Tag - Israel

A Climate of Unaccountability

They’re back!  John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney – the people who pushed the U.S. into the devastating mistake that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have discovered yet another existential threat ready and able to destroy the world.  Back then it was Saddam Hussein and his mythical cache of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Now it is ISIS and its army of fanatical jihadists who are torturing, raping, crucifying, decapitating and genocidally killing anyone who stands in the way of the new caliphate they are building in what is left of the nations of Iraq and Syria.  It is precisely because there is a political, military, and economic vacuum in the heart of the Middle East that ISIS is able to thrive and expand.

The tragedy of American foreign policy is that the people who helped create that vacuum – who set into motion a war of aggression and choice – have never been held accountable for their mistake.  So here they are, this time doing the bidding of ISIS, spreading terror and fear into the hearts of the American people, priming the country for yet another war of aggression.  The foreign policy of these cheerleaders is encapsulated in one sentence, which ought to be carved on the tombstone of Bill Kristol, the man who said this: “What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?”   Read More

AIPAC Gets A Nosebleed

Check out this Twitter hashtag. And then check out some of the photoshopped pieces that are a reaction to the AIPAC Pride Campaign. They are gut-wrenching. It’s a brilliant PR campaign against AIPAC. It simply uses Israel’s own propaganda against itself.

And this:

This is what your tax dollars support in the Occupied Territories.

That is all.

The Roots of the Saudi-Israeli Entente

Wallerstein is a world systems historian so he usually has holes in his analysis, but this one? Nope. I can go all the way with it. I just wish he’d addressed the de-facto entente between Israel and the Saudis.

In the 90s we had a full blown de jure and de facto entente between Israel and Turkey. But Israel’s intransigence and arrogance blew it up during the late aughts and early teens of this century.

That entente no longer exists, in form or function.
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Israel and Saudi Ambitions

Israel-Palestine: When the Map Lies

The US and Iran are negotiating to end the over 33 years of lack of diplomatic recognition and the US-led sanction on Iran. This effort causes the Right Wing Israeli Government to scream “Nooooooo…”.

Consequently AIPAC is putting pressure, successfully we’d assert, on the US congress to pass laws which say ‘We’ll have none of that, in THIS house, thank you,” like some dowager aunt, who has an unshakable belief in her own moral values, after being a libertine in her youth.

To us it makes good sense for Iran to have a nuclear program for two reasons, first to counter Israel’s nuclear program with which it threatens its close neighbors, including Iran, and second to provide a lever to force the US to negotiate; without an Iranian nuclear program, the US and Iran would probably not be negotiating anything.

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Israeli Journalist – Israel isolated with Iran rhetoric after world said its word

Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu may find himself out in the cold in Israel as well as the rest of th world.

RT, Nov 24

The deal with Iran is not a “historic mistake”, as claimed by Benjamin Netanyahu, but brings Iran in from the cold and puts the option of military strikes off the table, Gideon Levy, journalist and columnist for the Haaretz newspaper, told RT.

Israel and particularly Netanyahu now stands increasingly isolated, and as the peace talks with the Palestinians go nowhere, it depends on Washington if Israel’s attitude will be tolerated or if the US will push Jerusalem to end occupation, he said.

RT: What do you make of Israel’s comments, from the Prime Minister? He says this is an historic mistake, do you agree with that?  Read More

Barbaric alliance – Report Saudis align with Israel to attack Iran

humpty“Israel is working on coordinating plans for a possible military strike with Saudi Arabia, with Riyadh prepared to provide tactical support to Jerusalem, a British newspaper [The Times] reported early Sunday.

“The two countries have both united in worry that the West may come to terms with Iran, easing sanctions and allowing the Islamic Republic to continue its nuclear program.”  Israel Times, Nov 17

The Times article also reported that Jordan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates might be in on the attack as well.

A war with Iran, with or without U.S. participation, would be a disaster for the world economy.  More importantly, it would compound the level of continued suffering by Arabs and Iranians since attack on Iran by Saddam Hussein’s forces.

Is this serious?  We don’t know but to be so, Israeli and Saudi leadership are delusional.  The blowback for both nations would be immediate and devastating; and that’s blowback from major powers.  Read More

Two views why France obstructs the US-Iran rapprochement – for now

sunkingThe United States and Iran were poised to turn around decades of useless conflict at Geneva negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.  The Geneva meetings began with European Union foreign ministers at the table with Iran.  Things moved so quickly, Secretary of State Kerry was called away from meetings in Israel to finalize the deal.

The Israeli right wing of Prime Minister Netanyahu is opposed to any deal with Iran, preferring to risk the world economy and efforts to solve species threatening environmental problems for the paranoid delusions about Iran.  Israeli intel and defense heavy weights oppose Netanyahu’s view.  The Israeli right view didn’t matter to Kerry and Obama, hungry for a major win in foreign policy.

Guess who screwed the deal?  France.  Well, France acting as Israel’s proxy.

Robert Perry explains the French motive from the perspective of greed.  Israel’s partner of convenience on Iran, Saudi Arabia,  placed large defense orders with the French.   French President François Holland found this to be a deal he couldn’t turn down.

Robert Parry provides the details behind the Holland decision.  Read More

Cracks in the wall – Israel lobby goes after Netanyahu

Any signs of openness to peace rather than war is welcomed.  This is a pretty gutsy approach for a U.S. lobbying group in behalf of Israel.  But, whatever it takes to eliminate the war mongers, war economy, and mechanisms of ultimate destruction.  Three cheers for J Street!!!

From the Jerusalem Post:  J Street, Israeli Left blast Netanyahu speech

Meretz leader says Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech has made the Iran threat Israel’s problem alone.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faced criticism for his UN General Assembly address Tuesday from Labor and Meretz MKs in Israel and from the pro- Israel, pro-peace lobby J Street in Washington.

jstreetJ Street released a statement expressing disappointment that Netanyahu did not spend more time addressing “the promise of a better future with the Palestinians,” especially in light of the ongoing peace process.

“The prime minister’s speech to the UN General Assembly was a missed opportunity,” the organization said. “Of its 33 minutes, he spent less than two minutes addressing the subject of peace with the Palestinians, as if to make it clear that peace is not a high priority for him.”

The next world war will be fought over water, not ideology or religion

While we here in America rest secure in our homes, largely free from the scourge of want or shortage, we’ve become immune from and blissfully ignorant of what may well be the cause of future wars around the world: water. Joe Sixpack, when he turns on the faucet at his kitchen sink, doesn’t often think about what a precious commodity water is. We can do without many things- beer, chocolate, Fox News Channel- but no human will last long without water. In some parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, the scarcity of water is about to become an issue that exceeds religion and ideology in terms of its potential to foment armed conflict.

The bellwether in this scenario is Yemen, a country few Americans could find on a map if their life depended on it. Yemen’s inability to manage its growth, politics, and natural resources has left the country’s water supply in grave danger. The early returns are not good; in Yemen the conflicts are no longer about ideology or religion; they’re about water. In that sense, Yemen represents what the future holds for the Middle East, as regimes who have mismanaged their natural resources will soon find themselves unable to supply the water their populations require in sufficient quantity.

The next wars in the Middle East won’t be religious conflicts; they’ll be about survival.

(Read the full post at What Would Jack Do?)

Anonymous launches cyber attack on Israel; major government websites down

anonFrom Al Akahbar English, Beirut
Creative Commons

Published Sunday, April 7, 2013

Updated at 2:45pm: Dozens of Israeli websites were hacked in early hours Sunday, including pages of the prime minister’s office and the Tel Aviv stock exchange, in the largest cyber offensive yet against the Jewish state.

The operation is being dubbed #OpIsrael and is said to be led by hacker group Anonymous, which says it aims to wage hacking operations against human rights violators. Several official websites were covered in photos of long-term hunger striker Samer Issawi, deceased Palestinian prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, and slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh.

The names and email addresses of some 1,500 Mossad agents have also reportedly been made public in a Google Doc.
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Obama’s Retreat to Neocon Strategies

By Adil E. Shamoo
Consortium News,  3/28

obama netanyahu

With Syria and Iran, President Barack Obama faces getting mired in two wars that could set the entire Middle East aflame, and perhaps the rest of the Islamic world, too.

Such an outcome would be in part due to Mr. Obama’s Middle Eastern policy, and the willingness of the current U.S. Congress to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive posture toward Iran. The lobbying effort in the U.S. by hard-line, pro-Israel interests is a pivotal factor here we cannot ignore.

In his first presidential visit to Israel last week, Mr. Obama gave every assurance to its citizens that the United States will stand by Israel. Fair enough, but which Israel? Since Mr. Obama became president, Israeli settlers on the West Bank increased from 500,000 to 560,000.

Article continues a Consortium News

Chuck Hagel in his own words

The new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, is the executive in charge of the largest government entity in the world if you combine budget, personnel, equipment, and the 1,000 United States military installations around the globe. The organization is so large; it is hard to imagine the challenge of knowing what one needs to know in order to succeed as an effective executive. It is even more challenging to grasp the unknown pitfalls and dangers that Hagel will face as the executive in charge of Defense. And then, we have the President, Congress and the corporate providers for the national security state (aka the military industrial complex). (Image: Secretary of Defense)

Hagel endured a bizarre interrogation by former Senate colleagues. John McCain (R-AZ) was apoplectic, at his worst, and disturbing for most of his interrogation. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) somehow combined insouciance and condescension, playing Felix to McCain’s Oscar.

Hagel’s biography is of real interest: raised in a small town in Nebraska; served in combat with his brother in Vietnam; entrepreneur; executive; Senator, and now in charge of defense. He published a book in 2008, entitled America: Our Next Chapter (Hagel, Chuck; Kaminsky, Peter (2008-07-08). Ecco. Kindle Edition)

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The Only Three Things That You Need To Know About The Chuck Hagel Hearings

1. John McCain has some serious brass ones to be giving anyone grief about anything related to foreign policy after nearly putting Sarah Palin one tenuous, septuagenarian heartbeat away from the Commander-in-Chief chair (also, bullshit, McMaverick):

2. Yes, Ted Cruz really is that dumb:

3. What MJ Rosenberg said:

Related: The Onion nails it: Israel Vows To Use Veto Power If Chuck Hagel Confirmed As U.S. Secretary Of Defense (h/t)


The Forward: Mainstream Jewish Organizations Will Not Oppose Hagel Nod

Apparently the contracted services of Lanny Davis and apocalyptic clownshoes agit-prop of Billy Kristol and co. are the tip of a spear with no shaft. As Nathan Guttman of the JD Forward reports, organized Jewish opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary evaporated following yesterday’s announcement:

Most Jewish groups have made clear they will not lobby against Hagel’s confirmation in the Senate, leaving the floor for only smaller groups on the right wing of the Jewish community to attack the former Nebraska Senator as anti-Semitic and unfriendly to Israel.

Jewish activists were unhappy with the choice but fell in line with their traditional reluctance to challenge a president’s right to pick his cabinet members.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, widely seen as the lobbying group Hagel spoke about in his 2007 remarks referring to the “Jewish lobby” that has “intimidated lawmakers,” notably refrained from taking any stand, either public or private, regarding Hagel’s nomination.

“AIPAC does not take positions on presidential nominations,” said the lobby’s spokesman Marshall Wittmann in an email to the Forward. Capitol Hill sources confirmed that they had not heard from AIPAC on the issue.

“AIPAC’s perspective is that they need to work with the next defense secretary,” explained Steve Rosen, a former lobbyist with the group. “They can’t just look from a standpoint of how you feel about a nomination but also from the day after and how you learn to work with Hagel.” Rosen, who is a critic of Hagel, added that as Secretary of Defense, Hagel and his deputy and assistants will have significant influence on many issues the pro-Israel lobby deals with daily, including foreign aid, procurement, military cooperation and defense technology.


Other Jewish groups have also relaxed their criticism, stressing the need to move forward rather than dwell on whether Hagel is worthy of the post. The Anti Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, in a statement issued Monday said that while Hagel would not have been his first choice, “I respect the President’s prerogative.”

Foxman told the Forward on Monday he did not change his views on Hagel, since he had never flat-out opposed the nomination.

“We never said we were going to fight him,” he said, adding that “from the moment that [Obama] announced it, this is a different reality.”

Foxman, who was widely referred to as the first Jewish leader to speak out against Hagel, stating that the Nebraska Senator’s comments on the Jewish lobby “border on anti-Semitism”, explained he did not accuse Hagel of being anti-Semitic. “In the world we live in, one cannot be nuanced,” he said.

The only mainstream Jewish group to actively address the Senate on Hagel has been the American Jewish Committee, which in a letter urged Senators to “fully probe” Hagel.

PreviouslyHagel, Brennan, Kerry – Business As Usual

Breaking: IAEA Inspectors Are As Smart As Bloggers

I’ve been thinking this for some time, haven’t said it, so I know I don’t get credit, but both Mark Hibbs and Julian Borger said it today: IAEA inspectors had the same questions about that AP graph purporting to show Iranian nuclear weapon calculations that a number of bloggers and other commentators, including me, brought up since the graph surfaced.


Debate in the media over the meaning of the leaked Iran document probably resembled internal discussion of how to interpret some documentary evidence obtained by the IAEA. Conversations with enough people who might know have persuaded me that the IAEA had likely seen and evaluated the document before it was leaked to the press, and that there was an internal discussion at the IAEA about whether the document was genuine and what it implied.


“This is just one small snapshot of what the IAEA is working on, and part of a much broader collection of data from multiple sources,” the diplomat said.

“The particular document turns out to have a huge error but the IAEA was aware of it and saw it in the context of everything it has. It paints a convincing case.”

When you step back a little from the keyboard and the need to be the smartest guy in the class with what’s wrong with everyone else’s homework, it should be obvious that the questions you’re asking might be thought up by someone else. I know that in all the kerfuffle, there were at least three of us who suggested that kT might not mean kilotons, because that is usually abbreviated kt, for only one example.

I’m not sure I agree with Borger’s theme that the release of the graph has undermined the IAEA. Only those who felt that AP’s source was reliable seem to believe this. But let me think about that overnight.

Borger also points out that Mossad is very active in Vienna. Golly gee, do you think they might be some of those anonymous officials and diplomats that people like the AP’s George Jahn quote?

Both articles contain a lot more.