Zionist quotes reveal genocidal racism

Zionist quotes reveal genocidal racism

By Gideon Polya

Zionist

The Anglosphere countries (the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) are variously based on genocide of the Indigenous inhabitants but in the post-WW2 era these countries variously came to terms with this genocidal racist past.

Indeed Donald Trump and the lunatic right aside, it is now simply unacceptable in Western Mainstream society for Mainstream politicians and other public figures to express outright racism or support for genocide.

Indeed Western Mainstream journalist, politician, academic and commentariat presstitutes can be described as politically correct racist (PC racist) by endlessly declaring their love of ‘moderate Muslims” and their desire to bring them freedom and democracy, while supporting US Alliance wars in the Muslim world that have killed millions. Thus in this century 32 million Muslims have died from violence, 5 million, or from deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false atrocity that killed about 3,000 people [1].

In the case of Zionism, a genocidally racist political ideology that has only been significant in the last century, there are no such qualms. The Zionists make frank assertions about the inferiority of the Indigenous Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Asians and the necessity of ethnic cleansing to preserve a Jewish-dominated state in Palestine. This should have (but so far has not) created a serious political problem in the US, Australia and Canada that globally are number 1, 2 and 3 , respectively, in support for nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, racist, Israel.

Those supporting Nazi Germany can be reasonably described as pro-Nazi, and those supporting Israel are likewise reasonably described as pro-Apartheid. However while supporting Israel, its Western supporters do not use the genocidally racist rhetoric of the Zionists and hide behind the fig-leaves of an “even-handed approach”, the “Peace Process” and the “Two State Solution”.

The falsity and dishonesty of these disingenuous Western assertions is exposed by the horrible reality that Israeli ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine now makes a “Two State Solution” impossible. The Western supporters of Israel overwhelmingly ignore Zionist racism and the horrendous realities of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide that has involved 2.0 million Palestinian deaths from violence (0.1 million) and from imposed deprivation (1.9 million) since WW1, 8 million Palestinian refugees, the ethnic cleansing of 90% of the land of Palestine, and highly abusive, violent and indefinite confinement of presently 5 million Occupied Palestinians in the Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million) or in West Bank ghettoes (3 million). The horrendous dimensions of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide invite comparisons with the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed by violence or imposed deprivation).

However for decent, anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish observers, the humane solution to the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is simple and immediately implementable – a unitary state in Palestine with return of all refugees, zero tolerance for racism, equal rights for all, all human rights for all, one-person-one-vote, justice, goodwill, reconciliation, airport-level security, nuclear weapons removal, internationally-guaranteed national security initially based on present armed forces, and untrammelled access for all citizens to all of the Holy Land. Such humanity is utterly rejected by the Zionists whose genocidally racism must be exposed in order to bring them to heel and to expose the profound dishonesty of their Western supporters and the utter unacceptability of support for Israel.

It is vitally important to expose Zionist racism and genocidal intent, noting that Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention defines genocide as “Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”. To that end, below is an alphabetically-ordered compendium of Zionist assertions “from the horse’s mouth” that variously admit and expose Zionist racism, anti-Arab anti-Semitism, anti-Jewish anti-Semitism, exceptionalism, genocide and genocidal intent (for detailed documentation see [2]).

ALBRIGHT. Madeleine Albright (Jewish American Zionist, US UN Ambassador , US Secretary of State ), when she defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a US “60 Minutes” segment in which anti-racist Jewish American journalist Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” replied (1996): “We think the price is worth it”.

ARANNE. Zalman Aranne (Israeli Minister without portfolio, 1954-1955, Minister of Transportation, 1955, Minister of Education, 1955-1960, 1963- 1969) about the Indigenous Palestinian demographic “threat” to Israel (1967): “The way I know the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora, after all the heroism, miracles and wonders, a Jewish state in which there are 40 percent Arabs, is not a Jewish state. It is a fifth column that will destroy the Jewish state. It will be the kiss of death after a generation or a generation and a half… I see the two million Jews before me differently when there will be 1.3 million Arabs – 1.3 million Arabs, with their high birth rate and their permanent pent-up hatred. … We can overcome 60,000 Arabs, but not 600,000 and not a million”.

BARAK. Ehud Barak (Israeli Prime 1999 – 2001) (2000): “The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”.

Ehud Barak (2000): “If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force….”

Ehud Barak when asked by Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy what he would have done if he had been born a Palestinian: “I would have joined a terrorist organization”.

BEGIN. Menachem Begin (Israeli Prime Minister, 1977 – 1983) (1947): “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized…. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel [Jordan to the Mediterranean or Nile to the Euphrates?] will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever”.

Menachem Begin (1982): “[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs”.

BEN GURION. David Ben Gurion (Israeli Prime Minister, 1949 – 1954, 1955 – 1963) (1937): “We must expel Arabs and take their places”.

David Ben Gurion (1948): “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population”.

David Ben Gurion: “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population”.

David Ben Gurion (1938): “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country”.

David Ben Gurion: “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel”.

David Ben Gurion as revealed by Yitzhak Rabin (Israeli Prime Minister 1974 – 1977 and 1992 – 1995) (circa 1948): “We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, what is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!”

David Ben Gurion: “If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Out God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”

David Ben-Gurion: “When a Jew, in America or in South Africa, talks to his Jewish companions about ‘our’ government, he means the government of Israel”.

David Ben Gurion (1948): “We must do everything to insure they [the Palestinians] never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes: “The old will die and the young will forget”.

David Ben-Gurion (1948): “We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai”.

DAYAN. Moshe Dayan (former Israeli general and Israeli Defense Minister) on the occupation and ethnic cleansing of the newly acquired Occupied Palestinian Territories (1967): “By allowing these Arabs to seek and find work in foreign countries, there’s a greater chance that they’ll want to migrate to those countries later”.

Moshe Dayan (1969): “We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs and we are building here a Hebrew, a Jewish state; instead of the Arab villages, Jewish villages were established. You even do not know the names of those villages, and I do not blame you because these villages no longer exist. There is not a single Jewish settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab Village”.

EITAN. Raphael Eitan (Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces) (1983): “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle”.

Rafael Eitan (Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces) (1983): “We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel… Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours”.

ESHKOL. Levi Eshkol (war criminal Israeli Prime Minster, 1963-1969) about Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (1967): “I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon”, “ Precisely because of the suffocation and imprisonment there, maybe the Arabs will move from the Gaza Strip”; “[I’m] working on the establishment of a unit or office that will engage in encouraging Arab emigration”; “We are interested in emptying out Gaza first”; “Perhaps we can expect another war and then this problem will be solved. But that’s a type of ‘luxury,’ an unexpected solution”; “I suggest that we don’t come to a vote or a decision today; there’s time to deal with this joy, or better put, there’s time to deal with this trouble”; “I cannot imagine it – how we will organize life in this country when we have 1.4 million Arabs and we are 2.4 million [Jews], with 400,000 Arabs already in the country?”

Levi Eshkol (1967): “We’ll deprive Gaza of water, and the Arabs will leave”.

FEIGLIN. Moshe Feiglin (Deputy Speaker of the Knesset [the Israel parliament] in a letter to Israeli PM Netanyahu detailing a plan for ethnic cleansing of the Gaza Strip (2014): “… What is required now is that we internalize the fact that Oslo is finished, that this is our country—our country exclusively, including Gaza. There are no two states, and there are no two peoples. There is only one state for one people. Having internalized this, what is needed is a deep and thorough strategic review, in terms of the definition of the enemy, of the operational tasks, of the strategic goals, and of course, of appropriate necessary war ethics.

(1) Defining the enemy: The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety. The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)

(2) Defining the tasks: Conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.

(3) Defining the strategic goal: To turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians.

(4) Defining war ethics: “Woe to the evildoer, and woe to his neighbor.”

In light of these four points, Israel must do the following:

a) The IDF shall designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas that are used for launches and tunneling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined. The supply of electricity and water to the formerly populated areas will be disconnected.

b) The formerly populated areas will be shelled with maximum fire power. The entire civilian and military infrastructure of Hamas, its means of communication and of logistics, will be destroyed entirely, down to their foundations.

c) The IDF will divide the Gaza Strip laterally and crosswise, significantly expand the corridors, occupy commanding positions, and exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.

d) Israel will start searching for emigration destinations and quotas for the refugees from Gaza. Those who wish to emigrate will be given a generous economic support package, and will arrive at the receiving countries with considerable economic capabilities.

e) Those who insist on staying, if they can be proven to have no affiliation with Hamas, will be required to publicly sign a declaration of loyalty to Israel, and receive a blue ID card similar to that of the Arabs of East Jerusalem.

f) When the fighting will end, Israeli law will be extended to cover the entire Gaza Strip, the people evicted from the Gush Katif will be invited to return to their settlements, and the city of Gaza and its suburbs will be rebuilt as true Israeli touristic and commercial cities… ”

HERZL. Theodor Herzl (genocidally racist psychopath founder of Zionism) (1895): “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly”.

Theodor Herzl on Asian “barbarism” (1896): “If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return undertake to regulate the whole finances of Turkey. We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism. We should as a neutral State remains in contact with all Europe, which would have to guarantee our existence”.

ISRAELI CHILDREN. Israeli children were found by Israeli psychologist George Tamarin to overwhelmingly support Biblical Israelite genocide of Canaanites as reported by Professor Richard Dawkins in his book “The God Delusion” (2006): “Tamarin presented to more than a thousand Israeli school children, aged between eight and fourteen , the account of the battle of Jericho in the book of Joshua [which states] Then they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword … Tamarin then asked the children a simple moral question: “Do you think Joshua and the Israelites acted rightly or not? They had to choose between a (total approval), B (partial approval) and C (total disapproval).

The results were polarized: 66 per cent gave total approval, and 26 per cent total disapproval, with rather fewer (8 per cent) in the middle with partial approval … Tamarin ran a fascinating control group in his experiment. A different group of 168 Israeli children were given the same text from the book of Joshua, but with Joshua’s name replaced by “General Lin” and “ Israel ” replaced by “a Chinese kingdom 3,000 years ago”. Now the experiment gave opposite results. Only 7 per cent approved of General Lin’s behaviour, and 75 per cent disapproved… It was religion that made the difference between children condemning genocide and condoning it”.

ISRAELI PRO-GENOCIDE DEMONSTRATORS. Israeli demonstrators supporting an IDF soldier who executed a wounded Palestinian and demanding mass killing of Palestinians, as reported thus (2016): “A photo posted by Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi showed a demonstrator holding a banner displaying the words “Kill them all,” at the rally, which drew a crowd of around 2,000 people. Dan Cohen, an independent US journalist on the ground, reported that the crowd was chanting “death to Arabs””.

JABOTINSKY. Vladimir Jabotinsky (leading pre-WW2 Zionist) (1935): “ There is only one power which really counts. The power of political pressure. We Jews are the most powerful people on earth, because we have this power, and we know how to apply it”.

KOENIG. Israel Koenig (author of “The Koenig Memorandum that called for the Judaization of the Galilee in 1977) (1977): “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population”.

LIEBERMAN. Avigdor Lieberman (Israeli Foreign Minister) re getting rid of Palestinian Israelis (2015): “Anyone who’s with us should be given everything – up to half the kingdom. Anyone who’s against us, there’s nothing to do – we should raise an axe and cut off his head; otherwise we won’t survive here”.

Avigdor Lieberman re expelling a northern Israeli Palestinian town (2015): “There’s no reason for Umm al-Fahim to be part of the State of Israel. Citizens in the State of Israel who fly a black flag on Nakba Day – as far as I’m concerned they should go away, and I’ll donate them to Abu Mazen with great joy”.

MEIR. Golda Meir (Israeli Prime Minister 1969 – 1974) (1961): “Anyone who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen”.

Golda Meir (1969): “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist”.

Golda Meir (1969): “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to”.

Golda Meir (1971): “This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy”.

Golda Meir (1975): “Let me at this juncture deal also – even if very briefly- with the ridiculous accusation that I have heard for so many years to the effect that we ignored the Arabs of Palestine and set about developing the country as though it had no Arab population at all. When the instigators of the Arab disturbances of the late 1930s claimed, as they did, that the Arabs were attacking us because they had been “disposed”, I did not have to look up British census figures to know that the Arab population of Palestine had doubled since the start of Jewish settlements there. I had seen for myself the rate of growth of the Arab population ever since I had first come to Palestine. Not only did the living standard of the Arabs of Palestine far exceed that of the Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East, but attracted by the new opportunities, hordes of Arabs were emigrating to Palestine from Syria and other neighbouring countries all through those years”.

Golda Meir on a conversation with President Richard Nixon in 1969 (1975): “We also talked about the Palestinians and I spoke my mind as openly on that topic as I did on others. “Between the Mediterranean and the borders of Iraq,” I said, “in what was once Palestine [for about 3,000 years], there are now two countries , one Jewish and one Arab, and there is no room for a third. The Palestinians must find the solution to their problem together with that Arab country, Jordan, because a “Palestinian state” between us and the Jordan can only become a base to from which it will be even more convenient to attack and destroy Israel””.

MORRIS. Benny Morris (leftist Israeli historian) predicting more Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (2004): “But I am ready to tell you that in other circumstances, apocalyptic ones, which are liable to be realized in five or ten years, I can see expulsions”.

NETANYAHU. Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime Minister 1996 – 1999 and 2009-present) (1989): “Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories”.

OLD TESTAMENT. Old Testament of the Holy Bible (core of the Torah of Judaism and of Abrahamic religions) promulgates racial superiority and genocide in the multi-ethnic “Promised Land” by the “Chosen People” (written circa 600-400 BCE).

The Old Testament relating to Noah and the near-total extermination of Humanity (Genesis, chapters 6 and 7): “6. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch… 7. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. 23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.”

The Old Testament relating to the genocidal collective punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis , chapter 19): “1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground… But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them… 10 but the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it… 15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed… 24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

The Old Testament relating to the gendercide of the Hivites by Jacob’s sons (Genesis, chapter 34 ): “1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.and his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife… 20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. 23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? Only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us. 24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city. 25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. 26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, 29 and all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.”

The Old Testament relating to the horrendous punishment of the Egyptians, notably the killing the firstborn of Egypt “to put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel” (Exodus, chapter 11): “ And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

The Old Testament advocating Canaanite Genocide (Palestinian Genocide) by the “Chosen People” in Deuteronomy chapter 7: “1 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2 And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth”.

The Old Testament relating to the promise to the Israelites of the established agrarian land of other peoples “flowing with milk and honey”(Deuteronomy, chapter 27): “Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying: “Keep all the commandments which I command you today. And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, which you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord God of your fathers promised you”.

The Old Testament relating to the Canaanite Genocide (Joshua, chapter 23): “3 You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has fought for you. See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you”.

The Old Testament relating to Joshua’s Jericho Genocide (Joshua, Chapter 6): “And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days… 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. 17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent… 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword… 27 So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country”.

The Old Testament relating to the punishment of Saul for failing to completely destroy the Amalekites and Kenites (1 Samuel, chapter 15): “1 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley. Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed… 24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”27 And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28 So Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man that He should relent.”

The Old Testament relating to the genocide of the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites (1 Samuel, chapter 27) : “And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. For those nations were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as you go to Shur, even as far as the land of Egypt. Whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achish. 10 Then Achish would say, “Where have you made a raid today?” And David would say, “Against the southern area of Judah, or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the southern area of the Kenites.” 11 David would save neither man nor woman alive, to bring news to Gath, saying, “Lest they should inform on us, saying, ‘Thus David did.’” And thus was his behavior all the time he dwelt in the country of the Philistines. 12 So Achish believed David, saying, “He has made his people Israel utterly abhor him; therefore he will be my servant forever.”

The Old Testament relating the capture and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem by genocidal psychopath King David in 2 Samuel, chapter 5: “6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. 7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. 8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. 9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built roundabout from Millo and inward. 10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him”. John Wesley has interpreted “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house” to mean “That is, whence it became a proverb, or a common saying, used by David, and others, the blind and the lame Jebusites, were set to keep the house, that is, the fort of Zion; and to keep others from coming into it; but now they are shut out of it, and none of them, either of the Jebusites, or of blind and lame persons, shall be admitted to come into it again. Which David might ordain, to keep up the memory of this great exploit, and of the insolent carriage of the Jebusites” i.e. genocide of the Jebusites that mirrors the exclusion of 8 million Palestinians today from entering Palestine and exclusion by the Apartheid Wall, the Gaza Concentration Camp, razor wire and road blocks of most of the now majority 6.8 million Indigenous Palestinian subjects of Israel from actually or readily entering Jerusalem.

PELED. Matityahu Peled (Israeli General) (1972): “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war”.

PERES. Shimon Peres (Nobel Peace Laureate, nuclear terrorist, Israeli president 207-2014 and twice Prime Minister as well as Interim Prime Minister in the 1970s to the 1990s) successfully evaded the prohibition of French sales of uranium to Israel under international agreements by proposing: “Don’t sell it to us, lend it to us. We will return it to you after our mission is completed”.

PERRIN. Rabbi Yaacov Perrin (1920): “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail”.

PORATH. Yoram Bar Porath (Israeli academic) demanding honesty about the Zionist program (1972): “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands”.

RABIN. Yitzhak Rabin (Israeli Prime Minister 1974 – 1977 and 1992 – 1995) (1983): “[Israel will] create in the course of the next 10 or 20 years conditions which would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the Gaza Strip and the west Bank to Jordan. To achieve this we have to come to agreement with King Hussein and not with Yasser Arafat”.

Yitzhak Rabin (1948): “We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters”.

SHAMIR. Yizhak Shamir (Israeli Prime Minister, 1983 – 1984 and 1986 – 1992) (1988): “[The Palestinians] would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls”.

Yizhak Shamir (1990): “The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the Sea to the River Jordan for future generations, for the mass aliya [Jewish immigration], and for the Jewish people, all of whom will be gathered into this country”.

Yizhak Shamir (1997): “The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It’s that simple”.

SHARON. Ariel Sharon (Israeli Prime Minister, 2001 – 2006) (1998): “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands”.

Ariel Sharon (1998): “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many [Palestinian] hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours…Everything we don’t grab will go to them” .

Ariel Sharon (2001): “Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial”.

Ariel Sharon (then Prime Minister) during an argument in an Israeli cabinet meeting in which Shimon Peres warned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that unless he would heed American requests for a cease fire with the Palestinians, he could cause America to turn against Israel; in a fit of anger, Sharon responded to Peres (2001): “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it”.

TAMIR. Naftali Tamir (former Israeli Ambassador to Australia) (2006): “Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia. We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don’t have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not – we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side. Israel has not fully acknowledged the value of working together with Australia in Asia. It’s a way for us to cooperate with and enhance our position in the countries neighboring Australia”.

WEITZ. Joseph Weitz (the director of the Land and Afforestation Department of the Jewish National Fund (JNF)): “There are some who believe that the non-Jewish population, even in a high percentage, within our borders will be more effectively under our surveillance; and there are some who believe the contrary, i.e., that it is easier to carry out surveillance over the activities of a neighbor than over those of a tenant. [I] tend to support the latter view and have an additional argument:…the need to sustain the character of the state which will henceforth be Jewish…with a non-Jewish minority limited to 15 percent. I had already reached this fundamental position as early as 1940 [and] it is entered in my diary”.

WEIZMANN. Chaim Weizmann (chemist, Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization and Israeli President of Israel, 1949- 1952) (1920): “We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not…You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world”.

Chaim Weizmann advocating genocide (1941): “If half a million Arabs could be transferred, two million Jews could be put in their place”.

YAAKOV. Itzhak Yaakov (Israeli engineer and brigadier general in charge of development of an Israeli nuclear bomb to be detonated in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsular as a demonstration if the 1967 War did not go as planned; he was later punished when he revealed this secret): “Doomsday operation… Look, it was so natural. You’ve got an enemy, and he says he’s going to throw you to the sea. You believe him. How can you stop him?” You scare him. If you’ve got something you can scare him with, you scare him… [the plan] was to create a new situation on the ground, a situation which would force the great powers to intervene, or a situation which would force the Egyptians to stop and say, ‘Wait a minute, we didn’t prepare for that.’ The objective was to change the picture”.

YA’ALON. Moshe Ya’alon (Lieutenant General Moshe (“Bogey”) Ya’alon, headed genocidal Israeli Operation Defensive Shield in West Bank in 2002; IDF chief of staff from 2002-2005; Israeli Defense Minister from 2013-2016 including the genocidal 2014 Gaza Massacre) (2002):.The characteristics of that [Palestinian] threat are invisible, like cancer. When you are attacked externally, you see the attack, you are wounded. Cancer, on the other hand, is something internal. Therefore, I find it more disturbing, because here the diagnosis is critical. If the diagnosis is wrong and people say it’s not cancer but a headache, then the response is irrelevant. But I maintain that it is cancer. My professional diagnosis is that there is a phenomenon here that constitutes an existential threat… There are all kinds of solutions to cancerous manifestations. Some will say it is necessary to amputate organs. But at the moment, I am applying chemotherapy, yes”.

ZIONIST DEFAMATION OF ANTI-RACIST JEWS. Zionists routinely apply anti-Jewish anti-Semitic and false defamation of anti-racist Jews as “self-hating Jews” or “self-loathing Jews”. The Zionist hatred for Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Asians also extends to hatred of anti-racist Jews who are compelled to publicly oppose ongoing Zionist human rights abuse, racism, Apartheid and genocide. Google searches for the terms “self-hating Jews” or “self-loathing Jews” yield circa 35,000 and 45,000 results, respectively, evidence that these false, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic Zionist assertions have wide currency. For anti-racist Jews and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians the core moral messages from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying”. However these sacred injunctions are grossly violated by the anti-Arab anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and indeed anti-Jewish anti-Semitic racist Zionists running Israel and their Western backers variously involved in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Somali Genocide, Afghan Genocide, and the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide [1].

Final comments

As set out in this compendium, Zionism as articulated by its proponents from Theodor Herzl to Benjamin Netanyahu, is genocidal racism in awful intent and horrendous practice. While portrayed by One Percenter-controlled Mainstream media as “nice” Western leaders, popular Justin Trudeau (Canada) and all-smiles, oh-so-charming Malcolm Turnbull (Australia) would be politically finished and utterly disgraced if they were to express the explicit genocidally racist views of the kind advanced by the Zionists as set out above. Yet Australia and Canada rank second and third, respectively, after Trump America as supporters of Israel. People world-wide must adopt the exacting and resolute moral position of anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish critics of Israel that there must be zero tolerance for racism.

Zionism is genocidal racism in awful racist theory and appalling genocidal practice. The racist Zionists and their supporters must be sidelined from public life as have been like racists such as the neo-Nazis, Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity – decent people around the world must speak out by (a) informing everyone they can, (b) demanding zero tolerance for racism, and (c) urging and applying Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and all its supporters.

References

  1. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya221115A.htm .
  2. “Zionist quotes re racism and Palestinian Genocide”, Palestinian Genocide : https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/zionist-quotes .

 

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Syria: There is No FSA, There is Only Al-Qaeda

There is No FSA, There is Only Al-Qaeda

“Are we supporting al Qaeda in Syria?”

A brief overview of collaboration between the US-backed Free Syrian Army and al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

Among Syria commentators in the West, both left and mainstream, it is commonly claimed that the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad has attempted to crush the supposedly moderate, secular rebels of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), while at the same time deliberately supporting extremist rebel groups in order to “Islamize” the Syrian rebellion and to convince the West the Syrian government is really fighting terrorism. It is argued that if Assad could claim his government was fighting al-Qaeda terrorists, rather than secular freedom fighters struggling for democracy, this would force the US and other Western powers to end their support for the Syrian rebels trying to topple the Syrian government, and to instead embrace Assad as a partner with the West in the so-called War on Terror.

A closer review of events in Syria shows the opposite, however, namely that it is the US-backed FSA-branded Syrian rebel groups that have consistently collaborated with and fought alongside al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, as well as alongside other Salafi-Jihadi rebel groups, namely Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam, and at times even alongside the Islamic State (ISIS).

Nusra and FSA-affiliated brigades have essentially functioned as a coalition in the fight against the Syrian government, with FSA commanders often referring to fighters from Nusra as members of the FSA itself. In many cases, FSA offensives against Syrian government military bases or check points have begun with suicide or truck bombings carried out by Nusra militants. Nusra and FSA-affiliated brigades have established joint committees to divide weapons captured from the Syrian army in rebel offensives. FSA commanders often sell US and Gulf-supplied weapons to Nusra.

Certain FSA brigades and Nusra have of coursed clashed at times, however, there is a clear pattern of FSA collaboration with Nusra generally. FSA and Nusra militants have fought side by side in key battles in which the Syrian opposition has been able to capture large population centers and territory from the Syrian government. FSA and Nusra rebels, often hailing from the Syrian countryside or from outside of Syria itself, invaded many of Syria’s major cities, causing large numbers of civilians to flee to other Syrian government controlled areas, or to neighboring countries as refugees, as occurred in Aleppo, Raqqa, and the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the Damascus suburbs. The majority (77%) of Syrian refugees in Europe reported fleeing violence from both the Syrian government and the rebels, suggesting that Syrians feared both the rebel invasions of their cities, and the harsh Syrian government response which inevitably followed.

Residents who remained in their homes were then forced to live under jihadist occupation, as FSA brigades and Nusra continued to coexist and jointly control Syrian territory for months or even years, as was the case in Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Ezzur, Idlib, and Yarmouk camp. This means that when the Syrian army was fighting to recapture cities and territory from the FSA, it was typically also fighting Nusra.

In some opposition controlled areas, joint Nusra-FSA control was a precursor to Islamic State (ISIS) control. It must be remembered that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi founded Nusra by sending a delegation of fighters from Iraq to Syria in late 2011. Nusra and ISIS were essentially the same organization. After FSA and Nusra rebels captured Deir Ezzur in the spring of 2013, a dispute over control of newly captured Syrian oil fields caused Nusra to split from ISIS. Nusra fighters therefore had to choose whether to remain loyal to Nusra, or to pledge loyalty to Baghdadi and join ISIS. When many Nusra fighters did choose to join ISIS, the group gained immediate influence in areas previously captured by Nusra and the FSA, in particular in Raqqa and Deir Ezzur. ISIS, Nusra, and FSA brigades at first co-existed in these areas, however, ISIS was able to oust the FSA and what remained of Nusra from Raqqa and Deir Ezzur entirely within the next year. This allowed ISIS to capture Syria’s most lucrative oil fields, establish Raqqa as its Syrian capital, and greatly grow the size and strength of its so-called Caliphate.

Cooperation between ISIS and Nusra actually continued in some areas, so that in 2015, Nusra fighters deliberately helped facilitate an ISIS takeover of the Yarmouk refugee camp after Nusra had jointly occupied the camp alongside its FSA counterparts for three years.  In the Yarmouk basin in southwest Deraa province, near the Israeli border, a prominent FSA brigade declared loyalty to ISIS in late 2014, bringing additional opposition-held territory under ISIS control. This means that ISIS gained its foothold in many areas as a result of the FSA and Nusra first capturing those areas from the Syrian government.

In a lengthy study analyzing Nusra strategy, Jennifer Cafarella of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) concluded that “JN [Jabhat al-Nusra] serves as a force multiplier for other rebel groups. JN leverages small units of highly skilled fighters to contribute an essential special forces-like capability to rebel military offensives. JN provides highly effective capabilities such as the deployment of suicide bombers to produce asymmetric effects against the regime.”

Such FSA/Nusra cooperation is not surprising given Nusra’s goal of embedding itself within the broader US-backed Syrian insurgency. Nusra leader Abu Mohammad al-Jolani highlighted this approach, stating to al-Jazeera that “Preserving good relations with the other groups and treating them well and turning a blind eye to their mistakes is the foundation in dealing with the other groups.”

Nusra support for the FSA is generally downplayed by rebels themselves for public relations reasons. For example, an opposition activist in Deraa described how “The FSA and Al Nusra join together for operations but they have an agreement to let the FSA lead for public reasons. . . Operations that were really carried out by Al Nusra are publicly presented by the FSA as their own.” Similarly, the Western media often describe joint Nusra/FSA operations in vague terms, such as “rebel offensives” and describe Nusra/FSA controlled territory as “opposition-held,” making it difficult to observe the symbiotic relationship between the two groups when casually reading the news of events in Syria.

FSA dependence on Nusra was made clear when US officials designated Nusra as a terrorist organization in late 2012. FSA commanders protested the decision, insisting that “We are all Nusra.”

At first glance, it might appear that US officials were alarmed by cooperation between Nusra and the FSA, given that Nusra is al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. However, there is considerable evidence that US planners have themselves viewed Nusra as an ally in its effort to overthrow the Assad government, despite designating it a terrorist organization. US planners have bombed Nusra only sparingly, as Nusra’s efforts to topple the Syrian government dovetailed with the United States’ own. When US planners did bomb Nusra targets in an effort to kill specific al-Qaeda militants suspected of planning attacks against the West, US officials took great pains to emphasize they were not bombing Nusra, which they viewed as helping Syrians fight against Assad but rather elements of al-Qaeda they considered to belong to a separate and previously unknown entity, the Khorasan group. US planners also expected that US-trained rebels would be welcomed by Nusra in the battle against the Syrian government, and expressed shock when Nusra attacked these US-trained groups and stole their weapons in several instances.

In November 2016, some officials in the Obama administration acknowledged the tacit alliance with Nusra and argued for a shift in US policy. The Washington Post reports that “Officials who supported the shift said the Obama administration could no longer tolerate what one of them described as ‘a deal with the devil,’ whereby the United States largely held its fire against al-Nusra because the group was popular with Syrians in rebel-controlled areas and furthered the U.S. goal of putting military pressure on Assad.”

Further, one must not rely on claims from Assad, or Syrian, Russian, and Iranian state media to conclude that it is the US-backed FSA that collaborates with al-Qaeda. Rather this is clear from admissions from FSA commanders themselves, and from reporting in Western and Gulf media outlets (broadly hostile to the Syrian government) about specific rebel offensives.

In the remainder of this essay, I will provide a brief overview of the events showing collaboration between the FSA and Nusra in each of the areas mentioned above, as well as evidence suggesting that US planners have typically viewed Nusra (and even ISIS in specific circumstances) as an ally in its covert fight against the Syrian government.

Deraa

Deraa province is located in the south of Syria, bordering both Jordan and Israel. Deraa city is the provincial capital. Evidence of Nusra involvement in the Syrian insurgency in Deraa province began to emerge in late 2012. The BBC reported that on November 10, 2012 “At least 20 soldiers have been killed in twin explosions in the southern Syrian city of Deraa, activists report . . .  two cars packed with explosives were detonated at a military camp, killing and wounding ‘dozens.” No specific group claimed responsibility for the attack; however, it appears to have been carried out by Nusra, as large car bombs were used.

In this period, the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels increased drastically as well. The New York Times reported that in November 2012, Saudi Arabia “financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to antigovernment fighters” in southern Syria, via shipments through Jordan, and that these shipments were arranged with help from the CIA, including from then CIA director David Petraeus. The Croatian weapons began reaching rebels in Deraa province by late December 2012.

Eliot Higgins of the crowdsourcing journalism website Bellingcat notes that FSA brigades and Nusra jointly assaulted a Syrian government military base outside of Al Sahweh that same month. Higgins located images showing Nusra fighters using these Croatian weapons, presumably because FSA groups had shared them with Nusra during the joint operation.

Higgins also noted that the FSA and Nusra jointly attacked the Syrian army outpost, Hajez Barad, in Busr al-Harir, Daraa, in March 2013. He located images of Nusra fighters using the same Croatian weapons during that operation as well.

Nusra was not the only jihadist group to receive the Saudi purchased weapons. McClatchy quoted an Ahrar al-Sham spokesperson in late February as acknowledging “of course they [the FSA] share their weapons with us, we fight together.”

In March 2013, the Washington Post reported that the FSA-affiliated Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade had cooperated with Nusra to seize the 38th Division air base of the Syrian army in Deraa province.  In September 2013, Al-Jazeera reported that opposition rebels, among them fighters from Nusra, wrested control of the Ramtha border crossing to Jordan from the Syrian army.

The New York Times reported that by the summer of 2013, the US was itself sending weapons  to rebels in southern Syria, in addition to those being sent via Saudi and Jordanian intelligence. The National reported that these weapons were distributed to Syrian rebels via an operations command center in Amman. These distributions included vehicles, sniper rifles, mortars, heavy machine guns, small arms and ammunition to FSA units. Western and Arab military advisers based in the operations center offered tactical advice on attacking Syrian government targets.

On Oct 04, 2013, the pro-opposition Lebanese Daily Star reported that according to a source in the opposition Joint Military Council, Saudi-supplied anti-tank missiles sent to FSA groups in Deraa had reached Nusra “within days” of delivery to the FSA . The source stated “Nusra paid $15,000 for each. So they are going in, and immediately being sold on.”

That Nusra regularly purchased weapons from the Western-backed military councils supplying the FSA was confirmed one year later. In October 2014, the New York Times reported that Shafi al-Ajmi, a Nusra fundraiser, told a Saudi news channel that “When the military councils sell the weapons they receive, guess who buys them? It’s me.”

On January 5, 2014, the National interviewed opposition activists and FSA fighters and commanders in Deraa. One FSA fighter explained how “They [Nusra] offer their services and cooperate with us, they are better armed than we are, they have suicide bombers and know how to make car bombs.” A local opposition activist described how “The FSA and Al Nusra join together for operations but they have an agreement to let the FSA lead for public reasons, because they don’t want to frighten Jordan or the West. . . Operations that were really carried out by Al Nusra are publicly presented by the FSA as their own.” An FSA commander further explained that assistance from Nusra to the FSA had been crucial during several battles against the Syrian government in the south of the country and that the FSA and Nusra had an agreement to share weaponry captured during successful operations, but that this is rarely acknowledged because, “The face of Al Nusra cannot be to the front. It must be behind the FSA, for the sake of Jordan and the international community.”

Despite FSA/Nusra cooperation, Reuters reported that Congress approved sending additional small arms and anti-tank rockets to FSA rebel groups in southern Syria in late January 2014, with a budget that would extend weapons shipments through September 2014.

In February 2014, the Southern Front was established to consolidate the command structure and military operations of 49 southern FSA rebel groups, including the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade. US funding to the Southern Front was justified on the basis of claims that the Front was an umbrella for moderate opposition groups denouncing sectarianism and extremism.

Close cooperation between the US-backed FSA brigades comprising the Southern Front and Nusra continued, however.  In February 2014, the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade participated with Nusra in a campaign to capture strategic positions between Deraa and Quneitra.

In May 25, 2014 a commander of the FSA affiliated al-Omari Brigade told Vice News that despite some tensions, its relationship with Nusra was good, and that he was committed to maintaining it. The commander stated that, “God forbid there would be a war between the FSA and Nusra. It would be a disaster for everyone, and a victory for the regime.” Mohammed Ktefan, a Nusra fighter from Daraa, also told Vice that “Fighters from the FSA and Nusra work together in the free areas and relations between them are very natural” and that, “This talk about controversies and clashes [between the FSA and Nusra] is just propaganda. It doesn’t exist on the ground.”

In the fall of 2014, FSA rebels and Nusra jointly assaulted several southern Syrian cities near the Israeli border, including Tel al-Harra and Baath city (causing thousands of residents to flee) and took control of the Quneitra crossing to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

By December 2014, the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade split from the Southern Front and Nusra and pledged allegiance to ISIS. This brought FSA territory in the Yarmouk basin under ISIS control. In March 2016, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appointed a Saudi National, Abu Abdullah al-Madani, as the new head of the group. In May 2016, the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade merged with two other armed factions sympathetic to ISIS, forming the Khalid Bin Walid Army (KBW).  Fighting between the KBW on the one hand, and FSA and Nusra rebels on the other became common. When US-backed Kurdish and Arab militias drove ISIS out of its then capital, Raqqa, in the fall of 2017, a number of senior ISIS commanders fled to the area controlled by the KBW, setting up a new training camp and overseeing the dissemination of online propaganda. Despite publicly expressing hostility to ISIS, the Israeli government followed a “live and let live” policy with ISIS-affiliated factions and Nusra, which both maintained a presence near the Israeli border over the course of several years, according to the Times of Israel.

In April 2015, the US-backed Southern Front and Nusra jointly captured the Nassib border crossing, the last government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Jordan. In the summer of 2015, the Southern Front cooperated with Nusra to launch the “Southern Storm” campaign to take full control of Deraa city, though the campaign was ultimately unsuccessful.  As part of this campaign, rebels from the Southern Front and Nusra jointly captured the Brigade 82 military base in southwestern Deraa province, which, according to one rebel commander, would help the rebels “cut supply routes of the regime forces in the south from their supplies in the north to be able to eventually take over Deraa city.”

This cooperation continued into 2017. In February, the FSA announced the beginning of an operation entitled “We Prefer Death to Kneeling Down” with the objective of taking control of the Menshiya neighborhood in Deraa City from the Syrian Army. The operation was directed by the al-Bunyan al-Marsous operations room, which coordinated rebel activities among the different factions, including the FSA, Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham and Nusra (by then known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham). The operation began with two suicide car bombs carried out by Nusra fighters. The fight for Menshiya continued for months, as rebels were able to take control of much of the district, prompting the Syrian army to send an elite army unit to attempt to retake it with the assistance of Russian airstrikes.

Raqqa

On March 2, 2013 a coalition of rebel groups, including the FSA, Nusra, and Ahrar al-Sham expelled Syrian government forces and conquered the city of Raqqa, the capital of the eastern Syrian governorate of the same name.

Syria analyst Matthew Barber provides an account of the fighting in which rebels, all originating outside of Raqqa itself, took control of the city. Barber also describes video footage from the rebels showing what appears to be the massacre of Syrian government soldiers whom Nusra had promised free passage out of the city upon surrender. Other videos emerged showing Nusra fighters executing Syrian government intelligence officials in the town’s central square, as well as parading the bodies of others throughout the city in pickup trucks.

The capture of Raqqa was widely celebrated by the Syrian opposition, as it was the first provincial capital to be controlled entirely by rebel forces.  Reuters reported that the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) claimed the capture of Raqqa would prove “a decisive victory in the struggle for the downfall of the criminal Assad regime and to salvage Syria from the ugliest epoch in its history.”

The sentiment of local residents in Raqqa did not seem to match those of opposition supporters abroad, however. While the city was under government control, some 800,000 Syrians from other areas of the country had sought refuge there in an effort to escape violence elsewhere.  As the rebel invasion loomed, the BBC cited Reuters as reporting that some residents, including Raqqa’s local representative in the opposition SNC, had pleaded with rebels not to enter the city, as “The fear now is that the regime will hit Scud missiles indiscriminately at Raqqa to punish the population.” Once the rebels captured Raqqa, civilians sought to flee the city en masse, in contrast to having sought refuge there previously.  Al-Arabiya reported on March 31 that according to opposition sources, “more than half of Raqqa residents and those who migrated to it before it was seized have fled, amounting to more than a million.”

The residents that remained soon had to fear not only possible retribution from the Syrian army, but oppression at the hands of rebels now occupying the city. From March 2013 to January 2014, the city was controlled by multiple rebel factions, including by FSA brigades, ISIS, and Nusra (which had broken away from ISIS at roughly the time Raqqa fell from government control).

Though idealized by secular opposition activists as a time when Raqqa residents supposedly “enjoyed a period when we could work freely and walk in the streets carrying revolutionary flags,” the first months after Syrian government forces were defeated were in fact characterized by strong influence of both Nusra and ISIS.

Reuters quoted an opposition activist from Raqqa, who described how “All the FSA cared for was stealing and accumulating money. From the first day of Raqqa’s liberation they left it to the Islamic State [ISIS].” Reuters notes as well that “Residents say they know little about the fighters. They include Iraqis, Gulf Arabs and Libyans, they say, but keep their identity hidden behind masks and avoid conversation” suggesting that Raqqa was essentially under foreign occupation by jihadist militants.

In June 2013, Youtube footage emerged showing Raqqa residents protesting outside of a joint ISIS/Nusra headquarters in Raqqa in an effort to win the release of relatives imprisoned by the militant groups, who were detaining residents in Raqqa for having “exceeded the boundaries of Shari’a.” Women protestors used slogans against Nusra and ISIS such as “I want my brother,” and “We want dad,” to demand the release of detained family members.  Billboards containing ISIS propaganda, encouraging residents to pray, and to fight against idolatry, and encouraging women to wear the niqab (clothing covering their bodies, including their face), could be seen throughout the city. In July 2013, ISIS kidnapped pro-opposition Italian Jesuit priest Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, who had traveled to Raqqa to negotiate a ceasefire between quarreling rebel factions. Local activists believed he was executed a short time later. The New York Times interviewed ISIS commander Abu Omar in Raqqa in August 2013, in a story highlighting the role of jihadists in not just Raqqa, but in the Syrian insurgency broadly, providing a further indication of ISIS’ presence in Raqqa when the city was supposedly under some kind of secular, democratic self-rule and considered an example of the success of the revolution.

That same month, clashes broke out between ISIS and members of the FSA-affiliated Ahfad al-Rasoul Brigade in Raqqa, in which one prominent Rasoul commander was killed.  ISIS was so strong in Raqqa that Rasoul fighters were forced to announce it was ceasing hostilities against ISIS, supposedly “to preserve frontline unity” while pro-rebel rallies continued to feature FSA flags flying side by side with flags from ISIS.

The next month, in September 2013, the FSA in Raqqa essentially ceased to exist, as one activist from Raqqa described how, “Not all, but the majority of FSA have joined Nusra because of [fear of] ISIS. Al-Nusra are Syrian and ISIS is not. Al-Nusra, at the end of the day, is essentially FSA, in that they are fighting to bring down the regime.”

That same month, the BBC reported that local residents began to protest ISIS after its fighters began attacking churches in Raqqa, including the iconic Armenian Catholic Church of the Martyrs. ISIS militants responded with beatings, arrests, and kidnappings, causing one local activist to claim that in Raqqa, ISIS “are the new dictators, just like Bashar al-Assad but dressed in black,” and that ISIS had “banned the sale of alcohol, they tried to close cafes where boys and girls sit together, they banned street theatre, cinema, bright colours, and forced women to wear Islamic dress.”

Finally, in January 2014, clashes between ISIS and Nusra broke out, as a result of which ISIS managed to take full control of the city, making it the organization’s Syrian capital. Foreign fighters continued to flock to Raqqa to join ISIS, and the group accelerated its oppression of Raqqa residents, closing churches, crucifying dissidents, destroying Shia shrines, and further imposing its extremist, fringe interpretation of Islamic law on residents.

After years ISIS occupation of Raqqa, US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led a four month long assault against the city, accompanied by a large-scale US bombing campaign from the air, which successfully defeated ISIS in October 2017. The brutal US/SDF assault caused massive destruction, clearly visible by footage taken by drone. Hostilities finally ended when the last few hundred ISIS fighters and their families were evacuated in an agreement with US-backed forces. ISIS fighters left in a large convoy of buses and semi-trucks, taking large quantities of weapons with them. SOHR estimated the total dead from the fighting at some 3,250, including many from US airstrikes.  Once Raqqa was destroyed by US bombs after years of ISIS occupation, it became clear that the supposed liberation of the city in the spring of 2013, which brought celebrations among secular Syrian opposition activists, was just the beginning of the “ugliest epoch” in the city’s history, rather than the end of it.

Aleppo

Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and main economic hub, located in northern Syria near the Turkish border. In the summer of 2012, rebel fighters from the Tawhid Brigade invaded Aleppo. At the time, Tawhid was considered a member of the FSA. Tawhid fighters, largely from the countryside outside Aleppo, received assistance from Nusra in their assault of the city. The Washington Post quoted Tawhid commander Abu Ibrahim as saying of Nusra that “We are together. . .There is good coordination.” The Post also quoted a member of the Aleppo Revolutionary Council as describing Nusra fighters as “heroes” who “fight without fear or hesitation.” The International Crisis Group (ICG) pointed to YouTube videos which “depicted a militant waving a Jabhat al-Nusra flag celebrating among Liwa al-Towhid fighters and local civilians. Amid thirteen minutes of singing and dancing not generally associated with jihadis, those celebrating cheered and chanted for the FSA, Liwa al-Towhid and Jabhat al-Nusra.” ICG noted YouTube videos depicting Nusra fighters attacking the Hanano military barracks alongside FSA fighters, and explained that “Such open collaboration with its larger [FSA] counterpart has earned Jabhat al-Nusra public praise from prominent rebel leaders and local activists.”

Aleppo’s residents did not by and large welcome the rebel invasion and occupation of the city, however. One FSA commander acknowledged that “Around 70% of Aleppo city is with the regime. It has always been that way. The countryside is with us and the city is with them,” while another rebel commander vowed to make Aleppo “burn” for this lack of support for the rebels, while yet another  insisted the city must be “dragged” into the revolution.

By January 2013, the grim reality of life under FSA/Nusra rule had become apparent. A US State Department assessment described life under rebel rule in Aleppo: “There are hundreds of small groups (10-20 fighters) spread all over the area of Aleppo . . . The FSA has [been] transformed into disorganized rebel groups, infiltrated by large numbers of criminals. All our efforts with MCs [military councils] were abolished. . . . Warlords are a reality on the ground now. . . . A [failed] state is the most likely outcome of the current condition, unless adjustment [is] done. . . Rebel violations are becoming a normal daily phenomenon, especially against civilians, including looting public and private factories, storage places, houses and cars.” As a result of FSA criminality, Nusra was “gaining popularity” due to their discipline and refrain from participating in the looting, according to the report.

Nusra continued to play a prominent role in the rebel occupation of East Aleppo for much of the next four years. In March 2013, the Washington Post reported that Nusra “assumed control of bakeries and the distribution of flour and fuel” in the city, and was the dominant rebel faction in establishing the “Sharia authority” to govern the city according to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law.

Other indications of FSA collaboration with Nusra come from Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi, the head of the Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo, which, according to the Telegraph, was one of the main rebel recipients of US military aid. In an interview with an opposition media outlet, al-Okaidi claimed that Nusra was actually part of the FSA, stating that Nusra “constitute perhaps 10% of the FSA in the city of Aleppo and in Syria.” This mirrored then Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that maybe 15 to 25 percent of the rebels were “al Qaida and the bad guys.” Oddly, Kerry cited these numbers to try to prove that “[t]here is a real moderate opposition that exists,” ignoring the fact that whatever groups he referred to as moderate were collaborating closely with al-Qaeda (Nusra).

Al-Okaidi has met personally with former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, whom he personally thanked for aid shipments to the FSA, as well as with US Congressman Adam Kinzinger in September 2014. Okaidi has been interviewed in the Western Press, for example, in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz when he led the rebel offensive to capture Aleppo in 2012 and by CNN in conjunction with Kininger’s meeting with Syrian rebel representatives in 2014.

Al-Okaidi and his US-backed Aleppo Military Council have worked closely not only with Nusra, but with ISIS as well. After a ten month campaign, FSA brigades were finally successful in capturing the Menagh air base, located one hour from Aleppo city, in August 2013. The FSA was only able to do so, however, with the help of fighters led by prominent ISIS commanders Abu Jandal and Abu Omar al-Sheshani. The New York Times reported that weeks of “relentless suicide vehicle bombings on the walls of the base” turned the tide in the battle, and that afterward “al-Okaidi, the head of the United States-backed opposition’s Aleppo military council, appeared in a video alongside Abu Jandal, a leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. In camouflage, Colonel Okaidi offered thanks to ‘our brothers al-Muhajireen wal Ansar [Jandal’s battalion] and others, adding: ‘We’re here to kiss every hand pressed on the trigger.’ He then ceded the floor to Abu Jandal and a mix of jihadist and Free Syrian Army leaders, who stood together, each praising his men, like members of a victorious basketball team.”

In September 2014, the Los Angeles Times quoted several fighters from Hazm Movement (a “vetted” rebel group that received TOW anti-tank missiles from the US) in Aleppo as explaining that, “Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra,” through relations between the groups would eventually sour, when in March 2015 Nusra attacked various Hazm bases and confiscated its weapons, essentially dissolving the group.

Al-Monitor reports that Nusra reinforced its presence in Aleppo in February 2016 (having previously lost influence there to ISIS), as a column of Nusra tanks and trucks carrying medium and heavy weapons resembling a military parade entered the city by way of the al-Kastelo road. Nusra was then at the forefront of the fighting when the final battle for the city between rebels and Syrian/Russian forces began in the fall of 2016. When the Syrian government attempted to liberate East Aleppo from Nusra and its FSA counterparts, the Western press described the Syrian government’s efforts as “genocide” and repeated unfounded rebel allegations of Syrian government war crimes, including that women in Aleppo were committing suicide to avoid being raped by Syrian government soldiers.

The Western press characterized the defeat of al-Qaeda in Aleppo is the “fall” of the city, rather than its liberation, even as the massacres of the civilian population predicted by Western journalists failed to materialize. Instead, reports emerged that rebels had murdered civilians attempting to flee from rebel controlled areas to government controlled areas of the city, and that large numbers of Syrian displaced persons and refugees began returning to their homes in East Aleppo in the months after it returned to Syrian government control, thus slowly reversing the flight of civilians from the city that occurred in the summer of 2012 when rebels first invaded it.

Idlib

Idlib province is located in northwest Syria, along the border with Turkey, with Idlib City serving as the provincial capital. By July 2012, Nusra was playing a large role in assisting the rebels in Idlib province. Time magazine reported that “’Abu Mohammad, a local FSA commander with 25 men, said he dealt with the Jabhat [Nusra] because he needed their ‘explosives, bullets and other things … They have experience that I can benefit from, and I can also give them some help, information that benefits them.’”  Time notes further that by July 2012, Nusra had “a presence in at least half a dozen towns in Idlib province as well as elsewhere across the country, including strong showings in the capital of Damascus and in Hama, according to the Jabhat member and other Islamists who are in contact with senior members of the group.”

During this period, foreign support for the rebels increased markedly, as Qatar was using C-130 transport aircraft to deliver weapons to Turkey which would then be delivered to rebels in Idlib province. The New York Times quoted one former US official who described how Qatari efforts, with assistance from then CIA head David Petraus, resulted in a “cataract of weaponry” flowing to the rebels in Syria.  The NYT noted as well that “The Qatari flights aligned with the tide-turning military campaign by rebel forces in the northern province of Idlib, as their campaign of ambushes, roadside bombs and attacks on isolated outposts began driving Mr. Assad’s military and supporting militias from parts of the countryside. As flights continued into the summer, the rebels also opened an offensive in that city — a battle that soon bogged down.”

In November 2012, the Washington Post provided details of a report from an NGO affiliated with the FSA regarding the influence of Nusra in Idlib and elsewhere, noting that, “In Idlib province, west of Aleppo, Jabhat’s ranks number 2,500 to 3,000, or about 10 percent of the total number of FSA fighters there,” suggesting that Nusra was considered part of the FSA itself.

Also in November 2012, FSA brigades and Nusra were able to capture a key Syrian military base. The BBC reported that, “Hundreds of FSA fighters – led by the jihadist groups al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and the Islamic Vanguard – have besieged Taftanaz Military Airport in Idlib province. . . . Rebel fighters broke into the airbase on Wednesday night after days of fighting, and by Thursday had seized control of more than half of it. On Friday morning, the Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), an opposition activist network, reported that the FSA was now in full control,” once again indicating there was little if any distinction between the FSA and Nusra.

In February 2013, another joint FSA/Nusra operation led to capturing another key Syrian military base in Idlib, this time in Wadi Deif. Time magazine reports that the Nusra Front and other rebel groups, including the FSA’s Idlib Revolutionary Military Council, headed by Colonel Afif Suleiman, renewed the assault on the Wadi Deif military base and other targets in Idlib. Taking the base was a crucial step in controlling the M5 highway that allows the Syrian government to transport military supplies from Hama and Damascus north to Idlib and Aleppo. All factions involved committed to obey rulings of a Sharia committee established to distribute spoils of war between the groups, which had been a point of contention previously. The Nusra commander leading the operation told Time that “We invited all of the leaders of the brigades here,” and that “They have all sworn to the court to work together. God willing, this will serve as an example to others.”

In May 2013, the Long War Journal reported that Nusra and seven different FSA brigades carried out a large joint operation in Idlib province involving 2,000 fighters, eight tanks, a BMP armored vehicle, as well as mortars, rockets, machine guns, and other heavy weapons, noting that “The Al Nusrah Front explained that it decided to assist the Syrian rebel units after they failed to take control of the camps despite laying siege to the area for more than three months. . . .The al Qaeda-linked terror group also said that in another attack, on June 14, it worked with four other rebel groups to overrun ‘the Military Housing Foundation’ in Idlib.” During that operation, Nusra partnered with Ahrar al-Sham, as well as with FSA brigades Liwa al-Tawhid, and Liwa al-Haq.

In February 2014, the commander of the US and Saudi backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front, Jamal Maarouf, said that his group was happy to fight alongside al-Qaeda, and that he had provided weapons to Islamist rebels (he did not specify which groups) at the behest of his Saudi sponsors during a battle at Yabroud.

On May 25, 2014, SOHR reported that “Four al-Nusra Front fighters carried out suicide attacks this morning, driving vehicles packed with explosives into four regime forces’ checkpoints in the Jabal al-Arbaeen area near Ariha city,” while Emirates Today reported that “Fighters of the Free [Syrian] Army and Islamic brigades followed up the bombings by storming and controlling roadblocks and buildings.”

On October 27, 2014 the Independent reported that “Syria almost lost its second city to the jihadists of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra last night when hundreds of fighters stormed into the provincial capital, Idlib, captured the newly installed governor’s office and began beheading Syrian army officers. By the time government troops recaptured the building, at least 70 soldiers – many senior officers – had been executed, leaving one of the oldest cities in Syria in chaos” before the Syrian army was able to repel the rebel assault. EA Worldview reported that FSA fighters took part in the assault on Idlib city as well, noting that “Insurgent forces, including Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army, attacked this morning from the north, south, and west and captured several checkpoints on the perimeter of the city. They then moved on positions such as the stadium and the College of Education.”

Some tensions between Nusra and other opposition rebel groups did appear. In November 2014, al-Nahar reported that Nusra fighters executed 13 members of an opposition rebel group in a town in the Idlib countryside, shooting them in the back. The reason for the clashes was not known, though the factions had fought side by side against the Syrian government previously. In March 2015 al-Monitor reported that Nusra attacked both the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and the Hazm movement (both groups had fought with Nusra previously) and that the groups had “collapsed within a few hours in the Idlib countryside” and that Nusra seized both groups’ weapons depots.

Relations between Nusra and other Western-backed rebel groups in Idlib remained strong however, while close US-ally Qatar sought to improve its relations with Nusra. In March 2015, Reuters reported that Qatari intelligence officials had met with Nusra leader al-Jolani “several times in the past few months to encourage him to abandon al Qaeda and to discuss what support they could provide,” even though “the ideology of the new entity is not expected to change,” suggesting Qatar desired such a change for public relations reasons.

US planners sought better relations with Nusra as well. Syria analyst Charles Lister, writing in Foreign Policy, noted that US planners encouraged FSA brigades to coordinate with Nusra to launch a spring offensive against a number of cities and towns in Idlib province still under Syrian government control.
The campaign involved an assault on Idlib city in March 2015 as well as an attack on Syrian government check points in the al-Ghab plain in April 2015. When Nusra took control of most of Idlib city, the opposition government in exile (based in Turkey) considered moving its headquarters to Idlib so it could begin to operate from within the country. The opposition government enjoyed strong support from Qatar and later received direct US funding.

On April 22, 2015, Nusra (by then known as Jaish al-Fateh) launched three simultaneous offensives, with support from FSA factions (Liwa Forsan al-Haq, the 1st Coastal Division, Liwa Suqor al-Jebel, and others) in Jisr al-Shigour, the Mastouma military base, and the nearby al-Qarmeed and Sahl al-Ghab checkpoints. FSA groups used US-provided TOW anti-tank weapons in these offensives. Nusra suicide bombings helped capture the National Hospital in Jisr al-Shagour. By late May, the opposition capture of Idlib province was complete, as Nusra took control of the town of Ariha.

Syria analyst Charles Lister, writing in Foreign Policy, observed that the opposition gains in Idlib province during this period were the result of several months of extensive planning, and that “The operations also displayed a far improved level of coordination between rival factions, spanning from U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigades, to moderate and conservative Syrian Islamists, to al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and several independent jihadist factions.”

In addition to highlighting increased FSA/Nusra cooperation, Lister also notes that US planners had directly instructed their FSA proxies in Idlib to cooperate with Nusra. Lister writes, “The involvement of FSA groups, in fact, reveals how the factions’ backers have changed their tune regarding coordination with Islamists. Several commanders involved in leading recent Idlib operations confirmed to this author that the U.S.-led operations room in southern Turkey, which coordinates the provision of lethal and non-lethal support to vetted opposition groups, was instrumental in facilitating their involvement in the operation from early April onwards. That operations room — along with another in Jordan, which covers Syria’s south — also appears to have dramatically increased its level of assistance and provision of intelligence to vetted groups in recent weeks.”

Lister finishes the article by arguing that US cooperation with al-Qaeda (Nusra) is the best option for US planners:  “[T]here still remains no better alternative to cooperating with al Qaeda, and thus facilitating its prominence. If the West wants a better solution, it must broaden and intensify its engagement with Syria’s insurgent groups and considerably expand its provision of assistance to a wider set of acceptable groups” echoing a popular view among Western and Gulf think tank analysts that Nusra was worthy of US support.

Lister expanded further on this subject, writing in the Huffington Post that, “none of the major victories in Idlib since early-April would have been possible without the crucial rearguard actions of U.S.— and Western-backed FSA units and their externally-supplied artillery shells, mortars and American-manufactured BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile systems. . . As this author revealed in early-May, the depth of coordination between Western-backed FSA factions, Islamists, Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadists has increased markedly in Idlib since April, both due to a natural need for cooperation on the ground, but also thanks to a tacit order to do so from the U.S.- and Saudi-led coordination room in southern Turkey [emphasis mine].”

Lister also notes that,” Specifically in Idlib, Jabhat al-Nusra also began unilaterally imposing a harsher level of Sharia justice, including stoning men and women to death, restricting women’s dress and freedom of public movement, and enforcing the closure of shops during prayer time.”

Roughly one year later, in March 2016, relations deteriorated between Nusra and the 13th Division, one of the major FSA brigades in Idlib province. After cooperating to capture Idlib one year before in a joint operation, Nusra killed seven Division 13 fighters in Ma’arat al-Numan, and took a dozen more as prisoners after a night-long gun battle. Nusra was able to defeat Division 13 “in large measure because none of the other FSA factions in the town were willing to help their allies. Most prominent among the nearby FSA divisions that sat on their hands was another U.S.-backed faction, Fursan al-Haq, led by another Syrian Army defector, Col. Fares Bayyoush,” according to reporting in Foreign Policy.

Nusra continued to consolidate its position of dominance in the province. In February 23, 2017 the Washington Post quoted an official with the U.S.-backed FSA Fastaqim rebel group as saying he and his fighters had jointed Ahrar al-Sham because “Al-Qaeda is eating us,” while also noting that “A video posted on YouTube this week by the new Nusra-led alliance showed its fighters destroying a government gun ­position using one of the U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles that were supplied to the moderate rebels.”

While Nusra threatened to subsume some smaller, weaker, FSA brigades, cooperation between Nusra and other FSA brigades continued, in particular between Nusra and the US-backed Free Idlib Army (FIA).  Syria Deeply reports that the FIA was formed in 2016 when three FSA brigades merged and that US had supplied all three groups with TOW anti-tank missiles. Syria Deeply notes further that the FIA receives support from the CIA operated MOM operations room in Turkey, while its actions are “intertwined with the military plans and operations of local extremist groups.”  According to reporting in the Long War Journal, in March of 2017 the FIA cooperated with Nusra (by then known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham), Ahrar al-Sham, and a number of smaller FSA brigades in a large offensive in northern Hama in which opposition rebels assaulted over a dozen villages and towns. Nusra foreign fighters initiated many of the assaults, carrying out suicide bombings the towns of Suran, Maardes, and Qamhada, where a large truck bomb was employed.  The FIA itself focused on assaulting the regime-controlled Zayn Al Abdeen Mountain.

In mid-July 2017, an intra-jihadi civil war erupted, as Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham began to fight for control of Idlib. Nusra quickly defeated its former ally, which had been one of the strongest rebel groups in Syria since 2011, thereby cementing Nusra’s hold on the province, including Idlib city. Nusra also won control of the “lucrative Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey and surrounding territory near the frontier including checkpoints and key roads.” Syria analyst Sam Heller noted that, “Inside the northwest, there’s now no one who can challenge the clear, hegemonic control of [Nusra].”

Yarmouk

Yarmouk camp, with a pre-war population of some 200,000, was the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Palestinians in Yarmouk, as in the rest of Syria, attempted to remain neutral in the conflict, however, these efforts soon failed as both the rebels and the regime attempted to draw the Palestinians of Yarmouk and other Palestinian camps into the conflict.

In February 2012, a senior regime security official warned the Palestinian leadership in Yarmouk to “keep the camp quiet,” implying that the Syrian army would unleash considerable violence on the camp if rebels were able to infiltrate it. The rebels were determined to do just that, however, against the wishes of Yarmouk’s residents.  Rebel groups under the direction of then Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, sought to occupy Yarmouk, in an effort to use it as a base for launching attacks on Damascus, as it is located on the southern outskirts of the city, only a few miles away from Assad’s presidential palace and the Damascus airport, and could be supplied from rebel controlled districts and rural areas further to the south.

As a result, during the spring and summer of 2012 opposition rebel groups detonated a car bomb in the camp and  assassinated a number of pro-regime Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) commanders (a regime sponsored militia in which Palestinian refugees performed compulsory service, but which had not participated in the Syrian conflict).

Rebels then massacred 17 young PLA conscripts traveling by bus near the Neirab Palestinian camp outside of Aleppo on July 11, 2012. According to one PLA commander, “half were shot, while the other half were tortured and then beheaded.” Rebels also made public threats stating that pro-regime Palestinian leaders were “legitimate targets.”

Members of Palestinian factions, in particular the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) then began fighting alongside the Syrian army against rebels in neighborhoods adjacent to Yarmouk, thus breaking the commitment to neutrality. In August 2012, the PFLP-GC organized self-defense militias to prevent rebel fighters from infiltrating the camp. The efforts of the Popular Committees to protect the camp from rebels came amid allegations PFLP-GC members continued to help the Syrian army fight rebel groups outside the camp as well.

Rebels, including brigades from the FSA and Nusra, were finally able to invade and take control of the camp in December. The Guardian reported that, “In December 2012 the FSA and the al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al Nusra were ready for a concerted attack to capture Damascus and topple Assad. Yarmouk was the gateway to the capital, closer to the centre than any of the other suburbs where the regime was losing control. The crisis came to a head on 16 December, when a Syrian air force plane bombed Yarmouk in what the government later claimed was a mistake. Dozens of civilians were killed. Brigades from the FSA and Jabhat al Nusra seized the opportunity to enter the camp – and in response, the government launched a hail of artillery shells, turning most buildings on the edge of the district to rubble.”

As a result of the rebel occupation of the camp and subsequent fighting with the Syria army, the majority of residents of Yarmouk were forced to flee. Of this period, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) commented, “In December 2012, fierce clashes erupted in Yarmouk, an area of Damascus home to approximately 160,000 Palestine refugees. The intensity of these clashes and the widespread use of heavy weapons caused numerous civilian casualties, severe damage to property and the displacement of 140,000 Palestine refugees and thousands of Syrians.”

When talks to negotiate the exit of both the Syrian army and the rebels failed, the remaining Yarmouk residents began to suffer both from jihadist rule and from the Syrian government imposed siege. Rebels soon began looting homes, taking over hospitals and stealing medicine. The government imposed siege made food, water, and basic necessities scarce, forcing residents to depend on intermittent UNRWA humanitarian aid deliveries. Government and rebel use of heavy artillery and mortars led to significant destruction in the camp, and scores of civilian deaths. Civilians attempting to leave the camp feared being detained by the Syrian security forces enforcing the siege at check points on the camp’s edges, but also feared retribution from rebel groups for “defecting” to the government side if they tried to escape rebel rule.

In April 2015, Nusra fighters facilitated the entry of ISIS fighters into Yarmouk. The BBC reported that “Monitors say IS and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, who have fought each other in other parts of Syria, are working together in Yarmouk.” Several thousand residents who managed to escape the camp and take shelter in a school in an area under Syrian army control told of ISIS atrocities, including one boy who saw ISIS fighters using a severed head as a soccer ball, and a women who described how “’Daesh’s [ISIS] arrival meant destruction and massacre. Their behavior’s not human and their religion is not ours.”

Clashes between ISIS and local Palestinian rebels (who are loyal to Hamas and had previously supported Nusra’s initial invasion of the camp) exacerbated the humanitarian situation, forcing UNRWA to cease the already limited aid deliveries to the camp. The Guardian quoted one Yarmouk resident as stating, “There is no food or electricity or water, Daesh [Arabic acronym for Isis] is killing and looting the camp, there are clashes, there is shelling. Everyone is shelling the camp. . . As soon as Daesh entered the camp they burned the Palestinian flag and beheaded civilians.”

The Syrian government tightened the siege, reaffirming their concern that ISIS fighters controlled territory so near the heart of the Syrian capital. Al-Jazeera reporter Stefanie Dekker explained that “It is a complex situation. The government forces control the northern part [of the camp] towards Damascus. It is their priority to keep the capital safe. . . The fact that ISIL [ISIS] fighters are less than 10km away is of a huge concern. If they allow a humanitarian corridor, who will be coming out?”

This concern was shared by Russia. Journalist Charles Glass notes that according to one analyst familiar with Russian decision-making, “In autumn 2015, it was clear Damascus could fall.” This coupled with the success of US efforts to assist Nusra and the FSA in capturing Idlib earlier that year, constituted a “red line,” that Russia would not tolerate. As a result, Russia “increased air support and sent ground forces to guarantee the survival of Syria’s government, army, and institutions. Its action saved Damascus from an insurgent onslaught and gave the Syrian army the upper hand in the long seesaw war.”

With ISIS threatening Damascus, US planners had felt they were close to achieving their aim of forcing Assad to step down. However, they did not anticipate the possibility of decisive Russian intervention. Of this period, then Secretary of State John Kerry explained that “the reason Russia came in is because ISIL [Islamic State] was getting stronger. Daesh [Islamic State] was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus. And that is why Russia came in. They didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad. And we know this was growing. We were watching. We saw that Daesh was growing in strength. And we thought Assad was threatened. We thought we could manage that Assad might then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, he got Putin to support him.”

Kerry made this comment while speaking to a group of Syrian opposition members at the Dutch Mission of the United Nations in New York. Oddly, the New York Times reported on this meeting at the time, but omitted any mention of the Kerry’s shocking admission that US planners welcomed the ISIS assault on the Syrian capital.

Nusra and ISIS later turned on one another in Yarmouk, and fought for control of the camp for the next two years, with ISIS making significant gains in April 2016. By this time only 10,000 civilians remained.  ISIS refused to let additional civilians leave the camp and had taken over the Palestine Hospital to treat its own fighters, while residents continued to fear ISIS snipers and shelling on the one hand, and government mortars on the other.  By June 2017, the Syrian government was attempting to negotiate the evacuation of Nusra and ISIS fighters as part of the “four towns” deal, which efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. As of the time of writing (October 2017), ISIS continued to occupy most of Yarmouk camp, and fighting between ISIS, the Syrian army, and other rebel factions continued, as did the suffering of the few Yarmouk residents who had been unlucky enough to be trapped in the camp, but lucky enough to still be alive.

Deir Ezzur

Deir Ezzur province and city are located in the Eastern part of Syria, bordering Iraq. The province is home to many of Syria’s largest oil fields. Nusra Front collaboration with the FSA was evident by July 2012. That month, the Guardian interviewed Abu Khuder, who founded one of the earliest FSA brigades in Deir Ezzur province. Abu Khuder described how Nusra members had provided him with a truck rigged with two tons of explosives, which was crucial in expelling government forces from a garrison in the town of Mohassen. Impressed with Nusra’s military experience and expertise, Abu Khuder split from the FSA and joined Nusra. However, he continued to work with the FSA, stating “We meet almost every day. . . We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations.”

In April 2013, opposition rebels captured the majority of Deir Ezzur province. Speaking to the State Department-funded news site, Syria Direct, FSA spokesperson Omar Abo Laila claimed the “FSA alone rules Deir Ezzur,” but acknowledged receiving assistance from Nusra on the battle field. Leila described how “The FSA usually starts and supervise operations and Jabhat a-Nusra follows at the later stages. The battle of Shams al-Furate [Euphrates Sun] to liberate Deir e-Zor military airport is an example.”

In fact it was unclear which group, the FSA or Nusra, was in control of Deir Ezzur province. For example, Laila claimed that 95% of Deir Ezzur province’s oil fields were under FSA control. However, this was disputed by opposition activists who claimed to the Financial Times that “many of those oilfields are now under the control of Jabhat al-Nusrah, the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group.” Despite this, the European Union lifted sanctions on the sale of Syrian oil to help the rebels raise funds for military operations.

In the fall of 2013, as rebels took control of the province’s last and largest oil field, al-Omar, the New York Times cited the pro-opposition SOHR as stating that Nusra and the Saudi-backed jihadi rebel group Jaish al-Islam were the factions involved in taking over al-Omar. Any mention of the FSA was notably absent, suggesting that the FSA and Nusra in Deir Ezzur were either largely indistinguishable, or that the FSA had, for public relations reasons, simply taken public credit for Nusra’s initial capture of the province.

But the al-Omar and other Deir Ezzur oil fields did not remain in the hands of Nusra for long. In June 2014, ISIS militants were ascendant, having captured Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq, thereby prompting ISIS leader al-Baghdadi to proclaim the establishment of the so-called Caliphate. Shortly thereafter, in July 2014, ISIS militants launched a lightning military campaign into eastern Syria, capturing large swathes of territory and essentially erasing the old colonial border between the two countries. In the face of the ISIS’ military advance, Nusra militants fled the oil fields in Deir Ezzur, allowing ISIS to capture them without a fight. Al-Jazeera reported that, according to one ISIS commander, the Nusra militants “fled like rats.”

Control of these oil fields provided a major source of revenue for ISIS, but also likely helped the terror group arm itself, as did the oil fields captured by ISIS in Iraq. Munitions researcher Damien Spleeters of Conflict Armament Research (CAR) explained how oil fields captured in Iraq by ISIS “provided the industrial base—tool-and-die sets, high-end saws, injection-­molding machines—and skilled workers who knew how to quickly fashion intricate parts to spec” needed by ISIS to mass produce its own munitions.

When ISIS occupied the town of Abu Hamam in Deir Ezzour province in July 2014, local fighters from the Shaitat tribe rebelled. ISIS was able to easily defeat the local fighters thanks to a new influx of weapons captured from the Iraqi military in Mosul. ISIS militants massacred some 700 tribesman, many by decapitation. The town was depopulated, with many escaping to Turkey. The Washington Post reported that refugees from the town were puzzled as to why the US bombing campaign was at that time helping the Yezidi population across the border in Iraq and Kurds in the northern Syrian border town of Kobane, but not coming to the aid of the tribes of Deir Ezzour. One refugee lamented that “We saw what the Americans did to help the Yazidis and the Kurds. But they have done nothing to help the Sunnis against the Islamic State.” In response to these complaints, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the US Central Command leader said the US goal was preventing the Islamic State from projecting power in Iraq only, rather than in Syria. “Iraq is our main effort, and it has to be. . . .And the things we are doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq.”

Similar US disinterest in preventing the growth of ISIS was evident elsewhere. After conquering Deir Ezzour, ISIS continued its push Westward towards Damascus.  In May 2015, ISIS conquered city of Tadmur at the site of ancient Palmyra, famous for its Roman ruins, and which lies in Homs province on the road between Deir Ezzour and the Damascus. CNN reported of the ISIS assault to take Tadmur that “After at least 100 Syrian soldiers died in fighting overnight, Syrian warplanes carried out airstrikes Thursday in and around Palmyra . . . But there’s no indication that Syrian ground forces will try to take back the city, 150 miles northeast of Damascus, the capital. Nor that any other countries such as the United States will come to the rescue. ‘The world does not care about us,’ the Palmyra resident said. ‘All they are interested in is the stones of ancient Palmyra [emphasis mine].’”  The fall of Tadmur to ISIS occurred at a time when ISIS was able to capture the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the southern suburbs of Damascus, allowing ISIS to threaten Damascus from two directions.

As discussed above, then Secretary of State John Kerry explained how US planners welcomed the ISIS advance on the Syrian capital, as they thought it would give them leverage against Assad and thereby force him to step down through negotiations, thus giving power in Syria to pro-US rebel factions. This attitude may explain why US efforts to bomb ISIS and stop its advances in Iraq and northern Syria were not coupled with a similar effort to stop the terror group’s advance in Deir Ezzour, Tadmur and Damascus.

In March 2016, roughly one year after ISIS conquered Tadmur, the Syrian army was able to recapture it. When early reports emerged of the Syrian army’s success emerged, then State Department spokesperson Mark Toner was asked in a press conference if the US government preferred that the Syrian army recapture the city, or that it remain in ISIS hands. Toner refused to affirm that the US government would prefer to see the Syrian army retake the city from ISIS, stating instead that the US wished for progress on the political track of negotiations. Toner’s response also alludes to the US strategy, as explained by Kerry of using the growth of ISIS as a tool to force Assad to step down.

That US planners took a positive view of the growth of ISIS should not be surprising, given details about US policy preferences found in the well-known Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo from 2012, which explained that “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime,” with the word “Salafist” referring to the fundamentalist and fringe version of Islam espoused by ISIS, Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and the government of Saudi Arabia.

ISIS continued to control most of Deir Ezzur province for the next three years, with the notable exception of parts of Deir Ezzur city, which were under siege by ISIS but under government control and protected by the Syrian army. In its sections of the city, ISIS introduced religious police, along the Saudi model, directed by a Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, and filled the schools with teachers from Tunisia, Iraq and Morocco, who would implement the ISIS educational curriculum. Chemistry, physics, philosophy, social sciences and math were eliminated.

ISIS conducted major offensives to take the city entirely in December 2014 and September and October 2015. A major ISIS goal was to capture the Deir Ezzour airport. Control of the airport was crucial for the Syrian army, allowing the government to airdrop military supplies to its forces in the city, as well as food for the civilians still inside. The Syrian army also held strategic areas atop Jabal al-Tharda, a mountain overlooking the city, giving it the high ground when fighting ISIS forces and the ability to protect the airport.

In September 2016, US forces controversially bombed Syrian army positions on Jabal al-Tharda, killing 100 Syrian soldiers and destroying Syrian army tanks and artillery. This allowed ISIS to advance on the mountain and take over strategic areas needed to further its assault on the city and making it more difficult for the Syrian government to re-supply its forces by air.

US planners claimed the bombing of the Syrian army was by accident, suggesting they mistook Syrian army positions for ISIS positions, and that ISIS was the intended target. There is evidence to suggest the contrary, namely that the bombing was no mistake and US planners meant to target the Syrian army, as discussed in detail here by journalist Gareth Porter, and Australian academic Tim Anderson here.

Finally, in September 2017, the Syrian army was able to break the ISIS siege, liberate the city, and push ISIS out of the province.

US Planners View Nusra as an Ally

The pattern of US bombing in Syria also suggests that US planners viewed Nusra as an ally in the fight against the Syrian government. The US bombing campaign against in Syria largely avoided targeting Nusra, and instead focused on targeting ISIS.  US efforts to degrade ISIS seem to have been undertaken at least in part to benefit Nusra.

The US began a widespread bombing campaign against ISIS in August 2014 after it had been growing in strength for over a year, and had conquered several major Iraqi and Syrian cities, including Raqqa, Fallujah, Ramadi, and most significantly, Mosul, and after the organization was threatening to march on both Baghdad and Erbil, the capital of Iraqi-Kurdistan.  President Obama stated that he refrained from initiating military operations against ISIS during the organization’s rapid advance through Western Iraq in order to put pressure on then Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step down.  When Obama finally initiated a bombing campaign against ISIS, he claimed this was undertaken to prevent a possible genocide faced by Iraq’s minority Yezidi population (strangely this was not a concern until Maliki agreed to step down).  US foreign policy experts quietly suggested another motivation, however. The New York Times reported at the time that “Analysts view the organization [Nusra] as well placed to benefit from American strikes that might weaken the Islamic State [ISIS].”

That US planners viewed Nusra as its ally was evident several weeks later, in September 2014, when the US carried out air strikes against the so-called Khorasan Group. More specifically, the strikes targeted Muhsin al-Fadhli, a Nusra commander and also a long-time member of al-Qaeda and associate of Osama Bin Laden. Al-Fadhli was said to be planning attacks against Western targets, operating under the protection of Nusra.

While it was clear to most observers that the Khorasan group was a cadre of fighters and commanders belonging to Nusra, US officials took pains to suggest that they were not striking Nusra itself, but rather a supposedly separate organization, which it labeled the Khorasan group.

In the US Central Command (CENTCOM) press release announcing the strikes, US officials stated they did not target the Nusra Front “as a whole” but rather the “Khorasan Group whose focus is not on overthrowing the Asad regime or helping the Syrian people.” Implicit in this statement is the dubious claim that Nusra is helping the Syrian people.

The language of the press release suggests that US planners were not opposed to Nusra because it was fighting to overthrow Assad (a goal in line with official US policy), and that they had only taken action against the so-called Khorasan group because it had been planning terror attacks carried out against Western targets.

Researchers at the Long War Journal observed that CENTCOM was making a false distinction between the Khorasan Group and Nusra, given that Nusra itself did consider the US bombing as an attack on the broader organization.

Another target of the September strikes appears to have been former French spy and Nusra bomb maker, David Drugeon. The reaction of US-sponsored rebel groups (who had been tracking Drugeon) to the airstrikes also suggests that it was common knowledge that Nusra and US intelligence agencies were allies. McClatchy reports that “The Syrian rebels said they were surprised when American missiles targeted Drugeon on Sept. 23 in the first series of U.S. airstrikes in Syria. They had expected the American action to target the Islamic State, but not also the Nusra Front, which has worked closely with the rebels in their efforts to topple the government of President Bashar Assad [emphasis mine].” US planners targeted Drugeon in an additional airstrike on his car in November 2014.

In March 2015, US planners bombed Nusra targets once again, after Nusra fighters attacked a US-backed rebel group from the Hazm movement (with whom Nusra had previously collaborated, as described above), capturing their base and weapons, including US supplied TOW anti-tank weapons.  The CENTCOM press release again mentioned the Khorasan group by name, rather than Nusra.

In July 2015, US-trained rebels known as “Division 30” were attacked by Nusra militants after the division entered Syria to fight ISIS. US officials were confused, however, as to why Nusra would attack them.  The New York Times explains that US military trainers “did not anticipate an assault from the Nusra Front. In fact, officials said on Friday, they expected the Nusra Front to welcome Division 30 as an ally in its fight against the Islamic State. . . ‘This wasn’t supposed to happen like this,’ said one former senior American official. . . .  A senior Defense Department official acknowledged that the threat to the trainees and their Syrian recruiters had been misjudged, and said that officials were trying to understand why the Nusra Front had turned on the trainees. . .  Division 30’s leaders called on all nationalist Syrian insurgents to ‘stand firm and proactively’ against what they called an unprovoked attack, and asked ‘the brothers in the Nusra Front’ to ‘stop the bloodshed and preserve the unity.’” In response, US planners undertook additional airstrikes against Nusra targets.

In April 2016, US planners bombed several Nusra targets, but once again used the Khorasan name to describe the target of their attacks, and reminded observers that the Khorasan group was planning attacks against the West as the justification for the strike.  Foreign Policy reported that “Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook was careful Monday to portray al-Suri [the target of the strike] as a member of al Qaeda rather than al-Nusra.”

One month later in May 2016, after Nusra militants massacred 19 Alawite villagers from the town of Zara in Hama province, US officials rejected Russian offers to coordinate air strikes against Nusra, which the Russian air force was carrying out in conjunction with UN Security Council resolutions. US officials once again emphasized that the US was focused on targeting ISIS, not Nusra. Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis explained that “We do not collaborate or coordinate with the Russians on any operations in Syria. Russian operations are supporting and enabling the Assad regime and our focus is solely on degrading and defeating [ISIS].”

In November 2016, US planners seemed to finally reverse course, and began targeting the Nusra Front more broadly. They acknowledged the previous tacit understanding between the US and the Nusra militants they were now bombing. The Washington Post reports that “Officials who supported the shift said the Obama administration could no longer tolerate what one of them described as ‘a deal with the devil,’ whereby the United States largely held its fire against al-Nusra because the group was popular with Syrians in rebel-controlled areas and furthered the U.S. goal of putting military pressure on Assad.”

What then was the purpose of the strikes on the so-called Khorasan Group? Two reasons seem apparent. The first is that US planners targeted Nusra militants, such as Muhsin al-Fadhli and David Drugeon, because they were in fact planning terror attacks on Western targets (as they stated publicly). Though the US approved of Nusra’s efforts to fight the Syrian government, they could not allow a terror attack to take place in the West, and therefore pro-actively took military action to prevent such specific attacks, but not to degrade Nusra generally.

The second reasons seems to be that US planners undertook such strikes to send messages to warn Nusra that attacking US rebel assets (such as Division 30) in Syria was a red line not to be crossed. As long as Nusra focused its efforts on fighting Assad (in line with US objectives), they would not be subject to US attacks. The few airstrikes carried out by US planners against Nusra, in response to specific, unacceptable Nusra actions, would convey this. In other words, as long as Nusra was collaborating with US-backed rebel groups (which the typically did, as described above) they would not be targeted.

What is clear is that US planners took a somewhat different approach to Nusra than they did to ISIS.  US planners undertook a massive bombing campaign against ISIS in certain areas, knowing this would strengthen Nusra.  US bombing largely destroyed the ISIS capitals of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. The US did bomb Nusra targets, but these bombings were rare, and seemed to be in response to very specific and exceptional instances when Nusra seemed to be going rogue. US planners have not undertaken any large-scale US bombing campaign against Nusra in Idlib province, which it controls, for example. In fact US planners were explicitly encouraging their FSA proxies to cooperate with Nusra in Idlib.

Despite the sustained US bombing campaign against ISIS, US planners still saw ISIS gains against the Syrian government as helpful at times, as articulated by Secretary Kerry, and as is evident from events in Yarmouk, Palmyra and Deir Ezzur, as described above.

Conclusion

The evidence presented above shows that the US-backed brigades known as the Free Syrian Army have collaborated with extremist rebel groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, in particular the Nusra Front, in many of the most crucial battles of the Syrian conflict. As the US and its Gulf allies have funded and supported the FSA, financially, militarily, and in the media, it is reasonable to suggest that in fact the US has collaborated with al-Qaeda, if only indirectly. This contradicts the consistent claims made in the Western press, including among leftists, suggesting that the Syrian government has attempted to support extremist rebel groups in order to discredit the “moderate” Syrian opposition, in an alleged effort to appeal to the West. In fact, just the opposite is true, as recent Syrian government victories against the Nusra Front and ISIS also show. If indeed the US ever had a binary choice between supporting the Assad government, on the one hand, or extremists from al-Qaeda on the other, it is clear that in fact the US chose to support al-Qaeda, in the form of Nusra. US planners did so in an effort to topple the Assad government and thereby weaken its main regional rivals Iran and Hezbollah. Unsurprisingly, US intervention in Syria has had terrible consequences for the Syrian people, as the conflict between the rebels and the Syrian army has ruined much of the country. Such an outcome was easy to predict, and yet US planners funneled massive amounts of weapons into the country, typically by way of their Saudi and Qatari partners. Further, living under al-Qaeda rule is not something that Syrians, including Syrian Sunnis, welcome, and yet US planners supported the growth of al-Qaeda in Syria in order to accomplish its own foreign policy goals. It is often claimed that US planners seek to “stabilize” the Middle East. However, the US intervention in Syria serves as yet one more reminder that US policy in the region has sought to do just the opposite, at the cost of great human suffering for Syrians, as it did for Iraqis and Libyans before them.

Norman Finkelstein: The “Big Lie” About Gaza is That the Palestinians Have Been the Aggressors

Norman Finkelstein: The “Big Lie” About Gaza is That the Palestinians Have Been the Aggressors

Extended interview with scholar Norman Finkelstein, author of the new book, “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom.” The book has just been published as Israel is facing a possible International Criminal Court war crimes probe over its 2014 assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including over 500 children

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we turn to Part 2 of our conversation with the scholar Norman Finkelstein, author of the new book, Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom. The book is being published as Israel is facing a possible International Criminal Court war crimes probe over its 2014 assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, included over 500 children.

In his new book, Norman Finkelstein writes, “Gaza is about a Big Lie composed of a thousand, often seemingly abstruse and arcane, little lies.” What is the “Big Lie” about Gaza, Norm?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: The Big Lie about Gaza is that it’s an aggressor, that Gaza is aggressing against Israel, and Israel is reacting in self-defense. It’s a double lie. The first lie is, most of the Israeli attacks on Gaza don’t even have anything to do with Gaza. So, if you take Operation Cast Lead, in 2008, ’09, why did Israel attack Gaza? Not because of Gaza. Not because of anything Gaza did. The Israelis were very honest. This is revenge for Lebanon. In 2006, Israel suffered a major defeat in Lebanon against the Hezbollah, the Party of God. And then Israelis began to panic. They’re losing what they call their deterrence capacity. And their deterrence capacity simply means—it’s a fancy, technical term for the Arabs’ fear of us. And they worried because the Arabs no longer fear them after this—you know, not a ragtag guerrilla army, but it’s not a big thing, either. It’s about 6,000 fighters, the Hezbollah—at the time, it was 6,000 fighters. And they effectively inflicted a defeat on the Israeli invaders of Lebanon. And so they were looking for somewhere where they could restore what they call their deterrence capacity. They didn’t want to tangle again with the Party of God, with the Hezbollah, so they targeted Gaza. Had nothing to do with Gaza. The notion that they’re defending themselves against Gaza.

The second big lie is, what does Gaza consist of. When you read the official reports, even when you read the human rights reports, they talk about this big arsenal of weapons that Hamas has accumulated. Number one, how do you know how many weapons they have? If you knew how many weapons they had—have, then you must know where they are. And if you know where they are, then Israel would preemptively strike. If it’s not preemptively struck, it’s because it doesn’t know anything about the weapons. Israel plucks numbers out of thin air, and then all the official media, and even the critical human rights organizations, repeat these numbers. They talk about Grad missiles and Fajr missiles.

What is Gaza? What are its weapons? What is its arsenal? Let’s take the last attack. We have exactly—we know exactly how much damage was done by these weapons. There were 5,000 so-called rockets and 2,000 mortars fired at—mortar shells fired at Israel. So, altogether, that’s 7,000 projectiles. You know the damage done? Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it had a diary, listing all the damage done each day. Five thousands rockets, 2,000 mortar shells. One house was destroyed. One house. How is it possible that 5,000 rockets and 2,000 mortar shells can only destroy one house? Because they’re not rockets. They’re fireworks. They’re enhanced fireworks.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean by that?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, they’re not rockets. The problem is—the problem is that Hamas and Israel have a mutual stake in pretending they’re rockets. Hamas pretends they’re rockets so it can show its people armed resistance works. “See how afraid they are of us?” And Israel pretends they’re rockets so it could say, “We’re acting in self-defense.” But they are not rockets. They’re just enhanced fireworks. Even if you factor in Iron Dome, OK? I don’t have the time to go into the details, but your listeners, or some of them, know, because you had Theodore—

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what Iron Dome is.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: OK. Iron Dome was their anti—so-called anti-missile defense system. And they claim that one of the reasons so little damage was done was because of their technological wizardry, namely Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Number one, Iron Dome was only located near the major urban centers of Israel. Number two, only 840 rockets were fired towards those major urban centers. Number three, Iron Dome, according to the official Israeli numbers, it deflected about 740 of those rockets. According to Theodore Postol, who you had on your program, the expert on anti-missile technology from MIT, he said its efficacy rate was about 5 percent, which means it deflected about 40 rockets. But let’s even take the Israeli numbers. Let’s say it deflected 720 rockets. Let’s take that number. That still leaves thousands and thousands and thousands of rockets which weren’t deflected. Forty percent of them landed in the border area where there was no Iron Dome. So how can it be that only one house was destroyed? Because they’re not rockets.

AMY GOODMAN: So why does Hamas do it?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Why does Hamas do it? I think part of it is because their, so to speak, claim to fame is they’re an armed resistance. They want to distinguish themselves from—distinguish themselves from the Palestinian Authority. So they claim, “We’re still resisting.” Number two, I think they really believe their own propaganda, because they see Israel saying, “You know, these rockets, they’re causing us, you know, so much damage and destruction and so forth.” I think part of it, you have to remember—no offense to them—no offense to them, but they live in a hermetically sealed society. Most of the Hamas leaders, they’re just recently out of spending 10 years in jail, 15 years in jail. They’re very inexperienced, because Israel eliminated the first line, the second line, the third line of the Hamas leadership. So, don’t attribute, you know, great strategic thinking to them. They’re living in this tiny, isolated, hermetically sealed enclave. And I think they actually have internalized a lot of the Israeli propaganda.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what happened in, first, Operation Cast Lead, 2008, ’09, and then Operation Protective Edge in 2014. And you referenced this in the first part of our interview, but in terms of casualties, in terms of the timing of these two attacks?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Mm-hmm. Well, I don’t want to go over ground that we’ve already looked at, so let me look at the salient points for the purposes of, you know, an interview. Number one, Operation Cast Leads begins December 26th, 2008, ends January 17th, 2009—what Amnesty International called “22 days of death and destruction.” There’s a ceasefire implemented in June 2008. Israeli official and unofficial organizations say Hamas was careful to respect the ceasefire. Hamas was careful to respect the ceasefire. Israel, however, it’s preparing, it’s preparing, it’s preparing for its attack on Gaza to revenge Lebanon. When all the pieces are in place—they spent about a year of preparation. When all the pieces are in place, they need a pretext. Well, they look around for a pretext.

And they wait ’til November 4th, the historic election, when Barack Obama is voted into office. They know all the cameras are riveted on the White House, riveted on the United States. And then they go in, kill six Hamas militants, knowing full well that there’s going to be a reaction. And from that point on, it descends into tit for tat, and then, on December 26, begins the assault. It ends January 17th. And for the time—for the time, it was by far the biggest Israeli massacre committed against Gaza. And you have to bear in mind—I’m not sure how vivid your memory is, even mine is beginning to fade on it, and I study it, you know, pretty closely—public opinion radically shifted against Israel after Operation Cast Lead. It created a huge international uproar. There were, believe it or not—

AMY GOODMAN: The casualties, the number?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: The death, the destruction.

AMY GOODMAN: What was it?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: There were about 6,300 homes that were destroyed, 10 Israeli civilian casualties. Palestinians, 1,400, of whom up to 1,200 were civilians. Three hundred fifty children were killed. They estimate about 600,000 tons of rubble were left behind. And there were about—believe it or not, there were about 300 human rights reports issued on what happened. And if you look at the proportions in my book, you’ll see, on Operation Cast Lead, it’s exhaustively documented across four chapters, large chapters, because there was a huge amount of information.

And it climaxed in the Goldstone Report. And the Goldstone Report was a catastrophe for the state of Israel. Goldstone is Jewish. Goldstone is a Zionist. Goldstone is a liberal.

AMY GOODMAN: Goldstone was a judge, right?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Right, he was a judge, a respected, you can even say renowned, judge. And so—and most important, he’s a Zionist. He’s on the board of directors of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and so on and so forth.

And now, he came out with a report that said the purpose of Cast Lead was to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population. Total disaster for Israel. And so, Israel goes at him ferociously.

AMY GOODMAN: And this—he came out with the report in?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: The report comes out in 2009. They go—Israel goes after him ferociously. Across the spectrum, across the political spectrum, all levels of the Israeli society, and also in the United States, they go after Goldstone. And the tragedy then occurs. I go through the record very carefully in the book. Goldstone—it was almost a joke, because it was April 1st. It was April Fool’s Day. He drops a bombshell in The Washington Post.

AMY GOODMAN: This is 2011.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: He doesn’t say it literally, but it’s clear, the message he’s transmitting. He’s recanting the report, and he’s taking it back. I’ll tell you, I remember that day quite well. I was in a library—I don’t remember where—and it was like something died in me. Really, it was like something died in me, something you believed in, or you wanted to believe in. And maybe I was naive, but the Goldstone Report was a very weighty document. At one point, Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have—we’re facing three existential threats: Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah rockets, and the Goldstone Report.” And it was a very big problem for them. You might recall, this is the point when like—when Tzipi Livni visited the U.K., she was hit with an indictment for war crimes under the universal jurisdiction.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain who she is.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Tzipi Livni was the foreign minister during the Operation Cast Lead. And she was a really wretched human being. The day after Cast Lead, the day after it ended, January 18th, she went on Israeli television, Channel 10, and she boasted, “We carried on like real hooligans in Gaza.” She boasted, “We went wild in Gaza. I ordered it. I’m proud of it, because they’re so brazen.” They’re so brazen because they have the United States protecting them, and they carry on with this kind of impunity.

And then, along came the Goldstone Report. It was like an “uh-oh” moment, because it seemed as if, for the first time, they were finally going to be held accountable. And that’s why they went mad, the Israelis. They had to stop Goldstone. He recanted. He claimed he recanted because new information had become available since the publication of his report. But I go through it systematically in the book. No new information became available.

And then the question is: Well, if no new information became available, why did he recant? One possible explanation is because all the pressure that was being put on him by the Israelis and on his family. They tried to prevent him from attending his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah in South Africa. Goldstone is South African. That’s one explanation. For reasons which I can’t go into now, because it requires detail, I don’t find it plausible. I think he was blackmailed. You know, it’s the Mossad. They’re an effective spy organization. Everybody’s got skeletons in their closet. And if you don’t have skeletons in your closet, a relative does. Goldstone’s daughter did Aliyah. She’s an Israeli citizen. I think he was blackmailed. That’s where the evidence points.

John Dugard, the respected human rights—he’s considered the father of human rights in South Africa, extremely principled guy. He’s actually the real thing. He’s a principled liberal. You know, there’s the Phil Ochs song, “Love Me”—”Love Me, I’m a Liberal,” about hypocritical liberals. He’s the real thing. He’s a real principled liberal and has been very principled on this particular issue. And he wrote a very devastating article the day after the recantation. And he said the truth of why Goldstone recanted will go with him to his grave.

Then, after that, the Israelis started to go after a lot of people. You might recall the case of Robert Bernstein, who was the founder of Human Rights Watch. Then he started to attack Human Rights Watch to try to, so to speak, defang them. He had his own bombshell he dropped—I think it was in The New York Times, but I could be mistaken—attacking Human Rights Watch. So, all the pressure is now being put on the human rights community. They start going after human rights respected jurists, like William Schabas, Christian Tomuschat. All of them have to drop out. They were supposed to be on commissions investigating Israeli crimes, for example, during Operation Protective Edge.

AMY GOODMAN: And they are from?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: U.N. They were U.N. officials, but, you know, prominent—prominent jurists, respected jurists. All of them had to drop out, because Israel started to dig up dirt. And everybody’s got dirt to be dug up on. We know that. So, now the human rights community begins to panic, enters into panic mode, because the Israelis are—they’re just out of control now.

And you saw the result after Operation Protective Edge. I’m not happy to have to say it. It’s the shortest chapter in the book. You know why? There were no human rights reports. Human Rights Watch published—for Operation Cast Lead in 2008, ’09, it published seven quite substantial reports. After Operation Protective Edge, it published one tiny report, one tiny report of 15 pages. Amnesty International was the only major human rights organization that published major reports, but they were all whitewashes of Israel. They were a disgrace. I go through them systematically. The Amnesty chapter is one of the longest chapters in the book. Just going through it, as I said, Gaza is a big lie composed of tiny lies. And there’s no option except to go through it point by point and to show—

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think that lack of response to what happened in 2008, ’09, to what happened, the lack of investigation and holding accountable—again, the casualty—the number of casualties was at 1,600?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: There were 1,400 Palestinians killed, of whom up to 1,200 were civilians.

AMY GOODMAN: More than 350 of them children.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Three hundred fifty children, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think that lack of accountability and the reports paved the way for what happened in 2014—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Absolutely. I mean, I don’t want—

AMY GOODMAN: —with Operation Protective Edge?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: It’s a harsh thing to say, but it was Richard Goldstone that allowed Operation Protective Edge to happen, because the Israelis were very worried after Operation Cast Lead. It looked like prosecutions were in the offing. Universal jurisdiction was happening. And then, when he killed the report, it became a green light for Israel, and it enabled them to effectively go mad.

AMY GOODMAN: You also write that the Obama administration, as well as Hillary Clinton, tried to undermine the Goldstone Report.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Look, the Obama administration was—played a really wretched role in all this. Let’s just take the obvious examples. Operation Cast Lead, it ends on January 17th. Now, remember, Obama was elected in November 2008. Operation Cast Lead ends January 17th, 2009. Obama didn’t say anything after he was elected. Do you know why it ends January 17th? Because Obama signals to the Israeli government, “Don’t mess up my inauguration, January 20th. I don’t want any distractions. You’ve got to end the operation.” That’s why they ended.

Now, you go to Operation Protective Edge, 2014. Every day, Obama or one of his officials said, “Israel has the right to protect itself. Israel has the right to protect itself,” as Israel is leveling Gaza. There was no—actually, there was no comparison between Protective Edge and Cast Lead. It was so much worse. The interesting point is, for our purposes, with Obama: How does it end? Do you know how it ends? On August 3rd, Ban Ki-moon comes under all this pressure because Israel keeps bombing U.N. schools—or, UNRWA schools, which have been turned into civilian shelters.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain how long Operation Protective Edge went on for.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, Operation Protective Edge, all told, went for 51 days; Operation Cast Lead, 22. Operation Protective Edge, 18,000 homes destroyed; Operation Cast Lead, 6,300. All the figures, they’re on a much higher—

AMY GOODMAN: And the number of people killed in Protective Edge?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Protective Edge, it’s 2,500 killed, of whom 1,600 were—2,200 killed, of whom 1,600 were civilians.

AMY GOODMAN: More than 500 children.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Five hundred fifty children were killed. And August 3rd, what happens? Ban Ki-moon, that comatose corpse, he finally comes under so much pressure, because—

AMY GOODMAN: You don’t have to attack—do ad hominem attacks on people.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: No, no. These people are wretched.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Ban Ki-moon, when he was U.N. secretary-general.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, when he was U.N. secretary-general, he does all the bidding for the United States when it comes to Israel-Palestine. I don’t want to go through—I can’t go through this whole sordid record, but the—Israel attacked seven U.N. shelters, which were housing civilians during Operation Protective Edge. And then, on August 3rd, finally, Ban Ki-moon has to say something. And he says, “This is a disgrace, this is outrageous, attacking civilian shelters.” August 3rd, Obama, he no longer has a fig leaf. Ban Ki-moon backed out.

AMY GOODMAN: He spoke against the military invasion.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. And now—and now Obama is alone on the world stage. So, August 3rd, the same day, Obama attacks Israel for the shelters, bombing the shelters. And now, Netanyahu, the day before, August 2nd, he says, “I’m not leaving Gaza.” After Obama says, “You can’t do this,” he leaves. Same day, August 3rd. Now, it is true, it did go on for another three weeks. It went on for another three weeks because you entered into the negotiation period, where Israel always brings in its most force to try to extract the best terms. But then there was also, you will probably remember, the beheading of the American reporter. And when the American reporter was beheaded, all the cameras again switched—

AMY GOODMAN: You’re talking about the beheading of James Foley by ISIS in Syria.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, yeah. And then the cameras switched again, just like with the Malaysian airline incident. And so, Israel brought on full force. And then it ended August 26th. Technically the war was over. But Obama had the power, if he wanted to. Instead, he was coming out and talking about how no country in the world would tolerate rockets being fired at it, no country in the world would tolerate these terror tunnels, and just giving Israel all the pretext it wanted.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, explain the examples that were used—the terror tunnels, the rockets. Explain the terror tunnels and what they were.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: OK. Let’s be clear about the facts. They were not terror tunnels. There were about—according to Israel, there were about 12 to 14 tunnels that were built beneath the border separating Gaza from Israel. Now, here are the facts. And the facts are not trivial. Number one, the U.N. Human Rights Council report found, and respected Israeli journalists, Israeli—Israeli military people, they all said the same thing: The tunnels did not target civilians. Every time Hamas militants emerged from the tunnels, they had firefights with Israeli soldiers. They never went to the kibbutzim. They never targeted civilians. They weren’t terror tunnels. My guess is—it’s speculation—that they were trying to capture an Israeli soldier to do what they did with Gilad Shalit, to have a prisoner exchange. But there was never a question of them targeting civilians.

It was interesting what happened. It was, the Israeli propaganda backfired on itself. When it started to say they were targeting civilians, the so-called terror tunnels, the civilians fled. They got scared that there were going to be these Hamas terrorists emerging from these tunnels and killing them. And then they refused to return home. And when they refused to return home, Israel decided, “Well, we’ve got to tell them the truth, that they’re not targeting you,” in order to get them to come back.

Same thing happened with the Hamas rockets. They kept talking about how all these Hamas rockets are terrorizing Israel, how these Hamas rockets are an existential threat. Well, what happened? It was the tourist season. It was July, August 2014. And then Israel’s tourist industry took a nosedive. So they realized, “We better stop talking about these terror tunnels. They’re killing our business—I mean, we better stop talking about the Hamas rockets. They’re killing our business.” So, if you remember what happened, they had Mayor Bloomberg go over to Israel and say, “Everything is fine here. There’s no danger. We should open up Ben Gurion Airport,” because, you remember, Ben Gurion Airport was closed, briefly, because a, quote-unquote, “Hamas rocket” landed nearby. He said—he flew in to show it’s completely safe. So, each time their propaganda backfired, then the cat came out of the bag, and they told the truth. So—

AMY GOODMAN: In the lead-up to the Israeli military invasion of Gaza was the killing of the three Israeli teenagers.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what happened in June of 2014.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: What happened was, in June 2014, a rogue Hamas cell captured and then, apparently, almost immediately—we don’t know for certain—but almost immediately, killed the three Israeli teenagers. Now, the information we have—for example, I quote J.J. Goldberg, who’s the former editor-in-chief of The Forward, and I know you’ve had him on your show, Goldberg—he said that Israel knew, from day one, the kids were dead. But they claimed to be going on a search operation.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain who killed them.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: As I said, it was a Hamas cell. We don’t really know much more than that. Apparently, it was a senior Hamas person in Jordan who gave the order. But the Hamas officials in Gaza had nothing to do with it.

But then Netanyahu used it as a pretext for launching what he called Operation Brother’s Keeper, which was a—killed several Palestinians, rampaged businesses, rounded up—I think it was about a thousand—I could be wrong, but I think it was about a thousand Palestinians in the West Bank, many of whom had been freed in a former prisoner exchange, rounded up and sent them back to prison. And then the tit for tat began with Gaza. It quickly descended, and the Israeli assault began.

AMY GOODMAN: And how do you know that Netanyahu knew that these young men, the three teenagers, had been killed almost immediately?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, right, as I said, you can only quote what the sources tell you. And people like—there were several sources that said—you know, Israel has a very efficient intelligence operation. First of all, the whole Palestinian Authority works with them. So, they’re all working in cahoots. And it’s not a big place. And it is, for what it’s worth. You know, all U.S. direct aid—all U.S. direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, the direct aid—it’s, I think, $36 million—it all goes to the Security Services. The Security Services are trained by Jordan. They’re a very efficient operation. It’s not rinky-dink anymore. They’re a real—they’re a real terror organization, the Palestinian Security Forces, professional torturers and so forth. So, it’s not implausible that, with their security apparatus working with Israel and all of the collaborators, the spies, the informal collaborators and spies, that they would find out. And Goldberg says—and Goldberg obviously has no ax to grind, he’s the former editor-in-chief of The Forward—says that Netanyahu knew almost immediately that the kids were dead. The fear that they would be used for another prisoner swap. And that didn’t happen. And then the full-scale assault on Gaza began.

AMY GOODMAN: So, in Part 1 of this conversation, you talked about the former Israeli soldiers who gave the most vivid descriptions of what took place. Now, I was going to say in Operation Protective Edge, but even before we get to the description of that attack that they gave, how do—how are those names come up with—Operation Cast Lead, Operation Protective Edge? It seems as soon as you use that word to describe what’s happened, that already is clearly a propagandistic word that justifies what’s taking place.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, actually, they were disappointed with Operation Cast Lead. I guess it’s taken—I forgot. You know, I go through it in the book, but my memory escapes me now. It comes—

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, I remember, right before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the U.S. was coming up with these kind of names, and they were going to call it Operation Iraqi Liberation. But then they had a problem because the acronym was OIL, “oil.” But how are these names come up with?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, they have a very sophisticated—they call it hasbara, which is translated as “public diplomacy.” They have a very—well, we would translate it as “official propaganda.” They have a very effective propaganda agency. In the case of Operation Cast Lead, they created—they already were preparing. As I said, they knew they were going to attack for about a year. They had to make sure all the pieces were in place. And one of the pieces was their propaganda. And they created an organization—it was six months in the making. And a part of it is to come up with these names. And a lot of people comment on how there’s a kind of, you might call it, immaturity about the names they choose. They had–there was a series called Hot Winter or—I can’t remember. But all of these are kinds of bizarre names.

But the important point, I think, is, you can laugh, and you can ridicule, but the propaganda is very effective, you know, because it’s what stays with you. If you take Operation Protective Edge, the three takeaways are the terror tunnels, the Hamas rockets and the Iron Dome. There were no terror tunnels. There were no Hamas rockets. And there was no Iron Dome. The three main images that were projected were all—they were just media creations. They were just propagandistic devices.

And the main propaganda, even—or especially by the human rights organizations, is the pretense that there’s blame on both sides, there’s blame—there’s death and destruction on both sides. But when you look at the numbers, I mean, it’s just ridiculous to put them in the same category. I gave you a chart, you know, to illustrate the numbers in Operation Protective Edge. Civilians killed, roughly 1,600—1,600 to six, civilians killed. Houses destroyed, 18,000 to one. Children killed, 550 to one. You go down the list. How can you create balance out of a balance sheet like that? You know? Out of a grotesquely imbalanced balance sheet like that? And what the human rights organizations do is they simply inflate what happened on the Israeli. So, for example, you take Amnesty International. One child was killed. One child was killed. They describe the child’s death over two pages. So, you say, “OK, you know, it’s a child’s death. What’s wrong with two pages?” Well, then let’s have balance. Five hundred fifty Palestinian children were killed. Did you give that 1,100 pages?

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, you say “they” gave it. Who gave it?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Amnesty. You know—

AMY GOODMAN: So, how do you deal with the claim that Hamas, that Hezbollah are responsible for a high number of civilian casualties because they use civilians as human shields, particularly they use children as human shields?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, there’s a simple way to deal with it: You look at the evidence. There’s absolutely no evidence. We’ll start with Operation Cast Lead. The most exhaustive analyses were done, at that time, Operation Cast Lead, 2008, ’09—the most exhaustive analyses were done by Amnesty International and the Goldstone Report. Neither of them found any evidence that Hamas was using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Now, let’s be clear. There are a large number of supporters of the Palestinian Authority who live in Gaza. They had many harsh things to say about Hamas. But among the charges they leveled was not the charge that Hamas was using Palestinians as human shields.

You take Operation Protective Edge. Again, there is no evidence. I’ve read through all the human rights reports. None of them finds any evidence of human shielding. What they do claim they find is—there’s a technical term under international law that when you’re engaging in a military combat, you have to take feasible precautions to protect civilians, and that if you fighting in the vicinity of civilians, you are then guilty of a violation of international law. It’s not a war crime. It’s a violation of international law. They claim Hamas fired or attacked Israel in the vicinity of civilians, so is guilty of not taking all feasible precautions, which is different than human shielding, which is a conscious practice of, as it were, inserting a human being between you and the enemy, for which there’s no evidence.

But the feasible precautions—I’m not going to make excuses. I have my prejudices. I have my biases. But I’m also scrupulous. I am very careful with facts, because I know, when you make one error or two errors, you’re going to have somebody who’s going to come along and say, “This book is replete with errors, but for reasons of space, I can only mention two.” So, you’re held to a very stringent standard when you’re in my position. You can’t even make two errors. So I’m very careful. And I’m not trying to make excuses. But we have to remember two facts. What does Gaza look like? What does the law say?

Gaza—you were slightly just a little bit off in what you said during your—in the first part. It’s not the most densely populated place in the world, but it’s among the most densely populated. It’s more densely populated than Tokyo. And so, it’s very difficult to wage an armed struggle and not be around people.

Number two, the law says all feasible precautions. If you’re living in a densely populated area, then there’s not much feasibility. And so you have to show not only that Hamas fighters were in the vicinity of civilians. You also have to show they had no other option. And none of the human rights organizations were able to do so.

But then, Amnesty says something outrageous—in my opinion, outrageous. You know what it says? It says that Hamas should go to open areas and fight in the open areas of Gaza. Now, on its face, that might sound reasonable, except for, number one, there are very few open areas in Gaza; number two, the law does not say you have to do that. The law does not say you have to relocate all your troops in an open area. But then, number three, Gaza is not occupied internally by Israel. Gaza is surrounded by Israel, and it’s an occupation that is executed externally. So, here’s the problem.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain that, that Israel will always say Israel doesn’t occupy Gaza, they pulled out in 2005.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: It controls—right. It controls the airspace. It controls the exits, controls the entries, controls the waterspace. There’s a sea blockade of Gaza. It controls everything, you know? It’s the equivalent of a jailer throwing the keys to the prisoners in the cell. They get out of the cell. “Great! We’re free!” Except the jailer then walks out of the prison, shuts tight the prison gates, surrounds the prison. Well, is that free? Well, that’s Gaza. As the Conservative British Prime Minister Cameron, David Cameron, said, Gaza is an open-air prison.

So, to return to the point, it’s externally controlled by Israel, right? And it’s an unusual occupation because it’s an externally controlled occupation, a remote-control occupation. All right? Now, international law—according to these human rights organizations, they all say all of Hamas’s weapons are illegal under international law, because they’re indiscriminate. The law is, you can’t use indiscriminate weapons. Hamas’s weapons are very primitive, to say the least. So, international law says its so-called rockets are illegal, its so-called mortar shells—its mortar shells are illegal. Now, what are you left with? Amnesty says to Hamas, “You have to go into an open space, but you can’t use any of your weapons.” But if you can’t use any of your weapons, because they’re indiscriminate, how do you defeat an externally controlled occupation? The only thing Amnesty didn’t tell them to do was to line up like ducks and let the Israeli airplane come in and mow them down.

Now, you might smile at that, but that’s literally—that’s where you’re left. That’s where you’re left, with what these human rights organizations are saying. It’s not to defend Hamas. It’s just to look at the law objectively, rationally, and ask yourself, “Is what—are what the human rights organizations saying fair? Is it true?” All the human rights organizations, they’ll always say Israel used disproportionate force. They’ll say Israel used indiscriminate force.

But there’s one thing they’ll never say. You know what they’ll never say? Israel targeted the civilians. Because that’s the no-no. You see, under international law, indiscriminate attacks are war crimes. Disproportionate attacks are war crimes. Targeting civilians are war crimes. That’s the law. But then there’s public opinion. Public opinion, it’s willing to turn a blind eye to disproportionate attacks. Actually, how can you even prove an attack is disproportionate? It’s almost impossible. They’ll even say, yeah, indiscriminate attacks, because it’s hard to separate civilians from soldiers. The one thing public opinion won’t tolerate is the targeted attack on civilians. That’s exactly what Israel does in every one of its massacres, and that’s exactly the thing that the human rights organizations—now, not during Operation Cast Lead, now, after the Goldstone debacle—that’s the one thing they all shy away from. They don’t want to say Israel targets civilians.

One anecdote, quick anecdote. I was teaching a class, volunteer class, Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, on freedom of speech. And some issue came up—I won’t go into the circumstances—and somebody from the audience says, “Israel doesn’t target children. Israel never targets children.” And the person who I’m interviewing for this program, a very respected professor at Columbia University, considered a left liberal, has very good credentials—I’m sure he’s been on your show at one time or another. He says, “Yes, yes. Israel would never target civilians—or, excuse me, never target children.”

Israel is always targeting children. You have so many cases, like you have children playing on a roof. Right? A drone comes in. Human Rights Watch says—its report was called “Precisely Wrong,” after Operation Protective Edge—excuse me, Operation Cast Lead. The drone comes in. Human rights report says the drone can see very clearly what it’s targeting. The drone, it could—up to the very last minute, very last minute, it could divert. Goes right for the kids.

AMY GOODMAN: The kids on the beach in Gaza is another story, from 2014.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, that’s—that’s a most important story, and I’m glad you brought it up. You had four kids. They were playing hide and seek around a fisherman’s hut, a dilapidated fisherman’s hut. There were hundreds of reporters on the beach.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, it was right in front of a reporters’ hotel.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. Everybody sees what happens. Four kids, diminutive. Hut, dilapidated hut. Israel kills the four kids. Right?

AMY GOODMAN: With a strike.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. That was—it came from a naval—a boat. So, what does the U.N. Human Rights Council report say, the one by Mary McGowan Davis? “Israel didn’t take all feasible precautions.” All feasible precautions? There was no battle going on. There was no—there was no combat. There were only children there. “We don’t know why Israel mistook these children for militants.” What do you mean you don’t know why? Why do you assume they did? Why do you assume they did? It was the same thing with the fellow in the—the paraplegic who they shot in the head. You probably remember—you might remember, 2002, Occupation—

AMY GOODMAN: Tamimi, 17 years old.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. Operation Defensive Shield, outside Jenin, there’s a fellow sitting in a wheelchair. He has a flag, holding it, a white flag. An Israeli tank comes and just runs right over him, the guy in the wheelchair. Right? You might recall, when I had the debate with Alan Dershowitz, I said, “Well, Human Rights Watch documented it. Amnesty International documented it.” He said, “It didn’t happen.” And that’s a large part of American Jewry over the age of 50. “It didn’t happen.”

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, it’s interesting that you—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: It happens, it happens, but it didn’t happen.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s interesting that you say over the age of 50—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —because American Jewry is changing—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Oh, totally.

AMY GOODMAN: —their opinion on Israel. Talk about younger people. And talk about overall public opinion here.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, there’s a very simple way to put it. Who is President Trump’s main ally in the world? It’s Netanyahu. Eighty percent of American Jews find Trump a loathsome creature. And now they have a real problem: The main ally of this loathsome creature is the prime minister of the state of Israel, an amazingly popular prime minister of Israel, who’s been in for a very long time. And now, this is a real conflict for American Jews. Does being loyal to Israel mean we have to be supportive of Trump? It’s a crisis of values.

AMY GOODMAN: And it was happening before Trump, as well.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Oh, yeah, it was happening before, but now it’s quite—

AMY GOODMAN: Well, talk about young people.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, there has been—you would say, there have been several turning points, beginning with the ’82 Lebanon War, then the First Intifada, then the repression during the Second Intifada, and then significantly, as I said, after Operation Cast Lead. Public opinion—in particular among young American Jews, public opinion has been shifting, I wouldn’t say against Israel, I would say away from Israel, which is different. Jews have an ethic, which I kind of understand, and I’m not exactly immune to it, about not airing dirty laundry in public. So there’s a kind of resistance, reticence, about attacking Israel in public, because you feel like you’re feeding anti-Semitism. And you get the idea. So they’re not going to publicly, in large numbers, en masse, publicly denounce Israel. But they’re not going to talk about it anymore, either, and they’re not going to support it—unless, of course, it’s an existential issue.

And that’s one of my big differences, if I can mention it, with the BDS. The thing is, when you start—

AMY GOODMAN: The Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yes. When you start threatening Israel’s existence, whether it’s through physical destruction or, let’s call it, demographic destruction, then Jews become very defensive. You know, that’s a red line. It’s a red line. If you say, “End the occupation,” American Jews will support it. If you say, “Israel shouldn’t be committing crimes, like it did in Gaza,” most American Jews are going to, you know, be willing to go there. But if you say, “Eliminate Israel,” no, you’re not going to get—then you’re going to get resistance. Mostly now, you’re going to get a slow drift into indifference, a slow drift into—it’s not a lot subject anymore.

Incidentally, just as a point of fact, because I go back far enough, in the 1960s, before the June ’67 war, Jews never talked about Israel. It wasn’t a topic. That’s why, as I said, if you look at people like Chuck Schumer, his sister, those—the issues back then were the war in Vietnam, civil rights movement. And American Jews were on the verge of making it. You were about to conquer the inner sanctums of American power. They were smart. They were ambitious. And they knew that they can do it. They didn’t care about a backwater called Israel. So this whole Israel phenomenon and obsession is relatively new among American Jews. And now, I think it’s fading. Israel has become like this the slightly meshuga—Yiddish for “crazy”—the slightly meshuga aunt in the attic. You don’t really want to talk about Israel anymore.

AMY GOODMAN: You said, when you talk about the BDS movement, when you talk about “eliminate Israel,” they’re not talking about eliminating Israel.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, as I said, there are different ways to put it. You can talk about physical destruction. You can talk about demographic elimination. And so, if the BDS platform were to be implemented, the–they talk about, let’s say, 7 million Palestinian refugees coming back to Israel. Right now, the demographics is—in the state of Israel, it’s about 15 to 20 percent non-Jews. If there were a full implementation of the law of return—the right of return, if there were a full implementation of the right of return, the demographic balance would shift roughly 70 percent Palestinian Arab, 30 percent Jewish.

AMY GOODMAN: And you’re not talking about the Occupied Territories.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, if you take the total picture, it’s about 50-50 now. If you bring in—if the refugees are returned en masse, then, of course, again, the demographic balance is going to shift radically. And so, that would be—I’m not saying I support it or not. That, for me, is an irrelevant issue, because politics is not about your personal preference. Politics is about what’s possible. And I’m saying that prospect, that prospect of a radical demographic shift in Israel, which would mean, effectively, the end of Israel as a Jewish state. It’s a demographic, it’s not a physical—and I recognize that, and the distinction is important. But the bottom line, in some regard, is the same: Israel will cease to exist as a predominantly Jewish state. American Jews will never accept that.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to what—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: I’m not saying—I’m not saying you have to defer to the opinion of American Jews. I’m simply saying—you’re asking me about the opinions of American Jews—yes, it has shifted radically from when I was growing up. However, there is a red line. And the red line is Israel is a Jewish state.

AMY GOODMAN: So, let me go to, in the last few minutes we have, Israel publishing a blacklist of 20 different organizations they will not allow into Israel right now. We’re talking about groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, CodePink, the American Friends Service Committee, as well as Palestinian solidarity groups in France, in Italy, in Norway, Sweden, Britain, Chile and other places. Your response to what Israel has done right now?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the important thing is to try to understand why they’re doing it. Now, some people claim that the reason is they fear BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. I happen not to agree with that analysis.

In my opinion, Israel has a problem, has always had a problem. The problem is, it keeps getting bad press, because when it keeps carrying out these massacres or these shootings, it gets bad press. And so, obviously, what’s the solution? Eliminate the press, eliminate the witnesses. So, during Operation Cast Lead in 2008, ’09, they prevented any reporters from coming in. So, for three weeks, it was a free-for-all. Then, after Operation Protective Edge, they didn’t let any human rights organizations in, so they couldn’t see what was the damage done. So, then the human rights organizations, what they did was, in my opinion, crazy. They said, “If Israel doesn’t let us in, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they didn’t commit the war crime.” But that just incentivizes Israel not to let human rights organizations in. You get an agnostic verdict rather than a guilty verdict.

Then, as I said before, the big chink in the armor was that Breaking the Silence, because these are Israeli combatants. And they weren’t even leftists. But they were describing what was happening. So Israel went with a vengeance, trying to get Breaking the Silence defunded, because it had a lot of European funding, claiming they were traitors, they were enemies and so on and so forth. And I don’t think—my guess, Breaking the Silence won’t do again what it did after Operation Protective Edge. It was—it was very hard to take. You know, Israel is a very nationalist society. And when you start being branded a traitor—and about 60 percent of the population said they were traitors, when they did the polls—

AMY GOODMAN: These were Israeli soldiers.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah, you know, and they were being said to—about 60 percent said they were traitors.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what do you think—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Wait, so—and that brings me to this point. They’re using this moment—with Trump in power, they’re using this moment to try to eliminate as many witnesses as they can, keep everybody out. They want to do to the West Bank what they did to Gaza. It’s very hard for an outsider to get into Gaza. And now, the Israelis are carrying on in a very brazen way—the land grabs, the merciless killings of civilians, the brutal killings of civilians. And so, they want to clear the field of any witnesses. And they’re using the Trump presidency as a moment to seal off Gaza from any—excuse me, seal off the West Bank from any potentially hostile witnesses, to turn the West Bank into what they turned Gaza into. It’s hermetically sealed. There’s no way to witness the crimes as they unfold in real time.

AMY GOODMAN: Norm Finkelstein, in his book, Fire and Fury, journalist Michael Wolff quotes Steve Bannon boasting about the implications of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Bannon reportedly said, “We know where we’re heading on this. Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza.”

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, you know, I have no way to assess Bannon’s intelligence. Maybe he’s a smart guy. I don’t really know.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think he was voicing what the Trump administration feels?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: They might feel it. I don’t really feel that, however, it has much connection with reality. That was the solution up until the 1970s, remember. Up until the 1970s, Gaza was—and the West Bank were occupied territories, and they were supposed to be returned to the people who previously occupied them, namely, Egypt and Jordan. But then that was superceded by the Palestinian national movement, the demand for an independent state, the demand for self-determination and sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza. And the whole international community embraced it. I won’t say it was a strong embrace, but technically they embraced it. And you saw it again with the vote on Jerusalem, where the international community, about 128 states, they defied Trump, and they stood, you know, pretty firmly—there were some retreats, but not so important to discuss—stood fairly strongly in favor of the solution they’ve been advocating, which is Israel’s withdrawal from the territories they occupy.

I don’t think Trump’s announcement—personally, I don’t think it’s going to have much repercussion, because, historically, the major acts which have had enduring repercussions—the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the partition resolution in 1947—they were the product of a lot of deliberation, a lot of back-and-forth. And by the time they were promulgated—the Balfour Declaration and the partition resolution—they had a huge institutional force behind them. In the case of Trump, it was like a crap deal in Las Vegas. “Adelson, I’ll do it. What the hell.” You know? And those kinds of action don’t, in my opinion—are not likely to have an enduring effect. And, in fact, the result was, it kind of—the international community dug in their feet, dug in their feet that we’re not going to acquiesce to Trump’s unilateral move.

AMY GOODMAN: Norman Finkelstein, you conclude your book by quoting Helen Hunt Jackson, a late 19th century American critic of our policy, of the U.S. policy towards Cherokee Indians, saying, “There will come a time when, to the student of American history, it will seem well-nigh incredible” what was done to the Cherokee. You then write, “Is it not certain that one day the black record of Gaza’s martyrdom will in retrospect also seem well-nigh incredible?”

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Yeah. When I was finishing up the book—it’s a funny thing about writing. I remember once you used the expression—we were talking privately about something—you used the expression of “reaching critical mass,” when something suddenly changes. I forget what the context was in what you were saying. And that’s some—that’s like me when I’m writing. I walk around, thinking about, thinking about, thinking about. I’m getting very agitated, agitated. And then, suddenly, I just go down and I start writing, you know? It’s there. And I wrote the conclusion very quickly—for me, unusually. It was, I think, only one or two drafts. Usually, I’m a perfectionist and go through it thoroughly. And at the end, I was immediately—I thought about, you know, what’s happening here is like—how could that be? How can it be that you have this medieval siege for 10 years? There was a period where Israel barred, prevented, prohibited chocolate, chips, chicken—chocolate, chips, chicks—from entering Gaza, on the grounds of security. How can that happen? And these people are just languishing there, in the face of the whole international community.

And I thought to myself, you know, it reminded me of what—it was a very nice book. It was called A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson. She writes it at the end of the 19th century. And she describes how the United States just broke all the treaties—signs a treaty, breaks it—with the Native American population. And it’s an interesting story because Teddy Roosevelt, who was a great defender of the conquest of the American West, he devotes all these pages—it’s a three-volume or four-volume, five-volume maybe, history of the conquest—to attacking her, to attacking her. “How could you say this? How could you say this?” And the book was forgotten, her little book.

And then, when the whole Native American issue was revived in the United States—didn’t happen ’til the 1970s, you’ll be surprised, even though you’re not significantly different in age from me. It didn’t happen until—cinematically, it didn’t happen until Dustin Hoffman, I think Little Big Man. It was the first cinematic depiction of what had been done to the Native Americans. When we were growing up, I was always rooting for the cowboys. “Kill those Injuns! Kill those savages!” You know, I was. I remember it. You know? And there was a cultural revolution in the United States of sorts, and we suddenly discovered the Native Americans. And when we had our cultural revolution, Helen Hunt Jackson’s book was rediscovered.

And that’s kind of how I feel about my book. It will be ignored now, because everybody’s going to hate it. I went after not just Israel, but I was pretty tough on the human rights organizations, Kenneth Roth, Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross, this guy Jacques de Maio, Richard Horton from the British Lancet magazine, the medical magazine. I’m very harsh. It’ll be ignored, with the exception of Democracy Now! and a couple of others. I’m aware of that. But I’m kind of old-fashioned. I believe in—I believe in memory. I believe these things should be remembered. It’s the only—it’s the only thing you can do for the dead, you know, is to remember them. And so, for me, the book was, in large part—I want it to sit on the bookshelf, which is why I asked a university press to publish it, because libraries nowadays—

AMY GOODMAN: And the photograph on the cover? We’ll end there.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, I spent a lot of time trying to find the photograph. It was a Jewish woman who took the photograph, from Gaza. She was in Gaza. And I wanted—I said, “I want it to be simple. I want it to be stark. Simple, stark”—I can’t remember the third thing. And I felt it captured it, the essence.

AMY GOODMAN: Describe it.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: It’s a picture of a Palestinian woman from Gaza, and she’s holding her dead baby, and the baby is wrapped up in, I guess, white cotton cloth. And you can only tell it’s dead because there’s a little blood at the foot. And I’ve not been to Gaza a lot. I’ve been there, I think, twice or three times. But what struck me about being there was—I don’t know if you’ve been there—people don’t wear their suffering on their shoulder. They don’t advertise it. They don’t talk about it. It’s just very matter-of-fact. “This is our life. What do we need now to move on?” And I felt that that was the cover conveyed.

AMY GOODMAN: Norman Finkelstein, author, scholar, his new book, Gaza: An Inquest into Martyrdom.

To see Part 1 of our conversation, you can go to democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us

2017: Civilians Killed by US Tripled in Iraq, Syria

2017: Civilians Killed by US Tripled in Iraq, Syria

Says US Escalation Led to ‘Steep Increase’ in Killings

UK-based NGO Airwars has offered a reckoning of the 2017 air operations of the US-led coalition against ISIS, involving attacks in both Iraq and Syria. The number of civilians killed increased dramatically, with estimates suggesting that they roughly tripled from 2016.

In 2016, they documented an estimated death toll of between 1,243 and 1,904 non-combatants, but in 2017, the estimate was a minimum of 3,923, and potentially as many as 6,102 non-combatants killed.

That’s a huge increase, and a troubling one, in no small part because the US doesn’t admit it’s even happening, with Pentagon assessments putting deaths at no more than a few hundred annually, and around 800 over the entire past four years.

Airwars attributed the escalating toll in part to the fact that 2017 saw an increase in strikes, and an increased focus on densely populated cities. They also suggested the Trump Administration’s relaxing of restrictions on airstrikes, and view of the ISIS war as a “war of annihilation” are factors.

Brave Congressman Explains How US Keeps Afghan Heroin Trade Alive At Your Expense

Source

This week, President Donald Trump, just like his predecessor Obama, promised to continue the utterly corrupt failure of a brutal occupation that is Afghanistan—despite running on a campaign to end it. For decades, the United States has been subsidizing—to the tune of billions of US tax dollars—failed projects, infrastructure, military, police, and yes, even terrorism. Yet Afghanistan is worse off today than they were before the government lied to Americans, claiming they were responsible for 9/11 instead of Saudi Arabia.

In a recent speech on the state of the Afghanistan quagmire, Congressman Thomas Massie (R) KY, exposed some hard truths that very few people in Washington are courageous enough to address. While most politicians cheered Trump’s insane decision to increase US presence in Afghanistan this week, Massie Blew the lid off of it.

For years, Massie has pointed out that the US has blown billions of dollars on failed projects alone. As of last year, the number of failed projects totaled over 100 billion.

To put this number in perspective, the entire amount of money the United States allocates to spend on rebuilding America’s crumbling highways every year is less than half of what it’s blown on failed projects alone in Afghanistan.

 

Massie noted that hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on a hydroelectric damn that the US thought the Taliban would destroy. However, they did not destroy it. ‘Want to know why,’ Massie asked:

“They get the electricity! We’re paying the light bill for the Taliban now. They get 30 percent of the electricity in exchange for not blowing it up, or shooting the operators who are running the damn.”

 

But it’s not just the wasted money giving terrorists electricity, the US is also protecting and funding the drug trade.

Of that wasted $100 billion, $8 billion was spent failing to eradicate the Afghan opium trade. Not only did the this massive amount of money not stop the opium trade and production but it doubled it!

 

Western profiteers are making a figurative killing off of heroin for the literal killing of people in Afghanistan.

former British Territorial Army mechanic, Anthony C Heaford released a report three years ago, and a series of photos, which he says proves that British and American troops are harvesting opium in Afghanistan.

It is also no secret that Afghanistan opium production has increased by 3,500 percent, from 185 tons in 2001 to 6,400 in 2015, since the US-led invasion.

In the video below, Massie explains how he asked the inspector general why they don’t just spray herbicide on all the poppy fields to eradicate the plants. Massie was told they cannot eradicate the plants as the Taliban needs the money from opium production.

“By the way,” Massie explained,

“The Taliban used to prevent people from growing poppy.”

If you think that Trump doesn’t know that a continued US occupation of Afghanistan will lead to a larger heroin epidemic, more innocent civilians killed, more troops needless dying, and more terrorism, think again. For years, Trump decried the war on Terror, pointing out the horrific nature of occupation.

 

But things change, according to Trump, and once he got in the White House, he magically saw the serious need to continue the waste and destruction in Afghanistan.

The lunacy of continuing the occupation in Afghanistan, knowing the only ones who benefit from it are warlords, drug cartels, the CIA, terrorists, and the military industrial complex, is staggering.

Innocent people will die, your children’s children will be forever indebted to the Federal Reserve, and the global war machine—which knows no home country—will be empowered and expanded. For what?

“I had hoped the Afghanistan war would end soon, but now it’s inevitable that babies born during the war will be deploying to the war in 2019,” Massie said shortly after Trump’s speech Monday night.

Sadly, Massie is only accompanied by a handful of people in the house and senate in his stance. The overwhelming majority want more war because their lobbyists tell them that’s what will keep them in their seat.

As you listen to the speech below, remember, every single representative, senator, and adviser, all the way up to Trump, knows these facts, yet they choose to perpetuate them.

This is not only shameful—it’s criminal. Troops aren’t protecting your freedom in Afghanistan, they are being used to enrich a corrupt group of sadistic elites. Please share this article with your friends and family to show them the destructive, deadly, and criminal act of continuing a war in Afghanistan.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmises.institute%2Fvideos%2F10155190758643935%2F&show_text=0&width=476

 

American Protestant Christianity as the enabler for Judaic world domination and quite possibly for the end of the world

Source

‘Most Jews do not like to admit it but our god is Lucifer and we are his chosen people. Lucifer is very much alive.’ – Harold Wallace Rosenthal, a wealthy influential Jew involved with the US government

By Staś

Dispensationalist evangelical Christians in America are the greatest friends Israel has in the world, and have been for a long time. In their very strange and science-fictionesque visualization of the soon-to-take-place ‘end of the world’ and the destruction of everything in it, they believe Israel plays a central role in ‘God’s plan’ viz the last chapter of human history and in what they call the ‘end-times’. And although the various individuals and groups making up this strange cult differ on a few particulars, one thing upon which they are all in agreement is that Jesus is scheduled to make a grand entrance at the end of it all and with all of them holding front row seats.



Although there are many different ‘species’ of Protestant evangelical Christianity in America, the one thing that universally connects virtually all various groups is what can only be termed an obsession with the ‘end times’. As if nothing else in the 2,000 years of Christian history existed except one obscure chapter in the very last book of the bible–Revelations–the consummation of the world seems to dominate all discussion and activity. Mega-churches hosting thousands and even football stadiums hosting tens of thousands and rented for special ‘end times’ events get nationwide TV coverage and with millions of eyes and ears glued to what is going on.

It is easy to understand then why a phenomenon such as this would be the target for manipulation on the political level. The fact that this particular group represents the single largest voting block in America with upwards of 90 million people, the notion that it would somehow escape being captured and manipulated by interested parties with a particular political agenda is not as much an unlikelihood as it is an impossibility. The truth is that American Protestant Evangelical Christianity has been immensely important as a fuel for vital political projects, including the creation of Israel in 1948 and every drop of political and monetary support that the Jewish state has vampired from both America and around the world since that time.

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The very erudite and eloquent  Patrick J. Buchanan maintains (correctly) that WWI and WWII were not two separate wars but one giant European civil war that resulted in the destruction of Europe. The British who turned Palestine over to the Jews in 1948 needed the support of the Americans during WWI. That was “the deal”.

This is an important fact to keep in mind, given that it was Great Britain who performed the necessary CPR in breathing ‘new life’ into the Frankenstein monster known as Judea, but it would then fall upon America and its millions of Apocalypse-addicted Evangelical Christians who would be tasked with feeding, coddling and protecting this new political creation known as JSIL–the Jewish state in the Levant.

And while some evangelicals condemned the activities of those Jewish terrorist groups made infamous for some of their bloody exploits, including major terrorist acts such as the bombing of the King David Hotel, at the same time however many cared only about the fact that the Jews must return to the holy land as part of the ‘divine script’.

Although of course the Zionist Jews have been the prime movers behind these events, mainline Protestants, WASP Freemasons (Gentiles dedicated to the rebuilding of the Temple destroyed by Titus in 70 AD) and of course radical evangelicals have been major players in this. They want to see the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem blown to pieces like the aforementioned King David Hotel and the ‘3rd Temple’ rebuilt in its place. In the same manner as fans of Tolkien flocked to the movie theaters to see their favorite literary characters come to life on the big screen in living color, likewise evangelical Christians today want to see the consummation of the world in real time as it has been dramatically described by mega-church pastors such as John Hagee and others.

All three Abrahamic religions speak of an end times scenario. Many long for it and many even want to speed up the time table for the big finale. Understanding very well this MO on the part of American evangelical Christians, current Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu has been very adept at tapping into that particular vein and in drawing forth the necessary blood needed for the preservation of Israel in both monetary and political ways.


The popularity of the evangelical movement goes up and down in the US. In the aftermath of the infamous Scopes Trial it went down, whereas after the world witnessed the apocalyptic power of the newly developed atomic bomb during WWII, it went up.

Pastors signaling specific dates for the end of the world and/or the ‘rapture’ (that fantastic event that features prominently in virtually all neighborhoods of American Protestant Dispensationalist Christianity wherein the ‘true believers’ are suddenly vacuumed body and soul into the heavens above with no warning whatsoever) have proved to be problematic and at times have sown confusion amongst self-professed followers of Jesus Christ when the grand finale did not materialize. Nevertheless, despite some of the biggest names having had their date-sensitive predictions not materialize, nevertheless their flock seems to suffer from a certain degree of amnesia and thus continue to swallow whole-hog the next date-sensitive prediction that pops up, indicating the very emotional (and not necessarily rational) element that permeates much (all) of this.

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Many also seem to take delight in scenarios were their detractors are punished for their unbelief, a motley crew made up of liberals, Catholics, Democrats, Muslims, and atheists who are all pre-destined to ‘pay the piper’ when all hell breaks loose while the ‘true believers’ are vacuumed up away from all the ‘tribulations’.

At times one gets the image of a poorly educated person forking over what little money they have to help Israel.  One can just see Jewish porn star Ron Jeremy or some Israeli arms dealer laughing themselves silly at such a prospect.

Nothing even in the wildest fiction comes close to the odd dance between Jews and evangelicals. Evangelicals cry ‘we must save you!’ while at the same time, Jews laugh and take their cash.

Christians obsessed with end times philosophy adhere to a divine script that seems to be not quite agreed upon but quite horrifying indeed, and yet interestingly, they show no fear for themselves, secure in the knowledge that the big vacuum cleaner will save them just in time.

Many Protestants detest the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican and see all Popes–past, present, and future–as the Anti-Christ described in the only book they seem to read–Revelations.

Yet for 500 years they have come up with  few skilled academicians who have justified in detail why they split from Rome.

Suffice it to say the ‘Reformation’ has had a huge affect as to why world Jewry is the preeminent power on earth to this day. Prior to this fit within Christendom, it was the unifying, solid as stone political power of the Roman Church that kept Jewry at a manageable level.

It must be noted the end times prophecy thinking spikes when bad or foreboding things happen. For instance, after 911 many even non-religious people developed “prophecy belief.” At times you may notice the media plays it up.  Remember the world will end in 2012? The  Y2k scare as well?

That Jewish voters are overwhelmingly liberal and adhere to and promote every issue that evangelicals oppose, including gay marriage, abortion on demand, etc. Despite their own conservative views they love the Jews.  The Jews and in particular the liberal Jews despise the evangelicals.

This is why super liberal Sen. Al Franken hates Mike Pence even more then he hates Trump. Franken detest the evangelicals. Could it be that he is familiar with their theology?

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Franken views Pence as worse the Trump, going so far as to refer to Pence as a Zealot, a very Jewish biblical term. He has stated the Pence would be worse for liberals on domestic issues.

It can be assumed that Franken is lying when he states Pence would be better on international relations and war. He knows the radical evangelicals will do anything to speed up the end times. Some even willfully. Others support Israel hardliners so firmly that this is yet another path to catastrophic war.

This is why as TUT pointed out Franken had to go he would get in the way of the plan to impeach Trump and replace him with the evangelical Pence.

This and the  election loss of pro-Trump Judge Roy Moore in Alabama might prove to be huge factors in the bid to impeach President Trump.

President Trump is more than capable of dealing with the 95 million plus evangelicals. For one thing they have been endlessly attacked by the media and the left they make up some of the core of the so-called ‘deplorables’.

It is an ongoing battle and of coarse plenty of media outlets and sell-outs are trying to portray the relationship between Trump and the evangelicals as strained.

Lets face it–a lot of Trump’s support is racial, i.e. rust belt whites.  Or as Steve Bannon  calls them “the forgotten man”

If the media itself–which is the real power in the United States–goes after Trump often there is not much even he can do.  The media control gives the advantage.

This is why the support of the evangelicals for Trump and Pence has been very important. Their numbers are huge and they don’t care for the mainstream media.

The 700 Club and similar programs watched by America’s evangelicals have gotten behind Trump and who appreciate his use of the term ‘fake news’ as they have bristled for decades under the assault on their faith by the JMSM.

The president has done well with his white support base, but not without problems as well, and especially from events such as the rally in  Charlottesville and it’s connection to white supremacist or alleged white supremacists who have not helped Trump at all.

The Protestant church has a lot of power in the United States. It is one of the driving forces that directs the United States. Many Protestants are fanatically pro-Israel and pro-greater Israel. That is just political reality.

If you’re Roman Catholic or Atheist or what have you might not know about the Protestant world. It is at its core very simple.  You accept Jesus Christ and you are ”saved.”

If you make a lot of money your ‘blessed”.

The Protestant evangelist sometimes come into conflict with Jewish liberals over Hollywood and the obvious moral degeneration of America. However, they see Jews as God’s Chosen people who will hopefully accept Jesus Christ during the end times. This is one among many reasons the US works for Israel.

The Protestant world is by no means monolithic. There are countless denominations and many will have nothing to do with one another. Ranging from the liberal protestants who fly the flag of LGBTQ and the banner of Black Lives Matter to the grotesque conman/conwoman team Jim and Tammy Faye Baker to megachurch Pastor John Charles Hagee who constantly invokes the wrath of God to fall upon whatever creature speaks unfavorably about Israel.

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In fact evangelicals seem to delight in the fact that according to their interpretation of the divine script anyone they don’t like will perish in hell fire.

According to Hagee a “Christian Zionist and Scofield Bible inspired dispensationalist if you defy Israel you’re going straight to hell.

Image result for reverend hagee preaching with bibi

This is why Trump’s announcement viz Jerusalem being the capital of Israel was and is HUGE. He has the Israelis wedded to this issue without lifting a finger.  The Arab world is united against Israel. The evangelical support has gotten firmly behind Trump.  Yet Trump will continue to push for “peace” something no other US president has tried.

He has put Israel on the spot and he has the full support of the evangelical Christian movement in the United States behind him.  He has made a huge problem for Israel by “giving them what they want” so to speak. The expert negotiating skills of Trump fit into biblical prophecy. Indeed Trump’s Jerusalem decision is also a victory for “Evangelical politics”. A card that Trump holds that may come in handy for him later when it comes time to mobilize an army of angry, fed-up voters numbering somewhere in the area of about 95 million.

Many Protestants or of course good people on the street level. Lots of Pastors “minister” to people, help with drug and alcohol addiction, suicide prevention, and so forth.

Many evangelicals or Televangelists are frauds, madmen or both.  Despite endless proven frauds and scandals the mega TV holy roller preachers retain many followers and are fabulously wealthy.

“Benny” Hinn is an Israeli televangelist, best known for his regular “Miracle Crusades”—revival meeting or faith healing summits that are usually held in stadiums in major cities. He is among the richest and most popular of the Televangelists.  He is the quintessential fraud healer and holy-roller conman.

If you want to get saved or healed by Hinn bring cash.

Wikipedia sites:

In March 1993 Inside Edition reported on Hinn’s $685,000 Orlando home and Mercedes-Benz, despite Hinn having previously claiming a “modest lifestyle”. An employee of Inside Edition also faked a healing from Cerebral palsy which was shown on Hinn’s regular broadcast.[20]

A controversial aspect of Hinn’s ministry is his teaching on, and demonstration of, a phenomenon he dubs “The Anointing”—the power purportedly given by God and transmitted through Hinn to carry out supernatural acts. At his Miracle Crusades, he has allegedly healed attendees of blindness, deafness, cancer, AIDS,[21] and severe physical injuries. However, investigative reports by the Los Angeles Times, NBC’s Dateline, the CBC’s The Fifth Estate, and the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes have called these claims into question.

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Hinn has also caused controversy for theological remarks and claims he has made during TV appearances. In 1999, Hinn appeared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, claiming that God had given him a vision predicting the resurrection of thousands of dead people after watching the network—laying out a scenario of people placing their dead loved ones’ hands on TV screens tuned into the station—and suggesting that TBN would be ‘an extension of Heaven to Earth’.

Many still to this day hate Roman Catholics and refer to them as ‘Papists’. They hate Rome–the political empire that destroyed Judea 2,000 years ago just as Jesus Christ Himself predicted would happen for the Jews’ violence and disobedience. This is why many Protestant and Jews are eager to tell you that the Jesuit Order rules the world. Within the ‘conspiracy’ world, it is acknowledged that ‘the Zionists’ are bad, but an exception is made in that they somehow report to the ‘black pope’. The Vatican controls the world?  Many if not all cannot handle the idea that the idea of a ‘chosen people’ out of the Old Testament is the ultimate form of supremacy.

The Episcopalians are considered the elite of the WASP neighborhood and make up a large part of the upper ranks of Freemasonry. They gather in a ‘temple’ as do their counterparts whom they despise, the Mormons.  The seal of the State of Denver is literally the very same all-seeing eye that features in Masonic symbolism.  Many of the moneyed Protestants are themselves quasi-Jewish. They gather and worship in temples like Jews. They are all keen on rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, just as messianic Jews are.

Yet they sometimes tangle with the Jews.

Recall Secretary of State James Baker for Super Skull and Bones Yale WASP Bush.

‘F*** the Jews; they didn’t vote for us anyway.’

The eastern establishment Protestants or the saved have saved dentist saved doctors and telephone books that list saved places to shop for goods and services.

They know how to network.

There is nothing wrong with this however what I am pointing out is that they are more insular then one might think.  You got to be saved in order to participate in the game. The exclusivity of the WAPS or eastern installment Boston Brahmin types has diminished greatly.  Long gone are the days of the ‘No Jews allowed’ country clubs. This is due in no small part to Hollywood’s attack on WASP-Think of the countless movies where the good hearted funny Jews do battle with the mean, blond-haired WASP.

The Protestant work ethic is admirable. Since the installment of Lyndon B. Johnson’s ‘Great Society,’ it has diminished year after year. Some would say it is all but gone.

The so-called Robber Barons were WASPs. They were rich but they contributed greatly to building the  US into a major power.

Some even pushed back against Judaic power.

Henry Ford a giant among them attempted to warn American Gentiles about Jewish power. He hired Elizabeth Dilling (who would later be tried for sedition for her part in efforts to keep America out of a genocidal WWII) to write books explaining the dangers of Red Communists and Jews. He gave out copies of the Protocols of Zion with his cars.

He wrote ‘The International Jew’.

He lost in his struggle against the Jews.

The next big loss for the WASP–and this is key–was the failure of the America First Movement to keep America out of WWII.

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Sound familiar? It is no accident that Trump and Bannon pushed the use of the phrase ‘America First’.

Could it be they are thinking and using the ‘America First’ slogan in part because of a desperate attempt to keep the US out of WWIII?

Protestant power goes up and down within the US. When it goes down they try to pick it back up in the form of a revival.

The Protestant church has no ‘pope’ per say but a man named Dr. Harold John Ockenga was considered by many Protestants nationwide as a kind of ‘Pope of Protestantism’.

Ockenga and his good friend Billy Graham revitalized the Protestant world in 1950. They made it big again.

Image result for Dr. Harold John Ockenga

Graham was warned by the ADL to not attempt evangelizing the Jews. A clue has to who was in the dominant position.

The relationship between key Evangelist players such as Graham, Ockenga  and the Jews has had at times been strained.

Image result for Dr. Harold John Ockenga

Recall the infamous taped phone calls between Graham and President Nixon.

Ockenga himself was highly critical of ‘Jewish-run Hollywood’.  In In  many fundamentalists started to complain about worldwide Jewish conspiracy to take over the world

Hollywood propaganda would slowly eat away at WASP power but in a bizarre twist of fate the WASP evangelicals and the interest with end time prophecy say the subversive activities of the Jews fit into the ‘end times plan’.

Thus, much of the resistance to real Jewish power is a total wash out.

You may notice that a lot of the conspiracy movement is nothing more than hot air. Because a lot of it is just the anger and mistrust the Protestants have for the Roman Catholic Church.

A lot of their criticism is justified, but to say the Vatican controls the world including ‘Zionism’ and the Mossad is ridiculous.  The Jewish money power is so far ahead of the Church that it cannot even hide it. Wall Street and virtually all money-making sectors of life in the western world are Jewish.

How many of the richest men  in Forbes or other publications are Jewish?  The answer is a lot.

Yet people talk of ‘The Illuminati’  or ‘Vatican Satanic’ groups that rule over everyone. Yet they can’t name a single person.  Does the great great grandson of Adam Weishaupt run a Hedge Fund that one can name?

No. But you can point to a lot of evangelical preachers that give their complete support to the State of Israel and support the plan for a ‘Greater Israel’ encompassing the entire Middle East along with all the war necessary for realizing that endeavor.

And virtually no one can stomach criticisms of the Old Testament itself which is an exercise in ultra-violence and supremacy.

Again it cannot be stated enough that for the most  whatever the Jews do is fine with the evangelicals. For they are a key part of Biblical Prophecy. They needed to return home to Israel so that the world might end and Jesus return.

They are some well-meaning Christians who have seen though the War mongering of Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio.

This is a sign of great hope.

As witches in America publicaly curse President Trump the evangelicals pray for him. That is a positive thing. So there is hope.

Ockenga worked hard to oppose a JFK presidency. JFK who wanted better relations with Egypt and did not want Israel to obtain nukes.

Still as Alison Weir writes in ‘Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel’, some well-meaning Christians  complained bitterly about the immorality associated with the theft of Palestinian land in creating the Jewish state as well is the great danger it would pose for world peace.

I would contend that many more evangelicals including US presidents were and are completely committed to the formation of the state of Israel and now the expansion of settlements and to a ‘Greater Israel’ and this is no Illuminati secret. This is out in the open.

The WASP establishment has lost a lot of power.  America was once much run by the Protestants. When we read underground blogs like this we talk about power. We talk about things the media would never talk about.

Jewish power.

When no one is listing sometimes people will whisper to you ‘You know the Jews run America don’t you?’

Still many gentiles do not even realize this to be the case.

This is in part because of the mindset of what might be called the 2nd most powerful group in America–the liberal Protestants and the evangelical movement.

A brief explanation of the ‘Protestant American Imperium’ will help shed some light as to some of the reasons why the good people of America and Great Britain so willfully and diligently supported and continue to support the formation of a Jewish State in 1948.

That is right we are also not even supposed to talk about what I will call ‘the second power’.

You can make fun of Christ and Christianity all the time and this is encouraged.  But if talk about how the Christian Zionist/dispensationalist/radical evangelical fundamentalist and to some extent even the liberal Protestants assist to make the Jews and the State of Israel the most powerful group in the world today, this idea cannot be discussed openly.

If you talk about the Jesuit Order or the Order of illuminati people might laugh at you but you’ll be ok. (This in itself is proof of who runs things.)

Like Jewish power, evangelical power ebbs and flows.

The Protestants are by no means monolithic in their worldview.

Conspiracy people will point out many US Presidents are Freemasons. Well many of them are evangelical Christians. Who I might have been very keen on the Jews returning to their homeland.

In fact, the American Evangelicals played a key role in helping the Jews return to the Holy land.

At the same time, they view America as a kind of ‘new Jerusalem’, that has been blessed by the God of Israel to be the city ‘shining’ on the  hill.

The radical evangelical fundamentals are driven and their will is impressive. Based on their interpretation of the bible, they crave the end of the world for it will bring the return of Christ and ‘salvation’.

The battle to win the hearts and minds of America’s 95 million + minds continues. So far Trump seems to holding his own. No question the Zionists would prefer Mike Pence over Trump.

Trump’s wealth and success and his fantastically beautiful wife would actually be considered part of the ‘being blessed’ circumstance that makes up the evangelical mindset and an indicator that Trump is “god’s arm’.

They were skeptical of him during the election but he won enough of them over.

However Trump’s recent “Jerusalem gambit’ which has rallied the evangelicals behind him is risky and cuts both ways. Recently the evangelical  Pence has delayed ‘indefinitely’ his planned trip to the holy land, a sign that Trump’s ‘chaos’ plan is working.  But it cuts both ways.  Trump’s Army of evangelicals could turn on him if something goes wrong.

But for now they are with him.

The scary part is they have Pence waiting as VP to take control. All should assume he is not faking and is the real deal.

Pence has toured eastern Europe and wants NATO to cause trouble for Russia. He is always there to assure supporters for Israel.

Pence has of course expressed all out support for the ‘Iran protests’, saying ‘as long as Donald Trump is POTUS and I am VP, the United States of America will not repeat the shameful mistake of our past when others stood by and ignored the heroic resistance of the Iranian people as they fought against their brutal regime…The bold and growing resistance of the Iranian people today gives hope and faith to all who struggle for freedom and against tyranny. We must not and we will not let them down.’

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Also on On Sunday, the Likud Central Committee voted unanimously for a resolution that calls upon Israel to impose sovereignty over illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Things are heating up and Trump might find himself boxed in and out of  tricks. VP Pence is on his back ready to do the bidding of Israel.  It may be hard for the fast talking Trump

Trump has today 1/2/2018 suggested the US should halt aid to the Palestinian Authority, accusing the Palestinians of being ‘no longer willing to talk peace’ with Israel.

Pence and his Army of evangelicals are ready.  Ready to go to war to bring about the end times?  Very possible.

I would say to any Jew or Protestant.  Do whatever you can to contest this  push for end times/fanatical support for Israel, because chances are very good that it just might happen. In other words do what you can to stop the end of the world, which includes YOUR world.

Sutton, Matthew Avery. American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism . Harvard University Press.

Timothy P. Weber. On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend

As Trump Gives Out Fake News Awards, WikiLeaks Reminds the World BOTH Parties Are Liars

Source

Source: Rachel Blevins

While the same media outlets that have been openly critical of President Trump became the topics of his “Fake News Awards,” the entire event was filled with hypocrisy, and served as a depiction of the pot calling the kettle black—both entities have spent a significant amount of time lying to and misleading the public.

WikiLeaks, an organization that the mainstream media have attempted to claim is a pro-Trump, pro-Russia propaganda firm, took to Twitter to point out the hypocrisy surrounding the awards:

“While WikiLeaks, as a primary source organization with a perfect verification record welcomes debate over ‘fake news’ it should be noted that along with the U.S. establishment press, the Trump administration is a frequent source of false information,” the organization claimed.

 

The statement is notable because it serves as a reminder of the relationship between WikiLeaks and the Trump administration. When Trump was running for office, and WikiLeaks was releasing emails from members of the Democratic National Committee, Trump was more than happy to credit the organization when citing the damning information that it released about his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

However, now that Trump is in office, he has made no attempt to pardon WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, who is currently living at the London embassy in Ecuador after he was granted political asylum.

Trump has also openly criticized Chelsea Manning, the Army whistleblower who helped to put WikiLeaks on the map by releasing 700,000 files and documents that revealed atrocities committed by the U.S. military in Iraq.

 

Trump’s hypocrisy when it comes to WikiLeaks is notable because it serves as a reminder of his hypocrisy when it comes to foreign policy. He uses stories of innocent children killed by airstrikes and the dangers of blowback when it suits him but ignores those same factors when they challenge his administration’s policies.

When Trump was viewed as the “outsider” candidate in the 2016 election, and he needed support from an anti-establishment fan base, he was fully in support of holding Saudi Arabia accountable for the role it played in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, once Trump was in office, his tune quickly changed, and Saudi Arabia became the first stop on his first foreign trip as president—paving the way for the completion of the largest single arms deal in U.S. history.

 

Trump’s cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia has resulted in pure genocide in the poorest country in the Middle East. While the massacre was initially started by the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration’s foreign policy has only made conditions worse in Yemen, where the latest records show that since 2015, 5,000 children have been killed or injured, 3 million were born into war, and 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished.

 

Trump’s hypocrisy on foreign policy extends to Syria, where he began criticizing Obama’s attempts to invade the country in 2013. He also used his time on the campaign trail to accuse the Obama Administration of helping to create ISIS in its attempts to overthrow Assad.

 

However, despite Trump’s rhetoric, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson boasted a “new” strategy in Syria centered around long-term U.S. military presence that would eventually lead to overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad, during a speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Tillerson vowed that the U.S. will stay until “ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria suffer an enduring defeat; do not present a threat to the homeland; and do not resurface in a new form; and that Syria never again serves as a platform or safe haven for terrorists to organize, recruit, finance, train and carry out attacks on American citizens at home or abroad or against our allies.”

Tillerson also said the U.S. still seeks to overthrow Assad “through an incremental process of constitutional reform and UN-supervised elections.”

“A stable, unified and independent Syria ultimately requires post-Assad leadership in order to be successful,” Tillerson said. “The departure of Assad through the UN-led Geneva process will create the conditions for a durable peace within Syria and security along the border for Syria’s neighbors.”

 

Ultimately, Trump is correct in stating that the mainstream media has published stories about him that were false or misleading. But Trump is guilty of the exact same offenses that he accusing CNN and MSNBC of committing.

While one might wonder why the mainstream media would focus more on Russiagate than on the dramatic increase in civilian casualties, or the escalation of military spending under the Trump Administration, they should also realize that in order to provide accurate and honest coverage of Trump, the media would have to admit that he is only continuing the exact same thing his predecessors have been doing—and the media has been covering up—for years.

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