Thursday, August 30, 2012

Palestinians base lie
(Chicagoan Jack Berger writes on a variety of Middle East and Jewish subjects, including politics and the Diaspora in relation to the history of the Jewish people.)

Op-Ed: Three Card Monte Happy DancePublished: Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:03 AM
-Jack Berger

“Three Card Monte” for the Arab refugees is a con game in which the mark (the US tax payer) is tricked into giving aid to “refugees” to split between the dealer and the shills, UNRWA and the Palestinian / Hamas leadership.

The War of Independence for Israel in reality began on November 30, 1947, the day after the United Nations vote for the reestablishment of the homeland for the Jewish people.

Until the U.N. vote, the Arabs and their British allies had been on their best behavior … after the vote the gloves came off.

It should be remembered that the original agreement regarding the reestablishment of the Jewish State was previously confirmed under the provisions of the Balfour Declaration (1917) with the agreement being fully implemented at the conference in San Remo, Italy in 1920, under the powers vested by the League of Nations called thereafter the Mandate for Palestine.

In 1920, the homeland of the Jews was to be “on the banks of the Jordan River…” on both the west and the east banks of the Jordan. In 1922, Winston Churchill, the British Colonial Secretary and Alex Kirkbride, acting Governor of Moab, in disregard of Britain’s obligations under the Mandate, lopped off 78% of the land designated for the National homeland of the Jewish people thereafter calling it Trans-Jordan. … for Britain, one could only say, “agreements were made to be broken” and so the area left for the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland was only 22% of the original Mandate, the areas west of the Jordan river.

In 1947, Britain and the successor organization to the League of Nations, the newly created United Nations, again attempted to re-divide the remaining 22% into a Jewish State and a second Arab State. After the U.N. vote of 1947, with the instigation of the Arab leadership, Arabs who had been living in the area designated for the Jewish State were told to move to the area designated as the Arab State, clearing the way for five Arab armies to enter the Jewish areas to slaughter the Jews. In the interim, the surrounding Arab states closed all their borders to any Arabs trying to leave Palesti
The so-called “refugees” never crossed the borders of 1948!

The 1948 war in Palestine was a big story with hundreds of reporters from Europe, Britain and the United States on the scene. Today there are often hysterical memories by Arabs of the evil Jews pushing the “mythological” Palestinians out of their land where they had lived “from time immemorial”. Yet the obvious question is, if the Jews had violently pushed the “poor defenseless Arabs” out, might there be news accounts and articles attesting to these actions?

In the book” Battleground” by Shmuel Katz, z’l he writes, “… the fabrication can most easily be detected by the simple fact that at the time the alleged expulsion of the Arabs by Zionists was in progress, nobody noticed it. Foreign newspapermen abounded in the country… but even those most hostile to the Jews saw nothing to suggest that the flight (of the Arabs) was not voluntary. In the months that the flight took place
, the London Times, a newspaper most notably hostile to Israel, published 11 leading articles on the situation in Palestine… in none was there even a remote hint that the Zionists were driving Arabs from their homes… Even more pertinent, no Arab spokesman made such a charge. The 2

Palestinian Arabs’ chief U.N. representative, Jamal Husseini, made a long political statement on April 27, 1948, that was not lacking in hostility toward the Zionists but he did not even mention” the refugees”… The Secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, also made a fiercely worded political statement on Palestine at the United Nations and not a word about “ refugees”.

When playing “Three Card Monte”, the question is always who’s the mark and who’s the con…if you tell a lie often enough…and so our enemies have.

Yet, interestingly, corroborating the findings from Shmuel Katz’s z’l exhaustive study of various news sources was our very own, less than Israel
-loving, Chicago Tribune, then owned and run by Colonel Robert R. McCormick, a personage not particularly fond of Jews. If, as some believe, the Tribune is biased today, it was worse under McCormick’s ownership and so an associate of mine spent over two months at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago combing thru every back issue of the Chicago Tribune from January 1, 1947 through December 31, 1949, photocopying each and every article (over 420) about Palestine, Zionists and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Between 1947 and 
1949, the Tribune had its very own Middle East foreign correspondent in Palestine by the name of E.R. Noderer. He was one of the Tribune’s most valued foreign correspondents and a loyalist when it came to the Tribune agenda. Quoting the Tribune’s own archives, “Noderer was in Palestine for the Jewish-Arab war, which saw the birth of the State of Israel.” In addition to Noderer, the Tribune had numerous dispatches from the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI).

From all these sources over a three year period – not one report – not one sentence –about the Palestinian Jews (as they were referred to) throwing the Arabs (as they were referred to) out of the country. The only sentence that referred to Arabs leaving was written by Noderer on May 10, 1948 under the headline “Palestine Jews Say Their Star Rose on Jan. 15” (January 15th is when the British Army left Tel Aviv).

Noderer writes: “One hundred fifty thousand Arabs were estimated (perhaps inflated) to have left the areas of Palestine assigned to the Jews in the partition plan”. That’s it! Would hundreds of news sources conspire to keep such an "expulsion" secret?

Why is it that all the “accounts” of the brutality inflicted on the poor, displaced “Palestinians” we
re, in fact, written years afterward by “revisionist historians” with an agenda?

Where was the need to establish a Palestinian Arab State from 1948 through 1967, when Jordan controlled the West Bank?

As the Muslim cleric Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, considered the greatest Muslim after Mohammed, wrote, “If a lie is the only way to obtain a good result, it is permitted. We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results.” In Arabic the noble lie is called “Al-Taqiya”….

And in a miraculous conversion, famed revisionst historian Benny Morris, in a 
January 9, 2004 Haaretz interview stated: “The majority of those who call themselves Palestinian refugees never left the boundaries of the western Land of Israel in 1948. This has frightening significance for leftist intellectuals because it means the myth of Palestinian ‘exile’ is false, and as a result, the ‘right of return’ means nothing”. 3

Goebbels would be proud … If you repeat the lie often enough, people will begin to believe it, and so they have. Displaced refugees have been created where few existed in history. Al-Taqiya – the art of the lie…

It is not just on the street corners of New York that the game of “Three Card Monte” is played. In “Three Card Monte” – the con – is a con in which a shill pretends to conspire with the mark to cheat the dealer, while in fact conspiring with the dealer to cheat the mark. In the refugee game of lies, the shill is the head of UNRWA, Johnny “Quick-fingers” Ging and his merry band of Hamas pranksters… the dealer is the mythological Palestinian Arab refugees – the larger the number the more funding from the mark…and the mark is the American taxpayers.

“Three Card Monte” for Palestinian refugees is a con game in which the mark (the American tax payer) is tricked into giving aid on the assumption that there are more “refugees” getting more aid to split between the dealer and the shills, UNRWA and the Palestinian / Hamas leadership.

It was Prince Hassam bin Tal, the younger brother of the late King Hussein of Jordan who when
 interviewed on the BBC by Stephen Sackur on the program Hard Talk in 2008 made the point,

“We come from a Byzantine civilization, from centuries of dissimulation. I mean we Middle Easterners are professional liars.”

UNRWA and the mythological Palestinians may not be very good at math, but are very creative when it comes to multiplication…Remember their happy dance after two airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center. The poor Palestinian Arab leadership has been happy dancing on the American tax payer since the infamous handshake on the White House lawn 19 years ago, called Oslo.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

War against the Jews is the war on Israel

The War Against the Jews - Efraim Karsh
The sustained anti-Israel delegitimization campaign is a corollary of the millenarian obsession with the Jews in the Christian and the Muslim worlds. Since Israel is the world's only Jewish state, and since Zionism is the Jewish people's national liberation movement, anti-Zionism means denial of the Jewish right to national self-determination. Such a discriminatory denial of this basic right to only one nation (and one of the few that can trace their corporate identity and territorial attachment to antiquity) while allowing it to all other groups and communities, however new and tenuous their claim to nationhood, is pure and unadulterated anti-Jewish racism, or anti-Semitism as it is commonly known.
    The founding fathers of Zionism failed to consider that the prejudice and obsession that had hitherto been reserved for Jewish individuals and communities would be transferred to the Jewish state. If prior to Israel's establishment Jews had been despised because of their helplessness, they are now reviled because of their newly discovered physical and political empowerment. The writer is research professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London and principal researcher of the Middle East Forum. (Israel Affairs)

Friday, August 24, 2012

What should Israel do after Obama bungled Iran so badly

By David P. Goldman
Get Updates From David P. Goldman
At the Gatestone Institute, a group of journalists with diverse backgrounds and outlooks reviews world events with a view to American security, with special emphasis on the Middle East. Our focus this week: What does Israel do in the context of a debacle in U.S. foreign policy under the Obama administration? Our conclusion is that Israel’s reasons to strike Iran have multiplied with the emergence of a Muslim Brotherhood threat on its southern border and the possibility of an Egyptian-Iranian rapprochement.
Here is the summary of events we began with. Our roundtable discussion can be found at The Gate blog at the Gatestone website.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, supported by a substantial section of Israeli opinion, insists that Israel cannot strike Iran’s nuclear program without the support of the United States. President Obama, as Ha’aretz defense analyst Amos Harel observes, has done everything to dissuade Israel from attacking Iran short of appearing in person before the Knesset. Senior American officials, most recently Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, have been trotted out to assert that Israel can’t stop Iran’s nuclear program single-handed.
The problem is that American foreign policy faces catastrophic failure, or rather a comprehensive set of failures, bearing directly on Israeli security. Not only have sanctions failed to deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic has broken out of diplomatic isolation. Turkey, supposedly America’s partner in regional diplomacy, has reached out to Russia and China. And Egypt has reached out to Iran while threatening Israel in the Sinai. China is hosting a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement at which Iran will assume the organization’s three-year rotating chairmanship. Egyptian President Morsi will visit Tehran on Aug. 25 on his way back from the summit.
In our April 12 summary, we concluded that
…the fluid and chaotic situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the rapidly dwindling pre-Islamist-takeover interregnum in Egypt both argued in favor of the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran. The current lack of real equilibrium is favorable for — and even invites — radical game-changing actions. Whatever equilibrium is established in the future (whenever that is) is likely to be much less favorable for Israel and more favorable for Iran, insofar as both Israel and the US will be in weaker positions and their Sunni rivals will be both weaker and poorer.
The shift towards a new equilibrium “much less favorable for Israel and more favorable for Iran” was already in progress as we wrote, with the purge of the Egyptian military’s old guard and its replacement by officers allied to the Muslim Brotherhood. If Israel does nothing, it is likely to confront
1) A major Egyptian military presence in the Sinai in contravention of the Camp David treaty. An Egyptian build-up is already in progress.
2) An open alliance between Cairo and the Hamas government in Gaza, allowing Hamas to acquire new offensive capacities. As Amos Harel observed in yesterday’s roundtable of Gatestone analysts, Israel already faces rocket attacks in parts of the country previously considered immune.
3) An alliance between Sunni Muslim Brotherhood elements in Syria and Iranian-sponsored Shi’ite irregulars, and Hizbollah in Lebanon.
Threats to Israel from the Sinai, Gaza, Lebanon and Syrian borders are likely to worsen as the Egyptian rapprochement with Iran proceeds. Iran’s capacity to retaliate against any prospective Israeli strike will be enhanced and may include threats from Egypt.
The dilemma facing Jerusalem is that Israel can’t live without the United States, but it also can’t live with it. That may compel Israel to maneuver independently of Washington. As Rotem Sella reported on The Gate Aug. 17, there is speculation that Israel may concede the European natural gas market to Russia in return for Russia’s forbearance in delivering anti-aircraft systems to Iran.
Blowback in Egypt
Egyptian President Morsi’s announcement that he will visit Tehran on Aug. 30 occurs a week after Morsi purged the military leadership. Qatar’s $2 billion loan to Egypt announced the morning of Aug. 12 preceded Morsi’s purge by hours. The Obama administration sought to portray Morsi’s new army chief, General el-Sissi, as an “an ideal compromise between the secular-minded military old guard and Mr. Morsi’s Brotherhood ,” as the Wall Street Journal wrote.
People with knowledge of the Egyptian military said Gen. Sissi has a broad reputation within military circles as a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, a rare trait in a military culture inured against Islamism. “Sissi is known inside the military for being a Muslim Brother in the closet,” said Zeinab Abul Magd, a professor at the American University in Cairo and an expert on Egypt’s military.
The notion of an “ideal compromise” is turning out to be absurd. The younger officers can’t reproduce the career path of their elders, who will be retiring to yachts in Monaco, because the Egyptian economy is sucked dry and there’s nothing more to loot. The old regime said in effect, Après moi le deluge. I can only imagine the apocalyptic stirrings among the younger officers. This has been brewing for some time; as the New York Timesreported Aug. 16,
The chief of staff of Egypt’s armed forces argued in a paper that the American military presence in the Middle East and its “one sided” support of Israel were fueling hatred toward the United States and miring it in an unwinnable global war with Islamist militants. The paper, written seven years ago by the new chief of staff, Gen. Sedky Sobhi, offers an early and expansive look into the thinking of one member of the new generation of military officers stepping into power as part of a leadership shake-up under Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Ha’aretz, Avi Issacharoff adds:
The fears in Israel of a deterioration in relations with Egypt, following President Mohammed Morsi’s removal from office of the head of the Supreme Military Council, Hussein Tantawi, and armed forces chief Sami Anan, are both premature and exaggerated. ..[but] there there are some causes for concern.
The development that, more than any other, should set off warning bells in Jerusalem, is the unilateral action taken by the Egyptians in Sinai during the past few days. Israel had prior knowledge about, and consented to, the use of some of the military reinforcements that were sent into the peninsula as well as the warplanes that were employed. But Egypt took action above and beyond what both sides agreed the Egyptian military needed to do in order to operate throughout Sinai. It turns out that additional forces were sent in, almost without anyone noticing, and without Jerusalem’s agreement.
The Times account commented, “American officials said their confidence in Egypt was unshaken, while analysts argued that despite the changes in the nation’s military and civilian leadership, any realignment in relations with Washington could be slow — in part because of Egypt’s urgent need for assistance from the United States and the West.” That is an egregious error, because the most that Egypt can expect is enough assistance to allow the poorer half of its population to keep body and soul together (and with the rise in food prices, perhaps not even that). Cozying up to Iran does not suggest that Morsi will go hat in hand to the Saudis, but rather that he will try to blackmail them. It is a high-risk strategy, but the Egyptians really don’t have a lot to lose.
Severe economic distress benefits the Muslim Brotherhood. I wrote in the Asia Times April 11 under the headline “Muslim Brotherhood Chooses Chaos,” that the Brotherhood would use shortages of food and fuel to consolidate its power in the street:
As Egypt headed towards chaotic breakdown, Western observers asked how its economy might be stabilized. This appears to have been the wrong question to begin with, for the Muslim Brotherhood will not allow the West to stabilize Egypt’s financial position. The right question is: who will benefit from the chaos?
At this writing, the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be the winner by default, for no other actor has the courage and cold blood to exploit the emerging crisis. America, by contrast, is locked into the defense of a deteriorating fixed position. And Egypt’s military leaders are more concerned with feathering their nests in exile, like the Iranian generals in 1979.
The Brotherhood believes that widespread hunger will strengthen its political position, and is probably correct to believe this. As the central government’s corrupt and rickety system of subsidies collapses, local Islamist organizations will take control of food distribution and establish a virtual dictatorship on the streets. American analysts mistook the protestors of Tahrir Square for revolutionaries. The Muslim Brotherhood now reveals itself to be a revolutionary organization on the Leninist or Nazi model.
Wishful thinking blinded American analysts to the Muslim Brotherhood’s intent and methods. As late as Aug. 2, Fox News commentator Fouad Ajami still argued that “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia’s rulers bury their differences to fight the Shiite enemy,” adding, “An Egyptian alliance with Saudi Arabia is the beginning of wisdom — a necessary, though hardly sufficient, condition for Egypt finding a way out of its crippling past.”
On the contrary, the Muslim Brotherhood appears to believe that there is no way out of Egypt’s “crippling past” (45% illiteracy, 90% rate of female genital mutilation, 30% rate of consanguineous marriages, 50% dependency on imported food). Half of Egyptians live at the verge of starvation on $2 or less a day, dependent on the government bread subsidy, and the Brotherhood exploits their privation and fear to maintain political control in Orwellian fashion.
Washington, in sum, has helped to create a monster in the form of the Morsi government. The Israelis have to assume that Camp David is dead and that sooner rather than later, a new front will open against them in the South.
Iran’s Threats to Saudi Arabia
Morsi came back from his July visit to Saudi Arabia empty handed. The Saudis evidently did not want to fund a movement committed to the overthrow of the House of Saud. Morsi appears to have chosen to ally with Iran to threaten the Saudis. A report by the Indian journalist Saeed Naqvi suggests the thrust of Iranian policy: Threaten the Saudis with subversion in Eastern Province, perhaps via adjacent Bahrain, as well as assassination. Writes Naqvi:
To please some in the West, a possible result may already have been achieved in West Asia: quarreling Muslim Societies, too self-absorbed to worry about Israel or Palestine. But a prolonged sectarian strife may not be entirely to Saudi Arabia’s liking. It has its own oil rich Eastern province to worry about. Dammam, the centre of this province, is directly linked by a 37 km causeway to the troubled Kingdom of Bahrain with its 80 percent Shia population in revolt against the Sunni King. Bahrain is home to the United States 5th fleet and a holiday resort for the Saudis tired of their own institutionalized austerities.
Since the death of successive Crown Princes Sultan bin Abdel Aziz in October 2011 and Naef bin Abdel Aziz in June 2012, intimations of mortality are knocking at the doors of a series of prospective successors. King Abdullah himself was in hospital in Europe when the Arab Spring disturbed his convalescence. In February 2011 he returned and took charge. He faces dissensions at home. There have been unconfirmed reports that Saudi Spy Chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been assassinated. In the absence of any official Saudi confirmation or denial, speculation and innuendo are rife. Former Chief of India’s External intelligence Agency and Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, Vikram Sood says: “What must have stunned the Saudi government into silence was not just that Bandar was killed but that the Syrians had the reach to strike deep in Saudi Arabia.”
Sanctions against Iran, meanwhile, are held in open contempt by a great deal of the world. Reuters Aug. 10:
Asia’s major crude buyers are finding ways around tough U.S. and EU sanctions to maintain imports from Iran, suggesting that, for now, the worst may be over for the OPEC producer that is losing more than $100 million a day in oil export revenues. China, India, Japan and South Korea buy most of the one million barrels per day of crude Iran is able to export despite financial, shipping and insurance sanctions aimed at curbing funds for its controversial nuclear programme. After a lull in imports in the middle of the year caused by Asian refineries reducing purchases as sanctions kicked in, analysts expect shipments to rise in August and September. But on average, imports are likely to remain steady until the end of the year, unless the United States and the European Union come up with fresh sanctions to curb Iran’s earnings.
“The drop in Iranian oil exports has leveled out over the past couple months at roughly 1 million barrels per day below 2011 levels,” said Trevor Houser, a partner at the New York-based Rhodium Group and a former State Department adviser.
The Saudi Gazette notes that with oil prices rising, “Tehran seems to be enjoying the unexpected windfall- despite the odds.”
Iraq is also helping Iran skirt financial sanctions, and continuing to do so in open contempt of American actions. President Obama personally announced in June that the U.S. was “cutting off” the Elaf Islamic Bank, “but the treatment the bank has received in Baghdad since it was named by Mr. Obama suggests that the Iraqi government is not only allowing companies and individuals to circumvent the sanctions but also not enforcing penalties for noncompliance” (New York Times). Iran is also trading currency and gold through Afghanistan. Again, the New York Times: “On its own, the rush of Iranian money to Afghanistan is unlikely to be enough to undercut the sanctions, which are the cornerstone of Western efforts to coerce Iran into abandoning its nuclear program. But it is clear that American officials are worried. … The Iranians are ‘in essence using our own money, and they’re getting around what we’re trying to enforce,’ one American official said.”
With inflation in the mid-20s, Iranians are buying local real estate, al-Arabiya reports:
With increased sanctions, the demand went up for gold, foreign currency and anything independent of the rial. In fact, the real estate market in Tehran has been growing over the last six months. It had slowed in previous years due to a housing crash just like everywhere else. People are even putting money into real estate in poorer neighborhoods, which means people are continuing to take money out of the banks and invest it in housing.
Iran’s economy is hurting but in no danger of collapse in the near future.
Regarding Turkey, I wrote in The Gate on July 31:
Turkey’s application to join the Sino-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Organization following Prime Minister Erdogan’s July 19 pilgrimage to Russia is a diplomatic humiliation for the United States, and of the first order. Just when Washington is demanding that Russia withdraw support for the Assad regime in Syria, and when Turkey is the linch-pin for American logistics in support of the Syrian opposition, Erdogan has proposed in effect to joint the Russian-Chinese club (without being compelled to hand in his NATO credentials).
What Would be the Consequences of an Israeli Strike Against Iran?
Israeli (and Western) views are sharply polarized. New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, reflecting briefings from the Israeli left, concluded:
But a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran today would be disastrous. It unites Iran in fury; locks in the Islamic Republic for a generation; gives a substantial boost to the wobbling Assad regime in Syria; radicalizes the Arab world at a moment of delicate transition; ignites Hezbollah on the Lebanese border; boosts Hamas; endangers U.S. troops in the region; sparks terrorism; propels oil skyward; rocks a vulnerable global economy; triggers a possible regional war; offers a lifeline to Iran just as sanctions are biting; adds a never-to-be-forgotten Persian vendetta to the Arab vendetta against Israel; and may at best set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions a couple of years or at worst accelerate its program by prompting it to rush for a bomb and throw out International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.
The counterargument is that all of these things, and worse, are happening in any case. Yoram Ettinger, a former senior Israeli diplomat, argued in Israel HaYom Aug. 17 that an Israeli initiative to strike Iran would benefit America’s world standing, even if the present administration opposed such a strike. He wrote:
On June 3, 1967, U.S. President Johnson pressured Prime Minister Eshkol against pre-empting the pro-Soviet Egypt-Syria-Jordan military axis, which threatened the survival of moderate Arab regimes (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and Israel’s existence. Johnson advised that “Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone. We cannot imagine that [Israel] will make this decision.”
Johnson warned that a unilateral Israeli military pre-emptive strike could trigger severe regional turmoil, transform Israel into a belligerent state, and preclude assistance by the U.S. Johnson refrained from implementing the 1957 unilateral and multilateral guarantees issued to Israel by Eisenhower. He insisted that Israel should rely on the diplomatic-multilateral option.
Eshkol defied Johnson. He pre-empted the anti-U.S., Arab axis; devastated a clear and present danger to vital Western interests; rescued the House of Saud from the wrath of Nasser; expedited the end of the pro-Soviet Nasser regime and the rise of the pro-U.S. Sadat regime in Egypt; dealt a major setback to Soviet interests; and demonstrated Israel’s capability to snatch the hottest chestnuts out of the fire, without a single U.S. boot on the ground. He transformed the image of Israel from a national security consumer (a client state) to a national security producer (a strategic ally).
Eshkol realized that a defiant national security policy — in defense of the Jewish state — yielded a short-term political and diplomatic spat with the U.S., but resulted in a long-term national security upgrade and dramatically enhanced strategic respect.
The Israeli government will make the difficult choice on its own, independent of what outside analysts might say. But the events of the past week surely strengthen the case that there is far less to lose by attacking Iran than the Obama administration believes.

Iran USA problem

Iran missiles are USA problem, not just Israel
When will there be enough reason for Obama to attack Iran? When they plant missiles in Mexico City? Wishing Jack kennedy was back in charge.
1. The manager of Venezuela’s drone program is an engineer who helped build ballistic missiles for Iran. The engineer’s identity raises new questions about the purposes behind Venezuela’s drone program. But it’s also only one part of a mystery involving drones shipped from Iran to Venezuela while hidden in secret cargo containing possibly more military hardware than just ‘bots.
2. Blog: Iran building missile base in Venezuela 5, 2012 – Iran and Venezuela are feverishly building ICBM bases on the Paraguana ... We know that Iran already has missiles that can carry an atomic

'The cavalry is not going to ride to Israel’s side'
According to David Wurmser, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's adviser on the Middle East, no one in Washington is seriously considering a pre-emptive attack against Iran • "Sadly, our allies are on their own" unless the U.S. is directly attacked, he says.
Eli Leon
Israel is mistaken if it thinks the U.S. will take an attack against Iran upon itself, according to David Wurmser, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's adviser on the Middle East.
"I have all my life counted on the greatness of America and its tradition of doing the right thing, if even at the last moment. But right now, the cavalry is not going to ride to Israel’s side, even at the last moment," writes Wurmser in an article that will appear in Israel Hayom over the weekend.
"There is nobody of influence within the establishment or bureaucracy in Washington, let alone abroad, seriously arguing for pre-emptive action, nor are there any factors in the next half year — or even longer — which will change that,” Wurmsey writes. "I have read with great curiosity statements by a parade of Israeli experts and former officials, all of whom assert with considerable confidence that at the end of the day, the United States is committed to denying Iran a nuclear capability, and that when the moment of truth arrives, Washington will act — unilaterally if necessary."
But Wurmser says this is not the case. "Having served in the previous White House — an administration generally accused of being too much the cowboy rather than being timid — and having been charged primarily with following Iran policy and even coordinating it with European capitals. ... I fear these Israeli officials are misguided," he writes.
Wurmser says it was clear to him at the beginning of 2009, when the Iranian portfolio was still open and unresolved at the conclusion of previous President George W. Bush's second term, that just as the Bush administration did not attack Iran pre-emptively, President Barack Obama's administration would not take action on the matter either.
The U.S. will wake up and be willing to attack only when it is afflicted by "something much worse and more personally affecting," Wurmser says.
"Until then, sadly, our allies are on their own," he concludes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Israel right to attack Iran

Diplomacy Has Run Its Course - Clifford D. May

The intentions of Iran's rulers could not be clearer. They have repeatedly threatened and incited genocide. Most recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel "a cancerous tumor" which will "soon be excised." He added: "The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists." The website of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared that there is religious "justification to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and Iran must take the helm." To achieve these goals, Iran's rulers have been developing nuclear weapons. The Israelis would be very much justified in using military force to prevent the revolutionary Islamist regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Winston Churchill called World War II an unnecessary war because it could have been prevented: The Nazis should never have been allowed to obtain the weapons they would use to overrun Europe. Hitler marveled to one of his generals that no one challenged him while he was weak. They waited until he was at his strongest, thus guaranteeing a much bloodier conflict. The writer is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (USA Today)

Abbas denies Jewish connection to Jerusalem

Abbas Again Denies the Jewish Connection to Jerusalem - Herb Keinon

PA President Mahmoud Abbas denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem on Tuesday in a statement marking the 43rd anniversary of an attempt by deranged Australian Christian Denis Michael Rohan to set fire to the al-Aksa mosque

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood takeover

Obama gets his goals, helps oust US ally Mubarack, replaced by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt  and now over the weekend, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – he of the Muslim Brotherhood – ousted the country’s two top military chiefs. The pretext for this power play was the successful sneak attack by Islamist terrorists on Egyptian military personnel in the Sinai peninsula. The Islamists who carried out the attack didn’t succeed in “invading” Israel, but they helped tilt the Egyptian playing field in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi’s move represents a double setback for the interests of the United States. First, the top ousted leader, Field Marshal Tantawi, is a long-time friend of the U.S. He is likely to be the last powerful friend we have in Egypt for a long time.
Second, the move consolidates the Muslim Brotherhood’s control over Egypt. The Brotherhood, of course, is a radical Islamist outfit that has long been the enemy of the U.S. Its ascendancy also constitutes a blow to pro-liberalization forces within Egypt. Although these forces have no great affection for the military, until now they have regarded it as a counterbalance to the Muslim Brotherhood. As a founder of the secular Justice Party said following Morsi’s power play, “I’m very apprehensive; they [the Brotherhood] have control over most of the levers of power.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

Palestinian incitement

 Palestinian leadership demonizes Jews, justifies violence, denies Israel’s right to exist
Under the PA, all forms of resistance remain legitimate, Strategic Affairs Ministry charges in new report on incitement
By Raphael Ahren August 12, 2012, 7:38 pm 2

Yossi Kuperwasser briefing journalists at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem (photo credit: Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)
Yossi Kuperwasser briefing journalists at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem (photo credit: Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)
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Israel on Sunday returned fire in a raging propaganda war with the Palestinians, accusing the Palestinian Authority of obfuscating peace efforts, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement, glorification of violence and terrorism, and indoctrinating youth with hateful messages.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry distributed a report to Israeli journalists that accuses the PA of perpetuating the conflict “through incitement to hate, promotion of an ethos of violence and struggle, and non-development of a culture of peace.” The document lists various examples ostensibly proving that the PA demonizes Israel and the Jewish people and negates the principle of peace.

“The incitement done by the Palestinian Authority is in my mind the main obstacle to peace,” the ministry’s director-general, Yossi Kuperwasser, told The Times of Israel. “As the long as the psychological infrastructure of the Palestinian people is based on denying Israel’s right to exist in any form — let alone as the nation-state of the Jewish people — it is difficult to see how peace can be made between these two peoples.” He said the psychological infrastructure adopted by the Palestinian leadership was “not developing any culture of peace, continues to call for violence and justifies violence, and dehumanizes and demonizes the Jews.”

Although the ministry had been gathering information for this report since October 2009, its publication now comes as a counter to similar efforts by the Palestinians, who started publishing regular reports about what they call Israeli incitement against Palestinians a few months ago.

“The Palestinians in no way see themselves as bound by agreements with Israel which require all outstanding issues to be resolved through negotiations only,” the Israeli report charges. “All forms of resistance remain legitimate… The encouragement of an atmosphere supportive of violence, the demonization of Israelis and Jews, and the non-creation of a culture of peace result in an ethos that perpetuates the struggle by glorifying values antithetical to peace.”
‘Jews, Satans, and Zionist sons of bitches’

Examples of alleged incitement and statements standing in the way of reconciliation include the broadcasting on PLO television of a song asserting that “Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, Nazareth, the Galilee and the Golan are ours”; an award given to controversial US journalist Helen Thomas — who made headlines for telling Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” — by a senior PLO member in April; and visits by senior PA officials at the homes of former terrorists.

Numerous examples are given of text books that praise resistance against the “occupiers” and promote the idea of a “return” to all of historical Palestine, as well as of programs on the PA’s television station showing children singing songs glorifying armed resistance against Israel.

The report, titled “Index of Incitement,” quotes Palestinian Olympic committee chairman Jibril Rajoub referring to “Jews, Satans, and Zionist sons of bitches,” and cites PA President Mahmoud Abbas condemning “attacks by settlers which find expression in the uprooting of trees, burning of mosques, training dogs to attack us and sending wild pigs to destroy our lands.”

The report cites several examples that ostensibly show that Palestinian anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish agitation and glorification of terrorism is aimed particularly at children. A 2010 fifth grade textbook, for instance, contains a poem entitled “We are Returning.”

“Under the banner of glory, Jihad and struggle / With blood and willingness to risk life … / To Jihad on the hilltop,” the poem reads.

The cover page of the report features a cartoon showing a man in Hasidic dress who has just ripped a bloody “heart” out of the chest of a Palestinian man lying on an operation table. The “heart” is shaped like the state of Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank.

“The index sheds light and helps us prepare ourselves and avoid the mistake of not understanding who we are dealing with, who cooperates with and initiates this awful incitement,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said about the report. “The Palestinian leadership is bequeathing this incitement to the coming generations and is preventing them from holding a dialogue of peace, the result of which is that it itself is incapable of adopting a dialogue of peace.”

Netanyahu said “the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the national state of the Jewish People’s right to exist” was at the root of the conflict. “We must bring this to the attention of the governments of the world, especially ahead of the upcoming UN General Assembly.”

It is widely expected that Abbas is going to ask the UN to grant Palestine the status of a non-member state, a step Israel and the US are trying to prevent.

“When the Palestinians speak to foreign audiences, they speak quite differently than they what they say to their own audience. That’s not new, but it’s disturbing,” Kuperwasser told The Times of Israel. “Our strategy is to bring it to the attention of the Palestinians and the international community that we notice this difference exists.”

As reported by The Times of Israel, the PA’s Government Media Center in May launched a monthly series of reports highlighting alleged Israeli incitement against Palestinians.

    ‘We are in a totally different place that the Palestinians and any attempt to put us in the same category is really ridiculous’

The most recent report includes several examples of ostensibly hateful statements, which are, according to the Palestinians, “provocative and counterproductive to peace.” The cases, most of them retrieved from articles in the Israeli press, include an Army Radio talk-show host saying “Islam today is the most terrible disease raging around the world;” Interior Minister Eli Yishai reportedly saying that “this country belongs to us, to the white man;” and the reported announcement by an Upper Nazareth local politician that he would pay $10,000 to any Arab willing to leave the city.

“The Palestinian report [on Israeli incitement] doesn’t seem grave because what they cite is mostly people from the fringes of Israeli society who say all kinds of things,” said Kuperwasser, a former deputy chief of the IDF’s intelligence unit. “Here and there you can find something that is not in line with the messages the system in Israel is sending. We are in a totally different place than the Palestinians and any attempt to put us in the same category is really ridiculous.”

The Palestinian report on “Israeli incitement” states that the PA advocates the creation of an “objective joint committee, involving the international community, to define and monitor incitement, so that this issue can be treated with proper seriousness.”

At a briefing for Israeli journalists on Sunday in the Prime Minister’s Office, Kuperwasser said Israel agreed in principle to the idea of a joint committee, but did not pin great hopes on it, “because a committee is not going to change the problem of [Palestinian] incitement… What’s needed is a genuine decision by the Palestinians to change the picture.”

Israel ready for Iran

rael may be only a short time away from one of the most fateful moments in its history. Friday evening, Israeli television reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak have all but finalized their decision to attack Iran's nuclear program.
The reasons outlined for their decision make for chilling reading. Most importantly, the two men believe that the Obama administration does not and will never consider an Iranian nuke a threat serious enough to justify military action.
"The US," reports the Times of Israel,
has not provided Israel with details of an attack plan. President Obama has not promised to attack Iran if all else fails. Conditions cited by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for an American attack do not calm Israeli concerns. And Obama has a record of seeking UN and Arab League approval before action.
Obama does not want to intervene militarily before the presidential elections in November, and it is doubtful that he would act afterwards, runs the Israeli assessment, the TV report said. Obama may believe that the US can live with a nuclear Iran, but Israel cannot.
In addition, Netanyahu and Barak do not believe that a change of administration would lead to a shift in policy.
Equally chilling are the various scenarios outlined for the aftermath of such an attack.
Militarily, an Israeli strike would prompt missile attacks on Israel, attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah from the south and the north, and upheaval on the Arab street, in the leadership’s assessment.
Diplomatically, an Israeli strike would prompt a confrontation with the US, global protests, international isolation for Israel, delegitimization, and a situation in which Israel was seen as the aggressor.
Economically, an Israeli strike would deepen the economic slowdown and lead to a suspension of foreign investment.
Despite all of this, the two leaders apparently believe that an Iranian bomb would be much worse, prompting Israel's friends to abandon it completely, destroying the Israeli economy, and emboldening Israel's regional enemies.
It should be kept in mind, however, that since the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the Israeli security establishment has tended to put forward the worst-case scenario in all situations, afraid of being caught off-guard by unforeseen events.

Friday, August 10, 2012

War vs Iran?

Israel media talk of imminent Iran war push

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's prime minister and defense minister would like to attack Iran's nuclear sites before the U.S. election in November but lack crucial support within their cabinet and military, an Israeli newspaper said on Friday.
The front-page report in the biggest-selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth came amid mounting speculation - fuelled by media leaks from both the government and its detractors at home and abroad - that war with Iran could be imminent even though it might rupture the bedrock ties between Israel and the United States.
"Were it up to Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, an Israeli military strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran would take place in the coming autumn months, before the November election in the United States," Yedioth said in the article by its two senior commentators, which appeared to draw on discussions with the defense minister but included no direct quotes.
Spokesmen for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Barak declined to comment.
Yedioth said the top Israeli leaders had failed to win over other security cabinet ministers for a strike on Iran now, against a backdrop of objections by the armed forces given the big tactical and strategic hurdles such an operation would face.
"The respect which in the past formed a halo around prime ministers and defense ministers and helped them muster a majority for military decisions, is gone, no more," Yedioth said. "Either the people are different, or the reality is different."
Israel has long threatened to attack its arch-foe, seeing a mortal menace in Iranian nuclear advances and dwindling opportunities to deal them a blow with its limited military clout. Washington has urged Israel to give diplomacy more time.
The war talk is meant, in part, to stiffen sanctions on Tehran - which denies seeking the bomb and says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes - by conflict-wary world powers. Israel and the United States have publicly sought to play down their differences, the latter saying military force would be a last-ditch option against Iran.
A Reuters survey in March found that most Americans would support such action, by their government or Israel's, should there be evidence Iran was building nuclear weapons - even if the result was a rise in gas prices.
But U.S. President Barack Obama, seeking re-election in November, has counseled against what he would deem premature Israeli unilateralism. He recently sent top officials to try to close ranks with the conservative Netanyahu.
Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, an old friend of Netanyahu who casts himself as a more reliable bulwark for Israeli security, also visited Jerusalem last month.
The Yedioth article said, without citing sources, that some government advisers in Israel and the United States believed a pre-November strike might "embarrass Obama and contribute to Romney‮‮‮‮‮‮'‬‬‬‬‬‬‎s chances of being elected."
Yedioth said the aim of an initial Israeli attack on Iran would be to trigger an escalation that would draw in superior U.S. forces - but described Barak as dismissive of this theory.
"He believes that America will not go to war, but will do everything in its power to stop it. It will give Israel the keys to its emergency (munitions) stores, which were set up in Israel in the past. Israel needs no more than this," Yedioth said.
Netanyahu, apparently trying to avoid being seen as meddling in U.S. politics, has voiced gratitude for cross-partisan support of Israel in Washington, while insisting his country remains responsible for its own security.
Haaretz, an influential liberal Israeli newspaper, quoted an unnamed senior official in the Netanyahu government as saying the Jewish state - widely assumed to have the region's only atomic arsenal - potentially faced a greater danger from Iran than on the eve of its 1967 war with several Arab neighbors.
That thinking seems to be gaining ground domestically.
A poll published on Friday by the mass-circulation Maariv daily found that 41 percent of Israelis saw no chance of non-military pressure on Iran succeeding, versus 22 percent who thought diplomacy could work.
While 39 percent of Maariv's respondents said dealing with Iran should be left to the United States and other world powers, 35 percent said they would support Israel going it alone as a last resort - up from previous polls that found around 20 percent support for the unilateral option.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Douglas Hamilton and Tim Pearce)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Abraham was told to go to an energy rich place

Gas Discoveries
Digital imgaing of gas field Digital Imaging (Lerman Architects)
Digital imgaing of gas field Digital Imaging (Lerman Architects)

Ynetnews on Facebook

'Israel has enough gas to last 150 years'

Bloomberg news agency says explorations under Mediterranean Sea have uncovered $240 billion worth of gas, which is far more than can ever be used in Israel
Published: 08.05.12, 13:33 / Israel Business

Gas exploration companies Noble Energy Inc., Delek Group Ltd. and others have discovered enough natural gas to supply Israel’s domestic needs for the next 150 years, an investigative report published by Bloomberg news agency claimed on Saturday.

"The gas would be worth about $240 billion, equal to Israel’s annual economic output, based on today’s prices in the UK," the report claimed.
Strategic Assets

NIS 3B needed for gas rig defense plan  / Yoav Zitun

Plan will create IDF 'extension' 180 km off Israel's shores; entails use of at least seven ships. Major manpower, constant patrolling included in bid to protect 'strategic asset'
Full story

The report described Israel's ongoing debate over how to manage the gas discoveries. While many in Israel are lobbying to prevent exports and instead store gas reservoirs for times of need, others have called to make quick profits from gas exports by pipeline or ship.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Anti Semitic jews

Attacking Israel Online

Throughout the greater Middle East, opposition to the concept and existence of a Jewish state is an idée fixe for hundreds of millions of Arab and non-Arab Muslims. A hatred of Jewish political sovereignty that frequently dovetails with more traditional anti-Semitism animates café discussions and street protests as surely as it prohibits regional political progress. Yet the strand of anti-Zionism that has lately come to attract the most attention in the West is the one articulated by a tiny minority of left-wing Jews at a handful of websites. 
Full-time antagonists of Israel such as M.J. Rosenberg, Max Blumenthal, Philip Weiss, and Peter Beinart have accumulated an influence that vastly exceeds their single-digit numbers. This is in part due to the financial sponsorship of successful and well-established media institutions. Until March 2012, Rosenberg was employed by Media Matters for America (MMfA) at a salary of some $130,000 per annum. Weiss was supported for years by the Nation magazine’s Nation Institute. Peter Beinart’s new Open Zion blog is hosted by the Daily Beast, an online publication jointly owned by the Harman family and the Internet media giant IAC.
But Rosenberg, Weiss, and Beinart take a different view of their place in the media conversation. They believe themselves to be fearless truth-tellers who actively resist a censorious tribal culture that bulldozes any hint of discord. Rosenberg offered a pithy insight into this in an April 2012 opinion piece for the website of Al Jazeera. After claiming that pro-Israel advocacy organizations were hindering efforts to secure a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, he concluded with an exhortation. “Being pro-Israel means caring about Israel,” wrote Rosenberg, whose career has been built on the fact that he briefly worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee three decades ago. “It does not mean using it as an excuse for power brokering and suppressing dissident voices.”
Dissident voices? Properly understood, the word dissident describes intellectuals and activists operating in oppressive societies. What they do frequently results in imprisonment, torture, and even death. The dissidents of whom Rosenberg speaks so modestly, since they include himself, are not silenced, but rather celebrated, by media establishments ranging from the Huffington Post to the BBC.
The persistent inclusion of these “dissident voices” in discussions of America, Jews, and Israel has proven very useful indeed, since their membership in the tribe is deemed to give them special standing in presenting their indictment of Israel—and, somewhat more subtly, inoculates Gentile critics of the Jewish state against the charge that their attacks on Israel might be anti-Semitic. How can they be if they are merely echoing the arguments made by such passionate, such moral, such fearless, such dissident Jews?
In an Internet age characterized by instant, rolling comment, they have helped to reactivate a set of ideas that many thought had perished with the grubby pamphlets published in the old Soviet Union, screeds that bore titles such as “Zionism: A Tool of Reaction.” Whereas the true dissidents of the Cold War era introduced words such assamizdat into the vocabulary of the West, the ersatz dissidents of the Jewish left have popularized a host of expressions—Judaization, Israel-firster, Zionist apartheid, and so forth—that were once relegated almost entirely to the openly anti-Semitic fringe.
What an accomplishment.
As Rosenberg’s remark makes plain, the common point of departure for online Jewish anti-Zionists is the unaccountable, transcendent power of disparate pro-Israel organizations lumped together under the umbrella term the Israel lobby. The determination of this lobby to muzzle “dissenting” voices inside the Jewish community is the favored theme of writers such as Michael Lerner, the Berkeley-based progressive rabbi and founder of Tikkun magazine, and Richard Silverstein, a Seattle-based blogger with a penchant for seeing Mossad plots behind every Middle East news story. Similarly, the explicitly anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) operates a blog, appropriately entitled Muzzlewatch, that purports to monitor “efforts to stifle open debate about U.S.-Israeli foreign policy.”
Such paranoid theories take their expositors into deep—arguably clinical—eccentricity. In an April 2012 blog entry, Rosenberg opined that the availability of kosher food at a White House reception was just another display of forelock-tugging by an administration that lives in fear of the Israel lobby’s wrath. The post’s title (“Obama: Stop Pandering to the Jewish Right Already”) was meant to be read in the folksy cadence of an offended American Jew. “The same exact impulse that causes the Obamas to blowtorch their ovens to Hassidic standards,” he wrote, “also leads the administration to be in perpetual suck-up mode to Prime Minister Netanyahu on matters like Iran and the Israeli occupation, matters of life and death.”
In addition to being uncommonly powerful, the Israel lobby is supposedly made up of U.S. citizens whose primary loyalty is to Israel, and who will choose the Jewish state over the United States should circumstances demand. It is Rosenberg who is credited with having spread the term Israel-firster in the online columns he wrote in his capacity as a “foreign-policy fellow” at Media Matters. And with the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asserting, in December 2011, that the standing ovation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.S. Congress “was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,” it is no wonder that Rosenberg expressed great authorial pride as a result—or that Media Matters might initially have felt great pride that it had come to exert such influence on the most “mainstream” of mainstream commentators on the Middle East.
Almost immediately, however, Jewish groups and pro-Israel commentators charged that the term Israel-firster, as deployed by Rosenberg, was inherently anti-Semitic—and presented indubitable evidence that the term was a favored epithet of neo-Nazi groups. Rosenberg was compelled to announce that he would cease abusing his opponents in this way, and within three months, he and Media Matters parted company. Rosenberg indignantly denied that he had been fired, claiming on the Huffington Post that he made the magnanimous decision “to leave to protect an organization I love from people who, in their single-minded devotion to the Israeli government, will go after anyone and anything who stands in their way.” So much for taking responsibility for making rhetorical common cause with Hitler-lovers.
In any case, his Israel-firster charge is neither clever, nor daring, nor new. It is, rather, a shopworn offense to common decency. The notion that Jewish officials are more loyal to their own kind than to the state or the institutions they serve goes back at least to 1894 and the false conviction of the French army captain Alfred Dreyfus. George Orwell, writing about anti-Semitism in the immediate aftermath of World War II, noted similar sentiments in the grumblings about a “Jewish war” in which the fighting and the dying was principally done by Gentiles. “To publicize the exploits of Jewish soldiers, or even to admit the existence of a considerable Jewish army in the Middle East, rouses hostility in South Africa, the Arab countries, and elsewhere,” Orwell wrote. “It is easier to ignore the whole subject and allow the man in the street to go on thinking that Jews are exceptionally clever at dodging military service.” It is exactly this kind of lazy, conspiracy-laden thinking that informs the Israel-firster smear.
Philip Weiss, editor of the Middle East–focused website Mondoweiss, takes a more personal approach to his anti-Zionism. He writes often about his psychic struggles with his own Jewish identity—not surprising, since what he most hates about himself is also the source of his reputation. Interviewed by the anti-Semitic ex-Israeli writer Gilad Atzmon, Weiss reflected that Jewish identity imparts “a sense of difference, yes, inevitably of elite identity, that’s part of Jewish history and one I struggle with.” He also delights in stoking the notion that he traffics in anti-Semitism. “I can justly be accused of being a conspiracy theorist because I believe in the Israel lobby theory,” he wrote in a recent blog entry. “I quoted seven Jewish writers on this point, including [Harvard Professor Alan] Dershowitz: ‘The recent neoconservative movement in America has also been dominated by Jews.’” The practice of selectively quoting Jewish advocates against themselves is associated most of all with neo-Nazi propaganda outfits such as the website Jew Watch, so Weiss is in exactly the kind of company he deserves.
In 2009, the Web provocateur Max Blumenthal posted a video on YouTube called “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem.” In it he talks to drunk American Jewish students in downtown Jerusalem and elicits grotesque statements about how much they hate Arabs. On the Huffington Post, Blumenthal went on to defend the stunt as an example of in vino veritas. “The notion that the racist diatribes in my video emerged spontaneously from a beery void is a delusion, but for some, it is a necessary one,” he wrote. “It allows them to erect a psychological barrier against acknowledging the painful consequences of prolonged Zionist indoctrination.”
Blumenthal has a knack for uncovering the influence of Zionism in the most unlikely places. Writing on the Web-only English-language version of the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar in November 2011, he noted that the “Israelification of America’s security apparatus, recently unleashed in full force against the Occupy Wall Street Movement, has taken place at every level of law enforcement, and in areas that have yet to be exposed.” It was a fitting observation for the readership of Al Akhbar, which has made a hero of the late Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh and whose editor believes that Jews in Israel should return en masse to the more comfortable “capitalist environment” of Europe. In another Al Akhbar piece, Blumenthal asked, “When have Zionists ever let historical nuance get in the way of a campaign to muzzle critics of Israeli policy?”
Compared with such explicit ugliness, Peter Beinart’s blog, Open Zion, seems mild and contemplative—an impression that appears very much to be Beinart’s goal, given the radicalism of his own policy suggestions. He recently proposed that the United States pursue a targeted boycott of Jewish communities in the West Bank. He did so as part of the promotional drive for his latest book, The Crisis of Zionism. Beinart’s account of Israel’s failures and liabilities earned him praise in the Atlantic and the New Yorker for his “courage” in taking on the Israel lobby, which posed such a threat to him and his career that, after the publication of the article from which his book would spring, Beinart reportedly received a courageous advance of several hundred thousand dissenting dollars.
Open Zion, in its name and design, seems intended to herald some supposedly long-neglected flowering of unapologetically diverse opinion on Zionism. There is Beinart himself, supporting a boycott of Jewish businesses, musing endlessly about the pitfalls of Jewish power, along with a host of lesser impersonators who write articles with titles such as “How I Lost My Zionism” and “Can You Be a Zionist If No-One Thinks You Are?” (Answering his own question, the author of this last piece, Jay Michaelson, writes, “I hesitate to claim the label because I don’t want to be associated with those who wear it proudly.”) Then there are the pro-Israel loyalists: the forceful Israeli historian Benny Morris, the Judaism scholar Yehuda Mirsky, the Knesset Member Einat Wilf. One gets the distinct sense that these writers are intended to function as a permanent opposition.
A third category is composed of think-tank analysts and nonprofit advocates who are ostensibly focused on the iniquities of Israeli policy but who willingly deploy the stock-in-trade dogmas of anti-Zionist ideology. Jewish critics of Israel, such as Daniel Levy of the New America Foundation and Lara Friedman of American Friends of Peace Now, play a key role in undermining the influence of Open Zion’s pro-Israel contributors.
Responding to a piece by Morris on Palestinian rejectionism, Levy argued that the real obstacle to a negotiated settlement is the naqba—the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” used by Palestinians and their supporters to describe the creation of Israel—and “the second-class status of Palestinian citizens within the Jewish state.” These words are an uncomplicated reflection of the basic stance of anti-Zionism, which holds that Jewish sovereignty is the diseased heart of the Middle East’s discontents.
Finally, there is the category of Open Zion writers for whom the very existence of Israel is at best an irritant, at worse an offense. Members of this clan include Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), whose mandate is to encourage an empathetic American engagement with the current Iranian regime, and Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian activist who pushes the insidious line that Israel is an apartheid state that must yield in favor of a single Palestinian entity between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
But for all its strenuous posturing about “open” discussion, Open Zion is most notable for its silences. Readers will search the blog in vain for analysis of the recent events that have spread extraordinary discomfort throughout the Jewish world. When Günter Grass, the former Waffen SS recruit who later became one of Germany’s literary celebrities, penned the turgid poem “What Must Be Said,” in which he laments that Holocaust guilt was propelling his country to support an Israeli war against Iran, Open Zion did not deem these verses worthy of even a paragraph. The question of why a man who was personally involved in the slaughter of the Jews felt confident enough to repackage his anti-Semitism as hostility to Israel was left to other outlets to consider—few of which are explicitly concerned with the “Jewish future,” as Open Zion declares itself to be.
Similarly, the website barely mentioned the March 2012 assault by an al-Qaeda gunman upon a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, which resulted in the murders of a rabbi and three small children. Again, there are a number of apposite questions about the Jewish future arising from this atrocity, ranging from the appropriate level of security at Jewish institutions to the denial by Tariq Ramadan, a European Islamist much admired by Western intellectuals, that the gunman was motivated by anti-Semitism. On these and related matters, Open Zion had nothing meaningful to say.
By contrast, it is safe to assume that had a lone Israeli extremist entered a Jerusalem mosque and sprayed worshippers with bullets, the blog would have gone into overdrive. Why? Because the paradigm of Jewish power to which Beinart subscribes does not allow for Jewish vulnerability, only Jewish aggression. Moreover, according to prevailing liberal sensibilities, when Jews do suffer, it is because the iniquities of the state of Israel brought such an outcome upon them. That, perhaps, is why Open Zion has a subject tag that reads “Real Anti-Semitism,” to be employed on those rare occasions when Jews face hatred as a reality, and not as the invention of some unscrupulous AIPAC staffer.
Such willful myopia is not without precedent. Prior to the Holocaust and the Arab war of annihilation against the nascent state of Israel in 1948, Zionism coexisted in an uneasy equilibrium with non-Zionist and anti-Zionist currents among American Jews. A marked distaste for Jewish national aspirations was shared by many liberal, assimilationist Jews. It is this tradition, more than any other, that finds its contemporary resonance in projects such as Open Zion.
In 1885, a gathering of Reform rabbis in Pittsburgh issued a statement on Jewish identity that eventually became known as the “Pittsburgh Platform.” More than a decade before the First Zionist Congress met in Basel, Switzerland, the Pittsburgh rabbis rejected the core philosophical foundations of Zionism: “We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore, expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any laws concerning the Jewish state.”
The principles behind the Pittsburgh Platform found organizational expression in the work of the American Council for Judaism (ACJ). Now a shadow of its former self, the ACJ once enjoyed access to the highest levels of the American government. In 1954, a speech on the Middle East delivered in Dayton, Ohio, by then assistant secretary of state Henry Byroade drew heavily on the influence of Rabbi Elmer Berger, the ACJ’s founder, in urging that Jews in Palestine effectively surrender their national ambitions.
Both Berger and his colleague Alfred Lilienthal, a former State Department lawyer, became progressively more shrill in their denunciations of Zionism as the years wore on. Barely remembered now, Lilienthal was something of an innovator. Although Beinart might think it rather novel and provocative to write about the “hoarding” of the Holocaust by Jewish organizations, it was Lilienthal who coined the inelegantly offensive term Holocaustomania as the prime motivator behind what he called “Washington’s Israel-first” Middle East policy. “I sincerely resented the Zionist propaganda which wanted to make my Christian fellow citizens believe that all American Jews, in a fictitious ‘unity,’ desire a political separation of ‘the Jewish people,’” he wrote in a memoir.
Excoriated by their fellow Jews decades before an omnipotent Israel lobby could be fashionably blamed, Berger and Lilienthal would find their most sympathetic audience in the Arab world. In 1978 Lilienthal wrote a tome called The Zionist Connection: What Price Peace? It was published by the firm Dodd Mead. Three years later, Lilienthal was presenting smaller publishing houses with a letter guaranteeing the purchase of 10,000 copies of a paperback version of The Zionist Connection—a letter issued by the interior ministry of the government of Saudi Arabia.
In 1977, Lilienthal had turned up in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for a conference on “Zionism and racism” organized by EAFORD, a nongovernmental organization financed by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. “What we today know in the West as anti-Semitism has never existed in the Arab world,” he assured the assembled delegates. In 1987, Lilienthal and Berger were the star attractions at an EAFORD-sponsored symposium in Washington, D.C., on Zionism and Judaism. “Free, responsible, informed political debate about the policies of the Zionist state is impossible,” Berger snarled before his audience.
Might Berger and Lilienthal’s ideological heirs soon find themselves the exclusive darlings of Middle Eastern anti-Semites? There is already some indication fate is moving in this direction. M.J. Rosenberg’s troubles with Media Matters certainly indicate some institutional reticence in the United States with anti-Zionist punditry. Max Blumenthal, in addition to being a frequent contributor to Al Akhbar, was also the subject of a fawning profile on Press TV, an English-language satellite broadcaster financed entirely by the Iranian regime. In receiving this dubious honor, he won the seal of approval from a state that has turned the denial of the Holocaust into an official doctrine.
Mass-movement anti-Zionism will be happy to incorporate Jewish anti-Zionists and march onward. Hatred of Israel is a malleable doctrine of false justice that welcomes all comers and provides for unlikely bedfellows. These days, the burden of proof is increasingly, and perversely, placed on those arguing in Zionism’s behalf. But, ironically, charting both the writings and the career trajectories of devoted anti-Zionists makes a uniquely strong case for the continued existence and protection of the Jewish state.

About the Author

Ben Cohen is a writer in New York. His article “The Big Lie Returns” appeared in our February issue.