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US-NATO War Crimes against Libya

By Ludwig Watzal | Dissident Voice | January 25, 2014 

All the wars and attacks, which were started by the U. S. and its so-called allies in the wake of 9/11, have wreaked havoc. You name it, you got it: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and perhaps even Iran. The Islamic Republic is not yet off the hook. There are strong forces in the U. S. and in the Middle East that prefer war to peace at the expense of the U. S. Right now, there is a war going on in Libya against the Western installed puppet government, without notice of the corporate media.

Cynthia McKinney, a former African-American Congresswoman has edited a book, The Illegal War on Libya (Clarity Press, Atlanta 2012), on the illegal war on Libya fought by NATO members with the support of the Arab League and some despotic Arab regimes. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms in the House of Representatives before she was defeated by Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary. McKinney’s loss was attributed to her support of Arab causes and to her suggestion that George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

Those whom the Western powers and their fawning media wish to destroy must first be demonised. This was exactly what happened to Libya’s leader Muammar al Gaddafi. Just before France, Great Britain and the U.S. started the war against Libya, Nikolas Sarkozy, Silvio Berlusconi and other Western politicians courted Gaddafi. When the Libyan leader visited Paris in 2007, he struck his tent in front of the guest house of the French government. His bizarre conduct and much more were accepted by Sarkozy in order to promote lucrative business with Libya. A few years later, he rewarded him with and his country with a bombing spree.

As a candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Barack Hussein Obama had nice things to say in December 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” After he became U.S. President, he expanded drone attacks to an unprecedented scale. “As the U.S. fires its drones killing innocent Somalis, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Afghanis, and others around the world, it is my hope that this book will provide a rare prism of truth through which to view NATO’s illegal war in Libya, current and future events, and US foreign relations as a whole,” so McKinney in her introductory remarks.

In her book, Cynthia McKinney has gathered a large number of renowned authors who offer an alternative perspective of the events in Libya. Some authors even risked their life by reporting live during the war. Among them are Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Julien Teil, Stephen Lendman, Christof Lehman, Sara Flounders, Wayne Madsen, Bob Fitrakis, and many others. All of them illuminate the dark machinations of the U.S. in Libya and elsewhere. Their narrative reminds the readers of the overthrow of the Iranian, Guatemalan or Chilean democracy by the U.S. for corporate benefit. The same apparently held true for Libya.

The essays in McKinney’s anthology describe the horrors caused by the Western bombing campaign and the distorted picture of the events painted by mainstream media. Lizzie Phelan refers to a “full blown media war” and to the silence of Western journalists while Libya was “being bombed into extermination.” Although they witnessed these horrors, they found “all manner of justifications for their self and collective delusion.” Their behavior reminded the author of the riddle: “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?” The Western media pundits played down the horrendous crimes against the Libyan people by cartooning Gaddafi as a “mad dog.”

Stephen Lendman designated the crimes committed by NATO against Libya as amounting to “a Nuremberg Level.” He added: “The US-led NATO war on Libya will be remembered as one of history’s greatest crimes, violating the letter and spirit of international law and America’s Constitution.” Whereas the “Third Reich criminals were hanged for their crimes. America’s are still free to commit greater ones.” Lendman invokes General Wesley Clark who was told at the Pentagon a few days after 9/11, that the Bush administration had already decided to attack seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and finishing off with Iran. According to Lendman, the U.S. won’t tolerate democratic rule in Libya, for it needs a puppet regime that would follow the dictates of Washington. Beyond that, the U.S. generously used terror weapons in all its wars. Weapons of mass destruction, including depleted and enriched uranium munitions were widely used in the different Iraq wars, leading to miscarriages and severe deformities by newborn babies.

The anthology also reveals that Gaddafi bore no responsibility for the Lockerbie incident. Although he took the blame and had Libya pay millions of U.S. Dollars to the families of the victims in order to have sanctions lifted against his country, the west thanked him by overthrowing his regime. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya suggests that Libya’s main “crimes” – as seen by the West – were “how (Libya L.W.) distributed and used its wealth, its lack of external debts, and the key role it was attempting to play in continental development and curtailing of external influence in Africa. Tripoli was a spoiler that ef­fectively undermined the interests of the former colonial powers.”

Already at the International Security Conference in Munich, 2007, then President of The Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, used the strongest possible language to warn the U.S., saying that “its aggressive expansionism has brought the world closer to a third world war than it has ever been before.” So far, Putin’s diplomacy prevented U.S. aggression against Syria and Iran.
The book contains, inter alia, a scathing speech by Gaddafi, delivered at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009. A chronology of the NATO-led assault on Libya completes the book.

This book is a must-read. It gives its readers a premonition of things that are yet to come.

Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog “Between the lines.” He can be reached at: www.watzal.com.

January 25, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

The Moshe Dayan Method of Intimidation

By Notsilvia Night | July 24, 2009

Have you ever gotten death-threats?

Well, I have… and so have a million or so other people.

It’s not unusual for political activists, writers or even humble bloggers, who even become a bit visible to be the target of threats, if they attack the interests of corrupt people.

But there is one area of political opposition, where you can be absolutely certain to be on the receiving end of all kinds of threats – from losing your job, your livelihood to being sued, physically harmed or even killed – and this area is everything connected to the state of Israel.

Human Rights activists in Palestine, either Palestinian or Internationals receive death-threats on a daily basis, of course, mainly by settlers: “Nazi, I’ll kill you.”

Threatening is part of the Moshe-Dayan-Method. The former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan once said: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”

The Jewish settlers in the West-bank are one side of this “mad-dog” appearance, the Israeli army in Gaza is another side, the Israeli prison and torture system is the third and Mossad covered operations abroad the forth side of this “game”.

The settlers are not independent of the Israeli state. They act as the forefront in the land robbing operations. They are like the ugly war paint used in earlier ages by invading tribes to scare the native population to surrender or leave the area.

The recklessness of the soldiers in Gaza, who first commit horrible war crimes, and then make t-shirts portraying a pregnant Palestinian woman as a target, saying “one shot, two kills”, is another example.

Israelis are telling the world with this seemingly insane behavior, they do not have to care what others think about their country:

“International law does not apply to the state of Israel. And nobody can do anything about it. Since this nation is too dangerous for anybody else to bother.”

Fanatical supporters of the state of Israel and influential Zionists have been threatening people for a long time.

Edwin M.Wright, who had worked as an assistant and expert of the Middle East in the State Department for two decades, describes in an oral history of the Truman Library, how Washington’s career politicians from the early 1940′s on were brought under control on the subject of Israel, by using threats and intimidation:

One day I was sitting next to Mr. Henderson, he had his notes out and was dictating to me some letters when the telephone rang. It was Mr. Niles of the White House, and Mr. Niles told him (I got the story later on) that the night before some member of the State Department had been at a dinner party and had criticized President Truman’s statement on a Jewish state.

Mr. Niles said,
“We are not going to tolerate any criticism of the President on this issue, and you let your staff know that if this happens again they must be disciplined.”

Mr. Henderson called a meeting of the staff and told them of the message of Mr. Niles.

He said,
“None of you people are to speak in public about this issue, because if you do we’ll have to send you off to some Siberia if any of you, publicly express your private opinions, even to private groups, and it gets to the White House, you will be purged.”

There were a number of these people that were purged. I can mention them, Stuart Rockwell, Robert Munn. They tried to purge me in every way.

I can’t understand why I survived, and this is one of the strange things in my history, for they had me on their list as an anti-Semitic force operating in the State Department. The American Zionist, which is the paper of the American Zionist organization, came out with a full page attacking me, claiming that I was a source of anti-Semitism. I was called in frequently and told I must not speak on this subject because it was so controversial and I was too indiscrete.

One day George McGhee, who later on was Assistant Secretary of State, called me in. Jacob Blanstein, president of AMOCO had just come in to see him, and somehow or another had picked up the story I was anti-Semitic. He told George McGhee,

“Why do you keep this fellow here?”

There were influences to get rid of anyone who was called “pro-Arab.”

They were not pro-Arab, I must insist upon this, they were acting in accordance with America’s larger interests in the Middle East. The Zionists gave them the title “pro-Arab” and that was enough to destroy them. You had to be pro-Zionist or keep quiet in order to stay in the State Department, and the net result was a whole generation of officers who are simply “Uncle Toms.” They don’t dare to speak or publish things. They are afraid that they will be sent off to Africa, or who knows to some other part of the world, and will stay there the rest of their lives.

After the State-Department, the American Congress was “purged ” of everyone who tried to be fair-minded in regard to the Middle East, mainly through the influence of Israel-friends in campaign financing offices of the two major parties.

Paul Findley, while discussing the book “The Israel Lobby” by Havard Scholars Mearsheimer and Walt, describes it like this:

I know what it is like to be targeted in this way. In the last years of my long service in Congress, I spoke out, making many of the points now presented in the Mearsheimer-Walt book. In 1980, my opponent charged me with anti-Semitism, and money poured into his campaign fund from every state in the Union. I prevailed that year but two years later lost by a narrow margin. In 1984, Sen. Charles Percy, then chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and an occasional critic of Israel, was defeated. Leaders of the Israel lobby claimed credit for defeating both Percy and me, claims that strengthened lobby influence in the years that followed.

The latest victim of this kind of political influence are Democratic Representatives Earl Hilliard and, of course, Cynthia McKinney.

But the political realm isn’t the only one, where careers are threatened. John Pilger, an Australian, and Alan Heart, a British journalist, discuss how Zionist pressure works on the mainline media.

Journalists critical of Israel face a quite real threat for their careers. Only few will take the risk, and even fewer will survive with their journalistic career intact.

Politicians and journalists aren’t the only ones vulnerable to those threats. Everyone working in professional positions in corporations or in public services can be threatened by loss of job and reputation by being called an “Anti-Semite”.

As seen in the case of John Pilger in the above Alan-Hart-program, life, health and families can be threatened as well.

While threats against people’s livelihoods are often followed up by actions, are death threats also to be taken seriously?

Well, it depends.

In Palestine people are getting killed on a daily basis. It is the risk people face for being a Palestinian living on his or her own land, and occasionally for being an international supporter for Palestinian human rights, like Rachel Corrie or Tom Hurndall.

Another group who has to take death-threats very seriously are Revisionists, people who question certain aspects of the “Holocaust”, people like Professor Faurisson and many others.

While Faurisson survived the attacks on his life by Zionist fanatics others did not.

And still, every attack on somebody’s life carries the risk of death. Thousands of people all over the world have been threatened, only few threats can actually be followed through.

Revisionists become easy targets, since they have already been maligned so badly, that some media outlet or other can say “he deserved it”, when a revisionist is being attacked and seriously hurt the reporter will get away with blaming the victim.

In most cases, however, a possible Israeli sponsored assassination is a difficult business, like when the Swedish foreign minister Anna Lind was killed.

She had attempted to get her European counterparts to cut European Union ties to Israel until it would finally agree to a just settlement with the Palestinian people.

Anna Lind also had stated publicly how frustrated she was about Israel’s crimes against Palestine:

“Sometimes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict makes me so angry that I kick the wastepaper bin in my office or throw things around,”

She had described Sharon as a “maniac” and said on Swedish television that she would not buy Israeli goods and fruits sold in Swedish markets.

Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian professor and negotiator, wrote after the murder:

“Sweden’s effect on the Middle East has been consistently constructive, positive, and human with a deep-seated tradition of fairness, justice, and peaceful intervention.

Unfortunately, three such Swedish champions had met with violent and untimely deaths, each a tragedy unto itself, but a national and global loss in the larger scheme of things.”

When Anna Lind was murdered in a Stockholm shopping-center, it would have been a well-planned assassination. The real assassin had to be given a good escape plan while a patsy was being prepared to take the fall.

The planners would have to gain close access to the police investigation, to have the patsies DNA transferred to the murder-weapon. They must have had insiders in the Swedish legal system to get the trial shortened and all the eye-witness testimonies, but a single one, to be dismissed. (All other eye-witnesses refuted the claim that the chosen patsy looked actually like the real assassin, and the he had been coming from the direction the prosecution claimed the murderer had come from.)

They must have had a very skilled defense councilor at hand, who was able to persuade the patsy to confess to the crime.

Although the suspect had refused to confess during many weeks of police interrogation, his own defense attorney got the confession out of him. How he did that, isn’t quite clear. He might have promised his client to get him off on an insanity plea, or might have planted even false memories.

Creating false memories is actually not very hard, when you know how memory is normally created and manipulated in the brain. It’s even easier, if you have a psychological vulnerable individual, who might even have been under the influence of mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

The defense attorney was working at the time for the law firm, which just had done the defended the defendant in a case of military espionage against Sweden. The espionage was done on behalf of the Russian Mafia.

In my opinion, Anna Lind was killed, because the Israeli power-elite saw her as a threat to Israeli interests, and because she was indeed an influential politician.

Her death surely scared other European politicians, the Moshe Dayan method worked…. temporarily.

The plotters got away with it in 2002 and in the subsequent trial.
I doubt, they would have such an easy time in 2009.

The fact, that a vast corruption scandal in New Jersey involving Jewish rabbis and an Israel link is being investigated and publicly revealed in the media means, that even in New York and New Jersey in the USA, Israel is losing it’s influence on law enforcement and the judiciary.

Intimidation works to a point on many people, but eventually the true “spirit of humanity” will break through in some of us. And this spirit is more catching than fear ever was.

Whenever I receive threats, I tell enough people about them, even on the risk of seeming paranoid to friends and acquaintances. In this way, it will become riskier for those who consider following up on their threats.

Apart from that, I tell myself to see it logically:

On my own I actually have no influence whatsoever, which means going after me would neither be worth the risk nor the effort. Threatening people, especially with veiled threats, is relatively risk-free, just another form of hasbara (Israeli propaganda).

But I have become part of an ever-growing movement of people in the hundreds of millions, who oppose Israel’s crimes against her neighbors. This is what will indeed threaten the criminal, warmongering project of Zionism.

And no matter how they try Moshe Dayan’s “mad-dog” game, they just can’t kill us all.

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor

A Film By Massimo Mazzucco

September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor” is a 5 hour documentary that summarizes 12 years of public debate on 9/11. While aimed primarily at a general, uninformed audience, the film also contains some new findings that may be of interest to advanced researchers.

This film is intended as an educational, non-profit operation, and must remain so in order to fulfill all the requirements for the usage of copyrighted material. As such, the entire film is made available online for free from day one. Any purchase of the actual DVD will be considered as a form of donation to the author, in recognition of the time spent to put together this material. Free duplication and distribution of all DVDs is encouraged.

At the bottom of the page you will find more information related to this film, including the links to order the DVD, and the TRAILER.

Index for DVD One

INTRODUCTION

0.01:02 – 12 parallels between Pearl
Harbor and September 11
0.14:10 – The debate: main issues

PART 1 – AIR DEFENSE

0.14:55 – Where are the interceptors?
0.16:12 – The “incompetence theory”
(radars, transponders)
0.22:00 – The military drills
0.29:40 – Specific warnings
0.33:08 – The chain of command
0.38:10 – Promotions, not punishments
0.39:50 – The Mineta case
0.47:38 – Debunkers: “Mineta was mistaken”
0.53:18 – The Mineta case – A summary

PART 2 – THE HIJACKERS

0.57:15 – “Piss-poor student pilots”
0.59:38 – Marwan al-Sheikki (UA175)
1.01:52 – Ziad Jarrah (UA93)
1.03:06 – Hani Hanjour (AA77)
1.04:00 – The debunkers’ positions
1.06:00 –  2 simulations of the Pentagon attack
1.13:10 – Someone knew?
1.16:40 – Airport security cameras
1.20.15 – The missing black boxes

PART 3 – THE AIRPLANES

1.26:50 – Passenger planes or military drones?
1.28:20 – Impossible speeds
1.37:30 – What happened to the passengers?
1.38:35 – The cellphone calls
1.48:30 – The debunkers’ position
1.50:38 – If not from the planes, from where?

Index for DVD Two

PART 4 – THE PENTAGON

0.02:35 – Downed light poles
0.03:30 – The missing plane
0.04:30 – The official version
0.05:24 – Problems with the official version
(wing, ailerons, tail, engines)
0.13:09 – The mystery hole
0.14:10 – The debunkers’ explanations
0.16:20 – Conclusions on damage analysis
0.17:00 – The missing tapes
0.18:30 – Security video analysis
0.23.40 – Pentagon summary

PART 5 – FLIGHT 93

0.24.15 – The empty hole
0.28.00 – The debunkers’ explanations
0.33:00 – Plane crash or bomb explosion?
0.34:50 – The debris field

0.37.20 – The shootdown hypothesis
0.38:50 – The small white plane
0.41:40 – “Let’s roll”
0.44:25 – Summary of Flight 93

PART 6 – THE TWIN TOWERS

0.45:10 – Introduction
0.47:45 – The Towers’ small dirty secret
0.53:10 – Larry Silverstein
0.56:15 – NIST vs. Architects & Engineers
0.58:00 – Robust or fragile buildings?
1.04:45 – The initial collapse – Explanation #1
1.05:45 – The initial collapse – Explanation #2
1.07:35 – Problems with the official explanation
1.18:00 – The full collapse – No official explanation
1.18:50 – Law of physics violated
1.20:50 – The Twin Towers and freefall
1.27:50 – Debunkers’ response to A&E

Index for DVD Three

(Twin Towers continued)

0.00:20 – The hypothesis of controlled demolitions
0.01:08 – Debunkers: “Impossible to place explosives”
0.07:34 – Explosions in the Twin Towers (witnesses)
0.15:00 – “Fuel in elevators shafts” theory
0.23:25 – Debunkers: “Explosions not recorded by tv cameras”
0.30:26 – Squibs
0.33:00 – Explosive force (montage)
0.35:00 – Ejecta
0.38:00 – Diagonal cuts
0.40:15 – What happened to the hat trusses?
0.42:20 – Extreme temperatures
0.45:30 – Debunkers’ explanations
0.46:45 – Twisted and mangled beams
0.47:40 – Molten steel
0.51:05 – Molten concrete

0.53:50 – Pulverization
0.57:40 – Victims vaporized
1.02:20 – Conclusion on the Twin Towers

PART 7 – BUILDING 7

1.05:10 – Introduction
1.06:35 – Official version by NIST
1.09:36 – Collapse computer simulation
1.11:00 – Fire computer simulation
1.12:20 – Debunkers: “Building 7 weaker”
1.14:25 – Preknowledge
1.19:00 – Symmetry
1.20:00 – Freefall

EPILOGUE

1.22:30 – John McCain
1.24:35 – The last word

General Information

CONTACT: redazione[AT]luogocomune.net (replace [AT] with symbol).

SOURCE FILES: Here you can download the “Pentagon video analysis” by digital expert P.P. Murru (in Italian). All other sources used in the film are easily retrievable online.

OTHER LANGUAGES: You can access the Italian version of the film here, and the French version of the film here.

PUBLIC SCREENINGS: A 3 hour version of the film is in the works. It will be made available as soon as ready to those who wish to organize a public screening.Please contact me for details.

COMMENTS: Serious, constructive criticism is always welcome, from both sides of the fence. I don’t have a forum in English, but you can always send your comments to my address above. The comments deemed of general interest will be published here, together with my answers.

ERRORS & OMISSION: I have tried my best to acknowledge every source I have used in the film. Should I have missed someone, please let me know. Errors & omissions will be listed here as soon as they are reported.

ORDER DVD – You can order the 3-DVD set of “September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor” from Amazon (US residents) or from luogocomune (rest of the world). Other films by Massimo Mazzucco are also available.

Bonus Video

Noam Chomsky Has No Opinion on Building 7

October 19, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 3 Comments

What will Obama do?

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President Obama’s actions are unlikely to stray outside the parameters the Israel lobby is willing to accept. But there is a growing movement that is challenging the lobby’s stronghold on U.S. politics.

By Alison Weir | Palestine News | Spring 2013

Whenever a US president begins a term of office many people round the world are curious about what policies he may pursue on Israel-Palestine. They wonder if he will once again call on Israel to reduce its settlement activities as almost every president has done at least once.

Will he condemn Israeli aggression, or only Palestinian rockets? Will he push a “peace process” in which virtually all the American mediators are Israel partisans[1] or will a few non-Zionists be permitted to play a role?

As Barack Obama began his second term as president, these questions came up again. But these are the wrong questions. Instead, to predict what he will do, one only needs to ask what the Israel lobby is likely to require.

The president won’t always do what the lobby demands – on rare occasions he may deviate a bit from its dictates– but a large percentage of the time he will dutifully do what the lobbyists command.

In other words, in order accurately to analyse American policies in the Middle East, to predict how they will change or not and to develop effective ways to revamp them in the directions that are so urgently needed for humanitarian relief and real peace, it is essential to understand the decisive role the Israel lobby plays in the United States.

Presidents and politicians from both major parties have long been extremely aware of this lobby. It may greatly improve or impede their chances of winning an election, of passing legislation, of receiving positive press coverage, of, quite simply, going on to bigger and better things.

Through the years the lobby for Israel has been a decisive factor in the defeat of Republicans Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey (at one time a Presidential contender) and Charles Percy (another Presidential contender) and Democrats Adlai Stevenson, William Fulbright, Earl Hilliard, Cynthia McKinney and quite likely many more.[2]

Politicians from both parties attend the annual convention of its major lobbying arm, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and pledge their loyalty to this foreign country. President Barack Obama, whose early and major backing came from members of the Israel lobby[3], gave his first post-nomination speech at the AIPAC convention.

Yet, despite the lobby’s inordinate power, most Americans are only minimally aware of it. For decades surveys have shown that the large majority of Americans don’t wish to take sides on Israel-Palestine, a reflection of a public that is uninformed about how much of our tax money goes to Israel and how decisively our government is, indeed, taking a side.

This widespread lack of awareness about the role of the Israel lobby in determining American policies is particularly startling given that the movement on behalf of Israel has been active in the United States for over 100 years and that it played a significant role in Israel’s creation.[4]

By the 1920s it was able successfully to promote its policies over those recommended by the US State Department; by the 1940s it had added Pentagon policies to those it could overrule and both presidential candidates Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey were currying its favour[5]; by 1967 it was able to push its cover story on Israel’s lethal attack on the US naval ship Liberty over opposition by high ranking admirals, the director of the CIA and the Secretary of State[6]; and by 1977 the head of AIPAC could state with accuracy: “We have never lost on a major issue.”[7]

Half a century ago the Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigating lobbying activities found an illicit cycle in which the Israel lobby succeeded in procuring money for Israel, some of this was then secretly funneled back into these groups, which then used this money to lobby for still more American tax dollars to Israel.

The hearings concluded that Israel operated “one of the most effective networks of foreign influence” in the United States.[8] Yet, since the media reported on this so little, most Americans are unaware of these extremely grave findings.

The term “Israel lobby” fails to do justice to the extraordinary scope and composition of this special interest group.  Below is a small sampling of the American organisations that work on behalf of Israel. Virtually all have multi-million dollar budgets; a few have endowments in the hundreds of million dollars and most of them are funded by tax-deductible donations:

  • The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): $100 million endowment, [9] $60 million annual revenues.[10]
  • The American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF): $26 million annual revenues.[11]
  • The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP): $23.5 million net assets. $9.4 million annual revenues.
  • Anti-Defamation League (ADL): $115 million net assets,[12] $60 million annual revenues.[13]
  • International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (aka Stand for Israel): $100 million annual revenues.[14]
  • The Israel Project: $11 million annual budget.[15]
  • Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF): $80 million net assets,[16] $60 million annual revenues.[17]
  • Hadassah (Women’s Zionist Organization of America): $400 million net assets, $100 million annual revenues.
  • The Jim Joseph Foundation: $837 million net assets.[20]
  • The Avi Chai Foundation: $615 million total assets.[21]
  • Jewish Federations: $3 billion annual revenues.[22]
  • Jewish Community Relations Councils, in cities all over U.S.: Boston annual revenues $2.5 million; Louisville annual revenues $7-10 million; Detroit $734,000, New York $4.5 million, etc.[23]
  • Hillel: Over $26 million.[24]
  • JINSA Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: $3 million annual revenues.
  • Center for Security Policy: $4 million annual revenues.[25]
  • Foreign Policy Initiative (PNAC 2.0): $1.5 million annual revenues.[26]
  • MEMRI Middle East Media Research Institute: $5.2 million.[27]
  • Birthright: $55 million.[28]
  • David Project: $4.4 million.[29]
  • CAMERA Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America: $3.5 million.[30]

In addition to these nonprofit organisations, there are dozens of political action committees (PACs) that donate to political candidates on the basis of their positions on Israel. Most of these disguise their purpose by using such deceptive names as “Northern Californians for Good Government,” “National Action Committee,” “American Principles,” etc.

While other issue-based PACs almost always announce their focus publicly[31], in 2012 only two of the pro-Israel PACs made any reference to Israel in their names.[32] While US media frequently discuss the gun rights lobby, the largely uncovered pro-Israel PACs gave almost twice as much money to candidates – and the donations went to both parties.[33]

In addition, there are numerous individuals who play an extremely important role in the Israel lobbying effort. Two examples are political campaign mega-donors Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson. Saban donated $12.3 million to the Democratic Party in 2002 alone and has contributed millions more to pro-Israel organisations.

Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, set a new record in political donations by giving $70 million in the 2012 elections, nearly triple the previous highest amount. He also funds such pro-Israel organisations as Birthright Israel which takes thousands of young Jewish Americans on recruiting visits to Israel.

In other cases, it is individuals with a different kind of power – the power to affect which information reaches the American public and which does not. One example is Eric Weider, whose Weider History Group publishes eleven history magazines in the United States, the largest history magazine publisher in America (and, according to its website, the world).[34]

Given this reality, President Obama’s actions are unlikely to stray outside the parameters the Israel lobby is willing to accept. While the media are making a great deal over the very mild apology Israel made to Turkey for having murdered nine of its citizens, crediting Obama with this alleged break-through, none of the news reports seem to mention that Israel has largely failed to apologise to the US for the death of 19-year-old dual American Turkish citizen, Furgan Dogan, who was killed with five bullets, one to his face at point blank range.[35]

It is also relevant to note that an AIPAC-drafted letter signed by 76 out of 100 Senators  was sent to President Obama on the eve of his visit to Israel in March.[36]

Congressional actions can also be expected to remain within what the Israel lobby directs, though here, too, there may be rare occasions where the lobby seems to have lost – such as the confirmation of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defence.

However, the alleged triumph that some pro-Palestinian writers are proclaiming for Hagel’s appointment is a bit overblown. Before he was allowed to take his position, he was made to grovel humiliatingly before his Congressional interrogators, retract acceptable statements he had made earlier in his life and all but swear devotion to Israel (like all top government officials seemingly must do).

This degrading spectacle surely made it clear to Hagel that he better watch his step in the future and made it even clearer to ambitious Americans of all ages that they must be extremely careful about any statements they make about Israel and its lobby if they are to achieve their political ambitions.

Despite the power of the lobby, however, the situation is not as bleak as the above may suggest. There is a highly diverse movement in the US that opposes this lobby and it is steadily growing.

The Left, which for decades was largely silent on Israeli abuses of human rights, has finally become active on the issue. Similarly, both traditional conservatives and libertarians frequently oppose aid to Israel and this opposition is becoming more outspoken. While this stance is often motivated by fiscal considerations, in many cases it is also fuelled by outrage at Israeli cruelty and by genuine empathy with Palestinians.

The money being mobilised on this side is only a small fraction of the other and some of the groups within this movement could arguably be considered simply a more reasonable and compassionate arm of the Israel lobby in that their advocacy is often framed according to what “is good for Israel” while failing to address the inherent injustice of an ethnic state imposed on a multicultural region.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the opposition to current US policies is growing increasingly important. The tide may not yet have turned but it is certainly in the slowing phase that must come first.

To use another oft-quoted and particularly apt metaphor, lobbies thrive in the dark. More and more people in the US and elsewhere are shining light on this one, steadily reducing its power.

While there are numerous deeply significant issues, an increasing number of individuals are deciding to focus on this one, the core issue of the Middle East and the cause of war after war, including the current “war on terror” and demonisation of Muslims.

To use the framing posed by journalist Glenn Greenwald, an expanding number of people are refusing to prioritise domestic issues over the killing of Arab and Muslim children on the other side of the world.

Therefore, despite the enormous power of the Israel lobby in the US, this growing movement is quite likely to overcome the obstacles confronting it and to join history’s other successful movements against oppression.

The main question is how long this will take, and how many more massacres, and possibly wars, will occur in the interim.

[1] Even Aaron David Miller admitted they acted as “Israel’s lawyer” – Miller, Aaron David. “Israel’s Lawyer.” Washington Post 23 May 2005, posted by Matt Miller Opinion Writer. Online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/22/AR2005052200883.html

[2] Findley, Paul. They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill, 1985. Online at http://archive.org/stream/They-Dare-To-Speak-Out-Paul-Findley/They_Dare_to_Speak_Out_Paul_Findley_djvu.txt and Mearsheimer, John J., and Stephen M. Walt. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

[3] Yearwood, Pauline Dubkin. “Obama and the Jews.” Chicago Jewish News 24 Oct. 2008.

Online at http://www.chicagojewishnews.com/story.htm?sid=212226&id=252218

[4] Weir, Alison. “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the United States Was Used to Create Israel.” IfAmericansKnew.org. 2012. Web. http://ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/history.html

[5] Weir, “Against Our Better Judgment”

[6] http://www.ussliberty.org/supporters.htm

[7] The Power Peddlers, by Russell Warren Howe and Sarah Hays Trott, Doubleday, p. 292.

http://ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/history.html

[8] Smith, Grant. “Where Did AIPAC Come From?” Antiwar.com. N.p., 09 Oct. 2007. Web. http://antiwar.com/orig/gsmith.php?articleid=11727 and Neff, Donald. “Ulbright Called for U.S. Defense Pact With Israel But Was Labeled Anti-Semite.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs August-September (1997): 96. Online at http://www.wrmea.org/wrmea-archives/188-washington-report-archives-1994-1999/august-september-1997/2677-middle-east-history-it-happened-in-august-.html

[9] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/25/washington/25lobby.html?_r=1

In 2009, the Economist reported: “AIPAC has an annual budget of around $60m, more than 275 employees, an endowment of over $130m and a new $80m headquarters building on Capitol Hill.” http://www.economist.com/node/14753768

[10] http://firststreetresearch.cqpress.com/2012/03/08/aipac-still-commands-attention-among-movers-and-shakers/

[11] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3265

[12] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10657

[13] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10657

[14] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3889

[15] http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=ewJXKcOUJlIaG&b=7717007&ct=11735981#.UbKK4uuhU0o

[16] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3734

[17] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3734

[18] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=7699

[19] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=7699

[20] http://www.faqs.org/tax-exempt/CA/Shimon-Ben-Joseph-Foundation-Dba-Jim-Joseph-Foundation.html

[21] http://207.153.189.83/EINS/133252800/133252800_2010_07b9bf0d.PDF

[22] http://www.jewishfederations.org/about-us.aspx

[23] http://www.jewishlouisville.org/images/JCL/Financials/annual_report_2011-12.pdf

http://www.faqs.org/tax-exempt/MI/Jewish-Community-Relations-Council-Of-Metropolitan-Detroit.html#revenue_a

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10095

http://jcrcny.org/images/00_media/about/jcrc-ny2011form990.pdf

[24] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4540

[25] http://www.politico.com/static/PPM152_100828_centerforsecuritypolicy.html

[26] https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2011_09_EO/26-4392915_990_201012.pdf

[27] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=8188

[28] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=11247

[29] https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2011_02_EO/16-1616489_990_200912.pdf

[30] http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=5429

[31] http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/industry.php?txt=Q11&cycle=2012 and http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/industry.php?txt=Q13&cycle=2012

[32] http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/industry.php?txt=Q05&cycle=2012

[33] http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/sector.php?cycle=2012&txt=Q05

[34] Weir, Alison. “The Empire Behind World’s Largest History Magazine Chain: How American History Magazine Censored Palestine.” CounterPunch Dec. 6, 2012. Online at  http://ifamericansknew.org/media/weider.html

[35] Lynch, Colum. “U.N. Panel Endorses Report Accusing Israel of Executions aboard Aid Flotilla.” Washington Post 30 Sept. 2010, A Section. Online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/29/AR2010092907110.html?wprss=rss_print/asection

[36] “Did Your Favorite Progressive Senator Sign AIPAC Letter To Obama Telling Him To Stand Up For Occupation? Here Is The List.” MJ Rosenberg, Mar. 2013. Online at http://mjayrosenberg.com/2013/03/19/did-your-favorite-progressive-senator-sign-aipac-letter-to-obama-telling-him-to-stand-up-for-occupation-here-is-the-list/

Alison Weir is the President of the Council for the National Interest (CNI) and Executive Director of If Americans Knew.

June 28, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What will Obama do?

Shut In, Shut Down, Shut Up: Three Years after Mavi Marmara

By Greta Berlin | Palestine Chronicle | May 20 2013 
Passengers on the Mavi Marmara were attacked by heavily armed Israeli commandos.
Passengers on the Mavi Marmara were attacked by heavily armed Israeli commandos.

Three years ago, the Free Gaza movement was wrapping up final preparations for a flotilla of eight ships to head out to Gaza, determined to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians shut into an open-air prison. Most of us were already in Cyprus or Turkey or Greece, as we were the primary organizers, having already sent eight voyages, five of them successful in 2008.

Why a flotilla of boats?

During Israel’s horrific massacres against the people of Gaza (called Operation Cast Lead) in December 2008/January, 2009, our boat, the DIGNITY, had been rammed off the coast of Lebanon as we were taking medical personnel into Gaza. The boat later sank in a storm off the coast of Cyprus.

Then, in July 2009, Israel brutally attacked the “Spirit of Humanity,” even though Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire, and former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney were on board. The Israeli government stole the boat, threw passengers into Israeli prison and, laughably, deported them eight days later, because “passengers had illegally entered Israel.” It was the first time the Israeli commandoes had actually boarded one of the boats as opposed to ramming them or trying to sink them.

We realized a new approach would have to be designed, one that would include more vessels, more passengers and more media exposure to the brutal closure of Gaza. Sailing one boat at a time was not going to get the message out to the world that Israel was blockading the people of Gaza and committing crimes against humanity.

It took Free Gaza a year to organize. We traveled to Sweden, Norway, France, Turkey, Greece, many Middle Eastern countries, Tunisia, Spain, Malaysia, the UK, the US and Germany. We helped Palestinian support groups raise money and send out the message that the next voyage would have to be organized with worldwide support. We succeeded beyond our wildest imagination, as organizations and individuals got on board the mission, raised money from people around the world, and bought the boats… eight in all, from the boats purchased by the Turkish charity, IHH, to the boats ready to go from Greece, Sweden, Ireland, Malaysia and the U.S.

Our own boats, Challenger 1 and Challenger 2 plus the cargo ship, the Rachel Corrie, were on their way to the meting place off the coast of Cyprus. The Rachel Corrie, bought with money from a charity in Malaysia had finally left Ireland, its propeller pin suspiciously dropping out just days before leaving, causing the ship to be delayed for days. Had the final inspection not caught the problem, the propeller would have flown off, damaging the boat and putting the passengers and cargo at risk. The Rachel Corrie would not make it in time to join the flotilla but would try to get into Gaza five days later, only to be boarded by Israeli commandos, the passengers brutalized and left in the sun, then thrown into prison.

The six of us in the media office in Cyprus were fielding calls, trying to keep track of passengers and where they were going to board…and also trying to pacify the Cypriot authorities, who were no longer willing to have our boats leaving their shores… too much Israeli money had come into Cypriot departments over the year, and the doors that had been so welcoming to us, were beginning to close.

As the boats headed out to the meeting place, our two yachts were suddenly dead in the water, clearly a result of sabotage, as the Israelis bragged about it.

After the pin had come out of the Rachel Corrie propeller, it was obvious that one way Israel was going to shut down the flotilla was to make sure boats never left port (during Freedom Flotilla II in 2011, that’s exactly what Israel accomplished, thanks to outsourcing the occupation to Greece and shutting down the entire flotilla of nine boats).

Now, both of our yachts had the same gasline problem at the same time in the middle of the Mediterranean. One was never able to join the flotilla (after taking months to repair, it finally became the Irish ship, Saoirese, that sailed with the Canadian boat, the Tahrir and was violently boarded in November, 2011 by Israeli commandos who tried to sink them with water canons).

We could not have imagined in the days running up to the murderous attacks on our passengers on May 31, 2010 that the Israeli government, in spite of ordering the ramming of the DIGNITY and the vicious boarding of the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, they would actually send armed commandos onto all six boats, beating up many passengers, wounding over 50 of them, and murdering nine, all while the boats were in international waters.

Shutting Us Up

In an attempt since then to make the attackers look as though they are the victims, the Israeli PR machine has been working overtime to spin the story. Here are just three of the many lies told by PR shill, Mark Regev and top Israeli military men.

1. The flotilla was Turkish or was run by the IHH and was full of Turkish jihadists.

The flotilla was organized and run by the Free Gaza movement with help by every initiative that joined, from IHH to the Swedes to the Irish to the Malaysians. We were all members of civil society who were protesting at Israel’s brutal behavior regarding the Palestinians, and we took no money from governments. All money was raised through donations from average people outraged over Israel’s behavior.

In fact, we had an international passenger list of over 600. Turkey made up half of the passenger list. Australia 3; Azerbaijan 2; Italy 6; Indonesia 12; Ireland 9; Algeria 28; United States 12; Bulgaria 2; Bosnia 1; Bahrain 4; Belgium 5; Germany 11; South Africa 1; Holland 2; United Kingdom 31; Greece 38; Jordan 30; Kuwait 15; Lebanon 3; Mauritania 3; Malaysia 11; Egypt 3; Israel 6: Macedonia 3; Morocco 7; Norway 3; New Zealand 1; Syria 3; Serbia 1; Oman 1; Pakistan 3; Czech Republic 4; France 9; Kosovo 1; Canada 1; Sweden 11; Turkey 380; Yemen 4.

Every one of these passengers had filled out an extensive application. Although Free Gaza was not responsible for the Turkish passengers, they used our application process. Every person who boarded every boat was searched. Even one of the crewmembers on board the Mavi Marmara had to relinquish his Swiss army knife.

2. Passengers attacked heavily armed Israeli commandos, forcing them to shoot in self-defense.

Passengers on all six boats testified to being beaten, their bones broken, and most of them tied up on ships that were in the Mediterranean, a direct violation of maritime law and the treatment of civilians.

As the UNHCR report clearly states, of the nine passengers who were murdered on board the Mavi Marmara, six of them were assassinated, none of them had weapons. In fact, the only weapon in their hands was a camera.

Even the whitewashing Palmer report, a panel set up to counter what UNHRC had issued and co-chaired by that famous human rights abuser from Columbia, Uribe, reluctantly concluded that Israel overreacted. Their finding that the blockade was legal has no standing according to many maritime lawyers (there were none on the panel), since they were only tasked to mend relations with Turkey, something they failed abysmally to do.

3. Israel ‘kindly offered’ to take the supplies loaded on the boats and transfer them to Gaza.

First of all, our missions have never been about delivering supplies. They have always been about breaking Israel’s illegal siege on Gaza. We took in supplies, because we could, and because we often loaded the boats with medical equipment and construction equipment that Israel refused to allow into the besieged enclave.

Second, there is no method of transporting anything from Ashdod to Gaza. It is a seaport with no facilities for transporting 10,000 tons of supplies that were on board the boats. Free Gaza’s lawyers and representatives in Israel spent months working on getting the supplies from the Rachel Corrie into Gaza. When they finally were delivered, the battery operated wheelchairs were minus the batteries, as Israel determined they might be used to make rockets, the same reasoning they gave to us on the first trip about hearing aid batteries.

Third, every piece of cargo, every piece of equipment and every supply that was going to Gaza had already been inspected at the point of departure. That’s the way it’s supposed to be handled, not by some paranoid country that thinks it can break all the conventions of the sea and demand that cargo that was already inspected get hauled into its port. Imagine what a mess it would be if every country in the world decided they had the right to inspect cargo coming in from every other country. It’s what cargo manifests and inspectors are for.

Those three constant lies have been trotted out at every opportunity to shut up the activists and prevent additional voyages. It has not stopped us, as evidenced by the most recent initiative, sailing a boat out of Gaza (www.gazaark.org), nor will it stop us from continuing to hold Israel accountable for the wellbeing of the people it occupies.

The best news on this, the third anniversary of the murders of eight Turks and one American, is that the ICC is going to consider the complaint from the Cormoros Island, the country where the Mavi Marmara was flagged.

In an attempt to shut in the people of Gaza, shut down the voyages and shut up the people who advocate for freedom of movement for the 1.5 million people imprisoned there, the Israelis have failed…. Miserably.

– Greta Berlin is one of the five co-founders of the Free Gaza movement (www.freegazamovement.com) and was on one of the first two boats to arrive in Gaza in August, 2008. She was the primary spokesperson for Freedom Flotilla 1 in May 2010, appearing on international media in Europe, the Middle East and the United States when the flotilla was attacked by Israeli commandos. She is the co-author of Freedom Sailors, a book about that first trip and how activists made it to Gaza in spite of huge obstacles.

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cynthia McKinney: Israel Lobby shaping US policy

It is fitting that on the same day as this headline appeared, “Pro-Israeli US lawmakers urge bombing Syria air bases, arming militants, invasion” I delivered the following remarks to the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine:

From Cynthia McKinney: Remarks at the UN International Meeting on Palestine in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

My name is Cynthia McKinney and I served as a Member of the U.S. Congress for 12 years. During my time in Congress, I strove to make respect for human rights a central feature in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. Amid minor successes, I have to say that my efforts while, broadly appreciated by many, failed miserably. That failure stems in part from the peculiarities of U.S. politics that allow policy formulation to deviate from and in many cases become diametrically opposed to the values of the people of the U.S. Sadly, what we in the U.S. call “special interests” are able to buy public policy by way of campaign contributions and misleading media campaigns. These “special interests” are aided and abetted in the U.S. by a concentrated media that has no obligation according to U.S. court decisions to tell the public the truth. In other words, U.S. media have won in U.S. court the right to knowingly lie to the people they ostensibly serve. I will briefly delve into this unusual and anti-”democratic” state of affairs now controlling in the U.S. once again before I conclude my remarks.

After my tenure in Congress, I became involved in international human rights activism. During Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (which was its war against Hamas and others), I joined with a group of human rights activists who tried to deliver medical supplies to the people of Gaza; the Israeli Military stopped us. While in international waters, an Israeli Defense Forces warship rammed the pleasure boat that I was on with the other volunteers, and totally destroyed our boat. Neither the medical supplies nor us volunteers reached Gaza.

Approximately six months later, we, the volunteers from the first thwarted effort, reassembled in order to make another attempt to reach Gaza by sea, traveling through international waters, with the hopes of entering into Palestine by way of Gaza’s territorial waters. By this time, Operation Cast Lead had ended, President Barack Obama had been sworn in, and he had appealed publicly for an easing of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Gazans had made an appeal for school supplies for the children still reeling from the trauma of three weeks of what the United Nations called “one of the most violent episodes in the recent history of the Palestinian territory.” So, some of us answered that call with school supplies for the children and building supplies for the adults so that Gaza could rebuild from the devastation after Operation Cast Lead. On this effort to answer a humanitarian call for help, I, along with 20 other volunteers, was kidnapped by the Israeli military while in international waters, our boat was seized, we were taken by an extremely circuitous route to Israel where we never intended to go, and I was incarcerated in an Israeli prison for 7 days. Sadly, what I witnessed while in Israeli prison pointed to Israel as an apartheid state and the gross mistreatment of, particularly, Ethiopian women who had been lured to the “Holy Land” for job opportunities that vaporized because they were not of the correct religion. In addition to that, my observation at the time was that Ethiopian Jews are used as an important pillar–even enforcer, ironically, of Israeli apartheid. I can expand on this aspect of my observations later if there are specific questions or requests for more information from this body or from individuals in attendance at this Conference.

Needless to say, for a second time, I was prevented from entering Gaza. Upon hearing of my ordeal, Member of Parliament George Galloway who was in Cairo leading “Viva Palestina USA,” contacted me and invited me to come to Cairo and enter Gaza by land, which I did. Upon entering Gaza, I was able to see the destruction inflicted on the people by Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. I scooped up a bit of the soil and put it in this container. Sadly, as noted in the Goldstone Report and admitted by the Israeli Defense Forces, this Gaza soil is probably contaminated with whatever remains of the chemicals that were used by the Israelis against the people of Gaza: chemicals ranging from white phosphorus to inert metals. And while I unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation in Congress to end the use of depleted uranium in U.S. munitions because of the health effects, the Goldstone Report mentions that allegations were made that Israel used depleted uranium during Operation Cast Lead, which also might be in this soil. The United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights is also aware that civilian targets were bombed and totally destroyed. I visited a few of those targets.

One stop on my private tour of the destruction in Gaza was the American International School and amid the rubble I spotted a bright yellow something that I couldn’t quite make out what it was. So, I climbed through the jutted shards of concrete and exposed rebar to retrieve the object. This is that object: an English language children’s art book stamped with the initials of the American International School in Gaza, “AISG.” I was standing in what was left of the School’s library.

Another stop on my tour of the effects of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead was a neighborhood school, not nearly as big and grand as the American School. There, I could see the path of one missile that blew a hole clear through several walls of the school. There were markings on the chalkboard, including the Star of David. I saw several cans of peanuts on the floor. This is one of them. It is written in Hebrew. The Israeli soldiers blew up the school and then sat down in its ruins and enjoyed peanuts and drew religious and political markings on the chalkboard.

Both boats that I was on were seized by the Israelis and destroyed by them. The humanitarian aid on the boats did not reach Gaza and only token aid was delivered by the land convoy to the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the bulk of it stranded in Egypt, not allowed into Gaza by the Egyptians or the Israelis.

What is amazing is not only that this happens over and over again, but that Israeli leaders who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, leave office, and are never held accountable for their policies, as was done by victims of Augusto Pinochet, and as is being done currently by the International Criminal Court. Another aspect of this impunity is that Israel continues to receive U.S. weapons and technology which it uses against civilians in contravention of U.S. law. As these weapons are used or become outdated, the U.S. replenishes Israel’s weapons stock every year.

One measure of this impunity is brought to bear by the pro-Israel Lobby that operates in the political sphere of the U.S. I am a former Member of Congress because pro-Israel sympathizers known as the “pro-Israel Lobby” ensured my ouster from Congress and that of many other Members of Congress who dared to try and draw attention to U.S. law, Israel’s human rights violations, Israel’s misuse of U.S. weapons, or any other inconvenient facts that were better buried and left unknown.

What many of you might not know, because these things just aren’t discussed as widely as they should be, is that many of those Members of Congress who were put out of office by the pro-Israel Lobby were the stolen children of Africa, descendants of Africans trafficked in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. I will call the names of a few and tell you where you can find information about them as they tell their own stories:

· Gus Savage, Member of Congress from Chicago, Illinois was targeted for defeat by the pro-Israel Lobby because he dared to engage in foreign relations within the purview of a Member of Congress on the African Continent, in Egypt among other places. He recounted his ordeal on the Floor of the House of Representatives and revealed the secrets of the pro-Israel Lobby on the Congressional Record where students and others interested in this topic can find his words today.

· Earl Hilliard, Member of Congress from Birmingham, Alabama was the first Black Member of Congress to serve the people of Alabama since the U.S. Civil War’s Reconstruction Era. He was ejected from the Congress by the pro-Israel Lobby because he, like Gus Savage, traveled to Africa, and in particular to Libya. He also traveled to Lebanon and learned of new weapons for that time, that had been used there by Israel. For this transgression, Earl Hilliard had to go. He is interviewed in a Dutch documentary that is available on youtube where he describes the vicious campaign that was run against him by the pro-Israel Lobby.

· And then, there’s me. Just this month, I published a book entitled Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom, in which I describe just a few of the tactics that were used against me by the pro-Israel Lobby to destroy my career in Congress.

· These three political “take-downs” were very publicly done in order to send a message to others who might also be inclined to speak up out of moral conviction, as Savage, Hilliard, and I did.

· This weeding out also occurs on the local level with state and local elected officials like my father and others targeted for defeat because of the potential threat to the interests of the pro-Israel Lobby that they pose.

· In addition, on a public and private level, targeted individuals have to endure soft repression that makes life difficult. All of this needs to be put on the record if one is to fully understand the power of the pro-Israel Lobby and the pall that it casts on the political process in the U.S. and from what I have been told, also in Europe.

· Finally, the political landscape for Blacks in the U.S. is negatively affected by this weeding out process, because their strongest and most outspoken authentic leaders are vulnerable to the challenges from candidates that are well funded by outside “special interests.”

In light of this, I would like to put this thought to you: can you even imagine what U.S. policy would be like at the United Nations if the will of the people were carried out without the interference of the pro-Israel Lobby? The Durban World Conference Against Racism was a watershed that could be revisited time and time again with U.S. support and participation, except that powerful Lobbies want otherwise. I know, it’s hard to imagine things differently. But it is not hard for me and that is one vision that keeps me going: U.S. policy made in the image of the values of the people of the U.S. At a Conference whose theme is African solidarity with the Palestinian people, I thought it was important to mention not only how the pro-Israel Lobby skews politics in the U.S. against the Palestinians, but also against African-descendants inside the U.S.

I focus on this important aspect of policy-making by focusing on who gets to make the policy because I believe that this is one key reason why Palestinians are forced to suffer while, at best platitudes and delay, serve as the effective policies of the US and European countries.

The short version of this tragic story is that pro-Israel forces inside the U.S. are willing to use their money to buy political influence and protection for Israel across the political spectrum while the same cannot be said of pro-peace, pro-justice forces. I liken the situation to game day when one team shows up in beautiful new uniforms with all of the latest and best equipment, primed and ready to execute its strategy in the game of play, while the other team doesn’t even show up on the pitch. I believe that one remaining untested justice frontier is the political battleground in U.S. and European capitals. It is inside these essential capitals that pro-Israel Lobbies have become comfortable operating with very little opposition from the other side.

I am tired of losing when, I believe, we really do not have to lose. I fundamentally believe that the people of this world are good and want peace. I have spoken to Afghanis and Pakistanis, to Yemenis and to Somalis, Palestinians and Americans, and I find them to be peace-loving peoples.

So, how do we move from where we are to where we need to be? That is the fundamental question. I focus on the political because the political creates the legal. And the political creates impunity.

Just in my personal experiences, I have outlined breaches of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international law, and U.S. law by the occupying power: Israel.

I served as a juror on the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine that recently concluded its Sessions with a finding that both the U.S. and Europe are guilty of contributing to the atmosphere of impunity with which apartheid Israel carries out its policies against Palestinians and anyone who stands in its way.

I also recently served as an Official Observer as the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission received testimony from Palestinians on their treatment inside Israel as well as in the Occupied Territories.

Through my service with both of these organizations, I have met too many courageous Palestinians and Israelis who want to live peacefully with each other and who put their lives and their livelihoods on the line every day for peace and the rule of law. I do believe that much of the suffering could be alleviated if we would put sufficient energy and resources behind putting out in public view how the pro-Israel Lobby misdirects U.S. and European policies and prevents pro-peace and justice politicians from ever having the opportunity to put those values, along with our basic human dignity, permanently on the table for public debate.

Finally, I am not Palestinian. I am not Arab. I am not Muslim. But I am human. And that is enough for me to acknowledge the dignity of others who are oppressed and to epitomize what this Conference is all about: African Solidarity with the Palestinian People for the Achievement of its inalienable rights, including the sovereignty and independence of the State of Palestine.

Thank you.

April 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cynthia McKinney Interviews Gilad Atzmon about Israel, Zionism, and Jewish Identity Politics

Cynthia McKinney: I had the great fortune to meet Gilad Atzmon IN PERSON in Atlanta!  He came, he spoke, he played.  It was marvelous.

I actually interviewed him for Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox radio program that will air some time in the coming few days.  Be on the lookout for it.

The interview was a good follow-up to his remarks in Atlanta.  I touched him.  He’s human.  He’s just a person.  And he’s a thinker.  He has deep philosophical underpinnings for his positions.  He is actually engaging in a conversation with himself, but is allowing the world to hear his musings.  His conversation is no different than the one some Black people are having now around the meaning of the Presidency of Barack Obama since his policies are the exact opposite of what was once the Black Political Consensus that was admired around the world as a result of the struggle for civil rights in this country.  What are we to do when that consensus is betrayed by one of our own?  If you read Glen Ford at BlackAgendaReport.com, you will see what I mean.  When values that have been held for generations are suddenly betrayed, introspection for meaning is always appropriate.

I felt the same way with Madeleine Albright; it only intensified with Condoleeza Rice and Susan Rice.  As I said at a town hall meeting last night, that Rice plantation must have been one messed-up place!  But certainly women must have the same pangs of conscience when we see women personalize policies that result in mass murder.

At any rate, in the flesh, Gilad is charming and thought-provoking.  He said nothing that was offensive to me and nothing that I heard him say resembles what I read about him.

Finally, I know what it is like to be maligned.  For serious values to be twisted and chewed and mangled into distortions beyond recognition.  And although he would never admit it, I’m sure these attacks hurt him immensely.  I wish there were something I could do about that, but we all are so hurt.  Don’t retreat.  Hold my hand and we will walk with Gilad through this difficult time for us all.

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on Cynthia McKinney Interviews Gilad Atzmon about Israel, Zionism, and Jewish Identity Politics