Archive | January 26th, 2013

You must not tell the truth! And chutzpah defined

NOVANEWS

By Alan Hart

Some of us do not believe what our politicians say especially when the subject is Israel’s behaviour – its ongoing colonization of the occupied West Bank for the purpose of making peace impossible except, perhaps, on terms which require the Palestinians to surrender to Zionism’s will. The responses of some Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong to one British MP who did dare to tell the truth illustrate why most politicians throughout the Western world won’t. That’s yesterday’s story but I am driven to comment by the hypocrisy on display, hypocrisy which takes chutzpah to wild extremes.

For those readers who might not be fully familiar with chutzpah, let’s begin with a definition of it.

Chutzpah is a Talmudic word that means many similar things, chief among them being shameless audacity, impudence and arrogance, each and all laced with incredible self-righteousness.

In the context of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, chutzpah represents an Israeli (Jewish) way of saying to the world without actually saying it something like: “We know we shouldn’t have done this. We know it’s wrong. But we’ve done it because we also know there’s nothing you can do about it.”

As I say in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, if there is one single word that sums up the whole Zionist enterprise, it is chutzpah.

Sunday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day and this year marks the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp where more than none million people, mostly Jews, died. As this day approached, the Holocaust Educational Trust placed a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons to give MPs the chance to sign it and honour those who were slaughtered during the Nazi holocaust and subsequent other genocides, and commit themselves to encouraging constituents “to work together to combat prejudice and racism today.”

Among those who signed the book and pledged his commitment (I’d be somewhat surprised if there was a single available MP who didn’t sign) was David Ward, the Liberal Democratic member for Bradford East, a 59 year-old new comer to the House, elected in 2010.

On his web site he then said this:

Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.

Then, in an update after he was condemned by his party and reviled by Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong, he added this:

For my entire political career I have fought prejudice. I have just returned from Bradford’s Holocaust Memorial event where people across cultures and faiths joined together to say, “We bear witness to the horrors of the Holocaust and will never forget its lessons.”

In the words of the Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, as quoted in the booklet Holocaust Memorial Day – Learning Lessons from the past to create a safer, better future, I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

The response of Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, included this: “We are outraged and shocked at these offensive comments about Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the suggestion that Jews should have learned a lesson from the experience.”

If that means the Jews have nothing to learn from the Nazi holocaust – the slaughter of Jews and others by Europeans NOT Arabs or other Muslims – I am more than amazed.

It was, however, the response of Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust that took my breath away. She said she was “deeply saddened” that the MP had “deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust.”

In my view that’s chutzpah taken to its wildest extreme. Why?

There is no power on Planet Earth that has used and abused the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust more than Zionism.

It has used the guilt of Europeans and the West as a whole to blackmail politicians and the mainstream media into silence on the matter of Zionism’s crimes and justify everything it did and does in defiance of international law and a string of UN Security Council resolutions.

Footnote:

I sent the following e-mail to MP David Ward:

“You have my utmost respect and admiration, not only for your truth telling but for refusing to back down under fire, including fire from your own party which, like all others and the mainstream media, is terrified of offending Zionism.”

At the time I sent my message to him, he had apparently received 80 unsolicited supportive e-mails and only two from detractors.

But he must watch his back. He won his election to the House of Commons by the narrow margin of 365 votes. It will be interesting to see if he becomes a target for an organized Zionist campaign to defeat him at the next election.

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The Hagel Haters –Who are they?

NOVANEWS

It’s said you can discern a man’s character by who his friends are, which may or may not be true, but in my view there’s a much more reliable way to gauge what someone’s all about: by who his enemies are. In Chuck Hagel’s case, it tells the whole story.

Who are Hagel’s enemies? Here’s a by-no-means-comprehensive list:

Bill Kristol – It was Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and the neocons’ little Lenin, who has been at the center of the anti-Hagel hate-fest: and it was the Standard that dropped the “he’s-an-anti-Semite” bomb on the Hagel nomination, “reporting” the vicious remarks of an anonymous Senate aide:

“Send us Hagel and we’ll make sure every American knows he’s an anti-Semite.”

The reason for Kristol’s animus? He’s the exact opposite of Hagel in every respect: a laptop bombardier who’s never been anywhere near the military and yet who, nevertheless, has spent a lot of time and energy over the years making the case for perpetual war. Kristol’s “Project for a New American Century” agitated ceaselessly for war with Iraq, just as it’s successor, the “Foreign Policy Initiative,” has relentlessly called for war with Iran. Here is a man who vowed to “crush Serb skulls” during the run up to our illegal and unnecessary war in the Balkans, and vowed to leave the GOPif the Republicans in Congress blocked Clinton’s war moves. As the ideologue-in-chief of the chickenhawk brigade, his magazine has become the Hagel Hater’s headquarters, reporting every criticism of the former Senator from Nebraska, from the Israel lobby to the gay lobby with bated breath and comic inconsistency. This is the first known instance in which the Weekly Standard has shown sympathy for the gay cause – and it will surely be the last.

Emergency Committee for Israel – a group of extremist supporters of Israel’s Likud party, including Kristol, which ran attack ads during the last presidential election featuring a foreign leader – Bibi Netanyahu – criticizing an American President. I wouldn’t call the Committee a “fifth column,” however, since such subversive groups tend to stay below the radar, and these guys are eager to claim the spotlight. Their ads against Hagel, which ran in the Washington, D.C. area, accuse Hagel of being insufficiently enthused about going to war with Iran – a view held by the overwhelming majority of Americans.

American Future Fund – A major recipient of money from Charles and David H. Koch, the AFF is running ads attacking New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, accusing him of having made a secret deal to become Majority Leader in return for supporting Hagel’s nomination. During the 2012 election, the AFF spent over $50 million in television ads attacking Obama and leading Democrats as being opposed to “free enterprise”: their latest anti-Hagel ads target the former Nebraska Senator for being on the board of Chevron – one of Koch Oil‘s biggest competitors.

“Americans for a Strong Defense” – This recently organized neocon front group is running ads in blue states designed to pressure Democratic Senators to vote against Hagel’s confirmation.

The pitch:

“ANNOUNCER: We live in a dangerous world. Iran.

REPORTER: Brand new threats from Iran aimed squarely at the United States.

ANNOUNCER: North Korea.

REPORTER: North Korea launched a long-range missile.

REPORTER: That could target the United States.

ANNOUNCER: Even Russia.

REPORTER: Russia says that its test fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

ANNOUNCER: But Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense wants America to back down. An end to our nuclear program. Devastating defense cuts. A weaker country. Call [Senator/s] and tell [him/her/them] to say no to Chuck Hagel – before it’s too late.”

The principals:

Brian Hook, George W. Bush’s former assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, whose resume includes stints advising two UN ambassadors: neocon favorites Zalmay Khalilzad and John Bolton. He was also a foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of Cuba Democracy Advocates, and a tireless opponent of trade liberalization, known as an extremist one-man show on Capitol Hill.

Danny Diaz, another veteran of Romney’s disastrous campaign, whose PR firm, FP1 Strategies, is behind the effort to tax online retailers like Amazon.com for the benefit of big retailers like Walmart.

The group is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, which means it doesn’t have to report its donors: the enormous sums which go into buying expensive television ads and full-page newspaper ads are being funded by secret sugar daddies (or mommies, as the case may be). We don’t even know if they’re Americans.

So, it’s just the neocons who are against Hagel, and are actively organizing to scotch his confirmation? Well, no – there’s also the neocons’ useful idiots, such as the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP’ers who had no problem supporting a presidential candidate who fired one of his foreign policy advisors for being openly gay, but who suddenly discovered Hagel’s alleged “homophobia” after accepting a huge donation from an anonymous source which went to pay for a full-page anti-Hagel newspaper ad. Their chief spokesman, who initially had only praise for Hagel, suddenly changed his tune – and mysteriously resigned his position shortly after this about-face. Another “Hagel-isn’t-gay-enough” type is Rachel Maddow, whose anti-Hagel diatribes never mention the two issues central to the debate: Israel and Iran. While Rachel has no direct connection to the neocons that I know of, she does indeed have a connection to General Electric, which owns MSNBC – and which is one of the biggest military contractors around. GE stands to lose billions if Hagel’s plans to downsize the Pentagon come to fruition.

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) has got to be one of the biggest, and most pathetically comical, of all the Useful Idiots: they are a highly organized and well-funded group of born-again Christians of the dispensationalist variety, whose theology holds that Israel must be supported unconditionally and forever, because that’s God’s Will. They believe Israel will be attacked by the Anti-Christ, and that this war – World War III – will end in the victory of God’s Legions, and the Second Coming of Christ. Their leader, the Rev. John Hagee, is a full-bore nut-job who says Catholicism is “a godless theology of hate,” and that Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jews was part of God’s “divine plan” to create the state of Israel. CUFI organized a petition that garnered 17,000 names opposing Hagel, and the group plans to travel to Capitol Hill to lobby against his confirmation.

Under the general heading of Useful Idiots we can also include those far-leftists, and other sectarians, who refuse to believe on principle that anyone nominated to head up the Pentagon could possibly be good news for peace advocates. Unable to see the issue in context, and oblivious to the real implications of a challenge to neocon hegemony in the foreign policy field, these sectarians refuse to see any value in supporting someone whose confirmation will open up the foreign policy debate. After all, he won’t be dismantling the American Empire in one fell swoop.

The list of Hagel’s enemies could go on, and on: suffice to say that every neocon shillin the country is up in arms over the Hagel nomination – and this should tell us something.

Why is a political faction fanatically devoted to war expending all these resources on a campaign to demonize a man whose views on matters such as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process are irrelevant to the position he’s been appointed to – a military man who is hardly likely to disarm the United States and bring about “an end to our nuclear program”? Aside from the sheer fun of wasting the Kochs’ cash, why spend good money attacking Sen. Schumer, whose reelection is 99.9 percent assured?

The reason is because devoted warmongers cannot stay silent in the face of what Hagel’s nomination represents: a strategic shift in the US military posture, one the President intends to set in motion during his second term – away from an offensive mode, and back to a pre-9/11 defensive mode.

The Bush years were the era of “preventive” warfare – marked by a strike on Afghanistan made ostensibly to prevent future terrorist attacks, and an invasion of Iraq justified in the name of preventing the use of “weapons of mass destruction” Saddam Hussein never possessed in the first place. Both of these campaigns were justified by the so-called Bush Doctrine, which proclaimed America’s “right” to attack anyone, anywhere, for any reason.

The Hagel Doctrine, however, represents quite a different mindset. Hagel, a veteran of Vietnam, has said his experience in that conflict made him determined to avoid unnecessary wars and to view military action only as the very last resort. He has said we need to “talk to our enemies” – heresy as far as the neocons are concerned, whose studied arrogance during the Bush era precluded any negotiations short of issuing ultimatums.

The accusations of “anti-Israel” bias are largely a smokescreen to hide the real issue: the post-9/11 downsizing (albeit not dismantling) of the American empire, and the undoing of the neocon coup that took place right after 9/11. That’s how Colin Powell described the neoconservative capture of the national security apparatus in the early days of the Bush administration, and that’s precisely what occurred: the displacement of the traditional military-diplomatic community in favor of the neocons’ hand-picked personnel, who faked “evidence” of Iraq’s WMD and lied us into war. Deeply embedded in the national security bureaucracy, the neocons will face a formidable enemy in Hagel, who will doubtless fill the Pentagon policy shop with those who share his “realist” sympathies – and root out those who don’t.

If Hagel is confirmed, it will mark the end of neocon influence in Washington foreign policy circles – and, perhaps, their permanent eclipse as an effective political force. What more could we ask for or hope for?

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Witness: Nazi soldier killed woman ‘in cold blood’

NOVANEWS

 

“I saw an Israeli soldier on the main road firing gunshots haphazardly, so I put my left hand on Lubna’s back, and grabbed her to try and run backward. A gunshot hit my hand, and I shouted as I ran. 

“I thought Lubna was running behind me until I reached the security guards of Al-Arrub College who took me to a clinic in the camp before an ambulance arrived and took me to hospital.”

This, says Suad Jaara, 28, is what she witnessed Wednesday afternoon when Israeli officers near al-Arrub refugee camp shot her and her friend Lubna al-Hanash. Lubna, 22, died hours later. 

Speaking to Ma’an, Jaara said Thursday that she and Lubna were walking on the campus of Al-Arrub College about 100 meters from the main road when they came under fire. 

“An Israeli soldier was shooting from his rifle while a white car was parked on the roadside. There was nobody in the area except Lubna and I. He was a criminal … yes, a criminal who opened fired at us in cold blood killing Lubna and injuring me.” 

Jaara’s testimony contradicts claims by the Israeli army’s chief of central command on Channel 10 Wednesday evening that the woman was trying to hurl a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli vehicle. 

An army spokeswoman also told Ma’an on Wednesday that “soldiers were attacked by Palestinians who hurled multiple firebombs at them while they were traveling near al-Arrub. Soldiers returned fire and the circumstances of the incident are currently being reviewed.”

But Jaara says she and her late friend were the only ones in the area, walking around and enjoying the scenery. 

“Lubna arrived two days ago to visit her sister, who is married to my brother. She had heard about Al-Arrub College and she wanted to visit it. I accompanied her to campus and she admired the area because it’s in a charming natural landscape. When we decided to leave campus, a criminal fired at us and Lubna died a martyr.”

Jaara is an employee at the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs. Her brother Jihad was a gunman in Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades in the Bethlehem area. He was deported to Ireland after the Nativity Church siege in 2002.

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Jewish porn producer to be sentenced in defecation/bestiality criminal conviction

NOVANWS

news.yahoo.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An adult film producer is expected to be sentenced after he was convicted of violating federal obscenity laws by selling movies depicting bestiality and extreme fetishes.

Ira Isaacs could face a sentence ranging from probation to 20 years in prison.

The Wednesday sentencing caps a five-year legal saga that led to two mistrials. A 2008 trial was halted after the Los Angeles Times reported Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, had sexually explicit material on a personal website.

Kozinski, who presided over the trial, recused himself and was admonished by a special committee of his colleagues.

Isaacs was indicted as part of an effort by a Bush administration task force to crack down on smut in the U.S.

 

Ira Isaacs, Defecation Porn Shock Artist, Sentenced 4 Years In Prison

huffingtonpost.com

Ira Isaacs was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in federal prison for selling defecation pornography.

Looks like someone’s career went down the toilet.

Ira Isaacs, a self-proclaimed “shock artist” notorious for integrating feces-eating into porn, was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a $10,000 fine, LA Weekly reported.

The 61-year-old South Bronx filmmaker was found guilty last April of violating federal obscenity laws by selling pornographic movies featuring “bestiality and extreme fetishes,” according to The Associated Press.

The jury found that his videos were legally obscene, in that they lacked “literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”

One video,The New York Daily News reported, depicted two women having sex with Isaacs while eating feces.

The shock artist, however, maintained that his films were protected under the First Amendment.

“The whole thing was a farce. They put artists on trial for their work. So what if I stepped over the line, artists take risks,” Isaacs told the Daily News.

His lawyer, Roger Diamond, argued that the videos were “way off mainstream porn” but that the First Amendment still protected them. “There are no children involved here,” Diamond said, “and the movies were sold to consenting adults.”

“I feel like I just won the Academy Award. If an artist can offend so many people that he has to go to prison to protect society, that’s really saying something,” Isaacs added.

“Most shock artists dream of this kind of attention, without the prison part.”

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