Trump Accepts Israeli ‘Realities on Ground’ – Realities Funded by His Administration

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Finian Cunningham 
November 21, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week announced yet another radical shift in Washington’s policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by way of saying that the United States “was accepting realities on the ground”.

What the mendacious and cynical Pompeo omits to add is that the Trump administration has been dramatically fueling the change in “realities” – specifically the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory and the demolition of Palestinian homes.

This week the top US diplomat declared that Washington would no longer adopt the international consensus position, backed by several UN resolutions, that Israeli settlement-building and occupation of Palestinian territory was a violation of international law. Washington is henceforth recognizing Israeli settlements as legitimate.

The move overturns more than four decades of official US policy which adhered to the UN-backed position of condemning Israeli occupation in the Palestinian West Bank and in East Jerusalem as illegal and a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Since the 1967 Six War, successive Israeli governments have overseen a relentless process of annexing Palestinian territory. Over that period, Palestinian lands have diminished and become increasingly fragmented with little contiguity that would be normal for a future state. There are estimated to be around 200 Israeli new-build settlements of towns and villages with a population of 600,000 Jewish settlers who have usurped Palestinian land and properties. The UN has repeatedly condemned the annexation and occupation as illegal, to no avail.

The latest move by the Trump administration is a flagrant repudiation of UN resolutions and international law. It follows previous declarations by President Trump recognizing Israeli claims to Jerusalem as its capital, as well as Israel’s annexation of Syrian territory in the Golan Heights.

“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” said Pompeo on Monday. “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.”

That is an astounding dereliction of international law by the American government. The “hard truth” that Pompeo ignores is that US administrations have constantly undermined “judicial resolution of the conflict” because they have, to varying degrees, over the decades pandered to Israeli criminal occupation of Palestinian lands.

What the Trump administration is doing is not entirely unprecedented. Successive American presidents have merely paid lip service to a supposed peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, declaring their support for a “two-state solution” and presenting Washington as some kind of “honest broker”. The reality is that Washington has consistently undermined Palestinian national rights by its systematic bias towards Israel, indulging the latter’s criminal policies of occupation and military aggression towards Palestinian population.

However, Trump and his coterie of Middle East aides have taken the American bias and complicity with Israel to naked levels. Part of that is no doubt payback for the multi-million-dollar funding of Trump’s 2016 election campaign by Jewish-American billionaire and arch-Zionist Sheldon Adelson.

Israeli peace groups have recorded a surge in Israeli expansion of settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the past three years of the Trump administration. Demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli bulldozers are at a record high.

There is an imperative business reason for this. President Donald Trump has personally invested in Israeli settlements, as have his ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and the White House’s special envoy to the region, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

One of those settlements is at Beit El which is described as “one of the most aggressive” in terms of expansionist scope. It overlooks the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank which is supposed to be the administrative seat of the Palestinian Authority.

Trump, Friedman and the Kushner family have in the past funneled millions of dollars into Beit El and other Israeli settlements. In return, Israeli financial companies have made huge investments in Jared Kushner’s family real-estate business back in the US. For example, Menora Mivtachim, a pension and insurance firm, invested $30 million in apartments in Maryland owned by the Kushner family.

Jared Kushner officially stepped away from his family’s property conglomerate when he was appointed by his father-in-law as special envoy on the Middle East “peace process”. But few would believe his future wealth will not benefit from investments in and from Israel. He is still a beneficiary of trusts that have holdings in Kushner properties, notes Haaretz newspaper.

It seems incredible given this blatant conflict of interest that Kushner has been tasked with producing a “peace plan” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Trump had previously boasted about as being the “deal of the century”. That plan has since wilted to non-existence. The media don’t even talk about its expected publication, so far off the radar is it.

The latest move by the Trump administration to effectively reward and accelerate further Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory has American self-interest and profit written all over it. It mirrors Trump’s declaration in March this year recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, where there is irrefutable evidence that Trump and the Zionist clique in the White House have major business interests in oil exploration and production in that contested region.

Russia warned this week that Washington’s policy is inflaming further conflict amid an intensification of air strikes by Israel on Gaza where more than 30 people have been killed over the past week, including one Palestinian family of three adults and five children. The bloodshed makes Pompeo’s announcement all the more repulsive.

The Arab League and the European Union have also condemned the unilateral rejection of international law by the US. Jordan, Egypt and other Arab states said the United States has forfeited its right to act as a peace broker in the region.

The “reality on the ground” – to use a talking point favored by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and now Mike Pompeo – is that the US is an accomplice in Israel’s illegal occupation and war crimes. Even more heinous, the US policy is being driven by Trump’s family business profits.

Armenian ‘genocide’ and Jewish Lobby

On May 13, 2016, Jewish lobby ADL’s top gun Jonathan Green­blatt announced that his organization wouldn’t campaign against Washington’s recognition of mass-killing of Armenian Christians  ‘genocide’ during WWI as long as it’s called ‘genocide’ and not Holocaust, which is reserved for the sufferings of ‘G-d’s Chosen People’.

Greenblatt’s predecessor, Abraham Foxman, an evil person by any standard had campaigned for decades against Washington’s recognition of 1915 Armenian ‘genocide’ on the lame excuse that that would hurt Turkey, the strategic ally of both the US and Israel in the Muslim-majority Arab region.

However, the main reason Foxman campaign against the recognition of Armenian ‘genocide’ was to keep Jewish skeltons in the closet, and Iran-Armenia friendship. Abe Foxman was supported by Israeli media, and other Jewish lobby groups including AIPAC, American Jewish committee (AJC), and B’nai B’rith International.

In 2007 Foxman arrogantly declared that the Armenian genocide doesn’t belong in the US Congress or the parliament of any other country. Yet Canada, France, Switzerland, Uruguay, the Vatican, a UN sub-commission, the World Council of Churches, the European Union Parliament, and many more have all acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.

On April 21, 2015, Jewish Clarion Project in order to cover its Jewish sponsors accused Muslim Brotherhood of denying the Armenian ‘genocide’ to please Turkey.

Why all of sudden, the “Jewish conscience” has started bothering Jewish Lobby? a good answer comes from American journalist and author Mark Arax at Salonon June 16, 2010.

Genocide denial is not a pretty thing, they now concede, but they did it for Israel. They did it out of gratitude for Turkey being Israel’s one and only Muslim ally. Now the game has changed. Israel and Turkey are locked in a feud over the Palestine-bound Flotilla that was intercepted on the high seas by Israel. Turkey is outraged over the killing of nine of its citizens on board. Israel is outraged that a country with Turkey’s past would dare judge the morality of the Jewish state. So the Armenian Genocide has become a new weapon in the hands of Israel and its supporters in the US, a way to threaten Turkey, a conniver’s get-even: Hey, Turkey, if you want to play nasty with Israel, if you want to lecture us about violations of human rights, we can easily go the other way on the Armenian Genocide. No more walking the halls of Congress to plead your shameful case,” Arax said.

In 2008, Sen. Barack Obama promised to recognize Armenian genocide if elected President. The anti-genocide ‘expert’, Samantha Power, currently US ambassador at United Nations publicly urged Armenian Americans to vote for Barack Obama because as president he would recognize Armenian genocide.

In 2002, while promoting her Pulitzer-prize winning book A Problem from Hell, she like Helen Thomas in 2010, was baited by a cunning Zionist questioner, who asked her what would she advise to US President “who is involved in genocide in Israel-Palestine conflict”. She had responded that to prevent genocide, the US should be prepared to alienate a powerful constituency (Israel) and by sending a protective military force to prevent another situation like Rwanda. Since then the Jewish media has blamed her for calling an American invasion of Israel. Samantha Power and her Jewish husband played a major role in demonizing Libyan leader Qaddafi for the so-called ‘human abuses’. Currently, both are repeating the same lies against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Israeli Report: Jews are Khazarians

Rehmat

In 2010, when veteran White House UPI correspondent Helen Thomas told Israeli Jews occupying Palestine to go back to their ancestral homelands in Europe, her 50-year career as a journalist was ruined by the Zionist Mafia.

On March 18, 2014, Jerusalem-based The Times of Israel, reported that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a ‘scholarly study’ which claimed that the Western Jews occupying Palestine are not from the so-called 12-tribes of Israelites, but children of Mongolian Khazar tribes who adopted Jewish religion and established an empire in Ukrainian part of Russia. The study was done by a team of scholars from leading research institutions and museums.

The Zionist regime and its western-controlled mainstream media has avoided mentioning the existence of such study because it negates the very founding myth of the “G-d’s promise of Holy Land to Jewish people” – or that the West Bank is in fact the “Judea and Samara” of the biblical Jewish empire.

Hungarian Jew historian and ex-communist Arthur Koestler was the first Jewish author, who proudly admitted the Jewish-Khazarian bloodline in his 1976 book,The Thirteen Tribe. Koestler was not an anti-Zionist. He just wanted to convince the Christian world that the ancestors of the present-day Jewish people were not involved in the murder of Christ.

Later, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand in his book, The Invention of Jewish People, expanded Koestler’s views by arguing that Judaism is based on religion and not race – its followers descended from various racial groups who converted to Judaism, therefore, they don’t constitute a nation or need a “Jewish state” of their own.

Israeli historian, professor Eran Elhaik (Johns Hopkins University) in a 2013 study claimed that Jews are not Semitic people, and therefore, has no claim over historic Palestine.

Russian Jewish historian Dr. Simon Dubnow had claimed in 1926 that Jews have historical rights to colonize Crimea. “Jewish colonies have existed there since the nineteenth century. The historic rights of the Jews to colonize Crimea and the entire Black Sea coast from Odessa to the Caucasus cannot be doubted and it is certainly desirable in a region where for two thousand years our ancestors have, under the Greeks and the Scythians, engaged in agriculture,” he said.

On March 4, 2014, Jeffrey Veidlinger, in a Op-Ed at Jewish Tablet magazineclaimed that before Crimea became a Russian ethnic stronghold, it’s a Jewish homeland.

On May 6, 2014, the deputy head of Dnipropetrovsk, B. Filatov and Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoyski announced a plan to build a New Zion: Promised Land in the Zionist liberated Ukraine. Kolomoyski’s fellow Jewish oligarchPetro Poroshenko is the current president of Ukraine.

The Times of Israel is an online Israeli propaganda outlet founded by British-born Israeli Jew journalist David Horovitz in 2012. Horovitz earned his ‘Star of Zion’ wing in 1994 after pinning Israeli Mossad’s bombing of AMIA in Argentina onto Lebanese Islamic resistance Hizbullah.


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Helen Thomas: Dead at 92 by Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman

On July 20, headlines reported the news. The doyen of the White House House press corps was gone.

After a long illness, the Gridiron Club and Foundation announced her passing. She ended decades covering presidential press conferences saying, “Thank you, Mr. President.”

She was special. She’ll be sorely missed. She spoke truth to power. Too few like her remain. Washington targets those who do.
She withstood tough challenges. She did it throughout her career. She was born on August 4, 1920. She’s a Winchester, KY native. Her father was a grocer. She was one of nine children.

She was the first female White House press corps representative. She worked for UPI. She covered US administrations for five decades. She began during the Kennedy years. Her tenure was unprecedented.

As a high school freshmen, journalism was her ambition. In 1942, she earned a Wayne State University BA in English. Her career spanned six decades.

She became a Washington Daily News copy girl. She advanced to reporter status. She did so quickly. Her talent was too good to hold back.

She began reporting local news. She did women’s stories. In the early 1950s, she covered Washington celebrities and government agencies.

In 1960, she covered President-elect John Kennedy. She attended daily press briefings and conferences. In 1962, she convinced Kennedy to let women attend annual White House dinners. Journalists and photographers were invited.

In 1970, she became UPI’s first female White House Bureau chief. In 1975, she was the first woman admitted to Washington’s Gridiron Club. Later she became its president.

In 1975-76, she was White House Correspondents Association’s first female president.

Over the span of her career, she became a legend in her own time. No one in modern-day mainstream US journalism matched her. She was a fixture at White House press conferences.

She was called “the First Lady of the Press.” It was for good reason. She covered 10 presidents for over five decades. She asked hard-hitting questions.

She wrote about what readers need to know. She sat in the first row. For decades, she asked the first question. It was a special honor perhaps few, if any others, enjoyed.

In 2000, she resigned from UPI. She did so after Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church acquired it. Hearst Corporation hired her as a columnist.

Throughout her career, she received numerous awards. She got over 30 honorary degrees. In 1976, she was named one of the World Almanac’s 25 Most Influential Women in America.

In 1986, she received the University of Kansas William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit. In 1991, she won the Freedom Forum Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.

In 1998, the White House Correspondents Association established the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. It did so in her honor.

In 2000, Wayne State University created the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award.

In 2002, the National Newspaper Association gave her a lifetime achievement award. In 2007, so did the Washington Press Club Foundation. The same year, she received the National Research Center for Women & Families Foremother Award.

In 2010, she got the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) lifetime achievement award.
The same year, her career prematurely end. She spoke truth to Israel. She said Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine (and) go home.”

She meant Israeli occupiers. She expressed frustration and anger about 62 years of persecution. It’s over 65 now. It’s 46 under brutalizing militarized occupation. It’s horrific enough to enrage any justice defender.

Thomas explained more. Her comments “reflect(ed her) heartfelt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon,” she stressed.

She retired days later. In July 2011, she resumed writing for the Falls Church News-Press.
In April 2012, PLO General Mission to America head Maen Areikat honored Thomas for her “long career in the field of journalism, during which she defended the Palestinian position every step of the way.”

According to Washington’s PLO office, its Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi “presented Thomas with the appreciation and blessing of the president and the Palestinian people, for all of her actions supporting Palestine in the West.”

Ralph Nader called her “a pioneering, no-nonsense newswoman.” She’s a “hero of honest journalism and women’s rights.”

She’s “the scourge of dissembling presidents and White House press secretaries.” In 2006, she challenged George Bush saying:

“Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of Americans and Iraqis. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true.”

In mid-2010, she asked Obama: “When are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse?”

Her trademark was asking tough “why” questions. Self-censoring wasn’t her style. She knew lies when she heard them. She challenged duplicitous dissembling.

She rejected sugarcoated rubbish. She didn’t look the other way. She refused to roll over for power.
She challenged wrongs needing exposure. She did so responsibly. She believed good journalism involves “comfort(ing) the afflicted and afflict(ing) the comfortable.”

She took Aldous Huxley’s comments seriously. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored,” he said.

She cared. It showed. She spent a lifetime telling readers what they need to know. She did so reponsibly. It bears repeating. She’ll be sorely missed.

Helen Thomas: Rest in Peace

1920-2013

Gilad Atzmon – From Stalingrad to Gaza with Love


‘Can the Jewish State understand its original sin, it own reality as a plundering oppressive entity? Yes, of course it can, only if it stops being a Jewish State.’

My answer to Gilad’s question is (actually his answer):

Yes, off course, only if it  listens to Helen Thomas’ Resolution. 

“Get the hell out of Palestine”.

On June 14, 2010 at 10:08PM Gilad

Atzmon wrote;


Considering the latest Israeli barbarian military operations, bearing in mind the disastrous starvation in Gaza, learning about the serious threat to world peace imposed by repeated nuclear threats made by Israel against its neighboring States and Iran in particular, we should move the discourse one step further. We better look at the Helen Thomas’ solution.

Gilad Atzmon – From Stalingrad to Gaza with Love 

Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:52AM Gilad Atzmon 

By Gilad Atzmon

Benjamin Netanyahu, is made of different material than Barak. Unlike Bark, who is obsessed with the banal implementation of military power, Netanyahu is concerned with the power of deterrence and he is also intelligent enough to realise that the consequences of a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip may mean the total eradication of such a power.  

A large scale deployment of infantry is a complicated thing. It would lead to violent clashing with hostile civilians in a heavily populated urban territory, endless cases of inevitable war crimes and crimes against humanity, international condemnation, unavoidable conflict with Israeli allies and so on. Also, such an escalation will prove, once again how resilient the Palestinian society is, as opposed to the vulnerable Israeli people. Let me tell you, this is not what Netanyahu had in mind two weeks ago when he decided to slaughter just a few Palestinians in order to win the next Israeli election.

Netanyahu prefers to kill Palestinians from afar, to missile them from Israeli Navy battle ships, drones and F16s. Israel had initially a limited operative plan ahead of Operation Pillar of Cloud. But, it didn’t take more than a few hours for Israeli generals to realise that they were ambushed by the Hamas.

 Like Lebanon 2006, Israel was far from being ready for this conflict. It failed to realised that the Hamas has been preparing itself for this battle. 

Earlier on today, I saw on BBC News, a Palestinian flag waving on top of a wreckage of house in Gaza that was flattened by Israel during the night. The message was clear: Hamas is ready to make Gaza into Stalingrad. The Israeli generals realise it, some of them are clever enough to grasp the fate of their soldiers if they decide to move in. They are not prepared to be Netanyahu’s ‘6th Army’

The Hamas clearly won this round of violence, it has managed to push Israel to the corner. The Israelis are now expecting Netanyahu and Barak to dissolve the ‘immanent’ ballistic threat. Yet, the IDF doesn’t have a magical military solution except offering full land invasion.

But can the Jewish State redeem itself, can Israel actually win this hopeless situation? Of course it can. All it would take from Israelis is to learn to love their neighbours, to accept the Palestinian cause, to grasp that the rockets are actually a love letter to stolen land, cities, villages, fields and orchards. But can the Jewish State look in the mirror and grasp it all? Can the Jewish State understand its original sin, it own reality as a plundering oppressive entity? Yes, of course it can, only if it stops being a Jewish State.

Gilad Atzmon – Writings – From Stalingrad to Gaza with Love .
 

 To read more:

The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics, Jewish political interest and Israeli Barbarism within Biblical context…

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!
 

Uri’s Muslim Brothers

About one year ago Uri Avnery , the son of Irgun terrorist group wrote:
“What will happen if hundreds of thousands of Palestinians march one day to the Separation Wall and pull it down? What if a quarter of a million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon gather on our Northern border? What if masses of people assemble in Manara Square in Ramallah and Town Hall Square in Nablus and confront the Israeli troops? Mr. Avnery asks. “Perhaps this will not happen tomorrow or the day after. But it most certainly will happen – unless we make peace while we still canAnd it hapenned after 6 months. Hw witnessed Return in Practice

URI imagined “posters condemning Binyamin al-Assad and Bashar Netanyahu.”

But why Uri is putting “Binyamin al-Assad and Bashar Netanyahu.” in the same Basket?
Though at odds, Both threatens URI’s light calorie zionist project (Two state solution).
Why Uri imagined posters condemning Bashar al-Assad? Because Syria is the last Arab fort.


Peace with the Palestinians is no longer a luxury. It is an absolute necessity. Peace now, peace quickly.’ Uri Avnery.
  

.Now, URI AVNERY is stuck in Palestine, Abbas, the “plucked chicken” he saw at UN soaring into the sky has landed and Ismael Haneya is now souring into the sky, in cairo, Tunis, Turkey and Qatar.

The low calorie zionist turned into polising MB, and reconciliation with his Islamic neighbors.

Moses was also heavy of the ears… when God told him to take his people to Canada, he took his people to Canaan, spending the prescribed 40 years – just long enough to reach Vancouver – wandering hither and thither in the Sinai desert.” he wrote.

“If we want Israel to exist and flourish in a region that will for a long time be governed by democratically elected Islamist parties, we would do well to welcome them now as brothers, congratulate them on their victories and work for peace and conciliation with elected Islamists in Egypt and the other Arab states, including Palestine. We must certainly resist the temptation to push the Americans into supporting another military dictatorship in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Let’s choose the future, not the past.” he concluded.

I would assure Uri, neither your Brothers of America, nor another miltary dictatorship will gurantee the existance and flourish of the zionist entity. “Israel” is doomed

Unlike Moses, you are not heavy of the mouth and heavy of the tongue, you are heavy of the ears.
Clear your ears, and and listen to Helen Thomas,

It is not too late URI, cut your 64 years wandering hither and thither in the “Promised Land”, in three hours you may reach Germany your birth place.

Israeli peace group Gush Shalom logoEVERYBODY KNOWS by now why we are stuck in Palestine.

When God instructed Moses to plead with Pharaoh to let his people go, Moses told him that he was unfit for the job because “I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10).


Israeli peace group Gush Shalom logo
Actually, in the Hebrew original, Moses told God that he was “heavy of the mouth and heavy of the tongue”. He should have told Him that he was also heavy of the ears. So when God told him to take his people to Canada, he took his people to Canaan, spending the prescribed 40 years – just long enough to reach Vancouver – wandering hither and thither in the Sinai desert.

So here we are, in Canaan, surrounded by Muslims.

FOR DECADES, my friends and I have warned that if we dither in making peace, the nature of the conflict will change. I myself have written dozens of times that if our conflict is transformed from a national to a religious struggle, everything will change for the worse.

The Zionist-Arab struggle started as a clash between two great national movements, which were born more or less at the same time as offshoots of the new European nationalism.

Almost all the early Zionists were convinced atheists, inspired (and pushed out) by the European nationalist movements. They used religious symbols quite cynically – to mobilize the Jews and as a propaganda tool for the others.
The Arab resistance to the Zionist settlement was basically secular and nationalist, too. It was a part of the rising wave of nationalism throughout the Arab world. True, the leader of the Palestinian resistance was Hadj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but he was both a national and a religious leader, using religious motives to reinforce the national ones.
National leaders are supposed to be rational. They make war and they make peace. When it suits them, they compromise. They talk to each other.
Religious conflicts are quite different. When God is inserted into the matter, everything becomes more extreme. God may be compassionate and loving, but His adherents are generally not. God and compromise don’t go well together. Especially not in the holy land of Canaan.
THE RELIGIONALIZATION (if a Hebrew-speaking Israeli be allowed to coin an English word) of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started on both sides.
Years ago, the historian Karen Armstrong, a former nun, wrote a thought-provoking book (“The Battle for God”) about religious fundamentalism. She put her finger on an astonishing fact: Christian, Jewish and Islamic fundamentalist movements were very much alike.
Delving into the history of fundamentalist movements in the US, Israel, Egypt and Iran, she discovered that they were born at the same time and underwent the same stages. Since there is very little similarity between the four countries and the four societies, not to mention the three religions, this is a remarkable fact.
The inevitable conclusion is that there is something in the Zeitgeist of our time which encourages such ideas, something not anchored in the remote past, which is glorified by the fundamentalists, but in the present.
IN ISRAEL, it started on the morrow of the 1967 war, when the Army Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, went to the newly “liberated” Western Wall and blew his Shofar (religious ram’s horn). Yeshayahu Leibowitz called him “the Clown with the shofar”, but throughout the country it evoked a resounding echo.
Before the Six Days, the religious wing of Zionism was the stepchild of the movement. For many of us, religion was a tolerated superstition, looked down upon, used by politicians for reasons of expediency.
The overwhelming victory of the Israeli army in that war looked like divine intervention, and the religious youth sprang into life. It was like the fulfillment of Psalm 118 (22): “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” The pent-up energies of the religious sector, nursed for years in their separate ultra-nationalist schools, burst out.
The result was the settlers’ movement. They raced to occupy every hilltop in the occupied territories. True, many settlers went there to build their dream villas on stolen Arab land and enjoy the ultimate “quality of life”. But at the core of the enterprise are the fundamentalist fanatics, who are ready to live harsh and dangerous lives, because (as the Crusaders used to shout) “God Wills It!”.
The whole raison d’être of the settlements is to drive the Arabs out of the country and turn the whole land of Canaan into a Jewish state. In the meantime their shock troops carry out pogroms against their Arab “neighbors” and burn their mosques.
These fundamentalists now have a huge influence on our government’s policy, and their impact is growing. For example: for months now, the country has been ablaze after the Supreme Court decreed that 5 (five!) houses in Bet El settlement must be demolished, because they were built on private Arab land. In a desperate effort to prevent riots, Binyamin Netanyahu has promised to build in their stead 850 (eight hundred and fifty!) new houses in the occupied territories. Such things happen all the time.
But let there be no mistake: after the cleansing of the country of non-Jews, the next step would be to turn Israel into a “halakha state” – a country governed by religious law, with the abolition of all democratically enacted secular laws that do not conform to the word of God and His rabbis.

SUBSTITUTE THE word “shariah” for “halakha” – both mean religious law – and you have the dream of Muslim fundamentalists. Both laws, by the way, are remarkably similar. And both cover all spheres of life, individual and collective.

Since the start of the Arab Spring, the fledgling Arab democracy has brought Muslim fundamentalists to the fore. Actually, that started even before, when Hamas (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) won the democratic, internationally monitored elections in Palestine. However, the resulting Palestinian government was destroyed by the Israeli leadership and its subservient US and European subcontractors.

Last week’s apparent victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian presidential elections was a landmark. After similar victories in Tunisia and the events in Libya, Yemen and Syria, it is clear that Arab citizens everywhere favor the Muslim Brotherhood and similar parties.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, is an old established party which has earned much respect with its steadfastness in the face of recurrent persecution, torture, mass arrests and occasional executions. Its leaders are untainted by the prevalent corruption, and admired for their commitment to social work.

The West is haunted by medieval ideas about the horrible Saracens. The Muslim Brotherhood inspires terror. It is conceived as a fearsome, murderous, secret sect, out to destroy Israel and the West. Of course, practically no one has taken the trouble to study the history of this movement in Egypt and elsewhere. Actually, it could not be further removed from this parody.

The Brotherhood has always been a moderate party, though they almost always had a more extreme wing. Whenever possible, they tried to accommodate the successive Egyptian dictators – Abd-al-Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak – though all of these tried to eradicate them. [Nasser and American brothers (Must see)]
The Brotherhood is first and foremost an Arab and Egyptian party, deeply embedded in Egyptian history. Though they would probably deny it, I would say – judging from their history – that they are more Arab and more Egyptian than fundamentalist. They certainly have never been fanatical.

During their 84 years, they have seen many ups and downs. But mostly, their outstanding quality has been pragmatism, coupled with adherence to the principles of their religion. It is this pragmatism that also characterizes their behavior during the last year and a half, which – so its seems – caused quite a number of voters who are not particularly religious to prefer them to the secular candidate who is tainted by his connection with the corrupt and repressive former regime.
This also determines their attitude towards Israel. Palestine is constantly on their mind – but that is true of all Egyptians. Their conscience is troubled by the feeling that at Camp David, Anwar Sadat betrayed the Palestinians. Or, worse, that the devious Jew, Menachem Begin, tricked Sadat into signing a document that did not say what Sadat thought it said. It is not the Brothers that caused the Egyptians who greeted us enthusiastically, the first Israelis to visit their country, to turn against us.
Throughout the heated election campaigns – four in a year – the Brotherhood has not demanded the abrogation of the peace agreement with Israel. Their attitude seems to be as pragmatic as ever.
ALL OUR neighbors are turning, slowly but surely, Islamic.
That is not the end of the world. But it surely compels us, for the first time, to try to understand Islam and the Muslims.
For centuries, Islam and Judaism had a close and mutually beneficial relationship. The Jewish sages in Muslim Spain, the great Maimonides and many other prominent Jews were close to Islamic culture and wrote some of their works in Arabic. There is certainly nothing in the two religions that precludes cooperation between them. (Which, alas, is not true for Christianity, which could not tolerate the Jews.)

If we want Israel to exist and flourish in a region that will for a long time be governed by democratically elected Islamist parties, we would do well to welcome them now as brothers, congratulate them on their victories and work for peace and conciliation with elected Islamists in Egypt and the other Arab states, including Palestine. We must certainly resist the temptation to push the Americans into supporting another military dictatorship in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere. Let’s choose the future, not the past.

Unless we prefer to pack up and head for Canada, after all.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

May 30 – Jewish Heritage and gay lawmakers

In 2006, Dubya Bush declared May as the Jewish American Heritage Month, initiated by Jewish Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Both Bush and Obama have celebrated the event by throwing a gala party at the White House in honor of their pro-Israel Jewish donors. White House has announced that this year the party will be held on June 30.



On May 27, 2010, during the
“American Jewish Heritage Month”
celebration at the WH,
Rabbi David Nesenoff  asked Helen Thomas
if she had any comments on Israeli.
Thomas replied,
“Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine…
Remember, these people are occupied,
and it’s their land; its not German,
its not Poland’s.”
“they should go home”
to “Poland, Germany.”
 “America and everywhere else.”



Two years ago, the Jewish Lobby got rid of America’s famous critic of Israel, Helen Thomas during the Jewish American Heritage Month party at the White House. This year, however, Jewish lawmakers will also be honoring their fellow homosexual lawmakers on May 30.

According to JTA (May 24) – the Jewish gay freshman, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo) has invited folks to a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Compaign Committee honoring veteran Jewish gay lawmaker, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), elected in 1980. The fundraiser event will be held on May 30, on the rooftop of El Centro DF, a popular Mexican restaurant in Northwest Washington, celebrating Frank’s 25th anniversary of his declaration of being ‘pink’! Frank will be joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Steve Israel (NY).

Tickets for the May 30 event range from $100 for an individual to $5,000 for PACs or those who want to co-host the event.

Jared and Frank are not the only openly homosexuals among the American lawmakers. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I), elected in 2010 is also gay and Jewish. Then, there is Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), a lessbian with Russian-Jewish family roots. She was elected in 1998 for the first time. Tammy is a candidate in the 2012 Senate elction to succeed retiring Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis), a Jewish millionaire and owner of Milwaukee Bucks. Herb also supports same-sex marriage. Rep. Zach Wyatt (R-Mis) came out of closet this month.

LGBT groups are pro-Israel in general – as they believe that both Jews and gay/lesbian have long been discriminated in the West. A recent world-wide survey by GayCities.com and American Airlines, 43% LGBT tourists voted Tel Aviv as their favorite city, followed by New York (14%), Toronto (7%), Sao Paulo (6%), Madrid and London (5% each) and New Orleans and Mexico city (4% each).
Israeli film director, Eytan Fox, has even produced a movie, ‘Yossi’s story‘ documenting the life of gays and lesbians in the Israel Occupation Forces (IOF). The film basically applies that Israeli military culture has become more progressive by accepting gays and lesbians.

Yippee. So more people can be in the IDF comfortably, occupy land, homes and roads, fire rubber or real bullets, interrogate and imprison little children, all while being openly gay,”Dahlia Scheindin in Israeli magazine +972, May, 27, 2012.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Excuse Me, But Israel Has No Right To Exist

The phrase “right to exist” entered my consciousness in the 1990s just as the concept of the two-state solution became part of our collective lexicon. In any debate at university, when a Zionist was out of arguments, those three magic words were invoked to shut down the conversation with an outraged, “are you saying Israel doesn’t have the right to exist??”

Of course you couldn’t challenge Israel’s right to exist – that was like saying you were negating a fundamental Jewish right to have…rights, with all manner of Holocaust guilt thrown in for effect.
Except of course the Holocaust is not my fault – or that of Palestinians. The cold-blooded program of ethnically cleansing Europe of its Jewish population has been so callously and opportunistically utilized to justify the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arab nation, that it leaves me utterly unmoved. I have even caught myself – shock – rolling my eyes when I hear Holocaust and Israel in the same sentence.

What moves me instead in this post-two-state era, is the sheer audacity of Israel even existing.

What a fantastical idea, this notion that a bunch of rank outsiders from another continent could appropriate an existing, populated nation for themselves – and convince the “global community” that it was the moral thing to do. I’d laugh at the chutzpah if this wasn’t so serious.

Even more brazen is the mass ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population by persecuted Jews, newly arrived from their own experience of being ethnically cleansed.

But what is truly frightening is the psychological manipulation of the masses into believing that Palestinians are somehow dangerous – “terrorists” intent on “driving Jews into the sea.” As someone who makes a living through words, I find the use of language in creating perceptions to be intriguing. This practice – often termed “public diplomacy” has become an essential tool in the world of geopolitics. Words, after all, are the building blocks of our psychology.

Take, for example, the way we have come to view the Palestinian-Israeli “dispute” and any resolution of this enduring conflict. And here I borrow liberally from a previous article of mine…

The United States and Israel have created the global discourse on this issue, setting stringent parameters that grow increasingly narrow regarding the content and direction of this debate. Anything discussed outside the set parameters has, until recently, widely been viewed as unrealistic, unproductive and even subversive.

Participation in the debate is limited only to those who prescribe to its main tenets: the acceptance of Israel, its regional hegemony and its qualitative military edge; acceptance of the shaky logic upon which the Jewish state’s claim to Palestine is based; and acceptance of the inclusion and exclusion of certain regional parties, movements and governments in any solution to the conflict.

Words like dove, hawk, militant, extremist, moderates, terrorists, Islamo-fascists, rejectionists, existential threat, holocaust-denier, mad mullah determine the participation of solution partners — and are capable of instantly excluding others.

Then there is the language that preserves “Israel’s Right To Exist” unquestioningly: anything that invokes the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and the myths about historic Jewish rights to the land bequeathed to them by the Almighty – as though God was in the real-estate business. This language seeks not only to ensure that a Jewish connection to Palestine remains unquestioned, but importantly, seeks to punish and marginalize those who tackle the legitimacy of this modern colonial-settler experiment.

But this group-think has led us nowhere. It has obfuscated, distracted, deflected, ducked, and diminished, and we are no closer to a satisfactory conclusion…because the premise is wrong.
There is no fixing this problem. This is the kind of crisis in which you cut your losses, realize the error of your ways and reverse course. Israel is the problem. It is the last modern-day colonial-settler experiment, conducted at a time when these projects were being unraveled globally.

There is no “Palestinian-Israeli conflict” – that suggests some sort of equality in power, suffering, and negotiable tangibles, and there is no symmetry whatsoever in this equation. Israel is the Occupier and Oppressor; Palestinians are the Occupied and Oppressed. What is there to negotiate? Israel holds all the chips. They can give back some land, property, rights, but even that is an absurdity – what about everything else? What about ALL the land, property and rights? Why do they get to keep anything – how is the appropriation of land and property prior to 1948 fundamentally different from the appropriation of land and property on this arbitrary 1967 date?

Why are the colonial-settlers prior to 1948 any different from those who colonized and settled after 1967?

Let me correct myself. Palestinians do hold one chip that Israel salivates over – the one big demand at the negotiating table that seems to hold up everything else. Israel craves recognition of its “right to exist.”

But you do exist – don’t you, Israel?

Israel fears “delegitimization” more than anything else. Behind the velvet curtain lies a state built on myths and narratives, protected only by a military behemoth, billions of dollars in US assistance and a lone UN Security Council veto. Nothing else stands between the state and its dismantlement. Without these three things, Israelis would not live in an entity that has come to be known as the “least safe place for Jews in the world.”

Strip away the spin and the gloss, and you quickly realize that Israel doesn’t even have the basics of a normal state. After 64 years, it doesn’t have borders. After six decades, it has never been more isolated. Over half a century later, and it needs a gargantuan military just to stop Palestinians from walking home.
Israel is a failed experiment. It is on life-support – pull those three plugs and it is a cadaver, living only in the minds of some seriously deluded foreigners who thought they could pull off the heist of the century.

The most important thing we can do as we hover on the horizon of One State is to shed the old language rapidly. None of it was real anyway – it was just the parlance of that particular “game.” Grow a new vocabulary of possibilities – the new state will be the dawn of humanity’s great reconciliation. Muslims, Christians and Jews living together in Palestine as they once did.

Naysayers can take a hike. Our patience is wearing thinner than the walls of the hovels that Palestinian refugees have called “home” for three generations in their purgatory camps.

These universally exploited refugees are entitled to the nice apartments – the ones that have pools downstairs and a grove of palm trees outside the lobby. Because the kind of compensation owed for this failed western experiment will never be enough.

And no, nobody hates Jews. That is the fallback argument screeched in our ears – the one “firewall” remaining to protect this Israeli Frankenstein. I don’t even care enough to insert the caveats that are supposed to prove I don’t hate Jews. It is not a provable point, and frankly, it is a straw man of an argument. If Jews who didn’t live through the Holocaust still feel the pain of it, then take that up with the Germans. Demand a sizeable plot of land in Germany – and good luck to you.

For anti-Semites salivating over an article that slams Israel, ply your trade elsewhere – you are part of the reason this problem exists.

Israelis who don’t want to share Palestine as equal citizens with the indigenous Palestinian population – the ones who don’t want to relinquish that which they demanded Palestinians relinquish 64 years ago – can take their second passports and go back home. Those remaining had better find a positive attitude – Palestinians have shown themselves to be a forgiving lot. The amount of carnage they have experienced at the hands of their oppressors – without proportional response – shows remarkable restraint and faith.

This is less the death of a Jewish state than it is the demise of the last remnants of modern-day colonialism. It is a rite of passage – we will get through it just fine. At this particular precipice in the 21st century, we are all, universally, Palestinian – undoing this wrong is a test of our collective humanity, and nobody has the right to sit this one out.

Israel has no right to exist. Break that mental barrier and just say it: “Israel has no right to exist.” Roll it around your tongue, tweet it, post it as your Facebook status update – do it before you think twice. Delegitimization is here – have no fear. Palestine will be less painful than Israel ever was.

Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. You can follow Sharmine on twitter @snarwani.

Helen Thomas missed Obama’s political jokes

The Zionist-occupied White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) did not let its past president Helen Thomas (1975-76) purchase a table, at its 2012 gala dinner on April 28, 2012. The keyspeaker at the dinner was Barack Obama (watch two videos below) and was attended by over 2,000 pro-Israel politicians, correspondents and Hollywood celebrities such as Jewish lobby’s anti-Sudan propagandist George Clooney and Holocaust propagandist Steven Spielberg .

Helen Thomas wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her being the first female reporter at the White House with her family members. Helen covered ten Presidents in the White House. Soon she got tired of challenging the male journalists at the association’s helm who dismissed or ignored her altogether. Finally, she took the courage and start asking ‘politically incorrect’ questions to several Presidents. She even convinced President John F. Kennedy to boycott the WHCA annual dinner if no woman journalist was invited.

Helen Thomas never shied away from asking questions which no other correspondents would dare to ask due to fear of pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups. The AIPAC, ADL and AJC never liked her views on Israel. She was against Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She slammed Israel for attacking Lebanon in Summer 2006. Finally, Zionist Rabbi David Nesenoff, who was at the White House for a Jewish heritage celebration on May 28, 2010 – got the ‘smoking gun‘ Israel Lobby had been looking for decades to shut-down Helen’s right to freedom of speech.

In response to the cunning Rabbi David Nesenoff seeking her advice for the Israelis, Helen Thomas replied: “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied and it’s their land”. She was then asked where the Israelis go, to which she replied: “They should go home to Poland, Germany… America and everywhere else

You cannot say anything about Israel in this country (the US). But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist – but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it?”, Helen told David Hochman who interviewed for the Playboy.

Christine Tatum, former national President of the Society of Professional Journalist, slammed the WHCA for refusing Helen to celebrate her career’s Golden Jubilee at the White House. Her article published in the Arab American News, can be read

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

In Defense of Helen Thomas: What’s Wrong with History?

By Tony Phillips



Helen Thomas has a unique place in US journalistic history.
(Wikicommons)



On Monday The Huffington Post ran a story by Michael Calderone covering the White House Correspondents Association’s decision to deny veteran journalist Helen Thomas a table at its upcoming dinner at the Washington Hilton. In a comment on that story I said, “It’s hard to imagine anything more wrong than this.”
I base my opinion on the fact that the 91-year-old Thomas, a former WHCA president, is unique among American journalists, having covered 10 different presidential administrations in a career stretching back to Dwight Eisenhower. It is because of Thomas as much as anyone else that women were first included at the WHCA dinner since, as the WHCA’s website mentions:
“Until 1962, the dinner was open only to men even though the membership included women. That changed when, at the prodding of Helen Thomas of UPI, President John F. Kennedy said he would not attend the dinner unless the ban on women was dropped.”

Thomas’s letter to the WHCA requesting a table was written as a past president and specifically mentioned her desire to attend with family and friends to mark the 50th anniversary of women’s inclusion at the event. A representative of the WHCA explained to The Huffington Post that no matter her past standing within the association, Thomas is only entitled to purchase two tickets to the event as a past president and another said it would be “logistically impossible” to allow every past president to get their own table. That, to me, misses the point. Not every past president covered the White House for half-a-century and not every past president is a living emblem of the advancement of women in journalism. For what it’s worth, I bet no other past president asked to buy a table in the first place.

Because of Helen Thomas’s unique place in American journalistic history, because of her many contributions to the WHCA and because she’s a woman in her 10th decade of life who would like the chance to share something meaningful, something she helped to bring about, with her nearest friends and family, I stand by my assertion that it’s hard to imagine something more wrong than the WHCA denying her request. I was prepared for some people to disagree with me. What I was not prepared for was the rancor of that disagreement or its basis in events from 2010, events that as far as I’m concerned remain ill-told.

I’ll risk stirring up an old brouhaha for the sake of telling a side of that story that I think got short-shrift at the time.

You probably recall the incident. In May 2010 Thomas was questioned briefly by Rabbi David Nesenoff who was at the White House for American Jewish Heritage Celebration Day. A slightly condensed version of that questioning follows.

Nesenoff: “Any comments on Israel?”

Thomas: “Tell them to get the hell out of Israel.”

Nesenoff: “Where should they go?”

Thomas: “They can go home.”

Nesenoff: “So you’re saying the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?”

Thomas: “And America and everywhere else? Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?”

Click here to watch the full two-minute video from RabbiLIVE.com on Youtube. Whether or not her remarks were indelicate I leave to you to decide.

I received a reply to my comment on the Huffington Post article that read in part:

“Do you have any idea what got Helen Thomas in so much trouble it effectively ended her career?”

Yes I do.

I heard from another commenter who wrote:

“Arabs are . . . colonial invaders. Jews have always been a majority in Jerusalem, until the ethnic cleansing by the Hashemites of Trans Jordan.”

That’s not true. Not by a very long stretch.

The same commenter added this particularly vitriolic feedback:

“Helen Thomas is a racist Arab. No nice way of saying that!”

I suppose there is no nice way of calling someone a racist, whether that person is an Arab a Greek or a Finn. Nice or not nice, it’s not accurate.

Helen Thomas is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants. She was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church. On the subject of whether she’s an Arab, Hugh Downs quoted her in his 2002 book My America: What This Country Means to Me by 150 Americans from All Walks of Life:

“We were never hyphenated as Arab-Americans. We were American, and I have always rejected the hyphen and I believe all assimilated immigrants should not be designated ethnically. Or separated, of course, by race, or creed either. These are trends that ever try to divide us as a people.”

So as for whether she’s a racist, I think probably not.

But the question, I suppose, is whether or not she’s an anti-Zionist, which is altogether different from her being an anti-Semite, or an anti-any ethnic or religious group. Her statement about Israeli Jews and their homelands of origin has, on its face, nothing to do with those Israelis being Jews and everything to do with the fact that their present home nation was taken by extraordinary means over the course of a few decades in the middle of the 20th Century from an indigenous Arab majority whose land it had been for centuries prior.

That’s the part of the story that I think bears clarification and as if I’m not already chastened under the acerbity engendered by a mere comment, I’m probably about to get very unpopular very quickly with some people, but the thing about the truth is this; I think it bears telling though it anger the multitudes because a blissful ignorance is still ignorance.

Most Jews living in Israel today were born there but most of their grandparents were not. Jewish out-migration from the Middle East dates to the start of the Diaspora with the destruction of the First Temple in the 6th Century B.C. The Jewish dispersion to regions outside the area of ancient Judeah and modern Israel accelerated in the 1st and 2nd Centuries of the modern era under Roman Occupation. Jews have represented a sizeable minority in Europe since Biblical times.

In 1948 there were approximately 1.35 million Arabs and only 650,000 Jews living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. Today there are about 7.8 million Israelis, roughly 1.6 million of whom are Arabs and 5.9 million of whom are Jews. Only about 2 million of those Jews are of Palestinian ancestry. An equal 2 million are of European origin. Jews did not outbreed their Arab neighbors in the past 64 years – they immigrated. I doubt Helen Thomas, who is 27 years older than the nation of Israel, misremembers history. The one thing she remembers that most of us can’t is that Jews were effectively forced to seek a home far from Europe by the unthinkable atrocities of the Holocaust and the attitudes that outlasted it. Arabs were effectively pushed out of the modern boundaries of Israel by the arrival of those Jews and the one people who never really paid the price for the tragedy that befell Europe’s Jews were Europeans. To that extent if no further, Thomas’s comments reference historical facts that meant bad news for one people to redress the tragedy of another.

The history of Palestine is to say the least a contentious subject. But the events in that region over the past century are fairly well established. Those events have led to a current state of affairs in which there are roughly 10 million Palestinian Arabs in the world, more than half of whom live in exile outside of Palestine. Most Palestinians alive today have never seen the homes of their grandfathers.

Meanwhile, since 1948, Israel has had 12 prime ministers. David Ben Gurion and Shimon Peres were born in Poland. Moshe Sharett and Yitzhak Rabin were from Ukraine. Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir and Menachem Begin were Russian. Yitzhak Shamir was from Belarus. Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert were born in Palestine under British rule. Their parents were refugees from Russia, Lithuania and Ukraine, respectively. Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who speaks the English of a Boston Brahmin, is the country’s first head of state actually born an Israeli and he spent half his boyhood in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. He subsequently spent several more years in America earning BS and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean was definitely the birthplace of Judaism, but it is not the homeland of most modern Jews, not ethnically and not numerically. In fact, of the five cities in the world with the largest population of Jews, two are in the United States, New York with nearly two million, and Los Angeles with 655,000. Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and South Florida are home to another 1.5 million, meaning a population of US Jews in just seven metropolitan areas roughly equivalent to all Jews living in Israeli. Paris is home to another 310,000, Buenos Aires to 244,000.

The fact is that Jews, like Muslims and Christians, are a feature of the world’s population, spread across every continent, represented among many national cultures and histories. Israel is no more their home than Moscow or Skokie. Nonetheless, the modern nation of Israel has entered into the community of nations as the world’s only Jewish-majority state. How it came to be such is a tale of woe for the Palestinian Arab majority that preceded the country’s birth.

In his magnificent book To the Ends of the Earth (1993), David Yallop wrote:

“On April 10, 1948, the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem, was destroyed. Its inhabitants, 260 men, women and children, were slaughtered; some were shot, some hacked to death. The attack was a combined operation by two Jewish groups, the Irgun, whose commander in chief was Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang, one of whose leaders was Yitzhak Shamir. In 1980, Begin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1983, when Begin resigned from office, he was succeeded as prime minister of Israel by Yitzhak Shamir. History is written by winners.”

I might amend Yallop’s maxim only slightly – history is written by survivors. It’s hard to say, given the ongoing conflict in Israel and its occupied territories, that either side has “won” very much. But as far as holding land is concerned, Israeli Jews have certainly outlasted their Arab adversaries. Some of their tactics have been unseemly from the start, dating back to before the Deir Yassin massacre.

One of the first dramatic statements in advocacy of an independent Israel was the blowing up of the British headquarters in Palestine at the King David Hotel in 1946. In 1947, 30 years after the Balfour Declaration had set British policy that Palestine was to be a homeland for the Jews subject to the rights of Arabs, Great Britain called on the United Nations to resolve the Palestinian issue. The original UN solution involved the partition of Palestine into a Jewish zone and an Arab zone. But with the departure of British forces, leaders at the head of groups like the Irgun and Stern Gang joined in declaring an independent Israel and launched an offensive aimed at extending the area under Jewish control. Between May 1948 and January 1949, 370 Palestinian villages in the coastal strip from Tel-Aviv to Haifa were obliterated. And thus was born the original modern-day Israel.

The tactics of Israeli militia in those early days were appalling. In 1948, reacting to the events at Deir Yassin, Albert Einstein wrote to Shepard Rifkin, executive director of American Friends for Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, a fundraising force for the Stern Gang. In response to Rifkin’s solicitation of funds, Einstein wrote:

“When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations built up from our own ranks. I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.”

The history of Israeli brutality does not end, not by a very long shot, with the country’s bloody birth. Between September 16 and 18, 1983, Israeli Defense Forces in Lebanon surrounded and controlled access to two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. Over the course of that time Lebanese Phalangist militia were allowed access to the otherwise sealed camps where, according to the Red Crescent, more than 3,000 men women and children were murdered. While the slaughter raged, IDF units fired illuminating flares by night over the camps to aid visibility for the militia.

In 1983, the Kahan Commission found the IDF to have indirect responsibility for the massacres at both camps and it found Ariel Sharon, then Israeli Defense Minister, personally responsible for having allowed entry by the Phalangists into the camps and ignoring the atrocities that occurred under his watch. Eighteen years later, Sharon was elected Prime Minister. Perhaps surviving war criminals write history.

One of Israel’s subtler tactics to continue dispossessing Palestinian Arabs of their lands in any possible future state of Palestine is massive Jewish settlement in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, all taken during the 1967 Six-Day War. More than 500,000 Israelis have settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem alone. As reported in the Washington Post, just this past Monday, Israel severed ties to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and announced it will bar a UN team from entering Israel or the West Bank for a planned investigation of Israeli settlements. Of that announcement Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, “It means that we’re not going to work with them. We’re not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the Human Rights Council, including this probe.”

I have never met Helen Thomas, although it would be my very great honor to do so. I have never read any treatise by Helen Thomas regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, I don’t know if she has ever written or spoken on the topic at length. All I know is what she told one Rabbi one day on the grounds of the White House and I know that from what she said a lot of people seem willing to infer a lot of ugly things. I’m not willing to do that. But I am willing to consider why she might have said what she said and so far, I can’t really find anything wrong with it.

Actually I know one other thing that Thomas had to say about the matter, to wit, what she posted on her website a few days after her interview with Nesenoff:

“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Indeed, Helen. Indeed.

– Tony Phillips contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

Helen Thomas has a unique place in US journalistic history. (Wikicommons)

By Tony Phillips

On Monday The Huffington Post ran a story by Michael Calderone covering the White House Correspondents Association’s decision to deny veteran journalist Helen Thomas a table at its upcoming dinner at the Washington Hilton. In a comment on that story I said, “It’s hard to imagine anything more wrong than this.”

I base my opinion on the fact that the 91-year-old Thomas, a former WHCA president, is unique among American journalists, having covered 10 different presidential administrations in a career stretching back to Dwight Eisenhower. It is because of Thomas as much as anyone else that women were first included at the WHCA dinner since, as the WHCA’s website mentions:

“Until 1962, the dinner was open only to men even though the membership included women. That changed when, at the prodding of Helen Thomas of UPI, President John F. Kennedy said he would not attend the dinner unless the ban on women was dropped.”

Thomas’s letter to the WHCA requesting a table was written as a past president and specifically mentioned her desire to attend with family and friends to mark the 50th anniversary of women’s inclusion at the event. A representative of the WHCA explained to The Huffington Post that no matter her past standing within the association, Thomas is only entitled to purchase two tickets to the event as a past president and another said it would be “logistically impossible” to allow every past president to get their own table. That, to me, misses the point. Not every past president covered the White House for half-a-century and not every past president is a living emblem of the advancement of women in journalism. For what it’s worth, I bet no other past president asked to buy a table in the first place.

Because of Helen Thomas’s unique place in American journalistic history, because of her many contributions to the WHCA and because she’s a woman in her 10th decade of life who would like the chance to share something meaningful, something she helped to bring about, with her nearest friends and family, I stand by my assertion that it’s hard to imagine something more wrong than the WHCA denying her request. I was prepared for some people to disagree with me. What I was not prepared for was the rancor of that disagreement or its basis in events from 2010, events that as far as I’m concerned remain ill-told.

I’ll risk stirring up an old brouhaha for the sake of telling a side of that story that I think got short-shrift at the time.

You probably recall the incident. In May 2010 Thomas was questioned briefly by Rabbi David Nesenoff who was at the White House for American Jewish Heritage Celebration Day. A slightly condensed version of that questioning follows.

Nesenoff: “Any comments on Israel?”

Thomas: “Tell them to get the hell out of Israel.”

Nesenoff: “Where should they go?”

Thomas: “They can go home.”

Nesenoff: “So you’re saying the Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?”

Thomas: “And America and everywhere else? Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?”

Click here to watch the full two-minute video from RabbiLIVE.com on Youtube. Whether or not her remarks were indelicate I leave to you to decide.

I received a reply to my comment on the Huffington Post article that read in part:

“Do you have any idea what got Helen Thomas in so much trouble it effectively ended her career?”

Yes I do.

I heard from another commenter who wrote:

“Arabs are . . . colonial invaders. Jews have always been a majority in Jerusalem, until the ethnic cleansing by the Hashemites of Trans Jordan.”

That’s not true. Not by a very long stretch.

The same commenter added this particularly vitriolic feedback:

“Helen Thomas is a racist Arab. No nice way of saying that!”

I suppose there is no nice way of calling someone a racist, whether that person is an Arab a Greek or a Finn. Nice or not nice, it’s not accurate.

Helen Thomas is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants. She was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church. On the subject of whether she’s an Arab, Hugh Downs quoted her in his 2002 book My America: What This Country Means to Me by 150 Americans from All Walks of Life:

“We were never hyphenated as Arab-Americans. We were American, and I have always rejected the hyphen and I believe all assimilated immigrants should not be designated ethnically. Or separated, of course, by race, or creed either. These are trends that ever try to divide us as a people.”

So as for whether she’s a racist, I think probably not.

But the question, I suppose, is whether or not she’s an anti-Zionist, which is altogether different from her being an anti-Semite, or an anti-any ethnic or religious group. Her statement about Israeli Jews and their homelands of origin has, on its face, nothing to do with those Israelis being Jews and everything to do with the fact that their present home nation was taken by extraordinary means over the course of a few decades in the middle of the 20th Century from an indigenous Arab majority whose land it had been for centuries prior.

That’s the part of the story that I think bears clarification and as if I’m not already chastened under the acerbity engendered by a mere comment, I’m probably about to get very unpopular very quickly with some people, but the thing about the truth is this; I think it bears telling though it anger the multitudes because a blissful ignorance is still ignorance.

Most Jews living in Israel today were born there but most of their grandparents were not. Jewish out-migration from the Middle East dates to the start of the Diaspora with the destruction of the First Temple in the 6th Century B.C. The Jewish dispersion to regions outside the area of ancient Judeah and modern Israel accelerated in the 1st and 2nd Centuries of the modern era under Roman Occupation. Jews have represented a sizeable minority in Europe since Biblical times.

In 1948 there were approximately 1.35 million Arabs and only 650,000 Jews living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. Today there are about 7.8 million Israelis, roughly 1.6 million of whom are Arabs and 5.9 million of whom are Jews. Only about 2 million of those Jews are of Palestinian ancestry. An equal 2 million are of European origin. Jews did not outbreed their Arab neighbors in the past 64 years – they immigrated. I doubt Helen Thomas, who is 27 years older than the nation of Israel, misremembers history. The one thing she remembers that most of us can’t is that Jews were effectively forced to seek a home far from Europe by the unthinkable atrocities of the Holocaust and the attitudes that outlasted it. Arabs were effectively pushed out of the modern boundaries of Israel by the arrival of those Jews and the one people who never really paid the price for the tragedy that befell Europe’s Jews were Europeans. To that extent if no further, Thomas’s comments reference historical facts that meant bad news for one people to redress the tragedy of another.

The history of Palestine is to say the least a contentious subject. But the events in that region over the past century are fairly well established. Those events have led to a current state of affairs in which there are roughly 10 million Palestinian Arabs in the world, more than half of whom live in exile outside of Palestine. Most Palestinians alive today have never seen the homes of their grandfathers.

Meanwhile, since 1948, Israel has had 12 prime ministers. David Ben Gurion and Shimon Peres were born in Poland. Moshe Sharett and Yitzhak Rabin were from Ukraine. Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir and Menachem Begin were Russian. Yitzhak Shamir was from Belarus. Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert were born in Palestine under British rule. Their parents were refugees from Russia, Lithuania and Ukraine, respectively. Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who speaks the English of a Boston Brahmin, is the country’s first head of state actually born an Israeli and he spent half his boyhood in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. He subsequently spent several more years in America earning BS and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean was definitely the birthplace of Judaism, but it is not the homeland of most modern Jews, not ethnically and not numerically. In fact, of the five cities in the world with the largest population of Jews, two are in the United States, New York with nearly two million, and Los Angeles with 655,000. Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and South Florida are home to another 1.5 million, meaning a population of US Jews in just seven metropolitan areas roughly equivalent to all Jews living in Israeli. Paris is home to another 310,000, Buenos Aires to 244,000.

The fact is that Jews, like Muslims and Christians, are a feature of the world’s population, spread across every continent, represented among many national cultures and histories. Israel is no more their home than Moscow or Skokie. Nonetheless, the modern nation of Israel has entered into the community of nations as the world’s only Jewish-majority state. How it came to be such is a tale of woe for the Palestinian Arab majority that preceded the country’s birth.

In his magnificent book To the Ends of the Earth (1993), David Yallop wrote:

“On April 10, 1948, the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem, was destroyed. Its inhabitants, 260 men, women and children, were slaughtered; some were shot, some hacked to death. The attack was a combined operation by two Jewish groups, the Irgun, whose commander in chief was Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang, one of whose leaders was Yitzhak Shamir. In 1980, Begin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1983, when Begin resigned from office, he was succeeded as prime minister of Israel by Yitzhak Shamir. History is written by winners.”

I might amend Yallop’s maxim only slightly – history is written by survivors. It’s hard to say, given the ongoing conflict in Israel and its occupied territories, that either side has “won” very much. But as far as holding land is concerned, Israeli Jews have certainly outlasted their Arab adversaries. Some of their tactics have been unseemly from the start, dating back to before the Deir Yassin massacre.

One of the first dramatic statements in advocacy of an independent Israel was the blowing up of the British headquarters in Palestine at the King David Hotel in 1946. In 1947, 30 years after the Balfour Declaration had set British policy that Palestine was to be a homeland for the Jews subject to the rights of Arabs, Great Britain called on the United Nations to resolve the Palestinian issue. The original UN solution involved the partition of Palestine into a Jewish zone and an Arab zone. But with the departure of British forces, leaders at the head of groups like the Irgun and Stern Gang joined in declaring an independent Israel and launched an offensive aimed at extending the area under Jewish control. Between May 1948 and January 1949, 370 Palestinian villages in the coastal strip from Tel-Aviv to Haifa were obliterated. And thus was born the original modern-day Israel.

The tactics of Israeli militia in those early days were appalling. In 1948, reacting to the events at Deir Yassin, Albert Einstein wrote to Shepard Rifkin, executive director of American Friends for Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, a fundraising force for the Stern Gang. In response to Rifkin’s solicitation of funds, Einstein wrote:

“When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations built up from our own ranks. I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.”

The history of Israeli brutality does not end, not by a very long shot, with the country’s bloody birth. Between September 16 and 18, 1983, Israeli Defense Forces in Lebanon surrounded and controlled access to two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. Over the course of that time Lebanese Phalangist militia were allowed access to the otherwise sealed camps where, according to the Red Crescent, more than 3,000 men women and children were murdered. While the slaughter raged, IDF units fired illuminating flares by night over the camps to aid visibility for the militia.

In 1983, the Kahan Commission found the IDF to have indirect responsibility for the massacres at both camps and it found Ariel Sharon, then Israeli Defense Minister, personally responsible for having allowed entry by the Phalangists into the camps and ignoring the atrocities that occurred under his watch. Eighteen years later, Sharon was elected Prime Minister. Perhaps surviving war criminals write history.

One of Israel’s subtler tactics to continue dispossessing Palestinian Arabs of their lands in any possible future state of Palestine is massive Jewish settlement in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, all taken during the 1967 Six-Day War. More than 500,000 Israelis have settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem alone. As reported in the Washington Post, just this past Monday, Israel severed ties to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and announced it will bar a UN team from entering Israel or the West Bank for a planned investigation of Israeli settlements. Of that announcement Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, “It means that we’re not going to work with them. We’re not going to let them carry out any kind of mission for the Human Rights Council, including this probe.”

I have never met Helen Thomas, although it would be my very great honor to do so. I have never read any treatise by Helen Thomas regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, I don’t know if she has ever written or spoken on the topic at length. All I know is what she told one Rabbi one day on the grounds of the White House and I know that from what she said a lot of people seem willing to infer a lot of ugly things. I’m not willing to do that. But I am willing to consider why she might have said what she said and so far, I can’t really find anything wrong with it.

Actually I know one other thing that Thomas had to say about the matter, to wit, what she posted on her website a few days after her interview with Nesenoff:

“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Indeed, Helen. Indeed.

– Tony Phillips contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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US Journalist Fired for Criticizing ’’Israel’’

Local Editor

The veteran American journalist, Sunni Khalid, has been fired after referring to “Israel’s” occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land as “brutal.”

According to news agencies, US managing editor at WYPR-FM in Baltimore was dropped from the public radio station on Thursday after more than nine years on the job.
He had been on probation following criticism of comments he made on “Facebook” about “Israel’s” continued illegal occupation of Palestine.

“I, for one, have had enough of this pandering before the “Israeli” regime,” he wrote stressing that “the war-mongering toward Iran has, once again, distracted the world from “Israel’s” brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East “Jerusalem”, and the Golan Heights.”

Khalid, who previously worked for National Public Radio, has also written for Time Magazine, The Washington Times, and USA Today.

It’s worth mentioning that many US media outlets have went into a series of firing famous figures for criticizing “Israel” among whom is Helen Thomas, former CNN correspondent in the White House.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by moqawama.org

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Tales of the Israel Lobby: Threats, Dershowitz, & Embedded Lobbyists

James Abourezk represented South Dakota in Congress from 1971 to 1979. CNI asked Senator Abourezk about his experiences with the Israel Lobby. In his first response he told of an Israeli plot to assassinate him. In this column he discusses threats to his family, Alan Dershowitz, and Israeli lobbyists embedded in the U.S. State Department:

by James Abourezk
When I was Chairman of the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), we had two bombing incidents. I had no idea who was responsible, but I had a guess. Someone unknown placed a bomb in the doorway of ADC’s Boston headquarters. The staff there called the Boston police, who came and were in the process of disarming the pipe bomb that they found there. If I recall correctly, the police had put the bomb in a metal barrel, and it exploded in the face of one of the police officers, seriously injuring him. We all felt terrible about the policeman being injured and we tried as best we could to console his family. The whole incident was covered by a Boston TV station, and I assume they still have the footage of the explosion on file.
At around the same time, someone unknown firebombed the ADC headquarters in Washington, D.C. I was out of town at the time, but no one was hurt, and I was able to get back in time to accompany the arson expert with the D.C. police department, who showed us exactly where the bomb was thrown and how the fire had spread from that point.

Because we were all gripped with fear of what might be next, I decided to tighten up the security on my home, if nothing more than to calm down my family. I had bought a Rottweiler dog sometime earlier both for protection of my family and of our home. I learned that Rottweilers would automatically attack anyone who came near our home, unless we had introduced the dog to person visiting. I had a security expert—someone who had once worked as a Secret Service agent in the White House—make recommendations to insure that we would be a difficult target for someone who would wish us harm. We followed his advice and made the house a bit more invulnerable. He also told us that it would be impossible to make any home 100 per cent safe, but we could make it so a potential bomber would be discouraged enough to give up trying.

I also hired a 24 hour guard for the house. The first night the guard, a young man wearing a blue blazer and armed with a weapon situated himself inside, near the front door. At one point during the night, he ran upstairs to our bedrooms and shouted that there was something making noises outside. I suggested that, since he had the gun, that he should check it out, but he wanted me to go with him. So I dressed, took the Rottweiler with me on a leash and the guard and I did a search around the house. Finding nothing we went back in. The guard spent the rest of the night immediately outside my bedroom door, I suspect more frightened that I was, and the next day, I fired the security service.

After the bombing of the ADC headquarters in Washington, I was still extremely nervous about what might happen, but I put on my brave face and held a press conference, announcing to the world that “we would not be intimidated” by these kind of terrorists, and that we were going to work harder than ever to bring justice to the Palestinians and others in the Middle East who were victims of Israel’s aggression. But I honestly had a hard time staying calm and preventing myself from running out of the room to find a safe place to hide.

What Has Been Your Experience with Alan Dershowitz?

I remember Alan Dershowitz, not as a Harvard Law Professor, but as the person who wrote an op-ed column in one of our national newspapers in which he said that Palestinians need not worry about justice in the Occupied Territories, as the Israeli Supreme Court would always make certain that they were fairly treated. I’ve been reading Mondoweiss online, which has a daily list of Palestinians whose homes are leveled by U.S.-made bulldozers, of land outright stolen by Israeli settlers for the use of the settlers, most of whom come from the United States to live in the West Bank. I know that Dershowitz’s words about the Israeli Supreme Court are a great comfort to those Palestinians in the West Bank who have been killed, maimed, and their property stolen.

A few short years ago when I was in Damascus, I did an interview on Al Manar Television, which is Hizbollah’s channel in Lebanon. During the interview I mentioned that Alan Dershowitz was a “snake.”

There is a pro-Israeli group here in the U.S. which calls itself “MEMRI” which tapes television shows broadcast in the Middle East. They had taped my interview, which I suppose is where Alan Dershowitz heard about my description of him. He thereupon wrote a column in the Jerusalem Post in which he called me an “anti-Semite.” That slur is the favorite of Pro-Israeli Lobbyists and it works a lot of the time, often succeeding in silencing critics of Israel or of its policies.

“I was a journalist in waiting, but I didn’t want to be chasing fires and monitoring police calls,” she writes in her third book, “Front Row at the White House.”

Later, when I was invited to speak to the ADC gathering in Washington honoring Helen Thomas, who was herself the target of the same smear, I spoke about Dershowitz’s attempt to silence me by calling me an anti-Semite. I told the audience at that dinner that anti-semitism means that the person charged disliked Jews as Jews. I further said that I do not dislike Jews, but I only disliked Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman, the head of the B’nai B’rith, and that my dislike of them had nothing to do with anti-semitism, but with how they operated.

My speech that night was later published on the Counterpunch site, which prompted the ever vigilant Dershowitz, after he had read the speech, to vehemently deny that he had labeled me an anti-semite. The co-editor of Counterpunch, Alex Cockburn, somehow located the old Jerusalem Post column written by Dershowitz, and there it was, plain as day, with him very cleverly saying about me that, when it comes to anti-semitism, “if the shoe fits, wear it.”

Here is the relevant portion of Alexander Cockburn’s column, quoting Dershowitz:
“In his [CounterPunch] article entitled ‘Honoring Helen Thomas’ dated November 22, 2010, James Abourezk makes the following statement:
‘I once called Alan Dershowitz a snake on Al Manar television. Al Manar is Hezbollah’s news channel in Lebanon. When he found out what I had said, he wrote a column in the Jerusalem Post, calling me an anti-Semite.’
[That] is a lie. Here is a link to my article to which he refers. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/a-real-snake_b_65194.html?view=print) I challenge him to find the term ‘anti-Semite’ in the article. I also challenge your readers to read the article and judge Abourezk’s credibility. Now I will characterize Abourezk: He is a liar.”
Cockburn went on:
“I duly clicked on the Huffington Post link thoughtfully provided by prof. Dershowitz and indeed, there is no use of the term ‘anti-Semite’ in the column by the noted Harvard law professor, published on September 21, 2007. But since the prof. is a notoriously slippery fellow, I put a couple of sentences from that same column into the google search engine, pressed button A and, hey presto, up came the same Sep 21, 2007 Dershowitz column, printed that same day on the site of the United Jewish Foundation. And lo! there was a final paragraph, omitted from the Huffpost version. Here it is.
‘Well maybe former Senator Abourezk isn’t so different from the late Senator Bilbo after all. He uses the word ‘Zionist’ in precisely the same bigoted way Bilbo used ‘kike.’ [Huffington Post version ends here.]
‘It is true that not all anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic, but just because it is anti-Zionist does not mean it is not also anti-Semitic. If the shoe fits…’ (C2007 FrontPageMagazine.com 09/21/07).
“Anti-Semite”… “anti-Semitic” … A minute difference on which the slippery prof. would no doubt try to hang his hat, but to any impartial observer it’s plain enough that Abourezk’s memory is true. Dershowitz was sliming the former distinguished Senator from South Dakota as an anti-Semite. It’s maybe why Huffington Post dropped the final paragraph as libelous, unless Dershowitz reserved the slime for the version he sent FrontPageMagazine which, the vigilant reader will have noted, was credited as its source by the United Jerusalem Foundation.”

And here is my response to Alex after he found the “anti-semite” article:

Alex:
Dershowitz is neither a good lawyer nor a good liar. He is trying to slither out of what has become nearly a full time occupation–that of branding any criticism of Israel as coming from someone who hates Jews. That does not work on me, as I’m secure in my anti-racist feelings. I’ve had any number of Zionists who are devoid of any reasonable argument throw the anti-semitism charge at me. Sorry, but it doesn’t work, and Dershowitz is not clever enough to make the “shoe fit” no matter how hard he tries. Does he think that pointing to an incomplete article reprinted in Huffington Post will do the trick? Obviously he does, which makes his lie even more prominent. That’s a trick that even a first year law student would be smart enough not to try. He’s been caught lying and no amount of his flailing about will make that vanish. I hadn’t realized that it would be that easy getting a job teaching law at Harvard. Had I been younger, armed with this knowledge I would have applied for the job.
Jim Abourezk

We’ve heard nothing from Dershowitz since that time, but he’s still out there somewhere, apologizing for Israel’s dirty deeds.

Letters of 76 Senators

This great snapshot,shows Gerald Ford with then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, just days after Nixon’s resignation. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

When Gerald Ford was President and Henry Kissinger was his Secretary of State, the two decided, during U.S. backed peace talks to bring Israel around to U.S. thinking by withholding American aid to Israel. That effort ended quickly when 76 U.S. Senators signed an AIPAC drafted letter to President Ford containing a thinly veiled threat to Mr. Ford if he continued to withhold military aid to Israel. The letter prompted President Ford to give in to the Lobby’s demand and to resume aid to Israel.

What happened leading up to the publication of the letter in the U.S. press is an interesting story. I had dinner with one Senator—who shall go unnamed here—the night before the letter was released to the press. He told me that he had no intention of signing it.

The next day, when the letter appeared in the Washington Post, I asked my friend what had happened.

“Jim, I received phone call after phone call all during the day yesterday, calls from people who had gone beyond just supporting me in my election, but people—lawyers, doctors, professional people and businessmen—who had interrupted their careers to work in my campaign. I couldn’t say no to them, which is why you saw my name on the letter.”

AIPAC Founder Isaiah L. Kenen and Ted Kennedy

Later, in the Senate cloakroom, a number of us were standing together, talking about the letter. Ted Kennedy spoke first. “I knew that’s what would happen when I was approached to sign the letter, and I don’t like it at all. We should, next time, get together before signing such a letter, and all of us say no at the same time.” What Kennedy was referring to was the Israeli Lobby’s practice of picking off the Senators by going to one Senator, saying, “Senator So- and-so has signed, and you’d better not be the only potential presidential candidate not on the letter.” They would then go to Senator So-and-so and say the same thing. Ultimately, all of the leading Senators—especially those who wanted to run from President—would put their signature on the letter.

Kennedy’s statement was what spurred me to say something, during a mini-debate I had with Hyman Bookbinder before a section of the D.C. Bar Association’s meeting in D.C. We were promoting a book we had written together as a debate on the Middle East—Through Different Eyes—and I mentioned that Senators would cheer on Israel in public but would bad mouth both Israel and the Lobby in private. One lawyer raised his hand and asked, “name just one U.S. Senator who would do that.”
I said, simply, “Ted Kennedy,” hoping he was politically strong enough to resist the Lobby’s counter-attack.

Two or three days later, Ted Kennedy called me and said, “Abourezk, what the hell have you done to me?” I guess Ted had underestimated his own political strength, or at least, did not want any of it diluted in a tiff over the Middle East. And he for sure did not want to spend his time defending himself from the Israeli Lobby.

Getting help from the lobby

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948, at age 17, immediately after I graduated from High School. After training in San Diego, I was ordered to Japan to become a member of the occupation. I was stationed on quasi-shore duty in Japan, actually aboard a non-propulsion barracks ship tied up in the heart of Tokyo, on the Sumida River. The ship was essentially the barracks for members of the Admiral’s staff. Early on in my tour there, the Kodokan Judo University in Tokyo sent a few Judo instructors to our ship in order to recruit students for their Judo school. The delegation included the then world champion, Ishikawa-san, and a slightly built man in his eighties, named “never fall Mifune.” We converted a large empty cabin on the ship into a Judo room, with mats on the metal floors to break our falls.

There I learned the essence of the art of Judo—using your opponent’s strength and momentum against him in order to win.

That lesson was very useful in helping me get a Committee assignment I wanted while in the Senate. When North Carolina’s celebrated Senator Sam Ervin retired from the Senate after masterfully chairing the Senate Watergate Committee, I decided to try for his seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Jim Allen, from Alabama, also decided to try for the seat. But he was senior to me so it was obvious to everyone that I had an uphill battle.

With the lessons I learned studying Judo in mind, I caught David Brody, one of the Israeli Lobbyists, in the corridor, telling him that I was trying for the Judiciary Committee seat that Sam Ervin was vacating. I casually mentioned that if I didn’t get on Judiciary, I would then try for Foreign Relations. That, I knew, would get his attention.

Although I never saw any evidence of the Lobby’s actions, even though Allen was senior to me, I surprisingly got the most votes from the Senate Steering Committee, which makes Committee assignments. So I later thanked Dave Brody for his help, but he never acknowledged that he had done the job.

Embedded Lobbyists.

It is difficult to describe how deep into the U.S. Government the Israel Lobby is embedded, but occasionally signs of the depth of its penetration become obvious. I can cite two instances where it was more than obvious.

I received a call one day from a career State Department diplomat, someone I had met during a trip I had made to the Middle East. He was my “control officer” when I was in Egypt on that trip, the diplomat whose job it was to stay with me during my stay there.

His call came out of the blue, at least two or three years after having met him in Cairo. He sounded both desperate and frantic, telling me he had to come to my apartment to talk to me about something.
When we met, he was totally different than when I had met him in Cairo, then a very suave professional diplomat. The day he came to my apartment he was both nervous and frantic, telling me that someone had to do something about the Israeli Lobby. They were “everywhere” in the State Department, he said, leaning on anyone who had anything to do with the Middle East. By that, he explained, he had witnessed both Lobby representatives and Israeli officials working over U.S. diplomats in every kind of setting, that is, he saw them doing so in restaurants, in State Department offices, virtually everywhere.
All he wanted to do, he said, was to stop it, and he didn’t know how. I had to confess that I didn’t either.
I’m not certain that anyone in Washington, D.C. knows the total amount of money and favors our government gives to Israel, largely due to its Lobby.

Aside from the several billions of dollars in aid that goes from our Treasury to Israel, there are a great number of top secret contracts that we sign with the Israeli government that could not stand the light of day should they be disclosed.

I do remember that our taxpayers funded the “Arrow” air defense system Israel has now to deter incoming rockets and missiles.
I also knew about Israeli Aircraft Industries having an office at the airport in Wilmington, Delaware, presumably to handle air force contracts between Israel and the U.S. government. Why else would there be such an office in Delaware?

Other avenues for the Lobby to Pursue?

After I left the Senate and began practicing law in Washington, D.C. I was retained by a very wealthy Palestinian who had spent a number of years attending schools in the United States. He received a PhD from Columbia University in New York, and had spent a lot of time making money and investing it in real estate in various parts of America, as well as in Europe. He was married to a Palestinian woman and they had two sons, both of whom were born in New York during his schooling there.

My client was building a satisfying life, traveling in Europe and the United States to tend to his business interests, until, one day, he was surprisingly denied entry into the United States. He was accused of being a member of the PLO. Other than all Palestinians considering themselves belonging to the Palestinian liberation movement, he had never done anything that would brand him as a terrorist. He suspected that someone who was an enemy had deliberately told the U.S. government that he was a PLO member, hoping to cause him problems.

This was during the Reagan Administration, so my first move was to hire a Republican law firm to help lobby for a visa for him. He not only had business interests in the United States, but his two sons were both in college here, so not being allowed to come into the U.S. was a decided handicap.
Aside from the law firm charging great amounts of money for whatever time they spent on his case, the lawyer assigned to his case was ultimately never able to get him cleared to enter the U.S. Finally, the lawyer/lobbyist told my client that he had a Jewish partner in the firm who was well connected in Israel, and would be able, he said, to travel to Israel to plead his case and to obtain Israel’s approval for his entry visa into the United States. He was told that the cost would be extra for the service.

My client looked at him, dumbfounded, and to his credit, said that he would prefer not to enter the U.S. if it came to relying on the Israeli government’s intervention to get him a visa.
Source: Council for the National Interest
Editing: Debbie Menon


JAMES ABOUREZK is a board member of the Council for the National Interest (CNI) and is a contributor to CounterPunch and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Advise & Dissent: Memoirs of South Dakota and the U.S. Senate.
His e mail address is: georgepatton45@gmail.com
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For both Humanity and Palestine: One front: Occupy the Lobby…Kill the Beast

Nature of the Beast

In Case you missed it: The Helen Thomas’ Resolution by Gilad Atzmon

Two Front International Struggle For Palestine

by Lawrence Davidson

 
Part I – Two International Fronts
In January 2011, I wrote an analysis in support of a one-state solution to the on-going Israeli-Palestinian struggle. It is the Israelis themselves who have made the one-state solution the only practicable approach, because their incessant and illegal colonization of the West Bank has simply eliminated all possibility of a viable and truly independent Palestinian state. Israeli behavior has not changed in the past year and so I still stand by the position.

That being said, it is important to point out that even a one-state solution capable of bringing justice to the Palestinians, and in doing so, saving the Jews from the folly of Zionism, will not be possible without worldwide intervention. What is necessary is a struggle on two international fronts:

  • A) A strong growing international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel and
  • B) Growing popular pressure in the United States that forces a change in foreign policy toward Israel.

Without achieving both of these goals the fate of both Palestinians and Jews looks very bleak indeed.

Part II – Israel Will Try To Prevent A Civil Rights Struggle.
The necessity of this two-front international approach was reinforced for me upon reading a speech given by Noam Chomsky in Beirut in May of 2010. When commenting on a one-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, he made the following points:

  1. For the indefinite future, “Israel will continue doing exactly what [its] doing….[taking] the water resources, the valuable land…the Jordan Valley…and send[ing] corridors through the remaining regions to break them up into separated cantons…”
  2. In the process the Israeli government will make sure that “very few Palestinians [are] incorporated in the valuable areas that Israel will take over” and they will do so in order to preclude “any civil rights struggle.”
  3. he Israelis can do this as long as the United States supports them. Chomsky calls this the “mafia principle.” He notes that in the case of South Africa, the apartheid state was able to hold out against an international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign as long as the United States did not participate in it. And the primary reason the US gave for not doing so was that the leading resistance organization fighting apartheid, Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress, was a “notorious” terrorist organization.
  4. However, international anti-apartheid sentiment did help push Washington to finally cease its support South Africa and then apartheid collapsed. Chomsky concludes: “When the godfather [that is, the U.S.] changes his policy, things change….I think this could happen with Israel. If the United States changes policy and decides to join the world[‘s growing opposition to Israeli behavior], Israel will have no option but to go along.”

Chomsky’s analysis is a bit too reductionist for me. That is, he tends to bring everything down to positions taken by the U.S. government. But there is no denying that changing U.S. policy is one of two necessary international parts to any solution. And, he makes a seminal point when he tells us that the Israeli government has no intention of incorporating the mass of West Bank Palestinians (to say nothing of the Gazans) into the Jewish state.

Part III – Avoiding A Civil Rights Struggle Through “Transfer”

Indeed, Israeli strategy necessitates allowing a fake “Palestinian state” in the form of West Bank Bantustans, and then deporting their Arab Israeli citizens into those enclaves. No Arabs in Israel, no civil rights struggle.

An interesting piece of news that speaks to this possibility appeared on January 31, 2012. According to Associated Press reports, the Israeli Interior Ministry plans to deport thousands of Southern Sudanese refugees. Why so? Because, according to a ministry spokeswoman, “since the Southern Sudanese have an independent state, they will no longer be given protected status in Israel.” The first step will be to offer them “voluntary deportation and around $1300″ in ‘thanks for leaving’ money. After that, forced deportation and no money, will be the policy.

As the American Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah notes, “Israeli leaders have already hinted that they could use the same type of logic to justify removal of Palestinian citizens of Israel if a nominally independent Palestinian state is established on scrapes of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

This is known as a policy of “transfer” in Zionist parlance and it has been discussed at least since the time of Theodor Herzl. In recent years it has been suggested by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (now head of the Israeli opposition in the Knesset) and the present Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as well as a slew of other Israeli politicians. Abunimah’s conclusion is that a “two-state solution would be more likely to lead to further ethnic cleansing of Palestinians than to peace.”

Part IV – Conclusion

So what do we have here? On the one hand, Noam Chomsky points to the very real possibility that the Israelis will not allow a one state solution that creates the conditions for an internal struggle for civil and political equality. And, on the other hand, Ali Abunimah points to the very real possibility that any two state solution will lead to forced deportation of Palestinians into Bantustans.

Is there a way out of this? Well if the South African experience is to be a guide it is this: The sine qua non of any solution is the collapse of Israel’s ethno/religious, that is Zionist, ideology of governance. Just as the racist apartheid form of governance had to be changed for there to be a resolution of the South African struggle, so the Israeli Zionist form of governance has to be changed for there to be a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

And, I think that Chomsky is right when he says the Israelis have no intention of allowing such a change in governance to come about through an internal civil rights struggle. Therefore, the pressure for the necessary transformation will have to come from outside. It will have to come in the form a two-front movement: one front building the worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and the second front concentrating on making support of Israel a national scandal in the U.S. and therefore a domestic voting issue.

While there are a few good organizations in the U.S. (such as the U.S. Campaign To End The Occupation and Jewish Voices for Peace) involved in building this second front, I think that the effort has not been given enough attention by Americans involved in supporting the Palestinian cause. It is time this changed for, as Noam Chomsky suggests, there will be no just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle unless Israeli treatment of the Palestinians becomes a strong enough cause to impact U.S. policy.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Helen Thomas: Israel should get that Hamas was chosen democratically

[ 24/12/2011 – 10:20 AM ]  

 
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Noted US journalist Helen Thomas told a Hebrew newspaper that she wonders why Israel cannot absorb the idea that the Palestinian people elected Hamas Movement democratically.
“I do not know why it is difficult for Israel to believe that the Palestinian people elected Hamas,” she told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Replying to a claim during the interview that Hamas was a terrorist group, she said that she is against violence, but she understands Hamas’s desire to restore what was taken from the Palestinians.

She noted that she is not against Jews but against Zionism and stressed that the Jews must give back what they took from others and is not theirs.

The US journalist added the Jews’ right to exist does not give them the right to seize other people’s land.

The journalist underlined that the Jews in the 1940’s after the end of the second world war had homelands and they should had returned to their homes without having to occupy the country of another people.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

I love Helen Thomas!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011 at 10:57PM

Gilad Atzmon

Helen Thomas Does Zion

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Palestine and the ‘Parallel states’

Posted on May 30, 2011 by rehmat1|

In the past I wrote my thoughts on three ‘options’ to resolve the Zonist-Palestinian conflict based on the One State, Two-State and Helen Thomas’ Third option. The recent showdown between the leader of world’s sole military power, Barack Obama and Benji Netanyahu, the leader of world’s sole money power (which Benji won) on the former’s vision of One State option introduced me to a fourth option of Parallel States, Palestine and Israel sharing the same land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

The ‘Parallel States’ project was conducted within the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University. It was funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Research Council. It submitted its report in September 2010. The idea which gave birth to the project was; One secular-democratic state solution will never be acceptable Israeli Jews and the so-called ‘Two state’ has no chance to materialize unless it’s based on Israeli ‘wish list’.

I tends to agree with the theory that Obama-Benji conflicting rhetoric were pre-planned to sabotage Hamas-Fatah unity government’s threat to declare a Palestinian State.

In reality, both the ‘Two states’ and the ‘Parallel states’ options are to legitimize the Jewish occupation of Palestine. The current verbal-shooting between the US and Israel is more of a tactical controversy than a strategic one. The reason behind this latest Obama-Benji charade is to hijack the Hamas-Fatah unity government’s possible move to ask United Nations General Assembly to recognize an independent sovereign Palestine based on 1967 borders. The request is sure to be approved by a majority vote – but UN membership will certainly get Washington’s veto at the UN Security Council.
On May 28, 2011 – the pro-Israel Al-Jazeera (English), published an article entitled ‘Parallel states: A new vision for peece’. The ‘vision’ came from two Jewish scholars, professor Mark LeVine (University of California) and Mathias Mossberg, a former Swedish Ambassador. They compared their vision of a Jewish Israel sharing the same land with Native Muslim and Christian Palestinian state in parallel – with European Union (EU).

Within our research, the most useful example of how various levels of jurisdiction can be shared is the European Union, where the rapid integration of the member states has transferred traditionally national legislative and judicial powers to supranational bodies, diminishing the importance of national boundaries and territorial sovereignty for the benefit of the exercise of transnational freedoms and rights for citizens within the Union,” wrote authors.

I wonder if the authors know that all EU members are Judeo-Christian majority nations which have maintained their original Armed Forces and some are nuclear powers. Each EU member has its own standards of human rights (most persecute Muslim and Gypsy minorities) and even maintain trade relations with some countries (Iran, Lebanon, Serbia, etc.) sanctioned by the EU.

The EU was originally established to ease trade and tourism among the European countries. Later it was politicized to counter the threat of United States’ economic domination of Europe. EU created its own euro currency against US dollar. However, when it comes to wars and colonization of foreign lands – EU has always been an American ally. The EU has resisted the inclusion of Muslim-majority Turkey’s wish to join it for the last 20 years.

What is clear is that the Oslo era two-state solution was born out of a twentieth century notion of sovereignty that, at least in the case of Israel/Palestine is neither viable nor particularly desirable in the “New Middle East” Oslo’s architects imagined their peace process heralded. Almost two decades later, the region has finally moved towards a new era, but led by ordinary people rather than leaders who more often than not have frustrated rather than helped to realise the legitimate political, economic and cultural aspirations of their peoples,” wrote the authors.

The Oslo Accord signed on September 13, 1993 between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – was nothing but a diversion to pre-empt the Islamic Resistance groups taking over the leadership from the discredited secularists leadership. Israelis killed the agreement even before the ink dried.

In the context of the Arab Spring, a parallel states process might just hold the key to helping Israelis and Palestinians join the region-wide push towards peace, democracy and justice in the fullest, and fairest, way possible,” wrote the authors.

Pity, both the US and Israel have been irked by the ‘Arab Spring’ – because both fear that ‘democracy and justice’ will give power to Islamist groups which will side with Palestinians and Iran against Israel. After watching its puppet-regimes falling in Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon – Obama has already started his counter-revolution through its Arab proxy, Saudi Arabia.

These changes have been followed by demonstrations against US domination and Zionism. They politically benefit the ‘Axis of Resistance’, comprised of Iran, Syria at the state level and at the non-state level by Hezbullah and Hamas. To lead the counter-revolution in this region, Washington and Tel-Aviv have relied on their best support: the Sudairi clan which embodies despotism at the service of imperialism unlike any other,” wrote Thierry Meyssan, a French intellectual, author and columnist.

An Evening with Helen Thomas and Flashback to John Lennon and Vanunu Mordechai

Contributed by Frank Lamb
May 26, 2011:
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By the time I booked my flight, Ms. Thomas had been “disinvited” because of the pressure from a few particular people who had still not gotten over her flaming honesty expressed on 27 May 2010, in a courtyard at the White House.

As “life is what happens while you are making other plans” [John Lennon] their shortsightedness led to one of the highlights of my 57 years of life.


On 20 May 2011, I enjoyed an evening with Ms. Thomas and was introduced to my new favorite aperitif; a mix of Vodka, Lemoncello and strained raspberry juice which was followed by an exquisite dinner prepared in the home of Ms. Thomas’s friend and assistant, Michelle Cohen, who is in the middle of Rich Forer and Helen Thomas:
IMG_1060IMG_1062
eileen fleming with Helen Thomas-her new best friend of the old Fourth Estate
IMG_1064

Only because of my new best author friend, Richard Forer, was I even invited to that dinner!

Ms. Thomas had recently reviewed Rich’s book, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict.”

Ms. Thomas wrote, “People need to be informed so we can make good decisions regarding our involvement in the Middle East, and ultimately support the right governments. Forer offers a viewpoint that is not available in the mainstream…I admire Forer’s courage to not being silent. He openly shares his personal transformation, and encourages the reader to be willing to ‘assess one’s beliefs with honesty and to follow wherever the facts lead’. The truth cannot be silenced.” [1]

This member of the New Fourth Estate-Internet muckraker and activist reporter not only admires Ms. Thomas for her truth telling, I contend that she is in the same league with Edward R. Murrow!

In 1958, Murrow warned that as television became more about entertainment and not about shows of enlightenment, this republic would be dumbed down; but only an informed and engaged citizenry can preserve a democracy, which thrives on dissent!

During Jewish Heritage Month in 2010, in a courtyard at the White House, blogger and Long Island Rabbi David Nesenoff approached Ms. Thomas and introduced her to two young boys with him who were interested in a career in journalism.

Nesenoff asked, “So what do you think of Israel? Got any advice? Go for it” as he pointed his camera at Ms. Thomas like a “jackknife” and she readily replied, “They should get the hell out of Palestine.”

In an interview with Playboy, Ms. Thomas elaborated, “I knew I’d hit the third rail. You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it?” [2]

IMG_1063
eileen fleming with Ms. Thomas who is sporting her Palestinian flag bracelet and one of the saints.

Flashback to John Lennon:

In the summer of 1966, it was reported that John Lennon made a comment to a friend and reporter that the Beatles were more popular with my generation than Jesus was.

Lennon endured a firestorm of media attacks, but none inquired as to WHY kids like me who went to mass every Sunday and catechism every Wednesday afternoon, never quoted Jesus but knew every lyric to every Beatles song.

Because of Ms. Thomas’s truth telling the ‘occupied’ media relentlessly attacked her and although she issued an apology, Ms. Thomas abruptly “resigned” from Hearst Newspapers on 7 June 2010. Her speaking agency dropped her, journalism schools and organizations rescinded awards named in her honor and she lost her front row seat in the White House press-room; and it was all because she audaciously spoke her heart and mind as did John Lennon!

The old Fourth Estate spins the illegal colonies/settlements as ‘neighborhoods’ and never mentions such things as Aliyah, which I learned about during my first of seven trips to Israel and occupied Palestine in June 2005 from an American Jewess who had taken the deal. She informed me:


“I get fifteen hundred shekels or about thirty-six hundred dollars a year in increments to help with my expenses. I can apply for unemployment benefits after seven months, as long as I look for a job. I just completed Ulpan, which was five hundred hours of Hebrew language immersion studies that took five months, five hours a day, for five weeks. I get subsidized rent and just moved out of the Absorption Center Projects. All the new immigrants get room, utilities, and three meals a day for the first five months in Israel. We also receive free medical care and all the doctors here are dedicated. We can go to the university with 100 percent of the tuition paid by the government. College is much cheaper here; it’s about three thousand to four thousand dollars a year. Until I am thirty years old, I can receive up to three years of education for my master’s degree.”[3]

Any Jew without any historical connection to the so-called Holy Land is encouraged by the state of Israel to colonize legally owned Palestinian property.

On 16 July 2007, while I was in Jerusalem, I learned from an Israeli citizen and volunteer with ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions:

“There is an advertisement that runs in the USA that reads:‘Have a Holiday Home in Jerusalem.’ The ad does not mention this home is 100% ILLEGAL! There are forty-two illegal settlements in the Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters of Jerusalem. The only green area for [Palestinian] children to play will soon have a high rise for the settlers, which will be 7 meters taller than the walls of the Old City! The Wall has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice [in 2005] but America continues to allow it to grow. The wall is way over the Green Line proving it is not about security but about grabbing Palestinian land. Israel’s policy of Quiet Transfer: getting rid of the Palestinians is a huge humanitarian crisis. It is clear how the wall zig zags that it is not about security but about grabbing the maximum land with minimal Palestinian occupation.” [IBID]

The Wall
My view from a rooftop in Aida Camp, in the little town of Bethlehem which is Occupied Territory, June 2009


During my conversation with Ms. Thomas I filled her in on my distress over Amy Goodman’s failure to follow up on her 2004 interview with Mordechai Vanunu which resulted in his being sentenced to 6 months in jail in 2007 and then enduring 78 days back in solitary in 2010, just because he dared to speak to foreign media after he was released from 18 years in jail for telling the truth and providing the photographic proof of Israel’s WMD Program.

In April 2007, I had lunch with Amy Goodman-not because we have ever been friends, but only because I had once been a generous donor to Democracy NOW! was I invited to have lunch with Amy.

I accepted the invitation only so I could fill Amy in on the fact that her 2004 interview with Vanunu was major testimony against him in his FREEDOM of SPEECH trial-which began the same day Hamas was democratically elected on 25 January 2006- and also to ask her to follow up asap!

Amy acted interested and jotted down notes in her Blackberry, but she didn’t bother to call Vanunu until July 2007 after he was sentenced to 6 more months in jail essentially for speaking to foreign media in 2004!

Vanunu refused to speak to Amy because she–like all THE MEDIA-hadn’t done anything to raise awareness about Israel’s continuing persecution of him and to this day Vanunu is still waiting for his inalienable right to leave Tel Aviv and fly to freedom.

After I filled Ms. Thomas in on my anger with Amy she replied, “She used to be better.”

I then brought up Ms. Thomas’s first and last question to President Obama regarding Middle East nuclear weapons when he blew her off claiming he didn’t want to ‘speculate’ and her ‘peers’ remained mute, although the State Department has reams of documentation about Israel’s WMD.

Ms. Thomas replied, “They have no conscience.”

I also claim their lack of integrity borders on treason!

I was not a reporter when I met Vanunu for the first time in June 2005, but I knew I had to become one when he told me:
“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

“Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.

“The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground.

“In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

After cheese cake for desert I asked Ms. Thomas what she would advise anyone who wanted to go into the field of journalism and she stated:

“Go for it! It’s the greatest profession in the world because you are always learning and you are aware of the world, so you just might be able to affect change.


“You cannot have a democracy without an informed people.

“Information is everything; it enlarges your intellect and that guides you.

“The job is to follow the truth and report where it leads you!

“Right and wrong is not relative. Empathy is fine but kindness and sympathy do not change the facts and conscience is everything!

“Leaders are suppose to do the right thing and we should back up the president when he does the right thing; but drop him when he doesn’t.

“The WHY is the most important question-not that something happened- but WHY did it happen?

“Somewhere along the way America lost its soul.

“People have to rise up but Americans have become so passive and power overwhelmingly abusive.”

I responded, “So how do we fix this situation?”

Ms. Thomas replied, “It’s being done!”

And when I asked Ms. Thomas if she had always wanted to be a journalist, her persistent smile broadened and the gleam in her eyes sparkled with unshed tears as she replied, “When my first article was published in the high school paper and I saw my byline, I was hooked!”

I shot back, “I had a similar but opposite experience!”

I explained that when I was a child, my dream was to grow up and become Brenda Starr, the red headed, ace investigative journalist and star reporter for the metropolitan daily, The Flash. The fictional Brenda traveled the world solving mysteries and unearthing scoops and she intuitively knew when somebody was not telling the truth.

But when my first assignment for the high school newspaper was edited beyond my recognition but my name was attached, my Irish temper erupted and I immediately confronted the faculty member on the paper and inquired, “Why did you publish an article with my name but with words I did NOT write?”

I was told that it was just standard procedure for the faculty to edit all of the student’s work and I replied, “Not mine you don’t! I quit!”

Ms. Thomas pointed her finger at me and said, “That’s ethics!”

And that comment is the second highest compliment I have ever been paid in my life!

The first remains the one Mordechai Vanunu graced me with when he said, I was always good to remind him of JC/Jesus Christ.

JC was never a Christian, but a social justice radical revolutionary nonviolent Palestinian devout Jew who rose up against a corrupt Temple and taught the people there was no need to pay the high priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God already loved just as they were.

 What got JC crucified was agitating the status quo of the Roman Occupying forces, for Rome’s method of capitol punishment was to crucify all dissidents, rebels and agitators.

 And that leads me back to John Lennon:

“Christ, you know it ain’t easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going; They’re gonna crucify me!

“The struggle is in the mind. We must bury our own monsters and stop condemning people. We are all Christ and Hitler. We want Christ to win. We’re trying to make Christ’s message contemporary. What would he have done if he had advertisements, records, films, TV and newspapers! Christ made miracles to tell his message. Well, the miracle today is communications, so let’s use it.”

For love for all of the people on this one small planet, this little sister is doing just that!
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Rabbi’s and Mahdi Al-Husseini, a Palestinian American Muslim who still has family in Occupied East Jerusalem with his sons in D.Con the street outside of Congress, 24 May 2011.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Alison Weir,Helen Thomas and Move Over AIPAC

– 25. May, 2011

Setting the Record Straight about Helen Thomas and Move Over AIPAC

by Alison Weir / My Catbird Seat

I had not been planning to write about the controversy inside the Move Over AIPAC coalition that occurred awhile ago, but I’ve discovered that an inaccurate statement was published by Mondoweiss about this.
I’m surprised this statement was sent to Weiss, since most people had sought to keep this discussion only within the coalition itself. However, now that this has become public, it seems important to set the record straight:
Awhile ago Move Over AIPAC organizers issued a press release, which they didn’t send to the coalition but which was published by a number of Israeli and pro-Israel publications. It said:

“Helen Thomas was invited to speak, as a journalist who is fearless about questioning power and unnecessary wars, but because some of her comments have sparked controversy, several members of the coalition and our grassroots community had concerns about her appearance.”

As a member of two coalition organizations, I was extremely concerned about this. I felt it was important that Helen not be pushed out of our conference as she had been pushed out of numerous other speaking engagements by the ADL and Israel partisans, and I tried to contact the organizers about the situation by phone and email.

Unfortunately, I received no response.
I then contacted some other coalition members, endorsers, and panelists, who looked into the situation more.

Two individuals managed to speak to Helen Thomas directly. Thomas told them that she “did not withdraw voluntarily,” that she had been “pressured into it,” and that she had been “disinvited.”

James Abourezk wrote an article containing information on this.

We also learned that Jewish Voice for Peace had objected to Thomas. We were unable to discover who else (if anyone) objected.

It seemed extremely inappropriate to us that in a coalition of about 100 groups, only one or two had been involved in an important discussion about a prominent speaker.

While JVP has often done excellent work and many of its members are exemplary human rights defenders, the organization also, by its own admission, includes members who support Israel’s right to discriminate. Jeffrey Blankfort has occasionally written about this.

It’s perhaps indicative that JVP’s media monitoring website had carried an article that, while it criticized the media’s handling of Thomas, stated: “It’s impossible to defend Grande Dame of White House journalists Helen Thomas’ recent off the cuff statement …. It was deeply offensive and wrong.”

My article on Thomas provided an entirely different perspective, as did that by Ralph Nader.

A number of prominent endorsers and panelists, among these James Abourezsk, Paul Findley, Hatem Bazian (founder of American Muslims for Palestine), Hedy Epstein, Hassan Fouda, and a number of others (there were eventually about 20 signatories) sent a statement to coalition members saying:

Dear fellow Move Over AIPAC endorsers,


We are deeply concerned that Helen Thomas has said that she was pressured into withdrawing from speaking at the upcoming Move Over AIPAC conference. This was apparently done at the behest of two anonymous groups, one of which threatened to leave the conference if Helen spoke at the event. It appears that none of the other close to 100 groups endorsing the conference were part of this discussion. Since the Lobby prefers to work in darkness, the objecting parties should not be allowed to remain invisible. Granting them anonymity enables exactly what we oppose.

We are appalled that conference organizers caved to pressure to remove Thomas from the agenda and we call on them to reconsider this decision.

The ADL and associated organizations and individuals have pushed Helen out of numerous previously scheduled lectures, pressured organizations to rename or dissolve journalistic scholarships in her name, and have otherwise committed a sustained assault on one of the nation’s only top journalists willing to oppose the Israel Lobby. Please see the recent CounterPunch article on Helen Thomas by James Abourezk and the article last year by Ralph Nader denouncing the smears and bigotry of anti-Semitism against Arab American, Helen Thomas, that led to the dictated firing of this legendary journalistic pioneer.

We will not stand by and allow this to be done at a conference we are endorsing and whose stated goal is to oppose this very lobby.

We call on Move Over AIPAC to affirm the invitation to Helen Thomas to speak at the upcoming event. As a veteran White House correspondent, Helen has had many years to observe the workings of the Lobby from the inside and can undoubtedly make uniquely salient contributions to the event.

We invite all conference endorsers of commitment and principle who refuse to see Helen Thomas silenced once again – this time by a project of which we are a part – to join us.

I am pleased that the organizers then re-invited Helen Thomas to speak. I am not surprised that she declined to do so.

Now most of us are moving forward as positively as possible. I am pleased that a number of excellent op-eds relating to the conference have been successfully placed (including by the Washington Report‘s Janet McMahon and by Hedy Epstein), and that the event will most likely be a success.

Nevertheless, the fact that one or two individuals/organizations played a major behind-the-scenes role in the unfortunate episode with Helen Thomas (and probably continue to do so on other aspects) is disturbing.

Once again, very few Palestinian organizations – who probably have the valid worry that they are being used as tokens – are taking part. Even those who have publicly remained as endorsers have withdrawn their active participation.
I am looking forward to a future conference and a movement in which this type of thing doesn’t occur; in which groups with partial commitment do not call the shots, and in which the full diversity of this movement for justice is integrally represented. I feel that time is coming.

Alison Weir is President, of If Americans Knew and Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNIF). CNI seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values, protects our national interests, and contributes to a just solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is CNI’s goal to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of foreign countries and their partisans.
The Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNIF) is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides information and analysis on the Middle East, its relationship to the United States, and about policy formation regarding this region. Its primary focus is on Israel-Palestine.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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