Archive | November 6th, 2017

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime succession struggle enters home stretch

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Saudi succession struggle enters home stretch

Image result for King Salman bin Abdulaziz CARTOON
King Shalom bin Yahood ‘Shoah’
By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline 

Within hours of a decree by the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Sunday announcing the constitution of a new committee to combat corruption under the chairmanship of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS], an unprecedented purge of top establishment figures unfolded, signaling a pre-planned political campaign. The purge involves the sacking and/or detention of dozens of princes, ministers and former ministers. Several senior ministers, including those in charge of the kingdom’s National Guard, economy, and planning have also been dismissed. Notably, billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is among those detained. The security forces grounded private jets in Jeddah to stop any high-profile figures from leaving the country.

King Salman’s decree invests the new anti-corruption committee with draconian powers. The decree says that the anti-corruption committee shall be exempted from “laws, regulations, instructions, orders and decisions”, while performing its tasks of identifying “offenses, crimes, persons and entities involved in cases of public corruption.” It empowers MBS to issue “arrest warrants, travel ban, disclosure and freezing of accounts and portfolios, tracking of funds, assets” as well as take “precautionary measures”.

Corruption is synonymous with oligarchies and the House of Saud is no exception. The Saudi way is traditionally to throw money at problems. Make no mistake that Saturday’s purge signifies another step in the no-holds-barred attempt by the 32-year old Crown Prince for consolidating absolute political power and paving the way for his ascension as the next ruler. Evidently, MBS intends to strike fear into the hearts of the elites who could be rival power centres when the time for succession arrives, which could be in a conceivable future as per indications.

An intriguing twist to the tale lies in the recent speech by MBS at a ceremony launching a $500 billion project on the Red Sea where he vowed to “destroy extremism” and return to a “a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions”. MBS was addressing an international audience and the speech was widely interpreted as an attempt to give a new face of Saudi Arabia aimed at the Western world, primarily, by pressing all the buttons that the West may like to hear pushed about entrepreneurship, liberalism, moderate Islam.

However, such a facile explanation is insufficient. For, there is indeed a contradiction insofar as the Saudi royal family has traditionally depended on backing from the ultra-conservative religious establishment to ensure its claim to legitimacy, while under MBS’s watch during recent months, the regime has begun implementing unprecedented economic and social reforms that might potentially undermine the regime’s deeply conservative power base. The noted Saudi editor and opinion maker Jamal Kashoggi told Deutsche Welle in a recent interview his explanation of what MBS is attempting:

“It is hard for Saudi Arabia to disown Wahhabism, seeing as how it created a hard-line Salafi current that has been in power for 30 years… I believe that the prince’s (MBS) social and economic reforms enjoy wide popular support and great momentum… The country needs to be freed from the hard-line Salafi approach that has been prevailing for 30 years with the state’s permission… Today, the carpet has been pulled from underneath this current’s feet, and it does not have the strength to prevent reform… On the other hand, there will always be Saudi hardliners who oppose those reforms… but they are not sufficiently powerful to prevent that march… It is hard to disown Wahhabism… it is the basis on which the Kingdom was built. But it can replace it with a centrist Islam… There are modern Islamic ideas available to the state, and it can use them without having to announce its disowning of Wahhabism.

Doesn’t it look like a Saudi-style “cultural revolution” where ideology and reform become the leitmotif of what is at the core a transition in the calculus of political power? By means of liberalizing rhetoric, MBS is on the one hand engaging the West and appeasing ordinary Saudis (and even sections of conservative clerics), while on the other hand also aiming to consolidate his and his father’s power by removing opposition voices. Arguably, they form two sides of the same coin.

Clearly, there is a foreign-policy angle to all this, which will impact regional security. The Saudi Crown Prince cannot do without American backing. (The former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, rival to MBS who was ousted earlier this year, used to be Washington’s favorite as successor to King Salman.) Now, the exit of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Saturday is the latest telling evidence of a growing US-Saudi-Israeli congruence. A relatively stable set-up in Beirut (involving co-habitation between Hariri and Hezbollah), which acquitted itself remarkably well in the war against terrorist groups, has been suddenly thrown into disarray. What follows next in Lebanon dovetails into the US-Israeli-Saudi strategy toward post-ISIS Syria and Iraq where the balance of forces currently works in favor of Iran. Interestingly, Hariri announced his resignation in a speech broadcast from Saudi Arabia following a meeting with MBS. (Read the report in Tehran Times titled Hariri makes surprise resignation under Saudi pressure.)

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime gamble risks plunging Lebanon into war

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Image result for Saad Hariri CARTOON

Saad Hariri’s sudden resignation from Lebanon’s premiership, announced from Saudi Arabia, has raised fears that regional tensions were about to escalate and that the small country would once again pay a heavy price.

Hariri quit his post on Saturday in a televised speech broadcast by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya television, during which he appeared tense as he carefully read out from a written statement.

He claimed that he feared the same fate as his assassinated father and accused Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah of meddling in Arab countries’ affairs.

Hariri’s departure sent shockwaves through Lebanon as the country is struggling to maintain stability at a time when much of the Middle East is gripped by Takfiri violence rooted in Saudi Arabia.

Lebanon’s Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati said the development was “confusing and suspicious in its timing and location as well as the way it was delivered and the content of the resignation.”

“The optics are terrible — for Hariri to resign from Riyadh, imagine how his audience [in Lebanon] feels watching that,” said Emile Hokayem, a regional analyst at the Institute for Strategic Studies.

“God protect Lebanon from the evil of Saudi Arabia’s reckless adventures,” Sheikh Nabil Kawouk, a member of Hezbollah’s central committee, told Lebanon’s Al Jadeed television.

Last week, Qatar’s former prime minister Hamad bin Jassim revealed how the US coordinated support by Doha, Riyadh and Ankara for terrorists operating against the Syrian government.

Syria has always been a thorn in the side of Israel. The Arab country is part of the “axis of resistance” along with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran, which has brought Daesh to the brink of elimination.

The triangle of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US is alarmed and the prospect of an eventual triumph of this axis which has now become inevitable has prompted them to take drastic measures.

On Friday, as Syria began celebrating the capture of Dayr al-Zawr, Nusra Front terrorists launched a massive assault on a Druze village neighboring the occupied Golan Heights.

According to Syrian state media, the onslaught was carried out with Israeli coordination and assistance but Tel Aviv used the occasion to threaten direct intervention in the war.

Hariri’s resignation over what he called Hezbollah’s “grip” on Lebanon is the latest drastic step which Saudi Arabia and its allies have taken to tip the scales even at the cost of turning Lebanon into another Syria.

With the prime minister out of the political landscape, the architects of the new “plot” could claim that Lebanon was exclusively under Hezbollah’s control. That idea was articulated by Israeli minister of military affairs Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday.

“Lebanon=Hezbollah. Hezbollah=Iran. Lebanon=Iran,” he tweeted.

Hariri was appointed as the Lebanese premier in late 2016, after two years of political deadlock in the country. He formed a national unity government that included almost all of the main political parties in Lebanon, including Hezbollah.

Under the Lebanese constitution, the prime minister should be picked from among the Sunni community, but Saudi Arabia has tried to use the prerogative to maintain its influence in the country.

Riyadh says the government should be purged of Hezbollah, especially at a time when the resistance movement is emerging stronger from the Syria conflict.

Over the past few weeks, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Persian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan had unleashed a series of vitriolic attacks against Hezbollah, saying the group “should be punished… and confronted by force.”

The accusations coincided with new sanctions approved by US House of Representatives on the Lebanese resistance movement.

Hossein Sheikholeslam, a senior Iranian politician, told Al Mayadeen TV that Hariri’s’ resignation had been coordinated before between US president Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He said, “After the defeat of Daesh and the US in the region, Washington and Riyadh are trying to fuel tensions in Lebanon and the region.”

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, an adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker, agreed. “The decision has been made by the anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah front following the disillusionment of US and its allies with Daesh,” he said.

In Lebanon, political leaders expressed their apprehension, including the leader of Lebanon’s Druze minority, who has frequently played kingmaker in Lebanese politics.

Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), warned of the political burden and consequences of the resignation.

Hilal Khashan, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, said Hariri’s departure was “a dangerous decision whose consequences will be heavier than what Lebanon can bear.”

“Hariri has started a cold war that could escalate into a civil war, bearing in mind that Hezbollah is unmatched in Lebanon on the military level,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, welcomed the decision and said Hariri’s departure should be a “wake-up call” to the international community to what he described as the threat posed by Iran.

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From the BALFOUR DECLARATION to the Holocaust: How the Zionist Project Won Palestine

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Official British events to mark the centennary of the Balfour Declaration could be seen as questionable, to say the least.

Theresa May’s commitment to the commemorations were promised to Benjamin Netanyahu some time ago – regardless of the fact that the it will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many or that we’re talking about one of the most divisive documents in modern history.

Both the critics and supporters of Israel are guilty of propagating historical illiteracy about the origins and meaning of Zionism.

Some anti-Israel activists see Zionism in super-simplistic terms as a source of all evil or as a Nazi-style ideaology, while its defenders demonise or shut down anyone – Jewish or non-Jewish – who raises any questions.

The reality and the real history isn’t anything like as simple as either of those positions – real history never is.

There is, even now, a common misperception that the modern State of Israel was created in Palestine entirely as a reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust: that what was inflicted upon the Jews of Europe by the Nazis and fascists was the justification for creating the ‘Jewish Homeland’ – essentially a sanctuary or safe space for a horrifically persecuted people.

This is somewhat true, from a certain perspective.

And nothing in this article is questioning the reality that Israel provided a very real sanctuary for Jews after the Holocaust. And, to be clear, nothing in this article is questioning the legitimacy of Israel as a state in this present period of time (even if we might question many of its modern actions – or indeed how it came about in the first place).

It is difficult to argue against the fact that, after the events of World War II, a Jewish State became a necessity.

And I personally wouldn’t have perceived a problem with it if we wanted to celebrate, say, the official creation of the State of Israel in 1948. That would make some sense: a commemoration of the recognition of a new, democratic state for a people who suffered immense persecution, particularly in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II.

But that’s not what is being commemorated.

What we’re commemorating instead is literally the signing of an agreement by the British state in 1917 – twenty years or so before the inhuman crimes of Nazi Germany – to secure an already-populated land for controlled immigration by a specific religious group with a territorial claim based on supposed Biblical justification.

 


What this article is questioning is the very tidy and selective manner in which the story of the Zionist project – and particularly the history from the Balfour Declaration in 1917, through to the Holocaust during the Second World War, and eventually the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 – has generally been portrayed for decades.


 

There’s no doubt that the inhumanity of the Holocaust was what allowed the creation of Israel to be fully and finally legitimated and even necessary. However, the project to acquire that land for the so-called Jewish State – Zionism – preceded the Holocaust by decades and was a programme long in the making. It’s official advent was the British state’s issuing of the Balfour Declaration in 1917.

What is often ommitted from the modern, mainstream view is how this agreement came about, how it related to both the First and Second World Wars and also to the horrors of the Holocaust; and what’s even more ommitted is how Zionist leaders and advocates saw the Holocaust and saw the millions of European Jews – which is one of the most disturbing aspects of this whole subject.

And to be very clear (because there is so much misinterpretation or deliberate skewing that goes on), any reference to ‘Zionists’ or to ‘Zionism’ in this article is not a reference to ‘Jews’, neither is it a reference to the general population of Israel or to the general flow of people who migrated into Palestine.

This isn’t an article about religion or about race – but only about politics, deal-making, propaganda and history.

And it also isn’t an article about anything that has happened after 1948 – but only what happened before it.

 


This is an attempt at an unbiased (I hope) examination of elements of the Zionist story that most mainstream narratives usually ignore. And, be clear, this is written from the perspective of someone who supports the existence of the modern State of Israel (within pre-1967 borders): but, nevertheless, finds the history of the Zionist project – and the role of the Balfour Declaration – unsettling.

There is no reference here to conspiracy theory lore or revisionist history. There’s no reference here to the fabled Protocols of the Elders of Zion or any thoughts about Hitler having been a Zionist agent. And most of all, no reference to or insinuation of a ‘Jewish Conspiracy’ – because I don’t believe such a thing exists.


 

Also, when I use the term ‘Zionist’ here, I am generally referring to Zionist organisations and operatives who were active at the time of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the immediate couple of decades after this – and not necessarily to anyone who generally (for whichever reason) self-identifies as a ‘Zionist’ today.

You might notice that I keep putting in these disclaimers or clarifications – this highlights just how much of a mine-field this entire subject has been turned into, where anyone like myself (who doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in my body) has to carefully navigate these sensitive or toxic terms to make sure things aren’t being misunderstood.

As I’ve touched on before – and will touch on again shortly – this mine-field has been laid deliberately to make it very difficult for people to talk about anything related to Israel or ‘Zionism’ without potentially coming across like an anti-Semite. Even the term ‘Zionism’ is itself now really tricky, because it has been deliberately re-written to denote Israel as a population or even, increasingly, all Jews.

It was, originally, nothing of the sort.

 


 

The Balfour Declaration is widely seen as having been a massive misjudgement, made under questionable circumstances, and – to many – is also seen as incredibly divisive.

In fact, even later British governments were already questioning or even regretting the Balfour Declaration – to the extent that some felt duty-bound to honour an agreement that they didn’t necessarily even see the wisdom of.

Which raises the question of why the British government would even want to draw any more *attention* to it, let alone celebrate it.

Robert Fisk, writing in The Independent earlier this year, called it ‘the most mendacious, deceitful and hypocritical document in modern British history.’

At a time when even the EU and the Obama administration had recently issued sanctions against the Israeli government for allowing Zionist settlers’ continued demolition of Palestinian homes and villages and construction of illegal settlements in occupied territory, is it really an appropriate time to be celebrating a document that set decades of Middle-Eastern dysfunction into motion?

And, to be clear, we’re not talking about the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and in the shadow of the Holocaust – we’re talking about two decades earlier; and at a time when the British state and other Colonial powers were carving up the Middle East like a roast chicken dinner.

On some level, we might not be surprised. Theresa May is, after all, a staunch Zionist and friend of the Israeli government and who, previously, helped change British law in order to make it impossible to prosecute Israeli war criminals.

The most excessive part is Mrs May’s feeling “pride” in the Balfour Declaration, rather than merely honouring it. It isn’t as if she’s merely acknowledging an important event in history – but actually talking about how proud she is of it a hundred years later, when even she (in all her capacity for misjudgements) surely understands how inappropriate it might seem to many for a British Prime Minister in 2017 to appear so zealous about a highly questionable agreement that even Winston Churchill was expressing grave doubts about just years after it was signed.

Is it genuine passion for Israel? Or is it a perpetual need for the British state to pander to Zionist organisations in 2017, just as it did in 1917?

Even a hundred years ago, however, the British state’s commitment to Zionist colonisation of Palestine had provoked a lot of opposition and sceptcism.

Major British diplomats such as Lord Curzon or Middle East experts such as Gertrude Bell and T.E Lawrence were critical of the idea of imposing a Jewish state onto an area that was already populated. Gandhi called it an “inhuman” policy.

And neither public nor government opinion was unanimous in its support for what was seen as an excessive commitment made by Britain to further the Zionist agenda. Winston Churchill, in a 1922 telegraph, is recorded to have written of “a growing movement of hostility against Zionist policy in Palestine,” adding that “it is increasingly difficult to meet the argument that it is unfair to ask the British taxpayer, already overwhelmed with taxation, to bear the cost of imposing on Palestine an unpopular policy.”

This is why Mrs May’s and Britain’s celebration of the Balfour Declaration is so odd: like an extraordinarily desperate doubling down on an idea that, even at the time, was being doubted, let alone a century later. You could even be passionately pro-Zionist and *still* understand that it’s probably not the best idea to overly celebrate the Balfour Declaration.

John Quigley, in his exhaustive article ‘Britain’s Secret Re-Assessment of the Balfour Declaration’, informs us that ‘Most British officials in the military administration that governed Palestine saw Britain’s support for Zionism as leading to no good.’

 


He writes, further into the extensive historical review, that ‘The British Cabinet could not ignore the reports of trouble in Palestine. It met on 18 August 1921, with Churchill present. The minutes of the meeting show that the possibility of renouncing the Balfour Declaration was discussed.’


 

In August 1921, in a memorandum to the Cabinet, Churchill warned that ‘The Zionist policy is profoundly unpopular with all except the Zionists… the whole situation should be reviewed by the Cabinet.’ Churchill himself was generally a supporter of the Zionist operation; but not so much so that he didn’t see that it was highly problematic and probably warranted serious re-evaluation.

And aside from this, the British pledge to the Zionists had in fact conflicted with promises it had also made to the Hashemite Arabs who had fought on Britain’s side in the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans.

On 8th March 1920, a Syrian state – that was to include Lebanon and Palestine – was declared by the General Syrian Congress and led by Faisal, son of Hussein (picture above) – the Hashemite Prince who had led the Arab Revolt in alliance with T.E Lawrence and the British and in whose name Damascus had been captured by the Arab army.

A number of British officials, including the renowned General Allenby (who had captured Jerusalem and whose campaign had benefited substantially from the Arab campaign under Faisal) had strongly advised the British government to recognise Faisal’s claim.

This would’ve meant the nullification of the Balfour Declaration.

It was a case of a particularly powerful or effective cabal managing to get its agenda through; aided in no small part by the chaos and uncertainty of World War I and its aftermath. Those who were, at the time, operating to facillitate the Zionist agenda were incredibly savvy, able to exert influence and pull strings in all the right places at all the right times.

This is arguably why the Zionist project succeeded where other interests failed.

For example, as mentioned already, the British government had also made promises to King Hussein of Mecca and the Hashemites, as well as promises to the Kurds – and in both those cases, the promises were not kept. In fact, both the Kurds and the Hashemite Arabs had fought and sacrificed lives on the side of the British during the war and yet still didn’t see their promises kept – whereas the Zionists were simply much better at persuading or coercing governments to adopt their interests.

The Arabs even had T.E Lawrence (of Arabia) – an international icon at the time – campaigning tirelessly for their cause, yet to no avail.

The Zionists, on the other hand, clearly knew how to win.

Lord Jacob Rothschild did an interview earlier this year, in which he spoke about the crucial role his ancestors played in the Balfour Declaration. The head of the powerful banking family told Times of Israel about how his family connected Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann to the British establishment and taught him how to “insert himself into British establishment life” in order to better push forward the Zionist agenda for Palestine.

For this matter, the involvement of the powerful Rothschild banking family in the Zionist project should not be underestimated. Says Rothschild, “it was the most incredible piece of opportunism.”

The prominent Jewish intellectual, Arthur Koestler, called it “one the most improbable political documents of all time.”

 


It it now much more widely understood that the British state’s commitment to Zionism was motivated in large part by Zionist lobbyists’ offer to use their influence in America to draw the United States into World War I – essentially in exchange for the Holy Land.


 

It is also well understood by now that some – though not all – of the violent anti-Semitism that emerged in Germany (particularly Hitler’s own hatred) was based on this perceived Zionist ‘betrayal’ of Germany in World War I: in essence, Hitler could blame political Zionists (somewhat rightly, arguably) and ‘Jews’ (wrongly, unarguably) for the problems Germany had been experiencing since the end of the First World War and the perceived ‘humiliation’ of the German people.

Aside from the genuine stream of vicious anti-Semitism that already existed across Europe, Hitler’s propaganda machine was able to turn a lot more of his own people against Jewish people on account of the role the Zionists were perceived to have played in Germany’s fate.

Whether or not Zionists were such a large part of why Germany lost the First World War is something we can question (there were undoubtedly combinations of different reasons, even if Zionist activity was one); but the point is that Hitler – correctly or incorrectly – wholly believed this to have been the case.

Alison Weir traces in her book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, how drafts of the Balfour Declaration went back and forth between Britain and the United States for some time before a final agreement was signed.

 


But what is particularly extraordinary to note is that it wasn’t a simple case of the Zionists coercing governments into particular actions, but that the different powers were in fact practically vying to align themselves with the Zionist agenda.


 

It could’ve just as easily been Germany that might’ve issued its own Balfour-type declaration – and had it done so, there might have been a different outcome to World War I (which, in turn, may have meant World War II might never have happened either).

John Quigley, in the aforementioned study, points out the extent to which allying with the Zionist movement was seen as a major prize in both the war and in propaganda terms, informing us that British officials were actually worried that Germany would issue a statement of support for the Zionists before Britain did. ‘The issue of wooing Jewry was clearly deemed to be of great importance by the German and Ottoman governments’, Quigley explains.

Chaim Weizmann – the chief Zionist petitioning the British government – himself evidently played to this state of mind, warning British officials that they should hurry about issuing their support for Zionism, as Germany was going to try to “influence Jewish opinion, especially in America and Russia, and utilise it in the interests of German propaganda…”

Quigley highlights in his exhaustive study that, in a cabinet meeting of 4th October 1917, Mr Balfour himself had warned that ‘the German government were making great efforts to capture the sympathy of the Zionist movement’.

In fact, Jewish communities – including the Zionist elements – had a strong presence in Germany and it would’ve made sense for Germany to have utilised this in their favour. The fact that Britain got there first – and that the British state was seen as having been enticed into it by Zionist agents – must’ve caused enormous resentment in Germany, particularly given the punishments that were inflicted on Germany by Britain, France and the others after the war (an entirely pointless war that was essentially fought between cousins who sent millions to die for no real purpose).

Most historians or experts on the period would probably argue that the Zionists’ impact on Germany’s loss of the war and subsequent suffering wasn’t anything like as big as some claim.

This is probably true. Though there is a longstanding counter-argument that says Germany was actually winning the war and was even offering to discuss peace terms with Britain and France at the time that the Americans, via Zionist influence in exchange for the Balfour Declaration, entered the war and the tide turned.

History is always tricky and the story changes depending on who’s perspective you’re looking from – what seems fair to say, however, is that if Hitler and the Nazis two decades later needed an easy scapegoat to pin all of Germany’s problems on, the Zionists had very much provided one.

And the price, in the end, wasn’t paid by the Zionists but by ordinary Jews.

 


This linking of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the Holocaust some two decades later isn’t spurious. In fact, they are arguably chapters in the same story.


 

Even at this stage in the programme when the Balfour Declaration was being issued, attitudes were evident – and statements being made – that are now very disturbing when you consider what would unfold in Germany and Europe two decades later in World War II.

For example, during the course of the negotiations, Rothschild-aligned Chaim Weizman – the first “Jewish statesman” and the man who’d done the most to ensure British support for Zionism – had said that “The most valuable part of the Jewish nation is already in Palestine, and those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important”.

That’s the chief Zionist in Britain, saying “those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important.”

Weizman’s collaborator, Yitzhak Greenbaum, amplified this statement with the observation “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe”.

This same attitude towards the millions of ordinary Jewish victims of Nazi Europe has been sustained, surprisingly, for decades. “Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice the few in order to save the many,” said Moshe Sharett, a former Israeli Prime Minister, in 1958.

 


But in actual fact, the Zionist role in the Holocaust may have been even deeper than just a disturbingly casual attitude towards the ordinary Jewish victims – as we will come back to in a minute.


 

Theodore Herzl‘s (1860-1904: considered the founder of the Zionist ideaology) original justification for wanting to separate Jews from non-Jews was understandable – you could even argue it was justified at the time, as it stemmed from genuine and widespread anti-Semitism and persecution of Jewish communities in various countries.

Even then, however, other Jewish thinkers and writers opposed the idea of Zionism, arguing that segregating Jewish people off from the rest of the world wasn’t a way forward.

The problem, arguably, was how zealous and singleminded the movement’s agitators became. In fact, Herzl himself justified the claim to Palestine by telling the British (years before Weizmann and the Balfour Declaration) that a Jewish homeland in Palestine would act as a European base in the Middle East against the Arabs (even though there was no threat from ‘the Arabs’ at this time or any conflict).

When Zionism emerged as an idealogy in the late 1800s, Palestine was populated almost entirely by Muslim and Christian Arabs. And the vast majority of Jews around the world were not Zionists and did not identify with that agenda.

But from the very beginning, the Zionist school of thought had a low opinion of the majority of ordinary, integrated European Jews, and placed absolute priority on the acquisition of Palestine.

This is in fact a crucial dynamic to properly understand, both historically and in the present day. While Zionism is a political ideaology that isn’t and was never embraced by all Jewish people, part of the agenda of the Zionist movement was to contiually force or incite ordinary Jews into identifying religously or nationalistically with the Zionist identity and, at the same time, to encourage non-Jews to increasingly view Jews as ‘Zionists’ or to associate Jews with the idea of Israel.

This programme has been amplified tenfold since the official foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 and has clearly worked – in the present day, most people have been conditioned to associate Jews automatically with Israel. And even the term ‘Zionism’ has been mistakenly (deliberately) conflated with Jews, despite the fact that many of the most ardent opponents or critics of Zionism are Jewish people.

Former ITN news reporter Alan Hart’s book, Zionism – The Real Enemy of the Jews, also examines this problem somewhat.

But there’s nothing new in this.

There were, from the very earliest days of the Zionist agenda, outspoken Jewish voices who entirely opposed that ideaology – and this remains the case today.

 


This in particular is a reason I personally always look to cite specifically Jewish criticism where possible – partly because I don’t ever want to quote actual anti-Semites, and partly to help us combat the horrible and widespread anti-Jewish hate-speech that pervades the Internet and to help dismantle the racist myth of the “Jewish Conspiracy” or the insidious “All Jews are in it together” line of propaganda that thrives on too many genuinely anti-Semitic platforms.


 

I’ve covered this a few times here before, in regard to how a deliberate, calculated policy has been undertaken to forcibly identify Jewish people with Zionism or pressure Jewish people into fixating their sense of identity onto Israel, while simultaneously raising the anti-Semitism card against anyone who criticises Zionism or right-wing nationalists in Israel.

Naomi Winborne Idrissi, a co-founder of ‘Jews for Boycotting Israel Goods’, for example complains that “The Israeli state identifies Israel with all Jews. It aims to speak for all of us. But we say Israel and Zionism does not represent us.”

Jane Eisner likewise notes that “the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is becoming ever thinner and more porous, and it may disappear altogether,” and talks about the “demographic trends that already connect the fate of diasporic Jews with Israel whether they like it or not.

There was hardly a more adamant anti-Zionist in Britain than the late Labour MP Gerald Kaufman – a Holocaust survivor who couldn’t be dismissed as anti-Semitic and therefore ended up being dismissed as a ‘self-hating Jew’.

The most famous example of this is the brilliant Hannah Arendt, who was one of the most famous, respected intellectual figures and progressives of the twentieth century.

Arendt, who fled Nazi Germany at the age of 27, was eventually labelled ‘an enemy of Israel’ for her views. As Daniel Maier-Katkin notes in this account, ‘Arendt’s experience in the 1960s offers an early example of repressive strategies for the punishment and repression of dissent.’

Arendt (pictured below) had been famously reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel in the 60s, when she had become disturbed by the nationalistic fervour in Israel, which the trial of Eichmann was being calculatedly used to intensify and maximise (for the sake of amplifying the sense of Jewish victimhood and reactionary Jewish nationalism: it’s essentially the same tactic the Netanyahu government has been adopting in Europe, particularly in the wake of French terror incidents seen to be targeting Jewish people).

The Council of Israeli Jews From Germany wrote to Arendt demanding that she withdraw her book from publication or face a “declaration of war.”

An old friend of hers, Gershom Scholem, even wrote a public letter declaring that Arendt had “insufficient love for the Jewish people” – which is frankly an extraordinary charge to level at a Holocaust survivor.

 


The point is to highlight that the Zionist ideaology and agenda was never favourable or even sympathetic to Jewish people – but only to those who were indoctrinated into the geo-political purpose of Zionism specifically.


 

Which, during the decades immediately after Zionism’s inception and also during the years of World War II and the Holocaust, was NOT the majority of Jewish people at all.

And while World War II was an unparalleled tragedy and horror for millions of Jews, it was – perversely – the most favourable thing that ever happened (even more than the Balfour Declaration in 1917) for the geo-political agenda of international Zionism.

The only interest and agenda of the international Zionist movement had been to acquire Palestine for the creation of a new Jewish homeland – this was largely accomplished by the Balfour Declaration in 1917; but there remained even after this a problem that most Jewish people still didn’t care about Palestine or identify with the idea of the national homeland ‘for the Jews’.

In fact, it is even well documented that a great many of the European Jews who did take up the offer to go to Palestine once the Nazis really began to humiliate, torment and demonise Jewish people in Germany and Europe actually decided to come back to Europe – because they just didn’t get what the fuss or the appeal was about Palestine (the photo below is a snapshot of Arab, pre-Zionist Palestine) and they felt lost there.

This subject was covered extensively in episodes of the superb documentary series about the Holocaust, Warning From History.

It is one of the most bittersweet elements of the horrors of what was done to Jews in Europe – the fact that a number of people actually managed to escape, but then came back, perhaps not realising how much worse things were soon to get for Jews in Germany.

But it also shows that the Zionist agenda, despite the Balfour Declaration, just wasn’t holding sway over most Jewish people.

It has become increasingly evident over the decades that this zealous and single-minded commitment to acquire Palestine overrode every other concern – to committed Zionists, the Holy Land was the only important thing, no matter what had to be done to pave the way.

The affairs, well-being or even lives of ordinary Jews (who weren’t particularly interested in the Zionist agenda) were seen as irrelevant or as mere collateral damage for the sake of a perceived greater goal.

 


It is this sense of zealous, extreme commitment to a single geo-political outcome that becomes increasingly disturbing the more you examine the historic evidence.


 

A 1993 piece by Mark Weber for The Journal of Historical Review thoroughly corroborates the historical reality of Nazi/Zionist collaboration in regard to Palestine.

‘Early in 1935, a passenger ship bound for Haifa in Palestine left the German port of Bremerhaven,’ he writes, beginning the article. ‘Its stern bore the Hebrew letters for its name, “Tel Aviv,” while a swastika banner fluttered from the mast. And although the ship was Zionist-owned, its captain was a National Socialist Party member. Absurd or not, this is but one vignette from a little-known chapter of history: The wide-ranging collaboration between Zionism and Hitler’s Third Reich‘.

Weber, who in 1988 had testified for five days in Toronto District Court as a respected ‘expert witness’ on Germany’s war-time Jewish policy and the Holocaust, proceeds in the article to lay out in entirely sober, historical terms, the substantial cooperation between international Zionists and Nazi Germany.

After offering a comprehensive historic account, he concludes, ‘During the 1930s no nation did more to substantively further Jewish-Zionist goals than Hitler’s Germany’.

 


It might surprise most people to discover that after the horrendous Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Race Laws were enacted in September 1935, only two flags were permitted to be displayed in all of Nazi Germany – one being the Nazi swastika, the other being the blue and white emblem of Zionism.


 

This isn’t something you’ll see noted in TV documentaries about the Holocaust or Nazi Germany. The logic of this, however, was that an increase in adherents to the Zionist agenda to colonise Palestine suited the Nazis, as they wanted Jews gone from Germany and Europe.

Most German Jews were fully assimilated and considered themselves Germans or Europeans and didn’t want to go to Palestine; but the Zionists continued to push their solution, and at this point in history, they appear to have been doing so with full Nazi cooperaiton.

Something very odd and unnerving happens when you actually look at any sequence of period posters, adverts or slogans for the Zionist programme in Palestine – in tone and style, they look incredibly similar to Nazi/Aryan propaganda images from Germany.

  

It’s a surreal thing to observe.

While the cruel, disgusting caricatures and anti-Semitic images the Nazis put out to demonise Jews in Germany show the horrible, ugly face and reality of anti-Semitism and Aryan supremacism, the Zionist images and posters for colonising Palestine almost seem to be modelled on Aryan-style propaganda. If you removed the lettering entirely and just saw the imagery, you’d think you were looking at German ‘Master Race’ imagery from the 1930s.

There are a number of accounts of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis and most of these are the work not of anti-Semites but of Jewish authors. The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine is a book by Edwin Black. A son of Holocaust survivors, Black doesn’t seem to have much love for Palestinians (he is in fact pretty unpleasant about them in the book) and in fact himself remains a firm Zionist.

Yet he wrote comprehensively about the Transfer Agreement (Haavara) between the World Zionist Organisationand Nazi Germany.

Lenni Brenner’s work, 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration With the Nazis, pretty much lays the matter to rest. Among other remarkable finds unearthed in Brenner’s research, it emerges that Avraham Stern, the leader of the notorious terrorist ‘Stern Gang’ in Israel had, in late in 1940, writtern to Hitler (the text having been discovered in the German embassy in Turkey after World War II), proposing that the Jewish militias in Palestine would fight on “Germany’s side” in the war against England (in exchange for the Nazis help in resolving the “Jewish Question” in Europe and their assistance in creating an “historic Jewish state”).

For perspective, these were Zionist nationalists now offering to fight for Nazi Germany and against the country that had given them Palestine (the Balfour Declaration) in the first place.

It should be noted that he had written this proposal at a time when Nazi troops had already invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland and already constructed the Auschwitz concerntration camp. Stern had also openly boasted that the Zionists were“closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in [their] ideology and structure.”

The civil rights activist, Brenner, also explores, among many other things, how when Adolf Eichmann was in Palestine in 1937, it was as the guest of the Zionists.

And how, for example, after the Holocaust began in 1942, Eichmann was dealing regularly with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jew who he considered a “fanatical Zionist.” Eichman said about Kastner, “I believe that [he] would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. ‘You can have the others,’ he would say, ‘but let me have this group here.’ And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful. I would let his groups escape…”

Quite what Eichmann was thinking two decades later, as he stood trial in Israel for his Nazi crimes, we don’t entirely know. Because, in the late 60s – and at the same time that Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt was being disturbed by the way Eichmann’s trial was being used to inflame Zio-nationalism and she being vilified as a ‘self-hating Jew’ for her concerns – Eichmann might’ve been wondering where all of his former Zionist collaborators had disappeared to while he was being sentenced to death.

While any reference to the Zionist collaboration with the Nazis in regard to Palestine was buried from popular consciousnness – and with the unparalleled horror of the Holocaust fresh in the minds and consciences of most people – the Zionist nationalists in Israel were using Eichmann to radicalise a generation of younger Israelis and Jews into a fanatical belief in the necessity of the Jewish State – because the Holocaust was what happened when Jews didn’t have Israel.

 


This notion that the fanatical Zionists may have had an astonishing lack of sympathy for or identification with the European Jews who were being liquidated in the Holocaust is reinforced by, of all people, David Ben-Gurion, who is quoted as having said (in 1938): “If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution.”

Ben-Gurion was the founder of the modern State of Israel and its first Prime Minister – and yet here he was, essentially dismissing the inhumane slaughter of millions of Jews as some kind of acceptable colateral damage for the sake of the Zionist goal.


 

But he was simply echoing the statements of Zionism’s hero, Chaim Weizmann.

He in fact seemed to regard those Jews who didn’t subscribe to the Zionist ideology as less important than those who wanted to go to Palestine; even if it amounted – in principle – to letting them perish at the hands of the most evil of anti-Semites.

But again, this was simply reinforcement of Weizmann’s and Greenbaum’s earlier position – “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe.”

And again, this exploration of the Nazi/Zionist collaboration and shared interest has been conducted by a number of writers and researchers, most of them Jewish. Raul Hilberg’s seminal The Destruction of European Jews, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Rafael Medoff’s The Deadening Silence: American Jews and the Holocaust, are a few well-known examples.

You can read the full text of Hilberg’s Destruction Of The European Jews here.

Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld went further and accused the Zionists directly of collaborating in the Nazi slaughter of European Jewry. The picture he paints is particularly grim.

He argues that, while European Jews in their millions were entirely at the mercy of the Nazis all across Europe, international Zionist leaders in America and elsewhere were deliberately goading Hitler towards further hostility against Jews.

They began in 1933 by initiating a worldwide boycott of German goods, with the American Zionist Rabbi Stephen Wisedeclaring “war on Germany”. Wise didn’t just declare war on Germany on behalf of the Zionist project – he did so, conciously and deliberately, on behalf of all Jews.

Shonfeld also quotes Chaim Weizmann – the Zionist figurehead and mastermind of the Balfour Declaration – as having said “Every nation has its dead in its fight for its homeland. The suffering under Hitler are our dead.” Weizmann referred to the Jewish victims as having been “moral and economic dust in a cruel world.”

Again – six-million Jews more or less dismissed as a necessary sacrifice for a greater goal.

But permanent Zionist and pro-Zionist policy has been generally to viciously disavow any Jewish figure or writer who questions the Zionist narrative or touches upon some of the more inconvenient elements of history. Such figures are often dismissed as ‘self-hating Jews’ or some such, like Hannah Arendt was (Arendt, for the record, was in favour of the State of Israel, but envisioned it being a secular, pluralistic democracy for Jews, Arab Muslims and Christians, and athiests).

None of this is conspiracy theory or speculation.

None of this is questioning even for a moment the reality of the Holocaust, nor is it – even for a moment – looking to shift any responsibility for the mass slaughter away from the evil Nazi perpetrators. None of it is referencing any popular conspiracy lore like the Protocols of Zion or the idea that Hitler was a Zionist puppet, nor playing to the racist ‘Jewish Conspiracy’ tropes that all-too-often underlie or accompany attempts to critique or vilify the Zionist project.

All this is is a case of removing the blinkers, sidestepping the contrived mythology and looking soberly at the evidence.

Evidence that, behind the commonly maintained narrative of the Zionist story (including the Holocaust and the Balfour Declaration), there is another narrative is usually ignored or not understood.

 


And what you find is something incredibly perverse in considering the Zionist attitude towards – and, in some respects, their possible complicity in – the millions of Jews slaughtered by Nazi Europe, and then perceiving how the horrors of the very same Holocaust are now used to prevent any questioning of Zionism itself.


 

In terms of the Balfour Declaration itself, there is – as demonsrated here – an obvious link between this agreement and what would later unfold in the Holocaust.

Not a causal link necessarily; but there’s no question that the two events in history were tied together. The text of the Balfour Declaration itself reads fairly innocuously; but the reality of history is not in official documents or even in official, consensus versions of history, but in the larger flow of interconnected actions, motives and events that form the bigger picture.

Examination of those interconnected actions, motives and events can often reveal more uncomfortable or inconvenient truths that the official or consensus version of history often overlooks or deliberately ignores.

When one examines statements by some of the most important Zionists – including early Israeli leaders – and their attitude towards the millions of “less important” Jews in Europe, one has no choice but to conclude that the mainstream narrative of the Zionist story (and therefore the Balfour Declaration) is highly selective and sanitised, to say the least.

 


Where does that leave things now? And how relevant is any of this to today?


 

Arguably not very. After all, 100 years on now from the Balfour Declaration, the State of Israel itself has every right to exist – just as no one would really now question the United States’ legitimacy as a nation, despite its vast theft of land from the Native Americans.

The moment has passed. The debate (concerning legitimacy) is over – and should’ve been more carefully argued or managed many decades ago at the time when Britain and the Colonial Powers were carving up nations and communities and making questionable deals.

Lots of nations or societies have their founding or creation mythologies – often a heroic or noble narrative that bears little relation to the sober truth (again, the United States is another example; North Korea is another too). But we generally don’t fixate on a nation’s legitimate right to exist or right to self-interest after a certain amount of time.

 


Has the Zionist project been a success?


 

Accomplishing the Balfour Agreement was itself a stunning success – statements even from the time and from the movement’s key players show that they were stunned they’d pulled it off.

But assessing that question beyond that depends entirely on perspective. From a Zionist perspective, it has been an absolute success – now missing only the final piece of the puzzle (the annexation of Jerusalem and seizure of the Temple Mount). The Zionist project has not only succeeded in creating its state, but in acquiring a nuclear arsenal, maintaining the permanent financial and military backing of powerful governments and patrons, establishing arguably the most cunning and effective foreign intelligence agency in the world, expanding its land far beyond the originally-agreed borders, and becoming almost immune from international law.

However, all those warned of or predicted endless problems have also been proven right.

It isn’t Britain’s fault that a nationalist Israeli government has done more and more to oppress or deprive the Palestinian population – something that was explicitly advised against in the Balfour Declaration. Or that Zionist/nationalist settlers continue to occupy illegal territory beyond the internationally-recognised borders, and continue to bulldoze Palestinian homes and communities and build illegal settlements.

In essence, this might be why the Zionist question – and the anger towards Israel – remains ongoing: the perception that the Zionist project is still ongoing.

The perception that acquiring Palestine in the first place somehow wasn’t enough and was never going to be enough. The perception that, even 100 years later, the ‘Zionists’ are still at it, still trying to take more, despite everything that was given to them.

It’s a big, complicated equation of subjects and considerations – the aim in this article was only to talk about a specific period in history and not the modern day situation.

The problem is in the very same Colonial Power that signed that situation into existence deciding, a century on, to celebrate that action as if it should be regarded a proud moment – and as if everything borne from that decision has been wonderful.

It is all the more misguided due to the common perception that this same state that signed the Balfour Declaration is also – to the present day – seen as one of the states that continues to support and protect the Zionist project even when international law or agreements are called into question and no matter how far from the terms of the original Balfour Declaration the Zionist project deviates.

What’s extroardinary is that, a century later, we don’t seem to have changed our approach to the world.

Think of the catastrophes we helped create in Iraq and Libya, for example. Yet, at a time when we should be engaged in critical self-analysis and looking to process our possible mistakes or culpability, we have a government that chooses to celebrate it instead.


Read more: Auschwitz, the Holocaust Survivors & the Lessons We Haven’t Learnt‘, ‘Hannah Arendt & the ‘Self-Hating Jews’ Who Survived the Holocaust‘, ‘Behind the Veil of the Anti-Semitism Crisis‘, ‘When Saudi Arabia Ruled the World‘, ‘Iraq & the Endless Conflict Equation‘…

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, UK0 Comments

Nazi Jewish Organizations Condemn BDS

NOVANEWS

93 International Jewish Organizations Condemn BDS

Thousands attend an anti-BDS conference at the UN sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and the Israeli mission to the UN on March 29, 2017
If Americans Knew

The following press release was distributed on Nov. 6, 2017 by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). AICE is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and is the sponsor of the Jewish Virtual Library. The executive director is Mitchell Bard. Bard is often interviewed by news media as an alleged expert on Israel-Palestine (see video here.)

It is press releases such as this that give Americans the false impression that all Jewish Americans support Israel. This is also the reason that some individuals at times refer to the Israel lobby as “the Jewish lobby,” the phrase that is employed in Israel.

Corrections to some of the statements in the release below have been added in brackets. The 93 signatories are listed below the release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mitchell Bard
Tel: 301-565-3918
Email: mitchellbard@gmail.com
JewishVirtualLibrary.org

93 International Jewish Organizations Condemn BDS

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND – As the Jewish community celebrates the 100th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, [go here for info on who was behind the Balfour Declaration] an anti-Semitic [sic] campaign to delegitimize Israel is being pursued by advocates of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. [See facts on BDS here.] While the international community recognized the right of the Jewish people to reestablish a state in their homeland, Israel, BDS advocates seek to deny the Jewish right to self-determination. [See this for a discussion of Israel’s alleged right to expel the indigenous population.] In response, 93 international Jewish organizations have signed a statement condemning BDS.

Statement of Jewish Organizations on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaigns Against Israel

“This important statement demonstrates the international Jewish community’s objection to the campaign to ostracize, punish, and threaten Israel.,” said AICE’s Executive Director Dr. Mitchell Bard. “It is gratifying to see groups from across the political and religious spectrum come together on this issue and rebut BDS advocates who falsely claim to represent ‘the Jews.’”

The statement notes that “academic, cultural and commercial boycotts, divestments and sanctions of Israel are: counterproductive to the goal of peace; antithetical to freedom of speech and part of a greater effort to undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their homeland, Israel.” It also condemns the extremist rhetoric of the delegitimization movement.

The signatories acknowledge that criticism of Israel is legitimate, but note that criticism becomes anti-Semitism “when it demonizes Israel or its leaders, denies Israel the right to defend its citizens or seeks to denigrate Israel’s right to exist.”

[This distortion of the meaning of antisemitism on behalf of Israel was initiated by an Israeli minister and has been perpetrated through an international campaign.]

The statement expresses particular concern with the BDS movement on campus because it “is antithetical to principles of academic freedom and discourages freedom of speech,” has provoked “deep divisions among students,” and has “created an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred.”

The statement calls on “students, faculty, administrators and other campus stakeholders to uphold the academic and democratic values of a free and civil discourse that promotes peace and tolerance.”

[In reality, the anti-BDS organizations often work to prevent free speech and to block factual events about Israel-Palestine; see this for example.]

“We all believe in peace,” added Dr. Bard, “and that goal cannot be achieved by demonizing and boycotting Israel.”

[Israel partisans have often pushed for wars; see this.]


Below are the 93 signatories (most appear to be Americans]

Prof. Mervin Verbit /
Prof. Samuel Edelman
Academic Council for Israel

Rabbi Steven Burg
Aish HaTorah

Andy Borans
Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity

Dr. Mitchell Bard
American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE)

Gerald Platt
American Friends of Likud

Howard Kohr
The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

David Harris
American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Herbert Block
American Zionist Movement (AZM)

Charles Jacobs
Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Andrew Goldsmith
AMIT

Jonathan Greenblatt
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Dr. Colin Rubenstein / Jeremy Jones
Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council

W. James Schiller
Baltimore Zionist District

Matthew Grossman
BBYO, Inc.

Daniel Citone
B’nai B’rith Europe

Daniel S. Mariaschin
B’nai B’rith International

Stephen Savitsky / George W Schaeffer /
Cheryl Bier
Bnai Zion Foundation

Jonathan Arkush
The Board of Deputies of British Jews

Fred Taub
Boycott Watch

Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro
The Cantors Assembly

Shimon Koffler Fogel
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)

Malcolm Hoenlein
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations

Phillip Brodsky
The David Project

Gunnar Bjork
Denmark Lodge, B’nai B’rith

Naomi Mestrum
Dutch Centre for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI)

Mindy Stein
Emunah of America

Anton Block
Executive Council of Australia

Akiva Tendler
The Fellowship for Campus Safety and Integrity

John.D.A Levy
Friends of Israel Educational Foundation Academic Study Group

Ellen Hershkin
Hadassah

Elliot Mathias
Hasbara Fellowships

Arlene & Sheldon Bearman
The Herbert Bearman Foundation

Mark Hetfield
HIAS

Eric Fingerhut
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

Adv. Irit Kohn
The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

Jacob Baime
Israel on Campus Coalition

Josh Block
The Israel Project (TIP)

Adam Milstein / Shoham Nicolet
Israeli-American Council

Shawn Evenhaim
Israeli-American Coalition for Action

Doron Krakow
JCC Association

Alan Hoffmann
Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)

David Hatchwell
Jewish Community of Madrid (CJM)

David Bernstein
Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)

William Daroff
The Jewish Federations of North America

Michael Makovsky
Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA)

Simon Johnson
Jewish Leadership Council

Russell F. Robinson
Jewish National Fund (JNF)

Henia Vrazda and Board
Coordination Committee (Denmark)

Dov H. Maimon
Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI)

Lori Weinstein
Jewish Women International (JWI)

Yael Mosesson / Nina Tojzner
Jewish Youth Organization in Sweden

Ron Klein
Jews for Progress/National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC)

Kenneth L. Marcus
The Louis D. Brandeis Center For Human Rights Under Law

Ron Carner
Maccabi USA/Sports For Israel

Meara Razon Ashtivker
Masa Israel Journey

Marilyn L Wind / Sarrae G Crane
MERCAZ USA

Chellie Goldwater Wilensky
NA’AMAT USA

Ram Shefa
National Union of Israeli Students

Farley Weiss
National Council of Young Israel

Rabbi Micah Greenland
NCSY

Susan Z. Kasper / Harry Hauser
North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE)

Gerald M. Steinberg
NGO Monitor

Allen I. Fagin
Orthodox Union (OU)

Tzvi Avisar
Over the rainbow–the Zionist movement (OTR)

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld
Rabbinical Assembly

Jacob Sternberg
Realize Israel

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Religious Action Center

Rabbi Gideon Shloush
Religious Zionists of America/Mizrachi

Matt Brooks
Republican Jewish Committee (RJC)

Eran Shayshon
Reut: The Reut Group: From Vision to Reality

Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin
The Schechter Institutes, INC., Jerusalem

Asaf Romirowsky
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)

Andy Huston
Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity

Rabbi Marvin Hier/ Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Simon Wiesenthal Center

Barbara Pontecorvo
Solomon-Osservatorio sulle Discriminazioni (Italy)

Ben Swartz / Mark Hyman
South African Friends of Israel

Wendy Kahn
South African Jewish Board of Deputies

Ben Swartz
South African Zionist Federation

Roz Rothstein
StandWithUs

Rudy Rochman
Students Supporting Israel (SSI)

Jonathan Turner
UK Lawyers for Israel

Josh Holt
Union of Jewish Students (UJS – UK)

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)

Luke Akehurst
We Believe in Israel

Dorrit Raiter
WIZO Denmark

Carol S. Simon
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

Rabbi Marla J. Feldman
Women of Reform Judaism

Betty Ehrenberg
World Jewish Congress, North America

Yosef Tarshish
World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS)

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
The World Values Network

Laurence A. Bolotin
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity

Paul Charney
Zionist Federation of the United Kingdom and Ireland

Morton A. Klein
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns0 Comments

Iran slams Saudi lies over Yemen missile strike

NOVANEWS
By Adam Garrie Adam Garrie | The Duran 

Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump have both accused Iran of providing Yemen’s Houthi rebels with the missile that was launched at the Saudi capital Riyadh yesterday evening.

Saudi Arabia in particular, has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with new missiles capable of longer distances than those previously thought to be in their possession.

However, Saudi’s accusation is inconsistent with the fact that Yemen is totally besieged from both land and sea.

Yemen is bordered by Saudi Arabia and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council Oman, a state which would never allow shipments of Iranian weapons to Houthis and could not easily do in any case as Oman borders areas of Yemen controlled either by the pro-Saudi Hadi government or by anti-Iranian al-Qaeda and ISIS fighters.

Yemen’s north-west maritime borders have been cut off from the world, including from crucial medical and food supplies by a Saudi naval blockade that has caused a man-made famine and a cholera epidemic.

If the UN cannot even get foodstuffs past the Saudi blockade, it goes without saying that Iran could not get ballistic missiles to Houthi controlled areas.

The Houthis themselves claimed that they modified their missiles to achieve longer ranges, a claim which Iran acknowledges as the most likely scenario in respect of yesterday’s launch. Others have stated that the launch was a Saudi false flag, but as the Houthis themselves took credit for the launch and with video emerging which appears to back up Houthi claims, the only remaining credible scenario is that the Houthi fighters were indeed able to modify their missiles to reach Riyadh.

In any case, it would appear that Saudi’s US made defensive missile systems shot the Houthi rocket down, although some reports on social media from the Arab world contradict this.

At the end of the day, the facts hardly matter to the spokesmen and leaders of Saudi, Israel and United States who have all accused Iran of having a direct hand in the missile launch.

The fact of the matter is that while Iranian sympathies and limited support are certainly with the Houthis, the blockade means that this support amounts to very little in terms of material support, including and especially military support.

The facts on the ground and more important on the sea, dictate that accusations of Iran meddling in Yemen are de-facto baseless.

Unlike Syria, in which militants could be supplied on virtually all sides from ISIS controlled Iraq to the large Turkish border as well as the borders with Jordan and Israel, Yemen’s Houthis are not in any such position to be so easily supplied.

The fact that many in the media have conspired to hide this patently obvious reality means that one either is not engaging in honest journalism or one is simply repeating mythical Saudi claims.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, Yemen0 Comments

Handing control of crossings to the PA ‘removes Nazi pretext for siege on Gaza’

NOVANEWS
Image result for siege on Gaza’ Cartoon

The Popular Committee against the Nazi Siege on Gaza said on Friday that handing over control of the Gaza border crossings to the Palestinian Authority removes the Nazi pretext for maintaining its siege on the territory, Anadolu has reported.

“It is obligatory on Israel to lift its siege and restrictions on the crossings,” said the Committee, “and to ease the movement of goods and people and cancel the list of goods banned from entering Gaza.”

According to the group’s statement, 80 per cent of the factories in the Gaza Strip have either stopped production or implemented severe cuts due to the siege. Unemployment now stands at 50 per cent and 80 per cent of the population are in poverty. “These are scary statistics,” it said.

The head of the Committee is independent Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khodari, who described the 10-year siege on Gaza as “illegal and amounting to collective punishment.” He called for a Palestinian campaign to get the international community to take up its role in obliging the Israeli occupation to lift the siege on the enclave.

The Nazi occupation authorities closed the Gaza border crossings in the wake of the Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the ousting of Fatah from the territory a year later. Last month, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt, and handed over the crossings on 1 November to the Ramallah-based PA as part of the deal.

READ MORE:

Ramona Wadi: Despite his talk of ‘reconciliation’, Abbas continues to act in Israel’s interests

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Gaza0 Comments

Hamas slams PA for insistence on EU mission at Rafah crossing

NOVANEWS

Member of Hamas Political Bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, condemned in a tweet on Saturday the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) insistence on the existence of the EU mission at Rafah border crossing. This means the return of the Israeli control over the crossing, he highlighted.

“Why is the PA keen on the Israeli existence at the crossing when it has become managed by a national administration?” Abu Marzouk wondered.

Last Wednesday, the Palestinian consensus government took over the control of Gaza Strip crossings in accordance with the latest Cairo reconciliation agreement.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Gaza0 Comments

Russia, US craft rival UN resolutions on extending chemical probe in Syria

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Image result for chemical probe in Syria CARTOON

Russia and the United States have drawn up rival UN Security Council resolutions on extending the mission of a body of international experts probing chemical attacks in Syria.

The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) was formed by a Security Council resolution in 2015, and is run jointly by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the world body’s chemical weapons watchdog.

Russia, however, has been exceedingly critical of JIM’s reports, finding faults with its evidence gathering techniques.

On October 14, Russia vetoed a US-sponsored Security Council resolution that would have renewed the experts’ mandate for a year. It said it would wait for an official report on an alleged sarin gas attack last year in northwestern Syria by the mission to decide whether it would back extending its mandate.

The report came out two days after the veto, blaming Syria for the incident which took place in April 2016 in the town of Khan Shaykhun and killed over 90 people.

Both Russia and Syria have rejected the report.

Reacting to the report on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry said the JIM experts had produced it without even turning up on site despite being offered guarantees of safety.

Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of the ministry’s arms control and non-proliferation department, said, “Imagine a criminal investigation in which police refuse to visit the site of the crime. No court will ever accept it.” “But they consider it possible to do such thing at the UN Security Council,” he noted.

According to a draft resolution obtained by news agencies, both the American and Russian versions demand the JIM mission’s extension, but under totally different conditions.

According to AFP, Russia wants the UN Security Council to shelve the latest JIM report and launch a new investigation into the Khan Shaykhun incident.

The Russian draft also urged a six-month extension of the UN-led panel’s mission, while the version put forward by the US calls for a two-year extension of the mandate, the report added.

The Associated Press also reported that the Russian draft resolution on the future of JIM’s mandate urges the mission to send investigators to Khan Shaykhun, where the attack reportedly happened, and the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s central Homs Province, which the US attacked later in April with missiles under the pretext of punishing Syria.

The accusations against the Damascus government come while Syria has turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013. The OPCW supervised that removal process.

Posted in USA, Russia, Syria, UN0 Comments

US Gambit: How Daesh Could Be Replaced for Continuation of Syrian War

NOVANEWS

Sputnik 

With Syria making big strides toward victory and terrorists controlling ever-diminishing areas in the country, Muhammed Kheir al-Akkam, professor of international relations at the University of Damascus, told Sputnik how the US may meddle in the Kurdish issue.

“The US does not want the end of the Syrian war until their goals are achieved. Their main tool for the war in Syria, called Daesh, is living out their last days. So now they are switching to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which have to do what Daesh failed to fulfil,” Syrian political analyst Muhammed Kheir al-Akkam said.

According to him, “the US wants to extend the war in Syria as long as possible to implement its plans in the region.”

“Russia is trying to put an end to this war and along with the Syrians is seeking a peaceful solution. The Americans do not do it, paying lip-service top fighting terrorism; in fact, they are financing both Daesh and the SDF,” al-Akkam added. He pointed out that “what we see in Raqqa is a fully coordinated move by the US to replace Daesh with the SDF.”

“We might ask why the US is not fighting the al-Nusra Front and other similar organizations? The answer is simple: because the US supports them,” he said.

He recalled that the SDF carries out ethnic cleansing in Raqqa and discriminates against some Syrian peoples in the occupied territories, which is why the SDF cannot be called “democratic” or “Syrian”.

“The Syrian Kurds need to remember that the Americans will betray them as soon as their interests diverge, something that occurred to Masoud Barzani after Iraqi Kurds failed to secede from Baghdad,” al-Akkam said.

According to him, “the Syrian Kurds also should bear in mind that their strength depends on Syria’s unity.”

Al-Akkam added that the seventh round of the Syrian peace talks in Astana in many respects continued the course of the talks’ sixth round. At the same time, it is worth noting that there has been a new turn, according to him.

During the Astana talks, the sides managed to resolve many issues related to the military situation in Syria, something that he said the parties failed to do in Geneva. In Astana, the sides, in particular, agreed on exchanging prisoners and the holding of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, where Syria’s integrity will be high on the agenda.

“As for the Syrian opposition groups that will not attend the Sochi congress, they are dealing with the interests of those who finance their activities rather than those of the Syrian people,” al-Akkam concluded.

Posted in USA, Syria0 Comments

The Trumped-Up Syria-Sarin Case

NOVANEWS
Image result for Syria-Sarin Case CARTOON
By Rick Sterling | Consortium News 

In early 2003, it was claimed that Iraq was a threat to other countries. Despite ten years of crushing economic sanctions plus intrusive inspections, supposedly Iraq had acquired enough “weapons of mass destruction” to threaten the West. It was ridiculous on its face but few people in power said so. Establishment politicians and media across the U.S. promoted the idea. In the Senate, Joe Biden chaired the committee looking into the allegations but excluded knowledgeable critics such as Scott Ritter. This led to the invasion of Iraq.

Today we have something similarly ridiculous and dangerous. Supposedly the Syrian government decided to use a banned chemical weapon, which they gave up in 2013-2014. Despite advancing against the insurgents, the Syrian government supposedly put sarin in a Russian chemical weapon canister and dropped this on the town Khan Sheikhoun which has been under the control of Syria’s version of Al Qaeda for years. To top off the stupidity, they left paint markings on the canister, which identify it as a chemical weapon.

Supposedly the Syrian government did this despite knowing there are many “White Helmet” activists in the town along with their cameras, videos, computers, Internet uplinks and Western social media promoters. Supposedly the Syrian government did this despite knowing that neoconservatives, neoliberals and Zionists are keen to prolong the conflict and drag the U.S. and NATO into it more directly. Supposedly the Syrian government did this despite knowing the one thing that could trigger direct U.S. aggression in the conflict is the use of chemical weapons: the “red line” laid down by Barack Obama.

If the above sounds unlikely, it is. But even if these accusations should be laughed out of the room, as they should have been in 2002, let’s take the claims about the event at Khan Sheikhoun in Syria on April 4 seriously if, for no other reason, than that certainly the consequences will be serious if the exploitation of this incident is not stopped.

What Happened at Khan Sheikhoun?

The report titled “Seventh report of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism” was provided to select governments and media on Oct. 26. The world’s media announced the key finding without criticism or question: the sentence that the committee is “confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017.”

About 36 hours later, the report was leaked via the Internet. But the die was already cast as establishment media had “confirmed” Syrian guilt.

Following are key contradictions and inconsistencies in the report produced by the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the U.N. and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

–The Investigation Ignores the Essential Element of Motive.

The three essentials in criminal investigation are Motive, Means and Opportunity. All three must be present. Yet the investigation team ignores the question of motive. The Syrian government has every motive to NOT use proscribed weapons. On the other side, the armed opposition has a strong motive to implicate the Syrian government. They have been calling for U.S. and NATO intervention for years. They are losing ground, recruits and allies. Yet these facts are never considered.

–The Investigation Relies Primarily on Biased Sources.

On page 1 the Joint Investigative Mechanism claims they have conducted a “rigorous independent examination.” But most experts and witnesses are biased in favor of the “regime change” policies of Western governments. On page 4 the report says, “The Mechanism engaged several internationally recognized forensic and specialist defense institutes … to provide forensic and expert support to the investigation.”

Any “defense institute” connected or contracting with France, U.K. or U.S. will have inherent assumptions and bias since these governments have actively promoted overthrow of the Syrian government.

–The Investigation Ignores Credible but Critical Analyses.

The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) team makes no mention of the published analysis and findings of numerous researchers, investigative journalists and scientists. For example:

– MIT Professor Theodore Postol has analyzed the Khan Sheikhoun incident. He persuasively challenges the main theory about the crater site and munition.

– American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has also written about he incident. His information from U.S. military and intelligence officers reveal that the American military knew about the forthcoming attack in advance. He reports the Syrian jet attack was “not a chemical weapons strike …. That’s a fairy tale.”

– Investigative journalist Gareth Porter has written an exposé titled “Have We Been Deceived over Syrian Sarin Attack? Scrutinizing the Evidence in an Incident Trump Used to Justify Bombing Syria.” Porter presents a devastating critique of the sarin-crater theory. He documents how easily false positives for sarin could have been created and how the OPCW has violated their own investigation protocols.

– Researcher Adam Larson has written an exposé titled “Syria Sarin Allegation: How the UN-Panel Report Twists and Omits Evidence”. After closely inspecting the photographs and videos, he questions whether the victims are civilians kidnapped from a nearby village five days previously. Larson’s site “A Closer Look at Syria” has a good index of videos and articles on this and other events.

The above “open source” analysis and information was published well before the current report but apparently not considered. A “rigorous, independent examination” needs to evaluate investigations such as these.   

–Victims Appear Before the Attack.

On pages 28-29, it is reported that “Certain irregularities were observed in elements of information analyzed. For example, several hospitals appeared to start admitting casualties of the attack between 0640 and 0645 hours…. in 57 cases patients were admitted in five hospitals before the incident in Khan Shaykhun…. in 10 such cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours.”

It is reported that “The Mechanism did not investigate these discrepancies and cannot determine whether they are linked to any possible staging scenario, or to poor record-keeping in chaotic conditions.” Given the importance of determining whether this incident was caused by the Syrian government or staged by elements of the armed opposition and their supporters, why were these discrepancies not investigated further? Clearly it is not possible that victims were transported 125 kilometers and delivered to a hospital in 15 minutes. This is potentially powerful evidence of a staged event.

–‘White Helmets’ Were Warning of a Chemical Weapons Attack Before the Attack.

On page 20 it says “The Mechanism collected information from witnesses to the effect that a first warning of a possible upcoming chemical attack was received by ‘Syrian Civil Defense’ (also known as the ‘White Helmets’) and spotters in Kahn Shaykun…. The witness stated that the alert advised residents to be careful as the aircraft was likely carrying toxic chemicals.”

It seems reasonable to ask: Was the advance talk of “toxic chemicals” a signal to get ready for a staged event? How would a plane spotter know there was a one-time chemical bomb aboard? This is another area that needs more investigation.

–Were Syrian Planes Over Khan Sheikhoun at the Critical Time?

The basic question of whether or not there were Syrian jets over Khan Sheikhoun is unanswered. The Syrian military says they did NOT fly over Khan Sheikhoun in the early morning.

Page 21 documents that the Syrian pilot and log books record that the Su-22 jet was executing attacks at other nearby towns and not closer than 7 to 9 kilometers from Khan Sheikhoun. Radar track data from the U.S. appears to support this, indicating the Syrian jet path was 5 kms from Khan Sheikhoun.

On page 7 it says “SAAF aircraft may have been in a position to launch aerial bombs” (underline added). On page 22 it says, “the witness reported waking up at around 0700 hours on 4 April 2017 to the sound of explosions. The witness stated that there had been no aircraft over Khan Shaykhun at the time and that aircraft had only started launching attacks at around 1100 hours.” (underline added)

There are conflicting testimonies on this issue but curiously no video showing jet fighters at the time of the explosions in Khan Sheikhoun. It is unconfirmed how the ground explosions occurred.

–The Investigation Team Did Not Try to Visit the Scene of the Crime.

On page 3 the report says “The Mechanism did not visit the scenes of the incidents…. While the Leadership Panel considered that a visit to these sites would have been of value, such value would diminish over time. Further, the panel was required to weigh the security risks against the possible benefits to the investigation.”

While it is certainly appropriate to consider security, the actual scene of a crime provides unique opportunities for evidence. The OPCW has previously stated the necessity of having access to a crime site then taking and transferring samples to a certified lab with a clear chain of custody.

If the insurgents still controlling Khan Sheikhoun have nothing to hide, they should welcome the investigation.

Furthermore, Russian authorities offered to guarantee the safety of the inspection team. Yet the investigation team apparently made no effort to visit the site. Why? In an investigation of this importance, with potentially huge political consequences, visiting and analyzing the scene of the crime should be a requirement if at all possible.

–The Material Evidence Comes from Insurgents with No Verifiable Chain of Custody.

On page 23 it says “Samples taken from the crater and its surroundings were found by the Fact Finding Mission to contain sarin.” On the day of the event, insurgents took soil samples and victims to Turkey where they were received and subsequently tested. Without verified origins and “chain of custody”, this data cannot be verified and must be considered skeptically.

As indicated in the report, one theory about the April 4 event is that it was staged to implicate the Syrian government. If that theory is correct, it is predictable that the plotters would have samples prepared in advance, including sarin samples with markers matched to the Syrian stockpile. The Syrian sarin was destroyed aboard the U.S. vessel “MV Cape Ray.” Given the heavy involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Syrian conflict it is likely they analyzed and retained some portion.

–The Report Repeats Discredited Claims about Bomb Fragment and Filler Cap.

On page 26 it is reported that “two objects of interest … were the filler cap from a chemical munition and a deformed piece of metal protruding from deep within the crater. According to information obtained by the Mechanism, the filler cap, with two closure plugs, is uniquely consistent with Syrian chemical aerial bombs.”

This information may come from a Human Rights Watch report, which has been discredited. The “filler cap” was supposedly a match for an external plug for a Russian chemical weapon bomb but was found to not match and to be based on a 1950’s era museum photo. An insightful and amusing critique of the HRW report is here.

The authenticity of the fragments in the crater is also challenged by the lack of a tailfin or any other bomb fragments. A chemical weapon bomb is designed to release and not burn up the chemical and therefore the munition casing should be on site.

–Strange Actions Suggesting a Staged Event.

On page 28, the report notes methods and procedures “that appeared either unusual or inappropriate in the circumstances.” For example they observe that a Drager X-am 7000 air monitor was shown detecting sarin when that device is not able to detect sarin, and “para-medical interventions that did not seem to make medical sense, such as performing heart compression on a patient facing the ground.”

On page 29, it is reported that one victim had a blood test showing negative for sarin and urine test showing positive. This is an impossible combination. Also on page 29 it is noted that some of the rescue operations were inappropriate but might have been “attempts to inflate the gravity of the situation for depiction in the media.”

The report does not mention the video, which shows “White Helmet” responders handling victims without any gloves or protection. If the patients truly died from sarin, touching the patients’ skin or clothing could be fatal. Incidents such as these support the theory that this was a contrived and staged event with real victims.

–The Team Is ‘Confident’ in Their Conclusions Yet Basic Facts Are in Dispute.

On page 22, the report acknowledges that “To date the Mechanism has not found specific information confirming whether or not an SAA Su-22 operating from Al Shayrat airbase launched an aerial attack against Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017.”

How can they be “confident that the Syrian Arab Republic is responsible for the release of sarin at Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017” when such basics have not been confirmed?

Conclusion

The report of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) gives the impression of much more certainty than is actually there. Seizing on the false “confidence,” the White House has denounced the “horrifying barbarism of Bashar al Assad” and “lack of respect for international norms” by Syria’s ally Russia. International diplomacy is being steadily eroded.

Most Western “experts” were dead wrong in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Are these same “experts,” institutes, intelligence agencies and biased organizations going to take us down the road to new aggression, this time against Syria?

In contrast with the JIM report, Gareth Porter reached the opposite conclusion: “The evidence now available makes it clear that the scene suggesting a sarin attack at the crater was a crudely staged deception.” That is also more logical. The armed opposition had the motive, means and opportunity.

Posted in Syria0 Comments


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