Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Brief History of Jewish Terrorism in Palestine

One can historically say that Jewish terrorism began during the Second Temple era with the Hashmonai family. During the Hellenistic period, they “conducted an ongoing campaign of guerilla warfare against Hellenistic rule in Israel,” though terrorism was a small fraction of their campaign.[1]
Their first terrorist act was the assassination of a Hellenistic envoy named Apelles, who was sent to the town of Modi’in to remind the inhabitants of the policy of assimilation advanced by Antiochus IV.[2]
Although this particular band of terrorists did not last long, many such terrorist cells came and went throughout the first century, recruiting for one purpose or another. Members of one band, Bar Giora, “were involved primarily in robbing and pillaging the property of the local aristocracy.”[3]
Another group, particularly well known among scholars and historians of various stripes, is the Sicarians, who rose to prominence around 52 AD.[4]Some scholars argue that they were active long before that period,[5] but the consensus is that these bandits were terrorists, insurrectionists and revolutionaries.
They were “the first group to systematically engage in terrorism…The origin of the name of the sect is still a source of dispute. One school claims that they were named after the dagger (sicca), which they used to kill their opponents. Another school asserts that the origins of the name come from the Latin word sicarius, which means killer-assassins.”[6]
The metaphysical worldview of this group can still be found in one form or another in present-day Israel.
“The Sicarian worldview can be discerned even in the ideological fundamentals of Jewish terrorist associations nearly 2,000 years after the disappearance of the original sect.”[7]
They “did not refrain from terrorizing moderate Jews who sought to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a major confrontation. Like other groups of zealots, the Sicarians engaged in guerilla warfare, but at the same time they also perfected operational methods that can be equated with those of modern-day terrorist groups. Their principal operational tactics were political assassinations and kidnappings as bargaining chips.”[8]
More often,
“assassinations were carried out in Jerusalem on holidays, when the city was swarming with pilgrims. The assassins mingled with the crowds of celebrators and stabbed their victims with small daggers in broad daylight.
“In this fashion, the Sicarians murdered the High Priest Yonatan, who had tried to prevent the rebellion against the Romans, and later, during the course of the rebellion, they took the lives of the priest Hanan Ben Hanan and his brother Hezekiah.”[9]
When the Sicarians got into Jerusalem in AD 66, “they burned the archives containing the records of debt.”[10]
The Sicarians were largely responsible for the war which started in A.D. 66, during which the Temple was burned to the ground and which ended in the tragedy of Masada, where 967 Jewish individuals committed mass suicide.[11]
Some scholars have claimed that the Zealots and Sicarians were almost indistinguishable or that the Zealots were offshoots of the Sicarians.[12] Others have argued that while they were similar, both being “mutually hostile,” they had their distinct features.[13]
A common denominator that united both groups was that no one was exempt from assassination, and Christians were also a primary target.[14] It was a time of great persecution against the church.[15]
The Roman’s destruction of the Temple left an indelible mark on many Jews.
“The failure of the Great Revolt and the subsequent forced exile left deep scars in the Jewish collective memory. The fear that violence might lead to a similar tragedy remained so profound among the Jews that the Halacha (Jewish law) adopted a specific directive aimed at avoiding any future signs of rebellion that might again provoke the anger of the gentiles.”[16]
After the fall of Jerusalem, most of the Sicarians fled to Egypt, where they continued to engage in subversive activities.[17]
During the nineteenth century, the ideological foundation of the Sicarians, though not in its first-century form, was resurrected during the Bolshevik Revolution, where Jewish revolutionaries attempted
“to undermine the tsar’s rule. One of the most famous insurgents was Dmitri Bogrov, who came from a Jewish family in Kiev. On September 14, 1911, Bogrov shot dead the tsar’s prime minister, Pyotr Stolypin, while he was attending a performance at the Kiev Opera House.
“The killing took place in the presence of Tsar Nicholas II, who was sitting close to the prime minister, and it was designed to incite political instability and ultimately inspire revolutionary fervor in Russia.”[18]
Ten days later, Bogrov was executed.
Terrorist activity did not die out with Bogrov. The Weatherman Underground movement was another largely Jewish terrorist group that sought to undermine American involvement in Vietnam.
“Members of the movement, many of them Jews, did not hesitate in engaging in classic terrorist tactics such as planting explosive charges and committing arson in order to advance their ideological goals.
“The Jewish terrorists who operated in tsarist Russia and those in Nixon-era America shared the fact that they were young men and women with a developed sense of political awareness and were wholly committed to the political concerns that plagued their compatriots.”[19]
They justified their terrorist acts “by claiming revenge for the harm done to their people or the need for self-defense.”[20]
Yet again Jewish terrorism continued “with the resurgence of the Jewish settlement project in modern-day Eretz Israel (Land of Israel).”[21]
Both violence and terrorism were considered “a crucial component in the evolution of the Jewish nation,”[22]and both violence and terrorism, as we shall see, eventually morphed into ethnic cleansing. “By the time the Arab Revolt began to flag in 1939, Etzel had become highly skilled in executing acts of terrorism.”
During the span of three years, the group carried out sixty operations that took the lives of more than 120 Palestinians and injured hundreds more.”[23] Etzel also “targeted British police and army men known for their tough attitudes toward Jewish prisoners.”[24]
From the formation of Israel all the way to our modern era, terrorism has played a central force in the political and ideological landscape of Israel, and Israel’s support of terrorist groups such as the MEK, assassinated Iranian scientists over the years, is a manifestation of that tradition.
The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was a member of a terrorist organization called the Stern Gang that led to the assassination of British Resident Minister in the Middle East Lord Moyne in August 1944. Moyne was Winston Churchill’s representative in Cairo.[25]
Since the British did not keep their promise of helping the Jewish people establish a Jewish state, British ambassadors such as Moyne had to go.
“The target of Lord Moyne was not chosen at random. The notion of assassinating a high-profile British figure in the Middle East had already been conceived by Avraham (Yair) Stern, leader of the Lehi [a terrorist group], as far back as 1941 and three years before Moyne had even assumed his duties in this role.”[26]
One of the organization’s jobs was to get involved “in clandestine activities,” including terrorist acts “against the British.”[27] Three months earlier, they attempted to assassinate British High Commissioner Sir Harold MacMichael.
Yitzhak Shamir
Nazi Yitzhak Shamir
Shamir was implicated in those terrorist acts,[28] as well as being linked to the death of Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte and the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 that took the lives of 91 people. To save his skin, he fled to Ethiopia and French Somaliland until 1948.[29]
When Shamir passed away in the summer of 2012, Shimon Peres declared that he was a “brave hero.” Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that Shamir
“belonged to the generation of giants who established the State of Israel and fought for the freedom of the Jewish people on their land…
“He fought with courage against the British mandate in the days of the underground and his incredible contribution to the State of Israel during his time in the Mossad will remain forever enshrined in the tales of bravery of our nation”[30]
Both the New York Times and CNN avoided mentioning Shamir’s terrorist acts, despite the fact that they were well known. Instead, theNew York Times declared that Shamir was part of a “Jewish militia”![31]
As Julian Ozanne of the Financial Times put it, Shamir’s penchant for terrorist organizations “often appeared to have defined his core character.”[32] But this “core character,” which seems to jive with Netanyahu’s policy with respect to the Palestinians,[33] will not see the light of day in the media any time soon.
Shamir was a flaming Zionist.[34] He had little regard for international law and “a deep hatred for Arabs.”[35]Israeli writer Uri Avnery called Shamir “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century.”[36]
Like Shamir, Avnery joined the underground Irgun organization. Avnery knew Shamir personally, but eventually Avnery became disenchanted with the organization and embraced peaceful solutions. Avnery writes,
“Many years later I asked [Shamir] which historical personality he admired most. He answered without hesitation: Lenin.”[37]
The bombing of the King David Hotel
The bombing of the King David Hotel
Shamir’s acts of terrorism were one thing, but Israel continued to commit acts of terrorism without any substantial reprimand from the West. In the summer of 1946, British soldiers arrested 2,700 members of an underground group, which led to its abandonment.[38] Yet one month later:
“On July 26, members of an Etzel cell disguised as Arabs infiltrated the kitchen of the Café La Regence at the lavish King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The hotel had originally opened its doors in 1931 and seven years later was transformed into the nerve center of the British Mandate.
“Members of the cell placed milk containers full of explosives in the southern wing of the hotel and then quickly left the vicinity. Despite the fact that the Etzel gave warning of the explosives, the hotel management was not able to evacuate all its occupants.
“The ensuing explosion caused the collapse of the southern wing of the hotel; 91 Britons, Arabs, and Jews were buried under the ruins, and 476 more were injured.”[39]
The terrorist pattern continued in 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly Resolution authorized the establishment of two states. The terrorist group the Lehi responded
with a series of terrorist attacks, which included the bombing of the offices of the British shipping company in Haifa, shooting attacks on police in Jerusalem, and a brazen attack on the Astoria Café in Haifa.
“In the latter incident, which targeted British soldiers and police who frequented the café, three Lehi members equipped with machine guns and grenades stormed into the restaurant, began spraying gunfire in all directions, and then made their getaway in a car waiting outside for them.”[40]
Yet even though the band was dismantled, the spirit never died out. It rose from the ashes, and assassinations of dissenting Jews became ubiquitous—the most notable was the assassination of Israel Kastner in 1957.[41]
Terrorist activities were reincarnated shortly after the establishment of Israel among the terrorist group Brit Haknaim, whose name meant “Covenant of the Zealots.”[42] After Brit Haknaim, we had Gush the Emunim and the Kahanist movements, two religious and terrorist groups.[43]

Arnon Milchan and his bodies
Arnon Milchan and his bodies
 The terrorist spirit moved into different zones from the late 70s to the 90s. For example, when the bookConfidential was released—a book which showed that both Netanyahu and Peres have been using espionage against the U.S. through Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan—Netanyahu told Milchan to “avoid any public discussion of the book Confidential, asserting that the matter is too sensitive at this time.”[44]
As I have already shown, the Mossad has been involved in underground operations such as this for decades. We know that Israeli officials have been propagating fabrications against Iran for months in order for the West to strike Iran.
We know that Israel has a long history of “stealing passports and other IDs to carry out false flag operations.”[45]In New Zealand in 2004 Mossad agents Eli Cara and Uriel Kelman attempted to steal New Zealand passports, which created friction between Israel and New Zealand.[46]
Fran O’Sullivan of the New Zealand Herald wrote, “Israel was caught using Canadian passports as part of a botched attempt to assassinate a Jordanian leader in 1997.”[47] O’Sullivan continued to say that the New Zealand Herald has found that, among other things:
“A high-profile Israeli MP believes the state of Israel ‘wants to do killings’ but should penetrate hostile countries using identities gained with the help of friendly intelligence agencies.
“Charges of anti-Jewish sentiment against the Clark Government within New Zealand and Israel could just as easily be laid against most European nations, judging by their UN voting records.
“Some New Zealanders living in Israel are prepared to ‘lend’ their New Zealand passports to Mossad to help fight terrorists. Israeli security analysts believe Mossad was operating a ‘passport factory’ here and in Israel, using disabled people’s identities.”[48]
Israel in 2005 admitted that the Mossad had a black operation in New Zealand.[49] Lord Rothschild did the same thing in Britain, stealing
“‘all major UK/US weapons developments in the Second World War,’ including biological warfare, the atomic bomb and radar.”[50]
Rothschild, who died in 1990, “was involved ‘in so many aspects of spying that he seemed like a superagent, sabotaging every Western intelligence initiative for 20 years after the war.’”[51]
In 2010, the Mossad used fake passports from Britain, Ireland, and France to assassinate Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.[52] The Iranian dissidents who assassinated the Iranian scientists have since confessed that they were trained by the Mossad in Israel.[53]
We are seeing how Israel has instructed its embassies in at least ten European countries to recruit 1,000 members to promote pro-Israel activist propaganda.[54]
In a nutshell, Israel is a master of black operation. Zionist groups in Israel have supported terrorist organizations and groups since the inception of Israel. And supporting the Syrian rebels/terrorists is another manifestation of that pattern.
Although some Syrian rebels are also members of Al Qaeda,[55] neither the United States nor Israel has said a word about this precisely because the Zionist state pretends to fight terrorism but in practicality supports it. Of the 300 rebel groups, a quarter of them are reported to be inspired by Al Qaeda.[56] It is also reported the same Al Qaeda groups are behind bombings in Syria.[57]
Despite all of that, the CIA was still sending aid to the Syrian rebels.[58] It was obvious for countries like Russia to implicate the United States in all of these acts, most specifically in the bombing of Damascus on July 18, when the United States refused to acknowledge that it was an act of terrorism.[59]
In 1976, the BBC recounted that the Israel was behind the hijackers at Entebbe airport in Uganda who took control of an Air France flight with Israeli passengers. Israel collaborated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in order to hijack the plane and blamed it on other entities. Three Israeli civilians died in the process.[60]
When the hostages were finally rescued, Israel was praised for the mission, called “Operation Jonathan.” Yonatan Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, was the unit leader who was killed in the false flag operation.[61]
In a document from the National Archives, D.H. Colvin of the Paris embassy wrote that Israel was involved in this terrorist act for a specific reason.
“The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO’s standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans.”[62]
Even in the United States, Jewish terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang tried to assassinate Harris Truman, according to Truman’s daughter Margaret.[63] As Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich puts it, “When it comes to Israel’s political agenda, no sacrifice is too great.”[64]
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[1] Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel (New York: Columbia University. Press, 2011), 1.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid., 5.
[4] J. Julius Scott, Jr., Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995), 214.
[5] See Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New York: Scribner, 1891); Mark Andrew Brighton, The Sicarii in Jusephus’s Judean War: Rhetorical Analysis and Historical Observation(Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).
[6] Pedahzur & Arie, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 6.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid., 7; also Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion(New York: HarperOne, 2011), 43, 63; Scott, Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament, 214.
[10] Stark, Triumph of Christianity, 43.
[11] Ibid.
[12] See Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891).
[13] See Mark Andrew Brighton, The Sicarii in Jusephus’s Judean War (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).
[14] Stark, Triumph of Christianity, 63.
[15] Ibid., 63-65.
[16] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 8.
[17] Scott, Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament, 214.
[18] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 8.
[19] Ibid., 8-9.
[20] Ibid., 9.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Ibid., 11.
[23] Ibid., 13.
[24] Ibid., 14.
[25] Julian Ozanne, “Unflinching Supporter of Greater Israel,” Financial Times, June 30, 2012; Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 18-20.
[26] Ibid., 19.
[27] Black & Morris, Israel’s Secret Wars, 196.
[28] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 21.
[29] “Yitzhak Shamir,” Telegraph, June 30, 2012.
[30] “Yitzhak Shamir, Former Israeli PM, Dies,” CNN, July 2, 2012; Gil Hoffman, “Former PM Shamir Passes Away at Age 96 in Tel Aviv,” Jerusalem Post, June 30, 2012.
[31] Joel Brinkley, “Yitzhak Shamir, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Dies at 96,” NY Times, June 30, 2012.
[32] Julian Ozanne, “Unflinching Supporter of Greater Israel,” Financial Times, June 30, 2012.
[33] “PM: Shamir Saw, Understood Fundamental Truths,” Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2012.
[34] Gil Hoffman, “Former PM Shamir Passes Away at Age 96 in Tel Aviv,” Jerusalem Post, June 30, 2012.
[35] Ozanne, “Unflinching Supporter of Greater Israel,” Financial Times, June 30, 2012.
[36] Uri Avnery, “Two Faces: Israel’s Prime Ministers,”, July 14,
[38] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 23.
[39] Ibid., 24.
[40] Ibid., 26.
[41] Ibid., 29.
[42] Ibid., 33.
[43] Ibid., 37.
[44] Grant Smith, “Netanyahu Worked Inside Nuclear Smuggling Ring,”, July 4, 2012.
[45] Sepahpour-Ulrich, “Bulgaria—Terror Attack on Rotten Fish?,”, July 20, 2012.
[46] Fran O’Sullivan, “Goff Likely to Face Israel at UN Debate,” New Zealand Herald, September 21, 2004.
[47] Ibid.
[48] Ibid.
[49] “Israel ‘Admits’ to NZ Spy Mission,” New Zealand Herald, October 27, 2005; “Spies Law Overhaul,” New Zealand Herald, March 7, 2006.
[50] David Leitch, “Rothschild ‘Spied as the Fifth Man,’” Independent, October 23, 1994.
[51] Ibid.
[52] Ilene R. Prusher, “Was Mossad Behind Dubai Assassination? Israel Foreign Minister Isn’t Saying,” Christian Science Monitor, February 7, 2010; Dan Murphy, “In Dubai, Hit Squad Used Mossad-Style Tactics to Kill Hamas Leader,” Christian Science Monitor, February 16, 2010.
[53] “Iranians ‘Confess’ to Nuclear Scientist Murders on State Television,” Guardian, August 6, 2012.
[54] Harriet Sherwood, “Israel Recruits Citizen Advocates in Europe,” Guardian, November 28, 2010.
[55] Rod Nordland, “Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role in Syria’s Conflict,” NY Times, July 24, 2012
[56] Ken Dilanian, “CIA Absence from Syria a Setback for U.S., Officials Say,” LA Times, July 24, 2012.
[57] Jonathan S. Landay, “U.S. Officials: Al Qaida Behind Syria Bombings,” Mc-Clatchy Newspapers, February 10, 2012.
[58] Eric Schmitt, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” NY Times, June 21, 2012; Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly, “Syrian Rebels Get Influx of Arms with Gulf Neighbors’ Money, U.S. Coordination,”Washington Post, May 15, 2012.
[59] “Lavrov: U.S. Reaction to Terror Attack in Damascus a Direct Justification of Terrorism,” Kyiv Post, July 25, 2012.
[60] Dan Parkinson, “Israel Hijack Role ‘Was Queried,’” BBC, June 6, 2007.
[61] Sepahpour-Ulrich, “Terror Attack on Rotten Fish?,”, July 20, 2012.
[62] Parkinson, “Israel Hijack Role ‘Was Queried,’” BBC, June 6, 2007.
[63] Margaret Truman, Harry Truman (New York: Avon Books, 1993), 533-534.
[64] Sepahpour-Ulrich, “Terror Attack on Rotten Fish?,”, July 20, 2012.
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Confronted With Criticism, Israel’s Response Is Always the Same: “Anti-Semitism”

By Allan C. Brownfeld

Criticism of Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and its denial of equal citizenship to non-Jews, along with the peace initiative by Secretary of State John Kerry, the growth of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and the Presbyterian Church’s study guide “Zionism Unsettled” (see facing page), all have received the same response from Israel and many of its American friends: charges of “anti-Semitism.”
This, of course, is nothing new. “Anti-Semitism,” traditionally having meant hostility to Jews and Judaism—despite the fact that Arabs themselves are Semites—was long ago recast by the organized Jewish community to mean criticism of Israel. When that criticism comes from Jews, as it increasingly does, such critics are dismissed as “self-hating Jews.”
This tactic not only trivializes genuine anti-Semitism, which all people of good will vigorously oppose, but it clearly doesn’t work—since criticism of Israel and its ever-expanding occupation is growing.
Consider some recent examples of this tactic. On Feb. 17, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, called the BDS movement “anti-Semitic.”
He declared: “There is a new campaign against us. Having failed to dislodge us with weapons, with armies, with terrorists, with rockets, with missiles, they now think that they will dislodge us with boycotts.…and I think the most eerie thing, the most disgraceful thing, is to have people on the soil of Europe talking about the boycott of Jews. I think that’s an outrage.…In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu, who repeatedly confuses “Jews” and “Israelis”—and who is not content to speak for his own citizens but, with no mandate to do so, speaks on behalf of “the Jewish people,” the majority of whom are citizens of other countries—repeatedly evokes the horror of Nazi Germany. He told the American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem: “It’s time to delegitimize the delegitimizers. And it’s time that we fight back. I know all of you participate in this.”

Knesset member Motl Yogev said that Kerry’s efforts had “an undertone of anti-Semitism.”

While American Jewish leaders may be prepared to take their marching orders from Netanyahu, however, many in Israel who oppose the occupation and the mistreatment of Palestinians are not. In fact, many Israelis who object to the occupation have long boycotted products from West Bank settlements. The leader of the Israeli party Meretz said she practices a boycott of settlement products and supports an EU policy to not invest over the Green Line. “I haven’t bought products from the settlements for years,” said Zehava Gal-On.
“For many years, nobody succeeded in convincing the Israeli public that the occupation had a price,” she noted, “and I think that the occupation—which is a moral issue also—has a financial price that the state is paying. The country’s leaders need to understand that it has a price.”
According to New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, however, the BDS movement harbors “anti-Semitism” because it would deny “the core of the Zionist idea that Jews have a national home.” And Times reporter Jodi Rudoren wrote a piece quoting right-wing Israelis saying BDS is immoral and anti-Semitic and reminiscent of Nazi tactics. The reaction of New York Times readers was overwhelmingly critical of attaching the “anti-Semitic” label to the BDS movement, which includes many Jews and Israelis in its ranks.
Writing in Politico last Dec. 20, Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., an American who abandoned his U.S. citizenship and emigrated to Israel, refers to the president of the American Studies Association, an academic body which voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions, as “anti-Semitic.” ASA president Prof. Curtis Marez declared in response to criticism that “Americans have a particular responsibility to answer the call for boycott because the U.S. is the largest supplier of military aid to the state of Israel.” Any evidence of bigotry on the part of Professor Marez appears to be non-existent.
Secretary of State John Kerry has come under withering attack in Israel for pursuing the peace process. Some Orthodox rabbis have suggested that he would suffer divine retribution for his efforts to achieve a two-state solution. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was quoted in Yediot Ahronot on Jan. 14 as saying that Kerry’s diplomatic efforts stemmed from an “incomprehensible obsession” and a “messianic feeling,” adding that Kerry should “take his Nobel Prize and leave us alone.” He described the U.S. security plan that retired U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen put together as “not worth the paper it was written on.”

Obsessed With Economics?

In the Feb. 7-13 edition of the International Jerusalem Post,columnist Caroline Glick made it clear that, in her view, Kerry is simply “anti-Semitic.” According to Glick, “Kerry is obsessed with Israel’s economic success...The anti-Semitic undertones of Kerry’s constant chatter about Jews and money are obvious. But beyond their inherent bigotry, Kerry’s statements legitimize the radical Left’s economic war against the Jewish state.”
At the same time, Moti Yogev, a Knesset member in the governing coalition, said that Kerry’s efforts at achieving a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians had “an undertone of anti-Semitism.”
Writing in Yediot Ahronot on Feb. 15, Cameron Kerry, a brother of the secretary of state and until last year general counsel to the U.S. Department of Commerce, declared that charges of “anti-Semitism” against his brother “would be ridiculous if they were not so vile.” Cameron Kerry, a convert to Judaism, recalled relatives who died in the Holocaust. The Kerrys’ paternal grandparents were Jewish.
The reaction to the Presbyterian study guide, “Zionism Unsettled,” issued in January by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was vitriolic. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) claimed the study guide “may be the most anti-Semitic document to come out of a mainline church in recent memory.” J Street, which promotes itself as a more moderate pro-Israel lobbying group than AIPAC, was almost as harsh. It said that the church document promotes “polarization” and “intolerance.” Saying it was “deeply offended,” J Street asserted that “one has to question the...motives in publishing this ‘resource.’”
In fact, the church document, which examines the role of Zionism and Christian Zionism in shaping attitudes and events in Palestine and the region, devotes extensive space to a discussion—and harsh criticism—of anti-Semitism within Christianity and its influence in the rise of Nazism. It rejects racism and religious bigotry in all its forms. And it has many strong Jewish supporters. Rabbi Brant Rosen, author of Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity (available from the AET Bookstore), notes that, “As a Jew, I’m especially appreciative that while [Zionism Unsettled] is strongly critical of Zionism, it doesn’t flinch from extensive Christian self-criticism.”
Discussing the Presbyterian study guide, the respected Israeli political scientist Neve Gordon said, “I welcome the effort to emphasize a conception of Judaism and Christianity that espouses universalistic ethics—whereby all humans are imago dei—and to use it to expose injustices carried out in my homeland.”
Perhaps the organized Jewish community is so exercised by this Presbyterian study guide because it asks a question they cannot—or will not—answer: “Given the liberal values shared by many American Jews and the long, proud tradition of Jewish participation in the struggle for human rights worldwide, why has there been so little outrage expressed at Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians in the decades since Israel’s founding?”
One need not agree with the BDS movement, Secretary Kerry’s peace plan or the Presbyterian study to recognize that false charges of “anti-Semitism” are simply a way to silence and intimidate criticism. Ironically, as such false charges proliferate, so does the growth of racism and intolerance in Israel, where non-Orthodox Jews have no right to perform weddings, funerals or conversions. Recently, Knesset member David Rotem declared that Reform Judaism “is not Jewish.”
Jewish and other critics of Zionism have shown that false charges of “anti-Semitism” will hardly stop the growing debate. As Prof. Judith Butler of the University of California, Berkeley, an outspoken Jewish critic, wrote in the Aug. 21, 2003 issue of the London Review of Books: “If one can’t voice an objection to violence done by Israel without attracting a charge of anti-Semitism, then that charge works to circumscribe the publicly acceptable domain of speech, and to immunize Israeli violence against criticism. One is threatened with the label ‘anti-Semite’ in the same way one is threatened with being called a ‘traitor’ if one opposes the most recent U.S. war [on Iraq]. Such threats aim to define the limits of the public sphere by setting limits on the speakable. The world of public discourse would then be one from which critical perspective would be excluded, and the public would come to understand itself as one that does not speak out in the face of obvious and illegitimate violence.”
Efforts to intimidate free speech with false charges of “anti-Semitism” have grown since Dr. Butler wrote those words. But this tactic of intimidation has clearly failed. Real problems must be addressed with real discussion and debate. Only those who have something to lose by open debate would use the tactics we have seen deployed by Israel and its most fervent American supporters.  

Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor ofIssues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.
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Weapons, Prostitutes and Drugs –These are Things Petro Poroshenko is Associated With

Gregory KOLYADA | 24.05.2014

No matter how few people may take part in the Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, the outcome is known in advance – Petro Poroshenko, the US favorite rote son, will be declared the winner of the race. The result will further split the country. Many regions refuse to recognize as President this chocolate king who is notorious for pocketing government money. Poroshenko has no chance to stop the bloody conflict even scrupulously carrying out all the orders given by Joe Biden, Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt. Besides, the mission of putting an end to bloodshed has never been set by his US bosses… 

Billionaire Poroshenko started his business by laundering the money of Soviet times’ administrators. He has never been an entrepreneur to start a business of his own. The story is invented. He made a head start thanks to the criminal connections of his father sentenced for large-scale theft in 1986. Having served the sentence, Poroshenko Sr. launched his own business making his son involved in the activities. The business was dirty, it all started with plundering state property by armed gangs. The Poroshenko family had plans to expand the activities beyond Ukraine. Tatyana Mikoyan, a well-known Kiev-based lawyer, remembers what the family did in Transnistria, «It was horrible back in the 1990s: illegal arms, prostitutes, drugs – all bringing profits to father and son». Poroshenko Sr. was awarded for his merits – in 2009 he received the Hero of Ukraine decoration bought for him by his son who paid to then President Yushenko, the Godfather to Petro Poroshenko’s children. The would-be President-elect is well known for misappropriating budget funds. He has the reputation of someone who knows how to make money out of thin air. Many times he has been accused of being involved in large scale corruption schemes, open lobbying, embezzlement of budget allocations, tax evasion, illegal operations to acquire shares and physically threatening political opponents and competitors. Certainly he is not just another swindler but a tycoon, an owner of huge and diversified business empire. 

Forbes lists Petro Poroshenko as the 130th richest Jew in the world with 1, 6 billion dollars. The would-be President of Ukraine Poroshenko was born Waltzman. Poroshenko is his mother’s name, she was also a Jew. In the past Poroshenko was a sponsor of Our Ukraine and Victor Yushchenko. His business empire also includes the 5th TV channel known for vehement anti-Russian propaganda. Until recently his Roshen confectionary manufacturing group had earned hundreds of millions in US dollars making business in Russia. As of 2012, Roshen accounted for 3, 2% of Russian market (the 6th largest producer). He always used the money earned for anti-Russian projects. 

The presidential hopeful and tomorrow’s President-elect makes the return of Crimea to Ukraine and defending the country from «outside intervention» his foreign policy priorities. It’s hard to find anything stated in concrete terms in his program. There is nothing definite there. Instead it is full of empty calls for making a «free European state», «revive military might» etc. Many find his speeches repugnant, especially when Poroshenko starts telling stories about «patriotism», «national unity» and «protection of human rights». 

Petro Poroshenko is a political chameleon. This tycoon was very cynical as he went into politics. He did it for personal enrichment. He is full of ambitions and outright lust for power but lacks a professional team to work effectively or impress public. He is rather led by greed than ideas. 

Now Poroshenko exercises control over local authorities in the Vinnytsia, Volyn, Chernovitsy and Zaporozhye regions dreaming of spreading his power to the whole Ukraine. His propensity to get involved in monkey business can hardly be restrained. Poroshenko is one of the most odious figures in Ukrainian politics and heads the list of the country’s corrupted persons. Having suffered so many failures, he is going to become the country’s next President with Washington’s blessing. 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Snowden on the darkest corners of US govt.

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Security State by Glenn Greenwald, published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Security State by Glenn Greenwald, published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Tue May 13, 2014 2:4PM GMT

This essay is a shortened and adapted version of Chapter 1 of Glenn Greenwald’s new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Security State, and appears at with the kind permission of Metropolitan Books.]
On December 1, 2012, I received my first communication from Edward Snowden, although I had no idea at the time that it was from him.
The contact came in the form of an email from someone calling himself Cincinnatus, a reference to Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, the Roman farmer who, in the fifth century BC, was appointed dictator of Rome to defend the city against attack. He is most remembered for what he did after vanquishing Rome’s enemies: he immediately and voluntarily gave up political power and returned to farming life. Hailed as a “model of civic virtue,” Cincinnatus has become a symbol of the use of political power in the public interest and the worth of limiting or even relinquishing individual power for the greater good.

The email began: “The security of people’s communications is very important to me,” and its stated purpose was to urge me to begin using PGP encryption so that “Cincinnatus” could communicate things in which, he said, he was certain I would be interested. Invented in 1991, PGP stands for “pretty good privacy.” It has been developed into a sophisticated tool to shield email and other forms of online communications from surveillance and hacking.

In this email, “Cincinnatus” said he had searched everywhere for my PGP “public key,” a unique code set that allows people to receive encrypted email, but could not find it. From this, he concluded that I was not using the program and told me, “That puts anyone who communicates with you at risk. I’m not arguing that every communication you are involved in be encrypted, but you should at least provide communicants with that option.”

“Cincinnatus” then referenced the sex scandal of General David Petraeus, whose career-ending extramarital affair with journalist Paula Broadwell was discovered when investigators found Google emails between the two. Had Petraeus encrypted his messages before handing them over to Gmail or storing them in his drafts folder, he wrote, investigators would not have been able to read them. “Encryption matters, and it is not just for spies and philanderers.” 
“There are people out there you would like to hear from,” he added, “but they will never be able to contact you without knowing their messages cannot be read in transit.” Then he offered to help me install the program.  He signed off: “Thank you. C.”

Using encryption software was something I had long intended to do. I had been writing for years about WikiLeaks, whistleblowers, the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous, and had also communicated with people inside the U.S. national security establishment. Most of them are concerned about the security of their communications and preventing unwanted monitoring. But the program is complicated, especially for someone who had very little skill in programming and computers, like me. So it was one of those things I had never gotten around to doing.

C.’s email did not move me to action. Because I had become known for covering stories the rest of the media often ignores, I frequently hear from all sorts of people offering me a “huge story,” and it usually turns out to be nothing. And at any given moment I am usually working on more stories than I can handle. So I need something concrete to make me drop what I’m doing in order to pursue a new lead.

Three days later, I heard from C. again, asking me to confirm receipt of the first email. This time I replied quickly. “I got this and am going to work on it. I don’t have a PGP code, and don’t know how to do that, but I will try to find someone who can help me.”

C. replied later that day with a clear, step-by-step guide to PGP: Encryption for Dummies, in essence. At the end of the instructions, he said these were just “the barest basics.” If I couldn’t find anyone to walk me through the system, he added, “let me know. I can facilitate contact with people who understand crypto almost anywhere in the world.”

This email ended with more a pointed sign-off: “Cryptographically yours, Cincinnatus.”

Despite my intentions, I did nothing, consumed as I was at the time with other stories, and still unconvinced that C. had anything worthwhile to say.

In the face of my inaction, C. stepped up his efforts. He produced a 10-minute video entitled PGP for Journalists.

It was at that point that C., as he later told me, became frustrated. “Here am I,” he thought, “ready to risk my liberty, perhaps even my life, to hand this guy thousands of Top Secret documents from the nation’s most secretive agency -- a leak that will produce dozens if not hundreds of huge journalistic scoops. And he can’t even be bothered to install an encryption program.”

That’s how close I came to blowing off one of the largest and most consequential national security leaks in U.S. history.

“He’s Real”

The next I heard of any of this was 10 weeks later. On April 18th, I flew from my home in Rio de Janeiro to New York, and saw on landing at JFK Airport, that I had an email from Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker. “Any chance you’ll be in the U.S. this coming week?” she wrote. “I’d love to touch base about something, though best to do in person.”

I take seriously any message from Laura Poitras. I replied immediately: “Actually, just got to the U.S. this morning... Where are you?” We arranged a meeting for the next day in the lobby at my hotel and found seats in the restaurant. At Laura’s insistence, we moved tables twice before beginning our conversation to be sure that nobody could hear us. Laura then got down to business. She had an “extremely important and sensitive matter” to discuss, she said, and security was critical.

First, though, Laura asked that I either remove the battery from my cell phone or leave it in my hotel room. “It sounds paranoid,” she said, but the government has the capability to activate cell phones and laptops remotely as eavesdropping devices. I’d heard this before from transparency activists and hackers but tended to write it off as excess caution.  After discovering that the battery on my cell phone could not be removed, I took it back to my room, then returned to the restaurant.

Now Laura began to talk. She had received a series of anonymous emails from someone who seemed both honest and serious. He claimed to have access to some extremely secret and incriminating documents about the U.S. government spying on its own citizens and on the rest of the world. He was determined to leak these documents to her and had specifically requested that she work with me on releasing and reporting on them.

Laura then pulled several pages out of her purse from two of the emails sent by the anonymous leaker, and I read them at the table from start to finish. In the second of the emails, the leaker got to the crux of what he viewed as his mission:

The shock of this initial period [after the first revelations] will provide the support needed to build a more equal internet, but this will not work to the advantage of the average person unless science outpaces law. By understanding the mechanisms through which our privacy is violated, we can win here. We can guarantee for all people equal protection against unreasonable search through universal laws, but only if the technical community is willing to face the threat and commit to implementing over-engineered solutions. In the end, we must enforce a principle whereby the only way the powerful may enjoy privacy is when it is the same kind shared by the ordinary: one enforced by the laws of nature, rather than the policies of man.

“He’s real,” I said when I finished reading. “I can’t explain exactly why, but I just feel intuitively that this is serious, that he’s exactly who he says he is.”

“So do I,” Laura replied. “I have very little doubt.”

I instinctively recognized the author’s political passion. I felt a kinship with our correspondent, with his worldview, and with the sense of urgency that was clearly consuming him.

In one of the last passages, Laura’s correspondent wrote that he was completing the final steps necessary to provide us with the documents. He needed another four to six weeks, and we should wait to hear from him.

Three days later, Laura and I met again, and with another email from the anonymous leaker, in which he explained why he was willing to risk his liberty, to subject himself to the high likelihood of a very lengthy prison term, in order to disclose these documents. Now I was even more convinced: our source was for real, but as I told my partner, David Miranda, on the flight home to Brazil, I was determined to put the whole thing out of my mind. “It may not happen. He could change his mind. He could get caught.” David is a person of powerful intuition, and he was weirdly certain. “It’s real. He’s real. It’s going to happen,” he declared. “And it’s going to be huge.”

“I Have Only One Fear”   

A message from Laura told me we needed to speak urgently, but only through OTR (off-the-record) chat, an encrypted instrument for talking online securely.

Her news was startling: we might have to travel to Hong Kong immediately to meet our source. I had assumed that our anonymous source was in Maryland or northern Virginia. What was someone with access to top-secret U.S. government documents doing in Hong Kong?  What did Hong Kong have to do with any of this?

Answers would only come from the source himself. He was upset by the pace of things thus far, and it was critical that I speak to him directly, to assure him and placate his growing concerns. Within an hour, I received an email from Verax@******. Verax means “truth teller” in Latin. The subject line read, “Need to talk.”

“I’ve been working on a major project with a mutual friend of ours,” the email began. “You recently had to decline short-term travel to meet with me. You need to be involved in this story,” he wrote. “Is there any way we can talk on short notice? I understand you don’t have much in the way of secure infrastructure, but I’ll work around what you have.” He suggested that we speak via OTR and provided his user name.

My computer sounded a bell-like chime, signaling that the source had signed on. Slightly nervous, I clicked on his name and typed “hello.” He answered, and I found myself speaking directly to someone who I assumed had, at that point, revealed a number of secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs and who wanted to reveal more.

“I’m willing to do what I have to do to report this,” I said. The source -- whose name, place of employment, age, and all other attributes were still unknown to me -- asked if I would come to Hong Kong to meet him. I did not ask why he was there; I wanted to avoid appearing to be fishing for information and I assumed his situation was delicate. Whatever else was true, I knew that this person had resolved to carry out what the U.S. government would consider a very serious crime.

“Of course I’ll come to Hong Kong,” I said.

We spoke online that day for two hours, talking at length about his goal. I knew from the emails Laura had shown me that he felt compelled to tell the world about the massive spying apparatus the U.S. government was secretly building. But what did he hope to achieve?

“I want to spark a worldwide debate about privacy, Internet freedom, and the dangers of state surveillance,” he said. “I’m not afraid of what will happen to me. I’ve accepted that my life will likely be over from my doing this. I’m at peace with that. I know it’s the right thing to do.” He then said something startling: “I want to identify myself as the person behind these disclosures. I believe I have an obligation to explain why I’m doing this and what I hope to achieve.” He told me he had written a document that he wanted to post on the Internet when he outed himself as the source, a pro-privacy, anti-surveillance manifesto for people around the world to sign, showing that there was global support for protecting privacy.

“I only have one fear in doing all of this,” he said, which is “that people will see these documents and shrug, that they’ll say, ‘We assumed this was happening and don’t care.’ The only thing I’m worried about is that I’ll do all this to my life for nothing.”

“I seriously doubt that will happen,” I assured him, but I wasn’t convinced I really believed that. I knew from my years of writing about NSA abuses that it can be hard to generate serious concern about secret state surveillance.

This felt different, but before I took off for Hong Kong, I wanted to see some documents so that I understood the types of disclosures the source was prepared to make.

I then spent a couple of days online as the source walked me through, step by step, how to install and use the programs I would need to see the documents. 

I kept apologizing for my lack of proficiency, for having to take hours of his time to teach me the most basic aspects of secure communication. “No worries,” he said, “most of this makes little sense. And I have a lot of free time right now.”

Once the programs were all in place, I received a file containing roughly twenty-five documents: “Just a very small taste: the tip of the tip of the iceberg,” he tantalizingly explained.
I unzipped the file, saw the list of documents, and randomly clicked on one of them. At the top of the page in red letters, a code appeared: “TOP SECRET//COMINT/NO FORN/.”

This meant the document had been legally designated top secret, pertained to communications intelligence (COMINT), and was not for distribution to foreign nationals, including international organizations or coalition partners (NO FORN). There it was with incontrovertible clarity: a highly confidential communication from the NSA, one of the most secretive agencies in the world’s most powerful government. Nothing of this significance had ever been leaked from the NSA, not in all the six-decade history of the agency. I now had a couple dozen such items in my possession. And the person I had spent hours chatting with over the last two days had many, many more to give me.

As Laura and I arrived at JFK Airport to board a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong, Laura pulled a thumb drive out of her backpack. “Guess what this is?” she asked with a look of intense seriousness.
“The documents,” she said. “All of them.”


For the next 16 hours, despite my exhaustion, I did nothing but read, feverishly taking notes on document after document. One of the first I read was an order from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, which had been created by Congress in 1978, after the Church Committee discovered decades of abusive government eavesdropping. The idea behind its formation was that the government could continue to engage in electronic surveillance, but to prevent similar abuse, it had to obtain permission from the FISA court before doing so. I had never seen a FISA court order before. Almost nobody had. The court is one of the most secretive institutions in the government. All of its rulings are automatically designated top secret, and only a small handful of people are authorized to access its decisions.

The ruling I read on the plane to Hong Kong was amazing for several reasons. It ordered Verizon Business to turn over to the NSA “all call detail records” for “communications (i) between the United States and abroad; and (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.” That meant the NSA was secretly and indiscriminately collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, at least. Virtually nobody had any idea that the Obama administration was doing any such thing. Now, with this ruling, I not only knew about it but had the secret court order as proof.

Only now did I feel that I was beginning to process the true magnitude of the leak. I had been writing for years about the threat posed by unconstrained domestic surveillance; my first book, published in 2006, warned of the lawlessness and radicalism of the NSA. But I had struggled against the great wall of secrecy shielding government spying: How do you document the actions of an agency so completely shrouded in multiple layers of official secrecy? At this moment, the wall had been breached. I had in my possession documents that the government had desperately tried to hide. I had evidence that would indisputably prove all that the government had done to destroy the privacy of Americans and people around the world.

In 16 hours of barely interrupted reading, I managed to get through only a small fraction of the archive. But as the plane landed in Hong Kong, I knew two things for certain. First, the source was highly sophisticated and politically astute, evident in his recognition of the significance of most of the documents. He was also highly rational. The way he chose, analyzed, and described the thousands of documents I now had in my possession proved that. Second, it would be very difficult to deny his status as a classic whistleblower. If disclosing proof that top-level national security officials lied outright to Congress about domestic spying programs doesn’t make one indisputably a whistleblower, then what does?

Shortly before landing, I read one final file. Although it was entitled “README_FIRST,” I saw it for the first time only at the very end of the flight. This message was an explanation from the source for why he had chosen to do what he did and what he expected to happen as a result -- and it included one fact that the others did not: the source’s name.

"I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon, and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed for even an instant. If you seek to help, join the open source community and fight to keep the spirit of the press alive and the internet free. I have been to the darkest corners of government, and what they fear is light.

Edward Joseph Snowden, SSN: *****
CIA Alias “***** ”
Agency Identification Number: *****

Former Senior Advisor | United States National Security Agency, under corporate cover
Former Field Officer | United States Central Intelligence Agency, under diplomatic cover
Former Lecturer | United States Defense Intelligence Agency, under corporate cover"
Excerpted and adapted from No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Security State by Glenn Greenwald, published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!