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In words and deeds: the genesis of Israeli violence

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | January 16, 2018

Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenager girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, he wrote in Hebrew.

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yasin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate Government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands amongst them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbours.

 

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian Leadership Decides to Suspend Recognition of and Cooperation with Israel

IMEMC News – January 16, 2018

The second-highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) decided Monday to call on the executive committee to suspend recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes the existence of Palestine, and annuls its annexation of Jerusalem, marking the latest fallout from Donald Trump’s December 6th claim of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The PLO will cease all security cooperation with Israel, and will cease the cooperation of the Paris Agreement, which had tied the Palestinian economy to the Israeli economy.

The statement from the Central Council said, in part, “Since Israel has voided all signed agreements through its constant violations of these agreements, the Central Council affirms that the direct goal is an independent Palestinian state, which involves moving from self-rule to having a state, by achieving sovereignty of the state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Council called on the international community to work on ending the Israeli occupation, using all of the past UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, to achieve Palestinian sovereignty and an independent Palestinian state.

They called on countries to boycott Israeli settlement products, and to publish the database which includes the list of companies which bring products from the settlements.

The Council called for adopting the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) call, denouncing Israeli apartheid as a racist regime that is being imposed in place of a Palestinian state, rejecting any temporary solutions – especially regarding borders, rejecting any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state (which implies the denial of the existence and rights of the millions of non-Jews who live there), affirming the unity agreement signed in 2011 between the Palestinian factions, and affirmed again in 2017, and assuring a political partnership under the PLO as the only representative of the Palestinian people.

The Council affirmed the legitimate right of resistance to the occupation, as stated by international law, and called for support of the non-violent resistance movement in Palestine.

They also affirmed the urgent need to assist the Palestinians in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine, who are facing expulsion, home demolitions, and constant violations by Israel. They called on all Arab countries to follow through on their commitments of support to the Palestinian people.

The Council decided to take all needed measures to assist the Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip.

They decided to continue the work on the international level to provide protection for the Palestinian people, as stated in Security Council Resolution 605 in 1987, 672 and 673 in 1990, Resolution 904 of 1998, and to ensure the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which calls for protecting civilians living under foreign military occupation.

They decided to continue the international work to call for full membership at the United Nations for the state of Palestine.

The Council also decided to submit the cases of settlements, political prisoners, and the Israeli wars on Gaza to the International Criminal Court, and they also decided to continue filing more applications to international organizations and agencies.

Unofficial translation of the statement (by WAFA ):

Statement issued by the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

January 14, 2018

Ramallah, Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council held its twenty-eighth ordinary session, under the name “Jerusalem the eternal capital of the State of Palestine”, between January 14 – 15 2018 in the city of Ramallah, in the presence of President Mahmoud Abbas.

A total of 87 members out of 109 members attended the session, while a number of members were unable to attend because they were arrested or prevented by Israel.

President of the Central council Salim Al-Za’noun began the session by saying that “The time has come for our Palestinian Central Council, that is representing the Palestinian National Council, which took the decision to establish the Palestinian National Authority to be the core of the state, to decide its future and function and to reconsider the recognition of the State of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital and accept the refugees’ return based on resolution 194.”

Al-Za’noun stressed that the Central Council rejects any ideas that are being circulated as part of the so-called “deal of the century”, because they violate international law and resolutions of the international community and seek to impose a deficient solution that does not meet the minimum of Palestinians’ legitimate rights.

He called for finding other international pathways under the auspices of the United Nations to sponsor solving the Palestinian cause.

He said, “Our success in facing these risks and challenges requires accelerating the steps of implementing reconciliation and ending the division, and developing a plan to strengthen national partnership within the framework of the PLO, as the supreme national political and legal reference for our people.”

Al-Za’noun proposed to hold a session of the National Council, in which both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad will be invited with the task of reshaping, choosing or electing a new national council, as stipulated by the system of elections of the National Council.

“We respect and appreciate the position of Arabs and their support for the Palestinian cause. We demand the implementation of the decisions of the Arab summits on Jerusalem, especially the Amman summit of 1980, which called for severing all relations with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or transfers its embassy to it.”

He stressed that the sacrifices and struggles of prisoners in Israeli jails obligate Palestinians to provide all forms of support and that the dignity of Palestinians remains above any consideration.

Meanwhile, President Abbas reiterated commitment to a two-state solution based on international resolutions, the Arab peace initiative on the 1967 borders, the cessation of settlements’ expansion and unilateral actions. He affirmed that Palestinians will continue to seek the Security Council until full membership is achieved.

He stressed that Palestinians will not accept what the US attempts to impose, and that the PLO will reconsider its relations with Israel, yet engage in any serious peace negotiations under the auspices of the UN.

Following are the resolutions issued by the Central Council:

First: US recognition of Jerusalem

1. To condemn and reject the decision of US President Donald Trump, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and transferring his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and work to reverse this decision.

2. The Council considered that the US administration, by announcing this decision, has lost its eligibility to function as a mediator and sponsor of the peace process and will not be a partner in this process unless the decision is reversed.

3. The Council stressed its rejection of President Trump’s policy that is aimed at presenting a project or ideas that contravene the resolutions of international community to resolve the conflict, which revealed its essence by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Council stressed the need to abolish the Congress’s decision to consider the PLO as a terrorist organization since 1987, and the State Department’s decision to close the Office of the PLO general delegation in Washington on November 17, 2017.

Second: The relationship with Israel (the occupation):

In light of the withdrawal of the occupying state from all agreements and revoking them by practice and imposing a fait accompli, and with the Central council stressing that the direct goal is the independence of the State of Palestine, which requires transition from self-governing to the stage of a state that is struggling for independence, with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of the resolutions of the National Council, including the Declaration of Independence in 1988, and relevant UN resolutions, including the General Assembly resolution 67/19 of 29/11/2012, as the political and legal basis for Palestinians reality, and the affirmation of adherence to the territorial unity of the State of Palestine, and the rejection of any divisions or facts imposed contrary to that;

The Central Council decided that the transitional period stipulated in the agreements signed in Oslo, Cairo and Washington, with its obligations no longer stand.

1.The Central Council calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities on the basis of relevant UN resolutions to end the occupation and enable the State of Palestine to achieve its independence and to exercise its full sovereignty over its territory, including its capital, East Jerusalem, on the borders of 4 June 1967.

2.Assign the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and revokes the decision to annex East Jerusalem and expand and build settlements.

3.The Central Council reaffirms its decision to stop security coordination in all its forms and to break away from the relationship of economic dependence established by the Paris Economic Agreement, to achieve the independence of the national economy. It requests the Executive Committee of the PLO and the institutions of the State of Palestine to start implementing this.

4.Continue to work with world countries to boycott Israeli colonial settlements in all fields, to work on publishing the database for companies operating in Israeli settlements by the United Nations and to emphasize the illegality of Israeli colonial settlements since 1967.

5.Adopt the BDS movement and call on world countries to impose sanctions on Israel to put an end to its flagrant violations of international law and to end its continued aggression against the Palestinian people and the apartheid regime imposed on them.

6.Reject and condemn the Israeli occupation and apartheid that Israel is trying to enshrine as an alternative to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and affirm the determination of the Palestinian people to resist by all means.

7.Reject any proposals or ideas for transitional solutions or interim stages, including the so-called state with temporary borders.

8.Refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Third: The internal Palestinian situation:

1.Adhere to the reconciliation Agreement signed in 2017 and its execution mechanisms, the latest of which is the Cairo agreement in 2017 and the provision of means of support for its implementation, and enable the Government of National unity to assume its responsibilities fully in the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Amended Basic Law, and then conduct general elections and hold the Palestinian National Council session no later than the end of 2018 in order to achieve political partnership within the framework of the PLO, the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people, and work to form a government of national unity in order to strengthen the political partnership and the unity of the Palestinian political system.

2.Affirm the right of our people to exercise all forms of resistance against the occupation in accordance with the provisions of international law and to continue to activate, support and strengthen the peaceful popular resistance.

3.Affirm the need to support Palestinians and their steadfastness in the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, Jerusalem and affirm the need to support their struggle against the Israeli measures aimed at Judaizing the Holy City.

4.Take all measures to support our people in the Gaza Strip, who faced the Israeli aggression and the Israeli siege and provide the support they need, including freedom of movement, access to health, the reconstruction and the mobilization of the international community to break the siege.

5.The Central Council condemns the leaking of the property by the Greek Orthodox church to Israeli institutions and companies and calls for accountability of those responsible. It supports the struggle of the Palestinian people from the Orthodox community in order to preserve their rights and their role in administering the affairs of the Orthodox Church and preserving its property.

Fourth: The Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court:

1.Continue to work to provide international protection to the Palestinian people in the territory of the occupied State of Palestine (West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) based on the Security Council resolution 605 for the year (1987), 672 (1967) and (1990), 904 of (1998), and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 (Protection of Civilians in Time of War).

2.Continue to work to strengthen the status of the State of Palestine in international forums and activate the request for full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

3.Provide referral on various issues (settlement, prisoners, aggression on the Gaza Strip) to the International Criminal Court.

4.Continue to join to international institutions and organizations, including the specialized agencies of the United Nations.

Fifth: The Arab and Islamic levels:

1.Call for activating the resolution of the 1980 Amman Summit, which obliges the Arab states to sever all ties with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers its embassy to it, which has been reaffirmed in a number of other Arab summits with the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states to do the same.

2.Adhere to the Arab peace initiative and reject any attempts to change or alter it and maintain its priorities.

3.Work with the Arab countries (The Arab League), the Islamic countries (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement to hold an international conference with full powers to launch the peace process and in coordination with the EU countries, Russia, China, Japan and other international groups on the basis of relevant international resolutions and benefit from the outcomes of the 2017 Paris conference in a way as to ensure the end of the Israeli occupation and the empowerment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders and exercise its independence and sovereignty and to resolve the refugee issue on the basis of UN Resolution 194 and other final status issues in accordance with the resolutions of the international community within a specific time frame.

4.The League of Arab States, the OIC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union must stand firm in front of world countries that violated the resolutions of these collective frameworks on voting against the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem 21/12/2017.

5.The Central council condemned US threats to cut aid to UNRWA, which is seen as a way for the US to abandon its responsibility over a refugee crisis that it has aided in creating and calls on the international community to commit itself to securing the necessary funds for UNRWA, which would put an end to the continued decline in the Agency’s services and instead improve its role in providing basic services to the victims of the Nakbah and ensure a decent life for refugees as a responsibility that the international community should fulfill in accordance with resolution 194.

6.The Central Council rejects foreign intervention in Arab countries and calls for a political solution and dialogue in order to end the crises and wars experienced by some Arab countries. It calls for maintaining the unity of these countries and defying attempts to divide and alleviating the suffering of Arabs.

Sixth: Develop mechanisms to implement the decisions of the previous Central Council to represent women by at least 30% in all institutions in the State of Palestine and to harmonize the laws in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Seventh: The Central Council salutes the masses of Palestinians in refugee camps and exile camps in Syria, Lebanon and the Diaspora who affirm their adherence to the right of return every day. The Executive Committee is mandated to continue and intensify work with the Palestinian communities in the world and to communicate with international parties to mobilize support in facing decisions that aim to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

Eighth: The Central Council salutes the struggle and steadfastness of the prisoners in the Israeli jails and calls for their support in their daily confrontation and calls on national and international institutions to bring up their cases in all forums until their release. The Council condemns the arrest and intimidation of children, including Ahed Tamimi, which has become a symbol of Palestinian pride in the face of occupation as well as dozens of other children.

It condemns the deliberate killings and field executions committed by Israel, as well as the killing of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, and condemns the continued detention of the bodies of Palestinians in the numbers graves, and calls for their unconditional release.

Ninth: The Central Council salutes Palestinians for their response to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer the US Embassy to it. It salutes the souls of Palestinians who rose for Palestine and al-Aqsa.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Wrong with Liberal Jews?

Progressive except for Palestine

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 16, 2018

Jerry Seinfeld, the Jewish American comedian, who was performing in Tel Aviv Israel at the Menora Mavtichim Arena at the end of December, recently made the news over his real live adventure at an anti-terrorism tourism camp. The so-called Counter Terror and Security Academy named Caliber 3 is a tourist training camp near the Efrat settlement south of Bethlehem, which means it is, appropriately enough, actually built on land stolen from the Palestinians. The camp’s website commemorated the Seinfeld visit by posting notice of the participation of “the legendary Jerry Seinfeld and his family,” plus photos, in a vignette that has since been removed.

The Caliber 3 website describes itself as “the leading counter terror and security training academy, run by active members of the IDF.” The day visit includes a “shooting adventure” involving a simulated suicide bombing in a Jerusalem marketplace as well as a terrorist knife attack. The package, which costs $115 per adult and $85 for children, includes sniper training and a demonstration of the use of attack dogs against a terrorist suspect.

The bad guys in the scenarios were inevitably the Palestinians, invariably described as “terrorists,” and the heroes were the Israeli army and police who were, of course, protecting innocent Jewish civilians. Jerry was photographed grinning and his entire entourage cheered and waved to demonstrate what a wonderful time they were having.

Now Jerry Seinfeld is not just a funny man, he is also a hard-core Hollywood-by-way-of-New York liberal and he may actually believe nonsense like Benjamin Netanyahu really wants peace or that a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine would work just fine, not recognizing that that ship has already sailed. Most of his peers in the heavily Jewish entertainment industry are also politically liberal, though they would likely choose to be called “progressive,” the preferred nomenclature since Ronald Reagan made liberal unfashionable.

Jerry is probably full of warm and fuzzy feelings about racial injustice, illegal immigrants and voting rights in America but he is either unaware or indifferent to the fact that a fundamentally racist Israel is preparing to expel or imprison forty-thousand African asylum seekers and that hundreds of thousands of Arabs who are under the life-and-death control of the Israeli security services have no rights whatsoever apart from being tried by military tribunals where the conviction rate is 99%. Nor is Jerry or any of his Hollywood friends likely to stage a benefit for 16 year old Ahed Tamimi, who is in prison in Israel facing a possible life in prison sentence for having slapped an Israeli soldier from a patrol that had invaded her family home in her West Bank village shortly after shooting her cousin in the head.

I have to believe that Jerry doesn’t obsess much over his Israeli hosts having stolen someone else’s land and killing them if they resist. But I also have to believe that if Jerry were to witness a training camp like C-3 in the United States where the shooting of black people or illegal Mexicans were simulated he would no doubt be both outraged and disgusted, even though somehow shooting simulated Arabs and grinning while doing so does not appear to bother him one bit.

Unfortunately, Jerry the Jewish liberal is not that unusual. American Jews, who are the key to the continuing blank check American support of Israel, balk at recognizing the evil that the self-defined Jewish state represents even though both opinion polls and voting patterns suggest strongly that they are predominantly reliably liberal regarding both social and political issues. Israel does, in fact, reject the values of most diaspora Jews while also contradicting the moral and ethical tradition of Judaism itself, which it claims to uphold. It is the antithesis of what many American Jews believe to be the right way to behave.

As a theocracy that acts like every other theocracy, including neighboring Saudi Arabia, Israel exists to promote the interests and well-being of its own co-ethnoreligionists, which means that the concerns of other religious groups or citizens are basically of no interest whatsoever. And Israel is not only a theocracy, it is also a prime model of a national security state where the military and police have a relatively free hand. In its interaction with the indigenous Arabs, Israel is a settler colonial state that regards the original inhabitants as inferior creatures only fit to be ethnically cleansed or, at best, to do menial work for their Jewish masters.

Israel has consequently been called an “apartheid state,” but some observers who actually experienced South African apartheid believe that what is practiced in Israel, where Palestinians are harassed at numerous military checkpoints and are routinely denied building and residency permits to force them to leave their homes, is far, far worse. “Liberal Zionist” Michelle Goldberg, writing recently in the New York Times, put it succinctly: “Supporters of Israel hate it when people use the word ‘apartheid’ to describe the country, but we don’t have another term for a political system in which one ethnic group rules over another, confining it to small islands of territory and denying it full political representation.”

Recently Israel has demonstrated its essential thuggishness by taking advantage of the Trump Jerusalem decision to legalize the expansion of its borders farther into the West Bank while also approving the building of more than 1,100 new houses. It has banned travel to Israel by representatives of twenty international organizations that have been critical of its behavior, including the Quaker American Friends Service Committee that saved many Jews during the Second World War as well as the largely Jewish Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

And the predominantly liberal highly educated and assimilated American Jews who choose to hold their noses and look the other way when Israel misbehaves exact a price on every other American. Lockstep support for Israel costs billions in U.S. Treasury provided and tax-exempt dollars annually, but does even more damage in terms of bad foreign policy choices and loss of respect from other nations due to Washington’s constant protecting of the murderous and corrupt Netanyahu government, defending the indefensible in a client state which contributes absolutely nothing to the well-being of Americans.

And then there are the wars fought at least in part on behalf of Israel, supported enthusiastically by the U.S. media and political class. Most recently, the White House and Israel have entered into a secret arrangement to destabilize Iran, which does not threaten the United States. Such pointless interventionism by Washington in the Middle East derives from the corruption of American politics and politicians due to Jewish money, a process that is currently working its way through various legislatures in seeking to define any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism while also driving the same, labeled “hate speech,” from the internet. At the local level, government job seekers and those applying for public grants must actually agree in writing in some states not to boycott Israel, incredibly imposing rules relating to a foreign government on American citizens.

The recent bad decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem came about mostly due to the millions of dollars that Israeli/American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson pumped into the Trump election campaign. Adelson, who regrets having once served in the U.S. Army instead of that of Israel, once claimed that the Palestinians exist “to destroy Israel.” He has his Democratic Party counterpart in Hollywood’s Haim Saban, the principal donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign, who has claimed that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel.

Indeed, liberal Jews understand perfectly well, just as do most other observers, that the Israel story is a tale of follow the money, even if it is not considered polite to say so. The Jewish oligarch billionaires club – Adelson, Saban, Bernard Marcus, Paul Singer, Larry Ellison – who are to a man obsessed with protecting Israel, work together with major Jewish organizations to dominate the American political class through their largesse. Inevitably, they expect a quid pro quo and they almost always get what they want.

And then there are the venal bootlicking politicians who wallow in Israel-love for tribal reasons, my favorites being Senators Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin. Schumer has designated himself the “shomer” or defender of Israel in the U.S. Senate, leading one to ask how is it possible that the voters in New York elect someone who says openly that he will protect the interests of another country rather than the United States? And how does such a reptile become Senate Minority Leader? More money assiduously applied to the Democratic National Committee, one suspects.

Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism describes the situation with considerable clarity. He says Judaism is a religion and Israel is a country. The two should never be confused and active or tacit support for the bad behavior by Israel actually damages the ethical basis of Judaism. American Jews are first and foremost Americans and that is where their loyalty should lie, not with a foreign country.

Gilad Atzmon has a somewhat different take on the dilemma confronting diaspora Jews who are somewhat befuddled, if not completely convinced, by the Israeli government claims that it represents all Jews worldwide. He writes “if Israel defines itself as the Jewish State and decorates its F-35s with Jewish symbols, we are entitled to ask who are the Jews, what is Judaism, what is Jewishness and how all these terms relate to each other! Evidently these questions terrify some Jewish ethnic activists.”

Some would argue that there is growing sentiment among liberal American Jews, particularly the younger ones, to dissociate from Israel and to condemn its behavior. To be sure this would appear to be true, and there are also numerous Jewish dominated “progressive” organizations that are highly critical of Israel’s current government. Many of them are astonishingly ineffective, suggesting that there is a certain ambivalence among the critics. This arises in part, I suspect, because they ultimately want to protect Israel as a Jewish state, only demanding that it somehow behave better and be nice to the Palestinians, but there is no likelihood that that will happen in the foreseeable future given the lack of any significant political party in Israel that would support such a development.

This process of rationalizing ultimately contradictory theses has been described as working from inside the Jewish bubble and is related to the politics of Jewish identity. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) do not really see themselves as Americans speaking to other Americans about the impact of Israel on the United States. Instead, they identify as Jews addressing worldwide Jewry over the issue of how to support Jewish supremacy in Israel/Palestine as a sine qua non of Jewish identity while doing what is necessary to avoid unpleasant consequences. The effect of this ambivalence from inside is corrosive, leading some to believe that Jewish gatekeepers will successfully misdirect grassroots movements like Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to make sure that they do no real damage to the Jewish state just as they have already hamstrung groups demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

It has also been observed that Jewish liberals who oppose Israeli policies frequently have more pity for themselves than for the people under Netanyahu’s jackboot and their proposals frequently defer to Israeli interests. And sometimes there are personal interests at stake. Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP, who was blacklisted by Israel and will be unable to travel there, is married to an Israeli Jonathan Lebowitsch, who is a Solution Architect at Checkpoint, a cybersecurity company with ties to the Israeli military. She is now for the first time living with a reality imposed by the Israeli government that is analogous to what many Palestinians have experienced since 1948, i.e. being unable to go back to the homes that their families have lived in for generations. And she is a Jew who has broken no law, dealing with a Jewish state that is proclaimed to be the “only democracy in the Middle East.”

Other groups like J-Street veer even further in the direction of compromise with Israeli interests, basically wanting a Jewish state that is less offensive to the international audience, with some kind of fantasy concordat with the Arabs that will make the issue of what kind of place Israel really is less visible. Some time ago, I attended a J Street sponsored talk by a retired Israeli general who was supposed to be of the “peace” party. His message: “Iran must be destroyed.”

I used to believe that educating the American public about what is really going on in the Middle East would bring about a change in policy. I don’t believe it any longer because Jews control the media and the message. As Peter Beinart puts it, “In part that’s because establishment Jewish discourse about Israel is, in large measure, American public discourse about Israel. Watch a discussion of Israel on American TV and what you’ll hear, much of the time, is a liberal American Jew (Thomas Friedman, David Remnick) talking to a centrist American Jew (Dennis Ross, Alan Dershowitz) talking to a hawkish American Jew (William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer), each articulating different Zionist positions.”

And beyond the media there is the heavy hand of the agitprop being disseminated by the Trump Administration. U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who recently tried to expunge the word “occupation” from the State Department language describing Israel’s colonization of the West Bank, claimed falsely last week that the Palestinians and their leadership are to blame for the lack of a peace deal with Israel. The statement by Friedman denounced Hamas for praising a drive-by shooting that killed an Israeli Rabbi in a West Bank attack. “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards.” Friedman said. “Look no further to why there is no peace.” Friedman supports the fanatical settler movement and has never expressed any sympathy for the far more numerous Palestinian children killed in the past two months by Israeli security forces.

It is undoubtedly true that an increasing number of Jewish American liberals have been troubled by the Israeli police state, which politically has tilted increasingly hard right. Even with an accommodating media, the Israeli refusal to end the occupation of the West Bank and the strangling of the open-air prison that is Gaza have been very visible and have made many question the state’s democratic pretensions. The military domination of a subject population also has a demographic downside in that the land controlled by Israel includes over 6.2 million Palestinian Arabs and about 6.5 million Jews. The Palestinian birthrate is higher than the Jewish birthrate and, in twenty years, Arabs will outnumber Jews in what might be described as Greater Israel, but it is now clear that Israel as it currently sees itself will never grant those Arabs equal rights or give up its attempt to completely dominate the region from the Jordan River to the sea.

Why is all this obsessing over the paradoxical behavior of Jewish liberals important? It is important because American Jews are hugely over-represented in the places that matter: in the media, in entertainment, in politics, in financial services, in the professions, in the arts and in education. It has been my own personal experience that some prominent Jewish critics of Israel resent identical criticism coming from non-Jews and tend to use their resources to marginalize it, frequently alleging that it is motivated by anti-Semitism. That means that the goyim will never be able to shift the press or congress or the White House about how awful the connection with Israel really is, no matter what we say or do, but as soon as Jewish American liberals get on board and convince themselves that they cannot stand any more of the lying about Israel change will come. It is all about Jewish power in America, but this time as a potential positive force. Guys like Jerry Seinfeld will have to figure out that performing in Israel and playing around for a laugh at their counter-terrorist indoctrination centers that simulate shooting Arabs is not exactly acceptable. We might even get Hollywood on board to produce an honest movie about the plight of the Palestinians.

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

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The shameful intelligence leaks confirmed what we already knew

Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | January 15, 2018

We did not need media leaks to reveal that an officer in Egypt’s intelligence agency, Captain Ashraf El-Kholi, was telling presenters on Egyptian TV channels what they should say about Donald Trump’s announcement concerning Jerusalem Published by the New York Times and broadcast by Egypt’s Mekameleen television station, the leaks merely confirmed what we already knew about Egyptian media outlets being fully mobilised to push the US-Israeli viewpoint.

Egypt’s media has become just like all state institutions in the country; it is under the control of the army. Companies owned by the intelligence agency have bought most of the satellite TV stations, in addition to establishing a new satellite network, DMC. In doing so, it has taken complete control of the media and has not limited itself to instructing those working in the sector on specific policies of the government, as happened in the past. Now, the state has completely monopolised an important sector that shapes public opinion and forms the sentiments of an entire nation, which has been spoon-fed what the Israeli enemy wants.

Herein lies the danger and catastrophe, as the nation’s constants have changed. The enemy has become the friend and vice versa. This was exposed by the leaks. TV presenters were told to explain to the people that there is no difference between Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an attempt to quell their anger and fill them with a sense of desperation and defeat. These journalists and presenters were told to say that they cannot fight Israel directly and that they must put poison in honey in order to achieve their goals.

The presenters must do this in such a way that it seems that they are trying to preserve the blood and lives of the Palestinians, because if there is another Palestinian uprising the victims — they didn’t say martyrs — will be Palestinians and not Israelis. They must also say that they want to resolve the Palestinian issue permanently and that a new uprising would be in favour of the Islamists and Hamas, who will rise once again after a decline.

This is what the intelligence officer was dictating to various presenters and this is what they want the people to believe. The purpose of this is to play with the people’s doctrinal and national constants in order to redirect the conflict compass from Israel, the nation’s traditional enemy, towards the Islamist trend, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, of which they consider Hamas to be a part, and which the intelligence agency labels as a terrorist organisation.

Unfortunately, they were successful with this ploy, and not just with a small section of society who have been brainwashed by this false and corrupt media that is being managed by intelligence officers.

I am not concerned with who leaked the recording or who benefits from these leaks. I am not concerned with whether this is a result of a conflict amongst the various branches of the deep state. All of this will pull us into a cycle of questions until we doubt the leak itself, and this is what the government wants to happen, in order to divert us from the essence of what was said in the disgraceful recordings.

As such, I pay no attention to what is being said about the conflict between the military intelligence and general intelligence branches, as over 20 of their senior officers were retired in the past year alone. The general intelligence agency is currently controlled by Al-Sisi’s son, who also took it upon himself to form a parliament made up of individuals completely loyal to the government, as admitted by Hazem Abdel Azim, who was associated closely with the government and in charge of the youth in Al-Sisi’s election campaign in 2014.

I am more concerned about the deterioration and decline of Egyptian intelligence. The image in the minds of Egyptians about this sovereign agency is far from the truth. Many novels, shows and movies have been written about the agency’s heroic stories and exposure of espionage within Egypt, or the spies planted in Israel. The most famous of these shows are perhaps “Raafat Al-Haggan” by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and “Dumou fi Oyoun Waqiha” (Tears in Shameless Eyes) by Adel Imam, as well as the movies “El-Soud Ela Al-Hawia” (The Climb into the Abyss) by Mahmoud Yasin and “Mohema fi Tal Abib” (Mission in Tel Aviv) by Nadia Al-Jundi. All of these have planted in our minds the heroics of the Egyptian intelligence agents and how they were able to infiltrate the Israeli Mossad spy agency.

Regardless of the credibility of all of these stories, all intelligence agencies around the world are tasked with preserving the security of the state and the safety of its territories, not dictate to TV presenters what they should and should not say. However, this is the situation in Egypt after the 2013 coup and after the conflict compass stopped pointing at Israel, with which the country is currently enjoying — if that’s the right word — a lukewarm peace. Instead, it is pointed at the Muslim Brotherhood, which the deep state in Cairo wants to eliminate from its roots and present it as a sacrifice to Donald Trump, who remains the biggest enemy of Islam and Muslims.

Video: Leaked tapes reveal Egypt’s support for Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Egypt: media blackout on Palestinian reconciliation talks

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Security Minister Says EU Ready to Increase Pressure on Iran

Sputnik – January 14, 2018

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday that he believed US President Donald Trump who had promised to waive sanctions against Iran for the last time, also noting that France, Germany and the United Kingdom also started expressing their readiness to increase pressure on Tehran.

On Friday, Trump said that he had extended Iran’s sanctions waivers, stipulated by the Iran nuclear deal, for the last time, calling on the European Union to take part in rewriting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I definitely believe him [Trump]… We also see that the Europeans start realizing that Iran should change its behavior… I believe the Germans start expressing their readiness to increase pressure on Iran. I think that the British and the French are also moving in this direction,” Erdan said as quoted by Israel’s Army Radio also known as Galei Tzahal.

According to the Israeli minister, Iran’s actions in Syria and Lebanon as well as the country’s ballistic and nuclear programs will convince the European countries that the US president’s plans are reasonable.

“I believe that in 120 days when he [Trump] will have to decide on whether the United States will remain in the agreement [JCPOA] or not, serious changes will take place,” the minister stressed.

In July 2015, the EU, Iran and the P5+1 group of nations comprising the US, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany signed the JCPOA. The nuclear agreement stipulates a gradual lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran in exchange for Iran’s nuclear program program remaining peaceful.

In late October, Trump refused to re-certify the JCPOA, accusing the Islamic Republic of violating the agreement.

READ MORE:

Israel, Middle East Leaders Tried to ‘Trap’ US into War With Iran — Kerry

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

No charges for Israel soldier who killed Palestinian child returning from swimming

MEMO | January 12, 2018

An Israeli army officer who opened fire on a car of Palestinian civilians, killing a 15-year-old boy, will not be prosecuted, it was reported today.

Mahmoud Badran was killed, and four friends wounded, after returning from a swimming pool on the night of 21 June 2016.

At the time, the Israeli military claimed the forces responsible believed the car of youngsters were responsible for throwing stones at Route 443 in the occupied West Bank.

An investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) has now concluded that the “mistake” was a reasonable one to make in the circumstances, despite the fact that the officer opened fire in violation of the regulations.

According to Haaretz, the officer in question is a platoon commander in the Kfir Brigade, which is based in the occupied West Bank. He, and two colleagues, were driving towards Jerusalem in plain clothes when they noticed stones and an oil patch on the road, and a bus parked up on the side.

After driving to where they believed the stones had been thrown from, the officer and soldiers got out and opened fire on a car driving on a road under Route 443. Open-fire regulations in the West Bank state that when a vehicle does not endanger the soldiers, shots must be fired in the air.

According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, “massive fire” was directed at the vehicle of Palestinian youngsters, despite the fact that there was zero indication its occupants were responsible for the stone-throwing (and even if there had been, lethal force was unjustified).

The MPCID investigation similarly concluded that the officer had not seen the stone throwers, and targeted the car purely due to its proximity to the site. Despite such findings, no indictment will be filed against the officer, not even for causing death by negligence.

According to Haaretz, the officer faces dismissal for his conduct during the incident. The army spokesperson told the paper that the findings were still being examined by the Military Advocate General’s office ahead of a final decision.

At the time, B’Tselem predicted that the investigation would produce no results, slamming “the military law enforcement system” as “a whitewashing mechanism”.

January 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

Hariri lauds Hezbollah, wants ‘best of relations’ with Iran

Press TV – January 12, 2018

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has called for his county to be kept out of regional conflicts, lauding the Hezbollah resistance movement for doing its part to de-escalate the tensions.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Hariri said he was open to Hezbollah continuing to participate in the government following the elections slated for May.

“Hezbollah has been a member of this government. This is an inclusive government that has all the big political parties, and that brings political stability to the country,” Hariri said during Wednesday interview, defying pressure from Saudi Arabia to confront the resistance movement.

“My main goal is to preserve this political stability for the unity of the country,” said Hariri, who reached a power-sharing deal with Hezbollah in 2016.

Hariri abruptly declared his resignation from Saudi Arabia and from Saudi-owned television on November 4, accusing Iran and Hezbollah of interfering in the region and signaling that that was his reason to quit.

But Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who suspected that Hariri had been forced to step down, refused to accept his resignation and demanded his return from Saudi Arabia first. Lebanese intelligence sources soon concluded that Hariri was under restrictions in Riyadh.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah secretary general, said back then that Saudi authorities had clearly and openly declared a war on Lebanon by holding Prime Minister Hariri hostage and forcing him to quit.

That drama ended when Hariri returned to Lebanon on November 22 — partially after a diplomatic intervention by France — and rescinded his resignation on December 5.

In the Wall Street Journal interview, Hariri declined to discuss the details of his stay in Saudi Arabia.

The Lebanese prime minister then outlined in his interview a vision under which Lebanon will finally focus on its own affairs and reject foreign interference.

“We cannot accept interference from anyone in Lebanese politics,” Hariri said, adding “Our relationship with Iran—or with the [Persian] Gulf —has to be the best relationship, but one that serves the national interests of Lebanon.”

Hariri further highlighted Hezbollah’s willingness to comply with a policy of “disassociating” Lebanon from regional conflicts.

Hariri, however, admitted that Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Syria will take time as the situation there is more complex.

Hezbollah has been helping the national Syrian army in the fight against terrorists in an effort to prevent the spillover of the crisis into Lebanon.

The Lebanese premier also cautioned Israel against any military action against Lebanon, saying any such war would be counterproductive.

”Every time, they say they [Israelis] want to launch a war with the purpose of weakening Hezbollah. And every single time they went to war with Lebanon, they actually strengthened Hezbollah—and weakened the state.”

Hezbollah is Lebanon’s de facto military power, and has been fighting off recurrent acts of Israeli aggression against the homeland. Riyadh, which reportedly maintains clandestine ties with Tel Aviv, however, has made no secret of its opposition to the group, and has been trying for more than a decade to weaken it.

Lebanon has repeatedly praised Hezbollah’s key role in the war against terrorism, with Lebanese President Michel Aoun defending the resistance movement’s possession of arms as essential to Lebanon’s security

January 12, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 4 Comments

Yes, Palestinians Teach Their Children to Hate the Jewish State

By Rima Najjar | Palestine Chronicle | January 9, 2018

Zionism is an insidious ideology. Its ideologues often gain traction by well-placed and oft repeated constructs – in films and TV series, in posts and comments on social media, and even in academia. So, it is no wonder that people end up having ideas about certain things, like the nature of Israel, the Zionist Jewish state, or the nature of Palestinian Arab culture and identity, or the nature of Jewish culture and identity, as if by osmosis.

One of these “memes” in the air, if you will, is the oft repeated comment by hasbara agents on social media that says Palestinian children teach their children to hate Jews. This notion can also be found in numerous attacks on the Palestinian Authority curriculum with the same accusation of “teaching children to hate Jews”, when in fact, the opposite is true, as is often the case with Zionist propaganda (see Nurit Peled-Elhanan’s Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education – Library of Modern Middle East Studies).

An experience that caused me to be suspended from posting on Facebook for three days illustrates the above.

The comment cited in the Facebook warning is clearly out of context – the fourth word (bolded in what follows) indicates a continuity with something that came before it:

“It’s true, though, Palestinians teach their children to hate the Jewish state, as So they must.”

Zionist hasbara about Jewish identity is so ingrained that Facebook takes an attack on the Zionist Jewish state to be synonymous with attacking “people based on their religion, etc. …”

The censured comment was in response to an assertion during discussion that Palestinians teach their children to hate. I objected to that, making the distinction between hating Jews and hating Israel, the Jewish state that continues to dispossess and oppress Palestinians, to “exist” on stolen Palestinian land and property, keeping Palestinians languishing in refugee camps for close to 70 years now (See Palestine refugees, UNRWA), its politicians stating shamelessly that Palestinian children are a “demographic threat”. (See To understand the history of Palestinian dispossession look to the words of Zionist and Israeli leaders)

Put another way, as Rafeef Ziadeh, the Canadian-Palestinian spoken word artist and activist, put it in a powerful poem, we teach our children life, we teach them to survive.

Sari Nusseibeh, professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and president of the University for seventeen years, wrote an article titled Why Israel can’t be a ‘Jewish State’. He cites several implications for why not, the most important of which is the following:

“In short, recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State” in Israel is not the same as, say, recognition of Greece today as a “Christian State”. It entails, in the Old Testament itself, a Covenant between God and a Chosen People regarding a Promised Land that should be taken by force at the expense of the other inhabitants of the land and of non-Jews. This idea is not present as such in other religions that we know of. Moreover, even secular and progressive voices in Israel, such as former president of the Supreme Court of Israel, Aharon Barak, understand the concept of a “Jewish State” as follows:

“”[The] Jewish State is the state of the Jewish people … it is a state in which every Jew has the right to return … a Jewish state derives its values from its religious heritage, the Bible is the basic of its books and Israel’s prophets are the basis of its morality … a Jewish state is a state in which the values of Israel, Torah, Jewish heritage and the values of the Jewish halacha (religious law) are the bases of its values.”” (‘A State in Emergency’, Ha’aretz, June 19, 2005.)

Palestinian parents do not teach their children to hate Jews; they teach their children to hate the Jewish state – for their own survival.

– Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Open Letter from Academics at Birzeit University in Palestine

IMEMC News – January 9, 2018

We at Birzeit University call on the academic community to protest the Israeli government’s deliberate harassment of international students and academics who travel to Palestine in order to study or work in Palestinian academic institutions.

The past few years have seen many international students and academics stopped, interrogated, and/or deported by Israeli security as they tried to enter Palestine through the entry points controlled by Israel.

These excessive measures violate academic freedom, the right to education, and the free exchange of students and academics. Such actions are often pursued without charge and include interrogation techniques, many of which constitute verbal assault. Thus, it is another flagrant violation of basic human rights by the Israeli occupation.

We call upon the international academic community – especially universities – to stand in solidarity with both their own students and academics, as well as Palestinian institutions, in common condemnation of these unjust practices and violations. We also call upon you to intensify your efforts in boycotting Israel and its academic institutions till it ends its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians.

The right to access Palestinian academic institutions is denied through systematic abuse of power designed to discourage prospective members of the academic community, coupled with an implied threat of retaliation should members of that community persist in seeking their rights. Human rights conventions state that access to education should be granted based on merit and ability. But in this unique situation, Israel is denying academic access and unjustly punishing those seeking it.

The decision of some international institutions to stop their students from engaging with their Palestinian counterparts is giving the Israeli authorities a helping hand in implementing these violations. Condemnation should be directed instead towards the Israeli authority’s harassment of these institutions’ own students and academics in Palestine.

Such a decision reflects the sad reality that punishes the victims of Israeli discrimination and human rights violations, as well as the Palestinian academic institutions. Students and academics who experience discrimination, harassment, and denial of entry at the hands of the Israeli authority should receive support and protection from their own states and academic institutions.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Israel Demands Compensation From Family Of Palestinian Crushed To Death Under Army Jeep

Abdullah Eyad Ghanayem was 22 years of age when he died in 2015. He had been a political prisoner from 2012 – 2014.
If Americans Knew | January 10, 2018

Abdullah was shot in the back by an Israeli soldier, then crushed to death under a military jeep. Now the military is demanding compensation from Abdullah’s family for damages to the jeep.

from IMEC News

The Israeli army filed a lawsuit against the family, and the entire town, of a Palestinian who was crushed to death under a military jeep which flipped over him, after the army invaded Kafr Malek village, east of Ramallah, in central West Bank, in mid-June 2014.

The military is demanding the family of Abdullah Ghanayem (Ghneimat), and his entire town, to pay 95,260 Israeli Shekels (about $28,000), in compensation for damages caused to the military jeep.

Ghanayem was crushed by an Israeli military jeep, on June 14, 2015, after the soldiers invaded Kafr Malek.

He remained under the jeep for three hours, and bled to death, after the soldiers prevented medics and rescue teams from helping him.

Now, the Israeli authorities are demanding his family, and his entire village, to pay 95,260 Shekels  in compensation, for damages caused to the military jeep.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 4 Comments

US, Israel step up hybrid war in Syria

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | January 9, 2018

The Russian airbase in Syria, Hmeimim, and the naval base at Tartus came under simultaneous drone attack on Saturday. The advanced Russian air defence system thwarted the attack. A wave of 13 drones was involved, and, interestingly, three of them were brought down intact.

After forty-eight hours of careful analysis of the incident, the Russian Defence Ministry in Moscow came out with a statement on Monday:

  • During the hours of darkness Russian air defense facilities made clear 13 remoted unknown small-sized air targets approaching the Russian military assets. Ten combat UAVs were approaching Russia’s Hmeymim air base and three more — the logistics center of Tartus.
  • Engineering solutions used by terrorists when attacking Russian facilities in Syria could have been received only from a country with high technological potential on providing satellite navigation and distant control of firing competently assembled self-made explosive devices in appointed place. (TASS )

The countries with such “high technological potential” and capability for “Satellite navigation and distant control” which are involved in the proxy war in Syria are just two in number – United States and Israel. Take your pick. To my mind, it is improbable that Israel, despite its bravado, would dare to attack Russia.

In sum, there was a spiteful American attack on Russian “assets” on the Christmas Day of the Russian Orthodox Church. The statement in Moscow was made after evaluation of the 3 drones that have been captured. Its fairly explicit tone is meant for the folks in Pentagon. To be sure, Pentagon suo moto came out with a pre-emptive statement deflecting the blame to Syrian rebels. That is an act of plausible deniability, since there are rebel groups operating in northern Syria. But they are al-Qaeda affiliates, who are American and Israeli proxies. The RT has a tongue-in-cheek rejoinder, here, to the Pentagon disclaimer.

Why is the US contesting the Russian bases in Syria? The point is, these Russian bases are located in Latakia province along the Mediterranean coast. And the US military objective is to gain access to the Mediterranean coast for the Kurdistan enclave it is creating in Syria without which the enclave will be landlocked and dependent critically on supply routes via Turkey or Iraq, apart from being economically unviable (although it is an oil-rich region of Syria.)

The Saudi establishment daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Monday that the Trump administration is planning to grant diplomatic recognition to the Kurdistan enclave in northern Syria (which is of the size of Lebanon.) The idea is to create a permanent foothold for the US and Israel in a strategic, economically self-sufficient independent Kurdistan where the borders of Turkey, Iraq and Syria meet, and which may eventually reach Iran’s western border with northern Iraq.

But the US-Israeli strategy will remain a pipedream if the Kurdistsn is land-locked and continues to be challenged by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Hence the criticality of creating an access route to the Mediterranean via Latakia province.

Russia and Turkey understand the US intentions perfectly well. That explains their latest move to clear the al-Qaeda affiliate groups that are ensconced in the Idlib province adjacent to Latakia. The Syrian government forces and its allied militia with Russian air support are advancing on Idlib in an operation that began last week. Idlib is a fairly big province and some protracted fighting is needed to vanquish these al-Qaeda groups. On Sunday, Syrian government forces captured a strategic town, Sinjar, which brings them within 20 kilometers of the sprawling air base at Abu Zuhour in Idlib. By the way, the highway connecting Damascus and Aleppo also passes through eastern Idlib.

Turkey is cooperating with Russia in clearing Idlib of the al-Qaeda groups. (Idlib borders Turkey.) Indeed, Turkey is staunchly opposed to the US efforts to create a Kurdistan in northern Syria. President Recep Erdogan openly threatened last weekend that Washington will “never be able to turn northern Syria into a terror corridor,” vowing to “hit them (US) very hard. They should know that we are determined on this. Areas that they consider as part of the terror corridor could turn out to be their graves.”

Conceivably, the recent attempts by the US and Israel to stir up turmoil within Iran is linked to all this. The US-Israeli game plan is to get Iran bogged down in internal issues. The Syrian and Iraqi governments are dependent on Iran and Hezbollah to do the heavy lifting in the war against the US-backed al-Qaeda and ISIS groups.

Tehran understands the US-Israeli strategy. The Iranian regime is highly experienced in defeating the US and Israel covert operations. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei understands that the Syrian conflict is also an existential battle for Iran. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders are on record that the choice is between fighting the US-Israeli proxies in Syria and Iraq or fighting them on Iranian soil.

How will Moscow react to the US-backed drone attack on its bases? A permanent solution lies in retaliating against the American forces and inflicting heavy casualties – like in Beirut in 1983. If a few dozen American body bags arrive in Washington from Syria, President Trump is sure to say, ‘Enough is enough, boys, come home.’

But the problem is that the US is fighting a “hybrid war”, embedded within the Kurdish militia and cannot be targeted easily. Pentagon has also inserted “contractors” (American mercenaries) so that political risk is minimized.

Therefore, Russia’s option will be to step up the operations to cleanse Idlib province of the al-Qaeda groups backed by US and Israel once and for all. Indeed, Nikki Haley will begin howling in the UN on Israeli instructions alleging “war crimes.”

Of course, as they say, all is fair in love and war and there is another option open to the Russians or Iranians, too – equipping the Afghan Taliban with drones. But they are unlikely to go that far — as of now, at least.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ahed Tamimi’s arrest sheds a disturbing light on how children are targeted by Israel

By Jonathon Cook | The National | January 8, 2018

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

Eventually, colonised peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task.

She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral.

Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him.

Western commentators have largely denied Ahed the kind of effusive support offered to democracy protesters in places such as China and Iran. Nevertheless, this Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term for defying her oppressors – has quickly become a social media icon.

While Ahed might have been previously unknown to most Israelis, she is a familiar face to Palestinians and campaigners around the world.

For years, she and other villagers have held a weekly confrontation with the Israeli army as it enforces the rule of Jewish settlers over Nabi Saleh. These settlers have forcibly taken over the village’s lands and ancient spring, a vital water source for a community that depends on farming.

Distinctive for her irrepressible blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Ahed has been filmed regularly since she was a small girl confronting soldiers who tower above her. Such scenes inspired one veteran Israeli peace activist to anoint her Palestine’s Joan of Arc.

But few Israelis are so enamoured.

Not only does she defy Israeli stereotypes of a Palestinian, she has struck a blow against the self-deception of a highly militarised and masculine culture.

She has also given troubling form to the until-now anonymised Palestinian children Israel accuses of stone-throwing.

Palestinian villages like Nabi Saleh are regularly invaded by soldiers. Children are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, as happened to Ahed during her arrest last month in retaliation for her slaps. Human rights groups document how children are routinely beaten and tortured in detention.

Many hundreds pass through Israeli jails each year charged with throwing stones. With conviction rates in Israeli military courts of more than 99 per cent, the guilt and incarceration of such children is a foregone conclusion.

They may be the lucky ones. Over the past 16 years, Israel’s army has killed on average 11 children a month.

The video of Ahed, screened repeatedly on Israeli TV, has threatened to upturn Israel’s self-image as David fighting an Arab Goliath. This explains the toxic outrage and indignation that has gripped Israel since the video aired.

Predictably, Israeli politicians were incensed. Naftali Bennett, the education minister, called for Ahed to “end her life in jail”. Culture minister Miri Regev, a former army spokeswoman, said she felt personally “humiliated” and “crushed” by Ahed.

But more troubling is a media debate that has characterised the soldiers’ failure to beat Ahed in response to her slaps as a “national shame”.

The revered television host Yaron London expressed astonishment that the soldiers “refrained from using their weapons” against her, wondering whether they “hesitated out of cowardice”.

But far more sinister were the threats from Ben Caspit, a leading Israeli analyst. In a column, he said Ahed’s actions made “every Israeli’s blood boil”. He proposed subjecting her to retribution “in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, adding that his own form of revenge would lead to his certain detention.

That fantasy – of cold-bloodedly violating an incarcerated child – should have sickened every Israeli. And yet Mr Caspit is still safely ensconced in his job.

But aside from exposing the sickness of a society addicted to dehumanising and oppressing Palestinians, including children, Ahed’s case raises the troubling question of what kind of resistance Israelis think Palestinians are permitted.

International law, at least, is clear. The United Nations has stated that people under occupation are allowed to use “all available means”, including armed struggle, to liberate themselves.

But Ahed, the villagers of Nabi Saleh and many Palestinians like them have preferred to adopt a different strategy – a confrontational, militant civil disobedience. Their resistance defies the occupier’s assumption that it is entitled to lord it over Palestinians.

Their approach contrasts strongly with the constant compromises and so-called “security cooperation” accepted by the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas.

According to Israeli commentator Gideon Levy, Ahed’s case demonstrates that Israelis deny Palestinians the right not only to use rockets, guns, knives or stones, but even to what he mockingly terms an “uprising of slappings”.

Ahed and Nabi Saleh have shown that popular unarmed resistance – if it is to discomfort Israel and the world – cannot afford to be passive or polite. It must be fearless, antagonistic and disruptive.

Most of all, it must hold up a mirror to the oppressor. Ahed has exposed the gun-wielding bully lurking in the soul of too many Israelis. That is a lesson worthy of Gandhi or Mandela.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments