Archive | November 17th, 2011

Playground Bullying of Palestine and Iran Must Stop…

NOVANEWS 

False friends: Iran’ democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh during a visit in the US in 1951, two years before the CIA’s coup d’état that ousted him

Britain, as a former friend of Iran (pre-1953) who owes much to that country, ought to show leadership, change the game and avert the looming catastrophe. 

by Stuart Littlewood

Minister listens

Last Friday I had a 2-hour meeting with my MP Henry Bellingham, who is a minister in the Foreign Office. We spent much of the time discussing the Palestinian statehood question and the absurd sabre-rattling against Iran.

Mr Bellingham listened politely, saying he was more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than some within the Government. He also agreed that the best way to influence Iran was to resume trade.

Of course he was anxious to defend his colleagues in the FO saying they are more often accused of being too biased towards the Palestinians. I on the other hand don’t believe there’s a single grain of pro-Palestinian sentiment in the whole gruesome gang of playground bullies that runs things at Westminster.

Will anything we said be translated into action? Fat chance. All the same I dropped him a thank-you note with a reminder of my concerns….

Palestinian statehood

Hearing the British Government say that it would not vote for Palestinian freedom was a deeply shaming experience considering our 94-year betrayal and non-stop preaching self-determination.

For Palestinians, Israeli settlements are the very crux of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After all, it is the gobbling up of the land by settlements that is likely to prevent a Palestinian state from ever coming into being.  — Mazin Qumsiyeh’s Blog

After his infamous “declaration” in 1917 Balfour, an ardent Zionist, wrote to Curzon: “In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now occupy that land.”

So from the start it was pure evil.

Lord Sydenham warned: “The harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country may never be remedied. What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.”

Sydenham would be spinning in his grave to see the truth of his words nearly 100 years later.

The United Nations Charter determines to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”.

Have we so easily forgotten?

Let us not forget also the purpose of the UN, which is to:

  1. maintain international peace and security, and to that end take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace… and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

  2.  develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.

Subservience to Israel

It is deeply worrying that prominent Friends of Israel are in charge of our two most important bodies, the Intelligence & Security Committee (chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and previously Kim Howells) and the Defence Committee (chaired by James Arbuthnot).

And there is no better example of our misguided obedience to unlawful Zionist ambitions than the Government’s support for the US-Israeli line which insists that the only path to a peaceful settlement is for the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Law, justice, liberty and human rights are non-negotiable. The correct course is to end the occupation and restore the Palestinians’ lands, homes and resources, as required by law, by convention and by numerous United Nations resolutions, then see what is left to negotiate. The Palestinians may not wish to swap land. If they do, they should not have to come cap in hand and bargain for their property with a gun to their head or a military jackboot on their throat. Negotiations with a predatory, belligerent opponent that has proved time and again that it does not want peace is obviously a waste of time.

A return to the discredited “peace process” means more lopsided negotiations, continuing injustice, continuing occupation, more time for Israel to grab more land and resources, more time to create irreversible ‘facts on the ground’ and more time to put pressure on Palestinians to surrender their rights.

It is grossly immoral.

Russell Tribunal points the way

In its latest deliberations the Russell Tribunal proposes the no-nonsense, law-based way forward that this abominable situation has needed all along. The Tribunal finds that Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalized regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law. “The state of Israel is legally obliged to respect the prohibition of apartheid contained in international law. In addition to being considered a crime against humanity, the practice of apartheid is universally prohibited.”

The Tribunal says it has heard abundant evidence of practices that constitute ‘inhuman acts’ perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli authorities. “The inhuman acts listed… do not occur in random or isolated instances. They are sufficiently widespread, integrated and complementary to be described as systematic.

“They are also sufficiently rooted in law, public policy and formal institutions to be described as institutionalized.”

The Tribunal sets out what the UN and the international community should do to discharge their obligations. “States and international organizations… have a duty to cooperate in bringing Israel’s apartheid acts and policies of persecution to an end, including by not rendering aid or assistance to Israel and not recognizing the illegal situation arising from its acts. They must bring to an end Israel’s infringements of international criminal law through the prosecution of international crimes, including the crimes of apartheid and persecution.”

All states are called upon to “consider appropriate measures to exert sufficient pressure on Israel, including the imposition of sanctions, the severing of diplomatic relations collectively through international organizations, or in the absence of consensus, individually by breaking bilateral relations with Israel”.

It wants the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to accept jurisdiction as requested by the Palestinian authorities in January 2009, and to initiate an investigation.  And it wants Palestine to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The Tribunal calls for the UN Special Committee against Apartheid to be reconvened to consider the question of apartheid against the Palestinian people. It asks the UN General Assembly to request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice “to examine the nature of Israel’s prolonged occupation and apartheid”.

No more pathetic hand-wringing, urging and impressing while continuing to reward with association agreements and other lucrative collaboration. Firm action is what counts.

Iran

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission in its 2006/7 report says: “Israel is widely believed to possess both fission and fusion bombs. It has an unsafeguarded plutonium production reactor and reprocessing capability and possibly some uranium enrichment capability, along with various other uranium-processing facilities.

Israel is the only state in the region that is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. As regards biological and chemical weapons, Israel has not signed  the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. It has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In 2009, the IAEA called on Israel to join the NPT and open its nuclear facilities to inspection, expressed concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities, and called upon Israel to accede to the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.

Haaretz reports that Israel is now working on improving its nuclear weapons capabilities, according to the independent Trident commission. The rogue state is extending the range of its Jericho 3 land-to-land missiles so they will have the capabilities of transcontinental missiles.

The Guardian reported that Israel is also striving to improve and expand the capabilities of its cruise missiles, designed to be launched from submarines. Furthermore the world’s nuclear states are planning to spend more than $800 billion in the coming years to modernize and upgrade their nuclear arsenals. The United States itself will spend $700 billion dollars on such projects. Other countries that will reportedly invest in upgrading their nuclear arsenals are Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Israel, France and Britain.

Hague in Israel

So why is Mr Hague rattling the sabre at Iran when the problem is Israel? In any case, Iran is far more important as a potential ally and I am pleased that we seem to agree on the need to cultivate Iran through trade. But when Jack Straw visited Tehran in 2001 he was the first British foreign secretary to have done so since the 1979 Revolution. Has Mr Cameron visited? I don’t think so. Similarly our foreign secretary has failed to meet Hamas, democratically elected in free and fair elections in 2006. This is poor diplomacy, which does nothing for peace and puts us all in danger.

As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Iran has the right to acquire and develop atomic technology for peaceful purposes. Not a shred of evidence has been produced to show that Iran is developing nuclear weaponry. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says: “No other country in the world has cooperated as much as Iran with the IAEA.” While the warmongers in the US and Israel ratchet up their dire threats, Iran’s legislature is due to discuss the country’s withdrawal from the NPT after the IAEA director-general released a biased report.

Britain, as a former friend of Iran (pre-1953) who owes much to that country, ought to show leadership, change the game and avert the looming catastrophe.

“Plotting” against Iran

I have long been suspicious about the appointment of Matthew Gould as British ambassador to Israel, first because Britain is not a Jewish country and therefore should not be represented by a Zionist Jew especially in the Middle East, and secondly because of Gould’s earlier posting to Iran. Now Craig Murray, a former British ambassador himself, claims to have serious evidence connecting Gould with a secret plan to attack Iran while the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell attempt to evade questioning.

The picture shows Matthew Gould, second from right, British Ambassador to Israel, at a meeting of the Leeds Zionist Federation that was also the opening of the Leeds Hasbarah Centre. The Leeds Zionist Federation is part of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, motto “Speaking Up for Israel.” A collection was made at the meeting to send packages to members of the Israeli Defence Force

Craig has published his story ‘Matthew Gould and the plot to attack Iran’ here. Murray writes…

“Mathew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as “Not just an ambassador who is jewish, but a jewish ambassador”. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.

“It is thus most unfortunate that it is Gould who is the only British Ambassador to have met Fox and Werritty together, who met them six times, and who now stands suspected of long term participation with them in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel. This makes it even more imperative that the FCO answers now the numerous outstanding questions about the Gould/Werritty relationship and the purpose of all those meetings with Fox.

“There is no doubt that the O’Donnell report’s deceitful non-reporting of so many Fox-Gould-Werritty meetings, the FCO’s blunt refusal to list Gould-Werritty, meetings and contacts without Fox, and the refusal to say who else was present at any of these occasions, amounts to irrefutable evidence that something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government.”

The skimpiness of O’Donnell’s investigation into the Fox+Werrity+Gould get-togethers leads Murray to pose the question: “Is there a neo-con cell of senior ministers and officials, co-ordinating with Israel and the United States, and keeping their designs hidden from the Conservatives’ coalition partners?”

He concludes there is “irrefutable evidence that something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government”.


Double Vendetta — The Insanity of the Iran Confrontation

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U.S. Upgrading Turkey F-16s With Fire Control Source Code

NOVANEWS

New Code Allows Turkey to Use Turkish Made Weapons and Equipment

Upgrade Deal Signals Closer Military Ties With Turkey

The U.S. has agreed to supply Turkey with source code for F-16 fire control and flight system software, so that Turkey can modify F-16 software to use Turkish made weapons and equipment.

This will be part of a Turkish refurbishment of 213 of their F-16s.

This will cost about $5.2 million per aircraft, and include a lot of Turkish made equipment. Over the last decade, Turkey has been producing more military gear locally, and now produces over half its military equipment needs.

But most major items of equipment are still obtained from foreign suppliers. For example, four years ago, Turkey bought another 30 F-16C Block 50 fighters, for over $60 million each. This will give Turkey one of the largest F-16s fleets (nearly 250) in the world. These new F-16s are beginning to arrive.

[Editors Note: This move keeps Turkey’s F-16’s in parity with recent Israeli upgrades while supporting the building of Turkish weapons industry, similar to what we did for Israel. Turkey is a vastly more important military ally than Israel, which is of no strategic importance whatsoever. Israeli Lobby political corruption has manufactured its own ally status to loot the American taxpayer, which subsequently supported Israeli funding to develop it’s huge WMD program, the major cause of our Mid East problems

Someone might want to explain the benefits to U.S. High Tech arms industry workers. But the rationale may be to keep the competitive edge on the flying platforms while letting local users produce their ordinance. This upgrade is also a public thank you for Turkey’s placement of the NATO radar system this year… Jim W. Dean]

Turkish F-16s – Preparing for NATO exercise

Like Israel, Turkey is upgrading its older F-16s. There are actually six major models of the F-16 currently in use, and identified by block number (32, 40, 42, 50, 52, 60), plus the Israeli F-16I, which is a major modification of the Block 52.

Another special version (the Block 60), for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is called the F-16E.

The various block mods included a large variety of new components (five engines, four sets of avionics, five generations of electronic warfare gear, five radars and many other mechanical, software, cockpit and electrical mods.)

Countries like Turkey can thus add the new components and turn an older F-16 into a more powerful model.

There are also some older (Block 1, 5, 15, 20, 25, 30) aircraft out there, all with two decade old technology. The Turkish upgrade program seeks countries with these older models, and offers competitive prices for upgrades.

With the use of Turkish made components, the newly upgraded Turkish F-16s will be unique (like the Israeli F-16I and the UAE F-16E).

Turkey is also becoming a bigger player in the upgrade market. For example, Pakistan is having a Turkish firm to upgrade elderly Pakistani F-16s from Block 15 configuration to Block 40. Now that the U.S. has lifted its arms embargo on Pakistan, there are many firms competing for all the work needed to update older American weapons still used by Pakistan.

The Turks have long had good trade relations with Pakistan, and have also developed, with the help of the U.S. and Israel, a capable aircraft maintenance and upgrade industry. Most of the F-16 work will be done in Pakistan, using Turkish engineers and technicians supervising some local workers, and using largely imported (from Turkey and elsewhere) components.

The F-16 is the most numerous post-Cold War jet fighter, with over 4,200 built, and more in production. There are 24 nations using the F-16, and 14 have ordered more, in addition to their initial order. During The Cold War, Russia built over 10,000 MiG-21s, and the U.S over 5,000 F-4s, but since then warplane production has plummeted about 90 percent.

But since the end of the Cold War, the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going, despite the fact that the F-35 is supposed to replace the F-16.

But the F-35 price keeps going up (it’s headed north of $100 million per aircraft), and the F-16 continues to get the job done at half that price.

Source: Strateypage.com

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The Bouncer

NOVANEWS 

by Paul Balles

Here’s a story to think about:

A bouncer at a night club doesn’t like the looks of one of the customers. What makes matter worse is that the customer is loud-mouthed and vilifying night club bouncers, saying that they are the ones who should be kicked out of the club.

The bouncer takes a night stick that he has for just such an occasion, walks over to the table where the noisy customer is ranting and raving.

Then, without further warning, the bouncer bashes the noisy customer’s head with the night stick. The customer falls to the floor, dead.

People who see what had happened ask the bouncer why he beat the customer to death.

“Shut up,” shouts the bouncer, “He was armed, and I had to stop him before he destroyed us.”

“Why didn’t you stop him at the door if you thought he was a danger?” asks one of the club’s patrons?

“I did,” argues the bouncer. “When I accused him of having a weapon, he denied it.”

The patron is flummoxed. “Why didn’t you search him?”

The bouncer, becoming impatient with the sceptical crowd, proclaims, “I told him to prove he didn’t have a weapon.”

“Eh?” questions another patron, “You asked him to prove that he didn’t have what he didn’t have?”

The bouncer insists, “That’s right, it’s called ‘pre-emptive’ challenges, leading to pre-emptive strikes, leading to pre-emptive elimination of pre-emptive dangers.”

Another patron chimes in, “Now that you’ve eliminated the pre-emptive danger, where’s the weapon that led to your pre-emptive strike?”

Becoming even more upset with the challenging questions of the patrons, the bouncer declares, “It doesn’t matter. He has a bad reputation for using weapons, and he could do it again in the future.”

Tell us who’s the bouncer with the clever justification for pre-emptive action by insisting that one must prove that he doesn’t have what he doesn’t have?

My friend, there are many bouncers. One of them, Condoleezza Rice appeared on Jon Stewart’s show a week or so ago and tried to convince an audience of dunces that the bouncer rationale was justification for the war on Iraq.

Hers was an echo of many cunning leaders who have used the same bouncer self-justification for the most heinous crimes. The list includes insidious leaders like George W Bush, Tony Blair, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Feeding these treacherous leaders have been duplicitous Israeli firsters pretending to be American patriots, including figures like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.

Iraq wasn’t enough for the pre-emptive strikers. The next target using the same disingenuous arguments is Iran.

America knows that Iran does not have nuclear weapons; but the bouncers want to destroy all of Iran’s nuclear facilities so that no weapons will ever be made.

America has already made the bouncer’s demand, saying to Saddam Hussein: prove that you don’t have what you say you don’t have–an impossible demand, used only to provide an excuse for bouncers.

According to Mark Amstutz, “Pre-emptive attack is morally justified when three conditions are fulfilled: The existence of an intention to injure, the undertaking of military preparations that increase the level of danger, and the need to act immediately because of a higher degree of risk.”

The advocates of pre-emptive attack are attempting to meet those conditions with the flimsiest evidence and erroneous assumptions. Though Iran hasn’t attacked anyone for more than a hundred years, their detractors argue that Iran wants Israel driven into the sea.

If that’s not enough, stories have been fabricated about Iran’s purchase of material that can only have military use, attempting to give the lie to Iran’s stated objectives for nuclear energy.

Iran’s “undertaking of military preparations” has been no greater than those of any other developing military, and much less than any nuclear power. To assert that test firing a few rockets amounts to unacceptable military preparation 

completely ignores the vast superiority of Israel’s military might, including 200 to 400 nuclear bombs.

“The need to act immediately because of a higher degree of risk,” is a spurious argument that applies to all countries, Record pre-emptive strikes (in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and Syria), as well as colonial occupation and destruction of Palestine, makes Israel the consummate high degree of risk.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu tries to rally cabinet support for an attack on Iran. Israel’s defence minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman are among those backing a pre-emptive strike to neutralize what the Israeli hawks dub Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Of course Lieberman would encourage a pre-emptive strike. His preparation for the foreign minister’s role? He was formerly a night club bouncer!

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Greater IsraHell—or Peace?

NOVANEWS

theamericanconservative.com

Pathbreaking scholars Norman Finkelstein and John Mearsheimer speak out about the precarious future of the Jewish state.

Greater Israel-or Peace?

Shortly before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in New York to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state, TAC’s Scott McConnell sat down with Norman Finkelstein and John Mearsheimer to discuss the deeper currents shaping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since then, President Obama has given a speech shocking in its deference to Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s right-wing coalition, and there is no immediate prospect for renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations—the “peace process” begun with discussions in Oslo, Norway in 1991. Israel has announced fresh plans to move settlers into Palestinian areas of Jerusalem it conquered in 1967.

As daunting as the prospects for peace may be, Israel no longer enjoys immunity from criticism within the American media and academy—thanks in large part to the work of scholars like Mearsheimer and Finkelstein, who have forced a debate among foreign-policy thinkers and the American left,  over the price Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians all pay for Tel Aviv’s policies.

One of America’s most important dissident scholars, Norman Finkelstein has written six books touching on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2007, after he had been recommended by DePaul University’s political science department and described by the university as an “outstanding teacher,” he was denied tenure thanks to an unprecedented lobbying campaign waged by Alan Dershowitz, who had long sparred with Finkelstein over Israel. Finkelstein is the child of European Jews who survived Auschwitz and Majdanek, which gave added force to his book The Holocaust Industry, critical of ways

Israel has exploited the Holocaust for financial and political gain. His most recent work, This Time We Went Too Far, is an analysis of Israel’s 2008-09 war against the Palestinians in Gaza.

Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago is one of America’s foremost international relations scholars. He created a storm in 2006 when he and co-author Stephen Walt of Harvard University published the essay “The Israel Lobby,” which was later expanded into a best-selling book.


Scott McConnell: Have we come to the end of the Oslo process? Is a two‑state solution still a viable possibility?

Norman Finkelstein: The problem is the definition of terms. The Oslo process, contrary to what’s widely understood, was largely a success. It’s true now that it may be at an impasse, but as it was originally conceived, it was largely a success. The Israeli leadership was very clear about what it intended from the Oslo process.

Mainly, Rabin said—the former prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin—that if we can get the Palestinians to do the dirty work in the Occupied Territories, there’s going to be less pressure from human rights organizations. They wouldn’t cause as many problems if the Palestinians were doing the policing. And there was a military reason: namely, a large number of Israeli troops was bogged down in the Occupied Territories. That meant time taken away from military training.

The quid pro quo was, well, in 1990‑91 the PLO made what seemed to have been a tactical or strategic error by supporting Saddam Hussein, and they lost all of their funding from the Gulf States. And basically the United States and Israel threw them a life preserver, saying, “If you switch sides, you do what we want you to do, we’ll keep you alive.” That was the choice that the Palestinians made, or the Palestinian leadership made. But then a new problem arose, and that’s Hamas began to rise in power.

John Mearsheimer: The Israelis—and this was especially true of Rabin when the Oslo peace process got started—had no interest in giving the Palestinians a viable state. What they wanted was to restrict the Palestinians to a handful of Bantustans that were located inside of Greater Israel, and it could be called a Palestinian state. In a very important way, Oslo has been successful in that it has allowed the Israelis, working with the Palestinian Authority, to create a situation where the Palestinians have some autonomy in these Bantustans.

McConnell: You say this about Rabin too? He’s considered the most peace-oriented Israeli.

Finkelstein: He was the most rigid. Even Rabin’s wife, afterwards, during the Camp David negotiations, said that her husband would never have agreed to the concessions that [Prime Minister Ehud] Barak made. Now remember, Barak barely made any concessions. But she said her husband would have never agreed to that. I think she’s probably right. In Rabin’s last speech to the Knesset before he was assassinated, he said, “I don’t support a Palestinian state.” He said, “Something less than it.”

Mearsheimer: It’s also important to understand the American position since the Oslo process began has reflected very clearly the Israeli position. It was considered politically unacceptable in the United States to use the words “Palestinian state” until Bill Clinton’s last month in office.

The first time Bill Clinton uttered the words “Palestinian state” was in January of 2001. If you remember, in 1998 Hillary Clinton, who was then the first lady, said that she thought it would be very good for peace in the region if Palestinians had a state of their own. All hell broke loose. The president had to dissociate himself from his wife because it was so controversial. This was 1998, five years after the Oslo peace accords had been signed.

As unusual as this may sound, or as paradoxical as this may sound, it was actually George W. Bush who was the first president who really put the issue of a Palestinian state on the table. But even he realized that with Ariel Sharon as his counterpart in Israel there was no way he could push in any meaningful manner for the Palestinians to get a viable state of their own. And again, that’s the key to having a deal.

McConnell: Do you think there is a framework for a possible deal in the kind of negotiations that went on late in Barak’s term before Sharon’s election, at the 2001 Taba summit and things like that?

Finkelstein: What you can say with a fair amount of generality is that if you look at the Taba map, and you look at the map that [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert presented in 2006, they look the same. They all call for keeping about 9 percent of the West Bank, and they all call for keeping the large settlement blocs, what’s called Ariel in the north and Maale Adumim in the center. It is impossible to construct a Palestinian state with those maps.

Mearsheimer: Ariel reaches far out into the West Bank and actually sits on top of the largest aquifer in the West Bank, and it was put there for a purpose. Maale Adumim is designed to give Israel control well out into the heart of the West Bank. And the people who built those settlements understood full well that it would be almost impossible for any Israeli political leader to abandon them and turn them over to the Palestinians.

The reason that the Oslo peace process is dead and that you’re not going to get a two‑state solution is that the political center of gravity in Israel has moved far enough to the right over time that it’s, in my opinion, unthinkable that the Israelis would number one, give up the Jordan River valley; number two, abandon Ariel and Maale Adumim; and number three, allow for a capital in East Jerusalem.

So given all those factors, I think that we’re rapidly reaching the point—in fact, I think we’ve reached that point—where we’re going to have a Greater Israel which runs from the Jordan River valley to the Mediterranean.

Finkelstein: I don’t agree with that. There are many reasons to be pessimistic. But there are also some grounds for a reasonable amount of optimism. Things are changing in the region, and things are changing in the world. Like you say, the Israeli political establishment has moved to the right. The Israeli population has moved to the right, it has a siege mentality. But those are political factors.

And then the question is trying to change the calculus of power. Here things are changing. There are changes in American public opinion, which are quite significant when you look at the polls. There are changes in Jewish public opinion. There are major regional changes—what’s happening now between Israel and Turkey that’s part of an Arab Spring.

Mearsheimer: I think there’s no question that the international environment that Israel operates in is changing in profound ways, and developments in Turkey and Egypt are probably the best two examples of that. As a result of all this, Israel has a growing sense that it’s isolated, that it really only has one friend in the world, which is the United States.

Now the $64,000 question is whether that’s likely to lead Israel to be more flexible in the short to medium term, or is it likely to cause them to hunker down and be much less flexible and even more bellicose than they have been. And I would bet that the latter would be the case.

McConnell: What difference does it make that Turkey and Egypt are no longer de facto allies of Israel?

Finkelstein: I think a lot of it is psychological, and not psychological in the sense of Oprah psychological. It’s a whole way of relating to the region. Israel has the sense that this is its region. And it’s very disorienting for them to feel as if they’re losing control in that part of the world, that the natives are getting restless.

Mearsheimer: I put Norman’s point in slightly different terms, that is to say, I think what is at stake for the Israelis here is legitimacy, and I think that for them, and for most countries, legitimacy matters greatly. If you read the Israeli press, you’ll see there are all sorts of concerns about de-legitimization. And if you listen to people in the American Jewish community talk about what’s happening to Israel, they’re deeply concerned about de‑legitimization. What’s happening here with Turkey and with Egypt is that as those countries become more democratized and more critical of Israel, they’re adding fuel to that de‑legitimization fire.

There’s no question that most European governments will support Israel at the UN, and there’s certainly no question that the United States will. But the support in Europe, and even the support in the United States, is not terribly deep. It’s wide, right, but not deep.

Finkelstein: Actually support for Israel is no longer that wide. It used to be fair to say wide but not deep, wide and thin. But now if you look at the polls, it’s actually quite surprising. In Pew polls of the last few years, the negative opinion of Israel is kind of astonishing.

Mearsheimer: It’s right down there with Iran, North Korea…

Finkelstein: Well, it’s always ranked with Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. They’re the four countries least liked in the world. But even if you take countries which have the strongest Israel lobbies—apart from the U.S., it’s Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Australia—look at the polls. Even in places like Canada, the polls show about 15 to 20 percent having a positive view of Israel, 60 or 70 percent having a negative view. Public opinion has really swung. Even in the U.S., by the way.

McConnell: Let’s try to tease this out, I mean, the number of Americans who consider themselves pro‑Israeli as opposed to pro-Palestinian has been kind of constant, like a 60 to 10 ratio, and hasn’t changed very much over a generation.

Finkelstein: Except—if you put it “pro‑Israel versus pro‑Palestinian,” that’s correct—if you look at it in terms of, “Do you have a positive or negative opinion of Israel?” for the first time in the last two or three years it’s come down to 50/50. It has changed.

Mearsheimer: I think that’s very important, but I think there’s an even more important indicator of how weak the support is. And that is that if you ask Americans if the United States should support Israel or the Palestinians in their conflict, roughly 70 percent, sometimes up to 75 percent, say we should favor neither side.

It’s really quite remarkable. We have this special relationship where we favor Israel axiomatically over Palestinians at every critical juncture. But here you have a situation where the American people, three-fourths of them, are saying that the United States should favor neither side. In fact, what the American people want to see is the United States act as a—what’s the word?

McConnell: Neutral arbiter.

Mearsheimer: Yeah, a neutral arbiter rather than as Israel’s lawyer.

When you think about how Americans deal with Israel, there are three dimensions to it. One is how people think about Israel and America’s relationship with Israel. Number two is how they talk about it, and number three is actual U.S. policy. There’s great variation among those three dimensions.

I think that over the past ten years how Americans think about Israel has changed in significant ways. More and more people are aware of what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians. They understand that this is bad for the United States from a strategic point of view, and it’s morally bankrupt behavior.

There has been a significant change in the discourse as well over the past ten years. And that’s largely a result of the Internet. It’s very difficult for pro‑Israel forces to shape the discourse on the Internet the way they exercise great influence with the New York Times or CBS or even NPR.

So the discourse has really changed, especially when you get away from the mainstream media, which is increasingly less important. But what’s depressing is that U.S. policy has hardly changed at all. And the question you have to ask yourself is what does this mean for the long term. In a world where people are thinking very differently from the policy-makers and talking very differently from the policy-makers, how does this play itself out?

McConnell: Norman, you’ve been on this subject a long time, a whole career. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about the beginning of your involvement and whether you’ve sensed a change in response to what you say compared to the way it was 20 or 30 years ago, or 10 or 15 years ago?

Finkelstein: I’m sort of second generation. I think the Edward Said, Noam Chomsky generation was first—that was the generation of the ’70s, where it was really virtually impossible to say anything on the topic without being ostracized. I came in right after the Lebanon War of June 1982. And the Lebanon War was Israel’s first public relations disaster in the United States, at least after the ’67 War. They took a big blow back then. It’s forgotten, but it was a PR disaster. Immediately afterwards they tried to recoup from it.

Actually, one of the initiatives they took to recoup was how I got started. I think the Joan Peters book From Time Immemorial was simply a propaganda exercise to try to recoup from the ’82 war.

The next big change occurs with the 1987 Palestinian Intifada, which I think had a very substantial impact, though it was temporary, on public opinion in the United States. I was already teaching by ’88. And I remember in my class—I was at Brooklyn College at the time—a student who was not particularly political, he was what you’d call a typical white ethnic, he was either Irish or Italian, from Bay Ridge or Bensonhurst, he said in class, “Stone vs. Uzi, that doesn’t sound fair.” And that was the image that was being projected then.

The next big turning point probably came with the Second Intifada, which had a very negative impact because of the suicide bombings. But it also had a positive impact because the Israeli repression was so terrible; again, it alienated significant numbers of people.

As for myself, I don’t know if you were familiar with the lingo from back in the ’30s and ’40s, but there were all of these young Americans, many of whom incidentally were Jewish, in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, who went to go fight fascism in Spain. And at that point, to fight fascism made you pro‑Communist, because—you know the whole thing. And then they went to fight in World War II again.

So they come back, and a lot of them are called before [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy, the very same people who fought in World War II. And why were they called before McCarthy? Well, they called themselves premature anti‑fascists. They were anti‑fascists before it was politically correct to be anti‑fascists because they were anti‑fascist at the time of Franco, and at that time the Americans supported Franco.

So even though personally my political positions aren’t really radical at all, and even though I don’t particularly like the nomenclature, I say I was a premature anti‑Zionist.

Mearsheimer: Can I ask Norman a quick question…

McConnell: Yeah, sure.

Mearsheimer: …which I think is important to readers and for me and Scott. You say that you’re an anti‑Zionist.

Finkelstein: No, I don’t. I say I don’t like the nomenclature.

Mearsheimer: You said you were an anti‑Zionist before your time.

Finkelstein: I said that just to make the parallel with anti‑fascist.

Mearsheimer: But here’s the question. Do you, Norman Finkelstein, think it’s a good thing there’s a Jewish state?

Finkelstein: No. But I don’t think it’s a good thing to have Christian states, Muslim states, or any kind of ethnic states. There is a difference between saying… remember let’s be clear about what the UN said. The UN said, “We want to create a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine.”

Mearsheimer: Right.

Finkelstein: But then the UN went on to say, and it was very explicit in the recommendation, “There cannot be any discrimination whatsoever in the Jewish state against an Arab minority.” Now, you may ask the reasonable question, “Well, if there can’t be any discrimination whatsoever, what do they mean by a Jewish state?” They never answer that.

But it doesn’t necessarily follow from the idea that you say there should be two states that you believe it should be a Jewish state or that you’re a Zionist. There’s no connection between the two.

Mearsheimer: I was just interested in what your preferences were.

Finkelstein: I think one of the problems when we discuss the Israel‑Palestine conflict is people talk too much in terms of “What’s your preference?”, like politics is a Chinese menu—I’ll take one from column A and two from column B. That’s not what politics is about.

Politics is about what is realistically possible in terms of your long‑term values, your philosophical perspective. What is really possible now in my opinion are two states, basically what people call the international consensus. It doesn’t mean it’s my philosophical preference. If you asked me, I’d say I would like to see a world without states.

McConnell: When does a two-state solution become not realistically possible?

Mearsheimer: The reason that people continue to talk about a two‑state solution even though I think it’s no longer realizable is that many Palestinians don’t see a viable alternative; they don’t think that a one‑state solution will work.

And in the case of many Israelis and their American supporters, they’re basically sticking their heads in the sand because they don’t want to talk about a one‑state solution, because they understand that a one‑state solution is basically an apartheid state.

Finkelstein: You know, I can see John’s point, but we have to be clear about what John’s point is. He was talking about political facts and political will. He said that the political spectrum has shifted in Israel and that it’s going to be very hard to get these people to budge.

Yes, that’s true. It’s going to be hard to get them to budge, but the problem is, to put it simply, it’s never been tried. The only time it really was tried to get them to budge was the First Intifada, and you know, the First Intifada was very sobering for Israel.

I lived there during the First Intifada. I used to go every summer. You’d be very surprised what it looked like. They had to have 500,000 troops there. When you went in the Occupied Territories then, you saw 65‑year‑old men—they had to bring up all their reserves, and they were putting in six months.

Once there is a real mass action and summoning of will, you may see things shift in Israel. It’s just not been tried. All that’s been tried is this thing called a “peace process.” Nothing happens because there was no pressure on them; the Israelis treat the whole thing like a joke.

Mearsheimer: A lot has changed since 1987 when the First Intifada broke out. First of all, there are many more settlers. And if you leave 60-plus percent of those settlers, you still have to remove…

Finkelstein: 200,000.

Mearsheimer: Right. You still have to remove a…

Finkelstein: If you look at the polls, the polls vary. But as high as 60 percent say they’re willing to be bought out. The Israeli expression is “quality of life settlers.” They just moved there because Israel gave them tons of mortgage subsidies and everything. They say, “Give us money, we’ll leave.”

Mearsheimer: But the fact is that if 40 percent of the settlers were to resist removal, it would be incredibly bloody.

Finkelstein: Yeah, but then you look at the polls, and the polls say about 10,000 or 15,000 would resist violently. The rest say they would oppose it, but if the army gives an order, “You have to leave,” only about 10,000 or 15,000 say that they would resist violently. In my opinion that’s mostly bravado. The actual number will probably be several thousand.

And then the Israeli former security people say there’s a really easy way to handle them: all we’ll do is say, “We’re leaving. You want to stay in Hebron with 160,000 crazy Arabs? Stay. We’re going.” And the Israeli security people say, “You’ll see how fast they’ll leave.”

Mearsheimer: Your point that pressure has not been brought to bear on the Israelis up to now is correct. But the reason that pressure has not been brought to bear is because the United States protects Israel at every turn. If the United States were willing to put serious sanctions on Israel, there’s no question that we could get Israel to move to a two‑state settlement very quickly.

And by the way, that would be good for Israel, good for the Palestinians, and good for us. And the fact that we don’t do it is really quite shocking because it’s a win‑win‑win situation.

Finkelstein: Correct.

Mearsheimer: But then the question is, who’s going to put pressure on Israel?

Finkelstein: That’s why I said there are new factors. It is true that the U.S. is the key factor, but now with the Arab Spring there are regional factors. For a lot of the Arab countries, or a lot of the Arab leaders, this has become a drain on them. Turkey and Egypt, they want to modernize and this Israel/Palestine thing is a drain on them. They have a real incentive to want to resolve it.

But the other thing is, as we’ve all agreed, there are changes in public opinion. The challenge is translating the changes in public opinion into some sort of political force. There is raw material; it still requires work. It’s a hard job, but our possibilities now are greater than ever.

Mearsheimer: Yeah. I hope that you’re right, but I think that you’re wrong. The reason has to do with how American politics works. The way this political system of ours was set up in the beginning gave huge amounts of influence to interest groups, interest groups of all sorts.

In the present situation, interest groups that have lots of money can influence the political process in profound ways. The principal reason that we don’t have any financial reform after the 2008 financial crisis is, in large part, because of the interest groups or lobbies associated with the financial industry. They’re just so powerful in Washington that Congress really can’t stand up to them. As a result, we’ve done very little to fix the system that caused this disaster in 2008.

When it comes to foreign policy, we, of course, have interest groups—like the Cuban lobby, the Israel lobby, the Armenian lobby—that can wield lots of influence. In this day and age, where money really matters, and where the Israel lobby has lots of money to throw at political candidates, it is very easy for it to get its way. And foolishly, in my opinion, the lobby tends to support the hard-line policies of Israel, which I don’t think are in Israel’s interests.

The end result is that virtually nobody on Capitol Hill will stand up to Benjamin Netanyahu. And the president won’t either.

Finkelstein: Everything you said, of course, is true and I don’t bury my head in the ground. The only addition to what you said is, I haven’t seen any real attempt to challenge the lobby. There’s never been a serious opposition in Washington. They’ve never had to contend with anybody.

Zio-Nazi propaganda machine

It is true money talks. No question about it. But then we don’t know how many people in Congress—I know you may react cynically to it—but we don’t really know how many are just misinformed. They just don’t know what’s going on because there’s nobody on the other side doing anything. How many people in Congress are really sick of the bribery and bullying of AIPAC, but there’s nobody with whom they can stand? There’s no lobby here.

It’s work that we have to do. And then, once we have done our part and nothing budges, I’ll see your side. But it’s the same thing with the Palestinians. I saw what happened during the First Intifada. The Israelis were in a complete panic. They didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know if they were coming or going. The people had real power.

McConnell: My fear is that Israel, if they were faced with a third Intifada as a result of, say, the dead‑end of the Palestinian‑UN thing, would welcome it.

Mearsheimer: It’s very clear that when the Palestinians turn to terrorism it works to Israel’s advantage. It makes much more sense for the Palestinians to pursue a Gandhi‑like policy. The other reason that the Palestinians do not want to turn to terrorism or to a third Intifada is the threat of further expulsion. I believe that there are lots of Israelis who would welcome an opportunity to drive the Palestinians…

McConnell: Across the Jordan River. Yeah.

Mearsheimer: …out of Greater Israel and solve the demographic problem that way. The reason I believe that Israel is in such trouble over the long term is that you’re going to end up with a Greater Israel, where there are going to be more Palestinians than Israeli Jews.

In fact, I think I could make a convincing argument that right now there are more Palestinians than Israeli Jews living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. But certainly 20 years down the road, the numbers are going to clearly favor the Palestinians, and I believe that will be an apartheid state. It will be impossible for Israel to maintain that state.

McConnell: What keeps Israel from trying to push the Palestinians out of the West Bank?

Finkelstein: I remember during the Second Intifada, I had a several hour conversation with Rantissi, who was the head of Hamas—he was subsequently assassinated by Israel. And I said to him, “You know, these suicide bombings, they just give Israel the pretext to commit massacres.” And he said to me, “Israel does what it wants. It doesn’t need pretext.” I said to him, “If Israel did what it wanted to do, none of you would be here.”

Israel has real constraints and limits imposed on it by international public opinion. People are very naïve about that. Even the Gaza massacre, the Israeli invasion of 2008 to 2009, okay, it was terrible. No question about it. Killed 1,400 people. Lebanon 2006, July, August, it killed 1,200 people, 1,000 civilians. It was horrible. But it was really small potatoes next to Lebanon 1982. Lebanon ’82, the estimates are they killed between 15,000 and 20,000 people. That’s a big difference because the limits have increased on them.

Mearsheimer: And what has increased the limits?

Finkelstein: Well, public opinion has put real constraints on what Israel can do, even though what it did in Gaza was terrible, I’ll be the first one to say. It’s still much less than they were once able to get away with. Every time there’s a war, they have been hoping to do a mass expulsion: during that attack on Iraq in 2003; they were hoping to do it in 1990­–91. If you read the Israeli newspapers, they’re always talking about the transfer. They can’t do it because public opinion puts real constraints on them.

I think sometimes we underestimate just how vulnerable Israel is on the public-relations front. That’s why they spend so much money on propaganda. And that’s why they panic every time they feel like they’re losing the propaganda war. Because they realize just how vulnerable they are and how big the constraints on them are. Otherwise it makes no sense why they invest so much in that image of theirs.

Mearsheimer: When Norman says that Israelis and their supporters in the United States care greatly about what people think about Israel, I think that’s a further way of saying they’re worried deeply about Israel’s legitimacy. And this is why people like Norman and people like me, and Steve Walt, and Jimmy Carter, and Noam Chomsky, and Edward Said are viewed as being so dangerous to Israel. When Norman tells you about all the times he’s been blacklisted and mafia‑like tactics have been used on him, basically what’s going on there is that the lobby is interested in marginalizing him and silencing him because it knows how dangerous he is.

Israel’s greatest advantage in the world today is in terms of its material resources. It’s a rich country that has one of the most formidable militaries on the planet. And of course, it’s joined at the hip with the United States, which has the most formidable military in the world.

But where Israel is particularly weak and is threatened is in the realm of ideas. I like to think about this in Gramscian terms. Gramsci used to talk about wars of ideas. What’s happened here is that as the material balance of power has moved in Israel’s favor, the balance of ideas has moved against Israel.

People like Norman, who are what I like to call the “corridor cutters” on this issue, help in a major way, pushing in that direction. Then people like Jimmy Carter, Steve Walt, and I came along and stood on the shoulders of people like Norman. All of us have been attacked, viciously attacked in some cases, and ostracized in other cases because we are viewed as a threat.

Again, it all gets back to that important concept of legitimacy.

McConnell: There’s some voice in me, not mine, but I can hear a voice saying if you’re a realist in terms of power politics, ideas matter much less than military/economic strength and things like that.

Mearsheimer: The truth is sometimes ideas don’t matter very much, and sometimes they really do. This is a case where ideas do matter. What the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians has become an important part of our discourse about the Middle East. It simply does not work to Israel’s advantage. My argument is that this situation is only going to get worse over time. Israel is going to be more isolated, and the United States, which of course backs Israel at every turn, is going to be increasingly isolated as well.

Finkelstein: On the strictly military plane, it is true Israel is very powerful. But we should also bear in mind that it’s become a very modern country. One of the consequences of becoming a modern country is people don’t want to die. Israel has a very effective, automated military. But when it comes to actual battlefield engagement, the Israeli soldiers don’t want to fight.

McConnell: What happened in Lebanon in 2006?

Finkelstein: It’s very clear Israel did not launch a major ground offensive for one reason: it did not want to take a large number of casualties. Lebanon proved to be for them a complete disaster. Now they make claims—there’s a tiny bit of truth to it—their claim was that because they were bogged down during the Second Intifada in policing action in the West Bank, there had been no time for rehearsals for ground/air coordination and that’s why things went so badly in Lebanon.

There’s a little bit of truth to it, but a bigger truth is Hezbollah people, they’re ready to die. They’re not afraid to go out there and get killed. The Israelis don’t want to get killed. The same thing happened in Gaza. Gaza was a—there was no war. As one person put it, it was like a child with a magnifying glass burning ants. It was all a high‑tech war.

Once a friend of mine—she’s an Israeli, I went to high school with her—she was very offended, and she said why did I call Israel a modern‑day Sparta? She says, “You don’t know Israelis. They’re not Sparta. They like the Beatles. They like this, they like that.” I said, “You misunderstood what I said. I said a high‑tech Sparta.” Because it’s true, they are not Spartans. They like cafes. They like the good life.

Mearsheimer: They like unfair fights.

Finkelstein: They want to live.

Mearsheimer: But I think there’s a more important point at play here, which is not to say this point is not important. As Israel becomes a modern economy, and you have more and more people who are secular, wealthy, and like to lead the good life, what begins to happen is that they begin to think about the exit option. They think about leaving Israel. Because they don’t want to live in Sparta. They’d much prefer to live in Europe or in the United States.

McConnell: Are you guys surprised by how quickly Obama seemed to have climbed down from making a solution to the conflict a top priority? By all indications he was someone who understood the moral and political case for a Palestinian state.

Mearsheimer: He did not step away from the problem quickly. Shortly after taking office in January 2009 he began to put pressure on Israel—throughout 2009, throughout 2010, and even earlier this year Obama was putting pressure on the Israelis.

That of course is why Netanyahu came to Washington and spoke before AIPAC and spoke before Congress and went toe to toe, in effect, with Obama. The sad truth is that Netanyahu beat him at every turn, and now with the election looming and the economy in shambles, Obama is in no position to pick a fight with Israel.

Finkelstein: Even if Obama prevailed over Netanyahu, the settlement he was calling for was roughly that map where Israel would keep about 10 percent—9 or 10 percent—of the West Bank, including all the major settlement blocs.

If you include the settlement blocs, like Maale Adumim, there’s no state because the way that settlement bloc is constructed, it separates Jerusalem from the whole West Bank. So you have this little island of Jerusalem. Metropolitan Jerusalem is about 30 to 40 percent of the Palestinian economy. If you separate Jerusalem, there’s no state. Even if Obama prevailed and you got the 10 percent map, it still has no relationship to what a viable Palestinian state would look like.

Mearsheimer: I don’t think, Norman, that it’s clear whether Obama was thinking in terms of what’s called the Israeli map or whether he was thinking in terms of the Palestinian map. But I believe that most of his Middle East advisers and Obama understand that the only way we’re going to solve this is to give the Palestinians a viable state, and that means basically the Palestinian map.

Finkelstein: No, I don’t think that’s true, John. I mean…

Mearsheimer: Then I wonder why you’re so optimistic that we can solve this one?

Finkelstein: Oh, because as I said, I totally agree with you on Congress. I totally agree with you on the executive. On those points there’s no disagreement at all. What I said is there is a changed political configuration now. There are changes in public opinion. There are changes in Jewish opinion. There’s a lot of work to be done. But there are reasons to be optimistic.

McConnell: Can you elaborate on the changes in Jewish opinion?

Finkelstein: Trying to understand Jewish relationships with Israel, there are three factors. There is the ethnic factor, which is the one people tend to home in on—Israel, Jewish State, of course Jews love Israel. That’s how people usually reason.

There is a second factor. That’s the citizenship factor, namely American Jews are American citizens, and they have a good life here, and they are very wary of being hit with the dual-loyalty charge. So wherever it looks like there are tensions between the U.S. and Israel, or tensions might be brewing, Americans Jews are very cautious and very wary.

That was very noticeable between ’48 and ’67, when American Jews had no interest whatsoever in Israel. It’s easily documented. Even those people who subsequently became Israel’s supporters, like Norman Podhoretz—if you look at Commentary magazine, as I have, between 1960 and 1967, there’s virtually nothing on Israel.

And then there’s the third factor. It’s the ideological factor. American Jews are liberal. They are liberal Democrats ever since Roosevelt in ’32. Last presidential election, 80 percent of Jews voted for Obama. More Jews voted for Obama than Latinos voted for Obama. American Jews are liberal, and they vote liberal and Democratic. Now for a long time on this ideological level, they were able to reconcile being liberal with being supportive of Israel, because Israel was the light unto the nations, bringing Western civilization to the barbaric East…

Mearsheimer: Only democracy.

Finkelstein: Only democracy in the Middle East, and all the rest. Well, in the last ten or 15 years, it’s wearing thin, and American Jews are having a lot of trouble as liberals—especially young American Jews on college campuses, which tend to be more liberal than American society in general—they’re having a lot of trouble reconciling their liberal beliefs with the way Israel carries on, and Israeli conduct and Israeli society in general.

And therefore you can see in a lot of polls—the best pollster in the American Jewish community, by a far margin, is Stephen Cohen. And Cohen says, “Support for Israel is dying.” He claims it’s dying because of intermarriage; you know, the ethnic factor. Jews are now intermarrying at a rate of about 6o percent. He says that it’s obvious that among the intermarried Jews, interest in Israel tends to plummet. And again, there’s a lot of statistical evidence. The intermarriage factor is significant. But I think as big a factor now is the liberalism factor. They just can’t do it anymore.

Mearsheimer: This is the Peter Beinart thesis.

Finkelstein: No, that’s the Norman Finkelstein thesis, which Peter Beinart took. [laughter]

Finkelstein: Because I was working on it since 2007. You know, I lectured very widely on it. I wrote a book. I started the book. It was called A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break‑up of American Jewish Support for Israel. I’ve since re-titled it. It’s now called Knowing Too Much because I think that’s the problem. American Jews now know too much. They don’t know what to do with it.

McConnell: And Birthright Israel isn’t enough to counter this?

Finkelstein: It’s not enough, no, because Birthright Israel, first of all, is self‑selective. Many of them are just…

Mearsheimer: It’s propaganda. It’s very hard to propagandize Jews. They’re very knowledgeable, and they’re critical thinkers.

Finkelstein: That’s the other thing. All of the scholarship that comes out—those are the sectors where Jews tend to be, in the highly educated, literate sectors. That information is reaching them, and they don’t know what to do with it. You can see it in colleges now. It used to be when someone like me would come speak, it would be hysteria, with the audience shouting and screaming. Then they realized, “Well, we don’t really want to do that anymore.” So they would start having vigils outside and passing out leaflets.

Now, nothing. Nothing. There’s only one way they can work now: behind the scenes. They try to put pressure to not invite him because he’s this or he’s that. Behind the scenes they’re working very hard, but in the public arena—in the court of public opinion—they have vanished because it’s hopeless. How do you defend it?

They don’t like me, not because of my beliefs, they don’t like me because they know I’m going to have the facts. I read. I patiently go through all the reports. That’s what they fear. It’s not my politics because, as I said, my politics are not radical. It’s the facts. They’re in dread of that because there’s no defense anymore.

McConnell: How much are you speaking now on campuses?

Finkelstein: Quite a lot. Let’s put it this way: I could easily speak every day, if I were to accept every invitation, but it’s impossible because my forte is knowing the facts, which means I have to sit home and work. I have to read. I don’t want to become a rhetorical speaker. My effectiveness is mastering all of the data and being able to respond.

People ask me, “Why don’t you ever lose your cool? Why don’t you get angry? I get so angry.” I say, “Because the reason you get angry is frustration. You know what the other person is saying is not true, but you don’t know how to answer it. You don’t know the facts, and that’s where the anger and frustration come from.”

When you know how to answer it, you just sit very patiently. You’ll get your turn, and then you’ll answer. That’s why I can’t accept all the speaking engagements, because I’ve got to know the facts. Then we’ll be effective, and I still say we could win. John knows that, because I saw that you can have very big meetings at the University of Chicago, which has a very large Jewish population. There was one meeting where John and I were present, I don’t remember which one it was.

Mearsheimer: Yeah, it was during operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

Finkelstein: It must have been what? 1,500 people?

Mearsheimer: It was a huge audience. They turned away, I think, 800 people.

Finkelstein: And they can’t answer, the other side. There’s nothing. Nothing. And that’s what’s causing a lot of Jews—that’s, for me, what’s breaking up the whole support. It’s like—oh, what’s his name?—David Remnick said a few months ago. He said, “How long is this occupation going to go on?” He said, “I can’t take it anymore.” But what he really meant was, “I can’t justify it anymore.” How do you justify it?

Sources: Official website of Norman G. Finkelstein

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/greater-israel-or-peace/

Edited by: Debbie Menon


Veteran Journalist Robert Fisk Speaks–

About Sabra & Shatila massacre in this short clip:

Channel 4 News — Exclusive IDF Interview



Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Greater IsraHell—or Peace?

IsraHell Deal Gives Them Missle for US Threat

NOVANEWS

MOCK LAUNCH OF MEDIUM RANGE INDIAN MISSILE TO AMUSE THE PRESS

Russian Technology, Indian Built, Jericho 3 – Everything But Israeli

Deniability of Israel’s Illegal Nukes Now Totally Absurd

by Gordon Duff,  Senior Editor

A year and a half ago, I announced on Pakistani television that there was a deal between Israel and India that would provide 10 ICBMs to Israel, each capable of carrying 10 MIRV (Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles) warheads with a range of over 11,000 kilometers. 

India has leaked misleading information to the press about a new Surya missile with 8000 km range, based on combining liquid and solid fuel stages from various boosters from their military and space program.

Most noticeable of all is the silence.

America has said nothing.  Russia has said nothing though weapons of this class, whether Israel and India are aligned with Russia or America, would fall under the provisions of START 2.

Israel is said to possess 10 weapons, 100 warheads total. India is said to have built/purchased 10 times as many, enough to offset the balance set by START 2, were the US not constrained from broaching the subject.

Israeli Nuclear Core Model From Dimona – A Mordecia Vanunu Photo

Why? Because of an inability to prioritize national defense issues whenever Israel hits the “kill switch,” believed to be operated by the Israel/AIPAC lobby in Washington which many think has endangered America.

Their new weapons are, in fact, former Soviet inventory of reliable liquid fueled boosters capable of operating from mobile platforms.

Why reinvent the wheel?  Press “tales” of Indian efforts to produce an ICBM since 1994 though India has no potential use for such a system, certainly not against China, a nuclear power well beyond India’s scope, one capable of arming Pakistan and flanking India, making her strategic position less than hopeless, are pure rubbish.

These ICBMs are “show and tell,” to put supposed “muscle” behind the empty threats of Israel’s deteriorating position, her crumbling military and India’s inability to formulate any cohesive foreign policy. 

These are weapons, because of their MIRV capability, that are “disallowed” for use by Russia according to the provisions of START 2.  Platforms such as this, with multiple warheads on a single launcher are considered a liability when warhead numbers themselves are the limiting factor.

This configuration had become “unfavourable.” India is being suckered.

Thus, the stories of scientific advances out of India were just overshadowed as Israel took the center stage in releasing misleading technical information on a missile they never developed whose only possible purpose is the intercontinental delivery  of nuclear weapons they are not allowed to have against an ally that subsidized the weapons themselves.

America is being suckered.

(Gordon Duff on Truth Jihad Radio With Kevin Barrett)

Untitled from Gordon Duff on Vimeo.

All reporting, intelligence sites, think tanks, news organizations, all of it is either dated or childishly misleading. The partnership between Israel, India and Russia has been penetrated for years.  I have seen the documentation.

Russia, other than peddling oil, sees destabilizing military technologies as a way of offsetting America’s Bush era attempt at world dominance, a policy long put away by President Obama.

From Russia With Love – Cash Before Delivery Please

The missiles themselves were Russian designs, supplied to India in trade for American stealth technology supplied to India and Russia by Israel, technology stolen from the United States by groups that described themselves as “Jewish Defense” or “American Israeli.”

They are and always have been spy organizations.  This is the single worst kept secret in history.

The weapons themselves are, because of range, useless against any target except one, the United States.  They represent Israel and India’s promise of joining the new Greater Russia of Vladamir Putin.

Russia believes it is buying their loyalty by giving them a proverbial “penis transplant” as defense analysts see such things.

That the weapons themselves are totally useless is unimportant as the individual driving the effort, Netanyahu, has never been overburdened with an excess of good judgement.

This is just another of Netanyahu’s betrayal games. In fact, betrayal is his only game.

Israel “jumped ship” on its shaky alliance with the United States when President Obama took office, opting for an alignment with Russia, a nation that has been reassembling the old Soviet Union piece at a time.  That process has taken on a new vigor based on Russian anger at the US for flooding their streets with heroin from CIA sources in Afghanistan.

Israelis and American Zionists Want Traitor Pollard Freed

Israel had jumped before when Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, sent key NATO defense secrets to Israel who passed them to the Soviet Union, nearly bringing about World War III.

In response, Russia has prepared to move against, not just the “narco-transit” governments of the “Stans” but the Ukraine as well.  The “misunderstanding” with Georgia two years ago was but a “warm up” for what is to come.

Though theoretically under American protection, Russia has been sending technicians to Israel, many of them reportedly settling in the West Bank, areas seized from Palestinians who have held this land for centuries.

Israelis of Jewish heritage complain that their new Russian neighbors aren’t even Jews and arrive by the planeload.

Israel, along with Syria will represent, covertly for the present, a Russia outpost in the Middle East.

Though flanking NATO, blocking its growth and expansion is part of this, more importantly is the economic bloc planned.  Recent steps taken by Pakistan’s civilian government toward India are part of this.

An agreement protocol between Israel and Syria has existed for many years, threatened by Arab League moves against Syria this week.

A secondary protocol between Israel and religious and political factions in Iran were learned of over the past two weeks as was the presence of nuclear weapons from the Ukraine which Iran has held for years, a secret to very few it seems.

In response, America’s allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have approached China this week to purchase nuclear weapons.  Were one to believe Wikileaks, one would think both countries were fearful of Iran and under the relative control of the United States and its Israeli influenced government.

Is Bibi Netanyahu Mad? – or Really Mad?

To the contrary, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are increasingly suspicious of Israel, noting that Netanyahu, in response to “Arab Spring” uprisings has begun to seem unstable.

It is their believe he will be removed by the IDF or other “services” in Israel as is the tradition.  In case he isn’t, it is their belief that Israel is a genuine threat.

The biggest threats to Israel, those putting the most pressure on Netanyahu are from 3 directions.  President Obama has become increasingly hostile to Israel.

The French, as seen at the “Open Mike” incident at the G 20 conference also believe Netanyahu to have had a “break with reality.”

Only British Prime Minister Cameron has stuck with Netanyahu though private reports among his close associates indicate that his position has become threatened due to his alliance with Israel.

If history is to repeat itself, and it generally does, Russia is “cruising for a fall,” and not for the first time. 

Russian money has been pouring into Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe, buying land, homes, businesses  with foreign currency reserves they fear will be useless soon.

In the interim, Russia has been distancing itself from China.  Despite the phenomenal growth the west sees, China faces economic collapse.  As western markets deteriorate along with their currencies, China is left “holding the bag,” ramped up for economic growth in partnership with a world whose economies are contracting.

Inside Dimona – Israel’s Long Time Nuke Plant – Financed Indirectly by U.S. Taxpayers – Vanunu Photo

The Russian plan is simplistic in nature. 

They seek a society more feudal than socialist, surrounded by weak neighbors with an appetite for expensive weapons and a resistance to influences they mistakenly label “American” when the term “globalist” or “global/zionist” might be more accurate.

We wish them luck with that.

As for America, its “bestest friend in the whole world” is now targeting nuclear weapons at North America.

Israel, long a nuclear power, now feels it must join a club where the membership dues are a bit beyond them.

We wish them good luck with their new game as well, they will need it.

Editing:  Jim W. Dean

Dimona Nuke Plant – Satellite Photo – No Preemptive Attack on it Yet


Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on IsraHell Deal Gives Them Missle for US Threat

Dorothy Online Newsletter

 NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

 

Well, after long thought I forced myself to omit the items that are not below.  8 is enough, especially since this ‘Today in Palestine ’ seems to me to have more articles and reports than usual.  One can read only so much, even though all furnish important information.

 

Items 1 and 2 are on the same subject, but from different perspectives.  Both are about yesterday’s Freedom Riders.  Interestingly, yesterday only one of the 13 or so domestic and international on-line newspapers that I checked had a report on them–the Associated Press report in the Washington Post.  Today a good many newspapers carry depictions of the event.  Amira Hass writes from a viewpoint sympathetic to the Palestinian event.  The second one, a report by Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, is from the perspective of a participant.

 

Item 3, “ Ireland most hostile country in Europe ” is amusing to me, though not intended to be.  Pro-Palestinians are strong in Ireland .  Some apparently put up a simulation of a check point, and harassed and hit the ‘Palestinians” trying to go through.  The conclusion at the end of the report is that anti-Israel is anti-Semitic.  Very funny, because some years back a group of Israelis (I think the Coalition of Women, but am not sure) did the same in Tel Aviv in the square in front of the Cinematech.  I suppose that they—Israeli Jews—were also anti-Semitic!  More power to the Irish!

 

In item 4 Amira Hass claims that Netanyahu is less of a liar than were former PMs.  Whether or not she is correct, she does bring evidence to support her claim that remind us of what other PMs did.

 

Item 5 furnishes a new website that analyzes arms trade in Europe and Israel .

 

Item 6 reports that the US air force has received new 15-ton bunker buster bombs.  Scary!  Will the US furnish some of these to Israel to attack Iran ?  15-tons!!!!  Someone is making money on these slayer-demolishers!  How many people can one 15 ton bomb kill?  Scores, for sure!  Imagine that this money were used for schools, hospitals, and the like to benefit humanity instead of murdering it?  What a world this might be.

 

Item 7 is Today in Palestine .  Lots of information, including more on the freedom riders.

 

Item 8 is a gift from an activist friend in the US —a video of about 5-6 minutes that is powerful indeed.  The title is “Do Palestinians teach their children to hate.”  It is  not a lecture.  It is a poem recited by the poetess.  Don’t miss this one. 

 

All the best,

Dorothy

==============================

1.  Haaretz

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Palestinians embark on civil disobedience protests against ‘demographic segregation’

‘We have the right to reach Jerusalem . Why doesn’t a settler need an entry permit? We do not obey apartheid rules. We’re Palestinian, and this is Palestine ,’ protesters insisted.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/palestinians-embark-on-civil-disobedience-protests-against-demographic-segregation-1.395820

 

By Amira Hass

Tags: Palestinians IDF Jerusalem

 

Quite a large number of people awaited the no. 148 Egged bus that stopped in Kokhav Ya’akov junction on Tuesday afternoon. One could immediately recognize that these weren’t the regular passengers from the neighboring settlements.

 

“You can’t believe what’s going on here,” whispered one religious man into his cellular phone, “it’s unbelievable.” The man was obviously referring to the mob of journalists – with their multi-sized cameras, microphones and notepads – surrounding five men and a woman who were waiting at the station.

 

These were six Palestinians who decided to ride to Jerusalem on an Egged bus, that usually carries mostly settlers, without the required permits, and through the Hizmeh checkpoint, which is altogether off-limits for West Bank Palestinians.

 

This was the first in a series of civil disobedience actions planned to protest what the organizers call “demographic segregation,” which forbids Palestinians from reaching East Jerusalem, while allowing a two-tier transportation system in the West Bank : one for Israelis and one for Palestinians. The protestors were inspired by the American Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Riders, who boarded buses fifty years ago to protest segregation in the southern states.

 

“We’re part of the common human history of struggling for freedom,” said Basel al-Araj, a pharmacist from al-Wallaja. He was arrested six times during the demonstrations against the separation barrier which disconnects his village from its lands and neighboring Palestinian towns.

 

It seems that the security forces had no prior information about the event. A military jeep showed up after 20 minutes, before the Border Control, police and what seemed to be a settlement security vehicle arrived.

 

The Palestinian Freedom Riders assumed that the settlers would be violent. Badee’ Dwak, a social worker from Hebron , was the first to express his bewilderment, claiming that “the settlers here [near Ramallah] are quiet, not like ours in Hebron .”

 

Of the six, only Fadi Qurun – one of the Palestinian March 15th movement leaders – had never been arrested, except for a detention of several hours after a Nabi Saleh demonstration. “Being arrested is an integral part of our existence as Palestinians under Israeli occupation,” they said as they boarded the bus followed by an army of reporters, “We’re not special.”

 

The 15-minute ride until the Hizmeh checkpoint passed quietly. After they revealed a flag and some placards, one of the passengers swore at them. Dwak retorted, “You’re religious, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

 

A foreign reporter asked a passenger from Ofra for his opinion. He answered that Arabs could ride anywhere in the country, but Jews can’t drive to Ramallah. Other journalists explained to her that the speaker was Hagai Segal , who was part of the infamous Jewish Underground in the eighties.

 

At Hizmeh checkpoint policemen demanded that two of the riders get off the bus, but they refused. The next effort came after the settlers descended, in a parking lot. Policeman dragged Dwak to the steps of the bus, but then left without him. Police officers, of different ranks came and went. Some of them threatened the six, and others pleaded with them.

 

Huwaida Arraf, a lawyer and one of the six Freedom Riders on the bus, offered the officers the “honorary passport” she received from the Palestinians for taking part in the Gaza flotilla last year. They didn’t know they were arresting an Israeli and U.S. citizen.

 

Up until they were arrested and dragged away, the the Freedom Riders insisted: “We have the right to reach Jerusalem . Why doesn’t a settler need an entry permit? We do not obey apartheid rules. We’re Palestinian, and this is Palestine .”

——————

2.  From Dr. Mazin Qumsyieh

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 

Honored to be a “Freedom Rider”

http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2011/11/honored-as-freedom-rider.html

 

I was honored to be a freedom rider and it was team effort at its best (those who rode and the many who worked behind the scenes).  Two other Palestinians were also arrested with us who were there as a reporters/observers not participants. All eight of us were released eventually pending potential trials. Fajr kindly gave us a ride to the edge of Beit Sahour from Ramallah (we were released at Qalandia checkpoint) where my wife met us there with my car and then she and I gave a ride to Nadim and Badi’ to Hebron .  I thus arrived home at 1 :30 AM and the phones started ringing again at 7 AM.  I am extremely tired and with a headache but wanted to send you a brief report and links to stories about this amazing and inspiring experience. While released, we are still charged with “illegal entry to Jerusalem ” and with “obstructing police business” pending potential trial. 

 

This was one of the most heavily covered media events I ever participated in.  It was also streamed live on the internet and nearly 100,000 people signed a petition of support for us freedom riders (https://secure.avaaz.org/en/palestine_freedom_riders/?aerQkcb). Thus, I do not need to write to you in detail about how three buses refused to let us board and then one driver (who later told journalists he did not know what was going on otherwise would have also refused) allowed us on the bus and what happened on and off the bus.  Below are some links to stories published that give you a taste of this. Note especially the signs that we carried and showed before we rode the bus and from the windows of the bus (I am the one with the “DIGNITY” sign).  Perhaps I will write more personally when my mind is clearer and I have had some sleep. But there are two anecdotes that happened that are kind of unusual and funny and in some way worth telling while they are fresh in my mind:

 

-They took me to the Shabak (“Israeli intelligence”) guy before they took me to the investigator for the bus issue.  The Shabak guy did not ask me about the bus at all.  He introduced himself as head of the Shabak area of Ramallah (and previously of Nablus and Jenin).  He asked me if I was abroad recently.  I said yes.  He said what happened when you came back.  I said I was interrogated at the bridge.  He said “come-on interrogating is a big word”. I said I do not know what else to call an 8 hour delay including 2 hours of actual questioning.  He said what else they told you.  I said that the interrogation would continue and that there is a captain “Suhail” or “Suhaib” or something like that who will call me later.  He said that that it is him and his name is “Shihab”!  I said “well then maybe we will save another visit”! He told me that is not likely as I seem to continue to “cause problems and violate laws”. I said there is something called international laws and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Denial of freedom of movement and entry to Jerusalem while allowing colonial settlers to live on our land and have freedom to travel in and out of Jerusalem on segregated buses is a violation of the International Convention Against the Crime of Apartheid. We also engaged in a political discussion and I explained about why Israel now has no incentive for peace ( the three main sources of income for it would all dry up if there is peace) and my views of a democratic, pluralistic country for its entire people.

 

-One young Ashkenazi soldier was very arrogant and even called me “Professor Teez” (Teez is Arabic for “ass”).  We all (freedom riders) laughed it off and I told him that I did not insult him and that when someone insults me they demean themselves first.   When he repeated it after my interrogation by the Shabak, I stood up and confronted him and the Druz officer intervened and the soldier moved away. There were other incidents with other people similar showing that our collective attitude was strong, defiant, and resilient.  We all had Palestinian Kuffiyyas and kept wearing them.  Fadi even wrapped himself in the Palestinian flag the whole time except when they did the full body search.  We have some video from inside the compound which I will share later.

 

I came out to find the news that the Zionist mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg ordered the clearing out of the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters for now; a very important protest *.  But my reading of history and trends tell me that the global intifada will only accelerate as a result of repression by the powers to be.

 

Freedom Riders odyssey:

http://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-arrests-freedom-riders-challenging-apartheid-road-system/10595#.TsNplD3z3qE

http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_freedom_riders/?cl=1388878149&v=11131

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=245717 (there is a picture here of me being taken off of the bus)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/15/1036888/-We-Shall-Overcome-A-Photo-Diary-of-Todays-Freedom-Riders?via=sidebar

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/11/israel-palestinians-freedom-riders.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/activestills

http://www.europalestine.com/spip.php?article6642&var_mode=calcul

http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/follow-the-freedom-rides.html

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/palestinians-embark-on-civil-disobedience-protests-against-demographic-segregation-1.395820

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15744576

http://theonlydemocracy.org/2011/11/statement-of-the-palestinian-freedom-riders/

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/14/177154.html (Arabic)

 

*Arundhati Roy: Occupy Wall Street is “So Important Because It is in the Heart of Empire”

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/15/arundhati_roy_occupy_wall_street_is

 

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a village at home

Qumsiyeh.org

 

====================

3.  Ynet

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 

 Anti-Israel protest outside Israeli Embassy building in Dublin  

 

    ‘ Ireland most hostile country in Europe ‘

Foreign Ministry accuses Irish government of inciting against Israel . Dublin City Council sponsors display presenting IDF soldiers as ‘Nazi troops’ abusing Palestinians

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4149059,00.html

 

Itamar Eichner

 

Hatred of Israel reaches new levels in Ireland : An outrageous anti-Israel display was held over the weekend on Dublin ‘s main pedestrian street, presenting IDF soldiers as Nazi troops. 

 

As part of the display, sponsored by the Dublin City Council, a group of pro-Palestinian activists set up a model of the separation fence and an IDF roadblock. 

 

The activists dressed up as soldiers and beat, humiliated and pointed their weapons at other activists dressed as Palestinians, in front of thousands of Irish citizens and tourists. 

 

The display joins accusations voiced against Israel at the Irish parliament last week, on the backdrop of claims that Israel “kidnapped”, abused and undressed Irish nationals who took part in a Gaza-bound flotilla stopped by the Israeli army recently. 

 

Israel has strongly denied the accusations. 

 

But that’s not all. A Facebook group launched about two months ago called for heavy rocks to be thrown at the Israeli Embassy building in Dublin . Anti-Israel elements recently vandalized a Dublin auditorium slated to host a concert by Israeli singer Izhar Ashdot. 

 

The Facebook accounts of Israeli Embassy officials have been attacked by Irish hackers and, in addition, anti-Israeli elements are attempting to disrupt an Israeli film festival organized by the embassy in Dublin next week.

 

“The Irish government is feeding its people with anti-Israel hatred,” an Israeli official argued. “What we are seeing here is clear anti-Semitism.” 

 

Foreign Ministry sources said Ireland had undoubtedly become the most hostile country to Israel in the European Union, “pushing all of Europe ‘s countries to a radical and uncompromising approach.”

 

According to the sources, when Israeli Ambassador Boaz Modai arrived in Dublin , one of Ireland ‘s leading newspapers greeted him with an article titled, “Welcome to hell.” 

 

The officials voiced their concern that the pressures would lead to the cancelation of the Israeli film festival.

=====================

4.  Haaretz

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 

Netanyahu is less of a liar than past Israeli PMs

Merkel, Sarkozy and Obama, do not believe Netanyahu, but it seems that they and their governments are pissed off at him because he’s not as good a liar as his predecessors in the Prime Minister’s Office.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/netanyahu-is-less-of-a-liar-than-past-israeli-pms-1.395844

 

By Amira Hass

Tags : Benjamin Netanyahu

 

Does Benjamin Netanyahu lie more than other politicians? That, at least, is the impression one gets from various reports in the press. But does he lie more than other prime ministers about Israel ‘s strong (lack of ) desire for peace with the Palestinians? To say that would be downright mendacious.

 

The mouth speaks peace while the hand drives the bulldozer – the essence of Israeli policy. Yitzhak Rabin may have had a few slips of the tongue that gave hope to those of us who recoil from yoking God and real estate together. But it was during Rabin’s second term that the bypass roads to the settlements were built, making Psagot and the Etzion Bloc part of Jerusalem . It was during his watch that Hebron was punished with a ruinous curfew because a Jew massacred Palestinian worshippers. It was during his tenure that the closure policy was perfected, cutting off the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and in the Gaza Strip from the other territories occupied in 1967. Succeeding Israeli governments merely continued down the same slope.

 

The characterization of Netanyahu as a liar rests on two problematic assumptions. One, that consciously-chosen words are supposed to tell us something about intentions and policies. There is no area where Israel has used declarations by leaders to cover up intentions more than in our relations toward Palestinians (on both sides of the Green Line ). Contracts with architects, expropriation orders, checks to contractors. These are the words that speak the truth.

 

The second assumption is that the prime minister is the one who makes the decisions. But when it comes to our attitude toward Palestinians, the democracy, for Jews, is paramount. Every prime minister was and is the loyal representative of the decisions of the majority of the Jewish public and their pockets. The majority that went to watch the air strikes on the Gaza Strip from a nearby hill and fills Mann Auditorium, the one that relaxes in parks that used to be Palestinian villages and stands to attention during the Holocaust Day siren. It’s not mathematical gymnastics that give Netanyahu’s coalition its stability.

 

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama, we are told, do not believe Netanyahu. But it seems that they and their governments are pissed off at him because he’s not as good a liar as his predecessors in the Prime Minister’s Office. They’re angry because he doesn’t bother to cover up the gap between the words and the bulldozers. It makes it harder for them to conceal the falsehood in U.S. and European policy. A policy which supposedly seeks peace in the region and a state for the Palestinians; in practice, one that collaborates with Israel ‘s aim to impose a capitulation arrangement on the Palestinians.

 

Netanyahu is lying? On its website, the OECD states: “The common thread of our work is a shared commitment to market economies backed by democratic institutions and focused on the wellbeing of all citizens.” Those who admitted Israel as a member knew that featured among the institutions backing its market economy are the Civil Administration, the Interior Ministry and the Jewish National Fund. Any resemblance between them and democracy and the well-being of all citizens is purely coincidental.

 

A major explanation for the lie can be found in the truthful words of Andrew Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. “Israeli technology is proving critical to improving our Homeland Security and protecting our troops,” he said on November 4 in remarks to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

 

And what’s true for the United States is also true for its European allies. “[Jo]int exercises allow us to learn from Israel ‘s experience in urban warfare and counterterrorism,” Shapiro said – and without the occupation there would be no urban warfare.

 

There’s more: “[W]e don’t provide assistance out of charity. We provide assistance because it benefits our security … we support Israel because it is in our national interests to do so.” So who would get caught up in trifles like exercising the Palestinians’ right to self-determination?

====================

5.  Forwarded by Ruth Hiller

 

http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/who-is-arming-israel-website-7571?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bdsmovement+%28Palestinian+BDS+National+Committee%29&utm_content=Twitter


What is BDS?The call for BDSApartheid, colonisation and occupationNEWSANALYSISSTATEMENTSCAMPAIGNS

 

Academic BoycottConsumer BoycottCultural BoycottDivestmentSanctionsAgrexcoMilitary EmbargoDerail Veolia and AlstomJNFTrade UnionsRESOURCES

 

DownloadsNewsletterVideosBDS Book by Omar BarghoutiBNCNews

Website launch – Who is arming Israel ?

Posted on July 11, 2011 by http://disarmtheconflict.wordpress.com/

Amsterdam/Antwerp/Brussels July 11, 2011 — Today Campagne tegen Wapenhandel, Vredesactie and Quaker Council for European Affairs launched a website analysing arms trade and military relations between Europe and Israel . The website gives information about the nature and extent of these relations and about relevant arms trade regulations.

As an important economic partner of Israel , Europe could use its position to promote a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is no military solution to this conflict.

The website is work in progress and people are invited to contribute their information on research results, campaigns and policy developments concerning military relations between Europe and Israel .

You can find the site on

http://disarmtheconflict.wordpress.com/

Please react to disarmtheconflict@gmail.com

 

This entry was posted in News and tagged Campagne tegen Wapenhandel, QCEA, Vredesactie. Bookmark the permalink. Related Campaigns: Military Embargo Latest News & Analysis

■European anti-arms trade network endorses international call for Israel arms embargo

■Website launch – Who is arming Israel ?

■U.S. Coalition Contributes to Global Military Embargo on Israel

■Irish Congress of Trade Unions Maintains Commitment to BDS and Moves Policy Forward

■Palestinian civil society calls for military embargo of Israel

Related Military Embargo Articles

■Leadership of Palestinian boycott campaign responds to new law

■European anti-arms trade network endorses international call for Israel arms embargo

■Website launch – Who is arming Israel ?

■U.S. Coalition Contributes to Global Military Embargo on Israel

■Palestinian civil society calls for military embargo of Israel
======================

6.  Haaretz

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 

Report: U.S. Air Force receives new 15-ton bunker buster bombs

U.S. Air Force started receiving the massive bombs in September, Bloomberg news agency reports; the bombs are capable of destroying underground targets, such as Iran ‘s nuclear sites.  [bigger and stronger does not mean better. Dorothy]

 

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-u-s-air-force-receives-new-15-ton-bunker-buster-bombs-1.395920


By Haaretz

Tags: Iran Iran threat Iran US Iran nuclear

 

The U.S. Air Force has received new 30,000-pound bombs capable of destroying deep underground bunkers, the Bloomberg news agency reported.

 

The bombs, designed to be delivered by B-2 stealth bombers, “will meet requirements for the current operational need,” U.S. Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller said in a statement to Bloomberg.

 

The U.S. Air Force reportedly started receiving the bombs in September. The bombs are six times bigger than the U.S. Air Force’s current bunker-busters.

 

According to the Bloomberg report, the Boeing company in August received a $32 million contract for eight of the bombs.

 

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran rose recently after the release of an IAEA report that found that Iran has been working on developing nuclear weapons since 2003.

 

The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out conducting military strikes against Iran ‘s nuclear facilities, some of  which are located in fortified underground locations.

================

7.  Today in Palestine

November 15, 2011

 

http://www.theheadlines.org/11/15-11-11.shtml

 

============================

8.  Forwarded by Alice Diane Kisch

“Do Palestinians teach their children to hate?”

The amazingly talented Canadian-Palestinian spoken word poet, Rafeef Ziadah, answers this question on November 12, 2011 on a 5-minute video athttp://pulsemedia.org/2011/11/16/do-palestinians-teach-their-children-to-hate/

 

###

 

Alice Diane Kisch

San Francisco Bay Area , USA

 

“Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera.”

      [You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.]

                  Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

 

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Dorothy Online Newsletter

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter


What 9/11 has allowed America to become

16 Nov 2011

Sigh:

What happens when a government builds a massive, unaccountable police apparatus to thwart infiltration by a foreign menace, only to see the society it’s supposed to protect take to the streets for entirely different reasons?

It looks as though we may be about to find out. The Occupy protests have been mostly peaceful, with a few fairly dramatic exceptions. But the sight of a huge police presence in riot gear is always startling, and tactics that have been honed in Europe (such as “kettling”) against anarchist actions have not been as common in the United States as elsewhere. More standard forms of crowd control, such as the aggressive use of pepper spray and “rubber” bullets have so far been the outer limits of the police use of force. But it is hardly the outer limits of the possibilities.

The US has actually been militarising much of its police agencies for the better part of three decades, mostly in the name of the drug war. But 9/11 put that programme on steroids.

Arundhati Roy on #Occupy challenging heart of the empire

16 Nov 2011

 

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

Bachmann : Iraq Should Pay ‘Several Million Dollars Per US Soldier Killed In Iraq

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

By Ian Millhiser

In an interview this morning with Meet the Press’ David Gregory, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) repeated her claim that the Iraq should pay America for the privilege of having their nation invaded and occupied for most of the last decade — and then doubled down by calling for Iraq to pay millions of dollars for each American killed in that country:

It’s over 800 billion dollars that we have expended [in Iraq]. I believe that Iraq should pay us back for the money that we spent, and I believe that Iraq should pay the families that lost a loved one several million dollars per life, I think at minimum.

It’s important to understand exactly what kind of burden Iraq has already shouldered because of our presence there. Iraq did not ask to be invaded by the United States, and the Iraqi people have wanted American forces out of their country for a very long time. Estimates on the number of Iraqi civilian casualties due to our presence in Iraq vary from just under 35,000 to well into the hundreds of thousands, according to a 2008 Congressional Research Service report, but there is little question that tens of thousands more Iraqis would still be alive today if not for our decision to invade their country.

The families of these Iraqi men, women, and children suffer just as deeply as the families of the nearly five thousand American and other coalition troops who died in this unnecessary war. If the families of people who died in the Iraq war require compensation, than the Iraqi victims have at least as strong a claim to compensation as the Americans who died in this ill-conceived invasion.

Bachmann’s broader proposal would also add a crushing fiscal burden to these casualties and to the already staggering cost of rebuilding Iraq’s many destroyed cities and towns. In 2010, Iraq’s entire gross domestic product was only about $82 billion per year. So requiring the Iraqi people to pay the over $800 billion Bachmann claims they owe us would mean that every single Iraqi man, woman and child would have to turn over every single penny they earn from now until about 2021.

The Iraq war is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for the American and other coalition troops who died in a war that never should have occurred in the first place. It is a tragedy for the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians who lost their lives to our invasion, and it is a tragedy for the millions of Iraqis who now have to pick up the pieces in their war torn nation. Bachmann’s proposal to ignore the suffering of the Iraqi people and force every single Iraqi into a decade of serfdom would only compound this tragedy.

RELATED–

Cain, Bachmann want to reinstate waterboarding

Republican presidential hopefuls Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann both say they would reinstate waterboarding during interrogations of suspected terrorists, while rivals Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman both say they see the procedure as torture.

The GOP contenders split Saturday night over whether waterboarding would be an effective tool.

Cain says he doesn’t support torture, but he says he would trust military leaders to determine what that means. He says he would return to waterboarding because he doesn’t see it as torture.

Bachmann says she supports it, while Paul says it is illegal.

Huntsman says waterboarding diminishes U.S. standing in the world and undercuts the nation’s values.

GOP contender Mitt Romney wasn’t directly asked about the issue but adds he would use whatever means necessary to protect America.

Posted in USAComments Off on Bachmann : Iraq Should Pay ‘Several Million Dollars Per US Soldier Killed In Iraq

Nuclear Pots Call Iranian Kettle Black

NOVANEWS

 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Eric Margolis

Here we go again. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) long awaited, much ballyhooed report on Iran’s nuclear activities has been thunderously greeted in North America as conclusive evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons.

Tehran has long denied such claims. So, more tellingly, did a 2007 US combined intelligence assessment that rudely pulled out the rug from under the feet of the Bush-era neocons who were trying to engineer war with Iran. Now, they are back, in full fulmination mode.

There’s little new in this IAEA report, and a lot of déjà vu. We read the old story floating around since 2002 about a mysterious laptop stolen from Iran and passed to US intelligence. It allegedly contains scientific material about explosive compression methods to trigger a nuclear explosion, and designs to shrink nuclear warheads to fit in missile nosecones.

The UN and western powers say this stolen computer’s contents conclusively proves Iran has violated the UN’s non-proliferation treaty, to which Tehran is a signatory. Israel and its American partisans are raising a hue and cry about an impending nuclear attack on the Jewish state by Iran’s “crazy” leaders.

Iran says the laptop was concocted by Israel’s intelligence agency, which has been busy trying to sabotage Tehran’s enrichment plants and murdering Iranian scientists.

Speaking of crazy, as we saw during last week’s debates, Republicans are baying for war against Iran, seemingly heedless of the political, financial or economic risks involved. Israel, they chorus, is in mortal danger. For the Republican right, Israel often seems to be a more important issue than the United States.

But they don’t explain why Iran would risk nuclear evaporation from Israel’s mighty air, land and sea-based nuclear forces to launch a few nuclear weapons (which they may not even have, and which may or may not work) at Israel. Suicide is not high on Iran’s priority list.

A new element in the UN is the claim that a Russian scientist who supposedly worked on Iranian nuclear weapons explosive technology has defected and revealed all to western intelligence.

But investigative journalists now assert that the scientist may actually have worked in Russia on explosive technology to produce industrial diamonds, not nuclear weapons. This would be very embarrassing for Washington’s war party and for media agitating for war against Iran.

Remember “Curveball,” the key Iraqi defector whose phony claims were the basis for the US invasion of Iraq? Well, could this Russian scientist turn out to be “Curveballski? “

Last week, Israel launched a new missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead anywhere in Iran and Pakistan. Israel’s German-supplied submarines lie off Iran’s coast, ready to launch nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, again claimed last week that Iran was about to deploy nuclear weapons and threatened war. But Israel’s respected former Mossad intelligence chief, Meir Dagan, warned striking Iran would be a “stupid idea.”

In 1992, Natanyahu claimed Iran would have nuclear weapons in 3-5 years. Shimon Peres, now Israel’s president, insisted Iran would have nukes by 1999.

In 1995, the New York Times claimed Iran was only 5 years from nuclear weapons. In 1998, US Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld claimed Iran was fielding a nuclear-armed ICBM that could hit the United States.

And so it has gone, a steady drumbeat of false claims.

This war hysteria comes on the heels of US charges of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington, a claim laughed at by many Mideast experts.

In fact, it’s possible the US FBI mixed up Iranians: the plot’s alleged mastermind may not have been a member of Iran’s elite military forces at all but of the violently anti-Tehran Marxist People’s Mujahidin, which Washington still calls a terrorist organization even though it is now in bed with the pro-Israel Republican hard right and Israel.

The IAEA tried to buttress its shaky claims against Iran by insisting, “nine other nations came to the same conclusion about Tehran’s covert nuclear efforts.” We heard the exact same refrain in 2002-2003 from Washington over its false claims about Iraq’s non-existent weapons.

In fact, thanks to routine US intelligence sharing programs, faked documents about Iraq’s nuclear efforts were fed to other NATO members. Based on such forgeries, some of these nations concluded Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The same process is now happening over Iran’s alleged weapons program.

Washington has long worked to make the UN the “soft” arm of US foreign policy. The US is the UN’s biggest contributor; it pays 25.8% of the costs of the IAEA and has put its own men in positions of influence. Even so, the latest UN reports hedges conclusions with words like “suggests” and “appears.”

If Iran is indeed trying to produce nuclear weapons – and it has good reasons for wanting them – why has it taken so long?

Initial work on nuclear weapons began in Iran the 1970’s under the Shah. Ironically, Israel was to supply Iran missiles and nuclear warheads. That’s four decades ago.

South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan, and Switzerland could all produce a nuclear device within six months of making the decision to do so. A decade ago, I saw a plan for a nuclear weapon in Japan’s defense ministry.

Two decades ago, the director general of Pakistan’s intelligence service, ISI, told me that Iran had offered to pay for Pakistan’s entire defense budget for ten years in exchange for its nuclear weapons technology. Pakistan, said the ISI chief, refused.

If Iran really wanted nuclear weapons 20 years ago, why on earth has it taken so long to develop a 1940’s technology?

There’s no mystery to making nuclear weapons. Either Iran really ceased work on nuclear arms technology in the early 1990’s, as US National Intelligence Estimate says, or else- my view- there is a furious, long-going debate inside Iran’s ruling party over whether or not to acquire nuclear weapons.

Iran’s paramount leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is also commander of Iran’s armed forces, issued a fatwa, or religious decree, banning nuclear weapons.

Even so, in theory, Iran has some pretty strong reasons for wanting nuclear weapons for defensive purposes – the same reason used by existing nuclear powers, Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

In 1941, the British Empire and Soviet Union invaded Iran to grab its oil fields, an aggression every bit as wanton and illegal as German’s 1939 invasion of Poland. They installed a puppet regime in Tehran.

In 1953, US and British intelligence overthrew Iran’s democratic leader, Mohammed Mossadegh, for trying to nationalize the nation’s oil and use profits there from for social projects. After the west put Shah Pahlevi back on the peacock throne, the US worked with the notoriously brutal Savak secret police to crush all dissent.

After revolution erupted in 1979, bringing to power an Islamic regime that vowed to devote the nation’s oil wealth to social projects, the US and Britain got Saddam, Hussein’s Iraq to invade Iran. After eight years of bloody trench warfare, in which Iraq was financed and armed by the western powers and their Arab oil allies, Iran suffered at least 500,000 casualties. Iran’s western cities were laid waste. Iraq showered poison and burning gas on the Iranians that was supplied by the western powers.

In Baghdad, I found British scientists who had been sent by Her Majesty’s government to fabricate germ weapons for Iraq. The germ feeder stocks originated from the United States.

Iran is surrounded by potentially hostile neighbors, all lusting for her vast oil and gas deposits. If France or Britain or India can have nukes for self-defense, then why not Iran? I’m surprised Iran has not raced to develop nuclear weapons long ago. A few even crude bombs would likely keep outside powers from attacking Iran.

What’s so crazy about all this is that Israel has a very large arsenal of nuclear and bio-warfare weapons while Iran remains under intense UN nuclear inspection.

The big nuclear powers – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France – are in violation of the 1995 UN nuclear non-proliferation treaty that mandated eliminating all nuclear weapons within five years. The US and Britain are planning to modernize their nuclear forces; the US is helping India build its large nuclear arsenal. No one in Washington dare’s even mention Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

So talk about the nuclear pots calling the Iranian kettle black.

Eric Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.

Posted in IranComments Off on Nuclear Pots Call Iranian Kettle Black

ADL: Archbishop’s remarks ‘disparaging’

NOVANEWS

 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Leader of Catholic Church in Port of Spain reportedly likens politicians in Trinidad and Tobago to Jews, suggesting ‘they have the mindset of the original Jewish people’

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is deeply disturbed by “disparaging remarks” about Judaism from Archbishop Edward Gilbert, the leader of the Catholic Church in the Port of Spain, who reportedly likened politicians in Trinidad and Tobago to Jews and suggested that “they have the mindset of the original Jewish people.”

Archbishop Gilbert was reported to have made the remarks during a Jubilee Mass held October 24 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in San Fernando to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Roman Catholic mission there.

“The Jews were compassionate and caring for their own, they were compassionate and caring to the people of their nation, to the people of their race, to the people of their ethnic communities. However, that wasn’t enough for Jesus. Jesus took that teaching and universalized it,” Archbishop Gilbert told his congregation, according to a news report.

“In many cases in this country, there are people who love one another, who are compassionate, but they have the mindset of the original Jewish people. They are good to their own … but they have not universalized the concept of love.”

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said the archbishop’s statements as reported were “a disturbing repackaging of ancient anti-Jewish canards and supersessionist beliefs.

“Archbishop Gilbert devalues Judaism over and against Christianity,” said Foxman. “The false notion that Jews only care about themselves and don’t care enough about others is one of the major pillars of classical anti-Semitism.

“While the Catholic Church has made tremendous strides in countering anti-Jewish notions such as the belief that the advent of Christianity superseded Judaism, Archbishop Gilbert’s statements show that he has not internalized the important reforms of Vatican II.”

Posted in Politics1 Comment

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