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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

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

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

Corruption in Israel is not just an Israeli issue

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | November 14, 2017

Whether the string of scandals, now hounding Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, lead to his sacking or not, it matters little.

Though nearly half of Israelis polled last July – well before the scandals took a much dirtier turn – believe that Netanyahu is corrupt, a majority of Israelis said that they would still vote for him.

A recent survey conducted by Israel’s Channel 10 TV concluded that, if general elections are held today, Netanyahu will garner 28% while his closest contenders, Avi Gabbay of the Zionist Camp and Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid will each gather 11% of the vote.

“The next stage, which is drawing near, is for the citizens of Israel to re-elect a criminal as their leader and entrust their fate to him,” a leading Israeli columnist, Akiva Eldar, wrote in response to Netanyahu’s continued popularity, despite accusations of corruption and repeated police investigations.

But Eldar should not be surprised. Political corruption, bribery and misuse of public funds have been the norm – not exception – in Israeli politics.

Alex Roy puts it more succinctly in a recent piece in the Times of Israel : “The fact that (Netanyahu) still has a good chance of being the prime minister after these coming elections says more about how used to corruption we have become than how clean he is.”

Roy wrote that his country “has gotten used to political criminals” simply because “each prime minister over the last quarter century has at some point faced criminal charges.”

He is right, but there are two major points that are missing in the discussion which had been, until recently, mostly confined to Israeli media.

First, the nature of the suspected misconduct of Netanyahu is different from his predecessors. This matters greatly.

Second, Israeli society’s apparent acceptance of corrupt politicians might have less to do with the assumption that they have “gotten used” to the idea and more with the fact that the culture, as a whole, has grown corrupt. And there is a reason for it.

To elucidate, Netanyahu’s alleged corruption is rather different from that of former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.

Olmert was corrupt the old-fashioned way. In 2006, he was found guilty of accepting bribes while serving as the mayor of Jerusalem. In 2012, he was convicted for breach of trust and bribery, this time as Prime Minister. In 2015 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment.

Other top Israeli officials were also indicted, including President Moshe Katsav, who was convicted of rape and obstruction of justice.

These charges remained largely confined to a person or two, making the nature of the conspiracy quite limited.  Israeli and western media pundits used such prosecutions to make a point regarding the health of Israel’s democracy, especially when compared with its Arab neighbors.

Things are different under Netanyahu. Corruption in Israel is becoming more like mafia operations, roping in elected civil servants, military brass, top lawyers and large conglomerates.

The nature of the investigations that are closing in on Netanyahu points to this fact.

Netanyahu is embroiled in ‘File 1000’, where the Prime Minister and his wife accepted gifts of large financial value from a renowned Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan, in exchange for favors that, if confirmed, required Netanyahu to use his political influence as the Prime Minister.

‘File 2000’ is the ‘Yisrael Hayom’ affair.  In this case, Netanyahu reached a secret deal with the publisher of the leading Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Arnon Mozes. According to the deal, Yedioth agreed to cut down on its criticism of Netanyahu’s policies in exchange for the latter’s promise to decrease the sale of a rival newspaper, ‘Yisrael Hayom’.

‘Yisrael Hayom’ is owned by pro-Israeli American business tycoon, Sheldon Adelson, Netanyahu’s close and powerful ally, until the news of the Yedioth deal surfaced. Since then, ‘Yisrael Hayom’ turned against Netanyahu.

‘File 3000’ is the German submarines affair. Top national security advisors, all very closely aligned to Netanyahu, were involved in the purchase of German submarines that were deemed unnecessary, yet cost the government billions of dollars. Large sums of this money were syphoned by Netanyahu’s inner circle and transferred to secret, private bank accounts.

This case, in particular, is significant regarding the widespread corruption in Israel’s upper-most circles.

Central to this investigation are the cousins and two closest confidantes of Netanyahu: his personal lawyer, David Shimron and the country’s ‘de-facto foreign minister’, Isaac Molcho. The latter has managed to build an impressive, but largely hidden, network for Netanyahu, where the lines of foreign policy, massive government contracts, and personal business dealings are largely blurred.

There is also the ‘Berzeq affair’ involving Israeli telecommunication giant, Berzeq, and Netanyahu’s political ally and friend, Shlomo Filber.

Netanyahu was the Minister of Communication until he was ordered by court to step down in 2016. According to media reports, his handpicked replacement, Filber, served the role of ‘spy’ for the telecommunication powerhouse to ensure critical decisions made by the government are communicated in advance to the company.

Most intriguing about Netanyahu’s corruption is that it is not a reflection of him alone: this is layered corruption, involving a large network of Israel’s upper echelons.

There is more to the Israeli public’s willingness to accept corruption, than its inability to stop it.

Corruption in Israeli society has become particularly endemic after the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. The idea that ordinary Israelis can move into a Palestinian house, evict the family, claim the house as their own, with the full support of the military, the government and the court, exemplifies moral corruption to the highest degree.

It was only a matter of time before this massive corruption racket – military occupation, the settlement enterprise, the media whitewashing of Israeli crimes – seeped back into mainstream Israeli society, which has become rotten to the core.

While Israelis might have ‘gotten used’ to their own corruption, Palestinians have not, because the price of Israel’s moral corruption is too high for them to bear.

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

The resumption of PA security coordination with Israel is no surprise

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | November 14, 2017

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is not one to miss an opportunity to collaborate with Israel. At sporadic intervals, the suspension of security coordination with Israel was implemented temporarily only when Palestinians were protesting over Israeli violence or, for example, surveillance at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Despite congratulatory statements regarding Abbas’s decision to suspend what he has called “sacred” coordination with the occupation authorities, there was still doubt over its implementation; there were even occasional comments that security coordination had resumed even as the PA was still congratulating itself over the “suspension”.

Last week, all doubts were dissipated as the PA confirmed that it had resumed security coordination with Israel two weeks earlier. In terms of accuracy, the time frame can be contested, given that reports as early as August had already confirmed such collaboration. In light of the reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas, it is thus ever more pertinent to question the underlying motives behind such a deal, which has the potential to open up Gaza to Israel.

According to comments on Press TV, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum declared the movement’s “surprise” at the announcement. Security coordination “is the equivalent of the greatest danger to the Palestinian people, its unity and its legitimate rights, including the right to resist the occupation,” he said. Barhoum also described the move as distorting “the reputation” of the Palestinian people, their struggles and history.

While Barhoum’s comments show an understanding of the implications, claiming to be surprised was surely an exaggeration. Had Gaza not been forced to seek a compromise with Fatah, it is possible that the current political scenario would not be defined by a reconciliation agreement, particularly one which so far is seeking to overturn the resistance with which Hamas has been identified and which sets the movement apart from other political factions due to being forced into situations necessitating defence in the enclave.

Within the same time frame of the security coordination announcement, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook also stated that responsibility for Palestinians in Gaza now rests entirely with the PA as a sign of credibility to eliminate internal division. The problem is that the emphasis on internal division is being isolated from the repercussions upon Palestinians. If the current trend continues, Palestinian leaders will be making the same mistakes as the international community by separating the political from the humanitarian, thus creating different levels of responsibility, visibility and accountability.

If the PA determines the course of the reconciliation agreement, security coordination will ultimately provide Israel with access to the Gaza Strip unless Hamas decides on an alternative course of action, which is to refute the entire facade of “unity” that has been shaped by Mahmoud Abbas. Coercion has been a primary factor influencing the reconciliation agreement, compounded with the international isolation of Gaza, its people and Hamas. Security coordination is another form of coercion which will determine additional levels of oppression for Palestinians, including those in Gaza.

For many years, Abbas has sought to maintain different forms of violence in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, using deprivation and security coordination respectively. Under such circumstances, Hamas will be in dire need of further evaluation and a different strategy.

Read Also: What prisoners mean to the Palestinian Authority

PA’s security coordination with Israel greatest threat to unity

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli occupation forces seize former prisoner, raid village

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – November 14, 2107

Israeli occupation forces seized at least 14 Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine in pre-dawn raids on Monday, 13 November, including former prisoner and long-term hunger striker Tareq Qa’adan, a prominent leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement.

Qa’adan, 45, was seized after a 1:30 am raid on his home in the town of Arrabeh, south of Jenin. Occupation forces ransacked his home and interrogated him on the spot before seizing him. He has spent over 10 years in Israeli prions in previous detentions – mostly imprisoned without charge or trial – and is related to many other current and former prisoners; his sister, Mona Qa’adan, is also a freed prisoner and prominent activist.

Khader Adnan, prominent former prisoner and long-term hunger striker, said that evidence indicates that the Israeli occupation intends to transfer Qa’adan to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. He said that he is confident that imprisonment will not break Qa’adan’s will, and that “he adheres firmly to the defense of the Palestinian cause and homeland, even when the price is his freedom.”

The Islamic Jihad movement issued a statement on the detention of Qa’adan, saying that “this unjust detention…comes amid a wave of targeting and escalation by the occupation against the movement and our steadfast people…Our people have known him as a solid national leader who defends the rights of his people and the fundamentals of his cause. He is known for his positive and strong relationships with all political and national forces and their leaders, who has spent long years in detention in the occupation prisons and a hero of the battles of the open hunger strike.”

This was followed on Tuesday morning, 14 November, by raids across the occupied Palestinian West Bank in which Israeli occupation forces seized 18 Palestinians. In Deir Abu Mashaal village west of Ramallah, occupation fores once again engaged in collective punishment of Palestinian families. They stormed the home of the family of Baraa Saleh Atta, killed by occupation forces after he participated in an armed action in which several Israeli police were killed. They confiscated tens of thousands of shekels from the village and arrested Baraa’s brother Nidal. The stolen funds are those that were raised to help support the families of the three young men, whose homes were sealed off and demolished by occupation forces; the Israeli occupation accused that these funds were “supporting terrorism.”

They also raided the towns of Qabatiya, Zababdeh and Maysaloon near Jenin, while in Tulkarem, they seized former prisoner Muath Jaroun, ransacking his home. They also stationed themselves once again at Kadoorie University, where the presence of armed Israeli occupation forces has become a regular threat and barrier to education for Palestinian students.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Congressional Progressive Caucus Seeks Ban On US Financing Child Torture By Israel

U.S. lawmakers seek to prohibit taxpayer funds from supporting human rights violations against Palestinian minors in Israeli military detention system

No Way to Treat a Child campaign – November 14, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Members of Congress on Tuesday introduced a bill prohibiting U.S. financial support of abuses against Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system, putting violations under the magnifying glass of U.S. taxpayers.

The Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act requires the Secretary of State to certify annually that no funds obligated or expended in the previous year by the United States for assistance to Israel have been used to support the ill-treatment of Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces from the occupied West Bank.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) brought the bill to the floor, with eight original co-sponsors, including Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

An estimated 10,000 Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in the West Bank have been subject to arrest, detention, interrogation, and/or imprisonment under the jurisdiction of Israeli military courts since 2000. This bill was drafted in response to widely documented rights violations carried out by Israeli military and police against children within the military detention system, including torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.

“Despite ongoing engagement with UN bodies and repeated calls to abide by international law, Israeli military and police continue night arrests, physical violence, coercion, and threats against Palestinian children,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director of Defense for Children International – Palestine. “These practices remain institutionalized and systemic rather than last resort measures, and we call on the U.S. to halt its support of these violations.”

The bill aims to establish, as a minimum safeguard, a U.S. demand for basic due process rights for and an absolute prohibition against torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested and prosecuted within the Israeli military court system.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes an estimated 500 to 700 children each year in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections.

In every annual report on Israel and the occupied territories released since 2007, U.S. authorities have openly acknowledged the prevalence of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children and the denial of fair trials rights in the Israeli military detention system.

In 2013, UNICEF released a report titled Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations. The report concluded that “ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process.”

Despite sustained engagement by UNICEF and repeated calls to end night arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention, Israeli authorities have persistently failed to implement substantive reforms to end violence against child detainees.

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

Israel bars pro-BDS politicians from visiting jailed Palestinian leader

Press TV – November 14, 2017

Israel has refused to grant an entry visa to a group of French politicians, who intended to visit jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, over their support for a global pro-Palestine campaign against the regime’s occupation and land grab policies.

Israeli authorities said Monday that they would bar the seven-member delegation, including mayors and members of the EU Parliament, who were scheduled to visit the occupied territories from November 19 to 23.

Israel’s Interior Minister Arye Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had informed the French politicians in advance that they would be prevented when they land “so that they do not fly at all.”

“This is not the first time that I have prevented the entry of boycotts activists who are against Israel,” said Erdan.

“This time, however, we are talking about senior European officials who come to act against Israel. After examining the background and circumstances, I decided that the delegation [these seven politicians] had no place in Israel.

“These are senior politicians who support a boycott against Israel and are actively advancing it,” he said.

The group hoped to meet Barghouti, the jailed leader of the Palestinian Fatah Movement, who is serving five life terms over his role in the second Palestinian Intifada (Uprising) of 2000 to 2005. Supporters say Barghouti has been unjustly imprisoned by Israel, calling him the “Palestinian Mandela.”

The delegation also wanted to visit French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, who has been held without charge by Israel since August 23 under the so-called administrative detention, which is a policy of detention without trial or charge.

Israel passed legislation in March, denying entry permits and temporary residency permits to anyone who has publicly called for a boycott of the regime or its settlement activities, which are illegal under international law.

Several of the banned politicians have in the past supported the worldwide anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure corporations, artists and academic institutions to sever ties with Israel over its unjust practices toward the Palestinians.

The movement initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

The politicians have also called for an end to the EU Association Agreement with Israel, which sets out the terms of the diplomatic relationship between the two parties until such time as the regime withdraws from the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

They also signed a boycott petition and submitted it to former French President Francois Holland.

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have joined the BDS to help promote the Palestinian cause of ending Israeli occupation and oppression. Those include international trade unions, NGOs, initiatives, academic and business societies, trade unions, and cultural figures.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 2 Comments

Balfour Mentality Has No Place in Civilized Society

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | November 14, 2017

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was hatched by Zionist schemers and foisted upon a gullible and desperate British government in time of war. Those dark forces then worked hard to ensure that the first part of the pledge (and much more) was implemented while the second part, which promised to safeguard the rights and interests of the existing non-Jewish population of Palestine, was permanently suppressed.

This betrayal has shamed and angered right-thinking British people for decades. The Government could apologise and make amends but lacks the moral fibre. In the meantime, the spectacle of sick-minded elements of the British Establishment celebrating 100 years of Balfour is beyond all bounds of decency. It was met with such strong counter-demonstrations that supporters of Israeli apartheid will hopefully feel more isolated from now on. They are relatively few, corralled in their Westminster bubble. We are many, and growing.

But we still have an ignorant, biased mainstream media to contend with. During his visit to join the jollifications Israeli prime minister Netanyahu was given a platform on the BBC’s flagship Andrew Marr Show where he spouted his propaganda lies without serious challenge from the usually forensic Marr. A pity George Galloway wasn’t on hand for the occasion.

The Daily Mail meanwhile accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of snubbing an invitation to the gala dinner with Netanyahu to honour Balfour and the birth of Israel and slammed him for speaking at a MEND (stands for Muslim Engagement Development) event instead. MEND in turn was accused of being a hard-line Islamist organisation masquerading as civil libertarians, and extremist with it.

Former Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles called Corbyn’s snub “a slap in the face of Israel, and of all British Jewish citizens of the United Kingdom”. He said: “To not make a dinner is perhaps excusable but to attend a meeting of extremists who are vowed to destroy Israel is contemptible.

The unswerving devotion by Tory grandees like Pickles to the real extremists, chief among them Her Majesty’s Government’s guest of honour Netanyahu, is nauseating. This hard-line nutter, with his repulsive gang, continues to expropriate Palestinian land and property and ethnically cleanse Palestinian citizens from their homeland at gunpoint and with armoured bulldozers. And Pickles calls Corbyn contemptible?

Jennifer Gerber, of Labour Friends of Israel, declared that it was “utterly unacceptable” for the Labour leader to attend an event organised by a group that has repeatedly peddled myths about the Israel lobby. So uncomfortable truths are relegated to myth? In any case what are agents of a foreign military power doing in the Labour Party and using it to influence the work of the British parliament? It’s high time all party leaders shut down the pro-Israel meddlers in their ranks, just as they’d crush interference on behalf of any other rogue state.

Personally I don’t believe Israel has a friend in the whole world apart from those it has bought and the sad folk who have allowed themselves to be perverted by Christian-Zionist pastors and the Scofield bible.

Then Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary, was criticised for “disgraceful” Balfour comments and accused of having “reflected Corbyn’s view that the Labour party has no place as a mediator in the Israel-Palestine conflict”. Professor Colin Shindler, a Senior Research Fellow in Israel Studies and an advisory board member of the Israel Institute, said: “Corbyn over the last thirty years has never been a mediator between Israel and Palestine but a propagandist for one side and one side only. This goes against all the talk about peace and reconciliation – it doesn’t make any sense at all.”

I wonder, has Shindler tried saying the same to the Conservative Party, with 80 percent if its MPs signed up to Friends of Israel?

Thornberry argued that the Balfour Declaration should not have been celebrated “because I think it was a turning point in the history of that area, and I think probably the most important way of marking it is to recognise Palestine”. This will strike most people as a perfectly reasonable position given that successive British governments over the last 40 years have fielded prime ministers and foreign secretaries who were eager stooges for Israel, happy to turn a blind eye to its crimes and only too pleased to help thwart attempts to win justice for those it has cruelly oppressed in the Holy Land.

The latest fiasco is the crazy adventures of Conservative glamour-girl Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary who had 14 meetings with Israeli politicians (including prime minister Netanyahu and his security minister) during a family holiday in Israel without telling the Foreign Office, her civil servants or her boss Theresa May, and without government officials present. This was not only a two-finger salute to the ministerial code of conduct but a gross breach of security.

She’s accused of freelancing in foreign policy and is said to have tried persuading colleagues to send British taxpayers’ money as aid for an Israeli forces project in the Golan Heights. Like we don’t need the money here, with 300,000 homeless and sleeping rough….  Furthermore, she actually visited the Golan. Everyone and his dog knows — except Patel, apparently — that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory stolen in 1967 by the Israelis who have illegally occupied it ever since. Touring it with the thieving occupation army was a monumental diplomatic blunder.

Patel’s meetings are said to have been arranged by Lord Polak. This individual was an official of the Board of Deputies of British Jews in the 1980s, joined the Conservative Friends of Israel in 1989, and served as its director for 26 years until appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for political service and made a life peer. It’s hard to see what political service Polak performed for anyone except the Israeli regime.

The Patel-Polak shambles is a disturbing echo of the Fox-Werrity affair back in 2011. The then shadow Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox had been quoted on the Conservative Friends of Israel website as saying: “In the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression — Israel’s enemies are our enemies.” The Jewish Chronicle hailed him as “a champion of Israel within the government”. Fox has continually rattled the sabre against Iran which, of course, is no enemy of Britain but regarded by Israel as an obstacle to its craving for supremacy in the region. So it was well advertised where Fox was coming from. No surprise, then, when he became the centre of an unsavoury scandal involving him, his ‘close friend’ Adam Werrity, the UK’s ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould (who had previously served at senior level in the embassy in Iran) and Israeli intelligence figures allegedly involved in plotting sanctions against Iran. The Foreign Office and civil servants knew little or nothing about these meetings.

Fox jumped before he was pushed, so did Patel. Pimping for Israel is never seriously punished in the corridors of British power and Fox was speedily rehabilitated in the bosom of the Conservative Party and is now Secretary of State for International Trade. We can expect to see Patel back on board quite soon.

She is replaced by Penny Mordaunt, also a good looking woman but with a much more impressive CV — and she’s a Royal Navy reservist.

Another pimp for Israel, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, was giving evidence before the Foreign Affairs Committee the other day. He said of Hamas: “If they want to enter the democratic process, then it’s very clear what they have to do. They have to renounce terror, they have to recognise the State of Israel, and they’ve got to stop spewing out anti-Semitic propaganda.” I wonder, has he tried saying the same to Netanyahu about the Israelis’ behaviour towards the Palestinians?

In the debate on the Balfour Declaration earlier Johnson said of Israel: “It is a pluralist society, a society that protects the rights of those who live within it. It is a democracy. It is, in my view, a country to be saluted and celebrated.” Completely taken in.

A few months ago Theresa May, if you remember, attacked the successful BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, warning that her government would “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”. 200 legal scholars and practising lawyers from all over Europe promptly pointed out that BDS is lawful freedom of expression and outlawing it undermines a basic human right protected by international convention. But May is so infatuated with Israel that she never misses a chance to tell everyone how she adores the Zionist entity. It’s time civil society made it clear that we’ll have no truck with her or any other supporter of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In other words, the Balfour mind-set has no place in our society.

This may be a good time to remember George Washington’s wise words: “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave… a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel’s Money Machine

Jewish oligarchs fund crimes against humanity

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 14, 2017

The stars came out in Hollywood on November 2nd, or at least some of them did. The gala event celebrated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and raised funds to support its mission in Israel itself and on the occupied West Bank. The organization being fêted was the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), which has fourteen regional offices in the United States and operates under the slogan “Their job is to look after Israel. Our job is to look after them.” In attendance were Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Gerald Butler. Entertainment was provided by the singer Seal.

Hollywood Jewish royalty was thick on the ground, the grub was strictly kosher and billionaires competed to see who could give the most to such a worthy cause. The 1,200 attendees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel donated a record $53.8 million, with Oracle founder Larry Ellison leading the pack with a contribution of $16.6 million. Israeli media mogul Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s most generous supporter, served as host of the event and donated $5 million. Two weeks ago, a similar gathering of 1,200 in New York City dubbed “A Night of Heroes,” attended by GOP major donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, raised $35 million, $7 million coming from Adelson personally. FIDF reportedly was sitting on $190 million in contributions for the year before the Hollywood and New York events.

Donations to FIDF are tax deductible as the organization is registered with the U.S. Treasury as a 501(c)3 educational and charitable non-profit foundation. One might well ask how it is possible that the American taxpayer should subsidize a foreign military organization that is regularly accused of war crimes in its ongoing brutal and genocidal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem? One might also wonder how an organization that continues a military occupation in opposition to multiple United Nations resolutions that have been endorsed by Washington gets any kind of tax break at all? And finally, one might reasonably ask why an organization that already gets in excess of $3.8 billion annually directly from the U.S. Treasury needs more money to allegedly provide creature comforts for its soldiers?

The answer to all of the above would be that Jewish power in the United States makes it happen. But more particularly, it is Jewish money that does the trick since cash on the table provides access both to the media and to the people that matter in Washington. A tight circle of billionaire oligarchs, including Saban, Ellison and Adelson as well as Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus directly support organizations like FIDF as well as major pro-Israel groups like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the America Israel Political Action Committee, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. The billionaires are not shy about where their loyalty lies, boasting as does Saban, that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel. Adelson has stated that he wishes that he had served in the Israeli army instead of the U.S. military and wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.” Both have publicly advocated bombing Iran. In Adelson’s case, the bomb would be nuclear.

Sometimes both the Israel agenda and the financial support is deliberately hidden, as in the case of the recently launched “Christian engagement in the Middle East” anti-Iran Philos Project, which was funded by Singer. The billionaires also directly donate to the campaigns of politicians and support projects that engage in the message management that is used to justify pro-Israel policies in Congress and the media.

Much of the current agitation to “do something” about Iran comes, for example, from these groups and media assets. In truth, American aid to Israel has become virtually untouchable and is something like a goose that keeps on laying golden eggs. The operation of “The Lobby,” generally regarded as the most powerful voice on foreign policy in Washington, led Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer to ask, “Why has the U.S. been willing to set aside its own security … in order to advance the interests of another state? [No] explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the U.S. provides.” They observed that “Other special interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests and those of the other country—in this case, Israel—are essentially identical.”

The money committed by the Jewish oligarchs on behalf of Israel has turned out to be a good investment, returning billions for millions spent. Since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, it has been “the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” according to the Congressional Research Service. The United States has provided Israel with $233.7 billion in adjusted for inflation aid between 1948 through the end of 2012, reports Haaretz.

The $38 billion over ten years in military assistance that the Obama recently promised to Israel is far less than what will actually be received from the United States Treasury and from other American sources, including handouts from Congress. To cite only one recent example, in September Congressman Alcee Hastings proposed a legislative amendment that would give $12 million to help settle Israel’s Ethiopian community. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), speaking in the most recent legislative discussion over Israeli aid, stated that the $38 billion should be regarded as a minimum amount, and that Congress should approve additional funds for Israeli defense as needed.

At its most recent meeting in March 2017, AIPAC announced the latest windfall from America, applauding “the U.S. House of Representatives for significantly bolstering its support of U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in the FY 2017 defense appropriations bill. The House appropriated $600.7 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.” And there is a long history of such special funding for Israeli-connected projects. The Iron Dome missile-defense system was largely funded by the United States, to the tune of more than $1 billion. In the 1980s, the Israeli Lavi jet-fighter development program was funded by Washington, costing $2 billion to the U.S. taxpayer before it was terminated over technical and other problems, part of $5.45 billion in Pentagon funding of various Israeli weapons projects through 2002.

How Israel gets money from the United States Treasury is actually quite complex and not very transparent to the American public, going well beyond the check for $3.8 billion handed over at the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1st. Even that check, uniquely given to aid recipient Israel as one lump sum on the first day of the year, is manipulated to produce extra revenue. It is normally immediately redeposited with the U.S. Treasury, which then, because it operates on a deficit, borrows the money to pay interest on it as the Israelis draw it down. That interest payment costs the American taxpayer an estimated $100 million more per year. Israel has also been adept at using “loan guarantees,” an issue that may have contributed to the downfall of President George H.W. Bush. The reality is that the loans, totaling $42 billion, are never repaid by Israel, meaning that the United States Treasury picks up the tab on principle and interest, a form of additional assistance. The Bush-era loan amounted to $10 billion.

Department of Defense co-production projects, preferential contracting, “scrapping” or “surplusing” of usable equipment that is then turned over to the IDF, as well as the forward deployment of military hardware to an Israeli base, are considerable benefits to Tel Aviv’s bottom line. Much of this assistance is hidden from view.

In September 2012, Israel’s former commander-in-chief, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, admitted at a conference that between 2009 and 2012 American taxpayers had paid for more of his country’s defense budget than had Israeli taxpayers. Those numbers have been disputed, but the fact remains that a considerable portion of the Israeli military spending comes from the United States. It currently is more than 20 percent of the total $16 billion budget, not counting special appropriations.

Through tax exemptions, the U.S. government also subsidizes the coordinated effort to provide additional assistance to Israel. Like FIDF, most organizations and foundations that might reasonably be considered active parts of the Israel Lobby are generally registered with the Department of the Treasury as tax-exempt foundations. Grant Smith, speaking at a conference on the U.S. and Israel on March 24th, explained how the broader Israel Lobby uses this legal framework:

“Key U.S. organizations include the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Hundreds more, including a small number of evangelical Christian organizations, play a role within a vast ecosystem that demands unconditional U.S. support for Israel. In the year 2012 the nonprofit wing of the Israel lobby raised $3.7 billion in revenue. They are on track to reach $6.3 billion by 2020. Collectively they employed 14,000 and claimed 350,000 volunteers.”

The $3.7 billion raised in 2012 does not include the billions in private donations that go directly to Israel, plus billions in contributions that are regarded as “religious exemptions” for groups that don’t file at all. There are also contributions sent straight to various Israeli-based foundations that are themselves often registered as charities. The Forward magazine investigated 3,600 Jewish tax-exempt charitable foundations in 2014 and determined that they had net assets of $26 billion, $12–14 billion in annual revenue, and “focuse[d] the largest share of [their] donor dollars on Israel.” The Forward added that it is “an apparatus that benefits massively from the U.S. federal government and many state and local governments, in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants, billions in tax-deductible donations and billions more in program fees paid for with government funds.”

Money being fungible, some American Jews have been surprised to learn that the donations that they had presumed were going to charitable causes in Israel have instead wound up in expanding the illegal settlements on the West Bank, an objective that they sometimes do not support. Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner has a family foundation that has made donations to Israel, including funding of West Bank settlements, which is illegal under U.S. law, as has Ambassador David Friedman.

Israel also benefits in other ways, frequently due to legislative action by Congress. It enjoys free and even preferential trade status with the United States and runs a $9 billion trade surplus per annum. Its companies and parastatal organizations can, without any restrictions, bid on U.S. defense and homeland-security projects—a privilege normally only granted to NATO partners. It’s major defense contractor Elbit recently was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to apply technologies to defend American tanks. It was a prime example of U.S. aid subsidizing an Israeli industry that then competes directly with American companies, producing a loss of jobs in the United States.

And the transfer of public money to Israel is common even at state and local levels. Some state treasuries and pension funds have purchased Israel Bonds, which are a bad investment, putting retirees at risk, as they have to be held to maturity and therefore have no secondary market and lack liquidity. Most recently, the Ohio Treasurer’s office bought a record $61 million in Israel Bonds on April 3rd. Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel admitted the purchase was in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, meaning that Ohio taxpayers are unsuspecting participants in a risky investment scheme largely intended to punish critics of Israel. Mandel is, not surprisingly, hardly a disinterested party on the subject of Israel. He was a member of AIPAC while attending Ohio State University and spoke at its 2008 Policy Conference in Washington. After denouncing Iran, he said that “Israel is our best friend and ally in the Middle East and it’s important that we maintain a strong and lasting relationship with them.” Eighty other state and municipal public employee pension and treasury funds have also reportedly bought the bonds.

The U.S.-Israeli bilateral relationship has been an expensive proposition for Americans, yet another instance where the perceived needs of a U.S. “ally” take precedence over genuine national interests. Tens of billions of dollars need not necessarily be spent to placate a wealthy foreign country and its powerful domestic lobby or to satisfy the pretensions of the billionaires who grease the machinery to keep Israel’s money machine operating.

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.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments