Archive for July, 2010

Hamas: UN collaborating with Israel on Gaza siege; Southern Lebanese charge UNIFIL with ‘hidden agenda’

Posted in ZOGs on July 25, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Press TV (Iran)

July 24, 2010

Hamas accuses the United Nations of collaborating with Israel over the world body’s recent efforts to discourage aid convoys from sailing towards the Gaza Strip.

The UN on Friday warned seaborne relief missions against setting sail, urging them to instead travel by land. The UN’s warning came as both routes to the strip remain under the strict control of the Israeli military’s armed surveillance units.

“The UN call to international organizations to use the over-land road to Gaza instead of the sea is unacceptable and illegal,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri was quoted by AFP as saying on Saturday.

The position was similar to “collaboration with the Israeli occupier,” he added.

After the democratically-elected government of Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip in 2006, Israel blockaded the coastal sliver in June 2007, depriving 1.5 million Gazans of food, fuel and other life necessities.

“Most of the residents of the territory are still banned from leaving the territory and this is why this call is considered a contribution to the blockade,” said Abu Zahri in reference to the UN warning.

The developments come after Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza-bound Turkish-flagged Freedom Flotilla relief mission, killing nine Turkish activists on May 31.

The UN ambassador to Tel Aviv, Gabriela Shalev, has informed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Israel “reserves its right” to stymie two Lebanese aid ships, which aim to break the Gaza siege.

An organizer for one of the Lebanese vessels, Nagi el-Ali, however, said on Saturday that “preparations for the trip have progressed.” Organizers and port officials also said another ship, the Mariam, has anchored at the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli.

The Hamas official also encouraged humanitarian groups to “continue to reach Gaza by sea until the blockade is really broken.”

The above article can be found at:

UN says aid to Gaza should be delivered by land

AFP; July 24, 2010

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations said Friday that groups seeking to deliver aid to Gaza should do so by land, after Israel warned it would intercept two ships seeking to break a blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

“There are established routes for supplies to enter by land. That is the way aid should be delivered to the people of Gaza,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told a press briefing. [Unfortunately, all of the Gaza Strip’s land crossings (six with Israel and one with Egypt) remain subject to draconian Israeli restrictions — 800]

“Our stated preference has been and remains that aid should be delivered by established [i.e., Israel-controlled] routes, particularly at a sensitive time in indirect proximity (peace) talks between Palestinians and Israelis,” he added. [Talks, it should be noted, that have failed to produce a single Israeli concession on any issue whatsoever — 800]

He made the comments after Israel served notice its forces would prevent a planned Lebanese aid flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip.

“We have received information in recent days about a plan to send a new flotilla to break the blockade around Gaza,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Israeli television.

“This is an unnecessary provocation and we believe that preventing such a flotilla is the responsibility of the Lebanese government.”

“If this flotilla does leave Lebanon and refuses to be led by our navy to the (Israeli) port of Ashdod, we will have no other choice than to arrest it at sea,” the minister added.

“There exists a way of transferring goods, which are not weapons or material for war-like purposes, to the Gaza Strip through the port of Ashdod.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev earlier delivered a similar warning in a letter addressed to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

It was Israel’s latest warning against any attempt to circumvent its naval blockade around the Gaza Strip despite world pressure in the wake of a May 31 Israeli commando raid that killed nine Turkish activists aboard an aid flotilla on a blockade-busting bid.

Israel imposed the blockade in June 2006 after its soldier, Gilad Shalit, was captured by Gaza militants and tightened it a year later when Hamas seized power in the coastal strip. [Actually, Israel imposed the blockade in June 2006 after Hamas won a landslide victory in democratically-held Palestinian legislative elections — 800]

In the wake of the May 31 incident, Israel has significantly eased the blockade [no, it hasn’t], barring only arms and goods that could be used to create weapons or build fortifications, but it has maintained a naval blockade of the Strip.

“There has been progress in increasing the amount of aid [no, there hasn’t], but it’s far from enough and we continue to call for that,” Nesirky said. “We repeatedly said it is vital there should be unfettered access for people and supplies.” [Typical UN: Nesriky calls for “unfettered access for people and supplies” while simultaneously insisting that people and supplies only enter the Gaza Strip via crossings regulated by Israel — 800]

The above article can be found at:

Southern Lebanese charge UNIFIL with ‘hidden agenda’

‘Missing the point’

Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt); July 15, 2010

In an open letter to the Lebanese people dated 9 July, General Alberto Asarta Cuevas of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) struggled to explain that the UN forces in the country “had no hidden agenda” and that the primary aim of operations in the south was “to ensure that the people of the south feel secure and safe.”

The general’s remarks came on the heels of a number of incidents in villages south of the Litani River between members of UNIFIL, particularly the French contingent, and local people. The latest was on 3 July, when four people were injured in a clash between French soldiers and residents of the southern village of Toulin.

According to various accounts, the clashes broke out when a group of local people asked a French patrol not to take photographs of the area. In order to disperse the crowd, UNIFIL troops fired into the air, a move that infuriated the local people, causing them to attack UNIFIL vehicles, strip the troops of their weapons and free a Lebanese civilian who had been arrested.

When news traveled to neighboring villages, local people also took to the streets in protest and hurled stones at UNIFIL patrols in the vicinity.

The Toulin incident was the latest in a series of similar incidents that have contributed to escalating tensions between local people and UNIFIL forces. The UN forces, deployed in southern Lebanon under UN Security Council Resolution 1701 after the 2006 war, number almost 12,000 soldiers and more than 1,000 civilians.

The Lebanese government headed by Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri expressed its regret over the anti-UNIFIL protests and affirmed its desire to maintain good relations between UNIFIL and local residents in the UN forces’ areas of operations. The government also affirmed UNIFIL’s role in protecting Lebanon’s interests, sovereignty and stability on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1701.

A statement from the Security Council called for the safety and freedom of movement of UN peacekeepers serving in Lebanon to be respected. The Council called “on all parties to ensure that the freedom of movement of UNIFIL remains respected in conformity with its mandate and its rules of engagement,” the statement said.

However, peace only returned to the south of the country thanks to the intervention of the Lebanese army and Hizbullah, with Lebanese army officers and a Hizbullah security official meeting with French UNIFIL officers in Toulin.

A further meeting was held between the head of Hizbullah’s international relations department, Ammar Moussawi, and the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams.

Hizbullah said that the two men had agreed to “restore matters in coordination with the Lebanese army command” on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1701. A meeting then took place between General Asarta and the leaders of local councils in the southern Lebanese village of Tibnin last Thursday, at which Lebanese army officers were in attendance.

After the meeting, Asarta said that the meeting had drawn up a “roadmap to work together for mutual trust and cooperation between the Lebanese army and UNIFIL,” adding that the incidents between UNIFIL and the southern residents had been caused by “misunderstandings or mistakes.”

While the dust from the latest round of disturbances now appears to be settling, there are still questions about whether such incidents will be repeated in the future, as well as about what the role of the Lebanese army should be and whether UNIFIL will now work more seriously on confidence-building measures in southern Lebanon.

For some time now, residents of southern Lebanese villages have been complaining about the behaviour of UNIFIL troops, particularly those with the French and Spanish missions.

“UNIFIL troops have taken photographs of houses, shops, fields, people, institutional buildings, and even vehicles,” said one resident in Bint Jbeil. “They have put up tents and installed surveillance cameras. People suspect them of having some hidden agenda other than just peacekeeping.”

In his open letter, Asarta made a point of responding to such suspicions, choosing to address them head on by insisting that “our soldiers have received clear orders not to take pictures unless absolutely necessary for operational reasons.” They also had “clear orders not to use tracked combat vehicles where there is a possibility of damage to public or private infrastructure,” he wrote.

He thanked the Lebanese army for its help in defusing tensions between UNIFIL and local people and in clearing up “misunderstandings between UNIFIL and local communities.”

Nevertheless, it is this coordination between UNIFIL and the Lebanese army that has been missing up to now. One Lebanese army source serving to the south of the Litani River said that several UNIFIL patrols had taken place without the army having been informed, something which UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams appeared to recognize when he cited lack of coordination with the Lebanese army as among the reasons for what he described as “serious incidents.”

Perhaps one of the lessons to be learned from such incidents is that UNIFIL will not be able to carry out its mandate properly if it ignores or sidelines the Lebanese army. Full coordination with the army is an important condition for the success of the mission, and the Lebanese government’s recent decision to deploy a fourth contingent of the army in the south has been viewed with appreciation.

Williams said that Resolution 1701 was governed by two key principles: coordination with the Lebanese army and freedom of movement. However, the second principle could not be implemented in a hostile milieu, he said, and it was not possible without coordination with Hizbullah, the key political force in the south of the country.

While various reports have accused Hizbullah of orchestrating local people’s protests against UNIFIL in the interests of its own agenda or even as a result of the sanctions recently imposed by the UN Security Council on Hizbullah’s supporter Iran, Williams denied any connection.

Following a meeting with Moussawi, Williams was reported by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Monday to have said that the incidents reflected “a crisis of mistrust” between UNIFIL and Hizbullah, but that Syria and Iran had not incited the anti-UNIFIL protests and that Hizbullah had helped ease tensions in the south.

The incidents took place amid Israeli reports claiming that Hizbullah was storing arms in villages in southern Lebanon, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoting an Israeli army official to the effect that “a unit of 90 Hizbullah militants [was] operating in Al-Khiyam village and storing weapons close to hospitals and schools.”

The official, Gabi Ashkenazi, said that he expected “tension to rise on Israel’s northern borders in September.”

For its part, Hizbullah described the reports as “fabricated,” saying that they were being used to justify any future Israeli attacks on civilian buildings. Hizbullah MP Walid Sukkaryah added that Israel was not likely to attack Lebanon “because it is aware that it will be defeated.”

The above article can be found at:

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Myth-Debunking Snopes Obscures Israel’s Role in 9/11

Posted in Mossad's 9/11 on July 22, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Veterans Today

July 21, 2010

Love Your Government – No Questions, officially known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, has since its humble inception in 1995 come to be regarded as one of the most trusted debunkers of conspiracy theories on the internet. Described by one of its many fans – it apparently has over 6 million visitors per month – as “the grand-daddy of all fact-checking sites,” Snopes is downright cavalier, however, in its attitude to facts surrounding Israel’s role in the 9/11 attacks.

In its large section on urban legends relating to 9/11, Snopes purports to debunk a claim that “four thousand Israelis employed by companies housed in the World Trade Center stayed home from work on September 11, warned in advance of the impending attack on the World Trade Center.” A click on the link under “Israelis” brings the curious reader to an entry titled “Absent without Leave,” in which the “four thousand Israelis” have suddenly and inexplicably been replaced by “four thousand Jews.”

In “Absent without Leave,” Snopes reproduces a September 17, 2001 report by Lebanon’s al-Manar satellite television station, which claimed that the Israelis (not “Jews”) “remained absent that day based on hints from the Israeli General Security apparatus, the Shabak.” The Al-Manar piece cited also refers to the five Israelis arrested hours after the attacks, after having been witnessed filming and celebrating as the Twin Towers collapsed.

Below the al-Manar article, Snopes has appended a shoddily written, anonymous, unsourced internet piece, in which the 4,000 Israelis have again been mysteriously transformed into 4,000 Jews. In contrast to the al-Manar report, this diatribe includes such absurd and provocative anti-Semitic statements as “the Jews knew and were prewarned” about 9/11.

Snopes makes no distinction between the two pieces, however, lumping them together as examples of what it calls the “plenty of anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and anti-Israeli groups eager to use the horrors of September 11 as fodder for propaganda to serve their own political ends.” Considering its tendentious conflation of legitimate criticism of Israel – and the exclusivist ideology on which it is based – with an irrational hatred of Jews, one doubts whether Snopes would level the same accusation against Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon.

How could they not have known?

Asked on the night of September 11 what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Netanyahu replied, “It’s very good.” Then he quickly edited himself: “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” Later that night in an appearance on Israeli TV, the then Israeli prime minister Sharon indicated how Tel Aviv intended to exploit that “sympathy,” when he “repeatedly placed Israel on the same ground as the United States, calling the assault an attack on ‘our common values’ and declaring, ‘I believe together we can defeat these forces of evil.’”

Instead of attempting to debunk the well-documented claims that at least some Israelis were forewarned about the 9/11 attacks, Snopes peremptorily dismisses them, claiming they “scarcely merit the dignity of a rebuttal.” Yet, Haaretz reported that two employees of Odigo, the Israeli-owned instant messaging service, “received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen.” Asked whether Israeli agents had advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, Fox News reporter Carl Cameron quoted U.S. investigators who concluded, “How could they not have known?” And then there were those “dancing Israelis” who later claimed on an Israeli talk show that their “purpose was to document the event.”

Disregarding evidence of Israeli foreknowledge, Snopes asserts that “no miracles, human intervention, foreknowledge, coincidence, or vagaries of fate saved more than a few World Trade Center workers from meeting their deaths that day.”

Lucky Larry Silverstein

Dancing Israeli's3 of the Dancing Israeli’s

One of the lucky few (not mentioned by Snopes) was Larry Silverstein, who signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center six weeks before 9/11, insuring it for $3.5 billion. Silverstein’s wife’s insistence that he couldn’t cancel an appointment with his dermatologist that morning ensured that he missed his daily breakfast meeting with tenants at the Windows on the World restaurant on the top floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. His son and daughter, who worked with him in the Twin Towers, were also fortunate to be “running late” on September 11. Silverstein’s good fortune no doubt delighted his close friends in Israel. Soon after the attacks, the property developer received phone calls from no less than three Israeli prime ministers – Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon – inquiring how he was.

Seemingly puzzled by suspicions that Israelis had advance warning of the World Trade Center attack, Snopes asks rhetorically: “Why would Israel follow such a course of action, betray its staunchest ally, and doom thousands of innocent Americans to death?”

One could also ask why Israeli agents planted firebombs in American installations in Egypt in 1954? Or why Israel murdered 34 U.S. servicemen in a deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967? Or why Mossad decided not to warn the United States about the October 23, 1983 attack on its Marine barracks in Beirut which killed 241 troops? Or why Mossad’s Operation Trojan led Washington to believe that Libya was responsible for the April 5, 1986 Berlin disco bombing which killed two American soldiers?

To date, Snopes has yet to investigate any of these acts of betrayal by Israel of “its staunchest ally.”


The above article can be found at: Maidhc Ó Cathail: Myth-Debunking Snopes Obscures Israel’s Role in 9/11

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: ‘America won’t get in our way — it’s easily moved,’ Israeli PM boasts in 2001

Posted in ZOGs on July 19, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

It’s not the first time for a ranking Israeli politician to publicly brag of Israel‘s total domination of US policy. On October 3, 2001 (less than a month, notably, after 9/11), former Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon angrily told his cabinet: “Don’t worry about American pressure. We, the Jewish people, control America.”

Now it appears that Israel’s current prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, has voiced similar sentiments. In recently-released video footage (also, interestingly, from 2001) Netanyahu — or “Bibi” as he’s often called — downplays the danger of US pressure on Israel, boasting that “America is something that can easily be moved.

Sadly, Washington’s blatant subservience to Israel during the subsequent administrations of Bush Jr. and Obama — both Israel-firsters — has only served to confirm the veracity of the Israeli PM’s statements.

The following two recent news articles both discuss the Netanyahu video:

Eurasia Review; July 15, 2010

Israel’s Channel 10 secured a video recorded in 2001 during the height of a Palestinian terror [resistance] campaign against Israel and the settlements.  It records a condolence call Bibi Netanyahu, recently “retired” from politics after losing the prime ministership and leaving the Sharon government (where he had been Finance Minister), pays on a group of West Bank widows whose husbands had been killed by Palestinian [resistance] attacks.

For those on the Israeli right who claim that the Oslo Accords broke down due to Palestinian terror [resistance] or any such thing, watch this and you will see that Bibi brags that he destroyed Oslo.  Even if you discount this by half as the braggadocio of a macho Israeli politician, it’s still eye-opening. Gideon Levy too has written about this this footage in Haaretz [see below].

Note in the first passage how Bibi brags that he has America wrapped around his thumb.  The cynicism is breathtaking.  Here is Dena Shunra’s translation:

Netanyahu: The Arabs are currently focusing on a war of terror and they think it will break us. The main thing, first of all, is to hit them. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne. The price is not too heavy to be borne, now. A broad attack on the Palestinian Authority. To bring them to the point of being afraid that everything is collapsing…

Woman: Wait a moment, but then the world will say “how come you’re conquering again?”

Netanyahu: the world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.

Woman: Aren’t you afraid of the world, Bibi?

Netanyahu: Especially today, with America. I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction.

Child: They say they’re for us, but, it’s like…

Netanyahu: They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way.

Child: On the other hand, if we do some something, then they…

Netanyahu: So let’s say they say something. So they said it! They said it! 80 percent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd. We have that kind of support and we say “what will we do with the…”  Look. That administration [Clinton] was extremely pro-Palestinian [The Clinton administration was actually one of the most pro-Zionist administrations in US history — 800]. I wasn’t afraid to maneuver there. I was not afraid to clash with Clinton. I was not afraid to clash with the United Nations. I was paying the price anyway, I preferred to receive the value. Value for the price.

In the following segment, Bibi boasts about how he emptied the Oslo Accords of meaning by an interpretation that made a mockery of them:

Woman: The Oslo Accords are a disaster.

Netanyahu: Yes. You know that and I knew that…The people [nation] has to know…

What were the Oslo Accords? The Oslo Accords, which the Knesset signed, I was asked, before the elections: “Will you act according to them?” and I answered: “yes, subject to mutuality and limiting the retreats.” “But how do you intend to limit the retreats?” “I’ll give such interpretation to the Accords that will make it possible for me to stop this galloping to the ’67 [armistice] lines. How did we do it?

Narrator: The Oslo Accords stated at the time that Israel would gradually hand over territories to the Palestinians in three different pulses, unless the territories in question had settlements or military sites. This is where Netanyahu found a loophole.

Netanyahu: No one said what defined military sites. Defined military sites, I said, were security zones. As far as I’m concerned, the Jordan Valley is a defined military site.

Woman: Right [laughs]…The Beit She’an Valley.

Netanyahu: How can you tell. How can you tell? But then the question came up of just who would define what Defined Military Sites were. I received a letter — to me and to Arafat, at the same time — which said that Israel, and only Israel, would be the one to define what those are, the location of those military sites and their size. Now, they did not want to give me that letter, so I did not give the Hebron Agreement. I stopped the government meeting, I said: “I’m not signing.” Only when the letter came, in the course of the meeting, to me and to Arafat, only then did I sign the Hebron Agreement. Or rather, ratify it, it had already been signed. Why does this matter? Because at that moment I actually stopped the Oslo Accord.

Woman: And despite that, one of our own people, excuse me, who knew it was a swindle, and that we were going to commit suicide with the Oslo Accord, gives them — for example — Hebron…

Netanyahu: Indeed, Hebron hurts. It hurts. It’s the thing that hurts. One of the famous rabbis, whom I very much respect, a rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, he said to me: “What would your father say?”  I went to my father. Do you know a little about my father’s position?

…He’s not exactly a lily-white dove, as they say. So my father heard the question and said: “Tell the rabbi that your grandfather, Rabbi Natan Milikowski, was a smart Jew. Tell him it would be better to give two percent than to give a hundred percent. And that’s the choice here. You gave two percent and in that way you stopped the withdrawal. Instead of a hundred percent.” The trick is not to be there and be broken. The trick is to be there and pay a minimal price.

Here are a few of Levy’s choice characterizations of Bibi’s performance in this video:

…Israel has had many rightist leaders since Menachem Begin…but there has never been one like Netanyahu, who wants to do it by deceit, to mock America, trick the Palestinians and lead us all astray. The man in the video betrays himself in his own words as a con artist, and now he is again prime minister of Israel. Don’t try to claim that he has changed since then. Such a crooked way of thinking does not change over the years.

Forget the Bar-Ilan University speech…this is the real Netanyahu. No more claims that the Palestinians are to blame for the failure of the Oslo Accords. Netanyahu exposed the naked truth to his hosts at Ofra: he destroyed the Oslo accords with his own hands and deeds, and he’s even proud of it. After years in which we were told that the Palestinians are to blame, the truth has emerged from the horse’s mouth.

…The government of Israel is led by a man who…thinks that Washington is in his pocket and that he can pull the wool over its eyes.

It should be noted that Bibi isn’t the only prime minister who boasted of such manipulation of the US.  Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s Mephisto bragged of “putting the peace process in formaldehyde” via the Gaza withdrawal.  He too claimed he had George Bush wrapped around his little finger (though he didn’t say which one).

This seems to be a fashion among right-wing Israel prime ministers.  They come to believe their own press clippings.  But really who is to blame for this but American presidents who allow Israeli leaders to outwit and outmaneuver them? When has an American president, except perhaps George Bush pere, ever stood up to Israel and won? [Bush Sr. never “stood to up to Israel and won” — 800] And I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion it won’t ever happen with the current president.

The above article can be found at:

‘Tricky Bibi’

Haaretz (Israel); July 15, 2010

This video should have been banned for broadcast to minors. This video should have been shown in every home in Israel, then sent to Washington and Ramallah. Banned for viewing by children so as not to corrupt them, and distributed around the country and the world so that everyone will know who leads the government of Israel. Channel 10 presented: The real (and deceitful) face of Binyamin Netanyahu. Broadcast on Friday night on “This Week with Miki Rosenthal,” it was filmed secretly in 2001, during a visit by Citizen Netanyahu to the home of a bereaved family in the settlement of Ofra, and astoundingly, it has not created a stir.

The scene was both pathetic and outrageous. The last of Netanyahu’s devoted followers, who believe he is the man who will bring peace, would have immediately changed their minds. Presidents Barack Obama and Shimon Peres, who continue to [deceitfully] maintain that Netanyahu will bring peace, would be talking differently had they seen this secretly filmed video clip. Even the objection of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to conducting direct negotiations with the man from the video would be understandable. What is there to discuss with a huckster whose sole purpose is “to give 2 percent in order to prevent 100 percent,” as his father told him, quoting his grandfather.

Israel has had many rightist leaders since Menachem Begin promised “many Elon Morehs,” but there has never been one like Netanyahu, who wants to do it by deceit, to mock America, trick the Palestinians and lead us all astray. The man in the video betrays himself in his own words as a con artist, and now he is again prime minister of Israel. Don’t try to claim that he has changed since then. Such a crooked way of thinking does not change over the years.

Forget the Bar-Ilan University speech, forget the virtual achievements in his last visit to the United States; this is the real Netanyahu. No more claims that the Palestinians are to blame for the failure of the Oslo Accords. Netanyahu exposed the naked truth to his hosts at Ofra: he destroyed the Oslo accords with his own hands and deeds, and he’s even proud of it. After years in which we were told that the Palestinians are to blame, the truth has emerged from the horse’s mouth.

And how did he do it? He recalled how he conditioned his signing of the 1997 Hebron agreement on American consent that there be no withdrawals from “specified military locations,” and insisted he choose those same locations, such as the whole of the Jordan Valley, for example. “Why is that important? Because from that moment on I stopped the Oslo Accords,” he boasts. The real Netanyahu also brags about his knowledge of America: “I know what America is. America is something that can be moved easily.” For the White House’s information.

He calls then-US President Bill Clinton “extremely pro-Palestinian,” and says the Palestinians want to throw us into the sea. With such retrograde beliefs, no one can convincingly argue that he wants an agreement.

These remarks are profoundly depressing. They bear out all of our fears and suspicions: that the government of Israel is led by a man who doesn’t believe the Palestinians and doesn’t believe in the chance of an agreement with them, who thinks that Washington is in his pocket and that he can pull the wool over its eyes. There’s no point in talking about Netanyahu’s impossible rightist coalition as an obstacle to progress. From now on, just say that Netanyahu doesn’t want it.

What if Kadima joins the government and Yisrael Beiteinu leaves? Nothing will change. What if Danny Danon goes leftist and Tzipi Hotovely joins Peace Now? Netanyahu doesn’t want it.

If he had said so honestly, as he did when he thought the camera in Ofra was turned off, then he could have been forgiven for his extreme positions. It’s his right to think that way and get elected for it. The people will have gotten what they chose. But when Netanyahu hides his real positions under camouflage netting and entangles them in webs of deceit, he not only reduces the chances of reaching an agreement, he also damages Israel’s political culture. Many people may want a right-wing, nationalist prime minister, but a prime minister who is a con artist? Is is too much to expect of Netanyahu that he speak to us precisely as he spoke in Ofra? Why do a handful of settlers deserve to know the truth, and not us? Tell us the truth, Netanyahu. Talk to us as if the cameras were off, just as you thought then, in 2001 in Ofra.

The above article can be found at:

The Channel 10 video (in Hebrew) can be viewed here:

Does Event Honoring Israeli Spy Suggest Another Israeli Operation?

Posted in Mossad's 9/11 on July 16, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Veterans Today

July 16, 2010

Less than two weeks prior to the mass murder of September 11, 2001, the Israeli government made a $1 million grant to Israeli super-spy Jonathan Pollard. In retrospect, the facts suggest that grant may well have served as a signal to Israeli operatives inside the U.S.On July 13, 2010, in observance of Pollard’s 9000th day of incarceration, the Jerusalem municipality dimmed the lights illuminating the Old City. This gesture of Israeli solidarity included a projection onto the darkened walls of a message urging that President Obama release their spy from prison.

Thus the concern among knowledgeable intelligence operatives that this Pollard commemoration may mean that another Israeli operation is underway.

On March 4, 1987, this Israeli-American was sentenced to life imprisonment for conveying to Israel more than 1 million classified U.S. military documents. Tel Aviv passed those secrets on to Moscow.

In practical effect, this Israeli espionage jettisoned not only America’s Cold War defense strategy, it also jeopardized the entirety of NATO’s defense posture.

From 1948 to 1989, U.S. taxpayers invested $20 trillion in Cold War-related defense (in 2010 dollars). In practical effect, an Israeli spy operation negated those outlays. Following Pollard’s arrest in 1986, Israel repeatedly assured U.S. leaders that he was part of a rogue spy operation.Not until 12 years later did Tel Aviv concede the obvious: Pollard was an Israeli spy the entire time. According to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, “[It is] difficult to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by…Pollard’s treasonous behavior.”

Twelve years later, the Pollard storyline shifted again when in June 2010 Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., revived the phony “rogue” portrayal in yet another attempt to distance Tel Aviv from the fact that Israel continues its espionage operations in the U.S.

Another “hyphenated American,” Oren relinquished the U.S. component of his citizenship to serve as Israel’s ambassador to Washington. Though he withdrew his Pollard statement, no one could explain why someone with his sophistication would issue a “rogue operation” statement.

Signaling the Network 

Tel Aviv’s first concerted attempt to gain Pollard’s release dates to 1998 when, while negotiating the Wye River Accords, Prime Minister Ehud Barak secured from President Bill Clinton an agreement for Pollard’s release. Clinton backpedaled when threatened with a mass resignation by outraged members of the U.S. intelligence community.

The entryway to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia features an agency crest imbedded in the tiled floor. An adjoining wall commemorates with stars the unnamed dead who lost their lives as U.S. intelligence operatives. Those featured typically achieved the equivalent military rank of colonel.

As a result of Pollard’s spying, 110 C.I.A. operatives lost their lives. In addition, a reported 1,600 prime American assets were lost due to this Israeli espionage. Americans have yet to be told the true extent of this loss.

In the history of U.S. national security, Pollard enjoys top billing as inflicting the most damage. In Israel, he is revered. Eligible for release in 2015, he will be welcomed home as a Zionist hero to a nation that granted him citizenship and several national awards.

His iconic status assures that news of Pollard—any news whatsoever—emboldens Israeli-Americans committed to the Zionist geopolitical agenda. Attempts to secure his release assure hyphenated Americans that their “homeland” will stand in solidarity with them at any cost. Israeli offers of large sums of money reinforce that commitment.

Americans remain largely clueless about the espionage role played by Israeli-Americans. Few recall Jonathan Pollard. Fewer still grasp the costs that Pollard’s treason imposed in blood and treasure. Nor do Americans understand the overwhelming influence of dual-citizens both in creating and communicating the false intelligence that took the U.S. to war in the Middle East.

“To wage war by way of deception” has long been the operative credo of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence and operations directorate. Mossad operatives routinely target Israeli-Americans as recruits when staging operations in the U.S.

Even now, many Americans believe that Israel is an ally despite more than six decades of facts confirming the contrary. Israeli espionage remains ongoing aided by a cadre of cooperative members of both the House and Senate and their staffs.

To believe otherwise allows gullibility to displace facts confirming the gravity of the threat that this entangled alliance imposes on the U.S. and, by extension, on the international community.

This latest Israeli adoration of traitor Jonathan Pollard is clearly an affront to the U.S. as Israel’s sponsor, financier, protector and primary arms supplier. Of immediate concern, this high profile event may be a signal setting in motion another murderous incident meant to persuade Americans that they face an external threat rather than the ongoing threat of an enemy within.

The above article can be found at: Does Event Honoring Israeli Spy Suggest Another Israeli Operation?

Blockade! Dockworkers, Worldwide, Respond to Israel’s Flotilla Massacre and Gaza Siege

Posted in Israel on July 14, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Veterans Today

July 14, 2010

Freedom Flotilla: Massacre at Sea

By Greg  Dropkin in CounterPunch

Three weeks after the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla, ILWU dockworkers in the San Francisco Bay area delayed an Israeli Zim Lines ship for 24 hours, the Swedish Dockworkers Union began a week-long blockade of Israeli ships and containers, dockers in the Port of Cochin, India, refused to handle Israeli cargo, and the Turkish dockworkers union Liman-Is announced their members would refuse to service any Israeli shipping. In South Africa, Durban dockers had already boycotted a Zim Lines ship in response to the invasion of Gaza last year. On the 5th Anniversary of the United Palestinian Call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Israel faces the prospect of targetted industrial action to implement boycotts. How did it happen, what does it mean, and how can the solidarity movement respond to the new opening?


At 5am on Sunday 20th June, 800 trade unionists and Palestine solidarity activists from the San Francisco Bay Area marched to the SSA (Stevedoring Services of America) terminal at Berths 57-58 in the Port of Oakland, where the “Zim Shenzhen” was due. Zim Lines is the main Israeli shipping company, with services connecting Israel to the world. The ship sailed from Haifa, calling at Piraeus, Livorno, Genoa, Tarragona, Halifax, New York, Savannah, Kingston, Panama Canal, Los Angeles before reaching Oakland.

When longshore workers turned up for the day shift a mass demo was in place at four gates chanting “Free, Free Palestine, Don’t You Cross Our Picket Line”. . .“An Injury to One is An Injury to All, Bring Down the Apartheid Wall”. . .“Open the Siege, Close the Gate, Israel is a Terrorist State”. . . As union members spoke to drivers, pickets sat down in front of cars. The San Francisco Labor Council and the Alameda County Labor Council had passed their own resolutions and mobilized hundreds of trade unionists to back the demo called by the Labor Community Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It was an unprecedented show of strength from the local and regional AFL-CIO, affiliated unions and their members side by side with Palestinian and Arab-American activists.

The Gaza ships were originally organised by Paul Larudee from San Francisco, and Bay Area residents had sailed with him. Now everyone came together for a united action organised in just two weeks. Local 10 and Local 34 (clerical) are militant sections of the International Longshore Workers Union. The ILWU organizes longshore (dockers) and many other industrial sectors on the US West Coast and Hawaii. With a history stretching back to 1934, the ILWU has faced the employers in countless disputes on the docks, carried out industrial solidarity action with other workers, fought against racism, adopted resolutions which characterize the Israeli oppression of Palestinians as “state-sponsored terrorism”, and on May 1st 2008 shut down every port on the US West Coast against the war in Iraq.

Labor laws in the U. S. like the Taft-Hartley Act make it illegal for unions to organize solidarity actions. The Oakland longshore workers arrived for the day shift and refused to cross the picket line on grounds of “health and safety”. The Pacific Maritime Association, on behalf of the employer SSA, immediately called in the Arbitrator (a joint union-management procedure for first-line response to disputes on the docks) hoping he would order everyone to work. The Arbitrator considered the PMA demand that the police use force to open access through the picket line, to make it “safe” for workers to enter the terminal. The union argued that the Oakland police are a threat to the security of workers and demonstrators.

In 2003, as the U. S. attacked Iraq, Oakland police fired so-called “non lethal” weapons at longshore workers and anti-war demonstrators alike, injuring scores and sending many to hospital. In 2010 the Arbitrator agreed with the union. As per their contract, the dockers were sent home with pay for standing by, however the employers have refused to abide by the Arbitrator’s decision and have paid out nothing, leaving the issue in dispute.

The “Zim Shenzen” had left Los Angeles around 2:30 pm Saturday, and could have could have arrived at the San Francisco pilot station in as little as 18 hours, plus 2 hours to the dock. The ship’s tracking system was removed from the nautical GPS system, leaving the demo guessing when it would arrive. But with several hundred marching at 5:30 am swelling to 800 as the morning progressed, the company decided to hold up the docking until 6 pm. By then, SSA Terminal realized that the mass picket line would return for the evening shift and the Arbitrator would make the same decision, so they gave up and prudently chose not to call longshoremen to report for work. The ship sat at the quay, untouched. Establishing the mass picket line early and preventing longshoremen and clerks from working the terminal was critical in this victory.

This was the first ever boycott of an Israeli ship by workers in the US, where Zionism has counted on influencing the traditional stance of the mainstream labor movement, as well as elected politicians. “An Injury to One is An Injury to All” is the slogan of the ILWU. It is also an emblem for South African workers. The “Zim” action was recognized as a direct echo of Local 10’s fight against apartheid in 1984, when members refused to work South African steel and coal for 11 days until the employer obtained a Federal injunction to break the boycott. Interviewed on video during the “Zim” picket, Local 10 Executive Board member Clarence Thomas stated “This is a historic occasion. Everyone remembers the action taken by the community and labor in 1984 at Pier 80 in San Francisco, where the “Nedlloyd Kimberley” was picketed.”

Retired Local 10 longshore worker Howard Keylor, a co-organizer of that action, recalled: “This was the result of over a decade of education within the Local on the horrors of the South African apartheid regime. South Africa arrested the entire leadership of the black miners union (the National Union of Mineworkers) and charged them with t reason, and was threatening to execute them. I made the motion in Local 10, which passed unanimously, not to work the cargo in the next ship that came in. It was the longshore courage in deliberately violating the Taft-Hartley law and the union contract that made that successful.”

Clarence Thomas set out the current strategy: “People are lacking food, people cannot rebuild in Gaza, construction supplies are not allowed. They haven’t even been allowing chewing gum! The thing that is going to make Israel and the United States both understand that this cannot continue, is the whole question of commerce and trade. Israel is very vulnerable on that question. This was critical in building the mobilization in 1984 against apartheid, with three prongs: Boycotts, Sanctions, and Divestment.”

Jack Heyman, also from the Local 10 Executive Board: “If longshoremen decide they’re not going to cross the picket line, then the Zim ship that’s coming in is not going to be worked, and that’s going to be repeated around the world, in Norway, Sweden, South Africa. I think people are beginning to understand that the Israeli government is going to have to be sent a message loud and clear, that their policies towards the Palestinian people are unjust and they’re going to suffer the consequences. It’s not business as usual when they commit acts of murder like this.”

Monadel Herzallah, of the Arab American Union Members Council summed up the impact on the labor movement: “It’s indeed a significant turning point in the work with labor, and it’s significant because ILWU has honored our picket line, it is something that we cherish, that we think will make an impact not only in the United States of America but also worldwide. The Labor Councils in Alameda and in San Francisco, responded to the call by encouraging labor unions, members, activists, to support this, with dozens of other community organisations who have worked to make this picket successful. People have wanted to tell this government and the government of Israel that they cannot be above the law, they have to be held accountable for what they did against these unarmed civilians on the flotilla ship in the Mediterranean.”

Palestinian unions appeal

On June 7, the Palestinian trade union movement had produced a united appeal to dockworkers unions worldwide. It was signed by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), the General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW), the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (IFU), and 11 other Palestinian union and labor movement organizations. It concluded “Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity. During the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the world was inspired by the brave and principled actions of dockworkers unions who refused to handle South African cargo, contributing significantly to the ultimate fall of apartheid. Today, we call on you, dockworkers unions of the world, to do the same against Israel’s occupation and apartheid. This is the most effective form of solidarity to end injustice and uphold universal human rights.”

This appeal was doubly significant. It gave the basis for dockers to respond, knowing that the call came from fellow workers. And, it showed exceptional unity on the Palestinian side, a big step in its own right. The joint union appeal developed the call from the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) issued on 1 June, which included: We call specifically on transport and dock workers and unions around the globe to: Refuse to load/off-load Israeli ships and airplanes, following the historic example set by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) in Durban in February 2009 and endorsed by the Maritime Union of Australia (Western Australia).

The ILWU Local 10 Executive Board met on 8 June, and heard from members of the San Francisco Labor Council, a Palestinian speaker and solidarity activists. The Board unanimously adopted an Executive motion citing the Palestinian union appeal which they had received, and noting that the flotilla massacre had been condemned by the International Dockworkers Council (IDC), the International Transportworkers Federation (ITF), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and British union UNITE. The Executive motion joined in condemning the massacre and concluded with a “call for unions to protest by any action they choose to take”. The ILWU also noted that Swedish Dockworkers were planning an action, scheduled to begin on 15 June.


Even before the Palestinian unions issued their appeal, the Swedish Dockworkers Union had announced plans for a week-long blockade of all trade with Israel. The union is a key member of the International Dockworkers Council formed during the Liverpool dockers battle from 1995 – 1998 to regain their jobs after being sacked for refusing to cross a picket line. Former Liverpool dockers and Swedish dockers discussed the possibilities for action and alerted the IDC and its affiliated unions when the Palestinian BNC made contact through BDS organizers in both countries on 31 May. The Swedish Dockworkers Union set out the aims of the blockade and discussed strategy in detailed briefings to the membership and press articles.

Their blockade was designed to last one week, a temporary measure to be evaluated with the possibility of further action. It aimed to influence the Israeli government to: “1. Lift the illegal and inhuman blockade of Gaza, which has been going on for over three years. “2. Allow an independent, international inquiry into Israel’s boarding of the Freedom Flotilla (of which the Swedish Ship to Gaza was a member) in international waters, when nine people were killed and at least 48 people were injured. The requirements are clearly defined and conform fully with the demands that the UN and the EU have made to Israel.”

After the initial announcement, the employers’ association “Ports of Sweden” threatened to sue individual union members, deduct from their wages, and demand compensation for participation in the blockade. The dockworkers postponed their action for a week, to dovetail with plans by the Norwegian Transportworkers Union. The Palestinian unions issued their appeal and Sweden would now be acting in response. In the event, the Norwegian blockade did not take place – yet – but Sweden went ahead. “From the 23rd of June we will no longer handle containers with Israeli wines, vegetables or fruits branded Jaffa, Carmel or Top, vegetarian pre-fabricated foods from Tivall or the carbonation-machine Soda Stream. Neither will we contribute to the Swedish export of Volvo buses, which were used by Israel to transport hundreds of human right activists from the Freedom Flotilla to Israeli prisons.”

The union was directly involved in the original plans for the Swedish Ship to Gaza, which the dockworkers intended to load for free. When the “Sofia” was eventually purchased jointly with a Greek solidarity organization, the Swedish Dockworkers were in touch with the Greek Port Workers Union who loaded “Sofia” with electric wheelchairs and cement at the port of Pireus, free of charge. The Swedish also approached the IDC to ask affiliates to protect and handle voluntarily all ships carrying supplies to Gaza.

Björn Borg, Chairperson of the Swedish Dockworkers Union, and Erik Helgeson, Ombudsman, local 4 Gothenburg, stressed the significance of the Flotilla. “We could see how the eyes of the world were finally turned towards the isolated population of Gaza. Even the night before the Israeli military violently stormed the Freedom Flotilla, this international initiative had done more to bring attention to the catastrophic situation of the people of Gaza, than all the diplomatic moves, declarations and resolutions put forward in recent years. That also inspires us and our colleagues in ports around the world to take action.”

When the blockade began, the dockers identified and isolated 10 containers full of goods to or from Israel. Erik Helgeson commented: “We thought the flow of goods would be much lower considering the blockade had been announced for twenty days. Our ambition is of course that our action can be one of many grassroots initiatives that will keep the eyes of the world focused on the 800, 000 children living isolated in Gaza. The Palestinian civilian population must be allowed to rebuild their economy, their infrastructure and freely integrate with the rest of the world. The war on Gaza and Israel’s brutal blockade have made all this impossible for over three years.”


As the Swedish began their blockade, news emerged that the dockworkers union Liman-Is intended to join the fast growing movement for boycott sweeping through all levels of society after the murder of Turkish aid volunteers aboard the “Mavi Marmara”. Alongside the Physicians’ Association of Turkey and the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers, the Liman-Is Central Committee stated:

“. . . The attack that was protested throughout the world and condemned harshly by the UN also brought people out to the streets in Turkey. The government’s announcements indicate that further sanctions against Israel are to be expected.

“However, Israel needs to be answered not only through the channels of government, but through all institutions and social organizations, most of all, through NGO’s and unions. “Our union Liman-Is, has decided to boycott the ships from Israel, which has become a machine of death and torture. In the framework, no member of our union will give service to Israel in any docks where we are organized.

“Liman-Is union invites all unions and NGO’s organized in our country and throughout the world to join this boycott and protest campaign.”

Turning this declaration into an actual boycott will require the active involvement of other unions in Turkish ports.


A few days before the Oakland action, unions in the Port of Cochin, in the state of Kerala, India, had agreed to boycott Israeli ships and cargo. The boycott began on June 17 on receipt of information that cargo unloaded at Colombo Port from Israeli ship m/v Zim Livorno was bound to arrive at Cochin Port in a feeder vessel. Similar consignments unloaded at Colombo from Israeli ships were set to arrive in feeder vessels. On June 23, trade unions held a joint protest rally in Cochin Port near the office of Zim Integrated Shipping Services (India) Pvt Ltd – the Israeli shipping line. Addressing the rally B Hamza, general secretary of Cochin Port Labor Union (CITU) condemned the flotilla massacre and expressed the Port workers’ solidarity with Palestine. Leaders of at least five port unions and the Water Transport Workers Federation of India expressed the unity of Cochin Port workers with the growing world-wide boycott.

South Africa

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) had already responded straight after the attack on Gaza in Dec 2008 – Jan 2009. In three weeks, Israeli forces killed 1400 Palestinians including over 300 children. In the midst of the carnage, the International Committee of the Red Cross had to wait 4 days before the Israeli military allowed ambulances to reach children huddled next to their dead mothers in a house shelled by Israeli forces. A UN compound was attacked with white phosphorus munitions. Schools, hospitals, ambulances, sewage treatment plants, all came under fire.

Long before the UN launched their own investigation of possible war crimes (the “Goldstone Report”), South African workers knew enough to act. Members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union SATAWU, affiliated to COSATU, refused to work the Zim Lines “Johanna Russ” – which sailed from Haifa at the height of the invasion – when it arrived in Durban in early February 2009.

On the eve of that action, COSATU wrote:

“SATAWU’s action on Sunday will be part of a proud history of worker resistance against apartheid. In 1963, just four years after the Anti-Apartheid Movement was formed, Danish dock workers refused to offload a ship with South African goods. When the ship docked in Sweden, Swedish workers followed suit. Dock workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and, later, in Liverpool also refused to off-load South African goods. South Africans, and the South African working class in particular, will remain forever grateful to those workers who determinedly opposed apartheid and decided that they would support the anti-apartheid struggle with their actions.

“Last week, Western Australian members of the Maritime Union of Australia resolved to support the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and have called for a boycott of all Israeli vessels and all vessels bearing goods arriving from or going to Israel.

“This is the legacy and the tradition that South African dock workers have inherited, and it is a legacy they are determined to honor, by ensuring that South African ports of entry will not be used as transit points for goods bound for or emanating from certain dictatorial and oppressive states such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Israel.”

Five COSATU officers were amongst the 1400 internationals who converged on Cairo last December, hoping to enter Gaza for the Gaza Freedom March. Zico Tamela, the International Secretary of SATAWU, was on the delegation. Interviewed outside the UN buildings by the Nile, he called on transportworkers throughout the world

“. . . to assist in the struggle for the liberation of our brothers and sisters in Palestine. We must support and actively participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. This means the total isolation of Israel in terms of arms embargo, economically, culturally, socially, and otherwise. Just like you fellow workers did with apartheid South Africa. This also means that the Israeli labor movement, which is Zionist to the core, must be kicked out of the progressive international trade union movement. It’s not a question of fighting Jewish workers, no, no, it’s a question of isolating Zionism within the labor movement. Just like it was not a question of fighting white workers, but of fighting racism and isolating it within the international progressive trade union movement.

“The action we South Africans took in relation to an Israeli ship and a Chinese ship that docked in Durban, when we refused to offload the consignments those ships carried, the Israeli ship carried civilian goods, the Chinese ship carried arms for Zimbabwe, we didn’t offload those goods. As transport workers throughout the world, we need to be at the forefront of the struggle to implement Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign, because we are the ones who transport goods to and from Israel throughout the world.”

Israeli Consulate rebuffed by ILWU Local 10 Executive

Israel is taking this seriously. Their San Francisco based Consul for the Pacific Northwest Akiva Tor sought to meet with the ILWU Local 10 Executive Board on 6 July, hoping to persuade the union to change course. When the PGFTU found out, they wrote to the Executive Board on 2 July, saluting the union’s boycott, their history of international solidarity, and the risks taken by African-Americans in the civil rights movement.

They appealed to the union to stand firm

“…Although we do not live in the United States, we find it highly unusual and somewhat uncustomary that a paid foreign representative of a racist and apartheid regime can demand and get a meeting with the executive board of a local union no less than the ILWU. . . Our civil society has risen and said that justice is universal. We supported the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, the struggle for civil rights in the United States, and the struggle for international solidarity. We remember that May 1st commemorates a labor struggle that took place in Chicago, IL, in the US and on May Day 2008, your union the ILWU, shut down all west coast ports to oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, setting a precedent in the U. S. Labor movement. We humbly ask of you to hold steadfast in the face of backlash and revenge against your union. The call for a meeting with your union by a foreign paid emissary is intervening in the domestic affairs of local community grassroots action in the United States. Israel, an apartheid state, maintaining an illegal war against our people, should not be given the platform at your union house. That platform should be reserved for heroes who champion justice and equality for all.”

The Consul may have scented danger, and 6 July his Deputy Gideon Lustig turned up to head the delegation. Lustig spent 10 years in the Israeli Defence Force and attained the rank of Major before turning to a diplomatic career. The Consular delegation was joined by Dr Roberta Seid, an academic at University of California Irvine who believes the IDF was not responsible for the death of ISM volunteer Rachel Corrie, run over by an IDF Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza on 16 March 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian doctor’s house. Why? Because an official Israeli investigation concluded her death was an accident. In a major diplomatic rebuff for Consular staff, the Executive Board refused to allow the delegation to enter the meeting, in line with the appeal from the PGFTU.

Dr Seid was given permission to speak. To general amazement, she defended the murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla. Perhaps she anticipates the official Israeli investigation will clear the Navy of responsibility. What differences would the Israeli government have with her presentation, she was asked. None, apparently. Had not the journal “Foreign Affairs” recently exposed Israel’s offer to supply South Africa with nuclear weapons during the apartheid era? Seid admitted they had, but claimed the story was untrue. A former ILWU official recalled his own experience of visiting Palestine in 1989 and described the expansionist aims of the Israeli state in detail. When it was over, the Executive reaffirmed the union’s position opposing the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the apartheid wall in the West Bank, the continuing bloody Zionist oppression of Palestinians and the murderous Israeli attack on the aid flotilla.

What does it mean?

In the past, with a few very important exceptions, unions have focused on adopting national policies in solidarity with Palestine, donated funds, sent delegations to the West Bank and occasionally to Gaza, invited their Palestinian counterparts to address conferences, but without engaging in any dispute with their own employers over this issue. Although unions have adopted policies in support of BDS, and even overcome strong internal opposition before doing so, these policies have mainly remained paper committments. These small steps are essential preparation. As Howard Keylor remarked, it took years of education within Local 10 before the boycott of the “Nedlloyd Kimberley” became possible.

The first sign of another strategy came in 2006, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the largely secret war in Gaza that same year. Tram drivers in Dublin were instructed to train their Israeli counterparts on how to operate the planned Light Rail system connecting Jerusalem to the illegal Settlements. In line with the policies of their union SIPTU and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, they refused, risking their jobs.

At the same time, an appeal from sacked Liverpool dockers entitled “Sanctions on Israel: If not now, when?” concluded “If you can, intervene directly to stop trade with Israel while the carnage in Lebanon and Gaza continues”.

Possible action against Zim Lines was discussed in San Francisco a few months later. During the bombardment and invasion of Gaza from Dec 2008 – Jan 2009, Greek dockers threatened to boycott a shipment of US arms to Israel, which was then re-routed, eventually reaching Ashdod in March.

Now, for the first time, Israel faces the prospect that their trade links are no longer secure as unions across the world are willing to go into dispute to implement the boycott. This is not a dockers issue, it is an issue for any union which wants to make BDS a reality. And the dockers are only able to act because they know there is a strong basis of support in the wider labor movement. This is exactly what happened to South Africa from about 1978 onwards. Workers at the computer manufacturing firm ICL (now Fujitsu) in Manchester refused to dispatch the machine they had built for administration of the hated Pass Laws.

Air France pilots were poised to refuse to fly uranium illegally mined by Rio Tinto Zinc in South African-occupied Namibia. The trade was suddenly switched to sea. But a decade later Liverpool dockers blockaded containers to interrupt the export of processed South African and Namibian uranium, touching off an outcry in Japan where electricity contracts with RTZ were cancelled. Dublin shopworkers refused to sell Outspan oranges, and were sacked.

Oakland dockers refused to offload South African steel and coal, and survived. It all coincided with the emergence inside South Africa of militant independent trade unions ready to strike against the employer and the apartheid system, eventually forming the Congress of South African Trade Unions in 1985. That was the moment when the South African ruling class knew it would have to find a way out of apartheid. Even so, it took another 9 years.

These were not the only factors which brought down the apartheid regime. No one should imagine that a week of blockades spells the end of Israeli apartheid, or even the end of the siege of Gaza. But the dockers have broken through the consensus that trade union solidarity begins and ends with resolutions at trade union congresses, education, fundraising and delegation work, important as these are in laying the basis for action.

The blockades connect Palestine to the class struggle which workers live through every day of their lives. In Oakland, Sweden, Turkey, India, and South Africa, a new generation of dockers has joined a fight with echoes of the 1980s. Clarence Thomas:

“Today what you witnessed was the current young membership of ILWU Local 10 answering the call of the brothers and sisters who came before them. We understand what international solidarity means. It is not an empty slogan. You have to give something up. Our members were willing to give up a day’s pay today. That’s what solidarity means. This is indeed a people’s victory, and remember, just because it’s not on the front page of the New York Times, just because it’s not on CNN, we have to get the word out. We claim no easy victories and tell no lies. Solidarity to the Palestinians. Solidarity to the working class around the world.”

Whatever the immediate consequences, Israel’s murderous attack on the flotilla has landed the Zionist regime in very dangerous waters.

Greg Dropkin is based in Liverpool and is active in the group, on whose site this report appears.

The above article can be found at: Blockade! Dockworkers, Worldwide, Respond to Israel’s Flotilla Massacre and Gaza Siege

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK): A Zionist proxy?

Posted in Original Research on July 8, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

May 31, 2010 will no doubt be remembered as a day of infamy, when Israeli commandoes slaughtered nine unarmed Turkish activists — bearing humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip — in international waters.

But those nine martyrs for Palestine weren’t the only ones to die that day: only hours before the massacre on the high seas, seven Turkish naval personnel were killed in Turkey’s Iskenderun seaport in an attack claimed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), ending a years-long truce.

The uncanny timing has led to speculation about the links between Israel — well known for training, funding and arming terrorist outfits — and the PKK.

The following media reports suggest the possibility that the recent upsurge in PKK attacks on Turkish targets is in fact Israeli payback-by-proxy for Ankara’s vocal opposition to the longstanding Zionist blockade of the Gaza Strip.

USAK Director Laciner implies link between Israel and PKK
The Journal of the Turkish Weekly (Turkey)
31 May 2010

Sedat Laciner, head of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
, has made comments on the rocket-attack on a military vehicle near a naval base in Iskenderun town of Hatay killing six soldiers and Israel’s strike against the aid convoy heading to Gaza.
Comparing these two attacks, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Laciner indicated that there can be a relationship between some of the Israeli groups and the terrorist organization, PKK. The PKK terrorist organization attacked a Turkish naval base when the Israeli forces attacked the international civilian aid flotilla including Turkish aid workers.

Laciner said, “Some Israelis support the PKK. Even though the Israeli state does not support it as a state, the people who left Mossad or retired from the army advocate the PKK. All these were reported by the US and Israeli media in recent past.”

Highlighting the obvious relationship between Israel and the terrorist organization, Laciner stated that it was a known fact that the PKK militants who planned to make bomb attacks in some cities were trained by Israel.

Laciner iterated that the recent attack in Iskenderun, a Mediterranean Turkish coast town, was far from being a typical PKK attack. Furthermore, by making an emphasis on the timing of the two attacks, Laciner said, “There is something weird. This was not a conventional PKK or terrorist attack.”

Laciner stated, “Israel is a small country and its power is hidden in dark places rather than conventional sources. Such a country traditionalized use of such measures can do many things to Turkey that is a country with many deficiencies. Turkey has several weaknesses and its political and cultural structure is open to any kind of interventions.”

Laciner indicated that Turkey had openly challenged Israel in “one minute” and Iran issues; thus the attitude of Israel was not something unexpected. He counted two main issues which could be used by Israel against Turkey: PKK and Ergenekon.

[Wikipedia: Ergenekon is the name given to an alleged clandestine, Kemalist ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to members of the country’s military and security forces. The group, named after Ergenekon, a mythical place located in the inaccessible valleys of the Altay Mountains, is accused of terrorism in Turkey.

[Its agenda has variously been described as Eurasianist, and isolationist. The defendants portray themselves as defenders of secularism and national sovereignty. According to the indictment, the group’s claim to legitimacy is that it allegedly protects national interests, which the defendants believe are incompatible with the rule of the democratically elected government of Justice and Development Party and are harmed by Turkey’s alleged concessions to the West.

[In Turkey, the extensions of the state — the establishment — that are considered responsible for this are referred to as the “deep state.” The existence of the “deep state” was affirmed in Turkish opinion after the Susurluk scandal in 1996. Alleged members have been indicted on charges of plotting to foment unrest, among other things by assassinating intellectuals, politicians, judges, military staff, and religious leaders, with the ultimate goal of toppling the incumbent government in a coup that was planned to take place in 2009.

[This follows allegations published in Nokta that several abortive coups with the same intent were planned a few years ago. The proximate motive behind these false flag activities is said to be to discredit the incumbent Justice and Development Party and derail Turkey’s accession process to the European Union.]

Stating that the PKK has become a subcontractor organization and been trying to get profit from speculative developments, Laciner said, “It is normal that the PKK is trying to ally with Turkey’s enemies at this level. However, the main problem here is that Turkish intelligence units and state units are not able to act together.”

“The attack against the Gaza aid convoy is tried to be made an issue of Turkey-Israel. Israel also wants to show the ruling party of Turkey as something equal to Hamas. Israel wants to create such a bias in minds.”

He also said that the bloody attack on the convoy was a conscious attack which was made in order to give a lesson to the rest of the world and Turkey.

Laciner defined the action as a breach of both international and national law and a crime. By stating that there is no way to justify the action, Laciner said that the crisis has not finished yet.

Reminding Murat Karayilan (one of the prominent figure of the PKK)’s statements calling for the US to use them rather than abolishing the terrorist organization, Laciner said, “While Turkey is challenging both Israel and the West in issues like Iran, the statements of Karayilan may come true in response to Turkey’s actions. Therefore, the international conjuncture in favor of Turkey may change and a disadvantageous atmosphere may emerge. PKK can be used against Turkey and we may see the signs of it in the near future.”

Israel has supported the PKK against Iran. Israeli advisers also encouraged the Kurdish groups to rise up against Baghdad to establish a separate Kurdish state in the Northern Iraq.

Dr. Nilgun Gulcan also underlined the link between the PKK and Israel. Dr. Gulcan said, “Many Israelis are active in Northern Iraq. They legitimate their existence with the help to the local Kurds yet everybody knows that they have hidden agenda and secret relations with the armed groups in the region.”

The above article can be found at:
Turks suspect ‘Israeli link with PKK’
June 16, 2010

TEL AVIV — As relations between Israel and its erstwhile ally Turkey deteriorate following the Israeli navy’s May 31 killing of nine Turks, authorities in Ankara are investigating whether Israel had links to a deadly attack by Kurdish separatists on the same day.

Shortly after midnight May 31, fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, attacked a military vehicle at the naval base at the port of Iskenderun, in Hatay province near the border with Syria, and killed seven naval personnel.

Iskenderun has never been a target for the PKK, which has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984 for an autonomous Kurdish enclave, although it has carried out attacks across Turkey.

A few hours later, Israeli naval commandos stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, flagship of a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Israeli-blockaded Gaza, in international waters. They killed nine Turks they claimed attacked them and wounded dozens of pro-Palestinian activists aboard the vessel.

Relations between Israel and Turkey, under strain since Turkey’s Islamist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, furiously denounced Israel’s December 2008 invasion of the Gaza Strip, nosedived into bitter acrimony.

Many Turks saw the two murderous incidents as two sides of the same coin.

This was reflected within the political elite. Huseyin Celik, deputy chairman of Erdogan’s Justice and development Party, or AKP, noted, “We do not think it’s a coincidence that these two attacks took place at the same time.”

Turks were furious at the Israeli action in the eastern Mediterranean and turned out at the funerals of their slain countrymen in huge numbers, led by senior government officials.

So far as is known, Turkey’s intelligence service hasn’t been able to provide any proof of possible Israeli involvement in the Iskenderun killings. Erdogan’s interior minister, Besir Atalay has even sought to calm tempers.

“I don’t want to say these (incidents) are related,” he said. “Such investigations require close attention and we want to refrain from careless statements lacking tangibility…

“These subjects are delicate, especially when they have international dimensions.”

Still, the Turks point to Israel’s involvement with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq since the 1960s. Israel aided them off and on, depending on the geopolitical environment, because they fought against the Baathist regime which was virulently anti-Israel.

The Israelis returned to Iraqi Kurdistan prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 to train the peshmerga — “those who face death” — who were key US allies.

Israelis have also been reported to be operating with Kurdish rebels in Iran along with US and British agents, or Special Forces, in what Tehran claims is a systematic campaign to destabilize the Islamic Republic.

The Israelis have no history of supporting Turkey’s Kurdish separatists. But if the crisis reaches the point where Israel, along with the United States, decides an Islamist government in Turkey is a liability, all things are possible.

Israel kept clear of the PKK because the Jewish state had maintained a discreet intelligence link with Ankara since the 1950s. That eventually produced a 1996 military cooperation pact.

Turkey, one of the first countries to recognize Israel in 1948, was strategically important to Israel because it was the only Muslim state with which it had relations. For all intents and purposes that is no longer the case.

The relationship began to change when the Islamist AKP took power in 2002 and Erdogan sought to restore Turkey’s traditional role as a regional power.

For a time, Ankara put out feelers to the PKK in hopes of ending 26 years of bloodshed in which 40,000 people have perished. But in recent months, the separatists have resumed attacks.

PKK activity usually picks up in the spring when the mountain snows melt. But Ankara has been bracing for a surge in violence, particularly in urban areas, which could harm AKP prospects in upcoming elections.

If Israel and Turkey are hurtling toward a final split, with Erdogan’s government more oriented toward Iran and Syria than the Jewish state, the gloves may indeed come off.

Ankara is reported to be seeking to assemble another aid flotilla to challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Meantime, Erdogan has placed his loyalists in charge of Turkey’s intelligence service and other security agencies, effectively closing links with Israeli intelligence and long-used back channels that Israel’s leadership valued greatly.

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Squaring Israel’s defeats in the Middle East
PressTV (Iran)
June 20, 2010

Recently, US lawmakers warned Turkey that unless it abandons its policy of befriending Iran and shunning Israel, it would pay a hefty price.
“With regard to Congress of the United States, there will be a cost if Turkey stays on its current path of growing close to Iran and more antagonistic to Israel,” US Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana told Turkey’s envoy to Washington last Thursday.

Democratic Representative Eliot Engel joined the criticism, adding that as a NATO ally, Turkey’s actions were “even more disgraceful.” He rapped Ankara for no longer “looking at the West and NATO.”

In a letter addressed to US President Barack Obama, 126 members of the US House of Representatives asked the White House to protect Israel from international condemnations following the deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy three weeks ago.

At first glace, the anticipated US punishment would be recognizing as genocide the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I. The issue has been previously brought up in the US Congress.

However, the current incidents involving the Turkish military seem to hint that the “cost” could be referring to other US policies.

Just as the Turkish flagship of the Freedom Flotilla, MV Marmara was attacked and its supplies confiscated, clashes broke out between Turkish armed force and members of the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). Since then, the death toll from either side has risen almost daily.

Despite the organization’s Marxist ideology, it has strong ties with capitalist governments, among which Israel boasts longtime influence.

The public meeting between the PJAK — the Iranian offshoot of the PKK — and US officials in Washington, and other documents prove that the terror cell has close links to the US.

The Turkish National Intelligence Organization has evidence suggesting that Israel’s spy agency Mossad has been organizing similar PKK sting attacks on Turkish soil from its base in northern Iraq.

Analysts say that Israeli and US intelligence experts believe reigniting Turkey’s internal conflicts could effectively undermine Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency and his Justice and Development Party.

They are seeking to question Erdogan’s decisions by diverting the spotlight to Ankara’s relations with its minority Kurdish community.

Israel is at the peak of US policies in the Middle East, and any threats to its precedence are penalized.

Turkey enjoyed US support for as long as it mediated the Israel-Syria talks, but Tel Aviv is now seeking to hamper growing Ankara Damascus ties.

An attack by the Syrian offshoot of the PKK on a Turkish army base in the port city of Iskenderun was designed to goad Turkey into believing Damascus organized the assault or did nothing to prevent it.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad traveled to Turkey shortly afterwards.

A high-ranking Turkish intelligence official says that there is some proof suggesting the PKK is now working directly under Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Now with James Clapper elected as the US intelligence director, it can be assumed that the group’s activities will expand.

Turkish media, citing intelligence sources, say advanced Israeli weapons and telecommunications equipment have been confiscated from PKK rebels.

US officials have meanwhile adopted a contradictory stance toward Turkey. President Obama sought to grow closer to the Muslim world by visiting Turkey and not Israel. But US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates blamed the European Union’s delays in accepting Turkey’s ascension as the source of Ankara’s sinful hostility toward Israel. Yet another group within the administration heaps all the blame on Turkey.

Is it possible to imagine that as soon as Turkey becomes a member of the European bloc, the nation would change its sentiments towards Gaza and the Palestinian suffering overnight?

It is also clear that Turkish security agencies are not ruling out assassination or coup attempts, but newspaper headlines and statements by political party leaders uniformly attest to the country’s support of Ankara’s stance on the May 31 attack on MV Marmara.

It seems that the West must pay more attention to the psychological factor of Turkish sentiment.

Assassination of a Hamas leader, discussion over Israel’s atomic arsenal in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the attack on Gaza-bound aid convoys, and the international push for the lifting of the Gaza blockade are the three corners of Israel’s recent defeats which can be squared off with revelations that would trace recent unrest in Turkey to Israel.

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‘Israel supports PKK, PJAK’
PressTV (Iran)
June 24, 2010

Israel supports Kurdish militants in their attacks against Turkey in order to put pressure on Ankara, a Turkish political analyst says.

Yavuz Selim, in an interview with Press TV, said that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoot Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) are “definitely supported by Zionists.”

He noted that the main reason behind the Israeli support for the Kurdish militants is the fact that Turkey poses a threat to the “illegal existence” of Israel in the Middle East region.

Earlier in June, Sedat Laciner, the head of the International Strategic Research Organization — a Turkish think tank — said Mossad agents and Israeli military retirees had been sighted providing training to PKK militants in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Laciner said Tel Aviv does not have a positive perception of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, which is led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

Over 40 Turkish soldiers have been killed in PKK attacks over the past few months.

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As Israel Lays Down Smoke, Stay Human

Posted in Media Watch on July 6, 2010 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Veterans Today

July 5, 2010

Israel’s Destruction of Gaza

By Vittorio Arrigoni, Gaza City, Gaza

Ketchup, mayonnaise, thread and needles are the items that were included last week by Israel on the list of those few goods now allowed into Gaza. Farming tools, spare parts for cars, toys and make-up were added to the list on Tuesday, items we watched being carried into the Strip loaded onto 130 trucks.

Taking into account the decision of the Israeli government to “loosen” the siege of Gaza by allowing the entry of more goods, B’Tselem, the Israeli organisation for human rights commented: “This is a first, tiny step towards the right direction, the direction which’ll bring Israeli policy in line with its obligations.”

A veritable microscopic step, considering that before the start of the siege, more than ten thousand trucks a month would drive through the Karni pass alone, and even then, these deliveries were miles away from the 500 truckfuls of goods a day (15,000 trucks a month), the minimum decreed by the United Nations to cover the basic needs of one and a half million people.

According to some Palestinian political analysts, this step might even be counterproductive, because it proposes to attempt to legitimise the siege. This is a siege that is a form of collective punishment against a civilian population. As such, it violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and is considered illegal by all major human rights organisations, whether governmental or otherwise, as Amnesty International and the International Red Cross have recently decreed.

Cement, iron and any other building material continues to be banned from the Strip, so much so that according to the UN, one year after the Cast Lead bombings, 75% of the damaged buildings still gape open among the rubble.

According to Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA (UN Agency for Palestinian refugees), Israel’s new policy is an attempt to throw smoke into the eyes of the international community and hide its blatant violation of international law: “The Israeli strategy is that of getting the world to talk about a random bag of cement being let in on one side, and a sponsored project on another. What we really need is complete and free access through all the passes.”

All eyes are now turned towards the mirage of the opened Israeli passes. Yet, forgetting to take note of the Egyptian border is a mistake. Rafah continues to remain semi-open, or better still…semi-closed. The Egyptian border authorities refuse to let any type of goods through, including tons of food supplies and medicine collected during the last weeks by the union of Cairo chemists. The bullies of the infamous Egyptian Mubarak, renowned for their rough treatment of Palestinian civilians, including women, children and sick people, have sent back hundreds of travellers with regular passports and visas over the past few weeks.

For internationals in Egypt who plan to come and report on what they see, or support the population of Gaza in any way, entering “the Rafah Pass” remains forbidding. John, a freelance journalist who accompanied us from the International Solidarity Movement to report on the daily harrassment that the farmers face from Israeli snipers at the border, eventually came in through the tunnels when he had grown tired of waiting for a pass that never came at Al Arish.

Italian state television is trying to put through the message that the siege has been loosened as an act of generosity on the part of the Israeli government, but the reality is indeed very different. The siege itself needs to be totally lifted, because the people here certainly don’t need potato chips or toothpicks. They need cement, iron, medicine, medical supplies and all the essentials coming in the way they would normally come in…through import and export. Only that means will help boost the economy and make Gaza self-sufficient, besides opening the borders to make it possible for anyone to come into or leave this prison.

All that we have before our eyes these days is the artificial image of a tragic situation, made up to seem like an improvement after the cosmetic surgery of Israeli and Egyptian propaganda. Amid these far-reaching echoes of propaganda, Tony Blair’s congratulations to Israel for the alleged “loosening” of its blockade comes across as a strident contradition. Behind the smile of Blair, one the of puppet masters of the Quartet (USA, EU, Russia and UN) who for years has produced nothing but useless press releases, is all the rot of the stone caryatids jointly holding up the current Iraqi genocide, as well as the political laxity of European governments in the face of the Palestinian tragedy.

I’m keen to remind Tony Blair that if two extra bags of flour enter the besieged Strip, it certainly isn’t thanks to his work within the castrated quartet, or any other institution in charge of resolving the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It’s actually thanks to the sacrifices over many years of thousands of ordinary civilians throughout the world committed to the rights of Palestinians. It’s an effort that has culminated in the murder of nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara, much the same way as before them, Tom Hurndall and Rachel Corrie gave their lives for the good of Gaza.

On the eve of the second Gulf war, the New York Times coined the phrase “second world power”, to define the global pacifist movement that filled thousands of squares around the world. These civilians were protesting against a war “that never before in history had been met with as much blatant hostility.” Well, that second world power has now joined us on the field and is siding with the Palestinians: it is now Israel that’s under siege.

Stay human.

(translated by Daniela Filippin)

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The above article can be found at: As Israel Lays Down Smoke, Stay Human