Archive | September 17th, 2010



September 17, 2010

by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat  

The Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the so called Kingdom of Judea.

By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

A Palestinian and an Israeli arguing over the disputed land.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting held in Tel Hai last february, Israeli PM Netanyahu said “Our existence depends not only on the IDF or our economic resilience – it is anchored in our store of knowledge and the national sentiment that we will bestow upon the coming generations, in our ability to justify our connection to the land.

Netanyahu was so eloquent in his statement and he managed to touch upon the problematic status quo of the state of Israel when he mentioned Israel’s ability to justify its connection to the occupied land of Palestine. But is it true? Are the Israelis of today the descendants of the ancient Israelites? Does merely being a Jew give anyone the right to claim connection to the land of Palestine and its history? I think it is up to historians not politicians to decide that.

Only by understanding history can we understand why things are the way they are right now. Many of the past events and histories in the world have shaped what we are as of now.

 Historians agree- despite the scanty archeological findings- that the ancient Israelites inhabited part of Palestine- or the southern Levant- thousands of years ago. But so did the Phoenicians, the Canaanites, Philistines , the Hittites and the Aramaeans. Nevertheless we do not find some Canaanite people – whom were at least mentioned in the Mesopotamian and Ancient Egyptian texts. – appearing in modern age after thousands of years had elapsed with claims to the right to return to the land of their ancestors.

 How did the ancient Israelites live in that part of the ancient Near East?

 Their old Bible states that they lived in a monarchy of a political and military power close enough to be the rival of magnificent kingdoms like the Egyptian, the Babylonian and the Hittites. But history and archeology says different. 

The Biblical Israelites

In his book “the Bible unearthed” The archeologist Israel Finkelstein states that although the book of Samuel, and initial parts of the book of Kings, portray Saul, David and Solomon ruling in succession over a powerful and cosmopolitan united kingdom of Israel and Judah, Finkelstein  regards modern archaeological evidence as showing that this is a pious fiction.

The Israelites lived as herders and farmers who never left their land.

 The united kingdom of Israel and Judah depicted in the bible was nothing more than a sparsely populated rural region, nomadic tribes at best until the 7th century BCE. And the whole region was an Egyptian protectorate extending north to where Syria is today.

And by following the Biblical story of the Israelites we will find out that they were driven out of their land in the form of mass exile in 607 BCE by the Babylonians, and from Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire.  Somehow we are more concerned with the second mass exile or what is better known as the “Diaspora” as it is the Zionists` pretext for claiming the right to return to their homeland.

According to Shlomo Sand in his bestseller book “ The invention of the Jewish people”, the description of the Jews as a wandering nation in exiles, “who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland,” is nothing but “national mythology.” For the ancient Israelite never left their homeland nor wandered across different parts of the world in what is known as the “Diaspora

Inventing the Diaspora

“After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people remained faithful to it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom” – thus states the preamble to the Israeli Declaration of Independence. This is also the quotation that opens the third chapter of Sand’s book, entitled “The Invention of the Diaspora.” Sand argues that the Jewish people’s exile from its land never happened.

“The supreme paradigm of exile was needed in order to construct a long-range memory in which an imagined and exiled nation-race was posited as the direct continuation of ‘the people of the Bible’ that preceded it,” Sand explains. Under the influence of other historians who have dealt with the same issue in recent years, he argues that the exile of the Jewish people is originally a Christian myth that depicted that event as divine punishment imposed on the Jews for having rejected the Christian gospel.

Sand added “I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land – a constitutive event in Jewish history, almost like the Holocaust. But to my astonishment I discovered that it has no literature. The reason is that no one exiled the people of the country. The Romans did not exile peoples and they could not have done so even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th century. From this, in effect, the whole book of shlomo sand was born: in the realization that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.” 

In his historical research, sand attempts to prove that the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the so called Kingdom of Judea. Their origins, according to him, are in varied peoples that converted to Judaism during the course of history, in different corners of the Mediterranean Basin and the adjacent regions. Not only are the North African Jews for the most part descendants of pagans who converted to Judaism, but so are the Jews of Yemen (remnants of the Himyar Kingdom in the Arab Peninsula, who converted to Judaism in the fourth century) and the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe (refugees from the Kingdom of the Khazars, who converted in the eighth century).

 The same conclusion was adopted by Arthur Koestler in his famous book The Thirteenth Tribe (1976). It advances the controversial thesis that the modern Jewish population originating from North / East Europe and Russia including their descendants, or Ashkenazim, are not descended from the historical Israelites of antiquity, but from Khazars, a people originating and populating the Caucasus region (historical Khazaria) who converted to Judaism in the 8th century and later voluntarily migrating or were forced to move westwards into current Eastern Europe (Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Germany and other places outside the Caucasus region) before and during the 12th and 13th century when the Khazar Empire was collapsing.

YouTube – Veterans Today -Ashkenazi Jews are NOT descendents of the Biblical Israelites!  

History’s final word

So this is how history unfolds to refute the Biblical narration of a kingdom of David and Solomon, negates the Diaspora ever happened and tells us that the current Jews are mainly the descendants of Khazar tribes, berber tribes in north Africa and Arabic tribes in Yemen who converted to Judaism and have no strong Genetic link to the Jews who lived in Palestine during Roman times something that Israel now is trying to prove otherwise by financing Genetic clinical trials that only revealed Genetic similarities amongst Jews expected of people with the common ancestral origins mentioned above.

A flag and the memories of the lost land of Palestine.

The UN records show that there are 5 million uprooted Palestinians today do not have the right of return to their homes despite the fact that Ashkenazi Jews (European, with no ties to biblical Israel other than their adoption of the Jewish religion) do. 

 History negates that the ancient Israelites ever left their home land and approves the thesis of their conversion to Islam in the 7th century and in doing so undermines the historical connection of modern Jews to the land of modern day Palestine. 

History says the chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that modern Israelis are its descendents.

Posted in Politics1 Comment



Army Vet and Muslim Sgt. Key to Saddam Capture Speaks Out on Islamophobia

September 17, 2010

by Michael Leon


Saddam’s last hiding place

– U.S. Army Sergeant Ayman A. Ibrahim’s intelligence directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Ibrahim speaks out now as a Muslim for America, and against the rampant Islamophobia in an America gone seemingly mad –

Exclusive to Michael Leon and Veterans Today

By Michael Leon

U.S. Army Sergeant Ayman A. Ibrahim (1985–2005 (ret.)) is a highly decorated military hero who despises this description.

Mr. Ibrahim’s preference aside, the former paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne (1985–1988) who received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct) among other citations, was a key figure as the senior interpreter (and interrogator) attached to the Saddam-hunting, American Special Forces Task Force 20.

Task Force 20

Task Force 20 located and captured Saddam on December 13, 2003 on a farm near Tikrit in central Iraq.

Task Force 20 is an elite and shadowy multiservice Special Forces unit reportedly composed of Marine Force Recon, Navy Seals, Army Delta Force and Rangers, and Air Force Special Operations personnel.

Ibrahim’s intelligence—derived by non-coercive interrogations and rapport-building—directly led to the capture of Saddam.

Informed personnel say American media reports and even books on Task Force 20 operations generally are rife with cover stories and misinformation, hence the often-used adjective “shadowy” by writers.

Currently working as a contractor supporting the U.S. mission, Ibrahim, now living in the Middle East, contacted Veterans Today to speak out against the Islamophobia gripping the United States as war clouds gather over Iran.

Ibrahim is an American Muslim who speaks fluent Arabic. After 9/11, working in California training mobilized National Guard troops and reserve units, Ibrahim saw his country under attack and badly wanted to work with a forward combat unit.

His sense of duty includes a heart-felt betrayal by those few calling themselves Muslim who attacked America.

“Ayman is a fiercely loyal guy who’s not only a roll-up your sleeves workhorse type, but has extremely sharp intellect under pressure. I have known him since our teenage days back in the early 80s when we rolled the California mean streets. He’s the kind of guy you want on your team; a man of integrity, principle-centered leadership, and mental toughness under extreme pressure that you absolutely need when you live in the trenches of warfare,” said John Allen, General Manager of the Veterans Today Network and long time friend, in an e-mail. 

I spoke with Ibrahim, reached in Amman, Jordan, by phone on 9/11 last Saturday—the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States—for about an hour.


Task Force 20 criticized for going in hard in 2003 (AFP/Marwan Naamani)

War and Task Force 20

Ibrahim, as I can perceive in a phone conversation, has an unusual intensity in his voice. He talks easily, tolerates frequent interruptions, but there appears fierce conviction behind his narratives and seemingly behind each spoken word, lending his vocalization a Carl Sagan-like quality.

“War is usually a failure. When we have war, diplomacy has failed. Something has failed. Someone has not done their jobs well. Say, the neocons and Richard Pearle, for example, they are either failing in preventing war or they are trying to start one,” said Ibrahim.

“The guys I worked with [Task Force 20] in Iraq, everyone has the idea of a Rambo, elite super soldiers [like those portrayed television series], but these guys are professionals. They don’t do things for kicks. They do their jobs, and treat human beings like human beings. If they have to go in hard, it’s because they are risking their lives. So some people who do not know what they are talking about give these guys a bad rap. But Task Force 20 is composed of professional, dedicated and smart people, and yes, they are very tough, and yes they are the best on the world. They have character.”


“These Islamophobes, Koran-burning, no Mosques or community centers. They betray America. I feel I have to speak out because this is not the America I know and love. They are not the Americans I believe in. I went through some events where after 9/11, security concerns were raised about me while I was a soldier because I am a Muslim. But my team, the people who I served with knocked that down right away,” said Ibrahim, referring to the post-9/11 days that sent him at his request to forward combat units, ultimately with Task Force 20.

“You get these people who say America is only this way. Only this belief. And if you don’t like it, ‘leave.’ That’s not America. You find your way in America, you pursue what you believe: That’s America and if you don’t like that, you can leave.”

This Mosque controversy in New York is so ridiculous. I’m willing to move the Islamic center to another location, but what is next; we need to identify what is the end game for these guys who are yelling hate. To equate all Muslims with terrorists is beyond foolish. Is Christianity a terrorist religion because of the KKK and the like? No. But I do not fear anti-Islamic bigotry. It’s nothing to me in the sense it is so foolish and so gutless that it presents no threat to me at all. But I speak against it now because I stand up against it as a proud American who has been challenged in other ways as a solider and a man.”

Ibrahim is a military man and his comments on the capture of Saddam Hussein are punctuated with references that are heavy on his belonging to a team.

But even now, seven years after the capture of Saddam, Ibrahim begs off precise details on Task Force 20 operations.

Ibrahim does say that one Iraqi walking away with a $25-million reward for the capture of the man who became known as the “Ace of Spades” are incorrect.

Warrior for Peace

“There is one instant in under fire where you can freeze or you can draw adrenalin from what is happening and in some ways love it, and crave it. I love it, and these Islamophobes are dangerous, but they are very weak and fearful people as individuals,” said Ibrahim with seeming contempt.

The vast majority of Muslims speak proudly of the tolerance of Islam that regards as prophets— Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

Listening to Ibrahim, I thought about the contradictions of being simultaneously religious and being an elite warrior for a state. But coming from Ibrahim, his words seem very convincing.

Ibrahim is a universalist. His commitments are social, concerned with the rights of his fellow human beings, raising in a listener the words of John Donne:

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind … 

Saddam Hussein Task Force 20

Saddam Hussein caught by Task Force 20

Ibrahim blows off specific questions about his present work in Amman, Jordan. Though he is undoubtedly intently focused on whatever he is doing, his words come back to the topic of America, Islamophobia and the growing scent of outright fascism.

So I ask Ibrahim speficially about Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Christian Zionists, and near-constant fear-mongering of the specter of a world Islamic mission of a presumably Sunni-Shia alliance imposing their will onto America.

Said Ibrahim, “I ask these haters who think they speak in the name of our beloved Prophet Jesus, please do as he preached and do not be a Bin Laden and interpret as you like to promote your own agenda of hate.” 

America and Americans are better and deserve better than being labeled as haters and racist people. They should not follow those few preaching hate as their moment will go away. But world perception will last, we need to protect our country from all those hateful people inside and out.”




The F-35s and the Lobby: let’s talk Empire

The Lobby-armacore-petrocore nexus is on a serious binge. Newspapers are reporting that the arms deal with Saudi Arabia has swollen to an estimated 60 billion dollars, the largest such deal ever made. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration is seeking Congressional approval to sell Saudi Arabia 84 F-15s and to upgrade 70 of them. The American defense industry will also sell the Saudis three kinds of helicopters: 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks, and 36 Little Birds. Alongside these sales, the administration is discussing upgrading the Saudi navy. That deal is potentially worth 30 billion dollars, and involves littoral combat ships, meant for close-to-shore combat, and blue water warships.

The word from US officials is that Israel is happy with the sales because the planes will be bereft of the long-range weapons systems that would presumably pose a threat to Israeli security. The Israelis will also soon be purchasing the F-35. “We appreciate the administration’s efforts to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge, and we expect to continue to discuss our concerns with the administration about the issues,” commented Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the US. What’s the role of the Lobby here? Seems straightforwardly despicable. It secured the several billion dollar wing deal for 800 of the 3200 F-35s, a little bit of financial lubrication that in effect diverts American taxpayer money into Israeli Aerospace Industries, an Israeli-state-owned industrial defense firm. We know what the Lobby does when it Lobbies. But what about everyone else?

Also straightforward. Potentially 60 billion Saudi Arabian petrodollars get pumped into the American military-industrial complex, creating tens of thousands of jobs in multiple states alongside massive profits, simultaneously quieting down labor, Congress, and associated commercial and industrial interests that will benefit from the reverberations of that economic activity in both the economic and political spheres. The labor leadership can quaver about how these arms sales serve the interests of working people, Congress can cower behind the need for jobs in a recession.

Meanwhile, articulate sectors that might otherwise put 2 and 2 together can be relied upon to shut up. Fragments of the liberal-left intelligentsia will quiet down due to ideological support for Israel and their skewed understand of its self-induced defense “needs,” while they will be loath to get too testy about the money flowing to Saudi Arabic, quietly aware that the dictatorship is not an enemy of Israel, although its population certainly is—or at least, an enemy of a bellicose, occupying Israel.

All of this, of course, is advertised as being in the “national interest,” as State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said yesterday. A remarkably flexible concept, useful for just about anything except telling the truth. In this case, the national interest is “to maintain security and stability in the region”: odd to pour in the weapons that could fuel regional conflagration when the goal is “stability.”

The question should never be, “Is There an Israel Lobby?” or “Is It Powerful?” Those are silly questions. The question is why other sectors of capital connive with and tolerate that Lobby. Easy answer, no? An order-of-magnitude larger amount of money flows into their coffers than “they”—but in reality, American taxpayers—lose to the Israeli defense industry. Furthermore, other sources report that a Lockheed Martin spokesman said Israel’s industrial participation agreement with the company is based on the country’s desire to eventually buy 75 F-35s.* Looks like things may even out eventually.

The F-35s aren’t scheduled to be delivered until 2015, which means any radar-evading properties they may have that would enable them to dodge Iranian radar wouldn’t help them if bombardment of Iran is incipient, clarifying that sober planners understand that Iran does not pose an existential threat to anyone, although its latent potential as a regional power that refuses to follow US orders is a constant threat—thus explaining imperial destabilization, as probably occurred during the post-election fracas in June 2009.

But the threat of military action against Iran provides a reason to pump up defense spending, keeping a constant excuse in place for that spending while American domestic infrastructure crumbles. People are kept scared and, scared, are prevented from asking questions about the distribution of American government cash. The Lobby does push hard for war, but other sectors of domestic power push against it—usually, the Pentagon, generals with their eye on the empire’s overall interests. Somehow that the Lobby hasn’t gotten its war with Iran is taken to be proof of its overweening power, while the hundreds of billions in post-2003 oil profits that have flooded American oil companies due to the “War for Israel” are deliberately, perhaps myopically, ignored. In this case, I think that the threat of war with Iran is functional for American oil companies, something they could not be unaware of.

If there actually was war against Iran—which there could be, the Lobby’s chicanery combined with domestic political dynamics could bring it about, although I doubt it—oil prices would go too high, and there would be energy substitution, people would seek other sources of energy, eventually leading the way to another crash in oil prices. Such a crash would be disastrous for the oil industry, which has enormous fixed capital costs and will have to pump that oil even at a slight loss, or simply cap its wells, equally damaging since the investment will be standing physically idle, unable to generate profits.

And if that war happens, the retaliation from Hezbollah will be fierce. Rockets will pummel Tel-Aviv and other Israeli population centers. There will be massive destruction across the Middle East, and Israel will not be spared. And because of the Lobby’s justly perceived role in bringing about the war, anti-Semitism will skyrocket. This is a very oddly-named “Israel/Zionist/Jewish Lobby” that is so bad for Jews, Israel, and Zionism. Alongside talk of the Lobby, we need to talk about political economy. So why can’t we talk profits, oil, weapon shipments, the military-industrial complex, and imperialism? Why is contextualizing and actually analyzing the Lobby taken to be tantamount to denying it? If there are answers, I would like to hear them.

* Israel is apparently only slated to pay 96 million per jet, as opposed to what seems like the retail cost (150-160 million dollars apiece).

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Posted in Middle EastComments Off on LET’S TALK EMPIRE



Rush Limbaugh and Terry “Koran Burner” Jones High were School Chums

September 17, 2010

by Gordon Duff

Is it only a coincidence that Rush Limbaugh and Terry Jones graduated together from Cape Girardeau’s Central High School, Missouri in 1969?  

Veterans For Peace Speak DOVE to DOVE for 9/11 Truth 

One of the first articles to warn Pastor Terry Jones was making a disturbing promise to burn Qurans on every anniversary of 9/11 was published on July, 26th. (1)  The story grew to command international coverage for Jones’s inflammatory intent to blame a billion Muslims for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 


In an attempt to defuse the consequences of Jones’ dangerously executed first amendment right, Gainesville Mayor, Craig Lowe declared Saturday, 9/11 to be “Interfaith Solidarity Day”. 

The Gainesville Muslim Initiative (GMI) followed to sponsor a Day of Peace and Unity with activities and speakers invited at center stage to present their themes of Peace and reconciliation at the Bo Diddley stage at Gainesville’s downtown plaza. 

Veterans For Peace (VFP) and members made two presentations at the Gainesville City Commission meetings in August to inform the commission, City manager and public that our government has been unable or unwilling to prove that Muslims, Islam or the Quran was connected to the events of 9/11.  Instead, the perception of Muslim “blame” for 9/11 was the job of corporate media in a relentless campaign of ignorance and disinformation. (2)   

Armed with little more than media mind-washing, Pastor Jones was willing to commit slander and willful endangerment of US citizens who choose Islam as their religion of choice.  The Media and the Banksters who own them no doubt continue to delight in their success in a nine year propaganda campaign of deception. 

Veterans For Peace (VFP) considers the anniversary of 9/11 an important day of remembrance backed by a demand for a new investigation of the events of 9/11 based on ground-breaking forensic evidence published in 2009.   Ignored by the Media, these documents – when presented as evidence in a court of law to re-investigate 9/11 – could finally provide answers to the families for the still unexplained murder of their loved-ones, wives, husbands and family members. 

Pursuant to Title 18 USC § 2382, Misprision of treason and 18 USC § 4. Misprision of felony, several packets containing these and related documents were placed in 9X12 envelopes and distributed to Gainesville and Alachua County Managers, the Alachua County Sheriff – Sadie Darnell, the local FBI office, State Attorney, Bill Cervone and Dove Outreach Center’s assistant pastor, Ludger Boecken. (3) 

In late August, I attended a Wednesday evening service at Dove Outreach where Pastor Boecken held evening worship.  Afterward, I introduced myself to Ludger and his wife, Heike who invited me to join them for a meal in the Lisa Jones House, next door. 

I found Ludger and Heike to be intelligent and engaging. I was encouraged when Ludger revealed he was a physician in Germany.  An advanced degree assured he was aware of the importance of applying the rigors of the scientific method to validate a medial diagnosis or a theory of cause and effect. 

When the time came, I advised Ludger that Pastor Jones was advocating a position that would put him, the church and his supporters on the wrong side of history.  

While I came with high respect for his First Amendment rights, our mission was to inform the Church leaders that no court or government has proved that Muslims, Islam or the Holy Qur’an were involved with the 9/11 terror attacks.  I asked Ludger to watch the DVD that was acknowledged by the FBI and to read the peer-reviewed analysis published by an international team of scientists who found large quantities of a powerful and exotic nano-thermite compound in the dust at ground zero capable of inflicting massive destruction to the Twin Towers and WTC-7. (4)  

Ludger picked up the Thermitic research paper and read the abstract and several more pages while I consumed a delicious portion of vegetables.  At page four he stopped to ask serious questions and that signaled he regarded the material as genuine and important. After a 10 minute chat I suggested we talk again after he reviewed all the material.  Ludger said he would look at all the information.  Heike invited me back to the Sunday worship. 

Luke Jones spoke to me before I left. As the pastor’s son he predictably defended his father on every issue. I noticed he was carrying a semi-automatic pistol in a holster. I asked if he had a permit and he admitted he was still expecting to get one. I asked him if it was lawful to carry a gun that way. He said it didn’t matter because the property owner (his father) gave him permission to carry it. I showed Luke my concealed weapon permit so he would know what his would look like. 

 I attended a total of four services where I eventually heard Pastor Jones and assistant Pastor, Wayne Sapp speak. Wayne frequently lapses from English to the Charismatic church’s alternates language of  “tongues. Sapp is a prolific “speaker” in either language. 

At one service I approached Jones while wearing my VFP shirt with the helmet and “Dove” logo.  Keeping his distance, I thought he regarded my Dove as an insult to the Church logo but then I caught a whiff of the 86 proof, self medication.  Jones is probably suffering from years of alcohol abuse.  In one sermon he broke into a discussion about “Jack Daniels”.  In another sermon he opined that a solution to the Muslim problem might necessarily include “blood in the streets’ of America. 

In late August, Jones began to pull back from his initial hard line rhetoric that linked the entire Muslim world to the 9/11 terror attacks. He began speaking more about “radical” Islam instead. 

A week following our first meeting Pastor Boecken was noticeably uncomfortable talking about the Thermitic paper or Richard Gage’s evidentiary DVD, “Blueprint For Truth”.  Although he acknowledged reviewing the material, Ludger was reluctant to put his opinion on the record by discussing it.  At the same time, Ludger was noticeably distancing himself from Jones and Sapp in the weeks leading up to 9/11. 

Although the Dove Pastors are known to meet frequently in “prayer” sessions it remains unknown if Jones’ full retreat from burning Qurans had anything to do with Ludger’s possible 9/11 Truth input to Jones and Sapp. We’re more confident that Ludger became a skeptic to the “official” conspiracy theory that scapegoats Muslims for the 9/11 attacks. 

Media Propaganda Responsible for Creating the Burning Quran Crisis 

Terry Jones, Wayne Sapp and Ludger Boecken, had become victims of corporate media’s nine year campaign of disinformation where Muslims are used as scapegoats.  This myth continues to be promoted through relentless propaganda that doubles-down to support the “official conspiracy theory” of the Bush/Cheney administration. 

For example, corporate media is blocked from informing the America people that the FBI has no evidence to indict Osama Bin Laden for 9/11.  After all, the military-industrial pundits might have to answer as to why we are chasing Bin Laden into Pakistan. The Media has successfully convinced us it was the terror attacks by Bin Laden that forced Bush to send our troops to an illegal invasion of two sovereign countries and the death of nearly one million civilians. (5) 

The “experts” would also have to confront questions about why the BBC and the foreign press let it slip that several “allegedly dead” hijackers were found alive shortly after the attacks. One “dead” hijacker gave a news conference that documented his identity and state of health.  But these screaming headline-worthy items were never reported in US Media. (6) 

Investigate 9/11 then Build the Ground Zero Mosque in Peace 

“The prime factor for the success of the criminal mission known as 9/11 did not come from the quarter known as ‘militant Islam,’ although the phenomenon known as ‘militant Islamic networks’ may have played a partial role, or even a less than partial role – perhaps the role of patsy and scapegoat,” — Dr. Faiz Khan, long-time associate of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, promoter of the Ground Zero Mosque.  (Mosque imam’s associate calls WTC attacks an ‘inside job’)

The Common theme of religious persecution of Muslims was playing out at the Dove Outreach in Gainesville and the Ground Zero Mosque in Manhattan. The stories seemed coincidental until Jones invented a way to start backing out of his promised Quran Barbeque. 

The two stories converged on 9/9 when Terry Jones suddenly announced he was looking for a “sign” to let him know why he should not burn Qurans.  

On Thursday 9/9, Ed Reyes of Gators911Truth, Bob Tuskin of and I attended the Dove Outreach News conference where Terry Jones announced he was looking for a “sign” to cancel the scheduled Quran burn event on 9/11. We happened to have a 9/11 Truth sign we placed behind Terry Jones that was broadcast on MSNBC with comment from Chris Matthews and Larry O’Donnell.  (07)  

From this point Jones would attempt to hold the fate of the Ground Zero Mosque hostage to his threat to burn Qurans on 9/11.  

Jones carried out a charade of double-talk to insinuate himself into the Ground Zero Mosque outcome, but to little avail. A Saturday news program showed him at LaGuardia airport as if he were on his way to a meeting with the Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf  

On Monday the New York Post revealed that a long time an associate of the Imam, Dr. Faiz Khan, was convinced that 9/11 was an inside job. (08) On reading this, I called my friend, Dr. Hesham Tillawi to suggest a suggestion from him to Imam Rauf that he take advantage of the moment to demand a new 9/11 investigation to put an end the scapegoating of Muslims for a crime they never committed. After that, the Ground Zero project could proceed without prejudice and the negative propaganda of corporate media. (09) 

Hate Speech?  Net Neutrality and the First Amendment may have suffered a setback when Dove websites were taken down by an anonymous complaint. 

 “What we did was to terminate them as a Rackspace customer because they had violated the contract,” Goodgame said.  He said the move had been requested by a complaint about the content posted by Dove World Outreach Center, but declined to say from where it had come.  (Host company pulls plug on Florida pastor’s website)

Related Articles


  1. Florida church plans to burn Korans on 9/11 anniversary
  2. Griffin America Attacked on 9/11
  3. 9/11 Evidence Packet
  4. The Open Chemical Physics Journal
  5. FBI 10 Most Wanted List
  6. Dead: Hijackers found alive after 9/11 attacks – 
  7. High Jack Suspects Alive and Well 
  8. What Really Happened 
  9. 9/11 Planet Channel
  10. Manhattan Imam is Nuts
  11. Hesham Tillawi  – Hesham Tillawi YouTube
  12. Service Provider Pulls Web Site



Posted in EducationComments Off on TERRY THE KORAN BURNER



BGU reprimands two more students over protests

Harsh and disproportionate penalty would bar students from political activism, says one student.

By Or Kashti

A disciplinary tribunal reprimanded two Ben-Gurion University students on Wednesday for taking part in a protest over May’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla and said it would suspend them if they repeated their actions.

Rivka Carmi September 16, 2010 Alberto Denkberg

Rivka Carmi, president of Ben-Gurion University.

Photo by: Alberto Denkberg

One of the students, Ran Tzoref, said the “harsh and disproportional penalty would bar students from political activism.”

This week, the Be’er Sheva-based institution began taking disciplinary action against students involved in campus protests in violation of university regulations. On Tuesday, it brought a student who was involved in a demonstration for maintenance workers’ rights before a disciplinary panel. In all, seven students are slated to be disciplined, with potential penalties as severe as suspension from classes.

Students and faculty members have castigated the university’s decision, which they say infringes on the students’ freedom of expression. University administrators say they are enforcing the institution’s regulations.

Dr. Dani Filc, head of BGU’s Politics and Government Department, who represented the two students at yesterday’s hearing, complained that university regulations do not enable demonstrations on short notice. Moreover, he said, bringing a small number of demonstrators before a tribunal constituted discrimination.

Tzoref charged that “the decision’s main purpose seems to be to intimidate students and deter them from political activity.”

“We have no intention of violating regulations on a daily basis, but the university has sent a clear message that any small deviation from its restrictive, undemocratic regulations will lead to our suspension from classes,” he said.

He added that the students intend to continue fighting against the university’s restrictions and are considering appealing the tribunal’s decision.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel yesterday joined in the criticism of BGU’s conduct. “Ben-Gurion University has a dubious reputation for upholding students’ freedom of expression,” ACRI’s Anat Hod said. “We have appealed to the court in the past to oblige the university to allow students to demonstrate on campus, but its conditions and restrictions almost nullify the court’s ruling.”

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on THIS IS ZIONISM




Feeling the loyalty to the Jewish state

* Feeling the loyalty to the Jewish state

Sep 16, 2010

Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana

The Israeli Knesset is debating a bill proposed by David Rotem of the extreme right Yisrael Beiteinu party that would require all Israeli citizens to swear loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.” This bill is targeted at increasing pressure on the twenty percent of Israelis who are Palestinian citizens while forcing the ultra Orthodox Jewish minority who reject the legitimacy of any state not based on Jewish biblical law to accept Zionism. If passed in its proposed form, citizens unwilling to take the loyalty oath would be at risk of losing citizenship.

Israeli leaders committed to a classic secular political Zionist platform have always fought at all costs to guard Israel’s “Jewish character,” even while they reveal their inability to properly define exactly what it is. The loyalty oath and push for a two-state solution are the most profound examples of the insecurity that has roiled beneath the surface in Jewish Israeli society since the state’s inception. Without a Jewish majority exhibiting clear legal and political dominance over the non-Jewish or non-Zionist minority, the Zionist movement becomes meaningless. So as the Palestinian-Israeli minority actively resists its dispossession and the ultra-Orthodox stubbornly reject the concept of a Jewish state, the Israeli establishment feels increasingly compelled to seek draconian measures to salvage its vision of Zionism.

The loyalty oath was one of the main platform issues for Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s far right Yisrael Beitenu party when it campaigned in 2009. “No citizenship without loyalty,” was among Lieberman’s most effective campaign slogans (his other slogan: “Only Lieberman speaks Arabic”), helping guide his party to an astonishing third place, with 15 of the 120 seats in Israeli Parliament. The draft bill currently debated in the Parliament would allow the Interior Ministry to strip even native Israelis of their nationality if they refused to swear allegiance to the Jewish state and “its symbols and values,” and failed to profess their willingness to perform military service. Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, has explicitly endorsed the bill.

After the proposed law failed its first reading in the Knesset due to opposition from a handful of liberal members of the ruling Likud party, Yisrael Beiteinu released the following statement: “Yisrael Beitenu will continue to act for Israel’s basis as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and will fight against disloyalty and the negative exploitation of Israeli democracy.” In July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has approved a similar bill requiring all new citizens to take an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state. The measure would make attaining citizenship nearly impossible for Palestinians residing inside Israel.

The following month, we met the loyalty bill’s author, David Rotem, at his home in the illegal West Bank settlement of Efrat. A self-described “very Zionistic” politician with a hulking frame and a pronounced limp resulting from a bout of polio, Rotem described in a gravely voice his vision of Israeli democracy. “Tyranny of the majority is the heart of democracy,” he declared. “Call it what you want but democracy is the rule of the majority. And it’s not a tyranny if the majority decides against the minorities.”

Besides the loyalty oath bill, political factions ranging from far-right settler parties to opposition leader Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima Party have proposed no less than 14 pieces of legislation this year which the Association for Civil Rights in Israel defines as anti-democratic. (Rotem is the author of six of the bills). They include laws that would send citizens to jail for encouraging the rejection of Israel as a Jewish state, strip filmmakers of state funding if their work was deemed anti-Israel, and prosecute any Israeli who publishes material calling for a boycott of Israel. Other lesser-publicized bills have been introduced to block Palestinian residents of Israel from returning to confiscated land or from reuniting with family members from the West Bank or Gaza.

While leftist Israelis chant, “Fascism will not pass!” at demonstrations in East Jerusalem, former Knesset member and commentator Yossi Sarid entitled a recent column, “Fascism is already here.” Citing the swath of anti-democratic bills being debated in the Knesset, the support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet have offered for most of them, and the near total lack of opposition from the Israeli mainstream, Sarid remarked, “Israeli democracy is mainly for decoration, like a tree grown for its beauty, not to bear fruit. Few people actually use it or the rights it affords.”

Of all the anti-democratic bills recently introduced in the Knesset, Rotem’s loyalty law carries the most disturbing undertones, recalling some of the darkest periods in recent history. Well before the Nazi government initiated its campaign of genocide against Germany’s Jewish minority, its political leadership introduced the “stab-in-the-back” legend, accusing Jews in a virtual mantra of disloyalty to the German army and a general lack of patriotism. During the anticommunist furor of America’s McCarthy era, teachers and lawmakers in several states were forced to sign loyalty oaths to prove they were not “subversive,” prompting a crackdown on public servants, including a disproportionate number of Jews, who believed their constitutional rights were being violated.

In Israel, a right-wing student group called Im Tirtzu which has gained endorsements from Netanyahu and his education minister Gideon Saar has demanded a purge of all “post-Zionist and anti-Zionist” professors from the university system. To support Im Tirtzu’s campaign, a popular Israeli singer named Amir Benayoun recorded a song hectoring Israeli leftists and Arabs for “knifing” Israel in the back. It contained the following lyrics:

After they failed to kill me from the outside You come and kill me from inside
I always charge forward with my back to you But you sharpen the knife

An Experiment In Fascism

With a fascist mood permeating Israeli government and society, we set out into the streets of central Jerusalem to engage young revelers on the issue of loyalty. Because Israel is debating legislation claiming that it is alone the Jewish sovereign state and has the authority to speak in the name of the “Jewish people,” we thought that the opinions of supporters of Israel from the Jewish diaspora were an essential element in any discussion about the proposed loyalty bill. Given the already simmering controversy over ‘dual loyalty’ in the United States, the topic needed to be explored thoroughly and unflinchingly. Did the Zionist loyalty oath represent a fulcrum point in the ‘dual loyalty’ debate for diaspora Jews? Would diaspora Jews have any objection to taking an oath to defend the Jewish state? If so, did that put their allegiance to their country of residence in question?

Ultimately, we sought to determine the extent to which the Jewish public in Israel and abroad was ready to accept fascism in any form. To get a better sense of public opinion — an incomplete snapshot, but a sense nonetheless — we asked interview subjects if they would swear before our camera an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state. Our oath was deliberately crafted with the most provocative language possible, based almost word-for-word on the Führereid, or the oath that Wehrmacht soldiers had to swear to Adolph Hitler from 1934 to 1945.

The Wehrmacht oath read as follows:

I swear by God this holy oath, that I want to offer unconditional obedience to the Fuhrer of the German Empire and people, Adolf Hitler, the commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, and be prepared as a brave soldier to risk my life for this oath at any time.

And here is the oath of loyalty to the Jewish state that our interview subjects read on camera:

I swear by Hashem [the Jewish God] that I want to offer unconditional loyalty to the Jewish state of Israel, to its leaders and the commanders of its Jewish army. I am prepared as a loyal supporter of the Jewish state to risk my life for this oath at any time.

Were we suggesting that the Jewish state of Israel represented a new incarnation of Hitler’s Third Reich? Of course not. We repudiate sweeping comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany as shallow and ahistorical. Instead, we imagined our video project as a version of the “Third Wave” experiment undertaken by history teacher Ron Jones at Cubberly High School in Southern California in 1967.

Seeking to demonstrate the susceptibility of average citizens to fascism, Jones ordered his students to accept a regimen of strict discipline and community including sig heil salutes, responding to questions while standing and in three words or less, and carrying membership cards at all times. “Strength through discipline,” was the motto of the movement Jones claimed to be promoting. By the fourth day of the experiment, the students’ enthusiasm for the project had spread to other classes throughout the school. Finally, Jones ordered his students to attend a rally where a presidential candidate from their “Third Wave” movement would announce his candidacy. When the students arrived, however, Jones revealed to them that they had been subjects in an experiment about the appeal of fascism, and that they had eagerly replicated the structure of Nazi German society.

Our own experiment exposed an equally disturbing trend among the young Israelis and Jewish supporters of Israel we spoke to. In some cases, our interview subjects eagerly requested to read the loyalty oath on camera without any prompting, and added their own personal touch to it — usually they emphasized phrases like “Jewish state” and “Jewish army.” These subjects were generally new immigrants who had left their families behind in order to join the army and a brand new life in Israel. Jewish internationals (most were studying at Jerusalem-area yeshivas for the year) who took the oath defended it on the basis that Israel was a state for the Jews, and therefore did not have to comply with the regulations of normal Western democracies. Only two interviewees refused to take the oath. Though they based their refusal on the possibility that Israel might commit grave human rights crimes in the distant future, they were admittedly unable to define the nature of the abuses that would turn them against the state.

If our interviews demonstrated anything, it is that anyone in any country can fall prey to the psychological lures of fascism. Jews are no exception.

This article originally appeared on Alternet. Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author based in New York City. Joseph Dana is a writer and filmmaker living in Jerusalem.

* Pressure grows on Harvard to cancel Peretz honor

Sep 16, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

The Harvard Social Studies Committee is meeting tomorrow to make a final decision on whether to move forward with their event planned to honor Marty Peretz. A source at Harvard tells me, “there is a LOT of internal dissent on this.” One sign of that dissent is this open letter that is ciruclating from “concerned members of the Social Studies Community and others at Harvard.” The letter reads:

Dear organizers of the Social Studies 50th anniversary commemoration: 

As members of the Social Studies community, we strongly oppose the decision to feature Martin Peretz as a speaker at the 50th anniversary of Social Studies, as well as the reported creation of a fund for undergraduate research in his name. 

As you know, Peretz has publicly aligned himself with the xenophobic campaign against the proposed Islamic cultural center in Manhattan, lauding it as “the closest thing we’ve had to a genuinely grass roots effort against the casual and elitist First Amendment fundamentalists.” He insists as “a statement of fact, not value” that “Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims.” 

These remarks cannot be dismissed as an aberration.  Peretz has a long and sordid public record of racist statements directed against various groups.  He has described “Arab society” as “hidebound and backward” and claimed (in an article later removed from The New Republic website) that “We have higher standards of civilization than [Arabs] do.”  He has opined that “Latin societ[ies]” enjoy “characteristic deficiencies” such as “congenital corruption” and “near-tropical work habits.”  Peretz has declared that “So many in the black population are afflicted by cultural deficiencies” and that “in the ghetto a lot of mothers don’t appreciate the importance of schooling.”1  Peretz’ belated attempt to “apologize” for a portion of a recent blog posting about Muslims – prompted only by condemnation in The New York Times – does not erase this legacy of bigotry. 

We are aware that on this occasion some may prefer to ignore Peretz’ vitriol and instead focus purely on his role in the Social Studies program.  We also understand the appeal of accepting donations that would support student research.  There are, however, larger concerns at stake that call for a principled stand at this moment.  Social Studies describes itself as a community of independent thinkers “who share not only a fascination with social science research and theory but also concerns about pressing social, political, and economic problems facing contemporary societies.” Today in the United States there is an unmistakable and alarming resurgence of the open expression of racist and xenophobic attitudes, in this case directed against Muslims.  We cannot ignore the historical moment in which we live.  And we can be sure that history will not ignore a decision to publicly honor Martin Peretz.

You can read and sign the open letter here.

* Rejecting the ’self-hatred’ label

Sep 16, 2010

Lillian Rosengarten

Lillian Rosengarten is due to set out soon on the Jewish boat for Gaza.

Within the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the charge of “self-hating Jew” or “Jewish anti-Semite” can only be understood as an ugly way to strike back at those Jews who speak out in protest against the Israeli government’s continuing and brazen violations of the human rights of the Palestinian population.

The insulting accusation “Self-hating Jew” is intended by intolerant dogmatists to undermine and intimidate those of us who speak and act in defiance of the Zionists’ embrace of nationalism and militarism, and the decades of suppression and hatred toward the Palestinians. Those who invoke the label are desperate to quell opposition to the continuing oppression, and occupation of Palestinian lands. By building a psychological wall against their critics, they hope to justify their policies to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this includes those members of AIPAC and many of those who so far have been unwilling to face the painful truths. But the fact is that extreme Jewish nationalists have shattered the once-beautiful dream of Israel as a beacon of hope and light for the rest of the world to appreciate and admire.

Try to imagine what would have happened if the new state of Israel had reached out to embrace their neighbors in a spirit of peace and conciliation. Can anyone imagine the beauty of Israel if compassion and an open heart had healed the hate and fear that marked the Holocaust years? Instead, it seems to me that today’s Israeli agenda is based on a desire for a Zionist Jewish state that diminishes the aspirations of all other populations who claim any right to the land in which they lived for so long.

But when land is taken and occupied, when populations are under siege, and there is no attempt at genuine reconciliation, there can be no peace, only a perpetuation of hate. From this perspective, it is the accused who becomes righteous and the accuser who is demonized as “Self–hating Jew.”

I ache for Israel and its path of blind destruction. I ache for the displaced and brutalized Palestinians who suffer under the hands of their oppressors. But it is not easy for Jewish dissenters to speak out. They are made outcasts within the Jewish communities. They are not supported even by some progressive Jews, who take a hard line position in support of the Israeli government or are too intimidated to speak out.

My disillusionment has been devastating as I have watched how the scalding memory of the Holocaust is now misused to justify and defend appalling acts of injustice, the occupation, the military might, the prisons, the destruction of homes, the containment of the water supply, the wars against Lebanon and the inhabitants of Gaza, the threats of bombing Iran. How can we accept the loss of the human spirit and of hope for generations of displaced Palestinian families? How can we forget the children, born into hate, living still in crowded camps, breeding grounds for endless terrorism and further conflict.

It was difficult for me to observe the demonization of Judge Richard Goldstone, a jurist and South African proud Jew who set out to investigate human rights and international humanitarian human rights violations during the Gaza conflict last year. He concluded that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes. Here was an opportunity to reflect and discuss, to have debates and engage in further investigations on both sides. Shockingly, his findings were met with labels of “self-hating Jew”.

It is a complicated question, how a hunted people became the hunters, how the victims became the victimizers. It may well be that it is the Israelis who feel the most persecuted; many of them still carry generations of hatred inflicted on them and surely it has shaped the direction of their society. In my view, this hatred has been projected onto the “other”– be it Palestinian or Bedouin, Muslim or dissenting Jew.

In order to change the cycle of endless suffering for Jews and Palestinians, the Israeli powers that be can only benefit from self -examination, and honest and open dialogue which includes the “enemy.” The goal must be mutual commonality and an end to demonizing the other. Left unexamined, the projection of hate onto those with other views and with diverse political persuasions succeeds only in perpetuating endless suffering and further hatred that festers, destroys and grows more virulent with each new generation.

* Shining a light on the settlements

Sep 16, 2010

Adam Horowitz

Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon have an article on The Nation website in support of the Israeli actors boycott of the new performing center in the West Bank settlement Ariel. They write that part of the power of the action is that it brings attention to the reality of life in the occupied territories, which is often ignored. From An Unsettling Protest in Israel:

Ariel, with a population of about 18,000, is one of the largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Already extending twelve miles past the Green Line, Ariel continues to grow. In January Israel announced the development of the Ariel University Center, with plans to triple the size of the campus of a local college and to build a neighborhood for housing the new faculty and staff. The settlement is one of the sites of the expansion criticized by President Obama last year, when he pushed Israel to adopt a freeze in new settlement construction as a step toward renewing peace negotiations (as every American president since settlements began in 1967 has had occasion to do).

Ariel cuts deep into the West Bank, blocking off villages from one another, forcing Palestinians to travel extra-long distances around the settlement to reach the area’s commercial center of Salfit. Villages to the north are cut off from Salfit altogether by Ariel’s bypass road. Salfit itself has no room to expand for economic development or population growth because Israel has claimed every bit of land around it, and a few years ago the Israeli army prevented the town from building a water-treatment plant. Meanwhile, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, Ariel’s sewage runs down into the Palestinians’ agricultural valleys – a blatant metaphor for the way settlers’ privileges come at the cost of Palestinian human rights.

You can drive easily from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem onto the four-lane settlement road and arrive in this Jews-only bedroom community of pretty, red-roofed houses and suburban shopping centers – and the John Hagee Sports Center, named after the Texas televangelist who has donated millions of dollars to the settlement – and not notice that you’ve actually left Israel. The theater artists who will not play in Ariel are refusing because they want to break through this carefully constructed illusion of seamlessness to shine their spotlights on the true nature of such places.

* The Search for 1948

Sep 16, 2010 

Hannah Mermelstein

Shifting Sands cover

The following is a chapter from the important new book Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation. From the book’s website, “Shifting Sands brings to life the Jewish anti-occupation perspective through personal stories by activists such as Starhawk, Anna Baltzer, Jen Marlowe, Alice Rothchild, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein (of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla) and others.” The book also includes introductory material from Cindy Sheehan and Amira Hass. Shifting Sands is available on

“Where do you want to go?” asked the taxi driver, expecting to give me a short ride and collect a few shekels.

“Baqa’a,” I replied, “but it’s a bit of a project.”

The West Jerusalem neighborhood of Baqa’a was only a ten-minute drive from our location in East Jerusalem. The “project” was that the house I was looking for had existed 60 years ago, and time travel takes somewhat more detective work than the simple recitation of an address.

“I’m looking for a house from 1948,” I told the driver, who introduced himself as Abed. I handed him Munir’s diagram of a house that looked similar to hundreds of other old homes in the Jerusalem area.

“Is it yours?” he asked.

“No, a friend’s.”

I had recently discovered that my friend Munir, whom I know from Boston and had always known as Lebanese, had actually been born in Jerusalem. In 1948, at the age of four, he and his family, along with 800,000 Palestinian people, were forced out of their home by pre-Israeli forces. The family fled to Lebanon, where Munir’s father, Najeeb Jirmanus, had lived before moving to Jerusalem 20 years earlier. Nobody in the family had been back to Palestine since 1948, so I asked Munir if, on my next trip to Jerusalem, he would like me to try and find his house. He gathered some information, including a few nearby landmarks and a diagram of the house, which Abed was now studying. Abed agreed to help.

I sat quietly, hoping he knew the neighborhoods well enough to help me. I had planned to seek out an older taxi driver, possibly someone who spoke English so I could make sure to communicate every detail I knew. Abed was a young man who spoke very little English, but he seemed interested in and moved by the project. He immediately began to call all the older people he knew.

“Do you know where the Jordanian embassy was before 1948?” he would ask, offering up our major landmark.

“Yes,” one man told him, “but it wasn’t in Baqa’a.”

“No,” said another, “there was barely a Jordan at that time. How could there be a Jordanian embassy?”

So we began to drive, looking for the other smaller landmarks or for people who might recognize Munir’s father’s name. Abed would pull over next to every older person he saw (Palestinian or Israeli), and ask about the Ummah school, the Jordanian embassy, and the British army women’s headquarters. Some people were vaguely helpful, some not. A few informed us in a slightly insulted tone that they were not yet born in 1948.

We left Baqa’a and crossed the street to another, mostly Palestinian neighborhood. We thought we would have a better chance of finding people who wanted to and could actually help, having perhaps been in the neighborhood before 1948. Not two minutes later, we passed an old man and Abed stopped. We got out of the car, said hello, and explained what we were doing.

“You’re in luck,” said the man, “I know more about these neighborhoods than anyone else in the area.”

Before I knew it, his wife was serving me coffee in the middle of the street. The man suggested she and his daughters go ahead without him, as he would join us in the taxi in exchange for a ride home afterwards.

We drove for half an hour with little success, and then the man suggested we stop at an old house on the corner. We knocked on the door, and an old Israeli man answered. He took one look at the three of us and asked, “Are you looking for someone who used to live here?” He opened the door and let us in.

“You’re in luck,” he said, “I know more about these neighborhoods than anyone else in the area.”

So here I was inside a house with Abed the taxi driver and two older men, one Palestinian and one Israeli, who said they knew everything there was to know about this part of Jerusalem. They talked for a few minutes and argued amicably for a few more in a combination of Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The interaction had an air of pre-Zionism to it that is difficult to explain. They used language of “Arab” and “Jew” instead of “Palestinian” and “Israeli,” which many people do, but it seemed more appropriate in this situation than usual. As though nationalism and the way it has played out could not taint this simple human search for an old home.
I had started the trip late in the day. By this time it was getting dark, and I was running late for a meeting. We had gathered some information that might help us for next time, and I had a few questions to ask Munir. We took our leave, after writing down the name and phone number of the Israeli man so we could try again another day.


Two weeks later, with semi-clear skies above after a week of nonstop rain, I made plans to meet Abed in Jerusalem. This time, I was armed with more precise directions from Munir, including names of other people who lived and worked in the area and, most importantly, a photograph taken from their front yard in 1940.
Abed met me and excitedly said he knew where the house was, that he had gone back there after our last search. I showed him the photograph and we drove towards the area. We parked and began to walk around, holding up the photograph to each gate and entrance. We found one house that looked similar; however, there was a huge construction project under way directly on top of it. We approached and asked the Palestinian construction workers what they knew about the house, which wasn’t much. We were stopped on the way out by an Israeli manager. Abed explained in Hebrew that we were trying to find a house. The man glanced at the photo and said, “Yes, this looks like the house.”

Another manager came out and ordered us off the property. “This isn’t the house,” he said. “There was nothing here before 1948.”

Feeling torn, we stood outside for a few minutes and looked around.

“We need to find an Israeli to help us,” said Abed finally. “They think you and I are here to claim the house because I’m Arab and you have papers in your hand. They don’t know we’re only here to look and photograph.”

“We should take the house,” I replied, only half joking.

At this point, we realized this was probably not the house. The gate looked the same but we couldn’t figure out the angles in the photograph and it just didn’t seem right. Another older Israeli man on the street asked if he could help. Abed explained that we were searching for a house, and the man joined us for the next 20 minutes as we walked around the neighborhood. We kept finding similar sights, but none of them fit together. Finally he asked, “Are you sure the house is in the German Colony?”

“No,” I replied, “it’s in Baqa’a.”

Apparently, the older Israeli man who had helped us the first time had convinced Abed to come to this area and I, unfamiliar with West Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, had gone along for the ride. Realizing we were in the wrong neighborhood, we got back into the car and headed to the Israeli man’s house, where we had paused our search two weeks earlier. He answered the door and I shared my new information with him. The house we were searching for was near the Trans-Jordanian consulate, I told him, not the Jordanian embassy, and there was a road that went down from the main street towards their house. These two pieces of information were all he needed. He followed me out to the street, pointed, and said, “Go two more traffic lights. The Allenby building is probably what you mean, and that’s on your left. There’s a street that goes down from there on the right.”

We quickly drove those two blocks, turned right, parked, and started walking down. The streets were different than they were described to me, and the building supposedly on the corner wasn’t there. But sure enough, after a few minutes of meandering, I found myself in front of the large building that was in the background of the photo I was holding. I positioned myself exactly at the angle that the photo was taken from, and looked around. One street continued to go down, so I took it. To my right was a synagogue that I guessed was either Munir’s property or their neighbor’s. I hoped it was not his, that I would not have to tell him his house had been completely destroyed and replaced by a synagogue.

We passed the synagogue and stopped in front of the gate to the next house. This was it. Different from the photo, but with the same dimensions, and seemingly the right distance from the larger building up the street. We entered and found ourselves on the stone path described in the e-mail I had in my hand from Munir’s older brother: “…continue along the stone-paved path… some 8 meters, you reach the level of the house… Move some 10 more meters and you will have the six stone steps (to the left) that lead up to the veranda and you will then be facing the main door, entrance to the house.”

I was facing the main door, the entrance to the house. I thought about knocking on the door, but (in case we didn’t get a warm reception here either) wanted to take in as much as possible first. As I walked around the perimeter of the house, I wondered which plants and trees had been there when Munir was a child.

Finally, Abed knocked. No answer. We waited a few minutes and then left. About five minutes later, I came back alone to take more photos, and the door to the house was open.

I walked to the entrance, knocked, and said “hello?” A man appeared.

“My name is Hannah, I’m from the United States, and I have a friend who I think used to live in this house before 1948. Can I come in and look?”

He hesitated, then let me in, introducing himself as Israel. When I asked if I could photograph inside, he hesitated, but again agreed. I asked how long he had been living there, and he replied that it had only been a few years. He said he rented the place from a French Israeli man who has owned it for about five years. Before that, he said, the building was owned by a Moroccan Israeli family.

“Since 1948?” I asked.

“Well, the government probably had it first and then gave it to them, but yes, for a long time.”

I kept photographing, staying quiet as I worried he might change his mind. As I was putting my gear away and getting ready to leave, Israel turned to me as though he had something to say.

“The reason I let you in,” he said, “is that one time my sister went back to Morocco to find our family house. The man currently living there wouldn’t let her in. She cried and cried, and finally he let her in, but he wouldn’t let her photograph. This is why I let you in and let you photograph.”

Seeing this as an opening, I asked, “Would you want to return to Morocco?”

“No,” he replied, almost laughing at the suggestion.

“If the situation changed?”

“No, Morocco is for the Moroccans and Israel is for the Israelis.”

“What about the Palestinians?” I replied.

“We were here first,” he said, “thousands of years ago. This is our land; it says so in the bible.” I had noticed all the Torahs and other religious texts in the house, so it did not surprise me that he was religious.

“Sixty years ago my friend was living here,” I said.

“History doesn’t start in 1948,” he answered.

I briefly considered sharing with him something my Palestinian friend from Hebron often says: “It’s written in the Torah that Abraham came here to Hebron and bought a cave, right? Well, who did he buy that cave from? My great, great, great… grandfather!” Knowing, though, that this Israeli man’s argument was not rooted in, or concerned with, reliable historic analysis, I decided there was no use arguing with religion. We said an awkward goodbye (saying “thank you” did not seem appropriate in this situation), and I left.

My search for 1948 was almost over. But not quite yet…

After receiving the photographs I sent, Munir and his brother were thrilled to confirm that this was indeed their house and asked if I might be able to find any legal documentation to corroborate this. Not knowing where to start, I turned to a Canadian-Israeli friend, who agreed to help track down whatever she could. She visited the local Registry of Deeds in Jerusalem, which manages land deeds for the municipality. After being sent from office to office and compiling information about the current address and plot number (according to Israeli zoning laws, not the memories of the prior owners), she finally had the information she needed.

She returned to the Registry of Deeds. The clerk looked at the address and block number and said they had no record of the property before 1992. When she protested, he sent her to the microfilm, saying she could search through it all she wanted. So she did. After almost giving up, she came upon a document that seemed to be for the right property. The document was from the British Mandate period, and was thus written in English. She scanned the paper: 672 square meters, original owners’ names… and then, finally, proof of sale of the property in whole on January 6, 1932, to one Najeeb Jirmanus.

There is something about finding the land registry hidden in the microfilm of Israel’s archives (after being told in effect that the property did not exist before 1992) that reminds me that nothing lies too deep under the surface in this part of the world. Beneath every Israeli road lies the dirt of an agricultural path from centuries before. Below every kibbutz field lie the remains of a destroyed Palestinian village. Under all the modern-day addresses and block numbers in the Registry of Deeds office live the memories of a people who cannot forget an old front gate, the very number of steps to their front door, the views from their porch, the place that—despite Israel’s refusal to implement the right of return for more than 60 years—many still call home.

Hannah Mermelstein is an activist and aspiring radical librarian based in Brooklyn, NY. She has lived in Palestine for more than two of the past six years, and is co-creator of Birthright Unplugged and Re-Plugged, Needle in the Groove, and Students Boycott Apartheid. In Brooklyn, Hannah works primarily with the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI) and the Palestine Education Project (PEP). She hopes to use library and archives skills to continue the search for 1948 and support the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Amira Hass: Israelis ‘are incapable of imagining themselves departing from the privileges that this system confers’

Sep 16, 2010


And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Sources: No compromise on settlements
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — American mediators may step in and offer a solution to the settlements issue, an informed source told Ma’an on Wednesday.  Citing what the source called precedents in the talks in both Washington and Egypt, the source said that on a growing number of occasions mediators had intervened during crisis points, and offered median solutions to the issues at hand.

Abbas warns settlement building will end talks: Palestinians (AFP)
AFP – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned new settlement construction would end peace talks after the Israeli premier told him on Wednesday building will continue, a senior Palestinian official said.*

PM to Abbas: We’ll continue building in settlements
During talks in Jerusalem, Netanyahu tells Palestinian president his stance on West Bank construction has not changed. PMO: No compromises on Israel’s security needs.,7340,L-3954938,00.html

EU to call on Israel to extend settlement halt
Draft of conclusions from EU summit calls on Israel, Palestinians ‘to observe calm and restraint,’ avoid moves that could strain negotiation process.,7340,L-3954952,00.html

Homes For 27,000 Constructed During Israeli Settlements Freeze
The so-called settlement freeze in the Palestinian territories is a myth. No freeze has ever been implemented, in fact the settlements have been expanding dramatically during the moratorium. Additionally, another 13,000 homes have been approved for the West Bank, together with two new colonies near Nablus and the Jordan Valley.

Israeli Settlers Take Over Palestinian Farm Lands Near Nablus
Nablus – PNN – a group of Israeli settlers took over on Thursday more Palestinian farm lands near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The 30 Donoms of land ( 7.5 acres ) belongs to farmers from the village of  Jaloud near Nablus, local sources said that this is the second time the settlers take over villagers lands. Earlier in the month settlers took over 3 acres of villagers lands.  Settler’s attacks increased in the past two week after Palestinian fighters killed four of them and injured two others in two different attacks near West Bank settlements earlier in the month.  Since May of this year Israeli settlers and military attacks on Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank has left 14 civilians killed.

Israeli authorities demolish four Palestinian homes in Negev
Israeli municipal authorities razed four Palestinian homes on Wednesday in the Negev villages of Fara’a, Tel Arad, Bani Yacaba and Al-Sayyad, local sources reported.  [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]

Israeli air raid destroys soap factory in southern Gaza
Israeli air raids at dawn Thursday blasted a soap factory in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, and deserted land causing severe material damage to the factory.  [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]

Settlers make renewed attempt on Jlem home
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Jerusalem’s Qeresh family said friends and neighbors helped them resist what witnesses described as an attempted home take over on Wednesday.  The event reportedly began in the early morning in the As-Sa’diyah neighborhood in the old city of Jerusalem, as Israeli settlers entered a wing of the family home and allegedly began removing furniture.

How Israeli-Palestinian battle for Jerusalem plays out in one neighborhood
The Israeli-Palestinian battle for Jerusalem is playing out in Silwan between Arab residents, religious Jews, and a municipality looking to revitalize its storied global brand.

Top 5 reasons Jerusalem is such a thorny issue
Jerusalem is considered by many to be the trickiest issue to resolve in a two-state solution to Middle East peace. Israelis see the city as their “undivided and eternal capital” but Palestinians also seek to put their future capital in East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab.

The pharaoh of Jerusalem, Philip Weiss
In the last two days two guides have taken me through the geography of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and I’m staggered. I wonder why this monstrous structure is not better known, even to people like me, who study the conflict. I wonder how it is that American reporters are not describing the racist devouring of Jerusalem every day in our newspapers and showing it every night on our television news. I wonder why our politicians, or our liberal Democratic ones anyway, are not holding angry press conferences in front of the repulsive separation wall as it lunges to separate a Palestinian village from virtually all its connections to the outside world, so as to privilege the lifestyle, and short commute, of Jews in the new development on the hilltop above them.

Where has the hypocrisy gone?, Amira Hass
Lieberman the non-hypocrite knows what he’s talking about when he says no peace agreement will be signed, even in another generation. A peace agreement is not a business contract. It requires a change of values of a kind that does not exist within the vocabulary of the democratic Jewish state, which elevates the system of double standards to a level of virtuosity. The people of this state are incapable of imagining themselves departing from the privileges that this system confers. And who cares if the flip side of those privileges is dispossession, suppression of freedoms and the risk of regional conflagration?

Plastic flowers, Gideon Levy
Yes, the settlements are no more than plastic flowers – wedged into foreign soil and never producing anything but their own ugliness.

West Bank settlers indignant over Obama’s pressure
GEVA BINYAMIN // Penina Abitbul, a Jewish settler in the West Bank, is fed up with the United States telling her country what to do.  “The policy of Israel is whatever America says,” claimed Mrs Abitbul, who moved to this hilltop settlement 19 years ago. “But America isn’t on the right side.” The “right” side for her, she quickly added, is “Israel’s side”.  What has arroused her ire and that of many other settlers this week is the increasing pressure from Washington on Israel to extend a 10-month moratorium on settlement building due to expire at the end of the month.

* Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Military Prosecution Demands More Than Two Years Imprisonment for Bil’in’s Abdallah Abu Rahmah
The sentencing phase in the trial of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, began yesterday at the Ofer Military Court. Abu Rahmah was convicted of organizing illegal marches and of incitement last month, but cleared of the violence charges he was indicted for – stone-throwing and a vindictive arms-possession charge for collecting used tear-gas projectiles and displaying them.  The prosecution demanded Abu Rahmah will be sent to prison for a period exceeding two years, saying that as an organizer, a harsh sentence is required to serve as a deterrence not only for Abu Rahmah himself, but to others who may follow in his footsteps as well. This statement by the prosecution affirms the political motivation behind the indictment, and the concern raised by EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, that “the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner.”

Jamal Juma: The real obstacle to peace in the Levant is the presence of a criminal, racist state
Illegal settlements on Palestinian land are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for these talks. The Palestinians have warned that they will walk out of talks if a freeze on settlement construction, which is set to expire at the end of the month, is not extended.

Protests in Nablus against return to talks
NABLUS (Ma’an) — More than 100 Palestinians demonstrated in Nablus Wednesday, protesting the return of Palestinian negotiators to talks with Israel.  Organized by leftist factions including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestine People’s Party and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the protests were the first in Nablus, and followed a series of calls against a return to talks hosted in Ramallah.

Seven Million Back Biggest British Boycott
At their annual conference this week the TUC, Britain’s all-encompassing trade union coalition, announced their most comprehensive boycott policy yet. It targets settlement goods as well as companies profiting from the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. The motion to boycott and disinvest from these companies passed unanimously on behalf of the TUC’s seven million members. The announcement will increase pressure on British retailers to cut ties with suspect suppliers.

Help Mondoweiss continue to grow – give a tax deductible donation today
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Viva Palestina; A Global Lifeline To Gaza To Launch September 18
“The convoy will be headed by former UK legislator, George Galloway, and will start its trip in front of the British parliament.”

On Gaza, Artists Speak Out
Terry Jones, Annie Lennox, Thandie Newton, Alexei Sayle, Mike Figgis, Katharine Hamnett and Jason Flemyng, voice their support for Amnesty International’s ongoing efforts to secure justice for both Palestinians and Israelis and make an impassioned plea for Israel to cease its illegal siege of Gaza.

* Anti

Former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar launches pro-Israel initiative
As the Obama administration tries to negotiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, back here in Washington a group of international figures convened at the Ritz Carlton Tuesday night under the banner of a new group, the “Friends of Israel Initiative.”

Another great reason to boycott Walmart:  Real estate company looking to bring Wal-Mart to Israel
Minrav is not looking to hold a franchise. Rather, it wants to build stores that would meet Wal-Mart’s needs and then lease or sell them outright to the company.

Israeli intel firm behind Pennsylvania’s ‘terror’ bulletins on peace, environment, LGBT groups, Ali Abunimah
What AP does not say is that ITRR is an Israeli “security” and “anti-terrorism” company — and like most of such companies has close ties to Israeli military and intelligence. According to ITRR’s website, the group describes itself as “the preeminent Israeli/American security firm providing training, intelligence and education to clients across the globe.”

* The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian/Restriction of Movement/Human Rights/Racism Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08-15 September 2010)

High Court: Tax benefits inequitable, discriminate against Arabs
High Court decision follows petition alleging that provision of substantial benefits without evident criteria contravenes the right to equality.

Israeli discrimination drives kids from school
Due to the endemic poverty in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank, hundreds of Palestinian children are forced on to the streets by parents who are living below the poverty level in a desperate bid to eke out a few extra dollars to help their families survive.

Children of the gravel
On Saturday, May 22, 2010, Hasan, 17, was shot in the leg in the now-defunct Erez industrial area in the northern Gaza Strip: “I was collecting gravel with the other workers, when one of the Israeli soldiers in the watchtower fired a shot which hit me in the right leg. I immediately fell to the ground in great pain. Everyone started running away, except for one youngster who I didn’t know, who came and tried to help me, but he couldn’t lift me”. In the meantime, the soldiers kept firing and the boy who came to help Hasan also had to run away. Finally, Hasan was rushed to hospital. “My leg was in a cast for two months, and now I still can’t walk properly and feel pain whenever I move it. I don’t know when I will be able to walk again, even though my family needs the money, and there are no other alternatives”.

There Is No Care Here For Our Daughter At All
WHO – PNN – Eight and a half year old Ala’ Zahwahri is mentally and physically handicapped. Living in a house trapped between Har Homa settlement and the Barrier, her parents are obliged to take her on an arduous journey to Bethlehem, or Beit Sahur, each time they need to access medical services.

‘Our situation worsens every day’
Palestinians in the West Bank’s Dheisheh refugee camp explain why they have little faith in the talks.
Uruknet September 14, 2010 – A second round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are taking place under the auspices of Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Washington says it hopes the talks will lead to an agreement within a year.

Palestinian sues Israeli firm over 8.7 shekel hourly salary
West Bank resident Nazar Fukra says he was paid less than half the minimum wage and no social benefits from Solor Gas Industries.

* Violence/Aggression & Provocations

Israeli police reportedly assault 2 Jerusalem residents
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police reportedly assaulted two Palestinians from the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem, a source said.  The source said Khaled Walid Sarhan, 50, was transferred to the Hadasah Hospital in Jerusalem for fracture wounds, while his 24-year-old son, Nidal, sustained bruises to his head and back.  Nidal was taken to the Russian compound for interrogation, according to the source, and later released the same evening.  Islamic and national factions denounced the assault, fearing further “acts against the Palestinian residents of Silwan.”  A spokesman for Israel’s National Police said he would look into the report.

Israeli jets hit Gaza tunnels
Fighters launch “phosphorous bombs” at Israel, IDF says, as Israeli missile kills one Palestinian.

Rights group condemns 3 Gaza killings
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A rights group on Wednesday called on the international community to protect Palestinian civilians after Israeli forces killed three farmers Sunday in northern Gaza.  On Sunday night Israeli forces fired shells at a 91-year-old man and two 16-year-olds as they grazed sheep in their land. Medical teams found the dead body of one of the teenagers and took it to hospital, but his head was not found until the next day.

IDF to open probe into shooting deaths of two Palestinian farmers in West Bank
State tells court family petition to investigate incident unnecessary, as probe into whether shooting was justified already scheduled to begin next month.

Court Says Criminal Probe Into Fatal Shooting Of Two Palestinians “Unnecessary”
The Israeli High Court Of Justice had decided that a petition demanding a full investigation into the fatal shooting of two Palestinians in Awarta village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, is “unnecessary” as the Israeli army had already ordered an investigation.

* Detainees
Israel detains 7 ‘wanted’ Palestinians overnight
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Palestinian security officials said five Palestinians were detained overnight by Israeli forces in the Nablus and Hebron areas, while an Israeli military spokeswoman said there were at least seven taken for questioning.  Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning three men, identified as Mustafa Kamel Shawer, 48, Sufian Hamhum, 39, and Marwan Sarsour, 34, were detained from Hebron.

Center: Detainees beaten over cell phones
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Detainees Center said Wednesday that a special unit raided the Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank, beating detainees, a statement read.  The center said the unit opened fire at prisoners and deployed tear-gas, with several younger detainees suffering respiratory problems as a result. According to the center’s lawyer, the detainees were beaten after cell phones were found in their possession.

Prisoner released in exchange for Shalit video remains in solitary confinement
Linan Abu Ghalma, 28, has been kept in solitary confinement and exposed to other inhumane treatment in the Hasharon prison since her arrest two months back, human rights sources said Wednesday. [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]

Administrative detention of Hamas officials Nasif and Asfour extended
The international Tadamon foundation said that the Israeli military court of Ofer extended the administrative detention of Hamas leaders Ra’fat Nasif and Adnan Asfour for six months.  [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]

Retaliation?  Hard to say, these are the people that claimed that the sporks found on the Mavi Marmara were lethal…
‘We used phosphorus fired in Gaza war’
Member of one of Palestinian groups says bombs fired on Israel contained material collected from shells which hit Strip during Operation Cast Lead.,7340,L-3955304,00.html

Hamas denies Israel’s claims about firing phosphorous shells at Negev region
Hamas categorically denied claims about firing phosphorus shells or any rockets at Negev region, warning that Israel fabricates such lies in order to justify a new military action against Gaza. [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]

* Israel’s Arab Helpers
Political Arrests Continue in the West Bank
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued arbitrary political arrests carried out by Palestinian security services in the West Bank targeting members of Hamas, who are subjected to detention and maltreatment in violation of the law.

Campaigns of Political Arrests Continue in the West Bank; Detainees Include a Woman and Two Human Rights Defenders
Uruknet September 15, 2010 – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued arbitrary political arrests carried out by Palestinian security services in the West Bank targeting members of Hamas, who are subjected to detention and maltreatment in violation of the law.

Egyptian police: Bombed tunnel for sugar transport
AL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities said officers seized three smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border on Thursday morning, in addition to several tons of sugar prepared for transport into the coastal enclave.  One of the three tunnels seized, Egyptian sources added, was bombed a day earlier by the Israeli airforce. The tunnel emerged in Egypt’s As-Sarsourya area in Rafah.

Egyptian coastguards fire at Palestinian fishing boat
Egyptian coastguards opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat that was fishing near the Egyptian marine borders on Wednesday morning, Palestinian fishermen said.  [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]

* “Peace” Talks/Political Developments
Abbas, Bibi meet in Jerusalem
Palestinian leader signs guestbook, says he hopes to bring ‘eternal peace’ to region.,7340,L-3954897,00.html

Abbas: No alternative to peace talks, we will continue efforts
Palestinian President speaks at ceremony welcoming U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the West Bank.

Mitchell: Obama seeks Mideast normalization
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — US envoy to the Mideast peace process George Mitchell said Wednesday that Palestinian and Israeli leaders were tackling the tough issues up front during talks in Jerusalem.  Mitchell spoke with reporters following a trilateral meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mitchell himself.

* Other News
First Gaza flotilla report sent to UN chief (AFP)
AFP – An inquiry panel on Wednesday handed over a preliminary report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Israel’s assault on a Turkish activist ship taking aid supplies to Gaza, which left nine dead and scores wounded, a UN spokesman said.*

IDF chief: Next wars will not be easier
Ashkenazi tells military academy cadets delegitimization of Israel around the world unjustified because ‘our army, more than any other, protects civilians not involved in fighting’.,7340,L-3954934,00.html

‘Israelis unconcerned with rise in religious IDF officers’
Jeruslalem Post 15 Sep 2010 – Survey finds public not so bothered about growing number of IDF commanders and officers who stem from the national-religious camp.

Haredi MK: We’ll stop paying taxes
Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni lashes out at Supreme Court following another ruling in Emmanuel affair, compared it to Russian czar.,7340,L-3955181,00.html

Hamas enforces ban on women smoking water pipes
GAZA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Hamas police ordered a Gaza hotel restaurant closed on Wednesday for allowing a woman to smoke a water pipe on its premises, one of its owners said.  It was believed to be the first time that Hamas Islamists who run the Gaza Strip have enforced their ban, announced in July, on women smoking the traditional tobacco-infused pipes in public.

Students meet Hamas and Hizbollah for education beyond the classroom
The National 15 Sep 2010 – Two-week summer programme in Damascus, run by a Beirut news translation service, offers a rapid immersion in Middle East politics.

* Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
Gaza left out in the cold, Laila El-Haddad
Ask any resident of Gaza what their thoughts are on the US-sponsored “direct talks” between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas’s Ramallah government, and you’re likely to hear one of three responses:  1) Surely, you jest;  2) Something’s rotten in Ramallah;  3) Negotiations?

When settlers attack, Adam Horowitz
Yesterday, the Palestine Center hosted an event When Settlers Attack: Understanding Settler Violence against Palestine’s Civilians. The description was as follows: The Palestine Center presents an analysis of settler violence in the West Bank. We ask what type of violence occurs, who is most vulnerable and most targeted, where the violence is concentrated and what motivates it. We will present the results of an analysis spanning over 1000 events of settler violence, as well as trends in the violence over time, to better understand how these attacks affect Palestinians.  Luckily it was recorded, you can watch Yousef Munayyer’s entire presentation:
And here’s a copy of the powerpoint presentation if you want a closer look…

Jeff Goldberg [and Andrew Sullivan] defend Marty Peretz, MJ Rosenberg
But here’s the thing. Peretz didn’t slip up once or twice and spout bigotry against Muslims and Arabs. He does it several times a week. Hating Arabs and Muslims is primarily what he is about. How can that be forgivable?  Now, I don’t know if Sullivan defended Helen Thomas who once, once, made an offensive statement about Israel and Zionism and that one statement cost her a job, a career and a reputation. This despite the fact that no one has ever accused Helen Thomas of having personal animus to Jews. She just doesn’t like Israel, a foreign country,and she gave voice to that feeling. She did not attack American Jews as Peretz attacked American Muslims.  Here is Goldberg on Thomas. Suffice it to say, he did not defend her in any way, shape or form.

Duss 1, Oren 0, Adam Horowitz
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren has an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times responding to the Time magazine article last week on whether Israelis care about peace with the Palestinians or not. He uses the occasion to pretty much just repeat every Israeli cliche on the peace process we’ve heard for the past several years.

Washington peace talks: democracy need not apply
The image of the five men attending peace talks at the White House can easily be dissected as the following: a dictator, a monarch, a puppet and two heads of state responsible for the region’s only military occupations — not the best ingredients for making world peace. Matthew Cassel comments.

Israel: Where Choosing Your Identity is an Act of Resistance, Nijim Dabbour for MIFTAH 
One of the most contentious issues for Palestinians in this conflict is identity, how a person sees him or herself in relation to society and the world. This is especially true for Palestinian Arabs living within Israel, holding Israeli citizenship. They must decide whether to be Israeli Arabs, Arabs living in Israel, Palestinians living in Israel, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, 1948 Arabs, 1948 Palestinians… Each has a slightly different connotation and all are politically charged. The main division, no matter the label, is whether to take part in the Israeli system or to boycott it; to be an Israeli or a Palestinian.

Palestinians Must Start again, Stuart Littlewood – London
So criminal within itself, it flinches from upholding the rule of international law. So corrupt, it happily outsources its foreign policy to terrorists in Tel Aviv. The idea that America acts as an honest broker for peace between its fellow cut-throat Israel and their victim, Palestine, on whose neck the Zionist jackboot is firmly planted, is a joke that is only funny in the hysterical sense.

The Tides of September,  George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C.
For many Christians and Muslims, whether American or Arab, particularly Palestinian, the month of September brings back depressing memories that have affected their lives and regrettably shaped their attitudes toward each other, drastically and often negatively.  Even Israelis or Jews were equally marred by the actions of their extremists, if not their government.

America’s ‘Freeze’ Still Favors Israel, James Gundun – Washington, D.C.
At first glance Washington’s sudden support for extending Israel’s settlement ‘freeze’ in the West Bank appears to be typical 11th hour positioning at Sharm el-Sheikh. Having delayed until the final moments in hope of reaching a compromise with the Palestinian Authority (PA), US officials must now rush to strike a deal before September 26th, when the “freeze” expires and direct negotiations between Israel and the PA potentially collapse.

Cartoon:  Abbas’s Negotiations, Fahd Bahady

* Lebanon
Hezbollah prints playing cards of top Israeli officials targeted for revenge
The militant group has vowed to avenge the 2008 assassination of one of its senior members, Imad Mughniyah.

Army launches mine, cluster-bomb awareness efforts
BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army launched a campaign Wednesday to raise awareness about the dangers of land mines and cluster bombs in south Lebanon.

Plastic surgery taking off in Beirut
Plastic surgery is booming in Lebanon, where some tourism companies are arranging ‘cosmetic surgery tours’ to accommodate demand from inside and from outside the country.

* Iraq
Kurdish reporter killed by Islamic militants: investigators (AFP)
AFP – A journalist killed in May after writing a scathing article about the alleged corruption of Kurdish leaders was murdered by militants, authorities in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said Wednesday.*

Family slam ruling on Iraq Kurd reporter’s murder (AFP)
AFP – Relatives of a journalist killed in May after he alleged corruption among Iraqi Kurdish leaders reacted angrily on Thursday to an official probe that ruled he was shot by Islamic militants.*

* U.S. and Other World News

Turkey’s PM tells businessmen to boost Iran trade
ISTANBUL, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Turkey wants to triple its trade volume with Iran within five years, Turkey’s prime minister told businessmen on Thursday, at a time when sanctions are scaring off Western investors from the Islamic Republic.  Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi oversaw the meeting which brought together over a hundred businessmen, including Turkish investors eager to buy into Iran’s mostly government-owned textile, machinery and automotive industries.

Turks cool to EU membership
Turkish enthusiasm for joining the European Union is waning as the country is increasingly looking east, a report shows.

Ahmadinejad: Iran can survive without the aid of U.S. and its allies
In interview with NBC, Ahmadinejad ‘flatly rejects’ IAEA demand to let nuclear inspectors into Iran.

One killed as thousands Of Afghans Stage Anti – U.S. Protest In Kabul
Police fired into the air to disperse thousands of anti-American protesters in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, witnesses and police said, with one person killed and at least five wounded.

New light shed on US’s night raids
Official figures on night raids carried out by Special Operations Forces units in Afghanistan indicate they have been successful in killing or capturing thousands of Taliban. A sharp fall-off in the proportion of improvised explosive devices being turned in by the local population suggests the raids have backfired badly. – Gareth Porter

‘Death to America, death to Obama’
As Wikileaks prepares to unveil a second batch of “Afghan War Diary” documents, a deeper dig into the first cache unveils the real secret story of the war – the hardships of ordinary Afghans living under foreign occupation. From insights into the vibrant local protest movement to locals’ reactions to American military methods and cultural faux pas, much remains to be learned.

US: time may come for special nuke probe of Syria (AP)
AP – A U.S. envoy on Thursday suggested time was running out for Syria to cooperate with a U.N. atomic agency probe of alleged secret nuclear activities before the agency invokes its seldom-used authority to call for a special inspection — a possible prelude to U.N. Security Council involvement.*

Under IAEA pressure, Syria and Iran point to Israel (Reuters)
Reuters – Western powers pressed Syria to give U.N. inspectors access to the remains of a suspected nuclear site in the desert, but Damascus and its ally Iran said the focus should be on Israel, which bombed it to rubble.*

Israel set to build wings for some 800 F-35s
Israel is in talks to build the wings for about a quarter of the United States’s new F-35 stealth fighter aircraft, an Israeli official said on Monday.

U.S. holding 324 metric tons of bomb-grade uranium, report says
The Obama administration, which is urging other nations to reduce their stores of the material, should declare part of the U.S. inventory surplus, a watchdog group says.,0,7187215.story

New Statesman Interview with Noam Chomsky:  Noam Chomsky: “President Obama is Involved in War Crimes Right Now”
It’s imperial doctrine. Stability is when the UK and US invade a country and impose the regime of their choice. But if Iran tries to interfere, that’s destabilising.

Blair Should Take a Journey to Jail, Jodie Evans
I leapt up with handcuffs held high above my head. “You Liar. I was in Iraq and met with weapons inspectors before we invaded and they said they had found no WMDs. You are a War CRIMINAL! LIAR!”

War Crimes: Codepink Attempts Citizen Arrest of Karl Rove in DC : Video
With handcuffs raised, they called for a citizen’s arrest and read the charges against him.

War crimes: Group offers $100,000 for ‘information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove’
American Crossroads” groups known to many as the “shadow RNC,” an activist organization declared that it would give $100,000 to any person who comes forward with “information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove.”

We Are Living Through an Exceptional Moment in Human History,  Fidel Castro
We feel astonished by the images we see from the Middle East, where Palestinians are deprived from their lands, their homes are demolished by gigantic equipment, and men, women and children are bombed with white phosphorus and other extermination means

The regime can fix the elections – but it can’t fix the Egyptian people | Ahdaf Soueif
Against a background of fraud and thuggery, opposition is mounting. And our anger can defeat our divided rulers.  As Egypt moves towards its parliamentary elections in November, each day brings fresh evidence of the profound problems now endemic in our political life. Adorning Egyptian newsstands morning was the photograph of the MP Mohamed Abdel Alim Daoud holding his right shoe up to the cameras with the caption: “My shoe is more honourable than any accusation (sic) the National Democratic party or any government official can aim at me”. Daoud is accused (with 15 others) of the misuse of 1.5bn Egyptian pounds and illegal trading in state-funded medical treatment. He claims he’s being scapegoated for tabling a question in parliament last year that implicated the health minister, Hatem al-Gabali (owner of some of the biggest hospitals and health centres in Egypt), in the scandal.

* Islam in the West

Burned Quran Found Outside Muslim Community Center In Chicago
A burned copy of Islam’s holy book was found in front of a Muslim center in Chicago last weekend.  The charred Quran was discovered outside of the Muslim Community Center on the city’s northwest side, just one day after the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Chicago Tribune reports. That anniversary was also proclaimed “Burn a Quran Day” by a preacher in Florida.  Rev. Terry Jones ultimately didn’t go through with his plans to hold a mass burning of Qurans at his church in Gainesville, but it appears that someone in Chicago followed his lead.

The Hate Mongers Among Us, Jeff Gates
Hate we’re told is the face of evil seen in plumes of smoke and ash on 911. Yet hate also serves a purpose for those adept at catalyzing conflicts.

* Harvard distances itself from Peretz, but event is still on

Sep 16, 2010

Adam Horowitz

Benjamin Sarlin follows up on the ongoing Marty Peretz controversy for the Daily Beast. He reports:

Robert Paul Wolff, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst who is being honored at the same event as Peretz, joined in the criticism. He “thought seriously about canceling,” he wrote in a blog post, deciding to attend only after the organizer agreed not to seat him next to Peretz.

Pretty juicy stuff. Harvard has also been forced to deal with the situation head on and has released a statement. It reads:

As an institution of research and teaching, we are dedicated to the proposition that all people, regardless of color or creed, deserve equal opportunities, equal respect, and equal protection under the law. The recent assertions by Dr. Peretz are therefore distressing to many members of our community, and understandably so.

It is central to the mission of a university to protect and affirm free speech, including the rights of Dr. Peretz, as well as those who disagree with him, to express their views.

We are ultimately stronger as a university when we maintain our commitment to the most basic freedoms that enable the robust exchange of ideas. The undergraduate research fund donated by friends, former students, and colleagues of Dr. Peretz was established earlier this year to recognize his teaching and scholarship as well as his stewardship of the social studies program from its inception in the 1960s through the 1990s. The fund will enable undergraduates to undertake significant research experiences as part of the social sciences curriculum and strengthen our commitment to rigorous intellectual inquiry.

When asked by Sarlin to respond to the growing criticism of his bigoted remarks Peretz simply said, “The notion that after teaching 45 years at Harvard and people giving money in my honor that I have to defend myself—please.” Just as a point of reference, here are the people giving the money in his honor. I wonder if Al Gore, EJ Dionne and the rest think he should defend himself?

* A joke about Jewish exceptionalism

Sep 16, 2010

Philip Weiss

My wife met some pilgrims from England the other day in the Old City of Jerusalem, three serious women in their 60s, and they invited her to do the Stations of the Cross yesterday. I went along.

The last three stations are in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We were standing near a sunken chamber a few feet away from the mobs of other pilgrims when an older guy with a mane of silver hair gave me an elbow. “What happened here?”

I said, “Ask Margaret.” Margaret told him that this was a Byzantine shrine to the spot where the Resurrection “possibly took place.”

“Possibly?” he said with a slightly satirical tone.

“Well I believe in my heart in the Resurrection,” she said, unbaited, “but I am saying that this is one of the sites it possibly occurred.”

The old guy gave me a look and walked away. I was sure he was Jewish.

I saw him later near the holy sepulchre, which is a large wooden structure in the middle of an ancient rotunda. The room was thronged with European pilgrims, some praying, some taking pictures, some singing or reading Scripture, some filing into the tomb, lighting tapers and snuffing them, to be brought back home as sacred objects.

My guy stood back, wearing a neat dress shirt. I said to him, “Are you from the States?”

“Yes. Where are you from?”

“New York,” I said. “And you?”

“Los Angeles.” He gave me a sly look. “And what are you— are you a Christian, Muslim or Jew?”

“One of the three,” I said.

He got his satirical smile. “But you’re not going to tell me.”


“I thought so,” he said.

“And you?”

“Jewish Jewish Jewish,” he declared.

We smiled at one another, with that look of tribal recognition. Then he touched me on the shoulder and gestured toward the spectacle.

“And just look what one Jew accomplished.”

* When settlers attack

Sep 16, 2010

Adam Horowitz

Yesterday, the Palestine Center hosted an event When Settlers Attack: Understanding Settler Violence against Palestine’s Civilians. The description was as follows:

The Palestine Center presents an analysis of settler violence in the West Bank. We ask what type of violence occurs, who is most vulnerable and most targeted, where the violence is concentrated and what motivates it. We will present the results of an analysis spanning over 1000 events of settler violence, as well as trends in the violence over time, to better understand how these attacks affect Palestinians.

Luckily it was recorded, you can watch Yousef Munayyer’s entire presentation:

And here’s a copy of the powerpoint presentation if you want a closer look:

When settlers attack

View more presentations from yousefmunayyer.

Finally, if you’re in the DC area, I’ll be speaking at the Palestine Center next week on the panel The New Media & the Palestine Question: Blogging Out of Conflict along with Jerome Slater, MJ Rosenberg and Stephen Walt. Please come check it out.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER



Israel at Abdallah Abu Rahma’s trial: .22 bullets are ok for crowd control

 From the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.

September 16th, 2010. 

Military Prosecution Demands More Than Two Years Imprisonment for Bil’in’s Abdallah Abu Rahmah
Military prosecutor said harsh sentence should serve as a deterrent to other protesters. Despite military orders to the contrary, army officer said 0.22″ caliber bullets are considered crowd control measures.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah yesterday at court

Abdallah Abu Rhamah at court yesterday. Picture credit: Oren Ziv/Active Stills*

The sentencing phase in the trial of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, began yesterday at the Ofer Military Court. Abu Rahmah was convicted of organizing illegal marches and of incitement last month, but cleared of the violence charges he was indicted for – stone-throwing and a vindictive arms-possession charge for collecting used tear-gas projectiles and displaying them.

The prosecution demanded Abu Rahmah will be sent to prison for a period exceeding two years, saying that as an organizer, a harsh sentence is required to serve as a deterrence not only for Abu Rahmah himself, but to others who may follow in his footsteps as well. This statement by the prosecution affirms the political motivation behind the indictment, and the concern raised by EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, that “the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahmah is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner.”

Another argument made by the prosecution in their demand of a harsh sentence, were the repercussions and expenses caused to the army by anti-Wall demonstrations. These which were presented in detail in a report by what the prosecution called an “expert witness”, who, in fact, is the Army’s Binyamin Brigade’s operations officer, Major Igor Mussayev.

The document includes many factual errors, such as mentioning seven Palestinian fatalities in Bil’in and Ni’ilin demonstrations, while in fact there were only six. In a ridiculous attempt to show that the military has no superiority over demonstrators, the “expert opinion” also claims that the effective range of rubber-coated bullets or 0.22″-caliber live ammunition is significantly lower than that of a slingshot. The report, in fact, claims that the effective range of a rubber-coated bullet is 50 meters – the minimal range of use according to army open fire regulations.

During the hearing, Major Mussayev claimed that all the weapons mentioned in the document are non-lethal crowd control measures. When asked specifically about the 0.22″ caliber bullets, which were explicitly classified as live ammunition by the military’s Judge Advocate General and banned for crowd control use, he replied that they too are crowd control measures. [Emphasis added.]Such a reply from the officer in charge of operations in the brigade that deals with most West Bank demonstrations points to the army’s policy of negligent use of arms in the attempt to quash the Palestinian popular struggle.

The highly biased document presented to the court also detailed the expenses on ammunition shot at demonstrators (almost 6.5 million NIS between August 2008 to December 2009). It also mentioned the costs of erecting a concrete wall in Ni’ilin in order to prevent damage to the barrier (8.5 million NIS), but failed to mention the costs of rerouting the Wall in Bil’in due to the original path’s illegality, or the fact that even now, three years after the Supreme Court decision to reroute the Wall, it is still standing on its original path.

The hearing, which lasted more than three hours, saw a court-room packed with diplomats, representatives of international and Israeli human rights organizations, as well as friends and family members.

For the hearing’s protocol (in Hebrew) see here.

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And They Say That The MUSLIMS Are Crazy???

By crescentandcross



8 Responses to “And They Say That The MUSLIMS Are Crazy???”

Posted in EducationComments Off on CRAZY MUSLIMS!



Dear friends,

A media giant has launched a massive attack on Avaaz after we mobilized against government favours for a new radical-right propaganda network in Canada. They’re threatening to sue us if we don’t take down our campaign in 24 hours. Let’s show them their tactics will only backfire, and donate to give them their answer and keep the fight alive against crony-media across the world:

Donate now!

Avaaz has come under attack from a major media-mogul.

Huge numbers of Canadian Avaazers recently mobilized against government favours for a new radical-right propaganda network run by the Prime Minister’s former spin doctor. The media empire behind the network and its billionaire owner, Pierre Karl Peladeau, has attacked our community with several smear pieces in their own newspapers, and one of their executives admitted insider knowledge of a criminal sabotage of our campaign. Now the mogul has threatened to sue Avaaz if we don’t take down our campaign within 24 hours!

This is how big corporate power works to silence people’s voices. But Avaaz is a community of almost 6 million people — together we’re far stronger than any corporate bully.

“Crony-media” and its incestuous combination of unscrupulous politicians and biased reporting is a rising threat to democracy in many countries, from Italy to the US to Australia. Let’s take a stand, and show them their intimidation tactics will only backfire. They’ve given us a 24 hour ultimatum: Let’s donate to give them our answer and keep the fight alive against crony-media across the world:

Democracy is on the march across the world, but anti-democratic interests have figured out a counter-attack: crony-media. When a political leader teams up with a massive media empire, they become hard to beat at the polls, no matter how bad they are.

In Italy, Prime Minister Berlusconi controls over 80% of the news channels, and has a major stake in leading newspapers, magazines and publishing. Berlusconi is mired in scandal and corruption allegations, but the spin on his networks is always positive. In the US, UK, and Australia, mega-mogul Rupert Murdoch exploits his empire to get sweet deals from politicians, whom he in turn backs for office. His infamous Fox News is the largest cable news network in the US. After President Barack Obama spurned Murdoch and boycotted his propagandistic network, Fox News spawned the radical right Tea Party group, and provided a platform for hate and racism, suggesting that Obama is a terrorist and hates white people.

The idea for a new Canadian crony-media network was reportedly hatched in a secret lunch between Rupert Murdoch and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper was George W. Bush’s closest ally on climate change and many other issues, and is widely understood to be importing a radical form of right-wing politics to Canada from the US. The new network, dubbed “Fox News North” would transform Canada’s media landscape, bringing an unscrupulously biased mouthpiece for a political leader.

Avaaz’s campaign opposes a special government favour that would force taxpayers to foot the bill for this new network through their cable TV fees. This is an example of how crony-media works — a billionaire gets government-mandated funding for their media network while pushing propaganda that backs that government’s leader.

Many of these media barons are also ruthless in how they achieve their political objectives: pushing opinions that poison people’s hearts and polarize our world, threatening democracy and peace. Canada is the latest battle — let’s make it the battle where people-power begins to turns the tide on crony-media. We have 24 hours to win this one — click below to donate:

Part of the promise of the Avaaz movement is our ability to work on the issues that cut across all others. The subversion of democracy by the collusion of political leaders and media-corporations is a threat to all the things we care about, from climate change to poverty to human rights. With our global reach, Avaaz might be one of the only organizations that can fight this rising threat to democracy. We’ve been given a 24 hour challenge — let’s rise to it.

With hope,

Ricken, Luis, Iain, Emma, Alice, Ben, Giulia, Alex and the rest of the Avaaz team.

More information on this below:

Avaaz’s Executive Director, Ricken Patel, debates Crony-media front-man, Kory Teneycke on Canadian national TV:

Ricken Patel speaks to big corporate bully tactics on Canadian TV yesterday:

Don Newman, CBC News, “The absolute last thing this country needs”:

Globe and Mail, “Is Stephen Harper set to move against the Canadian Television Radio and Telecommunications Commission?”:

BBC profile of Silvio Berlusconi:

Newser, “Can the Brits get Rupert?”:

Media Matters, “Fair and balanced Fox News aggressively promotes “tea party” protests”:

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on AVAAZ UNDER ATTACK




September 17, 2010

by Gordon Duff  



By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Did you know that attending a meeting to organize a bake sale for new band uniforms can put you on a terrorist watch list?  You don’t have to join a peace group or protest oil drilling to be considered dangerous.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hired ITRR, the Instititute of Terrorism Research and Response, a Jerusalem based company owned by the Mossad and tied directly to the Israeli Ministry of Defense to track “dissidents” and “activists.”  In the process, they managed to find the most dangerous terrorist organization of all, the governor’s own non-profit organization, one supporting school funding initiatives.  From ITTR’s website:

“All of the information ITRR’s staff creates is sent to its monitoring center in Jerusalem, where it is analyzed”

Governments, states, cities and even rural towns, believing they are participating in a Homeland Security initiative, have contracted with this and other organizations under foreign control, read “Israeli,” tracking organizations as diverse as the Tea Party and the Sierra Club.  Reports submitted by ITTR showed them spying on nearly every organization they could find, no matter how innocent, patriotic or public minded.  Organizations tied to Jewish causes, however, managed, somehow, to slip under the radar.

Those that were included are so comprehensive that it would be nearly impossible for an American to escape having confidential files, collected under government authority and financing, paid for by American taxpayers, held by Israeli intelligence agencies.  In fact, databases include every organization, regardless of its membership or policies, with personal information on members being stored in databases in Israel.

Never has a nation funded a foreign spy organization’s efforts to catalog potential intelligence assets, operatives and, at the same time, take over the job of watching themselves.  This is one of the greatest intelligence coups in history.  Combine this with control of America’s airport security and total control of America’s communications networks, everything, mobile, internet, even landlines….we might as well pull down the flag and roll over.

Governor Rendell expressed shock at the gross violation of constitutional rights involved in hiring this company, one that is said to be working for state and local governments across the United States.  Rendell said he was “stunned” when he learned about the spying relationship, one he characterized as “ludicrous.”  From Governor Rendell’s apology to the people of Pennsylvania at a capitol news conference this week:

“I am deeply embarrassed and I apologize to any of the groups who had this information disseminated on their right to peacefully protest”

As early as December 2001, not long after the 9/11 incident, Fox News investigated Israeli spying on the United States.  However, not long after airing the Carl Cameron Report with Brit Hume as Host, not only did the show itself disappear but all transcripts as well, at least “almost all.”

BRIT HUME, HOST: It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence.

At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work. Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11. …


CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Since September 11, more than 60 Israelis have been arrested or detained, either under the new patriot anti-terrorism law, or for immigration violations. A handful of active Israeli military were among those detained, according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged surveillance activities against and in the United States.

There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that they Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are “tie-ins.” But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, “evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.”

Numerous classified documents obtained by Fox News indicate that even prior to September 11, as many as 140 other Israelis had been detained or arrested in a secretive and sprawling investigation into suspected espionage by Israelis in the United States. Investigators from numerous government agencies are part of a working group that’s been compiling evidence since the mid ’90s. These documents detail hundreds of incidents in cities and towns across the country that investigators say, “may well be an organized intelligence gathering activity.”

The first part of the investigation focuses on Israelis who say they are art students from the University of Jerusalem and Bazala Academy. They repeatedly made contact with U.S. government personnel, the report says, by saying they wanted to sell cheap art or handiwork. Documents say they, “targeted and penetrated military bases.”

The DEA, FBI and dozens of government facilities, and even secret offices and unlisted private homes of law enforcement and intelligence personnel. The majority of those questioned, “stated they served in military intelligence, electronic surveillance intercept and or explosive ordinance units.”

Why would Israelis spy in and on the U.S.?

A GAO investigation states: “According to a U.S. intelligence agency, the government of (Israel) conducts the most aggressive espionage operations against the U.S. …It aggressively collects military and industrial technology and the U.S. is a high priority target.” The document concludes: “Israel possesses the resources and technical capability to achieve its collection objectives.” (END VIDEO CLIP)

And in the days ahead, we’ll take a look at the U.S. phone system and law enforcement’s methods for wiretaps. And an investigation that both have been compromised by our friends overseas.

HUME: Carl, what about this question of advanced knowledge of what was going to happen on 9-11? How clear are investigators that some Israeli agents may have known something?

CAMERON: It’s very explosive information, obviously, and there’s a great deal of evidence that they say they have collected — none of it necessarily conclusive. It’s more when they put it all together. A bigger question, they say, is how could they not have know?

These Fox News revelations from 2001, long dead and gone, buried in the archives never to be heard from again, tell a story, not of betrayal by a “friend” or “ally” but one of America’s national obsession with memory loss, almost as though the “hard drive” meant to represent America’s common sense was “wiped,” reformatted after picking up a virus from opening one of those nasty emails we are all warned about.  The virus, of course, is the mainstream news media itself.

The Pennsylvania spying story was never reported nationally.  It couldn’t be, there is a “blackout” on any news critical of Israel, real forced censorship, part of the official policy of the Obama administration, as it was of the Bush administration, cheerfully adhered to by media owned and operated by Israel itself.

The Fox News report of 2001, showing America’s counter-terrorism organizations hot on the trail of Israel, was the last report of its kind on any major network.  Not one word spoken of by Cameron or Hume has been repeated in nine long years.  Not one lead has been followed up, not one more question asked, the entire thing, forgotten, forgiven, overlooked or perhaps something darker and more threatening. 


The Pittsburgh Tribune Review, owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, neo-con extremist and “Israeli firster” carried an odd, truncated version of the recent spy scandal in Pennsylvania/

The Scaife owned paper makes no mention of Israel or other “open source” information available on the company’s website.  Note that Scaife refers to suspected Mossad operations officer and recruiter,  Richman as a “former police captain in the Israeli capital.”    Further note that the article mentions environmentalists and gays but fails to mention other groups, or that, in fact ALL groups were being monitored from the Veterans of Foreign Wars to the American Rifle Association.

Mr. Scaife’s relationship with Israeli intelligence was being “looked into ” by investigative reporter Steve Kanga.  Mr. Kanga was found “suicided” outside Scaife’s offices, no note was found.  How stupid do they think we all are?  Don’t answer that.  For a good read on “convenient” suicides, see a February 2009 article by Gordon Duff in Veterans Today.

Steve Kangas was found dead on the 39th floor of his enemy’s doorstep at 11:30 PM on February 8 1999.  In the bathroom of the offices of Richard Mellon Scaife, 2000 miles from home, — in Pittsburgh PA.  Shot (twice?) in the head.  Due to obstructions of justice, local police investigating the wrong circumstances quickly ruled it a suicide.    There are over 1000 heated Usenet posts on this topic, dated from eleven days after his death.  How did he die? 


“An obscure York nonprofit with ties to Philadelphia University and Jerusalem is behind the state Homeland Security agency’s monitoring of protesters, environmentalists and gays, documents show.

The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response is headed by Michael Perelman, who formerly worked for the York City Police Department, and Aaron Richman, a former police captain in the Israeli capital, according to filings with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Gov. Ed Rendell apologized Tuesday after the disclosure that the state Office of Homeland Security paid the institute $125,000 for weekly reports the agency used to put Marcellus shale hearings and a gay and lesbian festival on terror watch lists for law enforcement.

“We are appalled at what we have learned so far about these reports,” said Witold Walczak, legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “It all smacks of J. Edgar Hoover. Saying that no harm was done is simplistic. Just raising questions about a group or a person can cause harm. Dissent does not equal danger.”

Perelman declined to comment but provided a statement that explained in general terms what his organization does:

“The mission of the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response is to identify and analyze information that can be leveraged to prevent injury, loss of life and destruction of property. At times, that means providing guidance on the potential for deadly actions.”

Richman could not be reached for comment.

Rendell said Wednesday he does not plan to fire anyone in his administration because what happened was the “collective responsibility” of state Homeland Security and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. He has appointed a task force headed by Steven Crawford, his chief of staff, to investigate the state’s contract with the institute and how to distribute security alerts in the future.

Homeland Security did not put the one-year contract with the institute up for bid because the state Department of General Services determined no other company could provide a similar service, said Maria Finn, a Homeland Security spokeswoman.

The institute’s website provides few details about Perelman and Richman.

They formed the company six years ago in York to provide “on-site educational seminars on institutional security against terrorism and other threats,” a state filing shows. Three years later, in 2007, they formed a nonprofit foundation for “enhancing anti-terror training.”

Richman works as an assistant professor at Philadelphia University, which identifies him as a former police captain in Jerusalem, a paramedic and a doctoral candidate in Public Policy and Homeland Security.

Rendell insisted at a Downtown news conference that while Homeland Security disseminated information about groups to law enforcement, the agency did not monitor protests. No video or photo surveillance was conducted, either, he said.

“If this wasn’t so wrong, it would be laughable,” said state Rep. Doug Reichley, R-Allentown.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Sam Smith, R-Punxsutawney, asked how the contract was awarded. “I’m wondering, who are these people, who vetted them, and who chose them in the first place?” Stephen Miskin said. “Instead of spending $125,000 to spy on protesters, you could look at the governor’s budget cuts and look at what else could have been funded.”

Several House Republicans, including Reichley, called for the House government committee to investigate the contract and others doled out during the Rendell administration with “no oversight,” Miskin said.


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