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Posts Tagged ‘Philip Weiss

‘NYT’ coverage of Trump peace plan news quotes 5 pro-Israel voices, 0 Palestinians

Media Analysis

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The New York Times covers phase one of the Trump peace plan, an economic “workshop” in Bahrain next month at which the administration is expected to dangle the money it wants to give Palestinians and states neighboring Israel, so that Palestinians will sacrifice their political demands/rights (among them sovereignty on ’67 borders; return of refugees; shared Jerusalem)– a figure said to be $68 billion.

The article quotes No Palestinians. (No Palestinian business person will attend this faked “workshop”)

It does include quotes from Aaron David Miller, Jared Kushner, Robert Satloff, Treasury’s Steve Mnuchin, and Brookings pundit Tamara Cofman Wittes. Five (Jewish) Americans, all five of them strong supporters of Israel. (Mnuchin’s background is here.)

Satloff, Wittes, and Miller are all presented as “critics” of the plan, but they are all Zionist critics of the plan. Just different shades of Zionist.(No, not shade. Stauncher Zionists than most Israelis)

Why? This is racism in journalism before your eyes.

The Times clearly has a structural bias against Palestinians. (As all colonial powers’ administrations in the last century)

Even as it demonstrates its higher consciousness in other left zones, the newspaper is stuck in the old paradigm on Israel.

How else could a newspaper publish four justifications of the killings of nonviolent protesters inside of a few months, as it did last year in Gaza?

This would never happen in any other context when a government opens fire on demonstrators.

But the Times columnists offered those justifications, in Shmuel Rosner’s case almost a bloodthirsty one, and there was no balance, let alone criticism from the Roger Cohens, David Brookses, and Michelle Goldbergs of the world.

Palestinians simply don’t count as full human actors.

The Palestinian Prime Minister released a statement rejecting the economic summit today. He and his cabinet surely were available yesterday. So was Sam Bahour, who writes that Palestine cannot have an economic future without an independent political future, in which construction workers and university graduates will be able to find employment inside a Palestinian state.

Diana Buttu, Saeb Erekat, Hanan Ashrawi (who has been denied a visa to travel to the U.S.), Omar Barghouti, Mustafa Barghouti, Haider Eid surely would have spoken to the Times, too.

Palestine is truly teeming with sophisticated political actors on a wide range who would have something to say about the implausibility of economic peace.

And if the Times says this was an American politics piece, well, there are Palestinians here, too, who have a lot to say. The bottom line here is obvious and disturbing. Palestinians aren’t equals.

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Many evidences: Israel attempted and assassinated a few US ambassadors

New book gives credence to US ambassador John Gunther Dean claim

“Israel tried to assassinate me in 1980” when ambassador to Lebanon during civil war

Middle East  

 

John Gunther Dean, now 92, and a former American ambassador to five countries, has long maintained that Israel was behind his attempted assassination on August 28, 1980, in a suburb of Beirut, which was attributed to a right-wing Lebanese group (Christian militia factions).

(That was before Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and entered its Capital Beirut, and forced the PLO to vacate Lebanon)

Dean and his wife and daughter and son-in-law were in a motorcade and narrowly escaped serious injury.

Dean said that he was targeted because he was doing something regarded as antithetical to Israel’s interest: consulting with the Palestine Liberation Organization and its head, Yasser Arafat, at a time when such contacts were the third rail in US politics. He was also outspokenly critical of Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

(Israel made it a policy to frequently pre-empt wars on Southern Lebanon and killing civilians. No less than 7 such wars. The latest was in June 2006, which lasted 33 days, and Hezbollah defeated it. Since then, Israel is wary of attempting such attacks)

A new book offers backing to Dean’s claim.

But while that book has been highly-publicized, the question of whether Israel attacked our ambassador has gotten no attention in the press. That is not a surprise; for Dean has asserted that the case itself was never thoroughly investigated by the U.S. government.

Let’s begin this story where I first heard about it, from historian Remi Brulin’s twitter thread on May 30:

“On August 28, 1980, the three-car motorcade of John Gunther Dean, the American Ambassador to Lebanon, was attacked on the motorway by several assailants armed with automatic rifles as well as light anti-tank weapons or LAWs. The ambassador and his wife escaped unscathed.

“This attack is in RAND’s ‘terrorism’ database. Entry states that ‘responsibility for attack was later claimed by the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners, a shadowy right-wing group.’ Various media outlets at the time reported on FLLF taking credit for the attack…

“Over the years Ambassador Dean has repeatedly argued that Israel was behind the August 1980 attempt on his life.

In an interview for the Oral History Project in September 2000, he explained how the Lebanese Intelligence services had managed to retrieve the empty canisters of two of the light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) that had been used during the attack on his motorcade and, during raiding a house by the intersection where the assault had taken place, found 8 more. Dean collected the numbers on the 10 missiles and sent them to Washington to be traced.

“Three weeks (and one angry phone call) later, the US Ambassador finally learned ‘where the light anti-tank weapons came from, where they were shipped to, on what date, who paid for them, and when they got to their destination.’

The LAWs had been manufactured in the US and ‘were sold and shipped to Israel in 1974.’

In this interview, Dean further states that he “did find out a great deal about this incident’ over the following years, and calls this assassination attempt ‘one of the more unsavory episodes in our Middle Eastern history’ and ends by noting that ‘our Ambassador to Israel, Sam Lewis, took up this matter with the Israeli authorities.’

“Dean concludes: ‘I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack. Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.’ [Haaretz covered Dean’s claim, made in his 2009 autobiography; so did The Nation]

“All of this has been known for years, although it is very rarely discussed in the US media. When discussed, Dean’s assertions/accusations are dismissed as conspiracy theories.

“In January however, a book was published that appears to reinforce the plausibility of Dean’s position.

The book is Ronen Bergman’s Rise and Kill First. It has received rave reviews in the US press, and its author has been interviewed countless times since the book was published. The book focuses on Israeli ‘targeted assassinations’ and it contains one truly remarkable revelation.

“In 1979, (Rafael] Eitan and Meir Dagan) both brass in the Israel Defense Forces] created the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners, and ran that fictitious group from 1979 to 1983. In 1981 and 1982, Ariel Sharon used that Front to conduct a series of indiscriminate car bombings that killed hundreds of civilians.

“The objective of this massive ‘terrorist’ car bombing campaign was to ‘sow chaos’ amongst the Palestinian & Lebanese civilian population” and, in 1981-82, to provoke the PLO into resorting to ‘terrorism,’ thus providing Israel with an excuse to invade Lebanon.

“The FLLF operation is described in great details in Bergman’s book. His account is based solely on first hand accounts from Israeli officials involved in the operation or who were aware of it at the time.

It is also described in detail in my article here [in Mondoweiss in May: The remarkable disappearing act of Israel’s car-bombing campaign in Lebanon or: What we (do not) talk about when we talk about ‘terrorism’].

“As I show in this article, not a SINGLE review of Bergman’s book in the US media has mentioned the FLLF operation. Nor has it been mentioned in a SINGLE of the countless interviews he has given on the topic over the last few months.

The US media has thus been fully silent about the fact that Israeli officials directed a major & fully indiscriminate car bombing campaign that killed 100s of civilians in Lebanon. This silence also means that the US media has failed to notice the possible implications of this revelation about the Dean case.

“Bergman himself does not mention the assassination attempt against Dean. But we know that the FLLF took credit for this attack at the time. That Dean’s own investigation pointed to Israel & to its Lebanese proxies. And we now know that the FLLF was CREATED and RUN by Israel.

“None of this is absolutely conclusive. Nonetheless, this topic might warrant investigation from US journalists (who might also want to write about the FLLF car bombing campaign, ie about Israeli officials resorting to ‘terrorism.’”

Brulin subsequently added this important comment:

Bergman does note on several occasions in his book that he is not allowed to write and talk about a lot of the operations that his sources talked to him about. I wonder if this FLLF operation vs Dean is one of those.

Let us add some details and context.

Dean was born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1926 and escaped the Holocaust to the United States in 1938, later graduating from a Kansas City high school.

It goes without saying that being ambassador to five countries, Cambodia, Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand and India, is a stellar career in foreign service.

I reached out to Dean and did not hear from him, but in his oral history, the ambassador says that the attack was a “horrible experience” that scarred his daughter.

The road at that stretch was wide and a Mercedes car was parked below a small hill overlooking the road. As we turned, our convoy took 21 rifle bullets and two grenades anti-tank fired against the car I was in.

My wife threw herself on top of me and said: “Get your head down” because I was trying to look out and was stunned by the “fireworks”. When you have these light anti-tank weapons (LAWs) explode, there are a lot of sparks and explosions.

two LAWs fired at my car bounced off the rear of the car. I also noticed that on the window of my armored car there were some shots all very well centered where I was sitting, but they had not penetrated because the plastic windows were bullet-proof.

In his autobiography Danger Zones,Dean says he urged the State Department to investigate, but: “No matter how hard I tried, I could not get a straight answer from the State Department about what the U.S. had discovered in its investigations… I was simply told to resume my duties as ambassador. That was not so easy when I learned what the Lebanese intelligence agency found out [using the numbers on the weapons].”

Dean says he was clearly understood to be an enemy of Israel because on repeated occasions he had publicly condemned Israel’s attacks on Lebanon’s borders and air space, a stance the State Department usually did not take.

Scurrilous attacks on me in the Israeli Knesset and the Israeli press just prior to the assassination attempt indicate that the Israeli authorities were unhappy with the activist role I played in Lebanon, defending Lebanese sovereignty and maintaining an active relationship with the PLO–the very policies I was given to pursue by the president of the United States.

The venomous talk in the Israeli Knesset by the right-wing parties portrayed me as a tool of the Palestinians. Because I was willing, even eager, to talk with all the factions in Lebanon’s civil war, I was suspected of being anti-Israel.

Dean said he had a “close working relationship” with the PLO– including calling on Yasser Arafat to help broker the release of 13 of 66 American hostages held by Iranians in Tehran in November 1979, those 13 being the women and African-Americans. “On a number of occasions the PLO helped me to get Americans released… American authorities considered the PLO a valid interlocutor for discussing ways of finding a nonmilitary solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

At that time, the PLO was verboten in official policy circles.

Andrew Young was forced to resign as Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to the U.N. in 1979 after the Israelis leaked the fact that he had met with a representative of the PLO.

In 1977, Ted Koppel and Marvin Kalb wrote a thriller that turned on a US official having a super-secret meeting with a fictitious Palestinian group, and it leaking and the official being charged with betraying Israel.

In 1976, the dissident Jewish peace group Breira came apart after Wolf Blitzer, who was at the time also working for the Israel lobby group AIPAC, reported in the Jerusalem Post that Breira members had met with PLO officials.

Dean had a reputation for being free-thinking in Washington circles.

In 1988, when Dean was ambassador to India, Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq died in Pakistan when his plane was sabotaged. Dean maintained that Israel was behind the assassination because it did not want Pakistan to obtain nuclear weapons, which it was then developing.

Dean speculation was based in part on the fact that pro-Israel congressmen (Stephen Solarz and Tom Lantos) had visited him in New Delhi and pressed him to support Israel’s ally India over Pakistan and to seek to thwart Pakistan’s path toward nukes.

“The more I pushed for answers, the more officials from the Reagan administration pushed back,” he wrote. Within a year, Dean, 63, retired amid official questions about his sanity under “strain.”

The department’s first thought was to send me to an asylum.” Instead he was sent to Switzerland for “recuperation,” he writes in his autobiography. “This was the kind of technique that the Stalinist regime used to silence its critics in the Soviet Union.”

Ronen Bergman’s new book on the Israeli assassination and terrorism campaign contains no reference to the John Gunther Dean attack. I asked him via a twitter message why he had left it out, noting that his revelation about Israeli security officials establishing the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners gives credence to Dean’s claim. He did not respond.

The Israeli investigative reporter is now working for the New York Times, and lately reported in the Times on the killing of a Syrian rocket scientist in a car bomb attack in northwestern Syria on the night of August 4, evidently by Israel.

P.S. The US government has had a miserable record of investigating known Israeli attacks on Americanson the USS Liberty in 1967 and Rachel Corrie in 2003.

To everyone their opinion: Pay close attention to “demonstrating opinions”

Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

To everyone their opinion.

The fact of the matter remains that tens of thousands formed an opinion today against the atrocities that Israel is committing in Gaza.

These were global, not Muslim opinions as I have witnessed today and as another commentator has stated below.

The fact of the matter remains that no matter how terrorist Hamas (or ISIS, if you want to dump them in the same category) is, this does not justify the killing of hundreds of civilian lives by the IDF.

We all followed how the Lebanese Armed Forces removed ISIS militants from town of Arsal (by the Syrian border) without sacrificing the life of any Arsal residents.

Yes battles are different, but today, many people saw no justification for the killing of innocent Gazans, and therefore they protested.

WWW.TIMESOFISRAEL.COM

Hanna Arendt:

Born in conflict, Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt

For the new year, here are some prophetic excerpts from two essays of Hannah Arendt’s, collected in The Jewish Writings (2007).

Note her predictions of the Nakba (Palestinians killed and transferred from their homes and villages in 1948), of unending conflict, of Zionist dependence on the American Jewish community, of ultimate conflict with that American Jewish community, and the contribution of political Zionism to world anti-semitism.

Just what Howard Gutman said recently.

For which he was denounced by– Zionists.

Zionism Reconsidered, 1944:

Nationalism is bad enough when it trusts in nothing but the rude force of the nation. A nationalism that necessarily and admittedly depends upon the force of a foreign nation is certainly worse.

This is the threatened state of Jewish nationalism and of the proposed Jewish state, surrounded inevitably by Arab states and Arab people. Even a Jewish majority in Palestine–nay even a transfer of all Palestine’s Arabs, which is openly demanded by the revisionists–would not substantially change a situation in which Jews must either ask protection from an outside power against their neighbors or come to a working agreement with their neighbors…

[T]he Zionists, if they continue to ignore the Mediterranean people and watch out only for the big faraway powers, will appear only as their tools, the agents of foreign and hostile interests.

Jews who know their own history should be aware that such a state of affairs will inevitably lead to a new wave of Jew-hatred; the antisemitism of tomorrow will assert that Jews not only profiteered from the presence of foreign big powers in that region but had actually plotted it and hence are guilty of the consequences…

[T]he sole new piece of historical philosophy which the Zionists contributed out of their own new experiences [was] “A nation is a group of people…  held together by a common enemy” (Herzl)–an absurd doctrine…

To such [political] independence, it was believed, the Jewish nation could arrive under the protecting wings of any great power strong enough to shelter its growth…. the Zionists ended by making the Jewish national emancipation entirely dependent upon the material intersts of another nation.

The actual result was a return of the new movement to the traditional methods of shtadlonus [court Jews], which the Zionists once had so bitterly despised and violently denounced.

Now Zionists too knew no better place politically than the lobbies of the powerful, and no sounder basis for agreements than their good services as agents of foreign interests…

[O]nly folly could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of neighbors. What then, one is prompted to ask, will be the future policy of Zionism with respect to big powers, and what program will Zionists have to offer for a solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict?…

If a Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future–with or without partition–it will be due to the political influence of American Jews….

But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come.

And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country [the U.S.], who after all have no power to direct the political destinies of the Near East.

It may eventually be far more of a responsibility than today they imagine or tomorrow can make good.

To Save the Jewish Homeland, 1948 [on the occasion of war in Palestine]

And even if the Jews were to win the war, its end would find the unique possibilities and the unique achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed.

The land that would come into being would be something quite other than the dream of world Jewry, Zionist and non-Zionist.

The ‘victorious’ Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded into ever-threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defense to a degree that would submerge all other interests and activities.

The growth of a Jewish culture would cease to be the concern of the whole people; social experiments would have to be discarded as impractical luxuries; political thought would center around military strategy….

And all this would be the fate of a nation that — no matter how many immigrants it could still absorb and how far it extended its boundaries (the whole of Palestine and Transjordan is the insane Revisionist demand)–would still remain a very small people greatly outnumbered by hostile neighbors.

Under such circumstances… the Palestinian Jews would degenerate into one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta.

Their relations with world Jewry would become problematical, since their defense interests might clash at any moment with those of other countries where large number of Jews lived.

Palestine Jewry would eventually separate itself from the larger body of world Jewry and in its isolation develop into an entirely new people.

Thus it becomes plain that at this moment and under present circumstances a Jewish state can only be erected at the price of the Jewish homeland…

One grim addendum.

In the heyday of the special relationship between the US and Israel, American Jewry felt itself to be one with the Israeli people. We Are One! declared Melvin Urofsky’s book of 1978.

That unity is today being dissolved. The haredi-secular conflict in Israel that is getting so much attention here is one means of that dissolution.

And the aim, unconsciously, may be a desire by American Jews to distance themselves from Israeli Jews so that when the Arab Spring at last brings a democratic movement to Israel and Palestine, and bloody conflict ensues, and the Israeli gov’t is cast as the bad guys, American Jews are emotionally prepared to regard the bloodshed as inevitable and not their problem.

After writing, “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” Arendt report of the Eichmann trial in which she suggested that had not the Judenrat, the Jewish councils appointed by the Nazis in occupied Europe, collaborated with the Nazis in their round-up of Jews to be sent off to the death camps to the point of providing them with lists, collecting valuables, and policing Jews who were non-cooperative, the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis would have greatly reduced, she became a non-person in the Jewish world.

It was not until the past few years that she was resurrected to the degree that her name could even be mentioned in the Jewish press, albeit usually critically.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Chuck Hagel: Combining two Defense ministries: USA and Israel?

The Zionist lobby in the US has been throwing sand in the eyes of the US citizens claiming that Chuck HAGEL IS NOT PRO-ISRAEL IN WHATEVER ISRAEL POLICIES UNDERTAKE…

AND DURING CONFIRMATION HEARING TO Secretary OF DEFENSE, Hagel said:  “I’ve said that I’m a strong supporter of Israel… I’ve said that we have a special relationship with Israel… Ive never voted against Israel in my career… I’ve been to Israel many times,” he told Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

The first few hours of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing have been sickening. WE THOUGHT he was named to be United States Secretary of Defense, not Israel’s defense.

The most urgent questions were about Israel, and many came from liberal Democrats insisting that Hagel is pledged to going to war against Iran if it acquires a nuclear weapon.

Philip Weiss, Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net, posted:

“While Kirsten Gillibrand of New York made no bones about “the most urgent issues– Israel and Israel’s security issues… We are fundamentally tied to [Israel].”  And Gillibrand demanded that if there has to be a continuing resolution in the event of a budget crunch, Hagel’s Pentagon will take pains to keep money going to Israel for its Iron Dome missile defense.

Does she believe this or is this just now the religion of Washington?

Hagel repeatedly asserted that he regards Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Revolutionary Guard of Iran as terrorist organizations. He abandoned every bold stand he has taken on Israel.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said Hagel was reversing himself for political expediency, and that a week after Hagel had told the Omaha World-Herald that he opposed unilateral sanctions (American-only) against Iran, he reversed that position in a letter to progressive Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.

But the most revealing part of the spectacle was watching Hagel stand up to John McCain when McCain said he had been wrong to oppose the Iraq surge in 2007 and the Afghanistan surge in 2009– and then watching Hagel fold pathetically when Lindsey Graham asked him to condemn Israeli settlements.

So: it was alright for Hagel to criticize the U.S. But not alright to criticize Israel.

Here’s Hagel’s show of spine with McCain [transcript from contemporaneous notes]:

“Do you stand by those comments?” McCain asked.

“I stand by them because I made them.”…

“I want to know if you were right or wrong.”

“I’m not giving you a yes or no answer. I think it’s far more complicated than that. I’ll defer that judgment to history.”

Later Graham the former military prosecutor badgered Hagel as though he had been un-American when he told Aaron David Miller that the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people on Capitol Hill and gets Congress to do “dumb” stuff; and Hagel ate his words.

The critical moment in this exchange comes when Hagel refuses to say what dumb stuff the Congress did.

In the Miller interview, he was surely referring to the license that the Congress gave to Israel to keep building settlements, savaging the two-state solution.

Graham: Name one person in your opinion who’s intimidated by the Jewish lobby in the US Senate.

Hagel: I don’t know…

Graham: I can’t think of a more provocative thing to say about the relationship of the U.S. and Israel… [Next, Graham challenged Hagel, tell me one dumb thing Congress did because of the pressure.]

Hagel: I have already stated that I regret [the statement].

Graham: You can’t name one senator intimidated [or] give me one example of dumb things pressured to do… One thing!…

Hagel: Well I can’t give you an example.

Graham: Do you agree with me that you shouldn’t have said that?

Hagel: Yes I agree with you.

Years back, Hagel repeatedly criticized Israel for building settlements and wrecking the two state solution. But not now.

So, again, it is OK for Hagel to criticize the US troop increases in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he can’t say a word against a blatantly illegal practice, building settlements in occupied territory.

Graham drew more blood when he savaged Hagel for being one of four senators in 2001 to fail to sign a letter expressing solidarity with Israel during the Second Intifada and denouncing Arafat and the Palestinian Authority.

“It was  a very big deal. At a very important time. The lack of signature from you sends chills up my spine,“ Graham said. `

Graham asked Hagel to reconsider the letter: to say whether he would tell the world at large and Israel that he had made a mistake in not signing. And Hagel said he would have a look at the letter.

Richard Blumenthal, the progressive Connecticut Senator, said he also wanted Hagel to reconsider that letter.

This hearing is a wonderful event because it demonstrates the naked influence of the Israel lobby in our political life.

But, you say, Lindsey Graham is a South Carolina senator; he is operating out of his nationalist understanding of imperial interest; the Israel lobby cannot also reach him? But I think it has.

I think Zionism has so influenced the American political culture, via political money and think-tanks and columnists and editors, that it has folded Israel’s war against Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinians and Iran into our outlook on the Middle East.

The conflation of American and Israeli interests has become an article of faith in the establishment. Graham is the latest example of a Scoop Jackson, the national security hawk/intellectual who has listened to neocons and merged the two nations’ futures.

Now it’s the afternoon, and Hagel is walking away from his comment that Israel keeps Palestinians “caged up like animals.”

Under questioning from Utah Senator Mike Lee, Hagel regrets that statement too.

Pathetic.

Pathetic state of affairs

adonis49

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