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Robert Fisk, The Independent 3/1/2015
Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America – with the same confidence that he can support his army when they slaughter hundreds of children in Gaza
Uri Avnery is without doubt the most intellectual, philosophical, prescient leftist Israeli seer I have ever met. Like TS Eliot, he has a habit of using the fewest words to tell the greatest truth. Every essay he writes, this reader always says the same thing: Exactly! Yet, for the first time in 40 years, I disagree with the great man.
He has just suggested that Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement to address the US Congress at the invitation of Republicans tomorrow – two weeks before an Israeli general election – and Barack Obama’s decision not to see the old rogue, has destroyed Israel’s bipartisan support in America. For the first time, says Uri, Democratic politicians are allowed to criticise Israel.
Congressmen of both parties have grovelled and fainted and shrieked their support for Bibi and his predecessors with more enthusiasm that the Roman hordes in the Colosseum. Last time Bibi turned up on the Hill, he received literally dozens of standing ovations from the sheep-like representatives of the American people, whose uncritical adoration of the Israeli state – and their abject fear of uttering the most faint-hearted criticism lest they be called anti-Semites – suggest that Bibi would be a far more popular US president than Barack. And Bibi’s impeccable American accent doesn’t hurt.
And his aim – to earn votes for himself and to destroy the one foreign policy achievement within Obama’s grasp – will have absolutely no effect at all on Israeli-US relations.... more.. e-mail The story of a young man in the Israeli lobby
Hossam Shaker, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/2/2015
It is interesting that the AIPAC conference programme includes one session dedicated to a young Palestinian man. At first glance, it would seem as if the Israeli lobby in America was supporting peace and harmony, but there is no need to be optimistic. This young man was a "former Palestinian" who said that Israel is right in everything it does and that the violations committed by its army are legitimate; it is victim blaming and the glorification of the executioner.
At first, the story may seem interesting; a Palestinian boy leaves his family, country and cause and attacks his culture under false justification spun by the occupation's propaganda. In addition to this, he is also the son of a Palestinian Hamas leader and therein lies the extraordinariness of his story, making it very exciting.
Those who have kept up with the story since its beginning, with the sudden emergence of the young man named Mosab, and then transforming the suspicious story into the book Son of Hamas/The Green Prince, followed by the efforts made to promote the book and the production of a film with the same title, would find themselves facing a hollow media bubble. The young man's story and history was exaggerated in this context in a naïve manner in order to give his individual story great significance.
The pro-Israeli propaganda tried to portray Mosab as an innocent boy whose conscience woke up and he emerged to tell the truth. However, this young man's journey was not one of an awakened conscience, but a journey of falling into the grips of the Israeli intelligence, which lured him and used him to spy on his community. They then carried him up to the propaganda platform before the world to talk in the language of self-hate.
Those contemplating the young man's experience and expressions would doubt his emotional and psychological balance and stability.... more.. e-mail 10 Reasons To Pray for AIPAC’s Decline
Medea Benjamin, CounterPunch 3/2/2015
The Demise Ahead
As a secular Jew, I don’t do much praying. But this week, as the powerful pro-Israeli government lobby AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) holds its annual policy meeting in Washington DC, I’m praying that this year marks the beginning of the end of the lobby’s grip on US foreign policy.
From March 1-3, over 10,000 AIPAC supporters will descend on the nation’s capital. The meeting comes at a time when the relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at an all-time low. Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress right after he speaks at the AIPAC conference is seen by the White House as a direct attempt to undermine the president and his administration’s nuclear talks with Iran. In an unprecedented move, over 50 brave congresspeople have decided to skip Netanyahu’s Congressional address.
AIPAC’s support of the Israeli prime minister over the US president is turning AIPAC into a Republican-biased lobby that could hopefully prove fatal to its future influence in Washington. Here are ten reasons why this would be good for world peace:
1. AIPAC wants to sabotage nuclear talks with Iran. AIPAC – like the Israeli government –has no faith in the complex negotiations under way between Iran and the US (along with its five partners) to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. It pushes for greater sanctions on Iran knowing that—as Secretary of State John Kerry has said—additional sanctions would threaten the diplomatic path. AIPAC, which has successfully lobbied the US government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran in the past, is ignoring White House warnings and its lobby day this year will push for the Kirk-Menendez sanctions bill, a bill the President has vowed to veto. If the nuclear talks fail, the violence that has engulfed the Middle East will only get worse and will put the US on a dangerous path to more war. more.. e-mail Spy Cables show America’s hypocrisy on Hamas
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/25/2015
The publication by Al Jazeera and The Guardian this week of a cache of cables leaked from the files of the South African intelligence services has been enlightening.
Some of the stories that have come out so far only confirm things that were already known. However, these are still valuable for the extra detail they provide and the way they verify certain stories with independent sourcing.
For example, it was already well-known that the Palestinian Authority led an extensive diplomatic campaign against the promotion and adoption of the Goldstone report in international forums like the UN Human Rights Council.
Although the PA publicly claimed to support it, the Palestine Papers in 2011 revealed that behind the scenes they buckled to American and Israeli pressure to ensure the report's recommendations were never implemented.
The report ultimately accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes during Israel's devastating and bloody assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. Hamas, for its part, fully cooperated with the South African judge's report, although it disagreed with the part of the conclusions that accused its armed wing of war crimes.
The new revelations in the Spy Cables confirm the story that Palestine Papers tell. One cable shows how Mossad chief Meir Dagan personally called the head of South Africa's State Security Agency on his mobile phone. The number had not been given out: the agents expressed concern, and launched an internal investigation into how the number was obtained by Israeli spies.
Once Dagan's identity had been confirmed, the South Africans promised to pass his message onto the political echelon, warning they would have little influence there.... -- See also: EI: ex, blackmail and theft: leaks detail Israeli spy operations more.. e-mail
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