Archive for January 2011
Summarizing the American political reaction to the popular uprising in Egypt, Justin Raimondo writes:
Israel, Israel, Israel – it’s all about Israel, even when it isn’t. That’s the explanation for the coolness of the major pro-Israel organizations to Egypt’s valiant democratic upsurge. As Alan Elsner, an analyst with the “Israel Project,” put it:
“We understand very well that this is a regime that has been there for 30 years and is an authoritarian government. It hasn’t allowed free and fair elections – we understand that. We also understand that this is a government that made peace with Israel in 1979 and Mubarak’s predecessor paid for that peace with his life.”
“We understand” – and we don’t care. All we care about is that shitty little country in the Middle East which is fast turning into a racist theocracy and thrives on the $3 billion of taxpayer dollars we shovel down its greedy maw every year. We don’t care about democracy, liberty, the right of human beings to live and breathe – all we care about is our narrow little tribal ambitions. Asked why the Project supported the Iranian “Green” upsurge, and not the Egyptian version, Elsner replied: “”There is a huge difference between the governments of Iran and of Egypt. The government of Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel and has observed it.” So unacquainted with morality and any concept of basic human decency are the Elsners of this world that I doubt they realize how bad this sounds.
In a Press TV discussion of the Egyptian uprising against the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak, Alison Weir really got to the core of the issue:
“Part of the lack of his popularity is that he does the bidding of the United States, which does the bidding of Israel.”
In part 2, Weir and the other guests, Marwan al-Ashaal and Said Zulficar, discuss the uprising’s implications for the post-Camp David Egyptian collaboration with the Israeli occupation of Palestine:
By Lawrence Davidson
The Palestinians have always been a strong and determined people. You have to be so in order to defy a powerful and ruthless adversary, backed by the most of the world’s great powers, for close to one hundred years. The Palestinian leaders, both secular and religious, have likewise been strong and determined. A list of such people would run into the hundreds and so I shall just name a few: Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, who organized Palestinian resistance against both the Zionists and the British only to be gunned down by the latter in 1935; George Habash who founded and led the secular Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and leader of Hamas until his assassination by the Israelis in 2004 and, of course, Yasir Arafat who led the Palestinian struggle for independence and statehood for half a century. None of these men were terrorists. They were freedom fighters. And the inevitable violence that they carried out was minuscule compared to that violence leveled upon the Palestinians by their adversaries. Finally, none of them ever gave up.
By M. Shahid Alam
From his weekly perch at CNN, Fareed Zakaria, speculated last Sunday (or the Sunday before) whether George Bush could take credit for the events that were unfolding in Tunisia, whether this was the late fruit of the neoconservative project to bring ‘democracy’ to the Middle East.
Pressing Senator Rand Paul on his budget cut plans, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asks, “You want to end all foreign aid as well, is that right?” For the former AIPAC employee, Sen. Paul’s opposition to “shipping the money overseas” would, one might have expected, immediately raise the disturbing prospect of an end to U.S. aid to Israel. But before “the $2 billion or $3 billion that goes every year to Israel” even crossed his mind, Blitzer’s next question was: “What about humanitarian aid, for example, to Africa? You want to end all that?” It must be very reassuring for American taxpayers to know that, even in these hard times, Blitzer — like Ben Stein — cares so deeply about the rest of the world.
JIM LEHRER: The word — the word to describe the leadership of Mubarak and Egypt and also in Tunisia before was dictator. Should Mubarak be seen as a dictator?
JOE BIDEN: Look, Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region: Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing the relationship with Israel.
And I think that it would be — I would not refer to him as a dictator.
By Nima Shirazi
I’ve been beating up on State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley lately, first over his disingenuous support for freedom of the press as the U.S. cracked down on WikiLeaks and more recently over his amazing ability to say nothing while being asked direct questions about the illegality of Israeli colonization of the Palestinian land.
So why stop now?
Israel and some American Jewish groups have been eager to encourage the Chinese interest in things Jewish. For the visit by the Chinese academics, Israel’s Foreign Ministry partnered with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange, which organized the trip. A few days after the academics returned home, it was announced that China Central Television has just produced, in cooperation with Israel’s embassy in Beijing, a 12-part series intended to introduce Chinese audiences to the history of Israel and the Jewish people.
The Israel Project, a Washington-based advocacy group, has proposed building on this interest to create a strong base of support for Israel in China. Last year it conducted a focus group on opinions toward Israel in Shanghai.
“Because China’s interests in the Middle East are relatively recent, and Israel is still largely a blank slate to most Chinese, we have a real opportunity to make a significant impact on its decision-making and views concerning us and the wider Middle East,” Laura Kam, the group’s executive director for global affairs, wrote recently in The Jerusalem Post.
By Philip Giraldi
It is not often that one sees an entire nation marching in lockstep to go over a cliff into an abyss, but that is essentially what the United States is doing at the moment. Not only have there been strong hints from the Obama Administration that the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on into the dim future, but there is also no sign of any necessary course correction in other areas. Israel, backed by Washington, continues its reckless policies and may be cranking up for a new war against Lebanon and Syria with the ultimate objective of involving its American patron in fighting against Iran. Clearly President Obama is unwilling to take any risks by challenging existing policies. He is edging towards what he perceives as the political center and is preparing to ride the status quo to electoral victory in 2012.
In the Jewish Daily Forward’s “Reporters’ Roundtable” podcast, Washington correspondent Nathan Guttman and staff writer Gal Beckerman join host Josh Nathan-Kazis to discuss “the newly invigorated push from Israel to spring convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from the American prison where he’s incarcerated.” One gets the distinct impression that it’s a push toward which the three journalists are sympathetic. There is little or no mention of the details of the case or of the serious damage Pollard did to American security, as outlined in the Winter/Spring 2011 edition of Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies. In his analysis of the arguments for Pollard’s release, M. E. “Spike” Bowman, former Deputy of the National Counterintelligence Executive, writes:
Pollard pled guilty to violation of 18 U.S. Code §794. That code section provides that a person convicted of that section “shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life.” This code section is different from other parts of the espionage codes which do limit sentencing to ten years. What is different about §794 is that it is restricted to espionage offenses of a particularly serious nature – i.e., disclosure of information that results in the death of an agent of the United States or which “directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, early warning systems, or other means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack; war plans; communications intelligence or cryptographic information.”
In contrast to the Forward staff’s compassionate treatment of Pollard, Bowman concludes his cogent argument against Pollard’s release by saying:
In the final analysis, Jay Pollard is not a sympathetic character when one is given the full picture of his activities against this country. He was neither a U.S. nor an Israeli patriot. He was a self-serving, gluttonous character seeking financial reward and personal gratification. Without doubt, he is intense and intelligent, but also arrogantly venal, unscrupulous, and self-obsessed.