Archive | June 24th, 2015

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ”ISIS” Putting prisoners in a cage and drowning them

NOVANEWS

(WARNING: Graphic)

isisdrown1

Vile Saudi Zio-Wahhabi jihadis in Iraq have brutally murdered five prisoners by locking them in a metal cage and lowering them into a swimming pool. Filmed in the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ”ISIS” stronghold of Mosul, the sickening seven minute long video uses expensive underwater cameras to film the terrified men as they sink below the surface with no hope of escape.

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Shortly afterwards the cage is lifted back out of the water, with the dying men – who are understood to have been accused of spying – seen foaming at the mouth as they lie motionless on the floor of the cage, piled on top of one another.

The main section of the film begins with the stomach-churning sight of five men being locked in a tiny metal cage that has been suspended above a luxury swimming pool somewhere in the  Saudi Zio-Wahhabi held city of Mosul in Nineveh province. As the water begins to enter, the victims start to panic, praying and pacing the tiny metal cell.

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Once completely submerged, the video cuts to the high-tech underwater cameras, which show the men thrashing around until they appear to lose conciousness and fall to the floor.

The cage is then removed from the pool, with the dying men seen foaming at the mouths as they lie piled on top of one another under the blazing Iraqi sun.

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Elsewhere in the video, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ”ISIS” militants are filmed brutally killing prisoners by locking them in a car and shooting them with a grenade launcher. A masked Saudi Zio_Wahhabi ”ISIS” appears carrying a huge grenade launcher, which he uses to fire a missile into the vehicle, causing it to burst into flames and burn the badly injured victims to death. (See video below)

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The footage is actually divided into three separate sections, with different horrific punishments reserved for each group of doomed prisoners.

Seven men are subsequently seen being led out into a field, where explosive cables are tied around their necks.  Seconds later the explosives are detonated, with HD cameras capturing the murder in full detail.

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Several of the men are clearly decapitated by the massive blast, while others suffer horrific and fatal upper body injuries.

The latest sickening murder video was released by Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ”ISIS” Ninevah branch, which is based in the terror group’s stronghold, Mosul.

Original video has been removed but you can still see it here.

CLICK SCREEN BELOW TO SEE FULLL VIDEO:

Posted in Middle East, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ”ISIS” Putting prisoners in a cage and drowning them

Deadly Distortion Associated Press Coverage of I$raHell and Palestinian Deaths

NOVANEWS

An If Americans Knew Report Card

Preview Edition for American Society of Newspaper Editors
Released Wednesday April 26, 2006

Download Report
Press Release & FAQ

Study Period:
January 1, 2004 – December 31, 2004

actual number of children killed

 

 

 

 
Israeli children’s deaths were covered at a rate 7.5 times greater than Palestinian children’s deaths.

Background

In 2003, If Americans Knew1 began issuing report cards to media across the country on their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We provide these reports to media outlets with the aim of assisting them in covering this topic accurately. In addition, we make the reports public, to help readers evaluate for themselves the reliability of their sources of information on this issue.

This study of the Associated Press Newswire (AP) covers 2004, a year for which we have completed studies of The New York Times, and the major network television channels: ABC, NBC, and CBS.

We chose to study AP because it is one of the major sources of world news for Americans. AP, according to its website, is the world’s oldest and largest news organization. Many newspapers depend on it for their international news.

Method

We recognize that reporting on Israel/Palestine is a controversial topic. Therefore, while there are many possible ways to measure accuracy, we chose criteria that are relevant, conducive to statistical analysis, and immune to subjective interpretation.

We chose to focus on the reporting of deaths, because this allows meaningful statistical analysis that would be impossible in a qualitative study. This unambiguous measure allows us to determine whether AP demonstrates even-handed reporting, regardless of nationality or religious background. Fortunately, accurate data for both populations is available from the widely respected Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem2. We only included Israeli deaths directly caused by the actions of Palestinians, and vice-versa.

This study of AP follows the conventions of our previous studies. Our decision to look at only headlines and first paragraphs was motivated by the goal of assessing the average reader’s experience and the prominence given to the coverage. (In addition, past studies indicate that the patterns found in headline- and lead paragraph-coverage tend to hold when the entire article is examined3.)

We used the LexisNexis database to access all AP articles filed from Israel or the occupied territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip) during 2004 that went out on the U.S. print wire.

Findings:

actual conflict deaths

I. Coverage of All Deaths

We found a significant correlation between the likelihood of a death receiving coverage and the nationality of the person killed.

In 2004, there were 141 reports in AP headlines or first paragraphs of Israeli deaths. During this time, there had actually been 108 Israelis killed (the discrepancy is due to the fact that a number of Israeli deaths were reported multiple times).

percentage of deaths reported by AP

During the same period, 543 Palestinian deaths were reported in headlines or first paragraphs. During this time, 821 Palestinians had actually been killed.4

In other words, 131% of Israeli deaths and 66% of Palestinian deaths were reported in AP headlines or first paragraphs.

That is, AP reported prominently on Israeli deaths at a rate 2.0 times greater than Palestinian deaths.

In reality, 7.6 times more Palestinians were killed than Israelis in 2004.

II. Coverage of Children’s Deaths

9 Israeli children’s deaths were reported in the headlines or first paragraphs of AP articles on the Israel/Palestine conflict in 2004, when 8 had actually occurred. During the same period only 27 out of 179 Palestinian children’s deaths were reported. (Children are defined by international law as those who are 17 and younger.)Additionally, Palestinian children made up a disproportionately large number of Palestinian deaths in general. Children’s deaths accounted for 21.8% of the Palestinians killed, while children’s deaths accounted for only 7.4% of Israelis killed during this period. actual number of children killed
actual number of children killed 22 times more Palestinian children were killed than Israeli children.AP reported on 113% of Israeli children’s deaths in headlines or first paragraphs, while reporting on only 15% of Palestinian children’s deaths.

That is, Israeli children’s deaths were reported at a rate 7.5 times greater than Palestinian children’s deaths.

actual number of children killed
Percentage of children's deaths reported, without repetitions

Comparing running totals for actual deaths and reported deaths once again reveals that while AP’s reporting on Israeli children’s deaths closely tracks the reality, the reporting on Palestinian children’s deaths lags far behind the actual number, following a path similar to Israeli children’s deaths. This is in stark contradiction to the reality, in which Palestinian children were being killed at a rate over 22 times greater than Israeli children.

In order to discover the impact of repetitions on the study, we examined AP’s coverage of children’s deaths without counting repetitions. We found that AP repeated two Israeli children’s deaths once, and one Palestinian child’s death three times. Hence, not counting repetitions, AP covered 88% of Israeli children’s deaths – a rate of coverage 6.5 times greater than their coverage of Palestinian children’s deaths (of which AP covered 13%.)

III. “Clashes” – A Case Study of AP’s Diction

Many qualitative observations may be made about bias in news coverage. One interesting aspect is the terminology used by a news source in reporting on this conflict. We examined AP’s usage of the words “clash” and “clashes”. Of all the conflict deaths AP reported in 2004, 47 deaths were stated to have taken place during a clash. Every one of those 47 was a Palestinian death, which suggests a more unilateral violence than the word is commonly understood to convey. deaths reported as a result of a clash

Additional Notes: Context

While gathering the data for this study, our analysts looked at hundreds of articles that AP published on topics relating to the Israel/Palestine issue, and noted a number of additional patterns that merit further examination. (The daily reports from the International Middle East Media Center, imemc.org, are useful in evaluating AP’s coverage.)

    1. There appeared to be differentiation in the amount and type of contextual information provided regarding the people killed and the circumstances of their deaths. While Israeli deaths were often depicted as innocent victims of Palestinian aggression, Palestinian deaths seemed more often to be portrayed as a necessary result of conflict.
    2. We noticed that several pertinent subject areas had been minimally covered by AP. For example:
      • Palestinian prisoners. Torture in Israeli prisons is listed as a concern in the first paragraph of Amnesty International’s report on Israel covering the year 2004.5 It was first exposed by the London Times in 1977 and is continually noted by the US State Department, numerous human rights organizations and others.6 Over 9,000 Palestinians are currently incarcerated by Israel (over 4,000 have not had a trial),7 with the number of Palestinian political prisoners per capita among the highest in the world.8 Torture of Americans of Palestinian descent was detailed by Foreign Service Journal in 2002.9

Yet, apart from four stories on a prisoner hunger strike, we could find only two stories that described Israeli prison conditions for Palestinians. Only one AP headline from the area mentioned torture – and this one was about Lebanese, not Palestinian, prisoners.

    • Israeli Refusers. During 2004 numerous Israelis refused to serve in the Israeli armed forces in the occupied territories.10 By year’s end there were 1,392 such “refuseniks” and 37 had gone to prison. This movement was a topic of increasing discussion in Israel and the subject of numerous news reports. Yet AP had only one story on this.
    • Nonviolence movement. Palestinian resistance efforts have included numerous nonviolent marches and other activities, many joined by international participants, Israeli citizens, and faith-based groups. This nonviolence movement has been an important topic in the Palestinian territories, with growing numbers of people taking part – in 2004 the Palestinian News Network reported on 79 major demonstrations that were exclusively nonviolent. Yet, we did not find any reports in which AP had described a Palestinian demonstration or other activity as nonviolent or utilizing nonviolence.
  1. We noticed significant stories that, perplexingly, were sent only on the Worldstream wire, disseminated internationally, but that were not sent to U.S. editors. For example, on May 11, an AP story reported: “The Geneva-based Defense for Children International and Save the Children, based in Sweden, said that as of May 2004, 373 Palestinians under 18 were being held in Israeli detention centers and prisons. At least three of the detainees are under 14…The groups charged that the treatment of Palestinian child prisoners by Israeli authorities amounts to a pattern of violence that has gone unchecked for years…” This story was not sent to U.S. newspapers.

It is unclear to us why this story would be considered newsworthy for readers in other parts of the world but not for readers in the U.S., Israel’s primary ally. A study comparing AP reports sent to U.S. papers to AP reports sent to international papers might be of interest.

Previous studies have shown newspaper coverage often to be significantly more distorted than the pattern we have found for AP,11 and we wonder if AP’s system for alerting newspapers to the top stories of the day may play a role in this differential. We urge newspapers and AP itself to examine this system. We hypothesize that such an investigation would reveal increased distortion.

Conclusions

We are concerned about the results of this study. As the primary newswire, newspapers across the country rely on AP. Since most newspapers cannot afford to send their own correspondents abroad, AP is often one of only a few sources of international news. We believe the readers of these papers, as well as all Americans, are entitled to full and accurate reporting on all issues, including the topic of Israel/Palestine.

Given that AP had ample coverage of this issue (over 700 news stories on deaths alone), it is troubling that so much critical information for American readers was omitted. Further, our findings suggest a pattern of distortion in AP coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict inconsistent with normal journalistic standards. Such a pattern of distortion, in which readers were given the impression that the Israeli death rate was greater than it was, and that the Palestinian death rate was considerably smaller than its reality, may serve to misinform readers rather than inform them.

In particular, our study shows immense distortion in the coverage of children’s deaths. By covering such a large proportion of Israeli children’s deaths in headlines or first paragraphs and such a low proportion of Palestinian children’s deaths, AP’s coverage obfuscated the fact that in actuality over 22 times more Palestinian children were killed than Israeli children.

Now that AP has been alerted to the distortions in its Israel/Palestine coverage, we encourage it to undertake whatever changes are necessary to provide accurate news coverage of this vital issue.

It would be valuable to examine AP’s structure of reporting from the region, its editorial direction from the international desk in New York, and the specific mechanisms AP has in place, if any, to ensure that bias does not intrude on its reporting on this issue.

Finally, in the interest of full and accurate reporting, we urge AP to inform its readers of the findings of this study. In addition, we encourage AP to report the strategies it intends to use in remedying the significant flaws this study has discovered in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Summary of Data

2004
Israeli Palestinian
Actual Number of Deaths (All Ages) 108 821
Deaths Reported 141 543
Percentage of DeathsReported 130.6% 66.1%
Ratio (Israeli % : Palestinian %) 2.0 : 1
Actual Number of Children’s Deaths 8 179
Children’s Deaths Reported 9 27
Percentage of Children’s Deaths Reported 112.5% 15.1%
Ratio (Israeli % : Palestinian %) 7.5 : 1

End Notes

  1. If Americans Knew is dedicated to providing full and accurate information to the American public on topics of importance that are underreported or misreported in the American media. Our primary area of focus at this time is Israel/Palestine. For more information contact us.
  2. For more information about this organization, visit their website: www.btselem.org.
  3. See our New York Times report for a sub-study of entire articles.
  4. 4 These numbers do not include Palestinian civilians who died as a result of inability to reach medical care due to Israeli road closures, curfews, etc. The figure for Palestinian deaths is extremely conservative, since it is difficult for B’Tselem to report on deaths in the Palestinian territories. Palestinian medical organizations report a higher number for this period. For example, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (www.palestinercs.org), internationally respected for its statistical rigor, reports that 881 Palestinians were killed during this time.
  5. Amnesty International Report 2004.
  6. London Sunday Times, June 19, 1977; The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel; Israel and the occupied territories, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004, US State Dept; Human Rights Watch briefing to UN Jan 2004; “Prison Tactics A Longtime Dilemma For Israel, Nation Faced Issues Similar to Abu Ghraib,” By Glenn Frankel; Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, June 16, 2004, Page A01.
  7. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, more than 40,000 Palestinians have been arrested since the start of the September 2000 Al-Aqsa intifada. As of April 2006, 9,400 Palestinians remain jailed in 30 prisons throughout Israel.
  8. “The Politics of Prisoners,” Bex Tyrer & Tone Anderson, The Alternative Information Center.
  9. “Arab-Americans In Israel: What ‘Special Relationship’?” by Jerri Bird, Foreign Service Journal, June 2002
  10. Courage to Refuse, “Combatants Letter”.
  11. For example, a six-month study of the San Francisco Chronicle showed a 30:1 differential of Israeli children’s deaths to Palestinian children’s deaths; a six-month study of The Oregonian by AUPHR showed the paper’s headlines had reported Israeli children’s deaths to Palestinians children’s deaths at a rate 44:1.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Deadly Distortion Associated Press Coverage of I$raHell and Palestinian Deaths

Campaign against anti-Semitism, or else

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

israelproject.GlobalDictionery

A petition telling Amnesty International to focus on “anti-Semitism” is pushed by The Israel Project, which published a 116 page propaganda manual to cover up Israeli crimes…

Stuart Littlewood, Shoa.org.uk –

Here’s a petition that just landed in my Inbox:

Amnesty International’s annual conference has rejected a motion to fight the rise of violent anti-Semitism in Britain. Studies show violent anti-Semitic attacks rose 48 percent in Britain in 2014. The resolution was the only one defeated during the entire conference.

According to its mission statement, Amnesty is a “worldwide movement of people campaigning to protect human rights… Around the world we protect people and communities who come under attack.” What about the human rights of Jews? What about the Jews who have been the victim of attacks across Europe?

Sign your name to tell Amnesty: Jews have human rights, too.

Amnesty was founded by the late Peter Benenson — a Jewish man who saved German children during the Holocaust when he was only 16 years old. What would Peter Benenson say about Amnesty today?

The conference resolution urged Amnesty to “campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK and lobby the government to tackle the rise in attacks.” It seems Amnesty UK’s Board supported the resolution but the majority of members didn’t.

Jews probably enjoy more rights here than they would in their very own Jewish state. There are already enough organisations fighting anti-semitism and the UK government is pouring £millions of our tax money into the effort. If Amnesty doesn’t want to join the fight and perhaps feels there are other issues it should concentrate on, who’s to quarrel with that?

Besides, across large swathes of the country anti-semitism, violent or otherwise, is unheard-of. I sense that the British people are becoming weary of the incessant bleating about anti-semitism, the way it is continually used to silence debate, and how the government indulges a section of the public whose tribal brethren commit endless atrocities in the Holy Land and cruelly deny our Palestinian friends their rights.

It’s The Israel Project, again

The petition against Amnesty has been got up by TIP – The Israel Project – which describes itself as “a non-partisan American educational organization dedicated to informing the media and public conversation about Israel and the Middle East. TIP does not lobby and is not connected to any government. TIP informs, providing facts, access to experts and keen analysis.”

Oh really? Not long ago TIP produced a training manual to help the worldwide Zionist movement win its propaganda war, keep their ill-gotten territorial gains in the Holy Land and persuade international audiences to accept that their crimes are necessary and actually conform to “shared values” between Israel and the civilised West.

The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionery

The manual teaches how to justify the slaughter, the ethnic cleansing, the land-grabbing and the blatant disregard for international law and UN resolutions, and makes it all smell sweet with a liberal squirt of persuasive language. It is designed to hoodwink us ignorant and gullible Americans and Europeans into believing that we actually share values with the racist regime in Israel and that its abominable behaviour is deserving of our support.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this manual still serves as a media communications primer for the army of cyber-scribblers that Israel’s Ministry of Dirty Tricks has recruited to spread Zionism’s poison across the internet.

Its first words set the tone: “Remember, it’s not what you say that counts. It’s what people hear.”

The manual’s numerous teachings, a small handful of which are reproduced here, are aimed at the mass of “persuadables” primarily American but also British. There is great emphasis from the start on isolating and demonising democratically-elected Hamas.

 “Peace can only be made with adversaries who want to make peace with you. Terrorist organizations like Iran-backed Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are, by definition, opposed to peaceful co-existence, and determined to prevent reconciliation. I ask you, how do you negotiate with those who want you dead?”

Hamas and Hezbollah are organisations created out of necessity to resist Israeli aggression and only regarded as terrorists by the Washington-Tel Aviv axis and by US-Israeli stooges in London and some other capitals.

Bush used this definition: “The term “terrorism” means an activity that —
(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and

(ii) appears to be intended —

(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(C) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.”

The joke is that it describes the antics of Israel perfectly.

“There is NEVER, EVER, any justification for the deliberate slaughter of innocent women and children. NEVER…. there is one fundamental principle that all peoples from all parts of the globe will agree on: civilized people do not target innocent women and children for death.”

Indeed. Civilised people don’t. Defence for Children International Palestine and UN agencies agree that around 548 children were slaughtered and well over 3,000 injured in the Jewish state’s assault on Gaza last summer. What, I wonder, would Peter Benenson have made of that? I imagine he’d be rescuing Palestinian children and urging British Jews to intervene firmly with their kin in Israel. There have been many warnings from Jews themselves that resentment of Israel’s atrocities would be felt by Jewish communities around the world, so the rise in anti-semitism is no surprise.

“Humanize Rockets: Paint a vivid picture”

The manual pumps out trashy advice galore:

“Successful communications is about pointing out a few core principles of shared values — such as democracy and freedom — and repeating them over and over again…. You need to start with empathy for both sides, remind your audience that Israel wants peace and then repeat the messages of democracy, freedom, and peace over and over again…. we need to repeat the message, on average, ten times to be effective.”

Is democracy a shared value? Hardly. Israel is an ethnocracy. Is freedom a shared value? The world is still waiting for Israel to allow the Palestinians their freedom. Israel wants peace? Israel has never met its peace agreement obligations. Every action is directed at keeping the conflict going until the Israelis have stolen enough land and established enough ‘facts on the ground’ – Jews-only settlements, highways, disconnected Palestinian bantustans – to enable them to redraw the map and make the occupation PERMANENT.

“When talking about a Palestinian partner, it is essential to distinguish between Hamas and everyone else. Only the most anti-Israel, pro- Palestinian American expects Israel to negotiate with Hamas, so you have to be clear that you are seeking a ‘moderate Palestinian partner’.”

Where are the moderate Israeli partners?

“The fight is over IDEOLOGY – not land; terror, not territory. Thus, you must avoid using Israel’s religious claims to land as a reason why Israel should not give up land. Such claims only make Israel look extremist to people who are not religious Christians or Jews.”

If the fight isn’t about land, why did Israel steal it at gunpoint? And why won’t they give it back when told to by the UN?

“Many on the left see an “Israel v. Palestinian” crisis where Israel is Goliath and the Palestinians are David. It is critical that they understand that this is an Arab-Israeli crisis and that the force undermining peace is Iran and their proxies Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. You must not call Hamas just Hamas. Call them what they are: Iran-backed Hamas. Indeed, when they know that Iran is behind Hamas and Hezbollah, they are much more supportive of Israel.”

By the same token we must call the racist regime what it is: US-backed Israel.

“The situation in the Middle East may be complicated, but all parties should adopt a simple approach: peace first, political boundaries second.”

The correct approach is for the international community to first insist that Israel complies with international law and the many UN resolutions it has contemptuously ignored. The boundaries are already defined. Whatever issues remain to be decided, Palestinians should not have to negotiate under occupation and with a gun to their heads.

The manual gives a long glossary of terms. Here’s a sample….

  •  “Deliberately firing rockets into civilian communities”: Combine terrorist motive with civilian visuals and you have the perfect illustration of what Israel faced in Gaza and Lebanon. Especially with regard to rocket attacks but useful for any kind of terrorist attack, deliberate is the right word to use to call out the intent behind the attacks. This is far more powerful than describing the attacks as “random.”

Israelis know all about deliberately bombarding civilian targets. And they are careful not to mention that Sderot, until recently the only Israeli township within range of Gazan rockets, is built on the ruins of an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village whose inhabitants were forced from their homes by Jewish terrorists.

  • “Humanize Rockets”: Paint a vivid picture of what life is like in Israeli communities that are vulnerable to attack. Yes, cite the number of rocket attacks that have occurred. But immediately follow that up with what it is like to make the nightly trek to the bomb shelter.

Would Israel (or TIP) care to tell the world how many bombs, rockets and shells (including the illegal and prohibited variety) its F-15s, tanks, armed drones, helicopter gunships and navy gunboats have poured into the densely-packed humanity that is Gaza? And how many Palestinian homes they have destroyed?

The TIP’s propaganda manual, which runs to 116 pages, is a squalid piece of work which recycles many of the discredited techniques used by the advertising industry before standards of honesty, decency and truthfulness were brought in to protect the public.

It seeks to undermine with clever words and disinformation the inalienable rights pledged by the UN and the world’s civilized nations to all peoples, including the Palestinians. Amnesty has no need to hear lectures or accept petitions on human rights from TIP.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Campaign against anti-Semitism, or else

The Use and Abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Act on behalf of I$raHell

NOVANEWS
 Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr
Schumer.aipac

Numerous pro-Israel organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, filed amicus briefs supporting the expansive reading of the ATA…… one searches in vain for a single instance in which Israel has been held accountable for its wrongs—for its illegal settlements,[18] its reprisal destruction of Palestinian homes, its use of excessive force, its killing of Rachel Corrie, an unarmed peace activist (by a bulldozer paid for by American funds),[19] its shelling of a United Nations compound,[20] and many others. This disparity should offend anyone with a sense of right and wrong…

By Kyle J. Bristow

It is a formidable challenge to criticize anti-terrorism measures without seeming callous, naive, or cynical. On the one hand, the use of indiscriminate violence to achieve political or religious aims should be condemned and the victims of such acts treated with compassion. On the other hand, we must live in the real world. In that world, there are persons and groups whose professed sympathy for victims of terrorism is imbued with, one might even say masks, a large dose of narrow self-interest—a self-interest that, put in action, dangerously skews the enactment, interpretation, and enforcement of such laws.

Take, for example, the United States’ Anti-Terrorism Act, 18 U.S.C. 2333 (henceforth abbreviated as ATA), and the uses made of it by what one might call the Jewish Ethnocentric Network (JEN).[1] The ATA may have had commendable, albeit limited, purposes at its creation, but over the last decade it has undergone a radical transformation, to the point that it is now a potent weapon to advance the JEN causes at the expense of larger American interests.

The ATA is one of many American federal laws aimed at deterring “terrorism.”[2] The impetus behind its enactment stemmed from two terrorist act incidents in the 1980s:the hijacking and murder committed by members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization on the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985, which included the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish man in a wheelchair who was thrown into the sea; and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 270 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270. The victims of these terrorist acts, bringing suit against the persons and organizations that perpetrated, or allegedly perpetrated, them, encountered jurisdictional and procedural hurdles. They therefore lobbied Congress, and against this background Senator Charles Grassley reintroduced the ATA in 1992.[3] The Act, now codified at 18 U.S.C. 2333, provides:

 Any national of the United States injured in his or her person, property, or business by reason of an act of international terrorism . . . may sue therefor in any appropriate district court of the United States and shall recover threefold the damages he or she sustains . . .

“International terrorism” is defined in 18 U.S.C. 2331 as activities that:

(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.

 A notable aspect of this statute is that, on its face at least, it provides only for primary liability, i.e., liability for the person who committed the terrorist act, but not for secondary liability, i.e., liability for those who aided, abetted, or otherwise provided support for the primary actor. This aspect is critical, for few terrorists have the resources to pay substantial judgments. Accordingly, it is not surprising that Senator Grassley and others among the ATA’s initial proponents regarded it as having limited scope and as largely symbolic.[4]

As one would expect given its limited reach, the ATA was rarely invoked in the first decade after its passage; indeed, not a single published opinion prior to 2002 even mentioned it. This changed radically, however, as a result of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinions (there are three of them) in the Boim v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, et al. case.

In 1996, David Boim, a Jewish teenager living in Israel who was both an Israeli and an American citizen, was shot to death by two men at a bus stop near Jerusalem. His parents filed suit in federal court in the United States in 2000, alleging that the killers had been members of Hamas. The suit named as defendants, among others, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the American Muslim Society, and the Quranic Literacy Institute. Boim’s parents argued that, although these defendants had not committed the killing, they were nonetheless liable under the ATA because they allegedly had contributed funds to Hamas—in other words, that they were secondarily liable.

The Seventh Circuit panel (Judge Rovner wrote the majority opinion) was sympathetic to the Boims but struggled to find legal grounds on which to support the secondary liability the Boims sought. In the first appeal, 291 F.3d 1000 (7th Cir. 2002) (an interlocutory appeal prior to trial taken by the defendants from the trial court’s denial of their motion to dismiss), the Seventh Circuit concluded, in a lengthy opinion, that the defendants could be held liable on an aiding and abetting theory borrowed from traditional tort law. The case then resumed in the trial court, which granted summary judgment on liability to the Boims as to three of the defendants and sent issues regarding both liability and damages as to one defendant to a jury. The jury rendered a verdict of $52 million against all defendants, which was trebled, in accordance with the statute, to $156 million.

The defendants appealed again. Several Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the Boims and a broad reading of the ATA. In this appeal (511 F.3d 707 [7th Cir. 2007]), Judge Rovner again writing for the majority upheld the holding of secondary liability based on an aiding and abetting theory that the court had set forth in the earlier appeal. Defendants then requested a hearing en banc (of all the judges in the Seventh Circuit), which was granted. Again, numerous Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, filed amicus briefs supporting the Boims and an expansive reading of the ATA.In this third appellate decision (549 F.3d 685 [7th Cir. 2008]), Judge Posner for the en banc majority rejected the earlier panels’ reliance on an aiding and abetting theory for secondary liability, finding no support for it in the text or legislative history of the statute, but approved a different secondary liability theory: that Section 18 U.S.C. 2333 (the ATA section) incorporated by reference two criminal statutes, namely Sections 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B.

The en banc court’s holding that Section 2333 incorporates Sections 2339A and 2339B is odd in many respects, not least the timing of the enactment of these various laws.Section 2339A, enacted in 1994, provides criminal penalties for those who provide “material support or resources” with the knowledge or intention that the support is to be used “in preparation for, or in carrying out” any of over two dozen violent crimes.[5] Section 2339B, enacted in 1996 shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing, provides criminal penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment plus substantial fines for whoever “knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” as “terrorist organization” is defined under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Neither Section 2339A nor Section 2339B makes any reference to Section 2333. Of more relevance to the Seventh Circuit’s incorporation by reference theory, nothing in the text or legislative history of Section 2333 suggests that in 1992, when the ATA was enacted, Congress intended to incorporate by reference statutes, such as Sections 2339A and 2339B, that did not then exist and would not be enacted until years later. The Seventh Circuit reached this logic-challenged result only by a contorted interpretation of the term “international terrorism” as it is used in the ATA.

The Seventh Circuit’s approval of secondary liability under the ATA—first on an aiding and abetting theory and then on an incorporation by reference of the criminal material support statutes theory—opened the floodgates for the use of the ATA in civil litigation. Since the first Boim decision in 2002, there have been well over a hundred published decisions involving the ATA, and the number promises to get even larger. The following lists several general traits of this wave of ATA cases.

First, most of the cases, like Boim itself, involve Jewish plaintiffs (often Israeli as well as Jewish). A review of the published decisions annotated to Section 2333 in the United States Code Annotated shows that approximately 70 percent of the annotated cases involved Jewish plaintiffs. Examples include Rothstein v. UBS AG, 798 F.3d 82 (2d Cir. 2013); Licci v. Lebanese Canadian Bank, SAL, 673 F.3d 50 (2d Cir. 2012); Kaplan v. Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2014 WL 3610784 (D.D.C. July 23, 2014); Wultz v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 864 F.Supp.2d 24 (D.D.C. 2012); Abecassis v. Wyatt, 785 F.Supp.2d 614 (S.D. Tex. 2011); Gill v. Arab Bank, PLC, 893 F.Supp2d 474 (E.D.N.Y. 2012); and Weiss v. National Westminster Bank PLC, 936 F.Supp.2d 100 (E.D.N.Y. 2013). Cases such as In re Chiquita Brands International, Inc., 690 F.Supp.2d 1296 (S.D.Fla. 2010), which involve neither Jewish plaintiffs nor defendants that are avowed enemies of Israel, seem almost anomalous in this context.

Second, the interpretation of the ATA to encompass secondary liability, particularly on a “material support” theory, has brought within the statute’s scope a wide array of defendants, including banks, e.g., Rothstein v. UBS AG and Gill v. Arab Bank, charities and educational organizations, e.g., Boim, businesses such as oil and gas companies, e.g., Abecassis, and media, e.g., Kaplan v. Al Jazeera, 2011 WL 2314783 (S.D.N.Y June 7, 2011). Many of these entities were attractive as defendants because of their deep pockets. The ATA lawsuits also, however, served the purpose of discouraging banks, businesses, donors, media, and others from having transactions with the alleged terrorist organizations, even though the banks, businesses, donors, et alia, may have had only tenuous connections to any alleged terrorist aims or actions—as, for example, where banks engaged only in purely commercial, arms’ length transactions or donors earmarked their donations exclusively for humanitarian purposes.[6],[7]

Third, if an ATA claim survives the initial motion to dismiss, discovery—i.e., the pretrial phase in civil litigation in which a party can obtain evidence from the opposing party by means of discovery devices such as requests for production of documents, requests for answers to interrogatories, and depositions—often gives the plaintiffs an enormous tactical advantage. Many ATA defendants, especially banks and charities, have extraordinary confidentiality concerns that can easily be compromised or violated by the invasive discovery devices available in civil litigation. In the Linde v. Arab Bank case, for example, the bank was caught on the horns of a dilemma: on the one hand, the district court supported the plaintiffs’ demands that the bank turn over its banking records to the plaintiffs in discovery; on the other hand, three foreign banking authorities threatened the bank with legal action for violating national bank secrecy laws if the banks did so. When the bank refused to produce the documents, the district court sanctioned the bank by permitting the jury to infer from the nondisclosure that the bank had knowingly provided services to a designated foreign terrorist organization.[8]

Fourth, if an ATA claim survives all pretrial motions and goes to a jury, the risks of a huge plaintiffs’ verdict are very great, particularly in light of the ATA’s treble damages provision. To put it mildly, juries do not like terrorists, or persons they have been convinced are terrorists, and they are generally not well-disposed toward foreign banks or Islamic charities. As mentioned, the plaintiffs in the Boim case received an award of $156 million after trebling. The plaintiffs in Ungar v. Palestinian Liberation Organization received a damages award of approximately $116 million. The plaintiffs in Calderon-Cardona v. Bank of New York Mellon, HSBC, 770 F.3d 993 (2d Cir. 2014), received compensatory damages of $78 million and punitive damages of $300 million. Other examples of outsized awards could be provided.

Finally, even as defendants’ exposure under ATA claims widens, their defenses are being narrowed. Many nations have heretofore been able to invoke absolute immunity from ATA (and other) claims in accordance with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, but that will change if Senator Charles Schumer succeeds in convincing Congress to pass his Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). JASTA, indeed, would not only remove sovereign immunity as a defense to ATA claims, but would expressly incorporate secondary liability into the ATA, just in case some courts decline to follow the Boim decision as a matter of precedent. Moreover, JASTA seems designed to weaken the requirement, which many courts have read into the statute, of a substantial causal link between the plaintiff’s injuries and the defendant’s alleged actions. The act broadly states that its purpose is to provide civil litigants with the fullest possible basis, consistent with the Constitution, to seek relief against persons, entities and foreign states, wherever acting and wherever they may be found, which have provided material support or resources, directly or indirectly, to foreign organizations that engage in terrorist activities.

Impelled by Senator Schumer’s aggressive sponsorship, JASTA passed the Senate in December 2014 and now awaits passage in the House. Schumer has fulsomely proclaimed that his motives for sponsoring this act are sympathy for victims of terrorism and revulsion of those who support the terrorists, and he can be found posing ostentatiously in many photographs with victims of the 9/11 attacks in support of the act. Given, however, that Schumer believes he is on a mission from God to be Israel’s guardian in the Senate[9] and, it seems, has never publicly criticized Israel,[10] one can be forgiven the suspicion that he is fully aware that JASTA, if it passes, will disproportionately benefit Jewish victims of allegedly terrorist acts.

Connecting the dots above, a diagram emerges of the ATA as a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the JEN’s pro-Israel and anti-terrorism campaigns. The realpolitik import of the diagram, indeed, is so self-evident that even elements within the JEN in moments of candor acknowledge it. An August 2014 article in Reuters by Alison Frankel, which describes Israel’s “sudden about-face”—one could also say “double-cross”—in its support of the ATA claims brought by the parents of Daniel Wultz, an American-Israeli teenager killed by a jihadist bombing in Tel Aviv in 2007, provides an instructive example.[11] The lawsuit alleges that Hamas was using Bank of China accounts to launder money and names the Bank of China as a defendant. Initially, the Israeli government supported the lawsuit; indeed, according to the plaintiffs, the Israeli government supplied the specific information about Bank of China transactions that is the backbone of their case. Later, however, Israel’s economic ties to China became an issue, particularly in light of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s planned state visit to Beijing. The Israeli government then refused to cooperate with the plaintiffs, who felt betrayed. Frankel writes:

The victims’ lawyers claim that the suits against Bank of China would never have been filed had Israel not promised to support the litigation—that, in fact, Israel considered U.S. litigation under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act an indispensable element of its national security campaign to choke off terror financing. . . .

Filings in the litigation . . . amplify the record on Israel’s initial support for the Bank of China litigation and its more recent decision to handicap the cases. The filings detail Israel’s novel tactic of using U.S. litigation to advance its national security objectives: After Israeli diplomacy couldn’t convince the Chinese to shut down suspicious accounts, Israeli operatives, according to the plaintiffs’ briefs, fed hard-won intelligence about alleged Bank of China terrorist accounts to private lawyers, with the express intention of prompting American victims to sue the bank. High-ranking Israeli officials personally assured some of the victims’ families that private U.S. litigation was in Israel’s national security interest. Yet when the country’s strategy changed, Israel walked away from the litigation.

Frankel further notes how a “U.S. congresswoman hand-delivered [a letter from the plaintiffs] to [Netanyahu],” trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade the Israeli government to keep its initial commitment.

These conclusions are corroborated by a verdict rendered February 23, 2015 by a jury in Manhattan, in the Sokolow, et al. v. Palestinian Authority, et al. case, that found the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority liable under the ATA for supporting terrorist attacks in Israel 2002 and 2004 that left a number of Jewish persons dead or wounded.[12] The jury’s $218.5 million award was trebled, in accordance with the ATA’s provisions, to $655.5 million, threatening the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, which was already suffering because Israel has withheld $100 million in tax revenues from it as punishment for the Authority’s decision to join the International Criminal Court.[13]

This situation undercuts any claim the JEN might make that they are seeking to avert violence by channeling conflicts into courtrooms instead of battlefields. On the one hand, the JEN bring lawsuits under the ATA in the United States, a favorable venue for Jewish plaintiffs.[14] On the other hand, they take extreme measures, including freezing tax revenues intended to support the Palestinian civilian population, to punish the Palestinians for trying to use international judicial processes, such as the International Criminal Court, over which the JEN has less control than over ATA actions in the United States.[15]  

Indeed, there is an active and apparently well-funded organization in Israel, Shurat HaDin, that operates on this premise: to instigate and support litigation in support of Israel’s interests where it can do so, including United States courts, while attempting to block Palestinians’ use of judicial processes; its self-described mission is to use the “court systems around the world to go on the legal offensive against Israel’s enemies.”[16] This Clausewitzean use of legal systems to conduct war by other means is sometimes called “lawfare.”

Conclusion

This article validates several conclusions. First, the Israeli government, unsurprisingly, views U.S. litigation under the ATA as “an indispensable element” of its national security campaigns. Obviously, the Israeli government’s involvement includes supporting ATA claims by American or Israeli Jews; but it is a fair inference that this involvement goes well beyond mere support—that the Israeli government actively instigates and promotes such lawsuits, unless it concludes that its national security objectives counsel otherwise.

Second, the Israeli government, despite its Schumer-like protestations of sympathy for victims of terror attacks, will turn against such victims if the government considers other objectives, such as good economic relations with China, more important. If Israel will withdraw its support even for Jewish victims, one can easily imagine how little weight Israel gives to non-Jewish interests, such as those of the American people who have opened their judicial processes to them, with regard to ATA claims.

Finally, it is readily apparent that the uses the JEN makes of ATA suits encompass a multifocal approach, involving not only the American judicial system but Congress, which enacts anti-terrorism laws and whose individual congresspersons advocate on behalf of Jewish ATA plaintiffs, and the Executive Branch, which enforces these laws and also promulgates politicized lists of countries and organizations that sponsor or engage in terrorism.[17]

So why should we care?

We should care if, as American citizens, we object to a foreign country, such as Israel, using our judicial resources as a tool in that country’s national security arsenal. ATA lawsuits are often complex; even if the cases are resolved pretrial, much judicial time and effort must be expended addressing them, especially if appeals are involved. The Boim case, for example, went up on appeal three times. Moreover, ATA claims that survive pretrial motions invariably involve trials that last weeks or even months. Further, if the plaintiffs receive a favorable judgment, American judicial resources must be deployed to address the difficult issues that arise in enforcement of the judgment. These burdens on our judicial system arise in the context of present heavy caseloads and tight budgets for our courts, particularly the federal courts.

We should care if we believe that our foreign policy should be conducted, at least primarily, by our Executive Branch, as our Constitution requires, and not by private parties bringing lawsuits under the ATA. ATA claims, if successful, can result in huge judgments against the defendants. If those judgments are against a country—and if Schumer is able to get JASTA passed, countries will lose their sovereign immunity defense in ATA cases—those judgments could well impede the Executive Branch’s ability to give aid, negotiate treaties, or otherwise develop relationships and resolve differences with the country. And many, if not most, of the countries which have found or will find themselves defendants in ATA actions are, not coincidentally, enemies of Israel.

We should care if we believe there are many innocent victims of violence and oppression in the Middle East, who deserve food, education, and a chance to live in peace. Cutting off humanitarian aid to such persons simply because the aid is provided by an organization that has been designated by our government as a terrorist organization, which has been a general effect of ATA litigation (see note 7 above), is objectionable on several levels, including: the objectivity and fairness of our government’s designation of organizations as terrorist is subject to legitimate criticism; punishing persons for accepting humanitarian aid from a “terrorist organization” when the persons are not even members or supporters of that organization savors of reprisal punishment, a violation of the Geneva Convention; and cutting off humanitarian aid in this way fails to address that poverty, ignorance, and despair can create conditions favorable to the recruitment of persons to terrorist organizations.

We should also care if we believe that the depiction of the “sinned by/sinned against” ratio between Israel and its enemies is badly skewed in Israel’s favor by critical elements of our society, including our Congress, much of our news media, powerful activist organizations like the ADL, and the moguls who dominate our entertainment industries. ATA litigation, as it has developed in the last decade or so, replicates that imbalance in the judicial realm. Reading the ATA cases, one learns much of the wrongs done to Jewish persons such as David Boim or David Wultz, and one finds several such cases in which large judgments have been rendered against the perpetrators. But one searches in vain for a single instance in ATA or similar cases in which Israel has been held accountable for its wrongs—for its illegal settlements,[18] its reprisal destruction of Palestinian homes, its use of excessive force, its killing of Rachel Corrie, an unarmed peace activist (by a bulldozer paid for by American funds),[19] its shelling of a United Nations compound,[20] and many others. This disparity should offend anyone with a sense of right and wrong, a patriotic love of the nobler aspects of the American character, and a concern that America, having allowed the JEN to sow the wind for its self-serving purposes, will reap the whirlwind of hatred and retribution.


Kyle J. Bristow is an attorney licensed to practice law in Michigan and Ohio. His website can be viewed at www.KyleBristow.com.


PHOTO: Charles Schumer speaking at the AIPAC conference in 2014.

 

[1] This acronym, admittedly, is awkward, but one needs a term broad enough to encompass Jewish special pl

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on The Use and Abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Act on behalf of I$raHell

The network of powerful I$raHell partisans who are pushing to bomb Iran

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

A well-financed pro-Israel network of “experts” – think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits – is dedicating enormous amounts of time and energy to weakening public support for the talks in the United States. Toossi gives the names and details:

Sina Toossi, FPIF, June 4, 2015 – In a recent TV ad, a van snakes its way through an American city. As the driver fiddles with the radio dial, dire warnings about the perils of a “nuclear Iran” spill out of the speaker from Senator Lindsey Graham and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The driver then steers the vehicle into a parking garage, drives to the top level, and blows it up in a blinding flash of white light. Words shimmer across the screen: “No Iran Nuclear Treaty Without Congressional Approval.”

While diplomats from Iran and the “P5+1″ world powers work to forge a peaceful resolution to the decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, a well-financed network of “experts” — like the “American Security Initiative” that produced the above “Special Delivery” ad — is dedicating enormous amounts of time and energy to weakening public support for the talks in the United States.

These think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits have peddled a plethora of alarmist narratives aimed at scuttling the diplomatic process — and they’ve relied far more on fear mongering than facts.

So who are these people?

A Close-Knit Network

Despite their bipartisan façade, these reflexively anti-Iran ideologues are in reality a tight-knit group. Many were also prominent supporters of the Iraq War and other foreign policy debacles from the last 15 years. They work in close coordination with one another and are often bankrolled by similar funders.

Four GOP super-donors alone — the billionaires Sheldon AdelsonPaul SingerBernard Marcus, andSeth Klarman — keep afloat an array of groups that ceaselessly advocate confrontation with Iran, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the American Enterprise Institute, and theWashington Institute for Near East Policy.

 

Other groups forming the core of this network include the neoconservative Hudson Instituteand the Foreign Policy Initiative, as well as more explicitly hardline “pro-Israel” groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Emergency Committee for IsraelThe Israel Project, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Several of these outfits also rely on right-wing grant-making foundations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Scaife Foundations, which together funnel millions into hardline policy shops.

Hardline Senators

Together these groups have established what amounts to their own echo chamber. They’ve built an anti-Iran communications and lobbying infrastructure that enjoys substantial influence in Washington’s corridors of power, particularly in Congress.

One of this network’s more prominent beneficiaries has been Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), a through-and-through neocon disciple whose truculent opposition to the Iran talks has given pause to even conservative figures like Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who asked him what the “point” was of his infamous open letter to Iran last March that was signed by 47 Senate Republicans. Other prominent senators with close ties to this network include Cotton’s Republican colleagues Lindsey GrahamMark KirkKelly Ayotte, and John McCain.

Cotton’s successful run for Senate last year came on the heels of massive financial contributions he received from key members of the anti-Iran lobby, including Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel, which spent roughly $1 million to get Cotton elected. Adelson, Singer, and Klarman, as well as the PAC run by former UN ambassador and avowed militarist John Bolton, also contributed significantly to Cotton’s campaign.

While some pundits and politicians say they’re looking for a “better deal” with Iran than the one the Obama administration has negotiated, Cotton has explicitly said that he’s looking for no deal at all. He’s called an end to the nuclear negotiations an “intended consequence” of legislation he’s supported to impose new sanctions on Iran and give Congress an up-or-down vote on the agreement.

Think Tank Warriors

In the think tank world, talking heads like the Hudson Institute’s Michael Doran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz and Clifford May still prefer the more cautious “better deal” framing. But discerning readers will quickly realize that their motives are bent towards pushing the United States into conflict with Iran.

Doran — who in the past has compared the Middle East to a “disease” and argued that “a bias toward military action is the best way to treat” it — has been one of the leading purveyors of the idea that the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran are geared towards turning Iran into “a friend and a partner,” which he frames as essentially akin to the sky falling.

In April, he lambasted this supposed strategic aim of the Obama White House in hysterical terms,writing that détente with Iran “will deliver disequilibrium, the exact opposite of the effect intended. By negotiating an arms-control agreement, the president has shifted the tectonic plates of the Middle East order.” He added: “And for tectonic plates, it takes a move of just inches to level whole cities.”

Doran has also argued there are “many more options” than what he calls Obama’s “ultimatum” of an “Iranian nuclear program or disaster.” He told Vox in April: “If Ali Khamenei was put before a choice of ‘Your nuclear program or absolutely crippling, debilitating economic sanctions,’ he would think twice. I think if he were put before a choice of ‘Your nuclear program or severe military strikes,’ he would think twice.”

So Doran’s answer is either a disastrous war or somehow applying more sanctions on Iran. How he intends to apply these sanctions given the fragile nature of the current sanctions regime and almost certain opposition from the rest of the P5+1 remains a mystery. Perhaps more concessions to Russia? Doran surely also knows that outside of harming ordinary Iranian citizens, sanctions have been aresolute failure in getting Iran to cease its uranium enrichment or change its fundamental strategic calculations with respect to its nuclear program.

Doran’s doomsday preaching is in fact the modus operandi of the deal’s critics. Clifford May, the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), has posited that “Mr. Obama is prepared to accept a deal that will be dangerous for America and the West — and, yes, life-threatening for Israel.” He has also wildly claimed that Iran, were it to develop nuclear weapons, “might provide a bomb to al-Qaeda,” the Sunni organization that is its avowed enemy.

Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s executive director, appears frequently in the media and before Congress lambasting the nuclear talks. He’s called the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 a “seriously flawed” deal and made no secret of his alternative to the tentative agreement: “Critics of Mr. Obama’s efforts are going to get lost in the technical details of this ‘framework’ agreement,” he wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed co-authored with fellow Iran hawk Reul Marc Gerecht. But “the ultimate issue remains: Are you willing to threaten war to get a better deal, and prepared to preventively strike if Tehran moves toward a bomb?”

The Republican Primaries

As the Republican primaries kick off for the 2016 presidential election, the candidates are doing their utmost to pander to these hawks — and especially to their donors.

Sheldon Adelson, whose massive spending on Republican candidates in the past has steered the foreign policy debate of entire campaigns, stands out in this regard. His annual gathering hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, which has become known as the “Adelson primary,” has seen Republican trying to out-hawk each other to win his support.

At times, the race for Adelson’s support has pushed the candidates into politically shaky territory.

Prospective candidate Jeb Bush, for example, fell out of favor with Adelson for appointing former Secretary of State James Baker — a foreign policy realist disliked by the party’s neoconservative wing — as one of the few non-neocons on his foreign policy team. Soon after, Adelson exalted former President George W. Bush “for all he’d done for Israel and the Middle East,” prompting the younger Bush to declare that he looks to his brother for advice on the Middle East — hardly a source of comfort to the non-Adelson wing of the party. Later, the former Florida governor even said he would he would have authorized the Iraq War even “knowing what we know now.”

“The Las Vegas mogul and Israel hawk,” Joan Walsh of Salon wrote of Adelson, “thus took Bush’s biggest political problem — his brother — and made him an asset.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the aspiring Republican presidential nominee who’s been one of the Senate’s biggest critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran and Cuba, has been a major recipient of donations from Adelson and Singer. A recent report by Politico suggests that Rubio “has emerged as the clear front-runner” to win the “Sheldon Adelson primary.”

A Failed Strategic Vision

Of course, virtually all of the characters and organizations above were emphatic supporters of the Iraq War. In examining their work, it becomes clear that military force, particularly in the Middle East, is the default tool they advocate for to deal with real or perceived threats.

In the case of the Iran nuclear negotiations, this has proven to be the case even when more long-lasting alternatives exist — like diplomacy — that better secure U.S. interests.

If, as John Lewis Gaddis said, strategy is “the discipline of achieving desired ends through the most efficient use of available means,” and the desired end of this militaristic faction is to maximize U.S. national security, their recommended strategies have clearly been abysmal failures.

The Iraq War they so fiercely championed, for instance, was a debacle that greatly weakened the American position in the Middle East at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Ironically, that war was in large measure responsible for strengthening Iran’s hand in the region — the very thing these hawks say a new war is necessary to address.

A nuclear deal with Iran presents the opportunity to avoid another catastrophic war in the Middle East and potentially opens the door to working with Iran on critical areas of mutual interest, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet by so vigorously denouncing the Obama White House’s negotiations with Iran, these armchair warriors are pushing for a war that wouldn’t only be terrible for the region and the people who live there. It would harvest more lives and limbs from American soldiers, waste trillions more taxpayer dollars, and undoubtedly erode U.S. standing in the world even further.


Sina Toossi is the assistant editor of Right Web, a project that monitors the efforts of militarists to influence U.S. foreign policy.


A Neocon Admits the Plan to Bomb Iran

Robert Parry, Consortium News March 16, 2015: The neocon Washington Post, which wants to kill the talks aimed at constraining Iran’s nuclear program, allowed a contrary opinion of sorts onto its pages – a neocon who also wants to collapse the talks but is honest enough to say that the follow-up will be a U.S. war on Iran, reports Robert Parry.

Not exactly known for truthfulness, U.S. neocons have been trying to reassure the American people that sinking a negotiated deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program would be a painless proposition, but at least one prominent neocon, Joshua Muravchik, acknowledges that the alternative will be war – and he likes the idea.

On Sunday, the neocon Washington Post allowed Muravchik to use its opinion section to advocate for an aggressive war against Iran – essentially a perpetual U.S. bombing campaign against the country – despite the fact that aggressive war is a violation of international law, condemned by the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal  as “the supreme international crime.”

Neoconservative theorist Joshua Muravchik. (Photo credit: Joshua Muravchik)

Given that the Post is very restrictive in the op-ed pieces that it prints, it is revealing that advocacy for an unprovoked bombing campaign against Iran is considered within the realm of acceptable opinion. But the truth is that the only difference between Muravchik’s view and the Post’s own editorial stance is that Muravchik lays out the almost certain consequences of sabotaging a diplomatic solution.

In his article headlined “War is the only way to stop Iran” in print editions and “War with Iran is probably our best option” online, Muravchik lets the bloody-thirsty neocon cat out of the bag as he agrees with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hysterical view of Iran but recognizes that killing international negotiations on limiting Iran’s nuclear program would leave open only one realistic option:

“What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons? That, in fact, is probably the reality. … Sanctions may have induced Iran to enter negotiations, but they have not persuaded it to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. Nor would the stiffer sanctions that Netanyahu advocates bring a different result. …

“Does this mean that our only option is war? Yes, although an air campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would entail less need for boots on the ground than the war Obama is waging against the Islamic State, which poses far smaller a threat than Iran does. … Wouldn’t destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary.”

Typical of the neocons, Muravchik foresees no problem with his endless bombing war against Iran, including the possibility that Iran, which Western intelligence agencies agree is not working on a bomb, might reverse its course if it faced repeated bombing assaults from the United States.

This neocon-advocated violation of international law also might further undermine hopes of curbing violence in the Middle East and establishing some form of meaningful order there and elsewhere. This neocon view that America can do whatever it wants to whomever it wants might actually push the rest of the world into a coalition against U.S. bullying that could provoke an existential escalation of violence with nuclear weapons coming into play.

Never Seeing Reality

Of course, neocons never foresee problems as they draw up these war plans at their think tanks and discuss them on their op-ed pages. Muravchik, by the way, is a fellow at the neocon-dominated School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins and the Washington Post’s editorial page is run by neocons Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl.

But, as U.S. officialdom and the American people should have learned from the Iraq War, neocon schemes often don’t play out quite as well in the real world – not that the neocons seem to care about the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis or the nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers who died fighting in the neocons’ Iraq debacle.

For the neocons, their true guiding star is to enlist the U.S. military as the enforcers of Netanyahu’s strategic vision. If Netanyahu says that Iran – not al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – is the more serious threat then the neocons line up behind that agenda, which also happens to dovetail with the interests of Israel’s new ally, Saudi Arabia.

So, Americans hear lots of scary stories about Iran “gobbling up” its neighbors – as Netanyahu described in his lecture to a joint session of the U.S. Congress this month – even though Iran has not invaded any country for centuries and, indeed, was the target of a Saudi-backed invasion by Iraq in 1980.

Not only did Netanyahu’s wildly exaggerate the danger from Iran but he ignored the fact that Iran’s involvement in Iraq and Syria has come at the invitation of those governments to help fight the terrorists of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State. [See Consortiumnews.com’s Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran.”]

In other words, Iran is on the same side of those conflicts against Sunni terrorists as the United States is. But what we’re seeing now from Israel and the neocons is a determined effort to shift U.S. focus away from combating Sunni terrorists — some backed by Saudi Arabia — and toward essentially taking their side against Iran, Iraq and Syria.

That’s why the neocons are downplaying the atrocities of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – or for that matter the chopping off of heads by Israel’s Saudi friends – while hyping every complaint they can about Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com’s The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

Muravchik favors this reversal of priorities and doesn’t seem to care that a U.S. bombing campaign against Iran would have a destructive impact on Iran’s ability to blunt the advances of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. The neocons also have been hot for bombing Syria’s military, which along with Iran represents the greatest bulwark against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

The neocons and Netanyahu seem quite complacent about the prospect of the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front hoisting their black flags over Damascus or even Baghdad. Yet, such a move would almost surely force the U.S. president – whether Barack Obama or his successor – to return to a ground war in the Middle East at enormous cost to the American people.

The obvious alternative to this truly frightening scenario is to complete the international negotiations requiring Iran to accept intrusive inspections to ensure that its nuclear program remains peaceful – and then work with Iran on areas of mutual interests, such as rolling back the advances of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria.

This more rational approach holds out the prospect of achieving some stability in Iraq and – if accompanied by realistic negotiations between Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his political opponents – reducing the bloodletting in Syria if not ending it.

That pragmatic solution could well be the best result both for the people of the region and for U.S. national interests. But none of that would please Netanyahu and the neocons.

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Watering I$raHell Image: NY Times obscures I$raHell water & resource theft

NOVANEWS
 Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr
BoyDrinkingWater
The New York Times hailed Israel’s ingenuity in addressing its water needs, but played down how Israel exploits its military domination to divert water away from Palestinians and to Israelis, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Paul Pilar, ConsortiumNews, June 5,2015 –  Israel is the object of widespread admiration for its economic and technical accomplishments and the ingenuity that went into them — for being a nation that made the desert bloom. Much of the admiration is quite warranted, with Israeli talent and resourcefulness having not only produced blooms on kibbutzes but also a leading high-tech sector today.

The comparisons involved, however, usually leave unstated how much of the accomplishment rests on the prerogatives Israel has wrested for itself as an occupying power (not to mention the many billions of dollars through the years of U.S. assistance to Israel, which effectively has shifted burdens from Israeli to U.S. taxpayers).

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Three years ago, presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a speech in Jerusalem that illustrated the kind of incompletely based comparisons that are typical. Referring to the disparity (which he actually understated) between the per capita gross domestic product of Israel and that of areas assigned to the Palestinian Authority, Romney’s explanation was: “Culture makes all the difference” — by which he meant that something akin to the Protestant work ethic drove Israeli enterprise but was missing from Arab culture.

He made no mention of the numerous physical, legal and resource impediments, within a few miles of where he was standing, to Palestinian economic activity that were part of the Israeli occupation, ranging from denial of building permits to prohibitions on Arab use of transportation networks. Of course, Romney’s motivation for saying what he did undoubtedly had something to do with the audience and pocketbooks to which he was appealing (he was speaking at a fundraiser attended by prominent Jewish-American backers).

Moreover, Romney is a very wealthy man who repeatedly demonstrated in other ways during the campaign his difficulty in comprehending the circumstances of those less well off. But his remarks suggested a view of Israel and the Palestinians that was both sincerely held and shared by many other Americans.

Even more to the point in understanding better the underpinnings of Israeli success are respects in which that success has benefited not only comparatively but absolutely from having conquered, and continuing to control, territory on which other people live. Israel has exploited resources in the Palestinian territories because it has the military strength to do so, with land being the most obvious and fundamental resource.

With control of the land, Israel enforces differential use of man-made as well as natural resources, to the benefit of Israelis and the detriment of Palestinians. The reserving of the best highways in the West Bank for use only by Israelis, for example, bestows an obvious benefit on Israelis in enabling them to conduct their business more efficiently, without being slowed down by any annoying Palestinian vehicles.

Think of this arrangement as HOT lanes in which who gets to use them is determined not by willingness to form a car pool or to pay a toll but instead by an occupying army that admits onto the entrance ramps only members of the favored ethnic group.

Among natural resources, water is vitally important and also involves Israelis benefiting absolutely as well as comparatively from their being an occupying power. That is why it is especially discouraging to read Isabel Kershner’s article in the New York Times about management by Israel of water resources. [The Times also fails to notes that Kershner is an Israeli citizen.]

Firmly in the blooming-desert tradition, the article is a laudatory piece about how through technology and shrewd regulation Israel has beaten a drought and taught the sort of lessons from which thirsty Californians could benefit. Half of the above-the-fold space on the Times front page is occupied by a picture of a sparkling blue hotel swimming pool against a backdrop of the barren Negev desert.

SwimmingPool

The article barely mentions how water has been a factor in conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and even that brief mention may leave only the impression that Israel is living up to its water-related obligations in the Oslo accords and that Palestinians are whining about the price they have to pay for water. The caption of the main picture (of an aqueduct in the West Bank) accompanying the after-the-jump portion of the article says that “Israel shares a mountain aquifer with the West Bank, and provides water to the Palestinians.”

What the article does not say is that a major factor in Israel’s ability to beat droughts and to fulfill demand from its own citizens for water is that it uses its control over the Palestinian territories to consume, heavily and disproportionately, water resources from those territories — and in so doing, to deny those same resources to the Palestinians. This involves principally, though not exclusively, aquifers in the West Bank.

Of water currently being drawn from West Bank aquifers, Palestinian residents of the West Bank use only 17 percent. Jewish settlers in the West Bank use 10 percent, and the remaining 73 percent goes to Israel proper. The water problems of West Bank Palestinians are exacerbated by Israeli restrictions on drilling new wells and repairing old pipes. The Israeli-built wall in the West Bank, which lies east of some of the most exploitable parts of the mountain aquifer, eases settler and Israeli use of the nearby wells and separates many Palestinians from their traditional water supplies.

SwimmingPool2

A similar pattern of use prevails with Jordan River water. As Kershner’s article notes, Israel extracts much of the water from the Jordan River system by moving it from Lake Tiberias to drier parts of Israel.Even though only a very small percentage of the Jordan River itself abuts Israeli territory and most of the river forms the boundary between the occupied West Bank and the kingdom of Jordan, Israel denies Palestinians any access to the river water.

The situation for residents of the Gaza Strip is even worse, and not only because of the damage to water infrastructure from Israel’s military assaults and blockade. Gaza depends for water on a coaster aquifer that straddles the boundary with Israel and in which the underwater flow is from east to west.

Israel has significantly reduced the amount of water that reaches the Gaza Strip by constructing a heavy concentration of deep wells on its side of the border. That Israeli upstream exploitation and the Palestinian drawing of what remains of the aquifer in the Gaza Strip have lowered both the level of the water table and water quality for Gazans, with much encroachment of saline sea water.

That swimming pool pictured on the front page of the Times is kept full not only because of Israeli ingenuity, although that is part of what is involved. It is full also because Israel uses its power over Palestinian resources to exploit them for the benefit of Israelis without regard for the deleterious effect on the Palestinians themselves.

The passionate American attachment to Israel has several roots, including well-founded admiration for Israeli accomplishments. But a further root is ignorance of many of the ways in which what may be admirable in what Israel has accomplished is based in part on policies and practices that are not. Management of water resources is but one example.

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Results of World Zionist Congress election in the U.S.

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr

Rabbi-Rick-Jacobs

Forward – The Association of Reform Zionists of America has scored a massive victory in the World Zionist Congress election in the United States. ARZA secured 56 seats out of a possible 145, winning nearly 40 percent of the votes cast – more than the next two slates combined.

Results of the election, voting for which continued from January through April, were released in New York on Friday. The World Zionist Congress will meet this fall for the first time since 2010.

The 500-person representative body of the Jewish people wields substantial control over three asset-rich institutions: the Jewish National Fund (which controls about 13 percent of Israel’s land), the Jewish Agency with a $475 million annual budget, and the World Zionist Organization. The congress determines how agencies within Israel allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for religious services and civil society projects.

The 190 Israeli representatives at the congress are allocated according to Knesset representation, while 165 delegates will represent the rest of the Jewish world.

“This overwhelming victory testifies to the power of the Reform Movement to mobilize as active partners in Israel’s present and future,” said Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. “As the largest and fastest-growing constituency of Jews in North America, Reform Jews recognize and value the importance of our voice in world Jewish affairs. We are mindful that our success in these elections comes at a critical moment for Israel, and we will use our influence to affect change through the vital work of the World Zionist Congress.”

“The sweeping victory for Progressive Judaism is a clear reflection of our love and commitment to the people and the State of Israel,” said ARZA President. “It demonstrates our desire to strengthen the fundamental democratic principles of the State of Israel and work toward a more religiously pluralistic and just society.

“Together with the Reconstructionist Movement, we campaigned on important issues such asreligious freedom, gender equality and support for a two-state solution. Now we can proudly say that our delegation – the largest of the U.S. by far – will come together in October in Jerusalem to express our passion and involvement as well as our concern for the future.”

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Betty McCollum calls for human rights for Palestinian children

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr
McCollumLetterPalestinianChildren

Congressional Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn) is calling on her colleagues to join her “in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the Department of State to make the human rights of Palestinian children a priority in our bilateral relationship with Israel.”

Over the past decade, at least 7,000 Palestinian children living in the Occupied West Bank have been subject to ill-treatment by Israeli occupation authorities.   They are arrested and detained in a military system that denies them their human rights. This was the subject of a detailed analysis by UNICEF in 2013. For more information on this issue, see:   Israeli Military Detention: No Way to Treat a Child.

In her letter, McCollum also included three news reports about Israeli violence against Palestinian children, including an American citizen beaten severely by an Israeli officer and a seven-year-old boy arrested by Israeli forces.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Betty McCollum calls for human rights for Palestinian children

Sheldon Adelson To Host Secret Anti-BDS Summit for Jewish Donors

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

AdelsonMilstein

Organized by several other top Jewish funders, including Hollywood entertainment mogul Haim Saban, Israeli-born real-estate developer Adam Milstein and Canadian businesswoman Heather Reisman….. attendees will be ADL, Hillel, Jewish Federations, and StandWithUs.

Nathan Guttman, Forward –  Leading Jewish mega-donors have summoned pro-Israel activists for a closed-door meeting in Las Vegas to establish, and fund, successful strategies for countering the wave of anti-Israel activity on college campuses.

The meeting, taking place this weekend, will be hosted by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and wasorganized by several other top Jewish funders, including Hollywood entertainment mogul Haim Saban, Israeli-born real-estate developer Adam Milstein and Canadian businesswoman Heather Reisman.

Organizers have sought to keep the gathering secret and have declined to respond to inquiries from the Forward that would confirm the upcoming meeting with two separate informed sources.

The planned Vegas summit marks a shift in approach on the issue of anti-Israel activity on college campuses, whose growth in recent years has captured a top spot on the Jewish communal agenda, The initiative, in this case, did not come from students on the ground, nor did it emerge from work of the many organizations involved in pro-Israel activism on campus. Instead, it is an idea coming from wealthy Jewish philanthropists who have decided to take action. Their communiqués to Jewish groups invite them to come and brainstorm with them during a weekend gathering at the Venetian, Adelson’s luxury hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Saban, a Los Angeles billionaire who is also a major Democratic donor with close ties to the Clintons, has been discussing the idea for more than a year, one source with firsthand information of the initiative said. Saban has spoken to Israeli officials, including the former ambassador to Washington Michael Oren and top officials in the Israeli foreign ministry, about setting up a special task force to deal with increased calls on campuses to adopt measures of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, measures commonly referred to as BDS.

According to an official in the Jewish community, it was another California philanthropist of Israeli background, Milstein, who put together the initiative. He got mega-donor Adelson and Reisman, who in recent years has been increasingly involved in initiatives to support Israel, on board.

The donors’ invitation came as somewhat of a surprise to at least some of the invitees. An official with one major group said leaders of the organizations were not aware of the initiative before receiving the last-minute invite and had not been consulted as it was crystallized. The official added that leaders of these groups were not quite certain what the goal of the Vegas summit is. Another Jewish organization official made clear that while his group intends to participate, it will not dispatch a top-level leader to the event.

All Jewish organizations contacted by the Forward declined to speak on record, citing the request of organizers to keep the gathering away from the public eye.

According to several prospective participants, Jewish groups planning to attend the meeting include Hillel, StandWithUs, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of North America. The Israel Action Network, a communal body created specifically to counter BDS and delegitimization of Israel, will not attend, although it will be represented by one of its parent organizations, JFNA.

J Street U, which is the student arm of the dovish Israel lobby, has a presence on most campuses and opposes BDS, was not invited.

The purpose, an official with one of the groups invited said, was to “find the best strategies” for countering campus anti-Israel campaigns and to “make sure there is funding” for those programs. However, groups were not asked to prepare a pitch to present to the panel of Jewish mega-donors.

Another official explained that the request for secrecy was “reasonable” because “it makes sense not to have the public in the room when you sit with funders to set priorities.”

Campus activity has been among the fastest-growing fields in Jewish organizations. Most major groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the ADL and the American Jewish Committee, have set up operations geared at students,alongside groups whose main focus has always been campus activity, such as Hillel and ICC. Yet despite the growth in pro-Israel activism, pro-Palestinian-driven protests and resolutions have been on the rise. The past year has seen a record number of 15 universities adopt resolutions demanding divestiture of college funds from Israel.

#

RELATED ARTICLE: Investigative report by Abraham Greenhousein Electronic Intifada:

Israeli-American real estate mogul Adam Milstein  is known for soliciting funds on behalf of two student senate candidates at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) who espouse strong anti-Palestinian views…

…..emails revealed a close working relationship between Milstein and UCLA Hillel…

….. The uproar over Milstein’s UCLA donations, which had not been disclosed by the candidates, nearlyderailed the appointment of Oved to the more influential post of student regent and raised questions about the propriety of outside donors attempting to covertly influence student politics.

….. Milstein’s foundation also provides generous funding for the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange program in California, which offers free, guided trips to Israel for student leaders, part of alarger, international program that also targets university administrators, police chiefs, politicians, journalists, and other influencers.

[In 2009 Milstein was convicted of tax evasion and served three months in prison.]

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Sheldon Adelson To Host Secret Anti-BDS Summit for Jewish Donors

Democratic moneyman Monte Friedkin says he’ll only support Hillary if she promises support for I$raHell

NOVANEWS

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

monte-friedkin

“A phone call ain’t going to be good enough,” Friedkin said. “She has to look me straight in the face.”

PalmBeachPost – As Hillary Clinton makes her first 2016 presidential fundraising swing through Florida this week, don’t look for former Palm Beach County Democratic Party Chairman and longtime Democratic moneyman Monte Friedkin at any of her events.

Friedkin gave $5,000 to the Ready For Hillary PAC in 2013, but he says he’s not ready to help Clinton’s presidential campaign unless he gets personal reassurance from Clinton on her support for Israel.

“My concern is that she was secretary of state under Obama and I don’t think under the Obama Administration they’ve been so wonderful to Israel…Where do we have a better democratic friend in the Middle East than Israel, and we treat Israel like a third-class citizen,” said Friedkin, a Democratic National Committee finance chairman in the early 1990s and former vice president of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. He headed the Palm Beach County Democratic Party from 1998 to 2002.

Friedkin lives in Broward County now and has been less visible in politics — though he contributed more than $200,000 to Democrats in the 2014 election cycle.

Hillary Clinton

Friedkin, who said he has personally known Hillary and Bill Clinton for 25 years, said he’s not ready to support her for president until they talk in person about Israel.

“A phone call ain’t going to be good enough,” Friedkin said. “She has to look me straight in the face.”

Republicans — particularly in South Florida — have tried to chip away at Jewish voters’ overwhelming support for Democrats by questioning the pro-Israel credentials of Obama and other leading Dems.

But Friedkin, while expressing reservations about Clinton’s stance on Israel, said there’s no way he’ll back a Republican in 2016.

“I don’t have to play” in the 2016 presidential race, Friedkin said.  “I’m happy to stay the hell out of it.”

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