US must cancel plans to build embassy on Palestinian land in Jerusalem

Owners of the land, which include US citizens and Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, demand the Biden Administration and Israeli government cancel plans to build a US embassy on privately-owned land.

New evidence reveals that US plans to build an embassy in Jerusalem would place the diplomatic compound on privately-owned Palestinian land that was confiscated from its owners by Israel, following the Nakba and the establishment of the state in 1948. 

The owners of the land, which include US citizens and Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, are now demanding that the Biden Administration and the Israeli government move to cancel the plan. 

In February of last year the US government coordinated with the Israeli government to draft plans for a large diplomatic complex in Jerusalem that would eventually house the US embassy.

The plans to build the embassy at the site date back to the 1990s, when the same Palestinian residents in question asked the US government to cancel the plans. 

In a statement on Sunday, two days before US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, legal rights group Adalah said that documents from Israeli state archives prove that the land was owned by Palestinian families, and leased temporarily to British Mandate authorities before 1948. 

Like much of the land that became state land after the establishment of the state, the land in question was confiscated from its Palestinian owners after they were made refugees in 1948 during the Nakba. 

Under the 1950 absentee property law, Israel seized large swaths of privately owned Palestinian land on the grounds that their owners, who were made refugees by Israel and prevented from returning to their homes, were “absentees.”

The Absentee Property Law has been criticized by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch “as a major tool of Israel’s oppression and domination of Palestinians within a broader Apartheid system.”

According to Adalah, archival lease agreements prove the Palestinian landowners include individuals from the Habib, Qleibo, El Khalidi, Razzaq, and El-Khalili families, among others. 

“The fact that the US government is now participating actively with the Israeli government in this project means that it is actively infringing on the property rights of the legitimate owners of these properties, including many US citizens.”  

Rashid Khalidi

Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi, one of the descendants of the owners of the land, said in a statement: “The fact that the US government is now participating actively with the Israeli government in this project means that it is actively infringing on the property rights of the legitimate owners of these properties, including many US citizens.”  

“If built, the US embassy compound will be located on land that was seized from Palestinians in violation of international law,” Adalah said in its statement, adding that using the Absentees’ Property Law to confiscate land in Jerusalem also violates the city’s special status under international law.

“Given these flagrant violations, in Adalah’s view, the US and Israel must cancel this plan immediately to avoid building a diplomatic complex on this land, belonging to the descendants of the original Palestinian owners, who are both East Jerusalem residents and US citizens,” Adalah said. 

 

Zionism is the latest anti-Semitic cult

Bigots were Zionism’s avid fans—it was the anti-Semites who championed the Zionists.

Excerpt

Our topic is of course the so-called “conflict” in Israel-Palestine, a tragedy that has dragged on for so long that it feels static, indeed almost normalized.

But unlike other deadly conflicts, this one is wholly in our power to stop—“our” meaning the United States and Europe.

It is in our power to stop it, because we are the ones empowering it.

We are now approaching the centennial of the British Original Sin in this tragedy, the Balfour Declaration.

The British role in Palestine was a case of ‘hit & run’: The Balfour Declaration, in which the British gave away other people’s land, was the hit; and thirty years later, Resolution 181—Partition—was the run, leaving the Palestinians abandoned in a ditch.

Zionism was of course among the incarnations of racial-nationalism that evolved in the late nineteenth century.

Bigots were Zionism’s avid fans—it was the anti-Semites who championed the Zionists.

Gertrude Bell, the famous English writer, traveler, archaeologist, and spy, reported, based on her personal experience, that those who supported Zionism did so because it provided a way to get rid of Jews.

The London Standard’s correspondent to the first Zionist Conference in 1897 I think described Zionism perfectly. He reported that

…the degeneration which calls itself Anti-Semitism [bear in mind that ‘anti-Semitism’ was then a very new term] has begotten the degeneration which adorns itself with the name of Zionism.

Indeed, most Jews and Jewish leaders dismissed Zionism as the latest anti-Semitic cult.

They had fought for equality, and resented being told that they should now make a new ghetto—and worse yet, to do so on other people’s land.

They resented being cast as a separate race of people as Zionism demanded.

They had had quite enough of that from non-Jewish bigots.

For others, the idea of going to a place where one could act out racial superiority was seductive.

As the political theorist Eduard Bernstein put it at about the time the Balfour Declaration was being finessed, Zionism is “a kind of intoxication which acts like an epidemic”.

By the time the Balfour Declaration was finalised, thirty-plus years of Zionist settlement had made clear that the Zionists intended to ethnically cleanse the land for a settler state based on racial superiority; and it was the behind-the-scenes demands of the principal Zionist leaders, notably Chaim Weizmann and Baron Rothschild.

What’s Ukraine got to do with Palestine?

While Russia has been virtually cut off from the world, Israel continues to enjoy impunity as it occupies and colonizes Palestinians’ land and imposes a brutal regime of apartheid on them.
“We are like you”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine late last month, there has been no shortage of comparisons with the situation in Palestine.

For many who support Palestinian rights, there is an instinctive identification with Ukraine as a country under attack, defending itself against a much more powerful force.

No one can be indifferent to scenes of civilians experiencing the horror of war and to the lives of millions upended as they become refugees.

Campaigners for Palestinian rights have also noted the parallels – and the vastly different and hypocritical responses – to calls for boycotts of Russia and Israel, as well as the selective application of international law.

While Russia has been virtually cut off from the world, Israel continues to enjoy impunity as it occupies and colonizes Palestinians’ land and imposes a brutal regime of apartheid on them.
“We are like you”

Of course, the identification of Ukraine with the plight of the Palestinians is one Ukrainian leaders insistently reject.

They see themselves as Israel and their Russian enemies, presumably, as the Palestinians.

In December, for example, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Israel is “often an example for Ukraine” and asserted that “both Ukrainians and Jews value freedom.”

“We know what it’s like not to have [one’s] own state,” Zelensky added.

“We know what it means to defend one’s own state and land with weapons in hand, at the cost of [their] own lives.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, Zelensky has also urged that “we should be like Israel in defending our homeland.”

The Ukrainian leader, notoriously, portrayed Israel as the victim last May when its warplanes were bombarding Gaza, massacring entire Palestinian families in their homes.

In February, before the Russian invasion, Ukrainian officials even complained that Israel was treating their country “like Gaza” by not giving them enough support – implying that such perceived mistreatment should be reserved for Palestinians, not Ukrainians.

Ukrainian officials have pressed home this identification with Israel ever since the Russian invasion began.

“I think that our army is one of the best in the world. Maybe after the Israeli army,” Markiyan Lubkivskyi, an advisor to Ukraine’s defense minister told The Jerusalem Post.

“The army is very strong, because of experience and morale is very high, motivation is very high. We are like you.”

The same newspaper reported that Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, “says his models for how to win against all odds are Israel – a country he has visited and admires – and the IDF [Israeli army].”

“We have to learn from Israel how to defend our country, with every citizen,” Klitschko said.
“Entangled”

Wherever one falls on these matters, there are deeper connections with the question of Palestine, according to Columbia University professor Joseph Massad.

“Russia and Ukraine both have relations and histories that are very much part of the history of the region which the West came to call the Middle East,” Massad told Rania Khalek on her BreakThrough News show Dispatches this week.

Massad noted that southern Ukraine and the Crimea were former Ottoman regions conquered by Russia’s tsars in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

“Ukraine’s settler-colonial city of Odessa on the Black Sea, formerly the Ottoman city of Haci Bey, was the place where Greek anti-Muslim nationalism was born at the beginning of the 19th century and where colonial Jewish Zionism was born at the end of the 19th century,” Massad said.

“In fact, the first Jewish colonists who came to colonize Palestine in the 1880s were Ukrainian Jews from the settler-colony of Odessa.”

Crimea was even identified during the Soviet period as a potential site for an autonomous Jewish republic – a plan that was abandoned due to strong resistance from the Crimean Tatar population.

More recently, “Both Ukraine and Russia have policies that are entangled with the Middle East,” Massad observed.

Ukraine, for instance, provided the third largest military contingent to take part in the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

“As far as Russia is concerned, of course [President Vladimir] Putin has also had excellent relations with Israel, at the same time he did intervene in Syria against the regime’s jihadist and American and Gulf-supported enemies,” Massad said.

“However his intervention in Syria continued to allow the Israelis to bomb Syria, but not the jihadists.”

Massad also raised the issue of Ukrainian Jews, which Israel is calling upon “to emigrate to Israel so that it can transform them into colonists of the land of the Palestinians.”

Massad’s discussion with Khalek provides a great deal of context and insight on the situation in Ukraine and Western responses, including an intense surge of Russophobia that mirrors the previous bouts of xenophobia that regularly accompany American wars and interventions abroad.

They also touch on conformity of thought and censorship in Western liberal democracies – and other themes that Massad recently addressed in an article for Middle East Eye.

The AMIA Terror Bombing, the Prosecutor, the Spy and Mossad

The United States and Israel placed heavy pressure on the Argentine government to implicate Iran. NO EVIDENCE

The July 18, 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina was one of the worst pre-9/11 terrorist attacks in the Western hemisphere, killing 85 and injuring 300.

For over a quarter century, the US and Israeli governments have blamed Iran for the bloodshed, citing it as primary evidence of Tehran’s role as the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism.

This narrative remains part of the propaganda offensive against Iran, and has been exploited by the Donald Trump administration to justify a campaign of economic strangulation aimed at either destabilizing the Islamic Republic or achieving regime change.

Iosi’s testimony should have ended that cover-up, but Nisman, SIDE, and the Federal Police colluded to quash a serious investigation. and impunity for the real AMIA terrorists continues.

Soon after the bombing, the United States and Israel placed heavy pressure on the Argentine government to implicate Iran.

At the time, however, officials in the embassy in Buenos Aires were well aware there was no hard evidence to support such a conclusion.

In an August 1994 cable to the State Department, US Ambassador James Cheek boasted of the “steady campaign” the embassy had waged that “kept the Iranians in the dock where they belong.”

In a striking comment to this writer in 2007, Cheek conceded, “To my knowledge, there was never any real evidence” of Iranian responsibility.

Bill Brencick, the chief of the political section in the US embassy from 1994 to 1997, also acknowledged in a 2007 interview that US insinuations of Iranian responsibility were based solely on a “wall of assumptions” that had “no hard evidence to connect those assumptions to the case.”

Brencick recalled that he and other US officials recognized “enough of a Jewish community [in Buenos Aires] and a history of anti-Semitism that local anti-Semites had to be considered as suspects.”

But this line of investigation was never pursued in any official capacity, likely because it contradicted the interests of a US national security state that was dead-set on indicting Iran for the bombing.

However, a dramatic development has threatened to upend the official US-Israeli narrative on the AMIA attack.

In 2014, the public learned that a former spy who had infiltrated the Jewish community in Buenos Aires on behalf of Argentina’s Federal Police had revealed to two investigative journalists that he had been ordered to turn over blueprints to the AMIA building to his Federal Police case officer.

The spy was convinced the building plans were used by the real culprits behind the bombing.

His stunning revelation prompted a series of articles in the Argentine press.

The spy was convinced the building plans were used by the real culprits behind the bombing. His stunning revelation prompted a series of articles in the Argentine press.

The former infiltrator’s account provided the first clear indication that anti-Semitic veterans of Argentina’s “Dirty War” and their allies in the Argentine police and intelligence service orchestrated the explosion.

But Argentina’s legal system — still heavily influenced by the intelligence agency that influenced the official investigation to blame Iran and a prosecutor whose career had been based on that premise  —  stubbornly refused to investigate the former police spy’s account.

Infiltration, Torture, Anti-Semitic Conspiracies

The former police infiltrator, Jose Alberto Perez, believed the AMIA building blueprints he had provided to the Federal Police were used by those who planned the bombing.

He had learned from his police counter-terrorism training course that such building plans could be valuable tools for planning such an operation.

Perez was also convinced that the bomb had detonated inside the building, rather than in front, and had been placed in the interior of the AMIA building through a gap between it and a neighboring building.

Experts of Argentina’s Gendarmerie had come to the same conclusion, and leaked it to Clarin, Argentina’s largest tabloid, just two days after the bombing.

Perez also provided crucial evidence that those who had used him to spy on Jewish community leaders were motivated by the same anti-Semitic beliefs that had led the Argentine military dictatorship to single out Jews for especially cruel treatment during the “dirty war” in the 1970s: his case officer, whom he knew only as “Laura”, had ordered him to find out as much he could from the Jewish community about the so-called “Andinia Plan.”

According to that alleged plan, Jewish immigrants and foreign Zionists had been secretly plotting to take control of the vast Patagonia region of southern Argentina and create a Jewish state to be called “Andinia.”

The myth of the “Andinia Plan” followed the rise of anti-Semitism as a major social force in Argentina during the 1930s and became a staple of the anti-Semitic right’s narrative during the heyday of military domination of the Argentine society and politics from the 1960s through the “dirty war” against leftists in the 1970s.

At least 12 percent of those subjected to interrogation, torture, and murder during the dirty war were Jews, according to an investigation by the Barcelona-based Commission of Solidarity with Relatives of the Disappeared, although they represented only 1 percent of the population.

Nearly all were interrogated about the “Andinia Plan.”

The crusading Argentine journalist Jacobo Timerman, who was born to Jewish parents and whose newspaper provided critical coverage of the military regime’s “dirty war,” was among those detained in the junta’s secret prisons.

Timerman recalled in his memoir how he was asked repeatedly to reveal what he knew about the “Andinia Plan” during extended interrogation and torture sessions. His interrogator refused to accept his answer that it was merely a fiction.

Meanwhile Israel, which maintained strong military and political ties to the Argentine Juntathroughout the dirty war, remained silent about the Jewish journalist’s detention throughout the war.

“Iosi” Goes to the Press

Jose Alberto Perez, for his part, was wracked with guilt about having enabled the AMIA terror bombing.

He had become an integral part of the Jewish community, studying Hebrew for three years, marrying a Jewish woman who was the secretary of an Israeli Embassy official and even taking the Jewish version of his Spanish surname, Jose.

Within the Jewish community, he was known as “Iosi” Perez.

As he fell into despair, Iosi contacted investigative journalists Miriam Lewin and Horacio Lutzky to ask their help.

The two journalists had tried for years to find a foreign sponsor to grant the former spy asylum abroad but to no avail.

Meanwhile, Iosi had secretly taped a video with the prominent Argentine journalist Gabriel Levinas in which he narrated his work penetrating the Jewish community and the unusual request for the blueprints.

Levinas posted the video online in early July 2014, just prior to the publication of the second edition of his own book on the AMIA bombing, which included Iosi’s story.

The release of that video prompted Lewin and Lutzky to arrange for Iosi to join Argentina’s Witness Protection Program.

The two journalists also urged Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had spent a decade accusing Iran of the bombing, to meet Iosi in person.

But according to Lewin, Nisman would only agree to speak with Iosi on the phone.

The prosecutor insisted on having three of his employees interview Iosi in person, she recalled in an interview with The Grayzone, then signed a declaration about that July 2014 meeting as though he had been present, and “did not show interest in interrogating him any further.”

Iosi entered the Witness Protection Program the same day as the interview, according to Lewin.

Iosi’s Federal Police case officer “Laura,” who was retired by then, was released by the minister of security from the normal secrecy requirement about Iosi’s work.

But she rejected Iosi’s testimony, according to Lewin, claiming his reports had been judged “poor.”

Her claims stood in stark contrast to the actual reports obtained by prosecutors which clearly showed his findings had been evaluated as “excellent” year after year.

Lewin told The Grayzone she was confident that Iosi would have been able to provide “solid information about the local connection of the bombing,” but none of the four prosecutors who inherited the unsolved AMIA case after Nisman’s death were willing to follow up on the leads he provided.

Lewin noted that several of the senior Federal Police officials who would have been involved in the decisions to infiltrate the Jewish Community and request the AMIA blueprints were still active in 2015. That fact helps to explain why the case was left to die despite Iosi’s explosive revelations.

SIDE Covers the Junta’s Back

Another key factor in the corruption of the AMIA investigation was the role of the state intelligence agency, known as SIDE, in influencing the lead prosecutor, Judge Juan Jose Galeano. Not only was a special unit within SIDE tasked with overseeing the Galeano’s investigation, another SIDE unit operated directly inside Galeano’s office, as journalist Sergio Kiernan reported.

SIDE proceeded to exploit its power to divert attention away from the logical suspects within the junta, circling the wagons to protect its own.

As Sergio Moreno and Laura Termine reported in the daily La Prensa, November 28, 1994, the SIDE unit handling the AMIA investigation was notorious for its hatred of Jews.

The group consisted of veterans of the dirty war known as the “Cabildo” group, their name inspired by a right wing anti-Semitic magazine published in the early 1980s that had republished an infamous tract detailing the “Andinia Plan” conspiracy.

The chief of the Cabildo group unsuccessfully sued Moreno and Termine for labeling his unit anti-Semitic. Following complaints by Jewish community leaders about the Cabildo group’s role in the AMIA investigation, it was removed from the case – but not before it deflected public attention away from leaders of the dirty war and onto an alleged Iranian conspiracy.

SIDE’s PR strategy depended on the theory that the AMIA explosion emanated from a vehicle-born suicide bomb, thereby casting suspicion on Iran and its ally, Hezbollah.

The intelligence services claimed a white light commercial van had been used in the bombing. Its engine was supposedly found in the rubble on July 25, a week after the explosion.

The identification number on the engine was traced to Carlos Alberto Telleldin, the Shia owner of a shady “chop shop” operation that rebuilt damaged cars for sale. Telleldin was accused of being an accessory to the terror plot and jailed on other charges.

But the official AMIA case files revealed that Telleldin had been targeted before the AMIA bombing. This stunning fact was noticed by a “private prosecutor” hired by the organization of AMIA victims Memoria Activa.

According to a close analysis of the official evidence by Alberto L. Zuppi, a request by Federal Police to wiretap Telleldin’s phone was issued on July 20 — at least five days before the alleged discovery of the engine that led investigators to blame Telleldin.

In the weeks that followed the AMIA explosion, more evidence surfaced that pointed to Telledin’s role as a patsy.

In September 1994, five Lebanese nationals were detained as they tried to leave Argentina for Paraguay. Through a series of leaks, SIDE planted stories in the media suggesting the suspects were linked to a terrorist network.

The following month, a part-time agent for SIDE and former chief of a notorious prison camp where suspects were tortured during the “dirty war,” Captain Hector Pedro Vergez, began visiting Telleldin in prison.

In four meetings between September 1994 and January 1995, Vergez offered the jailed suspect $1 million and his freedom if he would identify two of the Lebanese nationals who were then detained in Paraguay as having purchased the van from him — thus making it possible to accuse them of the bombing. But Telleldin refused to lie, and the SIDE plan was derailed.

It was not long, however, before SIDE and Galeano initiated a new plan to implicate two Buenos Aires provincial policemen as Iranian-sponsored culprits.

Resorting to Bribery, Mossad Info, and MEK Sources to Blame Iran

In July 1996, Juan Jose Galeano personally visited Carlos Telleldin in prison and offered him $400,000 to blame the two police officers. The scandalous scene was captured in a video shown on Argentine television in 1997.

SIDE was actively involved in the cover-up operation, with agency director Hugo Anzorreguy approving a direct payment to Telleldin’s wife.

The case against the two policemen was thrown out in court in 2004, but Galeano and Anzorreguy went unpunished for another 15 years.

It was not until 2019 that they were sentenced to prison terms for their role in the affair, highlighting the culture of impunity that surrounded SIDE.

Once the Galeano case imploded, Alberto Nisman attempted to craft yet another narrative blaming Iran for the bombing.

For this, he depended on information provided by Israel’s Mossad to Jaime Stiuso, the SIDE official in charge of counterintelligence.

Nisman’s 2006 indictment of seven Iranian officials for the terror plot relied completely on the claims of senior members of the Mujahedin-E-Khalq (MEK), the Israeli and Saudi-backed Iranian exile cult.

Not only were none of the MEK members in any position to provide reliable information about a supposedly high-level Iranian plot because they had been actively engaged in a terrorist campaign of their own against the Islamic government by helping Iraq’s then-President Saddam Hussein select targets in Iran.

Nisman’s reliance on such unscrupulous sources demonstrated his own apparent determination to reach preordained conclusions about Iran’s guilt. It was hardly a surprise, then, that Nisman ignored Iosi’s revelatory testimony.

Nisman’s other major source, Jaime Stiuso of SIDE, was a notorious manipulator who had spent years collecting wiretaps on Argentine politicians.

In 2014, the intelligence chief was working to build a case against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for supposedly conspiring with Iran to eliminate the official Argentine accusation of Iranian guilt. Few observers believed the case would hold up under close scrutiny.

In January 2015, Nisman was found dead in his apartment of a gunshot wound to the head.

Though political opponents of Kirchner were convinced the prosecutor’s death was the result of a government-sponsored murder, a recent documentary detailing the various investigations of his death, “Nisman: el fiscal, la presidenta y el espía,” concluded that he had committed suicide.

By the time of his death, Nisman was helping direct a disinformation campaign that allowed SIDE to cover for shadowy figures from Argentina’s violently anti-Semitic past, and to bury their likely role in the AMIA bombing.

Iosi’s testimony should have ended that cover-up, but Nisman, SIDE, and the Federal Police colluded to quash a serious investigation.

gareth porter

Aquarter-century after the bombing, impunity for the real AMIA terrorists continues.

 

Zionist Regime New Air Force Head Talks Scared and Tough on Iran: He Has Little Reason to be Either

Who would believe that nobody likes an occupation? Does it look like “Israel” even fits into the natural equation of the region?
Israel and BuzzFeed: When Government PR Goes Viral - The Atlantic

JERUSALEM – As 2021 came to a close, Israel had raised the so-called “Iran Threat” issue to a whole new level.

Upon his promotion in December to Commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Tomer Bar was asked by the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot (Ynet), “Are you able to attack Iran tomorrow?”

His answer was “Yes!” He was then asked, “Will you be able to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities?”

His reply: “There is no scenario where we act over there, and I don’t return and say ‘mission accomplished.’”

In the summer of 2020, The Times of Israel reported that Israel had what it called a “Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate,” which focuses principally on “Israel’s fight against Iran.”

The wording, “Israel’s fight against Iran,” is particularly apt: though more often than not it is described as “Iran’s fight against Israel,” it is, in fact, Israel that is a threat to Iran and not the other way around.

Returning to the interview with the Israeli Air-Force commander, it is as though Israel cannot wait for the opportunity to attack, and indeed, the Ynet reporter who interviewed General Bar was eager.

“Bar,” the story continues, “who will be tasked with carrying out a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities should one be ordered, understands that he may be required to carry out one of the most complex operations in the country’s history.”

Interesting choice of words, considering this possible mission is described as a complex, even daring mission rather than pure madness.

Tomer Bar

General Tomer Bar, commander of the Israeli Air-Force on the front page of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot

Not leaving out any details, the interview with Bar continued, “I must assume that it might happen during my tenure, and I understand the magnitude of such an order…

Preparations have been underway for a while, including procurement of the F-35 jets and missile defense systems.”

If such an order is given, “there is no way that I will fly 1,000 kilometers and come home without succeeding in my mission.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, however, this might not be as simple as General Bar thinks.

The U.S. has so far rejected an Israeli request to fast-track the delivery of two tanker aircraft, which are needed to allow the Israeli fighter jets to refuel on their way to Iran.

If plans for a possible military option against Iran’s nuclear plan move forward, Israel will need these tankers.

When asked about the U.S. refusal to expedite the sale of refueling aircraft despite Israel’s request, Bar said the matter has not been finalized and that he “remains hopeful the necessary aircraft would be supplied early.” One would think they were planning a party.

Iran under threat

Iran has been facing continuous threats of attack from Israel and the United States for far too long.

With a population of close to 85 million and a record of not having invaded or initiated a war against another country, one is puzzled at the persistent anti-Iranian rhetoric in the United States and Israel.

Furthermore, even if we consider Iran’s unrelenting support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice and the Iranian refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine, the Israeli threats seem unjustified.

Iran’s positions, while obviously unwelcome to the Israeli government, have remained essentially unchanged and stable for decades and there is no threatening drumbeat coming from Tehran.

Since Iran has had to live under these ongoing threats of attack and has been the victim of crippling U.S. sanctions, it is no surprise that it has invested in building what seem to be impressive military capabilities. According to a report by the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA:

Iran has adapted its military capabilities and doctrine to account for developments by the United States and its allies. Although still technologically inferior to most of its competitors, the Iranian military has progressed substantially over the past few decades.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Iraniran troops march during a military parade marking the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war. Photo | AP

Furthermore, the report states:

Iran continues to rely on its unconventional warfare elements and asymmetric capabilities – intended to exploit the perceived weaknesses of a superior adversary – to provide deterrence and project power.

This combination of lethal conventional capabilities and proxy forces poses a persistent threat.

The problem with this analysis is the idea that Iran is the one that poses a threat.

On the contrary, Iran is the one under threat.

Furthermore, at least one of the “proxy forces” the report refers to is Hezbollah, an organization created to respond to the brutal Israeli assaults against Lebanon and the consequent 20-year occupation of southern Lebanon.

Finally, the report points out that Iran has a “substantial arsenal of ballistic missiles” and that this arsenal is “designed to overwhelm U.S. forces and our partners in the region.”

This is the most effective deterrent Iran has against an impending Israeli attack.

Iran versus Israel

Iran has over 80 million people with an official defense budget in 2019 of approximately $20.7 billion, or roughly 3.8% of GDP.

Israel has a combined population of around 12 million, though fewer than half are actual citizens with rights, and has a defense budget of just under $19 billion.

The debate over a possible war between Israel and Iran is a favorite among pundits.

As a result, one can find a great deal of information comparing the sizes and capabilities of the two militaries.

piece in Business Insider from August 2021 titled, “A shadowy fight between Israel and Iran is at risk of becoming a bigger war.

Here’s how their militaries stack up,” is one of many such articles.

It concludes that an allout war between the two countries is unlikely but we are likely to see more of the “shadowy” assaults like the attack on a vessel in the Arabian Sea, which was owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer.

In 2018 Newsweek published a piece called, “How Does Israel’s Military Compare to Iran?”

The article claims that, while “Israeli military might is underscored by its top notch military-industrial complex, Iran’s military is aging and sub-par.”

Still, Newsweek admits, “[b]oth nations have considerable military clout, and any prolonged confrontation between them would be bloody.”

One would do well to remember that, with all the admiration for Israeli military capabilities and technological superiority, Israel has never fought a war against a disciplined, well-trained, well-equipped, highly motivated military force.

Protesters wave Palestinians flags in front of Israeli solders on Gaza's border with Israel, east of Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. A leading Israel human rights group urged Israeli forces in a rare step Wednesday to disobey open-fire orders unless Gaza protesters pose an imminent threat to soldiers' lives. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Despite the IDF’s superior military might, most of Israel’s battlefield experience comes from facing off with unarmed protesters. Photo | AP

Israel did attack its neighboring countries and destroy their militaries several times, but then it retreated to the safety of its borders.

Iran is not such a proximate neighbor and, should Israel need to deploy forces, something it never had to do in the past; it would be a logistical nightmare.

Even assuming Israel would rely only on its air force, Iran is a large country, and it is a long flight to Iran and back.

Logistically, this would demand an enormous effort by Israel while the Iranians would have to do nothing but wait and then use their air defenses and long-range missiles.

Furthermore, should a war take place on Iranian soil, there is no military force large, effective or motivated enough to defeat Iran.

Israel’s last face-to-face encounter with a well-disciplined and motivated fighting force was in 2006 in Lebanon.

Israeli ground forces encountered Hezbollah fighters, and things did not go well for the Israelis, who were forced to retreat in humiliation.

Israeli officers who participated in that assault against Lebanon said there were serious logistical and intelligence flaws, and this was just a few short kilometers from their home base.

Imagine what would happen if they were thousands of miles from home.

As the new year begins, we should be thankful that the United States, having suffered two colossal military defeats in the last two decades — one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan — has no stomach or resources to attack a formidable country like Iran.

Apart from that, it would be fair to say that two things prevent an all-out war between Israel and Iran.

The first is that Israel knows that attacking Iran will end in a total Israeli defeat. The second is Iran’s exercise of discipline in the face of ongoing threats by both the U.S. and Israel.

Indonesian court delivers victory for Indigenous rights in Papua

Judge in West Papua Province declines to reinstate permits for palm oil companies to exploit ancestral lands.

Luhut, speaking during a visit to the district of Sorong in West Papua province, said the companies investing in the palm oil industry in Papua were predominantly foreign ones or those controlled by wealthy Indonesian businesses, and that their investments “don’t necessarily benefit local people.”
“Don’t [let] only rich people cut down the forests and destroy us all,” he added.

An Indonesian court has delivered a landmark victory for Indigenous rights in a case that pitted West Papuan activists against several palm oil companies.

The Jayapura Administrative Court in West Papua Province on Tuesday ruled in favour of a district head who had revoked permits allowing more than a dozen palm oil companies to operate in Indigenous forest areas and turn them into plantations.

Johny Kamuru, head of Sorong Regency, cancelled the permits after Indigenous groups said they had not consented to the conversion of their ancestral lands into palm oil concessions and a review by the provincial government recommended they be revoked in February 2021.

Three of the companies affected took legal action against Kamaru, including PT Papua Lestari Abadi and PT Sorong Agro Sawitindo, whose bid to have their permits reinstated was rejected by the court.

Kamuru has also been sued by PT Inti Kebun Lestari in a separate, ongoing case.

Under authority granted by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2018, palm oil permit reviews are supposed to be undertaken by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Neither ministry commented publicly on the case in Sorong.

In 2019, Jokowi issued a moratorium on the development of new palm oil estates as part of a push to end deforestation in the country. The moratorium expired in September of this year and was superseded by Indonesia’s controversial jobs creation law.

The law allows companies that have been operating illegally to apply retroactively for permits within three years and escape legal sanctions if they do so.

The land involved in the dispute belongs to the Moi people, one of more than 250 ethnic groups in Papua.

A moratorium on new palm oil estates expired in September of this year [File: Courtesy of Ambrosisus Klagilit]

Following the ruling, Moi advocates and the head of the regional people’s representative council in Sorong celebrated in front of the local district office.

Speaking to Al Jazeera following the ruling, Ambrosisus Klagilit, advocacy coordinator for the Sorong chapter of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), said he was “grateful” for the legal victory.

“This ruling is important to us Indigenous peoples because we believe it to be a just decision that assures our future and our lands. We feel protected now,” he said.

The total land covered by the three companies spans some 90,031 hectares (222,471 acres), according to Greenpeace Indonesia – an area larger than New York City.

In October, Greenpeace Indonesia released a report in conjunction with environmental mapping specialists TheTreeMap that found one-fifth of the country’s oil palm plantations were in areas where extraction is illegal, including Indigenous lands, national parks, watersheds and conservation areas designated as “national forest estate”.

Since 2000, forest estate land totalling nearly one million hectares (2,471,054 acres) has been released for plantations in Papua Province, according to Greenpeace, with “systematic violations of permitting regulations” a common occurrence.

Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, bringing in $5.7bn or 11 percent of the country’s annual exports.

The resource is used in a slew of products, from soap to chocolate.

Indonesia exported 37.3 million tonnes of palm oil in 2020, commanding 55 percent of the global palm oil market, according to the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAKI).

Palm oil exports rose by 32 percent in July 2021 compared with the previous month to reach $2.8bn, according to the association.

Video Duration 00 minutes 20 seconds

West Papua activists celebrate legal win over palm oil firms

Syahrul Fitra, a campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, told Al Jazeera the ruling was a major victory for Indigenous rights and environmental preservation.

“Greenpeace Indonesia has found that management of the palm oil industry is rife with problems such as intrusion into Indigenous lands, overlaps with the national forest estate and other protected areas, unprocedural permitting, and permit compliance failures,” Fitra said.

“The head of Sorong district acted correctly to redress these wrongs when he took the concrete step of cancelling a number of oil palm plantation permits, acting on a thorough review by the West Papua Provincial government in conjunction with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).”

Greenpeace Indonesia said it welcomed the ruling and hoped it would embolden other districts and provinces as well as the national government to support permit reviews and revocations as needed.

Wirya Supriyadi, advocacy coordinator of the Papua office of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), described the ruling as “a positive breakthrough” and a “victory” for the Moi peoples.

Secretary of State Blinken “Enthusiastically Embraces” IHRA

Biden administration “enthusiastically embraces” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a February 23 letter to American Zionist Movement President Richard D. Heideman that the Biden administration “enthusiastically embraces” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

The letter, which was obtained by Jewish Insider, stated that the administration will counter “efforts to delegitimize Israel” as well as efforts to “isolate” Israel as the United States and Israel work toward a two-state solution.

“As the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, I wholeheartedly believe that we must remain vigilant in speaking out against bigotry, intolerance, and those who seek to undermine democracy,” Blinken wrote.

ZIONISTS RUN THE STATE DEPARTMENT

“The Biden Administration enthusiastically embraces the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, including its examples.

We are eager to work with allies and partners to counter Holocaust distortion and combat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance abroad while we strengthen our efforts at home, including redoubling our efforts to counter violent extremism.”

The American Jewish Committee praised Blinken in a tweet. “We welcome the Biden administration’s ‘enthusiastic’ support for @TheIHRA definition of antisemitism,” they wrote. “Utilizing the definition is a critical step in combating this age-old hatred in America and around the world.”

Conference of Presidents CEO William Daroff told Jewish Insider that Blinken’s letter shows how the IHRA definition has become the “gold standard” definition of anti-Semitism.

“It’s more acceptable, unfortunately, to call someone a ‘dirty Israeli’ than it is to call them a ‘dirty Jew,’” Daroff said.

“And we see this brand of antisemitism all over the world. It doesn’t mean it’s the only manifestation of antisemitism, it doesn’t mean that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic, but it reflects the reality of this growing plague.”

The progressive group IfNotNow, on the other hand, criticized Blinken’s support for IHRA.

“We know this won’t keep us safe,” they tweeted. “We’ve seen how it’s only been used by the right to curb the free speech of Palestinians and their allies.”

The Biden administration had previously announced in February that they were going to champion the IHRA definition. The definition states that the demonization and delegitimization of Israel as well as subjecting it to double standards amounts to anti-Semitism.

Libya will not attend Paris conference if Israel does

Libya will not participate in the Paris conference on Libya if the occupation state of Israel attends, Spokesperson for the National Unity Government (GNU) Mohamed Hammouda revealed earlier this week.

“The government is steadfast in its position and the position of all Libyans and is committed to the Palestinian cause,” The Libyan Observer reported Hammouda stating on Tuesday.

He said that it was unclear if France invited Israel to attend the conference, but if the news reports about the invitation were confirmed, the government would not participate in the conference.

This came only one day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country would not attend the conference should Greece, Israel or the Greek Cypriot administration attend.

READ: Turkish president receives Libyan premier in Istanbul

“We cannot attend a Paris conference to which Greece, Israel and the Greek Cypriot administration participate, we told him (Macron). This is our condition,” Erdoğan told journalists on his return from the summit.

“If these countries are to attend the conference, then there is also no need to send special representatives,” he added.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced last September that his country would host an international conference on Libya on 12 November.

Israel’s crackdown on Palestinian Human Rights is a pre-emptive war

Palestinian civil society plays a fundamental role in documenting Israel’s military occupation, empowering local communities, and advocating for Palestinian rights. Israel has long viewed it as a threat.

Meta definition of terrorism

“Terrorism,” according to the US Department of State, is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”

The UN special rapporteur, Martin Scheinin, noted in his 2007 report on the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel that counter-terrorism “should be restricted to the suppression and criminalisation of acts of deadly or otherwise serious physical violence against civilians”.

A clear definition of terrorism entails a commitment to some norms of consistency; as such, it gives rise to counter-terrorism practices in line with the norms and rules of international law and proportionate to the assumed act of terrorism.

The Israeli state’s conceptualisation of terrorism, however, is fluid and comprehensive.

It disregards the conflict power asymmetry and the causal relation between Israel’s occupation and Palestinian anti-occupation activism, violent or otherwise, against civilians or soldiers alike.

Former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has long implied that the disapproval of Israels policies stems from anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel being the default mode in the region.

Likewise, the Israeli Foreign Ministrys website describes the relationship between Palestinian “terrorism” and the occupation as “historically flawed,” arguing that “Palestinian terrorism” existed long before the 1967 War, since “…the beginning of the renewed Jewish settlement of the Land of Israel over a century ago”.

This rationale suggests that resolving the conflict begins by ending Palestinians’ “irrational hostility”, not by ending the occupation that created that hostility.

It frames most Palestinian dissidence against Israel’s policies as unjustified or anti-Semitic, consequentially as “acts of terrorism.”

Even with this comprehensive conceptualisation of terrorism, labelling six Palestinian rights NGOs as “terrorist organisations” seems to have crossed the line.

Israel separation wall - Getty
Palestinian civil society plays a key role in documenting Israeli human rights violations. [Getty]

Shawan Jabarin, the head of Al-Haq – Palestine’s oldest human rights organization and one of the newly outlawed organisations – said that the Israeli designation was surprising and that the groups had not been given a heads up.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price denied that Israel gave the US a heads up about the [then] forthcoming designations.

Even Israeli Ynet News described the step as a “surprise move.”

Within the Israeli government coalition, criticisms were fired at Gantz. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, leader of the left-wing party Meretz, warned on Israel’s Channel 13 of the “political, diplomatic, and human rights consequences” of the decision. He demanded clear evidence that the organizations were involved in terror activities.

Mansour Abbas, the leader of Ra’am, the only Arab party in the coalition, remained silent on the matter.

Armed with the State Prosecutor Amit Aisman’s support, Gantz refused to back down. He argued that Israel’s internal security, Shin Bet, presented “extensive and convincing” evidence linking the six organisations to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The evidence has not been presented.

“Since 1967, Israel has banned over 400 local and international Palestinian organizations and political parties as being ‘unlawful’ or ‘hostile'”

Palestinian civil society as punishable dissidence

The step might be surprising, but it is by no means in contradiction with Israel’s general policies toward Palestinian civil society since 1948.

Palestinian civil society emerged in the absence of a state, sovereignty, or national independence, and took on the socio-political character of the historical eras in which it formed.

In the three decades preceding the 1948 Nakba, Palestinian nationalism had evolved from community farmers and religious groups to political parties and social clubs to resist illegal Jewish immigration and the British Mandate.

From 1948 to 1965, Palestinian civil society inherited the disorientation and political stagnation that characterized the era and was therefore ineffective.

The newly displaced Palestinians, however, were permitted to join trade unions or political parties in their host countries – mainly Jordan, Syria, and Iraq – provided they did not clash with the local governments’ agendas.

Egypt banned civil society groups in the Gaza Strip during that period.

From 1965 onwards, the inception of the PLO followed by Israel’s 1967 occupation of the rest of historic Palestine, reinvigorated Palestinian nationalism and, with it, civil society.

In the 1970s, groups began to focus on advocacy and the delivery of services, and during the First Intifada (1987-93) were instrumental in fostering international solidarity with Palestine.

Maale Adumim settlement
Over 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in violation of international law. [Getty]

Since Oslo in the mid-1990s, the civil society sector has grown significantly and its role has diversified.

The Palestinian Authority’s limitations made local groups more influential, acting as key players in state-building efforts.

Today, these organisations are amongst the best-funded globally, obtaining most of their funding from donor states and playing a key role in social and economic development in the 1967-occupied territories.

They increasingly fill the gap in government provision, as well as empowering local communities.

That is, despite the PA’s scrutiny and funding being sometimes contingent upon adhering to the donors’ political and social agendas.

The Palestinian civil sector, in other words, is the direct product of Palestinian historical and socio-political circumstances. It reflects the complexities and challenges faced by Palestinians, thus, representing an extension of the Palestinian national consciousness.

Because of that, the role played by Palestine’s civil society organizations, especially human rights groups, is seen by the Israeli state as counteractive to its interests in the occupied territories and globally.

Much of the work is deemed dissidence on par with other Palestinian forms of anti-occupation activities and, therefore, subject to Israel’s counter-terrorism procedures. 

Israel’s new counter-terrorism law in 2016 allows the authorities to use their extensive powers over organizations and residents of the occupied Palestinian territories.

They can block funds for these organizations and detain their workers or anyone providing professional or moral support for them, as well as seize and confiscate equipment and documents.

Ultimately, the Israeli army and police took it as a matter of operational and tactical necessity to routinely storm Palestinian NGOs in the occupied West Bank, arresting their employees, confiscating their content, and shutting them down temporarily or permanently.

“Israel’s new counter-terrorism law in 2016 allows the authorities to use their extensive powers over organizations and residents of the occupied Palestinian territories.

They can block funds for these organizations and detain their workers or anyone providing professional or moral support”

In 2002, 2012, and 2019, Israeli forces stormed Addameer’s premises in Ramallah – currently one of the six outlawed NGOs – arrested staff members, destroyed filing cabinets, and confiscated computers and documents. The Israeli military said the NGOs were linked to the PFLP.

In June this year, the Israeli army shut down the Ramallah-based Health Work Committee for six months, citing security reasons for the closure.

Since 1967, Human Rights Watch noted, Israel has banned over 400 local and international Palestinian organisations and political parties as being “unlawful” or “hostile.”

In occupied East Jerusalem, between 1967 and 2019, Israel shut down or listed as “possible closure” over 100 media and civil society organisations.

Among them is Bayt Al-Sharq (Orient House), Palestine’s prominent archival organisation, the former home of the Palestinian negotiation team, and previously the Jerusalem headquarters of the PLO.

The organization was closed in 2001 and, ever since, the closure has been automatically renewed every six months.

Israel to Attack Iran? Washington Gives the Green Light to the ‘Military Option’

America and Israel partner in all their imperial adventures, in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Some might recall candidate Joe Biden’s pledge to work to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was a multilateral agreement intended to limit Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon.

The JCPOA was signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, when Biden was Vice President, and was considered one of the only foreign policy successes of his eight years in office.

Other signatories to it were Britain, China, Germany, France, and Russia and it was endorsed by the United Nations.

The agreement included unannounced inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities by the IAEA and, by all accounts, it was working and was a non-proliferation success story.

In return for its cooperation Iran was to receive its considerable assets frozen in banks in the United States and was also to be relieved of the sanctions that had been placed on it by Washington and other governments.

The JCPOA crashed and burned in 2018 when President Donald Trump ordered U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, claiming that Iran was cheating and would surely move to develop a nuclear weapon as soon as the first phase of the agreement was completed.

Trump, whose ignorance on Iran and other international issues was profound, had surrounded himself with a totally Zionist foreign policy team, including members of his own family, and had bought fully into the arguments being made by Israel as well as by Israel Lobby predominantly Jewish groups to include the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Trump’s time in office was spent pandering to Israel in every conceivable way, to include recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital, granting Israel the green light for creating and expanding illegal settlements on the West Bank and recognizing the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Given Trump’s record, most particularly the senseless and against-American-interests abandonment of JCPOA, it almost seemed a breath of fresh air to hear Biden’s fractured English as he committed his administration to doing what he could to rejoin the other countries who were still trying to make the agreement work.

After Biden was actually elected, more or less, he and his Secretary of State Tony Blinken clarified what the U.S. would seek to do to “fix” the agreement by making it stronger in some key areas that had not been part of the original document.

Iran for its part insisted that the agreement did not need any additional caveats and should be a return to the status quo ante, particularly when Blinken and his team made clear that they were thinking of a ban on Iranian ballistic missile development as well as negotiations to end Tehran’s alleged “interference” in the politics of the region.

The interference presumably referred to Iranian support of the Palestinians as well as its role in Syria and Yemen, all of which had earned the hostility of American “friends” Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel inevitably stirred the pot by sending a stream of senior officials, to include Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to discuss “the Iranian threat” with Biden and his top officials.

Iranian threat!

Lapid made clear that Israel “reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way… We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil.”

And to be sure, Biden, like Trump, has also made his true sentiments clear by surrounding himself with Zionists.

Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland have filled the three top slots at State Department, all are Jewish and all strong on Israel.

Nuland is a leading neocon. And pending is the appointment of Barbara Leaf, who has been nominated Assistant Secretary to head the State Department’s Near East region.

She is currently the Ruth and Sid Lapidus Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is an AIPAC spin off and a major component in the Israel Lobby.

That means that a member in good standing of the Israel Lobby would serve as the State Department official overseeing American policy in the Middle East.

At the Pentagon one finds a malleable General Mark Milley, always happy to meet his Israeli counterparts, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, an affirmative action promotion who likewise has become adept at parroting the line “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

And need one mention ardent self-declared Zionists at the top level of the Democratic Party, to include Biden himself, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and, of course, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer?

So rejoining the JCPOA over Israel objections was a non-starter from the beginning and was probably only mooted to make Trump look bad.

Indirect talks including both Iran and the U.S. technically have continued in Vienna, though they have been stalled since the end of June.

Trita Parsi has recently learned that Iran sought to make a breakthrough for an agreement by seeking a White House commitment to stick with the plan as long as Biden remains in office.

Biden and Blinken refused and Blinken has recently confirmed that a new deal is unlikely, saying “time is running out.”

And there have been some other new developments.

Israeli officials have been warning for over twenty years that Iran is only one year away from having its own nukes and needs to be stopped, a claim that has begun to sound like a religious mantra repeated over and over, but now they are actually funding the armaments that will be needed to do the job.

Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has repeatedly said the IDF is “accelerating” plans to strike Iran, and Israeli politicians to include former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have regularly been threatening to do whatever must be done to deal with the threat from the Islamic Republic.

Israeli media is reporting that $1.5 billion has been allocated in the current and upcoming budget to buy the American bunker buster bombs that will be needed to destroy the Iranian reactor at Bushehr and its underground research facilities at Natanz.

In the wake of the news about the war funding, there have also been reports that the Israeli Air Force is engaging in what is being described as “intense” drills to simulate attacking Iranian nuclear facilities.

After Israel obtains the 5000 pound bunker buster bombs, it will also need to procure bombers to drop the ordnance, and one suspects that the U.S. Congress will somehow come up with the necessary “military aid” to make that happen.

Tony Blinken has also made clear that the Administration knows what Israel is planning and approves. He met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on October 13th and said if diplomacy with Iran fails, the U.S. will turn to “other options.”

And yes, he followed that up with the venerable line that “Israel has the right to defend itself and we strongly support that proposition.”

Lapid confirmed that one of Blinken’s “options” was military action.

“I would like to start by repeating what the Secretary of State just said.

Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails.

And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here … what is it that we mean.”

It must be observed that in their discussion of Iran’s nuclear program, Lapid and Blinnken were endorsing an illegal and unprovoked attack to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that it is apparently not seeking, but which it will surely turn to as a consequence if only to defend itself in the future.

In short, U.S. foreign policy is yet again being held hostage by Israel.

The White House position is clearly and absurdly that an Israeli attack on Iran, considered a war crime by most, is an act of self-defense.

However it turns out, the U.S. will be seen as endorsing the crime and will inevitably be implicated in it, undoubtedly resulting in yet another foreign policy disaster in the Middle East with nothing but grief for the American people.

The simple truth is that Iran has neither threatened nor attacked Israel.

Given that, there is nothing defensive about the actions Israel has already taken in sabotaging Iranian facilities and assassinating scientists, and there would be nothing defensive about direct military attacks either with or without U.S. assistance on Iranian soil.

If Israel chooses to play the fool it is on them and their leaders.

The United States does not have a horse in this race and should butt out, but one doubts if a White House and Congress, firmly controlled by Zionist forces, have either the wisdom or the courage to cut the tie that binds with the Jewish state.

South Dublin Councillors vote to boycott all “Israeli” goods

[Dublin] Postcards for Palestine action at Israeli Embassy Sponsored 'Open House' event ...

Dublin’s ‘Open House’ architectural festival has shamefully lent its name to an event sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Ireland.

This event, entitled ‘Postcards of our City’ which is due to be launched on at 6.30pm Thursday 4th October in Dublin Civic Trust (4 Castle St, Dublin 2), is the latest attempt by the Israeli state to use ‘cultural propaganda’ to whitewash its human rights abuses and war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Those attending will be invited by the Israeli Embassy to send postcards to “random” residents of Tel Aviv.

In response, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) will be organising a peaceful ‘Postcards for Palestine’ event outside, to remind those attending that far from “emerging from the sand dunes” – as the Israeli Embassy invitation to the event proclaims – Tel Aviv itself is, in part, built over the remains of four Palestinian villages – Sheikh Muwannis, Jammusin, Salame and Summeil which were ethnically cleaned by Israeli-Zionist military forces in the 1948 Nakba (‘Catastrophe’).

To this day, the Israeli state maintains a policy of home demolition and settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We will be inviting people to send postcards of solidarity to refugee families from the four depopulated Palestinian villages, denied their right of return to their homeland.

South Dublin councillors have voted to boycott all Israeli goods on the back of the country’s ‘murderous campaign’ against Palestine.

The motion was forwarded by Tallaght Centreal Sinn Fein Cllr Cathal King at the full South Dublin County Council meeting, which was held virtually on Monday evening.

In his motion, Cllr King called on his fellow councilors to write letters to to the Department of the Taoiseach, all other Local Authorities in the state and Retail Ireland calling on the Irish and International Supermarkets to join the Boycott of all Israeli Goods as a “response to the current and never ending murderous campaign against the Palestinian people including thousands of innocent men, women and children.”

Before the vote, Cllr King described the “unacceptable deaths of men, women and children” that occurred during the outbreak of violence in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in May.

After some debate, the motion was supported by his fellow Sinn Fein councillors Cllr Louise Dunne and Cllr Derren Ó Brádaigh.

The motion was eventually passed by 19 votes to 13 with only two abstentions.

Taking to social media after the vote, Cllr King said that he was “delighted” to see the motion passed.

He wrote on Facebook: “Was delighted to get my Boycott ALL Israeli goods motion passed at tonight’s Full Council meeting after submitting it following Israel’s murderous incursion into the Palestinian Territories last May.

“We’ve previously had expel the Israeli ambassador motions passed but got angry letters back to me and Louise from the ambassador calling us terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.”

Cllr King said that he believed the only way to change Israel’s actions is by “hitting them in their pockets where it hurts.”

“Everything else has failed so far. So let’s try this- it worked with the similar apartheid regime in South Africa when those brave Dublin Dunne’s stores women refused to handle apartheid goods.

“This is the same idea. We can’t let the slaughter continue without trying new things. Thanks to my comrades and other colleagues for their support- it is so very much appreciated,” concluded Cllr King.

AIPAC Still Our Biggest Foreign Agent

The Israel lobby’s oversized role in US campaign finance on Israel’s behalf has now made regional peace and productive innovation in US policy impossible, and war all but inevitable.

Alleged Russian meddling in the US electoral process will be the subject of a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Wednesday.

The hearing is titled “Oversight of the Justice Department’s (Non) Enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act: Lessons from the Obama Administration and Current Compliance Practices.”

In 1938 the U.S. Congress passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act to mandate disclosure of the activities of non-diplomatic foreign agents in the United States propagandizing for war, swinging public opinion, and obtaining foreign aid and other economic benefits through congressional lobbying without disclosing that their activities were conducted on behalf of foreign principals.

The first panel of witnesses for Wednesday’s Senate hearing will include Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Justice Department Adam Hickey, Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI Bill Priestap and Inspector General of the Justice Department Michael Horowitz.

Second panel witnesses include Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, an outfit which circulated the now infamous dossier of allegations made against Donald Trump by a British spy.

William Browder, a Russian market investment expert from Hermitage Capital Management, who has now deemed Russia “absolutely uninvestable” will also testify.

According to reports, Browder knows Natalia Veslnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. to peddle opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

Panel Chairman Chuck Grassley may ultimately conclude that the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) has failed and that unregistered Russian foreign agents are taking over America.

If so, he will be half right, but not the first such senator to express concern. Grassley should consider what happened after a more extensive Senate FARA inquiry was launched 55 years ago.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman JW Fulbright became convinced that unregistered Israeli foreign agents were a serious matter in 1961.

17 Best images about LAVON AFFAIR USS LIBERTY; Israel truth exposed ifamericansknew.org freegaza ...

A classified staff report worried that:

“In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of American foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels….there have been occasions when representatives of other governments have been privately accused of engaging in covert activities within the United States and elsewhere, for the purpose of influencing United States Policy (the Lavon Affair).”

The Lavon Affair referred to Israeli false-flag terror attacks on US facilities in Egypt, in the interest of preventing the handover of the Suez Canal to Egyptian control.

The Israeli spies were caught and prosecuted by Egypt, while the disclosure of the attacks created a diplomatic crisis.

During the course of the 1960s Senate and Justice Department investigations, it was revealed that Israel was funneling millions of dollars to unregistered foreign agents in America to lobby for foreign aid to Israel, set up think tanks, engage in Madison Avenue public relations, fund lobbying newsletters, and establish an umbrella organization called the American Zionist Council (AZC).

Within the AZC was an unincorporated unit that lobbied congress called the “American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

Obama Unconditional Surrender at AIPAC - Archives | Veterans Today

On November 21, 1962, the Department of Justice ordered the AZC to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent.

This touched off an intense battle between the Justice Department and the AZC which outlasted both JFK and RFK.

The bloodied and bruised Justice Department hid away its files on the affair until they were finally declassified and released in 2008.

The effort to register Israel’s foreign agents clearly failed.

Just 42 days after the Justice Department order, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee incorporated itself in Washington and took over the AZC’s functions.

Since the year it was ordered to register—as part of the AZC—AIPAC has extracted an inflation-adjusted $250 billion from US taxpayers for its foreign principals.

Influencing the conduct of US policy “by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels” has never stopped.

If AIPAC had complied with the 1962 FARA order, by now it would have filed 109 required biennial reports (1963-2017) of its activities.

It would have had to detail joint efforts with Israeli operatives.

These include a 1975 incident in which AIPAC Director Morris Amitay circulated classified information about a proposed US Hawk missile sale to Jordan.

AIPAC’s FARA file would have had to detail AIPAC staffers Steven Rosen, Douglas Bloomfield and Ester Kurz 1984 receipt of stolen classified information taken from US industry groups opposed to allowing duty free imports from Israel into the United States.

Of course, the FARA disclosure would include details on two AIPAC executives, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who from 2002-2004 solicited and received stolen classified national defense information from Colonel Lawrence Franklin about Iran and other matters which they passed to the Israeli embassy.

The pair attempted to contextualize and place the stolen classified national defense information in the Washington Post to precipitate a US attack on Iran.

AIPAC is not complying with the 1962 DOJ order.

The Grassley panel might want to invite the FARA Section Head Heather Hunt, who knows all about the AZC-AIPAC incident, to testify why.

In 2009 Hunt, along with other members of the FARA division, received a two-hour briefing with the unsubtle title of “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is an Unregistered Foreign Agent of the Israeli Government.” (PDF)

If Grassley does not believe Israeli foreign agent activity to be important, he might want to invite as a star witness Stephanie Schriock.

Schriock has publicly claimed that as a high-powered campaign fundraiser for major candidates across the US, the first step in obtaining seed funding for a political campaign was always to circulate a position paper on Israel to AIPAC regional officials.

Only then could candidates obtain funds from willing pro-Israel donors sufficient to launch a serious campaign.

The Israel lobby’s oversized role in US campaign finance on Israel’s behalf has now made regional peace and productive innovation in US policy impossible, and war all but inevitable.

Grassley might also engage in the following thought experiment as he ponders his upcoming hearing. “What happens to a candidate or incumbent if they loudly criticize Russia or US policy toward Russia?” He should then swap out “Russia” for “Israel.”

Today, AIPAC may obtain most of its lobbying budget from a relatively small, but wealthy, group of US donors.

They know well how to do this

But that does not mean it is not an Israeli foreign agent for three reasons.

The first observable sign, listed on the Department of Justice FARA webpage, is that AIPAC is so obviously devoted to the sole purpose of channeling US taxpayer funds to a foreign country.

Such breaks, though DOJ lists sugar quotas as an example, is the major red flag. Despite changes in its PR framing, AIPAC’s primary business is the same as when founder Si Kenen first conceived it.

“The lobby for Israel, known as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) since 1959, came into existence in 1951. It was established at that time because Israel needed American economic assistance…”

The second is that AIPAC was incontrovertibly established with foreign seed funding, including to Kenen, nestled inside the AZC.

The third is that, as an unincorporated unit within the AZC, AIPAC was clearly covered by the order to register as an Israeli foreign agent.

AIPAC’s top priorities include maneuvering the US to attack Iran, keeping US forces in the region as a buffer, protecting Israeli nuclear hegemony and making criticism and boycotts of Israel in the US impossible.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose all that, as well as unconditional US aid to Israel. Senator Grassley should therefore ignore for a moment the flap over Russia, and his own top-25 position as a recipient of pro-Israel PAC money.

He should then look seriously at the longest-running unresolved foreign agent problem and ask what action would be best for America.

Grant F. Smith is the director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policyin Washington and the author of the 2016 book, Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby moves America and America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government.

Kennedy and the AIPAC

In May 1963, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations opened an investigation into the covert activities of foreign agents on U.S. soil, focusing in particular on the American Zionist Council and the Jewish Agency for Israel. [1]

The investigation was prompted by a report from the Chairman of that standing committee, Senator J. William Fulbright, written in March 1961 (declassified in 2010), stating: “In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of American foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels.”

By covert activities, including “within the United States and elsewhere,” Fulbright was referring to the 1953 “Lavon Affair” [2], where a group of Egyptian Jews was recruited by Israel to carry out bomb attacks against British targets, which were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood so as to discredit Nasser in the eyes of the British and Americans.

The Senate investigation brought to light a money laundering racket through which the Jewish Agency (indivisible from the State of Israel and a precursor to the Israeli Government) was channelling tens of millions of dollars to the American Zionist Council, the main Israeli lobby in the United States.

Following this investigation, the Department of Justice, under the authority of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, ordered the American Zionist Council to register as “agents of a foreign government,” subject to the requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, involving the close monitoring of its activities.

harry-truman-9511121-1-402This attempt to counter Israel’s growing interference in U.S. politics undoubtedly enjoyed the support of the President.

At the time when he was still a young journalist covering the United Nations inaugural conference, John Kennedy was troubled by Israel’s ability to buy politicians, up to and including the President himself.

By recognizing the State of Israel on May 15, 1948, (just ten minutes after its official proclamation) despite the unanimous disapproval of his government, President Harry Truman (pictured) not only gained a place in biblical history (“Truman’s historic act of recognition will remain forever inscribed in golden letters in the 4000-year history of the Jewish people”, declared the Israeli ambassador), he also pocketed two million dollars to revitalize his re-election campaign.

That’s why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast,” Kennedy told his friend novelist and essayist Gore Vidal [3].

In 1960, John Kennedy himself received a financial aid offer from the Israeli lobby for his presidential campaign.

He decoded Abraham Feinberg’s proposal for his journalist friend Charles Bartlett in the following terms: “We know your campaign is in trouble.

We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.”

Bartlett recalls Kennedy’s promise that “if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it [4].”

Between 1962 and 1963, he submitted seven campaign finance reform bills but all were defeated by the influential groups they sought to restrain.

All government efforts to stymie the corruption of American democracy by Israeli agents were stopped short by Kennedy’s assassination and his brother’s replacement at the Department of Justice by Nicholas Katzenbach.

The American Zionist Council evaded foreign agent status by dissolving and renaming itself American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Ten years later (April 15, 1973), Fulbright commented on CBS: “Israel controls the U.S. Senate. […]

The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. – somewhere around 80 percent – are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants Israel gets.”AIPAC continued the same practices, dodging any sanction even when its members were caught red-handed in acts of espionage and high treason.

In 2005, two AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, were acquitted after having received from a member of the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, Larry Franklin, documents classified as Secret-Defense which they transmitted to a senior Israeli official.

In 2007, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt demonstrated in their book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy that AIPAC and less prominent pro-Israel lobbies were the main cause of the war in Iraq and, more broadly, the determining factor in the foreign policy of the U.S. in the Middle East.

Considering that nothing has changed, there is no reason to believe that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu will not also obtain from the United States the destruction of Iran that it consistently clamors for.

On October 3, 2001, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was reported by Kol Yisrael radio to have said to his Foreign Minister Shimon Peres that “We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.”
His successor Benjamin Netanyahu gave a demonstration of that on May 24, 2011, before the U.S. Congress, when members of both houses stood up to cheer him 29 times, in particular after each of the following remarks: “In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers“; “No distortion of history could deny the 4000- year-old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land“; “Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967”; “Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel.”

Kennedy, the bomb and Dimona

JFK told Israel: 'If you want U.S. aid, shut down your nuclear bomb factory' -- Secret History ...

Had Kennedy lived, Israel’s influence would most certainly have been curbed on yet another front, that of nuclear weapons.

By the early 1950s, David Ben Gurion, who combined the functions of prime minister and defense minister, had engaged his country in the secret manufacturing of nuclear weapons, diverting the Atoms for Peace cooperation program, naively launched by Eisenhower, from its intended goals.

Briefed by the CIA about the real purpose of the Dimona facility as soon as he moved into the White House, Kennedy put heavy pressure on the Israelis not to pursue it.

He demanded that Ben Gurion open up Dimona for regular inspections, at first in person in New York in 1961, then through formal and increasingly insistent letters.

In the last one, dated June 15, 1963, Kennedy urged that a first visit should take place immediately, followed by regular visits every six months, otherwise “This Government’s commitment to and support of Israel could be seriously jeopardized [5].”

The reaction to this message was astonishing: Ben Gurion resigned on June 16, thus avoiding receipt of the letter.

As soon as the new Prime Minister Levi Eshkol took office, Kennedy sent him a similar letter, dated July 5, 1963.

Kennedy’s intention was not to deprive Israel of a power which was reserved to the United States and its NATO allies.

The President’s approach was part of a much more ambitious project, which he had announced on September 25, 1961, nine months after taking office, before the General Assembly of the United Nations: “Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be inhabitable.

Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.

The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us. […]

It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race – to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved [6].”

The message was well received by Nikita Khrushchev (pictured with Kennedy), who khrushchevKennedyresponded favorably in a 26-page confidential letter dated September 29, 1961, delivered through secret channels.

After the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the nuclear war that was narrowly avoided thanks to their composure brought the two heads of State even closer to the awareness of their shared responsibility to liberate humanity from the nuclear threat.

Khrushchev sent Kennedy a second private letter in which he expressed the hope that at the end of Kennedy’s eight years of presidency, “we could create good conditions for peaceful coexistence on earth and this would be highly appreciated by the peoples of our country as well as by all other peoples [7].”

Despite other crises, Kennedy and Khrushchev continued this secret correspondence, now declassified, comprising a total of 21 letters in which the intention to abolish nuclear weapons was a prominent concern.

In 1963, negotiations led to the first limited test ban treaty prohibiting nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, outer space and underwater, which was signed on August 5, 1963, by the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Six weeks later, on September 20, 1963, Kennedy manifested his pride and hope before the United Nations: “Two years ago I told this body that the United States had proposed and was willing to sign a limited test ban treaty.

Today that treaty has been signed. It will not put an end to war.

It will not remove basic conflicts.

It will not secure freedom for all. But it can be a lever, and Archimedes, in explaining the principles of the lever, was said to have declared to his friends: ’Give me a place where I can stand and I shall move the world.’

My fellow inhabitants of this planet, let us take our stand here in this Assembly of nations.

And let us see if, in our own time, we can move the world to a just and lasting peace [8].”

In his last letter to Kennedy, handed to U.S. Ambassador Roy Kohler but which was never forwarded to the addressee, Khrushchev also took pride in this first historic treaty that “has injected a fresh spirit into the international atmosphere.”

He formulated other proposals, borrowing Kennedy’s words: “Their implementation would clear the road to general and complete disarmament and, consequently, to the delivering of the peoples from the threat of war [9].”

JPEG - 60.3 kb
For Kennedy, the nuclear weapon was the negation of all historical efforts to civilize war by sparing civilians.
He said to his friend and assistant Kenneth O’Donnell during his campaign for the Test Ban Treaty, “I keep thinking of the children, not my kids or yours, but the children all over the world.”
In his televised speech on July 26, 1963, he reiterated: “This treaty is for all of us.
It is particularly for our children and our grandchildren, and they have no lobby here in Washington [10].”

In the sixties, nuclear disarmament was a realistic goal.

Only four countries had a nuclear weapon.

There was a historic opportunity to be seized, and Kennedy was determined not to pass it up.

I am haunted by the feeling that by 1970, unless we are successful, there may be ten nuclear powers instead of four, and by 1975, fifteen or twenty [11],” he uttered prophetically during his press conference of March 21, 1963.

While all NATO member states and countries of the communist bloc were following the example of the USA and the USSR and taking a first step towards nuclear disarmament, Israel was acting secretly on its own, and Kennedy was determined to prevent it.

Kennedy’s death a few months later eased the pressure on Israel.

Johnson chose to turn a blind eye to the activities at Dimona.

John McCone, the CIA director appointed by Kennedy, resigned in 1965, complaining of Johnson’s lack of interest in the subject.

Israel acquired its first bomb around 1967, without ever admitting it. 

Nixon was just as unconcerned as Johnson, while his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger privately expressed his satisfaction at the idea of having friendly Israel as a nuclear ally.

Nixon, who ushered the “deep state” into the White House, so to speak, played a double game: at the same time as he publicly supported the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (which was not a U.S. initiative), he sent a contradictory top-secret National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM-6) saying: “There should be no efforts by the United States government to pressure other nations […] to follow suit. The government, in its public posture, should reflect a tone of optimism that other countries will sign or ratify, while clearly disassociating from any plan to bring pressure on these countries to sign or ratify [12].”

According to 2011 figures from SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), there are today across the world about 20,000 nuclear bombs with an average power 30 times that of Hiroshima, which equals 600,000 times Hiroshima.

Of these, 1,800 nuclear warheads are on alert, i.e. ready to be launched in only a few minutes.

With less than 8 million people, Israel is the world’s sixth nuclear power.

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If the President had his way, there would be a nuclear war each week [13],” Kissinger was reported to have said. In the 1950s, Nixon had recommended to Eisenhower the use of the atomic bomb in Indochina and Korea.
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It was not until 1986, with the publication in the Sunday Times of photographs taken by Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu inside Dimona, that the world discovered that Israel had secretly developed the atomic bomb.
After being kidnapped by the Israeli secret services, Vanunu was convicted of the charge of “betraying state secrets.”
He spent 18 years in prison, including 11 in complete isolation.
Since his release in 2004, he is prohibited from leaving Israel and communicating with foreign countries.

Johnson and the USS Liberty

Kennedy would not be remembered in Tel Aviv as a friend of Israel.

In addition to his attacks against the outrageous lobbying activities of Israel and its nuclear power ambitions, Kennedy defended the right of return of the 800,000 Palestinian refugees expelled from their neighborhoods and villages in 1947-48.

On November 20, 1963, his delegation to the United Nations called for the implementation of Resolution 194 crafted for this purpose.

Kennedy probably never got the chance to read Israel’s hysterical reactions in the newspapers: two days later, he was dead.

Johnson’s rise to power was greeted with relief in Israel: “There is no doubt that, with the accession of Lyndon Johnson, we shall have more opportunity to approach the President directly if we should feel that U.S. policy militates against our vital interests,” considered Israeli newspaper Yedio Ahoronot.

Far from reproaching Israel for its ethnic cleansing, Johnson fully embraced the myth of “a land without people for a people without a land“, even going so far as to compare in front of a Jewish audience, “Jewish pioneers building a house the desert“ with his own ancestors colonizing the New World – which, in fact, unintentionally underscored the equivalence between Israel’s denial of its ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the denial by the Americans of their own genocide history.

While Kennedy had cut down aid to Israel, Johnson increased it from 40 million to 71 million and to 130 million the following year.

While the Kennedy administration had authorized the sale of a limited lyndon-b-johnsonnumber of defensive missile batteries to Israel, under Johnson more than 70% of the aid was earmarked for military equipment, including 250 tanks and 48 Sykhawkoffensive aircraft.

Military aid to Israel reached 92 million in 1966, more than the total of all previous years combined.

Conversely, by denying them U.S. aid, Johnson forced Egypt and Algeria to turn to the Soviet Union to maintain and upgrade their defense systems.

In June 1967, Johnson gave Israel a “yellow light” for its so-called “preventive” war against Egypt, by a letter dated 3 June, when he assured Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol of his determination to “protect the territorial integrity of Israel[…] and provide as effective American support as possible to preserve the peace and freedom of your nation and the area.”

Kennedy’s death deeply affected the Arab world, where his portrait graced many homes.

Now, De Gaulle is the only Western head of state on whose friendship the Arabs can rely,” said Gamal Abdul Nasser.

While reducing aid to Israel, Kennedy had generously provided grain to Egypt as part of the Food for Peace program.

For that country, the short-lived presidency of John F. Kennedy will have been an enchanted interlude, a dream shattered all too soon.

In 1954, under Eisenhower, Egypt had been the target of false flag terrorist acts perpetrated by Israel in order to “break the West’s confidence in the existing Egyptian regime [and] to prevent economic and military aim from the West to Egypt [14],” according to the very words of the head of military Intelligence (Aman) Benjamin Givli in a secret, today declassified, telegram. The accidental ignition of an explosive device led to the exposure of the conspiracy, sparking the scandal which became known as the “Lavon Affair” after defense minister Pinhas Lavon, a scandal which was quickly stifled by Israel and the United States.

Prime Minister Moshe Sharett, who advocated a moderate brand of Zionism, respectful of international rules, acknowledged at that time (but only in private) the irresistible rise of extremists, among which he included future President Shimon Peres, who “wants to frighten the West into supporting Israel’s aims“ and that “raises terrorism to the level of a sacred principle [15].”

Kennedy’s death gave free rein to this Machiavellian terrorism which Israel has developed into an art form.

Two days before the end of the Six Day War, the Israeli army launched against the USS LibertyUSSLibertyvictims, the most famous and disastrous of its false flag attacks.

On the sunny day of June 8, 1967, three unmarked Mirage bombers and three torpedo boats flying an Israeli flag bombed, strafed and torpedoed for 75 minutes this NSA (National Security Agency) ship – unarmed, floating in international waters and easily recognizable – with the obvious intention of leaving no survivors, machine-gunning even the lifeboats.

They only stopped at the approach of a Soviet ship, after killing 34 crew members, mostly engineers, technicians and translators.

It is assumed that if they had succeeded in sinking the ship without witnesses, the Israelis would have attributed the crime to Egypt so as to drag the United States into war on the side of Israel.

According to Peter Hounam, author of Operation Cyanide: Why the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War III (2003), the attack on the Liberty was secretly authorized by the White House as part of the project labeled Frontlet 615, “a secret political arrangement in 1966 by which Israel and the U.S. had vowed to destroy (Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser).”

The orders issued by the USSLibertywreckWhite House that day, which delayed the rescue mission by several hours, suggest that Johnson not only covered up the Israelis post-facto, but also conspired with them.

Oliver Kirby, the NSA Director for Operations at the time, reported to journalist John Crewdson of the Chicago Tribune (October 2, 2007) that the communications transcripts from the Israeli planes intercepted by the NSA and sent to Washington immediately, left no doubt as to the identity of the attackers, and about the fact that they were aware it was a U.S. target before the attack: “I’m willing to swear on a stack of Bibles that we knew they knew [that it was a U.S. ship].”

Unmasked, Israel claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and offered its apology, which Lyndon Johnson meekly accepted on the grounds that “I will not embarrass our ally.”

When, in January 1968, Johnson received Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to Washington and then invited him to his Texas ranch, relations were cozy.

Israel will have drawn a lesson of impunity whose influence on its future behavior should not be underestimated: the price for failure in a false-flag operation against the United States is zero.

In fact, failure is impossible, since the Americans will themselves step in to cover up Israel’s crimes. Better yet, Johnson rewarded Israel by lifting any restriction on military equipment: weapons and U.S. aircraft immediately flocked to Tel Aviv, soon turning Israel into the top customer of the U.S. military industry.

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