War on #BDS: How AIPAC-israel (apartheid state) agenda became US priority

War on BDS: How AIPAC-Israel agenda became US priority

Source: Middle East Monitor

The Israeli-US war declared on the Palestinian boycott movement is coming to a head, culminating in a well-orchestrated effort aimed at suffocating any form of tangible protest of the ongoing Israeli colonization of Palestine.

But an Israeli ‘victory’, even with blind US government support, is still too elusive if at all guaranteed. Killing unarmed protesters at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel is often whitewashed as Israel ‘defending itself’. However, legislating unconstitutional laws against the rights of ordinary people to boycott a state that practices war crimes might not be an easy endeavor.

The fact that 26 US states have already passed legislation or some form of condemnation of the civil act of boycott, as championed in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) should, in fact, raise more awareness of the iniquitous Israeli influence on the United States, rather than actually thwarting BDS.

The US Senate first bill of 2019 (S.B.1) titled: “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019” called on state and local governments to withhold contracts from any individual or business entity that boycotts Israel.

The bill was defeated, which is a promising sign. However, it must be noted as profound, if not altogether outrageous, that a country that is subsisting in a government shutdown and political crisis would find it both compelling and necessary to push for such a law in defense of a foreign country.

The bill will reappear again, of course. Alas, Americans should now get used to the idea that Israel’s priorities, however skewed and irrational in defense of its illegal military occupation of Palestine, will become the main rally cry for the US government for years to come.

While such a notion has proved true in the past, never before did ordinary Americans find themselves the main target in the political agenda of the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even the mere protest of this agenda is being shunned. Iconic US civil rights activist, Angela Davis, 74, deservingly celebrated for her contribution to American society for decades, was denied an award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute because of her defense of Palestinians and support of BDS.

This witch-hunt, which has now reached the most admired intellectuals of American society is affecting ordinary citizens everywhere as well, which is an alarming development in Israel’s unchecked power in the United States.

But how did Israel and its supporters acquire such disproportionate influence over the US government and society as a whole?

In short, the Lobby.

Cheered on by American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other pro-Israel lobbies, the US Congress is now leading the Israeli war on Palestinians and their supporters. In the process, they are attempting to demolish the very core of American democratic values.

The build-up to this particular battle, which will certainly be accentuated in 2019, began when AIPAC declared in its “2017 Lobbying Agenda” (PDF) that criminalizing the boycott of Israel is a top priority.

Cuomo  | BDS | Israel

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting BDS against Israel. Kevin P. Coughlin | Office of Governor Cuomo

The US Congress, which has historically proven subservient to the Israeli government and its lobbies, enthusiastically embraced AIPAC’s efforts. This resulted in the Senate Bill S.720, also known as the “Anti-Israel Boycott Act”, which aimed to ban the boycott of Israel and its illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

The bill almost immediately gained the support of 48 Senators and 234 House members. Unsurprisingly, it was drafted mostly by AIPAC itself.

Punishment for those who violate the proposed law ranged from $250,000 to $1 million and 10 years imprisonment.

Anti-Palestinian measures in the US are nothing new. In fact, ardent support for Israel and the complete disregard for Palestinians is the only aspect which Democrats and Republicans have in common. It will remain to be seen if the inclusion of progressive and Muslim women in this current House lineup will change or at least challenge that reality.

For now, the sad truth is that the very individuals who were meant to guard the Constitution are the ones openly violating it. The First Amendment to the US Constitution has been the pillar in defense of the people’s right to free speech, freedom of the press, “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

This right has, however, often been curtailed when it applies to Israel. The Center for Constitutional Rights refers to this fact as “The Palestine Exception“.

Dire as it may seem, there is something positive in this. For many years, it has been wrongly perceived that Israel’s solicitation of American support against Palestinians and Arabs is by no means a foreign country meddling or interfering in the US political system or undermining US democracy.

However, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” is the most egregious of such interventions, for it strikes down the First Amendment, the very foundation of American democracy, by using America’s own legislators as its executors.

But none of this will succeed because simply put, noble ideas cannot be defeated.

Moreover, for Israel, this is a new kind of battle, one which it is foolishly attempting to fight using the traditional tactics of threats and intimidation and backed by blind US support.

The more the lobby tries to defeat BDS the more it exposes itself and its stranglehold on the American government and media.

Israel is no student of history. It has learned nothing from the experience of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. It is no surprise that Israel remained the last supporter of the Apartheid regime in that country before it fell.

For true champions of human rights, regardless of their race, religion or citizenship, this is their moment as no meaningful change ever occurs without people being united in struggle and sacrifice.

Top Photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, March 6, 2018, in Washington. Jose Luis Magana | AP

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.

Fed up with myths, these American Jews are challenging their israel (apartheid state) education

Fed up with myths, these American Jews are challenging their Israel education

They grew up on the myths of a heroic Jewish state, joined Zionist organizations, and learned the talking points. But something along the way made them question everything.

By Tom Pessah

Members of Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow protest Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., May 14, 2018. (Gili Getz)

Members of Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow protest Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., May 14, 2018. (Gili Getz)

Some of the strangest encounters I had in the years I spent living and studying in the United States were with American Jews. I often felt like I had been dropped into a musical, with people expecting me to fit the mythical image of how an Israeli was supposed to behave. The only problem: I had no idea what my lines were supposed to be.

I was asked about my time in the Israeli army or about the ins and outs of Jewish religious practice. Pro-Israel students assumed I would be there to validate their advocacy.

Many of them were visibly disappointed when I didn’t play the part. Only gradually did I begin to understand how central Israel education had been in their lives, and just how big of a stumbling block it truly was.

To understand this process better, I spoke with four Jewish American activists, all of them in their late 20s and products of mainstream American Jewish education. Over the last few years they have all joined non-Zionist and anti-occupation groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow. Michal, Susannah, Malkah, and Aaron told me how their Israel education shaped their worldview, and what led them to challenge what they had learned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

An editor’s note: Susannah and Malkah asked to use only their first names; the other two interviewees asked to use aliases, citing fears that using their real names could threaten their status in their communities and future job prospects.

Whether Modern Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative, all of the four interviewees said that Israel was an integral part of their experience in the Jewish community from a young age. None of them could remember a time when it wasn’t a part of their Jewish communal experience.

Illustrative photo of American Jews taking part in New York City's annual 'Celebrate Israel Parade.' (GIli Getz)

Illustrative photo of American Jews taking part in New York City’s annual ‘Celebrate Israel Parade.’ (Gili Getz)

“When I was younger I went to synagogue every week. Israel would inevitably be part of divrei tora (the Rabbi’s talk on topics relating to the weekly Torah portion – T.P.),” says Michal, a former Hasbara Fellow who would eventually be banned from entering Israel because she volunteered with Palestinian organizations in the West Bank.

“On Yom Kippur there was always a plug for Israel. During ne’ila (Yom Kippur’s concluding service – T.P.), in the midst of talking about our sins, being humble, and reflecting on what we’ve done wrong, there is this tonal shift: ‘Look at what we’ve done to create the State of Israel! and here – we’re going to pass around some pledges to give to Israel bonds.’ This is a deeply reflective and somber ritual, and you’re doing a complete 180 to advocate for Israel. This was every Yom Kippur and Shabbat — all the time. We would finish Adon Olam on Saturday morning and the senior rabbi would say from the stage: ‘we’re bringing in an AIPAC delegation and you can sign up.’”

For Susannah, who began in the Reform Movement and would eventually work for Jewish Voice for Peace, Zionism was also part and parcel of her Jewish upbringing. “You don’t really think about Israel and Zionism when you’re a practicing Jew in the Reform Movement. It’s just there.” It was at a summer camp organized by Young Judea, an American Zionist youth movement, where that conflation was most apparent. “It was straight up ‘America and Israel Forever.’ One of the most painful experiences to look back on now is that every morning we would wake up and go to the flagpole. You sing Hatikva and the Star-Spangled Banner. You stand there at attention in front of both flags along with the Israeli scouts who were there. I loved it, because it was just about singing and being with your friends. It felt like a source of pride.”

Illustrative photo of American Jews participating in the annual AIPAC conference in Washington DC. (Gili Getz)

Illustrative photo of American Jews participating in the annual AIPAC conference in Washington DC. (Gili Getz)

Into their teenage years, the aim of building an emotional connection to Israel was replaced by more straightforward advocacy.

“In high school we were encouraged to take part in programs to advocate for Israel,” Malkah explained. The David Project, one of the most well-known American pro-Israel organizations, sent her to a three-day training in Massachusetts, where she says she was exposed to a heavily anti-Muslim agenda. “One video was called Obsession, and it seemed like the main message was about Muslims wanting to violently take control of the world and how we would have to fight back against that.”

“I don’t remember any dissent or discussion,” she continued. “We were all just shocked by the horrible things we were seeing. You see a lot of really scary images in that movie. We didn’t have a lot of time to socialize, there were mainly these sessions and I took a lot of notes. They probably intentionally didn’t give us time to process – you’re being bombarded with someone else’s opinions.”

Malkah recalled coming home from the training and experiencing pushback from her family members who felt that the right-wing views she had been taught were bad for peace. “I’d come back and say everything is justified for national security reasons. My views shifted to the right of center after having had that experience.”

 

Yet taking part in more explicit

Hundreds fill New York City's Washington Square Park to protest President Trump's decision to ban Muslim refugees from entering the U.S., January 26, 2017. (Gili Getz)

Hundreds fill New York City’s Washington Square Park to protest President Trump’s decision to ban Muslim refugees from entering the U.S., January 26, 2017. (Gili Getz)

Israel advocacy also began to sow doubts about their ability to defend the cause.

It was expected in my high school that all the high-achieving students would be going on extra-curricular Israel advocacy programs,” said Aaron, who would later become heavily involved with JVP and now devotes his time to the International Socialist Organization. “All the training sessions were at the local Jewish Community Center. We were told it looked good for college admissions. The manhigim (Hebrew for “leaders” – T.P.) program was focused on preparing us to be advocates for Israel on campuses, which were presented to us as hotbeds of anti-Semitism. The program was mostly a rehearsal of talking points from a liberal Zionist perspective (Israel as a liberal democracy, etc.). I didn’t reject any of that, but I distinctly remember thinking ‘Wow, if we’re the people who will be advocating for Israel, then Israel is screwed.’”

“There was one session we were doing which was a mock debate with a supposed member of Students for Justice in Palestine,” he continues, “I got cast in the role of the anti-Israel debater. I pulled out the ‘key of my grandmother’s house in Yaffa,” he said, referring to Palestinian refugees, many of whom keep the keys to the homes they lost in the Nakba. “At that point the entire room just screeched to a halt and didn’t know how to respond at all. I was still a Zionist, and I was very disappointed that they had no real response to my challenge.”

“Later, a delegation from my high school was sent to an AIPAC conference in Washington, DC. While lining up to enter the conference, I saw the counter-protest and was expecting it to be vitriolic and anti-Semitic. Instead I saw casually dressed people and some Neturei Karta folks waving signs that said “Don’t Bomb Iran!” I remember thinking: “am I on the wrong side of this protest?” I’m here in a suit with a bunch of old men while across the street are some people dressed like I normally do waving signs I don’t really disagree with.”

For Michal, a pro-Israel program in Israel was the tipping point, and the first time she considered that not everything she had been taught about Israel was true. “Aish HaTorah, [the organization] that runs Hasbara Fellowships, were teaching us talking points: here is a template for advocating for Israel on campus, here are the points your opponents will use, and here is how you turn it around on them and humiliate people in the process. Then they would have us practice — one person would play the aggressive pro-Palestine advocate and we would have to use the arguments they gave us. I remember being so embarrassed because I just couldn’t do it. I’m a really bad bullshitter. They’re using the word ‘apartheid,’ and I’m supposed to say ‘there are Israeli Arabs in the cabinet.’ I couldn’t memorize all those steps and then spit them back out like I was supposed to do.”

“What tipped me off was when they took us to Hebron. You walk there and it’s a ghost town with [Palestinian] shops boarded up. There is a barrier in the main street that separates Palestinians from Israelis. And you have menacing settlers. Something felt off: it was the first inkling I had of ‘is this really necessary in order to have this miraculous Israel?’ I didn’t have the words then — it was just a feeling. I didn’t have enough information to understand where this feeling was coming from.”

“I studied Middle East studies in part to be a better Israel advocate,” Michal continued. “But after Hebron I started to think that maybe I shouldn’t be out to get my professors. Maybe I should listen to them. That started the process of actually learning about the occupation and Palestinian experiences and taking them seriously. I studied abroad in Jordan, and after graduating I spent a couple of weeks in the West Bank helping local Palestinian organizations. As a result I was banned from Israel.”

For Susannah and Malkah, one of the factors that turned these doubts into full-blown opposition to Israeli policies was the personal relationships they formed with Palestinians.

Police arrest a young American Jew during a sit-in organized by IfNotNow at the offices of the Anti-Defamation League in New York City to protest the institution’s support for Israel’s occupation policies. (photo: Gili Getz)

Police arrest a young American Jew during a sit-in organized by IfNotNow at the offices of the Anti-Defamation League in New York City to protest the institution’s support for Israel’s occupation policies. (photo: Gili Getz)

When Susannah’s university program required her to do a field study abroad, she chose to go to Israel. Not knowing a lot about local civil society groups, she decided to join the only group that responded to her inquiries — a commune where Jews and Arabs worked and lived together. There she met Ibrahim, a Palestinian from Jaffa who had a cousin in Gaza. Ibrahim witnessed the moment his cousin was killed, as Israel shelled Gaza University during Operation Cast Lead, which Susannah said “shook him to his core.” She would eventually fall in love with him. “That’s how you learn – you fall in love with a Palestinian.”

But personal relationships don’t have to be romantic. Deep friendships also have their effect.

“By 2014 there was a pretty strong push for divestment in my school,” said Malkah. “There were a lot of people in my undergraduate program who were Arab, and some of them were Palestinians. They had family immediately affected by Israel’s policies as well as family histories of expulsion. I remember sitting with them in the school lounge watching folks speak at the divestment hearings for hours, usually until two in the morning. I just sat there and watched people talking so passionately about the subject, and felt that the students who opposed divestment didn’t have compelling arguments. Having been in my high school and in the David Project made divestment a dirty word. But just being in that environment, listening to people talk and having relationships with people affected by these policies — that made a huge difference for me.”

The Enemy Within: Undercover Footage Zionists DON’T Want You to See!

Undercover Footage Zionists DON’T Want You to See!

 

AIPAC takes newly elected Congress members, CNN’s Setmayer on propaganda trips to israel (apartheid state)

AIPAC takes newly elected Congress members, CNN’s Setmayer on propaganda trips to Israel

AIPAC takes newly elected Congress members, CNN’s Setmayer on propaganda trips to Israel

Newly elected Congressional Reps David Trone, Dan Crenshaw, Elaine Goodman Luria, Tim Burchett, Denver Riggleman, and Susie Lee on a December 2018 AIPAC trip to Israel. AIPAC’s educational arm spends about $10,000 a piece on these trips. By using a nonprofit entity, the Israel lobby gets around a U.S. law intended to prohibit Congressional junkets funded by lobbying groups.

AIPAC’S nonprofit arm is taking a bipartisan group of newly elected Congressional representatives, CNN / ABC commentator Tara Setmayer, & California “progressive leaders” on propaganda trips to Israel

By Alison Weir

The Israel lobby has been busy taking a wide variety of government officials and opinion makers on fully expense paid trips to Israel this month. The trips cost in the range of $10,000 per person.

Six newly elected House members are on a 5-day visit to Israel, a delegation of northern California “progressive leaders” are on a week-long trip, media commentator Tara Setmayer has just returned from such a trip, and a delegation of southern California progressive leaders returned from their trip earlier this month.

The House participants include liberals and conservatives, Jewish representatives and Christian fundamentalists, Trump supporters and Trump opponents: Tim Burchett (R-TN), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Susie Lee (D-NV), Elaine Goodman Luria (D-VA), Denver Riggleman (R-VA) and David Trone (D-MD).

The California participants are County Supervisors John Gioia and Joe Simian, California Democratic Party Executive Committee Member Andrea Beth Damsky, and unknown others. The delegations are named “Northern Pacific Progressive Leaders” and “Southern Pacific Progressive Leaders,” but no one will divulge the rosters.

The AIPAC loophole

The trips are organized and funded by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), the nonprofit arm of the powerful Israel lobbying group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). AIEF was founded in 1989 “to advance the purposes of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

AIPAC is widely believed to be the most powerful organization in the US lobbying Congress on behalf of a foreign country. An outgrowth of the 1939 organization “American Zionist Emergency Council,” AIPAC’s annual convention is attended by ambitious politicians from across the political spectrum (see this example; for more on AZEC, read my book on the history of the Israel lobby).

The goal of AIPAC – and of its trips – is to promote American support for Israel despite Israel’s violations of human rights, international law, U.S. law, and discrimination against Christians and others.

In particular, AIPAC is working to keep the over $10 million per day of American tax money going to Israel. While most Americans feel Israel already gets too much money, Congress is about to pass legislation that will increase the gift even further. This will be the largest military aid package in US history; it works out to about $23,000 for each Jewish Israeli family of four, or $7,230 per minute.

While an individual has recently been charged with acting as a foreign agent over her activities with Russia and the NRA, the Israel lobby has worked to influence U.S. policies on behalf of a foreign country for many years, with very few legal consequences. Even when top AIPAC officials were found to have handed over classified documents, the case was dropped (a Pentagon analyst was jailed for 12 years).

The trips to Israel used to be organized by AIPAC itself until Congress enacted legislation in 2007 intended to stop lobbying organizations from taking government officials on fully paid tours. However, the legislation contains a loophole (some call it the “AIPAC loophole“) that allows nonprofit groups to organize such trips, and AIEF officially took over the tours.

An $85 million operation, AIEF takes a wide array of American officials and opinion makers on the all the expense paid trips. It pays for their international flights, hotel accommodations, tourist excursions, meals, drinks, etc. In the past decade it has reportedly spent $12.9 million on bipartisan Congressional trips to Israel.

While some of the more savvy participants may be skeptical of an advocacy organization claiming to give them an unbiased, “educational” look at the region, they seem willing to go along. The Israel lobby is widely known to make or break careers.

Carefully Tailored Trips

The trips by AIEF and similar organizations are carefully tailored for each group. There are trips for military veterans, business leaders of all races and ethnicities, educators, athletes, students, individuals of every sexual and religious persuasion, and politicians at every level of office, from local to national.

The pro-Israel groups treat participants to a lavish tour replete with visits to historic sites, exciting night life, beaches, religious sites, official offices, border areas; whatever will appeal to the group members. LGBTQ advocates meet with gays, fundamentalist Christians are taken on carefully guided trips to Christian sites, military veterans meet with Israeli soldiers.

The meetings even include a few hand-picked “Palestinian representatives” and Druze Israelis, allowing the tours to be pitched as “educational” trips where participants allegedly see “all sides.” They are given inaccurate histories of the region and filtered information about the current situation. Not surprisingly, participants come back spouting the Israeli talking points they’ve been fed. (See some schedules and itineraries here.)

Whether or not they are taken in by the tour, it is likely that politicians understand the political calculus of allying with one of the most powerful lobbies in the U.S.

Most politicians and many others are acutely aware that this is a group that has the money and power to further their careers – or to impede them. As these extravagant trips exemplify, AIPAC and related groups possess hundreds of millions of dollars to devote to cultivating Congressional representatives and others.

Pro-Israel billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, and Paul Singer donate massive quantities of money to promote Israel in the US. They and others fund numerous projects to inculcate pro-Israel beliefs in Americans. These trips are one of the ways they do it.

‘Racist Discourse’ in israeli (apartheid state) School Text Books

‘Racist Discourse’ in Israeli Text Books

on Nov 23, 2011

Alternate Focus interviews Nurit Peled-Elhanan, author of the forthcoming book Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education. Nurit Peled-Elhanan argues that the textbooks used in the school system are laced with a pro-Israel ideology, and that they play a part in priming Israeli children for military service. She analyzes the presentation of images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbooks, and reveals how the books might be seen to marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity.

History suppressed: Censorship in israel’s (apartheid state) archives

History suppressed: Censorship in Israel’s archives

Troves of looted Palestinian books, documents, photographs and films are sealed in Israel’s archives and libraries.

Written by Al Jazeera

 

Sealed in Israel‘s archives and libraries are troves of Palestinian books, documents, photographs and films that were looted from Palestinian institutions and personal archives by Jewish militias and later, the Israeli military.

“This confiscation is a kind of daily struggle that Palestinians face,” says Sherene Seikaly, a scholar of Middle Eastern history. “One of the reasons, that these archives are a target, that they’re threatening, is because they’re really a record of Palestinian social life, and Palestine more broadly.”

Israeli historian Rona Sela has spent 20 years uncovering Palestinian visual history that has been kept in the dark in Israel’s state and military archives. She says the methodical plunder of Palestinians‘ cultural assets predates the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, what Palestinians call the ‘Nakba‘ or ‘catastrophe.’

“The looting and seizure, as far as I found, started in the 1930s in a systematic and organised manner … by Haganah forces [Zionist paramilitary group]. The seizure intensified, of course, with the Nakba in 1948. I found materials taken in 1967, 1982, 1991 and … in the last few years.”

What begins with looting and appropriation, continues with a system of censorship and historical revisionism in the archives. The origin of Palestinian material is often erased and replaced with terminology that fits the archivist’s world view.

“I saw photos with comments and notes written on them by the censors and archivists. For example, Palestinians are described as ‘terrorists’, as ‘gangs’. Seeing all of that taught me about how the materials go through a process of rewriting to aid or benefit the Zionist narrative,” says Sela. “You see a place where the materials are being censored and erased from the public sphere.”

The suppression of history doesn’t only extend to Palestinian material. The Israeli archives also guard state secrets that could reveal details about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Historians and journalists say the policy of censoring incriminating material in the archives exposes the deep insecurity Israel has about its past, with archivists employed as the ‘gatekeepers’ of history.

“Israel is terrified of the contents of its own archives, and doesn’t want its history to be exposed,” says Mahmoud Yazbak, a professor at the University of Haifa. “The government’s … aim is to hide the past from researchers in order to prevent it from being part of the present and the future.”

Palestinians see the censorship as part of a wider trend of physical and cultural erasure that began in 1948 and has continued ever since. Concealing the archival record denies them the tools to communicate their own history, what the Palestinian intellectual and literary theorist Edward Said called “permission to narrate.”

“The fact that these documents have been taken away from Palestinian hands is a sign of contempt for Palestinian history,” says Yazbak. “It’s an attempt to suggest Palestinians have no history, no documents, no belongings.”

The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi looks at the silencing of Palestinian history in Israel’s archives.

Contributors

Sherene Seikaly – associate professor, UC Santa Barbara
Rona Sela – Israeli researcher on visual history and lecturer
Mahmoud Yazbak – professor, University of Haifa

Source: Al Jazeera

Leaked Documentary Shows israel (apartheid state) Lobby Used Fake Sexual Assault Claims Against BDS Activists

Leaked Documentary Shows Israel Lobby Used Fake Sexual Assault Claims Against BDS Activists

Source: Mint Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A leaked Al Jazeera documentary detailing the tactics of the Israeli lobby in the United States and elsewhere has revealed that pro-Israel groups regularly invented smears, including false accusations of sexual assault, to discredit professors and students on U.S. university campuses that support equal rights for Palestinians and the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is a non-violent movement that seeks to use economic pressure on Israel’s government so that it complies with international law, ends the military occupation of the West Bank, and halts the decades-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In the third episode of the Al Jazeera documentary “The Lobby”, which was leaked online by the website Electronic Intifada, focus is given to the efforts of pro-Israel advocacy groups on U.S. universities, particularly the efforts of these groups to use aggressive information warfare tactics to discredit and smear activists. The documentary further reveals that these smear campaigns are incredibly well-funded – to the tune of millions of dollars – and involve coordination with the Israeli government’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

In one instance, Bill Mullen – a professor of American Studies at Purdue University and a well-known supporter of Palestinian rights and BDS – was accused of sexual harassment, supporting terrorism and other misdeeds by nearly two dozen anonymous web pages purporting to have been created by Mullen’s former students in 2016.

Mullen told Al Jazeera that within 48 hours of learning of the smear sites, he discovered that they had been created within moments of each other and appeared to be operated by the same individual or group. After the websites used the name of his daughter and were anonymously sent to his wife, Mullen told Al Jazeera that “these people will do anything, they’re capable of doing anything” to discredit pro-Palestinian solidarity activists.

The documentary further revealed that this tactic is promoted by pro-Israel campus organizations including the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC). For instance, ICC executive director Jacob Baime discussed how “the anti-Israel people” are targeted by groups like the ICC who put “up some anonymous websites” and targeted Facebook ads that make false sexual harassment claims and other personal attacks as part of an effort to discredit them and their activism.

Baime then stated that this tactic is a form of “psychological warfare” that was “modeled on General Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq” and that those tactics have “been working really well for us.” Baime appears to have misspoken, given that McChrystal’s strategy emphasizing “offensive information operations” was focused on Afghanistan, not Iraq.

However, Baime recounted that these efforts are often very successful, from his perspective, telling Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter that the activists targeted by smears “either shut down or they spend time responding to it and investigating it, which is time they can’t spend attacking Israel.”

Baime went on to state that ICC, which works closely with other pro-Israel university groups like StandWithUs, has a budget of $2 million for “research” used in such smear campaigns. He further admitted that his group and its affiliates coordinate with Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which employs a large number of former agents of the Mossad.

The recently leaked episode of “The Lobby” documentary shows that some pro-Israel activists have twisted efforts to give sexual assault survivors stronger voices by using fake harassment claims as ammo for their “psychological warfare” tactics against Palestine solidarity activists.

This use of fabricated sexual harassment smears to target pro-BDS activists threatens the recent high-profile efforts of the #MeToo movement and other related activist groups who seek to help promote an environment where the experiences of sexual assault survivors are more readily accepted.

 

Defamation and libel as a propaganda ploy

In addition to the use of falsification and smears against BDS supporters, the documentary showed evidence that employees and volunteer pro-Israel campus groups were instructed to call BDS a “racist hate group” and were asked to produce multimedia content such as memes that even their own employees considered to be dishonest and “bigoted.”

An employee of the Israel Project who was featured in the documentary, Amanda Botfeld, told Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter that much of the pro-Israel advocacy work she had been asked to do made her feel “uneasy” and “uncomfortable” because it smeared Palestinian rights activists as “anti-Semites” and “racists” for criticizing Israeli government policy.

Another practice that made Botfeld feel uncomfortable was the creation of multimedia content for StandWithUs that featured “pictures of Palestinian kids with a knife” and other images that were used to paint young Palestinians that had been killed by Israeli police and soldiers as “terrorists”. Botfeld opined that the content she was asked to make while working with the Israel project was “bigoted” and she “was embarrassed to be associated with it.” Botfeld also said that one of her supervisors told her to insert the word “racist” in reference to BDS activism as often as possible.

The fact that even the employees of these pro-Israel groups are so acutely aware of the biased, bigoted nature of their response to the growth of the BDS movement underscores how these tactics are used to discourage and chill the atmosphere of debate by maligning and defaming activists and their message.

Top Photo | Protesters hold a sign supporting the BDS movement at a 2014 ‘Block the Boat’ march in Oakland, California. Alex Chis | Flickr

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Not just Canary Mission: SF Jewish Federation bankrolls these hate groups

Source

The Federation’s tax filings reveal a litany of radical-right and anti-Muslim groups that have received its support for years. The Federation says its review process has recently been strengthened but refuses to account for its funding of notorious Islamophobic hate groups.

File photo of an advertisement on a San Francisco public bus accusing the city of enforcing Sharia law, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which received funding from the SF Jewish Federation. (Steve Rhodes/CC 2.0)

File photo of an advertisement on a San Francisco public bus accusing the city of enforcing Sharia law, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which received funding from the SF Jewish Federation. (Steve Rhodes/CC 2.0)

 

Following the revelation last week in The Forward that the San Francisco Jewish Federation gave $100,000 to Canary Mission, the shadowy website that blacklists and intimidates students and professors who criticize Israel, the Federation assured its constituents that it was a “one-time grant” that would never happen again. But Canary Mission is just the tip of the iceberg.

An extensive review by +972 of the Federation’s tax filings shows that the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which the former controls and which it used to fund Canary Mission, have bankrolled an extensive list of extremist, far-right, anti-Muslim organizations in recent years.

The systematic pattern of financially supporting hate groups appears to also violate the SF Federation’s own guidelines, which specify that it will not fund organizations that “endorse or promote anti-Semitism, other forms of bigotry, violence or other extremist views.”

Among the extremist, radical right-wing, and anti-Muslim groups that received funds from the SF Federation, both directly and through the Diller Foundation, and some of which have received substantial and repeated grants over the years, include: Project Veritas, The AMCHA Initiative, The American Freedom Law Center, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, The David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the work of Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders (through the International Freedom Alliance Foundation). Others include the Clarion Fund, the Center for Security Policy (Frank Gaffney), the Middle East Forum (Daniel Pipes), the Tea Party Patriots Foundation, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Project Veritas, which the Federation gave $100,000 in 2016, is responsible for falsifying sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore last year to The Washington Post in hopes of entrapping the liberal mainstream media

The AMCHA Initiative, which received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the SF Federation and the Diller Foundation in recent years, operates similarly to Canary Mission, except that it primarily goes after faculty, not students.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center, which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years, has been condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center as promoting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attitudes.

The American Freedom Law Center and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative both target Islam as a threat to Western civilization. The former advances “anti-Sharia” legislation and filed an amicus brief in support of Trump’s Muslim ban. The latter, which has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group, was responsible for Islamophobic bus campaigns in several cities, and has been represented by the American Freedom Law Center.

+972 Magazine asked the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation about these grants and others that appear to violate its own guidelines against promoting bigotry, violence, and extremist views. The SF Federation’s senior director of communications, Kerry Philp, responded by email:

 

We review each grant recommendation at the time that it is submitted to the Federation, to determine if the organization adheres to the Federation’s granting guidelines. This applies to organizations across the political spectrum. We aim to make the best decisions with the information that we have at the time. Because organizations are dynamic, an organization that previously received a grant from the Federation may not be in compliance with the Federation’s grantmaking guidelines today, and vice versa. Also, per our statement, we strengthened the implementation of our review process in 2017 and continue to be committed to executing our grant review with a standard of care in regard to our guidelines.

Philp added that the Federation does indeed deny grants when they violate its guidelines but would not address any of the grants to the organizations listed in this article or why they were approved.

The San Francisco Jewish Community Federation is one of the largest Jewish charities in the United States with a budget of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. Furthermore, it is located in, and presumably represents, one of the most progressive cities and communities in the United States. Whether the SF Federation’s financial support of radical, right-wing, Islamophobic, bigoted, and McCarthyite groups aligns with that community’s values is ultimately up to its members.

From Turquzabad to Dimona (and a little fun on the way!)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Prime walks with his stage props to the podium at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York, the United States, on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Prime walks with his stage props to the podium at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters in New York, the United States, on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

By Hossein Jelveh

(Hossein Jelveh is an independent Iranian journalist based in Tehran. He has graduated with a master’s degree from the Faculty of World Studiesat the University of Tehran. You can follow him on Twitter @hossein_jelveh)

 

Let’s be fair. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asks for it.

He has been exposed to the Iranian people’s unrelenting mockery of his foolishness before. So when he took his stage props up to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018, showing the picture and map coordinates of what he said is a “secret atomic warehouse” in a suburb of Tehran called “Turquzabad,” Mr. Netanyahu must have known that there would be verbally barbed consequences.

In the speech, Mr. Netanyahu claimed he was “disclosing” the site “for the first time,” and said Iran was keeping “massive amounts of equipment and material” there for future use in its “nuclear weapons program.” He said the site was just 100 meters from “the Kalishoi” — which by the way sounded like a Japanese martial art the way he said it — as if that style of direction-giving would be more accurate than longitudes and latitudes.

At one instant, he pointed to the picture of the building and said, “How about inspections right here, right now?” At another, with a triumphal look about him, he said,“[L]adies and gentlemen, rest assured […] what Iran hides, Israel will find.”

The Iranian people wouldn’t let that circus come and go without adequately making fun of Mr. Netanyahu. And they were sure up to the task. Naturally, tongue-in-cheek stuff flooded the social media.

Let me just quickly offer here my picks of the top two jokes and move on (and please excuse the colorful language — Mr. Netanyahu brought it upon himself):

“Yesterday, we had lentil stew for lunch and red kidney bean side dishes for dinner [both of them highly intestinal gas-inducing food]. Today, we warmed the leftovers [from both] and had them for lunch. I’m thinking Netanyahu will find our house and ask for ‘inspections right here, right now!’”

And second place goes to:

“Dude! That’s where we throw [off-the-radar] parties. Good luck screwing that with those map coordinates!”

*

The word “Turquzabad” itself, while referring to a real place, has somewhat humorous, local connotations for Iranians. In Persian, it is something like “John Doe,” except that is used to refer to places, not people.

Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and a former nuclear negotiator, repeatedly attempted not to chuckle when he spoke about it following Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks.

“Seriously, seriously, I think someone is sending Netanyahu on a wild-goose chase. This time, they have referred him to Turquzabad!” Mr. Araqchi said, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif — also laughing and visibly speechless with amusement — next to him.

Mr. Netanyahu can speak about Iran all he wants. But wouldn’t he be better off running things by somebody before he speaks them? Seriously.

‘What a showman!’

It was not the first time Mr. Netanyahu was staging a show. His past performances include

(1) an appearance, also at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, during which he famously held up a cartoon bomb that looked pretty much like the ones in Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner and that the White House later trolled;

(2) a speech at the US Congress in March 2015, which served well to deepen a schism between him and then-President Barack Obama; and

(3) a closed-door meeting with 22 US lawmakers in August 2015, after which one stunned lawmaker said of Mr. Netanyahu, “What a showman!”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to display a photograph as he addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, in New York, the United States, on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AP)

And then there was his appearance on early-morning live TV beaming into President Donald Trump’s bedroom in April 2018, revealing what Mr. Netanyahu claimed was nuclear-related material from an Iranian “atomic archive.”

But Mr. Netanyahu’s showing at the General Assembly on September 27 this year was certainly the first time he was drawing the most embarrassing rebuttal of his oft-repeated anti-Iran allegations.

“I have a message to the head of the IAEA, Mr. Yukiya Amano. I believe he’s a good man. […] Well, Mr. Amano […] Go inspect this atomic warehouse, immediately, before the Iranians finish clearing it out,”

the Israeli prime minister said, at least implying that he thinks the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency “goes inspecting” sites himself.

Anyway, Mr. Amano must have been watching the speech over pizza because it didn’t take him long to show up to, essentially, demolish Mr. Netanyahu.

In an October 2 statement that read like an adult’s solemn reminder to a child yet to fully develop his cognitive capabilities, the IAEA chief said,

“It should be noted that under the existing verification framework the Agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed. […] The Agency […] has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.”

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano (C) is flanked by Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid (to his left) and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi during a special meeting of the parties to the Iran nuclear deal at Coburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, on May 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

When Iran and originally six world powers plus the European Union (EU) struck a nuclear deal in 2015 — the very deal that all of Mr. Netanyahu’s theatrical gimmicks have been aimed at derailing — they agreed to put the organization under Mr. Amano’s watch in official charge of monitoring the implementation of the technical aspects of the deal.

The IAEA’s October 2 statement was a clear sign that, for all of their drama, Mr. Netanyahu’s attempts are falling flat.

But, in the futile Israeli attempt to dramatize the Iranian nuclear program, there is not just absurdity. There is also irony:

Iran is a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel is not.

Iran has no military nuclear program. Israel does.

Iran has, under the nuclear deal, allowed enhanced monitoring by the IAEA of all of its nuclear activities. Israel has allowed no inspections at all of its covert nuclear program.

Still, there is more Israeli behavior that flies in the face of the international world.

For one thing, Mr. Netanyahu on August 29, 2018 issued a threat of a nuclear attack against Iran from inside an Israeli nuclear facility in the Negev Desert — formerly known as Dimona.

This file photo, taken on March 8, 2014, shows a partial view of a nuclear facility, formerly known as Dimona, in the southern Israeli Negev Desert. (By AFP)

Israel is believed to have at least 200 nuclear warheads in a military nuclear program active since decades ago. According to The Washington Post, the United States initially opposed and worked to stop that program.

‘Quite simply, they were lying’

“So the Israelis turned to France, which […] in 1957 secretly agreed to help install a plutonium-based facility in the small Israeli city of Dimona. Why France did this is not settled history. French foreign policy at the time was assiduously independent from, and standoffish toward, the United States and United Kingdom,” according to the 2013 article on The Washington Post.

While working together, Israel and France kept everything secret from the US.

“When U.S. intelligence did finally discover Israel’s nuclear facility, in 1960, Israeli leaders insisted that it was for peaceful purposes and that they were not interested in acquiring a nuclear weapon. Quite simply, they were lying, and for years resisted and stalled U.S.-backed nuclear inspectors sent to the facility,” the article reads.

Ultimately, however, Washington made some sort of an unspoken deal with Tel Aviv, agreeing to an Israeli nuclear program over the pretext that Israel lacked conventional means for protection at the time.

That happened during a September 1969 White House meeting between US President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

According to The Washington Post, which cited the Nixon administration’s “meticulous records,” the bargain was that Israel would “make no visible introduction of nuclear weapons or undertake a nuclear test program” in return for the US keeping mum.

But since, the Israeli regime’s conventional military power has increased. And “[s]ome scholars are beginning to ask whether the old deal is outdated,” according to the Post.

Speculation came up (unnecessarily) when US National Security Adviser John Bolton met with Israeli nuclear officials in August. Mr. Bolton, who likes to present himself as a wild pro-Israeli hawk, dismissed all such speculation.

“‘I don’t think there is anything out of the ordinary or unexpected,’ Bolton said of the meeting. Asked to elaborate, he added only: ‘No change in policy,’” Reuters reported later in August.

When Mr. Netanyahu less-than-tacitly brandished nuclear weapons against Iran at the Israeli facility in Negev in late August, he basically violated even that purported agreement with the US.

Israel’s Sorek nuclear reactor center is seen near the central town of Yavne, on July 5, 2004. (File photo by AP)

Bahram Qassemi, spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that international inspections of the Israeli nuclear program had to be put on the global agenda and that the current inaction on the matter was not sustainable.

There is no questioning of the fact that that should happen.

But at one point or another, Israel’s shameless even if laughable attempts to derail the Iranian nuclear accord with the remaining five parties will have to be addressed, too.

All the derision that the Turquzabad remarks sparked, and the fact that Israeli accusations against Iran are being taken increasingly less seriously, in no way remove the need to confront Israeli cheekiness against the greater part of the world that is both law-abiding and civilized.

Related

Article Explaining Why israel (apartheid state) is a Racist State Embarrasses Labour Party

Article Explaining Why Israel is a Racist State Embarrasses Labour Party

Moshé Machover authored an article proving that the Labour acceptance of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism cannot coexist with free speech on Israel.  This scholar and Israeli veteran linked the racist nature of the Israeli state to its colonialist roots

What a load of horse manure: US Ambassador: Jerusalem Made israel’s (apartheid state) Capital ‘Under God’s Direction’ 3,000 Years Ago

US Ambassador: Jerusalem Made Israel’s Capital ‘Under God’s Direction’ 3,000 Years Ago

By Middle East Monitor

US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has praised President Donald Trump’s administration for putting US-Israeli relations on “more solid [ground] than ever before”, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Speaking at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception in his Herzliya residence, Friedman singled out for praise the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.

“Now, the United States did not make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That was done by King David some 3,000 years ago under God’s direction,” Friedman declared.

But, he added,

“it feels awfully good” that “the most powerful and moral nation on earth has made this important recognition of the primacy of Jerusalem to the State of Israel and the Jewish People.”

Friedman also said that the Trump administration has “slayed the sacred cow of the calcified thinking that has held back progress on the Palestinian front”.

“Since 1994, the United States has thrown more than $10 billion in humanitarian aid to Palestinians,” he said, adding: “we found that these expenditures were bringing the region no closer to peace or stability, not even by a millimetre.”

“To spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund stipends to terrorists and their families, to expend funds to perpetuate rather than mitigate refugee status, and to finance hate-filled textbooks – I ask you, how does that provide value to the United States or the region?”

The US, Friedman stated, is “not in the business of, as they say, throwing good money after bad”.

*

Featured image is from Flickr.

israel, Land Of (fake) Miracles

By Gideon Levy

The days of kites abound with miracles here. The fact that more Israelis were scratched while shaving in recent months than from kite fires is attributed entirely to miracles

A great miracle occurred on Moshav Tkuma. A cinder carried by a paper kite from Gaza landed in a kindergarten yard. The kindergarten teacher called what she saw in the sky a finger-size glowing ember. She was the first to detect it and rushed to get all the children into the protected area. A small boy wearing a large kippa said a miracle had happened.

The reporter of Kan 11 TV in the south, Itzik Zoaretz, did not miss the opportunity to explain the proportions of the averted disaster: The cinder landed a few meters away from a jute roof in the yard. Jute is flammable material. If the jute had caught fire, all the kindergarten children would have burned to death. Maybe the fire would have spread, destroying all the moshav’s homes. Maybe it would have consumed the entire south, and from there the way to destroying the country would have been very short. Almost-Treblinka in Tkuma, and it was all prevented thanks to the miracle.

The tiny stain in the sand, slightly abashed, seemingly caused by a thrown match, was somewhat contradictory to the reporter’s apocalyptic description, which was a war correspondent’s dramatization in a kindergarten sandbox, but that’s how it is with miracles and wonders.

The days of kites abound with miracles. The fact that more people were scratched while shaving in recent months than from kite fires is attributed entirely to miracles. Not a day goes by without an emotional report by one of the indistinguishable reporters in the field about a disaster that was miraculously avoided. The Qassam rocket that fell nearby, the kite that went out at the last moment – that’s how to conduct the well-timed campaign when you need to finally start the war we crave so much. Meanwhile, a state that describes its establishment as a miraculous event continues to live on its miracles, even when it’s a regional power.

The miracles intensify the danger. That’s good for everyone. If a cinder that hasn’t hit anyone is a flying miracle, then it’s clear that if not for the miracle, a disaster would have occurred. Clearly the cinder has the power to sow death, so we must wage war on it. But the fact is that no kite or balloon, not even a “helium balloon,” the latest advance by Gaza’s military industries, has harmed anyone. The chance of this happening is negligible. The kites harm the environment and agriculture – it’s a huge hazard and distress, but not a cause for war. Ever. There has never been a just war that was started over a kite.

The reports of miracles are meant to change this. Don’t think of that flying cinder as a cinder. It might as well be a cruise missile. Only by miracle is it not a cruise missile. That’s why we have to bludgeon Gaza.

The culture of miracles takes us back to the divine promise, the rock of our existence here, and don’t belittle it. Miracles don’t happen in Gaza. Over there our snipers, pilots, drones, bombs and shells strike and kill, with no miracle discounts for the targets. Miracles are only for the chosen people.

The miracles also take us back to the lie of the make-believe war between the almost equal sides, Gaza and Israel. If not for a miracle, Hamas might have destroyed us already.

Under cover of the lie of the almost equal sides, we can bomb and shell them without restraint and say that that’s war. But the IDF’s assaults on Gaza were never a war, because nothing close to an army has ever faced them. It wasn’t miracles that prevented disaster for Israel, only the pitiful destitution of the other side. Gaza has no army, no weapons, certainly not the kind that can threaten the IDF in any way, not in the wildest imagination.

The fires in the south are distressing. Life in the south is hard. No military strike can solve life’s hardships on either side of the fence, and no miracle can extract Israel from the need to change direction dramatically, to move from arrogance and aggression to humanity and compassion. That is something Israel has no intention of doing. Until then we’ll live from miracle to miracle, from attack to attack on bleeding, beaten Gaza, where miracles like ours never happen, only death and destruction.

This article was originally published by “Haaretz

#israel– In the “only democracy” in the Middle East, military censors are working overtime to control the content of reporting and hide facts from the public

Report: IDF Censorship of Israeli Press Averages One Redaction Every Four Hours

A recent report found that over the course of the past year, 271 articles were prohibited by Israel’s military censor and an additional 2,358 were partially or fully redacted.

TEL AVIV – In the “only democracy” in the Middle East, military censors are working overtime to control the content of reporting and keep certain stories hidden from the public. According to a recent report by Israeli journalist Haggai Matar for online magazine +972, Israel’s military censor has notably increased the percentage of articles it partially or fully redacted in the Israeli press over the past year, a trend unlikely to decline as Israel prepares for potential war with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.The report, which used government figures obtained via freedom of information request, found that over the course of the past year 271 articles were prohibited by the military censor and an additional 2,358 were partially or fully redacted. On average, Israel’s military censor made a redaction in a story once every four hours and completely censored a story an average of five times a week.

Despite promoting its media environment as “lively, pluralistic and generally respectful of press freedom,” the censorship of Israeli press – long a reality in the country – has been steadily growing worse.

Thanks to a permanent state of emergency in effect since Israel’s founding in 1948, newspapers and other traditional news outlets in Israel have long been required to submit all articles which relate to national security and/or foreign relations to the censor of the Israel Defense Forces for review prior to publication. As +972 noted, “Israel is the only [democracy] where journalists and publications are legally required to submit their reporting for review prior to publication, and the only one where censorship can be criminally enforced.” The Israel Defense Forces also have the authority to censor books and other print publications.

In recent years, the censor has sought to bring online publications under its control but has not been entirely successful in doing so. The proliferation of online news in Israel, and internationally, may be in part responsible for another surprising finding of the report, which noted that the number of articles submitted to the censor for review dropped to a seven-year-low in 2017.

The decline in submitted articles is likely due in part to the close relationship between the IDF and Israeli publishers. Indeed, Chief IDF Censor Brig. Gen. Ariela Ben Avraham noted that the military rarely pursues violations of the censorship laws as news publishers in Israel “[show] responsibility when addressing matters of national security.” Such an atmosphere likely leads to self-censorship as publishers and journalists are less likely to write stories that they know will be outright rejected by the military censor.

An uptick in Israeli press censorship is common preceding and during times of war.  Instances of censorship jumped noticeably during Israel’s 2014 war against the Gaza strip.  Given the high probability of another Israel-Gaza war later this year and Israel’s violent response to Palestinian unrest as it moves to formally annex the West Bank, censorship in the name of Israel’s ‘national security’ is likely to increase even more over the course of 2018.

Top Photo | Israeli troops arrest Associated Press photographer Nasser Shiyoukhi while he was covering a protest in Palestinian West Bank town of Yatta. AP Photo

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Zionist mentality: israel blames Hamas for deaths of children its soldiers killed

Israel Blames Hamas for Deaths of Children Its Soldiers Killed

Maureen Clare Murphy Rights and Accountability

A wounded Palestinian boy is evacuated after inhaling tear gas during a protest along the Gaza-Israel boundary on 6 July.

Mohammed Zaanoun APA images

Israeli forces shot 22-year-old Muhammad Abu Halima in the chest, killing him, during protests east of Gaza City on Friday.

Nearly 400 people were injured along Gaza’s eastern boundary on the 15th consecutive week of the Great March of Return demonstrations. Nearly 60 were wounded with live ammunition, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

On Wednesday the health ministry announced that Mahmoud Majid al-Gharableh, 16, had succumbed to his wounds after being shot in the head on 14 May, which saw the highest number of fatalities in a single day since the launch of the protests in late March.

Al-Gharableh is the 20th child among the nearly 150 Palestinians reported killed by Israeli forces in Gaza during that period, the vast majority of them during protests. More than 4,000 others have been wounded by live fire.

Crude propaganda

Israel has resorted to crude propaganda to deflect blame for the deaths of Palestinian boys and girls hit by bullets fired by its soldiers.

This week Israel claimed that Hamas uses candy to lure children – who pose no conceivable danger to heavily armed soldiers in fortified positions – to the boundary fence.

Palestinians should apparently view lethal sniper fire as a natural and inevitable phenomenon at the boundary fence, not unlike the weather.

Meanwhile Israeli military spokesperson Ronen Manelis told the French National Assembly that Hamas sent a 7-year-old girl wearing Mickey Mouse pajamas to infiltrate Israel from Gaza.

“There is only one reason behind this, simply to confuse us and have us kill her,” Manelis claimed, according to a video of his speech published on the military’s Twitter account.

Hamas would have scored a propaganda victory against Israel through the girl’s death, Manelis suggested.

“But we were able to identify her and to understand that it was a provocation,” he said, praising the army for giving water to the girl and sending her back to Gaza with a friendly goodbye.

It is twisted logic that suggests that Hamas is to blame for the killing of Palestinian children when it is Israeli soldiers aiming at them and pulling the trigger.

By saying that “we were able to identify her,” Manelis suggests that soldiers are able to see clearly the Gaza protesters they are killing and maiming, and that they are wilfully doing so.

Manelis’ is not the first such admission made by the military.

On 31 March, a day after the launch of the Great March of Return, when more than a dozen Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, the military stated on Twitter:

“Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”

The admission was promptly deleted as videos emerged showing the lethal shootings of unarmed demonstrators and international condemnation mounted.

In April, Zvika Fogel, a senior Israeli officer, explained how Israeli snipers take deliberate aim at children, only firing when given the order by a superior.

“To my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder, it goes even higher,” Fogel said, justifying the deaths of children.

“Murderous assault”

Human Rights Watch has described Israel’s open-fire policy towards Gaza protesters as “calculated” and Amnesty International has termed it a “murderous assault.”

Israel’s military and political leadership has sought from the beginning to portray the Great March of Return as a Hamas stunt exploiting civilian protests as a cover for “terror” activities which pose an existential threat to Israeli communities near the Gaza boundary.

Israel naturally wants to shift attention away from the demands of the protests: to end the cruel siege it has imposed on Gaza for more than a decade, and to allow Palestinian refugees in Gaza to exercise their right to return to the lands on the other side of the boundary, from which their families were expelled 70 years ago.

Human Rights Watch says that Israel’s use of deadly force against Gaza demonstrators “may amount to war crimes.”

Israel’s propagandists have admitted that Palestinians posed no immediate threat to soldiers when they were killed.

Admission of willful killing

On Monday the army spokesperson’s office stated on Twitter that soldiers killed a Palestinian who was allegedly attempting to set fire to an unmanned military post.

The spokesperson’s account claimed that “terrorists” had crossed the boundary fence carrying “cutters and combustible materials.” Soldiers “spotted the infiltration, monitored the incident and pursued the terrorists while firing towards them.”

The army’s account adds that soldiers reported hearing shots fired in their direction.

If the Palestinians they fired at were in fact armed, the military surely would have paraded photos of their weapons, if their past behavior is any indication.

“The troops operated swiftly to prevent the threat to Israeli sovereignty and the attempt to damage security infrastructure,” the army stated.

The “terrorist” killed by Israeli troops was identified by Palestinian media as Khaled Samir Abd al-Al, 18.

The killing of Palestinians who cross a boundary fence and damage military occupation infrastructure, or who possess cutters and combustible materials, is not justified.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that Israeli forces, “in policing the Gaza fence,” may only “resort to lethal force in cases of extreme necessity, as a last resort in response to an imminent threat of death or risk of serious injury.”

One is hard pressed to imagine what kind of threat was posed by Yasir Amjad Musa Abu al-Naja, the youngest yet killed during the protests.

The 11-year-old boy’s life was ended by a single bullet to his head during last Friday’s protests.

Children in Gaza released dozens of balloons carrying posters of Yasir one week after his death:

 

Converted Jews of today are not the Hebrews of the bible.

Meet The Fake Hebrews

By CUFPa

Converted Jews of today are not the Hebrews of the bible.

They have been using the “Jew” appellation since the late 18th Century in order to appear to be Judahite Hebrews – see How The Ashkenazi Jews Conquered the West.

That way people could see them as the Chosen People, while they endeavored to steal Palestine and create modern-day Israel without the objection of the Christian world, especially since they were Eastern-European Nomads seeking a new country following the loss of their homeland Khazaria.

As Jewish land thieves disembarked in Palestine in the 1940s to seize Palestinian lands and homes that Zionist terrorist groups – such as the Irgun, the Stern gang, and Haganah – had stolen in order to turn the country into Israel, they adopted Hebrew names to complete their “Hebraization” process – not unlike what they did when they scattered throughout Europe and America and assumed European surnames.

Jews with Fake Hebrew Names

Then they – who originally spoke Yiddish – resurrected the dead Hebrew tongue after thousands of years in the dustbin of oblivion to make it Israel’s official language. In so doing, they consolidated in the world’s mind the impression that they were Hebrews rightfully returning home, when in fact they were not.

However, in their lust to deceive the world they got blindsided and completely overlooked the fact that, following the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C., not even the Hebrews spoke Hebrew. They spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

Consequently, Israeli Jews are nothing but impostors living on stolen Palestinian land.

Their very presence in historic Palestine is the working of dark spiritual forces, which are trying to destroy the New Covenant of Christ by “resurrecting” the obsolete Old Covenant, using converted pharisaic Jews who are NOT even remotely descendants of the patriarch Abraham.

“To your (Abraham’s) descendants I give this land….” Genesis 15:18

In so doing, they hope to totally muddy up the Christian faith, and obscure the truth of the superseded Old Covenant and of Christ’s fulfilled prophecies concerning the total annihilation of the Hebrew people and the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in 70 A.D.

“For the land is full of adulterers; it mourns because of the curse. Their pastures have dried up into a wilderness. Their course also is evil, and their might is not right.” Jeremiah 23: 10

There has not been peace in the Middle East the moment non-Hebraic, pharisaic Jews set their sight on Palestine and created Israel in 1948.

The founding of that Apartheid country was forged on lies, especially on the misrepresentation that today’s Jews are Hebrews rightfully taking possession of inherited land, when in fact they’re NOT Hebrews at all – all Hebrews are irrevocably dead, their land inheritance buried along with them.

“The LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight… And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.” 2 Kings 17:18,20

Greenwashing the Nakba: The Real Story Behind israel’s “Blooming Desert”

Whitney Webb | MintNews
Though the official narrative of the state of Israel claims that it has turned the land it occupies from an empty desert into a lush, agricultural wonder, the actual fate of the land following Israel’s establishment in 1948 tells a very different story.

In this Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 file photo, an Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Were it not for Israel, the desert would have remained unproductive and fallow – or so the story goes.It has often been said that Israel, since its establishment in 1948, has presided over the “miracle” of making the country’s “desert bloom.” That heavily promoted narrative — which asserts that the Palestinians have long lacked the capacity, knowledge or desire to properly develop agriculture in the region — has often been used as a legitimizing factor in Israel’s establishment. As former Israel Prime Minister Shimon Peres once said, “The country [Palestine] was mostly an empty desert, with only a few islands of Arab settlement; and Israel’s [cultivated] land today was indeed redeemed from swamp and wilderness.”

There is, however, another side to this story, one that shows that the “blooming desert” of Israel is a convenient disguise for the degradation and destruction of Palestine’s natural resources, a means of obfuscating the worst of occupation by wrapping it in the cloak of Zionist mythology. While a central theme of Zionist mythology has long been the need for the Jewish Diaspora community to re-establish itself by returning to agricultural labor, the truth of Israel’s agricultural “success” involves the unsustainable use of occupied resources and the deliberate destruction of the land and water still used by Palestinians today.

Erasing a rich history
Though the official narrative of the state of Israel claims that it has turned the land it occupies from an empty desert into a lush, agricultural wonder, the actual fate of the land following Israel’s establishment in 1948 tells a very different story. Indeed, prior to 1948, the historical record demonstrates that Palestinian farms were very productive and that both Palestinian Arabs and Jewish settlers were successful farmers. For example, a UN report on agriculture in Palestine between 1945 and 1946 recorded that Palestinian-grown crops accounted for nearly 80 percent of Palestine’s total agricultural yield that season, with Palestinian farms producing over 244,000 tons of vegetables, 73,000 tons of fruit, 78,000 tons of olives, and 5 million liters of wine.

“Villagers of Sidna Ali drawing water from communal well. (source: Palestine Remembered)

Two years later, when the majority of Palestinians were forced from their land during the “Nakba” that founded the state of Israel, the farms and orchards that had previously been tended by Palestinians were left abandoned, as their owners fled under the threat of death at the hands of Zionist militias.

As Israeli historian and journalist Meron Benvenisti detailed in his book Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948:

By April 1948 Jewish farmers had already begun harvesting the crops that had ripened in the abandoned fields and picking the citrus fruit in Arab groves. […] by mid-1949 two-thirds of all land sown with grain in Israel was abandoned Arab land.”

Thus, it was land theft that was largely responsible for Israel’s initial agricultural production, not the labor or agricultural expertise of Zionist settlers.

In addition, the claim that Israel turned an undeveloped desert into an agricultural wonder seems to be – in part – projection on the part of the Israeli state. Indeed, as Benvenisti noted, following the removal of Palestinians, the vast majority of centuries-old fruit orchards that had long been maintained by the native inhabitants of the land were untended, neglected and, in some cases, bulldozed to make room for ever-expanding settlements.

According to Benvenisti’s research, that neglect led to a situation in which “entire tracts of productive citrus trees, especially in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area, were earmarked for the construction of housing developments,” as was the case for Palestine olive groves and pomegranate orchards that the land’s new occupants considered “an annoyance.” Part of the reason for the destruction of the land was that it would weaken Palestinian claims to return to the land, as keeping agricultural infrastructure intact “might have made possible the absorption of the returning refugees.”

Current Israeli government policy, particularly its support for the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, is the continuation of this effort to erase Palestine’s history by targeting its agricultural heritage as well as its natural wonders. Indeed, Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted back in 2011 that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s steady push for Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory had been coupled with “his insistence on seeing nature and landscape as no more than an obstacle to the realization of his settlement vision.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres, right, and French President Francois Hollande, plant a Cedar tree in Jerusalem. The National Lawyers Guild called for the investigation of the Jewish National Fund, an organization famous for planting tress on land forcibly seized from Palestinians. (AP/Abir Sultan)

Covering a crime with water-sucking pines
Another project central to the “desert bloom” mythology is Israel’s “afforestation” of the desert, which has helped “turn the desert green” through the planting of non-native pine trees. These forests, largely planted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), have been touted as a “miracle.” Yet, the pine stands, much like Israel’s treatment of Palestine’s agricultural legacy, have been motivated by a need to cover up the events that led to the creation of the Israeli state.

Indeed, more than two-thirds of all JNF forests and sites lie on top of the ruins of Palestinian villages demolished during and after the founding of Israel, and the group’s continuing afforestation efforts are aimed at acquiring land in the occupied West Bank to prevent “trespassing” and “conceal” Palestinian villages in order to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees.

Moreover, the effort to maintain a forest of non-native trees – regardless of whether its chief aim is to cover up the true history of Palestine or “green” a desert — has come at a great cost to the natural environment. As journalist Max Blumenthal has noted:
Most of the saplings the JNF plants at a site near Jerusalem simply do not survive, and require frequent replanting. Elsewhere, needles from the pine trees have killed native plant species and wreaked havoc on the ecosystem.”
They also become fodder for forest fires that have caused major damage and mass evacuations throughout Israel over the years.

Another ecological consequence of JNF forests is their likely effect on Israel’s horrendous drought, considered to be the worst the region has faced in over 900 years. As studies have shown in other countries where non-native pine plantations have been introduced in vast numbers, pines consume a significant amount of water – leading to droughts and even the disappearance of entire rivers – as well as fundamentally alter and degrade the soil. While these forests have been presented as an ecological miracle, they are instead destroying the environment and degrading the land’s resources, suggesting that the main driver behind the long-standing project is aimed at covering up the ruins of Palestine.

Continuing the attack on Palestinian agriculture
Today, the stark difference in agricultural development in the land tended by Israelis and Palestinians derives from policies that often receive little coverage in the media and are largely absent from the “desert bloom” narrative. Indeed, much of the coverage the issue has received paints Palestinian agricultural successes as either the work of foreigners offering aid or resulting from the “theft” of Israeli-settlement agricultural infrastructure.

Such reports fail to acknowledge the realities of the issue, such as the illegal blockade of Gaza that has crippled its economy and agricultural sector, as well as Israel’s destruction of agricultural infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank. Gazan agricultural infrastructure was ravaged by Israel in times of war and, in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers regularly demolish rain cisterns, pipelines and irrigation systems installed by Palestinians, citing as a reason that such structures lacked the “proper authorization” from Israel. Farmers themselves, mainly in Gaza, are often targeted directly by Israeli soldiers if they come too close to the border fence.

A Palestinian elderly woman collects olives from broken olive tree branches in the village of Qusra, northern West Bank, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Palestinian farmers say Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Eli cut more than 70 olive trees overnight. Olives are the backbone of Palestinian agriculture. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

The Israeli government has also targeted Palestinian agriculture through chemical warfare. The use of white phosphorus as a weapon against Gaza, for example, has had major consequences for the area’s farmers. In addition to the chemical weapon’s often deadly effects on the human body, it has destructive effects on the environment and plants, as its incendiary nature often leads to the spontaneous ignition and burning of trees, forests and farmland. It also lingers in the environment for several years.

Beyond the use of chemical weapons, Israel has also directly targeted Gazan farmland with herbicide. In 2015, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted to using herbicides and germination inhibitors to kill off vegetation along the Palestinian side of the border, damaging over 420 acres of land. A year later, tactic was repeated, this time destroying around 400 acres of farmland. The IDF has stated that it sprays the chemicals over the vaguely defined “no-go zone” it has established along the border “in order to enable optimal and continuous security operations.” However, the area accounts for a third of Gaza’s arable land and 17 percent of the entire territory.

Furthermore, the herbicides, like white phosphorus, have consequences for the environment long after they are sprayed. As Anwar Abu Assi, manager of the chemical laboratory at Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture, told Al Jazeera in 2016:
Herbicides are sprayed in high concentrations. Thus, they remain embedded in the soil, and then find their way to the water basin. This constitutes a real hazard for the population.”
The targeting of Palestinian agriculture in the present and its treatment by the Israeli and American press suggest another and nefarious way in which Israel’s “desert bloom” mythology has manifested. In order for Israel’s agricultural “superiority” to remain unchallenged, Palestinian agriculture must also be suppressed. Were Palestinian agriculture able to develop unimpeded and flourish, it would call into question the idea that the land was barren before the Zionists, threatening the latter’s legitimacy.

The cover-story for all conquerors and colonizers 
The myth of Israel “making the desert bloom” has its basis in neo-colonial narratives that have long been used in other settler states such as Canada, New Zealand, the United States and Australia. In the cases of the latter countries, the native inhabitants and their culture have also inaccurately been depicted as “primitive” and incompetent, a narrative that suggests that the land would have remained “wild” and undeveloped were it not for the “fortunate” appearance of European settlers. Such narratives cast the settlers as both superior and normal while the natives become inferior and abnormal, thus obfuscating the settler’s status as foreigner and conqueror.

Zionist mythology reinforces similar themes. For example, as in the United States Native Americans were considered as uncivilized and wild as the natural environment, Zionist mythology reinforces the idea that all Arabs are “sons of the desert” while the desert similarly represents a barbaric obstacle to “progress” and development.

Another historical analogue is the 19th century concept of “manifest destiny” — the idea that the expansion of the United States had been preordained by God himself, which led the U.S. to break many of its numerous treaties with indigenous tribes and even go to war with Mexico in order to acquire the land it coveted. The Israeli government similarly sees its expansion and control of all of Palestine as a matter of fulfilling prophecy and “redeeming” the Holy Land. This effort of redemption continues to feed Israel’s expansion. As Netanyahu has said, Israel is “obligated to develop all parts of the country – the Galilee and the Negev [the West Bank].”

Living the myth and the lie
Yet, no matter how much evidence exists to the contrary, Israel will never tell the real story behind the “miracle” of making “the desert bloom.” It will never tell the real story precisely because it can’t – to do so would mean demolishing the neo-colonial narrative at the center of the settler state, a narrative that is the pillar of its legitimacy.

Indeed, if Israel has not actually improved the land by making “the desert bloom” but instead degraded the land, the legitimacy of the state of Israel itself becomes questionable, as it suggests that its native inhabitants – the Palestinians – were better caretakers of the land than the current occupiers. For this reason, Israel must continue to propagate the myth regardless of the facts, and continue to deny Palestine’s rich cultural history and agricultural legacy.

With Israel now facing the consequences of its mistreatment of the land and its resources, the historical revisionism once used to sell the disparity between Israeli and Palestinian agricultural prowess has become ineffective. For that reason, Israel must now use other tactics — chemical warfare through toxic agrochemicals, the physical destruction of Palestinian agricultural infrastructure, and illegal blockades – in order to keep the artificial narrative alive, creating the illusion of primitivism and scarcity where none exists.


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Finding the truth amid israel’s lies

Finding the truth amid Israel’s lies

Ilan Pappe The Electronic Intifada

Illustration by Nidal El-Khairy

Great sadness and suffering flooded the roads – convoy upon convoy of refugees making their way [to the Lebanese border]. They leave the villages of their homeland and the homeland of their ancestors and move to an alien, unknown new land, full of troubles. Women, children, babies, donkeys – everyone is on the move, quietly and sadly, to the north, without looking left or right.

A woman cannot find her husband, a child cannot find his father … Everything that can walk is moving, running away not knowing what to do, not knowing where they are going. Many of their belongings are spread on the sideways; the more they walk the more exhausted they become, they nearly cannot walk anymore – shedding from the bodies everything they tried to salvage when they are on their way to exile …

I met an 8-year-old boy going north and leading before him two donkeys. His father and brother died in the fighting and he lost his mother … I passed through the way between Sasa and Tarbiha and I saw a tall man, bent, scratching with his hands something on the tough rocky terrain. I stopped. I noticed a small dent in the land that was dug by bare hands, with nails, under the olive tree. The man laid in it a body of a baby who died in the arms of his mother and buried it with dirt and [covered it with] small stones. Then he went back to the road and continued to move north, his bent wife walking a few steps behind him, without looking back. I ran into an old man, who fainted on a rock on the sideway and nobody among the refugees dares to help him … When we went into Birim, everyone fled in their fright in the direction of the wadi facing north, taking their little kids and as much cloth as they could. The next day, they came back as the Lebanese did not allow them to enter. Seven babies died of hypothermia.

This moving description was not written by a human rights activist, a UN observer or a caring journalist. It was written by Moshe Carmel and appears in his book Northern Campaigns – first published in 1949.

He toured the Galilee at the end of October 1948, after commanding Operation Hiram, in which Israeli forces committed some of the worst atrocities in the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The crimes were so serious that some leading Zionists described them as Nazi actions.

Carmel’s book and dozens like it – brigade books, memoirs and military histories – could be found on the shelves of Israeli Jewish homes from 1948 onwards. Revisiting them, 70 years on, reveals an elementary truth: it would have been possible to write the “new history” of 1948 without a single new declassified document, but only if these open sources, as I call them, had been read with non-Zionist lenses.

The famous – and by now overused – expression that history is written by the victors can be countered in many ways. One way is by unpacking the victors’ publications in order to expose the lies, fabrications and misrepresentations, as well as their less conscious actions.

A rereading of these open sources about the Nakba, mostly written by Israelis themselves, unlocks fresh historiographical perspectives on the big picture of that period – while declassified documents allow us to see that picture in a higher resolution.

This reprise could have been done at any moment between 1948 and today – as long as historians were willing to employ the critical lens needed for such an examination.

Rereading these open sources, especially in tandem with the numerous oral histories of the Nakba, reveals the barbarism and dehumanization that accompanied the catastrophe. The barbarism is common to settler communities in the formative years of their colonization projects and can sometimes be obscured by the dry and evasive language of military and political documents.

I do not mean to belittle the importance of archival documents. They are important for telling us what happened. However, the open sources and oral histories are crucial for understanding the meaning of what happened.

Such a rereading exposes the settler-colonial DNA of the Zionist project and the place of the 1948 ethnic cleansing within it.

Dehumanization on a massive scale

Take the Carmel quotation, for instance. How could someone overseeing such atrocities write so compassionately?

The clue is in another sentence in the same quotation that appears almost as a digression: “And then I noticed a 16-year-old boy, totally naked smiling at us, when we passed him (funny, when I passed him I did not tell because of his nakedness to which people he belonged and I only saw him as a human being).”

For one very exceptional short moment, that Palestinian kid was humanized (within the parentheses in the text). But dehumanization occurred on a scale we witness only in massive crimes such as ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The rule was that children were considered as part of the enemy, who had to be cleansed for the sake of a Jewish state or as Carmel put it – a day after he finished his Galilee tour – for the sake of liberation.

He published this message to his troops: “The whole Galilee, the ancient Israeli Galilee, was liberated by the powerful and devastating force of the IDF [Israel’s military] … We eliminated the enemy, we destroyed it and caused it to flee … We [conquered] Meiron [Mayrun], Gush Halav [Jish], Sasa and Malkiya … We destroyed the enemies’ nests of Tarshiha, Eilabun, Mghar and Rami … The castles of the enemy fell one after the other.”

Seventy years after the Nakba, the Hebrew language is as important a tool as access to the closed Israeli archives. The Hebrew text clearly tells you who the enemy was – the enemy that fled, was eliminated and expelled from its “castles.”

They are the people Carmel met. And for a moment, he was moved by their suffering.

Redemption?

The most important discursive elements in these kinds of reports are the concepts of liberation and elimination (shihrur and hisul). What this meant, in reality, was an attempt to indigenize the occupiers of Palestine through the de-indigenization of the Palestinians.

This is the essence of a settler-colonial project and Carmel’s book – and those by others – reveal it in full. Carmel saw the 1948 occupation as a redemption of the Roman Galilee.

These violent acts against the Palestinians had very little to do with finding a haven from anti-Semitism.

The Zionist project was, and still is, a project of de-indigenizing the Palestinian population and replacing it with one comprised of Jewish settlers. It was in many ways the implementation of a romantic nationalist ideology, the like of which fed fanatic Italian and German nationalism in the late 19th century and beyond.

This link is clear in books about the brigades in the Israeli army. One such book, The Alexandroni Brigade and The War of Independence, is a case in point.

The Alexandroni Brigade was entrusted with the occupation of much of Palestine’s coast, north of Jaffa, about 60 villages in total. Before occupation of the villages, the troops were taught about the historical context of their operations. The narrative provided by the commanders is repeated in the book in two chapters. The first is titled “The Military Past of the Alexandroni Space” and it begins by saying “the front in which the Alexandroni Brigade faced in the war of Independence is unique in the military history of the region and of Eretz Israel [Greater Israel] in particular.”

This was the Sharon – the coast of Palestine in the Zionist narrative – which is an invented term with no roots in history. The Sharon, the book on the Alexandroni Brigade tells us, was “a rich and quite fertile land” that “attracted” armies during their “occupation journeys” into the land of Israel. This historical chapter is full of tales of heroism, claiming, for example, “this is where [the people of] Israel under [the prophet] Shmuel confronted the Philistines.”

The Hebrews were always disadvantaged in the battle against their enemies but “then as today, it was the superior spirit that tipped the balance in favor of Israel.”

Under Baibars, the Mamluk sultan, the Sharon was destroyed as an agricultural land and “from then on the Sharon would regain its economic vitality until its resettlement with the Zionist immigration [aliya],” the book states. Baibars, by the way, had been there in 1260. So the book on the Alexandroni Brigade tells its readers that the Sharon had been without people for more than 600 years, which is Zionist fabrication of history at its best.

During the Ottoman period the Sharon “was in total devastation, saturated with swamps and malaria,” the book adds. “Only with the Jewish aliya and settlement in the end of the 19th century a new period of prosperity [in the Sharon’s history] began.”

The Zionists “returned” the Sharon to its former glory and it became one of the most Jewish areas in the “Mandatory Eretz Israel” – as the book calls Palestine when it was administered by a British mandate.

“Villages must be destroyed”

The ethnic cleansing of the Hebrew coast began while Palestine was under British control. Britain was, in many respects, a vital ally of the Zionist movement. Yet it did not facilitate the colonization of Palestine as quickly as some Zionists wanted. The book on the Alexandroni Brigade even depicts Britain as being a sometimes inhuman obstacle to Jewish “redemption.”

So the Sharon clearly still had Arabs in it. The book describes the region as the lifeline for the Jewish community, yet suggests that Jewish life was disrupted by the many surrounding Arab villages.

It was mainly the eastern part of the Sharon that was “purely Arab and constituted the main threat towards the Jewish settlements; a threat that had to be taken into account in any military planning.”

The “threat” was “taken into account” first by isolated attacks on villages. The book says that up to 29 November 1947 the relationship between Jews and Palestinians was good and continued to be so after that date. And yet a sentence later the books tells us that “in the beginning of 1948, the process of abandoning isolated Arab villages began. One can see the early signs for this in the abandonment of Sidan Ali (al-Haram) by its 220 Arab inhabitants and Qaisriya by its 1,100 Arab inhabitants in mid-February 1948.” There were two massive expulsions that took place while the British forces who were responsible for law and order, watched on and did not interfere. Then “in March with the escalation of the fighting, the process of abandonment intensified.”

The “escalation” came with the implementation of Plan Dalet – a blueprint for destroying Palestinian villages. The book on the Alexandroni Brigade brings a summary of the orders emanating from the plan. The orders include the task of “determining the Arab villages that must be seized or destroyed.”

There were 55 villages, according to the book, in the area occupied according to Plan Dalet. The Hebrew Sharon was almost completely “liberated” in March 1948 when the coast “was cleansed” from Arab villages apart from four. In the language of the book: “Most of the areas near the coast were cleansed from Arab villages, apart from … a ‘small triangle’ and in it the Arab villages of Jaba, Ein Ghazal and Ijzim – which stuck out like a sore thumb, overlooking the Tel Aviv-Haifa road; there were also Arabs in Tantura on the beach.”

A deeper analysis of these texts and other open sources would shed light on the structural nature of the ongoing settler colonial project in Palestine, the ongoing Nakba.

The history of the Nakba is thus not only a chronicle of the past, but an examination of a historical moment that is continuing in the historian’s time. Social scientists are far more equipped to deal with “moving targets” – namely analyzing contemporary phenomena – but historians, so we are told, need distance to reflect on and see the full picture.

On the face it, 70 years should provide enough distance, but on the other hand, this is like an attempt to understand the Soviet Union, or for that matter the Crusades, by contemporaries, and not by historians.

Sites of memory, to use Pierre Nora’s concept, as well as the scholarly leaps of recent years are triggered not by declassification per se, but by their relevance to contemporary struggles.

Oral history projects, as well as the brigade books, are all crucial and accessible sources that penetrate the genuine and cynical Zionist, and later Israeli, shields of deception. They help understand why the concept of a democratic or enlightened settler state is an oxymoron.

Israel’s approved history

A deconstruction of Israel’s approved history is the best way to challenge a word laundrette that turns ethnic cleansing into self-defense, land robbery into redemption and apartheid practices into “security” concerns.

There is a sense, on the one hand, that after years of denial, the historiographical picture has been revealed worldwide with clear contours and colors. The Israeli narrative has been challenged successfully both in the academic world and in the public domain.

And yet there is a sense of frustration, given the limited access to declassified documents in Israel to scholars, even Israeli ones, while Palestinian scholars can hardly hope in the current political climate to have any access at all.

Going beyond the archival documents about the Nakba is, therefore, necessary not only for a better understanding of the event. It may also be a solution for researchers in the future, given the new Israeli policy on declassification.

Israel has closed most of the 1948 documents.

The alternative sources and approaches suggested in this piece highlight several points. A knowledge of Hebrew is helpful and the need to continue with oral history projects is essential.

The settler colonial paradigm also remains relevant for analyzing afresh both the Zionist project and resistance to it. Yet there are still issues with the adaptability of the paradigm – such as whether it can be applied to Jews from Arab countries who moved to Palestine – and these should be further explored.

But more than anything else we should insist that commitment to Palestine is not an obstacle for good scholarship but an enhancer of it. As Edward Said wrote: “But where are facts if not embedded in history, and then reconstituted and recovered by human agents stirred by some perceived or desired or hoped-for historical narrative whose future aim is to restore justice to the dispossessed?”

Justice and facts, moral positions, professional acumen and scholarly accuracy should not be juxtaposed one against the other but rather seen as all contributing to a wholesome historiographical enterprise. Very few historiographical projects are in need of such an integrative approach as the research on the ongoing Nakba.

The author of numerous books, Ilan Pappe is professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter.

The Ugly History of the Christian Zionist Movement, Starting in 1909

Source

Mike King

It seems highly likely that the founder of the movement was backed by wealthy Jewish interests intent on building popular support for Zionism.

Though Sugar and I, er, “The Editorial Board” of The Anti-New York Times take great delight in bitch-slapping libtards and pointy-headed intellectuals, it is important to emphasize that not all of America’s insane people are found on the political “Left.”

Though “Christian Zionists” are much closer to our views on social, political and economic matters, their dangerous lunacy when it comes to blindly supporting “the chosen people” and Greater Israel as “end times” requirements calls for an equal-opportunity beat down of these irrational maniacs.

The size and power of the Christian Zionist hordes (aka Evangelicals and Baptists) are no secret to anyone who understands anything about American politics. What is not commonly understood, even among these crazies, is how exactly they got to be so ziotarded in the first place.

Sugar, fire up the Time Machine and set the dial to 1909, please.

   
Some estimates put the numbers of Evangelical Christian Zionists as high as 40 million. These misguided fanatics are even more zealous in their love of Israel that the Jewish Israel Lobby!Cyrus Scofield was a small time politician and career criminal. In 1873, he was forced to resign his position as a District Attorney because of crooked financial transactions which included accepting bribes, stealing political contributions, and securing bank notes by forging signatures. He served jail time for forgery charges.

A heavy drinker, Scofield later abandoned his wife and two daughters. His wife finally divorced the drunken crook in 1883. As so many con-men do, Scofield.soon claimedto have “found Jesus. He later claimed to have obtained a Doctor of Divinity degree, but “Minister” Scofield’s degree has never been verified.

In 1909, after several mysterious trips to Europe and New York, Scofield published the notated reference Bible that still bears his name. The added side notes in “the Scofield Bible” inject a very weird “End Times” prophecy into Christianity. Because of Scofield’s altered Bible, today’s Christian Ziotards believe that Jesus will return to save his followers (The Rapture), but only after Israel is established and that “God will bless those who bless Israel.”

This biblical alteration, at the hands of a known criminal, marks the beginning of this powerful force in American politics that has mentally infected many millions of otherwise decent people with Scofield’s poison. Yes indeed — the Scofield Bible was very good for Zionism!.The question remains: who did the con-man Scofield meet with while in New York and Europe?

 
Jew agent / ex-con Cyrus Scofield and his “study bible” led many millions of Christians to turn a blind eye to Palestinian suffering and actually worship the people who hate Christianity.These Old Testament fanatics who call themselves “Baptists” really need to read what the original “baptist,” John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ are actually quoted as saying, in the New Testament, about the chosenites that they love so much:

Matthew 3:7 — John the Baptist calls out Jewish high priests (Pharisees and Sadducees) as “vipers”

But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his place of baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Matthew 3:9 — John the Baptist to Jewish priests, refuting the “chosen people” concept:

Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.

Matthew 23:15 — Jesus to Jewish priests, on converting gentiles to Judaism:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You traverse land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hellas you are.

John 8:44 — — Jesus to the Jewish priests on their ungodliness

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

And there are plenty more gems like those in the New Testament, as well as the famous incident in which Jesus made a whip and chased the money lenders out of the temple. Yes, it’s true, Christo-Ziotards. According to the contemporary definition of the term, your lord and savior, Jesus Christ, was quite the “anti-Semite” TM — which is why those very same Pharisees “lobbied” the Roman Governor of Judea to torture and crucify him.

How’s that for irony?!

   
THE CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS NEED A BIBLE LESSON! 1. Jesus Christ was always ripping on and contradicting the Jewish bosses. 2&3. The Pharisees then pressured the Romans to kill him.


Boobus Americanus 1: I read in the New York Times today that the alliance between Evangelicals and Israel is growing stronger.

Boobus Americanus 2: These Christian Zionists are really crazy. They want end times to come and need Israel to be blessed so they can be zapped into the rapture.


Edward Gibbon said it best: History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.”


Source: TomatoBubble

Evangelical Leaders are Wrong – Today’s israel Is NOT the Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy

Today’s Israel Is NOT the Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy

“Hagee and Jeffress and Robertson and LaHaye, et al. are wrong. …  Netanyahu and his fellow Zionists are NOT God’s chosen people.”

The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul.  

He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and a popular radio host and columnist. His weekly sermons are available on his YouTube channel.

He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia.  His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump’s popular support.

Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider, when they were relevant to the debate over Russia.


Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Baldwin’s latest article on the recent events in Israel. We want to focus on what he says about Christian Zionism, because it has become one of the most important factors in the US today motivating unqualified US support of everything Israel does. It is a big reason behind Trump’s support for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and for agreeing to Israel’s bellicose policy towards Iran.


Sadly, most evangelical Christians will have no desire to read or listen to anything critical of Zionist Israel, because they have been totally and completely indoctrinated in Scofield dispensationalism and Israel-centered prophetic futurism.

From Liberty University (LU) to Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), from John Hagee to Robert Jeffress, and from Pat Robertson to Tim LaHaye, evangelical Christians have been immersed in the notion that the advent of Rothschild’s Zionist State of Israel in 1948 is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and that the state itself is a burgeoning fulfillment of Jehovah’s covenants with Abraham and David. They are further convinced that God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee” (Genesis 12:3 KJV), applies to the Rothschild State of Israel created in 1948.

Hagee marching in solidarity with Israel in Jerusalem in 2016: “Pro-Israel evangelicals will storm US voting booths”

Believe me: I understand the way they think perfectly, because I used to think the exact same way—for over 30 years. That is, until I began to prayerfully and carefully study the issue for myself, only to find that Scofield and LU and DTS and Hagee and Jeffress and Robertson and LaHaye, et al. are wrong.

The Rothschild Zionist State of Israel is NOT the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy; it is NOT a burgeoning fulfillment of the covenants God made with Abraham and David; Netanyahu and his fellow Zionists are NOT God’s “chosen people”; and God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee,” does NOT remotely apply to the Rothschild state created in 1948.

Must watch – Hagee explaining why Christians must support Israel 4 days ago at embassy opening. For people not familiar with Messianic Christian Zionism, which is taught to about 20% of Americans by their Protestant pastors, this is shocking. Hagee is one of the best known proponents of this view.


And perhaps nothing Jesus taught applies more accurately to the Zionist State of Israel than these words: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20 KJV)

Rothschild Zionism—since even before Israel’s inception, and even more following its inception— has produced chaos and carnage, destruction and death that is unparalleled in human history. And the impact of modern Israel on human suffering staggers the imagination.

Gideon Polya writes:

Presently there are 16 million avoidable deaths from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease each year globally and there have been 1,500 million such deaths since 1950 (this including 600 million Muslims), this carnage being significantly linked to continuing Zionist perversion of US aid and foreign policy.

There have been 32 million Muslim deaths from violence, 5 million, or from deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the pro-Zionist US Alliance in the US War on Terror (US War on Muslims) since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity in which Apartheid Israel is very likely to have been complicit.

There have been millions of refugees generated and millions of Indigenous deaths from violence or imposed deprivation in countries subject to Apartheid Israeli-backed, genocidal civil wars, notably Guatemala, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan.

There have been 28 million American preventable deaths since 9-11 (1.7 million annually) that are inescapably linked to Zionist-beholden US Governments committing to a $40 trillion long-term accrual cost of supporting Apartheid Israel, this including a $7 trillion long-term accrual cost for the killing of millions of Muslims abroad in the Zionist-promoted War on Terror instead of keeping millions of Americans alive at home.

Australia has similarly committed to $11 billion per year long-term to the War on Terror ($176 billion since 9-11) with this fiscal perversion linked to 1.4 million preventable Australian deaths since 9-11 (85,000 annually). Canada has similarly committed hugely to the War on Terror with this inescapably linked to 0.1 million Canadian preventable deaths annually or 1.7 million preventable deaths in Canada since 9-11.

The UK has similarly committed hugely to the War on Terror with this linked in terms of fiscal deprivation to 0.15 million UK preventable deaths annually or 2.5 million preventable deaths in the UK since the 9-11 atrocity that killed 3,000 people.

See the very thorough, well-researched and fully annotated report here:

70th Anniversary Of Apartheid Israel: History Of Violent Invasion. Chronology Of Palestinian Genocide

Yet, to Scofield-zombied evangelicals, all of this death and destruction is considered not only “acceptable” but part of “God’s plan.” They believe that the Rothschild State of Israel is destined to usher in the return of Christ. But not before the antichrist takes over Israel, of course, and destroys a large percentage of the world’s population. Not to worry, however, because these Israel-obsessed evangelicals believe they will escape all of this death and destruction via the “Rapture.”

Evangelicals also attempt to justify Israel’s murder and genocide of millions of innocent people by trying to compare this death and destruction by the Zionist state to God’s direct commands to Old Testament Israel (through Moses) to defeat the nations of the Old Testament Promised Land. But there is absolutely NO comparison. Lionel Walter Rothschild, Theodor Herzi, Chaim Weizmann and Benjamin Netanyahu are NOT Moses. These men didn’t (or don’t in the case of Netanyahu) even recognize Jesus Christ as being the Jews’ Messiah or the world’s Savior. (And as every evangelical Christian should know, Jehovah of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New Testament are ONE.) These men subscribed (or subscribe in the case of Netanyahu) to Talmudism, which is nothing more than the continuation of the pagan religion of the Pharisees in Jesus and the Apostles’ day. Back in May of 2014, Netanyahu even recognized the law that will “establish the Talmud, the core work of Jewish law, as an official basis for Israeli state law.

To equate the acts of a group of Christ-rejecting, Christ-hating Talmudists who murdered and are murdering millions of people for the sake of power and wealth to the acts of God’s great Old Testament prophet, deliverer and lawgiver, Moses, is nothing short of blasphemy.

But evangelicals do seem to have one thing right: This Zionist State of Israel created in 1948 has already partially fulfilled the antichrist agenda of bringing death and destruction to the world, as noted above. Unfortunately, one thing they may not be counting on is that when the antichrist agenda being accomplished through Israel comes to fruition, it may include the death and destruction of the United States—and when that happens, the “Rapture” may not come in time to save them.

In the meantime, the celebration of modern Israel’s 70th anniversary this week was merely a continuation of what Zionist Israel has celebrated since the day it was conceived: death and destruction.


P.S. I, again, invite readers to watch my eight-message, two-DVD series The Church And Israel.

As I said, I had been schooled in and personally believed and taught Israel-based Bible prophecy for over 30 years. After MUCH prayer, deliberation and personal study, however, I came to realize that everything I had been taught and had myself taught on the subject was patently FALSE. I now realize that the Zionist State of Israel created in 1948 has NOTHING to do with Biblical Israel.

These two DVDs containing eight messages explain the basic, foundational scriptural truth relative to the subject of Israel that must first be comprehended in order to understand the full teaching of Scripture on the matter. I consider these eight messages to be “Biblical Israel 101.”

To order my eight-message, two-DVD series The Church And Israel, go here: The Church And Israel


If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link: Chuck Baldwin Live Donate Form. I also have many books and DVDs available for purchase online. Go here: Chuck Baldwin Live Store.  To subscribe to my weekly columns, click here: Subscribe to Chuck’s Column.

Such a fuss over a few Jewish gravestones damaged and the fact israel destroys hundreds of Muslim graves goes unmentioned

  Man who toppled Jewish gravestones says he wasn’t motivated by antisemitism

If Americans Knew | April 26, 2018

Ha’aretz reports that a man who knocked over about 120 headstones at a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis last year doesn’t seem to have been motivated by hatred or antisemitism.

Israel accused of destroying Muslim graves in East Jerusalem

State of Palestine: Muslim graves vandalised and destroyed

Institute: Jewish extremists destroy Palestinian graves

Six graves desecrated in Catholic graveyard near Jerusalem

Destruction of graves is yet another Israeli violation against Palestinians

Palestinians Outraged as Israel Destroys Historic Muslim Graves

Video: Israeli Antiquities Authority destroys Palestinian graves

Israel razes Muslim graves in East Jerusalem cemetery

ETC ETC

 

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