Some of you out there might remember when we had to check under our beds every night to make sure there wasn’t a Commie hiding under it ….
Or ‘taking cover’ under our schooldesks for protection against a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union ….
‘Those were the days my friend …. some hoped they’d never end’
But, thankfully they did!
For the time being, that is. Now the zios are Commie searching at US universities …. can we call this a part of The New McCarthyism?
The Jerusalem Post (once known as The Palestine Post) published the following dribble in today’s opinion section. Proof that certain opinions are best kept to themselves 😉
The region: How the far Left controls campuses
By Barry Rubin 

There is no university more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist and anti-Israel line in the US than Georgetown U.

There is no university more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist and anti-Israel line in the United States than Georgetown University, specifically it’s programs on Middle East studies.

Every conference it holds on the Middle East is ridiculously one-sided. The university has received tens of millions of dollars from Arab states, and it houses the most important center in the United States that has advocated support for a pro-Islamist policy.

One day in 1975, not long before he died, the great professor Carroll Quigley walked up to me when I was sitting in the GU library.

Everyone was in awe of this brilliant lecturer (remind me to write him a tribute explaining why). I thought he might have remembered me from my extended explanation of why I was late for class one day – I had rescued a sparrow and taken it to a veterinarian (true, by the way). I couldn’t think of another reason he would want to talk to such a lowly person.

“May I sit down?” he asked.

“Of course!” I said, stopping myself from adding that it was an honor.

Without any small talk, he launched into a subject that clearly weighed on his conscience: “There are many who don’t like your people.”

What was he talking about? Jews? He explained that he had just come from a meeting where it had been made clear that the university had a problem: It was getting Arab money, but on the secret condition that while it was for teaching about the Middle East, none of it could be used to teach about Israel. The purpose of the meeting had been how to solve this problem. The solution? Simple: They would call the institution to be created the “Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.” It was explicitly expressed that this was how the problem would be dealt with.

Quigley expressed his disgust to me.

Ever since then, I have referred to that institution as the “Center for Contemporary Arab Money.”

Georgetown University also accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi – who was, of course, very active in promoting anti-American terrorism – to establish an endowed chair in Middle East studies. When the university president backed down due to bad publicity, the professor who had been named to the post responded by calling the Jesuit university president a “Jesuit Zionist.”

This same professor – and I am not joking when I say that by today’s standards he was a fine scholar and comparatively decent man – was a personal friend of Palestinian terrorist leader Nayif Hawatmeh, and an outspoken Marxist.

To his credit, he told me in 1974 on a visit of mine to Lebanon, “One day we will be ashamed of all the terrorism [against Israel].”

But I don’t think he ever spoke out publicly.

At my PhD oral exams, he said something like: “I don’t care whether you believe it or not, but give the Marxist analysis of development in the Middle East.” He did not ask me to critique it.

As a Marxist, even though he was the son of a Muslim imam he did participate in the traditional glass of scotch after they passed me. And they did pass me, something I doubt would happen today. These professors really did believe in scholarship and balance in the classroom.

ANOTHER PROFESSOR, however (I was sure he was not on my board – I had had open arguments with him), was an example of the new generation of indoctrinators. He had served in the Peace Corps and adopted two Kurdish children in the shah era. This teacher’s radicalism and knee-jerk hatred of Israel was so terrible that we used to joke about it. A right-wing Zionist in the class conducted an experiment: He wrote an exaggerated Marxist anti-Israel rant. It read like satire. He got an “A” from this professor. In retrospect, however, we should have seen that this wasn’t an exception, but a sign of far worse to come.

In one graduate seminar, yet another professor – an older anti-Israel guy but still a conservative and a gentleman of the old school – couldn’t stop the class from laughing as it discussed the ridiculous new book Orientalism, by Edward Said. We easily pointed out the holes in the book and Said’s claims of perpetual Western bias against Arabs. We viewed Orientalism itself as outdated but respectable, too anthropological and generalizing for our tastes. We saw ourselves as historians and social scientists.

But the idea that Orientalists were agents of imperialism was untrue. They were great scholars, though some did do political work in which their views weren’t shaped but often mistakenly implemented, just like such things happen today. Who would have believed that this ignorant and malicious book could ever take over the entire field and destroy scholarship? I guess we should have known, based on the fate of the professor I had openly argued with. He was the new-style leftist referred to above, the kind typical today. While I disliked him, he was clearly not a racist but the very model of the new Politically Correct falsifier.

Ironically, he was fired after being accused by an African student of alleged racial bias because he gave the student a low grade. No kidding.

I didn’t feel this was a victory, however, but rather that he had been mistreated. I faced similar situations. I will never forget how my job interview at another university, the only time I ever applied for a teaching position, was interrupted by one professor screaming at me, “How could you ever possibly represent the narrative of the Palestinian people?” To which I responded that obviously, I didn’t think I was supposed to represent it, merely teach about it.

Note that the professor at that interview who would have been willing to hire me was an Arab liberal. But he tried to hint to my naive younger self why I didn’t have a chance. You should understand that at that time, in the early 1980s, I had never written about the Arab-Israeli conflict. And although this professor had me in his Arabic class, I don’t think he remembered me, and I’m certain he knew nothing about me. No, I think the problem was my last name.

ALL OF this reminiscing is prompted by a news story I just read. An Arab professor at Georgetown, a place flush with Arab money, full of apologists for anti-American Islamism, a place where no Israeli or pro- Israel student dares to tread, has just launched a campaign claiming that he was discriminated against and fired for anti- Israel bias! So this is the long-term strategy: Take over a university or at least the relevant departments; spend 30 years or more in biased hiring practices and dishonest, propagandist “scholarship”; and no matter how many insiders know the truth, keep claiming the university is biased against the Left and defamers of America and Israel.

Those who don’t know better may believe it. The problem for this Egyptian professor is that there was no organized campaign against him, and no one outside the university even knew who he was. The fact is that his scholarly work, while highly politicized, wasn’t very good. Obscure media appearances are (as of yet) not sufficient to demonstrate academic excellence.

You could call this the “Juan Cole principle” after a radical professor whose pronouncements on contemporary Middle East issues were frequent – even though he was a specialist on religious disputes in the Middle Ages – and who missed out on a good job because of his lack of scholarly work, then claimed bias.

This tactic was sufficient in one notorious case at Columbia University for a crackpot extremist to get a promotion, although it didn’t work at Duke University.

At any rate, we now see that crying bias is the first refuge of scoundrels. The real victims never get far enough along in the process for them to build a case and can never muster support from a biased media, either.


Greek PM not rushing to uproot nazism in Greece today …


Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff




The Anatomy of Islamophobia: Rehash an OLD Story as New: Set LOOSE in Internet Land: How the Clarion Project Did It

FROM By Robin

To open, what this story is not about. It is not about the Qatif Girl. She is but a prop in this instance, used by an organization that has rightfully been named as one of the top propagators of Islamophobia, The organization is the Clarion Fund, founded in 2006 by Canadian-Israeli Raphael Shore. Read about this organization HERE giving their history, and their agenda.

Now for the unfolding of the Anatomy of Islamophobia: the REHASH of an old news story, set lose on the Internet. How I saw this unfold (and it’s still unfolding as more and more sites are posting this “news”)

On Thursday Sept 26 Nick Kristoff posted the following on his Facebook page, linking to an article at Examiner.com by Timothy Whiteman (who Loonwatch wrote about in a very interesting article) Note how many followers Nick Kristoff has (623,734) Notice how many likes he received for the post.(1,084)



Then commenters, including myself, did just a bit of digging and realized that the article he had linked to, the story, had an uncanny resemblance to the story of the Qatif Girl. However, what the Whiteman article failed to note was that the Qatif Girl story was old news, she had been pardoned in December 2007 by King Abdullah. Whiteman’s  story is alarming! It is NOW and the girl has had her punishment increased to 200 lashes just this week! Due to  proof of how this story seemed eerily similar to the Qatif Girl, Nick Kristoff wrote:


More comments ensued, namely by myself, noting that the Whiteman article that he had posted, sourced an article on the Clarion Fund website as the only source of his “news”.  Note the date Whiteman says Clarion posted the article: Sept 22, 2013. 
I asked Kristoff to look into the the organization that had rehashed an old story as “news”, leaving out the resolution of the story, the Qatif Girl’s pardon. I asked him to look into the Clarion Fund because they are a top propagator of Islamophobia. He ignored me and eventually deleted the entire post writing: “
Nicholas Kristof Folks, I don’t have confidence in this article any more, and I’m going to delete this post. I think it’s the 2007 Qatif Girl case, just recycled.
When I tried linking to the Clarion Project link Whiteman gave, it didn’t work (at that time). So I went to The Clarion Project’s Facebook page and lo and behold it was there. That link worked. The article has since been removed from the Clarion Project’s Facebook page. As well, the article date on the Clarion Project’s website has been changed from September 22, 2013 to November 15, 2007 (in keeping with when the news was actually news) As well an UPDATE has been added at the bottom which reads
Update: Since publishing this article it has been reported that Saudi King Abdullah took note of the negative media coverage surrounding this case and that resulted in his direct intervention in the case and the pardoning of the woman.” 
That update was added yesterday morning after I left a comment there that has been deleted, calling them “Liars”, this isn’t news, and the Qatif Girl was pardoned in December 07. 

Unable to find the article in cache with the original date of Sept 22, I have found other proof that Clarion published the article as “news” on Sept 22, 2013. As well, since they did, this “news” has spread to page after page of Whiteman’s article and Clarion’s original article. Here is the screenshot of Googling this phrase “Clarion Saudi Arabia lashing: Note the date.

Now, here is what I would like you to do, read the comments on Whiteman’s article. It’s the usual, Saudi Arabia of course is mentioned, but most of the comments (as usual) are bashing all Muslims. Why? Because this is how it works in the Islamophobe Industry, search out every single thing you can find negative regarding Muslims and then paint all Muslims with that brush. Paint them all as women abusers. (and in Whiteman’s case call the Clarion Project a “women’s rights news portal which is beyond laughable) Yes Saudi Arabia is rife for use by the Islamophobe Industry but this is NOT about the Qatif Girl or Saudi Arabia, this is about smearing all Muslims any chance you can get, even if it means rehashing OLD news and omitting that the woman in question has been free since December 2007 and never received ANY lashings and lashings are certainly not imminent for her NOW. Indeed it is Whiteman’s article that is spreading like wildfire across the internet, now on page after page NOT saying she was pardoned, but rather she is in danger NOW. Shark chum, and boy oh boy are they biting. They always do.Now, just as Whiteman picked up Clarion’s Sept 22nd “news” story, another journalist has also picked it up through other sources writing after Clarion’s article and written

his own story at opposingviews.com. Jonathan Vankin has listed his sources as New York Times,Daily Bhaskar and AP. Note the dates on the sources. The NYT article is from 2007, the AP article is from 2007 but the Daily Bhaskar article is dated Sept 27, 2013 and gets it ALL wrong saying the woman was raped on Sept 22 just last week! Notice that the Daily Bhashkar article sites the Clarion Project as the source. (apparently not reading it very thoroughly because Clarion states the case goes back to 2006) How could Jonathan Vanig who has so many credits to his name get it so wrong? Answer, he did, and he didn’t put two and two together that the 2007 articles had an entirely different date on which the woman was raped! I have emailed Mr. Vankin but as of this moment he has not responded to me. How many times is Mr. Vankin’s article now going to be shared in Internet Land? How many times is it going to be used NOW as shark chum to bash all Muslims? 

This latest shark chum all started with the Clarion Fund on Sept 22.  They have attempted to cover their tracks, but it doesn’t work, for the proof is there above, they published on Sept 22 and since then one more “incident” has hit Internet Land. A woman is going to be lashed 200 times! Look at those EVIL Muslims who are doing this. That old saying, “Everything old is new again” applies.

To liars.

(I will post updates as they occur)

Read: Fear Inc.

Read CAIR’s Sept 2013 report 

Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States


Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff






A declassified US Army guide designed to help personnel recognize the logos of “Terrorist, Insurgent and Militant” groups includes a Palestinian flag.

US Army guide designates Palestinian flag as “terrorist” logo

 Ali Abunimah 

A declassified US Army guide designed to help personnel recognize the logos of “Terrorist, Insurgent and Militant” groups includes a Palestinian flag.

The website Gizmodo describes the guide:

Written by the U.S. Army Training And Doctrine Command in 2009, this 60-odd page document (PDF) was designed to function, in the words of its creators, as “a hip pocket” reference book for soldiers in the field. Categorized by geography, it groups the logos and insignia of “insurgents, terrorists, paramilitary, and other militant groups worldwide.” That includes everything from photos of Russian mafia tattoos to Hezbollah logos, as well as a thorough auxiliary list of branding from the “media wings” of each group. It’s a visual taxonomy of terror.

But on page 31 of the army guide itself, a simple Palestinian flag appears next to the name “Abu Nidal Organization (Sunni).”

The group, notorious in the 1970s, is designated as “inactive” by the US Department of Homeland Security-funded National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

Abu Nidal, the alias of Sabri al-Banna, died in Iraq in 2002.

Every other organization listed in the US Army guide’s “Israel-Palestine” section includes a specific logo. In other cases, such as in the “Central Africa” section on pages 43-44 of the guide, the notation “Not Available” is included next to the names of groups where no logo appears.

An Internet search did not reveal an example of a specific logo for the Abu Nidal Organization. Did the author of the Army guide, identified by Gizmodo as David Friedman, have the same problem and simply substitute a Palestinian flag?

In any case, even if the Palestinian flag were indeed the logo of any specific organization, the guide provides no warning or caveat that the Palestinian flag by itself should not be “recognized” as the symbol of a “terrorist, insurgent or militant” group given its global recognition as the flag of a country.

But that is what any army personnel relying on the guide would do.


The guide, which includes everything from Salvadoran gangs to Lebanon’s Hizballah to the Earth First environmental movement, appears to contain a lot of confused and incorrect information and careless categorizations typical of government agencies that lump all perceived enemies under the label “terrorist.”

For example, it arbitrarily categorizes many groups as “Islamist,” including, bizarrely the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – both secular.

The Jewish extremist group, Kahane Chai, the only Jewish group in the section, is labeled “Radical Israeli” with no mention of its explicitly Jewish ideology.

The PLO’s dominant Fatah faction is described as “Sectarian Palestinian,” another nonsensical label.

US army training “terrorists”?

It is also bizarre that the PLO and its main faction Fatah should appear in a guide to “terrorist” groups at all.

PLO security forces, dominated by Fatah, and nominally commanded by US-backed Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, have been trained and funded for years by the United States.

Indeed, much of the training was done under the leadership and supervision of US Army general Keith Dayton.


Written FOR


Still another attempt of the ‘Chosen’ to ghettoise themselves …. This time on the Internet



The next stage of the website will implement functions like online charitable funds, crowd-funding, homes exchange, travelling together and an idea incubator, among other resources. It will also be involved in organizing professional conferences, forums and seminars.
Jewishnet: A Facebook for Jews

With up to 80,000 daily visitors, jewishnet.ru aims to increase number of followers to 18 million, become voice for international Jewish community


The birth of Facebook radically reinvented the way we socialize and interact with each other.

In fact, while many critics condemn the social networking site, blaming it for the loss of personal interaction, lack of privacy and developing socially inept individuals, Facebook has proven successful at uniting communities and cultures, establishing solidarity amongst various groups, and even finding long lost friends.

The popularity of Facebook has, naturally, brought about the rise of many similar social networking sites that are tailor made to cater to the needs of various kinds of population and cultures.

One such website is Jewishnet.ru – a Jewish social platform of the new generation targeting to create integrated information space for Jewish users and organizations. It is currently is in the alpha version stage.

With up to 80,000 daily visitors (and counting), Jewishnet.ru aims to preventing assimilation and stimulate Jewish self-education as well as to connect fast-assimilating Jews across the Russian-speaking world.

The idea of the project was born in Ukraine in 2011 when Roman Gold, along with Igor Kozlovskiy, Co-founder of Jewishnet.ru, felt that Russian-speaking Jewry had no platform to connect and share news and interests.

“The Jewish community faces several problems today in terms of Jewish identity due to stereotypes of Israel and Jewish people, low prestige level of Jewish education, intermarriages and conversion to other religions, etc.,” Kozlovskiy tells Shalom Life.

“With this website, we are trying to help find a solution to these problems,” he adds. “Jewishnet.ru is now a universal platform for Jewish users and Jewish communities. It’s a communication tool with unaffiliated audiences and leaders of opinion in the Jewish world.

“We try to encourage education through an unobtrusive format. We also have open discussions, a business platform, clubs, start-up support and charity initiatives.”

‘Jewish voice for the whole world’

Jewishnet.ru also has segments dedicated to couch surfing, dating and travel buddies.

Currently, the site is among the three leading Jewish Russian-speaking recourses in the former Soviet Union.

“Its brand is well-known for its quality and as a professional and successful Jewish resource playing an important role in the life of the Jewish communities, supporting and objectively covering events from around the world,” says Kozlovskiy.

“We have supported the organization and mass media coverage of more than 30 successful conferences in Israel, Ukraine, Russia, Belorussia and the USA,” he adds.

“We have also held over 10 rallies in support of the State of Israel around the world gathering more than 500 people. Two MASA Programs – ‘Mabat-Media’ and ‘Art Tel New Media’ have been launched successfully.”

Jewishnet.ru is currently supported by a variety of outstanding Jewish figures, including Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky; Ukraine’s Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich; Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, chief rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk region (Chabad); Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt; Kenny G, one of the most famous musicians in the world; and many others.

The website has also created an impressive pool of journalists and public figures of more than 600 people, who help develop a strategy for objective coverage of all things Jewish, Israeli-reality and to fight all kinds of anti-Semitism.

Jewishnet.ru has presented exclusive content from some of the most currently renown Jewish authors including Kseniya Svetlova, Dr. Zoya Kopelman, Dina Rubina, Evgeniy Satanovskiy, Zeev Chanin and many others.

“Over 1,200 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and structures all over the world are our partners at the moment,” Kozlovskiy says.

The next stage of the website will implement functions like online charitable funds, crowd-funding, homes exchange, travelling together and an idea incubator, among other resources. It will also be involved in organizing professional conferences, forums and seminars.

Jewishnet aims to approach the global market and become a multilingual platform, targeting English at first and then trickling into other languages.

Kozlovskiy is ambitious and has huge plans for Jewishnet.ru besides increasing its unique users per day to 12-18 million.

“In six years, we want the platform to become a de facto role model for managing social, educational and other activities for Jewish and non-Jewish organizations interested in strengthening cooperation with Israel and/or Diaspora,” he says.

“We would like to see our platform become a global influential and well-known Jewish resource in the world, so that every Jew, in any corner of the world, would have an opportunity to find something useful, meaningful and needed on our resource,” Kozlovskiy adds.

“We would like to become a Jewish voice for the whole world, uniting the world Jewry in one community.”



The report admits that HRW did not have physical access to the site and had based its study on Skype interviews with ‘More than 10 witnesses and survivors’ made over a period of two weeks between 22 August and 6 September. These were supplemented by video and photo footage and other data from an unnamed source or sources.

Is Human Rights Watch Manipulating Facts about Syria?


A still taken from the video analyzed by Eliot Higgins. Higgins deduced that this is a Syrian Army operation entirely from the red berets worn by some of the personnel. (Photo: Supplied)
A still taken from the video analyzed by Eliot Higgins. Higgins deduced that this is a Syrian Army operation entirely from the red berets worn by some of the personnel. (Photo: Supplied)

By Richard Lightbown


On 21 August 2013 a series of chemical attacks were perpetrated in the Ghouta suburbs of eastern Damascus. Sources say that between 281 and 1,729 civilians were killed, while Medcins Sans Frontiers reported around 3,600 were injured in the attacks. On the same day UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon instructed the UN Mission already in Syria to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in Khan al-Asal, Sheik Maqsoos and Saraqueb to focus their efforts on the Ghouta allegations.

Before the UN Mission had reported its preliminary findings Human Rights Watch (HRW) jumped the gun on 10 September with its own report written by Peter Bouckaert, the organization’s Emergencies Director. The report admits that HRW did not have physical access to the site and had based its study on Skype interviews with ‘More than 10 witnesses and survivors’ made over a period of two weeks between 22 August and 6 September. These were supplemented by video and photo footage and other data from an unnamed source or sources. It is unclear then, exactly how many exposed survivors were interviewed by HRW or who the other witnesses were.

In compiling the report HRW had also drawn on the technical services of Keith B. Ward Ph.D., an expert on the detection and effects of chemical warfare agents. However the organisation did not disclose that Dr Ward is employed by Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency of the United States government. The HRW investigation was also ‘assisted by arms experts including Nic Jenzen-Jones […] as well as Eliot Higgins […] who collected and analysed photos and videos from the attacks.’

Mr Jenzen-Jones’s LinkedIn profile does not list any training or experience with armaments, and his only qualifications appear to be ‘certified armourer and ammunition collector’ – which probably relates to the Firearms Amendment (Ammunition control) Act 2012 of the state of New South Wales, Australia. In reports on the story on his own blog ‘The Rogue Adventurer’, Mr Jenzen-Jones relies on data taken uncritically from sources such as the New York Times and even a Los Angeles Times article based on Israeli intelligence Apparently he is not familiar with Israeli falsified reports such as the alleged use of guns by passengers on the Mavi Marmara against Israeli commandos (which remain uncorroborated despite Israeli forces seizing virtually all photographic data from the more than 600 passengers, along with film from security cameras located throughout the ship and Israel’s own constant infra-red surveillance from boats on both sides of the ship and at from least two aircraft). As former CIA director Stansfield Turner is alleged to have said, Mossad excels in PR, and not in intelligence.

HRW’s other expert, Eliot Higgins is an untrained analyst who was recently talked-up into some kind of expert by Matthew Weaver in the Guardian. On his Brown Moses Blog of 28 August 2013 Mr Higgins featured a video sent to him by a source allegedly showing the type of munition linked to the chemical attacks being fired close to Al-Mezzah Airport near Daraya. The video has been filmed at some distance and none of the upwards of 20 men roaming around the site can be clearly seen. An unmarked Mercedes semi-trailer lorry apparently delivers the rocket which is loaded (this is not seen) onto an unmarked white rigid lorry on which the launcher is mounted. The men aimlessly roaming around are mostly wearing army fatigues, although others, including some on the launcher, are in civilian clothes. A number of those in military uniform are wearing red berets. Based solely on this headgear, and the fact that the Syrian Republic Guard as well as the military police are issued with red berets, Mr Higgins is emboldened to state that ‘…this video shows the munition being used by the government forces […].

Stills taken from the video analysed by Eliot Higgins. Mr Higgins has deduced that this is a Syrian Army operation entirely from the red berets worn by some of the personnel. The rocket shown can also carry conventional explosives.

In a previous posting on 26 August, Mr Higgins estimated from shadows that a rocket shown in photographs between Zamalka and Ein Tarma had been fired from north of the site, and he set about trying to locate the launch site with the help of correspondents. Hoping to find the exact location, he speculated that the 155th Brigade missile base was a possible site for the crime. This line of investigation quietly disappeared after the UN Mission reported that the missile they had examined at Zamalka/Ein Tarma was pointing precisely in a bearing of 285 degrees, i.e. nearer west than north.

Meanwhile Mr Bouckaert in his report two weeks later reported that two of his witnesses told HRW that the rockets came from the direction of the Mezzeh Military Airport. These accounts also became inconvenient later when, as we shall see, HRW seized on the azimuths provided by the UN Mission and dashed off on a new wild goose chase. Apparently HRW now considered that nearly 20 per cent of the ‘witnesses and survivors’ it had interviewed were no longer credible regarding the direction of the rockets.

Nevertheless on page 1 of his report Mr Bouckaert felt confident enough to declare,

“Based on the available evidence, Human Rights Watch finds that Syrian government forces were almost certainly responsible for the August 21 attacks, and that a weapons-grade nerve agent was delivered during the attack using specially designed rocket delivery systems.”

The ‘evidence’ produced on p20 of the report amounts to nothing more than supposition. Mr Bouckaert merely states his skepticism that the rebels could have fired surface-to-surface rockets at two different locations in the Damascus suburbs; he asserts that the types of rockets thought to have been used are not reported to be in possession of the opposition nor is there any footage showing that they have mobile launchers suitable; and he states that the large amounts of dangerous nerve agent would require sophisticated techniques beyond the capabilities of the rebels. No actual evidence is cited to show that this weaponry is Syrian Army equipment. On the contrary the Soviet 140 mm rocket referred to on p15 requires a BM-14 rocket launcher, first produced in the late 1940s. The Syrian Army equipment list produced by Global Security shows none of this obsolete weaponry in stock but instead lists around 300 of the BM-21 launcher which replaced it. The BM-21 launches a 122mm rocket, so the Army would be unable to fire the 140mm rocket that rebels found and the UN Mission inspected at Moadamiyah. Mr Bouckaert might also recall that Israel has a common border to Syria and is known to have stocks of sarin amongst the vast collection of illegal chemical and biological weaponry amassed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) at Nes Ziona. YouTube videos also show Syrian rebels in possession of mobile rocket launchers. HRW really did assemble a Mickey Mouse team of researchers when they cobbled together this report.

Nevertheless HRW’s reputation and distribution ensured that their allegation was distributed by agencies such as Associated Press and reported by outlets which included the BBC, CBS, New York Post and other international media such as the Tasmanian newspaper The Examiner and the Jakarta Post None of these outlets questioned the veracity of this very serious allegation against the Syrian Army.

On 11 September, a day after the HRW report was published, the International Support Team for Mussalaha in Syria published its unique and important analysis of documentation nominated by US intelligence. Having carefully and thoughtfully analyzed the data, including a number of images also published in the Bouckaert report, the study discovered not only widespread manipulation of evidence, but in the tradition of BBC reporting in Syria, they also discovered that photographs of victims in Cairo had been described as victims of a chemical attack in Syria. This preliminary study concludes that there has been gross media manipulation and calls for an independent and unbiased International Commission to identify the children who were killed and try to find the truth of the case. This writer has not seen any HRW document which refers to the ISTEAMS study.

The UN Mission report was published six days after the Bouckaert report on 16 September. This disclosed that the Mission had been allowed a total of only seven-and-a-half hours on-site in the two suburbs which are both located in opposition-controlled areas. During that period they had experienced repeated threats of harm and one actual attack by an unidentified sniper on 26 August. Nevertheless they had collected samples and ‘a considerable amount of information’ along with ‘primary statements from more than fifty exposed survivors including patients, health workers and first-responders.’ In fact the statements had been taken in interviews with nine nurses, seven doctors and 36 survivors. The Mission concluded that there was ‘definitive evidence of exposure to Sarin by a large proportion of the survivors assessed’ and it stated that it had been informed that victims began suffering effects following an artillery barrage on 21 August 2013. All interviews, sampling and documentation followed procedures developed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Health Organization.

The report states that ‘several surface to surface rockets capable of delivering significant chemical payloads were identified and recorded at the investigated sites’ but only five impact sites in total were investigated by the Mission (presumably because of the time constraints imposed on them by those who controlled the areas).

The UN report is not without its contradictions. In a summary in their Letter of Transmittal the authors wrote ‘In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples, we have collected, provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Zamalka…’. And yet none of the 13 environmental samples taken from Moadamiyah were found to have any traces of sarin, although one of the two laboratories conducting the analyses found degradation products of sarin in four of the thirteen samples while a further sample was found to contain degradation products by the other lab. Although two of the samples were unspecified metal fragments, none of the samples was specifically described as being part of a rocket. Does the discovery of degradation products in 38 per cent of the samples (and only 23 per cent of the tests) along with a complete absence of the chemical agent itself constitute ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that Moadamiyah was attacked by surface-to-surface rockets containing sarin?

Most important however are the two caveats included in the report. On p 18 the inspectors wrote concerning the Moadamiyah site,

“The sites have been well travelled by other individuals both before and during the investigation Fragments and other possible evidence have clearly been handled/moved prior to the arrival of the investigation team.”

Similar tampering of the evidence was noted at the other site as the report notes on p22,

“During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.”

HRW was quick to seize on the UN report to substantiate its own allegations, although some adjustments were now necessary to get their allegations to dovetail neatly into the report’s findings. On 17 September Josh Lyons used the azimuths cited for the rockets in Appendix 5 of the Mission report  to produce a cross reference which suggested that the military base of the Republican Guard 104th Brigade had been the launch site for the chemical weapons. (Mr Lyons called this ‘Connecting the dots’. By coincidence, when referring to the Sellström Report on 19 September, John Kerry  said ‘But anybody who reads the facts and puts the dots together, which is easy to do, and they made it easy to do, understands what those facts mean.’? ‘Facts’ can mean anything if distorted enough, Mr Kerry.)

Once again no supporting evidence was provided to explain why HRW blames the Syrian Army, and all previous locations suggested for the launch were conveniently forgotten. To recap, Peter Bouckaert reported two witness statements that the rockets came from the direction of the Mezzeh Military Airport (more than 6 kilometres from the Republican Guard base) and HRW’s ‘expert’ Eliot Higgins was convinced that they were fired from north of the target sites.

Referring to unspecified ‘declassified reference guides’ Mr Lyons tells us that the 140mm artillery rocket could have reached Moadamiya, 9.5Km from the Republican Guard’s base. Yet even if a seventy-year old rocket system could indeed fly that far, Mr Lyons is forgetting that the Syrian Army no longer has these outdated systems. It therefore no longer has 140mm rockets, one of which is alleged to have been responsible for part of this crime against humanity. He is also forgetting that no actual chemical agent was found at Moadamiya, so it is premature to start producing cross references from that site. And above all he is deliberately omitting to tell his readers about the caveats written for both target sites by the UN inspectors that clearly and unequivocally suggest that the evidence has been tampered with at both sites which are located in opposition-controlled areas.

None of these inconvenient truths have stopped the HRW juggernaut. On 20 September the Guardian published an article by HRW staffer Sarah Margon promoting both the Bouckaert report and the Lyons’ calculations (apparently unaware of the contradiction between the two). She ended up by calling for an Obama/Kerry commitment to ensure there is ‘accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people’. But of course she was not writing about Fellujah or Gaza or the IIBR at Nes Ziona.

(The author is grateful for assistance from Josh Lyons of HRW Emergencies Division in the preparation of this article.)

– Richard Lightbown contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.




Since the 3 July military coup that overthrew Morsi, Palestinian fishermen from Gaza have come under unprecedented attack by Egyptian naval forces and at least three have been injured.


Video: Along with Israeli attacks, Gaza fishermen face new danger from Egyptian navy

 Ali Abunimah

In this video report for The Real News Network, Yousef Al-Helou speaks to Gaza fishermen, including survivors of recent Egyptian naval attacks, and the father of two fishermen who were arrested.

Many Palestinians in Gaza depend on the sea for their livelihood, but fishing has become increasingly difficult and dangerous as Israeli attacks on fishermen have reduced the zone where they can fish to just six nautical miles from Gaza’s shore.

This is a violation of the Oslo agreement which sets the fishing zone at 20 nautical miles.

For the past few years, Gaza fisherman were allowed to cross into Egyptian waters under the supervision of Egyptian forces, according to Nizar Ayyash, head of the Gaza fishermen’s syndicate.

This helped relieve the pressure as catches shrunk.

But since the 3 July military coup that overthrew Morsi, Palestinian fishermen from Gaza have come under unprecedented attack by Egyptian naval forces and at least three have been injured.

Ayyash said the attacks came without any warning. “We never expected from our Egyptian brothers to open fire on us,” Ayyash said.

Five others were arrested and an Egyptian military court sentenced them to a year in jail, allegedly for fishing in Egyptian waters.

In a new attempt to break Israel’s tight blockade, activists in Gaza are working to transform a fishing boat into “Gaza’s Ark” which will attempt to set sail from Gaza to export goods.

Due to the Israeli siege, virtually no Palestinian-produced goods are allowed out of Gaza.



Written FOR


Hatred has a long history …
Yet the ADL remains silent …
This is not the first time Palestinian Muslims’ right to worship has been violated by Israeli authorities. Earlier in the month the Ibrahim Mosque was closed to Muslim worshipers during the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah.
[upsetting photo of female soldiers, apparently wearing shoes, sitting on the mosque’s carpet which is marked for prayers]

Israel to Close the Ibrahimi Mosque for Two Days


Israeli Authorities decided to close the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron on Sunday and Monday to allow Jewish settlers to perform their rituals.

Israeli Authorities informed the director of Wafq administration about their decision to close the Mosque for Palestinian worshipers while allowing Jews free access to the holy site’s hallways and yards for the Jewish celebration of Yom Kippur.

The Wafq administration stated that the Israeli decision is a violation of Muslims’ right to worship, and he has called for an intervention to stop the violation of the Mosque.

This is not the first time Palestinian Muslims’ right to worship has been violated by Israeli authorities. Earlier in the month the Ibrahim Mosque was closed to Muslim worshipers during the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah.



He is no Roger Waters, the singer who opted to boycott Israel. We and he don’t have a single, brave and honest performer like Waters. Not one.

Israel has no Roger Waters

Those who have attacked, poisoned, uprooted and burned will be coming this evening to applaud Ehud Banai, a singer representing Israel’s heart and soul.

By Gideon Levy


Pink Floyd co-founder and bass guitarist Roger Waters performs his 'The Wall' live concert in Buchar
Pink Floyd co-founder and bass guitarist Roger Waters performs his ‘The Wall’ live concert in Bucharest, August 28, 2013. Photo by Reuters

There’s a show on tonight. Hundreds will put on their holiday finest, maybe dressing in white. They’ll grab their weapons and kids, and off they’ll go. They’ll park their cars in the parking lot that was especially arranged (without permission, of course) on land owned by the Shraytah family, and in they’ll go to the West Bank site that was once the Palestinian village of Sussia.

Until 1986, it was home to hundreds of residents who lived in caves and niches there. They were expelled by Israel in an “expropriation for public use,” with the administration of the site turned over to the nearby Jewish settlement (also called Sussia) as an additional source of income – “for public use,” of course.

At the rear of the site, the settlers had set up several huts, where the Palestinians became squatters. They were evicted from their new location twice, until the High Court of Justice ruled in 2001 that a “mistake” had been committed. That happens, but the threat of eviction is again hovering over the Palestinians.

Throngs of people will be coming to Sussia this evening. Some will be people who have poisoned Palestinians’ wells, attacked Palestinian shepherds, and uprooted their trees and burned their fields. People from Sussia, the Lucifer farm, the Maon farm, Mitzpeh Yair, Avigayil, Mitzpeh Asahel, and elsewhere. A popular singer will be performing in this violent no-man’s-land, this apartheid district. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome that performer of strong opinions, Ehud Banai.

Banai was evasive on his Facebook page: “I wanted to come to perform at Sussia despite my views … to convey a message that we should come together in the spirit of the Sukkot holiday,” he wrote.

He apologized to the “residents” – meaning, of course, just the settlers – for his previous, premature notice that his show was being canceled. He had come to an agreement with the head of the local settlement council, Zviki Bar-Hai, that his concert would not take place – “due to the not-good atmosphere that developed around it” – but immediately backed down, for reasons that are not clear.

A resident of the Palestinian village of Sussia, Nasser Nawaj’a, responded to Banai, also on Facebook. “When you perform at the site, Mr. Banai, look around you. You will still be able to see remnants of the village, the caves where we used to live, and the water holes that we drank from.”

Nasser was just 4 when he was evicted from his home, a site that is now the location where Banai will be performing this evening. And for the information of a singer who expressed the wish to bring people together, Banai should know that Nasser’s elderly father, Mohammed, attempted to visit the site. A documentary film immortalized the occasion. The father was expelled by the settlers, to his tearful chagrin.

In his song “Aharei has’ara” (“After the storm”), Banai sang: “Just for one woman / whose home the winds took away / it’s as if time stopped.” He should think about that lyric this evening. And in an entirely different context, Banai once sang, in his song “Zmancha avar” (“Your time has passed”), “We are guests here for the moment / look around / that is not our bus.” And, again in a different context, “Bluz kna’ani” (“Canaanite blues”), he sang about how “hahosheh gover kan” (“darkness is taking over here”).

Darkness is indeed taking over. And this evening it will extend its reach even further. Banai will give the settlers a good time with his music, which, of course, is his prerogative – although he should have boycotted them. The man should have performed somewhere else this evening. In Khirbet Makhoul, in the Jordan Valley, for example, where dozens of Palestinians remain without a roof over their heads after the Israeli army demolished their village. But performing at such a place would never occur to an Israeli singer. Banai could also have performed at Sussia but invited the Palestinians who were evicted from there, in an effort to bring people together. Instead – because he is “opposed to boycotts” – he opted to perform at a Sussia where, as a practical matter, Palestinians are denied admission. He opted to perform there “despite his views,” which remain unknown.

I would have had more respect for him if he had declared allegiance to the right wing. He is no Roger Waters, the singer who opted to boycott Israel. We and he don’t have a single, brave and honest performer like Waters. Not one.

I once met an elderly shepherd, Khalil Nawaj’a, and his wife, Tamam, at Sussia. The two had been attacked twice, by settlers with clubs. I also once saw dead and poisoned sheep in nearby Khirbet Tawani, and also saw a red jeep leave the settlement of Sussia. The occupants of the vehicle stole their olive harvest by force.

Those who have attacked, poisoned, uprooted and burned will be coming this evening to applaud Banai, a singer representing Israel’s heart and soul.



Written FOR


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From FaceBook


There is a Yiddish expression ‘Shlepping Nachas’, which is commonly used by proud parents referring to the accomplishments of their children. It is exactly how I felt when I read the following in the weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post.
Carlos Latuff has on many occassions made me proud to be associated with him, but in this case he really outdid himself.

Anti-Semitism in the guise of Holocaust education?


Belgian authorities under fire for school lesson plan comparing Israelis to Nazis.

Caricature drawn by Carlos Latuff for Belgian educational website.
Caricature drawn by Carlos Latuff for Belgian educational website.Photo: Courtesy

Jewish groups criticized Belgian educational authorities this week after a government-funded website was discovered hosting lesson plans comparing Israelis to Nazis.

A lesson plan on the klascement.be database included a cartoon comparing contemporary Gazans with Jews incarcerated in concentration camps as well as a roleplaying exercise in which students were asked to imagine the world through the eyes of a Hamas sympathizer, Joods Actueel, a monthly Jewish newspaper, reported.

Teachers looking for lesson plans on the Holocaust and other atrocities are referred to the site by a link on the homepage of the Special Committee for Remembrance Education (BCH), which is funded in part by the Education Ministry.

The BCH represents both “the school advisory boards of the various educational networks” as well as the Flemish Education Ministry, according to its website.

The Gatestone Institute, a conservative think tank based in New York, translated the lesson.

“You have sympathy for the radical group Hamas. You live in Gaza and go to work every day in Israel. It takes you four hours to go to work as you need to pass the border control between Gaza and Israel. You are already on your way at 4 a.m. You have two children in primary school. As a consequence, the death of a Palestinian girl shot by Israeli soldiers in the school playground has shocked you deeply. Israel denies having shot the child, but according to representatives of the United Nations in Gaza everything indicates that she was killed by the Israelis. Hamas has fired six rockets toward Israel. Israel has to stop with its attacks.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the lessons, calling them “a classic example of Holocaust inversion, in which the descendants of the victims of the Shoah are portrayed as the new Nazis.”

“This is a total perversion of the of the lessons of the Shoah and a phenomenon which is cause for grave concern.

It also underscores the potential dangers of the misuse and exploitation of the recent expansion of Holocaust education in many countries in the world, and especially in Europe,” the center’s Efraim Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

While “the extreme anti- Israel and anti-Semitic material was not part of the official curriculum on Holocaust education,” it was “in the database available to teachers,” Michael Salberg, the Anti-Defamation League director of international affairs, said.

While the lessons have been taken offline subsequent to theJoods Actueel story, Salberg said it was still “shocking that material so offensive and dangerous found its way into any classroom anywhere.”

The system for providing teaching materials, “while based on good intentions, has produced consequences that call for reviewing and improving the process.”

A spokesman for the Brussels- based European Jewish Association told the Post the group planned on “filing a suit for slander against the group that is circulating the inflammatory materials.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the EJA, called for “an immediate cessation of funding” to klascement.be and said the Jewish community was “battling an anti-Israel sentiment that has degenerated into a new form of anti-Semitism in all arenas – legal, political and the media.”

Anti-racism volunteers registered 80 anti-Semitic incidents throughout Belgium in 2012, according to a report released by the Antisemitsm.Be watchdog group. This represents a 23 percent increase over 2011.

In response to an inquiry on the lesson issue from the Post, a representative of the education minister said that an “answer is coming soon.”

In a statement on its website on Thursday, the BCH denied any connection to the materials.

“To reach a wide range of teachers we started last year a collaboration with KlasCement, an organization that holds a database with educational materials. This organization is also part of the Flemish government. The database of Remembrance Education is in therefore only a part of the bigger website.

BCH emphasizes that the two cases, discussed in the article, were not published in the database of Remembrance Education.”

“We will not support any Israel-hatred or Jews-hatred lesson practices,” BCH asserted.

“We are not accepting the accusations made in this article and we already have asked a right to reply,” the BCH’s Klaartje De Boeck said.

Guido Joris, the reporter who initially wrote about the lesson plans, disagrees.

“BHC is a government institute and KlasCement is also a government institute,” Joris told the Post. “Both are under the authority of the Flemish minister of education.”

“An official from the Education Ministry has to give approval for everything on KlasCement,” he said.

While he believes that BCH was unaware of the alleged anti-Semitic content, he believes it had a responsibility to know what was on the website to which it was referring teachers.

“You cant say ‘I’m not responsible,’” Joris said.

JTA contributed to this report.





Also see …







And This


Palestinian Arabs, West Bank: 2,676,740

Palestinian Arabs, Gaza Strip: 1,763,387

(Total Palestinians, Israeli military-administered territories: 4,440,127)

Israeli Arabs (citizens): 1,666,800

Total Arabs under Israeli sovereign administration: 6,106,927

Israeli Jews: 6,056,100


The ticking demographic time-bomb

Jews Now Minority in Israel and Territories

By J.J. Goldberg

One of the most common arguments in favor of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the so-called demographic threat or demographic time-bomb. Proponents worry that if Israel continues to control the Palestinian territories, with or without formal annexation, the different birthrates of Jews and Arabs will eventually result in Jews being a minority in the territory under Israeli control. At that point Israel will no longer be a Jewish state—or, alternatively, will be a Jewish state with a non-Jewish majority that is disenfranchised because of its ethnic identity. There’s a word for that. I won’t say it, but I’ll note that it’s Afrikaans in origin.

How far off such a situation might be is a topic of considerable debate. Some say the threshold will be crossed within a decade or less. Others suggest a longer timeline is possible. A few on the right believe there’s no threat at all, either because Jewish and Arab fertility rates are converging or because Palestinian population figures are inflated. By and large, though, demography appears to be a very mainstream worry.

Well, worry no more. It turns out we’re there already. Comparing the annual Rosh Hashanah population report from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, released September 2, with the midyear (July 1) population figures for the West Bank and Gaza in the CIA World Factbook, it turns out that Jews are now (as of Rosh Hashanah) outnumbered by Arabs under Israeli sovereignty by a grand total of 50,827. So the question is no longer whether or when the Jewish state will feature a minority ruling a majority. The question now is what to do about it.

Here are the numbers:

Palestinian Arabs, West Bank: 2,676,740

Palestinian Arabs, Gaza Strip: 1,763,387

(Total Palestinians, Israeli military-administered territories: 4,440,127)

Israeli Arabs (citizens): 1,666,800

Total Arabs under Israeli sovereign administration: 6,106,927

Israeli Jews: 6,056,100

A few notes on the figures:

First, if you’re checking sources, note that the new population report from the Israeli statistics bureau is in Hebrew only. The bureau’s English site doesn’t yet have this year’s numbers. Here’s the Jerusalem Post’s English-language news report with rounded-off figures.

Second, the West Bank page in the CIA World Factbook states that the West Bank population includes two “ethnic groups,” “Palestinian Arab and other 83%, Jewish 17%.” It goes on to note that there were “approximately 325,000 Israeli settlers” living in the West Bank in 2011 (the figure is pretty close to the Israeli government’s figure for that year; East Jerusalem is listed separately), which raises the question of whether or not the total West Bank population figure includes the settlers. That would bring the total Arab population down below the Jewish population and make this whole blog post moot.

However, Haaretz published a photo of the IDF West Bank civil administration’s report on the Palestinian (Arab) population for May 2012 (2,657,029) and it was a pretty close match to the CIA’s figure for that year (2,623,000). Neither one included Jewish settlers.

That also addresses the challenge raised by the Israeli right to Palestinian population figures. (Here’s the most substantive version of the challenge.) The charge is that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics pumps up its figures for political reasons. I don’t see how the IDF civil administration can be accused of that.

A third question might be whether Palestinians in Gaza should even be considered in the mix, since Israel withdrew its troops from the strip in 2005 and no longer exercises effective military control of the population. There’s an extensive international legal literature on the topic, with Israel generally maintaining that Gaza is no longer occupied and most international players claiming it still is. CNN published a quick summary of the arguments in 2009, with a peek at who’s on what side. Key takeaway: No international body, including the United States government, considers the disengagement to mean Gaza is no longer occupied territory.

Here’s one of the most thorough Israeli legal arguments for the claim that disengagement ended the occupation. Here’s the January 2008 ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice in the case of Bassiouni v. Prime Minister, finding that the laws of occupation no longer apply. And here’s a fascinating paper by a prominent Israeli international jurist, Solon Solomon, arguing that Gaza is in fact a hybrid case in which some of the laws of occupation no longer apply but some still do. His overall conclusion seems to be that Gaza is more occupied than not.

Two points: One, in the many Israeli arguments against creating an independent Palestinian state right now, a critical claim is that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is incapable of exercising its proper control over Gaza, meaning it can’t carry out the functions of a state which Israel would be devolving on it. How can Israel devolve authority over Gaza onto a new entity if it doesn’t have that authority to devolve right now?

Second, the legal consensus in Israel seems to be that Gaza is no longer under Israeli occupation. In other words, it was, but it ended in August 2005. For years Israel has been arguing that Gaza and the West Bank are not occupied. Now Gaza was but isn’t any longer. One begins to suspect, though I hesitate to say it, that much of Israel’s international legal maneuvering is more utilitarian than lishma—that is, the arguments are constructed not to find truth but to justify a predetermined position. That might color our views of the Gaza-isn’t-occupied claims.

Finally, it must be noted that another 4.2% of Israel’s population, including some 344,000 individuals, is neither Jewish nor Arab but “other,” a category that includes about 4,000 Circassian Christians, 3,000 Armenians, 1,000 Samaritans, perhaps 5,000 African Hebrew Israelites, several thousand Roma and Vietnamese, plus about 325,000 or 330,000 people who appear to be immigrants, most Russian, who entered the country under the Law of Return (which includes anyone with a single Jewish grandparent) but are not considered Jewish, along with various foreign-born spouses of Israeli Jews. If those 330,000 persons are counted in the Jewish population, then Jews are still a majority. It must be recalled, though, that the Israeli government does not count them as Jews, and the likelihood of that happening is getting a steadily dimmer as bills flood the Knesset hopper (four over the past session alone) to narrow Israel’s self-identity as a Jewish state.



Happy Second Anniversary!
Photos Copyright by Bud Korotzer
The Response from the 1%

Think the end of DOMA or the Voting Rights Act will change the US? The Supreme Court just handed down a decision that rewrites the Constitution, claiming we have no Fifth Amendment protection unless we explicitly call for it.

Remaining silent no longer protects you from self-incrimination. In order to have your Constitutional rights asserted, you actually have to say, out loud, “I’m invoking my right to remain silent” — even if no Miranda rights have been read or arrests made.

This ruling implies the Fifth Amendment is not a right but a privilege, and one for the well-educated and best-informed at that.

We call on Congress to pass legislation overruling this as much as possible and requiring law enforcement to inform both witnesses and suspects of these maladjusted rights.


PETITION TO CONGRESS: We are appalled by the recent SCOTUS decision to gut the Fifth Amendment. We call on our lawmakers to pass legislation to re-establish our right to remain silent and require law enforcement to spread word of this awful change in the meantime.


Click here to sign — it just takes a second.


 Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Related report ….


Image by Bendib



Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


Here’s the most recent example …


Asking for an increase in aid at a time when America is still struggling could come across as insensitive, but the Israeli official said this was not the impression Israel has gotten from its American counterparts.

Israel Pushes for Boost in U.S. Aid to More Than $3B a Year

Beltway Wrangling Starts Now as Deal Expires in 2017

Upping the Ante: The U.S. provides a river of aid to Israel, as reflected by the honor guard welcomed at the Pentagon. Israel is pushing for an even larger package of future assistance.

Upping the Ante: The U.S. provides a river of aid to Israel, as reflected by the honor guard welcomed at the Pentagon. Israel is pushing for an even larger package of future assistance.

By Nathan Guttman


Israel’s 10-year assistance agreement with the United States doesn’t expire until 2017. But in Washington time, that’s not too far away for Israel to argue now for increasing aid levels when the agreement is renewed.

Citing the ongoing instability in the Middle East, Israel is already pushing for an increase in U.S. military aid to address new challenges and to ensure Israeli military superiority in the region.

More specifically, in renewal talks that are ongoing between the two countries, Israel is pointing to, among other things, recent sales of advanced American weaponry to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Under a doctrine stemming from statutory language in earlier legislation, the United States, Israeli officials point out, is committed by law to ensuring that Israel maintains a “qualitative military edge,” — known more commonly as QME — over any of its Arab neighbors.

The 2008 law, seen as mainly declarative at the time, could provide the legal basis for increasing aid to Israel in order to ensure its military edge.

“Naturally we are talking about our needs, and as we get closer to 2017 we will discuss the details of what the next package will include and under what conditions,” an Israeli official briefed on the discussions said. Still, opposition to an increase exists, and it comes, in some cases, from some surprising places.

“There’s a diminished threat from the Syrian army and no increase in the power of the Egyptian army,” noted Elliott Abrams, deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration. Abrams, who is generally regarded as hawkish, said that, for now, Syria and Egypt are preoccupied with war on, or repression of, their own rebellious citizens and thus pose less risk to Israel, with consequent implications for Israel’s military aid requirements. He noted also that Egypt’s military is not expected to receive any boost in its current level of American aid.

As for the recent American arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE., Dov Zakheim, a former top Pentagon official who sat in on many discussions about military aid to Israel, said, “If you look at the issues, Israel and the Gulf states are on the same page.”

He noted that Saudi Arabia, the smaller Gulf countries and Israel share the same concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the spread of extremist Islamic forces. “So as long as the Gulf countries become more sophisticated in protecting their territories, this will cause more difficulties to Iran, and that’s a good thing,” Zakheim said.

An August 15 article published in Defense News first reported that Israel is seeking an increase in the foreign aid, which reached $30 billion in the decade-long agreement signed in 2007. Israeli officials confirmed to the Forward that informal talks are already taking place, but they said intense detailed discussions are not planned for the near future.

Much has changed since the last military aid deal was signed, in 2007. Israel’s neighborhood has become even more volatile, as the Arab Spring toppled or threatened long-standing authoritarian regimes. This has deprived Israel of a certain regional predictability it enjoyed, even with regimes with which it remained in a state of war.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is still struggling to recover from its worst slump since the Great Depression, forcing the federal government to cut back on all government expenses, and raising new doubts about the affordability of a robust foreign aid program.

While other nations struggle to receive American taxpayer dollars, Israel rarely faces resistance. Strong support in the administration and Congress, coupled with favorable public opinion and a strong lobby advocating for the cause, has made sustaining and increasing military aid to Israel an easy sell. This time around should be no different, officials and experts knowledgeable about the process say, despite the changed environment.

“It is not a matter of arm-twisting,” Zakheim said. “There is a long-standing commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge that has been accepted by the United States for good reasons.”

In preliminary talks, Israel began to lay out the principles it would like to see guide the next aid package. One will aim to put a dollar sum on the cost of maintaining Israel’s QME. This estimate will take into account what it will take to ensure that Israel’s armed forces are always one step ahead of their adversaries — or those Israel argues are adversaries — in the region. The second will be to include missile defense programs, currently funded through a separate Pentagon budget line, in the foreign aid program managed through the State Department’s budget.

“We’re looking at a holistic Middle Eastern picture, which includes growth of missile arsenals in Lebanon and Gaza; the strategic situation in Sinai; the Syrian situation as it impacts us and other countries, including Jordan,” Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, told Defense News. “Therefore, we will be looking for a long-term [memorandum of understanding] that will address all of the issues that are routinely raised in our very close and high-level consultations with our American counterparts.”

American and Israeli officials who were involved in past aid negotiations described a process driven by needs, not by the total dollar amount of the aid package. It begins with Israelis presenting the threats they believe they’ll face in the coming decades and the weapons systems they’ll need to address these threats.

Before the last Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2007, the deal was first finalized between President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and only then handed down to the lower levels where the details were worked out.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the mainstream pro-Israel lobby, is deeply involved in the process, mainly in convincing Congress, once the administration makes a decision on the aid levels, to approve the assistance year after year and to make adjustments throughout the 10-year period if needed. “There’s a pretty good system in place,” said a former pro-Israel activist who was involved in those discussions. “AIPAC people know all the details and make sure the best package for Israel is approved regardless of who controls the committees.”

As discussions begin on the next assistance deal, Israel is looking for America’s help with a different set of concerns. Iran’s nuclear program remains the main issue for Israel, which is seeking advanced American weapons systems to deter Iran and possibly to take action against it. But according to an Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, short-range rocket threats from Hamas and Hezbollah now make up a bigger part of Israel’s plea, given the experience of recent years and the need to bolster missile defense systems.

New elements have also been brought into the calculation. These include Israel’s fear of instability in Egypt, where the military recently ousted a democratically elected Islamist government. Though the new government is actually friendlier to Israel than the ousted one was, the shakeup has stoked Israeli fears of an eventual full or partial revocation of the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between the Egypt and Israel. Jerusalem is also concerned about diminishing security along Egypt’s Sinai border with Israel, as the turmoil in Cairo has given terrorists in that area freer rein.

Israel also worries that Syria’s civil war may spill over; or that the country could break up, with nonconventional weapons falling into the hands of Islamist extremists using the country as an operating base; or that Jordan, Israel’s most trusted neighbor, which has kept the eastern boarder quiet for decades, could also see upheaval due to internal unrest and a huge influx of Syrian refugees.

The financial downturn that has plagued the United States since 2007 could change the backdrop of the upcoming aid talks, although assistance to Israel enjoys widespread support within the American public and in Congress.

After many deliberations in Jerusalem and Washington, Israel and its supporters decided not to seek an exemption from the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. Israel agreed to take a cut of more than $150 million to its annual aid rather than be seen as seeking special treatment at a time when the American people are suffering the consequences of sequestration.

Asking for an increase in aid at a time when America is still struggling could come across as insensitive, but the Israeli official said this was not the impression Israel has gotten from its American counterparts.

Abrams, on the other hand, proposed in an interview with the Forward a dramatic change to the pattern of military relations between Israel and the United States: Doing away with U.S. aid to Israel altogether. “You can’t have Israel becoming richer and richer and then coming to America to ask for foreign aid,” Abrams said, pointing to Israel’s recent natural gas finds that are expected to create a huge cash surplus for the Jewish state in coming years.

Abrams argued that Israel can pay for the weapon systems it buys from the United States, just as Saudi Arabia does, and that military to military ties can remain strong, even without a foreign aid component. “I think it would be advantageous to the relations,” he said. [Any discussion about cutting the aid should be done privately, he added; otherwise, anyone proposing it would be accused by political rivals of not standing behind Israel.

“Israel’s popularity in the United States is tremendous,” he said, “and it might grow even more if foreign aid is taken out of the discussion.”





Preparations are underway to usher in a week long holiday in Israel. It is called Succot, or The Feast of the Tabernacles. We eat all of our meals in little booths and the ceilings are usually made of tree branches, allowing the sky to be visible. It is a reminder of the 40 years we roamed in the desert and dwelled in such structures. It is actually quite a fun holiday and a very community oriented one, it is one of my favourites.
A non Jewish visitor to Jerusalem this week might get the impression that the entire city stands in solidarity with the homeless Palestinians illegally evicted from their homes by settlers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Tents have appeared (actually booths) in preparation of the Festival
Family homes were STOLEN, many families have been living in makeshift tents for over three years…. and neither the Municipality of Jerusalem nor the Palestinian Authority gives a damn. As winter approaches, a new meaning is given to the term ‘settlement freeze’ as these homeless literally freeze in their abodes.
I had some flashbacks this morning to my Succot celebrations in Brooklyn as a child, they were much different than here. Here there is a Jewish community and an Arab community. In the neighbourhood I grew up in, there was a Eastern European Jewish Community (Ashkenazi) and a community made up of Spanish Jews and Jews from Northern Africa (Sephardi). Both communities had their own traditions and practices, but basically both were members of the same religion. One of the major differences between the two communities at the time were language, the Ashkenazi Jews spoke Yiddish; a language with Germanic roots, while the Sephardi Jews spoke a language called Ladino; a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish.
What I remembered this morning was the following;The Synagogue of the Sephardi community was situated very close to the home of my grandparents. They used to build a large enough booth to accommodate their entire congregation. As a child, I used to help them with the preparations. I remembered my grandmother screaming at me from her window to get away from them, not to play with their kids…. I could never understand why. It seemed that part of her ghetto mentality was to distrust anyone that was in any way different. These people were different than we were, as mentioned; they spoke a different language and, for the most part, had darker skins than the Ashkenazi Jews. The younger generation, like myself did not see these differences as our common language was English and skin colour was never an issue with me or my immediate family. I therefore could never understand my grandmother’s logic, or lack of…. So I secretly maintained my friendships with the kids there.
Today, I started thinking about prejudice, why it exists, how to overcome it…. It seems to exist because of ignorance and fear, two very real factors. How to overcome it? Learn about each other and the fear factor will be eliminated. Very simple! It worked in my case.Things are different today, in Israel at least. The Jewish community celebrates together. We have a common language, Hebrew. There are still some remnants of the old world prejudice, but for the most part it’s gone. Now to overcome the prejudices between the Jewish and Arab communities here. My way is to open my booth, as well as my home, to ALL members of the community, both Arab and Jew.  It’s the only way to guarantee an end to the hatred… live together! So, instead of fearing the differences of the others, my philosophy is to say
Let us all live together as neighbours and brothers.Shalom-Salaam!

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