BREAKING NEWS

ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

U.S. Guilty Of War Crimes In Palestine

U.S. Guilty Of War Crimes In Palestine

The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes
being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently,
the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza
Strip during the summer.

By Sam Bahour
Press T.V.
September 30, 2014

The reality that the US is an active supporter of unimaginable
suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the
US’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using any
of the internationally recognized tools of accountability to hold
Israel responsible, such as the International Court of Justice and
the International Criminal Court.

When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to
opportunities for justice by superpowers like the US, something
is wrong—deadly wrong.

While Israeli bombs were hammering Gaza, Alice Lynd with the
assistance of Staughton Lynd, drafted a 32-page pamphlet which
was published by the Palestine-Israel Working Group of Historians
Against the War (HAW) titled, Violations by Israel and the Problem
of Enforcement (August 2014).

The policy paper places the US in front of its own mirror and
meticulously documents how one hand of the US government
systematically documents Israeli violations of US law and
international law, while the other hand unconditionally dishes
out financial, military, and diplomatic support to Israel.

The study notes that “United States law states that no military
assistance will be provided to a government that engages in a
consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized
human rights.

Yet the United States gives more military assistance to Israel
than to any other country, currently in excess of $3.1 billion
per year.

The US participates in joint military exercises, military research,
and weapons development.”

This contradiction of its own policy would seem incriminating
enough, but if all the other means of US support to Israel are
added, especially the US’s unwavering role in the UN Security
Council as a proxy for Israel’s interests by vetoing and thereby
blocking international steps for justice the evidence that the
U.S. is an active player in Israel’s onslaught and continued
military occupation becomes overwhelming.

It stands to reason that the US very rightly fears that any step
to hold Israel accountable for crimes against humanity would
ultimately incriminate the U.S. as Israel’s funder, diplomatic
cover, political handler, and arms supplier for decades.

While this new document was being researched, the Historians
Against the War circulated a letter to President Obama and
members of Congress that begins:

“We deplore the ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza and
in Israel. We also recognize the disproportionate harm that the
Israeli military, which the United States has armed and supported
for decades, is inflicting on the population of Gaza.” (July 31,
2014).

The pamphlet’s contents strike this point home with
incriminating details.

The pamphlet quotes historian Robin D. G. Kelley who recently
said about the ongoing conflict, “Determining next steps requires
that we go back many steps—before the siege, before the election
of Hamas, before the withdrawal of Jewish settlements in Gaza,
before the Oslo Accords, even before the strip came under Israeli
occupation in 1967.” (“When the smoke clears in Gaza,” Aug. 8,
2014, Black Educator).

I had the honor of working with both authors of this pamphlet
following the First (Persian) Gulf War (1990-1991) when they
suggested we co-edit an oral history of Palestine as a tool to
understand the centrality of Palestine to the entire destabilization
of the Middle East, a reality that is even more true today.

Following several field visits to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel,
and the Golan Heights, that effort resulted in the publishing of
Homeland: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (1993).

Their new effort revisits many familiar topics that we addressed in
our book, with chapter headings such as International Agreements
and US Law, International Agreements on Human Rights, US Law on
Foreign Assistance, Violations of Internationally Recognized Human
Rights, Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment, Arbitrary Arrest, or Detention, Collective
Punishment, among many more.

Perhaps the most important chapter in this brief pamphlet is,
“The Problem of Enforcement.”

One need not be a historian or political scientist to understand
that as long as global enforcement mechanisms of accountability
are denied to Palestinians due to the political whims of a
superpower, Israel has the green light to attack Gaza and the
West Bank at any time with impunity.

Israel’s senseless military attack this summer (deceptively coined
“Operation Protective Edge” in English, and more accurately
“Solid Cliff” in Hebrew) left 2,168 Palestinians dead, more than
500 of them children.

The Institute for Middle East Understanding compared the
proportionate impact of these deaths to the population in
the US Gaza’s devastating human loss would be equivalent
to 376,680 Americans killed in 51 days if such events were
undertaken in the U.S.

To put this in perspective, this number is slightly fewer
than the 407,000 US soldiers killed in World War II.

It is not hyperbole to say that everyone in Gaza knows at least
one person who died or was injured in this atrocity, with each
person left wondering if he or she would be next.

If humanity is to be served, citizens who believe in equal
access to international tools of justice must speak up and
denounce the continued US hegemony over Palestine.

If you support nonviolent means for addressing crimes against
humanity, especially if you are American, act now by contacting
your elected representative to demand a change in policy so
that marginalized populations are not shut out of systems of
justice when they are the victims of crimes against humanity.

Holding individuals responsible for their crimes is a core
American value; it’s a value we should not compromise for
any country, especially our own.



Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant
in Ramallah and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka,
the Palestinian Policy Network. He was born and raised in
Youngstown, Ohio and blogs at ePalestine.com.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/20/379413/us-guilty-of-
war-crimes-in-palestine

Monday, September 29, 2014

How Israel Silences Dissent

How Israel Silences Dissent

By Mairav Zonszein
The New York Times
September 29, 2014

JAFFA, Israel — On July 12, four days after the latest war in Gaza
began, hundreds of Israelis gathered in central Tel Aviv to protest
the killing of civilians on both sides and call for an end to the siege
of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

They chanted, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Hamas had warned that it would fire a barrage of rockets at central
Israel after 9 p.m., and it did.

But the injuries suffered in Tel Aviv that night stemmed not from
rocket fire but from a premeditated assault by a group of extremist
Israeli Jews.

Chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Death to leftists,” they attacked
protesters with clubs.

Although several demonstrators were beaten and required medical
attention, the police made no arrests.

The same thing happened at another antiwar protest in Haifa a
week later; this time, the victims included the city’s deputy mayor,
Suhail Assad, and his son.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no statement
condemning the violence, even though he had previously
stated his primary concern was the safety of Israeli
citizens.

The vilification of the few Israelis who don’t subscribe to
right-wing doctrine is not new.

Similar acts of incitement occurred before the assassination
of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

But now they have multiplied, escalated and spread.

On July 10, the veteran Israeli actress Gila Almagor did not show up
to perform at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater; she had received threats
that she would be murdered on stage.

In an interview in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot a few days
earlier, she had expressed feeling ashamed after a 16-year old
Palestinian, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and burned
alive by Jewish extremists.

In an interview during the Gaza war, the popular comedian Orna
Banai said she felt terrible that Palestinian women and children
were being killed — she was subsequently fired from her position
as spokeswoman for an Israeli cruise ship operator.

And Haaretz hired bodyguards for its columnist Gideon Levy
after he wrote an article criticizing Israeli Air Force pilots.

The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of
Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the
latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has
been simmering for decades.

It is based on the narrative that Palestinians are enemies who
threaten Jewish sovereignty and are solely to blame for the
failure to achieve peace.

The Israeli peace camp — which remains obsessively focused on
stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-
state solution while ignoring Israel’s failure to separate religion
and state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens — has been
incapable of challenging this mentality.

Israeli society has been unable and unwilling to overcome an
exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism that privileges Jewish
citizens and is represented politically by the religious settler
movement and the increasingly conservative secular right.

Israel’s liberal, progressive forces remain weak in the face of a
robust economy that profits from occupation while international
inaction reinforces the status quo.

In their attempt to juggle being both Jewish and democratic,
most Israelis are choosing the former at the expense of the
latter.

Israel has never, for example, genuinely addressed the fact
that non-Jewish Arabs who generally identify as Palestinian
account for about 20 percent of the population (this excludes
the approximately three million Palestinians living under
Israel’s control in East Jerusalem and the West Bank).

Israel has also never clearly defined its borders, preferring
to keep them vague and porous.

Nor has it defined what it means to be “Israeli,” as distinct from
being “Jewish,” leaving a vacuum that has been filled by nationalist
and religious ideologues.

This has allowed the us-versus-them mentality to bleed
into Israeli Jewish society.

“Us” no longer refers to any Jewish citizen, and “them”
to any Palestinian.

Now, “us” means all those who defend the status quo of occupation
and settlement expansion, including many Christian evangelicals
and Republicans in America.

And “them” means anyone who tries to challenge that status quo,
whether a rabbi, a dissenting Israeli soldier or the president of the
United States.

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a shock.

For most of Israel’s existence, the majority of Israelis have allowed
the state, in the name of Jewish sovereignty and security, to
violate Palestinians’ basic human rights — including access to water
and the freedom of movement and assembly.

The state has killed unarmed protesters and then failed to carry
out investigations; it has allowed settlers and soldiers to act
with impunity; and it has systematically discriminated against
non-Jewish citizens.

After so many years of repressing those who stand in the way,
the transition to targeting “one of your own” isn’t so difficult.

Now it is the few Jewish Israelis who speak the language
of human rights who are branded as enemies.

Zeev Sternhell, a political scientist and an expert on fascism,
believes that, “radical nationalism” and the, “erosion of
Enlightenment values” have reached new heights in Israel.

“To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already
a subversive act, treason,” he told Haaretz.

Mr. Sternhell has experienced Jewish extremist violence firsthand;
in 2008, a settler planted a bomb in his home that wounded him.

Israelis increasingly seem unwilling to listen to criticism,
even when it comes from within their own family.

Not only are they not willing to listen, they are trying to
silence it before it can even be voiced.

With a family like that, I would rather be considered one
of “them.”



Mairav Zonszein, an Israeli-American writer, translator and editor,
blogs at +972 Magazine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/opinion/how-israel-silences-
dissent.html?_r=0

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Nation Without A Conscience

A Nation Without A Conscience

By Joseph Clifford
OpEdNews.com
September 28, 2014

We are a nation without a conscience, and that friends,
is a frightening thing.

Far more frightening than any terrorist group could
ever be to this nation.

Recently I discussed with a friend, the folly of our
23 year war on Iraq.

I cited the example of the US imposing the most brutal
sanctions in the history of the world on an innocent people.

Nothing was allowed into their country, and as the sanctions
took their deadly toll the rest of the world pleaded with us
to remove them, but to no avail.

Children and the elderly were the hardest hit by the sanctions,
as the sick and the in-firmed always suffer most in cases like
this.

In a 1996 famous interview on 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl asked
then Secretary of State Madeline Albright a powerful question.

"We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean,
that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is
the price worth it?"

Without blinking Ms. Albright answered, "Yes we think it is
worth it."

I gasped, and was breathless and speechless for a couple of
minutes, when I heard her answer.

What could be worth the lives of 650,000 children, most of
whom were less than 6 years old?

What could ever be worth that?

I was stunned that Ms. Albright could even get the words out, but
was even more shocked when the entire nation barely raised their
eyes at Ms. Albright's comment.

The entire nation, somewhat like Ms. Albright did not blink at
the deaths of 650,000 children.

There was no outrage or real anger among the American public.

I was shocked yet again, and I am still stunned by the indifference
of the US public, to the policy of taking 650,000 innocent children's
lives and apparently have no real regret, remorse, or even anger.

There was, and still is, practically no reaction to the mass killing
of 650,000 children.

What kind of a nation kills 650,000 completely innocent children
and does not blink?

When I brought up the case of the sanctions and the deaths of
650,000 children, my friend just looked at me; no shock, no horror,
nor remorse, or anger.

Nothing.

My friend showed the same indifference as did the US public,
towards a government policy which took the lives of 650,000
innocent children.

To illustrate the folly of US policy towards Iraq, I pursued the next
argument, by pointing out that this nation killed over 1.5 million
Iraqis, and I dared or challenged that friend to tell me what they
were killed for?

There is no logical reason, for the entire war was based on
lies and distorted evidence.

It was a war of choice.

There were no WMD in Iraq.

It was all for naught.

The deaths of 1.5 million were for nothing.

I pressed this point to my friend and just got a blank stare.

No shock at the 1.5 million, no shame, nothing.

This nation did not care about the 650,000 innocent dead children,
so why would they get upset about 1.5 million Iraqi deaths?

We were not angry because individuals lied us into a war that
caused the deaths of 1.5 million people.

We just do not care; we have no conscience.

We have never admitted wrongdoing, and no one has ever been
held accountable for the 650,000 dead children and 1.5 million
dead Iraqis who died for no reason.

As a people and a nation we have no conscience, and a nation
without a conscience is to be feared by all.



Joe Clifford lives in Rhode island and has written a regular column
for an online newspaper and has contributed many articles to
various RI newspapers.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-Nation-Without-a-Conscie-by-Joseph-Clifford-Iraq-Massacres_Iraq-War_Media-Newspapers_
Media-News-140927-423.html

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator

Via - Jake Day
By Charlie Chaplin
September 24, 2014

I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor.

That's not my business.

I don't want to rule or conquer anyone.

I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, gentile, black man,
white.

We all want to help one another.

Human beings are like that.

We want to live by each other's happiness — not by each other's
misery.

We don't want to hate and despise one another.

In this world there is room for everyone.

And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost
the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world
with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in.

Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

Our knowledge has made us cynical.

Our cleverness, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little.

More than machinery we need humanity.

More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together.

The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in
men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world —
millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of
a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say — do not despair.

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed
the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they
took from the people will return to the people and so long as men
die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers!

Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you,
who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think or what
to feel!

Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon
fodder.

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with
machine minds and machine hearts!

You are not machines!

You are not cattle!

You are men!

You have the love of humanity in your hearts.

You don't hate!

Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!

Soldiers!

Don't fight for slavery!

Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St. Luke it is written:

"The Kingdom of God is within man" — not one man nor a group
of men, but in all men!

In you!

You, the people have the power — the power to create machines.

The power to create happiness!

You, the people, have the power to make this life free
and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power!

Let us all unite!

Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men
a chance to work, that will give youth the future and old age a
security.

By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power,
but they lie!

They do not fulfill their promise; they never will.

Dictators free themselves, but they enslave the people!

Now, let us fight to fulfill that promise!

Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers,
to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.

Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science
and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers!

In the name of democracy, let us all unite!

- Charlie Chaplin, 'The Great Dictator', 1940



Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25
December 1977) was an English actor, comedian, and filmmaker
who rose to fame in the silent era.

Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the
Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the
history of the film industry.

Monday, September 22, 2014

An Open Letter From Gaza

An Open Letter From Gaza

By Dennis Cormier
September 22, 2014

Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham
Albuquerque District Office
505 Marquette Avenue, NW
Suite 1605
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Dear Representative Grisham:

We need your support in Gaza.

My name is Denny Cormier. I am 68 and am currently retired.

I have lived in Santa Fe for the last 15 years but I am currently
volunteering in Gaza as a human rights activist and a citizen
journalist reporting on what I am discovering here.

I have been living here in Gaza City for six months now (since
March 2014), and I also traveled here in June of 2013 as a citizen
journalist.

What I knew about Gaza and the Palestinian issue before coming
here was limited to reports that I received from the Western
media, and the distance between Santa Fe and Gaza might as
well have been a million miles.

But based on many conversations with young Palestinians and
university students in Gaza over 2 years, I decided to travel to
Gaza myself in 2013 and to investigate personally the differences
between my own discoveries and what I read (or saw) in the media.

My personal discoveries and the media narrative were so totally
different – in fact, they were totally at odds.

And I had to know.

Frankly, my first visit to Gaza was an eye-opener.

In fact, it was a life changing experience to put it mildly.

I was immediately welcomed as a United States citizen… the people
in Gaza love Americans… they welcome me warmly wherever I have
traveled in Gaza.

People greet you in the streets with the warmest of welcomes when
they discover I am an American, it immediately brings smiles to the
faces of adults and children alike.

The immediate reaction is – We Love You.

I have made many lasting and strong friendships in Gaza. And I fell
in love with the Palestinians and with Gaza.

I received a similar welcome from university students and business
owners and from people who welcomed me on behalf of the
government.

This was not a place of terrorists.

This was a place of a warm, friendly people, people of great faith,
people of generosity that is unparalleled in my experience.

I could not wait to return to Gaza, and did so earlier this year in
March.

And I am glad that I did.

This recent 6 month visit has increased my understanding of
the issues here, and I have seen how the issues of siege and
of economic devastation have brought great suffering to these
people, many of whom I know personally.

Although I had the opportunity to leave Gaza before Operation
Protective Edge with the assistance of the U.S. State Department
and the government here in Gaza, I chose to stay on during the
51 day attack and to be a witness.

What I saw and experienced can only be characterized as horrific.

The attacks on the border cities of Gaza were particularly barbaric.

I reported to representatives of the U.S. State Department that
I was a witness to war crimes, and the effects of the war crimes
continue even if the attacks have stopped.

Although I live in an area of Gaza where other internationals live
and in a place that is normally considered a safe haven for them,
I began to feel strongly that my life was in serious danger – that
there was no safe place in Gaza during those 51 days.

Gratefully I survived the bombings in my own neighborhood, but
not so others in Gaza City and in cities throughout the Gaza Strip.

Many hundreds died in these attacks… many thousands more were
seriously injured… thousands of homes have been flattened by the
weaponry that Israel used during the attacks and are now sitting in
piles of rubble.

I have visited and documented the destruction in three Gaza cities
in Khuzaa, in Shujaya, and in Beit Hanoun, (and of course, in Gaza
City).

If you had been able to accompany me on these visits after
the war, you would have wept… I did.

What I saw was nothing short of total devastation of civilian
homes.

I would be happy to send you photographic documentation if you
wish…. But what I saw and witnessed would make you shudder…

I have heard hundreds of stories of people of all ages who ran
from their homes in the middle of the night as shells fell on their
homes without warning…. others were given just a few minutes to
evacuate their homes before rockets or bombs wiped them out….

My dearest friends ran from their homes in bare feet and lost
everything they owned and treasured.

Some homes were bombed while the families were sleeping.

They received no warning from Israel.

Entire families were wiped out.

Children shuddered in their homes and it has been reported
that 90% of the children in Gaza now suffer from PTSD.

Children were particularly targeted in these attacks.

Four young boys from the Bakr family were killed by shells
from Israeli gunboats just off shore….

They were killed on the beach when they were playing football
very close to my home…

I met the only survivor of the attack on the same Bakr family
home just days later.

I spent most of two months during the war acting as a human
shield at Al Shifa Hospital, the major health facility in Gaza.

There I met hundreds of refugees and interviewed the injured.

I saw the dead being brought to the hospital, many of
them children… what I saw is the stuff of nightmares.

On one of the days there, hundreds of ambulances arrived
over several hours delivering the dead and the injured…..

The doctors I spoke to have told me that the injuries to
their patients were worse than any war injuries that they
have witnessed here and in other war zones.

I have seen many destroyed or severely damaged civilian facilities,
including schools, mosques, hospitals, police stations – in some
cases entire cities.

Before the war I was also witness to the devastation to
the economy and to the infrastructure of Gaza – and the
destruction of the human spirit during this too long siege.

I learned to live with 8 hours of electricity a day (now 6 hours
a day)…

I learned to live with the water that comes from the taps
that cannot be used for anything safely…

I learned to live with miles of beaches that have been destroyed
because of the need to dump raw sewage into the sea.

I learned to live with stories of suffering that are caused
by a huge unemployment situation in Gaza…

I cannot tell you all that I have discovered first hand during this
current visit to Gaza, but it could fill books, and one day it
probably will.

I can tell you that what I witnessed are gross breaches of
international law and gross breaches of agreements relating
to collective punishment of a civilian population.

I can tell you that I will encourage the Palestinians to bring charges
against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

I can tell you that it is my honest opinion that the suffering of the
people of Gaza are a direct result of an illegal siege and blockade
and a de facto Occupation….

The Israelis left Gaza some years ago but they have an immense
and negative impact on the lives of ordinary citizens in Gaza long
after they left this area and surrounded it with fencing and military
outposts.

I can tell you that I was personally shot at when visiting the city
of Shujaya.

As I explored the damage and was hundreds of meters from the
Israeli border and the buffer zone that they have set up, bullets
were fired above me and on both sides of me by the Israelis…..

Warning shots perhaps….

But I was nowhere near the area where people are regularly
killed and injured along the Israeli border….

My only weapon was a digital camera.

I had to back up several hundred more feet before the shooting
stopped.

Children who were in the same area were also fired at as was
my guide.

I can tell you many things based on first hand witness and
observation, but I must please ask you to reconsider anything
you ever learned from the media or from the State Department
or White House regarding Gaza – in fact, question everything
you have been told.

What you have been told… what we Americans have been told….
Is a lie.

I would be happy to meet with you when I return to the United
States, but I must warn you now that the ongoing support of
the State of Israel in its attacks on the Palestinians, especially
on those living in Gaza is a great shame on the American people.

The financial support offered to Israel without proper concern
and restrictions based on human rights is a great shame for the
American people.

As a representative of the good people of the United States, I
urge you to look very closely at the good people of Gaza and to
reconsider what we have done to them in the name of Israeli security.

In fact, I would be pleased to personally be your guide should you
elect to visit the Gaza Strip and should the Israeli government allow
you entry for a firsthand experience of what I have witnessed and
experienced.

The people of Gaza need your support.

Respectfully,

Dennis Cormier
Santa Fe, New Mexico
(currently Gaza City in the Gaza Strip)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The True Axis of Evil

The True Axis of Evil

By Bruce Fein
The Washington Times
September 20, 2014

An axis of evil threatens the liberties of the United States from within:

The Warfare State; The Surveillance State; The Bail-Out State;
and, The Welfare State.

A natural extension of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s one
percent doctrine, the axis feeds on an effete quest for a risk-free
existence — the opposite of the risk-taking philosophy that gave
birth to the nation.

The greatest threat to our liberties is the warfare state.

Alexis de Tocqueville presciently noted in “Democracy in America,”
“All those who seek to destroy the liberties of democratic nations
ought to know that war is the surest and the shortest means to
accomplish it.”

War makes legal what is customarily first-degree murder.

It subordinates transparency to secrecy.

And due process, privacy, free speech, and the separation
of powers bow to shouts of national security.

The warfare state is earmarked by endless gratuitous wars
unjustified by self-defense, i.e., wars of aggression according to
the international law principles championed by the United States
during the post-World War II Nuremberg trials.

Our wars against Iraq, Libya, ISIS, Afghanistan, and the perpetual
global war against international terrorism are illustrative.

The U.S. “pivot” to Asia is a precursor to a gratuitous war against
China over the South or East China Seas, uninhabited islands, or
otherwise.

No nation or non-state actor credibly threatens U.S. sovereignty.

Any would-be aggressor against United States territory would be
instantly crushed by our brave and unexcelled armed forces.

No one goes to sleep here worried about a foreign invasion.

We are safer from that danger than any other country in the
history of the world.

But warfare states like the Unites States fight for the sake of
domination or control in imitation of adolescent bullies on a
high school playground.

They create self-fulfilling prophecies.

They preventively attack invented enemies, who predictably fight
back in retaliation, which in turn is said to justify the preventive
attacks.

ISIS is a perfect example.

It was initially confined to fighting tyrannies in Syria and Iraq with
no motivation to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to attack the United
States.

Then we preventively commenced war against ISIS to prop up a
sectarian dictatorship in Iraq and the non-moderate moderate
armed opposition in Syria.

The ranks of ISIS predictably swelled to defend against the attacks.

The United States has given ISIS a motive to respond in kind, which
will be said to have justified our preventive war.

The surveillance state is first cousin to the warfare state.

Willing to crush liberty in hopes of diminishing risk, it exposes all
citizens to surveillance on the hunch that some may be connected
to international terrorism.

Unlike the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, a secret terrorist watch list
has been created without due process safeguards for listing or de-
listing.

In addition, the National Security Agency tracks the domestic and
international communications of every citizen of the United States
in hopes of discovering an international terrorism link.

The NSA’s tracking persists despite more than eight years
of futility.

Additional suspicion less surveillance programs of the NSA
undertaken pursuant to an executive order of the President
remain cloaked in secrecy.

The risk-free surveillance state betrays the right to be let alone
which gave birth to the American Revolution.

Its spirit was voiced by William Pitt the Elder in an electrifying
1763 address to Parliament:

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces
of the crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may
blow through it; the storms may enter, but the King of England
cannot enter — all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the
ruined tenement.”

The bail-out state and welfare state are also fueled by risk
aversion.

They protect corporations and individuals alike from the economic
risks of free and open competition, the locomotive of wealth.

They perversely diminish the rewards of skill, foresight, and
industry, while eliminating or reducing the penalties of corruption,
recklessness, incompetence, or sloth.

A stagnant economy, however, cannot sustain the stupendous costs
of a warfare state.

We should be jolted by the teaching of all human experience.

A country that makes liberty subservient to fears of risk will soon
be a museum piece.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/18/fein-true-
axis-evil

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Message To The Jews

My Message To The Jews

Via - Lisa Spaulding
By Khalid Amayreh
September 18, 2014

I realize very well that Jews are not carbon copies of each other.

And I also know perfectly well that there are many Jews around
the world who truly despise what Israel has been doing to the
Palestinian people in your name.

I earnestly commend these conscientious Jews for their morality
and human decency.

It is these honest and honourable people that enable us to retain
the hope that counting on Jewish morality is not a lost cause.

None the less, one must be faithful to one's conscience and
intellectual honesty.

That is why we must recognize that there are huge numbers of Jews
who have found themselves transformed thoroughly into soldiers of
darkness and advocates of evil.

Today, there are Jews, too many of them, who shamelessly
advocate the total annihilation of the Palestinian people.

We also know that yesterday, there were many non-Jews
who shamelessly advocated the total annihilation of Jews.

We have seen some of many Jews celebrate the mass murder of
Palestinian children. There is no point in denying the undeniable.

Unfortunately, these psychopaths don't seem to be an isolated
or marginal minority.

I hope and pray they don't represent a majority among Jews.

But I am afraid they really do.

But even if they don't, they can still bully whatever "silent majority"
there is in Israel into doing their bidding.

Recent history taught us what an extremist vocal minority
is capable of doing.

You certainly understand what I am alluding to.

It is these misguided and misguiding Nazi-like multitudes
of Jews I am addressing in this article.

And, in truth, my ultimate goal is not to vilify and demonize, but
rather to warn and admonish them to wake up from worshiping this
modern Golden Calf, otherwise known as the State of Israel.

To begin with, I would like to remind you of a Talmudic story,
which I believe is familiar to many of you.

The story is told that a heathen came to Shammai with the request
to be accepted as a convert on condition that he was taught the
whole of the Torah while he stood on one foot.

The Rabbi drove him away with the yard-stick which he was
holding.

He then went to Hillel with the same request; and he said to him:

“What is hateful to you yourself, do not do to your fellow-man.
That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but
commentary. Go, learn it.”

Yes, yes, what is hateful to yourself, don’t do to your fellow-man.

What beautiful words of light and wisdom!

Now are you mentally prepared to accept this universal law, which
nearly every Jew on earth would agree encapsulates Jewish and
universal morality?

If you are, then you should thoroughly examine your attitudes
toward Israel, a state that has more in common with the ideas
of Hitler than it does with the teachings of Moses Ben Maimon.

Israel is deceiving you, lying to you and betraying your moral
legacy, the legacy bequeathed to all of us by the Israelite prophets,
and their (our) forefather Ibrahim.

I am sorry to speak in such a harsh tone, but, in truth, Israel and
Zionism succeeded through the years in transforming you from a
people who believe in justice and value morality into murderers
and justifiers of murder, into thieves and justifiers of theft, and
into liars who have to change the black into white and the white
into black in order to cover up their shame, and then call the lies
strange names such as hasbara and public relations and political
correctness and what have you.

In your name, Israel, knowingly and deliberately, is slaughtering
innocent people, including children, en masse.

This is not done by mistake as Israeli leaders and spokespeople
would falsely claim.

When “mistakes” happen every day and every hour and every
minute; these mistakes are no longer mistakes.

They are policy.

Besides the images are too graphic to be ignored and too obscenely
brazen to be dismissed as “Arab propaganda.”

They transcend reality.

In your name, Israel has been committing every conceivable crime
against humanity.

Don't just invoke your usual defensive reflexes and claim that
violence and oppression are not Jewish values.

Your acquiescent silence in the face of Israeli crimes suggests that
violence and oppression are totally compatible with Jewish values.

After all, the pornographically Nazi-like oppression being meted
out to the Palestinians is coming from the very people who claim
to adhere to the Ten Commandments.

In your name, Israel in 2006, 2008-2009, 2012 and now in 2014,
dropped millions of bombs, bomblets and missiles all over South
Lebanon and Gaza, exterminating thousands of innocent people,
and destroying tens of thousands of homes.

You have made Gaza look like Hiroshima in 1945.

Is this the light upon the nations that you claim to be?

Shame on you!

It is because of your crimes against man and God that we, the
Palestinians, have effectively become “the Jews of our time,”
while you have effectively transformed yourselves into the “anti-
Semites or even the Nazis of our time.”

You, the Jews, the premier victims of the holocaust, and the
numerous pogroms and inquisitions, have turned out to be like all
underdogs, when you get on the top, you become as murderous and
as brutal to your victims as your former oppressors were to you
when you were underneath.

The Nazis looked down on Jews and others as Untermensch,
and you are looking down on us as “dirty Arabs!”

The Nazis sought expansion at their neighbours’ expense
and called it “lebensraum.”

And you are doing the same, under the pretext of building
“settlements for Jews.”

The Nazis carried out “pacification operations” in which innocent
people were mercilessly killed; and you carry out rather routinely
“defensive operations” during which you wreak death and havoc
on innocent people.

At least the Nazis didn’t lie about their criminality
like you do about yours.

The Nazis didn't brag about their monstrous crimes
like you gleefully do.

You are not only evil murderers and child killers.

You are also nefarious liars.

The Nazis believed in an Aryan “master race” and you, Zionists,
are trying to make a “race” out of Jews.

Your methods are similar and your goals are nearly identical.

You can’t deny this; we are not naïve North Americans or
Europeans whom you think you can bamboozle very easily.

We have been through it all, from creation to destruction.

I am saying this because in the final analysis when people, any
people, including Jews, behave and act like the Nazis did, they
themselves become Nazis.

Evil, whether done by a “master race” or a “chosen people” is
evil.

Evil can’t be kosher.

True, there are no gas chambers in Gaza and Hebron.

But the Jews are bringing gas chambers to every Palestinian home,
hospital, collage, mosque and neighbourhood.

Don't say I am exaggerating.

If you do, just try to have a fleeting look at your shame.

Too harsh?

In light of your criminal callousness to what you have been and are
doing to us, it is immensely naïve to think that you will experience
a moral awakening.

At the very least, you should stop asking why the Germans were
silent when Jews were being shipped to the concentration camps.

Whether we like it or not, you are now in the Germans' shoes.

Don't deny it; the images from Gaza are too graphic to be denied.

Many of you may be forgiven for being ignorant of Israel’s evil
reality.

But you are not a people of ignorance, which means you are doing
and supporting evil knowingly and consciously.

If so, you are no better than your past tormentors.

Don’t be so excited about America’s unlimited and unrestricted
support and backing.

America is not helping you to uphold your moral principles, America
is “helping” you to destroy these principles, which you are doing
anyway.

And you are so happy about it!

Needless to say, when an evil power “helps” you corrode your
moral system, this should not be a cause for joy and satisfaction.

I am sure that wise men and women amongst you understand
the meaning of my words.

Finally, I call on you to wake up from this toxic arrogance of
power, this collective megalomania and false sense of triumph.

You are actually experiencing a collective psychosis, a virtual
moral meltdown.

Hence, you are really in a big trouble.

If I were you, I would immediately stop killing and tormenting
the helpless Palestinians for you had been helpless yourselves.

Stop killing their children.

Stop destroying their homes.

Stop confiscating their land.

Stop imprisoning their sons without charge and trial.

Stop narrowing their horizons.

Stop your mass murder, mass terror, and mass oppression.

Stop making turning our daily life into an unrelenting hell.

Yes, stop it, if not for justice and human decency,
then for your own safety.

Oppression eventually boomerangs on the oppressors.

And remember, it is not an act of heroism to murder unprotected
innocent civilians, using the state-of-the-art of America’s
technology of death.

History won’t be kind to you.

What heroism is there in having an F-16 fighter rain death
on sleeping children and women in an apartment building?

It is very much like sending trains, packed with people, to
a concentration camp.



Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist and commentator
based in Occupied Palestine.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

If I Were The Devil

If I Were The Devil

Via - Jah Bless
By Paul Harvey
September 14, 2014

If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to
engulf the whole world in darkness.

And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its
population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest
apple on the tree — Thee.

So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign
of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as
I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’

To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’

I would convince them that man created God instead of
the other way around.

I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good
is ‘square.’

And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father,
which art in Washington…’

And then I’d get organized.

I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting,
so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.

I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could.

I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction.

I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves,
churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with
themselves; until each in its turn was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media
fanning the flames.

If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young
intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those
run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug
sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges
promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the
courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the
houses of Congress.

And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for
religion, and deify science.

I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls,
and church money.

If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and
the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those
who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

And what do you bet? I couldn’t get whole states to promote
gambling as thee way to get rich?

I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism,
in moral conduct.

I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that
swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be.

And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into
bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing
what he’s doing.

- Paul Harvey, 1965



Paul Harvey, (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), was
a conservative American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio
Networks.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NEVER FORGET

NEVER FORGET

Via - Jennifer Leonowitz
By Justin Cooke
September 11, 2014

They already sold our souls, but you don't know what the price is,
you'll do anything to defeat the new threat that is ISIS,
but what they haven't told you is that it's a manufactured crisis.

Got you squabbling about Ray Rice and his right fist,
dumping water on your head, but it's time that we ice this.

They choppin people's heads off, but it doesn't look authentic,
but not too many people question the media that presents it.

The dudes who run the show, don't you know they're demented,
they took your pension from you, now they laugh as they spend it.

But you already gave consent, we're all slaves from the 14th amendment.

I'm raising hellions, for the next Shays' Rebellion.

Fuck a tea party, they don't talk about the shell scam,
occupy another lie, they just parrot what they tell them.

Today is 9/11, so we'll never forget,
how they started wars, to keep us forever in debt,
they pulled the wool over our eyes, and keep you forever upset.

Even though they did it, Larry Silverstein admitted it,
Bush and Cheney lied, Haliburton profited,
but I'm sure, that they all split it.

Fucking dinosaurs in Dynacorp,
always get behind a war,
troops coming home with nothing,
wondering what they signed up for,
sad to say it was all for Merrill Lynch the minotaur.

The only thing that's scary,
is it's the same shit with Barry and John Kerry,
they're all puppets on the same strings,
even Rand Paul and Rick Perry.

NEVER FORGET

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Strangler Fig Nation

The Unique National Strategy For The State Of Israel

By Paul Larudee
Dissident Voice
September 9, 2014

Strangler fig is the generic name given to a class of vines that
sprouts high in the canopy of trees in tropical forests.

It is deposited by birds that eat its fruit.

Its roots envelope the tree and feed off it, weakening the tree.

If the process is allowed to continue indefinitely, it sinks its roots
into the ground at the base of the tree and destroys it completely
but takes its form, creating a hollow shell of living vines where the
tree once stood.

On Friday, July 18, 2014, as one of the most powerful military
forces in the world laid waste to the besieged and impoverished
Gaza Strip, leaving widows and orphans in its wake while
nevertheless killing a significant number of them, the United States
Senate, without objection and by unanimous consent from all
100 senators, passed a resolution supporting this act of genocide
and condemning its victims for provoking the powerful aggressor
by trying to resist.

At that point, Israel had killed more than 250 Palestinians, mostly
civilians, while the resistance forces in Gaza had killed one Israeli,
who had been delivering food to troops at the time.

The Senate resolution had been drafted by the AIPAC, the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the pillars of the Israel
Lobby.

Fifty days later more than 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and
72 Israelis, mostly soldiers, lay dead.

How did the Israel Lobby come to so totally dominate the US Senate
and in fact the entire US government?

The story goes back more than a century, to the early years of the
Zionist movement to create a Jewish state.

Zionism grew out of the 19th and 20th century European racist and
nationalist philosophies like Fascism, Nazism and Falangism, which
promoted the idea that each race in the world needed a homeland
and should seek to fulfill its national destiny there.

The definition of both race and homeland were given much
latitude.

Despite all genetic evidence to the contrary, Jews were considered
a race, and after considering Uganda and Argentina as potential
homelands, the Zionists settled on Palestine.

In order to fulfill its “destiny”, however, the Zionists realized that
they would need the support of at least one great power in order
to force themselves upon an unwilling population in Palestine and
ultimately expel or eliminate them, as the Europeans had largely
accomplished in the great genocide of indigenous peoples in the
western hemisphere.

For this purpose, they selected Great Britain as it was about to take
control of Palestine, and when the Zionists might be able to argue
that their support could be critical to British ambitions, both during
and after the Great War.

Indeed, Britain served their purpose well, facilitating the
settlement of Palestine with Zionist Europeans.

Zionist leaders also assisted Nazi Germany in removing its Jewish
population and transferring them to Palestine, arguing that Nazism
and Zionism had complementary interests.

Before long, however, the relationship with Britain turned
adversarial when Zionist terrorist groups began attacking the British
in Palestine, with a view toward forcing the creation of an
independent Jewish state in a territory where they constituted a
minority of the population.

Although the Zionists continued to maintain an important support
community in Great Britain, they knew that they would need other
sponsors, and found their warmest welcome in the United States,
starting in the late 19th century.

Following World War II, President Harry Truman considered the
Zionists to be important enough to his 1948 election campaign that
he showered them with whatever they wanted, and especially
immediate recognition of their declaration of statehood on May 14,
1948.

This event set a pattern for Zionist influence in the US that would
be repeated on a vast scale decades later.

During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, the Israel
Lobby, though powerful, could not act with impunity.

Eisenhower suspended aid to Israel and forced it to pull back from
its invasion of Sinai in 1956.

Kennedy supported Senator J. William Fulbright’s hearings to force
AIPAC to register as a foreign agent.

Those hearings were cut short in the aftermath of the Kennedy
assassination, and Lyndon Johnson proved much more compliant,
twice ordering the US sixth fleet to recall its aircraft sent to defend
the US naval ship Liberty, which was attacked by Israeli air and
naval forces in June, 1967.

The Liberty sustained 34 dead and 171 wounded US military
personnel, and barely avoided being sunk with all lives lost.

However, the entire affair was quashed, with the Johnson
administration foisting flimsy excuses upon a compliant American
press and public, which accepted them with little question.

Since then, the Israel Lobby has grown with few constraints, fed
by its domination of the American Jewish community, extensive
control of publishing and the media, the establishment and control
of strategic think tanks that provide governmental advisers, and by
a well-coordinated and lavishly funded political campaign machine.

This machine is now sufficiently influential to assure huge
congressional appropriations to Israel that are filled by contractors
who in turn show their gratitude by donating to the lobby that
feeds them.

This history is well documented in works like The Lobby: Jewish
political power and American foreign policy, by Edward Tivnan
(1987), The Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy, by John J.
Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt (2008), Against Our Better
Judgement, by Alison Weir (2014), and other publications and
articles.

Today, Israel oversees the careers of politicians throughout the
US from the city and county level up to state and national races
to make sure that no one hostile to Israel achieves significant
political office and that its agenda receives overwhelming
approval.

It prevails upon the gratitude of elected officials to appoint its
candidates as staffers throughout Congress as well as state and
local offices.

It maintains control of news, cinema, television, publishing and
other media, so that its narrative will dominate public portrayal
of Middle East issues.

It even implants both volunteers and paid staff to populate web
comment lists.

As a result, Israel is now much more than a lobby.

Powerful lobbies may bend a government to their benefit, but
their strength and survival ultimately depend upon the health
of the country or countries that are their home.

In a sense, therefore, they serve the national interest, even if they
serve the interests of certain segments of society more than others.

This is also why they care little for the health of the countries that
they exploit, which are not their home.

It also explains why Israel increasingly treats the US like an
exploited colony: the Israeli elite can use the US to their benefit,
but it is not their home.

Israel now controls US policy in the Middle East much more than
it ever did Great Britain, to such an extent that it can often use
US resources and power even in defiance of US national interest.

Trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives have
been expended to destroy Iraq, Libya, Syria and Lebanon.

Did these wars strengthen or weaken the strategic interest of
the US and its economy?

Would these wars have been fought if not for the Israel lobby
in the US?

While Israeli policy has been to weaken and destroy its neighbors,
it is far from obvious that the same policy is in the US national
interest.

To the contrary, until the end of World War II and even until the
1960s, the US was widely regarded in the Arab world as the “good”
western power, untainted by colonialism in the region and without
Arab blood on its hands.

As John Sheehan, SJ said, “Every time anyone says that Israel is our
only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before
Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.”

Of course, some will argue that these and other US government
policies and actions are in fact consistent with some definition
of national interest.

That is necessary, because anything that is obviously destructive to
the well-being of the country will encounter too much resistance to
implement.

Every policy benefits someone.

However, there is an important difference between those who
benefit more than others from enterprise that in fact strengthens
the nation and those who benefit from the sacrifices – and to the
detriment – of the rest of the nation.

The Middle East wars of the G.W. Bush and Obama administrations
are different from earlier ones, including the first Iraq war,
primarily with respect to the degree to which Israel supplied the
intelligence on which they were based and the extent to which
their lobby influenced Congress to act.

The Bush administration, for example, is notable for the Office of
Special Plans, which was a veritable Israel liaison office in the heart
of the Pentagon with extraordinary access to top secret information
and in fact set up by Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense.

In fact, the G.W. Bush administration marks the maturation of a
program of Israel-nurtured neoconservative influence and control
that began at least a decade earlier and coalesced into the Project
for a New American Century (PNAC), a Washington think tank that
brought together many of the principals that would hold high office
in that administration.

Although initially derided as fanciful in the Clinton administration
and its predecessors, it constituted the first open presentation of
plans to orient and ultimately subordinate U.S. policy to the goals
and policies of the state of Israel.

The plans took shape as part of what became known as the
neoconservative agenda.

This was a major departure from the paradigm that began in 1947
with the publication of George Kennan’s seminal work counseling
the projection of American power in order to maintain an
equilibrium of power, (known as the “containment” principle) in
international relations, so as to avoid disastrous and dangerous
confrontations of the type that characterized the first half of the
twentieth century.

One may argue the extent to which such policy was effective,
but the neoconservatives in PNAC argued that the end of the
Soviet Union and the advent of the unipolar world provided
the US with an unprecedented opportunity for domination, if
only it would pursue a policy of military intervention and
adventurism.

It is no accident that the early movement found favor with Israel.

Israel quickly saw that neocon interventionism could be made to
use American military might to serve Israel’s agenda of crushing
its real, potential and perceived opponents in the Middle East.

The Israel lobby therefore invested heavily in university
departments and think tanks devoted to strategic studies
and promoting the careers of neoconservatives that became
advisers and appointed officials throughout government.

Examples of these are the Institute for Advanced Strategic and
Political Studies, the Hudson Institute, the Brookings Institution,
the Cato Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Jewish
Institute for National Security Affairs, the Project for a New
American Century, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise
Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (founded by
AIPAC) and others.

Through their doors have passed the likes of Richard Perle, Dick
Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, John
Bolton, Dennis Ross, Douglas Feith, Robert Kagan, Martin Indyk,
David Wurmser, Michael Ledeen and many others that have
achieved high government office, especially since the start of
the G.W. Bush administration in 2001.

Israel’s investments have paid off in a big way.

Today, all officials elected or appointed to national office
are either pro-Israel or must say they are.

In fact, they cannot deviate or dissent or disagree with the
Israel lobby in any way without risk of losing their career, as
Cynthia McKinney, Paul Findley, Earl Hilliard, Pete McCloskey,
William Fulbright, Roger Jepsen, Adlai Stevenson III and others
have discovered to their dismay.

Other prominent figures, like Vanessa Redgrave and others in
entertainment and the arts, that have dared to criticize Israel,
also find themselves pilloried in the press and subject to fewer
opportunities for their professional practice.

Those aspiring to careers in mainstream film, journalism and even
sports or music may find the doors closed to them if speak out in
any way against Israel.

Israel has thus constructed a strangler fig network of roots and
vines that is feeding itself from the resources of world’s most
powerful nation while gradually starving that nation.

It is placing itself inside the workings of the US government and
society so as to hobble its workings to Israel’s requirements under
the carefully crafted illusion that they are serving the US national
interest.

An example of this is the US relationship with Iran, and specifically
the Iranian nuclear program, as set forth in Gareth Porter’s book,
Manufactured Crisis [Just World Books, 2014].

As Porter meticulously shows, although Iran has no nuclear weapons
program, never had one and never proposed to have one, and
although the US has repeatedly found no evidence of an Iranian
nuclear weapons program and only evidence to the contrary, the US
continues to impose sanctions against Iran for the sole reason that
Israel wants to do as much damage as possible to Iran and to
prevent good and productive relations between Iran and the United
States.

Porter shows that Israel has brought to bear its skill in creating
forged documents, its influence in American intelligence, its threat vof Congressional opposition to administration policies and other
instruments of deception and coercion in order to prevent a
rapprochement between the US and Iran.

Israel’s hand can also be seen in US policy toward Syria, the rise
of ISIS, the overthrow of Egypt’s very first democratically elected
government, the destruction of Libya and many other of the
developments in the Middle East.

If we ask cui bono, Israel will be at the top of the list, at least
from its own definition of objectives.

Whether the US benefits from a strategic and economic viewpoint
is highly questionable, although Israel’s allies in the US rarely fail
to come out ahead.

There are of course limitations to Israel’s power.

Even a strangler fig cannot change the shape of the tree.

The US has thus far resisted the Israeli attempt to create an actual
war with Iran, and it barely skirted direct intervention in Syria,
which continues to be on Israel’s wish list.

Nevertheless, the power of Israel over the workings of the US
government and society is unprecedented in international relations
that are otherwise as asymmetrical as those of the US and Israel.

Ordinarily the relation is the reverse: powerful nations are infamous
for manipulating their vassals and colonial nations for exploiting
their colonies.

Yet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu infamously bragged
that “America is a thing you can move very easily.”

What Israel has done is to create the potential for a new type of
superpower, a small nation that survives and advances its interests
by penetrating the workings of nations that have larger economies
and militaries, and harnessing those resources.

In fact, Israel appears to be applying this model to other countries.

In England, for example, a majority of the MPs of the three major
parties belong to the “Friends of Israel” societies within those
parties.

Similarly, the BBC coverage of Israel and the Middle East is
controlled by appointees that are invariably selected for their
bias towards Israel.

Canada and India are two formerly nonaligned nations that are now
governed by parties and coalitions that have sworn allegiance to
Israel.

In India’s case, Israel’s promotion of Islamophobia has created an
alliance with racist Hindu nationalist parties while making India the
world’s largest customer of the Israeli arms industry.

Where will it end?

Will Israel exhaust the economic and military resources of
the US for its own perceived benefit?

To what extent did it already contribute to the economic
problems of the last decade?

Or will Israel overextend its reach and find that the Zionist
experiment to create and perpetuate a nation based on dubious
historical, ethnic and religious claims and at the expense of other
peoples will precipitate the very reaction that it was ostensibly
formed to prevent?

This much we know: that if a strangler fig is allowed to thrive, its
host will wither and die, and only its form will remain as an empty
shell for as long as the parasite continues to survive.



Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza
and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the
International Solidarity Movement.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/09/strangler-fig-nation

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tallying Israeli War Crimes

Tallying Israeli War Crimes

For decades, Israel has slaughtered Palestinians with impunity,
always protected by the U.S. government and its veto at the
UN Security Council. But the latest bloody assault on Gaza has
prompted more open talk about Israeli war crimes — and U.S.
complicity, says Marjorie Cohn.

By Marjorie Cohn
Consortiumnews.com
September 5, 2014

By sending vast amounts of military aid to Israel, members of the
U.S. Congress, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama
and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the
commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity
by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza.

An individual can be convicted of a war crime, genocide or a crime
against humanity in the ICC if he or she “aids, abets or otherwise
assists” in the commission or attempted commission of the crime,
“including providing the means for its commission.”

There is growing evidence that Israeli leaders and commanders
have committed war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity
as defined in the Rome Statute for the ICC.

U.S. military aid has aided, abetted and assisted the commission of
these crimes by providing Israel with the military means to commit
them.

During Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces again used the
Dahiye Doctrine, which, according to the UN Human Rights Council
[Goldstone] Report, involves “the application of disproportionate
force and causing of great damage and destruction to civilian
property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations.”

According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2007, the Bush
Administration agreed to provide Israel with $30 billion in military
assistance from 2009 to 2018, provided in annual increments of $3.1
billion.

During his March 2013 visit to Israel, Obama pledged that the U.S.
would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of
military aid subject to the approval of Congress.

Since 2012, the U.S. has sent $276 million worth of weapons and
munitions to Israel, not including exports of military transport
equipment and high technologies.

From January to May 2014, the U.S. transferred to Israel almost $27
million for rocket launchers, $9.3 million worth of parts of guided
missiles and nearly $762,000 for bombs, grenades and munitions of
war.

On July 20, 2014, Israel requested additional ammunition, including
140mm tank rounds and 40mm illumination grenades, and the
Defense Department approved the sale three days later.

It came from a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition the U.S. military
stores in Israel for that country’s use; it is called War Reserve
Stockpile Ammunition-Israel.

In early August 2014, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly
passed, and Obama signed, an appropriation of $225 million for
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which has also been
used in Gaza.

The Senate vote was unanimous.

With no debate, the House of Representatives voted 395 to 8
to approve the deal.

War Crimes

Here is a summary of the crimes, as defined in the Rome Statute,
that Israeli leaders have committed and U.S. leaders have aided
and abetted:

(1) Willful killing: Israeli forces have killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians
(more than 400 children and over 80 percent civilians).

Israel used 155-millimeter artillery, which, according to Human
Rights Watch, is “utterly inappropriate in a densely populated
area, because this kind of artillery is considered accurate if it
lands anyplace within a 50-meter radius.”

(2) Willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or
health: Nearly10,000 people, 2,500 of them children, have been
wounded.

Naban Abu Shaar told the Daily Beast that the dead bodies from
what appeared to be a “mass execution” in Khuza’a looked like
they were “melted” and were piled on top of each other; assault
rifle bullet casings found in the house were marked “IMI” (Israel
Military Industries).

UNICEF said the Israeli offensive has had a “catastrophic and tragic
impact” on children in Gaza; about 373,000 children have had
traumatic experiences and need psychological help.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
said: “There’s a public health catastrophe going on. You know,
most of the medical facilities in Gaza are non-operational.”

(3) Unlawful and wanton, extensive destruction and appropriation
of property not justified by military necessity: Tens of thousands of
Palestinians have lost their homes.

More than 1,300 buildings were destroyed and 752 were severely
damaged. Damage to sewer and water infrastructure has affected
two-thirds of Gazans.

On July 20, Israeli forces virtually flattened the small town
of Khuza’a; one man counted 360 shell attacks in one hour.

Reconstruction of Gaza is estimated to cost $6 billion.

Israel shrunk Gaza’s habitable land mass by 44 percent, establishing
a 3 km “no-go” zone for Palestinians; 147 square miles of land will
be compressed into 82 square miles.

Oxfam described the level of destruction as “outrageous … much
worse than anything we have seen in previous [Israeli] military
operations.”

(4) Willfully depriving a prisoner of war or a civilian the rights of
fair and regular trial:

Nearly 2,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces during July
2014, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies.

Prisoners include 15 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council,
about 240 children, dozens of women, journalists, activists,
academics and 62 former prisoners previously released in a prisoner
exchange.

Israeli forces executed many prisoners after arrest, either by
directly firing on them, refusing to allow treatment or allowing
them to bleed to death.

More than 445 prisoners are being held without charge or trial
under administrative detention.

(5) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population,
civilian objects, or humanitarian vehicles, installations and
personnel: “The civilian population in the Gaza Strip is under direct
attack,” reads a joint declaration of over 150 international law
experts.

Israeli forces violated the principle of “distinction,” which forbids
deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects.

Israeli forces bombed 142 schools (89 run by the UN), including six
UN schools in which civilians were taking refuge.

Israeli forces shot and killed fleeing civilians (warnings, which must
effectively give civilians time to flee before bombing, do not
relieve Israel from its legal obligations not to target civilians).

Israeli forces repeatedly bombed Gaza’s only power plant and
other infrastructure, which are “beyond repair.”

Israeli forces bombed one-third of Gaza’s hospitals, 14 primary
healthcare clinics and 29 ambulances. At least five medical staff
were killed and tens of others were injured.

(6) Intentionally launching attacks with knowledge they will cause
incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian
objects or long-term severe damage to the natural environment, if
they are clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military
advantage:

The principle of “proportionality” forbids disproportionate and
excessive civilian casualties compared to the claimed military
advantage gained in the attack.

The Dahiye Doctrine directly violates this principle.

Responding to Hamas’ rockets with 155-millimeter
artillery is disproportionate.

Although nearly 2,000 Palestinians (over 80 percent civilians) have
been killed, 67 Israelis (all but three of them soldiers) have been
killed.

The coordinates of all UN facilities were repeatedly communicated
to the Israeli forces; they nevertheless bombed them multiple
times.

Civilians were attacked in Shuja’iyyah market.

(7) Attacking or bombarding undefended towns, villages, dwellings
or buildings, or intentionally attacking religious, educational and
medical buildings, which are not military objectives:

On July 20, Israeli forces virtually flattened the small town
of Khuza’a; one man counted 360 shell attacks in one hour.

Israeli forces bombed 142 schools (89 run by the UN), one-third of
Gaza’s hospitals, 14 primary healthcare clinics, and 29 ambulances.

Israeli shelling completely destroyed 41 mosques and partially
destroyed 120 mosques.

Genocide

(a) With the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical, racial or religious group: Palestinians, including primarily
civilians, and Palestinian infrastructure necessary to sustain life
were deliberately targeted by Israeli forces.

(b) The commission of any of the following acts

(i) killing members of the group: Israeli forces killed nearly 2,000
Palestinians.

(ii) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group:
Israeli forces wounded 10,000 Palestinians.

(iii) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated
to bring about its destruction in whole or in part:

Israeli forces devastated Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s
only power plant, and destroying homes, schools, buildings,
mosques and hospitals.

Crimes Against Humanity

(A) The commission of murder as part of a widespread or
systematic attack against any civilian population:

Israeli forces relentlessly bombed Gaza for one month, killing
nearly 2,000 Palestinians, more than 80 percent of whom were
civilians.

Israeli forces intentionally destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure,
knocking out Gaza’s only power plant, and destroying homes,
schools, buildings, mosques and hospitals.

(B) Persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political,
racial, national, ethnic or religious character, as part of a
widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population:

Israeli forces killed, wounded, summarily executed, and
administratively detained Palestinians, Hamas forces and
civilians alike.

Israel forces intentionally destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza,
populated by Palestinians.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “the massive death
and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world.”

He added the repeated bombing of UN shelters facilities in
Gaza was “outrageous, unacceptable and unjustifiable.”

(C) The crime of apartheid (inhumane acts committed in the
context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and
domination by one racial group over another racial group, with
the intent to maintain that regime):

Ali Hayek, head of Gaza’s federation of industries representing
3,900 businesses that employ 35,000 people, said:

“After 30 days of war, the economic situation has become,
like, dead.

It seems the occupation intentionally destroyed these vital
factories that constitute the backbone of the society.”

Israel maintains an illegal barrier wall that encroaches on
Palestinian territory and builds illegal Jewish settlements
on Palestinian lands.

Israel keeps Gazans caged in what many call “the world’s largest
open air prison.”

Israel controls all ingress and egress to Gaza, limits Gazans’ access
to medicine, subjects Palestinians to arbitrary arrest, expropriates
their property, maintains separate areas and roads, segregated
housing, different legal and educational systems for Palestinians
and Jews and prevents mixed marriages.

Only Jews, not Palestinians, have the right to return to Israel-
Palestine.

Collective Punishment

Although the Rome Statute does not include the crime of collective
punishment, it is considered a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva
Convention, which constitutes a war crime.

Collective punishment means punishing a civilian for an offense he
or she has not personally committed; it forbids reprisals against
civilians and their property (civilian objects).

Ostensibly to root out Hamas fighters, Israel has wreaked
unprecedented devastation on the people of Gaza, killing
nearly 2,000 people (more than 80 percent of them civilians)
and destroying much of the infrastructure of Gaza.

This constitutes collective punishment.

On Aug. 5, 2014, veteran Israeli military advisor Giora Eiland
advocated collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population,
saying:

“In order to guarantee our interests versus the other side’s
demands, we must avoid the artificial, wrong and dangerous
distinction between the Hamas people, who are ‘the bad guys,’
and Gaza’s residents, which are allegedly ‘the good guys.’”

That is precisely the strategy Israel has employed during Operation
Protective Edge.

Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands also constitutes collective
punishment.

Israel maintains effective control over Gaza’s land, airspace,
seaport, electricity, water, telecommunications and population
registry.

Israel deprives Gazans of food, medicine, fuel and basic services.

Prospects For Accountability

Both Israel and the U.S. have refused to ratify the Rome Statute.

But if Palestine were a party to the statute, the ICC could exercise
jurisdiction over crimes committed by Israelis and Americans in
Palestinian territory.

The ICC could also take jurisdiction if the UN Security Council refers
the matter to the ICC, or if the ICC prosecutor initiates an
investigation of the crime.

The U.S. would veto any Security Council referral to the ICC.

And the ICC prosecutor has not initiated an investigation.

So the question is whether Palestine can ratify the statute,
thereby becoming a party to the ICC.

In 2009, the Palestinian National Authority filed a declaration with
the ICC accepting the court’s jurisdiction. In 2012, the UN General
Assembly overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a non-member
observer state.

During the present war, the Palestinian minister of justice and
the deputy minister of justice both submitted documents to the
ICC indicating that the 2009 declaration is still valid.

On Aug. 5, 2014, the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs met
with officials from the ICC and inquired about the procedures for
Palestine to become a party to the statute.

On July 25, 2014, a French lawyer filed a complaint with the
ICC on behalf of the Palestinian justice minister.

Citing Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, Israel’s
blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing military operations
there, the complaint alleges that Israel committed war crimes and
other crimes.

The Palestinian government has not formally commented on
this complaint.

On July 23, 2014, the UN Human Rights Council established a
commission of inquiry into Israeli violations of international
human rights and international humanitarian law.

The resolution also called on parties to the Fourth Geneva
Convention to convene and respond to the alleged violations.

That convention requires parties to prosecute violators.

Countries can bring foreign nationals to justice for war crimes,
genocide and crimes against humanity under the well-established
doctrine of universal jurisdiction.

Genocide charges could also be brought under the Genocide
Convention, to which both Israel and the United States are
parties.

That convention also punishes complicity in genocide; U.S. leaders’
provision of military aid would constitute complicity.

Although the Israeli and U.S. governments continue to maintain that
Israel has only acted in self-defense against Hamas’ terrorism, the
weight of world opinion points in the opposite direction.

There is overwhelming opposition to Israeli aggression in
Gaza and calls for justice and accountability.

Both Israeli and U.S. leaders must be criminally prosecuted
for committing and aiding and abetting these crimes.



Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law,
deputy secretary general of the International Association of
Democratic Lawyers, and a former president of the National
Lawyers Guild.

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/08/tallying-israeli-war-
crimes