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General

Don’t Eat That, Charlie, It’s Bullshit.

Posted March 25, 2015 by Anonymous

Most of us come with a pretty good “BD” or Bullshit Detector as standard equipment.  People lie, so we need it.  Not that it always works but it’s still pretty good.  The more obvious the lie the better our BD works.  White lies som…

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General

A One-State Solution for Israel and Why It Will Work

Posted March 24, 2015 by Haroon Moghul

We’ve left the two-state solution long behind—let’s not ignore other possibilities for peace.

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General

Did Bibi Spy on Barack? Easy Answer? Of Course.

Posted March 24, 2015 by Anonymous

Israel has never been reluctant to spy on its global benefactor, the United States. Now Washington is accusing Israel of having spied on American negotiations with Iran for a nuclear enrichment treaty.

The apparent decision by the White House to leak the allegations is the latest symptom of the growing gulf between Barack Obama’s administration and Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over the Iran talks, in which the Israeli leader suspects US officials of being ready to make too many concessions at the expense of Israeli security. Intelligence analysts suggested that the leak reflects the degree of anger in Washington at Netanyahu’s actions, and could mark a more serious blow to the already tottering relationship.

The leak has come exactly a week before a deadline for the US-Iranian negotiations in Lausanne to produce a framework agreement.

According to the report, the US has long been aware that Israel is among the shortlist of countries with the most aggressive intelligence operations targeting America, alongside Russia, China and France. It said American diplomats attending the talks in Austria and Switzerland were briefed by US counterintelligence officials about the threat of Israeli eavesdropping. It also raised the possibility that Israel gathered intelligence about the US position by spying on other participants in the negotiations, from western Europe, Russia, China or Iran. US intelligence had previously provided help to the Israelis to spy on the Iranians, the report said.
The fact is that Israel has a rich history of spying on the hand that feeds it some $3-billion a year.

The most infamous case was that of Jonathan Pollard currently serving a life sentence.  By some accounts Pollard may be released from prison this November.  Netanyahu has repeatedly pressed various American presidents to free Pollard at one point claiming it would be an appropriate reward for Israel suspending the expansion of illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories for three months.

In the 60s, Zalman Shapiro was suspected of smuggling weapons-grade uranium from his processing plant in Pennsylvania to Israel.  In 1985, US businessman Richard Smyth was convicted of shipping about 800 nuclear bomb triggers disguised as “radio tubes” to Israel.

Then there’s this eye-opening summary of Israeli spying against the United States published in 2004 in CounterPunch.

Overall, it seems that Israel was second only to the Soviet Union in spying on America, at least until the recent ascendancy of China.

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General

Coming Clean, It’s Good for the Soul.

Posted March 23, 2015 by Anonymous

After half a century of persistent fudging the Pentagon has officially admitted the undeniable – Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons and all the high tech gear to best use them.

That revelation might not matter much to most of us but, to the US government, it has serious military and foreign policy ramifications.

…the confirmation of this poorly kept secret opens a troublesome can of worms for both the US government and our closest ally in the Middle East. Official acknowledgement poses questions and contradictions that cry out for closer inspection. For many years, the United States collaborated with Israel’s development of critical technology needed for advanced armaments. Yet Washington pushed other nations to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires international inspections to discourage the spread of nuclear arms. Israel has never signed the NPT and therefore does not have to submit to inspections.

Washington knew all along what the inspectors would find in Israel. Furthermore, as far back as the 1960s, the US Foreign Assistance Act was amended by concerned senators to prohibit any foreign aid for countries developing their own nukes. Smith asserts that the exception made for Israel was a violation of the US law but it was shrouded by the official secrecy. Since Israel is a major recipient of US aid, American presidents had good reason not to reveal the truth.

The newly released report—“Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations”—describes Israel’s nuclear infrastructure in broad terms, but the dimensions are awesome. Israel’s nuclear research labs, the IDA researchers reported, “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.” Indeed, the investigators observed that Israel’s facilities are “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”


In other words, going back well before the 80s, Israel and the US have been one collaborative lab for developing advanced weapons of mass destruction and yet the US Congress wouldn’t hesitate if it only could to attack Iran for basic nuclear processing far short of any weaponized materials.

Update – for anyone interested in Israel and how it came to amass so many nuclear weapons, Foreign Policy has a fascinating whodunnit, “What lies beneath Numec?” that focuses on a uranium processing plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania in the 60s,  and how it came to misplace hundreds of pounds of highly enriched, weapons grade uranium. It’s made more intriguing by the fact that Numec’s founder, Zalman Shapiro, had close connections to Israel’s defence and intelligence establishments.

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General

Benjamin Netanyahu and the Apartheid State

Posted March 20, 2015 by Simon

Benjamin Netanyahu may have won the Israeli election, by using fear and racism to get people to vote for him.

Like his good buddy Stephen Harper is trying to do in Canada.

But it is tuning out to be a pyrrhic victory.

For while he may deny he is a racist. 
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General

Why the left hates Bibi Netanyahu

Posted March 20, 2015 by JR

Lawrence Solomon tells us why:

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s triumph in Israel’s election this week, so shocking and appalling to the Western press, is many other things, too. …

… recognition by Israelis of Netanyahu as the Churchill of our times
stands apart from virtually all other Western leaders
… a repudiation by Israelis of those same Western leaders
… Netanyahu’s march to freer markets.
… Under Netanyahu’s influence … Israel systematically began dismantling the welfare state
sold off Israel’s interests in state enterprises
… abolished foreign exchange controls and otherwise liberalized the economy,
… turning Israel into an entrepreneurial marvel 
… The Western press, operating as it does from its echo chamber, likes to describe Israel as increasingly isolated in the world due to its supposed failure to make peace 
Israel, once the darling of the Socialist Internationale, is fast becoming the darling of all but Socialist-leaning Europe, Iran and the ISIS wannabe set
… Two years from now, Obama will be gone, to be remembered as the worst American president in memory. Prime Minister Netanyahu will remain in power and on the world stage

That’s why.

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Bigotry

Benjamin Netanyahu and Stephen Harper’s Netanyahu Moment

Posted March 19, 2015 by Simon

Benjamin Netanyahu is as any decent person knows, a brutish right-wing demagogue, a racist, and a war criminal.

And his victory in yesterday’s Israeli election couldn’t be more tragic. 

Or have left the Middle East and his own country more deeply wounded. 
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CBC

Israeli election – the NYT concedes defeat

Posted March 18, 2015 by JR

Netanyahu Soundly Defeats Chief Rival in Israeli Elections.Also badly disappointed are the CBC and its many Israel-hating followers (see the comments)  and as no doubt is Barack Obama after wasting taxpayers’ money attempting to defeat Bibi:

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General

Never again? We’ll see…

Posted January 28, 2015 by Ted Bird

  The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is as good a time as any and a better time than most to consider the unsettling resurgence of global anti-Semitism.   It seems unthinkable that within the lifetime of some Holoca…

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General

Israel & Gaza: Tectonic shift in past 24 hours

Posted August 26, 2014 by CuriosityCat
Israel’s embattled prime minister

The Egypt-brokered truce agreement just struck has resulted in two shifts in the underlying political forces in that area.

The first shift is a de facto recognition by Israel of the pan-Palestinian government that Abbas had set in place, as Zvi Bar'elwrites in Haaretz:

But this is just a preliminary agreement. The important agreement will come in another month, when both sides return to Cairo to negotiate over core issues like a port and airport, prisoner releases and Gaza’s reconstruction. Over the coming month, the cease-fire’s stability will be tested, and that is the innovation in yesterday’s agreement: The truce is of unlimited duration. 

Thus for the first time, Israel has agreed to a confidence-building process with the Palestinian government to which Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also parties.

The negotiations won’t be direct, but this is clearly a pan-Palestinian agreement with Israel. 

Thus Israel has not only recognized the Palestinian unity government, but also acknowledged that Gaza and the West Bank can no longer be separated. Without these two facts, neither yesterday’s deal nor those to follow would have any practical meaning. Effectively, Israel has recognized Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups as an inseparable part of the Palestinian polity with which it will also have to conduct broader diplomatic negotiations in the future.

The second major change is that the Israeli cabinet is not united around the truce itself. Some reports suggest that the Israeli prime minister did not call for a vote on the truce from cabinet members because it might not have passed.
This is the take of Attila Somfalvi in Ynet News:

Political rumblings began within the Israeli government Tuesday evening after a long-term ceasefire with Hamas went into effect at 7pm local time and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called for a Cabinet vote on the decision, citing that ministers hadn’t been consulted about the deal.
According to Bennett, the decision had been made exclusively by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet members were only updated on the decision by telephone.
The Cabinet appeared to be split on the deal, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Interior Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan opposing the decision, and supporting further military action in Gaza.

If the ceasefire does not result in peace, the Israeli prime minister will find his political career under attack. A significant breach of the truce could lead to a new prime minister.
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