Archive | September 6th, 2011

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Bank, king and God (not necessarily in that order)

Sep 04, 2011

Paul Mutter

With national elections approaching in Egypt, Islamist parties are increasing their public presence through mass demonstrations and media action.  One of them has created an ad — tweeted by the Muslim Brotherhood — that (according to The Arabist) raises the alarms about what secularism will do to Egypt:

* In 2013, the Egyptian parliament outlaws polygamy.
* In 2014, women’s rights organizations celebrate a new law that gives women equal inheritance rights.
* In 2015, women are prohibited from wearing the hijab in public buildings.
* In 2017, the first movie theater “specializing in porno films” opens.
* The Ministry of Higher Education decides all students will learn “Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Baha’ism on an equal footing.”
* In 2019, there is the first gay marriage in Egypt.
* In 2020, all religious references are removed from official documents and government buildings.
* In 2022, the call to prayer is prohibited.
* In 2024, Egypt and Israel sign a joint defense agreement, and an Egyptian soldiers raises an Israeli flag over Gaza.

In the end, “street fighting breaks out between the religious and secularists,” and the streets fill with sexual predators, aggressive women and drunks. The chaos of godlesness ensues.

As disconcerting as this reactionary ad is, don’t a lot of the bugaboos sound familiar to, well, the fears expressed by the 2012 Republican presidential field? Same page, different book, really. As Jeff Sharlet ofThe Revealer writes:

“The movement’s increasingly religious economic conservatism is cast in gender terms, as a quest for the restoration of masculine dignity, a revival of breadwinning in an era of genuinely humiliating economic conditions. What do social conservatives want in 2012? Same thing they’ve always wanted. “One man, one woman,” and a passel of kids. A family, narrowly defined, daddy in charge, with maybe some gentle wisecracks about how the wife is really in control.”

“Daddy” would be in charge, from the household to the halls of government. Gay rights, feminism, pornography, secular education, the separation of church and state – all pernicious, character-destroying concessions to faux-humanitarians (aka liberals). According to Christian Dominionism, “salvation by [secular] law is the rankest form of humanistic paganism.” Government is a “mission field” to be dominated by true believers. Granted, this sounds like fundamentalism, but this is a bit of a misnomer. This isn’t just fundamentalism, this is “dominionism.” It is domination of state and society by a particular set of religious codes, a domain modeled after an ideal kingdom in heaven. It’s no coincidence thatRegent University (motto: “Christian leadership to change the world”) a bastion of far-right Christian education, is called “regent.” The word refers to those whole will rule:

“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.”

[Snip]

“Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.”

The above could be applied to any far-right political-religious movement, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise About the only difference between the Islamist far-right and the Christian (and Jewish) far-right’s is the tone. Such movements, whether branding themselves as Muslim, Christian or Jewish, are all essentially the same: alarmist, anachronistic and most, of all, power-hungry. As Bertrand Russell put it:

“Men who allow their love of power to give them a distorted view of the world are to be found in every asylum: one man will think that he is the Governor of the Bank of England, another will think he is the King, and yet another will think he is God.”

Still, the U.S. (and Israel) would never reconcile themselves to mainstreaming such thinking at home, right?

Well, you have this. And this. These are not isolated incidents, but indicators of a growing rightward shift. And there was a time when Islamists (including Egyptian Islamists) were here counted among the moral equivalents of the U.S. Founding Fathers.

Theocratic views, as opposed to somewhat more benign evangelical and fundamentalist rhetoric, are becoming more mainstream among all the Abrahamic faiths in the 21st century. Such views been the norm in Iran (and to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia) for decades now, but Iran isn’t so singularly different from other nations where the authorities use religious and ethnocentric rhetoric to justify power plays. Look at Netanhayu and Likud’s governing arrangement with Lieberman and Yisrael Beitenu. Or the way American conservatives have turned Evangelicalism into policy through the seemingly unassailableDefense of Marriage Act and repeated fits of “pro-life” foreign aidMuslim-baiting in Western countries is a lucrative business (not unlike Copt-baiting in Egypt, or Baha’i-bashing in Iran). So whether the leadership and rank-and-file seriously believe their own press, there’s no denying that it’s good for votes and good for business (and are not commercial and electoral success a sign of divine favor in all of the Abrahamic faiths?).

For deeply religious government types, like former Secretary of States John Foster Dulles, “success” in policymaking (and moneymaking) was religious. The practice of power is part of God’s plan (the Abrahamic faiths are all pretty good at ignoring what Jesus had to say on the matter). No contradictions to worry about! Defend your hold power (and you profit margins), and you defend your God! The business of fundamentalism is booming all over the world (especially if you’re in defenseenergy,construction, or finance). And since private enterprise (/corporatism) can function in a theocracy, the capitalists can honestly say that “we are not selling them the rope with which they will hang us.”

And there has been a long history of collusion (though sometimes strained) between the religious right and military-industrial interests in Egypt, Israel and the U.S. (of course, in Iran, this strained collusion is already the norm). Until it became a challenge to his domestic authority, Anwar Sadat grudgingly tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign policy tool and played up Islamist rhetoric (in place of “Arab nationalism”) against Israel. The IDF, when not evicting settlers, is either bulldozing Palestinian homes for them, heavily subsidizing their lifestyles, or actively arming them to beat back demonstrators.

U.S. officials, as noted above, have not always been so picky about which religious rightists they do business with. Many of of the loudest and most well-placed voices in the American right easily movebetween socially conservativenational security circles in the U.S and Israel. “Homeland Security” is for God and country! Brilliant!

Oh, if only they were all members of the same religion! They’re already members of the same faith after all! Such wonderful theocracy they could make together!

“Moshiach” Qutb feat Santorum. The hit single for 2012. David Yerushalmi does a cover version.

Oddly enough, the supposed porno theater looks like one of my psychology lecture halls from college.

We never got to watch anything good in that class.

First lady of Palestinian rap features Dead Prez’s official video for ‘The Kufiyyeh is Arabic’

Sep 04, 2011

Seham

Shadia Mansour featuring M1 from Dead Prez, Al-Kufiyyeh 3arabeyeh video

Lyrics
Good morning cousins, y’all welcome, come in

What would you like us to serve you, Arab blood or tears from our eyes?
I think that’s how they expected us to receive them
That’s why they got embarrassed when they realized their mistake
That’s why we rocked the kuffiyeh, the white and black
Now these dogs are startin to wear it as a trend
No matter how they design it, no matter how they change its color
The kuffiyeh is Arabic, and it will stay Arabic
The gear we rock, they want it; our culture, they want it
Our dignity, they want it; everything that’s ours, they want it
Half your country, half your home; why, why? No, I tell em
Stealin’ something that ain’t theirs, I can’t allow it
They imitatin us in what we wear, wear; from this land enough, what else do you want?
About Jerusalem, Jerusalem, would they be worried, how can you humans?

Before y’all ever rocked a kuffiyeh, we here to remind em who we are
And whether they like it or not, this is our clothing style
That’s why we rock the kuffiyeh, cuz it’s patriotic
The kuffiyeh, the kuffiyeh is Arabic
That’s why we rock the kuffiyeh, our essential identity
The kuffiyeh, the kuffiyeh is Arabic
Come on, throw up the kuffiyeh (throw that kuffiyeh up for me)
The kuffiyeh, the kuffiyeh is Arabic
Throw it up, come on “Bilad Al Sham” (Greater Syria)
The kuffiyeh is Arabic, and it will stay Arabic
There’s none yet like the Arab people
Show me which other nation in the world was more influential
The picture is clear, we are the cradle of civilization
Our history and cultural heritage testify to our existence
That’s why I rocked the Palestinian gear
From Haifa, Jenin, Jabal al Nar to Ramallah
Let me see the kuffiyeh, the white and red
Let me throw it up in the sky; I’m
Arab, and my tongue creates earthquakes
I shake the words of war
Listen, I’m Shadia Mansour, and the gear I’m rockin is my identity
Since the day I was born raisin people’s awareness been my responsibility
But I was raised between fear and evil; between two areas
Between the grudging and the poor, I seen life from both sides
God bless the kuffiyeh; however you rock me, wherever you see me
I stay true to my origins, Palestinian

and other news from today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Construction in Judea and Samaria Up a Whopping 660%
About 75,000 new homes are under construction in all of Israel right now, a government agency said Wednesday.  With the end of the building freeze, construction has started up in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) communities. In fact, said the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), building jumped 660% in Judea and Samaria during the first half of 2011, as compared to the previous year.
link to www.israelnationalnews.com

EU ‘concerned’ by Israel’s separation wall route at Walaja
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — EU representatives said Friday they were “deeply concerned” by the impact of Israel’s separation barrier on the historic West Bank village Al-Walaja. The 2,500-strong community lost an appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court on Aug. 22, requesting the re-route of a portion of the wall they say cuts off the village from vital resources. European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah said in a statement that the barrier “will cut off much of the village’s land, preventing many residents from accessing their land, including agricultural land.”
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli settlement expansion in Ramallah signals isolating Palestinian towns
The Israeli ministry of war has signed a contract with the municipality of Beit Arye settlement to construct an additional 100 units to the settlement, the Israeli Peace Now organization has reported.
link to Palestinian Information Center

U.S. aiding Ethnic Cleansing

How US “charities” break tax laws to fund Israeli settlements, Mike Coogan 
In spite of US government statements about its displeasure with the expansion of Israeli settlements, US based organizations are abusing the 501(C)3 section of US tax codes to provide billions in subsidies to do exactly that.  There are hundreds of these tax-exempt, so-called charities funneling money to illegal Israeli settlements, often with the names no more creative than “American Friends of name an Israeli settlement.”
link to Electronic Intifada

Settlers

Jewish settlers storm Aqsa plaza
Jewish settlers stormed the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem under Israeli police escort at dawn Sunday, eyewitnesses said.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Settlers attack Jalud village as Israeli soldiers stand guard
Armed Jewish settlers attacked in the Palestinian village of Jalud southeast of Nablus city in the West Bank as Israeli soldiers stood guard, Palestinian officials reported.
link to Palestininian Information Center

Settlers beat up child in Al Khalil (Hebron)
In the city itself, Jewish settlers assaulted a 15-year-old child in Shuhada street, downtown Al-Khalil, near his family home, locals said, adding that the child was carried to hospital with minor injuries.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Gaza Siege

Egypt begins destroying border tunnels
Al Masry Al Youm 3 Sept —  Smuggling tunnels at the border with Gaza are likely being destroyed, eyewitnesses have said. Eyewitnesses added that even though there are around 1400 tunnels, only 300 are used. Many of these tunnels have not been affected by machines used to destroy them since they are internally lined with wood. Other tunnels have been dug in a way to resist attempts at destroying them. Some sources have said that the destruction is being carried out in conformance with a deal between Egypt and Gaza to destroy all tunnels which Palestinians have failed to control. An official source said that tunnels accessed from houses in Rafah will be destroyed. These tunnels, he said, have been the hardest to shut due to their location in residential areas.
link to www.almasryalyoum.com

Turkey says it will challenge Gaza blockade (AP)
AP – Turkey is preparing to challenge Israel’s blockade on Gaza at the International Court of Justice, the foreign minister said Saturday, ratcheting up tensions between the once close allies.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110903/ap_on_re_eu/un_israel_turkey

Report: Turkey navy to escort aid ships to Palestinians in Gaza
The Turkish navy will significantly strengthen its presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as one of the steps the Turkish government has decided to take following the release of the UN Palmer report on the 2010 Gaza flotilla, Turkish officials told the Hurriyet Daily News.  “The eastern Mediterranean will no longer be a place where Israeli naval forces can freely exercise their bullying practices against civilian vessels,” a Turkish official was quoted as saying.  As part of the plan, the Turkish navy will increase its patrols in the eastern Mediterranean and pursue “a more aggressive strategy”.
link to Haaretz

Gaza: Registration to cross Rafah border opens Sunday
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza residents can register to travel via the Rafah crossing on the Egypt border from Sunday, the Hamas-run Ministry of Interior announced. Registration is only open for students, foreign passport holders and those with referrals for medical treatment abroad, the ministry said in a statement.
link to www.maannews.net

Palestinian protests & Israeli regime attacks on protesters

IOF troops crack down on marchers
Armed Jewish settlers attacked in the Palestinian village of Jalud southeast of Nablus city in the West Bank as Israeli soldiers stood guard, Palestinian officials reported.
link to Palestininian Information Center

Beit Ommar Residents Protest In Solidarity With Majde Za’aqiq
Today in Beit Ommar, around twenty-five demonstrators marched towards the illegal Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur in protest of the imprisonment of Beit Ommar school teacher Majde Za’aqiq. Demonstrators held signs protesting Majde’s imprisonment, advocating Palestinian membership of the UN, and ending the occupation.
link to palestinesolidarityproject.org

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

The end of civilization: no ‘dignity’ in remaining silent at BBC Proms, Eleanor Kilroy
In a Guardian review of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) at the BBC Proms, and referring to theboycott protests that disrupted their concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall on Thursday, classical music critic Erica Jeal praises IPO conductor, Zubin Mehta, as ‘the model of composure’. In the comment thread she clarifies that ‘the only ones who came out of this with any dignity intact were Mehta, Shaham and the orchestra’. This reverence for Mehta’s physical control is echoed in the right-wing, establishment paper, the Telegraph: the ‘supremely unflappable conductor-for-life Zubin Mehta, kept going… unflappable dignity is clearly his default mode’.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/the-end-of-civilization-no-dignity-in-remaining-silent-at-bbc-proms.html

Apartheid Art Not Welcome
Congratulations to BRICUP, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, and the Boycott Israel Network for disrupting a performance of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the London Proms to such an extent that the BBC was forced to take its Radio 3 live broadcast off the air. The IPO has a ‘partnership’ with the murderous Israeli Defence Forces and acts as a key element of ‘Brand Israel’, whitewashing the crimes of the apartheid state. Below, a letter from concerned musicians to the Independent explains why apartheid art is not welcome here.
link to pulsemedia.org

Letter to International Participants of the “Welcome to Palestine” Campaign
Sep 1, 2011– The “Welcome to Palestine” initiative took place July 8-16, 2011. In response to an invitation put forth by Stop the Wall along with 40 other Palestinian civil society organizations, popular resistance committees, and political factions, hundreds of international visitors reserved flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport for July 8th, 2011.
link to stopthewall.org

Letter to the Students Protesting for Equal, Affordable Education in Chile
This summer has seen massive protests in Chile on a variety of issues: student movement, Mapuche defense of resources, and demonstrations against damming projects. Tens of thousands of youth have taken to the streets to demand equality in affordable, public education. Our Palestinian youth express their solidarity with the demonstrators, especially because it is often our youth that, because of their courage, face disproportionate repression.
link to stopthewall.org

Video: Keszler Gallery, NYC allegedly removes Banksy’s West Bank stencils for unsanctioned show
HuffPost 1 Sept — An unauthorized Banksy show at the Keszler Gallery in New York City has angered arts commentators for apparently removing original works from their West Bank walls for display in the gallery. Arrest Motion first reported the removal on August 31st, saying that “the Keszler Gallery in association with the Bankrobber Gallery where unnamed individuals traveled to Palestine and boldly removed some of the well known and much beloved work Banksy created for the Santa’s Ghetto event held in the West Bank in 2007.” According to the Keszler Gallery, the show consists of “Unique street works and prints acquired from their original locations in Bethlehem, Brighton, London & Los Angeles.” See some of the works displayed in the controversial exhibition in the video, courtesy of Justin Sutcliffe/Polaris Images NY.
link to www.huffingtonpost.com

Two Banksy pieces from the West Bank are now for sale in the Hamptons
NY Mag 2 Sept — How did a Hamptons art gallery come to show several Banksy works, including two pieces originally stenciled in Palestine? It’s not completely clear, actually, but Wet Dog, which originally appeared on a bus stop, and Stop and Search, which originally appeared on the wall of a butcher shop, are now among the works for sale at the Keszler Gallery. None of the harvested pieces in the show have been certified by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication office, though the firm does not authenticate works that have been removed from their original locations. According to ArtNet, a rep for the U.K.’s Bankrobber Gallery, which partnered with Keszler to bring the works out of the Middle East, says a Palestinian entrepreneur originally removed the paintings, and that the galleries stepped in only after discovering that the works were sitting in a stone mason’s backyard for years.
link to nymag.com

Artnet News: Galleries defend controversial Banksy show / Rachel Corbettt
Artnet.com 1 Sept — Yesterday, Artnet Magazine reported on the controversy surrounding the decision by Keszler Gallery and Bankrobber Gallery to bring two Banksy stencils from Bethlehem to the Southampton Village Power Plant, where an exhibition of reconstituted street works and prints opened Aug. 20, 2011. Banksy fans argued that the artist intended the works for the West Bank and the galleries had no right to remove them.
link to www.artnet.com

Israeli regime attacks against Palestinians

IOF fires flare bombs in Jenin raids
Israeli occupation forces fired flare bombs and deployed in the plains and open areas in a massive raid operation in the West Bank city of Jenin and its environs.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Detentions

Report: Israel arrested 15, deported 30 pro-Palestinian activists in August
Some 15 activists were arrested and 30 were deported last month in a wave of incitement against pro-Palestinian activists, a French rights group said in a report marking the end of August.
link to Palestinian Information Center

IOF soldiers arrest 3 Palestinians including young woman
Israeli occupation soldiers (IOF) rounded up three Palestinian citizens on Sunday, two young men in Al-Khalil and a young woman in Ramallah.
link to Palestinian Information Center

IOF soldiers arrest 3 Palestinians in Al-Khalil village
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up three Palestinians in the village of Doura, southwest of Al-Khalil city, at dawn Saturday, local sources said.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Hamas lawmaker sentenced to 6 months in administrative detention
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli court Sunday sentenced Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Anwar Zuboun to six months in administrative detention, Hamas officials said. The sentence was condemned by Hamas lawmakers as part of Israel’s “arrogance and systematic crime.”
link to www.maannews.net

Family of MP Yousuf slams Israeli attempts to fabricate charges against him
The family of lawmaker Hasan Yousuf strongly denounced the Israeli intelligence agency for trying to fabricate charges against him and avenge him after failed attempts to undermine his high morale.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Egypt releases 2 Palestinian brothers from Rafah
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities on Saturday released two Palestinian brothers after two years in detention, relatives told Ma’an. Ammar and Arafat Abu Nima, from Rafah on the Egypt-Gaza border, were detained with their father on the Egyptian side of the city two years ago. They were sentenced to three years on charges of smuggling and entering Egypt illegally.
link to www.maannews.net

Family says Palestinian sheik detained at Cairo airport
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities detained a Palestinian sheik on Saturday at Cairo International Airport, his family told Ma’an. Abdul Aziz Odeh was detained at the airport as he returned from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, relatives said. The Palestinian ambassador to Egypt was unable to secure his release. Odeh was one of the first Palestinians to be deported to the Gaza Strip during the first intifada, or uprising, in 1987.
link to www.maannews.net

Turkey & Israel UN Flotilla Report

Turkey to take Israel to UN court
Turkey says it will challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza in a UN court after rejecting a UN report into the killing of nine of its citizens on a ship.
link to www.bbc.co.uk

Turkey talking tough to Tel Aviv, Ira Glunts
The Turks say they plan to challenge Israel over its naval blockade of Gaza.  Turkish officials claim they will take legal, diplomatic, as well as military action to force an Israeli retreat from its refusal to permit ships from bringing aid to the Israeli- occupied territory. The Turks are mad as hell about the Israeli refusal to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish citizens during the IDF assault on the Mavi Marmara in 2010.  They also are angered by the UN report which characterized the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza as legal and justifiable based on the Israeli right of self-defense.  Ironically, the report was intended to be a vehicle to assist Israel and Turkey in mending their strained relations, but instead has become the immediate cause of a serious diplomatic breach.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/turkey-talking-tough-to-tel-aviv.html

Palestinian Reactions to UN Report

Palestinian Authority criticises UN flotilla report
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The Palestinian Authority on Saturday condemned a UN report into a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish-led aid flotilla as a political document not based on international law. “This report is terrible and negative. It’s a purely political report, it’s not legal,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said of the report on the May 2010 raid which killed nine Turkish activists.  “It’s a political report that is not based on international law, but on the contrary, it violates international law, because the Gaza Strip is still under Israeli occupation,” he told AFP.
link to Google News

UN flotilla report provokes angry reactions in Gaza
Gaza resident Jamal Zarra told Ma’an that no people in the world were besieged like the unarmed population of the Gaza Strip. “How can the blockade be legal while we don’t have medicines in hospitals, and our movement is restricted?” He said international law had become subordinate to the permanent member states of the UN Security Council, while the rest of the world was “helpless.” Meanwhile, Popular Committee against the Siege spokesman Ali Nazli asked if international law “would allow besieging and starving 1.7 million people in Gaza, depriving them of medicine and humanitarian needs?” He urged the international community to pressure Israel to end the occupation and to hold Tel Aviv accountable for its aggression on the coastal enclave.
link to www.maannews.net

Radwan: Palmer report ‘biased and illegitimate’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said Sunday that a UN report on Israel’s deadly raid of a Gaza-bound aid boat was illegitimate and biased to Israel. The report, released Friday, was written by a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer. It found that Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was legal, but that Israel used “excessive and unreasonable force” when its commandos raided the ship and killed nine Turkish civilians on board.
link to www.maannews.net

Racism / Discrimination

‘State’s discrimination between terror victims unacceptable’
Arab family of east Jerusalem man killed by Yaakov Teitel petitions State to grant family of Jewish teen injured in incident terror victims’ benefits.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Wikileaks Palestine/Israel

WikiLeaks: Israel irked by West Bank protests
Minutes from 2010 meeting between Israeli, US officials reveal IDF commanders frustrated with non-violent Palestinian protests; claim Israel ‘not good at dealing with Gandhi’
link to www.ynetnews.com

Israel favoured brute force against West Bank protesters 
NEW DELHI: “We don’t do Gandhi very well.” The political-military chief of Israel’s ministry of defence, Amos Gilad, had told US interlocutors in February, 2010, that the Israeli forces would be compelled to take more strong-arm methods against protesters in the West Bank.
link to Times of India

WikiLeaks: Avigdor Lieberman
Unlike Beilin, Lieberman was described as a staunch Jewish nationalist who does not trust Israel’s Arab neighbors as well as many of Israel’s Arab citizens. The former ambassador also commented on Lieberman’s legal situation, saying that the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman used the legal proceedings against him to boost his political career by portraying himself as a victim who is being targeted by political opponents.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Wikileaks drip drip drip
All the wikileaks cables have been released and are now accessible. Whether others prove to be ashorrific as the massacre of women and children in Iraq brought to our attention this week, or as drearily predictable as PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY SECURITY OFFICIALS ON COORDINATION WITH ISRAEL  remains to be seen.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/wikileaks-drip-drip-drip.html

Press Freedom

Gaza journalists rally for release of Al Jazeera reporter
Dozens of Palestinian journalists held a non-violent protest Saturday in Gaza City outside the offices of the United Nations. They called on UN officials to pressure Israel to release their colleague, reporter Samer Allawi, who has been held in Israeli detention since August 10.
link to www.imemc.org

Israeli, Palestinian reporters urge Israel to uphold journalists’ rights
The Israeli-Palestinian Journalists’ Forum has called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to uphold the rights of journalists reporting in the region. “The Palestinian Authority is currently working toward the recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations. This is a matter of interest to the region and the world, but moreover, to every person living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories,” the press group said. “That is why journalists working for Palestinian and Israeli media must be allowed to do their work without restriction,” the letter added.
link to Haaretz

Statehood Bid

U.S. Appeals to Palestinians to Stall U.N. Vote on Statehood
The Obama administration has initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation over a plan by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state from the United Nations.
link to www.nytimes.com

U.S. tries to stall Palestinian statehood bid: report (Reuters)
Reuters – Washington has launched an effort to avoid a clash stemming from plans by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, The New York Times reported on Saturday, citing senior U.S. officials and foreign diplomats.
link to Yahoo News

France Warns Against Palestinian UN Bid
French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, warned the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank of heading to the United Nations this month, and claimed that “heading to the UN to seek international recognition of statehood, could lead to a serious diplomatic crises”.
link to www.imemc.org

Tony Blair’s key role in Mideast talks
Former British PM plays central but largely unheralded role in reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, perhaps helping to avert Palestinian push for full UN membership.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Other news

Iranian president affirms support for resistance in a call with Mishaal
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has affirmed in a telephone call with Hamas political bureau chairman Khaled Mishaal that Tehran would continue to support the Palestinian people.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Turkey to sign strategic alliance with Egypt
Ankara-Cairo relations receive boost as crisis with Israel worsens: Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan slated to visit Cairo and possibly Gaza soon to sign strategic cooperation agreement with Egypt. Meanwhile, recently expelled Israeli ambassador Gaby Levy says there’s no chance he will return to Ankara.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Barrier erected to secure Israeli embassy in Cairo
A barrier was erected in Cairo’s University Bridge area designed to protect the Israeli embassy against massive protests demanding the embassy’s removal.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Report: Gadhafi offered Israel Shalit, peace for NATO halt
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli and Austrian politician claiming to be at the center of negotiations with Moammar Gadhafi have gone public to the press, a week after the former strongman’s compound was captured by rebels.  The defeated Libyan leader had offered a peace agreement with Israel, and to secure the release of captured Israeli solider Gilad Shalit, if NATO raids on Libya were halted, they said.
link to www.maannews.net

Lebanon jails ex-general for leaking info to Israel
Military court sentences Fayez Karam to two years in prison for providing Israel with ‘political information’ on Hezbollah, Christian party.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Analysis/Op-ed

Israel objects to Palestinian statehood to avoid war crimes investigations / John Glaser
Antiwar 2 Sept — A secret State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that one of the primary reasons behind Israeli objections to Palestinian statehood is that lack of statehood keeps Palestinian territories outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes war crimes … The dialogue is unusually blunt, since Israel’s public objections to Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, to be voted upon this month, have been mundane and political in nature.
link to news.antiwar.com

Book Review: The Forgotten Palestinians / Khalil Nakhleh
Palestine Chron. 2 Sept — (The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel. Ilan Pappe. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011) No doubt, hundreds if not thousands of articles, reports and books have been written about the Palestinians in Israel, “the forgotten Palestinians”, in Arabic, English and Hebrew, during the last sixty some years.  To my knowledge, this is the first time a major, mainstream, US academic university press publishes a comprehensive and sympathetic narrative of the Palestinians in Israel, with a focus on their evolving Palestinianhood, by a well respected anti-Zionist, Israeli Jewish historian.
link to palestinechronicle.com

U.S. Right Wing and GOP Presidential Candidates Spreading Paranoid Anti-Muslim Hysteria as Part of Take-Over Strategy, Max Blumenthal
The sudden rise of Islamophobia in the United States is alarming while the movement that advances anti-Muslim resentment seems bizarre and filled with eccentric, even dangerous characters. But when viewed in the context of a new, groundbreaking research document by the Center for American Progress and an obscure, decades-old political memorandum by a long-forgotten former Supreme Court Justice, the Islamophobic crusade raging across the country appears perfectly in line with longstanding goals and methods of conservative organizing, and is aimed at much more than demonizing Muslims.
link to Alternet

Frank Gaffney Thinks ‘We Need A New House Anti-American Committee’ For Islam,  Ali Gharib 
One of the featured “experts” in the new CAP “Fear, Inc.” report on Islamophobia, Frank Gaffney, appeared on a religious right program and called for renewed McCarthyism against not just American-Muslims but also those who support them or don’t do enough to stymie what Gaffney considers their pernicious influence.
link to thinkprogress.org

The All-Time 10 Worst Military Contracting Boondoggles
Welfare for warlords: The world’s most expensive road: Rent-a-ripoff: The Kabul bank bust: and more.
link to motherjones.com

CIA or CKA – Central Killing Agency?
The Washington Post published a long article outlining new profile of the Central Intelligence Agency. By analyzing numerous examples from all parts of the world, the paper concludes that instead of collecting intelligence data, now the CIA is mostly engaged in finding and killing suspects without trial.
link to english.ruvr.ru

NYT on WikiLeaks: Move Along, No Atrocity to See Here
Today’s Times includes a story about the WikiLeaks Iraq cable, under the somewhat strange headline “Cable Implicates Americans in Deaths of Iraqi Civilians.” Still very little in the rest of the press– nothing on television, according to a search of the Nexis database).
link to www.fair.org

Time Magazine and the Fake Hezbollah Interview, Asad AbuKhalil
The fake interview by Nicholas Blanford of a supposed Hezbollah member allegedly implicated in Hariri’s killing was a journalistic scandal and a clear intelligence ploy. The interview published in Time Magazine presumably intended to bring the accused out—electronically speaking—in order to locate him. The story reveals a lot about the way in which the Western press operates. This is not the first time that coverage of the Middle East has been associated with scandals and propaganda. Western media have served as government tools since the US war on Iraq in 1990.
link to Al-Akhbar English

World News

More detainees join Bahrain hunger strike
Protest aimed at ongoing trials from the crackdown on demonstrations by the Gulf nation’s Shia majority.
http://english.aljazeera.net//video/middleeast/2011/09/201193161643416929.html

Yemeni capital braced for fresh protests
Security forces limit access to Sanaa amid calls for intensified demonstrations to shake Saleh’s grip on power.
link to english.aljazeera.net

Syria soldiers ‘killed in ambush’
Six Syrian soldiers and three civilians die as gunmen ambush a bus in central Syria, state media reports, while the bloody crackdown on anti-regime protests continues.
link to www.bbc.co.uk

Fresh deaths reported across Syria
Activists say at least 13 people killed as the Red Cross chief visits Damascus to demand access to prisons.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/09/20119483720229354.html

`Anti-`Alawite bigotry, As’ad Abukhalil
I have written this before: I am not surprised to read and hear anti-`Alawite bigotry from Hariri/Saudi media.  Those are Wahhabi outlets, in the final analysis.  But the other day I heard the correspondent of BBC News in Lebanon gives a platform to a guy (he was introduced as Syrian refugee but his accent seemed Lebanese, although it is possible he was Abraham Foxman) who vomited anti-`Alawite bigotry.  It is the season.  If a Palestinian ever expresses his/her views against Israel in a way that referred to his/her enemies as “Jews”, he is instantly rebuked in the media and calls for his/her arrest are heard (although Israel presents itself to the world as the state of all Jews for propaganda purposes).   But then again: why is that surprising?  The Saudi/Hariri tools in the Syrian opposition are fanatical extremists.
link to angryarab.blogspot.com

New Lancet study says 12,000 Iraqis dead from suicide bombings
No one has taken much notice of the report. But as the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, it’s an important reminder of the failure of Al Qaeda and of the scars that will shape Iraq for decades.
link to Christian Science Monitor

More Afghan soldiers deserting the army
Between January and June, 24,590 soldiers walked off the job, compared with 11,423 who left in the same period last year, according to NATO statistics.
link to Washington Post

US Kills 30 People In Yemen
Thirty “suspected al-Qaeda militants” were killed Thursday in US airstrikes in southern Yemen, broadcaster Al-Arabiya reported quoting Yemeni military officials.
link to Monsters and Critics

CIA shifts focus to killing targets
Behind a nondescript door at CIA headquarters, the agency has assembled a new counterterrorism unit whose job is to find al-Qaeda targets in Yemen.
link to Washington Post

MI5 former chief decries ‘war on terror’
Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller uses BBC lecture to criticise ‘unhelpful’ term, attack Iraq invasion and suggest al-Qaida talks.
link to www.guardian.co.uk

Supreme Court declines to clarify rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees
Although delivered in broad strokes and powerful language, the ruling left the details of how to provide hearings for the detainees up to the (not entirely grateful) judges of the D.C. Circuit. The bottom line is that while Guantanamo’s population has declined from around 270 at the time of the decision to 172 today because of decisions of the executive branch, not a single release has come as the direct result of a judicial order. A string of rulings has gone against the detainees. For instance, the circuit court decided that because of the unusual nature of the hearings, the government may rely on hearsay evidence that would not be allowed in federal court. It has said that a preponderance of evidence, the lowest standard, is enough to make the case for continued detention.
link to Washington Post

Wikileaks

Gaddafi, Britain and US: A secret, special and very cosy relationship
Britain helped to capture one of the leading opponents of the Gaddafi regime before he was sent back to be tortured in Libya, according to a secret document discovered by The Independent on Sunday in the offices of Moussa Koussa, then Muammar Gaddafi’s spymaster.
link to www.independent.co.uk

Qaddafi was a CIA Asset, Juan Cole
Human Rights Watch found documents in Libya after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi that it passed on to the Wall Street Journal, which is analyzing them. The WSJ reported today that the documents show that Qaddafi developed so warm a relationship with George W. Bush that Bush sent people he had kidnapped (“rendition”) to Libya to be “questioned” by Libya’s goons, and almost certainly to be tortured. The formal paperwork asked Libya to observe human rights, but Bush’s office also sent over a list of specific questions it wanted the Libyan interrogators to ask. Qaddafi also gave permission to the CIA from 2004 to establish a formal presence in the country.
link to Juan Cole

Kadhafi’s son got doctoral thesis help from Tony Blair: report
Two of Moamer Kadhafi’s sons were invited to the headquarters of the SAS special forces unit as former prime minister Tony Blair tried to build ties with the Libyan regime, The Sunday Times reported. In the latest revelations from intelligence documents obtained by media and rights groups in Tripoli, the paper said Blair had also helped another of Kadhafi’s sons, Seif al-Islam, with his doctoral thesis.
link to www.rawstory.com

US, Australia ‘schemed against the last IAEA chief’
THE US and Australia schemed unsuccessfully in 2005 to block Mohamed ElBaradei’s election to a third term as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a newly leaked US diplomatic cable shows.
link to www.heraldsun.com.au

www.TheHeadlines.org

‘Commentary’ blames Turkey for starting the insurgency in Iraq

Sep 04, 2011

 Philip Weiss

This is pure Animal Farm. Turkey is now bad for Israel, so Turkey must be demonized in the United States. “Turks Turned Their Backs on America Before Dumping Israel.” From Jonathan Tobin in Commentary:

In 2003, Turkey’s decision not to allow coalition troops to use their territory in the effort to depose Saddam Hussein in Iraq not only was a blow to the U.S.-Turkey alliance but set in motion circumstances that ultimately helped create the insurgency.

Emily Henochowicz posts sardonic ‘love poem’ to a country that ‘stole’ her eye and is gripped by fear

Sep 04, 2011

 annie

Powerful stark theatrical expression coming from Henochowicz. Note the radical-ness of her posture juxtaposed to her natural expression in I Miss You Palestine. There’s no ease here. She’s raw, determined and goes in for the kill-kiss. No victim. Israel stole her eye, not her heart, she’s no jolted lover.

Posted September 2 by Emily Henochowicz, who was shot in the occupied territories during a peaceful protest on May 31, 2010. (Hat tip CigarGod)

‘The Debt’ tries to redeem a lost, lying Israel

Sep 04, 2011

Philip Weiss

I went to “The Debt” last night, the new Miramax thriller based on an Israeli film. I took the film on its own terms, which are very Israeli terms. Culturally-bound, as the anthropologists say. This is a film about Ashkenazi Jews. There are no Palestinians in sight, no Mizrahi Jews either. The characters are Europeans fleeing horror to settle in the Middle East.

On its own terms, the film is kind of great. It’s about Israel’s foundational lies– the lies that Israel’s first militant generation told about the Holocaust and their own heroism in order to create a nationalist warrior myth for the children.

The three Mossad agents at the center of the film are all hard to like. One is a mendacious, ambitious political tool who does very well in Israeli politics. You hate him. The Helen Mirren character is the movie’s hero but she’s also kind of despicable. She sticks with the political tool even though she loves the other male Mossad agent, and as for him, well his character is all about the new paradigm of young Israelis doing military service and then traveling to India or South America to smoke dope and decompress. This guy spends years decompressing. He’s lost. Just like Israel is lost.

The movie makes mordant jokes about Israel’s lostness. When the characters are in East Berlin, capturing the Eichmann/Mengele bad guy, and things go wrong, the political tool Mossad guy says, “The Americans are going to bail us out, don’t worry.” I wanted to vomit.

Then a few minutes later he finds out that the Americans won’t bail them out. “We’re all alone.” That’s about Israel’s new fear…

The larger way Israel is lost, the film acknowledges, is that the Holocaust material doesn’t work anymore. You see how it once did, in the East Berlin chapters. There’s a real Eichmann in Jerusalem feeling to this part of the movie: how Israel used Nazis to constitute its identity far from Europe. The Holocaust material is rendered as parody. The Helen Mirren character, who’s lost her mother in the Holocaust, keeps telling Israeli audiences, “When I was desperate, I thought about my mother”– and you don’t buy it.

Until the end, when you do buy it. At the end, the movie tries to rescue the Holocaust narrative after all. And redeem Israel. So Israel is like Helen Mirren. It tells a lot of lies but it’s really tough, it knows how to kill the way European Jews didn’t; and it staggers forward.

And yet that Israel is imaginary: a European place on the beach in Tel Aviv, hipsters listening to American music. It feels very Raj.

Walking out to my car, I thought about the Tent protests in Tel Aviv. The tent protests reflect a deep spiritual discomfort inside Israel, as this film does. But the Israeli tent protesters won’t talk about the occupation, and many of my friends judge the protests on that basis; if you won’t talk about the oppression of the Palestinians, what good are you? “The Debt” is blindered in the same way. It’s about a neocolonial group and their American pals (the producers) trying to keep the myth going, despite a disquieting sense that it’s built on lies.

We may have lost the Almontaser battle, but we built a respectful coalition across ethnic/religious lines to counter racism

Sep 04, 2011

Donna Nevel

Monthly Review has published two pieces on the Khalil Gibran International Academy affair in New York. One is by the school’s former principal, Debbie Almontaser, and there is a companion piece by Donna Nevel. Go toMonthly Review to read the Almontaser; and meantime, Nevel gave us permission to publish her piece. –Editor.

I did not know Debbie Almontaser and did not know anything about the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), but when I learned that a Muslim and Arab principal of an Arabic Dual Language school was the victim of a racist smear campaign orchestrated mostly by Jewish bigots—it hit me in my gut. A second hit in the gut was reading UFT President Randy Weingarten’s letter, which further fueled the flames of bigotry. It said, “While the city’s teacher’s union initially took an open-minded approach to this school, both parents and teachers have every right to be concerned about children attending a school run by someone who doesn’t instinctively denounce campaigns or ideas tied to violence.” Members of the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF), of which I am part, felt as I did and did not want Weingarten to go unchallenged. CIF immediately wrote a letter to her that included the following: “Aside from everything else that points to the racist nature of this whole incident, do you not know that in most parts of the world, the word intifada connotes resistance to an unethical and illegal and brutal occupation? It is not the word intifada that promotes violence or that should be denounced; rather, what should be denounced is an occupation that promotes violence and that made the intifada necessary.”

Within a day of sending out CIF’s letter on listservs, we heard from Mona Eldahry of Arab Women in the Arts and Media (AWAAM) who asked if we wanted to help plan and participate in a rally, being quickly organized, in support of Debbie and the school. CIF joined individuals and groups that gathered from across the city to denounce anti-Arab racism and anti-Muslim bigotry and to demand that the DOE re-instate Debbie to her position as KGIA’s principal.

After that spirited rally, several organizations came together to create Communities in Support of KGIA (CISKGIA). The steering committee groups included AWAAM, CIF, Brooklyn for Peace, Muslim Consultative Network, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. The steering committee representatives were Mona Eldahry, Carol Horwitz, Erica Waples, Fatin Jarara, Elly Bulkin, Adem Carroll, Michael Feinberg, Ayla Schoenwald, Ray Wofsy, and myself.

We spoke out in opposition to those who were responsible for the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim attacks on Debbie, on AWAAM, and on the school, but we were particularly committed to holding the DOE accountable for its actions and for the consequences of those actions. We always looked at what happened from a broader lens. This was part of a larger struggle for justice and for self-determination of communities being assaulted and demonized. And, with tremendous implications for the integrity of a public education system, the demonization had been sanctioned by a government institution responsible for the education of our children.

We also reached out to our allies and engaged in outreach within many different communities across the city—low-income and communities of color, immigrant communities, Jewish and Muslim groups, organizations focusing on public education, and other peace and justice groups. Hundreds of groups endorsed this effort, and many participated with us in our organizing.

We held a number of community events with educators, social justice activists, and with Muslim and Jewish leaders from across the country. They all wrote moving statements and letters of support to the Mayor and DOE demanding Debbie’s reinstatement. We were able to garner support from academics, educators, community activists, and interfaith leaders from across the country. We also received support from politicians, but we were clear that they would not dictate our direction. A priority for us at all times was our work with parents and teachers at the school. One of our large community events featured teachers who shared information about how the school was falling apart from the inside, a fact that the DOE refused to acknowledge. Parents expressed feeling marginalized and that their voices were being ignored by school officials, and a number of teachers ended up feeling intimidated by the DOE or felt that they were being pushed out for speaking the truth.

We tried to reach inside as many new communities as possible. At one point, a number of people from the Jewish community made clear they would not join the coalition if AWAAM were part of it. We felt they were putting Debbie into the category of the “good” Arab and AWAAM as the “bad” Arab. That is, since AWAAM had put out the intifada t-shirts, they were “tainted” with the anti-Israel brush and were therefore not considered “kosher” partners. We emphatically rejected this proposal, believing it perpetuated the very bias we opposed, and were unanimous in our decision to remain true to who we were, which was a coalition that had AWAAM in its leadership.

In addition to rallies, educational and community programs, ongoing outreach, and letter-writing campaigns, our media strategy was a priority since the media was at the center of the controversy. We worked to reframe the debate, ensuring that the real story was told—by Debbie and by the young women of AWAAM, and not by the media or the racists. We wanted to be sure the voices of those who had been silenced and distorted were out there. We also wanted to be certain that we always framed our comments within the larger context of justice for marginalized communities and of holding our government institutions (in this case, the DOE) accountable.

We held press conferences, put out statements, and “busted” one of the press conferences of our anti-Muslim opponents. In this struggle, we had media on top of us all the time, so we had to be discerning about what types of media we thought were valuable to respond to and pursue. We devoted a lot of time to thinking this through. Fortunately, we benefited from the wisdom of AWAAM members whose work focused on the media, and we also worked together with Riptide Communications, particularly when the media requests became overwhelming.

Several filmmakers also contacted us wanting to do documentaries, but, after much deliberation and meetings with some of them, we only granted interviews to one person who seemed honest and ethical (and who ended up creating a film, Intifada NYC).

We also worked closely with Debbie’s legal team, led by civil rights lawyer Alan Levine. We discussed political strategy together, making certain the voices of the community were front and center, which was always honored by the legal team. Since Alan Levine is my husband, rather than offering more of my own views about our relationship with the legal team, I will quote what Mona Eldahry has said:

Working on the campaign to support KGIA, I’ve learned exactly what a meaningful collaboration between a legal team and community organizers looks like. We at CISKGIA were working to ensure that the DOE would provide the school with the resources it needed to succeed, including the leadership it deserved. Debbie’s legal team was set to ensure that her civil rights and her rights as an employee were protected. Our work together ensured that both paths would lead to justice for students and community-members who saw, as the EEOC later determined, that the Mayor and the DOE ousted a school leader because she was Arab.

Our coalition met as much as was humanly possible. Everyone was passionate and deeply committed.

CISKGIA is the most respectful, collaborative coalition I have ever been part of. We all learned with and from one another. Leadership was shared amongst our groups; there was never a struggle over power. We all understood the importance of AWAAM’s leadership (and I must add that Mona Eldahry and the other AWAAM representatives were extremely inspiring). We worked in sync with the legal team.

How does one gauge success in such an undertaking? While Debbie did not return to KGIA, as we had all hoped would happen, in fact something powerful did happen. Communities and individuals from every background came together and were relentless in demanding that our institutions be held accountable for promoting racism and bigotry. Most importantly, the story of what had actually happened was told and re-told by those who had lived and experienced it. And with the EEOC Determination, the story was also told in the legal arena, which reflected the truth as we knew it to be. All in all, critical relationships were developed, connections were made amongst our many interrelated struggles, and community power was built that reverberates to this day. We all remain personally and politically connected in deep ways and are working closely together—some of us with groups to challenge Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia; some in groups for justice in Palestine—which I think reflects the power and strength of the community that so many of us built together and the justice of the cause. The struggle definitely continues.

Isolation may force Israel to depend on anti-Semites

Sep 04, 2011

Philip Weiss

Glenn Beck apparently went to South Africa after he visited Israel. Here’s Joseph Dana in the Mail & Guardian online, writing a piece called “Glenn Beck, Fear and the Jewish Community”:

After Beck was fired from Fox News, he set his sights on cultivating a close relationship with the Israeli government. In July, the newly independent radio host addressed a special session of Israeli politicians in Jerusalem. Beck openly endorsed Israel’s controversial policies in the occupied Palestinian territories using deceptive language to describe Israeli courage in the face of overwhelming problems with the Arab world. For Beck, Israel at the centre of a clash of civilisations and a global battle between good and evil.

For some in the Israeli government, worried about the wave of revolution sweeping the Middle East and Palestinian attempts to declare statehood at the United Nations in September, Beck has become a fast friend….

Efforts to protect Israel from international isolation over its treatment of Palestinians, similar to the isolation which South Africa experienced during apartheid, have pushed some of the most vocal pro-Israel supporters into the hands of people with narrow and dangerous political goals. As the international community wakes up to Israeli intransigence regarding international law and the occupation, Israel’s remaining friends might turn out to be anti-Semites.

Hirsh Goodman hints that he will leave Israel if Netanyahu succeeds

Sep 04, 2011

Philip Weiss

Hirsh Goodman (husband of New York Times reporter Isabel Kershner) is a liberal Zionist who moved to Israel from South Africa a long time ago. On Tuesday he has a book coming out called The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival, and in an interview in the Canadian pro-Israel newspaper the National Post, he hints that if things don’t work out the way he hopes they will (two-state solution), he’s outta here (h/t commenter longliveIsrael):

Q Where do you see Israel in 10 years?

A If I look at the trend, I think that Israel will be politically redefined. I think the issue of the ultra-Orthodox, in terms of how they relate to the state, will be in high gear toward resolution. I think in 10 years the IsraeliArabs will be the commercial bridge between the West Bank and Israel – if the issue is resolved – and if it’s not resolved there will be more Jews living on the West Bank than Arabs living in Israel and that will be a point of no return. We are at a tipping point. I am not an alarmist. It is just demography. And maybe that is why [Prime Minister] Netanyahu, and the last of the right wing in this country, are so hesitant about making peace. They want to protract things to this point, and the consequences of reaching that point to Israeli democracy, and to having a xenophobic Israel where Israel is the international pariah country, is a country many of us would not like to live in.

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

Turkey suspends defense trade with Zio-Nazi Racist Regime

NOVANEWS

Ankara’s rhetoric becomes harsher as PM Erdogan warns his country will enforce more sanctions on Zio-Nazi racist regime in wake of Palmer Report

ynet

Israel-Turkey crisis escalating: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that more sanctions against Israel could follow the expulsion of Jerusalem’s ambassador and the suspension of military ties.

Erdogan said that pending the decision on such sanctions, Turkey will suspend its trade ties with Israel: “Trade ties, military ties regarding defence industry ties, we are completely suspending them. This process will be followed by different measures,” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.

It was later reported that a spokesman for Erdogan said the prime minister had been referring in his remarks only to trade in defense goods, and not to trade in general.

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said on Monday that Ankara would do nothing “for now” to change its economic relationship with Israel.

Erdogan also noted that Turkey would be stepping up its naval patrols in the Eastern Mediterranean: “The Eastern Mediterranean is not a strange place to us… our ships will be seen much more frequently in those waters.”

The Turkish leader said Tuesday that other Israeli diplomats who were expelled form Turkey along with the Israeli ambassador, have until Wednesday to leave the country.

The move followed Israel’s refusal to apologize for the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, which left nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists dead. Erdogan described the raid as “savagery” and accused Israel of acting like “a spoiled boy” in the region.

Israel has expressed regret for the loss of lives, but remains adamant that no official apology for the naval operation will be issued.

The Palmer Report, commissioned by the United Nations, was dismissed by Ankara as biased.

Turkey has already announced that it will not back down from its demand for an apology and said it would seek legal recourse against Israel with the International Court of Justice.

Asked about Erdogan’s remarks, an Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in response that “Israel does not want to see further deterioration in its relationship with Turkey.”

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in remarks said before Erdogan’s announcement, said: “Israel and Turkey are the two strongest and in many respects the most important countries in the Mideast.

“We have our differences, but in differences too it is important that both sides act using their heads and not their gut — that will be best for us all and best for regional stability and restoring things.”

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Turkey suspends defense trade with Zio-Nazi Racist Regime

Zio-Nazi Home Front Command:Arabs Have “New Weapon” to use against IsraHell, Possible WMDs

NOVANEWS 

Home Front Command chief says Middle East regional war could include use of weapons of mass destruction; warns that Arab Spring may turn into ‘Radical Islamic Winter’.

ed note–more typical Zionist fear mongering in preparing a guillable, sycophant West for yet another display of Zionist Ritual Murder of innocent civilians in Gaza, Lebanon, or wherever.

Haaretz

The likelihood of an all-out regional war in the Middle East is increasing, the head of the IDF Home Front Command said on Monday, Channel 10 reported.

Speaking to the Institute for National Security Studies, Major General Eyal Eisenberg said that such a conflict could potentially include the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Eisenberg cautioned that the Arab Spring could turn into the “Radical Islamic Winter”.

Eisenberg also noted that a new weapon was used by Gaza militants in the recent round of escalation in the south, which led the Home Front Command to instruct the public to seek shelter under two roofs, rather than one.

Officials: ‘Eisenberg stirring things up’

Top defense officials slam Home Front Command chief’s decision to reveal IDF intelligence warning of all out war in Mideast

Defense and government officials accused IDF Home Front Command Chief Major-General Eyal Eisenberg of “exposing classified materials used during a situation assessment” on Monday, during his speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv that same evening.

Eisenberg warned Monday of a “radical Islamic winter,” revealing that advanced weapons were discovered in hands of terrorists during the latest round of fighting in Gaza Strip. He further said that “the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing.”

“It’s unclear why an IDF general would seek to stir up tensions in the region and why he exposed secret intelligence information about new Palestinian capabilities,” one official said.

Notably, Eisenberg’s remarks were approved for publication by the Military Censor.

During his address, Eisenberg revealed that new, more lethal arms surfaced in the hands of Gaza terror groups during the latest round of fighting in the area. As result of the disturbing development, Israeli civilians were instructed to adopt greater precautions, he said.

“We discovered a new weapon, and as result of this we instructed the public to hide under two roofs, rather than only one,” he said.

In return, defense officials attacked Eisenberg claiming: “The IDF chief must control his general. Even the (IDF) chief doesn’t say such things in public.”

‘Raises likelihood of total war’

During his speech, the Home Front Command chief also warned that the upheavals across the Arab world and the deteriorating relations with Turkey might lead to a war in the Mideast.

“In Lebanon, Hezbollah is growing stronger within government arms, but it has not lost its desire to harm Israel, and the ties with Turkey aren’t at their best,” Eisenberg remarked.

Referring to what he characterized as the possibility of a “radical Islamic winter,” Major-General Eisenberg said: “This raises the likelihood of an all-out, total war, with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction being used.”

“Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite it true; it continues full steam ahead,” he said. “In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations, and this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zio-Nazi Home Front Command:Arabs Have “New Weapon” to use against IsraHell, Possible WMDs

Lest We Forget–”What Did IsraHell Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?”

NOVANEWS

CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM


On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, an FBI bulletin known as a BOLO ­- “be on lookout” — was issued with regard to three suspicious men who that morning were seen leaving the New Jersey waterfront minutes after the first plane hit World Trade Center 1. Law enforcement officers across the New York-New Jersey area were warned in the radio dispatch to watch for a “vehicle possibly related to New York terrorist attack”:

White, 2000 Chevrolet van with ‘Urban Moving Systems’ sign on back seen at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, at the time of first impact of jetliner into World Trade Center Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion. FBI Newark Field Office requests that, if the van is located, hold for prints and detain individuals.

At 3:56 p.m., twenty-five minutes after the issuance of the FBI BOLO, officers with the East Rutherford Police Department stopped the commercial moving van through a trace on the plates. According to the police report, Officer Scott DeCarlo and Sgt. Dennis Rivelli approached the stopped van, demanding that the driver exit the vehicle. The driver, 23-year-old Sivan Kurzberg, refused and “was asked several more times [but] appeared to be fumbling with a black leather fanny pouch type of bag”. With guns drawn, the police then “physically removed” Kurzberg, while four other men ­- two more men had apparently joined the group since the morning ­- were also removed from the van, handcuffed, placed on the grass median and read their Miranda rights.

They had not been told the reasons for their arrest. Yet, according to DeCarlo’s report, “this officer was told without question by the driver [Sivan Kurzberg],’We are Israeli. We are not your problem.Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.’” Another of the five Israelis, again without prompting, told Officer DeCarlo ­- falsely ­- that “we were on the West Side Highway in New York City during the incident”. From inside the vehicle the officers, who were quickly joined by agents from the FBI, retrieved multiple passports and $4,700 in cash stuffed in a sock. According to New Jersey’s Bergen Record, which on September 12 reported the arrest of the five Israelis, an investigator high up in the Bergen County law enforcement hierarchy stated that officers had also discovered in the vehicle “maps of the city with certain places highlighted. It looked like they’re hooked in with this”, the source told the Record, referring to the 9/11 attacks. “It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park.”

The five men were indeed Israeli citizens. They claimed to be in the country working as movers for Urban Moving Systems Inc., which maintained a warehouse and office in Weehawken, New Jersey. They were held for 71 days in a federal detention center in Brooklyn, New York, during which time they were repeatedly interrogated by FBI and CIA counterterrorism teams, who referred to the men as the “high-fivers” for their celebratory behavior on the New Jersey waterfront. Some were placed in solitary confinement for at least forty days; some were given as many as seven liedetector tests. One of the Israelis, Paul Kurzberg, brother of Sivan, refused to take a lie-detector test for ten weeks. Then he failed it.

Meanwhile, two days after the men were picked up, the owner of Urban Moving Systems, Dominik Suter, a 31- year-old Israeli national, abandoned his business and fled the United States for Israel. Suter’s departure was abrupt, leaving behind coffee cups, sandwiches, cell phones and computers strewn on office tables and thousands of dollars of goods in storage. Suter was later placed on the same FBI suspect list as 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and other hijackers and suspected al-Qaeda sympathizers, suggesting that U.S. authorities felt Suter may have known something about the attacks. The suspicion, as the investigation unfolded, was that the men working for Urban Moving Systems were spies. Who exactly was handling them, and who or what they were targeting, was as yet uncertain.

It was New York’s venerable Jewish weekly The Forward that broke this story in the spring of 2002, after months of footwork. The Forward reported that the FBI had finally concluded that at least two of the men were agents working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and that Urban Moving Systems, the ostensible employer of the five Israelis, was a front operation. Two former CIA officers confirmed this to me, noting that movers’ vans are a common intelligence cover. The Forward also noted that the Israeli government itself admitted that the men were spies. A “former high-ranking American intelligence official”, who said he was “regularly briefed on the investigation by two separate law enforcement officials”, told reporter Marc Perelman that after American authorities confronted Jerusalem at the end of 2001, the Israeli government “acknowledged the operation and apologized for not coordinating it with Washington”. Today, Perelman stands by his reporting. I asked him if his sources in the Mossad denied the story. “Nobody stopped talking to me”, he said.

In June 2002, ABC News’ 20/20 followed up with its own investigation into the matter, coming to the same conclusion as The Forward. Vincent Cannistraro, former chief of operations for counterterrorism with the CIA, told 20/20 that some of the names of the five men appeared as hits in searches of an FBI national intelligence database. Cannistraro told me that the question that most troubled FBI agents in the weeks and months after 9/11 was whether the Israelis had arrived at the site of their “celebration” with foreknowledge of the attack to come. From the beginning, “the FBI investigation operated on the premise that the Israelis had foreknowledge”, according to Cannistraro. A second former CIA counterterrorism officer who closely followed the case, but who spoke on condition of anonymity, told me that investigators were pursuing two theories. “One story was that [the Israelis] appeared at Liberty State Park very quickly after the first plane hit. The other was that they were at the park location already”. Either way, investigators wanted to know exactly what the men were expecting when they got there.

Before such issues had been fully explored, however, the investigation was shut down. Following what ABC News reported were “high-level negotiations between Israeli and U.S. government officials”, a settlement was reached in the case of the five Urban Moving Systems suspects. Intense political pressure apparently had been brought to bear. The reputable Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that by the last week of October 2001, some six weeks after the men had been detained, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and two unidentified “prominent New York congressmen” were lobbying heavily for their release. According to a source at ABC News close to the 20/20 report, high-profile criminal lawyer Alan Dershowitz also stepped in as a negotiator on behalf of the men to smooth out differences with the U.S. government. (Dershowitz declined to comment for this article.) And so, at the end of November 2001, for reasons that only noted they had been working in the country illegally as movers, in violation of their visas, the men were flown home to Israel.

Today, the crucial questions raised by this matter remain unanswered. There is sufficient reason ­- from news reports, statements by former intelligence officials, an array of circumstantial evidence, and the reported acknowledgment by the Israeli government -­ to believe that in the months before 9/11, Israel was running an active spy network inside the United States, with Muslim extremists as the target. Given Israel’s concerns about Islamic terrorism as well as its long history of spying on U.S. soil, this does not come entirely as a shock. What’s incendiary is the idea -­ supported, though not proven, by several pieces of evidence ­- that the Israelis did learn something about 9/11 in advance but failed to share all of what they knew with American officials. The questions are disturbing enough to warrant a Congressional investigation.

Yet none of this information found its way into Congress’s joint committee report on the attacks, and it was not even tangentially referenced in the nearly 600 pages of the 9/11 Commission’s final report. Nor would a single major media outlet track the revelations of The Forward and ABC News to investigate further. “There weren’t even stories saying it was bullshit”, says The Forward’s Perelman. “Honestly, I was surprised”. Instead, the story disappeared into the welter of anti-Israel 9/11 conspiracy theories.

It’s no small boon to the U.S. government that the story of 9/11-related Israeli espionage has been thus relegated: the story doesn’t fit in the clean lines of the official narrative of the attacks. It brings up concerns not only about Israel’s obligation not to spy inside the borders of the United States, its major benefactor, but about its possible failure to have provided the U.S. adequate warning of an impending devastating attack on American soil. Furthermore, the available evidence undermines the carefully cultivated image of sanctity that defines the U.S.- Israel relationship. These are all factors that help explain the story’s disappearance, and they are compelling reasons to revisit it now.

 Torpedoing the FBI Probe

All five future hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which rammed the Pentagon, maintained addresses or were active within a six-mile radius of towns associated with the Israelis employed at Urban Moving Systems. Hudson and Bergen counties, the areas where the Israelis were allegedly conducting surveillance, were a central staging ground for the hijackers of Flight 77 and their fellow al-Qaeda operatives. Mohammed Atta maintained a mail-drop address and visited friends in northern New Jersey; his contacts there included Hani Hanjour, the suicide pilot for Flight 77, and Majed Moqed, one of the strongmen who backed Hanjour in the seizing of the plane. Could the Israelis, with or without knowledge of the terrorists’ plans, have been tracking the men who were soon to hijack Flight 77?

In public statements, both the Israeli government and the FBI have denied that the Urban Moving Systems men were involved in an intelligence operation in the United States. “No evidence recovered suggested any of these Israelis had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attack, and these Israelis are not suspected of working for Mossad”, FBI spokesman Jim Margolin told me. (The Israeli embassy did not respond to questions for this article.) According to the source at ABC News, FBI investigators chafed at the denials from their higher-ups. “There is a lot of frustration inside the bureau about this case”, the source told me. “They feel the higher echelons torpedoed the investigation into the Israeli New Jersey cell. Leads were not fully investigated”. Among those lost leads was the figure of Dominik Suter, whom the U.S. authorities apparently never attempted to contact. Intelligence expert and author James Bamford told me there was similar frustration within the CIA: “People I’ve talked to at the CIA were outraged at what was going on. They thought it was outrageous that there hadn’t been a real investigation, that the facts were hanging out there without any conclusion.”

However, what was “absolutely certain”, according to Vincent Cannistraro, was that the five Israelis formed part of a surveillance network in the New York- New Jersey area. The network’s purpose was to track radical Islamic extremists and/or supporters of militant Palestinian groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The former CIA counterterrorism officer who spoke anonymously told me that FBI investigators determined that the suspect Israelis were serving as Arabic-speaking linguists “running technical operations” in northern New Jersey’s extensive Muslim communities. The former CIA officer said the operations included taps on telephones, placement of microphones in rooms and mobile surveillance. The source at ABC News agreed: “Our conclusion was that they were Arab linguists involved in monitoring operations, i.e., electronic surveillance. People at FBI concur with this”. The ABC News source added, “What we heard was that the Israelis may have picked up chatter that something was going to happen on the morning of 9/11″.

The former CIA counterterrorism officer told me: “There was no question but that [the order to close down the investigation] came from the White House. It was immediately assumed at CIA headquarters that this basically was going to be a cover-up so that the Israelis would not be implicated in any way in 9/11. Bear in mind that this was a political issue, not a law enforcement or intelligence issue. If somebody says we don’t want the Israelis implicated in this ­- we know that they’ve been spying the hell out of us, we know that they possibly had information in advance of the attacks, but this would be a political nightmare to deal with.”

 The Israeli “Art Student” Spies

There is a second piece of evidence that suggests Israeli operatives were spying on al-Qaeda in the United States. It is writ in the peculiar tale of the Israeli “art students”, detailed by this reporter for Salon.com in 2002, following the leaking of an internal memo circulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Security Programs. The June 2001 memo, issued three months before the 9/11 attacks, reported that more than 120 young Israeli citizens, posing as art students and peddling cheap paintings, had been repeatedly ­- and seemingly inexplicably -­ attempting to penetrate DEA offices and other law enforcement and Defense Department offices across the country. The DEA report stated that the Israelis may have been engaged in “an organized intelligence gathering activity”, but to what end, U.S. investigators, in June 2001, could not determine. The memo briefly floated the possibility that the Israelis were engaged in trafficking the drug ecstasy. According to the memo, “the most activity [was] reported in the state of Florida” during the first half of 2001, where the town of Hollywood appeared to be “a central point for these individuals with several having addresses in this area”.

In retrospect, the fact that a large number of “art students” operated out of Hollywood is intriguing, to say the least. During 2001, the city, just north of Miami, was a hotbed of al-Qaeda activity and served as one of the chief staging grounds for the hijacking of the World Trade Center planes and the Pennsylvania plane; it was home to fifteen of the nineteen future hijackers, nine in Hollywood and six in the surrounding area. Among the 120 suspected Israeli spies posing as art students, more than thirty lived in the Hollywood area, ten in Hollywood proper. As noted in the DEA report, many of these young men and women had training as intelligence and electronic intercept officers in the Israeli military -­ training and experience far beyond the compulsory service mandated by Israeli law. Their “traveling in the U.S. selling art seem[ed] not to fit their background”, according to the DEA report.

One “art student” was a former Israeli military intelligence officer named Hanan Serfaty, who rented two Hollywood apartments close to the mail drop and apartment of Mohammed Atta and four other hijackers. Serfaty was moving large amounts of cash: he carried bank slips showing more than $100,000 deposited from December 2000 through the first quarter of 2001; other bank slips showed withdrawals for about $80,000 during the same period. Serfaty’s apartments, serving as crash pads for at least two other “art students”, were located at 4220 Sheridan Street and 701 South 21st Avenue. Lead hijacker Mohammed Atta’s mail drop was at 3389 Sheridan Street–approximately 2,700 feet from Serfaty’s Sheridan Street apartment. Both Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, the suicide pilot on United Airlines Flight 175, which smashed into World Trade Center 2, lived in a rented apartment at 1818 Jackson Street, some 1,800 feet from Serfaty’s South 21st Avenue apartment.

In fact, an improbable series of coincidences emerges from a close reading of the 2001 DEA memo, the 9/11 Commission’s staff statements and final report, FBI and Justice Department watch lists, hijacker timelines compiled by major media and statements by local, state and federal law enforcement personnel. In at least six urban centers, suspected Israeli spies and 9/11 hijackers and/or al-Qaeda­ connected suspects lived and operated near one another, in some cases less than half a mile apart, for various periods during 2001 in the run-up to the attacks. In addition to northern New Jersey and Hollywood, Florida, these centers included Arlington and Fredericksburg, Virginia; Atlanta; Oklahoma City; Los Angeles; and San Diego.

Israeli “art students” also lived close to terror suspects in and around Dallas, Texas. A 25-year-old “art student” named Michael Calmanovic, arrested and questioned by Texas-based DEA officers in April 2001, maintained a mail drop at 3575 North Beltline Road, less than a thousand feet from the 4045 North Beltline Road apartment of Ahmed Khalefa, an FBI terror suspect. Dallas and its environs, especially the town of Richardson, Texas, throbbed with “art student” activity. Richardson is notable as the home of the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity designated as a terrorist funder by the European Union and U.S. government in December 2001. Sources in 2002 told The Forward, in a report unrelated to the question of the “art students”, that “Israeli intelligence played a key role in helping the Bush administration to crack down on Islamic charities suspected of funneling money to terrorist groups, most notably the Richardson, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, last December [2001]“. It’s plausible that the intelligence prompting the shutdown of the Holy Land Foundation came from “art student” spies in the Richardson area.

Others among the “art students” had specific backgrounds in electronic surveillance or military intelligence, or were associated with Israeli wiretapping and surveillance firms, which prompted further concerns among U.S. investigators. DEA agents described Michael Calmanovic, for example, as “a recently discharged electronic intercept operator for the Israeli military”. Lior Baram, questioned near Hollywood, Fla., in January 2001, said he had served two years in Israeli intelligence “working with classified information”. Hanan Serfaty, who maintained the Hollywood apartments near Atta and his cohorts, served in the Israeli military between the ages of 18 and 21. Serfaty refused to disclose his activities between the ages of 21 and 24, including his activities since arriving in the U.S.A. in 2000. The French daily Le Monde meanwhile reported that six “art students” were apparently using cell phones that had been purchased by a former Israeli vice consul in the U.S.A.

Suspected Israeli spy Tomer Ben Dor, questioned at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in May 2001, worked for the Israeli wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping company NICE Systems Ltd. (NICE Systems’ American subsidiary, NICE Systems Inc., is located in Rutherford, New Jersey, not far from the East Rutherford site where the five Israeli “movers” were arrested on the afternoon of September 11.) Ben Dor carried in his luggage a print-out of a computer file that referred to “DEA Groups”. How he acquired information about so-called “DEA Groups” ­- via, for example, his own employment with an Israeli wiretapping company -­ was never determined, according to DEA documents.

“Art student” Michal Gal, arrested by DEA investigators in Irving, Texas, in the spring of 2001, was released on a $10,000 cash bond posted by Ophir Baer, an employee of the Israeli telecommunications software company Amdocs Inc., which provides phone-billing technology to clients that include some of the largest phone companies in the United States as well as U.S. government agencies. Amdocs, whose executive board has been heavily stocked with retired and current members of the Israeli government and military, has been investigated at least twice in the last decade by U.S. authorities on charges of espionage-related leaks of data that the company assured was secure. (The company strenuously denies any wrong-doing.)

According to the former CIA counterterrorism officer with knowledge of investigations into 9/11-related Israeli espionage, when law enforcement officials examined the “art students” phenomenon, they came to the tentative conclusion that “the Israelis likely had a huge spy operation in the U.S. and that they had succeeded in identifying a number of the hijackers”. The German daily Die Zeit reached the same conclusion in 2002, reporting that “Mossad agents in the U.S. were in all probability surveilling at least four of the 19 hijackers”. The Fox News Channel also reported that U.S. investigators suspected that Israelis were spying on Muslim militants in the United States. “There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9/11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it”, Fox correspondent Carl Cameron reported in a December 2001 series that was the first major exposé of allegations of 9/11-related Israeli espionage. “A highly placed investigator said there are ‘tie-ins’. But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.’”

One element of the allegations has never been clearly understood: if the “art students” were indeed spies targeting Muslim extremists that included al-Qaeda, why would they also be surveilling DEA agents in such a compromising manner? Why, in other words, would foreign spies bumble into federal offices by the scores and risk exposing their operation? An explanation is that a number of the art students were, in fact, young Israelis engaged in a mere art scam and unknowingly provided cover for real spies. Investigative journalist John Sugg, who as senior editor for the Creative Loafing newspaper chain reported on the “art students” in 2002, told me that investigators he spoke to within FBI felt the “art student” ring functioned as a wide-ranging cover that was counterintuitive in its obviousness.

DEA investigators, for example, uncovered evidence connecting the Israeli “art students” to known ecstasy trafficking operations in New York and Florida. This was, according to Sugg, planted information. “The explanation was that when our FBI guys started getting interested in these folks [the art students] ­- when they got too close to what the real purpose was ­- the Israelis threw in an ecstasy angle”, Sugg told me. “The argument being that if our guys thought the Israelis were involved in a smuggling ring, then they wouldn’t see the real purpose of the operation”. Sugg, who is writing a book that explores the tale of the “art students”, told me that several sources within the FBI, and at least one source formerly with Israeli intelligence, suggested that “the bumbling aspect of the art student thing was intentional.”

When I reported on the matter for Salon.com in 2002, a veteran U.S. intelligence operative with experience subcontracting both for the CIA and the NSA suggested a similar possibility. “It was a noisy operation”, the veteran intelligence operative said. The operative referred me to the film Victor, Victoria. “It was about a woman playing a man playing a woman. Perhaps you should think about this from that aspect and ask yourself if you wanted to have something that was in your face, that didn’t make sense, that couldn’t possibly be them”. The intelligence operative added, “Think of it this way: how could the experts think this could actually be something of any value?

Wouldn’t they dismiss what they were seeing?” U.S. and Israeli officials, dismissing charges of espionage as an “urban myth”, have publicly claimed that the Israeli “art students” were guilty only of working on U.S. soil without proper credentials. The stern denials issued by the Justice Department were widely publicized in the Washington Post and elsewhere, and the endnote from officialdom and in establishment media by the spring of 2002 was that the “art students” had been rounded up and deported simply because of harmless visa violations. The FBI, for its part, refused to confirm or deny the “art students” espionage story. “Regarding FBI investigations into Israeli art students”, spokesman Jim Margolin told me, “the FBI cannot comment on any of those investigations.”

As with the New Jersey Israelis, the investigation into the Israeli “art students” appears to have been halted by orders from on high. The veteran CIA/NSA intelligence operative told me in 2002 that there was “a great press to discredit the story, discredit the connections, prevent [investigators] from going any further. People were told to stand down. You name the agency, they were told to stand down”. The operative added, “People who were perceived to be gumshoes on [this matter] suddenly found themselves hammered from all different directions. The interest from the middle bureaucracy was not that there had been a security breach but that someone had bothered to investigate the breach. That was where the terror was”.

 Choking off the press coverage

There was similar pressure brought against the media venues that ventured to report out the allegations of 9/11- related Israeli espionage. A former ABC News employee high up in the network newsroom told me that when ABC News ran its June 2002 exposé on the celebratory New Jersey Israelis, “Enormous pressure was brought to bear by pro-Israeli organizations”–and this pressure began months before the piece was even close to airing. The source said that ABC News colleagues wondered, “how they [the pro-Israel organizations] found out we were doing the story. Pro- Israeli people were calling the president of ABC News. Barbara Walters was getting bombarded by calls. The story was a hard sell but ABC News came through the management insulated [reporters] from the pressure”.

The experience of Carl Cameron, chief Washington correspondent at Fox News Channel and the first mainstream U.S. reporter to present the allegations of Israeli surveillance of the 9/11 hijackers, was perhaps more typical, both in its particulars and aftermath. The attack against Cameron and Fox News was spearheaded by a pro-Israel lobby group called the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), which operated in tandem with the two most highly visible powerhouse Israel lobbyists, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (itself currently embroiled in a spy scandal connected to the Defense Department and Israeli Embassy). “CAMERA pep- pered the shit out of us”, Carl Cameron told me in 2002, referring to an e-mail bombardment that eventually crashed the Fox News.com servers. Cameron himself received 700 pages of almost identical e-mail messages from hundreds of citizens (though he suspected these were spam identities). CAMERA spokesman Alex Safian later told me that Cameron’s upbringing in Iran, where his father traveled as an archeologist, had rendered the reporter “very sympathetic to the Arab side”. Safian added, “I think Cameron, personally, has a thing about Israel”–coded language implying that Cameron was an anti-Semite. Cameron was outraged at the accusation.

According to a source at Fox News Channel, the president of the ADL, Abraham Foxman, telephoned executives at Fox News’ parent, News Corp., to demand a sit-down in the wake of the Cameron reportage. The source said that Foxman told the News Corp. executives, “Look, you guys have generally been pretty fair to Israel. What are you doing putting this stuff out there? You’re killing us”. The Fox News source continued, “As good old boys will do over coffee in Manhattan, it was like, well, what can we do about this? Finally, Fox News said, ‘Stop the e-mailing. Stop slamming us. Stop being in our face, and we’ll stop being in your face–by way of taking our story down off the web. We will not retract it; we will not disavow it; we stand by it. But we will at least take it off the web.’” Following this meeting, within four days of the posting of Cameron’s series on Fox News.com, the transcripts disappeared, replaced by the message, “This story no longer exists”.

What did Mossad know and tell the U.S.?

Whether or not Israeli spies had detailed foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the Israeli authorities knew enough to warn the U.S. government in the summer of 2001 that an attack was on the horizon. The British Sunday Telegraph reported on September 16, 2001, that two senior agents with the Mossad were dispatched to Washington in August 2001 “to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many as 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation”. The Telegraph quoted a “senior Israeli security official” as saying the Mossad experts had “no specific information about what was being planned”. Still, the official told the Telegraph, the Mossad contacts had “linked the plot to Osama bin Laden”.

Likewise, Die Zeit correspondent Oliver Schröm reported that on August 23, 2001, the Mossad “handed its American counterpart a list of names of terrorists who were staying in the U.S. and were presumably planning to launch an attack in the foreseeable future”. Fox News’ Carl Cameron, in May 2002, also reported warnings by Israel: “Based on its own intelligence, the Israeli government provided ‘general’ information to the United States in the second week of August that an al-Qaeda attack was imminent”. The U.S. government later claimed these warnings were not specific enough to allow any mitigating action to be taken. Mossad expert Gordon Thomas, author of Gideon’s Spies, says German intelligence sources told him that as late as August 2001 Israeli spies in the United States had made surveillance contacts with “known supporters of bin Laden in the U.S.A. It was those surveillance contacts that later raised the question: how much prior knowledge did Mossad have and at what stage?”

According to Die Zeit, the Mossad did provide the U.S. government with the names of suspected terrorists Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who would eventually hijack the Pentagon plane. It is worth noting that Mihdhar and Hazmi were among the hijackers who operated in close proximity to Israeli “art students” in Hollywood, Florida, and to the Urban Moving Systems Israelis in northern New Jersey. Moreover, Hazmi and at least three “art students” visited Oklahoma City on almost the same dates, from April 1 through April 4, 2001. On August 24, 2001, a day after the Mossad’s briefing, Mihdhar and Hazmi were placed by the CIA on a terrorist watch list; additionally, it was only after the Mossad warning, as reported by Die Zeit, that the CIA, on August 27, informed the FBI of the presence of the two terrorists. But by then the cell was already in hiding, preparing for attack.

The CIA, along with the 9/11 Commission in its adoption of the CIA story, claims that Mihdhar and Hazmi were placed on the watch list solely due to the agency’s own efforts, with no help from Mossad. Their explanation of how the pair came to be placed on the watch list, however, is far from credible and may have served as a cover story to obscure the Mossad briefing [See Ketcham’s sidebar story — “The Kuala Lumpur Deceit”]. This brings up the possibility that the CIA may have known about the existence of the alleged Israeli agents and their mission, but sought, naturally, to keep it quiet.

A second, more troubling scenario, is that the CIA may have subcontracted to Mossad, given that the agency was both prohibited by law from conducting intelligence operations on U.S. soil, and lacked a pool of competent Arabic-fluent field officers. In such a scenario, the CIA would either have worked actively with the Israelis or quietly abetted an independent operation on U.S. soil. In his 9/11 investigative book, The Looming Tower, author Lawrence Wright notes that FBI counterterrorism agents, infuriated at the CIA’s failure to fully share information about Mihdhar and Hazmi, speculated that “the agency was shielding Mihdhar and Hazmi because it hoped to recruit them”.

The two al-Qaeda men, Wright notes, “must have seemed like attractive opportunities; however, once they entered the United States they were the province of the FBI…” Wright further observes that the CIA’s reticence to share its information was due to a fear “that prosecutions resulting from specific intelligence might compromise its relationship with foreign services”. When in the spring of 2002 the scenario of CIA’s domestic subcontracting to foreign intelligence was posed to the veteran CIA/NSA intelligence operative, with whom I spoke extensively, the operative didn’t reject it out of hand.

The operative noted that in recent years the CIA’s human intelligence assets, known as “humint” ­- spooks on the ground who conduct surveillances, make contacts, and infiltrate the enemy ­- had been “eviscerated” in favor of the NSA’s far less perilous “sigint”, or signals intelligence program, the remote interception of electronic communications. As a result, “U.S. intelligence finds itself going back to sources that you may not necessarily like to go back to, but are required to”, the veteran intelligence operative said. “We don’t like the fact, but our humint structures are gone. Israeli intel’s humint is as strong as ever. If you have an intel gap, those gaps are not closed overnight. It takes years and years of diligent work, a high degree of security, talented and dedicated people, willing management and a steady hand. It is not a fun business, and it’s certainly not one without its dangers. If you lose that capability, well organizations find themselves having to make a pact with the devil. The problem [in U.S. intel] is very great”.

If such an understanding did exist between CIA and Mossad with regard to al-Qaeda’s U.S. operatives, the complicity would explain a number of oddities: it would explain the CIA’s nearly incoherent, and perhaps purposely deceptive, reconstruction of events as to how Mihdhar and Hazmi joined the watch list; it might even explain the apparent brazenness of the Israeli New Jersey cell celebrating on the morning of 9/11 (protected under the CIA wing, they were free to behave as they pleased). It would also explain the assertion in one of the leading Israeli dailies, Yedioth Ahronoth, that in the months prior to 9/11, when the Israeli “art students” were being identified and rounded up, the CIA “actively promoted their expulsion”. The implication in the Yedioth Ahronoth article was that the CIA was simply being careless, not trying to spirit the Israelis safely out of the country. At this point we cannot be certain.

Israeli spying against the U.S. is of course hotly denied by both governments. In 2002, responding to my own questions about the “art students”, Israeli embassy spokesman Mark Regev issued a blanket denial. “Israel does not spy on the United States”, Regev told me. The pronouncements from officialdom are strictly pro forma, as it is no secret that spying by Israel on the United States has been wide-ranging and unabashed. A 1996 General Accounting Office report, for example, found that Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any U.S. ally”. More recently, a former intelligence official told the Los Angeles Times in 2004 that “[t]here is a huge, aggressive, ongoing set of Israeli activities directed against the United States”.

It is also routine that Israeli spying is ignored or downplayed by the U.S. government (the case of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to life in prison in 1986, is a dramatic exception). According to the American Prospect, over the last 20 years at least six sealed indictments have been issued against individuals allegedly spying “on Israel’s behalf”, but the cases were resolved “through diplomatic and intelligence channels” rather than a public airing in the courts. Career Justice Department and intelligence officials who track Israeli espionage told the Prospect of “long-standing frustration among investigators and prosecutors who feel that cases that could have been made successfully against Israeli spies were never brought to trial, or that the investigations were shut down prematurely”.

The Questions That Await Answers

Remarkably, the Urban Moving Systems Israelis, when interrogated by the FBI, explained their motives for “celebration” on the New Jersey waterfront a celebration that consisted of cheering, smiling, shooting film with still and video cameras and, according to the FBI, “high-fiving” ­- in the Machiavellian light of geopolitics. “Their explanation of why they were happy”, FBI spokesman Margolin told me, “was that the United States would now have to commit itself to fighting [Middle East] terrorism, that Americans would have an understanding and empathy for Israel’s circumstances, and that the attacks were ultimately a good thing for Israel”. When reporters on the morning of 9/11 asked former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the effect the attacks would have on Israeli- American relations, he responded with a similar gut analysis: “It’s very good”, he remarked. Then he amended the statement: “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy [for Israel from Americans]“.

What is perhaps most damning is that the Israelis’ celebration on the New Jersey waterfront occurred in the first sixteen minutes after the initial crash, when no one was aware this was a terrorist attack. In other words, from the time the first plane hit the north tower, at 8:46 a.m., to the time the second plane hit the south tower, at 9:02 a.m., the overwhelming assumption of news outlets and government officials was that the plane’s impact was simply a terrible accident. It was only after the second plane hit that suspicions were aroused. Yet if the men were cheering for political reasons, as they reportedly told the FBI, they obviously believed they were witnessing a terrorist act, and not an accident.

After returning safely to Israel in the late autumn of 2001, three of the five New Jersey Israelis spoke on a national talk show that winter. Oded Ellner, who on the afternoon of September 11 had, like his compatriots, protested to arresting officer Sgt. Dennis Rivelli that “we’re Israeli”, admitted to the interviewer: “We are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event”. By his own admission, then, Ellner stood on the New Jersey waterfront documenting with film and video a terrorist act before anyone knew it was a terrorist act.

One obvious question among many comes to mind: If these men were trained as professional spies, why did they exhibit such outright oafishness at the moment of truth on the waterfront? The ABC network source close to the 20/20 report noted one of the more disturbing explanations proffered by counterintelligence investigators at the FBI: “The Israelis felt that in some way their intelligence had worked out ­- i.e., they were celebrating their own acumen and ability as intelligence agents”.

The questions abound: Did the Urban Moving Systems Israelis, ready to “document the event”, arrive at the waterfront before the first plane came in from the north? And if they arrived right after, why did they believe it was a terrorist attack? What about the strange tale of the “art students”? Could they have been mere hustlers, as they claimed, who ended up repeatedly crossing paths with federal agents and living next door to most of the 9/11 hijackers by coincidence? Did the Israeli authorities find out more about the impending attacks than they shared with their U.S. counterparts?

Or did the Israeli spies on the ground only intercept vague chatter that, in their view, did not warrant breaking cover to share the information? On the other hand, did the U.S. government receive more advance information about the attacks from Israeli authorities than it is willing to admit? What about the 9/11 Commission’s eliding of reported Israeli warnings that may have led to the watch- listing of Mihdhar and Hazmi? Were the Israeli warnings purposely washed from the historical record? Did the CIA know more about pre-9/11 Israeli spying than it has admitted?

The unfortunate fact is that the truth may never be uncovered, not by officialdom, and certainly not by a passive press. James Bamford, who in a coup of reporting during the 1980s revealed the inner workings of the NSA in The Puzzle Palace, points to the “key problem”: “The Israelis were all sent out of the country”, he says. “There’s no nexus left. The FBI just can’t go knocking on doors in Israel. They need to work with the State Department. They need letters rogatory, where you ask a government of a foreign country to get answers from citizens in that country”. The Israeli government will not likely comply.

So any investigation “is now that much more complicated”, says Bamford. He recalls a story he produced for ABC News concerning two murder suspects — U.S. citizens ­- who fled to Israel and fought extradition for ten years. “The Israelis did nothing about it until I went to Israel, knocking on doors, and finally found the two suspects. I think it’d be a great idea to go over and knock on their doors”, says Bamford.

The suspects are gone. The trail is cold. Yet many of the key facts and promising leads sit freely on the web, in the archives, safe in the news-morgues at 20/20 and The Forward and Die Zeit. An investigator close to the matter says it reminds him of the Antonioni film “Blow-Up”, a movie about a photographer who discovers the evidence of a covered-up murder hidden before his very eyes in the frame of an enlarged photograph. It’s a mystery that no one appears eager to solve.

Posted in USAComments Off on Lest We Forget–”What Did IsraHell Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?”

Leak Offers Look at Efforts by U.S. to Spy on IsraHell

NOVANEWS

ed note–no doubt, this story will be used by Israel’s supporters in trying to pour water on the flames of increasing-awareness of Israeli spying against America. However, there are a few valuable tidbits in this piece, not the least of which is the revelation that puff pieces written as op-eds by AIPAC were then given to noted personalities in the U.S. so they could then put their names to them before going to press in America’s largest newspapers. Keep this in mind next time you read something written by Sarak Palin, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, or some other creature praising the Jewish state–it more than likely was NOT written by them but rather pro-Israel intelligence assets in the interest of swaying American opinion.

NYT

WASHINGTON — When Shamai K. Leibowitz, an F.B.I. translator, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year for leaking classified information to a blogger, prosecutors revealed little about the case. They identified the blogger in court papers only as “Recipient A.” After Mr. Leibowitz pleaded guilty, even the judge said he did not know exactly what Mr. Leibowitz had disclosed.

“All I know is that it’s a serious case,” Judge Alexander Williams Jr., of United States District Court in Maryland, said at the sentencing in May 2010. “I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea.”

Now the reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: Mr. Leibowitz, a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to the blogger, Richard Silverstein.

In his first interview about the case, Mr. Silverstein offered a rare glimpse of American spying on a close ally.

He said he had burned the secret documents in his Seattle backyard after Mr. Leibowitz came under investigation in mid-2009, but he recalled that there were about 200 pages of verbatim records of telephone calls and what seemed to be embassy conversations. He said that in one transcript, Israeli officials discussed their worry that their exchanges might be monitored.

Mr. Leibowitz, who declined to comment for this article, released the documents because of concerns about Israel’s aggressive efforts to influence Congress and public opinion, and fears that Israel might strike nuclear facilities in Iran, a move he saw as potentially disastrous, according to Mr. Silverstein.

While the American government routinely eavesdrops on some embassies inside the United States, intelligence collection against allies is always politically delicate, especially one as close as Israel.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation listens in on foreign embassies and officials in the United States chiefly to track foreign spies, though any intelligence it obtains on other matters is passed on to the C.I.A. and other agencies. The intercepts are carried out by the F.B.I.’s Operational Technology Division, based in Quantico, Va., according to Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence writer who describes the bureau’s monitoring in a book, “Intel Wars,” scheduled for publication in January. Translators like Mr. Leibowitz work at an F.B.I. office in Calverton, Md.

Former counterintelligence officials describe Israeli intelligence operations in the United States as quite extensive, ranking just below those of China and Russia, and F.B.I. counterintelligence agents have long kept an eye on Israeli spying.

For most eavesdropping on embassies in Washington, federal law requires the F.B.I. to obtain an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret at the Justice Department. If an American visiting or calling an embassy turns up on a recording, the F.B.I. is required by law to remove the American’s name from intelligence reports, substituting the words “U.S. person.” But raw transcripts would not necessarily have undergone such editing, called “minimization.”

Mr. Silverstein’s account could not be fully corroborated, but it fits the publicly known facts about the case. Spokesmen for the F.B.I., the Justice Department and the Israeli Embassy declined to comment on either eavesdropping on the embassy or Mr. Leibowitz’s crime. He admitted disclosing “classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States,” standard language for the interception of phone calls, e-mails and other messages by the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency, which generally focuses on international communications.

Mr. Leibowitz, now in a Federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house in Maryland, is prohibited by his plea agreement from discussing anything he learned at the F.B.I. Two lawyers who represented Mr. Leibowitz, Cary M. Feldman and Robert C. Bonsib, also would not comment.

Mr. Silverstein, 59, writes a blog called Tikun Olam, named after a Hebrew phrase that he said means “repairing the world.” The blog gives a liberal perspective on Israel and Israeli-American relations. He said he had decided to speak out to make clear that Mr. Leibowitz, though charged under the Espionage Act, was acting out of noble motives. The Espionage Act has been used by the Justice Department in nearly all prosecutions of government employees for disclosing classified information to the news media, including the record-setting five such cases under President Obama.

Mr. Silverstein said he got to know Mr. Leibowitz, a lawyer with a history of political activism, after noticing that he, too, had a liberal-minded blog, called Pursuing Justice. The men shared a concern about repercussions from a possible Israeli airstrike on nuclear facilities in Iran. From his F.B.I. work from January to August of 2009, Mr. Leibowitz also believed that Israeli diplomats’ efforts to influence Congress and shape American public opinion were excessive and improper, Mr. Silverstein said.

“I see him as an American patriot and a whistle-blower, and I’d like his actions to be seen in that context,” Mr. Silverstein said. “What really concerned Shamai at the time was the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, which he thought would be damaging to both Israel and the United States.”

Mr. Silverstein took the blog posts he had written based on Mr. Leibowitz’s material off his site after the criminal investigation two years ago. But he was able to retrieve three posts from April 2009 from his computer and provided them to The New York Times.

The blog posts make no reference to eavesdropping, but describe information from “a confidential source,” wording Mr. Silverstein said was his attempt to disguise the material’s origin.

One post reports that the Israeli Embassy provided “regular written briefings” on Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza to President Obama in the weeks between his election and inauguration. Another describes calls involving Israeli officials in Jerusalem, Chicago and Washington to discuss the views of members of Congress on Israel. A third describes a call between an unnamed Jewish activist in Minnesota and the Israeli Embassy about an embassy official’s meeting with Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, who was planning an official trip to Gaza.

Mr. Silverstein said he remembered that embassy officials talked about drafting opinion articles to be published under the names of American supporters. He said the transcripts also included a three-way conversation between a congressman from Texas, an American supporter of the congressman and an embassy official; Mr. Silverstein said he could not recall any of the names.

At his sentencing, Mr. Leibowitz described what he had done as “a one-time mistake that happened to me when I worked at the F.B.I. and saw things which I considered were violation of the law, and I should not have told a reporter about it.”

That was a reference to Israeli diplomats’ attempts to influence Congress, Mr. Silverstein said, though nothing Mr. Leibowitz described to him appeared to be beyond the bounds of ordinary lobbying.

Mr. Leibowitz, 40, the father of 6-year-old twins at the time of sentencing, seems an unlikely choice for an F.B.I. translation job. He was born in Israel to a family prominent in academic circles. He practiced law in Israel for several years, representing several controversial clients, including Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader convicted of directing terrorist attacks on Israelis, who Mr. Leibowitz once said reminded him of Moses.

In 2004, Mr. Leibowitz moved to Silver Spring, Md., outside Washington, where he was a leader in his synagogue. Mr. Silverstein said Mr. Leibowitz holds dual American and Israeli citizenship.

In court, Mr. Leibowitz expressed anguish about the impact of the case on his marriage and family, which he said was “destitute.” He expressed particular sorrow about leaving his children. “At the formative time of their life, when they’re 6 years old and they’re just finishing first grade, I’ll be absent from their life, and that is the most terrible thing about this case,” he said.

While treated as highly classified by the F.B.I., the fact that the United States spies on Israel is taken for granted by experts on intelligence. “We started spying on Israel even before the state of Israel was formally founded in 1948, and Israel has always spied on us,” said Mr. Aid, the author. “Israeli intercepts have always been one of the most sensitive categories,” designated with the code word Gamma to indicate their protected status, he said.

Douglas M. Bloomfield, an American columnist for several Jewish publications, said that when he worked in the 1980s for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, he assumed that communications with the embassy were not private.

“I am not surprised at all to learn that the F.B.I. was listening to the Israelis,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a wise use of resources because I don’t see Israel as a threat to American security.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Leak Offers Look at Efforts by U.S. to Spy on IsraHell

Exposing the Nazi’s

NOVANEWS

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Exposing the Nazi’s

FBI discovered IsraHell was coordinating anti-Iran efforts

NOVANEWS

FBI discovered Israel was coordinating anti-Iran efforts through at least one member of Congress – Obama administration imprisoned whistle blower who tried to leak the facts Featured

NY Times: By  Published: September 5, 2011 [Labor Day]

WASHINGTON — When Shamai K. Leibowitz, an F.B.I. translator, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year for leaking classified information to a blogger, prosecutors revealed little about the case. They identified the blogger in court papers only as “Recipient A.” After Mr. Leibowitz pleaded guilty, even the judge said he did not know exactly what Mr. Leibowitz had disclosed.

Peter Dejong/Associated Press, Shamai K. Leibowitz in 2002. He leaked secret transcripts.

“All I know is that it’s a serious case,” Judge Alexander Williams Jr., of United States District Court in Maryland, said at the sentencing in May 2010. “I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea.”

Now the reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: Mr. Leibowitz, a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to the blogger, Richard Silverstein.

In his first interview about the case, Mr. Silverstein offered a rare glimpse of American spying on a close ally.

He said he had burned the secret documents in his Seattle backyard after Mr. Leibowitz came under investigation in mid-2009, but he recalled that there were about 200 pages of verbatim records of telephone calls and what seemed to be embassy conversations. He said that in one transcript, Israeli officials discussed their worry that their exchanges might be monitored.

Mr. Leibowitz, who declined to comment for this article, released the documents because of concerns about Israel’s aggressive efforts to influence Congress and public opinion, and fears that Israel might strike nuclear facilities in Iran, a move he saw as potentially disastrous, according to Mr. Silverstein.

While the American government routinely eavesdrops on some embassies inside the United States, intelligence collection against allies is always politically delicate, especially one as close as Israel.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation listens in on foreign embassies and officials in the United States chiefly to track foreign spies, though any intelligence it obtains on other matters is passed on to the C.I.A. and other agencies. The intercepts are carried out by the F.B.I.’s Operational Technology Division, based in Quantico, Va., according to Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence writer who describes the bureau’s monitoring in a book, “Intel Wars,” scheduled for publication in January. Translators like Mr. Leibowitz work at an F.B.I. office in Calverton, Md.

Former counterintelligence officials describe Israeli intelligence operations in the United States as quite extensive, ranking just below those of China and Russia, and F.B.I. counterintelligence agents have long kept an eye on Israeli spying.

For most eavesdropping on embassies, federal law requires the F.B.I. to obtain an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret at a federal courthouse in Washington. If an American visiting or calling an embassy turns up on a recording, the F.B.I. is required by law to remove the American’s name from intelligence reports, substituting the words “U.S. person.” But raw transcripts would not necessarily have undergone such editing, called “minimization.”

Mr. Silverstein’s account could not be fully corroborated, but it fits the publicly known facts about the case. Spokesmen for the F.B.I., the Justice Department and the Israeli Embassy declined to comment on either eavesdropping on the embassy or Mr. Leibowitz’s crime. He admitted disclosing “classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States,” standard language for the interception of phone calls, e-mails and other messages by the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency, which generally focuses on international communications.

Mr. Leibowitz, now in a Federal Bureau of Prisons halfway house in Maryland, is prohibited by his plea agreement from discussing anything he learned at the F.B.I. Two lawyers who represented Mr. Leibowitz, Cary M. Feldman and Robert C. Bonsib, also would not comment.

Mr. Silverstein, 59, writes a blog called Tikun Olam, named after a Hebrew phrase that he said means “repairing the world.” The blog gives a liberal perspective on Israel and Israeli-American relations. He said he had decided to speak out to make clear that Mr. Leibowitz, though charged under the Espionage Act, was acting out of noble motives. The Espionage Act has been used by the Justice Department in nearly all prosecutions of government employees for disclosing classified information to the news media, including the record-setting five such cases under President Obama.

Mr. Silverstein said he got to know Mr. Leibowitz, a lawyer with a history of political activism, after noticing that he, too, had a liberal-minded blog, called Pursuing Justice. The men shared a concern about repercussions from a possible Israeli airstrike on nuclear facilities in Iran. From his F.B.I. work from January to August of 2009, Mr. Leibowitz also believed that Israeli diplomats’ efforts to influence Congress and shape American public opinion were excessive and improper, Mr. Silverstein said.

“I see him as an American patriot and a whistle-blower, and I’d like his actions to be seen in that context,” Mr. Silverstein said. “What really concerned Shamai at the time was the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, which he thought would be damaging to both Israel and the United States.”

Mr. Silverstein took the blog posts he had written based on Mr. Leibowitz’s material off his site after the criminal investigation two years ago. But he was able to retrieve three posts from April 2009 from his computer and provided them to The New York Times.

The blog posts make no reference to eavesdropping, but describe information from “a confidential source,” wording Mr. Silverstein said was his attempt to disguise the material’s origin.

One post reports that the Israeli Embassy provided “regular written briefings” on Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza to President Obama in the weeks between his election and inauguration. Another describes calls involving Israeli officials in Jerusalem, Chicago and Washington to discuss the views of members of Congress on Israel. A third describes a call between an unnamed Jewish activist in Minnesota and the Israeli Embassy about an embassy official’s meeting with Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, who was planning an official trip to Gaza.

Mr. Silverstein said he remembered that embassy officials talked about drafting opinion articles to be published under the names of American supporters. He said the transcripts also included a three-way conversation between a congressman from Texas, an American supporter of the congressman and an embassy official; Mr. Silverstein said he could not recall any of the names.

At his sentencing, Mr. Leibowitz described what he had done as “a one-time mistake that happened to me when I worked at the F.B.I. and saw things which I considered were violation of the law, and I should not have told a reporter about it.”

That was a reference to Israeli diplomats’ attempts to influence Congress, Mr. Silverstein said, though nothing Mr. Leibowitz described to him appeared to be beyond the bounds of ordinary lobbying.

Mr. Leibowitz, 40, the father of 6-year-old twins at the time of sentencing, seems an unlikely choice for an F.B.I. translation job. He was born in Israel to a family prominent in academic circles. He practiced law in Israel for several years, representing several controversial clients, including Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader convicted of directing terrorist attacks on Israelis, who Mr. Leibowitz once said reminded him of Moses.

In 2004, Mr. Leibowitz moved to Silver Spring, Md., outside Washington, where he was a leader in his synagogue. Mr. Silverstein said Mr. Leibowitz holds dual American and Israeli citizenship.

In court, Mr. Leibowitz expressed anguish about the impact of the case on his marriage and family, which he said was “destitute.” He expressed particular sorrow about leaving his children. “At the formative time of their life, when they’re 6 years old and they’re just finishing first grade, I’ll be absent from their life, and that is the most terrible thing about this case,” he said.

While treated as highly classified by the F.B.I., the fact that the United States spies on Israel is taken for granted by experts on intelligence. “We started spying on Israel even before the state of Israel was formally founded in 1948, and Israel has always spied on us,” said Mr. Aid, the author. “Israeli intercepts have always been one of the most sensitive categories,” designated with the code word Gamma to indicate their protected status, he said.

Douglas M. Bloomfield, an American columnist for several Jewish publications, said that when he worked in the 1980s for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, he assumed that communications with the embassy were not private.

“I am not surprised at all to learn that the F.B.I. was listening to the Israelis,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a wise use of resources because I don’t see Israel as a threat to American security.”

Posted in USAComments Off on FBI discovered IsraHell was coordinating anti-Iran efforts

West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign ‘PSC’ Zionist Crony’s Mouthpiece

NOVANEWS

WMPSC Shamefully Zionist Collaborators

 

Naeem Malik writes in the comments:

I as, Chair of West Midlands Palestine Solidarity campaign would like to correct the facts of this article.

Sammi Ibrahim is no longer the Chair of the West Midlands PSC. In fact I am the Chair of the West Midlands PSC.

In March the West Midlands PSC discovered some of the postings on the Shoah website were racist and anti-Semitic. ” THIS IS TYPICAL ZIONIST LIES”  ” THIS IS ZIONIST PROPAGANDA MR SHLOMO”  The West Midlands PSC, at a specially convened meeting on the 21st of March 2011 removed Sammi from the post of the Chair ” THIS IS TYPICAL ZIONIST LIE I REFUESED TO ATTEND YOUR MEETING AND TO BE QUESTIONED BY FRIENDS OF THE ZIONIST HISTADRUT”    and I was appointed in his place. ” YOU WERE APPOINTED AS PUPPET’S”

West Midlands PSC is committed to fight racism ” WHAT ABOUT ZIONISM ? DO YOU FIGHT ZIONISM??  in all its form. West Midlands PSC’s commitment to Palestinian rights is part and parcel of our commitment to anti-racism and anti-Semitism. ” ANTI-ZIONISM”??

The West Midlands PSC issued the following statement on 24th March 2011.

It has come to our notice that West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign material has been appearing on websites which contain anti-Semitic material. We completely dissociate ourselves from these sites and the material they contain and do not want our material posted on them. ” SHAMEFULLY  YOU DISSOCIATE YOURSELVES FROM THE FIGHT AGAINST ZIONISM ” PSC nationally, and we as the West Midlands Branch of PSC, have a stated commitment to oppose all forms of racism including anti-Semitism.

————————–

* Our Comment’s

West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign ‘WMPSC’ promoting two state means an abandonment of it’s priniciple and abandment of the palestinian principle position adopted by all.

We must call for the liberation of  all Palestine from Zio-Nazi occupation and ambitions. WMPSC recognition of Palestine based on’ ‘ 67 borders show that PSC has given up a national policy that has spanned several decades”. What is the motive behind it?

There is no motive except to satisfy the Zionist regime and seeking to appease the Zionist regime.

 

 In response you PSC Zionist puppet i like to clarify the following:

1- I do not not run or own the site SHOAH.

2- I did not post any racist material as claimed by liar Naeem Malik.

3- PSC did NOT expel me i refused to attend a meeting to be questioned about SHOAH by Zionist puppet’s i expel myself because of PSC Zionist link.

 


 

 

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign ‘PSC’ Zionist Crony’s Mouthpiece

HARRY’S PLACE NAZI TERRORIST PROPAGANDA

NOVANEWS

From Nazi website Harry’s Place

 

Chair of West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign runs neo-Nazi revisionist site [see update]

Lucy Lips, September 1st 2011, 6:30 pm

This is Sammi Ibrahem, Unity FM deejay:

He is the chair of the West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

See here:

and here:

He attended the branch forum of the PSC last year in Oxford, representing the West Midlands. He also runs a website called Shoah.org.uk. The Jewish Chronicle reported last year:

A post on the Shoah website, entitled Happy New Year from Shoah, is signed by Sammi Ibrahem Sr, who describes himself as chair.

Ibrahim cross-posts an article (which also features on former KKK leader David Duke’s website) in which we read:

The following is the text of a presentation exploring the effects of Christian Zionism on Palestinian Christians from a 2010 conference titled, Christ at the Checkpoint. Dr. David Duke addressed the very related issue to Zionist Christians in his video, The Insanity of Christian Zionism. In his video, he described Jewish Zionists’ hatred of Christ. The following presentation by Rev. Alex Awad speaks to the tragic ignorance Christian Zionists have about Christ’s followers who still live in the land of his birth, and have for 2,000 years.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on HARRY’S PLACE NAZI TERRORIST PROPAGANDA

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Memo to world; you’re paying the enemy in Afghanistan not to attack you

Posted: 05 Sep 2011

This fascinating feature by Matthieu Atkins in Caravan Magazine highlights the role of India in backing an insurgency it claims to be against. Just like the rest of the Western powers in this disaster – revealed in a very powerful ABC TV 4 Corners documentary tonight that shows the complete lack of understanding by Australia and America in the so-called kill/capture policy – Afghanistan is the dead zone for failed, faded or failing empires:

At long last, construction of the new Parliament building on Darulaman Road in Kabul is nearing its final stages of completion, with the exterior expected to be finished later this fall. The $178 million brass-domed structure, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and King Mohammed Zahir Shah in August 2005, is a gift from the Indian government, a fitting token of support for Afghanistan from the world’s largest democracy.

The Parliament building is perhaps the most visible sign of India’s $2 billion development aid programme in Afghanistan. Managed by India’s Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the construction of the building is a joint venture between two large Indian construction companies, both well-known for building roadways: BSCPL Infrastructure Ltd, Hyderabad, and C&C Constructions Ltd, Gurgaon. While the building marks their first ‘vertical’ project in Afghanistan, the two firms have already done major work in the country—including the recently completed $176-million Gardez-Khost highway, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

But the Gardez-Khost highway stands out for another reason. According to an investigation published in The New York Times in May, the subcontractors working on the project, including BSCPL and C&C, paid millions of dollars in protection money to one of Afghanistan’s deadliest—and most anti-Indian—insurgent groups. It’s a story that highlights the compromises that Indian companies—like other international firms—have had to make in order to do business in the rough world of Afghan politics. It also raises concerns that Indian companies will be put in an increasingly untenable position in Afghanistan as the security situation deteriorates and US forces withdraw.

“Indian companies already have a significant investment and sunk cost. If they want to get anything out of it, they need to make these compromises,” said Harsh Pant, a professor at King’s College London and an expert on Asia-Pacific security issues. “The Indian government has basically told them they’re on their own.”

An equal-spoils project like the BSCPL/C&C joint venture is to be expected of the well-connected companies that undertake India’s development work abroad. BSCPL’s chairman, Bollineni Krishnaiah, is a former Congress party legislator in the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, while the company’s director (technical), Utthandumpillai Jayakodi, worked for 12 years in the Union ministry of road transport and highways. At C&C, the director, Rajendra Mohan Aggarwal, was a former executive engineer with the CPWD, which awarded the contract for the Afghan Parliament building.

After arriving in Afghanistan in 2003 during the heady days of postwar reconstruction, BSCPL/C&C combined has completed a number of major projects, including contracts for 700 km of roads, worth nearly $250 million and funded by USAID, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. These roads, which pass through some of the most volatile parts of southern Afghanistan, are precisely the kind of projects that have given rise to large payments to the insurgents and local warlords.

“A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war”

Posted: 05 Sep 2011

Headline of the year in the Washington Post.

Rejecting the Obama nation front and centre

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 07:17 PM PDT

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

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