Saturday 10 September 2011

Once upon a time


Some hundreds of Egyptian activists demolish a concrete wall built around a building housing the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, to protect it against demonstrators, as they raise their national Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. Photo: Amr Nabil / AP

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Triumph of groupthink, careerism and narrow interests over honesty and moral courage

By Lawrence Davidson

10 September 2011

Lawrence Davidson looks at how “groupthink” and “the narrow fate of party and career” prevent senior politicians and bureaucrats from honestly speaking out their minds on crucial matters of war and peace while they are in a position to put their views into practice.

There is an interesting phenomenon which we can call "the political retiree’s confession". I don’t mean all those hyped memoirs, ghost written for all manner of high ranking ex-officials. Here I refer to statements by important political leaders and bureaucrats, either out of office or about to vacate their positions, publicly describing what really needs to be done. For instance, what really needs to be done to obtain peace, or accurately pointing fingers at those obstructing peace. These statements can be shocking in their honesty, but curiously enough, are never made, much less acted upon, while the truth sayer is in a position of power. They come to us only with retirement or pending retirement.
“... in both the US and Israel ... there are leaders and advisers who know what needs to be done in Israel-Palestine to make the world more secure and stable, and yet they stand by and twiddle their thumbs.”

Example 1: Ehud Olmert on the occupation

For example, take former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert was prime minister from 2006 (replacing Ariel Sharon who had suffered a debilitating stroke) till early 2009. A few months before leaving office Olmert told the newspaper Yediot Aharonot that, in the end, Israel would have to return "almost all" of the West Bank to the Palestinians, including East Jerusalem. There was no other way to achieve peace with the Arab world. Olmert went on to say that "the decision we are going to have to make is the decision we have been refusing for 40 years to look at open-eyed...The time has come to say these things. The time has come to put them on the table." Of course "the time" oddly coincided with a period when the prime minister could not move this insight from theory into practice.

Example 2: Robert Gates on Israel the ungrateful ally

Now we have another example of this strange phenomenon. This time from the United States. According to Jeffrey Goldberg, the national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, former US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, "in a meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee held shortly before his retirement this summer [2011]", gave his expert opinion that the Israeli government was ungrateful for United States assistance. That despite all the Obama administration had done for Jerusalem, "access to top-quality weapons, assistance developing missile defence systems, high-level intelligence sharing ... the US has received nothing in return". On top of that, in Gates’s estimation Prime Minister Netanyahu is "endangering his country by refusing to grapple with Israel’s growing isolation..." No one at the high level meeting disagreed with this analysis.

Gates’s publically revealed anger is nice to hear about but, like Olmert’s epiphany, it means little in practice. Netanyahu has been rude, duplicitous and downright nasty to President Obama in what was actually a replay of the behaviour of Menachem Begin toward Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. Carter’s National Security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, learned to distrust the Israeli leadership and would later, after he was no longer in office, advocate an increasing hard line toward Jerusalem. Indeed, he once suggested military confrontation with Israel if that country’s leaders risked a regional war by attacking Iranian nuclear development sites (he suggested the US Air Force shoot down the Israeli planes). This was a reasonable suggestion given the stakes but, of course, it was made when Brzezinski had no position of influence.

Getting back to the article on Gates’s negative opinion of Netanyahu and his government, Jeffrey Goldberg writes that the former defence secretary actually "articulated bluntly what so many people in the administration seem to believe". OK. So what are they doing about this? Absolutely nothing. They will all wait until they no longer have positions of influence to come out and vent. The situation is disgusting. And it is disgusting because in both the US and Israel (and no doubt in many other countries as well) there are leaders and advisers who know what needs to be done in Israel-Palestine to make the world more secure and stable, and yet they stand by and twiddle their thumbs.

Why do these leaders do nothing about matters of such importance? Here are two interconnected reasons:
“The narrow fate of party and career is ... worth more than world peace. It is worth more than the lives of millions of doomed civilians and soldiers. It is worth more than justice for nations and peoples.”
1. In his book Victims of Groupthink (1972) Irving L. Janis shows how governing political elites create self-reinforcing decision-making circles that insulate themselves from serious challenge. It is rare that anyone within these circles "thinks outside the box". However, it turns out that the "box" must always be able to accommodate the demands and interests of other groups whose money and power support the "circle’s" political viability. This is a system that must produce frustration and a sense of powerlessness among (the rare) officials who can see even a little more clearly than their peers. By the way, it is not a problem unique to political elites. It surely exists in most organizational structures. It is just that when it comes to government the stakes are so much higher for all of us.

2. Enmeshed as they are in a system of national interest group politics that dictate the fate of their various political parties and their own careers, those who might suspect a world outside the box will stay silent. The narrow fate of party and career is, apparently, worth more than world peace. It is worth more than the lives of millions of doomed civilians and soldiers. It is worth more than justice for nations and peoples. Only when free of this debilitating system do some of these people find their tongues. But by then all they have are impotent words. This is what we are seeing in the belated surfacing of rational criticism and analysis from unexpected sources such as Olmert and Gates.


How often do we read about individuals and groups who, witnessing an accident or a crime, just stand by and do nothing? These people do not want to "get involved". Afterwards, such folks are usually very quiet and meek. They don’t want their neighbours to know that they stood by and did nothing. But the position of these confessing political retirees is quite different. They were already involved. And now, after the fact, these one-eyed men in the world of the blind want us all to know they have seen the light. Great. Now you tell us!

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House of Horrors: America ten years after 9/11

Ten years after 9/11, the “entire litany of vicious crimes against humanity, fitting for horrid, inhuman terrorist groups or Third World mongrels, now belongs to America”.


by Paul Balles

Assassinations, kidnappings, torture – the actions of uncivilized pirates, barbaric criminals and rogue governments.

The entire litany of vicious crimes against humanity, fitting for horrid, inhuman terrorist groups or Third World mongrels, now belongs to America.

Every day another violation of human dignity is exposed in the medium of the internet and ignored by most mainstream media.

The leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, exemplifies the brutish attitude of leading Americans. Said Romney:

American strength is the only guarantee of liberty, American strength turned the Cuban missiles around, American strength caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, American strength yanked Saddam out of his spider hole.
… On 31 August, Ian Cobain and Ben Quinn, writing in the Guardian, revealed that US firms profited from torture flights.

In a rendition programme, America hired private firms who “flew terrorism suspects to locations around the world, where they were often tortured,” the article reports.

Nadeem Sarwar writing for Monsters and Critics, Islamabad, records how “Beatings, deprivation of food and sleep, and cultural shocks were part of the daily routine for Ghairat Bahir during six years spent in US detention centres in Afghanistan.”

Truthout editor William Rivers Pitt refers to “the rancid reality of a free and un-convicted Dick Cheney appearing in the public eye once again” following the publication of Cheney’s memoir.

Says Pitt: “If there were any justice to be found in this deranged country, Dick Cheney would have penned his pestiferous, self-serving little memoir by the light of a bare bulb inside the cell of a federal prison.”

According to Pitt, Cheney’s “actions directly caused deaths and injuries that number in the hundreds of thousands. The deaths he is responsible for are ongoing to this day…”

In several appearances on televised interviews, Cheney consistently attempted to defend his actions while in office, including the use of torture in interrogations.

In these interviews, Cheney proudly admitted that he authorized torture, secret prisons, and illegal wiretapping. All are crimes under US and international laws.

Observes Robert Kaiser in the Washington Post, the memoir attempts “to make clear how right Cheney always was, and how wrongheaded were his critics and bureaucratic rivals.
More than once Cheney tells us he would do again exactly what he did the first time, “in a heartbeat”. He acknowledges no serious regrets about anything.

Under any universally acceptable code of justice, narcissists who serve nothing but themselves, deserve to be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. Failure to do so makes the public complicit in their crimes.

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Palestinian officials warn Israel maybe planning to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque

[ 10/09/2011 - 07:55 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Palestinian officials in Jerusalem warned that Israeli occupation authorities could be planning to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque and use a portion of the Muslim holy site for Jews.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the officials warned of the possibility that Israel would take a major step in the near future to provoke the sentiments of the Palestinians and all Muslims in general.
A similar step was taken with the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil, known by Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs. On February 21, 2010, Israel announced that it would include the site in a national heritage protection plan.

The statement also reiterates warnings against an “unprecedented” escalation of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem and its environs within the coming days, noting the marked rise in calls by Jews to carry out daily raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and to demolish the mosque and lay down the first stone of the alleged Solomon’s Temple to mark the Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) in October this year.

Recently, Israeli media sources revealed new excavations being made under the foundations of the A-Aqsa Mosque in the framework of a project to support what Jews call the Solomon’s Temple theory.

Al-Aqsa Foundation in Jerusalem warned against new alleged findings published by the Israeli Yisrael Hayum newspaper on 2 September, saying that Israel had previously kept such excavations a secret and normally would not announce them until they were finished. It said that the report signals that there is more serious excavation works which Israel has yet to reveal.

According to the report, the IOA has finished digging a 600-meter stretch of tunnels that originate in the Ain Silwan (Pool of Sioam) area and reach all the way to the southwestern corner of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Aqsa Foundation considered the excavations a threat to the mosque as they they had taken place under the mosque premises.

The report also said that the site would be open to the public once safety measures were taken in the next few weeks.

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Gilad Atzmon: Egyptians Stormed Israeli Embassy, Other Nations Should Do The Same

מפגינים מול השגרירות בקהיר (צילום: רויטרס)Egyptians victorious attack on Israeli embassy in Cairo last night leads to a dramatic decision: Israeli Air Force plane returns ambassador, members of diplomatic staff and their families to Israel.

And I wonder, how long will it take before Americans, Brits, Germans, Indians, French, Chinese, Argentinians and others do the same.
The people of Egypt are proved to be far more responsible and ethical than their political leaders. The citizens of the world should follow.
There is no room for racist ethnic cleanser Israel amongst the nations.

Watch protestors throw embassy documents

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Israelis 'tarred & feathered' out of Egypt!


"...The United States, which has poured billions of dollars of military aid into Egypt since it made peace with Israel in 1979, voiced concern about the violence after protesters hurled embassy documents and the Israeli flag from windows...
Israeli ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, staff and family members arrived home on Saturday but one diplomat stayed in Egypt to maintain the embassy, an Israeli official said...
"This action shows the state of anger and frustration the young Egyptian revolutionaries feel against Israel especially after the recent Israeli attacks on the Egyptian borders that led to the killing of Egyptian soldiers," Egyptian political analyst Nabil Abdel Fattah told Reuters...
On Friday, the wall was torn down after a demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square calling for speedier reforms and a deeper purge of officials who worked for Mubarak, the former president on trial on charges including conspiring to kill protesters...
During Mubarak's rule, Egyptians could never show such hostility to Israel without facing a crushing security response. Egypt's ties with Israel were a pillar of his foreign policy and buttressed his claim to be a regional mediator. ..."

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Assad Warns Foreign Intervention May Amplify Extremism

During a meeting with the Russian Federation Council delegation on Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned against "any foreign intervention that threatens to fragment states in the region and increase the risk of extremism in them".

Assad said "every reform step taken by the Syrian government was faced with escalation, foreign political and social pressures and attempts of foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs and undermining its stability through armed terrorist operations targeting civilians, policemen, and army and security forces' members.

He hailed the balanced and constructive Russian position toward the security and stability of Syria. The Russian delegation was headed by the Council's Deputy Chairman Ilyas Umakhanov.

President al-Assad warned that foreign interference threatens fragmenting the countries of the region and increases the risk of extremism in it.

For their part, the delegation members expressed pride in the Syrian-Russian historical relations, stressing their country's support to reforms taking place in Syria and its rejection of any foreign interference in the internal affairs of the Syrian people.

They added that they will convey the real image of what is taking place on ground to the Russian Parliament and people and all the European and friendly parliaments, according to SANA.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker of the People's Assembly Fahmi Hassan and Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban.

Ilyas Umakhanov, deputy head of Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, held discussions with Assad that were "open, trust-based and substantial," Russia's Interfax news agency said.

"It confirmed that the country's leadership understands that one can only overcome a political crisis by uniting all the country's healthy political forces."

"We once again saw for ourselves that the country's leadership intends to firmly move along the path of political reforms, create all the necessary conditions to consolidate society and all the patriotic forces of the country," the Russian senator was quoted as saying.

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Patriarch Rahi… March 14 Forces’ New Target!

March 14 bloc launches fierce campaign against
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi over Syria comments
They used to say that the Maronite Patriarch was Lebanon’s conscience, and that when the Patriarch speaks, everyone has to listen and only listen…

They used to say that the Maronite Patriarch was above all politicians, and that no one can has even the right to question his ideas and motives…

However, what was applicable under Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir doesn’t seem to be the same under Patriarch Beshara Rahi in their eyes, for a simple and convincing reason: Patriarch Rahi’s opinions are different!

Thus, during the last few hours, Patriarch Rahi turned to be the new target of the so-called March 14 forces. The “crime” he committed was that he warned against the negative repercussions of overthrowing the Syrian current leadership, and that he noted that Hezbollah weapons were the result of the ongoing Israeli occupation.

Yet, this was enough for the March 14 officials to criticize the Patriarch and assail him.

Lebanese Forces MP George Odwan claimed that the patriarch’s remarks seek to justify the rise of what he called a mini-state outside state control and provide cover for the presence of weapons other than those of the army and security forces. “Approaching the issue of weapons in this manner undermines all the foundations of the Lebanese state,” he went on to say.

For his part, Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra said the patriarch’s remarks on Hezbollah weapons “contradict with the principle of keenness on building the State and its authority, as liberating Lebanon and supporting the Palestinian rights should be done by the State, not by an armed party that is breaching the State’s jurisdiction and contesting its authority over the Lebanese territory.”

March 14 General-Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soaid said in turn that the patriarch’s remarks “contradict with all of the church’s historic principles, especially that he took part in drafting the text of the Synod for the Middle East which only mentions the support of the State.”

The Future party was also involved in the anti-patriarch campaign.

MP Khaled Daher, who did not hesitate to assail the Lebanese national army a few days ago, was the first Future lawmaker to condemn Rahi’s national stances. He claimed in this regard that the Syrian president “has dispatched envoys to meet with the patriarch in Lebanon in order to rally the support of Lebanese minorities for his regime.” He voiced surprise over the patriarch’s statements, saying they “contradict with the history of Christians and Bkirki, which has always supported freedom and stood by people and their rights.”

That’s it… In the March 14’s logic, when the patriarch adopts their opinions, he becomes a red line and it’s prohibited to disagree with him. But, when he has different opinions, then launching war against him becomes more than legal!
Source: Al-Manar Website

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FLASH: Egyptians holding 3 Israeli diplomats ... Tantawi 'negotiating for their release'!


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An American-Palestinian Reflection on 9/11

By Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Ten years after September 11, 2001, we still have the choice of continuing the same policies that lead to war and conflict or to insist on human rights and hold violators accountable.
September brings back memories of atrocities ranging from the massacres of Palestinians in Jordan September 1970, to the CIA's involvement in the coup that installed General Pinochet in Chile (9/11/73), to the massacre of Sabra and Shatila on 15 September 1982, and to the attacks of 11 September 2001 on the US (my second home). These tragedies are demonstrably intertwined beyond the coincidences of date and they each claimed the lives of hundreds of civilian victims. I was with my late father during the first two of these four events and his pain at hearing and seeing the news of these events on TV remains etched in my memory. In Mid September 1970 and after some Palestinian groups acted in ways that threatened his Hashemite rule in Jordan, King Hussain declared martial law and sent his tanks to the refugee camps. Routing the PLO out of Jordan meant "collateral damage" (the term Israel and the US use) of massacres of hundreds of Palestinians. Horrific stories of atrocities are recorded. Two years later, a CIA-led coup d'état against the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende succeeded to place a right-wing dictator by the name of Pinochet in power. It was on September 11, 1973, that the government was toppled and Allende was assassinated. The US-supported reign of terror that followed against the Chilean people left thousands of murdered. Thousands were tortured and thousands disappeared.
Ten years later, the US-supported Israeli army invaded Lebanon June 1982 to route the PLO out of Lebanon. The invading army pounded cities and refugee camps and killed thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Under a deal arranged by Israel's patrons in Washington, the PLO was forced out of Lebanon on 1 Sept. 1982 in exchange for promises that refugees would not be harmed. US promises were not kept and Israel was given US weapons and diplomatic cover to commit further acts of violence. A ruthless General known to Israelis as the bulldozer (because nothing stood in his way) commanded Israel’s invading army. On 11 September 1982 he announced that the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila had 2000 "terrorists" and unleashed mercenaries to do his ghastly deed. The 150 Phalangist killers who went into the camps on September 15 not only received Israeli salaries and weapons but a direct Green light (the camp was surrounded by Israeli soldiers, and Israeli floodlights allowed continuation of the massacre throughout the night). For 40 hours straight, women were machine-gunned, children's throats were slit, and elderly men were hacked to death. Estimates of the number of victims ranged from 750 (Israeli figure) to 2500 (Red Cross figure).
I was living near New York on 11 September 2001. The horror was felt first because for many of us, friends and relatives were in New York City and we were very worried for them and for the country as a whole. The attacks also killed many Arabs and Muslims. Immediately, the Zionist strategy was developed and implemented to blame Arabs and Muslims and use the attacks to bolster Israeli colonial activities. Some 2000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces in the two years that followed the attack (and the Palestinian groups killed over 500 Israelis in retaliation). Later, the commission of inquiry into the events hid many facts; the most important of which is what any crime investigator asks about-- the real motive of the crime. US policy in support of apartheid Israel was (and to a large extent continues to be) a taboo subject. But the official attempts to stifle discussion and force the US public to be consumers rather than citizens largely failed. (Bush's speech after the events told citizens to simply go shopping and leave things to him and his government). People actually had a gut feeling that there are things they are not being told and they looked for sources of information.

Our activism before 2001 for Palestinian human rights meant that we were in the spotlight (both in the negative and positive sense) after the attacks. Just in the six months after the horrific attacks, I gave over 40 lectures and interviewed and appeared in media over 50 times. More than any other time in my life in the US, I experienced directly both the goodness of the US public and the treachery and meanness of those who only cared for Israel. In my upcoming book about my life in the US, I devote some pages to describe these things. Both the kindness and curiosity of average US citizens and the attacks carried on us by those in the political Zionist camp. We were subjected to email spams, computer hacking, mail fraud, FBI investigations that came from Zionist sources, physical and verbal attacks, and to deluge of letters calling us names (from terrorists to anti-Semites) sent to media, politicians, and even our academic colleagues. Not only did we weather that but we got strengthened in our resolve and much of it backfired on the aggressors and gained us even more sympathy among the American public.

Here we are 10 years after 11 September 2001 and we still have choices. Thanks to US/Israeli miscalculations and stupidity, Iran is stronger than ever as a regional power. The dictatorial governments of the friends of Israel are toppled by popular revolt (Egypt, Tunisia) or about to be toppled (Yemen). Others in the so-called "moderate" camp have been weakened or had to reassess their positions (Jordan, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah). And while the US policy tried to balance things by working to remove dictators who are less friendly to it (Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria), the outcome is far from certain (and people there may still get to decide).

Peace "Activist", Mazin, calling for sharing the Land and reconciliation with the thieves, mass murderers, and genocidal supremacists, sees no diference between "dictatorial governments of the friends of Israel" and "dictators who are less friendly to it"

Mubarak = Kadhafi and Kadhafi = Bashar, therefore: Mubarak = Bashar.
No Surprise
For him: Ceder Revolution = Hezbullah
Hezbullah liberated Lebanon from Israeli occupation, and Cedar "Popular Revolution" Liberated Libanon from Syrian "Occupation"
Therefore, Syria = Israel
Most likely Uri Avnery imagined Mazin holding "posters condemning Binyamin al-Assad and Bashar Netanyahu."

But there are also other changes related to the stupidity of US/Israeli policies after 11 September 2001. Israeli forces executed nine Turkish citizens (one of them also US citizen) in a humanitarian ship in international waters and Israel refused to apologize. Turkey now expelled the Zionist ambassador and cut trade and military ties with Israel. Egyptian activists managed to enter the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and the staff had to flee with the ambassador on his way to Tel Aviv. The carrot and stick approach with the Palestinian authority was used successfully in the past to force compliance with US and Israeli demands. Now it seems to have begun to fail. (Mazin hate to say thanks to RESISTANCE CAMP" David Hale and Tony Blair failed to get their way as spokespersons for Israeli policy to force a retreat in the issue of going to the UN to recognize a Palestinian state in the 22% of historic Palestine that was occupied in 1967. They are now trying to get a language that abrogates Palestinian rights (especially the right of return).

Thus, at the 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, questions abound about how Israel and neocons took US policy in the past 10 years in directions that strengthened adversaries, promoted war, wrecked the American economy, and destroyed the sympathy and solidarity shown by people around the world to the US. Ten years after September 11, 2001, we ( We, being an AMERICAN citizen said we.." still have the choice of continuing the same policies that lead to war and conflict or to insist on human rights and hold violators accountable.

On this sad anniversary, the US government can no longer afford to remain a vassal and occupied country whose congress stands obediently to applause a war criminal like Netanyahu. People shake their heads as they see 81 US Congressmen and Congresswomen take a propaganda trip to Israel during their August recess instead of spending the time dealing with the economic destruction in their own districts caused in part by the lobby that paid for their trip. People wonder how a proud country like the US could allow Israel to get away with attacking a US ship in international waters killing 28 US servicemen. How could this government then appoint lobbyists for Israel as US ambassadors to Israel (e.g. Martin Indyk) and US envoys to the Middle East (e.g. Dennis Ross)? Is it any wonder that we now learn that previous US Secretary of Defense Bill Gates had big differences on issues of policy? Many US officials now speak out while still in office not just after they leave office. It is urgent and critical.

On this sad anniversary, there are a lot of "what if" scenarios being discussed and healthy reflections around the world. For example, what if the US and Israel obeyed international law? What if we did not illegally invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan? What if Israel was forced to comply with UN resolutions on withdrawal from illegally occupied areas (SO 1948 Land is Legally occupied land) and forced to allow the ethnically-cleansed Palestinians to return to their homes and lands? In short what if we did not send the message that might makes right but rather that rights make things right? Would that not have been the most rational response to extremists whether they are wearing Turbans or wearing Kippas or wearing crosses?
(Hamas = Likud, both refuse to share the land)
In case you missed it:

On the anniversary of 9/11: Robert Fisk writes that "For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question"

Arundhati Roy on September 11
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Shahram Vahdany: King of the Jews

  The Wandering Who, Gilad Atzmon
The magical and yet extremely subtle gift that Gilad Atzmon offers through his personal journeys in The Wandering Who? is the wisdom of disillusionment; the gift of not floating above water, but having to take an insightful dive into a shrouded underworld of appearances and disappearances.

The Wandering Who?: intelligent, bold, unapologetic.

At a certain stage, around 2005, I thought to myself that I might be King of the Jews. I have achieved the unachievable, accomplished the impossible. I have managed to unite them all: Right, Left, and Centre. The entirety of the primarily-Jewish British political groups: the Zionists, the anti-Zionists, Jewish Socialists, Tribal Marxists, The Board of Deputies, Jewish Trotskyites, Jews for this and Jews for that, for the first time in history all spoke in one single voice. They all hated Gilad Atzmon equally.

Gilad begins his book, The Wandering Who? with a brief story of his childhood and the tremendous influence of his grandfather on his adolescence. He writes “my grandfather was a charismatic, poetic, veteran zionist terrorist. A former prominent commander in the right-wing Irgun terrorist organization …” He writes about his attraction to jazz, his enlistment in the IDF (Israel Defense Force), and finally being sent to the first Lebanon war. He writes of his experience in Lebanon saying:

I studied the detainees. The looked very different to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. The ones I saw in Ansar were angry. They were not defeated, they were freedom fighters and they were numerous. As we continued past the barbed wire I continued gazing at the inmates, and arrived at an unbearable truth: I was walking on the other side, in Israeli military uniform. The place was a concentration camp. The inmates were the ‘Jews’, and I was nothing but a ‘Nazi’. It took me years to admit to myself that even the binary opposition Jew/Nazi was in itself as result of my Judeo-centric indoctrination.

This becomes the focal point of the transformation in Gilad’s young character. He writes “This was enough for me. I realized that my affair with the Israeli state and with Zionism was over.” In TheWandering Who?, Gilad divides Jews into three main categories: (1), those who follow Judaism; (2), those who regard themselves as human beings who happen to be of Jewish origin; and (3), those who put their Jewishness over and above all of their other traits. He regards the first two categories as harmless and innocent groups of people. Gilad is not so kind to the third category, however. This group is the primary focus in his book. He goes beyond the what to the how and why. Like a forensic scientist, he dissects them piece by piece historically, economically, philosophically, psychologically, and politically.

Zionism: A Global Network

Israel is not a colonial power and does not function as such. Colonial powers form an equilibrium with the indigenous peoples whose land they occupy. They have a parasitic nature that knows their survival is based on cooperation with and even helping the indigenous peoples, albeit on a very minimum level. We have seen this with the colonization of India by the British, Algeria and Morocco by the French, and South Africa by Afrikana apartheid. Israel’s function is more that of a cancer that consumes its host resources until there is nothing left, consequently destroying itself as a result. As Farid Esack, a South African scholar, writer and political activist, known for his opposition to apartheid, says in his open letter to the Palestinian people, “Israel is not an apartheid, it’s worse.”

Gilad also writes:

Zionism is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine, as some scholars suggest. Zionism is actually a global movement that is fuelled by a unique tribal solidarity of third category members.

Zionism: Realm of Hungry Ghosts and Animals

By referring to hungry ghosts and animals the intention is not to dehumanize Zionists but is a reference, from a Buddhist teaching, to two of the six realms of existence, describing states of mind that human beings inhabit at any given time. The hungry ghost realm applies to those who are never satisfied, perpetually discontented no matter what they have. The animal realm refers to those without reason, who function solely by instinct and are incapable of identification with others. As Gilad put it:

Also, considering the racist, expansionist Judeo-centric nature of the Jewish State, the Diaspora Jew finds himself or herself intrinsically associated with a bigoted, enthnocentric ideology and an endless list of crimes against humanity.

Israel is the only country recognized by the United Nations without any roots in the land it occupies. In 1947, the newly formed United Nations brought a group of people from the four corners of the planet and located them in one place and called this ‘chicken soup’ the State of Israel. But more was needed in order to legitimize this newly made nation. They needed national history, which they conveniently borrowed from the Bible. It did not matter how fictional the Biblical story of Jews are. As Gilad put it, “the Jewish people is a made-up notion consisting of an imaginary past with very little to back it up forensically, historically, or textually.”

Zionists’ claim of Jewish ancestral homeland is echoed by the Christian right and Christian Zionists primarily in the historically ignorant United States population, 20% of whom still believe the earth is flat, and 55% regard evolution as a hoax. Furthermore, the majority of people in the U.S. accept the Bible as a historical and factual book.

The magical and yet extremely subtle gift that Gilad Atzmon offers through his personal journeys in The Wandering Who? is the wisdom of disillusionment; the gift of not floating above water, but having to take an insightful dive into a shrouded underworld of appearances and disappearances. He disarms his critics beforehand by saying: “I am a proud self-hating Jew”.

Although Gilad discusses an extremely sensitive phenomenon in every sense of its meaning and implications, nothing is taboo for him; even those subjects which have been expressly forbidden to explore lest one be labeled anti-Semitic or worse. Gilad recalls: “While in the past an anti-Semite was someone who hates Jews, nowadays it is the other way around, an anti-Semite is someone the Jews hate.”

Further on he writes about Holocaust as a religion:

To a certain extent, the Holocaust religion signals the final Jewish departure from monotheism, for every Jew is potentially a little God or Goddess. Abe Foxman is the God of anti-defamation, Alan Greenspan the God of ‘good economy’, Milton Friedman is the God of ‘free markets’, Lord Goldsmith the God of the ‘green light’, Lord Levy the God of fundraising, Paul Wolfowitz the God of US ‘moral interventionism’. AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) is the American Olympus, where mortals elected in the US come to beg for mercy, forgiveness for being Goyim and for a bit of cash.

Whether or not one agrees with Atzmon’s views, his book would propel Jews and non-Jews equally toward a better understanding of Israel, Zionism, and Jewish identity, beyond news headlines or state propaganda. This book is the odyssey of one man’s transformation within transformation, the end of which is yet to be written.

You can now pre-order Gilad Atzmon's New Book on or


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Egyptians Escalate Movement against Israeli Embassy, Detain Officials

Local Editor
Egyptian protestors attacked and invaded the Israeli embassy in Cairo Friday night, took off the Israeli flag and raised the Egyptian flag instead, and tossed official papers and documents, including “confidential” ones, through the windows into the massive crowds rallying near the building.
Egyptian protestors attacked the Israeli embassy, took off the
Israeli flag and raised the Egyptian flag, and tossed official
documents, including “confidential” ones,
into the rallying crowds.
The protestors were able to accomplish this step after having destroyed a wall built around the building of the embassy.

After that, they surrounded and detained six of the embassy security men, who were saved by the Egyptian commandos.

18 people were martyred and 450 others were injured during the protests after the Egyptian police confronted and attacked the protestors' movement, and used tear bombs to separate them.
Egyptian Interior Minister declared a state of high alert, and cancelled all police leave, while Prime Minister Essam Sharaf called for an emergency cabinet meeting Saturday.

The official Egyptian News Agency Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that the protestors successfully took control over “confidential” documents that belong to the Israeli apparatuses, and claimed that the “documents included letters from Israeli employees to their Egyptian counterparts written in Arabic but have Israeli stamps.”

One of the activists told Al-Manar TV Channel that some of the documents included information about the Israeli spy in Egypt Azzam Azzam whom ousted President Hosni Moubarak ordered his release four years ago.

Furthermore, the 25 January revolution coalition stated that the protestors have detained three of the Israeli embassy employees, and moved them to a “safer” place.

The coalition coordinator Houssam Al-Din Ammar told Al-Manar that the three officials were the Israeli ambassador’s secretary, and two communication and protocol officials in the embassy.

He also said that high-ranked officials have called him personally asking for the release of the Israeli detainees, but he demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and all the embassy staff, and the summoning of the Egyptian ambassador in Israel before any release, and put a time frame of three hours to do so.

Media reports revealed Saturday that Higher Chief of the Armed forces Hussein Tantawi began personally negotiating with the protestors to release the detainees, but the revolution coalition put the mentioned conditions and warned that if they were not implemented, they will intensify their movement.

The Israeli ambassador in Cairo Yitzhak Levanon reportedly left Egypt Saturday, leaving behind his senior diplomat to resume the embassy’s work.
AFP quoted an Israeli official as saying that "we left the deputy ambassador to keep up contact with the Egyptian government."
For his part, US President Barack Obama expressed his “great concern” of the rising situation to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and demanded the Egyptian authorities to “protect” the Israeli embassy; while Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak requested US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to help protecting the embassy in Cairo.

Obama’s office issued a statement indicating that Obama has “reviewed the steps that the United States is taking at all levels to help resolve the situation without further violence, and to call on the Government of Egypt to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy."

Israeli ambassador flown from Cairo in private jet

[ 10/09/2011 - 08:14 AM ]
(PIC)-- The Israeli ambassador to Cairo, his family, and his staff have been flown by private jet to Israel after Egyptian protesters stormed the building housing the Israeli mission to Cairo late Friday night, Egyptian state television reported.

The decision to fly out Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon came during an emergency meeting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held with his cabinet to address the dangers that enveloped the embassy.

Protesters managed to knock down a wall that had been set up to protect the embassy, then they entered the embassy, threw official papers from the windows and tore down and burned the Israeli flag for the second time in a few weeks.

Protests flared around the embassy a few weeks back when Israeli soldiers shot and killed Egyptian security men in a cross-border raid.
Israeli media sources said PM Netanyahu had been following with the Israeli ambassador in Cairo developments that had been playing out and said that all staff had been evacuated and were confined to their homes. Those sources said that a crisis intervention unit had also been following events.
According to Israeli experts, although the storming was limited to a storage room on the 18th floor and not the embassy itself, there would be significant repercussions to relations between Israel and Egypt.
Tensions ran extremely high before midnight Saturday morning when police forces near the embassy fired teargas at protesters who tried to storm the Giza security directorate near the embassy. The protesters set two police vehicles alight.
Skirmishes resulted in injuries to more than 450 people, mostly from breathing teargas. Some of the documents thrown from the embassy window revealed requests for permission to carry arms and requests for visits to spy Azzam Azzam, as well as intelligence documents on Egyptian political forces.
Central security forces had begun withdrawing from around the embassy earlier leaving securing the embassy to police.
Earlier, protesters who planned to take down the 3 meter high wall guarding the embassy gathered numbers from protests that amassed in Tahrir Square.

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Wissam Issa to Al-Manar Website:Patriarch Rahi Open, Adopts Vatican’s Stance

Hussein Assi
Wissam Issa to Al-Manar Website:
  • Lebanese Forces Committing Historic Mistake!
  • Sfeir Was Jounieh’s… Biased Patriarch
  • Patriarch Rahi Open, Adopts Vatican’s Stance
  • LF Party Dreaming of Federalism, Division
  • LF Stance Not Backed at Christian Level
  • Russian Position Not a Joke…
  • Syria Overcame Danger: Reforms Advancing!
Al-Marada movement politburo member Wissam Issa said that Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi adopts the stance of the Vatican, and hailed his latest remarks over the Syrian crisis, which reflected the Church’s openness towards the developments in the region and the threats witnessed by Christians.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar Website, Issa praised Patriarch Rahi’s stances, and said the Patriarch proved to be really the patriarch of Antioch and all East, while his predecessor Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir was only Jounieh’s patriarch, after he was involved in personal disputes and proved to be biased.

Issa criticized the Lebanese Forces party which never showed commitment to the state, and said the mentioned party has always dreamt of federalism and division. He warned that the LF stance was not backed at the Christian level, and highlighted that “the Sunni and Shiite LF base does not allow the party to neglect its Christian base.”

On the Syrian situation, Issa expressed belief the “danger became behind us,” and said that reforms were advancing against sedition schemes. He hailed the Russian position which considered “was not a joke,” and revealed that the possibility of external threats in Syria was very limited.


Issa told Al-Manar Website that Al-Marada movement was not accustomed to stand behind the church, and distinguished between religious and political matters in the regard. Yet, he expressed full satisfaction for the harmony between his party and the Church’s stances towards the Syrian developments. He spoke of a serious role to be played by the Vatican as part of its commitment to the East’s Christians. He noted that the decision to change the Patriarch came in this future Vatican vision, in light of the experience in Iraq and Palestine, alongside the inability for Christian to visit their sacred sites.

While noting that Patriarch Beshara Rahi was adopting the Vatican position, he expressed belief the Patriarch was showing some kind of openness, in contrast with his predecessor Nasrallah Sfeir. “It is the first time we feel we really have a Patriarch for all East. We believe Patriach Sfeir was Jounieh’s patriarch as he was involved in personal disputes and conflicts. Patriarch Rahi’s moves are great.”


Commenting on the Lebanese Forces stance towards the Patriarch’s latest positions, Issa denounced the LF claims that the Patriarch’s statements undermine the logic of the state. “The LF party has never shown commitment to the state. They have always sought to establish their own state inside the state. They dream of federalism and division. This scheme is old, it returns to the seventies,” he said.
Issa warned that the LF stance was not backed at the Christian level. He also cautioned that the LF Sunni and Shiite bases do not allow the party to neglect its Christian base. He said the LF was committing in this context a historic mistake, and wondered where the LF has been taking itself along with others.

Issa noted that balances have changed, in light of the openness reflected by the Christian leaderships, at the top the Marada movement head MP Sleiman Franjieh as well as the head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun who signed the famous understanding with Hezbollah.
“This is the Eastern honorable alliance. We know we’ll remain here and we’ll live here. We perceive days of surrender have gone. All balances have changed. Our allies are victorious. We don’t know defeat anymore.”


Asked about the developments in Syria, the Marada movement politburo member expressed belief that “danger became behind us.” He noted that all tools to undermine the regime and trouble it were exploited but failed to achieve anything. He noted that reforms were advancing and sedition schemes were retracting.

Issa also assured that Syria was externally fortified. He pointed to the Russian solid position, noting that Moscow’s stance was not a joke, as it obstructed the possibility to military interfere in Syria through the United Nations and the NATO forces. He also concluded that the possibility of external threats was very limited.
Furthermore, he urged the remaining “honorable opposition figures” in Syria to release a specific program and to open dialogue with the regime over their demands and dreams. He noted that the main weak point in this regard is that the Syrian regime does not enjoy a serious interlocutor.


To conclude, Issa was asked about the possible repercussions of the Syrian crisis on ground, whether in Lebanon or Syria, in light of the tense political rhetoric. He warned that the collapse of the sedition plot would take its sponsors to a new dangerous stage, the retreat one. He predicted that the next stage could represent a real crisis in Syria, which would be reflected through explosions and assassinations.

Issa expressed hope Lebanese “heroes” would not take Lebanon to the same scenario, and noted that the security in Lebanon was still under control and that the Lebanese army was consistent. Yet, he did not rule out the possibility that some “crazy men” could seek to move things according to a sectarian vision. “There are some attempts that were suppressed in this context. I don’t think they can create such atmosphere in Lebanon. However, we believe disruption happens everywhere, without necessarily creating a threat to the regime.”
Source: Website Team

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Ultimatum for Gaddafi to Surrender Expires, NTC Head in Tripoli

Local Editor
Deadline set for Muammar Gaddafi loyalists to surrender expired on Saturday, as rebel commanders were assuring an attack on towns controlled by strongman’s forces would take place soon.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) set the deadline for towns still loyal to Kadhafi to surrender, and on-off talks have been going on for days over Bani Walid, , a Gaddafi stronghold southeast of Tripoli.
A number of former regime officials, including Gaddafi’s spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, were believed to be holed up there.

NTC forces were massing some 30 kilometers from Bani Walid. Fighters returning from the front reported clashes between NTC "sleeper cells" and pro-Gaddafi forces in and near the town overnight, and said they were reinforcing advance positions amid "fierce resistance" from diehards.
According to chief NTC negotiator Abdullah Kenshil, "the attack will take place, but its timing will be decided by military leaders on the ground."

On Friday, a top NTC commander said "decisive military action" was imminent.
"Up to now these negotiations did not lead to positive results," said Salem Jeha -- a highly influential member of Misrata's military council -- just hours ahead of the midnight deadline.
"If the negotiations fail then there will be decisive action, decisive military action," Jeha, a former colonel in Kadhafi's army, said from the NTC military headquarters in Misrata.
"But where this military action takes place that is a surprise. We are in position and we can move in any direction and this is our strength."

Meanwhile, distant artillery fire was heard on Bani Walid’s eastern front at Sedata some 60 kilometers south of Misrata.
NATO aircraft could also be heard overhead early on Saturday.

For his part, NTC Head Mustafa Abdel Jalil was flying on Saturday to Tripoli for his first visit since its fighters seized the capital, an AFP correspondent said.

Abdel Jalil said his visit to Tripoli from NTC headquarters in Benghazi was "temporary" and that the council he heads would be transferred to Tripoli "after the (full) liberation" of the country.
Source: Agencies

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Pharisee Watch: True Christians challenging Christian Zionism


We Hold These Truths is a Christian organization that has been holding vigils in front of Christian Zionist churches around the country, challenging their support for Israel. Here is a report on their latest vigil—held Aug. 28 at Cornerstone Church in Fresno, CA. The report includes a link to a Fresno TV station which covered the event, as well as a separate link to a podcast featuring a group discussion—on the vigil as well as certain other topics. One of the discussion participants mistakenly reports the Israeli Operation Cast Lead as having occurred in "2009-10." (In reality it was 08-09). But otherwise an excellent program, with a number of important points made—by committed, genuine Christians who are following the teachings of Jesus.

Challenging a Disciple of John Hagee, An Angry Evangelical Preacher

Tom Compton Aug. 31, 2011

We Hold These Truths has conducted about 100 vigils for Peace and Justice In Palestine around the country. Typically, the media ignores us but a few vigils have been filmed by local TV stations. The most notiable happening at one of our Project Strait Gate vigils was the time a school teacher from Los Angeles, who was helping WHTT at an "Angry" Evangelical church made the misstake of parking in what he thought was public parking. Turns out it belonged the the church. He was hand-cuffed and detained by the church security staff. So much for Christian love and charity. But that incident is an exception rather then the rule when you follow help from We Hold These Truths.
On August 28, 2011, We Hold These Truths Director, Tom Compton,traveled to Fresno, CA to join with local vigil leader, David Jacobs. David was assisted by his wife Kitty and Patty Ford. Four other local residents joined in at the Cornerstone Church in downtown Fresno. We were there at 7:30 a.m. in preparation for the services that started at 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 am. David Jacobs had mailed a letter to pastor Jim Franklin a week before letting him know about our vigil and why we were going to be there. We walked up to Pastor Franklin who was standing outside the church (an old movie theatre that has been lovingly restored). David Jacobs wanted to make sure the pastor had received his letter. Pastor Franklin said that he had not seen the letter because he had been on vacation. So, David gave him a copy of what he sent. Pastor Jim Franklin's church is called Cornerstone Church, the same name as nationally known "Angry" Evangelical Preacher, John Hagee, who's mega-church is located in San Antonio, TX. John Hagee has called for such un-Christ-like actions as "a preemptive military strike against Iran to protect the state of Israel." The Cornerstone Church in Fresno has sponsored John Hagee and his Christians United For Israel (CUFI).
Much to our surprise, a locat TV News truck showed up before the 11:00 a.m. service. We all looked at each other in amazement because none of us had issued a press release. We found out later from Pastor Franklin's daughter that she had sent the press release out. The TV coverage by Channel 30, KFSN was very fair. In fact, they did some home work on their own and mentioned some things that I said nothing about during the interview: "They say they targeted Cornerstone Sunday because of its association with Televangelist John Hagee who has been criticized for his statements about Israel, the Roman Catholic Church and Islam. Hagee spoke at the church in May."
Let's hope that a large number of our Catholic and Muslim friends were watching that news cast so they could get an idea what "Angry" Evangelicalism is all about. My favorite sign to carry at a vigil is "Choose Life Not War." Most evangelicals claim they are pro-life but seem to ardently support wars in the Middle East to protect Israel and, in large part, unconcerned about the deaths of innocent children, whether they are Iraqi, Afghani or Palestinian. My next favorit sign is "Blessed Are The Peacemakers" followed by "No More Wars For Israel."
If you want to have some fun and challenge the "Angry" evangelicals in your town, let us know.

You can view the news report at:

For more details on this vigil listen to our podcast:

Tom Compton

If you listened to the above-linked podcast you heard discussion on how Israeli propaganda functioned in regard to the recent attack carried out from Egyptian territory against an Israeli bus. Here is the original report referenced in the discussion—again from the We Hold These Truths website.

Why Arabs from Egypt Attacked IDF Soldiers Riding on an Israeli Public Bus

Charles E. Carlson Aug. 22, 2011

How Israeli Propagandists Transform Dead Soldiers Into Civilians

On August 18, high noon, Arabs operating from Egyptian territory attacked, killed and wounded an unknown number of Israeli soldiers on a bus that the world was made to believe carried only civilians.
The highway from the Red Sea port city of Eilat, Israel, north to Beer Sheva and on to Tel Aviv goes through some of the most desolate and deserted landscape this bus rider has ever seen, deserted except for camps of Arab Bedouins who live in the wadis. I rode this same Egged bus on this very route near the end of March 2002 on my way to Gaza.
Egged is owned by the state of Israel and is dirt cheap to ride. About a third of the passengers on my bus were Israeli soldiers, male and female. All were dressed in field gear; many carried slung carbines with banana clip magazines in their belts. At times on this long route, there were so many soldiers onboard that some had to stand in the aisles.
Before my bus left Eilat station, I had the answer to one of the questions that had brought me to Gaza ... why do Palestinian human bombs so often pick "public buses" as targets? Not one news report I had ever read told the simple truth: every Israeli bus is a military transport; therefore, for any Palestinian who considers himself to be at war with the IDF, every Israeli bus is a legitimate military target.
I was to suffered a somewhat amusing minor injury from Israeli militarism on that Egged bus. A female IDF soldier, getting off the bus in Tel Aviv, bent 90 degrees at the hip to pick up her travel bag, and in so doing, she clumsily swung her downward slung carbine barrel up behind her, hitting me in the face with her sight blade as I was stooping in the crowd to look for my own bag. She inflicted a welt on my forehead, and she knew it, but she made no apology and was totally indifferent to me once she saw I was still alive and standing.
I consider my minor injury a symbolic scar in the war for Palestinian rights, and I wish I could have kept the Israeli-inflicted wound long enough to show it off back home!
After my visit to Gaza, I investigated some 55 bus bombings and other attacks on military installations where chances of the attacker's survival were very slim. My report, in the form of a 2002-3 series, is again available on our website. It details how the official Zionist propagandists go about changing history to support its claims of "terrorism" every time an Israeli is killed or wounded, whether that person is a member of the military or not.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' language used in the recent August 18, 2011 attack, reporting that the attack "left seven Israelis dead," is used only when some of the dead were soldiers. When soldiers are not killed, the release invariably gives heartrending details of those "civilians" killed. When some of the dead are soldiers, no details are given, implying all are civilians, but not actually saying so; by decoding the language used, readers can know when Israeli soldiers are killed without that fact being admitted by the Israel government.
Whereas every Palestinian victim is portrayed by Israel as a "terrorist," my own studies of bus targeting almost a decade ago revealed that casualties on most of the 55 bus attacks included Israeli military, implying that these attacks were aimed at concentrations of active duty military, and therefore simple acts of war.
The IDF uses a consistent pattern in press releases to create an illusion. For example, first it reported "seven Israelis" died in the August 18 attack. This implied that those killed and wounded were all civilians, since no military was mentioned — these early releases are usually the ones that get carried in the American media.
Later reports may acknowledge IDF deaths but usually cover up the number of wounded. This slightly more truthful report comes out only after the world press has had plenty of time to carry the earlier varnished release. Israel cannot avoid making corrections, because it must give proper recognition to killed IDF members; Israeli soldiers have families too, and the propaganda machine has to make them feel respected.
On August 18, the US and most world news agencies picked up the news release that read:
JTA, Global News Service for the Jewish People, announced on Aug 18, 2011, 7 Israelis Reported Dead in Palestinian Terror Attacks JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian gunmen attacked an Israeli bus traveling near Eilat — the first in a series of attacks that reportedly have left seven Israelis dead. Palestinian infiltrators from Gaza struck the Egged bus just after noon Thursday, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Israeli media are reporting that there are at least seven Israeli fatalities in the attacks, and that Israeli soldiers have killed three of the terrorists. The IDF has not confirmed the fatalities."
Note there is no mention of any IDF military deaths or wounded, when in fact two of the dead were soldiers. An unknown number of the wounded were also IDF, as was revealed in a later story about Prime Minister Netanyahu visiting the "wounded" military members. But no number of wounded military was released; some observers estimate it to be as many as 17.
The apparent truth is that a handful of Arabs of unidentified residence successfully attacked the bus with all its military support from Egyptian controlled Sinai. It happened more than 175 miles south of the Gaza strip. It is too bad civilians were killed. I took that risk unknowingly when I rode this same bus. Israel's response was to blame the event on Hamas without evidence, and launch reprisals in Gaza.
By any rule of war, if war has any rules, Israeli military personnel killed in Arab commando raids, whether by Hamas or by some other gorilla group, are war casualties. Israel is an occupier, and an occupation is an act of war. Israel's very existence requires a constant stream of organized propaganda, and it cannot tell the truth about the occupation even if some leaders might like to come clean.
While this author is neither Arab nor Muslim, I was inclined to champion the Palestine people even before I went there to see conditions for myself. One hour on the Egged bus left no doubts about what occupation means. Some 200 million plus of us Americans call ourselves "Christian," but when it come to Israel and Palestine far too many do not act like Jesus.
Israelis call Him irrelevant or deny Jesus ever lived; Palestinian Muslims recognize Jesus, many believe His word comes from God, and have told me they follow Jesus in a way of their own. Anyone who calls himself by Christ's name should support the freedom of any suppressed people, especially Palestinians; "Christians" who support Israel should seriously examine if they are hearing Jesus' words, or the words of clever men.
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