January 10, 2017
In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera goes undercover inside the Israel Lobby in Britain. We expose a campaign to infiltrate and influence youth groups, including the National Union of Students, whose president faces a smear campaign coordinated by her own deputy and supported by the Israel Embassy.
CORRECTION: At timecode 25:16 of this programme, the phrase “range of shareholders” appears with respect to We Believe in Israel and who it works with. The correct wording is “range of stakeholders.”
Extraordinary information has come to light that perhaps, goes some way to explaining the vicious EU and corporate media backlash against Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, for his “nationalist” policies regarding the influx of refugees from various nations that have been targeted by the predatory interventionist alliance of the US, EU, UK, Turkey, Gulf States, Israel, Canada, Australia, Jordan and other smaller players.
“Hungary does not need a single migrant for the economy to work, or the population to sustain itself, or for the country to have a future,” he told a joint press conference in Budapest with Austrian chancellor Christian Kern.
“This is why there is no need for a common European migration policy: whoever needs migrants can take them, but don’t force them on us, we don’t need them,” Orban said.
The populist leader added that “every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk”.
“For us migration is not a solution but a problem … not medicine but a poison, we don’t need it and won’t swallow it,” he said. ~ The Guardian
Orban is also a keen Donald Trump supporter:
Mr. Orban, who has ordered border fences built to stop migrants, said that the ideas of the “upstanding American presidential candidate” about the need for the best intelligence services and his opposition to “democracy export” were also applicable in Europe.
Mr. Orban, whose speech was broadcast on Hungarian state media, blamed the West for what he saw as failed interventions in countries such as Egypt and Libya. ~ New York Times
Then, according to a report in Bloomberg today, Orban has gone one step further and ordered a crack-down on all NGOs linked to billionaire George Soros, convicted criminal hedge-fund manager & vociferous supporter of the EU opening its borders to refugees. Soros is also the anti-Syria campaign impresario, funding and supporting a vast array of anti Syria NGOs operating in lock-step with Washington’s “regime change” objectives in Syria.
Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party.
The European Union member will use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,” Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday. No one answered the phone at the Open Society Institute in Budapest when Bloomberg News called outside business hours.
“I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally,” because of Trump’s election, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying. Lawmakers will start debating a bill to let authorities audit NGO executives, according to parliament’s legislative agenda.
Orban, the first European leader to publicly back Trump’s campaign, has ignored criticism from the European Commission and U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for building a self-described “illiberal state” modeled on authoritarian regimes including Russia, China and Turkey. In 2014, Orban personally ordered the state audit agency to probe foundations financed by Norway and said that civil society groups financed from abroad were covers for “paid political activists.”
Orban and his administration have frequently singled out NGOs supported by Soros, a U.S. Democratic Party supporter with a wide network of organizations that promote democracy in formerly communist eastern Europe.
Trump also accused the 86-year-old billionaire of being part of “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”
In a pre-election commercial, he showed images of Soros along with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom are Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League criticized the ad for touching on “subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.” – Bloomberg
So, for Hungary, its “bye, bye Soros”.
Israeli authorities collaborated with student campaigners in an attempt to topple the president of the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS), Malia Bouattia, undercover filming suggests.
Al Jazeera reports the Israeli embassy in Britain and the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have sponsored attempts to influence student politics, manipulate NUS elections, and even bring down the current president.
NUS vice president Richard Brooks is seen in footage telling an undercover reporter he is the one helping to organize Bouattia’s opponents.
Bouattia, who represents more than 4 million students, ran on an openly pro-Palestinian platform, and has been criticized in the British media for calling herself anti-Zionist.
Brooks is also filmed telling the Al Jazeera journalist, who went by the alias of Robin and pretended to be a Labour Friends of Israel volunteer, that he had held several “private meetings” with former Labour Students chairman and active pro-Israel campaigner Michael Rubin, and Union of Jewish Students (UJS) campaign director Russell Langer, on how to take over key NUS positions.
“We’d have our secret little purpose meeting where we’d plan how to get moderate people with good politics and any number of things elected to certain places,” he told Robin.
Brooks has since replied to the allegations, saying it is “not a shock or an exposé that I politically organize against what I think to be an ineffectual and damaging presidency for students’ unions and students.”
He did, however, deny that he had actively worked with the Israeli government to depose Bouattia.
News of pro-Israel NUS officers colluding against the pro-Palestinian NUS president comes after revelations that an Israeli embassy aide was filmed telling a Conservative Party employee how to “take down” MPs critical of Israel, as well as other British officials.
In the same Al Jazeera investigation, University College London student and founder of the Zionist think tank Pinsker Centre Adam Shapira is filmed saying “the Israeli embassy in the UK gives money to UJS.”
Other powerful lobbies like AIPAC were also identified as donors to Shapira’s student lobby.
The Israeli embassy and Labour Friends of Israel did not respond to the allegations. Bouattia and the NUS are yet to make an official statement.
Israeli Embassy employee discussed ‘taking down’ MPs & state foreign minister with Tory staffer
FBI Director James Comey sat in the hot seat to testify to congress about the “fake news” Russian hacks.
In his testimony Comey had to admit that “Russian hackers” did not break into the servers of the Trump campaign or the RNC.
Comey then said that when the FBI wanted to check DNC servers (Hillary Clinton campaign servers) regarding “Russia hacking”, the FBI was denied access, not once, but multiple times.
Comey testified that the FBI had to rely on a “private company” to decide whether the DNC servers where hacked. That private company is Crowdstrike…
It should be noted that Crowdstrike had three funders: 1) Warburg Pincus. Tim Geithner, is president of Warburg Pincus, former Secretary of Treasury under Obama, and formerly worked in the Clinton administration… Uh-oh. Warburg Pincus was a contributor to the DNC and Clinton campaign. 2) Accel Partners is also a Crowdstrike funder. According to the Clinton Foundation website, Accel is a venture capitalist partner in the Endeavor Investor Network created by the Foundation. Uh-oh. 3) And the last funder of Crowdstrike is Google Capital, now CapitalG, managed under David Drummond of Google who was instrumental in ‘realigning’ Google search engines to favor Hillary’s campaign. Big uh-oh!
So what we actually have is the authority of one company, Crowdstrike, which derived all of its funding from venture capitalists linked to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Funny, they didn’t hide their tracks very well for a high powered security breach company.
Why would the DNC not allow the FBI to investigate their servers?
We wonder what the DNC and Hillary Clinton could possibly be hiding?
How could the FBI conclude that Russia (and Putin) ordered the hacking of the DNC servers when the FBI never even got a look at the servers (first hand)?
Hillary Clinton’s problems aren’t going away, according to House Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz, who has vowed to continue the investigation into her use of a private email server.
The Republican congressman told CNN: “Just because there was a political election doesn’t mean it goes away.”
Chaffetz described Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state as “the largest breach of security in the history of the State Department.”
“It cannot, and should not be repeated ever again,” said Chaffetz, whose committee possesses subpoena power. After reopening the investigation weeks before the presidential election in November, FBI Director James Comey told Congress that they had failed to unearth any new information that would warrant bringing charges against Clinton.
President-elect Donald Trump continuously attacked Clinton over her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, claiming he would prosecute her if elected. Following his election success, the president-elect changed his attitude toward Clinton, claiming she had already “suffered greatly.”
Chaffetz said his committee would be open to investigating issues arising from Trump’s administration too, claiming his job “is not to be a cheerleader for the president.”
When questioned about possible conflicts of interest arising from Trump’s businesses, Chaffetz admitted that the laws regarding conflicts and the president “should be tightened up,” but declined to comment on specific cases.
Along with the Clinton investigation, the committee will continue other outstanding investigations, including the ATF gunwalking scandal where guns were allowed to be sold to straw buyers to track them.
An investigation into Mylan, the manufacturers of EpiPen whose price increased dramatically will also continue, according to Chaffetz, who said the company “fed us a bunch of bull.”
Israeli minister Gil Erdan meets with Conservative Friends of Israel MPs during the London visit, when he also met with Shai Masot
The Guardian has uncovered a major element of the Shai Masot scandal. I speculated in my last post about this story that Masot worked for an Israeli intelligence agency. No one I consulted found it likely it could be the Mossad. Masot was too public and too pushy to be Mossad. Others speculated that he worked for the IDF intelligence unit, AMAN, since he had until recently been an IDF Major. But his LinkedIn account noted that he’d left the IDF.
Now the Guardian has put two and two together and gotten closer to key elements of the story. He worked for the Strategic Affairs ministry headed by ambitious Likud pol, Gil Erdan. His agency has been tasked with mounting a global campaign against BDS. At a conference in Israel, one of Erdan’s fellow ministers even threatened BDS activists with “civil elimination,” a term dangerously close to ‘assassination’ in colloquial Hebrew. Erdan’s budget is huge ($34-million devoted to fighting BDS alone) as the latter has become the bête noire of the Israeli state–named as Public Enemy Number 1; the new “existential threat” to the “Jewish state” and Jewish people.
The Israeli foreign ministry, according to the Guardian story, recognized the danger of what Masot was doing and its London staff wrote a cable warning that freelancing of the type Masot was engaged in was extremely dangerous because funding UK organizations directly with Israeli state funds would jeopardize the non-profit status of any UK non-profit who accepted them. In videos, Masot boasts about founding pro-Israel astro-turf groups which were local in name only. Masot pulled the strings both financially and politically. He also boasts about collaboration with Conservative Friends of Israel and offers 1-million pounds to a Labour Friends of Israel MP in order to encourage other MPs to participate in junkets to Israel. Joan Ryan, the MP before whom he dangled this bauble didn’t seem to have a clue as to the danger it posed to her. She merely joked to Masot that she didn’t expect he was carrying the 1-million in a bag on his back!
One telling passage from the MFA cable confirms that the Israeli government is far more aggressive in creating such astroturf groups in the U.S. than it has been so far in Britain:
“Attempts to act behind our back have happened before and will happen again, but ‘operating’ Jewish organisations directly from Jerusalem, with no coördination and no consultation, is liable to be dangerous,” it said. “Operating like this could encounter opposition from the organisations themselves, given their legal status: Britain isn’t the US !”
This calls to mind the multitude of Israel Lobby groups which closely coördinate their activity with the Israeli government, and perhaps more. They include StandWithUs, The Israel Project, Christians United for Israel, CAMERA, and many others. In fact, then-deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon boasted on an Israeli TV show that his ministry was funding a SWU lawsuit against the Olympia Food Coop.
This reinforces my strong impression developed over the years that many of these groups, which are ostensibly independent U.S.-based groups are either fully or partially “operated” by the Israeli government. I have even reported on several projects of these NGOs which were explicitly funded by the government. This should endanger their non-profit status and force them to register as agents of a foreign government. But our IRS hasn’t chosen to tangle with the Israel Lobby or even the settler lobby (though it should).
Returning to the Strategic Affairs ministry, it released this statement in response to the September MFA cable. It indicates that the ministry either lied or was totally ignorant about what its own operatives like Masot were doing in Israel’s name:
“We work in coordination with the Israeli embassy in Britain and the Foreign Ministry. Every action is done according to the law and in accordance with government decisions and the ministry’s authority. We regret there are elements in the Foreign Ministry who don’t understand the division of responsibilities between the ministries and prefer to deal with struggles of honor instead of focusing on our goals.”
Someone back in Tel Aviv should be eating crow about now. But given the abysmal lack of accountability in virtually everything done in the government, it’s doubtful anything will come of it. … Full article
Al Jazeera is to be congratulated on an undercover investigation exposing something most of us could probably have guessed: that some Israeli embassy staff in the UK – let’s not pussy around, Mossad agents – are working with senior political activists and politicians in the Conservative and Labour parties to subvert their own parties from within, and skew British foreign policy so that it benefits Israeli, rather than British, interests.
One cannot really blame Israel for doing this. Most states promote their interests as best they can. But one can and should expose and shame the British politicians who are collaborating with Israel in further harming Britain’s representative democracy.
It is not as though these people cannot be easily identified. They even advertise what they are up to. They are members of the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel. They dominate both parliamentary parties, but especially the Conservatives. According to the CFI’s figures, fully 80 per cent of Tory MPs belong to the party’s Friends of Israel group.
Once, no one would have hesitated to call British politicians acting in the interests of a foreign power, and very possibly taking financial benefits for doing so, “traitors”. And yet, as Al Jazeera’s secretly filmed footage shows, Israeli spies like Shai Masot can readily meet and conspire with a Tory MP’s much-trusted aide to discuss how best to “take down” the deputy foreign minister, Alan Duncan, over his criticisms of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories. Maria Strizzolo, MP Robert Halfon’s assistant, suggests engineering a “little scandal” to damage Duncan.
Masot and Israel’s intelligence services cannot infuence British foreign policy through the opposition Labour party, but that doesn’t prevent them from also taking a keen interest in Labour MPs. Masot is filmed talking to Labour Friends of Israel’s chair, Joan Ryan, about “lots of money” – more than £1 million – he has received from the Israeli government to send yet another batch of Labour MPs on an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel, where they will be wined and dined, and primed by top officials to adopt even more extreme pro-Israel positions. LFI is known for sending the largest proportion of MPs to Israel on these kinds of trips.
Does that have an effect on British domestic politics. You bet it does! Israel isn’t a charity.
A large number of those who have been making Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s life a misery belong to Labour Friends of Israel. They are the same MPs who have been talking up an “anti-semitism crisis” in the Labour party – based on zero tangible evidence – since Corbyn became party leader. Were they following the dictates of their conscience? Did they really fear an anti-semitism plague had suddenly beset their party? Or were they playing deeply cynical politics to oust a leader who supports justice for the Palestinian people and is considered by Israel’s right wing government, which has no interest in making peace with the Palestinians, to be bad news for Israel?
Al Jazeera’s investigation has not been shown yet, so we can only rely on the snippets released so far, either by Al Jazeera itself or additional leaks of the investigation provided by the Mail on Sunday.
It is worth listening to a Tory minister in the government of recently departed David Cameron, who writes anonymously in the Mail on Sunday. S/he warns of a double whammy to British politics caused by Israel and its British partisans – one that is starting to approach the damage done to the US political system by Israel.
The British government skews its foreign policy to avoid upsetting Jewish donors, s/he says. MPs, meanwhile, act like agents of a foreign power – s/he generously assumes unwittingly – rather than representatives of the British people. Forget international law, these politicians are not even promoting British interests.
Here is what the minister writes:
British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence at the heart of our politics, and those in authority have ignored what is going on.
For years the CFI and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), have worked with – even for – the Israeli government and their London embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK Government policy and the actions of Ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights.
Lots of countries try to force their views on others, but what is scandalous in the UK is that instead of resisting it, successive Governments have submitted to it, taken donors’ money, and allowed Israeli influence-peddling to shape policy and even determine the fate of Ministers.
Even now, if I were to reveal who I am, I would be subjected to a relentless barrage of abuse and character assassination. …
It now seems clear people in the Conservative and Labour Parties have been working with the Israeli embassy, which has used them to demonise and trash MPs who criticise Israel; an army of Israel’s useful idiots in Parliament.
This is politically corrupt, and diplomatically indefensible. The conduct of certain MPs needs to be exposed as the poisonous and deceitful infiltration of our politics by the unwitting agents of another country …
We need a full inquiry into the Israeli Embassy, the links, access and funding of the CFI and LFI.
It is rare that I agree with a Tory government minister, but such an inquiry cannot come too soon.
Note too that it is an indictment of the UK media that Al-Jazeera, rather than the British fourth estate, has exposed Israel’s moves to subvert the British political system. It is not as though reporters from the BBC, Guardian, Times and the Mail haven’t had ministers like the one above complaining to them for years about interference from Israel. So why did they not long ago send in undercover teams to expose this collaboration between Israel and British MPs?
We have had weeks of stories about the supposed efforts of Russia and Putin to subvert the US election, without a hint yet of any evidence, and based on a central allegation against the Russians that they damaged the election by releasing truthful information about wrongdoing in the Democratic party. Russian diplomats have been expelled based on these evidence-free claims, and President Obama has vowed to take other, covert action against Russia.
Here we have documented evidence of the Israeli government secretly plotting with “friendly” British MPs to oust a British government minister. If that isn’t interference in the British political system, I don’t know what is. Will we similarly have weeks of coverage of this story in the UK media, or will it be quickly filed away and forgotten?
And will any action beyond the removal of Masot be demanded by the British government? It seems unlikely. The Foreign Office has already issued a statement saying that, following Masot’s dismissal, it considers the matter closed.
Britain’s opposition Labour Party has called for an investigation into an “extremely disturbing” plot by an Israeli diplomat against pro-Palestinian MPs.
The party’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, Emily Thornberry, slammed Tel Aviv Sunday after release of a video, in which an Israeli embassy official is heard plotting to “take down” some of UK lawmakers.
“Can I give you some names of MPs (members of Parliament) that I would suggest you take down?” Israeli senior political officer Shai Masot is heard asking Maria Strizzolo, a former aide to a British Conservative lawmaker, at a London restaurant.
The regime initially shrugged off the video, secretly recorded by a journalist for Qatari-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera, but announced later that Masot would finish his mission “shortly.”
The Israeli ambassador to Britain, Mark Regev, also apologized to one of the MPs on the “hit list,” asserting that the matter is considered closed.
The move failed to silence the outraged shadow foreign secretary, who described Masot’s action as “improper interference in our democratic politics.”
“The exposure of an Israeli embassy official discussing how to bring down or discredit a government minister and other MPs because of their views on the Middle East is extremely disturbing,” Thornberry said. “It is simply not good enough for the Foreign Office to say the matter is closed. This is a national security issue.”
The video also provoked anger among some Conservative politicians.
“For years the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) have worked with – even for – the Israeli embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights,” wrote a Conservative former minister for the Mail on Sunday anonymously. “Lots of countries try to force their views on others, but what is scandalous in the UK is that instead of resisting it, successive governments have submitted to it, take donors’ money, and allowed Israeli influence-peddling to shape policy and even determine the fate of ministers.”
The former minister further called for a probe into the matter, asserting that “This opaque funding and underhand conduct is a national disgrace and humiliation and must be stamped out.”
The recordings form the basis of four half-hour documentaries that Al Jazeera is to broadcast from January 15.
A recording has emerged of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposing commercial favors to an Israeli newspaper owner in return for positive coverage.
In a report aired by Israel’s Channel Two television station on Sunday, there is a recording of Netanyahu allegedly offering a commercially beneficial deal to the owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Arnon Mozes.
The report claimed that Netanyahu had said he would reduce the circulation of the pro-Netanyahu newspaper, Israel Hayom, if Mozes’ paper took a more favorable stance towards him. A drop in the circulation of Hayom would be a direct benefit to Mozes as it is his main rival in advertising revenues.
The report suggested that the recording was made a few months ago although the exact date is unknown. It also noted that Mozes made the recording.
Netanyahu is already under investigation over alleged corruption charges related to receiving illegal donations and gifts.
He is also under investigation over suspicions that he accepted one million euros (about 1.1 million dollars) from French fraudster Arnaud Mimran for campaign funds during the 2009 Israeli elections.
There are also calls for Netanyahu to be investigated for his role in a billion-dollar deal to purchase three submarines from German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH.
The Netanyahu family has faced scrutiny over accusations that their lifestyles are out of touch with regular Israelis. Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, has also come under fire for her lavish tastes and abusive behavior toward staff members.
I was asked to write this short article to be published in the January newsletter of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship (SAFS). A longer version of the article, with references, will be published in a 2017 SAFS conference proceeding.
If we accept an operational definition of “pseudo-science” as whatever any critic of so-called “pseudo-science” probably means, then vehement criticisms of the said “pseudo-sciences” are generally made for one of four reasons:
- To invalidate unworthy ideas, as part of the normal course of science itself — a classic example is the 1989 case of “cold fusion” and its fallout, in the field of condensed matter physics and chemistry
- To celebrate and maintain the middle-class belief that modern society is based on scientific knowledge; to fight against idolatry in the realm of ideas; to participate in improving public discourse and consciousness
- To provide false legitimacy for problematic areas of establishment science that survive owing to systemic financial and professional interests — the preeminent example being establishment medicine (see below)
- To attack a legitimate criticism of a dominant scientific position (collateral attack by appeal to authority or “consensus”, using denigration)
Thus, the full array of motives for engaging in the sport of “pseudo-science” bashing spans a spectrum from good scientific practice to ordinary social behaviour in structured society to support for organized fraud to outright base competition that is incompatible with the science ideal. Here, I outline the last three reasons, as follows. A longer version of this article, with references, will be published elsewhere.
Popular support for establishment science as state religion
Given the epidemic lack of understanding of science concepts, it is not surprising that there is a wide array of beliefs that are at odds with the school lessons about science, including: astrology, “intelligent design”, “free energy”, “orgone”, “creation biology”, and homeopathy.
Realistically, virtually all citizens are entirely unable to critically evaluate what we take as being scientific truth, regarding public policy and regulatory questions. Thus, “public education” means state propaganda. We are reduced to “scientists have concluded” or “there is a scientific consensus that” and so on.
Systemically, from an operational perspective, establishment science is a state religion. It is not anchored in empirical evidence that can be evaluated by the non-expert individual using reason and intellectual discernment. It frames and supports the established order. It provides legitimacy to government programs. It purports to appease our deepest quests for meaning, and supplies a creationist mythology (cosmology, string theory, and so on). Its high priests are venerated and occupy top ranks in the class hierarchy.
Ordinary well-educated citizens have invested in many beliefs delivered by establishment science, and have integrated these beliefs into their personal identities. It is therefore natural that middle-class and professional-class individuals have a learned and reflexive impulse to attack “pseudo-science”. These attacks can be individual or can coalesce via the animal behavioural collective phenomenon known as mobbing.
Legitimacy for problematic areas of establishment science
A stunning example is the organized barrage of criticism and legislation against “alternative medicine” that is largely benign and harmless, intended to imply that establishment medicine — said to be scientifically sound — is the only trustworthy system for repairing individual health.
The problem here is that establishment medicine is anything but shaped by objectively evaluated empirical evidence, and anything but scientifically sound. The eminent medical researcher Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis has demonstrated that “most published research findings are false”.
In North America, between 6% and 8% of citizens will be killed by medical errors of all types. In just one area of establishment medicine, Professor Dr. Peter C. Gøtzsche has come to the point of flatly concluding that long term use of psychiatric drugs cause more harm than good. In his words, based on a decade of research: “Psychiatric drugs are responsible for the deaths of more than half a million people aged 65 and older each year in the Western world, as I show below. Their benefits would need to be colossal to justify this, but they are minimal. … Overstated benefits and understated deaths …”
Attacking legitimate criticisms of establishment positions
Climate science has major domestic and geopolitical implications. It is routine to attack critics as immoral or crazy, and for influential actors and groups to seek legal instruments of intimidation and enforcement. The Wikipedia list of “pseudo-sciences” includes “climate change denial”.
This is a remarkable inclusion because several high-profile establishment climate scientists expressly reject the so-called “consensus”, including: Judy Curry (Georgia Institute of Technology), Richard Lindzen (MIT), Hendrik Tennekes (Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute), Nir Shaviv (Racah Institute of Physics), Craig D. Idso (Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change), and many others. Furthermore, detailed studies contradict claims that industrial-era CO2 has had a causal effect on climate and extreme-weather events.
Agitation against “pseudo-science” has two illegitimate interrelated societal mechanisms: Institutionally, it is propaganda (by word and by action) intended to legitimize and impose establishment science. Individually, it serves to preserve the identity-tied personal investment in belief of the teachings of establishment science.
For those of us who cling to the ideal of the university, a review of anti-“pseudo-science” agitation should lead us to support a strict meaning of academic freedom, which does not admit institutional suppression or containment of any chosen research direction and expression. We must trust that actual freedoms of research and expression lead to the best that society can be, through the discourse that arises, whatever that discourse will be.
Denis Rancourt is a former tenured full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and writes social theory articles. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism
There is no starker proof of the golden chains in which Israel has entangled the British political class, than the incredible fact that “diplomat” Shai Masot has not been expelled for secretly conspiring to influence British politics by attacking Britain’s Deputy Foreign Minister, suggesting that he might be brought down by “a little scandal”. It is incredible by any normal standards of diplomatic behaviour that immediate action was not taken against Masot for actions which when revealed any professional diplomat would normally expect to result in being “PNG’d” – declared persona non grata.
Obama has just expelled 35 Russian diplomats for precisely the same offence, with the exception that in the Russian case there is absolutely zero hard evidence, whereas in the Masot case there is irrefutable evidence on which to act.
To compare the two cases is telling. Al Jazeera should be congratulated on their investigation, which shames the British corporate and state media who would never have carried out such actual journalism. By contrast, the British media has parroted without the slightest scrutiny the truly pathetic Obama camp claims of Russian interference, evidently without reading them. When I was sent the latest “intelligence report” on Russian hacking a couple of evenings ago, I quite genuinely for several minutes thought it was a spoof by the Daily Mash or similar, parodying the kind of ludicrous claims that kept being advanced with zero evidence. I do implore you to read it, as when you realise it is supposed to be serious it becomes still more hilarious.
The existence of a natural preference in Russia to see a US President who does not want to start World War III is quoted as itself evidence that Russia interfered, just as the fact that I could do with some more money is evidence I robbed a bank. The fact that Russia did not criticise the electoral process after the result is somehow evidence that Putin personally ordered electoral hacking. Oh, and the fact that Russia Today once hosted a programme critical of fracking is evidence of a Russian plot to destroy the US economy. Please do read it, I promise you will be laughing for weeks.
In passing, allow me to destroy quickly the “we have smoking gun evidence but it’s too secret to show you” argument. Given the Snowden revelations and the whistleblowing of the former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, for the US government to claim to be hiding the fact that it can tack all electronic traffic in the USA is risible. This is like saying we can’t give you the evidence in case the Russians find out the sky is blue. If there were hacks, the NSA could identify the precise hack transmitting the precise information out of Washington. Everybody knows that. There were no hacks so there is no evidence. End of argument. They are internal leaks.
The two stories – Russian interference in US politics, Israeli interference in UK politics – also link because the New York Times claims that it was the British that first suggested to the Obama administration that Russian cyber activity was targeting Clinton. Director of Cyber Security and Information Assurance in the British Cabinet Office is Matthew Gould, the UK’s former openly and strongly pro-Zionist Ambassador to Israel and friend of the current Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. While Private Secretary to David Miliband and William Hague, and then while Ambassador to Israel, Regev held eight secret meetings with Adam Werritty, on at least one occasion with Mossad present and on most occasions also with now minister Liam Fox. My Freedom of Information requests for minutes of these meetings brought the reply that they were not minuted, and my Freedom of Information request for the diary entries for these meetings brought me three pages each containing only the date, with everything else redacted.
I managed to get the information about the Gould/Werritty meetings as a result of relentless questioning, where I was kindly assisted by MPs including Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas and Paul Flynn. The woman with whom Shai Masot was conniving to undermine Alan Duncan, was Maria Strizzolo, who works for Tory Minister Robert Halfon. It was Halfon who repeatedly tried to obstruct Paul Flynn MP from asking questions of Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell that threatened to get to the heart of the real Adam Werritty scandal.
Both Robert Halfon and Adam Werrity received funding from precisely the same Israeli sources, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz. Halfon also formerly had a full time paid job as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Halfon’s assistant is now caught conspiring with the Israeli Embassy to attack another Tory minister.
House of Commons Publc Admininstration Committee 24/11/2011
Q Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew Gould has been the subject of a very serious complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this case at all—that he was serving the interest of the Israeli Government, and not the interests of two British citizens. This has been the subject of correspondence.
In your report, you suggest that there were two meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in fact, six such meetings took place. There are a number of issues around this. I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty is a self-proclaimed—
Robert Halfon: Point of order, Chairman. What is the point of this?
Paul Flynn:> Let me get to it. Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran.
Chair:> I have to take a point of order.
Robert Halfon:> Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.
Paul Flynn:> I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made several visits. He has also met senior Israeli officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.
Chair:> I am going to rule on a point of order. Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing in these allegations, but it is important to have put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase questions.
Paul Flynn:> Indeed. The two worst decisions taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion of Helmand province. We know now that there were things going on in the background while that built up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in the early years, there was another—
Chair:> Order. I must ask you to move to a question that is relevant to the inquiry.
Q Paul Flynn:> Okay. The question is, are you satisfied that you missed out on the extra four meetings that took place, and does this not mean that those meetings should have been investigated because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I think if you look at some of those meetings, some people are referring to meetings that took place before the election.
Q Paul Flynn:> Indeed, which is even more worrying.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I am afraid they were not the subject—what members of the Opposition do is not something that the Cabinet Secretary should look into. It is not relevant.
But these meetings were held—
Chair:> Mr Flynn, would you let him answer please?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I really do not think that was within my context, because they were not Ministers of the Government and what they were up to was not something I should get into at all.
Chair:> Final question, Mr Flynn.
Q Paul Flynn:> No, it is not a final question. I am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have important things to raise. I have stayed silent throughout this meeting so far.
You state in the report—on the meeting held between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present. Are you following the line taken by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who says that he can eat with lobbyists or people applying to his Department because, on occasions, he eats privately, and on other occasions he eats ministerially? Are you accepting the idea? It is possibly a source of great national interest—the eating habits of their Secretary of State. It appears that he might well have a number of stomachs, it has been suggested, if he can divide his time this way. It does seem to be a way of getting round the ministerial code, if people can announce that what they are doing is private rather than ministerial.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> The important point here was that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting, he had an official with him—namely, in this case, the ambassador. That is very important, and I should stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think that you should infer anything from that about the individual’s biases. That is what ambassadors do. Our ambassador in Pakistan will have exactly the same set of wide contacts.
Q Paul Flynn:> I have good reason, as I said, from constituency matters, to be unhappy about the ambassador. Other criticisms have been made about the ambassador; he is unique in some ways in the role he is performing. There have been suggestions that he is too close to a foreign power.
Robert Halfon:> On a point of order, Chair, this is not about the ambassador to Israel. This is supposed to be about the Werritty affair.
Paul Flynn:> It is absolutely crucial to this report. If neo-cons such as yourself, Robert, are plotting a war in Iran, we should know about it.
Chair:> Order. I think the line of questioning is very involved. I have given you quite a lot of time, Mr Flynn. If you have further inquiries to make of this, they could be pursued in correspondence. May I ask you to ask one final question before we move on?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> One thing I would stress: we are talking about the ambassador and I think he has a right of reply. Mr Chairman, I know there is an interesting question of words regarding Head of the Civil Service versus Head of the Home Civil Service, but this is the Diplomatic Service, not the Civil Service.
Q Chair:> So he is not in your jurisdiction at all.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> No.
Q Paul Flynn:> But you are happy that your report is final; it does not need to go the manager it would have gone to originally, and that is the end of the affair. Is that your view?
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> As I said, some issues arose where I wanted to be sure that what the Secretary of State was doing had been discussed with the Foreign Secretary. I felt reassured by what the Foreign Secretary told me.
Q Chair:> I think what Mr Flynn is asking is that your report and the affair raise other issues, but you are saying that that does not fall within the remit of your report and that, indeed, the conduct of an ambassador does not fall within your remit at all.
Sir Gus O’Donnell:> That is absolutely correct.
Paul Flynn:> The charge laid by Lord Turnbull in his evidence with regard to Dr Fox and the ministerial code was his failure to observe collective responsibility, in that case about Sri Lanka. Isn’t the same charge there about our policies to Iran and Israel?
Chair:> We have dealt with that, Mr Flynn.
Paul Flynn:> We haven’t dealt with it as far as it applies—
Chair:> Mr Flynn, we are moving on.
Paul Flynn:> You may well move on, but I remain very unhappy about the fact that you will not allow me to finish the questioning I wanted to give on a matter of great importance.
It is shocking but true that Robert Halfon MP, who disrupted Flynn with repeated points of order, receives funding from precisely the same Israeli sources as Werritty, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz. He also formerly had a full time paid job as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of Israel. It is not surprising that Shai Masot evidently views Halfon as a useful tool for attacking senior pro-Palestinian members of his own party.
But despite the evasiveness of O’Donnell and the obstruction of paid Zionist puppet Halfon, O’Donnell confirmed vital parts of my investigation. In particular he agreed that the Fox-Werritty-Gould “private dinner” in Tel Aviv was with Mossad, and that Gould met Werritty many times more than the twice that O’Donnell listed in his “investigation” into the Werritty affair. The truth of the Werritty scandal, hidden comprehensively by the mainstream media, was that Werritty was inside the UK Ministry of Defence working for Israel. That is why it was so serious that Defence Minister Liam Fox had to resign
Of the eight meetings of Fox-Gould-Werritty together which I discovered, seven were while Fox was Secretary of State for Defence. Only one was while Fox was in opposition. But O’Donnell let the cat much further out of the bag, with the astonishing admission to Paul Flynn’s above questioning that Gould, Fox and Werritty held “meetings that took place before the election.” He also referred to “some of those meetings” as being before the election. Both are plainly in the plural.
It is evident from the information gained by Paul Flynn that not only did Fox, Gould and Werritty have at least seven meetings while Fox was in power – with no minutes and never another British official present – they had several meetings while Fox was shadow Foreign Secretary. O’Donnell was right that what Fox and Werritty were up to in opposition was not his concern. But what Gould was doing with them – a senior official – most definitely was his concern. A senior British diplomat cannot just hold a series of meetings with the opposition shadow Defence Secretary and a paid Israeli lobbyist.
All of this underlined the pernicious influence that Israel has in the political class, which is founded on the Israeli lobby’s shameless use of cash for influence – as witnessed in the discussion between Shai Masot and Labour Firends of Israel and his flaunting of a million. Attitudes towards the plight of the Palestinians are an extreme example of the disconnect between public opinion and the views of the political class, and Al Jazeera should be congratulated heartily on giving us a peek into that.
No further evidence is required. There could be no more conclusive evidence of Israel’s undue and pernicious influence than the astonishing fact that Shai Masot has not yet been expelled.
Israeli Embassy employee discussed ‘taking down’ MPs & state foreign minister with Tory staffer
A senior official at the Israeli Embassy in London was secretly filmed discussing with a Conservative staffer how British officials with a pro-Palestinian stance could be “taken down.”
The footage of the controversial conversation was released on Sunday by Al Jazeera, which said it was a preview for a larger four-part expose on Israeli influence on British politics, which would be aired starting next Sunday.
The footage showed a lunchtime discussion between Israeli Embassy official Shai Masot and Maria Strizzolo, who was chief of staff to MP Robert Halfon, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party at the time the recording happened. The filming was done by an Al Jazeera reporter, who was posing as a pro-Israeli activist, Al Jazeera said.
On the record, Masot is heard asking Halfon whether he could give her the names of some MPs to “take down.” Strizzolo is heard laughing and saying: “Well you know, if you look hard enough I’m sure that there is something that they’re trying to hide.”
They then move on to the topic of “taking down… the deputy foreign minister” or, according to Al Jazeera, Sir Alan Duncan, a state minister under UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Duncan has been publicly critical of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
Strizzolo asked: “You still want to go for it?” Masot ambiguously replied that the British official was still causing problems. Strizzolo then said: “I thought we had, you know, neutralized him just a little bit, no?” to which Masot said: “No.”
The two also discussed Secretary Johnson, who the Israeli official described as “basically good,” but also “an idiot” who became Britain’s top diplomat “without any kind of responsibilities.”
“So technically if something real happened, it won’t be his fault,” he added.
Responding to the report, the Israeli Embassy released a statement in which Ambassador Mark Regev apologized to Duncan and called Masot’s remarks “completely unacceptable.”
The embassy called its staffer a junior employee rather than a diplomat, and said he “will be ending his term of employment with the embassy shortly.”
During the conversation with Strizzolo, Masot described his ambition to become head of the Foreign Affairs department and “the Intelligence Department in Israel.” His business card calls him “a senior political officer,” according to the Guardian.
Strizzolo told the newspaper the quotes were used out of context, and that the conversation was “light, tongue-in-cheek and gossipy.”
“Any suggestion that I, as a civil servant working in education, could ever exert the type of influence you are suggesting is risible,” she said.
The British Foreign Office expressed satisfaction with the apology, saying that it was “clear these comments do not reflect the views of the Embassy or the Government of Israel. The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.”
Donald Trump criticized leaks to several media outlets detailing contents of a classified report on alleged Russian hacking of the presidential election. The leaks came before Trump’s own briefing on those details by the intelligence community.
The 50-page report was delivered to US President Barack Obama on Thursday, and is to be delivered to President-elect Donald Trump on Friday by top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, the Washington Post reports, one of several outlets that were given priority over the president-elect in learning the details of the document.
CNN and NBC News also reported on the classified report, sparking outrage from Trump.
“How did NBC get ‘an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?’ Who gave them this report and why? Politics!” Trump said in a tweet.
According to the reports, US spies cited as evidence of Russian interference intercepted communications between Russian officials who called Trump’s victory a geopolitical success for Russia. The report also said that US intelligence identified the ‘go-betweens’ who allegedly handed over stolen Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks. The US media did not name those individuals or explain how they were linked to the Russian government.
Many Russian officials made no secret of their preference for a Trump presidency after his surprise win in November. The Russian parliament even stood and applauded at the news. The president-elect is perceived by many as capable of restarting relations with Russia with a clean slate, while his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was blamed for policies which in part have led to numerous conflicts between Russia and the US.
Both Russia and WikiLeaks deny allegations that the website had received sensitive emails from the Russian government. A WikiLeaks insider claimed that the DNC emails were not stolen, but rather leaked by a Democratic Party member who was disgruntled with the leadership’s bid to undermine the candidacy of Bernie Sanders in favor of Clinton.
Earlier, the FBI and DHS released a joint 13-page report on the alleged Russian interference with the US election. Dubbed ‘Grizzly Steppe’ by the American intelligence community, the operation was found to have involved, among other things, outdated Ukrainian malware and IP addresses that any cybercriminal could use in a hacking operation.
On Thursday, Clapper broadened the scope of what he described as a Russian effort to undermine US democracy to include RT’s reporting on the election campaign, unspecified ‘fake news,’ and communication through social media.
‘What is going on?’ Trump wonders why FBI never requested access to the DNC’s ‘hacked servers’