Aletho News


Likud MK Danon: Destroy Gaza neighborhoods for every rocket fired

By Alex Kane | Mondoweiss | November 10, 2011

Ami Kaufman of +972 Magazine highlights this disgusting message from Danny Danon, a Likud Party member of the Israeli Knesset:

I am currently in Ashkelon to witness the security problem facing the city specifically in neighborhoods with new Olim and have come to two main conclusions. Firstly, we must do everything we can to ensure the safety of all residents with an emphasis on areas with new immigrants who greatly lack protection, and more importantly, to deal with Hamas leaders in Gaza, and for every missile that falls in our southern towns, we retaliate by deleting a neighborhood in Gaza

It is disturbing to hear such a blunt call for collective punishment and the wholesale destruction of civilian life in Gaza from a politician with power in Israel. Unfortunately, it is no surprise–a similar mentality was behind Israel’s conduct during Operation Cast Lead.

Danon’s call echoes what former combatants in the Israeli army told the UK-based Channel 4 early this year:

24-year-old tank commander Ohad remembers being told the night before the operation that the entry into Gaza was to be “disproportionate”. Once into Gaza, he says his orders were unambiguous:

“The order was very clear that if a car came within 200 metres of me I could simply shoot at it. Shoot a shell at it.”

Some of the most disputed claims about the operation centre around firing at family homes and mosques.

Ohad also says: “We needed to cleanse the neighbourhoods, the buildings, the area. It sounds really terrible to say “cleanse”, but those were the orders….I don’t want to make a mistake with the words.”

Danon is only vocalizing what has long been the Israeli establishment’s mentality towards the people of Gaza.

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and blogger based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | 4 Comments

Major push for Iran war by liberal Zionists and hawks

By Scott McConnell | Mondoweiss | November 10, 2011

Robert Wexler, former Florida congressman and a key Obama ally on Israel/Palestine issues, was one of the speakers at a Churches for Middle East Peace dinner last night. Wexler is a liberal Zionist, who (correctly) sees Israel’s long term interest in a two state solution, and has taken a lot of flack for defending Obama from attack by the Zionist right. But last night he was terrifying.

He began by saying he didn’t want to spend much time talking about the troubled peace process, about which there was little new to say, but Iran. What followed was a “Oh how it pains me to conclude this” analysis about how the US (not Israel) must launch a military attack on Iran, due to the progress Teheran has made in its nuclear program. Only then, Wexler said, in a line eerily evocative of the the neocons’ “road to Jerusalem runs through Baghdad” line of 2002, will Israel feel secure enough to make peace with the Palestinians. Obama faces the choice of going down in history as the president who was on watch while Iran acquired nuclear weapons, or being the one who stopped it. An Iranian bomb would unleash all kinds of unknowable dangers in the Middle East, but the consequences of the US attack on Iran are knowable. Much as it pained him to say this (channeling the classic Israel “shoot and cry” trope) American military action is the most rational course. He closed by calling explicitly for “regime change” in Teheran.

None of this went over very well with our group. One former ambassador asked a pointed question about whether the Grand Bargain was possible, and when Wexler said it had been tried, the questioner pointed to the Obama administration’s dismissive reaction to the Turkey/Brazil initiative on Iran’s nuclear program. I asked, “While I agreed that the consequences of a nuclear Iran are unknowable, could he please tell us the consequences of a US attack, since he claimed they are knowable.” He didn’t answer, pontificating for three minutes on “what if they got the bomb” and then saying American military planning could game out the consequences of a US attack. One sentence.

A couple of thoughts. First Wexler made not even passing mention of a possible Israeli strike– he seems to know that Israel by itself doesn’t have the capacity to end Iran’s nuclear program or do very much more than damage Iran and stir up hatreds that will last generations. So this has to be an American operation. Secondly, he is a major liberal Democratic foreign policy figure, and Obama seems to rely upon him. It’s the first time I’ve seen a representative of this group call explicitly for American attack on Iran.

At my table, the feeling was that we were witnessing the opening volleys of a major new push for war, by liberal Zionists and liberal hawks. By supporting Obama on two states (not that it has made the slightest difference) Wexler has positioned himself as a necessary ally of the administration, so if he defected because of Obama’s reluctance to launch a war, it might be seen as politically damaging. I would like to think that Wexler has no influence in the Obama White House, but I don’t believe that. And he wants another American war on a Muslim country, consequences be dammed. His position is exactly the same as Richard Perle’s.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment


Free Gaza Movement | 10 November 2011

The seven Irish human rights activists due home in Ireland this afternoon at 2:25 pm were at the last minute prevented from boarding their flight out of Ben Gurion airport by Israeli armed guards. They had been taken last night to a holding cell and were ready to board their 7:40 am flight to London this morning when at the last minute they were prevented from doing so by Israeli security forces and returned to Givon prison. All seven are now being detained indefinitely, with no further news available from Israeli authorities or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs about when they will be released.

An Irish Ship to Gaza shore team coordinator spoke briefly on the phone with Fintan Lane before communication was abruptly cut off. Lane said: “This is a deliberate and calculated attempt by the Israelis to break our spirit. It won’t succeed.”

Lane also reported that the seven had been subject to “continuous harassment and repeated, humiliating body searches” and were shackled and “denied sleep”.

Gay Lawlor, Zoe Lawlor’s brother, spoke briefly with Zoe, who described what was happening as “sheer malice” on the part of the Israelis.

The families of the detainees are phoning member of the Irish Ship to Gaza shore team this morning in great distress.

Laurence Davis, Irish Ship to Gaza spokesperson, commented: “We are outraged by this latest attempt by the Israeli authorities to break the morale of the human rights activists, their families and their supporters, all of whom had been looking forward to the homecoming this afternoon in Dublin. This is yet another example of the cruelty and arrogance that the Palestinians face every day.”

Irish Ship to Gaza spokesperson Claudia Saba added: “It is particularly distressing for the families to learn that their loved ones won’t be coming home as they had expected, and distressing that they have no update as to what exactly is happening or when they will be finally freed.”

For more information, contact:

Laurence Davis 086 360 5053 (Outside of Ireland, add +353 and drop the 0)

Claudia Saba 086 393 8821

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on ISRAELIS PREVENT IRISH ACTIVISTS FROM BOARDING FLIGHT HOME

Moon of Alabama catches two major nuclear-related lies in one month

Arnold Evans | Middle East Reality | November 7, 2011

Not much for me to add here. First the US and Western nuclear policy communities were astir over the idea that a yarn-knitting facility in Syria was actually a planned centrifuge facility. It turns out, and members of the Western nuclear policy community now admit, that the accusation was just false.

I want to give full credit for that to “b” from Moon of Alabama here.

Shortly thereafter, we learned that there is supposedly a steel tube in Iran that can be used to test triggers for nuclear devices. The expertise to use this tube was supposedly transferred to Iran from a Ukrainian nuclear weapons scientist named Vyacheslav Danilenko.

Danilenko is not a nuclear scientist but works on an industrial process that makes small diamonds used industrially to polish smooth surfaces.

Thanks again to b at MoonOfAlabama. A place I need to visit more frequently.

So what does this all mean?

There is exactly one reason Iran having technology that could in theory be used to create a nuclear weapon is more sinister than Japan or Brazil having such technology. Iran is close to Israel and Brazil is not.

Barack Obama, David Sanger – one of the New York Times’ primary scare-mongers regarding Iran – and David Albright – one the the Western press’ main sources for anti-Iran nuclear information – are each committed to the idea that Israel must have a nuclear advantage over all of its neighbors and are each willing to blatantly lie if necessary toward that end.

Once the United States committed that six million Jewish people must be dominant over more than 400 million people in the region, then modern colonialism in the US’ relations with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and others, murders of scientists, sanctions, government-created computer viruses and attempts to deny industrialization and large swaths of technology to large populations follow directly from that commitment.

Obama, Sanger and Albright are proponents of that commitment. Distortions and lies meant to harm Iran for Israel’s sake are going to come from these three faster than even b can debunk them.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | Comments Off on Moon of Alabama catches two major nuclear-related lies in one month

Dennis Ross announces he is leaving the Obama administration in December


By Philip Weiss on November 10, 2011

Dennis Ross– the man who personifies the failed peace process over five administrations, the man dubbed “Israel’s lawyer” and, by Abe Foxman, an “advocate” for Israel, the former chairman of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute– is reported to be packing his bags. From the Times, tweeted and at the site: “Dennis B. Ross, Envoy to Hot Spots, Will Leave Administration in December, Official Says.”

Mark Landler’s story:

Dennis B. Ross, a seasoned diplomat who has been one of President Obama’s most influential advisers on Iran, the Middle East peace process and the political upheaval in the Arab world, will leave the White House in December, a senior administration official said on Thursday.

Mr. Ross, who announced his departure at a lunch with Jewish leaders, told White House officials that he promised his wife he would leave the government after two years.

The secret of Ross’s method, per Aaron David Miller:

Dennis, like myself, had an inherent tendency to see the world of Arab-Israeli politics first from Israel’s vantage point rather than that of the Palestinians… his own strong Jewish identity and his commitment to Israel’s security combined with something else: a deep conviction that if you couldn’t gain Israel’s confidence, you had zero chance of erecting any kind of peace process. And to Dennis, achieving this goal required a degree of coordination with the Israelis…

Huh. No wonder there’s no Palestinian state! … Full article


See also:

Dennis Ross Fired Over IAEA Dud

Moon of Alabama | November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | Comments Off on Dennis Ross announces he is leaving the Obama administration in December

Iran’s “Soviet Nuclear Scientist” Never Worked on Weapons

By GARETH PORTER | CounterPunch | November 10, 2011

The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.

But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.

In fact, Danilenko, a Ukrainian, has worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career and is considered one of the pioneers in the development of nanodiamond technology, as published scientific papers confirm.

It now appears that the IAEA and David Albright, the director of the International Institute for Science and Security in Washington, who was the source of the news reports about Danilenko, never bothered to check the accuracy of the original claim by an unnamed “Member State” on which the IAEA based its assertion about his nuclear weapons background.

Albright gave a “private briefing” for “intelligence professionals” last week, in which he named Danilenko as the foreign expert who had been contracted by Iran’s Physics Research Centre in the mid-1990s and identified him as a “former Soviet nuclear scientist”, according to a story by Joby Warrick of the Washington Post on Nov. 5.

The Danilenko story then went worldwide.

The IAEA report says the agency has “strong indications” that Iran’s development of a “high explosions initiation system”, which it has described as an “implosion system” for a nuclear weapon, was “assisted by the work of a foreign expert who was not only knowledgeable on these technologies, but who, a Member State has informed the Agency, worked for much of his career in the nuclear weapon program of the country of his origin.”

The report offers no other evidence of Danilenko’s involvement in the development of an initiation system.

The member state obviously learned that Danilenko had worked during the Soviet period at the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics in Snezhinsk, Russia, which was well known for its work on development of nuclear warheads and simply assumed that he had been involved in that work.

However, further research would have revealed that Danilenko worked from the beginning of his career in a part of the Institute that specialised in the synthesis of diamonds. Danilenko wrote in an account of the early work in the field published in 2006 that he was among the scientists in the “gas dynamics group” at the Institute who were “the first to start studies on diamond synthesis in 1960″.

Danilenko’s recollections of the early period of his career are in a chapter of the book, “Ultrananocrystalline Diamond: Synthesis, Properties and Applications” edited by Olga A. Shenderova and Dieter M. Gruen, published in 2006.

Another chapter in the book covering the history of Russian patents related to nanodiamonds documents the fact that Danilenko’s centre at the Institute developed key processes as early as 1963-66 that were later used at major “detonaton nanodiamond” production centres.

Danilenko left the Institute in 1989 and joined the Institute of Materials Science Problems in Ukraine, according to the authors of that chapter.

Danilenko’s major accomplishment, according to the authors, has been the development of a large-scale technology for producing ultradispersed diamonds, a particular application of nanodiamonds. The technology, which was later implemented by the “ALIT” company in Zhitomir, Ukraine, is based on an explosion chamber 100 sq metres in volume, which Danilenko designed.

Beginning in 1993, Danilenko was a principal in a company called “Nanogroup” which was established initially in the Ukraine but is now based in Prague. The company’s website boasts that it has “the strongest team of scientists” which had been involved in the “introduction of nanodiamonds in 1960 and the first commercial applications of nanodiamonds in 2000″.

The declared aim of the company is to supply worldwide demand for nanodiamonds.

Iran has an aggressive programme to develop its nanotechnology sector, and it includes as one major focus nanodiamonds, as blogger Moon of Alabama has pointed out. That blog was the first source to call attention to Danilenko’s nanodiamond background.

Danilenko clearly explained that the purpose of his work in Iran was to help the development of a nanodiamond industry in the country.

The report states that the “foreign expert” was in Iran from 1996 to about 2002, “ostensibly to assist in the development of a facility and techniques for making ultra dispersed diamonds (UDDs) or nanodiamonds…” That wording suggests that nanodiamonds were merely a cover for his real purpose in Iran.

The report says the expert “also lectured on explosive physics and its applications”, without providing any further detail about what applications were involved.

The fact that the IAEA and Albright were made aware of Danilenko’s nanodiamond work in Iran before embracing the “former Soviet nuclear weapons specialist” story makes their failure to make any independent inquiry into his background even more revealing.

The tale of a Russian nuclear weapons scientist helping construct an “implosion system” for a nuclear weapon is the most recent iteration of a theme that the IAEA introduced in its May 2008 report, which mentioned a five-page document describing experimentation with a “complex multipoint initiation system to detonate a substantial amount of high explosives in hemispherical geometry” and to monitor the detonation.

Iran acknowledged using “exploding bridge wire” detonators such as those mentioned in that document for conventional military and civilian applications. But it denounced the document, along with the others in the “alleged studies” collection purporting to be from an Iranian nuclear weapons research programme, as fakes.

Careful examination of the “alleged studies” documents has revealed inconsistencies and other anomalies that give evidence of fraud. But the IAEA, the United States and its allies in the IAEA continue to treat the documents as though there were no question about their authenticity.

The unnamed member state that informed the agency about Danilenko’s alleged experience as a Soviet nuclear weapons scientist is almost certainly Israel, which has been the source of virtually all the purported intelligence on Iranian work on nuclear weapons over the past decade.

Israel has made no secret of its determination to influence world opinion on the Iranian nuclear programme by disseminating information to governments and news media, including purported Iran government documents. Israeli foreign ministry and intelligence officials told journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins about the special unit of Mossad dedicated to that task at the very time the fraudulent documents were being produced.

In an interview in September 2008, Albright said Olli Heinonen, then deputy director for safeguards at the IAEA, had told him that a document from a member state had convinced him that the “alleged studies” documents were genuine. Albright said the state was “probably Israel”.

The Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz reported Wednesday that Israeli intelligence agencies had “provided critical information used in the report”, the purpose of which was to “push through a new regime of sanctions against Tehran….”


GARETH PORTER is an investigative historian and journalist with Inter-Press Service specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam“, was published in 2006.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Israel influenced IAEA report on Iran

Press TV – November 10, 2011

Interview with Gareth Porter, historian and investigative journalist

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano has released his latest report on Iran’s nuclear activities to the 35 members of the Board of Governors of the agency.

Iran dismissed the report as “unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure by mostly the United States.”

The US and its allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and used the false charge as a pretext to convince the UN Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran.

Press TV has interviewed historian and investigative journalist Gareth Porter from Washington to discuss Amano’s latest report.

Press TV: How do you see this whole scenario, why would the IAEA release a report based on what it calls foreign intelligence agencies’ reports at this point in time?

Porter: First of all of course, this is a secrete annex –so called– that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei refused to publish in 2008 and was subjected to a concentrated attack on the part of the European and Israeli ambassadors and governments at that point, charging him with hiding relevant intelligence information about an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

ElBaradei made it clear the reason he didn’t publish it when he was the Director General was because the information did not pass the level of scrutiny that was required to ascertain that it was genuine. In other words, he had serious doubts that this was genuine evidence rather than fabrication and there is indeed every reason to believe that he was right, that much of the evidence that has been submitted by the Israelis, particularly, and I am talking about the ‘alleged studies’ documents which are the heart and soul of this secrete annex and that I have written about extensively that these are, I am quite convinced, fabrications. So this is still the same story that we have been talking about for years now, it goes back to 2005 when the US turned over these ‘alleged studies’ documents to the IAEA and the IAEA was then encouraged to go after Iran on the basis of these documents.

Press TV: Who are these foreign spy agencies that are providing the IAEA with the so-called information on Iran and would these reports be of any legal value?

Porter: Well this material, of course, will not stand up in any legal process that had any due process or fairness about it, simply because of the serious inconsistencies, the serious contradictions that are built into them –that I have talked about in my coverage of ‘alleged studies’ documents, particularly with regard to the so-called effort to integrate a nuclear payload into the Shahab-3 missile. This was a set of drawings that I pointed out where about the wromg missile

So the question is who had the opportunity and the motive to fake these kinds of documents. As I asserted in the past, Israelis are the ones who had the motive and the opportunity. They had a part of Mossad –which is known and is written about in main stream journals coverage of this– as a specific office to basically disseminate coverage or documents that are supposed to have come from Iran about the nuclear weapons program.

So they were fixed, they were prepared to put out documentation which would accomplish exactly what these ‘alleged studies’ documents have accomplished. So there was no doubt in my mind and I think that the evidence speaks for itself that Israel was the source of most of this intelligence.

Press TV: Where does this leave the credibility of this nuclear watchdog agency as this report is seriously raising questions on its impartiality?

Porter: This agency, during the period when Mohamed ElBaradei was Director General, was deeply divided between a group of people led by ElBaradei who were trying, I think, to achieve a degree of fairness and balance and a second group which was the group that Olli Heinonen in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 which was really not dedicated to any objective view or presentation of the evidence but was interested in putting Iran in the dock and making a case that Iran was seeking nuclear weapons regardless of what it took.

I have interviewed Olli Heinonen a couple of times, once in person once on the phone, and what I got from Olli Heinonen was a series of “I don’t knows”, “I don’t remembers” and basically inability to respond to the inconsistencies –which I pointed out in the reports that he has been responsible for.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | Comments Off on Israel influenced IAEA report on Iran

Kidnapped Canadians face two months of captivity, Harper fails to object

Canadian Boat To Gaza – Press Release  – November 10, 2011

On Tuesday, Freedom Waves to Gaza activists detained in Israel – including Canadians David Heap and Ehab Lotayef – came before a judge and were told they could be held in prison for 2 months without charges or trial.

To avoid this, the judge told them, they must sign a statement that they entered Israel ‘voluntarily’ and ‘illegally’ despite being violently kidnapped from international waters and taken to Israel against their will while trying to reach Gaza.

While a handful of Freedom Waves to Gaza participants have been deported – including Canadian Karen DeVito – 18 activists and journalists have now been in Israeli prison for 5 days with no end in sight. DeVito is available for interviews.

The Israeli military forcibly commandeered the boats Tahrir and MV Saoirse that journalists and activists were travelling on as part of the Freedom Waves initiative and brought them to Ashdod port in Israel.

American journalist Jihan Hafiz was on the Canadian boat Tahrir, and was among those detained by Israel despite her press credentials. Israeli authorities ordered her and others not to talk about “anything negative or political” during their brief phone calls to home from Israeli detention.

This censorship explains why some details are only just coming out now. She reported Tuesday about her experience during the Israeli takeover of the Irish and Canadian boats:

“There were three warships […] four Zodiacs, four water cannon boats, as well as four regular gunboats. All of the commandos on all of these boats were heavily armed. It looked like they were taking on an army of a foreign country.”

She added: “Two water cannons started to pour lots of water into the Irish boat, which flooded it, blew their sockets, and cut off all the electricity. And so, at that point, the Irish delegates I spoke to said they told the Israeli army, ‘We’re taking on water. We’re sinking. We’re going to go down at sea if you continue with the water.’”

Hafiz went on to describe the violent takeover during which guns were pointed at the heads of the boats’ passengers, how they were roughed up, mistreated, strip-searched, and filmed naked. She also tells of how the journalists’ equipment was confiscated, in a bid to silence any reporting that might contradict the sanitized Israeli account of what happened during the hijacking of the Tahrir and the MV Saoirse.

“Our friends have been assaulted, tasered, beaten, kidnapped, robbed, and imprisoned. Now Israel is threatening to illegally detain them for two months. What is it going to take for the Canadian government to actually do something about another country kidnapping Canadian citizens and refusing to let them go?” demands Wendy Goldsmith, an organizer with the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, by the inaction of Baird and Harper,” said Canadian Boat to Gaza organizer Dylan Penner. “In its failure to speak out against Israel’s blockade of Gaza, the Canadian Government is condoning Israel’s disregard for the human rights of the citizens of Gaza and giving it impunity for its refusal to comply with its international obligations. It is this silence that compels citizens of good conscience, like David and Ehab, to act where our Government has so consistently failed to do so.”

Organizers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza are demanding Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird step down for failing to do his job to stand up for the interests of Canadians.

For updates, stay tuned to:

Twitter (@CanadaBoatGaza and #freedomwaves),, , , , and .

For more information:

English inquiries:

Wendy Goldsmith, Canadian Boat to Gaza, 519-619-6766

Dylan Penner, Canadian Boat to Gaza, 613-859-6996

French inquiries:

Denis Kosseim, Canadian Boat to Gaza, 514-923-5594

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | 1 Comment

Palestinian political leaders confined in West Bank ghettos

DFLP leaders stopped at Allenby Bridge

Ma’an – 10/11/2011

RAMALLAH — The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine says three of its leaders were prevented from crossing into Jordan from the West Bank over the holiday.

Ramzi Rabbah, Ibrahim Abu Hajla, and Muhammad Salameh were prevented from crossing the Allenby Bridge with no explanation, the DFLP said in a statement condemning the measures as “collective punishment.”

The three men were traveling separately and had different destinations, so the decision appeared to deliberately target the DFLP, it said.

Rabbah was held for hours before being told he would not be able to cross, the DFLP said. Salameh was on his way to Lison to attend the World Federation of Democratic Youth.

Abu Hajla, who was recently released from an Israeli prison in a deal between Hamas and Israel, was on his way to Jordan to meet with his family after 10 years behind bars, the DFLP said.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | Comments Off on Palestinian political leaders confined in West Bank ghettos