Apr 10, 2010

Thought provoking -


From: Michael Walsh <>
Date: Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Thought provoking--

and it is well worthy of worldwide distribution. You need a reason to do so? Ask Israel or those who have hijacked the American and British governments if they would like to see its distribution. If not; there then is your reason to place it as far and wide as possible.



Michael Santomauro
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A 'constellation of Jewish groups' (J Street to David Project) seeks to block any accountability for cruel occupation

Posted: 10 Apr 2010 09:16 AM PDT

The battle is joined inside the Jewish community over boycott/divestment/sanctions, specifically the Berkeley student bill calling for divestment from two companies. Below Sydney Levy and Yaman Salahi, on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, ask, "Why are American Jewish groups so intent on defending illegal Israeli settlements and other human rights violations?"

A coalition of nearly 20 Jewish groups, ranging from the right-wing David Project and the Jewish National Fund to the liberal J Street, is distributing a misleading statement condemning a Student Senate bill at UC Berkeley. The ground-breaking bill calls for divestment from companies that profit from the perpetuation of the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza. They refer to the bill as "dishonest" and "misleading" and "based on contested allegations."

Yet it is their letter that is both dishonest and misleading.

The bill, available here, is based on extensive, footnoted research.

Yet this coalition of Jewish groups does not contest any of the facts. Without offering any evidence, they dismiss findings by reputable organizations like the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. Instead of condemning these human rights violations, they prefer to misinform the public by suggesting that it is somehow wrong to "take sides" against universally recognized injustice. In so doing, they effectively defend illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli military occupation that continues to disrupt everyday features of Palestinian life: education, health care, economic life, and art and culture.

Further, they claim that the Berkeley bill calls on the University "to divest exclusively from Israel." They imply that the bill calls for divestment "from any company doing business with Israel."

But this is simply not true.

The Berkeley bill focuses specifically on the Israeli occupation, not on Israel. While a vibrant and necessary debate on the merits of a total boycott and divestment from Israel continues around the world, it is not at issue here.

In reality, the bill divests only from two American companies that make money by equipping the occupation, General Electric and United Technologies – but no Israeli companies. It also announces an intention to divest from any company – whatever the nationality, and only after further research – that similarly profit from the occupation.

These groups choose to deliberately misreport the language of the bill, which refers specifically and exclusively to companies that:

a) provide military support for or weaponry to support the occupation of the Palestinian territories or b) facilitate the building or maintenance of the illegal wall or the demolition of Palestinian homes, or c) facilitate the building, maintenance, or economic development of illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories;

By condemning the humane and ethical policy of what is essentially morally responsible investment, do these groups mean to encourage investing in companies that provide the weapons of occupation, build the settlements of colonization, and render thousands of innocent Palestinians homeless?

They claim that the bill "unfairly targets the State of Israel." But Israel is the country building the settlements and administering the occupation. And it is one of the world's best known human rights abusers that is not already sanctioned by the United States --which provides Israel with over $3 billion annually. Who else should the bill address?

There is no reason not to name Israel when it violates human rights, but these groups suggest that students should instead pass a bill with no teeth, a bill that merely condemns human rights violations in general without referring specifically to Israel. But it is absurd to suggest that students do not already condemn those violations in the abstract-or have not already worked to apply similar standards to countries like Sudan and South Africa and will not apply them similarly to other countries in the future. The bill merely applies widely held principles to a particular situation.

In effect they are calling on students not to apply the same principles applied elsewhere to Israel. These groups want us to ignore reality and to allow Israel to be the one and only human rights violator that escapes accountability and condemnation. Perversely, they themselves are guilty of singling out Israel in order to defend occupation and the unjustifiable oppression of the Palestinian people.

The statement acknowledges no wall, no home demolitions, no Israeli settlements, no Palestinian suffering. All of these, the letter calls "discrete incident[s] without consideration of the larger picture." How many more decades of occupation and dispossession will it take for our nation's major Jewish organizations to issue a statement calling these injustices what they are, an inhumane and morally indefensible system of occupation?

By reducing these coordinated events to isolated incidents, they diminish their significance, aid the settlement efforts, and obstruct Palestinian freedom and human rights.

Most perniciously, they refer to the bill as "marginalizing Jewish students on campus who support Israel." The fact that they mention only Jewish students and not other students who might hold similar political positions reveals the true meaning of this statement: This is an intellectually dishonest and misleading accusation of anti-Semitism that cannot be taken lightly. The bill does not target any students: it only targets corporations that facilitate occupation.

/In fact, the Berkeley bill was co-authored by an Israeli Jewish student on campus and is supported by many Jews who have testified in favor of the bill and have written thousands of letters of support to the student senators.

Ironically, these groups' statement actually marginalizes both Jews and non-Jews who oppose the Israeli occupation. It especially harms American and Palestinian students who may be harmed by such investments when studying, conducting research, or visiting relatives in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The misinformation campaign targeting UC Berkeley follows the same script that was used to defame similar efforts by the Presbyterian Church in 2008, which endeavored to ensure that it was "invested only in peaceful pursuits."

Then, a similar coalition accused the Presbyterian Church of "one-sidedness" and in much more explicit terms, anti-Semitism. In other words, they re-cast the very idea that one should be "invested only in peaceful pursuits" in Israel-Palestine as biased or racist.

This year the Presbyterian Church is considering divestment from Caterpillar because of the company's refusal to take responsibility for the destruction its bulldozers create in the West Bank and Gaza. The Simon Wiesenthal Center cast all logic aside and accused the church of engaging in "nothing short of a declaration of war on Israel." This kind of hyperbolic language is untrue, harms civil discourse, and only serves to hamper the efforts of those rightfully opposed to the demolition of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of Palestinian orchards.

Now in Berkeley, a constellation of Jewish organizations has regrettably mobilized its resources to stand in the way of yet another progressive victory. The letter's deliberate distortions call into question whether the signers would support any method of monitoring, discouraging, and preventing Israeli human rights violations.

Instead, the letter's signers suggest that Americans should act with their hands tied behind their backs, without the full toolkit of nonviolent resistance tactics that have been an essential part of all successful human justice movements.

However, not engaging in morally responsible investment when faced with the clear findings of human rights organizations and the international community would be morally indefensible.

Choosing to do something about Israel's human rights violations does not require turning a blind eye to other injustices in the world as these groups suggest; but refusing to take action because of other examples would indeed turn a blind eye to this one. Now is the time to support Palestinian freedom and human rights. Berkeley students have done the right thing. Others should follow suit and divest from the occupation, as part of their general commitment to ethical investment policies.

Sydney Levy is the Director of Campaigns for Jewish Voice for Peace, a national grassroots organization dedicated to full equality between Israelis and Palestinians.

Yaman Salahi, a UC Berkeley alumnus and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, is currently a student at Yale Law School.

The lobby squirts squid-ink at Steve Walt

Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:54 AM PDT

This is a good fight. Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy adopts an Alfred-E-Newman like cluelessness in saying, What possible attachments to foreign countries can Steve Walt be talking about--Morocco? Jordan? Turkey?--when he criticizes the Washington Institute and Dennis Ross, who once worked there before going to the Obama administration. As if Satloff does not care about Israel in the morning and in the afternoon and at night too.  

Walt responds calmly that he is talking of course about attachments to Israel, but that he doesn't use the word "dual loyalty" because we all have multiple identities in this modern age (well some of us). He says it's a straightforward question of conflict of interest and describes WINEP's pedigree as the spawn of AIPAC:

WINEP is funded and led by individuals who are deeply committed to defending the special relationship [to Israel], and promoting policies in Washington that they believe will benefit Israel.  Its board of advisors is populated with prominent advocates for Israel such as Martin Peretz, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and Mortimer Zuckerman, and there's no one on this board who is remotely critical of Israel or inclined to favor any other country in the "Near East."

Although WINEP employs a number of legitimate scholars and former public officials, its employees do not question America's special relationship with Israel and Satloff himself has a long track record of defending Israel against criticism. That's his privilege, of course, but why does he get so angry when someone points out that WINEP is not neutral, and neither are the people who work there?

In short, Satloff doth protest too much, and I think I understand why. He knows that what I am saying is true; he just doesn't like anyone calling attention to the elephant in the room.  Plus, he knows that plenty of other people can see the elephant too, and are beginning to realize that the lobby is pushing an agenda that is not in America's interest. No wonder he's so upset.

The last point may be the best one. People are waking up, and this is pretty straightforward. Someone who was head of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem, warning against intermarriage in the U.S.--Dennis Ross--shouldn't be guiding our Iran policy. And why is he? Because of the lobby.

I like the dual loyalty concept. So does Eric Alterman of the Nation. So too does John Judis of the New Republic. It gets at the matter of Jewish nationality that Zionists sought to create in an era of nationalism. And today when Israeli interest and American interest are so wildly divergent, it is a big issue. A year back in a reflective moment, Jeffrey Goldberg said that the Iran issue gave him conflict on this very question. His love for Israel conflicted with the interests of the U.S. I wonder the same about Tariq Ramadan's Muslim religion and Swiss nationality. Swiss when I vote, Ramadan said the other night; but there wasn't another Swiss moment all night. The American public, the American elite, deserve this discussion of religion and the Middle East, conducted with sincerity.

Neocon offers disinformation about Occupation in 'LA Times'

Posted: 10 Apr 2010 08:34 AM PDT

Anonymous writes: I think you've followed Robert Pape's work quite closely. It is very important. Neocon  Max Boot has now taken it up in the LA Times:

Yet by 2004 the intifada was over. Suicide bombings have not been a serious threat to Israel since. This is because of the effectiveness of countermeasures such as erecting a security barrier along the West Bank and searching just about everyone entering a public premise in Israel, combined with targeted operations to arrest or kill militant leaders.

His error here has to do with his misrepresentation of the barrier as being "along the West Bank" when everybody paying attention should know that the vast majority of it is inside the West Bank. To say "along" without also saying "inside" is to misrepresent reality and mislead readers.I haven't even got into his use of the term "targeted operations." Those targeted operations killed 47 innocent bystanders in 2003, while 44 actual targets were killed. That's hardly a "targeted" result when there's such "collateral" damage. I wonder if some of this knowledge motivated Anat Kamm. From the State Department.

The Cooper Union question: Was Arab anti-Semitism the same as Nazi anti-Semitism?

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:30 PM PDT

Last night at Cooper Union, George Packer sought to expose some possibly embarrassing sources of Tariq Ramadan's political commitments by reading a quotation from Ramadan's grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Packer asked Ramadan why he had failed to address the import of such anti-Semitic utterances; he implied that the failure might indicate a less than candid approach, by Ramadan, to Islamic anti-Semitism generally. Ramadan said that the quotation seemed to him likely to have been taken out of context.

Packer insisted that the only relevant context was what it must have meant to ally oneself with an ally of Hitler. Packer incidentally acknowledged that he had drawn his quotation from a recent book by Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World. That source, however, has, in fact, come under strong criticism precisely for its practice of de-contextualization--more particularly its synonymizing of Arab hostility toward Zionism in the 1940s and Hitler's genocidal anti-Semitism. A revealing exchange between Richard Wolin and Herf, touching on this and related matters, was published last November in The Chronicle Review.

"One of Herf's crown witnesses is the Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan al-Banna, whose well-documented anti-Semitic tirades in Herf's view represent the missing link between the Nazis and the leading representatives of contemporary political Islam. But as Matthias Küntzel demonstrates in Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 (Telos Press, 2007)--a book for which Herf wrote the foreword--'it would be wrong to characterize the Muslim Brothers as ardent followers of the Nazis.' Here there is simply no squaring the circle; too many aspects of Nazi ideology--its paganism, its Aryan racial doctrines, its conception of Germanic geopolitical supremacy--are incompatible with the key tenets of political Islam. As Küntzel rightly concludes, Hassan al-Banna was too devout a Muslim to latch on to someone as impious as Hitler as a political role model. Such facts speak volumes about the tenuous nature of some of Herf's 'continuity' claims."

Neocons take over Buckley's inheritance

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:21 PM PDT

The neocon takeover of NRO is complete: "Petraeus's Israel Problem." WF Buckley Jr., who opposed the war in Iraq, must be turning in his grave.

And Pamela Geller the fevered Israel devotee writes that Petraeus is pushing "jihadist rhetoric of Islamic anti-semitism." Wow who would have believed that Petraeus was a stealth Islamist.

Ambushing the ambiguity

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:12 PM PDT

Like the gleeful sound one makes upon hearing that a particularly obnoxious and troublesome relative will not be attending a family gathering, Washington officials probably issued a collective sigh of relief when hearing the news that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has cancelled his visit to Washington planned for next week. The Israeli Prime Minister has caused enough diplomatic problems for the Obama government recently and his appearance at an international summit on the spread of nuclear weapons could have further embarrassed both Israel and the United States.

Netanyahu will not attend the weapons conference because he is afraid to confront a group of representatives of Muslim and Arab nations who plan to bring up the issue of Israel's non-participation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. These nations want to force Israel to publicly acknowledge its nuclear capability and permit international inspection of its facilities.

The Jerusalem Post refers to the Israeli nuclear arsenal as "alleged," maintaining the ludicrous Tel Aviv "policy of ambiguity." The headline of the Hebrew version of Ynet  says Netanyahu is afraid of an "ambush" by the Arab delegates to the conference. Israel will send Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor to the conference to be the flak-catcher for Netanyahu. The Israeli leader's absence will deflect attention from the potential bad publicity that discussion of Israel's nuclear capability will generate.

Israel maintains an arsenal that is assumed to be between 100 and 300 warheads depending on the source of the data estimate. Mordechai Vanunu revealed details of Israel's nuclear arsenal to the British press in 1986. He served 18 years in an Israeli prison after being abducted from Italy by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Vanunu is prohibited from leaving Israel, where his freedom of speech, association and movement have been severely limited by authorities since his release. He has been designated as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

According to the Federation of American Scientists website, it has been reported that "fearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs." The fact that Israel may have seriously considered a nuclear strike in 1973 first became known to the general public in Seymour Hersh's 1993 book, The Samson Option. If my memory serves me, Hersh claimed that Israel loaded the nukes on missiles and aimed them.

Surely the Americans must be ecstatic about Netanyahu not coming for another visit, although they are forced by their "very special relationship" with Israel to explicitly deny the obvious. The dubious honor for the denial fell on the shoulders of national security adviser General James Jones, who told reporters that "of course we wanted the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] to come [back for another visit]."

Isn't the very special Israeli-American relationship getting more special all the time?

J'aime Paul Berman beaucoups

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 07:35 PM PDT

 From Ron Rosenbaum at Slate:

Paul Berman's new book exhibits the same dedication to moral clarity on these questions demonstrated in his earlier Terror and Liberalism.

Mais oui, the clarity that he demonstrated when he defended the assault on Gaza's civilian population under the rubric of fighting anti-Semitism. Though in his defense he had been silent on the siege of Gaza.

Berman's book will likely provoke bouts of rage, praise, and condemnation in print and online. In doing so, his book will remind us that those old Partisan Review smack-downs raised questions that have evolved and mutated but remain unresolved: Is there a paradox at the heart of Enlightenment values? Should a belief in "tolerance" extend to the intolerant? Must Enlightenment values stop short of challenging multicultural values?

Does this apply to Israel? Should we tolerate an intolerant polity or state? Is there a tribalism that is masked by his high-falutin Enlightenment talk that privileges his tribe over a neighbouring tribe? The answer is once again: mais oui.

J'aime Paul Berman, c'est un pompous windbag who personifies the decline of what passes for intellectual discourse in late imperial America.

Is the US getting ready to push Israel to declare its nuclear status?

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 12:06 PM PDT

Whatever else can be said about the strained relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, one thing is clear: Obama seems intent on keeping Netanyahu off balance.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu announced he would be returning to Washington next week to attend Obama's Nuclear Security Summit. Just days later, he had changed his mind, ostensibly because of "fears that a group of Muslim states, led by Egypt and Turkey, would demand that Israel sign up to the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT," Haaretz reported.

An earlier report in the Jerusalem Post, however, had raised that specific issue and said this would not deter the Israeli prime minister from attending the summit:

[O]ne main argument against participation was that Netanyahu's presence at an international forum dealing with nuclear issues would inevitably draw attention to Israel's own reported nuclear arsenal, as well as its policy of ambiguity on whether it has nuclear weapons.

Countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia will certainly – as they do regularly at international nuclear forums – shine the spotlight on Israel and a perceived imbalance: Why is the world so keen on stopping Iran's nuclear development program, but silent in the face of Israel's reported nuclear arsenal?

One government official said Netanyahu's decision to attend, despite this likely scenario, had been made because key issues affecting Israel would be discussed there, and it was important for the Jewish state's voice to be heard – as well as the realization that Israel's reported nuclear capacity would be an issue whether Netanyahu participated in the meeting or not.

Earlier, Ynet reported:

US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher spoke with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon Tuesday and updated him on US President Barack Obama's new nuclear proliferation policy.

Tauscher said that the US will strive to protect its allies and work against countries which violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) such as North Korea, or countries that fail to meet their commitments to the international community such as Iran.

The under secretary of state stressed that Washington will adopt a "calculated ambiguity" policy towards countries which do not pose a threat to the US. Despite not explicitly pointing to Israel, it appears her statements were meant to reassure the Jewish state.

It's unclear however, whether the administration's "calculated ambiguity" was really meant to reassure Israel or do the opposite.

The United States is not on the brink of pushing Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it could be signalling its willingness to see pressure applied by others as it provides a platform in Washington for such an effort. Moreover, in a little noted move, the Obama administration appears to be using a new diplomatic tool to signal that Israel's days of "nuclear ambiguity" may be numbered: Israel's nuclear scientists are now being shut out of the United States.

A report on the Hebrew NRG/Maariv website, under a headline, Dimona reactor workers not welcome in the US, says that workers at Israel's Dimona nuclear research reactor who submitted visa requests to visit the United States for ongoing university education in physics, chemistry and nuclear engineering, have all been rejected, specifically because of their association with the Dimona reactor. According to the report, this is a new policy decision by the Obama administration, since reactor workers were until recently being issued visas to study in the US.

This is cross-posted from Woodward's site, War in Context.

Brave Palestinian journalist arrested for filming protests

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 09:54 AM PDT

The latest news from Bil'in: Haitham Al Khatib was arrested while filming at today's demonstration, held on the anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre. Details below.

I'm reminded of the story Haitham told me when I asked about the deep scar between his eyebrows. The thing to keep in mind is that all of the soldiers know Haitham and Hamde Abo, the Bil'in photographer: they are the dynamic duo that arrives on scene to document each and every night raid. It's the same soldiers day in and day out, so Haitham and Hamde can recognize familiar eyes and mouths beneath the masks. (This is how Hamde describes the faces of the IDF: "I know the soldiers like my brother.") So one day Haitham was taking photographs at the weekly demonstration. A soldier told Haitham to stop, or else: he'd shoot him in the head. Haitham didn't stop, and so the soldier shot him between the eyes with a rubber-coated steel bullet, fracturing his skull. When Haitham was released from the hospital, he was back at the wall each Friday with his camera–just as he'll be back at the wall when or if he's ever released from Israeli military detention.

Hamde Abo reports:

...As demonstrators reached the barrier soldiers began firing tear gas at the crowd. At one point soldiers used a cannon that shoots 30 canisters of gas at once to disperse the crowd.

Soldiers also used live ammunition and rubber coated bullets against non-violent demonstrators today. Soldiers entered the village thru the gate in the barrier and attempted to arrest many of the demonstrators. Palestinian Journalist and videographer Haitham Al Khatib from Bil'in was arrested while documenting the demonstration and army incursion.

Haitham works with the Israeli human rights information center B'tselem as well as with the local Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. Haitham returned to the village yesterday from a three-week tour in Europe where he was showing his latest film "Life on Wheels". The film looks at occupation in Bil'in through the experience of Jody McIntire an International activist from the EU.

Blau-Kamm case exposes the dark underbelly of Israel's security state

Posted: 09 Apr 2010 08:01 AM PDT

What is misleadingly being called in Israel the "Anat Kamm espionage affair" is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state.

Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life -- or rather the state's demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying.

Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel's security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too.

This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial.

Not a word about the case leaked in Israel until this week when the security services, who had won from the courts a blanket gag order -- a gag on the gag, so to speak -- were forced to reverse course when foreign bloggers began making the restrictions futile [including notably Richard Silverstein]. Hebrew pages on Facebook had already laid out the bare bones of the story.

So, now that much of the case is out in the light, what are the crimes supposedly committed by Kamm and Blau?

During her conscription, Kamm is said to have copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig Gen Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank.

Blau's crime is that he published a series of scoops based on her leaked information that have highly embarrassed senior Israeli officers by showing their contempt for the rule of law.

His reports included revelations that the senior command had approved targeting Palestinian bystanders during the military's extra-judicial assassinations in the occupied territories; that, in violation of a commitment to the high court, the army had issued orders to execute wanted Palestinians even if they could be safely apprehended; and that the defence ministry had a compiled a secret report showing that the great majority of settlements in the West Bank were illegal even under Israeli law (all are illegal in international law).

In a properly democratic country, Kamm would have an honorable defence against the charges, of being a whistle-blower rather than a spy, and Blau would be winning journalism prizes not huddling away in exile.

But this is Israel. Here, despite a desperate last-stand for the principles of free speech and the rule of law in the pages of the Haaretz newspaper today, which is itself in the firing line over its role, there is almost no public sympathy for Kamm or even Blau.

The pair are already being described, both by officials and in chat forums and talkback columns, as traitors who should be jailed, disappeared or executed for the crime of endangering the state.

The telling comparison being made is to Mordechai Vanunu, the former technician at the Dimona nuclear plant who exposed Israel's secret nuclear arsenal. Inside Israel, he is universally reviled to this day, having spent nearly two decades in harsh confinement. He is still under a loose house arrest, denied the chance to leave the country.

Blau and Kamm have every reason to be worried they may share a similar fate. Yuval Diskin, the head of the Shin Bet, Israel's secret police, which has been leading the investigation, said yesterday that they had been too "sensitive to the media world" in pursuing the case for so long and that the Shin Bet would now "remove its gloves".

Maybe that explains why Kamm's home address was still visible on the charge sheet published yesterday, putting her life in danger from one of those crazed talkbackers.

It certainly echoes warnings we have had before from the Shin Bet about how it operates.

Much like Blau, Azmi Bishara, once head of a leading Arab party in Israel, is today living in exile after the Shin Bet put him in their sights. He had been campaigning for democratic reforms that would make Israel a "state of all its citizens" rather than a Jewish state.

While Bishara was abroad in 2007, the Shin Bet announced that he would be put on trial for treason when he returned, supposedly because he had had contacts with Hizbullah during Israel's attack on Lebanon in 2006.

Few experts believe Bishara could have had any useful information for Hizbullah, but the Shin Bet's goals and modus operandi were revealed later by Diskin in a letter on its attitude to Bishara and his democratisation campaign. The Shin Bet was there, he said, to thwart the activities of groups or individuals who threatened the state's Jewish character "even if such activity is sanctioned by the law".

Diskin called this the principle of "a democracy defending itself" when it was really a case of Jewish leaders in a state based on Jewish privilege protecting those privileges. This time it is about the leaders of Israel's massive security industry protecting their privileges in a security state by silencing witnesses to their crimes and keeping ordinary citizens in ignorance.

Justifying his decision to "take the gloves off" in the case of Kamm and Blau, Diskin said: "It is a dream of every enemy state to get its hands on these kinds of documents" -- that is, documents proving that the Israeli army has repeatedly broken the country's laws, in addition, of course, to its systematic violations of international law.

Diskin claims that national security has been put at risk, even though the reports Blau based on the documents -- and even the documents themselves -- were presented to, and approved by, the military censor for publication. The censor can restrict publication based only on national security concerns, unlike Diskin, the army senior command and the government, who obey other kinds of concerns.

Diskin knows there is every chance he will get away with his ploy because of a brainwashed Israeli public, a largely patriotic media and a supine judiciary.

The two judges who oversaw the months of gagging orders to silence any press discussion of this case did so on the say-so of the Shin Bet that there were vital national security issues at stake. Both judges are stalwarts of Israel's enormous security industry.

Einat Ron was appointed a civilian judge in 2007 after working her way up the ranks of the military legal establishment, there to give a legal gloss to the occupation. Notoriously in 2003, when she was the chief military prosecutor, she secretly proposed various fabrications to the army so that it could cover up the killing of an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, Khalil al-Mughrabi, two years earlier. Her role only came to light because a secret report into the boy's death was mistakenly attached to the army's letter to an Israeli human rights group.

The other judge is Ze'ev Hammer, who finally overturned the gag order this week -- but only after a former supreme court judge, Dalia Dorner, now the head of Israel's Press Council, belatedly heaped scorn on it. She argued that, with so much discussion of the case outside Israel, the world was getting the impression that Israel flouted democratic norms.

Judge Hammer has his own distinguished place in Israel's security industry, according to Israeli analyst Dimi Reider. During his eight years of legal study, Hammer worked for both the Shin Bet and Israel's Mossad spy agency.

Judge Hammer and Judge Ron are deeply implicated in the same criminal outfit -- the Israeli security establishment -- that is now trying to cover up the tracks that lead directly to its door. Kamm is doubtless wondering what similar vested interests the judges who hear her case next week will not be declaring.

Writing in Haaretz today, Blau said he had been warned "that if I return to Israel I could be silenced for ever, and that I would be charged for crimes related to espionage". He concluded that "this isn't only a war for my personal freedom but for Israel's image".

He should leave worrying about Israel's image to Netanyahu, Diskin and judges like Dorner. That was why the gag order was enforced in the first place. This is not a battle for Israel's image; it's a battle for what is left of its soul.



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

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From Gilad: 3 very important videos




April 10, 2010

I am sure all the Zionist Israeli Jews, will be twice as happy to see these pictures, one to promote their big lie about the never happened Holocaust.

Second by contemplating with joy the suffering of the Palestinian people.
An Egyptian

GERMANY 1940               ISRAEL 2009



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:

Do More for Dogs Group. Connect with other dog owners who do more.

Welcome to Mom Connection! Share stories, news and more with moms like you.

Hobbies & Activities Zone: Find others who share your passions! Explore new interests.