Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Israel minister calls to expel international observers from Hebron

MEMO | January 18, 2019

Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called for international observers to be expelled from Hebron.

Erdan yesterday sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding that he end the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), in the south of the occupied West Bank.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Erdan claimed that the mission is “hostile to Israel rather than a neutral force, and is harmful to both the Israeli soldiers stationed in Hebron and the [illegal] Jewish settlers that live there”. Erdan reportedly gave Netanyahu a secret police report “with data to back up his assertion”.

The letter read:

It is no wonder that a force, composed of policemen from a hostile Islamic state such as Turkey and pro-Palestinian countries that sponsor boycotts [of Israel] such as Sweden and Norway, interferes with IDF soldiers and police, creates friction with the settlers, cooperates with radical organizations and promotes the delegitimization of Israel.

Erdan continued: “It is [therefore] right and proper for the Israeli government to prevent the continued activity of this ‘temporary’ force acting to harm Israel.”

The TIPH – a civilian observer mission which has been present in Hebron since 1997 – has a mandate which is renewed every six months by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. The mission’s current mandate ends in 14 days, which likely explains the timing of Erdan’s appeal. In doing so, he joins the right-wing campaign led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, to pressure Netanyahu to end the mission’s mandate.

In November, Netanyahu said he would review the mission’s status in December, but made no public statement on the issue.

The mission was formed in the aftermath of a massacre committed by Jewish extremist rabbi, Baruch Goldstein, who killed 30 Palestinian worshippers during their morning prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

 

January 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

By Federico PIERACCINI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.01.2019

The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone.

Trump has promised to destroy Turkey economically if he attacks the Kurds, reinforcing his claim that Erdogan will not target the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) once the US withdraws from the area. One of the strongest accusations made against Trump’s withdrawal by his opponents is that no Middle Eastern force will ever trust the US again if they abandon the SDF to its fate, that is, to its annihilation at the hands of the Turkish army and its FSA proxies. This, however, is not possible; not so much because of Trump’s economic threats, but because of Damascus and Moscow being strongly opposed to any Turkish military action in the northeast of Syria.

This is a red line drawn by Putin and Assad, and the Turkish president likely understands the consequences of any wrong moves. It is no coincidence that he stated several times that he had no problems with the “Syrians or Syrian-Kurdish brothers”, and repeated that if the area under the SDF were to come under the control of Damascus, Turkey would have no need to intervene in Syria. Trump’s request that Ankara have a buffer zone of 20 kilometers separating the Kurdish and Turkish forces seems to complement the desire of Damascus and Moscow to avoid a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the SDF.

The only party that seems to be secretly encouraging a clash between the SDF and Turkish forces is Israel, criticizing Ankara and singing the praises of the SDF, in order to try and accentuate the tensions between the two sides, though naturally without success. Israel’s continued raids in Syria, though almost constantly failing due to Syrian air defense, and the divide-and-rule policy used against Turkey and the SDF, show that Tel Aviv is now weakened and mostly irrelevant in the Syrian conflict.

In Idlib, the situation seems to be becoming less complicated and difficult to decipher. Russia, Iran and Syria had asked Erdogan to take control of the province through its “moderate jihadists”, sit down at the negotiating table, and resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution. Exactly the opposite happened. The HTS (formerly al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Syria) has in recent weeks conquered practically the whole province of Idlib, with numerous forces linked to Turkey (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki) dissolving and merging into HTS. This development puts even more pressure on Erdogan, who is likely to see his influence in Idlib fade away permanently. Moreover, this evolution represents a unique opportunity for Damascus and Moscow to start operations in Idlib with the genuine justification of combating terrorism. It is a repeat of what happened in other de-escalation areas. Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly requested the moderates be separated from the terrorists, so as to approach the situation with a diplomatic negotiation.

In the absence of an effective division of combatants, all are considered terrorists, with the military option replacing the diplomatic. This remains the only feasible option to free the area from terrorists who are not willing to give back territory to the legitimate government in Damascus and are keeping civilians hostages. The Idlib province seems to have experienced the same playbook applied in other de-escalation zones, this time with a clear contrast between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that shows how the struggle between the two countries is much deeper than it appears. The reasons behind the Khashoggi case and the diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were laid bare in the actions of the HTS in Idlib, which has taken control of all the areas previously held by Ankara’s proxies.

It remains to be seen whether Moscow and Damascus would like to encourage Erdogan to recover Idlib through its proxies, trying to encourage jihadists to fight each other as much as possible in order to lighten the task of the SAA, or whether they would prefer to press the advantage themselves and attack while the terrorist front is experiencing internal confusion.

In terms of occupied territory and accounts to be settled, two areas of great importance for the future of Syria remain unresolved, namely al-Tanf, occupied by US forces on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and the area in the north of Syria occupied by Turkish forces and their FSA proxies. It is too early to approach a solution militarily, it being easier for Damascus and Moscow to complete the work to free Syria from the remaining terrorists. Once this has been done, the presence of US or Turkish forces in Syria, whether directly or indirectly, would become all the more difficult to justify. Driving away the US and, above all, Turkey from Syrian territory will be the natural next step in the Syrian conflict.

This is an unequivocal sign that the war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus. Several countries — including Italy in the near future — will reopen their embassies in Syria to demonstrate that the war, even if not completely over, is effectively won by Damascus and her allies.

For this reason, several countries that were previously opposed to Damascus, like the United Arab Emirates, are understood to have some kind of contact with the government of Damascus. If they intend to become involved in the reconstruction process and any future investment, they will quite naturally need to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. The Arab League is also looking to welcome Syria back into the fold.

Such are signs that Syria is returning to normality, without forgetting which and how many countries have conspired and acted directly against the Syrians for over seven years. An invitation to the Arab League or some embassy being reopened will not be enough to compensate for the damage done over years, but Assad does not preclude any option, and is in the meantime demonstrating to the Israelis, Saudis and the US Deep State that their war has failed and that even their most loyal allies are resuming diplomatic relations with Damascus, a double whammy against the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists.

January 17, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The beauty and the beast – Gilad Atzmon vs. Rachel Riley

By Gilad Atzmon | January 16, 2019

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the Antisemitic slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others. In her first extended Ch 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher. You can watch the entire Ch 4 interview here.

January 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Benefiting Israel Tops Congressional Agenda

America Can Easily Be Moved

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 15, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously was unaware that he was being filmed when he commented that “America is a thing you can move very easily, moved in the right direction.” His predecessor Ariel Sharon was even more to the point when he reportedly said “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that … don’t worry about American pressure; I tell you, we, the Jewish people, control America and the American people know it!”

If this were only chest thumping rhetoric one might just shrug and go about one’s business, but actions speak louder than words, even in the world of corrupt politicians, where nothing is ever as it seems to be. In the past year alone, the U.S. government has moved its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, has stopped criticizing the Netanyahu government’s expansion of illegal settlements, and is reportedly currently contemplating recognizing as legal Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights. All the moves were and are contrary to actual American interests.

Furthermore, Israel, a country having a European level standard of living to include free education and medical care, has received more than $250 billion in “aid” from Washington. It currently is receiving $3.8 billion yearly from the U.S. Treasury as a base figure guaranteed for ten years, with supplements for special projects and programs. Adding in trade arrangements favorable to Israel and the money it gets from American Jewish donors’ tax-exempt contributions, the real total per annum approaches and may even exceed $10 billion. Much of the donor money, including that from the Kushner Foundation, has gone to fund the illegal settlements on the West Bank in violation of U.S. law. And then there is the $2.7 billion given yearly to Egypt and Jordan, essentially bribes to maintain friendly relations with Israel.

The ultimate irony is that any aid to Israel is illegal in light of the fact that it has violated the Symington and Glenn amendments to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act due to its undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal and its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Both Congress and the White House have chosen to ignore that complication, one more demonstration of Jewish power in the United States. In truth, Ariel Sharon, if he was quoted correctly, had it right. Jewish Americans do control or at least exercise considerable influence over key sectors in the U.S. They are overwhelmingly disproportionately present on Wall Street, in the entertainment and news industries, in academia, in high value professions and in government at all levels. Their collective power both enriches and protects Israel at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer and genuine national interests. It also enables Israeli agents in the U.S., like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to avoid scrutiny and regulation under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

Some federal government agencies exist largely to promote Israeli interests, most notably the Treasury Department’s Office for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which has only had Jewish Under Secretaries heading it since it was founded in 2004. It is currently run by Israeli Sigal Mandelker. The office has focused on punishing Iran, Israel’s principle enemy, throughout its existence.

Jewish power is most perniciously evident in U.S. foreign policy, where it has a strangle hold on relations between Washington and the Arab countries of the Middle East. Much of this leverage is derived from the fact that the principal donors to both the Democratic and Republican parties – Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson-are both Jews having very strong ties to Israel. Saban is an Israeli and Adelson may have Israeli citizenship. With both parties more than willing to act on behalf of Israel, the United States has engaged in a number of wars that serve no national interest and which have, on the contrary, brought with them devastating consequences, including the rise of new terrorist groups.

To be sure, many American Jews are not convinced by the love affair with Israel, but they are hard to hear amidst the cacophony coming from the Jewish oligarchs and hundreds of pro-Israel organizations that are constantly singing the praises of Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime. For many young Jews in particular, it is difficult to empathize with a country that deploys army snipers to shoot thousands of unarmed demonstrators or a government that engages in starvation policies and the arrests, beatings and killings of children. Not to mention a governing system that believes that only Jewish citizens have full rights.

The Jewish oligarchs who manipulate the politicians do so with money, though one should in no way minimize the essential mendacity of the politicians themselves who are willing to sell out the interests of their country in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is not one of the brightest bulbs in congress, is a prime example of a legislator who has been bought and paid for by Israeli interests in the form of campaign donations from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and vulture capitalist Paul Singer.

Rubio’s speech last week supporting Senate bill S.1 for 2019, which he sponsored, was remarkable and should serve as primary evidence for anyone who really wonders why we have a Senate at all. The bill itself should also be read in toto to learn the details of what largess we give to Israel in exchange for absolutely nothing in return. To put it succinctly, Rubio is all about protecting and nurturing Israel, which he sees as a good move since he has aspirations to become president. S.1 was, notably, the first Senate bill to be considered in 2019 after what once upon a time used to be referred to as the Christmas Recess. The full title of S.1 is the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, which might be considered a bit of a fraud as it has nothing to do with the United States and is really all about giving Israel money and anything else it might desire, to include destroying the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that has targeted Israel’s apartheid. Rubio openly has admitted that the bill was crafted to help Israel and during his speech he registered his opposition to the impending pullout of U.S. troops from Syria because it would, according to him, “endanger” the Jewish state. Apart from that, the half hour presentation incorporated some remarkable oratory explaining S.1 including:

First of all, let me tell you what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t outlaw BDS. if you’re an American company and you want to boycott or divest from Israel, it doesn’t make it illegal. It doesn’t stop you from doing it. The only thing it says is if there is some city or county or state in this country who wants to support Israel, they have a right to say we are not going to buy services or goods from any company that’s boycotting or divesting from Israel. That’s all it does. It gives cities and counties like these 26 states the opportunity to have their elected officials who respond to the people of those states or cities or counties that elected them to make a decision that they are not going to do business with people who don’t do business with Israel and boycott Israel. In essence, it allows us to boycott the boycotters.

It would be difficult to find a more stupid justification for S.1 than that provided by Rubio. He does not understand that the “state” at all levels is supposed to be politically neutral in terms of providing government services. It is not supposed to retaliate against someone for views they hold, particularly, as in this case, when it involves opposition to the policies of a foreign government that many consider to be guilty of crimes against humanity. Rubio clearly believes that you can exercise free speech but government can then punish you by taking away your livelihood or denying you services that you are entitled to if you do not agree with it on an issue that ultimately has nothing to do with the United States. The ACLU has addressed the issue succinctly, arguing that “Public officials cannot use the power of public office to punish views they don’t agree with. That’s the kind of authoritarian power our Constitution is meant to protect against.”

In any event, the Senate bill failed in two tries last week with a vote of 56 in favor and 45 against followed by a 53 to 43 tally, with 60 votes being needed to advance for a final vote. It was supported by every Republican senator, but never fear, S.1 will surely pass when the government shutdown ends and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, himself a beneficiary of generous pro-Israel PAC donations, brings it up again for yet another vote. The Democrats who voted against S.1 to embarrass President Trump and protest the shutdown included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Ben Cardin who are unrestrained champions of Israel due to both their ethnic and religious ties. Schumer has described himself as Israel’s “shomer” or protector in the Senate while Cardin has been a key player in advancing any and all pro-Israel legislation. They and most other Democrats will support the bill as they are in thrall to Israel as much as are the Republicans.

Over at the U.S. House of Representatives there was also early action on behalf of Israel. H.R.221- Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism ActTo amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to monitor and combat anti-Semitism globally, and for other purposes” passed by a margin of 411 to 1 in a mere twelve minutes with only congressman Justin Amash voting “nay.” The bill, which was being pushed by the Israel Lobby, compels President Trump to name an anti-Semitism Special Envoy with Ambassadorial rank to “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the U.S. government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.” Criticism of Israel is considered to be anti-Semitism.

Another recent and related story reveals the power of Israel and its friends as reflected by their ability to force potential dissidents to fall in line. Senator Rand Paul, a critic of foreign aid in general, rightly received praise for his willingness to step up and block approval of last year’s aid package for Israel. But even there he waffled, his office putting out a statement “While I’m not for foreign aid in general, if we are going to send aid to Israel it should be limited in time and scope so we aren’t doing it forever, and it should be paid for by cutting the aid to people who hate Israel and America.” Apparently Rand Paul believes that the people who hate Israel and America constitute an identifiable group receiving billions of U.S. Treasury dollars.

Senator Paul has also been involved in the current anti-BDS legislation declaring in an op-ed, that the bill would be damaging to first amendment rights. However, he did not back up his words with action, having voted both times in favor of S.1, and he also felt it necessary to preface his op-ed remarks with the usual sucking up to the Jewish state: “I am not in favor of boycotting Israel. Israel has been a good ally. I have traveled to Israel, and it was one of the best and most meaningful trips I have taken with my family. Standing at the Western Wall was special and powerful. Visiting old Jerusalem was incredible, and sailing on the sea of Galilee while a double rainbow glowed above us is something I will never forget. Israel is truly a unique and special place.”

It is disgraceful that the legislature of the United States of America in the midst of a government shutdown is giving first priority to bills granting billions of dollars-worth of benefits to Israel while also appointing an anti-Semitism Czar to interfere with the domestic politics of foreign nations. It is shameful that an American Senator should find himself compelled, if he wants to survive politically, to grovel before a domestic lobby representing a foreign nation. Still worse is the compulsion to apologize to that nation even while honorably critiquing legislation that would do significant damage to freedom of speech in America.

Rand Paul also knows perfectly well, as does every senator, that Israel is not and has never been an “ally” in any real sense and has instead used its considerable political power to corrupt America’s political culture and to entangle the United States in a series of unwinnable and inhumane wars in the Middle East. It is certainly his right to personally refuse to support BDS, but he surely understands that effective nonviolent pressure directed against Israel might well be the only way to deliver even a modicum of justice to the Palestinians. Senator Rand Paul clearly does not care about the Palestinians or about Washington’s misadventures in the Middle East when his more compelling need as an ambitious politician is to placate the powerful Jews who, as Ariel Sharon put it, “control America.” How disappointing. Is there anyone left standing who will actually defend the interests of the American people?

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

January 16, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 2 Comments

The moral travesty of Israel seeking Arab, Iranian money for its alleged Nakba

By Ramzy Baroud | Ma’an | January 15, 2019

The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful exodus of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s.

The events that Israel is citing allegedly occurred at a time when Zionist Jewish militias were actively uprooting nearly one million Palestinian Arabs and systematically destroying their homes, villages and towns throughout Palestine.

The Israeli announcement, which reportedly followed “18 months of secret research” conducted by the Israeli government’s Ministry of Social Equality, should not be filed under the ever-expanding folder of shameless Israeli misrepresentations of history.

It is part of a calculated effort by the Israeli government, and namely by Minister Gila Gamliel, to create a counter-narrative to the rightful demand for the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed by Jewish militias between 1947-1948.

But there is a reason behind the Israeli urgency to reveal such questionable research: the relentless US-Israeli attempt in the last two years to dismiss the rights of Palestinian refugee rights, to question their numbers and to marginalize their grievances. It is all part and parcel of the ongoing plot disguised as the ‘Deal of the Century’, with the clear aim of removing from the table all major issues that are central to the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

“The time has come to correct the historic injustice of the pogroms (against Jews) in seven Arab countries and Iran, and to restore, to hundreds of thousands of Jews who lost their property, what is rightfully theirs,” said Gamliel.

The language – “.. to correct the historic injustice” – is no different from language used by Palestinians who have for 70 years and counting been demanding the restoration of their rights per United Nations Resolution 194.

The deliberate conflating between the Palestinian narrative and the Zionist narrative is aimed at creating parallels, with the hope that a future political agreement would resolve to having both grievances cancel each other out.

Contrary to what Israeli historians want us to believe, there was no mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries and Iran, but rather a massive campaign orchestrated by Zionist leaders at the time to replace the Palestine Arab population with Jewish immigrants from all over the world. The ways through which such a mission was achieved often involved violent Zionist plots – especially in Iraq.

In fact, the call on Jews to gather in Israel from all corners of the world remains the rally cry for Israeli leaders and their Christian Evangelical supporters – the former wants to ensure a Jewish majority in the state, while the latter is seeking to fulfill a biblical condition for their long-awaited Armageddon.

To hold Arabs and Iran responsible for this bizarre and irresponsible behavior is a transgression on the true history in which neither Gamliel nor her ministry are interested.

On the other hand, and unlike what Israeli military historians often claim, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947- 48 (and the subsequent purges of the native population that followed in 1967) was a premeditated act of ethnic cleansing and genocide. It has been part of a long-drawn and carefully calculated campaign that, from the very start, served as the main strategy at the heart of the Zionist movement’s ‘vision’ for the Palestinian people.

“We must expel the Arabs and take their place,” wrote Israel’s founder, military leader and first prime minister, David Ben Gurion in a letter to his son, Amos in October 5, 1937. That was over a decade before Plan D – which saw the destruction of the Palestinian homeland at the hands of Ben Gurion’s militias – went into effect.

Palestine “contains vast colonization potential,” he also wrote, “which the Arabs neither need nor are qualified to exploit.”

This clear declaration of a colonial project in Palestine, communicated with the same kind of unmistakable racist insinuations and language that accompanied all western colonial experiences throughout the centuries was not unique to Ben Gurion. He was merely paraphrasing what was, by then, understood to be the crux of the Zionist enterprise in Palestine at the time.

As Palestinian professor Nur Masalha concluded in his book, the ‘Expulsion of the Palestinians’, the idea of the ‘transfer’ – the Zionist term for “ethnic cleansing’ of the Palestinian people – was, and remains, fundamental in the realization of Zionist ambitions in Palestine.

Palestinian Arab “villages inside the Jewish state that resist ‘should be destroyed .. and their inhabitants expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state,” Masalha wrote quoting the ‘History of the Haganah’ by Yehuda Slutsky. .

What this meant in practice, as delineated by Palestinian historian, Walid Khalidi was the joint targeting by various Jewish militias to systematically attack all population centers in Palestine, without exception.

“By the end of April (1948), the combined Haganah-Irgun offensive had completely encircled (the Palestinian city of) Jaffa, forcing most of the remaining civilians to flee by sea to Gaza or Egypt; many drowned in the process, ” Khalidi wrote in ‘Before Their Diaspora’.

This tragedy has eventually grown to affect all Palestinians, everywhere within the borders of their historic homeland. Tens of thousands of refugees joined up with hundreds of thousands more at various dusty trails throughout the country, growing in numbers as they walked further, to finally pitch their tents in areas that, then were meant to be ‘temporary’ refugee encampments. Alas, these became the Palestinian refugee camps of today, starting some 70 years ago.

None of this was accidental. The determination of the early Zionists to establish a ‘national home’ for Jews at the expense of the country’s Palestinian Arab nation was communicated, openly, clearly and repeatedly throughout the formation of early Zionist thoughts, and the translation of those well-articulated ideas into physical reality.

70 years have passed since the Nakba’ – the ‘Catastrophe’ of 1948 – and neither Israel took responsibility for its action, nor Palestinian refugees received any measure of justice, however small or symbolic.

For Israel to be seeking compensation from Arab countries and Iran is a moral travesty, especially as Palestinians refugees continue to languish in refugee camps across Palestine and the Middle East.

Yes, indeed “the time has come to correct the historic injustice,” not of Israel’s alleged ‘pogroms’ carried out by Arabs and Iranians, but the real and most tragic destruction of Palestine and its people.

January 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Deception | , , , | 3 Comments

After years of speculation, IDF chief admits Israel supplied Syrian rebels with weapons

RT | January 15, 2019

The outgoing IDF chief of staff has spilled the beans on a poorly guarded secret of the Israeli military, that it has supplied Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad’s government with weapons “for self-defense.”

Gadi Eisenkot, who was the Israeli Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff for the last three years, told the Sunday Times in a farewell interview that Israel had been directly involved in the Syrian conflict on the side of the Syrian rebels, something that Tel Aviv has been reluctant to acknowledge before.

The general, who is retiring from military service, said that Israel supplied rebels at the border with light weapons for the purposes of “self-defense.”

While the direct links between Syrian rebels and Israeli commanders have been officially revealed for the first time, rumors of close military ties between the armed militants and the Israeli government have been circulating for years.

Foreign Policy magazine reported in September that Israel supplied weapons and gave money to at least 12 rebel groups holed up in southern Syria. The arrangement reportedly included Israeli officials also giving $75-per-person monthly allowances to rebel fighters, in addition to the funds their leaders received to procure weapons on the black market.

In return, rebels were expected to deter Hezbollah and Iran proxies from the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights.

The scheme was reportedly in effect throughout Operation Good Neighbor, which officially kicked off in June 2016 and was wrapped up only last November. Within this undertaking, Israel was openly assisting the rebels but claimed that assistance was strictly humanitarian. Israel treated wounded Syrian rebels and their families in its hospitals, provided some 1,524 tons of food, 250 tons of clothes, 947,520 liters of fuel, as well as a huge amount of medical supplies.

However, until recently Israel kept vigorously denying any involvement beyond that. The Jerusalem Post’s report in September on the IDF confirming that it had provided light weapons to Syrian rebels was promptly pulled from its website. The newspaper told RT at the time that it was forced to remove the article by the army’s censor, apparently, “for security reasons.”

In November, Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen, a former senior commander with the IDF, revealed that former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had personally met with a group of Syrian rebels, without specifying the time period. Ya’alon was Israel’s chief of defense from 2013 to May 2016.

The Israeli military seems to have finally begun to reveal the scope of its involvement in the Syrian conflict, previously shrouded in secrecy. In an interview with the New York Times, Eisenkot acknowledged that Israel has been waging a large-scale bombing campaign aimed at degrading Iran’s military influence in the region. In 2018 alone, the IDF dropped 2,000 bombs on alleged Iran-linked targets in Syria. Sorties into the neighboring country’s territory became“near-daily events” after PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s government greenlighted the expansion of the operation in January 2017, according to the retiring general.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 11 Comments

Israel orders administrative detention of martyr’s father

Palestine Information Center – January 14, 2019

RAMALLAH – The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday issued a three-month administrative detention order against the Palestinian prisoner Omar al-Barghouti, the father of martyr Saleh al-Barghouti.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society said that Omar al-Barghouti, 66, has been subjected to harsh interrogation at al-Maskoubiyya detention center since he was arrested on 12 December 2018.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested al-Barghouti and dozens of Palestinian youths during a raid into Kobar village in Ramallah hours after they killed his son Saleh.

Al-Barghouti’s family have been subjected to collective punishment since the killing of Saleh. Most of the family members are currently held in Israeli jails, including al-Barghouti’s sons Asem, Asef, and Mohammed.

Omar al-Barghouti had spent over 26 years in Israeli lock-ups. He is the brother of the well-known Palestinian prisoner Nael al-Barghouti who is serving his 39th year in Israeli prisons.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bolton’s Radical Reshaping Plan for Mideast Included “Mind Boggling” Strikes on Iran, Syria, and Iraq

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | January 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — In 2017, less than a year before he became national security advisor, John Bolton promised a gathering of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK) that:

The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran. … The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself. … And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”

While some may have thought Bolton’s statements of regime change in Iran before 2019 were just more bellicose rhetoric from a well-known Iran hawk, a report published Sunday in the Wall Street Journal has revealed that Bolton did everything within his power to push for President Donald Trump to launch a military attack on Iran.

According to the Journal, Trump’s national security team – which is led by Bolton – requested that the Pentagon develop “far-reaching military options to strike Iran” last September after Shia militias in Iraq fired three mortars at the U.S. embassy and diplomatic compound in Baghdad. As the report noted, the shells “landed in an open lot and harmed no one,” but the group that fired them is alleged to have ties with Iran.

This incident, though minor, notably took place amid considerable unrest in the Iraqi city of Basra and during competing efforts by the U.S. and Iran to influence the formation of Iraq’s next national government.

Nevertheless, the minor nature of the incident was apparently the perfect pretext for Bolton and others on the national security team – which Bolton has been stocking with war hawks for much of the past year – to push for a military strike on Iran, something Bolton himself has long sought, as evidenced by his numerous speeches and editorials calling for preemptive bombing of the Islamic Republic.

For instance, in one meeting, Mira Ricardel – then serving as Bolton’s ultra-hawkish deputy national security advisor – described the attacks in Iraq as “an act of war” and said the U.S. had to respond decisively. Ricardel is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former executive of U.S. weapons-maker Boeing but left her post last November as result of friction with First Lady Melania Trump.

In addition, during those meetings, the Journal noted that Bolton did not even attempt to hide his real motivations, as he “made it clear that he personally supports regime change in Iran, a position he aggressively championed before joining the Trump administration, according to people familiar with the discussions.”

As a result of those meetings, the Bolton-led National Security Council pushed for an attack plan on Iran so brazen that it deeply concerned Pentagon and State Department officials. One former senior U.S. administration official told the Journal that the request “definitely rattled people” and added that “people were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

In other words, using a remarkably minor incident as a pretext, the Bolton-led group of hawks that compose the majority of Trump’s National Security Council (NSC) was preparing to launch a full-scale regime-change war on Iran. To make matters worse, the Journal also reported that the Pentagon had “complied with the NSC’s request to develop options for striking Iran,” meaning that Bolton and his team now have a range of Pentagon-developed strategies for bombing Iran at their fingertips.

Bolton’s obsession and unkept promise

Bolton‘s push to bomb Iran last September over such a minor incident may seem strange, but Bolton’s history makes it clear that he has long sought any excuse – from the minor to the non-existent – to justify waging war against Iran’s current government.

As MintPress reported last year, Bolton’s past indicates a near obsession with clearing the way for U.S. military action against Iran. As journalist Gareth Porter has noted, while Bolton was the Bush administration’s key policymaker on Iran, he — by flouting State Department protocol and taking several unannounced trips to Israel — “actively conspired … to establish the political conditions necessary for the administration to carry out military action” against Iran.

Not only that, but Bolton’s behind-the-scenes dealings — using fabricated evidence, provided to him by an Iranian terrorist group that Bolton still openly supports, to convince the United Nations that Iran was secretly developing a nuclear weapon — led Iran’s nuclear program to become a matter overseen by the United Nations Security Council, as opposed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Since becoming national security advisor, Bolton has continued to make this claim — as recently as last week — despite its having been rejected by the U.S. intelligence community repeatedly since 2007.

The terror group relied on by Bolton, Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK), was listed as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the United States government from 1997 and 2012 and, in the past, has conducted terror acts to accomplish its goals, killing Iranians as well as Americans in the process. More recently, MEK has worked with Israeli Intelligence to murder Iranian scientists. Since its removal from the government’s terror group list after an extensive lobbying effort that targeted prominent U.S. politicians, MEK has sought to reinvent itself as a “moderate” Iranian opposition group even though it has next to no support within Iran and has consistently been characterized as both “cultish” and “authoritarian.”

It was to this very group that Bolton had promised regime change in Tehran in 2019, a promise he ultimately failed to keep, but not for lack of trying.

“Sunni-stan,” partition, and a Middle East rebuilt to suit

Another highly significant revelation of the Journal’s report, which has been largely overlooked, is that the plans for “military options” that Bolton and his team requested from the Pentagon also included strategies for launching strikes, not just in Iran, but in Syria and Iraq. As the report noted, “the National Security Council asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with options to respond with strikes in Iraq and Syria as well, according to people familiar with the talks.”

Bolton’s willingness to bring Syria and Iraq into the fray betrays the fact that he is not just seeking regime change in individual countries but seeking to remake the Middle East as a whole. Indeed, both Syria and Iraq have long been in Bolton’s crosshairs, as evidenced by his 2015 editorial in the New York Times where he calls for the partition of both countries in order to benefit the United States, Israel and “friendly Arab” states like Saudi Arabia.

Bolton’s partition plan involves the creation of a Sunni state out of northeastern Syria and western Iraq, which he nicknames “Sunni-stan.” He asserts that such a country has “economic potential” as an oil producer, would be a “bulwark” against the Syrian government and “Iran-allied Baghdad,” and would help defeat Daesh (ISIS).

Bolton’s mention of oil is notable, as the proposed area for this Sunni state sits on key oil fields that U.S. oil interests, such as ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers, have sought to control if the partition of Iraq and Syria comes to pass. Also notable is the fact that the area of Syria Bolton mentions is the area currently being illegally occupied by the United States. This could well be a driving factor in Bolton’s desire to delay or prevent the U.S. troop withdrawal in northeastern Syria.

However, the most notable part of the Bolton’s editorial calling for the creation of “Sunni-stan” is that he mentions exactly who would benefit from this partition, and it certainly isn’t the Syrians or the Iraqis. “Restoring Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders,” Bolton writes, “is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests.” In other words, allowing the Syrian government to return to its former borders is “contrary” to the interests of the nations that Bolton supports and that he seeks to make the dominant powers in the Middle East through his aggressive policy for the region.

With Bolton and his team on the National Security Council armed with the tools to bomb both Syria and Iran, it’s only a matter of time before Bolton finds the perfect pretext to begin enacting his vision for a “new” Middle East, most likely starting with Iran.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 4 Comments

Curious Bedfellows: The Neocon and Progressive Alliance to Destroy Donald Trump

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | January 14, 2019

The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”

Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative. The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.

The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”

The neoconservatives lined up behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, appalled by Donald Trump’s condemnation of their centerpiece war in Iraq and even more so by his pledge to end the wars in Asia and nation-building projects while also improving relations with the Russians. They worked actively against the Republican candidate both before he was nominated and elected and did everything they could to stop him, including libeling him as a Russian agent.

When Trump was elected, it, therefore, seemed that the reign of the neocons had ended, but chameleonlike, they have changed shape and are now ensconced both in some conservative as well as in an increasing number of progressive circles in Washington and in the media. Against all odds, they have even captured key posts in the White House itself with the naming of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Bolton’s Chief of Staff is Fred Fleitz, a leading neocon and Islamophobe while last week Trump added Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council as director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Goldberg is an alumnus of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is the leading neocon think tank calling incessantly for war with Iran.

Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that, based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.

The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War. They have never been held accountable for anything, though one should note that accountability is not a prominent American trait, at least since Vietnam. What is important is that neocon views have been perceived by the media and punditry as being part of the Establishment consensus, which provides them with access to programming all across the political spectrum. That is why neocon standard-bearers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have been able to move effortlessly from Fox News to MSNBC where they are fêted by the likes of Rachel Maddow. They applauded the Iraq War when the Establishment was firmly behind it and are now trying to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency because America’s elite is behind that effort.

Indeed, the largely successful swing by the neocons from right to left has in some ways become more surreal, as an increasing number of progressive spokesmen and institutions have lined up behind their perpetual warfare banner. The ease with which the transformation took place reveals, interestingly, that the neocons have no real political constituency apart from voters who feel threatened and respond by supporting perpetual war, but they do share many common interests with the so-called liberal interventionists. Neocons see a global crisis for the United States defined in terms of power while the liberals see the struggle as a moral imperative, but the end result is the same: intervention by the United States. This fusion is clearly visible in Washington, where the Clintons’ Center for American Progress (CAP) is now working on position papers with the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together (DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not “stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin” and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election.

DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice, also a 501(c)4. Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causes in the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.

Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark, which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard. It is promoting itself as the center of the “Never Trump Resistance” and it is being assumed that at least some of the Omidyar money is behind it.

Iranian-born Omidyar’s relationship with Kristol is clearly based on the hatred that the two share regarding Donald Trump. Omidyar has stated that Trump is a “dangerous authoritarian demagogue… endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.” He has tweeted that Trump suffers from “failing mental capacity” and is both “corrupt and incapacitated.”

Omidyar is what he is – a hardcore social justice warrior who supports traditional big government and globalist liberal causes, most of which are antithetical to genuine conservatives. But what is interesting about the relationship with Kristol is that it also reveals what the neoconservatives are all about. Kristol and company have never been actual conservatives on social issues, a topic that they studiously avoid, and their foreign policy is based on two principles: creating a state of perpetual war based on fearmongering about foreign enemies while also providing unlimited support for Israel. Kristol hates Trump because he threatens the war agenda while Omidyar despises the president for traditional progressive reasons. That hatred is the tie that binds and it is why Bill Kristol, a man possessing no character and values whatsoever, is willing to take Pierre Omidyar’s money while Pierre is quite happy to provide it to destroy a common enemy, the President of the United States of America.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel coerces PA to accept ‘Deal of the Century’

MEMO | January 12, 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said yesterday that Israel’s storming of Ramallah is an attempt to coerce it into accepting the “Deal of the Century”.

PA spokesman Yousef Al-Mahmoud said that “no power on the face of the earth can push the Palestinian people and their leadership to kneel down,” Safa news agency reported. Al-Mahmoud added: “The repeated invasions of Palestinian cities are attempts to undermine Palestinian sovereignty,” pointing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warnings that it could “ignite wars”.

Al-Mahmoud continued: “Our people, with our leadership, announced a continuous confrontation with anything aiming to undermine our cause and against all the conspiracies aiming to undermine our efforts to achieve our freedom, independence and dream of a sovereign Palestinian state.”

The spokesman also blamed Israel for regional deterioration, pointing to its “continuous aggression, invasions and hunting of Palestinian people,” and the fact that it “unleashes the hands of the terrorist settlers to practice their terror under its official protection”.

The Israeli army has been invading the central West Bank city of Ramallah – the headquarters of the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Fatah’s leadership. Israeli forces have carried out operations close to the residence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in the light of a complete absence of the PA security services or the president’s guards.

WATCH: Israeli occupation forces raid West Bank city of Ramallah

January 12, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

House passes bill to force Trump to nominate “anti-semitism” head who would monitor criticism of Israel

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 12, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 411-1 for a bill that would force President Trump to nominate an anti-Semitism envoy, a position that has been vacant since he took office. The definition of anti-Semitism the position uses includes certain criticisms of Israel.

The bipartisan bill upgrades the current position of Anti-Semitism Envoy to an ambassador rank, which requires the job to be filled within 90 days.

The law states that the Special Envoy shall “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the U.S. government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.”

The bill, H.R.221- Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, was sponsored by Rep. Christopher H. Smith [R-NJ-4] and has 87 co-sponsors. Smith’s largest campaign donor was NorPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee.

To become law the bill must next be passed by the Senate and then be signed by the president. If Trump vetoes it, Congress can override this through a two-thirds vote.

The position of anti-Semitism envoy was created in 2004 over the objections of the State Department, which said it wasn’t needed. It was urged by Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, who had formulated a new definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel.

Previous envoys before or after serving serving in the position worked for the Israel lobbying organization AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The second envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, adopted the Sharansky definition of anti-Semitism for use by the State Department. This is part of an international campaign to insert the new Israel-centric definition in governments and other bodies around the world.

The Times of Israel reports that the impetus for the current bill was “Trump’s failure to pick someone for that opening over the last two years, despite frequent calls from Jewish groups.”

The lawmaker who voted against the bill was Republican Justin Amash from Michigan, a civil libertarian who is Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of whose missions is to advocate for Israel, has been heavily promoting the legislation, which was first introduced last year. The ADL, which includes certain criticisms of Israel as “anti-Semitic,” has issued reports that there has been a “rise in anti-Semitism.”

Some have disputed the ADL numbers, since the ADL does not make public the incident reports on which it bases its claims, since some include actions or statements regarding Israel rather than bigotry, and since the widely publicized bomb threats against Jewish institutions turned out to be the work of a Jewish Israeli. Similarly, some reportedly “anti-Semitic” cemetery damage turned out to have been caused by neglect.

The new Congress has been quick to take up legislation promoted by the Israel lobby. The first Senate bill of 2019 is a composite bill that would give Israel billions of dollars and “combat” the campaign to boycott Israel over its human rights violations among its measures.

The anti-Semitism envoy legislation had been passed in the House in 2018 but did not come to a vote in the Senate. The Senate bill was introduced by Republican Marco Rubio (FL) with eight co-sponsors, seven of them Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Ron Wyden (OR).

The Times of Israel reports that ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt called on the Senate to “take up this bill in a timely manner.”

It is unclear when the bill will be re-introduced in the Senate. The current Israel bill S.1 has been blocked by Democrats over their battle with Trump and the government shutdown. The effort to bring that bill to a vote will resume on Monday.

The House anti-semitism envoy bill was expedited and voted on with little advance notice under a suspension of the rules procedure. The Senate could take a similar course of action.

Additional legislation regarding anti-Semitism may also be re-introduced at some point.

The Senate passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act unanimously in 2016, and it was reintroduced in both the Senate and the House last year.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports: “The Act – pushed by AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of America – instructs the Department of Education’s Civil Rights office to follow ‘the definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism of the Department of State in the Fact Sheet issued on June 8, 2010.’”

The bill has been held up over objections that it interferes with academic freedom and Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.

Click here to see video.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

January 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 3 Comments

Campaign to revoke Jewish National Fund charitable status important

By Yves Engler · January 11, 2019

Last week the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), under pressure from Palestine solidarity activists, began an audit of the Jewish National Fund.

The audit is significant. Beyond weakening the oldest Israel-focused charity in the country, it will put other Israeli charities in Canada on notice and reflects the growth of Palestine solidarity activism.

Fulfilling the time-consuming audit will be a bureaucratic headache for a group that has eleven offices across Canada and has raised $100 million over the past five years. Already, the credibility of the second most powerful Israel-oriented charity in Canada has taken a hit with the CBC exposé headlined “Canadian charity  used donations to fund projects linked to Israeli military” and related  stories. If the CRA revokes the JNF’s charitable status it would be devastating for fundraising and deter politicians/celebrities from attending their events.

Similar to the JNF, other registered charities support the Israeli military in direct contravention of CRA rules. Additionally, some of these organizations — like the JNF — fund projects supporting West Bank settlements, which Global Affairs Canada considers in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

At a broader level, critical attention on the JNF could lead to questioning of why Canadian taxpayers subsidize hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to a wealthy country. Despite a GDP per capita greater than Spain or Italy (and equal to Japan), hundreds of registered Canadian charities deliver hundreds of millions of dollars a year to Israel. How many Canadian charities funnel money to Spain or Japan?

If the CRA revoked JNF’s charitable status it would boost Stop the JNF campaigns elsewhere. In England they convinced former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to withdraw as patron of the JNF (Theresa May seems to have also stayed away), and 68 members of parliament endorsed a bill to revoke the organization’s charitable status because “the JNF’s constitution is explicitly discriminatory by stating that land and property will never be rented, leased or sold to non-Jews.”

The CRA audit of a charity that’s found favour with numerous Canadian prime ministers is long in the making and reflects the growth of Palestinian solidarity consciousness. Born in a West Bank village demolished to make way for the JNF’s Canada Park, Ismail Zayid has been complaining to the CRA about its charitable status for 40 years. Lebanese Canadian Ron Saba “has been indefatigable over the years in writing to various Canadian government departments and officials, corporations, and media to rescind tax exemption status and endorsement of” what he calls the “racist JNF tax fraud”. During the Liberal party convention in 2006 Saba was widely smeared for drawing attention to leadership candidate Bob Rae’s ties to the JNF. Saba has put in multiple Access to Information requests regarding the JNF, demonstrating government spying of its critics and long-standing knowledge of the organization’s dubious practices. Under the headline “Event you may want to monitor,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Caitlin Workman sent the CRA a communication about a 2011 Independent Jewish Voices event in Ottawa stating: “author of the Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler, will give a talk on Canada and the Jewish National Fund.”

Former Independent Jewish Voices coordinator Tyler Levitan was smeared for working diligently on the issue. In addition to important organizing, he discovered that the Ottawa Citizen sponsored JNF galas they covered and, suggesting a formal financial relationship, ran an ad for the JNF’s 2013 Ottawa Gala the day after the event.

At the Green Party convention in 2016 Corey Levine pushed a resolution to revoke the JNF’s charitable status because it practices “institutional  discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.” The effort brought the issue into the mainstream though she, IJV and the entire Green  Party were smeared  as “hard core  Jew haters” for even considering the resolution.

Fifteen months ago IJV and four individuals filed a detailed complaint to the CRA and Minister of National Revenue over the JNF. For a number of years IJV has run a “Stop the JNF” campaign and for more than a decade activists across the country have picketed local JNF fundraising galas. These efforts have benefited from many in Palestine/Israel, notably the work of Uri Davies and Adalah.

As I have written before, the campaign to revoke the JNF’s charitable status is important beyond winning the specific demand. It draws attention to the racism intrinsic to Zionism and highlights Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession.

The CRA is undoubtedly facing significant behind-the-scenes pressure to let the JNF off with little more than a slap on the wrists. So, it’s important that people send their MP  the CBC exposé and add their name to Independent Jewish Voices’ campaign  to revoke the Jewish National Fund’s charitable status.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment