Readings in the Jewish Zionist Control of the United States: Interviews with Francis Boyle, James Petras, and Kim Petersen [Part 4]
Previously I argued that the phony war on “islamic terrorism”, the incessant attacks on and indictment of Islam as a violent religion, and the claim to bring so-called “democracy” to a region ruled by “dictators” are ploys for U.S. wars in the Middle East. Real motives instead, I further argued, are driving these wars with the objective to destabilize, remake, or destroy Arab societies, partition all states that are not in line with the U.S. and Israeli policies, and, in short, dismantle the Arab world. Two agendas converge to implement this effort.
The first has for a focus the aims of U.S. hyper-imperialism. Besides submitting the Arab nations to U.S. plans and military control, the quest for uncontested global hegemony is the core of this agenda. While such a quest is intrinsic to the making of the colonialist nature of the American state, the part related to the Arab world is a particular detail within the overall agenda. Explanation: The Arab regions in the Middle East and North Africa enjoy unrivaled geostrategic assets palatable to U.S. imperialism. However, targeting the Arab nations for war, destruction, and partition because of resources or geographic positions makes no sense in modern times unless a wider, deeper agenda is playing out in the U.S. calculation.
This raises a series of questions. What are the forces directing the Arab agenda of the United States? Are these forces responsible for the persistent hostility toward the Arabs and the active destruction of selective states? Did such a plan start with Kissinger-controlled U.S. foreign policy during the Nixon’s presidency or does it go further back in time? Were Sadat’s recognition of Israel, Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, Iraq’s American-induced invasion of Iran and Kuwait, and U.S. war on Iraq in 1991 the preparatory stages for that plan?
A vital question: Do such forces persuade or coerce the United States to oppose all equitable proposals to solve the Palestinian Question? And to close, who is keeping the interventionist agenda going? Who are the proponents of the Fascist Military Pacification Model the United States wants to impose on the Arab nations?
The second agenda belongs to Israel. Considering its complex logistics and interwoven interests with the global aims of the United States, this agenda is partly carried out by Israel and partly by the United States but with European and Arab vassals following orders. Israel’s agenda operates on nine levels each of which comes with own scope, parameters, and application tools:
General Level: To expand the scope of Zionist narratives on Palestine, so-called right of Jews to return to it, fake historical rights, and so on. Films, TV, false archeology, fake research books, internet, propagandists, and all type of media—even cookbooks—are the avenues for such efforts.
American Level: To preserve the duopoly system as is for easy management; keep the White House and Congress under tight Zionist control; keep the display of power as in AIPAC annual pageantries in order to demonstrate system’s obedience and Zionist control; conceive and implement U.S. foreign policy through American Jewish Zionists who occupy key posts in the American system.
America’s European Vassals Level: To keep European states under the U.S. umbrella for a stronger Israeli control.
Russian/Chinese Level: With over one million ethnic Russian Jews living in Israel, Israel has an advantage in Russia through organized Zionist lobbyists and oligarchs. The scope is to keep Russia out of the Middle East—it failed in Syria—and away from the Arabs. As for China, Israel provides American-designed military technology to increase influence thus preempting potential Chinese support for Arab causes.
International Level: The U.S. belligerent posturing toward North Korea is not its own. It is Israeli by all standards and terminologies. Explanation: N. Korea provided military technology to Iran and Pakistan. That is anathema to Israel. If N. Korea were to stop cooperating with countries deemed adversaries to Israel, the U.S. saber rattling would cease instantly. The other scope is to keep flaunting any U.N. resolution critical of Israel using the U.S. hegemon as a buffer.
America’s Arab vassals: The United States has practically ended, on behalf of Israel, the Arab system of nations through wars and interventions. Israel is now poised to submit all Arab regimes—not the peoples—to its military power and political will.
Regional Level: To maintain Israeli superiority by means of American military supplies, as well as its own. However, the United States is now doing the major job by smashing the Arab states–one by one. The partition of Sudan and the pending partition of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen are examples.
Palestinian Level: To implement the plan to settle the Palestinian Question on Israeli terms. This is how it works. Give the Palestinian a semblance of economic independence within the occupation regime; swallow what remains of historic Palestine; suffocate Gaza to death to stop the resistance; declare a “state” called “Palestine” in Gaza comprising lands taken from Egypt.
Israeli Level: To intensify the Zionization, fascistization, chauvinism, and racism of the Israeli Jewish society. This is important for the continuation of the Zionist project to create a “greater Israel”. Further, the Zionist project was not about creating a “homeland” for the Jews of Europe. It is about Zionist expansions and empire. According to this scheme, turning the racist ideology of and the colonialist core of Zionism into a permanent way of thinking could guarantee the continuation of Israel as a peculiar racist state.
What we want to see now is what did American Jewish Zionists do to rise to such an unprecedented power in the United States? There is a flipside to the coin. Was such a rise autonomous or dependent on factors rooted in the American system? In other words, who allowed Jewish Zionists to dominate the United States?
To answer, we need a starting point. Jewish Zionist propaganda would like the uninformed to believe that the United States was already in pre-Zionist sympathies at least since President John Adams.  An example of such propaganda outlets is the Zionist website Jewish Virtual Library. This so-called library made a compendium of U.S. presidents who, it claims, supported the idea of “restoring the lands of Israel” to its “people”. 
First, U.S. presidents prior to Theodore Roosevelt might have made favorable expressions to certain Jewish individuals. However, I view such expressions as apolitical, superficial, and ceremonial. Moreover, they had no bearing into the future—this was yet to unfold depending on world events. Nor did they set the path for Franklyn D. Roosevelt and his successor Harry Truman to prepare for the installation of a Zionist entity in Palestine. It seems that the “Library” wants to convey the idea that rational political processes brought the United States to side with Zionism and later with Israel. Now, recalling that such “sympathies” might have been made in response to solicitations by Jewish personalities, they were not the political convictions of the American system. However, they became so after Woodrow Wilson publically endorsed the British Mandate for Palestine.
Second, because the American system depends on ideological continuity, it is expected that Roosevelt’s anti-Arab racism and Zionist outlook would pass to his successors. Such passage would also confirm that new patterns of domestic power were emerging. Explanation: in U.S. political settings, the presidents of the imperialist state invariably adopt and further expand on the foreign policies of their predecessors.
The pretense that what those presidents expressed had amounted to recognition of “Jewish claims” on Palestine is baseless. Needless to argue, the fate of Palestine, then under Ottoman rule until the end of WWI, was not a subject for U.S. presidents to decide. Colonialism, however, was the only historical force able to divide conquered nations according to self-interest or consequent to political machinations. Yet, those expressions revealed something interesting— the cultural ignorance of U.S. presidents. Fixated on biblical stories, they interchanged the religious affiliation of Europeans of Jewish faith with the ancient Hebrews. With this, a historical falsehood had been established. Later, this would become the rationalized basis to install a settler state in Palestine.
When American Jewish Zionists twisted the arms of FDR and Harry Truman to make them agree to their demands, and when both presidents gave up under pressure, it became evident that a Jewish Zionist force was born. Under this premise, I view Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklyn D. Roosevelt as the primary facilitators of U.S. Zionism and its ascending power.
Harry Truman is another story. Although, the Zionist state was born under his watch, he was not that essential in the gestation of Zionism toward power. It is true, however, that Truman, a war criminal and opportunist who sold out to Zionists to garner their vote, was a catalyst in turning American Jewish Zionists into the masters of the United States. Explanation: the installation of Israel gave momentum to the emergent power of Zionists. Still, during the transition from European Jewish invasion of Palestine to the installation of Israel, Truman did nothing but to continue with the moral cowardice and treachery of Franklyn D. Roosevelt toward the Arabs.
To back the views I just presented, I will discuss in this part Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; in the upcoming Part 5, I will discuss Franklyn D. Roosevelt.
Ever since New York Jewish Zionists supported his campaign for governor of New York, and later for president, Roosevelt, a racist and an avowed colonialist in the American tradition, set the stage for a long-lasting confrontational U.S. policy toward the Arabs. With that policy came the gradual elevation of American Jewish Zionists to the claimed status of “king makers” of American politics—especially in the making of foreign policy. Here I want to stress one aspect, which is how the hate of the Arabs became synonymous with the Jewish Zionist power. It works like this: If an American individual wants to run for office, he must declare or pledge in advance his support of Israel against all its “enemies”—the Arabs. On the other hand, opposing Israel (or Zionism) on any ground could mean losing elections and careers.
How did Theodore Roosevelt set the stage for a durable anti-Arab policy of the United States?
Let us reprise a quotation that appeared in Part 2. In a private meeting held in 1907, Roosevelt confided:
It is impossible to expect moral, intellectual, and material well-being where Mohammedanism is supreme. The Egyptians, for example, were a people of Moslem fellahin who have never in all time exercised any self-government whatever. Britain’s Lord Cromer, Roosevelt added, is one of the greatest modern colonial administrators, and he has handled Egypt just according to Egypt’s needs, military occupation, foreign tutelage, and Christian patience.  [Sic], [Italics added]
Roosevelt’s opinion on regions dominated by Mohammedanism—his word for Islam—was in tune with his bigoted ideology. Anyone, of course, is entitled to his opinion. But when an American president expresses racist remarks debasing peoples and their religion, the implication is enormous. Simply, it means that said president, his administration, and subsequent administrations would most likely take the same path. This is how political states stay in business. Eventually, a nurtured prejudice could evolve into state policy— the systematic destruction of the Original Peoples of the United States and the ideology of the Third Reich are examples. Consequently, it is not farfetched to say that Roosevelt’s prejudice had come a long way. Today, it has become the official philosophy of the United States.
A few decades after Roosevelt, John Kennedy, then a senator from New York, proved the assessment I just made. In search of the so-called Jewish vote, he had to go through the rituals of praise (allegiance) to Zionism and to exempt it from the disasters in the Middle East. In addressing a gathering at B’nai Zion Anniversary, he virtually licked the Zionist rear end without shame, pride, or, at least, a little cultivated historical and cultural knowledge. With his speech (1958), Kennedy proved beyond any doubt that 11 years after the installation of Israel (1947), the power of American Jewish Zionists had become a strong fixture in U.S. politics. He said:
This myth – with which you are all too familiar – is the assertion that it is Zionism which has been the unsettling and fevered infection in the Middle East, the belief that without Israel there would somehow be a natural harmony throughout the Middle East and the Arab world. Quite apart from the values and hopes which the State of Israel enshrines – and the past injuries which it redeems – it twists reality to suggest that it is the democratic tendency of Israel which has injected discord and dissention into the Near East. Even by the coldest calculations, the removal of Israel would not alter the basic crisis in the area. For, if there is any lesson which the melancholy events of the last two years and more taught us, it is that, though Arab states are generally united in opposition to Israel, their political unities do not rise above this negative position. The basic rivalries within the Arab world, the quarrels over boundaries, the tensions involved in lifting their economies from stagnation, the cross-pressures of nationalist – all of these factors would still be there even if there were no Israel. 
Comment: I could write a full dissertation on Kennedy’s speech and the excerpt I just cited . . . What Kennedy said is a classic example of political succumbence. It also shows how indoctrinations, political posturing, and the expected benefits from sycophancy seep from a political epoch to another. For instance, in his lengthy speech, he never uttered the words Palestine or Palestinians. And when he talked about the Palestinians kicked out of their lands by Jewish Zionist terrorists, he called them “Arab refugees”. (See pictures of Palestinians kicked out by Zionists in 1948). Beyond that, it confirms that the imperialist state had blindly embraced the Zionist narratives. And to close, it demonstrates a culture of obedience to Zionism, and acute prejudice against the Arabs. Above all, Kennedy’s speech highlighted the ascending power of American Jewish Zionism in the United States.
There is more. Kennedy externalized the standard political making of an American politician seeking office. When candidates confront the issue of Israel and the Arabs before Jewish Zionist gatherings, they invariably become arrogantly offensive toward the Arabs, but exceedingly flattering toward Zionism. (I added Italics to every sentence of the excerpt where a counter-argument can be made to demolish Kennedy’s assertions. I stop here, however, to avoid derailing this article.)
Let us go back to Roosevelt. When he made his racist feelings known, he appeared to have implied that only when Christianity is supreme, intellectual and well-being are guaranteed. In saying so, he gave Jewish Zionists the ideological weapons to fight Arab and Palestinian nationalisms.
To be noted, Roosevelt’ praise for Lord Cromer is revealing. In casting his praise with words such as, “the greatest modern colonial administrators”, he left no doubt that the guiding light of the United States is an ideology that glorifies colonialism and slavery while turning colonialist administrators into symbols of virtue and rectitude.
Aside from supremacist beliefs, Roosevelt’s use of the concept “Christian patience” lacks originality. He plagiarized Rudyard Kipling’s concept of “White’s man burden”. This observation is important: it shows how ideological contagion works. Knowing this little bit about Roosevelt’s sentiments, it should not be surprising, therefore, when he stated it is “entirely proper to start a Zionist state around Jerusalem.” 
The question one may ask, what were Roosevelt’s rationales and historic justification for a Zionist state “around Jerusalem”? Why is it “entirely proper to start a Zionist state”? What makes it proper: his ideology or bigotry? Why did he ignore the Palestinians who lived in, around, and beyond Jerusalem?
From studying how U.S. presidents interacted with Zionism and Israel, we may be able to draw some conclusions. For instance, from Theodore Roosevelt to Herbert Hoover, the trend was to mix theology, mythology, and colonialism. From FDR to George H. W. Bush the tunes changed to include the primacy of imperialism and the usefulness of Israel to America’s global agenda. From Bill Clinton to Donald Trump, theology and mythology resurfaced but this time the fuel is anti-Muslim Christian Zionism, anti-Arab Neocon Jewish Zionism, and the new plans to partition the Arab states.
It is known that the beginning of any process is a tone-setter for the next enterprise. Under this light, Wilson’s way of thinking about a Zionist state acquires special importance. It rested on four grounds: theological dogmas, Manifest Destiney beliefs, colonialist mindset, and on his conviction of the virtues of European colonialist states. When he (under suspicious circumstances  ), selected the Jewish Zionist Louis Dembitz Brandeis to be his informal advisor on foreign policy, he set the precedent for the rise of many Jewish Zionist advisors and chiefs of staff to presidents and vice presidents.  But when he appointed him to the Supreme Court, he initiated the process of the Zionist penetration into the American state.
To evaluate how Brandeis was working on the mind of Wilson, I am going to quote Jerry Klinger. Klinger is a Jewish Zionist propagandist and a founder of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. In his article Judge Brandeis, President Wilson and Reverend William E. Blackstone changed Jewish history Klinger details the intellectual and ideological interactions Between Wilson and Brandeis:
Brandeis knew and understood Wilson. He understood what influences Wilson would respond to. He understood the soul of President Wilson. Brandeis was a master politician and courtroom manipulator of opinion and direction. Wilson needed to be appealed to on the basis of faith but not by faith alone would the President act. Wilson needed to be sure of his political base of popular support for his actions. He needed to be sure it was the right thing for America. He weighed his actions carefully and not impulsively. [Emphasis added]
He continues further down,
Wilson further understood through Brandeis that there were delicate negotiations going on in Britain for a declaration of intentions regarding Jewish interests once Britain had wrested control of Palestine from the Turks. [Emphasis added]
Most important for Brandeis was that Wilson understood he had significant grassroots American political and faith based support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Blackstone Memorial was an American document and not a British document. It was important for Wilson and Brandeis to show that they were not the followers of the British. American foreign policy was not shaped and directed by the British but by American interests. [Emphasis added]
Well, now that we know how Wilson had gotten his political education on the claims of Zionism, let us move forward. Brandeis is a master manipulator. Klinger’s statement that Brandeis convinced Wilson that “supporting the British plan for Palestine means that American foreign policy was not shaped and directed by the British but by American interests” was a winning tactic. It gave self‑importance to a United States. I view that tactic as an early indication of how American Jewish Zionists intended to manipulate the United States.
Did Wilson comply with the coaching imparted to him by Brandeis?
Certainly, in his book, The Elected and the Chosen: Why American Presidents Have Supported Jews and Israel, page 179, Denis Brian, an Irish Christian Zionist provides an adequate answer:
“Like many previous presidents, Wilson compared the Jews of the old testament with the colonists and the early history of America,”
He then goes on to quote Wilson directly:
Recalling the previous experiences of the colonists in applying the Mosaic Code to the order of their internal life, it is not to be wondered at that the various passages in the Bible that serve to undermine royal authority, stripping the Crown of its cloak of divinity, held up before the pioneer Americans the Hebrew Commonwealth as a model government. In the spirit and essence of our Constitution, the influence of the Hebrew Commonwealth was paramount in that it was not only the highest authority for the principle, “that rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” but also because it was in itself a divine precedent for a pure democracy, as distinguished from monarchy, aristocracy or any other form of government. To think that I, the son of the manse, should be able to help restore the Holy Land to its people.”
Despite academic credentials and a university post, Wilson manifested clear intellectual confusion. First, he mingled between diverse categories of thought. Second, his mix-up was so severe that he bundled theology (divinity, etc.) with mythology as in his “various passages in the Bible”. And, if that were not sufficient, he added to the mixture a dose of political gibberish as in the dictions “pure democracy”, “monarchy”, etc. Then he resorted to colonialism as in his phrase “to help restore … etc.
Not only that, but his approach to important U.S. policy directions that structurally overlooked the existence of the Palestinians—the future victims of his planned “restoration” smacks of ignorance, dishonesty, callousness, and ethical perfidy. I wonder how Wilson would have responded to a question such as this: Mr. President, did you ever think to restore the Original Peoples of the United States to the lands you and your predecessors have stolen by fire, forced relocations, and extermination?
Next, I will discuss Franklyn D. Roosevelt and other issues.
Part 6: Interview with Francis Boyle
Part 7: Interview with James Petras
Part 8: Interview with Kim Petersen
- The Austrian Nathan Birnbaum coined the term Zionism in 1890. I view any prior similar ideology as pre-Zionist
- Jewish Virtual Library,
- Douglas Little, American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East since 1945, University of North Carolina Press, 2008, p. 16
- JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy at the B’nai Zion, February 9, 1958
- Quoted in Benjamin Glatt, Today in History: Teddy Roosevelt and the Jews, The Jerusalem Post, 2016
- Alleged Wilson’s adultery was seized to blackmail him. I’m no fan of hoaxes and allegations. However, unbiased research is needed to ascertain validity. The following link provides some background on this issue: The Making of Woodrow Wilson— An American Nero?
- Examples include Henry Kissinger, Samuel Berger, Irving Lewis Libby, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, etc.
*(Trump speaking at AIPAC. Image credit: Lorie Shaull/ flickr).
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said yesterday that the new anti-Hezbollah sanctions bill that the US Congress is considering would “greatly harm Lebanon and its people”.
Aoun told a delegation from the American Task Force for Lebanon, an organisation that includes Americans of Lebanese heritage and businessmen, that ”the draft law that is being prepared in Congress to slap new financial sanctions on Lebanese parties, institutions and individuals will greatly harm Lebanon and its people.”
The president pointed out that Lebanon is making the necessary contacts to prevent the issuance of the law and welcomed any effort by the American Task Force for Lebanon in this regard.
US Congress is planning to review additional and tougher sanctions against Hezbollah and all its affiliates and allies, a move that could have negative political and financial ramifications on Lebanon if the proposals pass without amendments.
The proposed law might for the first time target the Amal Movement led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri as well as senior Hezbollah officials, headed by its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, members of his political bureau and parliamentarians.
BETHLEHEM – Israeli authorities have notified Israeli travel agencies that they will be forced to sign a commitment pledging not to take groups of tourists to the occupied West Bank, according to a copy the notification obtained by Ma’an on Sunday.
In the Hebrew-language document dated April 23, the Border Control Department of the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority notifies travel agencies that as of May 15, the day when Palestinians commemorate the 1948 Nakba, they will have to “attach, with each request to bring a group of tourists into the country, a special form pledging that they will not send tourists to Judea and Samaria,” using the Israeli term for the occupied West Bank.
The document only addresses Israeli tourism agencies, and not individual would-be tourists.
The forms must be signed and sent to one of three Population and Immigration Authority email addresses listed in the document.
The document warns tourism agencies that their requests to bring groups of tourists would “not be processed” if the pledge was not signed and attached.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Population and Migration Authority could not immediately be reached for comment.
If implemented, the new regulation described in the document would be an additional blow to a suffering tourism industry in the occupied West Bank, which already has to contend with numerous unequal laws and restrictions that have crippled the Palestinian market, while investing millions of dollars in the Israeli market.
A number of sites which attract thousands of visitors each year, such as the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, could be affected by this directive.
“Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine is not limited only to its military elements, but is also manifested in its use of tourism as a political tool. It is a tool used to strengthen its position as occupying power, and to maintain its domination over Palestinian land and people, but also as an instrument for the dissemination of propaganda to millions of tourists, including politicians, community leaders and journalists who receive free-of-charge first class tours to Israel,” human rights lawyer and legal researcher Amjad Alqasis wrote in 2015.
As current regulations stand, when applying for visas, Israeli tourism agencies only need to submit names and passport numbers, while Palestinian agencies attempting the same are met with administrative obstacles, and cannot guarantee that their visa requests will be accepted.
Tourists who tell Israeli border control officials of their intention to visit the occupied West Bank also face the possibility of undergoing lengthy interrogations, or even deportation for alleged security reasons, or without being provided an explanation at all.
When tourists are able to reach the occupied West Bank, they are then forced to negotiate with hundreds of Israeli checkpoints and other military obstacles that restrict movement for Palestinians both within the West Bank and along its borders with Israel and Jordan.
“Another obstacle to operating a tour is the presence of 500,000 to 600,000 illegal Israeli Jewish settlers currently living in the occupied Palestinian territory,” who “constitute a growing and consistent threat to Palestinian livelihoods,” including Palestinian tour guides, Alqasis noted.
An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal elevates Israel to the status of a major Mediterranean energy exporter. However, critics suggest the move is about more than mere economics, and serves a number of greater geopolitical objectives – namely, immunizing Israel from criticism and sanctions, and damaging relations between Europe and Russia further.
Ministers from Israel, Greece, Italy and Cyprus, as well as the European Union Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, signed a joint declaration in April, codifying a commitment to constructing a gas pipeline that will bring newly discovered natural gas in Israel [sic] to Europe.
The pipeline, described by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz as “the longest and deepest subsea gas pipeline in the world,” is expected to be in operation by 2025.
Designated as a “project of common interest” by the EU, the pipeline has been marketed by both sides as an ideal alternative to the bloc’s continuing dependence on Russian energy — an overt indication the deal is being pursued for political rather than economic purposes. After all, high infrastructure costs coupled with low gas prices will almost by definition make it considerably dearer than the existing energy relationship between Russia and Europe.
The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center has even suggested the proposed project may never come to fruition, once the commercial difficulties inherent in making it operational become reality. Current European energy demands in no way commercially justify an additional gas supply source for the continent.
Furthermore, independent Palestinian human rights advocacy group Al-Haq has said the pipeline agreement will benefit corporations which directly profit from the occupation of Palestine — incentivizing Israel to maintain its current policy of illegal settlement expansion and its blockade of Gaza. If constructed, the pipeline will pump gas from Israel’s giant Leviathan field, the discovery of which in 2010 transformed Israel from a net importer of energy into a potential regional energy player — the field is estimated to hold around 20 trillion cubic feet of gas. Despite Lebanon arguing Leviathan sits partially in Lebanese waters, Israel has pushed ahead with international deals, selling 39.7 percent to US-based Noble Energy.
In March, Jordan became the first country to sign up for Leviathan gas. The move ignited waves of protest, on the basis the agreement would increase Jordan’s dependency on Israel, and potentially finance Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Such concerns go beyond reflexive prejudice. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has noted the potential of gas deals to insulate the country from international condemnation and action.
“Ensuring the supply of gas is essential not only to the country’s functioning, but also to its existence. I regard the gas supply as a foundation of national security. A country that exports things crucial for other countries has far more power. The ability to export gas makes us more immune to international pressure. We don’t want to be vulnerable to boycotts,” Netanyahu said.
Moreover, in a report, Annexing Energy, Al-Haq noted it was “impossible” to geographically isolate gas fields in mainland Israel and characterize them as separate from the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestine.
“In 2011, Noble Energy, the lead operator of the Leviathan field, unilaterally extracted gas from a joint Palestinian gas field without Palestinian permission as required under customary international law and the Oslo Accords. Israel has also employed a brutal and unlawful naval operation to protect Noble Energy’s gas platforms beside the Gaza Strip, routinely attacking, killing and injuring civilian Palestinian fishermen who fish in the vicinity of Israel’s illegally imposed six-nautical-mile closure of Palestine’s territorial waters,” the report said.
In a perverse twist, the deal also comes at a time when Gaza continues to reel from a major energy crisis, which has seen power cuts lasting as long as 18 hours, and results from Israel blocking the region from developing its own resources.
The Al-Haq report concluded that if Palestinians were permitted to do so, their own energy needs would be satiated, and they would be economically self-sufficient, freed from their current aid dependency.
The signing of the first commercial contract between China and Iran to redesign Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor is a landmark event in the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Cooperative Plan of Action (JCPOA) of July 2015.
The Arak plant was a major sticking point in the saga of the Iran nuclear issue. Its conversion for purely commercial / civil use is a vital template of the Iran nuclear deal. The US and Iran agreed that China could be entrusted with the sensitive task of converting Arak plant, and China which played a significant role in the negotiation of the JCOPA agreed to undertake that task.
It has taken almost two years to flesh out the commercial contract. The contract was signed in Vienna where the IAEA is headquartered. The timing of the contract is extremely interesting – on the eve of a meeting of the commission on April 25 in Vienna, which is expected to review the progress of implementation of the JCPOA.
Today’s meeting in Vienna, in turn, is invested with high importance as it will be the occasion for the US to formally present its perspective on the JCPOA before the international audience after Donald Trump became president. Does the US intend to stick to the JCPOA or does it have ulterior designs to undermine it? The answer to this big question will emerge at today’s meeting in Vienna.
In the run-up to today’s meeting, top figures in the Trump administration have spoken about the JCPOA. Most notably, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reported to the US Congress a week ago that Iran is complying with the terms and conditions of the JCPOA. Trump himself may say Iran is violating the “spirit” of the nuclear deal, but, importantly, Defence Secretary James Mattis underscored on Friday that not only is Iran sticking to the JCPOA but also that the 2015 agreement “still stands”.
Mattis’s remark resonates because he said this while on a visit to Israel and at a joint press conference with Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman. Clearly, despite its virulent opposition to the nuclear deal when it was under negotiation, Israel is now inclined to see the JCPOA as the best guarantee against Iran embarking on a nuclear weapon programme.
Conceivably, Trump who had threatened during the election campaign last year to tear up the Iran nuclear deal also sees things differently today. One principal reason would be that the US simply lacks international support to abandon the nuclear deal, which also carries the sanctity of UN approval. The European powers are pleased with Iran’s implementation of JCPOA. Russia strongly supports the JCPOA and with the signing of the commercial contract on Arak in Vienna yesterday, Beijing asserted that there is no question of going back on the nuclear deal.
However, the clout of the Israeli-Saudi Arabian lobbies in Washington cannot be ignored. These lobbies will do their utmost to cause disruptions in any normalization between US and Iran. They simply dread the prospect of US-Iranian normalization, which of course could phenomenally reset Middle East’s geopolitics.
Tehran has not gone into panic mode that Trump might tear up the JCPOA. It also understands the motivations driving the Trump administration’s allegations of Iran’s support of terrorism. Conceivably, if President Hassan Rouhani emerges victorious in the May 19 election, which seems almost certain, Tehran will use diplomacy and ‘soft power’ as its principal tools in turning the hostile external neighbourhood incrementally to its favour. (See my blog Iran’s presidential election takes predictable turn.)
Tehran will count on a savvy, street smart businessman like Trump to begin counting the loss to American interests at some point by continued self-denial of business in the Iranian market, especially when Russia and China are not wasting time to dip their fingers in the honey pot. (By the way, at a meeting yesterday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif agreed on stepping up Sino-Iranian ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ within the framework of One Belt One Road.)
For the present, though, Trump will tap into the Saudi fear of Iran to sell weapons to that country, extract petrodollars as investment in the American economy to create jobs as well as to promote American exports to the Gulf. In particular, Trump (and Wall Street) is besotted with the Saudi Aramco’s IPO, which is likely in 2018. The Saudis have an option to list the IPO in New York or London — or, by Jove, in Hongkong. Trump knows jolly well that the partial privatization could value Aramco at $2 trillion.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, Tillerson and Mattis made a beeline to Riyadh within the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. Don’t be surprised if Trump also packs bags and travels to Riyadh in the coming weeks. All in all, US-Iran normalization lies in the womb of time, but Trump’s advantage in the near term lies in making abrasive noises about Iran, which would play well in the Saudi court (and pacify Israel.) But the JCPOA as such will remain untouched.
US-instigated and propelled wars have continued to rage for 15 years in fulfillment of influential neoconservative ideologue Michael Ledeen’s envisioned “creative destruction” through “total war.” General Wesley Clark related the Bush administration’s intention, reported by a Pentagon friend, to “take out” seven countries: Iran plus six Middle Eastern and North African Arab countries – all of which happened to be unfriendly to Israel. Egypt and Jordan, which had peace treaties with Israel, were not on the list. Nor was oil a common denominator. The list included Lebanon, of interest only to Israel, not Exxon, and did not include the oil-saturated Gulf states that collaborate with Israel despite lip service paid the Palestinians. This agenda fits Israel’s long-term strategic game plan recounted in 1982 by Israeli Foreign Service senior official and Jerusalem Post journalist Oded Yinon to control the Arab world by shattering its countries into sectarian political shards emasculated as nations. As John Pilger titled two documentary films 25 years apart, “Palestine is Still the Issue” – the ever-bleeding heart of the Middle East.
The imperial monster behind this agenda is clearly non-partisan. Like the bullfight picadors weakening the bull in preparation for the matador, Bill Clinton had prepared Iraq for easy takedown with eight years of suffocating sanctions that killed an estimated half-million children. Obama/Clinton followed Bush with the wholesale destruction of Libya, a secular, socialist, well-developed nation with the highest human development index in Africa, and using weapons looted from Gaddafi’s arsenal, launched the Syrian war in collusion with the Saudis, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, each with its own motives, none of which Americans should support. However rationalized as oil-driven, currency-protecting or strategic moves on the global chessboard, the monumental financial, moral and societal costs of these wars vastly exceed any benefits, real or imagined. Without the regional conflicts long caused by Israel and relentless pressure and political extortion by the Israel lobby, most or all of these terrible debacles might well have been avoided.
But change – perhaps revolutionary change – seems in the air. Israel no longer exerts automatic mastery of her neighbors and the US government. As Gideon Levy titled his 2014 Haaretz article, “The World Is Sick of Israel and Its Insanities.”
Israel failed to prevent the Palestinian Authority from filing war crimes evidence with the International Criminal Court. The Israel lobby failed to stampede the US into attacking Syria. It failed to derail the nuclear negotiations with Iran. After an unbroken 44-veto win streak, it failed to strong-arm an American president into vetoing the 2016 UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements. It is desperately fighting a losing battle against the BDS movement despite mounting a full-court press in American universities, ecumenical faith communities, the mainstream media, and the academic and entertainment industries with its familiar, shrill accusations of “anti-Semitism” and dubious claims of indispensability to American “interests” and “shared values.” In an April 5, 2017 Portland, Oregon city council hearing to consider divestment from socially irresponsible corporations, a third of citizens testifying cited business practices enabling Israeli abuses of Palestinians as a divestment criterion. And on April 16, the reliably pro-Israel New York Times unexpectedly published an occupation-searing op-ed by Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti, long-imprisoned in Israel for presumed complicity in three attacks that killed five people during the second intifada.
The Palestinian solidarity movement shows signs of burgeoning life, but with uncertain direction now that President Trump announced departure from 23 years of formal US insistence on the fraudulent two-state solution – “as long as both sides agree.” Agreement, of course, is the devil in substance as well as details. Palestinians have the rightful position under international law, but Israel has all the power in the relationship and has never come close to agreeing to anything remotely approaching justice. With Palestinians rendered helpless for 69 years, responsibility for justice falls by default upon “the international community.”
World opinion outside the US is not sanguine toward Israel. Not one among the four other permanent and 10 rotating UNSC members ever joined the US in those 44 UNSC votes. Israel is effectively a US protectorate clinging tenuously to its claims upon the American taxpayer to fund its occupation and its assurance of US protection in the UN from international justice, with a loose cannon in the White House inclined to unpredictable reactions when offended.
With pressure building and the impasse shaking loose, several possible developments are in play.
Trump’s ambiguity evoked immediate UN and Arab League declarations reaffirming a two-state solution as “the only way to achieve comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestinian cause.” But the long-stalled, tentative two-state “Geneva Initiative” blueprint developed through the interminable “peace process” – which largely ignored the refugee and diaspora population’s rights – is neither comprehensive nor just.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settlement Jewish Home Party, is pushing Netanyahu to abandon the idea of a Palestinian state altogether, abandon restraints and annex a settlement of 40,000 population near Jerusalem for starters.
Hamas and Fatah continue to press for an independent state, anticipating that a single state by annexation would merely create “one state, two systems” continuing Israeli control without even a token pretense of PA administration.
J street also opposes this. Annexation would dismantle the myth of democracy Israel projects to the world. J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami dreads the one-state model as “not a solution but a dissolution” since this would publicly formalize their apartheid system with a Jewish minority ruling over a Palestinian majority. He is right. But alternatively, were Israel to annex the Palestinian territories and provide constitutionally protected equal citizenship rights to all – which the Arab population would demand, supported by international pressure – this would end Israel as a self-definable “Jewish state.” The Jewish and Palestinian Arab populations of the combined areas are now approximately equal, and Palestinians exercising their right of return coupled with predictable exodus of Jews unwilling to live as equals with Palestinians will shift the demographic balance decisively.
With its collective identity embattled and its stability threatened by BDS, Israel is becoming increasingly desperate, arresting BDS founder Omar Barghouti, a non-citizen resident of Israel, for allegedly evading taxes on income from a Ramallah-based company for 10 years they hadn’t apparently noticed until now, and passing a law banning foreign nationals who support BDS from entry despite significant economic and public image risks. Most troubling to their control obsession, American Jews are no longer reliable Israel supporters. The recent annual AIPAC protest demonstration in Washington was the largest and most vociferous yet, conspicuously amplified by Jewish protesters.
Although this protest was Palestinian-organized with numerous well-known groups and figures, the media spotlight was captured by hundreds of young, spirited American Jews who made themselves newsworthy by blocking entrance to the convention center with a human chain and speaking with passion to the press, demanding freedom, equality, justice and dignity for Palestinians. The stated goal of their main organization, If Not Now, is “to end American Jewish support for the occupation.” Without unison on thorny related issues, their proximal focus is simply the intolerable here and now.
Logically and morally, Jewish voices deserve no special privilege. We all have the same duty to protect human rights. And almost all US taxpayers involuntarily supporting Israel are non-Jewish. But politically, American Jewish voices carry special weight in confronting AIPAC, ADL and 336 tax-exempt “Israel affinity organizations” depriving the US Treasury of tax revenues on $5-6 billion annually supplementing Israel’s current foreign aid allowance of over $3 billion. Anti-Zionist Jewish voices can dispel conflation of Palestine support with anti-Semitism and confer permission to the non-Jewish 97% to challenge Israel without fear of being so labeled. However imbalanced the media coverage of the protest, the size, energy and unequivocal repudiation of Israel by young American Jews may mark a turning point smoothing the path ahead for others.
However, the 2-edged sword here should not be overlooked. The largest, best-established Jewish organization challenging Israel is Jewish Voice for Peace. At the recent Portland hearing, six of 14 advocating divestment from companies enabling the abuse of Palestinians were JVP members. With annual budgets in the $3 million range, JVP is also the largest, best-financed organization within the Palestine Solidarity Movement, which provides it disproportionate visibility and influence. This influence is not without potential hazards.
JVP has endorsed strong positions including the BDS movement, which includes the right of return among its three bottom-line objectives. The right of return was declared by UN Resolution 194 in 1948, has been re-confirmed annually, and remains a yet-unfulfilled condition of Israel’s 1949 admission to the UN. This has been a major roadblock to conflict resolution. A 2009 survey by One Voice, an organization that tries to paper over conflicting goals to discover or manufacture appearances of Israeli/Palestinian agreement, nevertheless found the greatest disagreement on the right of return, with 95% of occupied Palestinians rating this, including compensation, as “essential” to a final resolution, an outcome rated “unacceptable” by 77% of Israelis.
Both JVP and upstart If Not Now are focused on ending the ugly occupation, a deformity on the face of Judaism. But what next? It is the Palestinians who for 69 years have suffered armed robbery, forced exile, political imprisonment, extrajudicial killing, continuous humiliation under apartheid within Israel, suffocating military occupation and blockade in their own land outside Israel, and who, as the oppressed people, have the inalienable right to determine the course and outcomes of their movement. The rights to redress and restitution belong to the victims and cannot as a matter of justice be parsed by the perpetrator or its friends. Full and fair justice for Palestinians will mean significantly restructuring Israel/Palestine. Will JVP be willing to go that far?
It is less a question of principles than of competing loyalties. Can people with personal, familial, cultural and/or financial stakes connected to Israel honestly follow the path to full justice? How many JVP members are potentially compromised by such ties? For example, JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson’s husband, Jonathan Lebowitsch, is employed as a “solution architect” for an Israeli company, Check Point Software Technologies, founded by an IDF Intelligence Corps veteran. Imagining itself ever-threatened, Israel relies heavily on surveillance/security technology and would predictably intend to continue such intrusions to undermine Palestinian self-determination under any new political arrangement. What position would JVP take when faced with restoration of proportional Palestinian political power in historic Palestine with its transfiguring on-the-ground implications?
To be in solidarity as allies of an oppressed people, the rest of us including Jewish Americans must provide unequivocal support along whatever paths toward whatever goals of freedom, equality, justice and dignity under international law Palestinians themselves choose to seek, without efforts to steer them in other directions or toward lesser goals.
Whether within two genuinely equal states, a federation, or a unified single state with universal rights, this would not end the right of Jews to live there as their homeland but would end their current supremacy and privilege, just as the US is the homeland for people of many ethnicities and religions living (at least formally) in political equality. Israel could become a normal country rather than, as encouraged by IDF General Moshe Dayan, “like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” To be honest allies, I believe Jewish supporters of Palestinians must embrace this transformative vision.
Jack Dresser, Ph.D. is National vice-chair, Veterans for Peace working group on Palestine and the Middle East and Co-Director of Al-Nakba Awareness Project in Eugene, Oregon
International media outlets have already reported extensively on Israeli commandos’ missions inside Syria to rescue wounded militants but a senior regime official’s acknowledgement of a link with ISIS is unprecedented.
Ya’alon’s explosive revelation came during an interview reported Saturday on Israeli Channel 10’s website, content portal Mako, which acts as a gateway to Israeli media outlets and websites.
Mako also incorporated footage of the event in the northern city of Afula, during which the former military affairs chief was seen describing an occasion in which Syria-based ISIS terrorists had fired into the Golan Heights.
Golan is a Syrian territory, which Tel Aviv has been occupying since 1967 and lays claim on it as its own property. Save some rare alleged rocket attacks from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, for which ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility and have not resulted in any human injury or losses, the group has generally refused to target either Israel or the territories under its occupation.
However, Ya’alon said, after opening fire on Golan, ISIS served Tel Aviv with a quick apology, pointing to the alliance between the two, and also suggesting that the group had agreed not to target Israeli interests in line with the rapport.
“On most occasions, firing comes from regions under the control of the (Syrian) regime. But once the firing came from ISIS (ISIS) positions–and it immediately apologized,” he said.
Israeli media outlets, meanwhile, refused to report on the ISIS strike, probably because of either a media blackout or military censorship, reported Tikun Olam, a Seattle-based liberal blog dedicated to outing “the excesses of the Israeli national security state,” which also reported Ya’alon’s remarks.
“In the midst of complaining about the Islamist threat to Israel and the world, Bibi (Benjamin) Netanyahu (Israel’s prime minister) conveniently forgets that his own country enjoys a tacit alliance with ISIS in Syria,” said New York-born Dr. Richard Silverstein, who runs the blog. “It is an alliance of convenience to be sure,” he added.
According to him, Ya’alon has been speaking more candidly about the inner workings of the regime since falling out with Netanyahu and being replaced by successor Avigdor Lieberman.
“But he did reveal how closely tied Israel is to ISIS in Syria,” wrote the blogger, who has also documented Israeli collaboration with al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, which has rebranded itself.
In June 2015, the blog published a story reporting on Israel’s interventions in the foreign-backed militancy in Syria in favor of anti-Damascus militants.
It said Tel Aviv and al-Nusra had forged an alliance, featuring the former’s building camps for terrorists and their families in Israel-held territory, holding regular meetings with terrorist commanders, and providing military and other critical supplies to them.
The report incorporated a video showing Israel’s provision of medical assistance to the terrorists who had been wounded in Syria.
It also cited an incident in which locals had intercepted one Israeli ambulance carrying two wounded ISIS forces, forcing the medics to flee and beating up one of the terrorists to death. The other was also seriously injured when the regime’s forces intervened to saved him.
Weirdly, even some self-declared “anti-fascists” who claim to be intent on “punching Nazis” get uncomfortable when you criticize the Jewish Defense League.
In an incident akin to Canadians organizing to thwart freedom riders during the US civil rights movement, the Toronto-based JDL organized a mob that attacked protesters at last month’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington DC. Over the past decade the JDL has built itself up by aggressively harassing pro-Palestinian activists in Toronto, which has won them active or passive support from much of the Jewish establishment, dominant media and the city’s broader power structure. As I was slandered for discussing in a previous article, JDL Toronto is now seeking to export their extremist ideology to the USA and is building neo-fascist alliances focused on bashing Muslims in Toronto.
Until recently liberals largely treated JDL thuggery with kid gloves. For many years the former head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bernie Farber, gave the group political cover. The same can be said for former Canada-Israel Committee board member Warren Kinsella, who spoke at a JDL meeting in 2009. These prominent liberals supported JDL intimidation of Palestinian solidarity activists. But, they are now uncomfortable with the group’s racism against Canadian Muslims and ties to other more marginal white supremacist groups such as the English Defence League and Soldiers of Odin.
Incredibly, some people on the “left” also seem to share this opinion. Alex Hundert says it’s anti-Semitic to challenge the JDL if you’re not Jewish or Muslim. In response to my article on the JDL, he tweeted “If ur neither jewish nor muslim, and obsessed w@JDLCanada, ur definitely an anti-Semite.” He added that “a small group of Kahanist [JDL] extremists banding together can’t b excuse for Engler to target Jewish ‘Establishment.’” And to make sure no one was confused about his opinion of my article he slandered me directly, writing “I wish I had the energy to actually take on antisemites like Engler.”
Two weeks earlier some other self-described leftists became similarly defensive when an activist posted a picture in an anti-racist Facebook group of a man wearing a JDL jacket with their arm around somebody in a Soldiers of Odin jacket. A tag was added to the picture of the Toronto rally saying, “JDL and Soldiers of Odin: this has the making of a hilarious sitcom.”
A number of individuals in the forum criticized making light of the growing alliance between the JDL and Soldiers of Odin as a threat to Jews, not to the Muslims or People of Colour mostly targeted by those groups. One person wrote, “I feel really uncomfortable about this being made into a joke. … as a Jew this is less hilarious to me and more shameful – and scary, because it gives leftists ammunition against Jews and puts us in further danger.” Another individual on the private leftist anti-racism forum wrote, “this is exactly what i was afraid of – now in order to be considered one of the ‘good jews’ i have to repudiate the JDL loudly and vocally and make sure no one thinks i’m a zionist, or else no one on the left will protect me.”
While sympathetic to individuals working out their conflicted loyalties and testing their political positions, it is important to note no one was asked to “repudiate” anything in the Facebook group. And it should go without saying that anti-racist leftists would have no qualms denouncing an organization the FBI labeled “a right-wing terrorist group” in 2001.
Sensitivity towards criticism of the JDL undermines both Palestinian solidarity activism and work to counter the group’s role in rekindling fascism in the city.
But perhaps people are confused by their limited knowledge of history. Weren’t Jews the victims of fascism? It’s counter-intuitive that Jews – though some leading members of the JDL may not be Jewish – would play an important role in reviving white supremacist/fascist politics in Toronto.
But, historically, some Jews did support and even help build the original fascism. In A History of Fascism, 1914–1945 Stanley Payne writes:
The Fascist movement was itself disproportionately Jewish — that is, Jews made up a greater proportion of the party at all stages of its history than of the Italian population as a whole. Five of the 191 sansepolcristi who had founded the movement in 1919 had been Jewish, 230 Jewish Fascists had participated in the March on Rome, and by 1938 the party had 10,215 adult Jewish members.
Labeling Margherita Sarfatti “The Jewish Mother of Fascism”, Ha’aretz described Benito Mussolini’s favoured and most influential mistress this way:
The aristocratic, intellectual and ambitious wife of wealthy Zionist lawyer Cesare Sarfatti, and mother of their three children, did not only share her bed with Il Duce. She also helped him forge and implement the fascist idea; she contributed advice — and Sullivan says, money — to help organize the 1922 March on Rome in which Mussolini seized power.
Additionally, Francisco Franco received support from many Moroccan Jews when he sought to oust Spain’s Republican government in 1936 and some prominent figures in Portugal’s small Jewish community backed António de Oliveira Salazar. Early on a small number of German Jewish fascists even backed Hitler. The Association of German National Jews, for instance, supported the Nazis.
Hitler’s efforts to eliminate European Jewry obviously discredited fascism in the eyes of most Jews. But, Israeli politics has seen a surge of supremacist neo-fascism in recent years, which has strengthened the JDL in Toronto.
Another explanation for why people don’t associate Jews with fascism/white supremacy is a perception that Jews are an “oppressed community”, as Anne Frank Center director Steven Goldstein recently put it on Democracy Now. But, Canadian Jews are widely viewed as white and the community is well integrated into Toronto’s power structures. Possibly the best placed of any in the world, the Toronto Jewish community faces little economic or political discrimination and has above average levels of education and income.
As such, a militant group ‘representing’ Toronto Jewry would tend to be “supremacist” rather than “defensive”. To understand this point it may help to consider similar types of groups/actions.
No matter one’s opinion about their tactics, it wasn’t supremacist when Montréal feminists aggressively disrupted Roosh V last year since the “pro-rape” blogger crassly reinforces patriarchy. Ditto for a Black Panther Party patrol. The English Defence League, on the other hand, is a supremacist organization because those it claims to be “defending” – white, English, people – actually dominate that country.
Considering their minority religious status, the history of anti-Jewish prejudice and continued cultural (if not structural) anti-Semitism, the “supremacist” character of the JDL isn’t as clear-cut as in the case of the EDL. But, when it comes to the Palestinian struggle the JDL is an entirely supremacist organization. On that issue the JDL acts as the thuggish tool of the Israeli nationalist Jewish establishment, which themselves operate within a decidedly pro-Israel Canadian political culture.
Despite film of JDL thugs beating a 55-year-old Palestinian professor and a younger Jewish activist, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs couldn’t bring itself to criticize the attacks. CIJA spokesperson Martin Sampson responded to a National Post inquiry by simply stating, “the approach adopted by the JDL is not reflective of the mainstream Canadian Jewish community.”
But, where does the JDL get its funds? Why has it been allowed to march in Toronto’s annual Walk with Israel? Why has it been allowed to recruit in Jewish schools? CIJA, B’nai B’rith and the other Zionist organizations that have enabled the JDL should be pressed to answer for its violence.
Palestinian solidarity activists should also exploit the tension between those who back the JDL’s anti-Palestinian posture, but oppose its alliances with fascist/white supremacist organizations. We must consistently point out that if you are against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, you must oppose all forms of fascism. History points to where that leads.
Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.
The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has written in his latest piece: “Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria? This is a time for Trump to be Trump — utterly cynical and unpredictable. ISIS right now is the biggest threat to Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and pro-Shiite Iranian militias — because ISIS is a Sunni terrorist group that plays as dirty as Iran and Russia… Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan…”
The daily and the columnist enjoy reputations as old warhorses empathising with Israeli interests. The probability is that Friedman is advancing Israel’s project to refuel the US’ stalled project of ‘regime change’ in Syria. Israel is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the swathe of Syrian territory bordering its ‘occupied territories’ in the Golan Heights remain in the hands of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Israel nurtured these groups to create a buffer zone between the Syrian territory it illegally occupies and where Damascus’ writ ends.
The Israeli attacks on Syrian forces operating near Golan Heights are becoming more frequent. Another major attack took place two days ago. Every time Israel attacks Syrian government assets, it provides an alibi, but in reality these attacks coincide with Syrian government operations against al-Qaeda and ISIS groups. Clearly, Israel intervenes to protect its al-Qaeda and ISIS proxies.
Friedman’s piece falls into perspective. On two occasions in recent weeks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced unease that the US may rekindle the regime change agenda in Syria and give it precedence over the fight against the ISIS. He said on April 12:
- US-led coalition only delivered strikes on selected ISIS positions. Jabhat al-Nusra has always been spared. We strongly suspect, and nobody has dispelled this suspicion so far, that al-Nusra is being spared so as to enact Plan B to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime. I have mentioned the potential consequences of such an action. We have seen this in Iraq and Libya. I hope that those who can draw lessons from history will prevail.
Two days back, Lavrov again warned against a “return to the old plan for changing the Syrian government.” Of course, the US’ strategy to use ‘jihadi’ groups as geopolitical tools dates back to the CIA’s Afghan war in the eighties. The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has warned repeatedly about such a scenario repeating, with ISIS furthering the US’ plan to weaken Russian influence in Central Asia.
All this draws attention to India’s policies toward Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Israel in June. Modi is on record that one main purpose of his visit is to buttress the interests of Gujarati diamond merchants who have lucrative business dealings with Israel. Presumably, fat cats who thrive on kickbacks from Israeli arms deals and our security experts struggling with the ‘Intifada’ in J&K are also stakeholders in Modi’s Israel trip.
However, Modi should have a frank conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu regarding Israel’s clandestine dealings with the Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Our intelligence agencies are constantly planting stories in the Indian newspapers highlighting the ISIS threat to India’s security, with a focus on the Malabar region. Praveen Swamy of Indian Express has been copiously reproducing such raw intelligence reports. (here, here, here and here) Such sensational reports cannot be totally dismissed as rumor-based fear-mongering garbage propagated by interest groups within the Indian establishment to raise the bogey of a ‘Kerala Islamic State’ (to borrow a colourful expression from Swamy) who aim at Hindu-Muslim polarization in the southern state.
Incidentally, Fox News reported last week that the ISIS is shifting its ‘capital’ from Raqqa to Dier es-Zor to the south, closer to the Israeli border. The American drones spotted ISIS convoys heading for Dier es-Zor but didn’t interdict them – presumably because of Israeli interests involved. (It is useful to recall that last September, US and Israel had attacked the Syrian military base in Dier es-Zor to ‘degrade’ it just hours before a major ISIS offensive to capture it.)
According to Swamy, our Malabari radicals fighting for ISIS eventually hope to return home to take revenge on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. And yet, clearly, ISIS in Syria serves Israeli interests. Suffice it to say, Israel’s unholy alliance with Al-Qaeda and ISIS seriously undermines India’s security interests and it is only proper that Modi makes a strong demarche with Netanyahu regarding Israel’s indirect backing for the radicalization of our region. We can forgo diamond trade but not national security.
Leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, speaks during a televised speech in Sa’ada, on April 23, 2017.
Leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, says the United States and the Israeli regime are two sides of the same coin and together they seek to destroy Yemen through a brutal military campaign launched by Saudi Arabia.
Addressing a group of Yemenis in Sa’ada, thorough a video conference, Houthi further said on Sunday that the US, Israel and their allies are trying to impose their values on regional nations, adding that enemies view Yemenis as a worthless tool to sustain their own interests in the region.
“Independent forces in the region from Yemen to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are considered as rogue from the American perspective, and sympathy for the oppressed in these countries is viewed as a crime,” he said, adding that Washington is trying hard to turn regional players into its own puppets.
The Yemeni leader also noted that collusion in the atrocities committed against the Yemeni people is not an issue in the eyes of the American leaders, but when the oppressed and independent forces cooperate with each other, the US perceives it as a crime.
He called on all Yemenis to stand united against the aggressors and defend their country.
“[When] anyone says Israel is a threat to our nation, the United States and its allies say they are supporters of Iran, and with the help of this false justification, they (Washington and allies) target anyone that does not accept adopting a hostile attitude towards Iran,” he added.
He also said the only sin committed by Iran, from the perspective of the United States, was that it freed itself from being a puppet country in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
‘US, Israel main source of terrorism worldwide’
The Yemeni leader added that Washington considers regional or international threats all those countries that are not its ally, “but the reality is that the US and Israel are themselves the main source of terrorism worldwide.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Houthi said the Yemeni nation, from all walks of life, should boost their awareness of the realities of regional developments and use it as a tool to battle the US propaganda against the Arab country. Ignorance, he said, makes people an easy target for the US and the Zionists.
Houthi also stated that only Yemenis can decide about their future and the internal affairs of their country and that absolutely no other country or organization, even the United Nations and the Arab League, can impose their so-called solutions to the crisis in Yemen.
He described as utterly ridiculous Washington and Riyadh’s claim that they want to liberate Yemeni cities from “Yemeni occupation.”
“You are Yemenis, who have occupied the capital Sana’a? The US wants to liberate Sana’a from Yemenis?!” he asked.
Houthi reiterated that the Yemeni nation’s resistance against the Riyadh regime’s incessant attacks was deeply rooted in religious orders and was meant to safeguard national sovereignty and freedom.
Saudi Arabia launched its deadly campaign against Yemen in March 2015 to push back the Houthi Ansarullah fighters from Sana’a and to bring back to power Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s president who has resigned and is a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The campaign, which lacks any international mandate and has faced increasing criticism, has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, most of them civilians.
Certain Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar, are partners to the military aggression.
Three Syrian forces have been killed in a fresh Israeli attack on a military camp near the southwestern city of Quneitra, a military official says.
The attack hit the al-Fawwar camp on Sunday, wounding two others, the unnamed official told the French news agency AFP.
It was not clear whether the assault was an airstrike or shelling. The attack comes after Israel struck a Syrian army position in the province of Quneitra on the Golan plateau on Friday, “causing damage.”
A Syrian military source told the official SANA news agency that the Israeli aggression came after an attempt by terrorists to infiltrate military positions in Quneitra was foiled and the assailants suffered heavy losses.
The Israeli military confirmed the raid in a statement, saying it was conducted shortly after three mortar shells allegedly fired from Syria hit an open area in the northern occupied Golan Heights.
The Tel Aviv regime regularly hits positions held by the Syrian army in the Golan Heights, claiming that the attacks are retaliatory. Syria says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.
In the past, the Syrian army has confiscated Israeli-made arms and military equipment from terrorists fighting the government forces. There are also reports that Tel Aviv has been treating the extremists wounded in Syria.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
The regime has built tens of illegal settlements in the area ever since and used the region to carry out military operations against the Syrian government.
Army advances against militants
Separately on Sunday, Syrian forces recaptured Halfaya town in the west-central Hama Province, the Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV channel reported.
Meanwhile, pro-opposition media reported fierce clashes between the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the northern countryside of Hama.
US defense officials also told Fox News that the Daesh terrorist group is now centered in the city of Dayr al-Zawr, some 144 kilometers southeast of Raqqah, the Takfiri outfit’s de facto capital in Syria.
They said that US military drones have watched hundreds of Daesh “bureaucrats” or administrators, leaving Raqqah in the past two months.
NABLUS – Israeli forces shot and injured four Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets, after residents in a Palestinian village south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank gathered to defend their homes from a mob of Israeli settlers that stormed the community. Hours later, two Palestinians were hospitalized when a group of settlers attacked Palestinians in a nearby village.
Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that some 100 “extremist settlers” from the illegal Yitzhar settlement entered the village of Urif from its east side and proceeded to smash windows of houses, included one belonging to resident Munir al-Nouri.
He added that the settlers were about to break into the house before Palestinian villagers gathered and forced them away.
According to a Facebook group for Urif, loudspeakers from the village’s mosque were used to inform residents of the incident and to urge them to help defend the homes from the “herds of settlers” attacking the village.
Minutes later, Daghlas said, a number of Israeli military vehicles stormed the village to protect the Israelis.
Clashes erupted between Palestinians youth and Israeli forces who “haphazardly” fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians, according to Daghlas.
Daghlas said that four Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, one of whom was hit in the head. Medical sources said that Adel al-Safadi, Jihad Saad, Mustafa Fawzi, and Sharif Abd al-Hafith were taken to Rafidiya hospital to be treated for the gunshot injuries.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a “violent dispute erupted between Israelis and Palestinians” who she said were “mutually throwing rocks at each other in an area around the village.” When Israeli forces arrived to “disperse the dispute, several Palestinians shot flares at (Israeli) forces.”
In response, Israeli forces used “riot dispersal means,” she said. No Israeli were reported injured
Later Saturday afternoon, Daghlas said that another group of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the town of Huwwara, just a few kilometers away from Urif, on the southeastern edge of Yitzhar.
Daghlas said that dozens of settlers attacked Palestinians and their homes with stones and “sharp objects.” A 72-year-old woman, Badiah Muhammad Hamdan, and a young man identified as Ahmad Yousif Udah were hospitalized. Daghlas said Hamdan sustained head injuries.
A video shared on social media showed the woman, bloodied and incapacitated, being evacuated in an ambulance.
Separately, a young Palestinian man was run over by an Israeli settler later Saturday afternoon in al-Masoudiyya west of Nablus city, Daghlas said.
Daghlas told Ma’an that 19-year-old Asim Salim from Nablus city was evacuated to Rafidiya hospital, where doctors said he sustained moderate wounds. Daghlas added that Salim was trying to cross the road in al-Masoudiyya when a settler’s vehicle hit him and fled the scene.
An Israeli border police spokesperson could not be reached for comment on the reported hit and run.
According to the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), since the state of Israel confiscated land from Urif and other Palestinian villages to establish the illegal Yithzar settlement in the 1980s, “attacks and violence perpetrated by settlers has had a profoundly negative impact on Palestinian residents and their property,” stressing that Yitzhar “poses a daily threat to residents of the neighboring Palestinian villages.”
Settlers have also been known to steal crops, damage and burn trees and other plants, and attack places of worship in the area, in an attempt to intimidate Palestinian villagers and farmers from using their land.
On Friday, a video was released showing 15 masked Israeli settlers attacking Israeli activists in the central West Bank, throwing rocks and hitting the activists with clubs.
Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have meanwhile accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.
In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 221 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2015, and 107 in 2016.