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Israeli plan to isolate four Palestinian villages from Bethlehem

Palestine Information Center – August 11, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The Israeli occupation government has embarked on carrying out a massive settlement project that will lead to the isolation of four Palestinian villages from Bethlehem in the West Bank as a prelude to annexing them as Israeli state land.

The new plan is aimed at turning the villages of Battir, Wadi Fukin, Nahalin and Husan, which are located in the west of Bethlehem province, into communities under Israel’s sovereignty after isolating them from Bethlehem.

The area where those villages are located is called locally Arqoub villages and there are about 20,000 Palestinian citizens living there.

According to the plan, Israel intends to expand Road 60 that lead to the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit, which was built on annexed land in Bethlehem, and connect it with roads between these villages to make this new expanded road available only for Jewish settlers.

On the ground, Israeli engineers and surveyors started to put up signs and numbers in the heart of Nahalin town to prepare for the plan.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Hezbollah’s Reasons of Victory: Its Strategies and Readiness

By Sondoss Al Asaad | American Herald Tribune | August 11, 2018

On the 14th of August 2006, the Lebanese resistance of Hezbollah announced its great victory over the Zionists. In that aggressive war, the Zionists had already set three goals. First, to eliminate the arsenal of Hezbollah rockets, i.e. to destroy its long-range and medium-range missile capability. Second, to assassinate Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Third, to destroy the resistance’s infrastructure.

Earlier, Hezbollah thwarted these goals as its leadership showed a remarkable coherence and an unexpected command and control system. The ‘Operation of Khallet Warda,’ in Aayta al-Shaab, on the morning of the 13th of July 2006, during which two Zionist soldiers had been captured; was comprehensively analyzed by the resistance.

Judge Eliyahu Winograd, who chaired 2006 Lebanon’s War Inquiry, mentioned that the Zionist decision-makers’ political, military, and security failures, during the war, have been notable. Obviously, the enemy’s lack of strategic planning reflects the major imbalance regarding its system of command and control. Besides, the enemy admits on various occasions that the superiority of Hezbollah’s command and control system is comprehensive and can hardly be beaten.

Due to the absence of readiness, Hezbollah has been able to penetrate the Zionists’ internal front and to heavily bombard it; causing material damages and the displacement of the northern settlers. Whilst as for Hezbollah’s community, everyone knows his duties, the measures, the procedures, and the alternative plans. This level of organization is highly prearranged. Secrecy and the thorough readiness by Hezbollah at the security, civil, health, political and media levels is also distinguished.

Following the 2000 liberation, the resistance has been working hard to fortify its internal front, by both its leaders and cadres. It had taken advantage of its previous experience in 1993 and 1996 and developed its capabilities to meet any unexpected challenge. Undoubtedly, in the case of regular resistance movements or armies, as soon as leadership disintegrates; brigades and squads surrender. In order to avoid this, Hezbollah makes sure that every individual knows the entire process, how, where, why and when.

The Zionists can scarcely understand Hezbollah’s command and sophisticated control system and the strength of its communications network. It can neither break the resistance’s chains nor can it weaken its movement. Hezbollah’s leadership have many alternatives during the time of war. In addition, there is always many possible plans and answerers to the ‘What if’ questions.

For instance, when Hezbollah’s former Secretary General Sayyed Abbas al-Musawi was assassinated in 1992, the resistance operations accelerate and escalate in southern Lebanon as for Hezbollah there are many alternatives. Indeed, what the enemy considers an obstacle that must be removed is, to the resistance, a new opportunity to ferociously confront them.

In the aftermath of 2000, Hezbollah developed its missile capabilities, both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is one of the reasons for the flexibility of the resistance. In addition, it is the reason why the enemy failed during 2006 to destroy Hezbollah’s medium and long-range missiles.

Hezbollah’s leadership demonstrated the coherence of its command and control system and had already prepared enough answers and possibilities. In a direct response to the enemy’s bombardment of the resistance front positions, Hezbollah’s commanders held an assessment meeting. They met to assess the readiness and prepare answers to the ‘What if’ question. At a press conference, following the operation, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that the resistance has a good grip on the rules of the game.

On the following day, some 40 Zionist hostile jets took off; with smart US-made bombs, and they shortly issued signals, which means that they accurately achieved their targets. The reality was quite different. From the Zionist perspective, the final crushing of the resistance is only a matter of time for they thought that its leadership has been weakened and that Sayyed Nasrallah has fled to Damascus.

The resolution of the war had already been taken by the Zionist entity. For its part, the resistance was fully ready to confront and plans for evacuating the citizens had been already set. The enemy launched broad and subsequent attacks on Hezbollah positions throughout southern Lebanon and demolished all bridges over the Litany River. It targeted civilians, destroyed the resistance’s headquarters in Beirut’s Southern Suburb and deployed its naval units.

The enemy estimated that the war would not last long and considered that Hezbollah would not be able to respond to attacks. However, on 14 July 2006, the resistance retaliated against the hostile barge, which had attacked the Southern Suburb.

The surprise tactic has been long utilized by Hezbollah throughout the years of confronting its enemy, despite its possession of technological and huge reconnaissance aircraft and satellites. The enemy also cannot predict what kind of surprises or defense operation could be carried out by the resistance “To Haifa and beyond Haifa,” as stressed by Sayyed Nasrallah.

During a televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled its first distinguished surprise, saying, “The surprises that I have already promised you has begun, look at the hostile Zionist barge it is burning.” The bombing of the barge was a severe shock and a clear sign that it would severely be punished by the resistance for hitting Lebanese residential areas and infrastructure.

Before the July 2006 war, the Zionists envisioned Hezbollah as the upgraded version of Palestinian resistance of the 1980s. In the evidence, they managed their wars depending on this version, including The Operation Accountability in 1993, The Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996, The Liberation Process in 2000 up to The July 2006 war. However, Hezbollah has established its own concepts. It has adopted a special ideology associated with the doctrine of Wilayat al-faqih’s concepts.

These concepts maintain that the resistance is a national revolutionary movement of the people, who are oppressed. Therefore, the resistance and the people are a unified solid whole; one body known as the resistance society. The resistance has promoted and reinforced its front. It has a unified internal and military front while the enemy has not considered this during the July 2006 war.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli minister urges assassination of Hamas leaders

Press TV – August 11, 2018

Israeli culture and sport minister has called for the assassination of the leaders of Hamas Palestinian resistance movement, stressing that Israel should reinstate its policy of targeted assassinations.

Miri Regev told a recent meeting of local leaders of Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip that the Palestinian resistance movement’s senior officials should “live in fear”.

“We must go back to the policy of targeted assassinations of leaders of this murderous terrorist group,” she added, referring to Hamas.

Other Israeli politicians likewise called on the Israeli leadership to come down harder on Hamas, which controls Gaza and has defended the enclave against three Israeli wars.

Leader of Israeli party Zionist Union Avi Gabbay, who was visiting the city of Sderot in the west of Negev Desert, was recently quoted by media as saying that Israel had “a strong army and weak politicians,” who would not intensify the regime’s aggression.

The current regime “doesn’t know how to deter a terrorist organization or to negotiate,” he added.

Israel has assassinated many Hamas figures over the past years.

Last March, it assassinated Mazen Fuqaha, one of the group’s senior figures, in Gaza. The victim was shot with four bullets to his head.

In 2010, Israel had itself embroiled in an international scandal when its operatives used false European and Australian passports to assassinate senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the United Arab Emirates.

Oren Hazan, an Israeli lawmaker from Likud Party, also recently said, “We are not hitting Hamas hard enough for fear of an ongoing conflict, even though we are deep inside one”.

“If we would have hit them, they wouldn’t have allowed themselves to shoot 200 rockets in one day. So enough with the stories that we hit them hard. The public isn’t stupid, and neither is Hamas,” he added.

Besides staying prepared to take the territory under wholesale warfare, Israel regularly strikes Gaza, saying it needs to target Hamas.

Earlier in the week, Israeli raids on the coastal enclave killed three Palestinians who included a pregnant mother and a toddler.

Israel ramped up attacks on March 30, shortly after Gazans began weekly rallies near the territory’s fence in support of their right to return to their homeland.

The demonstrations and Israeli offensives especially hiked on May 14, the anniversary of the Nakba Day in 1948, when Israel claimed existence after a deadly war against Arab territories.

Nearly 160 Palestinians have been killed and some 17,500 others wounded during the Israeli military’s attacks targeting the March of Return protests, the Palestinian Health Ministry says.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

BBC bows to pressure from Israel and changes Gaza headline

Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza City on 9 August 2018 [Mahmoud Khattab/Apaimages]
MEMO | August 10, 2018

The BBC has once again come under sharp criticism over its coverage of violence perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians. Critics called the BBC out over its bias after the broadcaster bowed to pressure from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and changed the headline of a news piece concerning Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

The BBC headline read: “Israeli air strikes ‘kill woman and baby’” for a news piece related to the killing of three Palestinians including a pregnant mother and toddler in Gaza on Wednesday night.

The headline attracted the attention of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who is currently leading a bitter campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over a definition of anti-Semitism that conflates criticism of Israel with racism against Jews.

Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon shot the BBC down and demanded for the headline to be changed “IMMEDIATELY”:

The Board of Deputies joined the act, denouncing the BBC headline as “appalling”. They said that they had lodged a complaint and encouraged others to do the same.

A short while after the complaints the BBC completely changed the headline: “Gaza air strikes ‘kill woman and child’ after rockets hit Israel.”

The dramatic change in headline caught the attention of social media users who were astonished by BBC’s capitulation to the dictates of a foreign state.

British commentator Owen Jones tweeted:

Others pointed to the influence of the Israeli lobby in the UK citing the Al Jazeera documentary “The Lobby,” which exposed how the Israeli embassy was providing covert assistance to supposedly independent groups within the Labour Party, and led a campaign to remove not just Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, but also Crispin Blunt MP, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee for their strong views on Israel. Many of these groups are now at the centre of the anti-Semitism row within the Labour Party.

“Looks like the influence of a foreign power on our political landscape and media never went away,” tweeted a social media user who also shared a video of Israeli embassy staff Shai Masot attempting to organise a takedown of British MPs sympathetic to the Palestinians and possibly hostile to the Israeli state.

Many responded with personal accounts to highlight the extent to which the BBC is bullied into taking a pro-Israel stance. A video clip of a famous study “Bad News from Israel” by the renowned Glasgow University Media Group resurfaced. Its author Greg Philo can be heard saying:

“I spent time with BBC journalists and a senior producer said to me, ‘We wait in fear for the phone call from the Israelis,’” referring to the trepidation felt by BBC editors when publishing negative stories about Israel.

It is unusual for the BBC to publish a story about Israeli aggression using headlines that doesn’t make excuses. On this occasion the fact that the story appeared in BBC World perhaps explains why the headline may not have gone through the rigorous vetting that many suspect stories about Israel are subjected to.

A BBC spokesperson admitted that “although the original headline was not factually incorrect, we updated it to add more context to the story”.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel celebrates 40 years of illegal settlement

MEMO | August 10, 2018

Two thousand Israelis yesterday gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the illegal West Bank settlement of Shiloh, south of Nablus.

The celebration was attended by Israel’s Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel, who is a member of the Religious-Zionist Jewish Home party. According to Arutz Sheva, the head of Israel’s “Binyamin Regional Council”, the group which oversees 42 of Israel’s illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank, also attended. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sent a letter of congratulations to the illegal settlers, claiming historic links between the Bible and the modern-day occupied Palestinian territory.

Uri Ariel has a long history of pro-settlement activity, previously serving as head of Beit El council, an illegal Israeli settlement situated north east of Ramallah. Ariel was also previously secretary general of the Yesha council.

In July it emerged that Uri Ariel had previously approved plans to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar, the Palestinian Bedouin village that has been slated for demolition. The plans, which were made in the late 1970s, proposed a “Jewish corridor” of illegal settlements be built on some 100,000 to 120,000 dunams (25,000 to 30,000 acres) of Palestinian land, including the villages of Hizme, Anata, Al-Azariya and Abu Dis on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Demolishing these villages would make way for expanding two illegal settlements – Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim – situated on the Jerusalem-Jericho road.

Shiloh was one of the first locations targeted for illegal Israeli settlement as early as 1974 by Gush Emunim, the orthodox right-wing settlement movement that rose to prominence in the wake of the 1973 War. Gush Emunim was later succeeded by the Yesha council that Uri Ariel previously affiliated with. During the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s, Shiloh was identified as an example of an area that should be returned to Palestinian control given the high density of Palestinians living in the area.

Illegal settlement in the West Bank has been pursued as a policy by the State of Israel since it occupied the territory in the 1967 Six Day War, along with the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem states that, as of the end of 2015, there were 127 Israeli government-sanctioned settlements in the West Bank (not including occupied East Jerusalem and Hebron). When combined with 100 non-recognised outposts and 15 Israeli neighbourhoods inside the Jerusalem Municipality, these settlements are inhabited by approximately half a million illegal settlers.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Farmer terrorism’ is the new Jewish settler slogan justifying the destruction of crops

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | August 7, 2018

In less than three months, Jewish settlers have destroyed over 2,000 trees and grapevines in the occupied West Bank. Rights group B’Tselem has issued a detailed report on this destruction, including testimony from Palestinian farmers. Bales of hay and barley fields were also destroyed. The destruction wrought by Israel’s settler-colonists equates Palestinian agriculture to terrorism; slogans sprayed on Palestinian property following the destruction included “No to farmer terrorism”.

The personal testimonies show that Israel has once again refused to act in order to deter settler violence against Palestinians and their land. Ultimately, the aim is to displace Palestinians forcibly by terrorising those seeking access to their own land. “This process has erected invisible walls throughout the West Bank, which Palestinians know crossing will expose them to violence and even danger to their lives,” says B’Tselem.

Israel is using complementary forms of violence: direct destruction by targeting crops and using the same destruction to levy a psychological threat against the colonised population. In the documented cases, the destruction was so severe that new plants have to be cultivated, thus having a negative impact on the sliver of economic independence that Palestinians can gain from agriculture. There is an outcome of resilience mingled with imposed resignation; the farmers will still tend to their fields yet the threat of another round of settler violence fuelled by impunity is always imminent. No matter how well rights organisations document the violations, though, the Palestinians have no recourse other than awareness. This is partly because Israel has moved ahead in terms of normalising colonial expansion.

Hassan ‘Issa discovered that 168 out of 250 grapevines in his fields had been destroyed by settlers. “What happened to my vines feels like a terrible injustice, and I feel incredibly frustrated and sad.” It is painful to read this. Compare the vagueness of ‘Issa’s statement — made in the knowledge that there are no rights for the colonised in apartheid Israel — with the threat left by the settlers: “No to farmer terrorism.” The value of people and land is misplaced to set the accelerated pace for forced displacement and a re-enactment of the image of Palestine being barren, one of the false premises behind Palestine’s colonisation by Israel. The only difference is that Israel now prefers sustained acts of violence that are documented and discussed almost routinely.

“Farmer terrorism” is, of course, a complete falsehood, yet it is on such premises that expansion has been facilitated. The more that Israel utilises such absurd claims, the further it is removed from reprimand by the international community. This lends Israel ample time and space — and total immunity — to construct its variety of “terror” narratives to make such purported threats endemic to its settler-colonial presence. Why would anyone even seek to challenge the notion of “farmer terrorism”? At first glance, it is void of any logic; a second reading flaunts its depravity, embodied by state and settlers alike.

Palestinian resilience has always laid bare the Zionist myths. Having no other means to sustain itself, Israel is eager to create the conditions for myths to become a manifested reality, even if it means acknowledging Palestinian existence through accusations which serve to embellish its purported “security concerns”. Nothing, though, justifies the wanton destruction of crops by illegal Jewish settlers or anyone else.

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

American Pravda: Jews and Nazis

By Ron Unz • Unz Review • August 6, 2018

Around 35 years ago, I was sitting in my college dorm-room closely reading the New York Times as I did each and every morning when I noticed an astonishing article about the controversial new Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir.

Back in those long-gone days, the Gray Lady was strictly a black-and-white print publication, lacking the large color photographs of rap stars and long stories about dieting techniques that fill so much of today’s news coverage, and it also seemed to have a far harder edge in its Middle East reporting. A year or so earlier, Shamir’s predecessor Menacham Begin had allowed his Defense Minister Ariel Sharon to talk him into invading Lebanon and besieging Beirut, and the subsequent massacre of Palestinian women and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps had outraged the world and angered America’s government. This eventually led to Begin’s resignation, with Shamir, his Foreign Minister, taking his place.

Prior to his surprising 1977 election victory, Begin had spent decades in the political wilderness as an unacceptable right-winger, and Shamir had an even more extreme background, with the American mainstream media freely reporting his long involvement in all sorts of high-profile assassinations and terrorist attacks during the 1940s, painting him as a very bad man indeed.

Given Shamir’s notorious activities, few revelations would have shocked me, but this one did. Apparently, during the late 1930s, Shamir and his small Zionist faction had become great admirers of the Italian Fascists and German Nazis, and after World War II broke out, they had made repeated attempts to contact Mussolini and the German leadership in 1940 and 1941, hoping to enlist in the Axis Powers as their Palestine affiliate, and undertake a campaign of attacks and espionage against the local British forces, then share in the political booty after Hitler’s inevitable triumph.

Now the Times clearly viewed Shamir in a very negative light, but it seemed extremely unlikely to me that they would have published such a remarkable story without being absolutely sure of their facts. Among other things, there were long excerpts from the official letters sent to Mussolini ferociously denouncing the “decadent” democratic systems of Britain and France that he was opposing, and assuring Il Duce that such ridiculous political notions would have no future place in the totalitarian Jewish client state they hoped to establish under his auspices in Palestine.

As it happens, both Germany and Italy were preoccupied with larger geopolitical issues at the time, and given the small size of Shamir’s Zionist faction, not much seems to have ever come of those efforts. But the idea of the sitting Prime Minister of the Jewish State having spent his early wartime years as an unrequited Nazi ally was certainly something that sticks in one’s mind, not quite conforming to the traditional narrative of that era which I had always accepted.

Most remarkably, the revelation of Shamir’s pro-Axis past seems to have had only a relatively minor impact upon his political standing within Israeli society. I would think that any American political figure found to have supported a military alliance with Nazi Germany during the Second World War would have had a very difficult time surviving the resulting political scandal, and the same would surely be true for politicians in Britain, France, or most other western nations. But although there was certainly some embarrassment in the Israeli press, especially after the shocking story reached the international headlines, apparently most Israelis took the whole matter in stride, and Shamir stayed in office for another year, then later served a second, much longer term as Prime Minister during 1986-1992. The Jews of Israel apparently regarded Nazi Germany quite differently than did most Americans, let alone most American Jews.

Around that same time, a second intriguing example of this quite different Israeli perspective towards the Nazis also came to my attention. In 1983, Amoz Oz, often described as Israel’s greatest novelist, had published In the Land of Israel to glowing reviews. This book was a collection of lengthy interviews with various representative figures in Israeli society, both moderate and extreme, as well as some coverage of the Palestinians who also lived among them.

Of these ideological profiles, one of the shortest but most widely discussed was that of an especially hard-line political figure, unnamed but almost universally believed to be Ariel Sharon, a conclusion certainly supported by the personal details and physical description provided. Near the very beginning, that figure mentioned that people of his ideological ilk had recently been denounced as “Judeo-Nazis” by a prominent liberal Israeli academic, but rather than reject that label, he fully welcomed it. So the subject generally became known in public discussions as the “Judeo-Nazi.”

That he described himself in such terms was hardly an exaggeration, since he rather gleefully advocated the slaughter of millions of Israel’s enemies, and the vast expansion of Israeli territory by conquest of neighboring lands and expulsion of their populations, along with the free use of nuclear weapons if they or anyone else too strongly resisted such efforts. In his bold opinion, the Israelis and Jews in general were just too soft and meek, and needed to regain their place in the world by once again becoming a conquering people, probably hated but definitely feared. To him, the large recent massacre of Palestinian women and children at Sabra and Shatila was of no consequence whatsoever, and the most unfortunate aspect of the incident was that the killers had been Israel’s Christian Phalangist allies rather than Israeli soldiers themselves.

Now rhetorical excess is quite common among politicians and a shroud of pledged anonymity will obviously loosen many tongues. But can anyone imagine an American or other Western public figure talking in such terms, let alone someone who moves in higher political circles? These days, Donald Trump sometimes Tweets out a crude misspelled insult at 2am, and the American media is aghast in horror. But given that his administration leaks like a sieve, if he routinely boasted to his confidants about possibly slaughtering millions, we surely would have heard about it. For that matter, there seems not the slightest evidence that the original German Nazis ever spoke in such ways privately, let alone while a journalist was carefully taking notes. But the “Judeo-Nazis” of Israel are another story.

As near as I can recall, the last even slightly prominent figure in American public life who declared himself a “Nazi” was George Lincoln Rockwell during the 1960s, and he was much more of a political performance artist than an actual political leader. Even as marginalized a figure as David Duke has always hotly denied such an accusation. But apparently politics in Israel is played by different rules.

In any event, Sharon’s purported utterances seem to have had little negative impact upon his subsequent political career, and after spending some time in the political wilderness after the Lebanon disaster, he eventually served five years as Prime Minister during 2001-2006, although by that later date his views were regularly denounced as too soft and compromising due to the steady rightward drift of the Israeli political spectrum.

Over the years I’ve occasionally made half-hearted attempts to locate the Times article about Shamir that had long stuck in my memory, but have had no success, either because it was removed from the Times archives or more likely because my mediocre search skills proved inadequate. But I’m almost certain that the piece had been prompted by the 1983 publication of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by Lenni Brenner, an anti-Zionist of the Trotskyite persuasion and Jewish origins. I only very recently discovered that book, which really tells an extremely interesting story.

Brenner, born in 1937, has spent his entire life as an unreconstructed hard-core leftist, with his enthusiasms ranging from Marxist revolution to the Black Panthers, and he is obviously a captive of his views and his ideology. At times, this background impairs the flow of his text, and the periodic allusions to “proletarian,” “bourgeoisie,” and “capitalist classes” sometimes grow a little wearisome, as does his unthinking acceptance of all the shared beliefs common to his political circle. But surely only someone with that sort of fervent ideological commitment would have been willing to devote so much time and effort to investigating that controversial subject and ignoring the endless denunciations that resulted, which even included physical assaults by Zionist partisans.

In any event, his documentation seems completely airtight, and some years after the original appearance of his book, he published a companion volume entitled 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis, which simply provides English translations of all the raw evidence behind his analytical framework, allowing interested parties to read the material and draw their own conclusions.

Among other things, Brenner provides considerable evidence that the larger and somewhat more mainstream right-wing Zionist faction later led by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was almost invariably regarded as a Fascist movement during the 1930s, even apart from its warm admiration for Mussolini’s Italian regime. This was hardly such a dark secret in that period given that its main Palestine newspaper carried a regular column by a top ideological leader entitled “Diary of a Fascist.” During one of the major international Zionist conferences, factional leader Vladimir Zabotinsky entered the hall with his brown-shirted followers in full military formation, leading the chair to ban the wearing of uniforms in order to avoid a riot, and his faction was soon defeated politically and eventually expelled from the Zionist umbrella organization. This major setback was largely due to the widespread hostility the group had aroused after two of its members were arrested by British police for the recent assassination of Chaim Arlosoroff, one of the highest-ranking Zionist officials based in Palestine.

Indeed, the inclination of the more right-wing Zionist factions toward assassination, terrorism, and other forms of essentially criminal behavior was really quite remarkable. For example, in 1943 Shamir had arranged the assassination of his factional rival, a year after the two men had escaped together from imprisonment for a bank robbery in which bystanders had been killed, and he claimed he had acted to avert the planned assassination of David Ben-Gurion, the top Zionist leader and Israel’s future founding-premier. Shamir and his faction certainly continued this sort of behavior into the 1940s, successfully assassinating Lord Moyne, the British Minister for the Middle East, and Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Peace Negotiator, though they failed in their other attempts to kill American President Harry Truman and British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, and their plans to assassinate Winston Churchill apparently never moved past the discussion stage. His group also pioneered the use of terrorist car-bombs and other explosive attacks against innocent civilian targets, all long before any Arabs or Muslims had ever thought of using similar tactics; and Begin’s larger and more “moderate” Zionist faction did much the same. Given that background, it was hardly surprising that Shamir later served as director of assassinations at the Israeli Mossad during 1955-1965, so if the Mossad did indeed play a major role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he was very likely involved.

The cover of the 2014 paperback edition of Brenner’s book displays the commemorative medal struck by Nazi Germany to mark its Zionist alliance, with a Star-of-David on the front face and a Swastika on the obverse. But oddly enough, this symbolic medallion actually had absolutely no connection with the unsuccessful attempts by Shamir’s small faction to arrange a Nazi military alliance during World War II.

Although the Germans paid little attention to the entreaties of that minor organization, the far larger and more influential mainstream Zionist movement of Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion was something else entirely. And during most of the 1930s, these other Zionists had formed an important economic partnership with Nazi Germany, based upon an obvious commonality of interests. After all, Hitler regarded Germany’s one percent Jewish population as a disruptive and potentially dangerous element which he wanted gone, and the Middle East seemed as good a destination for them as any other. Meanwhile, the Zionists had very similar objectives, and the creation of their new national homeland in Palestine obviously required both Jewish immigrants and Jewish financial investment.

After Hitler had been named Chancellor in 1933, outraged Jews worldwide had quickly launched an economic boycott, hoping to bring Germany to its knees, with London’s Daily Express famously running the banner headline “Judea Declares War on Germany.” Jewish political and economic influence, then just like now, was very considerable, and in the depths of the Great Depression, impoverished Germany needed to export or die, so a large scale boycott in major German markets posed a potentially serious threat. But this exact situation provided Zionist groups with an excellent opportunity to offer the Germans a means of breaking that trade embargo, and they demanded favorable terms for the export of high-quality German manufactured goods to Palestine, together with accompanying German Jews. Once word of this major Ha’avara or “Transfer Agreement” with the Nazis came out at a 1933 Zionist Convention, many Jews and Zionists were outraged, and it led to various splits and controversies. But the economic deal was too good to resist, and it went forward and quickly grew.

The importance of the Nazi-Zionist pact for Israel’s establishment is difficult to overstate. According to a 1974 analysis in Jewish Frontier cited by Brenner, between 1933 and 1939 over 60% of all the investment in Jewish Palestine came from Nazi Germany. The worldwide impoverishment of the Great Depression had drastically reduced ongoing Jewish financial support from all other sources, and Brenner reasonably suggests that without Hitler’s financial backing, the nascent Jewish colony, so tiny and fragile, might easily have shriveled up and died during that difficult period.

Such a conclusion leads to fascinating hypotheticals. When I first stumbled across references to the Ha’avara Agreement on websites here and there, one of the commenters mentioning the issue half-jokingly suggested that if Hitler had won the war, statues would surely have been built to him throughout Israel and he would today be recognized by Jews everywhere as the heroic Gentile leader who had played the central role in reestablishing a national homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine after almost 2000 years of bitter exile.

This sort of astonishing counter-factual possibility is not nearly as totally absurd as it might sound to our present-day ears. We must recognize that our historical understanding of reality is shaped by the media, and media organs are controlled by the winners of major wars and their allies, with inconvenient details often excluded to avoid confusing the public. It is undeniably true that in his 1924 book Mein Kampf, Hitler had written all sorts of hostile and nasty things about Jews, especially those who were recent immigrants from Eastern Europe, but when I read the book back in high school, I was a little surprised to discover that these anti-Jewish sentiments hardly seemed central to his text. Furthermore, just a couple of years earlier, a vastly more prominent public figure such as British Minister Winston Churchill had published sentiments nearly as hostile and nasty, focusing on the monstrous crimes being committed by Bolshevik Jews. In Albert Lindemann’s Esau’s Tears, I was surprised to discover that the author of the famous Balfour Declaration, the foundation of the Zionist project, was apparently also quite hostile to Jews, with an element of his motivation probably being his desire to exclude them from Britain.

Once Hitler consolidated power in Germany, he quickly outlawed all other political organizations for the German people, with only the Nazi Party and Nazi political symbols being legally permitted. But a special exception was made for German Jews, and Germany’s local Zionist Party was accorded complete legal status, with Zionist marches, Zionist uniforms, and Zionist flags all fully permitted. Under Hitler, there was strict censorship of all German publications, but the weekly Zionist newspaper was freely sold at all newsstands and street corners. The clear notion seemed to be that a German National Socialist Party was the proper political home for the country’s 99% German majority, while Zionist National Socialism would fill the same role for the tiny Jewish minority.

In 1934, Zionist leaders invited an important SS official to spend six months visiting the Jewish settlement in Palestine, and upon his return, his very favorable impressions of the growing Zionist enterprise were published as a massive 12-part-series in Joseph Goebbel’s Der Angriff, the flagship media organ of the Nazi Party, bearing the descriptive title “A Nazi Goes to Palestine.” In his very angry 1920 critique of Jewish Bolshevik activity, Churchill had argued that Zionism was locked in a fierce battle with Bolshevism for the soul of European Jewry, and only its victory might ensure amicable future relations between Jew and Gentile. Based on available evidence, Hitler and many of the other Nazi leaders seemed to have reached a somewhat similar conclusion by the mid-1930s.

During that era extremely harsh sentiments regarding Diaspora Jewry were sometimes found in rather surprising quarters. After the controversy surrounding Shamir’s Nazi ties erupted into the headlines, Brenner’s material became the grist for an important article by Edward Mortimer, the longtime Middle East expert at the august Times of London, and the 2014 edition of the book includes some choice extracts from Mortimer’s February 11, 1984 Times piece:

Who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that “each country can absorb only a limited number of Jews, if she doesn’t want disorders in her stomach. Germany already has too many Jews”?

No, not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann, later president of the World Zionist Organization and later still the first president of the state of Israel.

And where might you find the following assertion, originally composed in 1917 but republished as late as 1936: “The Jew is a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both physically and spiritually. As an individual in society he revolts and throws off the harness of social obligation, knows no order nor discipline”?

Not in Der Sturmer but in the organ of the Zionist youth organization, Hashomer Hatzair.

As the above quoted statement reveals, Zionism itself encouraged and exploited self-hatred in the Diaspora. It started from the assumption that anti-Semitism was inevitable and even in a sense justified so long as Jews were outside the land of Israel.

It is true that only an extreme lunatic fringe of Zionism went so far as to offer to join the war on Germany’s side in 1941, in the hope of establishing “the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich.” Unfortunately this was the group which the present Prime Minister of Israel chose to join.

The very uncomfortable truth is that the harsh characterizations of Diaspora Jewry found in the pages of Mein Kampf were not all that different from what was voiced by Zionism’s founding fathers and its subsequent leaders, so the cooperation of those two ideological movements was not really so totally surprising.

However, uncomfortable truths do remain uncomfortable. Mortimer had spent nineteen years at the Times, the last dozen of them as the foreign specialist and leader-writer on Middle Eastern affairs. But the year after he wrote that article including those controversial quotations, his career at that newspaper ended, leading to an unusual gap in his employment history, and that development may or may not be purely coincidental.

Also quite ironic was the role of Adolf Eichmann, whose name today probably ranks as one of the most famous half-dozen Nazis in history, due to his postwar 1960 kidnapping by Israeli agents, followed by his public show-trial and execution as a war-criminal. As it happens, Eichmann had been a central Nazi figure in the Zionist alliance, even studying Hebrew and apparently becoming something of a philo-Semite during the years of his close collaboration with top Zionist leaders.

Brenner is a captive of his ideology and his beliefs, accepting without question the historical narrative with which he was raised. He seems to find nothing so strange about Eichmann being a philo-Semitic partner of the Jewish Zionists during the late 1930s and then suddenly being transformed into a mass-murderer of the European Jews in the early 1940s, willingly committing the monstrous crimes for which the Israelis later justly put him to death.

This is certainly possible, but I really wonder. A more cynical observer might find it a very odd coincidence that the first prominent Nazi the Israelis made such an effort to track down and kill had been their closest former political ally and collaborator. After Germany’s defeat, Eichmann had fled to Argentina and lived there quietly for a number of years until his name resurfaced in a celebrated mid-1950s controversy surrounding one of his leading Zionist partners, then living in Israel as a respected government official, who was denounced as a Nazi collaborator, eventually ruled innocent after a celebrated trial, but later assassinated by former members of Shamir’s faction.

Following that controversy in Israel, Eichmann supposedly gave a long personal interview to a Dutch Nazi journalist, and although it wasn’t published at the time, perhaps word of its existence may have gotten into circulation. The new state of Israel was just a few years old at that time, and very politically and economically fragile, desperately dependent upon the goodwill and support of America and Jewish donors worldwide. Their remarkable former Nazi alliance was a deeply-suppressed secret, whose public release might have had absolutely disastrous consequences.

According to the version of the interview later published as a two-part story in Life Magazine, Eichmann’s statements seemingly did not touch on the deadly topic of the 1930s Nazi-Zionist partnership. But surely Israeli leaders must have been terrified that they might not be so lucky the next time, so we may speculate that Eichmann’s elimination suddenly became a top national priority, and he was tracked down and captured in 1960. Presumably, harsh means were employed to persuade him not to reveal any of these dangerous pre-war secrets at his Jerusalem trial, and one might wonder if the reason he was famously kept in an enclosed glass booth was to ensure that the sound could quickly be cut off if he started to stray from the agreed upon script. All of this analysis is totally speculative, but Eichmann’s role as a central figure in the 1930s Nazi-Zionist partnership is undeniable historical fact.

Just as we might imagine, America’s overwhelmingly pro-Israel publishing industry was hardly eager to serve as a public conduit for Brenner’s shocking revelations of a close Nazi-Zionist economic partnership, and he mentions that his book agent uniformly received rejections from each firm he approached, based on a wide variety of different excuses. However, he finally managed to locate an extremely obscure publisher in Britain willing to take on the project, and his book was released in 1983, initially receiving no reviews other than a couple of harsh and perfunctory denunciations, though Soviet Izvestia took some interest in his findings until they discovered that he was a hated Trotskyite.

His big break came when Shamir suddenly became Israel’s Prime Minister, and he brought his evidence of former Nazi ties to the English-language Palestinian press, which put it into general circulation. Various British Marxists, including the notorious “Red Ken” Livingstone of London, organized a speaking tour for him, and when a group of right-wing Zionist militants attacked one of the events and inflicted injuries, the story of the brawl caught the attention of the mainstream newspapers. Soon afterward the discussion of Brenner’s astonishing discoveries appeared in the Times of London and entered the international media. Presumably, the New York Times article that had originally caught my eye ran sometime during this period.

Public relations professionals are quite skilled at minimizing the impact of damaging revelations, and pro-Israel organizations have no shortage of such individuals. Just before the 1983 release of his remarkable book, Brenner suddenly discovered that a young pro-Zionist author named Edwin Black was furiously working on a similar project, apparently backed by sufficient financial resources that he was employing an army of fifty researchers to allow him to complete his project in record time.

Since the entire embarrassing subject of a Nazi-Zionist partnership had been kept away from the public eye for almost five decades, this timing surely seems more than merely coincidental. Presumably word of Brenner’s numerous unsuccessful efforts at securing a mainstream publisher during 1982 had gotten around, as had his eventual success in locating a tiny one in Britain. Having failed to prevent publication of such explosive material, pro-Israel groups quietly decided that their next best option was trying to seize control of the topic themselves, allowing disclosure of those parts of the story that could not be concealed but excluding items of greatest danger, while portraying the sordid history in the best possible light.

Black’s book, The Transfer Agreement, may have arrived a year later than Brenner’s but was clearly backed by vastly greater publicity and resources. It was released by Macmillan, a leading publisher, ran nearly twice the length of Brenner’s short book, and carried powerful endorsements by leading figures from the firmament of Jewish activism, including the Simon Weisenthal Center, the Israel Holocaust Memorial, and the American Jewish Archives. As a consequence, it received long if not necessarily favorable reviews in influential publications such as The New Republic and Commentary.

In all fairness, I should mention that in the Foreword to his book, Black claims that his research efforts had been totally discouraged by nearly everyone he approached, and as a consequence, he had been working on the project with solitary intensity for many years. This implies the near-simultaneous release of the two books was purely due to chance. But such a picture is hardly consistent with his glowing testimonials from so many prominent Jewish leaders, and personally I find Brenner’s claim that Black was assisted by fifty researchers far more convincing.

Since both Black and Brenner were describing the same basic reality and relying upon many of the same documents, in most respects the stories they tell are generally similar. But Black carefully excludes any mention of offers of Zionist military cooperation with the Nazis, let alone the repeated attempts by Shamir’s Zionist faction to officially join the Axis Powers after the war had broken out, as well as numerous other details of a particularly embarrassing nature.

Assuming Black’s book was published for the reasons I suggested, I think that the strategy of the pro-Israel groups largely succeeded, with his version of the history seeming to have quickly supplanted Brenner’s except perhaps in strongly leftist or anti-Zionist circles. Googling each combination of the title and author, Black’s book gets eight times as many hits, and his Amazon sales ranks and numbers of reviews are also larger by roughly that same factor. Most notably, neither the Wikipedia articles on “The Transfer Agreement” and “The Ha’avara Agreement” contain any mention of Brenner’s research whatsoever, even though his book was published earlier, was far broader, and only he provided the underlying documentary evidence. As a personal example of the current situation, I was quite unaware of the entire Ha’avara history until just a few years ago when I encountered some website comments mentioning Black’s book, leading me to purchase and read it. But even then, Brenner’s far more wide-ranging and explosive volume remained totally unknown to me until very recently.

Once World War II began, this Nazi-Zionist partnership quickly lapsed for obvious reasons. Germany was now at war with the British Empire, and financial transfers to British-run Palestine were no longer possible. Furthermore, the Arab Palestinians had grown quite hostile to the Jewish immigrants whom they rightfully feared might eventually displace them, and once the Germans were forced to choose between maintaining their relationship with a relatively small Zionist movement or winning the political sympathy of a vast sea of Middle Eastern Arabs and Muslims, their decision was a natural one. The Zionists faced a similar choice, and especially once wartime propaganda began so heavily blackening the German and Italian governments, their long previous partnership was not something they wanted widely known.

However, at exactly this same moment a somewhat different and equally long-forgotten connection between Jews and Nazi Germany suddenly moved to the fore.

Like most people everywhere, the average German, whether Jewish or Gentile, was probably not all that political, and although Zionism had for years been accorded a privileged place in German society, it is not entirely clear how many ordinary German Jews paid much attention to it. The tens of thousands who emigrated to Palestine during that period were probably motivated as much by economic pressures as by ideological commitment. But wartime changed matters in other ways.

This was even more true for the German government. The outbreak of a world war against a powerful coalition of the British and French empires, later augmented by both Soviet Russia and the United States, imposed the sorts of enormous pressures that could often overcome ideological scruples. A few years ago, I discovered a fascinating 2002 book by Bryan Mark Rigg, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers, a scholarly treatment of exactly what the title implies. The quality of this controversial historical analysis is indicated by the glowing jacket-blurbs from numerous academic experts and an extremely favorable treatment by an eminent scholar in The American Historical Review.

Obviously, Nazi ideology was overwhelmingly centered upon race and considered racial purity a crucial factor in national cohesion. Individuals possessing substantial non-German ancestry were regarded with considerable suspicion, and this concern was greatly amplified if that admixture was Jewish. But in a military struggle against an opposing coalition possessing many times Germany’s population and industrial resources, such ideological factors might be overcome by practical considerations, and Rigg persuasively argues that some 150,000 half-Jews or quarter-Jews served in the armed forces of the Third Reich, a percentage probably not much different than their share of the general military-age population.

Germany’s long-integrated and assimilated Jewish population had always been disproportionately urban, affluent, and well-educated. As a consequence it is not entirely surprising that a large proportion of these part-Jewish soldiers who served Hitler were actually combat officers rather than merely rank-and-file conscripts, and they included at least 15 half-Jewish generals and admirals, and another dozen quarter-Jews holding those same high ranks. The most notable example was Field Marshal Erhard Milch, Hermann Goering’s powerful second-in-command, who played such an important operational role in creating the Luftwaffe. Milch certainly had a Jewish father, and according to some much less substantiated claims, perhaps even a Jewish mother as well, while his sister was married to an SS general.

Admittedly, the racially-elite SS itself generally had far stricter ancestry standards, with even a trace of non-Aryan parentage normally seen as disqualifying an individual from membership. But even here, the situation was sometimes complicated, since there were widespread rumors that Reinhard Heydrich, the second-ranking figure in that very powerful organization, actually had considerable Jewish ancestry. Rigg investigates that claim without coming to any clear conclusions, though he does seem to think that the circumstantial evidence involved may have been used by other high-ranking Nazi figures as a point of leverage or blackmail against Heydrich, who stood as one of the most important figures in the Third Reich.

As a further irony, most of these individuals traced their Jewish ancestry through their father rather than their mother, so although they were not Jewish according to rabbinical law, their family names often reflected their partly Semitic origins, though in many cases Nazi authorities attempted to studiously overlook this glaringly obvious situation. As an extreme example noted by an academic reviewer of the book, a half-Jew bearing the distinctly non-Aryan name of Werner Goldberg actually had his photograph prominently featured in a 1939 Nazi propaganda newspaper, with the caption describing him as the “The Ideal German Soldier.”

The author conducted more than 400 personal interviews of the surviving part-Jews and their relatives, and these painted a very mixed picture of the difficulties they had encountered under the Nazi regime, which varied enormously depending upon particular circumstances and the personalities of those in authority over them. One important source of complaint was that because of their status, part-Jews were often denied the military honors or promotions they had rightfully earned. However, under especially favorable conditions, they might also be legally reclassified as being of “German Blood,” which officially eliminated any taint on their status.

Even official policy seems to have been quite contradictory and vacillating. For example, when the civilian humiliations sometimes inflicted upon the fully Jewish parents of serving half-Jews were brought to Hitler’s attention, he regarded that situation as intolerable, declaring that either such parents must be fully protected against such indignities or all the half-Jews must be discharged, and eventually in April 1940 he issued a decree requiring the latter. However, this order was largely ignored by many commanders, or implemented through a honor-system that almost amounted to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so a considerable fraction of half-Jews remained in the military if they so wished. And then in July 1941, Hitler somewhat reversed himself, issuing a new decree that allowed “worthy” half-Jews who had been discharged to return to the military as officers, while also announcing that after the war, all quarter-Jews would be reclassified as fully “German Blood” Aryan citizens.

It has been said that after questions were raised about the Jewish ancestry of some of his subordinates, Goring once angrily responded “I will decide who is a Jew!” and that attitude seems to reasonably capture some of the complexity and subjective nature of the social situation.

Interestingly enough, many of part-Jews interviewed by Rigg recalled that prior to Hitler’s rise to power, the intermarriage of their parents had often provoked much greater hostility from the Jewish rather than the Gentile side of their families, suggesting that even in heavily-assimilated Germany, the traditional Jewish tendency toward ethnic exclusivity had still remained a powerful factor in that community.

Although the part-Jews in German military service were certainly subject to various forms of mistreatment and discrimination, perhaps we should compare this against the analogous situation in our own military in those same years with regard to America’s Japanese or black minorities. During that era, racial intermarriage was legally prohibited across a large portion of the US, so the mixed-race population of those groups was either almost non-existent or very different in origin. But when Japanese-Americans were allowed to leave their wartime concentration camps and enlist in the military, they were entirely restricted to segregated all-Japanese units, but with the officers generally being white. Meanwhile, blacks were almost entirely barred from combat service, though they sometimes served in strictly-segregated support roles. The notion that an American with any appreciable trace of African, Japanese, or for that matter Chinese ancestry might serve as a general or even an officer in the U.S. military and thereby exercise command authority over white American troops would have been almost unthinkable. The contrast with the practice in Hitler’s own military is quite different than what Americans might naively assume.

This paradox is not nearly as surprising as one might assume. The non-economic divisions in European societies had almost always been along lines of religion, language, and culture rather than racial ancestry, and the social tradition of more than a millennium could not easily be swept away by merely a half-dozen years of National Socialist ideology. During all those earlier centuries, a sincerely-baptized Jew, whether in Germany or elsewhere, was usually considered just as good a Christian as any other. For example, Tomas de Torquemada, the most fearsome figure of the dreaded Spanish Inquisition, actually came from a family of Jewish converts.

Even wider racial differences were hardly considered of crucial importance. Some of the greatest heroes of particular national cultures, such as Russia’s Alexander Pushkin and France’s Alexandre Dumas, had been individuals with significant black African ancestry, and this was certainly not considered any sort of disqualifying characteristic.

By contrast, American society from its inception had always been sharply divided by race, with other differences generally constituting far smaller impediments to intermarriage and amalgamation. I’ve seen widespread claims that when the Third Reich devised its 1935 Nuremberg Laws restricting marriage and other social arrangements between Aryans, non-Aryans, and part-Aryans, its experts drew upon some of America’s long legal experience in similar matters, and this seems quite plausible. Under that new Nazi statute, pre-existing mixed-marriages received some legal protection, but henceforth Jews and half-Jews could only marry each other, while quarter-Jews could only marry regular Aryans. The obvious intent was to absorb that latter group into mainstream German society, while isolating the more heavily-Jewish population.

Ironically enough, Israel today is one of very few countries with a similar sort of strictly racially-based criteria for citizenship status and other privileges, with the Jewish-only immigration policy now often determined by DNA testing, and marriages between Jews and non-Jews legally prohibited. A few years ago, the world media also carried the remarkable story of a Palestinian Arab sentenced to prison for rape because he had consensual sexual relations with a Jewish woman by passing himself off as a fellow Jew.

Since Orthodox Judaism is strictly matrilineal and controls Israeli law, even Jews of other branches can experience unexpected difficulties due to conflicts between personal ethnic identity and official legal status. The vast majority of the wealthier and more influential Jewish families worldwide do not follow Orthodox religious traditions, and over the generations, they have often taken Gentile wives. However, even if the latter had converted to Judaism, their conversions are considered invalid by the Orthodox Rabbinate, and none of their resulting descendants are considered Jewish. So if some members of these families later develop a deep commitment to their Jewish heritage and immigrate to Israel, they are sometimes outraged to discover that they are officially classified as “goyim” under Orthodox law and legally prohibited from marrying Jews. These major political controversies periodically erupt and sometimes reach the international media.

Now it seems to me that any American official who proposed racial DNA tests to decide upon the admission or exclusion of prospective immigrants would have a very difficult time remaining in office, with the Jewish-activists of organizations like the ADL probably leading the attack. And the same would surely be true for any prosecutor or judge who sent non-whites to prison for the crime of “passing” as whites and thereby managing to seduce women from that latter group. A similar fate would befall advocates of such policies in Britain, France, or most other Western nations, with the local ADL-type organization certainly playing an important role. Yet in Israel, such existing laws merely occasion a little temporary embarrassment when they are covered in the international media, and then invariably remain in place after the commotion has died down and been forgotten. These sorts of issues are considered of little more importance than were the past wartime Nazi ties of the Israeli prime minister throughout most of the 1980s.

But perhaps the solution to this puzzling difference in public reaction lies in an old joke. A leftist wit once claimed that the reason America has never had a military coup is that it is the only country in the world that lacks an American embassy to organize such activities. And unlike the U.S., Britain, France, and many other predominately-white countries, Israel has no domestic Jewish-activist organization filling the powerful role of the ADL.

Over the last few years, many outside observers have noted a seemingly very odd political situation in Ukraine. That unfortunate country possesses powerful militant groups, whose public symbols, stated ideology, and political ancestry all unmistakably mark them as Neo-Nazis. Yet those violent Neo-Nazi elements are all being bankrolled and controlled by a Jewish Oligarch who holds dual Israeli citizenship. Furthermore, that peculiar alliance had been mid-wifed and blessed by some of America’s leading Jewish Neocon figures, such as Victoria Nuland, who have successfully used their media influence to keep such explosive facts away from the American public.

At first glance, a close relationship between Jewish Israelis and European Neo-Nazis seems as grotesque and bizarre a misalliance as one could imagine, but after recently reading Brenner’s fascinating book, my perspective quickly shifted. Indeed, the main difference between then and now is that during the 1930s, Zionist factions represented a very insignificant junior partner to a powerful Third Reich, while these days it is the Nazis who occupy the role of eager suppliants to the formidable power of International Zionism, which now so heavily dominates the American political system and through it, much of the world.

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Corbyn anti-Semitism row reveals how desperate Israel and its lobbyists are

By Yvonne Ridley | MEMO | August 6, 2018

The socialist leader of a British political party embroiled in an anti-Semitism row has apologised for appearing on platforms with people who drew Nazi-style comparisons with Israel’s actions. His remarks, though, have backfired among some Jewish and other pro-Palestinian groups.

They have accused the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn of “crumbling” after pointing out that the original “Nazi” comments were made by a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Corbyn’s statement and apology were delivered last week in response to a British media furore over reports that he hosted an event in 2010 during which Israel’s behaviour towards the Palestinians was compared to Nazism.

Corbyn’s critics in the pro-Israel Lobby failed to consider that the Nazi comparison was made by Hajo Meyer, a Holocaust survivor who died in 2014. Meyer made the comparison during a talk in a House of Commons committee room on “The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes”. Furthermore, a man who was removed by security officials from the meeting for making a Nazi salute and shouting “Sieg Heil” was actually from the pro-Israel lobbyists who were in the audience.

Among those rushing to condemn the party for further “proof” of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party under Corbyn’s leadership was one of his own MPs. Liverpool’s Louise Ellman told the BBC that she was “absolutely appalled” to hear about his involvement in the Holocaust meeting. She forgot to mention that she had attended the same meeting in parliament and was among those who jeered a Holocaust survivor. No one from the BBC questioned her about that, or the fact that the comments at the heart of the anti-Semitism row were made by a Jew who survived Auschwitz.

The latest, and harshest, criticism by the co-organisers of that meeting has been saved for Corbyn himself. “We will not crumble, as Jeremy Corbyn seems to have done,” insisted the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. “By his apology and attack on two advocates of Palestinian freedom Corbyn has only emboldened those who defend every Israeli crime and work to silence opponents of the crimes against humanity carried out by the State of Israel on the Palestinian people.” Such opponents, the SPSC claimed, will never be placated because they hate the idea of Corbyn being within reach of 10 Downing Street where he might challenge Britain’s alliance with Israel.

“False accusations of anti-Semitism by defenders of Israeli snipers,” the Campaign added, “is ‘the gift that keeps on giving’. Once a false accusation has been made the act of denial is portrayed as proof of guilt. This new version of Catch 22 submerges areas of British politics in a McCarthyite madness where the accusation, however absurd, means inescapable guilt, at least in much of the mainstream media.” That media, it must be said, has been shamefully biased towards Israel’s increasingly far-right position.

Corbyn’s apology read thus: “In the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject. I apologise for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”

The man who drew parallels with the Nazi regime, 85-year-old Dr Hajo Meyer, was joined at the meeting in the House of Commons on Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2010, by Dr Haidar Eid, who participated in the meeting from Gaza via speakerphone. Both men compared the dehumanisation of Jewish people in Hitler’s Germany pre-1941 with the dehumanisation of Palestinian people in current day Israel and occupied Palestine. Throughout his UK speaking tour, Dr Meyer received standing ovations.

Co-organisers from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) said that the tour had provided an opportunity for “many hearing for the first time important truths about Israel’s occupation of Palestine.” In a press statement issued last week, IJAN quoted Meyer: “My great lesson from Auschwitz is: whoever wants to dehumanise any other, must first be dehumanised himself. The oppressors are no longer really human whatever uniform they wear.

The event in 2010 attracted leading Zionist figures including Ellman [then and now, Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel], Jerry Lewis [then Vice President, Board of Deputies] and Jonathan Hoffman [then Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation], as well as Christian Friends of Israel. “Most of them had clearly not come to listen,” explained IJAN. “They barracked both Dr Meyer and Dr Eid, and one of them, Martin Sugarman, had to be escorted out by the Commons security; on his way out he stunned everyone by giving the Nazi salute and shouting ‘Sieg Heil’.”

IJAN added that following the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza in July 2014, a letter from survivors of the Nazi genocide and hundreds of their descendants called for a full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Genocide begins with the silence of the world… We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. ‘Never again’ must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!” Dr Hajo Meyer was the first to sign the letter, which was published in the New York Times on 24 August 2014, the morning after he died.

IJAN describes itself as an international network of Jewish people opposed to imperialism, militarism, apartheid and genocide. It said that the event in question was “a coming together of many communities which have faced dehumanisation, racism and genocide.” Speakers were Armenian, Bangladeshi, Irish, Native American, Roma, Rwandan and Tamil. There were also people with disabilities, and a speaker on the slave trade from Africa to the Americas and the revolution which ended slavery in Haiti.

In its literature, IJAN says that it supports “the liberation of the Palestinian people, and the right of return for those driven from their homes and their land by Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing.” The group has active chapters in Argentina, Canada, France, Spain, Britain and America.

Its tour partner on that occasion, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, recalled the events clearly: “During his talks, Hajo Meyer movingly described his experiences in Nazi-occupied Europe; how the regime dehumanised him and other Jews, and drew compelling parallels between his life before 1941 and Israel’s progressive dehumanisation of Palestinians up until the present day. Dr Meyer argued at each meeting that ‘Zionism was the polar opposite of Judaism’, ie a brutal programme of settler colonialism contrasted with the ethical power of one of the great world religions.”

Dr Haider Eid spoke at that meeting in 2010 from the Gaza “prison camp”, as former British Prime Minister David Cameron once called the besieged territory. Most of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine, having been driven from their homes by waves of Israeli ethnic cleansing. Successive military offensives have been carried out by Israel over the years.

A Gazan boy walks with his younger sibling through their poverty stricken neighbourhood in Gaza on 4 September 2013 [Ezz Zanoon/Apaimages]

Dr Eid spoke a year after Israel’s massacre of 1,400 Palestinians, which the UN Goldstone Commission concluded was “a war crime and possible crime against humanity.” Crimes against humanity were first prosecuted against the Nazi leadership in Nuremberg after the end of World War Two. The Palestinian academic suggested that Nazi-type bestiality was not consigned to history by the Nuremburg trials. “The world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945,” he insisted. “Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims.”

SPSC added that while the pro-Israel lobby seeks to criminalise such statements, Dr Eid’s comparison of modern day Israel to Nazi Germany has also been articulated by several prominent political figures in Israel, including the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli army, Yair Golan. Major General Golan said in a speech delivered at a 2016 Holocaust Memorial event in Israel that, “It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here.”

The senior officer came under intense attack inside Israel but was defended by prominent figures. His comment was widely believed to be a reference to the case of Elor Azaria, an Israeli soldier who was caught on film taking deliberate aim and shooting dead an injured and already prone Palestinian, Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif. Golan may, though, have been thinking of the recently appointed Military Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim who, as well as calling for genocide in Gaza, had endorsed rape of “comely Gentile women” if it maintained the morale of Israeli soldiers in wartime.

Another example of a senior Israeli drawing on the horrors of World War Two under the Nazi regime was provided when another Major General, and former minister, Matan Vilnai threatened the Palestinians with a Holocaust. In order to leave everyone in no doubt about what he meant, he used the Hebrew word “Shoah”.

Intensive efforts by pro-Israel groups in Britain have so far failed to provide a single anti-Semitic word written or uttered by Corbyn to back up their accusation, but this has not stopped the campaign against him, which is apparently being directed by Israel’s Embassy on the British capital. Unable to win the debate by rational means, it seems that the tactic now is to try to shut down open and honest debate altogether. Anyone who does not toe the pro-Israel line must be discredited and disregarded at all costs, even when that person is both a Jew and a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust. That’s how desperate Israel and its apologists are.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian Teen Dies From Serious Wounds He Suffered On March 30th

IMEMC News – August 5, 2018

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that a teen died, Sunday, from serious wounds he suffered on the first day of the Great Return March procession, on March 30th, which also marks the Palestinian Land Day.

The Health Ministry said the teen, identified as Ahmad Jihad al-Aydi, 17, from Gaza city, was seriously injured when an Israeli army sharpshooter shot him with a live round in the head, near the eastern border in central Gaza.

Accompanied by his father, the teen was eventually transferred to a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah, on April 24th, but he remained in a critical condition until he succumbed to his wounds.

In related news, the soldiers shot, on Sunday evening, three Palestinians with live fire, and caused many others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

Also on Sunday, an Israeli army drone fired a missile at a site, north of Beit Lahia in the northern part of the coastal region, wounding four Palestinians.

On Saturday, August 4th, the Health Ministry in Gaza said a child, identified as Moath Ziad Soori, 15, died from serious wounds he suffered a day earlier, after Israeli soldiers shot him with live fire, during the Great Return March procession, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

On the same day of his injury, the soldiers killed a Palestinian, identified as Ahmad Yahia Atallah Yaghi, 25, after shooting him east of the Zeitoun neighborhood, east of Gaza city, and injured 220 Palestinians, including 90 who were shot with live fire, in the Gaza Strip.

Their deaths bring the number of Palestinians, who were killed by Israeli army fire in the Gaza Strip since March 30th, 2018, to 158, while 17259 have been injured; 9071 of the wounded were moved to hospitals and 8188 received treatment in field clinics; 3279 of the injured are children, and 1553 are women.

Twenty-three of the slain Palestinians are children, in addition to three women, including a medic, identified as Razan Ashraf Najjar, 22.

There are 404 wounded Palestinians who are still in critical conditions, while 4141 suffered moderate wounds and 4354 suffered mild injuries.

The soldiers also killed another medic, identified as Mousa Abu Hassanein, 36, and caused damage to 59 Palestinian ambulances.

Furthermore, the army killed two journalists, identified as Yasser Mortaja, 30, and Ahmad Abu Hussein, 25, and wounded 144 others.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Israeli Buffer Zone On The Syrian Territory Will Have To Wait

By Khaled AL-KASSIMI | ORIENTAL REVIEW | August 4, 2018

On May 18th 2017, 27 Syrian army vehicles drove within 18 miles of al-Tanf, which breached the U.S.-declared 34-mile radius of the army convoy’s operations resulting  in the U.S. forces striking the Syrian Army. It should be noted that al-Tanf (an American military base) operated by U.S. special forces trains a number of rebel groups referred to by the U.S. as Vetted Syrian Opposition (VSO) also known as the Southern front which includes over 50 militant groups such as the Revolutionary Commando Army (RCA). When the U.S struck the Syrian army, the Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov reported that “The U.S. attack at al Tanf is significant not because the U.S. has once again struck Assad’s forces, but because it did so in defense of Syrian rebels”. It is important to remember these past events because on June 24th 2018, the U.S. announced that it will not be backing its proxies on the ground with air force – in contrast to last year. This event highlights that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have made substantial geostrategic gains in the past year.

While the Battle of Daraa is symbolically important – since it is the province where the Syrian (foreign) intervention by proxy first took place in 2011 with the help of Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford – the Battle for southern Syria should not be analyzed as the “final” battle simply because the U.S. announced “that it will not back up its anti-government proxies in the south”. The SAA and its allies still have a long way to go in liberating areas located in Northern and Eastern Syria which remain under the control of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and extremist rebel factions – funded and trained by American officers. This is by no means an overstatement considering Major General Igor Konashenkov saying that Russia has intelligence that the Free Syrian Army is going to stage a “chemical attack” in the village of Haql al-Jafara and accuse the Syrian government of conducting it.

According to Syrian government military sources, almost a year ago in July 2017 a group of Israeli military and intelligence personnel travelled to Syria’s West Daraa countryside with the objective of meeting rebel commanders from the Southern Front such as Liwa Jaydour, Jaysh al-Ababil, and the Revolutionary Commando Army (RAC) to discuss future cooperation and collaboration in battles. Another meeting also took place on September 2017 in the Quneitra border town of Rafid between Israeli intelligence personnel and militia commanders concerning the establishment of a 50km buffer zone stretching east of Golan Heights into Syrian (Southern) territory – absorbing Quneitara, As Suwayda and Daraa. The Times of Israel on July 6th 2017 notes “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as part of ongoing Israeli efforts to convince Russia and the United States to establish a demilitarized buffer zone in southern Syria…Israel is pushing for an agreement that would prevent “Hezbollah or other Iranian-backed militias” from operating in the area, which would extend some 30 miles (48 kilometers) beyond the Israeli-Syrian border [sic] on the Golan Heights”.

On June 26th 2018 Russia declared the ceasefire it brokered on July 2017 between Jordan, Israel, and U.S in Southern Syria (de-confliction/de-escalation zone i.e No Fly Zone) as null since Israel targeted an Iranian weapon depot around Damascus Airport, and mercenaries also targeted a Syrian military command post in Suwayda (southernmost province in Syria). The Russian defense ministry took both of these events as clear action in violation of the agreement. With the ceasefire no longer in place, a Syrian-Russo offensive has begun regaining the southern geographical space of Syria. Recent reports reveal that some rebels are surrendering and that the SAA is making substantive gains in Izraa, Nahitah, Sama Al Hadeidat in Daraa and ongoing advances are underway to take Busra al sham in East Daraa. Questions that remain unanswered concern how long will the IDF “turn a blind eye” to the SAA regaining southern provinces such as Quneitara bordered with Israel and the Golan Heights?; and will the U.S. withdraw from its base in Al Tanf base which Al Muallem and Al Assad have vehemently opposed and categorized as colonialism?.

It should be highlighted that with the U.S. abandoning its proxies in Southern Syria, we can deduce that Israel will have to “pause” its “Greater Israel” ambitions in wanting to absorb Southern Syrian territory, and la pièce de résistance – claim the Golan Heights as Sovereign Israeli territory. During a visit to Israel’s northern border according to the Jerusalem Post (JP) on July 4th 2018, General Eisenkot discussed the readiness of the Northern Command with its commander Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick and the 366th Division’s commander Brig. Gen. Amit Fisher. “The IDF is monitoring the situation in Syria and is prepared for a variety of scenarios to preserve the security on Israel’s border,” read a statement given by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit. On July 1st 2018 the Israeli government reinforced its border with the Golan Heights by positioning armored and artillery forces near the border with Syria in light of a situational assessment by the Northern Command.

Benjamin Netanyahu is seen during a security tour in the Golan Heights, near Israel’s northern border with Syria

The SAA territorial advancements in the past year highlight that the SAA has the upper hand on the battle field. However, we should also remember that the southern battle is not the final battle, even though it is a vital battle since it includes an offensive that will be combating over 15,000 mercenaries. Contrary to Mr. Robert Fisk’s article in the Independent on June 26th 2018, I think it is too early to state that the battle for southern Syria will go down in history as a moment where “the US has given up on the overthrow of Assad in Syria” because it “abandoned its proxies in southern Syria”. Another battle that should be increasing in intensity in the next few weeks and/or after the southern battle is concluded is the battle to reclaim Northern (East) Syria – a territory under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and U.S. rebel factions.

The Syrian government including Liwa al-Baqir convened a major meeting of tribal notables from across Syria on June 2 in order to build support for operations against the U.S. in Eastern Syria. Syrian state media claimed the meeting included representatives from seventy clans from Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Hasakah, Daraa, and Deir ez-Zor Provinces. According to the Institute for the Study of War unconfirmed reports suggest that the SDF arrested dozens of additional tribal representatives traveling to the meeting from SDF-held Hasaka Province in Northern Syria. Tribal representatives at the meeting denounced the presence of the U.S., France, and Turkey in Syria and called for tribal mobilization to fight them on behalf of Assad. Multiple new pro-regime militia units of unclear size and capability reportedly formed subsequent to the meeting. These units may have joined Liwa al-Baqir with support from Russia and Iran. Not to mention reports released the week of July 15th 2018 highlighting that rebels in Southern Syria are being transported to the Northern part of Syria.

More recent news on July 29th 2018 highlights that the Syrian Democratic Council [the SDF political arm] held a two day meeting with the Syrian government headed by President Bashar Al Assad. Officials belonging to the SDF, which hold large swathes of land in northern Syria discussed the future of the autonomous regions it set up in northern and northeastern Syria. The SDF has made a series of deals with Damascus in recent years, notably in Aleppo when the SAA decimated Syrian Arab rebel groups making a final stand to hold the city. The SDF also came to an agreement with the Syrian government during the Turkish incursion into the then-Kurdish-held Afrin canton in Syria’s north-west corner, allowing Kurdish fighters to cross regime-held territory in a doomed bid to repel Turkish troops and their allies. The SDF, whose military is largely funded by the US as a counter-IS initiative, holds more than 27 percent of the country’s territory, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  It is still not clear whether rebel troops in northern Syria will be in accord with the SDF and SAA in relinquishing land they have usurped in the past 7 years and have it under the control of Damascus headed by President Bashar Al Assad. Also, according to a statement by SDF spokesperson Leilwa al-Abdullah, SDF forces pushed IS fighters into retreat from an area of ​​3,100 square-kilometers to a small slither of territory close to the strategic border town of Abu Kamal. A local SDF commander, speaking to Syria Direct said that the “crackdown on the border area” had gone ahead in coordination with Iraqi forces and international coalition airpower.

The Golan Heights

Still, recent territorial gains by the SDF may have little bearing on talks with the Syrian government, which could be unwilling to actually cede territorial control or administrative authority to Kurdish-majority forces. Sihanouk Dibo, from the majority-Kurdish leftist Democratic Union Party (PYD), acknowledged that any future talks could be “long and arduous because the Damascus regime is very centralized.” Whether centralized or not, the Syrian Government has historically been committed to the modality of Greater Syria with Damascus being the locus in decision making and autonomous regions conducting provincial policies relating to their provincial preferences. As stated by President Al Assad “Despite the ethnic diversity within each nation, the social fabric of the region by and large is one”. In other words, a region of the historical Bilad Al Sham/Greater Syria space will not be relinquished since the Levant possesses a unified social fabric and most importantly because the Barzani Clan in Iraq is a dangerous example of how U.S. imperialism with its allies can defend decentralization for the sake of geostrategic interest.

Therefore, in regards to the Syrian peace process, peace cannot be implemented when the UNSC resolution 2254 adopted in 2015 – including the P5 – continues to be violated. The delegates meeting at the June 13th U.N-led peace process in Geneva reiterated the importance of the clauses in the resolution which included that a nationwide ceasefire can only occur when member states are serious in halting the funding and training of mercenary entities. The members also reiterated the basis for a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition in order to end the conflict in Syria. The meeting in Geneva did not highlight anything novel that the meetings in Astana or Sochi didn’t already outline. The meeting laid out the so-called four “baskets of reform” for a political settlement of the crisis. They include the drafting of a new constitution, parliamentary elections, the creation of a non-sectarian transitional government and the fight against mercenaries and terrorists. But the talks have made little progress so far as opposition members have failed to find an agreement over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad – a condition that the opposition has long wanted to include in the draft.

It is quite ironic that the Syrian Opposition is adamant in wanting to include a clause that stipulates that the current Syrian president is not allowed to run for president after 2020 and/or practice politics in Syria… it is ironic because while some opposition members discuss the importance of democracy being the foundation for peace in Syria, it is precisely democracy which re-elected President Bashar Al Assad in 2014.

Khaled AL-KASSIMI is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University in Canada. His research interest relates to the fields and approaches contoured by Critical Security Studies, Development Studies, International Relations, and Decolonial Studies.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zionist Media: ‘Israel’ Involved in Assassination of Syrian Scientist Aziz Azbar

Al-Manar | August 6, 2018

Israeli media outlets reported Monday that the Zionist Mossad intelligence agencywas involved in the assassination of Syrian scientist Aziz Azbar, head of the Syrian Scientific Research and Studies Center, in the city of Masyaf in Hamah province on Saturday.

The Zionist media reports stressed that this operation comes in the context of the secret war on the axis-of-resistance to prevent it from developing its military capabilities, adding that Mossad has returned to play a direct role in eradicating ‘Israel’s’ enemies in several countries.

It is worth noting that Azbar, who holds a Ph.D. in atomic physics and a Ph.D. in liquid rocket fuel from France, was mourned on Monday in his hometown.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Anti-Semitism and the suppression of truth

By Gilad Atzmon | August 5, 2018

Jewish power, as I define it, is the power to silence opposition to Jewish power. The scandal over the alleged anti-Semitism within the Labour party provides a perfect example. The Labour Party is accused of being “an existential threat to British Jews” (no more no less) because the NEC, its ruling body, defined antisemitism for the Labour party, without clearly including in its definition criticism of Israel.

In its definition for its own code, the Labour party adopted the problematic IHRA working definition of antisemitism but omitted the following ‘examples of anti-Semitism’ included with the IHRA:

§  Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than their home country,

§  Claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavor,

§  Requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations, and

§  Comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis.

According to Labour’s ruling body, these examples may not be treated as anti -Jewish bigotry without clear evidence of anti-Semitic intent. This treatment is the proper one according to most reasonable minds.

Since some Diaspora Jews admit to being more loyal to Israel than to their home country, it would be a bit problematic to accuse a goy of hatefulness for repeating what many Jews openly declare. Since the new racist Israeli National Bill has been duly approved by the Knesset, it would be bizarre to accuse a Labour Party member of anti-Jewish bigotry for saying that Israel is a racist endeavour.

Although such an accusation may well be accurate, it runs afoul of the omitted examples in the IHRA definition exactly because the definition is designed to suppress criticism of Israel and its politics. Last week, the Guardian published a wide range  of Jewish writers and their views of the IHRA definition in the context of the current Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis. Some of the views expressed are insightful and deserve close attention.

Antisemitism, according to Stephen Sedley, a law scholar and a former judge, is “hostility towards Jews as Jews. This straightforward definition is at the disposal of any institution or organisation that needs it. It places no prior restrictions on the form antisemitism may take.”

Sedley comes to a conclusion that the IHRA definition with examples exists “to neutralise serious criticism of Israel by stigmatising it as a form of antisemitism.” Sedley’s view in this context fits nicely with the definition of Jewish power above.

Sedley points out that The UK government, which has adopted the “working definition” including the examples, was warned by the Commons home affairs select committee in October 2016 that in the interests of free speech it ought to adopt an explicit rider that it is not antisemitic to criticise the government of Israel … without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent.” Sedley emphasises that this recommendation “was ignored.”

Geoffrey Bindman, a QC, solicitor and a legal scholar agrees with Sedley’s criticism. Bindman also refers to the recommendations of the all-party Commons home affairs select committee that the IHRA definition should only be adopted if qualified by caveats making clear that it is not anti-Semitic to criticise the Israeli government without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent. “Unfortunately the caveats were omitted when the definition was approved by the UK government.”

These men make clear that the IHRA definition is a faulty definition. The British government should reconsider its use of this definition. The other bodies and institutions that were pushed to adopt this non-universalist text would do well to drop it.

Sedley’s opinion is that even though the UK has adopted the IHRA definition, Brits are not forbidden by law from telling the truth about Israel’s being a racist state. This is because Britain also has the “Human Rights Act [that] enacts article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing the right of free expression.” According to Sedley “whatever criticism the IHRA’s ‘examples’ may seek to suppress, both Jews and non-Jews in the UK are entitled, without being stigmatised as antisemites, to contend that a state that by law denies Palestinians any right of self-determination is a racist state, or to ask whether there is some moral equivalence between shooting down defenceless Jews in eastern Europe and unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.”

Geoffrey Bindman argues that the IHRA definition and examples are “poorly drafted, misleading, and in practice have led to the suppression of legitimate debate and freedom of expression. Nevertheless, clumsily worded as it is, the definition does describe the essence of anti-Semitism: irrational hostility towards Jews.”

Here Bindman opens Pandora’s box. If anti-Semitism is irrational hostility toward Jews simply for being Jews, then the IHRA definition together with its clauses treats even rational and reasonable opposition to Israeli politics as ‘irrational hatred.’ This presents a dangerous precedent and an Orwellian turn for British society. It suggests that Britain is a free country no more. In Britain in 2018, those who oppose a certain type of evil, racist politics are labelled ‘irrational haters’ (anti-Semites). Clearly Labour’s NEC attempted to fix this problem by requiring a finding of hateful intent at the core of certain so-called anti-Semitic behaviour. This reasonable requirement led to an irrational reaction by Jewish institutions and an aggressive response.

It is difficult to judge whether the Guardian’s choices to defend the IHRA were made as a genuine attempt to represent the Zionist side. Perhaps the Guardian was making a desperate attempt to provide its readers with some comic relief: like the British Chief Rabbi and 68 additional British rabbis who were upset by Labour‘s slight deviation from the IHRA definition, Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner also expressed her dissatisfaction with the party of the workers.

“If the Labour party wanted to prioritise anti-Semitism by choosing a bespoke definition then it could have listened to the full diversity of the Jewish community,” Janner-Klausner wrote. But why does anyone need to follow the Rabbis or self-appointed Jewish ‘representative bodies’ for that matter? If anti-Semitism is racism, then we all ought to oppose anti-Semitism as we do any form of racism: universally. And if anti-Semitism is a piece of our universal concern with racism, then we all should be equally involved in opposing it. This is similar to the line of thought that was, I believe, at the core of the American Civil Rights Movement. It was a universal call that had a universal appeal. It aimed to protect the many not just the few. This is pretty much the opposite of the IHRA definition that is concerned with one people only.

In that regard, it is of note that Labour’s NEC was not attempting to define what anti-Semitsm means to Jews. NEC defined what anti-Semitsm means for the Labour party and in accordance with Labour values.

Keith Kahn-Harris, a London sociologist not known for his sophistication also contributed to the Guardian’s panel. He reiterated my definition of Jewish power, probably without realising it. “It’s certainly true that the IHRA definition does tightly constrain anti-Israel and anti-Zionist speech, but it doesn’t make it impossible.” I guess that Kahn-Harris is saying that IHRA definition allows support of Palestine as long as the speaker can successfully zigzag around Jewish sensitivities. Maybe you can talk about Palestinian suffering as long as you avoid mentioning Israel. “It might have been possible to see the IHRA definition as a challenge to pro-Palestinian activists to be more creative in their language: after all, whether or not you think Israel is acting just like the Nazis, saying so is predictable, lazy and cliched.” I would advise Khan Harris that living for 70 years as a stateless refugee in Lebanon or being imprisoned in Gaza by an Israeli siege is more than enough. Palestinians and their supporters do not need this ‘extra challenge.’ What they want is to make their plight known and to be able to talk truth to power. Even to describe, for instance, an equivalence between two nationalist, racist and expansionist political ideologies that were fermented around the same time and even collaborated for a while. And this is exactly what the IHRA is there to prevent.

August 5, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment