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Advocating for Israel pays well: Salaries of nonprofit heads

Rabbi Marvin Hier (center) and his wife Marlene with actor Dustin Hoffman at the premiere of “Against the Tide” on February 4, 2009 in Los Angeles. The Hiers and their son receive total annual compensation of $1.4 million.
If Americans Knew | December 12, 2017

Heads of nonprofits that support Israel receive compensation in the hundreds of thousands of dollars up to, in a few cases, over a million dollars.

Politicians reaping money from the Israel lobby (e.g. Tom Cotton received close to a million dollars from the Emergency Committee for Israel; Haim Saban and his wife donated $11.5 million to pro-Clinton super PACs, along with large sums to the Clinton Foundation) are not the only ones to benefit from supporting Israel.

Executive directors of nonprofits that support Israel receive compensation in the hundreds of thousands of dollars up to almost $2 million.

The Forward recently compiled a list of their earnings. It reported that Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center received $818,148 and that his spouse and his son also work for the center, giving them an annual total $1.4 million.

According to the Forward the Hiers were not alone in surpassing a million dollars compensation – in 2016, the CEO of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland received compensation of $1.3 million, and in 2014 the CEO of Boston’s Jewish federation received almost $2 million.

Below are some members of the Forward’s list for 2016

(All the individuals below head up organizations that spend part or all of their time in activities supportive of Israel):

Simon Wiesenthal Center
$818,148
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
$735,1811
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
$720,194
The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
$664,489
Jewish Federations of North America
$636,559
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
$634,572
Republican Jewish Coalition
$632,950
Birthright Israel Foundation
$609,0561
Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago
$564,955
Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland
$546,515
Anti-Defamation League
$545,441
American Jewish Committee
$539,016
UJA Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York
$530,000
Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles
$525,594
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
$519,436
Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
$507,430
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
$495,307
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
$487,4501
Foundation for Jewish Camp
$460,501
The Israel Project
$460,160
Conference of Presidents Of Major Jewish Organizations
$452,693
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco
$449,7502
Zionist Organization of America
$448,063
Jewish Community Centers Association of North America
$445,0002
Jewish National Fund
$435,011
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
$432,199
Hadassah
$409,818
B’nai Brith International
$405,708
United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
$351,7981
United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey
$352,236
American Jewish World Service
$330,000
Center for Jewish History
$325,0002
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
$323,065
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
$315,0003
CLAL (National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership)
$309,7343
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
$308,5781
CLAL (National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership)
$289,9843
J Street
$259,203
Stand With Us
$246,127
ORT America
$235,0001
Bend The Arc
$233,579
Americans for Peace Now
$228,866
Agudath Israel of America
$220,058
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
$205,160
Hazon
$202,811
Keshet
$153,462
Israeli-American Council
$135,6723

For full list go to The Forward.

December 12, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli security interests dominate EU diplomacy

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | December 12, 2017

The EU Foreign Policy Chief has told Benjamin Netanyahu that there will be no mass relocation of embassies to Jerusalem. Federica Mogherini insisted that this will be the case in response to the Israeli Prime Minister’s comment that most European countries would follow Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv.

However, there was no recognition from the EU regarding the shift in political dynamics, particularly with regard to the negotiations and the two-state paradigm. On the contrary, Mogherini exposed the EU’s intent to persist in diplomatic engagement within the obsolete framework, for the sake of Israel’s security interest.

As quoted in the Times of Israel, Mogherini stated: “We believe it is in Israel’s interest, especially its security interest, to find a sustainable and comprehensible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is why the European Union will increase its work… to relaunch the peace process, even if it seems [that these are] difficult times.”

In keeping with its usual stances, Wafa news agency also reported that the EU is seeking compensation of €30,000 from Israel for the confiscation and destruction of structures funded by Brussels. The news would have been a diversion, even at a less drastic moment, given that the EU is apparently willing to go on paying for Israel’s penchant for demolition. However, in the current circumstances, the EU’s demand is more of an assertion that the cycle of abuse and plunder is set to continue as usual, with demands unmet by Israel and the further depletion of Palestinian rights.

Despite refuting Netanyahu’s statement, which speaks about a hypothetical future and within the context of a majority of countries prioritising relations with Israel above ending its colonisation of Palestine, Mogherini’s reasons do not frame the response as any kind of solidarity with the Palestinians. The EU has embarked upon the most convenient narrative and the easiest one to articulate. If it can promote the two-state compromise as the best option to protect Israeli interests, the essence behind such reasoning does not oppose Trump’s action. In different ways, the US and the EU have promoted a distorted concept of peace which complements each other’s and, particularly, Netanyahu’s aims of using the euphemism as a veneer for Israel’s ongoing violence.

The EU might be less willing to overtly affirm agreement. Its reticence, however, should not be misconstrued as support. Eliminating the possibility of considering — let along affirming — decolonisation as the necessary process for peace, turns every decision taken by the EU into an advantage for Israel. There is no need for other diplomatic belligerence to affirm support for the Zionist state’s colonial project; the reiteration of Israeli security interests dissociated from the circumstances created by the colonial entity itself is enough.

A current rejection of Netanyahu’s hypothesis is a weak response to the threat unleashed by Trump. If the EU is to take a stance of unequivocal rejection, it has to match its rhetoric with a complete change of policy which would construct peace according to Palestinian demands based upon international law. Relaunching the peace process as the means to protect Israeli security interests makes a mockery of the losses suffered by Palestinians since the initial colonial process started more than 100 years ago and conveys flagrant contempt for the legitimate rights of the indigenous population of occupied Palestine.

December 12, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , | Leave a comment

Bad Moon Rising

A new cabinet will mark neocon ascendancy

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • December 12, 2017

Back during the admittedly brief shock and awe period that immediately followed on the Trump electoral victory, it appeared that there might be an actual realignment of American foreign policy. The neoconservatives virtually unanimously had opposed Donald Trump in the most vile terms, both in the GOP primaries and during the actual electoral campaign, making clear that Hillary was their choice for a future full of unrelenting, ideologically driven warfare to convert the world to democracy. By that metric, one would assume that Trump would prefer to be roasted on a spit rather than have neocons on his national security team, and many in the punditry did agree with that analysis and went on to share that view.

At the time, I agreed, but I did note that the neoconservatives have proven to be remarkable resilient, particularly as many of them have remained true to their Democratic Party values on nearly everything but foreign policy, where they are irredeemable hawks, hostile to Russia and Iran and always reliably in the corner of Israel. In short, many neocons can be unmasked as Hillary Clinton Democrats if one looks at them issue by issue, which certainly helps to explain some subsequent developments.

Some Washington observers who actually care about such things have been writing how there has been a kumbaya process going on between self-described conservative neocons and liberal interventionists. Katrina vanden Heuvel describes the progressive hawks as “the essential-country crowd,” borrowing a phrase from ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

There are inevitably minor disconnects between the two groups based on their motives for aggression – Democrats claim to do it to bring democracy and freedom while Republicans say they do it to enhance national security. Both are lying in any event as it all comes down to great power rivalries, with big powerful nations pushing smaller weaker nations around because they are able to get away with it and feel more comfortable if everyone lines up behind them.

So everyone in Washington and New York’s financial services industry agrees that a more assertive America is a better America even when the reality is that no one winds up with either democracy or security. Which brings us to the latest shuffle in the Donald Trump cabinet and what it is likely to mean down the road. Multiple sources are predicting Tillerson out and Mike Pompeo in at State Department with Pompeo replaced at CIA by Senator Tom Cotton. The White House is denying the story, calling it “fake news,” but it is clear that Trump is uncomfortable with the current arrangement and Tillerson will be gone sooner or later.

Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State replaces a somewhat bumbling businessman adept at dealing in energy futures contracts who has been struggling with reducing State’s enormously bloated payroll. Pompeo, a real hard-nosed political hardliner who tends to see complex issues in fairly simplistic ways, has become a presidential confidant, briefing Trump frequently on the state of the world, most recently pushing for the horrific decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In a recent speech , Pompeo criticized the CIA, observing that it had both forgotten how to spy, which is almost certainly true, while adding that it will have to become “more vicious” to accomplish its mission of making the United States “safe.” Pompeo would like to turn the United States into an unleashed wrecking ball directed against the enemies of the American Way and he appears intent on starting that process in the Middle East.

And Pompeo will be replaced as CIA Director by Tom Cotton. The less said about Tom the better, but I will attempt to summarize in 8 words here: Tom is completely owned by the Israel Lobby. In his 2014 election as junior Senator from Arkansas, he received $1 million from the Emergency Committee for Israel headed by Bill Kristol as well as additional assistance from the Republican Jewish Coalition. In March 2015, Tom paid those supporters back when 47 Republican United States Senators signed a letter allegedly written by him that was then sent to the Iranian government directly, warning that any agreement over that country’s nuclear program reached with President Barack Obama would likely be overturned by the Congress. The letter, which undercuts the authority of the American president before an international audience, was signed by the entire Republican Party leadership in the Senate and also included then presidential contenders Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

I do not wish to imply that Cotton and Pompeo are somehow stupid, but they do tend to see the world in a very monochromatic fashion, just like their boss. Pompeo was first in his class at West Point and Cotton graduated from Harvard as an undergrad and also from the Law School. Trump claims to be the smartest person in the room no matter where he is standing. But for all the academic credentials and other posturing, it is hard to imagine how the new choices could possibly be worse from a common-sense perspective unless one includes Nikki Haley, who is, fortunately, otherwise engaged. Haley really is stupid. And ambitious. And is also owned by the Israel Lobby, which appears to be a thread that runs its way through all the Trump foreign policy appointees.

What is wrong about the whole Trump team is that they all seem to believe that you can go around the world kicking the shit out of everyone without there being any consequences. And they all hate Iran for reasons that continue to be obscure but may be connected to their relationships with – you guessed it – the neoconservatives and the Israeli Lobby!

Yes, the neocons are back. I noted back in October that when Pompeo and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster wanted a friendly place to drop by to give a policy speech that would be warmly received they went to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), whose marketing masthead slogan is “Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Freedom.” FDD is currently neocon central, used like the American Enterprise Institute was when Dick Cheney was Vice President and needed a friendly audience. It is headed by Canadian Mark Dubowitz, whose passion in life is making sure that sanctions on Iran are enforced to the letter. Unfortunately, it is not easy to deport a Canadian.

Neocon watchers will undoubtedly note that big names like Brill Kristol, the Kagans, Michael Chertoff and Max Boot will not be showing up in government. True, but that is because they will instead be working through their foundations, of which FDD is only one. The Alliance for Securing Democracy, which has recently sprung up in lobby-land, markets itself as “bipartisan, and transatlantic…” but it actually is pure neocon. Its goal is to “expose Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States of America and Europe.” It includes the usual neocon names but also has the loyal Democratic opposition, including ex-CIA Acting Director Mike Morell and Jake Sullivan, both of whom were top level advisers to Hillary Clinton.

The replacement of former political appointees in the government has been so slow in Trump’s first year that it has actually benefited the neocons in their recovery. Many survivors of the two previous administrations are still in place, nearly all of whom reflect the hawkishness prevalent during 2001-2016. They will be supplemented by second and third tier neoconservatives, who will fill in the policy gaps, virtually guaranteeing that the neocon crafted foreign policy that has been around for the past sixteen years will be here for some time longer.

What all this means is that, now that the Palestinians have been disposed of and the Israelis rewarded, we can expect armed conflict with Iran within the next year, followed by increased hostility towards Moscow as Russiagate continues to play out. I do not even want to guess at what kind of insanity the gang in the West Wing Situation Room will come up with for dealing with North Korea. The good news is that the builders of home bomb shelters, a booming enterprise when I was growing up back in the 1950s and 1960s now used to cultivate mushrooms, will be back in business.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

December 12, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Today They Took My Son

By Rebecca Stead | MEMO | December 11, 2017

The heart wrenching story of a mother’s loss is laid bare in “Today They Took My Son”. Released online yesterday to coincide with International Human Rights Day, Farah Nabulsi’s short film beams the pain and suffering of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank into the home of every viewer.

The story begins with Khalid, “the hero”, riding his bike through the narrow streets of a nameless town, his father’s voice narrating his adventure from somewhere in the background. Reminiscent of many a home video the world over, any sense of familiarity is quickly jolted away as the film cuts to documentary footage of a house demolition, of men in army uniforms surrounding an unknown figure, of the agony of an old, bearded man as he sits among the rubble of his home.

This juxtaposition of home video-style footage, of birthday cakes and makeshift football matches, and of raw, distressing scenes of Khalid’s arrest is an ongoing theme throughout the film. Narrated by his mother, her eyes dark and harrowed, she asks how “they who have taken everything else” could take her son away. “The body refuses to hear what it has always feared,” she says, as she runs in vain through the streets to the spot where Khalid was taken.

Yet these scenes are simultaneously all too recognisable. In fact, “Today They Took My Son” narrates a situation that has become daily reality for many Palestinians living in the West Bank, as the film points out, “every 12 hours, a Palestinian child is detained, interrogated, prosecuted and/or imprisoned”, according to a 2013 UNICEF report. Others have confirmed such figures, with Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem estimating that as of August 2017 “331 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons”.

The words of Khalid’s mother: “I know the earth will keep spinning around my pain, ignorant of all that has now changed in my world”, strike at the heart of the matter, that such accounts of suffering so often fall on deaf ears among the international community. For Farah Nabulsi, herself a Palestinian living in diaspora in London, “Today They Took My Son” is a vehicle for allowing others to see and feel what Palestinians in the Occupied Territories experience on a regular basis.

Nabulsi explains that although she “always thought she understood the injustices suffered by her people”, it wasn’t until she visited the territories and witnessed the treatment of children that she began to ask “what if that was my child?” As a mother of five, Nabulsi told the Institute for Middle East Understanding in an interview back in May that

There is nothing more excruciating in this life than not being able to help your child.

“These are people whose land was taken, whose homes were taken, whose dignity was taken, whose freedom has been taken, but to also have your children taken?”

What we are seeing is a systematised process of breaking a society through their children.

In the belief that “the arts play a crucial role in changing the world”, Nabulsi hopes that, by documenting the suffering of Palestinians through accessible art forms, awareness and empathy can be brought about. By “giving voice to the silenced”, what the late Edward Said once termed “permission to narrate”, Nabulsi seeks to “rehumanise” the Palestinian situation and provide a counter narrative to that espoused by the powerful lobbyists and international players who seek to deny the Palestinian situation.

“Today They Took My Son” challenges any viewer, irrespective of their geography, family situation or political affiliation, to watch a mother’s heartbreak and not be moved. Her final line “When will he come back? Will he come back? What shall we tell him of the world when he does?” asks us all to consider our silence.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Khader Adnan seized by Israeli occupation forces, launches immediate hunger strike

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network- December 11, 2017

Prominent Palestinian leader, organizer and former prisoner and hunger-striker Khader Adnan was seized on Monday morning, 11 December, by Israeli occupation forces at his home in Arraba, Jenin. He immediately launched an open hunger strike to demand his release.

Randa Moussa, his wife, told Palestine Today that he had announced an immediate strike on food, drink and speech after his arrest. She said that four patrols, an armored troop carrier and a jeep surrounded their home at 2:30 am and invaded the home violently, trying to break down the door of the home, and that they hit Adnan on the back and hand, throwing him on the ground before handcuffing him. He was then interrogated in a closed room of the house before being taken away to an undisclosed location.

Adnan, prominent political activist from the town of Arraba near Jenin, has been arrested 10 times and spent six years in Israeli prison, all in administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial. In 2012 and 2015, he carried out 66-day and 56-day hunger strikes, respectively, winning his liberation from arbitrary Israeli imprisonment.

The Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement that “the arrest of leaders and popular and national symbols will not weaken our people or break their will…. this is a desperate attempt to suppress the uprising of Jerusalem,” as Palestinians inside and outside Palestine have risen up against US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the “capital of Israel” in the eyes of the US.

Khader Adnan is a Palestinian and international symbol of steadfastness within the prisons who has inspired widespread international solidarity. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network demands the immediate release of Khader Adnan and will announce further actions as we receive more news and information from Palestine on Adnan’s detention. The struggle for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners is at the forefront of the struggle to defend Jerusalem and liberate Palestine.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

How Jerusalem issue plays into Iranian, Turkish (and Russian) hands

By M.K. Bhadrakumar | Asia Times | December 11, 2017

Iran has, predictably enough, taken a hard line on the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. There were public demonstrations in several Iranian cities following Friday prayers and statements by President Hassan Rouhani and other senior politicians. Notably, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, warned: “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will be the place where the Zionist regime will be buried.”

It was Turkey’s reaction that set the mind thinking that the ground beneath our feet is shifting, however. President Recep Erdogan used exceptional language in his response, calling Israel a “terrorist” state. His stance is important for a variety of reasons. Turkey is currently chairing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and has called for an emergency summit in Istanbul on Wednesday. This puts Erdogan in the driving seat.

The OIC has traditionally kowtowed to Saudi Arabia. But the Saudi regime finds itself on the defensive at the moment. The unsavory talk in the bazaar is that King Salman and the Crown Prince have played footsie with Trump and Jared Kushner. Erdogan hears bazaar gossip, for sure. Will the OIC recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine? This is a possibility.

Both Iran and Turkey repudiate the notion of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital. Iran has brought into play the politics of “resistance,” whereas Erdogan stresses “We will continue our struggle decisively within the law and democracy.” The distinction must be noted – but then, so must the degree of convergence.

Iran and Turkey have both long wished for an end to Saudi Arabia calling the shots in the Muslim Middle East. Now that the issue of Jerusalem has come to the fore, the Saudi regime must be wary of being seen to coordinate with Israel, or dancing to Trump’s tune.

The Saudi regime is also grappling with the quagmire in Yemen, where it is shedding “Muslim blood.” Pressure will now increase to end the war in there. Rouhani put forth on Sunday two preconditions to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia – stop “bowing” to Israel and, secondly, end the war in Yemen.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Delusions of Washington-Riyadh Ruling Elite and the Journalists Who Feed Them

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | Dember 9, 2017

NYT’ pro-Israel talking heads: David Makovsky and Aaron David Miller

In the aftermath of Trump’s disastrous recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the spin from Washington and Riyadh–and the journalists and think tank analysts only too eager be spun–has been outrageous. The level of sheer delusion is stupendous. This post will offer an anatomy of delusion and why it means only more suffering and bloodshed for both Arabs and Israelis.

The Times Shills for the Two-State Delusion

The NY Times, ever the newspaper of record for the élite and their paid emissaries, purports to debate whether the two-state solution remains viable in light of Trump’s seeming endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Who does Mark Landler quote as sources? Why, think tank talking heads who earn their keep from the Israel Lobby and its donors. Landler quotes no less than four sources affiliated with Lobby, all of whom endorse a two-state solution. And none of whom have ever offered any serious analysis or balanced discussion of the one-state solution: Martin Indyk, David Makovsky, Scott Anderson, and Daniel Levy.

How many Palestinian or Arab sources does he quote? One, Saeb Erekat.  And he doesn’t quote anything original from Erekat. He merely quotes statements the Palestinian made to other media outlets. He begins with Erekat saying:

… Erekat… a steadfast advocate for a Palestinian state, said in an interview on Thursday that Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “have managed to destroy that hope.” He embraced a radical shift in the P.L.O.’s goals — to a single state, but with Palestinians enjoying the same civil rights as Israelis, including the vote.

“They’ve left us with no option,” he said. “This is the reality. We live here. Our struggle should focus on one thing: equal rights.”

Once Landler lays this out, he must debunk it immediately. And he does:

Mr. Erekat’s change of heart is unlikely to change Palestinian policy. The dream of a Palestinian state is too deeply ingrained in a generation of its leaders for the Palestinian Authority to abandon it now. Israel would be unlikely to accede to equal rights, because granting a vote to millions of Palestinians would eventually lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Who is a NY Times reporter who knows little about what Palestinians believe, to say that a two-state solution is “too deeply ingrained” to be abandoned? And note who he points to as the arbiters of what Palestinians accept or believe? “Leaders,” by whom he means the doddering old kleptocratic octogenarians who have sold out the Palestinian cause for decades. Landler makes no attempt to reach out to Palestinian activists or academics or indigenous NGOs who know much better what the Palestinian street is thinking. Does Landler think that only leaders matter? Does he think leaders this corrupt and out of touch can merely wave a magic wand and four million Palestinians will follow them like the Pied Piper of Hamelin?

Further, why would Israel’s objections to “equal rights” and a one-state solution be a reason this doesn’t become the eventual resolution of the issue? Why do we assume that Israel will always be calling the shots? Did Serbia call the shots regarding Kosovo or Bosnia after NATO intervened? Why does the resistance of a nation which threatens to take the entire region to the brink of Armageddon become an immovable obstacle? The sheer chutzpah of such an assumption is enormous.

Later, the article offers the administration’s rebuttal of the Palestinian perspective on Trump’s proclamation:

Administration officials strenuously reject the argument that Mr. Trump has foreclosed a two-state solution… He studiously avoided taking a position on the eventual borders or sovereignty of Jerusalem.

That is either an ignorant or disingenuous statement.  When you recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem (not over “west Jerusalem,” as Trump could have said) and you omit any reference to Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, then you’ve taken a crystal clear position on borders and sovereignty. You’ve said Israel has sovereignty and the Palestinians don’t.  If you believe otherwise, you’re a fool or a villain (or both).

Then Landler chimes in with an affirmation of Trump’s claims of even-handedness:

Beyond the president’s words, there were other signs he is serious about his intentions. On the same day that he signed his name with a John Hancock-like flourish to a proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, he quietly signed another document that will delay the move of the American Embassy to the city for at least six months — and probably much longer.

How does Trump’s recognition that he can’t immediately move the embassy for a thousand logistical reasons equate to Trump being “serious in his intentions” to be fair and balanced in weighing the claims of Palestinians? Should Palestinians view the delay in moving the embassy as a gift to them? Something that has any real benefit or meaning to them?

At this point, Landler gives voice to his first pro-Israel talking head, Martin Indyk, who makes this blindingly astute observation:

“Avoiding a move of the embassy is a way of avoiding geographic definition,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel. “Avoiding any geographic definition of their recognition of Jerusalem looks like their effort to keep the peace process alive.”

It’s hardly much of an affirmation by Indyk of Trump’s peace process. But he does seem to believe that by not moving the embassy, the U.S. believes it’s offered the Palestinians something. When of course, it’s nothing and will have no value to any Palestinian.

Landler’s coup de grâce in terms of marshalling pro-Israel analysts is David Makovsky. And his comments have to be read to be believed:

… Some longtime Middle East observers said Mr. Erekat’s talk of a one-state solution reflected anger rather than a watershed change in the Palestinian position. Given Israel’s probable rejection of equal rights, American and Israeli supporters of a two-state solution said that option, for all intents and purposes, remained the only game in town.

“I don’t want to minimize the hurt the Palestinians feel,” said David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “But there was a duality to Trump’s message that has gotten lost.”

Mr. Trump, he said, was not closing the door to negotiations on borders and sovereignty. “Both parts should be heard,” he said. While he questioned the timing of the move, he said the Palestinians could return to the table when tempers cool.

“Right now their anger is such that they probably can’t hear this,” Mr. Makovsky said. “But if he presents a plan in the first quarter, are you not going to want to hear what it is? The Palestinians still think Trump’s enough of a bulldozer that if he gave something to the Israelis on a Wednesday, he’s capable of giving something to the Palestinians on a Thursday.”

It’s quite amazing that a pro-Israel shill like Makovsky who knows the two-state solution is dead and knows that no one in power in Israel or the U.S. believes in it, can still sell a journalist like Landler a bill of goods.  And note that Landler only quotes analysts who support a two-state solution and a PLO official who also has supported it till now. There are no sources here offering an alternative point of view.  None.  Which means this article is journalism in bad faith, whether the reporters who compiled it were aware of this bias or not.

Note that the strongest adjective Makovsky can muster to describe Palestinians emotions is “hurt.” No, hurt is when you skin your knee or sprain your pinkie. What Trump did to Palestinians is more like a shot to the gut; a paralyzing blow that deprives them of any hope and drives them into the arms of radical extremists.

I also like Makovsky’s assurance that Palestinians will return to talks once their hot-headed tempers cool down. Those pesky Palestinians always let their tribal emotions get the better of them. If they could only realize they have no choice. That what Trump offers is as good as they’re going to get. Then they’d get down to business.

The sheer ignorance of Makovsky assuming that the Palestinians will have natural curiosity about Trump’s offer and want to come back to the table to hear it is amazing. Why would Palestinians care what Trump offered them? Why would they attribute any value to it given his current and past statements? And just what does Makovsky believe Trump is going to give the Palestinians on that proverbial Thursday?

Finally, Landler ends his piece quoting the “liberal” pundit of the bunch, the guy the reporter probably feels covers his bases on the left, Daniel Levy. The only problem is that Levy isn’t “on the left.” He’s a liberal Zionist, neither progressive or leftist. And Levy too supports a two state solution. So where is the diversity of opinion this subject demands?

“It’s hard to see how you can go down that route without at some stage divesting yourself of a semblance of a self-governing authority,” said Daniel Levy, the London-based president of the U.S./Middle East Project. “You’ve got to call time on the Palestinian Authority, which never became a state.”

Instead, Mr. Levy said he believed that the peace process, and the Palestinians, were in a “transitional period,” in which the two-state solution had failed for now. But he added, “what people have done can be undone.”

Got that? Two states are dead “for now.” But not forever. That should give Palestinians hope that at some point in the vague future we men of good faith can revive it; or rather pull it out of the dustheap of failed Middle East plans, dust it off, and pretend it’s as good as new.

And what does Levy mean “what’s done can be undone?” How do you undo the death of thousands? How do you undo fierce rage against a sociopathic American president and his narcissistic Saudi and Israeli buddies who believe they can put the Palestinians on ice and ignore their legitimate claims to land, rights and nation?

The Saudi Delusion

Speaking of the Saudis, this Reuters story conveys the views of the ruling Crown Prince on these matters. If anything, they’re even more delusional than Trump or Netanyahu’s views. Before I offer a sampling, it’s worth hearing about the plan Trump is offering (and which the Saudis are endorsing):

As told to Abbas, the proposal included establishing “a Palestinian entity” in Gaza as well as the West Bank administrative areas A and B and 10 percent of area C, which contains Jewish settlements, a third Palestinian official said.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank would stay, there would be no right of return, and Israel would remain responsible for the borders, he said.

The proposal appears to differ little from existing arrangements in the West Bank, widening Palestinian control but falling far short of their minimum national demands.

A Palestinian entity. Not even a state. And even if someone wanted to call it a state, it wouldn’t be. It would be a bantustan of Palestinian villages surrounded by massive Israeli settlements. If the proposal essentially ratifies a rotten status quo, why would any Palestinian be willing to accept it?

Here is the real zinger, displaying the absolute cluelessness of the Saudis involved with this charade:

A Saudi source said he believed an understanding on Israeli-Palestinian peace would nonetheless begin to emerge in the coming weeks.

“Do not underestimate the businessman in (Trump). He has always called it the ultimate deal,” the source said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject.

“I don’t think our government is going to accept that unless it has something sweetened in the pipeline which (King Salman and the crown prince) could sell to the Arab world – that the Palestinians would have their own state.”

In other words, because Trump offers some blather about an ultimate deal, but refuses to offer the Palestinians any details other than assure them it would be “something they would like,” then we’re to assume that it would be “sweet” enough for MbS to sell (the Saudi’s apt words, not mine) to the Palestinians. I don’t know who’s worse, Trump or MbS. It’s worse than the blind leading the blind. It’s the deaf, dumb, and blind leading the deaf, dumb and blind.

The Reuters article too suffers from a surfeit of sources who cynically ratify the status quo and the consensus as defined by the Middle East and Beltway elites:

Most Arab states are unlikely to object to Trump’s announcement because they find themselves more aligned with Israel than ever, particularly on countering Iran, said Shadi Hamid, senior fellow at Brookings Institution in Washington,

“If Saudi officials, including the crown prince himself, were particularly concerned with Jerusalem’s status, they would presumably have used their privileged status as a top Trump ally and lobbied the administration to hold off on such a needlessly toxic move,” he wrote in an article published in The Atlantic.

“It’s unlikely Trump would have followed through if the Saudis had drawn something resembling a red line.”

Even if this is true (and it very possibly is), why doesn’t anyone bother to say the obvious: that if the Saudis wish to betray the Palestinians and abandon their role as guardians of the region’s Muslim holy places (including Jerusalem), they themselves will be abandoned by the Arab and Muslim world. Why do the eminences grise think that the Saudis can act in any way they choose without paying any consequences in terms of regional influence?

In truth, the Saudis will make themselves irrelevant if they force this deal down the Palestinians throat. They will force those Palestinians who reject it to turn to Iran and its Shiite allies like Hezbollah. They will turn Hamas into leaders of the Palestinian resistance after the PA has abandoned its responsibility to defend Palestinian rights. Even those Sunni states like Jordan or Egypt who might feel compelled to go along with the Saudi plan, will do so with tepid enthusiasm. And at the first sign of failure, they will bolt from the stables like horses staring at a forest fire. Leaving MbS alone with his buddies, Trump and Netanyahu (who by then may be long gone as prime minister–perhaps even behind bars).

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IsraelGate: The Arrogance of Jewish Power in the United States

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | December 11, 2017

The revelation that the Trump transition team colluded with Israel to sabotage a foreign policy initiative by the Obama White House made the news, sort of, when the story broke at the end of November. But it has since died, pushed down by the relentless pressure in the media to “disappear” all things critical of Israel or its behavior.

Thanks to the ongoing investigation of Russiagate by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, we Americans have learned that prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, some of his closest advisers responded to Israeli solicitation to derail a United Nations vote on illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The effort to help Israel was implemented behind the scenes and in opposition to the official U.S. foreign policy.

Possible collusion with a foreign state has produced an avalanche of negative press coverage and congressional baying for blood related to Moscow and its President Vladimir Putin but similar action on the part of Israel has produced little to nothing in terms of a response from the Fourth Estate and political class.

Perhaps not too surprising, the story has actually taken a different turn, producing some opinion pieces, mostly from American Jews, insisting that Jared Kushner, the presidential son-in-law who was behind the effort, did the right thing because it was done “for Israel.” It is a sure sign of the invulnerability of those exercising Jewish power in the United States that something very close to treason involving a foreign country can be applauded with impunity. This is in spite of the fact that successful attempts to bury the story and even to justify what was done inevitably raises the issue of “dual loyalty” on the part of some American Jews who clearly see Israel as something that has to be protected and cherished even when it means doing serious damage to the American people and U.S. national interests.

One of the most illustrative opinion pieces written by an “Israel firster” appeared recently in Forward, America’s leading Jewish news and information website. It was entitled “Jared Kushner Was Right To ‘Collude’ with Russia – because he did it for Israel” before it was changed in the online edition to “Was Kushner doing the right thing?” The author, Daniel Kohn, lives in San Diego California. The article is particularly interesting as it makes a grotesque convoluted effort to not only justify what took place but also to sing the praises of Israel and all its works.

The extent to which the op-ed is characteristic of American-Jewish thinking regarding Israel is, of course, difficult to estimate but I would suspect that most Jews in the U.S., who are generally self-described progressives, would find much of it rather dubious, though many would be reluctant to openly criticize or counter the arguments being made for fear of ostracism by their community.

Kohn constructs a straw man around the fact that previous incoming presidential administrations have communicated with foreign governments during their transition periods. This is certainly true and even sensible. But, at the same time, meeting representatives of other countries cannot be allowed to undercut the policies being pursued by the White House team that is actually still in power. In this case, President Barack Obama had made clear that his opposition to the Israeli settlement expansion would be expressed through U.S. abstention on a United Nations Security Council vote condemning such activity.

In response, the government of Israel asked Jared Kushner to use Trump’s potential leverage to bring about a veto or delay in the resolution. Kushner clearly approached his task with some zeal, instructing incoming National Security Adviser Mike Flynn to contact the U.N. delegations of the countries on the Security Council to do just that, undercutting what Obama was doing. That is how the phone call from Flynn to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak came about.

Kohn also critiques the applicability of the Logan Act, which blocks American citizens from negotiating with foreign governments on behalf of the United States by claiming that it “would likely not be a successful litigation path.” He argues that Kushner was “already acting in an official capacity,” which is flat out untrue as he had no official status. If Kushner had in fact been an honest broker he would have gone through the State Department, but he was instead working covertly to subvert a policy being pursued by the legally-in-power President of the United States. There is no other way to look at it.

Finally, Kohn argues that the U.N. Resolution 2334 that was approved in spite of Flynn’s call, gives the Palestinians both “more leverage” and “moral authority” in any future negotiations with the Israelis. He sees this as a bad thing, that Kushner was therefore rightly “pursuing a moral agenda that would help Israel’s security.” This is really the crux of the matter as Kohn sees the Middle East in very simple terms: Israeli dominance is a good thing, enabling Netanyahu to dictate both the pace and consequences arising from the endless peace talks that only continue to sustain land thefts and human rights violations by powerful Jews in dealing with virtually powerless Arabs. That is just the way Kohn and the Israelis want things to be, and, unfortunately President Donald Trump has now made clear that he endorses “that reality.”

There are altogether too many American Jews like Daniel Kohn who reflexively think as he does. Israelis are cheering in Jerusalem over Donald Trump’s surrender to them over the location of their capital, but real Americans should be mourning. The arrogance of Jewish power in the United States, exemplified by Kushner in regards to the United Nations and more recently concerning Jerusalem, means that U.S. citizens will be less secure when they travel, American businesses will have to think twice when seeking overseas markets, and diplomats and soldiers working in foreign Embassies and military bases will become targets. If there is an actual positive American interest concealed somewhere in the packages of concessions to Israel, I certainly cannot find it.

*(Benjamin Netanyahu, Jared Kushner and U.S. President Donald Trump are seen during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem. Monday, May 22, 2017. Image credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO/ Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ flickr)

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran’s Rouhani to Depart for Emergency Session on Jerusalem in Turkey

Sputnik – 10.12.2017

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will leave for Turkey to participate in an emergency session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jerusalem, a source from the president’s administration told Sputnik.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the current chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has announced that the leaders of the OIC members would adopt a road map on the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. He has also vowed to urge the OIC to cut ties with Israel.

Commenting on Trump’s controverisal move, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated at a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Tehran on Sunday that the decision adds fuel to tensions in the Middle East.

Previously, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision that has been widely criticized by the international community, saying that it violated the UN resolutions.

The international community does not recognize the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem, a holy site for three religions, and believes its status should be determined based on an agreement with the Palestinians, who seek to create their own state with the capital in the Holy City.

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Makkah and Madinah imams silent on Jerusalem in Friday sermons

MEMO | December 9, 2017

The Saudi imams of the Grand Mosques in Makkah and Madinah did not mention the situation in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque during their Friday sermons, Shehab.ps has reported. Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is regarded as the holiest place in Islam after the two Grand Mosques.

Although he did point out that the Kingdom “reiterated the legal rights of the blessed Palestinian people” and hailed King Salman and other Muslim leaders for seeking the best for Islam and Muslims, well-known Shaikh Maher Mu’eqili did not mention the issue of Jerusalem in his Makkah sermon. Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bu’ejan, who delivered the Friday speech in The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, did not mention the issue at all. Instead, he discussed God’s miracles in the change of the seasons throughout the year.

In the wake of Trump’s decision about Jerusalem, the Saudi Royal Court ordered the local media not to give the issue wide coverage, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported. The Saudi and Bahraini Embassies in Amman also called on their citizens living in Jordan not to take part in the demonstrations organised to protest against the US move.

While the international community has almost unanimously disagreed with Donald Trump’s announcement, reports suggest that the announcement was done with the pre-agreement of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with Saudi Arabia going as far as, allegedly, stating to the Palestinian President to accept a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem as the alternative Palestinian capital.

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Egypt journalists: ‘Sorry Palestine, we are governed by a Zionist’

MEMO | December 10, 2017

Egyptian journalists staged a protest on Thursday evening in front of the Journalists Syndicate in Cairo, objecting to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

A number of public figures took part in the protest, including former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, human rights activist Tariq Al-Awadhi as well as representatives of the Kefaya Movement, the April 6 Youth Movement and Al-Dustour.

The protesters demanded authorities sever ties with the Zionist entity, expel the Israeli ambassador in Cairo and close the Israeli embassy.

Condemning Arab governments, the protesters chanted: “Arab leaders are cowards… either resistance or treachery” and “down with every collaborator”.

In a bold move, they criticised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s response to Trump’s decision saying: “Sorry Palestine, we are governed by a Zionist.”

Police forces cordoned off the protesters using iron barricades, while riot police were positioned nearby to ensure the demonstration did not spread.
Amr Badr, member of the Journalists Syndicate, described the American decision and said he doesn’t not expect it to be followed through.

In the first official call to boycott US products, the Journalists Syndicate issued a statement which condemned Trump’s decision and called on all Egyptians to boycott American goods.

While the international community has almost unanimously disagreed with Donald Trump’s announcement, reports suggest that the announcement was done with the pre-agreement of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Arabia going as far as, allegedly, stating to the Palestinian President to accept a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem as the alternative Palestinian capital.

Since the announcement, Saudi Arabia’s royal court has sent notices to the nation’s media outlets to limit the airtime given to protests against Trump’s announcement.

Emboldened by Trump’s annoucement, Israeli housing Minister Yoav Galant decided on Friday to promote a plan to build 14,000 new settlement units in the occupied Jerusalem.

Read also: Makkah and Madinah imams silent on Jerusalem in Friday sermons

 

December 10, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lebanon proposes anti-US sanctions over embassy move

Press TV – December 9, 2017

Lebanon’s foreign minister has told an emergency Arab League meeting that imposing economic sanctions should be considered against the US over its embassy relocation move.

“Preemptive measures (must be) taken against the decision… beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions,” said Gebran Bassil during an Arab Lague meeting held in Cario on Saturday.

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday defied global warnings and said Washington formally recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and would begin the process of moving its embassy to the occupied city, breaking with decades of American policy.

“Could this calamity bring us together and wake us from our slumber? Let it be known that history will never forgive us and our future will not be proud of what we have done,” added Bassil.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit also called on world nations to recognize the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

He added that Trump’s decision raised a question over Washington’s role as a peace mediator, not just in Palestine but the whole world. “The decision amounts to the legalization of occupation,” he added.

“The decision by the US administration is in its essence legitimizing the occupation and admitting and allowing their stance by force. It is a waste of international legitimacy and the principles of justice, and therefore has placed he who took (the decision) in a state of conflict with the collective will of the international community,” he stressed.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki called on members of the league to instruct their UN envoys to submit a draft resolution to Security Council to condemn Trump’s decision, which “betrays its hostility and bias against the Palestinian people.”

He also called on world nations to recognize the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

“I expect from you to commission the Arab block (in the Security council) to immediately act in presenting a draft resolution to the security council that rejects this American decision. We also call upon all Arabs in light of this American decision that challenged, not only Arabs and Muslims, but the world as a whole, to quickly visit Jerusalem, so as not to leave it as a victim to the American decision and Israeli threat,” he added.

Jordanian foreign minister also stressed that there will be no peace and security in the region unless Jerusalem al-Quds is free.

“We want peace as a strategic option, which we demand for all of the region’s peoples completely and indefinitely. However, there will be no peace without a free and independent Palestine, there will be no peace unless Jerusalem is free, and is the capital of Palestine,” said Ayman Al Safadi.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s diplomatic adviser said that Abbas will reject to meet US Vice President Mike Pence during his scheduled visit to the region later in the month.

“There will be no meeting with the vice president of America in Palestine… The United States has crossed all the red lines with the Jerusalem decision,” he added.

Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in al-Quds continued on Saturday over the Trump administration’s divisive decision.

Palestinian protestors threw objects at Israeli soldiers and set trash cans on fire, while others held guns to the head of an effigy of Trump, before burning it.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments