| Zionist chicken-sh*ts: Israel’s “self-boycott!”

Israel’s “self-boycott” ~ Uri Avnery, Redress Information & Analysis.

Can a country boycott itself? That may sound like a silly question. It is not.

At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the “Giant of History”, as Barack Obama called him, Israel was not represented by any of its leaders.

The only dignitary who agreed to go was the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein… an immigrant from the Soviet Union and a settler, who is so anonymous that most Israelis would not recognize him. (“His own father would have trouble recognizing him in the street,” somebody joked.)

“An undignified show of personal cowardice”

Why? The president of the state, Shimon Peres, caught a malady that prevented him from going, but which did not prevent him from making a speech and receiving visitors on the same day. Well, there are all kinds of mysterious microbes.

The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had an even stranger reason. The journey, he claimed, was too expensive, what with all the accompanying security people and so on.

Not so long ago, Netanyahu caused a scandal when it transpired that for his journey to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, a five hour flight, he had a special double bed installed in the El Al plane at great expense. He and his much maligned wife, Sara’le, did not want to provoke another scandal so soon. Who’s Mandela, after all?

Altogether, it was an undignified show of personal cowardice by both Peres and Netanyahu.


…Israel sold Mandela’s jailers everything it could, from combat aircraft to military electronics, and shared with it its nuclear knowledge. Peres himself was deeply involved.


What were they afraid of?

Well, they could have been booed. Recently, many details of the Israeli-South African relationship have come to light. Apartheid South Africa, which was boycotted by the entire world, was the main customer of the Israeli military industry. It was a perfect match: Israel had a lot of weapon systems but no money to produce them, South Africa had lots of money but no one who would supply it with weapons.

So, Israel sold Mandela’s jailers everything it could, from combat aircraft to military electronics, and shared with it its nuclear knowledge. Peres himself was deeply involved.

The relationship was not merely commercial. Israeli officers and officials met with their South African counterparts, visits were exchanged, personal friendship fostered. While Israel never endorsed apartheid, our government certainly did not reject it.

Still, our leaders should have been there, together with the leaders of the whole world. Mandela was the Great Forgiver, and he forgave Israel, too. When the master of ceremonies in the stadium mistakenly announced that Peres and Netanyahu had arrived, just a few boos were heard. Far less than the boos for the current South African president.

In Israel, only one voice was openly raised against Mandela. Shlomo Avineri, a respected professor and former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, criticized him for having a “blind spot” – for taking the Palestinian side against Israel. He also mentioned that another moral authority, Mahatma Gandhi, had the same “blind spot”.

Strange. Two moral giants and the same blind spot? How could that be, one wonders.


By its voluntary no-representation or under-representation at the Mandela ceremony, it [the Israeli government] has declared that Israel is a pariah state.


The boycott movement against Israel is slowly gaining ground. It takes three main forms (and several in between).

The most focused form is the boycott of the products of the settlements, which was started by Gush Shalom 15 years ago. It is active now in many countries.

A more stringent form is the boycott of all institutes and corporations that are dealing with the settlements. This is now the official policy of the European Union. Just this week, Holland broke off relations with the monopolistic Israeli Water Corporation, Mekorot, which plays a part in the policy that deprives Palestinians of essential water supplies and transfers them to the settlements.

The third form is total: the boycott of everything and everyone Israeli (Including myself). This is also slowly advancing in many countries.

The Israeli government has now joined this form. By its voluntary no-representation or under-representation at the Mandela ceremony, it has declared that Israel is a pariah state. Strange.

Fake security excuses

Last week I wrote that if the Americans find a solution to Israel’s security concerns in the West Bank, other concerns would take their place. I did not expect that it would happen so quickly.

Binyamin Netanyahu declared this week that stationing Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley, as proposed by John Kerry, is not enough. Not by far.

Israel cannot give up the West Bank as long as Iran has nuclear capabilities, he declared. What’s the connection, one might well ask. Well, it’s obvious. A strong Iran will foster terrorism and threaten Israel in many other ways. So Israel must remain strong, and that includes holding on to the West Bank. Stands to reason.

So if Iran gives up all its nuclear capabilities, will that be enough? Not by a long shot. Iran must completely change its “genocidal” policies vis-à-vis Israel, it must stop all threats and utterances against us, it must adopt a friendly attitude towards us. However, Netanyahu did stop short of demanding that the Iranian leaders join the World Zionist Organization.

Before this happens, Israel cannot possibly make peace with the Palestinians. Sorry, Mister Kerry.

In the last article I also ridiculed the Allon Plan and other pretexts advanced by our rightists for holding on to the rich agricultural land of the Jordan Valley.

A friend of mine countered that indeed all the old reasons have become obsolete. The terrible danger of the combined might of Iraq, Syria and Jordan attacking us from the east does not exist anymore. But –

But the valley guardians are now advancing a new danger. If Israel gives back the West Bank without holding on to the Jordan Valley and the border crossings on the river, other terrible things will happen.

The day after the Palestinians take possession of the river crossing, missiles will be smuggled in. Missiles will rain down on Ben-Gurion international airport, the gateway to Israel, located just a few kilometers from the border. Tel Aviv, 25 km from the border, will be threatened, as will the Dimona nuclear installation.

Haven’t we seen this all before? When Israel voluntarily evacuated the whole Gaza Strip, didn’t the rockets start to rain down on the South of Israel?

We cannot possibly rely on the Palestinians. They hate us and will continue to fight us. If Mahmoud Abbas tries to stop it, he will be toppled. Hamas or worse, al-Qaeda, will come to power and unleash a terrorist campaign. Life in Israel will turn into hell.

Therefore it is evident that Israel must control the border between the Palestinian state and the Arab world, and especially the border crossings. As Netanyahu says over and over again, Israel cannot and will not entrust its security to others. Especially not to the Palestinians.

Fake anology

Well, first of all the Gaza Strip analogy does not hold. Ariel Sharon evacuated the Gaza settlements without any agreement or even consultation with the Palestinian Authority, which was still ruling the Strip at that time. Instead of an orderly transfer to the Palestinian security forces, he left behind a power vacuum which was later filled by Hamas.

Sharon also upheld the land and sea blockade that turned the Strip practically into a huge open-air prison.

In the West Bank there exists now a strong Palestinian government and robust security forces, trained by the Americans. A peace agreement will strengthen them immensely.

Abbas does not object to a foreign military presence throughout the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. On the contrary, he asks for it. He has proposed an international force, under American command. He just objects to the presence of the Israeli army – a situation that would amount to another kind of occupation.

The peace hangup

But the main point is something else, something that goes right to the root of the conflict.

Netanyahu’s arguments presuppose that there will be no peace, not now, not ever. The putative peace agreement – which Israelis call the “permanent status agreement” – will just open another phase of the generations-old war.

This is the main obstacle. Israelis – almost all Israelis – cannot imagine a situation of peace. Neither they, nor their parents and grandparents, have ever experienced a day of peace in this country. Peace is something like the coming of the Messiah, something that has to be wished for, prayed for, but is never really expected to happen.

But peace does not mean, to paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz, the continuation of war by other means. It does not mean a truce or even an armistice.

Peace means living side by side. Peace means reconciliation, a genuine willingness to understand the other side, the readiness to get over old grievances, the slow growth of a new relationship, economic, social, personal.

To endure, peace must satisfy all parties. It requires a situation which all sides can live with, because it fulfills their basic aspirations.

Is this possible? Knowing the other side as well as most, I answer with utmost assurance: Yes, indeed. But it is not an automatic process. One has to work for it, invest in it, wage peace as one wages war.

Nelson Mandela did. That’s why the entire world attended his funeral. That’s, perhaps, why our leaders chose to be absent.




| Hypocrite Peres who traded WMD with apartheid regime now grieves Mandela!

Israeli leader who mourned Mandela’s death helped white regime get missiles ~ Robert Windrem, NBC News.

Among the world leaders who have showered South Africa with condolences since the death of Nelson Mandela, Israel’s Shimon Peres stood out as a peer. Like Mandela, he won a Nobel Peace prize. Like Mandela, he stayed on the world stage long past retirement age. Mandela died at 95. At 90, Peres is still serving as Israel’s president.

Yoav Lemmer / AFP file

Former South African President Nelson Mandela (R) kisses Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in 2002 after a meeting at Mandela’s office in Johannesburg.

“The world has lost a great leader who changed the face of history,” said Peres on behalf of the Israeli nation. “Nelson Mandela was a human rights fighter who made his mark on the war against discrimination and racism.”

But in the 1970s, while Mandela was languishing in a damp prison cell on Robben Island, Peres was making deals with South Africa’s apartheid regime, according to interviews and documents gathered by NBC News, a recent documentary and a book based on Israeli and South African government documents. With the help of an Israeli operative now famed as the Hollywood mogul behind “Pretty Woman” and “Fight Club,” Peres traded missiles for money and the uranium needed for atomic bombs.

At the center of the relationship was a “Joint Secretariate for Political and Psychological Warfare” set up in 1975 to handle various matters, not the least of which was “propaganda and psychological warfare.” It was an outgrowth of a $100 million South African propaganda campaign to fix the country’s tarnished image. Leading the effort was the late Eschel Rhoodie, a brash apparatchik who had convinced the regime’s leaders they needed to sell apartheid to the western media.

Under terms of the agreement, championed by Peres, then Defense Minister, and Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister, Israel would help South Africa burnish its international reputation. South Africa would supply the money, with each country appointing a secretary to look after its interests.

As the relationship grew, the two sides began to cooperate on military, even nuclear development. Peres, the architect of Israel’s nuclear program, had procured the country’s first nuclear reactor in the 1950s, and built a clandestine agency called the Science Liaison Bureau that collected nuclear technology.

In a February 1993 interview, Rhoodie told NBC News he was the chief representative on the South African side. “Arnon Milchan was the chief representative on the Israeli side,” said Rhoodie. “We paid him about 30,000 rand [$40,000] a year.” Milchan is now a Hollywood billionaire who has produced more than 120 movies, including “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “L.A. Confidential.” When he was in his 20s, however, Peres recruited him for the Science Liaison Bureau. Peres designated Milchan to represent  Israel in South Africa.

The cooperation began in 1974 when Rhoodie flew to Tel Aviv. A year later, said Rhoodie, the countries signed an extensive agreement at the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. The agreement even envisioned a visit to Israel by South African prime minister Johannes Vorster  — a World War II Nazi sympathizer.

Peres was so pleased with the growing bond that he wrote Rhoodie a letter of thanks, dated Nov. 22, 1974, following a secret meeting in Pretoria, the South African capital.

“It is to a very large extent due to your perspicacity, foresight and political imagination that a vitally important cooperation between our two countries has been initiated,” said the letter, which asserted that the relationship rested on “unshakable foundations of our common hatred of injustice and our refusal to submit to it.”

Peres later introduced Rhoodie to Milchan in Tel Aviv, according to Rhoodie. Although the two later had a falling out, they worked closely together.

But the big moves were made at the top. In his 2010 book, “The Unspoken Alliance,” Sasha Polakow-Suransky describes the broad agenda of the two countries’ secret arrangement, as laid out in South African government documents he obtained under the country’s freedom of information laws. Of one meeting between the two sides, in January 1975, Polakow-Suransky writes:

“The group, chaired by [South African] military intelligence chief Hein du Toit, addressed Soviet and Chinese influence in Africa, weapons sales to African and Arab states, Soviet and Arab naval movements in the Indian Ocean, and most importantly, ‘Palestinian terrorist organizations and [their] cooperation with terrorist organizations that operate in southern Africa.'”

As time wore on, the discussions moved from counter-terrorism and intelligence to strategic cooperation, even the provision of nuclear-tipped missiles. Polakow-Suransky writes of another meeting in June 1974 in Zurich between Peres, then Israel’s defense minister, and P.W. Botha, his South African counterpart,

“Now, the discussion turned to warheads. Minutes from the June meeting reveal that Botha expressed interest in the Jerichos (short range missiles) if they came with the ‘correct payload,’ and that “Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes.'”

Polakow-Suransky quotes another memo that makes it clear Botha was talking about nuclear warheads. The nuclear part of the deal was never consummated, writes Polakow-Suransky, now an editor at the New York Times.

Peres has denied ever offering nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime.

But Israel certainly developed its own nuclear weapons, apparently with the help of South Africa. Rhoodie and another high-ranking South African official told NBC of an arrangement between the two countries in the late 1970s in which South Africa supplied 600 tons of uranium to Israel in return for 30 grams of tritium, used to detonate nuclear weapons. The uranium was codenamed “mutton,” the tritium “tea leaves” and the overall exchange was called “Project Mint.”

As part of his procurement role, Milchan has long admitted he bankrolled a California firm that exported nuclear triggers and other missile components to Israel.  The U.S. also had suspicions that the Peres-inspired Joint Secretariate may have been used by Israel to provide triggers (“krytrons”) and other nuclear technology to South Africa in the early 1980s. “We considered the possibility that krytrons had gone to South Africa.  We had no hard evidence,” said a senior U.S. Customs official at the time.

Whether or not Israel supplied triggers to South Africa, it did provide the apartheid regime with Jericho missiles, or at least Jericho technology, by 1989. On July 5 of that year, U.S. spy satellites tracked a missile launch from the Overberg test range east of Cape Town. Computers compared the shape, temperature and other elements of the missile’s heat plume with those of other rockets. The computers said the new South African missile’s exhaust trail bore a striking resemblance to that of the Jericho-I, a short-range missile that Israel had begun developing in 1962. Another satellite took images of the South African missile’s launcher. It was identical to the one Israel used to launch the Jericho I.

The launch dramatically helped the apartheid regime, according to a U.S. Defense intelligence Agency assessment. Once the missiles were operational, the report predicted “Pretoria will have acquired another means with which to intimidate its regional neighbors.”  The same assessment pointed to “substantial Israeli assistance.” The U.S. also found that Israel had used the Overberg site to test its more advanced Jericho II missile six times between May 1987 and January 1990.

It was long after the missile launches that South African President F.W. de Klerk brokered the end of the apartheid regime with Mandela. By 1994, Mandela was president of South Africa, and Israel’s relationship with the new government deteriorated. The ANC’s intelligence wing had kept close tabs on the ties between the Israelis and the white minority government. The ANC’s expert on the relationship became the new head of South African intelligence. By August 1994, the last Israeli military families had left South Africa.

A new Israeli ambassador to South Africa was named. Elazar Granot, an honorary president of the Socialist International, had protested apartheid and Israel’s relationship with the old government. But in a 2004 conversation with Polakow-Suransky, he said that one good thing had come out of the relationship.

In the mid 1990s, during meetings in Norway, Israel negotiated initial agreements with the Palestinians that allowed for limited Palestinian autonomy. “Maybe Rabin and Peres were able to go to the Oslo agreements because Israel was strong enough to defend itself,” said Granot. “Most of the work that was done –I’m talking about the new kinds of weapons — was done in South Africa.”

Peres, through the office of the president, issued a denial of the assertions about nuclear sharing when Polakow-Suransky’s book was published in 2010.

“There exists no basis in reality for the claims [that] Israel negotiated with South Africa the exchange of nuclear weapons,” said the statement.

Milchan, in a documentary that aired on Israeli TV two weeks ago, defended both his procurement of weapons components and his work for South Africa, which he said he did after being recruited by Peres.

“I did it for my country and I’m proud of it,” he said.

But Milchan has said he was appalled by what he saw in apartheid-era South Africa, and notes he is the producer of “12 Years a Slave.”

Robert Windrem produced several stories on “Nightly News” and “Today” between in the late 1980s and early 1990s about the relationship between South Africa and Israel, and wrote about it in his 1994 book, “Critical Mass: The Dangerous Race for Superweapons in a Fragmenting World.”He was also a consultant for an episode of the Israeli TV documentary series “Fact” about Milchan’s clandestine activities that aired in November.



| Hollywood + Israeli nukes: Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy!

Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy ~  in Jerusalem, theguardian.com.

Hollywood producer gives interview in which he confirms earlier claims that he was an arms dealer.

The Hollywood producer behind box office hits including Fight Club, Pretty Woman and LA Confidential has spoken about his life as an Israeli secret agent and arms dealer, saying he was proud of working for his country.

Arnon Milchan gave a lengthy interview to the Israeli documentary programme Uvda, broadcast on Monday on Channel 2, confirming claims made earlier in an unauthorised biography that he worked for an Israeli agency which negotiated arms deals and supported Israel‘s secret nuclear weapons project.

Arnon Milchan and Justin Timberlake

Arnon Milchan and Justin Timberlake at the premiere of Runner Runner in Las Vegas, Nevada in September 2013. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Milchan, who was born in Israel, was recruited as a young businessman to the Bureau of Scientific Relations by Shimon Peres, now Israel’s president, in the 1960s. The bureau, which worked to obtain scientific and technical information for secret defence programmes, closed in 1987.

Milchan, 68, is now the chairman of New Regency, which has produced more than 120 Hollywood movies since the 1970s, working with actors and directors such as Robert de Niro, Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Oliver Stone, Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck.

During the programme, Milchan said: “Do you know what it’s like to be a 20-something-year-old kid [and] his country lets him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting.”

At the peak of his activities, he was operating 30 companies in 17 countries and brokering deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the programme.

But, Milchan said, it was a challenge to overcome his reputation as an arms dealer. “In Hollywood, they don’t like working with an arms dealer, ideologically … with someone who lives off selling machine guns and killing. Instead of someone talking to me about a script, I had to spend half an hour explaining that I’m not an arms dealer. If people knew how many times I risked my life, back and forth, again and again, for my country.”

He should have foreseen the difficulties and been more robust about disapproval, he added. “I should have been aware of that, of what I’ll go through, and said, ‘Fuck you. You know what? I did it for my country, and I’m proud of it.'”

In Hollywood, he said, he detached himself from “physical activities” in order to devote himself to film-making. However, he claimed to have used connections to promote the apartheid regime in South Africa in exchange for it helping Israel acquire uranium.

In an appearance in the programme, De Niro said he once asked Milchan about rumours concerning clandestine activities on behalf of Israel. “He told me that he was an Israeli and that of course he would do these things for his country,” the actor-director said.

According to Ilana Dayan, the investigative journalist who made the programme, Milchan “has been an entrepreneur since his early 20s, crossing from various realms of business, showbusiness, politics and military, always bringing his unique charm and way of befriending and creating close bonds. And that was early on identified by Peres.”

Milchan walks a fine line of being both an insider and an outsider,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.

Zio Mafia

| Peres: Israel will ‘consider’ joining chemical weapons ban treaty!

Peres: Israel will consider joining chemical weapons ban treaty ~ GlobalPost – International News.

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The Israeli government will seriously consider joining the international treaty banning chemical weapons after Syria said it would destroy its own toxic arsenal, President Shimon Peres said on Monday.

Israel remains one of just six countries in the world not to have joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention following Syria’s move this month.

“I am sure our government will consider it seriously,” Peres told reporters in The Hague, the Dutch city that is home to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversees the convention.

As with its nuclear arsenal, Israel has never publicly admitted to having chemical weapons. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said this month that Israel would be ready to discuss the issue when there was peace in the Middle East.

Peres’ role as head of state is largely ceremonial but he is an influential figure on the world stage and was instrumental in turning Israel into an undeclared nuclear power in the 1960s.

Under a joint Russian-U.S. proposal, Syria has committed to destroying its chemical weapons arsenal within nine months. It is believed to comprise around 1,000 metric tonnes of sarin, mustard and XV nerve agents.

A team of weapons inspectors from the OPCW will head to Syria this week to make an inventory of its chemical stockpiles and munitions to determine how and where to destroy them.

Syria spent decades building up its chemical weapons program, largely to counter Israel’s military superiority in the Middle East.

Peres said Syria only joined the convention when facing the threat of military force, but added that Israel would nevertheless consider a call by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for all countries to sign up to the treaty.

The other nations not to have joined the convention are Myanmar, Egypt, Angola, North Korea and South Sudan.

(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Jerusalem, editing by Gareth Jones)


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Hypocrite B Nuke Holocaust 2


| Hegemony: Why Israel supports the Syria Strike!

Why Israel Supports the Syria Strike ~ , The Atlantic.

Israeli soldiers look across the border into Syria. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

Last week, throngs of Israelis crowded a Jerusalem mall, shoving past one another to pick up government-subsidized gas masks. Their impatience was understandable. For days, American leaders had been openly contemplating a strike on Syrian defense capabilities, a move likely to provoke a swift retaliatory attack on Israeli soil. A chemical onslaught from the Assad regime seemed like a real possibility. The crowd was so unruly that the mall gave up on distributing the masks after a few hours.

Any other state so concerned for its citizens’ safety (and so vulnerably positioned, with Israel and Syria sharing nearly 50 miles of border) might try desperately to talk U.S. policymakers down from drastic action. Instead, Israel’s housing minister, Uri Ariel, went on the radio to egg President Obama on. His message was unequivocal: “[Assad] is a murderous coward. Take him out.”

On the surface, an American strike would seem to expose Israel to immense peril, with no real benefits. Why would Israelis offer to undergo such an incredible act of self-sacrifice?

It’s no sacrifice. All of the evidence indicates that it’s a careful bet. Netanyahu and company see the consequences of American actions in Syria as a small risk to undertake for what could prove a huge victory for Israel: bringing the U.S. one large leap closer to mounting a strike on Iran.

What makes this gamble possible is that Israelis are perfectly willing to hazard retaliation from Assad. Living in Israel has long meant being subject to constant threats. Settlers willingly endure attacks in order to build homes on the cliffs of East Jerusalem. Upon turning 18, a typical citizen serves at least two years in the Israeli army. There’s a pervasive expectation that every member of Israeli society will undertake some personal hazard for long-term security. Violence is never a cheery prospect, but when you live on contested territory, it comes with the terrain. A seasoned Israeli summarized it nicely forThe Jerusalem Post after witnessing the gas mask clamor: “I’ve lived here since 1969, through at least a dozen wars, and I’m just pissed off that we have to deal with this again. Been there, done that.”

Risking retaliation is scary. For Israelis, the alternative—having to face a nuclear Iran without guaranteed U.S. support—may be scarier.

The Syria-Iran connection is not a hard one to see. Both are rogue states whose hostile weapons programs have threatened to destabilize the already-unhinged Middle East. The basic American reasons for striking Syria—to save innocent lives, to punish an oppressive leader for war crimes, to potentially oust a tyrannical regime—could certainly apply to a belligerent Iran as well.

Israel is eager to help Americans make connections between the two nations. Several top Israeli officials have openly tied the Syrian predicament to the Iranian threat. Most recently, Israeli President Shimon Peres offered an Israeli radio station his confidence that, just as “Obama will not allow nuclear weapons in Iran,” he will make the right call and strike Syria. AIPAC, the American pro-Israel lobby, is following suit. “As we witness unthinkable horror in Syria, the urgency of stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions is paramount,” surmised an editorial on the organization’s website, accompanied by a photo of Bashar al-Assad and Ayatollah Khamenei chatting casually.

American policymakers are also starting to conflate the two. “Iran is hoping you look the other way,” Kerry warned the Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday as they prepared to draft the resolution on a Syrian strike. Later in the day, everyone from Marco Rubio to Barbara Boxer to Chuck Hagel echoed his point.

Since Israel is the state most concerned about Iran’s nuclear capabilities, that kind of rhetoric suggests we’re drifting toward Netanyahu’s best-case scenario—Congress justifying a strike on Syria based largely on the interests of Israel. Such a precedent could draw Israeli security as our new “red line,” requiring us to go after anybody who crossed it. To renege at that point would destroy our credibility beyond repair. Whenever Israel decided it was time to fire at Iran, we would be compelled to oblige.

President Obama seems to be speeding in that direction. Immediately after announcing that it would seek Congressional approval for the strike, the White House plainly presented the decision on Syria as a matter of Israeli security. Obama’s team knows that representatives on both sides of the aisle have professed their undying commitment to Israel’s safety. While using that commitment to sell the Syria intervention is clever political strategy, it could set a hazardous example.

Whether the U.S. should strike Syria is a tough choice, and whether to strike Iran may soon be another. But each needs decided on its own terms. Predicating the Syria decision on allegiance to Israel could establish a very dangerous precedent.


Zio Mafia


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zio slave

| Conning zion? Netanyahu flies into turbulence over $127,000 bed on plane!

Netanyahu flies into turbulence over $127,000 bed on plane ~

Outcry in austerity-hit Israel over news that ‘rest chamber’ was installed on plane ferrying PM and wife to London for Thatcher funeral!

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara in China this week

Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu in China this week. It was pointed out that the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, who will be 90 next month, spent an 11-hour flight to South Korea seated. Photograph: Avi Ohayon/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli prime ministerBinyamin Netanyahu, has encountered severe turbulence after it emerged that he ordered a double bed to be installed on a plane that carried him and his deeply unpopular wife, Sara, to Baroness Thatcher‘s funeral in London last month – at a cost of $127,000 (£83,000).

The revelation comes amid growing resentment over an austerity budget proposed by the finance minister Yair Lapid, a former TV personality who won popular support in January’s election by promising to champion Israel‘s financially squeezed middle class. Up to 15,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities on Saturday night in an echo of the massive social justice protests that swept the country two years ago.

Following an outcry over the cost of installing a “rest chamber” on the chartered El Al flight, Netanyahu’s office said that henceforth no sleeping cabins would be provided on short-haul flights to Europe.

Initially, officials defended the move – disclosed by Israel’s Channel 10 on Friday evening – in a statement that was immediately mocked by commentators for its detailed account of Netanyahu’s schedule.

The statement said: “The prime minister took off for London on the night after Independence Day, in the course of which he attended a reception for outstanding soldiers at the presidential residence, the World Bible Quiz, a reception for diplomatic personnel in Israel and the Israel prize ceremony. The flight was booked for midnight after a day full of events, and afterwards the prime minister was to represent the state of Israel at a number of official international events, including meetings with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain. It is acceptable for the prime minister of Israel to be able to rest at night between two packed days as those.”

El Al, Israel’s national airline, was paid $427,000 for the charter flight, including the cost of the chamber. A smaller plane, without sleeping quarters, would have cost $300,000, according to Israeli media reports.

Channel 10 pointed out that the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, who will be 90 next month, spent an 11-hour flight to South Korea seated in business class.

Writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper, Sima Kadmon said: “We thought that nothing could surprise us anymore when it came to the Netanyahus’ personal behaviour. Well, we thought wrong. It turns out that King Bibi and Queen Sara are entitled to do everything … The double bed that was installed on the plane cost the Israeli public, which is buckling under the weight of the austerity measures, half a million shekels. Is there no shame?”

The disclosure of Netanyahu’s in-flight sleeping arrangements follows the revelation earlier this year of a prime ministerial budget of $2,800 for ice-cream. A contract with a Jerusalem ice-cream parlour was swiftly cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Israeli public is facing a 1.5% rise in income tax, a 1% increase in VAT and a reduction in child allowances as part of an austerity package, which critics says disproportionately penalises the middle class.

Anger at demonstrations on Saturday focused on Lapid, whose party Yesh Atid (There is a Future) came second in January’s election and is now a key partner in Netanyahu’s coalition government. Lapid had pitched his campaign at middle-class voters who were the mainstay of 2011’s social justice movement.

Daphni Leef, one of the protest leaders, called on Lapid to “take from the tycoons, not the people … from those who have and not from those who don’t”.

Lior Tzur, 31, told the Jerusalem Post: “Lapid sold us all an illusion that he’ll change things and help the middle class, when really he’s just going to continue the same policies of money and power that existed before.”

A poll published in the pro-government Israel Hayom tabloid last week found that more than 50% of respondents said their confidence in Lapid had fallen since the election.


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| BDS: Stephen Hawking’s support for the boycott of Israel is a turning point!

Stephen Hawking’s support for the boycott of Israel is a turning point ~

  • Boycotting Israel as a stance for justice is going mainstream – Israelis can no longer pretend theirs is in an enlightened country.


‘Professor Hawking’s decision to respect the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has forced Israelis – and the rest of the world – to understand that the status quo has a price.’ Photograph: John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

A standard objection to the Palestinian campaign for the boycott of Israel is that it would cut off “dialogue” and hurt the chances of peace. We’ve heard this again in the wake of Professor Stephen Hawking’s laudable decision to withdraw from Israel’s Presidential Conference in response to requests from Palestinian academics – but it would be hard to think of a more unconvincing position as far as Palestinians are concerned.

One of the most deceptive aspects of the so-called peace process is the pretence that Palestinians and Israelis are two equal sides, equally at fault, equally responsible – thus erasing from view the brutal reality that Palestinians are an occupied, colonised people, dispossessed at the hands of one of the most powerful militaries on earth.

For more than two decades, under the cover of this fiction, Palestinians have engaged in internationally-sponsored “peace talks” and other forms of dialogue, only to watch as Israel has continued to occupy, steal and settle their land, and to kill and maim thousands of people with impunity.

While there are a handful of courageous dissenting Israeli voices, major Israeli institutions, especially the universities, have been complicit in this oppression by, for example, engaging in research and training partnerships with the Israeli army. Israel’s government has actively engaged academics, artists and other cultural figures in international “Brand Israel” campaigns to prettify the country’s image and distract attention from the oppression of Palestinians.

The vast majority of Palestinians, meanwhile, have been disenfranchised by the official peace process as their fate has been placed in the hands of venal and comprised envoys such as Tony Blair, and US and EU governments that only seem to find the courage to implement international law and protect human rights when it comes to the transgressions of African or Arab states.

When it comes to Israel’s abuses, governments around the world have offered nothing but lip service; while dozens of countries face US, EU or UN sanctions for far lesser transgressions, it has taken years for EU governments to even discuss timid steps such as labelling goods from illegal Israeli settlements, let alone actually banning them. Yet the peace process train trundles on – now with a new conductor in the form of John Kerry, the US secretary of state – but with no greater prospects of ever reaching its destination. So, enough talk already.

The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) aims to change this dynamic. It puts the initiative back in the hands of Palestinians. The goal is to build pressure on Israel to respect the rights of all Palestinians by ending its occupation and blockade of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; respecting the rights of Palestinian refugees who are currently excluded from returning to their homes just because they are not Jews; and abolishing all forms of discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

These demands are in line with universal human rights principles and would be unremarkable and uncontroversial in any other context, which is precisely why support for them is growing.

BDS builds on a long tradition of popular resistance around the world: from within Palestine itself to the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Historically, boycotts work.

During the 1980s opponents of sanctions against apartheid South Africa – including, notoriously, the late Margaret Thatcher – argued instead for “constructive engagement”. They were on the wrong side of history. Today, Palestinians are lectured to drop BDS and return to empty talks that are the present-day equivalent of constructive engagement.

But there can be no going back to the days when Palestinians were silenced and only the strong were given a voice. There can be no going back to endless “dialogue” and fuzzy and toothless talk about “peace” that provides a cover for Israel to entrench its colonisation.

When we look back in a few years, Hawking’s decision to respect BDS may be seen as a turning point – the moment when boycotting Israel as a stance for justice went mainstream.

What is clear today is that his action has forced Israelis – and the rest of the world – to understand that the status quo has a price. Israel cannot continue to pretend that it is a country of culture, technology and enlightenment while millions of Palestinians live invisibly under the brutal rule of bullets, bulldozers and armed settlers.


ISS PAL | Even today’s stunning pic from the International Space Station acknowledges Palestine! http://bit.ly/175mFjF

[The Aurora Australis is seen from an image taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station, on an ascending pass from south of Australia in the Southern Pacific Ocean to the Northern Pacific Ocean, west of Central America September 18, 2011. REUTERS/NASA/JSC/Handout]


ObHawking1 Anon Zio

| Stephen Hawking and 7 other celebrities who’ve Boycotted Israel!

Stephen Hawking Israel Boycott: 7 Celebrities Who’ve Done It Too ~


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British physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has announced his withdrawal from the upcoming Israeli conference in Jerusalem as part of an academic boycott to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

After initially agreeing to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference, hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, the world-renowned scientist has now changed his mind.

According to a statement by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, Hawking’s move was “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”

Hawking’s decision to boycott, however, is not unaccompanied.

Here’s a list of numerous celebrities from across the globe who have also boycotted the country in an effort to promote the Palestinian cause:

1. Stevie Wonder

Performer Stevie Wonder decided not to perform as a gala benefit for Friends of the Israel Defence Forces’ in Los Angeles last December. 

“Given the current and very delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried for world unity, I will not be performing at the FIDF Gala,” Wonder said in a Guardian article. “I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere.”

2. Meg Ryan

In 2010, Hollywood actress Meg Ryan cancelled plans to attend the Jerusalem film festival after an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla left nine dead earlier that year.

Although Ryan did not specifically cite the country’s actions as a reason for opting out of the event, associate director of the Jerusalem Cinemateque, Yigal Molad Hayo, said “it became quite clear that [it] was the reason.”

“A day after the flotilla incident we got an email saying she was not going to attend,” said Hayo in a Guardian article. “Although they claimed it was because she was too busy it was clear to me that it probably had something to do with what had happened.”

3. Dustin Hoffman

Actor Dustin Hoffman also joined his colleague Meg Ryan in opting out of the annual Jerusalem film festival following Israel’s raid in 2010.

4. Elvis Costello

In 2010, Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello cancelled two summer performances in Israel citing that it was “a matter of instinct and conscience” to protest the treatment of Palestinians.

“There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act …” Costello wrote on his website. “And it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.”

5. Julianne Moore 

In August 2010, a new cultural hall in the West Bank settlement of Ariel prompted a group of Israeli directors, actors and playwrights to perform in the building in protest of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians.

Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore joined numerous other Hollywood stars in lending her support to the boycott by signing a statement by the group Jewish Voice for Peace that praised the Israeli artists for having “refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation which they know to be wrong, which violates international law and which is impeding the hope for a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

6. Ken Loach

British-based director Ken Loach pulled his film Looking for Eric out of the Melbourne International Film festival in 2009 after organizers refused to reject Israeli government sponsorship. 

According to a Daily Telegraph article, Loach, who objected to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, were “part of an orchestrated campaign to target events that receive financial support from Israel.”

7. Emma Thompson

Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson joined a group of 35 other artists protesting the participation of Tel Aviv’s Habima theatre at the Globe to Globe festival in London last summer. The Israeli theatre group was invited to perform The Merchant of Venice at the Shakespeare festival.

Thompson together with her fellow actors and industry artists signed a letter that argued Habima had “a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Last year, two large Israeli settlements established “halls of culture” and asked Israeli theatre groups to perform there. A number of Israeli theatre professionals — actors, stage directors, playwrights — declared they would not take part.”




| Five reasons why Hawking is right to boycott Israel!

Five reasons why Hawking is right to boycott Israel ~ , Al Jazeera.

Hawking should be commended for pulling out of an Israeli conference as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

British cosmologist Stephen Hawking had been due to speak at a high-profile conference in June organised by Israeli President Shimon Peres [AP]
As announced by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and subsequently covered by The GuardianReuters and others, world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking has decided to heed the Palestinian call for boycott, and pull out of an Israeli conference hosted by President Shimon Peres in June. After initial confusionthis was confirmed – Hawking is staying away on political grounds.

Here are five reasons why Professor Hawking is right to boycott:

5. Whitewashing apartheid 

The Israeli government and various lobby groups use events such as the “Presidential Conference” to whitewash Israel’s crimes past and present, a tactic sometimes referred to as “rebranding”. As a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official put it after the 2009 Gaza massacre, it is the kind of approach that means sending “well-known novelists and writers overseas, theatre companies, [and] exhibits” in order to “show Israel’s prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war”. “Brand Israel” is all about creating a positive image for a country that is the target of human rights campaigners the world over – as if technological innovations or high-profile conferences can hide the reality of occupation and ethnic cleansing.

4. Shimon Peres 

Despite his reputation in the West as a “dove”, Peres’ career to date includes war crimes in Lebanon,support for collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza, and, in private discussions, incitementagainst non-Jewish citizens. Anyone would do well to avoid a conference hosted by such a hypocrite. Simply not being Ariel Sharon does not really cut it; Peres should be scheduled for a trip to The Hague, not welcoming foreign dignitaries and celebrities.

3. Boycott is not incompatible with ‘dialogue’ 

Contrary to the rhetoric of Israeli officials and sympathisers, boycott is not contrary to dialogue. Hawking’s decision, for example, will mean people are discussing Israeli policies and strategies for ending occupation. That is not atypical – BDS initiatives often encourage a meaningful exchange of views and perspectives. However, some people abuse the concept of dialogue to defend an asymmetrical status quo, leaving intact a colonial power dynamic where, in the words of South African poet James Matthews, “the oppressor sits seared with his spoils/with no desire to share equality/leaving the oppressed seeking warmth/at the cold fire of/Dialogue”. Boycott has nothing to do with having, or not having, conversations – it is about accountability for, and opposing, basic violations of a people’s rights. Confronting and resisting the reality of Israeli apartheid begets a dialogue that is fully realised in the context of equality and decolonisation.


Gaza Crisis


2. Impunity and accountability 

The boycott is grounded firmly in the well documented facts of Israeli policies. The US State Department speaks of “institutional discrimination” faced by Palestinian citizens, while Human Rights Watch says Israel maintains a “two-tier system” in the West Bank. From the “discriminatory” control and distribution of water resources (Amnesty International) to the “forced transfer of the native population” (European Union), it is no wonder that the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination hasreported Israel as violating prohibitions against “racial segregation and apartheid”.

Illegal settlements are used to colonise the West Bank, Palestinians in Gaza are blockaded and bombed, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have their homes demolished – and all the while, of course, expelled Palestinian refugees just a few miles from their properties are still prevented from returning home on the basis they are not Jews. And note that the “But what about China/Myanmar/Syria etc” line misses the point (as well as placing Israel in some rather interesting company). A boycott is atactic, advisable in some contexts, and not in others. It is not about a scale of injustice or wrongdoing. It is about a strategy targeting systematic human rights abuses and breaches of international law, called for by the colonised. Which brings us to…

1. The Palestinian call for solidarity 

Palestinians suffering under Israeli apartheid are calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a strategy in the realisation of their basic rights, a fact that many Zionists choose to ignore when attacking boycott campaigns. The Palestinian civil society call for BDS was officially launched on July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Separation Wall. Signatories to the BDS call come from representatives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinian refugees. Since then, growing numbers of people in the likes of academia, the arts world, trade unions and faith communities have answered the BDS call with initiatives that put the focus firmly on Israel’s routine violations of international law and ending complicity in these crimes. Professor Hawking is to be commended for seeking the advice of Palestinian academics, and heeding their request for international solidarity in a decades-long struggle for freedom and justice.

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. He is a graduate of Cambridge University.




“I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However, I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.” 

~ Prof. Stephen Hawking,
Letter to Shimon Peres, Israeli President, 3 May, 2013.


BDS ziocolony

| BDS: Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel!

Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel ~ Matthew Kalman in Jerusalem, The Guardian.

Physicist pulls out of conference hosted by president Shimon Peres in protest at treatment of Palestinians.

Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres’s 90th birthday.

Hawking is in very poor health, but last week he wrote a brief letter to the Israeli president to say he had changed his mind. He has not announced his decision publicly, but a statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking’s approval described it as “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”.

Hawking’s decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israeli academic institutions.

In April the Teachers’ Union of Ireland became the first lecturers’ association in Europe to call for an academic boycott of Israel, and in the United States members of the Association for Asian American Studies voted to support a boycott, the first national academic group to do so.

In the four weeks since Hawking’s participation in the Jerusalem event was announced, he has been bombarded with messages from Britain and abroad as part of an intense campaign by boycott supporters trying to persuade him to change his mind. In the end, Hawking told friends, he decided to follow the advice of Palestinian colleagues who unanimously agreed that he should not attend.

By participating in the boycott, Hawking joins a small but growing list of British personalities who have turned down invitations to visit Israel, including Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Annie Lennox and Mike Leigh.

However, many artists, writers and academics have defied and even denounced the boycott, calling it ineffective and selective. Ian McEwan, who was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 2011, responded to critics by saying: “If I only went to countries that I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed … It’s not great if everyone stops talking.”

Hawking has visited Israel four times in the past. Most recently, in 2006, he delivered public lectures at Israeli and Palestinian universities as the guest of the British Embassy in Tel Aviv. At the time, he said he was “looking forward to coming out to Israel and the Palestinian territories and excited about meeting both Israeli and Palestinian scientists”.

Since then, his attitude to Israel appears to have hardened. In 2009, Hawking denounced Israel’s three-week attack on Gaza, telling Riz Khan on Al-Jazeera that Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza was “plain out of proportion … The situation is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue.”

The office of President Peres, which has not yet announced Hawking’s withdrawal, did not respond to requests for comment. Hawking’s name has been removed from the speakers listed on the official website.

Stephen Hawking

A statement published with Stephen Hawking’s approval said his withdrawal was based on advice from academic contacts in Palestine. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
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