The Threats and Challenges Facing Israel

Iranian efforts to smuggle precision weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to deploy military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons systems in Syria and Iraq did not stop even after a massive campaign of air strikes, attributed to Israel.

We have to practice our fear faces

In the background, one cannot ignore the political context within Israel. All the key players in the coalition negotiations – President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – talk in gloomy tones about a real change in Israel’s security, hinting that citizens are not fully aware of the gravity of the situation.

Oct 27, 2019

Sooner or later, things will get messy. Iranian efforts to smuggle precision weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to deploy military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons systems in Syria and Iraq did not stop even after a massive campaign of air strikes, attributed to Israel.

Tehran has signaled on several occasions that it still has a score to settle with Israel over earlier strikes. Following the exchange of blows between the two sides in late August and early September, Iran has laid down a new equation, according to which every new Israeli attack will be met with a swift military response.

A possible conclusion is that the next round of clashes between the two sides is imminent. This could be a result of pre-emptive Israeli action against an Iranian retaliatory attack or a deliberate IDF strike against growing Iranian power in the region or the smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah.

The backdrop for all this is the growing assessment that the instability in various arenas around Israel (Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip) could last for a long time and that these arenas have an affect on each other, more than was the case in the past.

High tensions in the north could deteriorate into military strife in the south. According to military intelligence, the Hamas government is striving for stability and is concerned about a war, but Islamic Jihad is a free agent with its own considerations, unconcerned about possible damage to Gaza in case of a slide into another military confrontation.

In the background, one cannot ignore the political context within Israel. All the key players in the coalition negotiations – President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – talk in gloomy tones about a real change in Israel’s security, hinting that citizens are not fully aware of the gravity of the situation.

Netanyahu, in a video clip he released just before handing back to Rivlin his mandate for forming a government, tried to accuse Gantz of ignoring the danger. He claimed that his rival persisted in his refusal to seriously discuss the formation of a unity government, “even though I earlier acceded to his request to meet the army chief of staff, who presented him with the array of threats and challenges facing Israel.”

Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi spoke in cooler tones in a meeting between top army brass and Netanyahu, saying that “decision making is done professionally, in a considered and judicious manner, based on what is good for Israel.” We’ll have to wait and see.

Trump’s fiasco

The rising tension between Israel and Iran is developing against the backdrop of a most significant regional development, the continued American withdrawal from the Middle East. Each week brings its tidings, mostly coming directly from the mouth of President Donald Trump.

In recent days the dimensions of the fiasco that ensued after his decision to remove his forces from the path of Turkish forces invading Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria have become apparent to everyone except his blind followers.

This move played into the hands of the Russians, the Turks, the Assad regime, the Islamic State and to some extent Iran. The Kurds were badly affected, and Israel certainly gained nothing.

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Israel Media Uses Hamas to Explain Tragedy From Recent Storm

What attracted me to this story was that only a Palestinian child was struck by tragedy and no Israelis.

Israel’s media

Due to flooding caused by the rains throughout the day in southern Israel, parts of Route 40 near the town of Mitzpe Ramon were closed, as was a segment of Route 90 in the Arava Valley.

In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian teenager was electrocuted after touching an electric pole outside his home during heavy rains.

Israel repeatedly opens its dams towards the besieged Gaza Strip during winter time, especially following heavy rain, inflicting serious losses and destruction in various areas of the coastal region, in addition to many injuries.

Local emergency crews identified the boy Saturday as Mahmoud al-Belbisi, 16.

Palestinian authorities in the coastal enclave said they were prepared for a rare hurricane-like weather system that was expected to hit the eastern part of the Mediterranean on Saturday. The system lessened but still resulted in heavy rain.

Gaza, ruled by the Hamas terror group and blockaded by Israel and Egypt to prevent arms smuggling, has rundown infrastructure and residents are vulnerable to such dangers.

Gaza, ruled by the ‘Hamas terror group’ and blockaded by Israel and Egypt to prevent arms smuggling, has rundown infrastructure and residents are vulnerable to such dangers.

The facts:

For more than a decade Palestinians living in Gaza have endured major escalations of violence and an air and sea blockade, imposed by Israel and Egypt, that has decimated the infrastructure, stifled economic growth and made living conditions so dismal that United Nations officials say a humanitarian disaster is unavoidable.

Entire industries have collapsed within the Gaza Strip. Farming areas along the perimeter of the strip have been ruined by the siege and three recent wars with Israel, in 2009, 2012 and 2014.

Many Gazans are the property owners and land owners who were terrorized off their homes and lands in`1948. They are living right next door in a cage to armed squatters on their land who are enjoying what belongs to Palestinians. Eating their food, sleeping in their beds.

The last step before the immigration from Europe to Palestine: a staged holocaust to chase the Jews to Palestine.  Jewish Hollywood sent in their own photographers, journalists directors and documenters to capture the Zionist narrative for the public. Oops! Shown here stepping into a shoot is Billy Wilder.

It’s all staged.

The Zionist holocaust movie

The Zionist movement creates this wherever they go

A trained and heavily armed Zionist army to steal Palestine and kill and terrorize Palestinians out of their homes and property.

The immigrant Zionists keep Palestinians living in poverty and misery, incarcerated and sealed off from the world.

Broken Bones, Broken Dreams, Broken Homeland: The First Intifada, 1987

The world’s public did not know Palestinians existed until they thrust their plight onto the world’s stage. Journalists loved it, to the chagrin of the Zionists who tried to keep them silent and hidden. But alas, Israel has the backing of the US superpower and the systematic genocide of the Palestinians continues to this day.

The Largely Unknown Truth about Syria and Vietnam Wars

Syria and Vietnam wars in a nutshell. Be more knowledgeable than most of your friends!

No one need be ill informed about Syria and the Kurds with Syrian Girl amongst us! Just a brief  clip discussing Israel’s role in Syria. The entire interview is worthy, discussing Kurdish history to currant events. My focus is always Israel.

James DiEugenio is interviewed about Vietnam war and diabolical Allen Dulles’s role is discussed. Vietnam war in a nutshell.

Firebomb Attack Targets Jewish Worshipers at Rachel’s Tomb

    UNESCO’s  (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Executive Board voted to declare the sites as “al-Haram al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs” and “Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb” and stated that they were “an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territories” and any unilateral Israeli action was a violation of international law.

The present structure consists of two chambers; one, a domed chamber, is of Muslim Ottoman construction.

What one would imagine from this headline are nefarious outlaw terrorists, as Palestinians are branded on their own land by the foreign element Zionists, throwing a firebomb at Rachael’s Tomb, which happens to be a Muslim, Christian AND Jewish holy site not a Jewish one, out of sheer hatred for everything Jewish.

Israel occupied the Bilal bin Rabah mosque  in the 1967 Six-Day War designating as a Jewish holy site while it sits in a Christian and Muslim holy site. Today, the Maqam is surrounded by Israel’s West Bank recent barricade wall to keep Palestinians and Christians out.

The PX Commission of the Executive Board of UNESCO adopted resolutions which say that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian territory.”

The resolutions also condemned Israel for building the security fence, carrying out excavations in eastern Jerusalem, and for “other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory.” They also assert that Israel destroyed Palestinian schools, including in the illegal Bedouin outpost Khan al-Ahmar.

The resolutions were submitted by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, and were approved several minutes after the beginning of the commission’s meeting. The committee includes the 59 members of UNESCO’s Executive Board.

Over a year ago, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declared that the old city of Hevron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs were “Palestinian” heritage sites. In 2010, a report by the organization branded the Tomb of Rachel a mosque.

Rachel’s Tomb, also known as the Bilal bin Rabah mosque to Muslims is the name given to a small religious building revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims. The tomb is located within a Muslim cemetery in Bethlehem Palestine.

In 2005, following Israeli only  approval on 11 September 2002, the Israeli West Bank barrier was built around the tomb, effectively annexing it to Jerusalem.[25][1][26][27] A 2005 report from OHCHR Special Rapporteur John Dugard noted that: “Although Rachel’s Tomb is a site holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, it has effectively been closed to Muslims and Christians.”[28] 

On October 21, 2015, UNESCO adopted a controversial resolution reaffirming a 2010 statement[29] that Rachel’s Tomb was: “an integral part of Palestine.”[30] On 22 October 2015, the tomb was separated from Bethlehem with a series of concrete barriers.

New antisemitism is the concept that a new form of antisemitism has developed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, tending to manifest itself as opposition to Zionism and criticism of the Israeli government. The concept is included in some definitions of antisemitism, such as the Working Definition of Antisemitism and the 3D test of antisemitism.

The concept generally posits that in the late 20th and early 21st centuries much of what is purported to be criticism of Israel by various individuals and world bodies is in fact tantamount to demonization, and that together with an alleged international resurgence of attacks on Jews and Jewish symbols, and an increased acceptance of antisemitic beliefs in public discourse, such demonization represents an evolution in the appearance of antisemitic beliefs

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon responded to the resolution:

“This is further evidence, for anyone who did not understand why the United States and Israel withdrew from UNESCO, that again proves that UNESCO is a body based on lies and biases, and is deliberately acting against us,” said Danon.

“The State of Israel will not be a member of an organization that is trying to rewrite history and willing to be manipulated by our enemies.”

Another deceptive Israeli headline: Palestinians tried to burn down Joseph’s tomb while protesting.

The real headline is:
Israeli Settlers Invade Joseph’s Tomb, Several Palestinians Injured
Several Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire overnight Monday, as hundreds of illegal Israeli settlers forced their way into Joseph’s Tomb near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Palestine security sources told WAFA.
Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with hundreds of extremist Jewish settlers into the site, located in the Palestinian Authority controlled area, sparking confrontations with Palestinian residents.

Soldiers opened fire on Palestinians protesting the raid and attempting to block settlers’ access to the site, injuring several protestors with rubber-coated steel bullets. At the time of writing, the number of injured is unknown.

Soldiers also showered protesters with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffer tear-gas inhalation, all of whom received first aid treatment at the scene.

Settlers repeatedly invade Joseph’s Tomb, located in a densely populated area in Nablus, provoking chaos and confrontation with local residents.

European invader Jews claim ownership and change Palestine history everywhere they go. They create chaos and use violence everywhere they go.


Now the Israeli news.

A firebomb was thrown at Jewish worshipers at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem Palestinian “terrorists”.

Jerusalem police said that “an object was thrown at the barrier wall at the Tomb of Rachel on Monday; there were no casualties and no damage was caused.”

Rabbi Tzvi Uziyahu, one of the rabbis administering Rachel’s Tomb institutions, told Israel National News, “By God’s grace we had a miracle. If God forbid the explosives had ignited, there would have been many casualties at the bus stops and at the entrance to the tomb.” Jewish studies and prayers continued at Rachel’s Tomb despite the firebomb attack, he added.

Located on the northern edge of Bethlehem, the tomb is revered as the burial place of the Jewish biblical matriarch Rachel, the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. It is considered one of Judaism’s holiest sites.*

Only the Palestinian Jews (before the European invasion) are the real Jews and they don’t usurp from the Muslims or Christians…Palestine belongs to all Palestinians.




The Human on the Hill

Introducing St. Paul’s Betty McCollum, a radically progressive on U.S. policy toward Israel. 

“Undoubtedly, Rep. McCollum is one of the leading human rights champions on Palestinian human rights on the Hill, consistently for years, without fail”


Over the past few years, one member of Congress has stood up to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), denounced Israel’s policies, which she likened to “apartheid,” and pushed laws that would place humanitarian conditions on U.S. military aid to Israel.

Human rights advocates praise her, and she is popular in her progressive district. But she is neither the face of the progressive left nor the bogeyman of Fox News. Unless you’ve lived in Minnesota — or read MinnPost — there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of her. 

Her name is Betty McCollum, and she has represented St. Paul for almost 20 years. 

President Donald Trump — who loves to attack Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the first Muslim congresswomen, for her criticism of Israel — has never once tweeted McCollum’s name. That the Democratic congresswoman who leads the vanguard of progressive U.S. policy toward Israel in Congress is not the subject of constant bad-faith attacks from the right is a testament to her pragmatism.

But it also exposes the inconsistency of the outrage campaign directed at Omar and the other members of the so-called “Squad,” a group of progressive first-term lawmakers who are all women of color.

“Rep. Omar has a history of launching virulent anti-Semitic screeds,” Trump claimed at a campaign rally in Minneapolis on Thursday. “She is a disgrace to our country and she is one of the big reasons that I am going to win and the Republican Party is going to win Minnesota in 13 months,” he continued. 

Trump’s attacks on the Squad, which also includes Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), “are intentionally done to rile up the racist instincts of a portion of his base,” said Dylan Williams, of the left-leaning pro-Israel group J Street.

“This double standard that’s being applied to these congresswomen is very clear, and it’s not a standard that has been applied to other congressional critics of Israeli policy and the occupation.” Omar, who is Black, Muslim and an immigrant from Somalia, represents “a perfect storm of characteristics that they could try to attack and portray as the problem to a white evangelical base,” said Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. 

“Rep. McCollum,” Munayyer added, “didn’t fit the poster.”

Rep. Betty McCollum was told she'd "written her death sentence" by slamming AIPAC.

Rep. Betty McCollum was told she’d “written her death sentence” by slamming AIPAC.

McCollum, who grew up in South St. Paul, trained as a social studies teacher. After she graduated, she had a hard time finding full-time work, so she took on long-term substitute teaching jobs and worked part-time at Sears. In 1984, McCollum’s toddler daughter fractured her skull falling off a playground slide that didn’t have enough sand at its base.

The girl recovered quickly, but the city didn’t do anything about the playground until after McCollum pushed for it at a City Council meeting — a victory that prompted her to run for local office. She served on the City Council and in the Minnesota statehouse before she was elected to Congress in 2000. 

There is no one moment that prompted McCollum to become one of the most outspoken members of Congress on Israel and Palestine. She tends to talk about the conflict as just one of the many human rights crises bedeviling the world.

As a lawmaker, she has shown a particular interest in policy aimed at protecting vulnerable kids: She has worked to provide HIV-AIDS assistance to orphans, prevent child marriage and fix crumbling schools for Native American children

In 2006, representatives of groups that provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians warned McCollum of a looming humanitarian disaster. At the time, lawmakers were preparing to vote on the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, a bill ostensibly intended to isolate Hamas, the group that has been designated by Israel and the U.S. as a terrorist organization and that had recently won a majority in the Palestinian parliament.

The bill, humanitarian workers explained, would make it harder for aid organizations to provide lifesaving medical care to Palestinians. McCollum listened and was one of two members who voted against advancing the bill out of committee.

The bill, which was backed by AIPAC, passed easily in the House. But McCollum’s dissenting vote set her up for a feud with one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country.

On a Friday after the vote, McCollum’s chief of staff, Bill Harper, got a phone call from Amy Rotenberg, an AIPAC member who had met with McCollum on behalf of the organization. McCollum’s “support for terrorists will not be tolerated,” Rotenberg said, according to Harper. Rotenberg, who declined an interview, described Harper’s characterization of the conversation as a “serious distortion.”

“Bill Harper’s description of the conversation with me was false in 2006 and it is false now,” Rotenberg wrote.

McCollum was shocked. She wrote a letter to AIPAC’s executive director slamming the group for attempting to use “threat and intimidation to stifle legitimate policy differences.”

She banned AIPAC representatives from her offices pending a formal apology from the lobbying group. It was a lonely time to go up against AIPAC. J Street, the left-leaning alternative to AIPAC, didn’t exist yet. Members told McCollum that she had “written her death sentence,” she said. 

“I went, ‘OK, if I lose an election over standing up for medical supplies for kids, OK, I’m ready to go!’” McCollum said. “When I came back, the whisper kind of was, ‘You can survive!’”

McCollum never got a public apology, but she did eventually let AIPAC representatives back into her office. “But they don’t bully her or do what they do to other members,” said Brad Parker, a senior adviser at Defense for Children International Palestine.

McCollum wins reelections in her progressive district by huge margins — she received 91% of the vote in the 2018 primary and beat her Republican opponent by 36 percentage points. She has no interest in running for Senate, she said. 

In 2015, when a group of activists started organizing in opposition to Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children, McCollum’s office was one of the first places they visited on Capitol Hill. Palestinian human rights is an outlier issue on Capitol Hill — “You don’t even have access to a lot of offices; they don’t want to deal with Palestinian organizations,” said Parker, whose group briefed McCollum’s team on the issue. “Those barriers don’t exist with Betty.”

They showed McCollum’s team a 2013 UNICEF report that described Israeli soldiers removing Palestinian kids from their homes in the middle of the night, blindfolding them and taking them to an interrogation center. The kids were beaten, deprived of sleep and forced to sign confessions in a language they did not understand, without a lawyer present, the report said. 

“It’s like, ‘Wait a second. We’re giving money, the U.S. government, to UNICEF, to do this report — and we’re giving money to the Israeli government to do the things that the report is about,’” Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff, said. “What’s wrong with this picture?”

The U.S. currently gives Israel $3.8 billion a year in military aid. Since World War II, it has received more U.S. foreign assistance than any other country, according to the Congressional Research Service. Most countries that receive U.S. assistance are subject to extensive restrictions on how the aid is used. But for Israel, much of the money goes directly into its Ministry of Defense, with little American oversight, Harper said. 

In 2017, McCollum introduced a bill to block U.S. aid to Israel from being used to “support the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law.”

She reintroduced the bill in April, this time with language that would amend the so-called Leahy law, which prohibits the U.S. from providing military assistance to foreign governments that commit “a gross violation of human rights.” The current bill would also set aside money to fund nongovernmental organizations that provide physical, psychological and emotional treatment for Palestinian children who have been detained by the Israeli military. 

Last March, the Minnesota delegation of American Muslims for Palestine traveled to Washington to meet with McCollum and talk about her bill. At the end of the meeting, McCollum tweeted out a picture of her posing with the group. The congresswoman didn’t think much of it — she tweets pictures of groups she meets with all the time.

But Palestinian activists are used to being ignored by their elected officials, AMP chapter lead Mariam El-Khatib said. When El-Khatib saw the tweet, she thought, “Wow, she doesn’t mind being associated with AMP or Palestinians doing this kind of work.” 

The bill has 21 co-sponsors, all Democrats. Two additional Democrats withdrew their names as co-sponsors. When Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) pulled her name, she tweeted that her “heart has always been with the children of Palestine” and that she was pushing leadership “hard” for a vote on a “resolution supporting a two-state solution.” 

McCollum pushed back: “Rep. Dingell removed her name from HR 2407, calling it ‘counterproductive to a peaceful, two-state solution,’” McCollum tweeted. “Does ongoing U.S. funding for Israeli military detention and abuse of Palestinian children promote peace or human rights violations?”

McCollum estimates that if all of the members who told her in private they liked the bill were willing to support it publicly, she’d have another 20 co-sponsors. But she also knows the bill has almost no chance of making it out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, headed by the staunchly pro-Israel Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) — much less becoming law. Engel and Dingell did not respond to requests for comment. 

“It’s the obvious bill that still won’t get passed,” said Jaylani Hussein, head of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 

From right, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) address the members

From right, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) address the members of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, on Dec. 4, 2015.

Last year, McCollum accepted an award from the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. During her acceptance speech, she described Israel’s nation-state law — which reserves the right to self-determination in Israel for Jewish people — as a system of apartheid.

For a sitting member of Congress to use the word “apartheid” in reference to Israel is radical — almost inconceivable. But her comments attracted almost no national attention. 

With the exception of fringe actors, such as Zionist Organization of American President Mort Klein, most of the people from the pro-Israel community who weighed in on her speech offered measured criticism.

Steve Hunegs, of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, expressed disappointment with her word choice and her decision to attend the event, but he also emphasized her past support for a two-state solution. He didn’t accuse her of anti-Semitism. 

McCollum thinks the conversation about Israel is shifting among her colleagues. The leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who has vowed to annex parts of the West Bank — has Democrats concerned that prospects for a two-state solution are disappearing.

Without a two-state solution, “do we have apartheid in Israel?” McCollum asked. “Do we have something similar to Jim Crow laws, which we had a struggle with in this country and we’re still facing the repercussions that are with race relations? Do we not say anything?”

The conversation is slowly shifting, but it’s not hard to imagine what would have happened if Omar, the congresswoman who represents the district across the river from McCollum’s, had used the word “apartheid” in reference to Israel.

Like McCollum, Omar has spoken out against the influence of AIPAC and criticized the right-wing government in Israel. But, unlike the more senior lawmaker, Omar’s critics usually assume the worst interpretation of her words.

In the week immediately following Omar’s “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” tweet — an observation that members of Congress are willing to infringe on Americans’ right to criticize Israel because of money directed their way by pro-Israel lobbyists — Omar was roundly accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes about the influence of wealthy Jews.

Her name was mentioned in 21 Fox News shows, 51 CNN shows and five MSNBC shows, The Intercept reported. Her name also appeared in nearly 500 newspaper articles, according to a Lexis Nexis search. 

Omar apologized after the “Benjamins” tweet and said she was grateful for colleagues and allies who educated her on the “painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.” Later that month, she spoke at a progressive policy town hall about her fear that her legitimate criticisms of Israel will be misconstrued as anti-Semitism because she is Muslim.

She asked why she is allowed to criticize the influence of the National Rifle Association and Big Pharma but not the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. But people paid attention to only one line in her remarks: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Omar was talking about an effective political lobbying operation — one that includes plenty of evangelical Christians and is opposed by lots of American Jews. But Omar’s critics, including some liberals, insisted she was questioning the loyalty of American Jews.

New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait proclaimed she no longer deserved “the presumption of good faith,” and Engel accused her of “invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur.” Within days, the House passed a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism, listing “accusations of dual loyalty” alongside the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. 

McCollum’s staff say that the reason she doesn’t evoke the same reactions as Omar is because she is careful with her words and has spent years cultivating close relationships in Congress, including with leadership and members on the other side of the political spectrum.

McCollum works “excruciatingly” hard to make sure that what she says about Israel is “based on evidence” and is backed on reports, Harper said. She goes out of her way to make clear that she is not attacking Jews or Israelis, but the policies of a government, Harper continued. 

I asked more than a dozen policy advocates and Capitol Hill staffers who work on Israeli-Palestinian issues about the disparate treatment between McCollum and Omar. All of them agreed that McCollum is careful and that she benefits from close relationships with her colleagues.

But racism and Islamophobia are also part of the reason why Omar faces vitriolic backlash every time she weighs in on Israel while McCollum has gone relatively unnoticed, almost all of the advocates and Capitol Hill staffers said. 

“Undoubtedly, Rep. McCollum is one of the leading human rights champions on Palestinian human rights on the Hill, consistently for years, without fail,” said Beth Miller, the government affairs manager at Jewish Voice for Peace. “The fact that she has never been attacked in the way that Reps. Tlaib and Omar have been speaks to the racism and Islamophobia that is very present in this conversation.”

Even if Omar used the same language that McCollum has in criticizing Israel, she would still be maligned as an anti-Semite, Munayyer argued. “You can try to be as careful as you want with your language, obviously it’s important that everyone should be careful with their language on this issue,” he said, “but when no matter what you say, you’re being attacked because of who you are. It’s not about what you’re saying, it’s about you having a voice on this issue.”

From the outside, McCollum and Omar seem like the perfect duo to bring real change to the U.S. conversation around Israel: a veteran lawmaker who has goodwill among her colleagues and a fiery newcomer who isn’t afraid of raising hell.

“People like Reps. Omar and Tlaib — and, to a certain degree, Bernie Sanders — are bringing much-needed attention to the occupation in ways that we’ve never seen before in Congress. But you also need workhorses like Rep. McCollum to quietly build consensus around legislation,” a senior Democratic Hill staffer said. “As in any movement, the two roles are complementary. You can’t make real change without both an inside and an outside strategy.”

Omar, who, through a spokesperson, declined an interview, is a co-sponsor of McCollum’s bill — but most of the time, the two members do their own thing. 

“Ilhan is on the other side of the Mississippi River, and we talk sometimes in the break room in between votes,” McCollum said, adding that the same was true with Omar’s predecessors. But, at times, McCollum has seemed visibly annoyed with Omar and the controversies that surround her. 

In March, McCollum put out a rare statement on her Minnesota colleague: “Rep. Omar has the right to speak freely, and she also must take responsibility for the effect her words have on her colleagues, her constituents, and the policies Democrats seek to advance,” McCollum said. “Democrats have an important agenda to advance and for any Member of Congress to be successful it takes the support of at least 217 colleagues to pass a bill. No one does this job alone.”

McCollum’s chief of staff put it more bluntly, “My own take on it is that she really derailed a lot of our work,” Harper said. 

But as anyone who has tried to talk, write or argue about Israel and the Palestinians knows, there’s no way to do it that will please everyone. 

“Given how detached the D.C. debate on Israel-Palestine is from the actual reality of what goes on there, there may be no way we move this debate closer to reality in a way that avoids tension entirely,” said Matt Duss, a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “We just have to do our best to be as honest and sensitive and constructive as we can, but it’s a debate we need to have.”

Jerusalem Is Becoming a Jewish Disneyland

It is a ‘biblical’  theme park, sending out further tentacles of Jewish housing and enclaves and religious study centers into the Muslim Quarter to which it is connected above street level via protected and exclusive roof paths. The separation   of this enclave from its surroundings is further enforced by the fact  that all entrances and exits to the Jewish Quarter are guarded by border police, providing access, after body and bag scans, only to Jewish residents/settlers, tourists, and the Israeli army and police .

Israel approved on Tuesday a plan to build a cable car that critics say would dramatically alter the scenery of the historic Old City of Jerusalem and help develop a Jewish settlement in a Palestinian neighborhood.
Their aim is reduce the Palestinian population in Jerusalem. Over the next 20 years they are intending to reduce the number of residents in Silwan and make the population 40 percent Jewish.

The European Ashkanazi Zionists turn history  into ruins wherever they go, whatever they touch. They are not a part of Holy Land history therefore have no true regard for the sacred history.

The city’s historic image, he cautions, “is about to change” for all time. Indeed, the cable car, will, if implemented, constitute a turning point. The secret of Jerusalem’s distinctive magic will be lost and the city will drown in touristic kitsch, surrounded by towers of Singapore-style magic.

Kimmelman did not suffice with even this frank explanation, which hid behind feigned claims of the need for an efficient transportation solution for the Old City. From his perspective, the cable car – which ignores the existence of the Arab village of Silwan, where one of its giant pylons will be erected, and over whose residents’ homes it will pass – represents the general approach of the Israeli government to the Arab population of Jerusalem and its environs, as part of a brutal strategy that’s intended to make life hard, seize the Arabs’ property and finally force them to leave the city.

Kimmelman came to Israel in mid-July in the wake of an international petition against a plan to build a cable car that’s intended to pass directly from the First Station, in the western part of the city, to the Western Wall in the Old City. Thirty-five leading architects and historians of architecture from the international community joined their colleagues and the conservation societies in Israel to express their vehement opposition to the project.

Over a period of 10 days, Kimmelman met energetically with all those involved, collected data and examined where the high pylons – 15 in number – and the huge boarding stations of the cable car structure are supposed to be situated. Along with proponents of the hasty implementation of the project, he also interviewed people who are trying desperately to prevent the ruination of one of the most beautiful views in Jerusalem, over the Hinnom Valley toward the Old City walls.

In conversation, Kimmelman sounds like a characteristic American pragmatist – businesslike, focused and eschewing flights into complex theories, but at the same time vividly conveying the gist of his approach. The article he published illustrates well, however, why he is not just another architecture critic.

That he writes for The New York Times and that his books are bestsellers also does not explain his transformation into a culture hero. Indeed, an interactive piece he produced in 2015 about the new home of the Whitney Museum of American Art was termed “the most important article in recent architectural memory” by ArchDaily.

Ironically, perhaps, Kimmelman, who was born in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1958, attended elite educational institutions, specialized in medieval art and started his professional life as a pianist and an art critic, ultimately became a kind of journalistic Che Guevara.

As he sees it, architectural criticism is not meant to make do with aesthetic analyses of exorbitantly expensive, iconic buildings; it must take an active part in the struggle for a better and more just world.

After Jewish settlers took over 25 new apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, just south of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, a large advertisement appeared on the front page of “Haaretz” newspaper congratulating the new tenants on their “Zionist endeavor”.

Indeed, as his article indicates, the cable car in Jerusalem is not the functional transportation solution its advocates claim it will be, but a clear-cut product of the political reality in early 21st-century Israel. Kimmelman’s piece also affords a rare opportunity to understand how the situation in Israel appears in foreign eyes.

Its author is not content with critiquing what he describes as “a fleet of cable cars crisscrossing the locus of sacred sites known as the Holy Basin,” which he says will turn the area into something of a Jewish Disneyland.

As he customarily does, Kimmelman delves into the project’s broader background, which flies in the face of all the accepted rules of historical conservation and has generated an acute protest both in Israel and beyond.

With his wealth of experience, Kimmelman grasped that the idea behind the cable car is above all political in nature, with the purpose of hiding the city’s universal character, so that it “curates a specifically Jewish narrative of Jerusalem, furthering Israeli claims over Arab parts of the city.” Nir Barkat, the former mayor of Jerusalem and now a Likud MK, did not hesitate to admit to Kimmelman that the cable car is a Zionist project aimed at bringing visitors to the City of David quarter, “which is the ultimate proof of our ownership of this land.”

But Kimmelman did not suffice with even this frank explanation, which hid behind feigned claims of the need for an efficient transportation solution for the Old City. From his perspective, the cable car – which ignores the existence of the Arab village of Silwan, where one of its giant pylons will be erected, and over whose residents’ homes it will pass – represents the general approach of the Israeli government to the Arab population of Jerusalem and its environs, as part of a brutal strategy that’s intended to make life hard, seize the Arabs’ property and finally force them to leave the city.

They want all of Palestine

Another principle that arises from Kimmelman’s article and that deserves special attention, is the problem of urban planning based on the “cut-and-paste” method: Ideas are imported to Israel rashly, with no reference to the singular local contexts. The project’s promoters point to examples of cable cars elsewhere, but those places in no way possess Jerusalem’s physical and symbolic significance.

In a conversation with Kimmelman, the planner of the cable-car stations, architect Mendy Rosenfeld, who has not designed even one building of exceptional merit, did not hesitate to compare the cable car stations he’s envisioning to the glass pyramid of the acclaimed architect I.M. Pei at the Louvre. It, too, was initially subjected to public criticism, suggested Rosenfeld, but “now everyone loves it.” But the problem, as Kimmelman notes, is that “Jerusalem is not Paris.”

Even though Kimmelman preferred to quote the harsh criticism voiced by others – among them the architects Moshe Safdie and Gabriel Kertesz and the historical geographer Prof. Ronnie Ellenblum, who are well acquainted with the cable car plan and with its venue – it’s not hard to detect his emphatic opinion about the whole project and its savaging of the landscape. He also referred, in a few short sentences, to Jerusalem architecture overall, leaving it to readers to draw the gloomy conclusions by themselves.

In his brief visit to the city he had no problem identifying the futuristic thrust that has descended on Jerusalem’s planning authorities in recent years. The breaching of restrictions on high-rise construction in all parts of the city, which is intended, in part, to transform the city’s entrance into a huge bloc of office and commercial buildings with 40-story glass towers, looks to him like another major example of planning “cut” from Singapore or Jakarta and “pasted” in Jerusalem.

Perhaps this should be brought to the attention of Shira Talmi Babay, the district planner, who told TheMarker last year that Singapore is the proper planning model for Jerusalem.

The European illegal immigrants usurp the resources in Palestine

The approach that finds high-rise construction to be an easy solution for the problem of density, amplifies Kimmelman’s years-long critique of mechanical, superficial planning that ignores the layers of a distinctive locale.

Planning of this sort is rampant in Jerusalem, one of the world’s most important historic cities. The cable car planners also ignored the singularity of a city of stone and low buildings, which constitutes a world heritage site. Until recent years the city did a relatively good job of preserving the magic of the past, which, together with its multicultural and religious character, drew millions of tourists from every part of the world.

They are not likely to be pleased to see glass towers and shopping centers on their entry into the city. Many of them, it should be recalled, are not necessarily bound for the Western Wall. After all, Jerusalem, as Kimmelman observes, is not only a “Jewish city.”

The article makes for depressing reading. It’s not just that the planning unit in Jerusalem is guided by political interests, but also that the level of its professionalism is not appropriate for a city that, in Kimmelman’s words, constitutes “a global icon of faith and history.”

The city’s historic image, he cautions, “is about to change” for all time. Indeed, the cable car, will, if implemented, constitute a turning point. The secret of Jerusalem’s distinctive magic will be lost and the city will drown in touristic kitsch, surrounded by towers of Singapore-style magic.

Kimmelman’s critique is worth listening to, because it’s based on the kind of broad worldview that is so flagrantly absent in the contemporary Israeli architectural discourse. A conversation with him, together with articles he has written, make possible an examination of Israel’s architectural standing in the global context.

Why did US just drop 40 TONS of bombs on this Iraqi island?

Iraqi anger at the US is partly due to what some of them say is a “weak” American stance over recent attacks on the bases of Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, which the PMF have blamed on Israel.

The promotional video of US jets carpet-bombing an “ISIS infested” island in Iraq comes amid tensions between Washington and Baghdad, and may have more to do with that than with the supposedly long-defeated terror group.

The video, complete with dramatic music, shows F-15 as well as F-35 jets dropping what was said to be 80,000 pounds of munitions on Qanus Island, north of Baghdad. Operation Inherent Resolve officials said in a statement that the mission was intended to hamper the terrorist group’s “ability to hide in thick vegetation” in the area. 

Video presented by and commentary from an American patriot.

Towards the end of the video, several Iraqi officers are shown watching the pillars of smoke rise up from the island, smiling approvingly as the US advisers accompanying them.

While Western media enthusiastically replayed the video-game style footage, hardly anyone gave the full context behind the bombastic air raid.

It just so happens that tensions are rising between the US and Iraqi governments, with members of the Iraqi parliament making moves to amend or bring to an end a security deal signed between Washington and Baghdad in 2008. 

While Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) cells are still believed to be active in Iraq, the group is considered largely defeated – US President Donald Trump has said as much, repeatedly – and many Iraqis believe it’s time for US troops to finally leave the country for good.

Iraqi anger at the US is partly due to what some of them say is a “weak” American stance over recent attacks on the bases of Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, which the PMF have blamed on Israel.

US forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, claiming the country was aiding terrorists that attacked New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 and possessing weapons of mass destruction. Both of those claims were decisively debunked long before 2011, when the US occupation troops finally withdrew – only to be rushed back in 2014 to counter the rise of ISIS.

U.S. Covered Up an Israeli Nuclear Test in 1979

“Every US president since Richard Nixon has refused to acknowledge Israel had a serious nuclear weapons program or arsenal,” he writes. “It would be risky at best for any US official’s career to confirm Israel should be shamed as a violator of an international nuclear agreement it signed and ratified. That, after all, is what Israel accuses Iran of doing.”

Israel is not a signatory to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and has clung to a policy first articulated to then-US president John F. Kennedy by then-Israeli deputy defense minister Shimon Peres, according to which the Jewish state “will not be the first to introduce [nuclear weapons] into our region.”

On September 22, 1979, exactly forty years ago today, an American satellite detected two flashes of light in the Atlantic Ocean south of South Africa.

US military analysts at the Patrick Air Force Base in Florida who examined the data from satellite Vela 6911 quickly concluded the flashes were the unmistakable telltale sign of a nuclear detonation, and promptly notified the military chain of command.
Then-president Jimmy Carter was briefed on the apparent nuclear test on the same day, and convened top advisers and national security officials in the White House Situation Room the following morning.

A lengthy and detailed report published in Foreign Policy magazine on Sunday, the test’s 40th anniversary, argues that Carter then made a conscious decision to ignore the believed test, not wanting it to overshadow his foreign policy successes in an election year, and out of fear it could undermine the US backing — including massive military and financial support — that enabled the forging of the new Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty signed that year.

If Israel conducted a test that day in 1979, it could constitute a violation of the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which Israel had signed and ratified and which prohibited such tests above ground.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin (L) with President Jimmy Carter (C) and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt at Camp David in September 1978. (photo credit: CC BY-SA Jeff Kubina, Flickr)

It could also mean, according to US nonproliferation laws, the almost automatic cancellation of US military and financial aid for the violating state, though a US president is allowed to waive the punishment.

In order to avoid the many problems raised by an Israeli nuclear test, the FP report argues, Carter decided to cover it up.

An eight-member scientific panel formed by the White House concluded in May 1980, after meeting three times, that “it is our collective judgment that the September 22 signal was probably not from a nuclear explosion.”

FP explains that the panel of distinguished scientists and engineers “dismissed all evidence that suggested otherwise. This included the Naval Research Laboratory’s analysis that had located the blast’s ground zero near the Prince Edward Islands, about 1,000 miles from South Africa’s southern coast, using hydroacoustic (underwater sound) data, and claims regarding possible detection of radioactive iodine-131 in thyroids of Australian sheep, which if established could only have come from a bomb test.”

Foreign Policy doesn’t beat around the bush about its views of the US government’s ambiguity over purported Israeli nukes, then or now.

A photo from the 1960s of the nuclear facility outside Dimona (Flash90/US National Security Archive)

The Sunday report cites a June 2018 New Yorker article that said Israel had been given “secret letters” from a string of US presidents “which Israeli leaders interpreted as a US promise to protect their nuclear weapons.

And indeed, these US presidents did protect Israel’s nuclear weapons from scrutiny and criticism in the United Nations and other international forums.”

That protection, one of the FP report’s authors, physicist Victor Gilinsky, writes, “is part of a pattern that has destroyed America’s credibility on nonproliferation. What Israel says — or doesn’t say — about its nuclear weapons is its own affair.

But the United States should not agree to muzzle itself. It was always a humiliating role that opened the United States to the charge of hypocrisy.

Now, in the face of strong confirmation of Israel’s violation of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, it has become an insupportable one.”

Henry Sokolski, a former nonproliferation official in the US Defense Department and co-author of the Sunday report, made the argument even more explicitly.

“Every US president since Richard Nixon has refused to acknowledge Israel had a serious nuclear weapons program or arsenal,” he writes. “It would be risky at best for any US official’s career to confirm Israel should be shamed as a violator of an international nuclear agreement it signed and ratified. That, after all, is what Israel accuses Iran of doing.”

The report quotes from Jimmy Carter’s own diary, which contained this entry from the day of the initial detection: “There was indication of a nuclear explosion in the region of South Africa — either South Africa, Israel using a ship at sea, or nothing.”

Illustrative photo of an Israeli Navy Dolphin class submarine off the coast of Haifa. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Illustrative: An Israeli Navy Dolphin class submarine, which foreign press reports have claims is capable of launching nuclear weapons, sails off the coast of Haifa. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Five months later, on February 27, 1980, even as his administration was attempting to argue otherwise, Carter wrote in his diary: “We have a growing belief among our scientists that the Israelis did indeed conduct a nuclear test explosion in the ocean near the southern end of Africa.”

Israel had developed strong but secretive military ties to South Africa’s apartheid government during the 1970s, after much of Africa turned against Israel in order to abide by the Arab oil embargo that followed the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

South Africa was known at the time to be working on a nuclear bomb, but it was Israel that was believed to be behind the explosion, if only because South Africa’s program was not thought to be advanced enough for a test.

Israel has long maintained a policy of ambiguity about its nuclear program, which generations of Israeli defense officials have reportedly viewed as a vital part of the country’s deterrence strategy against regional enemies, the so-called “Samson option” of last-ditch nuclear retaliation against an enemy poised to destroy the country in a war.

Israel is not a signatory to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and has clung to a policy first articulated to then-US president John F. Kennedy by then-Israeli deputy defense minister Shimon Peres, according to which the Jewish state “will not be the first to introduce [nuclear weapons] into our region.”

Israeli Nazi Elections 2019

Netanyahu is so desperate to retain power that he hatched a plan to invade Gaza. Such a military operation would have conveniently entailed delaying the election. There’s nothing like a good war to rally voters to a politician’s side, but the Israeli army chief of staff and the attorney general both nipped the stratagem in the bud.

By Richard Silverstein

Israel’s second election in the past five months has led to yet another political stalemate. As occurred in April, the two main political parties, the far-right Likud and centre-right Blue and White, fought to a virtual tie.

The political kingmaker today, as he was ingt April, is Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu. In the last election, he refused to offer his party’s seats to a Likud-led coalition headed by his once-patron and now arch-rival, Benjamin Netanyahu. This is what led to the current round of voting.

Though it is hard to predict what Lieberman will do, he is holding out for a secular “unity government” consisting of Likud and Blue and White. His main aims are to keep the Orthodox parties out of the ruling coalition and pass a military draft law to compel currently-exempt Orthodox youth to join the army.

Path to a coalition

This plan is vehemently opposed by the ultra-Orthodox, who maintain that studying the Torah is the only suitable vocation for men. They view joining the army as a grave desecration of their divine obligations. In the past, they have closed down major highways and rioted during protests against this law.

There is another path to a centre-right coalition led by Blue and White that would exclude Likud. The Palestinian Joint List has offered, for the first time in Israeli history, to join such a government.

Given that it is the third-largest party in the Knesset, increasing its representation in this election to 13 seats, in any other democratic legislature it would be a natural constituent for such a governing coalition.

But Israel is not a secular democracy. It is rather an ethnocracy, in which the rights of Palestinian citizens are subordinated to those of Jews. No ruling Israeli coalition has ever included Palestinian parties.

After Zionism

This is a prospect that Lieberman, who is fanatically anti-Palestinian, would never countenance. As such, it’s highly unlikely that these seats will be placed at the service of a centrist coalition.Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage before He Exits?

This, of course, is one of the major tragedies of Israeli political discourse. The system refuses to confer equal rights on its Palestinian citizens. This, in turn, only confirms that the conception of Israel as a Jewish state is in irredeemable conflict with Israel as a democratic state.

Clearly many, if not most, Israeli Jews are willing to shed the notion of a democratic Israel to preserve their superior rights.

Hollow rationale

Returning to Lieberman’s grand coalition: it would be a weird amalgam of parties holding views from the centre-right to the far-right. Most of the centre-left parties, such as Labor and the Democratic Union, would either boycott it or be dubbed too left-wing for comfort.

These two large party blocs would cohabit in extreme discomfort. They have been campaigning against each other for months, slinging vile, racist smears.

Lieberman’s own rationale for such a government rings exceedingly hollow:

“I say to all citizens, our security and economy are in an emergency situation. Therefore, the state must have a broad national, liberal government, and not one which fights for survival from one week to the next and from one no-confidence vote to the next.”

Neither Israel’s security nor its economy face any emergency, nor would such a government address the nation’s problems very differently than the current far-right, Likud-led government.

The main difference will be that Lieberman will have played an instrumental role in forging this ruling coalition, and will score a plumb ministerial assignment as foreign or defence minister. In other words, this is a vanity project boosting his own political power.

Whatever the outcome, and barring any miraculous rabbits pulled from a hat, Netanyahu’s career as prime minister seems to be at an end. The price for Blue and White entering into a coalition with Likud will be dropping him as its leader. Gantz has said that he will not serve with a coalition partner facing major corruption charges.

Though Israeli politicians have been known to make such pledges before and break them when faced with the prospect of securing power, Gantz likely will not compromise on this point – and Likud’s loyalty to Netanyahu under such circumstances will be exceedingly weak.

The party would much rather remain in power than go to a third election or see themselves on the outside of the next government. Ditching their long-time leader will not be a heavy lift.

Palestinians lose again

Netanyahu is so desperate to retain power that he hatched a plan to invade Gaza. Such a military operation would have conveniently entailed delaying the election. There’s nothing like a good war to rally voters to a politician’s side, but the Israeli army chief of staff and the attorney general both nipped the stratagem in the bud.

Whoever wins, Palestinians – both Israeli citizens and those in occupied Palestine – will lose. They are an afterthought, at best.

No party during this election offered any serious thought to the conflict with Palestinians; it is simply not on the Israeli political agenda.

For more than four decades, the ruling Israeli far-right has co-opted the debate and formed a national consensus that rejects a single-state or two-state solution. Yes, the politicians have mouthed fealty to two states, but they then refused to sign any agreement with the Palestinians that offered them even half a loaf.

Israelis are happy with the status quo since it offers them all of the benefits and none of the costs of maintaining the occupation of millions of Palestinians.

Regardless of who wins, regardless of the composition of a new government, this election is a tragedy. It breaks no new ground in resolving Israel’s greatest, most unsolvable problem. This means the wars will continue, the violence will continue, the hatred will continue unabated.

As I wrote in my post-mortem of the 2015 election, the results consist of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, instead of seeing clearly the iceberg lying straight ahead.

Israel prime minister declares ’emergency’ because of lower turnout by Likud voters

Haaretz reported earlier Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aborted last week plans for an unusual military move in the Gaza Strip, which would likely have had far-reaching implications.

He did so at the last moment due to a legal opinion by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit that the plan required the approval of the security cabinet.

Officials involved in the matter said in response to the report that the attorney general was the one who asked the senior adviser to update election board chief, Justice Hanan Melcer, about a possible escalation.

The dramatic discussion over a potential military action began Tuesday night. A few hours earlier, Netanyahu had gone through a disturbing experience: Gaza-based Islamic Jihad operatives fired a Katyusha rocket at the southern city Ashdod, [Ashdod is occupied Palestine land, the owners are currently locked up in Gaza] where he was speaking at a campaign rally.

Fantasy terrorists

After the rally, Netanyahu convened senior defense officials at army headquarters in Tel Aviv for urgent consultations. Afterward, his office distributed a picture of him with the senior officials in question – Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Ben-Shabbat, Military Intelligence director Tamir Hayman and Netanyahu’s military secretary, Avi Blot. All wore grave faces.

Some of those at the discussion had reservations about the force of a possible attack for two reasons: The possibility of sustaining collateral damage and the risk that a Palestinian response would include massive rocket fire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that would drag the two sides toward war.

In addition, although nothing was said directly to Netanyahu, some participants were concerned that some of the prime minister’s motives were connected to the election.

The dispute continued during the following two days, as well. Mendelblit played a major role after being brought into the discussions at a later stage. He warned Netanyahu of the legal requirement to involve the security cabinet in any decision that could lead to a war.

But Netanyahu did not bring the decision to a vote before the security cabinet and in the end stopped pressing the heads of the defense establishment to act. Early Wednesday morning the army conducted a minor air raid, hitting several Hamas targets in Gaza without causing any casualties.

“Sderot cinema. Israelis bringing chairs 2 hilltop in sderot 2 watch latest from Gaza. Clapping when blasts are heard.” Sderot is Palestine land and the owners are locked up in Gaza.



Israel Spying on Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani

Trumps circle is being targeted by Israeli spies! Here Donald and Rudy share a moment.

With the president, the former senior Trump administration official noted, that could include trying to listen in on the devices of the people he regularly communicates with, such as Steve Wynn, Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani.  “The people in that circle are heavily targeted” Trump said. 09/12/2019

The U.S. government concluded within the past two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cellphone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter.

But unlike most other occasions when flagrant incidents of foreign spying have been discovered on American soil, the Trump administration did not rebuke the Israeli government, and there were no consequences for Israel’s behavior, one of the former officials said.

Based on a detailed forensic analysis, the FBI and other agencies working on the case felt confident that Israeli agents had placed the devices, according to the former officials, several of whom served in top intelligence and national security posts.

Beyond trying to intercept the private conversations of top officials — prized information for any intelligence service — foreign countries often will try to surveil their close associates as well. With the president, the former senior Trump administration official noted, that could include trying to listen in on the devices of the people he regularly communicates with, such as Steve Wynn, Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani.

“The people in that circle are heavily targeted,” the former Trump official said.

9/11: Those who can make you believe absurdities…

Breaking from non-partisan tone of the ceremony, bereaved son called on lawmaker to ‘show respect’ and said al-Qaida attacked the U.S.’s ‘Judeo-Christian’ values

Nicholas Haros wears a shirt critical of Ilhan Omar's comments while reading names at 9/11 commemorations, New York City, September 11, 2019

“Madam, objectively speaking we know who and what was done,” Haros said, addressing Omar, who was not present at the ceremony. “There’s no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion? On that day 19 Islamic terrorists, members of al-Qaida, killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of damage. Is that clear?”

His criticism lasted for nearly a minute and a half, and drew a smattering of applause.

“Got that now?” he continued, saying al-Qaida had attacked the country’s “Judeo-Christian” values. “Show respect in honoring them. Please: American patriotism and your position demand it.”

It is not, as the American people were led to believe, that the terrorism of 9/11 simply fell out of the clear blue sky and that the War on Terror and radical changes in U.S. domestic and foreign policy followed as a result. Rather, the evidence proves that the 9/11 attacks were carried out in order to kick-start the Israeli war agenda known as the War on Terror.

The Rothschilds, the founding family of the Zionist state of Israel, are closely linked to various aspects of the 9-11 terror atrocity. The Solving 9-11 books present some of these connections, which are usually one step removed and not easily seen. The Lauder/Rothschild connection, on the other hand, is one that is both obvious and central to the 9-11 operation.

Lord Jacob Rothschild with Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, after receiving the WJC Theodor Herzl Award on behalf of his family, on November 7, 2018 (Photo credit: Shahar Azran/WJC)

The 9-11 terror crime required a great deal of setting up, preparation which included the privatization of the World Trade Center, state-owned property of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  

For the culprits, obtaining control of the Twin Towers was necessary so that demolition teams could access the buildings in order to place explosive materials. This would have been impossible had the towers remained in the hands of the Port Authority.

The privatization of the World Trade Center involved Ronald Lauder, a high-level Zionist with close ties to the Rothschild family, one of whom served at the highest level of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate.

Ronald Lauder headed the two commissions under Governor George Pataki that pushed for the privatization of the World Trade Center:  the New York State Commission of Privatization and the New York State Research Council on Privatization.

 Lauder was the driving force behind the effort to privatize the World Trade Center, which resulted in Larry Silverstein, a fellow Zionist, getting the 99-year lease of the Twin Towers in July 2001.

Ronald S. Lauder is the President of the World Jewish Congress.

David de Rothschild is chairman of the governing board of the World Jewish Congress. He is also the Executive Chairman of the Rothschild Group.

David de Rothschild (left) is chairman of the board of the WJC; Ronald Lauder (third from left) is president of the WJC. Jacob Rothschild (second from left) received an award from the WJC, November 2018. (Source: WJC)

Ronald Lauder established the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, in 1999.

Major General Daniel Rothschild, (IDF ret.), is head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC). He is also the chairman of the annual Herzliya Conference series and a member of the advisory board of the Central Bank of Israel.

Danny Rothschild, head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Mossad school, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC).

In 1984, Rothschild was appointed assistant to the IDF Chief of Staff. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1985 and appointed commander of the IDF Units in Southern Lebanon.

Rothschild later served as deputy director of the Military Intelligence Directorate, the central, overarching military intelligence body of the Israel Defense Forces. Rothschild was director of the Research Department, where he was responsible for national strategic (political and military) research and analysis, including before and during the first Gulf War.

In 1991 Rothschild was promoted to the rank of Major General (Aluf) and was appointed Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a position he held until his retirement in 1995.


The War on Terror is basically an Israeli stratagem developed in the 1970s to deceive the American public into thinking that Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies. The purpose of this deception is to bring the U.S. military into the Middle East on a long-term basis to defend the Zionist state by waging war against its foes.

The terrorist masterminds behind the War on Terror stratagem knew that a massive and spectacular act of terrorism would be required to trick the U.S. into fighting their enemies, so they began – evidently in the 1970s – planning the attack which befell the United States on September 11, 2001.

A timeline of some key events is helpful to understand the common origin and development of the 9/11 and War on Terror plot.

1977 – In a major turning point in Israel’s political history, the Likud, a right-wing political coalition founded by the Zionist terrorist Menachem Begin (former head of the Irgun) comes to power in Israel ending three decades of Labor Party dominance.

Begin is a notorious terrorist leader known for having ordered the bombing of the King David Hotel in July 1946, in which 91 people were killed, and the Deir Yassin massacre in April 1948.

1977 – Likud, the terrorist faction headed by Menachem Begin, comes to power in Israel.

1978 – Arnon Milchan, a top-level Israeli intelligence agent, produces his first movie, The Medusa Touch.  The film’s climactic scene depicts a Boeing 747 crashing into the Pan Am Building in New York City. Milchan was responsible for illegally sending 800 krytrons – triggers for nuclear weapons – from the U.S. to Israel’s Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983. Although his company, Milco International, was behind the illegal smuggling, Milchan himself was not indicted.

1979, July – The War on Terror doctrine is rolled out onto the world stage in a well-planned propaganda offensive at the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism. The conference is headed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin of the Likud. 

Begin’s propaganda blitz is hosted by the Netanyahu Institute, an organization set up by Benjamin Netanyahu and his father for the purpose of promoting the War on Terror ideology.

“The conference organizers expect the event to initiate a major anti-terrorist offensive,” Ian Black writes in the Jerusalem Post after the first day of the conference.

“The use of the military term ‘offensive’ is accurate,” Philip Paull wrote in “International Terrorism”:  The Propaganda War.  “Four former chiefs of Israeli military intelligence participated in the conference:  Gen. Chaim Herzog, Maj. Gen. Meir Amit, Lt. Gen. Aharon Yariv, and Maj. Gen. Shlomo Gazit.”

The fact that four former chiefs of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence attended the three-day conference indicates that Israeli military intelligence was involved in the planning and preparation of this “propaganda offensive.”

1979, September – Isser Harel, the former chief of Israeli intelligence, predicts with uncanny accuracy the events of 9/11 to Michael D. Evans, an American Zionist, saying Arab terrorists will attack the tallest building in New York City:

I sat with former Mossad chief Isser Harel for a conversation about Arab terrorism. As he handed me a cup of hot tea and a plate of cookies, I asked him, “Do you think terrorism will come to America, and if so, where and why?”

Harel looked at his American visitor and replied, “I fear it will come to you in America. America has the power, but not the will, to fight terrorism.

The terrorists have the will, but not the power, to fight America – but all that could change with time. Arab oil money buys more than tents.”

As to the where, Harel continued, “New York City is the symbol of freedom and capitalism. It’s likely they will strike the Empire State Building, your tallest building [he mistakenly thought] and a symbol of your power.”
– “America the Target,” Jerusalem Post, September 30, 2001

1982, February – The Yinon Plan, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties” written by Oded Yinon, is published by the World Zionist Organization (in Hebrew).  Thanks to Professor Israel Shahak, the essay is translated and published in English under the title “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.”

The Yinon Plan calls for “Balkanizing” the Arab states, i.e. breaking them up into ethnic enclaves, as was done to the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

“There is one thing that we do know,” Middle East expert Linda S. Heard wrote in 2006, “Oded Yinon’s 1982 ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ is in large part taking shape. Is this pure coincidence? Was Yinon a gifted psychic? Perhaps!  Alternatively, we in the West are victims of a long-held agenda not of our making and without doubt not in our interests.”

The Yinon Plan specifically calls for breaking up Syria and Iraq, which is exactly what has happened to these nations after the U.S. military intervened.

As Oded Yinon wrote: 

Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target.

Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druze who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.

1982, June – Under the leadership of Menachem Begin, Israel invades Lebanon with the intention of occupying the southern part of the country up to the Litani River, as per the Yinon Plan. The Israeli aggression results in the deaths of more than 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.  

1983 – Israeli military intelligence (AMAN), headed by Ehud Barak, begins arming and training the virulently anti-Western Hezb-i-Islami mujahedeen of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Pakistan. This operation is supported by U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson and funded by the C.I.A. and Saudi Arabia.

Israel provides the mujahedeen with weapons it has taken off the battlefield in Lebanon.  Israeli military intelligence is creating the cadre of a radical “Islamist” terrorist foe to prepare the stage for U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

Hekmatyar and Osama Bin Laden begin working together in 1984 when Bin Laden’s “Afghan Arabs” join forces with Hezb-i-Islami. Ali Mohamed, Bin Laden’s first trainer, is a Hebrew-speaking Egyptian working for Israeli military intelligence. In 1994, these Israeli-armed and trained terrorist forces merge into Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

1986 – Benjamin Netanyahu publishes Terrorism: How the West Can Win, a collection of papers from a second Netanyahu Institute conference (Washington, D.C., 1984). The book is part of his continuous effort since 1979 to promote the doctrine of a global War on Terror with books, articles, and speeches.

1987 – Eight years after Israeli intelligence chief Isser Harel predicted that Arab terrorists would attack the tallest building in New York City, two of his veteran Mossad agents obtain the security contract for the World Trade Center and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Port Authority tears up the contract when it discovers that Avraham Shalom (Bendor), the head of Atwell Security of Tel Aviv, is using a fake name and has a conviction in Israel – as the former chief of the Shin Bet – for the murder of two Palestinians.

1993 – The World Trade Center is hit by a truck bomb in the North Tower, killing six people. Emad Salem, an FBI informant and critical witness is paid more than one million dollars for his testimony. Since the alleged conspiracy took place in New Jersey, the Israeli dual-national Michael Chertoff, serving as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, plays a key role in the prosecution. Chertoff’s Israeli mother was one of the first Mossad agents. The media interpretation of the bombing leads Americans to believe that Muslims want to destroy the Twin Towers.

1998 – Philip Zelikow heads the Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group with Ashton Carter and John Deutch. Their report is published in Foreign Affairs (CFR) at the end of the year.  The Zelikow report begins by “imagining the transforming event” of catastrophic terrorism “that could happen next month.” Ashton Carter and John Deutch are senior partners of Global Technology Partners, “an exclusive affiliate of Rothschild N.A., formed to make acquisitions of and investments in technology, defense, and aerospace-related companies.” Zelikow, the head of the group, will go on to head the 9/11 Commission and write most of the commission’s report. Carter goes on to be Secretary of Defense under President Obama.

2000 – Arnon Milchan and his business partner Rupert Murdoch produce a TV series called “The Lone Gunmen.” The first episode of the series, “Pilot”, is about a passenger airliner being remotely hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center. The footage for the climactic sequence when the plane is approaching the Twin Towers is actually filmed flying a helicopter over Manhattan. The program airs on Murdoch’s Fox Television on March 4, 2001, six months before 9/11, and is viewed by 13 million U.S. viewers.

2000, September – A Neo-Con think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan in 1997, publishes a paper entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” which specifically calls for the U.S. to occupy Iraq and other radical changes in U.S. military policy.  The “process of transformation” the paper says, “is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

2001, 9/11 – In a spectacular act of terrorism the tallest buildings in New York City are destroyed, just as Mossad chief Isser Harel predicted 22 years earlier.  The terror attacks of 9/11 bear the hallmarks of an Israeli false-flag operation designed to start their long-planned war agenda. Ehud Barak immediately calls for an operational “war against terror” on BBC World and Sky News television. Barak is Israel’s most senior military officer as the former commander of the Israel’s covert commando force (Sayeret Matkal), head of military intelligence (AMAN), chief of staff, and both prime minister and defense minister until March 2001.

While tens of thousands are feared dead in the rubble, the New York Times asks Benjamin Netanyahu on 9/11 about the effect the terror attacks will have on U.S.-Israeli relations. Netanyahu says:   “It’s very good… it will generate immediate sympathy.”

2001, October 7 – The War on Terror begins with a U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan. In December, the Taliban is ousted and Hamid Karzai is installed to head a transitional government. The war in Afghanistan goes on to become the longest war in U.S. history.

2001, October – General Wesley Clark visits the Pentagon and is informed of the planned war agenda:  “We’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off, Iran.”

2003, March 20 – The Bush administration invades Iraq claiming that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that the Iraqi government poses an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies. No evidence, however, of WMDs is found to verify the claims used to start the war.

2003, March 31 – The 9/11 Commission headed by Executive Director Philip Zelikow holds its first hearing in New York City. Zelikow has a complete outline of the commission’s final report before the commission even begins its work.

His outline is detailed with chapter headings, subheadings, and sub-subheadings.  Zelikow shows his report to Commission Chairman Tom Kean and Vice-chairman Lee Hamilton and they like it, but think it could be seen as evidence of having a pre-determined outcome. They decide to keep it secret from the commission’s staff.

2008, April 16 – “Netanyahu Says 9/11 Terror Attacks Good for Israel” the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports, quoting Benjamin Netanyahu:  “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.”

Although this timeline is by no means complete, it is sufficient to show the common origin of the 9/11 terror atrocity and the War on Terror. Both originated from the same source at the same time – Israeli military intelligence under the political leadership of the notorious terrorist Menachem Begin of the Likud (formerly Irgun) in the late 1970s.

A closer examination of the evidence is found in Solving 9/11: The Deception that Changed the World and Solving 9/11: The Original Articles, a set of books containing my 9/11 research that shows exactly who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime – and carry out the cover-up upon which the War on Terror depended. 

It is not, as the American people were led to believe, that the terrorism of 9/11 simply fell out of the clear blue sky and that the War on Terror and radical changes in U.S. domestic and foreign policy followed as a result. Rather, the evidence proves that the 9/11 attacks were carried out in order to kick-start the Israeli war agenda known as the War on Terror.