Mar 28, 2010

MUST WATCH: Helen Thomas On Her one Question for Obama


By Real News

DC's most experienced journalist says Obama lost credibility when he dodged question on Israeli nukes.

In part one of his interview with Helen Thomas, longest-serving member of the White House Press Corps, Paul Jay asks her about her first question for President Obama. The question, asking President Obama to name all the countries in the Middle-East that have nuclear weapons, was avoided by the President, who claimed to not want to "speculate". Thomas claims that knowledge of Israeli nukes is very public in DC and Obama's answer shows a lack of credibility. She explains the importance of this question for U.S. policy in the region. Finally, she confides that she has not been called on by the President since that day, but that if she does, she will ask him whether or not he has found any more information about nukes in the Middle-East since their last encounter.
Click here:



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367

Recent Activity:





But NO!! Not in Israel....

Next year, the way things are going, it might be ALL of Jerusalem that gets sealed off..... read THIS for updates on settler expansion.
IDF to seal off West Bank for the duration of Passover

Israel will close off the West Bank from Midnight Sunday until midnight, April 6, for the duration of Passover holiday, the Israeli military spokesman announced Sunday morning.

However, persons needing medical attention will be allowed to enter Israel, and humanitarian aid, as well as doctors, NGO workers and lawyers will can enter the West Bank.

The closure is in keeping with the Israeli practice of sealing off the West Bank ahead of Jewish festivals, fearing militants might try to launch attacks to disrupt the festivities.

On March 27, 2002 a Hamas suicide bomber killed 30 people and injured 140 more, when he blew himself up in an Israeli hotel at the beginning of the traditional Passover feast.

Passover, which commemorates the Exodus of the Israelis from Egypt, begins this year at sundown Monday, and ends at Sundown, Tuesday April 6.

Add a comment to this post



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367

Recent Activity:


The Hidden History of Zionism ~ The Uprising


The Hidden History of Zionism ~ The Uprising

aletho | March 28, 2010 at 11:32 am | Categories: Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | URL:
By Ralph Schoenman | April 19, 1988

With anger, hatred, and sheer ferocity, thousands of youngsters hurled rocks at their Israeli occupiers, undaunted by the gunfire that greeted them. This was more than civil unrest. ...It was the beginning of a civil rebellion. [l]

This is how Jerusalem Post correspondent Hirsh Goodman described the uprising of Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Gaza in mid-December 1987.

Goodman's remarks were written the day before the December 21, 1987, general strike which engulfed every Palestinian community under Israeli rule. The strike was described by the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, as "writing on our wall even more serious than the bloody riots of the last two weeks." [2]

On that day, – wrote John Kifner in The New York Times, – the vast army of Arab laborers who wait on tables, pick vegetables, haul garbage, lay brick and perform virtually all Israel's menial work, stayed home. [3]

The Israeli response to the uprising was brutal. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered the use of tanks, armored vehicles and automatic rifles against an unarmed population.

The San Francisco Examiner cited Rabin as openly advocating assassination. "They can shoot to hit leaders of disorder," Rabin said in defense of the army's practice of using marksmen with high-powered .22-caliber rifles to shoot indiscriminately at Palestinian youth. [4]

Rabin ordered house-to-house searches, first for young men and later for anyone of whom an example might be made. By December 27, over 2,500 Palestinians were seized, many of them as young as twelve; by the end of January the number reached 4,000 and was rising. [5] The "militants "were marked for deportation. Israeli high-security jails and detention centers were overflowing. Mass trials of Palestinians were underway.

The act of brutality which most inflamed the Palestinian population was the army seizure of the wounded from hospital beds. This practice, standard procedure throughout the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, made Shifa Hospital in Gaza a center of resistance. Great crowds amassed to defend the wounded, whom, they rightfully feared, would never be seen again.

The youngsters in Gaza and the West Bank where riots erupted, – wrote Jerusalem Post correspondent Hirsh Goodman – have not received any terrorist training, nor are they members of a terrorist organization. Rather they are members of that Palestinian generation that grew up knowing nothing but occupation. [6]

A mother of a Palestinian man shot three times in the head by Israeli soldiers was asked if she would let her remaining sons join the demonstrations. " As long as I am alive, "she responded, "I am going to teach the young people to fight ... I don't care whatever happens, as long as we get our land." [7]

Rashad Shawa'a, deposed Mayor of Gaza, expressed the same sentiment:

The youth have lost hope that Israel will ever give them their rights. They feel the Arab countries are unable to accomplish anything. They feel that the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) has failed to achieve a thing. [8]

Los Angeles Times correspondent Dan Fisher's account is even more significant:

This new-found sense of unity has been one of the most striking changes to foreign observers and non-Gaza Palestinians ... It is a phenomenon that extends to previous divisions between young and old and between those who work in Israel and those who do not. [9]

Force, Might, Beatings

As the uprising intensified, the Israeli cabinet and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin implemented "collective punishment, "a tactic characteristic of the Nazi occupation of France, Denmark and Yugoslavia. Food, water and medicine were prevented from reaching Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (U.N.R.W.A.) personnel reported that children seeking powdered milk at U.N. depots were shot at and beaten with sticks.

The Casbah, where over half of the 125,000 inhabitants of Nablus live, has been sealed off by concrete barricades and iron gates. Qabatiya and the nearby refugee camp at Jenin were placed under siege. At the time of writing, the siege, which has cut off all food, water, fuel and electricity, has lasted fifty-five days.

A Jerusalem Post analyst explained the policies of Rabin:

The first priority is to use force, might, beatings. [This] is considered more effective than detention ... [because] he may then resume stoning soldiers. But if troops break his hand, he won't be able to throw stones. [10]

By the next day, the news media were reporting the most bestial beatings by soldiers throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The account by John Kifner was compelling:

NABLUS, Israeli Occupied West Bank, January 22: Both hands encased in plaster casts, Imad Omar Abu Rub explained from his bed in the Rafidiya Hospital what happened when the Israeli Army came to the Palestinian village of Qabatiya.

"They entered the house like animals, shouting," the 22-year old student at Bir Zeit University said. "They took us from the house, kicking us in the head, beating us, all the soldiers with their rifle butts."

Then he was taken to the construction site of an unfinished house where, he said, the soldiers put an empty bucket over his head. Several of the soldiers held him down, he said, gripping his arms to force his hands against a rock. Two others, he said, beat his hands with lengths of two-by-fours, breaking the bones.

The injuries are the product of a new officially declared policy of the Israeli Army and the police to beat up Palestinians in hopes of ending the wave of protests in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip that began in early December. At least thirty-eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the protests.

In the bed next to Mr. Abu Rub's, Hassan Arif Kemal, a 17-year old high school student from Qabatiya, told a nearly identical story. [11]

Labor and Likud leaders responded with one voice to world-wide outcry over these practices. President Chaim Herzog declared: "The alternative facing us today ... is between suppressing these riots or allowing them to develop into a new Teheran or Beirut." [12]

John Kifner reported in The New York Times:

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin continued to defend the policy, with both men saying publicly that the purpose of the beatings was to instill fear of the Israeli army in Palestinians.

Shamir stated that events had "shattered the barrier of fear ... Our task is to recreate that barrier and once again put the fear of death into the Arabs of the areas"

He concluded that the uprising would never have taken place "had the troops used firearms from the very first moment." [13]

Palestinian Resistance Grows

The rebellion of the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza has engulfed every village, town and refugee camp. Children as young as eight and old people in their seventies and eighties defy the Israeli army daily. Entire village populations, waving makeshift Palestinian flags of bedsheets and cloth, mass defiantly, singing and chanting and hurling stones at soldiers firing automatic weapons.

The Great Uprising – the "Intifadeh" ???? has become a symbol of Palestinian nationhood as the brutal repression that once filled the people with despair now fuels their determination and will, which encompasses the readiness to die.

The Israeli reprisals have been barbarous. The repression has been unleashed with particular savagery against the refugee camps and the old quarters of the cities inhabited by the impoverished.

By April 1988 over 150 Palestinians had died. The Israeli government had admitted to the arrest of 2,000 people, bringing the acknowledged total to 4,000. The real figure was far higher.

Sources in the West Bank and Gaza established that the number detained by the weekend of March 27 had exceeded 13,000. Bassam Shaka'a, deposed Mayor of Nablus, placed the total held solely in a hastily constructed barbed-wire encampment at Dhariyah at 10,000.

In the Balata camp outside Nablus, and in the Casbah – the old quarter – l,000 people were arrested in a period of 48 hours. The discovery of people in ditches in the fields – shot in the back or with their heads caved in – has been reported from villages throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

Bassam Shaka'a described the rampage of the Israeli armed units:

No matter which house one calls, the anguished accounts of family members wounded or arrested pour forth. Convoys of buses cruise the streets of Nablus followed by vans of the Mossad, Israel's secret police. Army units go from house to house pulling youths from their beds at 3 a.m. As the buses fill, the soldiers beat the youths viciously around the head, shins, groin and back. Shrieks fill the air.

As the army makes its rounds kidnapping the young from their homes, people gather at their windows and on the roofs of houses shouting in unison, "Falistin Arabia, Thawra Hatta al Nas'r, Allah Akbar" [Arab Palestine, Revolution Until Victory, God is Great]. [13a]

Bassam Shaka'a described the attempts by the Israeli army to spread panic and terror in Nablus and outlying villages:

Fleets of helicopters fly over Nablus at night dropping a dense, green toxic gas over the city. The smell pervades every house. Armed units fire canisters of the substance into houses at random. Doctors at Ittihad Hospital reported several deaths and severe lung injuries from this as-yet unidentified asphyxiating chemical, totally distinct from tear gas.

Among the victims were the grandmother of the Da'as family and the 100-year-old father of noted Nablus attorney Mohammad Irshaid. Soldiers had entered the house at 2 a.m., smashing furniture and firing a canister of the dreaded green gas while preventing the family from leaving.

Two of the children, ages 9 and 11, were taken by the soldiers in their night clothes, frog-marched in the streets and beaten as they were forced by the jeering soldiers to clear debris.

Simultaneously, the Israeli army targeted the hospitals. Army trucks rammed ambulances and blocked them from reaching the homes of those overcome by the gas. Soldiers entered the Ittihad Hospital in Nablus numerous times, arresting the wounded and those waiting to give blood to family members. Even the operating theater was invaded while surgeons were operating on patients.

Doctors were beaten and equipment smashed. Family members were prevented from entering the hospital and the cars of doctors and nurses were destroyed by soldiers.

Meanwhile, all of Nablus was paralyzed by a total strike. All the streets in every quarter of the city were without open shops or business activity. As gas permeated the city, cries and chants filled the night.

Gas canisters recovered by Bassam Shaka'a, Yousef al-Masri [chief of Ittihad Hospital] and American author Alfred Lilienthal bear the markings "560 cs. Federal Lab. Saltsburg, Pa. USA MK2 1988." Biochemists are studying their properties as casualties mount.

John Kifner reported on April 4 that "Hundreds of refugees were treated in United Nations clinics for gas inhalation." On April 15, Kifner wrote, "...gas has been thrown inside homes, clinics and schools where the effects are particularly severe." [13b]

His report was the first, after four months of the use of such chemical weapons, to acknowledge the fact:

Agency doctors have seen symptoms not normally connected with tear gas, and U.N.R.W.A. is seeking information on the contents of the gas ... to provide antidote ... especially for the most vulnerable groups ... pregnant women, the very young and elderly.

Kifner later reported, "Warnings on the canisters say the contents can be lethal." Throughout the West Bank and Gaza, cases of miscarriages, vaginal bleeding and asphyxiation were occurring after the use of the gas.

A Glimpse of the Savagery

One of the most vicious incidents occurred in the town of Qalqiya. Soldiers entered the house of workers and poured gasoline over them, setting them alight. Six workers were covered in flames. Four of the victims managed to rush out of the building and rolled on the ground, ripping off their clothes. Two were severely burned and are in critical condition.

On February 20, two youths were arrested in Khan Yunis, beaten savagely and taken to the beach where they were buried alive under the sand. After the soldiers left, villagers managed to dig them out.

Reports in the establishment press give a glimpse of the scale of Israeli brutality. A soldier's account reported in the Israeli newspaper Hadashot was cited in Newsweek:

We got orders to knock on every door, enter and take out all the males. The younger ones we lined up with their faces against the wall, and soldiers beat them with billy-clubs. This was no private initiative. These were the orders from our company commander. [13c]

The accounts make clear that Israeli protestations about excesses of individual soldiers are transparently false. Newsweek revealed:

Armed with 30-inch wooden clubs and urged by their prime minister to "put the fear back into the Arabs", Israeli soldiers have methodically beaten up Palestinians since early January, deliberately breaking bones and beating prisoners into unconsciousness. Casualties included not only young men ... but also women. Most of the injured shunned hospitals for fear of arrest.

The avoidance of hospitals by the injured has prevented accurate reporting of the vast scale of the savage beatings and of the deaths of those who endured them. But an indication was provided in the reports of the medical team inspecting the wounded in the hospitals in early February 1988. Dr. Jennifer Leaning, a faculty member of Harvard Medical School and a trauma specialist, reported her findings: "There is a systematic pattern of limb injury that is clearly organized to cause fractures ... a consistent pattern of bonebreaks across the back of the hand and in the middle of the forearm that ... come from holding the hand or arm in place and applying a strong blow to the bone." [13d]

Dr. Leaning and the team of Physicians for Human Rights traveled throughout the West Bank and Gaza. They concluded, "It is a pattern that is controlled. A systematic pattern over a wide geographical area. It is as if they have been instructed."

Dr. Leaning's account of the new patients brought to Shifa Hospital in Gaza is compelling:

They looked like they had been mauled. What is impressive is the number of fractures per patient. These patients look as if they had been put through a washing-machine wringer. They would have had to hold them down and just keep beating them.

Repeated instances of young males shot deliberately through the testicles were reported in Shifa Hospital in Gaza and Makassad Hospital in East Jerusalem. Soldiers poured boiling water over a 2-year-old infant, rendering her catatonic.

"Quelling the Protests"

New York Times correspondent John Kifner called the systematic roundups "part of a series of tough new measures, including economic sanctions and collective punishment, that the Israeli army and other officials are imposing in hopes of quelling the protests, which have grown into an increasingly organized Palestinian mass movement in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip." [13e]

The army's new orders allow detention without any specific charge or trials, even in military courts. Moreover, according to the March 23 New York Times, "the new procedures do away with judicial review of the administrative detention sentences and allow local commanders to order the arrests."

Immediately after the order, people were seized overnight in more than a dozen refugee districts, villages and towns in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin announced that Israeli civilians have the same authority as soldiers to shoot. He added that soldiers need not fire warning shots before shooting Palestinians. [13f] Newsweek was more explicit: "The decree meant Israeli soldiers could shoot to kill Palestinian youths ... Yitzhak Rabin [was] effectively deputizing settlers." [13g] The decision, according to Newsweek, would "open the floodgates of the 60,000 settlers' pent-up frustration [sic]." It was not long before an attack occurred. On April 6, settlers engaging in a clear provocation shot in cold blood a Palestinian working in his field outside the village of Beita. Attention, however, focused on the death of Tirza Porat, a 15-year-old settler girl among the group. The settlers reported Tirza Porat had been stoned to death by the Palestinian villagers, but an army autopsy report revealed she had been shot in the head by the Kahane follower acting as her nominal guard. [Rabbi Meir Kahane is the founder of the Jewish Defense League.]

Despite the autopsy report, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir used the occasion to vow that Palestinians "would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls." [13h]

In Beita village, the scene of the incident, thirty houses were blown up. The number of houses destroyed was confirmed by Hamdi Faraj, a noted Palestinian journalist.

Forms of Self-Government Emerge

The recent Palestinian uprising has done more to challenge Israeli control than had been achieved in twenty years. The entire infrastructure of Israeli rule has unraveled. Spies are asking forgiveness, confessing their deeds and exposing the apparatus of control. Police are resigning.

The Village Leagues, Israeli organizations of collaborators, have collapsed. The Los Angeles Times reports that challenges by the "Unified National Leadership of the Uprising" have led to resignations by municipal, village, and town councils.

Before the uprising, 20,000 Palestinians worked under Israeli army and police control, providing services to the West Bank and Gaza. They were teachers, clerks and administrators. Most have resigned.

Increasingly, forms of self-government are emerging in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israelis close the schools; the resistance organizes classes. The Israelis order shops to open; the resistance keeps them closed. The Israelis close the shops; the resistance opens them.

The West Bank and Gaza are trapped in what Newsweek calls a "colonial setup". Newsweek cites Israeli demographer Meron Benvenisti, the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, as follows: "The Occupied Territories became a source of cheap labor and a captive market for Israeli goods." [13i]

Israel's trade surplus with the West Bank and Gaza, Benvenisti reveals, is $500 million a year. The government takes a further $80 million a year in taxes above what it provides in meager social services. The territories import $780 million a year of Israeli goods at high prices.

But the uprising has changed everything. Newsweek states:

The Palestinians have some economic weapons of their own. Thousands of Arab workers had long since walked away from jobs at Israeli farms, factories and construction sites. Palestinian shoppers cut back their purchases of Israeli goods. Arab merchants and self-employed professionals struck a more direct blow at the occupation; they refused to pay Israeli income and commercial taxes.

Thus, as Newsweek acknowledges, the economic sword cut in two directions. Israel's construction industry, which drew 42% of its workforce from the Occupied Territories "has been hobbled by Arab walkouts". Hotels in Jerusalem report a sharp drop in spring bookings.

Israeli Economic Minister Gad Yaacobi estimated that the first three months of "rioting" cost Israel's economy "at least $300 million " – 10% of U.S. aid for a full year.

"Liberated Zones"

No respite can be expected for Israel. The villages in the West Bank and Gaza have responded defiantly to Israel's barbaric onslaught, declaring themselves "liberated zones", barricading their streets, and flying the Palestinian flag.

Newsweek reports: "Their protests are adroitly coordinated through leaflets issued by the shadowy Unified National Command of the Uprising. Their leaflets are the law of the land." [13j]

Despite the massive repression, Palestinian spirits have never been higher. This spirit is perhaps the factor of greatest concern to the Israeli state. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir told Israeli television:

The people who are throwing stones, the inciters, the leaders, they are today in a situation of euphoria, of great enthusiasm. They think that they are the victors.

Middle East editor of the Jerusalem Post Yehudi Litani reported that "[Israeli] security forces estimate the army has now detained the majority of those now pulling the strings of the uprising" – and yet the uprising continues, the leaflets continue to appear, and a mood approaching panic is settling in among Israeli leaders.

On March 30, Land Day – the day Palestinians inside pre-1967 Israel protest the confiscation of their land – a general strike of Palestinians inside the pre-1967 borders was called. This action renewed a general strike in support of the uprising which was first held on December 21, 1987.

The Unified National Leadership of the Uprising in the Occupied Territories called for "huge demonstrations against the army and settlers" to coincide with the general strike.

For the first time since 1948, Palestinians throughout Lebanon – joined by Lebanese in Sidon, Beirut and other cities – also staged their own demonstrations and general strike in solidarity with the uprising. The uprising has galvanized not only the Israeli Arabs, but the Palestinians in the Diaspora. The participation of the Palestinians of Lebanon and of thousands of Lebanese themselves was felt throughout the Arab world.

This new phase of the Palestinian revolution was not lost on the Israeli authorities. In an attempt to counter coordination between the Palestinians inside the "Green Line" [pre-1967 borders] and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the Israelis completely "sealed off' the West Bank and Gaza.

"Since Intifadeh [Uprising] is taking place both in the West Bank and in Israel," [emphasis added] a senior military source said, "we decided to separate the two and to prevent large-scale public disorder." [13k]

"We want to signal very clearly that we are not going to hesitate to use whatever measures are necessary," Defense Minister Rabin said.

Ariel Sharon, former Defense Minister and current Trade Minister, announced that the uprising "would lead inevitably to war with the Arab states and the necessary expulsion of the Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza and the Galilee." [13l]

But the Palestinians, entering their 40th year of occupation since the founding of the Israeli state, have not been deterred. The "revolutionary war" of the Palestinian people is recruiting the hearts and minds of youth in every Arab country and in capitals across the world.

This spirit was fully captured in a letter written by members of the Palestinian underground resistance in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to a rally in Paris, France, on March 3, 1988, organized by an ad-hoc committee of supporters of Palestinian human rights. Their letter states in part:

Dear friends,

We send you this letter from inside our beloved land – Our land of honor, of dignity, courage and defiance – from our Palestine, from Jerusalem, the sacred city.

We send you this letter in the name of our people, a patient people who are today standing tall and are waging a struggle unparalleled in our entire history.

We want you to know that the Palestinian people have not been defeated. They are alive. They are struggling. They are saying that they will not accept humiliation and submission.

The confidence of our people in the legitimacy of their struggle is immense. And our people know that their victory is certain – whatever the sacrifices, whatever the price that must be paid.

Today, our people are suffering. They are shedding their blood to win their freedom, dignity, and honor; their right to determine their own destiny; their right to live in their homeland and to build a free, democratic, and sovereign state in all of Palestine.

To all free men and women, to all our comrades, we say the following:

The Palestinian people have been the victims for many decades of an international plot – of vicious attacks – aimed at exiling them and chasing them from the lands upon which they have lived for centuries.

We have been expelled from our lands – lands which have now been settled by foreigners in accordance with the aims of colonialism and imperialism. This settlement has been imposed by the laws of oppression promoted by the Western nations and the Eastern totalitarian regimes. These oppressive laws are also those of international Zionism.

We have been subject to terror, assassination and torture. Today, we are deprived of even our most elementary and legitimate rights. "They have wanted to make of us an exiled people, destined permanently to refugee camps. They have wanted to destroy us physically and eliminate us.

Through the wars of 1948 and 1967, they carried out the occupation of all of Palestine. But they forgot that by occupying all of Palestine they also unified the entire Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression.

That is what is happening today as the children, the elderly, the women and the youth have risen up as one single person, without arms, to face the military machine of Zionism and imperialism – to face the violence of the guns, the clubs, the kidnappings, and the assassinations.

Our weapons come from our homeland. They are the stones with which our people have built up a wall to defend their combatants and the Revolution.

Dear friends: You should know what is going on in our homeland. Two weeks ago, the forces of occupation buried eight young Palestinians alive after having beaten them savagely and broken their limbs. Four of them were saved by the people; the other four were never found.

Three days ago, Israeli military forces dropped three live Palestinian youths from a helicopter flying at a high altitude. One of the youths was only 13 years old.

This is what they are currently doing to our people.

Dear friends: We want you to know that we reject all so-called solutions and peace projects that some people would like to impose on us through international conferences. We want you to know that we are committed to continuing our revolution until the total liberation of all of Palestine, until the establishment of a democratic and free state in which all free men and women, from wherever they may be, are welcome to live so long as they accept to live with us as equals on our land of Palestine.

We are no longer on our knees. We are standing tall. We will not yield. We feel that it is legitimate for us to demand aid and assistance from people throughout the world who are struggling for the freedom of all oppressed peoples.

We ask of you not only that you speak out in support of our struggle in your speeches and protests but that you demand that your governments take a clear position in opposition to the repressive and criminal methods of Zionism. We ask for your moral and material support for our Palestinian people, who are struggling to obtain their final victory.

The Palestinian people have risen, their yearnings for emancipation stirring the pauperized masses in every country of the Arab East. Reduced to a condition of penury by corrupt, country-selling regimes, the Egyptian, Jordanian and Saudi people have begun to respond to the extraordinary example set for them by the Palestinian people.


1. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987.

2. Ibid.

3. John Kifner, New York Times, December 22, 1987.

4. San Francisco Examiner, December 23, 1987.

5. First hand account to the author from Dheisheh camp.

6. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987.

7. John Kifner, New York Times, December 21, 1987.

8. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 23, 1987.

9. Dan Fisher, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 1987.

10. New York Times, January 21, 1988.

11. John Kifner, New York Times, January 23, 1988.

12. John Kifner, New York Times, January 27, 1988.

13. Ibid.

13a. Bassam Shaka'a: Telephone conversations with the author from February 5, 1988, through March 13, 1988.

13b. John Kifner, New York Times, April 4 and April 15, 1988.

13c. Newsweek, "A Soldier's Account", February 8, 1988.

13d. New York Times, February 14, 1988.

13e. John Kifner, New York Times, February 21, 1988.

13f. Los Angeles Times, March 23, 1988.

13g. Newsweek, April 4, 1988.

13h. New York Times, April 1, 1988.

13i. Newsweek, March 28, 1988.

13j. Ibid.

13k. Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1988.

13l. New York Times, April 1, 1988.

Add a comment to this post



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367

Recent Activity:


B'nai Brith to probe claim of Holocaust victim soap -


The Star Logo
Back to B'nai Brith to probe claim of Holocaust victim soap

B'nai Brith to probe claim of Holocaust victim soap

March 26, 2010


Abraham Botines, left, a Spanish-born Jew, has operated his quirky boutique since 1967.


MONTREAL—Abraham Botines will be the first to tell you he has no idea if a bar of swastika-engraved soap he owns from the Nazi era is really made of human remains.

But the owner of an eclectic curiosity shop in a trendy Montreal neighbourhood makes no apologies about wanting to sell the item — a rarity that has caused a mini-storm in the Jewish community.

Botines, a Spanish-born Jew who has operated the quirky boutique since 1967, said Friday that no one in his family wants the soap or other controversial war-era items.

So the feisty store owner has decided, given his advanced age and weakening health, that it is time to sell the soap that he bought at top dollar from a retired Canadian soldier.

"I'm 73 and I was collecting things from the Holocaust and from World War 2 because I belong to that period," Botines said in an interview Friday in the cluttered shop.

"In my lifetime I got a lot of curiosity items — that is, things that are hard to find ... and my things, my children, they don't have any interest."

But Botines is adamant he's selling a collectible item and not hateful ideology.

After reporters began descending on the store Friday morning, the controversial bar of soap was put aside.

Botines said it can now be seen only by serious collectors or those willing to pony up the starting asking price of $300.

"It's my soap and I'm free to do anything I want with it," he said.

CBC initially reported the existence of the beige bar of soap alleged to be from Poland from about 1940.

Different Jewish groups have raised concerns about the sale of the Nazi-era soap purportedly made from Holocaust victims. They agree that selling the object is offensive.

B'nai Brith Canada sent a representative to the shop on Friday and said it would like police to investigate.

At best, Jewish community groups said the soap and other Nazi-era objects belong in a museum to be used as educational tools.

"The only appropriate place for such items is a museum where they're serving a public education purpose," said Anita Bromberg, B'nai Brith's legal counsel, from Toronto.

Botines said the items are historical and prove the Holocaust actually happened.

His son Ivan, who-co-owns the store, doesn't like having the soap around but respects his father's wishes.

"We're not doing this to promote ideology," said Ivan Botines. "We want people to be conscious of this period, not to forget it."

Both father and son have been careful and have refused to sell items to neo-Nazis in the past.

In 2009, B'nai Brith had five complaints across Canada about the sale of controversial items on the Internet and in flea markets, No charges were laid.

It is not illegal to sell items bearing a swastika in Canada.

Reports that soap was produced from human remains during the Second World War have been dismissed by most historians as false and as Nazi propaganda.

"It's an urban myth," said Frank Chalk, a Concordia University professor and a recognized authority on genocide.

There is documented proof that the Nazis made agricultural fertilizer from ashes and used human fat as fuel, Chalk said. But never to make soap.

It's not uncommon to see Nazi memorabilia for sale.

"I think what's important to us is the symbol of hatred and violence against human beings that it represents," Alice Herscovitch, director of Montreal's Holocaust Centre.

"The fact that it would be for sale is what is most disturbing."



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367

Recent Activity:


Paul Craig Roberts Calls it Quits...


Paul Craig Roberts Archive
Paul Craig Robert's appeal on behalf of VDARE.COM
Email a Friend...
Printer Friendly Version...

March 24, 2010

Truth Has Fallen and Has Taken Liberty With It


By Paul Craig Roberts 

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.  George Orwell

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest. 

Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it. 

Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded "anti-American," "anti-Semite" or "conspiracy theorist." 

Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government. 

Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt. 

Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.

Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it."Free market economists" are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by "the New Economy," a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this "new economy" are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.

Economists who were once respectable took money to contribute to this myth of "the New Economy." 

And not only economists sell their souls for filthy lucre. Recently we have had reports of medical doctors who, for money, have published in peer-reviewed journals concocted"studies" that hype this or that new medicine produced by pharmaceutical companies that paid for the "studies." 

The Council of Europe is investigating big pharma's role in hyping a false swine flu pandemic in order to gain billions of dollars in sales of the vaccine.

The media helped the US military hype its recent Marja offensive in Afghanistan, describingMarja as a city of 80,000 under Taliban control. It turns out that Marja is not urban but a collection of village farms.

And there is the global warming scandal, in which climate scientists, financed by Wall Street and corporations anxious to get their mitts on "cap and trade" and by a U.N. agency anxious to redistribute income from rich to poor countries, concocted a doomsday scenario in order to create profit in pollution.

Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money.

Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance, propaganda, and short memories finish the job.

I remember when, following CIA director William Colby's testimony before the Church Committee in the mid-1970s, presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan issued executive orders preventing the CIA and U.S. black-op groups from assassinating foreign leaders.  In 2010 the US Congress was told by Dennis Blair, head of national intelligence, that the US now assassinates its own citizens in addition to foreign leaders.

When Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that US citizens no longer needed to be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of a capital crime, just murdered on suspicion  alone of being a "threat," he wasn't impeached. No investigation pursued. Nothing happened. There was no Church Committee. In the mid-1970s the CIA got into trouble for plots to kill Castro. Today it is American citizens who are on the hit list. Whatever objections there might be don't carry any weight. No one in government is in any trouble over the assassination of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government.  

As an economist, I am astonished that the American economics profession has no awareness whatsoever that the U.S. economy has been destroyed by the offshoring of U.S. GDP to overseas countries. U.S. corporations, in pursuit of absolute advantage or lowest labor costs and maximum CEO "performance bonuses," have moved the production of goods and services marketed to Americans to China, India, and elsewhere abroad. When I read economists describe offshoring as free trade based on comparative advantage, I realize that there is no intelligence or integrity in the American economics profession.

Intelligence and integrity have been purchased by money. The transnational or global U.S. corporations pay multi-million dollar compensation packages to top managers, who achieve these "performance awards" by replacing U.S. labor with foreign labor. While Washington worries about "the Muslim threat," Wall Street, U.S. corporations and "free market" shills destroy the U.S. economy and the prospects of tens of millions of Americans.

Americans, or most of them, have proved to be putty in the hands of the police state.

Americans have bought into the government's claim that security requires the suspension of civil liberties and accountable government. Astonishingly, Americans, or most of them, believe that civil liberties, such as habeas corpus and due process, protect "terrorists," and not themselves. Many also believe that the Constitution is a tired old document that prevents government from exercising the kind of police state powers necessary to keep Americans safe and free.

Most Americans are unlikely to hear from anyone who would tell them any different. 

I was associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal. I was Business Week's first outside columnist, a position I held for 15 years. I was columnist for a decade for Scripps Howard News Service, carried in 300 newspapers. I was a columnist for the Washington Times and for newspapers in France and Italy and for a magazine in Germany. I was a contributor to the New York Times and a regular feature in the Los Angeles Times. Today I cannot publish in, or appear on, the American "mainstream media." 

For the last six years I have been banned from the "mainstream media." My last column in the New York Times appeared in January, 2004, coauthored with Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer representing New York. We addressed the offshoring of U.S. jobs. Our op-ed article produced a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and live coverage by C-Span. A debate was launched. No such thing could happen today.

For years I was a mainstay at the Washington Times, producing credibility for the Moony newspaper as a Business Week columnist, former Wall Street Journal editor, and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. But when I began criticizing Bush's wars of aggression, the order came down to Mary Lou Forbes to cancel my column.

The American media does not serve the truth. It serves the government and the interest groups that empower the government.

America's fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government's 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government's account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based.

These trillion dollar wars have created financing problems for Washington's deficits and threaten the U.S. dollar's role as world reserve currency. The wars and the pressure that the budget deficits put on the dollar's value have put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. Former Goldman Sachs chairman and U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is after these protections for the elderly. Fed chairman Bernanke is also after them. The Republicans are after them as well. These protections are called "entitlements" as if they are some sort of welfare that people have not paid for in payroll taxes all their working lives.

With over 21 percent unemployment as measured by the methodology of 1980, with American jobs, GDP, and technology having been given to China and India, with war being Washington's greatest commitment, with the dollar over-burdened with debt, with civil liberty sacrificed to the "war on terror," the liberty and prosperity of the American people have been thrown into the trash bin of history.

The militarism of the U.S. and Israeli states, and Wall Street and corporate greed, will now run their course. As the pen is censored and its might extinguished, I am signing off. 

Paul Craig Roberts [email himwas Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan's first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington;  Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economyand is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of JusticeClick here for Peter Brimelow's Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct. His latest bookHow The Economy Was Losthas just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press.



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367

Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton

Recent Activity:


‘Dennis Ross more sensitive to Netanyahu than US interests’ (Surprised?)


'Dennis Ross more sensitive to Netanyahu than US interests' (Surprised?)

aletho | March 28, 2010 at 10:59 am | Categories: Wars for Israel | URL:
By Philip Weiss on March 28, 2010

My post last night on Dennis Ross was right on time. Laura Rozen at politico reports that Ross is at the center of a battle within the Obama administration about how nice to be to Israel. The piece includes a frank statement of confused loyalty:

"He [Ross] seems to be far more sensitive to Netanyahu's coalition politics than to U.S. interests," one U.S. official told POLITICO Saturday. "And he doesn't seem to understand that this has become bigger than Jerusalem but is rather about the credibility of this Administration."

Let me repeat myself. This guy is the living embodiment of the Israel lobby. He was till recently chairman of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, which opposes intermarriage, among other charming and important campaigns. Aaron David Miller said that the U.S. too often acted as "Israel's lawyer" at Camp David; and that meant Ross. Dan Kurtzer's book, Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, said that the US team lacked diversity and cross-cultural expertise– again, ethnocentric Ross. Kurtzer and co-author Scott Lasensky write: "'The perception always was that Dennis [Ross] started from the Israeli bottom line,' said a prominent Arab negotiator, 'that he listened to what Israel wanted and then tried to sell it to the Arabs.'" No wonder Kurtzer lamented "the deference that some policymakers pay to Israeli domestic political concerns. Israel plays an outsized role in U.S. politics and diplomacy…"

The lobby; and Ross denied the existence of the lobby when it was under attack, because it was his own power base.

Netanyahu's AIPAC speech last week was so shocking that it has rung in a new era for the lobby. Basically: the F.U. period, overplaying its hand in plain sight of the American people. The (in)ability of an American administration to free itself of Ross is a real test of the perseverance of the lobby in our politics.

More on Ross: this was in the original RSS feed on the Politico piece but is not in the published version:

Ross, the U.S. official continued, "starts from the premise that U.S. and Israeli interests overlap by something close to 100 percent. And if we diverge, then, he says, the Arabs increase their demands unreasonably. Since we can't have demanding Arabs, therefore we must rush to close gaps with the Israelis, no matter what the cost to our broader credibility."

This is the old neocon delusion, in order to support their loyalty to Israel's interests: there is no difference between our interests and Israel's. A preposterous assertion, for any two states.

Add a comment to this post



Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call anytime: 917-974-6367

Amazon's: DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST: A New Look At Both Sides by Thomas Dalton

Recent Activity: