Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

7/7 Ripple Effect 2

Muad’Dib’s latest film about the July 7 2005 London bombings.

After being unlawfully jailed for 157 days based on trumped-up charges, and following on from the BBC making a dedicated hit-piece on the original 7/7 Ripple Effect, the film-maker Muad’Dib expands upon the original film and has added over 60 minutes of new material connecting the dots of what most likely really did happen in London on July 7th 2005, when 3 tube-trains and a double-decker bus were exploded.


“It is an example of critical journalism thatdraws wholly on public news sources to formulate a controversial, but plausible, theory. After deploying three different theories of truth to develop insights into new and existing evidence, it is the BBC / Government theory that has a lower level of correspondence with known .facts., is incoherent to the point of being implausible, and is more likely to distort its reports because of institutional controls and political pressures.”

– Rory Ridley-Duff Ph.D., senior lecturer in human resource management
and organisation behaviour, Sheffield Hallam University.

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

More than 60% of Greeks say ‘No’ in crucial bailout referendum – early results

RT | July 5, 2015

About 60 percent of Greeks have voted “No” in Sunday’s referendum on the bailout deal and austerity measures, reported the Interior Ministry after almost 30 percent of the vote had been counted.

About 9.9 million Greeks were eligible to take part in the vote, which was labeled #Greferendum on social media.

The “No” victory has been predicted by several opinion polls, including GPO, Metron Analysis and MRB, whose polls were released after the end of the voting.

Before the results were announced, the parliamentary spokesman for the ruling Syriza party, Nikos Filis, told Greek television that “No’”s prevalence in these polls indicated that Greek government can now make a deal with the Troika of international creditors.

“I think this is guidance for the government… to move forward quickly to seek a deal and normalise the banking system,” he said.

In the meantime, Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told state TV that Athens is planning to resume the talks with the Troika.

“The negotiations which will start must be concluded very soon, even after 48 hours,” Sakellaridis said, “We will undertake every effort to seal it soon.”

Proponents of the “Yes” vote argued that a “No” vote may lead to Greece’s exit from the Eurozone, and potentially the EU.

The talks between Greece and the Troika of international creditors – the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – have stalled since June, after the Eurogroup declined to prolong a financial aid program for Greece or delay payments on earlier debts.

Greece, which has been in crisis since 2009, was supposed to make an IMF loan payment of €1.6 billion by June 30 but failed to do so. It is required to make another major payment of €3.5 billion to the ECB on July 20.

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 2 Comments

US ‘Stealth’ Bombers Can’t Hide From Russian Anti-Aircraft Missiles

Sputnik | 05.07.2015

1024236116Russian anti-aircraft missiles can detect and hit US stealth bombers, Major General Sergei Babakov said, according to Gazeta.ru.

Neither the Northdrop B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber nor Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk can fly undetected from Russian missiles, said Babakov, the head of Russia’s anti-aircraft missile troops.

“The American ‘stealth’ planes are a publicity stunt. Even our older R-118s are capable of detecting F-117 [Nighthawks]. So, nobody has the hat of invisibility yet,” the Major General said.

Babakov also added that official trials of extended range missiles for advanced S-400 Triumf air defense systems are in the final stage.

The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) is a next-generation Russian anti-aircraft weapon system, carrying three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at short-to-extremely long range.

Russia is currently undergoing a $325-billion rearmament program for a 70-percent modernization in its military’s weaponry by 2020.

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

JFK vs Israel and Dimona – The Stand, Murder, and Takeover

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Threat to World Peace

By John Steinbach | Global Research | March 2002

“Should war break out in the Middle East again,… or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability.” Seymour Hersh(1)

“Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.” Ariel Sharon(2)

With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicaly recognized as such.

Since the Gulf War in 1991, while much attention has been lavished on the threat posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the major culprit in the region, Israel, has been largely ignored. Possessing chemical and biological weapons, an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. The Israeli nuclear program represents a serious impediment to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and, with India and Pakistan, is a potential nuclear flashpoint. (prospects of meaningful non-proliferation are a delusion so long as the nuclear weapons states insist on maintaining their arsenals,) Citizens concerned about sanctions against Iraq, peace with justice in the Middle East, and nuclear disarmament have an obligation to speak out forcefully against the Israeli nuclear program.

Birth of the Israeli Bomb

The Israeli nuclear program began in the late 1940s under the direction of Ernst David Bergmann, “the father of the Israeli bomb,” who in 1952 established the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission. It was France, however, which provided the bulk of early nuclear assistance to Israel culminating in construction of Dimona, a heavy water moderated, natural uranium reactor and plutonium reprocessing factory situated near Bersheeba in the Negev Desert. Israel had been an active participant in the French Nuclear weapons program from its inception, providing critical technical expertise, and the Israeli nuclear program can be seen as an extension of this earlier collaboration. Dimona went on line in 1964 and plutonium reprocessing began shortly thereafter. Despite various Israeli claims that Dimona was “a manganese plant, or a textile factory,” the extreme security measures employed told a far different story. In 1967, Israel shot down one of their own Mirage fighters that approached too close to Dimona and in 1973 shot down a Lybian civilian airliner which strayed off course, killing 104.(3)

There is substantial credible speculation that Israel may have exploded at least one, and perhaps several, nuclear devices in the mid 1960s in the Negev near the Israeli-Egyptian border, and that it participated actively in French nuclear tests in Algeria.(4) By the time of the “Yom Kippur War” in 1973, Israel possessed an arsenal of perhaps several dozen deliverable atomic bombs and went on full nuclear alert.(5)

Possessing advanced nuclear technology and “world class” nuclear scientists, Israel was confronted early with a major problem- how to obtain the necessary uranium. Israel’s own uranium source was the phosphate deposits in the Negev, totally inadequate to meet the need of a rapidly expanding program. The short term answer was to mount commando raids in France and Britain to successfully hijack uranium shipments and, in1968, to collaborate with West Germany in diverting 200 tons of yellowcake (uranium oxide).(6) These clandestine acquisitions of uranium for Dimona were subsequently covered up by the various countries involved. There was also an allegation that a U.S. corporation called Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) diverted hundreds of pounds of enriched uranium to Israel from the mid-50s to the mid-60s.

Despite an FBI and CIA investigation, and Congressional hearings, no one was ever prosecuted, although most other investigators believed the diversion had occurred(7)(8). In the late 1960s, Israel solved the uranium problem by developing close ties with South Africa in a quid pro quo arrangement whereby Israel supplied the technology and expertise for the “Apartheid Bomb,” while South Africa provided the uranium.

South Africa and the United States

In 1977, the Soviet Union warned the U.S. that satellite photos indicated South Africa was planning a nuclear test in the Kalahari Desert but the Apartheid regime backed down under pressure. On September 22, 1979, a U.S. satellite detected an atmospheric test of a small thermonuclear bomb in the Indian Ocean off South Africa but, because of Israel’s apparent involvement, the report was quickly “whitewashed” by a carefully selected scientific panel kept in the dark about important details. Later it was learned through Israeli sources that there were actually three carefully guarded tests of miniaturized Israeli nuclear artillery shells. The Israeli/South African collaboration did not end with the bomb testing, but continued until the fall of Apartheid, especially with the developing and testing of medium range missiles and advanced artillery. In addition to uranium and test facilities, South Africa provided Israel with large amounts of investment capital, while Israel provided a major trade outlet to enable the Apartheid state avoid international economic sanctions.(9)

Although the French and South Africans were primarily responsible for the Israeli nuclear program, the U.S. shares and deserves a large part of the blame. Mark Gaffney wrote (the Israeli nuclear program) “was possible only because (emphasis in original) of calculated deception on the part of Israel, and willing complicity on the part of the U.S..”(10)

From the very beginning, the U.S. was heavily involved in the Israeli nuclear program, providing nuclear related technology such as a small research reactor in 1955 under the “Atoms for Peace Program.” Israeli scientists were largely trained at U.S. universities and were generally welcomed at the nuclear weapons labs. In the early 1960s, the controls for the Dimona reactor were obtained clandestinely from a company called Tracer Lab, the main supplier of U.S. military reactor control panels, purchased through a Belgian subsidiary, apparently with the acquiescence of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA.(11) In 1971, the Nixon administration approved the sale of hundreds of krytons(a type of high speed switch necessary to the development of sophisticated nuclear bombs) to Israel.(12) And, in 1979, Carter provided ultra high resolution photos from a KH-11 spy satellite, used 2 years later to bomb the Iraqi Osirak Reactor.(13) Throughout the Nixon and Carter administrations, and accelerating dramatically under Reagan, U.S. advanced technology transfers to Israel have continued unabated to the present.

The Vanunu Revelations

Following the 1973 war, Israel intensified its nuclear program while continuing its policy of deliberate “nuclear opaqueness.” Until the mid-1980s, most intelligence estimates of the Israeli nuclear arsenal were on the order of two dozen but the explosive revelations of Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear technician working in the Dimona plutonium reprocessing plant, changed everything overnight. A leftist supporter of Palestine, Vanunu believed that it was his duty to humanity to expose Israel’s nuclear program to the world. He smuggled dozens of photos and valuable scientific data out of Israel and in 1986 his story was published in the London Sunday Times. Rigorous scientific scrutiny of the Vanunu revelations led to the disclosure that Israel possessed as many as 200 highly sophisticated, miniaturized thermonuclear bombs. His information indicated that the Dimona reactor’s capacity had been expanded several fold and that Israel was producing enough plutonium to make ten to twelve bombs per year. A senior U.S. intelligence analyst said of the Vanunu data,”The scope of this is much more extensive than we thought. This is an enormous operation.”(14)

Just prior to publication of his information Vanunu was lured to Rome by a Mossad “Mata Hari,” was beaten, drugged and kidnapped to Israel and, following a campaign of disinformation and vilification in the Israeli press, convicted of “treason” by a secret security court and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He served over 11 years in solitary confinement in a 6 by 9 foot cell. After a year of modified release into the general population(he was not permitted contact with Arabs), Vanunu recently has been returned to solitary and faces more than 3 years further imprisonment. Predictably, The Vanunu revelations were largely ignored by the world press, especially in the United States, and Israel continues to enjoy a relatively free ride regarding its nuclear status. (15)

Israel’s Arsenal of Mass Destruction

Today, estimates of the Israeli nuclear arsenal range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of about 500. Whatever the number, there is little doubt that Israeli nukes are among the world’s most sophisticated, largely designed for “war fighting” in the Middle East. A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are “neutron bombs,” miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact.(16) Weapons include ballistic missiles and bombers capable of reaching Moscow, cruise missiles, land mines (In the 1980s Israel planted nuclear land mines along the Golan Heights(17)), and artillery shells with a range of 45 miles(18).

In June, 2000 an Israeli submarine launched a cruise missile which hit a target 950 miles away, making Israel only the third nation after the U.S. and Russia with that capability. Israel will deploy 3 of these virtually impregnable submarines, each carrying 4 cruise missiles.(19)

The bombs themselves range in size from “city busters” larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for “deterrence.”

Israel also possesses a comprehensive arsenal of chemical and biological weapons. According to the Sunday Times, Israel has produced both chemical and biological weapons with a sophisticated delivery system, quoting a senior Israeli intelligence official,

“There is hardly a single known or unknown form of chemical or biological weapon . . . which is not manufactured at the Nes Tziyona Biological Institute.”)(20)

The same report described F-16 fighter jets specially designed for chemical and biological payloads, with crews trained to load the weapons on a moments notice. In 1998, the Sunday Times reported that Israel, using research obtained from South Africa, was developing an “ethno bomb; “In developing their “ethno-bomb”, Israeli scientists are trying to exploit medical advances by identifying distinctive a gene carried by some Arabs, then create a genetically modified bacterium or virus… The scientists are trying to engineer deadly micro-organisms that attack only those bearing the distinctive genes.” Dedi Zucker, a leftist Member of Knesset, the Israeli parliament, denounced the research saying, “Morally, based on our history, and our tradition and our experience, such a weapon is monstrous and should be denied.”(21)

Israeli Nuclear Strategy

In popular imagination, the Israeli bomb is a “weapon of last resort,” to be used only at the last minute to avoid annihilation, and many well intentioned but misled supporters of Israel still believe that to be the case. Whatever truth this formulation may have had in the minds of the early Israeli nuclear strategists, today the Israeli nuclear arsenal is inextricably linked to and integrated with overall Israeli military and political strategy. As Seymour Hersh says in classic understatement ; “The Samson Option is no longer the only nuclear option available to Israel.”(22) Israel has made countless veiled nuclear threats against the Arab nations and against the Soviet Union(and by extension Russia since the end of the Cold War) One chilling example comes from Ariel Sharon, the current Israeli Prime Minister,

“Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.”(23)

(In 1983 Sharon proposed to India that it join with Israel to attack Pakistani nuclear facilities; in the late 70s he proposed sending Israeli paratroopers to Tehran to prop up the Shah; and in 1982 he called for expanding Israel’s security influence to stretch from “Mauritania to Afghanistan.”)

In another example, Israeli nuclear expert Oded Brosh said in 1992,

“…we need not be ashamed that the nuclear option is a major instrumentality of our defense as a deterrent against those who attack us.”(24)

According to Israel Shahak,

“The wish for peace, so often assumed as the Israeli aim, is not in my view a principle of Israeli policy, while the wish to extend Israeli domination and influence is.”

and

“Israel is preparing for a war, nuclear if need be, for the sake of averting domestic change not to its liking, if it occurs in some or any Middle Eastern states…. Israel clearly prepares itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East…, without hesitating to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones.”(25)

Israel uses its nuclear arsenal not just in the context of deterrence” or of direct war fighting, but in other more subtle but no less important ways. For example, the possession of weapons of mass destruction can be a powerful lever to maintain the status quo, or to influence events to Israel’s perceived advantage, such as to protect the so called moderate Arab states from internal insurrection, or to intervene in inter-Arab warfare.(26)

In Israeli strategic jargon this concept is called “nonconventional compellence” and is exemplified by a quote from Shimon Peres; “acquiring a superior weapons system(read nuclear) would mean the possibility of using it for compellent purposes- that is forcing the other side to accept Israeli political demands, which presumably include a demand that the traditional status quo be accepted and a peace treaty signed.”(27)

From a slightly different perspective, Robert Tuckerr asked in a Commentary magazine article in defense of Israeli nukes, “What would prevent Israel… from pursuing a hawkish policy employing a nuclear deterrent to freeze the status quo?”(28) Possessing an overwhelming nuclear superiority allows Israel to act with impunity even in the face world wide opposition. A case in point might be the invasion of Lebanon and destruction of Beirut in 1982, led by Ariel Sharon, which resulted in 20,000 deaths, most civilian. Despite the annihilation of a neighboring Arab state, not to mention the utter destruction of the Syrian Air Force, Israel was able to carry out the war for months at least partially due to its nuclear threat.

Another major use of the Israeli bomb is to compel the U.S. to act in Israel’s favor, even when it runs counter to its own strategic interests. As early as 1956 Francis Perrin, head of the French A-bomb project wrote “We thought the Israeli Bomb was aimed at the Americans, not to launch it at the Americans, but to say, ‘If you don’t want to help us in a critical situation we will require you to help us; otherwise we will use our nuclear bombs.’”(29) During the 1973 war, Israel used nuclear blackmail to force Kissinger and Nixon to airlift massive amounts of military hardware to Israel.

The Israeli Ambassador, Simha Dinitz, is quoted as saying, at the time,

“If a massive airlift to Israel does not start immediately, then I will know that the U.S. is reneging on its promises and…we will have to draw very serious conclusions…”(30)

Just one example of this strategy was spelled out in 1987 by Amos Rubin, economic adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who said

“If left to its own Israel will have no choice but to fall back on a riskier defense which will endanger itself and the world at large… To enable Israel to abstain from dependence on nuclear arms calls for $2 to 3 billion per year in U.S. aid.”(31)

Since then Israel’s nuclear arsenal has expanded exponentially, both quantitatively and qualitatively, while the U.S. money spigots remain wide open.

Regional and International Implications

Largely unknown to the world, the Middle East nearly exploded in all out war on February 22, 2001. According to the London Sunday Times and DEBKAfile, Israel went on high missile alert after receiving news from the U.S. of movement by 6 Iraqi armored divisions stationed along the Syrian border, and of launch preparations of surface to surface missiles. DEBKAfile, an Israeli based “counter-terrorism” information service, claims that the Iraqi missiles were deliberately taken to the highest alert level in order to test the U.S. and Israeli response. Despite an immediate attack by 42 U.S. and British war planes, the Iraqis suffered little apparent damage.(32) The Israelis have warned Iraq that they are prepared to use neutron bombs in a preemptive attack against Iraqi missiles.

The Israeli nuclear arsenal has profound implications for the future of peace in the Middle East, and indeed, for the entire planet. It is clear from Israel Shahak that Israel has no interest in peace except that which is dictated on its own terms, and has absolutely no intention of negotiating in good faith to curtail its nuclear program or discuss seriously a nuclear-free Middle East,”Israel’s insistence on the independent use of its nuclear weapons can be seen as the foundation on which Israeli grand strategy rests.”(34) According to Seymour Hersh, “the size and sophistication of Israel’s nuclear arsenal allows men such as Ariel Sharon to dream of redrawing the map of the Middle East aided by the implicit threat of nuclear force.”(35) General Amnon Shahak-Lipkin, former Israeli Chief of Staff is quoted “It is never possible to talk to Iraq about no matter what; It is never possible to talk to Iran about no matter what. Certainly about nuclearization. With Syria we cannot really talk either.”(36) Ze’ev Shiff, an Israeli military expert writing in Haaretz said, “Whoever believes that Israel will ever sign the UN Convention prohibiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons… is day dreaming,”(37) and Munya Mardoch, Director of the Israeli Institute for the Development of Weaponry, said in 1994, “The moral and political meaning of nuclear weapons is that states which renounce their use are acquiescing to the status of Vassal states. All those states which feel satisfied with possessing conventional weapons alone are fated to become vassal states.”(38)

As Israeli society becomes more and more polarized, the influence of the radical right becomes stronger. According to Shahak, “The prospect of Gush Emunim, or some secular right-wing Israeli fanatics, or some some of the delerious Israeli Army generals, seizing control of Israeli nuclear weapons…cannot be precluded. … while israeli jewish society undergoes a steady polarization, the Israeli security system increasingly relies on the recruitment of cohorts from the ranks of the extreme right.”(39) The Arab states, long aware of Israel’s nuclear program, bitterly resent its coercive intent, and perceive its existence as the paramount threat to peace in the region, requiring their own weapons of mass destruction. During a future Middle Eastern war (a distinct possibility given the ascension of Ariel Sharon, an unindicted war criminal with a bloody record stretching from the massacre of Palestinian civilians at Quibya in 1953, to the massacre of Palestinian civilians at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 and beyond) the possible Israeli use of nuclear weapons should not be discounted. According to Shahak, “In Israeli terminology, the launching of missiles on to Israeli territory is regarded as ‘nonconventional’ regardless of whether they are equipped with explosives or poison gas.”(40) (Which requires a “nonconventional” response, a perhaps unique exception being the Iraqi SCUD attacks during the Gulf War.)

Meanwhile, the existence of an arsenal of mass destruction in such an unstable region in turn has serious implications for future arms control and disarmament negotiations, and even the threat of nuclear war. Seymour Hersh warns,

“Should war break out in the Middle East again,… or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability.”(41) and Ezar Weissman, Israel’s current President said “The nuclear issue is gaining momentum(and the) next war will not be conventional.”(42)

Russia and before it the Soviet Union has long been a major (if not the major) target of Israeli nukes. It is widely reported that the principal purpose of Jonathan Pollard’s spying for Israel was to furnish satellite images of Soviet targets and other super sensitive data relating to U.S. nuclear targeting strategy. (43) (Since launching its own satellite in 1988, Israel no longer needs U.S. spy secrets.) Israeli nukes aimed at the Russian heartland seriously complicate disarmament and arms control negotiations and, at the very least, the unilateral possession of nuclear weapons by Israel is enormously destabilizing, and dramatically lowers the threshold for their actual use, if not for all out nuclear war. In the words of Mark Gaffney, “… if the familar pattern (Israel refining its weapons of mass destruction with U.S. complicity) is not reversed soon- for whatever reason- the deepening Middle East conflict could trigger a world conflagration.” (44)

Many Middle East Peace activists have been reluctant to discuss, let alone challenge, the Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region, often leading to incomplete and uninformed analyses and flawed action strategies.

Placing the issue of Israeli weapons of mass destruction directly and honestly on the table and action agenda would have several salutary effects. First, it would expose a primary destabilizing dynamic driving the Middle East arms race and compelling the region’s states to each seek their own “deterrent.” Second, it would expose the grotesque double standard which sees the U.S. and Europe on the one hand condemning Iraq, Iran and Syria for developing weapons of mass destruction, while simultaneously protecting and enabling the principal culprit. Third, exposing Israel’s nuclear strategy would focus international public attention, resulting in increased pressure to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and negotiate a just peace in good faith. Finally, a nuclear free Israel would make a Nuclear Free Middle East and a comprehensive regional peace agreement much more likely. Unless and until the world community confronts Israel over its covert nuclear program it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful resolution of the Israeli/Arab conflict, a fact that Israel may be counting on as the Sharon era dawns.

Notes

1. Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, New York,1991, Random House, p. 319 (A brilliant and prophetic work with much original research)2

2. Mark Gaffney, Dimona, The Third Temple:The Story Behind the Vanunu Revelation, Brattleboro, VT, 1989, Amana Books, p. 165 (Excellent progressive analysis of the Israeli nuclear program)

3. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Warner D. Farr, The Third Temple Holy of Holies; Israel’s Nuclear Weapons, USAF Counterproliferation Center, Air War College Sept 1999 <www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/farr,htm (Perhaps the best single condensed history of the Israeli nuclear program)

4. Hersch, op.cit., p. 131

5. Gaffney, op.cit., p. 63

6. Gaffney, op. cit. pp 68 – 69

7. Hersh, op.cit., pp. 242-257

8. Gaffney, op.cit., 1989, pps. 65-66 (An alternative discussion of the NUMEC affair)

9. Barbara Rogers & Zdenek Cervenka, The Nuclear Axis: The Secret Collaboration Between West Germany and South Africa, New York, 1978, Times Books, p. 325-328 (the definitive history of the Apartheid Bomb)

10. Gaffney, op. cit., 1989, p. 34

11. Peter Hounam, Woman From Mossad: The Torment of Mordechai Vanunu, London, 1999, Vision Paperbacks, pp. 155-168 (The most complete and up to date account of the Vanunu story, it includes fascenating speculation that Israel may have a second hidden Dimona type reactor)

12. Hersh, op. cit., 1989, p. 213

13. ibid, p.198-200

14. ibid, pp. 3-17

15. Hounman, op. cit. 1999, pp 189-203

16. Hersh, 1989. pp.199-200

17. ibid, p. 312

18. John Pike and Federation of American Scientists, Israel Special Weapons Guide Website, 2001, Web Address http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/index.html  (An invaluable internet resource)

19. Usi Mahnaimi and Peter Conradi, Fears of New Arms Race as Israel Tests Cruise Missiles, June 18, 2000, London Sunday Times

20. Usi Mahnaimi, Israeli Jets Equipped for Chemical Warfare October 4, 1998, London Sunday Times

21. Usi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin, Israel Planning “Ethnic” bomb as Saddam Caves In, November 15, 1998, London Sunday Times

22. Hersh, op.cit., 1991, p. 319

23. Gaffney, op.cit., 1989, p. 163

24. Israel Shahak, Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies, London, 1997,Pluto Press, p. 40 (An absolute “must read” for any Middle East or anti-nuclear activist)

25 ibid, p.2

26. ibid, p.43

27. Gaffney, op.cit., 1989, p 131

28. “Israel & the US: From Dependence to Nuclear Weapons?” Robert W. Tucker, Novenber 1975 pp41-42

29. London Sunday Times, October 12, 1986

30. Gaffney, op. cit. 1989. p. 147

31. ibid, p. 153

32. DEBKAfile, February 23, 2001 WWW.debka.com

33. Uzi Mahnaimi and Tom Walker, London Sunday Times, February 25, 2001

34. Shahak, op. cit., p150

35. Hersh, op.cit., p. 319

36. Shahak, op. cit., p34

37. ibid, p. 149

38. ibid, p. 153

39. ibid, pp. 37-38

40. ibid, pp 39-40

41. Hersh, op. cit., p. 19

42. Aronson, Geoffrey, “Hidden Agenda: US-Israeli Relations and the Nuclear Question,” Middle East Journal, (Autumn 1992), 619-630.

43 . Hersh, op. cit., pp. 285-305

44. Gaffney, op. cit., p194

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran’s IRGC launches 2nd Qadir radar system

8d0528b9-8138-475e-99ae-b341845f1ac1

Iran’s first Qadir radar system, which was unveiled in the central city of Garmsar in June 2014. (Fars new agency photo)
Press TV | July 4, 2015

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has launched a long-range radar system in the southwest of the country to enhance its air defense capabilities.

The second Qadir radar system was put into service in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahwaz on Saturday.

The first Qadir system was unveiled in the city of Garmsar in the central province of Semnan in June 2014. The third system is also scheduled to be unveiled in the near future.

The domestically-manufactured Qadir radar system, designed by IRGC’s Aerospace Division, is capable of detecting targets with a very small cross section from a long distance.

The system enjoys a direct range of 1,100 kilometers (more than 680 miles) and can be used to detect different types of aircraft as well as ballistic missiles.

Qadir falls in the category of long-range three-dimensional radar systems.

In recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

The country has manufactured different types of state-of-the-art radar systems, including Arash-2 and Kayhan.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other nations, particularly its neighbors, that its military might poses no threat to other countries, insisting that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

Israel seizes 600 dunums of Palestinian lands in Occupied Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – July 5, 2015

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, ordered that 600 dunums of Palestinian lands in al-Issawiya, in northern Occupied Jerusalem, be temporarily confiscated allegedly for gardening purposes, Peace Now reported afternoon Saturday.

The misappropriation order was issued using a special municipal law that allows the municipality to exploit an empty lot for public uses for five years in cases where the owner does not develop it. Al- Issawiya locals found the orders spread out in their fields.

The lands in question have been targeted by the Israeli occupation authorities in recent years, when a plan to declare them a National Park was promoted in order to create an Israeli dominated continuity between Occupied Jerusalem and the area of E1. The park is also meant to block the potential development of the adjacent neighborhoods of al-Issawiya and al-Tur.

It is required according to the law that the land owners refuse or choose not to make use of the tracts. When the owner wants to use his or her private property they are allowed to do so in accordance with the approved construction plans, Peace Now further stated.

In the case of al-Issawiya, the owners wish to make use of their lands. One month ago, the municipality uprooted trees that were planted by the Palestinians under the pretext of unlicensed cultivation. Thus, it seems now very hard to explain why a Gardening Use Order is required in such case when the owners wish to do the farming on their own.

According to analysts, it seems that in order to bypass the need to declare the lands as National Park, the Israeli occupation authorities are trying to take over the lands through other illegal means.

Peace Now added that the goal of the Israeli authorities is to prevent any potential Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem by taking over and blocking the lands necessary for the future development of a viable Palestinian state. The Jerusalem Municipality and the National Parks Authority seem so obsessed with creating an Israeli dominated corridor in the area, making use of the law only as a pretext for a political agenda.

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

A month in Palestine

By Tom Blanx | MEMO | July 4, 2015

img_3174This May, I travelled to the West Bank in occupied Palestine.

I had a fairly good idea of the kind of things I would see when I went, but wanted to take a closer look at what I think is an unfair and asymmetrical situation. I don’t stand against Jews or Israelis. I stand against racism, violence, oppression and ignorance, and all of those things, I think, are here.

During my time in the West Bank, I lived and worked with a Palestinian farmer who runs a Permaculture Project in a small village called Marda. I wanted to see for myself what life was like for Palestinians living under occupation and how Permaculture could help.

Knowledge is everything and with that in mind I’m sharing everything I saw, heard, thought and felt in the time I was there.

Below are excerpts from Tom Blanx’s blog. Read the full blog here.

Getting in

For those who haven’t been, Israel’s not the easiest of places to get in and out of. And if you plan on checking out the occupied territories you’ll need to be a bit creative with the truth. Despite my polite passport note from the queen, I decided not to reveal how freely I would be passing while on my travels as it would have most likely landed me straight back on British soil. This had happened to previous volunteers so the NGO I had organised the trip with had suggested that I lie.

With the help of Murad, my Palestinian friend and his friend, an Israeli who will remain anonymous, I pretended I was traveling to help and learn on a farm in the south. I probably could have said I was there for a beach holiday or Christian visit too, but a bag full of work boots and full length clothing might have been a giveaway. Murad told me to just remain calm and answer all questions confidently but it was a nerve racking and intimidating experience. Much more than I remember it being when I was 18 coming here. In the end I think I got in by inadvertently playing dumb.

Getting into the West Bank was more straight forward. I got on a bus from Tel Aviv bus station all the way to Ari’el (An illegal settlement, next to Marda). There are no stops or checkpoints for settlers (on the way in) so all I had to do was get off before the bus turned into the settlement where Murad was waiting for me and I was in. A better understanding of his instructions, some Hebrew and useful geographical knowledge and I probably wouldn’t have ended up bang in the middle of the Ari’el in the isolating situation of looking for a Palestinian village. I haphazardly navigated my way out of on foot and was an hour late – not the look I was going for, but I guess he was going to find out what I’m about sooner or later.

Marda

Marda is in the Salfit district which is biggest producer of olive oil in Palestine. The village is effectively a ghetto, with reinforced steel gates at each end for when the army want to shut it down and a high metal fence and barbed wire around it, although some of these had been damaged and removed. There used to be resistance here, but like in lots of the rest of Palestine, occupation has become normalized. These days the village is quiet and peaceful. People work and children go to school, cats wander around the place looking for food and donkeys everywhere sound like they’re dying. The village sits directly under the hilltop Ari’el settlement, the 4th biggest in the West Bank. Murad said he used to play there with his friends when he was young before Zionists confiscated and destroyed 9000 dunams of it, in the late 70s to build luxury homes, streets and a university for Israelis and Jewish immigrants. The juxtaposition of the two towns, is a powerful thing to see and its something that you can’t help but see, every day.

As I arrived in Marda another volunteer was leaving. Her name was Judy, a 60 year old American woman from Australia travelling by herself. I wouldn’t normally mention someone’s age or circumstances but I think its significant as many people think the West Bank is too dangerous to travel to and that women could be more vulnerable here. Neither are true. It was her 5th visit to Marda so I wanted to get as much information out of her as I could in the 30 minutes she had left. She gave me the dos and don’ts about living in Marda, how to be with Murad and told me to explore as much as I could of Palestine “You can’t charaterise Palestine on what you see in just Marda as much as you can’t charaterise the US on what you see in Miami”

Murad

Straight away I felt at ease with Murad. From our first Skype conversation, to meeting him an hour late after getting lost, I felt welcome and at home. Chilled and pragmatic, straight talking and funny are the best words I can think of to describe him. Everywhere we went there was banter. Banter with friends, banter with strangers. Sometimes he sounds like he is angry when he’s talking in Arabic but then he laughs and I know he’s not. Judy said his bark is worse than his bite and I now know what she means. “C’mon man!… what you doing man?!”… “Why you sayin sorry all the time man” still echo round my head.

Murads family have lived in Marda for generations spanning centuries. His wider family numbers in the 100s. His immediate family is his his wife, Ghada, daughters Sara, Halla and Tooleen, his youngest – son Khalid, his Mother, Twin brother, older brother, three sisters and their families. I think I can count the number of people in my family with my fingers!

The old house he grew up in has itself been in the family for 300 years. His Mother and twin, Hazim live there now and on my first night, he took me to meet them. We ate dinner, looked at our phones (There’s no escaping it!!!) and then I helped Murad download a Lionel Richie “hello” ringtone he wanted for when Ghada called him. I asked him what other music he liked and he said “none”. “But you like Lionel Richie though?” No. just that song.” Then I reconfigured his answer and decline buttons so he could, in his words, hang up in peoples face.

When violence broke out in the second intifada (literally translated as uprising), Murad decided to leave Palestine. With his Palestinian passport, he traveled to America and spent time working in Chicago and Tennessee. In 2006, he returned to inherit his Father’s land and with some basic knowledge of permaculture from a previous project, he started Marda Permaculture farm.

The Permaculture farm

The farm is 2 1/4 dunams in size. A duman is about 1 square km. The farm has Bees and produces large quantities of honey each year, 5 kilos of which is exported to customers in Qatar. He has chickens and pigeons (with their own cob-built houses) for eggs and meat and and plans on getting some goats and a cow.

The farm is Murad’s livelihood, but its more than that. The farm is his way of fighting the occupation. By growing his own food and providing his own income, he doesn’t need to buy expensive food and water or look for work abroad or in Israel. Permaculuture gives him good health, independence and empowerment.

The farm is a centre for students, activists and volunteers and Murad hopes his model will raise awareness of Permaculture in Palestine and begin to change local peoples attitudes towards farming.

Getting around

I did most of my exploring with Murad. I only did my own thing a couple of times. Once when I went to Jerusalem with Gaie (another volunteer who helped at the farm for a few days) and another time when we split up in Rammalah and I went to see qalandia. But we always left Marda together. Murad wasn’t into the idea of me travelling by myself in case I got mistaken for a settler or deported for being a friend of Palestine. They’re weren’t any bus stops in Marda so unless you hail a passing taxi or sherut you hitch a ride to somewhere you can get a bus. The nearest place to us was Zattara Junction (Tappuah junction for Israelis). From here you can go in three directions north to nablus, east to jericho and south to Rammalah. It used to be checkpoint but some of these have eased off in recent years. There’s still a large military presence here though. Lots of Israelis use the junction so cars are still stopped, IDs are still checked and people are still harassed. We saw one guy in his early 20s being checked out by two soldiers wanting to know where he had been, where he was going, and why he needed to go there.

As we make our way to the bus stop to Rammalah we have to go through the rigmarole of crossing the side of the road we need to the central reservation, avoiding Israeli only bus stop which Palestinans are not allowed to be near, to then cross back 50m further along where the anybody else bus stop is. You keep your head down here as you feel the eyes of soldiers and settlers weigh down on you. You’re at the mercy of the army here, they have done and can do anything they want to you here. This a cold violence that all Palestinans have to go through on a daily basis.

Nablus and Tulkarem

This was the first place outside Marda that I explored. It used to be an important junction on the Old Silk Road and was a strong resistance town in the years following the occupation. Nowadays, its very normalised – the occupation. Like the rest of the country, people are just trying to make enough money to survive. Food and drinks, shops and markets are everywhere. Women are covered up, some even more than in Marda wearing full burkhas which you can also see displayed in shop windows. Lots of women whiten their faces here too. Looks really strange sometimes. On the hilltop behind the city is the largest refugee camp in Palestine – 30,000 refugees packed into ¼ of a sq km. Like the one outside Rammalah they resemble Rio’s hillside favelas. Beautiful backdrop and ugly consequence all at the same time. As we ate a shrawma outside we saw men putting flags up in the main square and cars driving round honking their horns. They were celebrating the release of a young man who had been put in jail by the Israelis. I don’t know who he was or what he had been jailed for but I’m guessing it was for a while and his release was a small victory.

A little bit further on is Tulkarem This is where we met Murad’s friend Fayez, and where I saw the wall for the first time. Like Murad, Fayez also runs a farm in a village just outside Tulkarem called Irtah. His story is amazing: resilience and steadfastness in effect. In a nutshell… Occupation forces tried to confiscate his land to use as a military post; some of the first sections of the segregation wall were built across 20 dunams of his land; he resisted the land confiscation and repeated attacks on him and his crops and was imprisoned, leaving his wife Muna, to manage the farm; 12 chemical factories considered hazardous to Israeli public health were relocated to the other side of the wall, one right next to his farm*; he thus grew more aware of the health impacts of fertilisers and pesticides and made the switch to organic production. Now his and Muna’s farm, famous for popular resistance attracts solidarity activists and volunteers from all over the world.

*Factory chimneys are used when the wind blows east into Palestine, and not when into Israel.

At his home we sat and drank zamzam with his family. Zam zam is holy water welled from the zam zam well in Mecca. They told me the story of zamzam, debating over the specifics but I’m struggling to make sense of my notes so here’s a simple kids version of the origin of zamzam I found online:

“This is the story of the ZamZam water. The water well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al Haram in Mecca. It was a miraculously generated source of water from Allah, which began thousands of years ago when prophet Ismael (PBUH) the son of prophet Abraham and Hajar (the wife of prophet Abraham, May Allah be pleased with her) were thirsty and alone in the dessert.In this area there is very little water if any at all in some places. According to our tradition, Hajar (May Allah be pleased with her) was a very devout mother and wife. When she was separated from her Husband prophet Abraham (PBUH), she was left alone in the dessert, by herself with her small son Ishmael (PBUH). Prophet Abraham made a prayer for his young family as he left them behind and Allah provided the means of sustenance for them. Hagar (May Allah be pleased with her) ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwah, in desperation because her son cried as it was very hot and they did not have even a drop of water to drink. Allah provided a Miracle and the ZamZam well was born.”

Fayez’s son “carried” 20L of this water back from his hajj pilgrimage so it goes without saying that I felt really honoured be offered it. It’s meant to contain healing powers so you drink it in 3 sips and wish for good health. I drank mine to my Mum.

Jerusalem

Tony Blair has a multi million penthouse apartment that he rents for free in East Jerusalem. I saw it – Murads not even allowed to come to Jerusalem. No one who lives in the West Bank is, unless they own one of the hard to get permits I mentioned earlier. It’s like me needing permission to visit London.

Jerusalem (East) is as you would expect it to be – tourists, religious places of interest, sight seeing, crap selling blah. The tourism and globalism here makes it more relaxed in its attitudes to drinking and clothing, despite the religious significance of the city. In the old town/holy basin which is a busy Palestinian neighbourhood, Israeli settlers live in homes above the market taken from Palestinians now flagged up and fenced off. Below mesh is in place to stop settlers throwing waste down on the Palestinian’s markets there are Israeli homes.

We tried to get to the Al Aqsa mosque and dome on the rock but it was Muslims only after 4pm and being white and non Muslim looking we were turned away by Israeli police. They control who goes in and out here. It was interesting and maybe kind of nice to see Israelis help enforce the Muslim only after 4pm rule. Was also good to see some soldiers and locals getting on. Saw another soldier help a blind man into the square too which was nice. In the rush to cry dehumanization you can easily find yourself guilty of doing the same thing.

Jenin

Jenin was the furthest town I visited. We had to time our trip around the weather as it gets hotter here. Its in the agricultural north and took about an hour and a half of mountainous driving from Marda to get there although Jenin itself is mostly flat. Didn’t really get a chance to explore Jenin properly it was more of a meet this guy here meet that guy there day but one thing that was noticeable was the absence of anything Israel.

Unlike all the other places Id been to there was no army, no flags, no settlements. This might be because of its unbroken horizontalness as I’m pretty sure most settlements are built strategically on hilltops. Outside the hustling bustling town of markets shops and car-shop after car-shop after car-shop is industrial landscape with factories and fields growing tobacco fruits and vegetables. More mass production than organic production here.

Environment

Despite a deep connection with the land, it gets treated badly by many Palestinians, Israelis too. In many parts of the West Bank, streets and fields are scattered with rubbish. There’s refuse collection once a week in Marda but that’s just to collect landfill waste from peoples houses. Outside though, pedestrians, drivers, kids playing, even farmers, just chuck their empty packets on the ground. Many animals are treated badly: birds caged in small spaces to be sold as meat; donkeys toiling in the insane heat carrying people and heavy loads; dead puppies (clearly not treated well) left next to bins in the street, I could go on. On our way to the farm one day we saw that one donkey had given birth. Murad helped the new donkey to its feet and pushed her closer towards her mother which was tied up to a nearby tree but just out of reach. The next day we saw the same donkey, working, but not the infant. As another mouth to feed and a distraction to his working donkey, the owner, an old guy, chucked the new jenny away. This upset Murad, more out of waste than sentiment, but Murad cares. He understands the important roles animals have. I learnt this early on when some children visited us at the farm and one of them was trying to squash a bug. Murad stopped him and while I couldn’t hear what he actually said, it was clear Murad was telling the boy that he needed those bugs.

Then there’s Israel, the self titled environmentalists, chucking all kind of restrictions and protection laws onto Palestinians in the name of preservation whilst committing all kinds of environmental rights violations: sucking Palestinian land dry of water and selling it back to them at full price; allowing settlements to dump huge quantities of sewage into neighbouring Palestinian fields and villages, damaging buildings, soil and water supplies; poisoning waterways and soil with toxic chemicals; uprooting 1,000s of olive trees, trees that are peoples livelihood, trees that have stood since the Romans were here!; building over ancient springs and vital sources of water, affecting ecosystems and land irrigation; and then the walls and border gates affecting the migration patterns of an array of species.

Culture

I’d never been to a Muslim country before so my head naturally started to fill itself with assumptions and preconceptions of how things were or would be. I knew from the advice the volunteer program gave me, that Marda was a conservative village: No shorts, no singlets (LOL), no drinking, no drugs, and no approaching strange women romantically. I paraphrase but these were all suggested guidelines – Who’s been coming here??

Marda is a conservative village, traditional too – women cover themselves in public and sometimes socialise separately but everyone was friendly and interactive. If my Arabic spanned further than the “Hello, How are you? I’m fine, thank you” at its peak, I may have broken down even more social barriers. Word to the wise: Don’t go in for a handshake with women you’ve just met as you’ll be left hanging.

Despite the occupation and the harassment and intimidation that comes with it, everybody seemed upbeat. There’s a real togetherness here and its so much more chill than it looks and sounds from in the west. There’s lots of joking. Murad likes to take the piss out of people especially people that he likes. There’s one old guy we used to see and Murad always tries to tickle him.

It sounds like a stupid and obvious thing to say but Palestinians really love their children, especially young ones, almost as if preserving their innocence is everything. From about 7-12 boys go through a seen but not heard phase then at 13+ they’re targets for playful clips round the ear and downsizing banter. They have a lot of freedom in Marda. Children as young as 6 walk to and from school through the village, they go to the shops to buy groceries and play outside unsupervised. On paper it sounds like slack parenting but its not. The community polices itself. Everyone knows everyone and when children step out of line or get cheeky the nearest adult will call them up on it. I’d describe it as a golden age if the circumstances didn’t make it sound so ridiculous.

Politics

Murads not the type to push agendas. I wanted a Palestinian perspective on Israel, the occupation, and all the other things that go with it, so I was going to have to ask. Judy ,who I met briefly when I arrived in Marda told me “Don’t ask questions unless you’re ready to accept the context.” I wasn’t completely sure what this meant but I bided my time and began to write down some questions for Murad which I could ask him when we’d got to know each other better. In my spare time I started to plan a positive article about cooperating through collaborating. This had stemmed from seeing how Murad and his Israeli friend had been working together to sneak volunteers into Marda, but with one question my idea, or at least, my inspiration, was blown out of the water. “Do lots of Israelis come here to help?”

“Yes, but I don’t like it. It makes me look bad.” Murad doesn’t pull punches, he tells it as he sees it and when a group of Israeli peace activists came to work on the farm and found this out. He told me how they had asked him what they could do to help the Palestinian cause and in one word, he said, “leave”. “It sounds harsh, but this is a man who has been fired at, arrested, imprisoned, watched as his family’s land was turned into a lavish city for Israelis and Jewish immigrants, which has brought violence right to his door.

“These people say they are for peace but if they really were they would leave Israel. Who built your house?” he asked them. “The person who built your house is living in a tent and you talk about peace?”

Talk leads onto the testimonies of soldiers in, ‘Breaking the silence’. “Breaking the Silence are bastards! They kill innocent men women and children and then feel bad and say sorry? Fuck you’re sorry!” None of this is said in a raised or angry tone of voice. Murad, like lots of other Palestinians, thinks he’s been sold out. Sold out by Israel, sold out by America, sold out by Britain, sold out by Arab states and sold out by their own leaders. I try to explain that propaganda can make people do the worst kind of things but it sounds empty as I say it.

“The world doesn’t care. If it did, Palestinians would have justice.”

The Army

In the whole time I was in Palestine and Israel the only times I ever felt threatened, nervous or insecure was near Israeli police and soldiers. 15 years ago I was in Tower Records in Tel Aviv and 2 young soldiers stood next to me looking through CDs while on duty. It was strange then and it is strange now. In Israel, everywhere soldiers are on the move. Its like scouts but with guns. It’s like something out of the Paul Verhoven film, Starship Troopers. Beautiful, fresh faced, young men and women, IDF issue Tavor assault rifle in one hand and smartphones in the other, all “doing their part!, knowing their foe!, guaranteeing citizenship!” because at the end of the day, “its us or them”

The idea that an 18 year old with a gun has the power to harass and disrespect civilians often much older and wiser than them leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

For me, military service here is more about protecting a lie than protecting citizens. Imagine a reality where young men and women are indoctrinated with the idea that they are defending their country when all they’re really doing is supporting a decades long colonisation project. It almost doesn’t seem real. Almost.

Pigs

About 5 days in, I was smoking a cigarette on the roof when I heard a gravel moving noise coming from the hill behind my house. The street lights made it difficult to see what it was but I could just about make out a group of large figures making their way down this track. It looked like humans, big humans, on all fours, coming down the hill!! I was scared! The settlement was just up the hill and I’d heard stories of past incursions and still new to this unfamiliar and relatively (to me) troubled place, my imagination and stupidity got the better of me. Reality checked eventually and I concluded they weren’t humans. I still didn’t know what they were though, so I didn’t move or make a sound and just watched as these night monsters marched on by.

The next morning I tell murad what happened… And in his most blasé voice tells me, “That’s the pigs man…. They come and destroy everything in a few minutes!”

So I looked it up. It’s not just in marda. Apparently all over the West Bank wild pigs have been wrecking crops and trees and sometimes attacking people, all since around 2004. People claim they were introduced after the last intifada. One guy even told me he heard a truck load of them had been seen being unloaded in some fields. It’s a wild claim, but in a place where pollution is directed towards specific communities, raw sewage is dumped into village’s water supply and Settler children are marched through villages abusing locals, it becomes more believable. I can only speculate as why pigs. Agitation? Disrespect? One guy joked that Islam should introduce a temporary fatwah so that people could eat the pigs and turn the problem into a solution.

“In 2004 there were no pigs in Palestine! Now there are pigs! They don’t fly in!”

Murad showed me some of the damage they had done to his corn field. To protect his farm he put up a barbed wire fence but it was only when he attached tyres to the fence that they stopped getting in.

I became obsessed by this thing! I really wanted to see the pigs again, I set my alarm to wake me up at all hours, but I never saw them. There were some near encounters. We just missed them on the way to work one day when some builders sent them running down the hill throwing stones at them

A law was passed to protect the pigs so farmers are not allowed to kill them. It would take a bullet to the head to do it apparently which would be pretty hard as you’re not allowed weapons of any description in Palestine.

Getting out

On the way back its the same bus back to Tel Aviv. After speaking to other internationals I was prepping myself for a grilling at the airport. I wasn’t expecting to be removed from the bus by armed officers in plain clothes. And I wasn’t prepared to explain why I was in the West Bank on a settler bus and not where I said I would be in Israel proper. People told me to answer questions confidently, honestly and vaguely. A lot of officials I dealt with had a mediocre knowledge of place names so this helps with the vague answering. You might get through that but you’ve probably been flagged for more security checks. And if you have it’s a tough run in til the fight home. At check in and security your bags will be emptied, their contents swabbed and analysed, your body searched and scanned and your skill at answering repetitive questions tested.

And when you collect your bag from Gatwick airport luggage hall you’ll even find a courtesy note inside explaining that someone’s had another good look through your gear and put everything back as they found it. ‘Come back anytime’ ain’t the vibe I’m getting.

I plan on going back for olive harvest this year but won’t hold my breath on getting in. If one trip is that suspicious, another is probably smoking gun territory.

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment