Gilad Atzmon Needs Your Immediate Support!

March 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Support Gilad.jpg

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

My article focused on the choice examined by Sky News between two accounts, one maintained by Falter and the CAA, an NGO that is dedicated to prosecuting antisemitism with “zero tolerance”, and the judicial approach of the CPS: a public body, subject to scrutiny and committed to impartiality.

My comments about the CAA are the basis of their lawsuit. I believe that I have the right to express my opinions on my own website: freedom of political expression is at the heart of freedom of speech. Mr. Falter claims that my criticisms of him do not amount to an opinion at all, and is seeking an order that would stop me from saying anything similar about him again, as well as paying him huge sums in libel damages and legal costs.

The CAA has contacted Jazz venues, community centres, concert halls and even overseas companies demanding that my events be cancelled. They have now escalated this battle and if they win this will ruin me financially.

I can not fund my defence alone.  I am obliged to ask every peace loving human being who cares about freedom and ethics for funds to help me defend this case. Fighting  this battle may cost tens of thousands of pounds. I am going to need some four figure donations to find the ludicrous amount required. But every single penny mounts up and please do give something.

If you have ever enjoyed my writing – join the fight. If you don’t agree with me yet support freedom of speech – my fight is your fight. If you support the right to point at the truth without being labeled ant-Semitic – this lawsuit is the battle ground,   my fight is your fight.

I appreciate any help you can give.


How israel and its partisans work to censor the Internet


Students at the Israeli military’s Computing and Cyber Defense Academy. Israel is also “scouring Jewish communities abroad for young computer prodigies willing to join its ranks.”
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | March 8, 2018

Numerous well funded, organized projects by and for Israel work to flood social media with pro-Israel propaganda, while blocking facts Israel dislikes. The projects utilize Israeli soldiers, students, American teens and others, and range from infiltrating Wikipedia to influencing YouTube. Some operate out of Jewish Community Centers in the U.S.

By Alison Weir

Recently, YouTube suddenly shut down the If Americans Knew YouTube channel. This contained 70 videos providing facts-based information about Israel-Palestine.

People going to the channel saw a message telling them that the site had been terminated for “violating YouTube guidelines”—implying to the public that we were guilty of wrongdoing. And ensuring they didn’t learn about the information we were trying to disseminate.

When we tried to access our channel, we found a message saying our account had been “permanently disabled.” We had received no warning and got no explanation.

After five days, we received a generic message saying YouTube had reviewed our content and determined it didn’t violate any guidelines. Our channel became live once more.

So why was it shut down in the first place? What happened and why?

As it turns out, Israel and Israeli institutions employ armies of Internet warriors—from Israeli soldiers to students—to spread propaganda online and try to get content banned that Israel doesn’t want seen.

Perhaps like our videos of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

What happened

A few days before the termination of our channel, we received a form email from YouTube, telling us we had gotten “one strike” for a short video about a Palestinian man killed by Israeli soldiers. The video was part of our series of videos to make Palestinian victims, usually ignored by US media, visible to Americans.

It takes three minutes to view the video and see that it contains nothing objectionable, unless revealing cruelty and oppression is objectionable:

YouTube’s email claimed we had somehow violated their long list of guidelines but did not tell us which one, or how. It simply stated:

“Your video ‘Ahmad Nasser Jarrar’ was flagged for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines. We’ve removed it from YouTube and assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty, to your account.”

Such a penalty is not public and does not terminate the channel.

Three days later, before we’d even had a chance to appeal this strike, YouTube suddenly took down our entire channel. This was done with no additional warnings or explanation.

This violated YouTube’s published policies.

YouTube policies say there is a “three-strike” system by which it warns people of alleged violations three times before terminating a channel. If a channel is eventually terminated, the policies state that YouTube will send an email “detailing the reason for the suspension.”

None of this happened in our case.

We submitted appeals on YouTube’s online form, but received no response. Attempts to find a phone number for YouTube and/or email addresses by which we could communicate with a human being were futile.

YouTube’s power to shut down content without explanation whenever it chooses was acutely apparent. While there are other excellent video hosting sites, YouTube is the largest one, with nearly ten times more views than its closest competitors. It is therefore enormously powerful in shaping which information is available to the public–and which is not.

We spent days working to upload our videos elsewhere, update links to the videos, etc. Finally, having received no response or even acknowledgment of our appeal from YouTube, we decided to write an article about the situation. We emailed YouTube’s press department a list of questions about its process. We have yet to receive any answers.

Finally that evening we received an email with good news:

“After a review of your account, we have confirmed that your YouTube account is not in violation of our Terms of Service. As such, we have unsuspended your account. This means your account is once again active and operational.”

Our channel was visible once more. And YouTube had now officially confirmed that our content doesn’t violate its guidelines.

Ultimately, the YouTube system seems to have worked, in our case. Inappropriate censorship was overruled, perhaps by saner or less biased heads. In fact, we felt that there might at least be one positive result of the situation—additional YouTube employees had viewed our videos and perhaps learned much about Israel-Palestine they had not previously known.

But the whole experience was a wakeup call that YouTube can censor information critical of powerful parties at any time, with no explanation or accountability.

Israeli soldiers paid to “Tweet, Share, Like and more”

Israel and partisans of Israel have long had a significant presence on the Internet, working to promote the Israel narrative and block facts about Palestine, the Israel lobby, and other subject matter they wish covered up.

Opinionated proponents of Israel post comments, flag content, accuse critics of “antisemitism,” and disseminate misinformation about Palestine and Palestine solidarity activists. Many of these actions are by individuals acting alone who work independently, voluntarily, and relentlessly.

In addition to these, however, a number of orchestrated, often well-funded projects sponsored by the Israeli government and others have come to light. These projects work to place pro-Israel content throughout the Internet, and to remove information Israel doesn’t wish people to know.

One such Israeli project targeting the Internet came to light when it was lauded in an article by Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news organization headquartered in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The report described a new project by Israel’s “New Media desk” that focused on YouTube and other social media sites. The article reported that Israeli soldiers were being employed to “Tweet, Share, Like and more.”

The article noted, “It is well known nowadays that what happens on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has great influence on events as they occur on the ground. The Internet, too, is a battleground.” It was “comforting,” the article stated, to learn that the IDF was employing soldiers whose job was specifically to do battle on it.

Israeli students paid to promote Israel on social media

Screen shot from a video about student program to spread pro-Israel content on the Internet and social media.

Another project to do battle on the Internet was initiated in 2011 by the 300,000-strong National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS). The goal was “to deepen and expand hasbara [state propaganda] activities of students in the State of Israel.”

Under this program, Israeli students are paid $2,000 to work five hours per week to “lead the battle against hostile websites.”

An announcement for the program (translated here into English) noted that “many students in Israel master the Internet and are proficient at using the Internet and social networking and various sites and are required to write and express themselves in English.” Students can work from the comfort of their own homes, points out the announcement.

“Students work in four teams: Content, Wikipedia, Monitoring and New Media,” according to the program description. It details the responsibilities for each team:

The content team is responsible for creating original content in a news format.

The monitoring team is responsible for “monitoring efforts while reporting and removing anti-Semitic [sic] content from social networks in a variety of languages.” (The program conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism; see below.)

The New Media team is responsible for social media channels, “including Facebook accounts in English, French and Portuguese, Twitter, YouTube channels, and so on.”

The Wikipedia team is “responsible for writing new entries and translating them into languages that operate in the program, updating the values of current and relevant information, tracking and preventing bias in the program’s areas of activity.”

This program sometimes claims it is working against antisemitism, but it conflates antisemitism with criticism of the state of Israel. This is in line with an Israel-backed initiative to legally define “antisemitism” to include discussing negative facts about Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

Campaign to infiltrate Wikipedia

The pro-Israel organization CAMERA infiltrated Wikipedia for a time. (Illustration by Electronic Intifada.)

Several years ago, another project came to light that targeted Wikipedia. While manipulating Wikipedia entries doesn’t directly impact YouTube, it provides a window into some of these efforts to manipulate online content.

A 2008 exposé in the Electronic Intifada revealed: “A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia.”

While it is common and appropriate for individuals to edit Wikipedia entries to add factual information and remove inaccurate statements, this project was the antithesis of such editing. As EI, reported, its purpose was “to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged.”

Author Ali Abunimah reported that a source had provided EI with a series of emails from members and associates of the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) that showed the group “was engaged in what one activist termed a ‘war’ on Wikipedia.”

CAMERA Senior Research Analyst Gilead Ini organized a project to infiltrate Wikipedia.

CAMERA called for volunteers to secretly work on editing Wikipedia entries. It emphasized the importance of keeping the project secret. Volunteers were schooled in ways to elude detection. After they signed up as editors, they were to “avoid editing Israel-related articles for a short period of time.”

They were also told to “avoid, for obvious reasons, picking a username that marks you as pro-Israel, or that lets people know your real name.”

CAMERA also warned them: “Don’t forget to always log in… If you make changes while not logged in, Wikipedia will record your computer’s IP address.”

A Wikipedia editor known as Zeq helped in the effort, telling volunteers: “Edit articles at random, make friends not enemies—we will need them later on. This is a marathon not a sprint.” He emphasized the importance of secrecy: “You don’t want to be precived [sic] as a ‘CAMERA’ defender’ on wikipedia that is for sure.”

Zeq recommended that they work with and learn from an independent, pro-Israel Wikipedia editor known as Jayjg, but directed them to keep the project secret even from him.

When this all came to light, Wikipedia took measures against such manipulation of its system and the CAMERA program may have ended.

If it did, others stepped into the breach. In 2010 two Israeli groups began offering a course in “Zionist editing” of Wikipedia entries. The aim was “to make sure that information in the online encyclopedia reflects the worldview of Zionist groups.” A course organizer explained that the use of the word “occupied” in Wikipedia entries “was just the kind of problem she hoped a new team of editors could help fix.”

Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reported: “The organizers’ aim was twofold: to affect Israeli public opinion by having people who share their ideological viewpoint take part in writing and editing for the Hebrew version, and to write in English so Israel’s image can be bolstered abroad.”

There was to be a prize for the “Best Zionist Editor”—the person who over the next four years incorporated the most “Zionist” changes in the encyclopedia. The winner would receive a trip in a hot-air balloon over Israel.

High tech millionaire Naftali Bennett, a right-wing minister close to the settler movement, describes the program:

The UK Guardian reports: “One Jerusalem-based Wikipedia editor, who doesn’t want to be named, said that publicising the initiative might not be such a good idea. ‘Going public in the past has had a bad effect,’ she says. ‘There is a war going on and unfortunately the way to fight it has to be underground.’”

Again in 2013, there was evidence of pro-Israel tampering with Wikipedia. Israel’s Ha’aretz reported that a social-media employee of NGO Monitor edited articles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an allegedly biased manner. “Draiman concealed the facts that he was an employee of NGO Monitor, often described as a right-wing group, and that he was using a second username, which is forbidden under Wikipedia’s rules,” according to the paper.

Such actions have had an impact. A website critical of Wikipedia said in 2014 that there were “almost ten times as many articles about murdered Israeli children as there are articles about murdered Palestinian children,” even though at least 10 times more Palestinian children had been killed.

The website also pointed out: “While editors like Zeq (TCL) and CltFn (TCL) may get banned in the end, the articles they started remain.”

If YouTube reviewers and others use Wikipedia in their determination about whether content should be removed or not, these efforts to censor Wikipedia could adversely affect their decisions.

Social Media Missions for Israel

Title image from Forward article about the Act.IL campaign.

In 2017 yet another project to target Internet platforms was launched. Known as, the project uses a software application that “leverages the power of communities to support Israel through organized online activity.”

The software is a joint venture of three groups: Israel’s IDC University; the Israeli American Council, which works to “organize and activate” the half million Israeli-Americans who live in the U.S.; and another American group called the Maccabee Task Force, created to combat the international boycott of Israel, which it terms “an anti-Semitic movement.” Maccabee says it is “laser focused on one core mission—to ensure that those who seek to delegitimize Israel and demonize the Jewish people are confronted, combatted and defeated.”

Image from Maccabee end of year report.

In addition, the project is supported by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry and Israel’s intelligence community. Its CEO is an eight-year veteran of Israeli army intelligence.

Israel’s Jerusalem Post reports that Act.IL is “a wide-ranging grassroots campaign app that lets individuals combat BDS in the palm of their hand” or, as we will see, from public computers in the US.

“Act.IL is more than just an app,” the Post article explains. “It is a campaign that taps into the collective knowledge of IDC students who together speak 35 languages, hail from 86 countries and have connections to the pro-Israel community all over the world.”

The article claims: “A platform like Act.IL offers world Jewry an opportunity to fight for one thing the majority can rally behind: Israel.” (This ignores the fact that there are many Jewish individuals who oppose Israeli policies.)

Israel partisans around the world download the app, and then “in this virtual situation room of experts, they detect instances where Israel is being assailed online and they program the app to find missions that can be carried out with a push of a button.”

An organizer notes: “When you work together, with the same goals and values, you can be incredibly powerful in the social media landscape.”

Some missions ask users to report videos. Israeli government officials say that the app “is more effective than official government requests at getting those videos removed from online platforms.”

The project is led by former Israeli intelligence officers and has close ties to American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Another funder is the Paul R. Singer Foundation, funded by the Republican hedge fund billionaire.

The Forward calls Act.IL a new entry into the “online propaganda war” that “has thousands of mostly U.S.-based volunteers who can be directed from Israel into a social media swarm.”

According to the Forward, “Its work so far offers a startling glimpse of how it could shape the online conversations about Israel without ever showing its hand.”

The Forward reports: “ says that its app has 12,000 sign-ups so far, and 6,000 regular users. The users are located all over the world, though the majority of them appear to be in the United States. Users get ‘points’ for completed missions; top-ranked users complete five or six missions a day. Top users win prizes: a congratulatory letter from a government minister, or a doll of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding prime minister.”

Photo of group that participated in Act.IL training

Act.IL’s CEO, a veteran Israeli army intelligence officer, said the Israeli military and its domestic intelligence service “‘request’’s help in getting services like Facebook to remove specific videos that call for violence against Jews or Israelis.” This according to the Forward report.

The officer later tried to walk back his statement, “saying that the Shin Bet [intelligence service] and the army don’t request help on specific videos but are in regular informal contact with He said that’s staff is largely made up of former Israeli intelligence officers.”

Teens in American JCCs carry out missions assigned from Israel

New Jersey “Media Room,” a project of IAC New Jersey in partnership with Act.IL.

The project recruits Jewish teens and adults and sometimes operates out of local Jewish community centers, the Forward says. The paper describes one example:

“The dozen or so Israelis sitting around a conference table at a Jewish community center in Tenafly, New Jersey, on a recent Wednesday night didn’t look like the leading edge of a new Israeli government-linked crowdsourced online propaganda campaign.

“Tapping on laptops, the group of high school students and adult mentors completed social media ‘missions’ assigned out of a headquarters in Herzliya, Israel.”

In addition to the Tenafly “media room” another operates in Boston in cooperation with the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. There are also regular advocacy-training sessions at The Frisch School, a Jewish day school in Paramas, New Jersey. Other media rooms are reportedly in the works, with one in Manhattan, hosted by The Paul R. Singer Foundation, scheduled to open soon.

 The Forward reports: “In November, the Boston media room created a mission for the app that asked users to email a Boston-area church to complain about a screening there of a documentary that is critical of Israel. The proposed text of the email likens the screening of the film to the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, and calls the film’s narrator, Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, a ‘well-known anti-Semite.’”
Photo of Boston Media Room published by Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, which states: “Media Room Ambassadors are students and adult mentors who are trained with the knowledge, skills, and tools to positively influence public discourse by developing pro-Israel social media campaigns.”

According to the Forward, also produces “pro-Israel web content that carries no logo. It distributes that content to other pro-Israel groups, including the Adelson-funded Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi and The Israel Project, which push them out on their own social media feeds.”

The Forward predicts: “Initiatives in cyberspace seem likely to increase.”

Screenshot from video promoting the project, posted on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston website.

Israeli media report that the Israeli military “has begun scouring Jewish communities abroad for young computer prodigies” to recruit for its ranks.

An Israeli official described the process: “Our first order of business is to search Jewish communities abroad for teens who could qualify, Our representatives will then travel to the communities and begin the screening process there.”

Israeli Government Ministry backs secret online campaigns

General Sima Vaknin-Gil told Israeli tech developers to “flood the Internet” with pro-Israel propaganda. As Israel’s Chief Censor, she said: ” “We censor information that is critical to our enemies, who have no capabilities like us, do not have a Jewish brain, and therefore our enemy relies to a large extent on open information…”

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry, which is behind this and similar projects, has mobilized substantial resources for online activities.

Israel’s Ynet news reports that the Ministry’s director “sees it as a war for all intents and purposes. ‘The delegitimization against the State of Israel can be curbed and contained through public diplomacy and soft tools,’ she says. ‘In order to win, however, we must use tricks and craftiness.’”

The director, General Sima Vaknin-Gil, told a forum of Israeli tech developers at a forum: “I want to create a community of fighters.” The objective is to “curb the activities of anti-Israel activists,” and “flood the Internet” with pro-Israel content.

An Israeli report in December stated that the ministry has acquired a budget of roughly $70 million to “stand at the forefront of the battle against delegitimization, adopting methods from the fields of intelligence and technology. There is a reason why ministry officials define it as ‘a war on consciousness terrorism.’” [‘Delegitimization’ is a common Israeli term for criticism of Israel. See here for a discussion of the term.]

A Ha’aretz article reports: “The Strategic Affairs Ministry’s leaders see themselves as the heads of a commando unit, gathering and disseminating information about ‘supporters of the delegitimization of Israel’—and they prefer their actions be kept secret.”

The article reports that the Ministry includes a job role entitled “Senior official—new-media realm,” responsible for surveillance and activities “in the digital realm.”

This individual head is responsible for analyzing social media and formulating a social media campaign against sites and activists who are deemed a threat to Israel.

Among the job’s responsibilities are:

“Analysis of the world of social media, in terms of content, technology and network structure, emphasizing centers of gravity and focuses of influence, methods, messages, organizations, sites and key activists, studying their characteristics, areas, realms and key patterns of activities of the rival campaign and formulating a strategy for an awareness campaign against them in this realm and managing crises on social media. That is, surveilling of activities mainly in the digital arena.”

Officials at the ministry are charged with “construction and promotion of creative and suitable programs for new media.”

The unit works to keep its activities secret from the public. For example, a program to train young Israelis for activities on social media was exempted from publishing a public bid for funding. Similarly, the ministry’s special unit against delegitimization, “Hama’aracha” (The Battle), is excluded from Israel’s Freedom of Information Law.

The 29th floor of Tel Aviv’s Champion Tower is the nerve center of a 24-7 ‘war’ in which Israeli agents working behind the scenes advance U.S. legislation, torpedo events, organize counter-protests, & close bank accounts.. The Director says: ‘In order to win we must use tricks and craftiness.’

Its activities reportedly include a “24/7 operations room monitoring all the delegitimization activities against Israel: Protests, conferences, publications calling for an anti-Israel boycott and international bodies’ boycott initiatives. The operations room will transfer the information to the relevant people to provide a proper response to these activities, whether through a counter-protest or through moves to thwart the initiative behind the scenes.”

Other programs include a 22-million-shekel project to work among labor unions and professional associations abroad “to root out the ability of BDS entities to influence the unions,” and a 16-million-shekel program focused on student activities throughout the world.

Israel’s UNIT 8200

Photo from article about Unit 8200 on Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre website.

Another Israeli entity that plays a role in covert Internet activity is the Israeli military’s legendary high-tech spy branch, Unit 8200. This unit is composed of thousands of “cyber warriors” primarily 18 to 21 years of age; some even younger. A number of its graduates have gone on to top positions at tech companies operating in the U.S., such as Check Point Software (where the spouse of the Jewish Voice for Peace head is employed as a solutions architect).

In 2015 Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced plans “to establish a special command to combat anti-Israel incitement on social media.” The command would operate under the foreign ministry’s hasbara [propaganda] department and would especially recruit from graduates of Unit 8200.

An article in the Jewish Press about the new command reports that Unit 8200 “has developed a great reputation for effectiveness in intelligence gathering, including operating a massive global spy network. Several alumni of 8200 have gone on to establish leading Israeli IT companies, including Check Point, ICQ, Palo Alto Networks, NICE, AudioCodes, Gilat, Leadspace, EZchip, Onavo, Singular and CyberArk.”

Check Point Software headquarters in Tel Aviv. Founded by a former Unit 8200 member, it also has offices throughout the U.S. Israeli tech companies sometimes assist in online spying efforts.

Numerous Israeli tech companies, many of them headed by former military intelligence officers, assist in these online spying efforts, sometimes receiving Israeli government funding “for digital initiatives aimed at gathering intelligence on activist groups and countering their efforts.”

According to the ministry’s statement, among the Command’s activities is finding videos with inflammatory content and issuing complaints to the relevant websites.”

To be clear, this is an occupying military working covertly to achieve censorship of reporting on its atrocities.

YouTube & Google officials meet with Israeli Minister

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaking to the Israel Collaboration Network’s Israeli Women in Tech Group on August 25, 2016.

Major Internet companies have reportedly been cooperating in this effort.

In 2015 Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely announced that she had visited Silicon Valley and met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Google’s Director of Public Policy (it is unclear whether this was was Jennifer Oztzistzki or Juniper Downs; Hotovely’s announcement referred to “Jennifer Downs”).

“At the end of the meeting,” Israeli media reported, “it was agreed that Google would strengthen bilateral relations with the Foreign Ministry and build a collaborative work apparatus.”

Another Israeli news report about the meeting states: “…it was agreed that the companies would strengthen ties with the Foreign Ministry and build a regular mechanism of control to prevent the distribution of those incendiary materials on the network.”

Google, which owns YouTube, denied the Foreign Ministry’s report. The Ministry accordingly “clarified” its statement somewhat, but continued to say that Israeli officials would be in “regular contact with Google’s employees in Israel who deal with the problematic materials.”

Such officials often have close ties to Israel. For example, Facebook’s Head of Policy in Israel, Jordana Cutler, had previously been employed for many years by the Israeli government. (More about Facebook can be found here.)

israeli army’s lies can no longer salvage its image. It is the most immoral army in the world

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Israeli army’s lies can no longer salvage its image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is more Franz Kafka than Hollywood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

There’s the Truth and then there’s the jewish version

Polish priest claims Jews follow a different notion of truth


Reported by Gilad Atzmon

The Times of Israel reports today that Polish priest Henryk Zielinski, editor-in-chief of the Catholic weekly Idziemy, said during an interview with Polish TV (TVP) that Jews have “a completely different system of values, a different concept of truth.” “For us,” Zielinski said. “the truth corresponds to facts. For the Jew, truth means something that conforms to his understanding of what’s beneficial. If a Jew is religious, then truth means something God wants.”

Zielinski added that for non-religious Jews, “the truth is subjective or whatever serves Israel’s interests.” In support of his view Zielinski cited the Haggadah — a text read by Jews at the Passover Seder, which contains the story of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. “Often these stories have nothing to do with facts.”

You guessed it.  Polish Jews are very upset. Representatives of Polish Jews issued a complaint to the state’s media watchdog. The Jewish representatives didn’t argue that Zielinski was wrong. They didn’t counter his statements by asserting  that the Passover Haggadah is an accurate historical narrative.  Instead they wrote that  “Zielinski’s remarks violated the National Council of Radio and Television principles for content on public media, including its ban on ideas that ‘incite to hatred or discriminate on the grounds of race, disability, gender, religion or nationality.”

I am perplexed. Zielinski may be right or wrong. But he clearly didn’t incite hatred or discrimination against Jews or anyone else. Maybe the Polish Jewish Union should rethink the wording of their complaint because the complaint as presented in the Israeli press  actually supports Zielinski’s assertion– It is inspired not by facts but by a ‘different’ type of value system. It is duplicitous to the core. Not only does it not correspond with the truth, it is dismissive of truthfulness altogether.

If they want to burn it , you want to read it..

Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto

My Contribution to Antisemitsm in 2017

February 25, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon


According to the annual report of the Swiss Jewish Lobby CICAD, 2017 brought along 150 “acts of anti-Semitism.”*  Apparently yours truly is responsible for 2 incidents  (published by

The Swiss Jewish lobby CICAD didn’t approve of the following:

1) “The shift from total sinner into the new messiah figure was certainly rapid for serial predator Weinstein. But this shouldn’t take us by surprise. Weinstein’s regard for himself as a ‘martyr for social change’ is consistent with Tikun Olam – the misguided Jewish belief that it is down to the Jews to  repair the world.”

2) in reference to history operating as a collective suppression of shame I  said that  “the Americans conceal slavery and imperial genocidal aggression, the Brits conceal their colonial blunders, the Jews turn their eyes away from anything that may have contributed to turning  Jewish history into an extended shoah.”

I promise to improve my record in 2018!

If they want to burn it , you want to read it..

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الحقائق المتصلة بالخط الأزرق ومناطق التحفّظ والنزاع

فبراير 20, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

من غريب ما يحصل في لبنان هو الاختلاق في التاريخ والتنازل عن المكتسبات، واختلاق أحداث لا صلة لها بالحقيقة دون ان يكون هناك سبب أو مكسب في ذلك لأحد. وآخر ما يتم تداوله اليوم خلافاً للحقيقة هو مسألة الخط الأزرق ومناطق التحفّظ حوله وهنا ومن أجل وضع الأمور في نصابها نرى من الواجب تبيان التالي:

1 ـ لجهة رسم الخط الأزرق. رسم الخط الأزرق في العام 2000 من قبل الأمم المتحدة ومن خلال لجنتين منفصلتين كلياً الأولى لبنانية أممية مؤلفهما فريق لبناني قوامه 5 أعضاء برئاسة العميد الركن أمين حطيط، وفريق دولي من 7 أعضاء برئاسة الجنرال سرينن نائب قائد القوات الدولية في الجنوب اليونفيل، واللجنة الثانية إسرائيلية أممية مؤلفة من فريق دولي من 5 أعضاء برئاسة الجنرال سرينن أيضاً وفريق إسرائيلي مشكل من 6 أعضاء. وبقيت كل لجنة تعمل في نطاقها حيث رفضنا أن نجتمع بالإسرائيليين كلياً، سواء على أرض لبنانية أو على ارض فلسطين المحتلة. وكان الفريق الدولي هو الذي ينقل المواقف والطلبات دون أن يكون هناك أي اتصال بين الطرف الإسرائيلي واللبناني الذي أصر على ان لا تشكل أي لجنة مع العدو إلا في إطار لجنة الهدنة التي الغتها «إسرائيل» من جانب واحد وبشكل غير مشروع في العام 1969.

أما القول إنّ الخط الأزرق رسم من قبل لجنة ثلاثية انبثقت عن تفاهم نيسان، فهو بعيد كلياً عن حقيقة التاريخ. ففي تفاهم نيسان نشأت لجنة خماسية فيها سورية وفرنسا ولن تكون مهمتها لا من قريب ولا من بعيد رسم حدود أو خطوط، بل كانت مهمتها حصراً معالجة انتهاك وقف النار التي تستهدف المدنيين، وليس من مصلحة لبنان مطلقاً أن يشرع وجود لجان مع «إسرائيل» خارج اتفاقية الهدنة الملغاة من قبلها، بما في ذلك اللجنة الثلاثية القائمة اليوم والتي تجتمع في الناقورة خلافاً للقرارات الدولية ولاتفاقية الهدنة ذاتها.

ومن جهة أخرى يجب ان يعرف الجميع ان ليس للخط الأزرق أي قيمة قانونية أو حقوقية، وهو مجرد خط اعتمد ليشكل أداة للتحقق من خروج «إسرائيل» من الأرض اللبنانية وأن مفاعيله وصلاحيته انتفت عندما أعلن اكتمال الانسحاب، وان «إسرائيل» سعت لأن تتخذه حدوداً جديدة يتم التفاوض حولها، من اجل ان تسقط حق لبنان بحدوده الدولية المعترف بها منذ العام 1923 لكن لبنان رفض وبكل شدة هذا المسعى وألزم الفريق الدولي بأن يذكر على خريطة الخط الأزرق بأن هذا الخط ليس حدوداً وليس من شأنه أن يمس بالحقوق المكتسبة.

2 ـ لجهة مناطق النزاع، كانت الصيغة الأولى التي تقدّمت بها الأمم المتحدة للخط الأزرق متباينة مع الحدود الدولية في 13 منطقة يبلغ مجموع مساحتها ما يزيد قليلاً عن 18 مليون م2، وقد رفض لبنان عبر لجنته العسكرية برئاستي القبول بهذا الخط. وبعد نقاش مرير دام أياماً داخل اللجنة اللبنانية الأممية عقدت جلستها الأخيرة منه في اجتماع عقد في القصر الجمهوري برئاسة رئيس الجمهورية اللبنانية العماد لحود أخذت الأمم المتحدة بملاحظاتنا وتراجعت عن خطها في 10 مناطق وتمسكت بـ 3 نقاط هي رميش والعديسة والمطلة، ومع تمسك لبنان بحقه في تلك المناطق اعتمد حلّ وسط يقضي بأن يعدّل الخط الدولي في المناطق الـ10 ويتحفظ لبنان على المناطق الـ 3 الباقية شرط أن يبقى الحال ميدانياً كما هو. وهذا ما حصل بالفعل ومنعت «إسرائيل» من التقدّم لقضم عديسه ورميش، ونشأت مقولة التحفّظات الثلاثة المذكورة.

لكن يفاجئنا البعض اليوم بالقول بالنزاع حول 13 منطقة. وفي هذا تنازل عما استحصلنا عليه في العام 2000 وعودة بالأمور الى نقطة الصفر. وفي هذا أيضاً مسّ بحقوق لبنانية ثابتة ووضعها موضع نزاع وجعل ملف الحدود موضع تفاوض كما تريد إسرائيل. وهذا خطر للغاية.

إنّ الموقف اللبناني الذي يجب أن يعتمد ليكون سليماً ويحفظ الحقوق يجب أن يقوم على ما يلي:

أ ـ وقف التداول بمصطلح الخط الأزرق. وهو خط انتفت فعاليته، والقول بالحدود الدولية فقط وبخط الهدنة المطابق لها والتمسك به وفقاً للإحداثيات المحددة باتفاقية بوليه نيوكمب، والمكرّسة بمعالم حدودية تترجم النقاط تلك.

ب ـ وقف العمل بأي لجنة لبنانية إسرائيلية لا تكون في إطار اتفاقية الهدنة، خاصة أن هذه الاتفاقية تؤكد أن خط الهدنة مطابق للحدود الدولية.

ج ـ رفض مقولة النقاط الـ 13 المتنازع عليها، لأن في ذلك تضييعاً وتنازلاً عن حقوق مكتسبة والقول بالمناطق الثلاث المتحفظ عليها.

أستاذ في كليات الحقوق اللبنانية


The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine

The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan | The Palestine Chronicle
The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine – Palestine Chronicle |

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told NNC Pierce Morgan on March 18, 2011 that he might agree to a Palestinian state through negotiations. And he added, “We will make territorial concessions although it is very painful to do that in our ancestral land.” Netanyahu was not talking about Poland where his ancestors lived. He was talking about Palestine where generations of its indigenous population ancestors lived, cultivated the land and are buried.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Zionism created a new Jewish identity of blood and soil. To mobilize their followers and supporters and appeal to their emotions, the Zionists created myths. Zionism started as a tribal religion without god, but in order to fulfill its function as a unifying force, Zionism required external religious and race symbols, not inner content. Its leaders regarded metaphysical religious belief and purity of race as having value in itself. They created a divine paradisiacal state of merger with the gods. Despite his non-religious ideology, Herzl’s writings were replete with religious references. The Jews should settle in Palestine because, in his words, “the Temple will be visible from long distance, for it is only our ancient faith that has kept us together”.

The Zionists and their supporters have invested tremendous financial and scholarly resources to work within the Hebrew Bible historical narratives to affirm the links between the intrusive Zionist population and the ancient Israelite past, and by doing so assert the right of that population to the land. The political end-game shaped the investigation and the outcome. Tracing the roots of Israel’s ethnic state in biblical antiquity is effectively to silence the indigenous Palestinian claim to the past and therefore to the land. The Biblical scholarship employs a bewildering array of terms for the region: “the Holy Land”, “the Land of the Bible”, “Eretz Israel”, “the Land of Israel”, or “Judah and Samaria.” To the casual reader these names appear interchangeable, but they all imply connection to ancient Israel.

Biblical narratives or poems that cannot be supported by archeology and common sense are treated by the Zionists and their supporters as historical language. Historians have to differentiate between biblical myths and the history of real people living in real places and real time. They should have the intellectual courage to challenge any source including the “revealed truth” of higher order as presented in Biblical text if it is used to justify injustice and cruelty by one people against another. Gamla, an ethnic cleansing advocacy group founded by former Israeli military officers, Knesset members and settler activists publishes detailed plans for how to carry out the “complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel” by forcibly expelling all Palestinians and demolishing their towns and villages. This, the plan argued is “the only possible solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and it is “substantiated by the Torah.” Biblical studies have focused on inventing “Ancient Israel” while ignoring the reality of Palestinian history over thousands of years. Many historic experiences related to the ancient Israelite conquest and settlement of Palestine were described in terms of divine acts with religious zeal.

Many scholars, mostly moderate Jewish, who give primacy to archaeology, relegate the biblical text to a secondary place as a historical source. On 2001 Passover, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Westwood, Los Angeles told his congregation: “The truth is that virtually every archaeologist who has investigated the story of the Exodus [from Egypt], with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” He based his conclusions on the fact that no archeological findings have produced evidence of the Jews wandering the Sinai Desert for forty years, and the excavations in Palestine show settlement patterns different from the Biblical account of a sudden influx of Jews from Egypt.

Nadva Na’aman of Tel Aviv University wrote, “The comprehensive conquest saga in the book of Jashua is a fictive literary composition aimed at presenting the occupation of the entire Land of Israel, initiated and guided by the Lord and carried out by the twelve tribes under Jashua.”  Jashua, the man, was according to the Bible the right-hand man of Moses. After Moses death and the ancient Israelites camping near Jericho, Jashua commenced the military campaigns that, according to the biblical account, culminate in the conquest of the heartland of Palestine where he carried out a systematic campaign against the civilians of Canaan that amounts to genocide.

The historian Giovanni Garbini argues that “we should not even try to write a modern critical history of Israel largely on the basis of a single amalgamated, culturally self-serving, and essentially private version of history [the Bible]?”

Professor William Dever of the University of Arizona writes about the Hebrew Bible that “Many of the biblical stories are legend-like and abound with miraculous and fantastic elements that strain the credulity of almost any modern reader of any religious persuasion. All these factors have contributed to the rise of doubts about the Bible’s trustworthiness.”

In July of 2000, the New York Times ran a lead story under the title, “The Bible, as History, Flunks New Archaeological Tests.” Questioning the biblical stories of the Exodus and Conquest that recounts in lavish and dramatic detail of the ancient Israelites exodus from Egypt and establishing themselves in Palestine, calls into question the Zionists’ rationale for Jewish claims to Palestine.

The American archaeologist and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor, Joseph Callaways wrote in 1985 when he discovered that the city of Ai that is described in the Bible did not exist: “For many years, the primary source for the understanding of the settlement of the first Israelites was the Hebrew Bible, but every reconstruction based upon the biblical traditions has floundered on the evidence from archeological remains.”

The Bible and the claim of the Jews as a distinct race have been used as a tool to cement the inner unity of the Zionist movement and an indispensable weapon in the struggle for claiming the land of Palestine. The religio-historical element as a focus of national identity had greater importance in Zionism than in other national movements. It was religion in the broadest sense, with all its national and historical connotations, that provided the justification for the conquest of Palestine and legitimization of Jews’ return.

Although Semitic originally referred to certain languages and peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean that included not only Jews but also Palestinians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians, claim of hostility only toward Jews is generally known as anti-Semitism.

Jews are a religious body, not a separate biological human group. The history of the Jews reveals that they have always interbred with non-Jews and many non-Jews have become Jews. The only valid criterion for determining membership in the group is confessional.

By insisting that a cultural trait, Jewishness, is inherited, the self-proclaimed Jews have contributed to the idea that they belong to an exclusive family, a distinct race, and a chosen people. Under Israel’s “Law of Return” of Jews to Israel, Ethiopian Jews (Falashas) were verified as descendants of an ancient Israelite tribe by testing samples of their males DNA Y-Chromosome. The claim of identifying the Jewish DNA is the pinnacle of charlatan science, an ideology driven hoax!

There was no written history prior to 3,200 B.C. (Before Christ) on Palestine, but archeological excavations suggest the existence of people living in Palestine as early as 8000 B.C. As far as the period of pre-pottery stone-age between 8000 and 5000 B.C, Palestine and Syria were inhabited by farmers and hunters. Their progression from simpler to more complex culture was evidenced in the development of farming technique, the domestication of animals and the establishment of towns.

Ancient Canaanites ruled all Palestine and Jordan until around 1200 B.C, when the Philistines conquered the southern coastal area. Archaeologists found evidence that Canaan migrant tribes settled Palestine and Jordan in the later period of the fourth millennium B.C. Pottery containing offerings in graves suggest the Canaanites believed in after-life. The Canaanite known history coincided with the Early Bronze Age that began around 3200B.C, but some of their settlements have been dated as old as 7000 B.C.

The indigenous Palestinians, the legitimate owners of the land, are the descendants of Ancient Canaanites, Philistinians, ancient Hebrews, Assyrians, ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Christian crusaders and Turks. The groups that lived in Palestine fought, interacted and collaborated, but no group was obliterated.

Modern historians, writers and statesmen should liberate themselves from the biblical myths when reviewing history even if they believe in a revealed truth in their private lives. The challenge for them is to sort out fact from fiction. Palestine belongs to its indigenous population not the hordes of foreign settlers.

– Hasan Afif El-Hasan is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York).

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