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, and be closer than ever to create a regional empire based on destitution and violence. The survival of a strong and democratic Syria is essential for ensuring regional peace and stability; no region accepting Western occupation has ever known peace. Syria is unlikely to be the exception.
Singapore is a modern country famous for being very clean and tidy. Now it has gained a new comparative advantage. It has developed what it calls the high tech garden.
What is new in Singapore’s modern skyline are super trees — high tech organic shapes that stretch way up into the sky. The super trees are built to mimic real trees. And, they provide shade during the day, plants grow and crawl up the sides and their branches reach out, cross over and form intricate canopie
More lies and scaremongering about Muslims and Islam from Hasan Afzal of Stand for Peace. The target this time is a conference which aims to educate Muslims on the virtues and excellence of fasting and praying in Ramadan.
Afzal is calling people to action and judging by the comments on our favourite Islamophobia award winning blog Harry’s Place he is managing to propagate P.T.S.D. very successfully. Here is his rallying cry
On the 8th of July 2012, the Grand Connaught Rooms in London will host a conference featuring several hate preachers. Their repertoire includes justifying suicide bombings, glorifying jihad, promoting venomous homophobia, spreading crude antisemitism, and encouraging reprehensible bigotry against Shia Muslims.
Without going through every point I will pick just one. Afzal writes that Sheik Haitham al Haddad supports F.G.M. This is an outrageous and probably libelous claim, as no Muslim scholar will support something that is Haram in Islam.
How much longer are we expected to allow this petty failure of an individual to conduct witch hunts against some of the leading Islamic scholars of our time? He has no background of Islamic knowledge to give any weight to his nefarious claims.
Irony indeed that Afzal is calling a conference with the title “Month of Mercy ” a “Jihadist conference” and he is calling people to mercilesly hound the venue providers the Connaught Rooms, with phone calls and e.mails.
Zionist bullying tactics exposed yet again.
According to the Stand for Peace website the Connaught Rooms have cancelled this event. Hasan Afzal is claiming this as a victory for himself and the readers of Harrys Place who he called into action to apply pressure on the venue management.
After a successful campaign by Harry’s Place readers and others around the web, I am pleased to announce that the Jihadist conference that was suppose to take place on the 8th of July 2012 has been cancelled.
Interesting to see that Afzal makes it clear just who is the audience that he performs for. Amongst the comments of appreciation on the Harrys Place blog are the promise of many more ziobiscuits and perhaps even some kosher Good Boy choco drops if he can have more Islamic events cancelled. Such as the one due to be held soon at the Emirates stadium, being such a useful shabbos goy obviously has to have its rewards.
Afzal might have been a bit hasty in claiming the victory as entirely his own however, as we read that the English Defence League and The Casuals United Team or C.U.N.T. (see the heading on their blog) had also taken up the “Call to Action” and were threatening to protest outside the event. According to the blog “Islamophobia Watch” this is not the first time that the E.D.L. have answered the call from Harrys Place read all about it here.
However, the international counterjihad movement is not the only source of inspiration for the EDL. They also take their cue from the terrorism-supporting Zionist blog Harry’s Place, as is shown by their enthusiastic response to a “call to action” against a so-called “jihadist conference” in London next month, posted at HP by Hasan Afzal of British Muslims for Israel.
A rather unfortunate alliance but one which clearly puts the all the racists and Islamophobes together.
According to the Casuals United blog
After discussions with our London reps, the venue have agreed to cancel. Well done to them!
“The safety of our staff and guests is our absolute priority at all times. After careful consideration and liaison with the local police force we have taken the decision to cancel the booking.”
So we are starting to get the real picture now. Hasan Afzal compiles a dossier of cobbled together out takes from various talks scholars have given and with his evident total lack of Islamic understanding manages to provide no context to explain what has been said. He then posts a call to action on Harrys place which mobilises individuals who are pro Israel, groups of racists and football thugs who bombard the venue providers with the misinformation they have been fed and make threats of protesting outside. But interestingly the Connaught Rooms management were not taken in by any of this circus, what they did was speak to the local police for advice and the local police instead of doing their job to uphold public law and order in the face of potentially rampaging hordes of drunk racists and football hooligans advised them to cancel the event in the “interests of health and safety”.
Some commentators on Harrys Place are not entirely happy with their new coalition with the E.D.L. and Casuals United but others had this to say
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you arrive.
So there we have it, no fear of violence or hatred from the speakers booked to expound on the virtues of fasting and praying in the month of Ramadan, rather according to this email from the management of the Connaught Rooms fear of violence against their property and staff by our home grown racist thugs stirred and goaded into action by Afzal and Harrys Place. I rally do not think Harrys place should be congratulating themselves on their ability to mobilise racist thugs.
Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire knows that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts.
Photo of Mairead and Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu, in east Jerusalem where Vanunu is still waiting for his right to leave Israel.
(BELFAST / Florida) – On 25 June 2012, Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire issued the call for ‘NO to War in Syria’ and for an all inclusive dialogue to solve the conflict.
Her history proves “that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts.”
A Little History of Mairead Corrigan Maguire:
In 1976, in Belfast, thousands of ordinary people throughout Northern Ireland, led by mostly women, demonstrated for an end to the killings known as “The Troubles” which began in 1969. By 1998, over thirty-four hundred people were killed in the crossfire of a brutal war against British colonial interests, revolutionary republicanism, and a revolt against the age-old, oppressive bigotry and fanaticism of religious ideologies.
On August 10, 1976, Máiread Corrigan Maguire’s two nephews and one of her nieces, all little children, were killed on a Belfast street corner.
“A British army patrol shot and killed an IRA gunman, Danny Lennon, whose car then plowed into the sidewalk, killing the children, and severely injuring Mairead’s sister Anne, who died several years later. In a land soaked with blood, their deaths came as a severe shock. Suddenly, thousands of people began to say, “Enough is enough. The killing and violence have to stop.”
Máiread, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown, organized weekly peace marches and demonstrations were attended by over half a million people throughout Ireland and England.
Máiread understands “that a peaceful and just society can be achieved only through nonviolent means and that the path to peace lies in each of our hearts.”
Fueled by her faith, Maried, a lone voice of wisdom, compassion and common sense stood on the streets of Belfast and said “No — No to the IRA, No to the UDA and LVF (the Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Volunteer Force, unionist/ loyalist paramilitaries), No to the British government’s emergency laws and interrogation centers and human rights abuses, No to injustice, bigotry, discrimination, No to any desecration of human life and dignity.’
In Belfast during the 1980′s and early 90′s, Máiread’s vision of non-violence was dismissed, ridiculed, and ignored, while those who called for retaliatory vengeance and violence were applauded. From the start, Maried understood that her dream had to reach beyond the narrow boundaries of North Ireland to embrace a non-violent future for all humanity.
After a year of political negotiations, a breakthrough settlement was reached on Good Friday 1998, bringing Northern Ireland to an Easter dawn of peace.
Maried and Betty were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for what had once been unimaginable became reality and Maried continues to envision the unimaginable: justice and peace in Israel Palestine.
It was during my November 2008 trip to Israel Palestine when I met Mairead Maguire:
The Ongoing NAKBA and Vanunu
Mairead Maguire’s 25 June 2012 statement:
People around the world are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Syria.
While we are being presented with some perspective of what is occurring on the ground to the people of Syria, the door seems closed to others.
We search for voices we can trust, voices which point to a peaceful, lasting solution to the conflict. We search for truth because it is truth which will set the Syrian people free.
Truth is difficult to find, so through the haze of conflicting narratives we must inevitably hear the voices and wisdom of men and women of peace in Syria.
Many may believe that there is a fight going on in Syria for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’.
We can be seduced into thinking there is a magic wand or instant formula to mix that will create a democratic country, but there are none.
If it is a democracy a people want they must strive for it in their own way.
It is said the Greek idea of democracy was that people would be equally valued.
This is something every society has to strive for at every point in its history; it itself is a ‘revolutionary’ concept and a nonviolent revolutionary action.
Strive to value everyone equally. It is an idea, a motivation for a better world that doesn’t require blood; it requires the hard work of people and the nurturing of a community spirit; a constant growing of peace and it starts within each human heart.
Who are the voices of peace in regard to the crisis in Syria?
Many of them we cannot hear from where we are standing. They are the mothers and father and children who want to leave their homes to walk to market or to school without fear. They are the people, who have been working hard for Syria, for the idea of Syria as a secular and modern country.
There are some Syrian voices that have been heard consistently since the beginning of the crisis. Many of them are anonymous and they speak to us about injustices and atrocities. Numbers are given and fingers are pointed. The blame may be apportioned correctly or it may not.
Everything is happening too quickly; commentators and politicians are making decisions with haste and looking only in one corner for support for their certainty. But in the heat of the madness of violent ethnic/political conflict we must listen and ask questions and hear and speak with some uncertainty because it is certainty that can take a people and a country in a rush to war.
The face of the Mufti of Syria is hardly known in the western world, but if we have learned anything from past conflict, it is the importance of all inclusive dialogue. He and many other Syrians who have peace in their hearts should be invited to sit with a council of elders from other countries, to tell of their stories and proposals for ways forward for the Syrian people.
The United Nations was not set up to provide an arena for the voices and games of the powerful; rather it should be a forum for such Syrian voices to be heard.
We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the Syrian people and find peaceful ways forward in order to stop this mad rush towards a war the mothers and fathers and children of Syria do not want and do not deserve.
We all know there are Imams, priests and nuns, fathers, mother, young people all over Syria crying out for peace and when the women in hijabs shout to the world after a bombing or a massacre in Syria ‘haram, haram’ let us hear and listen to them.
We are sure there are many heroes in Syria among them, Christian Patriarchs, Bishops, Priests, and religious.
A modern hero of peace, one whose name we do know and whose voice we have heard is Mother Agnes Mariam*.
In her community her voice has been clear, pure and loud. And it should be so in the West. Like many people in Syria she has been placed in life threatening situations, but for the sake of peace she has chosen to risk her own existence for the safety and security of others. She has spoken out against the lack of truth in our media regarding Syria and about the terror and chaos which a ‘third force’ seems to be spreading across the country.
Her words confront and challenge us because they do not mirror the picture of events in Syria we have built up in our minds over many months of reading our newspapers and watching the news on our televisions.
Much of the terror has been imported, we learn from her.
She can tell us about the thousands of Christian refugees, forced to flee their homes by an imported Islamist extreme. But Mother Agnes Mariam’s concerns, irrespective of religion, are for all the victims of the terror and conflict, as ours must be.
In all our hearts we know War is not the answer for Syria (Nor for Iran).
Intervention in Syria would only make things worse.
I believe all sides are committing war crimes and the provision of arms will only results in further death. The US/UK/NATO and all foreign governments should stay out of Syria and keep their funding and troops out of Syria.
We should support those Syrians who work for peace in Syria and who seek a way of helping the 22 million or so people of Syria to resolve their own conflict without furthering the chaos or violence.
*Mother Agnes Miriam of the Cross is a greek-Catholic (Melkite) nun of Lebanese / Palestinian descent and has lived and worked in Syria for 18 years. She restored the ancient ruined monastery of St. James the Mutilated at Qara, in Homs province where she founded an order which serves the local and wider community. In 2010 the monastery welcomed 25,000 visitors both Syrian and international. http://www.maryakub.org/index_en.html
The Peace People, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 6GE, Northern IrelandPhone: 0044 (0) 28 9066 346 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is certainly good news for the Egyptian people, exhausted and thoroughly impoverished by decades of corruption and decadence sustained by military dictators who were mostly answerable to foreign powers rather than to the masses.
It is good news for the Arab world where Egypt always assumed the ultimate leadership role, a role without which the Arabs were left like disoriented orphans, immersed in their endless tribal preoccupations and conflicts.
We also hope it is going to be good news for the Palestinians and their enduring just cause. Needless to say, the Palestinian cause suffered immensely when the traditionally commanding role of Egypt was marginalized, even neutralized, following the conclusion of the camp David treaty with Israel .
That infamous treaty enabled the criminal Zionist entity to have a free season on the Palestinians, culminating in the genocidal blitzkrieg on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9, which killed and maimed thousands of civilians and wreaked havoc on man, stone and plant.
The shocking collusion between Israel and the defunct Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak during that Nazi-like aggression prompted Israeli cabinet minister Benjamin Benalezer to remark that Egypt was Israel’s main and most important ally in the Arab world.
To be sure, the road is not going to be paved with roses for the new President of Egypt. The challenges awaiting him or laying in wait for him are formidable. However, with the mind of an engineer and a sense of a wise man, Morsi should be able to tackle or at least neutralize most of these odds.
The Egyptian economy is virtually in the intensive care unit and needs immediate revival and recuperation. Thirty years of corruption, mismanagement and disastrous policies, based on favoritism, nepotism and cronyism, brought millions of Egyptians to the brink of starvation.
Egypt doesn’t lack the skills needed to transform the country from a perpetual recipient of aid into another Turkey or even another South Korea. It just needs an honest leadership that puts the country’s future and interests above the ruler’s ambitions and political expediency.
More over, Egypt under Morsi will have to deliver itself from the clutches of American bullying and political and economic pressure. We are not suggesting that the new Egypt should adopt a hostile discourse against the United States. Far from that, friendly relations, based on mutual respect and mutual interests, ought to be sought with all countries. That is the sane and wise policy to adopt.
None the less, Egypt should make it sufficiently clear to Washington that things have changed in Cairo and much of the Arab world and that the 90 million Egyptians and another 230 million Arabs will no longer allow themselves to be humiliated and enslaved by a few Jewish robber barons controlling the government and Congress of the United States.
In short, Egypt must guard its sovereignty and national dignity, even at the expense of displeasing Washington and other western capitals.
As to Israel, the perpetual criminal aggressor and lebensraum-seeker, Egypt must make it clear to the Zionist leadership that Egypt can never be a friend or peaceable neighbor of the Jewish state as long as the Zionist regime occupies Palestine, especially Jerusalem, and pursues its ethnic cleansing enterprise against its people.
Again, no one is suggesting that Egypt should wage an all-out war against the criminal entity. However, Egypt under the new leadership can’t and must not allow Zionist terrorists and gangsters to have a free season on the Palestinians with impunity.
Egypt is also advised to renegotiate its peace treaty with Israel since that oblique and disgraceful treaty effectively deprived Egypt of its sovereignty over the Sinai peninsula.
In addition, Egypt must strengthen itself militarily in order to repulse all actual and potential predators. This necessarily means that Egypt must seek the possession of a strategic deterrent if only to protect its people and their vital interests from the morbid vagaries and sick tendencies of Israel.
Finally, Egypt must lend a helping hand to all Arab peoples seeking freedom and liberation from their tyrannical regimes as in Syria where a decidedly criminal minority sectarian regime is effectively exterminating its people in order to stay in power.
In 1968, the late British writer and journalist, Peter Mansfield, wrote that the Muslim Brotherhood was a spent force and that it wouldn’t see the light of the day again, thanks to Nasser’s repression of the group.
The fact that the MB has been able to recuperate and even reach the helm of power in the most important and populous Arab country testifies to the Islamic movement’s resilience and enduring vigor.
We hope and pray that this great event, the first of its kind since the downfall of the Ottoman state in 1924, will herald an entirely new era for this region, an era of freedom, true democracy, liberation and peace.
“Mordechai Vanunu–my friend, my hero, my brother.”-Daniel Ellsberg, 31 December 2009.
On Flag Day in the USA, I received an email written in Jerusalem and disseminated by the National Catholic Worker/CW list-serve:
“Mordechai Vanunu needs the CW…Vanunu cannot eat Nobel Prize nominations, nor speak with them. He needs money and friends in order to survive his continued persecution…Vanunu is both Prophet and pauper. Like many ‘veterans’ he has special needs.”
I forwarded that email to Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower and he replied with an idea for me; but I had another, and after a few email exchanges we agreed on a plan-which follows this background story-but first he also wrote:
“Since January when I moved back to East Jerusalem, I am again meeting with foreigners and going to churches. I am ready to meet anyone who is coming here…it is good for the mind to know that some one care…and Freedom Must Come.”
But in the moment I read the CW email about Vanunu I heard within my heart:
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person?” 1 John 3:17
And then I recalled the first time I wrote an article calling him a prophet and Vanunu shot back: “DO NOT CALL ME THAT!”
But in the spirit of freedom of speech, I do!
I also contend than prophets do NOT predict the future-as much as they point out impending doom, are never esteemed by their own, rarely respected in their life time, but they do provoke those so inclined to think about God-to think!
Vanunu pointed the way to Israel’s clandestine weapons of mass destruction program underground in the Negev desert in 1986. To this day the Dimona remains un-inspected by IAEA inspectors and many consider Vanunu a traitor, but all he did was TELL THE TRUTH 26 years ago!
Vanunu also puts me mind of the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah who spent much of his life under house arrest in Jerusalem, for being a truth teller.
We know more about the personal life and struggles of Jeremiah than any other Hebrew prophet and Jeremiah, translates as “The Lord throws”-as in hurling.
Jeremiah had few friends and is considered primarily a prophet of doom.
Jeremiah was intensely introspective, self-critical, timid by nature but honest and open about his feelings. Jeremiah never married and began prophesying in Judah from 604-586, a time of storm and stress when the doom of entire nations-including Judah itself-was being sealed. Jeremiah had been the king’s friend and confident, but the prophet soon entered a dreary round of persecution and imprisonment, alternating with only brief periods of freedom, and lived under virtual house arrest for speaking his conscience.
said, “I cannot keep silent…Disaster follows disaster; the land lies in ruins…My people are fools; they do not know me.”-4:19.
Exactly seven years ago to the very day I am publishing this piece and during our third meeting, Vanunu was telling me about his childhood in Marrakesh, Morocco.
When I told him I had never been and then Vanunu asked me if I had ever seen the “Dorothy Day” movie, “The Man who Knew Too Much” for the beginning scenes were shot where he grew up.
I laughed out loud because he meant to say Doris Day and because in that very moment I realized my most cherished childhood dream had matured!
My childish dream had been to grow up and become Brenda Starr, the red headed, ace investigative journalist, who was smarter than the guys, glamorous and headstrong. Star reporter for the metropolitan daily, The Flash, Brenda traveled the world solving mysteries and unearthing scoops. Brenda intuitively knew when somebody was not telling the truth and fearlessly went around the world searching for unusual and usually dangerous stories.
Vanunu’s slip of the tongue was the catalyst for me to begin to imagine following in the footsteps of Dorothy Day, the 20th century socialist muckraker who became a committed Christian of The Beatitudes and a voice for the voiceless in her newspaper “The Catholic Worker” which persists today.
Three weeks after my first of seven trips to the State of Israel and Land of Palestine, I established WeAreWideAwake.org
Dorothy Day knew God is LOVE and “Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing…Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers.”
Day was also a prolific writer who understood:
“Writing a book is hard, because you are giving yourself away. But if you love, you want to give yourself. You write as you are impelled to write, about man and his problems, his relation to God and his fellows. You write about yourself because in the long run all man’s problems are the same, his sustenance and love.”
I know it too, but work can be labors of love when you love what you do; and as I have now begun my fourth book-working title is “VANUNU Waits for Liberty and My Life as a Candidate of Conscience for US HOUSE” all proceeds received for my third book BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010 are now going to Vanunu’s Liberty Fund and liberty means Freedom!
UNTIL People of Conscience step up and HELP establish a 501c3 for Vanunu, who acted on conscience 26 years ago to avert a Nuclear Holocaust and Establish a Nuclear FREE Middle East, donations can be mailed directly to Vanunu’s USA bank account but as it is a trust fund he will never know who sent him a gift unless you tell him and he can be reached @ < > or phone him in east Jerusalem on him mobile: ( 9 7 2 ) 0523744569
Checks Payable to:
Mordechai Vanunu’s Trust Fund
Account No: 8732622
Postal Credit Union
Attention: Lynn Mitchell
2401 N. McKnight Road
North St Paul, MN 55109
To send a gift by PayPal and receive a copy of BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010
With 100% of your donation going to MORDECHAI VANUNU’S LIBERTY FUND – as I will eat the cost of printing and mailing visit:
In 1987, from Ashkelon Prison, Vanunu wrote:
“I have no choice. I’m a little man, a citizen, one of the people, but I’ll do what I have to. I’ve heard the voice of my conscience and there’s nowhere to hide. The world is small, small for Big Brother. I’m on your mission. I’m doing my duty. Take it from me. Come and see for yourselves. Lighten my burden. Stop [this] train. Get off [this] train. The next stop — nuclear disaster.”
The election of Egypt’s president Muhammad Mursi momentarily threw a spotlight on the long-forgotten Palestinians exiled to Gaza after the Israelis’ infamous siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in the West Bank 10 years ago.
Still kicking their heels in Gaza the exiles called on Mursi to continue efforts to end the squabble between political rivals Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=498512 . They were optimistic that the new Egyptian president would work towards easing Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip and press for Palestinians rights, including the right of exiles to return home.
It is expected Mursi will at least allow greater freedom to travel across Gaza’s Rafah crossing into Egypt, the besieged enclave’s only door to the outside world.
How did the exiles find themselves in the prison Gaza has become? In 2002 a young girl from a refugee camp triggered events that led to a 40-day siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This is probably the oldest Christian church in the world, built by Constantine the Great and dating from AD330. A member of the girl’s family had been killed by Israeli occupation troops. Grief-stricken, she took revenge by turning herself into a suicide bomber.
The Israelis responded by sending 250 tanks and armoured personnel carriers, F-16 fighter jets, Apache gunships and hundreds of soldiers into West Bank towns like Nablus, Jenin and Bethlehem late at night. In Bethlehem they cut the electricity supply and invaded the old township with helicopter gunships and occupied all key points around Manger Square. Many innocent Palestinians were killed by shelling and army snipers, and the market and some shops were set on fire as troops tried to hunt down suspected ‘fighters’. Civilians tried desperately to hide from the troops and a large number of people took refuge or arrived for other reasons at the Church and found themselves trapped, unable to leave.
A few years ago I interviewed one of the survivors, who recalled that “248 took refuge there. They included 1 Islamic Jihad, 28 Hamas, 50 to 60 Al-Aqsa Martyrs. The remainder were ordinary townsfolk and included 100 uniformed Palestinian Authority workers, also 26 children and 8 to10 women and girls. The Israeli soldiers would not allow them to leave, but they escaped in the first week by a back door.”
Priests and nuns – Armenian, Greek and Catholic – from the adjoining monasteries brought the number to over 300 at the beginning. “Some of them went back to the monasteries but some stayed with us every day for the 40 days.”
‘Armchair slaughter’ – the deadly new video game.
The Vatican was outraged. The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem called on Christians worldwide to make the upcoming Sunday a “solidarity day” for the people in the Church and the Church itself, and urged immediate intervention to stop what it called the “inhuman measures against the people and the stone of the Church”
The Israelis set up cranes on which were mounted robotic machine-guns under video control. According to eye-witnesses eight defenders, including the bell-ringer, were murdered, some by the armchair button-pushers playing with their video joysticks and some by regular snipers.
From the start, said my survivor, the Israeli troops used psychological warfare methods – for example, disorienting noise to deprive them of sleep, bright lights and concussion grenades. They paraded the families of the besieged in front of the Church to pressure them to surrender. They also used illegal dum-dum bullets which cause horrendous wounds and trauma. “Most of those who were killed… it was because of the dum-dums… so much bleeding, and it took so long to arrange to send them to a hospital.”
He said the soldiers fired tracer rounds into two of the monasteries and set the ancient fabric of the buildings alight.
15 days into the siege those inside managed to recharge their cellphones using the mains that supplied the Church towers and call for help. The Israelis had overlooked the fact that this was a separate supply coming from the Bethlehem municipality. Friends responded by sending food to the medical centre. From there it went by ambulance, along with authentic casualties, and was delivered to houses near the Church. At night young girls carried the food in plastic bags from house to house until supplies reached the dwellings nextdoor to the Church. The bags were then thrown from roof to roof. This went on for 6 days until one girl dropped a bag, which the soldiers found. The Israelis, now alerted, shot and paralysed another young man. It put an end to the food operation.
“Inside the Church we vowed not to harm the soldiers unless they actually broke in. When soldiers did gain access and killed one of the resisters, 4 of them were shot.”
Those trapped inside the Church were surprised to discover an old lady living within the complex. She had a small horde of olives and wheat, with which they made bread. So they managed to eke out the food for 28 days.
The Governor of Bethlehem and the Director of the Catholic Society were among those holding out in the Church. According to my survivor’s first-hand account, those inside only opened the door if someone died or was injured. He recalled watching through a peephole and seeing people approaching across the forecourt. “They were from the Peace Movement, 28 of them. By now the world media were watching. 17 were arrested but 11 took a big risk, managing to bluff their way in and bringing food in their rucksacks, which lasted another 4 days, and basic medicines.
The worst time, he said, was the final week – no food and only dirty water from the well. They resorted to boiling leaves and old chicken legs into a soup. He ate only lemons and salt for 5 or 6 days. “Many were so ill by this time that they were passing blood.”
Outside some 15 civilians had been indiscriminately shot in the street or in their homes. The Israelis refused to allow the dead in the Church to be removed for decent burial. “In the end, the Governor decided it was better to be in jail than die. So we opened the door and surrendered on the 40th day. 148 had survived. We were promptly arrested and interrogated.
“13 were exiled to the EU, 26 were exiled to Gaza, 26 were wounded, 26 had surrendered because they were under-age. 8 were killed inside the Church, and with Samir (the bellringer) makes 9. They shot Samir in front of the Church as he came out to surrender.
The rest were allowed home, including my survivor. “The Israelis said to me, ‘Do you know why you are going home? Because America wants it’.” The adverse publicity had prodded the CIA and EU into taking a hand in deciding the fate of the survivors.
The whole disgraceful episode would no doubt have ended in more carnage if the world’s media hadn’t tuned in and ten international activists, including members of the International Solidarity Movement, hadn’t managed to enter the Church.
I hear that the exiles have not been allowed to work since or receive visits from their families. According to some reports they were not even allowed to say goodbye to their loved ones before being packed off.
What exactly were they guilty of? They may have been Palestinian gunmen but the last time I checked it was perfectly OK to put up armed resistance against an illegal military occupation. Israel’s gunmen happen to wear uniform and are equipped with the best weaponry American tax dollars can buy. They are fond of saying, “We have a right to defend ourselves.” So do the Palestinians. Obviously.
So why did America and the EU lend themselves to this shameful act of exiling… a helpful little boost to Israel’s ongoing programme of ethnic cleansing of the West Bank
And having got their hands dirty isn’t it time, after 10 years, they cleaned up and insisted that these forgotten men be re-united with their families?
A few weeks ago the Israeli press was practising their usual distortions http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/155689 and telling readers that “the terrorists took shelter in the famous church, and used about 40 priests and nuns as a shield, knowing Israel would not take a chance on inadvertently hurting priests and nuns”.
But for Israel’s gunslingers it had been open season on bellringers and other innocents.
Israeli violence against social protesters in Tel Aviv’s heart
On June 27, 2012, a Knesset Member finally acknowledged the seriousness of the unending social protests in Israel. Miriam Regev—who was the IDF Spokesperson before joining the Likud party—said “the far left activists want to transform Rabin Square into Tahrir Square, and to throw out the government.” The activists couldn’t hear that, because they left the building as soon as she climbed the podium. Frustrated at the futility of her speech, at its end she shouted at her peer Haneen Zoabi “traitor, go back to Gaza.”
This was strange, because the latter is a Palestinian Knesset Member from Nazareth. Jewish Israelis tend to define the latter as “Arab Israelis,” refusing to acknowledge the existence of Palestinians. This wasn’t an isolated event of yet another red-faced Israeli politician; on the same day, Foreign Affairs Minister told to Knesset Member Talab El-Sana “You’re a terrorist… I’ll take care of you first.” El-Sana is a Bedouin member of the Arab Democratic Party. The idiom “take care” in Hebrew is a clear threat that implies physical violence.
The heated event was the result of last Friday, June 22, violent housing protests in Tel Aviv. Daphni Leef—one of the most prominent activists on the issue—was violently arrested by the police during the event. Several hundred demonstrators had carried tents to Rothschild Boulevard—near Rabin Square—in an attempt to revive the tent city that symbolized the protests of last summer (see Bibi Antoinette: Guillotine in Tel Aviv). The police prevented the placement of tents and arrested Daphni Leef. Subsequently, the protesters knocked over trash cans and shouted slogans against Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but failed to rescue Mrs. Leef.
The site chosen for the event was very emblematic. Rothschild Boulevard is one of the prettiest spots in the city, running southwards of Square Rabin. The latter was the assassination site of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and symbolizes the Israeli government’s sinfulness toward its own citizens. Unlike Tahrir Square in Egypt, it is not a roundabout but a large square placed next to Tel Aviv’s Municipality, a monstrous rectangular building constructed in the best of the blockish Communist architectural style; an amazing reminder of Israel’s past.
The Protests’ Dark Stars
The analogy used by Miriam Regev was more accurate than she probably intended. Tahrir Square became the symbol of the popular protests against Egyptian President Mubarak; eventually they succeeded to oust him. Yet, Egypt is still run by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and its leader Field Marshal Tantawi. Recent unilateral changes made by the SCAF assure that the country will be run by the military-run National Defense Council even after the recently elected President Mohammed Morsi will take over (see Egypt-Iran: an Alliance is Born). The Israeli leadership is very similar in nature to its oppressive Egyptian peer, to the extent that even baby-faced Miriam Regev is an army general. Ron Huldai—Tel Aviv’s mayor—is also a general. Main Israeli cities are administered by former high ranking military officers. Many of them occupy—“occupy” in the military sense, it is difficult to regard them as properly “elected”—the municipalities after leaving the army and often become mayors. Whenever they reach this last post, they keep it for eons. In Tel Aviv, two generals enter into this category: Shlomo “Chich” Lahat (1974-1993) and Ron Huldai (1998-present). The last is closely related to Aviem Sella, who recruited Jonathan Pollard to spy for Israel. This over-abundance of general doubling as mayors is not casual; the proper function of Israeli cities depends on proper communication channels with the IDF. The last person in this saga is not less interesting. Daphni Leef has all the signs of being a Shin Beth underground agent, as Avishai Raviv was; the latter was the agent provocateur in Prime Minister Rabin’s assassination. His acting on behalf of the Shin Beth was proven in court.
Last year, then 25-year-old Daphni Leef, initiated the tent city in Tel Aviv that launched a nationwide protest movement. She urged the public to flood Israel’s streets and show their discontent with the government. Leef accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of,
using the nation as a springboard”
living on our expense.”
The time has come for you to admit your mistakes and understand that your time is running out.”
Such a youthful passion, that one could buy her entire story!
Yet, Mrs. Leef is an unlikely candidate to lead the protests. She grew up in a Jewish-secular Jerusalem family and then moved to Tel Aviv at 19, studied film at university and worked in various jobs, most recently waiting tables and video editing. It takes some digging around to find she is more attached to the establishment than it looks. She grew up in Rehavia, an exclusive neighborhood of Jerusalem. She refused to serve in the IDF and was granted that (despite not belonging to one of the exempt groups); years later she claimed it was due to medical reasons. In Israeli context, that means lots of Vitamin P (“P” for “Protection”) in her bluish, royal veins. Then, she studied cinema at the film department of Tel Aviv University, which—again—is quite exclusive. Afterwards, she made a film for the “Free Israel” association, which promotes civil marriage in Israel (inexistent until now, see Rabbi accused of bribery appointed Head of Jerusalem Rabbinical Court). Her true allegiance became clear after on July 20, 2011, the Israeli right-wing extra-parliamentary group “Im Tirtzu” announced that they would no longer take part in the protests, claiming that the New Israel Fund and various left-wing groups are directly involved. Im Tirtzu officials said: “Daphni Leef, who is perceived in the media as the initiator of the struggle, is actually a video editor for the New Israel Fund and Shatil.”
Now things are clear. The New Israel Fund (NIF) is a US based, non-profit organization established in 1979. In 2008 it contributed about US$30 million to human rights and civil society groups in Israel. The New Israel Fund describes its objective as social justice and equality for all Israelis. The president of this organization is Naomi Chazan, former member of the Knesset for Meretz, a party belonging to the Jewish-left. Suddenly, this young, free-spirit called Daphni Leef turned out being very well-linked to the establishment. Meretz may be left, but it still is a Zionist party. One of its main members—Ran Cohen—was the officer who wrote the artillery brigade doctrine for Division 98, the special vertical bypass unit described in The Cross of Bethlehem. Is Leef the Shin Beth control-agent over the protests? Probably. In this context, her arrest was just a panicked evacuation by the police of a valuable agent from a violence zone.
In the first paragraph I mentioned Avigdor Lieberman’s ugly threat toward Knesset Member Talab El-Sana. The threat took place in the Bedouin village of Al Zarnog in the Negev, while Lieberman was inspecting illegal constructions. That is correct; Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs became the Israeli government representative on the issue of building permits. Miriam Regev was shouting in the Knesset against the housing protesters in Tel Aviv, while Lieberman shouted in the Negev at the Knesset Member representing the Bedouins in their desperate plea to get building permits. Empire folded neatly today. This is truer when looking at the picture of the latter event.
Lieberman sits at a table loaded with Turkish Börek; the latter are called “burekas” in Hebrew and are a symbol of Israeli cheesy movies. From now on, they also symbolise Israel’s imperial ambitions over the former Ottoman Empire. Bon apetite!
Russian President Vladimir Putin visit to the occupied Palestinian territories was described as a success. During his press statement, he reiterated Russia’s support; saying Russia has no problem recognizing a Palestinian state
A court in Germany has ruled that parents may not have their children circumcised on religious grounds because it is in fact – Minor bodily harm without consent. The move has angered Muslims and Jews alike who adhere to the Abrahamic Covenant with God; which boils down to something like – In order to feel part of the chosen crowd men must be circumcised.
The physical descendants of Abraham received a token of the Abrahamic Covenant – circumcision. Abraham was told by God in Genesis 17:10 (see notes), “Every man child among you shall be circumcised.” God adds in verse 11, “…it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.”
Strangely, most people are agreed that F.G.M (Female Genital Mutilation) is Haram (Forbidden), yet M.G.M Male Genital Mutilation is perfectly OK. The reason that is generally cited is that it is for religious traditional reasons and therefore “encumbant upon all men” to be circumcised in order to maintain good relations with … GOD.
In Britain in May two men were arrested in Birmingham who were offering F.G.M to Muslims. According to reports upwards of 20 000 women are at risk of FGM in Britain. Depite the furore surrounding FGM, Male Genital Mutliation carrys on regardless. But Germany is waking up to what is a Human rights Issue.
The court in Cologne decided that a legal guardian’s authority over a child does not allow them to subject them to the procedure, which the court called minor bodily harm, reports The Financial Times Deutschland.
Various religious groups have hit back, claiming that it is a restriction of their religious freedoms. It will be very interesting to see how the religious groups respond to this development and whether this ruling will affect other countries attitude towards this practice.
A group of some of Britain’s top lawyers has issued a report critical of the way Israel treats Palestinian children.
It says the Israeli forces
- force Palestinian children to make false confessions
- make them sign statements in Hebrew
- hold them for eight times as long as Israeli children before bringing them to court
- hold them for forty-five times as long before allowing them access to a lawyer
- hold them five times as long (188 days) before charging them
- sentence younger children to custodial sentences
- do night-time arrests
- use blindfolds and painful plastic wrist ties
- commit physical and/or verbal abuse
- fail to inform children of the right to silence or to see a lawyer
- use solitary confinement and self-incrimination
- allow extremely restricted access to families
- break the United Nations convention on the rights of the child in six different ways
These lawyers are backed by Britain’s Foreign Office, not an organization known for militant anti-Zionism. The above statements err on the side of caution.
Israel claims to be a state committed to the rule of law and international standards. To make good that claim, it must formulate a legal structure for all Palestinian children in compliance with the convention of the rights of the child and international law. Further steps must be taken to close the gaps between the treatment of Israeli and Palestinian children…
whine the lawyers.
These lawyers are clever people. They know as well as I do that Israel is not committed to the same standards as the other Western countries – it’s an overtly racist state. They know that is the reason it mistreats Palestinians – its very existence is premised on ethnically cleansing them. They know that the mistreatment of non-Jewish children is part of the essence of the Jewish state.
Working for the UK government, they can’t really say that. So they confine themselves to half-truths and ineffectual pleading:
The prohibition on violent, threatening or coercive conduct towards children should be strictly observed…
they say, as if Israel is going to listen.
Whom do they think they’re kidding?
The State of Israel is Over…Long live Palestine.
This report just in from Lauren Booth.
Last week the Canadian Jewish Independent decided to look into the notion of “choseness” only to find that Jewish supremacy is actually “kosher” since everyone else also wants to be chosen. “Is there any religion on earth that does claim its adherents are chosen as God’s special children?” asks this Jewish outlet. So, rather than look into the mirror, the Jewish Independent simply blames the Goyim for wanting to be Jews “Our (Jewish) ancient ancestors may have trademarked the term, but when we look at the theology and behavior of other major religions, it is they, as much or more so than Jews, who behave as if they are God’s chosen.”
The Jewish Independent writes: “In both Islam and Christianity, entrance to heaven is available only to those who adhere to the word of the earthly messengers of the divine.” But for some reason, the Jewish outlet fails to inform its readership that unlike Judaism that is tribal, uniquely nationalist and racially exclusive, Christianity and Islam are inclusive, universal and open to all.
But it isn’t just Judaism that the Canadian Jewish Independent is there to vindicate. After all, the Jewish Independent is also a devoted Zionist outlet. For the sake of defending Israel, the Jewish paper would slander every nation on the face of our planet. “Nations too, are founded on a form of chosenness, a chauvinism that manifests in forms ranging from harmless football rivalries to war. And yet, who gets the guff for being uppity? Oh yeah, this century, like others, it’s still the Jews.”
It seems as if, for some peculiar reason, the Jewish Independent has failed to notice that the Zionism and the ‘Jews-only state’ have been celebrating Jewish choseness at the expense of the Palestinians and Arabs for more than a century. However, In case independent Canadian Jews fail to notice, I must remind them that seven million Palestinian refugees are still waiting for the Jewish state to allow them to return to their homes, villages, cities and land.
The Jewish outlet doesn’t even attempt any new or original analysis of choseness. Instead, it offers the same, old, recycled explanation – everybody is equally bad, but the Goyim always ‘pick on us’, the Jews. “Everyone else might exhibit the same characteristic, but the world notices it most in Jews. The basis of stereotyping is the application to one people of an exaggerated version of a human characteristic.” There you go – the Jews are picked out only because they are actually ‘uniquely human’. It continues: “Jews, it has been said, are like everyone else only more so. In other words, characteristics that are innately human are perceived by others to be exaggerated in Jews.”
But is this true? Is the Jewish state that enjoys the support of the vast majority of world Jewry ‘innately human’? Is AIPAC, that is pushing us into a new global conflict ‘innately human’? Is ethnic cleansing uniquely or ‘innately human’? Does shelling a UN refugee post with white phosphorous just one more Jewish experiment in universal compassion? And most importantly, does the Jewish Independent expect the Goyim to buy this nonsense? The answer is yes! Interestingly enough, the Goyim have been known to buy into this clumsy Judeo-centric narrative. But then for some (tragic) reason they always wake up. Recent BBC polls show that in spite of relentless Hasbara, Jewish controlled media and extensive lobbying, Israel is already one of the most despised states on earth.
The Canadian Jewish Independent has to appease its devoted tribal followers. Though it initially tried to claim that Jews are ‘as special as anyone else’, it ends up admitting that the ‘Jews-only state’ is somehow after all, superior. “Because of all its technological innovation and for creating a world-leading economy out of little more than sand and ideas, Israel is the envy of its neighbors. But despite this, there is little to celebrate, since Jews throughout the centuries have known only the dangers of envious neighbors.” Seemingly, it is not Israeli criminality but rather Jewish greatness and proactive choseness that puts Jews and their beloved state at constant risk.
Seemingly, the Jewish Independent doesn’t even try to disguise its supremacist inclinations. It is there to support Israel and Jewish tribalism and to defy any criticism of the ‘chosen’. “At anti-Israel protests in this city, we have heard the chant ‘No more Chosen People’! In countless online screeds against Israel and against Jews, there is a sneering invocation of the term. Even in mainstream moderate contexts, the idea of chosenness is raised, only to be left hanging for the observer to decipher.”
I may as well admit that the Jewish Independent makes me feel proud. It is no secret that, along with a few others, I am one of those who argue that political condemnation of Israel must be expanded into a vast criticism of Jewishness* and choseness. Zionism and Israel are, obviously, just symptoms of choseness.
In my latest book The Wandering Who I offer a conclusive criticism of Jewishness, Jewish identity politics and choseness. I have been subject to some relentless but futile Zionist and ‘anti’ Zionist harassment. Last March I was even criticized by a few Palestinians for exposing their Jewish backers. However, it seems that against all odds, truth has again prevailed. The message is clearly filtering through: ‘choseness is once again at the core of the discussion. As much as Anti Zionist Zionists (AZZ) are determined to silence this crucial discourse, the Jewish Independent and other Zionists seem to grasp that we are heading towards criticism of Jewish identity politics, its exclusive tendency and its inherent supremacist characteristics.
* Jewishness –Jewish ideology (as opposed to Judaism) is defined as different ideologies, tactics and practices celebrating Jewish tribal choseness.
The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, phony socialism, choseness and more..
Opposing alliances create concentric rings around Eastern Mediterranean gas fields
Egypt is back in the new version of the Great Game; in this century the race is not after the vast territories of Central Asia, but after the rich gas fields discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean. On Sunday, June 24, 2012, Mohamed Morsi was declared Egypt’s first Islamist president in the freest elections in the country’s history. Morsi won with 51.7% of last weekend’s run-off vote versus 48.3 for Shafiq; the latter was the last Prime Minister of President’s Mubarak corrupt regime. A new Egypt has been born and is ready to return to its central role in the Arab and Muslim worlds… just a sec, not so fast.
Not so fast…
Morsi is the first civilian president in the history of modern Egypt. The other four presidents came all from the military ranks. Moreover, he is the first president openly identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that was defined illegal by the military-run regime. When it became clear that the army-backed candidate had little chance to win (see Rigged Democracy: Egypt as Israel), the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) running the country since Mubarak was deposed, illegitimately changed the rules of the game. President Mursi will have much less power than his predecessor Mubarak; the real power will remain in the hands of the military. The SCAF granted itself legislative powers, and reinforced its role in the drafting of a permanent constitution. Moreover, Field Marshal Tantawi announced the re-establishment of a National Defense Council, leaving the generals in charge of Egypt’s national security policy even after their last president was jailed for life.
Yet, reality is clear. Egypt finally recognized its Muslim heart and the army won’t be able to change that, mainly because most of its soldiers are Muslim. The generation of Field Marshal Tantawi and its America-funded generals will be replaced by a new generation that didn’t know the sweetness of corruption. Hours before his victory was announced, Mursi gave an interview to Iran’s Fars news agency. He declared that he will aim at bettering the relations between the countries, which had not been allies in the last century, in order to “create a balance of pressure in the region.” Shortly afterwards, Iran praised the election of Morsi, as a “splendid vision of democracy” that marked an “Islamic Awakening.” Sunni Egypt and Shi’ite Iran are among the biggest and most influential countries in the Middle East. They haven’t had diplomatic relations since 1980, following Iran’s Islamic Revolution and Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Yet, the current warming up between the countries is not a mere consequence of Islam revival in Egypt. The reference of Mursi to the “balance of power” was a clear reference to the New Great Game. Until now, Egypt was out of it.
An Alliance is Born
At the bottom of this page is a box linking relevant articles on the recently discovered gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean; in this article I’ll just make a short summary of the issue and link it to the new Egyptian reality. The fields have been discovered from 2009 onwards, with new ones being discovered every few months. Some of them are in disputed areas between Israel and Lebanon; others in areas controlled by Cyprus. Studies show that the area between Northern Cyprus and Turkey may also be rich in gas. Because the distances among the countries are less than 400 nautical miles, it is up to the states to delineate the actual boundaries. Israel and Lebanon are not at peace with each other, and Israel and Turkey have lowered their relations to the minimum possible following the Freedom Flotilla Affair. Thus, a peaceful solution is not the most likely outcome.
Following the gas discovery, Israel was fast to create a close military alliance with Cyprus. This has encroached most of the fields between the two countries. Greece was brought into this alliance—providing peripheral support—in a military exercise conducted together with the USA. Israel also strengthened its relations with NATO, to the extent that it got access to NATO’s communications codes (NATO-Israel Joint Drill: Access Codes); thus, despite Turkey being formally part of NATO, it is hard to believe NATO will attack Israel if the conflict escalates. Finally, in the far periphery of the area, Israel has an energy-based alliance with Azerbaijan.
Lebanon was the first country of the opposite alliance to clearly state its intentions regarding the gas fields. Turkey subsequently declared its support, and that it will protect the Northern Cyprus fields when discovered. This almost surrounded the inner ring of Israel-Cyprus, leaving only its southern flank exposed. Shortly after, Iran announced its active support of Lebanon in its claims. Syria was left outside due to the civilian unrest still dominating reality there. In 2009, Egypt was a close ally of Israel and thus didn’t get involved on the issue. After Mubarak’s fall, the political instability caused the gas fields to be neglected by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Now things have changed. Egypt is in position to claim sovereignty over many of the discovered fields; new ones may be discovered between Egypt and Cyprus, as the map above shows. Mursi’s statement regarding the warming up between Egypt and Iran signal which alliance Egypt wants to join. It makes sense in the military angle; with Egypt joining Lebanon and Turkey, an outer naval ring surrounding the Israel-Cyprus one, a new “balance of pressure”—as it was defined by Mursi—will be created. Though cautious, the fine-print in Mursi’s statement is crystal clear. Israel’s claims of ownership will soon be contested at higher levels; an energy-war may erupt in the near future.
Whilst it is easy to point out the many problems that Egypt is likely to face in the coming months and years, it should not be forgotten that a huge victory has taken place. The people of Egypt for the first time in decades were able to vote for a Presidential candidate and what is more they voted for Islam over secularism.
Mohammed Morsi the new President of Egypt was a prisoner of Mubarak’s government but is now the President of Egypt whilst Mubarak himself is in detention. Read here Dr Morsi’s victory speech.
For myself and I am sure all of those people whom I travelled with on the first Viva Palestina convoy from London to Gaza, just weeks after operation “Cast Lead” in early 2009, such a huge step in Egypt was impossible to imagine. As our humanitarian aid convoy tried to enter Egypt from Libya after driving thousands of miles from London across Europe and North Africa, we were met with unprecedented security at the border. Some of our convoy members were apparently randomly selected and refused entry to Egypt and deported back to Libya with no reason given. The convoy then set out across Northern Egypt with a security/riot police officer posted every 20 metres along the road between the border and the Sinai. We were taken to military hotels and kept as prisoners overnight. We were kept away from any civilian population centres, swept by police escorts down the back roads where no one could see us. We were taken into tents in the desert for food stops and speeches, escorted by rows of Mubarak Youth who were brought into the desert by coach and we endured numerous speeches telling us that the Egyptians had done more for the Palestinians than any other nation. The finale was an attack on us by Baltagia in Al Arish which was orchestrated from the very highest levels as they managed to have all of the electricity in the town cut off so they could attack us in the dark. But this was not the worst experience by far, a year later we return to Gaza and suffered much worse beatings in Al Arish followed by detention and forced deportation after our exit from Gaza. The last time I tried to enter Egypt I was detained and deported at Cairo airport because my name is on the Security Black list – and for what? For being amongst those who took humanitarian aid to Gaza – where was their Islamic love for their besieged brothers and sisters in Gaza? My intention is just to give the reader a small insight of how a police state feels when you are inside it as a “guest”.
But I was only a visitor to Egypt what about those who lived there under the brutal state with it’s horrifying security apparatus? Let us remind ourselves that the Muslim Brotherhood were a banned party for decades and their candidates stood for parliament as independents. Muslim brotherhood members were imprisoned frequently and most especially just at the time where they had to register their intention to stand for election thus making it impossible for them to register.
One of the most shameful aspects of this brutal period of Egypt’s history is the fact that the U.S.A. – the U.K. and Western governments praised Mubarak as a moderate and as a partner in the phony war on terror whilst at the same time using the torture facilities in Egyptian prisons for rendered prisoners on their way to Guantanamo. I for one will never forget or forgive my own government’s complicity in torture and in propping up brutal dictatorships where it suited their agenda. I really hope that Jack Straw and others who allegedly knew of the torture and who “signed off” the papers for rendering prisoners, will be brought to justice.
Despite the obvious reality that Egypt has many struggles ahead, particularly with the U.S. being a major contributor of military aid – which no doubt is their way of buying peace between Egypt and Israel, there is still room for hope that there will be a just and accountable government for the Egyptian people. It has taken years of small steps in Turkey to loosen the grip of the secular military and judiciary over politics, just to reach the stage where there is not a military coup every time the government takes a step the military do not like, there is no doubt that Erdogan has had to walk a very fine line.
One of our British scholars of Islam Sheik Haitham al Haddad has written a beautiful article on the victory in Egypt which I will post below. When I read the article yesterday I was very moved just thinking about how the people of Egypt have been so brutally oppressed but now there really is now a reason to hope. Of course it goes without saying that Egypt’s neighbour Israel is not totally convinced by any promises made to keep peace treaties intact – Israel knows very well that they are hated by all of their neighbours and with good reason. Here a video that they helpfully translated for us on the reality that Muslims are never going to rest until Al Quds is liberated.
The Egyptian elections: Victory for Mohammed Morsi
The victory for Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s presidential election is a milestone in the history of modern Arab countries. After having been imprisoned by the ex-president Husni Mubarak, one of the most corrupt dictators of the Middle East, he will now replace him as the president. This is not a victory for the Brotherhood or even political Islam, but a victory of truth over falsehood and a manifestation of the real colour of Muslims, whether they are educated, lay people, men, women, young or old.
The victory for Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s presidential election is a milestone in the history of modern Arab countries. After having been imprisoned by the ex-president Husni Mubarak, one of the most corrupt dictators of the Middle East, he will now replace him as the president. This is not a victory for the Brotherhood or even political Islam, but a victory of truth over falsehood and a manifestation of the real colour of Muslims, whether they are educated, lay people, men, women, young or old. Allah says,
“He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface, and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood. Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.”
“And [mention] when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day.” [Allah] said: “And whoever disbelieves – I will grant him enjoyment for a little; then I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and wretched is the destination.”
“And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.”
“Whoever has the Hereafter as his main concern, Allah will fill his heart with a feeling of richness and independence; he will be focused and feel content, and this world will come to him in spite of it. Whoever has this world as his main concern, Allah will cause him to feel constant fear of poverty; he will be distracted and unfocused, and he will have nothing of this world except what was already predestined for him.”
“Allah has promised those who have believed amongst you and performed righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.”
Rodney King, whose horrific beating by a gang of armed police officers sparked the L.A. race riots in 1992, has died in suspicious circumstances. King, 47, drowned in his home swimming pool in the early hours of Sunday, June 17th, 2012. Family members claim foul play as L.A. coroners announce that it could take over a month for them to release their opinion on the cause of death (more than enough time for everyone to get their stories straight; if this was, as some suspect, an assassination).
KING AND THE L.A. RIOTS
March 3rd, 1991: Rodney King is pulled over by the LAPD for speeding: Ushered out of his car at gunpoint, King was set upon by a swarm of police officers who reigned down a barrage of head and body blows with boots, fists and batons. King was even electrocuted with a Taser and the cops seemed to intensify their assault the weaker he became.
Fortunately, courageous eyewitness George Holliday managed to tape the attack and get the footage to local news station KTLA. Rodney King was treated for his injuries in Pacifica Hospital. ER Nurses recalled how the cops joked amongst themselves, openly bragging about the extent of the damage they’d managed to inflict upon King.
In the wake of the attack, concerned citizens formed neighbourhood watch groups to safeguard communities against police brutality, ‘The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality’ was also established to counteract cop-on-citizen violence.
King was charged with evading arrest, imprisoned for four days and released on March 6th 1991.
April 29th 1992: The police are acquitted of all charges. Public outrage escalates to an all time high as racial tensions reach breaking point.
April 29, 1992–May 4, 1992: The L.A. race riots begin, as justifiably enraged African Americans and other racial minorities take to the streets in six days of widespread unrest. 53 people are killed and approximately 2,000 are injured as the U.S. regime deploys troops in a mad panic to pacify the city.
As fate would have it, the race riots even had a ready made soundtrack: Here, popular rap group ‘NWA’ present a harmonized, colloquial summary of anti-police sentiments amongst the African American community:
The U.S. department of Justice announces a reopening of the investigation.
March 9th 1993: At the re-trial, two of the police officers are found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years in prison whilst two others are freed without charge.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON RODNEY KING
Now I’m tired of seeing the same old spin on the King story where they try and imply that he was somehow the author of his own misfortunes: Look out for these disinformation tangents in any Rodney King story you may come across:
1. ‘Rodney King was an alcoholic’: And? George W. Bush was an alcoholic and no one stopped that drug addled, extremist Jew controlled moron until he’d murdered close to a million innocent people. So until those who endorse the attack on King, demand that Bush be treated in the exact same way, their sermonizing amounts to nothing more than racist hypocrisy.
2. ‘Rodney King should have pulled over’: He did, and was beaten to within an inch of his life for doing so.
3. ‘The assault wasn’t as severe as the footage made it out to be’: of course it wasn’t, in fact, if you play the tape backwards; the police actually help Rodney King to his feet and send him safely on his way.
4. ‘African Americans were out of control in the L.A. Riots’: Yes, they were, almost as out of control as the cops that beat Rodney King into a catatonic stupor, two wrongs don’t make a right, but one crime doesn’t negate the crimes that provoked it.
Today, African American, Muslim, Latino and Hispanic communities appear to be losing the civil rights struggle on both the foreign and home fronts: For the prematurely lauded ‘first black president’ cowered to the homicidal whims of his Israeli-Jew administration, and obediently sanctioned the mass murder of Africans in Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Somalia whilst keeping his mouth shut on the Rothschild rape of the continent (i.e. theft of African water resources to be re-directed to the illegitimate state of Israel). The Rothschild controlled U.S. regime maintains a neo-Talmudic policing policy at home whereby dissenters, of all faiths and races, are persecuted, detained or disappeared at will. Makeshift concentration camps have already been used to imprison civilians (e.g. Pier 57 Hudson Depot, 2004) as the police become a privatized, Israeli influenced entity, no different to integrated criminal networks like the Stazi, Shin Bet or SAVAK.
The LAPD was even gifted the Real-time Analysis Critical Response (RACR): A high tech surveillance centre built in a working bomb shelter: RACR allows cops to spy on citizens 24/7 like the Cheka once did in the Soviet Union. And as for the honourable exceptions, that handful of honest policemen and policewomen; they are just that; honourable exceptions, physically unable to stem the tide of effluent villainy that hangs over this institution like a burgeoning miasma of filth and degeneracy: An all consuming toxic cloud that adversely mutates the mere concept of law and order and renders the cops little more than corrupt, morbidly obese stooges and dumb henchmen for every pro-Israeli, criminal regime in power.
For the police are subordinate to the state and the state is in hock to Israeli usurers, so to expect the employees to defy both their employer and their employer’s bosses is delusional and unlikely to happen. Unless there’s some radical change in the way that these people think or some miraculous mass awakening that opens their eyes to the awful truth.
So until then; the fight against racism goes on, as does the battle to liberate the bodies of law enforcement from the death grip of corruption and Israeli influence. The absence of serious African American leaders is also felt now more so than ever; The Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan can only do so much and most U.S. Muslim groups are too PC for their own good. Sloganeering placard wavers who aren’t even clued up on basic information like the fact that Israel did 9/11 or that the Federal Reserve is an extremist Jew run cartel that holds the world economy to ransom.
Rodney King was an average man, an essentially decent fellow; a man occasionally afflicted by the ills produced by the same system that indoctrinated the depraved gang who attacked him. But most of all, Rodney King was a living symbol of Rothschild’s America, the racist regime that has desecrated the universal testaments of human decency beyond recognition. I forgive him his flaws and salute his courage in the face of endless provocation and relentless persecution. For in the immortal words of author Toni Morrison: “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
“…assure them that you are made from love, that you speak from love,
because that is from where you were born…
many will laugh at you, many will brand you insane,
yet when has madness ever really mattered here…
some will listen, some will stay, and you will grow into friends,
into solidarity, into the forever we dream about…so treasure your woman,
treasure your man, because you are all we have…
stand in the present, draw from the future and shoot with all the ammunition of the past.”Anthony Anaxagorou: The Master’s Revenge
The Festival of San Juan began yesterday in the Venezuelan town of Curiepe, Venezuela in the northeastern state of Miranda, popularly known as Barlevento. Popular festivals in Venezuela are a traditional form of expression through which barrio residents take the public square and surrounding blocks as a community emphasizing their common history in resistance against the slavery and oppression that brought them to the Americas. The festivals represent a combination of African traditions and colonial Catholicism initiated and mediated through African drumming and dancing announced by a shell horn across the town. The traditional dances and drums at the festival dates to the times of slavery when slaves were given three days off at Solstice. Our intent to observe the festivals here in Venezuela is grounded in our experiences using ethnography and phenomenological methods of research as a form of resistance to non-European research modes.
As we entered the town the over the past two days the local police and Federales are highly visible standing around in groups with guns strapped to shoulders, parked in official trucks, hanging around stations set in areas around the square and in apartments overlooking the square. This presence is to prevent the gang violence of past festivals where struggles occurred when gangs prevented the festival from occupying the square and took control over the proceedings. These past struggles have at times ended with shoot-outs and murders. We were informed by one of the women we interviewed that there are suspicions among Chavez supporters that the US sponsored opposition is arming these gangs and encouraging violence to damage the Chavez government thus opening the door to yet another coup attempt. Our guide informed the police of our group’s intent to observe the festival and later the police allowed us space to interview people we met at the festival.
In addition to the police uniformed presence are the uniformed presence of young people in t-shirts representing the government support for the festival handing out colorful posters and festival program booklets. The T-shirts are also worn by many barrio residents. Chavez implemented policies for funding the arts with the Project of the Organic Law of Culture in 2000 with a specific aim of preserving culture. The Chavez government uses oil revenues to support cultural forms such as the urban festivals. While the intent of the government is national cohesion of culture through support for festivals such as this one the distinct history of exclusion and the religious aspects remain important to the town’s people. This was most evident in the children who were dressed in a range of cultural costumes and were waving the red flags provided by the government to honor the saints.
In her book, “Who Can Stop the Drums? Sujatha Fernandas details how the cult of San Juan may be seen along the lines of the patron client relationship where through-out the year people make requests to the saint and then repay the saint with promises, loyalty, or the carrying of the statue of the saint on their shoulders. The relationship of the people in the political sphere represents another level of the patron client relationship. While for some of the barrio residents celebrating this year, Chavez is viewed as a benefactor protecting their interests, the opposition candidate, Mr. Rondanski, the governor in this area arrives at the church heavily surrounded by guards before the mass to promote his race in a festival highly associated with black identity.
The festival celebration represents the construction of lineages that link contemporary marginality and poverty with the oppression experienced by earlier generations. We met two maestros/ elder teachers on our visits to the festival. One revered elder who explained to us the importance of the two saints, San Juan Congo and San Juan Buatista. He led us to the home of the family that houses the effigy of the San Juan Bautista who functions as the moral arbiter of purification that Catholicism imposed on the slave and explained that traditionally by being allowed in the home housing the saint we should ask the saint to grant our prayers. In contrast, San Juan Congo is the figure of slave rebellion that helped free the slaves. The second maestro/teacher who was introduced to us by a Gambian student attending the festival, explained to us the importance of the drums in addressing the continuity of culture from Africa to the Americas and the legacy of exclusion and inequality in the Americas. The drumming and dancing, was critiqued as distinct from African traditions while a meaningful embrace of African culture by the Gambian student studying in Venezuela in the exchange program established by Chavez.
The fiesta, a historic tradition challenging the unjust exclusion from membership in cities and states, reflected issues of belonging and exclusion for each member of our research group. African-American participants expressed emotional associations with people in the barrio who looked like an uncle or a grandfather with tears in their eyes and voiced a longing for cultural traditions to be preserved in the USA as experienced at the San Juan festival. A Muslim participant who wears traditional hijab fascinated many residents who asked her who she was, why she was there and wanted photos of her and with her. As the word got out quickly that we were North Americanos,or as some called us,Yankees, a group of young boys whose ages ranged somewhere between 10 -14 initiated a political discussion with her about the bad things the USA does to their country and the importance of their country’s oil. Their knowledge of history and politics was impressive. Mexican-American students described the familiarity of the culture of the festival and said they felt at home in that regard but that the overt attention from men was very uncomfortable for them. Another participant observed the exclusion and discrimination against gays at the festival and in Venezuela generally.
The festival reminded me ofthe many Saint festivals celebrated through-out my mother’s homeland of Italy. The little church in Curiepe brought back memories of the church in the town square of San Pietro Magisano, Italy and even more so, of beloved family members now deceased. The intense commitment of my Italian family to Christianity was mirrored by the town’s people crowding into the church and evoked longings for community and cultural traditions never found in the USA. The community I long for is that which Chavez is fighting for, community committed to a revolution grounded in social justice and community based on love and respect for the people. My prayer to the Saints today was this community for us all.
EVERYBODY KNOWS by now why we are stuck in Palestine.
When God instructed Moses to plead with Pharaoh to let his people go, Moses told him that he was unfit for the job because “I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).
Actually, in the Hebrew original, Moses told God that he was “heavy of the mouth and heavy of the tongue”. He should have told Him that he was also heavy of the ears. So when God told him to take his people to Canada, he took his people to Canaan, spending the prescribed 40 years – just long enough to reach Vancouver – wandering hither and thither in the Sinai desert.
So here we are, in Canaan, surrounded by Muslims.
FOR DECADES, my friends and I have warned that if we dither in making peace, the nature of the conflict will change. I myself have written dozens of times that if our conflict is transformed from a national to a religious struggle, everything will change for the worse.
The Zionist-Arab struggle started as a clash between two great national movements, which were born more or less at the same time as offshoots of the new European nationalism.
Almost all the early Zionists were convinced atheists, inspired (and pushed out) by the European nationalist movements. They used religious symbols quite cynically – to mobilize the Jews and as a propaganda tool for the others.
The Arab resistance to the Zionist settlement was basically secular and nationalist, too. It was a part of the rising wave of nationalism throughout the Arab world. True, the leader of the Palestinian resistance was Hadj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but he was both a national and a religious leader, using religious motives to reinforce the national ones.
National leaders are supposed to be rational. They make war and they make peace. When it suits them, they compromise. They talk to each other.
Religious conflicts are quite different. When God is inserted into the matter, everything becomes more extreme. God may be compassionate and loving, but His adherents are generally not. God and compromise don’t go well together. Especially not in the holy land of Canaan.
THE RELIGIONALIZATION (if a Hebrew-speaking Israeli be allowed to coin an English word) of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started on both sides.
Years ago, the historian Karen Armstrong, a former nun, wrote a thought-provoking book (“The Battle for God”) about religious fundamentalism. She put her finger on an astonishing fact: Christian, Jewish and Islamic fundamentalist movements were very much alike.
Delving into the history of fundamentalist movements in the US, Israel, Egypt and Iran, she discovered that they were born at the same time and underwent the same stages. Since there is very little similarity between the four countries and the four societies, not to mention the three religions, this is a remarkable fact.
The inevitable conclusion is that there is something in the Zeitgeist of our time which encourages such ideas, something not anchored in the remote past, which is glorified by the fundamentalists, but in the present.
IN ISRAEL, it started on the morrow of the 1967 war, when the Army Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, went to the newly “liberated” Western Wall and blew his Shofar (religious ram’s horn). Yeshayahu Leibowitz called him “the Clown with the shofar”, but throughout the country it evoked a resounding echo.
Before the Six Days, the religious wing of Zionism was the stepchild of the movement. For many of us, religion was a tolerated superstition, looked down upon, used by politicians for reasons of expediency.
The overwhelming victory of the Israeli army in that war looked like divine intervention, and the religious youth sprang into life. It was like the fulfillment of Psalm 118 (22): “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” The pent-up energies of the religious sector, nursed for years in their separate ultra-nationalist schools, burst out.
The result was the settlers’ movement. They raced to occupy every hilltop in the occupied territories. True, many settlers went there to build their dream villas on stolen Arab land and enjoy the ultimate “quality of life”. But at the core of the enterprise are the fundamentalist fanatics, who are ready to live harsh and dangerous lives, because (as the Crusaders used to shout) “God Wills It!”.
The whole raison d’être of the settlements is to drive the Arabs out of the country and turn the whole land of Canaan into a Jewish state. In the meantime their shock troops carry out pogroms against their Arab “neighbors” and burn their mosques.
These fundamentalists now have a huge influence on our government’s policy, and their impact is growing. For example: for months now, the country has been ablaze after the Supreme Court decreed that 5 (five!) houses in Bet El settlement must be demolished, because they were built on private Arab land. In a desperate effort to prevent riots, Binyamin Netanyahu has promised to build in their stead 850 (eight hundred and fifty!) new houses in the occupied territories. Such things happen all the time.
But let there be no mistake: after the cleansing of the country of non-Jews, the next step would be to turn Israel into a “halakha state” – a country governed by religious law, with the abolition of all democratically enacted secular laws that do not conform to the word of God and His rabbis.
SUBSTITUTE THE word “shariah” for “halakha” – both mean religious law – and you have the dream of Muslim fundamentalists. Both laws, by the way, are remarkably similar. And both cover all spheres of life, individual and collective.
Since the start of the Arab Spring, the fledgling Arab democracy has brought Muslim fundamentalists to the fore. Actually, that started even before, when Hamas (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) won the democratic, internationally monitored elections in Palestine. However, the resulting Palestinian government was destroyed by the Israeli leadership and its subservient US and European subcontractors.
Last week’s apparent victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian presidential elections was a landmark. After similar victories in Tunisia and the events in Libya, Yemen and Syria, it is clear that Arab citizens everywhere favor the Muslim Brotherhood and similar parties.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, is an old established party which has earned much respect with its steadfastness in the face of recurrent persecution, torture, mass arrests and occasional executions. Its leaders are untainted by the prevalent corruption, and admired for their commitment to social work.
The West is haunted by medieval ideas about the horrible Saracens. The Muslim Brotherhood inspires terror. It is conceived as a fearsome, murderous, secret sect, out to destroy Israel and the West. Of course, practically no one has taken the trouble to study the history of this movement in Egypt and elsewhere. Actually, it could not be further removed from this parody.
The Brotherhood has always been a moderate party, though they almost always had a more extreme wing. Whenever possible, they tried to accommodate the successive Egyptian dictators – Abd-al-Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak – though all of these tried to eradicate them.
The Brotherhood is first and foremost an Arab and Egyptian party, deeply embedded in Egyptian history. Though they would probably deny it, I would say – judging from their history – that they are more Arab and more Egyptian than fundamentalist. They certainly have never been fanatical.
During their 84 years, they have seen many ups and downs. But mostly, their outstanding quality has been pragmatism, coupled with adherence to the principles of their religion. It is this pragmatism that also characterizes their behavior during the last year and a half, which – so its seems – caused quite a number of voters who are not particularly religious to prefer them to the secular candidate who is tainted by his connection with the corrupt and repressive former regime.
This also determines their attitude towards Israel. Palestine is constantly on their mind – but that is true of all Egyptians. Their conscience is troubled by the feeling that at Camp David, Anwar Sadat betrayed the Palestinians. Or, worse, that the devious Jew, Menachem Begin, tricked Sadat into signing a document that did not say what Sadat thought it said. It is not the Brothers that caused the Egyptians who greeted us enthusiastically, the first Israelis to visit their country, to turn against us.
Throughout the heated election campaigns – four in a year – the Brotherhood has not demanded the abrogation of the peace agreement with Israel. Their attitude seems to be as pragmatic as ever.
ALL OUR neighbors are turning, slowly but surely, Islamic.
That is not the end of the world. But it surely compels us, for the first time, to try to understand Islam and the Muslims.
For centuries, Islam and Judaism had a close and mutually beneficial relationship. The Jewish sages in Muslim Spain, the great Maimonides and many other prominent Jews were close to Islamic culture and wrote some of their works in Arabic. There is certainly nothing in the two religions that precludes cooperation between them. (Which, alas, is not true for Christianity, which could not tolerate the Jews.)
If we want Israel to exist and flourish in a region that will for a long time be governed by democratically elected Islamist parties, we would do well to welcome them now as brothers, congratulate them on their victories and work for peace and conciliation with elected Islamists in Egypt and the other Arab states, including Palestine. We must certainly resist the temptation to push the Americans into supporting another military dictatorship in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Let’s choose the future, not the past.
Unless we prefer to pack up and head for Canada, after all.
How the pro-Israel lobby fails this simple test
Have you read this… ?
It is not difficult to figure out why the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee feels he has to write such nonsense. The real puzzle is why a publication with the standing of the Wall Street Journal feels the need to print it.
- “No universities existed in the West Bank until Israel opened them after the 1967 war,” claims Mr Harris.
This will surprise the Vatican and many Catholics in the US. The first university in the West Bank was Bethlehem, opened in 1973 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers with the co-operation of the Vatican’s Congregation for Oriental Churches. It has been closed at least 12 times by the Israeli invader and shelled by Israeli tanks. Its staff and pupils are continually harassed by the Israeli occupation forces.
Birzeit became a university in 1975 after offering first and second year university courses while still a college. It too has suffered repeated closure by the Israeli occupation. In 1988 Israel shut it down for 51 months (until 1992) and the university had to operate underground, off-campus, with students taking up to 10 years to complete their degree. Can you see the good folks of Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, etc, sitting still for that kind of abuse?
And, just to be bloody-minded, Israel won’t allow students from one part of Palestine, Gaza, to attend university in another part, the West Bank, even though the two territories are considered continguous under international law. War on students is part of Israel’s obnoxious policy mix.
- “There was no Palestinian state before 1967. The West Bank was in Jordanian hands…”
I often hear this. So what? Before 1948 there was no Israeli state and the West Bank was in British hands. Before that it belonged to the Ottoman Turks. What is Mr Harris trying to tell us? That the native Palestinians were somehow responsible for what happened to the Jews in Europe and the Soviet Union, that their land was forfeit – up for grabs, ripe for the picking – and it was OK to expel them?
In 1948 the Jews declared statehood pretending to accept the UN Partition Plan’s over-generous allocation of Arab lands, but they had already embarked on a terror campaign to grab more. They ethnically cleansed some 700,000 Palestinians at gun-point. One of the hundreds of villages whose Palestinian inhabitants were put to flight was Najd, on which the Israelis built their township of Sderot… whose Jewish inhabitants everyone is supposed to feel sorry for.
They even stole Jerusalem, which the United Nations had designated an “international city”. The Old City is actually part of East Jerusalem, which is Palestinian territory; but Israel wants it all and the dispossession, annexation and Juda-isation continues at an ever-increasing pace.
- “Israel has recognized the legitimacy of Palestinian statehood as a result of negotiations.”
Instead of enforcing international law, implementing UN resolutions, ending the illegal occupation and restoring to Palestinians their lands and rights, the international community created an outrageously tilted playing field and set up ‘negotiations’ between a strong party (the nuclear-armed occupying power) and a weak party (an occupied people living under cruel military rule). Now, while the occupation continues, Israel’s Western stooges want to sit the helpless Palestinians down once again to bargain with their tormentor for their freedom.
As before, these lopsided negotiations are intended to pressure the Palestinians into abandoning their rights under international law and settling for far less than they are entitled to… in other words, accepting a pseudo-state made up of shredded remnants with little or no control over its borders, no security, no means of defence and submitting to perpetual Israeli control. The situation is plainly immoral and back-to-front.
“Just as there is currently no parity in the field of confrontation, there is also no parity around the negotiating table,”
says Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal. Negotiations serve only Israel.
How can there be peace without justice? So law and justice first, please, Mr Harris.
- “Have the Palestinians similarly accepted the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty?”
Does anyone seriously expect Palestinians to recognise a state whose jackboot is on their throat? Israel has ethnically cleansed and confiscated Palestinian lands and water resources and obliterated Arab heritage. It has deposited more than 500,000 Jewish “settlers” on the Palestinian territory it illegally occupies with the clear intention of making the occupation permanent. For this reason Israel refuses to declare its borders. Moreover, the regime is a habitual violator of Security Council resolutions being in flagrant breach of over 30 dating back to 1967.
Meshaal has said: “We refuse to recognise the legitimacy of Israel because we refuse to recognise the legitimacy of occupation and theft of land.” Such recognition would be inconsistent with international law and human values. He also said they would accept Israel’s status (which does not amount to formal recognition) within its 1967 borders. “We just don’t want to give Israel the legitimacy for having taken our land in the first place,” he told an interviewer.
For their part Hamas would be happy to build a Palestinian state within the internationally recognised 1967 lines. This from the Palestinian Resistance won’t be music to the ears of Mr Harris, Israel’s American minders or their British government poodle, but it’s perfectly in line with international law and Palestinian rights. Israel just won’t accept it.
The credibility gap gets wider and wider…
Here in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority insists that communications messages must be “legal, decent, honest and truthful”. I imagine the American Association of Advertising Agencies too condemns false, misleading or exaggerated claims. These standards should also apply to editorial.
Does the American Jewish Committee pass the ‘decent, honest and truthful’ test? On its website http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=2818289&ct=11819077¬oc=1 the AJC expresses deep disapproval of an American Christian group, Kairos USA, for endorsing a Palestinian Christian document “demonizing Israel”.
According to Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, “the original Kairos document did nothing to advance peace. People of goodwill recognise that direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis are the only way sustainable peace will be achieved”.
Would people of goodwill really put arm-twisting ahead of compliance with international law? I don’t think so. And whatever those bent ‘negotiations’ are designed to achieve, it isn’t justice.
The rabbi also says that Kairos USA aims to change American understanding of the history and complexity of the Middle East. The Christian group’s goal is not peace but “the undoing of Israel”.
The document he complains about – the Kairos Palestine Document - is the Christian Palestinians’ message to the world asking the international community to stand by the Palestinian people, who have faced oppression, displacement and apartheid for more than six decades, and work for a just peace in the Holy Land.
This hard-hitting document declares that the military occupation of Palestine “is a sin against God and humanity” and any theology that legitimizes the occupation “is far from Christian teachings”. Zionists naturally don’t like the way Kairos alerts the world to the fact that Jerusalem is still being emptied of its Palestinian citizens, their identity cards confiscated and their homes demolished and/or expropriated, and that the city of reconciliation has become a city of discrimination and exclusion, and a source of struggle rather than peace.
And they probably squirm at the way it hits out at Israel’s contempt for international law and international resolutions, and the paralysis of the international community.
The Kairos document and a report called ‘Justice and Peace for Palestine’ (discussed recently by the Methodist Church) both conclude that the occupation of Palestine by Israel is the main obstacle to security and peace. Israeli settlements on Palestinian soil are of course illegal under international law. Furthermore Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as Israelis and their pimps in the international corridors of power know perfectly well, forbids an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. But Israel is allowed by the ‘Big Boys’ to continue doing it.
Kairos USA therefore urges Christians in the US to press their government for a foreign policy that shows a commitment to justice for both Israelis and Palestinians. “We urge all Americans to support political candidates who do the same”.
What’s wrong with that?
How far does Israel’s ‘right to exist’ extend?
The AJC’s swipe at Kairos echoes last year’s big grumble by The Board of Deputies of British Jews, who complained that the document didn’t acknowledge Jewish connections with the land of Israel. But the Israelis’ programme of dispossession and demolition disregards the Arabs’ ownership of the same land.
The BoD also criticised British Methodists for quoting Kairos in their decision to support a boycott of Israeli goods. Again the hypocrisy is breathtaking considering that Israel relentlessly strangles Palestine’s trade and has choked off Gaza from the outside world.
“Kairos is unhelpful,” moaned Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg. “It fails to mention the violence unleashed towards Israel from before its very inception… It does not acknowledge the effect of acts of terror carried out in the heart of civic life… and by thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza.”
What is the good rabbi talking about? Israeli forces inflict terror every day on Palestinian civic life. Yes, they complain loudly about the garden-shed rockets from Gaza and will tell you the exact number. But do they keep count of the number of state-of-the-art bombs, rockets and shells fired into Gaza by their tanks, jets, helicopter gunship, armed drones and navy warships? And the resulting mega-deaths and wholesale destruction of key infrastructure, much of which was paid for by us Western taxpayers?
Has he ever mentioned the evil work of Jewish terror gangs in the run-up to Israeli independence?
Today, few people flying in to Ben Gurion airport (which serves Tel Aviv) realise that it was formerly Lydda airport. During the British mandate Lydda was a major town and designated Palestinian in the Partition. In July 1948 Israeli terrorist troops shot up the town and drove out the Arab population, Muslims and Christians alike. Donald Neff http://www.palestineremembered.com/al-Ramla/al-Lydd/Story761.html tells how, in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, the Israelis massacred 426 men, women, and children. 176 of them were slaughtered in the town’s main mosque. For the lurid details see http://www.palestineremembered.com/al-Ramla/al-Lydd/index.html.
Out of the 19,000 residents only 1,052 were allowed to stay. The remainder were forced to walk into exile in the scalding July heat leaving a trail of bodies – men, women and children – along the way.
The bloody assault on Lydda was witnessed by two American news correspondents. One recorded that “practically everything in their way died. Riddled corpses lay by the roadside.” The other wrote that he saw “the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge”.
Then the looting: Israeli troops reportedly carried away 1,800 truck loads of Palestinian property. Jewish immigrants flooded in and Lydda was given a Hebrew name, Lod.
It can be argued that Israel has no legitimate right to Lydda/Lod/Ben Gurion airport – it was stolen in a murderous terror raid as were so many other Palestinian towns and villages. But keep it under your hat. Rabbi Noam Marans wouldn’t want American understanding of the situation, so carefully shaped and nourished by the pro-Israel lobby, to change.
As long as the Israel defies the codes of civilised conduct and denies millions their freedom its right to exist is bound to be challenged. If only the regime had behaved decently, honestly and truthfully from the start, things would have been so different.
And so would the prospects for world peace.
Stuart Littlewood’s book ‘Radio Free Palestine’ can now be read on the internet by visiting www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk .
In his 22 June 2012 speech to the Otago Foreign Policy School, The Middle East unfolding: dreams and dramas in the early 21st century, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully spoke about what the New Zealand government sees as the strategic and economic significance of the Middle East to New Zealand.
Early in his speech McCully said, “Sadly, we are reminded by our television screens most evenings that the Middle East remains the world’s major source of potential and actual conflict. We now have, in effect, a civil war in Syria. The Assad regime is treating its own civilian population with almost unbelievable brutality. In doing so it is thumbing its nose at the international community.” Just who is thumbing their nose at the international community we shall examine below but the reference to “our television screens” and “most evenings” draws attention to the role of the corporate news media in promoting US, NATO and Israeli plans for the Middle East. A Jerusalem Post (http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2012/5/syriakurd499.htm) article of 16 May 2012 entitled: ‘Veteran Kurdish politician calls on Israel to support the break-up of Syria’ cites the objective of the US-sponsored armed insurgency, with the help of Israel, to “Break Syria into Pieces”.
The power political manoeuvrings over Syria are being falsely promoted by the news media as a concern for human rights. The role of the US-NATO-Israel military alliance in triggering an armed insurrection is not mentioned and neither is the role of CIA-MI6-Mossad covert intelligence operations and acts of terrorism. The US State Department’s involvement is on record (US admits funding Syrian opposition – World – CBC News 18 April 2011
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/04/18/syria-united-states-backing-wikileaks.html). No wonder the five permanent members of the Security Council are divided. The division reminds us that people have not forgotten the lies and deceit that were used to justify the criminal war of regime change in Iraq. That war destroyed the country’s infrastructure and economy. It has also cost countless lives and sown a deadly cancer-inducing legacy of white-phosphorus and depleted uranium. Whatever else such wars are about, the welfare of ordinary people is not one of them and television screens are certainly no way to decipher the truth behind the propaganda.
Israel and Palestine
In a statement of the blindingly obvious, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister observed, “Tragically, the Middle East is no stranger to conflict.” He went on to say, ”One of the world’s most enduring, complex and dangerous conflicts is between Israel and the Palestinians. The basic elements of this conflict are well known.” Well known? Not if the news media and politicians like McCully have anything to do with it. The Zionist ideology that drives Israel to thumb its nose at international law and the world community is never mentioned. One example of nose-thumbing is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s boast to US President Obama regarding Israel’s illegal settlements that “we’re here to stay”. Another affront to the international community is the Israeli assertion that Jerusalem is the “eternal and undivided capital of Israel”.
McCully’s speech continued, “For too long, the Palestinian issue has been the fuse that threatens to ignite wider conflict in the Middle East. Festering differences that find their origins in this conflict have done much to inspire extremist attitudes affecting the wider region and beyond.” The first of these sentences is revealing. McCully does not say “the Israeli issue” or even the “Israel/Palestine” issue. He chooses to say “the Palestinian issue”. It is a matter of historical fact that before the Zionist project and the unilateral founding of the Israeli State there was no “Palestinian issue”. Palestine was simply Palestine, a part of the Ottoman Empire and later ruled under the British Mandate. The ‘issue’ plainly began with Israel and the interests of the imperial European powers. But Western propaganda implies blame upon the Palestinian people for the consequences of foreign-sponsored colonisation of their land. The reference to “festering differences” and “extremist attitudes” ignores the extremism of Zionist ideology which is amply recorded in the statements and actions of Israel’s leaders.
Not forgetting the dissembling that preceded the invasion of Iraq and following his “Palestinian issue” remarks, McCully went on to accuse Iran of threatening destabilisation in the Middle East through what he called “the Iranian nuclear programme”. Once again the speech revealed the Foreign Affairs Minister’s main concerns when he went on to say “the Israelis see the question of Iran as inextricably linked to Palestine.” For McCully, Israel’s interests are paramount and the blame placed upon the Palestinians is now linked to Iran. For good measure he added, “At the end of the day, to Israel, both are about security.” Not once in the speech did he mention the Palestinian people’s need for security. In McCully’s Middle East fantasy Iran, which has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and which co-operates with IAEA over its nuclear weapons programme, must suffer sanctions while Israel, the state that introduced modern terrorism and nuclear weapons to the Middle East, is treated favourably. The Zionist state refuses to sign the NPT and will not co-operate with the IAEA. Yet, for McCully, it is Iran that remains the threat and Israeli intransigence is excused on the grounds of ‘security’. Security, that is, only for Israel to pursue its objectives with impunity.
While the New Zealand Government will not consider sanctions as a non-violent way to help persuade Israel to respect the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the speech reveals a willingness to use sanctions against Iran, astonishingly, as a means of “arriving at a sensible and durable settlement in relation to Palestine”. Indeed, McCully said in the speech that, “I am intent on promoting legislation similar to that enacted in Australia last year to provide the capacity to impose autonomous sanctions.” Bearing in mind that, regarding the “conflict in the Middle East”, McCully declared his belief that “we can make a difference”, what better demonstration of independence and leadership could New Zealand show than to autonomously impose sanctions upon Israel? Instead, Iran, which does not occupy its neighbours’ territories, must suffer sanctions but Israel, which occupies and exploits neighbouring lands, must be allowed to do so with impunity. Israel is of course armed and equipped by the US in order to be able to maintain its regional hegemony.
In his speech, McCully made much of New Zealand’s part in the removal of land mines from nearly 400 square kilometres of unusable land in the West Bank. Israel laid more than 1.5 million mines in the 1950s and 1960s, contaminating a combined area of 200 square kilometres in the Golan Heights, in the Arava Valley and along the Jordan River. This includes more than 300,000 that render 20 sq. km. of agricultural and residential land in the West Bank unusable. Unexploded Israeli ordnance causes further problems. http://maic.jmu.edu/journal/15.3/notes/or/or.htm
Another type of mine
In a 3 January 2012 report Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s mining companies may exploit the occupied West Bank’s natural resources for economic gain. http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11410 The Supreme Court ruling is in favour of activity that is illegal under international law. In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared Israel’s occupation of the West Bank territories illegal under international law.
The daily toll
Just this month alone, to 8am, 21 June, Israel carried out at least (figures for one of the days are unavailable) 141 night-time home invasions in the West Bank. In the same period, ten Palestinians died at the hands of Israeli Occupation forces and settlers, one of them a 14-year-old boy. This month Israeli forces and settlers committed 88 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage, including setting fire to olive trees and the destruction of 20 tons of wheat. There were 34 Israeli air strikes, in one of them a poultry farm was strafed and 69 Palestinians have been injured in Israeli violence so far this month. These statistics are only the tip of the iceberg. Underlying the violence is the constant daily harassment. For example, Israel blocks Palestinian roads at intervals so that farm produce has to be unloaded and reloaded onto another vehicle brought up to the obstacle from a point beyond it. This exercise may need to be repeated more than once. Israeli checkpoints force Palestinians to make journeys of several hours that could be accomplished in minutes. Ethnically segregated roads for Israeli use only dominate the Palestinian landscape. Palestinian families regularly endure the abductions of terrified young people from their homes at dead of night. Israeli abductions of minors from the West Bank under the age of 18 number at least 226 this year. The youngest so far is aged 11 and five children aged 12 have also been abducted. United Nations agencies have reported extensively the cruel treatment of Palestinian youngsters at the hands of Israel. The statistics come from the Palestine Monitoring Group (PMG) daily situation reports (http://www.nad-plo.org/dailyreports.php). Children and adults are often incarcerated by Israel without charge or trial by means of a process the Zionist regime calls ‘administrative detention’. See also United Nations sources such as:
Sadly, these crimes seldom, if ever, reach our newspapers or television screens. Likewise, radio does not seem interested either. One can be certain that if Israeli homes were to be invaded night after night or Israeli vessels fired upon and hijacked, our news media would report such violence with outrage and large headlines.
What must be borne in mind is that decades of Israeli Occupation, land theft, settlement, Israel’s annexation Wall and ethnic discrimination are all in gross violation of international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as scores of UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions. If ever a UN member state were a candidate for the imposition of sanctions it is the state of Israel.
The dreams in the title of McCully’s speech are in reality nightmares and the dramas, nothing but Western play-acting. Does he really believe the Israeli/US propaganda line on the Middle East? Or, does his speech reflect New Zealand Government complicity in a policy that has created generations of ethnically-selected refugees? The public must be the judge of that. But the responsibility for the continued dispossession of the Palestinian people and the denial of truth and justice upon which it rests lies with us, the international community. We can make a difference.
“Legal but illegitimate,”
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa summarized the parliamentarian putsch that last Friday, June 22, 2012, resulted in the impeachment of Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo in a process that took just one day. The event has been condemned practically by all Latin American countries, most of them having declared that they will not recognize the new government of Federico Franco. Two governments, Argentina and Uruguay, have already withdrawn their ambassadors from Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital. Next week an emergency meeting of UNASUR, a political organization of South American countries, will take place in order to agree on sanctions on Paraguay. Oddly enough, the USA media is showing flawed data, and the American government is busy elsewhere.
An Oligarchy-Run Society
While the putsch was taking place in the Paraguayan parliament, its beneficiary—Federico Franco, who was Vice President at the moment—found time to give an outrageous interview to the CNN. “Is it true that 2% of the Paraguayan people own 80% of the country’s lands?” The CNN reporter asked in what looked like a well-rehearsed fashion. “That is not true! 10% of the people own 80% of the land,” countered the soon to become president. I admired his capability to answer in such a fashion without laughing at the ridicule. Either way, reality is that Paraguay is an oligarchy-run country. One of the most painful reminders of that is the Ycuá Bolaños Supermarket fire, which in August 1, 2004, caused the death of 394 persons who were visiting the commercial complex, one of the largest in the country. Its astonishing death toll was the result that, when the fire broke out, doors within the complex were deliberately closed under the owners’ orders in order to prevent people from fleeing with merchandise without paying for it. Trapped inside, the clients burned to death. Juan Pío Paiva, his son, Víctor Daniel, and a security guard got what can be defined only as symbolical punishment for their mass-murder. Oligarchs are easily pardoned in Paraguay. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” said Shakespeare’s Marcellus. “Many things are rotten in Paraguay,” we can counter him today.
The mentioning of land-ownership by the new president to the CNN was not casual. The parliamentary putsch was initiated after an occupation of lands by landless farmers in Canindeyu, an area in the fertile northeastern part of the country ended in violent clashes with the police in June 15. Eleven farmers and six policemen died in the incident. Vice President Federico Franco began an accelerated impeachment process against the president. This procedure was done following the Constitution adopted by the state after the Stroessner military dictatorship (1954 to 1989) ended. On April 20, 2008, for the first time in 61 years, the Colorado Party (to which Stroessner belonged; it was the only legal party since 1947 until the end of the dictatorship) lost for the first time the presidential elections to an opposition candidate from the center-left, Roman Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo. Following the successful impeachment, the former Vice President will run the country until the elections scheduled for April 2013. The militaristic Colorado party is expected then to return to power. Knowing that, makes the current lightning-fast putsch a bit clearer.
The abovementioned CNN interview wasn’t the only strangeness in that network’s report of the putsch. Minutes after the impeachment, police shoot protesters in front of the parliament. The event was shown live by teleSUR, the Venezuelan news network; yet, it wasn’t mention by the CNN, at least not by its Spanish channel. The network minimized its reports on the shocked reactions of neighboring countries, that didn’t have time for diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis. The impeachment took place in a Friday afternoon; when everybody was preparing for a weekend. Next day, the Paraguayan police continued its violent suppression of the protests, this time by taking over the Paraguayan public television network. All reports of the events were suppressed; Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse became the only allowed speakers through that channel. They had no comments on the putsch. This was shown live by the Venezuelans; yet the CNN didn’t report that. Combine the no-reaction—at least no-condemnation—of the putsch by the American government with the fact that soon power in Paraguay will be handed to the militaristic party that was an important ally of the USA during Operation Condor and other events related to the Cold War, and one must seriously consider the option that this was an American-backed putsch, in the best fashion of the 20th century.
“Legal but illegitimate,” correctly summarized the event the Ecuadorian President. The presidential impeachment process that took place on Friday was announced on Thursday. The president was denied time to prepare his defense. He was allotted just two hours to defend himself. He let his lawyer speak, but denied the parliament the farce it requested by refusing to defend himself directly. The process was legal, but it mocked the Constitution. Not only due to its speed. The president was charged with incompetence mainly due to his treatment of the death of the landless farmers and policemen, an event that happened so fast, that only local authorities could be blamed. In the long time I am being forced to spend in South America, I have learned to recognize its denizens preoccupation with shape and not with content. They care about their university diplomas being pretty and having a large ink-stamp; but are oblivious to their education’s content. The result may be legal, but is worthless. Same thing applies here; the new Constitution’s fine print was enforced with completely disregard of justice, for the eternal glory of Washington’s puppeteers.
If enough isolated individuals pursue the same goal, the effect is indistinguishable from a conspiracy.
Many people delight in hearing about conspiracies. My favourite story about conspiracy theories came during a summer break from college..
Working as a waiter, I noticed that one of the other waiters had more customers coming to see him. He was also making more tips than anyone else.
None of his fellow workers knew his secret. The only thing we all knew was that he was a horse-racing fan; but we didn’t think he had enough to bet heavily on the races.
One day I got up enough courage to ask him what his secret was for getting larger tips, promising that I wouldn’t share the secret with anyone else.
He surprised me by saying that he made predictions for his customers on winners at the race track. When I asked how he predicted the winners, he reluctantly agreed to tell me; but I had to promise not to tell anyone else.
“Eight customers come by looking for tips on the week’s winner,” he said, “and I give each of them a different horse to bet on. Seven will lose and one will have a winner.”
He added, “These guys make big bets, and the one who wins comes back to me with a big tip.”
He had eight people pursuing the same goal to win, betting on one major eight-horse race each week. They didn’t know each other nor were they aware of the waiter’s conspiracy.
Though my waiter friend was a sole conspirator, most conspiracies involve more people. In a way, the bettors were co-conspirators.
A conspiracy is (1) a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful, or (2) The act of plotting.
A conspiracy theory is a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event.
As more and more people tap into the wealth of knowledge, bluster, revelations, predictions and guesswork on the internet, the total number of online conspiracy theories increases exponentially.
According to Wikipedia, “The list of conspiracy theories is a collection of the most popular unproven theories.” The key word here is “unproven”.
“These are related but not limited to clandestine government plans, elaborate murder plots, suppression of secret technology and knowledge, and other supposed schemes….”
According to Benjamin Radford, writing for Live Science, “major companies we buy products from everyday have been found guilty of conspiring to fix prices and reduce competition.”
Radford added, “Just about any planned criminal act committed by more than one person could be considered a conspiracy, from simple murder-for-hire to the Watergate break-in.”
Conspiracy theories are just that: theories. They’re often followed and repeated by many; and they’re as difficult to disprove as they are to prove.
Live Science offers ten leading conspiracy theories, all of which are clearly explained for those who don’t know, on their website.
For those with questions about these conspiracy theories, Live Science provides excellent explanations of each.
- The 9/11 Conspiracies
- Princess Diana’s Murder
- Subliminal Advertising
- The Moon Landing Hoax
- Paul McCartney’s Death
- John F. Kennedy’s Assassination
- The Roswell Crash Cover-Up
- Protocols of the Elders of Zion
- Satanic Cults
- Big Pharma
The first of these is definitely a conspiracy. The theory part involves determining whether the conspirators were Osama bin Laden and followers or Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
The two most abhorrent conspiracies of the last decade were the one that got the USA and the UK into war in Iraq and the current conspiracy to get America into war with Iran.
These are seldom referred to as conspiracies. There’s no doubt that the first, which columnist James Wall referred to as “the 2003 Shock and Awe production”, was advocated and planned by Israel, American Zioncons and Israeli-firsters. It was fully supported by the American and British media and governments
The hidden rationale for the invasion and occupation of Iraq was the lie that Iraq had the capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Following the invasion, no one could find any evidence of WMDs.
The real reason for the invasion of Iraq involved the protection of Israel from any future development of WMDs, which Israel and its American supporters insisted upon.
The Israelis have long wanted to get rid of the Palestinians. However, they know that they must first get rid of any major threats from the rest of the Middle East.
Professor Juan Cole wrote that Tony Blair’s communications director “Alastair Campbell’s serialized memoirs contain a bombshell that is largely being ignored in the Western press, the revelation that in conversations with President George W. Bush in late 2002, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened to nuke Baghdad if Saddam Hussein hit Israel with rockets again.”
If, as Cole has suggested, Israel has used its nuclear arsenal to threaten others, there’s every reason to believe that Netanyahu is “behind the scenes, once again pushing the US toward an attack on Iran.”
With Congress genuflecting at every wish and demand of Israel’s and their American accomplices, the theory will more than likely become the catastrophic results of a horrendous conspiracy.
The only hope that America (and perhaps the rest of the world) has involves an awakening of the public to the predictably horrific results of yielding to the collaborating demands of Israel and its co-conspirators.
It cannot be too soon for the public to exercise voting pressure on an unscrupulous Congress to place what’s good for America ahead of what’s good for an insidious Israel.
Relatives are mourning a six-year-old Palestinian boy who was killed by an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip. Israel confirmed the strikes, which also wounded 20 other people, but denies any involvement in the child’s death. On Saturday Israel launched air raids on Palestinian territory following rocket fire from Gaza that wounded an Israeli man. Gaza health officials confirmed that at least four people had been killed and over 20 more wounded.
Byzantine at heart, the Rising Ottoman is planning to…
Certain news create nostalgia for the times in which governments censored almost everything. Back then, one was spared the insulting attempts to manipulate public opinion by sheer lies told by governments. Yesterday, June 22, 2012, an American-made Phantom F-4 jet in service of the Turkish army was downed by Syrian air defense systems. Subsequently, the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. Today, Saturday, the Turkish and Syrian navies are still searching for the two pilots in a friendly show of cooperation. Until this point, all the events were admitted by all sides. In a formal statement, Turkey President Abdullah Gul said that the fighter jet had crossed the border into Syria, and then he added that the Turkish government could not ignore the fact that Syria had shot down a Turkish aircraft; implying possible Turkish answers to the event. He didn’t mention Syria’s right of self-defense. Almost every word was expected; but then, Mr. Gul added a very odd statement.
Phantom F-4 in Turkish Service
“It is routine for jet fighters to sometimes fly in and out over borders… when you consider their speed over the sea,” Mr. Gul said. I must agree with him that fighter jets fly fast; the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom involved in this event can reach a top speed of over Mach 2.2. Yet, it has an advanced navigation system, and is capable of incredibly complex maneuvers, like landing with astonishing exactitude. This aircraft seldom misses a landing strip, regardless its narrowness. A landing strip is geometrically identical to a border; there is no reason why such a fighter would have troubles finding it. Moreover, as a fighter, it can make high-speed maneuvers in order to intercept—or escape from—an enemy aircraft. Sometimes, this is done with a precision of inches, as it had been shown on endless documentaries analyzing such events. Yet, this state-of-the-art fighter made yesterday a very clumsy incursion into Syria’s Latakia Governorate, as the map below shows. It made a loop that began and ended tragically in the Mediterranean Sea; flying miles over Syrian territory. With all the sympathy to Mr. Gul, his description of the event as an error is unacceptable. Another point of interest I want to mention before attempting to analyze Mr. Gul’s goals, is that Turkey uses upgraded Phantoms. They were improved in 1995 by Israel’s IAI and are known as F-4E 2020 Terminator; they are used massively in the suppression of the Kurd uprising in Eastern Turkey.
Turkish Phantom Trajectory | According to Syrian News Agency
A Turkish fighter entered Syrian airspace uninvited and was shot down by an almost automatic air defense system. Syria owns one of the most sophisticated such systems in the Middle East; it regularly upgrades it with Russian equipment. All its neighbors know that; thus such a deep incursion by a single fighter without previous notice can only be defined as a wild provocation. Mr. Gul and the Turkish Army wanted a downed aircraft. Technically, now they have an excuse to reciprocate. Overall, this is a slight variation on a classical false flag attack; call it “clumsy flag attack” if you want.
The Rising Ottoman is Byzantine at its heart; the most obvious reason for its sacrificing a fighter is almost for sure not the main one. After almost 18 months of civil war, Syria is at the verge of being sliced by NATO supported forces. It is difficult to look at what is happening nowadays between Turkey and Syria and not to recognize that Turkey is returning to its historical role as a colonial power. It is openly supporting a rebel Syrian group. It supports the establishment of security zones for Syrian refugees inside Syrian territory. Until now, it claimed this should be done as part of an international force under UN mandate; however, it has also declared that it may have to act on its own if the Syrian uprising threatens its national security. Turkey is part of NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance, which attacked and practically destroyed Libya last year (see Media Manipulation, Libya and Western Lies). Turkey spearheading NATO attacks on Syria in an attempt to provoke the last to react and then justify a subsequent brutal reaction by NATO is a credible scenario. Yet, this is unlikely to be Gul’s goal. Turkey is not interested in an occupied Syria being controlled from Brussels. Why should Turkey share its colonial cake?
“Elementary, Dr. Watson!”
The trajectory of the abovementioned fighter is of enormous interest, since it pinpointed Turkey’s main interest. It flew just south of Hatay. In 1938, Hatay—a small territory on the Mediterranean coast—became independent from the French mandate of Syria as the Republic of Hatay. Following a referendum in 1939, Hatay decided to join Turkey, forming the singular panhandle shape that can be seen on the maps of Turkey. Syria still doesn’t recognize that event as legitimate. In the last year, this area had regained strategic importance after the break-up of the Turkish-Israeli alliance due to the Freedom Flotilla Affair. This break-up is shaping the exploitation of the newly discovered gas reservoirs in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. In Greece’s Fadeaway: Iran and Israel Battle over Cyprus, I analyzed the new regional alliances fighting over the large reservoirs of gas (and more, see Gas, Oil … Uranium) in the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. In November 2011, Cyprus announced it would explore its undersea natural gas wells in cooperation with Israel; this was the trigger for Netanyahu’s visit to the island in February 2012. The agreements announced between the countries—including military ones—indicate that Israel has shifted its main ally in the area from Turkey to Cyprus. Turkey has announced that it would not allow underwater drills in Cypriot waters, clearly citing military preventative actions. The Turkish intervention is the result of Cyprus being divided between the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Thus, two clear bands had been created around the gas field issue: Turkey-Lebanon-Northern Cyprus-Iran, and Israel-Cyprus. Later on, in April, Greece joined the Israeli led alliance; this is important since Greece is a major worldwide player in oil transport. The USA—technically Turkey’s ally in NATO—has conducted the “Noble Dina” military drill with Israel and Greece in the gas fields area. Led by the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Noble Dina involves simulations of combat against submarines, air battles and protection of offshore natural gas platforms. What will NATO do if a war erupts between these two alliances? Both alliances have announced that the gas fields are casus belli. In June 2012, Israel announced the beginning of a feasibility study regarding artificial islands that would facilitate its control over the fields. Considering this, the Turkish provocation acquires an additional dimension that clearly transcend NATO.
Lebanon and Northern Cyprus are Turkey’s actual access points to the gas fields. Turkey would like to expand its access to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as to facilitate its communications and transport with Lebanon, which in the next years may become a regional power replacing the troubled Syria. The provocation of the fighter remains a provocation under this scenario, but its goals slightly shifts. Slicing Syria in order to annex the Latakia Governorate to Turkey—as it was done with Hatay in the past—will open a land corridor between Turkey and Lebanon as well as increase Turkey’s access to the gas fields. Byzantine at heart, the Rising Ottoman is planning to renew its historical empire.
As another fascist Franco takes the stage in the world conflict
of greed versus social justice I write this report from Venezuela
as a member of diverse research delegation of seven women from the USA who are visiting Venezuela to listen to the Venezuelan people about their lives in the new Bolivarian Republic.
We are here to see and experience the lush and busy capital of Caracas and satellite cities. We represent faculty and students from Northeastern Illinois University Justice Studies program and board and staff members of the Alternative Education Research Institute which provides research and programs focused on those formerly incarcerated re-entering communities in the USA.
Our primary research interests are the social and economic reforms of the Bolivarian Republic underthe leadership of Hugo Chavez with a specific interest in how these innovations impact the lives of indigenous first nation peoples, African-Venezuelans and women.
My first informal but intense political discussions have been with a middle-class 26 year old African-Venezuelan male track professional, an upper class 24 year old woman whose family owns a clothing store and our guide, a middle class professional in tourism who also has a law degree. We are staying at a hotel in Barlovento, Venezuela, a town whose colonial history centers on the cocoa and banana plantations of slavery and colonialism. This is where the African-Venezuelan festival annually celebrates liberation combined with African and Colonial religions honoring San Juan.
This country is incredibly lush and green and busy and once people learn a bit about who we are the discussion turns immediately to crime and the youth and the Venezuelan government’s new mission aimed at combating Venezuela’s problem with citizen insecurity and crime – considered a critical issue by the majority of Venezuelans who often cite crime as one of their primary concerns in polls. According to Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs, Tareck El-Aissami, the new mission is centered on a policy of prevention, the creation of new values, addressing social exclusion and rehabilitation. According to the young athlete I with whom I talked who summarized the problem as a policy of the Chavez government dividing people against each other he expressed a belief that racism has increased with the rhetoric of inclusion and exclusion. He said that many of his black friends and family have been killed directly because of the hyperbolic attention to race and class divisions. Echoing the young man’s point of view our guide is also critical of the government for supposedly ignoring the issue of crime in Venezuela and being too “soft” on violent crime. He also cited the majority of crimes committed by youth and pointed out on our trip out of Caracas to Barlevento the youth acting out on motor cycles and cars on the road in a traffic jam caused by an accident as they forced traffic to move so their funeral procession could turn around on the highway. However, the government maintains, and I agree, that the opposition and those expressing this opinion have a “reactionary” stance to the issue as they are seduced by capitalism and accept the models of punishment of the poor to protect the rich and “wanna be” rich.
The focus of the new government “Venezuela Full of Life” mission is restorative and preventative according to officials in an effort to reduce the risks of young people who unfortunately end up resorting to street crime. The mission is one more effort in a series of measures and political strategies implementing tactics in a nation wide campaign. Yet while the official sources say that the Bolivarian police are founded on a new model of policing with recruits working directly with communities and receiving classes on human rights have decreased the crime rate by 57% my young informant says the police are completely corrupt and easily bribed and these statistics are lies fabricated by the government. He said that the only believable press is the opposition press.
While pointing out the new rows of government housing for the poor our guide discusses the laws passed last Friday, by Chavez. A series of 11 far-reaching laws relating to communal government, tourism and housing the pros and cons of which are a major topic of our discussions. Our guide approves of the social equality programs and socialist efforts ending inequalities but changing the name and colors of the country was over the top for him. One of the new laws, entitled “Law for Community Management of Functions, Services and other Powers,” opens the door for organized communities to have greater responsibility in the running of local life and access to more direct funding from the government. In our visit to a Women’s Center in Higuerote, Venezuela today we are sure to hear more about these programs from the perspectives of working class and poor women.
Of serious concern for social justice advocates in Latin America today is the unconstitutional ousting of President Fernando Lugo from office. The right wing lower house of the Paraguayan Congress moved fast to impeach Lugo on Thursday in a coup. The right wing majority used clashes last week in Curuguatay in which 11 farmers and six police officers were killed as an excuse to legally blame him of mishandling the conflict. The Senate opened his trial on Friday and quickly reached a guilty verdict, ousting Lugo. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced that his government would not recognize another Franco as president“, referring to Frederico Franco, a name remembered historically for the fascist dictator of Spain. The government of Ecuador will not recognize any president of Paraguay other than Fernando Lugo,” said Correa, adding “true democracy is based on legality and legitimacy.” Vice-president Elias Jaua described the attempt by the Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay to topple President Fernando Lugo as a new attack sourcing from the bourgeoisie and the United States. During a ceremony to deliver resources to the state of Miranda, Jaua denounced the sectors trying to weaken the South American revolutionary process.
“The battle of the Paraguayan people is that of the Venezuelans, and we are committed to thwart this new attempt by the oligarchies and imperialism as we did in Venezuela in 2002, and also when they tried to topple Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador),” he said. In Jaua’s opinion, it is all about the struggle of the peoples and governments so that the will of the peoples of the region is respected and about “letting imperialism know that our Latin America is no longer their backyard,” he said.
“Here we have a people and a government ready to defend the sovereignty and independence of all the countries in the region,” stressed Jaua.
The celebrations we attend this weekend start today and are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. They are a mix of Carnival, Christianity, Paganism for three days during the summer solstice to pay homage to the Saint and to celebrate this holiday and tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation for more than three centuries of festivals for the Afro-Venezuelan communities from Barlovento and Yaracuy.
“During the time of slavery, in Venezuela, for three days in June, Venezuela’s slaves where allowed off. Three days during the San Juan Festival to do whatever they pleased. Three days to celebrate, to plan revolts, to flirt and make love: the sensuality of the dance, the power of the drums and the song, the emotion- for three days. “So” they said “we had better make the most of it, because it will soon be over.” The spirit has not been lost.” (Michael Fox)
Stonehenge 2012 Sunrise at 4am – Summer Solstice – 20th – 21st July 2012.
A British Artist called Jeremy Deller has produced a life-size copy of Stonehenge as a bouncy castle construction.
Stonehenge is a wonderful place, but is owned by the Crown and access to it is very restricted. This Stone-circle is however for the people. Jolly good too…
The “Stonhenge Bouncy Castle” (AKA Sacrilege) is currenlty touring the UK & here are the tour dates.
- 21 June – Carmarthenshire, Wales
- 24 June – Redruth, Cornwall
- 26 June – Exeter, Devon
- 29 June – Marlborough, Wiltshire
- 7 July – Flag Fen, Peterborough
- 11th July – Wakefield, Yorkshire
- 15 July – Gateshead
- 20 July – Fishermead, Milton Keynes
- 21/22 July – Greenwich, London
- 25 July – Brent, London
- 28 July – Westminster, London
- 29 July – Sutton, London
- 31 July – Ravenscourt Park, London
- 1 August – Hampstead Heath, London
- 2 August – Clapham Common, London
- 4 August – Southwark, London
- 5 August – HIllingdon, London
- 7 August – Newham, London
- 9 August – Crystal Palace, London
- 10 August – Alexandra Palace, London
- 11th August – Christchurch Green, London
- 12 August – Lee Valley Park, London
- 18 August – College Green, Bristol
- 26 August – Belfast
- 9 September – Preston
Pictures from Redruth
Published on Jun 23, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews-
Very Interesting Must watch!
On the 18th and 19th of June 2012 Iran and the P5+1 met in Moscow to discuss Iran’s nuclear program yet again. The participants sat down to talk 4 times in those two days, but the results could be summed up in one sentence. The talks will continue in Istanbul on the 3rd of July, and it’ll be the nuclear experts doing the talking. The talks hit a brick wall when Iran was asked to halt its nuclear activities in view if the resolutions passed against the Islamic Republic by the UN Security Council. Iran responded by saying it would only participate in negotiations that are based on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, not UN resolutions.
The NPT gives all its member states, one of which is Iran, the right to peaceful nuclear technology, and the right to enrich uranium to 20 percent. In the talks Iran once again, called on the P5+1 to recognize Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology. Both sides stuck to their guns unwaveringly, and the only thing that saved the proceedings from being labeled a total failure was them agreeing to further talks in Istanbul. In the end Catherin Ashton and Saeed Jalili met the press, to report the results. Ashton said the P5+1 had asked Iran to suspend uranium enrichment to 20 %, close down it’s fordo nuclear plant, and ship the uranium it had already enriched to 20 % out of the country. She said the group would accept these steps as trust-building measures.
Published on Jun 22, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
It is revealed by American magazine Wired in May 2012, that the American Army teaches its officers to “Use ‘Hiroshima’ tactics for a ‘total war’ on Islam”. The course teaches officers there is no such thing as moderate Islam and that they should consider Islam their enemy. It advocated taking war to civilian populations using similar tactics as used in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations. The teaching material also suggests that there is no such thing as the moderate Islam and concludes “It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”
The Pentagon has confirmed the course material obtained by the magazine is authentic. The report says the officer who delivered the lectures, still maintains his position at the Norfolk, Virginia College, pending an investigation. It is not clear that how much of the similar material has been taught in the US Army. What is alarming according to BBC is that all those commanders, captains and colonels must have sat through the course and not felt anything unusual. It brings into question the validity of claims that killing at least 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier was an isolated incident. This week’s Islam and Life asks: Should the world be worried about the emerging “total war ideology” against Islam?
Demand from Croatia to admit WWII crimes before joining European Union
For a second I was so puzzled that I opened timeanddate.com just to make sure that today was June 22, 2012. Yet, the interview I had just read in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz seemed taken from the 1950s. Yesterday, former Under Secretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat—who served in the Clinton Administration—told the newspaper that the EU must encourage Croatia and Serbia to take responsibility for their roles in the Holocaust before granting them EU membership. His name is little known, but Mr. Eizenstat negotiated agreements with Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, and other European countries with regard to restitution of property, compensation for slavery, recovery of looted art and bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies for Holocaust victims. He was also the American ambassador to the EU between 1993 and 1996. In other words, we are speaking with a formal expert on the issue; moreover, Haaretz is known in Israel as the Voice of the Shin Beth. In other words, the interview was a thinly disguised exposition of the official American-Israeli policy. Expectedly, the Israeli newspaper—for reasons to be explained—emphasized Croatia. The encounter took place during the President’s Conference in Jerusalem; despite the Croatian President being also present, Haaretz found an excuse to avoid an interview with the current expiatory goat of Israel. Even the Israeli journalist was aware of the atrocity he and the distinguished American gentleman had committed.
Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic issued in February 2012 an apology for his country’s role in the crimes committed against the Jews during the Second World War. Of course, the Republic of Croatia became independent only in 1991, many years after the WWII ended; this was not an obstacle for Israel and the USA, which greedily accepted the apology. Mr. Eizenstat told Haaretz “it is time for Croatia to commence a restitution program and the formation of an independent commission of international scholars to examine the country’s wartime past.” Israel claims that 30,000 of Croatia’s Jews died during the Holocaust, which is 80% of the country’s Jewish population at the time. “Now is the time for the European Union to exact the maximum amount of leverage,” said the distinguished American, and then added “once they’re in, the leverage is lost.” Croatia is expected to become a full member of the EU in 2013, thus the USA and Israel have no time to lose if they expect to profit from the event.
The other accused party was Serbia, which expects to become a full member of the EU in 2014. Israel claims that 14,500 Jews died in Serbia during the Holocaust. Any other mention of Serbia was banned in the published interview. That wasn’t casual. Israel is a quiet ally of Serbia; it even militarily helped Serbia even when the latter was committing genocides in the 1990s. The silent pact goes back to WWII, when Jewish groups helped Serbia and attacked Croatia. In recent times this pact received another dimension. Israel doesn’t recognize Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia. On July 22, 2010, the International Court of Justice ruled against Serbia on its claim that Kosovo’s secession was illegal. ICJ President Hisashi Owada said that international law “contains no applicable prohibition of Kosovo’s declaration of independence. Accordingly, [the court] concludes that the declaration of independence on 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law.” In exchange for Israel’s support, Serbia is not too friendly towards Palestine.
I apologize to the Honorable Mr. Eizenstat, but his strategy, succinctly summarized by him as “once they’re in, the leverage is lost,” is nothing but an extortion attempt. Extortion is a crime which occurs when money, property, or services are obtained from somebody through coercion. The extortionist refrain from doing harm is called protection, or “Vitamin P” in Israel. The difference between extortion and robbery is that extortion involves a written or verbal threat whereas robbery can occur without any verbal or written threat. Mr. Eizenstat, your implied threat to deny Croatia membership in the EU was a crime.
But, the victims deserve compensation!
Mr. Eizenstat and your Israeli allies, you are right. Victims of violence deserve compensation. They deserve to see their violators in jail. They deserve to enjoy the rule of law. But that applies also to the victims of the USA and Israel. You cannot punish criminals associated to a regime you loath, but spare criminals associated to regimes you like. Otherwise you violate the principle of equality among people. Can you follow this complex logic, Honorable Mr. Eizenstat?
In American Led Apocalypse I analyzed the intrinsic violence of the USA. That article included a downloadable excel file named American Military Operations, which contains a partial list of military operations performed by the United States of America since its foundation. It doesn’t include the violent massacres on Native Americans committed by the illegitimate British colonies that became the USA. It doesn’t include an unknown number of classified operations that were never acknowledged by this violent government. It doesn’t include the violence of this government towards its citizens. It doesn’t include operations performed around the world by subservient governments (like Israel and the CAZAB countries) in the name of the noble American Empire. Yet, the list includes over 500 operations! Today, I just want to mention two of them, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which the USA assassinated children, women and elders without distinction. Within the first four months of the bombings, the radiation killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki. Half of the deaths occurred on the first day. How does this compare to the abovementioned Croatian and Serbian events? Mr. Eizenstat, did you ever considered imposing sanctions on the USA until it properly compensates the victims? Not only did your country not compensate them, but it continued performing savage medical studies on the survivors. Documentaries on the topic—many produced by your country—are chilling, and easily compare to the Nazi Dr. Mengele (see Israel’s Eugenics Program: Dr. Mengele Blues).
Mr. Netanyahu, don’t feel joyous for my criticizing the USA. You are not better. You cry about the Nazi injustices, but you pay no attention to yours. Israel creates Palestinian victims day and night; including the barbaric slaughter of children. Let me bring just one case. On December 8, 1983, an extremely dangerous Palestinian terrorist was killed by an Israeli sniper in Nablus. Yosef Harnoi, a settler from Eilon Moreh, assassinated an eight-year-old girl called Aisha Adnan Al-Bahsh. He wounded her sister as well. Aisha was in her hometown. Mr. Harnoi was a settler ignoring and violating international law. On October 2, 1985, he was convicted by the Tel Aviv district court of manslaughter and was also found guilty of causing the girl’s sister grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to a mere ten years imprisonment and a five-month suspended sentence. The murder claim was rejected on grounds of his alleged epilepsy. He—like all male settlers—had been trained by the army, held a position in the settlements’ military protection system, and most important of all, was given gun and ammunitions by the IDF. The government and the army were content with the light punishment. Aisha couldn’t react to the sentence and her family was never indemnified for the crime. The indemnification issue is very important. Only if the political and military leaders face the reality of indemnifying their victims and see their war-profits diminish, only then will these crimes in Israel end. Israel consistently refuses to pay damages to Arab victims for its actions. However, in 1952, the young State of Israel signed the Reparations Agreement with Germany, in which Germany agreed to indemnify the WWII victims.
Time and again, the State of Israel shows discrimination between humans, despite its claims of being a democracy. Israel prides itself on its morality, on its superiority on these grounds when compared to regimes like the Nazi’s. However, it is a society that discriminates in how it delivers punishment. A Palestinian causing similar damage to a Jewish girl would have been lynched on the spot by the self-righteous mob or put in prison for life. But justice in Israel is relative. Maybe that’s why Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of the state in the 1950’s; morally, he refused. Oddly, he lived then in the USA, a country which is equally immoral. As time goes by, we tend to forget the victims; history is the story of the victorious—and often violating—army. Croatia and Serbia are now in a position to make a point here; they can accept engaging in a restoration process, conditioning it on a similar one for Israel and the USA. Justice must exist for all, don’t you agree with that, Mr. Eizenstat?
In a desperate attempt to capture the imagination of patriots and nationalists, Labour leader Ed Miliband today promised new measures to prevent the British people being “locked out” of their own jobs by foreign workers. But what jobs is he talking about? Everyone knows there are no jobs. For forty years now, all British governments have gone out of their way to dismantle any manufacturing in this country and with devastating results – British industry and engineering belong to the past and the British governments have done little to change the situation.
Desperate to maintain his political relevance, Milliband distances himself from his predecessor, Gordon Brown’s, rhetoric. He (Brown) went on record saying: “I am not going to promise ‘British jobs for British workers’”. Here, I must mention, that the reference to ‘British workers’, used so often by Labour politicians, is obviously and completely out of date. Our elected politicians care nothing for the ‘worker’. They are far more interested in transforming those who used to be workers, into consumers. In fact, all Western governments are there to regulate consumption and are therefore, openly and completely submissive to big monopolies and global interests. Accordingly the rest of us, immigrant or a native, have but one simple role in life: to buy, or more accurately, to spend money we don’t have.
‘Immigration’ is obviously another spin. The real problem in Britain and in the West in general is pretty obvious. We are paying a heavy price indeed for the fatal collapse of manufacturing. We hardly produce anything and, as time passes, lose any chance to ever produce anything again.
So Miliband diverts our attention from the real issues. He blames Brown for being “disconnected from the concerns of working people.” Now, I wonder, what could Ed Milliband, that political toddler, possibly know about ‘working people’ or for that matter, work in general? Did Ed Milliband ever spend one day of his life in a factory or farm? Did Ed Milliband ever produce anything except empty rhetoric?
Milliband picks on immigration because he is, quite simply, a banal populist. He longs to appeal to some imaginary British national collective. At first he is apologetic: “Why didn’t we listen more?” he says as if he, Ed Milliband, could ever manage to listen. Then, he ‘empathises’ with the weak: “We lost sight of who was benefiting from that growth – and the people who were being squeezed. And, to those who lost out.” As the son of an immigrant Jewish cosmopolitan socialist, I would expect nothing less of Milliband than to transcend himself beyond any such fake, righteous British tribalism. If Ed Milliband really cared about the ‘squeezed’ then he would be perhaps a universalist and care about all those who fall behind – both indigenous Britons and immigrants.
Ed Milliband speaks about ‘immigration’ today because to him, the very concept of production and manufacturing is alien. It is so much easier for his lame mind to appeal to the lowest form of British xenophobic feelings. But the truth is, as ever, quite simple: if Britain wants to save herself and to stand again on her own two feet, she must flee the service economy and pursue real production that would imbue the presently archaic notion of ‘British worker’, with a new and vibrant meaning.
Palestinians and Israelis react to the possible victory of Islamists in Egypt’s presidential race, with Fatah and Tel Aviv left worried, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Palestinian Islamists, who closely followed this week’s Egyptian presidential elections run-off, reacted with deep satisfaction to the apparent victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi over his secular opponent Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister under ex-president Hosni Mubarak.
Prior to the elections, Hamas leaders commented tersely and diplomatically on political developments in Egypt, saying they were standing at the same distance from all political players in the Egyptian arena. However, it was clear beneath such words what party and candidate Hamas and other Islamist groups were favouring.
Hamas is the daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood and has always had umbilical bonds with the mother organisation. Some of Hamas’s prominent leaders, such as Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, have been granted Egyptian citizenship, his mother being Egyptian.
The mother of the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Aziz Duweik, now imprisoned in Israel without charge or trial for his political activities, is also Egyptian, which qualifies him to obtain Egyptian citizenship according to recently amended laws.
Many Palestinian Islamist leaders also received their college and postgraduate education in Egypt.
In the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Palestinian youths took to the streets to celebrate Mursi’s apparent victory shortly after the Brotherhood’s candidate appeared on television to claim victory in the presidential elections.
Others distributed sweets and exchanged calls of congratulation.
“This is a victory for Palestine as much as it is for Egypt. We hope that with an Islamist president at the helm of power in the biggest and most powerful Arab state, Israel will learn how to be humble a little bit,” said Mohamed Amr, a Hamas activist in Hebron in the southern West Bank.
“This is really a political earthquake of historical proportions. This is the first time an Islamist president reaches power in an Arab country. The psychological and political effects and repercussions of this event will be tremendous and far-reaching,” Amr added.
Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Moussa Abu Marzouk were the first Palestinians to congratulate the Muslim Brotherhood on their victory. The two leaders voiced hope that Egypt under Mursi would display a tougher stance towards Israel.
Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, hailed the elections as a “democratic wedding”, saying he hoped Egypt would enjoy political stability and economic prosperity. He added that the Palestinian people were pinning a lot of hopes on the triumph of the Egyptian revolution.
Hamas has plausible reasons to be optimistic about the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood to the highest authority in the most important Arab country.
First, Hamas is certain that Egypt under Mursi would not bully or coerce the Islamist group, and the Palestinians in general, to accept deals with Israel against their will and convictions as was the case during Mubarak’s reign when the Egyptian regime was consistently used — by the United States — as a hammer to pressure the PA leadership to give concessions to Israel. In fact, most Palestinians think that the Mubarak regime was a liability, not an asset, for the Palestinian cause. This fact was manifested during the genocidal Israeli campaign against Gaza more than three years ago (Operation Cast Lead).
Second, Hamas, which suffered immensely thanks to the Mubarak regime’s efforts to strangle the Gaza Strip economically, even by building a deep concrete and steel wall along the Gaza-Sinai border, hopes that with Mursi as president, augmenting the Israeli blockade to Gaza by sealing the border crossings will be a thing of the past.
Third, Hamas hopes that Egypt will from now on link its commitment to the Camp David Peace Treaty to Israeli behaviour towards the Palestinians. Some Brotherhood leaders have made statements favouring such a linkage.
Fourth, Hamas hopes and possibly calculates that with an Islamist president, Egypt will show more understanding to Hamas’s stance vis-³-vis its rival, Fatah.
In the past, it was generally thought that the Mubarak regime was biased in Fatah’s favour in reconciliation talks under Egyptian sponsorship.
FATAH’S REACTIONS: The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership has not officially commented on the outcome of the presidential elections in Egypt, perhaps because the results have not been announced formally by the proper authorities in Cairo.
PA officials in Ramallah said President Mahmoud Abbas would congratulate whoever becomes the president of Egypt.
However, the general feeling among low and mid-ranking Fatah leaders was one of consternation, even indignation, at Mursi’s apparent victory.
A comment appearing on a Fatah Information and Culture Department’s website claimed that the “Muslim Brotherhood’s real face has been unmasked.”
“We hope that the Egyptian people will elect the right leader, now that the depravity of the Muslim Brotherhood has been exposed, and that people are now frightened by the Brotherhood’s hysterical desire to take control over all political institutions in Egypt, all at the expense of stability and societal peace.”
The writer, Yehia Rabah, obviously ignored the fact that the Brotherhood earned, not arrogated, their electoral victories.
“The military institution is the only qualified party to which Egypt can be entrusted. It is the only guarantor of peace and security,” Rabah added.
An anti-Islamist secularist, Rabah said Egypt would be in “safe hands” as long as the army kept its grip on the country, regardless of popular political forces.
“We must thank God for blessing Egypt with people [the military] who will uphold the trust, maintain security, protect Egypt’s sovereignty and its vital role in the region.”
Other Fatah leaders have expressed worries that the new Egyptian leadership will be more supportive of Hamas, which would enable the Islamist movement to enhance its overall status and position in the Palestinian arena.
Finally, the Israeli reaction to the apparent election of Mursi was quite grim and sombre, with one Israel lawmaker arguing that the “advent of the Islamists to the centres of power in Egypt is more dangerous to Israel than Iran’s nuclear weapons.”
Knesset member Benyamin Ben-Eliezer, a veteran Israeli politician and close friend to ousted president Mubarak, was quoted as saying that Israel has no choice but to talk to the Muslim Brothers.
Alex Fishman, a prominent Israeli political analyst wrote in the mass circulation daily Yedith Aharonot that Israel should now get accustomed to the disturbing reality of a hostile Egypt ruled by Islamists.
An Egyptian regime under Islamic leadership will not be able to accept Israeli strikes in Gaza. The day when Mursi is in power and the [Israeli] air force strikes the Strip, possibly killing innocents, will also be the day marking the end of formal relations between Israel and Egypt.
Source: Ahram Weekly
Women with strong political opinions have been very active in the revolutions sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. Also here in the U.K. we have Muslim women taking a strong political position and participating in all levels of politics and society. One sister who is part of a new generation of Muslims raised here where free speech is enouraged, is causing a lot of discussion in Muslim circles as to the correctness of her method of delivery.
I really wish that those who are so concerned about the idea of a woman speaking out, could actually be more concerned about the message and finally wake up to the reality that there is a war on Islam. We are all Palestinians waiting for the Arab revolution to reach the U.K. and liberate us from Zionist oppression.
Max Blumenthal a supporter of the Talmudic concept of Herem otherwise known as the Boycott and Divestment movement, has decided to resign his position at Al Akhbar newpaper.
In the above interview Max Blumenthal makes a lot of very good points about the Syria situation, I actually agree with much of what he says. The question is why would someone who is obviously intelligent and has valid opinions decide it is appropriate to censor his own right to free speech?
Here on deLiberation there are diverse opinions, a quick look through the comments section shows that many topics are discussed. How can we claim to uphold the right to freedom of speech and intellectual discourse if we have to exclude ourselves from sharing any platform with people who do not agree with us?
I do not apologise for recycling this joke because it describes the mentality so well
Q: How many synagogues are needed in a village with just one single Jewish habitant?
A: Two synagogues; one that he goes to, and one he would never set foot in.
A two-year-old is among the victims of a barrage of violence Israel this week thrust on the Palestinians, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
Palestinian medics treat a man wounded by Israeli fire in a hospital in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza Strip The Israeli occupation army and paramilitary Jewish settlers killed more than 10 Palestinians this week, including a two-year-old toddler who died after her Gaza home was hit by a missile fired from an Israeli military drone.
Israeli sources claimed some of the victims were involved in attempts to attack Israeli targets or trying to lay landmines along the Israel-Gaza borders, which is disputed by Palestinians who argue that Israel is killing Palestinians for the sake of it.
On Monday, 18 June, Israeli aircraft killed four Palestinians in two separate attacks in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. Five other Palestinians were also injured.
The killing in northern Gaza came after suspected resistance fighters killed a Jewish settler along Israel’s border with Egypt. Two of the fighters were subsequently killed by Israeli troops.
In addition to the toddler, Hadil Al-Hadad, the Israeli army targeted two people riding a motorcycle in Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza as well as two other people affiliated with the military wing of Hamas. The Israeli air force also targeted metal workshops and foundries Israel claimed were involved in manufacturing rockets. The Israeli army has targeted dozens of these workshops, exacerbating the already shocking state of poverty in the Strip.
Earlier in the week, fanatical Jewish settlers chased and killed two unarmed Palestinians near the town of Yatta in the southern West Bank. Palestinian eyewitnesses described the killing as amounting to an execution.
Israeli sources, quoting settlers involved in the killings, claimed the Palestinians were trying to steal money from a Jewish settler.
Settlers implicated in murdering Palestinians are routinely “advised” by their religious leaders to concoct narratives that would exonerate them in case they are arrested or prosecuted by the authorities.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups retaliated by firing homemade missiles on nearby Israeli settlements, injuring four Israeli soldiers.
Israeli sources said as many as 30 rockets were fired from Gaza onto Israel in less than 24 hours. Most of the rockets landed in open fields.
Hamas possesses a small arsenal of mostly primitive and ineffective rockets it hopes can create a semblance of deterrence vis-³-vis Israel. On the other hand, Israel uses the “rockets of Hamas” as a propaganda tool to justify murdering Palestinians on a nearly daily basis.
Hamas and other Palestinian military factions have fired thousands of homemade rockets on Israeli targets, mostly as a response to deadly Israeli aggressions, creating fear and panic in nearby settlements and towns, but very few casualties.
On the other hand, Israel has killed thousands of mostly civilian Palestinians and destroyed hundreds of homes, using state-of-the-art of US technology, including F-16 jet fighters and armed drones.
It is unclear why Israel is escalating its terror and violence against the Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli and Palestinian commentators believe the stepped-up attacks on Palestinians are intended to further exhaust the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and keep it in a perpetual state of imbalance. Israel may also be trying to appease settler circles following a recent government decision to evacuate a few settlers from a settlement outpost near Ramallah.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) blamed Israel for the “recent escalation”. It reiterated accusations that Israel was effectively eliminating any prospective chances for the resumption of the stalled peace process.
Hamas, for its part, accused the PA of adopting “a cowardly stance vis-³-vis Israeli aggression”. Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said that while Israel was murdering Palestinians non-stop, the PA was still pandering to the murderers’ government, in the hope of resuming a peace process that everyone knows leads will nowhere.
Barhoum said recent contacts between occupied Ramallah and Israeli authorities aimed at resuming negotiations between the two sides were a brazen betrayal of Palestinian blood.
Earlier, it was reported that PA negotiator Saeb Ereikat might meet with Shaul Mofaz, leader of the Kadima faction that recently joined the Binyamin Netanyahu government.
SETTLERS ATTACK MOSQUE: Meanwhile, Jewish settlers attacked an desecrated a mosque in the Palestinian village of Jabaa near Ramallah, torching the entrance of the mosque and scrawling anti-Palestinian slogans on its walls.
The slogans scribbled read: “The war has begun” and “You will pay the price.”
The torching of the mosque is the sixth of its kind in the West Bank in the past two years. Israeli sources suspect the terrorist act was carried out by settlers protesting Israeli government plans to evacuate dozens of settlers living in apartments built on private Palestinian land near Ramallah.
Despite the shocking frequency of such incidents, the Israeli army has failed to apprehend the perpetrators, who are believed to act on instructions or religious edicts issued by their rabbis.
Settler and pro-settler groups have long infiltrated the Israeli army and justice system to the point that the Israeli army is hesitant to confront settlers head-on, even when they are caught red-handed murdering, harassing, beating or aggressing Palestinians. (end)
Published on Jun 21, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
A year since Egyptians enthralled the world with the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, more and more people are fearing they’re back to square one, facing the former regime minus Mubarak. On this edition of News Analysis we’re asking whether the Egyptian revolution has become the target of a coup d’état.
In the 24 hours to 8am 21 June 2012, Israeli air strikes killed a 14-year-old boy, Momen al-Adam, and injured 2 children. Imagine the headlines and outrage that would be expressed by our politicians and news media if a 14-year-old Israeli boy had been killed and two Israeli children injured.
But that’s not all, more Israeli air strikes destroyed five homes and a school. Imagine the headlines if Palestinians had destroyed Israeli homes or a school. Yet another Israeli air strike destroyed a Gaza home and damaged others nearby. Our news media didn’t think that newsworthy either.
The Israeli Navy, (Israel is a favoured member of the OECD) opened fire on and hijacked a Palestinian fishing boat in the same 24-hour period. Would our news media and politicians have taken notice if an Israeli fishing boat had been fired upon and hijacked? The answer is obvious. Eight Palestinian towns and villages suffered night raids and/or home invasions in the same period. Israeli homes in Israel are never invaded at night or in the day.
While silence amounts to complicity, proper reporting and publicity could contribute a valuable and non-violent form of pressure upon Israel to respect international law and basic human rights.
Wikileaks’ founder seeks refuge in Ecuador
On June 20, 2012, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa acknowledged that his country is considering giving political asylum to Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ founder, who got temporary refuge at Ecuador’s embassy in London. Mr. Correa said that he will consult the UK, Sweden, and the US before deciding on Mr. Assange’s asylum request. In parallel, British authorities have announced that Mr. Assange will be detained as soon as he leaves the Ecuadorian diplomatic compound. Why Ecuador? The choice is more baffling that it looks at first, to the extent that one can’t help but ask: Assange: Patsy or Fool?
Is Wikileaks a CIA front?
The scene was strange. The CNN kept saying it couldn’t validate the data published by WikiLeaks on the Iraq War. Yet, on October 23, 2010, this data kept being repeated and analyzed by the Cables News Network ad nauseum. In small letters at the bottom of the screen, viewers were constantly reminded that none of the reported items could be validated. The BBC also kept analyzing the event. The same was true for most mainstream media outlets. Mainstream media quoting a website and transforming it into a main player in the international arena—for months—is odd news. Especially when considering the nature of the news. Practically all the items quoted seemed to be smear campaigns in favor of the American government or just old news. I analyzed a few examples in On WikiLeaks, 9/11 and American Terror. One of the strangest news published by WikiLeaks concerned the country that gave me political asylum, Bolivia. In 2010, most Bolivians laughed hard at WikiLeaks’ disclosure about Iran being interested in Bolivian uranium. This has been published openly in the local media since 2007. Of course, most international readers do not read Bolivian newspapers and were thus awed by WikiLeaks audacity, accuracy, and novelty. However, this was just another bit of no-news.
It would be too easy to transform this article into a personal attack against Julian Assange. Yet, I won’t do that. He may be a CIA agent, or he may have been used by the CIA. This is easy: WikiLeaks accepts anonymous contributions. As far as I know, all the material published by WikiLeaks looks like disinformation provided by the CIA. We will know for sure that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are clean the day they begin disclosing real names of CIA personnel. Perpetrators of human rights violations and crimes against humanity should not be protected by anonymity. If they are so righteous let them stand in court and defend their crimes. Compare WikiLeaks behavior with the disclosure of Mossad agents’ names in Portrait of a Jewish Terrorist, or Mossad persecution techniques portrayed in The Cross of Bethlehem
But he is persecuted!
Since the outbreak of the WikiLeaks Affair, Julian Assange lived comfortably in London, one of the Western Hydra main cities. That was odd, to say the least. Why the CIA and MI5 allowed that? Slowly, things got hotter for Mr. Assange on the legal arena, until he decided to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. Ecuador was a strange choice, to say the least.
Ecuador experienced a failed coup d’état in 2010; the event was perpetrated by the police force. According to Phillip Agee’s Inside the Company: CIA Diary, this police force is owned by the CIA. This last event was widely dismissed by Western media. Yet, Venezuelan teleSur news network broadcast in 2011 an incredible report of the event in its program Dossier. There, journalist Walter Martinez did an exceptional job in showing the kidnapping of President Correa by the police. The video shows how a gas grenade is thrown on the president by a police officer, and his gas mask is taken away from his face while he is forcibly taken away. A few hours later, after it was apparent the event had failed, he was released. Then, the commander of the police force resigned. … This military-terror machinery had been trained by the USA, and was designed to perform exactly that: civilian terror for the profit of the Empire… Operation Condor was a campaign of political repression involving institutional assassination and intelligence operations implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil. The United States—through the CIA—had planning, coordinative and supportive roles. Later on, Ecuador and Peru joined the merry party. Two of these countries—Uruguay and Ecuador—are described as little more than CIA substations in the abovementioned book by Philip Agee (adapted excerpt from The Cross of Bethlehem II: Back in Bethlehem).
The current Ecuadorian president is obviously not an American supporter, having allied himself with Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. This is true despite his PhD in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His father was caught smuggling cocaine into the USA and was convicted and sentenced to 5 and half years in prison. Later on, he committed suicide. The Ecuadorian president had publicly said that “…drug smugglers are not delinquents. They are single mothers or unemployed people who are desperate to feed their families.” In this context, Julian Assange request for asylum makes sense.
Ecuador? Are you serious?
Rafael Correa is not a USA supporter; however, that doesn’t transform him into a human rights champion. On 16 February 2012, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli granted diplomatic asylum to Carlos Pérez Barriga, one of the directors of El Universo, Ecuador’s largest newspaper. This happened after the ratification of a sentence convicting the newspaper’s directors to three years in prison and the payment of $40 million for the crime of slanderous offenses against President Rafael Correa. A stand-off developed since Ecuador didn’t let the now Panamanian refugee to leave the embassys’ compound. Following international pressure, the offended President Correa pardoned the dangerous criminals. This was not the behavior of someone who respects freedom of speech, or even basic human rights. Yet, Julian Assange seeks refuge under Correa’s wings.
This is odd for one declaring himself a champion of information rights. Moreover, considering his occupation, it is unconceivable that Mr. Assange is not aware of the ongoing links—a coup d’état was staged in 2010!—between the CIA and the Ecuadorian Police. Patsy or fool?
Assange: Patsy or Fool?
The few appearances of Assange that I have seen did not give me the impression that he is a fool, despite his openly cursing in front of a TV camera (“Tabloid S******” he said to the BBC). Are we seeing the build-up of a super-agent? Is Assange building up an indestructible reputation, so that he will be able to make a giant strike for the sake of the CIA and its Reign of Terror? Is WikiLeaks a giant smear campaign by the American government against the rest of the world? There are worrying signs that there is more to come. News reporting attacks and counter-attacks over the internet have become common, the affair of the Flame and Stuxnet worms being the most remarkable one. Lawrence Lessig, a respected Law Professor from Stanford University told an audience at the 2008 Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Half Moon Bay, California, that “There’s going to be an i-9/11 event” which will act as a catalyst for a radical reworking of the law pertaining to the internet. Lessig also revealed that he had learned, during a dinner with former government Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, that there is already in existence a cyber equivalent of the Patriot Act, an “i-Patriot Act,” and that the Justice Department is waiting for a cyber terrorism event in order to implement its provisions. Lessig is the founder of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. He is founding board member of Creative Commons and is a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and of the Software Freedom Law Center. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications. These are not the ravings of some paranoid cyber geek.
The Patriot Act, as well as its lesser known follow up the Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as USA Patriot Act II, have been universally decried by civil libertarians and Constitutional scholars from across the political spectrum. They have stripped back basic rights and handed what have been described by even the most moderate critics as “dictatorial control” over to the president and the federal government. Many believed that the legislation was a response to the attacks of 9/11, but the Patriot Act was prepared way in advance of 9/11 and it sat dormant, awaiting an event to justify its implementation. In the days after the attacks it was passed in the House by a majority of 357 to 66. It passed the Senate by 98 to 1. Congressman Ron Paul told the Washington Times that no member of Congress was even allowed to read the legislation. Exactly the same freedom restricting legislation has already been prepared for the cyber world. Is WikiLeaks the precursor and pretext for yet another American terror attack on our liberties?
In this context, Mr. Assange step makes sense. He will be publicly portrayed as having got political asylum from an anti-American regime, while being jealously protected by the same regime’s police force, which has properly proven links with the CIA. Do you care to comment, Mr. Assange?
Right Wing Billionaires Push Israel Agenda in Democratic Party
Despite GOP attacks on Obama’s Israel positions, his record of appeasing both Netanyahu’s Likud government and the Israel lobby has earned him the support of most American Zionists, and a few key friends in high places, reports Real News
Two Tibetans hold Tibetan independence flags as they set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule, on a street in Yushu prefecture in China’s Qinghai province yesterday.
Militaristic expansion towards the rich gas fields of the Eastern Mediterranean
The USA is practically empty; during my trips there, even what Americans call cities looked to me like a vast emptiness, a long series of large and quite empty parking lots. America is so empty, that Americans consider China a densely populated country. That its true along China’s coast; but take a railway trip from Shanghai to Kashgar—across the country—and most of the time only a vast desert would be seen from the windows. Israel and Palestine are populated beyond Western comprehension; I won’t cite density numbers here because that would imply recognizing Israel’s borders. The point is that there is no space left; it is so crowded, that certain cemeteries bury the dead in multi-level graves.
The Mediterranean Eastern coast from Gaza to Lebanon is home to almost ten million people, many military bases and countless, bulky civilian infrastructures. The main installations are within the Iron Triangle (“Meshulash HaBarzel” in Hebrew), a mocking reference to the area between the HaKirya, Tel Hashomer and Tzrifin IDF bases in the Tel Aviv area. These bases contain the army’s main administrative units. It is called Iron Triangle because it is jokingly said that once a soldier is posted there he—or she—is unlikely to leave it, for his eternal joy. Other prominent structures include the massive Hedera Power Station, the complex of intelligence bases which include the Mossad Headquarters at the Glilot Junction, the Ben Gurion International Airport, and at least one local airport. Desperate to create living space at its economic heart, Israel is trying to move all these facilities elsewhere.
The efforts to clear the center are not new. On June 2010, I reported in IDF on the Run, how the IDF is moving much of its intelligence and training infrastructure to the Negev. The Intelligence Corps would move to the Likit Area, east of Beer Sheva, and west of the Shoket Junction. The Military Intelligence School would be moved to the Negev Junction. Technological intelligence units (mainly the Sigint 8200 base at Glilot) would be relocated near the town of Omer. The last step includes the move of Mamram—the IDF computing unit—to a location adjacent to the Negev University in Beer Sheva. All these would we transferred until 2017. The massive complex of military bases at Tzrifin—a military area dating back to the British Mandate—would be moved to the new City of Training Bases being built south of Beersheba until 2014. Even after this radical change in the IDF deployment, there would be a lot of space controlled by the army within Israel’s largest metropolitan area.
This clog was predicted many years ago. In the early 1990s an artificial islands project was proposed. It included three large islands in front of Tel Aviv—each one a kilometer long—which would double as wave-breakers and exclusive residential areas. The project was dropped due to its environmental consequences. The fact that it was civilian doomed its fate; in order for a project to succeed in Israel, it must belong to the militaristic-expansionistic type. Accordingly, in June 2012, the Cabinet—the Israeli government senior ministers’ committee—approve a feasibility study on the construction of several artificial islands in front of Israel. In contrast to the original project, these islands will contain airports, large industrial facilities, power stations, and military bases. Unsurprisingly, they would ease Israeli military control of the gas fields disputed between this country and Lebanon. It is safe to assume the islands would be also the preferred location for the inevitable desalination plants that Israel will need in the near future. With such a preamble, there is little doubt this project will move forward, changing the shape of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Old Ideas; New Twists
Artificial islands are not a new idea. Probably, the best known one is the international airport of Hong Kong; also the parallel structure in Seoul was built on landfilled sea. Airport islands are rather humble in size; the record in this category belongs to the Dutch, who probably are the world-leaders in land-shaping. They have done that for centuries, and beyond a very impressive network of state-of-the-art dams, they also feature the largest artificial island in the world. Flevopolder is a landfill which was finished in 1968, and has a total area of 970 km2 (375 sq mi). This is one hundred times larger than the mentioned airports.
The Dutch experience is important in two aspects related this article. First, it shows that large islands are feasible. An island the size of Flevopolder in front of Israel will enlarge the country significantly; easily creating space for many military installations and at least an additional one million residents. This is a game changer. Second, the Dutch are construction masters, and they have cozy relations with Israel. The Marganit Building—the Ministry of Defense (see long image in this page)—was built by the Dutch since Israel lacks the required technologies. The Northern Command of the IDF—a bunker reaching a depth of 200m below Tzfat—was also built by a Dutch company. Israel trusted them with its deepest secrets. It is safe to assume that Dutch expertise would be used in the construction of the islands.
Netanyahu allotted one year for the feasibility study. If everything goes as planned, the map of the Middle East may dramatically change by the end of this decade.
Greece faces the unenviable choice between accepting the terms of “the Troika” and facing the continuation and deepening of a socio-economic crises, which includes five years of negative growth, over 23% unemployment, an astronomical rise in poverty (from less than 15% to over 40%) and mounting suicides, or a rejection of the “memorandum”, and a likely cut-off of Eurozone funding and capital markets with virtually few reserves to cover salaries, pensions or public services.
While the immediate cost of a break with catastrophic conditions imposed by Eurozone bankers may be high, it opens up the possibility of transforming the internal and external relations and structures which led Greece to ground zero.
Crises as Opportunity?
The prolonged and unending downward spiral of the Greek economy and living standards, the disastrous and destructive policies pursued by the formerly dominant two parties (PASOK and New Democracy) has conclusively demonstrated that Greek “capitalism” and EEC integration has been an unmitigated disaster; tried tested and failed to meet the minimum standards of human existence. Only dogmatic true believers in the innate virtues of ‘capitalism’ and the EEC can continue to prattle about the “need” to continue the same “austerity” policies which have devastated the lives of 80% of the people, closed half the business establishments in the country and fails to provide jobs for half of the young labor force (under 30 years of age).
The profound crises demonstrates the need for basic changes in the organization of the economy, the urgency for new political leadership and the desire for a new political system responsive to the vast majority.
The old ruling oligarchies are totally discredited. The existing links to the EEC only bleed the economy: providing loans which deepen debt and which pass through the economy to overseas bankers. EEC ‘integration’ is in fact a great suction pump which depresses the economy and living standards in order to extract wealth for overseas bondholders.
No capitalist or politician of the old order provides any redeeming argument. In the past they plundered the economy; in the present they extract and transfer wealth abroad; and for the future they can only promise more of the same.
The basic challenge is not the abysmal conditions of the present but the opportunity that exists for a fundamental transformation. The problem is fashioning a transition from an unmitigated disaster to an equitable, dynamic and participatory economy. The problem facing a transition is the flawed structural and behavioral features of contemporary Greek society, polity and economy. Greece is deeply embedded with the legacy of a culture of pervasive state-party corruption and kleptocracy and bloated expenditures for the military and cliental bureaucracies. Most important Greece is dominated by rent seeking economic elites which pretend to be capitalists, but profit from state and overseas handouts from the Eurozone bankers and states.
To effect a transition requires that we first face the negative legacy of the past an order to see what proposals are viable and necessary.
The Negative Legacy and Debt Default: Greece is not Argentina
Many radical critics of the ‘austerity’ and debt crises in Greece cite the “Argentine example” of debt default, (over $100 billion dollars) and its ability to fashion a successful recovery and growth model based on ‘self-financing’. The critical advocates ignore the profound differences in the economic and social structures of the two countries as well as their respective locations in the regional economies.
Argentina, at the bottom of its crises, was actually in a worse situation than Greece today. Unemployment hovered between 25% – 30% and over 50% in many working class districts, compared to 24% in Greece. Poverty levels in Argentina exceeded 45%; in Greece they exceed 35%. The depression in Argentina led to a negative growth rate of approximately 20% over the 3 year duration, equal to the loss in Greece over the past 5 years.
Despite starting from a more difficult and worse situation Argentina had several strategic advantages.
In the first place, in Argentina the ouster from power of the crises driven ruling elite was affected by a mass popular uprising (December 2001 – January 2002). In Greece, while mass demonstrations have certainly politicized, mobilized and radicalized a part of the electorate, the radical coalition vying for power (SYRIZA), has taken the electoral route. Secondly, the Argentine upheaval was a continuous process as mass unemployed picketers (piqueteros) blocked all roads and transport as a negotiating tool to ensure that resources were transferred from debt payments to unemployed workers’ family allowances and in reviving the economy. In Greece the vast army of unemployed has neither the organized capacity to sustain constant transport blockage nor can they count on neighborhood and trade union organizations for anything more than repeated one day work stoppages and marches.
Argentina immediately drastically devaluated its currency – eliminating the dollar peg – from one to one, to three to one and vastly increased the competitiveness of Argentine export products. The center-left regime encouraged the substitution of local products for costly imports. Argentina, unlike Greece was not part of a currency union and could set its own currency rate. Greece, is bound to the euro and will have to convert to the drachma in order to take control over its finances, currency rate and monetary and investment policy tools.
Argentina possessed a substantial industrial – manufacturing sector, idled by the crises, but with the worker-engineering-management capacity to respond to a new stimulus program. In addition, Argentina had a dynamic highly competitive agro-business sector, a world leader in beef, grains and soya, as well as energy (oil) and mineral wealth, which the center-left regime could activate.
Greece, during its 30 year membership in the European Union actually saw its meager and backward manufacturing and agricultural base shrink, in the face of cheap and better imports from developed capitalist countries like Germany, France, Holland and elsewhere. Unlike Argentina, Greece received billions of dollars in “transfers”, compensation funds to upgrade its economy and competitiveness and prepare it for full integration (lowering of tariff barriers). However, the “transfers” were not channeled into productive activity either by the two ruling parties or by the ‘capitalists’ and ‘farmers’. The ruling parties used the transfers to build extensive electoral patronage machines; they squandered funds for overpriced state contracts to provide builders engaged in non-productive building projects (including the multi-billion dollar swindle around the Olympic Games). Tens of thousands of unemployed graduates and party loyalists bloated the national, regional and local bureaucracy, increasing consumption, blocking any meaningful productive activity.
Capitalists designed “productive projects and then transferred EU- loans and handouts to local and overseas real estate investments and luxury purchases. The Greek elite transferred loans to London, Swiss and Cypriot bank accounts – while the government signed off as ultimate guarantor.
In the agriculture sector, many property holders were doctors, dentists, lawyers and high officials who used the ownership of a few dozen olive or orange trees to receive low interest loans, import tax free luxury 4 x 4 vehicle imports and to build second or third vacation houses .Many farmers who received loans and grants, purchased land for homes for their married children or for extra room to rent to tourists or to send their sons and daughters to overseas universities.
Most important, the economic elite – bankers, ship owners, construction-real estate – politicians, speculators skimmed off billions from the EEC transfers in the form of illicit loans to cronies and in the form of fees, management charges for credit dealings and pension funding.
The European bankers, government officials and exporters were acutely aware that the “transfers” were being pillaged – but they went along, for obvious reasons of economic and political gain: lucrative interest payments flowed into their coffers; exporters took over Greek consumer markets; bankers and investment houses found willing pension fund manager’s ‘open’ to dubious investments. Even tourists enjoyed the sun and imports which reminded them of home: wiener schnitzel, English ale, Dutch feta. Moreover, Greece spent 15% of its budget on the military, serving NATO goals and bases.
Contrary to superficial appearances, Greece was not ruled by capitalists, small business people and farmers’ as some political scientists claim. Greece was ruled by an extensive class of kleptocrats, tax evaders and rentiers who pillaged, borrowed, consumed and invested overseas. Technologically Greece was among the most backward agro-manufacturing countries. Its overseas trained and educated professionals, returned and ‘adapted’ to the kleptocratic-rentier culture: most held several positions in public-private activities, guaranteeing a mediocre performance and conflicts of interests.
In summary Greece is not Argentina. A Greek default is an absolute necessity to begin the process of transition toward a productive and equitable economy. But the horrendous Greek legacy raises a whole series of new problems and challenges with few economic resources and in the absence of leading productive classes. The Difficult Road Out of Crises
Any road map out of the Greek crises will be difficult, complex, and arduous – given the “scorched earth” economy which a left government (LG) will inherit. The first and most basic concern of a LG is to end the policies and especially the agreements with the “Troika” that demand further mass firings of public employees, the reduction in social services, the cuts in minimum wages and pensions. A new LG needs to impose a series of emergency measures to avoid economic bankruptcy.
It is absolutely clear that European bankers and regimes want to punish Greece for transgressions of their “austerity pact”. If Greece should succeed in renouncing the austerity pact, the Euro bankers fear that other countries – Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Ireland might follow suite.
Greece should suspend debt payments, impose tight capital controls and freeze bank deposits to avoid capital flight, in the face of the Troika cut-off of funding. The LG should convoke a series of emergency commissions to (1) secure alternative sources of emergency financing from several reserve funds with Euro holdings. They must seek loans from Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China and other states not beholden to the Troika (2) make an inventory of available and potential productive enterprises – bankrupt or troubled firms, indebted enterprises – and convert them into state sponsored worker-employee operated co-operatives (3) investigate public debt to determine what can be classified as ‘legitimate’(loans channeled into productive employment) or illegitimate (loans that enriched speculators, corrupt contractors, political leaders) (4) investigate and attach overseas holdings of wealthy Greeks who were engaged in multi-year multi-million tax evasion and who accumulated illicit income via unpaid loans and money laundering. Greek auditors should proceed to demand that Eurozone creditors should collect debt payments from the bank accounts of wealth Greeks who laundered and deposited in London, Zurich, Frankfurt, New York and elsewhere.
The principle of the LG should be “those who borrowed the loans and profited, should pay them”. The European bankers who lent to corrupt politicians and business kleptocrats must assume the loss, for failing to exercise “due diligence” – oversight into the viability of the activity they were financing. After all private business ‘justifies’ its profits by the “risks” it takes. In the case of Greece, Euro-bankers’ demands that private bank loans and repayments be “guaranteed” by the state (no matter how badly they were managed) risk ‘moral hazard’: Guaranteeing bankers’ profits, irrespective of their ‘soundness’, encourages a repetition of reckless speculation such as had transpired in Greece over the past 30 years.
The LG should repudiate illegal debts (the vast majority) and renegotiate and roll-over the rest over an extended time frame, pending an economic recovery.
What should be recognized is that past Greek governments (despite being formally elected) engaged in illegitimate activity which prejudiced the sovereignty, productive capacity and livelihood of an entire people.
What is not acceptable is to force an entire people to sacrifice their lives because a minority of Greeks borrowed and didn’t invest or pay their debts to overseas creditors. Currently the kleptocratic millionaires are given “cover” and their illicit multi-billion Euro bank accounts and real-estate holdings are protected by the banks demanding payments from the Greek government. Their current demands are based on a savage demolition of living standards for a whole people. For outstanding obligations, the Greek LG can transfer tax debts of Greek tax evaders to creditors, letting them attach the overseas accounts of their Greek clients.
The LG can self-finance a recovery by drastically changing budget priorities: mainly by slashing its military budgets. Greece’s military expenditures as a percentage of its total budget, is one of the highest in the European Union. By eliminating expenditures for NATO operations, overseas military expedition and numerous military bases, a LG can prioritize industrial and service investments.
Greece needs a (1) growth tax – a flat tax on the self-employed – professions, shop keepers, hotels, etc. – to ensure that they pay their share in financing the new economy. While the very rich engaged in mega swindles and evasions, it was also the case that the 50% self-employed sector imitated their behavior at the micro-level (2) a tourist tax – at airports, ferry-docks, tour ships stops – with tight oversight and or replacement of corrupt tax inspectors/collectors and customs officials who take a big cut of proceeds. Incarceration of corrupt officials should be mandatory. (3) A real estate tax which reflects the real value of land and property, especially of unused or uncultivated lands. (4) A tax on financial transactions and an end to tax exemptions for major banks, corporations and so-called property developers. Exploiting Unused or Underutilized Human Resources
The new government has many sources of ‘human capital’ – hundreds of thousands of unemployed young educated people who can be mobilized for work in productive activity through selective public investments in priority areas, especially outside of the “greater Athens region”.
There are many regions and islands which have the potential to provide income and employment, properly addressed. One of the most salient is in food processing; one of the many perversities of the Greek economy is the production and exports of apples and citrus products to Germany and the import of juices. Another is the failure to link local food and manufacturing to the 14 million tourist sector. Most food and furniture is imported; most vacation packages benefit overseas multi-nationals and foreign transport agencies.As a result the Greek economy and labor force derives a small share of total income from its “leading sector”. Greece with 300 days of sun is ideal for solar energy development. The New Economy Cannot be Built with Kleptocrats of the Past
As mentioned above, Greece had few if any real entrepreneurs, who invested their own profits, invested in research and development and modernized their plant.
Public sector enterprises were overloaded with the unemployed ‘party members’, many virtually ‘no shows’; and many public sector unions engaged in nepotism and multiple-employment at the expense of efficient services, profitability and long-term development strategies. Public sector enterprises require a kind of re-nationalization’, to generate revenues and income to finance new jobs in new enterprises. Management of public enterprises should be transferred from the hands of stagnant ‘life time job-holders’ to dynamic workers – entrepreneurial – engineering management teams looking to broaden the scope and quality of activity within the new economy.
Pension funds and other savings must be mobilized alongside the billions retained by the state’s debt default to pay current expenses (pensions, salaries, basic imports etc.), to stimulate the revival of production among enterprises which show a willingness to rebuild the economy and which show a willingness to collaborate in activating production and employment. Public profits should finance worker takeovers of factories and services abandoned by their previous owners, of which there are thousands.
The public sector must take the lead in investing, servicing and producing to create “confidence” among the small and medium size producers. The public sector must take the lead in negotiating with potential lenders and economic partners outside the Eurozone: new markets and financial arrangements will be necessary if the Eurozone cuts off all funding as a consequence of debt default or a moratorium.
The danger is that SYRIZA follows through on the default and has no alternative emergency plan in place to respond to a Eurozone cut-off. In the face of an EU/IMF offensive and lacking an alternative, a sector of SYRIZA (ex. PASOK public sector unionists) may back-track and seek to accept some form of “renegotiated” pact … which would divide and undermine the prospects for a truly viable and radical transformation and condemn Greece to its catastrophic downward spiral. Conclusion
SYRIZA has been raised to a serious contender for state power by the most devastating capitalist crises to affect a Western European country since WWII. It gained adherence through its dynamic grass roots organizing and the relative cohesion of its disparate components. It’s clear and forthright exposé of the corruption and pillage of the dominant parties and its image as a party with ‘clean hands’ has propelled it forward among a broad spectrum of classes, regions and generational groups. However, the very depth of the crises, the total pillage and emptying of the treasury by the kleptocratic political-business class and the dismantling of the entire productive sector and the transfer of billions of Euros abroad by the millionaire rentier class, has created an immensely difficult terrain from which to launch the necessary transformation. The new government can and must guarantee the sovereignty of the nation by rejecting imperial dictates and end any further degradation (“austerity”) of the Greek people. Emancipation requires that first and foremost the new leadership takes the lead in making sacrifices: cutting out all the perks of office, salaries and overseas commitments. The new social priorities demand severe cuts in military budgets – bases, NATO, arms purchases. The new leaders must tell the Euro-bankers to collect payments from the accounts of the overseas billionaires who borrowed, bled the country and are now sheltered in the same banks.
The Left must move from criticism to practical deeds; from theorizing to creating jobs! Greece with a new government can put an end to open-ended austerity and decay. It can and must change its place in the international economy. In the final analysis, it is Greece’s last best hope.
The ubiquitous Julian Assange has broken free of his “house arrest” and sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy for political asylum. It is unclear as to whether Julian’s plans where to evade the ongoing sexual accusations from Sweden against him or whether he was eager to escape his RT-TV contract on – the World tomorrow.
Julian is an odd fellow no doubt. From his prematurely grey hair to his love of encryption he has captured the imagination of people everywhere. As a modern Hacktivist hero; a “David” character against the Goliath of the Global Elite. Love him or hate him, he has something of interest – his mind. Sadly it did not work out too well with his TV show. Is he a radical journalist, an undercover agent, Controlled opposition of just another Hacker with delusions of grandeur? Time will tell…
But now the police are after him for breaching of his bail conditions. The thing is, one can hardly blame him for running, after 500 days house arrest without charge, that chance of him getting a fair trial are slim.
Foreign Office confirms it is working with Ecuadorian authorities to resolve Julian Assange asylum bid
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) June 19, 2012
Julian’s asylum not about questioning in Sweden.Facing life in solitary in USwith no comm.for exposing war crimes, What Would You Do???
— Michael Ratner(@justleft) June 19, 2012
WikiLeaks founder walked into the embassy and asked for asylum under the United Nations human rights declaration bit.ly/MnOOGO
— Tony Thomas (@GreeGreece) June 19, 2012
11:33PM: Police seek Assange over his failure to meet his strict bail conditions.
Training Killers in the Classroom
June Terpstra and Husayn Al-Kurdi
“If they would rather die, said Scrooge, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
The militarization of public schools is a subject concerning the life and death of the young people of this country and those millions across the globe they will be trained to kill, torture, and invade. To speak of this is to challenge the intense economic, social and cultural campaigns conducted to convince populations that wars benefiting the rich are wars guaranteeing freedom. The increasing need for young people to voluntarily join the US military to fight the wars for the enforcement of global capitalism as it expands its markets poses a challenge for radical educators to provide alternative scenarios. This article examines this agenda for militarization and provides strategies for counter-campaigns to end militarization in the public schools and the culture at large.
The educational system in the USA has from its inception been a site of struggle between the owning and possessing classes and those who serve them and abide by their bidding. Schools are the breeding grounds in which competing fantasies, fears, hopes and desires held by individuals and social groups crystallize. Public schooling is used to promote the militarization of young people whose class, racial and gender perspectives represent various competing ideological and economic claims. Unsuspecting young people are unaware that this militarized education will lead to train the individual to more readily kill and commit war crimes such as those committed by U.S. troops in Iraq, such as the brutality exhibited at Abu-Ghraib or in Mahmoudiya, where soldiers gang-raped a teen-age Iraqi girl and burned her body to destroy the evidence.
As Kenneth Saltman explains in Education as Enforcement:
Military generals running schools, students in uniforms, metal detectors, police presence, high-tech ID card dog tags, real time Internet-based surveillance cameras, mobile hidden surveillance cameras, security consultants, chainlink fences, surprise searches”—are all part of the investment the military industrial complex is embedding in U.S. public schools as they increasingly resemble the military and prisons. Militarism and the promotion of violence as virtue pervade foreign and domestic policy, popular culture, educational discourse, and language. In addition to promoting recruitment, military education plays a central role in fostering a social focus on discipline. In short, to speak of militarized schooling in the United States context it is inadequate to identify the ways that schools increasingly resemble the military and prisons. This phenomenon needs to be understood as part of the militarization of civil society exemplified by the rise of militarized policing, increased police powers for search and seizure, anti-public gathering laws, “zero tolerance” policies, and the transformation of welfare into punishing workfare programs.
The process of molding recruits into serviceable troops is based on indoctrinating them in the dehumanization of designated enemies. In the present US-led wars of terror these “enemies” are people who pose no threat to the individual or country but whose resources are coveted by the corporations. Additionally, the killing fields of the present US wars target people who mean nothing to capitalism’s obedient generals but a playground in which to use up old weapons and military equipment and experiment with new weapons and technologies. The public school military agenda offers the first steps to train young people to overcome any fear or prejudice against killing that the culture has not already dispelled via video games and films where the military is portrayed in ads as an adventure and a way to gain skills and a future education (providing one does not get killed). The heroism of service is consistently morphed with the concept of freedom along with an understated promotion of the excitement of killing bad guys. Ads, films and TV shows suggest that to be in the military is to be in respected and powerful elite. The main themes stress tangible rewards such as educational opportunities, high-tech skills training, and managerial expertise, which can later translate into cash in the corporate sector.
Chicago is one of the most militarized zones in need of de-militarization. There are five military academies affiliated with the Army, Navy, or Marines in the Windy City. Along with required attendance in the Junior ROTC program cadets must wear full military costumes to school and undergo daily uniform inspections, take a daily ROTC course focusing on military history, map reading and navigation, drug prevention, and the branches of the Department of Defense. Cadets can be seen marching on an academy’s drill team, learning the proper way to fire a weapon and shoot to kill. Military commandants from the U.S. armed services teach alongside math and music teachers in each academy. Three of these military academies were created in part with Department of Defense appropriations, funds secured by Illinois lawmakers. CPS is the only public school system in the country with Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps high school academies. In 2000, the armed services Chiefs of Staff testified before The House Armed Services Committee that 30%-50% of all Junior ROTC cadets later enlist in the military. Organizations opposing the military’s growing presence in public schools insist that it’s no coincidence that the number of military academies in Chicago is on the rise at a time when the U.S. military has had difficulty meeting its recruitment targets while fighting unpopular wars of aggression.
A militarized society from which to draw human cannon fodder is crucial to imperialist global control. The military is one of the most important sites of struggle for educators and researchers. Militarized schooling should be resisted at the local level as in organizations such as the Military Out of our Schools campaign that seeks to eject JROTC programs from public schools. Beyond this, an aggressive campaign that counters the cultural, social and economic program of the military is needed. We must provide an educational curriculum which facilitates the development of critical awareness of the student’s social, political and cultural conditions and conditionings.
Ten years ago, Israel began construction of its 490-mile mostly cold concrete barrier without any agreement with the Palestinian Authority about borders.
Over 80% of Israel’s Wall has been built on legally owned Palestinian property because it lies beyond the Green Line.
The Wall has cost over $1 billion so far and it continues to grow:
“Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families’ sole livelihood for generations.” [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]
In Hebrew The Wall is called “Michshol Hafrada” which translates to “The Separation Wall” in English and “Apartheid Wall” in Afrikaans.
The Israeli spin has been repeated ad nauseam by US Media and Politicians who claim The Wall is against terrorist attacks…
Mutual chemical deterrence between Israel and Syria may be soon put to test
Syria is not Libya; it is neither Egypt nor Tunisia. Despite the Western thinly-disguised attempt to destabilize the Syrian regime, the latter is still in power after roughly a year and a half. Neither the USA nor Israel had developed yet a computer virus capable of destroying a human government. Yet, despite the Syrian government holding on, violence rules the ground, with violent explosions rocking this society daily, including sites located near stockpiles of chemical weapons. Far from the mainstream media eyes, there is a silent chemical-deterrence race between Israel and Syria. The June 16, 2011, edition of the Economist, included an article named “Nuclear endgame: The growing appeal of zero;” it analyzed a previous Wall Street Journal article by Henry Kissinger, Bill Perry, George Shultz and Sam Nunn. In the article, it was claimed that: “The risk of accidents, misjudgments or unauthorised launches… was growing more acute in a world of rivalries.” This referred to nuclear weapons; sadly it is no less true for chemical weapons of mass destruction. A chemical countdown between Israel and Syria may be taking place these days.
This race has been kept secret by the two sides involved. One of the reasons for that is that the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction” (find it at Chemical Weapons Convention) is very strict, and Israel is a signatory country. It is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in The Hague. Syria and Israel keep stockpiles of various chemical weapons.
The Syrian program is easier to follow. Syrian chemical weapons production facilities have been identified by Western nonproliferation experts at Cerin, Hama, Homs, Latakia, and Palmyra. Homs is one of the most restive cities in the ongoing conflict, thus creating real safety concerns. The sites apparently manufacture Sarin, Tabun, VX, and mustard gas types of chemical weapons, which can be launched on Scud missiles towards any location in Israel.
The situation in Israel—with the exception of one type of weapon—is extremely secretive. Much more is known on Israel’s nuclear weapons program that on its chemical one. There are credible claims that Israel Military Industries are involved in the production of certain chemical weapons, apparently through their Nazareth plant. Then, Israel’s largest ordnance stockpile—placed next to one of the country’s nuclear reactors—keeps a large amount of chemical artillery. NATO keeps bunkers in Israel filled up with military equipment. There is an understanding that the IDF will use their undisclosed—but rumored—content in the case of need. One of these bunkers is placed next to the abovementioned ordnance base.
The previous paragraph is not good enough; that’s the result of the Israeli administration secrecy. However, on one topic, this secrecy has been publicly breached; explaining that demands a short preamble. The Chemical Weapons Convention is a political document; as such, it includes political compromises. In order to avoid misinterpretations, it includes a list of forbidden chemicals and their precursors. It includes also a definition of what a chemical weapon is. Not surprisingly, these two slightly contradict each other.
The convention article’s “Definition and Criteria” defines a chemical weapon in subparagraph 1.b as “Munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals specified in …” Paragraph 2 clarifies what a “toxic chemical” is: “Any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals. This includes all such chemicals, regardless of their origin or of their method of production, and regardless of whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or elsewhere.”
This is so clear, that there is no way of excluding white phosphorous from this list. White phosphorous has been used in smoke, tracer, illumination and incendiary munitions since the 19th century; notoriously in the Vietnam War. Ammunitions containing it burst into burning flakes of phosphorus upon impact and can cause serious burns. Phosphorous reacts exothermically with water; since human bodies contain large amounts of this liquid, it ignites upon content and burns until it is completely consumed. Its wounds are brutal and difficult to heal, thus it has been banned. Yet, white phosphorous is not part of the Chemical Weapons Convention, but is banned by the less strict Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which prohibits the use of said incendiary weapons against civilians (already forbidden by the Geneva Conventions) or in civilian areas.
Yet, the IDF regularly uses White Phosphorous munitions; they are labeled “white smoke” (ashan lavan) and are used mainly for creating smoke screens. However, during the Cast Lead Operation they were used against civilians and UN targets. This included at least one brutal attack against a civilian hospital. The very clear pictures broadcast over the mainstream media by international networks, forced Israel to admit the crimes, though no sanctions were imposed by the international community, with the clear exception of defining Israel as a terror inflicting entity by the UN Human Rights Council. That is not all. On October 4, 1992, El Al Flight 1862, crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer neighborhood of Amsterdam. Many people died and were injured by this Boeing 747 cargo plane. The cargo included over 280 kilograms of depleted uranium, which is used for certain types of missiles, and 190 litres of dimethyl methylphosphonate, which could be used in the synthesis of Sarin nerve gas. The owner of the latter was the IIB (see Mossad, Sonic Weapons & Khaled Mashal). This is enough to show a chemical stand-off exists between Syria and Israel.
“Deterrence” is defined as the use of threats by one party to convince another party to refrain from initiating an attack; more often than not is used in regard to nuclear weapons, but it is not restricted to that. In order for a deterrent to succeed, the parties must preserve their ability to retaliate either by responding before its own weapons are destroyed or by ensuring a second strike capability. Israel keeps a nuclear second strike capability through a steadily growing fleet of German submarines. The chemical second strike is even easier, since every artillery battalion—and they are widely spread out—is capable of delivering chemical artillery. An important point in every deterrence race is credibility; the threats of using weapons of mass destruction must be credible. In this case, both sides are credible, having shown incredible savagery in their conflicts.
The deterrence approach used by Israel is known as “mutual assured destruction;” this is the crudest and most simplistic approach, which shaped the Cold War between the USA and the USSR. More sophisticated cultures—the war race between Pakistan and India being the best example—use a softer version known as “Credible Minimum Deterrence.” This means the parties formally declares “no first use” of nuclear weapons while keeping a “second strike” capability (see Germany Creates New Nuclear Front in the Middle East). The bottom line is clear; Israel and Syria may engage in an especially cruel war.
Israel owns an impressive amount of chemical industries. The largest dangers are concentrated in two zones, both of them densely populated: Haifa and Beer Sheva. Haifa is home to the Oil Refineries, the Gadot Chemical Port and various industries. The docks of Gadot hold large quantities of highly reactive chemicals at all times, especially for the plastic and agrochemical industries. Its location implies the whole of the Haifa Bay could be contaminated if the containers were harmed to the extent of stopping the port activities at all, or at least limiting them seriously. Wait a sec… did I say Oil Refineries? Does Israel have oil wells? During the days of the British Mandate on Palestine, there was an oil pipe from Iraq to Haifa, marked in old maps with an “H.” It still exists and is strategically important, though it is inactive. However, the refineries at its end are very active. What is the economic point of importing crude oil and distilling it for local consumption? That is not the point, the financial side seldom is the key when dealing with Israel. Oil refineries use mono- di- and tri- ethanol amines in the oil purification process. Triethanolamine—usually known as TEA—is a precursor of chemical weapons and is smuggled out from the refineries to other industrial locations. The spilling of these and other chemical products stored and used in refineries may cause a serious ecological disaster. The adjacent streams are already heavily polluted; many soldiers from the marine commando suffer of cancer due to their training sessions in these waters.
Related to the oil industry are vast subterranean reservoirs of military and civilian grade gasoline. If spilled they could contaminate the limited water subterranean wells under the West Bank. Access to these waters is one of the main drives of Israel for holding empty mountainous areas along the Samarian mounts. The extensive use of these waters in recent years caused a serious lowering of their levels, transforming the surrounding ground (i.e. the whole of central Israel) into a highly thirsty sponge readily absorbing any liquids, and increasing thus the rate of the contamination process in the case of a spill.
Chemical industries in Beer Sheva include mainly those related to by-products of salts extracted from the Dead Sea by the Dead Sea Works, formerly known as the Palestine Potash Company. The salts are used for the production of agrochemical products and for the bromine related industries, mainly for the production of fire retardants. Most synthetic carpets in the world use fire-retardants produced here. The extraction of the salts is done on the southern side of the Dead Sea, where all the evaporation pools can be seen, but its chemical processing is done in several plants in the outskirts of Beer Sheva. There, two corporations make the processing: Makhteshim-Agan for the agrochemical products and ICL (Israel Chemical) for the bromine industry. Even those knowing very little chemistry know bromine is highly reactive and poisonous; the same goes for fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. That means unusual quantities of pollutants are produced and stored next to the city. Yet, the danger here is unexpectedly large since the Makhteshim plant produces methyl isocyanate. This extremely toxic substance is used in the production of pesticides. It became famous during the night of December 3, 1984, when it was spilled in the Bhopal installations of a company now owned by Dow Chemical. Defined as the worst industrial disaster in history, it caused the death of thousands, many more were crippled and the ground is still contaminated there. Dow Chemical learned nothing; it is a major provider of Oil Refineries, Makhteshim, Agan, ICL and others (see The Cross of Bethlehem). At all times, there are hundreds of kilograms of this substance waiting for further process at Makhteshim. Israel has the potential of becoming the scene of the worst industrial disaster, overtaking Bhopal by several orders of magnitude. A chemical war with Syria may unleash this danger.
Back to Kissinger
Quoting an article by Kissinger is difficult on the moral level; yet—what can one do?—sometimes he is right. His remark on the possibility of human errors taking place in a deterrence war scenario is correct; it should be better defined as the “certainty of a human error.” Considering the Israeli involvement in the Syrian uprising (see Lebanon Beats Syria) it is inevitable to consider that the military ranks of the Syrian army are not seeing Israel in favorable terms. It is conceivable to assume that at the least credible provocation they may launch a preemptive chemical attack. Israel leadership will react similarly, maybe even in a harsher fashion. The chemical countdown clock is ticking.