West Bank

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2001 Private Eye Article on Israeli Assassinations and Atrocities Against Palestinians, Americans, and Lebanon

Keir Starmer has shown himself determined to purge the party of any and all critics of Israel on the utterly specious grounds that they are automatically anti-Semites. They must be, despite the fact that very many of them are self-respecting Jews and equally self-respecting non-Jewish anti-racists. This is because the Israel lobby and the British establishment and media have declared that anybody who supports Jeremy Corbyn and/ or shares his conviction that Palestinians should be allowed to live in peace in their traditional homeland has to be a horrible Jew-hater and a Nazi. Even if, like Corbyn, Tony Greenstein, Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker, Mike, Martin Odoni and any number of others, they are determined anti-racists. So let’s remind people just what the Palestinians are facing, and why criticising Israel is entirely legitimate and is based on what the Israeli state and its armed forces do, not because they’re Jewish.

I found this ‘Letter from Israel’ in Private Eye’s edition for 30th November – 13th December 2001. This was a time when the Eye didn’t flinch at criticising Israel, even when outraged Zionists complained that it was being anti-Semitic by doing so. The Eye has said that the ‘Letter From…’ pieces are written by journalists from countries described, so that this piece, although anonymous and possibly reworked by someone else in the Eye to cover up the author’s identity, comes from an Israeli journo. And it’s a long list of Israel’s attacks, not just on the Palestinians and their leaders, but also the Americans and Lebanon. It runs

Terrorism is the topic of the year, and whatever the current focus, history shows that we in Israel have a certain historical experience.

Take the bombing of American targets. Our chaps bombed the US cultural centres in Cairo and Alexandria as early as 1954, planning to let Abdul Nasser’s new Egyptian government take the blame. Unfortunately the scam went wrong and our defence minister Pinhas Lavon had to resign, though the director-general of his ministry, Shimon Peres, managed to hang on. Today he is Ariel Sharon’s foreign minister.

Or take political assassinations. If you ever wondered why Yasser Arafat’s lieutenants are hard to understand, the answer it simple: we shot most of his organisation’s top foreign language speakers. In fact in one glorious year, 1972, our Mossad secret service managed to kill both the PLO’s political representative in Rome, Wael Zouetar, and his counterpart in Paris, Mahmoud Hamdan.

Admittedly we make the odd mistake. There was the embarrassing 1974 incident in Lilienhammer, when a Mossad hit squad shot dead Moroccan waiter Ahmed Bouchiki in front of his heavily pregnant Norwegian wife, having mistaken him for a PLO man.

Still, we maintain a sense of proportion and have never believed in simply takinig an eye for an eye. In 1982 when an assassin from the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon wounded (but not killed) our London rep, Shlomo Argov, we invaded Lebanon and more than 20,000 people there died, mostly civilians.

Then there is the bombing of local public buildings, one of our specialities. In recent months we have shelled not just West Bank police stations, but hotels, an orphanage and the Bethlehem maternity hospital. (Not that many Palestinian women reach the hospital. Our boys at the checkpoints surrounding their townships are particularly mistrustful of women claiming to be in labour and so refuse to let them through).

None of this would have happened, of course, if the Palestinians would agree to live happily while surrounded by our soldiers and settlers. But they won’t and we must protect ourselves. Not for us any lily-livered effort to apprehend the actual perpetrators. We prefer hostage taking. This is certainly what we did when some Palestinians recently shot that nice man, ex-general Rehavam Zeevi, the founder of a party whose sole platform is the expulsion of all Arabs. Such a view had resulted in his being invited into Mr Sharon’s government as a tourism minister.

Anyway, whenever that sort of thing happens we just hold the entire population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip at gunpoint and station tanks in their streets. Then we smash the place up (just look at Manger Square after we finished with it!) and kill a few dozen locals of mixed age and sex.

And, oh yes, we also use helicopter gunships to blow to smithereens any Palestinian we suspect of planning any attacks on us, though not usually the actual perpetrators. Those we expect Yasser Arafat to hand over, in exchange for the goodwill we have shown in our peace talks with him, which have been dragging on for a mere eight years. Why are those Palestinians in such a rush?

That we have spent those years building thousands of new settler homes in the West Bank is a mere accident, not a lack of sincerity. True, this may have involved confiscating Palestinian land, arresting its owners and shooting demonstrators, which slows down agreement; but it makes sense: we just like holding peace talks so much we never want them to end.

Of course, we cannot negotiate with just anyone, and so we are currently helping improve Arafat’s administration by picking off any unsuitable figures. And we don’t just mean military men: one of those killed by us was Dr. Tahbed Thabed, the director-general of the Palestinian health authority.

In the 19 years since then, we’ve had the blockade of Gaza and now Netanyahu has declared his intention of seizing 1/3 of Palestinian land on the West Bank. But organisations like the Chief Rabbinate, Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council, the entirely wrongly named Jewish Labour Movement, whose members don’t have to be Jews or members of the Labour Party, and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, founded to bolster British support for Israel after the bombardment of Gaza, will denounce anything more than the mildest, token criticism of Israel’s actions.

The Israeli state has been engaged on a decades-long campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians, and many of its own citizens have protested against it. Israel is a country. It is not, and never have been, synonymous with the Jewish people, no matter what law Netanyahu passes to claim that it is. Criticising Israel and its leaders is not anti-Semitic, no matter how much the Board and the Chief Rabbis howl that it is.

And Starmer has no business kicking genuine anti-racists and opponents of anti-Semitism out of Labour, simply for supporting the Palestinians. And especially not when he is tolerating real, anti-Black racists and islamophobes.

On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/07/2020 - 5:16am in

Wednesday, July 1, was meant to be the day on which the Israeli government officially annexed 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and the Jordan Valley. This date, however, came and went and annexation was never actualized.

“I don’t know if there will be a declaration of sovereignty today,” said Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, with reference to the self-imposed deadline declared earlier by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. An alternative date was not immediately announced.

But does it really matter?

Whether Israel’s illegal appropriation of Palestinian land takes place with massive media fanfare and a declaration of sovereignty, or whether it happens incrementally over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months, Israel has, in reality, already annexed the West Bank – not just 30% of it but, in fact, the whole area.

It is critical that we understand such terms as ‘annexation’, ‘illegal’, ‘military occupation’, and so on, in their proper contexts.

For example, international law deems that all of Israel’s Jewish settlements, constructed anywhere on Palestinian land occupied during the 1967 war, are illegal.

Interestingly, Israel, too, uses the term ‘illegal’ with reference to settlements, but only to ‘outposts’ that have been erected in the occupied territories without the permission of the Israeli government.

MintPress News · How Israeli Annexation Could Turn the West Bank Into Another Gaza-Style Open Air Prison

In other words, while in the Israeli lexicon the vast majority of all settlement activities in occupied Palestine are ‘legal’, the rest can only be legalized through official channels. Indeed, many of today’s ‘legal’ 132 settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, housing over half a million Israeli Jewish settlers, began as ‘illegal outposts’.

Though this logic may satisfy the need of the Israeli government to ensure its relentless colonial project in Palestine follows a centralized blueprint, none of this matters in international law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions states that “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive”, adding that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Israel has violated its commitment to international law as an ‘Occupying Power’ on numerous occasions, rendering its very ‘occupation’ of Palestine, itself, a violation of how military occupations are conducted – which are meant to be temporary, anyway.

Military occupation is different from annexation. The former is a temporary transition, at the end of which the ‘Occupying Power’ is expected, in fact, demanded, to relinquish its military hold on the occupied territory after a fixed length of time. Annexation, on the other hand, is a stark violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations. It is tantamount to a war crime, for the occupier is strictly prohibited from proclaiming unilateral sovereignty over occupied land.

The international uproar generated by Netanyahu’s plan to annex a third of the West Bank is fully understandable. But the bigger issue at stake is that, in practice, Israel’s violations of the terms of occupation have granted it a de facto annexation of the whole of the West Bank.

So when the European Union, for example, demands that Israel abandons its annexation plans, it is merely asking Israel to re-embrace the status quo ante, that of de facto annexation. Both abhorring scenarios should be rejected.

Israel began utilizing the occupied territories as if they are contiguous and permanent parts of so-called Israel proper, immediately following the June 1967 war. Within a few years, it erected illegal settlements, now thriving cities, eventually moving hundreds of thousands of its own citizens to populate the newly acquired areas.

This exploitation became more sophisticated with time, as Palestinians were subjected to slow, but irreversible, ethnic cleansing. As Palestinian homes were destroyed, farms confiscated, and entire regions depopulated, Jewish settlers moved in to take their place. The post-1967 scenario was a repeat of the post-1948 history, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel on the ruins of historic Palestine.

Moshe Dayan, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister during the 1967 war, explained the Israeli logic best in a historical address at Israel’s Technion University in March 1969. “We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here,” he said.

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there, either … There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population,” he added.

The same colonial approach was applied to East Jerusalem and the West Bank after the war. While East Jerusalem was formally annexed in 1980, the West Bank was annexed in practice, but not through a clear legal Israeli proclamation. Why? In one word: demographics.

When Israel first occupied East Jerusalem, it went on a population transfer frenzy: moving its own population to the Palestinian city, strategically expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include as many Jews and as few Palestinians as possible, slowly reducing the Palestinian population of Al Quds through numerous tactics, including the revocation of residency and outright ethnic cleansing.

And, thus, Jerusalem’s Palestinian population, which once constituted the absolute majority, has now been reduced to a dwindling minority.

The same process was initiated in parts of the West Bank, but due to the relatively large size of the area and population, it was not possible to follow a similar annexation stratagem without jeopardizing Israel’s drive to maintain Jewish majority.

Dividing the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C as a result of the disastrous Oslo accords, has given Israel a lifeline, for this allowed it to increase settlement activities in Area C – nearly 60% of the West Bank – without stressing too much about demographic imbalances. Area C, where the current annexation plan is set to take place, is ideal for Israeli colonialism, for it includes Palestine’s most arable, resource-rich, and sparsely populated lands.

It matters little whether the annexation will have a set date or will take place progressively through Israel’s declarations of sovereignty over smaller chunks of the West Bank in the future. The fact is, annexation is not a new Israeli political agenda dictated by political circumstances in Tel Aviv and Washington. Rather, annexation has been the ultimate Israeli colonial objective from the very onset.

Let us not get entangled in Israel’s bizarre definitions. The truth is that Israel rarely behaves as an ‘Occupying Power’, but as a sovereign in a country where racial discrimination and apartheid are not only tolerated or acceptable but are, in fact, ‘legal’ as well.

Feature photo | Young Palestinians use a ladder to climb over Israel’s apartheid wall in Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The post On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed appeared first on MintPress News.

Sargon of Gasbag Smears Black Lives Matter as Anti-Semitic

Despite their recent popularity and the wave of sympathetic protests and demonstrations that have erupted all over the world in the past few weeks, Black Lives Matter is a very controversial organisation. They’re Marxists, who wish not only to get rid of capitalism, but also the police, the patriarchy and other structures that oppress Black people. They support trans rights, and, so I’ve heard, wish to get rid of the family. I doubt many people outside the extreme right would defend racism, but I’m not sure how many are aware of, let alone support, their extreme radical views.

A number of Black American Conservatives have posted pieces on YouTube criticising them. One, Young Rippa, objects to them because he has never experienced racism personally and has White friends. He’s angry because they’re telling him he is less than equal in his own country. It’s an interesting point of view, and while he’s fortunate in not experiencing racism himself, many other Black Americans have. Others have objected to the organisation on meritocratic grounds. Mr H Reviews, for example, who posts on YouTube about SF and Fantasy film, television, games and comics, is a believer in meritocracy and so objects to their demands for affirmative action. For him, if you are an employer, you should always hire the best. And if the best writers and directors are all Black, or women, or gay, their colour, gender and sexuality should make no difference. You should employ them. What you shouldn’t do in his opinion is employ people purely because they’re BAME, female or gay. That’s another form of racism, sexism and discrimination. It’s why, in his view and that of other YouTubers, Marvel and DC comics, and now Star Wars and Star Trek have declined in quality in recent years. They’re more interested in forced diversity than creating good, entertaining stories.

Now Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad, the man who broke UKIP, has also decided to weigh in on Black Lives Matter. Sargon’s a man of the far right, though I don’t think he is personally racist. Yesterday he put up a piece on YouTube asking if the tide was turning against Black Lives Matter ‘at least in the UK’. He begins the video with a discussion of Keir Starmer calling BLM a moment, rather than a movement, although he later apologised for this and retracted the description. Starmer also rejected their demand to defund the police. Benjamin went on to criticise a Wolverhampton Labour group, who tweeted their opposition to Starmer’s comment about BLM and supported defunding. Sargon also criticised the football players, who had taken the knee to show their support, and also Gary Lineker, who had tweeted his support for BLM but then apologized and made a partial retraction when it was explained to him what the organisation fully stood for. But much of Sargon’s video is devoted to attacking them because they’re anti-Semitic. Who says so? Why, it’s our old friends, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. Who are once again lying as usual.

Tony Greenstein put up a piece about a week or so ago on his blog discussing how the Zionist organisations hate BLM and have tied themselves in knots trying to attack the organisation while not alienating the Black community. Black Lives Matter support the Palestinians, and according to all too many Zionist groups, including the British Jewish establishment – the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Chief Rabbinate, Jewish Leadership Council and the Jewish Chronicle and other papers, anyone who makes anything except the mildest, most toothless criticism of Israel is an anti-Semitic monster straight out of the Third Reich. This also includes Jews. Especially Jews, as the Israel lobby is doing its damnedest to make Israel synonymous with Jewishness, despite the fact that’s also anti-Semitic under the I.H.R.A. definition of anti-Semitism they are so keen to foist on everybody. As a result, Jewish critics in particular suffer insults, smears, threats and personal assault.

Yesterday BLM issued a statement condemning the planned annexation of one third of Palestinian territory by Netanyahu’s Israeli government. This resulted in the usual accusation of anti-Semitism by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. The deliberately misnamed Campaign then hypocritically pontificated about how anti-Semitism, a form of racism, was incompatible with any genuine struggle against racism. Which is true, and a good reason why the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism should shut up and dissolve itself.

Israel is an apartheid state in which the Palestinians are foreigners, even though in law they are supposed to have equality. In the 72 years of its existence, Israel has been steadily forcing them out, beginning with the massacres of the Nakba at the very foundation of Israel as an independent state. The Israel lobby has been trying to silence criticism of its barbarous maltreatment of them by accusing those voicing it of anti-Semitism. The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism is a case in point. It was founded to counter the rising opposition to Israel amongst the British public following the blockade of Gaza. And Tony Greenstein has argued that Zionism is itself anti-Semitic. Theodor Herzl believed that Jews needed their own state because there would always be gentile hostility to Jews. He even at one point wrote that he had ‘forgiven’ it. It’s a surrender to anti-Semitism not an opponent, although obviously you would never hear that argument from the Israel lobby.

Sargon thus follows the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism in accusing BLM of being anti-Semitic. He puts up on his video a screen shot of the CAA’s twitter reply to BLM’s condemnation of the invasion of Palestine. But there’s a piece on BLM’s tweet that he either hasn’t seen or is deliberately ignoring.

Black Lives Matter issued their condemnation as a series of linked tweets. And the second begins by noting that over 40 Jewish organisations have objected to Netanyahu’s deliberate conflation of Israel with Jews.

That tweet can clearly be seen beneath the first and the CAA’s reply as Sargon waffles on about anti-Semitism.

It says

‘More than 40 Jewish groups around the world in 2018 opposed “cynical and false accusations that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies of occupation and apartheid.”‘

This section of their condemnation should demonstrate that BLM aren’t anti-Semites. They made the distinction, as demanded by the I.H.R.A.’s own definition of anti-Semitism, between Jews and the state of Israel. If Black Lives Matter was genuinely anti-Semitic, not only would they not make that distinction, I doubt that they would bother mentioning that Jewish organisations also condemned it.  It is also ironic that it’s up when the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and Sargon are doing precisely what these 40 Jewish organisations condemned.

Black Lives Matter as an organisation is controversial, and I don’t believe it or any other movement or ideology should be immune or exempt from reasonable criticism. But I don’t believe they can fairly be accused of anti-Semitism.

As for Sargon, the fact that he drones on accusing them of it while just behind him is the statement clearly showing that they aren’t tells you all you need to know about the level of his knowledge and the value of his views in this matter. But you probably guessed that already from his illustrious career destroying every organisation he’s ever joined.

I’m not going to put up Sargon’s video here, nor link to it. But if you want to see for yourself, it’s on his channel on YouTube, Akkad Daily, with the title Is The Tide Turning Against Black Lives Matter. The tweet quoting the Jewish groups denouncing the deliberate conflation of Israel and Jews to accuse critics of Israel of anti-Semitism can be seen at the bottom of the twitter stream at 5.26.

 

 

Podcast Panel: Israeli Annexation Could Turn the West Bank Into a Gaza-Style Open Air Prison

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/07/2020 - 4:19am in

Welcome to MintCast, the official MintPress News podcast hosted by Mnar Muhawesh. MintCast is an interview podcast featuring dissenting voices, independent researchers and journalists the establishment would rather silence.

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Ramzy Baroud, Robert Inkalesh and Miko Peled to discuss the so-called “Deal of the Century,” a plan promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump together with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Israel’s annexation plans for the Jordan Valley located in the Palestinian West Bank, and the implications of the so-called deal for Palestine and the broader region.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a Palestinian-American journalist, media consultant, author, columnist, and editor of Palestine Chronicle. He is a former Managing Editor of Middle East Eye and former Deputy Managing Editor of Al Jazeera online. He has authored five books and a contributor to many others, the latest of which is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggles and Defiance in Israeli Prisons.

Miko Peled is an Israeli-American human rights activist. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

Robert Inkalesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. His latest documentary film, “Steal Of The Century’ Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe,” premiered in June and can be viewed for free on YouTube.

The Netanyahu-led Israeli government was expected to initiate its plan to annex as much as 35 percent of the West Bank in the Jordan Valley earlier this week, formally declaring it part of Israel along guidelines laid out in President Trump and his son in law Jared Kushner’s so-called “Deal of the Century.” After international criticism and even caution from some members of the U.S. Congress, a delay in the plan has been announced. Nonetheless, critics fear that Israel will begin annexing Palestinian land soon.

Israel’s annexation of the region would put the over 70,000 Palestinians under full Israeli authority, giving the Israeli military control over all movement, agriculture, water, and all imports and exports, forcing residents to endure apartheid-like conditions experienced by those living in Gaza.  

The plan would also cut out a part of the West Bank, allowing Israel to encircle the region militarily and control all Palestinian access to the outside world similar to the apartheid-like policies it carries out in Gaza. Not only does Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century hand de facto control to the Israeli military over all Palestinian movement, but it also opens up the doors to over 100,000 illegal Jewish only colonies on indigenous Palestinian land and prevents the two million Palestinian refugees who have the legal grounds to return to their land from ever doing so. 

The move is nothing short of territorial conquest and military occupation as defined by the United Nations Charter and the annexation is illegal under International Law. Indeed, the United Nations’ High Commissioner on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has declared Israel’s annexation plans both  “illegal” and “disastrous.” This will, without a doubt, create another preventable man-made humanitarian disaster at the hands of Western powers that will fuel the military-industrial complex and stimulate profits off of the theft of indigenous land and blood of indigenous people. If the plan is not stopped, the West Bank could very well become a sprawling open-air prison and ghetto similar to Gaza.

Despite the international opposition, Israel enjoys full support from the United States, the world’s only superpower, and plans to complete the annexation before Trump’s reelection run in November.

This program is 100 percent listener supported! You can join the hundreds of financial sponsors who make this show possible by becoming a member on our Patreon page.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud. Please leave us a review and share this segment.

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups.

The post Podcast Panel: Israeli Annexation Could Turn the West Bank Into a Gaza-Style Open Air Prison appeared first on MintPress News.

Tony Greenstein’s Review of Exhibition and Talks by Pro-Palestinian Arab/Israeli Artist Gil Mualem-Doron

Yesterday Tony Greenstein put up a piece about an art exhibition on the plight of the Palestinians by an Arab/Israeli artist, Dr. Gil Mualem-Doron. Titled ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ after a 1953 article in the Israeli paper Maariv by its editor, Ezriel Karlebach. This compared the new legislation then passed against the Palestinians to the infamous Nuremberg laws the Nazis passed against the Jews. The article took its title in turn from the 1948 book by the South African artist Alan Paton on the rise of that country’s apartheid regime. The exhibition also features a conversation between the Palestinian historian Dr Salman Abu Sitta, Mualem-Doron, Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, the founder of the NGO Zochrot, somebody called Decolonizer and the exhibition’s curator, Ghazaleh Zogheib. It includes photographs of some of the ‘present refugees’ – Palestinians, who fled or were forced off their land during the Nakba of 1948, and who are officially regarded as foreigners in their own country among other photographic and artistic installations. There is also a screening of the film To Gaza and Back Home, by Aparicio and Decolonizer about the Arab village of Ma’in and its destruction. It was due to open on the 2nd April, but this was impossible due to the lockdown. It’s now showing online until sometime in September, probably the 27th, when it will open at the P21 Gallery in London.

Tony’s article quotes the exhibition, which says that

“Cry, the beloved country” is a nightmarish series of room installations and photography works dealing with the links between Great Britain, Israel and Palestine and depicting the catastrophic results of this unholy conundrum.  Built as a journey into “the heart of darkness” the exhibition is intended to negate many Israelis and Zionists supporters’ view of Israel as a “villa in the jungle”.

The photographs include several of an actor dressed in KKK robes, a Jewish prayer shawl and waving an Israeli flag, saluting Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. It was taken in 2017 during the centennial celebrations of the promulgation of the Balfour Doctrine, in which Britain backed the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. This was very much against the wishes of the British Jewish community, who did not want their Britishness questioned through the foundation of a state for which they had no loyalty and no desire to live in.

This is obviously an extremely provocative piece. I have no doubt that the very people and organizations, who scream ‘anti-Semitism’ at any criticism of Israel, no matter how reasonable and justified, would go berserk about this. It comes very close to one of the IHRA’s examples of anti-Semitism: the comparison of Jews to Nazis. But it is a reasonable comment on the Israeli state and its present government, composed of Likud and various parties from the Israeli religious right. Groups of settlers do launch attacks on Palestinian villages, like the Klan lynched Blacks in America. Those campaign for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians similarly claim a religious basis for their crimes, just like the Klan claimed to be defending White, Protestant Christians from Jews, Blacks, Roman Catholics and Communists. And Tony himself has shown all too often how the present Israeli government and British Zionist activists have very strong links to the real far right groups. Jonathan Hoffman, who has frequently protested and demonstrated against pro-Palestinian exhibitions and meetings over here, shouting anti-Semitism, has done so in the company of Paul Besser, the former intelligence officer of Britain First, and members of the EDL. The event’s supported by Arts Council England and the Hub Collective. I think they should be commended for supporting such an important exhibition, despite the abuse and demands for cancellation the organizers of similar events receive.

The Israelis were due to begin their annexation of 1/3 of the West Bank today, in blatant contravention of international law. The Likud regime is zealously pursuing its persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians with the active support of right-wing American Christian groups like Ted Hagee’s Christians United for Israel. It does so against the wishes and passionate efforts of very many Jews and Jewish organisations in America, Britain and Israel itself. The latter includes the veterans’ group, Breaking the Silence, which works to reveal the atrocities in which its members have personally participated, and the Zionist humanitarian group, B’Tsalem. The supporters of this ethnic cleansing, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Chief Rabbinate, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the various ‘Friends of Israel’ groups in the political parties, are doing their best to present Israel as synonymous with Judaism. This is in breach of the IHRA’s own guidelines, which state that it is anti-Semitic to claim that Jews are more loyal to another country, or hold them responsible as a whole for Israel’s actions. As these atrocities continue, more young Jewish people are becoming critical of Israel and the Zionist organisations themselves were frightened by the British public’s disgust at the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Hence the foundation of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the revival of Paole Zion, now renamed the Jewish Labour Movement, in the Labour Party. It was all to promote public support for Israel and quash reasoned, justified criticism.

It is why exhibitions like this continue to remain important and necessary, whatever the witch-hunters do to shout them down and silence them.

For more information on the exhibition and the individual pieces, go to:

https://azvsas.blogspot.com/2020/06/visit-cry-beloved-country-palestinian.html

Jewish Board of Deputies Accuses Nigel Farage of Anti-Semitism

Zelo Street reported yesterday that the Board of Deputies of British Jews had taken a break from accusing the Labour party to turn their ire on another British politico. This was Nigel Farage, Fuhrer and CEO of the Brexit Party. According to the Graoniad, the Board had accused the man 2000AD’s Judge Dredd satirised as ‘Bilious Barrage’ because

“Farage’s airing of claims about plots to undermine national governments, and his references to Goldman Sachs and the financier George Soros, showed he was seeking to ‘trade in dog whistles’ … [he] was also condemned by the MPs who co-chair the all-party group against antisemitism”.

They then provide a series of examples from a recent tweet and interview with Newsweek magazine. In the tweet’s video message, the Fuhrage claimed that Britain was facing a wave of ‘cultural Marxism’. This is an idea that has its origins in Nazism, and their claim that Germany was being subverted by Jewish ‘Kulturbolschevismus’. Organisations funded by George Soros were also responsible for companies removing adverts for right-wing TV programmes. This was the trope of the ‘disloyal Jew’.

In the Newsweek article, Nige had ranted about ‘unelected globalists’ shaping the lives of the public based on recommendations from the big banks. ‘Globalists’ was a code word for ‘Jews’ or ‘Jewish bankers’. Goldman Sachs was the only bank he named, which followed another theme from the extreme right.

And Zelo Street also provided a few examples of his own to support the Board’s accusation. In another tweet, the Brexit Party’s Duce Faragissimo had praised Viktor Orban’s Hungary for standing up to the globalists, and wished we all did the same. He also talked about anti-Brexit plots backed by George Soros, including the campaign for a second referendum. Rants against the globalists featured regularly in his tweets. In one, he declared that we were all sick of threats from the globalists. This followed a statement that London was the world’s no. 1 financial centre, and Frankfurt only the 11th. We were, he also announced, heading toward a world where the democratic nation state had made a comeback against the globalists. Former US president Barack Obama, and Chancellor Merkel of Germany were ‘holding a losing party’ for the globalists. And then there was this series of comments about Goldman Sachs

“Goldman Sachs and big business lost the referendum … Congratulations to former EU Commission President [José Manuel Barroso], now over at Goldman Sachs. Global corporatism! … If Goldman Sachs are leaving London for the US, why aren’t they going to their beloved European Union? … Goldman Sachs Chairman thinks those who want border controls are ‘xenophobic’. Badly out of touch”.

The Street noted that these snippets showed the Fuhrage being promoted by the Beeb, Sky News and the Heil. By doing so, they were also promoting anti-Semitism. The Street concluded

Serious anti-Semitism always comes from the far right. Nigel Farage is living proof of that.

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/06/nigel-farage-theres-real-anti-semitism.html

Farage’s rants and denunciations of the globalists, Goldman Sachs and George Soros are the latest forms of the anti-Semitic fears about Jewish bankers that first appeared in the Tsarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They also have their roots in some of the conspiracy theories that emerged in the 1970s about the Bilderberg group and the Trilateral Commission. Many leading bankers, like Bernard Baruch, had backed the formation of the United Nations, Trilateral Commission and the elite Bilderberg group, which meets annually to discuss global politics. Thus the UN and the other organisations were seen as devices by which Jewish bankers sought world domination, culminating in a one-world dictatorship, the enslavement of gentiles and the extermination of the White race. Not all versions of this theory are necessarily quite so anti-Semitic. Some of them distinguish between Jewish bankers and the rest of the Jewish people, noting that some of the former, like the Rothschilds, advanced credit and loans to Nazi Germany even when the Nazis were persecuting the Jews. Other forms of the theory are more bonkers still. In one of them, the Trilateral Commission takes its name from the Trilateral ensign, the flag of the Grey aliens from Zeta Reticuli, with whom the US has made a Faustian pact. The aliens are allowed to abduct and experiment on humans in return for providing extraterrestrial technology like velcro.

I wouldn’t like to say that Farage is definitely an anti-Semite, but his rhetoric and beliefs about evil globalists comprising banks like Goldman Sachs and the Jewish financier George Soros are certainly part of a series of conspiracy theories, some of which are viciously anti-Semitic.

The Board is right to denounce Farage for spouting these theories. However, this hasn’t changed my mind about the Board as a whole. Most of its accusations of anti-Semitism, along with those of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Chief Rabbinate and their allies in the Labour Party, the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel, have been directed against Labour, its former leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband, and Corbyn’s followers. They have done so not out of concern about real anti-Semitism, but from a determination to defend Israel and its barbarous ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from criticism. At the same time the Board denounced the Fuhrage yesterday, it was also attacking Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, for demanding the government impose a block on the import of goods manufactured in the Occupied Territories if Israel begins its planned annexation of a third of the West Bank tomorrow.

It looks to me that the Board’s accusation of Farage for anti-Semitism is intended to soothe its left-wing critics by showing them that it doesn’t just attack the Labour Party. It really does attack other parties for anti-Semitism, really. But this doesn’t change the fact that the Board seems packed with Tories and Tory supporters. And it doesn’t change the fact that Board’s chief motivation for its attacks on the Labour Party is simply an attempt to excuse the inexcusable and defend entirely reasonable and proper criticism of Israel.

The Board is right to accuse Farage. But its accusations against the Labour Party are still wrong and politically motivated.

 

 

Learning From the Past: History Provides Clues into Israel’s West Bank Annexation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 1:43am in

Palestine has been annexed, occupied, stolen, and Palestinians have been dispossessed, exiled, caged, detained, subjected to an apartheid regime, and killed by the state of Israel for over seven decades. Every few years the world wakes up to protest some aspect of Israeli apartheid, occupation, or a massacre, and then it returns safely to its deep slumber.

Every so often, Israel manages to awaken the angst of the European Union and other international organizations with some announcement or another, a murderous attack on Palestinians, a declaration of annexation or “sovereignty,” and then, as if under the influence of a spell, the angst disappears just as fast as it arose. What usually follows is a long procession of world leaders coming to visit Israel or inviting the Israeli prime minister to their capital to bestow their love and respect for him and the so-called Jewish State.

This time seems to be no different. The Israeli annexation of the Palestinian Jordan River Valley has brought about the world’s displeasure. “A violation of human rights,” says Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We hear that it is a violation of international law and the end of the prospect for peace, as though this is unprecedented and as though it was unexpected. It has long been clear that Israel would annex part of the West Bank, and it was obvious that the Jordan River Valley – the eastern part of the West Bank – was the most likely to be first.

Israel Annexation

A Palestinian shepherd herds his flock in the Jordan Valley, June 30, 2020. Oded Balilty | AP

Annexing the entire eastern part of the West Bank means Palestinians will be cut off from the international border with Jordan and will be surrounded by Israel on all sides. Israel wants access to that land, which currently provides West Bank Palestinians some 50 percent of their agricultural products, and wants complete access to the Jordan River.

 

What Will It Mean

What exactly is the declaration of sovereignty and annexation? No one seems to know for sure. Israeli military experts admit they were not informed as to the details of the move. Israeli politicians are vague and Palestinians, well, no one talked to them, and in any case, people in positions of power don’t care what they think.

Saeb Erikat, who still holds to the title of Palestinian Chief Negotiator, said in an interview with the Israeli television channel Ynet, that “the situation is very severe.” “I have never seen it more severe than I see it now.”

Much of the Israeli press is focused on what the potential Palestinian response may be, and particularly if Israelis should expect violence. Considering the fact that for over seven decades now, Palestinians have been on the receiving end of Israeli violence, it is a cynical thing to ask. According to leaks from a meeting of Israel’s top security chiefs though, the answer to that question is unclear. While the army and Shabak (Israel’s secret police) chiefs claim there will be a violent reaction and that Israelis will see “terrorism” rise, the Mossad chief claims that scenario is unlikely. Either way, Israel never cared much for what Palestinians think and is not concerned with their reactions.

Knowing all too well where his support lies in the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). CUFI is amongst the largest pro-Israel groups in the United States. Netanyahu spoke of the annexation of in biblical terms. He spoke of biblical lands and what he called “Israeli sovereignty over Jewish communities.”

Benjamin Netanyahu kids

Netanyahu watches kids play an interactive biblical game in the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank, Aug. 27, 2012. Gali Tibbon | AP

He also made the point that these areas are also a part of what he called, “Christian identity,” and part of “Our common civilization.” His speech, like previous comments he’s made on the topic, did not clarify what the annexation will entail.

 

Who Wants Annexation

Israel’s most influential political block, known as the Right Block, wants all of the Palestinian West Bank to be annexed and for Israeli sovereignty to be declared on all of its Jewish settlements. Israel’s political right is made up largely, though not exclusively, of religious Zionists, and settling the West Bank is their number one priority. Annexation will not only give them a political boost, it will make the construction of new Jewish settlements much easier. Whereas today, construction of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank must be approved by the prime minister, Israel’s declaration of sovereignty would make it a matter for local councils.

 

Learning from the Past

In 1948, the Western part of Jerusalem was conquered by Israeli forces and Palestinian residents were forcibly exiled. Not a single Palestinian was permitted to remain or return and overnight, the city became the capital of Israel. The world stood still then, and it stood still when the eastern part of the city was taken in 1967.

Then, in 1980, Israel announced its sovereignty over East Jerusalem, or in other words, annexed the eastern part of the city. The UN Security Council reacted by passing resolution 476, which among other things reaffirmed that “acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible.” The resolution stated that the Security Council was “Gravely concerned over the legislative steps initiated in the Israeli Knesset with the aim of changing the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem.” Furthermore, it stated that it “Strongly deplores the continued refusal of Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly.” It also reiterated that “all such measures which have altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

Israel Annexation

Ariel “the Butcher” Sharon points at a map of a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, Nov.16, 1995. Nicolas B. Tatro | AP

A year later, in 1981, Israel declared its sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights. The UN security council passed resolution 497 which states, among other things, that it is once again “Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, the principles of international law, and relevant Security Council resolutions.” The Security Council declared that it “Decides that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect. It even “Demands that Israel, the occupying power, should rescind forthwith its decision.” Israel, of course, did not adhere to the UN resolutions, and no action was taken to sanction Israel.

 

There is no Israel proper

In 1948, the Zionist movement created the state of Israel in Palestine. By year’s end, 78 percent of Palestine had become Israel, and close to one million Palestinians were forcibly exiled. The rest of Palestine became Israel in 1967. Israel has annexed, occupied, taken, destroyed, built, and renamed everything from individual homes and property to public spaces, to historic monuments. And it has no intention, or reason, to stop.

The issue at hand is not a “proper Israel” doing something that is illegal. It is an illegal entity that has planted itself in Palestine continuing its pursuit of illegal activity. The race to create the mythical Greater Israel in Palestine, with the new temple in place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in its center has been going on in full force. It is a  never-ending project that is well funded, well planned, and very well executed. Only isolation, boycotts sanctions, and divestment have the ability to stop it and to save Palestine.

Feature photo | Two Israeli soldiers drag a Palestinian to the ground, Nov. 19, 1996 as he protests the bulldozing of his land near the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank. Jacqueline Arzt | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The post Learning From the Past: History Provides Clues into Israel’s West Bank Annexation appeared first on MintPress News.

The Six-Day War: The Myth of an Israeli David Versus an Arab Goliath

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 2:56am in

June 2, 1967, was a tense day at the Israeli army headquarters in Tel Aviv. For weeks, IDF generals had been pushing the government to initiate a war and the atmosphere was tense. Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who also acted as minister of defense, came to see the generals at the IDF command center. All the generals who made up the IDF high command were present. This meeting became known as the showdown. Years later, some would even accuse the army of an attempted coup d’etat.

 

A fraud

One of the biggest frauds perpetrated by the Israeli military is the claim that the Six-Day War was initiated by Israel due to an existential threat. The reality though is that in 1967, the Israeli army faced an elected civilian government that was less excited about the prospects of war than the generals were. So, as is clearly seen in the minutes of meetings between IDF generals from those days, minutes that are available in the IDF archives, seeing that the government was hesitant, the military decided to sow fear, and they did it very effectively, claiming that the Jewish state faced an existential threat and that the army must act decisively.

The deception worked and over the following three days, Eshkol was forced to yield. He resigned his post as minister of defense and gave it to retired army Chief of Staff, General Moshe Dayan. The IDF generals got the war they so badly wanted. They initiated a massive assault against Egypt, reducing the Egyptian military to ashes and taking over the entire Sinai Peninsula. As a result, the IDF was able to capture the largest stockpile of Russian made military hardware outside of the Soviet Union.

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshko Peled

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, center, is pictured with General Peled, right, circa 1967. Photo | Courtesy | Miko Peled

Israel would make good use of the knowledge that came with this loot.

It also captured thousands of Egyptian soldiers who were stationed in the Sinai Desert and caught unprepared. According to the testimonies of Israeli officers, at least two thousand Egyptian prisoners of war were executed right there and buried in the dunes.

But the generals were not satisfied. They seized the opportunity that they were given and decided to make the most of it. Without any discussion, much less approval from the elected civilian government, the army proceeded to take the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and something the generals had been chomping at the bit to take for many years, the fertile water-rich Syrian Golan Heights, tripling the size of the state of Israel. They had finally completed the conquest of Palestine and pushed the eastern border of Israel all the way to the Jordan River.

The military moved like a bulldozer, destroying cities and towns both in the Golan Heights and in the West Bank. As a result, countless Syrians who lived in the Golan Heights, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem became refugees.

 

The myth of the threat

As the generals themselves stated during their meetings prior to the war, the entire affair was about seizing an opportunity to start a war they knew they would win, and not about averting some existential threat. In fact, the word “opportunity” is mentioned several times in their discussions and the word “threat” is not mentioned at all.

One general who was present in the June 2 meeting was my father, General Matti Peled. According to accounts by some of his comrades who were there, accounts that I later verified by reading the minutes of the meetings, he stood up and told Prime Minister Eshkol that the Egyptian army was an ill-prepared army and therefore Israel must seize the opportunity to destroy it. He stated that the Egyptian army, which at the time was recovering from a war in Yemen, would need at least a year and a half to two years before it was prepared for war. The other generals concurred. My father then went further and said that the IDF command “demands to know why this army that has never lost a battle” is being held back. He didn’t say one word about a threat.

General Matti Peled Six-Day War

General Matti Peled in the field, June, 1967. Photo | Courtesy | Miko Peled

More of the minutes of the general’s meeting are included in my book, “The General’s Son,” but it is clear that Israel initiated the war, not out of concern for the safety of Israel, but out of a desire to demonstrate its power and use it to achieve territorial gains. For anyone paying attention the result of the war proved that there could not possibly have been a military threat to Israel. However, people were so moved by the story of little David defending himself from the onslaught of the evil Goliath that they let themselves be taken by the fraud.

 

Divine intervention

There is a story that I heard from Rabbi Moishe Beck, a revered Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi who used to live in Jerusalem and moved to New York. I asked him why he decided to leave after the Six-Day War. He told me that he was sitting in a bomb shelter in Jerusalem’s Me’a Sha’arim neighborhood and there was the sound of shelling not far from there. At one point, people could hear Israeli Air Force planes flying overhead and began referring to the IDF successes as a sign of divine intervention. He found it abhorrent that people would see the Zionist state military force, which he viewed as criminal, as divine intervention. As soon as he was able, he took his family and with very little means, left Jerusalem. He did not want his children to grow up in an atmosphere that idolized the Israeli military, or any military for that matter.

Many years later, while sitting with Ultra-Orthodox friends in New York, I was asked if it was true that the 1967 victory was so unpredictable that even people who were secular saw it as divine intervention. There was nothing divine about the Israeli assault and the theft of Arab lands. Not in 1967 and not at any other time. The Israeli army was well prepared, well-armed, and well trained and the generals knew victory was inevitable.

 

The writing on the wall

Israel had, in fact, intended to occupy the West Bank and the Golan Heights many years prior to 1967 and the war presented the perfect opportunity. In the memoirs of Israel’s second Prime Minister, Moshe Sharet, he describes a meeting that took place in Jerusalem in 1953 where dignitaries from around the world were present. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was also present.

One of the presentations given to this gathering was by my father, then a young and promising IDF officer. He gave the talk in English which he spoke well, and among other things, he stated in no uncertain terms that the IDF was prepared for the moment that the order would be given to “push Israel’s eastern border to its natural place, the Jordan River.” In other words, take the West Bank and complete the conquest of historic Palestine.


IDF Generals in the field circa 1967. Rabin, left, Bar-Lev, center, Peled, right. Photo | Courtesy | Miko Peled

Today we know that Israel had plans in place to occupy and impose its own military rule in the West Bank as early 1964. It is also well known that Israel initiated skirmishes with the Syrian army throughout the early 1960s in the hopes that Syria would initiate a war.

 

The USS Liberty

On the morning of June 8, 1967, in the midst of the war, the USS Liberty was about 17 miles off the Gaza coast, in international waters. Being an intelligence-gathering ship, it had no battle capabilities and was armed only with four fifty caliber machine guns to ward off unwanted boarders. For several hours throughout that day, Israeli Air Force reconnaissance planes had been flying over the Liberty in what seemed like attempts to identify it. The crew felt no threat – quite the opposite, Israel was a U.S. ally.

The General's Son, Journey of an Israeli in PalestineThen, at 14:00 hours, (2:00 PM local time) and without any warning, Israeli fighter jets launched an attack on USS Liberty. The attack included rockets, cannon fire, and even napalm, a toxic, flammable combination of gel and petroleum that sticks to the skin and causes severe burns.

The attack ended with 34 U.S. sailors dead and 174 injured, many seriously. As the wounded were being evacuated, an officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence instructed the men not to talk to the press about their ordeal.

Within three weeks of the attack, the Navy put out a 700-page report exonerating the Israelis, claiming the attack had been accidental and that the Israelis had pulled back as soon as they realized their mistake. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara suggested the whole affair should be forgotten. “These errors do occur,” McNamara concluded. The U.S. desire to see the Soviet arms that Israel had in its possession had something to do with the ease with which the Pentagon swept this affair under the rug.

In 2003, almost forty years after the fact, the “Moorer Commission,” an independent commission chaired by retired Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, United States Navy, was established in order to investigate the attack. The commission included a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired admirals, and a former ambassador. Among its findings are the following:

That Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned the Liberty’s firefighters, stretcher-bearers and the life rafts that had been lowered into the water to rescue the most seriously wounded.”

That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack […] never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack.”

That surviving crew members were threatened with “court-martial, imprisonment or worse” if they exposed the truth.”

That due to continuing pressure by the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, this attack remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress.”

In five days it was over. The war ended as expected, with a massive Israeli victory. The IDF destroyed the armies of the Arab countries around it. The death toll was 18,000 Arab soldiers and 700 Israeli soldiers.

In retrospect, one would do well to stop calling what took place in June of 1967 a war, but rather an Israeli assault on its neighboring countries. The name Six-Day War was no coincidence. Israel took the name from the Jewish scriptures, more specifically from the prayer book, where one sees reference after reference to the divine creation or The Six Days of creation.

Feature Photo | 1967 generals victory photo with the President of Israel Zalman Shazar. Photo | Courtesy | Miko Peled

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The post The Six-Day War: The Myth of an Israeli David Versus an Arab Goliath appeared first on MintPress News.

Extortion, Entitlement and Mafia-Style Tactics Mark Israel’s Current State of Affairs

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 11:15pm in

Anyone who is not yet alarmed may not be aware of the underhanded mafia-style tactics, political extortion, and patronizing sense of entitlement currently on display in Israel. The following developments demonstrate how the county operates both internally and in the international arena.

 

Czech Foreign Minister slammed!

As Israel prepares to formally annex large tracts of the West Bank, Tomas Petricek, the Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister, was quoted as saying that “annexation is forbidden by international law and also raises serious questions about Israel’s future as a democracy.” By any normal diplomatic standard this statement does not represent a view that is outrageous or radical in any way, nor is it out of the ordinary or untruthful in any way. In fact, it is such a reasonable statement that it is hardly deserving of a headline. The annexation of occupied lands is a breach of international law and the democratic nature of the state of Israel is already questionable.

However, the government in Prague reacted to this statement in a way that is puzzling at best, and at worst, should be of great concern to our friends in the Czech Republic. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “the Czech prime minister and the president are reportedly weighing firing Petricek after he co-authored an editorial saying that West Bank annexation raises serious questions about Israel’s future as a democracy.”

According to a report from Radio Prague International, the article was co-written by Petricek and two of his predecessors, Lubomír Zaoralek and Karel Schwarzenberg. The report says that “In a piece in the newspaper Právo on Saturday the three said that Israel’s proposal would contravene international law.”

However, Czech President Milos Zeman is a staunch supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and even promised to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem. Zeman said that the article undermined relations between the Czech Republic and Israel.

For his part, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis criticized Petricek and Zaoralek, who is now serving as the Czech Minister of Arts, saying, “it was unacceptable for individual cabinet members to make statements on such an important foreign policy issue.”

The editorial co-written by the three ministers also stated that “Neither the Israelis nor the Americans have as yet clarified what is to happen, in the long run, to the Palestinians,” and it further posed the question, “what about Israeli democracy if the state comprises of first and second-class citizens?”

The affair has prompted the Czech parliament to hold a debate on a motion “Reaffirming our [Czech] friendship with Israel.” This friendship, which has a long history, includes selling arms to Zionist militias and then the Israeli army in the early years of the Israeli state. Those arms would later be used in a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.

 

The great looting

It has been widely publicized that Israel’s international spy agency has been tasked by the prime minister to find much-needed medical equipment to combat COVID-19. There are even quotes from national security observers saying that “the Mossad’s speed, spycraft, and international networks would make it good at identifying and securing medical supplies.”

Now, a story in the Israeli paper Ynet reveals the full extent of the Mossad’s massive coronavirus protective gear haul.

“The intelligence agency’s internal report obtained by Ynet counts over 80 million face masks, nearly 30 tons of disinfectants and over 10,000 ventilators” obtained in the effort. The report further says that Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen utilized his “personal connections with various nations around the world, including countries that have no diplomatic ties with Israel.”

Mossad is known for its murderous tactics and underhanded methods used in spying operations and assassinations. Seeing this report, one dreads to imagine what methods were used to secure such enormous amounts of medical equipment.

“According to the report, the amount of medical gear and equipment obtained since the start of the outbreak includes 2.5 million protective goggles, with a further 5.5 million still to arrive; some 80 million surgical face masks, with a further 142 million still to arrive; 1.3 million of N-95 type face masks, with a further 14 million still to arrive; 180 million elastic gloves; over 30 tons of disinfectants and at least 1,300 ventilators, with another 4,700 expected to arrive between June and October.”

Israel has always prided itself in its agencies’ capacity to lie, cheat, bribe, and even kill if need be to achieve its objectives. No agency personifies these traits better than Mossad and one may safely assume that it utilized its full capacity in accomplishing this mission as well.

 

Security cooperation

As Israel announced it would move ahead with plans to annex parts of the West Bank on July 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced that it will end all security cooperation with Israel in response to the annexation.

The establishment of the Palestinian Authority and its security cooperation with Israel were never meant to help Palestinians. They were created for the sole purpose of allowing Israel to strengthen its grip on Palestinian land, resources, and even the population. The Hebrew daily Maariv featured an interview with Israeli military correspondent Tal Lev-Ram who predicted that Israel’s implementation of the annexation combined with the economic difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic is a sure recipe for an escalation of hostilities. Lev-Ram goes on to say that security cooperation between Israel and the PA does not currently exist on any level.

Be that as it may, the truth of the matter is that the so-called security cooperation was more of a collaboration and only benefited Israel. Israeli forces operated freely in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the agreement offered no security or protection for Palestinians who were targeted by Israel.

Not only were Palestinians not protected by the agreement, Israel, in fact, never stopped the killing, detentions, and home demolitions which have become a part of the daily life of Palestinians. Furthermore, Palestinian officials are required to request permits from the Israeli military even for travel of short distances while Israelis roam around the West Bank freely.

The entire Zionist enterprise is based on deceit and violence and anyone paying attention will notice the duplicity and violence that are on display every day.

Feature photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wearing a face mask due to the coronavirus pandemic, looks at his lawyer inside the courtroom as his corruption trial opens at the Jerusalem District Court, May 24, 2020. Ronen Zvulun Pool Photo via AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The post Extortion, Entitlement and Mafia-Style Tactics Mark Israel’s Current State of Affairs appeared first on MintPress News.