RAMALLAH – 83 Palestinian prisoners and detainees died during the Aqsa uprising in September 2000 due to either medical neglect, torture, or assassination.
The Palestinian prisoners center for studies said on Monday that 206 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli jails since 1967, 83 of them were killed during the Aqsa uprising.
24 prisoners died in Israeli jails due to medical neglect, while three were tortured to death. Another one was burned to death.
54 Palestinians were directly shot dead during their detention despite the fact that they did not pose any threat to Israeli forces.
In 2002, 25 prisoners died in Israeli jails, most of them were deliberately shot by Israeli soldiers shortly after their arrest.
Dozens of Palestinian detainees suffering from chronic diseases also died shortly after their release from Israeli jails because they did not receive proper medical care inside jails.
The center called on human rights groups to necessarily reveal the real reasons behind the death of 206 Palestinian prisoners during their detention and provide protection for the Palestinians in Israeli jails.
A top UN rights expert has expressed alarm at the impact of Israel’s attack on Gaza for civilians, concluding that “Israel’s claim of self-defense against an occupied population living under a blockade considered to be illegal under international law is untenable.”
Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, spoke Monday at the end of his first mission to the region.
In a press release, Wibisono stated that the Israeli military killed almost 1,500 civilians, including more than 500 children, with “a staggering 11,231 Palestinian civilians, including 3,436 children” injured and many “now struggling with life-long disabilities”.
Tens of thousands of children live with the trauma of having witnessed the horrific killings of family members, friends, and neighbours before their own eyes.
Wibisono, echoing similar and even stronger conclusions by the likes of Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross, said that “this raises serious questions about possible violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.”
Wibisono related three demands from Palestinians: “the need for accountability, an end to the blockade, and an end to the occupation”. Affirming this call, the UN official said that “those responsible for violations of international law must be brought to justice in order to avoid yet another round of deadly violence in the near future”.
The Special Rapporteur had a special focus on children in Gaza, noting that “there wasn’t a single child…who has not been adversely affected”. Wibisono pointed to an estimated 7,000 unexploded ordinances “littered across” the territory, and described how over “50 days of relentless bombing and shelling”, some 228 schools were damaged, including 26 destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
According to Wibisono, around 60,000 Palestinians remain in 19 shelters in the Gaza Strip, while medical professionals report a “critical shortage” of medicines and equipment. “Israel must immediately lift the seven year land, sea and air blockade of Gaza”, Wibisono urged, “and urgently allow needed materials for reconstruction and recovery.”
The Special Rapporteur also spoke to the “excessive use of force” used by Israeli forces in the Occupied West Bank over the summer, “noting that during the period from 12 June to 31 August 2014, a total of 27 Palestinians were killed, of whom five were children, with the youngest victim only 11 years-old.” Wibisono stressed that “the use of live ammunition against Palestinians even if they were throwing stones, is unjustifiable.”
The Special Rapporteur will report fully on his findings and recommendations to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2015.
An article in Middle East Quarterly, a pro-Israel publication, reports that support for Israel is eroding among American evangelical Christians, with only 30 percent in a recent survey stating support for Israel above Palestinians.
This trend is even more pronounced among youth, according to an article by David Brog, Jewish-American executive director of “Christians United For Israel (CUFI), a major pro-Israel organization. Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu has called CUFI “a vital part of Israel’s national security” and columnist Charles Kauthammer has said, “I do not know of an organization in the world more important to Israel than CUFI.”
Brog’s article, “The End of Evangelical Support for Israel?” is largely pitched as a wake-up call to Israel partisans who, according to Brog, “must take this threat seriously.” (For more on Brog, see below.)
Brog quotes a journalist reporting in 2012 about the “the largest gathering of young evangelical leaders in America,” the Catalyst convention: “In dozens of random conversations, I noted that Millenians … expressed solidarity with the Palestinians and annoyance with Israel. This is a seismic shift in the American church and a serious threat to Israel’s one traditional area of support.”
A decade ago, Brog reports, “As if out of nowhere, a block of fifty to one hundred million friends of Israel were poised to enter the national debate and safeguard the U.S.-Israel relationship for generations to come.”*
Today, however, Brog describes a significant reversal. As more and more evangelicals learn the facts on Israel-Palestine (Brog calls such information an “anti-Israel narrative”) they are dropping their unconditional support for Israel.
While evangelical support for Israel has often been attributed to their theology, Brog’s article indicates that the significant factor in the shift is learning the true situation in Israel-Palestine.
Brog states that there is a precedent for such an about-face. While many mainline Protestant churches used to support Israel, he states that today “to the extent the mainline denominations act corporately in connection with the Jewish state, it is to divest from it.”
Similarly, as evangelicals learn more about the issue, Brog reports that “more leaders of this generation are moving toward neutrality in the conflict while others are becoming outspoken critics of Israel.”
Brog writes, “Questioning Christian support for the Jewish state is fast becoming a key way for the millennials to demonstrate their Christian compassion and political independence.”
Today, Brog writes, many of those 18 to 30 are “rebelling against what they perceive as the excessive biblical literalism and political conservatism of their parents. As they strive with a renewed vigor to imitate Jesus’ stand with the oppressed and downtrodden, they want to decide for themselves which party is being oppressed in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
Brog cites a 2010 Pew survey of evangelical leaders attending the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization that “contained two bombshells. It showed that only a minority of those evangelicals polled sympathized primarily with Israel. And it demonstrated that American evangelical leaders were actually less inclined to support Israel than evangelical leaders in general.” The survey found that 49% of American evangelical leaders sympathize with both sides equally and 13% sympathize primarily with the Palestinians.
Brog also notes that the survey indicated that evangelical support for Israel was “never as universal as was commonly believed.”
Much of the increased awareness of the situation, Brog reports, comes from evangelical experts on the Middle East who are speaking and writing widely on this issue, producing documentaries, organizing trips to the region, and creating conferences to inform Christians on the facts.
In the last few years three documentaries were made by Christians specifically for Christians to inform them on Palestine: With God on Our Side, Little Town of Bethlehem, and The Stones Cry Out. They were created by, respectively, Porter Speakman, a former Youth with a Mission member, Mart Green, chairman of the board of trustees of Oral Roberts University, and Yasmine Perni, an Italian journalist. Brog also names evangelicals such as Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Serge Duss and sons Brian and Matt, and Palestinian Christians such as Sami Awad and Naim Ateek as among those educating Christians on Palestine.
Christian Universities and Palestine
Brog reports that while numerous people are aware of the work on college campuses for justice in Palestine, “many observers do not realize that such efforts are also “being waged on America’s Christian campuses.”
In his article Brog describes activities on four of America’s major Christian colleges:
Brog reports that Wheaton College in Illinois is “commonly referred to as the “evangelical Harvard,” noting, “Some of the most prominent church leaders in America have graduated from Wheaton, including the Rev. Billy Graham, Sen. Dan Coats (Republican, Indiana), and George W. Bush’s former speechwriter Michael Gerson.”
Today, Wheaton is the home of Professor Gary Burge, an author who speaks widely on Israel-Palestine. “When Christians United for Israel (CUFI) announced plans to hold an event at Wheaton in January 2009, Burge went on the offensive,” Brog reports. “CUFI’s student members came under such intense pressure that they moved their event off-campus: There would be no pro-Israel event at the evangelical Harvard.”
Oral Roberts University
Brog writes that Oral Roberts University “has deep conservative Christian roots.” “Oral Roberts himself was a Pentecostal televangelist and a strong friend of Israel,” a number of major preachers in America graduated from the school, and pro-Israel preacher John Hagee has been on its board of trustees.
Today, however, the chair of the board of trustees chair is the aforementioned Mart Green, whose film is a powerful depiction of the Palestinian nonviolence movement. The university’s current president is Dr. William “Billy” Wilson, who was named as a speaker for what Brog calls “the leading anti-Israel Christian conference,” Christ at the Checkpoint, held at Bethlehem Bible College in March 2014.
Brog writes that Bethel is “representative of the direction that America’s Christian colleges are taking.” He notes, “Like many Christian schools, Bethel emphasizes racial reconciliation and cultural openness and has accordingly developed numerous opportunities for its students to study abroad.”
In 2010 Bethel’s president Jay Barnes and his wife visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority to explore establishing a study abroad program in the area. During the trip they visited Bethlehem.
Upon their return Barnes posted a poem on the university’s website:
Incredible conflict exists in the land of Jesus’ birth/ I believe God mourns.
The wall is a constant reminder of many lost freedoms/ I believe God mourns.
For more than 60 years, people have lived in poverty in refugee camps/ I believe God mourns.
Apartheid has become a way of life/ I believe God mourns.
Extreme disproportional distribution of resources, such as water, exists/ I believe God mourns.
Hundreds of villages have been demolished to make room for settlements/ I believe God mourns.
Human rights violations occur daily/ I believe God mourns.
The Christian population is declining as many are leaving to avoid persecution/ I believe God mourns.
In 2012, Brog reports, President Barnes hosted a “Hope for the Holy Land” evening at Bethel, featuring “long-standing Christian critics of Israel.”
A growing trend
A similar transformation involves the son of leading evangelical publisher Steven Strang, who has been a regional director for CUFI. The younger Strang, Cameron, has his own publishing organization, Relevant, whose website says it reaches over two million twenty- and thirty-something Christians a month.
Less than a decade ago Relevant was extremely pro-Israel. But then, Brog writes, Cameron Strang visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, “and everything changed.”
Relevant’s May/June 2012 cover featured prominent author Donald Miller. In 2008 Miller had been chosen to deliver the first night’s closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention, and, according to Brog, Miller “is considered a rising star among America’s 20-something evangelicals.”
After visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories with Strang, Miller began to discuss the situation in Palestine, writing:
“In September a group of journalists and I visited Israel and stood on a hill overlooking the wall separating Israel from Gaza. From our viewpoint, we could see the controversial territory where 1.6 million Palestinians have been walled in and secluded from the outside world. They are, essentially, imprisoned.
“The walls erected around the West Bank and Gaza separate families from families. Many mothers will not see their children again. Millions will never return to the homes their families had occupied for hundreds of years. … Thousands of Palestinian students at American universities will never see their families again.
“Israel gives most Palestinians fresh water once each week. … In Gaza, Israel also rations their food, allowing only so many calories per human being.”
The beginning of the end?
Brog warns that Israel partisans “must take this threat seriously,” despite the fact that the pro-Israel side “is still far ahead in the battle for the hearts and minds of America’s evangelicals. Just one pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel, has over 1.6 million members, chapters on more than 120 college and university campuses, and sponsors thirty-five pro-Israel events across the country every month. Anti-Israel Christians do not come close to matching CUFI’s size, activity, or influence.”
He writes, however, that the long-term trend described above presents a challenge, stating that what he calls “anti-Israel Christians” are “on a roll” and “are reaching an ever expanding network of evangelicals in the United States.”
Brog warns: “The day that Israel is seen as the moral equivalent of Hamas is the day that the evangelical community—and by extension the political leaders it helps elect—will cease providing the Jewish state any meaningful support.
He continues: “Those who reject such facile moral equivalence must take this threat seriously. They cannot let the evangelical community go the way of the mainstream Protestant leadership.” Their “lies,” he says, “must be confronted early and often.”
Brog’s article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Middle East Quarterly.
A few months later Israel launched its August 2014 “Protective Edge” invasion of Gaza, killing 2191 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians – 521 of them children and infants. During the same period Hamas resistance fighters killed 71 Israelis, the large majority of them soldiers, one a child.
During its massive invasion, Israeli forces destroyed 61,800 homes, damaged or destroyed 62 hospitals, 220 schools, and caused $7.8 billion in damage to Gazans – and this was the third major invasion in five years.
Then within two weeks after a ceasefire had been agreed to, Israeli forces had already killed at least two Palestinians, one sixteen years old; kidnapped several dozen Palestinians, including two seven year olds and an eight year old; confiscated 1,500 acres of Palestinian land; destroyed dozens of homes and buildings; and committed numerous other violations of human rights. During the same period Hamas forces had not not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or committed any actions to break the terms of the ceasefire.***
Brog’s concern is justified. Many Americans who are finally learning such facts are beginning to suspect that Israel is not morally equivalent to Hamas. It is inferior.
Brog’s article suggests that the coming months will see a renewed propaganda effort from CUFI and other members of the multi-billion dollar Israel lobby.
However, as a leader of the lobby once said, a lobby thrives in the dark. As Brog reports, numerous people from across the religious and political spectrum are now turning on the light.
Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: How the U.S. was used to create Israel.
* This wasn’t entirely “out of nowhere.” Groups and individuals working to create Israel during the first half of the 20th century had specifically undertaken efforts to influence Christians to support this project. For more on this see Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the US Was Used to Create Israel.) After Israel was established through its 1947-49 founding war, Israel and its partisans continued such efforts, including providing a jet plane to Jerry Falwell, facilitating his ability to reach Christians with a version of theology that benefited Israel.
** For more information and additional statistics on the August 2014 Israeli invasion of Gaza and its aftermath see http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/violence-gaza-14.html
Two articles discuss David Brog and his influential role in “Christian” Zionism:
1. An article by journalist Troy Anderson in Charisma magazine, “Where Your Israel Donation Really Goes,” reports:
“Brog is the powerhouse behind the Christian organization, yet he’s also a conservative (non-Messianic) Jew. He brought two other Jews on board: Shari Dollinger from Atlanta as one of his coordinators and Ari Morgenstern as communications director. Morgenstern ensures CUFI’s messaging is consistent with what Brog wants—which is to convey that evangelical Christians support Israel, yet (to his Jewish supporters) are also “safe” because CUFI will never proselytize.
“Brog, who was chief of staff to liberal Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania for seven years, is said to run CUFI like a political campaign. He has talking points, stays focused and rallies his constituency. He’s well liked by those who work with him and known for being a brilliant strategist. But one by one, the higher-profile Christian leaders who helped Hagee start CUFI are dropping off as the organization becomes more focused on political lobbying.
“It’s no secret that one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, D.C., the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has long wanted a “Gentile arm,” and some believe they now have it in CUFI. Jewish leaders and philanthropists love to attend CUFI’s events to see the genuine enthusiasm and love expressed for Israel. Though there’s still rousing Christian music and prayer at these events, there’s most certainly no proselytizing. As a result, many wealthy Jews have pumped tens of thousands of dollars into CUFI.
“Like Hagee, Brog has learned how to straddle the line between the evangelical and Jewish communities, and it shows in CUFI’s growth. The organization boasts of having more than 1 million “members,” though insiders know such membership consists of nothing but CUFI having your email address. There’s nothing to pay, nothing to sign. And even if you drop out, you’re still counted as a member. Given this, insiders say the number of actual donors is closer to 30,000 to 50,000.
“Meanwhile, little is known about CUFI’s finances other than funds raised. The organization says neither Hagee nor his wife, Diana, receives any compensation from CUFI. Yet when Charisma asked CUFI the same questions asked of other organizations in this report—particularly about administrative costs, leader salaries and budgetary breakdown—Morgenstern declined to comment…”
2. The excerpts below are from “How Christian is Christian Zionism? An Update on its Uneasy Interaction with Jewish Missions and Evangelism” by David Brickner, Executive Director, Jews for Jesus [a pro-Israel organization.] Presented at the 26th Annual Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism-NA, March 2-4, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona
“This century has seen the rise of two powerful organizations… They are the most sophisticated, financially powerful and prominent Christian Zionist organizations today. They, more effectively than their forebears in the ’80s and ’90s, have diluted the gospel message, diverted gospel resources and discouraged a balanced perspective toward the Israeli/Arab conflict. In fact, unbelieving Jewish men run both organizations.”
The two organizations are “International Fellowship of Christian and Jews” and “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI)
Regarding CUFI, Brickner writes:
“Though headlined by well-known charismatic pastor and preacher John Hagee, CFI’s executive director is David Brog, an unbelieving Jewish attorney who served in various positions in the Senate including chief of staff to Senator Arlen Specter. Brog, author of Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State, has been quite plain about Christians United for Israel’s rejection of evangelism…
“Brog made it clear in an interview in the Washington Jewish Week that ‘all Christians United for Israel events are strictly non-conversionary and that the group will have no Jewish converts as speakers at events or on the organization’s Board.’ Brog went on to say; ‘The group tells people that if you cannot put aside your desire to share the gospel with Jews there’s the door.’
“Of course this would be expected policy coming from any organization run by unbelieving Jews. The fact that the organization states that it is Christian yet excludes fellow Jewish Christians from participation is both racist and unchristian. Tuvya Zaretsky tells the story of having been invited apparently accidentally to a program sponsored by Christians United for Israel and the Israel Christian Nexxus, a pro-Israel lobby group. When he called to confirm participation, Patricia Johnson, who was working on the event, told him that he was invited by accident and because he was a Jewish believer in Jesus was not welcome. Said Zaretsky,
“’Somehow these Christians do not realize that if they want to bless Israel, they must extend that blessing to all of Israel – including those within the Body of Messiah and those who still need to be introduced to Him.’
“Sadly, it is not just that Jewish believers are not welcomed in Christians United for Israel. Neither is the gospel. And not just because of the Jewish unbelievers. The well-known figurehead of CUFI and perhaps the most prominently known Christian Zionist today is John Hagee…”
“Unfortunately it’s not easy to tell what the scope of resources is behind the Christians United for Israel group. They have not filed a form 990 with the IRS. Hagee’s Global Evangelism Television Inc. does have filings, but only as recently as 2004. At that time they had an annual income of over $10,000,000 and Hagee’s compensation from the company was $500,000 a year. Of course the 18,000-member church that he pastors, Cornerstone, is separate from the television ministry. One presumes he receives a salary from the church as well as whatever royalties his more than a dozen books provides.
“Christians United for Israel, as I said, has not registered any financial information, although news articles can give us an indication. In October of 2007, according to the Jewish News Weekly, CUFI raised 8.5 million dollars for Israeli causes at Hagee’s “Night to Honor Israel” event. If you look on the CUFI website you will see several “Night to Honor Israel” events scheduled each month.
“CUFI does identify its regional directors, some of whom are well known political Christian Zionists. One of the better known is Robert Stearns of Robert Stearns International Incorporated, doing business as Eagles’ Wings Ministries. Stearns’ organization is best known for organizing the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. It reported income of $2,800,000 for the year 2007, and states its purpose is to “promote the message of Christianity.” However, Eagles’ Wings Ministries does not encourage prayer for the salvation of Israel, the only true hope for peace…”
Mainstream media outlets have censored the comments made by the Argentine president at the United Nations General Assembly where she harshly criticized the US international policies.
During her speech before the United Nations 69th General Assembly on September 24, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner covered a variety of issues from economic reforms needed at the International Monetary Fund to the plight of Palestinians and the global fight against terrorism.
The Argentine president questioned countries such as the United States for attacking groups, including the ISIL Takfiri terrorists which Washington previously backed against the Syrian government.
“Where do ISIS (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda take their guns from? Yesterday’s freedom fighters are today’s terrorists,” Cristina Fernandez said, blasting US policies vis-a-vis terrorism.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its members into neighboring Iraq in June and seized large parts of land there.
The US and its allies recently launched airstrikes against ISIL terrorists in Iraq and later extended the aerial campaign to Syria.
Fernandez also touched on judicial cooperation with Iran over the issue of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in the capital, Buenos Aires, and the political pressure that has been exerted on Argentina by the US and Israeli lobbies in that regard.
Tehran and Buenos Aires signed a memorandum of understanding on January 27, 2013 to jointly probe the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), which killed 85 people and wounded 300 others.
The Argentine president dismissed the allegations against Iran concerning the 1994 deadly bomb attack.
Under intense political pressure imposed by the US and Israel, Argentina had formally accused Iran of having carried out the bomb attack.
Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks and denounced accusations against Iranian citizens in connection with the blast as a false flag to screen the real perpetrators behind the bombing.
Hundreds of American protesters, angered by Israel’s recent deadly assault on the Gaza Strip, gathered at the Port of Oakland to block an Israeli ship from unloading its cargo.
Workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) refused to unload the Zim Shanghai as about 200 activists picketed outside several of the port’s gates on Saturday morning.
The cargo ship is managed by Israel’s largest shipping firm, Zim Integrated Shipping Services.
About 50 police officers were also present at the port.
The protesters said they would continue with their “Block the Boat” campaign.
They said Israeli authorities must be held responsible for the deaths of more than 2,100 Palestinians during the recent 50-day war on Gaza.
“I think it was a big victory today for those who are opposed to the policies of Israel in Gaza,” said Steve Zeltzer, an organizer of the protest.
Similar actions were taken in August, when protesters blocked Israeli-owned ship Zim Piraeus for five days, forcing it to leave for Los Angeles with most of its cargo unloaded.
Longshore workers refused to cross picket lines to unload Zim Piraeus in August.
Protesters on Saturday said they hoped to achieve the same outcome.
“We ask the ILWU to carry on its long historical tradition of opposing injustice and honoring community picket lines. Let’s keep the pressure on and continue this tradition of labor blockades against oppression,” the “stop ZIM action committee” said in a statement.
Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s first Chief of Staff – who also served as Obama’s Israeli Mossad handler – famously said: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Individuals, groups, whole industries, even nations sometimes take advantage of crises and catastrophes. Big bankers, for example, love war because it forces governments to borrow vast sums of money at compound interest. Arms manufacturers also make huge profits. And the big government always gets bigger during wartime as it confiscates people’s wealth and scales back their rights.
The current ISIL crisis is making certain people very rich. According to LiveLeak.com the US government is spending 200 million dollars per week to bomb Iraq and Syria. If the overall cost of the anti-ISIL campaign reaches its $500 billion projection, LiveLeak estimates that the US would be spending $30 million dollars per member of ISIL. It might be cheaper to simply pay them $20 million each to simply go away.
But it isn’t just bankers, military-industrial complexes, and governments that exploit international crises? One group, above all, has proven its mastery at profiting from crisis: The Zionist movement and “Israel.”
The Zionists took advantage of the first great crisis of the 20th century, World War I, to force the 1917 Balfour Declaration on the British government. That Declaration, which committed the British to the bizarre notion of a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine, was presented to the British as a virtual fait accompli by Lord Rothschild, the world’s wealthiest banker.
Why did the British create so much trouble for themselves by signing the Balfour declaration? Some suggest Lord Balfour did it out of the goodness of his heart. Proponents of this theory insist that Balfour and the British power elite simply felt sorry for the world’s poor, persecuted Jews, and wanted to do something nice for them for no particular reason.
A more realistic interpretation holds that Britain handed Palestine over to Lord Rothschild as part of a quid pro quo: In exchange for Palestine, the Rothschilds and their international banking cartel would help Britain win World War I. How? By using their power over the US press and financial sector to drag America into the war. (If Britain had not won World War I, of course, it would not have been able to steal Palestine from the Ottoman Empire and hand it over to the Rothschilds.)
Had World War I not happened, the Zionists would never have overrun Palestine, and the Jewish State (JS) terrorists would never have ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and created their apartheid occupation regime. “Israel” would not exist.
The same, interestingly enough, is also true of World War II. The first World War was not enough. The Zionists needed another crisis to create a pretext for ethnically cleansing the Palestinians.
World War II was exactly what the Zionists needed. Hitler and the Zionists wanted the same thing: To force European Jews out of Europe. To that end the Zionists cooperated with Hitler. They even offered to fight on behalf of Nazi Germany. (Lenni Brenner’s book 51 Documents includes extensive proof of Zionist-Nazi cooperation before and during World War II.)
World War II killed about sixty million people – a holocaust of unprecedented proportions – but like World War I it played out perfectly for the Zionists. Victors’ justice at Nuremburg, and the demonization of the losing side as the winners wrote history, created the myth that Jews had somehow suffered more than the over 50 million non-Jews who were also murdered during the Second World War. This carefully-crafted wave of postwar propaganda created widespread sympathy for Jews, which the Zionists transmuted into support for their Jewish State terrorist project. Had there been no World War II, no ethnic cleansing of the Jews of Europe, and no sacred holocaust narrative glorifying Jewish suffering, there would have been no ethnic cleansing of Palestine and no Israel.
The only real winners of the two World Wars were the Zionists.
Were both World Wars orchestrated by the Rothschilds and their fellow Zionist bankers? Just asking the question will get you ejected from most Western universities. Voltaire’s dictum “To see who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” suggests that the taboo on asking such questions stems from their likely answers.
Since September 11, 2001, the Zionists have been profiting from a new global crisis: the so-called War on Terror, more accurately termed the War on Islam. In her book The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein reveals that in early 2001 the Israeli government, which was in dire financial straits, transferred vast amounts of money into nascent anti-terror “security” industries. They hit the jackpot on 9/11 – as did Larry Silverstein, a close friend of Netanyahu, who bought the condemned-for-asbestos World Trade Center shortly before 9/11, doubled the insurance, claimed double indemnity for “two completely separate terrorist attacks” (the two planes) and walked off with billions of dollars in cash profits.
Today, the Zionists are trying to turn the “ISIL crisis” – the rise of the so-called Islamic State – to their own advantage. The Zionist-dominated mainstream media are using the barbarism of Islamic State to smear Islam as a whole, despite the fact that every significant Islamic entity on earth strongly opposes the IS terrorists. Recent IS beheading videos provide such exquisitely perfect islamophobic propaganda, while carrying marks of dubious authenticity, that even al-Jazeera is insinuating that they were probably filmed at a sound stage in Israel.
Along with anti-Islam propaganda, the “ISIL crisis” provides the Zionists with a sectarian vehicle for their attempt to divide-and-conquer the House of Islam and the people of the Middle East. The crazed sectarians of ISIL are mass-murdering Muslims who do not share their warped views. They are also mass-murdering Christians and Yazidis, and providing the Zionists with an excuse to arm Kurdish separatist groups. By splitting Middle Easterners into ethnic and sectarian camps, and setting them at each others’ throats, the “ISIL crisis” is playing right into the Zionists’ hands… and fulfilling the Oded Yinon plan’s vision of splitting Israel’s neighbors up into a mozaic of powerless, balkanized fiefdoms.
The Zionists also hope that the rise of Islamic State will provide the US with an excuse to bomb Syria… and that American bombs will turn against Islamic State’s (and Jewish State’s) enemy, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Israelis have already shot down a Syrian plane in an apparent effort to provoke the Syrian government into reacting against the American bombers.
Thus far, it seems the Americans are holding to their expressed intention of bombing ISIL and its friends, not the Syrian government. The liberal-Zionist New York Times furiously reacted by editorializing that the US bombing campaign against ISIL is a mistake because it will help Assad.
The Zionists, including Samantha Power, have openly stated that they want to use the US bombing campaign in Syria to overthrow the Syrian government. If they do not get their way, they may be planning even more devious ways to profit from the “ISIL crisis.” The recent breach of the White House by a hostile intruder, like previous breaches (and like the Zionist anti-Obama death threat published a few years ago by Jewish Times editor Andrew Adler) may be a warning to the American President: “Bomb Assad or you will go the way of JFK.”
Worse yet, the Zionists could be planning another shock-and-awe event on the scale of 9/11… or larger. They may imagine that a nuclear explosion in an American city, blamed by Zionist media assets on ISIL, could give them the kind of muscular US action against Israel’s Mideast enemies that they seek.
The people of the world are awakening to the Zionist trick of orchestrating problems – even wars and disasters – to further their agenda. Let us hope and pray that public awareness has risen to the point that the terrorists of Israel will no longer be able to profit from epic-scale destruction.
Israel on Friday imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque in annexed East Jerusalem for the third consecutive day.
Israeli police stepped up security around the mosque, deploying 2,000 troops in Jerusalem and erected roadblocks at entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City.
“Police prevent men under 50 and West Bankers from entering Al-Aqsa compound or Friday prayers,” Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of the Organization for Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Jews celebrated the start of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) on Wednesday evening, the first day of new Jewish year of 5775.
Israel typically imposes restrictions on Muslim worshipers’ access to Al-Aqsa during Jewish holidays
The Israeli authorities also closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslims in the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday and Thursday for Rosh Hashanah.
Israel is also closing the Gaza Strip’s only functioning commercial crossing – the Kerem Shalom border terminal – for four days starting Thursday for the Jewish holiday.
Khatib said that while Israel restricts the entry of Palestinians into Al-Aqsa mosque compound, it facilitates the entry of Zionist settlers into the holy site.
He said that at least 300 Zionist settlers and 120 Israeli soldiers had forced their way into the compound in the past three days.
In recent months, groups of extremist settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into the flashpoint compound.
The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site.
Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli leader Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Second Intifada” – a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Produced by Rinaldo Francesca.
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Abbas denies mounting claims that Egypt has offered territory for a Palestinian state. Should we believe him?
What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But belatedly, there are indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza.
Desperately overcrowded, short on basic resources like fresh water, blockaded for eight years by Israel, with its infrastructure intermittently destroyed by Israeli bombing campaigns, Gaza looks like a giant pressure cooker waiting to explode.
It is difficult to imagine that sooner or later Israel will not face a massive upheaval on its doorstep. So how does Israel propose to avert a scenario in which it must either savagely repress a mass uprising by Palestinians in Gaza or sit by and watch them tear down their prison walls?
Reports in the Arab and Israeli media – in part corroborated by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas – suggest that Egypt may be at the heart of plans to solve the problem on Israel’s behalf.
This month Israeli media reported claims – apparently leaked by Israeli officials – that Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had offered the Palestinian leadership the chance to annex to Gaza an area of 1,600 sq km in Sinai. The donated territory would expand Gaza fivefold.
The scheme is said to have received the blessing of the United States.
‘Greater Gaza’ plan
According to the reports, the territory in Sinai would become a demilitarised Palestinian state – dubbed “Greater Gaza” – to which returning Palestinian refugees would be assigned. The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas would have autonomous rule over the cities in the West Bank, comprising about a fifth of that territory. In return, Abbas would have to give up the right to a state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The plan, which would most likely result in significant numbers of Palestinians moving outside the borders of historic Palestine, was quickly dismissed as “fabricated and baseless” by Egyptian and Palestinian officials.
Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a spokesman for Abbas, accused Israel of using the proposal to “destroy the Palestinian cause”, referring to Abbas’ efforts at the United Nations to win recognition of Palestinian statehood on parts of historic Palestine.
But Abdel Rahim’s denial raised more questions than it answered. While rejecting suggestions that Sisi had made such an offer, he added that the plan originated with Giora Eiland, Israel’s national security adviser from 2004 to 2006.
Abdel Rahim appeared to be referring to a plan unveiled by Eiland in 2004 that Israel hoped would be implemented after the withdrawal of settlers and soldiers from Gaza – the so-called disengagement – a year later.
Under Eiland’s terms, Egypt would agree to expand Gaza into the Sinai in return for Israel giving Egypt land in the Negev.
Abdel Rahim also stated that a similar plan – the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Sinai – had been advanced briefly by Sisi’s predecessor, Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi, who served as president for a year from the summer of 2012 until his ousting by Sisi in a military coup, headed a Muslim Brotherhood administration that tried to strengthen ties to the Hamas leadership in Gaza.
The idea of creating a Palestinian state outside historic Palestine – in either Jordan or Sinai – has a long pedigree in Zionist thinking.
“Jordan is Palestine” has been a rallying cry on the Israeli right for decades. There have been parallel suggestions for Sinai.
In recent times, the Sinai option has found favour with the Israeli right, especially following the outbreak of the second intifada 14 years ago. Support appears to have intensified after the disengagement in 2005 and Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian national elections a year later.
Notably, the scheme became the centrepiece of the 2004 Herzliya conference, an annual meeting of Israel’s political, academic and security elites to exchange and develop policy ideas. It was then enthusiastically adopted by Uzi Arad, the conference’s founder and long-time adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister.
He proposed a three-way exchange, in which the Palestinians would get part of Sinai for their state, while in return Israel would receive most of the West Bank, and Egypt would be given a land passage across the Negev to connect it to Jordan.
A variation of the “Sinai is Palestine” option was dusted off again by the right during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 50-day attack on Gaza this summer.
Moshe Feiglin, the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, called for Gaza’s inhabitants to be expelled from their homes under cover of the operation and moved into Sinai, in what he termed a “solution for Gaza”.
Did Morsi offer Sinai?
Given that the rationale of the Sinai option is to remove Palestinians from what the Israeli right considers Greater Israel, and such a plan is vehemently opposed by all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, why would Morsi have backed it?
Further, why would he have proposed giving up a chunk of Egyptian territory to satisfy Israeli ambitions, thereby undermining his domestic credibility, at a time when he was fighting for political survival on many other fronts?
One possibility is that Abbas’ office simply made up the story to discredit Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and by extension Abbas’ political rivals in Hamas, and thereby win favour with Sisi.
But few Palestinians or Egyptians appear to have found the claim credible, and Sisi has shown no interest in pursuing this line of attack against Morsi. Why would Abbas fabricate a story that might rebound on him by linking him to such underhanded diplomacy by Egypt, Israel and the US?
There are two further pieces of the jigsaw suggesting that there may be more to the Sinai story than meets the eye.
The first are comments made by Abbas shortly before the Israeli media began reporting the alleged offer by Sisi. Abbas was responding to earlier rumours that began in the Arab media.
Abbas signalled at a meeting with Fatah loyalists on 31 August that a proposal to create a Palestinian state in Sinai was still of interest to Egyptian officials.
He reportedly said: “A senior leader in Egypt said: ‘a refuge must be found for the Palestinians and we have all this open land.’ This was said to me personally. But it’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”
The Times of Israel website said it had subsequently confirmed the comments with Abbas.
The Palestinian leader made similar remarks on Egyptian TV a week earlier, when he told an interviewer an Israeli plan for the Sinai had been “unfortunately accepted by some here [in Egypt]. Don’t ask me more about that. We abolished it, because it can’t be.”
What about Mubarak?
The second clue was provided in a barely noticed report in English published last month on the website of the Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, headquartered in London but with strong ties to the Saudi royal family.
It claimed that in the later years of his presidency, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak came under concerted and repeated pressure from the US to cede territory in Sinai to the Palestinians to help them establish a state.
The article, based on information reportedly provided by an unnamed former Mubarak official, stated that pressure started to be exerted on Egypt from 2007.
The source quoted Mubarak as saying at the time: “We are fighting both the US and Israel. There is pressure on us to open the Rafah crossing for the Palestinians and grant them freedom of residence, particularly in Sinai. In a year or two, the issue of Palestinian refugee camps in Sinai will be internationalised.”
In Mubarak’s view, according to the report, Israel hoped that, once Palestinians were on Egyptian soil, the combined area of Sinai and Gaza would be treated as the Palestinian state. This would be the only territory to which Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return.
Anticipating later statements by Abbas’ office, the Egyptian source said a similar proposal was put to Morsi when he came to power in 2012. A delegation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders travelled to Washington, where White House officials proposed that “Egypt cede a third of the Sinai to Gaza in a two-stage process spanning four to five years”.
US officials, the report stated, promised to “establish and fully support a Palestinian state” in the Sinai, including the establishment of seaports and an airport. The Brotherhood was urged to prepare Egyptian public opinion for the deal.
Pieces of the jigsaw
So what sense can we make of these various pieces of the jigsaw?
Each in itself can be discounted. The Asharq al-Awsat report is based on an anonymous source and there may be Saudi interests at work in promoting the story. Likewise, the Israelis could be waging a misinformation campaign.
But taken together, and given that Abbas appears reluctantly to have conceded key elements of the story, it becomes much harder to ignore the likelihood that the reports are grounded in some kind of reality.
There seems little doubt – from these reports and from the wider aspirations of the Israeli right – that a Sinai plan has been crafted by Israel’s security establishment and is being aggressively advanced, not least through the current leaks to the Israeli media. It also looks strongly like variations of this plan have been pushed more vigorously since 2007, when Hamas took exclusive control of Gaza.
Israel’s current rationale for the Sinai option is that it undermines Abbas’ intensifying campaign at the United Nations to seek recognition of Palestinian statehood, which Israel and the US adamantly oppose.
It also seems plausible, given the strength of its ties to Israel, that the US is backing the plan and adding its considerable weight to persuade the Egyptian and Palestinian leaderships.
Harder to read, however, is whether Egypt might have responded positively to such a campaign.
An Egyptian analyst explained the expected reaction from Sisi and his generals: “Egypt is relentlessly trying to keep Gaza at bay. Tunnels are being destroyed and a buffer zone is planned. Bringing more potentially hostile elements closer to Egypt would be a dangerous and reckless move.”
This is true enough. So what leverage do Israel and the US have over Egypt that might persuade it to override its national security concerns?
Turning the screw
Aside from the large sums of military aid Washington gives to Egypt each year, there is the increasingly pressing matter for Cairo of dire fuel shortages, which risk inflaming a new round of street protests.
Israel has recently discovered large offshore deposits of natural gas, which is it is ready to export to its neighbours. It is already quietly agreeing deals with the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, and is reported to be in advanced discussions with Egypt.
Is this part of the pressure being exerted on Egyptian leaders to concede territory in Sinai? And has it been enough to make them overlook their security concerns?
Finally, there is the Palestinian leadership’s role. Abbas has said firmly he will not countenance such a deal. How might Israel think it could change his mind?
One controversial possibility, which throws a very different light on the events of this summer, is that Israel may hope it can “soften up” Palestinian opinion, especially in Gaza, by making life even less bearable than it already is for the population there.
It is noticeable that Israel’s large-scale operations attacking Gaza – in the winter of 2008-09, 2012 and again this year – started shortly after, according to Asharq al-Awsat, Israel and the US began turning the screws on Mubarak to concede part of Sinai.
The massive and repeated destruction of Gaza might have an added advantage for Israel: it allows Cairo to cast its offer of a small slice of the Sinai to the Palestinians as a desperately needed humanitarian gesture.
The success of Israel’s approach requires isolating Gaza, through a blockade, and inflicting massive damage on it to encourage Palestinians to rethink their opposition to a state outside historic Palestine. That precisely fits Israel’s policy since 2007.
The Sinai option may be difficult to confirm at this stage but we should keep it firmly in mind as we try to make sense of unfolding events in the region over the coming months and years.
Every time Gaza fisherman Rami goes to sea, the same thing happens: five nautical miles offshore, shots ring out and a voice over an Israeli loudspeaker demands he turn back.
Officially, Gaza’s fishing fleet has the right to trawl the waters up to six nautical miles off the shore under the terms of Israel’s illegal and brutal eight-year blockade.
Although that outer limit has frequently been reduced, or even cancelled outright over the years, it was formally reinstated by virtue of an August 26 truce agreement which ended a deadly 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants.
But nearly a month after the ceasefire took effect, even those six nautical miles — which the fishermen say is not nearly enough — are unattainable.
One afternoon, Rami Bakr and his 10-man crew put to sea for a 10-hour fishing expedition. With them was an AFP team.
Very quickly, warning shots skimmed the boat as an Israeli navy vessel approached. On board were around a dozen soldiers armed with machine guns, shouting through a loudspeaker for them to stop.
“These are the worst conditions we’ve ever known,” said the 41-year-old fisherman, who has spent more than three decades of his life fishing the waters off Gaza.
“During the war, the Israelis bombed fishing huts on the beach and now they are preventing fishermen from earning their crust at sea,” he said.
The Gaza Strip has long been known for its plentiful seafood and fish although the stocks have been depleted by pollution, frequent wars and the blockade.
Today, the coastal enclave counts some 4,000 fishermen, more than half of whom live below the poverty line, said Nizar Ayash, head of the Gaza fishermen’s syndicate.
During the recent seven-week war launched by Israel which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, the majority of which are civilians, 80 of Gaza’s fleet of around 1,500 fishing boats and dozens of fishing huts were destroyed in the Israeli bombardment, which also reduced nets and fishing equipment to ashes, he said.
For Ayash, the problems experienced by Rami are widespread.
“Since the ceasefire, many Israeli attacks have been reported,” he said, referring to repeated shooting at fishing vessels.
Israeli forces say the warning shots are necessary because Palestinian boats flout the six-mile limit.
With their tackle destroyed and the price of oil soaring, Gaza’s fishermen are almost working at a loss.
Today, a single fishing expedition can cost up to about $500, said another fisherman called Mehdi Bakr, who lost his hand when an Israeli navy vessel fired at his boat in 1997.
For every night on the water, they need 270 liters (59 gallons) of diesel and 250 liters of petrol, he explained.
And all this for a very small catch.
“September and October is sardine season and they are only found between six to nine nautical miles from the shore, so with a six-mile limit, we’re bringing home hardly anything,” explained Taha Bakr, a 24-year-old member of Rami’s crew.
Because fishing is a trade passed on from father to son, and because he can no longer provide for his family and the job is so dangerous, the young man with green eyes and a neatly-trimmed beard has signed up to journalism school.
“It’s so that I don’t have to fish again, that job is just too risky,” he told AFP.
Maria Jose Torres, deputy head of office in the Palestinian branch of the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA), said that the 1993 Oslo Accords established a fishing zone of up to 20 nautical miles.
“It is essential to increase the fishing zone beyond six nautical miles to allow the fishermen to earn their living,” she said, indicating that the vast majority today are unable to support themselves.
“Some 84 percent of them are only able to survive thanks to help from the UN,” she said.
Rami said he keeps putting out to sea so that he can feed his children.
“It has been a long time since we last heard the singing and laughter of fishermen at sea who returned with their nets full,” he said.
But Mehdi fears for the future of this millennia-old profession in Gaza.
“We, the young generation, are not happy with this. If it carries on like this, there won’t be any more fishing in Gaza at all,” he said.
Palestinian residents in the buffer zone along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip suffer the loss of their homes and source of income in every Israeli escalation.
Palestinian farmer Mohamed Qudih, 60, and his wife Sabiha, 59, lost their house, which was destroyed by the Israeli occupation during the ground invasion in the Khan Younis village of Khuza’a. They also lost their farm, which included around 50 olive and date trees and okra crops.
“I was surprised when I saw the rubble of my house,” Qudih told local Palestinian news agency Quds Net. “I was also surprised to see around 50 olives trees and date palms were uprooted and the okra crop was crushed.”
Qudih’s farm is 800-metres away from the Gaza-Israeli border. “We suffer so much as the Israeli occupation always razes the farms adjacent and near its borders,” he said.
He added: “We are always in danger while working or staying in our farms as the Israeli border troops in the military towers always fire live bullets and tanks and bulldozers move on the ground when they feel anything approaching the borders.”
Iyad Qudih, 40, whose farm is 500-metres from the border, had a similar story: “I came back to my farm to find no sign of my house and all the trees and crops were damaged.”
Mu’taz Al-Najjar, 19, tends to his family’s farm which is 450-metres from the border. He hopes the buffer zone is cancelled in order for his family to freely access their entire farm and benefit from it. He called for the representatives of the Palestinian fighters to the indirect talks with the Israelis in Cairo to stick to this demand.
“This will help hundreds of farmers access all areas of their farms and thus more farmers will have work and agriculture produce will increase,” he said.
Khuza’a is located to the east of Khan Younis, a Palestinian city in the south of the Gaza Strip. It is located on 4,000 Dunams (1,000 acres) of land and is home to 14,000 Palestinians, most refugees.
The Israeli occupation razed a large number of Palestinian houses in the neighbourhood during the latest war on Gaza and wrecked most of its farms and empty lands.