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VIPS MEMO: Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran

January 3, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.

What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.

Cui Bono?

It is time to call a spade a spade. The country expecting to benefit most from hostilities between Iran and the U.S. is Israel (with Saudi Arabia in second place). As you no doubt are aware, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. He continues to await from you the kind of gift that keeps giving. Likewise, it appears that you, your son-in-law, and other myopic pro-Israel advisers are as susceptible to the influence of Israeli prime ministers as was former President George W. Bush. Some commentators are citing your taking personal responsibility for providing Iran with a casus belli as unfathomable. Looking back just a decade or so, we see a readily distinguishable pattern.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon played a huge role in getting George W. Bush to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Usually taciturn, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, warned in August 2002 that “U.S. action against Iraq … could turn the whole region into a cauldron.” Bush paid no heed, prompting Scowcroft to explain in Oct. 2004 to The Financial Times that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had George W. Bush “mesmerized”; that Sharon has him “wrapped around his little finger.” (Scowcroft was promptly relieved of his duties as chair of the prestigious President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.)

In Sept. 2002, well before the attack on Iraq, Philip Zelikow, who was Executive Secretary of the 9/11 Commission, stated publicly in a moment of unusual candor, “The ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The unstated threat was the threat against Israel.” Zelikow did not explain how Iraq (or Iran), with zero nuclear weapons, would not be deterred from attacking Israel, which had a couple of hundred such weapons.

Zombie Generals

When a docile, Peter-principle, “we-are-still-winning-in-Afghanistan” U.S. military leadership sends more troops (mostly from a poverty draft) to be wounded and killed in hostilities with Iran, Americans are likely, this time, to look beneath the equally docile media for answers as to why. Was it for Netanyahu and the oppressive regime in Israel? Many Americans will wake up, and serious backlash is likely.

Events might bring a rise in the kind of anti-Semitism already responsible for domestic terrorist attacks. And when body bags arrive from abroad, there may be for families and for thinking Americans, a limit to how much longer the pro-Israel mainstream media will be able to pull the wool over their eyes.

Those who may prefer to think that Gen. Scowcroft got up on the wrong side of the bed on Oct. 13, 2004, the day he gave the interview to The Financial Times may profit from words straight from Netanyahu’s mouth. On Aug. 3, 2010, in a formal VIPS Memorandum for your predecessor, we provided some “Netanyahu in his own words.” We include an excerpt here for historical context:

“Netanyahu’s Calculations

Netanyahu believes he holds the high cards, largely because of the strong support he enjoys in our Congress and our strongly pro-Israel media. He reads your [Obama’s] reluctance even to mention controversial bilateral issues publicly during his recent visit as affirmation that he is in the catbird seat in the relationship.

During election years in the U.S. (including mid-terms), Israeli leaders are particularly confident of the power they and the Likud Lobby enjoy on the American political scene.

Netanyahu’s attitude comes through in a video taped nine years ago and shown on Israeli TV, in which he bragged about how he deceived President Clinton into believing he (Netanyahu) was helping implement the Oslo accords when he was actually destroying them.

The tape displays a contemptuous attitude toward — and wonderment at — an America so easily influenced by Israel.  Netanyahu says:

“America is something that can be easily moved. Moved in the right direction. … They won’t get in our way … Eighty percent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd.”

Israeli columnist Gideon Levy wrote that the video shows Netanyahu to be “a con artist … who thinks that Washington is in his pocket and that he can pull the wool over its eyes,” adding that such behavior “does not change over the years.”

Recommendation

We ended VIPS’ first Memorandum For the President (George W. Bush) with this critique of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s address at the UN earlier that day:

“No one has a corner on the truth; nor do we harbor illusions that our analysis is “irrefutable or undeniable” [as Powell claimed his was]. But after watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

We are all in a liminal moment. We write with a sense of urgency suggesting you avoid doubling down on catastrophe.

For the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer and Division Director, State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)

Daniel Ellsberg, (Associate VIPS)

Graham Fuller, former vice-chairman, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Robert Furukawa, Capt, Civil Engineer Corps, USN-R, (ret.)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC Iraq; Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)

John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist and Technical Director (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Sarah Wilton, Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

Robert Wing, former U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer (Associate VIPS)

January 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Preparing the Stage: A Flawed Prospectus for War, This Time With Iran

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 9, 2019

“This is a historic opportunity”, whispered one of Netanyahu’s insiders into Ben Caspit (a leading Israeli journalist)’s ear this week: “You have no idea what we can wheedle from the Americans now, what a golden opportunity we face when the US is about to enter an election year”.

“Bunker busters”, he mutters to Caspit, who elaborates that: “According to members of Netanyahu’s inner circle, these bombs will be given to Israel once it signs the mutual defence agreement that Netanyahu has been working on.” And though Israel’s security establishment historically have opposed a full pact, Caspit explains that the PM’s associates “are referring to a ‘partial’ defence pact focused on Iran alone.” Netanyahu’s associates insist that “the prime minister wants to make history in the next half year.”

What sort of history might that be? Why six months? Well, Caspit points up: “Netanyahu’s people, headed by minister Yuval Steinitz clearly state that a widespread war is likely to erupt in the next six months between Iran and its adversaries in the region, including Israel”. And the new Defence Minister, Bennett, threatens Iran on an almost daily basis.

“Perhaps Netanyahu simply needs a war with Iran in order to survive politically,” one of the Blue and White leaders told Caspit: “That is scary and dangerous …” .

Yet precisely such an Iran-focussed treaty was to be a key issue on the agenda of hurriedly-arranged talks with Secretary Pompeo, in Lisbon this week – a ‘summit’ that followed in the wake of a notable flock of very high-level, US Defence officials visiting Israel in recent days. In Lisbon, Netanyahu said that his talks with Pompeo had focused on: 1. Iran; 2. Iran, and number 3: Iran.

And in Washington? The Defence establishment is not echoing the Israeli call to early action (with Iran and its allies allegedly mired in wide protest), but they are fretting that Iran is not being sufficiently “deterred”.

And the US Defence Establishment is adding to the Iran hype coming from Netanyahu: “We continue to see indications … that potential Iranian aggression could occur,” John Rood, the Pentagon’s number-three official, said in the wake of a Defense Intelligence Agency report that warned that Tehran is producing “increasingly capable ballistic and cruise missiles” with better accuracy, lethality and range.

Is all this hyped ‘threat’ for real? Iran has been very explicit in saying the purpose to its calibrated push-back is ‘pressure’: i.e. a counter-pressure to force the US to re-think its economic siege policy. That is perfectly understandable, is it not? Or, is this hype just Netanyahu politicking in the lead-up to a possible third round of elections in Israel in the New Year that could see him ousted from power and heading to gaol?

The latter explanation is possible, but events suggest that Netanyahu truly does want to seal his legacy by persuading the US to join with Israel in an attack on Iran. That is a real risk, too.

And if so, again (as in 2003), such an event again will be sold to the US and European public on an entirely false prospectus.

And what is that? Well, here it is: “For a long time it looked like the spread of Iranian influence across the Middle East was unstoppable. Now, the entire Iran-hegemony enterprise is at risk. Protests have been going on in Iraq and Lebanon for weeks, bringing their economies to a near standstill, and forcing their Iran-approved prime ministers to step down. There’s no end in sight to the protests …”.

And hence, the Israeli push – led by the newly-appointed Defence Minister, Bennet, that now – precisely – is the moment for the US to act against Iran. This is the narrative for war.

Certainly, a stage is being set around this narrative: the US is engaged in an epic arm-wrestle with Iran over whom will have the primacy of influence in Iraq. The US and its European allies, too, are holding Lebanon’s economy hostage to a resolution of a financial crisis (aggravated by the deliberate draining of US dollar liquidity from Lebanon to New York), against a US demand for a scission between President Aoun’s Christian party and Hizbullah – an alliance which effectively controls parliament in Beirut, and additionally, that demand that Lebanon concede its position over the East Mediterranean oil and gas demarcation – to Israel.

And, in Syria, US forces are trying to use the Syrian Kurds to block connective links between Iran and Iraq [Lebanon], whilst Israel attacks Iranian infrastructure there, from the air.

In short, we are dealing with New Generation warfare: maximum economic pressure (and siege), to trigger popular protest, and then to leverage these genuine economic grievances suffered by the ordinary populace, through inserting small, trained elements to seed ‘messages’ – and to resort to calibrated violence against symbols of the state (in order to seize media attention) – should popular protests flag, and require reviving.

On the other hand – in what may also be understood as an ‘other’ aspect to a ‘preparing of the stage’, Israel is at work to pacify Gaza (with Gulf cash); and the US is active with the Houthis in trying to tamp down the war with Saudi Arabia: i.e. de-conflicting other potential war fronts.

The economic and governance problems in Iraq and Lebanon are real (and profound) – and they do, to a degree, impinge on Iran’s room for manoeuvre. So, what then, is the ‘false prospectus’?

It lies with the protests in Iran – and the ‘message’ being promoted by the main-stream media which has the “regime” teetering at the brink of collapse, and obliged to use unprecedented violence to quell mass unarmed protests, in the wake of an extraordinarily ineptly managed, fuel-price hike.

What is wrong with this version? Well, what is right is that the hike triggered protests across 100 cities on the Friday, 15 November. The protests were widespread, and the poorer segments of the population (traditional supporters of the state) were heavily represented. But they were not violent.

The rest of the narrative is wrong.

On the day of the truly mass protests against the fuel hike, no one was killed. And, on the following day, the protestors almost wholly vanished from the streets. Instead, small groups of pre-prepared, armed and violent activists – not protestors – attacked the strategic hubs of state infrastructure: banks, petro-chemical plants, the gas network, and fuel storage. These hubs were attacked using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and sub-machine guns. Other groups took out banks (100s of them), armed with guns, swords and iron bars. (One of these latter groups attacked six banks in the space of just one hour.) Nothing here was spontaneous or ‘populist’.

The security forces reacted militarily – arresting and killing many insurgents. And yes – the internet was shut down. But, not the internal Iranian internet – only the global internet. So, the Iranian equivalent of WhatsApp and Telegraph, and Iranian news channels were still accessible – though the global internet was not. The overseas anger at the external internet shut-down possibly reflected surprise and irritation that Iran had this capability. Likely, it was not a capacity that Iran was thought to possess.

So what was going on? The Iranian government, it seems, had prior knowledge of plans to stage attacks by ‘activists’, as a part of an (externally formulated and resourced) disruption plan. But that original plan indicated that the start of these actions would take place early next year.

What seems to have happened is that when the fuel hike protests began, these ‘activists’ were given the go-ahead to ‘seize the moment’. In other words, they activated all their pre-prepared plans prematurely. This was exactly what the Iranian security forces wanted, and had sought. It enabled them to ‘smoke out’ the plot, and to arrest, or kill the ring-leaders.

In other words, the Iranian government is not teetering at any ‘brink’ – and later internal Iranian polling shows popular anger directed principally towards the violent gangs, and to a lesser extent, towards the Rouhani Administration, for its mis-handling of the fuel-price hike – but not against the state, per se. The latter result is not so surprising as older Iranians will remember how the CIA used similar tactics – violent attacks on shops – to escalate the protests in the 1953 overthrow of PM Mosaddegh, in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of the Shah.

Here is the question: Have the various instigators of these deliberate, violent attacks, ‘come clean’ about the failure of their plan – and of the unravelling (the arrests and disruption) of their Iranian ‘networks’ to President Trump? Or, is he being presented only with the Netanyahu ‘narrative’ of an Iran cornered ‘and at the brink’?

Iran is not at the brink; its economy is not imploding, and it has not – at least not yet – been cornered in the region. The arm-wrestling between the US and Iran in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is engaged, but not over. It is not the moment for Israel ‘to count its chickens’ with respect to an imploding Iran.

The other question then, is with all this swelling max-pressure, financialised ‘war’ operations mounted by the US, Israel, and certain Gulf States, across the Middle East, is there a way out? Or, is it likely to end in war? The momentum, as matters stand, must be towards escalation. To avoid that disaster, one or other of the parties must row back.

One ‘off-ramp’ might be that whilst Trump (ignominiously) might be ready to contemplate the disruption, the distress and hardship being administered to the people of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria in the interests of weakening Iran, he may not want to proceed to that ultimate step of war.

US polls show no popular appetite for war with Iran. Yet climbing down from his Iran ‘tree’ for Trump, will not be easy. The other off-ramp might be that Netanyahu does not remain as PM for these vital, coming six months to ‘write history’ and seal his legacy. It would be both “scary and dangerous”, for sure, were Netanyahu (and close associates) to conclude that Netanyahu needs such a war to survive – as Ben Caspit was so clearly warned.

But what is not so likely, is that Iran buckles or implodes.

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Say No To The US-Israel Mutual Defense Pact

By Eric Striker | National Justice | December 3, 2019

Last September, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that they were working on a mutual defense pact. Such a treaty, if signed, would officially and permanently mandate an American military intervention if Israel were to ever start a conflict with its neighbors.

The Trump administration is desperate to get this done, but Netanyahu is having trouble selling the idea to his rival Benny Gantz. The Likud party has so far been unable to form a government and Netanyahu is battling corruption charges. As a side note, two major GOP donors, Sheldon Adelson and Larry Ellison, are defense witnesses in Bibi’s case.

The major reason why some sectors of the Israeli state want Netanyahu gone is that they believe his government’s belligerence is responsible for Iran’s stunning rise. Netanyahu has chosen Israel-above-all unilateralism using Zion’s cats-paws in Washington to try and bully Tehran, but have walked all over Chinese and Russian interests in the process.

Two years into the Trump/Israel “maximum pressure” campaign, Iran is not only more powerful than before, it is participating in joint war games with China and Russia. This has angered competing Jewish factions inside Israel, who preferred the Obama method of passively subverting Iran through its countries pro-US/pro-Europe “moderate” liberal reformists. Hassan Rouhani, who they saw as the Persian “Gorbachev,” has now been fully discredited in the eyes of his people thanks to Trump and Netanyahu.

While all segments of Israeli society are having a public debate on the pros and cons of a military pact for their country, here in the US nobody has consulted with the 1.3 million active-duty American servicemen who will die in a world war to expand Israel’s borders.

JINSA’s Plan 

Lindsay Graham has told Jews at private events that he is working on this bill and is confident it will be ratified in the Senate. So far, the only people within US borders participating in this conversation are the Republican Jewish Coalition and JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security of America). The latter fifth column is writing the terms of the treaty.

Last July, JINSA released details of the pact they want Graham to push through, titled “For a Narrow US-Israel Defense Pact,” which can be obtained online (I will not link to downloads on JINSA’s website for security reasons).

The policy paper demands that Israel be granted special access to intelligence collected by the “Five Eyes Alliance” (Australia, UK, New Zealand, Canada and the US), officially turning the entire Anglo-Saxon world into a global Jewish spy network (which is already unofficially true).

Furthermore, it calls on the war clause be triggered if any country “threatens” to use chemical or nuclear weapons against the Jewish state or physically undermines Israel’s economic activities. This is very open-ended.

The most ludicrous part of the Graham/JINSA treaty is section 3.4, where Israel is under no obligation to notify or seek approval from the United States when it decides to engage in a military attack against another party.

In other words, if Israel decides to start a war with Iran (or China, or Russia, or all of them), it doesn’t have to discuss this with its “ally” first. Israel reserves its right to act unilaterally and America must go along for the ride whether we want to or not.

America gets absolutely nothing from joining such an agreement, except the possibility of a catastrophic world war that can be started by unstable psychopaths like Benjamin Netanyahu without warning, whenever they please.

The US has not signed a mutual defense treaty since 1962.

It’s time the 98% start demanding Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham include us in this debate, and prepare to protest as soon as this bill hits the Senate floor.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Finally Charged and Lacking a Mandate to Govern, Netanyahu’s Days are Numbered

By Jonathan Cook – The National – November 25, 2019

The decision to indict Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on three separate criminal counts pushes the country’s already unprecedented electoral stalemate into the entirely uncharted territory of a constitutional crisis.

There is no legal precedent for a sitting prime minister facing a trial – in Netanyahu’s case, for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert was charged with corruption in 2009 but only after he had resigned from office.

Israeli commentators are already warning of the possibility of civil war if, as seems likely, Netanyahu decides to whip up his far-right supporters into a frenzy of outrage. After a decade in power, he has developed an almost cult-like status among sections of the public.

The honorable thing would be for Netanyahu to step down quickly, given that the two elections he fought this year ended in deadlock. Both were seen primarily as plebiscites on his continuing rule.

He is now the country’s caretaker prime minister, in place until either a new government can be formed or an unprecedented third election is held.

His departure would end months of governmental near-paralysis. The path would then be clear for a successor from his Likud party to negotiate a deal on a right-wing unity government with rival Benny Gantz, a former army general.

Gantz’s Blue and White party has made it a point of principle not to forge an alliance with Netanyahu.

Previous experience, however, suggests that Netanyahu might prefer to tear the house down rather than go quietly. If he is allowed to press ahead with another election in March, he is likely to stoke new levels of incitement against his supposed enemies.

Until now, the main target of his venom has been a predictable one.

During the April and September campaigns, he railed relentlessly against the fifth of Israel’s citizenry who are Palestinian as well as their elected representatives in the Joint List, the third largest faction in the Knesset.

Shortly before last Thursday’s indictment was announced, Netanyahu was at it again, holding an “emergency conference”. He told supporters that a minority government led by Gantz and propped up from outside by the Joint List would be a “historic national attack on Israel”. The Palestinian minority’s MPs, he said, “want to destroy the country”.

Such a government, he added, would be an outcome “they will celebrate in Tehran, in Ramallah and in Gaza, as they do after every terror attack”.

This repeated scaremongering had an obvious goal: rallying the Jewish public to vote for his far-right, now overtly anti-Arab coalition. The hope was that he would win an outright majority and could then force through legislation conferring on him immunity from prosecution.

Now he appears to have run out of time. After three years of investigations and much foot-dragging, the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, has finally charged him.

According to the Israeli media, Netanyahu turned down opportunities for a plea bargain that would have seen him resign in return for avoiding jail time.

According to the most serious allegation, he is accused of granting media tycoon Shaul Elovich benefits worth $500 million in exchange for favourable coverage.

Weighed against the crimes he and other Israeli leaders have perpetrated over many decades against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, the offences he is indicted for seem relatively minor.

Nonetheless, if found guilty, Netanyahu faces a substantial prison sentence of up to 10 years. That makes the stakes high.

All the signs now are that he will switch his main target from Israel’s Palestinian minority to the legal authorities pursuing him.

His first response to the indictment was to accuse the police and state prosecutors of an “attempted coup”, claiming they had fabricated the evidence to “frame” him. “The time has come to investigate the investigators,” he urged.

As one Blue and White official told the veteran Israeli reporter Ben Caspit: “Netanyahu will not hesitate to sic [unleash] his supporters on those institutions of government that represent the rule of law. He has no inhibitions.”

Technically the law allows a prime minister to continue serving while under indictment and before a trial, which is still many months away. Assuming Netanyahu refuses to resign, the courts will have to rule on whether this privilege extends to a caretaker leader unable to form a new government.

Netanyahu is therefore likely to focus his attention on intimidating the supreme court, already cowed by a decade of tongue-lashing from the Israeli right. Critics unfairly accuse the court of being a bastion of liberalism.

But bigger dangers may lie ahead. Netanyahu needs to keep his own Likud party in line. If its members sense he is finished, there could be a rapid collapse of support and moves towards an attempt to overthrow him.

The first hints of trouble emerged on Saturday when Gideon Saar, Netanyahu’s most likely challenger in Likud, accused him of “creating an atmosphere of chaos” by denigrating the legal authorities.

After the failure by both Gantz and Netanyahu to put together a coalition, the task was passed last week to parliament. Its members have just over a fortnight left to see whether one of their number can rally a majority of MPs.

This brief window could provide an opportunity for Saar to move against Netanyahu. On Sunday he submitted an official request for the Likud party to hold a snap leadership race.

Observers fear that to allay this danger, Netanyahu might consider not only inflaming his base but also setting the region alight with a conflict to rally the rest of the public to his side and make his removal impossible.

In fact, the Israeli media reported that shortly before September’s election, he had tried to pull precisely such a stunt, preparing a war on Gaza to justify postponing the ballot.

He was stopped at the last minute by Mandelblit, who realised that the cabinet had been misled into approving military action. Netanyahu had allegedly concealed from them the fact that the military command was opposed.

In recent weeks, Netanyahu has stoked severe tensions with Gaza by assassinating Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu Al Atta. Last week he launched airstrikes on Iranian positions in Syria.

When Olmert was being investigated for corruption in 2008, Netanyahu sagely warned of the dangerous confusion of interests that might result. “He will make decisions based on his own interests of political survivability rather than the national interest,” he said.

And that is precisely the reason why many in Israel are keen to see the back of Netanyahu – in case his instinct for political survival trumps the interests of stability in the region.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 3 Comments

Why Israel is Struggling to Find a Way Out of its Political Deadlock

Likud, the Blue and White party and Yisrael Beiteinu are ideological bedfellows – but other fears have prompted a stalemate

By Jonathan Cook – The National – September 30, 2019

It would be a grave mistake to assume that the continuing political deadlock in Israel – with neither incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz seemingly able to cobble together a coalition government – is evidence of a deep ideological divide.

In political terms, there is nothing divided about Israel. In this month’s general election, 90 per cent of Israeli Jews voted for parties that identify as being either on the militaristic, anti-Arab right or on the religious, anti-Arab far-right.

The two parties claiming to represent the centre-left – the rebranded versions of Labour and Meretz – won only 11 seats in the 120-member parliament.

Stranger still, the three parties that say they want to form a “broad unity government” won about 60 per cent of the vote.

Mr Netanyahu’s Likud, Mr Gantz’s Blue and White party led by former generals, and ex-defence minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu secured between them 73 seats – well over the 61 seats needed for a majority.

All three support the entrenchment of the occupation and annexation of parts of the West Bank; all three think the settlements are justified and necessary; and all demand that the siege of Gaza continue, view the Palestinian leadership as untrustworthy and want neighbouring Arab states cowering in fear.

Moshe Yaalon, Mr Gantz’s fellow general in the Blue and White party, was formerly a pivotal figure in Likud alongside Mr Netanyahu. And Mr Lieberman, before he created his own party, was the director of Mr Netanyahu’s office. These are not political enemies; they are ideological bedfellows.

There is one significant but hardly insumountable difference. Mr Gantz thinks it is important to maintain bipartisan US support for Israel’s belligerent occupation while Mr Netanyahu has preferred to throw Israel’s hand in with Donald Trump and the Christian religious right.

Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s president, has pressed the three parties to work together. He has suggested that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gantz rotate the role of prime minister between them, a mechanism used in Israel’s past.

But after Mr Gantz refused last week, the president assigned Mr Netanyahu the task of trying to form a government, although most observers think the effort will prove futile. After indecisive elections in April and September, Israel therefore looks to be heading for a third round of elections.

But if the deadlock is not ideological, then what is causing it?

In truth, the paralysis has been caused by two fears – one in Likud, the other in Blue and White.

Mr Gantz is happy to sit in a unity government with the Likud party. His objection is to allying with Mr Netanyahu, who is days away from hearings with the attorney general on multiple counts of fraud and breach of trust. Mr Netanyahu wants to be in power to force through a law guaranteeing himself immunity from prosecution.

Blue and White was created to oust Mr Netayahu on the basis that he is corrupt and actively destroying what is left of Israel’s democratic institutions, including by trying to vilify state prosecutors investigating him.

For Blue and White to now prop Mr Netanyahu up in a unity government would be a betrayal of its voters.

The solution for Likud, then, should be obvious: remove Mr Netanyahu and share power with Blue and White.

But the problem is that Likud’s members are in absolute thrall to their leader. The thought of losing him terrifies them. Likud now looks more like a one-man cult than a political party.

Mr Gantz, meanwhile, is gripped by fear of a different kind.

Without Likud, the only solution for Mr Gantz is to turn elsewhere for support. But that would make him reliant on the 13 seats of the Joint List, a coalition of parties representing Israel’s large minority of Palestinian citizens.

And there’s the rub. Blue and White is a deeply Arab-phobic party, just like Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu. Its only civilian leader, Yair Lapid, notoriously refused to work with Palestinian parties after the 2013 election – before Mr Netanyahu had made racist incitement his campaign trademark.

Mr Lapid said: “I’ll never sit with the Zoabis” – a reference to the most prominent of the Palestinian legislators at the time, Haneen Zoabi.

Similarly, Mr Gantz has repeatedly stressed his opposition to sitting with the Joint List.

Nonetheless, the Joint List’s leader Ayman Odeh made an unprecedented gesture last week, throwing the weight of most of his faction behind Mr Gantz.

That was no easy concession, given Mr Gantz’s positions and his role as army chief in 2014 overseeing the destruction of Gaza. The move angered many Palestinians in the occupied territories.

But Mr Odeh saw the Palestinian minority’s turn-out in September leap by 10 percentage points compared to April’s election, so desperate were his voters to see the back of Mr Netanyahu.

Surveys also indicate a growing frustration among Palestinian citizens at their lack of political influence. Although peace talks are off Israel’s agenda, some in the minority hope it might be possible to win a little relief for their communities after decades of harsh, institutional discrimination.

In a New York Times op-ed last week, Mr Odeh justified his support for Mr Gantz. It was intended to send “a clear message that the only future for this country is a shared future, and there is no shared future without the full and equal participation of Arab Palestinian citizens”.

Mr Gantz seems unimpressed. According to an investigation by the Israeli media, Mr Netahyahu only got first crack at forming a government because Mr Gantz blanched at the prospect.

He was worried Mr Netanyahu would again smear him – and damage him in the eyes of voters – if he was seen to be negotiating with the Joint List.

Mr Netanyahu has already painted the alternatives in stark terms: either a unity government with him at its heart, or a Blue and White government backed by those who “praise terrorists”.

The Likud leader might yet pull a rabbit out of his battered hat. Mr Gantz or Mr Lieberman could cave, faced with taunts that otherwise “the Arabs” will get a foot in the door. Or Mr Netanyahu could trigger a national emergency, even a war, to bully his rivals into backing him.

But should it come to a third election, Mr Netanyahu will have a pressing reason to ensure he succeeds this time. And that will doubtless require stepping up incitement another dangerous gear against the Palestinian minority.

The reality is that there is strong unity in Israel – over shared, deeply ugly attitudes towards Palestinians, whether citizens or those under occupation. Paradoxically, the only obstacle to realising that unity is Mr Netanyahu’s efforts to cling to power.

October 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Israelis Have Made their Verdict Clear: Benjamin Netanyahu’s Time is Up

There looms the possibility of weeks of horse-trading and the Joint List of Arab legislators becoming the official opposition

By Jonathan Cook | The National | September 18, 2019

For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end?

Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, Israelis have made their verdict clear: Netanyahu’s time is up.

In April’s inconclusive election, which led to this re-run, Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with its main opponent in the Blue and White party, led by retired general Benny Gantz. This time Gantz appears to have nudged ahead, with 32 seats to Netanyahu’s 31 in the 120-member parliament. Both parties fared worse than they did in April, when they each secured 35 seats.

But much more significantly, Netanyahu appears to have fallen short of the 61-seat majority he needs to form yet another far-right government comprising settler and religious parties.

His failure is all the more glaring, given that he conducted by far the ugliest – and most reckless – campaign in Israeli history. That was because the stakes were sky-high.

Only a government of the far-right – one entirely beholden to Netanyahu – could be relied on to pass legislation guaranteeing him immunity from a legal process due to begin next month. Without it, he is likely to be indicted on multiple charges of fraud and breach of trust.

So desperate was Netanyahu to avoid that fate, according to reports published in the Israeli media on election day, that he was only a hair’s breadth away from launching a war on Gaza last week as a way to postpone the election.

Israel’s chief law officer, attorney general Avichai Mendelblit, stepped in to halt the attack when he discovered the security cabinet had approved it only after Netanyahu concealed the army command’s major reservations.

Netanyahu also tried to bribe right-wing voters by promising last week that he would annex much of the West Bank immediately after the election – a stunt that blatantly violated campaigning laws, according to Mendelblit.

Facebook was forced to shut down Netanyahu’s page on two occasions for hate speech – in one case after it sent out a message that “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men”. That sentiment appeared to include the 20 per cent of the Israeli population who are Palestinian citizens.

Netanyahu incited against the country’s Palestinian minority in other ways, not least by constantly suggesting that their votes constituted fraud and that they were trying to “steal the election”.

He even tried to force through a law allowing his Likud party activists to film in Arab polling stations – as they covertly did in April’s election – in an unconcealed attempt at voter intimidation.

The move appeared to have backfired, with Palestinian citizens turning out in larger numbers than they did in April.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, intervened on Netanyahu’s behalf by announcing the possibility of a defence pact requiring the US to come to Israel’s aid in the event of a regional confrontation.

None of it helped.

Netanayhu’s only hope of political survival – and possible avoidance of jail time – depends on his working the political magic he is famed for.

That may prove a tall order. To pass the 61-seat threshold, he must persuade Avigdor Lieberman and his ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party to support him.

Netanyahu and Lieberman, who is a settler, are normally ideological allies. But these are not normal times. Netanyahu had to restage the election this week after Lieberman, sensing the prime minister’s weakness, refused in April to sit alongside religious parties in a Netanyahu-led government.

Netanyahu might try to lure the fickle Lieberman back with an irresistible offer, such as the two of them rotating the prime ministership.

But Lieberman risks huge public opprobrium if, after putting the country through a deeply unpopular re-run election, he now does what he refused on principle to do five months ago.

Lieberman has nearly doubled his party’s seats to nine, by insisting that he is the champion of the secular Israeli public.

Most importantly for Lieberman, he finds himself once again in the role of kingmaker. It is almost certain he will shape the character of the next government. And whoever he anoints as prime minister will be indebted to him.

The deadlock that blocked the formation of a government in April still stands. Israel faces the likelihood of weeks of frantic horse-trading and even the possibility of a third election.

Nonetheless, from the perspective of Palestinians – whether those under occupation or those living in Israel as third-class citizens – the next Israeli government is going to be a hardline right one.

On paper, Gantz is best placed to form a government of what is preposterously labelled the “centre-left”. But given that its backbone will comprise Blue and White, led by a bevy of hawkish generals, and Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, it would, in practice, be nearly as right wing as Netanyahu’s.

Gantz even accused Netanyahu of stealing his idea in announcing last week that he would annex large parts of the West Bank.

The difficulty is that such a coalition would depend on the support of the 13 Joint List legislators representing Israel’s large Palestinian minority. That is something Lieberman has rejected out of hand, calling the idea “absurd” early on Wednesday as results were filtering in. Gantz appears only a little more accommodating.

The solution could be a national unity government comprising much of the right: Gantz’s Blue and White teamed up with Likud and Lieberman. Both Gantz and Lieberman indicated that was their preferred choice on Wednesday.

The question then would be whether Netanyahu can worm his way into such a government, or whether Gantz demands his ousting as a price for Likud’s inclusion.

Netanyahu’s hand in such circumstances would not be strong, especially if he is immersed in a protracted legal battle on corruption charges. There are already rumblings of an uprising in Likud to depose him.

One interesting outcome of a unity government is that it could provoke a constitutional crisis by making the Joint List, the third-largest party, the official opposition. That is the same Joint List described by Netanyahu as a “dangerous anti-Zionist” party.

Ayman Odeh would become the first leader of the Palestinian minority to attend regular briefings by the prime minister and security chiefs.

Netanyahu will continue as caretaker prime minister for several more weeks – until a new government is formed. If he stays true to form, there is plenty of mischief he can instigate in the meantime.

September 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 4 Comments

Moscow condemns Netanyahu’s annexation bid on eve of his visit to Russia

Press TV – September 11, 2019

Russia has strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election pledge to annex north of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank on the eve of his visit to the Russian city of Sochi.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the implementation of Netanyahu’s plan may result in a “sharp escalation of tension in the region”.

It may also “undermine hopes for a long-awaited peace” in the region, the statement added, urging Tel Aviv to return to direct negotiations based on “relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid Principle and the Arab Peace Initiative.”

The condemnation came on the eve of Netanyahu’s visit to the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where he is scheduled to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

The visit, announced on Tuesday, will be held just five days before the Israeli snap legislative elections. The last time Putin and Netanyahu met was in Moscow on April 4, again five days before the last Israeli election.

Netanyahu has promised to go ahead with the annexation plan in case he emerges victorious in the forthcoming votes.

“Today I announce my intention to apply with the formation of the next government Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea,” Netanyahu said in a speech broadcast live on Israeli TV channels on Tuesday evening.

The 69-year-old Chairman of the Likud-National Liberal Movement also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements throughout the occupied West Bank if re-elected, and in coordination with US President Donald Trump.

The plan has drawn sharp criticism from countries in the Middle East, including Jordan and Turkey, and international bodies like the UN and the Arab League.

Iran on Wednesday said the Israeli prime minister seeks to stay in power through annexations and anti-Iran accusations.

“Netanyahu is after votes to stay in power and continue with expansionist policies and aggression one day through making accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran and one day by announcing his malicious intention to annex certain parts of Palestine,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Ironically enough, Saudi Arabia that has been seeking to normalize ties with Israel also criticized Netanyahu for this “dangerous escalation against the Palestinian people” and called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The OIC later announced on Wednesday it will call an emergency meeting soon at the level of foreign ministers to review the Israeli premier’s plan.

The OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Al-Othaimeen strongly condemned Netanyahu’s intention, emphasizing that the “dangerous announcement is another aggression against the Palestinian people’s rights.”

He said the OIC meeting will discuss the possible political and legal measures that could be taken to confront Israel’s new aggression.

September 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

With Strikes Against Iran, Netanyahu Risks Jeopardising his Closest Alliance

The US has not taken kindly to Israel’s actions in Iraq, fearing that a local backlash could endanger the 5,000 troops it has stationed there

By Jonathan Cook – The National – September 10, 2019

Every Israeli prime minister – not least Benjamin Netanyahu – understands that a military entanglement with Hezbollah, Lebanon’s armed Shia movement on Israel’s northern border, is a dangerous wager, especially during an election campaign.

It was Shimon Peres who lost to Mr Netanyahu in 1996, weeks after the former prime minister had incensed Israel’s Palestinian minority – a fifth of the population – by savagely attacking Lebanon in a futile bid to improve his military, and electoral, standing.

Lebanon proved a quagmire for Ehud Olmert too, after he launched a war in 2006 that demonstrated how exposed Israel’s northern communities were to Hezbollah’s rockets. The fallout helped pave Mr Netanyahu’s path to victory and his second term as prime minister three years later.

Mr Netanyahu has faced off with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for the full 13 years he has been in power. But unlike his political rivals, he has preferred to play a cautious hand with his Lebanese opponent.

Which makes a recent spate of drone attacks by Israel across the region, including in Lebanon, all the more surprising, even in the context of a highly contested election due to take place next Tuesday. During the campaign, Mr Netanyahu has been buffeted by yet more corruption allegations.

According to the Israeli media, two drones dispatched over Beirut late last month were intended to destroy Iranian-supplied equipment that would allow Hezbollah to manufacture precision-guided missiles.

It was the first such Israeli attack on Lebanese soil since a ceasefire ended the 2006 war. Hezbollah and Israel have preferred to flex their muscles in neighbouring Syria, weakened after more than eight years of war.

The attack outraged Lebanon’s leaders, with Mr Nasrallah warning that Hezbollah would shoot down any Israeli drones encroaching on Lebanese airspace. He also vowed revenge, which finally came a week ago when Hezbollah fired at an Israeli military vehicle carrying five soldiers close to the border. Israel said there were no casualties.

That was followed by Hezbollah shooting down an Israeli drone in southern Lebanon early on Monday. The Israeli army confirmed it had been on a “routine mission” when it fell in Lebanese territory.

In retaliation for last week’s attack, Israel shelled Hezbollah positions, a clash Israeli media described as being a “hair’s breadth” from escalating into all-out war.

Neither Israel nor Hezbollah appear to want such an outcome. Both understand the likely heavy toll in casualties and the damaging political consequences.

Nonetheless, Mr Netanyahu appears to be stoking a fire he might ultimately struggle to control – and not just in Lebanon. Around the time of the Beirut attack, Israeli drones were also in action in Iraq and Syria.

First, Israel hit a building near Damascus, killing two Hezbollah operatives. According to Israel, they were working with Iranian forces to prepare a drone attack on the Golan Heights, Syrian territory annexed by Israel in violation of international law.

Then a day later, more Israeli drones – apparently launched from Azerbaijan – targeted depots housing Iranian weapons close to the Iraqi-Syrian border.

There have been reports of half a dozen such attacks since mid-July. They are the first known Israeli strikes on Iraq’s territory in four decades.

The running thread in these various incidents – apart from Israel’s violation of each country’s sovereignty – is Iran.

Until recently, Israel had launched regular forays deep into Syrian airspace to target what it said was the transport through Syria of long-range precision missiles supplied by Iran to Hezbollah, its Shia ally in Lebanon.

Hezbollah and Iran view this growing stockpile of precision weapons – capable of hitting key military installations in Israel – as a vital restraint on Israel’s freedom to attack its neighbours.

Over the past year, Israel’s ability to hit missile convoys as they pass through Syria has narrowed as Bashar Al-Assad has regained control of Syrian territory and installed more sophisticated, Russian-made air defences.

Now Israel appears to be targeting the two ends of the supply chain, from deliveries dispatched in Iraq to their receipt in Lebanon. In the words of Mr Netanyahu, Iran “is not immune anywhere”.

The US has not taken kindly to Israel’s actions in Iraq, fearing that a local backlash could endanger the 5,000 troops it has stationed there and push Iraq further into Iran’s arms. In response, the Pentagon issued a statement condemning “actions by external actors inciting violence in Iraq”.

So what is Mr Netanyahu up to? Why risk provoking a dangerous clash with Hezbollah and alienating his strongest asset, a supportive US administration headed by Donald Trump, at this critical moment in the election campaign?

The answer could be that he feels he has little choice.

The same weekend that Israel launched its wave of attacks across the region, French President Emmanuel Macron engineered an unexpected visit by Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to the G7 summit in Biarritz.

It was part of efforts by Mr Macron, and Europe more generally, to encourage Mr Trump to repair relations with Tehran after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement last year and reimposed sanctions. Mr Netanyahu has taken partial credit for the administration’s tough stance.

Now he has been jolted by Mr Trump’s apparent willingness to reconsider, possibly to protect shipping lanes and oil supplies in the Gulf from Iranian disruption, just as the US president seeks re-election.

Any U-turn would conflict sharply with Mr Netanyahu’s agenda. Domestically he has long presented Iran as the ultimate bogeyman, hell-bent on gaining a nuclear bomb to destroy Israel. His strongman image has been built on his supposed triumph both in reining in Tehran and recruiting the Trump administration to his cause.

If Mr Trump indicates a readiness for rapprochement with Iran before polling day, Mr Netanyahu’s narrative is sunk – and the corruption allegations he faces are likely to take a stronger hold on the public imagination.

That was why, as he headed to London last Thursday, Mr Netanyahu issued a barely veiled rebuke to Mr Trump: “This is not the time to talk to Iran.”

It might also be why a report in the New York Times last week suggested that Israel is contemplating a risky, go-it-alone strike on Iran, something Mr Netanyahu has reportedly been mulling for several years.

Certainly, he has every interest in using attacks like the recent ones to provoke a reaction from Iran in the hope of pre-empting any US overture.

It is a high-stakes gamble and one that risks setting off a conflagration should Mr Netanyahu overplay his hand. These are desperate times for Israel’s longest-serving but increasingly embattled prime minister.

September 10, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 6 Comments

Nasrallah: Hezbollah has no more ‘Red Lines’ Against Israel, all Occupied Palestine can be Targeted

Hezbollah footage of the strike (English subtitles):

Report about Israeli dummy soldiers:

According to Israel’s military censor, there were no Israelis so much as scracthed by Hezbollah’s Kornet missiles, but only 2 days later, an Israeli soldier was severely injured and almost died because of an alledged ‘rock-throwing game’. Sounds like the lousiest cover-up ever…

Nasrallah: Hezbollah has no more ‘Red Lines’ Against Israel, all Occupied Palestine can be Targeted

Political section of the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on September 2nd, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (‘Ashura), and the day after Hezbollah’s retaliation against an Israeli armored vehicle.

Transcript: 

The (political) part of my speech will be devoted to the latest developments, that is Hezbollah’s retaliation, the different reactions to it and (everything that happened yesterday and today).

First, we express our thanks to God Most High and Exalted for the success, the victory, and the accomplishments He has bestowed upon us, because all the benefits we enjoy come from His beneficence, His goodness, and His mercy. We praise Him and implore His forgiveness.

I must then address, at the beginning of my speech, the Resistance, the Mujahideen (fighters in the way of God), be they leaders, soldiers or persons in charge, who since 8 days, since Sunday (August 25) to this day, until last night or until this morning at least, were on the battlefield, at every time, along the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine, and ready (to hit the first valuable target). It is by their presence, their state of alert, their courage, their efficiency and their sacrifices that we realized and confirmed all the equations that dissuade the enemy and protect our country.

These brothers, since the first hours after my Sunday (August 25) speech, whether under the sun or under the stars, in the heat of daylight or the freshness of the night, and in spite of the maximum alert of the Israeli enemy, of his radars and (surveillance) drones, as well as all his (ultra-sophisticated) technical means, remained in front of the enemy, exposed (to strikes), present on the ground (and not hidden in bunkers), ready to give their blood. After God the Most High and the Exalted, it is they whom we must thank, these noble and very dear brothers.

In the same way, I must thank the Lebanese army, which remained vigilant on the whole length of the border, ready to face any aggression. I also express our thanks to our beloved people, our kith and kin, and our beloved families, especially those who are in the villages and regions closest to the border, who have spent all these days living their daily & normal lives, and who have followed, supported and congratulated our retaliation, and expressed their joy and pride in the success of the Resistance.

Likewise, we naturally thank anew the (Lebanese) Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament) and government officials, and all those who have clearly and firmly taken a stance (alongside the Resistance). I declare in truth that they have followed the events until the last moments, and have assumed their national responsibility.

I particularly thank the media, who have made great efforts to follow the evolution of the situation, supporting the actions of the Resistance and showing the situation as it really was, thwarting the enemy’s attempts to hide the facts (claiming that Hezbollah didn’t cause any casualties). As I will explain, our operation did not take place only yesterday in the afternoon, but extended from my speech (on August 25) to the military operation itself. All of this has been closely monitored by the media, and I thank them all, especially the reporters on the ground, who sometimes put themselves in danger in order to show the situation in a strong and eloquent way [the Israeli Army had completely deserted the area, allowing some Al-Manar, Al-Mayadeen and Russia Today Arabic journalists to infiltrate Israeli territory and even enter abandoned military bases]. We also thank all the analysts and commentators who provided the public with truthful, relevant and eloquent explanations.

I did not prepare a list of all those I had to thank, so in advance, I apologize to all those I may have forgotten, which will dispense me from mentioning them later [Laughter]. We thank everyone.

Secondly, I will quickly assess what has happened so that I can draw clear conclusions. What happened started during the night from Saturday to Sunday (August 25), and consisted of two events. The first event was the Israeli airstrike against the city of ‘Aqraba in the suburbs of Damascus, which led to the martyrdom of our dear brothers Yasser Dhaher and Hassan Zbib. And a few hours later, the second event was the operation of the two suicide drones in the southern suburbs of Beirut. I want to clarify something in this regard: it is common knowledge that the first suicide drone was neutralized (pelted with stones) and fell to the ground, and therefore failed to achieve what it was sent for. I add today that the second suicide drone, which was also sent to destroy a target, also failed in its mission: the target that this drone tried to destroy was not hit. The Israelis know well what they have come to strike, and I have no reason to reveal it, but I announce to the enemy that this operation failed. And it is also a blessing of God the Most High and Exalted.

Since the first moments, we have announced, especially in my Sunday speech, that we would not remain silent about these two aggressions, that we would not accept that new equations are imposed (to our disadvantage), and that we wouldn’t let the achievements of our July 2006 victory be squandered. And that’s why we said we would retaliate with certainty to these two attacks.

Our response has taken two aspects. The first aspect of our response took place on the ground, and across the international border with occupied Palestine, with the territory of Palestine occupied in 1948. And the second aspect of our response concerns Israeli drones in the skies of Lebanon.

Regarding the first aspect, the direct operation on the ground, we have stated publicly and clearly… I will present the overall situation to highlight our strengths, the strengths of Lebanon, and the points of weakness, humiliation, fear and failure of the enemy. We announced publicly that we would retaliate from Lebanon, from anywhere on the Lebanese border (with occupied Palestine), and perhaps even in the depths (of Israel). We warned the enemy that he had to expect us (any time) from now on. This is a strength point of the Resistance. We could have remained silent, refrained from threatening (Israel of an imminent retaliation), not revealing our intentions, keeping quiet as we say, for 1, 2 or 3 days, then hit them by surprise. The military know that one of the most important aspects of a military operation is the element of surprise. But we have not done so, because our fight against the Zionist entity has a major psychological component, affecting the morale and soul of the enemy (which we strive to undermine). So we told them from the beginning to wait for us, because we were coming. In itself, it is an enormous challenge issued by the Resistance, (but the enemy did not dare to take up the gauntlet).

If we consider the overall situation, in our eyes, everything that has happened since my (August 25) speech until yesterday, and which I will detail, is a (humiliating) punishment inflicted on the enemy, a deterrence of the enemy, a (successful) confrontation with the enemy. It is an operation composed of several layers that add up. Part of it is psychological, part of it touches the morale, part of it takes place on the battlefield, a part consists of an (anti-tank) missile launch, but all this is part of the same operation of a multiple punishment of the enemy, consisting of different layers.

If we consider the situation since last Sunday, since my August 25 speech, and briefly summarize the facts, what happened?

1 – The border has been deserted throughout its length. For Israel, there was no longer any distinction between the blue line, the international border, and this or that disputed piece of land in one direction or the other: the entire border, whether it is indicated by a wall or barbed wire, was completely abandoned by Israel, and it was impossible to find any soldier on the whole length of the border. Neither soldiers, nor these vehicles that regularly move on the dirt tracks or asphalt could be seen along the border. We did not see anyone nor anything. It is only today that they began to reappear, our operation having ended yesterday.

2 – All positions close to the borders have been completely abandoned. They did not even hole up in their bases, no, they completely abandoned them. They escaped. By God, it’s more than we expected. I told them to hole up, but they literally fled.

Entire barracks were abandoned, like the one whose name has now become famous, the barracks of Avivim. A large military base, including a command center occupied by a large number of officers and soldiers, etc., etc., etc., was completely deserted, as a journalist (from Russia Today) showed: she went in and walked the premises, finding them completely empty. There was absolutely no one! Several barracks and military positions have been abandoned at the border, and sometimes even in the depths (of Israel).

3 – At a depth of 5 kilometers in some areas, and 7 kilometers in others, special measures, severe restrictions, evacuations and travel bans have been put in place. Even in the settlements, as we saw on television, cameras roamed the settlements from morning till night and did not meet a soul: no pedestrians, no motorists, no motorcyclists, no bicycles, no open shops, nothing. Everyone stood still. They were all holed up in their houses, and the doors of the shelters were open.

4 – Very severe (security) measures were taken everywhere in Israel, with an unprecedented state of alert. All the Iron Dome units that they could find and bring to the North, they brought and deployed them to face (possible) missile fire. All their anti-aircraft defense capabilities were activated, as well as all their means of dealing with the missiles or drones that Hezbollah could have launched towards occupied Palestine. Of course, we have drones (in quality and quantity), it’s not a secret and they know it well.

5 – During these 8 days, their combat units were on alert, on a war footing and deployed: I speak of several divisions, several air bases, several naval bases, etc.

If we consider the general situation that prevailed on the Israeli side during these last days, it was clear that this Israel, which to this day presents itself as endowed with the most powerful army of the region, the first army of the region, this arrogant, despotic, infatuated and tyrannical state, which once terrorized millions and hundreds of millions of people (through its wars and threats of aggression), for eight days, the whole world saw it frightened, fearful, hidden, holed up, and having completely deserted the Lebanese border on a width of at least 5 kilometers. It’s an absolute shame and humiliation. It is a demonstration of weakness. This is one manifestation of the fact that Israel is weaker than a spider’s web. And that’s part of the punishment (we inflicted on Israel). Before we retaliated with our military operation, some people were (ironically) asking: where is your response? But (this terror situation on the Israeli side) was already a punishment and a retaliation.

On the other hand, on our side, the Lebanese army has not left the border anywhere, remaining in all its positions. Likewise, the Resistance was present everywhere it was supposed to be. Our good Lebanese people were normally moving in border areas, whether in villages or fields [Israeli settlers were forbidden to approach “their” fields in occupied Palestine], and led a completely normal life.

So we have a scene (of normal life) on our side, on our territory and in our villages, a scene of endurance, strength, assurance, confidence, certainty, dignity and nobility, be it Lebanon, its people, its army, its State or its Resistance. Such was the scene on our side, (compare it with the spectacle of terror and desolation on the other side).

Similarly, to properly assess the situation, it should be noted that yesterday, the Resistance conducted its operation in broad daylight. The military is well aware of what it means to conduct an operation in broad daylight (risk of detection, of elimination, etc.), so close to the border, while the (Israeli surveillance) drones were flying in the sky, and while their combat helicopters were ready to come and hit us. Our fighters were exposed to danger in broad daylight because we did not act at night. It is a deliberate choice we made not to act at night, for reasons that I will not bother to mention (show of force, etc.). We made the decision to act imperatively by day, and we communicated it to the brothers in charge of the operation on the ground, and it is also one of the reasons for the delay of the operation, because if we had acted at night, we would have had more targets and opportunities.

This Resistance did not hit directly at the border – anyway, there were no targets at the border – but at some depth (2 kilometers). And despite all the Israeli measures, despite all their precautions and despite all the dummy targets they have scattered everywhere (empty vehicles or occupied by dummies dressed as soldiers), a considerable amount of military vehicles and tanks placed here and there, which were all calling for our strikes to put an end to this unbearable wait for the enemy, despite all this, the Resistance has patiently waited, watched and monitored, ensuring the validity of information and checking all the data, and when a valuable target finally showed up, we hit it and touched it with certainty. Today, the whole world was able to see the video of the operation broadcast in the media. What happened clearly demonstrates our boldness, our courage, our precision and our sense of responsibility.

O my brothers and sisters, one of the most important points about what happened yesterday, and whatever the Israeli attempts to minimize its losses, is the very fact that the operation was conducted. The most important aspect of the operation, even before its success and its results, is to have been accomplished! We had the courage to do it! For the past 7 days, in the media, there is not a single Israeli official who has not said that if we opened fire, shot a missile, killed, wounded or attacked, the reaction would be devastating and could lead to war, etc. We have heard all conceivable threats. And the most severe are those that were expressed through the diplomatic channels: if one was to believe them, Israel would not tolerate the slightest shot in its direction, would respond disproportionately and destroy the country, returning it to the Stone Age. A considerable operation to terrorize us was conducted by the media and diplomatic channels (United States, Great Britain, France, etc.). But I assure you, O my brothers and sisters, and in all sincerity: not only has Hezbollah not flinched, but none of the Lebanese officials with whom we spoke trembled! Nobody flinched! And Lebanon remained strong in its attachment (to its right to defend itself), and its faith in our retaliation response and the legitimacy of our retaliation. The very fact that we made this operation is a success in itself!

I come to the most important point to which all should pay attention, because it is on it that I will base the conclusion of this whole episode of confrontation, and the new equation in force. In the past, when we were attacked, where did we respond? In the Shebaa Farms, inside the Shebaa Farms. Because there are Israeli military positions inside the Shebaa farms. The traps we laid for Israeli tanks and vehicles were placed on occupied Lebanese territory. The rest of the border, that is to say the border of Lebanon with the territory of Palestine occupied in 1948, and which the enemy considers as its official and indisputable border, its usurping State and its entity, the very fact of touching this border was considered by the enemy for decades as one of the largest red lines. Israel could not tolerate anyone allowing himself to touch the barbed wire delimiting the border, sending any drone flying over its territory, firing in the air, or throwing a grenade at it. No way! Israel responded violently to any such violation, for it was a red line in their eyes! What happened yesterday is that the main red line of Israel for decades has been shattered by the Islamic Resistance! That’s what happened yesterday.

It’s not a red line anymore. It’s over. This period is well and truly over, regardless of what the Israelis can say and claim.

And even tastier, this Israel, which normally [Laughter] responds to any shot, any projectile and any grenade by air strikes, assassinations and massive destruction, yesterday, Israel has made considerable efforts to absorb the blow at all costs. And even their incendiary and phosphorous strikes (against empty lands and forests) were mostly defensive, and aimed at building a smokescreen to protect themselves from further strikes, as they imagined that the Resistance was going to strike again the barracks of Avivim and other positions. But they wanted to get over with it and especially not escalate, being ready to conclude a truce at any price.

What is the result of all this? First, we confirmed and even reinforced the deterrence equation. If Netanyahu wanted to change the equation in his favor, we confirmed it and even reinforced it in our favor. Our deterrent force is now greater. We have increased it by one step. He feared a retaliation from us, but thought we would respect some red lines. But we said and demonstrated that we no longer have any red line. Since Netanyahu tried to change the rules of engagement, our response was to break absolutely all the red lines (of Israel). We have passed from a stage where our responses were launched exclusively against (a thin band of) occupied Lebanese territory, namely the Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Chouba Hills, to a stage where our response directly strikes the territory of occupied Palestine! It’s something new. It’s completely new. And we do not have to hit the border area. We can strike at 1, 2 or 5 kilometers, or, if need be, far more distant points, in the full depth of occupied Palestine.

What is the message we sent? This is where our accomplishment and success lie. The message is clear: if you attack us, all your borders, all your soldiers and all your settlements, whether at the border, deep or at the very extremity of your entity, will be threatened and may be targeted by our response, absolutely and categorically. This does not pose any problem for us. And the courage and boldness demonstrated by the Resistance yesterday will be found in the future by actions much more courageous, bolder, stronger and more important. Such is the new equation.

Today, I want to say this to the Israelis: Listen carefully to what Netanyahu did by his imbecility and pettiness, and remember this date, September 1, 2019. Sunday, September 1, 2019 is the beginning of a new stage of the situation on the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine: as regards the defense of Lebanon, its sovereignty, its dignity, its security and its people, there is no longer any red line!

I now come to the second point. I already started to mention it on Sunday (August 25) when I declared that from now on, we would work on a new file on which we had avoided to intervene during all the past years, namely the Lebanese skies and its permanent violation by Israeli drones. I explained that it was only internal Lebanese considerations that led us to leave this issue aside, and that we constantly called upon the Lebanese State to solve this problem. But it has not been resolved. We have therefore established, and it is now irrevocable in the deterrence equation, that the Lebanese have the right to defend their territory, their skies, their waters, their people, their security and their sovereignty, and that we would take care of defending them. And so we opened a new field of action, namely to confront the Israeli drones in our skies. I say nothing more than that. I speak of the Lebanese skies. We have established and announced it clearly. The decision is made, and implementing this choice is now in the hands of our fighters on the ground, as for the first point. Since August 25, the decision to retaliate against Israel was taken and was in the hands of the fighters on the ground, to whom we announced that we were in no hurry: we wanted a clean operation, without any loss on our side, and that would restore the deterrence equation in our favor. The opportunity arose, they seized it and we re-established and strengthened the deterrence equation.

Today, with regard to the fight against Israeli drones, the same is true: the decision is made, and everything is now in the hands of our combatants on the ground. And I already explained how we would behave, what was our vision, etc., so I do not need to repeat myself [Hezbollah does not commit to shooting down all the drones, because that may disclose and / or exhaust all of its anti-aircraft defenses, but will act wisely and judiciously depending on the circumstances]. Tomorrow, someone will tell us, when the first drone is shot down – and this can happen at any time –, that we are putting the stability of the country in danger, pushing the situation towards a military escalation, etc. But it will be useless. Whoever wants, within the international community, especially the countries that contacted us before Sunday, Sunday and during the Sunday operation, I say to them now: whoever cares about the stability of Lebanon and the region must speak with the Israelis and tell them that the time of the violation of Lebanon’s skies with impunity is over. This time is over. There will be no more tolerance and we will no longer look the other way. Hezbollah will no longer allow the sovereignty and the skies of Lebanon to be violated. As for how we deal with it, it’s a decision that’s in our hands. But it’s our right. No matter how long it takes, it’s our right, and the way we act is just a detail. Of course, that’s part of our response.

Today, I declare that because of the death of our two brothers killed in Syria, and the two suicide drones in Beirut, our response began on Sunday, continued yesterday and will continue via the fight against drones. That’s what we decided. Naturally, we come out stronger from this episode of confrontation, with a stronger position. Netanyahu wanted to overturn the rules of engagement in Israel’s favor, and we stopped him. He wanted to break the balance of deterrence, and we strengthened it in our favor. This is the result, and that is the conclusion.

Anyway, the Israelis must know that all this was caused by the stupidity of this man, who has only one idea in mind, to win the elections at all costs in order to escape justice for the many corruption cases in which he is involved.

So we can say that this new stage of confrontation is over from the point of view of the new equation that it has founded. And in the future, the fight against drones will continue. And in case of aggression against Lebanon, there will no longer be any red line at the international borders and in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, to which will henceforth extend all our retaliations, which will no longer be confined to the Shebaa farms. All the limits have been removed, and everything is now clear.

I renew my thanks to God and to our fighters, whose response has confirmed and strengthened the equations, prevented the rules of engagement from being violated in favor of the enemy, preserved the achievements of the July 2006 war, as well as the dignity, the honor and the pre-eminence of Lebanon vis-a-vis Israel.

So much for this topic. I’m done with the political section of my speech. Pray upon the Prophet and his family.

September 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

How the CIA, Mossad and “the Epstein Network” are exploiting mass shootings to create an Orwellian nightmare

Graphic by Claudio Cabrera
By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | September 6, 2019

Following the arrest and subsequent death in prison of alleged child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a little-known Israeli tech company began to receive increased publicity, but for all the wrong reasons. Not long after Epstein’s arrest, and his relationships and finances came under scrutiny, it was revealed that the Israeli company Carbyne911 had received substantial funding from Jeffrey Epstein as well as Epstein’s close associate and former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist and prominent Trump backer Peter Thiel.

Carbyne911, or simply Carbyne, develops call-handling and identification capabilities for emergency response services in countries around the world, including the United States, where it has already been implemented in several U.S. counties and has partnered with major U.S. tech companies like Google. It specifically markets its product as a way of mitigating mass shootings in the United States without having to change existing U.S. gun laws.

Yet, Carbyne is no ordinary tech company, as it is deeply connected to the elite Israeli military intelligence division, Unit 8200, whose “alumni” often go on to create tech companies — Carbyne among them — that frequently maintain their ties to Israeli intelligence and, according to Israeli media reports and former employees, often “blur the line” between their service to Israel’s defense/intelligence apparatus and their commercial activity. As this report will reveal, Carbyne is but one of several Israeli tech companies marketing themselves as a technological solution to mass shootings that has direct ties to Israeli intelligence agencies. 

In each case, these companies’ products are built in such a way that they can easily be used to illegally surveil the governments, institutions and civilians that use them, a troubling fact given Unit 8200’s documented prowess in surveillance as a means of obtaining blackmail and Israel’s history of using tech companies to aggressively spy on the U.S. government. This is further compounded by the fact that Unit 8200-linked tech companies have previously received U.S. government contracts to place “backdoors” into the U.S.’ entire telecommunications system as well as into the popular products of major American tech companies including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, many of whose key managers and executives are now former Unit 8200 officers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it no secret that placing Unit 8200 members in top positions in multinational tech companies is a “deliberate policy” meant to ensure Israel’s role as the dominant global “cyber power”, while also combating non-violent boycott movements targeting Israel’s violations of international law and stifling the United Nations’ criticisms of Israeli government policy and military operations abroad.

As Jeffrey Epstein’s links to intelligence in both the United States and Israel — the subject of a recent four-part series exclusive to MintPress — began to be revealed in full, his financing of Carbyne came under scrutiny, particularly for the company’s deep ties to Israeli intelligence as well as to certain Americans with known connections to U.S. intelligence. Ehud Barak’s own role as both financier and chairman of Carbyne has also added to that concern, given his long history of involvement in covert intelligence operations for Israel and his long-standing ties to Israeli military intelligence.

Another funder of Carbyne, Peter Thiel, has his own company that, like Carbyne, is set to profit from the Trump administration’s proposed hi-tech solutions to mass shootings. Indeed, after the recent shooting in El Paso, Texas, President Trump — who received political donations from and has been advised by Thiel following his election — asked tech companies to “detect mass shooters before they strike,” a service already perfected by Thiel’s company Palantir, which has developed “pre-crime software” already in use throughout the country. Palantir is also a contractor for the U.S. intelligence community and also has a branch based in Israel.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, whatever technological solution is adopted by the Trump administration, it is set to use a controversial database first developed as part of a secretive U.S. government program that involved notorious Iran-Contra figures like Oliver North as a means of tracking and flagging potential American dissidents for increased surveillance and detention in the event of a vaguely defined “national emergency.”

As this report will reveal, this database — often referred to as “Main Core” — was created with the involvement of Israeli intelligence and Israel remained involved years after it was developed, and potentially to the present. It was also used by at least one former CIA official on President Reagan’s National Security Council to blackmail members of Congress, Congressional staffers and journalists, among others.

Given recent reports on the Trump administration’s plan to create a new government agency to use “advanced technology” to identify “neurobehavioral signs” of “someone headed toward a violent explosive act” using data collected by consumer electronic devices, the picture painted by the technology currently being promoted and implemented under the guise of “keeping Americans safe” is deeply Orwellian. In fact, it points directly to the genesis of a far-reaching surveillance state far more extensive than anything yet seen in American history and it is being jointly developed by individuals connected to both American and Israeli intelligence.

Demystifying Carbyne

Carbyne911, which will be referred to simply as Carbyne in this report, is an Israeli tech-startup that promises to revolutionize how calls are handled by emergency service providers, as well as by governments, corporations and educational institutions. Not long after it was founded in 2014 by veterans of Israeli military intelligence, Carbyne began to be specifically marketed as a solution to mass shootings in the United States that goes “beyond the gun debate” and improves the “intelligence that armed emergency responders receive before entering an armed shooter situation” by providing video-streaming and acoustic input from civilian smartphones and other devices connected to the Carbyne network.

Prior to Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest in July, Carbyne had been receiving high praise from U.S. and Israeli media, with Fox News hailing the company’s services as the answer to the U.S.’ “aging 911 systems” and the Jerusalem Post writing that the company’s platform offers “hi-tech protection to social workers and school principals.” Other reports claimed that Carbyne’s services result in “a 65% reduction in time-to-dispatch.”

Carbyne’s call-handling/crisis management platform has already been implemented in several U.S. counties and the company has offices not only in the U.S. but also in Mexico, Ukraine and Israel. Carbyne’s expansion to more emergency service provider networks in the U.S. is likely, given that federal legislation seeks to offer grants to upgrade 911 call centers throughout the country with the very technology of which Carbyne is the leading provider. One of the main lobby groups promoting this legislation, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), has a “strong relationship” with Carbyne, according to Carbyne’s website. In addition, Carbyne has also begun marketing its platform for non-emergency calls to governments, educational institutions and corporations.

Yet, what seemed like the inevitability of Carbyne’s widespread adoption in the U.S. hit a snag following the recent arrest and subsequent death of sex trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who exploited underage girls for the purpose of obtaining “blackmail” on the rich and poweful, an operation that had clear ties to intelligence. Epstein, after his first arrest and light sentence for soliciting sex from a minor in 2007, was tapped by former Israeli Prime Minister and former head of Israeli military intelligence Ehud Barak, to become a key financial backer of Carbyne.

Ehud Barak, center, poses with Carbyne co-founders Alex Dizengof, Amir Elichai and Lital Leshem. Photo | Yossi Seliger

As a result of increased scrutiny of Epstein’s business activities and his ties to Israel, particularly to Barak, Epstein’s connection to Carbyne was revealed and extensively reported on by the independent media outlet Narativ, whose exposé on Carbyne revealed not only some of the key intelligence connections of the start-up company but also how the architecture of Carbyne’s product itself raises “serious privacy concerns.”

MintPress detailed many of Carbyne’s main intelligence connections in Part III of the investigative series “Inside the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail.” In addition to Barak — former Israeli prime minister and former head of Israeli military intelligence — serving as Carbyne’s chairman and a key financer, the company’s executive team are all former members of Israeli intelligence, including the elite military intelligence unit, Unit 8200, which is often compared to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Carbyne’s current CEO, Amir Elichai, served in Unit 8200 and tapped former Unit 8200 commander and current board member of AIPAC Pinchas Buchris to serve as the company’s director and on its board. In addition to Elichai, another Carbyne co-founder, Lital Leshem, also served in Unit 8200 and later worked for Israeli private spy company Black Cube. The only Carbyne co-founder that didn’t serve in Unit 8200 is Alex Dizengof, who previously worked for Israel’s Prime Minister’s office.

As MintPress noted in a past report detailing Israeli military intelligence’s deep ties to American tech giant Microsoft, Unit 8200 is an elite unit of the Israeli Intelligence corps that is part of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence and is involved mainly in signal intelligence (i.e., surveillance), cyberwarfare and code decryption. It is frequently described as the Israeli equivalent of the NSA and Peter Roberts, senior research fellow at Britain’s Royal United Services Institute, characterized the unit in an interview with the Financial Times as “probably the foremost technical intelligence agency in the world and stand[ing] on a par with the NSA in everything except scale.”

Notably, the NSA and Unit 8200 have collaborated on numerous projects, most infamously on the Stuxnet virus as well as the Duqu malware. In addition, the NSA is known to work with veterans of Unit 8200 in the private sector, such as when the NSA hired two Israeli companies, to create backdoors into all the major U.S. telecommunications systems and major tech companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and Google. Both of those companies, Verint and Narus, have top executives with ties to Israeli intelligence and one of those companies, Verint (formerly Comverse Infosys), has a history of aggressively spying on U.S. government facilities. Unit 8200 is also known for spying on civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories for “coercion purposes” — i.e., gathering info for blackmail — and also for spying on Palestinian-Americans via an intelligence-sharing agreement with the NSA.

Unlike many other Unit 8200-linked start-ups, Carbyne also boasts several tie-ins to the Trump administration, including Palantir founder and Trump ally Peter Thiel — another investor in Carbyne. In addition, Carbyne’s board of advisers includes former Palantir employee Trae Stephens, who was a member of the Trump transition team, as well as former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Trump donor and New York real-estate developer Eliot Tawill is also on Carbyne’s board, alongside Ehud Barak and Pinchas Buchris.

Yet, privacy concerns with Carbyne go beyond the company’s ties to Israeli intelligence and U.S. intelligence contractors like Peter Thiel. For instance, Carbyne’s smartphone app extracts the following information from the phones on which it is installed:

Device location, video live-streamed from the smartphone to the call center, text messages in a two-way chat window, any data from a user’s phone if they have the Carbyne app and ESInet, and any information that comes over a data link, which Carbyne opens in case the caller’s voice link drops out.” (emphasis added)

According to Carbyne’s website, this same information can also be obtained from any smartphone, even if it does not have Carbyne’s app installed, if that phone calls a 911 call center that uses Carbyne or merely any other number connected to Carbyne’s network.

Carbyne gathers data points from users’ phones as well as a myriad of other web-connected devices.

Carbyne is a Next-Generation 9-11 (NG911) platform and the explicit goal of NG911 is for all 911 systems nationwide to become interconnected. Thus, even if Carbyne is not used by all 911 call centers using an NG911 platform, Carbyne will ostensibly have access to the data used by all emergency service providers and devices connected to those networks. This guiding principle of NG911 also makes it likely that one platform will be favored at the federal level to foster such interconnectivity and, given that it has already been adopted by several counties and has ties to the Trump administration, Carbyne is the logical choice.

Another cause for concern is how other countries have used platforms like Carbyne, which were first marketed as emergency response tools, for the purpose of mass surveillance. Narativ noted the following in its investigation of Carbyne:

In May, Human Rights Watch revealed Chinese authorities use a platform not unlike Carbyne to illegally surveil Uyghurs. China’s Integrated Joint Operations Platform brings in a much bigger data-set and sources of video, which includes an app on people’s phones. Like Carbyne, the platform was designed to report emergencies. Chinese authorities have turned it into a tool of mass surveillance.

Human Rights Watch reverse-engineered the app. The group discovered the app automatically profiles a user under 36 “person types” including “followers of Six Lines” which is the term used to identify Uyghurs. Another term refers to “Hajj,” the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The app monitors every aspect of a user’s life, including personal conversations [and] power usage, and tracks a user’s movement.”

Such technology is currently used by Israeli military intelligence and Israel’s domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet to justify “pre-crime” detentions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. As will be noted in greater detail later in this report, Palestinians’ comments on social media are tracked by artificial intelligence algorithms that flag them for indefinite detention if they write social media posts that contain “tripwire” phrases such as “the sword of Allah.”

Carbyne’s platform has its own “pre-crime” elements, such as it’s c-Records component, which stores and analyzes information on past calls and events that pass through its network. This information “enables decision makers to accurately analyze the past and present behavior of their callers, react accordingly, and in time predict future patterns.” (emphasis added)

Concerns have recently been raised that “pre-crime” technology may soon become more widely adopted in the U.S., after President Trump stated that one of his planned solutions to mass shootings in the wake of the recent tragedy in El Paso was for big tech companies to detect potential shooters before they strike.

Israeli intelligence, Blackmail and Silicon Valley

Though many of the individuals involved in funding or managing Carbyne have proven ties to intelligence, a closer look into several of these players reveals even deeper connections to both Israeli and U.S. intelligence.

One of Carbyne’s clearest connections to Israeli intelligence is through its chairman and one of its funders, Ehud Barak. Though Barak is best known for being a former prime minister of Israel, he is also a former minister of defense and the former head of Israeli military intelligence. He oversaw Unit 8200’s operations, as well as other units of Israeli military intelligence, in all three of those positions. For most of his military and later political career, Barak has been closely associated with covert operations.

Prior to the public scrutiny of Barak’s relationship to Jeffrey Epstein, following the latter’s arrest this past July and subsequent death, Barak had come under fire for his ties to disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. Indeed, it was Ehud Barak who put Weinstein in contact with the Israeli private intelligence outfit Black Cube, which employs former Mossad agents and Israeli military intelligence operatives, as Weinstein sought to intimidate the women who had accused him of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Former Mossad director Meir Dagan led Black Cube’s board until his death in 2016 and Carbyne co-founder Lital Leshem is Black Cube’s former director of marketing.

After Barak put him in contact with Black Cube’s leadership, Weinstein, according to The New Yorker, used the private spy firm to “‘target,’ or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focused on their personal or sexual histories.” In addition, The New Yorker noted that “Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally” and “also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.”

Yet, more recently, it has been Barak’s close relationship to Epstein that has raised eyebrows and opened him up to political attacks from his rivals. Epstein and Barak were first introduced by former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in 2002, a time when Epstein’s pedophile blackmail and sex trafficking operation was in full swing.

Barak was a frequent visitor to Epstein’s residences in New York, so often that The Daily Beast reported that numerous residents of an apartment building linked to Epstein “had seen Barak in the building multiple times over the last few years, and nearly half a dozen more described running into his security detail,” adding that “the building is majority-owned by Epstein’s younger brother, Mark, and has been tied to the financier’s alleged New York trafficking ring.” Specifically, several apartments in the building were “being used to house underage girls from South America, Europe and the former Soviet Union,” according to a former bookkeeper employed by one of Epstein’s main procurers of underage girls, Jean Luc Brunel.

Barak is also known to have spent the night at one of Epstein’s residences at least once, was photographed leaving Epstein’s residence as recently as 2016, and has admitted to visiting Epstein’s island, which has sported nicknames including “Pedo Island,” “Lolita Island” and “Orgy Island.” In 2004, Barak received $2.5 million from Leslie Wexner’s Wexner Foundation, where Epstein was a trustee as well as one of the foundation’s top donors, officially for unspecified “consulting services” and “research” on the foundation’s behalf.

In 2015, Barak formed a limited partnership company in Israel for the explicit purpose of investing in Carbyne (then known as Reporty) and invested millions of dollars in the company, quickly becoming a major shareholder and subsequently the company’s public face and the chairman of its board. At least $1 million of the money invested in this Barak-created company that was later used to invest in Carbyne came from the Southern Trust Company, which was owned by Jeffrey Epstein.

In a statement to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Barak asserted:

I saw the business opportunity and registered a partnership in my control in Israel. A small number of people I know invest in it… Since these are private investments, it wouldn’t be proper or right for me to expose the investors’ details.”

However, Barak later admitted that Epstein had been one of the investors.

MintPress’ recent series on the Jeffrey Epstein scandal noted in detail Epstein’s ties to CIA/Mossad intelligence assets, such as Adnan Khashoggi; CIA front companies, such as Southern Air Transport; and organized crime, through his close association with Leslie Wexner. In addition, Epstein’s long-time “girlfriend” and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, has family links to Israeli intelligence through her father, Robert Maxwell. While it appears that Epstein may have been working for more than one intelligence agency, Zev Shalev, former executive producer for CBS News and journalist at Narativ, recently stated that he had independently confirmed with two unconnected sources “closely connected to the Epstein story and in a position to know” that Epstein had “worked for Israeli military intelligence.”

Notably, Epstein, who was known for his interest in obtaining blackmail through the sexual abuse of the underaged girls he exploited, also claimed to have “damaging information” on prominent figures in Silicon Valley. In a conversation last year with New York Times reporter James Stewart, Epstein claimed to have “potentially damaging or embarrassing” information on Silicon Valley’s elite and told Stewart that these top figures in the American tech industry “were hedonistic and regular users of recreational drugs.” Epstein also told Stewart that he had “witnessed prominent tech figures taking drugs and arranging for sex” and claimed to know “details about their supposed sexual proclivities.”

In the lead-up to his recent arrest, Jeffrey Epstein appeared to have been attempting to rebrand as a “tech investor,” as he had done interviews with several journalists including Stewart about technology investing in the months before he was hit with federal sex trafficking charges.

Jessica Lessin, editor-in-chief of The Information, told Business Insider that a journalist working for The Information had interviewed Epstein a month before his recent arrest because “he was believed to be an investor in venture capital funds.” However, Lessin claimed that the interview was not “newsworthy” and said the site had no plans to publish its contents. Business Insider claimed that the way the interviews with Epstein had been arranged “suggests that someone in Silicon Valley may have been trying to help Epstein connect with reporters.”

Though it is unknown exactly which Silicon Valley figures were most connected to Epstein and which tech executives were potentially being blackmailed by Epstein, it is known that Epstein associated with several prominent tech executives, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

Last year, Epstein claimed to be advising Tesla and Elon Musk, who had been previously photographed with Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell. A few years ago, Epstein also attended a dinner hosted by LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, where Musk had allegedly introduced Epstein to Mark Zuckerberg. Google’s Sergey Brin is known to have attended a dinner hosted by Epstein at his New York residence where Donald Trump was also in attendance.

Elon Musk with Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell at an Oscars after-party on March 2, 2014. Kevin Mazur | VF14

These associations suggest that the person in Silicon Valley who was trying to boost Epstein’s image as a tech investor before his arrest may have been Peter Thiel, whose Founders Fund had also invested in Carbyne. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook and is still on its board, connecting him to Zuckerberg; he is also a funder of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and a former colleague of Musk’s through PayPal. In addition, Thiel has ties to Reid Hoffman and both Thiel and Hoffman are prominent backers of Facebook.

It is unknown whether Epstein’s “damaging information” and apparent blackmail on notable individuals in the American technology industry were used to advance the objectives of Carbyne, which recently partnered with tech giants Google and Cisco Systems — and, more broadly, the expansion of Israeli intelligence-linked tech companies into the American tech sector, particularly through the acquisition of Israeli tech start-ups linked to Unit 8200 by major U.S. tech companies.

The latter seems increasingly likely given that the father of Ghislaine Maxwell — one of Epstein’s chief co-conspirators in his intelligence-linked sexual blackmail operation involving minors — was a Mossad operative who helped sell software that had been bugged by Israeli intelligence to government agencies and sensitive facilities around the world, including in the United States.

As will be noted later in this report, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — to whom all of Israel’s intelligence agencies answer by virtue of his position — has stated on more than one occasion that the acquisition of Israeli intelligence-linked start-ups by foreign tech giants, especially in Silicon Valley, is a current and “deliberate policy” of the state of Israel.

Carbyne’s ties to U.S. intelligence

While Epstein and Barak are the two financiers of Carbyne whose ties to intelligence are clearest, another funder of Carbyne, Peter Thiel, has ties to U.S. intelligence and a history of investing in other companies founded by former members of Unit 8200. Thiel co-founded and still owns a controlling stake in the company Palantir, which was initially funded with a $2 million investment from the CIA’s venture capital fund In-Q-Tel and quickly thereafter became a contractor for the CIA.

After the success of its contract with the CIA, Palantir became a contractor for a variety of federal agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) and the military’s Special Operations Command, among others. Last year, it won a contract to create a new battlefield intelligence system for the U.S. Army. Palantir is also in demand for its “pre-crime technology,” which has been used by several U.S. police departments. According to the Guardian, “Palantir tracks everyone from potential terrorist suspects to corporate fraudsters, child traffickers and what they refer to as ‘subversives’… it is all done using prediction.”

Thiel has gained attention in recent years for his support of President Trump and for becoming an adviser to Trump following the 2016 election, when he was “a major force in the transition,” according to Politico, and “helped fill positions in the Trump administration with former staff.” One of those former staffers was Trae Stephens, who is also on Carbyne’s board of advisers. Thiel also has business ties to Trump’s son-in-law and influential adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as to Kushner’s brother Josh. A senior Trump campaign aide told Politico in 2017 that “Thiel is immensely powerful within the administration through his connection to Jared.”

Thiel has also backed some prominent Israeli tech start-ups connected to Unit 8200, such as BillGuard, which Thiel funded along with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and other investors. BillGuard was founded by Raphael Ouzan, a former officer in Unit 8200, who serves on the board of directors of Start-Up Nation Central (SUNC) alongside neoconservative American hedge fund manager Paul Singer, neoconservative political operative and adviser Dan Senor, and Terry Kassel, who works for Singer at his hedge fund, Elliott Management.

Peter Thiel greets Netanyahu during a 2017 meeting in Israel. Photo | Israel PM

SUNC is an organization founded by Paul Singer, who has donated heavily to both President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Since it was founded in 2012, SUNC has sought to integrate Unit 8200-connected Israeli tech start-ups into foreign companies, primarily American companies, and has helped oversee the shift of thousands of high-paying tech jobs from the U.S. to Israel.

Another Carbyne-connected individual worth noting is the former head of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, who serves on Carbyne’s board of advisers. In addition to Chertoff’s ties to DHS, Chertoff’s company, The Chertoff Group, employees several prominent former members of the U.S. intelligence community as principals, including Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and former director of the NSA; and Charles Allen, former assistant director of Central Intelligence for Collection at the CIA, who worked at the agency for over 40 years.

The Chertoff Group has a long-standing and lucrative contract with the company OSI Systems, which produces full-body scanners and markets itself as a solution to mass shootings and crisis events, not unlike Carbyne. While Chertoff’s company was advising OSI Systems, Chertoff went on a media blitz to promote the widespread use of the machines produced by OSI Systems and even called on Congress to “fund a large-scale deployment of next-generation systems.” Chertoff did not disclose his conflict of interest while publicly promoting OSI’s full-body scanners.

Some have also alleged that Chertoff’s mother, Livia Eisen, had links to Israeli intelligence. According to her 1998 obituary, cited by both researcher/author Christopher Bollyn and journalist Jonathan Cook, Eisen participated in the Mossad operation code-named “Magic Carpet” while working for Israel’s El Al Airlines. Both Bollyn and Cook have suggested that Eisen’s participation in this covert Israeli intelligence operation strongly indicates that she had ties to the Mossad.

Melding into Silicon Valley

Beyond its troubling connections to Silicon Valley oligarchs, Israeli military intelligence and the U.S.-military industrial complex, Carbyne’s recent partnerships with two specific technology companies — Google and Cisco Systems — raise even more red flags.

Carbyne announced its partnership with Cisco Systems this past April, with the latter announcing that it would begin “aligning its unified call manager with Carbyne’s call-handling platform, allowing emergency call centers to collect data from both 911 callers and nearby government-owned IoT [Internet of Things] devices.” A report on the partnership published by Government Technology magazine stated that “Carbyne’s platform will be integrated into Cisco Kinetic for Cities, an IoT data platform that shares data across community infrastructure, smart city solutions, applications and connected devices.” The report also noted that “Carbyne will also be the only 911 solution in the Cisco Marketplace.”

As part of the partnership, Carbyne’s President of North American Operations Paul Tatro told Government Technology that the Carbyne platform would combine the data it obtains from smartphones and other Carbyne-connected devices with “what’s available through nearby Cisco-connected road cameras, roadside sensors, smart streetlamps, smart parking meters or other devices.” Tatro further asserted that “Carbyne can also analyze data that’s being collected by Cisco IoT devices … and alert 911 automatically, without any person making a phone call, if there appears to be a worthy problem,” and expressed his view that soon most emergency calls will not be made by human beings but “by smart cars, telematics or other smart city devices.”

A few months after partnering with Cisco Systems, Carbyne announced its partnership with Google on July 10, just three days after Carbyne funder Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in New York on federal sex trafficking charges. Carbyne’s press release of the partnership described how the company and Google would be teaming up in Mexico “to offer advanced mobile location to emergency communications centers (ECCs) throughout Mexico” following the conclusion of a successful four-week pilot program between Carbyne and Google in the Central American nation.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt meets Netanyahu at his Jerusalem office. Israel PM | YouTube

The press release also stated:

Carbyne will provide Google’s Android ELS (Emergency Location Service) in real time from emergency calls made on AndroidTM devices. Deployment for any ECC in the country won’t require any integration, with Carbyne providing numerous options for connection to their secure ELS Gateway once an ECC is approved. The Carbyne automated platform, requiring no human interaction, has the potential to save thousands of lives each year throughout Mexico.”

The reason Carybne’s partnerships with Cisco Systems and Google are significant lies in the role that Cisco and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt have played in the creation of a controversial “incubator” for Israeli tech start-ups with deep ties to Israeli military intelligence, American neoconservative donor Paul Singer, and the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA).

This company, called Team8, is an Israeli company-creation platform whose CEO and co-founder is Nadav Zafrir, former commander of Unit 8200. Two of the company’s other three co-founders are also “alumni” of Unit 8200. Among Team8’s top investors is Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, who also joined Peter Thiel in funding the Unit 8200-linked BillGuard, as well as major tech companies including Cisco Systems and Microsoft.

Last year, Team8 controversially hired the former head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, Retired Admiral Mike Rogers, and Zafrir stated that his interest in hiring Rogers was that Rogers would be “instrumental in helping strategize” Team8’s expansion in the United States. Jake Williams, a veteran of NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking unit, told CyberScoop:

Rogers is not being brought into this role because of his technical experience. … It’s purely because of his knowledge of classified operations and his ability to influence many in the U.S. government and private-sector contractors.”

Team8 has also been heavily promoted by Start-Up Nation Central (SUNC). SUNC prominently features Team8 and Zafrir on the cybersecurity section of its website and also sponsored a talk by Zafrir and an Israeli government economist at the World Economic Forum, often referred to as “Davos,” that was attended personally by Paul Singer.

SUNC itself has deep ties to Israeli military intelligence, with former Unit 8200 officer Raphael Ouzan serving on its board of directors. Another example of SUNC-Unit 8200 ties can be seen with Inbal Arieli, who served as SUNC’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships from 2014 to 2017 and continues to serve as a senior adviser to the organization. Arieli, a former lieutenant in Unit 8200, is the founder and head of the 8200 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Program (EISP), which was the first start-up accelerator in Israel aimed at harnessing “the vast network and entrepreneurial DNA of [Unit] 8200 alumni” and is currently one of the top company accelerators in Israel, alongside Team8. Arieli was the top executive at 8200 EISP while working at SUNC and several other top SUNC staffers are also connected to Israeli military intelligence.

Thus, Google and Cisco’s connections to Team8 suggests that their partnerships with another Israeli military intelligence-connected firm like Carbyne is a deepening of those two companies’ links to the growing bi-national security state that is uniting key players in the U.S. military-industrial complex and Israeli intelligence.

Mossad-backed Panic Buttons, coming to a school near you

Carbyne is hardly the only Israeli intelligence-linked tech company marketing itself in the United States as a solution to mass shootings. Another Israeli start-up, known as Gabriel, was founded in 2016 in response to a shooting in Tel Aviv and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in the United States, which took place just days apart.

Created by Israeli-American Yoni Sherizen and Israeli citizen Asaf Adler, Gabriel is similar to Carbyne in the sense that elements of its crisis response platform require installation on civilian smartphones as well as devices used by crisis responders. The main difference is that Gabriel also installs one or a series of physical “panic buttons,” depending on the size of the building to be secured, that also double as video and audio communication devices connected to the Gabriel network.

As with Carbyne, the ties between Gabriel and Israeli intelligence are obvious. Indeed, Gabriel’s four-person advisory board includes Ram Ben-Barak, former deputy director of the Mossad and former director-general of Israel’s intelligence ministry; Yohanan Danino, former chief of police for the state of Israel; and Kobi Mor, former director of overseas missions for the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet. The only American on the advisory board is Ryan Petty, the father of a Parkland shooting victim and friend of former Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Gabriel’s only disclosed funder is U.S.-based MassChallenge, a start-up accelerator non-profit. Gabriel is funded by MassChallenge’s Israel branch, which was opened six months prior to Gabriel’s creation and is partnered with the Israeli government and the Kraft Group. The Kraft Group is managed by Robert Kraft, who is currently embroiled in a prostitution scandal and is also a close friend of President Trump.

Notably, one of MassChallenge Israel’s featured experts is Wendy Singer, the executive director of SUNC, the organization created and funded by neoconservative Trump backer Paul Singer with the explicit purpose of promoting Israel’s tech start-ups and their integration into foreign, chiefly American, businesses. As was noted in a recent MintPress report on SUNC, Wendy Singer is the sister of neoconservative political operative Dan Senor, who founded the now-defunct Foreign Policy Initiative with Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol, and was previously the director of AIPAC’s Israel office for 16 years.

Gabriel’s founders have been quite upfront about the fact that the uptick in shootings in the U.S. has greatly aided their company’s growth and success. Last November, Sherizen told The Jerusalem Post that new mass shootings in the U.S. not only increased U.S. demand for his company’s product but also were opportunities to show the effectiveness of Gabriel’s approach:

Unfortunately every month there seems to be another high-profile event of this nature. After the Vegas shooting, we were able to show [that] our system would have managed to identify the location of the shooter much quicker.”

The Jerusalem Post noted that Gabriel is set to make considerable profits if concern over mass shootings continues to build in the U.S., writing:

With more than 475,000 soft targets across the US and amid increasing security fears, the potential market for Gabriel is huge. The company could gain revenues of almost $1 billion if only 10% of soft targets were to invest around $20,000 in its alert systems.”

Sherizen told the Jerusalem Post:

Our starter kit costs $10,000. Depending on the size and makeup of the community building, it would cost between $20-30,000 to fully outfit the location. We have made it very affordable. This is a game-changer for the lock-down and active shooter drills that are now a standard part of any child’s upbringing in the States.”

Much more than just a start-up

While it is certainly possible that numerous former officials and commanders of elite Israeli intelligence agencies may have no ulterior motive in advising or founding technology start-up companies, it is worth pointing out that top figures in Israel’s military intelligence agencies and the Mossad don’t see it that way.

Last March, Israeli media outlet Calcalist Tech published a report entitled “Israel Blurs the Line Between Defense Apparatus and Local Cybersecurity Hub,” which noted that “since 2012, cyber-related and intelligence projects that were previously carried out in-house in the Israeli military and Israel’s main intelligence arms are transferred to companies that in some cases were built for this exact purpose.” (emphasis added)

The article notes that beginning in 2012, Israel’s intelligence and military intelligence agencies began to outsource “activities that were previously managed in-house, with a focus on software and cyber technologies.” (emphasis added)

It continues:

In some cases, managers of development projects in the Israeli military and intelligence arms were encouraged to form their own companies, which then took over the project,’ an Israeli venture capitalist familiar with the matter told Calcalist Tech.”

Notably, Calcalist Tech states that the controversial company Black Cube was created this way and that Black Cube had been contracted, and is likely still contracted, by Israel’s Ministry of Defense. The private security agency Black Cube is known to have two separate divisions for corporations and governments. The firm was recently caught attempting to undermine the Iran nuclear deal — then also a top political objective of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — by attempting to obtain information on the “financial or sexual impropriety” (i.e., blackmail) of top U.S. officials involved in drafting the accord. NBC News noted last year that “Black Cube’s political work frequently intersects with Israel’s foreign policy priorities.” As previously mentioned, one of Carbyne’s co-founders — Lital Leshem, also a veteran of Unit 8200 — worked for Black Cube prior to starting Carbyne.

One of the main companies profiled in the Calcalist Tech report appeared to be a front for Israeli intelligence, as its registered owner was found not to exist: even high-level employees at the company had never heard of him; his registered addresses were for nonexistent locations in Israel’s capital of Tel Aviv; and the three people with that name in Tel Aviv denied any association with the business.

This company — which Calcalist Tech was unable to name after the Israeli military censor determined that doing so could negatively impact Israeli “national security” — was deliberately created to service the Israeli military and Israeli intelligence. It is also “focused on cyber technologies with expertise in research and development of advanced products and applications suitable for defense and commercial entities.” (emphases added) In addition, the company’s management consists largely of “veterans of Israeli military technology units.”

Notably, a former employee of this company told Calcalist Tech that “crossing the lines between military service and employment at the commercial outfit was ‘commonplace’ while he was working at the company.”

It’s not exactly clear why Israel’s military intelligence and other intelligence agencies decided to begin outsourcing its operations in 2012, though Calcalist Tech suggests the reasoning was related to the difference in wages between the private sector and the public sector, with pay being much higher in the former. However, it is notable that 2012 was also the year that Paul Singer — together with Netanyahu’s long-time economic adviser and former chair of the Israeli National Economic Council, Eugene Kandel — decided to create Start-Up Nation Central.

As MintPress noted earlier this year, SUNC was founded as part of a deliberate Israeli government effort to counter the nonviolent Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement and to make Israel the dominant global “cyber power.” This policy is aimed at increasing Israel’s diplomatic power and specifically undermining BDS as well as the United Nations, which has repeatedly condemned Israel’s government for war crimes and violations of international law in relation to the Palestinians.

Last year, Netanyahu was asked by Fox News host Mark Levin whether the large growth seen in recent years in Israel’s technology sector, specifically tech start-ups, was part of Netanyahu’s plan. Netanyahu responded, “That’s very much my plan … It’s a very deliberate policy.” He later added that “Israel had technology because the military, especially military intelligence, produced a lot of capabilities. These incredibly gifted young men and women who come out of the military or the Mossad, they want to start their start-ups.”

Netanyahu again outlined this policy at the 2019 Cybertech Conference in Tel Aviv, where he stated that Israel’s emergence as one of the top five “cyber powers” had “required allowing this combination of military intelligence, academia and industry to converge in one place” and that this further required allowing “our graduates of our military and intelligence units to merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners.”

The direct tie-ins of SUNC to Israel’s government and the successful effort led by SUNC and other companies and organizations to place former military intelligence and intelligence operatives in strategic positions in major multinational technology companies reveal that this “deliberate policy” has had a major and undeniable impact on the global tech industry, especially in Silicon Valley.

Mossad gets its own In-Q-Tel

This “deliberate policy” of Netanyahu’s also recently resulted in the creation of a Mossad-run venture capital fund that is specifically focused on financing Israeli tech start-ups. The venture capital fund, called Libertad, was first announced by Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and was created with the explicit purpose of “increasing the Israeli intelligence agency’s knowledge base and fostering collaboration with Israel’s vibrant startup scene” It was modeled after the CIA’s venture capital fund In-Q-Tel, which invested in several Silicon Valley companies turned government and intelligence contractors — including Google and Palantir — with a similar goal in mind.

Libertad declines to reveal the recipients of its funding, but announced last December that it had chosen five companies in the fields of robotics, energy, encryption, web intelligence, and natural language processing and text analysis. In regard to its interest in web intelligence, a Mossad employee told the Jerusalem Post that the intelligence agency was specifically interested in “innovative technologies for [the] automatic identification of personality characteristics – personality profiling – based on online behavior and activity, using methods based on statistics, machine learning, and other areas.” (emphasis added)

According to Libertad’s website, in return for its investment, now set at NIS 2 million (~$580,000) per year per company, “the Mossad will receive access to the IP [initial product] developed during R&D [Research and Development] while under contract, and a non-commercial, non-exclusive license to use it. Libertad’s contract with the company will not provide it with any additional rights.” In an interview with Calcalist Tech, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen told the paper that the Mossad’s partnership with civilian companies in Israel is “excellent” and that the agency will continue to strengthen those ties.

Israeli intelligence has a documented history in placing “backdoors” into technology products for the purpose of surveillance, with one well-known case being Israel’s repurposing of the PROMIS software, discussed in Part III of MintPress’ series on Jeffrey Epstein. Furthermore, given that U.S. intelligence, specifically the NSA, had “backdoors” placed into the products of major Silicon Valley companies (a service performed by Israeli intelligence-linked tech companies no less), Mossad may very well plan on doing the same with the technology products of companies it backs through Libertad.

Tim Shorrock, investigative journalist and author of Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, told MintPress that the Mossad’s continuation of such practices through Libertad was definitely plausible, especially given what Shorrock described as the “unusual” choice of Libertad choosing not to release the identities of the companies in which it invests.

“The Mossad is trying to hide what they are investing in,” Shorrock stated, adding that Libertad’s secrecy “raises a lot of questions” particularly given that it was modeled after the CIA’s In-Q-Tel. Shorrock noted that In-Q-Tel and other venture capital funds with ties to U.S. intelligence or the U.S. military rarely, if ever, hide the identities of the companies they finance.

However, Libertad is merely the latest and most public expression of the Mossad’s interest in Israeli tech start-ups, the lion’s share of which are created by veterans of Unit 8200 or other Israeli intelligence agencies. Indeed, former Mossad Director Tamir Pardo stated in 2017 that “everyone” in the Israeli cybertechnology sector is an “alumni” of either Israeli intelligence, like the Mossad, or Israeli military intelligence, like Unit 8200. Pardo even went as far as to say that the Mossad itself is “like a start-up.”

Pardo himself, after leaving his post as Mossad director in 2016, dove straight into the world of Israeli tech start-ups, becoming chairman of Sepio Systems, whose two CEOs are former Unit 8200 officers. Sepio Systems’ advisory board includes the former chief information security officer of the CIA, Robert Bigman; former member of the U.S. Military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Geoff Hancock; and former head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau and veteran of Israeli military intelligence, Rami Efrati. Sepio Systems’ cybersecurity software has been adopted by several banks, telecom and insurance companies, including in the U.S. and Brazil.

Pardo is not the only prominent figure in Israel’s intelligence community to compare Israeli intelligence agencies to tech start-ups. Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman described Israel’s domestic spy agency in similar terms. “The Shin Bet is like an evolving start-up, with unmatched strength,” Argaman stated in a June 2017 speech, as he extolled the agency’s use of “pre-crime” technology to detain Palestinians based on their social media activity.

Argaman, at the time, claimed that more than 2,000 Palestinians, whom he described as “potential lone-wolf terrorists,” had been arrested as a result of these “breakthrough technological advances” that use artificial-intelligence algorithms to monitor the social media accounts of Palestinians, especially younger Palestinians, for the use of “tripwire” phrases that have been used by Palestinians who later committed acts of violence. In the case of those who use such terms, “their phones are tracked to see if they meet other suspects, or leave their districts to move towards potential Israeli targets. In such cases, security forces detain the suspect,” according to a 2017 report on the practice by The Economist.

The road to fascism, paved by a corrupted PROMIS

Though Israeli intelligence’s interest in tech companies goes back several years, there is a well-documented history of Israeli intelligence using bugged software to surveil and gain “backdoor” access to government databases around the world, particularly in the United States.

As was mentioned in Part III of MintPress’ Epstein series, a sinister yet cunning plan was executed to place a backdoor for Israeli intelligence into the Prosecutor’s Management Information System (PROMIS) software, which was then being used by the U.S. Department of Justice and was the envy of government agencies, particularly intelligence agencies, around the world. This bugged version of PROMIS — born out of the collusion between Earl Brian, Ronald Reagan’s then-envoy to Iran, and Rafi Eitan, then-director of the now-defunct Israeli intelligence agency Lekem — was seeded around the world by Brian’s company Hadron as well as by Mossad-linked media mogul Robert Maxwell, father of Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time girlfriend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell.

After this first PROMIS “backdoor” was discovered, Israel would again gain access to sensitive U.S. government communications, as well as civilian communications, thanks to the collusion between Israeli intelligence and Israeli telecom and tech companies, especially Amdocs and Comverse Infosys (now Verint), that were operating throughout the United States. Today, Unit 8200-linked start-ups appear to have taken up the torch.

While the PROMIS software is perhaps best known for offering Israeli intelligence a backdoor into as many as 80 intelligence agencies and other sensitive locations around the world for nearly a decade, it was also used for a very different purpose by prominent officials linked to Iran-Contra.

One key Iran-Contra figure — Lt. Col. Oliver North, then serving on the National Security Council — decided to use PROMIS neither for espionage nor for foreign policy. Instead, North turned PROMIS’ power against Americans, particularly perceived dissidents, a fact that remained unknown for years.

Beginning in 1982, as part of the highly classified Continuity of Government (COG) program, North used the PROMIS software at a 6,100-square-foot “command center” in the Department of Justice, as well as at a smaller operations room at the White House, to compile a list of American dissidents and “potential troublemakers” if the COG protocol was ever invoked.

According to a senior government official with a high-ranking security clearance and service in five presidential administrations who spoke to Radar in 2008, this was:

A database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.”

In 1993, Wired described North’s use of PROMIS in compiling this database as follows:

Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude.”

The COG program defined this “time of panic” as “a national crisis, such as nuclear war, violent and widespread internal dissent, or national opposition to a US military invasion abroad,” whereby the government would suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and incarcerate perceived dissidents and other “unfriendlies” in order to prevent the government’s (or then-serving administration’s) overthrow.

This secretive database has often been referred to as “Main Core” by government insiders and, most troubling of all, it still exists today. Journalist Christ Ketcham, citing senior government officials, reported in 2008 that, at that time, Main Core was believed to contain the names of as many as 8 million Americans. Eleven years later, it is highly likely that the number of Americans included in the Main Core database has grown considerably.

Author and investigative journalist Tim Shorrock also covered other disturbing aspects of the evolution of Main Core back in 2008 for Salon. At the time, Shorrock reported that the George W. Bush administration was believed to have used Main Core to guide its domestic surveillance activities following the September 11 attacks.

Citing “several former U.S. government officials with extensive knowledge of intelligence operations,” Shorrock further noted that Main Core — as it was 11 years ago at the time his report was published — was said to contain “a vast amount of personal data on Americans, including NSA intercepts of bank and credit card transactions and the results of surveillance efforts by the FBI, the CIA and other agencies.”

Bill Hamilton, former NSA intelligence officer and the original creator of the PROMIS software, told Shorrock at the time that he believed that “U.S. intelligence uses PROMIS as the primary software for searching the Main Core database” and had been told as much by an intelligence official in 1992 and an NSA official in 1995. Dan Murphy, former deputy director at the CIA, had told Hamilton that the NSA’s use of PROMIS was “so seriously wrong that money alone cannot cure the problem.” “I believe in retrospect that Murphy was alluding to Main Core,” Hamilton had told Shorrock.

Though most reporting on Main Core, from the time its existence was first revealed to the present, has treated the database as something used by the U.S. government and U.S. intelligence for domestic purposes, MintPress has learned that Israeli intelligence was also involved with the creation of the Main Core database. According to a former U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge of the U.S. intelligence community’s use of PROMIS and Main Core from the 1980s to 2000s, Israeli intelligence played a role in the U.S. government’s deployment of PROMIS as the software used for the Main Core domestic surveillance database system.

Israeli intelligence remained involved with Main Core at the time of the August 1991 death of journalist Danny Casolaro, who was investigating not only the government’s misuse of the stolen PROMIS software but also the Main Core database. This same official, who chose to remain anonymous, told MintPress that, shortly before his death, Casolaro had obtained copies of computer printouts from the PROMIS-based Main Core domestic surveillance database system from NSA whistleblower Alan Standorf, who was found murdered a few months before Casolaro’s lifeless body would be found in a West Virginia hotel room.

The source also stated that Main Core’s contents had been used for the political blackmail of members of Congress and their staff, journalists, and others by Walter Raymond, a senior CIA covert operator in psyops and disinformation who served on President Reagan’s National Security Council during and after Main Core’s creation. If used for this purpose by Raymond in the 1980s, Main Core has also likely been used by other individuals with access to the database for blackmailing purposes in the years since.

Given that Israeli intelligence was known to have placed a backdoor into the PROMIS software, before it was marketed and sold around the world by Earl Brian and Robert Maxwell, its role in the U.S. government’s decision to use PROMIS in the creation of Main Core suggests that Israeli intelligence likely advocated for the version of PROMIS containing this backdoor, thereby giving Israeli intelligence access to Main Core. Given that Reagan aides and officials colluded with Israeli “spymaster” Rafi Eitan in his efforts to create a backdoor into the software for Israeli military intelligence, the use of this version of PROMIS in the Main Core database is certainly plausible.

Furthermore, the fact that Israeli intelligence was known to be involved in Main Core nearly a decade after its creation suggests that Israeli intelligence may have played a role in certain aspects of the database, such as the criteria used to flag Americans as “unfriendly,” and — like Walter Raymond — may have used information in the database to blackmail Americans. In addition, the fact that the cooperation between U.S. and Israeli intelligence, particularly between Unit 8200 and the NSA, has only grown since 1991 further suggests that Israeli involvement in Main Core continues to the present.

While Main Core’s very existence is troubling for many reasons, the alleged involvement of a foreign intelligence service in the creation, expansion and maintenance of a database with personal details and potentially damaging information on millions of Americans targeted for detention or increased surveillance in times of crisis is chilling. It is especially so considering that the Trump administration’s latest proposals to prevent mass shootings before they occur are likely to use Main Core to flag certain Americans for increased surveillance or potentially detention, as was done by the George W. Bush administration following the September 11 attacks.

It appears that Main Core serves a dual purpose; first as a mass targeted surveillance system to crush dissent during times of “national crisis” — whether spontaneous or engineered — and, second, as a massive blackmail database used to keep every potential opponent in line during non-emergencies.

Peter Thiel’s Seeing Stone

As was mentioned earlier in this report, Palantir — the company co-founded by Peter Thiel — is set to profit handsomely from the Trump administration’s plans to use its “pre-crime” technology, which is already used by police departments throughout the country and also used to track Americans based on the company’s integrative data-mining approach. Palantir, named for the “seeing stones” in the Lord of the Rings novels, also markets software to foreign (and domestic) intelligence agencies that predicts the likelihood that an individual will commit an act of terrorism or violence.

Aside from its “pre-crime” products, Palantir has come under fire in recent years as a result of the company’s contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where it created an intelligence system known as Investigative Case Management (ICM). The IB Times described ICM as “a vast ‘ecosystem’ of data to help immigration officials in identifying targets and creating cases against them” and also “provides ICE agents with access to databases managed by other federal agencies.” ICM further gives ICE access to “targets’ personal and sensitive information, such as background on schooling, employment, family relationships, phone records, immigration history, biometrics data, criminal records as well as home and work addresses.” In other words, Palantir’s ICM is essentially a “Main Core” for immigrants.

Notably, part of Oliver North’s original intentions in “Main Core” was to track immigrants then coming from Central America as well as Americans who opposed Reagan era policy with respect to Central America. At that time, Main Core was believed to be controlled by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which is now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

VICE News reported in July that the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, which is run by DHS, “serves around 300 communities in northern California and is what is known as a ‘fusion center,’ a Department of Homeland Security intelligence center that aggregates and investigates information from state, local, and federal agencies, as well as some private entities, into large databases that can be searched using software like Palantir. “ VICE further noted that this center alone used Palantir to surveil as many as 8 million Ameicans. There are many more such DHS “fusion centers” throughout the United States.

If the Trump administration moves forward with its proposal of employing technology to detect potential mass shooters before they strike, Palantir’s technology is set to be used, given that it has already been used by U.S. law enforcement and U.S. intelligence to determine which people run “the highest risk of being involved in gun violence,” according to an investigation of Palantir by The Verge. Furthermore, Palantir’s close ties to the Trump administration make the company’s role in a future nationwide “pre-crime” prevention system based on technology appear inevitable.

Worse still is the apparent overlap between Palantir and Main Core. Palantir — which has obvious similarities to PROMIS — is already known to use its software to track potential terror threats, including domestic terror threats, and a category of people it refers to as “subversives.” Palantir’s tracking of these individuals “is all done using prediction.” Palantir’s close ties to the U.S. intelligence community suggest that Palantir may already have access to the Main Core database. Tim Shorrock told MintPress that Palantir’s use of Main Core is “certainly possible,” particularly in light of the company’s use of the term “subversive” to describe a category of people that its software tracks.

Palantir also has alleged ties to Israeli intelligence, as there have long been suspicions that Israeli intelligence has used Palantir as part of its AI “pre-crime” algorithms targeting Palestinians after Palantir opened a research and development (R&D) center in Israel in 2013. The current head of Palantir Israel, Hamultal Meridor, previously founded a brain-machine interface organization and was senior director of web intelligence at Verint (formerly Comverse Infosys), which has deep connections to Unit 8200, a history of espionage in the United States and was one of the two companies contracted by the NSA to insert a “backdoor” into the U.S. telecommunications system and popular products of major American tech companies.

Given the above, Peter Thiel’s 2018 decision to fund Carbyne, the Unit 8200-linked start-up that markets itself as a technological solution to mass shootings in the U.S., strongly suggests that Thiel has been anticipating for some time the now-public efforts of the Trump administration to employ “pre-crime” technology to track and target Americans who show signs of “mental illness” and “violent tendencies.”

A nightmare even Orwell could not have predicted

In early August, in the wake of the shooting at an El Paso Walmart, President Trump called on big tech companies to collaborate with the Justice Department in the creation of software that “stops mass murders before they start” by detecting potential mass shooters before they cnm act. Though Trump’s ideas were short on specifics, there is now a new proposal that would create a new government agency that will use data gathered from civilian electronic devices to identify “neurobehavioral” warning signs, thereby flagging “potential shooters” for increased surveillance and potentially detention.

This new agency, as proposed by the foundation led by former NBC Universal president and vice chairman of General Electric Robert Wright, would be known as the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA) and would be modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Per the proposal, recently detailed by the Washington Post, the flagship program of HARPA would be “Safe Home” (Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes), which would use “breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence,” specifically “advanced analytical tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

The program would cost an estimated $60 million over four years and would use data from “Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home” and other consumer electronic devices, as well as information provided by health-care providers to identify who may be a threat.

The Washington Post reported that President Trump has reacted “very positively” to the proposal and that he was “sold on the concept.” The Post also noted that Wright sees the president’s daughter, Ivanka, as “the most effective champion of the proposal and has previously briefed her on HARPA himself.” Ivanka has previously been cited as a driving force behind some of her father’s policy decisions, including his decision to bomb Syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack in 2017.

Liz Fed — president of the Susan Wright Foundation, which is led by Robert Wright and created the proposal for HARPA and “Safe Home” — told the Post that the proposal emulated DARPA because “DARPA is a brilliant model that works. They have developed the most transformational capabilities in the world for national security…We’re not leveraging the tools and technologies available to us to improve and save lives.” Fed further asserted that DARPA’s technological approach had yet to be applied to the field of healthcare.

For anyone familiar with DARPA, such claims should immediately sound loud alarm bells, especially since DARPA is already developing its own solution to “mental health” issues in the form of a “brain-machine interface” as part of its N3 program. That program, according to reports, involves “noninvasive and ‘minutely’ invasive neural interfaces to both read and write into the brain,” help distance soldiers “from the emotional guilt of warfare” by “clouding their perception” and “to program artificial memories of fear, desire, and experiences directly into the brain.” Though N3 is intended to improve the prowess of American soldiers, it is also set to be used as a means of pursuing DARPA’s Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) project, which aims to “to develop a tiny, implanted chip in the skull to treat psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, PTSD and major depression.”

Given that HARPA’s lead scientific adviser is Dr. Geoffrey Ling, former director and founder of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO), which “merges biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security,” it seems likely that DARPA’s neurological-focused research programs, like SUBNETS and N3, would be folded into HARPA’s portfolio, making the proposed agency’s approach to mental health very questionable indeed.

Aside from the dystopian nature of both DARPA and potentially HARPA’s approach to mental health, there is grave cause for concern regarding the Trump administration’s moves to address U.S. mass shooting events by implementing pre-crime technology based on artificial intelligence, data-mining and mass surveillance, technologies already laying in wait thanks to companies like Palantir and numerous Israeli tech start-ups led by former Unit 8200 officers.

With companies like Carbyne — with its ties to both the Trump administration and to Israeli intelligence — and the Mossad-linked Gabriel also marketing themselves as “technological” solutions to mass shootings while also doubling as covert tools for mass data collection and extraction, the end result is a massive surveillance system so complete and so dystopian that even George Orwell himself could not have predicted it.

Following another catastrophic mass shooting or crisis event, aggressive efforts will likely follow to foist these “solutions” on a frightened American public by the very network connected, not only to Jeffrey Epstein, but to a litany of crimes and a frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

September 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nasrallah: Netanyahu is Campaigning with the Blood of his People

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on August 25, 2019, on the occasion of the annual commemoration of Lebanon’s Second Liberation against the takfiris terrorist groups, which was finalized on August 25, 2017.

 

 

Transcript: 

[…] I now turn to the question of Israel. Pray upon Muhammad and his family.

What happened last night is very dangerous, and I’ll explain why, because (the firmness of) our position must be at the height of the event and the danger. Let no one minimize what happened and consider it offhandedly. I will offer my analysis (after recalling the facts).

This is what happened: on the night of yesterday, in the skies of the southern suburbs of Beirut, a very modern drone came —I can say it is very sophisticated because this drone is in our hands, and we may show it to the media; later we will agree on that with the official security bodies; we also have the remains of the second (suicide) drone. It is not at all the type of drone that one can rent in towns or villages to film weddings and celebrations, not at all. This is a very modern military drone, which is almost two meters wide, a very sharp military technology.

The first drone came at night in the targeted region, namely some street of the Ma’wad neighborhood in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The first was a surveillance drone that had no other role but to collect information because it contained no explosive device. It descended very low, ending up between the buildings. This means it was filming its target very accurately, or at least trying to do so.

As announced by Hezbollah media relations, we have not shot down the drone. Young people in the neighborhood, seeing this two meters long drone flying so low, between buildings… The more I speak frankly and clearly, the easier it will be to understand, because we have to base our stance on truth, not on illusions or assumptions. These young people started to throw stones at this drone, which then fell. Either it fell because of a technical failure, either due to stone throwing, and it is clear that the drone was damaged by a stone. The drone therefore fell to the ground.

After a very brief moment, that is to say, a maximum of one or two minutes, another drone came aggressively and hit a certain place. So it is not a drone that was there to watch, and that they would have detonated because of an incident, not at all. What happened last night is an attack by a suicide drone against a target located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon. This is the precise description that can be done from the field data.

Why do we say it’s dangerous? The fact that there was no killing and no injuries, by the grace of God, does not make this incident less dangerous. Sure, buildings were hit, their windows and facades were damaged, as well as furniture of apartments, offices… There was property damage. By the Grace of God Almighty and Exalted, the attack occurred during the night from Saturday to Sunday, and you know that on Saturdays and Sundays, you can play soccer on the main roads of the southern suburbs of Beirut (the streets are empty) because most people spend (weekends) in the south and in the Bekaa. It is a blessing of God Most High and Exalted. For without Him, surely, there would have been martyrs and wounded. God Almighty has bestowed His kindness upon us last night.

There was a loud explosion, which many residents of the southern suburbs of Beirut were able to hear. It was not a small explosion. This suicide drone attack against a target in the southern suburbs of Beirut is the first act of aggression since August 14, 2006. For in regard to the strikes which took place against Jenta a few years ago (in February 2014), we can say that this point was located at the Syrian-Lebanese border. But today there was a clear and open aggression (against Lebanon).

Of course, all the Israeli media speak of two suicide drones or one suicide drone that struck the southern suburbs of Beirut. Now if someone in Lebanon or in the Arab world, or on satellite TV channels, wants to pretend it is only a local (minor) incident, concerning only Lebanon, with drones that anyone can buy, it’s absolutely false. We will show you this drone with the grace of God, and you’ll know for sure that this is not a drone that can be bought on the market.

In fact, Israel itself recognizes, through its official statements and everything we read in the media, that they have perpetrated this air raid. This is a flagrant violation of the rules of engagement that were established after the war of 2006. It is the first clear and major violation. I will not mention other violations, whether against our airspace, our territory, all this could be tolerated (temporarily). But this is a major and dangerous violation, and it is God who, in His Benevolence, prevented any victims.

As for us, Netanyahu and those who took this decision really are deluded if they believe we can ignore such an attack. Some may say that there are no martyrs or injuries, only property damage, and that therefore we should forget about it. But that is not the question. The bottom line is that this incursion…

Listen to me, let the Lebanese people listen carefully: if we stay silent on this violation, it will open the way for a dangerous scenario for Lebanon. For every two or three days, we will see a car bomb… Excuse me, we’ll see a drone bomb, a suicide drone target such building, such place, such field, such land, such mosque, such hall… Under the pretext that it is a drone strike, and that we cannot know (for sure) where it comes from, (we would be condemned to do nothing). In other words, it will be a repetition of the scenario that is taking place in Iraq.

Now let the whole world listen to me carefully. I will speak very precisely. There is a scenario implemented in Iraq in recent weeks. In different regions, weapons stockpiles of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) are identified by drones, and right after, explosions happen right there. Whether the drone has fired a missile or whether it was a suicide drone, that’s what the investigation will show. One explosion, two explosions, three explosions, four explosions… And at the very least, they are implicitly claimed by Israel, who brags about them. For Netanyahu needs such operations now, I will speak about it in a moment. This process has run its course in Iraq: a first weapons depot, a second one, a third, a fourth, a fifth… And they continue on this path.

Now how Iraq will deal with this, be it the government, the army, the PMU or the Iraqi people, it is their problem, and I do not interfere in their decisions. But as for us in Lebanon, we do not allow such a scenario to be imposed on us. We do not accept to undergo the same thing. It’s absolutely impossible. And we will do… You’re used to such statements from us (and you know we are serious). We absolutely will do whatever is necessary to prevent such a scenario being imposed on Lebanon. All that needs to be done to prevent it, we will do it (without any hesitation, and whatever the consequences).
 
All this is in our hands, and we are perfectly capable of preventing that. The Lebanese State took its responsibilities and condemned (Israel’s attack), it is good. The State considers that what happened is an attack, that’s good. She complained to the UN, that’s good. She speaks to the US and to Europe (asking them to put pressure on Israel), that’s good. But this alone will not end the dangerous process that can destroy Lebanon again, returning it to the situation before 2000 (the Liberation). We, the Islamic Resistance (Hezbollah), will never allow such a scenario, regardless of the price (we have to pay to stop it).

The time when Israeli planes could strike anywhere in Lebanon while the entity usurping Palestine was safe, in any area of the entity, is well over. It’s the past, it is ancient history. Today, I read that the Israeli army told the people of the north (of Israel) that there is no danger, and that they can live their lives normally. Today, from the village of al-Ain in the Bekaa, in this second annual commemoration of the Second Liberation (of Lebanon against the terrorist groups), after we defeated Al-Nosra and ISIS in Lebanon, which are the US’ groups and Israel’s, I declare to all the inhabitants of northern Israel and everywhere in occupied Palestine: do not live (normally), do not be in peace, do not feel safe, and do not think for one second that Hezbollah will accept such a scenario (where he would suffer such attacks in his neighborhoods without retaliating against settlers).

And our first response… Our first response… Again, listen to me. Here is our first response, which needs a little explanation. Since 2000, and then since 2006, we have lived with the (constant) presence of (Israeli) drones in Lebanese skies. We had the ability to shoot them down, but we did not, so that nobody in Lebanon comes with us to philosophize, accusing Hezbollah of creating problems, of leading the country to war, of hindering tourism and the economy, etc., putting on us the blame for everything. Ok my brother, (we waited patiently) despite the fact that the presence of Israeli observation drone is not only a violation of Lebanese sovereignty, but is endangering our security. (The Israeli drones are) here, over the southern suburbs of Beirut, above (the presidential palace) of Baabda, above all Lebanese regions, in the south, where people in their villages hear (every day) the annoying noise of Israeli drones over their heads, but no one did anything about it! Since 2000 and until 2019, we did not stop asking the State and the government (to do something), and you remember that I raised this issue in many speeches, saying that a solution should be found. The UN resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 war prohibits Israeli violations: why don’t they stop?

Now, I declare that Israeli drones that enter Lebanon will not be considered as drones (merely) violating our sovereignty or gathering information, but as suicide, attack drones planning to conduct assassinations. And therefore, we have every right to shoot them down. The implementation of this right depends on the circumstances: we may not do it every day or every week, maybe we’ll do it at every hour, it’ll depend on our tactics. But I say to you very clearly, although I know some people will be angry, but let them get angry! Let them get mad! From now on, we will confront the Israeli drones in the skies of Lebanon! We will work to shoot down the Israeli drones entering Lebanese airspace! Let the Israelis know it from today! We won’t wait for anyone (to solve this issue for us), no one around the world. We will not allow our towns and villages to be a shooting range, a hunting or murdering ground, or a space where our security can be violated with impunity. That time has passed. And if someone in Lebanon is anxious to avoid any problems, let him speak to the Americans, who will speak to Israel, and they will make themselves scarce! They will disappear!

The second point I have to mention is what happened in Syria. I mention these two points, and I will conclude with Netanyahu and a message to the Israelis who head towards (parliamentary) elections (in September).

Yesterday, in Syria, there have been air strikes against a house in the village of Aqraba in the suburbs of Damascus. Netanyahu boasted of what he had done, announcing with the enemy’s army that the target was Iranian Al-Quds forces, etc., etc., etc., posing as a courageous and fearless national hero.

Netanyahu lies to the Israeli people, if we can talk about a people. He lies to the (Zionist) settlers who occupy Palestine. He lies to his kin, he lies to his people. He sells them meaningless and empty words. He misrepresents the truth and the realities of the ground.

Yesterday, Israeli strikes have not targeted the Al-Quds forces, but a Hezbollah position. Those who were in… It is a simple house, it’s not even a military position. It is a simple house in which our youth rested. In the place that was hit, there are only young Lebanese Hezbollah members. And in this place last night, two martyrs fell: the martyr Hassan Yousef Zbib, and the martyr Yasser Ahmad Dhahir.

You know, O Netanyahu and the Israeli army, that we mean business, and that during all the past years, we were not kidding. After our dear brothers have been killed in Quneitra (in January 2015), our martyrs, you saw that we were not kidding (Hezbollah immediately retaliated by striking an Israeli convoy, killing two soldiers and wounding seven). And (in my speech) just a few days ago, I was not joking. We said that if you kill the least of our brothers, our brothers of Hezbollah, Lebanese… I say this so no one tells me that they strike Syrians, Iranians or Iraqis, and that we come and make problems in Lebanon, no: all (the fighters of these countries) are our dear brothers, but those who were killed (in Syria) are our (Lebanese) children, from our villages, our families, our youth!

You know (O Netanyahu) that we have made a clear commitment, and I will remind this commitment to the world: if Israel kills the least of our brothers in Syria, we will retaliate for the killing in Lebanon, and not on the (occupied) Shebaa farms! We will retaliate from Lebanon, and not from the Shebaa farms!

I declare to the Israeli soldiers at the border tonight: wait for us against the (separation) wall (standing) on one foot and a half (be ready to flee for your lives)! Wait for us on one foot and a half! Wait for us (because we’ll certainly come at you)! In one day, two days, three days, four days… Just wait for us!

And I say to the Israelis, not just those at the border, because the two issues (drone strikes in Beirut and Damascus attacks) are linked. Both attacks are actually a single question. Ultimately, if we forgot about what happened in Damascus, the first point would be enough for us to act differently (because Israel violated the rules of engagement). That is why we will not forget about what happened during last night. With us, you can not wipe the slate clean (so easily).

What I want to say to the Israelis is that Netanyahu runs his electoral campaign. The various Israeli political parties (always) conducted their election campaigns by pouring the blood of Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis and the peoples of the region. But O Israelis, this time, Netanyahu campaigned with your own blood. It’s your very lives that he puts at risk.

He attracts towards you fire from all sides. For what is he doing in Iraq? Why does he strike arms depots of the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq? He brings to you Iraqi strikes, Syrian strikes, and now Lebanese strikes. As for the Palestinian attacks, they are persistent because of your siege against Gaza, your aggression against the West Bank and your arrogance against the Palestinian people. This man who fears the election results, against whom charges of corruption are pressed, and who is expected by the courts, has only one alternative before him: becoming Prime minister, or going to jail. And he has no problem to conduct his election campaign with the blood of people, (even his own). Netanyahu takes you to the edge of the abyss, O Israel. And it is possible that he’ll throw you into the abyss, if he continues to act the way he does, and with this mentality.

O my brothers and sisters, in this commemoration that is dear and precious, we the Lebanese, the Army, the People, the Resistance, the security bodies, the State, the political forces, the people, the religious components, the regions, the families, the tribes (of Lebanon), we have shaped with our own hands our security in the Bekaa, in the South and throughout Lebanon. We shaped our security with our own hands, by the blood of our soldiers and our Resistance. We carried heavy burdens for all of Lebanon to be united, in peace and security, in the heart of this region that the US and its (terrorist) groups are destroying. We will not allow the clock to turn back. We will not allow Lebanon to be open to all intrusions, whether strikes, murders, terrorist attacks or any violation whatsoever. As for us, this is a red line, and we must all assume our responsibilities. We work so that there is a united national position, strong, bold and courageous. Going back to the old (sectarian) divisions would serve no purpose, but it would hurt the country. This would harm the country.

Thanks to the benefits of all these victories, and from a position of strength, clarity and conscience, we will defend our country on all boundaries: south, east, north, at sea, and now we will start to defend our airspace, doing our best, and in the manner required by wisdom, sense of responsibility and our interests. This is the new phase that the enemy has imposed. We will be up to the task, and you (the Lebanese people) too.

If Netanyahu imagines that we are in a position of weakness or numbness here and there, and rejoices about the financial and economic siege (imposed on us by Trump), he does not know us. He does not know us. We are prepared to endure hunger to remain dignified. That’s how we’ve always been throughout history. We sell our houses in order to (get the means to) fight. But we do not allow anyone to touch our dignity, our sovereignty, our honor and our presence in Lebanon and the region.

This is the message of the martyrs today, the message of martyr Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, our master and teacher; the message of our martyrs of the Bekaa, of the town of al-Ain (where is celebrated this anniversary), the Bekaa martyrs who carried our flag on all battlefields. Today, it is in your name that I proclaimed this clear and glorious message, that doesn’t need any analysis or comment. We are in a new phase. Let everyone assume their responsibility in this new phase, and we first.

I congratulate you in this commemoration. Happy Liberation and Victory Day to all.

Peace be upon you O people of the good, and God’s mercy and blessings.

Translation: http://resistancenewsunfiltered.blogspot.com

See also:

Nasrallah: The Next War Will Devastate Israel and Decimate its Population, We Will Liberate Palestine and Pray in Al-Quds

August 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Zarif: US Can’t Build Gulf Coalition, Iran Welcomes Neighbors Leaving B-Team

Al-Manar | August 5, 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States is unable to build a naval coalition to escort tankers in the Gulf because its allies are too “ashamed” to join it.

In a press conference held on the occasion of the national journalists’ day, the top Iranian diplomat said that the B-team is shrinking in members, adding that Iran welcomes neighboring countries leaving the team of ‘wickedness’.

“Today the United States is alone in the world and cannot create a coalition. Countries that are its friends are too ashamed of being in a coalition with them,” Zarif told a news conference in Tehran.

“They brought this situation upon themselves, with lawbreaking, by creating tensions and crises.”

Talking further about US, Zarif said Washington “has never won,” noting that it has been forced out of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan.

“US has lost all wars it had engaged in throughout 70 years except for its invasion of Grenada,” the top Iranian diplomat said, stressing: Era of the ‘greatest’ and ‘hegemonic’ power is over.”

Asked about reports that he had been invited to meet Trump in the White House, Zarif said he had turned it down despite the threat of sanctions against him.

“I was told in New York I would be sanctioned in two weeks unless I accepted that offer, which fortunately I did not,” said the Iranian minister.

“When I travel to New York I head for UN not the US,” he affirmed.

Zarif then talked about the B-team, a term popularized by Zarif and refers to a group of politicians who share an inclination toward potential war with Iran, and the letter “b” in their names. They include US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“The B-team is shrinking in members. We welcome our neighbors leaving the team,” Zarif said, adding “we have always been ready to hold talks with our neighbors. Iran, Iraq and the six countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council need to have talks with one other and sign the non-aggression pact.”

August 5, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment