assorted zionazi drones, nebbishes & efes-gadolim

Failed Irish politician pushes agenda shaped by Israel’s spies
David Cronin, Electronic Intifada, Sep 11 2020

Lucinda Creighton. (Photo: Brian Lawless/ZUMA Press)

Every journalist should be jealous of Julian Assange. We should not envy, of course, how the WikiLeaks founder is undergoing a show trial in London or how the Washington elite wants him to die behind bars. Rather, we should be jealous of how he and his team have unearthed more facts about US imperialism in the 21st century than any other media organization. Disgracefully, contributors to supposedly serious publications like The Guardian have mocked Assange and effectively applauded his tormentors. As well as doing a disservice to their profession, those “journalists” have conveniently forgotten recent history. Not long ago, The Guardian was happy to team up with Assange and publish his scoops. One of the numerous US diplomatic cables which entered the public domain as a result deserves more attention than it has received. It summarizes a two-hour meeting held on Jul 26 2007 between Frances Townsend, at the time the “homeland security” assistant to Bush 43, and Meir Dagan, then head of Mossad. During that chat, Dagan acknowledged that Iran had not yet mastered uranium enrichment. Sanctions imposed on the Iranians with the ostensible aim of thwarting their nuclear program meant “they are paying a heavy political price (sanctions) for something they have yet to achieve,” the cable stated. The hypocrisy involved here is breath-taking. The US is the only country to have ever dropped nuclear bombs. Israel introduced nuclear weapons to the Middle East, thereby imperilling world peace. What right did representatives of these two highly dangerous states have to wage economic warfare against Iran over weapons that by Mossad’s own assessment, it was a long way from developing?

Dagan, who died in 2016, kept pushing the US to adopt a belligerent stance toward Tehran. His stint running Mossad ended at the end of 2010. In 2012, he joined United Against a Nuclear Iran. Frances Townsend remains on the advisory board of that lobby group alongside another former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and the notoriously bloodthirsty John Bolton. Townsend is also a leading member of the Counter-Extremism Project, a partner organization of United Against a Nuclear Iran. These groups may have solicited and obtained funds from Toad Arabia and the UAE, evidence gathered by the investigative reporter Eli Clifton indicates. Toad Arabia and the UAE are anti-democratic states allied to the US, which are also being courted by Israel. Like quite a few other outfits with a pro-Israel agenda, the Counter Extremism Project has built up a presence on both sides of the Atlantic. It has tasked Lucinda Creighton, a former minister in the Irish government, with managing its relations with the EU institutions. Creighton is one of those politicians who became professional lobbyists after experiencing rejection at the ballot box. Previously an MP for the right-wing Fine Gael, she quit that party in 2013 because she disagreed with how it moved toward legalizing abortion. Creighton subsequently set up her own party, Renua. It failed to win any seats in a 2016 general election and within a few months of that defeat, Creighton had stepped down as Renua leader. The Counter-Extremism Project has evidently been an important source of revenue for her since then. Together with appointing Creighton as its Brussels representative, the Counter-Extremism Project is one of the main clients for her firm Vulcan Consulting. Creighton has lately been urging the EU to treat Hizballah as a pariah. While the EU has placed Hizballah’s military wing on its terrorist blacklist in 2013, it has not done so for the political wing. Creighton wants that distinction to be dropped. In making that case, she has underscored, perhaps inadvertently, that she no longer feels encumbered by the policies of Ireland’s foreign ministry, where she used to work. Ireland is among the EU members that has favored keeping the communication lines to Hizballah open.

An opinion piece that Creigton recently signed claimed that Hizballah has “ravaged the region politically, economically and violently for decades.” That description would be more accurately applied to Israel. Hizballah’s resistance activities are, by contrast, a direct response to Israeli aggression. The article which Creighton signed conveniently ignored how Hizballah was actually formed because Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. The Counter-Extremism Project has whitewashed Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon. The group’s website suggests that Israel had no option than to commit massacres. All the Lebanese suffering was due to Hizballah’s “use of civilian shields,” it alleges, citing a report by the AJC. Israel’s destruction of entire neighborhoods on the pretext that Hizballah fighters were based in them was deliberate. The thinking behind such destruction has been dubbed the “Dahiya doctrine” after an area near Beirut that Israel flattened. Israel has resorted to the same kind of tactics when bombarding Gaza and has continuously threatened Lebanon with further offensives. Netanyahu even issued one such threat a few hours before the massive explosion in Beirut last month. Who are the real extremists? It takes an extremist mindset to try and justify the mass slaughter of civilians. Israel’s political and military establishment is full of people with that mindset. Just don’t expect them to be condemned by the Counter-Extremism Project.

Drop Israel-friendly Emgage, say Palestinian, Muslim activists
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, Sep 11 2020

Farooq Mitha. (via Twitter)

Palestinian and Muslim activists in the United States are calling on community organizations and leaders to drop affiliations with the Muslim American group Emgage. They are also calling on Joe Biden to fire Farooq Mitha, the Emgage board member hired as his Muslim outreach adviser. The activists say in an open letter published on Friday:

Leaders at Emgage have repeatedly disregarded the legitimate interests of Muslim communities in the United States to the detriment of the constituencies they claim to represent. Mitha simply does not represent the views or will of our communities.

The dozens of initial signers include Palestinian American activists, faith leaders and eight delegates to the 2016 and 2020 DNCs, among other grassroots activists. This follows an exposé published by The Electronic Intifada this week documenting how leaders of Emgage maintain close ties with Israel lobby groups. At least four Emgage board and staff have traveled to Israel and the occupied West Bank with the Muslim Leadership Initiative. MLI is a project of the Shalom Hartman Institute, an Israeli organization that works closely with the IOF. It is financed by the Russell Berrie Foundation, which is one of the biggest funders of Islamophobes in the United States, including notorious anti-Muslim agitators Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson. Emgage leaders have also collaborated with Israel lobby groups that have waged a relentless campaign against Palestine solidarity activism, especially the BDS movement. These groups include AIPAC, the ADL and the AJC. The open letter also reflects widespread concern that Emgage is more of a vehicle for personal advancement, than an organization committed to the principled pursuit of policies that help Muslim communities. It refers to an incident this summer when the Biden campaign smeared Palestinian American campaigner Linda Sarsour and the BDS movement as anti-Semitic. According to the letter, Farooq Mitha and Emgage co-chair Khurrum Wahid “sought to obtain concessions in the form of more appointments in the Biden campaign and/or transition team in lieu of a public apology.” The letter adds:

Such an apology was the specific demand of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim American leaders and activists.

Emgage responded to The Electronic Intifada’s article on Wednesday. But its response did not deny or contradict the facts we reported. The statement did affirm Emgage’s support for BDS and Palestinian rights more generally. But for many, that did not go far enough. Emgage claimed that since 2018 it has adopted a policy barring its members from taking part in the Muslim Leadership Initiative, even in a personal capacity. Yet in 2019, the letter notes, Emgage CEO and former State Dept official Wa’el Alzayat “partnered with the Shalom Hartman Institute and the ADL to launch yet another faithwashing initiative.” Faithwashing describes efforts to falsely portray Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as a religious dispute. It also describes projects that use “interfaith” dialogue as a cover for normalization of ties with Israel, or which aim to co-opt faith leaders and silence their criticisms of Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. The activists say:

Despite a recent statement by Emgage expressing support for BDS and the Palestinian right of return, we have witnessed no accountability or apology from the organization for the above-cited litany of harmful actions. We have seen neither a pledge from Emgage to formally end its normalization activities nor a statement denouncing Zionism as a racist ideology.

That echoes a call from Sami al-Arian, a well-known scholar and Palestinian rights activist, who in August publicly criticized Emgage for its willingness to “dance with Zionists.” On Thursday, al-Arian told The Electronic Intifada that a statement supporting Palestinian rights is “meaningless” without an apology and a pledge by Emgage to refrain from working with Israel lobby groups.

Israel seeks to expel lawyer Salah Hamouri
Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, Sep 11 2020

Protests calling for the release of Salah Hamouri have recently
been held in France. (Photo: Alain Pitton/ZUMA Press)

Israel is seeking to expel the Palestinian French human rights defender Salah Hamouri from Jerusalem. Hamouri was summoned to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, an Israeli detention center synonymous with the torture of Palestinian prisoners, on Sep 3. There he was given a letter from Israel’s interior ministry informing him that his status as a permanent resident of Jerusalem would be revoked, according to the human rights group FIDH. The decision was reportedly based on Israel’s 1952 Law of Entry, under which Israel assesses if Palestinians may stay in their homeland. FIDH warned that the law violates article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from deporting people living under occupation. Hamouri, a lawyer, was given 30 days to appeal the decision.

Aged 35, Hamouri was born in occupied East Jerusalem to a French mother and Palestinian father and has lived there since. Israel is seeking to expel him and never allow him to return. He has previously spent about eight years in Israeli occupation prisons. France reportedly asked Israel to “postpone” Hamouri’s expulsion. Hamouri holds French citizenship. Anna Azari, an Israeli diplomat, told Eric Danon, the French ambassador to Israel, that Hamouri faces expulsion due to his active membership in the PFLP, a leftist party. Azari smeared Hamouri by calling him one of the “terrorists among us.” Israel considers virtually all Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist” organizations, a pretext to routinely arrest Palestinians for political activity. Hamouri was imprisoned in 2005 over charges that included membership of the PFLP and a plot to kill Ovadia Yosef, a prominent rabbi.

Hamouri has insisted he is innocent. After three years in administrative detention, without charge or trial, he accepted a plea deal from Israel’s military court in order to obtain a shorter sentence. He was released in 2011 along with more than 1k other Palestinians in a deal between Israel and Hamas. The prisoners were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel arrested Hamouri again in 2018 and detained him for more than a year without charge or trial. Eric Danon appealed to Israel’s foreign ministry that Hamouri be able to remain in Jerusalem. The French government said it was inquiring into “the reasons for this decision” and that it was calling for “its immediate withdrawal.” The French government added:

Salah Hamouri must be able to lead a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born and where he resides.

Elsa Lefort, Hamouri’s French wife, was deported from Israel in 2016 and banned from returning for 10 years. France called on Israel to allow his wife and son to visit him in Jerusalem. In 2018, Israel passed a law that would enable the revocation of people’s residency status in East Jerusalem if they should be found in “breach of allegiance” to Israel. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in Jun 1967, and formally annexed it in 1980. There are about 420k Palestinians living there. Between 1967 and last year, Israel revoked the residency status of almost 14.7k Palestinians from East Jerusalem. Among the excuses offered for the revocations were that Palestians had temporarily moved elsewhere to study, work, be closer to family or get married. Sometimes Israel has withdrawn residency from Palestinians because of actions allegedly carried out by their relatives.

The Israeli government announced earlier this month that the bodies of Palestinians killed by IOF will not be returned to their families. Israel’s policy has been that it withholds the remains of Palestinians it killed during alleged attacks on soldiers and civilians. Benny Gantz, the deputy prime minister, had requested that the measure be taken a step further. Under Gantz’s proposal, Israel will withhold all Palestinian bodies its occupation forces kill, even if they don’t subscribe to a Palestinian political party. Gantz said:

Refusal to return the bodies of terrorists is part of our commitment of maintaining the security of Israeli citizens.

It was also part of Israel’s commitment to “bring home” the bodies of Israeli soldiers who were killed or went missing in battle, according to Gantz. By making this comment, Gantz was admitting to Israel’s policy of withholding Palestinian bodies so that they may be used as bargaining chips in future prisoner swaps. Adalah, a group that advocates for the rights of Palestinians in Israel, described the new decision as “extreme, barbaric, illegal policy” which was “motivated by vengeance.” Adalah is now leading the fight to return the body of Ahmad Erakat, a Palestinian whom Israel extra-judicially executed in June. Israel said that Erakat had intentionally rammed a military checkpoint with his car, causing minor injuries to a soldier. Video of the incident shows that soldiers shot Erakat when he got out of his car, holding his hands in the air. His family said that the 26-year-old was running errands ahead of his sister’s wedding when he was slain.

Bahrainis decry betrayal as king does deal with Israel
Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, Sep 11 2020

Trump announces the agreement to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and Bahrain, Sep 11. Photo: Polaris

In a move that surprised no one, Bahrain and Israel agreed on Friday to establish full diplomatic ties, formalizing more than two decades of clandestine relations. Trump announced the US-brokered agreement in a joint statement with Netanyahu and Bahrain’s king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The statement was also published in Arabic by Bahrain’s foreign ministry:

The three leaders spoke on the phone following the announcement. Bahrain and Israel “will exchange embassies and ambassadors, begin direct flights between their countries and launch cooperation initiatives,” Trump announced at an Oval Office press conference. Areas of cooperation will include health, business, technology, education, security and agriculture, Trump said. During the leaders’ call, Bahrain’s king reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the moribund two-state solution, according to Bahrain’s official news agency. Declaring support for a two-state solution they are doing nothing to advance is a standard tactic by Arab and European governments to deflect from their complicity and inaction as Israel continues to violently colonize Palestinian land. Supporting the non-existent “peace process” is also used as an excuse for public and private dealings with Israel. Bahrain is following in the footsteps of its regional ally the UAE, which also agreed to full normalization of relations with Israel less than a month ago. Both countries will sign the agreements with Israel in a White House ceremony on Sep 15. Both normalization agreements are being described as treaties of “peace,” despite neither countries having actually engaged in war with Israel. Trump told reporters:

It’s just a very historic day, a very important day and so interesting that it’s on 9/11. It’s such a great time.

Netanyahu said in a video address on Friday:

These treaties are the result of tireless work behind the scenes over many years.

A grinning Netanyahu also celebrated the fact that Israel was gaining “peace for peace,” a term long used by Netanyahu in opposition to the formula “land for peace” that was for decades meant to be the basis of negotiations. “Peace for peace” means, in effect, that Israel is getting full, normal relations in exchange for nothing. Unlike the UAE, which tried to spin its agreement to normalize relations as an exchange for Israel suspending plans to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank, Bahrain does not pretend it has achieved anything for Palestinians. Bahrain’s foreign minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani will lead his country’s delegation to Faschingstein on Tuesday to sign what Trump called the “Declaration of Peace.” Hend Al Otaiba, spokesperson for the UAE foreign ministry, confirmed that her country’s foreign minister Abd’ullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, brother of the country’s crown prince, will lead the Emirati delegation. Al Otaiba welcomed Bahrain’s decision. Netanyahu said he would lead the Israeli delegation. A Bahraini official called Kushner and Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz a few hours after the announcement of the agreement between the UAE and Israel on Aug 13. Israeli publication Walla reported that the unnamed senior Bahraini official told Trump’s advisers:

We want to be the next Arab state to normalize relations with Israel.

Talks ensued between US and Bahraini officials, and Kushner’s delegation visited Manama after their trip to Israel and the UAE in late August and early September. Kushner carried with him a Torah scroll which he presented to the Bahrainis as a gift for the monarch. It was important for them to secure the deal before the Sep 15. White House ceremony to encourage others in the region to move towards normalization. The deal was sealed when Toad Arabia “gave the green light” to Bahrain, Walla reported. Bahrain’s rush to be next to betray Palestine is hardly surprising. The tiny island state’s ties with Israel and US lobby groups have been strengthening in recent years. It was in Manama that the Trump administration’s so-called “Peace to Prosperity” conference was hosted in Jun 2019, where the economic component of the US Middle East “peace” plan was announced. Palestinians were starkly absent from the festivities. Israeli journalists were welcomed to Bahrain’s capital, and even conducted interviews with its foreign minister at the time, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who is now an adviser to the king. Al Khalifa was the most brazenly pro-Israel Gulf official even before any Gulf state established formal relations with Israel. He had previously approached Israel’s former foreign minister Tzipi Livni at the Feb 2017 Munich Security Conference to relay a message on behalf of Bahrain’s king that he had decided to move towards normalization with Israel and wanted her to inform Netanyahu. Livni and Al Khalifa even posed for a picture together on another occasion:

Livni has been repeatedly pursued internationally by prosecutors for questioning over her role in war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Al Khalifa regularly cheers for Israel’s attacks on countries in the region, defends Netanyahu and downplaysIsrael’s oppression of Palestinians. His warming up to the Israel lobby goes back at least a decade. Top Israel lobbyist William Daroff, CEO of the CPMAJO, posted a picture of himself and Al Khalifa, which he said was taken at the house of prominent American rabbi Levi Shemtov in 2010.

Israel has previously sold Bahrain sophisticated spy software which was reportedly used to spy on human rights activists. A delegation from the AJC visited Bahrain last year and met with top officials. Months earlier, the group presented Bahrain with an award for being “opening and welcoming” towards it. Al Khalifa even received the award on his country’s behalf. In 2017, Bahrain’s king denounced the Arab boycott of Israel and declared that citizens of his Gulf nation would now be allowed to visit Israel. A Bahraini delegation from the “interfaith” organization This is Bahrain even traveled to Israel in 2017 claiming that “the king sent us.” In occupied East Jerusalem, the delegation was met with outright rejection from Palestinians, who viewed it as normalization with Israel. This is Bahrain has significant ties with Zionist individuals and groups. Bahraini social media users took to Twitter on Friday to protest their government’s normalization with Israel using hashtags “Bahrainis against normalization” and “Normalization is a betrayal.”

The Bahraini Society Against Normalization with the Zionist Enemy rejected the agreement in a Tweet on Friday. it read:

How do you look at the hands that shake yours and not see blood on each palm?

Bahrain Normalizes Ties With Israel Weeks After UAE Deal
South Front, Sep 12 2020

The US-Israeli alliance continues its diplomatic advance on the Middle East as well as US President Donald Trump makes new points to gain even more support from the Israeli lobby in the United States ahead of the Nov 3 election. On Sep 11, Bahrain joined the UAE in agreeing to normalize relations with Israel in another diplomatic victory of the Trump administration.

The US-brokered deal has already been denounced by the Palestinian leadership as “another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause.”

Trump expectedly announced the deal on Twitter after he spoke by phone to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Netanyahu. The text of the joint statement of the US, Bahrain and Israel says that “opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”

Similar to the Israeli-UAE deal, the Bahrain-Israel agreement will normalize diplomatic, commercial, security and other relations between the two countries. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia already dropped a ban on Israeli flights using its airspace.

The released statement said that said Bahrain, Israel and the US will continue efforts “to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realise their full potential.”

In fact, this means that the UAE and Bahrain finally revealed their real position in the region as an official part of the Israeli-US bloc despite their public statements about the supposed concern regarding the Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Just a few days ago, the US State Department claimed that the UAE and Israel could forge an alliance against Iran. So, another goal of the ongoing US-sponsored ‘normalization’ with Israel is also obvious. Meanwhile, citizens of Bahrain are not so happy to see such actions of the country’s leadership:

4 Comments

  1. helvena
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Once the Arab countries normalize ties with Israel, then American support, both military and financial, won’t have a leg to stand on.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great video clip. I recommend it to anyone who didn’t watch it. It’s inspiring.

  3. helvena
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Do you mean that the masses marching in the streets is inspiring? It only convinces people (not me) that U.S. support for Israel is necessary. We can’t keep going in the same track we have been for the last eighty years, it doesn’t work.

  4. niqnaq
    Posted September 13, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes, that comes to the same thing. It dis-inspires US support for Israel.

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