Archive | September 19th, 2011

29 years after Nazi Massacre in Sabra Shatila

How much longer until we find the missing and grant civil rights to the rest?

By Franklin Lamb

Sabha, Libya


“The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind” was the general consensus following a discussion between this observer and a gathering of Palestinian refugees in Sabha, Libya, many of whom would very much like to travel to Shatila camp in Beirut this week and participate in the 29th annual commemoration of the 1982 Israeli facilitated massacre that left more than 3000 dead and hundreds still missing.

Sabha, now the district Capitol, is about 400 miles south of Tripoli in the Saharan desert, and is one of the four main areas that NATO concedes is still controlled by pro-Gaddafi loyalists,( the other three are Sirte, Bani Walid, and Jufra) and for that reason NATO has intensified its, sometimes, seemingly indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. Today, NATO is desperately wanting to announce “mission accomplished” and put an end to its ill-conceived mission “ to protect Libya‘s civilians”, that President Obama assured the World nearly 7 months ago, “will last days, not weeks.”NATO continues to hope that no one bothers to carefully examine what it wrought here because no person of good will would accept its massive gratuitous carnage.

NATO’s bad luck it that its war on Libya’s civilian population continues to be documented and it will be held accountable, at least in the court room of public opinion and conceivably elsewhere.

It was from Sabha, following the 1969 September 1st Fatah Revolution that Gaddafi announced “the breaking dawn of the era of the masses”.

As NATO tightens its noose around Sabha, the cousin of the “brother leader” (as Moammar was nick named by Nelson Mandela in gratitude for Libyan support for the long African National Congress (ANC) resistance to South Africans apartheid), and his able spokesman, Musa Ibrahim, reminds his audiences that the deepening civil war in Libya which was forced on this peaceful people by NATO and its ill-advised rush for regime change, is just beginning. Ibrahim and some diplomats here believe it may well engulf other parts of Africa and the Middle East. Musa added yesterday, “Our leader will die in our sacred country for what his hero, Omar Muktar sacrificed his life for, and that is our country’s freedom from colonialism.”

Today Sabha, with a usual population of around 130,000 is now less than half that but hosts a few thousand Palestinian refugees, who appear to avoid current Libyan politics.Some are survivors of the 1982 Israeli facilitated massacre at Shatila camp in Beirut and they insist that no Palestinian or Hezbollah groups were fighting anywhere in the East or around here.Maybe a few individual Palestinian members of the Benghazi based Muslim Brotherhood happened to be Palestinians but that was about all the gathered explained.

Many of Libya’s Palestinian refugees in Libya, like those is the Diaspora, desperately seek to learn what became of their family members who disappeared before, during and following the events of Sept. 15-20, 1982.

Palestinian refugees, like their Lebanese sisters and brothers suffer unrelenting pain and anguish as they resolve to take concrete steps to learn what happened to their loved ones.

For more than 30 years Palestinians in Lebanon have disappeared as a result of various Israeli invasions and the Lebanese civil war with innocent refugee camp residents becoming victims of shifting regional and local political alliances.

Thousands of Palestinians, like Lebanese from all the sects, became victims of enforced disappearances, abductions and other abuses. Seriously compounding the problem, Lebanon has failed to legislate a truth, justice and reconciliation agency. Consequently, along with the failure of the governments of other states that were involved, the result has been that the whereabouts of many Palestinians remain a mystery and those responsible remain unidentified and unpunished.

British Journalist Robert Fisk, writing in the UK Independent claims that more than 1000 Palestinians are buried in pits in Lebanon’s only Golf Course that is adjacent to Shatila camp and the Kuwaiti Embassy.

Dr. Bayan Nuwayhed al Hout — author of “Sabra and Shatila: September 1982” told this observer: “I’m positive that dozens of people were buried there with the help of bulldozers. The bulldozers were used to get rid of the dead bodies.”

Author Al Hout is referring to the fact that Israel supplied bulldozers, paid for my American taxpayers, to their allies, the right wing Christian militia that committed the slaughter with Israeli facilitation.On Saturday morning, September 18, 1982 Israeli Mossad agents inside the camp actually were observeddriving three of the bulldozers in a frantic attempt to assist the Christian militia in covering up evidence of the crime before the exported international media arrived on the scene.

The late American journalist, Janet Lee Stevens, documented that during Sept. 18 and 19th, most of the massacre victims killed during this period were slaughtered inside the joint Israeli-Lebanese Forces “interrogation center.” Janet testified that these killed were put in flatbed trucks and taken to the Golf Course, just 300 yards away, where waiting Israeli bulldozers dug pits. Other trucks drove in the direction of East Beirut.

At the time of her death, seven months later, Janet was preparing her report for publication. This observer packed Janet’s belongings and after some wrangling with the US Embassy staff who had arrived on the plane President Ronald Reagan sent to return Janet and the other Americans remains to the US, her two cardboard boxes of papers and research notes were onboard. Unfortunately, but understandably, a family member, who I was advised did not understand Janet’s work in Lebanon, discarded her papers, following Janet’s funeral in Atlanta Georgia and before they could be collected by the University of Pennsylvania for analysis and preservation.

So we are deprived of most of Janet’s data on the missing Palestinians which confirmed the fate of several hundred who disappeared during the massacre. Fortunately, in February of 1982 Janet had forwarded some of her conclusions to friends and for publication.

What needs to be done to locate the missing Palestinians and Lebanese?

A serious and sustained effort to locate the disappeared Palestinians and Lebanese and bring some degree of solace and closure to their families should be undertaken without further delay.

These Palestinian and Lebanese families have no idea if their loved ones are dead or alive. Obviously they are unable to organize a dignified burial or even properly grieve. Families of the disappeared suffer from a series of legal, financial, and administrative problems that result from not knowing what became of their missing loved ones.

Wadad Halawani,
the founder of the Committee of
the families of the Kidnapped
and missing in Lebanon.

?A recent Amnesty International study of Lebanon’s problems on this urgent subject included the experience of Wadad Halawani, the founder of the Committee of the families of the Kidnapped and missing in Lebanon.Wadad described her life after her husband, was taken away from their home in Beirut in September 1982, apparently by agents of Lebanese military Intelligence, the Duexsieme Bureau. Wadad was forced to raise her two young children, aged six and three alone following his disappearance, and she described how she “lost her balance in life.” She did not know “how to protect the children from the rockets” and was “lost for answers to their endless questions” about their father for which she had no replies.

From knowing many families of missing husbands, Wadad outlined the problems faced by them, personal, social, legal, administrative, and economic.

On the personal and social level, she explainedthat a Palestinian or any woman in Lebanon, whose husband is missing is neither a married woman nor single, divorced or a widow, and for all that time she will have faced serious problems and obstacles linked to the low status of women. On the legal and administrative levelshe explained that “a woman cannot spend her husband’s money nor dispose of his property, such as selling his car, as she does not have power of attorney allowing her to do so. Nor can she get a passport for herself, nor for her children if they are under 18 as the guardian required the father even though the mother is raising the children. On the economic level, Wadad told Amnesty International that most of the missing people are from poor families, so the loss of the breadwinner has had devastating impact. In many cases, the families have been unable to cover basic daily needs, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and the costs of education.

The families of missing and disappeared Palestinians and other persons have the right, under international law, to the truth which means a full and complete disclosure about events that transpired during the disappearance of their loved ones.

In March 2010, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that this includes the right to know the exact fate and whereabouts of each victim.

International law and human rights standards also require each party to an armed conflict must take all feasible measures to try and account for people reported missing as a result of the conflict, and release all relevant information concerning their fate or whereabouts.

This applies to Israel during the September 1982 massacre. More than once over the past three decades Israeli officials have reported that Israel has detailed records of what its sponsored militias did inside Shatila camp and on the periphery with respects to eliminating terrorists and hiding their remains. To date Israel has refused UN and international demands to turn over its records. The international community must sanction Israel until is complies with international law on this subject.

In addition,friends of Palestine including NGO’s and relevant UN agencies should immediately establish an agency cooperating with independent experts and representatives of civil society, including relatives of missing individuals, in cooperation with the Government of Lebanon to investigate the fates of every missing Palestinian and Lebanese including locating and ensuring protection for mass graves and for exhumations, to be carried out consistent with international standards to identify human remains and match them with DNA from relatives.The Embassy of Palestine in Lebanon would be a good choice for organizing the collection of DNA samples from Palestinian families with missing relatives.

As many Palestinians and their supporters arrive at Shatila camp in Beirut this weekend, the thoughts of Palestinians in Libya and the diaspora, land their friends around the world will be with them. As a young Palestinian lady in Sabha told this observer, and sounding very much like Miss Hiba Hajj in Lebanon’s Ein el Helwe camp:

“Every Palestinian must visit this site you told us about of this mass murder of our brothers and sisters. I will do it soon. I promise you. It is not an option, it is an obligation.”

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Palestinian analysts continue to debate, oppose PA “statehood” bid


by Ali Abunimah

The journal Foreign Affairs today published a piece I wrote titled “A Formal Funeral for the Two-State Solution,” explaining why the Palestinian Authority’s UN “statehood” bid is so flawed:

The Palestinian Authority’s bid to the United Nations for Palestinian statehood is, at least in theory, supposed to circumvent the failed peace process. But in two crucial respects, the ill-conceived gambit actually makes things worse, amplifying the flaws of the process it seeks to replace. First, it excludes the Palestinian people from the decision-making process. And second, it entirely disconnects the discourse about statehood from reality.

This is the latest of a continuing stream of articles by Palestinians assessing the pros and cons of the effort. Here are a few other recent ones that are well worth reading.

Israel wins either way

In “States of recognition,” on Al Jazeera’s website, Joseph Massad argues that no matter how the UN vote goes, Israel will be the winner:

It is important to stress at the outset that whether the UN grants the Palestinian Authority (PA) the government of a state under occupation and observer status as a state or refuses to do so, either outcome will be in the interest of Israel. For the only game in town has always been Israel’s interests, and it is clear that whatever strategy garners international support, with or without US and Israeli approval, must guarantee Israeli interests a priori. The UN vote is a case in point.

Endangering rights

Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Palestinian BDS campaign, also writing on Al Jazeera, points out the broad concerns across Palestinian civil society about the dangers posed by the UN bid to the representation of Palestinians and the right of return. Barghouti concludes that the Palestinian Authority has taken this step without the people behind it and without attention to fundamental rights:

Ignoring the will of the people and potentially sacrificing their basic rights in order to secure some illusory advantages at the “negotiations” table hurts Palestinian interests and endangers the great advances our popular and civil struggle has achieved to date, particularly as a result of the global BDS movement. It would in effect reduce the Arab Spring to a Palestinian autumn.

Going to the UN should be strongly supported by all Palestinians – and, consequently, by solidarity groups worldwide – if done by a trusted, democratically elected, accountable leadership and if it expressly represents the will of the Palestinian people and our collective right to self determination.

Alas, neither condition is met in the current “September Initiative,” which may end up replacing the “194” we’ve always struggled to implement with a “194” that is little more than another irresponsible leap away from accountability and from the inevitable repercussions of the sweeping Arab Spring.

Who speaks for Palestinians?

“‎How is it that by virtue of being Palestinian I am told that my ‘sole legitimate representative’ is an organization I have never subscribed to, am not a member of, and have never voted for?”

This fundamental question, posed by Samah Sabawi writing for Al-Shabaka, about the PLO, sums up the concerns of millions of Palestinians not just over the UN bid, but those who are bringing it forward.

While Palestinians fear that the status of the PLO could be jeopardized by the UN bid, few are under the illusion that in its current form, the PLO is anything more than a hollow shell.

Sabawi takes on the difficult – but increasingly urgent – task of how to rebuild Palestinian legitimacy:

The tough question that needs to be addressed is the idea of how legitimacy is achieved. In much of the debate about the potential disaster of the UN bid, a great deal of attention has been paid to democratic elections as the alternative to the current state of affairs.

Though useful as a goal of democratic representation, are elections really the sole and only means to build a movement? The new directions we seek as a people must include ways to re-establish and sustain the legitimacy of our representation while pursuing the quest for self-determination and the fulfillment of our human rights.

Economic aspects

In Jadaliyya, Raja Khalidi argues that the UN bid could cause severe economic damage to Palestinians as Israel and its allies impose financial sanctions in revenge – a typical tactic of colonialism. He notes:

a wide swath of Palestinian activists considers the statehood initiative problematic from legal and representational angles, because of its primary focus on statehood rather than the panoply of denied Palestinian rights. For them the bid for state-recognition is better abandoned or possibly reformulated, as it might lead to either an even more complex situation or hollow diplomatic victory.

But, Khalidi points out:

Little of the flood of political, legal and media analysis of this story has touched on what might happen – including economically – after the dust of the diplomatic battle has settled. What impact might the face-off of the coming months and its diplomatic fallout have on the livelihoods of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Will life just go on under the economic union between six million Israeli Jews and five million Palestinian Arabs, living under the same fiscal, monetary, trade and security regime (geared to the interests of the Israeli Jewish economy) since 1967? And how might this affect the fate of over one million Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel and millions of Palestine refugees?

Voices in favor

While much of the expressed opinion has been opposed to the UN bid, or at least highly skpetical, there have also been a few voices in favor. Khaled Elgindy, who worked for the Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit (officially part of the PLO but in actuality controlled by the Palestinian Authority) argued in The Huffington Post that the bid was largely “symbolic” but:

Rather than viewing the Palestinians’ U.N. bid as a threat to a moribund peace process, the United States should see it as an opportunity to reset a failed and severely outdated approach to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It should seek to preempt the U.N. vote by working with other key international actors to develop a bold, new initiative that spells out the requirements for a comprehensive resolution to the conflict (the outlines of which are already known) and then marshaling broad international support for it.

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Monday, 10th October, 2011

7:30 pm

Resource for London

356 Holloway Road

London N7 6PA

Zero Books invites you to a panel discussion on “Jewish Identity Politics” to launch Gilad Atzmon’s important new book The Wandering Who. 

Jewish identity and Jewish Politics are loaded topics and Jewish identity is tied up with some of the most difficult and contentious issues of today. Yet, not many people, if any at all, would dare touch upon these subjects. surrounding the role of ‘Jewish identity’ within Jewish marginal discourses including Zionism, Jewish anti Zionism, Jewish assimilation, Israel vs. Diaspora, Israeli lobbying and more. The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics (Zero Books 2011) is praised by some of the most respected scholars within the relevant discourse.


Glenn Bowman is a Social Anthropologist who has worked in Jerusalem and the West Bank throughout the past 25 years. He is concerned with religion and identity politics, an interest which also involved him in (now Former) Yugoslavia between 1990 and the present.

Oren Ben Dor is a Reader in the Philosophy of Law at The University of Southampton.  He is the author of Constitutional Limits and the Public Sphere (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2000); Thinking about Law: in Silence with Heidegger (Oxford: Hart Publishing 2007) as well as the editor of Law and Art: Ethics, Aesthetics Justice, (London: Routledge 2011).  Oren writes on the uncanny origin of political emergence as well as on originary violence in Palestine.  He explores the existential relationship between the Jewish and the Zionist Questions.

Karl Sabbagh is a journalist, television producer and the author of several books including A Rum Affair, Power Into Art, Dr Riemann’s Zeros and Palestine: A Personal History. He is currently the publisher of Hesperus Press

Facilitator:  Irving Rappaport is a commercial and community mediator and trainer with a special interest in the use of proven peaceful techniques for the prevention and resolution of violent conflicts both internationally and in the UK.

You can now order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book  or




An incredible presentation  by Dr Machool

The talk starts around 2:10 min’



Tearing the Veil From Israel’s Civility

Gilad Atzmon’s “The Wandering Who”


Gilad Atzmon’s insight into the organism created by the Zionist movement in his book, The Wandering Who, is explosive; it tears the veil off of Israel’s apparent civility, its apparent friendship with the United States, and its expressed solicitude for western powers—Britain, Canada, Australia, France and Germany—exposing behind the veil, the assassin ready to slay any and all that interfere with its tribally focused ends.

In February of this year, Atzmon characterized Islam and Judaism as tribally oriented belief systems rooted not in “enlightened individualism,” but rather in “…the survival of the extended family.” These belief systems have nothing to do with personal liberties or personal rights; they have to do with securing the realm of their respective “ways of life.” But unlike tribalism in Islam, tribalism in Judaism “can never live in peace with humanism and universalism” (4). “Both religions stand as systems that provide thorough answers in terms of spiritual, civil, cultural and day to day matters.” In this regard, “…both Islam and Judaism are more than just religions: they convey an entire ‘way of life,’ and

The Wandering Who is a personal journey of a man born in Jerusalem, raised in the Jewish ‘way of life,’ infused with the myths of the founding of the Jewish state; “Supremacy was brewed into our soul, we gazed at the world through racist, chauvinistic binoculars. And we felt no shame about it either” (5). Inducted into the Israeli military during the 1980s he served in Lebanon, and, in his late teens, experienced an epiphany caused in good measure by careful listening to voices beyond the wall that encircled him in the ghetto that is the Israeli state. This epiphany forced a distinction in identity versus identifying, between self-reliance and obedient servant to an ideology, a distinction that recognized Jews as people, Judaism as a religion, and Jewishness, an ideology that determines identity politics and a resulting political discourse.

What, then, characterizes a Jew? Atzmon distinguishes among those who follow the Judaic religion; those who regard themselves as a human being who happens to be of Jewish origin; and those who put their Jewishness over and above all other traits. Chaim Weizman, the first Israeli President and a Zionist, identified being a Jew as a ‘primary quality’ above citizenship, occupation, head of household, indeed “Jewishness becomes the key element and fundamental characteristic of one’s being.” Vladimir Jabotinsky wrote “…the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical racial type are Jewish” (“A Letter on Autonomy,” 1904). It is this identifying principle that Atzmon sees as corrosive, not only to Judaism, but to the safety and security of the Jewish people, their friends and their neighbors. “…probably then and there I left Chosen-ness behind to become an ordinary human being” (6). “For me to be Jewish is, above all, to be preoccupied with overcoming injustice and thirsting for justice in the world, and that means being respectful toward other peoples regardless of their nationality or religion, and empathetic in the face of human suffering whoever and wherever victimization is encountered” (“On Jewish Identity,” 1/15/2011).

Significantly, Atzmon turns to the ancient tale of the wandering Jew to reap the complexities inherent in the contradictions that beset Judaism in today’s world:  tribalism versus universalism, chosen-ness versus democratic equality, rule by defiance of law versus nations ruled by law, control of government by Zionist controlled ideology versus responsiveness to the voice of the citizenry, and tribalistic morality where morals are fabricated for political utilitarian ends versus the inalienable rights of all endowed by nature.

The legend’s primary symbolic value resides in its identification of ‘otherness,’ the unique concept of ‘chosen-ness,’ that separates the Jews from the rest of humanity resulting in an ideological and psychological isolation that becomes a strategic tool used by the Zionists and the Neo-Cons to manipulate the Jewish people and the formation of the Jewish state. Jabotinsky and Weizmann’s “primary quality” of Jewishness prevents assimilation, thus forcing the Jew to remain always an alien wherever he or she resides. Personal identification can only exist in the tribe, a virtual and absolute commitment to Jewishness, making possible the use of Jews around the world as “sayanims” (assistants) to further the goals of the Jewish state (17). “The sayan is a person who would betray the nation of which he is a citizen out of devotion to a notion of a clannish brotherhood” (17).

There are thousands of sayanim around the world. In London alone, there are about 2,000 who are active, and another 5,000 on the list. They fulfill many different roles. A car sayan…running a rental agency, could help the Mossad rent a car without having to complete the usual documentation. … a bank sayan could get you money if you needed it in the middle of the night, a doctorsayan would treat a bullet wound without reporting it to the police…The idea is to have a pool of people available when needed who can provide services but will keep quiet about them out of loyalty to the cause (17).

“In Zionist eyes Jewishness is an international network operation…to be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any legal or moral order” (19). Atzmon identifies a functioning organism controlled by Zionist ideology and Neo-Con sayanim in the United States that has yoked Israeli interests to those of the United States using a document titled the USA Defense Planning Guidance Report for fiscal years 1994-1999. “In the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region’s oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel’s security.” (22). This manipulative strategy “transformed the Jewish tribal mode into a collective functioning system.” It also transformed “the American and British armies into a Zionist mission force” as Israel and the Neo-Cons manipulated the governments of the UK and the US to attack Israel’s enemies in Iraq while imposing sanctions on Syria and defending its occupation and oppression of the Palestinians and its wanton destruction of Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-2009.

Atzmon illuminates the inner soul, or more correctly, the lack thereof, of the Israeli state as it has evolved from early Zionism to a politically astute merger of ancient Judaism with secular purposes to attain its goals. It is in this respect the abortive grandchild of Leo Strauss, a Professor and teacher of Paul Wolfowitz and the Neo-Cons who clustered about his determinist altar—Richard Perle (former Defense Policy Board Chairman), William Kristol (Chief Editor of the Weekly

Standard), Gary Schmitt (Chairman and Director of the

Project for the New American Century), Stephen Campone (Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under Rumsfeld), Abram Shulsky (friend of Perle and head of Rumsfeld’s special intelligence unit sometimes characterized as the “Specious Planning Unit”), Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who are connected through the PNAC (Project for the New American Century)—all “leaders” of course accepting without question a brand of determinism that controlled human life with some born to lead and the vast majority born to follow.

I had tracked the emergence of this cult that came to power in an article published in 2003, “Moral Insanity: the Cabal that Corrupts,” and offer two paragraphs that capture the consequences of this deception.

Since Strauss taught that nature’s determinism thrust the “wise few” into positions of leadership over the “vulgar many,” and since virtue is defined by the elite who rule, and since morality does not exist, and since justice is merely the interest of the stronger, and since the rule of the wise is absolute, authoritarian and unquestionable, and since religion is “the glue that holds society together,” using religion for political ends, like lying, deception, secrecy, and intimidation, is a good necessary to achieve the determined goals of the government. Manipulation of the “vulgar masses” becomes an end in itself and the distortion of words and concepts becomes the means to that end…

Only a Straussian Cultist would have the arrogance to create a National and International policy on behalf of 300 million people when they represented none of them. Two years later, a year after 9/11, this report became “The National Security Strategy Report of the United States of America,” a document that details how America will act, nationally and internationally, during the second Bush regime. Needless to say, few Americans ever saw the details of this report before it became policy—not the average American citizen nor their representatives in Congress nor the Senate. Yet we are the ones who must pay for the plans these men designed, be victims of the world’s censure as they carry out their designs, and fall prey to their restrictions on civil liberties imposed by this regime as “security measures.”

Atzmon’s analysis reveals strategies used by the Zionists to control their population: “Some marginal politicians seek to publically ‘shame’ their integrated brothers and sisters. This serves two purposes. First, it conveys a clear message that real assimilation is impossible…Second, it pushes the assimilated being towards collaboration with his old clan. ‘You will never escape who you are so you better be proud of it’” (34). But it does not stop there. The Zionist lobbies tell the assimilated Jew “You will never escape who you are so why not be proud of it and work with us.” Indeed, this very assertion undermines a moral foundation as it forces the American Jew to succumb to that “primary quality” of Jewish-ness above loyalty to his nation. “First they are Jews and only then are they humanists” (35).

Zionism, as Atzmon notes, has used Jewish ‘separatism’ and its resulting ‘insecurity in relations with his fellow beings’ to coerce obedience and commitment. This tactic has been characteristic of the Zionist power since the Mandate period. In the Introduction to The Plight of the Palestinians, I presented evidence of such coercion from the classified documents of the British Mandate Police, most especially the Hagana Oath that forced an allegiance to the Zionist High Command:

The Haganah Oath goes deeper than fear. In effect, it declares that an individual has turned his/her conscience over to the High Command thus accepting what is right and what is wrong as determined by that authority regardless of local, state or international law, indeed, regardless of the morals, values and traditions of Judaism. This commitment is forever, to death.

From the moment an individual takes the oath, they are committed to a life of secrecy and hence of disloyalty and betrayal to those they are most intimate with in their day to day life. Neither their actions nor their true identity is discernible to those with whom they interact regularly. This is a life that encapsulates the necessity of lies, deceit, coercion, extortion, and obedience to a group that dictates the actions one must pursue; freedom no longer exists, self-direction no longer exists, loyalty to others no longer exists, indeed, friendship with others is compromised or impossible, one becomes the subject of that group, a veritable slave to their desires and wills. The mindset that promotes such control allows for spying, for deception of friends, for ostracism in one’s own community for thinking differently, for imprisonment without due process, for torture, even for extrajudicial executions. It is a total commitment to a cause that supersedes all others determined and dictated by an oligarchy in silence and subject to no legitimate institution and to no one (xxvi).

Atzmon elaborates on his contention that the Zionists intentionally manipulate Jewish separatism to their advantage by instilling a myth of persistent persecution against Jews as evidence of their need to support the Israeli enterprise, a virtual effort at ghetto building, and one that results in a form of Pre-Traumatic Stress Syndrome induced by a continual grand narrative of Israeli victimization caused by the Holocaust: being driven into the sea, being wiped off the map, delegitimized, all portend the impending disaster that awaits the Jewish state.

Such perception forces the Diaspora Jew to confront the significance of the promise and fulfillment of the Zionist dream, the return to Zion. “By bonding Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora continuum, the Settler replaces the ‘negation of the Diaspora’ with a ‘negation of the Goyim’ (a return of the Jewish pre-Zionist condition).” This effectively stops the possibility of Jewish assimilation and promotes a return to tribal distinctiveness, albeit with political and global interests. Concomitantly, “It leaves the Diaspora Jew in limbo. He or she is neither assimilated into their surrounding social environment nor settled in a Jewish state” (43). Rejection then of the Zionist call must be understood as an act of treason or a form of self-hatred. Unfortunately, yet reflective of the symbolic nature of the legend of the Wandering Jew, “…it emphasizes the racist and expansionist Judeo-centric nature of the Jewish State. .. and the Diaspora Jew finds himself or herself intrinsically associated with a bigoted, ethnocentric ideology and an endless list of crimes against humanity” (43).

Chosen-ness determines its own end. What the Chosen believes through the books that give them their unique status must be truth. Since the words used are not theirs, but the words of their G-d, they are immune from the limitations of language (32). The Chosen need only respond to themselves to find identity, but in their affiliation with their group, not humanity at large. Atzmon notes that the religious understanding of Chosen-ness carries with it a moral burden to “stand as an exemplary model of ethical behavior,” but in the Zionist mind that has been “reduced to a crude, ethno-centric, blood-oriented chauvinism”… a kind of “tribal supremacism, in which ‘love yourself as much as you hate everyone else’ becomes a pragmatic reality” (86). Consequently, “This form of supremacy lies at the heart of the Zionist claim for Palestine, at the expense of its indigenous inhabitants” (87). Justice is not a consideration.

Perhaps the most insidious corruption imposed on the Jewish people and on their religion by the Zionists who garnered control of the new state of Israel was the manipulation of the Holocaust into both a religion and an industry. Norman Finkelstein covers the creation of the industry, Atzmon, with the help of Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, a Latvian-born philosopher at the Hebrew University, and Adi Ophir, an Israeli philosopher and Associate Professor at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University, takes on the description and the consequences of transforming the Holocaust into a religion. Leibowitz, according to Uri Avnery (19.3.05, “Remember What? Remember How?), stated that “The Jewish religion died 200 years ago. Now there is nothing that unifies the Jews around the world apart from the Holocaust.” Atzmon suggests that Lebowitz might have been the first to recognize that the Holocaust had been made into a religion with priests, prophets, commandments and dogmas, rituals and temples.

The Holocaust religion is, obviously, Judeo-centric to the bone. It defines the Jewish raison d’etre. For Zionist Jews, it signifies a total fatigue of the Diaspora, and regards the goy as a potential irrational murderer. This new Jewish religion preaches revenge. It could well be the most sinister religion known to man, for in the name of Jewish suffering, it issues licenses to kill, to flatten, to nuke, to annihilate, to loot, to ethnically cleanse. It has made vengeance into an acceptable Western value (127).

Let us return now to the wandering Jew of legend. In 1848, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “A Virtuoso’s Collection,” an exotic tale of the strange and fantastic that subsumes the legend in the personage of the Virtuoso.

Hawthorne uses the legend to capture that mystery of behaviour that has haunted writers for centuries, a mystery that still befuddles our scientists that search for an explanation for actions that seem devoid of “natural sympathies,” actions that elicit no response to human suffering, emotional or psychological, to physical pain and anguish, to loss of those loved, a child, a son or daughter, a father or mother, actions inflicted for no perceivable reason, where guilt has not been determined nor compassion considered. The legend captures the man that witnesses the suffering of the innocent, the Christ bearing His cross though guilty of nothing but the spirit of human compassion for his brothers and sisters, the sacrifice of atonement, yet mocks the innocent to “go on quicker,” for the Wanderer “is linked with the realities of this earth… to what I can see, and touch, and understand, and I ask for no more.” Nothing can stand in his way as he rushes through life acquiring all that this world can offer, and at any expense, regardless of his impact on others. “The soul is dead within him,” Hawthorne proclaims, the natural sympathy for his fellow humans does not exist.

Hawthorne grappled with this image of the lost soul, severed from the roots that carry all in the concept of humanity, where each is a brother or a sister to another and to all; where the teachings of the faiths that sustain humankind across the globe find love and compassion the fundamental life force that binds all and gives meaning to all; where mercy and kindness serve to heal and advance the commonweal; where the island that is this planet unites all humankind in bonds of necessary and never ending ties if there is to be a future for our children; this is the source of the human spirit that emanates from one all embracing soul that is the common experience of all that must endure the suffering and pain that is this life suffused and made endurable by the springs of love that give joy to the world.

This is a concept that requires of all, sharing of all things, that each might survive despite the ravages of time and circumstance. It is the essence of all faiths that truly believe in the human spirit and the uncertainties that control our lives. It finds repulsive, as a consequence, those who seek to destroy the unity of spirit that binds all together in favour of personal gain, sought in the material acquisitions made possible in this world, regardless of the havoc wrought to achieve their ends.

The image of the Wandering Jew reflects that person who abandons his fellows for personal gain, who forfeits human love and compassion for the artefacts of this world gained at any expense, satisfied with the acquisition of wealth, of position, of power even when achieved by devastation and death since ultimately only he exists and all routes to his end are achieved. All humans are expendable and are, then, by definition inferior to the man free of moral or spiritual restraints.

The Wandering Jew is then, as metaphor, another rendering of the story of Cain who slew his brother, for which act he was cursed by God Almighty to wander the earth a fugitive…. The Wandering Jew, like Cain, is Everyman” (William A. Cook, “The Eternal Jew Goes on Forever,” 8/24/2009).

Gilad Atzmon brings us to this understanding as it applies in our day; he is our Hawthorne who journeys through our time to illuminate the consequences of actions that deny, indeed, that defy the oneness of humanity to benefit the few at the expense of the many. He writes a critical and devastating explanation of Jewishness as it has been manipulated to control the Jewish people and impose the will of the Zionist dictators in Israel and the U.S. on the American people through control of the U.S. Congress. He unravels the nuances that veil the arrogance, the deceit, and the hypocrisy of those in power, why they are so bound by terrorism and force, revealing in the process the horror of their betrayal and the emptiness of their words.

He comprehends Hawthorne’s description of the Virtuoso, the Wandering Jew, as it fittingly captures the mindset of those who impose a deterministic and amoral direction on political events both in the United Nations and the United States, “…there was a bitterness indefinably mingled with his tone, as of one cut off from natural sympathies, and blasted with a doom that had been inflicted on no other human being, and by the results of which he had ceased to be human. Yet…it seemed one of the most terrible consequences of that doom, that the victim no longer regarded it as a calamity, but had finally accepted it as the greatest good that could have befallen him.”

That frame of mind accepts no guilt because it has rejected personal conscience as the basis for actions in lieu of tribal security; the tribe alone determines right: individualism, natural rights, self-reliance, personal responsibility in a democracy no longer exists. This mindset, clustered in a functioning, global, tribal concentration of power, focuses on one voice, theirs. It denies democracy yet calls itself democratic; it speaks of universalism but protects only itself; it proclaims brotherhood with nations that exist by rule of law even as it defies all laws but its own; it presents itself as a nation imbued with the righteous morals of ancient times yet establishes policies that are apartheid in character.

To not defend this frame of mind is to damn self and the Jewishness that gives them an identity. It is in effect a self-inflicted torture; an incredibly powerful identity fabricated out of ancient tales that gives the most ordinary of them superiority over others who must be denigrated and even destroyed. It’s a tribal character, protection of the group at all cost or lose self in the multitudes with which one must live. It had a place in ancient days, but cannot exist in a world where 192 nations share covenants with each other based on equality, respect and human dignity.

To hold to their beliefs they must negate similarity and equity, as well as justice and freedom for all. Given the power they possess and the money they use to control the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament, with similar controls being exerted in Canada, Australia, France and Germany, as Atzmon graphically demonstrates, the dangers of an elite few dominating the direction of international policies threatens international security and the quest for peace.

This 21st century Jew, like Jeremiah of old, wanders the world warning of an impending doom hidden behind the mask of civility that is the Israeli state. The world meets this nation in the halls of the United Nations through its pin-striped representatives who speak fluently and even eloquently of rights, of democracy, of justice, of self-defense, and of terrorism that threatens the civilized world.

Yet behind that mask of civility reside a nation and its fascist belligerent leaders whose sole purpose is to control the very organizations erected to bring equity and justice to all. Their purpose, to gain time to achieve their end, the creation of Eretz Yisrael through the continuing ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people.  Gilad Atzmon fears this end for the Jews and defies the Zionists that preach it. The Wandering Who proclaims the choice; we are Everyman, one in soul, one in sympathy, one in respect and dignity for all humanity.

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US Backing Muslim Brotherhood In Syria: Envoy


NEW DELHI, Sept 17 (Bernama) — Syria on Saturday accused “external” forces of  trying to destabilise the country with the help of “radical Islamic” groups and the US of backing the Muslim Brotherhood which he said was “responsible” for bloodshed, reports Press Trust of India.

Syrian ambassador Riad Abbas, giving an account of the efforts to normalise the situation, said the president has already started the process of holding “national dialogue” with all groups but those behind the unrest are are not coming forward as they only want to “topple” the government.

Alleging that “external forces” are trying to destabilise the country by encouraging “extremist religious groups” like the Muslim Brotherhood and other outfits, he said the country has been targeted for raising the voice for the creation of a separate Palestinian state, besides other reasons.

“Syria is the only secular state in the area. We have been supporting the formation of the a Palestinian state and that is why there are efforts to destabilise the country. These external forces have their own agenda,” Abbas told reporters here.

He alleged the US has been supporting “the radical outfit Muslim Brotherhood which has been behind the unrest and bloodshed in the country”.

“The Americans have themselves said that they have been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said, adding the banned outfit, along with some other “extreme religious groups”, was behind the bloodshed.

Asked whether international observers will be allowed during polls which President Assad has announced, he evaded a direct reply but said Syria never believes in interfering in the affairs of other countries.

According to the UN, at least 2,600 people have been killed in the unrest in Syria since popular protests first broke out in mid-March.

Asked about the government crackdown on the protesters, the ambassador said the security forces have been taking “maximum precaution” in dealing with the protests and accused those behind the unrest of resorting to widespread violation of human rights and killing innocent people.

“The president has already presented a national agenda. He has already initiated a national dialogue process. But they do not want to come for talks as they only want to topple the government,” he said.

On the election, Abbas said no religious group or party will be allowed to participate in the polls as it will affect the “democratic” character of the country.

“The parliamentary elections will take place in February. But we cannot allow religious groups to participate as they have already said that they will force the Christian people to leave the country. We cannot allow this to happen as it will affect the secular nature of the country,” he said.

On whether elections will be free and fair, he said the country is embarking on democratic reform and the February polls will be “different” from polls held earlier in the country.

Dubbing media coverage of the unrest as “biased”, he said things are being shown in a distorted manner.

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Jewish School Graduates Focus on Themes of Persecution


Suffering Nudges Aside Cultural Empowerment in Classrooms

History of Persecution: Elie Wiesel  talks to high school students. Are Jewish day school students too wrapped up in  the history of persecution?

ed note–just look at them soaking it in, the ‘story’ (and we do emphacize that word, ‘story’) of Jewish persecution. Whatcha think they are going to do with all that ‘learning’ once they graduate with advanced degrees in finance, banking, political science, law, etc, etc etc? Like the character Khan in the Star Trek movie who spent all his time plotting out his revenge on Kirk once he was freed, likewise this is the Jewish narrative as taught them by their elders. It is no wonder then that Jesus Christ, in condemning the Jewish leadership, charged that the Rabbis ‘cross land and sea to win a single convert, but then once they do, turn him twice as much into a son of hell as they are.’

Thousands of graduates of Jewish day schools will head off to college this  September. But unlike graduates of public school, they will begin their higher  education with credentials in Hebrew, Tanach and Talmud, along with mathematics,  English literature and biology. And many of these students will enter secular  colleges, bringing their uniquely Jewish worldviews into college history courses  like the ones I taught at Brooklyn College, a diverse public university in New  York City. They will share classrooms with students who know nothing of Jewish  history or culture, and they will confront, for perhaps the first time,  curricula that emphasize larger narratives, which place the Jewish experience  alongside that of other minority groups.

Are these day school graduates prepared for this secular approach to studying  the past? How will they cope with seeing a history that they were taught to view  as central suddenly placed in this new, broader context?

As a teacher, I found I could answer these questions on the first day of my  world history course. I could pick out the Jewish day school graduates from the  moment that my students handed in index cards with their identifying  information. Alongside the names, e-mail addresses, majors and reasons for  taking the course, I asked students to list several areas of history that were  particularly interesting to them. In an effort to render a required class more  engaging, I tried to find ways to include the contents of my students’ lists  within the parameters of the curriculum.

The index cards bore a striking pattern. The Jewish day school students were  primarily interested in studying two subjects: the Holocaust and the Spanish  Inquisition. Maybe this should not have been so surprising; it was common for my  students’ historical interests to break down along ethnic, religious or cultural  lines. African-American students wanted to learn about African liberation  movements, slave resistance and the civil rights movement. Immigrants studying  for citizenship exams wanted to learn more about the American Revolutionary War  and the Constitution. And Muslim students took particular interest in the  policies of the Mughal, Safavid and Ottoman empires.

But whereas other groups emphasized points of cultural pride in their  historical selections, those educated in Jewish day schools were concerned  primarily with persecution. Though subsequent classroom discussions of the  founding of the State of Israel and the contemporary politics of the Middle East  provoked considerable comment from these same students, rarely did one identify  such topics as deserving of study in his index card appraisal. Furthermore, the  selected narratives of persecution were listed as topics in and of themselves,  unconnected to larger historical themes. In my students’ listings, the Holocaust  remained separated from fascism and World War II, the Spanish Inquisition  removed from colonial expansion and monarchal politics. For the students who had  attended Jewish day schools, the most interesting aspects of history were those  in which the Jews were savagely acted upon, with little recourse as political  agents in their own right.

This is not to say that their parochial education couldn’t also be an asset  at times. With the details of lived Jewish experience at their fingertips, they  were able to offer important examples and counterexamples of the larger themes  defining the history we studied. Their vast knowledge of Jewish engagement with  hostile states provided an important counterweight to classmates who claimed  that “people in the X empire did Y” or that “the Z regime was known as tolerant  of all religious and ethnic differences.”

But somewhere along the way, these otherwise well-prepared Jewish day school  graduates — capable writers, gifted public speakers and conscientious students — had picked up a distorted notion of history.

For them the Jewish experience existed in isolation, with outsized importance  in the scope of the larger story. And this Jewish history itself was reduced to  suffering. Absent was any sense that Jews could shape their own destiny, that  they were active participants in history. If such was the case of the past, I  worried for my students of the present. I wanted them to feel empowered to  engage politically, socially and culturally with the state in which they lived.  I wanted them to be active citizens not only within their Jewish communities,  but also as Americans.

Jewish day school teachers need to present their students with a dynamic  story of Jewish existence — and not just persecution — over time, and then place  it within the larger framework of world history. By doing this, they would be  performing a vital role in shaping the scholars and citizens who will enter the  halls of secular colleges. Educating future generations of Jews means more than  just getting them to appreciate our often tortured past; it also means learning  that the small and the large are often two sides of the same coin.

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Holy Land clerics bless Palestinian UN bid



Priests in the Holy Land used their sermons on Sunday to give their blessing to the Palestinians’ bid for United Nations membership.

The retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, the first Palestinian to hold the post since the Crusades, was to preach in the Roman Catholic church in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

A joint statement by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran priests pledged their “support for the diplomatic efforts being deployed to win international recognition for the State of Palestine… on the June 1967 borders with Jerusalem as our capital.”

The priests went further than their bishops, who in a statement this week confined themselves to a call for intensified prayer and diplomatic efforts ahead of the Palestinian membership request, to be sent to the UN Security Council on Friday.

“Palestinians and Israelis should exercise restraint, whatever the outcome of the vote at the United Nations,” the bishops said.

“We call upon decision-makers and people of good will to do their utmost to achieve the long-awaited justice, peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu look set for a UN showdown next week, with Abbas planning to push for membership for a Palestinian state and Netanyahu arguing against it.

“Despite the pressures that we face, Palestine goes to the UN on the 23rd of this month to seek admission as a full member,” Abbas told Egyptian television on Wednesday.

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Wall Street Protests


When someone calls for a protest in America lately the joke is usually on the Left. I have to admit that I was so cynical about American prospects for an Atlantic Fall that I did not properly register that 5000 people (according to typically low-balling mass media estimates) were on Wall Street Saturday, and that as I write these words, hundreds are still camped out there. One was quoted by the NYT: “When you idealize financial markets as salvific you embrace the idea that profit is all that matters,” he said. (I guess that’s attributable to either contempt for American capacity to mobilize from the sub-editor who approved that quotation or surety that the readership will never join the crowds).

By comparison, the antiwar rallies that took place earlier this summer, which took a full year of planning, got between 5000 and 10000 people. Is this massively significant? Puerto de Sol in Manhattan? Tahrir in Times Square? We will see. The only way to make sure that it is insignificant is to assume that will be so, and that’s what they want. David Graeber writes, “Hopelessness isn’t natural. It needs to be produced.

To understand this situation, we have to realize that the last 30 years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus that creates and maintains hopelessness. At the root of this machine is global leaders’ obsession with ensuring that social movements do not appear to grow or flourish, that those who challenge existing power arrangements are never perceived to win.”

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Letter to President Obama


Here is a sensible letter from Ambassador Charles Cecil to President Barack Obama. You may want to distribute this letter to your friends. You could also try to fax or e-mail it, along with your own comments, to President Obama, the State Department, Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice or your representatives. Some contact information is listed below.

September 17, 2011

Dear Mr. President:

Just think for a minute—what would happen if the United States abstained when the Palestinian question comes before the UN Security Council in the next week or two?

The resolution would pass. The world would be stunned. The United States would enter an entirely new era in our relations with the Muslim countries of the world. The vision you outlined in Cairo for better relations with the Islamic world would take the largest step forward of your presidency. The United States would once again have regained the high moral ground we so often claim to occupy. The energies loosed by the “Arab spring” would continue to be devoted to their own domestic affairs rather than being diverted into condemning the United States. We are hypocrites when we claim to want justice for the Palestinians but we do nothing meaningful to help achieve this.

On the other hand, if the United States vetoes the Palestinian request for statehood, we will damage our position in the Islamic world—not merely the Arab World—for untold years to come. We will become the object of retribution throughout the Muslim world, and will give new energy to the lagging efforts of al-Qaida to retaliate against us. I served my country 36 years in the Foreign Service of the United States, ten assignments in ten Muslim countries. I know the power of this issue. Why would we want to give new impetus to anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim world?

Mr. Netanyahu’s office has issued a statement saying “Peace will be achieved only through direct negotiations with Israel.” You know, and I know, that Mr. Netanyahu has no intention of concluding a just and fair peace with the Palestinian Authority. His only concern is to continue the inexorable construction of more settlements, creating more “facts on the ground” until the idea of an independent Palestinian state becomes a mere memory of a bygone era. When Israel declared its independence in 1948 it did not do so after direct negotiations with Palestine. If Israel really wants to negotiate with the Palestinians, why would negotiating with an independent Palestinian government, on an equal footing, deter it from engaging in these negotiations?

The Reagan administration launched an international information campaign under the slogan “Let Poland be Poland.” It’s time we let Palestine be Palestine.

Abstain from this upcoming vote. Just think about it.

Sincerely yours, Charles O. Cecil U.S. Ambassador, retired
(Ambassador to the Republic of Niger during the Clinton Administration)

Write or Telephone those working for you in Washington.

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1414
White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

State Department Public Information Line: (202) 647-6575

Press and Public Diplomacy Section
United States Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017
Opinion & Comment line: 212-415-4062
Fax: 212-415-4053

Any Senator
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3121

Any Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3121

E-mail Congress and the White House

E-mail Congress: visit the Web site <> for contact ­information.

E-mail President Obama:

E-mail Vice President Joe Biden:

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