The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has strongly criticized a recent decision by a court in Luxembourg to seize $1.6 billion of the Islamic Republic’s assets, saying the verdict did not amount to the enforcement of a related ruling by a US court.
In a statement on Sunday, the CBI announced that it would use all means at its disposal to protest and appeal the decision by the Luxembourg court, adding that legal efforts would continue until the rights of the Iranian nation are restored.
“The recent decision by the court in Luxembourg does not mean the recognition and enforcement of the US court verdict and the aforementioned seizure [of assets] only is a preliminary measure, which can be countered through various means,” it said.
“There are numerous means available under Luxembourg laws to counter it, such as protesting and appealing the verdict at higher courts, and the Central Bank [of Iran], with the cooperation of the Iranian Presidency’s Center for International Legal Affairs, will make the utmost use of the above means,” the statement added.
“Measures by the United States of America in line with issuing so-called terrorism rulings against the Iranian government are in various respects violations of international law and conventions.”
According to the statement, the procedure adopted by the US against Iran is in contravention of the immunity of governments under international law and a violation of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights signed between Iran and the US in 1955.
Furthermore, the CBI said, the execution in other countries of the ruling in absentia lacks any justification and basis in international law.
“The Islamic Republic has cataloged in detail the reasons for the illegality of this measure by the government of the United States of America in a petition registered at the International Court of Justice,” added the statement.
It added that several years ago, in response to the intensification of US sanctions against Iran, the CBI launched a campaign to “curtail the share of the US dollar in its income basket and this measure was implemented gradually but continuously. This policy is also followed closely today.”
A Luxembourg court on Wednesday denied a request by Tehran to retrieve $1.6 billion of Iranian assets claimed by the US as compensation for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The New York Times released a report on March 6 about a confidential ruling by a Luxembourg court to freeze $1.6 of CBI assets in a financial institution in the European country.
According to informed sources, the Luxembourg court ordered the freezing of the CBI assets after a group of terror attack victims, who had won a default judgment against Iran in the US, filed a lawsuit at the European court to try to enforce it, the report said.
In 2011, the group had persuaded a federal judge in New York, George B. Daniels, to find that Iran had provided assistance to al-Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks, an allegation vehemently dismissed by the Islamic Republic. In 2012, the judge ordered Iran to pay the victims two billion dollars in compensatory damages and five billion dollars in punitive damages.
That judgment stagnated for years, as there was no obvious financial source to collect it. However, after the nuclear sanctions against Iran were lifted, following a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, which was signed last year, the group referred the case to the Luxembourg court as it came to light that the Clearstream system in Luxembourg, which facilitates international exchanges of securities, was holding $1.6 billion in CBI assets.
In a similar case in April, the US Supreme Court issued an order authorizing the transfer of around two billion dollars of frozen Iranian assets to the families of the victims of a 1983 bombing in Beirut, which targeted a US Marine Corps barracks in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and other attacks blamed on Iran. The assets belong to the CBI, which have been blocked under US sanctions.
Iran has denied any role in the attacks and strongly criticized the move by the US.
WASHINGTON – The United States has imposed sanctions against eight Russian companies in connection with the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA), US State Department representative told Sputnik on Saturday.
“Penalties are being applied to eight Russian entities as a result of a regular, periodic review of specific activities as required by the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act,” the representative said.
The representative also stressed that these sanctions “are separate from the broader economic sanctions that have been in place since 2014” in connection with the Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The United States imposed sanctions on 150th Aircraft Repair Plant, Aviaexport, Bazalt, Kolomna Design Bureau of Machine-Building (KBM), Rosoboronexport (ROE), Ulyanovsk Higher Aviation Academy of Civil Aviation (UVAUGA), Ural Training Center for Civil Aviation (UUTsCA), Zhukovskiy and Gagarin Academy (Z&G Academy).
US authorities have charged a Lebanese businessman with dodging sanctions imposed against him over his alleged financial support to the Hezbollah resistance movement, the Department of Justice has announced.
The Justice Department said in a statement that Kassim Tajideen pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday.
The 62-year-old billionaire businessman will remain in prison until his next hearing, which is scheduled to be held in the coming week, according to the statement.
He was arrested on March 12 in Morocco after an international warrant was issued by Interpol’s office in Washington, Reuters reported earlier this week.
American authorities claimed Tajideen operated a big company that did business in commodities across the Middle East and Africa. The United States Treasury Department sanctioned Tajideen in 2009, accusing him of having contributed “tens of millions of dollars” to Hezbollah, leaving him shut out from banks with no legal redress.
Tajideen had rejected the accusation and said the news of sanctions in 2009 was a shock.
“I was surprised, as I’d thought America was democratic,” Tajideen said. “A friend called me at midnight to tell me, and woke me up. The next day I saw my lawyer [in Belgium], although he didn’t know exactly what it would mean.”
America’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with the help of US Customs and Border Protection led a two-year investigation that resulted in Tajideen’s arrest and indictment, according to the Justice Department.
Raymond Donovan, a DEA special agent, accused Tajideen of acting as a key financier of Hezbollah.
American authorities said Tajideen evaded the Treasury sanctions by restructuring his company and using a complex web of trade names, which allowed him to continue doing business with US companies.
Last year, the US Treasury added two Lebanese men — Mohamad Noureddine and Hamdi Zaher El Dine — to its sanctions blacklist accusing them of laundering money for Hezbollah.
The Treasury claimed that the men had used a network across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to help Hezbollah.
In 2015, the Barack Obama administration approved a bill which imposed sanctions against banks that do business with Hezbollah.
Washington accuses the resistance movement of condoning terrorism. However, Hezbollah has been involved in fierce fighting against Daesh terrorists in Syria.
Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s following the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon.
The movement waged a long resistance campaign against Zionist troops and pushed them out of southern Lebanon in May 2000.
Since then, the group has grown into a powerful military force and has successfully defeated the Zionist regime several times.
Hezbollah has also supported the Syrian army in its fight against the foreign-sponsored terrorists who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since March 2011.
Since its inception in 1985, the Islamic resistance movement has been a thorn in the flesh of Israel and its foreign backers, such as the United States.
A bipartisan group of US senators in Congress have introduced a bill that would impose tighter sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile tests and other non-nuclear activities.
The bill was introduced on Thursday by 14 Democratic and Republican senators, including senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The legislation would set mandatory sanctions for anyone involved with Iran’s missile program and those who trade with them. It also would apply sanctions to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Lawmakers were expected to roll out the new sanctions ahead of a conference by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is scheduled to start Sunday.
Senators Bob Corker, Robert Menendez, Marco Rubio, Ben Cardin and Tom Cotton are among the bill’s sponsors.
Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, claimed that the new bill had been written not to interfere with the international nuclear accord reached with Tehran.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China — plus Germany started implementing the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on January 16, 2016.
In February, US President Donald Trump undermined the multilateral deal by introducing a new round of sanctions against Iran following the country’s successful test-launch of a ballistic missile, which Washington said was a breach of the JCPOA.
The US Treasury Department said Washington had imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 entities as part of an effort to ratchet up pressure on Iran over its missile program.
The United States claims that Iran’s recent missile test violated Resolution 2231 that endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement.
Tehran insists its missile tests do not breach any UN resolution because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
One year to the day after the Brussels terrorist attacks, a terrorist drove a car into Westminster parliament buildings killing four people and wounding several others. The British public are in shock. Westminster is considered to be a monument to British ‘democracy’. The date 3/22 will be remembered among those who mourn over the skulls and bones of loved ones lost to terrorism.
Today, many of those mourners are in Syria. Just a few hours earlier, 50 destitute families staying at the al Badiya Dakhilya school in the village of Mansoura on the outskirts of Raqqa, were blown to pieces after an air strike by the ‘international coalition’. The Pentagon said it would “investigate” the atrocity. The British Government and its Western partners were silent. Thirty-three people were murdered. The United Nations – the international arm of US imperialism- was mute. The Syrian government asked them why. No answer was given.
On the same day, Al Nosra terrorists entered the village of Majdal, Northwest of Hama. Several women and children were reportedly killed. There are not enough reporters in Syria to cover all the atrocities committed almost every day by psychopathic killers the Western media calls ‘moderate rebels’.
Britain’s ‘jihad’ in Syria
In 2009, former French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas attended a meeting in London with British government officials. They told him they were planning to send Jihadi terrorists into Syria to take over the country. It was part of Britain’s contribution to the Greater Israel project.
Israel’s quest for Middle East supremacy was outlined in a policy paper written by Israeli official Oded Yinon in 1982. The Yinon Plan involved fomenting civil war in Arab and Muslim countries in order to establish Israeli suzerainty over all its hostile neighbours. Like its partners in France and the United States, the British government is a whore of Israel.
Westminster was finalising a grand strategy for the Middle East which would combine people-power uprisings and covert snipers, followed by Takfiri terrorism. The US grand strategy for the Middle East was announced by former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2005 in her speech before the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where she proudly proclaimed that President George W. Bush had a “new policy” for the Middle East and North Africa.
The US launched an “unprecedented international venue for reform”, by training activists in social media and regime change tactics. The Centre for Non-Violent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS), Albert Einstein Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, International Republican Institute, Freedom House, Facebook, and many other CIA-affiliated US agencies brought about what came to be known as the “Arab Spring”. The American/Israeli plan for a New Middle East was fully backed by most sou-disant ‘anti-imperialists’, who couldn’t resist the romance and fantasy of revolution and ‘Marxists’ waxed lyrical with “the masses make history”.
The consensus among the anti-war left that the Arab Spring was “spontaneous” and “popular” meant that NATO was able to carpet bomb Libya for 8 months, making the bombing look like a humanitarian intervention. Hundreds of thousands of civilians would perish. When Libya was destroyed, Syria was next on NATO’s target list. For 6 years this month, the Syrian Arab Republic has been fighting a war of national liberation from the international horde of Takfiri terrorists that British government officials were training in 2009 for deployment to the country.
The attacks on Westminster come at a time when Britain is set to “get tough” on immigration. Though Brexit holds out the possibility of economic and democratic progress in Britain – and immigration needs to be controlled and planned – reactionary forces and news outlets are increasingly pointing the finger at Muslims and Islam as the root of Britain’s problems. A similar process is taking hold in the United States and throughout the European Union.
Since the Zionist false flag bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on the 22nd of July 1946, the Lavon Affair of 1954, the 911 attacks, the Brevik Massacre, and many others, Zionism has boldly carried out terrorist attacks and blamed them on Muslims or far right groups. The war on terror is a Zionist construct which is designed to goad the Western public into supporting foreign wars on behalf of Israeli interests, where recruits from Israel’s Gulf State partners are used as pawns and patsies in the infernal narrative of the “clash of civilisations”.
Today the terrorism or its simulacrum has struck Westminster. The script is typed on a well-worn palimpsest with exotic Arab names parroted in the non-stop media hysteria. Not until the public realises that the terrorists are, and always have been, inside the corridors of Westminster – an edifice that attests to the dictatorship of a decadent oligarchy over the toiling masses – will the reign of terror come to an end.
Israel is likely to try to retain the existing status quo in Syria since it has benefited from the ongoing conflict in the war-torn neighboring nation, political analyst Sergei Balmasov asserted, saying that Tel Aviv’s combat missions are not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad, but are rather meant to prevent the crisis from being resolved.
“Israel is deeply interested in the ongoing standoff between the Sunnis and the Shia. Tel Aviv wants them to continue killing each other. Nothing presents a threat to Israel as long as this war is ongoing. The Israeli Air Force launches airstrikes against Shia militias in Syria, tipping the balance. This evens out the chances and the war drags on,” he told RT.
Balmasov, an expert at the Middle East Institute at the Russian International Affairs Council, also suggested that Israel could use a border incident to move its forces into southern Syria.
“One could not rule out that Israel does not deploy its troops to the southern buffer zone which borders the Golan Heights to create a territorial entity on the basis of Druze settlements using some kind of an incident as a pretext,” he said.
Israel has largely refrained from taking an active part in the devastating Syrian conflict, but has occasionally sent its warplanes to launch airstrikes on Hezbollah in a bid to eliminate its leaders and destroy its weapons. Several such missions are reported to have taken place in recent days in what marks the most serious incident between Tel Aviv and Damascus since the 2011 foreign-sponsored insurgency in Syria morphed into a large-scale war.
It started on Friday, with the Israeli Air Force launching airstrikes on several Hezbollah targets near the Syrian city of Palmyra, close to an area where Russian experts have been engaged in demining efforts following the successful campaign to push Daesh out of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The operation prompted the Syrian Arab Army to launch three anti-aircraft missiles at the departing Israeli planes, with Israel’s Arrow missile defense system intercepting one of the projectiles.
The incident sparked a war of words among high-ranking officials on both sides. On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman pledged that Tel Aviv would destroy all Syrian air defense systems “without thinking twice” should a similar situation occur in the future. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Tel Aviv would continue to carry out airstrikes on convoys suspected of transferring advanced weapons to Hezbollah.President Bashar al-Assad reiterated that it was Damascus’ right and duty to defend Syrian borders.
“Why has Israel squared off against the Syrian Arab Army? Israel views the SAA’s links to Hezbollah as unacceptable. Tel Aviv is concerned that the group could become stronger,” Irina Zvyagelskaya, a senior research fellow at the Center for Arab and Islamic Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, told RT.
Israel considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and views the Lebanon-based Shia movement, one of Assad’s key allies in Damascus’s war against Daesh, to be one of the top security threats.
The Israeli air attacks on Friday near Palmyra in Syria targeting what Tel Aviv claims to be a convoy ferrying weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon – and what Damascus alleges was a calculated act directed against the positions of the government forces fighting the Islamic State active in the region – cannot be regarded as a ‘stand-alone’ event.
On the face of it, the Israeli claim lacks credibility since Palmyra is twice removed from the Syrian-Lebanon border in terms of geographical proximity. Possibly, the Syrian government has a point that the Israelis were deliberately targeting its forces. This explains why the Russian Foreign Ministry called in the Israeli ambassador in Moscow on the same day and sought explanation.
Evidently, some ‘ground rule’ as per the unwritten Russian-Israeli understanding over Syrian frontlines has been breached and Moscow took note. In previous instances when Israel attacked Hezbollah – even assassinating its top commanders fighting on Syrian frontlines – Moscow had looked away. But this time around, it promptly signalled displeasure. It stands to reason that Israel crossed some ‘red line’.
At first, Moscow did not publicise its demarche. But then, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman flew off the handle on Sunday with a belligerent remark that Israel “will not hesitate” to destroy Syria’s air defence systems if that country ever again targeted attacking Israeli jets. It was an illogical statement insofar as Israel insists it can violate Syrian air space but Damascus has no right to defend. Liberman also held a veiled threat saying, “We do not want to clash with the Russians.”
Whereupon, on Monday, Moscow disclosed that it had made a demarche. Curiously, the Israeli ambassador had presented his credentials at the Kremlin only the day before he received the summons. As far as diplomatic practices go – and Russians are seasoned practitioners – Moscow made a strong point.
Interestingly, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Moscow recently with a focused mission to get Russia to dump its alliance with Iran in Syria. From Russian commentaries, it appears he got a short shrift in the Kremlin. (Read a hilarious piece, here, by Israel Shamir.) One likelihood is that Netanyahu showed irritation over the snub. By the way, Liberman is an ethnic Russian Jew.
By making the demarche, Russia inserted itself into what Israel pretended to be a standoff with Damascus, and has warned Israel not to escalate. On the contrary, Israel may have much to be gained through escalation. Consider the following.
Israel is watching with growing despair that Iran has emerged as the ‘winner’ in the Syrian conflict. Israel’s proxies – al-Qaeda affiliates and other extremist groups – are facing defeat. Its plans to create a ‘buffer zone’ in Syrian territory straddling the Golan Heights are in shambles. Israel’s illegal occupation of Golan Heights may come under challenge if Iranian/Hezbollah militia resort to the politics of ‘resistance’.
Israel anticipates that Iran will establish a permanent presence in Syria. There are reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given go-ahead for an Iranian naval base in Latakia, close to the Russian airbase at Hmeymim. If that happens, Iran will be in an even stronger position than before to build up Hezbollah (and Syria and Lebanon) as the bulwark of ‘resistance’ against Israel.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah is also emerging as a more capable fighting force after the baptism under fire in Syria. Hezbollah has a massive stockpile of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles – some estimates put the number as 100,000 – targeting Israel, which deterred an Israeli attack on Lebanon for the past ten years. Israel has no answer to the missile threat from Hezbollah. As an Israeli commentator put it,
- Sending special infantry units to search for rocket and missile launch sites on the ground is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. Israel tried to do this in the second Lebanon war (2006) with no real results. What this means is that the only option left to Israel is an immediate, dramatic and aggressive attack against all of Lebanon’s vital infrastructure, or as Israeli officers and senior Israeli officials have been describing for the past decade, “sending Lebanon back to the Stone Age.”
The catch here is that Hezbollah is not spoiling for a fight with Israel, but it will hit back if attacked. Israel tried repeatedly to provoke Hezbollah, but the latter kept cool, given the overriding priorities of the Syrian conflict where it plays a major role in the ground fighting. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah listed recently that targets in Israel include the ammonia plant in Haifa, the nuclear reactors in Dimona and Nahal Sorek, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems weapons development facilities and so on.
The short point is, Israel is desperately keen to somehow get the US directly involved. Israel will not hesitate to precipitate a US-Iranian confrontation. How far President Donald Trump would play ball with Netanyahu is a moot point. Israel may simply create a new fact on the ground whereby US intervention becomes unavoidable. Russia probably senses that.
With Senator John McCain in his last term in the U.S. Congress and Senator Lindsey Graham in potential political trouble in South Carolina in 2020, the neo-conservatives have their high hopes set on freshman Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Sasse is the new face among cheerleaders in the U.S. Senate advocating further sanctions on Russia, a full investigation of alleged links between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia, and full-throttle support for NATO and numerous free trade agreements.
Recently, Sasse has been a leading Senate critic of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the release of some 8000 classified documents detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s ability to conduct computer hacking and cyber-warfare. Sasse sent out a statement calling for Assange, who has been living under political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past five years, to be imprisoned in the United States.
Sasse’s statement wrote the following about the so-called CIA «Vault 7» leaks: «It is important to comment on the particulars of these leaks but this is dead certain; Julian Assange should spend the rest of his life wearing an orange jumpsuit. He’s an enemy of the American people and an ally to Vladimir Putin. Mr. Assange has dedicated his life’s work to endangering innocent lives, abetting despots, and stoking a crisis of confidence in the West». Sasse always fails to mention that it his religious dream and that of his extremist cult for a Christian theocratic despot to take over power in the United States.
Sasse claimed his personal and government computer devices were targeted by hackers after his criticism of Assange and WikiLeaks. In a few tweets, Sasse texted that he was experiencing multiple «password reset» attempts, adding that his followers should ignore any «crazy-tweets’ from his account.
Strangely, Sasse ran for the Senate as a «Tea Party» outsider. He is anything but an outsider but a typical neo-con who was «sheep-dipped» in various mid-level jobs in the George W. Bush administration and, before that, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sasse had powerful assistance from the «deep state» in achieving his U.S. Senate seat. Sasse came from four percent name recognition before the Nebraska Republican primary to defeat three other candidates, including former Navy pilot Shane Osborn, the pilot of the U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane forced to land in Hainan island, China in 2001.
Sasse is a consummate insider who represents the dark political side of the Republican Party, namely the Christian Dominionists, also known as «Reconstructionists». This powerful cult favors the establishment of a Christian theocracy in the United States. Sasse, whose campaign cash mostly poured in from out of state, outspent Osborn by a wide margin. As a Dominionist, Sasse has like-minded allies in the Trump administration, particularly Vice President Mike Pence.
The Dominionists are largely wealthy Republicans who have been extremely active in Nebraska politics. Dominionists like Sasse and Pence are adherents of the extremist tenets of the father of Christian Reconstructionism, the late P. J. Rushdoonie.
Although Sasse does not have a law degree, he has other «credentials». Sasse received his M.A. and PhD in Philosophy from Yale, his M.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, and B.A. in History from Harvard. These non-legal degrees were considered sufficient for Sasse to work under U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in the Bush administration as chief of staff in the Office of Legal Policy. There, Sasse worked with the CIA to draft the infamous torture memos.
The «torture memos», which gave legal justification to President George W. Bush to carry out «enhanced interrogations» of prisoners and detainees, tainted both the Bush and Barack Obama administrations. From the Department of Justice, Sasse was somehow able to parlay his religious academic credentials to serve as an adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in 2005 and as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Michael Leavitt from 2006 to 2007.
Sasse also served as chief of staff to Nebraska Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry, who has a post-graduate degree in theology. While Sasse was earning additional Washington «insider» points working for Fortenberry, another rising GOP staffer, Ryan Loskarn, was honing his political skills under Republican Representatives Wally Herger of California and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. In early 2014, Loskarn, the chief of staff for Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, allegedly committed suicide after he was arrested in December 2014 for possession and distribution of child pornography.
It is inconceivable that Sasse, whose degrees were more in keeping with those of an aspiring theologian, would have been involved with career attorneys in the Justice Department. However, Sasse had already punched the right career «tickets.» From 1994 to 1995, Sasse worked for the Boston Consulting Group, Mitt Romney’s and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s old firm. From 1996 to 1998, Sasse was a tutor and proctor for the pederasty-plagued U.S. House of Representatives page program. It was Sasse’s responsibility to protect the underage teen House pages from, among other threats, predatory members of Congress. Sasse failed miserably.
One of the members of the House Page Board while Sasse served as a tutor and proctor was Republican Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona. In 1996, while Sasse was a proctor and tutor for the pages, Kolbe, a member of the oversight House Page Board, took two 17-year old male pages on a three-day Independence Day camping trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Kolbe revealed that he was aware of then-Republican Representative Mark Foley’s inappropriate e-mails to underage male pages as early as 2000. However, Foley’s indiscretions with the pages reportedly began as early as 1998, while Sasse was still a proctor/tutor. Foley, a Florida Republican, later resigned after it was publicly revealed that he had made sexual advances toward male pages, including attempts to coax them from their dormitory on Capitol Hill. One of the members of the House leadership who helped cover up for Foley as long as he possibly could, was the Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. It was later revealed that Hastert paid hush money to underage males he was accused of having sex with while he was a high school wrestling coach in Illinois. Hastert is now serving a prison term for hiding his hush money transactions.
Kolbe eventually stepped down as chairman of the House Page Board after questions were raised about his camping trip with the pages. Sasse, as a proctor and tutor for the pages, had the responsibility of stopping Kolbe from taking the pages out of state for possible illegal purposes. Sasse’s closeness to the «House Page Sex Scandal» begs the fabled Washington scandal question: «What did Sasse know and when did he know it?» If Sasse was unaware of the activities of Kolbe and Foley with House pages between 1996 and 1998, why did he not know? As a proctor and tutor, it was Sasse’s job to know. If Sasse was aware of the activities of Kolbe and Foley and chose not to report them to the House leadership, that makes Sasse an accessory to criminal behavior.
Neo-con Republicans like Sasse are now fond of conjuring up «conspiracy theories» around deaths they link to some nefarious foreign plot to control Donald Trump and his administration. However, Sasse’s time in the House coincided with a dead body, a very important one. The chair of the House Page Board in 1998, Sasse’s final year as proctor/tutor, was Republican Representative Tillie Fowler of Florida. Fowler died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage on March 2, 2005, shortly after allegations about Foley’s sexual abuse of pages first hit the front pages.
Sasse is well-funded by the Club for Growth, an extremist capitalist group that favors shrinking government and eliminating regulation of the private sector, including parochial schools and child protective services, just the places where child sexual abuse is usually found to be rampant.
Sasse’s doctoral dissertation at Yale took on American atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hare. The dissertation was titled: «The Anti-Madalyn Majority: Secular Left, Religious Right, and the Rise of Reagan’s America.» Sasse’s dissertation postulated that a conservative Protestant alliance could take over political power in the United States. That rhetoric, coupled with Sasse’s belief in the «just war», is strikingly similar to the Dominionist beliefs of P. J. Rushdoonie and his adherents. Sasse’s fellow Dominionist, Pence, is now a mere heartbeat away from the U.S. presidency.
Criticizing their thuggery is anti-Semitism?
We have a president who is belligerent towards Iran, who is sending “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS, who loves Israel passionately and who is increasing already bloated defense budgets. If one were a neoconservative, what is there not to like, yet neocons in the media and ensconced comfortably in their multitude of think tanks hate Donald Trump. I suspect it comes down to three reasons. First, it is because Trump knows who was sticking the knife in his back during his campaign in 2016 and he has neither forgiven nor hired them. Nor does he pay any attention to their bleating, denying them the status that they think they deserve because of their self-promoted foreign policy brilliance.
And second, Trump persists in his desire to “do business” with Russia. The predominantly Jewish neocons always imagine the thunder of hooves of approaching Cossacks preparing to engage in pogroms whenever they hear the word Russia. And this is particularly true of Vladimir Putin’s regime, which is Holy Russia revived. When not musing over how it is always 1938 and one is in Munich, neocons are nearly as unsettled when they think it is 1905 in Odessa.
The third reason, linked to number two, is that having a plausible and dangerous enemy like Russia on tap keeps the cash flowing from defense industries to the foundations and think tanks that the neocons nest in when they are not running the Pentagon and National Security Council. Follow the money. So it is all about self-interest combined with tribal memory: money, status and a visceral hatred of Russia.
The hatred of Trump runs so deep that a leading neocon Bill Kristol actually tweeted that he would prefer a country run by bureaucrats and special interests rather than the current constitutional arrangement. The neocon vendetta was as well neatly summed up in two recent articles by Max Boot. The first is entitled “Trump knows the Feds are closing in on him” and the second is “WikiLeaks has joined the Trump Administration.” In the former piece Boot asserts that “Trump’s recent tweets aren’t just conspiratorial gibberish—they’re the erratic ravings of a guilty conscience” and in the latter, that “The anti-American WikiLeaks has become the preferred intelligence service for a conspiracy-addled White House.”
Now, who is Max Boot and why should anyone care what he writes? Russian-born, Max entered the United States with his family through a special visa exemption under the 1975 Jackson-Vanik Amendment even though they were not notably persecuted and only had to prove that they were Jewish. Jackson-Vanik was one of the first public assertions of neoconism, having reportedly been drafted in the office of Senator Henry Jackson by no less than Richard Perle and Ben Wattenberg as a form of affirmative action for Russian Jews. As refugees instead of immigrants, the new arrivals received welfare, health insurance, job placement, English language classes, and the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after only five years. Max went to college at Berkeley and received an M.A. from Yale.
Boot, a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012, networked his way up the neocon ladder, including writing for The Weekly Standard, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He was a member of the neocon incubator Project for a New American Century and now sits on the heavily neocon Council on Foreign Relations. Boot characteristically has never served in the U.S. military but likes war a lot. In 2012 he co-authored “5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now.” He is a reliable Russia and Putin basher.
Max Boot’s articles are smears of Donald Trump from top to bottom. The “closing in” piece calls for establishment of a special counsel to investigate every aspect of the Trump Team/Russian relationship. Along the way, it makes its case to come to that conclusion by accepting every single worst case scenario regarding Trump as true. Yes, per Boot “Putin was intervening in the presidential election to help Trump.” And President Barack Obama could not possibly have “interfered with the lawful workings of the FBI.” As is always the case, not one shred of evidence is produced to demonstrate that anyone associated with Donald Trump somehow became a Russian useful idiot, but Boot assumes that the White House is now being run out of the Kremlin.
Max is certainly fun to read but on a more serious note, the National Review is working hard to make us forget about employing the expression “neocon” because it is apparently rarely understood by the people who use the term. Plus its implied meaning is anti-Semitic in nature, something that David Brooks in an article pretty much denying that neocons really exist suggested thirteen years ago when he postulated that it was shorthand for “Jewish conservative.”
National Review actually searched hard to find a gentile who could write the piece, one Kevin D. Williamson, who is described as a “roving correspondent” for the magazine. His article is entitled “Word Games: The Right Discovers the Deep State.” Williamson begins by observing that using “neocon” disparagingly in the post-9/11 context acts either “as a kind of catalyst enabling a political reaction that revived a great many stupid and ugly myths about Jewish bankers orchestrating wars for profit…” or serves as a standby expression for a “Jew with politics I don’t like.”
Interestingly, I have never heard the “Jewish bankers” theory or disparagement of Jewish “politics” from the many responsible critics who have been dismayed by the aberrant U.S. foreign policy that has evolved since 2001. I don’t know how much money Goldman Sachs has made since the World Trade Center went down and that is not really the issue, nor is the fact that Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic, which is a party that I don’t particularly like. Williamson dodges the increasingly held view that America slid into the abyss when Washington declared war on the entire world and invaded Iraq based on a tissue of lies, in large part to benefit Israel, which is what matters and why the enabling role of the neocons is important.
And one might reasonably argue that U.S. policy since that time has nearly always deferred to Israeli interests, most recently declaring its prime mission at the U.N. to be protecting Israel, then acting on that premise by forcing the resignation of a senior official who had prepared a report critical of Israel’s “apartheid” regime. I recognize that relatively few American Jews are neocons and that many American Jews are in the forefront in resistance to Israel’s inhumane policies, but the reality is that nearly all neocons are Jewish. And they are in your face every time you turn on the television or pick up a newspaper. Abrasive and abusive Professor Alan Dershowitz recently proclaimed that Jews should never apologize for Jewish power, saying that it is deserved and granted by God, but I for one think it is past time for a little pushback from the rest of us to make Washington protect American interests instead of those of Israel.
The neocon cult has been behind the promotion of Israel as well as the serial foreign policy misadventures since 2001. Do the names Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Edelman, Ledeen, Senor, Libby and Nuland in and around the government as well as a host of others in think tanks and lobbies like AIPAC, AEI, WINEP, PNAC, FPI, FDD, JINSA and Hudson ring a bell? And do the loud voices in the media to include Judith Miller, Robert Kaplan, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin, Fred Hiatt, Bret Stephens, Bill Kristol, the Kagans and the Podhoretzes, as well as the entire Washington Post and Wall Street Journal editorial pages, suggest any connivance?
They are all Jews and many are connected in terms of their careers, which were heavily networked from the inside to advance them up the ladder, often to include moving between government and lucrative think tank and academic positions. They mostly self-identify as neoconservatives and all share some significant traits, notably extreme dedication to Israel and embrace of the doctrine that the U.S. should not be shy about using military force, so it is interesting to learn from Williamson that they really do not constitute a cohesive group with shared values and interests as well as excellent access to the media and the levers of power. When did you last see an “expert” on the Middle East on television who was not Jewish?
Having made his pithy comments and dismissed neoconservatism-phobes as bigots, Williamson then wanders off subject into the Deep State, which, like neoconism apparently is some kind of urban legend being propagated by the poorly informed, whom these days he identifies as Trump supporters. He argues that the entities that are frequently cited as the Deep State, including the neocons, actually have quite divergent interests and it is unlikely that those interests should become “identical or aligned” to enable running of the country in an essentially clandestine fashion.
It is perhaps inevitable that Williamson is confused as he does not recognize how the American Deep State differs from that in most other countries – it is perhaps better described as the Establishment. Unlike in places like Turkey, it operates largely out in the open and ostensibly legally along a New York-Washington axis that constantly revitalizes itself through the revolving door allowing the entry of politicians and high government officials who create and enforce the legislation that benefits Deep State interests. Its components do indeed have different motives, but they come together in preserving the status quo, which benefits all parties, while little dissent comes from the Fourth Estate as the process plays out, since much of the media and many of the proliferating Washington think tanks that provide Deep State “intellectual” credibility are also part of the same malignancy. And yes, quite a bit of today’s Establishment is Jewish, most particularly financial and legal services, the think tanks, and academia. Many of them support or are part of the neocon persuasion and frequently also of the Israel Lobby.
The existence of a Deep State means that many issues that impact on the citizenry never are discussed as part of the political process, leading to jokes that the United States has only one political party with two wings. Issues like the relationship with Israel, though hotly debated by some of the public, are never really debated and are dealt with by consensus crafted by the politicians and the media. Significant policies like those relating to war and peace, healthcare and immigration were rarely seriously challenged prior to Trump because there is a broad agreement regarding what the Establishment will allow to take place. That is how the Deep State operates.
When it comes to foreign and national security policy the neocons are most definitely an integral part of the Deep State, using money and access to politicians to influence what is taking place without anyone seriously challenging their role. They are an essential cog in a system that is completely corrupt: it exists to sell out the public interest, and includes both major political parties as well as government officials. And it is so successful because it wins no matter who is in power, by creating bipartisan-supported money pits within the system. Monetizing the completely unnecessary and hideously expensive global war on terror benefits the senior government officials, beltway industries, and financial services that feed off it. Because it is essential to keep the money flowing, the Deep State persists in promoting policies that enrich its constituencies but otherwise make no sense, to include funding the unending and unwinnable wars currently enjoying marquee status in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and the gift of $38 billion to Israel.
Max Boot spews the kind of bile that is commonly seen or heard when the neocons zero in on their enemies. The National Review meanwhile provides cover for Max and others by suggesting that only anti-Semites or the demented could possibly have it in for neoconservatives or be wary of zany concepts like a Deep State. Together they generate the fog that makes it impossible to challenge certain aspects of the status quo. Maybe, just maybe, what Donald Trump has been saying about his predecessor’s Deep State inspired machinations are true. And just possibly there is a largely Jewish cabal within that Deep State, call it what you will, that works very hard behind the scenes to favor Israel while also pushing for a state of perpetual war, from which it benefits personally. I know that thinking that we Americans are on the receiving end of a vast and very effective conspiracy makes many uneasy, but history has taught us that sometimes our worst nightmares are actually true.
A German newspaper was forced to remove the name of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a list of the world’s craziest leaders following diplomatic pressure.
Hamburger Morgenpost had included Netanyahu in a list of “The Seven Craziest Leaders in the World” because he promotes settlement policies and because he tried to convince former US
President Barack Obama to attack Iran.
As a result, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a complaint to the German government and the Israeli embassy in Berlin criticised the newspaper and said in a statement that this is an “anti-Semitic” act.
“The fact that they put an elected prime minister of a democratic Western country… alongside some of the worst dictators in the world, reveals more than anything the newspaper’s level of understanding of what is happening today in the world,” the embassy said in a statement, according to Israel’s Ynet News.
The newspaper was then forced to remove Netanyahu from the list and apologised for including him.
“It was wrong to make @netanyahu part of this list. We apologise,” the newspaper announced.
A Sign by Henry Herskovitz
Say Ann Arbor and people will think of Michigan football, with the second biggest stadium in the entire world, behind only North Korea’s Rungrado May Day Stadium. The annual marijuana rally, Hash Bash, may also come to mind.
Downtown is filled with hip cafés, trendy shops, comfy brewpubs and sophisticated restaurants. These kids have money, I thought as I roamed around, searching for cheap beer. In-state tuition, in turns out, is $28,776, and out of state is $59,784. Michigan has plenty of international students, most notably Chinese.
At Curtain Call, the 30-something bartender, Chris, was from Hawaii. Her dad owned a Maui bar close enough to the beach for surfers to down a few at dawn before hitting the waves. Sounded like paradise. Chris couldn’t work for her old man, however, because he was so cheap, so she ended slinging beer in Ann Arbor. Chris had originally gone there to study biochemistry at the university.
This was her first Friday night off in eleven years, Chris confessed, “I don’t know what to do with myself.”
“You should go somewhere and drink.”
“It’s been eleven years since I can do that!”
“For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s one drink or ten drink, I’ll still get a headache in the morning.”
“You should drink ten then!”
Jewish, Chris told me Ann Arbor’s best deli was Zingerman’s.
In my late 20’s, I took a girl to a Philly diner. I ordered chicken liver, a favorite to this day. Maria looked at me in horror, “What the fuck are you eating?! Chicken shit?!”
Did I tell you that Jews have been most instrumental in my life? In college, my three most supportive professors, Boris Putterman, Stephen Berg and Eileen Neff, were Jews, with Berg and Neff practically my surrogate parents, they nurtured me so much. Berg bought a painting of mine to put over his fireplace, and lent me money several times. My fiction publisher, Dan Simon, is Jewish, and Jewish Ron Unz has treated me better than any other webzine editor. Novelist Matthew Sharpe has talked me up in the fiction world. I can go on and on. Hell, my first date was with a Jewish girl, and I even lost my virginity to a Jew! I traveled through remote northwest Vietnam with photographer Mitch Epstein, and with 6-9 Lloyd Luntz, explored the Mekong Delta. Jews swarm me, fill my head, course through my veins. I can go on and on.
My next time at Curtain Call, I chatted with a 28-year-old who wished he was 25. “My last birthday, I said it was the 3rd anniversary of my 25th.”
Overhearing this, a guy down the bar shouted, “I wish I was 50!”
Another old head jumped in, “I wish I was 60!”
With two friends threatening suicide, I brought up the topic to this just-arrived, incipient man who’s already mourning his lost youth. “Don’t do it before you’re 50!” I joked.
Outside the FederalBuilding on Liberty Street, I ran into two people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their signs, “I STAND WITH STANDING ROCK,” “CAN’T DRINK OIL / WATER IS LIFE / #NODAPL” and “BE A TSUNAMI,” among others.
Jeff’s a retired lawyer, and Mary’s a former elementary school teacher who worked at Crazy Wisdom, a tea room and bookstore. This month’s book picks include Mediumship: An Introductory Guide to Developing Spiritual Awareness and Intuition, Magicians of the Gods: Fingerprints of the Gods, Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin and The Education of Will: a Mutual Memoir of a Woman and her Dog.
I asked what they were about. Jeff, “If you feel connected to Mother Earth, then you’re going to protect Mother Earth, and you’re going to relate to the Native Americans, and what they stand for. We don’t own any of this. We think we own it, but that’s an illusion.”
Ellen, “People will say I’m not doing it, but we’re all one, so we are all doing it. We live in homes that use electricity and gas. The America first mindset has been going on for a while. Not enough of us realize that we are one with the rest of the world. If they starve, so do we. Our hearts do, even if our bodies are not. I feel responsible for the world.”
“So what are you doing personally to help?” I asked.
“Personally, I am keeping my temperature lower. I’m using less water. I am signing every petition that comes my way that I believe in. I’m contributing money to the bigger organizations that I feel can, perhaps, get their voice heard more than I can.
“So many people don’t know any different, and so they assume that everything they’re doing is fine. Many people don’t know that a lot of people in the world are suffering. They just don’t understand, and if they do know, they don’t care. It’s not their own family.
“My own stepson and his family, they work at home, they love their children, they’re good people, but he says, ‘This is my world.’ It’s his home and his family.”
Jeff, “I think the culture is so isolating. You get in your car and you drive around. You look at your phone all day. We do things that separate us, you know.
“Look where we are, close to Detroit, where they make automobiles. For me, I don’t particularly enjoy driving around in a car all day.”
I brought up the election. Ellen, “What happened is a huge amount of people who felt like they didn’t have a voice, and it was a contemptuous voice, were given it by he who should not be president. And, they feel really good now, but nothing is really going to happen for them, but they were heard. To be heard is going to be enough for them for a while.
“I do yoga with a quite introspective man, and he thinks something went wrong with America this time. It’s been building up, and I’ll admit that Hillary was a part of it too, but this election is proof positive that we are fucked!”
Jeff, “People need to speak up, and not be afraid to speak up, you know, whatever their conscience is. I’m not a fan of the media at all. People will try to steer you in their direction. You need the courage to stand alone and be a voice, a different voice. It takes courage to do it.”
Ellen, “It does, it does, and courage isn’t something Americans have in huge, ah, commodity.”
College towns proliferate in approved political statements, so in Ann Arbor, I saw a “Black Lives Matter” banner at a church, “Black Lives Matter” signs outside homes, a rainbow flag in front of a church with “God is still speaking” and a “WITH ISRAEL WE STAND” sign at a liquor store, etc. A house displayed a “PEACE” rainbow flag and a bed sheet painted with “WE SUPPORT OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS.”
Nowhere did I see “STOP BOMBING MUSLIMS,” “STOP SUPPORTING THE TERROR STATE OF ISRAEL” or “STOP SLANDERING AND PROVOKING RUSSIA.”
A progressive American is mostly a jerked puppet who’s outraged solely at preselected triggers. At his Deir Yassin Remembered website, lifelong Ann Arbor resident Henry Herskovitz explains:
Jackie Robinson and Jewish Power
Emotions naturally flare at watching the PBS special shown on MLK day of the career of baseball icon Jackie Robinson. Who could not grow emotional when reminded that Jackie and wife Rachel were bumped twice from the planes carrying them to a spring training camp in Florida? What outrage is felt by viewers recognizing that this discrimination they experienced came merely because of the color of their skin and nothing else!
Yes, we get it. And we feel for the Robinsons; their plight was genuine. Racial discrimination still exists in America.
But what about Muhammed Ali, my friend and sandwich shop operator in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Palestine? Muhammed grew up in Haifa, graduated high school there and earned a technical degree before being bumped, not just from an airplane, but from his home town. Yes, he cannot return to Haifa and swim in the Mediterranean the way his family did before him. He cannot even travel to the Haram esh-Sharif/Noble Sanctuary to practice his religion. Like Jackie Robinson, Muhammed is the wrong “color”: neither ethnic Jew, secular Jew, nor religious Jew.
Isn’t there a story here as well, PBS? Perhaps even more compelling than Robinson’s, because Muhammed has yet to break his “color” barrier. Hello, Hollywood, isn’t his story worthy—at least—of a two-hour documentary?
Born Jewish, Herskovitz soured on his tribe after a trip to Israel. He saw firsthand the gross brutality of the illegally founded terror state. Back in Ann Arbor, Herskovitz wanted to give a presentation to his synagogue, Beth Israel, but the rabbi nixed the idea. Outraged, Herskovitz has staged an anti-Israel protest outside Beth Israel each Saturday for 13+ years. Though Herskovitz loves to ride his motorcycle long distance, he always come back in time to stand with his signs. A small band join him.
Last year, I visited Herskovitz at home and saw anti-Israel messages everywhere, including on the salt shaker, the fridge, the car, the garage and even the fireplace’s ember screen. To some neighbors’ dismay, Herskovitz paid to have “STOP US AID TO ISRAEL” and “LIBERATE PALESTINE / END ISRAEL” incised into the sidewalk outside his house.
In 2015, Herskovitz and his allies paid for a billboard in Detroit, “AMERICA FIRST NOT ISRAEL.” Herskovitz:
The strategy behind this billboard’s statement, ‘America First, Not Israel’, is to drive a wedge between those who feel American interests are not served by fighting wars for Israel, and the Israel-firsters in this country who manipulate our leaders into the false premise that Israel is the ally of the United States.
Charges of anti-semitism quickly flooded in, and the message was taken down, so it was put up at another, more out of the way spot, until this second billboard company was also pressured to remove it. Henry:
Jewish Power Never Sleeps
Like Michigan rust on vehicles, Jewish Power remains relentless at getting its way. Just when Witness for Peace was to announce the installation of a local billboard—sponsored by sister organization Deir Yassin Remembered and carrying our message “America First, Not Israel”—we get “the call”. The billboard […] was taken down by Adams Outdoor Advertising one week after installation, effectively terminating a three-month contract.
That’s how long it took for Jewish Power to pressure Adams’ executives into seeing things their way. The call came from General Manager Mike Cannon, who admitted to receiving phone calls asking that the billboard be taken down. Mike claimed he was not the one who made the decision, and provided the phone number of Vice President of Human Resources Brian Grant to field my questions.
Brian developed a mantra for the conversation we shared: “the decision to remove the billboard was a collective decision and was made because the message did not meet Adams’ company standards. We removed the billboard and refunded your money. And that’s all I can say.” Brian fell back on this mantra at least a half dozen times during our 20-minute discussion. And reminded me that, since a clause in the contract allowed Adams to terminate at any time, there was no “breach of contract”.
Q: What were the company standards?
A: [Brian was not going to go into that.]
Q: How do you square the fact that the message was initially approved by Adams?
A: It should not have been approved; due diligence was not applied.
Q: Who were the people complaining about the billboard?
A: [Would not answer that.]
Q: What were the organizations calling for the billboard to be taken down?
A: [See above.]
Q: Would the decision to pull the billboard have been the same had the message been simply America First?
A: Well, you’re asking a hypothetical.
Q: You mean Adams would NOT run a billboard saying America First?
A: [No answer.]
And so it goes. By deception shall you make war. DYR and WfP lose the round; Jewish Power wins. We move on.
When Russia Today reported on this billboard controversy, the first commenter said, “Calling Americans to put interest of America ahead of Isreal is branded as anti semitic ? That goes to prove how much the zionist wants the americans to be brain dead!”
Brainwashed, Americans also cringe at “Jewish power,” but it’s OK so declare and celebrate “black power,” “Latino power,” “gay power” or “women’s power,” etc. Aren’t AIPAC, the flushing of the U.S.S. Liberty down the memory hole, the abject kowtowing of DC politicians to Tel Aviv and our endless war against Israel’s enemy all examples of Jewish power?
But you’re dead wrong, anti-semite! As eternal victims everywhere, Jews are always powerless, so only Jew haters would dare to suggest otherwise.
“Are you a Jew hater?” I asked Herskovitz. His answer:
“Hate” is a term used by my opponents, not by me. “Hate speech” is used by the Hasbara folks as an epithet thrown at their perceived enemies. Like “Holocaust Denier,” the users of these terms do not define them, but merely slime those whose voices they want to silence. I’m a “hater” because Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says I am. Could Mr. Potok be a child molester because I make the claim?
I try not to play defense. My experience in these matters tells me that once I start down the slippery slope of “denial,” or defending my position, this tactic merely fuels opponents’ appetite for further questions. It answers nothing. The best defense is a good offense.
Even if I were to admit a hatred of an ethnic/religious group, an interesting question arises. Assume this group was Irish Protestants, and I said I hated them. Who would care? But admitting to hating Jews is another story altogether. Perhaps the phrase “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” makes sense when used in this context.
And the question becomes rather ludicrous when you consider that I love my sister, her children and grandchildren; ditto for my Virginia cousins, their children and grandchildren. I’m even scheduled to attend a Bat Mitzvah of one of these kids this summer. If you were to tell this group I’m a Jew hater, you would not be believed.
So no, Herskovitz has no beef with ordinary Jews, or he would have to disown his entire family, but haven’t Jewish policy makers, media masters, opinion shapers and bankers used their disproportionate sway over the makeup and direction of this country to harm not just their Muslim enemies, but ordinary Americans?
In putting up the billboard, “AMERICA FIRST / NOT ISRAEL,” Herskovitz merely wants our country to serve its own citizens, and not be distorted, corrupted, discredited and destroyed by a foreign agenda, and I, as an American, can’t help but concur.
Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America has just been released by Seven Stories Press.
An Israeli minister says “life in Lebanon today is not bad” compared to Syria, adding Tel Aviv should target civilians in a future war with the country and send it “back to the Middle Ages.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett has said all aspects of life in Lebanon must be targeted in a future war with Hezbollah, because the resistance movement is now an important part of the Lebanese people.
“Today, Hezbollah is embedded in sovereign Lebanon. It is part of the government and, according to the president, also part of its security forces,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Bennett as saying on Sunday.
The daily referred to statements made a month ago by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun who ruled out outside pressures to disarm Hezbollah.
“As long as Israel occupies land and covets the natural resources of Lebanon, and as long as the Lebanese military lacks the power to stand up to Israel, [Hezbollah’s] arms are essential,” Aoun said.
“The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases – they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out,” Bennett said.
“Life in Lebanon today is not bad – certainly compared to what’s going on in Syria. Lebanon’s civilians, including the Shia population, will understand that this is what lies in store for them,” he added.
Bennett said heavily targeting civilian infrastructure, along with additional air and ground action by the Israeli troops, will shorten the campaign as it will accelerate international intervention.
“That will lead them to stop it quickly – and we have an interest in the war being as short as possible,” he said.
Bennett’s approach is not new for the Israeli officials. In 2008, the head of the Israeli army’s Northern Command, who currently serves as the army’s chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, presented the “Dhahiya doctrine.”
This picture shows the aftermath of Israeli bombing of residential buildings in Dhahiya in southern Beirut in August 2006.
It referred to Israel’s heavy bombardment of the densely-populated Shia quarter in southern Beirut in the 2006 war because buildings in the neighborhood were identified with Hezbollah.
Haaretz said Hezbollah was able to launch more than 1,000 rockets into Israel in a single day of fighting, leaving Tel Aviv with either no or limited solution to confront them.
Bennett said hunting rocket launchers during a war is almost impossible, adding Hezbollah has learned to deploy them in a more sophisticated manner, thus the regime must hit civilian targets.
“If Hezbollah fires missiles at the Israeli home front, this will mean sending Lebanon back to the Middle Ages,” he said.
Bennett served as a reserve officer and commanded an elite unit sent deep into southern Lebanon to find Hezbollah’s rocket-launching squads during the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, which ended after 33 days.
Many Israeli leaders admitted that the war marked a defeat for Tel Aviv, dealing another serious blow to its military’s myth of invincibility.
Last week, Israel’s Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said at a Knesset committee meeting that the Lebanese army was now “a subsidiary unit of Hezbollah.”
Hezbollah fighters are currently helping Syrian troops confront Takfiri terrorists and prevent the conflict from spilling over into Lebanon.
In a series of interviews with Lebanese media last month, President Aoun said Hezbollah operations “complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them.”
“They are a major part of Lebanon’s defense,” he said.