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Zionism’s Violent Legacy

By Donald Neff | INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW

On January 4, 1948, Jewish terrorists drove a truck loaded with explosives into the center of the all Arab city of Jaffa and detonated it, killing 26 and wounding around 100 Palestinian men, women and children.[1] The attack was the work of the Irgun Zvai Leumi – the “National Military Organization,” also known by the Hebrew letters Etzel – the largest Jewish terrorist group in Palestine. The Irgun was headed by Revisionist Zionist Menachem Begin and had been killing and maiming Arabs, Britons and even Jews for the previous ten years in its efforts to establish a Jewish state.

This terror campaign meant that at the core of Revisionist Zionism there existed a philosophical embrace of violence. It was this legacy of violence that contributed to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995.

The Irgun was not the only Jewish terrorist group but it was the most active in causing indiscriminate terror in pre-Israel Palestine. Up to the time of the Jaffa attack, its most spectacular feat had been the July 22, 1946, blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people – 41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews.[2]

The other major Jewish terrorist group operating in Palestine in the 1940s was the Lohamei Herut Israel – “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel,” Lehi in the Hebrew acronym – also known as the Stern Gang after its fanatical founder Avraham Stern. Two of its more spectacular outrages included the assassination of British Colonial Secretary Lord Moyne in Cairo on November 6, 1944, and the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden in Jerusalem on September 17, 1948.[3]

Both groups collaborated in the massacre at Deir Yassin, in which some 254 Palestinian men, women and children were slain on April 9, 1948. Palestinian survivors were driven like ancient slaves through the streets of Jerusalem by the celebrating terrorists.[4]

Yitzhak Shamir was one of the three leaders of Lehi who made the decision to assassinate Moyne and Bernadotte. Both he and Begin later became prime ministers and ruled Israel for a total of 13 years between 1977 and 1992. They were both leaders of Revisionist Zionism, that messianic group of ultranationalists founded by Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky in the 1920s. He prophesied that it would take an “iron wall of Jewish bayonets” to gain a homeland among the Arabs in Palestine.[5] His followers took his slogan literally.

Begin and the Revisionists were heartily hated by the mainline Zionists led by David Ben-Gurion. He routinely referred to Begin as a Nazi and compared him to Hitler. In a famous letter to The New York Times in 1948, Albert Einstein called the Irgun “a terrorist, rightwing, chauvinist organization” that stood for “ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”[6] He opposed Begin’s visit to the United States in 1949 because Begin and his movement amounted to “a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a ‘leader state’ is the goal,” adding:

The IZL [Irgun] and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window smashing, and widespread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

Ben-Gurion considered the Revisionists so threatening that shortly after he proclaimed establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948, he demanded that the Jewish terrorist organizations disband. In defiance, Begin sought to import a huge shipment of weapons aboard a ship named Altalena, Jabotinsky’s nom de plume.[7]

The ship was a war surplus US tank landing craft and had been donated to the Irgun by Hillel Kook’s Hebrew Committee for National Liberation, an American organization made up of Jewish-American supporters of the Irgun.[8] Even in those days it was Jewish Americans who were the main source of funds for Zionism. While few of them emigrated to Israel, Jewish Americans were generous in financing the Zionist enterprise. As in Israel, they were split between mainstream Zionism and Revisionism. One of the best known Revisionists was Ben Hecht, the American newsman and playwright. After one of the Irgun’s terrorist acts, he wrote:[9]

The Jews of America are for you. You are their champions … Every time you blow up a British arsenal, or wreck a British jail, or send a British railroad train sky high, or rob a British bank, or let go with your guns and bombs at British betrayers and invaders of your homeland, the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts.

The Altalena was loaded with $5 million worth of arms, including 5,000 British Lee Enfield rifles, more than three million rounds of ammunition, 250 Bren guns, 250 Sten guns, 150 German Spandau machine guns, 50 mortars and 5,000 shells as well as 940 Jewish volunteers. Ben-Gurion reacted with fury, ordering the ship sunk in Tel Aviv harbor. Shell fire by the new nation’s armed forces set the Altalena afire, killing 14 Jews and wounding 69. Two regular army men were killed and six wounded during the fighting.[10] Begin had been aboard but escaped injury. Later that night he railed against Ben-Gurion as “a crazy dictator” and the cabinet as “a government of criminal tyrants, traitors and fratricides.”[11]

Ben-Gurion’s deputy commander in the Altalena affair was Yitzhak Rabin, the same man who as prime minister was assassinated by one of the spiritual heirs of Menachem Begin’s Irgun terrorist group. All his life, and especially in his last years, Rabin had opposed Jewish-Americans and their radical allies in Israel who continued to embrace the philosophy of the Irgun and who fought against the peace process, thereby earning their enduring hatred.

Thus at the heart of the Jewish state there has been a long and violent struggle between mainline Zionists and Revisionists that continues today. Despite cries after Rabin’s assassination that it was unknown for Jew to kill Jew, intramural hatred and occasional violence have marked relations between Zionism’s competing groups.

The core of that conflict, one that continues to divide Israel and its American supporters as well, lies in the different philosophies of David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky. Both were from Eastern Europe, born in the 1880s, and both sought an exclusivist Jewish state. But while Ben-Gurion was pragmatic and secular, Jabotinsky was impatient and messianic, a leader who glorified in the heroic trappings of fascism. Ben-Gurion was usually willing to take less now to get more later, and thus he was content to accept partition of Palestine as a necessary stepping stone toward a larger Jewish state. Jabotinsky, on the other hand, impatiently preached the right of Jews not only to all of Palestine but to “both sides of the Jordan,” meaning the combined area of Jordan and Palestine, or as he called it, Eretz Yisrael, the ancient land of Israel.[12]

Ben-Gurion was a gruff realist who carefully calculated his moves with a wary eye toward the interests of the great European powers and the United States. Time magazine, in a profile of Ben-Gurion in August 1948, described him as “premier and defense minister, labor leader and philosopher, hardheaded, unsociable and abrupt politician, a prophet who carries a gun.[13] Wrote his biographer, Michael Bar-Zohar: “Obstinacy and total dedication to a single objective were the most characteristic traits of David Ben-Gurion.”[14]

Jabotinsky, by contrast, was flamboyant and a devoted admirer of Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini. His disciple, Menachem Begin, described him as “a speaker, a writer, a philosopher, a statesman, a soldier, a linguist … But to those of us who were his pupils, he was not only their teacher, but also the bearer of their hope.” Begin’s biographer, Eric Silver, added: “There was a darker side to [Jabotinsky’s] philosophy: blood, fire and steel, the supremacy of the leader, discipline and ceremony, the manipulation of the masses, racial exclusivity as the heart of the nation.[15] One of Jabotinsky’s slogans was: “We shall create, with sweat and blood, a race of men, strong, brave and cruel.”[16]

Jabotinsky died in 1940, and it was Menachem Begin who refined his wild nationalism into practical political action. Begin concluded: “The world does not pity the slaughtered. It only respects those who fight.” He turned Descartes’ famous dictum around, saying: “We fight, therefore we exist.”[17] Central to Begin’s outlook was the concept of the “fighting Jew.” As he wrote:[18]

Out of blood and fire and tears and ashes, a new specimen of human being was born, a specimen completely unknown to the world for over 1,800 years, the “FIGHTING JEW.” It is axiomatic that those who fight have to hate …. We had to hate first and foremost, the horrifying, age-old, inexcusable utter defenselessness of our Jewish people, wandering through millennia, through a cruel world, to the majority of whose inhabitants the defenselessness of the Jews was a standing invitation to massacre them.

From these early leaders of Zionism (Ben-Gurion died in 1973 and Begin in 1992) have emerged their direct descendants in the Israeli political spectrum. Rabin and his successor, Shimon Peres, were both protégés of Ben-Gurion, and have carried on his mainstream secular Zionism. On Jabotinsky’s and Begin’s side, the followers have been Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and, now, Benjamin Netanyahu, the current leader of the Likud.

Rabin’s Strategy

While the two major factions of Zionism disagree on tactics, their ultimate aim of maintaining a Jewish state free of non-Jews was the same. Rabin explained his strategy shortly before his death during an interview with Rowland Evans and Robert Novak:[19]

I believe that dreams of Jews for two thousand years to return to Zion were to build a Jewish state and not a binational state. Therefore I don’t want to annex the 2.2 million Palestinians who are a different entity from us – politically, religiously, nationally – against their will to become Israelis. Therefore I see peaceful coexistence between Israel as a Jewish state – not all over the land of Israel, on most of it, its capital the united Jerusalem, its security border the Jordan River – next to it a Palestinian entity, less than a state, that runs the life of the Palestinians. It is not ruled by Israel. It is ruled by the Palestinians. This is my goal not to return to the pre-Six-Day-War lines, but to create two entities. I want a separation between Israel and the Palestinians who reside in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and they will be a different entity that rules itself.

In the Revisionist’s vocabulary, the goal was the same, if more expansionist and expressed in more direct and pugnacious words. Former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, a leading spokesman of Zionism’s right wing, commented in 1993: “Our forefathers did not come here in order to build a democracy but to build a Jewish state.”[20]

The occupation of all of Palestine, including Jerusalem, in the 1967 war and the coming to power a decade later of Menachem Begin gave a profound boost to Revisionism and its radical philosophy. During this period there arose the firebrand Meir Kahane, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who openly espoused the removal of the Palestinians from all of Palestine. Under the influence of his fiery rhetoric, thousands of Orthodox Jewish Americans were encouraged to emigrate to Israel as settlers on occupied Palestinian land, adding to the radicalization of Israeli politics. After Kahane’s assassination in New York in 1990 by an Arab, New York Times correspondent John Kifner reported that Kahane had been successful in the sense that many of his ideas “had crept into the mainstream” in Israel.

Dr. Ehud Sprinzak, an Israeli expert on the far right in Israel, observed: “Where [Kahane] has succeeded is in changing the thinking of many Israelis toward anti-Arab feelings and violence. He forced the more respectable parties to change. In the 1970s Kahane was in the political wilderness, but in the 1980s the center had moved toward Kahane.” Observed the Jewish Telegraph Agency : “Rabbi Kahane could die satisfied that his message has impacted deeply and widely throughout Israeli society.”[21]

By the mid-1990s, even Kahane’s violent ideas seemed somewhat mild in the context of the radicalized politics of Israel. A new strain of religious extremism has been added to the Revisionist ranks. This became obvious on February 25, 1994, when Brooklyn-born Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a Kahane disciple, walked into the Ibrahim mosque, called the Cave of Machpela by Jews, in Hebron and killed 29 and wounded upwards of 150 Palestinian worshippers.[22] While Rabin and labor Zionists condemned him, Goldstein became a hero for Revisionist Zionists. A shrine was made of his grave and a group of Revisionists grew up called “Goldsteiners.” They are dedicated to the “sublime ideals of Goldstein” and urge “all true Jews to follow his footsteps.”[23]

Baruch Goldstein wore a yellow Star of David with the German word for “Jew” to show his ardent concern for the “lessons of the Holocaust” and its meaning for all Jews. Today many hardline Zionists revere this mass murderer of Palestinians as a Jewish hero and martyr.

While the Revisionists had always had an element of religious messianism, the most radical of their current heirs come from ultrareligious Orthodox Jews who are less consumed by politics than religion.[24] They believe they are God’s messengers. Thus Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, cited the authority of God to explain the murder.

This is a sea change in the mindset – if not the violence – of the traditional Revisionists. For instance, in 1943 Yitzhak Shamir ordered the assassination of one of his closest Sternist friends, but offered an entirely different rationale that had nothing to do with God. Mainly the motive stemmed from political and tactical reasons. Shamir wrote in his memoirs, In the Final Analysis, that Stern commander Eliyahu Giladi had become “strange and wild” and had wanted to shoot at crowds of Jews and urged the assassination of David Ben-Gurion, acts that would have been highly unpopular. Wrote Shamir: “I was afraid that he had gone completely crazy. I knew that I had to take a fateful decision, and I didn’t evade it.”[25] Giladi was fatally shot in the back on a beach south of Tel Aviv and his killer was never found.[26]

The new Revisionists have now expanded the right to kill claimed by the early Revisionists in the name of nationalism to include a divine right. In the end, they are less interested in foreign and domestic affairs than in justifying man’s acts to God. It is a powerful and inflammatory mix of nationalism and religion that is almost certain to lead to more violence unless Israel is able to look into its own soul.


Recommended Reading

  • Bar-Zohar, Michael, Ben-Gurion: A Biography, New York: Delacorte, 1978. Begin, Menachem, The Revolt, Los Angeles: Nash, 1972. Bell, J. Bowyer, ‘/error Out of Zion, New York: St. Martin’s, 1977. Ben-Gurion, David, Israel: A Personal History, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, Inc., 1971.
  • Bethell, Nicholas, The Palestine Triangle: The Struggle for the Holy Land, 1935-48, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1979.
  • Brenner, Lenni, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill, 1983.
  • Brenner, Lenni, The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, London: Zed Books, 1984.
  • Halsell, Grace, Prophesy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War, Westport, Conn.: Lawrence Hill, 1986.
  • Khalidi, Walid (ed.), Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948, Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1984.
  • Khalidi, Walid, From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem until 1948, Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, second printing, 1987.
  • Marion, Kati, A Death in Jerusalem, New York: Pantheon, 1994.
  • Nakhleh, Issa, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem (2 vols.), New York: Intercontinental, 1991.
  • Palumbo, Michael, The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People from their Homeland, Boston: Faber and Faber, 1987.
  • Rubinstein, Ammon, The Zionist Dream Revisited, New York: Schocken, 1984.
  • Sachar, Howard M., A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Tel Aviv: Steimatzky’s Agency, 1976.
  • Silver, Eric, Begin: The Haunted Prophet, New York: Random House, 1984.
  • Tillman, Seth, The United States in the Middle East: Interests and Obstacles, Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1982.

Notes

[1] Sam Pope Brewer, New York Times, Jan. 5, 1948, and Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora, p. 316. Also see Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, pp. 83-4. Initial reports put the death toll at 34.
[2] Bethell, The Palestine Triangle, p. 263; Sachar, A History of Israel, p. 267. Details on the bombing and reaction of British officials are in Nakhleh, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, pp. 269-70.
[3] Bethell, Palestine Triangle, pp. 181-87, 263; Sachar, A History of Israel, p. 267; Marion, A Death in Jerusalem, p. 208.
[4] Khalidi, From Haven to Conquest, pp. 761-78; Silver, Begin, pp. 88-96; Nakhleh, Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem, pp. 271-72.
[5] Silver, Begin, p. 12.
[6] New York Times, Nov. 27, 1948.
[7] Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion, p. 175.
[8] Silver, Begin, p. 98.
[9] Bethell, The Palestine Triangle, pp. 308-9. An interview reflecting Hecht’s views appeared in The New York Times, May 28, 1947.
[10] Silver, Begin, p. 108.
[11] Silver, Begin, p. 108.
[12] In Hebrew, Eretz Yisrael means the “Land of Israel,” a phrase invested with strong nationalist feelings.
[13] Time, August 16, 1948.
[14] Bar-Zohar, Ben Gurian, pp. 77, xvii.
[15] Silver, Begin, p. 11.
[16] Elfi Pallis, “The Likud Party: A Primer,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1992, p. 45.
[17] Begin, The Revolt, pp. 36, 46. Also see Tillman, The United States in the Middle East, p. 20.
[18] Begin, The Revolt, pp. xi-xii. Also see Elfi Pallis, “The Likud Party: A Primer,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1992, p. 45.
[19] Evans and Novak, CNN, Oct. 1, 1995.
[20] Menachem Shalev, Forward, May 21, 1339.
[21] John Kifner, New York Times, Nov. 11, 1990.
[22] David Hoffman, Washington Post, Feb. 28, 1994.
[23] Khalid M. Amayreh, “Six Months On,” Middle East International, Sept. 9, 1994.
[24] Halsell, Prophecy and Politics, p. 75, provides an excellent analysis of the extremist beliefs of Jabotinsky and his followers and their alliance with American fundamentalist Christians such as Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Ml\iority.
[25] Clyde Haberman, New York Times, Jan. 15, 1994.
[26] Glenn Frankel, Washington Post, Nov. 6, 1995.


From The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1996 (Vol. 16, No. 1), pages 42-45. This item is reprinted from the January 1996 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Washington, DC).

About the Author

Donald Neff is an American journalist and author. For 16 years he worked for Time magazine, including a period as its Bureau Chief in Israel. He also worked for the Washington Star daily newspaper. He is the author of Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy Towards Palestine and Israel Since 1945 (1995), as well as of the 1988 trilogy, Warriors at Suez: Eisenhower Takes America Into the Middle East in 1956, Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days that Changed the Middle East, and Warriors Against Israel: America Comes to the Rescue.

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike

By Gareth Porter | Consortium News | November 18, 2017

In September 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a building in eastern Syria that the Israelis claimed held a covert nuclear reactor that had been built with North Korean assistance. Seven months later, the CIA released an extraordinary 11-minute video and mounted press and Congressional briefings that supported that claim.

Supposed Syrian nuclear site before and after Israeli airstrike

But nothing about that alleged reactor in the Syrian desert turns out to be what it appeared at the time. The evidence now available shows that there was no such nuclear reactor, and that the Israelis had misled George W. Bush’s administration into believing that it was in order to draw the United States into bombing missile storage sites in Syria. Other evidence now suggests, moreover, that the Syrian government had led the Israelis to believe wrongly that it was a key storage site for Hezbollah missiles and rockets.

The International Atomic Agency’s top specialist on North Korean reactors, Egyptian national Yousry Abushady, warned top IAEA officials in 2008 that the published CIA claims about the alleged reactor in the Syrian desert could not possibly have been true. In a series of interviews in Vienna and by phone and e-mail exchanges over several months Abushady detailed the technical evidence that led him to issue that warning and to be even more confident about that judgment later on. And a retired nuclear engineer and research scientist with many years of experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed a crucial element of that technical evidence.

Published revelations by senior Bush administration officials show, moreover, that principal U.S. figures in the story all had their own political motives for supporting the Israeli claim of a Syrian reactor being built with North Korean help.

Vice President Dick Cheney hoped to use the alleged reactor to get President George W. Bush to initiate U.S. airstrikes in Syria in the hope of shaking the Syrian-Iranian alliance. And both Cheney and then CIA Director Michael Hayden also hoped to use the story of a North Korean-built nuclear reactor in Syria to kill a deal that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was negotiating with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program in 2007-08.

Mossad Chief’s Dramatic Evidence

In April 2007 the chief of Israel’s Mossad foreign intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, presented Cheney, Hayden and National Security Adviser Steven Hadley with evidence of what he said was a nuclear reactor being constructed in eastern Syria with the help of the North Koreans. Dagan showed them nearly a hundred hand-held photographs of the site revealing what he described as the preparation for the installation of a North Korean reactor and claimed that it was only a few months from being operational.

The Israelis made no secret of their desire to have a U.S. airstrike destroy the alleged nuclear facility. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called President Bush immediately after that briefing and said, “George, I’m asking you to bomb the compound,” according to the account in Bush’s memoirs.

Cheney, who was known to be a personal friend of Olmert, wanted to go further. At White House meetings in subsequent weeks, Cheney argued forcefully for a U.S. attack not only on the purported reactor building but on Hezbollah weapons storage depots in Syria. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who participated in those meetings, recalled in his own memoirs that Cheney, who was also looking for an opportunity to provoke a war with Iran, hoped to “rattle Assad sufficiently so as to end his close relationship with Iran” and “send a powerful warning to the Iranians to abandon their nuclear ambitions.”

CIA Director Hayden aligned the agency clearly with Cheney on the issue, not because of Syria or Iran but because of North Korea. In his book, Playing to the Edge, published last year, Hayden recalls that, at a White House meeting to brief President Bush the day after Dagan’s visit, he whispered in Cheney’s ear, “You were right, Mr. Vice-President.”

Hayden was referring to the fierce political struggle within the Bush administration over North Korea policy that had been underway ever since Condoleezza Rice had become Secretary of State in early 2005. Rice had argued that diplomacy was the only realistic way to get Pyongyang to retreat from its nuclear weapons program. But Cheney and his administration allies John Bolton and Robert Joseph (who succeeded Bolton as the key State Department policymaker on North Korea after Bolton became U.N. Ambassador in 2005) were determined to end the diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang.

Cheney was still maneuvering to find a way to prevent the successful completion of the negotiations, and he saw the story of a Syrian nuclear reactor built secretly in the desert with help from the North Koreans as bolstering his case. Cheney reveals in his own memoirs that in January 2008, he sought to sandbag Rice’s North Korea nuclear deal by getting her to agree that a failure by North Korea to “admit they’ve proliferating to the Syrians would be a deal killer.”

Three months later, the CIA released its unprecedented 11-minute video supporting the entire Israeli case for a North-Korean-style nuclear reactor that was nearly completed. Hayden recalls that his decision to release the video on the alleged Syrian nuclear reactor in April 2008 was “to avoid a North Korean nuclear deal being sold to a Congress and a public ignorant of this very pertinent and very recent episode.”

The video, complete with computer reconstructions of the building and photographs from the Israelis made a big splash in the news media. But one specialist on nuclear reactors who examined the video closely found abundant reason to conclude that the CIA’s case was not based on real evidence.

Technical Evidence against a Reactor

Egyptian national Yousry Abushady was a PhD in nuclear engineering and 23-year veteran of the IAEA who had been promoted to section head for Western Europe in the operations division of agency’s Safeguards Department, meaning that he was in charge of all inspections of nuclear facilities in the region. He had been a trusted adviser to Bruno Pellaud, IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards from 1993 to 1999, who told this writer in an interview that he had “relied on Abushady frequently.”

Abushady recalled in an interview that, after spending many hours reviewing the video released by the CIA in April 2008 frame by frame, he was certain that the CIA case for a nuclear reactor at al-Kibar in the desert in eastern Syria was not plausible for multiple technical reasons. The Israelis and the CIA had claimed the alleged reactor was modeled on the type of reactor the North Koreans had installed at Yongbyon called a gas-cooled graphite-moderated (GCGM) reactor.

But Abushady knew that kind of reactor better than anyone else at the IAEA. He had designed a GCGM reactor for his doctoral student in nuclear engineering, had begun evaluating the Yongbyon reactor in 1993, and from 1999 to 2003 had headed the Safeguards Department unit responsible for North Korea.

Abushady had traveled to North Korea 15 times and conducted extensive technical discussions with the North Korean nuclear engineers who had designed and operated the Yongbyon reactor. And the evidence he saw in the video convinced him that no such reactor could have been under construction at al-Kibar.

On April 26, 2008, Abushady sent a “preliminary technical assessment” of the video to IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards Olli Heinonen, with a copy to Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Abushady observed in his memorandum that the person responsible for assembling the CIA video was obviously unfamiliar with either the North Korean reactor or with GCGM reactors in general.

The first thing that struck Abushady about the CIA’s claims was that the building was too short to hold a reactor like the one in Yongbyon, North Korea.

“It is obvious,” he wrote in his “technical assessment” memo to Heinonen, “that the Syrian building with no UG [underground] construction, can not hold a [reactor] similar [to] NK GCR [North Korean gas-cooled reactor].”
Abushady estimated the height of the North Korean reactor building in Yongbyon at a 50 meters (165 feet) and estimated that the building at al-Kibar at a little more than a third as tall.

Abushady also found the observable characteristics of the al-Kibar site inconsistent with the most basic technical requirements for a GCGM reactor. He pointed out that the Yongbyon reactor had no less than 20 supporting buildings on the site, whereas the satellite imagery shows that the Syrian site did not have a single significant supporting structure.

The most telling indication of all for Abushady that the building could not have been a GCGM reactor was the absence of a cooling tower to reduce the temperature of the carbon dioxide gas coolant in such a reactor.
“How can you work a gas-cooled reactor in a desert without a cooling tower?” Abushady asked in an interview.

IAEA Deputy Director Heinonen claimed in an IAEA report that the site had sufficient pumping power to get river water from a pump house on the nearby Euphrates River to the site. But Abushady recalls asking Heinonen, “How could this water be transferred for about 1,000 meters and continue to the heat exchangers for cooling with the same power?”

Robert Kelley, a former head of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory and former senior IAEA inspector in Iraq, noticed another fundamental problem with Heinonen’s claim: the site had no facility for treating the river water before it reached the alleged reactor building.

“That river water would have been carrying debris and silt into the reactor heat exchangers,” Kelley said in an interview, making it highly questionable that a reactor could have operated there.

Yet another critical piece that Abushady found missing from the site was a cooling pond facility for spent fuel. The CIA had theorized that the reactor building itself contained a “spent fuel pond,” based on nothing more than an ambiguous shape in an aerial photograph of the bombed building.

But the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon and all 28 other GCGM reactors that had been built in the world all have the spent fuel pond in a separate building, Abushady said. The reason, he explained, was that the magnox cladding surrounding the fuel rods would react to any contact with moisture to produce hydrogen that could explode.

But the definitive and irrefutable proof that no GCGM reactor had been present at al-Kibar came from the environmental samples taken by the IAEA at the site in June 2008. Such a reactor would have contained nuclear-grade graphite, Abushady explained, and if the Israelis had actually bombed a GCGM reactor, it would have spread particles of nuclear-grade graphite all over the site.

Behrad Nakhai, a nuclear engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for many years, confirmed Abshuady’s observation in an interview. “You would have had hundreds of tons of nuclear-grade graphite scattered around the site,” he said, “and it would have been impossible to clean it up.”

IAEA reports remained silent for more than two years about what the samples showed about nuclear-grade graphite, then claimed in a May 2011 report that the graphite particles were “too small to permit an analysis of the purity compared to that normally required for use in a reactor.” But given the tools available to laboratories, the IAEA claim that they couldn’t determine whether the particles were nuclear grade or not “doesn’t make sense,” Nakhai said.

Hayden acknowledged in his 2016 account that “key components” of a nuclear reactor site for nuclear weapons were “still missing.” The CIA had tried to find evidence of a reprocessing facility in Syria that could be used to obtain the plutonium for a nuclear bomb but had been unable to find any trace of one.

The CIA also had found no evidence of a fuel fabrication facility, without which a reactor could not have gotten the fuel rods to be reprocessed. Syria could not have gotten them from North Korea, because the fuel fabrication plant at Yongbyon had produced no fuel rods since 1994 and was known to have fallen into serious disrepair after the regime had agreed to scrap its own plutonium reactor program.

Manipulated and Misleading Photographs

Hayden’s account shows that he was ready to give the CIA’s stamp of approval to the Israeli photographs even before the agency’s analysts had even begun analyzing them. He admits that when he met Dagan face-to-face he didn’t ask how and when Mossad had obtained the photographs, citing “espionage protocol” among cooperating intelligence partners. Such a protocol would hardly apply, however, to a government sharing intelligence in order to get the United States to carry out an act of war on its behalf.

The CIA video relied heavily on the photographs that Mossad had given to Bush administration in making its case. Hayden writes that it was “pretty convincing stuff, if we could be confident that the pictures hadn’t been altered.”

But by his own account Hayden knew Mossad had engaged in at least one deception. He writes that when CIA experts reviewed the photographs from Mossad, they found that one of them had been photo-shopped to remove the writing on the side of a truck.

Hayden professes to have had no concern about that photo-shopped picture. But after this writer asked how CIA analysts interpreted Mossad’s photo shopping of the picture as one of the questions his staff requested in advance of a possible interview with Hayden, he declined the interview.

Abushady points out that the main issues with the photographs the CIA released publicly are whether they were actually taken at the al-Kibar site and whether they were consistent with a GCGM reactor. One of the photographs showed what the CIA video called “the steel liner for the reinforced-concrete reactor vessel before it was installed.” Abushady noticed immediately, however, that nothing in the picture links the steel liner to the al-Kibar site.

Both the video and CIA’s press briefing explained that the network of small pipes on the outside of the structure was for “cooling water to protect the concrete against the reactor’s intense heat and radiation.”
But Abushady, who specializes in such technology, pointed out that the structure in the picture bore no resemblance to a Gas-Cooled Reactor vessel. “This vessel cannot be for a Gas-Cooled Reactor,” Abushady explained, “based on its dimensions, it thickness and the pipes shown on the side of the vessel.”

The CIA video’s explanation that the network of pipes was necessary for “cooling water” made no sense, Abushady said, because gas-cooled reactors use only carbon dioxide gas — not water — as a coolant. Any contact between water and the Magnox-cladding used in that type of reactor, Abushady explained, could cause an explosion.

A second Mossad photograph showed what the CIA said were the “exit points” for the reactor’s control rods and fuel rods. The CIA juxtaposed that photograph with a photograph of the tops of the control rods and fuel rods of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon and claimed a “very close resemblance” between the two.

Abushady found major differences between the two pictures, however. The North Korean reactor had a total of 97 ports, but the picture allegedly taken at al-Kibar shows only 52 ports. Abushady was certain that the reactor shown in the photograph could not have been based on the Yongbyon reactor. He also noted that the picture had a pronounced sepia tone, suggesting that it was taken quite a few years earlier.
Abushady warned Heinonen and ElBaradei in his initial assessment that the photo presented as taken from inside the reactor building appeared to an old photo of a small gas-cooled reactor, most likely an early such reactor built in the U.K.

A Double Deception

Many observers have suggested that Syria’s failure to protest the strike in the desert loudly suggests that it was indeed a reactor. Information provided by a former Syrian air force major who defected to an anti-Assad military command in Aleppo and by the head of Syria’s atomic energy program helps unlock the mystery of what was really in the building at al-Kibar.

The Syrian major, “Abu Mohammed,” told The Guardian in February 2013 that he was serving in the air defense station at Deir Azzor, the city nearest to al-Kibar, when he got a phone call from a Brigadier General at the Strategic Air Command in Damascus just after midnight on Sept. 6, 2007. Enemy planes were approaching his area, the general said, but “you are to do nothing.”

The major was confused. He wondered why the Syrian command would want to let Israeli fighter planes approach Deir Azzor unhindered. The only logical reason for such an otherwise inexplicable order would be that, instead of wanting to keep the Israelis away from the building at al-Kibar, the Syrian government actually wanted the Israelis to attack it. In the aftermath of the strike, the Damascus issued only an opaque statement claiming that the Israeli jets had been driven away and remaining silent on the airstrike at al-Kibar.

Abushady told this writer he learned from meetings with Syrian officials during his final year at the IAEA that the Syrian government had indeed originally built the structure at al-Kibar for the storage of missiles as well as for a fixed firing position for them. And he said Ibrahim Othman, the head of Syria’s Atomic Energy Commission, had confirmed that point in a private meeting with him in Vienna in September 2015.

Othman also confirmed Abushady’s suspicion from viewing satellite photographs that the roof over the central room in the building had been made with two movable light plates that could be opened to allow the firing of a missile. And he told Abushady that he had been correct in believing that what had appeared in a satellite image immediately after the bombing to be two semi-circular shapes was what had remained of the original concrete launching silo for missiles.

In the wake of the Israel’s 2006 invasion of Southern Lebanon, the Israelis were searching intensively for Hezbollah missiles and rockets that could reach Israel and they believed many of those Hezbollah weapons were being stored in Syria. If they wished to draw the attention of the Israelis away from actual missile storage sites, the Syrians would have had good reason to want to convince the Israelis that this was one of their major storage sites.

Othman told Abushady that the building had been abandoned in 2002, after the construction had been completed. The Israelis had acquired ground-level pictures from 2001-02 showing the construction of outer walls that would hide the central hall of the building. The Israelis and the CIA both insisted in 2007-08 that this new construction indicated that it had to be a reactor building, but it is equally consistent with a building designed to hide missile storage and a missile-firing position.

Although Mossad went to great lengths to convince the Bush administration that the site was a nuclear reactor, what the Israelis really wanted was for the Bush administration to launch U.S. airstrikes against Hezbollah and Syrian missile storage sites. Senior officials of the Bush administration didn’t buy the Israeli bid to get the United States to do the bombing, but none of them ever raised questions about the Israeli ruse.

So both the Assad regime and the Israeli government appear to have succeeded in carrying out their own parts in a double deception in the Syrian desert.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian on U.S. national security policy and the recipient of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

US threatens to shutter Palestinian office in Washington, DC

Press TV – November 18, 2017

The government of US President Donald Trump has threatened to close down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, DC, if it supports a Palestinian bid to prosecute Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to a law passed by the US Congress, Palestinians would be stripped of the right to have a mission in the US capital if they support an ICC investigation of Israelis for committing crimes against them.

Apparently, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson now thinks that Palestinian leaders have ran afoul of that law but it is up to Trump to make the decision, the Associated Press reported Friday, citing a State Department official.

This means Trump has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are in “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” the official said. If Trump determines they are, the Palestinian office stays open.

The official claimed that even if the office closes, Washington would not cut off relations with the Palestinians and continue to work towards “a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Trump has tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with brokering a peace deal between the two sides. However, the president’s unclear stance on the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict has further pushed back expectations for an agreement.

The news came only two days after the US House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed legislation that would cut funding to the Palestinian Authority.

The committee approved the bill known as the Taylor Force Act on Wednesday. It stipulates a cut in funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it discontinues paying stipends to the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

Another piece of legislation, known as the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act, would slap sanctions on foreign governments, entities, and individuals for providing financial and material support to Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

The measures are set to be put to a vote at the full chamber of the House of Representatives.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Nick Kroll’s 9/11 Propaganda Exposed by Christopher Bollyn & Adam Green

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

Russia-gate Spreads to Europe

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | November 16, 2017

Ever since the U.S. government dangled $160 million last December to combat Russian propaganda and disinformation, obscure academics and eager think tanks have been lining up for a shot at the loot, an unseemly rush to profit that is spreading the Russia-gate hysteria beyond the United States to Europe.

British Prime Minister Theresa May

Now, it seems that every development, which is unwelcomed by the Establishment – from Brexit to the Catalonia independence referendum – gets blamed on Russia! Russia! Russia!

The methodology of these “studies” is to find some Twitter accounts or Facebook pages somehow “linked” to Russia (although it’s never exactly clear how that is determined) and complain about the “Russian-linked” comments on political developments in the West. The assumption is that the gullible people of the United States, United Kingdom and Catalonia were either waiting for some secret Kremlin guidance to decide how to vote or were easily duped.

Oddly, however, most of this alleged “interference” seems to have come after the event in question. For instance, more than half (56 percent) of the famous $100,000 in Facebook ads in 2015-2017 supposedly to help elect Donald Trump came after last year’s U.S. election (and the total sum compares to Facebook’s annual revenue of $27 billion).

Similarly, a new British study at the University of Edinburgh blaming the Brexit vote on Russia discovered that more than 70 percent of the Brexit-related tweets from allegedly Russian-linked sites came after the referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union. But, hey, don’t let facts and logic get in the way of a useful narrative to suggest that anyone who voted for Trump or favored Brexit or wants independence for Catalonia is Moscow’s “useful idiot”!

This week, British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of seeking to “undermine free societies” and to “sow discord in the West.”

What About Israel?

Yet, another core problem with these “studies” is that they don’t come with any “controls,” i.e., what is used in science to test a hypothesis against some base line to determine if you are finding something unusual or just some normal occurrence.

In this case, for instance, it would be useful to find some other country that, like Russia, has a significant number of English speakers but where English is not the native language – and that has a significant interest in foreign affairs – and then see whether people from that country weigh in on social media with their opinions and perspectives about political events in the U.S., U.K., etc.

Perhaps, the U.S. government could devote some of that $160 million to, say, a study of the Twitter/Facebook behavior of Israelis and whether they jump in on U.S./U.K. controversies that might directly or indirectly affect Israel. We could see how many Twitter/Facebook accounts are “linked” to Israel; we could study whether any Israeli “trolls” harass journalists and news sites that oppose neoconservative policies and politicians in the West; we could check on whether Israel does anything to undermine candidates who are viewed as hostile to Israeli interests; if so, we could calculate how much money these “Israeli-linked” activists and bloggers invest in Facebook ads; and we could track any Twitter bots that might be reinforcing the Israeli-favored message.

No Chance

If we had this Israeli baseline, then perhaps we could judge how unusual it is for Russians to voice their opinions about controversies in the West. It’s true that Israel is a much smaller country with 8.5 million people compared to Russia’s 144 million, but you could adjust for those per capita numbers — and even if you didn’t, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that Israel’s interference in U.S. policymaking still exceeds [by many orders of magnitude] Russian influence.

It’s also true that Israeli leaders have often advocated policies that have proved disastrous for the United States, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s encouragement of  the Iraq War, which Russia opposed. Indeed, although Russia is now regularly called an American enemy, it’s hard to think of any policy that President Vladimir Putin has pushed on the U.S. that is even a fraction as harmful to U.S. interests as the Iraq War has been.

And, while we’re at it, maybe we could have an accounting of how much “U.S.-linked” entities have spent to influence politics and policies in Russia, Ukraine, Syria and other international hot spots.

But, of course, neither of those things will happen. If you even tried to gauge the role of “Israeli-linked” operations in influencing Western decision-making, you’d be accused of anti-Semitism. And if that didn’t stop you, there would be furious editorials in The New York Times, The Washington Post and the rest of the U.S. mainstream media denouncing you as a “conspiracy theorist.” Who could possibly think that Israel would do anything underhanded to shape Western attitudes?

And, if you sought the comparative figures for the West interfering in the affairs of other nations, you’d be faulted for engaging in “false moral equivalence.” After all, whatever the U.S. government and its allies do is good for the world; whereas Russia is the fount of evil.

So, let’s just get back to developing those algorithms to sniff out, isolate and eradicate “Russian propaganda” or other deviant points of view, all the better to make sure that Americans, Britons and Catalonians vote the right way.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 2 Comments

With anti-BDS laws and a pro-Israel parliament, Zionist hasbara is winning in Italy

By Romana Rubeo and Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | November 15, 2107

A proposed law awaiting consideration by the Italian parliament is set to punish those calling for a boycott of Israel. In the past, such an initiative would have been unthinkable. Alas, Italy — a country with historic sympathies for the Palestinian cause — has shifted its politics in a dramatic way in recent years. Most surprisingly, though, is that the Left is as implicated as the Right in the rush to please Israel, at the expense of Palestinian rights.

The sad reality is that Italy is moving into the Israeli camp. This is not only pertinent to political alignment, but in the reconfiguration of discourse as well. Israeli priorities, as articulated in Zionist hasbara (official propaganda) have now become part of the everyday lexicon of Italian media and politics. As a result, the Zionist agenda is now Italy’s political agenda too.

Italy’s anti-Fascist, anti-military occupation and revolutionary past is being overlooked by self-serving politicians, who are susceptible ever more frequently to the pressures of a burgeoning pro-Israel lobby.

Re-writing history

During the so-called “First Republic” (1948 to 1992), Italy was considered to be the West European country most sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, not only because of a widespread feeling of solidarity among Italians, but also because of the political environment at the time. Italian leaders were perfectly aware of the country’s unique position in the Mediterranean zone. While they were keen to display loyalty to the Atlantic Alliance, they also established good relations with the Arab world. Maintaining this balance was not always easy and led to what are being perceived as “radical choices”, which are now being disowned and criticised.

The pro-Israel trend has been in motion for years. In a famous interview with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in 2008, former Italian President Francesco Cossiga declared, “Dear Italian Jews, we sold you out.”

Cossiga was referring to the so-called “Lodo Moro”, an unofficial agreement which was allegedly signed in the 1970s by the then Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The deal supposedly allowed the Palestinian group to coordinate its actions throughout Italian territory, in exchange for it keeping Italy off its operational target list. The Lodo Moro is often used in Israeli hasbara to highlight Italy’s supposed failures in the past, and to continue associating Palestinians with terrorism.

In his interview, Cossiga went further, blaming the PFLP for the Bologna terrorist bombing and massacre, which devastated the city’s main railway station in 1980, killing 85 people. Cossiga’s words may have pleased Israel, but were baseless. The [false flag] attack was actually the work of an Italian neo-fascist organisation. Unfortunately, his nonsensical allegation was not an isolated example; it remains representative of the general change of attitude towards Palestine and Israel, one that is largely predicated on re-writing history.

Then and now

In 1974, the Italian government advocated for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s participation in the UN General Assembly. In 1980, it committed to the EEC Declaration of Venice, which recognised the Palestinian “right to self-determination”. As expected, this was strongly opposed by Israel and the US.

Throughout the 1980s, the attitude of successive Italian governments was openly pro-Palestinian, which often led to foreign policy clashes with Israel and its American benefactors, especially during the so-called Crisis of Sigonella in 1985. During a speech at the Italian parliament, socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi went as far as defending the Palestinian right to armed struggle. In 1982, the Italian President Sandro Pertini used his traditional end of year address to the nation to talk at length about the horror of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre of Palestinian refugees.

While centre-left political forces supported Palestine to keep good relations with Arab countries, left-wing parties were mainly motivated by the anti-imperialist struggle, which then resonated within Italian intellectual circles. However, this has changed; Italy is now living in its “post-ideological age”, where morality and ideas are flexible, and can be reshaped as needed to conform with political interests.

Today, left-wing parties don’t feel the need to stand up for oppressed nations. They are too beholden to the diktats of globalisation, and are thus driven by selfish agendas which, naturally, brings them closer to the US and Israel.

While neo-liberal politics has ravaged much of Europe in recent years, Italy has proven that it is not the exception. In October 2016, Italy abstained from the vote on the UNESCO resolution condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestinian East Jerusalem. Even that half-hearted move angered Israel, prompting the Israeli ambassador in Rome to protest.

The Italian Prime Minister moved quickly to reassure Israel, speaking harshly about UNESCO’S proposal. “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel,” insisted Matteo Renzi. One year earlier, Renzi had officially reaffirmed Italy’s commitment to Israel in the Israeli Knesset (parliament), when he declared, “Supporters of ‘stupid’ boycotts [of Israel] betray their own future.”

During his inaugural speech, Italy’s current President Sergio Mattarella addressed the “menace of international terrorism” by mentioning the 1982 attack in front of the Great Synagogue in Rome. His words “deeply touched Italian Jews,” according to the right-wing Jerusalem Post.

Rising Zionist influence

Zionist groups constantly try to sway Italian public opinion. Their strategy is predicated on two pillars: infusing Israel’s sense of victimhood (as in “poor little Israel fighting for survival among a sea of Arabs and Muslims”) and using the anti-Semitism card against anyone who challenges the Israeli narrative.

The hasbara weapons are working, as Italian politics and even culture (through the media) are increasingly identifying with Israel. Worse still, the pro-Israel feeling is now also completely acceptable among left-wing political parties.

According to Ugo Giannangeli, a prominent criminal lawyer who has devoted many years to defending Palestinian rights, the Italian parliament is working on several laws whose sole purpose is to win Israel’s approval. One of these initiatives is Draft law 2043 (Anti-discrimination Act). It ought to be called the Anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] Act. The signatories compare the boycott of Israel with “disguised anti-Semitism”. If approved, the legislation will sanction exemplary punishment for BDS campaigners in Italy.

Among the signatories of the draft law is Emma Fattorini, a member of the Italian Democratic Party as well as the “Committee for the protection and promotion of human rights”. Palestinian rights, of course, are of no concern to Fattorini at the moment; they are nowhere to be found in her “human rights” agenda.

Another signatory is Paolo Corsini, who abandoned the Democratic Party and moved to the left-wing MDP – Articolo 1. Corsini was also the rapporteur of the “Agreement between Italy and Israel on public safety”, already ratified by the Italian parliament. The agreement strengthens the relationship between the two countries in a more effective way, in exchange for Israel’s sharing of information on public order and how to control mass protests.

Only a few voices are being raised against Italy’s political and cultural subordination to Israel. Italian politician Massimo D’Alema, a former Foreign Minister, has criticised the change in Italian policies. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he was critical of Italy and Europe over their willingness to please Israeli leaders. He called on the left to reclaim its historic role in support of the Palestinian people.

Activists and progressive politicians can learn from the Italian experience: solidarity with Palestine begins at home. There is a need for strong opposition to any attempts to criminalise BDS, as well as strong countermeasures against pernicious Israeli hasbara that is penetrating every aspect of society on a daily basis.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

How the Israel Lobby Works in Britain

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.11.2017

The government of the United Kingdom is in a state of turmoil, mainly because it lacks authority as a result of holding an election in which the Conservative party was unexpectedly dealt a severe blow to its pride and popularity. Since then its indecision and incompetence have been complicated by scandal, of which the latest involved enforced resignations of two cabinet ministers, one because he indulged in sexual harassment, and the latest, the Overseas Aid minister, Ms Priti Patel, because she told lies to the prime minister about a visit to Israel.

Ms Patel admitted that her actions “fell below the high standards expected of a secretary of state” which was certainly the case, because she told lies; but her low standard expeditions appear to have involved some intriguing antics. It was reported that in August she went on “a secret trip to Israel with a lobbyist, during which she held 12 meetings, including one with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, without informing either [Prime Minister] May or Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary.” It is amazing that she could have imagined that British intelligence services would not report her movements and meetings in the daily brief, but this did not stop her telling the Guardian newspaper that “Boris knew about the visit. The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the visit to Israel]. It is not on, it is not on at all. I went out there, I paid for it, and there is nothing else to this. It is quite extraordinary. It is for the Foreign Office to go away and explain themselves.”

But it wasn’t the Foreign Office that had to explain things, because this was yet another squalid deception by a grubby little politician — for whatever reason she may have had to try to disguise her motives. Her assertion that “I went on holiday and met with people and organisations . . . It is not about who else I met, I have friends out there,” didn’t ring true, and the media discovered a whole raft of deceit.

Not only did she have a dozen meetings with “friends” in Israel, but, as revealed by the Sun newspaper, “on September 7, Ms Patel met Israeli Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan for talks in the House of Commons. Then, on September 18, she met Israel’s Foreign Ministry boss Yuval Rotem while in New York at the UN General Assembly. Ms Patel would not last night [November 6] disclose what the meetings were about. She had seen both men in Tel Aviv in August . . .”

She was accompanied on her holiday in Israel by a British peer, Lord Polak, who attended all her meetings with Israel’s best and brightest, including Prime Minister Netanyahu. And Polak went with her to New York, with his flight being paid for by the Israeli consulting firm ISHRA, which “offers a wide range of client services.” Polak was also present when she had discussions with the Israeli Minister for Public Security at the House of Commons before she went to New York.

Lord Polak

Lord Polak didn’t have far to walk to the House of Commons because he is a member of the adjacent House of Lords, Britain’s unelected upper chamber of Parliament, which is a travesty of democracy. It makes a mockery of social equality and far too many of its members are generous donors to political parties or failed politicians who have been “kicked upstairs” to well-recompensed relaxation as compensation for years of political toadying. There are 800 members of the House, making it the second-largest legislative assembly in the world, after China’s National People’s Congress (although it has to be borne in mind that China has a population of 1.3 billion as against Britain’s 65 million).

In short, the House of Lords is a farcical disgrace. But it still has much influence, because there is a great deal of money sloshing around, and there are people and political parties who control this money — like the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), an organisation that the Financial Times (FT) reports has “an estimated 80 per cent of Tory MPs as members.” And it is no coincidence that Lord Polak “spent a quarter of a century as head of the CFI . . . He quit as director in 2015 to join the House of Lords, but has remained the group’s honorary president.”

CFI is a wealthy organisation which the FT notes “has given £377,994 [495,000 US dollars] to the Conservative party since 2004, mostly in the form of fully-funded trips to Israel for MPs.” Not only that, but it gives large individual donations to Conservative members of parliament — and does anyone imagine for a moment that any politician so favoured is going to say a single word against Israel in any forum in any context?

They’ve been bought.

The CFI’s deep-pocket generosity includes holding an annual London dinner, at which last December the prime minister not only referred to Lord Polak as “the one and only Stuart Polak” but noted there were over 200 legislators present and declared she was “so pleased that the CFI has already taken 34 of the 74 Conservative MPs elected in 2015 to Israel.”

Money is the most important feature of UK-Israel relations, and May was thrilled about “our countries’ biggest-ever business deal, worth over £1 billion, when Israeli airline El Al decided to use Rolls Royce engines in its new aircraft.” It all comes down to money, and Israel, in receipt of oceans of cash from the United States, can splurge it where it wants.

Last year it was announced that the US “will give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, the largest such aid package in US history, under a landmark agreement signed on [September 14]” which includes an annual amount of $3.3 billion in “foreign military financing.”

Britain can’t give Israel any money, as it is itself in a poor financial situation, but it tries to make up for lack of cash by unconditional political support. It doesn’t matter to Britain’s government that Israel is in violation of nearly 100 UN Security Council resolutions, almost all of them requiring its withdrawal from illegally occupied Arab lands. Don’t expect the United Kingdom to criticise the Israeli fiefdom.

The love-fest between Britain’s Conservative party and the state of Israel is not only unhealthy but suspiciously personal. There is little wonder that the British government has done its best to sweep the sordid Patel affair under the carpet, and that the intrigues of Lord Polak are being kept very quiet indeed.

Lord Polak is chair of the advisory board of TWC Associates, a “boutique consultancy specialising in the development of political strategy”, which lists among its clients several Israeli defence companies, including Elbit Systems which specialises in defence electronics.

In 2012 it was disclosed that TWC and Elbit Systems were involved in the appalling British “Generals for Hire” scandal when Elbit’s UK chairman told undercover Sunday Times reporters that TWC could gain access to government “from the prime minister down.” In this particularly revolting instance of corruption the British retired Lieutenant General Richard Applegate, then Chairman of TWC, boasted that TWC had enormous influence, through its connections with Conservative Friends of Israel. He declared that “We piggy back on something, and please don’t spread this around, to do with basically Conservative Friends of Israel… do a series of discreet engagements using advisers to gain access to particular decision makers.” Just as Ms Patel was doing in Tel Aviv and London and New York, with the shadowy but authoritative guidance of the creepy Polak.

There is a lot that is wrong in the United Kingdom at the moment, but the Israeli scandal is the most squalid pantomime yet to be revealed in the tenure of the present administration. The prime minister is desperate to conceal her government’s intimate association with Israel, and is achieving success by deflecting media attention away from the machinations of the Israeli lobby and selecting other targets. Her attack on Russia in a bizarre diatribe at a London banquet on November 13 was indicative of panic, but the headlines were obtained and the grubby Israel drama faded away into the background.

In the words of Prime Minister Theresa May on November 2, just as news of the Patel scandal was breaking, “We are proud to stand here today together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and declare our support for Israel. And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel.”

May and Netanyahu in London on November 2

The British public will never know what Patel, Polak and all the other agents of influence were scheming to achieve, or what fandangos they may get up to in the future, but we can be certain that the Britain-Israel alliance will continue to prosper.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Iran’s UN envoy slams Canada’s double standards on human rights

Canadians protest in support of indigenous women
Press TV – November 15, 2017

A senior Iranian diplomat has blasted Canada for proposing a “politically-motivated” UN resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, while Ottawa, itself, has long been involved in a broad range of human rights abuses at home and elsewhere.

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Es’haq Al-e Habib was reacting to a Canada-drafted human rights resolution, which was adopted Tuesday against Iran by the Third Committee of UN General Assembly with 83 votes in favor, 30 against and 68 abstentions.

Speaking during the session, Al-e Habib rejected the document as “politically-motivated” and said “double standards are an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy.”

“We regret that few unscrupulous Governments continue challenging integrity and credibility of the United Nations through pushing for this politically-motivated resolution that only underscores how selective, irrelevant and subjective UN decisions could sometimes become,” he added.

He pointed to some examples of Canada’s non-compliance by its international human rights obligations, including Ottawa’s discriminatory policies against indigenous people and its support for the Israeli regime.

“Ottawa along with very few others in the whole world have consistently and unconditionally supported Israel despite all the gross, abhorrent and systematic violations of human rights committed by that regime. This level of hypocrisy and double standard is mind-boggling,” the Iranian envoy pointed out.

Al-e Habib also referred to Canada’s discriminatory policies against its own indigenous people, adding, “While police brutality, forced disappearances and murder of the indigenous people are well documented, indigenous women and girls continue to suffer from the institutionalized discrimination and violence.”

“Canada should have realized thus far that such a pointless and futile exercise is a disservice to the human rights cause, a harmful measure against the UN human rights mechanisms and a disrespect to the wisdom of the people who closely monitor Canada’s selective stances on human rights situations,” the Iranian envoy said.

Saudi Arabia rights violations

During the session, Al-e Habib also lashed out at Saudi Arabia for supporting the Canada-drafted resolution against Iran, while Riyadh itself has been blatantly violating human rights both at home and in different parts of the world.

The Iranian envoy noted that Saudi Arabia kills more children in Yemen than al-Qaeda, Daesh and al-Nusra put together around the globe, adding, “Saudi regime being a partner in the global fight against terrorism and intolerance is blatant mockery of humanity, human rights, justice and peace.”

“Spending billions of dollars buying beautiful arms and Western public relation corporations cannot hide the real face of Saudi, whose money also fuels sectarianism in the Persian Gulf, Middle East and the world,” he said.

Al-e Habib went on to enumerate some instances of rights violations by Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh’s crackdown on all forms of dissent across the country, particularly in the eastern city of Awamiyah, mainly populated by minority Shia Muslims.

He highlighted the slavery of hundreds of thousands of female migrant workers inside Saudi Arabia, the systemic violation of human rights of minorities there.

The Iranian official also drew attention to the Saudi massacre of thousands of Yemeni civilians during its military campaign against the impoverished country as well as the number of the kingdom’s nationals, who have joined Takfiri terror outfits such as al-Qaeda, Daesh and al-Nusra Front.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AIPAC is grooming high school students

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew | November 14, 2017

Washington D.C. was the site on October 29th – 31st for AIPAC’s annual matchmaking event, pairing up Israel and a fresh batch of American high school students.

The 2017 Schusterman High School Summit treated 400 high schoolers from all over the US to three days of training on AIPAC’s position on Iran, settlements, and other issues, plus kosher meals, fun activities, and a chance to lobby their congressmen. As an added bonus, students attended a college fair, in which they could see what pro-Israel kids do after high school, and talk to pro-Israel college students about pro-Israel universities.

One high school student, Nava, described her experience:

[We] spent three days learning about Israel’s relationship with the US and how Israel needs people to stand up for it. [We] were given tools on how to stand against issues such as Hezbollah, Iran, and BDS… and why it’s important to stand up against hate.

Kineret wrote in an online journal about her experiences at the 2011 Schusterman High School Summit:

We learned that it is not as simple as “Arabs hate Israel,” but that there are many underlying problems that cause the uneasy relationships in the Middle East and around the world.

Kineret also described an afternoon of inspirational speakers – an African American, a Catholic young woman, a Muslim young man who got involved in Hillel during college, and a Hispanic non-Jewish young woman. Clearly, anyone can be passionate about Israel, and everyone is welcome to join the party.

Summit attendees are expected to go back home and be “effective pro-Israel political activists on and beyond their school campus.”

The American Israel Political Action Committee is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, and it’s not by accident. AIPAC is highly organized with deep pockets and a dedicated army of workers. The organization’s revenue in 2014 was over $77 million with almost 400 paid employees. (A “sister organization,” the American Israel Education Foundation – which sponsors educational, non-lobbying activities, including trips to Israel for congressmen, had revenue of over $55 million).

The largest conference of the year, the AIPAC Policy Conference, had about 20,000 attendees last year. Significantly, 4,000 of them were students.

AIPAC makes a great effort to identify, woo, and win young advocates for Israel. Each year, several events are organized for high school and college students. The events are smallish, with about 400 slots each, and publicized among Jewish day schools, synagogues, youth groups and student leadership organizations. Competition is fierce to prove who loves Israel the most even before the events begin: applicants are asked to list involvement in AIPAC activities; one expectation is that candidates be “devoted to AIPAC’s mission.”

Once students arrive at the conferences, their experience is immersive: they interact with AIPAC senior staff, meet with AIPAC leadership development professionals, study the AIPAC legislative agenda, and learn AIPAC lobbying techniques.

Retired Jewish journalist Henry Norr likens these events to “child abuse,” pointing out that AIPAC has never been about truth, justice, or real education, but only Israel’s to-do list. Norr further states, “I can only hope that these kids will realize that they’re being used and check other sources… if they want to learn the truth about Israel and the Palestinians.”

You Never Told Me, If Not Now, and Breaking the Silence are a few places where young people can get started on learning facts instead of propaganda. Other useful sites, from a more general perspective, are If Americans Knew, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and The Link.


November 15, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

India takes part in first ever military drill with Israel

MEMO | November 14, 2017

Indian troops took part in the first ever joint military exercise with their Israeli counterparts yesterday.

Elite Indian pilots and rescue soldiers from the Garud Unit, which is said to be the equivalent of Israel’s 669 Unit, took part in the biannual Blue Flag drill at the Palmachim air base in central Israel. Over 70 aircraft from seven countries took part, including India for the first time in its history.

The military drill, which included over 1,000 personnel, was billed as having a “profound strategic meaning” said Col Itamar, commander of the Ovda base in Israel.  Holding the exercise in Israel, according to Ovada was a major diplomatic achievement.

India’s decision to take part in the drill is another sign of New Delhi’s blossoming ties with Israel under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier in the year Modi visited Israel, making a historic break from its support for the Palestinians. Previous Indian Prime Ministers, including the country’s founder and revered leader Mahatma Gandhi, had opposed the Zionist state, believing it to be a colonial enterprise. The leader of the Indian independence movement against the British was strongly opposed to the idea of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

Gandhi’s opposition to the idea of an ethno-religious nation state was widely known. His towering presence directed India’s tradition of supporting Palestinian self-determination, which continued late into the 20th century where New Delhi could be seen voting against Israel frequently at the UN.

Under Modi, however, India has taken a different course. The right wing Hindu nationalist, alleged to have been the mastermind behind the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat while serving as the chief minister of the state, has cemented a deep alliance between Tel Aviv and New Delhi. His bond with Netanyahu is described by critics as a political marriage between two men who harbour virulent nationalism tinged with racism and bigotry.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi hold a joint press conference following their meeting in Jerusalem on 5 July 2017 [Haim Zach/GPO / Handout /Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s ability to forge such relationships also highlights its status as being the global leader in the military industry. Israel’s culture of deep militarism and years of experience supressing the political rights of the Palestinians has enabled it to export its technology of control and domination to others. Its unique experiences have also made the country an invaluable asset to governments around the world that too are confronted with new security challenges.

Despite its status as a relatively small arms dealer compared to the likes of the USA and Russia, Israel’s security exports are unmatched in terms of quality. Israel has managed to carve out a niche in the security industry, selling its experience and expertise in policing, urban warfare, surveillance, intelligence. Analysts describe this as “full spectrum domination”.

Israel’s unique role in security – what some would call suppression – can be seen from the Contras in Latin America, to the riots in Ferguson, North America;  from the massacres in Bosnia and Rwanda to the killings of Rohinga Muslims in Burma. There are numerous instances in which Israel and Israeli security companies have led the way in the pacification of the people through the export of arms, surveillance technology, intelligence and security advice.

 

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

The innocence of those who fear and the guilt of those who hate

Israeli security forces brutally arrest Palestinian protesters in West Bank [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]
Dr Samah Jabr| MEMO | November 14, 2017

In our stressful state of occupation, there is, among other ills, an essentialist view of Israeli and Palestinian characteristics. In the many public talks that I have given to Westerners about the violation of the rights of Palestinians, one question almost invariably comes up: “What about the fears of the Israelis?” Similarly, how many times have we heard Western media and even the President of the United States speak of “Palestinian hatred”? These words take for granted the guilt of those who “hate” and the innocence of those who “fear”. However, the reality is that we cannot understand concerns regarding the fears of the Israelis without dissecting the accusations of “Palestinian hatred”.

One problem in this dichotomy is its assumption of a fixed, static state, as if the fears of the Israelis and the hatred of the Palestinians are inborn, permanent traits with no variation among group members. The presumption of eternal and unanimous characteristics serves to maintain the oppressive relationship between the occupier and the occupied and to obstruct political change. To find a way out, the essentialism must be contextualised and deconstructed.

Let us begin by clarifying the disproportionality of the fears of the Israelis with regard to the realistic harm that Palestinians have brought upon them. Israel has long had one of the most powerful armies in the world; it gives “lessons in security” to other nations and exports arms to them for the purpose of oppressing others. Moreover, in order to foster its violent occupation and suppress the natural reflexive resistance on the part of the natives of Palestine, Israel has caged unarmed Palestinians behind walls and appointed colluding Palestinians to maintain order and silence within these cages. By means of long-term and sophisticated strategies to damage Palestinian collective identity, Israel has infiltrated every Palestinian neighbourhood with spies and collaborators. In every previous confrontation, the number of Palestinian casualties has been 100 times the number of Israeli casualties. Thousands of Palestinians are in Israeli prisons, not the other way around; thousands of Palestinian, not Israeli, homes have been demolished by Israeli bulldozers; and yet it is the unarmed and stateless Palestinians who are asked to be considerate of Israeli fears.

In view of these facts, it is unjust and insulting when the question of “Israeli fears” is addressed to a Palestinian, insofar as the question itself reveals deep denial of the longstanding history of Israeli violence. The plea for empathy and understanding, when addressed to the victims of Israeli occupation, is absurd, yet the expectation is that Palestinians must demonstrate understanding and offer reassurance for their oppressors’ fears. The failure to do so is taken as further evidence of “Palestinian hatred” and confirmation that the Israelis are right to fear them.

I understand very well the traumatic fears caused by the history of the Jews in Europe during the 20th and previous centuries, but why should I, a Palestinian, be called upon to soothe these past fears when I am busy with the traumatic present of occupied Palestine? How can I experience deep empathy for this historical European tragedy when the Israeli threats to my existence and security continue to upstage past events in demanding my urgent attention?

Furthermore, the fear of the Israelis is not simply innocent traumatic heritage; it is a suspect political instrument; a wicked manipulation justifying their cruel treatment of the Palestinians. The invocation of Israeli fears silences protest against the occupation, insisting that all Israelis are implicated in the occupation regardless of their individual hesitations about it. And more evil yet is the fact that this manipulated fear cannot be soothed until the Palestinians disappear completely.

The pretence of fear provides an excuse for crime and absolves “frightened” criminals of responsibility; it falsely attributes the responsibility to the “frightening” victims of the crime instead. Is this not what is implied by the misnomer “Islamophobia?” Why is prejudice and crime directed at Jews called anti-Semitism when prejudice and crime against Muslims — many of whom are also Semites — is not called anti-Muslim hate and a crime? It is called instead the minimising term “Islamophobia”, implying that the hate, racism and criminality of the perpetrator is justified because he or she suffers from anxiety and irrational fears about Islam.

To be fair, a degree of fear on the part of Israelis is appropriate; it’s the fear that a tiny proportion of their violence might come back to haunt them, rarely as rockets or a bombing, more often as a Palestinian youth may attempt to punish the Israelis by throwing a stone or pursuing an Israeli soldier with a screwdriver. These things may happen as long as the United Nations and the Palestinian leadership fail to hold the Israelis to account for their crimes.

Attributing fear to the Israelis recruits empathic identification with them, whereas attributing the degrading trait of hatred to the Palestinians provokes repulsion and aversion to them. While there is hatred for the state of Israel among Palestinians, this does not go beyond the adaptive and inevitable hatred that any oppressed and colonised group holds for the collective group that has perpetrated endless crimes against them. Palestinians do not hate Israelis as Jews but as participants in the system responsible for their political oppression. Palestinians are not born with hate in their hearts; hate develops as an appropriate reaction to the totality of the heinous experiences of life under occupation. The people of Palestine are not known for their anti-Semitism; they have welcomed pilgrims from Africa and refugees from Armenia. Many Muslim and Christian Palestinians were married to Jews living in Palestine before the occupation. Like any nation, though, the people of Palestine hate the theft of their land, the pain and the humiliation that the occupation has inflicted upon them. This is, surely, legitimate hate, serving the function of distinguishing harm from safety and motivating resistance to oppression rather than submission to despair.

To expect Palestinians to be free of hate or other negative feelings towards Israel is like expecting a raped woman to have empathy towards her rapist. This would be an example of Stockholm syndrome — a dissociation at best — and more psychologically dangerous than hate itself. This syndrome will eventually result in an internalisation of that hate which would then express itself destructively within the oppressed community.

What Israel actually fears is its own dark “Shadow,” its enormous but disowned and projected violence and hatred for the Palestinians.

It was not fear, but hatred that permitted Israel to commit massacres which evacuated Palestinian villages and towns by force, and which motivates soldiers to kill handcuffed prisoners and unconscious, wounded Palestinians. It is hatred that incites Jewish settlers to burn Palestinians alive and uproot the ancient olive trees of Palestine. Hate speech is articulated by Israeli soldiers who call Palestinians, “beasts on two legs”, “drugged cockroaches” and “crocodiles who want more meat.” This is hate speech which not only encourages hateful acts committed in the name of the occupation but also legitimises ethnic cleansing. Isn’t that what we must do with cockroaches; get rid of them?

Instead of blaming the Palestinians for their hatred and excusing the Israelis for their fear, a constructive move forward would be to help Israel to distinguish reality from fantasy. This would mean admitting Israeli’s own hatred, as well as its greed, and acknowledging that ending the heinous occupation is the only remedy for its fears.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Take it from the AIPAC’s Mouth

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon

In this precious video, AIPAC delivers a devastating message to the American people. Your political system is hijacked by a foreign aggressive lobby — it doesn’t matter if you vote for the Democrats or the Republicans, if you like Clinton or prefer Trump, your political system is dominated by a Jewish lobby group that doesn’t even try to conceal its diabolical operation.

This is exactly the situation I describe in my new book Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto. The ‘political’ has been obliterated by now. If you want to understand why America, Britain and France are fighting Zionist immoral interventionist wars, spend one minute and watch this video!

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment