Aletho News


OWS knocks on US billionaires’ doors

Press TV – October 12, 2011

Hundreds of protesters marched in Manhattan to take the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) campaign to the doorsteps of US billionaires.

Protesters chanted “Tax the rich!” as they walked through Manhattan’s Upper East Side, pausing at homes of media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, banker, Jamie Dimon, and oil tycoon, David Koch, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

“Join us on a walking tour of the homes of some of the bank and corporate executives that don’t pay taxes, cut jobs, engaged in mortgage fraud, tanked our economy … all while giving themselves record-setting bonuses,” said NYC Communities for Change, one of the several groups organizing the protest.

Protesters said they were going to be made to suffer instead of the rich as of the start of 2012, when New York’s 2 percent ‘Millionaires Tax’ expires.

The OWS emerged on September 17, when a group of people began rallying in New York’s financial district to protest at ‘corporate greed’ and top-level corruption in the country.

The anti-Wall Street drive has seen protests erupting in major US cities and is being supported through ‘Occupy’ events in more than 1,400 cities across the globe.

The protesters have also adopted the nickname ‘the 99 percent.’ They have singled out for criticism specific people, whom are said to have enriched themselves at the expense of others to form the one percent wealthiest Americans.

They have also raised their voices against the supernumerary costs of the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to Thomson Reuters ASSET4 data, the average pay for top executives in the US is 142 times as much as that of the employees.

“Where’s my bailout?” also the ‘billionaires tour’ protesters shouted, protesting Wall Street’s 2008 bailouts for banks.

The US protesters say the generous bailouts hugely profited the banks, while the Joe Blow was made to take the brunt of job shortages and homelessness amid little help from the federal government.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on OWS knocks on US billionaires’ doors

Prisoner exchange deal reached between Hamas and Israel

By Khalid Amayreh – Palestine Information Center – 10/10/2011

After losing all hopes for rescuing imprisoned Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is held in the Gaza Strip, Israel has apparently agreed to accept virtually all Hamas’s conditions for a prisoner swap deal that would also see the release from Israeli jails and dungeons of as many as a thousand Palestinian prisoners, including men, women, and children.

Israeli prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said an agreement with Hamas had been reached and that Shalit would be returning home in the coming days.

Speaking during an emergency session of his cabinet Tuesday evening, Netanyahu said there was a window of opportunity to release Shalit which he said the government decided to seize.

Acting otherwise, he added, and in light of the “storms” blowing throughout the Arab world, could mean that “Shalit may never come back.”

Netanyahu was apparently alluding to the Arab Spring and the collapse of pro-Israeli regimes in both Egypt and Tunisia .

Hamas’ officials in the Gaza Strip and abroad have confirmed the conclusion of a swap agreement with Israel.

In Damascus, Hamas’ leader Khaled Mishaal revealed details of the long-awaited deal. He told an impromptu news conference in the Syrian capital that the swap deal stipulated the release of a thousand male prisoners as well as 27 female prisoners.

He also pointed out that the deal would see prisoners with multiple life-imprisonment terms from Jerusalem and the Arab community in Israel released.

Mishaal added that the deal would be carried out in two stages, first the transfer of Shalit outside the Gaza Strip, which would coincide with the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners, and second the release of the rest of the prisoners once Shalit returns to Israel.

Mishaal saluted the people of Gaza for their sacrifices and also thanked Egypt , Turkey , Syria and Germany for their positive roles in concluding the deal.

Abu Ubaida, a resistance Islamist leader in Gaza told al-Jazeera Television Tuesday night that the agreement was a landmark victory for Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions.

“This is a great victory for the Palestinian people. We send this gift to the martyrs, including Sheikh Ahmed Yasin.”

He said that Israel was forced to accede to virtually all the demands and conditions of Hamas.

According to the agreement, all women and children prisoners will also be freed.

Among prisoner leaders to be released are the main commanders of Hamas’s resistance wing including Abdullah Barghouthi, Yahya Sinwar, Abdullah al Sayed as well as leaders of the Islamic Jihad organization. Marwan el Barghouthi, the imprisoned Fatah leader, and Ahmed Saadat, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) will be among the freed prisoners.

A spokesman of the resistance movement in Gaza, Abu Mujahed, attributed the success of the deal to “the resilience and unflinching determination of the resistance to see to it that all our demands are met.”

“It was not easy, but eventually we are about to get what we wanted.”

He added that Palestinian freedom fighters knew from the very inception that Israel wouldn’t agree to free that many prisoners unless it was forced to.

“Israel only understands this language.”

Abu Mujahed said the deal also stipulated that Israel would meet all the demands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have gone on an open-ended hunger strike in protest against worsening prison conditions.

Egypt reportedly played a key role in concluding the deal.

An Egyptian official was quoted as saying that “after 64 months of tough negotiations we were able to complete the deal. It was a very difficult task, which included thousands of hours of negotiations.”

Egyptian officials have also said that the deal which has been reached also includes the release of accused Israeli spy Ilan Garpel.

During deliberations leading up to the Israeli acceptance of the deal, Netanyahu reportedly told his ministers that failing to endorse the deal would probably doom Shalit’s fate forever.

“If the government fails to approve the deal, the whole move to release Shalit could go down the drain, conceivably postponing his release by many years.”

Netanyahu spoke of “powerful storms” hovering over the Arab world, which he said would make rescuing Shalit utterly unlikely if the government didn’t seize this opportunity.

The deal is widely viewed as a great moral and political booster for Hamas. It is also likely to contribute to further enhancing relations between Hamas and Cairo.

Moreover, many Palestinians feel the deal will be especially auspicious in terms of pushing national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas forward.

Hamas’s fighters, along with fighters from the People Resistance and Army of Islam took part in the military operation on 25 June, 2006, during which Shalit was taken prisoners.

Israel tried in vain every conceivable feat and trick to repatriate Shalit, including launching widespread and murderous aggressions against the Gaza Strip in which thousands of Palestinians lost their lives.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Aletho News | Comments Off on Prisoner exchange deal reached between Hamas and Israel

Israel plans expulsion of some 60,000 Bedouin Palestinians

By Ben White – The Electronic Intifada – 10/11/2011

Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has drawn attention to plans by the Israeli government to expel 27,000 Bedouin Palestinians who currently live in what is known as ‘Area C’ of the West Bank.

The Civil Administration (CA) is planning to expel the Bedouin communities living in Area C in the West Bank, transferring some 27,000 persons from their homes. In the first phase, planned as early as January 2012, some 20 communities, comprising 2,300 persons, will be forcibly transferred to a site near the Abu Dis refuse dump, east of Jerusalem.

Area C, making up around 60 percent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is where most Israeli colonisation is concentrated, e.g. the largest settlements, military training zones, etc. (For more information on Area C see these UN reports from August 2011 and August 2010).

Palestinians who live in Area C have long faced severe discrimination under Israeli military rule, particularly when it comes to issues of housing. For example, a UN survey in 2008 found that 94 percent of building permit applications by Palestinians were denied by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Meanwhile, it was only a month ago that the Israeli cabinet approved a plan for the Negev that means the forcible relocation of around 30,000 Bedouin Palestinian citizens.

As I wrote at the time, this ‘transfer’ plan is directly linked to efforts to ‘Judaize’ the Negev: as Ramat Negev Regional Council mayor Shmuel Rifman put it, if the Israeli government does not “finalise the Bedouin settlement it will be very hard to enhance Jewish settlement in the Negev”.

In the West Bank, the same logic is at work. UN OCHA have also just released a factsheet on the displacement of Bedouin near Jerusalem in which they note:

The Bedouin’s current homes are located in an area that holds strategic significance for further expansion of Israeli settlements.

Thus in the de facto one state that exists between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, Israeli authorities are currently planning mass expulsions of around 60,000 Palestinians, specifically in order to free up more territory for Jewish settlement. The Nakba never finished.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Comments Off on Israel plans expulsion of some 60,000 Bedouin Palestinians

Israel demolishes mosque in Jordan Valley for the third time this year

Palestine Information Center – 11/10/2011

TOBAS — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) razed Khirbat Yirza mosque near Tobas city in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday for the third time this year, local sources said.

They said that IOF troops arrived to the village escorting bulldozers and cordoned off the mosque before starting to raze it.

The IOF is using the usual pretext of lack of construction permit, which a resident in the village refuted saying that the mosque was built four decades ago before the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Abdullah Misaeed told the PIC reporter that the residents have papers proving that the mosque was built before that date, adding that the Arab Bedouins inhabiting the village are adamant on praying in it even if it was reduced to rubble.

He said that the 200 inhabitants of the village are insistent on remaining put despite the repeated IOF demolition notices served to almost all inhabitants.

IOF army barracks surround the village and soldiers exercise using live ammunition daily.

Hamas MP Hamed Al-Beitawi described the demolition of the mosque as “racist”, and another proof of the terrorism exercised by the Israeli military and settlers against religious shrines.

Describing the act as a violation of international laws and norms, Beitawi, who is also chairman of the Palestinian scholars association, urged the Palestinian people to adopt serious positions in face of such aggression and to protect their mosques and holy shrines.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | 1 Comment

Israeli army arrests Popular Committee official in Beit Ummar early dawn raid

WAFA | October 11, 2011

HEBRON – Israeli army Tuesday arrested Ahmad Abu Hashem, secretary of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron in the southern West Bank, and took him to an unknown destination, said local sources.

The Committee’s spokesman, Mohammad Awad, told WAFA that Israeli army units raided Abu Hashem’s house, beat him and his sons, then arrested Abu Hashem and his son Yousef, 18, who suffered from bruises and injuries to his head and body.

Israeli soldiers used police dogs against Abu Hashem, spreading panic among his family members, and rummaged through his house, said Awad.

Meanwhile, four Palestinian minors from Azzun, a town east of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, were arrested early Tuesday, according to family members.

Israeli soldiers raided the town at dawn, inspected the youths’ family homes and arrested them, added the families, stressing that two of them are only 14 years old while a third is 15.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Israeli army arrests Popular Committee official in Beit Ummar early dawn raid

Murder in Paradise

Special Report on the Bombing of Cuban Air Flight 455

By JOSÉ PERTIERRA | CounterPunch | October 11, 2011

Bridgetown, Barbados – It was a peaceful Wednesday afternoon in Barbados 35 years ago.  Dalton Guiller had just finished a round of waterskiing and was refueling his boat on shore when a roar in the sky startled him.  A low-flying and apparently damaged airliner was fast approaching from the west toward the beach.  “It didn’t look right.  It was too low.  I then saw the plane rise slightly, bank to the right and crash into the water: nose and wing first,” said Guiller.

At the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, Professor Cecilia Karch-Braithwaite also heard the loud droning of a passenger plane overhead.  She told me, “It was unusual, because the aircraft was flying too low and was on a path that planes never take when they approach the airport.”  She remembers seeing smoke coming from the side of the plane as it banked to the right and dove nose first into the waters of Paradise Beach.  The university is located on a hill five miles from the beach.

I met Guiller and Karch-Braithwaite in Barbardos during last week’s ceremonies to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the murder of the 73 people aboard the Cuban passenger plane that crashed only a few minutes after takeoff from Seawell International Airport in Barbados.  Their memories of that day are still vivid.


The aircraft was a DC-8, flown by Cubana de Aviación.  It had received its regular maintenance only 10 days earlier and carried 73 persons the day it crashed.   The average age on board was a mere 30 years of age, because 24 members of the Cuban  fencing team were returning to Cuba after having swept the gold medals at the Pan American games in Caracas, Venezuela.  They boarded the plane wearing their medals.  In total, there were 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and 5 Koreans.


At 1:23 p.m., local time, Seawell International Airport reported that the pilot, Wilfredo Pérez, called to report an emergency on board, “Seawell! Seawell! CU-455 Seawell. . . ! We have an explosion on board. . . . . We have a fire on board.”   A forensic investigation made by Dr. Julio Lara Alonso established that two bombs exploded aboard CU-455, causing it to crash into the sea.  The first bomb—under a passenger seat—ignited a fire near the front of the plane, and the second bomb, which exploded about eight minutes later in the rear bathroom of the plane, brought the plane down in seconds.


Two Venezuelan nationals, Hernán Ricardo and Freddy Lugo, had left the bombs on the plane, before disembarking in Barbados.  Lugo later told police officials that Ricardo boasted that the 73 people he killed on the plane were “more than the Jackal,” alluding to the famous terrorist Carlos the Jackal.  “Now I’m the one who has the record, because I’m the one who blew up that thing,” he told Lugo.

Ricardo confessed to Barbadian and Trinidad officials who were investigating the crime that he and Lugo bombed the plane and that they worked for the CIA and Luis Posada Carriles.  He even drew a diagram for them of the detonator he used to ignite the C-4 explosives he placed in the aircraft.  He admitted to receiving $25,000 for downing the plane.

Lugo and Ricardo were extradited to Venezuela by Trinidad and Tobago.  There they were convicted for their role in downing the plane and sentenced to 20 years.  After serving their time, they were released.  Lugo still lives in Caracas, driving a taxi to earn his living.  The Miami Herald reported that Ricardo is now an undercover operative in Florida for the Drug Enforcement Administration.


In 1985 Luis Posada Carriles was indicted and prosecuted as the mastermind of the murder of the 73 persons aboard that plane. But before the Venezuelan court could pronounce a verdict, he escaped from prison.  Within a few weeks, he landed a job with the CIA in an operation that later became known as the Iran-Contra scandal.  The United States has never bothered to explain how it was possible for an international fugitive charged with 73 counts of first-degree murder to so quickly land a $120,000-a-year job with the CIA, arming Nicaraguan Contras.


When he saw the plane crash into the water, Dalton Guiller immediately swung his small ski boat around and in two minutes arrived on the scene.  “I was with two other chaps, and we went to see whether there were any survivors.  Unfortunately, there were none,” he said.    Surrounded by a strong of smell of fuel, Guiller surveyed the horror.  “I saw suitcases, seats, and personal effects.  I saw bodies: only one or two of them intact.  The others were not full bodies.”  He added, “They were suspended at the level of the sea.  Perhaps the seat belts cut them off, I could not tell.  It was just striking that two or three of the bodies were perpendicular under the sea.  Trousers, but no top.  Top, but no bottom.”

The forensic report performed by the Barbadian coroner describes the condition of the body of little Sabrina, a nine-year old Guyanese girl who was traveling with her family to Cuba:  “Body of a girl around 9 years of age . . . . Brain missing, only facial bones, scalp, and hair remaining. Lungs and heart destroyed. Liver and intestines shattered.  Buttocks missing on right lower limb. Compound fracture of tibia and fibula . . . “


The impetus for the horror that invaded paradise that day in Barbados was hatred.  Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, terrorists have murdered 2,478 Cubans and incapacitated 2,099 others.

Declassified U.S. intelligence cables reveal that Luis Posada Carriles had spoken of plans to “hit” a Cuban airliner only days before Ricardo and Lugo blew up CU-455.  The CIA informed Washington, but no one uttered a word of warning to the Cuban or Venezuelan governments.

What happened in Barbados three and a half decades ago is not an isolated incident.  The threat persists.  From his lair in Miami, one of the masterminds of the attack on the Cuban airliner, Luis Posada Carriles, continues to call for violence against the Cuban people.  His friends continue their efforts to violently lash out at the people of Cuba in an effort to terrorize them into supporting the forceful overthrow of the Cuban government.


Posada Carriles readily admits his relationship with the CIA.  His lawyer told a federal court judge that everything his client did in Latin America he did in the “name of Washington.”

What, then, is it that Mr. Posada did in Latin America “in the name of Washington”? Besides the mass murder of the people aboard that passenger plane, Posada tortured Venezuelans in the 1970s, assisted in the murder of Nicaraguans in the 1980s, and trained Guatemalan and Salvadoran death squads in the 1980s and 1990s.  He also planned a series of bombings at prominent Cuban hotels and restaurants in 1997, resulting in the murder of Italian businessman Fabio DiCelmo and the wounding of several others.  He also conspired to assassinate the president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, several times, including in 2000 at the University of Panamá, where he planned to use 100 pounds of C-4 explosives to blow up a university auditorium full of students along with the Cuban president.

The cruelty of a 50-year war of terror against Cuba is abhorrent.  The training that the United States has given Cuban-American terrorists is immoral.  Providing them with weapons is a scandal: continuing to protect them an outrage.


In contrast to the United States, Venezuela does not assassinate those it alleges are terrorists.  It relies on the rule of law to pursue them, but for the rule of law to be effective, the other parties to those laws, including the United States, must observe their legal obligations.  When Posada Carriles illegally arrived in the United States in 1985, Venezuela immediately filed an extradition request, based on an extradition treaty that dates back to 1922 and on an international convention designed to combat terrorism: the Montreal Convention on Civil Aviation.  Rather than extraditing Posada Carriles to Venezuela, the U.S. government instead tried him for minor immigration violations in El Paso, and a jury acquitted him of those in April of this year. He now lives freely in Miami.

United Nations Resolution 1373 forbids the harboring of terrorists by member nations.  This resolution was introduced by the United States to combat terrorism after the tragedy of 9-11.  Does it not also oblige the United States to extradite the terrorists it harbors?


Thirteen years ago, the United States government arrested, convicted and subsequently sentenced Five Cubans in Miami to long prison terms, but they were not terrorists.

The Five had gone to Miami to gather evidence against Cuban-American terrorists. In 1998, Cuba turned the evidence over to the FBI in the hope that the terrorists would be arrested and prosecuted.  Yet the U.S. government didn’t arrest or charge the terrorists.  Instead it arrested, charged, and imprisoned those who had gathered the evidence. The Cuban Five have been in jail now for 13 cruel years.

Gerardo Hernández is serving two life terms plus 15 years.  The Court of Appeals ratified his sentence.   Even if he dies in prison twice and resurrects each time, he would still not have completed his sentence.

Ramón Labañino was sentenced to a life term plus 18 years—subsequently the Court of Appeals ruled the sentence to be in violation of the law for being too harsh, vacated it and remanded his case to the same judge who had sentenced him.  Judge Joan Lenard in Miami re-sentenced him and reduced the sentence to “only” 30 years.

Antonio Guerrero was sentenced to a life term plus 10 years.  The Court of Appeals vacated his sentence, and Judge Lenard reduced it to “only” 21 years and ten months.

Fernando Gonzalez was sentenced to 19 years. The Court of Appeals vacated it, and Judge Lenard reduced it to “only” 17 years and 9 months.

René González was sentenced to 15 years. The Court of Appeals ratified his sentence, and he was released from jail on October 7.  However, his release comes with conditions.  He is not allowed to return to Cuba, as he wishes, to rejoin his wife and children but must instead remain in the United States for three more years—an additional punishment as cruel as it is irresponsible.  The terrorists that the United States protects are free and would relish exacting their revenge on the man who monitored their activities on behalf of Cuba.


Getting the United States to extradite Luis Posada Carriles is not easy, and convincing President Barack Obama to free the Cuban Five will also be difficult.  Neither case appears on the radar of American public opinion.  The United States counts on the indifference of people.  It knows that indifference is the unsung ally of injustice.

But as people learn about the history of terrorism against Cuba they grow indignant and demand justice.  Indifference crumbles when confronted with indignation.


The 73 persons assassinated in cold blood 35 years ago in Barbados are not forgotten.  As I stood on Paradise Beach in front of the monument to their memory, I listened to the national anthems of Cuba and Barbados and scanned the sea before me, where the plane lies at the bottom of Deep Water Bay, remembering that the remains of 58 persons were never recovered.

Standing next to me at the monument was the son of Wilfredo Pérez, the brave pilot who steered the aircraft away from the sandy beach to avoid killing dozens of Barbadians on shore.   Wilfredo (he is named after his father) could have easily allowed hatred to consume him, but instead he became a psychologist.  His life’s work is to help broken people to mend.

Killed aboard that plane was also Nancy Uranga, a pregnant 22-year-old fencer from Cuba.  It is well known that 73 persons were killed that day over Barbados, but few know that Nancy was pregnant and that the terrorists killed her unborn child as well.

The terrorists also killed Carlos Cremata that day.  Carlos was 41 years old.  He was a member of the crew and also an actor.  His friends and family recall that Carlos always greeted them with, “Viva la vida” (Long live life).  One of his sons, Carlos Alberto Cremata, founded one of the world’s most renowned children’s theater companies—La Colmenita (The Little Beehive)—whose mission is “sembrar el amor” (to sow love).  La Colmenita is now on tour in the United States.

There is a history of injustice in the waters of Paradise Beach in Barbados.  The cold-blooded murder of the 73 people aboard that passenger plane was a crime against them, their families, and their countries.  It was also a crime against Barbados and its people.


The Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder Jr., is a Bajan-American.  He was raised in a Bajan household in New York.  His father, Eric Sr., was born in Barbados and married the daughter of Barbadian immigrants.

When he visited Barbados in 2008, the soon-to-be nominated Attorney General said, “I feel that I grew up partly in Barbados and partly in New York.”

History has now given him an opportunity to solve a mass murder that occurred in his parents’ home country 35 years ago.  Mr. Holder can present to a United States District Court Venezuela’s request for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles.  He can also recommend that President Obama exercise his constitutional power of executive clemency to free the Cuban Five.


The extradition of Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela and the liberation of the Cuban Five are the responsibility of the United States and its people.  More than merely legal issues, they are a moral imperative.  At stake are not simply the facts of two particular criminal cases but bedrock principles of social justice and the character of the United States as a nation.

Will Eric Holder and President Barack Obama be up to the task?  Will the people of the United States demand justice?

José Pertierra is an attorney.  He represents the government of Venezuela in the extradition case of Luis Posada Carriles.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

The Real Story of How Israel Was Created [Stolen]

By ALISON WEIR | October 11, 2011

To better understand the Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations, it is important to understand the original 1947 UN action on Israel-Palestine.

The common representation of Israel’s birth is that the UN created Israel, that the world was in favor of this move, and that the US governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect.

In reality, while the UN General Assembly recommended the creation of a Jewish state in part of Palestine, that recommendation was non-binding and never implemented by the Security Council.

Second, the General Assembly passed that recommendation only after Israel proponents threatened and bribed numerous countries in order to gain a required two-thirds of votes.

Third, the US administration supported the recommendation out of domestic electoral considerations, and took this position over the strenuous objections of the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

The passage of the General Assembly recommendation sparked increased violence in the region. Over the following months the armed wing of the pro-Israel movement, which had long been preparing for war, perpetrated a series of massacres and expulsions throughout Palestine, implementing a plan to clear the way for a majority-Jewish state.

It was this armed aggression, and the ethnic cleansing of at least three-quarters of a million indigenous Palestinians, that created the Jewish state on land that had been 95 per cent non-Jewish prior to Zionist immigration and that even after years of immigration remained 70 per cent non-Jewish. And despite the shallow patina of legality its partisans extracted from the General Assembly, Israel was born over the opposition of American experts and of governments around the world, who opposed it on both pragmatic and moral grounds.

Let us look at the specifics.

Background of the UN partition recommendation

In 1947 the UN took up the question of Palestine, a territory that was then administered by the British.

Approximately 50 years before, a movement called political Zionism had begun in Europe. Its intention was to create a Jewish state in Palestine through pushing out the Christian and Muslim inhabitants who made up over 95 per cent of its population and replacing them with Jewish immigrants.

As this colonial project grew through subsequent years, the indigenous Palestinians reacted with occasional bouts of violence; Zionists had anticipated this since people usually resist being expelled from their land. In various written documents cited by numerous Palestinian and Israeli historians, they discussed their strategy: they would buy up the land until all the previous inhabitants had emigrated, or, failing this, use violence to force them out.

When the buy-out effort was able to obtain only a few per cent of the land, Zionists created a number of terrorist groups to fight against both the Palestinians and the British. Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin later bragged that Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large.

Finally, in 1947 the British announced that they would be ending their control of Palestine, which had been created through the League of Nations following World War One, and turned the question of Palestine over to the United Nations.

At this time, the Zionist immigration and buyout project had increased the Jewish population of Palestine to 30 per cent and land ownership from 1 per cent to approximately 6 per cent.

Since a founding principle of the UN was “self-determination of peoples,” one would have expected to the UN to support fair, democratic elections in which inhabitants could create their own independent country.

Instead, Zionists pushed for a General Assembly resolution in which they would be given a disproportionate 55 per cent of Palestine. (While they rarely announced this publicly, their stated plan was to later take the rest of Palestine.)

U.S. Officials Oppose Partition Plan

The U.S. State Department opposed this partition plan strenuously, considering Zionism contrary to both fundamental American principles and US interests.

Author Donald Neff reports that Loy Henderson, Director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, wrote a memo to the Secretary of State warning:

 “….support by the Government of the United States of a policy favoring the setting up of a Jewish State in Palestine would be contrary to the wishes of a large majority of the local inhabitants with respect to their form of government. Furthermore, it would have a strongly adverse effect upon American interests throughout the Near and Middle East…”

Henderson went on to emphasize:

“At the present time the United States has a moral prestige in the Near and Middle East unequaled by that of any other great power. We would lose that prestige and would be likely for many years to be considered as a betrayer of the high principles which we ourselves have enunciated during the period of the war.”

When Zionists began pushing for a partition plan through the UN, Henderson recommended strongly against supporting their proposal. He warned that such a partition would have to be implemented by force and emphasized that it was “not based on any principle.” He went on to write:

“…[partition] would guarantee that the Palestine problem would be permanent and still more complicated in the future…”

Henderson went on to emphasize:

….[proposals for partition] are in definite contravention to various principles laid down in the [UN] Charter as well as to principles on which American concepts of Government are based. These proposals, for instance, ignore such principles as self-determination and majority rule. They recognize the principle of a theocratic racial state and even go so far in several instances as to discriminate on grounds of religion and race…”

Henderson was far from alone in making his recommendations. He wrote that his views were not only those of the entire Near East Division but were shared by “nearly every member of the Foreign Service or of the Department who has worked to any appreciable extent on Near Eastern problems.”

Henderson wasn’t exaggerating. Official after official and agency after agency opposed Zionism.

In 1947 the CIA reported that Zionist leadership was pursuing objectives that would endanger both Jews and “the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”

Truman Accedes to Pro-Israel Lobby

President Harry Truman, however, ignored this advice. Truman’s political advisor, Clark Clifford, believed that the Jewish vote and contributions were essential to winning the upcoming presidential election, and that supporting the partition plan would garner that support. (Truman’s opponent, Dewey, took similar stands for similar reasons.)

Truman’s Secretary of State George Marshall, the renowned World War II General and author of the Marshall Plan, was furious to see electoral considerations taking precedence over policies based on national interest. He condemned what he called a “transparent dodge to win a few votes,” which would cause “[t]he great dignity of the office of President [to be] seriously diminished.”

Marshall wrote that the counsel offered by Clifford “was based on domestic political considerations, while the problem which confronted us was international. I said bluntly that if the President were to follow Mr. Clifford’s advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the President…”

Henry F. Grady, who has been called “America’s top diplomatic soldier for a critical period of the Cold War,” headed a 1946 commission aimed at coming up with a solution for Palestine. Grady later wrote about the Zionist lobby and its damaging effect on US national interests.

Grady argued that without Zionist pressure, the U.S. would not have had “the ill-will with the Arab states, which are of such strategic importance in our ‘cold war’ with the soviets.” He also described the decisive power of the lobby:

“I have had a good deal of experience with lobbies but this group started where those of my experience had ended….. I have headed a number of government missions but in no other have I ever experienced so much disloyalty”…… “in the United States, since there is no political force to counterbalance Zionism, its campaigns are apt to be decisive.”

Former Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson also opposed Zionism. Acheson’s biographer writes that Acheson “worried that the West would pay a high price for Israel.” Another Author, John Mulhall, records Acheson’s warning:

 “…to transform [Palestine] into a Jewish State capable of receiving a million or more immigrants would vastly exacerbate the political problem and imperil not only American but all Western interests in the Near East.”

Secretary of Defense James Forrestal also tried, unsuccessfully, to oppose the Zionists. He was outraged that Truman’s Mideast policy was based on what he called “squalid political purposes,” asserting that “United States policy should be based on United States national interests and not on domestic political considerations.”

Forrestal represented the general Pentagon view when he said that “no group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point where it could endanger our national security.”

A report by the National Security Council warned that the Palestine turmoil was acutely endangering the security of the United States. A CIA report stressed the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil resources.

Similarly, George F. Kennan, the State Department’s Director of Policy Planning, issued a top-secret document on January 19, 1947 that outlined the enormous damage done to the US by the partition plan (“Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States with Respect to Palestine”).

Kennan cautioned that “important U.S. oil concessions and air base rights” could be lost through US support for partition and warned that the USSR stood to gain by the partition plan.

Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s nephew and a legendary intelligence agent, was another who was deeply disturbed by events, noting:

“The process by which Zionist Jews have been able to promote American support for the partition of Palestine demonstrates the vital need of a foreign policy based on national rather than partisan interests… Only when the national interests of the United States, in their highest terms, take precedence over all other considerations, can a logical, farseeing foreign policy be evolved. No American political leader has the right to compromise American interests to gain partisan votes…”

He went on:

“The present course of world crisis will increasingly force upon Americans the realization that their national interests and those of the proposed Jewish state in Palestine are going to conflict. It is to be hoped that American Zionists and non-Zionists alike will come to grips with the realities of the problem.”

The head of the State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam, warned against the partition plan on moral grounds:

“U.S. support for partition of Palestine as a solution to that problem can be justified only on the basis of Arab and Jewish consent. Otherwise we should violate the principle of self-determination which has been written into the Atlantic Charter, the declaration of the United Nations, and the United Nations Charter–a principle that is deeply embedded in our foreign policy. Even a United Nations determination in favor of partition would be, in the absence of such consent, a stultification and violation of UN’s own charter.”

Merriam added that without consent, “bloodshed and chaos” would follow, a tragically accurate prediction.

An internal State Department memorandum accurately predicted how Israel would be born through armed aggression masked as defense:

“…the Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN…In the event of such Arab outside aid the Jews will come running to the Security Council with the claim that their state is the object of armed aggression and will use every means to obscure the fact that it is their own armed aggression against the Arabs inside which is the cause of Arab counter-attack.”

And American Vice Consul William J. Porter foresaw another outcome of the partition plan: that no Arab State would actually ever come to be in Palestine.

Pro-Israel Pressure on General Assembly Members

When it was clear that the Partition recommendation did not have the required two-thirds of the UN General Assembly to pass, Zionists pushed through a delay in the vote. They then used this period to pressure numerous nations into voting for the recommendation. A number of people later described this campaign.

Robert Nathan, a Zionist who had worked for the US government and who was particularly active in the Jewish Agency, wrote afterward, “We used any tools at hand,” such as telling certain delegations that the Zionists would use their influence to block economic aid to any countries that did not vote the right way.

Another Zionist proudly stated:

“Every clue was meticulously checked and pursued. Not the smallest or the remotest of nations, but was contacted and wooed. Nothing was left to chance.”

Financier and longtime presidential advisor Bernard Baruch told France it would lose U.S. aid if it voted against partition. Top White House executive assistant David Niles organized pressure on Liberia; rubber magnate Harvey Firestone pressured Liberia.

Latin American delegates were told that the Pan-American highway construction project would be more likely if they voted yes. Delegates’ wives received mink coats (the wife of the Cuban delegate returned hers); Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres reportedly received a blank checkbook. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its original vote opposing partition.

Longtime Zionist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, along with ten senators and Truman domestic advisor Clark Clifford, threatened the Philippines (seven bills were pending on the Philippines in Congress).

Before the vote on the plan, the Philippine delegate had given a passionate speech against partition, defending the inviolable “primordial rights of a people to determine their political future and to preserve the territorial integrity of their native land…”

He went on to say that he could not believe that the General Assembly would sanction a move that would place the world “back on the road to the dangerous principles of racial exclusiveness and to the archaic documents of theocratic governments.”

Twenty-four hours later, after intense Zionist pressure, the delegate voted in favor of partition.

The U.S. delegation to the U.N. was so outraged when Truman insisted that they support partition that the State Department director of U.N. Affairs was sent to New York to prevent the delegates from resigning en masse.

On Nov 29, 1947 the partition resolution, 181, passed. While this resolution is frequently cited, it was of limited (if any) legal impact. General Assembly resolutions, unlike Security Council resolutions, are not binding on member states. For this reason, the resolution requested that “[t]he Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation,” which the Security Council never did. Legally, the General Assembly Resolution was a “recommendation” and did not create any states.

What it did do, however, was increase the fighting in Palestine. Within months (and before Israel dates the beginning of its founding war) the Zionists had forced out 413,794 people. Zionist military units had stealthily been preparing for war before the UN vote and had acquired massive weaponry, some of it through a widespread network of illicit gunrunning operations in the US under a number of front groups.

The UN eventually managed to create a temporary and very partial ceasefire. A Swedish UN mediator who had previously rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis was dispatched to negotiate an end to the violence. Israeli assassins killed him and Israel continued what it was to call its “war of independence.”

At the end of this war, through a larger military force than that of its adversaries and the ruthless implementation of plans to push out as many non-Jews as possible, Israel came into existence on 78 per cent of Palestine.

At least 33 massacres of Palestinian civilians were perpetrated, half of them before a single Arab army had entered the conflict, hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed, and a team of cartographers was sent out to give every town, village, river, and hillock a new, Hebrew name. All vestiges of Palestinian habitation, history, and culture were to be erased from history, an effort that almost succeeded.

Israel, which claims to be the “only democracy in the Middle East,’ decided not to declare official borders or to write a constitution, a situation which continues to this day. In 1967 it took still more Palestinian and Syrian land, which is now illegally occupied territory, since the annexation of land through military conquest is outlawed by modern international law. It has continued this campaign of growth through armed acquisition and illegal confiscation of land ever since.

Individual Israelis, like Palestinians and all people, are legally and morally entitled to an array of human rights.

On the other hand, the state of Israel’s vaunted “right to exist” is based on an alleged “right” derived from might, an outmoded concept that international legal conventions do not recognize, and in fact specifically prohibit.


Alison Weir is president of the Council for the National Interest and executive director of If Americans Knew. See the “History of US-Israel Relations” on both the IAK and the CNI websites for detailed citations for the above information. Additional references can be found in “How Palestine Became Israel.”


October 11, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Hezbollah Urges Brothers in Egypt to Adopt Dialogue to Resolve Crises

Al-Manar | October 11, 2011

Hezbollah expressed its deep sorrow regarding the events that took place in Egypt during the past hours which claimed the lives of many Egyptian people.

In a statement issued Monday, Hezbollah believed that “such events present a kind of sedition planned by the enemies of Egypt and the Arabs, Muslims and Christians.”

“What is happening is an integral part of the American project aimed at the overall fragmentation of the region based on racial, religious and ethnic basis,” the statement read.

Hezbollah called on brothers in Egypt to be aware of the dangers plotted against them and urged them to adopt dialogue as a means to resolve problems and crises.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Aletho News | Comments Off on Hezbollah Urges Brothers in Egypt to Adopt Dialogue to Resolve Crises

The Israel Lobby’s Mastery of the Subtle Art of Persuasion

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | October 11, 2011

In Ken Silverstein’s Salon piece on the Israel lobby’s pro-Georgian section, he describes pro-Israeli organisations as “the true masters at spinning and pampering journalists.” To back up his claim, Silverstein provides a link to a fascinating article in the Boston Globe from 2007 entitled “I was lobbied by the ‘Israel lobby.’”

Beginning the piece with a brief overview of the debate surrounding the publication of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” Elaine McArdle admits that she wasn’t around when the controversy broke:

“I happened to be in Israel with eight other American journalists, on a first-class, all-expenses-paid tour funded entirely by AIPAC.”

McArdle goes on to acknowledge how susceptible her profession is to being lobbied by the lobby:

And although mainstream news organizations still bar their staff reporters from taking paid junkets, others aren’t shy at all. Recent tours have included staff from “The Daily Show” and reporters from Spanish and African-American media. “There’s hardly a journalist left in D.C. who hasn’t taken this trip,” one AIPAC representative told us, with only some sense of overstatement.


I’ve never written about foreign policy, and despite Mearsheimer and Walt’s book, I don’t have any reason to think of AIPAC as different than any other lobbying group. Still, after a friend gave them my name and the invitation came, I struggled over whether to accept such a lavish gift from an organization with something to sell. I consulted with other journalists, most of whom asked only one question: How could they get on the next AIPAC trip?

She then describes the trip:

Our weeklong tour would cost AIPAC around $5,000 per person, including six nights in first-class hotels, [AIPAC spokesman Josh] Block told me. AIPAC was asking nothing of us in return. No one in our group – mainly freelance writers like me, with little experience in foreign policy – had assignments to write about Israel.

And there was no hard sell in sight.

Flying business class meant free cocktails in the elite-passenger lounges at Logan and in Newark, hot towels and cold drinks fetched by the flight attendant, and a seat that folded into a bed. I slept the nine-hour flight to Tel Aviv. AIPAC handlers met us at the airport to smooth our passage through customs. A luxury bus drove us through the stunning countryside to Jerusalem, where we checked into the five-star Inbal Hotel in the heart of the city.

Over the next seven days, led by a renowned archeologist, we toured the desert by bus and the Old City in Jerusalem by foot. We lay on the beach in Tel Aviv, a city as vibrant and sophisticated as Manhattan. We saw the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and played with Ethiopian toddlers in an immigrant absorption center. On our first night in Jerusalem, we sat at an outdoor cafe smoking tobacco through an enormous hookah pipe as nearby tables of young men and women – many in army uniforms and carrying M-16s – laughed and flirted in the cool night air.

On her return to Boston, McArdle, who describes herself as an “experienced journalist,” wondered if she had been swayed by the experience and decided to consult some experts:

I was well aware that I had heard only one side of the story on my trip. So how could I be susceptible to persuasion? But I also knew that any lobbying group that drops thousands of dollars on someone expects to get something in return.

I called John A. Bargh, a Yale psychology professor who studies nonconscious influences on behavior, and walked him through the details of my junket. Did he think I was swayed by the experience? “Of course you are,” he said. “You’d almost have to be. And you can’t know it.”

A key tool in the subtle art of persuasion, he said, is reciprocity: offer someone a pleasant experience or gift and they feel an almost irresistible obligation to return the favor. The norm of reciprocity cuts across every culture, and the value of the gift is irrelevant: a cup of coffee is as effective as an extravagant trip. Another tool is to provide friendship and human connection – it’s inevitable that a bond will develop when you spend substantial time with someone, especially in a foreign place, where you depend on them.

In the case of the AIPAC junket, it was a one-two punch: an unforgettable and emotionally charged week with warm, likable people – generous hosts and tour guides whom I worried about after returning to the safety of life in Massachusetts.

Emily Pronin, an assistant professor of psychology at Princeton who studies how bias works in the human mind, told me that she and others have found that although we are quick to spot bias in others, bias in ourselves operates almost entirely on a subconscious level. She calls it the “bias blind spot.” Scalia’s cozy weekend was innocent in his own eyes. Doctors who worry about the sway of pharmaceutical companies over their colleagues insist that their own medical judgment would never be affected. Journalists think they’re too savvy to be hustled by lobbyists. We’re all operating under a fundamental misperception about the soft sell: that we’ll see it happening and avoid it.

“It’s a perception of bias as conscious, evil, corrupt behavior,” she told me. “As long as we think that’s how it goes, we’ll continue to say it doesn’t affect us.”

Since we’re all deeply invested in our own sense of integrity – and being accused of bias is an affront – we are primed to deny it. Because bias is subconscious, Bargh said, when our opinion does change we’ll convince ourselves that it’s because objective reality has changed, or that we didn’t have enough facts before.

With a new understanding of the subtleties of influence, McArdle found herself wondering how much her opinion on Israel had been moved by the trip:

It’s not hard for me to acknowledge that I’m much more sympathetic to the predicament of Israel than I was before I saw the place so extensively with my own eyes. Traveling the countryside has given me a much clearer picture of its precarious state, with a mere 9 miles separating the West Bank from Tel Aviv – less than from Boston to Concord, and easy distance for rockets. You can certainly see why Israel wouldn’t give up the West Bank until it has a partner it can trust. Its existence – and the lives of the people we met – are at risk.

Before the junket, I would have described myself as admiring of Israel but increasingly disturbed by its human rights violations.

Now I would say I find myself aligned with a growing group of former Israeli leftists, those who once believed a peaceful solution was imminent but after the debacle of Gaza have, with heavy hearts, lost their bearings and moved toward the center.

She concludes the piece thus:

Was I swayed by AIPAC? It is hard for me to say. I don’t think so. Of course I don’t.

The lobby, however, knows better.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment