By Zander C. Fuerza
Unraveling the Mystery of 9/11
September 11, 2001, was a horrific and tragic day — nearly three thousand people perished in the terrorist attacks that drove a knife straight into the heart of America. Apart from being a brutal blow to the pride and stature of the most powerful nation on earth, the events of 9/11 were also a major wake-up call for many Americans and others around the world.
For many reasons, the attacks of 9/11 inspired a great number of people to begin investigating major world events, attempting to ascertain what sinister force lies behind such atrocities. By looking at historical events more deeply and with a more critical eye, many millions of people across the globe have come to know the truth. In patriot circles it is often said that the engine driving the madness that has engulfed our planet since 9/11 is the ‘New World Order’ — a coalition of rich and powerful ‘globalists’ hell-bent on transforming the world into a tyrannical prison society. This popular idea represents only a portion of the truth. This ‘New World Order’ that is so often talked about these days is in reality a ‘Jew World Order’ that is spearheaded by a contingent of psychopathic Jewish supremacists who aim to establish some form of world dominion, as ancient Jewish religious texts had prophesied.
The shocking images of the unbelievable violence that took place on 9/11 have been seared into the memories of every American citizen.
The remarkable precision and coordination of the heinous aerial assaults on the World Trade Center Twin Towers and the Pentagon was a surreal sight for many. The unthinkable collapses of the Twin Towers and WTC-7 at nearly free-fall speed raised some immediate questions. Before the dust of the collapsed Twin Towers had even settled on the ground, many critical thinkers were already asking hard questions as to what really happened and who was really behind the attacks. The official explanation of the Bush administration, which was fully endorsed by the mass media, that nineteen Arabs with box-cutters directed by a bearded guy in a cave in Afghanistan miraculously made all of this carnage happen, despite a multi-billion dollar U.S. military, security and defense system standing in their way, is an outrageous, ridiculous, and preposterous contention — an insult to our intelligence.
The official story of 9/11 is believed by fewer and fewer people every year. Polls are beginning to show that there are many more people who are skeptical of the U.S. government’s story than those who blindly acceptit. (“Americans Question Bush on 9/11 Intelligence,” Angus Reid Global Monitor, Oct. 14, 2006.)
The objective of this work is not to explain or uncover exactly how 9/11 was done in the physical sense, since there is already a plethora of literature and video documentaries highlighting the scientific impossibilities of the official story. Rather, this book is an attempt to elucidate who did it and why. I confidently contend that the official explanation of what happened on 9/11 has been dismantled, disproved and debunked on every level. The official story of the attacks, as the governments and mass media of the Western world would
have us all believe, is riddled with holes and blunders. The seemingly endless number of flaws, contradictions and absurdities of the U.S. government’s official conspiracy theory are painstakingly detailed in such films as Zero – An Investigation Into 9/11, 9/11 Mysteries, and Painful Deceptions. Like a sinking ship, the official version of 9/11 has rapidly descended into the gutter of fictitious fantasies.
I am firmly convinced of the notion that the Twin Towers and WTC-7 were demolished with explosives. The theory that the collapse of the towers and WTC-7 was scientifically improbable without the use of explosives has been credibly established as a fact. This assertion is not argued merely by ‘conspiracy theorists’ sitting in their basements watching re-runs of the X-Files, but by thousands of professional architects and engineers who have put their careers and reputations on the line to get the truth out to the public about the controlled demolition of the three gigantic structures that fell to pieces before our very eyes in New York City on 9/11. (See: AE911truth.org) If the Twin Towers and WTC-7 were brought down with explosives, which all of the evidence seems to indicate, then the tall tale of nineteen suicidal Muslim hijackers must be a fabrication, indeed an invention, of the true authors of this terrorist conspiracy. I contend that the wrong people are still, to this day, falsely being blamed for an atrocity that they did not commit. Since 9/11, Muslims have been vilified in much the same way that the Germans have been brutally bad-mouthed and abused in the press and Hollywood entertainment More
Thursday, 18 July 2013
By Zander C. Fuerza
Posted @ 19:21
Monday, 15 July 2013
Is the Obama administration trying to start a war between Israel and Syria? Because intentionally or not, it’s certainly doing its darnedest to provoke one.
This weekend, three anonymous American officials told CNN that Israel was behind an explosion in the Syrian port of Latakia on July 5. The explosion, they said, resulted from an airstrike targeting Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles. If this report is true, this is the second time U.S. officials have blown Israel’s cover in Syria: They also told the media that a mysterious explosion in Syria this April was Israel’s work, even as Israel was scrupulously keeping mum–just as it did about the Latakia incident.
This isn’t a minor issue, as anyone who knows anything about the Middle East knows: In a region where preserving face is considered crucial, publicly humiliating Syrian President Bashar Assad is the surest way to make him feel he has no choice but to respond, even though war with Israel is the last thing he needs while embroiled in a civil war at home.
This truth was amply demonstrated in April, after three airstrikes attributed to Israel hit Syria within a few weeks. After the first two, Israel kept mum while Assad blamed the rebels; face was preserved, and everyone was happy. But then, the Obama administration told the media that Israel was behind the second strike–and when the third strike hit two days later, Assad could no longer ignore it: He vociferously threatened retaliation should Israel dare strike again.
The Latakia attack also initially adhered to Israel’s time-tested method for avoiding retaliation: Israel kept mum, Assad blamed the rebels, face was preserved, and everyone was happy. But the Obama administration apparently couldn’t stand it–and a week later, it once again leaked claims of Israeli responsibility to the media.
At best, this means the administration simply didn’t understand the potential consequences, demonstrating an appalling ignorance of Middle East realities. A worse possibility is that it deliberately placed its own political advantage above the safety of Israeli citizens: Facing increasing criticism for its inaction in Syria, but reluctant to significantly increase its own involvement and unable even to secure congressional approval for the limited steps it has approved, perhaps it hoped revealing that at least an American ally was doing something would ease the political heat–even at the cost of provoking a Syrian retaliation that claims Israeli lives.
The worst possibility of all, however, is that the administration knows exactly what it’s doing, and is deliberately trying to spark an Israeli-Syrian war as a way out of its own dilemma: It wants Assad gone, but doesn’t want to do the work itself. Starting an Israeli-Syrian war would force Israel to destroy Assad’s air force, thereby greatly increasing the chances of a rebel victory.
Whatever the truth, these leaks damage American as well as Israeli interests, because one of Washington’s consistent demands of its ally is that Israel not surprise it with military action. Hitherto, Israel has honored that request: Though it doesn’t seek America’s permission for action it deems essential, it does scrupulously provide advance notice. But if Obama administration officials can’t be trusted to keep their mouths shut, Israel will have to rethink this policy: It can’t risk getting embroiled in a war with Syria just to ease Obama’s political problems.
Posted @ 18:53
“Come again next week,” said the man sitting behind a desk piled with
paperwork. This was my fifth time hearing these words, from an official
in booth number nine at the Egyptian embassy in Amman.
I asked if there was any hope of an opening for the hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza stranded in Jordan, but he said he could not promise anything. On an earlier visit, the day after the Egyptian army’s 3 July ouster of President Muhammad Morsi, the same employee told me that the delay in issuing visas was due to the “civil disobedience” that accompanied the 30 June mass protests in Egypt. He said that processing would speed up in coming days, but it never did.
For more than a week since the military takeover, the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed, except for brief periods. Palestinians, even with valid visas for Egypt, have been deported from Cairo airport.
Egypt has also instructed airlines to refuse to allow such Palestinians to board Cairo-bound flights. The instructions were confirmed to me twice from both Egyptian and Palestinian airline offices.
A relative of mine from Turkey was told that Egypt would fine Turkish Airlines €5,000 ($6,500) for every Palestinian brought to Cairo in defiance of the ban. And a friend of his, he told me, arrived in Cairo and was deported back to Cyprus, but was lucky enough to be given a courtesy ticket.
StuckThe result of all this is that thousands of Palestinians are stranded abroad, unable to return to Gaza, and many are running out of money. Almost a thousand pilgrims from Gaza are stuck in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dozens more were stuck in Cairo airport’s deportation room — they were unlucky enough to have arrived before the ban on Palestinian passengers boarding flights for Cairo, but after the Rafah crossing was closed, and so they were locked up. Other Palestinians have been tweeting about their ordeal being held in the deportation room at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Security concerns are the stated reason reported by the Egyptian media for these restrictions, but the Palestinians held up all over the world know a different story.
They are students, patients, intellectuals and workers who have no interest in residing in Egypt, and whose only wish is to return home, or visit their loved ones back in Gaza, and to spend Ramadan with them.
My own story illustrates some of the obstacles facing Palestinians trying to get home. As a medical student, I traveled to Amman, Jordan for a one-month long clinical course. I missed my homeward flight to Cairo, which was booked for 7 July, and I have also exceeded my planned expenses.
But the bigger problem remains the absence of a clear vision or even hope in the near future of when or how to get back to Gaza.
StallingFiguring out how to get home is not easy and is influenced by many factors: the Jordanian permit to stay which is about to end; the state of Rafah crossing, which is managed on a daily basis with an unclear policy; the ban on Palestinians in the Egyptian airports; and the stalling and delays that hinder Palestinians from obtaining visas at Egyptian embassies.
After a few days of complete closure, Rafah crossing was opened for limited hours, but with the ban in airports still active, it is mainly those stuck in Egypt who benefit, in addition to a few hundred medical patients and foreign passport holders.
The combination of airport bans and visa delays makes for another problem: visas are valid for only two weeks. Those with valid visas will soon have to apply for new ones. Even if embassies start issuing them again, the paperwork takes two weeks on average to complete, which could lead to a whole new episode of waiting.
As thousands of others face similar dilemmas, thousands of days and dollars are lost while officials take their time trying to solve the problem.
Or maybe they are not trying to solve it. Who knows! After all, the media are too busy with what’s going on in Cairo and other capitals to shed light on this unnecessary suffering.
Belal Dabour is a medical student from Gaza, Palestine. He blogs at belalmd.wordpress.com.
Posted @ 18:51
Various Israeli academic institutions have introduced courses and programs on hasbara
— the Hebrew-language term used to describe Israel’s attempts to
re-brand its image as its occupation and military aggression makes it increasingly unpopular worldwide.
A new report from the Academic Watch Project shows that instead of promoting critical thought and inquiry, these courses at academic institutions serve to promote the policies of the State of Israel and the whitewashing of its crimes. The Academic Watch Project is a group of Palestinian students at Israeli academic institutions dedicated to exposing discrimination within Israeli academia and its connection with Israel’s military occupation and apartheid policies.
“A Word on Hasbara” aims to uncover the content of these courses and programs and their funding. It also seeks to reveal their connections with the ministries of foreign affairs and public diplomacy and international Zionist groups.
“Unofficial ambassadors”One such course — “Ambassadors Online” (or “Ambassadors on the Web”) — offered at Haifa University boasts the slogan “Volunteering, Zionism, Digital Diplomacy.”
The course’s webpage features the logos of two Israeli ministries as well as those of Birthright Israel and StandWithUs, groups which aim to promote Israel among US college students — and offers the synopsis: “[the] goal is to provide Israeli university students with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to become unofficial ambassadors of Israel. The cadets of the project receive training which prepares them to effectively challenge the de-legitimization claims, engage in a dialogue with anti-Israeli activists and improve Israel’s image abroad by expanding the positive knowledge about the country.”
Eli Avraham, a co-founder of the “Ambassadors on the Web” course, said in an interview with The Canadian Jewish news: “when false claims are made about Israel, such as labeling it an apartheid state, people need to be equipped with knowledge and tools to speak out against those claims.”
He added: “The main idea is that this is about how to use the new media to reclaim Israel’s narrative and promote Israel’s point of view” (“Haifa U course teaches web hasbara strategies,” 13 March 2012).
Year-long hasbara programIDC Herzliya’s Ambassador Club is a year-long program for more than two hundred students from thirty countries run in partnership with StandWithUs. The program includes lectures on media, economy and history in order to “arm the students with the latest surveys and data and to teach them how to present the Israeli narrative” in North America and Europe. At the end of the course, each participant receives “an accreditation endorsed by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” according to the StandWithUs website.
Student unions at Israeli universities also provide hasbara programs. The National Union of Israeli Students aims to fight “anti-Semitism” and “delegitimization of the State of Israel” by paying Israeli students $2,000 in return for writing comments and letters on social network sites promoting Israel and “refuting” criticism of the state’s policies for five hours per week.
These hasbara courses were put into practice last November, when Israel bombed Gaza for eight consecutive days. The student union at IDC Herzliya, in coordination with the ministries of media and public diplomacy, formed “a war center” to promote the Israeli army and its aggression. The “war center” received information directly from the Israeli army and the prime minister’s office.
Coexistence lieEven more cynically, these programs are being used to promote a false narrative of coexistence, like the one boasted in a recent Times of Israel piece on the Ambassadors Online program at Haifa University. The article, titled “Muslim, Druze and Jewish students band together to improve Israel’s global image,” describes how students are trained to undermine the global boycott Israel movement.
But despite the hasbara lie of Israel being a bastion of peace and coexistence, as the Haifa University program trains students to promote, the reality for Palestinian students at Israeli universities is much different.
While the Ambassadors Online participants “monitored the media for biased coverage and took part in the shaping of positive public opinion towards Israel” during the bombing of Gaza last November, Palestinian students at Haifa University who protested the attacks were demonized by the city’s mayor as “terrorist supporters” and banned by the university from demonstrating on campus.
What these hasbara programs ultimately reveal is that Israel is losing the public relations battle and is desperately investing massive resources into improving its image. The role of Israeli academic institutions in these deceptive efforts reaffirm their role in serving the policies of the state, rather than promoting academic values and integrity.
Yara Sa’di, a postgraduate student and activist from Haifa, drafted the Academic Watch Project
Posted @ 18:49
Hamas has rockets that can reach Tel Aviv, according to Israeli media reports.
|Hosepipe fired at israHELL|
The Gaza-based terrorist organization is producing long-range rockets that can reach into central Israel, Army Radio reported Monday.
Israel had targeted the advanced M-75 rockets and their launchers during last November’s Operation Pillar of Defense. Hamas managed to fire off several of the rockets during the conflict, according to Ynet.
A long-range M-75 missile landed south of Ashkelon in February, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Posted @ 18:47
Holocaust survivors and victims’ heirs have received $1.24 billion from a Swiss fund set up in 1998 following a scandal over dormant accounts of Jews killed in World War II, according to a Jewish weekly.
The Swiss-Jewish weekly Tachles said the figure appeared in a report by New York judge Edward Korman, who oversees the management of the fund.
Korman’s report summed up operations since a landmark 1998 deal between the World Jewish Congress and Swiss banks. Under the accord, the banks paid a $1.25 billion settlement, which was transformed into U.S. government bonds.
Payouts were then overseen by Korman and the Swiss-based Claims Resolution Tribunal, which wrapped up its operations in 2012.
The banks were accused of keeping money owned by Jews who had hidden funds in secret accounts in neutral Switzerland but then perished in the Holocaust, and of stonewalling heirs who tried to track down the money.
Within the fund, a total of $800 million was destined for account holders and their heirs.
According to Korman’s report, Tachles said, $726 million has been paid out since then, including $426 million related to claims on 4,600 dormant accounts.
In addition, the fund gave a flat-rate sum of $5,000 each to 12,300 claimants whose cases were deemed “plausible but undocumented.”
Another goal of the settlement was to provide money to survivors of Nazi German persecution, whether or not they had held accounts in Switzerland.
All told, 457,000 Holocaust survivors and heirs have therefore received money from the fund.
Among them were 199,000 people who were pressed into forced labour by Nazi Germany, and who received a share of $288 million.
In addition, 4,100 Jewish refugees who were turned back at Switzerland’s borders during World War II received a total of $11.6 million.
According to a report by the French news agency AFP, Korman also authorized the payment of $205 million in total to 236,000 needy victims of Nazi Germany’s occupation, notably in the former Soviet Union.
No details of the fund’s administrative budget have been revealed, but Tachles said the Claims Resolution Tribunal, based in the city of Zurich, cost $800,000 a month to run.
Posted @ 18:37
Israel used a Turkish military base to launch one of its recent
airstrikes against Syria from the sea, a reliable source told RT. Israel
has been under scrutiny since last week, when it was reported to be
responsible for a July 5 depot attack in Latakia.
News that Turkey assisted Israel in attacking another Muslim state could result in serious turmoil for Ankara, once the information is confirmed.
"Our source is telling us that Israeli planes left a military base inside Turkey and approached Latakia from the sea to make sure that they stayed out of Syrian airspace so that they cannot become a legitimate target for the Syrian air force," RT's Paula Slier reports.
In response, Turkey has denied that Israel has used its base to strike Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the media that existing reports of the incident are “absolutely wrong” and those who spread such rumors are in “act of betrayal.”
“Turkey will neither be a part nor a partner of such ‘attacks.’ The ones who claim this want to damage Turkey’s power and reputation,” he added.
Responding to RT’s request for comment, the Turkish embassy in Moscow has said: “We officially inform that this allegation is definitely not true.”
Israel has also declined to comment to RT and refused to confirm or deny the information.
The Israeli PM’s office told RT that they “will not be taking part in your broadcast,” while an IDF spokesperson renewed the stance that the military is “not commenting on this issue.”
Relations between Turkey and Israel were strained until March 2013, as a result of a flotilla incident which happened more than three years ago. In protest against Israel’s refusal to apologize, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and severed military ties.
The two agreed to normalize their relationship after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara has been known for its assistance to foreign-backed militants, allowing them to train on Turkish territory before infiltrating into Syria.
Shortly after the July 5 airstrike, the Free Syrian Army said that rebels were not responsible for the attack, which destroyed Yakhont anti-ship missiles being stored there.
"It was not the FSA that targeted this," Qassem Saadeddine, FSA’s Supreme Military Council spokesman told Reuters. "It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels.”
Rebels described massive blasts, saying that the firepower exceeded the capability of weapons available to the opposition. They speculated that the attack was launched with the use of modern military weapons, like those which may be possessed by Israel.
On Saturday, US officials speaking on condition of anonymity also revealed Israel’s involvement with the explosions. They did not provide details on the extent of the damage or the number of missiles struck.
At the same time, Britain’s Sunday Times cited its Middle East intelligence sources who reported that a contingent of 50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles were targeted and destroyed. However, the newspaper claimed that Israeli submarines carried out the attack rather than the Air Force.
Netanyahu hesitated to comment on reports when speaking to CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
"My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terror groups as well. And we stand by that policy," the PM said. “And I'm not in the habit of saying what we did or didn't do," he added.
If the recent airstrikes are proven to have been carried out by Israel, the July 5 strike will be the fourth known Israeli air attack against targets in Syria this year. The previous three attacks targeted an area near Damascus on January 30, May 3, and May 5.
Posted @ 18:10
U.S. Will Go to War With Iran if Israel Does
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran is moving ahead toward nuclear weapons capability and warned that his country would act by itself if necessary to prevent that from happening.
“We’re closer than the United States,” Netanyahu said Sunday in an interview on CBS-TV’s current affairs program “Face the Nation,” according to a transcript of his remarks. “We’re more vulnerable. And therefore, we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does.”
Iranian officials have said the country’s nuclear facilities are intended only for civilian purposes such as energy and medical purposes.
Netanyahu has said Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons that would pose an “existential threat” to Israel and “all options are on the table” to stop it, including a military strike.
Posted @ 18:04
Sunday, 14 July 2013
Cases of violent vandalism are multiplying against Arab villages and places of worship.
Standing in front of his house in this Arab-Israeli village west of Jerusalem, Ibrahim Hatem stares in disbelief: “I don’t understand. I am Israeli. I like this country. On my street, my neighbors are all Jewish.”
On June 18, Ibrahim Hatem became yet another victim of the “price tag” movement, which has been gaining momentum lately and performing acts of vandalism all over the country. In Abu Gosh, about 30 cars had their tires slashed during the night. Graffiti reading “Arabs out,” and “racism or assimilation” was spray-painted on the walls.
And yet, of all Arab villages, Abu Gosh is perhaps the most loyal to Israel – it was the only Palestinian village to side with Israel in 1948. “If those who committed these crimes want to make the country implode, they chose just the right place to do it,” worries Hatem.
This attack on a symbol of Arab-Israeli coexistence puts the government in an increasingly uncomfortable situation. On June 16, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu refused to classify the authors of this racist vandalism as “terrorists,” against the wishes of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who had been advocating for the classification of the attacks as “acts of terror.”
In the past month, attacks have been multiplying in Israel and in the West Bank. They have been attributed to Jewish radicals from the Hilltop Youth movement, a group of second-generation settlers, proponents of a “Greater Israel” – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. The modus operandi is usually the same: slashed tires, burnt cars and “price tag” graffiti, which often mention Eviatar Borovsky, a father of five from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhak who was stabbed by a Palestinian while waiting for a bus on April 30.
Acts of revenge between Palestinians and West Bank settlers are nothing new – the expression “price tag” first appeared in 2008. Their objective is to respond eye for eye to every attack against Israeli settlements. They justify their actions by saying they are “exacting a price” after acts perpetrated by the Palestinians against them or after moves by the Israeli security forces to dismantle illegal settlement outposts.
The concept was theorized in a 2009 book called Torat Hamelech (“The King’s Torah”), written by extremist rabbis who argued that killing non-Jews is acceptable as part of a religious war. Coincidence? After this inflammatory book was published, the number of attacks against Palestinians went up 144% between 2009 and 2011.
|"Arabs out" price tag in Abu Gosh - Photo: reshettv|
Targeting places of worship
In addition to these assaults, what is most striking is how fast the “price tag” concept has been spreading. “It has now largely overtaken its initial concept of taking back the West Bank, and even the issue of settlements. It has become a way to express the hatred of minorities,” explains Barak Weiss, coordinator of the Tag Me’ir group, which fights against this growing phenomenon. Since September 2011, he says, 25 “price tag” attacks have been perpetrated inside Israel’s Green Line, particularly in Arab-Israeli towns.
Since the beginning of 2012, more and more of these attacks have been targeting places of worship, including Christian churches. On May 31, 2013, the phrase “Christians are monkeys” was spray-painted on the walls of the Benedictine Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. On June 13 in Tel Aviv, tombstones were vandalized in the Christian Orthodox cemetery, in the historic district of Jaffa. More
Posted @ 18:13
Mark Glenn, publisher of The Ugly Truth, and co-author of WHAT I SAW THAT DAY: Israel’s June 8, 1967 Holocaust of U.S. Servicemen Aboard the USS Liberty and its Aftermath and the co-editor of SHIP WITHOUT A COUNTRY: Eyewitness Accounts of the Attack on the USS Liberty, discusses Israel’s machinations in the Middle East and beyond, specifically its desire to start a war between the United States and Russia, and the disruptive qualities inherent in Judaism, interview
Posted @ 12:30
E-mail messages and tweets to Starr, Harel, Gordon, and Aluf Benn, Haaretz’s editor, have remained unanswered. In a way, I’m not surprised by Haaretz since virtually no Israeli media outlets credit the reporting of others outside their own shop. But I am a bit surprised by the sloppiness of the Times and CNN.
By the way, numerous other media outlets were offered this story including the BBC, among others. None was interested. So you have to ask yourself whether these MSM journalists are doing their jobs. Why does it require a gold-plated press pass to be taken seriously? Finally, this should be a lesson to anyone seriously interested in following world events–that the MSM offer half the story, if that. You need to cultivate alternate sources of information. And if you’re in the MSM you can’t do your job as you should if you ignore, belittle or disrespect us, as most of you invariably do.
Israel is reportedly angry with the U.S. for spilling the beans on Israel’s role in the bombing. Which seems a bit chutzpadik: Israel decided to invade Syria’s sovereignty to obliterate defensive weapons and doesn’t want to pay the price. Nice.
A reporter whose work I generally greatly respect, Alex Fishman, has the gall, in today’s Yediot, to take the U.S. to task, claiming it’s an “untrustworthy ally” because Pentagon officials “sold” Israeli military secrets “cheaply” to the U.S. media. In doing so, we supposedly knew full well that it endangered Israel’s “regional interests” and the lives of Israelis. Excuse me fella, but you’ve got it backwards: Israel chose to endanger those lives when it attacked the weapons depot. The fault is not with any Pentagon leaker, but with Israeli policy. If it wants to bomb, then take responsibility for it instead of hiding behind a bunch of ragtag Syrian rebels.
Israel believes that it can get away with whatever it likes in the Middle East and that enemies like Assad are so afraid of Israel that if only it doesn’t rub the insult in, that he’ll overlook Israel’s aggression and flagrant violation of its sovereignty. Thus, Americans are nasty spoil-sports to violate that rule of secrecy.
Another factor Fishman discounts is that this story, first reported by me, derived from an Israeli source, not an American one. Which means there are Israelis who believe the public should know these facts. So Mr. Fishman, don’t point the finger at us–look in the mirror. My reporting of the story proves that such secrecy and opacity, the hallmark of Israel’s national security state, is outmoded and ineffective.
Finally, Rodney Dangerfield was right: you just can’t get any respect unless you’re one of the select establishment few. But beating them all to the story does have its satisfactions.
Posted @ 12:23
In 1982 the Hebrew-language magazine Kivunim (Directions), the official organ of the World Zionist Organization published an important article entitled,
"A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties".
The Editor of Kivunim is Yoram Beck, Head of Publications, Department of Information, of the World Zionist Organization. Also on the Editorial Committee of Kivunim is Amnon Hadary, a member of the Palmach during the 1948 atrocities. Israel Shahak, professor of organic chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights translated the article into English and wrote the following foreword to it. It was published in 1982 as a pamphlet by the Association of Arab-American University graduates.
Professor Shahak states: The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states. I will comment on the military aspect of this plan in a concluding note. Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points:
1 . The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the best that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq : "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz, 2/6/1982). Actually this aspect of the plan is very old.
2. The strong connection with neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author's notes. But, while lip service is paid to the idea of the defense of the West from Soviet power, the real aim of the author, and of the present Israeli establishment is clear: To make an imperial Israel into a world power. In other words, the aim of Sharon is to deceive the Americans after be has deceived all the rest.
3. It is obvious that much of the relevant data, both in the notes and in the text, is garbled or omitted, such as the financial help of the US to Israel. Much of it is pure fantasy. But, the plan is not to be regarded as not influential or as not capable of realization for a short time.
The plan follows faithfully the geopolitical ideas current in Germany of 1890-1933, which were swallowed whole by Hitler and the Nazi movement, and determined their aims for East Europe.
Those aims, especially the division of the existing states, were carried out in 1939-1941, and only an alliance on the global scale prevented their consolidation for a period of time.
Israel Shahak Kivunim's plan states that all the Arab states are fragmented as follows:
"The Arab Muslim world, therefore, is not the major strategic problem which we shall face in the Eighties, despite the fact that it carries the main threat against Israel, due to its growing military might.
This world, with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems and does not therefore constitute a real threat against the State of Israel in the long run, but only in the short run where its immediate military power has great import.
In the long run, this world will be unable to exist within its present framework in the areas around us without having to go through genuine revolutionary changes. More
Posted @ 11:57
Israel Tests Nuclear Capable Missile While Russia Starts Largest Military Exercise in Post-Soviet Era
We posted yesterday concerning a report that Israel had attacked a
Syrian port on July 5th. The U.S. had confirmed this in that article.
The important take away is these were Russian missiles that were
destroyed in this attack.
"US officials have revealed that explosions reported at a key Syrian port on July 5 were likely the result of an Israeli airstrike. Three officials spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, referring to the pre-dawn explosions in the city of Latakia as an Israeli operation which allegedly targeted Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles.
The Yakhont is a cruise missile with a range of 300 kilometers, capable of delivering a warhead weighing in at 250 kilograms. Russia supplied Syria’s armed forces with a Yakhont missile battery in 2011.
Shortly after the July 5 incident, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that "huge explosions shook the area where a large Syrian army base and weapons depots are located."
According to reports by the SOHR published by Haaretz, fighter jets were seen in the skies around the city of Al-Haffah, which lies east of Latakia. Several troops were reported as having been killed or wounded in the ensuing explosions."
Israel's Defense Minister had stated previously his country would attack Russian ships if the S-300 missile system was aboard and en-route to Syria. Russia responded and threatened to retaliate if their shipments were attacked.
While this was not a Russian ship that was attacked on July 5th, nor the S-300 system in question, the war drums are beating very loud at this point in time. How can a nation conduct trade if their exports are attacked? What Israel has just done is in fact an act of war.
This next article from en.ria.ru who reports the following,
"Russia’s defense minister on Saturday said that up to 160,000 servicemen are involved in the large-scale exercises in the Eastern Military District, double the number initially reported.
“The total number of servicemen involved in the snap drills was up to 81,000 last night, the figure this morning was up to 160,000 servicemen,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
The exercises also involve about 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 warships from the Pacific Fleet, Shoigu confirmed. These latter figures remain unchanged."
This would appear to be in response to the Israeli attack on the recently delivered Russian Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Some media outlets are reporting this is the largest Russian drill in post Soviet times.
The Israeli military has test-fired a new long-range ballistic missile reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear, chemical or biological warhead.
The military described Friday’s launch from a base on the Mediterranean coast as the test of the propulsion system of a missile on which it declined to elaborate, AFP reported.
“This morning, Israel conducted a launching test from the Palmachim base of a rocket propulsion system," the Israeli ministry for military affairs said in a brief statement."
When taken individually these events may not seem like much, but when one looks at the whole picture we can see events are continuing to unfold rapidly.
In addition, the situation in Egypt is far from over. Two United States Navy ships have been deployed near Egyptian waters as we posted yesterday. Egyptian media is now reporting the mission of these ships is to invade the African nation of which the U.S. denies.
"The US Embassy in Egypt denied Saturday that US naval vessels near Egypt's shores are sent in preparation for military action. A top Marine Corps general said Thursday that two US marine vessels approached Egypt's Red Sea shore, raising concerns in the Egyptian media about an imminent military move."
"We deny false claims in the Egyptian press that US naval ships are in the vicinity of the Arabian Peninsula and the Suez Canal to militarily invade Egypt," read a statement issued on the US embassy's website. - ZeroHedge
We need to be vigilant in our prayer and preparations as world events start to spiral out of control.
Posted @ 11:50
by Allison Deger
There is a new neighbor in the niche world of Jewish news organizations. Its name is innocuous, the Jewish News Service (JNS). Its quick rise, two years, to success in the époque of journalism’s spinal snap has turned heads. And this ascension merits pause, because the wire service is not a purist love-Israel affair. Last week The Forward's Josh Nathan-Kazis profiled the lightning rod of the Jewish news market, detailing how it was seeking to replace the neutral (and well-respected Jewish Telegraphic Agency). The New Yorker has also mentioned the JNS.
But neither of these reports expose the gamut of the media outlet’s neoconservative and pro-Israel ties.
All three of the JNS officers listed on the organization's 990 tax returns from 2011 [PDF] -- yes, it's a charitable organization-- are board members and/or paid staff for neoconservative groups known for reports that push America on the war path, and Israel on the conquest path. JNS has a serious conflict of interest going on. Like the president who sits on the board of a lobby group known for creating spin publications. Yet none of this background has made it into the public forum.
Husband and wife Joshua and Amelia Katzen are the media outlet's president and treasurer, respectively, and settlement supporters. The pair have posted pictures of themselves online vacationing in Israeli settlements. The couple chronicled their stop to Israel National News's office in Beit El, near Ramallah, and a sunset ATV ride in the West Bank hills outside of Jerusalem, a popular tourist activity that often takes place inside area E1. And their son serves in the Israeli Defense Forces.
When he's not being Easy-Rider-in-the-occupation, Joshua is a board member of Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the self- proclaimed “voice for Americans who support a strong defense at home and for Israel.” JINSA has a 35-year record of lobbying Washington. The groups is funded by private donors, including settlement mogul Irving Moskowitz, Friends of the IDF, two American military charities, and a major U.S. defense contractor. Its board of advisers boasts the upper echelon of American neoconservative political and military elite. The current and former highlights are Ambassador John Bolton, Rep. Eric Cantor, Dick Cheney, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and former Senator Joseph Lieberman.
The organization also runs a training program for American forces to take lessons from the IDF. The Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) has sent 400 military officials to Israel, plus a cadre of cadets and midshipmen, according to their website. In a similar program JINSA shuffled 11,000 American law enforcement agents to Israel for military training. A rational assumption of the secretive program is that the U.S. police squads were educated to treat American streets like combat zones. A video teaser for the LEEP program advertises, “A lesson learned in Tel Aviv could very well save a life in Seattle.”
Following 9/11, Joshua Katzen’s organization linked up with other neoconservative groups pushing for a preemptive U.S. invasion of Iraq. JINSA joined the warmongering collaborative, the Project for a New American Century, to “direct American military support, to effect a regime change in Iraq." Former secretary of state Colin Powell blamed the war plans on the "JINSA crowd."
But JINSA's real pro-Israel work is in the realm of publishing. JINSA creates news start-ups similar to JNS to sway public opinion in favor of neo-realism U.S. foreign policy, anti-Islamic sentiments, and expansionist pro-Israel policy.
From the Institute of Policy Studies’ project My Right Web:
In addition to […] regularly published pieces, JINSA has maintained a number of publications over the years, including the Journal of International Security Affairs, a biannual academic-style journal edited by Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) and a “contributing expert” for the Israel-based Ariel Center for Policy Research. Other publications have included the Observer, "a quarterly review of U.S.-Turkey-Israel cooperation" copublished by JINSA and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, and the Islamic Extremism Newswatch, a rundown of media stories covering the activities of everyone from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to al-Qaeda.In theme, JINSA content is strikingly similar to JNS and it's no wonder that articles from JINSA have shown up on JNS. In July 2012 an article on Israel and the Arab Spring authored by Gabriel Scheinmann, a fellow at JINSA, was published by JNS:
Hamas abandoned its cozy headquarters in Damascus, fearful of aligning itself with the heretical Alawite sect against its Sunni Muslim brothers, and continues the political tug-of-war with Fatah in the West Bank. Even beyond Israel's immediate borders, the "Arab Spring" has uncorked ethno-religious conflicts. PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) attacks on Turkish military targets have spiked, fighting continues between Arab, African, and Berber tribesmen in Libya, and two new independent states have been declared, the Tuareg state of Azawad in northwestern Mali and South Sudan, marking the first loss of "Arab" sovereignty in 45 years.Of course Hamas is not “headquartered in Damascus” and the notion of “Arab” sovereignty reflects a rhetoric of East versus West. This general homogenization of Islamic societies as monolithic aggressors is seen throughout JNS’s content, be that Islamic enemy Iranian, Turkish or Palestinian.
Treasurer Amelia Katzen is an attorney and environmentalist by profession. She is also the director of the Islamophobic media watchdog CAMERA, where JNS publisher Russel Pergament is on the board of directors. CAMERA is known for fact-checking Israel-related content and pressing mainstream publications for corrections. Their website disingenuously states the organization is a “media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East.” They are bullies who are far more aggressive than simple fact-checkers. During the duration of Katzen and Pergament's tenure with JNS, CAMERA used activist tactics in late 2012 and earlier this year to work with shareholders of both the CBS [PDF] and The New York Times Company [PDF] to strong-arm editorial changes on Israel articles.
The group spearheaded a campaign earlier this year, along with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, to remove two Palestinian journalists from an exhibition at the Newseum in Washington DC. The pro-Israel advocates maliciously stated that Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, two Palestinian media workers killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza last fall, were not journalists protected by international conventions. CAMERA described them as “terrorists."
In addition to his position with CAMERA, Russel Pergament is a Massachusetts publishing mogul well known for decades of pro-Israel columns, and censoring criticisms of the Jewish state in his papers. In one notable instance, Pergament fired a columnist at one of his New York papers because he didn't like the content of one post on Israel/Palestine. The journalist, Rory O'Connor who did not typically write about the conflict, even offered a re-write. But Pergament sacked him instead.
Pergament has also endorsed the Levy report, Israel’s most serious attempt to construct a mirror framework to international law. The report's findings ruled the West Bank was not occupied territory and proposed regularizing outposts that are illegal under Israeli law. Pergament’s ideological leanings reflect the most right-wing elements of the Israeli government and reject negotiated sovereignty for the Palestinian people.
Then there's JNS staff writer Alex Traiman. Traiman's name should sound familiar; he is the CEO of the Islamophobic documentary firm, Clarion Productions. He wrote and directed Iranium, a jingoistic and absurd film highlighting Iran’s human rights violations and procurement of uranium as threatening a nuclear attack on America. Of course there is no evidence in the IAEA's reports that Iran is building a nuclear weapon.
One of the so-called experts interviewed in Iranium surfaced recently in a report for the JNS by Traiman. The article, "Gaza flotilla apology may have ramifications beyond Israel-Turkey relations," quotes Dr. Harold Rhode, a discredited former U.S. Department of Defense official with ties to numerous neoconservative think tanks including the Gatestone Institute, the Hudson Institute, and the Clarion Fund (the parent organization of Clarion Productions). Years ago Rhode was also implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal over clandestine meetings with foreign agents and Iranian dissidents.
Here's a relevant quote by Rhode from Traiman's article describing Turkish President Erdogan:
Erdogan is clearly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. 'Together with the Saudis and Qataris, Erdogan has been supporting Sunni fundamentalists in the region, particularly in Syria,' said Rhode. (But even here, the Saudis, Qataris and Erdogan disagree about which Sunni fundamentalist factions within the Syrian opposition they support.)JNS has the trappings of a perfect-storm advocacy tool similar to Clarion Productions, sophisticatedly passed off as journalism. Despite a dearth of material produced by JNS, it is able to present itself as a legitimate news service. Some articles reflect trends in Judaism ("Punt the pomegranate: Five seriously new fruits for Rosh Hashanah"). But a lot of the political pieces read like propaganda.
'All three are supplying and arming the fundamentalists that hate America and hate Israel,' Rhode said.
A closing example: JNS has dedicated a number of articles to a row over a Palestinian-Israeli Christian leader advocating for Christians to enlist in the IDF (currently they are exempted from conscription). A few days ago JNS published another piece that printed a baseless accusation that Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi threatened Father Gabriel Nadaf, the religious leader calling for military service. JNS reports:
According to the Likud MKs, some in the National Democratic Assembly (a predominantly Arab party), including MK Hanin Zoabi, were outraged over Nadaf’s comments and tried to pressure him and the Christian Officer Forum to retract the statements. This pressure was allegedly accompanied by threats. Chief Superintendent Revital Karako, who represented the Israel Police in the hearing, told the committee that Weinstein had summoned the Arab MKs for questioning.Reading the above excerpt one is led to believe MK Zoabi threatened one of her colleagues, a charge that implies violent if not criminal activity. This is greyly libelous, and concretely irresponsible writing. What are the threats being made? What evidence is there that they even took place? Anything can be alleged, but the difference between propaganda and journalism is that journalism is supported by fact and not politically convenient rumor.
A variety of earnest opinion is healthy in the press, even when some of those opinions lead to repugnant conclusions. But fictitious allegations like those in the Zoabi article are not normative statements, they are either empirically true or false. JNS's output does not meet basic standards of journalism. And the media outlet is more than a lightning rod of the Jewish news market: It is a strategically planned operation peddling polemics of expansionist pro-Israel and interventionist U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Posted @ 10:52
Washington’s push against Egyptian, Israeli go-it-alone military steps. US marines deployed off Suez, Sinai
The Obama administration is signifying its strong disapproval of Israel and Egypt taking matters in their own hands in the last two weeks, debkafile’s military and Washington sources report: Israel was accused of independent military action against Syria, and the Egyptian army of persecuting the Muslim Brotherhood after deposing President Mohamed Morsi.
Washington is also highly displeased with the campaign the Egyptian army launched after the coup, with Israel’s active support, to root out the Islamist terror blighting the Sinai Peninsula. US warships and marines are now parked off Egypt’s Red sea coast as a deterrent to the generals in Cairo.
For whipping Israeli into line, the administration used another method, i.e., Pentagon leaks naming Israeli air strikes as responsible for the explosions at the Syrian weapons depot outside the port town of Latakia on July 5, which demolished a fresh stock of Russian Yakhont (NATO codenamed SS-N-26) shore-to-ship missiles along with their advanced radar.
Although CNN ran this leak Friday, July 7, sourcing it to three separate unnamed US officials, the New York Times repeated the story Saturday and it was picked up by more US media for the third day running on Sunday.
Israel declined to comment on the report.
This over-exposure of alleged Israeli culpability certainly risked prodding Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad into retaliating for the Latakia bombardment.
Our sources find a second US motive behind this tactic - this one relating to the standoff between Washington and Moscow over Edward Snowden, who has been holed up for three weeks in a hotel in the transit area of Moscow international airport tin defiance of US demands for his extradition to face trial for espionae.
Putin has steadily refused to hand him over to America.
The idea in Washington was to put the Russian president’s credibility on the line and embarrass him by showing Moscow as having "lost" a large consignment of Russian missiles for Syria.
When Putin appeared inclined to offer the young American political asylum, Washington seems have decided to use the Latakia incident to apply the screws and, at the same time, teach him a lesson: If the Russians want Washington to keep the Israeli military on a leash, they must stop disregarding US views on the Syrian question and start playing ball with Obama.
For teaching the Egyptian generals a lesson, the administration resorted to tangible military steps: two amphibious assault ships carrying 2,600 Marines were moved to the southern Egyptian Red Sea coast.
Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, reported Thursday that the huge USS Kearsarge (1,800 Marines) and the USS San Antonio (with 800 Marines) had “moved up into the Red Sea and parked off Egypt,” a couple of nights ago, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
debkafile’s military sources report that the two vessels also carry a fleet of helicopters for ferrying the Marines to distant ground arenas.
The US has placed additional Marine units at Signonella base in southern Italy and Moron in Spain on the alert with orders to be ready to move at 60 minutes’ notice.
To calm the tension, the US Embassy in Egypt said on its website Saturday: "We deny false claims in the Egyptian press that US naval ships are in the vicinity of the Arabian Peninsula and the Suez Canal to militarily invade Egypt."
According to our sources, the US flotilla was brought in to warn Egyptian strongman Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his generals that if they took their persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood too far, American Marines stood ready to step in.
They are also on hand for two additional contingencies:
1. Should shipping through one of the world’s major world arteries, the Suez Canal, be imperiled – as in case of sabotage by the Muslim Brotherhood or the armed Salafists of Sinai, a menace raised repeatedly by debkafile - the US military would be there to take charge of securing international shipping in the waterway.
2. The US maintains 1,000 army personnel in Sinai, most members of the 1st Cavalry Division, as part of the multinational force which monitors the 1979 Egyptian-Israel peace treaty provisions. The Obama administration is keeping a close eye on the mounting Islamist violence in the peninsula and the Egyptian military campaign which was mounted, in close intelligence cooperation with Israel and the IDF, against two terrorist elements –the armed Salafist Bedouin associated with al Qaeda and the Palestinian Hamas of Gaza, whose operations have spilled out into Sinai.
US strategists see the fighting in Sinai escalating and spreading and allow that American military intervention may be called for – especially if US MFO service personnel are in harm’s way.
Posted @ 10:45
The line was Robert Bloch’s. But it could have been spoken by Lee Kaplan – or any of the other rabid Zionists who express (often in astonishingly loud, pushy, aggressive, obnoxious fashion) two contrary impulses toward Palestinian children.
On the one hand, they purportedly just LOVE Palestinian children, treating them with avuncular solicitude and bending over backwards to lavish kindness on the little brats while knowing full well the nasty little brown-skinned hellions will hurl stones at them the moment their backs are turned.
On the other hand, you can just feel the seething, barely-repressed murderous hatred they harbor in their hearts. As they shamelessly lie about the well-documented fact that Israel mistreats children worse than any other country (1), to the point that its snipers murder Palestinian kids as a de facto national policy (2), you can practically smell the hatred oozing from every pore of their flabby beings, expressing their real feelings:
“We should kill ALL of the brats at once instead of picking them off one by one.”
But they would never come right out and say that. At least not to a global TV audience.
* * *
I was fasting for Ramadan yesterday, and when you’re fasting, you aren’t supposed to get into fights. Besides, you don’t have enough energy to fight even if you wanted to.
I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with the likes of Lee Kaplan. The guy obviously has psychological issues. He’s a walking, talking bundle of barely-repressed hatred and paranoia. He thinks everybody hates the Jews, EU human rights groups are anti-Jewish communist anarchist conspiracies, the UN is controlled by “Arab dictators,” and basically the whole world is a gigantic conspiracy against Jews in general and Lee Kaplan and Israel in particular. None of the facts about Israeli crimes against Palestine are true, and all of the myths about eternal Jewish victimhood are sacrosanct.
I wonder if someone sliced off the most sensitive part of his penis when he was a baby, causing unspeakable pain to a psyche that was millions of times more sensitive than an adult psyche. I wonder if that experience shaped his subsequent angry, paranoid persona. I wonder if he was acculturated to subconsciously blame the goys for what was done to him, imagining in the deepest recesses of his unconscious mind that the figure with the knife who hurt him so badly was a Hitler or a Yasser Arafat or a Hamas guy with a bottle rocket or a Palestinian kid with a stone or a communist anarchist EU-supported human rights monitor who’s a secret anti-Semite.(3)
Here he is – you psychoanalyze him. For the moment, I’ve had enough of this guy.
(1)Palestinian Children Tortured, Used As Shields By Israel, UN Says
Israel arrests 900 Palestinian children in 2012
2) Chris Hedges wrote, in his article “Gaza Diary,” of witnessing IDF soldiers luring children within range of their guns and shooting them for sport. A study by British Medical Journal confirmed that this is a common practice, and never punished: “Two thirds of the 621 children (two thirds under 15 years) killed at checkpoints, in the street, on the way to school, in their homes, died from small arms fire, directed in over half of cases to the head, neck and chest – the sniper’s wound…Clearly, soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children in situations of minimal or no threat.” (British Medical Journal 10/16/04)
(3) Practically every day there is a new story about some paranoid Jew like Kaplan getting caught spray-painting swastikas on a synagogue or faking some other “anti-Semitic incident.” If we factor in the ones who don’t get caught, we may reasonably surmise that virtually all such incidents are false-flags committed by Jews who share Kaplan’s bellicose, paranoid mentality. Latest example: Jewish squatter paints “slaughter Jews” on own car to smear Palestinians
Posted @ 10:43
Reportedly a pleasant fellow, Mr. Szubin works closely with his mentor, David S. Cohen, a bit less so, some say of the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The two gentlemen often work together, and sometimes with friends located less than a 20 minute walk across the Mall below the US Capitol buildings at the AIPAC HQ. It is with selected AIPAC staff, sometimes over a catered lunch, that they dream up and craft ways to cut off the financial legs and the lines of banking support for all “terrorists”.
They also enforce US-led politically motivated civilian targeting economic sanctions against rogue nations (read: the civilian populations of Syria and Iran), and even sometimes combat the financial support of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction—the latter only with respect to ‘bad’ countries like Iran, as opposed to ‘good’ countries like Israel.
OFAC has been accused of taking orders from AIPAC, who takes orders from the Israeli Embassy, while for some reason
3 is not required to register and foreign agents, and whose offices reportedly flood Szubin and Cohen with memoranda on how to, as a sign two weeks ago above the printer in AIPAC’s library read, “cut em off at the knees and let Allah sort it out!”
AIPAC, as one to the two pillars working feverishly on adding more layers of civilian targeting sanctions against Iran and Syria, does its part mainly with Congress.
This week it drafted and circulated to Congressional offices yet another Congressional letter to the White House. In a broad show of bipartisan support for’ containing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran’, all but one member of the house foreign affairs committee signed, at AIPAC’s urging, a letter to President Obama. The 7/8/13 letter petitioned the President to increase pressure on the Islamic republic. The AIPAC letter also notably arrives on the heels of Iran’s presidential election and is only the latest of a growing volume of sanctions the Obama administration has levied against Iranian and Syrian citizens. One Congressional source emailed that the timing of this most recent letter was meant to support the chorus of messages from the US Zionist lobby that Mr. Hasan Rouhani’s election will not bring any positive changes on the nuclear file.
But as AIPAC knows, few people, especially on the Hill, are much impressed these days by its stream of such “Sense of the Congress” letters making demands on the White House. Often Congressional staffs and their Members sign them right away, barely reading them, so they do not have their offices invaded by AIPAC lobbyists who want to take up their time on the same subjects. Truth told, AIPAC is losing popularity on the Hill, according to Congressional contacts, even if it does not yet show much.
This is where OFAC’s work blends in and hopefully brings to perfection AIPACs project targeting the Iranian and Syrian people. One example that appears to have been coordinated with the House Foreign Affairs Committee letter are the recently announced amendments to OFAC’s sanctions regulations.
Earlier this month, some apparently fairly perverse US taxpayer-salaried lawyer types dreamt up & drafted, almost certainly with AIPAC input, the latest incomprehensible, way ‘over-broad’ and unfair, for OFAC amendments to survive a US Federal Court challenge, certain “technical amendments” to the Terrorism Sanctions Regulations and the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations.
These due process denying amendments, despite AIPAC and the US Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Control’s denials and protestations, will further curtail much needed medicines, medical equipment and food stuffs being available to the civilian populations of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran causes yet more civilian suffering.
One example, of many legal defects in the newly adopted regulations, that one imagines would be evident to most first year law students, reads: “A person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 594.201(a) has an interest in all property and interests in property of an entity in which it owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.” What does this language require of firms wanting to supply medicines, medical equipment, and food stuffs to civilian targeted populations?
As explained by Mr. Cohen, “Terrorists” (read Iranians and Syrians) are deemed for the purpose of broadening the US-led sanctions, to have an interest in things in which they have a 50 percent or greater interest.
Who would have imagined?
The regulation continues: “The property and interests in property of such an entity (read: the civilian population of Iran and Syria), therefore, are blocked, and such an entity is a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 594.201(a), regardless of whether the entity itself is listed in the Annex to Executive Order 13224, as amended, or designated pursuant to § 594.201(a). In other words, all US-led sanctions block the assets of companies who aren’t on the SDN list if they are owned 50 percent or more by someone who is on the list.
OFAC has not explained, but may well have to in US Federal Court, just how does anyone screen for blocked parties who aren’t on the list of blocked parties?
Simple, Mr. Cohen says, just ask every company you’re screening for the name of all its 50 percent or greater owners. Okay, but what if the majority owner isn’t on the list? Well, OFAC expect those wanting to export to Syria or Iran medicines or foodstuffs to somehow ferret out who owns the majority owner.
Because if he is owned by a blocked party, then his property is blocked, meaning the company you are screening is blocked and its assets must also be blocked. OFAC replies, well just ask for the names of owners greater than 50 percent and owners of owners with more than a 50 percent interest. But even if the owner of the owner isn’t on the list, the owner of the owner of the owner could possibly be, so get to work.. and on and on it goes. Which board of directors of any company is going to go through all this no matter how motivated it is by profit and/or humanitarian concerns to deliver medicines and medical equipment and desperately needed fool to Syria or Iran? Just their legal fees would be enormous.
And, of course, there’s another problem with this new AIPAC and Israeli embassy concocted blocking rules. They apply not just to the interest of the blocked party but to the interest of the minority investors as well. And they apply even if the majority investor (or the majority investor in the majority investor) is designated after the investment. Therefore if someone owns 51 percent of Company B which owns 51 percent of company C and that, several years after his investment, he could be designated by OFAC as an SDN which ranks with child molester or necrophilia addict as a very bad thing to be accused of. The 49 percent investors in both Company B and C now have their investments blocked. How can anyone protect themselves against that? What crystal ball are people supposed to use to predict whether a person they are doing business with won’t become an SDN in the future?
And that is the whole idea at OFAC and AIPAC regulation amendments. It allows the US Treasury Department, the White House and Congress, and the US representative at the UN to say internationally and also to the American people who increasingly oppose targeting innocent civilians for political purposes,
“Actually the limited sanctions against the Syrian and Iranian people are humanitarian (despite the fact that scores of thousands of Syrian are on the verge of dying and hundreds have died and the number is increasing because previously imported drugs and food is not being sent to Syria, because of the “food and medicine exemptions language.” For the reasons noted above, which company or its board of directors is willing to risk being hounded by Dickens’ Jarvert at OFAC and face the threat and likely reality of enormous crippling fines and litigation costs to figure out what the regulations really mean with respect to their clients business which may fall into a grey areas of involved joint business ventures.
But the new OFAC-AIPAC US civilian-targeting sanctions rules are now even more Kafkaesque. For example, if medical or food stuffs producing exporting firms want to do business with Iranian or Syrian importing firms, how can they know if owner # 1 is an SDN and whether he may own 60 percent of Company B and 45 percent of Company C. Further suppose that Company B owns 40 percent of Company D, and Company C owns 60 percent of Company D. Who and what is blocked under the new OFAC rules? It might appear that Company B and its assets are blocked, but Company C and its assets are not. What about Company D? Suppose Ms. A owns 24 percent of Company D through her 60 percent ownership in Company B. She also owns 27 percent of Company D through her 45 percent interest in Company C which totals 51 percent of Company D. So even though Ms. A cannot control Company D, since she doesn’t control Company C, the majority owner, Company D would be blocked as would all of its assets.
How can the US Treasury departments OFAC agency be so seemingly totally unaware of the business realities of the parties it regulates who want to send medical equipment and food stuff to the suffering people of Syria and Iran? Many in dire need but are being targeted by US-led sanctions for political purposes? Does the Obama administration even care?
Surely the screening problems that these new rules pose are manifest in a situation like this as is the unfairness of this rule to the other (and majority) owners of Company C if Ms. A is designated after his investment in Company C. The question then is how on earth can this happen? Can the agency be that deaf to the business realities of the parties it regulates? Does it even care or understand its own regulations?
What about the slowly growing Congressional and public concern over the civilian targeting US sanctions and federal sunshine laws allowing for public input when drafting new US Treasury Department regulations?
Well, AIPAC and OFAC have foreseen that potentially annoying problem. Near the end of the Federal Register it has been decreed, without any public participation, the following:
“Public Participation. Because these amendments to 31 CFR parts 594, 595, and 597 involve a foreign affairs function, Executive Order 12866 and the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date are inapplicable.”
The Obama administration has no interest in public participation or input as it targets the civilian populations of Syria and Iran. And Congress once again is shirking its responsibility.
Why is there not a Congressional or UN delegation visiting Syria for example? Not a John McCain silly photo-op but a serious delegation arriving to Damascus and Tehran and visiting hospitals and specialized clines, doctors, health ministry officials, patients and the families of those who need very specialized drugs, for example, with certain diseases such as cancer and in Syria with refugees suffering from malnutrition due to the US-led sanctions.
The US-led sanctions increasingly target the Iranian and Syrian people for purely political purposes in order to ignite civil unrest which the Obama Administration hopes will lead to regime change. They are immoral, illegal, ineffective at achieving regime change, and they are doing incalculable damage to millions of innocents while further squandering whatever respect for our country still exists abroad and increasingly even within our own boarders as evidenced by the recent spate of protests on a number of subjects sending the message to Washington that it is time to come home and rebuild our society.
Franklin Lamb a former Assistant Counsel of the US House Judiciary Committee and Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law, Portland, Oregon.
Posted @ 10:25
Young Jewish man admits to police he staged 'Arab price tag' act to 'raise awareness'
A young Jewish man was arrested overnight Friday for staging an 'Arab price tag' act on his own vehicle.
The 22 year old, who resides in a settlement near Jerusalem and was visiting family in the capital's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, called the police a little after midnight and told the dispatcher that someone had spray-painted the phrase "Itbah al-Yahud" ("slaughter the Jews" in Arabic) on his car and slashed its tires.
He also claimed that a mixture of sugar and silicon was poured on the hood.
Officers who arrived at the scene interrogated the young man, who eventually admitted that he had damaged his own vehicle to "raise awareness" to "price tag" acts committed by Arabs against Jews.
He spent the night in a detention facility.
Posted @ 10:02
The recent measure by Israel to test-fire a new long-range ballistic missile was likely intended as a tacit warning to Russia, given Moscow’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a political analyst tells Press TV.
In response to a question about whether Russia’s stance vis-à-vis Syria has actually prompted Israel to take the recent action as an alert message, Christopher Walker said the Israeli measure could indeed serve as a “crude message [to Russia].”
He criticized Israel for test-firing the new missile against the backdrop of the onrushing developments across the Middle East, saying, “It just sounds like a bit of saber rattling.”
On Friday, the Israeli military launched the missile from a base on the Mediterranean coast.
The missile can carry a nuclear, chemical or biological warhead and is capable of traveling 5,000 miles, reaching Russia.
Walker pointed to Russia’s support for the government of Syria, noting, “The Russians will not take [it] kindly to be told that they’re now, as it were, in nuclear range of the Israelis.”
“I don’t think frankly it will come to any surprise to Russian intelligence that the missiles exist [in Israel]; it’s just the timing of making them public, as it were, always ratcheting up the pressure in the region, which is already almost at boiling point,” he said.
Russia has stood by the Syrian government over the course of the ongoing unrest in the Middle Eastern country, which broke out in March 2011 and blocked several Western-engineered resolutions at the UN Security Council against Syria.
In May, Russia said it has agreed to sell Syria advanced S-300 air-defense missiles. According to Assad, Damascus is already in possession of the first batch of S-300 missile defense systems from Russia.
Many people, including large numbers of Syrian security forces, have been killed in the unrest in Syria.
The Syrian government maintains that the chaos in the country is being orchestrated from outside and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Posted @ 09:47
West Bank settlements would not be viable without government aid, so boycotts should target the Israeli state as well.
Recent legislation passed in the Israeli Knesset, which many people call the "Anti-BDS" bill, has raised a number of questions about a rising tide of "fascism" in Israel. This language is not only used by Palestinian critics, who have long borne the brunt of Israel's undemocratic policies. Now, many Israeli and Jewish-American writers can no longer ignore the trend.
If something good has come out of the passage of this legislation, it is two things: First, a growing number of people are recognising that the Zionist aim - the imposition of an ethnocentric majority by force in a territory where the majority of the native inhabitants are disenfranchised - is fundamentally and inherently undemocratic. Second, the passage of this bill has brought discussion of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to the foreground.
While increased discussion about BDS will only strengthen the movement, a troubling trend has become apparent in some of the commentaries on BDS written in response to the passage of the "Anti-BDS" bill. This is the assertion that boycotting colonies or settlement goods is acceptable, while boycotting the Israeli state or Israeli products outside of the occupied territories is somehow unacceptable.
For many, this argument may be made with consideration for political strategy and not based on moral underpinnings or clarity. There is undoubtedly a hesitation among some who have embraced BDS as a strategy to extend BDS activities beyond products produced in the colonies and settlements.
This attitude is particularly prevalent among Zionists who recognise the danger the occupation poses for Israel, but do not want to be seen as targeting Israel itself. The BDS tent is growing nonetheless, regardless of what part of the occupation system is targeted. This is clearly threatening to Israel. The greatest evidence of the threat this poses is that the state felt threatened enough by the BDS movement to attempt to stop it through legislative repression.
But while varied approaches to BDS enlarge the tent, they also can be misleading and dangerous. The idea that colonies are legitimate BDS targets while the state of Israel is not creates the illusion that somehow these colonies exist in a vacuum without tacit and direct support from the Israeli state.
In fact, the settlement enterprise is a state-driven enterprise which requires various state-led efforts at multiple levels. These include the creation of economic incentives through the Israeli legislature to encourage population transfer into the occupied territories, the allotment of resources for the defence and development of these colonies, facilitating land purchases, granting mortgages and incentives to encourage private investment and developing infrastructure to serve these localities.
Settlements rely on government support
Take the settlement of Ariel as an example. Ariel is located deep in the West Bank. It is a large settlement with almost 20,000 residents. In the process of negotiations, Ariel, along with Ma'ale Adumim, another monstrosity deep in the West Bank, has posed the greatest challenge to an agreement on borders. The Israelis insist on keeping the settlement, which would drive a large wedge of Israeli-controlled territory into the northern part of the West Bank.
Half of Ariel's population emigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union and arrived only in the last two decades. To deal with the post-1990 influx of Soviet Jews (which increased Israel's population by 12 per cent), the Israeli state created specific absorption policies which included rental support of up to $10,000 per family for the first year and mortgage subsidies of 50 per cent. With the mass influx into Israel, property prices skyrocketed and the new immigrants found some of the most affordable living opportunities further away from the coastal plain where the Israeli metropolis of Tel Aviv thrived: in illegal colonies in the occupied West Bank.
Ariel, which was established in 1978, grew from a local council to a municipality after these state policies enabled mass population growth. To ensure that the settlers could live in an area they could afford and still be connected to the Tel Aviv area where most worked, the state undertook the massive expansion of a road network in the 1990s which became Highway 5, also known as the "Trans-Samarian" highway.
Unsurprisingly, in the 2009 elections in Israel, Ariel gave 45 per cent of its vote to Likud and another 30 per cent to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party. Both parties are dedicated to the strengthening and development of the illegal colonies, and are the largest parties in the current right-wing Israeli government.
So, while there may be individual settlers or small groups who build tents or place trailers on Palestinian hilltops in the West Bank, mass population transfer into occupied territory cannot happen without direct state involvement. Treating the colonies as entities separate from the state which makes them thrive is not only uninformed and unrealistic, but also creates the dangerous illusion that the state is innocent and the settler movement is not. Both regularly defy international law, but without state support the settlement movements would not be able to ossify the occupation.
This is why BDS' targeting of the Israeli state is as justified as targeting the colonies and their products. It would be ludicrous to have argued that boycotting products from plantations in America's Civil War-era South was legitimate while action against the Confederate government was not. While slavery and occupation are two very distinct things, they are both state-supported systems that violate human rights. Until we accept the reality that pressure must be placed on the Israeli state to change its behavior, we will likely see the continuation of occupation and colonisation.
Thankfully, more and more people are waking up to this reality every day. Ironically, it is the rising tide of fascism in Israel that is the catalyst behind many of these recent epiphanies.
Yousef Munayyer is a writer and political analyst based in Washington, DC. He is currently the Executive Director of the The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development.
Posted @ 09:42