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BBC goes full Big Brother in recent announcement

OffGuardian | May 21, 2017

Brought to our attention by Mark Doran, a new BBC document dated May 2017 contains this bizarre threat to its licence-payers:

9. Offensive or inappropriate content on BBC websites

If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to BBC websites or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on any BBC service, the BBC may use your personal information to stop such behaviour.

Where the BBC reasonably believes that you are or may be in breach of any applicable laws (e.g. because content you have posted may be defamatory), the BBC may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as your employer, school email/internet provider or law enforcement agencies about the content and your behaviour.

Here’s Mark’s screen cap of the doc:

Not only is this freakishly (yes, there’s no other word) Orwellian, it’s completely vague. Are the words “objectionable” and “disruptive” going to be employed like the words “hate” (currently being used to shut down discourse on social media), and “fascist” (currently being used by (often fascist) neoliberals to brand any serious criticism of globalism and the corporatocracy), to outlaw and/or punish dissident views? And what about “defamatory”? Is anyone calling Theresa May a malfunctioning Thatcher-bot going to be shopped out to her lawyers by the Beeb?

Clarification, at the very least, is urgently needed. Better still, the BBC should backtrack and guarantee it will remain a broadcast corporation and NOT presume to act as an arm of the state security system.

If you’re a concerned UK citizen, don’t hesitate to contact the BBC to express your views – though be prepared for a follow-up visit from the cops.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Requiem for the Suicided: Dr. David Kelly

Corbett Report Extras | May 16, 2017

Famed microbiologist and UN weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly became the centre of a dispute between the BBC and the UK government over claims that the government had “sexed up” its dossier on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction in order to sell the Iraq war to the public. He was found dead on Harrowdown Hill on July 18, 2003. It was ruled a suicide. Today we look at the troubling discrepancies, inconsistencies and questions surrounding that official verdict, and broach the question of what secrets Dr. Kelly may have taken to the grave…

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=2311

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Britain Has a Real Choice on June 8 – and the Anti-Democratic Democrats Hate It

By Neil Clark – Sputnik – 19.05.2017

For the first time in a quarter of a century, the British electorate has an opportunity to make a clean break with the banker-friendly neoliberal policies which have dominated politics since the era of Margaret Thatcher and which have led to a major redistribution of wealth away from the majority to the super-rich.

Well, we can’t say we haven’t got a choice.

Labour’s manifesto, while still being nowhere as left-wing as the ones the pipe-puffing Harold Wilson won two elections on in 1974, nevertheless returns the party emphatically to the territory it occupied before the grinning faux-progressive Tony Blair came along in the mid-90s and turned Labour into a more socially liberal version of the Tories. There’s pledges to renationalize Britain’s railways — easily the most expensive in Europe — set up a publicly owned energy supplier and take water in England back into public ownership.

The rich will pay more tax, zero hours contracts will be outlawed and tuition fees will be scrapped. If it’s an exaggeration to call the manifesto socialist, then its certainly social democratic and offers hope of a better future for millions of ordinary Britons who have seen their living standards fall dramatically in recent years. By contrast the Tories have lurched still further to the hard right and their elite-friendly agenda could not be clearer.

There’s money a plenty to bomb Syria-and continue with the neocon policies of endless war — but not enough to provide pensioners with winter fuel payments or all infants with free school lunches. The desire of the elderly to pass on their property to their children will be hit by what has been labeled a new “Dementia Tax” to pay for social care. Pensioners will also be hit by replacing the “triple lock” on their state pensions with only a “double lock.” Meanwhile, corporation tax will fall to 17% by 2020 — the lowest rate of any developed economy.

On the railways, water and energy, the Tories only promise a continuation of the current privatized system which enriches a few and leaves the vast majority paying over the odds. The Tories are billing their manifesto as one for “mainstream Britain,” but the regressive policies in it would have old “One Nation” Tories from the 60s and 70s like Sir Ian Gilmour turning in their graves.

Labour — if it hadn’t been for the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader in 2015, would be offering only a slightly milder variation of the policies the Tories are putting forward now. That’s how our politics has worked since the 1990s. By narrowing the parameters of what was/wasn’t “politically acceptable” neoliberalism destroyed choice and by doing so destroyed democracy.

Evidence of this can be seen the huge increase in the numbers not bothering to vote at election time. 78.8% turned out in February 1974 — when a wide range of policies was on the menu- but in 2001, just 59.4% went along to the polling booth. Who can blame the absentees when the “choice” was between a neoliberal pro-war Labour party led by Tony Blair and a neoliberal pro-war Tory party led by William Hague?

Now though there’s policies on offer that we haven’t seen on election “menus” for many years. The howls of anguish from elite media pundits that the Labour party has abandoned the ludicrously misnamed “center ground” — and is actually campaigning on a program that puts the interests of ordinary people first — have been highly revealing. Commentators who believe in bombing Middle East countries to “spread democracy” are having a collective nervous breakdown now that democracy is breaking out at home. One pro-Iraq war commentator described Labour’s abandonment of Blairism as “bad news for democracy.”

Yes, that’s right- Jeremy Corbyn and his team offering genuinely popular policies which voters are calling for, such as renationalization of the railways — is “bad news for democracy.” You really couldn’t make it up, could you? For the anti-democratic democrats who dominate the UK commentariat “democracy” means that our leading parties have to offer more or less the same program.

They’ve all got to genuflect to the City of London, support privatization, cuts in corporation tax and the policies of “liberal interventionism,: aka Endless War, in the Middle East. In this Orwellian political landscape, to “provide a proper opposition” to the Tories, Labour has to offer what is fundamentally a Tory program. The parties must of course appear to have disagreements — but only about things that won’t affect the interests of the 1%.

The Establishment must not only control the government but the “opposition” too. That’s all changed with Jeremy Corbyn. As I wrote two years ago, at the time of the Labour leadership election:

“The attacks on Corbyn have been many, but in essence what these establishment commentators are saying is this: it’s outrageous that a man who doesn’t support neoconservatism or neoliberalism and who is implacably opposed to imperialism and endless war is standing for the leadership of one of Britain’s major parties.”

What the hysterical reaction to Labour’s manifesto demonstrates is that people having a real choice at election time is the last thing the fake democrats who pose as “progressives” want.

Their ideal scenario would be for the Tories to be “opposed” by a Labour party led by the ultra-Blairite David Miliband — meaning that whatever the election result nothing would change.

Corbyn’s program is far from revolutionary, but it does offer the majority of Britons the prospect of a new and much fairer economic settlement than the one which has imposed since the late 1970s. And the anti-democratic democrats in our midst are absolutely terrified that the people finally have an opposition which opposes.

Follow @NeilClark66 on Twitter

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

International campaign is criminalizing criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitism’

International campaign is criminalizing criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitism’

Delegates at the 2009 Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism convention in London. The organization issued a declaration calling on governments to use an Israel-centric definition of antisemitism and to outlaw and prosecute such “antisemitism.”

For two decades, some Israeli officials and Israel partisans have worked to embed a new, Israel-focused definition of antisemitism in institutions around the world, from international bodies and national governments to small college campuses in heartland America. This effort is now snowballing rapidly. As a result, advocacy for Palestinian rights is well on the way to being curtailed and even criminalized as “hate.”

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | May 18, 2017

As the world has witnessed the oppression and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, many people have risen in protest. In response, the Israeli government and certain of its advocates have conducted a campaign to crack down on this activism, running roughshod over civil liberties (and the English language) in the process.

The mechanism of this crackdown is the redefinition of “antisemitism”[1] to include criticism of Israel, and the insertion of this definition into the bodies of law of various countries.

Where most people would consider “antisemitism” to mean bigotry against Jewish people (and rightly consider it abhorrent), for two decades a campaign has been underway to replace that definition with an Israel-centric definition. That definition can then be used to block speech and activism in support of Palestinian human rights as “hate.” Various groups are applying this definition in law enforcement evaluations of possible crimes.

Proponents of this Israel-centric definition have promoted it step by step in various arenas, from the U.S. State Department and European governments to local governments around the U.S. and universities.

While this effort has taken place over the last two decades, it is snowballing rapidly at this time. The definition is increasingly being used to curtail free speech and academic freedom, as well as political activism.

Furthermore, such politicizing of an important word may reduce its effectiveness when real antisemitism occurs, doing a disservice to victims of true bigotry.

As of this writing, the U.S. Congress has endorsed the distorted definition, the governments of the UK and Austria have officially adopted it (in December and April, respectively), various U.S. State legislatures are considering it, and numerous universities are using it to delineate permissible discourse. Many representatives and heads of other states around the world have embraced the new meaning, even if they have yet to officially implement it.

This article will examine the often interconnected, incremental actions that got us where we are, the current state of affairs, and the public relations and lobbying efforts that are promoting this twisting of the definition of “antisemitism” — often under cover of misleadingly named “anti-racism” movements.

Claims of “Antisemitism” Used to Silence Support for Palestinians

For many years, numerous respected organizations have documented Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, including killing of Palestinian civilians, abuse of Palestinian children, torture of Palestinian prisoners, confiscation of Palestinian land, and other cases of systematic violence and oppression. Detailed reports have been compiled by Defense for Children International, the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, Foreign Service Journal, Physicians for Human rights, Christian Aid, Human Rights Watch, the National Lawyers Guild, Israel’s Public Committee Against Torture, Israel’s B’Tselem and others.

Israel long claimed that its 1948 creation was on “a land without a people for a people without a land,” and many people may still believe this founding myth. The fact is, however, that the land was originally inhabited by an indigenous population that was approximately 80 percent Muslim, 15 percent Christian, and a little under 5 percent Jewish. The Jewish State of Israel was created through the ejection of approximately three-quarters of a million people.

Over the decades since Israel’s founding in 1948, accusations of antisemitism have been leveled against many people who criticized Israeli actions. Indeed, the accusation was used effectively to silence very prominent critics.[2]

However, for most of that time, the meaning of the term itself was not in question. The standard definition was, in Google’s terms, “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.”[3] Around the turn of this century, though, certain advocates began promoting official and even legal definitions of antisemitism that included various kinds of criticism of Israel.

Conflating Criticism of Israel with Antisemitism

Natan Sharansky, Israeli minister, in 2003: “The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism.” Sharansky’s formulation formed the basis for the new Israel-centric definitions adopted around the world.

Unsurprisingly, the new definitions appear to have originated from within the Israeli government, or at least with an Israeli government official.

The definitions adhere to a pattern set by a man named Natan Sharansky, who was Israel’s Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs and chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Sharansky founded a Global Forum against Anti-Semitism in 2003, stating: “The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism.”

But Sharansky apparently didn’t mean a counteroffensive against just anti-Jewish bigotry, but an offensive against criticism of Israel. The following year he wrote a position paper that declared: “Whereas classical anti-Semitism is aimed at the Jewish people or the Jewish religion, ‘new anti-Semitism’ is aimed at the Jewish state.”

Sharansky’s paper laid out what he called the “3-D Test of Anti-Semitism.” Sharansky applied the term “antisemitic” to criticism of Israel in three cases. First, he argued that statements that “demonize” Israel are antisemitic — by being, in his mind, unfairly harsh. (Some of those allegedly guilty of “demonizing” Israel are Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Human Rights Watch, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, French President François Mitterrand, and others.)

Second, Sharansky declared that it’s antisemitic to apply a “double standard” to Israel — in other words, to criticize Israel for actions that other states may also take. However, if one could never criticize, protest or boycott abuses without calling out every single other similar abuse, no one would ever be able to exercise political dissent at all.

Finally, Sharansky said it’s antisemitic to “delegitimize” Israel, or dispute its “right to exist” (a standard Israeli talking point for many years). In fact, insisting Israel has the “right” to exist amounts to saying it had the right to expel Muslim and Christian Palestinians in order to found a religiously exclusive state. (See “What ‘Israel’s right to exist’ means to Palestinians,” by John Whitbeck, published in the Christian Science Monitor.)[4]

Sharansky’s outline provided the pattern for a European agency to create a new definition of antisemitism the next year, 2005 — a definition that would then be adopted by a succession of organizations and governments, including the U.S. State Department.

Jean Kahn (R) with French President Francois Mitterand. Kahn initiated the creation of the European Monitoring Centre, which released an Israel-centric “working” definition of antisemitism.

There is a back story to how this all came about.

This European agency itself was founded and run by a man with important connections to Israel. It was called “The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia,” under the Council of the European Union. A Frenchman named Jean Kahn had convinced European heads of state to create it in 1997.

Kahn had been a President of the European Jewish Congress, elected in a plenary session in Israel, and said the Congress “would demonstrate its solidarity with Israel” and that he hoped European countries would “coordinate their legislation outlawing racism, anti-Semitism or any form of exclusion.”

Kahn was chairman of the Monitoring Centre’s management board and called the “personification” of the agency. Within three years, the Centre issued a position paper calling for the definition of anti-Semitic offenses to be “improved.”

A few years later, Israeli professor Dina Porat took up the effort to create a new definition. Working with her were Kenneth Stern and Rabbi Andrew “Andy” Baker of the American Jewish Committee. Stern reports that when the Monitoring Centre’s then head, Beate Winkler, had failed to deliver the desired definition, Andy Baker “smartly developed a working relationship with her.” Stern and others[5] then created a draft for the Monitoring Centre to use.

Israeli Dina Porat, Kenneth Stern, Rabbi Andrew Baker worked to draft what became the European Monitoring Centre definition of antisemitism.

In 2005 the agency issued its “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism,” largely based on that draft. It included an array of negative statements about Israel as examples of antisemitic offenses. While standard dictionary definitions of antisemitism didn’t even mention Israel, fully half of the newly devised Monitoring Centre definition referred to Israel.

Once the Monitoring Centre had created its expanded definition, certain Israel partisans used it to promote similar definitions elsewhere. And while the Monitoring Centre itself continued to term it only a “working” definition and its replacement organization eventually withdrew the definition, in other countries and agencies the expanded definition became official.

In addition, quite frighteningly, proponents pushed successfully to begin applying the Israel-centric definition to law enforcement.

In the United States

The same year Sharansky created his “3-D” antisemitism test — a year after he founded the Global Forum against Anti-Semitism — the U.S. Congress passed a law establishing exceptional government monitoring of antisemitism. The law created a special State Department envoy and office for this monitoring, over objections of the State Department itself.

The law, called the “Global Anti-Semitism Review Act,” included a line that subverted its meaning by enshrining a new definition of antisemitism aligned with Sharansky’s: “Anti-Semitism has at times taken the form of vilification of Zionism, the Jewish national movement, and incitement against Israel.”

The bill was introduced in April 2004. That June, a Congressional hearing was conducted about how to combat antisemitism. A major witness was Israeli minister Sharansky. In his testimony Sharansky proposed his “3-D” Israel-connected definition for anti-Semitism.[6]

State Department officials objected to the proposed legislation, saying the new office was unnecessary and would be a “bureaucratic nuisance” that would actually hinder the Department’s ongoing work. A State Department press release opposing the new office described the many actions that State was already taking against antisemitism.

Despite this opposition, the Senate bill acquired 24 cosponsors representing both parties, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Russ Feingold, Sam Brownback, Saxby Chambliss and Ted Stevens. Similar bills (here and here) were introduced in the House of Representatives, acquiring 35 cosponsors, again including both Republican and Democratic leaders. The legislation passed easily and quickly became law.

Gregg Rickman, first U.S. antisemitism envoy, later worked for AIPAC.

The first Special Envoy, Gregg Rickman, endorsed the European Monitoring Centre’s Working Definition in 2008. Rickman’s report called it a “useful framework” for identifying and understanding antisemitism. After Rickman left the State Department, he went to work for the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the major Israel advocacy organization that lobbies Congress.

The next Special Envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, took this campaign a major step forward: In 2010 the office officially adopted the European Monitoring Centre’s definition.

Rosenthal was extremely proud of having achieved this “breakthrough” definition. She began making use of it quickly, establishing a 90-minute course on the new antisemitism at the Foreign Service Institute, the training school for diplomats.

“We have now a definition we can train people on,” she told the Times of Israel, “and we’ve been very aggressive in training foreign service officers.”

Rosenthal announced that with the new definition including criticism of Israel, their reporting on antisemitism improved “300 percent,” even though, she said, that didn’t mean that antisemitism had actually increased in all the countries monitored.

Hannah Rosenthal adopted the “breakthrough” Israel related definition and promptly used it in training U.S. diplomats.

The gloves were off. Now fully half of the official U.S. State Department definition of antisemitism had gone beyond the normal meaning of the world to focus on Israel.

Applying the New Definition to U.S. Citizens

The State Department uses the new definition to monitor activities overseas. But once the State Department definition was in place, efforts began to use it to crack down on political and academic discourse and activism within the U.S.

This past December (2016) the U.S. Senate passed a law to apply the State Department’s definition (i.e. the Sharansky-Stern-Rosenthal definition) of antisemitism to the Education Department, for use in investigating reports of religiously motivated campus crimes.

A companion bill for the House is supported by AIPAC, the ADL, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

South Carolina’s House of Representatives recently passed legislation under which the State Department’s definition “would be used in probes of possible anti-Semitism at state colleges and universities.” The state senate will consider this in 2018. If passed, it will mean that the state will now probe criticism of Israel on state campuses.

Similar bills are being considered in Virginia and Tennessee.

Such efforts are also ongoing in California. In December Democrat Brad Sherman called on the California Secretary of Education to “expand its definition to include certain forms of anti-Israel behavior.” Pro-Israel organizations such as the Amcha Initiative have also been pushing the state legislature for several years to officially adopt the State Department definition. So far these have been defeated but continue to be promoted.

U.S. Campuses

A parallel effort has been occurring on U.S. campuses. In 2003 Sharansky said that college campuses were “one of the most important battlefields” for Israel.

In 2015 University of California President Janet Napolitano (head of 10 campuses) publicly supported adopting the state department definition, after 57 rabbis sent a letter to her and the University Board of Regents promoting the definition.

Student councils or other groups at various universities have passed resolutions adopting the State Department definition, which can then be used to block campus events about Palestine.

An AIPAC official announced at the 2010 convention: “We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government. That is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capitol. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.”

An ongoing campaign to ensure Israel partisans become influential in student government has supported these efforts. This campaign was announced by an AIPAC leader in 2010: “We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government,” he said. “That is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capitol. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.” (Video here.)

Resolutions referencing the Israel-centric definitions have now been passed by student governments at UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, East Carolina UniversityIndiana University, Ohio’s Capital University, Ohio’s Kent State, Orange County’s Chapman University, San Diego State University, and other campuses around the country.[7]

An example of these resolutions is the 2015 bill at Indiana University. The resolution denounced anti-Semitism “as defined by the United States State Department” and stated that the student government would not fund antisemitic activities or activities that “undermine the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.” It also said that IUSA executives and Congress members would undergo diversity training on anti-Semitism.

According to the student newspaper, the bill was written by Rebekah Molasky, a fellow with the international pro-Israel organization Stand With Us. After the resolution was passed, “the bill’s sponsors and outside supporters hugged and high-fived before gathering in the hallway to take a picture to commemorate the moment.”

As evidenced above, such resolutions can now be used to censor student events. The UC San Diego resolution largely replicated the Indiana format, announcing that the student government will not support activities that “promote anti-Semitism” under the new definition, including “denying Israel the right to exist.” Stand With Us applauded the resolution.

In 2012, an organization called the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law was founded and immediately began promoting the new definition. Within a year it launched an initiative to establish student chapters at law schools throughout the U.S. to advance “the organization’s mandate to combat campus anti-Semitism through legal means.” The Center helped push the South Carolina legislation. It is one of numerous organizations promoting the new definition.

(Incidentally, former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis was a leader in the world Zionist movement and worked in public and covert ways to promote it — see here.)

“Thought Policing”

A number of analysts have pointed out some of the many significant flaws with such legislation.

Anthony L. Fisher at Reason.com writes of Congress’s December law applying the State Department definition to the Education Department: “It gives the federal government the authority to investigate ideas, thoughts, and political positions as violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Fisher continues: “By specifically using the broad language of a 2010 State Department memo attempting to define anti-Semitism, the Senate bill wades into thought policing.”

Attorney Liz Jackson wrote in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times : “Anyone who values the constitutional right to express political dissent should worry about this development.”

NY Times columnist Bret Stephens says Jewish Americans should “do all we can to assure the survival of the Jewish State.”

On the other side of the debate is New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, formerly Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor and before that editor of an Israeli newspaper. Stephens, extremely hawkish on Israel, writes and speaks fervently against the movement to boycott Israel (BDS) and what he says is antisemitism on US campuses and elsewhere. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, he claimed that “anti-Semitism is the disease of the Arab world.”

In 2014 Stephens spoke at the Tikvah Fund, a philanthropic foundation committed to supporting the “Jewish people and the Jewish State,” opining that it would be a scandal if Jewish people failed “to do all we can to assure the survival of the Jewish State.”

U.S. and European Lawmakers Pressure Governments to Ban Criticism of Israel

During all this time, parallel efforts to promote the new definition continued in Europe.

In 2009 an organization called the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) took up the effort to spread the expanded definition. The group says it brings together parliamentarians from “around the world” to fight antisemitism and lists a steering committee of six European and U.S. legislators.

UK politician (and later Prime Minister) David Cameron signed the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition statement calling on governments to outlaw certain forms of criticism of Israel, including calls to boycott Israel; to regulate criticism of Israel in the media; to monitor criticism of Israel online and elsewhere; and to prosecute critics of Israel under “hate crimes” legislation.

The group held a conference in London in 2009 at which it issued a “London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism,” which was signed by then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other heads of state and legislators. This declaration called on governments to use the European Monitoring Centre’s definition and to outlaw and prosecute such “antisemitism.”

It was couched in “anti-racism” terms, but when we look at the declaration’s recommendations combined with its definition of antisemitism, one thing becomes clear: In the declaration, numerous lawmakers of the Western world called on world governments to restrict political dissent.

Specifically, they called on governments to outlaw certain forms of criticism of Israel, including calls to boycott Israel; to regulate criticism of Israel in the media; to monitor criticism of Israel online and elsewhere; and to prosecute critics of Israel under “hate crimes” legislation.

Among numerous other demands, the lawmakers declared that governments:

  • “must expand the use of the EUMC [Monitoring Centre] ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’” including “as a basis for training material for use by Criminal Justice Agencies;”
  • should “isolate political actors” who “target the State of Israel;”
  • “should legislate ‘incitement to hatred’ offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict;”
  • “should … establish inquiry scrutiny panels;”
  • “should utilise the EUMC [Monitoring Centre] ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform media standards;”
  • “should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes” (keeping in mind here that the declaration’s definition of “antisemitic” includes various criticism of Israel);
  • “should use domestic ‘hate crime’, ‘incitement to hatred’ and other legislation … to prosecute ‘Hate on the Internet’ where racist and antisemitic content is hosted, published and written” (again keeping in mind what is defined as “antisemitic”);
  • and that “education authorities should … protect students and staff from illegal antisemitic discourse and a hostile environment in whatever form it takes including calls for boycotts.”

In 2015 the European Commission created a special position to coordinate work on combating antisemitism and appointed German national Katharina von Schnurbein to the post. Schnurbein proceeded to promote the use of the Israel-centric definition.[8]

UK and Austria Adopt Definition

 In December 2016, the UK announced it would formally adopt the Israel-centric definition. It was quickly followed by Austria, which adopted the definition in April 2017. The Austrian justice minister had previously announced that the new definition would be used in the training of new judges and prosecutors.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced the adoption of the Israel-centric definition at a Conservative Friends of Israel event.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement during a talk before 800 guests at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s annual lunch.

UPI reported: “The British police are already using this definition[9], which can now also be used by other groups, such as municipal councils and universities. The definition is not a law, but provides a formal interpretation of an illegal act that can serve as a guideline for criminal proceedings.” Shortly afterward the UK’s higher education minister sent a letter informing universities that the government had adopted the IHRA definition and directing them to utilize it.

(The London council quickly followed suit with its own adoption of the definition, and other cities have now done the same. In May the Israel-Britain Alliance (IBA) began asking candidates for Parliament to sign a pledge that they would support the new definition.)

A number of groups objected to the definition, arguing that the definition “deliberately equates criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews.”

Opponents said it was “vigorously promoted by pro-Israel lobbyists to local authorities, universities, Labour movement organisations and other public bodies.”

They stated that after its adoption there had been “an increase in bannings and restrictions imposed on pro-Palestinian activities, especially on campuses.” Some of the cancellations cited the IHRA definition. Oxford Professor Stephen Sedley wrote in the London Review of Books that the IHRA definition gives “respectability and encouragement to forms of intolerance which are themselves contrary to law.”

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, recipient of the President’s Medal of the British Operational Research Society and Chair of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, said there were many examples of the definition creating a “chilling effect” on institutions’ willingness to permit lawful political activity, “even when the definition was not specifically cited.”

AJC’s Rabbi Andrew “Andy” Baker helped create and disseminate the new definition throughout Europe, Eurasia, the U.S., and Canada.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which represents all of Europe, Eurasia, the U.S., and Canada — a billion people — was also pushed to adopt the definition at its December 2016 conference.

The American Jewish Committee, which has offices in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Rome, and Warsaw, reported that it had “met with senior European government officials to encourage OSCE adoption of the definition.” However, adoption of the definition has so far been blocked by one member: Russia.

AJC leader Rabbi Andrew Baker wrote that the AJC would now work “to foster its greater use by the individual states of the OSCE and members of the European Union.”

Inter-Parliamentary Coalition’s American Representatives

Two American Congressmen are among the six-member steering committee of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (CCA).

One is Florida Congressman Ted Deutch. Deutch’s Congressional website highlights his support for Israel as well as his work against antisemitism.

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch has pushed the use of the Israel-centric definition to curtail academic freedom and campus political dissent within the United States. Deutch’s website declares him “a passionate supporter of Israel whose advocacy for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship stretches back to his youth.”

According to the site, Deutch “works closely with his colleagues in the House and Senate to… pass resolutions strongly opposing manifestations of anti-Semitism at home in South Florida, across the United States, and around the world.”

Florida Congressman Ted DeutchThe website reports: “Congressman Ted Deutch is a passionate supporter of Israel whose advocacy for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship stretches back to his youth. Ted spent his summers at Zionist summer camp, worked as a student activist in high school and college, and served in leadership roles on several local and national Jewish organizations throughout his professional career. Today, Ted serves as Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s influential Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, where he continues to champion Israel’s security during a time of great volatility in the Middle East.”

Deutch is also a member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. His ICCA bio announces that he plans to use this position “to continue to publicly condemn anti-Semitism.”

Deutch receives considerable funding from the pro-Israel lobby.

In March Deutch led a bipartisan letter to Trump “Urging Forceful Action on Anti-Semitism.” It demanded ‘a comprehensive, inter-agency strategy that called for the Justice Department to investigate “anti-Semitic crimes” and “ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Deutch was one of two Congresspeople who introduced the December law to apply the State Department definition to education.

New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, member of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition, brought Sharansky to testify before Congress about his new definition.

The other U.S. Congressman on the steering committee of the ICCA is Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey. Smith is also a senior member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. According to the website Open Secrets, a large proportion of his campaign donations are also from pro-Israel sources.

Natan Sharansky twice testified at hearings Smith chaired. In a speech at an event honoring Smith for his work against antisemitism, Smith remembered that Sharansky had  “proposed what he called a simple test to help us distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism. He called it the three Ds: Demonization, double standard, and de-legitimization.”

Spreading the New Definition Under Cover of “Anti-Racism” Movement

UK universities have seen repression of pro-Palestinian activism on an epic scale. In 2007 the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) adopted the new antisemitism definition at its national conference, when pro-Israel students introduced a motion entitled “AntiRacism: Challenging Racism on Campus and in Our Communities.” Some student unions at various UK universities then did the same.

This was a particularly ironic name for a pro-Israel motion, given that many people around the world consider Israel’s founding ideology, political Zionism, racist. In fact, in 1975 the UN General Assembly specifically passed a resolution that “Zionism is a form of racism.”

(The resolution was revoked In 1991, but not because the world body had changed its mind. In that year President Bush was pushing for the Madrid Peace Conference, which he hoped would end the “Arab-Israeli” conflict. When Israel said it would only participate in the conference if the UN revoked the resolution, the U.S. pressured member states to do just this.)

Through the years numerous entities have affirmed that Zionism is a type of racism, including conferences in South Africa and a recent UN commission which reported that Israel was practicing apartheid. (This report was then removed by the UN Director General, after Israeli and U.S. pressure.)

The UK student actions exemplify a trend that has pervaded this movement since the beginning: Efforts to shut down pro-Palestinian activism, curtail free speech and police thought both online and off are repeatedly packaged as “anti-racism” and sometimes “anti-fascism.”[10]

Campaign for New Definition Overcomes Hiccups

Taken together, these steps towards redefining “antisemitism” to include criticism of Israel, and then ban it, are effectively (and increasingly rapidly) producing significant results in terms of actual regulation and even law enforcement. Nevertheless, there apparently has been some resistance to the change.

In 2013, the successor organization to the European Monitoring Centre (called the European Fundamental Rights Agency) quietly dropped the working definition from its website. Without any public announcement, the definition was simply no longer on its site. When questioned about this, the agency’s director simply said that the organization had “no mandate to develop its own definitions.”

Proponents of the definition were outraged. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center complained that the agency’s “disowning of its own definition is astounding” and that “those who fight antisemitism have lost an important weapon.” (The Wiesenthal Center is a global organization that declares it “stands with Israel” with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Miami, Chicago, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Jerusalem.)

However, the fact that the Monitoring Centre had never officially adopted the definition, and that its successor organization now had apparently discarded it, seems to have been ignored by those who had adopted it.

The U.S. State Department continues to use the discarded version. The only difference is that the PDF that gave its Monitoring Centre origins has been removed from State’s website.

The World Jewish Congress convention 2014, chaired by David de Rothschild, urged “all countries to adopt a binding definition of anti-Semitic crimes” based on the Israel-centric definition.

The following year, the World Jewish Congress, which represents Jewish umbrella bodies in 100 countries, called on “all countries to adopt a binding definition of anti-Semitic crimes based on the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism developed by the former European Union Monitoring Commission (EUMC) and used in a number of states’ law enforcement agencies.”

IHRA Picks Up the Ball

Other groups stepped into the vacuum and kept the definition alive. In 2016 The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted the definition.

The IHRA consists of 31 Member Countries, ten Observer Countries, and seven international partner organizations. Its chair announced that the IHRA’s goal was to inspire “other international fora” to also adopt “a legally binding working definition.” It’s working: Britain and Austria almost immediately followed suit.

The U.S. Brandeis Center applauded the move, saying that “because the IHRA has adopted it, the definition has now officially been given the international status that it was previously lacking.”

The Brandeis Center reported that this was the “culmination of a process initiated by Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, two years ago, with help from others including Ira Forman and Nicholas Dean of the U.S. Department of State.”

Ira Forman, antisemitism envoy under Obama and formerly of AIPAC, played a pivotal role in the IHRA adoption of the new definition.

Forman was the State Department Special Anti-Semitism Envoy under Obama, reportedly led Obama’s reelection campaign in the Jewish community, had worked for Bill Clinton, and had served as Political Director and Legislative Liaison for AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying organization. Nicholas Dean had been the State Department Special Envoy for the Holocaust.

The New York Jewish Week reported that Forman and Dean “played a pivotal role in diplomatic efforts that led to the recent adoption by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of a Working Definition of Anti-Semitism.”

“This is the first-ever formal international definition of anti-Semitism, and a potentially crucial tool for forcing governments and international agencies to confront and take action against it,” the article continued.

Pressure On State Department to Continue Extra Monitoring

Among much budget slashing proposed by President Donald Trump were cuts to the State Department that would have ended funding for the antisemitism monitoring office and special envoy (though State Department monitoring of antisemitism would continue even after the cuts).

Various organizations are lobbying to keep the office and envoy, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a U.S. organization whose mission is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people” but which in effect seems to serve as an American extension of the most right-wing elements of Israel’s government. It has a long and infamous history of attacking critics of Israeli policy as “antisemites” and also uses an Israel-centric definition of antisemitism.

The ADL and allies pointed to a rash of bomb threats against Jewish institutions to strengthen their argument that this exceptional office must be funded. A letter with over a hundred signatories was sent to Trump demanding that he keep the dedicated State Department position, a bipartisan letter in support of retaining that special monitor was circulated in Congress, and over 100 Holocaust memorial groups and scholars urged Trump to keep the office.

As this political fight has raged, the ADL, which has a budget of over $56 million, sent out press releases to national and local media around the country reporting that antisemitic incidents have soared. The release was repeated almost verbatim in numerous national media and in individual states (as a random example, a Massachusetts headline declared: “Report: Anti-Semitism on the rise in Massachusetts.”)

However, it is impossible to know how many of the antisemitic incidents reported by the ADL were actually related to criticism of Israel, because the ADL didn’t release the data on which these results were based.

Israeli man arrested for over 2,000 bomb threats.

In addition, the ADL’s reported spike includes a spate of threats called in to Jewish organizations, schools and community centers that, thankfully, were hoaxes. The vast majority of threats (reportedly to over 2,000 institutions) apparently were perpetrated by an 18-year-old Jewish Israeli who reportedly suffers from medical and mental problems. (This alleged perpetrator is also accused of trying to extort a US Senator, threatening the children of a US official, and a range of other crimes.)

Another individual, an American in the U.S., apparently perpetrated eight hoax bomb threats in a bizarre campaign to get his former girlfriend in trouble.

A Jewish News Service article says the threats by the Israeli teen made up a significant percentage of the ADL’s spike and reported: “The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) decision to count an Israeli teenager’s alleged recent bomb hoaxes as ‘anti-Semitic incidents’ is prompting criticism from some Jewish community officials.”

An ADL official admitted that the audit is an approximation, saying “the science on it is currently being written.” A regional ADL director said that “this is not a poll or a scientific study,” but rather “an effort to get a sense of ‘what’s going on in people’s hearts.’”

Regarding hard data, the report said that anti-Semitic assaults across the nation had “decreased by about 36 percent.”

The ADL blames various groups for antisemitism, pointing the finger at people of color with claims that Hispanic Americans and African Americans are “the most anti-Semitic cohorts,” at “white supremacists” and at Trump’s election — but not at the Israeli teen responsible for 2,000+ hoax threats that terrorized Jewish institutions, nor at its own distorted, Israel-connected definition.[11]

Claims of increased antisemitism are cited repeatedly in calls for the U.S. government to maintain funding for the special State Department monitoring.

Former US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power tweeted that the entire Trump administration should focus on antisemitism.

Former Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and two Democratic congressional representatives, Reps. Nita Lowey of New York and Deutch of Florida, are among those demanding that Trump appoint a new antisemitism monitor and maintain this office at full strength, even while he cuts other federal spending.

Power tweeted: “Anti-semitism is surging in world. Entire Trump admin needs to focus on it & envoy position must be kept.”

Lowey demanded: “The president must show he takes the rise of anti-Semitism seriously by immediately appointing a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and fully staffing the Special Envoy’s office.”

In a May 2017 speech, World Jewish Congress leader Ronald Lauder said, “Being anti-Israel is being anti-Semitic.” He announced that the congress “is creating a new communications department, or what you might call Hasborah” to counter this new “antisemitism.”

Dissenting Views

Many Jewish writers and activists dispute Lauder’s contention and oppose the campaign to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. An article in Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper points out that “were anti-Zionism a cover for the abuse of individual Jews, individual Jews would not join anti-Zionist groups. Yet many do. Jewish students are well represented in anti-Zionist groups like Students for Justice in Palestine.”

Rabbi Ahron Cohen of Naturei Kartei (“Guardians of the Faith”) writes that “Judaism and Zionism are incompatible and mutually exclusive.” Cohen states that antisemitism is “an illogical bigotry. Anti-Zionism, however, is a perfectly logical opposition, based on very sound reasoning, to a particular idea and aim.”

Cohen argues: “According to the Torah and Jewish faith, the present Palestinian Arab claim to rule in Palestine is right and just. The Zionist claim is wrong and criminal. Our attitude to Israel is that the whole concept is flawed and illegitimate. So anti-Zionism is certainly not anti-Semitism.”

 Antisemitism?

Recently Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper published a column entitled, “An Israeli Soldier Shot a Palestinian in Front of Her Kids. Where’s Her Compensation?”

The article, by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, begins: “For three months, Dia Mansur was certain his mother was dead. He was 15 years old when he saw her collapse in the living room of their home, felled by a bullet fired by an Israel Defense Forces soldier that sliced into her face, tearing it apart. He saw his mother lying on the floor, blood oozing from her mouth…”

Gaza, 2014. Israel’s invasions and shelling of Gaza killed and injured thousands of children and left multitudes homeless.

Levy, citing a report by an Israeli human rights organization, writes that from September 2000 to through February 2017, “Israel killed 4,868 noncombatant Palestinian civilians, more than one-third of them (1,793) were children and adolescents below the age of 18.” (More info here.)

He continued: “Thousands of others, who were also not involved in fighting, have been wounded and permanently incapacitated.” (Photos here.)

Shifa Hospital, Gaza, 2014

A few weeks before that report, Ha’aretz published an article that described Israel’s month-long imprisonment of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, one of over 200 Palestinian children taken by Israeli forces in a little over three months. The boy, accused of throwing stones against Israeli soldiers, would have been released from incarceration earlier, except that his impoverished family didn’t have enough money to pay the fine.

In the article, Israeli journalist Amira Haas reported that the boy’s father said that his son “wasn’t how he used to be before he was arrested.” “He used to joke,” the father said, “and he stopped doing that. He talked a lot, and now he is silent.”

Haas wrote that UNICEF had issued a report four years ago that Israel was “extensively and systematically abusing detained Palestinian children and youth.” Today, she reported, “The stories of physical violence, threats, painful plastic handcuffs and naked body searches remain almost identical.”

Sadly, every week there are similar stories.

Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian boy in West Bank town of Hebron, June 20, 2014. “Human Rights Watch on Monday accused Israel of ‘abusive arrests’ of Palestinian children as young as 11 and of using threats to force them to sign confessions.” – AFP

To the multi-billion dollar network of lobbies advocating for conflating criticism of Israel with antisemitism, those who work to get such information to the American people – whose government gives Israel $10 million per day – are antisemitic.

Many others of all faiths and ethnicities have a different view.

Sixteen years ago I wrote: “Equating the wrongdoing of Israel with Jewishness is the deepest and most insidious form of anti-Semitism of all.”

It is ironic that it is the Israel lobby that is today doing this equating, and that it has worked to invert the very meaning of antisemitism itself. Rather than denoting only abhorrent behavior, as it once did, today the term is often officially applied to what many consider courageous actions against oppression.

More troubling, still, these lobbying groups are working to outlaw conduct that numerous people (including many Israelis and Jewish Americans) consider morally obligatory.

It seems imperative for Americans who wish for justice and peace in the Middle East, and who oppose Orwellian distortions of language and law, to speak out against this campaign – while we can.

#

N.B. I deeply hope that no one will exaggerate or misrepresent the information this article reveals. The actions above were taken by specific individuals and organizations. They alone are responsible for them, not an entire religious or ethnic group, most of whom quite likely have little idea that this is occurring.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel


Timeline for creating new Israel-centric definition of antisemitism

Following is a timeline of some of the key events in the creation, promotion and adoption of the Israel-focused definition of antisemitism. It provides an outline, but does not include every step of the process, all the key players, or every action.

1991 – Jean Kahn is elected president of the European Jewish Congress at its plenary session in Israel. He announces an ambitious agenda, including demonstrating solidarity with Israel and European countries coordinating legislation to outlaw antisemitism.

1997 – Kahn “convinces 15 heads of state” to create the The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia to focus on “racism, xenophobia and antisemitism.”

2000 – The Monitoring Centre issues a position paper calling for the definition of antisemitic offenses to be “improved.”

2003 – Israel’s minister for diaspora affairs Natan Sharansky founds the Global Forum against Anti-Semitism, stating: “The State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off and implement a coordinated counteroffensive against anti-Semitism.”

2004 – Sharansky, who is also chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel, issues a position paper that lays out the “3-D Test of Anti-Semitism:” statements that “demonize” Israel, apply a “double standard” or “delegitimize” Israel are “antisemitic.” These will form the blueprint for new definitions adopted by lobbying organizations and finally governments.

2004 – US Congress passes law establishing special office and envoy in the State Department to monitor antisemitism that includes statements about Israel under this rubric. (Sharansky is witness at Congressional hearing.)

2004 – American Jewish Committee directors Kenneth Stern and Rabbi Andrew “ Andy” Baker work with Israeli professor Dina Porat to draft a new antisemitism definition and push the Monitoring Centre to adopt it, according to Stern. Their draft drew on Sharansky’s 3 D’s.

2005 – Monitoring Centre issues a “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism” that includes Sharansky’s 3 D’s, based on Stern et al’s draft. While standard dictionary definitions of antisemitism didn’t even mention Israel, fully half of the newly devised Monitoring Centre definition referred to Israel.

2007UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) adopts the new antisemitism definition focused on Israel, after pro-Israel students introduce a motion misleadingly entitled “AntiRacism: Challenging Racism on Campus and in Our Communities.” Some student unions at various UK universities then follow suit.

2008 – The first U.S. State Department Special Envoy on antisemitism, Greg Rickman, endorses the Monitoring Centre working definition in State Department report to Congress. (Rickman later went to work for AIPAC.)

2009 – The Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (CCA), which brings together parliamentarians from around the world, issues the London Declaration signed by then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and others. The Declaration calls on governments to use the Monitoring Centre definition and to outlaw and prosecute such “antisemitism.” US Congressmen Ted Deutch and Chris Smith are members of the CCA’s steering committee.

2010 – Second US State Department Special Envoy on antisemitism Hanna Rosenthal officially adopts European Monitoring Centre definition; this is subsequently referred to as the State Department definition of antisemitism. Rosenthal creates course on antisemitism using this definition to train Foreign Service Officers.

2012Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law is founded and immediately begins promoting the new definition. Within a year it launches an initiative to establish student chapters at law schools throughout the U.S.

2013 – Successor organization to the European Monitoring Centre (called the European Fundamental Rights Agency) quietly drops the working definition from its website. When questioned about this, the agency’s director says the organization had “no mandate to develop its own definitions.” (Groups using the definition continue to use it.)

2014 – Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with help from Ira Forman and Nicholas Dean of the U.S. Department of State, initiates efforts for another agency to adopt and promote the working definition of antisemitism.

2015 – European Commission creates a special position to coordinate work on combating antisemitism, appointing German Katharina von Schnurbein to the post. Schnurbein proceeds to promote use of the Israel-centric definition. 

2015 – Indiana University passes resolution denouncing “anti-Semitism as defined by the United States State Department and will not fund or participate in activities that promote anti-Semitism or that ‘undermine the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.’” University of California Santa Barbara and UCLA also pass such resolutions.

2016 – The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), consisting of 31 Member Countries, adopts the definition; the goal is to inspire others to also adopt “a legally binding working definition.” An analyst writes that the IHRA action is “a potentially crucial tool for forcing governments and international agencies to confront and take action.”

December 2016 – U.S. Senate passes law to apply the State Department’s definition of antisemitism to the Education Department, for use in investigating reports of religiously motivated campus crimes. Now the law defines actions connected to criticism of Israel as “religiously motivated.”

December 2016 – UK announces it will formally adopt the Israel-centric definition–the first country to do so besides Israel. UK Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement during a talk before 800 guests at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s annual lunch.

December 2016 – Adoption of the definition by the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had been heavily lobbied by the American Jewish Committee, is blocked by Russia. The AJC then says it will push for individual member states to adopt it.

March 2017 South Carolina House of Representatives passes legislation under which the State Department’s definition “would be used in probes of possible anti-Semitism at state colleges and universities.” The Senate version will be discussed in 2018. Similar bills are being considered in Virginia and Tennessee.

March – May 2017 – Resolutions adopting the Israel-centric definitions are passed by student governments at Ohio’s Capital University and Kent State, California’s San Diego State University and at other campuses around the U.S.

April 2017

  • Austria adopts the definition. (The Austrian justice minister previously announced that the new definition would be used in the training of new judges and prosecutors.)
  • The ADL, which uses Israel-centric definition of antisemitism, announces that antisemitism has risen by 86 percent in 2017, but includes questionable statistics. News organizations throughout the U.S. report the ADL claim.
  • Reports that Trump administration budget cuts might cause special antisemitism envoy position to remain vacant provokes outrage among Israel lobby groups and others. Samantha Power calls for entire Trump administration to focus on antisemitism. Soon, Trump administration says it will fill post.
  • All 100 US Senators send a letter to UN demanding it stop its actions on Israel and connects these to antisemitism.

May 2017 –

  • Israel-Britain Alliance begins asking candidates for Parliament to sign a pledge that they will support the new definition.

End Notes

[1] I’m using the newer, unhyphenated spelling of this word, which seems to be growing in popularity. I feel it is a more appropriate spelling, since the hyphenated version suggests that it refers to all Semites, which is incorrect. The word was created in 1879 specifically to refer to anti-Jewish prejudice.

[2] Former Israeli parliament member Shulamit Aloni explained this in a 2002 interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy now. “It’s a trick. ” she said. “We always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are ‘anti-Semitic’.

Aloni noted that the pro-Israel lobby in the United States “is strong, and has a lot of money.” She continued: “Ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong … their attitude is ‘Israel, my country right or wrong.’”

“It’s very easy,” she said, “to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as ‘anti-Semitic’ and use that claim to justify everything Israel does to the Palestinians.”

Examples abound of critics of Israel silenced in this way. One telling story is that of once-famous journalist Dorothy Thompson, who was virtually erased from history after writing about the Palestinian cause. Read about her here and here.

[3] Dictionaries all agreed on this meaning, with one exception that caused considerable outrage. This was Merriam-Webster’s mammoth unabridged dictionary, which included a second meaning: “opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel.”

When some people discovered this extra, Israel-related meaning in 2004 and raised objections to it, there was a general outcry that the additional meaning was inaccurate and should be removed, including by New York Times columnist and linguistics arbiter Jeffrey Nunberg, who wrote that it “couldn’t be defended.”

Merriam-Webster responded by saying that the extra meaning would “probably be dropped when the company published a new unabridged version in a decade or so.” The company hasn’t published a new version yet, but it seems to have followed through with this decision. The online version of the unabridged dictionary, which says it is updated with the latest words and meanings, makes no mention of Israel or Zionism.

[4] An increasingly common Israeli talking point is the claim that it’s antisemitic to deny the Jewish people their “right to self-determination.” This is disingenuous: Self-determination is the right of people on a land to determine their own political status, not the right of some people to expel others in order to form an exclusive state on confiscated land. In reality, the principle of self-determination would have had the Muslim, Christian and Jewish residents of historic Palestine forming a government for all of them, and today would give Palestinians living under Israeli occupation the freedom to determine their own destiny.

[5] Michael Whine, Jeremy Jones, Israeli Roni Stauber, Felice Gaer, Israeli Yehuda Bauer, Michael Berenbaum and Andy Baker, and later on, AJC’s Deidre Berger, previously an NPR reporter.

[6] The other witnesses were representatives of the Orthodox Union of Jewish Congregations, American Jewish Committee, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Anti-Defamation League, National Conference for Soviet Jewry, B’nai B’rith International, World Jewish Congress, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Shai Franklin, and Jay Lefkowitz of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

[7] An organization called Students Supporting Israel (SSI) takes credit for most of these initiatives. Created in 2012 at the University of Minnesota by Israeli Ilan Sinelnikov and his sister, Valeria Chazin, SSI now has chapters on over 40 college campuses around the U.S., at least three high schools, and some campuses in Canada. In 2015 Israel’s Midwest Consulate chose SSI to receive the award for “Outstanding Pro Israel Activism.” Campus Hillels are also frequently involved.

The bill at Chapman University passed but was vetoed. Another vote will probably be proposed in in the fall.

[8] For information on additional Israel-centered campaigns, see the works of Israeli strategist Yehezkel Dror, such as his paper “Foundations of an Israeli Grand Strategy toward the European Union

[9] The AJC’s Andy Baker reported: “It is part of police-training materials in the UK.”

[10] An antifa group in France, for example, reportedly shut down a talk by an anti-Zionist intellectual.

[11] A number of analysts have also suggested that some antisemitism may at times be an (inappropriate) response to Israeli violence and oppression of Palestinians. Yale Chaplain Bruce Shipman pointed out in a letter to the New York Times that an earlier period of reported rising antisemitism in Europe paralleled “the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.” Israel partisans were outraged and Shipman was soon required to resign.

May 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Balfour Declaration – A Century of Jewish Power

By Gilad Atzmon | May 17, 2017

This year, Palestinians and their supporters mark the 100th anniversary of The Balfour Declaration, a written statement from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, to Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, in favour of the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

For Palestinians, The Balfour Declaration was the beginning of their plight: a century of ethnic cleansing at the hands of European newcomers who claim Palestine as their historic home. Yet, for some reason, supporters of the Palestinians are desperate to suppress discussion of the motivation for the Balfour Declaration – how and why did it come about?

The Balfour Declaration provides solid evidence that the dominance of Jewish political lobbies in world affairs is not really a ‘new development.’ In 1917, at the peak of WWI, it was up to a few Jewish financiers and lobbyists to decide the fate of countries, continents and the outcome of global conflicts.

In his invaluable book, The Pity of it All, Israeli historian Amos Elon suggests that the 1917 Balfour Declaration was at least partially motivated by the British government’s desire to win the support of pro-German American Jews so that they would help to pull the USA into the war.

Elon argues that at the beginning of the war, German- American Jewish financiers sided with the Germans and would reject any possible alliance between the USA and England. “Jacob H. Schiff, head of Kuhn, Loeb—at the time the largest private bank in the United States after J. P. Morgan—declared that he could no more disavow his loyalty to Germany than he could renounce his own parents. Schiff prayed for Germany’s victory. In a statement to the New York Times on November 22, 1914, he charged the British and the French with attempting to destroy Germany for reasons of trade.” (The Pity Of It All, pg. 455)

And German-American Jews were not alone in the Jewish community. Russian-American Jews also supported Germany in the war.  “Eastern European Jews in the United States, repelled by the anti-Semitism of czarist Russia, were equally pro-German. In Russia itself, Jews of the Pale greeted German troops advancing into Poland, Byelorussia, and the Ukraine as liberators. In a sense, they were.” (ibid)

According to Elon, the Brits encountered an American Jewish problem. “The British government took these developments very seriously. In a fit of paranoia, the British ambassador in Washington even suspected the existence of a veritable German Jewish conspiracy in the United States directed at Britain.” (Ibid)

Elon’s conclusion is clear. “The 1917 Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, was at least partly motivated by the British government’s desire to win support among pro-German American Jews.” (ibid)

Elon’s reading of the circumstances that led to the Balfour Declaration is pretty much the same as Benjamin Freedman’s in his notorious 1961 address.

Freedman states that Zionists offered Britain their support in pulling the USA into the war in return for a British commitment to make Palestine into a Jewish homeland in the future. Freedman believed that Germany’s post-WW I animosity towards Jews stemmed from what they regarded as the betrayal and complicity of German-Jewish financiers in their defeat.

100 years after the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian solidarity enthusiasts choose to avoid discussion on the global Judeo-centric politics that led to the  declaration, even though it was arguably the most significant event that shaped the Middle East and present day Palestinian reality. This reluctance suggests that the solidarity movement is itself an occupied territory. Once again, we observe that the discourse of the oppressed is controlled by the sensitivities of the oppressor.

To learn more:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/nakba-history-and-the-origins-of-the-jewish-state-the-role-of-the-balfour-declaration/5338365

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

UK ‘terrorist’ gets 8yrs behind bars for ‘aiding ISIS’ online


© met.police.uk
RT | May 3, 2017

A British man who kept Islamic State publications concealed, James Bond-style, in memory cards inside cufflinks and created a “one-stop shop” for terrorists online has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to five terrorism charges.

Samata Ullah, 34, an unemployed man from Wales, was sentenced to eight years in prison with a five-year extension period on Tuesday after pleading guilty to five charges of terrorism in a British court, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The court at the Old Bailey in London heard how Ullah created an online hub for terrorists from his bedroom, where he uploaded instructional videos and other information to aid terrorists.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Ullah was a part of a global network of terrorists who were using their cyber skills to aid Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Ullah provided instructional videos on how to use encryption programs to hide terrorist activities online and helped IS develop their capabilities and spread propaganda through the Dark Web.

“It is the first time we have seen anything on this scale,” Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism unit, said, according to the BBC. “He had set up a self-help library for terrorists around the world and they were using his library.”

Haydon described Ullah’s online library as “a one-stop shop for terrorists,” with “guidance on encryption, ways to avoid detection from police and security services, expert tuition around missile systems, and a vast amount of propaganda.”

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC described Ullah as a “new and dangerous breed of terrorist,” according to the BBC.

In March, Ullah admitted to being a member of IS as well as aiding the group in terrorist training, preparing terrorist attacks and possessing articles connected with terrorism.

Ullah was arrested at his home in Wales last September after an international sting operation monitored conversations he had with a Kenyan contact who planned anthrax attacks in the East African nation.

Upon Ullah’s arrest in September, police seized around 200 pieces of evidence, including 150 digital devices with eight terabytes of data, which the Metropolitan Police described as “equivalent of more than 2.2 million copies of the War and Peace e-book.”

Police also found around 30 USB memory cards disguised as cufflinks, which contained “infamous ISIS publications,” according to the Met.

The Metropolitan Police said the evidence they found established Ullah as an active member of IS and “revealed his radical mindset.”

“Just because Ullah’s activity was in the virtual world we never underestimated how dangerous his activity was,” Haydon said. “He sat in his bedroom in Wales and created online content with the sole intention of aiding people who wanted to actively support ISIS and avoid getting caught by the authorities.”

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

What Western Media Never Tells You about North Korea

By Joe Clifford | Dissident Voice | May 1, 2017

There is a great deal of propaganda and deliberate misinformation about North Korea, which the public should know. While neocons, a cheering corporate media, and Deep State, rush to war with North Korea, information is the ultimate weapon. For example, did you know that North Korea, China, and India, are the only three nations who have committed to a “no nuclear first” policy. They have pledged never to use nuclear weapons “first”, but of course reserve the right to use them if attacked. How many times has the US threatened to use nuclear weapons against North Korea? Do you know that North Korea has repeatedly asked the US to engage in bi-lateral talks, to cool off the ever-escalating tension? The offer was flatly rejected by both Obama and Trump. Can you resolve differences within your family without dialog? No dialogue, no peace. Why won’t the US talk to North Korea?? The neocons, Deep State, and media argument, insist Kim Jong-un is irrational, and therefore you cannot negotiate with him. A look back at recent history illustrates the US and its complicit media demonize anyone we do not like, and the demonizing usually ends up with a war. Manuel Noriega in Panama, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, serve as recent examples. But the demonizing of Kim Jong-un continues as we move towards another war, and once again the public buys into the myth. There are no western reporters allowed in North Korea, and since North Korea is a virtual closed society, one must wonder who knows what Kim Jong-un really is like? On the other hand, some might suggest we have a very irrational leader in this country. This attitude of demonizing is akin to the Taliban’s offer to turn over Osama Bin Laden so many years ago, and the US, then under Bush, flatly rejected the Taliban offer. Sixteen years later we are still at war in Afghanistan. War is the result of failed diplomacy or the absence of diplomacy. Perhaps we did not want diplomacy; perhaps we don’t want diplomacy now.

Do you know North Korea has agreed to suspend its nuclear testing if the US agreed to end the annual war games along the border of North Korea? You may not know the US conducts war games that simulate the overthrow of the North Korean government, and this year there were almost 400,000 soldiers participating. Did you know that?? Do you know the Korean War has never officially ended because there was no formal truce signed? This is one of North Korea demands. A final treaty to end the Korean War was never signed, because if there was a treaty, the US would have no legal basis for the occupation of South Korea with our many military bases. Do you know that in 1993 the US announced it was re-targeting hydrogen bombs from the old USSR to North Korea?

Do you know George Bush called the leader of North Korea a “pygmy”, and said he wanted to “topple his regime”? Do you know Bush also prepared a policy of “preemptive” attack, and referred to North Korea as a member of the “axis of evil”? It was shortly thereafter that North Korea left the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and threw all inspectors out of the country. Neocons, Deep State, and the corporate media, argue North Korea is a threat to the US, and just days ago Trump said they were a “threat to the world”? That is asinine, as Trump’s increase in military spending of 54 billion, is 11 times greater than the entire North Korean military budget. To suggest North Korea is a “threat to the US” or the “world” is either stupidity or an outright lie, and yet a CNN poll shows 37% of the US public believes North Korea is a threat to the US. Who says propaganda isn’t effective? Do you know the recent leader of South Korea was impeached for corruption, and there is a pending election to decide on new leadership? The opposition party wants the US out of South Korea, and wants the THAAD missile system just installed by the US, out.

Theresa May, in Great Britain, shocked many recently, when she announced she would be willing to use nuclear weapons in a “first strike”? Why have we not declared war on Britain, as Theresa May is apparently a bit “irrational”? Experts suggest North Korea has perhaps 8 nuclear weapons, but has no effective delivery system. The US has 7,000.

North Korea has not invaded or attacked any nation since the end of the Korean War, while the US has bombed over 30 countries. How many countries is the US currently bombing?? Can’t answer? Who is the aggressor here? Who has refused to “talk” to North Korea? Who has threatened to use nuclear weapons repeatedly against North Korea?

Why can’t the US simply sit down and agree to bi-lateral talks? Is there a logical reason why this cannot be done? What is there to lose by such talks? This whole policy of antagonizing, instead of talking, is insane! We know its insanity; we don’t know if it is intentional rejection of diplomacy.

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , | 2 Comments

Pimping for Israel Remains Undiminished Since UN Report Branded It an Apartheid State

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | April 29, 2017

In the UK you can start a petition on the Government website. If it reaches 10,000 signatures you get a response from the Government. If it tops 100,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Currently there’s a petition saying the UK must apologise for the Balfour Declaration and lead peace efforts in Palestine. “We call on Her Majesty’s Government to openly apologise to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration. The colonial policy of Britain between 1917-1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation. HMG should recognise its role during the Mandate and now must lead attempts to reach a solution that ensures justice for the Palestinian people.”

The Government’s response is unhelpful to say the least:

“The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which HMG does not intend to apologise. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace…

“Establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do… We recognise that the Declaration should have called for the protection of political rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, particularly their right to self-determination. However, the important thing now is to look forward and establish security and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians through a lasting peace. We believe the best way to achieve this is through a two-state solution: a negotiated settlement that leads to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for refugees.

“We believe that such negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between Israelis and Palestinians…. If both parties show bold leadership, peace is possible. The UK is ready to do all it can to support this goal.”

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I wonder what bureaucratic nitwit wrote that. They’ve been spouting nonsense about “a two-state solution: a negotiated settlement that leads to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state” for decades and they know full well that it won’t happen without forcing measures. International law has spoken and waits to be implemented. World powers, if they truly respect the rule of law, must mobilise and apply it without fear or favour. Many experts are now saying that the international community’s conniving inaction has allowed Israel to establish enough ‘facts on the ground’ to make their illegal occupation permanent.

Note also the crude bias: “a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state”. No safety and security for Palestine, no sir! Just threadbare viability.

And who – ignoring all reports to the contrary – praised Israel recently for being “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance” and said that the British government will be marking the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration later this year “with pride”? And who has invited the arch war criminal Netanyahu to the celebrations? None other than Britain’s prime minister Theresa May, the daughter of an Anglican priest and a regular churchgoer. What does that say about this righteous lady’s real values, real standards, and real concerns for the endless misery inflicted on her Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters in the Holy Land by Israel with its military boot on their necks?

And who hurriedly declared the Shai Masot affair “closed” after Masot, an employee of the Israeli embassy and probably a Mossad asset, plotted with gullible British MPs and political hangers-on to “take down” senior government figures? That’s right,  the Foreign Office and Boris Johnson, the UK’s clownish Foreign Secretary: “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed,” they announced.

Meanwhile in the latest show of just how far how truth and freedom of expression have become subservient to Jewish sensibilities the Liberal Democrats have barred their former MP David Ward from standing for the party in the coming general election after its leader, Tim Farron, said his comments about Jews had been “deeply offensive, wrong and antisemitic”.

(David Ward. Image courtesy of Facebook)

Ward has ‘form’ in defying the Israel lobby. Yet he was selected by his local party to stand again for the seat he held from 2010 until 2015. But after criticism from Theresa May in the House of Commons and a meeting of senior LibDem officials, Farron said: “I believe in a politics that is open, tolerant and united. David Ward is unfit to represent the party and I have sacked him.”

Why is David Ward “unfit”? What exactly was his (alleged) crime?

Four years ago I reported that the Liberal Democrat leadership threw a mighty wobbly when Ward made this remark on his website: “I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Goaded by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who complained that Ward’s remarks “deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust” and were “sickening” and “offensive”, the party’s Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael, agreed they were “wholly inappropriate” and that singling out ‘the Jews’ in that way crossed a red line.

Ward, who had visited Palestine and seen the truth for himself, was treated like a delinquent. Party leader Nick Clegg ordered him to work alongside the party’s Friends of Israel “to identify and agree language that will be proportionate and precise” in future debate. Disciplinary steps would then be reviewed.  Ward subsequently received a letter from Carmichael withdrawing the whip (i.e. suspending him from the parliamentary party). According to Sky News Carmichael wrote: “As we have sought to impress upon you repeatedly, we are having to decide on whether language you chose to use… is language which brings the party into disrepute or harms the interests of the Party.”

Carmichael banged on about the need for language that was proportionate and precise and how Ward’s language caused “considerable offence rather than addressing questions of political substance about the plight of the Palestinian people and the right of Israel’s citizens to live a life free of violence”. He claimed Ward misrepresented the views of the party. “We put it to you that your most recent statement – which specifically questions the continuing existence of the State of Israel – is neither proportionate nor precise.”

Carmichael’s reprimand plumbed new depths of stupidity where he said: “We have given you every opportunity to reconcile the expression of your views with the party’s policy on a two-state solution… the two-state solution for which the party has long argued.” Carmichael and Clegg, and especially Farron, really need to watch this video by Miko Peled. Same goes for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Peled is an Israeli Jew, the son of an Israeli general, and a former soldier in the Israeli army. You couldn’t find a more authentic insider source. He confirms in suitably proportionate and precise language what many others have been saying for years. Here’s a flavour.

“The name of the game: erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabizing the country…

“When people talk about the possibility of Israel somehow giving up the West Bank for a Palestinian state, if it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the objective of Zionism and the Zionist state.

“By 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible. By 1993 the Israeli government knew for certain that a Palestinian state could not be established in the West Bank – the settlements were there, $ billions were invested, the entire Jordan River valley was settled… there was no place any more for a Palestinian state to be established. That is when Israel said, OK, we’ll begin negotiations…”

Peled also describes the Israeli army, in which he served, as “one of the best trained and best equipped and best fed terrorist organisations in the world.”

As for his punishment, Ward claimed his views were widely shared. “I will not apologise for describing the state of Israel as an apartheid state. I don’t know how you can describe it as anything else.”

Farron’s bully-boy tactics are completely at odds with the opinion of top legal experts who were recently asked for their views by Free Speech on Israel, Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. In a nutshell, those in public life cannot behave in a manner inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for freedom of expression and applies not only to information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also to those that “offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population”.

There is a further obligation to allow all concerned in public debate “to express their opinions and ideas without fear, even if these opinions and ideas are contrary to those defended by the official authorities or by a large part of public opinion, or even if those opinions and ideas are irritating or offensive to the public”.

What’s more, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression including “freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Also, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says the same sort of thing, subject of course to the usual limitations required by law and respect for the rights of others.

Farron and his handlers have no excuse for treating David Ward like this. The big question-mark hangs over Farron himself, as to whether he’s fit to represent the LibDems let alone lead them.

April 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why Is Britain Rattling its Nuclear Saber and What Could Be the Consequences?

Sputnik – 27.04.2017

British Defense Minister Michael Fallon has said that Prime Minister Theresa May would launch a preemptive nuclear strike if she feels it is needed. The majority of Britons seem to support this attitude. But just how dangerous is this kind of rhetoric?

Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker spoke with Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief of The Duran, to try to parse Fallon’s statement.

Britain is in the midst of a general election. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is a well-known opponent of nuclear weapons, despite his party’s general refusal to condemn them.

​So Fallon’s statement is purely political in nature, Mercouris explained. It aims to highlight the division between the Labor Party’s dominant faction and its leader, to depict him as a weak candidate.

“It’s a very irresponsible thing to do,” he told Becker.

So far, it’s worked. Mere hours after Corbyn made a statement Sunday that he would never authorize a pre-emptive nuclear strike, members of his party spoke out to the contrary. Interestingly, Mercouris pointed out, many within the Labour Party are perfectly aware of Fallon’s pretense and are “perfectly comfortable to play along,” he said.

There are those within the Labour Party opposed to Corbyn’s leadership, and his resistance to militarism will “freeze these people out,” Mercouris explained, rendering them unable to promote their own more aggressive ideas. These people are eager to deepen the division within the party, he says.

“The subject of the British nuclear weapons is far too serious and far too important to be used in this way,” Mercouris noted, adding that statements like Fallon’s, even if uttered away from media cameras, have a range of ramifications.

“If we start using them or threatening to use them on a regular, routine basis, then, I’m afraid, the whole structure of international relations we know will collapse and we will be in mortally dangerous situation; indeed, the one in which a disaster is likely to happen,” he added.

Mercouris noted an absence of criticism on the global stage toward May or US President Donald Trump for making threats of missile or even nuclear strikes, while other nations such as North Korea are threatened with retaliation merely for testing a nuclear weapon on their soil, calling the perspective of defense talks today akin to “Alice in Wonderland.”

If examined realistically, Mercouris noted, since the Korean war in the mid-20th century, North Korea has not started a single war with a foreign nation; NATO, on the other hand, has waged wars left and right in the meantime.

“It would be a complete reversal of fact to say that North Korea is the danger; it is a country which is in danger, and that’s why it is acquiring nuclear weapons,” he added.

It would be an interesting situation, Mercouris said, should Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping make a similar statement: to announce publicly that their countries would start a nuclear war if they felt threatened.

“The British establishment would have gone absolutely berserk on it,” he said, and waves of denunciation would have followed. “Especially, dare I say, if it would be made by Mr. Putin, who is a particular bogeyman in Britain. The Chinese leadership and North Korea — they’re too far away to concern the British people,” Mercouris said.

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

May ready to launch nuclear weapons as a first strike: Fallon

Press TV – April 24, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May will use nuclear weapons “as a first strike” against UK’s enemies, even if the country is not directly attacked, says Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

“In the most extreme circumstances we have made it very clear that you can’t rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike,” Fallon told state-funded BBC on Monday.

Asked what the circumstances would be, the British Defense chief said, “They are better not specified or described, which would only give comfort to our enemies and make the deterrent less credible.”

He further argued that “The whole point about the deterrent is that you have got to leave uncertainty in the mind of anyone who might be thinking of using weapons against this country.”

Later in the day, Fallon’s spokesman asserted that there was “no reason to disagree with what the defense secretary said.”

Last year, a vote in the House of Commons saw MPs vote for Trident’s renewal, which would cost billions of pounds.

Activists oppose the renewal of Trident, describing it as a violation of international commitments, unsafe and ill-suited for contemporary warfare.

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Corbyn makes election pledge to end Syria airstrikes and push for peace process

RT | April 24, 2017

Airstrikes should be suspended and all parties should get back to the negotiating table in a bid to end the Syrian war, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said.

Corbyn told the BBC Monday that he supported an end to the UK’s airstrikes in the war-ravaged country, and said that it was in the interests of all parties to return to the negotiating table.

“I would say to President Trump ‘listen, it’s in nobody’s interests for this war to continue. Let’s get the Geneva process going quickly,” he told the interviewer.

“In the meantime, no more strikes. Have the UN investigation into the war crime of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and take it on from there.”

“I want us to say ‘listen, let’s get people around the table quickly.’ A way of achieving that – suspend the strikes? Possibly. The point has to be to bring about a political solution.”

As Labour leader Corbyn opposed extending bombing to Syria in the 2015 vote on the issue, but gave his MPs a free hand to decide for themselves.

In the end, 66 Labour MPs backed the bombing.

Asked if he would use the UK’s extrajudicial drone assassination program to go after terrorist leaders like Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Corbyn asked: “What is the objective here?

“Is the objective to start more strikes which may kill many innocent people, as has happened, or is the objective to get a political solution in Syria? Approach it from that position,” he said.

“I think the leader of Isis not being around would be helpful. I am no supporter or defender in any way whatsoever of Isis. But I would also argue that the bombing campaign has killed a large number of civilians who are virtually prisoners of Isis, so you have got to think about these things.”

Corbyn’s comments came as Defence Secretary Michael Fallon took to the airwaves to blast the Labour leader.

In an interview with Sky News, Fallon said Corbyn’s approach to defense was “staggeringly irresponsible” and “chaotic” and would risk the security of the country if he was elected.

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

American Entry Into World War One

The Weekly Standard’s Fractured History and the Reality

The Sinking of the Lusitania, 1915 Painting. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Sinking of the Lusitania, 1915 Painting. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
By Stephen J. Sniegoski • Unz Review • April 24, 2017

It was one hundred years ago this month that America entered World War I, which began July 28, 1914.[1] On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson addressed a joint session of Congress and requested it to declare war on Germany. The Senate would vote in favor of war on April 4 and the House would follow suit on April 6. This essay critiques a recent article in The Weekly Standard by Geoffrey Norman, who has written articles on multiple topics in a number of mainstream journals in addition to neocon ones.[2] His article represents the conventional neocon thinking on World War I and since they have been major players in shaping American foreign policy—especially in the Middle East—Norman’s piece is of significance in understanding their foreign policy Weltanschauung. Moreover, this essay will try to bring out what appear to be the causes of American entry into the war.

For Norman, Germany was the villain in World War I, and largely because of its ruthless nature would have been a serious threat to the United States if it had won the war and expanded its power. He writes that during the German invasion and occupation of Belgium “civilian hostages were rounded up and executed by firing squad as a way to keep the populace terrified and docile. Germany was, from the beginning of the war, the aggressor.” Although British propaganda exaggerated German atrocities in Belgium, historians in recent years have concluded that the invading Germans did kill significant numbers of French and Belgian noncombatants. According to Alan Kramer in the International Encyclopedia of the First World War, “from August to October 1914 the German army intentionally executed 5,521 civilians in Belgium and 906 in France”[3] Kramer goes on to write, however, that “Essentialist claims about unique German ‘barbarism’ would be mistaken. . . . The Russian army committed many acts of violence during the invasion of East Prussia in August/September 1914. Germany denounced the Russians for having devastated thirty-nine towns and 1,900 villages and killed almost 1,500 civilians. Research by Alexander Watson has confirmed these figures, and he concludes that 1,491 German civilians were deliberately killed in executions and individual murders. Given the smaller population of East Prussia (about 1.7 million people in the areas invaded by the Russians) this was directly comparable to the intensity of violence against civilians during the invasion of Belgium in August/September 1914.”[4]

Killing civilians, however, would have nothing to do with determining the aggressor. Historians, however, have differed on the primary culprit for the war and have spread the responsibility to many of the major combatants.[5] Furthermore, it should be stressed that the German killing of Belgians would not come close to equaling the hundreds of thousands of German deaths resulting from the British starvation blockade, which will be discussed next.[6]

The United States had historically claimed its right as a neutral to be able to trade in non-contraband goods with belligerents and with other neutrals. The exact definition of these neutral rights, however, was not universally agreed upon. The United States had traditionally taken an expansive view of its rights as a neutral, which had, in the past, caused it to clash with the European powers, especially during the wars taking place during the era of the French Revolution and Napoleon.

In 1909, an effort had been made to define and codify the existing rules of wartime trade. These rights were incorporated in a legal document developed at the International Naval Conferences in London in 1909, which became known as the Declaration of London. The Declaration contained a number of features that were very favorable to neutrals. It was signed by all major countries that would fight in World War I, but it would only be ratified by the United States. Although Britain played a major role in the Conference, and the House of Commons would ratify the Declaration, the House of Lords rejected it on the grounds that it was unfair to major sea powers. Britain’s rejection dissuaded the other signatories from ratifying.

Nevertheless, shortly after the war began, U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan asked the major belligerents to abide by the Declaration of London. Germany and Austria said that they would conform contingent upon the Entente Powers doing likewise. Britain stated it would observe the requirements of the Declaration, though with certain modifications. Very soon, however, it would reject part and then almost all of restrictions embodied in the Declaration that applied to activities it deemed necessary to prosecute the war. This entailed seizing all goods that were helpful to its enemies, which would ultimately encompass preventing food from reaching the German civilian population. This was an obvious effort to starve the German people into submission–essentially Britain was making war on the civilian population, the prevention of which was a fundamental reason for having rules of warfare. Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty in 1914 and one of the framers of the scheme, admitted that its purpose was to “starve the whole population — men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission.’”[7] Norman even acknowledges this goal as he writes: “The Royal Navy ruled the seas—the surface of them, anyway. And its blockade threatened to starve Germany.” But while he is aghast at German actions that killed many fewer people, the starvation blockade does not engender any negative response from him whatsoever. In his obliviousness to the immorality of the British blockade, Norman is quite similar to Woodrow Wilson. Political scientist Robert W. Tucker points out that despite the Wilson administration’s concern about German activities that caused civilian deaths, “neither Wilson nor his advisors had expressed any qualms over the moral implication of the blockade.”[8]

Many aspects of the British blockade diverged significantly from the traditional interpretation of maritime law. For example, the Declaration of Paris of 1856 (still in force in 1914) held that a blockade to be legal had to be an effective close blockade, which would entail the stationing of a group of ships off an enemy port or coast. Declaring areas of the ocean that were entry ways to the enemy’s coast to be off-limits, as Britain did, failed to constitute a legitimate blockade.[9]

In regard to visiting and searching ships for contraband, which was allowed by international law, the British likewise took a questionable approach. The traditional way was to engage in this activity at sea. The British, instead, took the ships to their ports to search because it required a long time to search large modern ships during which the British warship would be vulnerable to attacks by submarines.[10]

Britain also inhibited neutral trade with Germany (and other neutrals) by applying the doctrine of “continuous voyage,” which meant that it would have the right to interdict goods brought to a neutral port by sea that were intended, in its opinion, to be sent to Germany by land. Heretofore, international law had only applied the concept of “continuous voyage” to a trip that went solely by sea. Furthermore, traditional international law only applied “continuous voyage” rules to absolute contraband—goods whose sole purpose was for warmaking—whereas the British applied these rules to almost every type of good.[11]

Another questionable step taken by Britain was the mining of the North Sea, which was the entry way for ships to reach neutral and German ports. To avoid possible destruction, merchant ships had to stop at a British port where they would get an Admiralty pilot to lead them through the mine fields. While there the ships would be searched and stripped of goods.[12] Although the neutrals, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, protested this practice, the United States refrained from joining them.[13]

The United States did protest many British violations of America’s neutral rights. Sometimes the British would yield on relatively insignificant points. And the British would compensate Americans for some losses. However, the United States never warned the British that their failure to comply with American demands would have drastic consequences. And ultimately the United States would tacitly acquiesce to the British position, which was often far different from what had traditionally been considered legitimate and what the United States had demanded in the past regarding its neutral rights.

Legal scholars Edwin Borchard and William Potter Lage point out that the U.S. made it known as early as December 1914 that it would give Britain wide latitude in determining its maritime policy. A U.S. note protesting the British violations of international law stated: “that the commerce between countries which are not belligerents should not be interfered with by those at war unless such interference is manifestly an imperative necessity to protect their national safety, and then only to the extent that it is a necessity.” Obviously, Britain could argue that everything it did during the war was absolutely necessary for its safety.[14]

It was the issue of German submarines that ultimately brought the U.S. into the war. Norman does little to explain why Germany would have to rely heavily on the submarine and simply looks upon its use as a justification for the U.S. entering the war. For example, he writes with some astonishment that “neutrality was the Wilson cause, even after a German submarine torpedoed the liner Lusitania on May 7, 1915. The ship sank in 18 minutes, and of the 1,198 passengers who drowned, 128 were Americans.” But it is not self-evident why the United States would consider such an attack as a justification for war. The ocean liner was a British ship; German submarines did not sink American ships. The German embassy had placed a warning in a New York newspaper that the Lusitania would be traveling into a war zone and was liable to be attacked by a German submarine. Unbeknownst to the passengers, the ship was carrying war munitions, a charge made by Germany that the British government did not fully acknowledge until 2014.[15]

Wilson considered the taking of lives by submarines as abhorrent, and thus put their use on a totally different level from the maritime violations by the British surface navy. Tucker quotes Wilson’s reference to this issue in his war address in 1917: “’Property can be paid for’, Wilson declared, ’the lives of peaceful innocent people cannot be.’”[16] Most Americans agreed that killing civilians was inhumane. As mentioned earlier, however, Wilson’s distinction did not actually apply since the British starvation blockade violated traditional international law by starving German non-combatants. Sinkings by submarines, however, understandably received more media attention than the slow deaths from starvation and this was heightened by the pro-British bias in most of the media.[17]

Making the submarine issue especially explosive was Wilson’s firm defense of the neutral right of American citizens to travel unmolested on Allied merchant ships. Tucker points out that this was the “only issue of diplomatic consequence to arise between Germany and the United States, it led America to the point of war with Germany.”[18]

It is not self-evident why Wilson, if he truly sought to avoid war, held that American citizens should have the right to travel unmolested on belligerent merchant ships when they could travel in safety on U.S. ships. Germany even offered to extend this safety to neutral and perhaps even a few belligerent liners that flew the American flag.[19] Certainly this met the needs of American travelers, but Wilson would not accept it because it violated principle—that is, the right of neutrals to travel on belligerent merchant ships, even armed belligerent merchant ships.

Wilson’s inflexibility on this issue is hard to justify since he was willing to alter other traditional maritime strictures to propitiate Britain, and the submarine was a new weapon for which the maritime rules had not been developed. Given the nature of the submarine (which will be discussed shortly), the logic of Wilson’s approach would essentially preclude German submarines from attacking a non-military British ship because there might be Americans aboard. It should be pointed out that American lives would also have been lost, if ships with Americans aboard had attempted to traverse the North Sea mine fields without first stopping at a British port.

Not having a surface navy comparable to that of Britain, Germany had to rely on submarines if it were to have any military impact at sea. Wilson demanded that the German submarines adhere to the traditional rules of cruiser warfare that would require a submarine to surface and fire a warning shot before searching the enemy merchant ship, or attacking it, if it tried to flee. Furthermore, before launching a torpedo, the submarine was expected to provide for the safety of the crew and any passengers. The submarines of the day were quite fragile, and could be destroyed by one shot from a naval gun, or rammed and sunk by a merchant ship. Many British merchant ships were armed and the British Admiralty had ordered them to ram German submarines. In essence, if submarines were to follow the rules made for surface warships, they would be largely ineffective.

Germany offered to follow the traditional rules of cruiser warfare if Britain disarmed its merchant ships. Britain refused to do this and the United States, though considering the matter, did not put pressure on it to do so. However, according to the traditional maritime rules of war, armed merchant ships could be treated as warships.[20] Nevertheless, the Wilson administration refused to apply this traditional interpretation on the grounds that the British intended to use those weapons only for defensive purposes. The leading World War I revisionist historian of the interwar period, Charles Callan Tansill, writes that if Wilson “had taken any decisive action against the admission of armed British merchantmen into American harbors, and if he had warned American citizens of the dangers that attended passage on belligerent vessels, America might well have been spared the great sacrifice of 1917-1918.”[21]

As it was, there were a few significant incidents in which German submarines would sink belligerent merchant vessels—the Arabic in August 1915 (two American lives lost) and the Sussex on March 24, 1916 (with four American casualties). To these, the Wilson administration would protest vigorously and get the Germans to make concessions. As a result of breaking relations in the Sussex case, Germany promised to stop unrestricted submarine warfare toward merchant ships of all countries, and relations were restored.

The unanimous view of Wilson by historians (as far as I know) is that in regard to the war in Europe, he made his own decisions and did not rely on the views of his advisors. Nonetheless, it should be pointed out that three of his key advisors on the subject—his closest associate, Colonel Edward House (who had an honorary title but did not hold an official government position); counselor of the State Department and later Secretary of State, Robert Lansing; and Ambassador to Great Britain, Walter Hines Page—wanted the U.S. to pursue an even more favorable policy toward Britain than Wilson, and all supported America’s entrance into the war considerably earlier than Wilson. Although Wilson did not automatically accept the opinions of his advisors, it would seem highly likely that their pro-British views affected his own thinking since in a number of areas they were more knowledgeable than he. Nonetheless, it is not apparent that he even wanted to enter the war, though his bias toward Britain would ineluctably lead in this direction. Moreover, the fact that Wilson won the election of 1916, campaigning on the slogan, “He kept us out of war,” indicated that it might not be politically feasible to go to war. Certainly, a significant part of the Democratic Party was against war.

There was one major figure close to Wilson who dissented from the pro-British viewpoint, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan. A leader of the Democratic Party, Bryan had been its candidate for president three times. And as an ardent opponent of war, Bryan believed that the U.S. should balance its firm line toward Germany on submarines with an equally strong stance toward Britain on America’s neutral rights. Moreover, he wanted the government to warn Americans that they would travel on belligerent ships at their own risk and to ban armed merchant ships from American ports. Wilson rejected all these measures on the grounds that they would violate America’s neutrality. Bryan resigned rather than sign a second harsh note regarding the Lusitania sinking in 1915 and Lansing would replace him as Secretary of State, which meant that the U.S. would become even more pro-British.

What Norman leaves out in his presentation are the economic factors that likely played a significant role in leading the United States to war. Some writers during the interwar period, both popular and professional historians, focused almost solely on America’s economic connection—American trade and loans– with the Allies as the cause of American involvement in the war. Greedy American banking interests—especially the House of Morgan, which served as the agent for the British and French in floating loans—and munitions makers were especially blamed, and this theory was pursued by the Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry (April 12, 1934–February 24, 1936), commonly known as the Nye Committee since it was chaired by staunch non-interventionist Senator Gerald P. Nye.

America was in an economic depression when the war began in August 1914. “It was the rapid growth of the munitions trade which rescued America from this serious economic situation,” writes Tansill.[22] And soon the Allies, especially Britain, became dependent on many types of goods from America—food, raw materials, and manufactured goods—which directly, or indirectly, aided their war effort. The American economy boomed, and those who benefited were not only a few bankers and “merchants of death” but also average American workers and farmers. But on the negative side, America’s now-booming economy was dependent on the war, not peaceful trade. Germany also sought goods from the United States but such trade was largely prevented by the British blockade.

It stands to reason that if the general American public materially benefited from the war trade—and would conceivably suffer severely from its elimination—it was politically necessary to continue a policy that benefited the Allies. America was essentially serving as a supply base for the Allied war effort, whereas Germany and the other Central Powers had to rely almost exclusively on their own populations and territory for their war needs. Obviously, Germany realized that this situation would be apt to lead to its defeat if the war dragged on too long.

Selling munitions by private companies, as opposed to governments, was traditionally considered legal for neutral states. However, Wilson could have been given the power by Congress to ban the sale of munitions and armaments, which it had done in 1912 regarding Mexico during its civil war, but Wilson did not request this authority and Congress did not grant it. Tansill maintains that because of the strong desire of the American people to stay out of the war it would have been politically feasible for the U.S. to have taken this position early in the war before the U.S. economy began to depend on this trade.[23]

Also, it became apparent that the warring countries would need loans to cover the cost of the war trade. Bryan, with Wilson’s approval, however, banned loans to the warring powers although neutrals were traditionally allowed to engage in this activity. However, Bryan allowed “credits,” and soon, owing to the realization that the warring parties did not have the funds to directly cover purchases, allowed what were essentially loans under the guise of “credits.”[24]

Credits and loans differed significantly from the fundamental trade of goods in their effect upon the parties involved. Tansill noted that “[a] loan to any of the belligerent nations would make the American investors partisans of the country whose bonds they had bought.” Tansill continues: “It is obvious that Secretary Bryan did not appreciate the strength of the economic ties that would be forged between the United States and the Allied Governments by the extension of large credits by American bankers to these same governments. He seemed unaware of the fact that there is little difference between credits and loans. These credits that had been authorized would bind the most articulate class in America to the Allied Powers.”[25]

In the end, it was America’s favoritism toward Britain and its Allies that caused Germany to accept war with the United States. America was not only serving as a supply base for the Allied war effort but was prohibiting Germany from making effective use of the submarine, its only way of competing with Britain at sea.

At the beginning of 1917, German naval and military leaders argued that even though unrestricted submarine warfare would almost guarantee an American declaration of war, for a long period of time it would be unlikely that a belligerent United States could do more damage to Germany than it was already doing with its benign neutrality toward the Allies. This was especially due to America’s lack of a large standing army which it would need to develop. Furthermore, German financial experts had calculated that the U.S. supply of munitions to the Allies was already at its peak so that its entrance into the war would likely cause this to decline significantly. Not only would unrestricted submarine warfare reduce the war supplies reaching the Allies but the U.S. as a belligerent would need to divert a significant proportion of its war production to its own expanding military.

While the German naval leaders presented the unrestricted submarine warfare as a virtual panacea to bring the war to a close, German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg questioned this claim, maintaining that it would be best to work for a compromise peace. In the end, the submarine warfare option was largely seen as a desperate gamble. Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, the German Army’s chief of staff, stated at the conference where these plans were solidified on January 8, 1917: “We are counting on the possibility of war with the United States, and have made all preparations to meet it. Things cannot be worse than they now are. The war must be brought to an end by the use of all means as soon as possible.”[26]

Embellishing his own interpretation, Norman appears to get the time sequences confused as he writes: “Then Russia quit the fight. The German troops fighting on that front could be sent to fight the French and the British. It was, the Germans believed, an opportunity to win the war in early 1918. So they decided to resume unrestricted submarine warfare.” Germany’s decision on submarine warfare on January 30, 1917 was made long before Russia left the war. While the Tsarist regime was overthrown in mid March 1917 (Western calendar), its replacement, the Provisional Government, continued the war — even though the Russian army was disintegrating as many soldiers refused to fight — until the Bolshevik Revolution in early November (Western calendar). And even after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, which officially removed Bolshevik-ruled Russia from the war, large numbers of German troops remained in the East as an occupying force.[27]

Norman acknowledges that the war did not achieve a good outcome. But he emphasizes that this was “was not a result of America and its allies being too tough. They—and especially Wilson—had been too idealistic, too naïve. Wilson seems to have believed his own high-minded rhetoric and denied the evidence in front of his face.” This allegedly obvious evidence was the evil nature of Germany, as Norman recaps Germany’s alleged war crimes: “Germany had been the aggressor nation in 1914. Had invaded Belgium and murdered that country’s citizens for committing war crimes when they resisted. Had imposed ruthlessly tough terms on Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Was ready to ally itself with Mexico in a war with the United States. Whatever it took to win Germany’s place in the sun—that was what the German rulers were willing to do.”

Having earlier dealt with the “rape of Belgium” and “war guilt” issues, it should now be noted that the territory the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk removed from Russia was inhabited largely by a number of non-Russian ethnic minorities—Ukrainians being the major one–and if this were a crime, it is odd why the United States today, and especially the Weekly Standard, condemn Russia for interfering in this very same region. Furthermore, Germany’s offer to align with Mexico against the United States was contingent upon the United States going to war against Germany. This tactic was hardly irregular since Britain was offering all types of territorial bribes in secret treaties—territory that belonged to other countries—to entice other countries and groups to make war against Germany and/or some of the other Central Powers.

Denying that the peace settlement imposed on Germany was too harsh, Norman contends that “a persuasive case can be made that if Wilson had been more ruthless at any point, the first war might have been won sooner and another one prevented. Only two of America’s wars have been bloodier than Wilson’s. Both the Civil War and World War II ended with total defeat and more or less unconditional surrender. And things were settled pretty much once and for all.”

Norman’s argument here is a standard defense for the failed wars that the neocons have advocated. For example, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not the cause of the disaster that has emerged there but instead was the result of an improper occupation, for which a number of scenarios have been presented. Regarding World War I, however, there are many factors that could have precluded the success of a more ruthless peace—British/French rivalry; the opposition of the American people; the inability to maintain such a situation; the effect this would have in generating more support for Leninist Communism, to name but a few. However, discussing these would require an entire new essay, and the fact of the matter is that the U.S. did not enter the war to destroy Germany.

Notes

[1] This was the date that Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. The major powers—Britain, France, Germany, and Russia—became involved at the beginning of August.

[2] Geoffrey Norman, “Woodrow Wilson’s War, One hundred years later, idealism still isn’t enough,” Weekly Standard, April 3, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/woodrow-wilsons-war/article/2007341

[3] Alan Kramer, “Atrocities,” International Encyclopedia of the First World War, http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/atrocities

[4] Kramer, “Atrocities.”

[5] For views by recent historians that reject the exclusive German guilt thesis, see Paul Gottfried, “Sleepwalk to Suicide,” American Conservative, January 21, 2014, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/sleepwalk-to-suicide/

[6] “Blockade of Germany,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockade_of_Germany In December 1918, the National Health Office in Berlin determined that 763,000 persons had died as a result of the blockade by that time. A study done in 1928 put the death toll at 424,000.

[7] Quoted in Ralph Raico, “The Blockade and Attempted Starvation of Germany,” review of The Politics of Hunger: Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915-1919 by C. Paul Vincent, Mises Daily Articles, May 7, 2010, https://mises.org/library/blockade-and-attempted-starvation-germany

[8] Robert W. Tucker, Woodrow Wilson and the Great War: Reconsidering America’s Neutrality 1914-1917 (Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Press, 2007) , p. 97.

[9] Charles Callan Tansill, America Goes to War (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1938), p. 216.

[10] Wayne S. Cole, An Interpretive History of American Foreign Relations, revised edition (Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1974), p. 288.

[11] Edwin Borchard and William Potter Lage, Neutrality for the United States, second edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940), pp. 15-16, 68-69.

[12] Justus D. Doenecke, Nothing Less than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I (Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2011), p. 47.

[13] Tansill, p. 177.

[14] Borchard and Lage, p. 34; Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1914, Supplement, The World War. Document 559, https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1914Supp/d559

[15] “Did Britain doom the Lusitania?,” BBC History Magazine, May 2015, http://www.historyextra.com/article/premium/did-britain-doom-lusitania

[16] Tucker, p. 142.

[17] Note that the deaths, including alleged deaths, caused today by Assad’s bombings in Syria cause far more concern than the many more deaths caused by Saudi bombings and blockade, supported by the United States, in Yemen.

[18] Tucker, p. 142.

[19] Tucker, p. 143.

[20] Borchard and Lage, p. 87.

[21] Tansill, p. 258.

[22] Tansill, p. 55.

[23] Tansill, p. 64.

[24] Doenecke, pp. 44.

[25] Tansill, p. 83.

[26] Patrick J. Buchanan, A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America’s Destiny (Washington: Regnery, 1999), p. 206.

[27] According to Timothy C. Downing in his article “Eastern Front” in the International Encyclopedia of the First World War: “The [German] occupation of Ukraine tied down thirty or forty divisions that might have enabled the Spring (Ludendorff) Offensives of 1918 to find success.”

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment