HEBRON — The infrastructure for four illegal outposts is being constructed around the West Bank city of Hebron, a settlement affairs expert said Thursday.
In an interview with Ma’an Radio, Abed Al-Hadi Hantash said the outposts would be integrated to form a new settlement, which would be linked with Kiryat Arba, the largest settlement in the district.
Combined, the settlements would constitute a third of the city of Hebron, which is already surrounded by illegal settlements, Hantash said. The new project would confiscate a further 15 square kilometers of Palestinian land from Hebron’s borders, he said, and is being funded by a Jewish society which supports settlement activity in the West Bank city.
The construction of a new school and kindergarten began earlier this week in illegal outposts in Hebron. Further, a road leading from Kiryat Arba to the Ibrahimi Mosque, which would cut through Jaber neighborhood in the Old City, was also approved. The road’s construction would put Palestinians at risk of eviction, Hantash said.
Hantash said he was astonished at the Palestinian handling of the settlement issue, which focused on individual violations and failed to pay attention to the slow and systematic process by which settlements are taking over control of the heart of Hebron.
On Tuesday evening, Israeli border police and special Yasma forces rampaged through the East Jerusalem city of Silwan. Their presence on the ground was due to unrest that has been engulfing the city since last week’s murder of a 35 year old Palestinian at the hands of a private settler security guard. Recently, I was on the ground and witnessed soldiers urinating and defecating on the roofs of private Palestinian homes, throwing bottles (water and beer) on to Palestinians pedestrians on the street and breaking windows left and right.
From the ground I reported:
“Soldiers are trashing roof tops with urine and feces in Silwan. We are cleaning up and putting the waste in front of the settler house”
“The police have no shame at all. They have broken a window now and poked their heads into the house demanding coffee”
“The border police are also throwing bottles from roofs on to the main streets.”
The Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the ACLU’s lawsuit in the Anwar al-Awlaki case confirms, once again, that when it comes to civil liberties, the Obama administration is no different from the Bush administration, and in fact is arguably much worse.
The al-Awlaki case involves President Obama’s order authorizing his military and paramilitary forces (i.e., the CIA) to assassinate al-Awlaki, an American citizen. The proposed assassination is being justified under the Bush-Obama “war on terrorism.”
No warrants. No grand jury indictments. No jury trials. No due process of law. Simply, assassination.
The assassination power now being wielded against al-Awlaki isn’t limited to him. The U.S. military and the CIA can now assassinate any American they want. All they need is the president’s authorization; and, according to him, he doesn’t have to answer to anyone, including Congress and the courts.
Moreover, this omnipotent power to take out Americans is not limited to Americans living overseas, as al-Awlaki is doing. Remember the point that Bush made, which Obama has enthusiastically embraced: that the entire world, including the United States, is the battlefield in the perpetual, worldwide “war on terrorism” that the U.S. Empire is waging.
That means that the president now has the power to label any American he wants right here in the United States as a terrorist and issue the order to his forces: “Take him out, now, with bullets, bombs, or drones.”
Does Obama need congressional authority before he assassinates Americans? Nope. The notion is that, like Bush, he’s engaged in a real war, just like World War I or World War II and, therefore, he has the authority to kill Americans who, he claims, are supposedly fighting on the other side.
There’s at least one big problem, however, with the Bush-Obama formulation of their “war on terrorism”: Terrorism is a federal crime. It’s on the books as a federal crime. It’s listed in the U.S. Code as a federal crime.
Thus, it’s not surprising that dozens of terrorism cases have been brought in the federal courts. Why wouldn’t they be? Since the U.S. Code, which defines federal criminal offenses, lists terrorism among the many federal crimes, it stands to reason that suspected terrorists are brought to court to face federal terrorism charges.
As I have long pointed out, however, what the Bush administration did after 9/11 is simply announce that federal officials now had the option of treating terrorism as either a federal crime or as an act of war, whichever way they want to go.
As I have also long pointed out, not only does the Constitution not permit such an option to be exercised, it would be difficult to find a better example of a violation of the rule of law and equal treatment under law than that. Either terrorism is a crime (which it is) or it’s an act of war (which it is not). To permit U.S. officials to choose one way or the other is the epitome of arbitrary, discretionary, ad hoc, totalitarian power.
Does an American have the right to secure judicial review to prevent his assassination? Not according to Barack Obama.
The ACLU sued on behalf of al-Awlaki’s father seeking a federal court injunction against the assassination. Barack Obama ordered his Justice Department to seek an immediate dismissal of the suit.
His justification? The “state secrets doctrine,” a doctrine found nowhere in the Constitution. Obama is arguing that to permit the suit to continue would mean that people would learn the details of his assassination program and the standards by which Americans and others are targeted for assassination. That would jeopardize national security, says Obama.
So there you have it. We now live in a country in which the military and the CIA can now assassinate Americans, on authorization of the president, who doesn’t have to explain to anyone the standards for such assassinations.
That’s what now passes for a “free” country — the omnipotent, non-reviewable power of the ruler and his military and paramilitary forces to assassinate their own people.
Exactly who are the masters and who are the servants in such a society?
Yisrael Beiteinu’s strong third-place showing in Israel’s February 2009 elections for the Knesset was met with dread and disgust from many different quarters. Avigdor Lieberman, the founder and leader of the far-right party and the current Foreign Minister, ran a campaign filled with fascist overtones as he called for “loyalty oaths” to be signed by Palestinian citizens of Israel.
But perhaps we should take a look at Lieberman again in light of his much-condemned United Nations General Assembly speech yesterday and instead feel glad that the true face of Israel is shining to the world because of his position of power.
At the UN, Lieberman called for a “long-term intermediate agreement” instead of a solution dealing with all the final-status issues, dismissed the notion that the occupation and colonization of Palestine is at the core of the conflict and proposed a deal with the Palestinians that would be “about moving borders to better reflect demographic realities.” Although Lieberman claimed that he was not talking about “moving populations,” it’s apparent that Lieberman’s plan would result in the expulsion of Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian state, all in the service of making Israel an “ethnically pure” Jewish state.
Reactions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Jewish leaders were swift, and the media narrative laid out is that Lieberman’s speech revealed “differences” within Israeli politics about the “peace process.” The New York Times reports today that “sharp differences within the Israeli government over peace negotiations played out in the unusual setting of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.”
Netanyahu’s office distanced the prime minister from the speech and said that Lieberman’s speech was “not coordinated” with Netanyahu and that Netanyahu wants “direct talks” with the Palestinian Authority to go forward.
The reaction from Netanyahu was about promoting the image of Israel as willing to sit down and negotiate for peace with the Palestinians, which Lieberman’s speech did damage to. But that’s all it was about–Netanyahu and the State of Israel’s policies are completely in line with Lieberman’s plan of ethnically cleansing the non-Jewish citizens of Israel and of continuing to colonize the West Bank.
Under Netanyahu, the Bedouin village of Al Araqib has been destroyed multiple times to make way for a Jewish National Fund “ambassador forest.” Netanyahu has presided over the continued colonization of the West Bank, despite talk of a “settlement freeze,” and that’s likely to accelerate in the coming weeks. A recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling has Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah worried about further dispossession at the hands of Jewish settlers, and Silwan in East Jerusalem is still under the threat of home demolitions to make way for Israeli settlements and a theme park.
The list can go on and on. Actions speak much louder than words, and the State of Israel under Netanyahu has continued routine Israeli policies of land theft, colonization and slow ethnic cleansing. That’s not much different than the Israel Lieberman showed at the UN yesterday in words. Maybe that’s a good thing; the true, ugly face of Israeli policy, which the Palestinians know all-too-well, was shown to the world, further confirming that the “peace talks” are useless, and that Netanyahu is playing a public relations game for the international community while the status quo is sustained.
Last week’s FBI raids in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Durham, North Carolina amount to a declaration of war on the activist Left, in which grand juries are deployed as omnibus weapons of political persecution under an infinitely expandable anti-terrorism rationale. The constitutional lawyer in the White House has tossed the founding document into the National Security State shredder, as he prepares for global capitalism’s High Noon encounter with – anyone and everyone that resists.
A government that claims the right to kill U.S. citizens without even a whiff of due process and for reasons that are secret to the public and to the victim, has broken with every notion of the rule of law since the Magna Carta. The Obama Justice Department has spent every available hour since Inauguration Day building upon George Bush’s fascist logic in an attempt to fashion a flawless Orwellian police state doctrine in which secrecy and security are entwined like a strand of DNA. For targets not marked for oblivion, there awaits a grand jury with boundless powers to ensnare anyone, absolutely anyone.
The scope of information demanded of some of last week’s FBI victims – demands with which no one can fully comply, such as all records of domestic as well as foreign travel since the year 2000, or a list of all “contacts” that might somehow have bearing on the conflict in Colombia or the Mideast – is naked proof that the intent is to smother, entangle and utterly demobilize the target. The Obama administration is constructing a legal minefield in which any honest activist can be charged with lying to federal officers or a grand jury by commission or omission – each count of which is punishable by years in prison.
It is not brave, but prudent and self-protective, to refuse to discuss one’s political work or opinions or much of anything at all with FBI agents, as was reportedly the case with all of the recently targeted individuals. But grand juries are places where rights are butchered, and we can clearly see the broad outlines of a mass prosecution strategy unfolding, in which grand juries are the engines of political destruction. As Ron Jacobs wrote in Counterpunch, “There is a grand jury being convened in October 2010 with the intention of perhaps charging some of the people (and maybe others) subpoenaed on September 24. These raids are an attempt by the federal government to criminalize antiwar organizing.”
This is much more serious than merely “harassing” the anti-war movement. The Obama regime would not be going to so much trouble to systematically negate the Constitution just for the fun of it. They have a serious offensive in mind, which may have already begun.
U.S. intelligence services know perfectly well that activists like those raided last week barely have the material resources to put out slim periodicals or keep web sites updated. They cannot possibly provide “material support” to “terrorists” unless political statements against war (or silence in a grand jury) can be construed as, somehow, “support” for those the U.S. government deems terroristic. If the aim is to push anti-war and other social activists to the very edge of the cliff, where they will either shut down or fall into the carefully constructed legal abyss – that’s not harassment, that’s a campaign to “neutralize” the Left, in COINTELPRO terms.
As Black Workers for Justice stated, “We’ve seen these FBI and government raids and attacks on African American leaders and activists during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and members of the Black Panther Party, among others, were assassinated, jailed, beaten and driven into political exile for leading demonstrations and speaking out against racism, U.S. wars and other injustices…. Those who profit from these wars and U.S. support for oppressive governments like Israel and Colombia hope that by having a Black President, it will discourage African Americans from speaking out in protest against these raids, and against attacks on other social justice fighters. Dr. King said that during times like these, ‘We must break our silence!’”
Or, as the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women put it, in a joint statement, “the Obama administration is continuing COINTELPRO-type operations the FBI used in the ’60s and ’70s to divide the movements and smash dissent.”
A friend reminded me that, just as Nixon was thought to be the only U.S. president that could have pulled off the “opening” to China, based on his well-earned reputation as an arch anti-communist, so the First Black President might be the one that unleashes the 21st century police state in all its techno-horror. A Black president with a degree in constitutional law, who can still no do no wrong in the delusional eyes of strong majorities of African Americans, some of whom would remain in his corner even if Obama, himself, knocked down their doors in the wee hours of the morning.
If it is legal for Obama to kill Americans in total secrecy and impunity, with no explanation or even acknowledgment necessary, surely it is a lesser affront to an irrelevant Constitution to strangle the Left with grand juries.
Even Obamite-ridden United for Peace and Justice is upset, although not enough to confront the president, directly. The FBI is “a recidivist agency whose abuses have unfortunately recurred throughout its history,” said UFPJ, lamely. So, this is a problem of one agency, disconnected from the larger administration? What about Obama, the boss-man? The UFPJ will be cheering him and the Democrats on Saturday, October 2, as head of the official “peace table” at the NAACP and Big Labor’s mass rally in Washington, while the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC), the Black is Back Coalition and tens of thousands of folks that demand an immediate end to U.S. wars of aggression, bailouts of Wall Street, mass Black incarceration, a multi-million jobs public employment program and a halt to U.S. aid to Israel, will form a distinct and separate contingent. By their demands, ye shall know them.
The Green Party was, in its anger, bold enough to mention the president’s name. “We demand that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder order an end to ‘police state’ tactics by the FBI and other security agencies and that the Justice Department investigate the Sept. 24 raids,” said Theresa El-Amin, Green Party co-chair. “We demand that grand jury investigations and subpoenas in connection with the raids be canceled immediately. We demand that President Obama restore the rule of law and order all security agencies and police forces to cease spying on citizens without obtaining a warrant. We encourage everyone to protest the FBI’s lawless and outrageous actions as loudly as possible.”
Obama’s newest assault on the Left has generated new demands for the October 2 rally. The San Francisco Labor Council, after resolving that the FBI raids “are reminiscent of the Palmer Raids, McCarthy hearings, J. Edgar Hoover, and COINTELPRO, and mark a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, which began with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act,” put forward a demand to choke the pep rally out of labor’s Democratic cheerleaders: “that this Council urge the AFL-CIO to ensure that denunciation of the FBI raids is featured from the speakers’ platform at the October 2, 2010 One Nation march in Washington, DC, possibly by inviting one of those targeted by the raids, for example the SEIU chief steward whose home was raided, to speak at the rally.”
Will the NAACP and Big Labor allow it to happen? By their cowardices and betrayals, ye shall also know them.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
4 Years Without Julio Lopez
Julio Lopez, Luciano Arruga, Silvia Suppo – three names recently listed the doleful roll call of Argentina’s victims of state repression, a legacy left over from the bloody 1976-1983 military dictatorship. These three names have left painful reminders of the paradigm of disappearances and how the social stigma of the crimes committed during the dictatorship has scarred Argentina and other nations which survived brutal military dictatorships.
Argentina recently commemorated the four year anniversary of the disappearance of Julio Lopez, to demand that the torture survivor and human rights activist be found alive. After four years of searching, marches, and impunity, the cries for justice and punishment seem to have found no response from an indifferent government which claims to defend human rights. Activists also demanded information on the whereabouts of Luciano Arruga, a 16-year-old who was forcefully disappeared in January, 2009 and investigation into the 2010 murder of Silvia Suppo, a human rights activist and torture survivor testifying in a landmark human rights trial.
Julio Lopez has been titled as the man disappeared twice. He last went missing four years ago on September 18, 2006 in his hometown of La Plata. He was disappeared on the day the that his perpetrator and former police chief Miguel Etchecolatz was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity and genocide. Julio Lopez was absent from the courtroom, to witness the historic moment in the landmark trial having been abducted hours earlier.
Lopez was a key witness in the 2006 human rights trial in which Etchecolatz was found guilty of kidnapping, torture and murder of activists during the military dictatorship. Etchecolatz coordinated kidnappings and torture sessions in a network of clandestine detention centers in La Plata, 30 miles from Buenos Aires. In one of these torture centers, Lopez first met Etchecolatz during his detention from 1976-1979.
Julio Lopez is exactly where the repressors want him, in the abyss of impunity that the military have enjoyed for the past 34 years. Julio Lopez was never able to listen to the sentence of his repressors. He was kidnapped the day before his perpetrator Miguel Etchecolatz was sentenced to life in prison and Lopez became another disappeared.
“The forced disappearance of Lopez is called impunity,” wrote the human rights group HIJOS in a press release on the fourth anniversary of Lopez’s disappearance. Impunity for human rights abuses has been Argentina’s dark legacy. Since 1999, when the human rights trials were closed due to amnesty laws, the human rights group HIJOS went out into the streets and into former military officers’ neighborhoods to let the community know that they were living next to an individual who carried out abuses such as kidnapping, rape, torture and forced disappearances. On the fourth anniversary of Lopez’s disappearance HIJOS reminded the government of the results of letting the military go about their normal lives for more than a decade following the passage of amnesty protecting the military from criminal prosecution. “It is the consequence of nasty leftovers from the dictatorship which endured in democracy, added to the government’s lack of response to the seriousness of what occurred.”
Result of impunity
Now justice is possible in criminal courts, following the 2003 abolishment of amnesty laws that protected members of the military government from prosecution of human rights abuses. Many members under arrest were released in the 80’s when the amnesty law was passed. This amnesty allowed former armed forces members to maintain power and hold powerful positions such as judges and executives at private security firms. Etchecolatz was one such repressor who was put on trial and sentenced in the 80´s for abuses, specifically for 91 cases of torture, but later released. The former police chief conspired with local policemen to form right-wing, nationalist groups. “It was foreseeable that the repressors would not stand still when their time came to sit on the court room bench and answer to the courts and the Argentine people,” said the group HIJOS.
According to the human rights group CELS, more than 1,500 former members of the armed and security forces are facing charges of human rights abuses during the dictatorship. However, only 81 people have received sentences.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the disappearance of Julio Lopez has reached a deadlock. The government waited 19 months to consider Julio Lopez a case of forced disappearance. Authorities have also delayed investigation into communication to and from the Marcos Paz jail, where more than 40 repressors are currently under arrest and held under the same roof with the liberty to communicate with one another.
“It’s a combination of lack of response, complicity and covering up,” said Adriana Calvo at the march for Julio Lopez. No one has been investigated much less detained in the police investigation of the disappearance of Julio Lopez.
“Lopez reminds us that the repressive apparatus has not been dismantled and the trials progress but witnesses and survivors testifying are in danger,” said Adriana Meyer, a journalist for the national newspaper Página/12. However, the government and the media have left the issue of witness safety from public spotlight.
The recent murder of Silvia Suppo, a key witness in a human rights trial on crimes committed during the Argentine dictatorship, has sparked fears for the safety of witnesses who testify publicly in the cases. Suppo, a torture survivor, was stabbed to death on March 29 at her crafts shop in the province of Santa Fe in an alleged robbery. In 2009, Suppo testified in a human rights trial against a former judge for his role in abuses during the dictatorship. Human Rights groups suspect that Suppo was killed to send a message to those still willing to testify as human rights trials progress.
For survivors there is a way to guarantee witnesses safety, for the trials to progress and for all of the repressors. “witness protection program is a mess. Witnesses in a human rights trial in La Plata have received isolated threats.,” said Carlos Zaidman, a torture survivor. “We believe that the only way to protect witnesses is for all of the repressors to be jailed. This has made is doubly important to testify. They haven’t stopped the struggle by disappearing 30,000 compañeros or by disappearing Lopez.”
Silence is impunity
For a democracy to flourish, impunity must end. While Argentina’s government has taken the lead in supporting efforts to try former military and police for rights abuses carried out during the junta years, justice has been slow. And the issue of Julio Lopez has entered an abyss of silence from the media and president.
Lopez’s family sent a letter to the president asking her to push for the investigation into the disappearance of Lopez so that the man who disappeared without a trace twice in his life doesn’t “become the first disappeared in democracy.”
This request has come too late as Argentina has a number of disappeared and thousands of victims of a state repressive apparatus still in tact. Julio Lopez, Miguel Bru and Luciano Arruga are just three of these disappeared in democracy. For democracy to avoid being disappeared, state repression must be abolished.
Julio Lopez presente!
Marie Trigona is an independent writer and radio producer based in Argentina. She can be reached through her blog www.mujereslibres.blogspot.com
In an article published in the September 6th edition of The Palestine Chronicle (“Imagining Palestinians as Equal”) I began with this quote from novelist Aldous Huxley: “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” It is the key to separating out what is blatant propaganda and what is fair and honest communication.
The purpose of Israel’s political firewall is blocking out and discrediting the testimony of the people it abuses on a daily basis and their supporters, through using high level elites.
In my mental health career working with abusive systems was a main interest, and this is classic abusive system behavior. The example I used in the article was The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), formed earlier this year. Billing itself as dedicated to the scholarly research of the manifestations of antisemitism globally, as well as other forms of prejudice, it fits snugly into the propaganda format promoted by Israel’s Reut Institute.
The Friends of Israel Initiative (FII) led by former Spanish PM José María Aznar and directed by Rafael Bardaji, Sr. Aznar’s former national security advisor is a second example. Founded in May of this year, it is made up of a group of high level personalities supported by a large network of influential opinion formers such as William Kristol, Dore Gold, Alan Mendoza, Joao Spada, Eliot Abrams, Allen Roth, Pablo Kleinman, Jeffrey Gedmin, Robin Shepherd, among many others.
Where does FII’s support come from? That is difficult to say, as donors are not listed on their website, and I’ve unable to locate any information about them on the internet, other than they are a dozen private donors from Spain, America, Israel, France, Italy and Britain, and provide the FII with a working budget of almost £1 million a year, which translates to over $1,550,000 US dollars (Source: The Jewish Chronicle Online, July 22, 2010).
FII’s declared purpose is a familiar one if you are familiar with Israel’s propaganda initiatives: Combating “the deligitimization of the State of Israel at home, abroad and inside the institutions of the international community”; publicly showing solidarity with Israel’s democratic institutions which are “the legitimate expression of the Jewish people’s millennial aspiration to live in peace and freedom in its national homeland (emphasis added); supporting Israel’s inalienable right to secure borders “so that its citizens can continue living with the same guarantees that our own societies enjoy; consistently and firmly opposing the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran; working to ensure that Israel is fully accepted as a normal Western country, which they see as “an essential and indivisible part of the Western world to which we belong (emphasis added)”; and “reaffirm[ing] the value of the religious, moral, and cultural Judeo-Christian heritage as the main source of the liberal and democratic Western societies.”
Not one word about the Palestinian people and what has happened to them from 1948 to the present day. Not a single word or syllable anywhere on FII’s website. The clear message is that the Palestinian people do not exist except as terrorists and delegitimizers who refuse to accept Israel’s continued stealing of their lands, murdering their people and treating them like dogs. The sole purpose of the FII is to delegitimize Israel’s critics and dismiss the Palestinians as dogs.
Is this a bit harsh? When the Palestinian people are ignored to this degree, I don’t think it is. The message of The Friends of Israel Initiative is a message that Israel’s propaganda machine very much wants everyone, especially the power brokers in the West to hear … and believe. What the rest of us believe is irrelevant, because to the propaganda machine and power brokers, “the people” do not count. By now that should be eminently clear to anyone who follows the daily news. Am I being needlessly cynical? Sadly, I don’t believe I am.
There is more. Marcello Perla, former president of the Italian Senate remarked at the launch of the FII that Israel was viewed “as the father of human rights”, and that “attacking Israel is attacking the culture of human rights” (The Jewish Chronicle Online, 22 July 2010). (It took me a minute after reading that before I could say “You have got to be joking!”) On FII’s website’s home page, Mr. Perla is quoted as saying that “The campaign of demonization against the State of Israel must stop. All men and women of goodwill should join together to say that enough is enough” (almost a word-for-word quote from the Reut Institute’s report “Building a Political Firewall Against Israel’s Delegitimization”).
On the same date, former Spanish PM José María Aznar published an article in The Jewish Chronicle Online titled “We in the West need to regain moral clarity, complete with a head shot of Sr. Aznar looking very serious and morally clear. Claiming that Israel is an integral part of the West, he makes this astonishing claim: “The one thing setting it apart from the rest of us is its status as the only democracy whose existence has been questioned since inception.” He then makes this incredible, whiplash-inducing statement: “[I]f Israel fell into the hands of its enemies, the West as we know it would cease to exist.” Say what?
Take a moment to sit back and take three deep, slow breaths to clear your mind and unclench your jaw. Go to this link and read the article for yourself, take three deeper, slower breaths to calm the hysterical laughter or rage that’s beginning to well up inside and overwhelm your thinking mind, refocus your eyes and move on.
What Mr. Aznar has done is declare war against Israel’s enemies whom he declares are enemies of the West. Worse, he uses the rhetoric of cultural warfare, a “clash of cultures” between the virtuous West and the evil and cynical Muslim world. This is so bizarre that it makes my hair stand on end. Does he really not see how dangerous this Reut-think is? Are he and his friends fools, or just suicidal idiots bent on dragging all of us into a neocon war to defend a state that, from its inception has been morally indefensible?
We in the west do need to regain moral clarity, which is the point the growing legions of Israel’s critics are making eminently clear. But refusing to even mention the Palestinian people is morally reprehensible to all men and women of good will, to say nothing at all about good sense.
Mahmoud El-Yousseph said it best in a recent article in The Palestinian Chronicle titled “The Hesder Quiz: Where is Israel?”. “‘Where is Israel’?” he asks. “The more accurate answer would be: It is located in the heart of the Arab world. It was built illegally in 1948 on stolen Palestinian land and on the ruin of hundreds of towns and villages that have been erased from the face of the earth so the native inhabitants will never have a chance to return back home and to what is rightfully theirs.”
Until Sr. Aznar and his friends understand that, the West has no moral clarity at all. Moral clarity comes to us courtesy of people like Mahmoud El-Yousseph and others who call Israel out on its racism and violence toward the Palestinian people. To quote from a recent article by Gilad Atzmon, Israeli expatriate, jazz musician and activist, “reconciliation is the surest way to peace.” And this is true wherever injustice exists, which is to say wherever one group of people treat another group or groups of people as if they are nothing at all.
I will say this for Sr. Aznar and his friends: They do know how to parrot their lines. Wouldn’t you love to know who their financial backers are? Now that is a worthy subject for someone to research and publish at least one article on.
- George Polley is a Japan-based writer.
The Israeli Authorities detained Irish Nobel Prize laureate, Mairead Maguire, at the Ben-Gurion International Airport Tuesday, and refused to allow her into the country. She was later escorted to a flight bound to Britain despite legal appeals to allow her into the country.
In 1967, Maguire was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work against sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. The Nobel Prize was awarded to her and to Betty Williams.
Maguire flew to Israel on Tuesday morning from Frankfort – Germany. The Nobel Prize laureate was accompanied by a peace delegation of women, including five other Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Israel previously issued a permanent order banning Maguire from entering the country for her participating in solidarity flotillas sending humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip. She was one of the human rights activists who were on the “Rachel Corrie” solidarity ship that was seized by Israel in May this year.
Judy Williams, an American Nobel Prize recipient, who intended to be part of the delegation with Maguire, stated that preventing entry to Maguire is of a great concern to the people who dedicate their lives for peace.
“The people who dedicate their lives to peace should not be considered a threat to security”, Williams said.
Two years ago, Maguire voiced a sharp criticism to Israel for ignoring all international community resolutions calling for ending Israel’s occupation in Palestine. She also called for removing Israel from the United Nations for its ongoing violations to Human Rights.
The reaction of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the latest Zionist provocations, including the all-out settlement expansion drive in the West Bank, has been disastrous and calamitous.
Abbas has issued a plethora of conflicting statements, some signaling his willingness to remain engaged in the so-called “peace process” with Israel. This is despite the fact that Israel keeps trampling on that damned, whoring process, if only by embarking on more settlement building, and more land theft at the Palestinians’ expense.
This is not a minor matter. The occupied territories are the proverbial disputed piece of cheese which Israel keeps devouring around the clock to the extent that most Palestinians are justifiably worried that no territories will be left for establishing a viable and territorially contiguous state that is worthy of the name. Some, including this writer, believe that it is already too late for Palestinian statehood.
When Abbas is speaking to a Palestinian audience, he expresses his dissatisfaction with Israel and warns that he may pull out of the American-brokered talks with Israel.
It is not very difficult to diagnose Abbas’s duplicity and inconsistency. The PA leader can’t displease Washington for obvious reasons.
The financial bloodline upon which the deformed Ramallah entity depends comes from Washington. Moreover, Abbas realizes that should Obama or the US congress, both under effective Jewish control, clear their throats, a financial and economic earthquake would instantaneously occur in Ramallah and thousands of civil servants would lose their jobs and their salaries.
This is how stupid and bankrupt regimes that allow themselves to be hostage to foreign countries end up because he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Abbas often claims that this is not the case with his authority. However, his words in this regard can’t really be believed.
In the meantime, Abbas, like other despotic dictators in the Arab world, would very much want to retain a semblance of popular legitimacy. This he does by pretending that he is still faithful to Palestinian national constants when in fact he is striving to destroy them, knowingly or unknowingly, by way of lying to the public and desensitizing the Palestinian masses.
In the past few years, many people gave Abbas the benefit of the doubt, citing the immense international pressure to which he was subjected as well as the phenomenal weakness overwhelming the Arab world.
However, there are things that can’t be justified under any circumstances, but Abbas doesn’t seem to know the difference.
Abbas keeps lowering the Palestinian national ceilings by allowing Israel to gain more time to build more settlements. And when the steps he is demanded to make prove too embarrassing or too scandalous, like resuming peace talks in the absence of a settlement expansion freeze by Israel, Abbas hastens to Cairo or Amman or Riyadh, begging Arab leaders to save him. The next day, he would reappear in Ramallah to tell the frustrated Palestinian masses that “I can’t not refuse to take the advice of our brotherly Arab leaders.”
In the not-too-distant past, Arab leaders did give us truly brotherly advice. They would urge us to reject Zionist schemes and resist Zionist aggression. “However, for many years now, the only Arab advice we have been receiving from most Arab capitals is a demoralizing message calling on us to surrender to Israel and cede all or most of our legitimate rights, including the right to freedom and independence.
In brief, the Arab regimes want us to “be happy and not worry.” In other words, these regimes are a liability, not an asset in the struggle for the liberation of our countries from shackles of Zionism.
I don’t know for sure why Abbas is behaving the way he does. Is he senile? Is he not fully aware of what he is doing? Does he have a blind faith in Barack Obama, the man who shakes at the mere notion of criticizing Israeli insolence and arrogance of power?
Ok, cowardice is a natural phenomenon just as courage and wisdom and other attributes, good or bad. However, it is illogical to entrust the enduring Palestinian cause to a man who is unable and unfit to navigate the national boat to the shore of safety.
Like the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas refuses to face reality as it is. He is also becoming increasingly peripatetic, preferring to be far away from the theatre of events. He also prefers very much to listen to himself, and when one confronts him with news or views he doesn’t like to hear, he get nervous and asks the speaker to shut up.
Abbas on many occasions justifiably attacked the governance style of Yasser Arafat. He thought that the second intifada was a disaster for the Palestinians. However, instead of suggesting a wiser approach, Abbas has effectively reached the conclusion that surrendering to Israel is the best alternative, not knowing that Israel is very much like a treacherous crocodile, the more meat you give it, the more it demands.
Indeed, the latest gestures Abbas and his aides have been making toward Israel have not only been scandalous from the view point of Palestinian national dignity. They have also been politically disastrous.
In the final analysis, displaying weakness and compromising our people’s dignity will not make Israel come to terms with our usurped rights.
Today, the Palestinian cause stands at a crossroad as the US seems both unwilling and unable to pressure the Zionist regime to end the occupation that started in 1967.
I am not a prophet of doom and gloom. However, it is difficult to believe that the US would be able to force Israel to return to the 1967 borders when it can’t get the Zionist regime to extend a partial and insignificant settlement freeze for a few more months.
By James Petras | September 7, 2006
The War Debate on Iran
A survey of Israeli State pronouncements, documents and press releases echoed by its resident representatives in the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and their supporters writing and speaking in the major media reveals a concerted effort to convince the United States to militarily attack Iran. Beginning in the mid 1990’s, Israel’s top US ideologues promulgated documents and propaganda manifestos, purporting to be strategy papers directed toward joint US-Israeli aggression against Iraq, Syria and especially Iran.(1)
Even as the bricks were still smoldering from 9/11, Israeli ideological point men, Senator Lieberman and Undersecretary for Defense Wolfowitz urged Washington to attack Iran by launching either simultaneous or sequential wars. In pursuit of Israel’s regional priorities, its representatives in the US Government, in the Pentagon (Wolfowitz, Feith and Shulsky), in the National Security Council (Abrams), in the Vice President’s Office (Libby) and in the President’s Office (Speech writer Frum) falsified intelligence, designed the propaganda (War Against Terror, Axis of Evil) and planned the War against Iraq, and with the Lobby secured near unanimous Congressional acquiescence. They then successfully secured a US boycott of Syria and support for Israel’s expropriation, annexation and settlement of Palestinian land in the West Bank and the destruction of Gaza. Even as the US invasion failed to secure control of Iraq, Israel’s representatives in the US Government did destroy Iraqi society and state, and its capacity to support the Palestinian resistance, increasing Israel’s regional power (at a very high cost to the United States).
Even as the US was at war with Iraq, even as it suffered over 20,000 dead and wounded, even as its war spending rose to over $430 billion dollars, even as the bulk of its ground troops were stretched thin, Israel’s representatives in the Executive and Congress and through the Lobby pushed for a US pre-emptive attack on Iran.
Within the US government, Israeli representatives faced several objections from the State Department and active military officers to a pre-emptive military attack on Iran:
Preparing for War
In response, Israel’s representatives in the US formulated a series of policies to get around these objections.
- In the first place, they, along with the Israeli secret police and their Lebanese collaborators, and with the approval of the US-dominated United Nations Security Council, successfully implicated Syria as the author of the February 14, 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Baha’eddin Al-Hariri, on the basis of recanted testimony from a single perjured ‘witness’.On that basis, the US-UN forced Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon, thus hoping to isolate Hezbollah and other anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements. Once Syria was out of Lebanon, the US with Israeli approval secured a client regime in Beirut, a regime nonetheless that only had influence in the center-north of the country. Hezbollah remained the most influential force in Southern Lebanon and much of South Beirut and impregnable from any military machinations emanating from Beirut.In 2004 the US and France co-sponsored UN Resolution 1559 which called for “the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.” This extraordinary interference by the Security Council in Lebanon’s internal politics was clearly a set-up for Israel’s 2006 invasion.Washington in co-ordination with Israel continued its ‘salami tactics’ chipping away at real or potential opponents to absolute US-Israeli regional control. By isolating Syria, destroying Gaza and ‘surrounding’ Hezbollah (or so they thought), they believed they were moving closer to isolating Iran. In June 2006, Israel proceeded to invade and demolish Gaza, arrest the Hamas political leadership in order to install a new client regime. In the same month, Presidential Adviser on Middle Eastern Affairs, Elliot Abrams, in close consultation with the Israeli military command, gave the green light to invade Lebanon in order to destroy Hezbollah as a step toward the strategic goal of isolating Iran and overcoming US military fears of retaliation from a pre-emptive bombing of Iran.
Parallel to the US-Israeli coordinated invasion of Lebanon and Gaza, Washington and the Jewish Lobby were working the diplomatic track. They sought to secure UN approval for a multi-lateral boycott in opposition to Iran’s legal uranium enrichment program. In the case of Gaza, the Lobby secured unanimous White House, Congressional and mass media support for labeling the electorally oriented Hamas, as a ‘terrorist’ organization. Paradoxically President Bush supported the ‘free elections’ in the Palestinian territories as well as Hamas’ decision to go to the ballot box. The Lobby then followed Bush’s endorsement of the ‘free and democratic’ nature of the electoral process in Palestine by pressuring the US Congress and the White House to cut all aid and contact with the democratically elected Hamas government. The White House then pressured the European Union to follow suit. Israel blocked all trade and supply routes, and illegally refused to hand over Palestinian tax revenues to the newly elected government. Israel moved to asphyxiate the Palestinian economy. The Lobby secured US endorsement of the Israeli policy.
Six months into a murderous campaign, Israel escalated its armed incursions into Gaza and the West Bank, by deliberately killing civilians, families and children who were engaged in the most innocent activities, such as family outings at the beach. These grotesque Israeli provocations were intended to push the democratically elected Hamas into breaking its 17-month unilateral ceasefire. A Palestinian attack to incapacitate an Israeli tank emplacement near the frontier shelling Gaza and the capture of an Israeli soldier served as the pretext for a full-scale invasion of Gaza. The Israeli government systematically destroyed most of the basic life-supporting infrastructure (water treatment and power plants, sewage systems, roads, bridges, hospitals and schools) and arrested the top executive and legislative leadership of the elected Palestinian Authority. Israel killed over 251 Palestinians in the first two months of its ‘Summer Rain’ campaign against Gaza, injured over 5000 – mostly civilians (Haaretz September 4, 2006). Following the Lebanon debacle Israel unleashed a massive ‘kill and destroy’ campaign.
The Lobby silenced any dissenting voices and secured near unanimous Congressional and automatic Executive endorsement for Israel’s policies toward Gaza. Israel’s stranglehold over Gaza weakened any organized Palestinian opposition to a pre-emptive attack on Iran.
Where the Israeli military invasion of Lebanon failed to destroy Hezbollah, the Lobby succeeded in pushing the US to secure a major diplomatic victory via the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UN Res. 1701) on a ‘cease fire’. The entire resolution was verbatim a replica of Israeli strategic aims for destroying Hezbollah, dividing Lebanon, securing its military primacy in Lebanon and isolating Iran. The approval of the resolution followed the usual multi-step process: Israel set the terms, the Lobby organized its apparatus to push Congress and the White House. Washington presented the resolution to the Security Council and pressured its members to approve it. The resolution was approved and the military, economic and diplomatic processes were set in motion, with Kofi Annam serving as point man for the US-Israeli strategy.
To say that the ceasefire resolution is ‘one-sided’ and biased in favor of Israel is an understatement. The problem is in the very terms and premises of the resolution. Israel invaded Lebanon. A country, which invades another, destroys the entire civilian infrastructure and 15,000 housing units and kills over 1,100 of its citizens, is considered by international law to be the ‘aggressor’. A buffer zone or demilitarized region should be located within the borders of the aggressor country – namely a twenty-kilometer area within the Israeli frontier. This is the common practice with states with long histories of military intervention into neighboring countries. This is especially the case since Israel initiated the bombing of Lebanon and Israel invaded Lebanon and not vice versa. Instead, the resolution provided for the United Nations forces to occupy Lebanese territory and to eliminate its first line of national defense – namely the complex of bunkers and underground tunnels which Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance organized as civil defense against the onslaught of Israeli bombs, missiles, artillery and invading infantry.
- Second, the United Nations resolution called for the displacement, dissolution and disarming of the defenders (Hezbollah) of the invaded country instead of the invaders (the Israeli Defense (sic) Forces – IDF). In line with Israeli strategy, this proposal was meant to accomplish via the UN military what Israel’s IDF was not able to do.
- Third, while the resolution proposed that Hezbollah was to be forced to disarm or at least ‘hide’ its arms, Israeli armaments, occupation soldiers and over flights remained in place within Lebanon, ready and eager to bomb and attack the Lebanese resistance as its Prime Minister and Defense Minister publicly declared (and practiced on several occasions).
- Fourth, while Hezbollah agreed to the ceasefire, Israel did not. Israel retains its air and sea blockade, which are ‘acts of war’ according to International law, and upholds the ‘right’ to freely send commandos and assassination teams into Lebanon. The UN and Kofi Annam have not denounced Israel’s non-compliance. The US, on the other hand, has endorsed Israel’s non-compliance.
- Fifth, Israel has insisted and the UN resolution proposed that Lebanese troops patrol the border, hunt down and destroy Hezbollah arms and activists, thus hoping to promote a sectarian civil war and divide Lebanon into a fragmented, dysfunctional state in place of the coalition government (which includes Hezbollah) that existed prior to and during and after the Israeli invasion. In response Hezbollah has not disarmed although it has agreed to not permit its fighters to openly carry arms in public. Hezbollah has not resisted the placement of Lebanese soldiers on the Israeli frontier; rather it has fraternized with them.
In this most perverse of all ceasefire resolutions, the aggressor (Israel) retains its arms, its occupation of Lebanese land, sea and air space, and increases its purchase of offensive weapons. The Lobby pushes the US/UN to encircle Hezbollah, control Lebanon’s border with Syria (thus losing sovereignty) and stop the flow of any defensive weapons to replenish the supply depleted defending the country from Israeli invaders.
The Israeli/US/UN resolution is designed to isolate the Lebanese resistance from Syria and Iran, and to weaken any common Arab solidarity if and when Iran and Syria are attacked.
Kofi ‘the Gopher’ (a pejorative American term for an errand boy or flunkey) Annan, nominally the UN Secretary General, but known by UN insiders as Washington’s – and therefore the Lobby’s – messenger, went on a ‘peace’ mission to the Middle East. His purpose was not to open negotiations over a prisoner exchange between Lebanon-Hezbollah and Israel but to secure the unilateral release of the two captured Israeli prisoners of war. Never at any moment did he mention the key demand of the Lebanese, which was the release of the unlawfully imprisoned 1,000 Lebanese civilians and combatants suffering in Israeli prisons, many of whom have been held without charges or trial for years. For Annan, articulating Israel’s demands for prisoner release was the only issue to be discussed. When Syria agreed to work with Annan on a negotiated reciprocal Israeli-Lebanese prisoner release and Israel rejected the offer, Annan refused to criticize Israeli intransigence and continued mouthing their demand for an unconditional, unilateral prisoner release.
It is clear that Israel and the US-Jewish Lobby are trying to build on the pro-Israeli ceasefire resolution and its implementation to widen and deepen inroads in Lebanese politics, control its security policy and erode its sovereignty by buying off sectors of the Beirut elite with ‘reconstruction aid’ while keeping Israel on a wartime footing within, around and above Lebanon.
The ‘ceasefire’ agreement is in effect a ‘mousetrap’ offering donors’ assistance (cheese) to the weak and vacillating Beirut regime (particularly its right-wing, pro-Western sectors) and the iron clamp of air, sea and land encirclement and military attacks by Israeli and UN collaborators on a disarmed Hezbollah.
The Jewish Lobby has ensured 100% White House and US Congressional support for Israel’s continued air and sea blockade and its demands for disarming and destroying Hezbollah as conditions for withdrawing from its territorial occupation of Lebanon.
Even worse, as the UN begins its occupation of Lebanon and Israel retains its military presence, Tel Aviv ‘re-interprets’ the ceasefire to ensure its forward position within Lebanon. Israel demands the release of its two prisoners of war and the destruction of Hezbollah before considering ending its occupation and blockade. Israel insists that the UN troops control the Syrian border before conforming to the terms of the agreement and withdrawing its own troops. No mention is made of the UN patrolling Israel’s borders with Gaza which Israel crosses daily on its way to murder and assassinate Palestinians. In other words, as the UN erodes the position of the Lebanese resistance and strengthens the Israeli militarily, Israel neither negotiates nor reciprocates – it escalates new and harsher demands. All of this is backed by the Jewish Lobby and its highly placed officials in the Executive branch and US Congress. The purpose of this complex United Nations maneuver is to neutralize any Lebanese opposition to the escalation of US-Israeli aggression against Iran.
Diplomacy for Confrontation and War
Parallel to and converging with the Lebanese ‘mousetrap’ strategy, the US with a powerful push from the Lobby have moved to secure United Nations Security Council support for a series of diplomatic measures and economic sanctions against Iran. The UN Security Council prompted by the US and Europe is making demands in total contradiction to the Non-Proliferation Treaty allowing all countries in the world at any time to enrich uranium for peaceful uses, thus provoking a major confrontation with Iran. These illegal and presumptuous demands have absolutely no basis in law and in fact: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there is no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. The US has taken a step-by-step approach to preparing for pre-emptive war with Iran, in order to minimize its (the US) isolation, the heavy financial and human costs and the prospects of retaliation. Washington has prepared a resolution calling for economic sanctions – limiting travel and investment. Once the principle of economic sanctions is in place, Washington can more easily push for add-ons, like trade sanctions, shipping restrictions and freezing overseas assets. Once having secured the multi-lateral economic isolation of Iran, Washington can launch its military-air assault with less opposition and greater acquiescence from Europe and its Mid East clients.
From Iraq, Hezbollah and Hamas to Iran: Another Failed Strategy?
Israel’s representatives in the US government saw the war against Iraq as a key staging ground for the attack on Iran– as part of a triumphal series of military conquests turning the Gulf into an Israeli-US condominium. Together with the Iraq War, the Lobby successfully bulldozed the US Congress to pass legislation boycotting Syria, another target in the overall Israeli-Lobby strategy. Lebanon, especially the national resistance led by Hezbollah is a key piece in the US-Israeli strategy for militarily attacking Iran. South Lebanon under Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza, and other potential allies of Iran, were subsequently targeted for diplomatic isolation through the UN and militarily for physical extermination. Each US and Israeli war serves an immediate purpose (weakening adversaries) and more important forms part of the preparation for a major attack on Iran. The ‘dual purpose’ wars are designed to weaken and destroy adversaries to US-Israeli plans for regional dominance and to create military bases, geographic encirclement and economic pressure for the ultimate military assault on Iran.
The Dominoes are Falling in the Wrong Places
The Lobby and the Israeli architects of sequential wars in the Bush Administration have however suffered several severe setbacks as well as victories on their road to Teheran.
They succeeded in destroying the secular nationalist government of Saddam Hussein and totally crippled Iraq’s defensive military and economic potential. However they face an unanticipated long-term, large-scale insurgency which ties down hundreds of thousands of US active military forces and depletes their reserves, imposes enormous financial costs and undermines public support for that war and any new military invasion promoted by the Israeli Lobby.
The Israel-Lobby-US backed effort to oust Arafat and impose a client regime opposed to Iran and Hezbollah via elections, backfired: Hamas, an anti-colonial national movement won the elections. As a result Israel re-took the path of outright military assaults and massacres to decimate opposition to its larger Middle East agenda.
The effort to exterminate Hezbollah in South Lebanon succeeded in ravaging that country and killing many civilians, but failed its main mission to clear the way for an uncontested attack on Iran. While Israel failed militarily, the Lobby and its clients in the US Congress and Administration succeeded in imposing their joint Israeli/US policy goals in the infamous UN Resolution 1701 via United Nations and Lebanese troops. Nevertheless the resolution, while imposing some important restrictions, is still highly contested: Hezbollah rejects disarmament, the Lebanese Army, which is nearly 40% Shia, fraternizes with Hezbollah and doesn’t challenge them and the United Nations troops have no intention of acting as Israel’s shock troops in provoking a new attack on Hezbollah, especially after Israel’s deliberate killing of UN peacekeepers.
The Israel-Lobby-US diplomatic strategy in the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iran, has secured European support for relatively marginal issues but has failed to secure Russian and Chinese support for a full-scale embargo. China is negotiating an agreement with Iran on the enrichment process that may undermine the entire US ‘diplomacy to war’ strategy.
Facing a series of military and diplomatic obstacles, the Jewish Lobby does not cease and desist. The Lobby presses ahead with a new campaign to whip up war fever in the US through the ultra-militant ‘Zionophiles’ John Bolton, US Ambassador to the UN, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney, President Bush and, of course, the inimitable ‘Chief Adviser on the Middle East’ Elliot Abrams. Their current position is to sweep aside all the failed, phony issues and diplomatic proposals and base the impending military attack of Iran on ideology: The new struggle between Democracy and ‘Islamo-fascism’.
For the Israeli Government, a pre-emptive US attack on Teheran would be seen as weakening another opponent to Israel’s regional dominance. For the United States, it would open the floodgates of insurgency into Iraq and beyond, leading to two, three many Iraqs. At some point ‘the chickens may come home to roost’. For sacrificing untold numbers of American lives at the service of a foreign power, the Lobby and its political supporters in the US Congress will go down in history as traitors to our highest ideals as a free and independent country.
Failing to secure a US attack on Iran, Israel constantly accelerates its plans for war with Iran and Syria. Once again the Lobby mounted a massive, sustained propaganda campaign which claimed that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad in a speech on October 2005 declared “Israel must be wiped off the map.” The Lobby totally falsified the English translation. In fact the Iranian President never used the word ‘map’ or the term ‘wiped off’ (Counterpunch August 28, 2006). What he actually said was, “… this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” Clearly he was referring to a regime which illegally occupies a city by military conquest, that reduces its own Arab citizens to discrimination and poverty and which colonizes the occupied territories. In other words he calls for the disappearance of a racist colonial regime, not the destruction or removal of the Jews in Israel.
These and other deliberate ‘mistranslations’ are part of the Lobby’s effort to build up worldwide opprobrium against Iran and to stigmatize Iran with the worst ‘holocaust-denier’ features, in order to present an Israeli attack as an act against an ‘Islamo-fascist’ rogue state. From January to March 2006, the Israeli military high command set in motion war plans to attack Iran – postponed temporarily as Washington went through the diplomatic motions. In September, the London Times (September 3, 2006) reported that “Israel is preparing for a possible war with both Iran and Syria.” According to Israeli political and military sources, “The challenge from Iran and Syria is now top of the Israeli defense (sic) agenda.”
(1) See The Project for the New American Century: White Paper Rebuilding American’s Defenses (September 2000) prepared and authored by the leading American pro-Israel Jewish and non-Jewish ideologues.