“Fortress Israel” is a nice place to be
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

Increasingly, the Zionist world frames itself as the victim in the Middle East – “nobody understands us” and “if only the West would offer unconditional backing for our enlightened occupation” – and this Jerusalem Post interview with Britain’s departing ambassador to the country reveals a newspaper editor who just wants to be loved. He needs to hear nice words about the “challenges we face, and it [Britain] faces, from Islamic fundamentalism.” He needs to know that Britain approves of the siege on Gaza, behaviour towards Hamas and the colonies. Alas, it doesn’t happen.
It’s an odd position to take; Israel is a super-power backed by the US and yet it craves legitimacy, something it increasingly lacks in the global arena. Hard to imagine why:

Is Britain broadly coming to the opinion that Israel is not acting in its own interests, that the Israelis are being very foolish?
After four years here, and having gone back to the UK quite often, talked to people there – in the Jewish community, in parliament, the press, universities, etc – I certainly think there is a problem.
There is a drift of opinion away from Israel. This is not government. This is happening with the popular mood.
What’s the core reason? When I grew up, I remember taking my [exams] when the Six Day War was happening.
You’ve got plucky little Israel against a sea of non-democratic states as a dominant image out there. Now the image is the other way round. David has become Goliath and vice versa. The image that’s out there is of Israel as the occupying power.
What people see in the UK is, OK, Israel has some genuine security concerns and they’ve got to be met. But the answer to that cannot be keeping several million people without full civil, human and other rights, in a state of occupation. This is not a problem of hasbara. You get a lot of people in Israel who say, “Let’s launch a new hasbara campaign, change our image in the West, hunky dory.” No, it’s a problem of substance.
People in the UK sense that Israel hasn’t made up its mind. What does Israel want? Is Israel so drawn, for understandable reasons, for deep historical reasons, to the biblical homeland – east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – that it cannot renounce them, even if renouncing them is the only way to achieve sustainable long-term life for the Jewish people? Or is it really ready to make that compromise? This is why the settlements issue has become so crucial.
Because to go on building settlements signals “that’s the agenda. Actually we want to go on building there. We haven’t made that choice.”
And that’s why settlements has become a critical litmus test of Israeli intentions.
You have basically two choices: Fortress Israel – we stick there and we hold on until, we hope, things are better. Or you try to achieve peace with your neighbors.


Obama still hearts poor little Tel Aviv
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

There is no clash between Israel and America. Business as usual continues:

US House appropriators have pushed funding for Israeli missile defense programs to its highest level ever, with $422.7 million now slated for 2011.
Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense added $95.7m. to the original White House funding request for the long-range Arrow programs and medium-range David’s Sling, according to sources close to the panel. The lion’s share – $108.8m. – will go to the Arrow 3 system, which the US signed off on after some initial hesitation.
In addition, the monies include $205m. pledged this spring by US President Barack Obama to the short-range Iron Dome project.
The package is more than twice as much as last year’s total, and adds up to nearly $1 billion in aid to joint US-Israel missile defense programs in the past four years.


Murdoch down under shows how powerlesss he is
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

This is almost tragic. Murdoch’s Australian newspaper has spent years demonising the Greens for extremism and much else and yet despite the wise counsel of Rupert support for the party is surging. So what to do for the little Murdoch minions? Slam the Greens more, claim they are “far Left” (a supposedly problematic term) and urge a vote for a major party, despite both Labor and Liberal being part of the problem in our system. Over to you, desperadoes:

For most Greens, the right course is to oppose every new mine and housing development and to call for a steady-state economy where our standard of living never improves because growth emits carbon, consumes natural resources and disturbs obscure wildlife. But there are others among the Greens who see environmentalists as idealists to enlist in causes with a harder ideological edge. Greens NSW senate candidate Lee Rhiannon, no special friend to Senator Brown, asserts her environmental credentials but also has a heritage on the far Left, which was condemning capitalism long before anybody was upset about carbon emissions. Given that the Greens will obstruct and impede legislation on every issue, electors interested in stable government should vote for one of the major parties in both houses. In all but one or two seats in inner-city Sydney and Melbourne, a vote for the Greens in the House of Representatives is a wasted ballot. And in the Senate, supporting the Greens is a vote against effective administration and a vote for stalled legislation — whoever is the prime minister after the election.


Today’s Pentagon Papers may have similar effect
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

Frank Rich in the New York Times inserts some sense into the Wikileaks debate and argues that the significance lies in confirming people’s views on a failed war (just like Vietnam).

Last week the left and right reached a rare consensus. The war logs are no Pentagon Papers. They are historic documents describing events largely predating the current administration. They contain no news. They will not change the course of the war.
About the only prominent figures who found serious parallels between then and now were [Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel] Ellsberg and the WikiLeaks impresario, Julian Assange. They are hardly disinterested observers, but they’re on the mark — in large part because the impact of the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War (as opposed to their impact on the press) was far less momentous than last week’s chatter would suggest. No, the logs won’t change the course of our very long war in Afghanistan, but neither did the Pentagon Papers alter the course of Vietnam. What Ellsberg’s leak did do was ratify the downward trend-line of the war’s narrative. The WikiLeaks legacy may echo that. We may look back at the war logs as a herald of the end of America’s engagement in Afghanistan just as the Pentagon Papers are now a milestone in our slo-mo exit from Vietnam.


Peres whinges that Britain doesn’t love Israel to death
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

This is rich coming from an old war criminal and father of the settlements in the West Bank. The idea that Israel may be criticised in the West is seemingly beyond understanding in insulated Israel. And note the casual racism towards Muslims. The supposedly moderate face of Zionism:

Shimon Peres said England was “deeply pro-Arab … and anti-Israeli”, adding: “They always worked against us.”
By contrast, relations with Germany, France and Italy were “pretty good”, he added.

He added: “There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary.”
His remarks, made in an interview on a Jewish website, provoked anger from senior MPs and Jewish leaders who said the 87-year-old president had “got it wrong”.
But other groups backed the former Israeli prime minister and said the number of anti-semitic incidents had risen dramatically in the UK in recent years.
The controversy follows the furore last week over David Cameron’s remark that Gaza was a “prison camp”, as he urged Israel to allow aid and people to move freely in and out of the Palestinian territory.
Mr Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is three years into his seven-year term as president and was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen in 2008, said that England’s attitude towards Jews was Israel’s “next big problem”.
“There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that’s the difference between getting elected and not getting elected,” he said.
“And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment.
“They abstained in the [pro-Zionist] 1947 UN partition resolution … They maintained an arms embargo against us in the 1950s … They always worked against us. They think the Arabs are the underdogs.”


What kind of state wants its youth to destroy homes?
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

The recent Israeli razing of Bedouin homes was painful and captured on film.
Equally disturbing was the news that a number of young Israelis were both assisting the destruction and celebrating at the same time. Max Blumenthal, currently spending a number of months in Israel and Palestine, investigated:

Arab Negev News publisher Ata Abu Madyam supplied me with a series of photos he took of the civilians in action. They depicted Israeli high school students who appeared to have volunteered as members of the Israeli police civilian guard (I am working on identifying some participants by name). Prior to the demolitions, the student volunteers were sent into the villagers’ homes to extract their furniture and belongings. A number of villagers including Madyam told me the volunteers smashed windows and mirrors in their homes and defaced family photographs with crude drawings. Then they lounged around on the furniture of al-Arakib residents in plain site of the owners. Finally, according to Matyam, the volunteers celebrated while bulldozers destroyed the homes.
“What we learned from the summer camp of destruction,” Madyam remarked, “is that Israeli youth are not being educated on democracy, they are being raised on racism.” (The cover of the latest issue of Madyam’s Arab Negev News features a photo of Palestinians being expelled to Jordan in 1948 juxtaposed with a photo of a family fleeing al-Arakib last week. The headline reads, “Nakba 2010.”)
The Israeli civilian guard, which incorporates 70,000 citizens including youth as young as 15 (about 15% of Israeli police volunteers are teenagers), is one of many programs designed to incorporate Israeli children into the state’s military apparatus. It is not hard to imagine what lessons the high school students who participated in the leveling of al-Arakib took from their experience, nor is it especially difficult to predict what sort of citizens they will become once they reach adulthood. Not only are they being indoctrinated to swear blind allegiance to the military, they are being instructed to treat the Arab outclass as less than human.


Necessary protection for Wikileaks
Posted: 01 Aug 2010

Now we learn that a MIT student is being questioned about possible involvement in the Wikileaks saga – there’s something almost comical about watching this, as if a host of other leakers within the establishment won’t follow in their footsteps, such is the dismay with US foreign policy – this piece of information is curious:

In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.”
The huge file, posted on the Afghan War page at the WikiLeaks site, is 1.4 GB and is encrypted with AES256. The file’s size dwarfs the size of all the other files on the page combined. The file has also been posted on a torrent download site.
WikiLeaks, on Sunday, posted several files containing the 77,000 Afghan war documents in a single “dump” file and in several other files containing versions of the documents in various searchable formats.
Cryptome, a separate secret-spilling site, has speculated that the new file added days later may have been posted as insurance in case something happens to the WikiLeaks website or to the organization’s founder, Julian Assange. In either scenario, WikiLeaks volunteers, under a prearranged agreement with Assange, could send out a password or passphrase to allow anyone who has downloaded the file to open it.
It’s not known what the file contains but it could include the balance of data that U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning claimed to have leaked to Assange before he was arrested in May.


Nothing to see here, simply more Zionist propaganda down under
Posted: 31 Jul 2010

What does Israel need?
More uncritical supporters in the West who back a “nation on the front lines of the global battle between those who love life and those who glorify death.”
Welcome to the Friends of Israel Western Australia who are launching in a massive event on 8 August.
Don’t expect any discussion about Zionist racism or occupation.


Troubles remain in the Gaza Strip
Posted: 31 Jul 2010

ABC Radio provides an on-the-ground report from inside Gaza, a short while since the “lifting” of the Israeli siege:

PETER CAVE: The calm waters of the Mediterranean lap the shores of Gaza’s fishing port as the fishing boats come in with their catches and load them onto donkey carts to go to market.
(Sound of bridle jangling)
But in the distance it is just possible to make out an Israeli patrol boat, making sure the fishermen do not stray more than the permitted three nautical miles – a limit the fishermen say has driven them into poverty.
Ali Al Ribae has given up trying to catch fish. He sneaks into Egyptian waters and buys his catch from Egyptian fishermen.
ALI AL RIBAE: The Israelis are not allowing us for more than three miles. If they open the sea for us it would, of course, be much better for Al Arish or going to buy from Al Arish, but the Israelis are not allowing us more than three miles.
For us, there is no fish in these three miles. I’m not allowed to fish in my sea. They close their eyes if you go to buy the fish from Egypt, but they don’t allow you to fish in your sea.
For me, that doesn’t make any sense.


Endangering “informants” in Afghanistan is a murky affair
Posted: 31 Jul 2010

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange talks to Fox News (!) about the Afghan war logs and provides some context to the release of classified documents and the ways in which “informants” often work:

A bigger problem, according to Assange, was a project the government called the “kill or capture list”– a list of suspected terrorists that a special task force was assigned to take care of. “Informers are being paid by the US military to reveal information about Al-Qaeda or the Taliban,” he explained, “but, in fact, they just make up stories about their political enemies or their business enemies in order to have these people raided.” He continued:
“We noticed an unusual classification in one of the reports. It was ‘No foreign.’ That means do not disclose to foreign partners including the United Kingdom, Australia, and so on. 373 involved a deliberate missile attack on a house which held seven children and killed the seven children. We saw how people get on to the list. Some governor in Afghanistan doesn’t like you, and recommends you go on the list. The problem is that we can see that’s clearly a corruptable process. Previous media reportage showed that a senior US official had told Karzai, the president of Afghanistan’s brother, if he didn’t behave, he would be put on the list.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *