Archive | January 21st, 2013

Report from outside Beth Israel – Just keep on hanging there!

This is the latest report from outside Beth Israel Temple, Ann Arbor, Michigan
It’s particularly interesting to me because it underlines the power of the ‘lone soldier on the cross’ – the immense power of the single individual who just keeps on hanging there. Nelson Mandela understood it (so much so, that they ended up  begging him to come out of jail). Ernst Zundel understood it too and, of course, Jesus Himself absolutely understood it.
And while you’re at it, check out some other points of interest. Read the AIPAC text below the report and don’t miss the fascinating activities of Colonel Richard Kemp.

And by the way, if you’re still wondering about the ethics or otherwise of mounting vigils outside synagogues – just check where the AIPAC event is being held!

Revving up the Taxi Squad

Readers may remember our vigil report of December 15 in which we reported the upcoming Michigan AIPAC meeting* in nearby Southfield, and may be wondering why no protest was being planned. Well, as they used to say, the buck stops here, and this writer, after receiving no support from any other activist group, decided to drop the plan.

Bad decision, according to 73-year-old vigiler F, who informed all that he was planning to protest the Lobby, which is presently stealing the US government’s foreign policy decisions from “We the People”, by himself.
Part of the perceived problem of this particular protest lies in the physical location of this fortress, aka Shaary Zedek synagogue. Though its peaked roof is visible from a nearby expressway, the place is situated on two small, low-trafficked streets. Not an ideal location for a public protest.
Still, Vigiler F feels that this criminal theft of his government should not go unanswered, and that – as Paul Eisen puts it – even one person is a vigil. Would Jews in the 1930’s permit a meeting of the German-American Bund to proceed without a protest? We think not.
So, embarrassed into revving up the taxi squad, we can report the commitment of five, dedicated and fully peace-trained protesters to travel the 40 miles to this “house of warship”, and shine the light of truth – however small – on the most powerful lobbying group which has ever invaded and occupied the US Congress. Please join us: Our protest will run from 5:45 – 7:15 pm on Monday, January 28 at 27375 Bell Road, Southfield, Michigan.
Nine vigilers
We are anti-“Israel”; are you?
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
The 2013 Michigan Winter Event

 – text from AIPAC’s invitation:



On the Battlefield: Israel’s Legacy of Morality


Col. Richard Kemp

Former Commander,

British Troops in Afghanistan

Monday, January 28, 2013

6:00 pm – Leadership Reception*

*The reception is exclusively for Club Members who have generously contributed a minimum of $1,500 to AIPAC’s 2013 annual campaign.

7:00 pm – Community Program & Dessert Reception

Congregation Shaarey Zedek

27375 Bell Road

Southfield, MI


To RSVP please contact

Brittany Cohen at (312) 253-8968 or

Please respond by January 21.

The event is free and open to the community.

Dietary Laws Observed.
About Colonel Richard Kemp

Colonel Richard Kemp has been actively involved in fighting terrorists around the globe for 35 years. He was Commander of all British Forces in Afghanistan with responsibility for counter insurgency operations, disarmament and reintegration programs, development and training of the Afghan national security forces, reconstruction and defense diplomacy. He set up a joint counter terrorist operation withU.S., Canadian and Afghan forces that achieved major operational success against Al Qaida terrorists in Kabul.

He spent the last five years of his three decade military career at the UK Cabinet Office in Whitehall. He was a member of the Cobra national crisis management committee and chairman of the Cobra Intelligence Group. He was an active member of the groundbreaking UK-U.S. Joint International Security Strategy Group. He headed the Joint Intelligence Committee’s international and domestic terrorism team and the Iraq politics and security team, responsible for UKnational intelligence assessments. He made many fact-finding trips toIraq, and in 2005 worked in Baghdad, Fallujah and northern Iraq on intelligence and counter terrorism for the US Ambassador.

Previously Colonel Kemp completed a total of 14 active duty tours as a military commander in Northern Ireland and in many global hotspots. Working alongside U.S. forces, he took part in the liberation of Kuwaitin 1991. He commanded British troops in the United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia and was counter terrorism adviser to the Macedonian government. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his work on the July 2005 London bombings and in Iraq; Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for intelligence work in Northern Ireland; and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for his action during the Bosnia conflict.

Colonel Kemp is Special Adviser on international terrorism to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, a commentator in the national and international print and broadcast media on defense and security, and author of “Attack State Red”, a best-selling book about the conflict in Afghanistan.

With Colonel Kemp’s years of service has come a unique understanding of the critical decisions military leaders must make during times of war including decisions of life and death, of morality, humanity and ethics. An example of this is when in 2009, Colonel Kemp carefully studied Israel’s actions in Gaza – a defensive operation following years of unrelenting Hamas rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians. When he heard that former Judge Richard Goldstone was conducting an investigation intoIsrael’s operation on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Colonel Kemp immediately offered up his findings and valuable analysis. Judge Goldstone declined the offer. A few months later, the Human Rights Council was holding an emergency session to discuss Judge Goldstone’s findings – also known as the Goldstone Report. Given that it was an open session, Colonel Kemp was able to present his unbiased analysis. He has sought to provide objective, expert commentary and analysis on that subject as well as more widely on Israel’s security including conflict with Hizballah and the Gaza “flotilla” incident.
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By Design: French Mali Invasion Spills into Algeria

Global Research

Exactly as predicted, the ongoing French “intervention” in the North African nation of Mali has spilled into Algeria – the next most likely objective of Western geopolitical interests in the region since the successful destabilization of Libya in 2011.

In last week’s “France Displays Unhinged Hypocrisy as Bombs Fall on Mali” report, it was stated specifically that:

“As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.”


Now, it is reported that “Al Qaeda-linked” terrorists have seized American hostages in Algeria in what is being described by the Western press as “spill over” from France’s Mali operations.

The Washington Post, in their article, Al-Qaida-linked militants seize BP complex in Algeria, take hostages in revenge for Mali,” claims:

“As Algerian army helicopters clattered overhead deep in the Sahara desert, Islamist militants hunkered down for the night in a natural gas complex they had assaulted Wednesday morning, killing two people and taking dozens of foreigners hostage in what could be the first spillover from France’s intervention in Mali.”

The Wall Street Journal, in its article, “Militants Grab U.S. Hostages in Algeria,” reports that:

“Militants with possible links to al Qaeda seized about 40 foreign hostages, including several Americans, at a natural-gas field in Algeria, posing a new level of threat to nations trying to blunt the growing influence of Islamist extremists in Africa.As security officials in the U.S. and Europe assessed options to reach the captives from distant bases, Algerian security forces failed in an attempt late Wednesday to storm the facility.”

The WSJ also added:

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. would take “necessary and proper steps” in the hostage situation, and didn’t rule out military action. He said the Algeria attack could represent a spillover from Mali.”

And it is military action, both covert and incrementally more overt, that will see the West’s extremist proxies and the West’s faux efforts to stem them, increasingly creep over the Mali-Algerian border, as the old imperial maps of Europe are redrawn right before our eyes.

Image: The French Empire at its height right before the World Wars. The regions that are now Libya, Algeria, Mali, and the Ivory Coast all face reconquest by the French and Anglo-Americans, with French troops literally occupying the region and playing a pivotal role in installing Western-friendly client regimes. Also notice Syria too, was a French holding – now under attack by US-British-French funded, armed, and backed terrorists – the same terrorists allegedly being fought in Mali and now Algeria.

Meanwhile, these very same terrorist forces continue to receive funding, arms, covert military support, and diplomatic recognition in Syria, by NATO, and specifically the US and France who are both claiming to fight the “Free Syrian Army’s” ideological and very literal allies in North Africa.

In reality, Al Qaeda is allowing the US and France to intervene and interfere in Algeria, after attempts in 2011 to trigger political subversion was soundly defeated by the Algerian government. Al Qaeda is essentially both a casus belli and mercenary force, deployed by the West against targeted nations. It is clear that French operations seek to trigger armed conflict in Algeria as well as a possible Western military intervention there as well, with the Mali conflict serving only as a pretense.

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Support Rzhwan Amin Detained Iraqi Journalist


Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem

Birmingham and Coventry branch – NUJ
Support Rzhwan Amin Detained Iraqi Journalist

The National Union of Journalists’ Manchester and Salford branch has launched a campaign in support of a political journalist who fled Iraq in 2010 after being threatened as a result of newspaper articles he wrote at the time of the elections.
Rzhwan Amin (Jaf), who has been living in Tameside, Greater Manchester, is now in Morton Hall Immigration Removal cCentre, Lincolnshire, after being detained when he went to report at Dallas Court Home Office Reporting Centre, Salford, on January 8th.

Rzhwan, aged 32, wrote political reports for a newspaper in Kirkuk,  a city which is disputed territory in Iraq and has one of the country’s biggest oilfields on its doorstep.

Rzhwan left Iraq after he was summoned to appear at a meeting of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (PUK) to discuss his journalism – he was warned by a friend not to attend because it was a trap.  PUK, whose leader is Jalal Al Talabani, the current president of Iraq, has a history of dissension with other Kurdish political organisations.

Rzhwan escaped through Turkey and ended up in the UK where he claimed asylum in June 2010.  His immigration case was refused by the first judge who  ruled out an expert’s report on Iraq and did not attach any weight to letters written by academics. In addition to   his newspaper journalism, Rzhwan wrote several political articles while he was studying Philosophy at Baghdad University.

A fresh asylum claim was submitted by Rzhwan’s solicitor early last year with a new country expert’s report. The fresh claim also relied on a Court of Appeal ruling which said country guidance regarding the risk of violence in Iraq needed to be reconsidered.

The UKBA refused the fresh claim, however, and Rzhwan was detained. His lawyers are  now preparing an application for judicial review. Rzhwan’s case is also being taken to the European Court of Human Rights under Articles 2,3,9 and 10.

Support from other journalists who have confirmed Rzhwan’s story include:
–  The Kurdistan Journalists’ Syndicate
–  The editor of a newspaper in Kirkuk
–  The former director of a TV station in Kirkuk
–  Iraq’s Journalists Freedom Observatory (JFO)
–  A journalist at Charmu newspaper in Kirkuk
–  Reporters Without Borders
Risks to journalists in Iraq:

John Drake, head of Global IntAKE, an organisation which assesses political situations and risks in countries throughout the world, has submitted information to the UKBA on Rzhwan’s behalf. He says the Iraq Journalists’ Defence Association has reported 50 violations against 75 media personnel and organisations during 2012.  At least five journalists were killed because of their profession.
Political tensions in Kirkuk

There have been political tensions in Kirkuk  – last week, the New York Times reported that 19 people were killed and 200 injured after car bombs were placed outside the local headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Another four people were killed by a car bomb outside a building used by Kurdish security forces.

Support for Rzhwan from organisations in Greater Manchester:
Rzhwan is a member of the Manchester-based human rights organisation RAPAR which is backing his campaign. He has also been a volunteer caseworker, interpreter and translator for the British Red Cross in Manchester and has done volunteer advocacy, advice and interpreting for Manchester Refugee Support Network.  Both organisations have written in support of Rzhwan, praising his conscientious work.

Manchester and Salford NUJ branch is campaigning for Rzhwan to be granted asylum in the UK and the union’s national executive council has given its backing to the case. 

How you can help:

a) Write letters of support for Rzhwan – please include his Home Office number A1434433. At the moment, Rzhwan’s solicitor is asking that all letters of support to the UKBA be sent through him.  We can pass them on so please email letters to

Or send them to:

NUJ Manchester and Salford Branch,
c/o NUJ North and Midlands Office,
5th floor, Arthur House,
Chorlton Street,

b) Write to your MPs asking them to contact Rzhwan’s MP David Heyes (Ashton under Lyne) about his case.  If you live in David Heyes’ constituency, please send him a personal letter urging him to support Rzhwan’s asylum case. All letters should include the Home Office number A1434433.

c) Send messages of support to Rzhwan himself – you can email him or at

If you have any queries or need more information, please contact Manchester and Salford Branch Secretary Kath  07812471047
National Union Of Journalists
Manchester And Salford Branch
Thank you!

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Conspiracy Theorists Blame Jews For Sandy Hook Massacre



In the after­math of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary, inter­net posts blam­ing Jews for the killings began to spring up on var­i­ous online mes­sage boards and con­spir­acy the­ory web­sites.  One the­ory, for exam­ple, pro­motes the notion that a sup­pos­edly Jewish-controlled Hol­ly­wood encour­ages killing sprees with sub­lim­i­nal mes­sages glo­ri­fy­ing gun vio­lence. Another attrib­utes the vio­lence to the State of Israel, claim­ing Israel per­pe­trated a “false flag” ter­ror­ist attack on Amer­i­can soil as alleged pun­ish­ment for Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy on Israel and the Palestinians.

Among the most well-known pro­mot­ers of racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to claim that Jews were behind the shoot­ing spree is for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. On his web­site, where he dis­sem­i­nates his white suprema­cist ide­ol­ogy and specif­i­cally anti-Jewish views, Duke alleges that what hap­pened at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary is a result of Jew­ish con­trol over sev­eral Amer­i­can insti­tu­tions and for­eign pol­icy. Duke con­cludes that it is the sup­posed Zion­ist con­trol over the media that resulted in the Sandy Hook shootings:

“Lead bul­lets are not mur­der­ers. The real mur­der­ers are not the bul­lets, but the Bul­lies of the Zio Media…Guns did not cre­ate the hor­ror in that lit­tle school in Sandy Hook, Con­necti­cut. The Zio mas­ters of the media did. They have devoured the real Amer­ica. The mas­ters of the media con­tinue to take us down the path of human depravity…”

Press TV, the Iran­ian government’s plat­form to dis­sem­i­nate its ide­ol­ogy to the English-speaking world, also exploited this tragedy to espouse anti-Semitic “expla­na­tions” of what hap­pened at the Con­necti­cut ele­men­tary school. In an inter­view broad­cast on Press TV today, Mike Har­ris, a con­trib­u­tor to the anti-Semitic web­site Vet­er­ans Today who has ties to mem­bers of the neo-Nazi National Social­ist Move­ment (NSM), held Zion­ists account­able for a num­ber of mass shoot­ings in America:

“We have had a Zionist-controlled Hol­ly­wood, a Zionist-controlled news media that is the con­duit to all of these vio­lence, these imagery, into every home in Amer­ica and so you won­der why there is a cul­ture of vio­lence? It is because it comes from the Jews in Hol­ly­wood. That is where the con­duit of vio­lence comes from. That is the source of it… You have to real­ize Israel has been oper­at­ing death squads in the United States since Gabrielle Gif­fords and Judge Roll were shot in Tus­can. There have been other inci­dents as the Col­orado shoot­ing, that was again Israeli death squads oper­at­ing in the US.”

In an arti­cle pub­lished on the Press TV web­site by Gor­don Duff, Senior Edi­tor of Vet­er­ans Today, Duff asked Har­ris if he stands by his claims that Israel is respon­si­ble for the mas­sacre. His response: “You [Israel] mur­der chil­dren as part of ‘busi­ness as usual,’ you shouldn’t be sur­prised that when chil­dren are mur­dered, peo­ple look to you.”

This is not the first time David Duke and Press TV have exploited a tragedy in Amer­ica to spew their hate­ful anti-Jewish ide­ol­ogy. On the 11th anniver­sary of the 9/11 attacks, David Duke appeared on Press TV claim­ing that Zion­ists mas­ter­minded the attacks on 9/11.

Posted in USA1 Comment

On The Warning Track Broadcast: “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Christian Zionism”

On The Warning Track Broadcast Jan 20,2013

by crescentandcross

OTWT continues the ongoing discussion on “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Christian Zionism” namely J.N. Darby and C.I. Scofield’s view on the so-Called End Times, and why it matters today!


Download Here


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Dear Friends,

Tonight’s message of 10 items is heavy on Israel’s racism towards Palestinians, and on a bleak future.  Most of the writers see the elections as bringing the worst, and for Amira Hass this is merely a continuation of the direction that all Israel’s governments have been driving towards.  I agree.

Item 1 is a Haaretz editorial which correctly identifies “Judaization” as racism.  Of course.  But a strictly Jewish country is from the start racist that fears the ‘other.’  Demography, dear friends, not democracy.

Item 2 reports that Netanyahu ‘rejects a Palestinian state within ’67 lines.’ Actually, since actions speak louder than words, it is quite obvious that he rejects a Palestinian state altogether.

In item 3 Amira Hass states that ‘Palestinian ghettos were always the plan.’  Probably massive ethnic cleansing would have been preferable to ghettos to not a few of Israel’s elected leaders.

Item 4 reports that Israeli troops evict Palestinians from their lands.  Do watch the brief video to see how a soldier tries to tear a toddler from its mother’s arms.

In item 5 Gideon Levy argues that ‘whoever believes that the Awad family [the family of the 16 year old the IOF 2 days ago killed] will continue to be denied their rights forever is living a lie’  Perhaps, but not if Israel’s elected leaders have any say.

Item 6 states that with the outpost idea, ‘Palestinians discover the strength of soft power.’  If this means that they have discovered the power of non-violent resistance, then they did not discover that with the encampment of Bab al-Shams nor with the new one.  They have been practicing non-violent resistance for years in their weekly demonstrations.  True, there is rock throwing in these, but generally after the IOF soldiers start firing one or another ‘crowd dispersion’ means.  Had the soldiers left them alone, the Palestinians would have marched peacefully to protest the theft of their land and homes.

After the elections and the formation of the new government, undoubtedly Netanyahu will put IRAN back into circulation.  It makes a good smoke screen for his constant building in the OPT and other acts.  But apparently he also has plans to do more than just talk.  And so we learn in item7 that Israel has contingency plans just in case there will be a war.  So far, these relate to Israeli reservists living in England.  But undoubtedly the call-up will extend to many other countries.

Item 8, “Toppling Israel’s Ivory Tower” is on a different subject, but is clearly a result of Israel’s march to the right.  Academia is feeling the march, and will feel it yet more in the coming period after elections, when the right wing will be in power.

Item 9 is an interview of a rabbi and his path from Zionism to believing in justice and solidarity with Palestinians, that he has written about in his book. Longish, but worth reading, and undoubtedly also worth reading the book.

Item 10 is a deliberation in Spiegel that has been going on in recent weeks, “The Gravest of Allegations Conflating Critique of Israel with Anti-Semitism.”  Notwithstanding what Israel’s government says, the 2 are vastly different.

That’s it friends for tonight.  Tomorrow I possibly won’t have time to read and put together a message.  Not sure yet. But there is enough here to split the reading into 2 days.


All the best,



1 Haaretz Sunday, January 20, 2013


‘Judaization’ is racism

The term “Judaizing the Galilee” provides allegedly legitimate cover for every benighted racist position that sees the presence of Arabs in the Galilee or anywhere else as a national threat.


Haaretz Editorial | Jan.20, 2013

Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso describes his job as a national mission. “Upper Nazareth was founded to make the Galilee Jewish,” he declares. “The city’s residents and I, as their leader, overwhelmingly support the principle that Upper Nazareth must fulfill this mission.”

As part of this “mission,” Gapso has decided to block the opening of an Arab school for around 1,900 Arab pupils, children in a community making up about 20 percent of the city’s population. These children must travel daily to the neighboring Arab city of Nazareth, where the schools are having problems absorbing them all.

Upper Nazareth is a mixed city, which – like Haifa, Acre, Lod and Tel Aviv – is obligated to open schools for its minority communities. This obligation, stemming from the principle of equal rights for all Israelis, means Arabs have the right to their own schools under the Education Ministry’s aegis, not only in Arab cities but also in Arab neighborhoods in mixed cities.

Gapso, who in November asked the Interior Ministry to declare that Arab Nazareth was “hostile to the State of Israel,” doesn’t seem to recognize his obligation to supply separate educational services to his city’s Arab residents. Worse, his opposition to a school for the city’s Arab citizens is a blatant attempt to “cleanse” the city of those citizens, who, he says, “undermine” the Upper Nazareth’s national mission: to Judaize the Galilee.

The term “Judaizing the Galilee” provides allegedly legitimate cover for every benighted racist position that sees the presence of Arabs in the Galilee or anywhere else as a national threat. These positions are apparently backed by some of our national leaders, who still haven’t bothered to condemn Gapso’s remarks.

One might expect Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to immediately use his authority to order the opening of an Arab school in Upper Nazareth. But when Gapso makes remarks that Sa’ar apparently supports, and when the interior minister, the authority over the municipality, espouses racist views himself, Israelis who oppose racism and discrimination – Arabs and Jews alike – have no choice but to vote for parties that will fight both phenomena.


The Guardian Sunday, January 20, 2013

Binyamin Netanyahu rejects calls for Palestinian state within 1967 lines

Israeli prime minister says border would be impossible to defend and allow ‘Hamas 400 metres from my home’

By Harriet Sherwood


3 Haaretz

Sunday, January 20, 2012


Palestinian ghettos were always the plan

Right-wing politician Naftali Bennett’s plan to annex Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank is just the logical next step in Israel’s historic effort to ghettoize the Palestinians.


By Amira Hass | Jan.20, 2013

Habaiyt Hayehudi’s Naftali Bennett. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

When Habayit Hayehudi party leader and rising political star Naftali Bennett calls for annexing Area C, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli security and civil control, he is following the logic of every single Israeli government: maximize the territory, minimize the Arabs.

Some may even interpret this as elections propaganda in favor of Habayit Hayehudi and endorse it warmly.

Bennett can propose annexation because every governing coalition since the Six-Day War – whether it was led by the Likud or Labor (or its precursor, Alignment) party, and whether its partners were Mafdal, Shas or Meretz – laid the spiritual and policy groundwork for him.

According to Bennett, about 60 percent of the West Bank – a.k.a. Area C – is annexable. What’s important about Area C is not whether 50,000 Palestinians live there, as democratic, benevolent Bennett claims, while suggesting to naturalize them and grant them Israeli citizenship, or whether the number is around 150,000 (as my colleague Chaim Levinson reminded us earlier this week).

Don’t worry. Even if there are 300,000 Palestinians living in Area C and all of them agree to become citizens, the Israeli bureaucracy will find ways to embitter their lives (the way it does the lives of the Bedouin in the Negev), revoke their citizenship (the way it does the residency status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem) and leave them without the little share of their land they still have (the way it did to the Palestinian citizens of Israel within the 1948 borders). This is why Bennett can allow himself to be munificent.

The true story behind area C is that there aren’t 400,000 Palestinians living there today; the villages have not expanded in accordance with their natural population growth; the number of residents has not grown; the herders can no longer graze their flocks freely; many of the inhabitants lack access to water, electricity, school and medical clinics; Israel has not been taken to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for destroying the cisterns; there are no paved roads in and between villages.

Many of the people have been living in tents and caves for 30 to 40 years – against their will and contrary to their hopes – and the Palestinian towns cannot expand properly and remove old industrial zones a reasonable distance from residential neighborhoods.

As I have said a million times and will say another million times: Area C is a tremendous success of Israeli policy and its implementers, the army and the Civil Administration. It is part of a farsighted, well-executed, perfectly thought-out policy that has succeeded precisely in that there aren’t 400,000 Palestinians living in the area. Bennett is probably decent/honest enough to acknowledge the debt he owes to the previous generations of Israeli politicians and military officials who warmed the country up for his annexation plan, ensuring its acceptance would be as effortless as a knife cutting butter in the sun.

Area C existed even before the Oslo negotiators invented the supposedly temporary division in 1995, distinguishing it from Area B, with full Israeli security control and partial policing authority and full civil authority for the Palestinians; and Area A, with full Palestinian civil and policing authority – albeit, as is often unappreciated, within an envelope of full Israeli security control.

When this division was being implemented, the media emphasized the difference between Area A, where armed members of the various Palestinian security forces could operate openly with license from Israel, and the rest of the Palestinian territories, where Palestinians would not be allowed to carry rifles. But in reality, the importance of Palestinian Authority policing powers is dwarfed in comparison with its lack of civilian authority over most of the land.

Area C, then, is shorthand for all the prohibitions that Israel imposes on Palestinian dignity of life, and it has existed before its invention. Live fire zones, military maneuver zones, security belts, fences, state lands, survey lands (where the state is in the process of declaring them as state lands, i.e. only for Jews), re-surveyed lands and post-surveyed lands and nature reserves. All these were aimed at concentrating them within narrow and meager Pales of Settlement (copyrights reserved for Imperial Russia and its confinement of the Jews). Unlike us, Arabs do not need space, land, resources, water, industrial zones, landscapes or recreational trips.

The Palestinian enclaves are the other side of Area C. Area C, then, is a metaphor for the Israeli ghetto mentality flipped. I usually take care not to use terms like “ghetto” or “concentration camp” to describe the enclaves where Israel has gathered the Palestinians from both sides of the Green Line, or 1948 armistice line, including the Gaza Strip and the slums of East Jerusalem. The 12 years of the Third Reich cemented these terms as links/stations in the conveyor leading to the final goal – a systematic genocide.

In our case, in contrast, ghettoization is itself the aim, having been implemented for the past 65 years. In other words, the aim – unfolded with the advent of time -has been to concentrate the Palestinians in reserves, after most of their land had been robbed of them. And if they desert and move abroad, it’s of their own free will. A direct planning and ideological line stretches between the enclaves in which the Palestinian citizens of Israel live and those of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

This is the real Israeli historical compromise. It is not with the Palestinians, but with the dictates of reality and among the various Zionist ideological currents. The crowded, offensive reservations –  the creation of which is violence, pure and simple – are a compromise between the craving to eject the Palestinians from their land and the recognition that regional and international conditions do not permit it.


By Mairav Zonszein

|Published January 19, 2013

IDF evicts Palestinians from their land, arrests 15, including mother with baby


[Watch the brief video to see how the Israeli soldier tries to grab the toddler from his mother’s arms]


5  Haaretz Sunday, January 20, 2012


A silent Palestinian voice amid the din of the Israeli election

Whoever believes that the Awad family will continue to be denied their rights forever is living a lie, the most revolting lie of this election campaign.


By Gideon Levy

Samir Awad won’t be voting in Tuesday’s election, not only due to his age (16 ) or his Palestinian nationality. Samir Awad won’t be voting on Tuesday because he was shot dead from close range last week by Israel Defense Forces soldiers: one bullet in his head, one in his back and one in his thigh. The soldiers who shot him will vote on Tuesday, because democracy is like that.

All of the neighbors from the hills opposite Awad’s home will also vote, despite living beyond the sovereign borders of their country. Most of them will vote for those who wish to banish Samir’s family, or continue to make their life hard. His bereaved father, Ahmed, cannot vote in this election despite living next to Israeli citizens, and working for years in Israel, building its houses and renovating its villas.

This is the elephant in the room. The monster at the door, who we try to ignore by saying, “If we won’t look at it, it won’t exist.” This is the worst deception of this election, the sickest lie of Israeli Democracy, promoted by all voters and candidates.

In a true democracy, Samir’s death would have become a campaign issue. Four innocent Palestinians were killed in the week leading up to the election. Nobody really cared, and one doubts if most Israelis were even aware of the deaths. Awad who? A singer or a soccer player?

It’s very easy to imagine the mood if, in the week leading up to the election, four Israelis were to be killed in a similar fashion: their deaths would rock the political establishment. But the Palestinian deaths go by like dust, barely worth a mention. Even their very presence in the backyard of the only democracy in the Middle East is as light as the dust.

No one bothers to inquire any more how the Awad family is prevented from participating in an election that will deeply affect their lives, while their neighbors – in the settlements constructed on their lands – enjoy rights that they can only dream of. Or how their neighbors naturally participate in this election, the ones that preceded it and the ones yet to come. How on earth can Israel be considered a democracy? How can it not be called an apartheid state? Why is nobody even discussing the issue?

Samir was murdered in cold blood. There’s no other way to describe his death. A high school student who wasn’t endangering anyone. The soldiers who shot him in flight will never be brought to justice. I saw their faces last week in a video clip, filmed several minutes after they killed Samir (who was trying to climb the separation barrier that suffocates his village ). They were a group of tough Israelis in uniform. Soon they will complete their service and begin civilian life, taking pride in their military service. After all, they are considered to be those with ‘values,’ those who ‘carry the weight of the burden’ – an issue that actually is present in the debate surrounding the election.

One can suppose that none of them suffer from sleepless nights, haunted by the death of the boy and the sorrow of his family. Israelis in general lose no sleep due to horrendous actions carried out on their behalf. And why should they? There are those who see to it that they shouldn’t be worried. Israel Radio reported that “the IDF prevented an effort to infiltrate Israel.”

Samir was two or three years younger than his killers. He didn’t have much of a future to look forward to, being one of a 17-strong family, supported by his father, who works in Israel. Even in the days of mourning Ahmed sports a “Hava & Adam, the Modi’in Ecological Farm” T-shirt. He still yearningly recalls how, in his broken Hebrew, he would lecture about Palestinian agriculture to Israeli students.

The murderers of his son can expect a different future: studies, entertainment, a career and voting rights. Only because they’re Jewish, not Palestinian. Israelis can vote on Tuesday for whoever they wish. But whoever believes that the Awad family will continue to be denied their rights forever is living a lie, the most revolting lie of this election campaign. Samir is the silent voice of this election, the voice which should have shocked and rocked the campaign.


6 Haaretz Sunday, January 20, 2013


Palestinians discover the strength of soft power

The Palestinians built a new tent city Friday, a tactic likely to win them much more sympathy than clashing with the IDF at the border or committing clear acts of terror.


By Amos Harel

A protester at the Palestinians’ protest camp last week. A new one was built Friday. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

U.S. President Barack Obama’s carefully timed attack last week on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was apparently the first seed. The disputes will continue after Netanyahu’s expected election victory Tuesday. Obama may have an interest in keeping a low profile on the Iranian threat, but not on the peace process.

In February, the International Atomic Energy Agency will release its latest report documenting Tehran’s progress in enriching uranium for a nuclear bomb. In a report in August, the IAEA said Iran had diverted some of its 20-percent enriched uranium toward medical research.

This information was complemented by heavy American pressure calling on Israel to refrain from attacking Iran before the U.S. presidential election last November. As a result, in his UN speech in September, Netanyahu deferred the Israeli “deadline” for a possible military action until spring or summer 2013.

Meanwhile, despite the stiffening international sanctions on Iran, there is no proof the policy led by the United States is blocking Iran’s nuclear efforts. The IAEA findings are likely to produce even stiffer sanctions in the spring, ahead of Iran’s presidential election in June. Thus, the next confrontation between Washington and Jerusalem is likely to come in the early summer; Netanyahu still sounds committed to a military operation.

Obama seems to lack an incentive to quarrel with Netanyahu on Iran. The president continues to give Israel aid, a fact that led Defense Minister Ehud Barak to take the unusual step of praising Obama on the eve of an election, despite the tensions between the White House and Netanyahu.

The West Bank is a completely different matter. Here Obama has every reason to continue to blast Netanyahu, whether before or after the Israeli election.

The West Bank is not about to break out in a third intifada. But two trends have taken shape over the past two weeks that might put Israel’s next government in an awkward position, particularly because of the hostility in Washington and West Europe toward Netanyahu’s Palestinian policies.

Two trends

The first trend involves the separation fences with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where four unarmed Palestinians were killed in one week. The deaths of two Palestinians who approached the Gaza fence (the Israel Defense Forces denies any link to one of the incidents ) didn’t cause a storm, mainly because Hamas wants to preserve the cease-fire. But the incidents in the West Bank, one in the village of Budrus near Ramallah and the other south of Hebron, are different. In both cases, Israeli soldiers opened fire – and without warrant, according to preliminary investigations.

Such mistakes have been made repeatedly over the years; they usually stem from the overenthusiasm of low-ranking officers who lose control of their soldiers – who are in no real danger anyway. Incidents happen, for example, when IDF troops are running after stone-throwers. To prevent such incidents, the IDF needs to supervise its troops better, launch criminal proceedings when necessary, and clarify the rules of engagement.

Israel has no answer to the second trend. It is linked to the so-called Bab al-Shams outpost, which Palestinian activists and left-wing Israelis and foreigners have put up the in E-1 corridor. The Netanyahu government has designated this area for a neighborhood that will connect Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. On Wednesday, the police evicted several dozen activists from the site, for the second time in a week. On Friday, some 400 Palestinian and foreign activists set up a new protest camp near the village of Beit Iksa, which they called Al-Karaa.

For the Palestinians, such an outpost is an ideal platform for a popular struggle. Such efforts are nonviolent, so they won’t draw criticism from overseas, especially considering Israel’s intentions to build in the area.

The (first ) rapid evacuation of activists, which Netanyahu boasted about this week, reflects the government’s faulty handling of the outpost issue over the past 15 years (though in recent years, the policy has been to prevent settlers from establishing outposts in the first place ). Such efforts by the Palestinians win much more sympathy than the sometimes violent incidents along the border; they certainly stir more sympathy than clear acts of terror.

A third intifada?

For months now there has been talk in Israel about a third intifada. Even if this happens, it’s not certain events will develop as they did in the past. Before the first intifada broke out in December 1987, Palestinian activists talked about a nonviolent popular revolt. But West Bank residents paid a heavy price for the suicide bombings of the second intifada that erupted in 2000.

There is no doubt: There is much support in the West Bank for another armed struggle. But demonstrations of “soft power” such as the first Palestinian outpost hit Israel’s government in a weak spot, and we can expect more. Palestinian newspapers are already calling the action “the Bab al-Shams intifada.”


Jack Khoury contributed to this report.



Sunday, January 20, 2013 

The several thousand IDF reservists living in the UK will be given preferential seats on El Al flights in case of war as part of a new contingency plan being prepared by the Defence Ministry and Israel’s national carrier.


By Anshel Pfeffer

The Israeli government, which privatised El Al in 2004, kept a minority holding in the company and, as part of the sale, required the airline’s new owners to commit capacity during emergencies. This meant the provision of three cargo planes and 1,200 passenger seats daily at times of war.

The Israeli government, which privatised El Al in 2004, kept a minority holding in the company and, as part of the sale, required the airline’s new owners to commit capacity during emergencies. This meant the provision of three cargo planes and 1,200 passenger seats daily at times of war.

One of the priorities would be the return of IDF reservists who belong to crucial combat and specialist units.

In past emergencies, there was chaos at Israeli embassies and El Al ticket offices as thousands of reservists clamoured for seats. Many of them bought tickets out of their own pockets.

In an attempt to make the best use of low capacity and prevent chaos, the IDF in the past has considered setting up enlistment centres at key embassies abroad, but this option was abandoned over sovereignty concerns.

Instead, the Defence Ministry will set up a centre in Tel Aviv which, during an emergency, will co-ordinate with El Al and Israeli embassies and consulates abroad. These include those in Britain, the US, Canada, France, Germany, India and Thailand.

There are no official figures on the number of Israeli citizens living in Britain — by some assessments there are over 50,000 — nor how many of them are IDF reservists, but defence sources believe there are at least a few thousand.

In the case of an emergency, they would be asked to contact the embassy in London. The embassy would pass on their details to the IDF personnel branch, which in turn which would decide which of the reservists are needed as a matter of priority.


8 Haaretz Sunday, January 20, 2013

Toppling Israel’s ivory tower

Faced with the campaign being waged by the right to reshape reality, academia – as an institution based on values like skepticism, tolerance and pluralism – has barely raised its voice.


By Or Kashti | Jan.20, 2013

Some 180 law faculty members were invited to sign a petition a month ago, protesting the Central Elections Committee’s decision to disqualify the candidacy of Arab MK Hanin Zuabi (Balad ) in the upcoming election. The petition didn’t contain any radical statements; all the signatories were asked to agree with was that “the right to be elected is a basic freedom in a democratic state.

Nevertheless, only 10 percent of the academics signed the petition, which was published in Haaretz several days before a panel of nine High Court Justices overruled the elections committee and approved Zuabi’s candidacy. After subtracting for a relatively small number of academics who may have disagreed with the petition, it is only possible to assume the rest didn’t sign the petition because they were scared.

This isn’t the only example of the recent silencing of academia. Several days ago, an open letter was published calling upon politicians to commit to combating “manifestations of racism, discrimination, permissible killings, hate crimes and political violence.” The letter was written by education professors Gavriel Salomon (University of Haifa ), Daniel Bar-Tal (Tel Aviv University ) and Nimrod Aloni (Kibbutzim College of Education ). Getting supporters’ signatures was no easy feat. First off, those hesitating to sign mentioned their fear of a recurrence of the incident involving Prof. Rivka Feldhay. (In 2008 Feldhay signed a petition supporting Israeli soldiers who refused to serve in the Palestinian territories; last month the Israeli government disinvited her from a German-Israeli event in Berlin. ) They fear that someone in one of the government ministries will one day dig up their own published protest letter and seek to hurt the signatories.

For example, one of those hesitating had signed petitions in the past against Israel’s occupation, but he also intends to request a research grant from the Education Ministry. Can anyone guarantee that this person’s signature on the petition won’t affect the ministry’s decision regarding his grant request?

The chilling effect of the cancelation of Prof. Feldhay’s participation in the summit between Israel and Germany’s leaders has certainly been felt in Israeli universities and colleges. The commonplace advice the researcher received from his colleagues was to remain silent; not to rock the boat.

This silence isn’t a cold that will disappear in a few days, but a bad case of pneumonia for all intents and purposes. The first symptoms could be seen when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously whispered into the ear of the aged kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri some 15 years ago that the “left has forgotten what it is to be Jewish.”

However, the past four years mark a significant change from the past. During this period, the right has waged a systematic campaign that included delegitimization, open and concealed threats and, at times, actual sanctions against whoever dared to undercut their complacent worldview.

The seeds of delegitimization spread through the air three years ago with the publication, by Im Tirtzu and the Institute for Zionist Strategies, of pseudo-scientific studies of the post-Zionist bias that supposedly prevails in Israeli academia. The seeds were then sown by these groups’ supporters in the government, including Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar. And they were tended to by right-wing organizations like Yisrael Sheli.

Finally, these seeds yielded rotten fruit, like the targeted attacks on Feldhay. There was Adar Cohen, who was dismissed from his job as a civic-studies supervisor at the Education Ministry due to his choice in textbooks. Gilad Natan was transferred from his position as a researcher at the Knesset Research and Information Center due to published opinion pieces he wrote outside his job several years before. Add to this the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which the Council for Higher Education – under Sa’ar’s leadership – has threatened to close.

Faced with the campaign being waged by the right to reshape reality, academia – as an institution based on values like skepticism, tolerance and pluralism – has barely raised its voice. At least, not in public. The number of academics who see public activism as part of their job description is declining. But even the larger organizations, like faculty groups, the various universities and the Israeli Academy of Humanities and Sciences, are trying to prevent any kind of statement being uttered about the increasingly ugly face of Israeli society. Self-censorship and conformity are more efficient than direct repression.


9 Truthout | Interview [forwarded by Sam]


A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

By Mark Karlin,

(Image: Just World Books)Any discussion of Israel’s political and military actions is likely to evoke emotional reactions among Jews that can split friendships and families. It’s a core issue that drills down deep into tribal and religious identity, the invocation of the Holocaust, ongoing bloodshed between Arabs and Jews, and a fear of re-emergent anti-Semitism. Rabbi Brant Rosen, a congregational rabbi in Evanston, Illinois and co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, takes on these volatile issues of Jewish faith, values and the traditional homeland narrative of Israel in a new book: “Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity.”

Rosen’s personal journey raises questions about Israel’s current path that go to the heart of the incendiary debate about Israel’s future as a Jewish state: whether it can change course and adopt values toward the Palestinians that reflect Jewish religious and cultural tradition, as well as whether a Jewish state can survive as a democracy without becoming a quasi-apartheid government. You can obtain “Wrestling in the Daylight” directly from Just World Books.

If you are Jewish, upon reading “Wrestling in the Daylight,” you will feel that you have found a kindred spirit in Rabbi Rosen, or you will become angry. But hopefully, you will begin a dialogue, a conversation in the daylight about the future of Israel, one that Rosen hopes is conducted with respect and civility. (Full disclosure: Mark Karlin is a member of Rabbi Rosen’s congregation.)

Mark Karlin: I recall reading your blog, Shalom Rav, during the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) siege of Gaza at the end of 2008. I found your profound condemnation of the massive attack that included countless civilian deaths to be riveting. Operation Cast Lead, as it was called, seemed to be a turning point for you. Why did that particular Israeli military action appear to cause a “coming out,” so to speak, the beginning of a breakaway from sacrosanct liberal Zionism?

Brant Rosen: Looking back, I think my strong reaction to Cast Lead was the final straw of a process that I had been experiencing for some time – dating all the way back to Israel’s first invasion of Lebanon in 1982. In the past, whenever Israel behaved in ways I felt were morally questionable, my concerns would be tempered by a defensive voice in the back of my head telling me: “Calm down. Don’t overreact. It’s complicated.” I’m pretty sure I’m not the only liberal Zionist who’s heard this voice. We’re very good at rationalizing or dismissing actions by Israel that we would never dare to condone if it were any other country.

But in the case of Cast Lead, I just didn’t hear the voice any more. I had already been openly expressing my opposition to Israel’s crushing blockade of Gaza, and when I heard the first news of Israel’s initial military onslaught – reports of Apache helicopters dropping literally tons of bombs on 1.5 million people living in a tiny strip of land with nowhere to run – I just couldn’t rationalize it anymore. I knew in my heart that Israel’s actions had nothing to do with security – this was oppression, pure and simple. This wasn’t about Hamas shooting crude missiles into Southern Israel – this was about bringing the Palestinian people to their knees. And I finally came to accept that it had always been this way.

So in a way, you could say that Cast Lead was the end of one process for me and the beginning of another. Once I publicly broke ranks with liberal Zionism on this score, I felt emboldened to share my feelings about a variety of Zionism’s sacred cows: I wrote openly about the ethnic cleansing that accompanied Israel’s birth and was still continuing, the troubling undercurrents of a system that institutionally privileged one ethnic group over another, the brutal crushing of Palestinian nonviolent resistance. Once I spoke out publicly on Cast Lead, you might say I felt liberated to bring my deepest, darkest concerns out into the light of day.

Mark Karlin: One of your most significant accusations, borne out in many ways by your experience in the West Bank, is that Israel is in the process of becoming an apartheid state – and that this may be the price of remaining a Jewish state. The tragic irony, of course, is that treating Palestinians as a whole as second-class people violates the Jewish tradition and values of embracing diversity and its understanding of the human condition. In essence, is there a risk of Israel only existing as a Jewish state at the price of losing its religious and secular values – its soul, so to speak?

Brant Rosen: It’s not just a potential risk; I think we’re witnessing the cost of this apartheid process every day. Even so, most Zionists are unable or unwilling to admit that this is what inevitably comes of fusing Judaism and political nationalism. But if you really consider it, how could it be otherwise? At the end of the day, how can you have a Jewish state that does not somehow treat non-Jews as “other”? That does not discriminate between Jews and non-Jews? That does not, on some level, create a system of institutional racism that privileges Jews over non-Jews?

So yes, I have personally come to the very painful realization that Jewish nation-statism comes at a very real cost to our Jewish soul – compromising sacred values that teach us that all human beings are created in the image of God, that one law must be extended to all who live on the land, that we must love our neighbors as ourselves.

Mark Karlin: Stereotyping any group of people is dangerous. In polls during peaceful periods, most Palestinians and Israelis appear to support peace. A lot of what Netanyahu appears to do is stir up the pot so that there will never be a long enough period to negotiate a peace. That’s not to excuse those in Hamas and Hezbollah who have their own motives in heating up the conflict now and then, along with other parties who have vested interests in stalling peace. When you talk of your Palestinian solidarity, some critics accuse you of abandoning Jewish solidarity and not sufficiently condemning those Arab extremists who are in the “destroy Israel” industry as much as Netanyahu is in the suppression-of-Palestinian-rights industry. How do you respond?


Brant Rosen: At the end of my book I addressed this issue directly:

As a Jew, I will also say without hesitation that I reject the view that I must choose between standing with Jews or standing with Palestinians. This is a zero-sum outlook that only serves to promote division, enmity and fear.

For me, the bottom line is this: the cornerstone value of my religious tradition commands me to stand in solidarity with all who are oppressed. It would thus be a profound betrayal of my own Jewish heritage if I consciously choose not to stand with the Palestinian people.

In other words, I believe my Jewish liberation to be intrinsically bound up with Palestinian liberation. It’s really that simple.

I’ve come to believe that solidarity should ultimately be driven by values, not tribal allegiances. It should be motivated by the prophetic vision that demands that we stand with the powerless and call out the powerful. Of course, in the case of Israel, this form of solidarity presents a very painful challenge to many Jews. I understand that. But at the very least, shouldn’t we be talking about this challenge and what it represents for us?

Does my solidarity mean that I agree with everything that is done by Palestinians in furtherance of their liberation? Of course not. When you stand in solidarity with a people, it is inevitable that you will find yourself standing next to some people whose actions and beliefs you will find odious. That comes with the territory when you choose to take a stand. And I might add that this is the case for liberal Zionists who stand in solidarity with Israel as well.

Mark Karlin: You state in your book that there is a perspective in which one can frame the founding of the State of Israel in its Middle East location as an injustice, but that being said, were it realistically achievable (and that certainly appears like a long shot at the current moment), do you support a two-state solution?

Brant Rosen: Before I answer, I feel compelled to say I firmly believe the two-state solution – at least as currently defined by the powers that be – is not “realistically achievable,” if it ever was. Israel has been pursuing a West Bank settlement policy – constructing more and more settlements while evicting and resettling more and more Palestinians – with utter impunity. Anyone witnessing the actual facts on the ground has to know that Israel’s actions are making an utter mockery of the notion of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. I think it’s clear that what Israel calls a “Palestinian state” bears no resemblance to anything you or I would recognize as an actual state. I think “cantons” or “Bantustans” would be more accurate.

Hypothetically speaking, I would support a two-state solution if it afforded equal civil and human rights under the law for all who live on the land. But this discussion is fairly moot at the moment. Under current circumstances, it seems increasingly likely that it’s going to come down to a choice between two one-state solutions – that is, a choice between a Jewish apartheid state or a state of all its citizens. On this score, I would support the latter over the former without hesitation – and I would challenge anyone who purports to cherish liberal values to say they feel otherwise.

Mark Karlin: There is a new book out entitled, “Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying: The Secret WWII Transcripts of German POWs.” It uses recently uncovered research to detail how ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers were generally aware of the mass killing of Jews and were either enthusiastic about it, or, at best, indifferent. What is your response to those who argue that there is no safety for the Jews in the world as long as there is not a Jewish state? This is a position that one of your synagogue’s members, Boris Furman, made in a discussion you both had on WBEZ (NPR) in Chicago.

Brant Rosen: According to classical Zionist ideology, the maintenance of a Jewish state is the only way to safeguard the well-being of the Jewish people. Since the establishment of Israel, however, we’ve witnessed the exact opposite happening: the Jewish state is now the only place in the world where Jewish people feel collectively endangered. Given Theodor Herzl’s original vision, it’s tragic to consider that the Jewish state has become a kind of Jewish ghetto of its own making – an over-militarized garrison state that is literally building higher and higher walls between itself and the outside world.

I don’t discount the threats posed by global anti-Semitism for a second – but when you look at the general well-being of Jewish communities in the Diaspora, it’s hard to deny that we currently live in one of safest times for Jews in Jewish history. Nevertheless, rather than celebrate these newfound freedoms, we’re opting to remain prisoners of our own collective trauma.

While I understand this psychologically, I have to say I’m fairly disgusted by those in Israel or in the American Jewish establishment who regularly invoke the specter of “another Holocaust” at every turn. I believe these kinds of claims are historically inaccurate, politically cynical and frankly, downright dangerous.

Mark Karlin: Can you expand upon your viewpoint toward the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) in relation to Israel? For so many Jews, this is akin to crossing the line into making Israel into a pariah.

Brant Rosen: I realize that boycotts conjure up hot-button memories for Jews, but once we accept that Israel is the overwhelmingly powerful party in the equation, I think we can see the BDS movement for what it is and what it isn’t. BDS is not a weapon of the powerful against the powerless, a la the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in 1930s Germany. The Palestinian BDS call is more accurately akin to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the American civil rights movement or the divestment movement against South African apartheid. It is a form of nonviolent direct action directed by an oppressed people who seek popular support for their liberation.

The Palestinian BDS movement was founded in 2005 by a coalition of Palestinian civil society groups motivated by Israel’s continued refusal to comply with international law in any number of instances – and the unwillingness of international political powers to hold them to account. In other words, in the absence of political pressure to change this inequitable equation, Palestinian civil society is seeking to leverage people power.

Yes, it is enormously painful for many Jews to see Israel targeted in this way. But if Israel is becoming a pariah, that’s due largely to its own actions. Defenders of Israel complain that BDS delegitimizes Israel; I’d say that, up until now, Israel has been doing a very good job of delegitimizing itself. Israel simply cannot consider itself to be “the only democracy in the Middle East” if it insists on implementing policies that put it on the road toward apartheid.

Mark Karlin: Playing devil’s advocate, I want to return to the issue of tribalism for a moment. It seems most of us have three basic core affinity groups as humans: family, tribal identity (which is often coincident with religious identity) and nationalism. Other than the United States, which is going through a ferocious political struggle right now over whether we are a white Christian nation or a democracy of many peoples, aren’t most nations built upon one tribal (and/or religious) group or another maintaining power? In some Arab states, one faction of Islam dominates the government. So, why shouldn’t there be a Jewish state as long as we still have a world built upon the nation-state model?

Brant Rosen: I’m not sure Israel can viably claim to be part of the Western family of nations while using Saudi Arabia as a role model. And frankly, I don’t think the majority of Jews throughout would have any interest in supporting a Jewish Saudi Arabia.

I think it’s a bit reductionist to say that the world is “built upon a nation-state model.” There are many peoples throughout the world who are not organized into formal sovereign states. And in the case of the Jewish people, I’d argue that the secret of our survival over the centuries was precisely because we avoided the route of nation-statism and empire. Mighty nations have come and gone, and we’re still here. Why? Because we created a unique kind of model, namely a multicultural, multi-ethnic spiritual peoplehood without borders.

The Zionist idea, however, is a conscious rejection of this Diasporist model. Zionism sought to make the Jewish people “k’chol ha’goyim” – like all the other nations. But now that we’ve seen what Zionism has wrought, I think it’s worth asking whether or not we’ve made something of a Faustian bargain by embracing political nationalism so thoroughly.

Mark Karlin: Israel is a diverse society. The largest population group is secular Jewish. Can one distinguish between the Netenyahu government and the majority of the Israeli people? To what extent is the current Israeli government the US’s Middle East neo-con partner as compared to the population as a whole, which includes Arabs who are Israeli citizens?

Brant Rosen: I think it is always important to distinguish between a nation’s government and its people. Having said this, I think it’s fair to say that Israel’s population has been growing increasingly nationalist and religious over the past two decades or so – and that we’ll be seeing this demographic shift increasingly reflected in Israel’s policies.

Mark Karlin: What you write in “Wrestling in the Daylight” is heartfelt, the product of much anguished self-inquiry, and courageously provocative. Yet, I feel in reading your book what you are most interested in, at this time, is opening a once-forbidden door to conversation and dialogue about Israel. You are, in your own evolution, giving permission to discuss, debate a heretofore unchallengeable narrative. Is this exchange of views by extending the boundary of discussion what you hope will come out of your book?

Brant Rosen: Yes, absolutely. I am a congregational rabbi and the Jewish community is my home. I certainly hope that my writing and my activism, in some small way, might help to widen the boundary on what is considered acceptable discourse in the Jewish community on this issue. Thus far, I’m actually fairly encouraged. It’s to my congregation’s credit that they are able to countenance a rabbi like me, even if there are plenty of members who disagree with my views. And based on the discussions on my blog, I’ve found that it is indeed possible to have an honest and open exchange of views on this subject, which is clearly the most emotional and potentially incendiary issue in our community today.

I’m also old enough to remember when even the mention of a two-state solution was considered heresy in the Jewish community, so I know all too well that what is considered “acceptable discourse” is constantly shifting and evolving. That’s why I’m confident there will always be a place for annoying pests like me who are nipping at the margins of the communal conversation.

Mark Karlin: It is perhaps an impossible challenge to summarize your nuanced, thoughtful journey – your exploration of Jewish humanistic and religious tradition expressed in the book – but let’s say I were given an assignment to write a one-sentence synopsis of “Wrestling in the Daylight.” Let’s return to an earlier question and paraphrase it. Would “If the price of maintaining a Jewish state is the loss of the divine spark of humanity within the Jewish soul, it is not a price worth paying” be anywhere near that one sentence?

Brant Rosen: Wow, that’s pretty lofty. I’d settle for “A rabbi shares his ideological evolution toward Palestinian solidarity – lively conversation ensues.”


“Wrestling in the Daylight” is available from the publisher’s web site.


10  SPIEGEL ONLINE Thursday,


Jan17, 2013


The Gravest of Allegations

Conflating Critique of Israel with Anti-Semitism

By Ronen Bergman

In recent years, Israeli Jews have often confused anti-Israel rhetoric with anti-Semitism, argues journalist Ronen Bergman, who has himself been subjected to verbal attacks for his reporting in SPIEGEL.

“You are part of the anti-Semitic propaganda yourself, and you don’t even know it. You don’t speak German and you don’t understand the nuances of the text, yet you sign it as one of the authors.”

This allegation was hurled at me by Melody Sucharewicz, a communications and strategy consultant in Israel and Germany. I myself am the son of two Holocaust survivors who lost their entire families in the war, and I tried to defend myself against what I thought was a false accusation, but to no avail.

The attack had been triggered by an investigative report published by SPIEGEL last June addressing the German-Israeli cooperation in the building of submarines for the Israeli navy and compiled over several months by a team of journalists that included me. The report revealed that these submarines can carry nuclear missiles that would serve as Israel’s second-strike capability in the event of a nuclear confrontation.

The report stirred up considerable controversy in Germany, where the government came under fire for financing the construction of such vessels in German docks. In Israel, I was criticized by many for taking part in an investigative report that served, in their opinion, as “severe anti-Israeli propaganda” in Germany. Sucharewicz’s attack was one of the harshest and best articulated.

Sucharewicz was born in Munich and moved to Israel at the age of 19. She became a celebrity in Israel in no small part due to her ability to express precisely what many Israelis believe in a polished manner and in a number of different languages.


I asked her to put her indictment down in writing. Here are her main points:


“Given the rising trends of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel resentments in German society, it’s probably helpful to focus on the effects of this new quality and tone of Israel criticism in the public discourse. Even Günter Grass may wholeheartedly believe it’s his life’s last mission to communicate Israel’s danger to the world out of love and friendship for the Jewish people and their state. The effect of this trend on media consumers, however, is more important than the motives of more or less relevant individual authors.”

“Last June’s cover story in SPIEGEL on the German-Israeli submarine deal is an example: ‘Should Germany, the country of the perpetrators, be allowed to assist Israel, the land of the victims, in the development of a nuclear weapons arsenal capable of extinguishing hundreds of thousands of human lives?’ … ‘Should Germany, as its historic obligation stemming from the crimes of the Nazis, assume a responsibility that has become ‘part of Germany’s reason of state?” The subtext is clear: 1. Israel plans to wipe out the Iranian people and thus is equal to the Third Reich. 2. Germany is pressured into this because of the Holocaust.”

“The systematic and subtle manipulation of this sort in reports about Israel — whether skillfully staged or unintentional, to a large extent explains why, according to a study on anti-Semitism in German society recently commissioned by the Bundestag (the federal parliament), almost 40 percent of Germans claim that ‘Jews try to take an advantage out of the Third Reich History;’ why 44 percent say they ‘understand that one dislikes Jews, when looking at Israel’s policies.'”

Sucharewicz makes some tough arguments, and reading through the Simon Weisenthal Center’s list of leading anti-Semites that put Jakob Augstein in 9th place and launched this current debate on modern day anti-Semitism, I feel that it is somehow based on very similar arguments.


‘He Definitely Deserves the No. 9 Spot’


According to Ephraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center’s representative in Israel, “Augstein shouldn’t be placed at No. 1 on the list, but because of various statements that he has made, that could have come straight out of ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ he definitely deserves the No. 9 spot.” In Western Europe, he says, “there are three sources of anti-Semitism: the Muslim communities, the extreme right and the extreme left. In Germany, the authorities clamp down hard on the first two, but they do nothing against the third group, to which Augstein belongs.”

A number of historical processes led to a situation in which people like Augstein, and media like SPIEGEL are labeled “anti-Semites.” Since its founding after World War II, the state of Israel has identified itself completely with the plights of Diaspora Jews. Protecting Jews from persecution has become part of the Jewish state’s official agenda, putting Israeli and Diaspora Jews under one “law.” For example, when anti-Jewish outbreaks in various countries threatened the well-being of local Jewish communities, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency took the precautionary step of secretly distributing weapons and providing training to assist them in defending themselves. Given that any Jew can become an Israeli citizen, Israel, by doing so, was also defending its potential future citizens.

During the 1970s, when the German left-wing extremists of the Red Army Faction joined forces with Palestinian terrorist groups, the Israelis perceived the development to have derived directly from the legacy of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.

The Israeli “siege mentality” is the product of hundreds of years of anti-Semitism that culminated in the Holocaust. That has very rightfully made Israelis highly sensitive to anything that may sound like anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, this anti-Semitism was never perceived as a serious threat to Israel.


The World Shows Less Patience with Israel


But the last 10 years have brought about a profound change and, since then, many Israelis and Jews have begun conflating anti-Israel politics with anti-Semitism. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, high-tech military technology has gained Israel the upper hand, and battles in densely populated areas are bound to be widely criticized. Indeed, Israel, in its heart forever the David, has never adapted to being the Goliath.

As the world shows less and less patience towards the continuation of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, attempts are made, inter alia, to organize boycotts of Israeli academics, performers and products. This development is known in Israel as “the delegitimization” process, which has been marked by the Israeli government as a central national security challenge — one which could lead to serious damage to the Israeli economy the country’s standing abroad. The country has allocated huge resources, in the diplomatic and intelligence spheres, to thwart what is perceived as a concerted international effort to discredit Israel as a pariah state, similar to South Africa before the end of the apartheid era.

The greater the number of accusations that are hurled at Israel, the more it levels at others, and there is none graver in the Jewish lexicon than “anti-Semitism.” Those who support this approach have little difficulty proving that Israel is unfairly treated in the international arena. Some of their arguments are not without merit. How is it, they ask, that the United Nations Human Rights Council focuses so many of its activities against Israel and devotes almost no attention to other countries? How can it be that tens of thousands of people are massacred in Syria, but the whole world picks only on us? Hamas is a terror organization that has killed hundreds of Israeli civilians, women and children, in suicide attacks and even today calls for the elimination of Israel, but Augstein compares Hamas with some segments of the Orthodox Jewish population, and claims that both have the identical lust for revenge. The explanation for this behavior of the outside world is seen by most Israelis as simple anti-Semitism and an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the continued existence of the Jewish state.

Israelis Fear Delegitimization

The danger that many Israelis perceive in this delegitimization process is also reflected in a number of anti-democratic measures initiated by the right wing inside Israel itself. What in the past had been viewed as legitimate criticism from Israeli left-wing groups, especially those who oppose measures they see as being repressive against the Palestinians, is increasingly viewed today as collaborating with the enemy, namely the “anti-Semites” abroad, the “de-legitimizers”.

The urge to defend Israel, whose international standing is steadily deteriorating, makes people like Sucharewicz and the leaders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrongly equate criticism of Israel, however vehement it may be, with anti-Semitism. Like the Wiesenthal Center, Augstein is also an expert when it comes to provocation. As an Israeli reading some of the things that he has written, I also felt wronged at times. Sometimes he gets carried away, tendentious or makes historical errors. But despite all this, there are absolutely no grounds for labeling Augstein as an anti-Semite.

Charges of anti-Semitism often come in order to spare the Israeli leadership and their supporters the need to actually tackle the problems that evoke criticism. If it is true that the gentiles hate Jews, their motto seems to be, why listen to them at all?

Here’s a test study that I propose for the right-wing Israeli leadership: Get the peace process going again and let a Palestinian state declare itself alongside Israel. Then you’ll be able to distinguish at last between those who condemned us for the occupation and the true Jew haters. Identify the latter and turn the Wiesenthal Center loose against them.

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Frenzy in the Gold Market: The Repatriation of Germany’s Post World War II Gold Reserves

Global Research,

The decision of Germany’s Bundesbank to repatriate part of its Gold Reserves held at the New York Federal Reserve bank has triggered a frenzy in the gold market.

German news sources suggest that a large portion of the German gold stored in the vaults of the New York Fed and the Banque de France is to be moved back to Germany.

According to analysts, this move could potentially “trigger a chain reaction, prompting other countries to start repatriating the gold stored in London, New York or Paris…. “

If gold repatriation becomes a worldwide trend, it will be obvious that both the US and UK have lost their credibility as gold custodians. For gold markets worldwide, this move may mark a switch from “financial gold” to “physical gold”, but the process is definitely in its early stages.

The decision to repatriate the German gold is a big victory for a part of the German press that first forced theBundesbank to admit that 69% of its gold is stored outside Germany. Almost certainly both the German press and at least several German lawmakers will demand a verification procedure for the gold bars returned from New York, just to make sure that Germany doesn’t receive gold-plated tungsten instead of gold. It seems that German decision makers no longer trust their American partners. (Voice of Russia, January 15, 2013, emphasis added)

While the issue is actively debated in Germany, US financial reports have downplayed the significance of this historic decision, approved by the German government last September.

Meanwhile, a “Repatriate our Gold” campaign has been launched by several German economists, business executives and lawyers. The initiative does not apply solely to Germany. It calls upon countries to initiate the homeland repatriation of ALL gold holdings held in foreign central banks.

While national sovereignty and custody over Germany’s gold assets is part of the debate, several observers –including politicians– have begged the question: “can we trust the foreign central banks” (namely the US, Britain and France) which are holding Germany’s gold bars “in safe keeping”:

…Several German politicians have … voiced unease. Philipp Missfelder, a leading lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party, has asked the Bundesbank for the right to view the gold bars in Paris and London, but the central bank has denied the request, citing the lack of visitor rooms in those facilities, German daily Bild reported.

Given the growing political unease about the issue and the pressure from auditors, the central bank decided last month [September] to repatriate some 50 tons of gold in each of the three coming years from New York to its headquarters in Frankfurt for ‘‘thorough examinations’’ regarding weight and quality, the report revealed.

…Several passages of the auditors’ report were blackened out in the copy shared with lawmakers, citing the Bundesbank’s concerns that they could compromise secrets involving the central banks storing the gold.

The report said that the gold pile in London has fallen ‘‘below 500 tons’’ due to recent sales and repatriations, but it did not specify how much gold was held in the U.S. and in France. German media have widely reported that some 1,500 tons — almost half of the total reserves — are stored in New York.

( Associated Press, Oct 22, 2012, emphasis added )

A full and complete repatriation of gold assets, however, is not envisaged:

“The Bundesbank plans to transfer 300 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve in New York and all of its gold stored at the Banque de France in Paris, 374 tonnes, to Frankfurt. beginning this year,

By 2020, it wants to hold half of the nearly 3,400 tonnes of gold valued at almost 138 billion euros – only the United States holds more – in Frankfurt, where it stores about a third of its reserves. The rest is kept at the Federal Reserve, the Banque de France and the Bank of England. (Reuters, January 16, 2012)

The German Federal Court of Auditors has called for an official inspection of German gold reserves stored at foreign central banks, “because they have never been fully checked“.

Are these German bullion reserves held at the Federal Reserve “separate” or are they part of the Federal Reserve’s fungible “big pot” of gold assets.

Does the New York Federal Reserve Bank have Fungible Gold Assets to the Degree Claimed”? Could it reasonably meet a process of homeland repatriation of gold assets initiated by several countries simultaneously?

According to the NY Federal Reserve, 98% of its gold bullion reserves is in custody, i.e. it belongs to foreign countries. The remaining 2% belongs to the IMF and the NY Federal Reserve Bank. In a bitter irony the actual gold reserves of the NY Federal Reserve Bank are minimal.

Why is German Gold held outside Germany?

“Why is our gold in Paris, London and New York” and not in Frankfurt ?

The official explanation –which borders on the absurd– is that West Germany at the outset of the Cold War decided to store its central bank gold assets in London, Paris, and New York to “put them out of reach of the Soviet empire” which was allegedly intent upon looting West Germany’s gold treasures.

According to Reuters:

As the Cold War set in, Germany kept its gold reserves put, keeping them out of reach of the Soviet empire. But government officials have grown uneasy about the storage set-up and have called for the Bundesbank to inspect the bars.

The Bundesbank now wants to change the arrangement too, even though it has said it does not see a need to count the bars or check their gold content itself and considers written assurances from the other central banks as sufficient.

With the end of the Cold War it was no longer necessary to keep Germany’s gold reserves “as far to the west and as far from the Iron Curtain as possible”, Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told reporters on Wednesday.

The Bundesbank gained more space in its vaults after the transition to the euro from the deutschmark. Reuters, January 16, 2013)

According to the Western media, in chorus, the threats of the “evil empire” in the course of the Cold War era had so to speak encouraged the “looking after” and “safe-keeping” of billions of dollars of German gold bullion in the secure central bank vaults of France, England and America. This was a “responsible” initiative undertaken by these three countries –”friends of West Germany”– with a view to allegedly assisting the Bundesbank located in Frankfurt am Main against an imminent attack by The Red Army.

But now more than 21 years after the official end of the Cold War (1991), the Bundesbank “plans to bring home some of its gold reserves stored in the United States’ and French central banks, bowing to government pressure to unwind a Cold War-era ploy that secured the national treasure.”

What was the objective of the US, in the wake of the World War II in pressuring countries to deposit their gold bullion in the custody of the US Federal Reserve?

Historically, the accumulation of gold bullion in the vaults of the US Federal Reserve (on behalf of foreign countries) has indelibly served to strengthen the global dollar system, both during the period of the (Bretton Woods) post-war “gold exchange standard” (1946-1971) as well as in its aftermath (1971-).

History: In the Wake of World War II

The gold bullion storage arrangement has nothing to do with the Soviet threat, as conveyed in official statements.

It has a lot to do with the history of World War II and its immediate aftermath.

The early postwar central banking arrangement was dictated by the Victors of World War II, namely America, France and Britain.

The military occupation governments of these three countries directly controlled the post-war monetary reforms implemented in West Germany starting in 1945.

West Germany had been split up into three zones, respectively under the jurisdiction of the US, Britain and France (see map below). From 1945 to 1947, The Reichmark continued to circulate with new paper money printed in the US.


Post-Nazi German occupation borders and territories. Areas in beige indicate territories east of the Oder-Neisse line that were attached to Poland and the USSR. The Saar Protectorate, on the lefthand side of the map, is also shown in beige. Berlin is the multinational area shown within the red Soviet zone. (source: Wikipedia)

In 1947, the US and UK controlled occupation zones merged into an Anglo-American “BiZone”. In 1948, under a so-called “First Law on Currency Reform”, the occupation military government set up the Bank deutscher Länder (Bank of the German States)in liaison with the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. The currency reforms were implemented in parallel with the Marshall Plan, launched in June 1947.

The Bank deutscher Länder (BdL) was to manage the monetary system of the Länder (equivalent to states in a federal structure) in the Bizone under the jurisdiction of the US-UK military government, leading to the establishment of the Deutsche Mark in June 1948, which replaced the Reichsmark.

Ludwig Erhard –who became Finance Minister under the FGR government of Conrad Adenauer and then German Chancellor (1963-1966)– played a central role in the process of monetary reform. He started his political career as an economic consultant to the US military Government (USMG). In 1947, he was appointed chairman of the currency reform commission. From January 1947 to May 1949, the US military governor of the US zone (USMG) who supervised the setting up the new currency arrangement was General Lucius D. Clay, nicknamed “Der Kaiser”.

The Deutsche Mark initiative was then extended to the occupation zone controlled by France in November 1948 (“TriZone” arrangement), with the inclusion and participation of the Banque de France.

While the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) (Bundesrepublik Deutschland), was created in May 1949, the Bundesbank only came into existence 8 years later, in 1957.

Germany’s gold reserves were under the jurisdiction of the Bank deutscher Länder (and subsequently of the Bundesbank). But the BdL was an initiative of the US-UK-France military occupation governments.

Of significance, under the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard (1946-1971), the dollar denominated export revenues accruing to West Germany were converted into gold at 32 dollars an ounce. In other words, the export earnings resulting from the sale of German commodities in the US market were, in a sense, “returned” to America in the form of gold bullion which was deposited for “safe-keeping” at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

The important question is the following:

Did the procedures and agreements determined by the occupation military governments in 1947-48 envisage a framework whereby part of West Germany’s gold bullion was to be held in the victors’ central banks, namely the Bank of England, the US Federal Reserve and the Banque de France?

Gold Reserves from the Third Reich

The issue of the gold reserves of the Third Reich is a subject matter in itself, beyond the scope of this article.

A couple of observations: As of 1945, large amounts of gold from the Third Reich were transferred into custody of the military governments. Part of this gold was used to finance war reparations:

In September 1946, the United States, Britain, and France established the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold (TGC). The commission has its roots in Part III of the Paris Agreement on Reparation, signed on January 14, 1946 concerning German war reparations. Under the 1946 Paris Agreement, the three Allies were charged with recovering monetary gold looted by Nazi Germany from banks in occupied Europe and placing it in a “gold pool.”

Claims against the gold pool and subsequent redistribution of the gold to claimant countries were to be adjudicated and executed by the three Allies. ” ( for further details see US State Department, Tripartie Gold Commission, February 24, 1997,

A Foreign Exchange Depositary (FED) had been established at the Reichbank in Frankfurt. Referred to as “the Fort Knox of Germany”, a process of collection had been established `by the FED on behalf of the Allied Occupation Council.

Gold was collected by the FED, both in monetary and non-monetary form. By October 1947 –coinciding with the establishment of the Bank deutscher Laender– the FED, had accumulated 260 million dollars of monetary gold (at the 1947 price of gold, this represented a colossal amount of bullion).

A large part of this gold was restituted to different claimant countries, organizations and individuals. In 1950, the remaining assets of the FED –which were minimal, according to the US State Department– were transferred to the Bank deutscher Laender. (William Z. Slany, US Efforts to Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II, US State Department, Washington, 1997, p. 150-59).


Germany´s 3,400 tons of gold reserves does not pertain to gold from the pre-1945-era. Moreover, while the procedures of West Germany’s monetary reform under allied military occupation (1947-48) were instrumental in setting the foundations of German central banking in the post-war era, the initial amounts of gold bullion deposited in the early days of the Bank Deutscher Laender were minimal and of little significance.

It is understood that outside the realm of central banking and monetary reform, the allied forces of World War II including the US, Britain, France and the USSR did appropriate part of the gold of the Third Reich. This in itself is an entirely separate and complex issue which is beyond the scope of this article.

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“Attack on Sovereignty”: The “Obama Regime” and America’s Unipolar World

Global Research,

Those concerned about “The New World Order” speak as if the United States is coming under the control of an outside conspiratorial force. In fact, it is the US that is the New World Order. That is what the American unipolar world, about which China, Russia, and Iran complain, is all about.

Washington has demonstrated that it has no respect for its own laws and Constitution, much less any respect for international law and the law and sovereignty of other countries. All that counts is Washington’s will as the pursuit of hegemony moves Washington closer to becoming a world dictator.

The examples are so numerous someone should compile them into a book. During the Reagan administration the long established bank secrecy laws of Switzerland had to bend to Washington’s will.

The Clinton administration attacked Serbia, murdered civilians and sent Serbia’s president to be tried as a war criminal for defending his country. The US government engages in widespread spying on Europeans’ emails and telephone calls that is unrelated to terrorism. Julian Assange is confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington won’t permit the British government to honor his grant of political asylum. Washington refuses to comply with a writ of habeas corpus from a British count to turn over Yunus Rahmatullah whose detention a British Court of Appeals has ruled to be unlawful. Washington imposes sanctions on other countries and enforces them by cutting sovereign nations that do not comply out of the international payments system.

Last week the Obama regime warned the British government that it was a violation of US interests for the UK to pull out of the European Union or reduce its ties to the EU in any way.

In other words, the sovereignty of Great Britain is not a choice to be made by the British government or people. The decision is made by Washington in keeping with Washington’s interest.

The British are so accustomed to being Washington’s colony that deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and a group of UK business executives quickly lined up with Washington.

This leaves Great Britain in a quandary. The British economy, once a manufacturing powerhouse, has been reduced to the City of London, Britain’s equivalent to Wall Street. London, like New York, is a world financial center of which there are none in Europe. Without its financial status, there wouldn’t be much left of the UK.

It is because of the City’s financial importance that the UK, alone of the EU member states, kept the British pound as its currency and did not join the euro. Because the UK has its own currency and central bank, the UK was spared the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued other EU member states. The Bank of England, like the Federal Reserve in the US, was able to bail out its own banks, whereas other EU states sharing a common currency could not create money, and the European Central Bank is prohibited by its charter (at Germany’s insistence) from bailing out member states.

The quandary for the UK is that the solution to the sovereign debt crisis toward which the EU is moving is to strip the member governments of their fiscal sovereignty. For the individual countries, the spending, taxing and, thereby, deficit or surplus positions of the member countries’ budgets will be set by EU central authority. This would mean the end of national sovereignty for European countries.

For Britain to remain an EU member while retaining its own currency and central bank would mean special status for Great Britain. The UK would be the only member of the EU that remained a sovereign country. What are the chances that the UK will be permitted such exceptional status? Is this acceptable to Germany and France?

If the British are to fold themselves into Europe, they will have to give up their currency, central bank, their law, and their economic status as a world financial center and accept governance by the EU bureaucracy. The British will have to give up being somebody and become nobody.

It would, however, free the UK from being Washington’s puppet unless the EU itself is Washington’s puppet.

According to reports, sometime this year Scotland, a constituent part of the UK, is to vote on leaving the UK and becoming an independent country. How ironic that as the UK debates its dismemberment the country itself faces being merged into a multi-national state.

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Sylvia Stoltz speaks…

You’ve met Galileo now meet Joan of Arc

This is Sylvia Stoltz, defender of Ernst Zundel who, while properly defending her client also fell foul of Germany’s quite incomprehensible Holocaust denial laws.

She refused to bend her knee and of course, paid the price.

She’s been called the German Joan of Arc. A trifle overblown? Perhaps. But if ever a people needed a St Joan, it is the German people and if ever anyone had, at least a go at playing that role, it is Sylvia Stolz.

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Long March, Army and National Interest


By Sajjad Shaukat


After signing of the Islamabad Long March Declaration by the representatives of the coalition government and Dr Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, the chief of Tehrik-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran (TMQ) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) on January 17, this year, the five days episode was ended, which started from Lahore on January 13, and continued at the D-Chowk of the federal Capital where thousands of persons continued the sit-in for the implementation of Dr Qadri’s demands.

The agreement includes the dissolution of the National Assembly before March 16, 2013 so that elections can be held within 90 days; one month will be given for scrutiny of nomination papers for the purpose of pre-clearance of the candidates. No candidate would be allowed to start the election campaign until pre-clearance, and in consultation with Pakistan Awami Tehreek, names of two honest and impartial persons for appointment as caretaker prime minister will be chosen. While, issue of composition of the Election Commission of Pakistan will be discussed at the next meeting on January 27, 2013 at the Minhaj-ul-Quran Secretariat, Lahore.

Different interpretations are being given to the understanding reached between the two parties. Some political and religious leaders including media commentators describe it as a face saving-underhand deal as almost all the political parties like PPP, PML-N, M L-Q, ANP, Jamaat-e-Islami, (JI) and JUI-F condemned the long march and sit-in at Islamabad, while favouring the democratic setup and the coming process of general elections in the country. Even, chief of MQM, Altaf Hussain who decided to participate in the long march of Tehrik-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran, while favouring the demands of Dr Tahirul Qadri, withdrew his support. Similarly, PTI led by Imran Khan, which was considering on January 16 to join the sit-in organised by TMQ distanced itself.

Critics opine that Dr Tahirul Qadri failed in obtaining his real objectives, turning the capital’s Constitution Avenue into Egypt-style Tahrir Square, and had said that he would not abandon sit-in unless bringing a revolution against the control of parliament by the corrupt rulers who are responsible for load shedding of electricity, gas, price-hike, unemployment etc., forcing them to resign.

The government did not accept Dr Qadri’s electoral reforms except minor changes in the process. Aside from giving Qadri a voice in who leads the caretaker administration, the government also agreed to dissolve parliament before a scheduled date of March 16, though it did not specify a date. An announcement of an election date could come during a parliament session on January 21.

Nawaz Sharif of PML-N stated on January 18 that Dr Tahirul Qadri had rushed to Islamabad to save the state and topple the government, but escaped from the scene without completion of his so-called agenda. Moreover, many political leaders including PML-N have remarked that sudden return of Dr Tahirul Qadri, holder of Canadian nationality to Pakistan, after seven years and call for the long march near the forthcoming elections showed that he was working on foreign agenda to destabilise Pakistan.

Some political experts say that it is a good sign that the representatives of the ruling parties agreed to reforms which though do not as much concede to Qadri’s wishes, but they do allow for a smooth run up to the elections.

Although everyone has been viewing the outcome of long march and sit-in at Islamabad by Dr Tahirul Qadri’s party from his point of view, yet like the past, some internal entities of Pakistan misperceived that Pak Army was behind the long March of Dr Qadri.

Meanwhile, rumours started spreading about Martial Law when on January 15, the Supreme Court ordered the National Accountability Bureau to arrest all 16 people including Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, accused of corruption in rental power projects in 2010. 

In this regard, the human rights activists and the former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jehangir who has always remained a vocal spoken against army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) illogically deduced on the same day, saying that the long march of Dr Tahirul Qadri and the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s order for the arrest of prime minister were not a coincidence, but a part of multiple planning—these developments which had been targeting the democracy and the rule of law, were aimed at bringing the army back into power. She added that lawyers’ community will resist any dictator. Besides, some analysts and newspapers were also misguiding the people that military was engineering a fourth coup behind the scenes.

Earlier, when the chief of TMQ, Dr Qadri had announced the long march and had given the deadline of January 10, 2013 to the federal government to fulfil his conditions, rumours were already spread by some hostile elements that Pak Army is covertly backing Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march. But, on January 2, 2012, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa categorically denied the speculation, linking Dr Tahirul Qadri to the military establishment.

Nevertheless, all these misperceptions proved untrue as Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani did not interfere in the long march, and during the four days sit-in by the supporters of Dr Qadri in Islamabad.

It is notable that many serious crises erupted in the country, but Gen. Ashfaq Kayani did not interfere and therefore, the present civil government completed its tenure.

Notably, while speaking about Memogate case, on December 22, 2011, the ex-Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, without naming army and ISI, presumed that conspiracies were being hatched to topple the democratically elected government. The opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N had also stated that Martial Law would not be accepted in the country. 

In that backdrop, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani stated on December 23, “The Pakistan Army has and will continue to support democratic process in the country.”

It is mentionable that after the speeches of November 5, 2012 Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Gen. Kayani, a few segments of politics and electronic media had been manipulating their statements by indicating as if there was a clash between the judiciary and army. Some politicians hinted about Martial Law in the country. Although there was some difference in nature of their statements, yet central point of both army chief and chief justice was the same, as they asserted about the supremacy of the constitution, strengthening the institutions, rule of law, fundamentarights, realisation of forgetting mistakes of the past—and to take a fresh start for the protection and defence of the homeland. Nevertheless, without grasping realities, politicians have also manipulated every issue like the Memogate case, Mehrangate verdict, NRO scandal, missing persons of Balochistan, Air Marshal (r) Asghar Khan case, military operation in Waziristan, incident of Malala Yousafzai etc., not only to disrepute country’s key security intuitions, but also against each other so as to misguide the common men to increase their voting lists.

No doubt during every crisis, by leaving the past practice, Pak army, under the leadership of its present head, has desisted from any kind of adventurism.

While, on June 9, 2011, by stressing upon national unity, Gen. Kayani, especially explained, “any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country was not in national interest…this is an effort to drive a wedge between the army, different organs of the state and more seriously, the people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists.” Recently, he repeated similar views about media speculations of military operation in North Waziristan.

Particularly, on March 6, 2008, Gen. Kayani had clearly remarked, “The army would stay out of the political process.” He is still acting upon the principle of non-intervention in political affairs. And during Qadri’s, long march, he remained firm on his stand.

At this critical hour, when Pakistan is facing multi-faceted crises in economic and social terms besides perennial wave of subversive activities in various cities as arranged by the foreign secret agencies, national interest demands a selfless unity among politicians, security forces, media and general masses so as to cope with internal and external challenges instead of long marches.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

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