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January 4, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | Comments Off on GI Rights Hotline

Ashkelon speaks: The story of the Middle East conflict

By Dan Lieberman | Online Journal | July 17, 2009

The modern Israeli city of Ashkelon, 20 kilometers north of the Gaza border, presents a picturesque setting along the Mediterranean coast. Sparkling white beaches matched by white faced apartment buildings, green lawns and several wide boulevards depict a tranquil and content city.

However, Ashkelon, the city with the biblical name, is not peaceful. Grad rockets from Gaza have struck the city on several occasions. By arguments of war, the damage has not been extensive, but no damage can be ignored; one fatality and dozens wounded. With the damage repaired, nothing out of the ordinary mars the senses in the Ashkelon of June 2009.

More noticeable is that Ashkelon has an important story, relating a narrative that describes the Middle East conflict. The story begins with the Canaanites of 1800 bc.

Ashkelon’s archaeological park has a treasure; a Canaanite gate from the walled city that gave the modern city its name. The Canaanites constructed a port on the Mediterranean Sea and used the sea together with city walls to provide a unique defense against invaders. The archaeological park contains artifacts from the Canaanite and succeeding civilizations; Philistines, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, and Crusader, all of whom eventually ruled the area until the Mamluks destroyed Ashkelon in the year 1270 a.d. .

Missing from the list of conquerors of Ashkelon are the Israelites. No substantiated history or archaeological finds describe Israelite administration of the coastal areas. This lack of coastal identification is surprising because, if the biblical claims of the extent of David and Solomon’s realms are true, wouldn’t these empires include seaports and fortifications close to the defendable Mediterranean Sea? A Canaanite gate from 1800 b.c. is still extant, but not a single identifiable structure from the reported eras of David and Solomon has been uncovered along the coast.

Which brings us to the year 1596 a.d. . In that year, the Arab village of al-Majdal in the Ottoman Empire, located close to the ruins of ancient Ashkelon, had a population of 559 inhabitants. An industrious village, known for a weaving industry that produced silk for festival dresses, Al-Majdal’s population grew to 11,000 by 1948. The poetic naming of their fabrics: ‘ji’nneh u nar’ (‘heaven and hell’), ‘nasheq rohoh’ (‘breath of the soul’) and ‘abu mitayn’ (‘father of two hundred’), signified the pride and originality of the Al-Majdal weavers.

Al-Majdal and its citizens suffered the fate of many Palestinian villages that hoped to escape the hostilities, but became engulfed in the 1948-1949 war in the Levant. Its residents sustained more than the usual injustices that were committed after the passage of United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution 181, the Partition Plan for Palestine.

Not well recognized is that the territory awarded to the Palestinians in Resolution 181 extended along the coast to present day Ashdod, 38 kilometers above Gaza. Al-Majdal had been awarded to the new Palestinian state. Also, not sufficiently explored is the reason that the Egyptian army, after its entrance into the war, refrained from entering deeply into territory awarded to the Jewish state. Egypt’s army captured the Yad Mordechai kibbutz, which was eight kilometers south of Al-Majdal, and stopped at Ashdod. Its army crossed the Negev (awarded to Israel), and attacked Jewish settlements in the advance. The Egyptian military proceeded to defend Beer Sheeva, which had also been awarded to a Palestinian state, and continued through Palestinian territory to safeguard Hebron and other parts of the new Palestine state. Egyptian military attacked Tel Aviv by air and sea, but the Egyptian army did not occupy territory awarded to Ben Gurion’s government. Reasons given for the Egyptian failure to seize territory awarded to Israel include: damage done to the Egyptian army in a battle at Ashdod halted its advance, four Messerschmitt aircraft delivered by Czechoslovakia to Israel alarmed Egyptian soldiers, and battles with Negev kibbutzim deterred the Egyptian army. All of these reasons are conjectural and are not convincing.

Despite the over expressed statement that the Egyptians, together with other Arab armies, intended to “throw the Israelis into the sea,” the Egyptians did not have the military strength to accomplish the task, and the path taken by Egyptian troops indicate more of a defense of the new Palestinian state rather than occupation of the new Jewish state. The inescapable reality is that the Israelis figuratively threw the Palestinians “into the sea,” or at least into refugee camps, by being complicit in the leaving and expulsion of 750,000 of the 900,000 Arabs who inhabited the British Mandate and by barring their return to the lands and homes they had possessed for centuries. History needs a more in depth analysis of Egypt’s intentions in entering the war.

With war raging in their midst, the citizens of Al-Majdal retreated 15 kilometers to a haven in Gaza. On November 4, 1948, Israeli forces captured the city. In August 1950, by a combination of inducements and threats, Al-Majdal’s 1,000-2,000 remaining inhabitants were expelled and trucked to Gaza.

According to Eyal Kafkafi (1998), “Segregation or integration of the Israeli Arabs — two concepts in Mapai.International Journal of Middle East Studies 30: 347-367, as reported in Wikipedia. David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan promoted the expulsion while Pinhas Lavon, secretary-general of the Histadrut, “wished to turn the town into a productive example of equal opportunity to the Arabs.” Despite a ruling by the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice Commission that the Arabs transferred from Majdal should be returned to Israel, this never happened. I was told that only two Arab families live in Ashkelon today.

The nightmare for the expelled residents of Al-Majdal did not end with their arduous trip to Gaza. Without going into detail, the years from 1950 until the present have been years of internment in refugee camps, brutal occupation, constant strife, military raids in their neighborhoods, destruction of facilities, denial of everyday life, denial of livelihood, denial of access to the sea, denial of access to the outside world.

In 1994, after the signing of the Oslo accords, Israel constructed a 60-kilometer fence around the Gaza Strip and from December 2000 to June 2001 reinforced and rebuilt parts of the fence. Israel might be correct in presenting the fence as a necessary deterrence to infiltration, especially for terrorist acts. Personal terrorist bombings on southern Israel have declined dramatically but have been replaced by rocket bombings. Infiltration by Israeli forces into Gaza did not decline and bombings of Gaza homes and citizens continued. Whatever the reason, the lives of the surviving Al-Majdal refugees and their descendants evolved from being wards of the United Nations to virtual imprisonment in an overly crowded environment.

The 2008 Gaza war became a coda to the horrific drama that plagued the Al-Majdal and other Palestinian refugees. The massive destruction inflicted upon the Gaza people is well documented and can be reviewed by searching the Internet. The accusation by Amnesty International and other agencies of war crimes committed by Israel is incomplete. Eyewitnesses verify intentional destruction of small industrial businesses, educational institutions, animal husbandry and withholding of irrigation that resulted in extensive strawberry crop losses, evidence that Israel also targeted the Gaza economy.

No discussion of Ashkelon is complete without reference to its neighboring Erez Crossing. For those entering northern Gaza, the crossing’s concrete walls and huge terminals, the traces of the 60-kilometer fence around the Gaza Strip in the distance, and an overhead balloon, hanging in the sky like a full moon, evidently surveying the entire area, shock the senses. A description by someone who exited Gaza through the checkpoint was complicated and difficult to be absorbed and accurately reported. The 100-metre walk along the empty road, remote control turnstiles, advanced body scanner and other Kafkaesque security equipments are well described in a McClatchy news report. Retrieve the report at: High-tech border crossing serves as monument to Mideast gridlock by Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy Newspapers.

The Soviet Union previously set the bar for tyrannical control. Those who passed through a Soviet checkpoint between East Germany and Berlin during the Cold war know the fear and uncomfortable feeling of this control. Enter a barren room and gaze around in puzzlement. Finally, after several minutes, a slit in the wall opens and a voice announces: “Die papieren bitte.” Place the papers in the slit and wait in the room without knowing the length of the wait. Realize that the room is wired and all words are being heard while hidden eyes observe all movements. It’s a sweating and terrifying experience. The exit from Gaza through Erez seems magnitudes more terrifying. Israel has raised the bar on security control.

But what happens when a Palestinian attempts to enter Israel from Gaza? A story related from a person whose credentials are impeccable and words can be trusted, went like this.

A Palestinian who had moved to Canada and had a Canadian passport, returned temporarily to Gaza. A friend in Ashkelon (who told me the story) invited the Palestinian with the Canadian passport for a visit. It took several weeks to prepare documentation, submit the necessary papers and obtain approval from the Israeli military for the visit. With everything certified the Palestinian proceeded to the Erez Crossing for exit to Israel. His friend waited at the checkpoint, and waited and waited. The Palestinian did not arrive. Six weeks later, the drama unfolded.

Israel security stopped the Palestinian, not because Israel suspected he had compromised its security — just the opposite — Israel compromised his security. If the man agreed to inform on his associates in Gaza, Israel would make life easy for him, allow him to travel and receive conveniences. He was finally released after six weeks of being held incommunicado. Other Palestinians, when crossing the border, have complained of similar insidious activities.

The creation of modern Ashkelon and its consequences contain elements that have been subdued in public discourse but have been a major contributor to the Middle East conflict and a guide for one side of the struggle. We have Israel seizing control of an ancient area, which had for millennia been controlled by others. UN Resolution 181, which awarded the area to the Palestinian state, has been violated in the seizure. The original inhabitants are expelled without cause. The Arab town of Al-Majdal is mostly destroyed and memories of an Arab presence are erased. The town’s name is slowly changed, evolving from Al-Majdal to Migdal-Gad, Migdal-Ashkelon and finally to Ashkelon; as if the city descended directly from the original bronze era seaport. The victims are consistently oppressed and reduced to impoverishment Foreigners occupy the properties of the dispossessed. Sorrow, pain and feelings of helplessness burst into violence against the injustice and oppression. Although the violence is minimal, the retaliation is major. Al-Majdal has no escape from suffering.

Ashkelon has a story. It is the story of the Middle East conflict.

Dan Lieberman is editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. Dan’s many articles on the Middle East conflicts have been published on websites and media throughout the world. He can be reached at:

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Comments Off on Ashkelon speaks: The story of the Middle East conflict

The Case of the Missing Recovery

By Paul Craig Roberts | Dissident Voice | January 4, 2014

Have you seen the economic recovery? I haven’t either. But it is bound to be around here somewhere, because the National Bureau of Economic Research spotted it in June 2009, four and one-half years ago.

It is a shy and reclusive recovery, like the “New Economy” and all those promised new economy jobs. I haven’t seen them either, but we know they are here, somewhere, because the economists said so.

Congress must have seen all those jobs before they went home for Christmas, because our representatives let extended unemployment benefits expire for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, who have not yet met up with those new economy jobs, or even with an old economy job for that matter.

By letting extended unemployment benefits expire, Congress figures that they saved 1.3 million Americans from becoming lifelong bums of the nanny state and living off the public purse. After all, who do those unemployed Americans think they are? A bank too big to fail? The military-security complex? Israel?

What the unemployed need to do is to form a lobby organization and make campaign contributions.

Just as economists don’t recognize facts that are inconsistent with corporate grants, career ambitions, and being on the speaking circuit, our representatives don’t recognize facts inconsistent with campaign contributions.

For example, our representative in the White House tells us that ObamaCare is a worthy program even though those who are supposed to be helped by it aren’t because of large deductibles, copays, and Medicaid estate recovery. The cost of this non-help is a doubling of the policy premiums on those insured Americans who did not need ObamaCare and the reclassification by employers of workers’ jobs from full-time to part-time in order to avoid medical insurance costs. All it took was campaign contributions from the insurance industry to turn a policy that hurts most and helps none into a worthy program. Worthy, of course, for the insurance companies.

Keep in mind that it is the people who could not afford medical insurance who have to come up with their part of the premium or pay a penalty. How do people who have no discretionary income come up with what are to them large sums of money? Are they going to eat less, drive less, dress less? If so, what happens to people employed in those industries when demand falls? Apparently, this was too big a thought for the White House occupant, his economists, and our representatives in Congress.

According to the official wage statistics for 2012, forty percent of the US work force earned less than $20,000, fifty-three percent earned less than $30,000, and seventy-three percent earned less than $50,000. The median wage or salary was $27,519. The amounts are in current dollars and they are compensation amounts subject to state and federal income taxes and to Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. In other words, the take home pay is less.

To put these incomes into some perspective, the poverty threshold for a family of four in 2013 was $23,550.

In recent years, the only incomes that have been growing in real terms are those few at the top of the income distribution. Those at the top have benefitted from “performance bonuses,” often acquired by laying off workers or by replacing US workers with cheaper foreign labor, and from the rise in stock and bond prices caused by the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing. Everyone else has experienced a decline in real income and wealth.

As only slightly more than one percent of Americans make more than $200,000 annually and less than four-tenths of one percent make $1,000,000 or more annually, there are not enough people with discretionary income to drive the economy with consumer spending. When real median family income and real per capita income ceased to grow and began falling, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan substituted a credit expansion to take the place of the missing growth in income. However, as consumers became loaded with debt, it was no longer possible to expand consumer spending with credit expansion.

World War II left the US economy the only undamaged industrial and manufacturing center. Prosperity ensued. But by the 1970s the Keynesian demand management economic policy had produced stagflation. Reagan’s supply-side policy was able to give the US economy another 20 years. But the collapse of the Soviet Union brought an era of jobs offshoring to large Asian economies that formerly were closed to Western capital. Once corporate executives realized that they could earn multi-million dollar performance bonuses by moving US jobs abroad and once they were threatened by Wall Street and shareholder advocates with takeovers if they did not, American capitalism began giving the US economy to other countries, mainly located in Asia. As high productivity manufacturing and professional service jobs (such as software engineering) moved offshore, US incomes stagnated and fell.

As real income growth stagnated, wives entered the work force to compensate. Children were educated by refinancing the home mortgage and using the equity in the family home or with student loans that they do not earn enough to repay. Since the December 2007 downturn, Americans have used up their coping mechanisms. Homes have been refinanced. IRAs raided. Savings drawn down. Grown children, now adults, are back home with parents. The falling labor force participation rate signals that the economy can no longer provide jobs for the workforce. In such a situation, economic recovery is impossible.

What the Treasury and Federal Reserve have done, with the complicity of the White House, Congress, economists, and the media, is to focus on rescuing a half dozen banks “too big to fail.” The consequence of focusing economic policy on saving the banks is rigged financial markets and massive stock and bond market bubbles. To protect the dollar’s exchange value from quantitative easing, the price of gold has been forced down in the paper futures market, with the consequence that physical gold is shipped to Asia where it is unavailable as a refuge for Americans faced with currency depreciation.

At a time when most Americans are running out of coping mechanisms, the US faces a possible financial collapse and a high rate of inflation from dollar depreciation as the Fed pours out newly created money in an effort to support the rigged financial markets.

It remains to be seen whether the chickens can be kept from coming home to roost for another year.


Paul Craig Roberts is an American economist, author, columnist, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and former editor and columnist for corporate media publications. He is the author of The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism.

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | , , | Comments Off on The Case of the Missing Recovery

Argentina to summon Israeli ex-envoy over AMIA comments

Press TV – January 4, 2014

Argentina is to summon former Israeli envoy to Buenos Aires to explain his recent comments that the Tel Aviv regime has killed most of the perpetrators behind the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in the Latin American country in the 1990s.

In an interview with Buenos Aires-based Jewish News Agency (Agencia Judía de Noticias) on Thursday, Itzhak Aviran, who was the Israeli ambassador to Argentina from 1993 to 2000, said Israeli security agents operating abroad have “killed most of those who had carried out the attacks.” Aviran also accused the Argentinean government of not doing enough “to get to the bottom” of the incident.

AMIA case special prosecutor Alberto Nisman said on Friday that “I am surprised at his statements. I have ordered a testimonial statement. I would like to know how he is sure about it, who were these people and which proof he has.”

“What he is saying is that the perpetrators of the attacks are identified by name and surname,” Nisman said, adding that the process to query the Israeli ex-envoy should not take longer “than a month, or a month and half.”

Israel has dismissed Aviran’s comments as “complete nonsense.”

Under intense political pressure imposed by the US and Israel, Argentina formally accused Iran of having carried out the 1994 bombing attack on the AMIA building that killed 85 people.

AMIA stands for the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina or the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association.

The Islamic Republic has categorically and consistently denied any involvement in the terrorist bombing.

Tehran and Buenos Aires signed a memorandum of understanding in January, 2013, to jointly probe the 1994 bombing.

The Israeli regime reacted angrily to the deal a day after it was signed. “We are stunned by this news item and we will want to receive from the Argentine government a complete picture as to what was agreed upon because this entire affair affects Israel directly,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said on January 28.

On January 30, however, Argentina said Israel’s demand for explanation over the “historic” agreement is an “improper action that is strongly rejected.”

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Comments Off on Argentina to summon Israeli ex-envoy over AMIA comments

French public support for intervention in the Central African Republic waning

Press TV – January 4, 2014

A new survey shows that France is rapidly losing public support for its military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR), nearly one month after Paris deployed troops to the country.

A recent poll by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) showed on Saturday that only 41 percent of the respondents are in favor of France’s military operation in the CAR, down by 10 percent compared to a previous poll conducted right after France’s military intervention.

Some 1,000 people were questioned in the latest IFOP survey, which was conducted from December 27 to January 2.

France invaded its former colony on December 5, 2013, after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution giving Paris and the African Union the go-ahead to send troops to the CAR. Paris has 1,600 troops in the violence-stricken country.

The deployment of the French and African Union peacekeepers has done little to end the ongoing violence between ethnic communities in the CAR.

The Central African Republic spiraled into chaos in March last year when Seleka fighters overthrew President Francois Bozize and brought Michel Djotodia to power. Bozize fled the country after his ouster.

The mission in the CAR is France’s second military intervention in Africa in 2013. In January, Paris dispatched more than 4,000 troops to Mali, launching a fierce war against the militants in the country.

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Comments Off on French public support for intervention in the Central African Republic waning


By Damian Lataan | January 3, 2014

The UK Daily Telegraph reports that Israel is preparing to give the war criminal Ariel Sharon a state funeral. The report was prompted by Sharon’s rapidly deteriorating health as he approaches his ninth year of being in a coma after having a debilitating stroke on 4 January 2006.

In 1982 Ariel Sharon commanded Israeli Defence Forces in Lebanon and directly facilitated the massacres of Palestinian refugees by Lebanese Phalangist and other right-wing irregular forces. Israeli forces had surrounded the camps preventing anyone from leaving and provided flares to light up the camps to allow the murderers easy movement through the areas. The Israelis also facilitated the removal of the dead thus preventing any accurate figures being available to asses how many had been killed though it is estimated that as many as 3500 people may have been slaughtered. The Kahan Report investigating the killings later found Sharon bore responsibility for the massacres.

It is inconceivable that the Butcher of Sabra and Shatila should be given a state funeral and it is even more unimaginable that world leaders would actually attend this farce.

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Comments Off on A STATE FUNERAL FOR THE BUTCHER OF SABRA AND SHATILA?

The Guardian Laments Sharon

By Gilad Atzmon | January 4, 2014

In a uniquely dishonest piece, The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland paid a tribute today to Israel’s veteran PM Ariel Sharon.

According to Freedland, Sharon, “as one of Israel’s founders… had the credibility to give up occupied territory – and even to face the demons of 1948”. Freedland speculates also that “Sharon’s final mission might well have been peace.” This is indeed a big statement, but how does Freedland support his creative historical account?

“Sharon’s final act” says Freedland,  “was to dismantle some of the very settlements he had sponsored. In 2005 he ordered Israel’s disengagement from Gaza, seized in the 1967 war in which Sharon had been a crucial, if maverick, commander.”

Let alone the fact that Freedland comes short of reminding his readers about Sharon’s colossal war crimes, he actually completely distorts the political narrative that led Sharon to the 2005 unilateral disengagement.

Did Sharon have a plan to reconcile with the Palestinians and to address their plight or their right to return to their land? Not at all, we do not have any evidence of Sharon’s remorse. The logic behind Sharon’s disengagement is simple on the verge of banal. Sharon knew very well that if Israel insisted to maintain itself as the ‘Jewish State’, it would have to rid itself immediately of Arabs. Late Sharon was becoming aware of the possible implications of the ‘Palestinian demographic bomb’. The Palestinians were becoming a majority in areas controlled by Israel.

Ridding Israel of the highly populated Gaza strip was a perfect start. In a single political and territorial move, Sharon freed Israel of 1.5 million Palestinians and liberated Israel of growing complex security issues. Sharon was a pragmatist politician, he’s always been one and his disengagement wasn’t at all an attempt to “face the demons of 1948” as Freedland suggests: It was a Judeo-centric attempt to maintain the Jewishness of the Jewish State.

Freedland’s biased inclinations continue till the end of today’s piece: “an intriguing habit of Sharon’s was to refer to places in Israel by their original, Arabic names – thereby acknowledging the truth that usually lies buried beneath the soil.” Is this right? Did Sharon really pay tribute to the eradicated Palestinian civilisation by uttering some words in Arabic? Not at all: Sharon was born in the British Mandate of Palestine. He was raised in a country scattered with Palestinian villages and cities. Sharon and Israelis of his generation tended to pepper their Hebrew with a few Arabic words because such an act filled their existence with an authentic sense of belonging and a bond to an imaginary soil. I hope in that context, the laughable Freedland doesn’t also think when Israelis eat Falafel they try to express empathy towards 6 million Palestinian refugees: After all, Falafel also belongs to Palestine.

Freedland probably waited for Ariel Sharon to die in order to spread his laughable reading of history, just to make sure that the ‘immortal Sharon’  would not bounce back and dismiss this gross interpretation as complete nonsense.

The only question that is still left open is why The Guardian, once a respected paper, is publishing such low quality Hasbara drivel?  Is it really The Guardian of the truth or has it become The Guardian of Zion?

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Comments Off on The Guardian Laments Sharon

Israel Anti-Missile Defense Playing Russian Roulette With Israeli Lives

By Richard Silverstein · Tikun Olam · January 4, 2014

In the past, I’ve featured the skeptical reporting of Reuven Pedatzur and research of Prof. Ted Postol about the efficacy of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense.  Pedatzur reported on Postol’s findings that the anti-missile  succeeded in hitting less than 10% of its targets during the last major Gaza offensive, instead of the 85% success rate offered by the IDF. Postol published his findings in collaboration with two other Israeli rocket engineers.

Now, Yossi Melman offers an even more widely critical (Hebrew) appraisal of Israel’s entire missile defense strategy from another Israeli aeronautical engineer, Dr. Nathan Farber, who taught at the Technion and is a former chief scientist in the Israeli defense industry. Farber finds that the likelihood that Israel could experience a coordinated attack from several enemies firing up to 1,000 rockets in a single day, would lead to a disastrous failure of the missile defense system. The Israeli scientist estimates that up to a third would be destroyed by the IDF, a third would fail either to launch or due to mechanical failure, and a third will successfully approach their target. These are the ones the missile-defense system would need to shoot down. Due to the precision of the tactical missiles that would be launched, most of them would strike their targets in Israel unless intercepted. Farber also confirms that these are figures accepted by the IDF and Israeli intelligence. Farber has written an extended presentation of his views here (Hebrew).

In the course of an extended military engagement, Iron Dome might have to deal with up to 30,000 rockets. He further notes that in order to shoot down 400 ballistic missiles that would be fired at Israel, it would need at least 800 interceptors.  Each Arrow missile costs upward of $3-million.  The total cost of such weaponry might run up to $3-billion.  Similarly, to intercept all the tactical missiles targeted at Israel would cost around $1-2 billion. To defend against short-range missiles would require up to 60,000 Iron Dome projectiles, each one of which costs about $100,000, for a total of $6-billion. None of this includes the cost of manufacturing the missile batteries that would fire them.

So Israel’s missile defense strategy is faulty from two perspectives: economic and operational. The cost would be upward of $10-billion.  Immediately after hostilities ended, Israel would be forced to expend a similar sum to replenish its missile inventory. Such a process would take years.

Operationally, Farber says that Israel simply has, to date, no satisfactory defense against Iran’s ballistic missiles.  He adds that Iran has approximately 800 of such weapons. Even if we assume that a large number will fail in flight or be destroyed in some other fashion, that leaves a ton of them that will get through. In other words, Israel simply has no guaranteed defense against them, regardless of the affirmations offered by Israeli leaders and generals that the homeland is safe from attack should Israel go to war against Iran.  It simply isn’t.  Which makes Bibi’s martial threats an exercise either in lunacy or national suicide.

As an official admitted when questioned on the subject in this Haaretz report:

The Israeli official… was circumspect on how Israel’s three-tier shield would function in a major missile exchange…

“You need to pass this test – of a few dozen of them landing, in real time – to be able to speak about it with more certainty,” the official said.

Sure makes Israeli civilians seem like guinea pigs to me with their military rocketeers playing Russian roulette with their lives.

On a related matter, in its wisdom the U.S. undertook development of the Arrow anti-missile system with Israel.  Originally, it was projected to cost $1.6-billion. As of 2007, that figure had already reached $2.4-billion. We are now developing the third generation of Arrows (Arrow 3s) and there is no end in sight. It’s estimated that the U.S. is footing up to 80% of the cost.

You remember that one Congressional wag compared approving a bill to making sausage. Well, funding Arrow involved a whole lot of sausage.  And a lot of political suasion. But that wasn’t difficult because Aipac is Israel’s political lobby and members of Congress dutifully carry water for the 51st state (Israel). One of the greatest of all the water-carriers was Sen. Daniel Inouye, from the unlikely (for an Israeli ally) state of Hawaii. Inouye was a key figure in military appropriations and was instrumental in greasing any funding request involving weapons for Israel.

In fact, he was such a trusty ally that former Aipac chair, Robert Ascher persuaded Bibi Netanyahu to name Israel’s new Arrow base in Inouye’s memory. Israeli announced a new joint Israel-U.S. test of the Arrow 3 today. Though the Jerusalem Post described the base’s location as “secret,” it isn’t any longer. According to my Israeli source it is at Sdot Micha, also the site of Israel’s Jericho ballistic missile fleet. The U.S. observes the polite fiction that Israel has no nuclear weapons, so it cannot by law participate in the Jericho project.  But as the Washington Post reported, the U.S. has bid out hundreds of millions in construction contracts for the Arrow facility at Sdot Micha. I’ve blogged about this here.

The Post, of course, wrote about the memorial to Inouye as if it was deeply touching, as indeed it would be to Aipac or Israel or Inouye’s family.  But let me play the contrarian: why should a U.S. senator be immortalized at a military base of a foreign country? Put his name on a battleship at Pearl Harbor, by all means. But on an Israeli missile base? Who was he working for? His constituents or Israel? And don’t anyone dare say there’s no difference. No doubt the people of Hawaii didn’t expect him to have Israel’s best interests at heart.

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli Border Police start fire, destroy family’s home with tear gas grenade

CPTnet | January 3, 2014

The ruins after the fire was extinguished

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) – On 26 December 2013, while CPTers were doing their routine monitoring of the school patrol at the Qitoun checkpoint, schoolboys threw several volleys of stones at the checkpoint for about a minute.  Border police responded by throwing a sound bomb and then firing a teargas grenade.

The grenade entered the second-story window of the Al-Karaky family’s three-room apartment.  They were drinking coffee when it landed in their living room and fled the house.  The canister started a fire inside the house after the family left.

Everything in the small apartment—including numerous books, among them holy books such as the Qur’an—was burned or ruined by water from Hebron’s Municipal Fire Department, which arrived promptly to put the blaze out.

This incident is not the first time objects have come through the window of the Al-Karaky home, when boys have thrown stones at the checkpoint and border police have responded by firing back. “We’re always trapped between the stones and what the soldiers shoot,” a family member told a CPTer. They never expected, however, that these almost routine exchanges would result in the four people who lived there losing everything.

January 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , | Comments Off on Israeli Border Police start fire, destroy family’s home with tear gas grenade