Archive | July 14th, 2012

Dershowitz: J Street’s position on Iran takes it out of the pro-Israel camp

NOVANEWS

“You can’t call yourself pro-Israeli and not want the American military option kept open.”

timesofisrael.com

American law professor and prominent pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz has accused the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” American lobby group J Street of “totally undercutting American policy toward Iran,” and of misrepresenting the views of prominent Israelis over thwarting Iran.

J Street, he charged, can no longer be considered a pro-Israel organization. He said it had shown itself to be “unilaterally opposed to keeping America’s military option on the table,” and that “You can’t call yourself pro-Israeli and not want the American military option kept open.”

J Street, in response, accused Dershowitz of “attacking positions we have not taken.”

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Dershowitz also said he recently met for 45 minutes one-on-one with US President Barack Obama to discuss Iran, and that the president was adamant about preventing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapons option. He said he was confident that Obama “means it when he says the military option is on the table,” that the president had asked him to communicate his position to Israel’s leaders, and that he had done so.

Dershowitz said his own views on Israeli settlement policy and on the two-state solution “are closer to J Street in many ways,” but that the lobby group’s position on Iran had taken it out of the pro-Israel camp.

‘The Iranians and others think that J Street speaks for Obama. This makes it look as though Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth’

J Street “began as an organization to support President Obama’s views on Israel. Indeed, some people think it was created to give President Obama cover to be more critical of Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank,” Dershowitz told The Times of Israel in the telephone interview this week. “It has now continued on a path toward undercutting America’s and Israel’s policy on Iran.”

Elaborating, Dershowitz said J Street was “unique” among ostensibly pro-Israel Jewish organizations “in that it is unilaterally opposed to keeping America’s military option on the table, and that undercuts the entire American policy.”

Obama’s stated position, he noted, is that “it’s not the military option that is off the table, but containment that is off the table. J Street is undercutting this. And they totally misquote Israelis in support of their position.”

Dershowitz pointed to J Street’s website, which states, on a page headed “Iran,” that “like many American and Israeli security experts, we believe that a military strike against Iran would be ill advised… We therefore oppose legislation authorizing, encouraging, or in other ways laying the groundwork for the use of military force against Iran.”

The page links to a second J Street page, headed, “What The Experts Are Saying On Iran,” which quotes statements made, among others, by former Mossad chiefs Meir Dagan and Efraim Halevy, two figures who were selected, said Dershowitz, to create the impression that they believed the American military option should be off the table.

In fact, said Dershowitz, “I spoke personally to Efraim Halevy and he insists that the American military option must be left on the table. He opposes Israel going it alone.”

As for Dagan, said Dershowitz, “he says the American military option must always be on the table with regard to Iran but it must always be the last resort.”

Dershowitz said he met recently with Obama for a one-to-one discussion of Iran that lasted some 45 minutes. There are some differences between the American and Israeli red lines, Dershowitz said, “but America has a red line which if crossed will have consequences for Iran. J Street undercuts the credibility [of that Obama position]. The Iranians and others think that J Street speaks for Obama. This makes it look as though Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth — to J Street and to me.”

Dershowitz said that by “explicitly undercutting Obama on Iran,” it actually “makes it more likely that Israel will have to go alone. As George Washington said a long time ago, the best way to preserve peace is to be ready for war, and that’s been the Obama policy.” For J Street to undercut it and misrepresent prominent Israelis’ positions on it, he said, “takes it out of the pro-Israel camp. I don’t think it’s debatable that J Street is pro-Israel. It is not.”

He stressed that the organization has every right to its views, every right to lobby for them, and every right to send out speakers in support of them. But “it has no right to mislead people and call itself pro-Israel.”

Dershowitz said he believed most J Street supporters have “no idea” of the position the lobby group holds on Iran. “Most supporters think of J Street as young, sexy, very pro-Zionist and very pro-Israel, and that they are opposed to Likud’s policy of expanding the settlements. That’s the perception of J Street. That’s a false perception.”

Dershowitz also criticized J Street for failing to condemn the Goldstone report for its false conclusion that Israel deliberately targeted civilians in Gaza in 2008-9. “J Street wouldn’t condemn [Goldstone] and even arranged for Goldstone to meet with Congressional staffers,” he said. He also noted that “only J Street [of ostensibly pro-Israel groups] uniquely urged the United States to condemn Israel at the Security Council over settlements, when the US instead vetoed an anti-settlement resolution in February 2011. But it was the lobby group’s position on Iran that most troubled him, he stressed.

In response, J Street’s Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami said it was “time for Alan Dershowitz to stop putting words in J Street’s mouth and attacking positions we have not taken.”

J Street, said Ben-Ami, “supports the President’s approach toward Iran, combining robust sanctions and international diplomacy. We also share the President’s deep concern over those who are irresponsibly beating the drums of war with Iran for political gain. It is sad that one of Israel’s most passionate advocates persists in defaming an organization that has raised the voice of nearly 200,000 Americans in defense of Israel’s Jewish character and democracy.”

Ben-Ami added: “We do not accept that it’s up to Alan Dershowitz to determine who is in and who is out of the pro-Israel tent. I think it’s safe to say that a large part of our community is eager for new counsel.”

Personally, Dershowitz said, he does not believe that sanctions alone will force Iran to halt its nuclear program. “The only way to stop Iran is with a completely credible military threat. There has to be an absolutely clear message: You will not be permitted [to develop a nuclear option]. If you cross the red line, there will be military action.”

He said he did not agree with the assertion that, if all else fails, a resort to military action would merely delay Iran two or three years and would prompt the Iranians to intensify their efforts. The message to Iran has to be, he said, that “if you then rebuild, then in two or three years you will face another military attack, and another two or three years later. Whatever it takes. One or two or three or four. No boots on the ground. Just a form of aerial attack. I think if you set them back three years, every three years, that’s pretty good,” he said.

He noted that the expectation, when Israel struck Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osiraq in 1981, was that it would only set back the Iraqis a few years. “They never restarted.” Similarly after Israel’s strike in Syria in 2007, “there’s no indication that they restarted.”

‘Most supporters think of J Street as young, sexy, very pro-Zionist and very pro-Israel, and that they are opposed to Likud’s policy of expanding the settlements. That’s the perception of J Street. That’s a false perception’

Said Dershowitz: “I don’t buy the argument that says you’ll only set them back three years and you’ll encourage them to move forward. A credible policy of never allowing Iran to develop a nuclear option, combined with sanctions, has a realistic chance. The Iranians have to believe it. The Israelis have to believe it. If not, Israel is not going to leave her fate in the hands of any American president. No Israeli government [would do so], unless it is absolutely certain the American military option is a real one.”

Asked about the content of his conversation with Obama, Dershowitz quoted the president saying on Iran, “Alan, I know you understand this, and the world has to understand this: I don’t bluff. And the Iranians better understand that when I say containment is not an option, I mean it.”

Dershowitz said that for Obama to reach the position he holds “took a lot of doing.” He said he believes CIA chief David Petraeus and former defense secretary Robert Gates favored containment, and that there were indications that Vice President Joe Biden did too. “The president took containment off the table.”

He said Obama had chosen to speak to him because the two had known each other for a long time, and because “I have a certain credibility with the Israeli leadership.” He said of Obama, “I believe him. I do believe him” as regards Iran. “I am confident that he means it when he says the military option is on the table.”

He said the president had asked him to communicate his position to the Israeli leadership, and he had done so. I don’t think he [Obama] wants to use military force,” he stressed. “[Prime Minister] Netanyahu doesn’t. No one does.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Dershowitz: J Street’s position on Iran takes it out of the pro-Israel camp

Ya’alon demands US toughen stance on Iran

NOVANEWS

jpost.com

The United States must do more to show Iran it is serious about curtailing its nuclear ambitions because the current pressure is not working, Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon said on Thursday.

Ya’alon also fired a warning at the terrorist Hezbollah movement in neighboring Lebanon, saying the Shi’ite group would be crushed if it tried to attack Israel at the behest of Tehran in any future war.

“As long they perceive this, they don’t feel like they are under pressure. That is a pity,” said Ya’alon, who is also Israel’s minister of strategic affairs.

“It is up to the United States to try to change this perception in Iran. This is crucial,” he told Reuters, adding that Iran would top the agenda during Clinton’s visit on July 15 and 16 — her first trip here in almost two years.

Western powers believe Iran is developing technology to build nuclear weapons and have imposed an increasingly tough regime of economic sanctions to make it reverse course.

Iran insists its atomic program is peaceful and has shrugged off the latest round of sanctions, with a European Union embargo on Iranian crude oil taking full effect on July 1.

“We’ve witnessed the impact of the sanctions in Iran, but up until now the regime prefers to suffer rather than give up its military nuclear capabilities,” Ya’alon said, adding that the time had come to introduce “really crippling sanctions.”

Reputed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, Israel has threatened to resort to force if it deems diplomatic and economic means are failing. Ya’alon repeated the threat, but made clear that he thought Washington should lead the way.

“We believe of course that the military option should be the last resort and we believe that someone else should be doing the job. But we should be ready to defend ourselves by ourselves.”

Ya’alon predicts Assad’s impending downfall

A former chief of staff in the IDF, Ya’alon said he was sure Hezbollah would jump to Iran’s aid if hostilities broke out, but predicted it would soon regret any attack.

“Any provocation will be responded to by us, by charging them with such a heavy price that they will ask for a ceasefire,” he said, sitting in the sun-filled gardens of the King David Hotel in central Jerusalem.

Some Israeli officials have worried that Hezbollah, which is estimated to have thousands of missiles ready to rain across the border, might start trouble with Israel to divert attention from the woes besetting its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ya’alon did not see such a threat and thought that Assad was doomed to lose the violent power struggle gripping Syria.
“We are not sure when it will happen, but it will happen. From day to day we have witnessed an acceleration of the process as a result of the power that the opposition has succeeded in gaining,” he said.

  1. No War for Israel in Iran – Do The Right Thing!

     

  2. This is all propaganda. Israel & usa are the ones provoking war. That is the day to day accelerating of the process.

    Obama needs to get a handle on the zionist pressure. He should’nt waste another day pandering to outside interests. Sure he wants to be reelected, but for what? So he can kissass for another four years?

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Ya’alon demands US toughen stance on Iran

MI6 admits to covert operations against Iran

NOVANEWS

The head of Britain’s secret intelligence agency MI6, John Sawers, has admitted that Britain has been conducting covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program.

In his second public speech since he was appointed to the head of MI6, Sawers told senior civil servants in London that MI6 agents had been actively engaged in conducting covert operations against Iran.

Sawers also claimed that Iran is after obtaining nuclear weapons and could have obtained such weapons in 2008, hadn’t British spies prevented Iran from developing them. Moreover, the head of Britain’s spying apparatus claimed Iran could become “a nuclear weapons state” in 2012, saying that could be the “moment” the US and Israel would decide to launch a military strike against Iran.

Sawers’ claims are made while Iran has cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more than any other country throughout the history of the agency. Surveillance cameras are operative at all of Iran’s nuclear centers as these centers are being inspected around the clock.

Sawers also said that MI6 has “run a series of operations to ensure that the sanctions introduced internationally are implemented”.

Writing for The Guardian, Imperial College professor Abbas Edalat revealed that in 2009 Sawers demanded covert operations to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. One year later, assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists began.

In 2010, Masoud Alimohammadi, Majid Shahriari, and Fereydoun Abbasi were targeted. Alimohammadi and Shahriari were killed and Abbasi sustained injuries.

In 2011, another Iranian nuclear scientist, Dariush Rezaeinejad, was assassinated and in 2012 nuclear scientist Masoud Ahmadi Roshan was targeted and became another victim of terrorist attacks.

Sawers’ tacit signal for his US and Israeli masters to launch a military strike against Iran comes as the authors of the book “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars”, a leading Israeli military and intelligence journalist Yossi Melman and a CBS national political correspondent Dan Raviv, say the Israeli regime’s spying apparatus Mossad was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Posted in UKComments Off on MI6 admits to covert operations against Iran

Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting

NOVANEWS
New report delves into the costs of war (04:01)

(Reuters) – When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home fromAfghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America’s wars.

Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.S. Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project “Costs of War” by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. (www.costsofwar.org)

In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.

Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due and many billions more in expenses that cannot be counted, according to the study.

The White House says the total amount appropriated for war-related activities of the Department of Defense, intelligence and State Department since 2001 is about $1.3 trillion, and that would rise to nearly $1.4 trillion in 2012.

Researchers with the Watson Institute say that type of accounting is common but too narrow to measure the real costs.

In human terms, 224,000 to 258,000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125,000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare, and nutrition. An additional 365,000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people — equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky — have been displaced.

“Costs of War” brought together more than 20 academics to uncover the expense of war in lives and dollars, a daunting task given the inconsistent recording of lives lost and what the report called opaque and sloppy accounting by the U.S. Congress and the Pentagon.

The report underlines the extent to which war will continue to stretch the U.S. federal budget, which is already on an unsustainable course due to an aging American population and skyrocketing healthcare costs.

It also raises the question of what the United States gained from its multitrillion-dollar investment.

“I hope that when we look back, whenever this ends, something very good has come out of it,” Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, told Reuters in Washington.

SEPT 11, 2001: THE DAMAGE CONTINUES

In one sense, the report measures the cost of 9/11, the American shorthand for the events of September 11, 2001. Nineteen hijackers plus other al Qaeda plotters spent an estimated $400,000 to $500,000 on the plane attacks that killed 2,995 people and caused $50 billion to $100 billion in economic damages.

What followed were three wars in which $50 billion amounts to a rounding error. For every person killed on September 11, another 73 have been killed since.

Was it worth it? That is a question many people want answered, said Catherine Lutz, head of the anthropology department at Brown and co-director of the study.

“We decided we needed to do this kind of rigorous assessment of what it cost to make those choices to go to war,” she said. “Politicians, we assumed, were not going to do that kind of assessment.”

The report arrives as Congress debates how to cut a U.S. deficit projected at $1.4 trillion this year, roughly a 10th of which can be attributed to direct war spending.

What did the United States gain for its trillions?

Strategically, the results for the United States are mixed. Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are dead, but Iraq and Afghanistan are far from stable democracies. Iran has gained influence in the Gulf and the Taliban, though ousted from government, remain a viable military force in Afghanistan.

“The United States has been extremely successful in protecting the homeland,” said George Friedman, founder of STRATFOR, a U.S.-based intelligence company.

“Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was capable of mounting very sophisticated, complex, operations on an intercontinental basis. That organization with that capability has not only been substantially reduced, it seems to have been shattered,” Friedman said.

Economically, the results are also mixed. War spending may be adding half a percentage point a year to growth in the gross domestic product but that has been more than offset by the negative effects of deficit spending, the report concludes.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting

The Syrian NATO puppets: Who’s Doing The Talking?

NOVANEWS

The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …

By Charlie Skelton

A nightmare is unfolding across Syria, in the homes of al-Heffa and the streets of Houla. And we all know how the story ends: with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed, towns and families destroyed, and President Assad beaten to death in a ditch.

This is the story of the Syrian war, but there is another story to be told. A tale less bloody, but nevertheless important. This is a story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the “experts on Syria”, the “democracy activists”. The statement makers. The people who “urge” and “warn” and “call for action”.

It’s a tale about some of the most quoted members of the Syrian opposition and their connection to the Anglo-American opposition creation business. The mainstream news media have, in the main, been remarkably passive when it comes to Syrian sources: billing them simply as “official spokesmen” or “pro-democracy campaigners” without, for the most part, scrutinising their statements, their backgrounds or their political connections.

It’s important to stress: to investigate the background of a Syrian spokesperson is not to doubt the sincerity of his or her opposition to Assad. But a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out.

Though it is not yet stated US government policy to oust Assad by force, these spokespeople are vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria and thus natural allies of well-known US neoconservatives who supported Bush’s invasion of Iraq and are now pressuring the Obama administration to intervene. As we will see, several of these spokespeople have found support, and in some cases developed long and lucrative relationships with advocates of military intervention on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The sand is running out of the hour glass,” said Hillary Clinton on Sunday. So, as the fighting in Syria intensifies, and Russian warships set sail for Tartus, it’s high time to take a closer look at those who are speaking out on behalf of the Syrian people.

The Syrian National Council

The most quoted of the opposition spokespeople are the official representatives of the Syrian National Council. The SNC is not the only Syrian opposition group – but it is generally recognised as “the main opposition coalition” (BBC). The Washington Times describes it as “an umbrella group of rival factions based outside Syria”. Certainly the SNC is the opposition group that’s had the closest dealings with western powers – and has called for foreign intervention from the early stages of the uprising. In February of this year, at the opening of the Friends of Syria summit in Tunisia, William Hague declared: “I will meet leaders of the Syrian National Council in a few minutes’ time … We, in common with other nations, will now treat them and recognise them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”

The most senior of the SNC’s official spokespeople is the Paris-based Syrian academic Bassma Kodmani.

Bassma Kodmani

Bassma Kodmani of the Syrian National Council. Photograph: Carter Osmar

Here is Bassma Kodmani, seen leaving this year’s Bilderberg conference in Chantilly, Virginia.

Kodmani is a member of the executive bureau and head of foreign affairs, Syrian National Council. Kodmani is close to the centre of the SNC power structure, and one of the council’s most vocal spokespeople. “No dialogue with the ruling regime is possible. We can only discuss how to move on to a different political system,” she declared this week. And here she is, quoted by the newswire AFP: “The next step needs to be a resolution under Chapter VII, which allows for the use of all legitimate means, coercive means, embargo on arms, as well as the use of force to oblige the regime to comply.”

This statement translates into the headline “Syrians call for armed peacekeepers” (Australia’s Herald Sun). When large-scale international military action is being called for, it seems only reasonable to ask: who exactly is calling for it? We can say, simply, “an official SNC spokesperson,” or we can look a little closer.

This year was Kodmani’s second Bilderberg. At the 2008 conference, Kodmani was listed as French; by 2012, her Frenchness had fallen away and she was listed simply as “international” – her homeland had become the world of international relations.

Back a few years, in 2005, Kodmani was working for the Ford Foundation in Cairo, where she was director of their governance and international co-operation programme. The Ford Foundation is a vast organisation, headquartered in New York, and Kodmani was already fairly senior. But she was about to jump up a league.

Around this time, in February 2005, US-Syrian relations collapsed, and President Bush recalled his ambassador from Damascus. A lot of opposition projects date from this period. “The US money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005,” says the Washington Post.

In September 2005, Kodmani was made the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) – a research programme initiated by the powerful US lobby group, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The CFR is an elite US foreign policy thinktank, and the Arab Reform Initiative is described on its website as a “CFR Project” . More specifically, the ARI was initiated by a group within the CFR called the “US/Middle East Project” – a body of senior diplomats, intelligence officers and financiers, the stated aim of which is to undertake regional “policy analysis” in order “to prevent conflict and promote stability”. The US/Middle East Project pursues these goals under the guidance of an international board chaired by General (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft.

Brent Scowcroft (chairman emeritus) is a former national security adviser to the US president – he took over the role from Henry Kissinger. Sitting alongside Scowcroft of the international board is his fellow geo-strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who succeeded him as the national security adviser, and Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International. So, as early as 2005, we’ve got a senior wing of the western intelligence/banking establishment selecting Kodmani to run a Middle East research project. In September of that year, Kodmani was made full-time director of the programme. Earlier in 2005, the CFR assigned “financial oversight” of the project to the Centre for European Reform (CER). In come the British.

The CER is overseen by Lord Kerr, the deputy chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. Kerr is a former head of the diplomatic service and is a senior adviser at Chatham House (a thinktank showcasing the best brains of the British diplomatic establishment).

In charge of the CER on a day-to-day basis is Charles Grant, former defence editor of the Economist, and these days a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a “pan-European thinktank” packed with diplomats, industrialists, professors and prime ministers. On its list of members you’ll find the name: “Bassma Kodmani (France/Syria) – Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative”.

Another name on the list: George Soros – the financier whose non-profit “Open Society Foundations” is a primary funding source of the ECFR. At this level, the worlds of banking, diplomacy, industry, intelligence and the various policy institutes and foundations all mesh together, and there, in the middle of it all, is Kodmani.

The point is, Kodmani is not some random “pro-democracy activist” who happens to have found herself in front of a microphone. She has impeccable international diplomacy credentials: she holds the position of research director at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale – “an independent and neutral institution dedicated to promoting modern diplomacy”. The Académie is headed by Jean-Claude Cousseran, a former head of the DGSE – the French foreign intelligence service.

A picture is emerging of Kodmani as a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry. Her “province of origin” (according to the SNC website) is Damascus, but she has close and long-standing professional relationships with precisely those powers she’s calling upon to intervene in Syria.

And many of her spokesmen colleagues are equally well-connected.

Radwan Ziadeh

Another often quoted SNC representative is Radwan Ziadeh – director of foreign relations at the Syrian National Council. Ziadeh has an impressive CV: he’s a senior fellow at the federally funded Washington thinktank, the US Institute of Peace (the USIP Board of Directors is packed with alumni of the defence department and the national security council; its president is Richard Solomon, former adviser to Kissinger at the NSC).

In February this year, Ziadeh joined an elite bunch of Washington hawks to sign a letter calling upon Obama to intervene in Syria: his fellow signatories include James Woolsey (former CIA chief), Karl Rove (Bush Jr’s handler), Clifford May (Committee on the Present Danger) and Elizabeth Cheney, former head of the Pentagon’s Iran-Syria Operations Group.

Ziadeh is a relentless organiser, a blue-chip Washington insider with links to some of the most powerful establishment thinktanks. Ziadeh’s connections extend all the way to London. In 2009 he became a visiting fellow at Chatham House, and in June of last year he featured on the panel at one of their events – “Envisioning Syria’s Political Future” – sharing a platform with fellow SNC spokesman Ausama Monajed (more on Monajed below) and SNC member Najib Ghadbian.

Ghadbian was identified by the Wall Street Journal as an early intermediary between the US government and the Syrian opposition in exile: “An initial contact between the White House and NSF [National Salvation Front] was forged by Najib Ghadbian, a University of Arkansas political scientist.” This was back in 2005. The watershed year.

These days, Ghadbian is a member of the general secretariat of the SNC, and is on the advisory board of a Washington-based policy body called the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies (SCPSS) – an organisation co-founded by Ziadeh.

Ziadeh has been making connections like this for years. Back in 2008, Ziadeh took part in a meeting of opposition figures in a Washington government building: a mini-conference called “Syria In-Transition”. The meeting was co-sponsored by a US-based body called the Democracy Council and a UK-based organisation called the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD). It was a big day for the MJD – their chairman, Anas Al-Abdah, had travelled to Washington from Britain for the event, along with their director of public relations. Here, from the MJD’s website, is a description of the day: “The conference saw an exceptional turn out as the allocated hall was packed with guests from the House of Representatives and the Senate, representatives of studies centres, journalists and Syrian expatriats [sic] in the USA.”

The day opened with a keynote speech by James Prince, head of the Democracy Council. Ziadeh was on a panel chaired by Joshua Muravchik (the ultra-interventionist author of the 2006 op-ed “Bomb Iran”). The topic of the discussion was “The Emergence of Organized Opposition”. Sitting beside Ziadeh on the panel was the public relations director of the MJD – a man who would later become his fellow SNC spokesperson – Ausama Monajed.

Ausama Monajed

Along with Kodmani and Ziadeh, Ausama (or sometimes Osama) Monajed is one of the most important SNC spokespeople. There are others, of course – the SNC is a big beast and includes the Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition to Assad is wide-ranging, but these are some of the key voices. There are other official spokespeople with long political careers, like George Sabra of the Syrian Democratic People’s party – Sabra has suffered arrest and lengthy imprisonment in his fight against the “repressive and totalitarian regime in Syria”. And there are other opposition voices outside the SNC, such as the writer Michel Kilo, who speaks eloquently of the violence tearing apart his country: “Syria is being destroyed – street after street, city after city, village after village. What kind of solution is that? In order for a small group of people to remain in power, the whole country is being destroyed.”

 

Ausuma Monajed. Photograph: BBC

But there’s no doubt that the primary opposition body is the SNC, and Kodmani, Ziadeh and Monajed are often to be found representing it. Monajed frequently crops up as a commentator on TV news channels. Here he is on the BBC, speaking from their Washington bureau. Monajed doesn’t sugar-coat his message: “We are watching civilians being slaughtered and kids being slaughtered and killed and women being raped on the TV screens every day.”

Meanwhile, over on Al Jazeera, Monajed talks about “what’s really happening, in reality, on the ground” – about “the militiamen of Assad” who “come and rape their women, slaughter their children, and kill their elderly”.

Monajed turned up, just a few days ago, as a blogger on Huffington Post UK, where he explained, at length: “Why the World Must Intervene in Syria” – calling for “direct military assistance” and “foreign military aid”. So, again, a fair question might be: who is this spokesman calling for military intervention?

Monajed is a member of the SNC, adviser to its president, and according to his SNC biography, “the Founder and Director of Barada Television”, a pro-opposition satellite channel based in Vauxhall, south London. In 2008, a few months after attending Syria In-Transition conference, Monajed was back in Washington, invited to lunch with George W Bush, along with a handful of other favoured dissidents (you can see Monajed in the souvenir photo, third from the right, in the red tie, near Condoleezza Rice – up the other end from Garry Kasparov).

At this time, in 2008, the US state department knew Monajed as “director of public relations for the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD), which leads the struggle for peaceful and democratic change in Syria”.

Let’s look closer at the MJD. Last year, the Washington Post picked up a story from WikiLeaks, which had published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables. These cables appear to show a remarkable flow of money from the US state department to the British-based Movement for Justice and Development. According to the Washington Post’s report: “Barada TV is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles. Classified US diplomatic cables show that the state department has funnelled as much as $6m to the group since 2006 to operate the satellite channel and finance other activities inside Syria.”

A state department spokesman responded to this story by saying: “Trying to promote a transformation to a more democratic process in this society is not undermining necessarily the existing government.” And they’re right, it’s not “necessarily” that.

When asked about the state department money, Monajed himself said that he “could not confirm” US state department funding for Barada TV, but said: “I didn’t receive a penny myself.” Malik al -Abdeh, until very recently Barada TV’s editor-in-chief insisted: “we have had no direct dealings with the US state department”. The meaning of the sentence turns on that word “direct”. It is worth noting that Malik al Abdeh also happens to be one of the founders of the Movement for Justice and Development (the recipient of the state department $6m, according to the leaked cable). And he’s the brother of the chairman, Anas Al-Abdah. He’s also the co-holder of the MJD trademark: What Malik al Abdeh does admit is that Barada TV gets a large chunk of its funding from an American non-profit organisation: the Democracy Council. One of the co-sponsors (with the MJD) of Syria In-Transition mini-conference. So what we see, in 2008, at the same meeting, are the leaders of precisely those organisations identified in the Wiki:eaks cables as the conduit (the Democracy Council) and recipient (the MJD) of large amounts of state department money.

The Democracy Council (a US-based grant distributor) lists the state department as one of its sources of funding. How it works is this: the Democracy Council serves as a grant-administering intermediary between the state department’s “Middle East Partnership Initiative” and “local partners” (such as Barada TV). As the Washington Post reports:

“Several US diplomatic cables from the embassy in Damascus reveal that the Syrian exiles received money from a State Department program called the Middle East Partnership Initiative. According to the cables, the State Department funnelled money to the exile group via the Democracy Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit.”

The same report highlights a 2009 cable from the US Embassy in Syria that says that the Democracy Council received $6.3m from the state department to run a Syria-related programme, the “Civil Society Strengthening Initiative”. The cable describes this as “a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners” aimed at producing, amongst other things, “various broadcast concepts.” According to the Washington Post: “Other cables make clear that one of those concepts was Barada TV.”

Until a few months ago, the state department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative was overseen by Tamara Cofman Wittes (she’s now at the Brookings Institution – an influential Washington thinktank). Of MEPI, she said that it “created a positive ‘brand’ for US democracy promotion efforts”. While working there she declared: “There are a lot of organizations in Syria and other countries that are seeking changes from their government … That’s an agenda that we believe in and we’re going to support.” And by support, she means bankroll.

The money

This is nothing new. Go back a while to early 2006, and you have the state department announcing a new “funding opportunity” called the “Syria Democracy Program”. On offer, grants worth “$5m in Federal Fiscal Year 2006″. The aim of the grants? “To accelerate the work of reformers in Syria.”

These days, the cash is flowing in faster than ever. At the beginning of June 2012, the Syrian Business Forum was launched in Doha by opposition leaders including Wael Merza (SNC secretary general). “This fund has been established to support all components of the revolution in Syria,” said Merza. The size of the fund? Some $300m. It’s by no means clear where the money has come from, although Merza “hinted at strong financial support from Gulf Arab states for the new fund” (Al Jazeera). At the launch, Merza said that about $150m had already been spent, in part on the Free Syrian Army.

Merza’s group of Syrian businessmen made an appearance at a World Economic Forum conference titled the “Platform for International Co-operation” held in Istanbul in November 2011. All part of the process whereby the SNC has grown in reputation, to become, in the words of William Hague, “a legitimate representative of the Syrian people” – and able, openly, to handle this much funding.

Building legitimacy – of opposition, of representation, of intervention – is the essential propaganda battle.

In a USA Today op-ed written in February this year, Ambassador Dennis Ross declared: “It is time to raise the status of the Syrian National Council”. What he wanted, urgently, is “to create an aura of inevitability about the SNC as the alternative to Assad.” The aura of inevitability. Winning the battle in advance.

A key combatant in this battle for hearts and minds is the American journalist and Daily Telegraph blogger, Michael Weiss.

Michael Weiss

One of the most widely quoted western experts on Syria – and an enthusiast for western intervention – Michael Weiss echoes Ambassador Ross when he says: “Military intervention in Syria isn’t so much a matter of preference as an inevitability.”

Some of Weiss’s interventionist writings can be found on a Beirut-based, Washington-friendly website called “NOW Lebanon” – whose “NOW Syria” section is an important source of Syrian updates. NOW Lebanon was set up in 2007 by Saatchi & Saatchi executive Eli Khoury. Khoury has been described by the advertising industry as a “strategic communications specialist, specialising in corporate and government image and brand development”.

Weiss told NOW Lebanon, back in May, that thanks to the influx of weapons to Syrian rebels “we’ve already begun to see some results.” He showed a similar approval of military developments a few months earlier, in a piece for the New Republic: “In the past several weeks, the Free Syrian Army and other independent rebel brigades have made great strides” – whereupon, as any blogger might, he laid out his “Blueprint for a Military Intervention in Syria”.

But Weiss is not only a blogger. He’s also the director of communications and public relations at the Henry Jackson Society, an ultra-ultra-hawkish foreign policy thinktank.

The Henry Jackson Society’s international patrons include: James “ex-CIA boss” Woolsey, Michael “homeland security” Chertoff, William “PNAC” Kristol, Robert “PNAC” Kagan’, Joshua “Bomb Iran” Muravchick, and Richard “Prince of Darkness” Perle. The Society is run by Alan Mendoza, chief adviser to the all-party parliamentary group on transatlantic and international security.

The Henry Jackson Society is uncompromising in its “forward strategy” towards democracy. And Weiss is in charge of the message. The Henry Jackson Society is proud of its PR chief’s far-reaching influence: “He is the author of the influential report “Intervention in Syria? An Assessment of Legality, Logistics and Hazards”, which was repurposed and endorsed by the Syrian National Council.”

Weiss’s original report was re-named “Safe Area for Syria” – and ended up on the official syriancouncil.org website, as part of their military bureau’s strategic literature. The repurposing of the HJS report was undertaken by the founder and executive director of the Strategic Research and Communication Centre (SRCC) – one Ausama Monajed.

So, the founder of Barada TV, Ausama Monajed, edited Weiss’s report, published it through his own organisation (the SRCC) and passed it on to the Syrian National Council, with the support of the Henry Jackson Society.

The relationship couldn’t be closer. Monajed even ends up handling inquiries for “press interviews with Michael Weiss”. Weiss is not the only strategist to have sketched out the roadmap to this war (many thinktanks have thought it out, many hawks have talked it up), but some of the sharpest detailing is his.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

The justification for the “inevitable” military intervention is the savagery of President Assad’s regime: the atrocities, the shelling, the human rights abuses. Information is crucial here, and one source above all has been providing us with data about Syria. It is quoted at every turn: “The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA [Voice of America] that fighting and shelling killed at least 12 people in Homs province.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is commonly used as a standalone source for news and statistics. Just this week, news agency AFP carried this story: “Syrian forces pounded Aleppo and Deir Ezzor provinces as at least 35 people were killed on Sunday across the country, among them 17 civilians, a watchdog reported.” Various atrocities and casualty numbers are listed, all from a single source: “Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by phone.”

Statistic after horrific statistic pours from “the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” (AP). It’s hard to find a news report about Syria that doesn’t cite them. But who are they? “They” are Rami Abdulrahman (or Rami Abdel Rahman), who lives in Coventry.

According to a Reuters report in December of last year: “When he isn’t fielding calls from international media, Abdulrahman is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife.”

When the Guardian’s Middle East live blog cited “Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” it also linked to a sceptical article in the Modern Tokyo Times – an article which suggested news outlets could be a bit “more objective about their sources” when quoting “this so-called entity”, the SOHR.

That name, the “Syrian Observatory of Human Rights”, sound so grand, so unimpeachable, so objective. And yet when Abdulrahman and his “Britain-based NGO” (AFP/NOW Lebanon) are the sole source for so many news stories about such an important subject, it would seem reasonable to submit this body to a little more scrutiny than it’s had to date.

The Observatory is by no means the only Syrian news source to be quoted freely with little or no scrutiny …

Hamza Fakher

The relationship between Ausama Monajed, the SNC, the Henry Jackson hawks and an unquestioning media can be seen in the case of Hamza Fakher. On 1 January, Nick Cohen wrote in the Observer: “To grasp the scale of the barbarism, listen to Hamza Fakher, a pro-democracy activist, who is one of the most reliable sources on the crimes the regime’s news blackout hides.”

He goes on to recount Fakher’s horrific tales of torture and mass murder. Fakher tells Cohen of a new hot-plate torture technique that he’s heard about: “imagine all the melting flesh reaching the bone before the detainee falls on the plate”. The following day, Shamik Das, writing on “evidence-based” progressive blog Left Foot Forward, quotes the same source: “Hamza Fakher, a pro-democracy activist, describes the sickening reality …” – and the account of atrocities given to Cohen is repeated.

So, who exactly is this “pro-democracy activist”, Hamza Fakher?

Fakher, it turns out, is the co-author of Revolution in Danger , a “Henry Jackson Society Strategic Briefing”, published in February of this year. He co-wrote this briefing paper with the Henry Jackson Society’s communications director, Michael Weiss. And when he’s not co-writing Henry Jackson Society strategic briefings, Fakher is the communication manager of the London-based Strategic Research and Communication Centre (SRCC). According to their website, “He joined the centre in 2011 and has been in charge of the centre’s communication strategy and products.”

As you may recall, the SRCC is run by one Ausama Monajed: “Mr Monajed founded the centre in 2010. He is widely quoted and interviewed in international press and media outlets. He previously worked as communication consultant in Europe and the US and formerly served as the director of Barada Television …”.

Monajed is Fakher’s boss.

If this wasn’t enough, for a final Washington twist, on the board of the Strategic Research and Communication Centre sits Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at the National Defence University in DC – “the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME)” which is “under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

If you happen to be planning a trip to Monajed’s “Strategic Research and Communication Centre”, you’ll find it here: Strategic Research & Communication Centre, Office 36, 88-90 Hatton Garden, Holborn, London EC1N 8PN.

Office 36 at 88-90 Hatton Garden is also where you’ll find the London headquarters of The Fake Tan Company, Supercar 4 U Limited, Moola loans (a “trusted loans company”), Ultimate Screeding (for all your screeding needs), and The London School of Attraction – “a London-based training company which helps men develop the skills and confidence to meet and attract women.” And about a hundred other businesses besides. It’s a virtual office. There’s something oddly appropriate about this. A “communication centre” that doesn’t even have a centre – a grand name but no physical substance.

That’s the reality of Hamza Fakher. On 27 May, Shamik Das of Left Foot Forward quotes again from Fakher’s account of atrocities, which he now describes as an “eyewitness account” (which Cohen never said it was) and which by now has hardened into “the record of the Assad regime”.

So, a report of atrocities given by a Henry Jackson Society strategist, who is the communications manager of Mosafed’s PR department, has acquired the gravitas of a historical “record”.

This is not to suggest that the account of atrocities must be untrue, but how many of those who give it currency are scrutinising its origins?

And let’s not forget, whatever destabilisation has been done in the realm of news and public opinion is being carried out twofold on the ground. We already know that (at the very least) “the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department … are helping the opposition Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria and providing communications training.”

The bombs doors are open. The plans have been drawn up.

This has been brewing for a time. The sheer energy and meticulous planning that’s gone into this change of regime – it’s breathtaking. The soft power and political reach of the big foundations and policy bodies is vast, but scrutiny is no respecter of fancy titles and fellowships and “strategy briefings”. Executive director of what, it asks. Having “democracy” or “human rights” in your job title doesn’t give you a free pass.

And if you’re a “communications director” it means your words should be weighed extra carefully. Weiss and Fakher, both communications directors – PR professionals. At the Chatham House event in June 2011, Monajed is listed as: “Ausama Monajed, director of communications, National Initiative for Change” and he was head of PR for the MJD. The creator of the news website NOW Lebanon, Eli Khoury, is a Saatchi advertising executive. These communications directors are working hard to create what Tamara Wittes called a “positive brand”.

They’re selling the idea of military intervention and regime change, and the mainstream news is hungry to buy. Many of the “activists” and spokespeople representing the Syrian opposition are closely (and in many cases financially) interlinked with the US and London – the very people who would be doing the intervening. Which means information and statistics from these sources isn’t necessarily pure news – it’s a sales pitch, a PR campaign.

But it’s never too late to ask questions, to scrutinise sources. Asking questions doesn’t make you a cheerleader for Assad – that’s a false argument. It just makes you less susceptible to spin. The good news is, there’s a sceptic born every minute.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on The Syrian NATO puppets: Who’s Doing The Talking?

Syria forces seize Zio-Nazi-made arms from NATO Puppets

Syria forces seize Israel-made arms from rebels: Report

Armed men are gathering AK-47 bullets in Idlib province on July 4, 2012.

Armed men are gathering AK-47 bullets in Idlib province on July 4, 2012.
Syrian security forces have reportedly confiscated weapons, some of them Israeli-made, from armed groups in the country’s violence-hit city of Hama, Press TVreports.

The arms were caught up in al-Treimseh neighborhood on Thursday, an unnamed source said.

An unnamed official said that the armed groups have committed a massacre of people in the same area.

The residents of the area called on the army to put an end to the crimes committed by the armed groups.

On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow will veto a Western-proposed draft resolution on Syria at the United Nations which will impose sanctions against Damascus.

The United States and its European allies are seeking to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on Damascus through the United Nations.

Syria has been the scene of violence by armed groups since March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including many security forces.

Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria forces seize Zio-Nazi-made arms from NATO Puppets

Two faces of Israel: honest terrorist and corrupt pragmatist

NOVANEWS

By Uri Avnery
Uri Avnery views two former Israeli prime ministers, Yitzhak Shamir, the recently-deceased terrorist leader, and Ehud Olmert, architect of the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2008/09 Gaza massacre, noting that whereas Shamir, “the dead honest fanatic, has many followers” Olmert, “the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few” – and that the current prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, “has the vices of both and the virtues of neither”.

Two former prime ministers of Israel are in the news these days. They represent two of the many faces of Israel.

They also raise a universal question: which is preferable – an honest fanatic or a corrupt pragmatist?

Yitzhak Shamir died two weeks ago and was buried in the cemetery of the “Great of the Nation” in Jerusalem. He was 97 years old and had been vegetating for years in a state of dementia. Most Israelis did not know that he was still alive.

”The most successful terrorist of the 20th century”

When I described him on TV as “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century”, the interviewer raised his eyebrows. But it was an accurate description.

Shamir was not a great thinker. In his teens he joined the right-wing Zionist youth organization of Vladimir Jabotinsky in Poland, and since then he did not change his worldview one iota. In this respect he was absolutely immovable. He wanted a Jewish state in all of the historical country. Period. No nonsense about Arabs and such.

We both joined the Irgun underground at the same time. I was too young to take part in actual terrorist actions, he, eight years my senior, carried them out. At the time, the Irgun killed scores of Arab men, women and children in attacks on Arab markets, in retaliation for Arab attacks on Jewish civilians. We defied the policy of “self-restraint” ordered by the Zionist leadership.

In the summer of 1940 the Irgun split. One of the commanders, Avraham Stern, founded the organization known to the British as the “Stern Gang”. (Eventually it was called LEHI, acronym for “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”.)

Stern was a logical person. The aim was to set up a Jewish state in all of Palestine. The enemy was the British Empire. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Therefore, we must cooperate with the Nazis. He sent several emissaries to contact the Germans. Some were intercepted by the British, the others were ignored by the Nazis.

“As prime minister, his most outstanding achievement was to do nothing, except building settlements – quietly and unobtrusively…

“His other great achievement was preventing Jews from reaching the US. When the Soviet leadership allowed Jews to emigrate, almost all of them proceeded straight to the US. Shamir persuaded the White House to shut the gates, and thus compelled more than a million Russian Jews to come to Israel, where they now swell the ranks of the extreme right.”

I could not accept this atrocious logic and did not join, though the temptation was there. Shamir did.

He was caught and imprisoned (unlike Stern himself, who was caught and shot on the spot). Within a short time, virtually all the members of the organization were killed or arrested. The group ceased to exist – until Shamir and a colleague, Eliahu Giladi, broke out. The two acted together and brought LEHI to life again. One day Shamir had Giladi tried and shot.

Giladi was not accused of treason, but, on the contrary, of excessive zeal. He made plans for revolutionary actions, such as killing David Ben-Gurion and the entire Zionist leadership. Shamir decided that his adventurous nature endangered the organization and that he must be removed. Afterwards Shamir named his daughter Gilada.

Many years later I asked him which historical personality he admired most. He answered without hesitation: Lenin. I understood that he admired him because Lenin ruthlessly followed the maxim “the end justifies the means”.

Shamir was one of LEHI’s three leaders. He was responsible for operations and organization, meticulously building a deliberately small group of selected individuals, executing incredibly daring actions. He himself planned every single operation in the greatest detail. The most famous was the assassination of Lord Moyne, the senior British functionary in the Middle East, in Cairo.

He was arrested again when the British shut down Tel Aviv and conducted a house-to-house search. Shamir was well disguised but could not hide his most obvious characteristic: he was very small, almost a dwarf, with a big, strong head. The soldiers were instructed to arrest every man below a certain height.

This time he was sent to a detention camp in Africa, from which he duly escaped. He reached French Djibouti and was brought by a French warship to Paris where he stayed until Israel came into being.

LEHI never amounted to more than a few hundred members. But it played a major role in driving the British out of this country.

In Israel, Shamir disappeared from view. For years he worked for the Mossad. It was rumoured that his speciality was sending letter bombs. When he resurfaced, he joined the party of his erstwhile competitor, Menachem Begin. He was appointed Knesset chairman.

Once I decided to stage a small demonstration in the Knesset. I wore under my jacket a t-shirt saying “Peace is better than a Greater Israel”. During the plenary session I took the jacket off. After some minutes of shock, an usher asked me politely to see the chairman in his office. Shamir received me with a big smile and said: “Uri, where would we be if every member did something like that? Now that you have made your point, would you please put your jacket on again?” Which I did, of course.

When Begin made peace with Egypt and even I voted for him, Shamir abstained. After Lebanon War I, when Begin resigned saying “I can’t go on any more”, Shamir took his place.

As prime minister, his most outstanding achievement was to do nothing, except building settlements – quietly and unobtrusively. Under American pressure, he attended the Madrid peace conference, determined not to budge an inch. As he remarked later, he was quite ready to negotiate with the Arabs for any length of time.

He did not dream of making peace, which would have drawn frontiers and barred the way to Greater Israel. His ideology was summed up by his most famous dictum, alluding to the old adage that the Arabs want to throw the Jews into the sea: “The Arabs are the same Arabs and the sea is the same sea.” Another famous statement: “It is permissible to lie for the fatherland.”

Remarkably, this man, who joined the Irgun (like me) in protest against “self-restraint”, exercised self-restraint par excellence when Saddam Hussein rained missiles on Israel during the Gulf War. Shamir was content to let the Americans do the job.

His other great achievement was preventing Jews from reaching the US. When the Soviet leadership allowed Jews to emigrate, almost all of them proceeded straight to the US. Shamir persuaded the White House to shut the gates, and thus compelled more than a million Russian Jews to come to Israel, where they now swell the ranks of the extreme right.

For a short time he was the mentor of the young Binyamin Netanyahu, but then he came to detest him. After Netanyahu made a small tactical concession to the Arabs, he called him “Angel of destruction”. One may assume that he was also disgusted by Netanyahu’s penchant for luxury. When not lying for the fatherland, Shamir was straight as a ramrod, living in utmost modesty. There never was – or could be – even the slightest hint of corruption.

Which leads us straight to Ehud Olmert.

”With peacemakers like this, who needs warmongers?”

“In his years in the Prime Minister’s Office, during which he initiated two dirty wars (Lebanon War II and Operation Cast Lead), he had plenty of time to make peace. He did indeed produce a peace plan – but only on the eve of his expected political demise.”

Once upon a time there was a minister of education, Zalman Aran, who was known for his dry humour. A party functionary once came up to him and said: “Ziama, you can congratulate me. I have been acquitted!”

“Strange,” Aran replied, “I have never been acquitted!”

Olmert has been acquitted many times. During his entire career, he has danced from one acquittal to the next.

This week it happened again. After a long trial, in which he was accused on five different counts of corruption, he was acquitted of four. One concerned his habit of letting himself be invited by several charity organizations to lecture in the US, and letting all of them pay separately for the same first class ticket (using the surplus for his family’s private outings). Another count: reporting to the state comptroller that his collection of expensive pens was worth a tenth of its real value.

The district court decided to acquit him on all counts for lack of proof, except one: that as minister of industry he had favoured the clients of his close friend, who obliged him by keeping a large amount of cash stashed away in his safe.

Olmert celebrated his partial acquittal as a great victory. The media – the same media which celebrated his indictment when it all started – are taking part in the celebration. He is still awaiting the outcome of an even bigger trial. The accusation, this time: taking bribes for the building of a huge multi-billion architectural monster in the centre of Jerusalem when he was mayor of the city. Everybody expects that he will be acquitted, as usual.

Among the outcries against the attorney-general in the media was the accusation that he, a mere civil servant, had toppled an incumbent prime minister on trumped-up charges. Worse, that he had done so just when Olmert was about to make peace with the Palestinians.

Nonsense. In his years in the prime minister’s office, during which he initiated two dirty wars (Lebanon War II and Operation Cast Lead), he had plenty of time to make peace. He did indeed produce a peace plan – but only on the eve of his expected political demise. With peacemakers like this, who needs warmongers?

However, Olmert is already hinting that after his next acquittal he will return to political life.

Shamir, the dead honest fanatic, has many followers. Olmert, the living corrupt pragmatist, has very few.

Netanyahu, their current successor, has the vices of both and the virtues of neither.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Two faces of Israel: honest terrorist and corrupt pragmatist


Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING

July 2012
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031