IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ ‘ZIOLOGIC’ … or ILLOGIC

Ain’t this the truth ….


Here’s an image of ‘ziotruth’
By latuff

IN ISRAEL ~~ YOU CRITICIZE, YOU GO!

“This is yet another alarming sign of the country’s increasing intolerance of critical voices”

Image by Carlos Latuff

Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, has been ordered out of Israel after the country accused him of supporting a boycott of the country.

Human Rights Watch Director Decries Expulsion From Israel as Attempt to ‘Muzzle Dissent’

“Barring access to those documenting human rights abuses won’t hide Israel’s mass violations carried out in the context of more than 50 years of occupation.”

Human rights campaigners stood in solidarity on Wednesday with Omar Shakir, the director of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) work in Israel and Palestine, after Israel announced that Shakir would be expelled from the country within 14 days.

Despite claims by the Israeli Interior Ministry that Shakir had violated the country’s anti-boycott laws, Shakir argued that the deportation order was part of Israel’s efforts to “muzzle dissent” regarding its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and other human rights violations.

Breaking: Israel has ordered me deported after compiling 7-pg intel dossier on me. 1st time in history Israel orders official out. Year ago it denied work permit before reversing, accusing us of ‘propaganda’. Now its BDS. Real aim to muzzle dissent.

Fifteen Israeli human rights groups including the Coalition of Women for Peace and the Human Rights Defenders Fund spoke out in support of Shakir, calling on Israel to “end the occupation”—rather than trying to hide it by removing critics.

“Israel is trying to keep both its own citizens and the world from seeing what it is doing,” the groups’ joint letter states. “Neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us—or them—from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control.”

The Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday that Shakir was being ordered to leave Israel due to his support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement urging backers to withdraw all economic support for Israel to protest the occupation and other abuses.

While Shakir said Tuesday, “I have not called for any form of boycott of Israel during my time at Human Rights Watch,” a statement from his organization argues that even trying to ban ban participation in such non-violent actions remains “contrary to Israel’s obligation to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and to non-discrimination on grounds of political opinion.”

“This is yet another alarming sign of the country’s increasing intolerance of critical voices,” added Magdalena Mughrabi of Amnesty International. “The Israeli authorities must immediately stop their ongoing harassment of human rights defenders. Barring access to those documenting human rights abuses won’t hide Israel’s mass violations carried out in the context of more than 50 years of occupation. Israel must repeal laws that arbitrarily restrict human rights advocacy, including criticism of human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law that it has committed.”

Shakir, a U.S. citizen, was previously barred from Israel last year when the country refused to grant him a work permit. He was later given a one-year work visa after Shakir himself drew comparisons between the Israeli denialand a host of other countries that showhostility towards human rights observers.

WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP

                  Image by Carlos Latuff

Avenging the Iran Deal means speaking plainly about Netanyahu’s influence in our politics. In the wreckage lies the outline of a strategy. Resisting Trump means resisting Israel.


          Compiled and written by Mazin Qumsiyeh
*
An Israeli newspaper (Haaretz) had an opinion piece titled "Trump Tells
World to Drop Dead as Netanyahu Dictates His Nixing of Iran Deal." But it
is not just Netanyahu, it is the whole Zionist establishment that took the
decision to challenge a deal agreed to by much of the world and continue to
try to start new wars and sacrificing gullible gentiles on the alter of
Zionism. Most of the world now understands the ramifications. Israel has
nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, violates
international law, invades other countries. Israel is still illegally
occupying the Syrian Golan and colonizing Palestine.  It violates
international law with impunity and engages in war crimes and crimes
against humanity. But its attack on Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, and Yemen (by
proxy) will now escalate to direct confrontation with Iran. Israel hopes
Trump will provide all needed military cover even at risk of WWIII.
*
The much maligned Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party scored significant wins in
British elections. The media, heavily infested with supporters of the
Colonial settler Israeli regime, spun this win negatively even after they
failed in all their desperate attempts to stop British voters choosing what
is best for them instead of what is best for greedy Zionists.
*
The much maligned resistance axis similarly scored significant wins in
Lebanese elections. This despite over one billion dumped by the Saudi
regime to prop-up Israel friendly candidates like Saad AlHariri. The Saudi
operated media like Al-Arabiya do everything they can to hide the crimes
against humanity in places like Yemen and Palestine to normalize the
apartheid regime occupying Palestine while continuing to try and villify
anyone who stands up against US and Israeli imperialism in Western Asia.
*
In Syria, there are desperate US/Israeli attempts to keep the war going.
Russia, Iran, China and others are taking control and insist on ending the
war. Trump is set to do what his Zionist handlers want him to do: confront
Iran and cancel the deal on May 12. This sets the stage for a law of the
jungle (but jungles are very nice compared to human greed an war). Oil
prices are set to sky rocket and the global economy to nose-dive.
*
Here in Palestine, we had dispensed with elections all together! No
elections were held for 12 years for the so called "Palestinian authority".
And the Palestine National Council has now moved to become more a
cheerleader club for the current 82 year old elder Mahmoud Abbas. The
latter is forced to apologize to "the Jewish people" (see Shlomo Sands'
book "The invention of the Jewish people") but has never apologized to the
12.5 million disheartend Palestinians for the treachery otherwise known as
"the Oslo Accords".
*
Article by Gideon Levy: Dear Occupiers, Sorry if We Hurt Your Feelings: Not
one Israeli statesman today intends to apologize for the Nakba – not for
the ethnic cleansing, nor for the exiling. But Abbas had no choice but to
apologize for his Holocaust remark.
*

As the US moves its Embassy to Jerusalem against International  law,  take
a moment to remember the US Servicemen killed by the deliberate attack of
Israel on their ship in international waters.
 *
Israel offended Japan's prime minister by serving him dessert in a shoe,
something 'despised' by Japanese people
*

Palestinian female poet sentenced to jail for a poem urging resistance to
colonization/
*
For Palestinians Under Israeli Occupation, Regard for India Runs Deep:
Palestine has been under Israeli military occupation for decades. The
author, who spent three months at the beginning of 2018 in the West Bank,
writes about his experiences.

#IsraelAt70 ~~ NUKES ARE US!

This guy on CNN just asked Netanyahu straight up if he has nukes!

*


The Iran Deal has been canceled, what is going to happen now?

ISRAEL AT 70 ~~ A DARKNESS UNTO THE NATIONS

Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Israel’s attempt to persuade the world that this was a valid premise for statehood has been a colossal failure, even among a growing number of Jews worldwide. Given the fact that historical [British-mandated] Palestine was inhabited prior to Israel’s creation, Israel has gone to great lengths, at huge costs, to bury this racist fallacy.

Artwork by Sliman Mansour.

Israel at 70

A Darkness unto the Nations

Several years ago, the late Polish mathematician from Youngstown State University (my alma mater in Ohio), Dr. Zbigniew Piotrowski, walked up to me at the Youngstown Arab-American Community Center and shared a bold observation after I delivered a talk on the Palestinians’ desire for freedom and independence. He said the silver lining of the WWII tragedy, and in particular the Jewish loss thereof, was that the world reset how it operates; post-WWII, international law became the order of the day to avert a repeat of history. It was as if all the nations of the world pressed the reset button and rebooted with this new operating system, one that obligated all states to respect a set of collective rules and regulations. Dr. Piotrowski rightly questioned how Israel, which claims to be built on Jewish values, could be so utterly disrespectful of this new reference point.

U.S. Letter of Recognition of the State of Israel, with the words “Jewish state” crossed out by President Truman.

 

This disrespect was exemplified by one of Israel’s founding ministers of education and culture, Professor Ben-Zion Dinur (1954), when he boldly claimed: “In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force.”ii With this theme as the explicit backdrop of the newly established state, it is no wonder that Israel, 70 years later, has had little chance of being a normal member of the community of nations, let alone a light unto anything.
Individual Israeli achievements in fields such as science and technology are impressive. However, for all modern intents and purposes, the State of Israel, as a state-building model, is a failed experiment – ideologically, religiously, politically, socially, and, if US-favored-nation status were removed, possibly economically as well. Without immediate and decisive intervention from the international community to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression towards Palestinians, Israel’s intransigence and US-equipped regional hegemony will not only fuel another generation of Palestinians willing to sacrifice their lives to achieve their freedom and independence but will also further jeopardize Israel’s future as a state.

Israel was founded on the infamous fallacy of “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Israel’s attempt to persuade the world that this was a valid premise for statehood has been a colossal failure, even among a growing number of Jews worldwide. Given the fact that historical [British-mandated] Palestine was inhabited prior to Israel’s creation, Israel has gone to great lengths, at huge costs, to bury this racist fallacy.

It was totally in the hands of Israel – the occupying power – at the time of the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, as it is today, to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territory and start the bitter process of reconciliation.

The lead-up to the establishment of Israel witnessed the expulsion of well over half the indigenous Palestinian population by May 1948, not to mention the scores murdered in the process. Ever since, Israel has assumed a policy of structural discrimination, political imprisonment, torture, deportations, beatings, collective punishment, political assassinations, settlement building, economic dominance – the list is endless; and measures were intensified after the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in 1967. This “empty” land that was filled with Palestinians overwhelmingly complicated the efforts to implant a Western state in the midst of the Middle East.

Since its inception, Israel has arrogantly refused to address the most crucial prerequisite of its establishment as a conventional state: accepting the Palestinians – those people who just happened to be inconveniently living in that “empty” land. As a matter of fact, Israel’s membership in the UN was pre-conditioned on respecting past UN resolutions, including the one calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return home, as well as the one calling for Israel to define its borders.iii

To date, Israel has respected neither, to its own detriment.

After nearly seven decades of conflict, and after two decades of explicit Palestinian political recognition of Israel on part of their lands, Israel continues to choose to sustain the conflict. The Palestinians, those who were forcefully expelled from their homes in 1948, 1967, and more recently, have ever since been living in squalid refugee camps throughout the region. Those Palestinians who did not flee Israel proper in 1948 are today fourth-class Israeli citizens. The Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem who have lived under Israeli military occupation for 50 years, and counting, will continue to haunt the international community until justice is served and the Israeli occupation is ended, in its entirety.

As recently reported in the Associated Press,vi Israel’s leading demographics expert, Sergio Della Pergola, a demographer at Hebrew University, defended Israeli military figures indicating that the number of Arabs will soon equal that of Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Thus, any Israeli illusion that Palestinians will one day vanish into thin air is merely a hallucination of a people driving drunk on power.

Today, Israel seems more determined than ever to forcefully prove the original fallacy of its statehood – an Israel with expandable, unilaterally defined borders and a Jewish-only population. Twelve Israeli prime ministers before Netanyahu, six of them after the signing of the Oslo agreements, all failed. If Israel cannot produce a leader to move the country from a rogue state to a member state of the Middle East, no one but Jewish-Israeli citizens themselves will be to blame for the consequences, no matter how severe.

It should be no surprise that the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rushed to sign the infamous Oslo Peace Accords after calculating the historic ramifications of the political earthquake that took place when the late Palestinian representative, Yasser Arafat, politically recognized the State of Israel. Rabin paid for that signature with his life, which was taken by one of his own citizens, a fanatic Jewish student. This was as close as Israel has ever been to overcoming its never-ending birth pangs.

Every step of the way, the United States has rewarded Israel as it further entrenched its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory. Israel has been propped up financially, politically, and diplomatically by every single US administration at the expense of US taxpayers. The entire US political system has been fully obedient to the far-reaching Israeli lobby and narrow electoral and commercial interests. What started as a US strategic ally in one of the most sensitive spots in the world during a Cold War that marred common sense has rapidly digressed into a liability in an age of globalization that the United States alone is spearheading.

Today, on the 70th remembrance of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), Israel must choose between continuing an illegal occupation and preserving itself as a state. To think that both can peacefully co-exist is utter ignorance of history and human development. Also, for Israel to believe that the United States will always be willing to jeopardize its own strategic interests for the sake of fulfilling an Israeli illusion of Palestinian submission is a miscalculation to the nth degree.


i Truman: Timeline, Truman Library Institute, available at http://www.trumanlibraryinstitute.org/truman/timeline/.
ii Cited in Jeff Halper, “Palestinian displacement: a case apart? – The message of the bulldozers,” Forced Migration Review, FMR 26, August 2006, available at http://www.fmreview.org/palestine/halper.html.
iii https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/0B3AB8D2A7C0273D8525694B00726D1Band https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/83E8C29DB812A4E9852560E50067A5AC.
iv Aron Heller/AP, “Israeli demographer: Arabs nearly equal Jews in Holy Land,” Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2018, available at http://www.latimes.com/sns-bc-ml–israel-palestinians-20180327-story.html.

 

Originally posted AT

CELEBRATING THE DISPLACEMENT

There is no empathy at all for the last victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians

The renegaded victims of the Christian-Zionist jubilee celebrations

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,English Translation by Milena Rampoldi

Greetings for the 70th anniversary of the “Jewish State”, based on the displacement of 750.000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948, during the Nakba (catastrophe). All famous politicians celebrate this anniversary of the foundation of the “Jewish State”. Nobody says one word about the Nakba, the catastrophe which supported by us in the West caused the occupation of Palestinians living imprisoned without any rights. One-thousand famous politicians and “Friends of Israel”, from Steinmeier to Maas, did not renounce to their celebration, while the renegaded victims, the Palestinians, had to “stay outside alone”. (1)

There is no empathy at all for the last victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians

German Chancellor Merkel and foreign minister Maas fall over themselves with declarations of friendship and gratulations. What is particularly questionable is the fact that Merkel in an interview for the Israeli channel Ten explicitly talks to people of “Jewish origin” or Jews in Germany by offering them the guarantee to do all for their safety. The fact that synagogues, schools, kindergarten and Jewish institutions must be guarded worries her a lot. (2) There is no empathy for the last victims of the Holocaust, the Palestinians, during these Christian-Zionist joyful celebrations.

However, two positive signals came from Merkel. Before her journey to Trump she engaged for the maintenance of the nuclear deal with Iran, criticised by Trump and Netanyahu, by saying: “In our opinion having an agreement is better than having no agreement at all.” In addition, Germany will not follow the USA and relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem., as long as the status of Jerusalem will not be definitively clarified.

Why does Merkel not give her welcoming speech at the 70thanniversary of the foundation of the “Jewish State” to the Jüdische Allgemeine, the “storming organ” of the Central Council of German Jews? Why not to the Israel ambassador? However, when it is about Turkey, Ditib is criticised as the religious organ linked to Turkish Government. This argument does not apply to the Central Council as corporation under public law, when it constantly acts as German representative of the “Jewish State” in Germany. Here horrifying double standards are created because there is no equal treatment of Jewish and non-Jewish organisations. It is enough with the “particular” relationship to the “Jewish State” and the German citizens of Jewish faith. Exactly this unequal treatment causes prejudices resulting in Anti-Semitism. However, this is exactly what the Netanyahu regime wants to continue to commit its crimes unpunished and without being criticised.

Almost as an aside, Merkel criticises the construction of settlements by the Jewish State because it would not simplify the Two-State-Solution. According to Merkel, Germany wants the “Jewish Democratic State” of Israel next to a “viable” Palestinian State. And this is so implausible as all her politics is.

However, in one and the same sentence of her welcoming speech, Chancellor Merkel adds “that knowing the responsibility and bearing in mind our common values, we will shape our future for mutual benefit”.

How can this “Christian-Zionist” chancellor so uncritically celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the Jewish State in “joy and thankfulness” because the Jewish State reached out its hands for reconciliation, without referring back to the missing “reconciliation” with the Palestinians? Again, the Palestinians are not an issue. And it was also not an issue during the “reconciliation visit” of “Auschwitz Minister” Maas in Israel. This autumn, Merkel is planning to visit the Jewish State with her cabinet. It is easy to imagine how this visit will look like and which results will be achieved: more armaments and U-boat gifts for the purpose of “self-defence”.

Israel’s objective: the final solution at the expense of the Palestinians

How can we talk about common values with a “Jewish occupiers’ and Apartheid State”, a state without constitution, without clear borders and aiming at the complete implementation of the final solution of the Zionist reason of state at the expense of the Palestinians.

Merkel also moans about “new types of Antisemitism” by refugees or people of “Arabic origin”. In reality, the Chancellor should know very well that these people are not motivated by Antisemitism, but by the absolutely understandable rage against the crimes of the Netanyahu regime. These crimes climaxed again at the Gazan border where thousands of Palestinians started their “March of Return” which will continue until the Nakba commemoration day on 15 May.

This “March of Return” is a pleading call for help addressed to the international public not to forget the Palestinians and their legal right to return. The result up to now: dozens of people assassinated, including children and a press photographer, Jasser Murtaja, wearing the jacket with the inscription “Press”, and who according to war minister Lieberman was working with a drone and became a safety risk. His version was not even confirmed by the army.

Murtaja was an independent reporter who worked for the production company Ain-Media which was even financially supported by the US agency USAID. All is checked with extreme precision. He had nothing to do with Hamas, but was engaged for truthful reporting. He will enter the history of the Palestinian history as “martyr of truth”.

Merkel did not even comment the massacre in Gaza by the Netanyahu’ state terrorism regime. As always, she just focussed on the proper “right for defence”.

Reason of State: support of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine

Of course, we have to ask ourselves the following question: What will Merkel do for Palestine, if she massively and unconditionally supports the disrespectful politics of the “Jewish State” with arms and U boat supplies by following the Merkel formula of the German reason of state for the security of the “Jewish State”. However, this “security” means the support of the illegal Jewish occupation of Palestine.

Since March 2010, the commemoration of this catastrophe in the “Jewish State” has been made punishable. What began with the so called “Nakba” law and continued with the “Anti-boycott” law, the “muzzle” law for the media and many other fascist laws, has only one goal of silencing and hiding the truth. However, the truth cannot be hidden for ever, even if Zionists do not fear anything more than the truth.

We should all fear a “Jewish State” led by politicians like Netanyahu who use the seventy hour of “independence celebrations” to express this threat: the “Jewish State” has become an “emerging world power” whose light will defeat the “darkness” of its enemies. “In another 70 years, you’ll find here a country that is 70 times stronger, because what we’ve done until today is just the beginning!”

We saw this “Jewish Occupiers’ State” celebrating this anniversary with the wings of “David Star” air force flying over the illegally occupied Palestine. Also two nuclear weapons-capable  U boats and corvettes, the planes F15 and F16 and the recently purchased stealth aircraft F35 participated to this horrifying and enormous power demonstration in Tel Aviv (greetings from Merkel!). Combat aircraft and transport planes from Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Greek, Poland, and Austria were also involved in this “Zionist peace message”.

Oppose to war, oppression, and perpetual occupation!

When Netanyahu thanked President Trump again for his historical decision to recognise “Jerusalem as our capital” and for the relocation of the most powerful country of the world to Jerusalem, one got a foretaste on what the future will bring: war, oppression, and perpetual occupation.

This emerging world power is a threat to world peace. Too bad that Günter Grass cannot be there today to write another poem for these “celebrations”.

This Wednesday in Berlin and other German cities a big rally of the “Christian-Zionist” hypocrites will be organised based on the slogan „Berlin trägt Kippa“ (Berlin wearing kippa). We should change this mendacious fake rally based on defamations to a symbolic action based on the slogan “Berlin wearing hijab” to oppose to Islam and foreigners’ hatred and to struggle for the freedom of Palestine. (3)

The renegaded victims of the Christian-Zionist joyful celebrations must not be left alone. We should give them our voice. We should claim for the existence right of a free Palestinian State as German reason of state, because 70 years occupation of Palestine have been more than enough.

And we commemorate the Nakba and celebrate the prospects for a free Palestine, “From the River to the Sea”.

Foot Notes:

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/70-jahre-unabhaengigkeit-1000-gaeste-feiern-israels-geburtstag-in-berlin/21195152.html

https://www.suedtirolnews.it/video/merkel-beklagt-neue-formen-des-antisemitismus

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/berlin/-berlin-traegt-kippa–berliner-zur-solidaritaets-aktion-am-mittwoch-aufgerufen-30057842

 

Originally posted AT

KUDOS TO TWITTER

Twitter temporarily suspended the account of Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich after he posted on the weekend that a Palestinian teenager who slapped an Israeli soldier should have been shot in the kneecap.

“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.

They are calling her the ‘fearless girl’.

Jewish Home MK says jailed Palestinian teen ‘deserved a bullet’ in the kneecap

Bezalel Smotrich says he is ‘very sad’ Ahed Tamimi is only in an Israeli jail and wasn’t maimed by the soldiers she slapped

Jewish Home lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday said he was “very sad” that a Palestinian teen protester who was filmed slapping Israeli soldiers was jailed and not shot, saying Ahed Tamimi deserved a bullet to the kneecap, “at the very least.”

Responding to a tweet from ex-Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, Smotrich lamented that IDF troops did not maim the 17-year-old in the December 2017 incident.

“I am actually very sad that she is under arrest, Yinon,” Smotrich tweeted at Magal, who had expressed satisfaction Tamimi was still behind bars four months after her arrest.

“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.

Smotrich has a history of making controversial remarks, including encouraging draft-dodging in protest of the IDF’s “radical feminist” agenda; comparing the evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost to a “brutal rape,” and claiming that “illiterate” Arabs are granted university admission thanks to affirmative action.

He has also called himself a “proud homophobe,” and was involved in organizing an anti-gay “Beast Parade” in Jerusalem, in response to the city’s annual Gay Pride parade.

Tamimi is currently serving an eight-month prison term — the result of a plea deal — for slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home in mid-December.

Under the terms of the deal, Tamimi confessed to aggravated assault of an IDF soldier, incitement to violence and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions. The 17-year-old was also filmed encouraging attacks against Israelis, including stabbing attacks.

In her version of the incident, Tamimi told a military court in the West Bank, the same soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter.

Tamimi’s arrest and prosecution by Israel has garnered international attention. It has also touched on broader issues, such as the detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli — currently 356 — and the debate on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians.

Earlier this month, the IDF said the Justice Ministry was investigating a video released by Tamimi’s family that shows an Israeli interrogator threatening the teen with the arrest of her relatives if she refused to cooperate.

The interrogator, who at times moved within centimeters of the Tamimi’s face, also commented on the teen’s body, fair skin, and “eyes of an angel.”

FALSE FLAGS OVER SYRIA

Trump and his partners in (war) crimes UK/France decided to raise the body count in war-torn Syria, striking Damascus and guaranteeing that this long, savage imperialist conflict will remain claiming Syrian lives.

Images by Carlos Latuff

Report by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Today was the day that International inspectors arrived to examine the
unproven claim by the US/Israeli backed terrorist rebels that chemical
weapons were used in Ghouta (‘white helmets’ were known previously to have
manufactured media events**). Today at 3 AM the US, UK, and France attacked
targets in Syria with >103 missiles (71 of them were shot down by Syrian
air defenses, old Soviet Era weapons). Russia, China, Bolivia, and Iran
condemned the attack as a violation of the UN Charter and Russia is now
considering supplying Syria and “other countries” (perhaps Iran and
Lebanon?) with S-300 and other advanced air defense systems. Originally
Russia said it will target missiles and their launch facilities which could
have led to WWIII. It seems there was some sort of “understanding”: 1)
US/UK/France target unused fields and facilities with no damage for
domestic propaganda purposes (to appear tough and satisfy the
Israel/Zionist lobbies who have been pushing for war like they did in Iraq,
Yemen, and Libya and now pushing for war on Iran), 2) Russia and Syria also
get a propaganda “win” having shot most of the missiles using “old” Soviet
era weapons and Syria gets to get more advanced weapons.

They lied to us about Yugoslavia, about Ukraine, about Iraq, about Libya
and now they lie about Syria and Iran.   If these lies continue, World War
is the price not just bankruptcy of US taxpayers (already $21 trillion in
debt) and millions of lives lost.
Recent report of Chinese analysts being examined by Evgeniy Satanovskiy -
Russian leading expert in the field of Middle East. British and American
forces have been destroyed on a large scale in the Ghouta region, with the
22nd regiment of the SAS, those surviving the pinpoint Russian bombing,
that is, having to flee on buses in disguise. This is the reason for
skripal plan and the chemical weapons false flag.
We have no sympathy for the US, UK France Israeli governments’ position.
These are governments that have used chemical weapons (e.g. agent orange in
Vietnam, White Phosphorous in Gaza, last week nerve agents in Gaza) These
are hypocritical governments that fount International law (e.g. supporting
colonial occupation of the Syrian Golan and of Palestine) and support
brutal regimes (e.g. “Saudi” Arabia and Apartheid “Israel”). While that
does not mean we support any other governments (Syria, Turkey, Iran etc),
we do support justice and human rights and oppose tyranny.

Trump and his partners in (war) crimes UK/France decided to rise the body count in war-torn Syria, striking Damascus and guaranteeing that this long, savage imperialist conflict will remain claiming Syrian lives

*

Note from Russia’s Embassy in the U.S. about Syria
“A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that SUCH ACTIONS WILL NOT BE LEFT WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES.
All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”

ISRAEL REACTS TO ITS GREATEST THREAT … POPULAR RESISTANCE IN PALESTINE

BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS POST

Israel’s way of silencing journalists ….. MURDER THEM

This Gazan journalist was killed by Israeli forces. Human rights organizations say it was a “deliberate attack.”

*

This is about the people finding expression outside the confines of factional interests; a new strategy. This time, the world must listen.

A demonstrator with a Palestinian flag looks on during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, in the southern Gaza. | Photo: Reuters

 By: Ramzy Baroud 

Why did Israel kill many unarmed Gaza protesters and wound over 2,000 on Friday, March 30 and on the following days, when they clearly posed no threat to Israeli soldiers?

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers, many of them snipers, were deployed to the deadly buffer zone that the Israeli army has created between besieged Gaza and Israel, as tens of thousands of Palestinian families held mass rallies at the border.

“Yesterday we saw 30,000 people,” tweeted the Israeli army on March 31. “We arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

The tweet, which was captured by the Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, was soon deleted. The Israeli army must have realized that killing children and bragging about it on social media is too cruel, even for them.

Palestinian popular mobilization deeply concerns Israel, partly because it is a PR nightmare. By killing and wounding this number of Palestinians, Israel had hoped that the masses would retreat, the protests would subside and, eventually, end. This was not the case, of course.

But there is more to Israeli fear. The power of the Palestinian people, when united beyond factional allegiances, is immense. It disrupts Israel’s political and military tactics entirely, and places Tel Aviv wholly on the defensive.

Israel killed those Palestinians precisely to avoid this nightmarish scenario. Since the cold-blooded murder of innocent people did not go unnoticed, it is important that we dig deeper into the social and political context that led tens of thousands of Palestinians to camp and rally at the border.

Gaza is being suffocated. Israel’s decade-long blockade, combined with Arab neglect and a prolonged feud between Palestinian factions, have all served to drive Palestinians to the brink of starvation and political despair. Something has to give.

Last week’s act of mass mobilization was not just about underscoring the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees (as enshrined in international law), nor about  commemorating Land Day, an event that has united all Palestinians since the bloody protests of 1976. The protest was about reclaiming the agenda, transcending political infighting and giving voice back to the people.

There are many historical similarities between this act of mobilization and the context that preceded the First Intifada (or ‘uprising’) of 1987. At the time, Arab governments in the region had relegated the Palestinian cause to the status of ‘someone else’s problem’.

By the end of 1982, having already been exiled to Lebanon, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) along with thousands of Palestinian fighters, were pushed even further away to Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and various other countries. This geographic isolation left the traditional leadership of Palestine irrelevant to what was happening on the ground.

In that moment of utter hopelessness, something snapped. In December 1987, people (mostly children and teenagers) took to the streets, in a largely non-violent mobilization that lasted over six years, culminating in the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993.

Today, the Palestinian leadership is in a similar state of increasing irrelevance. Isolated, again, by geography (Fatah holding the West Bank, Hamas Gaza), but also by ideological division.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah is rapidly losing its credibility among Palestinians, thanks to long-standing accusations of corruption, with calls for the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to resign (his mandate having technically expired in 2009). Last December, U.S. President Donald Trump compounded the isolation of the PA, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in defiance of international law and U.N. consensus. Many see this act as the precursor designed to further marginalize the PA.

Hamas – originally a grassroots movement born out of the refugee camps in Gaza during the First Intifada – is now similarly weakened by political isolation.

Recently, there seemed to be a ray of hope. After several failed initiatives towards reconciliation with Fatah, a deal was signed between both rival parties in Cairo last October.

Alas, like previous attempts, it began to falter almost immediately. The first hurdle came on March 13, when the convoy of PA Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, was the target of an apparent assassination attempt. Hamdallah was en-route to Gaza through an Israeli border crossing. The PA quickly blamed Hamas for the attack which the latter vehemently denied. Palestinian politics went back to square one.

But then, last week happened. As thousands of Palestinians walked peacefully into the deadly ‘buffer zone’ along the Gaza border into the sights of Israeli snipers, their intention was clear: to be seen by the world as ordinary citizens, to show themselves as ordinary human beings, people who, until now, have been made invisible behind the politicians.

Gazans pitched tents, socialized and waved Palestinian flags – not the banners of the various factions. Families gathered, children played, even circus clowns entertained. It was a rare moment of unity.

The Israeli army’s response, using the latest technology in exploding bullets, was predictable. By shooting dead 15 unarmed protesters and wounding 773 people on the first day alone, the aim was to discipline the Palestinians.

Condemnations of this massacre flooded in from respected figures around the world, like Pope Francis and Human Rights Watch. This glimmer of attention may have provided Palestinians with an opportunity to elevate the injustice of the siege up the global political agenda, but is, sadly, of little consolation to the families of the dead.

Aware of the international spotlight, Fatah immediately took credit for this spontaneous act of popular resistance. Deputy Chairman, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, said that the protesters mobilized to support the PA “in the face of pressure and conspiracies concocted against our cause,” undoubtedly referring to Trump’s strategy of isolation towards the Fatah-dominated PA.

But this is not the reality. This is about the people finding expression outside the confines of factional interests; a new strategy. This time, the world must listen.

Video: Palestinians explain why they are risking their lives by joining Gaza protests

THE MINISTER OF AUSCHWITZ

I have seldom been so disgusted by the political unilaterality of this traumatised  foreign minster.

The Auschwitz Minister

By Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,  English translation by Milena Rampoldi

 

Full of disgust I think of this “total” new beginning the FAZ referred to by talking about this Auschwitz Minister Maas. I have seldom been so disgusted by the political unilaterality of this traumatised foreign minster. So, I feel forced to write about him again; about this minister grew like his suits. “The Auschwitz Minister” was the first minister (for justice) celebrating “Chanukkah” in his ministry – imagine in whose company – and who will also celebrate Pessac which this year coincides with Christian Easter after his return from the “Holy Land”. I am asking myself now when this philosemite minister will convert, let himself be circumcised and celebrate his Bar Mizwa in the ministry with Charlotte Knobloch as honour guest?

Before starting his flight to the “Jewish State” he emphasized his connection with Israel. As expected by a minister who entered politics “because of Auschwitz”, after his arrival to the “Jewish State”, he had nothing more urgent to do than re-visit the Holocaust Memorial Place Yad Vashem, accompanied by the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch.

Deir Yasin: levelled to the ground in 1948

Does this minister not know that Deir Yasin is within the range of vision of Yad Vashem? This village cleansed and levelled to the ground by Zionists in 1948 is well-known for the numerous and well-documented massacres against the Palestinian civil population, a crime against humanity unpunished until today and trigger of the “nakba”, the catastrophe. Like for our government, for sure, also for the Auschwitz and “hanger-on” minister this does not matter. (1)(2)(3)

In addition to Knobloch, two “particular” journalists, one of the Bild newspaper owned by the Zionist Springer and one of the Jüdische Allgemeine, the “storming” central organ of the Central Council of Jews, were part of his illustrious entourage. This is the expression of press diversity.

This choice says it all about this “new beginning”. Heiko Maas is the Foreign Minister who strikes a smarming note towards the Jewish occupiers’ regime as it is his personal mission.

My question is: How personal can official foreign politics be? Is the politician of the Social Party the right one for this job? He explains his Auschwitz statements to about 30 Holocaust survivors in Israel and cares about his own family history during the Nazi regime. However, even if he looked for resistance fighters, he just found hangers-on. Therefore, he began to care about the contribution he could make so that this will never happen again.

However, if for Maas the Shoah is a reminder and mission to engage for human rights and tolerance and to oppose to any kind of Antisemitism and racism, he does not do justice to this mission and is more than hypocrite.

“Hanger-on” of the Zionist state terror regime

He is himself a “hanger-on” of the politics of the Zionist state terror regime violating international law. Instead of standing for the Palestinian people and opposing to the illegal occupation of Palestine, our foreign minister pays courts to Israel. As German foreign minister he will go down in history, as during his first visit to the “Jewish State” he did not even mention the term “settlement politics”! It is unbearable to look at how he smarms over Netanyahu: when it comes to the dangerous politics about the nuclear agreement with Iran he just mentions that there are “different conceptions”. This confirms our best fears.

Maas does not raise his voice for the liberation of Ahed Tamimi, one of many children and young people arbitrarily imprisoned by the Zionist regime. He does not raise his voice for the journalists and other innocent Palestinians who struggle for the freedom of Palestine.

What a shameful “new beginning”!

His hypocrisy is also reflected in his double standards: Russia is punished for its alleged participation to the poison attack against a double agent, while the “Jewish State” which has been violating international law for decades now is justified. What a shameful “new beginning”! Instead, Maas should check how his family acted during the war against Russia and how many of the 27 million Russian citizens the Mass hanger-on are responsible for!

In the coalition contract it is stated that the actual Israeli settlement policy opposes to the applicable international law and must not be supported because it complicates the two-state solution. However, we have to ask ourselves how this is compatible with the German reason of State for the “security of the Jewish State” and the resulting consequences.

“Complicated” is a totally inadequate term for this severe violation of international law making the foundation of the State of Palestine impossible: the illegal occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967, the continuous land grabbing by the settlements, the annexation of East-Jerusalem, and the recognition of Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” by US president Trump, and the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem announced for the 15 May, emphasise the Jewish claim for whole Jerusalem.

A Outrageous Provocation

What will minister Maas do against this outrageous provocation? Almost nothing, I would say, if we consider that he is already preparing the celebrations for the 70thanniversary of the “Jewish State”, instead of commemorating the 70th anniversary of the nakba, the catastrophe, coinciding with the foundation of the state of Israel. Instead, the commemoration of the nakba would be the overdue German new beginning. Finally, Maas’ words written into the guest book of Yad Vashem “The commemoration should never end” should also apply to the nakba, the catastrophe of the Palestinian people beginning in 1948 and so closely connected with the Holocaust without which it could not even exist.

The foreign minister also paid a short visit to Palestinian president Abbas in Ramallah, planned for his 83rd birthday. Instead of empathy, he brought a KaDeWe gift hamper with “Spree” gherkins and “German” fine foods. Maas did not have anything else to do than asking his Palestinian colleague Raid Malki in a rapid and more than unkind press conference to “invite” the Palestinians not to burn all bridges (to the occupation) in this “difficult” time and to request Palestinian “availability” to talk to the United States (as unilateral mediator!). For sure, this Abbas-“Vichy” government will listen to these impossible claims. (At the moment!) it refuses the “unique” mediator, after that it had recognised Jerusalem as Israeli capital. However, the Abbas regime feels committed to conduct direct negotiations with Israel and to continue to fight against terrorism and to aim at a “multinational mechanism” of political accompaniment – a woolly formulation by Malki. The whole thing sounds like the fake word “autonomous region” German media use to hide the occupation of Palestine, opposing to international law.

Maas will not see anything of the misery in the illegally occupied regions, starting from the concentration camp in Gaza. Maas will meet with a pseudo-opposition. He will not meet NGO like Breaking the Silence or B`Tselem criticizing the military occupation and violations against human rights in the illegally occupied Palestinian regions. For sure, Maas will not attract Netanyahu’s irritation like his predecessor Gabriel he met on Monday afternoon after Netanyahu and his wife Sara had been interrogated again about corruption allegations.

The continuity of hypocrisy

Despite the stuck peace process Maas also adheres to the mantra of the so-called two-state solution, although it is well-known that Netanyahu has always refused it by saying that the continuity of his Middle East policy applies. For me this means the continuity of hypocrisy applies!

Has he not asked himself why in view of the aggressive illegal settlement politics which reached its record high in 2017 with Trump this Monday a new illegal settlement, Amichai, was inaugurated? What a Chuzpe!

To show his “engagement”, on Sunday Maas planted a tree in the Aminadav forest of the Jewish Nation Fond. That speaks for itself: This organisation collects donations for colonialism and Apartheid in the infamous blue Keren Kayemeth Leisrael can, the symbol of “green”-washing of displacement and expropriation in Palestine by the Jewish National Fond. I remember very well when the actual German President Steinmeier planted his tree when he was foreign minister. What an awful tradition! (4)

The jubilation accompanying the guest who can be easily “manipulated”

In an SWR interview, Moshe Zimmerman stated that Maas is the symbol of an uncritical policy Netanyahu will love. Maas is also a good friend of Ayelet Shaked, the right-wing Israeli minister of justice. In a video before the meeting between Maas and Netanyahu the two assured one another an unlimited friendship. Netanyahu emphasized the friendship with Maas, “reaching our heart” and his statement about the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, for the security (!) and focussed on the fact that the “Jewish State” is the “only” free democracy in the Middle East. Netanyahu was simply happy about this guest who was so easy to “manipulate”. Maas announced to have plenty of topics on the agenda: the exchange with the civil society, the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the State of Israel, and the constant support to Israel, despite of the different opinions about the deal with Iran and the to-state solution. At that moment, the male friendship with the “Auschwitz Minister” was sealed and continued even without the camera. (5)

In fact, also the treatment of black refugees in the “Jewish State” is a crime. More than 20.000 Israelis demonstrated against this practice, and in the end the Supreme Court opposed to this expulsion practice. (6)

See the article I wrote in 2013 about Pessac, entitled “We were refugees in Egypt”, which is unfortunately still relevant. (7)

In this sense, I wish all readers and friends Happy Easter / Pessac. Again, this year in occasion of these celebrations our Palestinian friends under occupation will be “closed off”. This year also the 30th of March, on which three important data coincided on one day – what a symbolism! The Good Friday, the first Seder evening of the Pessac celebration, the Land Day, in remembrance of the massive Zionist land grabbing in Galilea in 1976, with many victims and injured Palestinians. We should think about it when we celebrate the festive seasons and memorial days in freedom and peace.

Deir Yassin by Erich Fried

Ich habe gelesen

vom Palästinenserdorf Deir Yassin

Zweihundertvierundfünfzig

fast nur Frauen und Kinder und Alte

die ermordet wurden

von den Einheiten Léchi und Etzil

unter Joschua Zetler

und Mordechai Ra´anán

Aber es fällt mir schwer

mir ein Bild zu machen

Und ich will mir ein Bild machen

um es nicht zu vergessen

um es im Kopf zu haben

dort wo es hingehört

Wohin gehört Deir Yassin

in meinem Kopf?

Es gehört zu Guernica

und zum Warschauer Ghetto

Es gehört zu Lidice

und zu Oradour

Es gehört zu My Lai

und zu Bin-Du-Ong in Vietnam

Wenn ich das Bild

des jüdischen Jungen sehe

der vergeblich die Hände hochhob

Am Ende des Warschauer Ghettos

dann brennen mich meine Augen

Ich habe die Bilder der Kinder

von Deir Yassin nicht gesehen

ich weiß nicht einmal

ob Israels Krieger

das Fotografieren erlaubten

Waren das andere Kinder?

Ich glaube nicht

Ich glaube die Bilder aus Warschau

und die brennenden Hütten in Vietnam

stellen mein Bild zusammen

von Deir Yassin

Wir Juden sind groß

so groß wie die größten Völker

Wir haben Marx und Heine

und Freud und Einstein

Wir haben Meir-Har-Zion

den großen Arabertöter

und Mordechai Ra´anán

und Joschua Zetler

die Sieger von Deir Yassin

die jeden Vergleich bestehen

Foot Notes:

1 http://zochrot.org/en/booklet/50834

2 http://www.themen.palaestina-heute.de/Deir_Yassin/deir_yassin.html

3 http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/the-symbol-of-nakba-deir-yassin-remembered/

4 http://www.taz.de/!5069433/

5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8YsOU4SEh8

6 http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2018-03/israel-tel-aviv-demonstration-abschiebung-afrikaner-migranten

7 http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=19316

 

 

 

Originally posted AT

IN PHOTOS ~~ TIME TO END THE ENDLESS WARS

 

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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MUST WATCH VIDEO ~~ THE ZIONIST TANGO

The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right

“Israel Lobby & American Policy” conference on March 2nd, 2018 at the National Press Club

Gideon Levy is a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz, which he joined in 1982. He spent four years as the newspaper’s deputy editor and is currently a member of its editorial board. He is widely considered the “dean” of Israeli journalism—as well as “the most hated man in Israel.” As Levy has written, “Treating the Palestinians as victims and the crimes perpetrated against them as crimes is considered treasonous.”

Levy writes the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 30 years, as well as political editorials for the newspaper. His columns about politics, money, how Israel’s military occupation is changing Israeli society and about U.S.-Israel relations are widely read and discussed around the world.

Levy was the recipient, with Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb, of the 2016 Olof Palme prize for their “fight against 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.

His book, The Punishment of Gaza, was published in 2010 by Verso Publishing House in London and New York. Video of Levy’s presentation at our 2015 conference was translated into Arabic and has gone viral, receiving more than 200,000 views.

 

Related report HERE

BIBI DOES BROADWAY

I thought I was viewing the Academy Awards. His acting was that stellar. His talk was like a sequel to his 2014 performance: The Shape of Warfare. He’d won the Oscar that year for demonizing Iran.

Bibi does Broadway

Sam Bahour 

I recently watched Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech from my home in Palestine. For a moment, I thought I was viewing the Academy Awards. His acting was that stellar. His talk was like a sequel to his 2014 performance: The Shape of Warfare. He’d won the Oscar that year for demonizing Iran.

Normally I’d have been upset. I mean, how can anyone take such harrumphing hasbara seriously? Then it hit me: Bibi was doing standup! And his shtick was over-the-top.

The Prime Minister’s kvetching was truly primetime black comedy. He began by saying “the audience in this hall each year is getting bigger and bigger and bigger!” What consummate acting! He was emulating cartoon character Mr. Magoo, myopically missing the mounting opposition to his policies.

Under Bibi’s leadership—some Israelis would call it kingship—Israel is nothing if not rapidly becoming the modern day’s developed Western rogue state. It seems only curtailed from implementing its final solution to the Palestinian question by advent of smartphones and the Internet.

Bibi then bragged about Israel’s modernity and creativity, causing audiences to smile at his failure to note all the handouts it gets from the world. Bibi then claimed Abbas “pays about 350 million a year to terrorists and their families.” Holy moly, Batman! That caused another international guffaw since Israel (created and maintained by terror) gets 10 times that much each year just from the USA. And for what end, to maintain a 50-year military occupation which mandates Israel to have every Israeli high school graduate pick up a gun and point it at Palestinians!

To put that in perspective: once every blue moon the IRS returns American workers $300 atop their normal refund. Grateful citizens respond with joyous backflips. Yet, each year/every year, the USA gives every man-woman-child-baby in Israel $500…none of whom worked a minute for it, none of whom show any gratitude. Shouldn’t a 70-year-old nation, especially one whose leader brags of the strength of its globally-aligned economy, cut its own ice?

The prime minister was on a roll. The first thing he mentioned, after saying Israel wanted peace, was ‘Israel has never had a stronger military.” Imagine! He didn’t brag about its farms (many wrongfully acquired by military force), water resources (stolen from Palestinians), or nuclear weapons (stolen from America). No, he mentioned the IDF uber alles.

What a kidder!

He then tugged at heart-strings, citing Israel’s help during overseas natural disasters. Of course, he failed to mention all the IDF-created disasters in nearby Gaza, a modern-day Guernica.

He also lauded Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, David Freidman, the Zionist Three Stooges trying to broker a one-sided peace deal by forcing facts on the ground. What a hoot! It was like suggesting McCarthy, Duke, and Birch broker a truce with African Americans during their 1960s intifada.

Bibi also swore that “peace is Israel’s highest aspiration,” echoing another leader some 79 years ago. Time magazine noted in 1939 “Hitler’s hope that the nations of Europe could settle on a peace — but only a peace in which German demands would be met.”

He urged more pressure be put on Iran, but not by Israel. Like Tom Sawyer, he wants others to do the dirty work, whitewashing Israel’s instigations.

Jealous fits sometime threw off his timing. Like when he chided Iran for violating “multiple UN Security Council resolutions,” having “repeatedly lied to the international community,” and wanting nukes…just like Israel. He can’t stand challenges to Israel’s hegemony. Yet is he crazy? Mullahs aren’t muttonheads. They see how North Korea is treated versus Iraq.

It was obvious that Bibi not only knows how to pull the world’s leg, he studies movies. He changed The Eternal Jew into The Infernal Arab. What chutzpah! He’s certainly a savvy thespian who knows the power of media. Too bad he hasn’t watched Red Dawn, though. He’d know that Americans would fight their invaders/occupiers just like Palestinians do.

Bibi’s breathless Perils of Pauline routine continued. He clutched pearls mentioning “rockets, terrorists and missiles” drawing howls of laughter. Bibi has clearly become the poster child for war, oblivious to the very few steps that separate him from being imprisoned back in Israel for corruption.

I lost the “Phantom Thread” leading from his wanting peace to calling for war. He can’t understand that the world that loves The Diary of Anne Frank loathes the detention of Ahed Tamimi. That people who enjoy the wonders of Black Panther’s Wakanda are weary of the so-called Jewish State’s repeated motto: There Will Be Blood.

Moses, or at least Charlton Heston, told Pharaoh: “Let my people go!” Sane, decent, peace-loving people around the world say: “Let Palestinians free!”

Israel should heed the advice of Palestinians (echoing another Oscar winner) and just Get Out!

Still, it’s no laughing matter, no film fantasy. America is increasingly more diverse. Colonialism is outdated. And young Jews are less and less attached to Israel. So, unless the state Bibi heads mends its ways, it could soon be Gone with the Wind.

Written FOR

AIPAC MUST BE DEEMED A FOREIGN AGENT …. NOW

The U.S. has laws in place that forbid foreign governments from wielding certain kinds of influence or lobbying. Every foreign country represented in Washington by foreign agents must register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

It’s Time For AIPAC To Register As A Foreign Agent

M.J. Rosenberg

 

This weekend, 18,000 Americans from all over the country are coming to Washington to participate in the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference.

AIPAC is one of the leading forces behind the Israel lobby, joined in recent years by the ascending Christians United for Israel. Other Jewish “pro-Israel” organizations are niche affairs, representing particular constituencies on the left or right. But it’s AIPAC that is the registered lobby on Capitol Hill and it is AIPAC whose clout on matters relating to Israel exceeds the clout of the National Rifle Association on matters related to guns; while the NRA’s sway is almost entirely over Republicans, AIPAC has historically drawn its support from both parties. Is there any place but AIPAC that not only gets Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the same room, but gets to hear them in near total agreement?

But there’s something strange, too, about AIPAC. Consider Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks at last year’s conference: “Every freedom-loving American stands with Israel — because her cause is our cause, her values are our values and her fight is our fight.”

How can America’s representatives declare that any other country’s fight – even one as close to us as Israel is — is our fight, its cause our cause, its values our values?

It’s precisely this kind of over-identification that George Washington warned against in his 1796 Farewell Address. “A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils,” said Washington. “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists… betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.”

To protect against this kind of passionate attachment, the U.S. has laws in place that forbid foreign governments from wielding certain kinds of influence or lobbying. Every foreign country represented in Washington by foreign agents must register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under its terms, the country in question is absolutely banned from participating in or influencing American elections. Every contact the agents have with Congress must be reported to the Department of Justice, along with how and where they spend their resources.

This law applies to Canada as much as it does to Russia (although Russian interference in our political process is now one of the biggest issues in our political life). It also applies to Israel.

But it does not apply to the Israel lobby as represented by AIPAC, which is heavily involved in our political system, funding candidates who are perceived to be “good on Israel” and defunding incumbents who fail to subscribe to the favored foreign state’s agenda.

How does AIPAC get away with it?

It gets away with it because AIPAC’s founder, I.L. Kenen, came up with a legal loophole by which AIPAC is defined not as a lobby for a foreign state but for Americans who support that state. It’s a critical distinction that makes AIPAC’s dominance over US Middle East policy possible.

I worked at AIPAC directly for Kenen, back in the 1970s before moving on to Capitol Hill. He told me that he came up with the AIPAC formula — AIPAC as an American organization lobbying for Americans — so that AIPAC would be legally permitted to engage in politics and not have to reveal its activities. A devoted American and liberal Democrat, Kenen believed American and Israeli interests and values weren’t likely to diverge anyway, so what’s the problem?

After Kenen retired, Israel and AIPAC took a rightward turn, and he saw the mistake he made. Toward the end of his life, Kenen was outraged by the AIPAC leadership with its unquestioning support of the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade against Gaza, and other right-wing Israeli policies. He hated what he saw as AIPAC using its political power to keep the United States government and other influential Americans and perhaps most importantly, the media, from straying from the Israeli line.

Not only was AIPAC making it hard for the United States to restrain the Israeli government; it was weakening forces inside Israel that were trying to do so. The Israeli peace camp needed the United States on its side, but thanks to AIPAC, the United States could not help our natural Israeli allies. Of course, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was actively seeking peace and an end to the occupation, that was the moment AIPAC chose to separate itself from Israel, resulting in Rabin’s blistering exhortation that it get the hell out of his way. By the time of his death, Kenen was thoroughly alienated from the organization.

Now is the time to undo Kenen’s mistake. It is time to require AIPAC to register as what it is: a foreign agent. It will still be able to advocate for Israel but as an Israeli lobby, which admits to getting its marching orders from the Israeli government. What it would not be able to do is direct campaign money to politicians. Let’s see how many vice presidents, senators, and representatives show up at its conferences then. Let’s see how many of its Israel-right-or-wrong resolutions pass the House 435-0. Let’s see if presidents are still afraid to say what they think about the occupation and the denial of democratic rights to Palestinians.

I began this piece by referring to AIPAC as the major component of the “pro-Israel” lobby. Actually, it isn’t. It is a lobby for the Israeli right and for a status quo that has turned Israel into an international pariah. That is not the way it has to be.

In 1995, when the peace-seeking Rabin was gunned down by a rightwing Israeli zealot, more foreign leaders attended his funeral than had attended any similar rite since John F. Kennedy’s. Poll after poll showed Rabin, the man who negotiated honestly and directly with the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, to be among the most admired people in the world.

Today, Netanyahu and AIPAC (which has kept the United States government firmly behind Netanyahu’s policies) have turned Israel into a source of dissension even among American Jews.

No, AIPAC is not a “pro-Israel” lobby. It’s the Netanyahu lobby and our laws should treat it as such, for Israel’s sake even more than our own.

As for the thousands of Americans gathered in Washington this weekend, they need to know one thing: they are not supporting the dream of a secure, democratic Israel at peace with its neighbors and the world. They are, unwittingly, supporting a right-wing political agenda that is placing Israel in ever-deeper peril and, frankly, jeopardizing its very existence.

 

BIBI’S ‘WAR CONFERENCE’ IN MUNICH

The “War Conference” in Munich was disguised as Security Conference, since everybody wants security and so the term sounds well. And the date was chosen so well on the memorable 18 February.

Netanyahu in Munich, brandishing wreckage from what he said was Iranian-produced drone.

Do you want the all-out war?

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski,English translation by Milena Rampoldi

 

All the inflammatory speeches recalled me the 18 February 1943, when the Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, seventy-five years ago, held his (in)famous speech in the Sports Palace in Berlin, by barking at his public: “Do you want the all-out war?”

 

With this particular déjà-vu, this 18 February the “safety-conscious transatlantic representatives” (and we from home in front of the TV screens) had the chance to see the speech held by the Prime Minister of the “Jewish State” in the great hall of the Bayrische Hof in Munich. With his open war threat and rabble-rousing against Iran, Netanyahu formally challenged this comparison. I just missed the barked sentence, however, the public was silent and listened to his speech without resistance, thinking that he talked about security.

 

The “elected” really compared the nuclear deal with Iran with the Munich Agreement of 80 years ago by warning against an “appeasement with the Iranian leaders”, since the concessions at that time had reinforced Hitler. At that time, well-intentioned and naive people had acted with “good intentions” and now they are committing the same mistake with Iran.

 

Israel: a war-focussed nation from head to toe

Even more perfidious was Netanyahu’s more than misleading comparison with the Nazi “master race” and Iran propagating the so-called “master religion”.

 

The “elected” of the elected religion wants to warn about the alleged international rule of Islam. From the associations of the Propaganda Minister Goebbels to the Hasbara of Prime Minister Netanyahu, from “the Jews are our misfortune” to the “uncontrollable, dangerous international Islam” it is just a small step into the same direction: the marginalisation of a religion and the clash of civilizations. Netanyahu’s slogan of the “small Israel, surrounded by enemies, threating its existence” and his whole politics are a blatant lie. And this blatant lie was reflected by his public, raptly listening to him. For sure, Israel is not threatened as it is a nuclear power armed to the teeth and a war-focussed nation, from head to toe.

 

The “warm-hearted” and devote welcoming of the leader of a nation of occupiers made me speechless. Neither the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, nor the continuous land-grabbing by illegal settlements were part of the subjects touched by this “Security Conference”. Israel openly despises the safety of the Palestinian population. In addition, Israel treats African refugees as “infiltrators” and ignores and denigrates them.

 

Netanyahu formally flourished during his ridiculous speech, in which as usual he only diffused a pack of lies. The whole speech was also staged in a ridiculous way. In Netanyahu’s hands the alleged piece of a shot Iranian drone to prove the allegedly dangerous military aggression by Iran, Israel will not accept. And during his unforgotten speech held in 2012, at the General Council of the UN, he had lifted a cardboard with the picture of a nuclear bomb it. Everybody is as ridiculous as he/she is able to be. However, at the “Security Conference”, Netanyahu found a devote public.

 

Primitive Propaganda

It was scandalous how Netanyahu called the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif an eloquent liar, while the latter said exactly the truth (!). What a primitive propaganda Sara Netanyahu, sitting next to the German “War Minster” von der Leyen (perhaps she will be the future NATO commander-in-chief), applauded.

 

In contrast to Israel with his aggression wars and murders, Iran has neither attacked other countries nor violated their air sovereignty as Israel does every day in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.

 

Of course, Netanyahu did not spend a word about his recent military support of Syrian activists and rebels. In the past, all these groups were controlled by the CIA-led centre of Military Operations Command in Amman. Up to January, the centre paid wages to ten-thousands of these fighters of the “South front of the Free Syrian Army” and supplied them with material and munitions. Again and again, Israel large-heartedly showed propaganda images of Syrian fighters in Israeli hospitals, how they are healed to go on fighting, while in the concentration camp in Gaza any support is denied although the health system is almost breaking down. On this front, no sign of compassion by the Netanyahu regime.

 

Netanyahu states impertinently that Israel is not involved into the Syrian Civil War. However, the “Jewish Defence Army” flew more than 100 missions, not to mention drone flights. If every government leader or victim had brought a “David Star drone component”, the hall would have to be closed because of overcrowding.

 

The couple Bibi and Sara Netanyahu had formally fled to a trip abroad because at home the situation was threatening since – finally – Israeli police have recommended to bring a charge against Bibi in two corruption cases whose accusations partially concern his wife Sara. They took themselves a four days’ time, including the gala dinner on Saturday evening in the Bavarian Residence. Here Netanyahu celebrated himself and praised the “impressive frame for an impressive friendship”. In this context the host of the evening, Deputy Prime Minister Ilse Aigner assured Netanyahu that the people in Bavaria and Germany are on his side and on the side of Israel. I think Miss Aigner is totally wrong. Perhaps German politicians support this occupiers’ state violating international law, but most of the German citizens do not! Netanyahu is happy to get support from German groups to make deals in the field of security technology to oppose to cyber wars and nuclear threats. The CEO of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, who had just talked to Trump, also came to the table of honour. God knows what he promised to Netanyahu. That evening military power, politics and industry were united and praised “their” common “values of the Western world”.

 

A “clean” couple, Bibi and Sara, found their stage they cannot find at home here in Munich. In the meantime, on Sunday in Israel other close confidents were arrested in the corruption affair. Of course, these arrests lost their attention in the media because of the “drone show” in Munich.

 

The Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif showed a very diplomatic and objective reaction, who did not allow himself to be shown and then called the show a theatrical circus which does not deserve any answer.

 

Netanyahu approached his top when he threatened to attack not only the “deputy” of Iran, the Hezbollah, but also the regime itself, if Iran decides to maintain its military presence in Syria. Netanyahu threatened to preventively attack Iran if this was necessary to protect Israeli security. This is the favoured lie in today’s politics, invented by the “Jewish State”. It says that all aggressions and wars are always justifiable as “self-defence”.

 

We should ask ourselves: What would happen if the Netanyahu regime really attacked Iran? Would German soldiers be sent to the front because of the German reason of state includes the “security of the Jewish State”? In this case, we will have to ask our soldiers to refuse to serve in this illegal intervention!

 

Of course, Netanyahu did not forget to mention the “massacre of Munich”, committed by eight members of the resistance organisation “Black September” killing 11 Israelis during the Olympic Games in 1972. Five perpetuators and a German police man died. According to the motto “the revenge is ours”, only three days after the attack, “David Star fighter bombers” attacked Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. Two-hundred innocent people died. From an Israeli perspective, they were all terrorists. But in reality they were Palestinians who had found refuge in miserable refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria after the nakba, the catastrophe, after the foundation of the “Jewish State”. Shortly after, the Israeli vengeance regime sent 13.150 “Jewish defence soldiers” with David Star tanks and fighter jets to Southern Lebanon where they killed 45 men and destroyed hundreds of houses. This was one of the bloodiest vengeance campaign among many others. And it last more than twenty years. At that time, the Prime Minister Golda Meir announced to the Knesset: “Wherever an attack is prepared, wherever anybody plans to kill Jews and Israelis – there we have to hit.” (For Meir, the “Palestinians” did not exist, and because they were not there, we came, kicked them out, and took their land). During this unprecedented Mossad revenge campaign which had almost no consequences, many innocent people died. After a “murder by mistake” committed in Norway in 1973, Israel also refused to accept responsibility even if after that murder of an innocent five Mossad agents were condemned to several years’ imprisonment and the Mossad was discovered because of its cruel mercilessness. Six years later, the Mossad then found the researched person in Lebanon. And again, twelve innocent passers-by, including a German nun, died. These murders remained unpunished because the German government did not want to touch its friend, the Jewish regime. And this remains true today: a “Jewish people” which does not exist, tries to take all from a Palestinian people which exists. And this Jewish people is supported by the so-called Western “alliance of values”!

 

The “Jewish State” is not endangered, it is the danger!

At the Security Conference in Munich, Netanyahu got the chance to diffuse his propaganda and hatred and was even applauded. This speech is one of a long series of precedent speeches, all published in its book of 1993 entitled “A Durable Peace. Israel and its Place among the Nations”, the basis of his world view. What he wrote for his first election campaign, is used up to now to explain all. Who knows his book, understand what moves this man: hatred and megalomania. And Islam hatred, Palestinians hatred and the final solution of the Judaization, to be pursued by all means. His next book published in 1996 and entitled “Fighting terrorism” is a perfect fit for his “terrorist” world view which wants to struggle against “Palestinian Muslim terrorism” by using the means of the “Jewish” and now “Jewish-Christian” terrorism.

 

Finally, Netanyahu showed a card with the red Sunni and the black Shiite terrorism on it. What was missing, was the blue colour indicating Jewish terrorism. He warned against hundred-thousands of Assad fighters and praised his new alliance with his Arab “friends” Egypt and Saudi Arabia. With them he wants to avoid the expansion of Iran from the Caspian through the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and the Sinai. During the conference in Munich, it was not mentioned that Netanyahu in a meeting with Guterres in Munich had assured that the occupied Golan Heights will remain part of Israel FOR EVER.

 

After this War Conference in Munich I am asking myself: Why did an “elite” applauded this occupiers’ king and warmonger? Why did the conference host Wolfgang Ischinger devotedly sit next to Netanyahu – contrary to ALL other orators – by accepting only three preconceived questions he read without indicating the addressees? These questions were so superficial, like the one saying “Do you still believe in a two-state solution”?, although everybody knows that Netanyahu has always refused exactly this kind of “solution”! The most important question about the occupation and settlements was the eternal taboo subject! And Bibi had the chance to fluff up his feathers and to lie in front of the cameras, by saying that he was still waiting for Trump’s announced peace plan. However, there were the Palestinians and their frustrating reactions. Always the same words. And this is exactly the same method he uses at home to influence the press freedom in the “Jewish State” in his favour. Again, we were witnesses of a journalistic cowardice which criminally neglected to ask Netanyahu the right questions. Always when it is about the “Jewish State”, the journalistic braveness is missing. Under normal conditions, the journalist union should protest immediately against this way of acting by opposing to the “clean” journalism of the conference. But what can we expect from “leading media” which just pursue the aim to make us stupid.

 

“Security Conference” – no contribution to peace and stability

These immense costs of this War Conference in Munich have no justification AT ALL and do not contribute to peace and stability. It is the opposite: the NATO attacks fuel war anxiety and a new edition of the Cold War.  As desired by the USA and its first ally Israel, the first-class war criminals, their  dubious billion deal cooperation should become more and more intensive, because they need wars to stabilise their “cohesion” and their weapon industry.

 

1) https://deutsch.rt.com/international/65188-milliardendeal-nato-und-israel-wollen-enger-kooperieren/

 

However, in reality, the whole thing is about strategies related to the exploitation of resources and the struggle for raw materials like it is the case today in the struggle for the giant gas resources in the Mediterranean Sea.

 

As citizens we can only react by screaming loudly that we do not want warmongers as politicians, and that we do not want a war against Islam and Russia. We want peace, and we do not want walls and occupation, oppression and violation of human rights! Wars and conflicts make refugees, and we experience how sad this can be.

 

 

The date of the 18 February admonishes us and reminds us: “We do not want an all-out war!” 

 

Originally published AT

EARLY DAYS OF NAZISM, HERE AND THERE

All these stories and events have one thing in common. It is the racist Zionist Jewish view of non-Jews as goys, children of a lesser God, and untermenschen! Was not this the defining feature of Nazism? Isn’t this the defining feature of Israel?

Zeev Sternhell says Israel is a Nazi state: He is absolutely correct
 
By Khalid Amayreh
*
Zeev Sternhell is a Polish-born Israeli historian, political scientist, commentator on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and writer. He is one of the world’s leading experts on fascism. Sternhell headed the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
 
Last week, he convincingly argued in an article published in Le Monde that Israel today resembled to a large extent the early years of Nazi Germany.
 
 The mostly jingoistic Israeli media ganged up on the man, accusing him of crossing all red lines.  One Ynet commentator called Sternhell “an auto anti-Semite”. Others called him a self-hating Jew.
 
In his article, Sternhell argued that non-Jews in Israel, especially Arabs, feel they are living under a monster, given the racist laws continually promulgated in order to promote and enforce “the Jewishness” of Israel and also make non-Jews, especially Arabs, feel they are unwanted.
 
Israel’s Arab citizens constitute more than 20 % of Israel’s population, and Israeli leaders, such as the current Minister of Defense,  Avigdor Lieberman,  have repeatedly called for expelling  them to a would- be Palestinian state.  Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories are not immigrants.  They are the original inhabitants of the country.  Hence comparing them with Arab expatriates living in Europe, who are recent immigrants, is outrageous to say the very least..
 
Critics of Sternhell’s treatise argued that it was grossly unfair to compare Israel with Nazi Germany.  They regurgitated the usual hasbara items invoked by Zionist circles to deceive ordinary people who probably have no time to dig further for the truth.   They pointed out that Israel’s Palestinians were full (not equal) Israeli citizens,  that Arab students were studying at Israeli universities by the thousands and that many Arab doctors were working at Israeli hospitals, In short, the usual arguments intended to give a rosy outlook and  hide the hard core-shell of Israeli racism and fascism. Interestingly, Sternhell critics carefully avoided any mention or allusion to some 5.5 million Palestinians languishing under a harsh military occupation in the West Bank and a draconian siege in the Gaza Strip, as if these thoroughly tormented people were a legitimate target for racism, occupation, repression and constant persecution.
 
To be sure, no one accuses Israel of sending Palestinians to concentration camps, although some rabbis like the rabbi  of Safad had called for sending the Arabs to the ovens   see my article: the Rabbi of the Devil, https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/the-rabbis-of-the-devil/
 
However, Nazi Germany was about much more than just concentration camps, which appeared at the final stages of the Third Reich.
 
Indeed, Auschwitz, Mauthauzen Bergen Belsen, Dachau  and Treblinka were the ultimate outcome of Nazism, not its modus operandi.
 
Nazism’s core modus operandi was the lethal, insidious and venomous racism against Jews and others which eventually produced the death camps.
 
Now, let us ask ourselves  the following question:  Doesn’t Israel has such a, modus operandi?
 
I don’t write about the brutal treatment meted out to the Palestinians by Israel from a distant country so that I could be accused of being misinformed.  I actually live this unrelenting agony 24 hours a day. I am in the heart of the fray. This is why I can accuse Israel of using the dishonest lawyer’s tactics to obfuscate the truth and create an alternative virtual truth based on lies and fabrications.
 
It is true that Israel allows Arab students to study at its universities and Arab doctors to serve at its hospitals. But it is also true that Israel has a systematic and institutionalized policy of insidious discrimination against Arabs in Israel, in addition to the manifestly brutal repression meted out to the Palestinians in the occupied territories .Needless to say, narrowing the Arab’s horizons for the purpose of prompting to immigrate has always been and continues to be Israel’s de facto policy toward the Palestinians.
 
Israel routinely demolishes Arab homes for a variety of reasons that are mostly disingenuous.  
 
In the West Bank, the  Israeli occupation army routinely (nearly on a daily basis) deploys bulldozers  throughout the West Bank to demolish  the family homes of Palestinians convicted of killing Israeli occupation  soldiers or paramilitary Jewish settlers.   Have you ever heard of Israel demolishing the home of a Jewish terrorist even if he committed the most hideous crime under the sun!
 
In Jerusalem, Israel demolished thousands of Arab homes under the pretext that these houses had been built without a valid building license. Just ask an East Jerusalemite and him or she would yell you that obtaining a building license for Arabs are an extremely hard task, even text to impossible.
 
On 25 February, Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish doctor who had emigrated from New York, Murdered 29 innocent Palestinian worshipers and seriously injured many others. His home was never demolished and his family continued until today to receive financial benefits from the Israeli state!   
 
A few months ago, a group of Jewish hooligans, including adults, ganged up on an African refugee in Petah Tikva, beating him to death!  This week, the Israeli media reported that the court reached a plea bargain with the defendants which would enable them to serve only a short period in Jail.
 
Now, wouldn’t Jewish circles vociferously protest, and rightly so, if s court anywhere in the world treated the murderer of a Jew similarly leniently?
 
In fact, I myself continue to have unresolved grievances against Israel. On 27 Feb., 1953 (4 years before I was born), Israeli troops murdered my three paternal uncles: Hussein, Mahmoud and Yousuf. They were totally innocent shepherds who harmed no one. Until today, I have not received an acknowledgment of responsibility from Israel, a country that continues to berate Poland for restitution and indemnification for lost Jewish property going back to WWII.
 
You see, all these stories and events have one thing in common. It is the racist Zionist Jewish view of non-Jews as goys, children of a lesser God, and untermenschen! Was not this the defining feature of Nazism? Isn’t this the defining feature of Israel?
 
It is this affronting and highly revolting racism that Zeev Sternhell had in mind when he compared Israel to Nazi Germany?
 
Finally. I would like to ask the guardians of the Golem: what is so un-Nazi about occupying a country and tormenting, savaging and brutalizing its people for over 50 years in order to compel them to immigrate?  Or does Israel think that its 50-year occupation of more than 5 million Palestinians is an act of charity rather than an act of rape?
 

A NATIONAL HISTORY OF SEX, LIES AND CORRUPTION

Last week, the Israeli police recommended indicting Prime Minister Netanyahu on two separate corruption charges. The cases have been under discussion for a long time now. Jonathan Cook has wrote for this site over a year ago, how the Netanyahu scandals “reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society”.

I will not go into further detail regarding Netanyahu in this writing, as I will explain later. Right now, I want to relate to another publication from last week, and draw a comparison to Netanyahu. This is an interview with Israeli author Tom Segev, who has just published a new book called “David Ben-Gurion: A State at All Costs”. He was interveíewed by Ofer Aderet in Haaretz, and the piece is titled “In Bed With Israel’s First Prime Minister: Historian Exposes David Ben-Gurion as You Never Knew Him” 

Indeed, as the title suggests, the novel aspect of this new book appears to be the new discoveries about Ben-Gurion’s sex life – where he had four mistresses, and where one of them was a steady sexual relationship lasting 40 years from 1926. Segev managed to reach these details through archives that were saved under the name of the mistress Rivka Katznelson. Segev’s curiosity about the relationship surged when the archive of the Israel Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry, which has a file under the name “Rivka Katznelson,” refused to open it to the public “for reasons of personal privacy.” Segev nonetheless managed to access Katznelson’s personal material in the Genazim archive, after Katznelson’s niece gave her consent to his perusal of the documents.

What I found even more interesting than Segev’s revelations, were his appraisals in the interview, of why this mattered, and what he thought of Ben-Gurion in light of this.

Segev responds to the question of where the boundary runs between cheap gossip and material of historical value, and why he interested himself in Ben-Gurion’s sex life: “The first answer is the standard one – that if the leader isn’t faithful to his wife, maybe he’s not faithful to his voters, either. If he cheats on her, maybe he cheats on them, too,” he says.

That’s fair enough. And this brings us immediately to the bridging notion between marital unfaithfulness and cheating in general. Corruption is cheating, in general, so I would say there’s a connection.

But interestingly, Segev opines that “Ben-Gurion was not a corrupt person”. He says this just after comparing him to Netanyahu:

“Ben-Gurion has become very popular in recent years,” he notes. “There’s hardly a day when he isn’t mentioned in a newspaper.”

(Aderet): What’s the reason, do you think?

(Segev): “There are powerful longings for a leader with integrity. The explanation, of course, lies in one word: Netanyahu.”

So for Segev, Ben Gurion is still “not corrupt”, and he’s indirectly suggesting he was a leader with integrity (albeit beset by “weaknesses and distress” as he calls it).

Segev again alludes to Netanyahu in pointing out just how Ben Gurion was “not corrupt”:

“He didn’t smoke cigars, didn’t drink champagne, and he chose to go third-class on a ship and share his cabin with other people”, Segev says.

Segev lightly mentions that it still  is possible to talk about corruption in connection with Ben Gurion:

“For example, there’s a problem regarding the house he bought in Tel Aviv, because it can’t be definitely established that he paid back all the loans he received from the Histadrut [labor federation] and from the bank. He also didn’t always pay for the thousands of books he bought”, Segev says (detailed reference for this here).

But all in all, Segev appears to believe that Ben-Gurion was definitely not corrupt – supposedly because he didn’t smoke cigars or drink champagne, even though he had systematic extra-marital affairs and even though he didn’t pay for his books and house.

Alright, let’s pause there.

We know that smoking cigars and drinking champagne are not crimes in themselves. It is always about something other than the appearance. It does not matter if Netanyahu did not ever cheat on his wife. Still, he could be corrupt by other means. The champagne and cigars don’t corrupt him per se. It’s about a bigger picture, that can have many appearances.

Now, was Ben-Gurion really a “man of integrity”?

When I was about 15, I had attended a lecture by the legendary professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz. Leibowitz is the one who coined the term ‘Judeo-Nazis’, and was hailed as “one of the greatest figures in the life of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in recent generations” by Former President Ezer Weizman, who added that he was “a spiritual conscience for many in Israel.” Leibowitz said something at that lecture which I never forgot. It was one short sentence:

“Ben-Gurion was a man of many virtues. Truth was not one of them”.

At the point, I was ignorant of the details of Ben Gurion’s deceptions. Nonetheless, Leibowitz’s sentence was etched in my consciousness, perhaps due to the shock effect of having this heroic persona (Ben-Gurion) simply being called a liar. It was only many years later, that I began to learn about the details of Ben Gurion’s corruption on the grand national scale.

In 1937, Ben-Gurion wrote to his son Amos how acceptance of Partition (it was the Peel Commission partition plan) was not an end but a beginning:

“My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning. When we acquire one thousand or 10,000 dunams, we feel elated. It does not hurt our feelings that by this acquisition we are not in possession of the whole land. This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole. The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.”

In other words, Ben-Gurion knew fully well, that any acceptance of a partial territory is not committing. It’s just a means of getting some legitimacy, from which to grow power and with which to eventually “liberate the entire country”.

When it came to 1948 and the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the US Truman administration wanted to know precisely what borders the Declaration referred to (as it was vague in territorial matters, although referring to UN 181 ‘Partition Plan’ as its ‘legitimacy’ and that it was ‘irrevocable’). Jewish Agency agent Eliahu Sasson thus wrote a memo to President Truman, stating that “the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within the frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution of November 29th, 1947” (resolution 181). It took Truman only a few minutes to make the official recognition.

But Ben-Gurion knew that such ‘frontiers’ were only a start, and not an end.

It turns out, that in April 1947, five months before the 1947 UN ‘Partition Plan’, Ben Gurion was proposing his own ‘partition map’ to the British Cabinet. This also appears in Segev’s new book, and he managed to track down the map in the British National Achive (it is provided in the Haaretz article). The map is strikingly similar to the ‘Green line’ of the 1949 ceasefire lines (which ended up being 78% of historical Palestine), albeit appropriating the whole of the Gaza strip to the Jewish State.

Segev opines that “Ben-Gurion already had the results in his head”.

And why was the west Bank not part of the Jewish State in Ben-Gurion’s map? Well, let’s remember, that this still had to resemble “partition” rather than a complete Zionist takeover. The British had their own plans, which involved what has been referred to as the policy of “Greater Transjordan”. The Jordanians would get a part of Palestine, and in return, they would not unleash their force against the Jewish State.

Israeli-British historian Avi Shlaim:

“The policy of Greater Transjordan implied discreet support for a bid by Abdullah [King of Transjordan], nicknamed ‘Mr Bevin’s little king’ by the officials at the Foreign Office [Bevin was Foreign Secretary], to enlarge his kingdom by taking over the West Bank. At a secret meting in London on 7 February 1948, Bevin gave Tawfiq Abul Huda, Jordan’s Prime Minister, the green light to send the Arab Legion into Palestine immediately following the departure of the British forces. But Bevin also warned Jordan not to invade the area allocated by the UN to the Jews.  An attack on Jewish state territory, he said, would compel Britain to withdraw her subsidy and officers from the Arab Legion. [….] If Bevin was guilty of conspiring to unleash the Arab Legion, his target was not the Jews but the Palestinians. [….][B]y supporting Abdullah’s bid to capture the Arab part of Palestine adjacent to his kingdom, Bevin indirectly helped to ensure that the Palestinian state envisaged in the UN partition plan would be still-born.” 

So Ben-Gurion was aware that imperialist concerns need to be taken into account. And he went with it for a while. It is doubtful that without such arrangements, the nascent Israel could actually have succeeded to conquer so much more of historical Palestine as it did in 1948.

But as Ben-Gurion wrote to his son above, “this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole”. And then came 1967, and the task was territorially completed.  

All these things are colonialist conspiracies which are corrupt in their very essence. In fact, Israel’s second Prime Minister Moshe Sharett had noted this aspect clearly:

“I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered”, he said

So even according to Sharett, Ben Gurion had to be a deceitful leader.

Now, has this essentially changed much? I would say not. The deceit that Zionism applies in order to cover up for its colonialist designs to erase Palestine is a constant factor, and the goal is always corrupt. It’s even genocidal in its very essence. Author and journalist Ben Ehrenriech:

“The question about genocide– yes, it’s an incremental genocide. And I think that’s a word that gives a lot of people pause and it certainly should. We don’t see the absolutely mass slaughters, although in Gaza I think we’ve seen something very much like it that we usually associate with genocide. But– the attempts to erase a people, to just erase them, to erase their history, I think follow a logic that can only be called genocidal.”

So what is the place of corruption at the level of bribery, extra-marital affairs, unpaid bills, cigars and champagne measured against that grand-scale horror? Indeed, the bigger picture brings these things into perspective.

This is why Netanyahu’s personal corruptions, measured against the grand scale, are somewhat irrelevant to Palestinians. And it’s not like there’s hope ahead, even if he does resign. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy wrote last week that “we may miss Netanyahu yet”, listing the options, and focusing particularly on the ‘centrist liberal’ Yair Lapid, whom I call ‘the pretty face of ultranationalism’ – the man with the motto “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”. Levy says about Netanyahu that “his heirs may steer clear of cigars and champagne, but none of them can fix Israel’s great corruption – the institutionalized state corruption arising from 50 years of occupation”.

I think Levy is being too generous, too mild, even too apologetic. That corruption goes back way further than 50 years.

Personally, I have generally refrained from going into detail of Netanyahu’s personal corruptions in all my writings so far. I have instinctively felt, that doing so contained the danger of distracting from the greater national corruption. This is also why I haven’t gone into detail here. I’m not saying Netanyahu’s personal corruption or Ben-Gurion’s personal corruption are irrelevant. But if you really think about the Palestinians, they have been nationally raped by Zionism from the start. You can’t do that and still be a “man [or woman] of integrity”.

 

SUNDAY’S TOON ~~ 2 TRIALS, ONE CRIMINAL

Image by Carlos Latuff

EXPOSING THE MYTH OF THE THREAT TO ‘THE JEWISH STATE’

A drone flew, a David star bomber fell from the sky, and it was a hell which could destroy us all. Was there such a concern when the “David Star Drones” circled all day over sovereign states like the Lebanon or terrorized people in the concentration camp in Gaza?

Image by Carlos Latuff

The myth of the threat to the “Jewish State” is based on lies!

by Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

 

Not at all! Finally, the “Jewish Drones” and bombers are just there to preserve peace. Now the Assad troops have taken their liberty to start a reconnaissance drone from Palmyra which “dared” to cross the “sovereign territory” of King Bibi. Immediately the Israeli regime suspects the Iranian terror behind this drone. Then a David star jet was shot down during a “peaceful mission” and flew from the sky on the illegally occupied territory of the Syrian Golan.

 

While the German media outbid each other in their understanding for the small, threatened Israel, since a long time David star bombers of the “Jewish Defense Army” have been flying over other sovereign countries. The occupier state Israel has attacked other sovereign states for hundreds of times – unpunished. So, this state without constitution and without defined borders and always focusing on aggressions and raids, is unilaterally supported by the Western “alliance of values”.

 

Again, the executive federal government and the Federal Foreign Office (does Gabriel want to flatter?) which does not need further concerns unilaterally interfere and criticize the alleged Iranian “aggressive” attitude, while the Netanyahu occupier regime has the right for “self-defense”. (1)

 

This raises the question why this government quickly authorized the supply of three U-boats in the next ten years – independently from the corruption allegations against Netanyahu. (2) For the most part, this supply is financed by taxpayers’ money amounting to 540 million of Euros according to a good old government tradition.

 

The Jewish State terror regime wants to do away with Iran

 

Since years, the Jewish state terror regime of Netanyahu has been pursuing the aim to do away with Iran. Not Iran is the foreign body in the region, but the “Jewish State” which since its foundation in 1948 has not been determined in living in peace with its neighbors. This completely corresponded to Herzl’s conception of the Jewish State as “land without people for a people without land” to be colonized. This is the reason why Israel does all in its power to be recognized as “Jewish State” and to transform the religion of Judaism into an “nonexistent Jewish people”. And this kills two birds with one stone: Palestine will be judaized and all criticism will be stigmatized as hatred against Jews and silenced. And I like repeating myself by saying: There is nothing Zionists fear more than the truth, but the truth cannot be eternally suppressed.

 

What prompted the “Jewish State” to seek confrontation? Finally, the Jewish State saw the chance to infiltrate the weak Syria so that nobody can ask for the restitution of the illegally occupied Syrian regions.

 

The governments in the “Jewish State” has always masterfully understood to maintain the myth of the eternal threat to the “Jewish State”. Finally, only threat and enemy images weld this belligerent society together. Netanyahu intensified this mentality. Let us never forget his legendary UNO shows in which he could diffuse his primitive bomb drawing and lies unpunished. Since the beginning, Iran was the main target and enemy image number 1.

 

1967 – The second birth of Israel

 

Let us think back to the so-called Six Days War, when the myth of the threat was theatrically and glamorously represented and Israeli generals formally prayed that Egypt may attack Syria. In his book entitled “1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East” the historian Tom Segev vividly illustrated that the “Jewish defense army” tried to escalate the latent conflict with Syria. However, we owe a lot to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe who documented the atrocities of the Nakba and the Six Days War of 1967 in his standard work “The ethnic cleansing of Palestine”. (3)

 

As during the Nakba in 1948 Jewish Defense Soldiers committed mass atrocities like executions of war prisoners and massacres of innocent civilians. All this has to be kept under lock not to destroy the myth of the “most moral” army in the world. 2015 the Israeli documentary film producer Mor Loushi filmed the book “The Seventh Day” by Amos Oz and Abraham Shapira, in which tape recordings of IDF soldiers precisely illustrated what really happened. However, the Israeli censorship authority permitted the publication of only 70% of the material, to avoid its disclosure to the public. This censorship is repeated today with the Israeli organization “Breaking the Silence”. (4)(5)

 

Again and again, on the “Nakba Memorial Day” Palestinians in the occupied territories commemorate this defeat causing the definitive illegal occupation of increasing parts of Palestine. (6)(7)

 

How we are sold the necessity of offensive wars

 

However, this should make us wide awake and remember how we are always “sold” the necessity of offensive wars by the US government and the Zionist regimes. And let us remember the memorable appearance of the former US secretary of state Collin Powell before the UN Security Council fifteen years ago in February 2003. This speech in which he accused Iraq of the possession of mass destruction weapons, had wide ranging consequences. It caused the offensive war against Iraq which was completely contrary to international law. After Powell excused himself for the lies he had diffused with his speech he has been ashamed of up to now. However, this will not bring back to live hundred thousands of victims. (8)

 

Iran has never been a threat to the “Jewish state” or to the world, as Netanyahu and his US friend Trump want us to believe. Iran has never waged an offensive war! The threat clearly comes from the USA and the “Jewish State” which tries with might and main to maintain and extend its claim to hegemony over the whole region, if needed even with nuclear weapons. Finally, the “Jewish State” is a nuclear power like its friend, the USA. And this is not the case for Iran. Remember: The “Jewish State” is allowed to do what other states are not allowed to. After the Holocaust, almost all is possible! Without hesitation, the “Jewish State” and its foreign representatives and supporters are allowed to do whatever they want. And we experience every day where this leads to. However, this must not be hidden.

 

Oppose to the propaganda

 

When hundreds of bomb attacks and drone flights of the “Jewish Defense Army” are represented as “self-defense” and the Jewish State cannot be called what it is, the aggressor, then we have to oppose to this propaganda. When politicians of all parties agree with these lies, then there is something wrong with Germany. Not for nothing the new admirers of the “Jewish State” in the USA and in Europe and Germany are the White National Rights, as Harry Blain exposes in a remarkable article: (9)

 

I think that the comparisons (this does not mean “equalization”!) between the National-socialist crimes and the crimes of the “Jewish State” are legitimate and historically justified. We have to stop the “Jewish State” and its manipulation and instrumentalization of the Nazi Jew-murdering. The “Jewish State” uses the Holocaust as carte blanche and as “license to kill” and as legitimization of all its crimes against international law and against humanity.

 

The truth is our power! And opposing to this Apartheid occupier regime is top priority! The illegally occupied Palestine and the humiliated Palestinian people need our support. It is our duty as Germans!

 

Do not tolerate abuses of international law and human rights as self-defense

 

Provocations, abuses of international law and human rights must not be tolerated as self-defense, because an alleged threat to a nuclear state armed to the teeth is a myth based on lies!

 

Foot Notes:

1 http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/bundesregierung-kritisiert-irans-aggressive-haltung-15444862.html

2 https://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/politik/inland/hmp-uboote-deutschland-israel100.html

3 https://www.amazon.de/ethnische-S%C3%A4uberung-Pal%C3%A4stinas-Ilan-Pappe/dp/3942989867/ref=dp_ob_title_bk#reader_B012U7H846

4 https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/movies/review-in-censored-voices-soldiers-reflect-on-the-six-day-war.html

5 http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/sechstagekrieg-mor-loushys-dokumentarfilm-censored-voices-14351108.html

6 http://linkswende.org/sechstagekrieg-1967-der-mythos-von-der-permanenten-bedrohung-israels/

7 http:/ http://www.taz.de/!5119252/

8 http://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/auf-luegen-gebaut.932.de.html?dram:article_id=236068

9 https://www.juancole.com/2018/02/israels-admirers-nationalist.html

 

Originally posted AT

CAN YOU NAME A WORLD LEADER WHO IS NOT A CRIMINAL?

Police are reported to be confident, after questioning Netanyahu three times, that they have enough evidence to indict him. If they do, Netanyahu will be under heavy pressure to resign.

Ahed Tamimi would be more than willing to give up her cold prison cell to make room for this REAL criminal

Image by Carlos Latuff


Reminder: They got Capone on tax evasion

Netanyahu scandals reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of being brought down, possibly soon, over what initially appears to be little more than an imprudent taste for Cuban cigars and pink champagne.

In truth, however, the allegations ensnaring Netanyahu reveal far more than his personal flaws or an infatuation with the high life. They shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between Israel’s business, political and media worlds, compounded by the perverse influence of overseas Jewish money.

Of the two police investigations Netanyahu faces (there are more in the wings), the one known as Case 1000, concerning gifts from businessmen worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, is most likely to lead to his downfall.

But it is the second investigation, Case 2000, and the still-murky relationship between the two cases, that more fully exposes the rot at the heart of Israel’s political system. This latter case hinges on a tape recording in which Netanyahu plots with an Israeli newspaper tycoon to rig media coverage in his favor.

Leads from both cases suggest that Netanyahu may have been further meddling, together with his billionaire friends, in the shadowy world of international espionage.

Cigars and champagne

Netanyahu’s appetite for a free lunch has been common knowledge in Israel since his first term as prime minister in the late 1990s. Then, he was twice investigated for fraud, though controversially charges were not brought in either case. Police discovered along the way that he and his wife, Sara, had horded many of the gifts he received during state visits. More than 100 were never recovered.

The clarifications that were issued more than 15 years ago, as a result of those investigations, make it hard for Netanyahu to claim now that he did not understand the rules. According to justice ministry advice in 2001, government and state officials cannot keep gifts worth more than $100 without risking violating Israeli law.

The gifts Netanyahu received from one of the Israeli businessmen involved in Case 1000, Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan, amounted to as much as $180,000. Netanyahu has argued that these presents, ranging from cigars to jewelry, were expressions of a close friendship rather than bribes to him in his capacity as prime minister.

The problem, however, is that Netanyahu appears to have reciprocated by using his position as head of the Israeli government to lobby John Kerry, the then U.S. secretary of state, to gain Milchan a 10-year U.S. residency visa. He may have done more. We will return to that matter later.

Also being investigated are his family’s ties to a friend of Milchan’s, Australian billionaire James Packer, who made his fortune in the media and gambling industries. Packer has similarly lavished gifts on the Netanyahu family, especially Yair, Netanyahu’s eldest son.

At the same time, Packer, now a neighbor of the Netanyahus in the coastal town of Caesarea, has been seeking permanent residency and the enormous benefits that would accrue with tax status in Israel. As a non-Jew, Packer should have no hope of being awarded residency. There are suspicions that Netanyahu may have been trying to pull strings on the Australian’s behalf.

Many of these gifts were apparently not given freely. The Netanyahus asked for them. Indicating that Netanyahu knew there might be legal concerns, he used code words – “leaves” for cigars and “pinks” for champagne – to disguise his orders to Milchan.

Police are reported to be confident, after questioning Netanyahu three times, that they have enough evidence to indict him. If they do, Netanyahu will be under heavy pressure to resign.

Pattern of corruption

Disturbing as these allegations of corruption are, Case 2000 indicates that this is about more than one prime minister’s dubious ties to wealthy patrons.

David Ansalem, a political ally of Netanyahu’s, observed on Facebook recently: “In the past 30 years, no prime minister was free from involvement in [police] investigations.”

Ansalem was suggesting that Israeli bribery and fraud laws are too strict, and can easily catch out an unwary politician. But the reverse is more likely to be true: politicians are rapidly corrupted by their pursuit of power in Israel. In short, the corruption in Israel is institutionalized.

Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was similarly the subject of several different investigations, and is currently serving a jail term for fraud over his involvement in a massive real estate deal when mayor of Jerusalem. He was also convicted of receiving cash in envelopes from a U.S. businessman, Morris Talansky, in return for political favors.

Before Olmert, Ariel Sharon was at the centre of many investigations of dubious financial connections with businessmen, including Israeli real estate magnate David Appel and the British Jewish businessman Cyril Kern. Sharon fell into a long-term coma, and later died, before the investigations could lead to an indictment.

This week a corruption investigation against Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader, was dropped, though inconsistencies in his testimony were sharply criticised by Israel’s attorney general. The investigation led to the indictment of Herzog’s campaign manager and a businessman.

Also this week, a former chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to for three and half years.

20 super-rich families

Corruption is rampant in part because of Israel’s extreme concentration of wealth. This is a trend in much of the developed world, but its effects are accentuated in Israel by the small scale of the economy. Research shows that as few as 20 families control most of the country’s wealth, particularly in sectors like real estate, banking, retail, transport and homeland security. It seems some of these super-rich families expect to buy political influence as well.

But there is also a combination of conditions, particular to Israel, that blur the distinctions between the personal and institutional, and that have ensured corruption flourishes.

The climate was probably set in 1948, when Israel was established on the ruins of another society. The building by Israel’s elites of a new, supposedly more equal society in the agricultural communities of the kibbutz and moshav was possible only through the wholesale theft of Palestinian land and homes. The Absentee Property Law of 1950 sanctioned an orgy of plundering by Israel’s upper and middle classes. That foundational culture is hard to eradicate.

Further, Israel’s highly militarised society discourages resistance to authoritarian practices. A 2014 survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, for example, found that only one in three Israeli Jews regarded Israel’s democratic character as supremely important.

This trend is reinforced by the sanctity of Israel’s security sector, which includes not only the military, but the many intelligence services, including the Mossad spy agency, Israel’s arms manufacturers, homeland security and cyber warfare firms, as well as more conventional industries.

Trust in the Israeli military stands at 90 per cent, and half of the Jewish public believe the security services should be allowed to operate against terror without any legal oversight, according to a survey last year. The secrecy surrounding this sector – and the expansive definition in Israel of “terrorism” – inculcates a consensus in favor of concealment and a set of values in which corruption is likely to thrive.

Safeguards are further undermined by Israel’s fractured social structure – religious vs. secular, Ashkenazim vs. Mizrahim, veterans vs. immigrants, liberals vs. settlers. The resulting tribalism creates oppositional interest groups seeking favors and patronage rather than accountability and transparency.

Corruption is especially flagrant in land dealings, both in Israel and the occupied territories. In the Negev, in Israel’s south, for example, vast stretches of territory have been seized, often from Bedouin owners who are nominally citzens of the state, and reallocated as private ranches to Jewish families in a non-transparent planning process.

The institutionalization of corruption is evident in the behavior of leading officials, especially in the field of law enforcement. The police chief, Roni Alsheikh, and a supreme court judge, Noam Sohlberg, both have long records of lawbreaking, by living in settlements in the occupied territories in violation of international law.

Even more glaring is the fact that Avi Cohen, the government official in charge of monitoring and enforcing planning laws in Israel, chiefly against Palestinian citizens, lives in the West Bank settlement “outpost” of Palgei Mayim, which is in violation of Israeli law too.

The shadow economy

But the reach of Israeli corruption is global.

As a self-declared Jewish state, one that formally regards every Jew in the world as being personally invested in Israel, a network of personal and financial ties that are intentionally opaque has developed between Israeli businesses and officials, on the one hand, and overseas Jewish organisations, donors, investors and criminals, on the other.

Israeli authorities are aware that criminal gangs with international connections, often in the former Soviet Union, recycle their money in the Israeli economy, often laundering it in real estate purchases. A leaked U.S. embassy cable in 2009 warned that Israel was in danger of becoming a “promised land” for organised crime.

The Haaretz newspaper observed recently that this underground economy had become so big – with an annual turnover reaching as much $39 billion – Israel could find itself on the same list as Iran as “one of the leading state financiers of global terrorism”.

Some of this shadow economy is authorised at the highest levels. Israel confers privileged status on international Zionist organisations like the Jewish National Fund and World Zionist Organisation that funnel in donations from Jews around the world. These “charitable” organisations enjoy semi-governmental status, even though they can operate outside Israel’s laws.

The WZO setttlement division, for example, secretly pumps money into illegal settlements in the West Bank, hiding the money even from Israel’s state auditors. Funds are moved around out of sight, leaving plenty of room for corruption among officials, in addition to the inherent illegality of the settlement enterprise.

And then there are the Jewish tycoons from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia who treat Israel as part of their philanthropic investment portfolio. Their reasons include ideological zeal to realise a Greater Israel, salving their consciences for not living in Israel, or extending their influence to the “safe haven” they or their family may need in times of trouble.

Most Israeli politicians rely on overseas Jewish funders. Netanyahu won his Likud party’s primaries in 2014 exclusively with the help of foreign donors, all but one of them American.

Personifying this unhealthy external interference in Israeli politics is Sheldon Adelson, the U.S. casino magnate who is Netanyahu’s main patron. Adelson has done much more than channel donations to Netanyahu’s campaign coffers. He created a newspaper to get Netanyahu elected and keep him in office.

The free daily Israel Hayom, founded 10 years ago, is now the biggest-circulation paper in Israel and is known locally as Bibi-ton, or Bibi’s newspaper, in reference to Netanyahu’s nickname. A recent investigation by Haaretz found that Adelson had sunk an astronomic sum into Israel Hayom – some $190 million in its first seven years alone – to keep it afloat.

At the same time, Adelson has been sponsoring Republican politicians, including the new occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, to ensure he has an outsize influence in the U.S. as well. Trump’s sudden conversion to Netanyahu’s pro-settlement agenda coincided with his need for Adelson’s support in the presidential campaign.

War against the media

Adelson and his Israel Hayom newspaper are at the heart of Netanyahu’s current troubles. The tapes in Case 2000 are audio recordings of conversations between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, the Israeli owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth media group, which includes the country’s largest paid-for newspaper. Mozes’ desperate need to save his business empire appears to have driven him into Netanyahu’s embrace.

Adelson and Netanyahu’s aim in establishing Israel Hayom in 2007 was not only to create a propaganda platform for Netanyahu. It was also intended to drive rival papers, especially Yedioth Ahronoth, out of business by forcing down their income from advertising revenue. U.S. businessman Adelson’s pockets are much deeper than those of Israeli businessman Mozes.

This was effectively a vendetta by Netanyahu and Adelson against Mozes for using his media empire, which once enjoyed near-monopoly status in Israel, to damage Netanyahu and support rival politicians. Yair Lapid, a former columnist at Yedioth, is today leader of the Yesh Atid party, a potential challenger to Netanyahu for prime minister. He has in the past received strong backing from his former paper.

In the tapes, Mozes and Netanyahu discuss a deal that would guarantee the Yedioth media group cheerlead for Netanyahu in return for his government passing legislation to limit Israel Hayom’s circulation and possibly force it to charge a cover price. The pair appear to have broken off contacts some time before Israel’s general election in March 2015.

Had the talks succeeded, Netanyahu would have enjoyed almost blanket support in the mainstream press. The holdout would have been the liberal, and very small-circulation, Haaretz daily.

Netanyahu was not prepared to rest there, however. After the 2015 election he appointed himself the communications minister so that he would have regulatory power over Israel’s broadcasters. Since then he has been waging a concerted battle to intimidate Israel’s two commercial TV stations, Channels 2 and 10. Even after the latest revelations, he remains in charge of the communications ministry.

From Hollywood to Mossad

Cases 1000 and 2000 share at least one figure in common. Milchan gave Netanyahu extravagant gifts over many years, but he is also reported to have acted as go-between, bringing arch-enemies Netanyahu and Mozes together. Milchan has his own financial stake in the media, in his case a holding in the Channel 10 TV station.

In addition, Milchan introduced Netanyahu to sympathetic businessmen, including his friend Packer, to discuss taking the ailing Yedioth media group off Mozes’ hands. Only last October he arranged for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan, to fly to Israel for one night for a secret meeting with Netanyahu.

Milchan is undoubtedly at the centre of the shadowy world of power and finance that corrupts public life in Israel. Not only is Milchan a highly influential Hollywood figure, having produced more than 100 films, but he has admitted that he is a former Mossad agent. He used his Hollywood connections to help make arms deals and secure parts for Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

One can only wonder whether Milchan was not effectively set up in his Hollywood career as a cover for his Mossad activities.

But Milchan, it seems, is still wielding influence in Israel’s twilight world of security.

Yossi Cohen was appointed head of the Mossad a year ago, after a government vetting committee accepted that he had no personal ties to Netanyahu. But Cohen forgot to mention that he is extremely close to Netanyahu’s high-flying friends – connections that are now under investigation.

Milchan set up a global security firm in 2008 called Blue Sky International, stuffed with Israeli security veterans. Packer soon became a partner. They developed close ties to Cohen, first while he was a senior official at the Mossad and later when he headed Israel’s national security council.

Before Cohen was appointed head of Mossad in December 2015, the pair had hoped to recruit him to their cyber-security operations. Cohen received several gifts from Packer, in violation of Israeli government rules, including a stay at one of his luxury hotels.

A source speaking to Haaretz said Blue Sky had “more than [a] direct line” to Netanyahu. They “would pull him out from anywhere, at any time, on any occasion.”

According to Haaretz’s military analyst, Amir Oren, the new disclosures raise serious questions about whether Milchan and Packer twisted Netanyahu’s arm to parachute Cohen into the post over the favored candidate. In return, Packer may have been hoping that Cohen would authorise exceptional Israeli residency for him, classifying him as a security asset.

Beyond this, one one can only speculate about how Cohen’s indebtedness to Milchan, Packer and Netanyahu might have influenced his decisions as head of the Mossad. It was only a few years ago that the former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, was reported to have wrestled furiously with Netanyahu to stop him launching a military strike on Iran.

Prosecution drags feet

It is unclear for the time being whether the revelations are drawing to a close or will lead deeper into Israel’s twin netherworlds of financial corruption and security.

But what has emerged so far should be enough to finish off Netanyahu as prime minister. Whether it does so may depend on the extent of Israel’s compromised legal system. Attorney general Avichai Mendelblit was appointed by Netanyahu and is a political ally. He appears to have been dragging his feet as much as possible to slow down the police investigation, if not sabotage it.

But the weight of evidence is looking like it may prove too overwhelming. As political analyst Yossi Verter observed: “There’s no way that a police commissioner … appointed [by Netanyahu] and a cautious attorney general, who in the past was part of his close circle and one of his loyalists, would be putting him through the seven circles of hell if they weren’t convinced that there’s a solid basis for indictment and conviction.”

The next question for Netanyahu is whether he will step down if indicted. He should, if Olmert’s example is followed. But his officials are citing a 1993 high court ruling that allows a cabinet minister under indictment to remain in office. Certainly if Netanyahu chooses to stay on, his decision would be appealed to the court again. However, the judges may be reluctant to oust a sitting prime minister.

The court of public opinion is likely to be decisive in that regard. A recent poll shows few Israelis believe Netanyahu is innocent of the allegations. Some 54 per cent think he broke the law, while only 28 believe him. Opinion, however, is split evenly on whether he should resign.

Where next?

If past experience is any measure, Netanyahu will try to turn public opinion his way by increasing friction with the Palestinians and exploiting the international arena, especially his relations with the Trump administration. He may be expected to encourage Trump at the very least to posture more stridently against Iran.

Nonetheless, most observers assume Netanyahu is doomed – it is simply a matter of when. The odds are on an indictment in late spring, followed by elections in the fall, say Israeli analysts.

At this stage, none of his political rivals wants to be seen stabbing Netanyahu in the back. Most are keeping quiet. But behind the scenes, political leaders are hurrying to forge new alliances and extract political concessions while Netanyahu is wounded.

Naftali Bennett, the settler leader, is pushing aggressively for annexation of Ma’ale Adumim, a large settlement strategically located close to Jerusalem, as a prelude to further annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Who might succeed Netanyahu? Yair Lapid, of the centre-right Yesh Atid, is heading the polls, but that may in part reflect the disarray in Netanyahu’s Likud party. In a sign of where the deeper currents in Israeli society are leading, a Maariv poll last week showed that settler leader Naftali Bennett would win an election if he were to head the Likud.

Netanyahu now needs the help of all the powerful friends he can muster. His biggest ally, U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, may not be among them. After the revelations that Netanyahu was conspiring against him with Mozes, Adelson has cut back on Israel Hayom’s circulation and is reported to be offering less favorable coverage of the Netanyahus.

That could prove the final straw, sealing Netanyahu’s fate.

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