| Stuxnet blowback: Israel Confirms Hacking Attack on Zio-PM’s Website!

Israel Confirms Hacking Attack on PM’s Website ~ Fars News Agency.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Anti-Israel hackers succeeded in bringing down temporarily the website of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the site of the Likud party, the Avnet information security company said Tuesday.

“The (PMO’s) site is suffering from an attack on its connection between the database and the web server,” Avnet’s Ronni Becher said, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“At this stage we don’t know how the attack was carried out exactly, and what can be done to defend against it. Overnight, we saw dozens of attempts to hack and attack Israeli websites. Much information was released online…,” he added.

More than 100,000 Israeli websites came under attack from Anonymous hacktivists around the world.

The websites of the Israeli parliament, banks, ministries and other government organizations were down for some time on Sunday during the assault, dubbed Operation Israel. The loosely-knit hacking group Anonymous threatened to “disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace” in protest over its mistreatment of Palestinians.

The hackers also released a list of email addresses and credit card numbers, reportedly lifted from the online catalog of Israel Military, a privately-owned business that sells military surplus, Haaretz reported. Israel Military officials indicated that the information made public did not come from its site.

A Middle East hacker, who took part in the massive cyber assault, said that the operation’s aim was “to show the world the true face of Israel and its armed forces.”

“We are the sons of Palestinian people and we feel the pressure of the Israeli occupation not only in Gaza but also in all the Arab and Muslim world. And as the first retaliation we committed a fast and full-scale attack on Israeli websites to warn Israel and all its supporters about the threat that hangs over them. They have weapons and we have our own means. As a result of this attack we’ve received the names of those who cooperate with Israel. The aim of the attack was to show the world the true face of Israel and its armed forces. And we coped with our task”.

“So now we make a clear warning to Israel: “In the future be ready for new larger surprises”,” he stated.

Israel responded to mass cyber attacks on Sunday by launching a series of raids in which several Palestinian activists were arrested, President Mahmoud Abbas‘ advisor for communications and information technology Sabri Saydam told WAFA.

Nothing indicates that the Palestinians have anything to do with the hacking of Israeli sites, Saydam added, calling it “a cyberspace battle” and stressing that the Internet “is open to all”.

In a message released Saturday the group addressed the Israeli government saying: “You have NOT stopped your endless human rights violations. You have NOT stopped illegal settlements. You have NOT respected the ceasefire. You have shown that you do NOT respect international law.”

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| Relentless Land-Theft: The West Bank’s 2012: The Year of the Israeli Settlement!

The West Bank’s 2012: The Year of the Israeli Settlement ~  , Time.

At the start of 2012, the Israeli advocacy group Peace Now, which seeks a two-state solution, warned that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was building Jewish settlements on the West Bank at a pace that, if allowed to continue, would carve up the land to a point that would doom the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. Twelve months later, that pace has nearly quintupled. In one week of December alone, Netanyahu’s government pushed forward plans for 11,000 homes beyond the Green Line that marked Israel’s 1967 border — nearly as many settler homes as were approved in the previous 10 years combined. The explosion in activity has made 2012 the Year of the Settlement, inspiring a new level of war-themed rhetoric from settlement opponents. “Unprecedented Planning Strike on East Jerusalem,” says the Peace Now website, “6,600 units in 4 days,”

Netanyahu makes no apology for the surge in promised building, despite waves of opprobrium from Europe and the U.S. Israelis go to the polls on Jan. 22, and the most serious challenge to Netanyahu’s campaign has come from a new party that champions settlements. The Prime Minister summoned the mayors of West Bank settlements to his Jerusalem office last week to make sure his efforts were getting noticed. “It’s obvious to all of you that this government has done a great deal in the past four years for the settlements in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. “And we’re asking you to help spread the information among the residents of your districts.”

The most controversial move was to push forward plans to build on the last usable patch of Palestinian land east of Jerusalem, a parcel known as E1. (Plans to build on E1 have existed for 14 years but have been kept on hold; now, among other new steps, demolition orders have been issued for Bedouin homes and animal pens there.) Foreign diplomats, Palestinian officials and Israeli peace advocates warned that filling that space with Jewish homes amounted to the “doomsday” scenario, effectively destroying the possibility of ever building a Palestinian state on contiguous territory — the stated goal of the Oslo Peace Accords that since 1994 have defined the blueprint for ending the conflict between Jews and Arabs who have both claimed the same territory for more than a century.

(PHOTOS: Palestinians Take to the West Bank’s Streets in Protest)

At the same time, Netanyahu approved a flurry of the sort of construction that for three decades has steadily eaten away at Palestinian territories: adding 1,600 units in an East Jerusalem neighborhood reserved for ultra-Orthodox Jews; 1,242 for a massive subdivision overlooking Bethlehem – and pushing forward plans for a whole new settlement, Givat Hamatos, which would isolate an Arab district in southern Jerusalem that stands near the West Bank. Other units were scattered from the Gush Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem to a remote settlement in the northern interior of the West Bank.

But Netanyahu and his running mate, the former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, emphasized the building around Jerusalem. Israel annexed large tracts around the city after winning control of it — as well as the West Bank and Gaza — from Arab armies in the Six-Day War of 1967. Since then, the Israeli public resisted the notion of dividing Jerusalem in order to give the Palestinians a share of it as their own capital. In a new poll for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 78% of Jewish voters said they could reconsider their support for a political party that was willing to surrender sovereignty of (largely Arab) East Jerusalem and the Old City, something that existing proposals for peace require. The poll found that this position was held by 2 out of 3 Israeli voters who identify themselves as center-left, the group historically in favor of a negotiated peace. Nationalism trumps a great deal in the current campaign, as candidates across the political spectrum point out.

“There is a dispute between [Israel] and the world,” Lieberman said at last week’s official launch of the joint campaign of Netanyahu’s Likud party and his own Yisrael Beiteinu party, which present their candidates for parliament on a single list. “The dispute is over construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs. We therefore need a united and strong government that knows how to withstand pressure.”

(MORE: Why Palestine Won Big at the U.N.)

The campaign is being fought on the turf of the right wing that has been ascendant in Israeli politics for years. Polls indicate the Likud-Beiteinu joint list has been slipping in the polls not because of Lieberman’s legal troubles — under investigation for more than a decade, the Soviet-era immigrant stepped down recently as Foreign Minister after being indicted for fraud but can still run for the Knesset — but because a more conservative party has surged in public opinion surveys. Jewish Home is led by Naftali Bennett, a former commando, high-tech entrepreneur, campaign manager and Chief of Staff to Netanyahu and, most recently, operational head of the main settler lobby. On a summons to Jewish pride and a platform that calls for annexing much of the West Bank as part of Israel, Bennett’s party has surged to third place in several polls, chiefly at the expense of Netanyahu’s base.

“I think the right is more attractive because it’s more radical now,” Yair Lapid, head of the new centrist Yesh Atid party, tells TIME. A former anchorman and columnist, Lapid favors negotiating with the Palestinians, but in a gesture that betrays the place settlers now enjoy in Israeli politics, he announced his platform in Ariel, a massive settlement built deep inside Palestinian territory.

Bennett, meanwhile, is moving the debate steadily to the right. The charismatic newcomer says he favors returning Netanyahu as Prime Minister — an outcome analysts call quite likely, given Netanyahu’s alliance with Lieberman’s party — but says a vote for his own right-wing Jewish Home will force Netanyahu to govern as conservatively as he campaigns. The flurry of announcements about settlement construction, on the eve of an election, provided the insurgent with a case in point. One of the reasons Netanyahu summoned the West Bank mayors, analysts say, was widespread skepticism that he would go forward with all the construction being announced.

“Israel’s problem isn’t construction but the talk about construction,” Bennett told reporters. “On the one hand, the government voices its support for a Palestinian state, and on the other, punishes the world and the Palestinians when they turn to the U.N. to receive state status. The solution is to speak in a clear voice, to withdraw our consent to a Palestinian state that everyone realizes isn’t going to be established. There needs to be more doing and less talking.”

MORE: U.N. Recognition of Palestine: What Does It Mean for the Peace Process?

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| Now whining criminal Israeli foreign minister Lieberman charged with Breach of Trust!

Israeli Foreign Minister Charged With Breach of Trust ~ NYT, AP.

 

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s powerful foreign minister resisted calls to resign Thursday after he was charged with breach of trust in a fraud and money-laundering case threatening to upend the Israeli political system just a month before parliamentary elections.

Related

Avigdor Lieberman, who escaped more serious charges, said Thursday night that the law does not require him to resign. “According to my legal counsel, I do not have to resign, but at the end of the day I will make a final decision together with my lawyers,” he said at a news conference.

Lieberman, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave no timeframe for his decision and hinted it could come after parliamentary elections on Jan. 22. He also denied all accusations and alleged they were politically motivated.

The decision by Israel’s attorney general earlier Thursday capped an investigation that stretched back more than a decade and several politicians called on Lieberman to quit.

In a brief statement, Lieberman’s lawyers said they respected the Attorney General’s decision and would study it.

In a statement, Netanyahu appeared to rally behind his foreign minister. He congratulated Lieberman for fending off the “main accusations” and said the foreign minister was entitled to his day in court.

“I believe in the Israeli justice system and I respect it. The right it gives every citizen in Israel to defend himself is extended to Minister Lieberman and I hope he proves his innocence in the one issue remaining,” Netanyahu said.

The Soviet-born Lieberman is head of Yisrael Beitenu, an ultranationalist party that is especially popular with immigrants from the former Soviet Union. With a tough-talking message that has questioned the loyalty of Israel’s Arab minority, criticized thePalestinians and confronted Israel’s foreign critics, he has at times alienated Israel’s allies while becoming an influential voice in Israeli politics.

Yisrael Beitenu and Netanyahu’s Likud Party recently joined forces and are running together on a joint list in the Jan. 22 parliamentary elections. Opinion polls have predicted the list would be by far the largest bloc in parliament and lead a new coalition government.

While Lieberman was cleared in the most serious allegations against him, Thursday’s decision nonetheless could force him to step down and throw the joint list into disarray.

It appears that Netanyahu will be unable to break up the alliance, however, because a deadline for announcing candidates has passed. Lieberman is Yisrael Beitenu’s main attraction to voters, and his departure would leave Netanyahu with a list of leftovers with little appeal to the general public.

Thursday’s decision was a reversal for Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who last year had notified Lieberman that he intended to indict him on charges that included fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors have long suspected that Lieberman illicitly received millions of dollars from businessmen and laundered the cash through straw companies in eastern Europe while he was a lawmaker and Cabinet minister. In his decision Thursday, Weinstein said the case was not strong enough.

“I am convinced that there is no reasonable chance of a conviction in the offenses Lieberman is suspected of and that case should be closed,” Weinstein wrote.

Instead, Lieberman was charged with the lesser offense of receiving official material from the investigation against him from the former Israeli ambassador to Belarus.

The envoy had received the documents from the foreign ministry, which sought additional information on Lieberman from Belarus authorities. The ambassador, Zeev Ben-Aryeh, reached a plea bargain in the case earlier this year.

Israeli law is unclear about whether Lieberman must resign. There is a legal precedent for politicians to step down when they face charges that compromise public trust in them. But Lieberman could decide the charges don’t warrant that he resign.

Analysts said Weinstein, or even the Supreme Court, could become involved if Lieberman decides to remain in politics.

Moshe Negbi, Israel Radio’s legal affairs commentator, said the pressure to step down will be great.

“What matters is not necessarily the formal severity of the crime but the potential harm in the public’s faith in the government and whether the person can continue to project integrity,” he said. “This is the foreign minister of Israel … He is the face that represents us and the actions attributed to him become part of the image of the state of Israel.”

Two opposition leaders, Shelly Yachimovich of Labor, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the new “Movement” Party and Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party all called for Lieberman’s dismissal.

Court rulings in other, more serious criminal cases against Cabinet officials forced them to resign. Facing the prospect of an indictment, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his decision to step down in 2008 before formal corruption charges were filed against him. Olmert this year was cleared of most charges, but convicted of breach of trust.

The blunt-talking Lieberman has amassed power with support from immigrants from the Soviet Union and other Israelis drawn to his broadsides against Israeli Arabs and dovish groups, as well as the Palestinians and Western Europe.

Lieberman, who once worked as a bar bouncer, immigrated to Israel in 1978 from Moldova in the former Soviet Union.

Speaking in a Russian-accented monotone, he became a national figure in 1996 as a top aide to Netanyahu during his previous term as prime minister. He later quit Netanyahu’s Likud party and was elected to parliament in 1999 as head of Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home), a secular hawkish party he established to represent the more than 1 million immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

His party has gained strength since then. It was the third largest in 2009 elections, drawing many votes from native Israelis as well as his traditional base.

Lieberman is known for inflammatory rhetoric that has at times agitated his partners in government. He has called for executing Israeli Arab lawmakers who met with leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. As an opposition lawmaker in 2008, he said Egypt’s then-President Hosni Mubarak “can go to hell.”

More recently, Lieberman pushed a series of legislative proposals that critics said were anti-Arab, including a failed attempt to require Israelis to sign a loyalty oath or have their citizenship revoked and calls to redraw Israel’s border to place Arab towns under Palestinian jurisdiction.

He embarrassed Netanyahu in the past by expressing contrasting views to that of the government, including skepticism over the chances of reaching peace with the Palestinians.

Lieberman has called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas an “obstacle to peace” and urged his removal so that peace talks that collapsed in 2008 could be revived.

Earlier this week, he lashed out at the international community, saying many world leaders would sacrifice Israel to radical Islam just as Europe appeased the Nazis beforeWorld War II.

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| Undue euphoria + the gorilla in the room!

Khalid Amayreh, The Palestinian Information Centre.

 

I-Palestinians must guard against unjustified euphoria

Following the latest Palestinian diplomatic achievement at the United Nations, thousands of people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip took to the street and held rallies, celebrating the recognition of Palestine as a non-member state of the world body.

Many have been prompted to think that actual and tangible statehood is in the offing and that it is only a matter of a few months or few years at the maximum before the state of Palestine becomes a political and geopolitical reality.

But with all due respect to these people, it is crystal clear, at least from this writer’s view point. that they are indulging in day-dreaming.

Of course, there is nothing wrong in dreaming, including day-dreaming.

However, when dreaming is an expression of frustration and depression, it becomes pathological and morbid in nature however collective and legitimate the dream may be.

We Palestinians experienced a similar feeling of euphoria and rhapsody in the aftermath of the conclusion of the hapless Oslo Accords in the early 1990s. Some of our people went too far as to replace the standard Islamic greeting “As-salamu alaikum” (peace on you) with “tahiyatul dawla” or “Statehood greeting.”

I remember that people like this writer were then denounced rather fiercely as “eternal pessimists” because they didn’t go with the flow and actually questioned the overwhelming optimism.

Unfortunately, we are undergoing a similar episode of irrational ecstasy these days, with rabbles as well as so-called leaders and intellectuals expressing extreme and unreserved joy over the “historical triumph” at the UN. This is really sad and depressing. It reveals that not only many of our people are hopelessly frustrated but that too many of us are still politically illiterate and irredeemably naïve.

I am not a prophet of doom and gloom and have no intention to spoil our “moment of joy.” However, a simple fleeting look at the latest UN resolution shows that the resolution is really nothing out of the ordinary.

In the final analysis, Israel and her guardian-ally, the United States, know for sure that the Zionist state is illegally and illegitimately occupying a land that belongs to another people, the Palestinian people. And the world knows too well that Israel is violating international law and shamelessly flying in the face of the international community. So what is new?

Yes, the latest resolution might encourage and embolden the Palestinians to step up their enduring and just struggle against Zionist fascism and America’s acquiescence to it. But will anything change on the ground? Will the world move to enforce its will by forcing Israel to respect it by ending its military occupation of “the state of Palestine”? Indeed, one would have to be a little deranged to believe that this will be the case.

As I said, I don’t object to our people voicing hope for freedom from a Nazi-like occupation that seeks to extirpate us from our ancestral homeland. What I am objecting to is the unrealistic and exaggerated expectations the Palestinian leadership, Chairman Abbas, is raising amongst the people. This sort of behavior on the part of the PLO leadership is inappropriate and would only increase our frustration and disappointment later.

II-Netanyahu’s mendacious tongue

Binyamin Netanyahu is not an ordinary politician. Certainly he is not a visionary or a wise statesman. He is actually a thug of a politician, a man who imbibes mendacity and dishonesty as we breathe the oxygen of life.

The Israeli premier probably boasts of his ability to lie and deceive the rest of the world, especially the sheepish Americans. Well, skill in lying is never a virtue, especially coming from someone whose scriptures teach “thou shall not lie.” It is rather a disgusting sickness, from both the mental and moral perspectives.

This week, Netanyahu regurgitated his entire inventory of lies, claiming that the Palestinians were not interested in peace and that their bid at the UN vindicated his views.

Well, I hate to have to respond to this man’s obscene lies. He is just committing adultery with truth, and history if not with language itself. This is probably what prompted former US president Bill Clinton to refer to Netanyahu as “impossible.”

Netanyahu must know that Zionist Jewish invaders from Eastern Europe and elsewhere came to Palestine, massacred its native people, destroyed their homes, stole their land, poisoned their water of life, and then expelled them to the four winds. And after all this murderous savagery, this late-comer thug and cohorts have the chutzpah to call their unwept victims terrorists and other names.

Netanyahu wants the Palestinians to die quietly and to be tormented and oppressed as noiselessly as possible. He wants the Palestinian holocaust to go on and on and on without clamor or an outcry, in order to enable the Zio-Nazis to complete the job of ethnic cleansing of Palestine without being compared with the Nazis.

This should make Zionist leaders even more evil than their mentors, the Nazis, as the latter didn’t try to conceal what they were doing.

III-Anti-Semitism in Hungary

In recent weeks, the Jewish-controlled media in Israel and North America has launched a venomous campaign against an ostensibly anti-Jewish party in Hungary which won a number of seats in the parliament of that East European country.

The Jewish shipyard dogs from California to Sydney vociferously protested “the rise of the ugly head of racism,” in Hungary, calling on the international community, especially Zionist-controlled America, to fight Hungarian fascism.

We are, of course, absolutely against all forms of fascism whether against Jews or anyone else. In the final analysis, we are the premier victims of racism here in Palestine, which happens to be practiced by the very Jews who would protest noisily the slightest negative remark made against Jews or even Israeli colonialists.

But Jewish hypocrisy, like any hypocrisy, is repulsive and unacceptable to say the very least.

The esteemed reader has every right to know that no parliament on earth has a proportionately larger number of racist thugs than does the Israeli Knesset or parliament.

Indeed, the Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu, is probably the most racist government under the sun. It comprises brashly racist and Nazi-like parties such as the Likud itself, ha-bayt hayehudi, National Union, Shas, etc, which believe that all the peoples of the world, with the exception of Jews, are animals of burden whose lives have no sanctity and whom the Almighty created solely so that Jews could exploit them and use them.

Besides, Israel is the only country in the world where a house or plot of land belonging to a non-Jewish family is confiscated in order to be given to Jewish immigrants coming from overseas, on the ground that “Jews” had lived in the place 4000 years ago!!!

I really don’t know how Jews anywhere have the face to criticize or even rebuke Hungarian anti-Semites for their racism when Jews are indulging to nefarious acts of racism against native Palestinians, crimes that cry out to the seventh heaven, given their pornographic ugliness and evilness.

Well, this is the nature of Zionism, a diabolic movement that has unfortunately morphed numerous Jews from a people previously concerned about justice and honesty, into liars, murderers and land thieves.

It is this type of brazenly dishonest people who have the shamelessness to accuse their victims, the Palestinians , of incitement against Israel when the evil state has committed ever conceivable crime and atrocity against a people whose only “crime” is their enduring determination to earn freedom and liberty from the Nazis of our time.

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| Chosen for impunity: Netanyahu pledges continued Lawlessness + contempt for Peace!

Netanyahu Pledges Continued LawlessnessStephen Lendman.

What else can be expected from Israel’s worst ever leader. He’s a serial lawbreaker. He deplores democratic values. His contempt for non-Jews is palpable. He calls Palestinians sub-humans. It shows in how he treats them.

Under international law, Israeli settlements are illegal. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Moreover, in July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled:

“Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development.” In addition, they’ve “been established in breach of international law” on sovereign Palestinian territory.

Netanyahu, past Israeli leaders, and current officials ignore what they’re obligated to obey. On October 23, Haaretz published a Reuters report headlined “Netanyahu pledges Israel will continue building in Jerusalem.”

He toured Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. It lies beyond the Green Line. Ahead of Israeli/EU talks, he announced plans for another illegal 800 homes on stolen Palestinian land.

He was defiant like he always is. He has a knack for making enemies. Arrogantly he said, “This is our country. I’ll continue to support building in Jerusalem.”

“United Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital,” he added. “We have the full right to build in it. We built in Jerusalem. We are building in Jerusalem, and we will continue to build Jerusalem.”

Mayor Nir Barkat accompanied Netanyahu. He called Netanyahu a “true friend of Jerusalem.” He provides resources and other support. “We will continue to build tens of thousands of apartments throughout the city,” he pledged.

In defiance of international law, Netanyahu calls East and West Jerusalem Israel’s capital. Currently about 2,000 apartments are in various stages of development. They include 800 just announced. They’re planned for Gilo’s Western Slopes.

Last week, Jerusalem’s Local Planning and Building Committee granted approval. Interior Ministry authorization is required. Consider it rubber stamp.

Likud’s position on settlements is hardline, stating:

“The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (all Occupied Palestine) are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel.”

“The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

Likud rejects Green Line separation of Israel and Palestine. It incrementally steals Palestinian land. It declared all Jerusalem sovereign Israeli territory.

Likud’s Charter also rejects Palestinian self-determination, saying:

“The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

“Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem.”

“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

Ahead of meeting Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton issued a weak-kneed statement, saying:

“The High Representative deeply regrets the decision by the Israeli Ministry of Interior to approve the expansion of Gilo settlement by 797 new housing units…Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”

It wasn’t worth its paper written on. It was toothless and worthless. Effectively it endorsed what she and other EU policymakers should condemn.

Short of appropriate measures, Israel can continue occupation harshness. It can also steal all valued Palestinian land it wants. It’s done it for decades unaccountably.

Nonetheless, ultranationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reacted. He and Netanyahu represent the worst of Israel’s lunatic fringe. He told Ashton and EU states to “mind their own business.”

He accused Ashton of lacking “a basic understanding of the reality in the region.” Criticizing Israel “encourage(s) the Palestinians to persist in their refusal to participate in negotiations and continue to take anti-Israeli actions in the international arena.”

“Gilo is part of Jerusalem and Jerusalem is part of Israel,” he added.

Gilo Community Center director Yaffa Shitrit also reacted. He attributed EU criticism to “a lack of understanding over Gilo’s location. They need to look at the map,” he said. “When they get here, they’ll understand that it’s not a settlement, it’s part of Jerusalem.”

Wherever it is, a settlement on stolen Palestinian land is a settlement.

Tens of thousands of new apartments are needed, Shitrit added. Unsaid was that building them requires stealing more Palestinian land.

At the same time, he and Gilo’s Community Center express concern for how construction destroys forest areas and increases traffic congestion. Throw in more pollution to boot.

On October 22, AP headlined “Former US President Jimmy Carter: Israeli-Palestinian peace is ‘vanishing,’ ” saying:

During a Jerusalem visit, he blamed Israel’s West Bank/Jerusalem settlement project. He called what’s ongoing “catastrophic.” Israel bears full responsibility for making Palestinian self-determination “unviable.”

“We’ve reached a crisis stage,” said Carter. “The two-state solution is the only realistic path to peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians.”

Years ago, two states were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily.

Carter planned 48 hours in Israel. He led a delegation called “The Elders.” In 2007, Nelson Mandela formed it. Its members include noted public figures, human rights advocates, and elder statesmen.

Former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brudtland and former Irish president Mary Robinson accompanied him. Mandela is now an honorary Elder. At age 94, he’s less active.

Carter said he won’t meet Netanyahu. He was denied earlier meetings. At issue is Carter’s outspokenness and writings. His book “Peace Not Apartheid” made few Likudnik and other hardline friends.

He took direct aim at Israel’s settlement project. On October 23, he and Elders with him left for Egypt. They’ll meet President Mohammed Morsi.

On October 23, Haaretz contributor Merav Michaeli headlined “Contempt for peace.”

She condemned Lieberman’s comments about Ashton and EU states. His “statement may qualify as the world’s most impudent joke,” she said. A week earlier, he praised EU leaders for stiffening sanctions on Iran.

She omitted explaining that all Iranian sanctions are illegal. Arguably they’re acts of war. In Israel, said Michaeli, “we (know) what being at war is like, yet we still have the deepest contempt for peace.”

“We scorn any idea of agreements or cooperation. We disdain all solutions that are proposed. We show no respect for” treaties with Egypt, Jordan, or other peace initiatives. Earlier opportunities for peace with Syria were wasted.

“And we certainly (scorn) peace with the Palestinians.” In January, another Israeli election approaches. Virtually no one mentions peace. Lieberman/Netanyahu comments make it little more than a four-letter word.

Actions, of course, speak louder than words. Ones mattering most suggest conflict. Much more than settlements is at stake. Compared to full-scale war on Syria and/or Iran, they’re little more than a sideshow.

At the same time, they symbolize occupation harshness. With accompanying home demolitions, dispossessions, ethnic cleansing, and related policies, they represent an out-of-control rogue state.

Given what it’s doing to Palestine, imagine how it might harm the whole region. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. It’s not shy about flexing its might. Expect the worst. It’s likely coming.

A Final Comment

Netanyahu wages war without declaring it. Bombing and shelling Gaza regularly proves it. So do targeted assassinations, cyber-security attacks, and other subversive acts.

Sudan accused Israel of blowing up a Khartoum arms factory. On October 24, Haaretz headlined “Sudan accuses Israel of role in arms factory blast,” saying:

Four planes attacked the facility. A huge fire erupted. Israel accuses Sudan of smuggling weapons to Hamas. Corroborating evidence is absent.

Israeli officials refused comment on their possible role in the attack. Sudan’s Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said:

“Four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant….We believe that Israel is behind it. The planes appeared to approach the site from the east.”

“Sudan reserves the right to strike back at Israel.” Two civilians were killed. It was partially destroyed. Osman added:

“We are now certain that this flagrant attack was authorized by the same state of Israel. The main purpose is to frustrate our military capabilities and stop any development there and ultimately weaken our national sovereignty.”

He said analysis of rocket debris and other material implicated Israel’s involvement.

Prior to the attack, Khartoum communications were disconnected for about an hour. Local journalists confirmed it. City residents had no idea what was going on. Information finally came out and people knew.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) claims the plant produced Iranian surface-to-surface Shehab missiles. It pointed fingers at Israel saying its “Air Force has a long record of preemptive attacks (on) an enemy’s long-range missiles in the early stages of a conflict.”

Saying so perhaps suggests something big against Iran is planned. With US elections days away, expect anything anytime once passed electoral priorities.

Last November and December, Sudanese media accused Israel of attacking two alleged Gaza-bound arms convoys. Four deaths and two injuries were reported. Apache helicopters were involved in December.

At the time, Sudan’s military dismissed reports of Israel’s involvement. Israel refused comment. It also was silent about other attacks in January and February 2009 after Cast Lead ended.

One attack attributed to Israel targeted a Sudanese truck convoy allegedly carrying weapons to Gaza. Over 100 deaths resulted. A second attack bombed a Sudanese ship. Weapons smuggling was suggested.

In April 2011, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti accused Israel of attacking Port Sudan and killing two people. “This is absolutely an Israeli attack,” he said. A foreign aircraft missile struck a car. Israel neither confirmed or denied involvement.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert stressed Israel’s “long arm.” Its history reflects numerous false flags, other attacks, targeted assassinations, and other lawless acts abroad and against Occupied Palestine.

Israel’s rogue state credentials are longstanding and well-known. Indeed it may be responsible for attacking the Khartoum plant.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

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| Propaganda Blowback: Zionist Romney-backer Sheldon Adelson drawing fire over plight of Israeli newspapers!

Romney backer Sheldon Adelson drawing fire over plight of Israeli newspapers ~  Sheera Frenkel | McClatchy Newspapers.

TEL AVIV, Israel — The economic crisis that’s hit the newspaper industry in the United States and elsewhere is threatening some of Israel’s most influential publications and could soon leave the country with virtually no liberal-leaning printed newspapers.

Haaretz, Israel’s most prominent left-wing daily, didn’t publish a print edition Thursday for the first time in three decades as layoffs threatened much of the staff. Maariv, one of the country’s largest newspapers, has announced that it might switch soon to Web-only distribution with a weekend print version; the alternative, the paper has said, is closing.

 

Sheldon AdelsonCasino owner Sheldon Adelson | Charles Dharapak/AP

Unlike in the U.S., where most news outlets strive for objectivity, Israeli papers take political stands in their news pages.

Publishers say that competition with the Internet, as in the rest of the world, is one reason for their decline. But they say a far bigger influence has been the cost of competing with Israel Hayom, a free-distribution newspaper that American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson founded five years ago.

Adelson, whose personal fortune has been estimated at more than $20 billion, is a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud bloc. He’s poured millions into the paper, whose often-fawning articles about Netanyahu have earned it the sobriquet “Bibi Press,” a reference to the prime minister’s nickname.

As an example of the close relationship between the paper and Netanyahu’s office, media analysts point to Netanyahu adviser Nathan Eshel. Eshel left his job in the prime minister’s office to work at Israel Hayom during its launch, only to rejoin Netanyahu’s staff last year.

“Are Israelis aware that they are reading a paper that is practically in Netanyahu’s pocket? Sure they are,” said Didi Remez, a left-wing Israeli political activist. “But I’m not sure they care when they make the decision to pick up the free paper.”

 

Adelson, 79, whose money comes from casinos in Nevada and Pennsylvania, as well as China and Singapore, also is a major donor to Mitt Romney’s presidential political campaign and reportedly gave $10 million over the summer to a pro-Romney political action committee, Restore Our Future.

 

Other newspapers, including the popular Yediot Ahronot, say they’ve suffered financial losses from competing with a free paper with “enormous pockets.”

“The sheer amount of money that Israel Hayom has behind it makes it difficult for others to compete,” Remez said.

Israel Hayom and Adelson’s office in Tel Aviv declined to comment. There was no response to an email sent to Adelson’s office in the United States.

Maariv may still find a way forward. Shlomo Ben-Zvi, an Israeli who publishes the right-leaning newspaper Makor Rishon, has put in a bid for the paper. Even if Maariv’s court-appointed trustees approve that sale, however, the paper will retain only 300 of its 2,000 employees.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Channel 10 news, one of the country’s most popular television-news stations, also has announced that it might close because of a lack of funding.

Channel 10 traces its problems to an expose it broadcast last year over luxurious trips taken by Netanyahu and paid for by wealthy donors. Netanyahu, who filed a million-dollar libel suit against Channel 10, added to its financial problems after a parliamentary committee controlled by the prime minister’s Likud Party voted not to postpone the station’s debt for a year.

The development has many Israeli journalists complaining that the nature of the country’s news media, famous over the decades for its contentiousness, is at risk.

“We are watching a death blow to the free press in Israel,” said Sharon Avishay, a former journalist with Maariv. “A free and vibrant press should be of the utmost importance in a country like Israel. Instead, politicians and businessmen have done everything in their power to shut us down.”

 

Popular Israeli columnist Ben Caspit wrote Friday in Maariv that outside forces were driving Israeli media outlets out of business.

“An enormous power, uncontrollable and unstoppable, arrives from outside and destroys the local forces one after another, like in a futuristic film. The local forces are us: Maariv, Haaretz, Channel 10, Globes, afterwards it’s Channel 2’s turn and in the end also Yediot Ahronot. No one of these has enough power to even tickle Sheldon Adelson,” he wrote.

“I think not so long from now we will all understand that we are in one boat. That they are taking over our country. That this is a war. . . . We need to unite and to explain to Bibi, so that he’ll understand, that he must not continue with this campaign to make democracy extinct.”

Frenkel is a McClatchy special correspondent.

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| Backfiring Blackmail + Blowback: Paranoid Nutty Yahoo + Ziolobby now major conflict of interest to US!

Are Netanyahu and the Zionist lobby now a threat to the survival of the US-Israel relationship? ~ Alan Hart.

In her first response to the killing of the American ambassador and three others in Libya, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she had asked herself the question that many Americans were asking – how it could have happened?

 

The most likely answer, it seems to me, is that it was a well planned terrorist attack not a spontaneous happening, not part of the protest against video clips of a film that denigrates and insults the Prophet Muhammad and Islam. Some 24 hours before the attack al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a video on Jihadist forums. In it he acknowledged the death of his second in command, Abu Yahya, and urged Libyans to avenge his killing. (Abu Yahya was killed by a US drone strike – an American targeted assassination – in Pakistan’s tribal region of Waziristan on 4 June).

It that light the peaceful protest outside the US consulate in Benghazi against the insulting film was a very convenient cover for the well planned terrorist attack. It was not a secret that Libya’s own security forces do not have the ability to be effective beyond their Tripoli capital, so it has to be assumed that America’s own security arrangements for protecting Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues left much to be desired.

Hillary’s how question had to be asked but even more important is the one that nobody in the Obama administration or the Romney camp wants to pose – the why question.

The shortest possible answer to the question of what drives and fuels violent, murderous Islamic fundamentalism in its various forms can be given in three words – American foreign policy.

When President George “Dubya” Bush declared his “war on global terrorism”, American foreign policy became the best recruiting sergeant for Islam’s men of violence. It is true that in the past year or two, as a consequence of Obama-authorized American violence (Israeli-like state terrorism in my view), al-Qaeda has suffered some serious setbacks; but the task of putting violent Islamic fundamentalism out of business will only become a mission possible when American foreign policy can command the respect of most Arabs and other Muslims everywhere.

For that to happen the American policy of support for the Zionist (not Jewish) state of Israel right or wrong has got to be ended.

At the risk of provoking some of my readers to say again that my qualified optimism is misplaced and that it will never happen, I have to say that I am still entertaining the hope that a second-term President Obama will put America’s own best interests first even to the extent of confronting the Zionist monster and its lobby in Congress and the mainstream media (Fox News in particular).

Today I allowed my optimism to be re-inforced (a little) by a most interesting piece written by Philip Weiss for his web site Mondoweiss. The headline over the piece is Netanyahu’s warmongering spells high noon for the Israel lobby. (Weiss is an influential Jewish-American journalist who describes himself as an “anti-Zionist” and his web site has been described as “a nucleus of anti-Zionist writing.” He said recently that he was particularly gratified to see a growing number of Jews moving in his direction. “I think there’s going to be a big anti-Zionist moment in American Jewish life. I just think it’s inevitable.”)

The opening paragraph of his latest piece is this:

It’s high noon for the Israel lobby at last. The American establishment is balking at the idea of war with Iran, and calling out the neoconservatives for pushing it; and Netanyahu’s tantrum is allowing liberal American Jews to declare they’re not on his side. There seems a likelihood that the “special relationship” with our closest ally will at last be politicized, or at least that war with Iran will come up in the presidential debates – and Romney forced to say he doesn’t want it either, because Americans don’t want it.

Weiss foresees “a breakup of the monolith” (the Zionist not Israeli lobby, I say) “with the Likud and anti-Likud voices in the US establishment battling it out openly – Adelson’s Republicans versus Soros’s Democrats.”

He added:

“We can only hope that Netanyahu’s government will fall over this battle. Because just as American Jews don’t like dual loyalty suspicions – and if called on to choose, they’ll side with the US – Israelis don’t like to be alienated from Uncle Sam. Shamir fell after he took on Bush in ’91. The lobby surely overreached with the Iran war push. As it overreached with the devouring of the West Bank.”

Weiss then supports his own logic by quoting remarks made by TIME‘s Joe Klein on NBC’sThis Morning. He was responding to Knesset Deputy Speaker Danny Danon who said that it was absolutely time to attack Iran. While arguing that the Netanyahu government is trying to push the US into a war with Iran that would not serve US or Israeli interests, Klein said:

As for Israel, and the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and the Prime Minister, I don’t think I’ve ever, in the forty years I’ve been doing this – and I’m trying to search my mind through history – heard of another example of an American ally trying to push us into war as blatantly, and trying to influence an American election as blatantly as Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party in Israel is doing right now. I think it’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting. It’s not a way that friends treat each other. And it is cynical and it is brazen.

Klein contested Danon’s dismissal of the effectiveness of sanctions and argued that if Iran did make the decision to obtain a nuclear weapon, it would use it as a deterrent and not operationally “unless provoked.”

Weiss then further supports his own logic by quoting remarks made by M.J. Rosenberg, a former AIPAC staffer and for 15 years a lobbyist on Capitol Hill for various Democrat members of the House and Senate.

“The only force in the United States that favors war is AIPAC and its satellite organizations, neoconservative pundits and some Christian rightists… War with Iran could destroy Romney’s presidency and he surely knows it”.

The layout of Weiss’s piece does not make it clear to me whose words the following are – Rosenberg’s or Weiss’s own, but their message is important.

The bottom line then is that all Netanyahu is accomplishing with his ugly saber-rattling is threatening the survival of the US-Israel relationship.

Don’t kid yourself. No matter what Obama says publicly, he is furious with Netanyahu. Privately, it is hard to imagine that even Republicans like seeing the United States being treated with such contempt by a tiny country we sustain with $3.5 billion a year in aid (exempt from all cuts, unlike every other program) and UN vetoes that make America look like Israel’s satellite. The only thing that keeps them all quiet is intimidation and campaign contributions. That won’t last forever, particularly as younger American Jews have moved toward indifference to Israel due to the policies it has pursued since an Israeli fanatic killed Yitzhak Rabin.

My answer to my own headline question is – I hope so.

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