Archive | August 7th, 2020

Nazi regime destroyer of Lebanon, poses as its savior

By: Tamara Nassar

Even amidst catastrophe, Israel’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 135 people, injuring more than 5,000 and displacing hundreds of thousands.

The death toll is likely to climb as rescue workers search the devastated Lebanese capital.

The blast left little unscathed, as citizens posted pictures and videos of shattered homes, damaged cars and collapsed buildings across the city.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Lebanese officials linked it to 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored for the past six years in warehouses at the port without safety precautions.

Now, Israel is exploiting the tragedy to erase its own crimes against Lebanon, distract from military occupation and polish its image – a propaganda strategy called bluewashing.

Bluewashing
Israel announced it was offering Lebanon humanitarian aid through diplomatic channels.

The breathtaking hypocrisy was not lost on Twitter users who posted notorious images taken during Israel’s 2006 invasion showing Israeli children writing messages on artillery shells before the army fired them into Lebanon.

“Will your gift baskets be signed just like your missiles?” One social media user wrote.

The offers of “humanitarian” aid come from the same country that has killed and injured tens of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and regularly threatens to destroy Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure as it has done time and again.

During the 2006 invasion, Israel fired more than a million cluster munitions into the country.

“What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs,” an Israeli army officer told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz.

In the course of that war, Israel dropped some 7,000 bombs and missiles, and bombarded all parts of Lebanon by land and naval artillery as well.

More than 1,100 people were killed and some 4,400 injured, the vast majority civilians.

An investigation by Human Rights Watch completely debunked Israel’s claims that the horrifying toll was as a result of “collateral damage” because Hizballah fighters were hiding among civilians or using them as “human shields.”

Human Rights Watch concluded that Israel indiscriminately targeted civilian areas – a strategy known as the “Dahiya Doctrine,” after the southern suburb of Beirut that Israel deliberately flattened.

And Israeli leaders frequently threaten to do it again.

In 2018, for example, Yisrael Katz, a senior member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, threatened to bomb Lebanon to the “Stone Age” and “the age of cavemen.”

And just days ago, after claiming that Hizballah fighters had attempted to attack the Israeli army across the border, Netanyahu alluded to the 2006 war.

The Israeli leader said on 27 July, that in 2006 Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah “made a big mistake in testing Israel’s determination to defend itself, and the Lebanese state has paid a heavy price for this.”

“I suggest he does not repeat this mistake,” Netanyahu added – a barely veiled threat to repeat the same massive destruction.

Netanyahu repeated his threats just hours before the Beirut explosion.

Spreading rumors
For maximum propaganda value, Israel is reportedly insisting on keeping Hebrew markings on any aid shipments that might reach Lebanon – although Lebanon is almost certain to reject such aid.

Meanwhile, Israel rushed to spread baseless rumors blaming Hizballah for the blast.

“Following the tragedy in Beirut, Israel has officially offered humanitarian assistance to Lebanon,” 4IL, a propaganda outlet of Israel’s strategic affairs ministry, tweeted.

“This comes despite the evidence the explosion stemmed from a storehouse of Hizballah munitions,” the account added.

Absolutely no such evidence has come to light.

UN sells Israel
Israel regularly violates Lebanese airspace and sovereignty, flying unmanned aircraft and fighter jets over the south of the country and even its capital.

Instead of condemning such violations and calling for justice for the victims of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s Middle East peace envoy, lauded Israel for offering aid:

https://mobile.twitter.com/nmladenov/status/1290761423883247616

Mladenov appeared to be cynically using the tragedy as an opportunity to advance a political agenda of normalizing regional ties with Israel.

Israel’s Arabic-language propaganda Twitter account continued to put out shameless assertions of “solidarity” with the Lebanese people:

https://mobile.twitter.com/IsraelArabic/status/1290979415023910915

Not everyone was on message, however.

Moshe Feiglin, the former deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset, celebrated the blast in Beirut as “spectacular pyrotechnics show” and a “wonderful celebration” coinciding with a date Jews mark as a holiday of love.

This is the same Feiglin who during Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza proposed a plan to “concentrate” Palestinians in border camps and “exterminate” any who resisted, while destroying all civilian housing and infrastructure.

But most Israeli politicians apparently got the memo that these sorts of declarations are not the image Israel wants to send out.

Even as Israel lights up Tel Aviv city hall in a cynical display of support, few Lebanese will forget that almost 14 years ago to the day, Israel was lighting up Lebanon’s skies with missiles and bombs.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights, LebanonComments Off on Nazi regime destroyer of Lebanon, poses as its savior

A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump’s Support

Science can help us make sense of the president’s political invincibility.

Eric Rosenwald/Shutterstock

Source: Eric Rosenwald/Shutterstock

Whether we want to or not, we must try to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon, as it has completely swept the nation and also fiercely divided it. What is most baffling about it all is Trump’s apparent political invincibility. As he himself said even before he won the presidential election, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.

In all fairness, we should recognize that lying is sadly not uncommon for politicians on both sides of the political aisle, but the frequency and magnitude of the current president’s lies should have us all wondering why they haven’t destroyed his political career, and instead perhaps strengthened it. Similarly, we should be asking why his inflammatory rhetoric and numerous scandals haven’t sunk him. We are talking about a man who was caught on tape saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” Politically surviving that video is not normal, or anything close to it, and such a revelation would likely have been the end of Barack Obama or George Bush had it surfaced weeks before the election.

While dozens of psychologists have analyzed Trump, to explain the man’s political invincibility, it is more important to understand the minds of his staunch supporters. While various popular articles have illuminated a multitude of reasons for his unwavering support, there appears to be no comprehensive analysis that contains all of them. Since there seems to be a real demand for this information, I have tried to provide that analysis below.

Some of the explanations come from a 2017 review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016, by me, in various articles and blog posts for publications like Psychology Today. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential Terror Management Theory, and David Dunning, who did the same for the Dunning-Kruger effect.

This list will begin with the more benign reasons for Trump’s intransigent support. As the list goes on, the explanations become increasingly worrisome, and toward the end, border on the pathological. It should be strongly emphasized that not all Trump supporters are racist, mentally vulnerable, or fundamentally bad people. It can be detrimental to society when those with degrees and platforms try to demonize their political opponents or paint them as mentally ill when they are not. That being said, it is just as harmful to pretend that there are not clear psychological and neural factors that underlie much of Trump supporters’ unbridled allegiance.

The psychological phenomena described below mostly pertain to those supporters who would follow Trump off a cliff. These are the people who will stand by his side no matter what scandals come to light, or what sort of evidence for immoral and illegal behavior surfaces.

1. Practicality Trumps Morality

For some wealthy people, it’s simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones. To them, it does not make a difference if he’s a vagina-grabber, or if his campaign team colluded with Russia to help him defeat his political opponent. It is unknown whether these people are eternally bound to Trump in the way others are, but we may soon find out if the Mueller investigation is allowed to come to completion.

2. The Brain’s Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump

According to a study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple language clearly resonate with some at a visceral level.

3. America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction to entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With the Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

4. “Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.”

Some people are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people may have other issues, like an innate desire to troll others or an obsession with schadenfreude.

5. The Fear Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat

Science has  shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A 2008 study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

These brain responses are automatic and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues to portray Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent threats, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with offensive and divisive remarks.

6. The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat

A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have supported this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they may influence voting habits in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives.

By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump may be creating a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric.

In this video, I explain this in greater detail, and offer a potential solution to the problem. 

7. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise

Some who support Donald Trump are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.

Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” These people cannot be reached because they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be reaching others.

8. Relative Deprivation — A Misguided Sense of Entitlement

Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

Common explanations for Trump’s popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.

These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as “relative,” as opposed to “absolute,” because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to.

9. Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others

Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one’s own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it’s important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border. These racial biases might be more implicit than explicit, the latter which is addressed in #14.

10. Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable

While the conspiracy theory crowd — who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QAnon — may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, some of them may suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with schizotypy personalities.

The link between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories is well-established, and a recent study published in the journal Psychiatry Research has demonstrated that it is still very prevalent in the population. The researchers found that those who were more likely to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the U.S. government created the AIDS epidemic, consistently scored high on measures of “odd beliefs and magical thinking.” One feature of magical thinking is a tendency to make connections between things that are actually unrelated in reality.

Donald Trump and media allies target these people directly. All one has to do is visit alt-right websites and discussion boards to see the evidence for such manipulation.

11. Trump Taps into the Nation’s Collective Narcissism

Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of one’s national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the ‘true identity’ of a nation — the ‘ingroup,’ in this case White Americans — perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them ‘unrightfully.’ This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).

study published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a direct link between national collective narcissism and support for Donald Trump. This correlation was discovered by researchers at the University of Warsaw, who surveyed over 400 Americans with a series of questionnaires about political and social beliefs. Where individual narcissism causes aggressiveness toward other individuals, collective narcissism involves negative attitudes and aggression toward ‘outsider’ groups (outgroups), who are perceived as threats.

Donald Trump exacerbates collective narcissism with his anti-immigrant, anti-elitist, and strongly nationalistic rhetoric. By referring to his supporters, an overwhelmingly white group, as being “true patriots” or “real Americans,” he promotes a brand of populism that is the epitome of “identity politics,” a term that is usually associated with the political left. Left-wing identity politics, as misguided as they may sometimes be, are generally aimed at achieving equality, while the right-wing brand is based on a belief that one nationality or race is superior or entitled to success and wealth for no other reason than identity.

12. The Desire to Want to Dominate Others

Social dominance orientation (SDO) — which is distinct from but related to authoritarian personality (#13) — refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.

In Trump’s speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities). A 2016 survey study of 406 American adults published last year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were more likely to vote for Trump in the election.

13. Authoritarian Personality 

Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to authority. Those with this personality often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. Authoritarianism is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.

Although authoritarian personality is found among liberals, it is more common among the right-wing around the world. President Trump’s speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like “losers” and “complete disasters,” are naturally appealing to those with such a personality.

While research showed that Republican voters in the U.S. scored higher than Democrats on measures of authoritarianism before Trump emerged on the political scene, a 2016 Politico survey found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise.

14. Racism and Bigotry

It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump’s supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that few do. The Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy,” has historically used tactics that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles” — code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.

While the dog whistles of the past were subtler, Trump’s signaling is sometimes shockingly direct. There’s no denying that he routinely appeals to racist and bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims “dangerous” and Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.

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Former Mossad spy reveals Epstein and Maxwell were Mossad spies blackmailing politicians for Mossad

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Criticism of the Israeli government - Wikipedia

Washington (QNN)- The deceased American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell were Israeli spies who used underage girls to blackmail politicians into giving information to Israel, revealed a new book by a former Israeli spy.

The couple reportedly ran a “honey-trap” operation in which they provided young girls to prominent politicians from around the world for sex, and then used the incidents to blackmail them in order to attain information for Israeli intelligence.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 12943868e8016bbe3e4e6af640772525-2.jpeg

The claims have been revealed by the former Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe in his soon-to-be-released book “Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales”.

In his book, Ben-Menashe says that he was the handler of Ghislaine’s father Robert Maxwell, who was also an Israeli espionage agent and was the one who introduced his daughter and Epstein to Mossad.

“See, f**king around is not a crime. It could be embarrassing, but it’s not a crime,” Menashe wrote in the book. “But f**king a fourteen-year-old girl is a crime. And he was taking photos of politicians f**king fourteen-year-old girls—if you want to get it straight…They [Epstein and Maxwell] would just blackmail people like that.”

The handler Ben-Menashe, himself an Iran-born Israeli businessman who says he worked for Mossad from 1977 to 1987, is a mysterious figure who was arrested in 1989 in the US on charges of arms dealing. He was acquitted in 1990, however, only after a jury accepted that he was acting on behalf of the Israeli state.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested Thursday on charges she helped lure at least three girls — one as young as 14 — to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of victimizing dozens of girls and women over many years.

Epstein, 66, was found killed in a federal detention center in New York last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell is the daughter of a British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, who died in 1991 after “falling off his yacht” near the Canary Islands. At the time, he was facing allegations that he had illegally looted pension funds from his businesses and he also had connections to the Mossad.

Both Epstein and Maxwell were related in several reports to the Israeli connected international Jewish billionaire MEGA group.

The Mega Group’s role in the Epstein case has garnered some attention, as Epstein’s main financial patron for decades.

By virtue of the role of many Mega Group members as major political donors in both the U.S. and Israel, several of its most notable members have close ties to the governments of both countries as well as their intelligence communities.

The Mega Group also had close ties to two businessmen who worked for Israel’s Mossad — Robert Maxwell and Marc Rich — as well as to top Israeli politicians, including past and present prime ministers with deep ties to Israel’s intelligence community, according to a report by Mint Press News.

The new claims, confirming the couple’s connections to the occupation state, add to the already revealed and confirmed track record of manipulating Western nations’ political systems, as was seen in the revelations of the Israeli lobby’s attempt to “take down” British and US politicians revealed in the past few years.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Former Mossad spy reveals Epstein and Maxwell were Mossad spies blackmailing politicians for Mossad

List of ‘Israeli’ targets leaked: Tel Aviv fears the worst in ICC investigation of war crimes

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda speaking at the Oslo Forum 17 June 2015 [Stine Merethe Eid/Wikipedia]

International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda speaking at the Oslo Forum on 17 June 2015 [Stine Merethe Eid/Wikipedia]

By: Ramzy Baroud

When International Court of Justice (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, confirmed last December that the Court has ample evidence to pursue a war crimes investigation in occupied Palestine, the Israeli government responded with the usual rhetoric, accusing the international community of bias and insisting on Israel’s ‘right to defend itself.’

Beneath the platitudes and typical Israeli discourse, the Israeli government knew too well that an ICC investigation into war crimes in Palestine could be quite costly. An investigation, in itself, represents an indictment of sorts. If Israeli individuals were to be indicted for war crimes, that is a different story, as it becomes a legal obligation of ICC members to apprehend the criminals and hand them over to the Court.

Israel remained publicly composed, even after Bensouda, last April, elaborated on her December decision with a 60-page legal report, titled: “Situation in the State of Palestine: Prosecution Response to the Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States.”

READ: ICC halted decision on probing Israel war crimes after annexation delayed

In the report, the ICC addressed many of the questions, doubts and reports submitted or raised in the four months that followed her earlier decision. Countries such as Germany and Austria, among others, had used their position as amici curiae – ‘friends of the court’ – to question the ICC jurisdiction and the status of Palestine as a country.

Bensouda insisted that “the Prosecutor is satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into the situation in Palestine under article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, and that the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction comprises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza (“Occupied Palestinian Territory”).”

However, Bensouda did not provide definitive timelines to the investigation; instead, she requested that the ICC’S Pre-Trial Chamber “confirm the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine,” an additional step that is hardly required since the State of Palestine, a signatory of the Rome Statute, is the one that actually referred the case directly to the Prosecutor’s office.

The April report, in particular, was the wake-up call for Tel Aviv. Between the initial decision in December till the release of the latter report, Israel lobbied on many fronts, enlisting the help of ICC members and recruiting its greatest benefactor, Washington – which is not an ICC member – to bully the Court so it may reverse its decision.

READ: Israel’s list of compromised officials suggests their guilt of war crimes

On May 15, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned the ICC against pursuing the investigation, targeting Bensouda, in particular, for her decision to hold war criminals in Palestine accountable.

The US slapped unprecedented sanctions against the ICC on June 11, with President Donald Trump issuing an ‘executive order’ that authorizes the freezing of assets and a travel ban against ICC officials and their families. The order also allows for the punishing of other individuals or entities that assist the ICC in its investigation.

US President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House April 20, 2020 in Washington, DC [Alex Wong/Getty Images]

US President Donald Trump at the White House April 20, 2020 in Washington, DC [Alex Wong/Getty Images]

Washington’s decision to carry out punitive measures against the very Court that was established for the sole purpose of holding war criminals accountable is both outrageous and abhorrent. It also exposes Washington’s hypocrisy – the country that claims to defend human rights is attempting to prevent legal accountability by those who have violated human rights.

Upon its failure to halt the ICC legal procedures regarding its investigation of war crimes, Israel began to prepare for the worst. On July 15, Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, reported about a ‘secret list’ that was drawn up by the Israeli government. The list includes “between 200 and 300 officials”, ranging from politicians to military and intelligence officials, who are subject to arrest abroad, should the ICC officially open the war crimes investigation.

READ: Prosecution of Israel occupation is a major test for ICC, Palestinians Abroad says

Names begin at the top of the Israeli political pyramid, among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his current coalition partner, Benny Gantz.

The sheer number of Israeli officials on the list is indicative of the scope of the ICC’s investigation, and, somehow, is a self-indictment, as the names include former Israeli Defense Ministers – Moshe Ya’alon, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett; current and former army chiefs of staffs – Aviv Kochavi, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot and current and former heads of internal intelligence, the Shin Bet – Nadav Argaman and Yoram Cohen.

Respected international human rights organizations have already, repeatedly, accused all these individuals of serious human rights abuses during Israel’s lethal wars on the besieged Gaza Strip, starting with the so-called ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008-9.

But the list is far more extensive, as it covers “people in much more junior positions, including lower-ranking military officers and, perhaps, even officials involved in issuing various types of permits to settlements and settlement outposts.”

Israel, thus, fully appreciates the fact that the international community still insists that the construction of illegal colonies in occupied Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the transfer of Israeli citizens to occupied land are all inadmissible under international law and tantamount to war crimes. Netanyahu must be disappointed to learn that all of Washington’s concessions to Israel under Trump’s presidency have failed to alter the position of the international community and the applicability of international law in any way.

READ: Will the ICC Investigation Bring Justice for Palestine?

Furthermore, it would not be an exaggeration to argue that Tel Aviv’s postponement of its plan to illegally annex nearly a third of the West Bank is directly linked to the ICC’s investigation, for the annexation would have completely thwarted Israel’s friends’ efforts aimed at preventing the investigation from ever taking place.

While the whole world, especially Palestinians, Arabs and their allies, still anxiously await the final decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber, Israel will continue its overt and covert campaign to intimidate the ICC and any other entity that aims to expose Israeli war crimes and to try Israeli war criminals.

Washington, too, will continue to strive to ensure Netanyahu, Gantz, and the “200 to 300” other Israeli officials never see their day in court.

However, the fact that a “secret list” exists is an indication that Tel Aviv understands that this era is different and that international law, which has failed Palestinians for over 70 years, may, for once, deliver, however a small measure of justice.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on List of ‘Israeli’ targets leaked: Tel Aviv fears the worst in ICC investigation of war crimes

Yes, Muslims are allowed to befriend Christians and Jews!


By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Muslim critics and haters never cease to amaze me! Quite often, they say the most bizarre things about Islam and Muslims on radio talk shows and hate groups websites. Here are some examples:
“Allah is not God,” “Muslims are not Americans,” “Muslims hate dogs,” “Muslims are against gays and lesbians,” and my favorite is, “Muslims are not allowed to befriend Christians and Jews.” They cite this verse below from the Qur’an to make their point.
[5:52] “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for guardians. They are protectors of one another. And whoever among you takes them for guardians is indeed one of them. Verily, Allah guides not the unjust people.”
Since the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, which is my native tongue, let me first explain that the term wali (Arabic ولي , plural Awliyā أولياء) means guardian or protector and not a FRIEND. The word Awliya in its different forms appears in the Qur’an over 200 times whereas the word friend (Sadiq or Sahib) is mentioned 17 times and in several chapters in the Qur’an. With his wisdom, God Almighty did not use the term friend in that verse as opposed to guardian because the two terms are NOT interchangeable. Plus, God is perfect and He makes no mistakes.
One might ask why the Qur’an mentioned not to take Christians and Jews as guardians and protectors? The answer is simple. Since Christians and Jews are different in their beliefs from Muslims, one’s allegiance should be to the Muslims. There is NO restriction on having friends who are Christian or Jews and that is not what the verse in the Qur’an implied or meant.

For example, US law states’ access to classified information may only be granted to employees who are United States citizens. Also, people who are seeking top secret level clearance can be denied clearance if the spouse or cohabitant is a foreign national. That does not mean foreign nationals are bad or not trustworthy. No! It means America is best protected by its own people. Australia, Great Britain, Switzerland, and China for example do not allow non-citizens to join their military. See, no one dares to mock or attack any of those countries. So, it’s not only the Qur’an that takes  safety and security matters very seriously.
If you are still not convinced, the Qur’an further explains who else Muslims should not take as guardians. The Quranic verse [5:23], God forbids Muslims from taking their fathers, sons, wives, or any member of their tribe as “protectors” if they are not Muslims.
Finally, the Qur’an commands Muslims, ”God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being ‘RIGHTEOUS’ toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly [60:8].”
Muslim critics do not want you to know that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) married a Christian woman named Maria and a Jewish woman name Saffiyya. So, if Islam would allow the Prophet (PBUH) to marry a Christian and a Jew, then does it make sense that Muslims are not to be friends with Christians, Jews, or anybody they wish to be with? Whenever you are in doubt about anything about Islam, take it from the horse’s mouth as the saying goes- pick up a book about Islam, ask your Muslim classmate, coworker, or neighbor. No question is a dumb question but to argue that Muslims are not allowed to befriend Christians and Jews is utterly insane.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Education, Human RightsComments Off on Yes, Muslims are allowed to befriend Christians and Jews!

How Jewish American pedophiles hide from justice in ‘Israel’

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

mordechai-yomtov.jpg

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/how-jewish-american-pedophiles-hide-from-justice-in-israel/

Tel Aviv — It’s a tense stakeout, waiting for Jimmy Julius Karow to appear. He is a wanted man and is considered dangerous. Accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl in Oregon in 2000, he fled to Israel before authorities in the U.S. could apprehend him or figure out where he went. Karow has been running from U.S. law enforcement ever since. Currently INTERPOL, an inter-governmental policing organization that works with 194 countries, has a Red Notice to alert police worldwide that he’s a fugitive.

Two years after he fled the U.S., Karow was convicted by an Israeli court of child molestation in a separate case. He served time and was released. Now another alleged Israeli victim has come forward, saying he began abusing her when she was 5-years-old, and continued for years.

Karow has successfully evaded authorities by moving between communities in Israel for almost two decades, and he is not alone. 

A widespread problem

A CBS News investigation has found that many accused American pedophiles flee to Israel, and bringing them to justice can be difficult. 

Jewish Community Watch (JCW), an American organization that tracks accused pedophiles, has been trying for years to find Karow and help bring him to justice. 

JCW says Karow and other wanted men and women have been able to exploit a right known as the Law of Return, whereby any Jewish person can move to Israel and automatically gain citizenship.

Since the small organization started tracking accused pedophiles in 2014, it says more than 60 have fled from the U.S. to Israel. Given its limited resources to identify these individuals, JCW says the actual number is likely much larger.

“The same thing that is going on in the Catholic Church right now around the world, the exact same thing is happening in our community,” JCW’s founder Meyer Seewald told CBS News. “The cover-ups are the same, the stigma, the shame.”

Seewald says tightly-knit Jewish communities across the U.S. will sometimes meet accusations against a member with incredulity, and that can have a chilling effect. 

“Everyone goes and surrounds this individual and supports him because they can’t believe a person can do such a crime. They take the abuser’s side and the abuse continues,” Seewald says. “They put him in another community. A few years later, he’s done the same thing and we hear more allegations that the person is abusing children. Victims don’t want to come forward when they see that.”

JCW says the majority of its cases originate from modern Orthodox to Ultra-orthodox Jewish enclaves in the U.S., but that it happens across the wider Jewish community. Because perpetrators can’t be held accountable unless victims come forward, many cases are believed to go unreported. To try to get them out into the light, JCW holds awareness events across the U.S., and offers victims of sexual abuse advice and emotional support.  

Mendy Hauck decided to come forward after receiving support from JCW. The father of two says he was just 8-years-old when he was molested by a teacher at his Orthodox Jewish School in Los Angeles. Hauck says the abuse started one day when a friend brought in cookies for his birthday. 

“I actually went ahead and reached for the biggest cookie and he said, ‘Put it back and you could come back by recess and get your cookie,'” Hauck said. “So after he handed out the rest of the cookies to the other classmates, I had to stay behind if I wanted my cookie, and I did. He called me up to his desk… and that’s when he started… rubbing me.”

His alleged abuser is Mordechai Yomtov, a then-35-year-old Hebrew teacher. 

“I jumped backwards like a step or two and he grabbed my hair and said, ‘it’s fine, you can come close. I won’t hurt you. There is nothing wrong,’ and he did it again,” Hauck recalls.

mordechai-yomtov.jpg
 CBS NEWS

Hauck says the abuse continued over the course of the year. He says he felt trapped, with nowhere to turn.  

When the year finished, Hauck moved on to the next grade. That’s when Yomtov’s crimes caught up to him. In 2001, police arrested and charged him with committing lewd acts with three of his other students, ranging in age from 8 to 10. But Hauck never told anyone about his ordeal until years later.

Yomtov eventually pled guilty, served time in jail and was released on probation. But once free, he violated his probation by fleeing to Israel via Mexico.

JCW tracked him down and confronted him in Jerusalem with a hidden camera. Yomtov admitted that he violated his probation and illegally fled the United States, with help. He also said that in Mexico he obtained a fake passport in order to travel to Israel, where he lives illegally. 

Yomtov denied abusing Hauck, but offered a general apology to his victims, saying: “I’m very, very sorry. I hope that God will help every single person who went through this. Please forgive me.”

It wasn’t until 2016, when another alleged victim of Yomtov and friend of Hauck’s came forward, that Hauck felt compelled to tell his story. He filed a police report hoping to get justice, but says the processes has been slow. For him, justice is twofold.

“I want the (LA County District Attorney) to step up their game — you know, actually fight to get him back here and give him what he deserves,” he says. “And also, I want the communities to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The district attorney’s office told CBS News there has been no request to extradite Yomtov back to the United States, and declined any further comment. 

Red flags, more victims

Help from the community is a reoccurring theme. Rabbi Yehuda Oppenheimer knows first-hand how a pedophile is able to flee to Israel. In 2000, he unwittingly helped Karow escape.

The two met when Karow expressed interest in converting to Judaism. One day, Karow suddenly said he wanted to move to Israel. 

When asked whether there was nothing at all that raised red flags up to the point when Karow said he wanted to move to Israel, Rabbi Oppenheimer responded: “I wish I could say that [it didn’t raise any red flags], but unfortunately, I can’t… He [Karow] said, ‘I plan to go to Israel, I need to go much more quickly than I thought I needed to go.”

“He said that there was something in the past that happened when he was young but nothing had ever happened since. I felt that I could trust him. So I wrote him a letter, he bought a ticket and he left.”

Oppenheimer gave Karow the contact information of family and friends in Israel to help him settle. Then one day a close friend called the rabbi. 

“I’ll never know exactly what happened but something severely sexual… something happened with their daughter, and [Karow] was arrested.” Oppenheimer says it felt like “a punch to the gut. It was very painful.”

He says he carries that guilt to this day, and that’s why he came forward with his story. He has a message for other rabbis and community leaders:

“When somebody has offended in this way, the odds are that they will do so again, no matter how kind and pious and wise and nice and charismatic they are,” Oppenheimer says. “You simply can’t trust them. You have to take steps to prevent, you cannot have them around youngsters, you cannot have them in your home.”

One of the girls Karow allegedly abused in Israel is “Amoona.” She asked us not to use her real name, to protect her family. 

“I was 5, 4 or 5 years old. My mother was on bedrest. My father is a rabbi so he wasn’t home. (Karow) used to come to our house. We used to play games and then it became sexual.” 

The alleged abuse took place over the course of more than two years.  A July 2019, Israeli indictment against him details allegations of severe sexual abuse, including rape and sodomy.  She says he would threaten and manipulate her to keep her quiet. 

“‘I’m going to give you a cookie because you do it so nicely.’ It’s all about the cookie it’s all about lying and it’s all about being so evil to a little child,” Amoona recalls him telling her. “He also threatened and to kill my parents. He would choke me. He would hold me.”

Inaction, even protection? 

Amoona is angry that Karow was allowed to enter Israel in the first place, but JCW’s chief operating officer Shana Aaronson says the failure begins in the United States. She says there are elements of the Jewish community in the U.S. that are willing to help pedophiles escape.

jimmy-julius-karow.jpg
Julius Jimmy Karow is seen in a handout photo from INTERPOL.  VIA INTERPOL

“Oftentimes there’s some sort of community incentive, either somebody owes them a favor or someone in the community, let’s say an institution, has covered up for them in the past and they know that if this goes to court there’s a lot of civil liability coming down the line,” she says.

While Aaronson puts blame on Jewish communities in the U.S. and the U.S. government for not aggressively pursuing extraditions, she says Israeli authorities have also failed to prioritize the hunt for suspects. 

She tells CBS News it would be easier for the police to locate and arrest Karow, for instance, but it has fallen instead on the JCW to track him down. 

Israel is known as a nation on the cutting edge of technology, but Shana says that doesn’t trickle down to local law enforcement. Shana says police don’t request background checks of perpetrators arrested in Israel who have recently moved there from other countries. They don’t even do a Google search, she says.

“The general standards and protocols for investigations by local police are poor,” she says. 

JCW says the problem reaches into the upper echelons of Israeli politics as well. They note that Yaakov Litzman, leader of an ultra-orthodox alliance in Israel’s legislature and the current minister of health, has been accused of preventing the deportation of a Malka Leifer, a former head teacher at a Jewish school in Australia, where she is wanted on multiple charges of child sexual abuse.

CBS News obtained an Israeli police recommendation that says there is enough evidence against Litzman to recommend he be charged himself with fraud and breach of trust for protecting Leifer. Litzman’s office told CBS News there was not any wrongdoing. It’s now up to Israel’s attorney general to decide whether to indict the lawmaker.

“It’s a good example of the lengths the community will go,” JCW’s Aaronson says. “It’s really disappointing and disgusting.” 

Israeli police wouldn’t comment on specific cases but insist they take the cases seriously, and that they coordinate “closely with the Ministry of Justice and worldwide police organizations in order to find suspects overseas.”

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on specific cases too but praised their relationship with Israel’s law enforcement, adding sex offenders have been successfully extradited in the past. 

The stakeout

On the day of the stakeout, JCW received its best tip in months — that Karow was going to be at a clinic in Tel Aviv. They know he is 6’2″ and over 200 pounds, but he could have changed his appearance, and previous attempts to capture him have failed. 

“Obviously the fear is that he’ll figure out that someone is looking for him and he’ll bolt,” Aaronson says, clutching an old photo of JCW’s target. 

An ambulance pulls up and a man steps out with a bandaged right arm. He fits the description of Karow. Aaronson’s team confirms his identity and calls the police. 

Within five minutes a police officer on a motorcycle arrives and they move in to make the arrest. 

Karow is brought out by two officers. He doesn’t look surprised to be in custody. We ask him if he assaulted a girl in the United States. 

“No,” he replies. He denies fleeing to Israel but doesn’t answer when asked if he assaulted girls in that country. He says he knows he’s wanted under an international arrest warrant. 

Karow now faces charges in both Israel and the U.S. 

The District Attorney’s office in Clackamas County, Oregon, told CBS News it was “working with federal authorities to secure his extradition.”

Outside the clinic, Aaronson calls Amoona to share the news of Karow’s capture. In Israel, victims are allowed to confront alleged offenders before trial. Amoona brought a box of the same cookies Karow used to manipulate her, to throw back at him.  

“It was good to confront him,” she says. “To have that closure in my life.”

Meanwhile, Mordechai Yomtov remains at large. 

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on How Jewish American pedophiles hide from justice in ‘Israel’

Immigration And The Idea Of A Jewish People

Image for post

Yemeni Jewish children

By: Rima Najjar

If you are not a Palestinian and reading this, I have a little quiz for you to check on whether you can spot what jumped at me and may not jump at others.

The question is: Does anything strike you as odd about the immigrant groups that David Goodhart, ex-director of the British think tank Demos, enumerates below, as he presents his argument that the impact of “high levels of immigration” is detrimental to balanced global development?

“Immigrants contribute to [economic] innovation. We’ve got a great record of Jewish, East African, Asian and other groups creating great entrepreneurial initiatives, they fill skill gaps, they do dirty jobs…”

Anything? In particular, if you are Jewish, does anything odd strike you about the above?

What’s odd to me is the fact that the Jewish group in Goodhart’s list of immigrant groups above is not tethered to a geographic region as are the east African and Asian — and a little later in his speech, eastern European — groups he mentions.

Incidentally (or not), Goodhart himself is partly Jewish. At the beginning of his speech, by way of priming the audience to accept his thesis and show that he cannot possibly be biased, Goodhart attests to the fact that he has “two immigrant grandfathers, one Jewish.”

[Note: My own language is slipping — even as I am pointing out a slip! As a friend commented upon reading my post: “Partly Jewish? Jewishness is NOT divisible. Either one is or one is not and, either way, it has nothing to do with race or genetics.”]

The point Goodhart wishes to emphasize, of course, is that they are both immigrants, so it’s not important for the audience to know from which region of the world his immigrant grandfathers come. Nevertheless, he specifically identifies his Jewish grandfather, and that identity seems to have no particular “homeland” from which to immigrate to Britain.

Why is Goodhart speaking about immigrant Jews in this way? Is he a Zionist (consciously or unconsciously) identifying with a Jewish national right to national self-determination apart from the nations among whom Jews exist all over the world?

Would he have mentioned Israel, instead of using “Jewish,” had his grandfather emigrated from there to Britain? On second thought, this hypothetical doesn’t work, because, given Goodhart’s age, his grandfather would have emigrated from Palestine, not Israel, in such a scenario. If Goodhart himself identifies as Jewish, what does he think of the underbelly of Jewish immigration to Israel, past and present?

These questions forced themselves on my consciousness the minute Goodhart uttered the word “Jewish” in such a way. My family is Palestinian, displaced by war, forced to take refuge elsewhere — a kind of emigration by fire, with a twist. My family was denied return to our homeland, so that eastern European Jews could have Jewish national self-determination in Palestine and literally live in my grandfather’s house (that’s the twist).

When Goodhart says, “Of course many people that come here [meaning Britain] are complementary to existing workers. But there is obviously displacement too; there is clearly displacement at the bottom end,” I wonder if his worldview, which has, by his own account, shifted from left to right on immigration and multiculturalism, can encompass this upside-down reality of immigration in another part of the world.

I wonder because of his own reference to “an explicable worldview” that shapes our beliefs:

I referred to changing my mind as though it were a rational process, in which one audits one’s beliefs every few years and decides to shift ground on Israel/Palestine or the single market. But that’s not how it works. If, like most educated people, you place a high value on moral and intellectual coherence, your views tend to fit together into something like an explicable worldview.

Goodhart continues: “Newcomers [immigrants] can be absorbed into such [western democratic] societies, and can retain some of their own traditions, but unless a critical mass of them embrace the broad common norms of the society, the idea of the nation as a group of people with significant shared interests — the idea of a people — will fracture.”

The thought that leaps to my mind here is not about fracturing the idea of a people through immigration, but the manufacturing of such an idea, as the Zionist project has done with the idea of a “Jewish people.”

Immigrant Jews to Palestine fractured the people into whose homeland they immigrated. The settler-colonial state they established there and continue to maintain by force and brutality went on to prey on other Jews.

Four years ago to the day Israeli Minister Hanegbi admitted that “hundreds” of Yemeni infants had been stolen from their mothers, who were told their children had died, when in fact the infants were given to European Ashkenazi Jewish parents for adoption.

From 1948 to 1954, hundreds of newborn babies and toddlers of Arab and Balkan Jews in Israel began to disappear. They were the children of Yemenite and Mizrahi immigrants. More than 1 thousand families all report nearly identical stories…that they went to the hospital to either give birth or do a check-up on their children, and then their babies disappeared. At the time, state authorities claimed the babies had died and had already been buried, but until today, these families believe their children are still alive, and were either given or sold to Ashkenazi Jewish families- many of which were Holocaust survivors that couldn’t have children of their own.

Goodhart’s Jewishness, in as much as I can understand his phrasing above in describing immigrant groups, lumps all Jews in one “tribe,” and places them essentially in a floating “diaspora” in the world. “Jewish immigrants” are supposed to think of themselves as not coming from European countries of their birth, but from some mythical “Jewish people” that has led us tragically to the Nakba of Palestine. Goodhart’s phrasing is an underhanded and deeply harmful “meme,” so entrenched that perhaps only a few people pause, as I did, to question it.

Until 1965 there were two separate entries in the application to immigrate to the US: country of birth and race. Isolationism, xenophobia, antisemitism, racism, and economic insecurity played a role in US immigration policies between the two World Wars. For example, 110,000 Jewish refugees escaped to the United States from Nazi-occupied areas between 1933 and 1941 and hundreds of thousands more applied to immigrate and were unsuccessful. However, these Jews were all citizens and nationals of distinct European countries.

Immigrant Jews to Britain do come from somewhere in the world where they originally belong. Today, “Jewish immigrants” are never registered as “Jewish” in the US or elsewhere, but are registered according to where they were born and raised.

A friend explains that the idea of a “Jewish people” was not invented by Zionists but rather emerged from the anti-assimilationist ideas of generations of rabbis in Europe:

It is a thousand-years-long behavior of the Jewish rabbinical elite. When they noticed that Jews started to secularize and were likely to stray away and assimilate, they decided to create an ideology that would AGAIN separate Jews from Gentiles forever, based on “nationalism” that would propagandize secular Jews.

My point here is not that it is the Zionist project that invented the idea of a “Jewish people.” My point is that Zionism used this idea as a weapon that destroyed Palestine.

Zionist settler colonialism is built on coercive containment and expulsion and a manufactured idea of Jewish “peoplehood.” The sooner the world understands this, the sooner Palestinian liberation will arrive.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Immigration And The Idea Of A Jewish People

‘I want Battir to go to hell’: Settlers move in on Palestinian World Heritage site

Palestinians in the West Bank agricultural village of Battir are encountering armed Israeli settlers trying to push them off their land.

By Yuval Abraham 

View of the Palestinian village of Battir, with its ancient terraces and irrigation system, West Bank, February 19, 2017. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

View of the Palestinian village of Battir, with its ancient terraces and irrigation system, West Bank, February 19, 2017. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

Khaled and Miriam Muammar live in Battir, an agricultural village in the occupied West Bank, just south of Jerusalem. Khaled works in construction and Miriam in the family’s field, where she grows eggplants, for which Battir — which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage and World Heritage in Danger lists in 2014 — is known. “Every eggplant is 40 centimeters [16 inches]. They are huge. The entire world wants them,” says Khaled.

A month ago, when Miriam came to work in the fields, she saw something that made her immediately turn around and run back home: eight armed Israeli settlers and a Doberman walking around the field. They built a tent in a nearby plot of land belonging to Battir resident Ghassan Alyan, where they tethered their sheep. They stayed until sundown before leaving.

“This is what they have been doing for a month, a group of settlers, several times a week. Yesterday (July 26) they came again,” Alyan says. “I have a cistern from which I drink. The settler routinely undresses and climbs into the cistern in order to swim in it.Get Our Weekly NewsletterSign up

“If I gave you a glass of water, and put a finger in it before, would you drink it?” Alyan asks. “My guess is no. So now imagine what I feel. It’s repulsive. It drives me crazy. I’m helpless.”

The man Alyan refers to is Lior Tal, a settler leader who comes to this spot east of Battir from his home in the illegal outpost of Neve Ori, just 2.5 miles away, which he built less than a year ago.

Alyan says that he first saw Tal herding sheep on Battir’s land. “I didn’t have an issue with that, as long as he doesn’t destroy anything — why should I care? But now it has gone beyond that. He arrives, tethers his sheep in the sun from 8 a.m. until evening, and doesn’t herd. He just stays there. For the sake of provocation. Last week, he knocked on the doors of Battir’s residents and demanded they present him with land ownership documents.”

Khaled Muammar explains that the area is strategically important for the settlement enterprise in the West Bank. “They want to take over this area for three reasons: first of all, because of its elevation; it overlooks the region. Secondly, it separates [Battir from] al-Walajeh; settling there creates a wedge between two Palestinian villages. And thirdly, because it creates geographical continuity between [the Israeli settlement] Har Homa and Jerusalem.”

Dror Etkes, one of Israel’s foremost experts on the settlements and the head of Kerem Navot, an organization that monitors and researches Israeli land policy in the West Bank, believes the settlers’ arrival in Battir at the end of June is not a coincidence. “Why? Because of the Trump plan,” he explains. “This area, according to the plan, is supposed to be Palestinian territory. They want to take over the area now, before the government signals that it is going to accept the plan. To create facts on the ground.”

This is not the first time settlers have tried to take over this area. In December 2018, hundreds of settlers arrived overnight with bulldozers and tractors, dug an access road through the mountain, and tried to establish an outpost. They failed: it rained, the vehicles got stuck, and in the morning the Civil Administration — the arm of Israel’s military government that governs the 2.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank — evacuated them.

A Palestinian couple seen walking home along the railway tracks after a day of farming work, in the Palestinian village of Battir, West Bank, April 23, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A Palestinian couple seen walking home along the railway tracks after a day of farming work, in the Palestinian village of Battir, West Bank, April 23, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“The effort in 2018 was well-funded,” Etkes adds. “Everything was done very professionally, with heavy vehicles. That’s an investment of hundreds of thousands of shekels.”

An uninterested army

When Alyan saw Tal’s tent on his land, he called the Israeli police, who in turn called the army.

“A few soldiers arrived quickly,” recounts Muammar, who was with Alyan at the time. “We pointed at Lior. We said that he was just sitting here with his Dobermans and a weapon, and that there were all kinds of people with him, all with weapons. We explained that they had entered the olive and date groves, that they were creating unnecessary friction that will lead to someone getting hurt. We told them that this is bad, that we don’t want trouble.

“The first three times, one of the soldiers told me, ‘Don’t speak with Lior. Ignore him. We’ll remove him,’” Muammar continues. “Then the soldier went to Lior and told him, ‘You are on private Palestinian land. You need to leave.’ And that’s what happened.

“But things changed. The last two times, a different soldier came. He sat with Lior on the side and spoke to him. Afterward he told me that I couldn’t be here. I said, ‘What do you mean? This is my land, here are the documents.’ But he didn’t listen to me. He said Lior can be here and if there is a problem, I need to go to the Civil Administration in Gush Etzion [the nearby settlement bloc] and prove that it is my land.”

When Tal and his gang arrived once again on July 25, the residents of Battir decided not to call the army. “We realized they wouldn’t do anything. There is no point.”

Yearly confiscations

There is nothing coincidental about the settlers’ decision to build their tent on Alyan’s land. In 1982, Israel declared his property, along with a substantial portion of the land in the area, “state land,” using the Ottoman Land Code — a 19th century legal mechanism adopted by Israel that gives it the authority to turn uncultivated agricultural land into state land.

An aerial map showing the area around the Palestinian village of Battir that Israel has declared state land. (Kerem Navot)

An aerial map showing the area around the Palestinian village of Battir that Israel has declared state land. (Kerem Navot)

Since the occupation began in 1967, Israel used the Code to seize hundreds of thousands of dunams of land; 99.76 percent of state land in the occupied territories has been allocated for Israeli settlements, while a miniscule 0.24 percent has been allocated for Palestinian use.

Alyan explains that he did not cultivate his land for a brief period because he had used it to grow tobacco and wanted to let it rest before growing different crops. “When I returned to work on my land, a representative from the Civil Administration came and told me that I was on state land. He asked me to vacate the premises and handed out fines to my employees. The Civil Administration didn’t even inform me that they had expropriated the land.”

Alyan continues: “It is good land. It has belonged to my family for generations, with a deed of ownership. I want to plant on it, but in order to work the land I need tractors for plowing. We brought a tractor and used it for three or four hours. Then the Civil Administration came and told us that this was forbidden because we were on state land. They confiscated the tractor. Every year we try to work the land and they come and confiscate.”

View of the Palestinian village of Battir, with the ancient terraces, West Bank, September 22, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

View of the Palestinian village of Battir, with the ancient terraces, West Bank, September 22, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Beating the ‘Deal of the Century’ to the punch

Tal’s outpost, Neve Ori, was built without a permit just a five-minute drive from Battir. Teenagers from across Israel come to volunteer at the outpost, where they “work, sweat — and absorb many values,” as per Neve Ori’s website. Families are also invited “to have fun with their children and take part in Jewish presence on the mountain and the protection of land.” There’s even a petting zoo.

I called Tal to question him about why he is invading Battir’s land. He insisted that his actions are being carried out “legally” on land that the state “took back,” claiming that “They [Palestinians] stole the land from me.”

Asked why he came to Battir given that it is 2.5 miles away from his outpost, Tal replied, “My farm is on land that belongs to the Jewish National Fund and is surrounded by private land with olive groves. [Battir’s land] is the only land in the area that no one can claim ownership over.”

Tal is overt in his antagonism toward the Palestinians of Battir. “I want all of Battir to go to hell…the State of Israel belongs to the Jewish people,” he says. “I have no problem with [Palestinians] staying if they agree to the Seven Laws of Noah [a set of prohibitions that Orthodox Jews believe are binding for everyone] or if they want to convert.”

It is easy to frame Tal as a religious fanatic. But the essence of his words — the desire to maximize Jewish settlement at the expense of Palestinians — has always defined the left wing of the Zionist movement, too. This includes the dovish Meretz party, which has representatives in the Jewish National Fund — the same organization on whose land Tal built his outpost.

When Neve Ori was established in 2019, the Civil Administration asserted that the settlement structures “were erected illegally and without an appropriate permit and will therefore be evacuated.” Almost a year has passed since then, and the outpost still stands. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Civil Administration said that “on-site enforcement will be carried out in accordance with the authorities and procedures and subject to [the Administration’s] priorities.”

According to the NGO Kerem Navot, settlers have established 37 new Israeli outposts in the West Bank over the past five years. The process across these outposts is very similar: a family settles on “state land” and starts building structures without permits, and those structures remain “illegal” until the state retroactively approves them.

Sixty-year-old Mariam Bader seen watering her crop on the ancient terraces of the Palestinian village of Battir, overlooking the Israel Railway tracks crossing the village farm land, West Bank, April 7, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Sixty-year-old Mariam Bader seen watering her crop on the ancient terraces of the Palestinian village of Battir, overlooking the Israel Railway tracks crossing the village farm land, West Bank, April 7, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The most recent outpost was established only a week ago, east of the Palestinian town of Yatta near Hebron, also on land that according to Trump’s plan is supposed to be on the Palestinian side. “The timing and location are not a coincidence,” says Etkes of Kerem Navot.

‘Space is running out’

Vivien Sansour, a Palestinian ecological activist, was born in the West Bank city of Beit Jala, a scenic area full of ancient terraces, springs, vineyards, and olive groves — and also the site chosen by Israeli settlers to establish the Tal outpost.

Exploring the surroundings of Beit Jala “molded” Sansour as a child, she says. But Tal has changed things. “Ever since the outpost was established last year, I no longer feel comfortable coming near,” she says. “An armed man is there constantly. I do not feel safe as a woman, and certainly not as a Palestinian woman.”

The outpost, Sansour adds, is also harmful to the environment. “There is a huge, ugly, black plastic animal pen there that does not fit with the traditional [Palestinian] way of building on a mountain — the kind that relies on natural materials. The outpost has cut through a geographical contiguity that has existed for centuries. We used to walk here from hill to hill on foot, on paths, and then it stopped. This damages the environment, the ecology and, of course, human beings.”

Sansour manages an heirloom seed library in Battir. “Palestinian ecological culture is being destroyed. By saving these seeds, I am saving who I am, my culture, and reminding the following generations that we are valuable,” she says.

“The land taken by this settler is Battir’s last room to breathe,” Sansour continues. “People are being forced to emigrate to Bethlehem because they do not allow us to build here.”

Battir is surrounded by Area C, under full Israeli military control, and where Palestinians are rarely granted building permits. The Civil Administration rejects 98.6 percent of applications for permits in these areas, and destroys what Palestinians build on their own initiative.

“People are crammed into cities where space is running out,” says Sansour. “From day to day, Palestinian cities are turning into ghettoes, concrete refugee camps. It is impossible to grow food on concrete. From a rich agricultural society, we are growing dependent on Israeli companies to feed us.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, Human RightsComments Off on ‘I want Battir to go to hell’: Settlers move in on Palestinian World Heritage site

Nationalism, Bi-Nationalism And The Jewish People

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Image for post

Outside the AIPAC Policy Conference, Washington DC (courtesy Amar Al Masri, left, who says: “This photo is from three years ago in March. The gentleman on the other side is paid by AIPAC as an attendant; his name is Wayne from Nashville Tennessee.”)

By: Rima Najjar

The mythical concept of “Jewish peoplehood,” in my opinion, is the most potent weapon used by Israel against Palestinians.

In commenting on my blog post titled ‘Immigration And The Idea Of A Jewish People,’ in which I reflect upon the devastation the idea of Jews as “a people” has caused Palestinians, Mitchell Plitnick responded with a comment that concluded with the following:

Jews could have remained in the “peoplehood” realm, or could have developed a modern national identity without it having a settler-colonial expression. But obviously, that is not what happened… But we don’t need to problematize Jewish peoplehood to defend Palestinians rights. I’d argue the contrary, that affirming Jewish peoplehood gives us a stronger path forward to move away from the discriminatory state Zionism created and toward a future of equality that allows for both Jewish and Palestinians cultures (a multiplicity of which exists within both groups, of course) to flourish. (Italics mine)

Obviously, I disagree with the above, and find it unpersuasive as an implied justification for a bi-national state in Israel/Palestine. I also take exception to Plitnick’s articulate defense of Palestinian rights in the context of equal rights for Palestinians and “Jews” everywhere (within a bi-national state), rather than Palestinians everywhere and Israeli Jews — within one democratic state, where immigration is not governed by the concept of Jewish descent.

Whichever way the idea of “Jewish peoplehood” may have evolved historically, the concept was/is a problem for Palestinians. As an example, there are an estimated 7,000 “lone soldiers” in the Israeli army from more than 70 different countries — young people with Jewish backgrounds volunteering in the Israeli army generally under special programs like Mahal or Tzofim Garin Tzabar. Their parents remain in their countries of origin, hence the term “lone soldier.” They consider their service in the Israeli army as a “gap year” experience!

Other such conscripts are young Jewish adults who immigrate to Israel — what’s called “making Aliyah” under Israel’s so-called Law of Return of 1950 (amended in 1970), which enshrines the central importance of descent to that concept: “For the purposes of this Law, ‘Jew’ means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”

What’s motivating the actions of Israel’s “lone soldiers” is not so much the notion of settler-colonialism as the notion of “Jewish peoplehood.” The lone soldiers end up returning to their home countries; non-Israeli Jews who support Israel believe they are supporting the “Jewish people.” Does Plitnick believe that Israelis are “the creation of the entire Jewish people,” that Israel’s “gates are open,” in accordance with its laws, “to every Jew wishing to immigrate to it?”

When Mitchell Plitnick says that affirming Jewish peoplehood gives us (Palestinians and Jews) a stronger path forward toward equality, he accepts a mythical notion of Jewish peoplehood that bestows on Jews worldwide the right of self-determination in Palestine in the sense of international law, and then kindly extends the same “right” to peoplehood to Palestinians, suggesting that the future of Israel lies in a bi-national state.

A quick reminder here: Despite the Palestinians being fragmented geographically and politically, the status of the Palestinians as a people entitled to exercise the right of self-determination in their homeland is legally settled (although Israel contests it), most authoritatively by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its 2004 advisory opinion on Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In contrast, the term “Jewish people,” which in political Zionist thought is used to claim the right to self-determination, is imposed punitively through international efforts of, for example, the European Union Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism, which has included in its working definition of anti-Semitism: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.”

In Binationalism Beyond Israel, Uriel Abulof asks, “What is a binational state? One could scour the contemporary research literature in search of information, but this would be to no avail. No books or articles examine binationalism as a modern political phenomenon. The binational state appears to be a creature of political fantasy, not a social entity.”

Abulof calls it a “vision/hallucination” and gives the following reasons (among others) why he believes a binational state is highly unlikely to happen (“Arabs” in the quotation below refers to Palestinians, in accordance with Israeli state terminology and population classification):

The Arabs will not be prepared to take steps that are necessary to convince the Jews to trust them and to treat them as equal citizens and full members of Israeli society. For this purpose the Arabs will have to cease seeing Jews as colonial settlers, to stop equating Zionism with colonialism and racism, to refrain from a fight against the Jewish character of the state, to renounce the right of Arab refugees to return to Israel, to relinquish the right of internal refugees to reconstruct their ruined villages, and to render a civic service to the state in lieu of a military service.
Similarly, the Jews will not make the required concessions for reaching an in-between state. In their eyes the idea of a Zionist state is hegemonic and enjoys continued international legitimacy. To be accepted by Jews, the Arabs are expected to demonstrate loyalty to the state, to approve of their fellow Jews, and to reconcile with their own minority status in a Jewish state. Most importantly, being the more powerful side of the two and in control of the state, the Jews have the power and resolve to keep Israel Jewish and Zionist and to contain the Arab struggle for binationalism.

An impasse, in other words. Nevertheless, Abulof continues to insist, the idea of two states for two peoples and the idea of an in-between Jewish and democratic state are “the fairest and most realistic formulas for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its internal Jewish-Arab part. They will be in store for use by Arabs and Jews for years to come.”

Do Palestinians have nothing to say about what is “the fairest and most realistic formulas?” Are we destined “for years to come” to continue dancing around defunct “peace process” paradigms? Strong forces impeding the implementation of a just solution to the problem of the settler-colonial Zionist state in Palestine are with us, it is true. But I would much rather look for bold proposals to resolve the impasse, and not to keep recycling a tired old one.

Michael Letwin, a founding member of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, writes:

The “peoplehood” position, later adopted by the Communist Party, and even unorthodox Trotskyists like Hal Draper and Moshe Machover, has inevitably led to the false premise that Jews are entitled to group self-determination in Palestine, which has translated (at worst) into outright support for the Nakba, and (at “best”) into two-statism and/or binationalism, i.e., collective rights for Jews in relation to Palestinians, regardless of actual population size. Clearly, that is very different from a secular democratic Palestine with equal rights (including religious and cultural freedom) for all individuals, from the river to the sea, as an integral part of the Arab world.

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Nationalism, Bi-Nationalism And The Jewish People

Activist targets New Zionist Fund for ‘electioneering’ via anti-racism groups

Activist targets New Israel Fund for ‘electioneering’ via anti-racism groups

David Abrams’ lawsuit alleges the group violated its tax-exempt status by supporting grantees in Israel who are vocal on political issues

By RON KAMPEAS5

An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir via JTA)

An activist with Tag Meir, an Israeli group funded by the New Israel Fund, hands out flowers on a day to counter racism in Jerusalem on June 1, 2019. (NIF/Yossi Zamir via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A pro-Israel activist has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service that, if successful, could severely restrict freedom of speech for non-governmental organizations.

David Abrams’ lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit New Israel Fund “electioneered” in violation of its tax-exempt status by supporting grantees in Israel who are vocal on political issues. Among other things, the lawsuit cites the NIF for supporting Israeli organizations that have sought to have candidates barred from running for office for being racist, for calling candidates racist and for praising candidates who embrace their initiatives.

The suit, filed on behalf of an organization Abrams leads, The Zionist Advocacy Center, seeks $110 million in damages from NIF, which, under New York state law, Abrams would be entitled to as much as 30 percent of as a whistleblower. The NIF must file its objections by Friday.

Critics say the NIF activities Abrams is targeting are routine for many nonprofits, Jewish and otherwise, and that if he is successful it would impede the efforts of those groups to work on behalf of political issues they care about.

Abrams could “undermine a lot of the work that nonprofits do both in the United States and around the globe to promote the value of constitutional democracy,” said Brian Hauss, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which joined the case in June.

Abrams has long sought to use legal means to restrict the activities of anti-Israel groups. As a registered foreign agent with an Israeli legal outfit that has ties to the Israeli government, he has largely focused in the past on organizations he sees as acting against Israel’s interests.

But this time he is turning his guns on a group that sees itself as pro-Israel, by employing a weapon that, if unleashed, could cripple the sort of issues-based activism that is the bread and butter of scores of American Jewish nonprofits.

Marc Stern, the general counsel for the American Jewish Committee, said that if Abrams wins it would unleash internecine warfare among Jewish organizations already polarized by the Trump presidency.

“It’s basically a good thing for the Jewish community that people can’t challenge the tax-exempt status of others because it would lead to guerrilla warfare against your ideological opponent,” Stern said.

In an email exchange, Abrams said that it was up to the government to decide whether he was going too far with his filings, known as qui tam, an abbreviation of a Latin phrase which refers to private citizens who initiate or assist a prosecution.

“The government has wisely included checks and limitations on these types of lawsuits,” he said. “Among them, the government retains an unfettered right to settle or even dismiss qui tam lawsuits despite the objection of the private citizen who filed the lawsuit. This has happened to me on numerous occasions and will assuredly happen again in the future.”

Abrams is at the vanguard of a right-wing pro-Israel movement that has successfully used the courts and laws to inhibit advocacy on behalf of causes it sees as threatening to Israel.

In 2018, he compelled Norwegian Peoples Aid to pay a $2 million settlement because it chose not to challenge Abrams’ claim: money it spent on democracy training in the Gaza Strip and mine clearing in Iran was tainted by associations with banned terrorist groups.The organization had accepted US State Department money for separate projects, unrelated to the Gaza or Iran projects. A separate Abrams action succeeded in forcing the home rental website AirBnB to unblock listings in West Bank Jewish settlements.

Screen capture from video of Marc Stern, the general counsel for the American Jewish Committee. (YouTube)

Some of Abrams’ challenges have been dismissed, like his complaint that The Carter Center (President Jimmy Carter’s nonprofit) was supporting terrorists because it provided “physical assets of fruit, cookies, bottled water, and presumably other food and drink” at a conflict resolution workshop that included representatives of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both US-designated terrorist groups.

With his NIF action, Abrams is bringing this fight within the Jewish community, targeting an organization that has attracted liberal Jewish American donors for its support of pro-democracy movements in Israel and which has become a bugbear for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies, who accuse its grantees of interfering in Israel’s internal affairs.

Daniel Sokatch, NIF’s CEO, linked Abrams directly to efforts by the Netanyahu government to silence its critics, citing Abrams’ work on behalf of the International Legal Forum, an Israeli-government founded organization that combats the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

“David Abrams is a practitioner of what they call lawfare, which are bullying and inappropriate lawsuits that are meant to chill freedom of expression, essentially terrorize nonprofit organizations into silence or settlement, when they disagree with his extreme hardline vision of what Israel is and should be,” Sokatch said in an interview.

In his complaint, Abrams cites the NIF for actions that are commonplace among nonprofits. For example, he accuses NIF grantees of using the courts to lift a ban on some candidates or to ban others from running, but Jewish nonprofits have also sought to limit the electoral prospects of politicians and the ACLU itself has represented candidates seeking to be included on ballots.

Abrams cites an NIF grantee for listing candidates who support its pledge to protect trees, but nonprofits routinely single politicians out for praise who embrace their initiatives. And he says calling a candidate a “racist” or a “fascist” amounts to electioneering, but that too is commonplace among US nonprofits.

“American Jewish groups do not hesitate to call out candidates who engage in anti-Semitic or racist speech,” the AJC’s Stern said. “That’s pretty much across the spectrum.”

In an email, Abrams maintained that it was rare for tax-exempt nonprofits to engage in electioneering, though he acknowledged the line isn’t always clear.

“The line between what is and is not electioneering can be fuzzy at times; and it appears to me that the New Israel Fund has clearly crossed that line,” he wrote.

Daniel Sokatch, New Israel Fund’s executive director. (Courtesy of New Israel Fund/JTA)

Abrams’ hoped-for $110 million penalty is unlikely. Typically, successful qui tam lawsuits result in penalties in the low seven figures. In any case, Hauss says that while he does not believe that Abrams’ case has a chance of succeeding, damage will still be done if Judge Gregory Woods of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York does not dismiss the case outright and allows costly pre-trial phases to go-ahead.

“Discovery is very costly to litigate, it’s very basic to an organization’s privacy,” he said, referring to the stage where litigants exchange information that might be pertinent at trial. “The lawsuit itself is dangerous because I think it’s clearly designed to harass the New Israel Fund for its protected views.”

For his part, Abrams, who runs a separate law practice, said he is dedicated to his cause because he is a “passionate Zionist.”

“I would appreciate it if you would mention that I am strictly an amateur, i.e. nobody — domestic or foreign — provides any financial support for what I do,” he said in an email.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, CampaignsComments Off on Activist targets New Zionist Fund for ‘electioneering’ via anti-racism groups


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