Archive | March 11th, 2018

The only Jewish ghetto in the Middle East

The only Jewish ghetto in the Middle East

Gilad Atzmon writes:

Aljazeera reported on 7 March that the Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the minister of interior to revoke the residency rights of any Palestinian in Jerusalem on grounds of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel.

Under the new measure, Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox political party Shas and a convicted criminal, has the authority to revoke the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a “threat”.

It doesn’t take a genius to grasp that this law is racially oriented: it applies only to non-Jews. This type of law follows from the fact that  Israel defines itself as the “the Jewish State” and operates as a tyrannical Jewish shtetl in which the Palestinians are Goyim du jour  – a daily basis they are confronted by the most extreme forms of Jewish exceptionalism (choseness).

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), described the law as “an extremely racist piece of legislation”, adding:

By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws.

Aljazeera points out that “despite Israel’s claims that occupied East Jerusalem is part of its “eternal, undivided” capital, the Palestinians who are born and live there do not hold Israeli citizenship, unlike their Jewish counterparts”. Apparently, the “un-dividedness” of Jerusalem applies to only the members of one tribe and the land they manage to grab by force.

Palestinians in Jerusalem are granted “permanent residency” ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only valid as travel documents. This leaves them stateless, stuck in legal limbo: they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine.

Zionism vowed to fix diaspora Jews by means of a “homecoming”. It promised to make the “new Hebrews” into “people like all other people”. The project has been a total failure. Israel is a humongous racist ghetto. It is a country like no other. It has managed to amplify every symptom Zionism was born to eliminate.

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Is Hillary Clinton Behind Poisoning Of Russian Double-Agent Sergei Skripal?


Image result for Hillary Clinton CARTOON

Who might have ordered poisoning of Russian double agent and why?

Op-ed – By John Chuckman – this is an opinion piece in its own right, which appeared as a comment to one of the Independent’s typically slanderous and Russophobic coverage of this potentially inside job, connecting the Clinton crime network  – among others – as the possible culprit behind the Sergei Skripal hit. The comment was ultimately deleted by the Independent’s comments section patrol, after garnering many hundreds of up-thumbs. In the spirit of countering such censorship of the public, we reprint it here for FRN readers. 

Analysis: The Kremlin has been accused over suspicious deaths many times, but there is also the issue of Russia’s security agencies, with reports of turf wars, unclear boundaries of responsibilities and freelance operations.

Just carry on with your silliness. Always ready, with absolutely no evidence, to suggest Russia whenever there is a mysterious death. I’m not saying it is impossible that a Russian would be involved, but why be so unimaginative right from the start?

Well, I actually do understand. It serves the ongoing program of stirring up public suspicion and hostility towards Russia that is orchestrated by the military-security thugs in Washington. All of Washington’s right-thinking European followers are expected to march along behind, echoing the script.

There are so many candidates for attempting to kill the ex-spy, and especially now that we know a nerve agent was used.

Sergei Skripal was associated with the UK ex-spy, Christopher Steele, who was paid large sums by Democrats to create the phony Russia dossier against Trump.

So maybe Hillary is a candidate? Perhaps John Podesta? Both are ruthless and unscrupulous political operators we know from WikiLeaks material.

Christopher Steele, I’m sure, also is not happy with the way his caper turned out, causing him considerable embarrassment and perhaps future high-end political contracts for manufactured dossiers.

Podesta, left – Steele, right

And, of course, someone in the Democratic Party almost certainly had young Seth Rich murdered for leaking the material WikiLeaks published, which we know to a certainty from experts was not the result of a hack by Russia or anyone else.

You’ll find few scruples or ethics, despite public playacting, in a place like Washington which runs an industrial-scale extrajudicial killing operation and has busied itself for years bombing people, killing millions and causing millions to run for their lives.

Israel also has a stockpile of nerve agent, and Israel’s secret service would not hesitate to do something like this to cast an international shadow on Russia, a country it deeply resents for upsetting its plans in Syria.

For perspective, it is rather important to remember that a book has just been published about Israel’s 2,700 assassinations, some of the assassins telling their stories. Political assassination literally has been a significant industry in modern Israel, a business much like the 1930s mafia murders-for-hire out of Detroit by the Purple Gang or Murder Inc.

Of course, there’s also the US and UK. The UK has a facility at Porton Down, not many miles from this event in Salisbury which does contain such awful stuff and more.

Maybe the ex-spy cheated on his wheeling and dealing with Britain or the US? It has happened many times in the world of espionage.

Then there’s all those countries and bizarre actors involved in creating the Syria horror, too. Some of them have nerve agent.

We know the US took some of the stocks of nerve agent from the murdered Qaddafi and had them transferred into Syria for use by the phony jihadi terrorists such as ISIS and al-Nusrah – who actually are paid mercenaries covertly serving America, Israel, Saudi Arabia, assisted by Britain and France – as a provocation, giving Obama an excuse to send in the bombers while blubbering about red lines.

That operation was run under Hillary Clinton, and the whole fiasco at Benghazi with the death of an American Ambassador was related to it, part of a program for transferring cutthroats and weapons from chaotic Libya to Syria in an effort to overthrow its government too.

And the US has tried this ploy with poison gas in Syria a few more times, too, recently. Almost seems like a lack of imagination, but it could just be forgetfulness over the fact that Syria’s armed forces have no chemical weapons.

It seems a trifle brutal to attempt this several times, with each time some innocent civilians being killed horribly by US-supplied terrorists. Any excuse to kill someone you hate, right?

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The Punishment of Gaza

“The Punishment of Gaza by Gideon Levy”

Author: Levy, Gideon

Israel’s 2009 invasion of Gaza was an act of aggression that killed over a thousand Palestinians and devastated the infrastructure of an already impoverished enclave. The Punishment of Gaza shows how the ground was prepared for the assault and documents its continuing effects.

From 2005—the year of Gaza’s “liberation”—through to 2009, Levy tracks the development of Israel policy, which has abandoned the pretense of diplomacy in favor of raw military power, the ultimate aim of which is to deny Palestinians any chance of forming their own independent state. Punished by Israel and the Quartet of international powers for the democratic election of Hamas, Gaza has been transformed into the world’s largest open-air prison.

From Gazan families struggling to cope with the random violence of Israel’s blockade and its “targeted” assassinations, to the machinations of legal experts and the continued connivance of the international community, every aspect of this ongoing tragedy is eloquently recorded and forensically analyzed. Levy’s powerful journalism shows how the brutality at the heart of Israel’s occupation of Palestine has found its most complete expression to date in the collective punishment of Gaza’s residents.

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Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for the Nazi regime?

Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for Israel?

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

Delinda Hanley: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson is up next, and his bio is incredibly long. He has a lot to talk about, so I’m going to shorten it. He is going to talk about: “Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for Israel?”

His last position in the government was as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2005. Before serving at the State Department, Wilkerson served 31 years in the U.S. Army. He retired from active service in 1997 as a colonel and has taught national security affairs in the Honors Program at George Washington University. He’s currently a distinguished visiting professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and he’s working on a book about the first George Bush administration. Welcome.


Staff photo Phil Pasquini.

Lawrence Wilkerson: Thank you. Thank you all for being here. I’m the last speaker. I get that distinction. If this were a military audience, I’d ask you to stand up and do five minutes of calisthenics just to make sure you don’t doze off.

I have to identify myself with the remarks that were just made. Over some 400 students, graduate and undergraduate, and 12 years on two university campuses and six years with about 1,000 students at two of the nation’s most prestigious war colleges, we have determined although it would be probably difficult to prove—and that’s the reason we have covert operations—that Lyndon Johnson not only knew the gory details of the Israeli attack on USS Liberty in the Eastern Mediterranean, he also knew about what was just told you. That’s to say he knew the uranium was being diverted, he knew Israel was building a bomb, and he chose not to do anything about it.

That’s not my subject today, although I could talk on that sort of thing forever, as I’m sure Jefferson could too.

These days, I believe one gets the best insights into Israeli security policy, and perhaps even into Israeli policy writ large—which you’ve heard a lot about today—from a Russian émigré to Israel, a former foreign minister, now its defense minister: Avigdor Lieberman.

Whether he is calling Arab members of the Knesset war criminals, or declaring that Jewish people should leave France, or claiming that the next military action against Hamas in Gaza will be the last, or contradicting his own military chief by denying there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, or stating categorically that the IDF will stop at nothing in order to win—reminding me a great deal of Dick Cheney—Lieberman is the living face of Bibi Netanyahu’s Zionist policies. I sometimes think he would have rather remained in Russia, so long as it was the Soviet Union and so long as he was in a significant position of power there.

In addition to reminding me of Cheney, he is reminiscent of, and indeed might well be a latent version of, Joseph Stalin. As an aside, it is intriguing, and I think well outside the usual conspiracy theory, to consider whether or not Lieberman, as has been intimated of our own President Trump, might be an NKBD, GRU, KGB, FSB, you-name-it plant—that is, an agent of Vladimir Putin. He has more or less forged most of the 1 million Russian émigrés since 1991 into a formidable political force, forming the political party that has more than once played kingmaker in the Israeli political scene. What a strategic coup for Vladimir—the master chess player in the world today, in my estimation, while everyone else plays a really lousy game of checkers. It would be quite a coup for him.

Of far more concern at the moment—and readily provable, unlike what I just said—Lieberman exemplifies where Israel is headed: toward a massive confrontation with the various powers arrayed against it, a confrontation that will suck America in, and perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel, and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become.

Lieberman will speak in April in New York City at the annual conference of The Jerusalem Post. The title is “The New War with Iran.” It is clear that he’s in the forefront of promoting this war. Nowhere does my concern about such a war focus more acutely at the moment than in Syria.

As president of France Emmanuel Macron described it recently, “The current rhetoric of the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel is pushing the region toward conflict with Iran.” In that triad, no state is doing that more than Israel. Listen to Netanyahu in January at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem: “The greatest danger that we face of hatred for the Jewish people and the Jewish state comes from Iran. It comes from the ayatollah regime that is fanning the flames of anti-Semitism.”

This anti-Semitism bit, of course, as we’ve heard today, is almost always a weapon of choice for Israeli politicians under stress, hurled, in this case, at the country whose Jewish population—by the way, the largest in the Middle East outside Turkey and Israel—lives in Iran in reasonable peace.

And don’t forget that these words were uttered by the man who is, as we’ve heard here today briefly, doing everything he can to expel dark-skinned African refugees, largely from Eritrea and the Sudan, from Israel, where most have come as legitimate refugees. President Trump’s wall on the Mexican border is nothing compared to Bibi’s actual policies.

More recently, Bibi’s performance at the Munich Security Conference bordered on the infantile—and yet was effective when you think about the audience to whom he’s speaking, as he held aloft an alleged piece of an alleged Iranian drone and asked Minister [Javad] Zarif if he recognized it. Of course, Mr. Zarif later took his occasion at the microphone to characterize Netanyahu’s performances like that of a circus clown—a pretty good characterization, as a matter of fact. But I like the comment of Lebanon’s defense minister even better. It went to the point. He said that he had an Israeli drone over his head virtually 24/7. That comment put the hypocrite that Netanyahu is in the right perspective.

Of late, of course, Tel Aviv is increasingly using Iran’s presence in Syria, its support for President Bashar al-Assad and its alleged drive—and I love this one, my military comrades love it too—for a Shi’i corridor from Tehran to Aden as the hoary beast that must not be at any cost—including, of course, American treasure and lives—as his probable cause and existential prompt for action. That Israel has in support such disparate figures as Nikki Haley at the United Nations, Jim Mattis at the Pentagon, Rex Tillerson at State, as well as the usual suspects from outside the world of warmed over neoconservatives, is indicative of such policy.

But it’s not just the usual suspects from the world of neocons—about whom I know quite a bit, having experienced them in 2001 and 2002 and 2003. Take, for example, my fellow South Carolinian, [Sen.] Lindsey Graham, speaking four days ago after a breathless trip to Israel. A bipartisan trip, he called it. I don’t know how anybody could use that term. I caution—don’t laugh, because Lindsey was serious, I think—but anything bipartisan with regard to Israel, I call it unanimity, call it absolute unanimity, anything but bipartisan. In fact, the proper words are probably overwhelming and unprecedented unanimity. In fact, it’s the only issue that does unify the United States Congress, other than mom and apple pie.

But Graham had this to say: “Any time you leave a meeting where the request is ammunition, ammunition, ammunition, that’s probably not good.” That’s Lindsey. I know Lindsey well. “This was the most unnerving trip I’ve had in a while,” he said breathlessly again. Graham went on to assert, “When they tell you, ‘we want help to deal with the blowback that might come from attacks on civilian targets where Hezbollah has integrated military capability…,’ that was so striking. That was striking.”

Then Senator [Chris] Coons, who up until this time I’ve had some respect for, a fairly sane and sober senator from Delaware, reported that, “The tempo in terms of potential for conflict in Syria has gone up astronomically. The technologies Iran is projecting into Syria and southern Lebanon has gone up. Iran’s willingness to be provocative, to push the edges of the envelope to challenge Israel has gone up.” Coons reported this almost as breathlessly as Lindsey.

With the highest tech nation on earth in Syria—the United States of America—that is all Coons could derive from his visit: that the country that spends less than 1 percent of what the U.S. spends on its national security has introduced new technologies in Syria. Technologies that threaten the country Israel, to whom the U.S. bounty is limitless? This is Joseph Goebbels territory. Karl Rove is envious. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, as the heir to the Project for the New American Century, Bill Kristol’s Iraq-bound think tank, leads that pack of wolves disguised as warmed over neocons lavishly funded by the likes of Paul Singer. It has even spawned the Institute for the Study of War. A fascinating Orwellian title if there ever was one. It should be the Institute for War.

I’ve been asked, “Why is it that you ascribe to FDD and now the ISW such nefarious motives?” I was asked this by the New York Times’ editorial staff when they published my op-ed on Iran a few days ago. My answer is simple: because that is precisely what FDD is attempting to do. Just as Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, Office of Special Plans, did in 2002 and 2003 for Richard Bruce Cheney to lead us into war with Iraq. I’ve been there, done that. I don’t need the tour.

The salient question, though—why do you believe that America is headed for a struggle with Iran?—needs an answer. Certainly, America’s unquestioning support is required, as has been the case from George W. Bush, to Barack Obama, to the rapture-seeking Mike Pence, and the Tweeter-in-Chief Donald Trump. But it seems that recently Lieberman and Netanyahu and their acolytes in this country, amongst which I put up at the top Nikki Haley, have determined that it would be best if American troops also participated in the overthrow of the Tehran regime.

From one point of view, I suppose this is understandable—the crassly opportunistic point of view, that is, that it’s better to squander your own allies’ blood and treasure than your own. But it’s certainly not in the character that I’m used to with regard to the state of Israel, and certainly not with regard to the Israel Defense Forces. That that force could handle anything Iran threw at it militarily is undeniable. Any military professional will tell you that. And that Israel’s more than 200 nuclear warheads could decimate Iran is equally undeniable.

So, why this attempt to suck America into this conflict? I believe the answer is fairly clear once you push aside the cobwebs that surround it. The legitimacy of great power is what I call it, and that is precisely what Netanyahu and Lieberman desire. It’s also what Riyadh desires, especially with the new boy king, Mohammad bin Salman, now an erstwhile ally of Israel. In short, the IDF could defend Israel, but it could not attack Iran—not successfully, anyway. It would be damned internationally as well. Thus, isolated even more than it already is today, perhaps devastatingly so.

But America is already damned by well more than half the world—a poll showed at least 4 billion people think we’re the number one threat to their security in the world. Think about that for a minute. We’ve already done Iraq, Libya and Syria, Afghanistan. We’d just be seen as continuing the trend. Besides, America has the military capacity—and here’s the long pole in the tent—to project the power needed to unseat swiftly the regime in Tehran. Swiftly in terms of Saddam Hussain, for example, not swiftly in terms of taking care of 75 million people post-hostilities, each one of which, in a very rugged and strategically deep terrain, would want to kill every damn American in the country, along with probably half the rest of the millions of Arabs also in the area.


Staff photo Phil Pasquini.

So there’s more than one significant hang up that I see with this strategy that Netanyahu and Lieberman are pushing. Embroiled in his own legal problems that just might send him to jail—as such problems would likely have sent Arik [Ariel] Sharon to jail had he not been in really bad shape at the end of his prime ministership—Netanyahu might welcome a war. But it’s a war he cannot consummate. For that he needs the United States.

They will use Iran’s presence in Syria, an  allegedly existential threat to Israelwhich is becoming even more so, from a military perspective, every day; Hezbollah’s accumulation of some 150,000 missiles, if we believe our intelligence agencies; and the need to set Lebanon’s economy back yet again.

That last is important. Look at what they’re deliberating right now with regard to the new, very, very rich gas find in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Israel claiming Section 9 and Lebanon claiming Section 9. Take that, Lebanon. We’re going to bomb you, then you’ll let us have it. And that will be their excuse.

We’re looking at them taking on—and this is a point that all military people understand—a country [Iran] that couldn’t beat Iraq in eight years of brutal bloody war, an Iraq that we beat in 19 days. So this is the “colossal threat” that they’re up against, and men such as H.R. McMaster are helping them. The much heralded author of Dereliction of Duty—a great title—and a man who knows about as much about Iran as I do about the 8th planet in the 95th solar system in the 50th galaxy past our own.

Here’s a hope I have: Let’s hope that the chess master-in-chief, old Vladimir Putin, who ruins elections from Paris to Peoria, is smart enough to once again not let this happen. I fear he will not be, and we might have the stirrings of 1914, as utterly stupid as we now know those stirrings to have been. People to whom I mention such possibilities, people who are critically analytical and normally fairly sound in their thinking, respond that, well, don’t you consider that sort of dreary prognosis a little bit overdrawn? My rejoinder is usually something a bit too clever, perhaps, but along these lines: don’t you think a number of people said that in the summer of 1914? Ah, they respond, but have we not learned so much since then?

I’ll let you be the judge of that, and inform you only that, in my considered view, we have learned very little, and there are the ingredients right now for Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia—losing dramatically in Yemen right now—and the United States and Russia at the peak of all of this, to get engaged, a very distinct possibility.

I looked at this from the perspective of the political parameters: what is it that we’re confronting today in this country? This took me down an entirely different path as I tried to figure out just how this team of McMaster, Tillerson, Kelly, et al., and Trump at the top of it, will face this sort of decision-making process. The only place I could find that remotely resembled where we are today in our past was the period 1850 to 1860. So about six months ago I started reading as voraciously as I could on that period. I had done some reading in the past, but I needed to really do a lot more.

It is stunning, the similarities between that period and now, particularly in the political situation, where one side of the country wouldn’t talk to the other side of the country and vice versa.

In my reading about that period, I was struck by some of the comments that were made by the political participants. In fact, some of today’s political commentary resembles eerily those past comments, particularly those that were made by politicians from my region, the states that would comprise the Confederacy in our Civil War—my state fired on Fort Sumter, after all, back in those days.

If that is the sort of political situation in which this government will do its national security decision-making, then we are in deeper trouble than even the prospects of a regionwide, and perhaps even bigger, war in the Middle East portend. The country that will have started it all—the relationship, unbalanced as it is, that will have made it possible—is Israel. That’s the danger we face.


Staff photo Phil Pasquini.

Questions and Answers

Delinda Hanley: You were supposed to give us some hope. What happened to that? Okay. We are running out of time, but we do have a lot of questions. Is Mossad actively operating in U.S. institutions versus the power of AIPAC and the charitable Israeli institutions?

Jefferson Morley: It’s a good question, and I don’t exactly know the answer. But my sense is that AIPAC is an effective enough organization that the Mossad doesn’t have to do its work there. It can confine itself to the usual intelligence tasks. There is a lot of concern in the CIA about the possibility of Israeli spying on the CIA. There are factions within the CIA that have different views about Israel. But my sense is that it’s not the Mossad that does the Israeli government’s work in Washington. It’s AIPAC.

Delinda Hanley: This is for Col. Wilkerson. What could and would Iran do in response to an attack?

Lawrence Wilkerson: This has been war-gamed ad nauseam almost by the U.S. military. There are a number of different scenarios. There’s one where the U.S. round-the-clock three-carrier battle groups bombing does so much damage that Iran is, as you might well imagine, pretty shocked in those 14 to 21 days of bombing—much the way you saw Saddam Hussain in the first Gulf War. Then Iran comes out from the dust, so to speak, counts its casualties, mans its hospitals and so forth, and essentially goes into guerrilla war. That means if we want to do anything other than just bomb them, which is simply going to drive their nuclear program underground and speed it up—they’ll coordinate with the North Koreans, they’ll have a nuclear weapon in 18 months—and then watch us hesitate to invade, because that’s what they know they’ll be doing by building that weapon. We’ll have forced them to make that decision.

Then, if we follow the bombing with invasion later, we’re going to be confronting a country that is huge and in possession of nuclear weapons.

If, on the other hand, we invade immediately, following the bombing, we will still have a very dicey situation. I’ve done the war planning for it when we were planning in the ’80s for the Russians to break out of Afghanistan and come on down to Chabahar and Bandar Abbas—the two ports, the warm water ports. We actually thought that was a possibility. We didn’t think the Russians came into Afghanistan to just be in Afghanistan. Then, of course, they got bogged down there and couldn’t come, even had they wanted to. But Iran is a tough country. So either way, an immediate invasion is going to take $5 trillion or $6 trillion and 10 years of occupation to even begin to say that we’re in control of the country and have eliminated their nuclear program. Look at Iraq. It’s roughly one-fourth the size of Iran. An invasion of Iran is going to probably put red bull’s eyes on the back of every soldier and Marine in the country, red bull’s eyes that every terrorist group will flock to engage.

Delinda Hanley: Any thoughts on Jared Kushner as an intelligence effort? Then there’s another one, the same. All these questions I want to know your answers. Any thoughts on assistance Israel might have generated to the Trump campaign? Any thoughts on Israel’s large purchases of U.S. stocks possibly to prop up the market?

Jefferson Morley: I don’t know anything about that last question. Jared Kushner is so incompetent that it doesn’t look like the work of any professional intelligence organization what he’s doing. The man is deeply in debt and desperately trying to figure out a way how to get out of it. So while he’s very close to the Israelis, and using Israeli contacts and Qatar and Saudi Arabia to solve his financial problems, I don’t really see intelligence agencies being involved in that. I don’t know why they would want to get involved in that.

Delinda Hanley: For Col. Wilkerson: How far do you think Russia will go in helping, on the side of Syria, Iran, et cetera, in the Syrian conflict? How much further, I guess.

Lawrence Wilkerson: The difficulty there is the imponderable. As [Helmuth] von Moltke pointed out, no plan outlasts the first bomb being dropped. Once you start killing Russians, once you start shooting Su-27s down and they start shooting the F-16s, F-15s and F-22s down, you have a whole different dimension. You’ve got a real problem. In controling that, escalation theory says you’re probably not going to be able to control that. So that’s what really worries me.

Now, that having been said, Putin realizes that. Putin has shown that he knows he doesn’t have a lot of assets behind him compared to the assets that the United States could bring to bear where it’s serious. So he’s been very careful about the way he moves in the gaps, exploits them, moves back and so forth. He’s getting ready to do it in Kosovo right now. Mitrovica, the northern province, is being infiltrated by the Serbs. Watch that. McMaster and others aren’t even aware it’s happening.

But Putin’s very smart. So the thing that ought to be happening right now is that the United States and Moscow, despite all this mess that’s been created between us, ought to be cooperating to bring the two parties that really need to talk—Riyadh and Tehran—and get them to deal with their problems diplomatically, and then turn that diplomatic success on to the Syrian conflict, which is being fueled principally by Saudi money, with Prince Bandar in charge.

Delinda Hanley: Here is a question for you, [Mr.?] Morley. How important was the cooperation between CIA and Mossad in places like Central America and Zaire?

Jefferson Morley: Well, in the case of Central America, in the 1980s, there was a significant Israeli role. The Reagan administration—barred from military aid to the counterrevolutionary forces in Nicaragua, restricted in aid—the other military regimes turned to outside actors—their own aid network—but also to the Israelis to ship arms and ship money. It was never clear to me whether it was a formal Israeli intelligence operation or whether these were sort of Israeli contractors who were simply allowed to operate in the region. But the CIA and the Reagan administration relied on them quite a bit for what they called counterterrorism work—for shipping arms and expertise into the region in order to prevail in the civil war. So in that time the Israeli role was definitely significant. I am not well informed about the CIA and Mossad role in Zaire, so I can’t really comment on that.

Delinda Hanley: We have three minutes left, I think. This is not a fun question to end the conference with. Based on the incredible increasing trend of impunity among aggressive military action, like in the Levant, and genocidal warfare, what stops Israel from launching a similar final solution to the Palestinian people?


Staff photo Phil Pasquini.

Lawrence Wilkerson: You want me to take on that?

Delinda Hanley: Either one of you.

Lawrence Wilkerson: At this point, I don’t think Lieberman or Netanyahu or any of the more ultra-right-wing characters in the Zionist political movement—Israeli government, whatever we want to call it—are suicidal. I don’t think they’re that fatalistic, either. I think they really think they can wind up—or some subsequent prime minister can wind up—with Jordan, with probably pieces of Syria, certainly the Golan, and Israel can be Greater Israel. They’re willing to back off from some of that as powers interpose themselves and give them a problem with that.

But they want a Greater Israel for a number of reasons—security reasons, you know, the old biblical prophecies, and so forth. So I think they’re going to try to keep this in the air to start with. You’re going to see some bombing. I think you’re going to see, in the next six months, they’re going to take Lebanon on. They’re going to take Hezbollah on in Syria and Lebanon. When that doesn’t work—or when Hezbollah presents them, as they did in July 2006, with some new options in terms of what Hezbollah can do to them, and maybe even the Lebanese Armed Forces do, too—it might get tricky. Then there might be armored formations, ground units, infantry and so forth. That’s when the door opens for general conflict.

There is a question asked, too, about the base. [In Sept. 2017 the U.S. opened Mashabim Air Base near Dimona, Israel.] Here’s why I think we put the base there—because the last time I spoke here [in 2016], I said we didn’t have any hard power in Israel—so the Pentagon responded and put the base there! (I’m joking.)

We put the base there for the same reason we have tripwire forces in other places. We put the base there so that there can be no question in the minds of the American people when the president directs U.S. forces into Israel equipped to go into Syria, because we will have been attacked. The disposition of that base is that it’s just sitting on an Israeli air base, and we put the Stars and Stripes up and declared it a U.S. air base. It’s four Patriot batteries, as far as I know. But it’s there, and it’s U.S. territory. So when missiles start flying or—God forbid—the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] actually tries to put guerrillas into  Israel proper, then we are being attacked, too. So when we go to Congress, if Trump feels like he has to go to Congress—he isn’t going to have to, probably—Congress is going to be demanding that the president take action.

Delinda Hanley: Well, that’s a very sobering end here. Okay. Another question? We are out of time, but one more. What are the possibilities of a 9/11 Mossad op-type strike to propel us into Iran like it did in Iraq? I don’t know who wants to take that.

Lawrence Wilkerson: I think we’ve got the adequate ingredients right now. We have about 3,200 troops in Syria. You’ve got Secretary Mattis and Secretary Tillerson both saying we’re staying there because we need to confront the Iranian elements that are trying to establish this corridor and are too close to Israel. You’ve got the president of United States contradicting them and saying, no, when we’re done with ISIS we’re leaving. Of course, that’s an ambiguity. When are you done with ISIS? You could say you’re never going to be done with ISIS, not completely.

The policy is not clear right now, but there are all the ingredients in place, including Russian-U.S. aircraft being de-conflicted on an hourly basis by direct communications. You’ve got all the ingredients for a wider war and for a “bang” moment [snapping fingers], like that, that suddenly becomes much bigger instantly—you got the same thing in the South China Sea when the Chinese sink a U.S. aircraft carrier. What are the American people going to do when 5,000 souls and $14 billion is on the bottom of the ocean? Because the Chinese are going to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier, I guarantee you. What are we going to do? Is it going to be over Taiwan? Are we then going to defend Taiwan? Probably not—most Americans will probably get anxious about that. But this is what we’re courting in the world now, at a time when our power has been dramatically reduced from what it was in 1945, and we don’t recognize that. We simply don’t recognize that—too many enemies.



Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran, SyriaComments Off on Is the U.S. Ramping up its Military Presence in Syria and Preparing to Attack Iran for the Nazi regime?

FBI Takes a Bite out of Jewish Organized Crime and Political Corruption

By Delinda C. Hanley

A man is brought from a bus in handcuffs to federal court in Newark, NJ, July 23, 2009. Three New Jersey mayors and five rabbis were among 44 arrested in a sweeping federal investigation into corruption that also uncovered human kidney sales and money laundering from Brooklyn to Israel, authorities said. (Reuters/Chip East)

Headlines and photos in the mainstream media shocked readers on July 24, 2009: “Rabbis, Politicians Snared in FBI Sting.” Scenes of agents rounding up manacled suspects, including five black-clad rabbis, three New Jersey mayors and two state assemblymen, ran for a day—then the story mostly dropped out of sight, except in local papers or the Jewish press.

Those newspapers, including the New York Daily News, took to task the FBI’s informant, the son of a prominent New Jersey rabbi, a “Syrian Jew” named Solomon Dwek, who was arrested in 2006 for trying to cash $50 million in bad checks from the PNC Bank.

Dwek, a major real estate developer and gambling boat owner, helped set up stings for the FBI and IRS initially to help expose international money-laundering in Brooklyn and New Jersey, authorities said. The five rabbis, including one octogenarian, were charged with laundering “tens of millions of dirty money” they received from Dwek through nonprofit charities, yeshivas and synagogues they ran. Prosecutors say Dwek told the rabbis the money came from illegal sources, including fraudulent bank loans and sales of knockoff designer handbags. The religious leaders would allegedly deposit Dwek’s cashiers checks as charitable contributions. In return the rabbis gave Dwek “clean cash,” keeping anywhere from 10 to 15 percent for themselves or their charities.

Dwek also “led the feds to a Brooklyn rabbi, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, who allegedly boasted that he had been helping to peddle human organs on the black market for a decade,” according to a New York Post article published July 28. “On tapes, Rosenbaum allegedly refers to himself as a ”˜matchmaker’ who could find an Israeli donor for a ”˜schmear,’ or money—specifically willing to trade a kidney for $160,000.” (This raises more questions, since for religious reasons many Jews are averse to donating their own body parts.)

Solomon Dwek’s undercover work also spotlighted what has become business as usual in American politics. “Dwek and his wife made more than $190,000 in campaign contributions from 1998 through 2006 to a broad array of political leaders, including Democratic members of Congress, Republican state senators, and both parties’ state committees,” according to The Record, a Bergen County, NJ publication.

The presumably corrupt politicians accepting outright bribes during this particular FBI sting include the mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, NJ, as well as the Jersey City council president. Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano was caught on tape bragging, “I could be indicted and still get 85 to 95 percent of the vote,” according to officials.

This may be only the beginning of illegal activities exposed by the sting. Dwek turned in 44 people, said Sam Antar, another Jewish former informant who provided evidence against his cousin, Eddie Antar, and other criminals in the late 1980s. “When you have 44 people worried about going to jail, some of them are going to turn in other people. That’s what the government does. It flips witnesses,” he told The Jewish Week in New York on July 28.

“You have here an alleged crime that was committed by a group of people who shared several common characteristics,” explained Antar. “Religion, race, ethnicity and social background. It’s no different than other organized conspirators, like the mob, the Eastern European gangsters, the South American cartels. When you build bonds between people, their crimes can go undetected for very long periods of time.”

While insisting that the vast majority of Syrian Jews are law-abiding, Antar said that the community’s tight-knit nature and deep level of trust provide a natural framework for keeping secrets.

Inexplicably, the wrath of the Jewish community is focused not on the accused lawbreakers, but on the informant who agreed to wear the wire for the FBI. An Aug. 9, 2009 Haaretz article quotes two sources from the Dwek’s tight-knit Syrian Jewish community in Deal, NJ who said Rabbi Israel Dwek delivered a blistering speech about his son, in which he denounced the actions of a Jew being an informant against fellow Jews.

On a Jewish radio program attorney Sam Hirsch said Dwek should face stiff retribution because of his role as an informant. “This person should have been killed,” he told “Talkline” host Zev Brenner on July 25.

The Streets of New York

It’s been more than half a century since big-time Jewish mobsters captured such lurid headlines. In the late 19th and 20th centuries Jewish immigrants vied with Italian and Irish street gangs for control of New York streets. During prohibition (1920-1933) Jewish gangsters got involved with bootlegging and played a prominent role in the creation of organized crime in the United States. Americans readily talk about the Italian mafia, but many have forgotten that Jewish gangsters like Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky and Abe Bernstein helped establish a thriving underworld.

In 1989, Ron Gonen, an Israeli cocaine dealer, was arrested by narcotics agents in Long Island and turned state’s witness. Gonen gave authorities a chilling account of crimes committed by an Israeli gang and its leader, Yehuda “Johnny” Attias, including importing vast quantities of heroin from Amsterdam to New York, the largest gold heist in Manhattan’s history, racketeering and murder. For the next few months FBI agents listened in on Gonen’s deals and eavesdropped on his phone calls, just as they did with Dwek 20 years later. As a result, the Israeli mafia in New York disintegrated for a while, its leaders either dead, imprisoned or in hiding back home in Israel. Gonen now warns in his tell-all book, Blood and Volume, that the sons of the Israelis he knew in the 1980s have grown up to be gangsters involved in organized crime today.

Five years ago or more an Israeli syndicate surfaced in the U.S. and cornered the sale and distribution of the party drug ecstasy. In fact, Israeli criminals now have a finger in many lucrative pies all over the world:extortion, illegal gambling, drugs, money laundering, real-estate and insurance fraud, prostitution and human trafficking.

When high-rolling mobsters from six rival Israeli families began trying to assassinate each other in the summer of 2003, mainstream U.S. media were shy in their reportage, but the gangs garnered plenty of headlines in Israel and the Jewish-American weekly Forward. On July 31, 2003, Aharon Masika, known by his nickname“The Assassin,” was killed by a man dressed in ultra-Orthodox garb who fired one shot between Masika’s eyes at point-blank range. Another of Israel’s most feared mobsters, Yisrael “Alice” Mizrahi, a leader of the Israeli Mafia operating in Brooklyn during the 1980s, was blown up near his Tel Aviv office in what police called a “super-professional” job.

A Dec. 11, 2003 attempt—the sixth in one year—to bump off reputed crime boss Ze’ev Rosenstein in downtown Tel Aviv killed three passersby and wounded 33. Days earlier, Rosenstein had been brought in for questioning on suspicion of ordering the assassination of two rivals.

The Israeli cabinet met on Dec. 14, 2003, and ordered the police to step up their fight against organized crime. Police officials soon came under fire for misconduct, and covering up murder evidence. According to Israeli police chief David Cohen, crime syndicates had penetrated local governments and the formal economic sector, and equipped themselves with large quantities of explosives and arms.

In November 2005 a Yediot Ahronot crime reporter wrote that the only force capable of standing up to Israel’s crime families was the U.S. government. The gang war has continued, “and left a string of bodies across Israel, Europe and South America…as rival Israeli crime families struggled for control,” according to a Forward article published Dec. 20, 2005.

In 2006 Ze’ev Rosenstein became the first Israeli crime boss to be extradited to the U.S. He pleaded guilty to distributing ecstasy pills in Florida and was sent back to Israel to serve a 12-year sentence. (Israel amended its 1978 law barring the extradition of its criminals in 1999, on condition that they serve their sentences in Israel.)

Other small-time Israeli mobsters followed, and on July 28, 2009, the Jerusalem District Court ordered Yitzhak Abergil, his brother, Meir, and three other members of the notorious Abergil gang to be extradited to the U.S. on charges including drug dealing, extortion, money-laundering and murder. According to The Jerusalem Post, this ruling marks the first time that Israel and the U.S. have acted on a recently signed protocol between the two countries providing for the reciprocal extradition of alleged criminals suspected of belonging to a crime organization.

All Americans should welcome efforts by the Israeli police and the FBI to close down Israeli and American crime syndicates. No one is above the law, be they financiers like convicted Bernie Madoff, real estate tycoons like Dwek, rabbis, or politicians. No one wants to see organized crime rivals killing each other, and innocent passersby, on lawless hometown streets.


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Nazi “Master Plan” for Judaization of Palestine Continues Apace

Israel’s “Master Plan” for Judaization of Palestine Continues Apace
By Jane Adas


LEFT: Jamal Jum’a, coordinator of Ramallah’s Stop the Wall Campaign. RIGHT: Abu Yasser, proprietor of the Sebastia Guest House, points to gouges made by Israeli bulldozers at an archeological site in Sebastia, where John the Baptist was believed to have been buried. (STAFF PHOTOS J. ADAS)

“Right to life” has taken on a whole new meaning since participating in CODEPINK’s first Olive Harvest delegation to Palestine in early November. It began in Ramallah, with Stop the Wall coordinator Jamal Jum’a providing context for what is happening today. From the beginning Zionism has viewed Palestinian demographics as the main threat to Israel as a Jewish state. Jum’a paraphrased a statement by Gen. Ariel Sharon [see London Times, 8/24/88]: “You don’t simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away [as was done in the 1948 Nakba]. I prefer to create positive conditions that will induce people to leave”—in reality, making it impossible for them to live where they are.

To implement this, the “Israel 2020 Master Plan,” proposed as early as 1992, seeks to Judaize the Galilee, Judaize the Negev by concentrating Bedouin in American Indian-style reservations, and Judaize greater Jerusalem by walling off Palestinian neighborhoods in the “Holy Basin” outside the Old City and renaming others. For example, Israeli maps now label the Silwan neighborhood “the City of David.”

Jum’a led the delegation on a walking tour of Bir Nabala, a once prosperous residential suburb of East Jerusalem. In 2006 Israel’s separation barrier reached Bir Nabala, leaving it in the seam zone between the wall and the Green Line, detaching it completely from East Jerusalem. Today it is a ghost town. Bir Nabala lost two-thirds of its businesses and half its population, all of them East Jerusalemites. The main road is lined with empty shops and multistory buildings, dead wedding halls and vegetable markets, even the abandoned villa of the Archbishop of Jerusalem. The road ends at the wall. On the other side is an Israeli industrial park. The wall made life impossible in Bir Nabala in order to improve Israel’s demographic balance.

A fourth element of “Israel 2020” is disengagement from Gaza and the West Bank. In 2005, Israel withdrew its settlers and soldiers from Gaza and blockaded the Strip. In the West Bank, however, Jum’a explained that disengagement is within the territory, between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, via the wall, separate road systems, and checkpoints. The Israeli vision for Palestinians, he added, is “sustainable ghettos.” To that end, industrial zones have been established so that Palestinians can become independent of aid. Jum’a calls this “Do-it-yourself apartheid.”

The delegation visited Sebastia, a history-laden village northwest of Nablus and an example of Israel’s not-so-benign neglect. Our guide was Abu Yasser, proprietor of the Sebastia Guest House in the recently renovated Ottoman al-Kayed palace. Adjacent to the village is an archeological site dating back to the early Bronze Age with impressive Roman ruins. In addition, early Christians believed Sebastia to be the burial place of John the Baptist and where Salome performed the dance of seven veils. Because of these two attractions, according to Abu Yasser, Sebastia was the number one tourist site in the region until Israel began its occupation in 1967.

Since then, he explained, John the Baptist has been relocated elsewhere.

Attesting to its former popularity, a large parking lot stands outside the archeological site. Ours was the only van there. The lot is ringed with empty restaurants and tourist shops, only one of which was open. This is Area B, under joint Palestinian and Israeli control. A few steps away is the archeological site, under full Israeli control in Area C. Israel is doing nothing to protect the ruins. Nothing is labeled, no security guards, nothing roped off. Yet Israel will not allow Palestinian personnel even to clean the area. In 2014, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority came to work on the site…with bulldozers. Letters and appeals to UNESCO stopped what seemed to be a demolition project, but Sebastianites fear the Israelis will come back. It’s as though they’re thinking, if there are no Jewish artifacts and if Palestinians might benefit from tourists drawn to the site, who cares if it’s vandalized? Abu Yasser hopes UNESCO will designate the area a protected World Heritage site because, as he said, “the Roman ruins belong to all the world.”

Our delegation’s host in Palestine was Canaan Fair Trade, the processing and marketing arm of the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA), which today comprises more than 1,700 Palestinian small farmers joined in 52 cooperatives. Dr. Nasser Abufarha, who describes himself as a “social entrepreneur,” established both in 2004. He also has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and international development from the University of Wisconsin.

When Abufarha returned to Palestine to conduct research for his dissertation on war and violence, he found a community under siege. Prices for olives were low because local markets were saturated and, with limited access to global markets, Palestinian farmers were abandoning their olive trees. Because olive trees cannot survive without people nurturing them, Abufarha found this a threat to something very dear: “our cultural inheritance; our identity that connects us with our ancestors.” To help farmers stay on their land, he had the idea to aggregate small-scale farmers in order to compete in the international market.

Beginning with 25 farmers in two collectives, PFTA was able to guarantee a market, double the price of olive oil, and reach fair trade standards. It now exports 700 metric tons of olive oil annually, and is looking to increase almond production. In 2008 Canaan Fair Trade built a state-of-the-art olive processing facility with the capacity for 1,000 tons of olive oil, something Abufarha calls “our bank.” He is proud that PFTA is the only large organization in Palestine that receives no grants and is self-supporting. Mohammed, the manager of PFTA’s House for Fair Trade in Jenin, said, “Exporting Palestinian olive oil is a kind of nonviolent resistance. The political message of each bottle is ‘Palestinians deserve life.’”

Other PFTA programs include women’s cooperatives that produce soap, sun-dried tomatoes, za’atar and maftoul, and Trees for Life, a charitable program that distributes olive and almond trees to farmers who have lost some of their land to the wall or who live near settlements. You can read all about this Palestinian success story at <>, and purchase olive oil and other products as well from AET’s Middle East Books and More. ❑


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazi “Master Plan” for Judaization of Palestine Continues Apace

Nazi Tests Weapons, Tactics On Captive Palestinian Population


“The Lab”: Israel Tests Weapons, Tactics On Captive Palestinian Population

By Jonathan Cook

Scenes from “The Lab”: ABOVE: Israeli soldiers on patrol. (Gum films)

Shimon Peres, Israel’s president and the man who oversaw the country’s secret development of a nuclear bomb in the 1960s, held a star-studded 90th birthday party masquerading as a presidential conference in June (see August 2013 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p. 12).

Aside from the cloud cast by the decision of the renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking to boycott the event, it was an unabashed celebration of Peres’ life and work by a long list of the international “great and good,” from former U.S. President Bill Clinton to songstress Barbra Streisand.

However, as one Israeli website noted, this $3 million salute to the head of the Israeli state was financed chiefly by the arms industry. The three biggest funders were major arms dealers, including the honorary chair of the conference, Aaron Frenkel.

That was fitting given Israel’s stunning ascent through the international rankings of the arms trade over the past decade. Despite having a population smaller than New York City, Israel has emerged in the last few years as one of the world’s largest exporters of weapons.

In June defense analysts at Jane’s put Israel in sixth place, ahead of China and Italy, both major weapons producers. Surveys that include Israel’s growing covert trade put it even higher—in fourth place, ahead of Britain and Germany, and beaten only by the United States, Russia and France.

The extent of Israel’s success in this market can be gauged by a simple mathematical calculation. With record sales last year of $7 billion, Israel earned nearly $1,000 per capita from the arms trade—up to 10 times the per capita income the United States derives from its weapons industry.

The Israeli economy’s huge reliance on arms dealing was underscored in July, when local courts forced officials to reveal data showing that some 6,800 Israelis are actively engaged in exporting arms.

Separately, Ehud Barak, the defense minister in the last government, has revealed that 150,000 Israeli households—or about 10 percent of the population—depend economically on the weapons industry.

Aside from these disclosures, however, Israel has been loath to lift the shroud of secrecy that envelopes much of its arms trade, arguing that further revelations would harm “national security and foreign relations.”

Traditionally Israel’s arms industry was run by the Defense Ministry, as a series of state-owned corporations developing weapons systems for the Israeli army.

But with the rise of the hi-tech industries in Israel over the past decade, a new generation of officers recently discharged from the army saw the opportunity to use their military experience and their continuing connections to the army to develop and test new armaments, for sale both to Israel and foreign buyers.

In the process Israel’s arms industry was reinvented as a major player in the Israeli economy, now accounting for a fifth of all exports.

Or as Leo Gleser, who runs an arms consultancy firm that specializes in developing new markets in Latin America, observes: “The [Israeli] defense minister doesn’t only deal with wars, he also makes sure the defense industry is busy selling goods.”

Gleser is one of several arms dealers interviewed in a new documentary that lifts the lid on the nature and scope of Israel’s arms business.

Director Yotam Feldman fires an Israeli-manufactured weapon. (Gum films)

“The Lab,” which won a recent award at DocAviv, Israel’s documentary Oscars, is due to premiere in the U.S. in August. Directed by Yotam Feldman, the film presents the first close-up view of Israel’s arms industry and the dealers who have enriched themselves.

The title relates to the film’s central argument: that Israel has rapidly come to rely on the continuing captivity of Palestinians in what are effectively the world’s largest open-air prisons.

The reason is that there are massive profits to be made from testing Israeli military innovations on the more than four million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

According to Feldman, that trend began with Operation Defensive Shield, Israel’s re-invasion of the West Bank and Gaza in 2002, which formally reversed the process of Israeli territorial withdrawals initiated by the Oslo accords.

Following that operation, many army officers went into private business, and starting in 2005 Israel’s arms industry started to break new records, at $2 billion a year.

But the biggest surge in sales followed Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s month-long assault on Gaza in winter 2008-09, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Record sales in the wake of that attack reached $6 billion.

These military operations, including the most recent against Gaza, last year’s Pillar of Cloud, the film argues, serve as little more than laboratory-style experiments to evaluate and refine the effectiveness of new military approaches, both strategies and weaponry.

Gaza, in particular, has become the shop window for Israel’s military industries, allowing them to develop and market systems for long-term surveillance, control and subjugation of an “enemy” population.

Given that most Palestinians are now tightly contained in urban settings, traditional policies designed to maintain a distinction between civilians and fighters have had to be erased.

Amiram Levin, former head of the Israeli army’s northern command in the 1990s and now an arms dealer, is filmed at an arms industry conference observing that Israel’s goal in the territories is punishment of the local population to create greater “room for maneuver.”

Considering the effects, he comments that most Palestinians “were born to die—we just have to help them.”

The film highlights the kind of inventions for which Israel has become feted by foreign security services. It pioneered robotic killing machines such as the airborne drones that are now at the heart of the U.S. program of extra-judicial executions in the Middle East. It hopes to repeat that success with missile interception systems such as Iron Dome, which goes on display every time a rocket is fired out of Gaza.

Israel also specializes in turning improbably futuristic weapons into reality, such as the gun that shoots around corners. Not surprisingly, Hollywood is also a customer, with Angelina Jolie marketing the bullet-bending firearm in the film “Wanted.”

But the unexpected “stars” of “The Lab” are not smooth-talking salesmen but former Israeli officers turned academics, whose theories have helped to guide the Israeli army and hi-tech companies in developing new military techniques and arsenals.

Theorists of Death

Shimon Naveh, a manically excited philosopher, paces through a mock Arab village that provided the canvas on which he devised a new theory of urban warfare during the second intifada.

In the run-up to an attack on Nablus’ casbah in 2002, much feared by the Israeli army for its labyrinthine layout, he suggested that the soldiers move not through the alleyways, where they would be easy targets, but unseen through the buildings, knocking holes through the walls that separated the houses.

Naveh’s idea became the key to crushing Palestinian armed resistance, exposing the only places—in the heart of overcrowded cities and refugee camps—where Palestinian fighters could still find sanctuary from Israeli surveillance.

Another expert, Yitzhak Ben Israel, a former general turned professor at Tel Aviv University, helped to develop a mathematical formula that predicts the likely success of assassination programs to end organized resistance.

Ben Israel’s calculus proved to the army that a Palestinian cell planning an attack could be destroyed with high probability by “neutralizing” as few as a fifth of its fighters.

It is precisely this merging of theory, hardware and repeated “testing” in the field that has armies, police forces and the homeland security industries of the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America lining up to buy Israeli know-how.

The lessons learned in Gaza and the West Bank have useful applications, the film makes clear, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Or as Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a former defense minister turned industry minister, explains in the film, Israel’s advantage is that “people like to buy things that have been tested. If Israel sells weapons, they have been tested, tried out. We can say we’ve used this 10 years, 15 years.”

Yoav Galant, head of the Israeli army’s southern command during Cast Lead, points out: “While certain countries in Europe or Asia condemned us for attacking civilians, they sent their officers here, and I briefed generals from 10 countries so they could understand how we reached such a low ratio [of Palestinian civilian deaths—Galant’s false claim that most of those killed were Palestinian fighters].

“There’s a lot of hypocrisy: they condemn you politically, while they ask you what your trick is, you Israelis, for turning blood into money.”

The film’s convincing thesis, however, offers a disturbing message to those who hope for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

That is because, as Israel has made its arsenal more lethal and its soldiers ever safer, Israeli society has become increasingly tolerant of war as the background noise of life. If Israelis pay no price for war, then the army and politicians face no pressure to end it.

Rather, the pressure acts in the opposite direction. With the occupied territories serving as an ideal laboratory, regular attacks on Palestinians to test and showcase its military systems provide Israel with a business model far more lucrative than one offered by a peace agreement.

Or as Naftali Bennett, the far-right industry minister, observed—both hopefully and euphemistically—after a trip to China in July: “No one on earth is interested in the Palestinian issue. What interests the world from Beijing to Washington to Brussels is Israeli high-tech.”

But possibly worse still, as foreign governments line up to learn from Israel’s experience, the question arises: who else among us faces a Palestinian future? ❑


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The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right


Gideon Levy

Grant Smith: I’m very pleased to welcome back Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy. In his column in Haaretz, he’s called for greater Israeli empathy toward the suffering of Palestinians. He’s an extremely well-known commentator because of his willingness to take on tough issues. Consequently, he’s no stranger to very intense opposition. His columns about politics, money, how Israel’s military occupation is changing Israeli society, and U.S.-Israel relationships are very widely read, reposted and discussed around the world. Who doesn’t get in their inbox a Levy column once in a while? His vocal opposition to Israel’s last major invasion and bombing of Gaza took place against an enormous backdrop of widespread support for the military operation within the Israeli public, and so he gave voice to those who were secretly against the war but cautious about voicing such opinions openly.

He was the recipient, with Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb, of the 2015 Olof Palme Prize for their fight against the occupation and violence. He has also received the Peace Through Media Award at the 2012 International Media Awards, the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008, the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001, the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997, and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996.

I would like to encourage everybody to send in your comment cards. We have a number of students and interns who are circulating and picking those up so that we can have a very wide-ranging set of questions for Gideon when he finishes.

His book, The Punishment of Gaza, was published in 2012 by Verso Publishing House in London and New York. He will be available to sign some copies of that book during the reception. But now please welcome Gideon Levy.

Gideon Levy: Thank you. Thank you, Grant. I was wondering whom you were talking about. Can I stay here and not go back home?

It’s my third time here with these wonderful people and the third time—on one hand, I feel so much at home. I know so many faces. You all get younger, I get older. You all get more energized and more devoted, and I get more and more desperate. But it puts me also on a challenge because, already on my second time here I started my speech—as far as I can recall—with a concern that I’m going to repeat myself and bore you to death, because by the end of the day I’m a singer of one song and you’ve heard it already. But the organizers were sophisticated enough this time, and they gave a very strange title to my speech which doesn’t enable me to sing my song. I have to fit to a new song, so I’ll do my best. But I’m really, really so grateful for all the wonderful people who brought me here and Catrin, my partner. This day was so interesting for us, so enriching. In Hebrew we have this expression, “We came to strengthen and we came out strengthened.” And this is what I feel after a conference like this.

Maybe you are holding the key for any kind of change, for any kind of hope, because, as I’ll try to claim later on, the hope for change within Israeli society is so limited. It’s nonexistent. When the United States is still so crucial, people like you really can make the difference. People like you can really be a game changer, and I mean it. Never before have Israel and the United States shared the same values as in these days. The only place on earth that Donald Trump is beloved, admired, adored and appreciated is Israel. The only place that Binyamin Netanyahu is admired, adored, beloved is the United States. If this is not shared values, what is shared values?


Staff Photo Phil Pasquini

Some of my ex-best friends are on their way now to the real thing, to the AIPAC conference which will start on this weekend—politicians, journalists, to what I call the annual drug dealer’s conference. They will discuss how many more drugs will they send to the Israel occupation-addicted state, how much more friendship will they express, and how much more money and weapons will they supply. I can tell you in the United States, as an Israeli, we don’t have a bigger enemy than the Jewish lobby. We don’t have a bigger enemy for justice, for peace, for equality than those who think that if you supply the drug addict with more drugs you are his friend; that if you support him blindly and automatically whatever he does, you are a friend. No, my friends, those are not friends, those are enemies. I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to be here today and not there tomorrow.

The title of my lecture speaks about Zionism, and Zionism is one of the two religions of Israel. As a religion, as with any religion, you can’t question it. The second religion is obviously the religion of security. So between Zionism and security, anyone in Israel who dares to raise any kind of question mark is immediately perceived as a traitor. It’s impossible to describe to you what does it mean to say that you have some questions about Zionism. Imagine yourself if you question today the other religion, if you claim that the Israeli idea of the Israel Defense Forces [as the world’s most moral army] are not the most moral army in the world—let’s say they are the second most moral army in the world—how dare you!

We are getting it with the milk of our mothers, even though my mother was not such a Zionist, I think. But it’s very hard to understand from the outside how an ideology became part of the DNA, how an ideology became something which must be taken for granted and there is no room for any question marks. I know it about myself. I know how I grew up. I know what I thought about those very, very, very few who claimed that they were not Zionist or, God forbid, anti-Zionists. They were the Satans, even though they were Jews and Israelis.

I don’t recall one example on earth in which an ideology is so totalitarian, is so saintly, is so holy that you have no right to put any kind of doubts or question marks—nothing. Not about the past, not about the future, not about the present—nothing. It’s unbelievable when you live in a state in which, if you declare that you don’t accept this ideology, you are not part of the place. You are not part of society. You have no place there. Go to Gaza. Go to Damascus. Don’t stay here.

This leads me to the title. Because when it comes to Zionism—and friends, we have to face reality—when it comes to Zionism, there is no difference in Israel between left and right. When it comes to the occupation, which is part and parcel of Zionism, there is no meaningful difference between left and right in Israel. When I mean left and right, I mean this so-called Zionistic left, Labor and others, and the right-wingers. The difference is only by rhetoric. So those of you—and I know some of my Israeli friends who bought already some champagne bottles—ready to open them the moment that Binyamin Netanyahu will be impeached or even go to jail, and they will celebrate how Israel is coming from darkness to light, how freedom and peace is around the corner because we got rid of the tyrant, the right-winger, the fascist and after this the light is around the corner, I have bad news for you. Because by the end of the day, when you judge the real policy—not the rhetoric—yes, Labor and left are having much more sympathetic rhetoric between other sins that I committed.


Staff Photo Phil Pasquini

One of my sins was working for Shimon Peres for four years. He didn’t stop talking about putting an end to the occupation. He didn’t stop talking about it’s not democratic and not justice that one people governs another people. Beautiful ideas that Binyamin Netanyahu and those right-wingers would have never said. But by the end of the day, Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres is the founding father of the settlements project. So what do we get out of this nice rhetoric except showing a nice face of Israel and doing the very, very, very same crimes?

I’m here not to spread optimism, as you might know me by now. But when it comes to the basic, Israel is really united. I still remember, Grant, those days in which the joke was that three Israelis shared—sorry, I spoiled it. That two Israelis share three views. Today three Israelis share hardly one view and it will be not only Zionist, but pro-occupation. As you might know, occupation is off the table in Israel. Nobody talks about it. Nobody discusses it. Nobody’s concerned about the occupation. It is like one of those things—like the rain, like the sun—force majeure. Some like it. Some like it less. But nobody thinks that anything can be done about it. It doesn’t bother us so much, that’s the truth. It’s only half an hour away from our homes, but who hears about it and who cares about it?

The crimes are on a daily basis—really, a daily basis. The media hardly covers them. If they cover them, it will be always according to the Zionist narrative. A terrorist of 12, a girl of 14 with scissors in her hands, as an existential threat to the state of Israel. A girl who is slapping a soldier is someone who deserves a life sentence, not less than this. A girl that one hour before, her cousin was shot in his head 50 meters away from her home. So now the Israeli army claims that this was fabricated. I mean, even the Israeli propaganda has lost its shame. When Israel dares—dares—to claim that this child, Mohammed Tamimi—whom I met a few days after he was injured, he lost half of his brain—that he fabricated his injury, then you see that Israel is really desperate. If Israel needs this kind of level of propaganda, if Israel is getting so low in denying shooting in the head of a child of 15 and claiming that he fell from his bicycle, then you know that things are getting worse. Maybe it’s a hope for a new beginning, but right now look how low does it get there.

All those are passing Israeli society as if nothing is happening. No question marks, very little moral doubts if at all, a cover up, living in denial like never before. I cannot think about one society which lives in such denial like the Israeli society. Again, it includes left and right, except for the very devoted extreme left activists, let’s remember them. But they are really small in [numbers] and totally, totally, delegitimized. So when I speak about left, I mean Labor: Yeshuati—the new promise of Israeli politics, maybe the next prime minister—Yair Lapid and all the rest. In many ways they’re worse than the right-wingers because they feel so good about themselves, because they are so sure that they are so human and universal and moral. While the right-wingers at least don’t cover up, they say, yes, we are fascists. So what’s wrong about it? We are Jews and we have the right to be fascists. Because we are the chosen people, we have the right, and nobody’s going to tell us what to do.

When it comes to the central left, as it’s called—I can hardly pronounce it, central left, what do those people have to do with left? But when it comes to the central left, it’s a rare combination, you feel so good about yourself. You are not one of those fascists. You are not one of those nationalist racists, you are a liberal. But the occupation must go on, and the child—Ahed Tamimi—must stay in jail forever, and the crimes must continue because we have no other choice. Which brings me to the set of values which I see as the core of Israeli society nowadays, three or four sets of values which explain everything, in my view.


Staff Photo Phil Pasquini

The first very deep-rooted value, let’s face it, is the value that we are the chosen people. Secularists and religious [alike] will claim so. Even if they don’t admit it, they feel so. The implementation is very simple: If we are the chosen people, who are you to tell us what to do? Who are you? Who is the international community to tell Israel what to do? International law, wonderful thing—it doesn’t apply to us. It applies to any other place on earth, but not to Israel, because we are the chosen people. Don’t you understand it?

Asylum seekers—88 percent of the Eritreans are recognized as refugees in Europe. You know how many of them in Israel? Less than 1 percent—less than 1 percent! Why so? Because we are a special case, you don’t expect us to absorb 40,000 asylum seekers. How can you expect us? We can’t. We can’t. We are the chosen people and we don’t need to prove it.

The second very deep-rooted value is obviously the value of “we the victims”—not only the biggest victims, but the only victims around. I know many occupations which were longer than Israeli occupation, some were even more brutal, even though it’s getting harder and harder to be more brutal than the Israeli occupation. I don’t recall one occupation in which the occupier presents himself as the victim—not only the victim, the only victim. If to paraphrase here, if to quote here the late Golda Meir—whom I quoted also last time, I know, but it is so unforgettable I have to use it again. She once said that “we will never forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill their children.” We are the victims. We are forced to kill their children—poor us. As the victim and the only victim in history, again, it [gives] us the right to do whatever we want, and nobody is going to tell us what to do because we are the only victims.

To this there’s a third very deep-rooted value, and this is the very deep belief—again, everyone will deny it, but if you scratch under the skin of almost every Israeli, you’ll find it there: The Palestinians are not equal human beings like us. They are not like us. They don’t love their children like us. They don’t love life like us. They were born to kill. They are cruel. They are sadists. They have no values. No manners. Look how they kill us.

This is very, very deep-rooted in Israeli society, and maybe that’s the key issue, because as long as this continues, nothing will move. As long as most of the Israelis don’t perceive the Palestinians as equal human beings—we are so much better than them, we are so much more developed than them, and we are so much more human than them. As long as this is the case, all our dreams—and we have some dreams, and I’ll get to them—all our dreams will never become true as long as this core issue will not change. So you have a society with a deep conviction in its justice, in its right way, with very, very few question marks. Anyone who dares to raise a question mark is immediately, in a systematic way, is immediately erased, demolished. It’s unbelievable how this machinery works in Israel.

We are talking here about how efficient the Jewish lobby is here. Look at the Jewish [group], so-called in Israel: Breaking the Silence. For years we were dreaming about the day that soldiers will stand up and say the truth, not Gideon Levy, the liar, the traitor who tells us all kind of stories about Israeli crimes. No. Soldiers who have committed those crimes will just come and testify about what they have been doing. And here it came.

Over 1,000 testimonies of soldiers who in a very brave way gave their testimonies about what they have been doing in the occupied territories throughout the years. This should have been an earthquake in any healthy society. It’s our sons. But what happened? Nothing. Breaking the Silence was immediately delegitimized by the establishment, with the typical collaboration of the Israeli media. I’m afraid to say that Breaking the Silence is crushed today. This is just one example.


Staff Photo Phil Pasquini

Israeli society, especially in the last years, has a very clear intention to crush any kind of criticism from within and from outside. This is going through legislation, through campaigns, through the media. It’s just in its beginning. In this way, I must say, there might be a slight difference between so-called left and right in Israel, because the Israeli left has some kind of commitment, at least for the democracy for the Jews, because, as you might know, Israel is maybe the only place on earth with three regimes.

We are having three regimes. One is the so-called liberal democracy for Jewish citizens, which has many cracks now, but it is still functioning. I have total freedom in Israel, this must be mentioned here. I write whatever I want. I appear on TV. I can’t claim that someone is shutting my mouth, except people in the street who wouldn’t like to see me or spitting at me or who are  threatening me. But by the end of the day this freedom, which I don’t take for granted and might not last for long, this freedom is there. So that’s the first regime in the front.

Then comes the second regime, a very discriminative regime toward the Israeli Palestinians: the Palestinians of ’48, the Israeli citizens who are Palestinians, 20 percent of the population. They are discriminated in any possible aspect of life, but they gain formal equal civil rights. They vote. They elect. They could be voted [for]. They can be elected. That’s the second regime.

Obviously the third regime, which Israel is hiding, is the military occupation, the military regime in the occupied territories. Here I allow myself to say with no doubt that this is today one of the most brutal, cruel tyrannies on earth. Not less than this. I repeat it—the military occupation in the occupied territories is today one of the brutal, cruel tyrannies on earth. How dare someone call Israel the only democracy in the Middle East, when in its backyard there is one of the most cruel, brutal tyrannies in the world? How can you do it? Can you be half pregnant? Can you be half democratic? Can you be a democracy in the front and a tyranny in your backyard?

Here comes the next lie that we should fight: the claim that it is all temporary. No, my friends, it was never meant to be temporary. It is not temporary and it will not be temporary, if it depends on Israel. There was never an Israeli statesman in an important position and in an influential position, prime minister or so, who really meant to put an end to the occupation—none of them. Some of them wanted to gain time in order to strengthen the occupation. Some others wanted to gain time by getting all kinds of interim agreements, just for gaining time. Some others wanted to be perceived by the world, to be hugged by the world, as people of peace. But none of them had the intention to put an end to the occupation. How do I know it? I don’t know what is in their hearts, I know only one thing: Israel has never stopped building settlements. Anyone who builds one house in the occupied territories has no intention whatsoever to put an end to the occupation! And those bluffs should be called.

Here I come to you all, I’m very, very skeptical about change from within the Israeli society, because life in Israel is far too good and the brainwashing system is far too efficient. To have a dialogue today with most of Israelis is, even for me, almost an impossible job. Really, it’s many times I find myself together with Catrin, where we meet ordinary Israelis, good people, they would volunteer anywhere. But when you start to talk with them about the occupation, after two minutes you want to just tear your hair [out]. I mean, you don’t know what to do, you don’t know where to start, the brainwashing is so deep and the denial is so deep. The ignorance, the ignorance, they know nothing. Anyone in this hall knows so much more about the occupation than any average Israeli, including those who serve there in the army. They know nothing, and what they know is wrong.

So to expect a change from within this society, when restaurants are packed, when life is beautiful, when there is hardly terror in Israel—I mean what they call terror, with those exploding buses and all those things. The only violent attacks are mainly now in the occupied territories. Not in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is living a very, very peaceful secure life. So, to expect this society to stand up and to say no more—out of what, what incentive? So as long as this balance is that Israel is either gaining out of the occupation or not paying anything for it, as long as any kind of Israeli doesn’t feel that the occupation is something you should think about, why should he be bothered? He doesn’t pay. He’s not punished. And even if he’s paying, he does not make the linkage. Because even if there were those years of the second intifada which were really, really bloody, with exploding buses and suicide bombers, nobody made the linkage to the occupation. If you dare to make the linkage, you will be immediately accused as a traitor, because how dare you, because you justify terror. So they explode buses because they were born to kill. It has nothing to do with the occupation. So there was no progress or change, even after the violence.

So if life is so good, there’s really no reason to go for change. Therefore, the hopes for change from within the Israeli society are really, really very minimal. Again, with all due respect to those groups who are fighting, who are not giving up, who are struggling, who are going to demonstrate every Friday in another village against the fence, against the occupation, against all those things—wonderful people, including many, many young people—but, finally, it is a small group and delegitimized. Therefore, people like me, my only hope is from people like you. This is right now the only hope.

We are hearing here today all day, including from Grant’s very, very knowledgeable lecture, figures that are depressing even to me. The Jewish lobby is so strong yet. But by the end of the day, let’s see it in a more realistic way. They are moving now the American Embassy to Jerusalem—big victory for Israel, big victory for the occupation. By the end of the day, what does it mean? It means that the United States has declared officially the death of the two-state solution. It means that the United States has declared officially what we knew for many, many years: that the United States is not and cannot be a fair mediator. It declared that the United States is officially the friend of the occupation, and only of the occupation. It declared officially that the funeral of the two-state solution and the funeral of America as a mediator in the Middle East went to its way already.

For the long run, I see it as an achievement. End of the masquerade. End of the masquerade and of the lip service. I’m very grateful—you’ll be surprised—to Donald Trump, who brought us there. Now I just feel sorry for one person—but you know, this is not so much. I really feel so much sympathy, empathy and sorrow for Ambassador David Friedman. He will have to move from Herzliya by the sea, from this lovely villa, to Jerusalem. Believe me, he deserves it.

The ambassador of the settlements wears the costume of the American ambassador. He’s even not the ambassador of Israelis. He’s ambassador of the settlements project—and not of all settlements, just the extreme ones, if there is a difference—[who] will have to move to Jerusalem. What is a bigger gift for all of us than to see him among the Orthodox, among the tensions, among the border police at every corner, with all the violence and the tension and the occupation in every step you step in Jerusalem? What will be more of a gift for us than to see him there, rather than to see him in front of the sea of Herzliya? So we shouldn’t give up.

If I may, with all my modesty, my ideas for what you should do—whom I am to tell you? I hardly know what to tell myself to do—but still, I saw it in three main issues right now. One must be to fight this unbelievable process of criminalization of criticizing Israel. This must stop, and we shouldn’t give up. We heard today that it’s not only about BDS anymore. Now it’s about any critic of Israel. The fact that someone who raises his voice for justice is criminalized is first of all a domestic problem. What kind of society is this? What kind of society is this that criminalizes those who support justice and praises those who support the violations of international law, the crimes?

So this should be one of our goals, not to give up. When they call you anti-Semites—here it’s easier, in Europe they get paralyzed. If you call someone anti-Semite in Europe, he’s paralyzed. And they take advantage of it in a very manipulative way. Don’t let them. You should be proud in raising your voice. BDS right now is the only game in town. BDS is a legitimate tool. Israel is using it by calling the world to boycott Hamas, to boycott Iran. You have the full right not to buy products from sweatshops in South Asia. You have the full right not to buy products from a shop which sells meat. You have the full right not to buy products from a country or from an area that you feel that something is wrong there. What does it mean that you should apologize for boycotting something that deserves boycott?

BDS, one can claim that it has not yet reported about real success, economic successes, maybe. But we have one proof why BDS is the right thing to do: Look how Israel gets nervous about BDS. If they get so nervous about it, you can know that’s the right way.

Grant, if you’ll invite me next year again, or in two years, I’m not sure I will be able to say those sentences, because those sentences very soon will become a violation of Israeli law. You are not allowed to call people to boycott Israel, but let’s challenge them.

The second challenge that I see for you is to try to tear, especially in this country, the lie that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We need it desperately. It’s all about the truth. It’s all about telling the people the truth. As I said before, a state which possesses one of the most brutal tyrannies on earth cannot be called a democracy—period.

The last lie that you have to fight, or I allow myself to suggest to you to fight, is the lie that all of this is temporary. After 50 years of occupation—why would we say after 50 years? After 100 years of occupation or after 70 years of occupation—because ’48 never stopped, let’s remember it. It’s the same policy. Those are the same methods, same lies, same brainwash, same explanations and excuses. As long as this continues, nobody can claim that this is temporary. The occupation is there to stay and we should call the bluff and say this colonialistic project has no intention to come to its end, even though here and there are some statements or politicians who claim so. No, you never had an intention to put an end to it, and you don’t have it.

As it says zero, zero, zero in my timer—is it an appreciation for my talk, Grant, three zeroes? In any case, my last sentence would be what should be the solution. It was mentioned here; therefore, I’m not getting into elaborating on it, but I just feel committed to say so. For many years I was a great supporter of the two-state solution. I saw that the two-state solution is a reasonable and achievable solution. Total justice will never be achieved in this part of the world, but I saw that this will be a relatively fair and just solution, even though a lot of injustice is about it.

Above all, we are [talking] about 22 percent [of the land] to the Palestinians and 78 percent to the Jews. While we are facing today—I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the very dramatic fact that today, already today, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, they are exactly 50-50: 6 million Palestinians and 6 million Jews. If you count 2.5 million in the West Bank, 2 in Gaza and 2 in Israel, you get over 6 million Palestinians, and there are 6 million Jews, roughly speaking. Maybe I’m wrong in some figures, but it is roughly half and half. Two peoples equal, right now.

So if someone thinks that one people can dominate another people—and let’s get back to Zionism and to the title of this talk—the basis of Zionism is that there is one people which is privileged over the other. That’s the core. This cannot go on. If it goes on, it has only one name. Here we call it apartheid.

So I totally join your analysis today [pointing to Dr. Virginia Tilley], which I learned a lot from, and others. Even if it sounds now like a utopia, even if it sounds now like something unthinkable, it’s time for us to change the discourse. It’s time for us to talk about equal rights; about one person, one vote. And let’s challenge Israel. Israel will say no. Then we can officially declare Israel as an apartheid state, because there is no other way. If you deny equal rights, you are not a democracy officially. It’s not a question of point of view, of opinion. It’s a matter of fact. Israel obviously will say no. But we shouldn’t give up, because by the end of the day I truly believe that Palestinians and Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, can live together. We tried it in the past. It is being tried today in all kinds of small frameworks. We can really live together, believe me.

I’d rather have a Palestinian prime minister than Yair Lapid or Binyamin Netanyahu. So by the end of the day we should be clear about the hope, about the vision. We should understand that the road is still very, very long to go. We’re just in the beginning. But unlikely, at least for me, unlikely in the last years in which I continued to say, almost in my sleep, two-state, two-state solution, two-state solution—knowing that it will never happen, knowing that no one is going to evacuate 700,000 settlers, knowing that nobody meant to do it, and knowing that it will not solve the basic problem.

So we have a vision, we have meanwhile some goals. There’s so much work to do for you and for us, so let’s not waste more time on talking. Thank you very much. [Standing Ovation]

Questions and Answers


Staff Photo Phil Pasquini

Grant Smith: We’ve got time for just a couple of questions. He managed to outpace a lot of these questions, so it’s rather easy. I’ll let him take a sip of water first. But one of the questions is, could the occupation continue to exist without United States’ support? Please elaborate.

Gideon Levy: Could the occupation continue? Yes. Could it continue without the United States? Even not for a few months. This must be clear: if there would have been an American president who would really like to put an end to the occupation, the occupation would have ended a long time ago. There was never an American president who wanted it so.

Grant Smith: The other question is extremely interesting. An esteemed scholar made this argument to me last night. I’m not going to say who it was, but his first name starts with an N and the second name starts with an F. Anyway, this is his argument. It says, what do you say to those who say that BDS furthers Israeli narratives about being victims and needing security?

Gideon Levy: This is a very good question. We know from the past that many times pressure from the outside united Israel—but only for the first time, for the first while, for the first period of time. By the end of the day, we have to confront the Israelis with their reality, because they are totally disconnected from reality. I want to see the Tel Avivian who will realize that if he wants to go to Europe, he needs a visa. If he wants to export some of his goods, he’s going to work very hard to do so—if at all. Then he will ask himself, is it worth it? Is it really worth it? I can assure you that after the first rhetoric of “we are all united against the whole world, which is always against us, and they all hate us,” then rationality will come into the picture.

I once thought that Austrian Airlines can bring peace. How can this be? Because in the last attack of Israel on Gaza in 2014, some airlines stopped flying to Israel, it happened to be that Austrian was the first one. I think it lasted like 20 hours—but in those 20 hours, Israelis went mad. I mean, Israelis lost their temper. It was crazy. Then I thought, imagine yourself that Austrian Airlines—that’s just a daydream—Austrian Airlines declares that as long as the occupation continues, Austrian Airlines is not flying to Israel. The occupation comes to its end within days. When Israelis will be prevented to get to Macy’s for their shopping or to get to Galeries Lafayette in Paris for their shopping, this will be the day that the occupation will be over.

Grant Smith: Thank you. So this question says, it seems many Israelis who become fully disillusioned simply leave Israel. Is there any hope of Israel changing from within when you have so many people with somewhat similar views to yours leaving?

Gideon Levy: Unfortunately, we can’t count on this. Yes, there are good Israelis who cannot take it anymore, and some of them are leaving. I hear more and more Israeli parents, which I never heard before, who wish that their children will not stay there. This I never heard before, because for parents it was always a catastrophe if some of their children would leave. You hear it more and more, obviously in very certain circles. But by the end of the day, when we look at the figures, those are not meaningful figures. Yes, there are some good ones who leave. Yes, many more are talking about it. But by the end of the day, this will not be a game changer, not for the time being.

Grant Smith: Last question. It says, “You have many readers in Israel and abroad, and you can say so many things that journalists in the U.S. can’t seem to find a way to do. Why is it that you get to be Gideon Levy and nobody else does?”

Gideon Levy: As if it is such a great fun to be Gideon Levy! I wish I wasn’t—I wish I was a restaurant critic, going from one restaurant to the other and writing my truths about the food that I had, and nobody would have raised this question. Really, it’s not for me to answer. As I said here last time, I always say, I was really a good boy in Tel Aviv. I was really raised up to be something else. Something went wrong, but now it’s too late to correct it. I’m trying, but I really don’t have any other choice but to continue. Many times people say, keep up your good work and so on and so forth and so forth. I don’t have really any other choice. It’s even not a question of choice. It’s—I’m doomed to it, yeah.

But seriously speaking, the fact that I can still raise my voice, as I said before, should not be taken for granted. If this regime, this government, or a very similar government, will continue in the same way, they will get to us as well. Haaretz is an island in Israel. Don’t get it wrong. Haaretz is not Israel. Haaretz is really an island in a very, very stormy ocean. They’ll do anything possible to close Haaretz down. The fact that I have such a wonderful home was such a—really, I don’t think there is one publisher in the world, when he gets a protest or a reader or a subscriber who is very angry at me, you know what he tells them? He tells them, “Haaretz is not the newspaper for you, don’t read it.” A publisher—a publisher who is really struggling for the existence of Haaretz, we are really struggling for each reader and each subscriber—and he says, you know, it’s not for you. It’s not for you.

So these are really very little hopes, but maybe it’s good to conclude this afternoon with some kind of hope and optimism. As long as Haaretz is there, I will be there—hopefully. As long as this voice is still being raised, maybe there is a hope. I don’t know. But thank you so much again for coming today. Thank you.


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right

Are Yemeni kids, like Palestinian kids, children of a lesser God?

Israeli and Saudi war crimes

It seems the UK trains killers and supplies weapons with no regard for the humanitarian consequences.

By Stuart Littlewood

The toxic situation (by which I mean the continuing mega-slaughter of innocents) surrounding the Saudi crown prince’s royal welcome to London will have reminded many of the Vietnam-era chant of peace activists in response to the lies and blunders and excuses at that time: “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”

This was borrowed and amended in 2006 to “Peretz, Halutz, hey hey hey! How many kids did you kill today?” by Israeli peace activists demonstrating outside the home of Israeli army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. Peretz was the Israeli defence minister.

It’s the old story: they were only doing what they were told, following orders. Bright enough to fly a complex military jet that delivers death in abundance but too dim to tell right from wrong.

On the night of 23 July 2002 Halutz ordered a one-tonne bomb to be dropped on an apartment building in a densely populated residential area of Gaza as part of Israel’s assassination or “targeted killings” programme. It was the home of senior Hamas commander Salah Shahade and his wife and family. They and seven members of the family next door and a dozen more civilians were killed, mostly children. Eight other houses were destroyed and up to 150 people injured. As a result, 27 Israeli pilots signed a letter of protest refusing to fly assassination missions over Gaza and the West Bank.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the operation to execute Shahade, his wife and kids and neighbours, and many more non-combatants, a success. But human rights organizations said that dropping a one-tonne bomb in the middle of the night on a tight-packed civilian neighbourhood was a war crime. The Israeli peace bloc Gush Shalom, for example, wanted to turn the pilot over to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In an interview with Haaretz Halutz was reported as saying to his pilots:

You aren’t the ones who choose the targets, and you were not the ones who chose the target in this particular case. You are not responsible for the contents of the target. Your execution was perfect… There is no problem here that concerns you. You did exactly what you were instructed to do…

It’s the old story: they were only doing what they were told, following orders. Bright enough to fly a complex military jet that delivers death in abundance but too dim to tell right from wrong.

Asked whether the operation was morally wrong in view of the civilian casualties, Halutz replied that the planning included moral consideration and a mistake or accident didn’t make it wrong. Asked how he felt when he dropped a bomb, he said:

I feel a light bump to the plane as a result of the bomb’s release. A second later it’s gone, and that’s all. That is what I feel.

According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights, in the period since September 2000 Israelis have killed 2,017 Palestinian children and Palestinians have killed 135 Israeli children. That’s a slaughter rate of nearly 15 to 1, thanks to psychopaths like Halutz.

If the mental attitude of the Saudi pilots bombing Yemen, and their British “advisers”, is anything like that of Israel’s pilots and their commanders, it’s no surprise that Yemen civilians are being massacred.

We’re told that British military experts are providing targeting training to Saudi forces for cruise missile attacks. They also deliver field artillery and weapons-locating radar courses. But this “targeting training” hasn’t prevented the bombing of schools, hospitals and weddings, and the appalling civilians casualties that go with it, leading to claims that UK training doesn’t focus enough on compliance with international humanitarian law.

Aljazeera reports that a United Nations panel examined 10 air attacks in 2017 that killed 157 people, and found the targets included a migrant boat, a night market, five residential buildings, a motel, a vehicle and government forces. “This is a report to the UN Security Council that has not been made public… It’s very hard hitting and very critical of all of the parties in the war in Yemen.”

The panel asked the Saudi-led coalition for the rationale behind these attacks but got no answer. As they were carried out by precision-guided munitions it seems they were indeed the intended targets. The panel said:

Even if, in some cases, the Saudi-led coalition had targeted legitimate military objectives, the panel finds it highly unlikely that international humanitarian law principles of proportionality and precautions in attack were met.

Added to this is the supply of billions of pounds worth of UK weaponry. The UK government claims its support to the Saudi-led campaign is necessary to combat terrorism and insists it is not involved in targeting decisions or military operations. In which case, why get involved at all? Complicity in what has come to be regarded as a war crimes programme was inevitable from the start. Besides, killing innocents does not make us safer. As for Theresa May’s repeated claim that Saudi intelligence has saved hundreds of British lives, I’d like to see proof. Otherwise I simply don’t believe it given that Saudi Arabia generates or backs much of the international terror we see today.

Impending Brexit – deliberately mismanaged, it would appear, to open up an economic black hole – provides the excuse for stepping up trade and cooperation with some of the world’s most repulsive regimes. Such is the mounting disgust of the British public that I won’t be surprised to hear another new version of the peace chant: “Salman, May: hey, hey, hey! How many kids did you kill today?”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Are Yemeni kids, like Palestinian kids, children of a lesser God?

Nazi Gestapo lies can no longer salvage its image

Israeli army’s lies can no longer salvage its image
Israeli army brutality against Palestinian children

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

It is has been a very bad week for those claiming Israel has the most moral army in the world. Here’s a small sample of abuses of Palestinians in recent days in which the Israeli army was caught lying.

A child horrifically injured by soldiers was arrested and terrified into signing a false confession that he was hurt in a bicycle accident. A man who, it was claimed, had died of tear-gas inhalation was actually shot at point-blank range, then savagely beaten by a mob of soldiers and left to die. And soldiers threw a tear gas canister at a Palestinian couple, baby in arms, as they fled for safety during a military invasion of their village.

In the early 2000s, at the dawn of the social media revolution, Israelis used to dismiss filmed evidence of brutality by their soldiers as fakery. It was what they called “Pallywood” – a conflation of Palestinian and Hollywood.

In truth, however, it was the Israeli military, not the Palestinians, that needed to manufacture a more convenient version of reality.

Last week, it emerged, Israeli officials had conceded to a military court that the army had beaten and locked up a group of Palestinian reporters as part of an explicit policy of stopping journalists from covering abuses by its soldiers.

Long history of deception

Israel’s deceptions have a long history. Back in the 1970s, a young Juliano Meir-Khamis, later to become one of Israel’s most celebrated actors, was assigned the job of carrying a weapons bag on operations in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. When Palestinian women or children were killed, he placed a weapon next to the body.

In one incident, when soldiers playing around with a shoulder-launcher fired a missile at a donkey, and the 12-year-old girl riding it, Meir-Khamis was ordered to put explosives on their remains.

That occurred before the Palestinians’ first mass uprising against the occupation erupted in the late 1980s. Then, the defence minister, Yitzhak Rabin – later given a Hollywood-style makeover himself as a peacemaker – urged troops to “break the bones” of Palestinians to stop their liberation struggle.

Child-grabbing in the dead of night

The desperate, and sometimes self-sabotaging, lengths Israel takes to try to salvage its image were underscored last week when 15-year-old Muhammad Tamimi was grabbed from his bed in a night raid.

Back in December he was shot in the face by soldiers during an invasion of his village of Nabi Saleh. Doctors saved his life, but he was left with a misshapen head and a section of skull missing.

Muhammad’s suffering made headlines because he was a bit-player in a larger drama. Shortly after he was shot, a video recorded his cousin, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, slapping a soldier nearby after he entered her home.

Ahed, who is in jail awaiting trial, was already a Palestinian resistance icon. Now she has become a symbol too of Israel’s victimisation of children.

So, Israel began work on recrafting the narrative: of Ahed as a terrorist and provocateur.

It emerged that a government minister, Michael Oren, had even set up a secret committee to try to prove that Ahed and her family were really paid actors, not Palestinians, there to “make Israel look bad”. The Pallywood delusion had gone into overdrive.

The hundreds of children on Israel’s incarceration production line each year have to sign confessions – or plea bargains – to win jail-sentence reductions from courts with near-100 per cent conviction rates.

Last week events took a new turn as Muhammad and other relatives were seized, even though he is still gravely ill. Dragged off to an interrogation cell, he was denied access to a lawyer or parent.

Shortly afterwards, Israel produced a signed confession stating that Muhammad’s horrific injuries were not Israel’s responsibility but wounds inflicted in a bicycle crash.

Yoav Mordechai, the occupation’s top official, trumpeted proof of a Palestinian “culture of lies and incitement”. Muhammad’s injuries were “fake news”, the Israeli media dutifully reported.

Deprived of a justification for slapping an occupation soldier, Ahed can now be locked away by military judges. Except that witnesses, phone records and hospital documentation, including brain scans, all prove that Muhammad was shot.

This was simply another of Israellywood’s endless productions to automatically confer guilt on Palestinians. The hundreds of children on Israel’s incarceration production line each year have to sign confessions – or plea bargains – to win jail-sentence reductions from courts with near-100 per cent conviction rates.

It is more Franz Kafka than Hollywood.

Extra-judicial executions

A second army narrative unravelled last week. CCTV showed Yasin Saradih, 35, being shot at point-blank range during an invasion of Jericho, then savagely beaten by soldiers as he lay wounded, and left to bleed to death.

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It was an unexceptional incident. A report by Amnesty International last month noted that many of the dozens of Palestinians killed in 2017 appeared to be victims of extra-judicial executions.

Before footage of Saradih’s killing surfaced, the army issued a series of false statements, including that he died from tear-gas inhalation, received first-aid treatment and was armed with a knife. The video disproves all of that.

Over the past two years, dozens of Palestinians, including women and children, have been shot in similarly suspicious circumstances. Invariably the army concludes that they were killed while attacking soldiers with a knife – Israel even named this period of unrest a “knife intifada”.

Are soldiers today carrying a “knife bag”, just as Meir-Khamis once carried a weapons bag?

A half-century of occupation has not only corrupted generations of teenage Israeli soldiers who have been allowed to lord it over Palestinians. It has also needed an industry of lies and self-deceptions to make sure the consciences of Israelis are never clouded by a moment of doubt – that maybe their army is not so moral after all.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Gestapo lies can no longer salvage its image

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