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Israeli occupation forces raid office of Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | September 19, 2019

Israeli occupation forces raided today, Thursday, 19 September 2019 at around 2:00am the office of Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association in Ramallah.

The Israeli forces stole five laptops, memory cards, three laptop memories, one laptop card, several books and additionally searching through the belongings of the office.

This is the third incident where the Israeli soldiers have raided the office, the first was in 2002 and the second incident was in 2012.

Addameer reassures that those constant raids will not stand in the face of any duties the organization has for Palestinian political prisoners. The organization will continue to support Palestinian prisoners to flight all human rights violations they suffer from including torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trails.

Addameer sees this raid as a part of ongoing and systematic attacks against the Palestinian civil society organization. Those attacks are targeting the organizations that have a role in facing the occupation’s violations and claiming accountability for those violations. This is additionally a part of the occupation’s campaign to shrink space, delegitimize and de-fund those human rights and civil society organizations.

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

On Criticism of Palestinian Resistance

By Eve Mykytyn | September 18, 2019

The Oxford definition of ‘terrorism’  is: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” Although the term could apply to the belligerents in many wars, the term ‘terrorism’ takes on its everyday meaning when violence is perpetuated by the weak in resistance to the powerful.

What other form of resistance is available to an oppressed people? One does not have to search hard to find a Jewish source begging for the peaceful resistance of a Palestinian Gandhi or King.

The request itself is odd, it invites a comparison to the conditions Gandhi and King fought, and is an implicit, although perhaps unintended,  admission that Israel represents another oppressive racist regime.

It takes chutzpah to complain about the form of resistance employed by the people you are oppressing. Why are the Palestinians obliged to meet violence with nonviolence? Certainly  you have to take your victims as they are.

Gandhi wrote about the uses of nonviolent resistance and King referred to Gandhi’s writings. For Gandhi and King nonviolence was not an end in itself, it was a strategy, a means to achieve a goal. Despite later deifications, neither Gandhi nor King was a saint, they were leaders who employed non violent resistance because it was effective under their circumstances.

Both men were vastly outpowered by the brutal regimes they opposed. Nonviolence did not allow them or their followers to escape injury or death, their battles required at least as much physical bravery as for any soldiers.

Both Gandhi and King deliberately provoked their enemies and then refused either to back down or to physically fight back. The decision to meet violence with nonviolent resistance was a powerful tool used to expose the brutality of the regime. The march to Selma would have amounted to little without the press. What they ‘achieved’ was an unforgettably painful display of violence. To the extent nonviolence succeeded for King, it was because the ‘soldiers’ on the other side gave Americans a clear picture of the savagery to which blacks were subjected. It became increasingly difficult for those who had long averted their eyes to claim ignorance.

One reason the Palestinians are portrayed as ‘failing’ to meet the standard set  by Gandhi or King is that their use of the tactic of nonviolence has not attracted sympathetic coverage, it has not been effective enough in exposing Israel’s brutality. There are, of course, numerous examples of peaceful Palestinian resistence. One example is commemorated on ‘Land Day’ remembering the day in 1976 that Israel killed peaceful Palestinian protestors. Another occurred during the first intifada, as Neve Gordon writes in 972, when the “Palestinians adopted massive civil disobedience strategies, including daily protests” against Israel’s occupation. Israel responded with violence and  mass incarcerations. While they could easily provoke violence through peaceful protest, the Palestinians could not win the media nor shame the Israelis into change.

This, of course, begs the question of control of the media. King  was extensively covered in the media. Do the Palestinians have access to the same? At best, Haaretz might decry the proportionality of Israel’s violence, but will it explore the true meaning of Palestinian protest, both the original and the ongoing taking of their property and destruction of their society? Would the international press do any better?

As I was writing this I realized that Palestinian nonviolent protests in Gaza have had perhaps a small effect on public opinion. The mainstream media in the US is universally favorable to Israel, but although they tried, the media was not entirely successful in creating sympathy for the  Israeli snipers. For example, The Guardian, in reporting that one year into the protest, the Israelis had killed 190 and wounded 28,000, noted that, “Children, journalists and medics have been killed, even when they were standing far back from the fence.”  Spin that one. Here’s an attempt by Eric Yoffe,  a self-described ‘liberal’ American Jew,  to justify killing protestors who had not killed a single Israeli. “If 100 Jewish bodies were strewn across southern Israel, would the American left more readily forgive Israel’s defensive actions against an angry mob of tens of thousands propelled by the murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists of Hamas?” This is simply a variation on the “I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first” defense. Perhaps the need to resort to such a  feeble rationale helps explain why we finally have a tiny Congressional support group for the Palestinians. Seventeen were so daring as to vote against an anti BDS bill.

Further, Israel has shown little sign that it is willing to change its basic  oppressive policies in response to any actions or restraint by the Palestinians. This is an interesting video in which Israeli ‘settlers’ are asked if they would move if told to do so by their government and knowing the move would mean peace in the region. Their responses are variations on “No, I would not, it is my land.” Perhaps they are merely following the lessons of their religion.

In the story of Exodus, recounted annually even by many secular Jews at Passover, Moses unsuccessfully begs the Pharaoh for his peoples’ freedom. The lesson to be learned: Jewish liberation comes only after Egyptian civilians are subjected to terrible brutality.

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 4 Comments

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

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

By Jonathan Cook | The National | September 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None of it helped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

UK minister vows to pressure councils and universities to adopt IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

MEMO | September 18, 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s newly appointed Communities and Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has pledged to come down hard on local councils and universities that fail to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

Jenrick made the pledge in a speech to the British Board of Deputies on Sunday, while also promising over $100,000 from the government to tackle anti-Semitism on social media and to go after supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

He said he will come down heavily on both local councils and universities that did not adopt the IHRA definition, which has been the source of controversy in the UK. Critics say the definition conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and undermines free speech. Jenrick dismissed these concerns. He insisted that the “suggestions that the IHRA definition curtails legitimate criticism of the Israeli government is wrong and must be countered.”

The Representative for Newark said that he “will be writing to all councils insisting that they adopt the IHRA at the earliest opportunity and use it at all appropriate occasions — including in their disciplinary proceedings.”

In his comments regarding BDS, Jenrick alleged that the global non-violent movement was “divisive” and promised not to tolerate supporters of the movement on his watch. He expressed unease about the annual Israel Apartheid Week on campuses, and said he would look at the issue in his department.

Jenrick assured the Board of Deputies that he can be relied on to contact local councils as well as vice-chancellors of Britain’s universities who should expect to get a phone call from him to oblige them to adopt the IHRA definition.

September 18, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Dutch court starts hearing in war crime case against Israel’s Gantz

Press TV – September 17, 2019

A Dutch court has held a hearing on a war crime case against a former Israeli general challenging incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in ongoing general elections.

The Hague District Court weighed on Tuesday whether it should hear a lawsuit brought by a Palestinian man seeking compensation from Benny Gantz for his role in the killing of six of his relatives during the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014.

On July 20, 2014, Ismail Ziada lost his mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law, and a 12-year-old nephew when their family home was bombed by the Israeli air force.

A visitor was also killed in the Israeli bombardment.

“I was shot at a very close range with a rubber coated metal bullet in the head. I witnessed another boy being shot in the head next to me, dying on the spot,” said Ziada about his encounters with the Israeli army.

Ziada, who now lives in the Netherlands, filed a civil lawsuit in 2018 seeking damages from Gantz, who was the chief of staff of Israel’s military at the time of the bombing, and the then-air force commander Amir Eshel.

Ziada says the attack violated international humanitarian law because it deliberately targeted civilians.

The Tuesday session addressed a motion filed by Gantz and Eshel’s lawyers asking the court to dismiss the case. They argued the ex-commanders were immune because the Dutch court had no jurisdiction over the case.

Ahead of the hearing, Ziada’s lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, said Palestinians from Gaza could not receive fair treatment in Israeli courts.

Dutch courts can exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes, provided the accuser cannot get a fair trial elsewhere.

Israel launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

September 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 5 Comments

Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | September 17, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving quickly to alter the political reality in Palestine, and facing little or no resistance.

On September 10, Netanyahu declared his intentions to annex swathes of Palestinian land adjacent to the Jordan River, an area that covers 2,400 square kilometers, or nearly a third of the Occupied West Bank. That region, which extends from Bisan in the north to Jericho in the south, is considered to be Palestine’s food basket, as it accounts for an estimated 60 percent of vegetables that are produced in the West Bank.

While Israel has already colonized nearly 88 percent of the entire Palestinian Ghoor (or Jordan Valley), dividing it between illegal agricultural settlements and military zones, it was always assumed that the militarily occupied region will be included within the border of a future Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s announcement has been linked to Israel’s general elections of September 17. The Israeli leader is desperate, as he is facing “unprecedented alliances” that are all closing in to unseat him from his political throne. But this cannot be all. Not even power-hungry Netanyahu would alter the political and territorial landscape of Israel and Palestine indefinitely in exchange for a few votes.

Indeed, talks of annexation have been afoot for years and have long preceded the September elections or the previous ones in April.

A sense of euphoria has been felt among Israel’s rightwing officials since the advent of Donald Trump to the White House. The excitement was not directly linked to Trump but to his Middle East team, like-minded pro-Israel US officials whose support for Israel is predicated on more than personal interests, but religious and ideological beliefs as well.

White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner, selected his team very carefully: Jason Greenblatt as special envoy for Middle East peace, David Friedman as United States Ambassador to Israel, and layers of other second-tier officials whose mission was never aimed at resolving conflict or brokering peace, but supervising a process in which Israel finalizes its colonization of Palestine unhindered.

Kushner’s masterstroke is epitomized in the way he presented his objectives as part of a political process, later named “Deal of the Century”.

In all fairness, Kushner’s team hardly labored or even pretended to be, peacemakers, especially as they oversaw the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territories. Indeed, none of these officials tried to hide their true motives. Just examine statements made by the just-resigned Greenblatt where he refused to name illegal Jewish settlements as such, but as “neighborhoods and cities”; and Friedman’s outright support for the annexation of parts of the Occupied West Bank, and much more.

The US political discourse seemed in complete alignment with that of Israel’s right-wing parties. When right-wing extremist politicians, the likes of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, began floating the idea of annexing most or all of the Occupied West Bank, they no longer sounded like marginal and opportunistic voices vying for attention. They were at the center of Israeli politics, knowing full well that Washington no longer had a problem with Israel’s unilateral action.

It could be argued, then, that Netanyahu was merely catching up, as the center of gravity within his right-wing coalition was slipping away to younger, more daring politicians. In fact, Israel, as a whole, was changing. With the Labor Party becoming almost entirely irrelevant, the Center’s political ideology moved further to the right, simply because supporting an independent Palestinian state in Israel has become a form of political suicide.

Therefore, Netanyahu’s call for the annexation of Palestinian land east of the Jordan River must not be understood in isolation and only within the limited context of the Israeli elections. Israel is now set to annex large parts of the West Bank that it deems strategic. This is most likely to include all illegal settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley as well.

In fact, Netanyahu said on September 11 that he was ready to annex the Jordan Valley region even before the election date, but was blocked by the Attorney General’s office. Netanyahu would not have taken such a decision if it represented a political risk or if it faced pushback from Washington. It is, then, sadly, a matter of time.

Suspiciously absent in all of this are the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Arab League, the European Union and, of course, the United Nations and its many outlets and courts. Aside from a few shy statements – like that of the spokesperson of the UN, Stéphane Dujarric, decrying that “unilateral actions are not helpful in the peace process” – Israeli leaders are facing little or no hindrance whatsoever as they finalize their complete colonization of all Palestinian land.

Unable to stage any kind of meaningful resistance against Israel, the Palestinian leadership is so pathetically insisting on utilizing old terminologies. The official Palestinian response to Netanyahu’s annexation pledge, as communicated by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, came only to underscore the PA’s political bankruptcy.

“Netanyahu is the chief destroyer of the peace process,” Shtayyeh said, warning that annexing parts of the West Bank would have negative consequences.

For his part, the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas resorted, once more, to empty threats. Abbas said in a statement, “All agreements and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.”

Neither Abbas nor Shtayyeh seem troubled by the fact that a “peace process” does not exist, and that Israel has already violated all agreements.

While the PA is desperately hanging on to any reason to justify its continued existence, Netanyahu, with the full support of Washington, is moving forward in annexing the West Bank, thus making apartheid an official and undisputed reality.

The Palestinian leadership must understand that the nature of the conflict is now changing. Conventional methods and empty statements will not slow down the Israeli push for annexation nor Tel Aviv’s determination to expand its apartheid to all of Palestine. If Palestinians continue to ignore this reality altogether, Israel will continue to single-handedly shape the destiny of Palestine and its people.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle. His last book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’, and his forthcoming book is ‘These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons’. Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a non-resident research fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Zaim University in Istanbul. His website is www.ramzybaroud.net.

September 17, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel Spies and Spies and Spies

This time the target was Donald Trump

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 17, 2019

Here we go again! Israel is caught red handed spying against the United States and everyone in Congress is silent, as are nearly all the mainstream media which failed to report the story. And the federal government itself, quick to persecute a Russian woman who tried to join the NRA, concedes that the White House and Justice Department have done absolutely nothing to either rebuke or punish the Israeli perpetrators. One senior intelligence official commented that “I’m not aware of any accountability at all.”

Only President Donald Trump, predictably, had something so say in his usual personalized fashion, which was that the report was “hard to believe,” that “I don’t think the Israelis were spying on us. My relationship with Israel has been great… Anything is possible but I don’t believe it.”

Ironically, the placement of technical surveillance devices by Israel was clearly intended to target cellphone communications to and from the Trump White House. As the president frequently chats with top aides and friends on non-secure phones, the operation sought to pick up conversations involving Trump with the expectation that the security-averse president would say things off the record that might be considered top secret.

The Politico report, which is sourced to top intelligence and security officials, details how “miniature surveillance devices” referred to as “Stingrays” imitate regular cell phone towers to fool phones being used nearby into providing information on their locations and identities. According to the article, the devices are referred to by technicians as “international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.”

Over one year ago, government security agencies discovered the electronic footprints that indicated the presence of the surveillance devices around Washington including near the White House. Forensic analysis involved dismantling the devices to let them “tell you a little about their history, where the parts and pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help get you to what the origins are.” One source observed afterwards that “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible.”

The Israeli Embassy denied any involvement in the espionage and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adroitly and predictably lied regarding the report, saying “We have a directive, I have a directive: No intelligence work in the United States, no spies. And it’s vigorously implemented, without any exception. It is a complete fabrication, a complete fabrication.”

The Israelis are characteristically extremely aggressive in their intelligence gathering operations, particularly in targeting the United States, even though Trump has done the Netanyahu government many favors. These have included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawing from the nuclear deal and sanctioning Iran, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and looking the other way as Israel expands its settlements and regularly bombs Syria and Lebanon.

Israel’s high-risk spying is legendary, but the notion that it is particularly good at it is, like everything having to do with the Jewish state, much overrated. Mossad has been caught in flagrante numerous times. In 2010, an undercover Mossad hit team was caught on 30 minutes of surveillance video as it wandered through a luxury Dubai hotel where it had gone to kill a leading Hamas official. And the notion that Mossad and CIA work hand-in-hand is also a fiction. Working level Agency officers dislike their reckless Mossad counterparts. Newsweek magazine’s “Spy Talk” once cited a poll of CIA officers that ranked Israel “dead last” among friendly countries in actual intelligence cooperation with Washington.

The fact is that Israel conducts espionage and influence operations against the United States more aggressively than any other “friendly” country, including tapping White House phones used by Bill Clinton to speak with Monica Lewinski. Israeli “experts” regularly provide alarmist and inaccurate private briefings for American Senators on Capitol Hill. Israel also constantly manufactures pretexts to draw the U.S. into new conflicts in the Middle East, starting with the Lavon Affair in Alexandria Egypt in 1954 and including the false flag attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967. In short, Israel has no reluctance to use its enormous political and media clout in the U.S. to pressure successive administrations to conform to its own foreign and security policy views.

The persistent spying, no matter what Netanyahu claims, is a very good reason why Israel should not receive billions of dollars in military assistance annually. Starting in 1957, Israel’s friends stole enriched uranium from a Pennsylvania refinery to create a nuclear arsenal. More recently we have learned how Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer/billionaire born in Israel, arranged the illegal purchase of 800 krytron triggers to use in the production of nuclear weapons. The operation also involved current Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The existence of a large scale Israeli spying effort at the time of 9/11 has been widely reported, incorporating Israeli companies in New Jersey and Florida as well as hundreds of “art students” nationwide. Five “dancing” Israelis from one of the companies were observed celebrating against the backdrop of the twin towers going down.

While it is often observed that everyone spies on everyone else, espionage is a high-risk business, particularly when spying on friends. Israel, relying on Washington for billions of dollars and also for political cover in international fora like the United Nations, does not spy discreetly, largely because it knows that few in Washington will seek to hold it accountable. There were, for example, no consequences for the Israelis when Israeli Mossad intelligence officers using U.S. passports and pretending to be Americans recruited terrorists to carry out attacks inside Iran. Israelis using U.S. passports in that fashion put every American traveler at risk.

Israel, where government and business work hand in hand, has obtained significant advantage by systematically stealing American technology with both military and civilian applications. The U.S. developed technology is then reverse engineered and used by the Israelis to support their own exports. Sometimes, when the technology is military in nature and winds up in the hands of an adversary, the consequences can be serious. Israel has sold advanced weapons systems to China that incorporate technology developed by American companies.

The reality of Israeli large-scale spying in the United States is indisputable. One might cite Jonathan Pollard, who stole more highly classified information than any spy in history. And then there were Ben-Ami Kadish, Stuart Nozette and Larry Franklin, other spies for Israel who have been caught and tried, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Israel always features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.” The 2005 report states “Israel has an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States. These collection activities are primarily directed at obtaining information on military systems and advanced computing applications that can be used in Israel’s sizable armaments industry.” It adds that Israel recruits spies, uses electronic methods, and carries out computer intrusion to gain the information.

A 1996 Defense Investigative Service report noted that Israel has great success stealing technology by exploiting the numerous co-production projects that it has with the Pentagon. It says “Placing Israeli nationals in key industries … is a technique utilized with great success.” A General Accounting Office (GAO) examination of espionage directed against American defense and security industries described how Israeli citizens residing in the U.S. had stolen sensitive technology to manufacture artillery gun tubes, obtained classified plans for reconnaissance systems, and passed sensitive aerospace designs to unauthorized users.

The GAO has concluded that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any U.S. ally.” In June 2006, a Pentagon administrative judge ruled against a difficult to even imagine appeal by an Israeli denied a security clearance, saying that “The Israeli government is actively engaged in military and industrial espionage in the United States.” FBI counter intelligence officer John Cole has also reported how many cases of Israeli espionage are dropped under orders from the Justice Department., making the Jewish state’s spying consequence free. He provides a “conservative estimate” of 125 viable investigations into Israeli espionage involving both American citizens and Israelis that were stopped due to political pressure.

So, did Israel really spy on Donald Trump? Sure it did. And Netanyahu is, metaphorically speaking, thumbing his nose at the American president and asking with a grin, “What are you going to do about it?”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

September 17, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News, Deception | , , | 3 Comments

Will pro-Israel rabbi heading top theology center change its direction?

Will pro-Israel rabbi heading top theology center change its direction?

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, with a history of advocating for Israel despite its many human rights abuses, is about to be inaugurated president of the ‘most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America’ – a ‘mostly-Christian’ center with a focus on peace and justice. Lehmann has already opposed a prominent Muslim professor and aired misgivings about America’s first Muslim college, located right across the street…

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | September 16, 2019

On October 24th, Rabbi Daniel Lehmann will be inaugurated as the President of the Graduate Theology Union (GTU), reportedly “the most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America.” The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), reports GTU is a “mostly Christian theology center,” stating that it is “a consortium of more than 20 mostly Christian institutions.”

Located in Berkeley, California, GTU is known for its focus on world peace and social justice.

Its website emphasizes that it is “more than a school of theology” and “more than a graduate school.” It works to educate “innovative leaders for the academy, religious organizations, and the nonprofit sector” in ways that will equip them to build “a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.”

In the announcement naming Lehmann as the new president, GTU board chair Susan Cook said: “Rabbi Daniel Lehmann is unquestionably the right person to lead the Graduate Theological Union in its interreligious engagement of the critical issues of our time.”

Lehmann supports Israel despite its human rights violations

Regarding one of those critical issues – Israel/Palestine – Rabbi Lehmann’s past history and current statements suggest that he brings a perspective opposed, at least on this issue, to GTU’s avowed goal of justice and peace.

Rabbi Lehmann has a long history of advocating for Israel in spite of its violations of international law and human rights (he calls himself a “Zionist”), and publicly opposes the international nonviolent protest movement to boycott Israel over those violations, known as “BDS” –  Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. According to its website, “BDS is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.” (Lehmann’s statements are quoted extensively below.)

Numerous highly respected humanitarian organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, the Red Cross, Unicef, the National Lawyers Guild and many others have documented Israel’s long record of human rights violations and systemic discrimination.

Israel was established in 1948 through a war of ethnic cleansing, as Israeli historian Ilan Pappé and many others have documented.

It then instituted a discriminatory system in which most of the previous inhabitants, largely Muslim and Christian, were either forced out of the new state or treated as second-class citizens.

In 1967 Israel launched a war against its neighbors, resulting in the military occupation of the rest of Mandatory Palestine. Ever since, it has oppressed the inhabitants of what are now called the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli forces invade Palestinian towns and villages, demolish homes, abduct people, raze farmland, and more on a weekly and often a daily basis.

Israel has also steadily confiscated more and more Palestinian land to create Jewish-only settlements, which are illegal under international law, and perpetrated major military invasions of Gaza that have killed and injured thousands of civilians, including numerous children.

Antipathy toward Muslim college & professor

Furthermore, some of Rabbi Lehmann’s statements seem unbecoming to a leader of interfaith programs.

While Rabbi Lehmann is the past president of a Jewish college, he appears ill-disposed toward a Muslim college across the street from GTU and verbally attacked one of its professors: a respected, decades-long member of Berkeley’s peace and social justice community – a faculty member at UC Berkeley who is also a leader in the Muslim community.

In a 2018 interview with Rabbi Lehmann after he had been named GTU head, Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) asked him: “What do you expect will be the biggest challenges in your new position?”

Lehmann replied:

“UC Berkeley, from a BDS perspective, is a challenging place. GTU is only a block off the Berkeley campus, and I suspect there will be times in which what happens there will impact me and others at GTU.”

Lehmann was referring to the fact that Berkeley’s student senate has twice passed pro-BDS resolutions. (After the first resolution, an AIPAC official said: “ We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government and reverse the vote. This is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capital. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.”) GTU has long had a collaborative arrangement with Berkeley.

Muslim college across the street “a challenge”

Lehmann continued:

“Another challenge is that across the street is the first and currently only Muslim undergraduate college, Zaytuna. The relationships so far between them and GTU have been good, but depending on the culture there and what kind of political engagement is taking place on the Israeli-Palestinian situation, there could be challenges.”

In the past year, Israeli forces have killed over 300 unarmed demonstrators and injured about 30,000 (6,000 of them children) in Gaza. In response, Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza killed 8 Israelis and injured around 280. Most of those listed in Israel’s official count of “injuries” were never hospitalized; many of them were described as “suffering from shock.”

By contrast, the UK Guardian reports about Gaza: “Thousands have bullet wounds through their legs. The streets of Gaza are filled with people limping or in wheelchairs. Children, journalists and medics have been killed, even when they were standing far back from the fence. The UN has said Israel’s military may have committed war crimes, deliberately targeting civilians.”

(More information on deaths among both populations is here.)

While the U.S. has long had Christian and Jewish colleges, Zaytuna College is the first accredited Muslim undergraduate college in the United States. It was founded in 2009 by individuals considered to be  “among the best-known and most-respected Muslim scholars in America.”

Religious News Service reports that Zaytuna, which means ‘olive tree’ in Arabic, hopes to be a vehicle for interfaith dialogue and help promote cross-cultural understanding.

A college official says:

“These kinds of institutions in the long term are absolutely necessary for bridging the divide that currently exists and the misunderstanding that many have about Islam and Muslims.”

In his interview with JNS, Lehmann went on to say:

“I know they have a prominent member of their community who is a vociferous and vitriolic pro-Palestinian voice from Nablus; he is a concern for me, as I’m interested in making sure the culture is not toxic in any way or has tension as a result of that. I’m pretty out there as a Zionist…”

The individual he is referring to is Dr. Hatem Bazian. Dr. Bazian, a longtime member of the UC Berkeley faculty, has been active in anti-racist, pro-peace activities for decades. He is widely respected in the community, including by members of GTU’s consortium.

In fact, two GTU member institutions, Pacific School of Religion and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, sponsored a talk in which he was a panelist. It is unknown whether these institutions are aware that  Rabbi Lehmann called Dr. Bazian “vitriolic” and potentially “toxic.” Both institutions are founding members of GTU.

As a leader in the BDS movement and founder of American Muslims for Palestine, Dr. Bazian has been attacked by Israel partisans for many years. The New Yorker reports that internal documents from a private Israeli intelligence firm called Psy-Group show that it was “targeting Bazian because of his leadership role in promoting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, known as B.D.S.”

In former position, Lehmann worked to strengthen Hebrew College’s connections to Israel

Lehmann moved to Berkeley from Massachusetts, where he was president of Hebrew College, a Jewish graduate school in Newton Centre, outside of Boston. While there, Lehmann “emphasized and nurtured Hebrew College’s relationship with Israel, expanding partnerships and collaborations with institutions there, and spearheading the formulation of the College’s Israel Statement,” according to Hebrew’s chairman.

In Lehman’s farewell letter to Hebrew, he wrote that the “the strong connections we have made with Israel” were among the actions that “brought new life to our sacred mission.”

In an article for Jewish Boston, Lehmann wrote:

“Hebrew College from its inception has been and continues to be a Zionist institution with strong bonds to Israel and the Hebrew language. Our rabbinical school shares our commitment to foster a deep attachment to the land, people and state of Israel.”

In the article he discussed how to “foster a love for Israel among our rabbinical students.”

Lehmann stated:

“We need to help [students] understand what is necessary to protect the Jewish people and the State of Israel from nefarious and hateful groups and governments, especially those that David Brooks has recently described as ‘depraved regimes.’ [Editor’s note: Brooks’ son served in the Israeli military.] We must do a better job in bringing this awareness of our precarious condition to those students who bask in the light of the universal, but we ought not to ignore the powerful messages of strength and independence that the State of Israel sends about its place in the world.”

Israel’s “messages of strength” have been excruciating for multitudes of Palestinians and others. Its forces have launched several major invasions of Gaza in which multitudes of children have been killed and injured alongside adults and the elderly, equally ruthless invasions of Lebanon, and also frequent invasions of the West Bank, where they regularly abduct Palestinians, demolish homes, and oppress villagers, as mentioned above.

Lehmann is also a cofounder of the Hevruta gap-year program in Israel. The program’s website states: “After completing the program, Hevruta alumni will be well-positioned to use their influential voices to shape the Jewish people’s most important conversations and communal decisions.”

Chair of world’s largest theological consortium

While he was living in Massachusetts, Rabbi Lehmann was board chair of the Boston Theological Institute, a historically Christian institution that has been called “the largest theological consortium in the world.”

The Complete Pilgrim, a blog that focuses on religious sites around the world, reports:

“The Boston Theological Institute is possibly the largest religious education institution of its kind in the world. Not itself a school, it is a consortium of ten of the most prestigious and historic theology colleges and departments in the United States. Some of the oldest divinity schools in the nation are part of the BTI, including the oldest, Andover Newton Theological School.”

JNS reports that Lehmann had “successfully led Hebrew College to become the first non-Christian institution to join that theological consortium.”

In a 2016 article, New Boston Post described how this came about:

“Five years ago, Lehmann approached the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine Christian theology schools. He thought Hebrew College should join other institutions that train clergy. The organization had been entirely Christian, but they modified their mission statement to welcome their new participant. Lehmann was recently elected board chair of the organization.”

In an article for Jewish Boston, Lehmann wrote:

“Our request for membership was not without some controversy given the explicit Christian orientation of the consortium for more than 40 years, but after some intense conversations within the BTI board, the invitation to join was extended and in January of 2011 we officially became a member of the consortium of nine other schools.”

Lehmann states:

“Subsequent to our joining the BTI, the mission statement of the BTI had to be revised to reflect the new interreligious nature of the consortium. I, together with a number of other board members, drafted a new mission statement that focused on our goals as theological institutions preparing religious leaders and scholars for a pluralistic world.”

In May 2018, the institution changed its name to “Boston Theological Interreligious Consortium.”

Why is all this relevant? To understand, we need to look at BTI’s history on Israel-Palestine.

A few years before Lehmann approached BTI about joining, the institute had co-sponsored a pro-Palestinian conference by a Christian organization, Sabeel, that featured a keynote address by South African anti-apartheid leader, Bishop Desmond Tutu, as well as talks by Noam Chomsky, UN Rapporteur John Dugard, and others. We can’t find any evidence that BTI has supported such events in recent years.

Lehmann will bring ‘different set of perspectives”

While Berkeley’s GTU does not seem to have sponsored similar conferences, in past years it has promoted events that have included speakers such as Sabeel member Rosemary Radford Ruether, a longtime supporter of Justice and peace for Palestinians; Stanford Professor Khalil Barhoum, a Palestinian refugee and eloquent speaker on the issue; Judith Butler, a Jewish journalist who opposes Zionism; Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, an advocate for Palestinian human rights; and an event against Islamophobia at Zaytuna College.

Now that Rabbi Lehmann is in place, it is uncertain whether GTU will again announce these or similar speakers. While the past events it has endorsed have often featured voices from both sides of the issue, Rabbi Lehmann’s appointment means that one side will now be at the helm – and a side that is a particularly hardcore. An event featuring a prominent Palestinian theologian that took place after Rabbi Lehmann began acting as president does not seem to have been announced on the GTU Website, even though it was co-sponsored by members of the GTU consortium, and the event took place on the GTU campus.

Last year, Jewish News of Northern California interviewed Rabbi Lehman about his appointment to lead GTU.

In the interview Lehmann said:

“I’m coming as an outsider to the dominant Christian culture that has nurtured GTU, and that’s inevitably going to bring a different set of perspectives.”

Rabbi Lehmann told JNS :

“I’m pretty out there as a Zionist and politically centrist, while most GTU leadership has been on the progressive Christian side.”

A diversity of perspectives could be a good thing. But only time will tell what Lehmann’s perspectives on the Middle East will mean for GTU’s actions regarding Israel-Palestine – and for its neighbors who are Palestinian and Muslim.


GTU officials were asked to comment for this article, but a GTU spokesperson (recently hired by Rabbi Lehmann) said they were unable to be reached.


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

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Israel to rule on revoking BDS founder’s residency

Omar Barghouti

Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian co-founder of the BDS movement
MEMO | September 16, 2019

Efforts to revoke the residency of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), have been escalated to Israel’s deputy Attorney General for a decision over his status in the country.

Barghouti, considered “major threat to the citizens of Israel” by the country’s ultra-right politicians, has already been banned from entering the US; a decision denounced by the Palestinian human rights activists as “McCarthyite repression”. His entry ban in April along with Israel’s decision to block American Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country due to their support for BDS, is being used by Barghouti’s opponents in Israel to revoke his residency status.

Keti Shitrit, a member of the Likud Party, which does not recognise the right of Palestinians to a state of their own and campaigns for a Zionist state from the “Jordan River to the Sea”, is reported protesting against the “absurd situation where Israel denied entry to two Congresswomen due to their support of BDS, while allowing the BDS founder and leader to reside in Israel and receive full benefits from the State of Israel”.

The remarks came as the Israeli government faces further pressure to expel Barghouti from the country. The initial call to revoke his residency status came from Betzalmo. In its letter to the Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and Interior Minister Arye Deri, the right-wing NGO noted the US’ denial of entry and asked why the Israeli government has not acted in a similar fashion to strip Barghouti of his residency rights.

According to Arutz Sheva, Mandelblit has referred the decision to Deputy Attorney General, Dina Zilber.

“We are pleased that the AG [Attorney General] has finally decided, after years of appeals from Betzlamo and several MKs, including the Minister of the Interior who addressed him on the matter, to pass this decision to the Deputy AG,” the Israeli group said in a letter. “We have no doubt that the Deputy AG shall decide that anyone who harms the State of Israel will not receive benefits from it. Any other decision would ridicule and curtail Israel’s struggle against the boycott movement and the Israel’s demand from other countries to fight against it,” it added.

Knesset member Shitrit is reported to have written to Deputy Attorney General, in what seems to be an attempt to put further pressure on Zilber. “It has been brought to my attention the decision whether to revoke the BDS leader Omar Barghouti’s residency is at your desk,” the Likud MK said. After denouncing BDS she added: “honorable Deputy AG, I urge you to exercise your authority, to weaken the power of the BDS leader, to maintain our dignity and not to let our major enemy dwell within us.”

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi officials detain another Hamas leader in crackdown on Palestinian movement

Press TV – September 16, 2019

Saudi authorities have reportedly arrested another senior Hamas leader, as the conservative kingdom steps up its crackdown and repressive measures against the Palestinian resistance movement as well as those seeking to collect donations for people living in the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Palestinian political and family sources told Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website on Sunday that Saudi officials have detained Saudi Arabian citizen Abu Ubaydah Khayri Hafiz al-Agha – the son of one of the most prominent founders of Hamas, identified as Khayri al-Agha, who died of natural causes in Saudi Arabia in 2014.

The source added that Saudi authorities had put Agha in Dhahban Central Prison, which is a maximum security prison facility located near the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

The director general of al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations, Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh, told Khaleej Online that Agha is being kept behind bars for more than a year and a half, without any specific information about the reason for his detention.

On Saturday, Hamas called on Saudi authorities to immediately release its high-ranking official Muhammad al-Khudari, who was detained in the country five months ago without any clear charges.

Khudari, who has been living in Saudi Arabia for over 30 years, represented Hamas between mid-1990s and 2003 in Saudi Arabia. He has held other important positions in the Palestinian resistance movement as well.

Back on June 3, Lebanese Arabic-language daily newspaper al-Akhbar, citing informed sources who requested anonymity, reported that Saudi officials had been holding dozens of Saudi nationals and Palestinian expatriates in detention for months over affiliation to Hamas.

The report added that the most prominent figure among those arrested was Dr. Khudari.

Al-Akhbar went on to say that the campaign of arrests coincided with the closure and tight control of bank accounts, and a ban on sending any money from Saudi Arabia to the Gaza Strip.

Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas financially, politically or through social networking sites.

The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.

All remittances of Palestinian expatriates are being tightly controlled, under the pretext that these funds could be diverted indirectly and through other countries to Hamas.

Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to bring forward strong arguments for conversion, and do not allow the ceiling of one’s money transfer to exceed $3,000.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Jews vs. Israelis

By Gilad Atzmon | September 16, 2019

 Now would be the correct time for Ali Abunimah, JVP,  & CO to form an orderly queue to issue their deep and sincere apology to me. Since the early 2000s my detractors within the so called Jewish ‘Left’ together with  their sometime stooges, have been harassing me, my publishers and my readers for pointing out that Zionism is an obsolete concept with little meaning for Israel, Israelis  and their politics let alone the conflict that has been destroying the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In my 2011 book The Wandering Who, I argue that “Since Israel defines itself openly as the ‘Jewish State’, we should ask what the notions of ’Judaism’, ‘Jewishness’, ‘Jewish culture’ and ‘Jewish ideology’ stand for.” Just before the publication of the book I was urged by both JVP’s leader and Ali Abunimah to drop the J-Word and focus solely on Zionism. In Britain, a gang of so called ‘anti’ Zionist Jews relentlessly terrorised my publisher and promoters. Funny, most of these authoritarian tribals who worked 24/7 to silence me have been expelled from the British Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitism. Now, they promote the ideal of ‘freedom of speech.’

In ‘The Wandering Who’ and in the years preceding its publication, I realised that the Palestinian solidarity discourse has been suffocated with misleading and often duplicitous terminology that was set to divert  attention from the root cause of the conflict and that acted  to prevent intelligible discussion of  possible solutions.

Let’s face it. Israel doesn’t see  itself as the Zionist State: not one Israeli party integrated the word ‘Zionism’ into its name. To Israelis, Zionism is a dated and clichéd concept that describes the ideology that promised to erect a Jewish homeland in Palestine. For Israelis, Zionism fulfilled its purpose in 1948, it is now an archaic term. In ‘The Wandering Who’ I presented a so-far unrefuted argument that an understanding of ‘Jewishness’, a term familiar to every self-identified Jew, may provide answers to most questions related to Israel and its politics. It may also help us to grasp the fake dissent that has dominated the so- called Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist campaign for the last two decades.

Though I was probably the first to write about the crucial shift in Israeli society in favour of Judeo-centrism, this shift is now mainstream news. Haaretz’s lead writer, Anshel Pfeffer, just wrote a spectacular analysis of this transformation. Pfeffer’s view is that Israelis are going to the polls this Tuesday to decide whether they are “Jews” or “Israelis.”

According to Pfeffer, in the mid 1990s it was Netanyahu’s American campaign guru, Arthur Finkelstein, who promoted  “a message that could reach secular and religious voters alike. In his polling, he had asked voters whether they considered themselves ‘more Jewish’ or ‘more Israeli.’ The results convinced him there was a much larger constituency of voters, not just religious ones, who emphasized their Jewish identity over their Israeli one.”

In light of Finkelstein’s observation, Likud focused its message on Jerusalem. Its campaign slogan was: “Peres will divide Jerusalem.” In the final 48 hours before Election Day there was also “an unofficial slogan, emblazoned on millions of posters and bumper stickers distributed by Chabad Hasidim: “Netanyahu is good for the Jews.”

In a Haaretz interview after his narrow 1996 defeat, Peres lamented that “the Israelis lost the election.” When asked then who had won, he answered, “The Jews won.”

Pfeffer points out that Netanyahu learned from Finkelstein that the “Jew” is the primary unifier for Israelis. This certainly applies to religious Jews but also to those who regard themselves as secular. After all, Israel has really been the “Jewish State” for a while.

This is probably the right place to point out that Netanyahu’s move of locating Jewishness at the heart of Israel is a reversal of the original Zionist promise. While early Zionism was a desperate attempt to divorce the Jews from the ghetto and their tribal obsession and make them “people like all other people,” the present adherence to Jewishness and kinship induces  a return to Judeo-centric chauvinism. As odd as this may sound, Netanyahu’s transformation of Israel into a ‘Jewish realm’ makes him an ardent anti Zionist probably more anti Zionist than JVP, Mondoweiss and the BDS together.

Pfeffer points out that when Netanyahu returned to power in 2009 and  formed a right-wing/ religious coalition, was when “the Jews prevailed — and have done so ever since in four consecutive elections, including the last one in April 2019.”

To illustrate this Pfeffer cites the 2012 Israeli  High Court of Justice decision to deny a petition by writer Yoram Kaniuk and others to allow themselves to be registered solely as ‘Israelis’ as opposed to ‘Jews.’

Every so often we hear from one Torah rabbi or another that “Zionism is not Judaism.” Those who have reached this point surely grasp that ‘Zionism vs. Judaism’ is a fake dichotomy. It serves to confuse and to divert questioning minds from the path toward an understanding of the conflict: In Israel Zionism is an empty concept, politically, ideologically and spiritually. Israel defines itself as ‘The Jewish state’ and orthodox rabbis are at the centre of this transition in Israeli politics and life.

I guess that Abunimah and JVP were desperate to silence me at the time as they foolishly believed that shooting the messenger or alternatively burning books was the way forward for human rights activism. I stood firm. The observations I produced in ‘The Wandering Who’ were endorsed by the most profound thinkers associated with the conflict and the anti war movement. My observations are more relevant than ever and in Israel they have entered mainstream analysis. When it comes to Palestine solidarity we have managed to waste a good two decades of intellectual progress thanks to authoritarian lobbies operating in our midst. For truth and justice to prevail, we have to learn to speak the truth as we see it, and to accept JVP and Abumimah’s apologies when they are mature enough to come clean.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

Iran should respond in kind to Canada’s sale of diplomatic properties: MP

Press TV – September 15, 2019

A senior member of the Iranian parliament has called for a decisive response to Canada’s sale of Iranian diplomatic properties in Ottawa and Toronto, saying Canadian shipments crossing the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf should be confiscated in response to the move.

“An order should be issued to confiscate ships and goods that set off from the Hormuz region to the destination of Canada,” said Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh on Sunday, adding, “This measure should be adopted as soon as possible.”

The comments came two days after Iranian Foreign Ministry warned Canada that the country should await consequences if it does not revoke a decision to sell Iranian diplomatic properties worth tens of millions of dollars in an alleged bid to compensate so-called victims of terror.

In a Friday statement, the ministry strongly condemned the move as “a clear breach of the international law,” and urged the Canadian government to immediately return the properties.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Tehran will take action by itself to restore its rights based on international regulations if Ottawa fails to immediately revoke the unlawful decision and compensate the damages.

Falahatpisheh, a senior member of parliament’s committee on national security and foreign policy, said that courts in Iran should also be authorized to seize Canadian government properties in Iran.

He said, however, that responding in kind to the ruling issued in August by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to sell the two Iranian-owned buildings would not suffice as Canada has not enough assets in Iran that could be subject to a similar court verdict.

The lawmaker, who made the remarks in an interview with the parliament news service, said Iran had a duty to decisively counter the sale of the properties in Canada, a move which he said was clearly influenced by political lobbies who seek to “plunder” Iran’s wealth.

September 15, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments