Archive | September 8th, 2011

Greenstein admits guilt

 

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Drunk-driving uncle of Obama puts public at risk

NOVANEWS

Obama’s Illegal Alien Uncle

by Ian Mosley

The President of the United States recently suffered the embarrassment of having his uncle arrested as an illegal alien. Why do we have a president who could even conceivably be in that position at all?

CNS reports: “President Barack Obama’s uncle, facing deportation for being in the country illegally, will not be treated differently than anyone else under U.S. laws, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told CNSNews.com on Thursday.”

And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

CNSNews.com also asked, “’Was the president aware that his uncle was in the United States as an undocumented immigrant?’ But before the question was completely asked, Carney interjected, saying President Obama ‘was made aware of this issue when I walked into his office and, among other subjects, mentioned it to him and he was completely unaware.’”

On uttering these words, Mr. Carney’s nose was observed to grow several inches longer.

CNS: “Carney apparently was speaking in reference to when the president first learned of his uncle’s arrest. Carney did not say whether the president knew his uncle was in the United States illegally… This Aug. 24, 2011 booking photo provided Aug. 30, 2011 by the Framingham Police Department shows Onyango Obama, arrested in Framingham, Mass., for several infractions, including operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He is the uncle of President Barack Obama. The uncle, Onyango Obama, 67, is the half-brother of the president’s father, Barack Obama, Sr. Back in 1992, an immigration judge had ordered Onyango Obama to leave the United States… the uncle has held a Massachusetts driver’s license since at least 1992 and he also had a Social Security number, even though he is an illegal immigrant.”

This is actually what happens with most deportations; they are simply ignored and the law is never enforced. Since this occurred in 1992, almost 20 years ago before Barry became prominent, it probably is not a case of selective privilege, but simply an incidence of the general policy of allowing anyone with brown or black skin to stroll into this country and stay however long they please.”

The article notes “Onyango Obama was arrested in Framingham, Mass., last week and charged with drunken driving last week. He had made a rolling stop at a stop sign and nearly caused a police cruiser to strike his sport utility vehicle…”

Twenty years after the law ordered him to leave the country, he’s riding around here drunk in an SUV. Sounds like America to me.

I wonder how many Americans have had their cars smashed by this drunk. Obama’s father lost his legs in a drunk driving accident in Kenya and then killed himself in yet another drunk driving accident. It’s insanity to let anyone in the Obama family stay in the US.

Barry’s Uncle Onyango will in fact remain in this country, because by executive order (no Congressional debate or approval needed) we have now effectively stopped deporting illegal aliens. This is known as the “back door amnesty” and Onyango will be one of the beneficiaries. No doubt he will show his gratitude to his nephew by voting Democrat at the first opportunity—if he hasn’t already.

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‘J St’ comes out against Palestinian statehood initiative

NOVANEWS

 

by PAUL MUTTER, PHIL WEISS

Update: A PDF of the J Street position paper is here. (Dug up by Adam Kredo.) And J Street has posted an “open letter” to “the American Jewish community” on the subject, which as that salutation signals, invokes establishment communalism:

J Street’s position on the possible Security Council resolution aligns with the position of most established institutions in the American Jewish community.

Noam Sheizaf:

J Street, the pro-peace Jewish lobbying group, has decided to join the US Administration in opposing the Palestinian’s bid for statehood at the UN. JTA reports:

“We believe that everything J Street stands for and what we do needs to promote the two-state solution and not just two states,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, the director of the dovish pro-Israel group, told JTA on Wednesday.

Palestinian statehood should come about through negotiations with Israel and not unilaterally, he said.

Ben-Ami said the group backs Obama administration plans to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that would establish such a state and has urged Palestinian leaders to defer plans to introduce such a resolution later this month.

This is probably the worst move J Street has ever made. While past errors were political ones that could be expected from a young organization that has taken upon itself a tremendous task, this mistake is a moral one. It might bring short term gains – I am not sure, but I’m no expert on Washington politics – but in the long run, it’s likely to do more harm than good.

Adam Kredo reports that there is big division within J Street over this.

Kathleen Peratis, one of J Street’s initial founders and a member of its board, told me that insiders spent months studying the potential effects of the upcoming UN vote. By learning about different facets of the issue, their thinking evolved, she said.Though members of the board unanimously approved the language, Peratis said that “we all came to it with a lot of preconceived and stereotypical ideas” — many of which where shattered as members informed themselves about the vote.

Still, “I can’t tell you every member of the J Street family is happy with” the position, Peratis said, explaining that she assumes there will be discontent from both the left and right. “I’m sure some are unhappy. … For nobody is it perfect.”

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Wanker Greenstein: ”Defrauding Bankers is Minor Convictions”

From: Tony Greenstein 27th July 20:05
To: Gaby Weber

Dear Dr Weber,

It would seem that we have touched a raw nerve.

I know nothing of Moamen Khatib. I have no desire to destroy any conference, least of all that on Palestine. However I also do not wish the Palestine solidarity and anti-Zionist movements to be sullied by someone who is an out and out anti-Semite and now a holocaust denier. Atzmon’s primary contribution to the cause is to attack, not Zionists but Jewish anti-Zionists who he defines, by virtue of being Jewish, as Zionists. I think you are very aware of what I am talking about. If not then my Guide to Atzmon will help your understanding, important with someone who is a Doctor.

My past has nothing to do with any of this but all previous, minor convictions, a quarter of a century ago, are all spent. And defrauding bankers doesn’t seem to me much like a crime given they have defrauded everyone else but no doubt ‘justice for bankers’ and wankers is also one of your causes.

In Solidarity

Tony Greenstein

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Greenstein Dirty war of Lies

On 27 Jul 2011, at 19:23,

Dr. Gabi Weber wrote:

Dear Mr. Greenstein

my name is Dr. Gabi Weber. I am the head of Cafe Palestine Freiburg and the main organizer of Freiburg Conference on September 11th.

Today I found out that the dirty war you are fighting in vain against Gilad Atzmon for years now, is spilling over to Germany.

One day after the conference was announced, your bad games started again. You try to bother my speakers and you even do not hesitate to spread your lies to our young Palestinian musician, Moamen Khatib. Probably you didn´t realise that you didn´t only send the text adressed to Moamen but also the correspondence you had concerning Moamen being “young and gullible”. It is really disgusting!

I know that it is not the first time that you try to jeopardize an event with Gilad Atzmon – whether it is supposed to happen in Germany, Switzerland or other countries. To reach your obvious “aim in life” you don´t hesitate to lie, to commit forgery, to take “quotes” out of their context and put them together in a wrong order and so on. I am also in posession of interesting documents that testify Mr. Greenstein´s criminal past.

Recently I learned that xxx tried to stop singer and musician Amal Murkus and the Palestinian delegation in London who organised the Palestinian event “From Al Tahrir to Jerusalem”. She tried to do a “counter-event” under the similar name as the “Al Tahrir”- event.

Having a lot of information about your sick “movement” I could respond to each of the false sentences xxx is writing to Moamen.

But I prefer to let you know that from now on, I will record and spread every single attempt from your side to destroy the conference.

Perhaps you didn´t realise by now. I am distributing all kinds of news about Palestine to thousands of adresses I have in my internet list. My newsletters are spread by others and this not only in Germany. What you should also know is, that I have hundreds of politicians and press adresses in my list. This means that – if I start to publish what is happening around the conference – many people and organisations will finally understand how the so-called “Palestinian solidarity movement” works. And I must admit that I detest the way of action that you dare to call “solidarity for Palestinians”.

I copied all my conference participants as well as other important people as addressee into this email. And I am asking each of them to inform me about any attempt to put pressure on them and to prevent them from joining the conference.

Below you find the email from Mrs. X to Moamen, the correspondence foregoing this mail and also Tony Greenstein´s mail to Ken O´Keefe.

The conference wants to disclose the elements that destroy open discourse. You couldn´t have done better to show everybody how necessary this conference is!

Dr. Gabi Weber

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Greenstein you were in Reality Fantasising

Dear Tony,

How unfortunate I am to open my hotmail and see your name there…. reading your e.mails is always such a negative and depressing experience.

Congratulations on the role you played in the disruption of the proms last week, as you mention in your email. All credit where credit is due and I do think you should try to emulate this magnanimous aspect to Gilad’s character, that he posted the video on his website, it is such a positive trait don’t you agree?

What I did wonder about, however, was why when you wrote on your blog about your night at the Proms that you apparently, even as you basked in the glow of your success you were actually thinking and writing about Gilad. Even taking into account the fact that by your own admission that you didn’t enjoy the music (a true philistine indeed! it is hard to believe whilst you were sitting in your (no doubt expensive) seat at the Royal Albert Hall you were in reality fantasising about Gilad! One can only hope you didn’t leave any stains on the upholstery………….

regards

Laura

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Greenstein and the monopoly of the Holocaust.

Sent: Monday, 5 September 2011, 2:48

Dear Toney,

Thank you for the several messages on the Freiburg Conference. I am happy to read your views and to report back on the position of the conference on two specific areas of mutual concern. The organizers and participants adhere to the following:

1. Participants are entitled to express their views and to have their opinions debated in the open. All individuals are entitled to participate and have their views heard. No individual wishing to participate will be excluded.

2. No one at the Freiburg Conference (including Gilad Atzmon) doubts or questions the occurrence of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is a historical event and is an integral part of the modern human narrative. No one particular ethnic group has a monopoly over the legacy of the Holocaust.

As an activist in issues of social justice and peace, I am saddened by the accusatory tone of the some of the correspondence on the conference. It behooves all of us to engage in open discussions regarding all issues of mutual interest in the hope of arriving at a common ground and to build a movement where all of us feel a sense of belonging.

I do not think anyone of us have answers to all the outstanding questions. But together, we will keep the true meaning of the Holocaust alive and strive to build a common peaceful future for Palestinians (Israeli Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others) in historic Palestine.

I look forward to continued dialogue between us! Samir Abed-Rabbo PS: Have you asked the organizers of the Conf. to include a pnel on BDS or offered to organize one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For 9/11, Disarm Violence

Dear All,

 My son, Firefighter Timothy Welty, was lost in the line of duty at the World Trade Center the morning of September 11, 2001. He left behind a wife, two children and a devastated community of broken hearts. In the midst of widespread rage and calls for retaliation, I found a group called September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, dedicated to finding alternatives to violence. The pain we suffered was not what we wanted inflicted on other innocent families anywhere. We believed then and we believe now that anger and hatred only fuel the violence that erupts into tragedies like the one experienced.

Although we felt the same sense of anger and grief, we believed we could transform that energy into action for peace and justice. We traveled to Afghanistan, Jordan and Iraq with Medea’s help, to build bridges with the people of those countries, and, like CODEPINK, we continue to work to raise public consciousness on issues of war, peace, and the underlying causes of terrorism.

The response to the tragic loss of life on 9/11 has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Afghans and other innocent civilians, as well as the loss of thousands of our own troops. Compounding the deaths of those precious souls will not bring Timmy or any of the victims back. Violence only breeds violence. Torture, domestic surveillance, and endless detentions will never make any of us safer. We need to continue to stand for the real path to peace and security, which starts with bringing our troops home and upholding the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

We are inspired by CODEPINK’s Create, Not Hate campaign, because we believe in the power of individuals to change the course of history. We can’t afford to leave our destiny in the hands of politicians. Please consider what you can do to create a better world. Will you pour your heart into a painting, a poem, a letter to a lawmaker, a conversation with someone different from yourself? Will you channel all of your outrage and hope into a song, a sculpture, a community meal? We have learned that action heals and transforms us and those we touch. Please find the form of action that will be most meaningful for you.

Here are some easy ways to get started:

 Declare your intention to honor the victims of 9/11 by working for peace.

 Download the Make [Peace] Not War flyer; take a photo of yourself with it and email it topinkteam@codepink.org

 Let us know what you’re doing to create a different world on 9/11/ 21, ten years from now. These past ten years have been deeply painful, let’s make the next ten better by working together toward a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

We stand on the shoulders of nonviolent activists who came before us, like the first US Congresswoman, Jeanette Rankin, who worked to eradicate war as an instrument of diplomacy and Martin Luther King who said, “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows“. Join with me in renewed efforts to hold leaders accountable, to disarm all forms of violence visited upon the planet’s most innocent and vulnerable. Do it to honor Timmy’s memory and most of all, do it for your own grandchildren’s future.

In peace, 
Adele Welty
Timothy’s mom, Peaceful Tomorrows member and CODEPINK supporter

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Uncovered: IsraHel’s role in planned US lawsuit to fight BDS

NOVANEWS

 

Israel is busily attempting to disrupt the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in support of Palestinian liberation and self-determination.

A group of pro-Israel activists, backed by StandWithUs, a national US pro-Israel US organization, is planning to take legal action to force the Olympia Food Co-op to rescind its historic decision to boycott Israeli products.

The Electronic Intifada has obtained a copy of a 31 May 2011 letter sent to the Board of Directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, Washington, threatening “expensive” legal action if the pro-Israel activists’ “demands” to end the boycott of Israeli products are not met.

Other documents, supported by interviews, confirm that the Israeli government has taken part in discussions about, and been given advance knowledge of, the planned lawsuit and another planned action against Evergreen State College in Olympia in response to Palestine solidarity activism by students.

Evergreen State is noted for being the school attended by Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli occupation soldier operating a bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in March 2003.

These developments indicate new, even more aggressive tactics by pro-Israel organizations to suppress, deter and malign any form of Palestine-related dissent, protest or solidarity action.

An historic vote

On 15 July 2010, the Olympia Food Co-Op (OFC) became the first grocery store in the United States to ban Israeli-made items from its shelves.

The highly symbolic action, which gained global attention, came in response to the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel until Israel respects Palestinian human rights and international law.

From the first moment the boycott resolution was passed, Olympia community members who supported and organized for it were accused of anti-Semitism by the Northwest chapter of StandWithUs.

Now, StandWithUs is taking its assault against the OFC to a new level with its backing for legal action.

Also in June 2010, students at Evergreen State College voted overwhelmingly to back an initiative calling on college administrators to divest the school’s assets from any companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, and specifically Caterpillar Corporation, which makes bulldozers Israel uses to demolish Palestinian homes.

It was a Caterpillar bulldozer that Israeli forces used to kill Rachel Corrie as she attempted to prevent such a demolition. According to a StandWithUs flyer (PDF), Rachel Corrie “died in Gaza after interfering with Israeli counter-terrorism operations.”

Documents show that in addition to targeting the Olympia Food Co-op, StandWithUs is helping to plan a civil rights complaint against Evergreen State College.

Threat of legal action against Olympia Food Co-op

The 31 May letter (PDF) sent individually to members of the Olympia Food Co-op Board of Directors is signed by five individuals who identify themselves as “members of the Olympia Food Co-op (‘OFC’) who oppose OFC’s boycott of Israeli made products (‘Israel Boycott’) and divestment from Israeli companies (‘Divestment’).”

The five are Kent L. Davis, Linda Davis, Susan Mayer, Susan G. Trinin and Jeffrey I. Trinin. All except for Mayer also appeared in a StandWithUs Northwest video published on YouTube in June entitled “Why BDS Scars Don’t Heal: A StandWithUs Production.”

The video alleges that the BDS effort in Olympia has been motivated by and generated anti-Semitism, and was run by a secretive and conspiratorial “dark organization” from outside the community.

It also claims that the BDS effort in Olympia and a similar initiative in the town of Port Townsend, north of Seattle, last year had generated “a climate of fear and terror for Jews.”

The activists’ letter makes sweeping allegations that the OFC board engaged in “numerous procedural violations” in passing the boycott of Israeli goods, but it does not provide any examples of such violations.

The letter writers claim to have made many sincere efforts to rectify the unspecified “violations” but asserted that their complaints had “fallen on deaf ears as the Board steadfastly refuses to revisit its position on the Israel Boycott and Divestment policies.”

“At this point,” the letter states, “we are left no choice but to demand in no uncertain terms that OFC act in accordance with its rules and bylaws and rescind the Israel Boycott and Divestment policies.”

The letter sets a thirty-day deadline for a response and adds, “Regrettably should the board reject our demand, we are prepared to pursue relief through the court system.”

The pro-Israel activists’ letter concludes, “If you do what we demand, this situation may be resolved amicably and efficiently. If not, we will bring legal action against you, and this process will become considerably more complicated, burdensome, and expensive than it has been already.”

Lawsuit “a matter of time”

Reached by telephone, Avi Lipman, a Seattle-based attorney that The Electronic Intifada learned represents the letter writers, confirmed that two letters had been sent to the OFC board — the 31 May letter obtained by The Electronic Intifada and a follow-up.

However, Lipman said that a lawsuit had still not been filed, and “there is still an opportunity for the board to take the remedial action my clients have asked for.”

Lipman would not specify any procedural violations made by the OFC board. “I don’t want to get into it in any detail,” he said, indicating that the 31 May letter described “in general terms what our concerns are.”

But Lipman did not seem optimistic that the board would rescind the boycott decision as demanded. After the initial thirty-day deadline, Lipman said his clients had given the board an additional fifteen-day period to act.

“That time has also expired,” Lipman said. “The board has indicated that it plans to stand by the actions it has taken, so it seems clear to me that remedial action will not be taken.”

“It’s just a matter of time before we go to court and seek relief from the court,” Lipman added.

Lipman was keen to emphasize that his clients’ complaints were not based on the substance of the BDS decision, but merely the alleged, unspecified procedural violations. “The issue is how the process unfolded and the procedures that were followed and not followed by the board,” Lipman said.

He stressed that if the boycott of Israeli goods was revoked, and then reinstated according to the proper procedures, his clients would abide by it.

“An allegation that doesn’t have an allegation”

“We don’t have any statement on the non-existent lawsuit,” Jayne Kaszynski, Staff Representative to the Olympia Food Co-op Board, told The Electronic Intifada. “It’s pretty much impossible to respond to an allegation that doesn’t have an allegation.”

Kaszynski said that the BDS decision and the procedures used to reach it had generated widespread public debate among Co-op members, especially on the OFC’s blog. She added that any member who was unhappy with a decision of the board had “democratic alternatives” to legal action.

“If you’ve read the bylaws you know that we have a simple member petition process. Any member can create a petition and if they get 300 members to sign it, they can get pretty much any issue put on a ballot,” Kaszynski said.

The OFC has 22,000 active members, according to Kaszynski, “so the 300 signature requirement is not very high. So far no one has exercised this democratic right in relation to the boycott.”

The petition procedure is described in the Olympia Food Co-op Bylaws.

Lipman, however, said his clients did not think they should use this procedure because they see the original boycott decision as illegitimate, and therefore the burden should be on the board, not on his clients, to take remedial action.

Smearing BDS as “anti-Semitism”

At one point, the StandWithUs YouTube video briefly displays an image of a Nazi Swastika superimposed on a Star of David, with a caption above it stating “Actual image from handout.”

The video provides no information on where this handout was supposedly distributed or any evidence that it has anything whatsoever to do with the Olympia Food Co-op.

Yet the smear is clearly meant to tar any and all BDS supporters — presumably including those who self-identify as Jewish — as anti-Semites.

“I really don’t think it’s comfortable for Jews to live in the city of Olympia and be outwardly expressing Jews,” Kent Davis, one of the letter writers, claims in the video. “You know, you can be a closet Jew and that’s fine. I just don’t feel comfortable discussing my religion or my beliefs in a mixed group environment anymore.”

As with the swastika “handout,” no evidence is ever presented of any specific incidents that back up this grave charge likening placid Olympia to 1930s Berlin, or to link the alleged climate of fear to the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli goods.

A “dark” outside conspiracy

In the StandWithUs video, the letter writers and other speakers allege that the BDS action at the Olympia Food Co-op was planned by a shadowy organization that came in from outside the community, and then disappeared leaving behind acrimony and conflict from which there has been no “healing.”

None of these allegations come with any specifics or facts and the overall tone is conspiratorial.

“It’s amazing that I’ve been pushed aside as a Jew in this town because of the BDS,” says Tibor Breuer, identified as an OFC member in the video. “It’s a very, very dark organization that has no interest in anything that has to do with the two-state solution.”

BDS is, in fact, not an “organization,” but the term given to a set of principles and tactics which have been taken up by independent individuals and solidarity groups all over the world in response to the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions measures on Israel until Israel ends its human rights violations and respects Palestinian rights and international law.

“When BDS comes into these communities, they just divide people in all sorts of ways and then they leave and the community is stuck with having to somehow heal and we can’t heal yet,” Linda Davis, another of the five letter writers, alleges in the video.

“BDS was over there in Europe celebrating their victory, and we’re stuck with this shit,” Breuer adds.

In fact, at the time the OFC boycott was passed, and since, those who initiated it spoke frequently to the media, and all have been local Olympia community and Co-op members.

Ironically, Robert S. Jacobs, the director of StandWithUs Northwest, acknowledges as much.

Refuting suggestions that the pro-Israel counterattack against BDS is centralized, Jacobs told The Electronic Intifada, “Similar to the BDS movement, we’re made up of activists in the community who passionately feel they want to express a certain perspective and hope that opinion leaders will adopt that perspective.”

Jacobs admitted in the interview that there was no such thing as “BDScentral.” Yet the video that bears the StandWithUs name and features the letter writers paints an altogether different picture.

Meanwhile, the vilification of Palestine solidarity activists as anti-Semites is not surprising given the views of some of the StandWithUs leadership.

One board member and founder in Los Angeles, Mordechai “Moti” Gur, describes the purpose of StandWithUs in the following terms on the website for another organization he founded: “We combat the soft jihad and local intifadas by Muslim organizations by exposing everyone to the light of truth” (The Moses Project).

Other StandWithUs documents and websites routinely malign Palestine solidarity activists — including the nine civilians killed by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara as “jihadists.”

But while the pro-Israel activists in the StandWithUs video allege — without offering a shred of evidence — that OFC was the victim of a “dark” external conspiracy by anti-Semitic outsiders bent on dividing their community, they themselves are receiving significant external backing.

How StandWithUs describes its role

StandWithUs is a national pro-Israel advocacy organization which has taken a lead in fighting “delegitimization” and BDS.

Pro-Israel groups and the Israeli government have since last year claimed that virtually all Palestinian solidarity work amounts to an effort to delegitmize Israel. In recent policy speeches, US officials have vowed to help Israel combat “delegitmization” — though precisely what this means in practice and how it may affect civil liberties and free speech is unclear.

The Northwest chapter of StandWithUs has been particularly active in combating BDS efforts not only in Olympia but at the food co-op in Port Townsend, north of Seattle, where there was an unsuccessful bid to emulate the OFC boycott. (Disclosure: I was invited to Port Townsend in August 2010 to speak at a community event in support of BDS).

But how deeply involved is StandWithUs, and how does the organization liaise with the Israeli government in mounting these local battles?

Jacobs characterizes StandWithUs Northwest as little more than a small local chapter, “a two-person office,” providing basic support and advice to individuals such as those threatening to sue the Olympia Food Co-op.

Jacobs told The Electronic Intifada his group’s contact with the five letter writers was largely limited to providing printed materials, helping bring in speakers and offering advice. He said he had not seen either of the letters sent to the OFC board.

Although Jacobs did acknowledge working with and meeting repeatedly with the letter writers, he characterized the relationship to any potential lawsuit as arms length:

“Since we’re not actually a party to anything down there, frankly we’re not in any of the loop regarding the legal matters. Just from an attorney-client privilege standpoint anything we would do with anybody would be violating some kind of potential privilege. So, we know that they’re doing some stuff. I know they’ve been working with an attorney. I know which firm it is but beyond that we have not in any way participated in the legal discussion.”

Jacobs acknowledged attending one meeting related to the potential lawsuit.

“We were at one meeting, I don’t know how many months ago, before anything actually happened,” Jacobs explained.

“We had been asked by some of the folks down there if we knew any attorneys up here [in Seattle], so we mentioned a number of names. But I was at a meeting where they had an initial — they had not retained any attorney or developed any permanent relationship with an attorney — when they had someone there talk off-the-cuff about what an attorney could do for them.”

Jacobs was also adamant that his office had not done any fundraising toward a potential lawsuit. “I don’t foresee us putting any money into a lawsuit,” he said, adding, “I don’t know of anybody who’s giving them money. I’ll be that blunt about it.”

Jacobs estimated that the amount of money his office had spent on work related to the OFC boycott — presumably not including staff time — amounted to just hundreds of dollars principally for printing flyers and brochures.

The role of the Israeli consulate

Asked what role the Israeli government plays in StandWithUs Northwest’s work, Jacobs stated that he personally knew Akiva Tor, the Israeli Consul General for the Pacific Northwest, based in San Francisco, and that Tor would be speaking at an upcoming StandWithUs fundraising event. Jacobs acknowledged that StandWithUs had helped to bring Tor’s deputy to speak in Port Townsend.

Jacobs said that the Israeli consulate did not play any “active role” in opposing the OFC boycott, but, he added, “from the information standpoint they want to know what’s going on.”

“We update him [Tor] on what’s happening in the community here,” Jacobs said.

“If what you’re talking about is if there is some sort of central coordination out of Israel for the activity we are doing here, absolutely not,” he added.

Tor had also offered to speak in Olympia, but it had not happened yet, according to Jacobs. “I know he met in a coffee shop with the Corries [Cindy and Craig, the parents of Rachel Corrie]. I heard that from all sorts of people in Olympia,” Jacobs stated.

Yet, this characterization is at best incomplete.

A deeper role for Israeli officials?

Although Jacobs has confirmed reporting to Israeli officials what goes on in the local community, the relationship may be even closer than he acknowledged.

“Weekly Status Report” of StandWithUs Northwest, for the week of 5-11 March 2011 states that the following meetings took place:

“Rob [Jacobs] and Carolyn in Olympia with Olympia activists, Akiva Tor and Avi Lipman on Thursday – Presentation of legal case, discussion of Evergreen strategy and Olympia community speaker opportunities.”

Carolyn Hathaway is the co-chair of StandWithUs Northwest.

In his conversation with The Electronic Intifada, Jacobs did not disclose that Israeli Consul General Tor had not only already traveled to Olympia at the behest of StandWithUs, but had participated in a meeting with the activists threatening to sue the OFC and their lawyer.

The “status update” was posted on a website that archives emails sent to members of a private list of StandWithUs affiliates, but the website itself is unprotected.

It appears that this and other documents may have been published inadvertently, given how revealing they are of StandWithUs Northwest’s activities and strategy and the contradictions with Jacobs’ own characterizations.

Akiva Tor did not respond to a request to speak to The Electronic Intifada left with a staff person at his office.

The attorney, Avi Lipman, would not disclose what was discussed at the March meeting, again citing attorney-client privilege. Lipman said, however, “The Israeli consulate has nothing to do with this action. StandWithUs is not our client. We represent the individual co-op members who have asked the board to take remedial action.”

While all that may technically be true, none of it is inconsistent with a close advisory and an eventual fundraising role for StandWithUs and even the Israeli consulate.

Nor does it explain the presence of an official from a foreign government at a meeting in which legal action against OFC and possibly Evergreen State College was discussed.

Lipman would also not discuss how his clients might be able to afford an “expensive” — as the 31 May letter put it — legal action.

Another worrying possibility is that through StandWithUs, and possibly other organizations, Israeli diplomatic missions may collect intelligence about local activists or people who express views sympathetic to Palestinian human rights in order to exclude such people from visiting the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on political grounds.

In July, for example, Israel detained and deported dozens of individuals who planned to visit the occupied West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians.

StandWithUs remains fully engaged in Olympia lawsuit

Jacobs’ characterization of his organization’s role with the planned lawsuit as almost incidental is flatly contradicted by another document made public via the StandWithUs email archive.

The agenda for an upcoming 27 September 2011 StandWithUs Northwest Executive Committee meeting includes the following items:

Project Status

  • The civil rights complaint against Evergreen State College

  • The law suit against the Olympia Food Co-op

  • Working to shut down the “educational” programs that Ed Mast has circulated to all Washington State social studies teachers and librarians

  • Speakers Bureau

Thus the OFC lawsuit and the Evergreen State College civil rights complaint are both “projects” of the StandWithUs Northwest Executive Committee, and firmly on its agenda.

Ed Mast, it is worth noting, is a Seattle-area activist and playwright who has provided educational resources on Palestine.

In addition to everything else, it would appear that rather than merely providing an alternative, pro-Israeli viewpoint, StandWithUs is working to censor and exclude other viewpoints from schools and libraries and exclusively impose its own.

And, far from being merely restricted to its local area, StandWithUs Northwest is apparently assuming a national role:

StandWithUs Northwest helping other regions

  • Helping Avi Posnick in NY oppose the BDS boycott proposal at the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn

  • Helping Gail Rubin in Davis oppose the BDS boycott proposal at the Sacramento Food Co-op in Sacramento

It is clear from its agenda that not only is StandWithUs Northwest playing a continuing role in Olympia, but expanding its anti-BDS activities across the country.

Focus on procedure, not substance

During his interview with The Electronic Intifada, Jacobs characterized the grievances the letter writers had with the co-op in a manner remarkably similar to the 31 May letter which he said he had not seen. He acknowledged that it was StandWithUs’ advice that the case should focus on procedure, rather than substance.

“Courtrooms aren’t the place to discuss foreign policy and they wouldn’t make a decision based on that,” Jacobs explained. “The same is true with the board members that were on the board [of OFC] at the time. Most of them were sympathetic to the BDS movement and trying to make an argument counter to theirs would be a huge educational effort and probably not very successful.”

This, Jacobs said, was the rationale for focusing on procedure, rather than substantive arguments.

StandWithUs fundraising 

Jacobs presents StandWithUs Northwest as almost a shoe-string operation. “We’re thought of as this huge, incredibly wealthy organization,” he told The Electronic Intifada. “As far as Jewish community organizations go, even on a national basis, we don’t have anything near the kind of resources of some other organizations such as ADL or AJC. Here frankly, we barely cover our own costs just in operations.”

But public financial filings of StandWithUs, which raises funds under the legal name “Israel Emergency Alliance,” (IEA) tell a quite different story.

The IEA’s mandatory Form 990 financial filings to the Internal Revenue Service (available from the website Guidestar) show an organization with $4.2 million in annual revenue and impressive fundraising capacity.

In 2008, Jacobs himself received an annual salary of $96,923 for an average forty-hour week, more on a pro-rated basis than StandWithUs founder and national executive director Roz Rothstein who received $100,000 for an average sixty-hour week, according to the filings. In 2009, Rothstein’s salary was raised to $150,000.

StandWithUs also has an international presence, with an Israeli office and a European base in Brussels, which together accounted for a million dollars in expenses in 2009.

The largest area of expenditure, however, is for campus advocacy at UScolleges and universities, which accounted for $2.6 million in 2009.

Targeting Evergreen State College for student activism

The planned civil rights complaint against Evergreen State College may be an attempt to use alleged incidents of campus anti-Semitism as the basis for a legal action to discredit the divestment campaign at the school.

On 8 November 2010, a story appeared on the news website MyNorthwest.com under the byline of Alex Silverman with the headline “Pro-Israel students harassed, leave Evergreen State.”

It alleges that Evergreen State, once an oasis of tolerance, had become a place where some students have faced “torment and harassment” and have even left “simply for expressing their opinions about a controversial issue.”

The story claims five unnamed students “transferred out” of Evergreen State because of “harassment,” but the only source is a student named Joshua Levine. “There are days I feel uncomfortable walking across campus alone because I wear a yarmulke [Jewish skull cap] on my head,” Levine alleges.

Levine, president of the campus chapter of Hillel — another national pro-Israel organization — is also a StandWithUs Northwest Emerson Fellow.

But what were the examples of “harassment” that supposedly led to this situation? Just like the StandWithUs video, the only ones Levine provides conflate Palestine solidarity with “anti-Semitism”:

“Checkpoints were erected outside the bus stop,” Levine told Silverman. “People claiming to be IDF [Israeli army] veterans shoving toy assault rifles in people’s faces, demanding to see their student ID before they could go onto campus.”

Students have staged similar actions on campuses across North America to highlight the well-documented abuses Palestinians face living under Israeli military occupation.

The article quotes Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor decrying the supposedly dire situation.

The MyNorthwest.com story also notes: “This summer, the student body at Evergreen State voted overwhelmingly to divest from companies with economic interests in Israel, further fueling the anti-Israel fervor on campus.”

That, it would seem, is what is making Levine so uncomfortable.

Laying the ground for a civil rights complaint

Recently, the US Department of Education began investigating precisely such a civil rights complaint stemming from charges of anti-Semitism because of Palestine solidarity activism at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

That federal investigation is the first of its kind, though it may well be the model for targeting Evergreen State College.

Has StandWithUs, through Levine, been carefully laying the ground for a similar effort to use US civil rights protection legislation to suppress criticism of a foreign government that engages in massive human rights abuses and discrimination of precisely the kind civil rights legislation is meant to prevent?

Importing Israeli repression to the US?

What is particularly troubling about the threatened legal action against OFCand Evergreen State backed by StandWithUs and its close collaboration with the Israeli government, is that it appears to import Israeli tactics of political repression into the United States.

Earlier this year, Israel passed a law that imposes heavy fines on anyone who participates in or advocates a boycott of Israeli businesses, universities and social and cultural institutions or illegal West Bank settlements. The law was strongly condemned by human rights organizations as a violation of basic freedoms.

The threatened legal action against the Olympia Food Co-op may be a “do it yourself” version of the law on US soil. Simply taking someone to court imposes a punishment on them through high legal fees before any judgment is ever rendered. That may be the whole point.

It should serve as a red flag that however small and tight-knit a community, powerful pro-Israel groups, in coordination with Israeli officials, are prepared to go to any length to smear and harass people.

They’ll do whatever it takes to keep people quiet about Israel’s human rights abuses, war crimes and the international complicity that the BDS movement seeks to expose, challenge and bring to an end.

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified major StandWithUs donors Steven and Rita Emerson, who fund the StandWithUs Emerson Fellowship. Following publication of the article, StandWithUs confirmed via Twitter that the Steven Emerson who funds StandWithUs is in no way related to the Steven Emerson who runs the Investigative Project on Terrorism (ITP), and who has been accused of being a leading figure in fostering Islamophobia. The story has been amended accordingly. StandWithUs also stated via Twitter that the Steven Emerson who runs ITP “has never donated nor is he associated in anyway with StandWithUs.” 

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on Uncovered: IsraHel’s role in planned US lawsuit to fight BDS

Looming Tragedy: Vision of the “New Libya”: Visit the “New Iraq.” Another “Liberation”, another Unimaginable International Criminal Tragedy

NOVANEWS
By Felicity Arbuthnot

 

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. (Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900.)

As Eid, the great post Ramadan celebration of that month of abstinence, self sacrifice and reflection, dawned on Libya, marked there this year on August 31st,  the NATO “liberated” country, after seven months, looks a lot like “liberated” Iraq after eight years.

Queues of cars now wait for petrol in another oil rich country; other queues form, carrying containers for water. The multibillion dollar development of Libya’s vast underground aquifers had been dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world. Libya`s water supply infrastructure has been been systematically bombed throught the country.Shops are without food.The all is: “absolute disaster”, according to an eminent legal observer, very familiar with the country.

And with electricity largely off, those seeking knowledge as to whether friends and relatives are alive, injured, fled, dead, find internet, and phones dead.

 

As the terribly injured overwhelm hospitals, many are bombed, damaged or without power and pharmaceuticals.

No power: no incubators, life support machines or surgery.

Another country with a modern, developed infrastructure reduced to a pre-industrial age – with the rebuilding contracts reportedly already being divvied out – in the West.

NATO Members, however, eat, as their bombs destroy humanity and vital necessities for the living. Over a “working lunch”, on the 14th of April, they “deplored violence” and underlined the: “need … to restore water, gas, electricity and other services …”

Still depriving others of the means to cook, or of any semblance of normality, at another “working lunch” (June 8, 2011) they further discussed their: “clear mandate to protect civilians (and) populated areas …taking the utmost care to avoid civilian casualties.” This as: “Tripoli experienced what were perhaps the heaviest daylight bombardments by NATO since the air strikes began in March.” (Guardian, 8 June 2011)

As they masticated and munched, they vowed to bring “a speedy resolution … to put an end to the violence”, under “Operation Unified Protector.” They are delusional and arguably psychotic.

Just twenty four hours later, on the 9th of June, the decade long destruction of Afghanistan eclipsed Libya. NATO Defence Ministers met to declare it: “NATO’s top operational priority.” General David Petraeus, returned from the ruins and about to be confirmed as CIA Head: “explained … progress.”

“A working lunch commenced at 13.00 hours.”

A number of lunches later, on the 23rd August, NATO spokeswoman, Oana Lungesco, re-affirmed their “mandate to protect civilians.”

How this squares with hitting: “over five thousand [official figures] legitimate targets [in a] 24/7 operation [with] over twenty thousand sorties”, is confusing.

The actual number of strikes has not been reported. Its in the tens of thousands.

Equally so is how destruction of services essential to maintaining life, State institutions, schools, hospitals, archeological sites and treasures, attacking of all which is illegal under swathes of international law, are included in this “legitimacy.”

By September 1st, NATO operations from 31st March had reached: “a total of 21,090, including 7,920 strike sorties.” (1)

In context, this latest “shock and awe” brigandage is being rained down by a twenty eight country alliance, on a country of 7 million. The population of Tripoli is over 1 million (or was, until unknown numbers of souls were liberated from their lives in a bombardment which, started with the unleashing of one hundred and ten Cruise missiles, on March 20th, eight years to the day – GMT- of the start of the Iraq invasion.)

Coincidentally, the considerably Western backed and funded “uprising” in Benghazi, which preceded the bombing, began on the 15th of February, the eighth anniversary of millions, in the largest global peace rally in history, from Manchester to Melbourne, Hong Kong to Honolulu, rallying against an attack on Iraq.

The invaders though, have “learned from past mistakes.” The “New Libya”, will not be like the “New Iraq.” It is surely beginning to look chillingly like it. A legitimate head of State again has a million dollar bounty on his head and is “wanted dead or alive.” Since “boots are on the ground” only unofficially, the pack of playing cards with the “most wanted” on, has not yet been printed. But times are hard, and in 2003, the United States Playing Card Company, commissioned by the US Defence Intelligence Agency, received orders for 750,000 of the packs within a week. (2)

Further, if the US and UK were blindly ignorant of Iraq’s social and tribal complexities, those of Libya are more so in orders of magnitude. (3)

Just prior to the Iraq invasion, General Colin Powell was quoted as telling George W. Bush, that after the onslaught: “You will own twenty seven million people, Mr President.”

At the “Friends of Libya” gathering in Paris on 1st September, hosted by Prime Minister Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy, a gloating, unnamed British official is quoted in The Economist as saying that: “NATO’s involvement in the Libyan uprising means that now we own it.”

(For the omen-prone, watching Western threats to an ever rising number of countries, Syrian and Iran currently topping the list, 1st September marks the 62nd anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, and the Second World War.)

Sarkozy – recipient, claims Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, of his family’s funding for his 2007 French Presidential election campaign (4) – is widely reported to have been promised one third of Libya’s oil by the insurgents, the “National Transitional Council”, prior to NATO involvement. With “Friends” like these, Libya certainly needs no enemies.

“The international community will be watching and supporting” Libya, said Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, adding requirements to the new Libyan constitution. There is a “clear road map to democracy.” Afghan and Iraqi puppets, now joined by Libyan ones.

When it comes to the rebuilding of Libya, “investors can’t call the tune”, was one theme, it must be “Libyan led.”

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague blew that lie. Britain, he said: “would not be left behind.” Much focus was on rebuilding the oil industry. Heaven forbid that too, follows the Iraq model, with the bereaved, dispossessed and invaded blowing up the pipelines – and contractors.

It also transpires that the UK’s surely mis-titled “International Development Minister”, former oil trader, Alan Duncan, allegedly, had a hand in, and connections to Swiss based energy giant Vitol, which established links with the NTC rebels, whilst starving Qaddafi’s troops of transportation fuels.

Vitol President, Ian Taylor, has allegedly donated very large sums to Cameron’s Tory Party. Opposition MPs are citing a possible covert “Libyan Oil Cell”, an allegedly billion dollar deal, questioning whether Mr Duncan’s fingerprints are on it.

As to the Conference, there was one dissenting voice. Bertrand Badie, an expert on international relations, told Xinhua: “I think this conference is a very bad sign, because [it consists in] starting a process of state building by an international conference dominated by western powers … “

But even he did not mention mind-bending illegalities.

The half day carve up (sorry, “Meeting”) regarding assets of another sovereign land, was followed by “a dinner”, according to a US State Department spokeswoman.

Incidentally, the Paris Cabal took place on the fortysecond anniversary of the Free Officers Movement bringing Qaddafi to power on the 1st of September 1969.

“You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists”, said George W. Bush on 1st November 2002. Ten years is certainly a long time in politics. There are many who would say they are now funded by the same US and protected by the might of NATO.

Activist Sandra Barr, has compiled just a small snapshot of a vast tragedy. A few incidents amongst uncounted others, “collateral” humanity, to add to a pitiless twenty year rampage through mortality, legality, basic values and all the normal hold precious:

“13 May 2011: The murder of 11 Muslim Imams in Brega.

30 April 2011: The bombing of the Downs Syndrome School in Tripoli

30 April 2011: The bombing of a Gaddafi residence, murdering Saif Gaddafi, his friend and 3 Gaddafi children.

12 June 2011: The bombing of the University of Tripoli. Death toll not yet established.

22 July 2011: The bombing of the Great Man made Waterway irrigation system, which supplies most Libyans with their drinking water.

23 July 2011: The bombing of the factory which makes the pipes for the water system, and the murder of 6 of its employees.

8th August 2011: The bombing of the Hospital at Zliten. Resulting in the murder of a minimum, of 50 human beings, many of them children. The bombing of hospitals is against all international laws, and a most grievous crime.

9 August 2011: The bombing of the village of Majer, resulting in the murder of 85 civilians. 33 Children, 32 women and 20 men.

The persistent ongoing bombing of the civilian population in Zliten and Tripoli, death toll not yet established.

David Cameron has admitted that UK special services have assisted the terrorists on the ground, in defiance of the UN mandate.”

Today, Cameron has gone further, admitting that British forces played a: “key role.”

Ms Barr demands that the ICC take a stance. Sadly, it would amaze if they did.

On the 1st of May, Muammar Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren were reported killed in an allied air strike on Tripoli. Another nauseating anniversary: George W. Bush, declaring: “Mission Accomplished” – the destruction of Iraq.

One can only fervently pray that we do not hear another sickening, “Viceroy” Paul Bremer wannabe, declaring: “Ladies and gentlemen, we got ‘im.” With accompanying kangaroo court and lynchings.

The “New Libya”, it seems, with its formerly free, high quality health care, is in serious trouble.

This full page advertisement by Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) appeared in the Mail and Guardian (South Africa (September 1st, 2011):

‘Tripoli, Libya: Months of conflict have put extreme strain on the Libyan health system.

We desperately need more staff” – Jonathan Whittal, MSF Emergency Coordinator Tripoli, August 23.

MSF URGENTLY NEEDS:

-Trauma surgeons

-Orthopaedic Surgeons

-ER Doctors

-OT Nurses

-Obstetricians and Midwives.

Available for short term contracts (3-4 weeks) – able to leave IMMEDIATELY.

MSF has been working in eastern Libya since February.” ‘

Another “Liberation” another unimaginable, international, Criminal Tragedy.

Felicity Arbuthnot is Global Research`s Human Rights Correspondent based in London

Notes

FONT size=2>1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26332  

2. http://www.enotes.com/company-histories/united-states-playing-card-company  

3  http://www.temehu.com/Libyan-People.htm     

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/16/sarkozy-election-campaign-libya-claim

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Looming Tragedy: Vision of the “New Libya”: Visit the “New Iraq.” Another “Liberation”, another Unimaginable International Criminal Tragedy

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