My Comment on Today’s NYT Debate on Saudi Arabia

22 Aug

August 8. Five people wrote short columns about Saudi Arabia today for the New York Times. The only one really worth reading is by Ali Al-Ahmed. I made this comment below:

One should mention the Saudi monarchy’s extreme belief in its own divine righteousness and its intense hatred for the Shi’a (Iran, Lebanon) and other Sunni (Muslim Brotherhood) who don’t grovel before Saudi leadership. This has brought them to a de facto alliance with the apartheid regime in Israel and that also endears them to the U.S. one percent government.

It’s hard to think of a more backward repressive country on earth with such global reach. A good way to send them a message would be to join the petition campaign demanding the end to the U.S.-Saudi $60 billion arms deal. Why arm the implacable enemies of democracy and religious tolerance?
– Stanley Heller

Of course, the Israel lobby begs to differ. One of the New York Times debaters is Michael Makovsky, the chief executive of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). He writes, “Its recent vocal and generous financial support for the military takeover in Egypt has been very valuable, while a confused United States has sought to keep the fundamentally anti-Western, anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood either in power or part of the power structure.”

Israel Hearts Saudi Arabia (It’s Anti-Semitism Be Damned)

How You Helped Pay for a Gym for Foreign Spies and Assassins

25 Jul

The latest disgusting act by Israeli soldiers reminded me I hadn’t finished my article about that the U.S. charity Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). If you haven’t heard, a group of IDF heroes were chillin’ at a settlement in Jerusalem called “Heritage House” and having afternoon Rachel Corrie pancackes. If you don’t get the “joke” these members of the Most Moral Army on Earth (MMAOE) was remembering Rachel being “flat as a pancake” after the Israeli army bulldozer crushed her to death in 2003.

Check out the page of Desert Peace which took a screen shot of the Heritage House page where the rabbi in charge, Ben Packer, responded to criticism of the heroes “joke” by writing:

“In honor of the all the hate messages from the anti-Israel/Jewish crowd, one of our supporters has pledged $5 towards Israeli settlements (maybe for additional bulldozers) for each additional comment. keep’em coming anti-semites! We love our Israeli soldiers and will not back down in the face of those who attempt to endanger them!”

For some reason I don’t recall any criticism of this humor from the ADL or a Jewish federation leader of AIPAC.

Lots of other recent stains on MMAOE, like their “operation” to confiscate an outhouse (covered on “The Struggle” TV show #492 ) and their detention of a fearsome Palestinian 5 year-old warrior who had thrown a stone (show #493), their use of Palestinians as human shields. etc. Electronic Intifada also noticed images soldiers posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram of nudity, drug use and violence and most notoriously of a Palestinian chlld seen through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.

Another example on The Struggle #495 is from a great group of Israeli soldiers (and I don’t mean this sarcastically) “Breaking the Silence”, men and women who are ashamed of what they do in their occupation army and are telling about it to the world. We focus on one young woman who talks about what soldiers do to Palestinians when they’re bored.

This is not to speak at all of the violent horrors committed freely by the MMAOE like mass murder in Gaza.

So all in all, it’s understandable that members of the IDF, I mean the MMAOE, need lots of TLC from a charity like the FIDF.

Anyway, the FIDF made the news in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz in early June because the charity decided to build a gym. That wouldn’t be big news, but the gym wasn’t for soldiers. It was for members of the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations or Mossad, the Israeli version of the CIA.

The paper was a little offended for Israel’s dignity. The writer, Barack Ravid said, “It’s surprising that an agency like the Mossad needs to seek funds from American Jews. Although the Mossad’s researchers, spies and other employees do arduous and sometimes extremely dangerous work for Israel’s national security, they’re not military draftees. They’re working for the Mossad of their own free will, and they receive handsome salaries.”

We know all the “arduous” work the Mossad is involved in, like pampering the early Hamas to make it a rival to the PLO, putting bombs on the cars of Iranian nuclear scientists, abduction of whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, assassination of a score of people involved or not involved in the Munich Olympics killings, and many other political murders over the years. Certainly they work up a sweat and need R&R.

But it wasn’t just any gym. Ha’aretz notes that the last gym the FIDF built for regular soldiers cost $200,000 in U.S. dollars. This gym for the Mossad was “state of the art” and cost $2.2 million.

There was one thing wrong in the article, though. The headline of the piece said that the money came from American Jews. Indeed they did contribute. They raised $27 million in one night in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria But the article leaves something out. The checks to the FIDF come mostly from U.S. Jews, but the FIDF is a “charity”. Donations are tax deductible. That means the donors get a break on their taxes and the IRS loses money. Now the U.S. government is busy building democracy everywhere and those bombs costs money, so for the money the IRS loses the U.S. has to borrow money and pay back that money with interest. Borrowing has been over a trillion a year lately. So don’t give rich American Jews all the credit. All Americans help pay for the Nordic Tracks in the Mossad gym even if it means that U.S. veterans go without, even if U.S. vets go homeless, even if it means we all have to cut back services through a sequester.

Now you would think that the American Jews going to the FIDF’s gala would be proud as peacocks and revel in the publicity or at least that the U.S. media would give it some play. But as Jeff Blankfort noted in April this never happens.

It’s all kept very hush hush with a few vague articles printed in Israeli and U.S. Jewish papers weeks later. You can’t even find out who the entertainers were. (though we do know in LA Jason Alexander was MC at the event). Perhaps people who go to these “galas” are embarrassed that with the U.S. government giving the Israeli military $3.5 billion a year, the IDF and the Mossad have to act like schnorrers (Yiddish for beggers) and hustle for charity in the U.S. Perhaps it’s because they want to protect the security of the war criminals like Gabi Ashkenazi (Chief of Staff during Operation Cast Lead 2008-2009, and in control of SLA torturers earlier during his career in Lebanon) that they bring to the dinners to impress the faithful.

Or perhaps they worry they’d become targets of BDS…as they should.

Unhappy Letter to Glen Greenwald

23 May

(Greenwald is generally terrific, especially on civil liberties, but I think his knowledge of Zionist history is deficient. I wrote him this letter on May 22.)

I’m very disappointed with your piece “Al Jazeera deletes its own controversial Op-Ed, then refuses to comment”. I, of course, agree with your criticism of al Jazeera’s pulling the article without explanation, but why do you imply you find Massad’s article “repellent” and why do you tie it to junk like the dissertation of Mahmoud Abbas who claimed that only one million Jews were killed by the Nazis during the war?

You link to what you say is “very aggressive and forceful criticisms of his (Massad’s) arguments” by a blog called “The Camel’s Nose”. The article there says

“the Zionists who worked with the Nazi regime were only a small subset of the diverse global Zionist movement.”
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Nazis with a small “n”

25 Mar

It is hard to believe the depths of cruelty that people will descend to. Read these unbelievable comments (collected by Ali Abunimah) that these Israeli Jews write freely on Facebook, suggesting murder, and torture of three Palestinians for the “crime” of sitting in a tent in the West Bank.

Calling them fascists might have meant something 70 years ago, but doesn’t have the sting today. Nazis is more like it, but with a small “n” since these muscle bound bullies don’t hate Jews (except leftist Jews and self-hating Jews and any Jews who believe that goyim have human rights).

I remember several decades ago the great Israeli activist Israel Shahak talking about something similar, men sitting around at a barbecue in Jerusalem(?) just after a bombing had ripped off the limbs of several Palestinian mayors and offering meat to passers-by claiming it came from the limbs of the mayors.

The loathsome hypocrisy of Obama standing at Yad Vashem and lecturing the world about “racism” while totally ignoring pervasive, disgusting racism in broad sectors of Israel society (especially youth) is…beyond the beyond.

That real anti-Semitism is raising its head in Hungary will obviously mean nothing to these knuckle draggers. It would only be a reason to whine that “the whole world is against us” and commit some new crime.

Is Haiti Rejection Based on Fear of Reminding the World about Iraq?

24 Feb

 Democracy Now! reports that the United Nations has rejected claims in Haiti for compensation for people who died because of cholera that was found to have been brought to Haiti by U.N. personnel!  The spokesperson pointed to Section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.  I skimmed the Convention.  Section 29 talks about settling disputes when agents of the UN have “immunity”.

There’s another section, though, Section 2 of Article 2.  It read, ” The United Nations, its property and assets wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process except insofar as in any particular case it has expressly waived its immunity.”   So the U.N. if it wants to can waive immunity and allow a lawsuit.  This happens with U.S. state governments which allow themselves to be sued in cases of outrageous incompetence or criminal conduct.

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“Argo”, Just Another Assault on Middle Eastern People

21 Feb

I never intended to see “Argo”.  I assumed it was just another movie of how a crew of clever Americans outsmarted Middle Eastern brutes.

Then I saw the free ten minute “preview” of the movie and I thought I was wrong.  It featured a two-minute history of Iran which talked all about the U.S. overthrowing the democratic government headed by Mossaddegh, restoring the Shah to full power and how the Shah maintained himself by torture.  Hey, I thought, the liberals Ben Affleck and George Clooney created the movie.  Maybe it shows some sympathy to Iranians.  So I watched the whole film.

No, I was right the first time.  “Argo” is all about showing American/Canadian ingenuity and Iranian simple-mindedness. It’s a “caper” movie with the CIA  outrageously posing as a film crew supposedly scouting “locations” for a science fiction movie in Iran as a “cover” for their rescue of six U.S.  diplomats.  The diplomats had escaped the U.S. embassy and were hiding in the Canadian embassy.   The Iranians are basically shown as  savages   As Sarah Gillespie points out in her fine review Farsi is generally translated with sub-titles only when Westerners speak it.  Otherwise it’s just a scary babble.

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Zionists Lay an Egg with Barghouti Protest

8 Feb

It looks like a big win for the good guys.  Efforts by the Dershowitz and the NYC politicians to ban discussion at Brooklyn College not only failed, but turned the moderates and even some conservatives against them and gave wide publicity not only to the event, but to BDS itself.  The faculty union at CUNY denounced the attack.  The New York Times used part of an editorial against it and even Mayor Bloomberg who said he’s “violently” against BDS spoke against cancelling the Barghouti/Butler event.

So the Anti-Defamation League  (or more properly the League to Defame Justice) spent many thousands of dollars to publish a near full page ad in the New York Times signed by Abe Foxman, its National Director.  It’s here:  http://archive.adl.org/nytimes_ads/NYT-Ad-BrooklynCollege-2-8-13.pdf

To save your mouse the effort of a wasteful click I’ll distill his main arguments.   He says boycotts of Israel are “in our mind hateful on their own”.  Really?  What about BDS against apartheid South Africa?  Was that illegitimate? What about the Jewish-led boycotts of the anti-Semitic Russian Czar,  Henry Ford, and Adolph Hitler?  Were they hate actions?

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