Having disposed of the Murdoch menace – for the moment anyway – it’s time for the British public to turn the spotlight on the other villains our craven politicians pay homage to.
Public enemy Number One is the pro-Israel lobby. An organization called the Conservative Friends of Israel states it has “twin aims of supporting Israel and promoting Conservatism. With close to 2000 activists as members – alongside 80% of Conservative MPs – CFI is active at every level of the Party”.
And the rot goes all the way to the top, with Conservative prime minister David Cameron endorsing it enthusiastically: “I am proud not just to be a Conservative, but a Conservative Friend of Israel; and I am proud of the key role CFI plays within our Party.”
Back in 2006 The Jewish Chronicle ran a report on the backers bankrolling Cameron’s bid for the party leadership. It was sent to the Committee on Standards in Public Life as an example of how the pro-Israel lobby infiltrates government and undermines the very principles the standards watchdog was established to uphold. But Zionist tentacles reach further than you think. The Committee ignored it.
At the time Cameron, a self-proclaimed Zionist, pledged: “If I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on her…”
The Liberal Democrats allow a similar lobby group to flourish within their ranks. Its stated aim is to “maximise support for the State of Israel within the Liberal Democrats and Parliament”. Labour also has a virulent Israel supporters club that broadcasts Tel Aviv’s propaganda and, when in power, appoints Israel lobby stooges to key ministerial and other positions.
Britain, as everyone knows, has carved an unfortunate niche for itself as America’s poodle. But not enough people ask the key question: whose poodle is America? The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has the private parts of US Congress in such a vice that the Zionist regime’s interests come first in Washington. “Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it,” Ariel Sharon told Shimon Peres at an Israeli cabinet meeting in 2001, according to Kol Yisrael radio.
Israel’s propaganda machine of course denies it. Nevertheless the US House of Representatives felt obliged to endorse, by 390 votes to 5, Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008/9, an atrocity that killed over 1,400 (mostly Palestinian civilians including a large number of women and children), wounded and maimed thousands more, left tens of thousands homeless and horrified the rest of the world.
The knock-on effect in the UK is inevitable. We too are so embroiled in the Zionists’ perpetual strife with the Islamic world that we’ve been sucked into the same cesspit. Britain is now one of the most hated nations on earth thanks to our cosy association with US-Israeli ambitions in the Middle East.
Meet the ‘Israel-firsters’
Israel was founded on terror, land theft, ethnic cleansing and extreme brutality. Why would the British Establishment wish to snuggle up to it? Why did Liam Fox, now Defence Secretary, famously say: “We must remember that in the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression – Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided.”
As if that wasn’t absurd enough William Hague, now foreign secretary, came out with this in 2008: “The unbroken thread of Conservative Party support for Israel that has run for nearly a century from the Balfour Declaration to the present day will continue. Although it will no doubt often be tested in the years ahead, it will remain constant, unbroken, and undiminished by the passage of time.”
Undimished by the passage of crime, too. Tzipi Livni was Israeli foreign minister at the time of Operation Cast Lead and largely responsible for the unimaginable terror and destruction unleashed on Gaza’s civilians. Livni’s office issued a statement saying she was proud of Operation Cast Lead and, lacking all remorse, she later declared: “I would today take the same decisions.” Obviously she is on several wanted lists. When a warrant for her arrest was issued in London she went whining to our then foreign secretary David Miliband, who apologized. When the Conservative coalition came in and Hague took over the Foreign Office who can forget how Hague rushed to prove his loyalty by promising that our universal jurisdiction laws would be changed to protect Israel’s suspected war criminals? It was “an appalling situation where a politician like Mrs Livni could be threatened with arrest on coming to the UK” he said.
David Cameron, for his part, told Conservative Friends of Israel: “The ties between this party and Israel are unbreakable. And in me, you have a Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible.”
And he recently told a Jewish audience: “I want to be clear, we will always support Israel… when Iran flouts its international obligations Britain is and will remain at the forefront of the international community in ratcheting up the pressure with tough sanctions. We will not stand by and allow Iran to cast a nuclear shadow over Israel or the wider region.”
Considering it is Israel which casts the nuclear shadow, menaces the region and flouts international laws and conventions, that remark was beyond ridiculous. Cameron, like Fox, seems determined to make Israel’s enemies Britain’s enemies when we have no quarrel with any of them.
Who gave him permission to spout such dangerous drivel in our name?
Hague too loves ratcheting up the violence. While still deeply embroiled in an unwinnable Afghan campaign he started bombing the hell out of Libya months ago – with no end in sight – and is now sending more British aircraft into “theatre” to intensify the carnage, seemingly oblivious to the fact that back home in Britain we are struggling to make ends meet with a monumental economic and financial deficit around our necks.
Who’s he doing all this bloodshed for? Certainly not for us.
Lacking military experience these Israel-firsters, liked Blair and others before them, show an unhealthy lust for death and destruction. They are what I believe our American cousins call ‘chicken-hawks’ – talking tough but taking care never to risk their own worthless skins.
Lawlessness rules, OK?
Another ardent admirer of the Zionist regime is James Arbuthnot, the Parliamentary chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel. He told Parliament: “Everyone in this House should have an interest in Israel, because it is a country that embodies the values that we should stand for. Israel [has] become a bastion of the rule of law…”
Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu heads their Likud party, which is the embodiment of greed, racist ambition, lawlessness and callous disregard for other people’s rights. In any other country it would be banned and its leaders locked up. Yet Netanyahu is welcomed like a hero in the US and given 29 standing ovations by Congress.
Likud intends to make the seizure of Jerusalem permanent and establish Israel’s capital there. It will “act with vigor” to ensure Jewish sovereignty in East Jerusalem (which still officially belongs to the Palestinians as does the Old City). The illegal settlements are “the realization of Zionist values and a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel”. They will be strengthened and expanded. As for the Palestinians, they can run their lives in a framework of self-rule “but not as an independent and sovereign state”.
Are these the values Arbuthnot is suggesting we adopt?
Kadima, the party of Livni, Olmert and Barak, is little better and has also pledged to preserve the larger settlement blocs and steal Jerusalem.
As for Arbuthnot’s claim that Israel is a bastion of the rule of law, a UN fact-finding mission, dealing with the assault on the Mavi Marmara last year, declared that “no case can be made for the legality of the interception”.
But here’s Arbuthnot again, arguing the case for Israel… “Given that the flotilla was designed to be provocative and to end in violence, we should not blame Israel for the violence against which it failed to guard itself; the blame lies with those who went on to the flotilla expressly seeking martyrdom.”
The Mission considered that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza amounted to collective punishment and thus was illegal and contrary to Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The interception of the Mavi Marmara on the high seas was “clearly unlawful” and could not be justified even under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations (the right of self-defence).
The Centre for Constitutional Rights agrees that the blockade “cannot be reconciled with the principles of international law, including international humanitarian law”. http://bit.ly/oV2Bt9 [.pdf]
If the blockade is illegal, why is it allowed to continue? Because subservient Israel-firsters in London, Washington and other capitals won’t act. Lawlessness rules, OK?
Arbuthnot, by the way, is also chairman of Britain’s Defence Select Committee. Worrying, isn’t it?
Conflict of interests
The British government’s policy of shielding and cosseting Israel’s extremists makes all of us complicit in that regime’s crimes. How does this perverse devotion to a foreign power square with the Seven Principles of Public Life, especially the one about Integrity, which the government is supposed to uphold? The Principle of Integrity lays down that holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
Do MPs and ministers not understand this simple imperative? If the Israel lobby has no influence, as some have claimed, how do our leaders explain away the 80 percent of Conservative MPs who are Friends of Israel? How do they explain the appointment of a Foreign Secretary who has been a Friend of Israel since boyhood and a minister in charge of Middle East affairs who is a former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel?
There are rules about conflict of interests. Why aren’t they followed? Do we ever hear an MP or minister, when taking part in a Middle East debate, say “Mr Speaker, I wish the House to know that I am a staunch member of Friends of Israel and Jewish money paid for my election campaign”?
In his infatuation with Israel Mr Hague even stoops to provide cover for its mega-crimes. At the height of the murderous Gaza blitz, Hague announced to Parliament: “The immediate trigger for this crisis… was the barrage of hundreds of rocket attacks against Israel on the expiry of the ceasefire or truce.”
The truce with Hamas didn’t “expire”. It was violated after five months by Israeli forces in order to provoke Hamas and provide an excuse for the long-planned assault. Israel had also failed to deliver its side of the ceasefire bargain, which was to lift the blockade.
Our Middle East minister, Alistair Burt, is another comedian. He recently announced that Britain would not recognise a Palestinian state unless it emerged from a peace deal with Israel. London, he said, could “not recognise a state that does not have a capital, and doesn’t have borders”.
Hadn’t he heard? Palestine’s borders are the pre-1967 armistice lines as defined in UN resolutions and recognised by the international community. Where does Burt suppose Israel’s borders are? Is Israel where Israel is supposed to be, within internationally defined borders? No, it isn’t. Israel keeps its borders fluid, all the time grabbing a bit more land here and confiscating a bit more there. Yet London recognises Israel.
Burt, Hague, Cameron, Fox, Arbuthnot… there are many more like them. How can we be sure where their allegiance lies? Whom do they really work for?
I’ll leave the last word on Israel’s evil machinations to Sir Gerald Kaufman, the straight-talking Jewish MP. He said in a Commons debate in January 2008: “Is it not a fact that only international action can bring to an end the humanitarian disaster caused by collective punishment imposed by the gang of amoral thugs who comprise the Israeli Government and violate not only international law but the historic Jewish conscience?”
Sir Gerald’s family suffered horribly during the Holocaust and his sick grandmother was shot dead in her bed by a German soldier. “They’re not simply war criminals, they’re fools”, he said of the Israelis when Operation Cast Lead was launched. “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
Cameron’s judgement, already wobbly, has finally been shot to pieces by his cosiness with Murdoch’s ‘mafia’, and he should be clearing his desk. Add to that his dangerous obsession with racist Israel which drags us into unnecessary wars against countries that pose no threat, and sacrifices our lads in uniform in an unjust cause, and it’s clear that he must go.
Our elected MPs belong to us, the British voters. Not to some gang of foreign thugs. We must mobilise to make sure they clearly understand this. And we must work to take back our parliament.
The American board of News Corporation – the parent company of News International – has decided to replace Rupert Murdoch as the chief executive officer of his own media empire.
The decision has been made over fears that the 80-year-old tycoon would not be able to ward off attacks over avalanche of revelations about phone hacking within his UK newspaper empire.
According to the Bloomberg business news agency in the US, chief operating officer Chase Carey could take over from Murdoch at the helm of the troubled media giant, leaving Murdoch as just chairman.
Family friends said Murdoch is struggling to cope with the revelations about the phone hacking scandal.
“I just got a call an hour ago and Rupert wanted to tell me personally that he was not okay,” said Vicky Ward, a Vanity Fair contributor.
“His voice has been cracking and the people around him are very concerned, his children are very concerned. This is a man, who is more devastated than he has ever been in his entire 80 years.”
“Ever since he met with Milly Dowler the murdered girl’s parents, he hasn’t felt the same,” she added.
News Corp’s directors were unhappy about the “quality and quantity” of information they had received about the hacking and bribery scandals that wiped as much as £5 billion from its stock value, according to Bloomberg.
If true it would be the biggest scalp so far in a crisis that has claimed the jobs of London Metropolitan Police chief Sir Paul Stephenson, UK’s counter-terrorism chief John Yates, News International chief Rebekah Brooks and Downing Street aide Andy Coulson.
Thinktank that promoted war w/ Iraq (& now Iran) was funded by Steinhardt, Saban, Bronfman, Feith and Marcus (of Home Depot)
Eli Clifton at Think Progress has blown the lid off the funding for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the neocon shop that helped give us the Iraq war and that “has become one of the the premiere DC organizations promoting more aggressive actions against Iran.” The people who underwrite this stuff have traditionally remained anonymous. Clifton:
While FDD has a 10-year history of engaging in alarmist rhetoric and fear mongering — e.g. in 2002 FDD aired a series of ads conflating Osama bin Laden, Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein — and helped promote the “Bush doctrine” which led to the invasion of Iraq, its donors have, for the most part, hidden behind their anonymous contributions to the organization.
And who’s funding this shop?
Clifton’s exclusive–based on public records that he links in a pdf with his story– says that a lot of the usual suspects in the Israel lobby, Saban, Bronfman, Steinhardt, Mizrahi, Marcus and oh, Doug Feith’s father.
Canadians Edgar M. and Charles Bronfman, heirs to the Seagram liquor company fortune, contributed $1,050,000 to FDD between 2001 and 2004. Edgar M. Bronfman served as president of the World Jewish Congress from 1979 to 2007. Charles Bronfman, along with fellow FDD donor Michael Steinhardt cofounded Taglit Birthright which offers free trips to Israel for young Jewish adults. Steinhardt is a hedge fund mogul who contributed $850,000 to FDD from 2001 to 2004.
Other notable donors included: Home Depot cofounder Bernard Marcus who contributed $600,000 between 2001 and 2003; mortgage backed securities pioneer Lewis Ranieri contributed $350,000 between 2002 and 2004; and Ameriquest owner, and Bush administration ambassador to the Netherlands from 2006 to 2008, Roland Arnall contributed $1,802,000 between 2003 and 2004.
Other notable, but less generous, donors included: media mogul and Democratic Party donor Haim Saban, a surprising donor considering FDD’s Republican bent and Clifford May’s former role as an RNC spokesperson; The Israel Project director Jennifer Mizrahi; and Dalck Feith, father of former Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith.
The torture of prisoners in U.S. custody isn’t confined to foreign countries. For more than two weeks, inmates at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison have been on a hunger strike to protest torturous conditions in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) there. Prisoners have been held for years in solitary confinement, which can amount to torture. Thousands of inmates throughout California’s prison system have refused food in solidarity with the Pelican Bay prisoners, bringing the total of hunger strikers to more than 1,700.
Inmates in the SHU are confined to their cells for 22 ½ hours a day, mostly for administrative convenience. They are released for only one hour to walk in a small area with high walls. The cells in the SHU are eight feet by 10 feet with no windows. Flourescent lights are often kept on 24 hours per day.
Solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations, catatonia and even suicide, particularly in mentally ill prisoners. It is considered torture, as journalist Lance Tapley explains in his chapter on American Supermax prisons in The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse.
The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons (CSAAP), which is headed by a former U.S. attorney general and a former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, found: “People who pose no real threat to anyone and also those who are mentally ill are languishing for months or years in high-security units.” The commission also stated, “In some places, the environment is so severe that people end up completely isolated, confined in constantly bright or constantly dim spaces without any meaningful contact – torturous condition that are proven to cause mental deterioration.”
Prisoners in other California prisons have reported that medications, including those for high blood pressure and other serious conditions, are being withheld from prisoners on strike. “The situation is grave and urgent,” according to Carol Strickman, a lawyer for the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition. “We are fighting to prevent a lot of deaths at Pelican Bay. The CDCR [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] needs to negotiate with these prisoners, and honor the request of the strike leaders to have access to outside mediators to ensure that any negotiations are in good faith.”
One of the hunger strike demands is an end to the “debriefing process” at Pelican Bay. Prisoners are forced to name themselves or others as gang members as a condition of access to food or release from isolation. Naming others as gang members itself amounts to a death sentence due to retaliation by other prisoners.
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that incarceration in California prisons constitutes unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.
BETHLEHEM — 3 Settlers from the illegal Havat Maon settlement south of Hebron attacked a group of internationals on Monday in the Meshakna valley.
“Around 6.35 p.m. three settlers attacked two members of Operation Dove and one member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams [CPT] with clubs and stones in the Meshakha valley outside of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills,” a statement from the CPT said.
“The settlers were observed coming out of the outpost of Havat Maon covering their faces with scarves then running with clubs in their hands toward two Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their sheep in a valley nearby.
“The masked settlers could not catch the shepherds who were alerted of the approaching danger. The attackers then turned and ran toward the internationals who entered the valley to intervene and document the attack.
“Three young masked settlers armed with clubs made threats and then attempted to strike the internationals as they filmed their actions. As the internationals retreated the settlers begin throwing stones narrowly missing their targets. No internationals were injured at the end.”
This is the fifth case of settler violence from the outpost of Havat Maon against internationals and Palestinians in the last 30 days, the statement added.
Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.
According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal.
Havat Maon is also considered illegal under Israeli law, as are several outposts in the West Bank.
A report by the Palestinian Authority found that settler violence increased “dramatically” in June 2011, documenting 139 attacks in the West Bank and the destruction of over 3,600 olive trees and vineyards.
GAZA — The government in Gaza has expressed strong condemnation after Israeli naval forces surrounded the lone vessel that slipped past Greece’s Gaza flotilla ban, calling the move a ”new Zionist maritime piracy”, and placing some of the blame on the United Nations.
Three naval ships have intercepted the French yacht, dubbed Dignite – Al-Karama, and towed it into Israel’s Ashdod port with 16 activists and several journalists on board.
Tahir al-Nunu, a spokesman for the government in Gaza, has told the AFP that the UN must take some of the responsibility as it has yet to take sanctions against Israel over its lethal attack on the Mavi Marmara ship that joined the first Freedom Flotilla last year, which has emboldened Israel into continuing the same ”illegal and aggressive approach”.
Israeli soldiers intercepted the first Freedom Flotilla in late May 2010 and attacked the Mavi Marmara ship, killing nine and injuring many on board.
Nunu called on the international community to take a ”a clear position”.
He wondered: ”Is the Gaza siege legal and moral or not? The answer is certainly that it is neither legal nor moral.”
He said the matter calls for ”a serious stand against Israel, away from political hypocrisy and double standards”.