Archive | November, 2010

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL:URGES INVESTIGATION IN EGYPT

NOVANEWS
Tue Nov 30, 2010
 

Police officers clash with Muslim Brotherhood supporters outside a polling station, south of Cairo, November 28, 2010.
London-based rights body, the Amnesty International, has called for an investigation into the reported deaths, violence and intimidation during Egypt’s recent parliamentary polls.

“The Egyptian authorities must now open independent investigations into the deaths and allegations of violence that have, once again, cast a bloody shadow over election day,” the group’s Middle East director, Malcolm Smart, said on Tuesday, AFP reported.

Reports, covering the November 28 general elections, pointed to the death of eight people and violence involving either the security forces or the rival camps.

“Egyptian voters should have been able to rely on the security forces to ensure their safety, not pose a threat to it,” Smart noted.

“The Egyptian authorities must not ignore the damning footage of violence and intimidation that is emerging,” he said.

The country’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, who won about one-fifth of the parliamentary seats in the last round of the polls in 2005, complain that their representatives were expelled from polling stations and many of their supporters were not allowed to vote.

They say Zionist Puppet Mu-Barak’s ruling National Democratic Party sought to prevent its rivals from repeating their 2005 success.

The main opposition has failed to win any seat in the first round of the elections and only 21 out of 130 candidates feel sure of making it to the run-off vote, the Brotherhood says.

Cairo, however, insists the electoral process was marked by a “high degree of transparency.”

Related Stories:

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WIKILEAKS & ARAB PUPPET STATES

NOVANEWS
30 November 2010

 

A cursor highlights a part of the homepage of the WikiLeaks website (AFP: Joes Raedle/Getty Images)

Michael Brull

Michael Brull 

In September 2009, Antony Loewenstein wrote an article expressing scepticism about the tactical viability of Salam Fayyad’s plan to build a Palestinian state in the West Bank, whilst the occupation continued.

I said in response that this framework was completely inadequate for understanding the dynamics of the Israeli relationship to Fayyad. Fayyad exists within an imposed framework of Palestinian collaborators with the Israeli occupation, which was essentially the purpose of the Oslo agreement. I went on to make this point:

“Any sentient being should know the obvious by now: the US Government, much of the West, and corrupt Arab elites are collaborating in the occupation of Palestine. Arab collaboration is becoming increasingly brazen, with some dictatorships rewarding Israel with increased normalisation for not freezing settlement activities in the West Bank.”

Almost immediately after I wrote my critique of the collaborationist leadership of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas failed to support the Goldstone Report at the UN.

Some activists, who failed to understand the dynamics of the conflict, or who had adopted a narrowly nationalistic reading of the conflict (Israelis bad guys, Palestinians good guys) were shocked. However, whilst it was a terrible betrayal, it was hardly a shock.

I think it is in the West in particular that there is very limited understanding of the reactionary Arab elements which collaborate with the US and Israel. Even those who are critical of Mubarak labour under various delusions, such as of the imaginary support of Palestine by Iran, or the resistance of Hamas. So the Independent would report Egypt building a wall to prevent goods getting into and out of Gaza, and Hamas refused to even criticise Egypt for it.

Or just the other day, it was reported that Hamas was forcibly imposing a ceasefire on Palestinians in Gaza, preventing Palestinians from militarily resisting the occupation. Enforcing the Israeli occupation whilst the siege on Gaza continues, it seems plain to me that there’s no reason Hamas can’t become the next Fatah (and I have just picked out two illustrative examples – there is a lot to despise Hamas for).

The funny thing is, the loyal servants of the Israeli government on the right probably understand much of this better than some of the left. AIJAC, for example, hailed the “moderate Arab governments (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and even the Palestinian Authority)”. Putting aside the moderate Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, we now know why these vicious theocracies and dictatorships are so “moderate”. Jordan and Bahrain openly support bombing Iran, whilst Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates have been waging a mildly more circumspect campaign against Iran.

Meanwhile, Mubarak “hates Hamas, and considers them the same as Egypt’s own Muslim Brotherhood, which he sees as his own most dangerous political threat.” The document goes on:

“Egypt also continues to cooperate with Israel, especially via intelligence sharing, to prevent militants from Hamas and other extremist organisations from crossing the Gaza border, and on thwarting militant activity in Egypt. Egyptian efforts are all justified under President Mubarak’s pledge that Egypt with “protect its borders”.”

This is despite Egypt’s concern that it not be “perceived as collaborati[ng] in Israel’s siege of Gaza”, though this is obviously what they’re doing. This was all predictable.

What else have we learned? The documents show US praise for human rights in these hideous regimes, like Saudi Arabia (“In response to Brennan,s [sic] praise for the King,s [sic] interfaith dialogue initiative, his commitment to advancing rights”). But again, I was writing about this a year-and-a-half ago. And the actual secular Arab left has been vocal on this too (for example, Assaf Kfoury).

The picture that emerges from the most prominent leaked documents is of a Middle East utterly dominated by the US and Israel, with Arab dictatorships falling over themselves to support the interests of both. As’ad AbuKhalil notes that the US puppet client states are only concerned about possible Iranian nuclear weapons: it is no secret that their populations may view with a little more concern Israel’s nuclear weapons.

Broadly speaking, very little has changed in the last 40 years, excepting the Iranian revolution. And the nature of the Iranian regime is too often misunderstood too, as people forget the military ties between Israel and Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. Yes, that was when the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini gave speeches about the end of the Little Satan, today quoted by Ahmadinejad, to the outrage of Zionist propagandists who declare that now Iran’s leaders want to destroy Israel.

In short, these leaks command the attention of the public. But people could learn much the same by reading studies of US and UK archives in relation to the Middle East, particularly the excellent work of Mark Curtis (The Great Deception, Unpeople, Web of Deceit – sadly, not his latest book which was deeply disappointing).

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WIKILEAKS: ZIONIST ARABS

S E C R E T TEL AVIV 000654 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2019 TAGS: PREL PTER PGOV KWBG IR IS SUBJECT: ISRAEL’S RELATIONS WITH THE GULF STATES FOCUS ON IRAN, PERCEPTION OF ISRAELI INFLUENCE IN WASHINGTON REF: TEL AVIV 605 Classified By: DCM Luis G. Moreno, Reason 1.4 (b) (d) 1. (S) Summary. MFA Deputy Director General for the Middle East Yacov Hadas provided PolCouns March 16 with an overview of Israel’s relations with several of the Gulf states. Hadas described Israel’s relations with the Gulf as a function of the Gulf Arabs’ fear of Iran, but also as due to the Arabs’ belief in Israeli influence in Washington. Fleshing out some of the points he had made earlier to NEA Acting A/S Feltman (reftel), Hadas described Qatar’s shift toward the radical camp in the region as a “game” linked to Qatari rivalry with Saudi Arabia. Hadas believes Qatar is feeling pressure from Israel, Egypt and the Saudis, adding that he has been invited to visit Doha for talks about how to resume normal Qatari-Israeli ties. Hadas noted that while the Omanis are generally correct in their dealings with Israel, they appear not to recognize the seriousness of the threat from Iran. He said that while the UAE is increasingly hostile to Iran, it remains unclear how far they are willing to go in terms of increasing financial pressures on Tehran. Hadas said the Gulf Arabs feel that the U.S. does not listen to them and therefore sometimes try to pass messages through Israel. While he agreed that progress on the Palestinian track would make it easier for the Gulf states to be open about their ties to Israel, he cautioned that the Gulf states use the peace process as an “excuse not to take action” against Iran or in support of the PA. End Summary. 2. (C) PolCouns called on Deputy Director General for the Middle East Yacov Hadas March 16 to follow up on Hadas’ March 4 discussion with Acting A/S Feltman of Israeli-Gulf relations. Beginning with Qatar, Hadas said there were signs that various pressures on the Qataris were starting to have an effect. Hadas noted that Qatar could only get its humanitarian relief supplies into Gaza through Israel. Qatari diplomats assigned to their Gaza consulate also had to cross through Israel since Egypt would not allow them to enter Gaza from Rafah. For now, the Israelis are not allowing either Qatari assistance or personnel to cross into Gaza. Hadas noted that he had been invited to visit Doha to discuss reopening the Israeli trade office, which he saw as a positive sign. He added that the Qataris needed to understand that they could not expect to restore cooperative relations with Israel without agreeing to reopen the trade office. 3. (S) While Hadas was critical of the Qataris’ treatment of Israel since the Gaza operation, he stressed that he thought Qatar’s policies were not a matter of a shift in ideology toward the radical camp, but linked to their rivalry with the Saudis and, by extension, with Egypt. In private settings, Hadas noted that the Qatari leadership harbored “no illusions” about Iran. Prince Hamad had told the Israelis in October 2006 that he believed Iran was determined to develop a nuclear bomb no matter the cost. According to Hadas, Hamad complained at the time that he felt the U.S. would not listen to him and tended to believe what it heard from Iran. 4. (S) Hadas reiterated the point he had made to Feltman regarding Oman, calling the Omanis the “most problematic” of the Gulf states in terms of their view of Iran. With regard to Omani contacts with Israel, Hadas said they were “correct,” but the Omanis never fulfilled their commitment to open an Israeli office in Muscat. He said Oman has “its own definition” of what poses a threat to the Gulf, partly due to Oman’s geographical location. He did not think Oman would be willing to join the rest of the GCC against Iran. 5. (S) Hadas agreed that the UAE was increasingly hostile to Iran, but there remained a question as to how far they were prepared to go. The UAE has extensive trade and financial relations with Iran, including money laundering, and it was unclear whether they were ready to use these relations as leverage. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah has developed good personal relations with Foreign Minister Livni, but the Emiratis are “not ready to do publicly what they say in private.” (Note: It was clear from Hadas’ remarks that Israel’s channel to Saudi Arabia does not run through the Foreign Ministry.) 6. (S) Hadas said the Gulf Arabs believe in Israel’s role because of their perception of Israel’s close relationship with the U.S. but also due to their sense that they can count on Israel against Iran. “They believe Israel can work magic,” Hadas commented. When considering a trilateral U.S.-Israel-GCC partnership, Hadas suggested we bear in mind that Iran’s nuclear program is the primary source of concern to the U.S. and Israel, while the Gulf Arabs also worry about Iran for a host of historic and sectarian reasons. 7. (C) PolCouns noted that Arabs say that progress on the Palestinian track would make it easier for them to publicly engage Israel. Hadas countered that while peace with the Palestinians is an Israeli interest and important in its own right, it should not be the sum total of Israel’s relations with the Arab World. Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa had invented the “never-ending hurdle race” in which Israel could never do enough to deserve a positive response. The Israeli-Palestinian track should not serve as an excuse for the Gulf to avoid action, whether against Iran or through practical steps to support the Palestinian Authority. ********************************************* ******************** Visit Embassy Tel Aviv’s Classified Website: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv ********************************************* ******************** CUNNINGHAM

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WIKILEAKS & ITS IMPORTANCE

NOVANEWS


modernityblog 
30/11/2010
 

 

There is quite a disagreement over the significance of the Wikileaks’ new material and I confess I am not a Guardian reader so did not manage to absorb their take on matters, yet.

Political Betting is rather dismissive of the whole matter, suggesting that it has displaced other more important items from the political agenda, and whilst that might be true, it seems to me to be taking a rather parochial and limited view of the many connected issues.

I do not think we fully appreciate how the Internet has changed our grasp of world events, power relationships and the control of the news agenda.

As I have argued before, national governments have made a concerted effort to restrict and control the Internet and they do so not because they are concerned particularly with pornography or downloading of films.

No, one of their prime concerns is controlling the flow of information and what people know about issues. That approach applies to dictatorial states across the world, such as China, Burma and parts of the Middle East, but not exclusively so, it also happens in Western countries, just in a far more subtle form.

Governments are, by their nature, in power, very literally. They want to control things, influencing how people perceive the world, how they perceive government policies and more critically, politicians.

The Wikileaks’ material makes it all the more harder for politicians to lie, fudge issues and mislead their constituents and the wider public, which is why it matters.

Nowadays we view world events in a completely different light than we did, say 30 years ago. We can obtain information and opinions from around the world, with a few exceptions. Aided by automatic translation tools we can read foreign media and gain insights into different countries, customs and attitudes.

So in all of that, we are less dependent on governments and media groups to feed us their predetermined agendas or shape how we see the world.

That is why the Wikileaks’ release has great significance.

On top of that we must not forget history, these documents provide a real insight into the shady world of governmental dealings. They confirm what many of us had suspected, and in doing so they are important, providing solid confirmation of how governments and politicians really work, beyond the public gaze. If we truly wish to hold politicians, political leaders and our rulers to account then we should welcome the released material.

Wikileaks’ work is a way of helping us to keep tabs on politicians and understand the underlying motivations behind the public face of governmental actions, behind the bland press releases, behind the fake smiles, which is why we should welcome it.

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STOP SPENDING ON WEAPONS

NOVANEWS

To the Editor:

We have a big problem in this country, and it looks as if the co-chairmen of President Obama’s fiscal commission are ready to face it. For decades we have wasted the money we should have been spending on kids and the environment by buying overpriced weapons that don’t work and staffing cold-war-era military bases around the world. Now it seems that those bad ideas are on the chopping block to the tune of $100 billion in defense cuts.

Groups as diverse as USAction, the Center for Defense Information, leaders of the Cato Institute as well as many Tea Party members all agree. These cuts don’t need to be a partisan issue.

Many of the Republicans elected to the new Congress have pledged to put Pentagon spending under a microscope, and I know many Democrats would rather spend our tax dollars on essential things like education, health care and jobs.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle should welcome a real debate on Pentagon spending. Every weapon system, every proposal to increase the size of the force, every plan for deploying our military abroad or expanding current operations must be scrutinized.

Ben Cohen
Williston, Vt., Nov. 16, 2010

 

Scale back on defense spending

Although I don’t agree with most of what the deficit commission argued for, I do applaud its recommendation to cut $100 billion out of the bloated defense budget.

We already spend more on our military budget than every other major developed country. Finally, a government panel is advising us to rein in defense spending. The country should focus on feeding, educating and supporting our communities.

There is a long fight ahead on which government programs should be cut and which kept.

Although many can agree to begin scaling back the billions wasted on more war and weapons, some are still stuck in a Cold War mind-set.

Maureen Wheeler; Silver Spring, Md.

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NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

NOVANEWS

 

Tehran Terror Attack: Nuclear Scientist Assassinated by Motorcycle Bombers

Iran Blames Israel for Bombing Strike

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

The latest in a series of assassinations of top Tehran professors came today when nuclear scientists from Shahid Beheshti University were attacked by a group of bombers riding motorcycles.

The attackers surrounded the cars of the two scientists and bombed their vehicles, killing one and badly wounding the other. Both of their wives, also in the cars at the time, were also wounded.

The Iranian government was quick to blame Israel for the killings but so far the Israeli government, usually eager to take credit for terror attacks on foreign soil, have yet to confirm or deny this.

The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was confirmed by Iran’s atomic chief Ali-Akbar Salehi to be a former student of his, and the wounded scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi, has a PhD in nuclear physics and is a laser expert linked with Iran’s Defense Ministry.

Netanyahu: WikiLeaks revelations were good for Israel

 

For years he has warned of the dangers the Iranian nuclear program poses to the entire region. These warnings had been vindicated, Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says newly leaked U.S. diplomatic memos about the Saudi king offer clear proof that the Arab world agrees with his country’s assessment that Iran is the chief danger to the Middle East.

According to the documents released Sunday by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program. The king is just one of many Arab voices in the documents calling for tough action against Iran – proof that Israel is not alone in its belief that Tehran is a growing menace to the region, Netanyahu said.

“The greatest threat to world peace stems from the arming of the regime in Iran,” Netanyahu told a news conference yesterday. “More and more states, governments and leaders in the Middle East and in far reaches of the world understand this is a fundamental threat.”

But for Israel, the outcome is positive, Netanyahu said. For years he has warned of the dangers the Iranian nuclear program poses to the entire region. These warnings had been vindicated, Netanyahu said.

“Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat,” Netanyahu said.

“In reality leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat,” he added.

“If leaders start saying openly what they have long been saying behind closed doors, we can make a real breakthrough on the road to peace.”

Netanyahu added that Israel had worked in advance to limit any damage from leaks.

“Every Israeli leader has known for years that that dispatches are likely to leak out, so we adapted ourselves to the reality of leaks,” he said. “That has a bearing on who I invite to meetings. No classified Israeli material was exposed by WikiLeaks.”

Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the latest U.S. documents on WikiLeaks are proof of the transparency of the Palestinian Authority.

The papers said Israel tried to coordinate with the PA regarding its Gaza offensive in the winter of 2008-09, telling the Palestinians to be ready to take over the enclave. The PA rejected the offer, said the documents.

Self-declared Israeli rabbi convicted of abusing eight children

The affair was uncovered two years ago, when one of the children was taken to the hospital unconscious. Once the story became public, Chen fled to Brazil, which extradited him back to Israel.

The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday convicted a self-declared rabbi for abusing the eight children of the woman with whom he lived.

Last week, four of Rabbi Elior Chen’s followers were sentenced to lengthy prison on similar child abuse charges.

Alleged cult leader Elior Chen

Alleged cult leader Elior Chen in court.

Photo by: Daniel Bar-On

The child abuse affair was uncovered two years ago, when one of the children was taken to the hospital unconscious. Once the story became public, Chen fled to Brazil, which extradited him back to Israel.

Chen, who called himself a rabbi, told his disciples the abuse was necessary to “purify” the children, all members of one family. As a result, the children were severely beaten, burned, locked in suitcases and forced to eat their own feces, among other acts; one child remains in a coma to this day as a result.

In her ruling, Judge Nava Ben-Or called the case “incomprehensible,” adding that Israel has never before known anything like it.

For instance, Mascalchi, 25, was convicted of burning the fingers of one child, taping his mouth shut, stuffing him into a suitcase and leaving him there for some time. Kugman, 24, was convicted of tying up the children and then beating them. He also held one child to an electric heater, causing burns so severe that the child needed a skin transplant.

Two of the four defendants sentenced earlier this week denied all the charges against them. The other two admitted to some, but claimed that they were helpless under Chen’s “magical” influence.

The mother of the eight children, who remains unnamed, was sentenced in May to five years in prison after pleading guilty to shaking, burning and tying up her children.

Barak: WikiLeaks has changed face of world diplomacy

Defense Minister says Israel emerged from fiasco unscathed, but adds that diplomats the world over will now have to be more cautious.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak -  Ofer Vaknin

Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Photo by: Ofer Vaknin

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that the classified cables revealed by WikiLeaks had not damaged Israel but would surely change the face of global diplomacy.

“Diplomacy will look different today. People, diplomats in every corner of the world, will be much more cautious when they speak, and not just with the Americans,” Barak said while touring an industrial military factory in central Israel. “It will shake the diplomatic conversation.”

“But with regard to Israel, I don’t think any damage has been done,” Barak added. “There is no great difference between what has been read in WikiLeaks and what is heard in our deep briefings.”

The defense minister added that the leaked documents “revealed interesting things pertaining to the stance of the entire Arab world” with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, and gave a glimpse into global “information from behind closed doors.”

After the online whistleblower began publishing the cables on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said some of the secret diplomatic memos were beneficial for Israel, particularly those offering clear proof that the Arab world agrees with his country’s assessment that Iran is the chief danger to the Middle East.

According to the documents released by WikiLeaks, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program. The king is just one of many Arab voices in the documents calling for tough action against Iran – proof that Israel is not alone in its belief that Tehran is a growing menace to the region, Netanyahu said.

“The greatest threat to world peace stems from the arming of the regime in Iran,” Netanyahu told a news conference Monday. “More and more states, governments and leaders in the Middle East and in far reaches of the world understand this is a fundamental threat.”

But for Israel, the outcome is positive, Netanyahu said. For years he has warned of the dangers the Iranian nuclear program poses to the entire region. These warnings had been vindicated, Netanyahu said.

“Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat,” Netanyahu said.
“In reality leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat,” he added.

“If leaders start saying openly what they have long been saying behind closed doors, we can make a real breakthrough on the road to peace.”
Netanyahu added that Israel had worked in advance to limit any damage from leaks.

“Every Israeli leader has known for years that that dispatches are likely to leak out, so we adapted ourselves to the reality of leaks,” he said. “That has a bearing on who I invite to meetings. No classified Israeli material was exposed by WikiLeaks.”

Poll: Most Israeli Jews believe Arab citizens should have no say in foreign policy

Israel Democratic Institute conducts study on democracy, concludes that more than half Israelis say Arabs should be encouraged to emigrate.

Approximately 86 percent of Israeli Jews believe any final Knesset decision regarding the country’s future political arrangement must be approved by a Jewish majority, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Israel Democratic Institute.

More than 62 percent of Israeli Jewish respondents also said that as long as conflict with the Palestinians continued, the state should not take into account Israeli Arab opinions regarding foreign policy.

Protesters demand the release of Arab-Israeli activist Amir Makhoul, Haifa, May 10, 2010

Protesters demand the release of Arab-Israeli activist Amir Makhoul, Haifa, May 10, 2010

Photo by: Tomer Neuberg

The study also found that 53 percent of Israeli Jews believe the state has the right to encourage Arab citizens to emigrate, while 55 percent said Jewish cities should receive more government resources than Arab communities.

Another 51 percent of those polled said that Israeli Arabs and Jews should have equal rights.

Some 54 percent of Israelis said they believed legal action should not be taken against citizens who speak up against the state. Another 50 percent supported the claim that anti-Zionist parties should be allowed to run for the Knesset.

The study also revealed that almost half of the Jewish Israelis polled would be bothered to have an Arab neighbor. That topic also found that 39 percent considered patients in mental institutions and foreign workers to be the most disruptive kind of neighbor; 25 percent said living next to a homosexual couple was the most disruptive; 23 percent said ultra-Orthodox neighbors bothered them most; and 17 percent would rather not live next to Ethiopian immigrants.

The study found a high correlation between the level of religious observance and the belief that Arabs should have different rights. The study indicated that the Russian immigrants were the least liberal population in the country.

Israeli Arab respondents expressed less tolerance for foreign neighbors; 70 percent of whom said they would rather not live beside a homosexual couple, while 67 percent said they would rather not live next to Haredi families.

The study revealed, however, that 48 percent of Israeli Arab were tolerant of living beside foreign workers.

The study was conducted by six researchers and compiled its answers from public opinion polls that questioned more than 1,203 people.

U.S. State Department: Israel is not a tolerant society

 

Report claims Israel discriminates against Muslims, Reform Jews, Christians, women and Bedouin.

(Haaretz) Israel dismally fails the requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society, according to a new report from the U.S. State Department.

Despite boasting religious freedom and protection of all holy sites, Israel falls short in tolerance toward minorities, equal treatment of ethnic groups, openness toward various streams within society, and respect for holy and other sites.

The comprehensive report, written by the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, says Israel discriminates against groups including Muslims, Jehova’s Witnesses, Reform Jews, Christians, women and Bedouin.

The report says that the 1967 law on the protection of holy places refers to all religious groups in the country, including in Jerusalem, but “the government implements regulations only for Jewish sites. Non-Jewish holy sites do not enjoy legal protection under it because the government does not recognize them as official holy sites.”

At the end of 2008, for example, all of the 137 officially recognized holy sites were Jewish. Moreover, Israel issued regulations for the identification, preservation and guarding of Jewish sites only. Many Christian and Muslim sites are said to be neglected, inaccessible or at risk of exploitation by real estate entrepreneurs and local authorities.

The report makes it clear that practices that have become routine in Israel are considered unacceptable in enlightened countries and should be corrected.

Among other examples, the report notes that more than 300,000 immigrants who are not considered Jewish under rabbinical law are not allowed to marry and divorce in Israel or be buried in Jewish cemeteries.

Israel names Iran expert as new Mossad chief

 

 

By Sheera Frenkel | McClatchy Newspapers

JERUSALEM — Israel on Monday named a veteran spy to head Mossad, a sign that the country’s main espionage agency will continue to be active and aggressive and that Iran will remain at the top of the Israeli foreign policy agenda.

Tamir Pardo, who’s to succeed current director Meir Dagan at the end of the year, pending approval by a panel of judges, “is the right man to usher the organization through the coming years in the face of complicated challenges,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In his eight years in office, Dagan is said to have revolutionized the Mossad, put top priority on Iran and pressed for expanded operations oversees. His name appears in several of the cables divulged by the Wikileaks Website Sunday, in which he warns U.S. officials of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Pardo earlier had served as Dagan’s deputy, and his policy views are said to be closely linked to Dagan’s.

Israel’s efforts stop Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program — a topic that was widely covered in the U.S. cables — will be among his top challenges.

A series of cables through 2008-2009 show U.S. diplomats and Israeli leaders pleaded with Russia not to sell Iran powerful S-300 anti-aircraft missiles capable of shooting down aircraft more than 120 miles away. In one February 2010 cable, a quid pro quo deal is suggested by which Israel would increase its arms deals with Georgia — with which Russia fought a 2008 war — unless Russia canceled the S-300 deal. Israel also offered to provide Russia with a number of weapons systems and unmanned aerial aircraft.

By September 2010, the diplomacy appeared to have succeeded. Russia announced the cancellation of an agreement to sell Iran the missiles.

Iran has accused Russia of thwarting the missile sale because of U.S. and Israeli pressure, but the cables now provide new evidence for its claim.

The cables also reveal a number of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, urging the United States to act against Iran. Those states have publically condemned Israel on numerous occasions but have never spoken openly against Iran.

Only a handful of cables have been released of the more than 250,000 that Wikileaks said it would reveal on its Website. Israeli leaders, however, said that the information in the cables supports what Israel has been arguing for years — namely that a nuclear Iran would threaten the entire Middle East.

So far, none of the cables discussed undercover operations that Israel is suspected to have carried out against Iranian targets.

On Monday, Iran accused Israel of attacking two nuclear scientists in Tehran. Security experts in Israel said that Iran could be behind the attacks if the scientists had been considering defecting.

Iran also has accused Mossad of assassinating several Arab figures, including the January 2010 death of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

Dubai police published photographs and passport details of dozens of people it said were behind that assassination, many of whom were traced back to Israel.

Though Israel never admitted its involvement in Mabhouh’s death, the incident was considered embarrassing for Mossad chief Dagan.

Several Israeli newspapers suggested that it could prompt Netanyahu to choose a new Mossad head from outside the organization. But the announcement Monday of Pardo’s succession confirmed that Netanyahu wanted to continue Dagan’s policies.

When Dagan was first named to his post, former prime minister Ariel Sharon said the Mossad should regain its “allure” in the Middle East. Dagan has been called a “determined street fighter” who re-energized the Mossad and doubled its budget.

Pardo served briefly as Dagan’s deputy but quit the Mossad last year because of frustration with Dagan’s unwillingness to groom him as a successor.

Israeli analysts noted that Pardo is close to the Netanyahu family. He served in an elite army commando unit with Netanyahu’s brother, Yonatan, during the famed raid on Uganda’s Entebbe airport in 1976. Yonatan died on the mission to free passengers of a hijacked Air France jet.

Pardo is briefly mentioned in the book written by Ido Netanyahu, the youngest brother in the Netanyahu family.

Pardo beat out several other high-profile candidates, including Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet, and Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, who resigned last week as head of military intelligence.

WikiLeaks: US official compiled dossiers on politicians’ private lives

American officials compile detailed dossiers about leading politicians including their private lives, leaked cables show.

 

Alan Duncan was the subject of detailed cables sent by US intelligence officials.

 

Alan Duncan,  subject of detailed cables sent by US intelligence officials.

 

“Embassy staff note everything about MPs from allegations of affairs to how their parents have influenced their characters…”

Just before the general election, intelligence analysts drew up “products on the Conservative leadership” including their relationships for the benefit of “senior policymakers”.

In one particularly personal memo, a former Labour minister was branded “a bit of a hound dog where women are concerned”.

A confidential communiqué sent from the US Embassy in London to Washington DC told how the senior politician was “forced to apologize… to a female… who accused him of sexual harassment… and has had marital troubles in the last few years”.

It claimed that the minister had “manic depressive tendencies” and had been described as a “bully” by at least one colleague.

The gossipy memo was apparently gratefully received by intelligence chiefs, who replied: “Washington analysts appreciate the excellent background and biographical reporting.”

The material about “bullying, possible depression and scandals, as well as comments on the state of his marriage” was seen as “particularly insightful and timely”.

The “hound dog” minister who chased women has not been named by WikiLeaks, the website that has obtained 250,000 messages sent by US diplomatic and intelligence officials, or the newspapers that have seen the unedited cables.

His identity was the subject of much discussion online, with several names emerging as likely candidates according to bloggers and Twitter users.

Earlier this year American spies were highly interested in Alan Duncan, then shadow prisons minister, and his friendship with William Hague, at the time the shadow foreign secretary, with whom he once shared a London flat.

A cable from the US head of intelligence operations called for more information on Mr Duncan, a former oil trader, and his “relationship with David Cameron and William Hague”.

Elizabeth Pitterle, head of intelligence operations, said the information previously sent on Mr Duncan, who is in a civil partnership, and Mr Hague, who recently publicly denied internet rumours about his sexuality, was “exceptionally well timed”.

“Analysts are preparing finished products on the Conservative leadership for senior policymakers,” she wrote in January, suggesting that many more Tory politicians were being studied ahead of the election that would see them take power.

German politicians also came in for detailed scrutiny according to selected cables that have been published by WikiLeaks so far, particularly the foreign minister.

The embassy in Berlin sent a cable in September 2008 titled “The world according to Guido Westerwelle” that covered everything from his “craving” for political power to his upbringing and the fact that he is “openly gay”.

It stated: “Family members note that Westerwelle inherited the unbridled, aggressive temperament of his father and the calculated, deliberate, and hesitant cleverness of his mother.

“Westerwelle enjoys horses and to this day he is an avid equestrian.”

 

Washington Insiders Fret Over WikiLeaks Dump

by Jim Lobe,

www.antiwar.com

While the massive dump of some 250,000 internal U.S. diplomatic communications by WikiLeaks includes none marked “top secret,” their dissemination is already causing considerable embarrassment and may well inflict longer-term damage on Washington’s foreign relations.

Most analysts said the initial exposure of nearly 250 of the documents – or only about one-thousandth of the total cache – contained no major surprises for those who follow U.S. foreign policy closely.

“Much of what we have seen thus far confirms more than it informs,” wrote Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a former senior diplomat in the two Bush administrations, on CFR’s Web site Monday.

“We are not surprised to read U.S. diplomatic cables reporting that corruption in Afghanistan is rampant; that prominent Sunni Arab leaders are more worried about Iran and its nuclear program than they are about Israel; that it has been difficult to get other governments to accept Guantanamo detainees; that Syria’s government maintains close ties to Hezbollah despite assurances to the contrary; or that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a man of questionable character,” he wrote.

Haass’s colleague, CFR Vice President James Lindsay, noted that U.S. citizens could take some comfort from the revelation in many of the cables that Washington’s private messages to foreign leaders were generally not so different from its public statements.

“We now have proof that in many instances U.S. diplomats said the same things in private that they have said in public,” he wrote in an online chat hosted by the Washington Post Monday afternoon. He conceded, however, that some of the cables will undoubtedly cause “heartburn” in Washington.

Among these, most significantly, were the disclosure that Washington has secretly tried – so far without apparent success – to persuade the Pakistani government to move some of its fissile material from the country; an admission by Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in January this year that he had just lied to parliament that his forces had conducted strikes against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula when, in fact, they were undertaken by U.S.-controlled pilotless aircraft; and serial complaints about Qatar’s alleged failure to cooperate in U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

In addition, the disclosures that have received the most attention in media – that a number of senior Sunni Arab leaders, among them Saudi King Abdullah, reportedly have appealed privately to their U.S. interlocutors at various times in recent years for military strikes, if necessary, against Iran to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon – are likely to cause serious embarrassment to their regimes, which have publicly warned against any move that could lead to war.

The contradiction between these leaders’ private and public stances could provoke considerable consternation – and perhaps more – across the Arab world. According to the latest edition of the 10-year-old Arab Public Opinion poll published in August, nearly four in five respondents said they supported Iran’s right to pursue its nuclear program, and nearly six in 10 said they believed Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons could lead to a “more positive” outcome in the Middle East.

The survey covered Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan, the three countries where support for Iran’s program was highest, as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where support was lower.

“Will this great transgression of the private/public divide in Arab politics create a moment of reckoning in which the Arab public finally asserts itself?” asked Marc Lynch, a Middle East expert at George Washington University, in his blog on ForeignPolicy.com Monday. “Or will it be one in which Arab leaders finally stop deferring to Arab public opinion and start acting out on their private beliefs?”

“Thus far, most of the mainstream Arab media seems to be either ignoring the WikiLeaks revelations or else reporting it in generalities, i.e., reporting that it’s happening but not the details in the cables,” he went on. “I imagine there are some pretty tense scenes in Arab newsrooms right now, as they try to figure out how to cover the news within their political constraints.”

In the meantime, the leaks themselves are likely to make communication between U.S. diplomats and Arab leaders considerably more difficult, according to retired ambassador Charles Freeman Jr., who represented Washington in Riyadh during the 1991 Gulf War.

“It will be a long time before anyone in the region will speak candidly to an American official. If you cannot speak in confidence with someone, you will not speak to them,” he told IPS, adding that the exposure of the apparent hypocrisy among Arab leaders could well enhance Iran’s position and prestige there.

Indeed, circumspection in communications with U.S. diplomats is likely to become the norm in many of the world’s capitals, at least in the short term, according to most observers, who pointed out that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she has directed that strong measures be taken “so this kind of breach does not ever happen again” is unlikely to reassure many of its interlocutors.

That will also likely be particularly true in light of yet another damaging disclosure contained in the documents: that State Department officials have been under orders since 2008 to gather credit-card, frequent-flier, telephone numbers, and other personal information regarding foreign and United Nations officials – a task normally reserved for the intelligence community.

CFR’s Haass suggested the loss of confidence that Washington can protect its secrets could in fact be among the most damaging of the “longer-term” consequences of the latest WikiLeaks dump.

“Foreign governments may think twice before sharing their secrets or even their candid judgments with American counterparts lest they read about them on the Internet. And American diplomats may be less willing to commit their thoughts to paper. Such reticence will deprive policymakers of an important source of information and make decision-making more ad hoc and less systematic than it needs to be,” he observed.

Hawks Claim Vindication over WikiLeaks Cables

Docs Detail Hawks’ Hostility Toward Iran

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

In a bizarre example of self-justification, a number of anti-Iran hawks are citing the WikiLeaks cables are vindication for their hostility toward Iran, purely on the basis of the documents repeating their own hostility toward the nation.

Somehow, the fact that the documents rehashed the long-standing Israeli calls to attack Iran made Israeli officials feel vindicated in those calls, and the fact that the Saudi King was making similar calls (for largely a different reason) may be interesting, but provides no proof that the threats were any wiser.

In fact, other documents on the Saudi government’s position suggest that, far from actually being concerned about Iran as a prospective nuclear power, the Saudis were more concerned that the US occupation of Iraq had turned the nation over to Shi’ite control and given the Shi’ite Iranians newfound power in the region. The Saudi King’s calls for attack seem to have been a pretty cynical attempt to strengthen the Sunni position in the region.

And though a number of the documents center around Iran’s nuclear program, none of them ever touches on or even implies the existence of any evidence that the program is military in nature. Indeed, their answer to public questions about the allegation by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was to warn his aides that he’d better stop asking such uncomfortable questions.

In the end it seems far from vindicating the hawks, the cables just name them, and far from making a good case for a war against Iran, they reveal US hostility over the idea that such a war might not be universally supported.

UN Chief to US: Don’t Steal My Credit Card

 

UN to Remind Obama Stealing Info Is a Crime

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

As the White House rails against WikiLeaks for releasing a cache of classified State Department documents, insisting that the “stealing” of the classified data is a crime, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is said to be planning to remind the president to practice what he preaches.

That is because one of the first leaks to come out of the data was a document signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordering State Department officials at a number of embassies to steal the credit card numbersand other personal data of members of the UN Security Council, including Ban.

According to one of Ban’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, the Secretary-General intends to press the US on the plot “on various levels.” Haq reminded people in his comments that the 1946 UN convention on privileges makes attempting to steal the data sought by Secretary Clinton is itself a serious crime under international law.

The release of WikiLeaks data includes less than one tenth of one percent of the overall data the organization claims to have, but the release has already uncovered at least this one serious crime. So far US officials are trying to deflect the charges by making a big deal of WikiLeaks, but it seems inevitable that Secretary Clinton and others will be brought to account for their crimes, particularly when those crimes are being committed against other top officials.

Exclusive: Leaked cable reveals US-Israeli strategy for regime change in Iran

Wiki-leak confirms reporting by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh

By Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
 

(rawstory.com) iranusflags Exclusive: Leaked cable reveals US Israeli strategy for regime change in IranAccording to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, in August 2007 the head of Israel’s intelligence agency urged US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, R. Nicholas Burns, to join with Israel in carrying out a five-part strategy to implement regime change in Iran.

Mossad Director Meir Dagan acknowledged at the meeting that the American analysis of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program was different from Israel’s, but he insisted that the threat from Iran was “obvious” and stated that Israel was willing to take action unilaterally.

rsilogo Exclusive: Leaked cable reveals US Israeli strategy for regime change in IranThe classified diplomatic cable outlining the meeting is part of a large cache of documents leaked to the whistleblower website Wikileaks, and released to the public on Sunday via several international newspapers, including The Guardian and The New York Times.

Dagan began the meeting by thanking the US for its support of Israel, as well as for a recent $30 billion aid package.

The Mossad chief then conceded that US analysis of Iran’s alleged nuclear capabilities differed from Israel’s, but remarked that such differences were essentially irrelevant and that if need be Israel would take action alone.

“The threat is obvious, even if we have a different timetable,” he said. “If we want to postpone their acquisition of a nuclear capability, then we have to invest time and effort ourselves.”

Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and the Central Intelligence Agency, who served for eighteen years in Turkey, believes Dagan’s comment that Israel will have to “invest time and effort ourselves” in dealing with Iran was, in essence, a veiled threat.

“It is essentially setting up a situation in which the threat of Israel acting alone becomes a wedge issue to force the US to do something so that it will be able to manage the situation rather than respond to Israeli initiatives,” Giraldi told Raw Story on Sunday. ”It pushes Washington into planning a military strike to force the Israelis to stand down on their own plans.”

The differences between how each nation viewed the Iranian nuclear program were not discussed by either the US or Israeli officials in the cable.

R. Nicholas Burns, the U.S. envoy at the meeting — who is now the Sultan of Oman Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government – did not respond to requests for comment.

The Israeli embassy also did not respond to request for comment.

The Five Pillars of Israeli Strategy

According to the cable, Dagan continued the meeting by enumerating Israel’s “five pillar” strategy on Iran, which he urged that the US and Israel both implement:

1. Political Approach
2. Covert Measures
3. Counterprolifiration
4. Sanctions
5. Force Regime Change

Each of the so-called pillars is briefly summarized in the cable.

The political approach advocated by Dagan involved continued pressure from the United Nations Security Council to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

The covert pillar of the Israeli strategy was not discussed by Dagan or other Israeli envoys, nor does the classified cable elaborate on the particulars.

The counterproliferation part of the Israeli plans emphasize that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear “know-how and technology.”

Dagan noted that the economic sanctions pillar of the strategy was already working, citing the failure of three Iranian banks.

Finally, Dagan suggested that the U.S and Israel should both help “force regime change” in Iran by proxy, “possibly with the support of student democracy movements, and ethnic groups (e.g., Azeris, Kurds, Baluchs) opposed to the ruling regime.”

It is unclear from the cable just exactly what “support” of “ethnic groups” meant or whether Dagan offered any suggestions.

Robert Baer — a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who spent his career stationed in the Middle East, including in Iraqi Kurdistan and on whom the Academy Award winning movie Syriana is based — interprets Dagan’s suggestion as a violent one.

When asked what he thought forced regime change meant in this context with respect to support for the Azeris, Kurds, and Baluchs, Baer told Raw Story, “it means give them money so they can set off bombs – the Mad Max approach.”

Dagan suggested that all five pillars be enacted simultaneously, including regime change, implying there was no need to allow time for the other pillars to work, including economic sanctions and political pressure. This would have put the U.S in a difficult position, given its history in Iran.

Events leading up to and after the meeting

According to published sources, both the United States and Israel have been active in attempts to spy on Iran’s nuclear program and destabilize its government since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and those efforts intensified as concern over Iran’s nuclear program mounted in late 2005.

Seymour Hersh wrote for the New Yorker In April 2006 that the previous December, Mossad Director Dagan had told the Knesset, “Iran is one to two years away, at the latest, from having enriched uranium. From that point, the completion of their nuclear weapon is simply a technical matter.”

Over the next few months, Under Secretary Burns was active in diplomatic approaches to dealing with Iran. By the end of January 2006, he and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had convinced Russia and China to vote for the International Atomic Energy Agency to report Iran to the Security Council.

But in March, the Bush administration decided against direct talks with the Iranians and the State Department announced “that a newly established Office of Iranian Affairs within the department would focus on introducing democracy in Iran.” Burns, Rice, and Elizabeth Cheney –daughter of then Vice President Dick Cheney — were all said to be behind the new policy.

A few weeks later, Hersh noted that “the Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups.”

Those clandestine efforts continued over the next year, amid widespread reports that the CIA was behind “a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.”

In the spring of 2007, there were signs of an apparent softening of policy towards Iran, including thedisbanding of Liz Cheney’s Iran Syria Policy and Operations Group, which had been seen as “plotting covert actions that could escalate into a military conflict with Iran or Syria.”

Any softening, however, was short-lived. On July 21, 2007, Burns and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams met with representatives of Iranian ethnic groups in the US to discuss (pdf) Iran’s nuclear policies. And in August, Burns joined the Israeli foreign minister in Jerusalem to sign a new military aid package amounting to $30 billion over ten years — an increase of 25% from previous levels.

That was the immediate background for Burns’ meeting with Dagan, as described in the newly-released cable.

Within a few months, the Bush administration had decided to intensify its covert actions against Iran.

According to Hersh, in late 2007, “Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.”

This is precisely the approach Dagan and Burns discussed at August 2007 meeting, as described in the leaked cable.

Clinton: WikiLeaks Revelations ‘An Attack on the World’

Officials Rail At ‘Serious Crime’ of Unveiling Other Serious Crimes

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

The truth about the unseemly way in which the US State Department has been behaving should not have gone public, insists Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who today called the revelation of these facts “an attack on the international community.”

The Obama Administration has expressed outrage at what amounts to the revelation of a growing number of crimes committed under their watch (and often on their direct orders), with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs calling the leaks a serious crime.

Of course, the Supreme Court has already ruled that classified documents can be published by the press, and while the original leaker himself, apparently Pfc Bradley Manning, may well be liable for prosecution under the Military Code of Justice, his crime certainly pales in comparison to those the documents detail.

One of the documents, for instance, was signed by Secretary Clinton, and ordered officials at dozens of US embassies to attempt to steal personal data, including credit card information, from a number of top UN officials. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is said to be extremely concerned that the US attempted to steal his credit card, and likely much less concerned that someone revealed the attempted theft.

Wikileaks – The Tel Aviv Connection

 

By Jeff Gates,

www.criminalstate.com

What is Tel Aviv to do now that it’s known Israelis and pro-Israelis ‘fixed’ the intelligence that induced the U.S. to war in Iraq?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Con me consistently for six decades and the relationship is over, as is Israel’s credibility as a legitimate nation state.

Tel Aviv knows this. But what can the Zionist state do about it? Answer: Wikileaks.

Why now? Misdirection. Shine the spotlight on Washington to take it off Tel Aviv. That’s good old-fashioned psy-ops.  And challenge the credibility of the U.S. That’s Wikileaks.

Any credible forensics would start by asking: to whose benefit? Then look to means, motive and opportunity plus the presence of stable nation-state intelligence inside the U.S.

Other than Israel, who else is a credible candidate? Notice how quickly Israel’s role in the peace process vanished from the news. Now it’s Iran, Iran and more Iran. To whose benefit?

Tel Aviv knows that the phony intelligence on Iraq leads to those skilled at waging war “by way of deception”—the motto of the Israeli Mossad. Wikileaks are noteworthy for what’s missing: the absence of any material damaging to Israeli goals.

But still Tel Aviv faces an unprecedented peril: transparency. Americans know they were duped. And Israel rightly fears that Americans will soon realize by whom.

Tepid Support will not Suffice

Obama has behaved as anticipated by those who produced his presidency. Anyone surprised at the lack of change in U.S. policy in the Middle East fails to grasp the power of the Israel lobby.

Did he hesitate to support their latest Israeli strategy for scuttling peace negotiations? Absent peace, the U.S. will continue to be the target of those outraged at America’s unflinching support for Israel’s thuggish behavior in pursuit of its expansionist goals.

Confirming the lobby’s influence, Netanyahu announced he would not agree to halt settlements on Palestinian land until Obama reduced to writing a $3 billion bribe.

In return for a proposed 90-day freeze, what form of bribe will America provide? Twenty F-35 jets at $150 million each plus parts, maintenance, training and armaments. 

That’s $231 million per week or $1,373,626 per hour. What will the U.S. receive in return? A temporary partial freeze on settlements. How many more times can this ruse work? 

Israel has evaded a peace agreement since it drove Palestinians from their land in 1948 and seized more land in 1967 to shape today’s geopolitics. 

Should Israel reach an agreement with the Palestinians, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposes a “comprehensive security agreement.” At what cost no one knows. The U.S. Congress has already budgeted $30 billion for Israel over 10 years. This latest $3 billion is on top of that. 

That doesn’t include the cost to American credibility posed by an offer to veto U.N. recognition of Palestine as a state. And a pledge Never Again to pressure Israel on settlements. Plus the freeze omits East Jerusalem where Tel Aviv insists on moving ahead with new housing starts.

Timing Is Everything

By scheduling its latest incursion into Gaza between Christmas 2008 and the January 2009 Obama inaugural, Tel Aviv ensured only muted opposition during political down time in the U.S. Thus it came as no surprise to see an agent provocateur operation on Thanksgiving Day 2010 as Israel demolished a West Bank Mosque and a Palestinian village.  

After seven hours of nonstop talks, Hillary Clinton praised Netanyahu as a “peacemaker.” In return, he agreed only to “continue the process.” Meanwhile, U.S. elections marked a major victory for Israel when incoming Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Jewish Zionist, announced that the new majority would “serve as a check on the Obama administration.”

The Israel lobby has good reason to gloat. Confirming ongoing duplicity, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proclaimed: “a permanent agreement is impossible.”

Wikileaks’ release of confidential diplomatic cables provides Israel an opportunity to undermine U.S. relations worldwide while also inflicting lasting damage on U.S. interests in the Middle East. After this, what nation would trust the U.S. to maintain a confidence?

In October, Turkey asked that the U.S. not share intelligence with Israel. Now who dares share intelligence with the U.S.?

This may signal the beginning of the end for the Obama presidency his domestic policy failures are eclipsed by his failures in foreign policy.

This may also signal pre-staging for the 2012 presidential primary with a weakened Obama forced to name Clinton as his running mate or stepping aside so she can lead the ballot.

Her 2008 presidential campaign promised recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” and promised an “undivided Jerusalem as the capital.” Tel Aviv was elated. A second Clinton presidency would ensure another victory for Israel—and no peace.

Israeli psy-ops typically serve multiple purposes. Wikileaks is no exception. 

Jeff Gates is author of Guilt By Association—How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War.http://www.criminalstate.com

 

Yossi Melman: Mossad, MI6, the CIA and the case of the assassinated scientist

Three events – not seemingly related – took place yesterday. The leaking of State Department documents, many of which deal with the world’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme; the mysterious assassination in Tehran of a top Iranian nuclear scientist and the wounding of another, and the appointment of Tamir Pardo as the new head of Mossad, Israel’s foreign espionage agency.

But there’s a link between them. They are part of the endless efforts by the Israeli intelligence community, together with its Western counterparts including Britain’s MI6 and America’s CIA, to sabotage, delay and if possible, to stop Iran from reaching its goal of having its first nuclear bomb.

Related articles

The attack on the two scientists, one of them mentioned as a top nuclear scientist working with Iran’s Ministry of Defence, was part of these efforts. No organisation claimed responsibility but it is obvious, not just because of accusations by Iranian officials and Iran’s media, that Israel was behind it. Most experts who follow Middle East politics and Mossad history would agree.

It is at least the fourth attempt to assassinate Iranian scientists linked with the country’s nuclear programme in four years. There were probably other attempts which did not hit the headlines. The attribution to Mossad is not because of the use of motorcycles, though in the past Mossad has been involved in similar operations. The best known one was in 1995 in Valletta, Malta, when a Mossad hit-team liquidated Dr Fathi Shkaki, the leader of the Islamic Jihad.

It has more to do with the policy of Mossad to deal a blow to Iran’s nuclear programme. On top of assassinating nuclear scientists to terrorise others and force some to quit, it is believed that Mossad was also behind penetrating Iranian purchasing networks and selling them flawed equipment of its nuclear enrichment centrifuges and most recently by planting a virus which has damaged the nuclear computers at Natanz.

Yet despite these daring ploys, it is obvious to Israeli decision-makers as well as to western leaders that if a country is determined enough to develop nuclear weapons nothing would stop it.

 

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CHOMSKY: WIKILEAKES CABLES REVEAL ” PROFOUND HATRED FOR DEMOCRACY ON THE PART OF OUR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP”

NOVANEWS

Chomsky

In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran, Chomsky says, “latest polls show] Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent,” Chomsky says. “This may not be reported in the newspapers, but it’s certainly familiar to the Israeli and U.S. governments and the ambassadors. What this reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership.” [includes rush transcript.

Noam Chomsky, author and Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT, where he taught for over half a century. He is author of dozens of books. His most recent is Hopes and Prospects

Related stories

AMY GOODMAN: 

We have lost David Leigh, investigations editor fromThe Guardian. He was speaking to us from the busy newsroom there.The Guardian is doing an ongoing series of pieces and exposes on these documents. They are being released slowly by the various news organizations, from The Guardian in London, to Der Spiegel in Germany, to El Pais in Spain, to the New York Times here in the United States.. For reaction to the WikiLeaks documents, we’re joined by world renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of over a hundred books including his latest Hopes and Prospects. Forty years ago, Noam and Howard Zinn helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg edit and release the Pentagon Papers that top-secret internal U.S. history of the Vietnam War.

Noam Chomsky joins us from Boston. It is good to have you back again, Noam. Why don’t we start there. Before we talk about WikiLeaks, what was your involvement in the Pentagon Papers? I don’t think most people know about this.

NOAM CHOMSKY: 

Dan and I were friends. Tony Russo, who also who prepared them and helped leak them. I got advanced copies from Dan and Tony and there were several people who were releasing them to the press. I was one of them. Then I- along with Howard Zinn as you mentioned- edited a volume of essays and indexed the papers.

AMY GOODMAN:

 So explain how, though, how it worked. I always think this is important- to tell this story- especially for young people. Dan Ellsberg- Pentagon official, top-secret clearance- gets this U.S. involvement in Vietnam history out of his safe, he Xerox’s it and then how did you get your hands on it? He just directly gave it to you?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

From Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo, who had done the Xeroxing and the preparation of the material.

AMY GOODMAN:

How much did you edit?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

Well, we did not modify anything. The papers were not edited. They were in their original form. What Howard Zinn and I did was- they came out in four volumes- we prepared a fifth volume, which was critical essays by many scholars on the papers, what they mean, the significance and so on. And an index, which is almost indispensable for using them seriously. That’s the fifth volume in the Beacon Press series.

AMY GOODMAN:

So you were then one of the first people to see the Pentagon Papers?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

Outside of Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo, yes. I mean, there were some journalists who may have seen them, I am not sure.

AMY GOODMAN:

What are your thoughts today? For example, we just played this clip of New York republican congress member Peter King who says WikiLeaks should be declared a foreign terrorist organization.

NOAM CHOMSKY:

I think that is outlandish. We should understand- and the Pentagon Papers is another case in point- that one of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population. In the Pentagon Papers, for example, there was one volume- the negotiations volume- which might have had a bearing on ongoing activities and Daniel Ellsberg withheld that. That came out a little bit later. If you look at the papers themselves, there are things Americans should have known that others did not want them to know. And as far as I can tell, from what I’ve seen here, pretty much the same is true. In fact, the current leaks are- what I’ve seen, at least- primarily interesting because of what they tell us about how the diplomatic service works.

AMY GOODMAN:

The documents’ revelations about Iran come just as the Iranian government has agreed to a new round of nuclear talks beginning next month. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the cables vindicate the Israeli position that Iran poses a nuclear threat. Netanyahu said, “Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of sixty years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat. In reality, leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history, there is agreement that Iran is the threat. If leaders start saying openly what they have long been saying behind closed doors, with can make a real breakthrough on the road to peace,” Netanyahu said. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also discussed Iran at her news conference in Washington. This is what she said:

HILARY CLINTON: I think that it should not be a surprise to anyone that Iran is a source of great concern, not only in the United States. What comes through in every meeting that I have- anywhere in the world- is a concern about Iranian actions and intentions. So, if anything, any of the comments that are being reported on allegedly from the cables confirm the fact that Iran poses a very serious threat in the eyes of many of her neighbors and a serious concern far beyond her region. That is why the international community came together to pass the strongest possible sanctions against Iran. It did not happen because the United States said, “Please, do this for us!” It happened because countries- once they evaluated the evidence concerning Iran’s actions and intentions- reached the same conclusion that the United States reached: that we must do whatever we can to muster the international community to take action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. So if anyone reading the stories about these, uh, alleged cables thinks carefully what they will conclude is that the concern about Iran is well founded, widely shared, and will continue to be at the source of the policy that we pursue with like-minded nations to try to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

AMY GOODMAN:

That was Secretary to Hillary Clinton yesterday at a news conference. I wanted to get your comment on Clinton, Netanyahu’s comment, and the fact that Abdullah of Saudi Arabia- the King who is now getting back surgery in the New York- called for the U.S. to attack Iran. Noam Chomsky?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

That essentially reinforces what I said before, that the main significance of the cables that are being released so far is what they tell us about Western leadership. So Hillary Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu surely know of the careful polls of Arab public opinion. The Brookings Institute just a few months ago released extensive polls of what Arabs think about Iran. The results are rather striking. They show the Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel- that’s 80. The second major threat is the United States- that’s 77. Iran is listed as a threat by 10%.

With regard to nuclear weapons, rather remarkably, a majority- in fact, 57–say that the region would have a positive effect in the region if Iran had nuclear weapons. Now, these are not small numbers. 80, 77, say the U.S. and Israel are the major threat. 10 say Iran is the major threat. This may not be reported in the newspapers here- it is in England- but it’s certainly familiar to the Israeli and U.S. governments, and to the ambassadors. But there is not a word about it anywhere. What that reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership and the Israeli political leadership. These things aren’t even to be mentioned. This seeps its way all through the diplomatic service. The cables to not have any indication of that.

When they talk about Arabs, they mean the Arab dictators, not the population, which is overwhelmingly opposed to the conclusions that the analysts here- Clinton and the media- have drawn. There’s also a minor problem; that’s the major problem. The minor problem is that we don’t know from the cables what the Arab leaders think and say. We know what was selected from the range of what they say. So there is a filtering process. We don’t know how much it distorts the information. But there is no question that what is a radical distortion is- or, not even a distortion, a reflection–of the concern that the dictators are what matter. The population does not matter, even if it’s overwhelmingly opposed to U.S. policy.

There are similar things elsewhere, such as keeping to this region. One of the most interesting cables was a cable from the U.S. ambassador in Israel to Hillary Clinton, which described the attack on Gaza- which we should call the U.S./Israeli attack on Gaza- December 2008. It states correctly there had been a truce. It does not add that during the truce- which was really not observed by Israel- but during the truce, Hamas scrupulously observed it according to the Israeli government, not a single rocket was fired. That’s an omission. But then comes a straight line: it says that in December 2008, Hamas renewed rocket firing and therefore Israel had to attack in self-defense. Now, the ambassador surely is aware that there must be somebody in the American Embassy who reads the Israeli press- the mainstream Israeli press- in which case the embassy is surely aware that it is exactly the opposite: Hamas was calling for a renewal of the cease-fire. Israel considered the offer and rejected it, preferring to bomb rather than have security. Also omitted is that while Israel never observed the cease-fire- it maintained the siege in violation of the truce agreement- on November 4, the U.S. election 2008, the Israeli army invaded Gaza, killed half a dozen Hamas militants, which did lead to an exchange of fire in which all the casualties, as usual, were Palestinian. Then in December, Hamas- when the truce officially ended- Hamas called for renewing it. Israel refused, and the U.S. and Israel chose to launch the war. What the embassy reported is a grossfalsification and a very significant one since- since it has to do the justification for the murderous attack- which means either the embassy hasn’t a clue to what is going on or else they’re lying outright.

AMY GOODMAN:

And the latest report that just came out- from Oxfam, from Amnesty International, and other groups- about the effects of the siege on Gaza? What’s happening right now?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

A siege is an act of war. If anyone insists on that, it is Israel. Israel launched two wars- ’56 and ’67- in part on grounds its access to the outside world was very partially restricted. That very partial siege they considered an act of war and justification for- well, one of several justifications- for what they called “preventive”- or if you like, preemptive- war. So they understand that perfectly well and the point is correct. The siege is a criminal act, in the first place. The Security Council has called on Israel to lift it, and others have. It’s designed to- as Israeli officials have have stated- to keep the people of Gaza to minimal level of existence. They do not want to kill them all off because that would not look good in international opinion. As they put it, “to keep them on a diet.” This justification, this began very shortly after the official Israeli withdrawal. There was an election in January 2006 after the only free election in the Arab world- carefully monitored, recognized to be free- but it had a flaw. The wrong people won. Namely Hamas, which the U.S. did not want it and Israel did not want. Instantly, within days, the U.S. and Israel instituted harsh measures to punish the people of Gaza for voting the wrong way in a free election.

The next step was that they- the U.S. and Israel- sought to, along with the Palestinian Authority, try to carry out a military coup in Gaza to overthrow the elected government. This failed- Hamas beat back the coup attempt. That was July 2007. At that point, the siege gotmuch harsher. In between come in many acts of violence, shellings, invasions and so on and so forth. But basically, Israel claims that when the truce was established in the summer 2008, Israel’s reason for not observing it and withdrawing the siege was that there was an Israeli soldier- Gilad Shalit- who was captured at the border. International commentary regards this as a terrible crime. Well, whatever you think about it, capturing a soldier of an attacking army- and the army was attacking Gaza- capturing a soldier of an attacking army isn’t anywhere near the level of the crime of kidnapping civilians. Just one day before the capture of Gilad Shalit at the border, Israeli troops had entered Gaza, kidnapped two civilians- the Muammar Brothers- and spirited them across the border. They’ve disappeared somewhere in Israel’s prison system, which is where hundreds, maybe a thousand or so people are sometimes there for years without charges. There are also secret prisons. We don’t know what happens there.

This alone is a far worse crime than the kidnapping of Shalit. In fact, you could argue there was a reason why was barely covered: Israel has been doing this for years, in fact, decades. Kidnapping, capturing people, hijacking ships, killing people, bringing them to Israel sometimes as hostages for many years. So this is regular practice; Israel can do what it likes. But the reaction here and the rest of the world of regarding the Shalit kidnapping- well, not kidnapping, you don’t kidnap soldiers- the capture of a soldier as an unspeakable crime, justification for maintaining and murders siege… that’s disgraceful.

AMY GOODMAN:

Noam, so you have Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Children, and eighteen other aide groups calling on Israel to unconditionally lift the blockade of Gaza. And you have in the WikiLeaks release a U.S. diplomatic cable- provided to The Guardian by WikiLeaks- laying out, “National human intelligence collection directive: Asking U.S. personnel to obtain details of travel plans such as routes and vehicles used by Palestinian Authority leaders and Hamas members.” The cable demands, “Biographical, financial, by metric information on key PA and Hamas leaders and representatives to include the Young Guard inside Gaza, the West Bank, and outside,” it says.

NOAM CHOMSKY:

That should not come as much of a surprise. Contrary to the image that is portrayed here, the United States is not an honest broker. It is a participant, a direct and crucial participant, in Israeli crimes, both in the West Bank and in Gaza. The attack in Gaza was a clear case in point: they used American weapons, the U.S. blocked cease-fire efforts, they gave diplomatic support. The same is true of the daily ongoing crimes in the West Bank, and we should not forget that. Actually, in Area C- the area of the West Bank that Israel controls- conditions for Palestinians have been reported by Save The Children to be worse than in Gaza. Again, this all takes place on the basis of crucial, decisive, U.S., military, diplomatic, economic support; and also ideological support- meaning, distorting the situation, as is done again dramatically in the cables.

The siege itself is simply criminal. It is not only blocking desperately needed aid from coming in, it also drives Palestinians away from the border. Gaza is a small place, heavily and densely overcrowded. And Israeli fire and attacks drive Palestinians away from the Arab land on the border, and also drive fisherman in from Gaza into territorial waters. They compelled by Israeli gunboats- all illegal, of course- to fish right near the shore where fishing is almost impossible because Israel has destroyed the power systems and sewage systems and the contamination is terrible. This is just a stranglehold to punish people for being there and for insisting on voting the wrong way. Israel decided, “We don’t want this anymore. Let’s just get rid of them.”

We should also remember, the U.S./Israeli policy- since Oslo, since the early 1990’s- has been to separate Gaza from the West Bank. That is in straight violation of the Oslo agreements, but it has been carried out systematically, and it has a big effect. It means almost half the Palestinian population would be cut off from any possible political arrangement that would be made. It also means Palestine loses its access to the outside world- Gaza should have and can have airports and seaports. Right now, Israel has taken over about 40% of the West Bank. Obama’s latest offers have granted even more, and they’re certainly planning to take more. What is left is just canonized. It’s what the planner, Ariel Sharon called Bantustans. And they’re in prison, too, as Israel takes over the Jordan Valley and drives Palestinians out. So these are all crimes of a piece.

The Gaza siege is particularly grotesque because of the conditions under which people are forced to live. I mean, if a young person in Gaza- student in Gaza, let’s say- wants to study in a West Bank university, they can’t do it. If it a person in Gaza needs advanced medical training or treatment from an East Jerusalem hospital where the training is available, they can’t go! Medicines are held back. It is a scandalous crime, all around.

AMY GOODMAN:

What do you think the United States should do in this case?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

What the United States should do is very simple: it should join the world. I mean, there are negotiations going on, supposedly. As they are presented here, the standard picture is that the U.S. is an honest broker trying to bring together two recalcitrant opponents- Israel and Palestinian Authority. That’s just a charade.

If there were serious negotiations, they would be organized by some neutral party and the U.S. and Israel would be on one side and the world would be on the other side. And that is not an exaggeration. It should not be a secret that there has long been an overwhelming international consensus on a diplomatic, political solution. Everyone knows the basic outlines; some of the details you can argue about. It includes everyone except the United States and Israel. The U.S. has been blocking it for 35 years with occasional departures- brief ones. It includes the Arab League. It includes the Organization of Islamic States. which happens to include Iran. It includes every relevant actor except the United States and Israel, the two rejectionist states. So if there were to be negotiations that were serious, that’s the way they would be organized. The actual negotiations barely reach the level of comedy. The issue that’s being debated is a footnote, a minorfootnote: expansion of settlements. Of course it’s illegal. In fact, everything Israel is doing in the West Bank and Gaza is illegal. That hasn’t even been controversial since 1967.

AMY GOODMAN:

We’re going to come back to this in a minute. Noam Chomsky, author and institute professor emeritus at MIT, as we talk about WikiLeaks and the state of the world today.

[music break]

AMY GOODMAN:

Our guest is Noam Chomsky, world-renowned dissident, author of more than 100 books, speaking to us from Boston. Noam, you wrote a piece after the midterm elections called Outrage Misguided. I want to read for you now what Sarah Palin tweeted – the former Alaskan governor, of course, and Republication vice presidential nominee. This is what she tweeted about WikiLeaks. Rather, she put it on Facebook. She said, “First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop WikiLeaks’ director Julian Assange from distributing this highly-sensitive classified material, especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a journalist any more than the editor of the Al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine “Inspire,” is a journalist. He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?” Noam Chomsky, your response?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

That’s pretty much what I would expect Sarah Palin to say. I don’t know how much she understands, but I think we should pay attention to what we learn from the leaks. What we learned, for example, is kinds of things I’ve said. Perhaps the most dramatic revelation, or mention, is the bitter hatred of democracy that is revealed both by the U.S. Government – Hillary Clinton, others – and also by the diplomatic service.

To tell the world– well, they’re talking to each other- to pretend to each other that the Arab world regards Iran as the major threat and wants the U.S. to bomb Iran, is extremely revealing, when they know that approximately 80% of Arab opinion regards the U.S. and Israel as the major threat, 10% regard Iran as the major threat, and a majority, 57%, think the region would be better off with Iranian nuclear weapons as a kind of deterrent. That is does not even enter. All that enters is what they claim has been said by Arab dictators – brutal Arab dictators. That is what counts.

How representative this is of what they say, we don’t know, because we do not know what the filtering is. But that’s a minor point. But the major point is that the population is irrelevant. All that matters is the opinions of the dictators that we support. If they were to back us, that is the Arab world. That is a very revealing picture of the mentality of U.S. political leadership and, presumably, the lead opinion, judging by the commentary that’s appeared here, that’s the way it has been presented in the press as well. It does not matter with the Arabs believe.

AMY GOODMAN:

Your piece, Outrage Misguided. Back to the midterm elections and what we’re going to see now. Can you talk about the tea party movement?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

The Tea Party movement itself is, maybe 15% or 20% of the electorate. It’s relatively affluent, white, nativist, you know, it has rather traditional nativist streaks to it. But what is much more important, I think, is the outrage. Over half the population says they more or less supported it, or support its message. What people are thinking is extremely interesting. I mean, overwhelmingly polls reveal that people are extremely bitter, angry, hostile, opposed to everything.

The primary cause undoubtedly is the economic disaster. It’s not just the financial catastrophe, it’s an economic disaster. I mean, in the manufacturing industry, for example, unemployment levels are at the level of the Great Depression. And unlike the Great Depression, those jobs are not coming back. U.S. owners and managers have long ago made the decision that they can make more profit with complicated financial deals than by production. So finance – this goes back to the 1970s, mainly Reagan escalated it, and onward- Clinton, too. The economy has been financialized.

Financial institutions have grown enormously in their share of corporate profits. It may be something like a third, or something like that today. At the same time, correspondingly, production has been exported. So you buy some electronic device from China. China is an assembly plant for a Northeast Asian production center. The parts and components come from the more advanced countries – and from the United States, and the technology . So yes, that’s a cheap place to assemble things and sell them back here. Rather similar in Mexico, now Vietnam, and so on. That is the way to make profits.

It destroys the society here, but that’s not the concern of the ownership class and the managerial class. Their concern is profit. That is what drives the economy. The rest of it is a fallout. People are extremely bitter about it, but don’t seem to understand it. So the same people who are a majority, who say that Wall Street is to blame for the current crisis, are voting Republican. Both parties are deep in the pockets of Wall Street, but the Republicans much more so than the Democrats.

The same is true on issue after issue. The antagonism to everyone is extremely high – actually antagonism – the population doesn’t like Democrats, but they hate Republicans even more. They’re against big business. They’re against government. They’re against Congress. They’re against science –

AMY GOODMAN:

Noam, we only have thirty seconds. I wanted ask if you were President Obama’s top adviser, what would you tell him to do right now?

NOAM CHOMSKY:

I would tell him to do what FDR did when big business was opposed to him. Help organize, stimulate public opposition and put through a serious populist program, which can be done. Stimulate the economy. Don’t give away everything to financiers. Push through real health reform. The health reform that was pushed through may be a slight improvement but it leaves some major problems untouched. If you’re worried about the deficit, pay attention to the fact that it is almost all attributable to military spending and this totally dysfunctional health program.

Posted in USAComments Off on CHOMSKY: WIKILEAKES CABLES REVEAL ” PROFOUND HATRED FOR DEMOCRACY ON THE PART OF OUR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP”

UNCONSTITUTIONAL, TIME TO END THE SCANNER SCAM

NOVANEWS

November 28, 2010

by Gordon Duff  

SCANNERS AREN’T LEGAL, NOT IN AMERICA ANYWAY

AIRPORT SCANNERS ARE, IN EVERY WAY, RACKETEERING

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Let’s begin with one fact.  We are using expensive, dangerous and illegal scanners in our airports for one reason.   A year ago, single “terrorist,” really a moronic dupe with a defective bomb in his crotch was escorted onto a plane for Detroit, no search, no passport, not even a ticket, placed on a plane by an airport security officer who is a former IDF “commando.”

These are the facts, plain and simple.  The government depends on you not knowing this so you will let them either radiate you or grope you, you get to choose, next time you fly.  In order to get away with this affront to decency and common sense, they hid the fact that their “terrorist act” never really happened.  Everyone involved, airline personnel, security, all the video, the statements, the names of those who smuggled the “Crotch Bomber” through Schiphol Airport, all missing, vanished into thin air, along with the civil rights of over 300 million Americans.

All we have is a story, more comedy than reality, the scraps of a bomb that could never work, could never damage a plane, a bomb we are supposed to believe traveled 15,000 miles from Yemen through Ghana, Nigeria, the Netherlands to Detroit to burn a hole in someone’s pants.  We know security escorted our criminal mastermind onto the plane.

There is a 99.9% chance that they also gave him the bomb.  Maybe it was in a Duty Free bag.  Nobody ever asked, nobody checked, nobody is asking, nobody is reporting about it.  Who has that kind of power?

The evidence that could prove me wrong mysteriously disappeared including the arrest record of the second terrorist picked up in Detroit Metro Airport.  All video, names of all airline and security personnel in Amsterdam, all statements, all no longer exist.  The “authorities” insist that the “Crotch Bomber” appeared on a plane, perhaps by teleportation, something out of science fiction.  This is exactly what they are telling us to believe and nobody is calling their bluff.  Who has that kind of power?

This is why you are getting x-rays, this is why your children are having their underwear invaded and their private areas groped, this is why your wife’s breasts and pubic areas are being photographed.  See that group around the scanner display?  Is that your teenage daughter going through?

 

 

Senator Lieberman, Chairman of Homeland Security and Unnamed Associate

 

IS AIRPORT SECURITY AN AIRPORT CONSPIRACY?

Another thing that could be established with a cursory investigation is the direct relationship between the owners of the security company that handles, not only Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, but Detroit as well, and the former Director of Homeland Security, Israeli citizen Michael Chertoff.  What are the inter-relationships between the companies that failed so horribly in dealing with the “Crotch Bomber” and the companies now making billions of dollars selling scanners.  Do you think we could create a big circle, scanner peddlers, government security agencies, airport security “failures” and the politicians who have been peddling the ‘war on terror’ while raking in cash?

The relationships are there and under any normal circumstance with any “normal” group of criminals, we would have a grand jury dealing with these “relationships.”  The usual term for such things is “racketeering.”

SCANNERS AREN’T JUST ILLEGAL, THEY’RE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Airport scanners are illegal.  They emit cancer causing radiation, no doctor will tell you different.  Such devices are prohibited by the exact same laws that prohibit the use of “dirty bombs.”  An airport scanner is a similar device and using one against another without medical necessity is, in fact, a form of terrorism.

However, the law that declares the use of such devices illegal was given an exception.  The government may, if it wishes,  expose citizens to dangerous and cancer causing radiation because they are planning to travel on airplanes.

For those of us who believe in the constitution, listen carefully.  The federal government does not have the authority to expose anyone to radiation.  Why?

The constitution prohibits it under the theory of “equal protection.”

One could also look on TSA activities as “cruel and unusual punishment” but, as yet, air travel isn’t official a crime, and only criminals can be punished.  Innocent travelers are either sexually assaulted or given cancer.

Back during the Cold War, the military exposed soldiers and sailors to radiation from nuclear weapons, ionizing radiation just like the scanners emit.  They kept it secret for years but, when those exposed started dying of cancer, the government was forced to admit they broke the law.  Yes, they broke the law, exposing humans to radiation is illegal, it was then and it is now.  No group has fewer rights than people in the military but even that wasn’t allowed.  Now we are being told that the government has even more power over air travelers than they do over the military?  We know of no legal precedent for this as none exists.

Yes, air travelers are a “class” of citizen, a group that cannot be subjected to punishment, unlawful search or threats to their life and person, and scanners are absolutely just that, a threat.  Congress may pass no law that modifies or limits any constitutional right, no matter how much money they get from lobbyists or how little five Supreme Court justices seem to care about our laws.  Police can’t go into schools and x-ray children, shopping malls can’t x-ray customers, the military can’t even x-ray soldiers but, for some odd reason, a purely financial reason, airline passengers are unique.

WHY DOESN’T ISRAEL USE SCANNERS?

Oh, you didn’t know this?  Israel, the country that tells us every day that they are plagued with continual terrorism has no airport scanners.  They are illegal in Israel.  They are considered dangerous and a violation of civil rights, even for Palestinian terrorists.

A “Palestinian terrorist” inside Israel has more rights than a pregnant woman in America.

When I think about Israel not having scanners, something I recently saw on Fox News comes to mind.  A week ago, my favorite Israeli-American, yes, my absolute favorite, Geraldo Rivera said something curious.  He was on the Judge Napolitano show, Freedom Watch.  Geraldo had just finished discussing the 9/11 Truth movement and the families of the victims who are demanding a new investigation.  He admitted his errors in the past and expressed, with reservations, support for their efforts.  We thank Geraldo for that and, whatever his motive, he has done something good.

However, before leaving the show, Napolitano asked Geraldo to comment on airport scanners.  Geraldo said that he preferred the “choice” of using “profiling.”  Normally, when a comment is made on Fox, I simply ignore it as I recommend for everyone, not just the comments but what is supposed to pass for news itself.

Geraldo is a different kind of animal, as it were.  He sits closer to the top of the feeding chain than Glen Beck or Sean Hannity.  We actually examine what Geraldo says, the new Geraldo at least, and do so with discernment.  Geraldo has “access” and goofs like Beck and Hannity do not.

Israel uses “profiling” and, theoretically, America doesn’t.  We all know better, of course.  In fact, both governments maintain, not only “no fly lists” but massive secondary “watch lists” and “person of interest” lists which are activated upon purchase of an airline ticket.  This is why tickets that are purchased less than 48 hours before a flight or are purchased with cash guarantee extensive security screening.  We also know America profiles.

PROFILING, IF ONLY I WERE MAKING THE LISTS…..

America has cancer causing scanners and intrusive body searches because Americans refuse to submit to profiling, not because gangster profiteers put a bomb carrying terrorist on one of our planes.  I keep having to remember this, not that any of it is true, but it is what I am told to believe.  Welcome to America.

I shouldn’t blame Michael Chertoff, no, not him, it’s the ACLU, they did it.  America has no profiling and, thus, requires billions of dollars of scanners.  This is what I am told to believe.  However, it is simply not credible.

Does America have profiling?

One of my friends is British but was born in Pakistan.  We went to university together.  He teaches at one of those colleges in Britain we see on TV mysteries, the ones where everyone is murdering everyone else.  He teaches, among other things, American History.  He also heads a security “think tank” that advises, and you will love this, the US Departments of Defense, State and Homeland Security.

We were at The Trout, having lunch with our wives.  “The Trout” is the pub made famous by Inspector Morse (played by actor John Thaw), a well known “watering hole” on the Thames outside Oxford.  While knocking off bottles of Prosecco (an Italian dry sparkling wine made from the Glera grape variety) he told me of the near impossibility for anyone of his ethnicity traveling in the United States.  Notwithstanding his British passport, academic credentials or relationship with the “organs of state security,” he told us that travel to America, even travel around America is intolerable, searches, questioning, confrontations, even threats.

In fact, it is a reasonable statement that only certified terrorists can get through American airports at all, when taking into account ethnic origin.  They seem to glide right through as though they were on magic carpets.

“Going to Yemen for training, look forward to having you back.” ….”Back from terrorist training in Yemen?  Didn’t stop off in Tel Aviv this time?  Good to have you home sir!”

America profiles, not only does it profile but it maintains, as stated, no fly lists but also accesses passport databases and airline records to track, not only foreign travel but use of credit cards as well.  Not only are all “Muslim types” profiled but single males, those who travel to Asia on business and oddly, or should we say “especially,” former and current members of America’s armed forces.  Nobody is more unreliable than someone who has fought for their country.

MY LIST

Ah, but if I were making the lists, it would include a few more categories:

  • Members of “conservative” organizations that call themselves “patriotic,” whether tied to former military service, gun ownership or beverage choice.  This is where the angry folks who want to blow things up come from, time we all admitted that.

  • Anyone who has been trained by or served in a foreign military organization.

  • Any politician who has sworn allegiance or loyalty to a foreign government.

  • Anyone with a second passport from another country, no matter how “special” that country thinks it is.

  • Anyone who has a record of traveling in and out of Washington DC.

  • Anyone who believes in “the rapture”

  • Anyone who advocates war but has never actually fought in one.

AND THOSE DANGEROUS AIRLINE PILOTS, PROTECT US FROM THEM..

This is logic.  Strip search and radiate an airline pilot then, 5 minutes later, hand him a loaded gun and a jet aircraft with 300 passengers that he can do anything he wishes with.

Ah, for those of you who remember the 70s television show, All In The Family, the irascible “Archie Bunker” (played by actor Carol O’Connor) had a solution to airline hijacking….

AS USUAL, FOX IN THE HEN HOUSE

When America turned airport security and so much more over to organizations that profit, not just from the “war on terror’ but from America being beset or certainly seeming beset by enemies, does there seem to be a conflict of interest?  When the Secretary of Homeland Security leaves his job and starts peddling airport scanners and then, quite mysteriously, a bizarre and improbable, almost comic terror attack happens, should we wonder?

When the answer we have to a less than credible threat is a solution which may kill thousands, do we suspect those we elected and those we pay to protect and serve?  Do we perhaps consider that they do not have our best interests at heart and, just perhaps, may never have?

Do we finally begin to follow the money?

Posted in USAComments Off on UNCONSTITUTIONAL, TIME TO END THE SCANNER SCAM

CANDIDLY SPEAKING, THE DE-ZIONIZATION OF ANGLO JEWRY

NOVANEWS

November 29, 2010

by Alan Hart

On behalf of Zionism’s colonial project in Palestine  writer Isi Leibler was verbally crucifying one of Britain’s most influential Jewish leaders for daring to go public with his criticism of Netanyahu and saying, among other things, that Israel’s policies and actions were harming the best interests of British Jews, and by implication non-Israeli Jews everywhere. 

The target of Leibler’s attack was Mick Davis. For those who don’t know about him, he is b-i-g in business.

He’s the CEO of Xstrata, a major global diversified mining group (alloys, coal, copper, nickel and zinc) which is listed on the London and Swiss stock exchanges and, in the words of the group’s mission statement, has “the single aim of delivering industry-leading returns for our shareholders”. But there’s much more to Mick Davis than that. 

He is the chairman of Anglo Jewry’s United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA). That’s the principal fund-raising institution for Israel of the UK Jewish community. He also heads a body known as the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC). This was described by Leibler as essentially comprised of “a group of wealthy British Jews and their acolytes who, by virtue of their financial largesse, assume a dominant influence on many levels of communal life.” Leibler added (my emphasis): “The power represented by their collective wealth enables them not to be accountable to anyone and few would dare question their policies.”   

Leibler acknowledged that many Jews are critical of Israeli governments but Davis, he wrote, “brazenly incites his fellow Jews to criticize Israel.” Leibler went on: 

Mick Davis -- Extrata CEO

Mick Davis — Extrata CEO

While occupying the role of chairman of the UIJA resident in London, he had the chutzpa to berate the Israeli prime minister ‘for lacking the courage to take the steps’ to advance the peace process, arguing that ‘I don’t understand the lack of strategy in Israel.’ He also employed the terminology of our enemies, predicting an ‘apartheid state’ unless Israel was able to achieve a two-state solution –unashamedly blaming Israelis rather than Palestinians for being the obstacle to peace. 

“His sheer arrogance was best demonstrated in his most outrageous remark: ‘I think the government of Israel has to recognize that their actions directly impact on me as a Jew living in London, UK When they do good things, it is good for me; when they do bad things, it is bad for me… I want them to recognize that.’” 

Davis, Leibler added, was not only implying “that Israel is responsible for the anti-Semitism he is encountering,” He was also “effectively warning that when considering defense issues which may have life-or-death implications for Israelis, the government must be sure not to create problems for him in his non-Jewish social circles. From his London mansion, he blithely brushes aside suicide bombers, rockets launched against our children and the threat of nuclear annihilation because his gentile friends might complain about the behaviour of his Israeli friends.” 

Isi Leiber

The notion that Israel faces the threat of nuclear annihilation is Zionist propaganda nonsense on stilts and there was more of it. “Emanating from a Jewish leader in the anti-Semitic UK environment in which campaigns to boycott and delegitimize Israel are at an all-time high, and at a time when Israel is under siege and fighting for its existence, it (Davis’ contribution to debate) surely represents a level of unprecedented vulgarity.” 

Then I had to laugh. Davis’ latest outburst, Leibler wrote, “is neither intellectually challenging nor persuasive.” So why then, I asked myself, was Leibler bothering to address it and, by so doing, give it the oxygen of publicity? 

The answer is that Leibler is right about one thing. In Palestine that became Israel mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing, Zionism is under siege, but not from Arab or other Muslim hordes. Israel is under siege because of its racist policies and criminal actions. Put another way, more and more citizens of the world (if not their governments) are beginning to understand that Zionism’s in-Israel leaders are not interested in peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could just about accept.   

Even more to the point is that a growing if still smallish number of the Jews of the world are beginning to understand two things. One, even if they cannot bring themselves to read it, is that there is substance to the title of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews. The other is the danger (in my view extreme danger) of the rising tide of anti-Israelism being transformed at a point into violent anti-Semitism if they, the Jews of the world and American and European Jews in particular, are perceived as being complicit in Zionism’s crimes. 

It might be too late save Israelis brainwashed by Zionist propaganda from themselves, but it’s not yet too late for the Jews of the world to save themselves from Zionism’s colonial enterprise and all the evils that came and are still with it. 

If the de-Zionization of Anglo Jewry and possibly even Western Jewry in general is underway, I think the following question should be asked. What, if anything, can the Gentiles among whom most Jews live do to encourage the process? 

In the original UK two-volume edition of my book I called for a New Covenant, not between the Jews and their God but between the Jews and the Gentiles. In the three-volume American edition of the book, I dropped the call because I thought on reflection that it was somewhat naive. 

I’ve changed my mind again and now think the idea for a New Covenant should be back on the agenda. 

For their part of the deal the Jews of the world would commit to making common cause with rational Israelis for the purpose of de-Zionizing Israel/Palestine. The Gentiles for their part would commit to slaying the monster of anti-Semitism. As I noted in my original text: “An undertaking to let the monster die in its sleep would not be good enough. There would have to be evidence that a stake was being driven into its heart.” 

Why, really, do I believe that such a covenant – in spirit at least – is a good and necessary idea? 

The main reason for the silence of the Jews of the world is the unspeakable fear – the product of persecution through the centuries and, after the Nazi holocaust, Zionism’s manipulation of the fear – that another great turning against them is inevitable. That being so, if only in their sub-consciousness, they perceive the need for Israel as their refuge of last resort. So say nothing and do nothing that could assist Israel’s enemies and put that insurance policy at risk. 

It follows that if the Jews of the world are to play their necessary part in de-Zionizing Israel/Palestine, they need to be reassured about their security and wellbeing in the lands in which they live. For most Jews these are the nations of the mainly Gentile world. (Most of the Arabs and other Muslims who also live in these lands have always known the difference between Judaism and Zionism. Most Gentiles don’t know). 

2010 Copyright – Alan Hart 

Footnote 

I have just viewed a 15-minute trailer for Mustafa Barghouti’s documentary Our Story. It contains some details which I think invite the conclusion that Israel’s occupation is not only illegal but wicked. The whole documentary should be essential viewing for all Jews everywhere. And I hope that Jews who do see it will be enraged enough to make common cause with Mick Davis and others with integrity and courage who are speaking out.  To order the film on DVD, send requests topalestineourstory@gmail.com or call on +972 599 9 400 73 

Posted in UKComments Off on CANDIDLY SPEAKING, THE DE-ZIONIZATION OF ANGLO JEWRY

WILL PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY DECLARE INDEPENDENT STSE… OR COLLAPSE?

NOVANEWS

November 29, 2010

by Stuart Littlewood 

Either Might Force International Community’s Hand

Stuart Littlewood

The other day I looked back with sadness on how nothing had changed for the better since my last trip to Palestine three years ago. On that occasion I also visited Gaza, an experience indelibly etched on my memory.

The situation there only goes from bad to worse – intolerably worse. But if I’m dispirited, heaven knows how the average Palestinian must feel as a result of the incompetent leadership they have had to endure these last 63 years… a leadership which failed to coherently argue and convey the justice of the Palestinian cause and never bothered, even to this day, to formulate and put into action an effective communications plan to win freedom.

Palestine under siege

The Israelis, though accomplished propagandists, are not very bright. In the battle for hearts and minds they have a violent story to tell and a lousy reputation to defend. And it’s getting worse every day. In their greed they score potentially damaging own-goals and leave the moral high ground to their victims.

Their conduct reveal a cruel streak. They trample human rights and show no respect for international law. They are steeped in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Yet the Palestinians shrug and let the endless flow of priceless PR opportunities slip away.

The Palestinian Authority, which is supposed to be leading the fight-back, has little to say to the outside world and the many sympathisers out there.  The task of informing and educating is left to a handful of exiles, academics, dedicated internet site operators, conscientious UN personnel like John Ging and Richard Falk, political mavericks like George Galloway, bold ‘freelancers’ like Ken O’Keefe, a host of courageous charities on the ground and rising numbers of students across the globe. Jewish peace activists play a vital role too.

All work hard to keep the issue alive, no thanks to the PA.

The front that Palestine presents to the world remains disunited, chaotic and dysfunctional, just the way Israel and the US like it. Fatah, with a history of sleaze and corruption, has taken on a role similar to that of the hated Milice in World War 2, the boot-licking paramilitary outfit set up by the Vichy French government, with Nazi help, to fight the French Resistance and do much of the Nazis’ dirty work. Parallels with what’s happening now in the Holy Land are unmistakable.

Fatah should remember that when the Nazis were beaten the French people took their revenge on surviving members of the Milice.

Hamas, defending its packed coastal enclave, meanwhile allows itself to be demonized and makes no move to overhaul its image – a puzzling omission and a blunder with huge self-inflicted consequences.

We are watching the sort of self-indulgent and ultimately self-destructive lunacy no-one in this day and age can afford, least of all the Palestinians. Who can blame sympathizers for throwing up their hands in exasperation, crying “Enough! A pox on you all,” and reaching for the ‘off’ switch?

If any real progress is to be made, things must now change drastically within Palestinian ranks.

My own finger was hovering over the ‘off’ switch when an excellent piece by Jeff Halper entitled “Palestine 2011“  dropped into my Inbox and made me sit up. When this remarkable man speaks I, for one, listen. 

Will a jolt from the outside create “new circumstances for peace”?

Jeff Halper

For many years Jeff Halper and his organisation ICAHD (Israeli Campaign Against House Demolitions) have closely monitored the Israeli occupation and its sinister methods, sometimes courageously facing the bulldozers and re-building what they knock down. ICAHD’s analyses and other resource materials are essential reading for anyone wishing to properly understand the situation. If you visit ICAHD in Jerusalem, as I have done twice, you can arrange to be taken on a tour to see the awful truth.

“We are at a dead-end of a dead ‘process’,” says Halper, adding:

“Israel will never end its Occupation voluntarily; the best it may agree to is apartheid, but the permanent warehousing of the Palestinians is more what it has in mind.” 

Given the massive ‘facts on the ground’ Israel has established in the Occupied Territories, Halper believes the international community will not exert enough pressure to make the two-state idea a reality. Even if they wanted to, the veto power enjoyed by Israel’s sponsor, the US, wouldn’t allow it. “And the Palestinians, fragmented and with weak leadership, have no clout. Indeed, they’re not even in the game….we have arrived at the end of the road.”

However, he predicts that 2011 will create a new set of circumstances in which a just peace is possible, but the necessary game-changing jolt must come from outside the present “process”.

He puts forward two possibilities. The first is a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinian Authority on the 1949 armistice lines (the 1967 “Green Line”) together with an application for UN membership. A Palestinian state within those pre-1967 borders, which UN member states, including the US, already recognise, would be accepted by most countries in the world. Such a move would place reluctant powers like the US, Britain and Germany in an awkward position and force the hand of the international community.

The trouble is, says Halper, “the leadership of the Palestinian Authority lacks the courage to undertake such a bold initiative”.

It’s more likely, he thinks, that 2011 will see a continuing deadlock in “negotiations” and the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, bringing to an end the current process. It would be unthinkable for Israel to allow Hamas to fill the vacuum, so it would be faced with the prospect of re-occupying the Territories at full security strength, a massive burden. Such a move would, of course, inflame the Muslim world and generate massive protests worldwide, again forcing the hand of the international community. “Looked at in this way,” Halper observes, “the Palestinians have one source of enormous clout: they are the gatekeepers.”

Jeff Halper throws some welcome shafts of sunlight onto a bleak landscape. But is civil society, in Palestine and abroad, in any shape to seize the opportunities presented by either of these scenarios? Activists, wherever they are, need to prepare for what happens and agree how to react if the Palestinian Authority falls.

“Abbas may be weak and pliable, but he is not a collaborator,” says Halper. Well, he certainly had me fooled. If it waddles like a collaborator, quacks like a collaborator and jumps through hoops like a collaborator, it sure as hell ain’t no patriot duck! Abbas might have created a better impression if he’d carried the fight to the Israelis and the US, demanded the enforcement of international law and UN resolutions, refused to negotiate before Israel complied, and insisted on any subsequent talks being supervised by the UN, not by Israel’s ally, financier, arms supplier and all-purpose bitch.

Far from upholding Palestinian rights, “honest broker” America torpedoes them at every turn even under this peace-prize president. It must be sidelined somehow.

To my mind the international community, with or without the US, could have used leverage to force an end to the occupation any time during the last 63 years, and could do so tomorrow. The great mystery – for many – is why the Palestinian Authority and the Arab community of nations have not explored that angle energetically enough.

It has always been vitally important to counter Israeli propaganda. Abbas should have set up a professional communications unit, trained and funded Palestinian embassies around the world to educate and inform, and orchestrated an effective worldwide campaign.

Why didn’t he? His ‘silent routine’ and reluctance to make waves lend weight to accusations of collaboration.  The only information coming out of the PA’s embassy in London, for example, is social ‘froth’ like details of the next concert. Its website hasn’t been updated for since April, which just about sums up the uselessness of Abbas and his henchmen.

Compare this with the slick, always-on-the-ball Israeli operation.

As for Hamas, they certainly have what it takes in terms of raw courage, firm resolve and popular support to fill the void, as they did in the 2006 elections. But they are unapproachable at a time when they need to open up, forge friendly links and defuse the West’s fears and misconceptions. Without a careful makeover and general re-branding they’ll have a hard road ahead and so will their people.

If 2011 doesn’t bring Jeff Halper’s “jolt from outside”, and a dose of salts to flush Palestine’s insides, the ‘off’ switch will remain a serious temptation.

2010 Copyright

Stuart Littlewood

More Articles from Stuart Littlewood

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on WILL PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY DECLARE INDEPENDENT STSE… OR COLLAPSE?

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