Archive | September 20th, 2010



Yediot: NIS 9 million for settlement “tourism”, including 2 million for “City of David” in Silwan

Didi Remez | September 20, 2010  Categories: Diplomacy, Settlement Freeze | URL:

The fact that these grants will fund highly politicized and inflammatory projects is best exemplified by the NIS 2 million slated for the “City of David” project in Silwan. This East Jerusalem settlement in the guise of an “archeological park” is at the cutting edge of efforts to insert Israelis in Palestinian communities around the Old City basin.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov [Israel Beiteinu] provides a policy-oriented explanation for the funding:

“The Tourism Ministry attaches great importance to developing tourism in Judea and Samaria, which is the basis for [the] ‘Every Jew’s Story’ [campaign] and is located in the very heart of the State of Israel,” the minister wrote.  “The historical heritage serves as a significant drawing point both for internal tourism and for tourism from abroad.”

It would be a stretch, however, to think that he actually believes this claptrap. Misezhnikov is a politician using his position to dole out pork to allies.

Last week Haaretz reported on a new domestic campaign, which aims to re-brand the West Bank settlements as pastoral tourist attractions. The settlers running it appear to actually believe that they are exposing an obscured reality, restoring the objectively positive image stolen from them. Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Masika:

Settlement’s biggest enemy is ignorance. That’s the place where prejudice takes hold, fertile ground for hatred and blood libels against us. We can change this situation through these tours.

From a narrow Israeli perspective, maybe they’re right. Within our Orwellian public debate, it’s often hard discern which perception of reality is upside-down.


Tourism Minister establishing facts on the ground in territories

Yuval Karni, Yediot, September 20 2010 [page 6; Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]

While the Americans are struggling to arrange a continued construction freeze in the territories, there are those in Israel who are already preparing vigorously for the next stage.  Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov intends to transfer in the near future millions of shekels to settlements in Judea and Samaria for the purpose of developing tourist sites and attractions in the territories.

An internal Tourism Ministry document shows that in total, over NIS 9 million will be transferred to Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.  Minister Misezhnikov, who is strongly opposed to the freeze, wishes to let the local authorities develop the tourism branch within their boundaries.

Many areas in Judea and Samaria will enjoy the benefit of the large budgets that the ministry stands to transfer.  The Samaria Regional Council will receive NIS 300,000 for tourism projects within its jurisdiction (signs in the Reihan forest, paving bicycle trails in the Shaked forest), the Binyamin Regional Council will receive NIS 100,000 for putting up signs in tourist sites, the Southern Hebron Hills Regional Council will receive NIS 100,000 to develop the Susya historical site, the share of the Karnei Shomron Regional Council will be NIS 100,000 for developing bicycle trails in Nahal Kaneh, and the Kiryat Arba Local Council will receive NIS 40,000 for planning tourism projects.

The big money will be given to the Etzion Bloc, the Jordan Valley and East Jerusalem.  The Tourism Ministry will transfer NIS 1.5 million for renovation and upgrading of the Herodion site within the boundaries of the Etzion Bloc Regional Council, about NIS 2 million to the Kasr al-Yahud baptism site in the Jordan Valley, and about NIS 5 million for developing projects in East Jerusalem: NIS 2 million for the City of David, NIS 1.5 million for Zedekiah’s Cave and NIS 1.5 million for tourism infrastructure in the Old City.

Tourism Minister Misezhnikov sent letters yesterday to mayors in Judea and Samaria and explained that he considered this a Jewish-Zionist necessity.  “The Tourism Ministry attaches great importance to developing tourism in Judea and Samaria, which is the basis for ‘Every Jew’s Story’ and is located in the very heart of the State of Israel,” the minister wrote.  “The historical heritage serves as a significant drawing point both for internal tourism and for tourism from abroad.”

In the letter, the tourism minister notes that upon the expiration of the security cabinet’s decision to suspend construction in Judea and Samaria, “I have decided to budget infrastructure, tourism and public projects throughout Judea and Samaria.”  The minister also instructed the settler leaders to turn to Tourism Ministry Deputy Director General for Infrastructure and Investments Shai Weiner in order to receive a commitment for promoting projects in the territories.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on ”THE CITY OF DAVID” ?



crescentandcross | September 20, 2010  Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

The Department of Homeland Security released $19 million to secure non-profits, the vast majority Jewish.

Of 271 institutions named in a list released this week by DHS, 254 are Jewish, including synagogues, schools, community centers and offices.

The funds were released as part of a congressionally mandated program in place since 2005 that targets institutions that are vulnerable to attack.

Security measures funded include “blast proof windows; reinforced doors, locks, gates, and fences; video surveillance; and other equipment and enhancements” as well as training, according to a release by the Jewish Federations of North America, the federations umbrelaa body that lobbies annually for the funding.

“The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a proven resource that helps supplement the work of local and federal law enforcement to help keep us safe,” William Daroff, JFNA’s Washington director, said in a statement.

Other groups lobbying for the money include two Orthodox umbrella bodies, the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America.

O.U. called the funds “an important tool to help prevent terrorist attacks and protect civilians in case of such attack” and Aguda said “threats and actual incidents of violence against Jewish targets in the United States and around the world point to the particular vulnerability of our community.”

Sen. Barbara Mikuski (D-Md.), who has shepherded the funding through congressional appropriations, said she remained committed to sustaining the program.

“I have fought for these funds in the past, and I will keep fighting to protect institutions that are vital to our communities and the physical, social, spiritual and educational well-being of all Americans,” she said.





September 20, 2010

by Gordon Duff  




By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Two weeks ago, USS Liberty survivor, Philip Tourney, was told he would be killed within a month.  The threat made against Tourney, US Navy veteran and heroic survivor of the Israeli attack, torpedoes, napalm, strafing lifeboats, was made by an individual identified as an agent of the security services of the State of Israel. 

Though Tourney is certainly outspoken about Israel, this kind of reaction, against a retired member of America’s armed forces seems ill-conceived at best, violating the unwritten code every intelligence operative lives by.  Tourney and his wife were threatened.  The threat was in public.  The Tourneys are “civilians,” non-combatants, hardly legitimate assassination targets.

This threat is timed with admissions by Israeli intelligence sources of, not only new and shocking reasons for the USS Liberty attack but of a previously unknown rift between Israel and the United States dating back to 1967.  The roots of this confrontation begin in 1963 with President Kennedy’s written demands to Israel that it dismantle its nuclear weapons program and extend into the present day, an unstated but bitter and poisonous feud. 

Admissions are made, in the heat of anger,  indicating that Israel had full foreknowledge of the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon better known as “9/11.” 

Israeli intelligence sources indicate that both operations had been infiltrated but no effort to prevent the attacks was made.  Israel had long ago admitted it knew about the killing of the 241 Americans in Lebanon, well in advance.  However, admissions that the terrorist organization said to have planned the 9/11 attacks had been similarly infiltrated is a disturbing revelation.

The rationale initially given American military sources for Israeli failure to warn the United States in 1983 was that such a warning would potentially endanger the value of Israeli intelligence sources.

That has all changed.  We are now told that the “stand down” of intelligence sharing was and is based on retaliation against the United States for an incident in 1967.  Israel claims that the United States, in combination with Egypt, planned a “nuclear castration” of Israel.

This runs totally opposite of accounts that place Johnson as Israel’s “president of choice,” accounts that support theories of Israel’s complicity in the Kennedy assassination. 

One of the most dangerous and controversial policy initiatives of Kennedy’s presidency, even compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was Kennedy’s insistence that the Middle East be free of nuclear weapons and that Israel dismantle its nuclear program by the end of 1963.  The crisis reached a height during the summer of 1963 when Kennedy sent written demands to Israel demanding inspection of their nuclear facilities, demands that brought down one Israeli government.

As of November 22, 1963, Israel had not responded to the president’s letter.  No response has been issued to this day.  Only journalist Helen Thomas, a good friend of President Kennedy, continued to demand that this issue be addressed.  Her loyalty to President Kennedy’s memory eventually cost her everything. 

The intelligence community almost universally accepts that Israel killed Kennedy, especially when extrapolated through the total lack of media conspiracy “chatter” regarding this, the most obvious possible scenario.  Compare this to police arriving on a murder scene; blood drenched suspect standing over a body with an axe in hand.

The first thing they ask, “Did you see who did it?”

The cottage industry of selling wild speculation over the Kennedy murder(s) that never touch on the Dimona demand are seen as conclusive.  A nearly five decade disinformation campaign blaming everyone from organized crime to Corsican drug cartels has managed to hide any constructive focus from the general public.

Oliver Stone’s film, JFK, was particularly notice worthy.  According to Stone, Kennedy was killed by “southern boys” with too much time on their hands.


Israel claims the United States was planning an attack on its nuclear facilities during the 6 Day War, using the “fog of war” as cover.  They now privately claim the brutal attack on the USS Liberty was, not only defensive but a warning to the United States from, as Moshe Dyan calls it, “a junkyard dog.”

Thus, the varying positions on, not only the USS Liberty but America’s allegiances during the “6 Day War,” are irreconcilable.   Members of the USS Liberty crew were unaware of any such taskings as indicated in the Israeli accusations.  However, carrier personnel with the American battle groups in the Mediterranean at the time have told this author the “load outs” were clearly for ground targets including “runway denial” munitions, cluster weapons designed to crater large concrete surfaces.

A ground attack could have been staged, Israel, Syria or Egypt.   

Threats, such as those made against Tourney,  were made against other American veterans openly angry at Israel for decades, demanding an explanation for the merciless attack on the US Navy ship in the Mediterranean in 1967, a carefully orchestrated attack of Israeli naval, air and airborne commandos, killing or wounding 201 of 296 crewmen.

We know for certain that the attack was a terrible embarrassment to the United States. 

To cover up the incident, the captain was given a Medal of Honor, survivors were decorated, given duty stations of choice and silenced.  Israel was allowed to claim they believed they were attacking an unarmed Egyptian cattle boat, an attack of a nearly “Pearl Harbor’ scale.  

We believed that Israel still held to this absurd cover.  We were wrong, very wrong.

Over 40 years later, we learn from Israeli sources, their side of the story.  When we heard it, we were flabbergasted.  We now know why Israel is so hostile to USS Liberty survivors and involved in a covert struggle against the United States spanning decades, or at least what they now tell us.

This is their side of the story:

Israel says they were deeply suspicious of President Lyndon Johnson and his National Security Advisor, McGeorge Bundy, a Kennedy Administration hold-over.  Israel feared that Johnson and Bundy planned to carry out Kennedy’s plans for nuclear disarmament of Israel, by force if necessary. 

Israel is said to have based their suspicions on information received from Soviet sources, information that they were told originated from James “Jesus” Angleton, CIA Counter-Intelligence Director.  Angleton, who died in 1987, was the most controversial figure in America’s intelligence community, accused of both being a Soviet mole and a rabid anti-communist, seeing imaginary threats everywhere. 

Editor’s note:  The intelligence sharing relationship between Israel and the Soviet Union was, in itself, a reason for Israel to be fearful of American retaliation.

According to Israel, the USS Liberty was providing targeting data, they used the term “triangulation,” as its role in a planned American attack which was to begin with the destruction of Israel’s air forces by carrier based aircraft followed by the destruction of the Dimona nuclear complex.

America was believed to be working directly with Egypt and Syria, coordinating a two pronged attack on Israel to eliminate them as a threat to the region.  Though overtly Egypt and Syria were allied to the Soviets, in fact Israel’s influence with the Kremlin was known to be a source of broad suspicions in the American intelligence community.

Israel claims they attacked the USS Liberty as a “preemptive” strike to disrupt the planned US attack, a justified act of self-defense and proof that America is and always will be an untrustworthy ally and inherently anti-Semitic.   

Increasingly, in ways not noticed publicly, relations with Israel have been strained.   Americans are, on the whole, indifferent to the Palestinians living in Israel.  Decades of branding all Palestinians as terrorists have indelibly imprinted unquestioning support for Israel in the minds of almost all Americans.

Despite broad control of the media in the United States and Western Europe by Israel, an undercurrent of mistrust exists and is becoming worse every day, a mistrust better characterized as a “falling out” of criminal co-conspirators rather than a moral awakening.  Perhaps “junior partners” in America aren’t getting a big enough percentage of “the take.”

Even considering the stresses of two unsuccessful wars and a concurrent monumental economic crisis, the subtext of hostility, decades old but an active and festering animosity, particularly between two nations that are publicly “inseparable” is uniquely disingenuous.

If Israel hates an America and carries an agenda meant to bring America to its knees tied to, what it sees as American betrayal, how do we explain the political and military leaders who support them in their efforts?




September 20, 2010

by Gordon Duff  

Congressman Henry Waxman, Israeli Ambassador to Beverly Hills

Arms Merchants of South Central

Did the rich and intrigue-filled Botach family get a pass from Henry Waxman?
Editor’s note:  Congressman Henry Waxman, closely tied to the veterans housing scandal in Los Angeles, steps over the line again.  If this were only once….

By Penn Bullock Thursday, Aug 5 2010

The Botach family of Los Angeles is among the more unusual of the very rich. Yoav Botach is a wealthy landlord. He founded, and his son now owns, an arms dealership in an unsettling locale for one: South Central. And his grandson was convicted of conspiracy for peddling to the U.S. Army decomposing ammunition — so old that it was traced to the factories of Mao Tse-tung — as part of a $300 million contract to arm the Afghan government.

But what is also startling in the weird saga of this prominent L.A. family is the silence of Congressman Henry Waxman of Beverly Hills, who led a congressional investigation into the ammo fraud and vowed to get to the bottom of it.

As Waxman said, his inquiry in 2008 aimed to answer a fundamental question: How did Botach’s inexperienced 21-year-old grandson Efraim Diveroli “get a sensitive, $300 million contract to supply ammunition to Afghan forces?”

Two years later, Waxman refuses to speak about it with L.A. Weekly. But with an ugly palimony suit simmering in L.A. between family patriarch Botach and his common-law wife, Judith Boteach, she’s now talking. And she points to a contract that may link the South Central arms firm run by Botach’s son, Bar-Kochba Botach, to the grandson’s disgraced firm, AEY Inc., in Miami Beach.

Yoav and Bar-Kochba Botach refused to comment on Boteach’s allegations when contacted by the Weekly. (Boteach explains to the Weekly that she spells her last name differently because Botach changed his name for simplicity.)

According to Boteach, Diveroli, her step-grandson, who is awaiting sentencing from Judge Joan A. Lenard in U.S. District Court in Miami after hawking the Mao-era material, spent summers as a teen doing odd jobs at Botach Tactical, the firm in South Central. She says a 2004 federal contract granted to Botach Tactical implies another connection: On the contract, the Botach firm lists its address as young Diveroli’s AEY address — in Miami Beach.

Botach Tactical sells arms to U.S. police and military forces, as its Web site advertises. Last year, among other revenue, it took in just less than $6 million in federal defense contracts, according to

A profile of the company discovered by blogger Lindsay Beyerstein and cited on — a Web site for companies interested in contracting with the government — lists Botach Tactical’s physical address as 3423 West 43rd Place in South Central L.A. But the profile identified its mailing address as 925 41st Street, Suite 306, Miami Beach — again, the mailing address for Diveroli’s fraud-mired AEY Inc.

Waxman’s silence on Diveroli’s fleecing of the Army comes as the palimony case between Boteach and Botach plays out, from Los Angeles to Israel.

In March 2006, the State of Israel accused Botach’s brother and business partner in L.A., Shlomo Botach, of “using professional money launderers” to transfer $860,000 from the U.S. through Swiss and Uruguayan banks to an account in Israel, code-named “Ezra 26.” The court case covered transfers totaling $331,000.

In court documents translated from Hebrew for the Weekly, Shlomo stated he was moving the money to Israel so that Judith Boteach couldn’t access it during the palimony dispute.

But the State of Israel alleged that the money was wired in small batches so that it could be slipped past authorities.

Though the documents show that Shlomo claimed he was acting on Botach’s behalf, Botach is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Nevertheless, the documents shed light on how the broader business is conducted: “Yoav is the one that handles the financial end of the partnership,” Shlomo states in the documents, insisting he would “not question the head of the family [Yoav] with regards to the financial decisions he makes.”

It may be that L.A. politicians worry about their relationships with wealthy arms merchants and landowners. In 2006, the L.A. Daily News reported that Botach co-owns the South Central arms firm — and 144 commercial properties across L.A.

“Some are restaurants, garages, buildings where they manufacture clothes,” Boteach says. “A lot of them are small businesses, and some are apartment buildings.”

She says that Botach lives in Waxman’s 30th Congressional District, and that her estranged husband wields influence with politicians. “[Yoav] supports a lot of the City Council members and the governor. There were special lunches, dinners and fund-raisers.”

The connections could be seen last year, when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti attended the Beverly Hills launch of the star-studded charity Turn Friday Night Into Family Night, founded by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the former spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson.

Shmuley is Botach’s son, Judith Boteach’s stepson, and Diveroli’s uncle. A video of Villaraigosa touting Turn Friday Night Into Family Night is featured on its Web site.

Judith Boteach tells the Weekly that life with Botach was a “total nightmare,” even as he hosted world leaders, including former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

After Botach’s 2002 split from Boteach, a former Hollywood makeup artist, she claimed she was unaware they had never been legally married. Botach’s lawyers insisted Boteach knew they were not married.

In August 2009, L.A. Superior Court Judge Warren Ettinger upheld her claims of assault, battery, emotional distress and unpaid work, and awarded her $250,000 plus legal costs, but rejected her palimony claim.

Her attorney, Robert W. Hirsh, declared to the Daily News in 2006: “We would not be surprised if [Botach’s] net worth is $700 million.” Yet Botach is appealing to force her to cover his legal bills. Hirsh calls the appeal frivolous and says, “We are now taking steps to enforce the judgment.”

Not everyone is buying brother Shlomo Botach’s explanation for why he was moving money to Israel. In 2006, Jaffa District Court Judge Kobi Vardi in Tel Aviv called his stated reason — that he was keeping it out of Boteach’s hands — an “unacceptable fabrication.”

Vardi said Shlomo Botach was part of a “sophisticated and well-lubricated organization” that intended to launder money.

Shlomo argued, “They didn’t intend to hire shady characters for the purpose of transferring funds to Israel … as it is ‘clean,’ legitimate money derived from their business in the USA.” But in May 2006, the Israeli judge ordered that half of the cash be confiscated.

The Botach family soon took another blow: Diveroli emerged as the owner of an arms firm, AEY Inc., in Miami Beach, which appeared on a U.S. Department of State watch list for contract fraud and violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

Despite this, the tiny firm was awarded the $300 million U.S. Army defense contract that made it the main supplier of ammo to the Afghan government.

The Waxman-led congressional investigation later found that AEY had previously been caught selling the military “junk.” The fact that young Diveroli subsequently won a key Army contract involving Afghanistan was “a case study in a dysfunctional [federal] contracting process,” investigators found.

According to The New York Times, Diveroli purchased some ammo in Albania. It was marked for destruction by NATO, manufactured by Mao Tse-tung and found in moldy crates marked “Made in China,” U.S. inspectors found. He and three employees were indicted on numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy.

Incredibly, while awaiting trial, Diveroli completed two more U.S. defense contracts for about $10 million, according to Glenn Furbish, a federal official.

Diveroli was found guilty in August 2009 of one count of conspiracy. Diveroli referred questions to his lawyer, who did not respond to the Weekly‘s e-mailed inquiry.

Bar-Kochba Botach, the current owner of Botach Tactical, complained to The New York Times that Diveroli, after working for him as a teenager, “just left me and took my customer base.”

The Weekly asked him about documents in which Botach Tactical’s address matches that of Diveroli’s firm in Miami. “No comment,” he says. 

Boteach sums up Waxman’s failure to figure out how her step-grandson defrauded a sophisticated power like the federal government: “He was a kid. He was a kid!” she says.





U.S.A: 9/11 & BEYOND



September 20, 2010

by Debbie Menon

The 9/11 issue is increasingly being framed as not “a conspiracy theory,” but “a legitimate controversy,” based on several unanswered questions and important scientific evidence emerging  showing the official story line the American public has been fed about the 9/11 attacks is a lie.

Dr. Alan Sabrosky in a recent interview on Sahar TV, marking the 9th Anniversary of the tragedy, once again challenges the truth of the official US Government Truth Commission and reiterates and re-affirms his earlier positions, among others that “….WT7 was absolutely a controlled demolition job…and if one of them was, then all three were”

Listen in:

YouTube – Veterans Today –

YouTube – Veterans Today –

YouTube – Veterans Today –

Source: Sahar TV Network

Re-produced below with the authors permission, is an earlier comprehensive thesis, written by him and published in several publications, which  pretty much serves as a transcript for the above interview.


By Alan Sabrosky

The attacks on September 11, 2001 have been a defining moment for America. Although the losses were not great in terms of urban slaughter during WWII, the political and psychological impact on Americans of a concerted and visible attack in America were enormous — indeed, it is an interesting “coincidence” that the attacks occurred on the one day of the year whose mention reinforces a public sense here of danger and emergency: 9-1-1.

With remarkably little reflection or concern with details and evidence, Americans accepted sweeping restrictions on civil liberties, torture as an instrument of government policy, and waged wars first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, presumably punishing those who attacked America then or might do so in the future. A similar if less enthusiastic drama is unfolding today, as many of the same parties who brought us 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq are edging America into confrontation and war with Iran.

Like most Americans, I take a dim view of a fixation on conspiracies. I am also conscious of a remark by a French colleague some years ago to the effect that Europeans saw conspiracies everywhere, but Americans never saw them anywhere, and both were wrong. I am even less enthusiastic about presumed coincidences with global consequences driving policy, or superficial explanations of physical catastrophes that fly in the face of both logic and physical realities. With one war waning today, another getting hotter and a third “in the oven,” it is high time to look hard at what brought us to this place.

Prelude to 9/11

Most of the world (but not Americans) understood for decades that American Middle East policy was weighted heavily towards Israel. Eisenhower could compel Israel to withdraw from the Sinai, but the last US President who forcefully opposed Israeli regional and nuclear ambitions was John F. Kennedy. His assassination brought Lyndon Johnson into the White House, so much a friend of Israel that he disregarded the deliberate Israeli attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 war, in which over 200 US sailors and Marines were killed or wounded.

Shortly thereafter, pilgrimages to Israel and laudatory appearances before AIPAC (the powerful Jewish lobby in Washington) became effectively obligatory for Presidents and serious aspirants for the White House alike, with the Congress (both houses, both parties) being even more supportive – something commonly understood in Washington, but almost unknown elsewhere in the country.

A significant development in the 1990s was the formation of the neo-conservative think tank known as PNAC (Project for a New American Century), whose members prepared position papers for the Israeli government and for a future US Administration sharing their views. That happened in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush, and a contemporary writer summarized the tip of the neo-conservative iceberg in his first Administration this way:

The “outsiders” from PNAC were now powerful “insiders,” placed in important positions from which they could exert maximum pressure on U.S. policy: Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary, Wolfowitz is Deputy Defense Secretary, I. Lewis Libby is Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy at the National Security Council, Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the Defense Department, John Bolton is Undersecretary of State, Richard Perle is chair of the Defense Policy advisory board at the Pentagon, former CIA director James Woolsey is on that panel as well, etc. etc. (PNAC’s chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of The Weekly Standard.) In short, PNAC had a lock on military policy-creation in the Bush Administration.

The presence of so many people from PNAC in key positions definitely sent a signal that US Middle East policy would henceforth be that of Israel, something that brought no joy to any other countries in the region, much less the long-suffering Palestinians. Mutterings about a supposed “Road Map” to some type of peace arrangement in such circumstances were utterly meaningless, and almost everyone except the American public understood this fact of life.

Far more significant in terms of subsequent events was the acknowledgement in one of PNAC’s own documents that their program for America (and Israel) would not readily be accepted by the American people. What this meant, PNAC opined in 2000, was that “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.”

9/11 Reconsidered

On September 11, 2001, the PNAC people in and out of government — and by extension AIPAC and Israel — “coincidentally” got the event they needed, barely eight months after coming into office. Most people are familiar with the basic details of that day — two commercial aircrafts crashing into the two tallest buildings in New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC), a third striking the Pentagon, and a fourth ending up in a Pennsylvania field.

Few people will forget the images of the burning buildings, their collapse, the casualties, and the sense of shock and tragedy that ensued. Few should forget the passage of emergency legislation (the misnamed “Patriot Act”), the rush to attack Afghanistan for harboring the source of the attackers, or the later rush to attack Iraq to forestall “mushroom clouds” from its apocryphal “weapons of mass destruction.”

The official 9/11 Commission’s work and report were at best an incomplete exercise. Many people dismiss the findings of the Commission, and that includes its co-chairs. Many others who utterly distrust the 9/11 Commission report, dismiss the US Government’s explanation of it, and point to both an official cover-up and an “inside job,” include veteran fighter pilots, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians)(EMT interview), air defense experts, experienced commercial pilots, demolition experts, architects and civil engineers – none of them professions that inherently attract and retain the gullible and credulous.

Errors abound in the report. Among the more catastrophic is the collapse of a third WTC building (the 47-story WTC7) which was not hit by a plane, and fell in what appears to be a controlled demolition, but has essentially been sidestepped by the mainstream media (MSM). And this video interview (Interview) with a demolitions expert overseas explains clearly and succinctly what happened to WTC7, with the shock and chaos accompanying the impact of the aircraft serving to distract attention and conceal what happened overall. The overlay of the World Trade Center below shows the layout of the affected buildings:


Even more unbelievable is the “coincidental” salvage of an intact passport presumably belonging to one of the hijackers inside the plane that hit WTC2 — and this was how the official 9/11 Commission report described it:

The passport was recovered by NYPD Detective Yuk H. Chin from a male passerby in a business suit, about 30 years old. The passerby left before being identified, while debris was falling from WTC 2. The tower collapsed shortly afterwards. The detective then gave the passport to the FBI on 9/11.


Several things are very clear to me from a careful assessment of both official and critical evaluations of the 9/11 attacks. First, the striking aircraft alone simply could not have brought down either of the two buildings in the manner in which they fell, much less a third building which was not hit by a plane (I expect the one intended to do that as a “cover” had ended up in that Pennsylvania field), given the available physical evidence and a wealth of expert testimony. This means the attackers had assistance on the ground, and it had to have been active before the attacks occurred: preparing buildings for controlled demolition is not something done haphazardly in the midst of chaos.

Second, only two intelligence agencies had the expertise, assets, access and political protection to execute 9/11 in the air and on the ground: our CIA and Israel’s Mossad. Only one had the incentive, using the “who benefits” principle: Mossad. And that incentive dovetailed perfectly with the neo-con’s agenda and explicitly expressed need for a catalytic event to mobilize the American public for their wars, using American military power to destroy Israel’s enemies. Only the unexpected strength of the Iraqi resistance kept Syria and Iran from being attacked in the second Bush Administration.

Thus, the evidential trail for 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq run from PNAC, AIPAC and their cohorts; through the mostly Jewish neo-cons in the Bush Administration; and back to the Israeli government. None of the denials and political machinations can alter that essential reality. Terms such as treason, betrayal and deceit do not overstate the case against them.

Finally, we need to take a hard look at why the mainstream media (MSM) have paid more attention to Sarah Palin’s wardrobe than they have to dissecting blatant falsehoods, discrepancies and inconsistencies in the US Government’s treatment of 9/11 and its aftermath. And the reason is that on this issue, all are on the same side, and the official line is the one they all prefer – “all” meaning the PNAC alumni who took over the Bush Administration’s national security apparatus and their counterparts in the Obama administration, AIPAC and the rest of the numerous Jewish PACs, the MSM owners and Israel. The depiction of the media management in America in 2002 is especially informative, and has not changed significantly since then:


Looking Ahead

Today we are getting the same line on Iran, from the same type of people — Obama himself tries to be more independent, but most of the key staff and national security people in his Administration do not differ greatly on Israel and the Middle East from those of his predecessor. And the Congress has shown itself to be even more of AIPAC’s lap-dog than the preceding Congress, an exercise in self-serving cowardice that admittedly has taken some doing. This is not a simple anti-Jewish canard or mindless prejudice, both of which are juvenile and self-defeating sentiments. They are a factual depiction of specific people in specific positions advocating specific policies and stonewalling specific attempts to elicit specific information about specific lies, misrepresentations and deceit.

AIPAC and company are riding a tiger in America, and if they ever slip, the resulting convulsion will be catastrophic for them and for Israel. The open unfolding of the 9/11 tragedy and its ensuing wars that is now occurring can be that slip. The human cost to America to date is some 60,000 people, military and civilian, killed or wounded on 9/11 and in Iraq and Afghanistan together, with more to come once we go to war with Iran (or get dragged into it following an Israeli attack on Iran). Much of the deliberately misdirected rage that followed 9/11 has given way to endurance and grief, captured all too well in the following picture of a military funeral here:


But grief is a close cousin to rage, and an enraged America is not pretty, as anyone familiar with our history can appreciate. Americans are often deceptive without meaning to be. To much of the world, they often come across as naive, bumbling innocents in the world of global politics. And on a day-to-day basis, there is much truth to that.

But an enraged America is a very different character. You have only to look at what happened in WWII to German and Japanese cities, towns and villages, where America slaughtered literally millions of German and Japanese civilians — most of them women and children — knew it was doing it, and cared nothing at all. The goal was to crush, and restraint was not a word used much at all.

If these Americans and those like them ever fully understand just how much of their suffering — and the suffering we have inflicted on others — is properly laid on the doorsteps of Israel and its advocates in America, they will sweep aside those in politics, the press and the pulpits alike whose lies and disloyalty brought this about and concealed it from them. They may well leave Israel looking like Carthage after the Romans finished with it. It will be Israel’s own great fault.

*Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the US Army War College. He is a consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research.

He is listed in WHO’S WHO IN THE EAST (23rd ed.). Dr. Sabrosky’s teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; While in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sabrosky has lectured widely on defense and foreign affairs in the United States and abroad. He can be contacted at


Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 controlled demolition.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

US Mainstream Media not picking up on the story.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

1000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth — Check out more info at:

Posted in USAComments Off on U.S.A: 9/11 & BEYOND




How Israel views its public relations problem

Sep 19, 2010

Adam Horowitz 


This ad is currently running on Haaretz for a new website set up by the Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. Here is the site’s introduction:

Going abroad? Meeting foreigners on a visit? Be ambassadors for Israel!

Many of us, whether we’re traveling or living abroad for an extended period of time, get involved in discussions with locals during which they bring up misconceptions and false information regarding Israel, without our having the tools and the correct information for coping with the questions or the barbs of criticism put to us. At such moments, we’re seized with an urge to make the other person open their mind and especially their heart, and see us—see Israel—differently.

This website, established by the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, will make it possible for each one of us to arm ourselves with information and pride in Israel’s global contributions and history and to present a more realistic image of Israel to the world.

Surfing this site will help you amass a wealth of tips and suggestions for good advocacy when you converse with people overseas, because in every encounter outside the State of Israel, we are our country’s ambassadors!

Together, let’s show the world our beautiful Israel!

If there are any amateur Israeli ambassadors who would like the address the cooking issue, you can do it in the comments.

Harvard students: Peretz invitation ‘lends legitimacy and respectability to views that can only be described as abhorrent and racist’

Sep 19, 2010

Adam Horowitz

The following letter was recently delivered to the organizers of the Social Studies 50th Anniversary Celebration:

Dear Professor Tuck and Dr. Bernstein,

We are writing on behalf of the Harvard Islamic Society, Harvard-Radcliffe RAZA, Society of Arab Students and Latinas Unidas. In a recent blog post for The New Republic Martin Peretz, wrote:

“But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imaam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”

He had the following to say about Mexicans in another TNR piece:

“Well, I am extremely pessimistic about Mexican-American relations, not because the U.S. had done anything specifically wrong to our southern neighbor but because a (now not quite so) wealthy country has as its abutter a Latin society with all of its characteristic deficiencies: congenital corruption, authoritarian government, anarchic politics, near-tropical work habits, stifling social mores, Catholic dogma with the usual unacknowledged compromises, an anarchic counter-culture and increasingly violent modes of conflict.”

And the Washington Post reported the following remarks Mr. Peretz made about African Americans:

Citing statistics on out-of-wedlock births among blacks, Martin Peretz, editor in chief of The New Republic, said, “So many in the black population  are afflicted by cultural deficiencies.” Asked what he meant, Peretz responded, “I would guess that in the ghetto a lot of mothers don’t appreciate the importance of schooling.” Mfume challenged Peretz, saying, “You can’t really believe that. Every mother wants the best for their children.” Peretz agreed, then added, “But a mother who is on crack is in no position to help her children get through school.” Some in the audience of 2,600 young Jewish leaders hissed at Peretz’s remarks.

We acknowledge Mr. Peretz’s right to hold and express these views, but we are disturbed that he is honored at Harvard University by being invited to speak at the Social Studies Anniversary Celebration on September 25. Such an invitation lends legitimacy and respectability to views that can only be described as abhorrent and racist in their implication that the rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution should be withheld from certain citizens based on their religious affiliation.

While the organizers of the Celebration cannot be held accountable for every statement made by its guests, we the undersigned take great exception to Harvard giving such ideas a platform, and we worry that in so doing the University, and the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies in particular, will be alienating a large segment of its student body. In light of these concerns, we respectfully ask that you reconsider having Mr. Peretz as one of the Celebration’s speakers, or at least that he be publicly challenged to defend views that are, in our opinion, indefensible.


Abdelnasser Rashid, Harvard Islamic Society
Maricruz Rodriguez, Harvard-Radcliffe RAZA
Annissa Alusi, Harvard Society of Arab Students
Beverly Pozuelos, Latinas Unidas.

Murder by way of national insanity

Sep 19, 2010

Hatim Kanaaneh

I arrived at the Haifa District Court with a deep sense of foreboding. On my way there, as I drove through Arrabeh’s sleepy streets (It is Ramadan and most fellow Moslem villagers go back to sleep after their dawn meal and prayer.) I saw clear signs of trouble: Two police cars with their lights flashing entered the village just I was on my way out. Stopped in my tracks by the daily traffic jam on the outskirts of Haifa, I turned the radio dial from my usual BBC morning news to the local Arabic FM station and heard the name of my village on the news: A seven-month pregnant young woman whose name I recognized had been slain by her mentally-ill husband in full view of her four children. She bled to death in the bathroom from her seven stab wounds before the husband escaped.

“The man is mentally ill,” I imagined the mayor explaining away our collective shame.
“We all are to blame; it is a symptom of an ailing society in the throes of disintegration,” I could hear Toufiq, my village friend since childhood, arguing back.

At the entrance to the new and imposing courthouse complex, built over the cleared area of an entire neighborhood of old Haifa, I greeted the few members I recognized among the group of mostly Jewish ‘peace junkies’ holding signs of solidarity with Rachel Corrie’s family and cause. Rachel’s rather spry-looking parents seemed duly impressed, thanking people for their good sentiments and expressing their hope to a couple of journalists that finally here was their chance to show the formal investigation of the IDF of their daughter’s death for the hasty slipshod cover-up that it actually was.

The small crowd of demonstrators and media people were cordoned off against the wall to the side of the spacious entryway to the courts complex so as not to affect the security processing of arrivals. Except that the parking area elevators emptied out on the cordoned-off side of the yard. My wife recorded visually and communicated to me a ratio of ten to one who crawled under the red plastic tape rather than bothering to take the extra dozen steps required to get into the queue at the entrance. Two women dressed in lawyery black and white clothes belonging to the latter variety, the minority of upright and obedient citizens, shouted insults at the demonstrators.

My wife and I introduced ourselves to the Corries and exchanged visiting cards with them. Rachel’s mother wore an appropriate brooch on the lapel of her light summer coat, a mother-of-pearl peace dove. I used to give the same dove, handmade in Bethlehem, to foreign visitors at the Galilee Society when I headed it. We thought it only proper to extend an open invitation to the Corries to honor us with a visit to our home should they get bored with Haifa, another port city, and wish to spend a day in a rural setting and pick their fill of figs, passion fruit, pomegranate, and carob right from the tree. We felt this was the least a Palestinian family could offer to reciprocate Rachel’s own gesture of solidarity and ultimate sacrifice.

As we lined up to go through security, the young officer asked the usual “Do you carry any weapons?” and I shot back a comical “Nooo!” She explained in a rather plaintive tone of voice: “A knife is a weapon, you know!” She caught me off guard. Was she referring to the murder in my village, I wondered? How did she know I was from Arrabeh?

We cleared security, stopped at the cafeteria for a quick cup of coffee, chatted with a couple of other Palestinians of similar convictions and made it to the sun-drenched courtroom on the sixth floor.

In the court I sat next to the American consul who used the waiting time to study Hebrew from a phrasebook he must have downloaded to his iPhone. He looked so Semitic I had to resist the urge to give him a hug: We Semites have to stick together in the face of the alien hordes. The Corries sat in the front row and a translator leaned forward from the second row to whisper the translated proceedings to them. They were so obviously Nordic-looking that a touch of hostility almost snuck into my heart. Awaiting the judge, another fellow Israelite, to commence the proceedings, I busied my head with assessing the relative inequality of the resultant triangular configuration of relationships: the consul, the judge and the Corries.

I fantasized a world of peace and stability in which a level of international solidarity and cooperation is attained in which the diplomatic corps representing one state, say France, to another, say Saudi Arabia, would be drawn almost entirely from citizens of the host country. That is the level of trust and understanding that has been reached between the USA and Israel. But how well would such chummy relationship serve the interests of the Corries, I wondered? Quickly, I reached the conclusion that it all depended on the individual diplomat and his allegiance to his country of origin vis a vis his country of assigned diplomatic mission. The double jeopardy of belonging to both is a bind that only the most committed of nationalists in one or the other can maneuver through.

Soon the start of the Corries vs, the State of Israel case was announced and I prepared for the full engagement of my senses and intellect in absorbing the details of all that was going on around me. I was aware of the tremendous potential the Corrie’s case had in blowing Israel’s cover in its well-rehearsed claim to the high moral standards of its armed forces. Admittedly, I am a physician. But I am not a neurologist and I had no intention of focusing on medical issues. I had missed the chance for that back in March when Dr. Hiss, Israel’s organ-snatching chief forensic pathologist who had done the postmortem on Rachel’s body had taken the stand in this same courtroom.

Still, unexpectedly, my attention was drawn to all sort of neurological phenomena. Suddenly and against my conscious attempt to follow the details of the question and answer exchange between the lawyers and the witnesses, the whole court instead became the scene for my innovative observation of certain behavioral peculiarities of the human species: I had noted that the judge had a mild form of tic where he would seem to prepare to rise up by leaning forward slightly and stretching out his neck with a slight turn of the head to the left, as if he were straining to butt an oncoming football in midair, but would then stop in mid motion, stick the index finger of his right hand under his shirt collar as if to loosen it and then, with a shake of his head, would return to his master-of-the-court upright posture. My attention was now fully engaged in the scrutiny of this seemingly insignificant involuntary motion. It shifted my attention from the proceedings I had fought the morning traffic for an hour and a half to follow.

I started making mental notes of the shape and frequency of the odd motion: I studied its different permutations to such a degree that I thought I could observe its initial onset even when my patient, (for in my own mind this was how I had started to relate to the man,) could suppress it to a mere blink of his right eye.

I knew this was a sign of psychological stress, though a certain suspicion started to surface from my subconscious about my own need to escape from the stress of the reality that was unfolding around me: Here was a most capable pair of Palestinian lawyers bearing down with full force on a series of witnesses representing the best Israel could produce in its defense, formerly in the face of the intruding ISM and now to counter the petty claims of a sad family set on discrediting ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ and its valiant soldiers, members of the ‘most moral army in the world.’ I had seen and heard of innumerable cases where again and again the Israeli judicial system squeezes Palestinian defendants literally lifeless. But here I was witnessing the reverse process: Palestinians pressing proud Israelis, former and current members of Israel’s proud and mighty field units, into a state of denial, meekness, confusion and regression.

The novelty of the unusual situation I was observing for the first time made me distinctly uncomfortable. I knew something was grossly amiss when I suddenly realized that I was concentrating so intensely on the body language of all the actors around me that I lost tract of what they were saying. I made a quick mental note of the fact that my interest was so piqued by the psychodrama unfolding around me that I had totally lost the ever disturbing chronic tinnitus in my ears.

I shifted back to observing the judge. I had been warned in advance that his record is most lean on rulings in favor of human rights defenders. Is that why he gave such clear signs of so much mental anguish? I returned to my observations of his neuromuscular oddity. Readers may think this a crude comment on a judge of justice. Yet we all do this all the time. All drivers rely on observing the lights in the back of the car in front of them to pick up the indications of its driver’s intentions. That is how a physician relates to the physical signs of those ‘cruising around’ in his vicinity. So, please, excuse this casual attitude to what you may consider to be a sensitive issue. Overall, the tic was quite frequent, perhaps once every one and a half minutes on average. But it was not regular. First I noticed that it did not occur during the rare occasions when the defense team of lawyers from the State Prosecutor Office spoke.

It also occurred very rarely when the witnesses spoke. One witness made a clearly outrageous statement he should never have made: “In war there are no civilians,” he declared. The good judge strained his neck so vigorously and stuck his head out so far he nearly swept the computer screen in front of him off the table. At another juncture, the judge had a cascade of successive neck-stretching exercises as he admonished the Corrie’s lawyer, Hussein Abu-Hussein, to abandon the line of questioning he was pursuing with the witness.

It was irrelevant, the judge decided. I felt the lawyer was treading very close to the red line sequestering the truth behind it. Obviously, the witness was being bamboozled.
Suddenly, the judge cut my intense inner hilarity short: He had to leave the court early for a physician’s appointment. Was he seeing a neurologist? I could certainly assist the physician with my professional observations, I thought. Or perhaps he had something more serious, a terribly bad heart or a nasty brain aneurism? Don’t rush to conclusions about possible wishful thinking on my part, please!

At Harvard Medical School they taught us always to start by ruling out the worst case scenario. That is also the reason I figured that at least two out of the three witnesses who appeared before us were probably examples of a rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease. Not only that they had forgotten nearly all the relevant facts, detailed or general, of incidents in which they had taken active part some six years earlier, but also that, by the time they left the witness stand, they appeared to have been pitifully reduced physically to mere shadows of the imposing macho figures that had strode into court earlier in the day. I am not a bad shot when it comes to diagnosing medical entities, believe me. I assure you that in my active clinical career I was an astute diagnostician able on occasion to figure out what brought a patient to see me from the way he or she walked into my office.

I swear to you that on occasion I would start writing my hospital referral letter while a case of Appendicitis or Maltese Fever was still changing into the examining gown behind the examining curtain, not to mention the occasional term pregnancy of a teenager brought by her anxious parents because of excruciating abdominal colic. So it was no major challenge for me to pick up the clear signs of Alzheimer’s, though, going by the rapid physical deterioration they evidenced, these probably were some of the fastest developing such cases ever reported in the medical literature.

In a ten-minute break in the court proceedings, I strode to the back of the spacious hallway to feast my eyes on what I could see of Haifa’s wonderful views. Lo and behold, the view was one of extensive ruination and well-guarded abandonment of the whole base of the Carmel Mountain as it slopes down toward the port area. The entire neighborhood, once the thriving residential area for the well-off and nouveau-riche Haifan Arab families, seems to have been cordoned off from the outside world, with its majestic multi-arched façades’ dignity still preserved thanks to its stone structure.

One could imagine the pleasure and the pride of the former residents of such homes on a breezy late afternoon, sitting in their luxurious living rooms or northern balconies with Haifa’s port and the many ships taking refuge in it in full view as the sun tipped behind the soaring Carmel Mount. Now the Custodian of Absentee Property and his colluding housing agency, Amidar, seem to have decided to deny such imagined pleasures by continuing to deny the area the option of residential use. One can only hope that the former residents of such majestic homes, still awaiting return in their shacks in Lebanese refugee camps, will never see the intolerable neglect to which their palaces have been subjected.

I looked at Rachel’s parents and they seemed tired, worn out, no doubt, by the rigors of the intense delving into details of their late daughter’s death. I felt like offering them my sympathy and physical support as they ambulated out of the court. Till I went to the bathroom and took a good look at myself in the mirror: I should have asked the Corries to help me to my car, I decided.

Heading home I was elated by the prospect of my impending rise to fame in medical circles by virtue of my forthcoming first-ever report of two consecutive cases of the instantaneous onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. To rest my mind and gain some emotional respite from the excitement of it all, I turned my car radio on: The dial had been left on the local FM station. Arrabeh’s stabbing murder case was still dominating the free-for-all call-in program. Callers were speculating about what could have irked the presumably insane husband to act in the murderous way he did. For a moment I entertained the thought of calling in and alerting the program’s host, whom I knew personally, and his audience to the Corries versus the State of Israel case. I wanted to let everyone know that here was another case of murder by way of insanity. Except that here, a whole nation had gone insane.

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. This post originally appeared on his blog A Doctor in Galilee.

Le Moyne students hear Finkelstein despite calls to cancel lecture

Sep 19, 2010

Ira Glunts

A small group of faculty members convinced Le Moyne College officials to permit Norman Finkelstein to lecture at their school, despite an organized campaign to persuade Le Moyne to cancel the event. The week before Finkelstein was scheduled to appear, a number of local Rabbis, a high ranking member of the New York State Catholic hierarchy, and other prominent community members contacted the school to request that the event be called off.

In a carefully written statement composed by a faculty committee and issued by the Provost, Linda LeMura, the school said, “[Finkelstein’s] appearance is not an endorsement of his work or views, but rather a recognition that a variety of perspectives, some difficult and controversial, need to be considered. Le Moyne is committed to freedom of speech, including points of view that are intellectually serious even if not generally accepted by all segments of the community.”

An overflow audience of over 250 people attended the Finkelstein lecture, which began at 5 PM on September 16. Finkelstein gave a talk which focused on the 2008 Gaza War and the assault on the Mavi Marmara flotilla. The crowd appeared to be overwhelmingly sympathetic to Finkelstein’s point of view. He got two standing ovations during his talk and only one expression of disagreement during the Q and A segment.

I met Norman Finkelstein a day after his Le Moyne appearance at an event in a private home where I was to introduce him. He seemed completely unaware and unbothered when I mentioned that his lecture had been in danger of a last-minute cancellation. He responded that “it was no big deal” and that he would never have even been invited a couple of years ago. Now, he says, he is getting more invitations to speak at colleges and to appear in the media. He credits this to a recent opening up of the debate over Israel/Palestine.

Opening up or not, it is noteworthy that on September 28, Le Moyne will host a panel discussion in response to the Finkelstein lecture. A suggestion to have a response to Finkelstein as part of the event on September 16 was considered and then rejected. Apparently, Le Moyne feels that presenting Finkelstein without a consumer warning label would be irresponsible.

It is true that Finkelstein is getting more invitations to speak at colleges and appear in the media. However, I doubt we will be seeing him on NBC or in the New York Times any time soon. It is also encouraging to learn of this group of courageous faculty who fought off some very powerful community voices in order to allow the Finkelstein lecture to be held.

It’s not about cultural merit

Sep 19, 2010

Anees of Jerusalem

In yesterday’s Ha’aretz, Gideon Levy argues for the abandonment/removal of Israel’s illegal settlements from an uncommon standpoint: He lambasts the settlements, as civic/economic/aesthetic entities, for their lack of contribution to the betterment of Israeli society, and says that this ‘uselessness’ is why we need to stop the settlement project.

They haven’t managed to produce anything of their own. No theater, no museum, no music and no dance, very little literature and no meaningful creative work. … These are comatose cities in which no advanced or meaningful industry has ever grown except one bagel factory and a few workshops, most of them imported from central Israel, despite all the benefits and discounts lavished on the settlements. … Crowded but empty, this should have been the ultimate proof of their uselessness.

While I agree with much of what it says, I really don’t like this Gideon Levy piece—even though I get that he could just be trying to persuade Israeli society to oppose settlements using a new rationale. But to argue merit through cultural achievement is a rotten game. As a Palestinian, this makes me easily recall how Israelis often use the supposed cultural/industrial inferiority of “the Arabs”—How many Arab Nobel laureates are there compared to Jewish, they propose—to soothe their guilt for what Israel has done to Palestinians. (By the way I sense, through his writings, that even the leftist Israeli Uri Avnery is guilty of this.)

Anyhow Levy’s point is easy to debunk: Let’s say the settlements produced great artists and advanced industry that greatly enriched Israeli lives; would this grant them immunity from condemnation? They’d still be the same racist colonial projects.

American public opinion and the special relationship with Israel

Sep 19, 2010

John Mearsheimer

There is no question that the United States has a relationship with Israel that has no parallel in modern history. Washington gives Israel consistent, almost unconditional diplomatic backing and more foreign aid than any other country. In other words, Israel gets this aid even when it does things that the United States opposes, like building settlements. Furthermore, Israel is rarely criticized by American officials and certainly not by anyone who aspires to high office. Recall what happened last year to Charles Freeman, who was forced to withdraw as head of the National Intelligence Council because he had criticized certain Israeli policies and questioned the merits of the special relationship.

Steve Walt and I argue that there is no good strategic or moral rationale for this special relationship, and that it is largely due to the enormous influence of the Israel lobby. Critics of our claim maintain that the extremely tight bond between the two countries is the result of the fact that most Americans feel a special attachment to Israel. The American people, so the argument goes, are so deeply committed to supporting Israel generously and unreservedly that politicians of all persuasions have no choice but to support the special relationship. 

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has just released a major study of how the American public thinks about foreign policy. It is based on a survey of 2500 Americans, who were asked a wide variety of questions, some of which have bearing on Israel. Their answers make clear that most Americans are not deeply committed to Israel in any meaningful way. There is no love affair between the American people and Israel.

This is not to say that they are hostile to Israel, because they are not. But there is no evidence to support the claim that Americans feel a bond with Israel that is so strong that it leaves their leaders with little choice but to forge a special relationship with Israel. If anything the evidence indicates that if the American people had their way, the United States would treat Israel like a normal country, much the way it treats other democracies like Britain, Germany, India, and Japan.

Consider some of the study’s main findings:

“Contrary to the long-standing, official U.S. position, fewer than half of Americans show a readiness to defend Israel even against an unprovoked attack by a neighbor. Asked whether they would favor using U.S. troops in the event that Israel were attacked by a neighbor, only 47 percent say they would favor doing so, while 50 percent say they would oppose it …This question was also asked with a slightly different wording in surveys from 1990 to 2004 (if Arab forces invaded Israel). In none of these surveys was there majority support for an implicitly unilateral use of U.S. troops.”

Americans “also appear to be very wary of being dragged into a conflict prompted by an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In this survey, conducted in June 2010, a clear majority of Americans (56%) say that if Israel were to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran were to retaliate against Israel, and the two were to go to war, the United States should not bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel and against Iran”

“While Americans have strongly negative feelings toward the Palestinian Authority … a strong majority of Americans (66%) prefer to ‘not take either side’ in the conflict.”

“There is some tangible worry regarding the direction of relations with Israel. Although 44 per-cent say that relations with Israel are “staying about the same,” a very high 38 percent think relations are ‘worsening,’ and only 12 percent think they are ‘improving’.”

“Americans are not in favor of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a major sticking point in the conflict, with 62 percent saying Israel ‘should not build’ these settlements.”

Finally, only 33 percent of those surveyed feel that Israel is “very important” to the United States, while 41 percent said it was “somewhat important.” It is also worth noting that on the list of countries that were said to be “very important” to the United States, Israel ranked fifth behind China, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Of course, all of those countries have a normal relationship with the United States, not a special relationship like the one Israel has with Washington. 

The data in the Chicago Council’s study is consistent with the data that Steve and I presented in our book and in countless public talks. The story remains the same.

The bottom line is that the lobby is largely responsible for America’s special relationship with Israel, which is harmful to both countries. Alan Dershowitz was spot on when he said, “My generation of Jews … became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy.” 

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER



How being a Zionist bigot earns power in the US

20 Sep 2010

Zionism, Arab hatred, elite American thinking and being feted at Harvard.

The Marty Peretz story in all its ugliness.


Asylum seekers all over the news but Serco’s role remains covered

20 Sep 2010

From this morning’s ABC AM:

TONY EASTLEY: A police investigation will continue today into the death of a Fijian man at the Villawood Immigration detention centre in Sydney.

The 36-year-old, who jumped to his death yesterday morning, was due to be deported back to Fiji.

Overnight, tensions remained high at the centre when a group of 11 inmates continued a protest on the roof and threatened to jump if their cases were not reviewed.

The Australian of the Year and mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry says the incident highlights the need for a complete overhaul of immigration detention policies.

Lindy Kerin reports.

LINDY KERIN: In a letter obtained by the ABC, 36-year-old Josefa Rauluni said he’d rather die than be forced to return to Fiji. Just hours before he was to be deported from Australia, he jumped from the roof of the Villawood detention centre.

Refugee advocate Brami Jegan has spoken with some of the inmates who witnessed the man’s death.

BRAMI JEGAN: Well the first person I spoke to, he was a babbling mess and just ended up crying and wasn’t able to say anything other than “I saw it, I saw it, I saw it” and just kept bawling his eyes out. The second time I called, and it was a different person, as soon as he heard my voice he started sobbing and saying “he’s dead, he’s dead, why are they doing this to us?”

LINDY KERIN: Brami Jegan had been out a Villawood the day before the man’s death and had spoken to detainees from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Iraq. She says tensions were already high.

BRAMI JEGAN: Apparently they’d had a visit from an immigration official earlier in the week who’d said that, given that the situation in countries – and he’d named a few countries – was getting better, or was better, they could expect that some of them or more of them could be sent home and this had kept them in a real heightened state of anxiety.

You know, two of the guys from Afghanistan that we, our group, met with, they were just bawling their eyes out because they were so upset and scared. And I think that’s kind of the mood that then, kind of escalated when they saw this, this young man die.

The Immigration Department’s spokesman, Sandi Logan says staff and inmates who witnessed the man’s death have been offered counselling.

SANDI LOGAN: We have provided, for the detainees, counselling assistance. We have on staff, of course, health professionals through the health services provider, including trauma and torture counselling.

LINDY KERIN: Louise Newman is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Monash University and the head of the Immigration Detention Advisory Group.

Professor Newman says in some cases, inmates displaying mental health issues should be given help outside the detention centre.

LOUISE NEWMAN: Particularly where self-harming behaviour and serious suicidal behaviour might occur, to not need to be in immigration detention centres; they should be removed to mental health facilities.

LINDY KERIN: Throughout the night a group of asylum seekers at the centre continued their rooftop protest. They raised a white bedsheet painted with the words, “we need help and freedom”.

They’re demanding to see officials from the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).


Roll up, tourists; Israel would like to show you its occupying heart

20 Sep 2010

While Haaretz calls on Israel to embrace peace talks with Syria – something many in the Zionist establishment have no intention of pursuing; far easier to have another “enemy” in the region – the priority of the Netanyahu government is organising tourist trips into the occupied West Bank settlements:

While the Americans are struggling to arrange a continued construction freeze in the territories, there are those in Israel who are already preparing vigorously for the next stage.  Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov intends to transfer in the near future millions of shekels to settlements in Judea and Samaria for the purpose of developing tourist sites and attractions in the territories.

An internal Tourism Ministry document shows that in total, over NIS 9 million will be transferred to Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.  Minister Misezhnikov, who is strongly opposed to the freeze, wishes to let the local authorities develop the tourism branch within their boundaries.


Detaining children seems to be a Western speciality

20 Sep 2010

While Australia detains hundreds of children in immigration detention, the situation in the UK is depressingly similar (also housed by private companies such as Serco):

When David Cameron declared that his government would “end the incarceration of children for immigration purposes once and for all”, those familiar with the horror of it were cautiously optimistic. That cautious optimism is now tempered with anxiety that his passion for radical reform of this grotesque abuse of human rights is on the wane. The emerging picture is at best confusing, at worst ominous.

Last week the charity Medical Justice, whose doctors, lawyers and supporters assist detainees in immigration detention pro bono, published a report. The title – State Sponsored Cruelty: Children in Immigration Detention – was taken from Nick Clegg’s attack on Gordon Brown in an open letter last year: “Very young children who find themselves locked up even though they’ve done nothing wrong are suffering weight loss, post-traumatic stress disorder and long-lasting mental distress,” Clegg wrote. “How on earth can your government justify what is in effect state-sponsored cruelty?” The report catalogues the effects of immigration detention on children. Three have attempted suicide, some have regressed, others become withdrawn. Many have shown signs of deep disturbance.

So far, little has been done to implement Cameron’s pledge and follow up on Clegg’s passionate denunciation.

The Home Office, it seems, is having trouble defining detention, as borne out by conflicting information given to me last week by its press office. On Tuesday, a spokesman said there had been 24 families in immigration detention since May. On Wednesday it sent an email which said that figure was wrong because it failed to include those held under immigration legislation in mother and baby units in prisons and those refused entry at borders and held in immigration removal centres pending deportation – some of whom are not asylum seekers. It’s a complex picture. But whichever way you cut it, these are children detained under immigration law, despite Cameron’s promise to end the incarceration of children for immigration purposes.

The Home Office email said that between May and August, 45 families – including 80 children – had been detained. The next day the figure changed again – 59 children from 32 families have been in immigration detention since May, 31 of the children at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre [run by Serco]. I was told these are not official statistics but “purely UK Border Agency management information”. I was asked to refer to them as “figures supplied by the Home Office or something along those lines”.


Hello Canberra; most fleeing refugees are Tamil

19 Sep 2010

This is what the Australian government is spending our money on (courtesy of Crikey):

Sri Lanka into bat for boat people. Australian immigration officers are giving out free cricket bats in Sri Lanka emblazoned with messages to deter asylum seekers. The town of Negombo was provided with 700 of these cricket bats courtesy of the Australian government:


On the back of the bat there is a sticker that reads in Sinhalese: “Rata yanawa nam, hari paren” (if you are going overseas, go the right way) and “Warathi margayen rata yama yana ena mang nathi cara gamacri” (if I go the wrong way I will not even see the inside of the country).


Zionist lobby’s achievements are seen in the maddest colonies

19 Sep 2010

Who says Americans have a love affair with Israel?

A new study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs offers some insights:

“Contrary to the long-standing, official U.S. position, fewer than half of Americans show a readiness to defend Israel even against an unprovoked attack by a neighbor. Asked whether they would favor using U.S. troops in the event that Israel were attacked by a neighbor, only 47 percent say they would favor doing so, while 50 percent say they would oppose it …This question was also asked with a slightly different wording in surveys from 1990 to 2004 (if Arab forces invaded Israel). In none of these surveys was there majority support for an implicitly unilateral use of U.S. troops.”

Americans “also appear to be very wary of being dragged into a conflict prompted by an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In this survey, conducted in June 2010, a clear majority of Americans (56%) say that if Israel were to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran were to retaliate against Israel, and the two were to go to war, the United States should not bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel and against Iran”

“While Americans have strongly negative feelings toward the Palestinian Authority … a strong majority of Americans (66%) prefer to ‘not take either side’ in the conflict.”

“There is some tangible worry regarding the direction of relations with Israel. Although 44 per-cent say that relations with Israel are “staying about the same,” a very high 38 percent think relations are ‘worsening,’ and only 12 percent think they are ‘improving’.”

“Americans are not in favor of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a major sticking point in the conflict, with 62 percent saying Israel ‘should not build’ these settlements.”

As John Mearsheimer writes: “The bottom line is that the lobby is largely responsible for America’s special relationship with Israel, which is harmful to both countries.”


Please sir, can I buy some votes for you?

19 Sep 2010

Powerful editorial in the New York Times on the weekend that shows the kind of kabuki democracy at play in the US of A:

For all the headlines about the Tea Party and blind voter anger, the most disturbing story of this year’s election is embodied in an odd combination of numbers and letters: 501(c)(4). That is the legal designation for the advocacy committees that are sucking in many millions of anonymous corporate dollars, making this the most secretive election cycle since the Watergate years.

As Michael Luo reported in The Times last week, the battle for Congress is largely being financed by a small corps of wealthy individuals and corporations whose names may never be known to the public. And the full brunt of that spending — most of it going to Republican candidates — has yet to be felt in this campaign.

Corporations got the power to pour anonymous money into elections from Supreme Court and Federal Election Commission decisions in the last two years, culminating in the Citizens United opinion earlier this year. The effect is drastic: In 2004 and 2006, virtually all independent groups receiving electioneering donations revealed their donors. In 2008, less than half of the groups reported their donors, according to a study issued last week by the watchdog group Public Citizen. So far this year, only 32 percent of the groups have done so.

Most of the cash has gone to Republican operatives like Karl Rove who have set up tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organizations. In theory, these groups, with disingenuously innocuous names like American Crossroads and the American Action Network, are meant to promote social welfare. The value to the political operatives is that they are a funnel for anonymous campaign donations.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER



Apologize for sending more, but this letter below flowed in just as I was to send my message to you. 

If by any chance any of you know Pete Seeger, please try to convince him not to participate in the event.

I respect the man very much, but his intention to participate in the “With Earth and Each
Other”: Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East is in error.  Am sure that he thinks that it will help bring peace, whereas in truth it is all for the sake of a better image of Israel, as if its leaders really want peace.  First justice, my friends.  Then peace.  Do you see Netanyahu offering the Palestinians justice?  No?  Neither do I. 



From: Eldad

To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;

From: F Nagel

To: ; ;

Sent:September 20, 2010 10:07

An Open Letter from Besieged Gaza to Pete Seeger: Don’t Legitimize Apartheid

Dear Mr. Seeger,

We, the isolated and evidently still forgotten Palestinians from the Gaza Bantustan, are
astonished and upset to learn that someone who in the past has shown solidarity with our millions
who lost their houses to Israeli ethnic cleansing, now plans to join an initiative from a
group that has facilitated these enormous injustices against us.

You plan to perform at the “With Earth and Each Other”: Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East,
‘Doublespeak’ for an initiative whose only outcome will be to compound the misery of so many
Palestinian mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who are the direct victims of the
organizations with which you will be involved.

You have worked to ban nuclear weapons, been a tireless civil rights campaigner, an advocate for
environmental responsibility, and a steadfast opponent of South African Apartheid. You used
your music, unique and inspiring, to give hope to those who were worse off than you. It is for this
that we ask you not to turn your back on us, the besieged and grieving Palestinians of the Gaza
Strip, the cantonized and colonized Palestinians of the West Bank and the millions more made
refugees around the world, still violently deprived of their right to return home.

You might be unaware of the harm committed by the very groups you plan to perform for, but as
Palestinians we have to be aware, because it is only by looking at the root causes that we can
see from where originate the decades of injustice and imprisonment.

This ‘Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East’ is backed by the ‘Jewish National Fund’ (JNF), which
more accurately would be called the ‘Expel the Local Palestinian Population to Expand Israel
Fund’. The principal activity of the Jewish National Fund has been the illegal and racist
cleansing of an undesirable ethnic group (i.e. us) from their land.

In the 1948 Nakba, the Jewish National Fund provided political, financial and intelligence
support for the Zionist forces as they massacred and expropriated Palestinian village after
village. They actively participated in the physical destruction of many of the erased 531
Palestinian villages, the ruins of which are still in the hearts and minds of the vast
majority of the Gazan population, most of us registered refugees from these areas. The United
Nations Resolution 194 calling for our right to return does not seem to count when these enormous
crimes that made us refugees were carried out by Israel.

Erasing our heritage and ties to the land continued thereafter. The Jewish National Fund’s
Canada Park, for example, was built over the ruins of the Palestinian villages Imwas, Yalu,
and Beit Nuba, from whence the Israeli army forcibly removed the inhabitants and bulldozed
the houses during the 1967 war.

Today the JNF controls over 2500 sq. km of Palestinian land which it leases to Jews only,
covering vast properties belonging to millions of Palestinians. It has created over 100 parks on
Palestinian land. The Arava Institute, its partner organization involved in the virtual
rally you plan to attend, has said nothing about these atrocious actions and discriminatory
policies. Most recently you will have been informed of its expulsions of entire villages in
the Negev, obscured under the guise of ‘forestation’.

As part of the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions
(BDS), and inspired by the boycott of apartheid South Africa, we have asked and been responded to
by international artists like Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, the Pixies, Carlos Santana, many
writers, universities and companies to join the BDS movement. Just as the global BDS movement
made way for the collapse of apartheid in South Africa, we demand boycotts of Israel until it
complies Participation in “With Earth and Each Other” occurs in violation of BDS guidelines and
the Palestinian civil society consensus behind them.

Pete, we are writing to you from under the 4 year long brutal and medieval siege imposed on us, a
unique savagery the Israeli academic Ilan Pappé described as, “slow motion genocide”. We lost
over 430 of our children in Israel’s 3 week air and ground attack over the New Year of 2009 that
killed over 1430 of our citizens already living in the world’s largest open-air prison. When
valiant defenders of human rights tried to reach us and break the siege by sea, 9 of them were
shot dead.

According to the Geneva Conventions, United Nations Resolutions and the UN Goldstone report,
all of these acts constitute crimes against humanity, as does the continuous and violent
expelling of Palestinians from their homes and land. Anti-Apartheid heroes Nelson Mandela,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kassrils have all described Israel’s system of racial
oppression as Apartheid. There was no negotiating with such race-based oppression – there was only
one word, BOYCOTT.

We now urge you to join the countless other artists and musicians making the
biggest statement about the Israeli regime’s brutal and racist policies here in Gaza, the West
Bank and against the Palestinian Israeli citizens. Many times you have taken a stand with
the colonized, the imprisoned and the racially discriminated throughout your long life of noble
and worthy endeavours. Please do not turn your back on us now by agreeing to perform at the
“With Earth and Each Other”: Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East”.


Besieged Gaza,Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations University Teachers’ Association in Palestine  (UTAP) Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI) The Union Os Palestinian Women’s’ Committees Association of Al-Quds Bank for Culture and Information General Union of Public Service and Commercial Workers General Union of Health Service Workers General Union of Agriculture Workers General Union of
Food Production Workers General Union of Petrochemical and Gas Workers Progressive Trade
Union Front in Palestine General Union of Municipality and Local Councils Workers General
Union of Tourism Workers Arab Cultural Forum One Democratic State Group (ODSG)

Society Friends for Rehabilitation of Visually Impaired




Letter 20/09/10

See also at

August 9, 1971 saw the launch of Operation Demetrius. The imprisonment without charge or trial of hundreds of innocent people from mainly nationalist areas – internment. The most brutal and enthusiastic display of Operation Demetrius was to be enacted in the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast. On that day the world was to see, and indeed largely ignore, the British government and their unionist/ loyalist puppets let loose the death squads of the Parachute Regiment on the people of Ballymurphy.

  • 19-year-old Francis Quinn was shot dead on August 9 while going to the aid of an injured man, as was Father Hugh Mullan.

  • Joan Connolly, aged 50, was also shot dead as she went to assist the injured.

  • Daniel Teggart, 44, Noel Phillips, 20, Joseph Murphy, 41, were all murdered by the Parachute Regiment on August 9.

  • During the next two days, August 10/11, another five people would be killed or fatally wounded, to die later of their injuries.

  • Edward Doherty, aged 28, shot dead while walking along the Whiterock Road.

  • John Laverty, aged 20, and Joseph Corr, aged 43, were shot at different points along the top of the Whiterock Road. John was shot in the back, while Joseph was shot multiple times and died later from his wounds on August 27.

  • John Kerr, aged 49, who was shot while standing outside church, died of his wounds on August 20.

  • Paddy McCarthy, aged 44, was assaulted by Paratroopers, one of whom placed a gun in Paddy’s mouth and pulled the trigger, resulting in Paddy having a heart attack from which he died shortly thereafter.

In almost all these incidents the Parachute Regiment refused to let medical assistance be administered to the wounded and the dying.

This was an operation carried out – and indeed literally executed by – professional soldiers of the Parachute Regiment. They were unleashed to inflict maximum terror and fear among the community and they succeeded in their task.

What they didn’t succeed in doing was to break the spirit of the community. The people of Ballymurphy came through this atrocity and the spirit of the people is as strong as ever. That is why today the people of Ballymurphy are seeking justice for the slaughter of their loved ones and as a community it is important that justice be seen to be done.

The recent phone call from someone pertaining to be a member of the Parachute Regiment who took part in the operation which saw so many people murdered and injured is unbelievable insofar as this person tries to deny that a massacre took place at all. He states that they were professional soldiers and that their real target was Gerry Adams. The fact that they don’t have the right to target anyone in Ireland seems to escape the caller.

Well, excuse me if I say that I might not be the shiniest penny in the collection, but I’m pretty sure that Gerry Adams bears no resemblance to any of the people murdered on those dates, August 9-11, 1971. I’m pretty sure I could pick Gerry Adams out if I were put to the test.

It is to be hoped that the person who made the phone call to the Frank Cahill Resource Centre claiming to be a member of the notorious 2nd Battalion B Company will make contact again so that this case can be brought to a conclusion. The facts are there and they need to be told and listened to by everyone who is interested in justice.

The British government must accept responsibility for the murders of 11 innocent people in Ballymurphy in 1971. This was a criminal act. Internment was a criminal act, even if no-one had been killed, but the fact is that innocent people were killed and it won’t go away.

Danny Kelly

Troops Out Movement
Campaigning for British Withdrawal from Ireland
PO Box 1032 Birmingham B12 8BZ  Tel: 0121 773 8683 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0121 773 8683      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Mob: 0797 017 4167 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0797 017 4167      end_of_the_skype_highlighting




Elise Hendrick, who knows quite a lot about inter­na­tional law, has a piece up about whether or not the settlers who Hamas killed two weeks ago were civilians:

…As such, it is at least arguable that these para­mil­i­tary settlers meet the depen­dency and control test estab­lished by the Inter­na­tional Law Commission’s Draft Articles on State Respon­si­bil­ity and the jurispru­dence of the Inter­na­tional Court of Justice. In essence, this doctrine holds that a person or group can be con­sid­ered a de facto organ of a State – and its unlawful acts thus can be attrib­uted to that State – where that person or group operates under con­di­tions of complete control and depen­dency on that State. While it is not necessary to prove that the para­mil­i­tary settlers are de facto State organs in order to hold that they are not civilians under inter­na­tional law, it is useful to examine this question in order to fully under­stand their legal status.

The degree of control required in order for a person or group’s crimes to be attrib­uted to a State as a de facto organ is a matter of some debate. In Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina v. Serbia and Mon­tene­gro (ICJ 2007), the Inter­na­tional Court of Justice held that various Bosnian Serb para­mil­i­taries operating within Bosnia could not be con­sid­ered de facto agents of Serbia and Mon­tene­gro in the context of the massacre committed by them at Sre­brenica. There, the Court found that the para­mil­i­taries, which (at the time) were operating in territory not con­trolled by Serbia and Mon­tene­gro, and which answered not to the gov­ern­ment of that State but to the quasi-state Republika Srpska estab­lished in Bosnia, were organ­i­sa­tion­ally and oper­a­tionally too inde­pen­dent of Serbia and Mon­tene­gro to be deemed de facto agents at the time of the Sre­brenica massacre.

The situation of the para­mil­i­tary settlers in the Occupied Pales­tin­ian Territory is fun­da­men­tally different in ways that suggest that they could validly be deemed de facto organs of the Israeli State. For one thing, they operate in territory that is under the complete and exclusive control of the State of Israel, which exercises that control through extensive occupying military and police forces. As Marko Milanović has noted, the ICJ in the Sre­brenica case “all but hinted at the pos­si­bil­ity that its demanding complete control test would indeed have been met for events taking place in 1992,” when the Yugoslavia’s regular army was operating in Bosnia. This would seem to hold par­tic­u­larly true in the case of the Occupied Pales­tin­ian Territory, given that the Israeli gov­ern­ment, which exercises civilian and military juris­dic­tion, as well as complete military control, over the OPT, has not made the slightest effort to disarm the para­mil­i­tary settlers or to remove them (along with the other illegal settlers) from the territory, as required by inter­na­tional law. Indeed, Israel protects the para­mil­i­tary settlers from any form of reprisal (or even protest) for their actions by the Pales­tin­ian civilian population…

But go read the whole thing on her site.

Tech­no­rati Tags: con­dem­na­tion, David Samel, Elise Hendrick, inter­na­tional law, Mon­doweiss, resis­tance, violent resis­tanceNo related posts. 

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