Saturday, 29 April 2017

غارة «إسرائيلية» إلى الوراء؟


أبريل 28, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– يجزم العسكريون المعنيون والمتابعون للغارات «الإسرائيلية» في سورية من تدمر إلى محيط مطار دمشق أن لا أهداف تتصل بما يدّعيه «الإسرائيليون» من مخازن صواريخ وشحنات للمقاومة، ومثال تدمر يحكي عن نفسه، إذ كيف يمكن تصديق أكذوبة ورود الصواريخ عن طريق بري ينتهي في تدمر إلا إذا كان أوله في الرقة، فهل من هناك تأتي الصواريخ التي يتحدّثون عنها. ويجزم العسكريون أنفسهم أنّ الغارات «الإسرائيلية» التي لها أهداف متعددة منها ما يتصل بمستقبل جغرافيا البادية السورية التي تطلّ عليها جميع المواقع التي استهدفها الأميركيون و«الإسرائيليون»، من دير الزور إلى تدمر والشعيرات وصولاً لمطار دمشق، والبادية هي المنطقة التي يريدها الأميركي ملاذاً بديلاً لداعش بعد الرقة، وقد وظف «الإسرائيلي» لمعاونته في تحقيق هذا الهدف. لكن للضربات وظائف معنوية تتصل بحال المسلحين المنهارة، ومن الزاوية «الإسرائيلية» الصرفة لها صلة بمحاولة رسم قواعد اشتباك لما بعد نهاية الحرب في سورية.

– حاول «الإسرائيليون» رسم معادلة استباحة الأجواء السورية وتكريس ما يتحدّثون عنه كحق لهم بملاحقة شحنات سلاح حزب الله، في كلّ الأراضي السورية وعبر سلاح الجو بيدين طليقتين، بعدما كلّفوا جماعاتهم من هياكل المعارضة والنصرة بضرب منظومات الدفاع الجوي السوري، ونجحوا بتفكيك نسبة النصف منها، كما قال الرئيس بشار الأسد، لكنهم منذ سنة بدأوا يكتشفون أنّ التموضع الروسي من جهة، وإعادة بناء منظومات الدفاع الجوي السورية من جهة أخرى، قد فرضا قيوداً على حركة طيرانهم وعلى التسليم بما افترضوه قد تكرّس لهم بصفته حقاً مكتسباً في أرض سائبة. وبدأ يظهر أنه كلّما تعافت الدولة السورية واستعادت قوتها العسكرية، فذلك لا يحدث بوجه الجماعات المسلحة وحدها، بل يغيّر قواعد الاشتباك مع «إسرائيل»، وخلال ثلاثة شهور واجه «الإسرائيليون» تصدياً صاروخياً سورياً في مرتين متعاقبتين يقول إنّ الأجواء السورية صارت محرّمة على الطيران «الإسرائيلي».

– في المرة الأولى تلقى «الإسرائيليون» المعادلة الجديدة وحاولوا التأقلم معها، فلجأوا إلى صواريخ موجّهة من طائراتهم بمدى ستين كليومتراً يطلقونها من الأجواء اللبنانية، وصواريخ برية يطلقونها من حدود الجولان وتصل إلى مدى موازٍ، حتى جاء الحضور الأميركي ودخوله على الخط بمحاولة تغيير قواعد الاشتباك وإسناده لـ«الإسرائيليين» مهمة الضرب بالوكالة عنهم في تدمر، وتأمين عبورهم الأجواء السورية ما شجّعهم على العودة للرهان على تغيير القواعد والعودة لما قبل الصواريخ السورية، وكانت النتيجة تكريس معادلة حرمة الأجواء السورية عليهم بقوة أشدّ وعزم أكبر.

– يعود «الإسرائيليون» بغارة مطار دمشق ليقولوا إنّ الردع السوري يمنعهم من دخول الأجواء السورية لكنه لا يحول دون التعامل ضمن ما رسموه من مدى أمني لصواريخهم الموجّهة من الجو أو البر من دون الدخول للأجواء السورية، وبهذا المعنى تنتمي غارة مطار دمشق بواسطة صواريخ موجّهة أطلقت من فوق الأجواء اللبنانية، إلى مرحلة ما قبل محاولة كسر ميزان الردع الذي كرّسته الصواريخ السورية، من دون أن يعني هذا تسليماً من سورية والمقاومة بقواعد الاشتباك التي يريد «الإسرائيلي» فرضها، ولو من موقع التسليم بقواعد الردع السورية، بجعل مدى الستين كيلومتراً من الحدود مع الجولان ولبنان منطقة عمليات «إسرائيلية».

– من موقع رسم قواعد الاشتباك عادت المعادلة لردّ يضمن ردعاً جديداً يكمل الردع الذي صنعته الصواريخ لحرمة الأجواء السورية، فيمنع العبث ضمن مدى الصواريخ «الإسرائيلية»، ويبدو أنه آتٍ.


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Friday, 28 April 2017

BREAKING: Personal message from Xi Jinping to Vladimir Putin: our friendship is unbreakable

April 27, 2017
BREAKING: Personal message from Xi Jinping to Vladimir Putin: our friendship is unbreakable
Chinese President Xi Jinping sends personal message of friendship to Russian President Putin on China’s behalf, scotching attempt by US to make trouble between them.
Russia’s President Putin has met in the Oval Hall of the Kremlin with Li Zhanshu, Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China, and chief of staff of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The meeting was held directly after Li Zhanshu held talks with his Russian counterpart Anton Vaino, who is the head of the Russian President’s Executive Office and who is President Putin’s chief of staff.
I have previously explained who Li Zhanshu is, and why his visit is important, and the likely reason for his visit, which is the ongoing attempt by the Trump administration to cause trouble between China and Russia, and China’s and Russia’s concern to squelch any mistaken impressions which might be caused by that attempt.
That in turn explains the way the Chinese and the Russians – undoubtedly by pre-arrangement – used Li Zhanshu’s meeting with Putin to publicise a personal message from President Xi Jinping to Putin.  The Kremlin’s transcript of Li Zhanshu’s words reads as follows
Before my departure, I went especially to see President Xi Jinping and asked him what he wanted to pass on to you. He told me to say that today, Chinese-Russian relations are going through their best period ever in our history.
Today, our relations are deservedly called an example of relations between great powers, characterised by cooperation and mutual benefit. Today, our relations are very solid, mature, and are distinguished by strategic cooperation and a lasting nature.
He also said that despite the serious changes in the international situation, we will continue to work with you unfailingly adhering to three constants, namely: regardless of the circumstances, we will not change our policy of deepening and developing our strategic partnership and cooperation; our policy, based on joint development and prosperity, will not change; and our joint efforts to defend peace and justice and promote cooperation in the world will not change. These were the words of President Xi Jinping.
(bold italics added)
The “serious changes in the international situation” of course refers to the change of administration in Washington, and the new administration’s attempt to make trouble between China and Russia.  President Xi Jinping in his personal message to President Putin went out of his way to say that this attempt could not succeed, and that China’s strategic partnership with Russia “will not change”.
The message is of course primarily intended for the Trump administration.  The Chinese and the Russians scarcely need to reassure each other about the depth of their relationship, which they are of course far more informed about than anyone else.  However Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are anxious that there should be no illusions about it in Washington.  Alas, given the chaos in Washington, it is doubtful whether anyone there is paying attention.

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Intel Vets Voice Doubt on Syrian Crisis

[ Ed. note – The article below, written by members of the organization Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, focuses mainly on the issue of faulty, or “politicized” intelligence assessments that may have been used to justify the April 6 US missile strike on a Syrian airbase. The writers are concerned that further escalations to the conflict may come about as a result of similarly fraudulent assessments. But in discussing the matter, they divulge a little-known tidbit of history–namely that the intelligence assessment leading up to the Iraq war in 2003 was overseen by a “veteran CIA intelligence analyst” by the name of Stuart Cohen.
While the signatories to the letter don’t say so, I am guessing, judging by the name “Cohen,” that the man they are referring to was/is Jewish. As they write:
The CIA vehemently denies that either Vice President Cheney or anyone at the White House put pressure on its analysts to alter their assessments. This may very well be true, but if it is, then the record of certainty – and arrogance – that existed in the mindset of senior intelligence managers and analysts only further erodes public confidence in the assessments produced by the CIA, especially when, as is the case with Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction – the agency was found so lacking. Stuart Cohen, a veteran CIA intelligence analyst who served as the acting Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, oversaw the production of the 2002 Iraq National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that was used to make case for Iraq possessing WMD that was used to justify war.
According to Mr. Cohen, he had four National Intelligence Officers with “over 100 years’ collective work experience on weapons of mass destruction issues” backed up by hundreds of analysts with “thousands of man-years invested in studying these issues.”
On the basis of this commitment of talent alone, Mr. Cohen assessed that “no reasonable person could have viewed the totality of the information that the Intelligence Community had at its disposal … and reached any conclusion or alternative views that were profoundly different from those that we reached,” namely that – judged with high confidence – “Iraq had chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of the 150 kilometer limit imposed by the UN Security Council.”
As we now know, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The war was fought under false pretexts. As Greg Bacon noted recently, “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish.” (The words are not Bacon’s but are quoted from Haaretz.) History now seems to be repeating itself. As the VIPS writers note, Israel now seems to be playing a major role in concocting the “politicized” intelligence assessments on the April 4 chemical weapons attack in Syria. ]
An Open Memorandum for the American People
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (L) and US Defense Secretary James Mattis, hold a news conference in Tel Aviv on April 21, 2017
From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Subject: Mattis ‘No Doubt’ Stance on Alleged Syrian CW Smacks of Politicized Intelligence
Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, during a recent trip to Israel, commented on the issue of Syria’s retention and use of chemical weapons in violation of its obligations to dispose of the totality of its declared chemical weapons capability in accordance with the provisions of both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.
“There can be no doubt,” Secretary Mattis said during a April 21, 2017 joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart, Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, “in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all.” To the contrary, Mattis noted, “I can say authoritatively they have retained some.”
Lieberman joined Mattis in his assessment, noting that Israel had “100 percent information that [the] Assad regime used chemical weapons against [Syrian] rebels.”
Both Mattis and Lieberman seemed to be channeling assessments offered to reporters two days prior, on April 19, 2017, by anonymous Israeli defense officials that the April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack on the Syrian village of Khan Shaykhun was ordered by Syrian military commanders, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s personal knowledge, and that Syria retained a stock of “between one and three tons” of chemical weapons.
The Israeli intelligence followed on the heels of an April 13, 2017 speech given by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that, once information had come in about a chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, the CIA had been able to “develop several hypothesis around that, and then to begin to develop fact patterns which either supported or suggested that the hypothesis wasn’t right.” The CIA, Pompeo said, was “in relatively short order able to deliver to [President Trump] a high-confidence assessment that, in fact, it was the Syrian regime that had launched chemical strikes against its own people in [Khan Shaykhun.]”
The speed in which this assessment was made is of some concern. Both Director Pompeo, during his CSIS remarks, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, during comments to the press on April 6, 2017, note that President Trump turned to the intelligence community early on in the crisis to understand better “the circumstances of the attack and who was responsible.” McMaster indicated that the U.S. Intelligence Community, working with allied partners, was able to determine with “a very high degree of confidence” where the attack originated.
Both McMaster and Pompeo spoke of the importance of open source imagery in confirming that a chemical attack had taken place, along with evidence collected from the victims themselves – presumably blood samples – that confirmed the type of agent that was used in the attack. This initial assessment drove the decision to use military force – McMaster goes on to discuss a series of National Security Council meetings where military options were discussed and decided upon; the discussion about the intelligence underpinning the decision to strike Syria was over.
The danger of this rush toward an intelligence decision by Director Pompeo and National Security Advisor McMaster is that once the President and his top national security advisors have endorsed an intelligence-based conclusion, and authorized military action based upon that conclusion, it becomes virtually impossible for that conclusion to change. Intelligence assessments from that point forward will embrace facts that sustain this conclusion, and reject those that don’t; it is the definition of politicized intelligence, even if those involved disagree.
A similar “no doubt” moment had occurred nearly 15 years ago when, in August 2002, Vice President Cheney delivered a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney declared. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” The message Cheney was sending to the Intelligence Community was clear: Saddam Hussein had WMD; there was no need to answer that question anymore.
The CIA vehemently denies that either Vice President Cheney or anyone at the White House put pressure on its analysts to alter their assessments. This may very well be true, but if it is, then the record of certainty – and arrogance – that existed in the mindset of senior intelligence managers and analysts only further erodes public confidence in the assessments produced by the CIA, especially when, as is the case with Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction – the agency was found so lacking. Stuart Cohen, a veteran CIA intelligence analyst who served as the acting Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, oversaw the production of the 2002 Iraq National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that was used to make case for Iraq possessing WMD that was used to justify war.
According to Mr. Cohen, he had four National Intelligence Officers with “over 100 years’ collective work experience on weapons of mass destruction issues” backed up by hundreds of analysts with “thousands of man-years invested in studying these issues.”
On the basis of this commitment of talent alone, Mr. Cohen assessed that “no reasonable person could have viewed the totality of the information that the Intelligence Community had at its disposal … and reached any conclusion or alternative views that were profoundly different from those that we reached,” namely that – judged with high confidence – “Iraq had chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of the 150 kilometer limit imposed by the UN Security Council.”
Two facts emerge from this expression of intellectual hubris. First, the U.S. Intelligence Community was, in fact, wrong in its estimate on Iraq’s WMD capability, throwing into question the standards used to assign “high confidence” ratings to official assessments. Second, the “reasonable person” standard cited by Cohen must be reassessed, perhaps based upon a benchmark derived from a history of analytical accuracy rather than time spent behind a desk.
The major lesson learned here, however, is that the U.S. Intelligence Community, and in particular the CIA, more often than not hides behind self-generated platitudes (“high confidence”, “reasonable person”) to disguise a process of intelligence analysis that has long ago been subordinated to domestic politics.
It is important to point out the fact that Israel, too, was wrong about Iraq’s WMD. According to Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli Intelligence Officer, Israeli intelligence seriously overplayed the threat posed by Iraqi WMD in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq War, including a 2002 briefing to NATO provided by Efraim Halevy, who at the time headed the Israeli Mossad, or intelligence service, that Israel had “clear indications” that Iraq had reconstituted its WMD programs after U.N. weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998.
The Israeli intelligence assessments on Iraq, Mr. Brom concluded, were most likely colored by political considerations, such as the desire for regime change in Iraq. In this light, neither the presence of Avigdor Leiberman, nor the anonymous background briefings provided by Israel about Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities, should be used to provide any credence to Secretary Mattis’s embrace of the “no doubt” standard when it comes to Syria’s alleged possession of chemical weapons.
The intelligence data that has been used to back up the allegations of Syrian chemical weapons use has been far from conclusive. Allusions to intercepted Syrian communications have been offered as “proof”, but the Iraq experience – in particular former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s unfortunate experience before the U.N. Security Council – show how easily such intelligence can be misunderstood and misused.
Inconsistencies in the publicly available imagery which the White House (and CIA) have so heavily relied upon have raised legitimate questions about the veracity of any conclusions drawn from these sources (and begs the question as to where the CIA’s own Open Source Intelligence Center was in this episode.) The blood samples used to back up claims of the presence of nerve agent among the victims was collected void of any verifiable chain of custody, making their sourcing impossible to verify, and as such invalidates any conclusions based upon their analysis.
In the end, the conclusions CIA Director Pompeo provided to the President was driven by a fundamental rethinking of the CIA’s analysts when it came to Syria and chemical weapons that took place in 2014. Initial CIA assessments in the aftermath of the disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons seemed to support the Syrian government’s stance that it had declared the totality of its holding of chemical weapons, and had turned everything over to the OPCW for disposal. However, in 2014, OPCW inspectors had detected traces of Sarin and VX nerve agent precursors at sites where the Syrians had indicated no chemical weapons activity had taken place; other samples showed the presence of weaponized Sarin nerve agent.
The Syrian explanation that the samples detected were caused by cross-contamination brought on by the emergency evacuation of chemical precursors and equipment used to handle chemical weapons necessitated by the ongoing Civil War was not accepted by the inspectors, and this doubt made its way into the minds of the CIA analysts, who closely followed the work of the OPCW inspectors in Syria.
One would think that the CIA would operate using the adage of “once bitten, twice shy” when assessing inspector-driven doubt; U.N. inspectors in Iraq, driven by a combination of the positive sampling combined with unverifiable Iraqi explanations, created an atmosphere of doubt about the veracity of Iraqi declarations that all chemical weapons had been destroyed. The CIA embraced the U.N. inspectors’ conclusions, and discounted the Iraqi version of events; as it turned out, Iraq was telling the truth.
While the jury is still out about whether or not Syria is, like Iraq, telling the truth, or whether the suspicions of inspectors are well founded, one thing is clear: a reasonable person would do well to withhold final judgment until all the facts are in. (Note: The U.S. proclivity for endorsing the findings of U.N. inspectors appears not to include the Khan Shaykhun attack; while both Syria and Russia have asked the OPCW to conduct a thorough investigation of the April 4, 2017 incident, the OPCW has been blocked from doing so by the United States and its allies.)
CIA Director Pompeo’s job is not to make policy – the intelligence his agency provides simply informs policy. It is not known if the U.S. Intelligence Community will be producing a formal National Intelligence Estimate addressing the Syrian chemical weapons issue, although the fact that the United States has undertaken military action under the premise that these weapons exist more than underscores the need for such a document, especially in light of repeated threats made by the Trump administration that follow-on strikes might be necessary.
Making policy is, however, the job of Secretary of Defense Mattis. At the end of the day, Secretary of Defense Mattis will need to make his own mind up as to the veracity of any intelligence used to justify military action. Mattis’s new job requires that he does more than simply advise the President on military options; he needs to ensure that the employment of these options is justified by the facts.
In the case of Syria, the “no doubt” standard Mattis has employed does not meet the “reasonable man” standard. Given the consequences that are attached to his every word, Secretary Mattis would be well advised not to commit to a “no doubt” standard until there is, literally, no doubt.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
William Binney, Technical Director, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer (ret) and former Office Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA
Bogdan Dzakovic, Former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security, (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)
Larry C Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (Ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
Brady Kiesling, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, ret. (Associate VIPS)
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Lisa Ling, TSgt USAF (ret.)
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East, CIA and National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Torin Nelson, former Intelligence Officer/Interrogator (GG-12) HQ, Department of the Army
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)
Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq
Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel (USA, ret.), Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary (associate VIPS)
Sarah G. Wilton, Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.); Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.)
Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)
Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

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The Questions Jonathan Ofir Prefers to Avoid

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon:
In February 2016 a friend encouraged me to pay attention to a new Jewish dissident voice, Jonathan Ofir, an Israeli musician who didn’t agree with Zionism.  I watched Ofir’s statement , I detected a positive humanist inclination, I could see a glimpse of ethical thinking but I could also easily notice the usual duplicity but was hoping to be wrong. Since, at the time,  Ofir seemed to me a novice in the ‘anti Zionist business’ I let him enjoy the benefit of a doubt. I approached Ofir and asked to interview him. Ofir, initially reacted in a friendly and positive manner, he was happy to engage immediately in a phone interview but I actually insisted upon a written one, just to remove any possibility of me changing his words or taking them out of context. Ofir, once again agreed to a written exchange. However, this changed once he received the questions below. Within a short while I learned from him that he had to decline.  “This would be my first interview politically, and it’s not the focus I want to get into,” were Ofir’s exact words.
I never published this story. Ofir seemed to me an intelligent boy. I wanted to believe that time would make him into a truth teller, one who could point at the dark forces that fuel the Zionist project, organised Jewry and the controlled opposition.
I was obviously wrong. Ofir was quick to become a JVP merchant, a dedicated Jewish gatekeeper. I recently read a disgusting private exchange between Ofir and a peace activist where Ofir used the most abusive crypto Zionist tactics and argumentation (antisemitism, holocaust denial you name it.) I have since then witnessed Ofir disseminating the usual kosher progressive mantra. I am not impressed
I think that time is ripe for the rest of us to know what questions Jonathan Ofir would prefer to avoid. And if offir has a drop of integrity in his system he may want to answers these questions at least to himself. 
integrity-745x498.jpg
11 February 2016
Dear Ofir
I am in full support of your statement … however,,, some issues need elaboration andI would be very happy if you could address the following questions.
1. Your decision to present your moving appeal in English is a significant choice. Rather than talking to Israelis you talk about Israel. I went through a similar transition, rather than talking to Jews I made a decision to talk about Jews. 
What led to your decision?
2.  I am slightly confused by your attitude to Zionism:
a.      You seem to argue that Judaism and Zionism are distinct entities; is this really the case? Is there a clear dichotomy? Where does Judaism end and Zionism starts? After all, rabbinical Jews are atthe forefront of the racist crimes against Palestinians.
b.  I understand that some rabbinical communities are opposed to Israeli and Zionistcrimes, but they are certainly small in number and have limited influence, don’t you agree?
c.  Like you, I grew up in Israel. My experience was that Zionism was not a driving forcein our upbringing. It was an archaic idiom referring to some Diaspora figures that made it into streets names in Tel Aviv (Herzl, Pinsker, Zobotinsky etc.).  We joined the IDF because we were Jews not because we wereZionists. Do you really believe that Zionism,  that oldpromise to bring the Diaspora Jews to Zion, has once again become a driving force in Israel?
dYou say, “We were brainwashed to think that Zionism is our saviour.” Were we really?  (by the way, I am not saying you are wrong, I am curious to know why you say what you say, I accept that Israeli society may have changed)
e. You say our soldiers died “primarily for Zionism?”  Maybe you want to define more clearly what Zionism is and what Zionism has meant for you. 
 f.   As you know, Israel is not a country it is a state, Palestine is the country. Soldiers die for ‘Medinat Israel’, the State of Israel. Some rabbinical Jews prefer to talk about Eretz Yisrael -the country of Israel. For them Eretz Yisrael is a holy Jewish continuum and they are willing to fight and die for it. Whether we like it or not, they are Judaically driven rather than Zionistically motivated. Is there a clear dichotomy between ‘the religion’ and ‘the political’ there?     
3. Do you really believe that the Jews or the Israelis can “stop it now”?
Have Jews ever stopped themselves voluntarily?
5.  “A state is not people” you say.  “A state is a regime, a paradigm of governance.” 
 Is Germany, France or Turkey just a paradigm of governance? Do we deny the existence of the Germans, French and Turks? Assuming that Palestine becomes a state, will we then deny the existence of the Palestinian people? Accordingly, what kind of people are the Jews, especially given that most of them are not physically connected to a land (the land of Israel) ? 
6. You rightly say “I refuse to be a part of this “we” if that means some ethnic-religious-national mishmash superiority.” Yet how could the Jews celebrate their Jewish collectivism while avoiding exclusivity or choseness?
7. You seem to defend Judaism in light of the tie between Judaism and Zionism and I am slightly confused:  are you an observant Jew? If not, why do you feel the need to defend Judaism?
8. Obviously, I agree with you that Israel and Zionism are engaged in horrendous crimes. 
But as far as I can tell, Jewish Bolsheviks were engaged in crimes of an even greater scale.  According to Yuri Slezkin, Jews were “Stalin’s willing executioners”. Neocons, a Jewish American political school have inflicted greater disasters than Israel or Zionism.
 Is it possible that Zionism is just one symptom of a disastrous Jewish political continuum?  
Can you imagine a peace loving Jewish political existence? 
Can you point at such a body in Jewish history?
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Syria: a video-investigaton

Syria: The most important interview everyone needs to see… and understand the implications…

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Shambolic Doings in Washington: ‘The Israelis are no doubt particularly delighted’

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FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence.
By Philip Giraldi
There remains one good thing to say about Donald Trump: he is not Hillary. The boneheaded cruise missile attack in Syria would have occurred even earlier under President Rodham Clinton and there would undoubtedly be no-fly and safe zones already in place. Oh, and Ukraine and Georgia would be negotiating their entries into NATO to make sure that old Vlad Putin would be put on notice and understand that the days of namby-pamby jaw-jaw-jaw that characterized the Obama Administration are now ancient history.
Apart from that, I can only observe dumbstruck how yet again a candidate promising peace and dialogue could be flipped so quickly. Or maybe he never believed in anything he said, which is perhaps more to the point. Be that as it may, we now, after only ninety days in office, have a neo-neocon foreign policy and the folks clustered around their water coolers in the Washington think tanks are again smiling. And as the ruinous Syrian civil war continues thanks to American intervention, there are probably plenty of high fives within Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu government. Bibi again rules the roost.
The Israelis are no doubt particularly delighted to hear Donald Trump’s latest factually exempt voyage into the outer reaches of the galaxy regarding Iran. Or perhaps The Donald is only having continuing digestive problems dealing with “most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen” when dining with mortified Chinese leader Xi Jinping while simultaneously launching cruise missiles intended to send a message to Beijing’s ally Russia. It is inevitably Iran’s turn for vilification, so Trump, while conceding that the Iranians have been compliant with the nuclear weapons agreement they signed, also felt compelled to add that they continue to be a threat and have not entered into the “spirit” of the pact. Apparently the spirit codicil was somehow left out of the final draft, an interpretation that will no doubt surprise the other signatories consisting of Russia, China and the European Union.
To make its point that Tehran is somehow a cheater, the White House has ordered a 90 day review of Iran policy which will empower hardliners in that country in upcoming elections as well as nut cases like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham on this side of the Atlantic. Iranian opposition groups like the terrorist Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK) are already rising to the challenge by floating phony intelligence while Graham is currently advocating a preemptive attack on North Korea, conceding that it would be catastrophic for every country in the region while noting smugly that the carnage and destruction would not reach the United States. Too bad that Pyongyang’s fury cannot be directed straight to Graham’s house in South Carolina.
Graham is reportedly a good dancer and multitasker who can pivot back to Iran effortlessly as soon as Pyongyang is reduced to rubble, so those who want to deal with Iran sooner rather than later should not despair. As things continue to go south nearly everywhere, tension in the Middle East will no doubt lead to a rapidly deteriorating situation in the Persian Gulf that will require yet another ham-handed show of strength by the United States of Amnesia. There will be a war against Iran.
There have been a couple of other interesting stories circulating recently, all demonstrating that when Benjamin Franklin observed that we Americans had created a republic, “if we can keep it,” he was being particularly prescient. Robert Parry has observed that all the fuss about Russiagate is misleading as the only country that interferes with the political process in the U.S. persistently and successfully while also doing terrible damage to our national security is Israel. He wonders when we will have Congress convening investigative commissions to look into Israel-gate but then answers his own question by observing that it will never happen given who controls what in the United States. “No one dares suggest a probe of Israel-gate,” he concludes, but it is interesting and also encouraging to note that some Americans are actually starting to figure things out.

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Zionist Forces Assault Hunger-striking Palestinian Prisoners on 11th Day of Strike

Prisoners behind bars
As some 1,500 Palestinian prisoners entered the 11th day of the mass “Freedom and Dignity” hunger strike, Israeli ‘Prison Service’ (IPS) forces on Thursday attacked two hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners being held in southern Israeli Ashkelon prison, according to the Media Committee for Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strike — a joint committee formed by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) and Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs.
A lawyer from the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Kareem Ajwah, said in a statement that that the two prisoners, Nasser Abu Hmeid and Saed Musallam, who is ill, were attacked by ‘IPS’ forces when they refused to stand for a search after the forces stormed into the prisoners’ room.
While Abu Hmeid and Musallam were directly attacked, three other prisoners in the room were injured on the face and head, and were moved to the prison’s clinic for treatment.
Separately, quoting Abu Hmeid, Ajwah reported that ‘IPS’ administration has been “conducting internal trials” for hunger-striking prisoners, imposing a series of punitive measures and fines of up to 500 “shekels” (The Zionist currency) for anyone participating in the strike, in addition to moving prisoners to solitary confinement for up to 10 days at a time.
“The condition of striking detainees are very difficult, due to the continued daily raids and storms of the prisons’ administration in an attempt to exhaust and humiliate the prisoners”, Abu Hmeid said, adding that ‘IPS’ has taken away salt — which in addition to water, is the only nutrition consumed by Palestinian hunger strikers — from all striking prisoners “as a means of pressure to end the strike.”
Abu Hmeid told the committee that striking prisoners have been boycotting medical examinations, highlighting that two prisoners identified as Nazih Uthman, who has heart disease, and Ibrahim Abu-mustafa , who has kidney and liver disease, were both moved by force to the prison’s field hospital.
Source: Ma’an News Agency
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France caught up in terrorism, victim of her own NATO allies

by Thierry Meyssan
France has just become the victim of a new terrorist attack, three days before the first round of her Presidential election. For Thierry Meyssan, Paris needs to stop talking rubbish and realise the importance of what this means. International terrorism, in which France herself participates, is commanded and used – even against her – by certain of her NATO allies.
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Attack on the Champs-Elysees, 20 April 2017.
At the beginning of 2017, we were informed that jihadists were preparing actions which were intended to force France and Germany to postpone their elections. It was not easy to discern:
- whether the aim was to postpone the French Presidential election (April-May), or the French parliamentary elections (June), or both;
- whether France was a target in itself, or if the actions in France were a preparation for future actions against Germany.
Among the candidates for the Presidential election, only François Fillon and Marine Le Pen have criticised the support offered by France to the Muslim Brotherhood. Fillon has even made it one of the recurring themes of his campaign.
Speech at Chassieu (Lyon), 22 November 2016.
We alerted our readers that the Press campaigns and the legal affairs launched against Donald Trump in the United States, and against François Fillon in France, were commanded by the same groups. We wrote that according to Messrs. Trump & Fillon,
« … it will not be possible to restore peace and prosperity without first putting an end to the instrumentalisation of Islamic terrorism, without freeing the Muslim world from the ascendancy of the jihadists, and without attacking the true source of terrorism: the Muslim Brotherhood. » [1]
At that time, the French, believing wrongly that the Muslim Brotherhood was just a movement within the Muslim religion, did not react. Later, I published a book , Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump, whose second part describes in detail, and for the first time, how this secret organisation, created and controlled by MI6, is run by the British secret services. It is this Brotherhood which, since the Second World War, has been attempting to transform Sunni Islam into a political instrument. All the leaders of jihadist groups without exception came from the Brotherhood – from Oussama Ben Laden to Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi.
On 26 February, without explanation, François Fillon published a communiqué which was widely criticised:
« We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation: less than two months from the Presidential election, we are in a state of quasi civil war which is disturbing the normal course of the campaign (…) I say again that we are in a state of emergency, and yet the government does nothing (…) Today, in my rôle as ex-Prime Minister, as an elected member of the Nation, I solemnly accuse the Prime Minister and the government of failing to guarantee the conditions for a serene exercise of democracy. They have a very heavy respnsibility in allowing a state of almost civil war to develop, and which can only profit the extremes (…) Whoever the candidates are, they must have the right to express themselves, and the government must take the necessary measures so that the rioters and the enemies of democracy cease disrupting the Presidential campaign » [2].
On 17 April, the Police Nationale informed the four main candidates that there were threats to their security, and reinforced their protection.
On 18 April, M. (29 years old) and Clement B. (23 years old) were arrested while they were preparing an attack during a meeting in support of François Fillon.
On 20 April, a policeman was killed and two others seriously wounded during an attack on the Champs-Elysées.
François Fillon and Marine Le Pen cancelled the journeys they had planned for the 21 April. Following the movement, and althought here was no real threat to him at all, Emmanuel Macron did the same.

The responsibility of the next President of the French Republic

The security of the French people will be a central issue for the next five-year Presidential term. This question is all the more complex in that the recent terrorist attacks perpetrated on French soil have implicated three of France’s NATO allies – the US deep state, the United Kingdom, and Turkey.
I have widely covered the question of the attacks in Paris (13 November 2015) and Brussels (22 March 2016). [3]. In my latest book, I indicate that while the responsibility for these attacks was claimed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Press, they were carried out by « independent commandos, with the exception of a common operator, Mohammed Abrini of MI6 » (p. 231) [4].
For years, the successive governments of Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé, and also the government of François Hollande and Laurent Fabius, have hidden their criminal activities from the French people, and the consequences for which they are responsible – terrorism intra muros.
It is absurd to believe that al-Qaïda and Daesh could be in possession of so much money and weaponry without the support of major states. It is absurd to believe that France could have participated in the remodelling operations in the « Greater Middle East » without suffering the counter-attacks. It is absurd to believe that it will be easy to fight international terrorism when it is commanded by our own NATO allies.
Translation
Pete Kimberley

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