Saturday, April 11, 2015

Obvious Asserting Itself in Ukraine: Fascists, NATO, and the "Freedom Rap"

Ukraine: The Truth Becomes Increasingly Apparent

by Gary Leupp - Dissident Voice

April 11th, 2015

Reuters headline, April 29: “Ukraine sets sights on joining NATO.”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty headline, April 29: “Far-Right Leader Names Ukrainian Military Adviser.”

Moscow’s official line on Ukraine–and it should not be dismissed just because that’s what it is–is that the U.S. spent about $5 billion backing “regime change” in that sad, bankrupt country, resulting in a coup d’etat (or putsch) in Kiev in February 2014 in which neo-fascists played a key role. The coup occurred because the U.S. State Department and Pentagon hoped to replace the democratically elected administration with one that would push for Ukraine’s entry into NATO, a military alliance designed from its inception in 1949 to challenge Russia. The ultimate intent was to evict the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the bases it’s maintained on the Crimean Peninsula for over 230 years.

Personally, I believe this interpretation is true, and that any rational person should recognize that it’s true. Victoria Nuland, the neocon thug who serves as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and is the key official shaping U.S. Ukraine policy, openly admitted to an “international business conference on Ukraine” in December 2013 that Washington had “invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine achieve [the development of democratic institutions] and other goals.” The unspoken goal was NATO membership.

(Imagine if a top-ranking official in the Russian Foreign Ministry were to boast of a $5 billion Russian investment in undermining the Mexican or Canadian government, with an aim towards incorporating one of those countries into an expanding military alliance. John McCain and Fox News would be demanding the immediate nuking of Moscow.)

Russia, as you know, has relatively few naval bases for a country its size. These face the Barents and Baltic Seas to the north, surrounding Scandinavia. In 1904, when Russian forces were attacked by the Japanese navy at Port Arthur in Manchuria, Russia had to dispatch the Baltic fleet to the region in a voyage requiring six months (and ending in the disastrous Battle of Tsushima). Russian geography poses obstacles to a strong navy.

There is one Russian naval base in Astrakhan on the landlocked Caspian Sea (which is really a vast lake, from which one can sail to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran or Azerbaijan but nowhere beyond). And there are several bases in or near Vladivostok on the Siberian Pacific coast, which is iced over part of the year, as well as bases on the Kamchatka Peninsula north of Japan. Russia has a modest naval base at Tartus on the Syrian coast, and a logistics base in Cam Rahn Bay in Vietnam. But the only bases with ready access to the Mediterranean and thence the Atlantic or Indian oceans are those in and around Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea.

Compare the U.S. with over 30 major naval bases on its east and west coasts and Hawaii, and others–some of them huge–in Japan, Italy, Cuba, Bahrain, Diego Garcia and elsewhere! There are more naval bases in the state of California than in the entirety of the Russian Federation.

The U.S. has military personnel stationed in about 130 countries in the world–that is, in two-thirds of the countries who are members of the UN. In contrast, Russia has military forces stationed in, by my count, ten foreign countries, eight of them on its borders. And yet the U.S. press and political class depict Russia and specifically its president Vladimir Putin, a threatening juggernaut. (Just as they once did Saddam Hussein, that lame creature demonized as–as the warmongers always do, before attacking and destroying him–“a new Hitler.”)

Any student at a U.S. university, enrolled in an interdisciplinary program in “international relations” (and educated, as is the norm, by political scientists of the “realist” school) is likely to conclude that–leaving aside the vilified personality of Putin–any Russian leader would insist on retaining the Crimean military assets. Anyone at all! Retention of that historic real estate is a no-brainer. Any outsiders with designs on it (which would include the hawks leading the U.S. Republican Party) are simply unrealistic if not brain-dead.

How could any Russian leader say to Victoria Nuland, “Fine, go ahead, take it,” and hand over this ethnic-Russian region–locus of the Crimean War of 1853-56 and some of the bloodiest battles against the Nazis in World War II, locus of the fateful Yalta meeting between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in February 1945–to forces overtly hostile to Russia? Forces that moreover are inclined to praise Ukrainian fascists who during World War II collaborated with the Nazis, even rounding up Jews for the slaughter at their bidding?

The Reuters article referenced above confirms the intention of the U.S-installed regime to formally apply for NATO membership. It cites Oleksander Turchynov, head of the new regime’s national security council, as stating to the parliament that NATO membership was “the only reliable external guarantee” of Ukrainian “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” (As though Russia, which had a cordial relationship with the previous President Viktor Yanukovich–who, let us repeat, was elected in a poll universally regarded as legitimate and democratic in 2010–has in recent times challenged the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine or any other country!)

It thus validates the key Russian charge that this is all about NATO–the NATO that, following George H.W. Bush’s promise to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that the alliance would not advance “one inch” towards Russia’s borders has in fact advanced to surround European Russia since 1999. NATO now includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Albania, all expected by group rules to devote 2% of their GDPs to the mutual “defense” effort.

If it does not include Russia’s other neighbors, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia, it is not for lack of trying. The “National Endowment for Democracy” (a “private, non-profit organization” used by the State Department to fund regime change abroad) has sought to draw all of them into NATO. As though this were the most natural thing in the world, for all peoples living in countries bordering Russia to aspire to join an anti-Russian alliance!

Nuland’s talking points for popular consumption on Ukraine include the assertion that the U.S. supports “the Ukrainian people’s European aspirations.” She ignores the fact that the country is deeply divided between east and west, and that in the east there are substantial “Russian aspirations” deeply rooted in a history she does not and indeed disdains to even try to understand. She also conceals the fact that U.S. support for regime change in Ukraine, leading up to the February 22, 2014 coup, was not really based on U.S. support for Ukraine’s entry in the European Union.

The EU is a trading bloc that challenges the U.S. and NAFTA. In a world of imperialist competition for markets and resources, the EU and the U.S. often disagree. Washington is angry that EU members Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Luxembourg are all joining the Chinese-led investment bank Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), mainly because it’s likely to boost the Chinese currency and contribute to the decline of the dollar as the international reserve currency. Congress fumes over the EU’s refusal to allow importation of Monsanto’s genetically modified food products. The U.S. State Department is not in the business of promoting EU membership. That’s not what this is about.

In 2003 Hillary Clinton’s State Department seized on the decision made by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to back away from a deal he’d initialed with the EU. His advisors told him the austerity regime the EU would impose would be unacceptable, while Russia offered a generous aid package including continued supply of cheap gas.

Yanukovich’s decision to opt for the latter option was based on economic logic, and eminently defensible in economic terms. But the U.S. actively fanned the flames of a movement which depicted Yanukovich’s decision as a betrayal of Ukrainian nationalism and a statement of fealty to Russia. Hence Nuland’s oft repeated sound bite about “European aspirations.” As though Ukraine hadn’t always been part of Europe! As though “Europe” were some shining star, and all those horrible inflictions of terror on the Ukrainian Socialist Republic by European fascists during the 1940s were irrelevant. And as though submission to a Greek-style EU-inspired austerity regime would bring relief to the suffering Ukrainian masses.

In fact, Nuland’s own thoughts on “European aspirations” were sweetly summarized in her phone conversation with U.S. ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt just before the putsch in early February 2014. Quite probably leaked by Russian intelligence, and never disavowed by the State Department, the recording shows how Nuland had hand-picked the current prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, for his post over rivals Oleh Tyanybok (leader of the neo-fascist Svoboda Party, who has publicly inveighed against the “Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine” and referred to “Muscovites” and Jews as “scum) and Vitali Klitschko, a former boxer and sometimes anti-corruption activist.

In the phone call, Pyatt tells her “I think we’re in play,” meaning everything’s set for a coup. “The Kitschko piece is obviously the complicated electron here, especially the announcement of him as deputy prime minister… I’m glad you sort of put him on the spot as to where he fits into this scenario.” Pyatt had apparently informed Kitschko that despite some EU backing, he was not a suitable candidate for the U.S. (In the call, Nuland blandly asserts that he needs more time “to do his homework.”)

Nuland wanted to marginalize Klitschko, who in the coup’s aftermath was awarded (as consolation prize) the post of Kiev mayor, She wanted to make sure that the former Minister of the Economy, Yatsenyuk, advocate of severe austerity measures and proponent of NATO membership, succeeded Yanukovich.

The phone call makes clear that Nuland had recruited UN officials to endorse the regime change.

Towards the end of the conversation, Nuland tells Pyatt “OK,” signaling that the two agreed on the general strategy. She then alludes to the welcome complicity of several other assets: Jeff Feltman, Robert Serry, and Ban Ki-moon.

She reports that Jeff Feltman has “now gotten both Serry and Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday.” Meaning: to help facilitate the coup and validate it afterwards.

Who are these people? Geoffrey Feltman, a career U.S. diplomat, was at the time the UN Under Secretary-General of Political Affairs. He is perhaps best known for his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon between 2004 and 2008 when he exercised so much influence that Hizbollah–echoed by other parties–referred to the Fouad Siniora government as the “Feltman government.”

Robert Serry is a Dutch diplomat who served as NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General of Foreign Crisis Management and Operations between 2003 and 2005 and also had been Dutch ambassador to Ukraine. An advocate of Dutch participation in the Iraq War based on lies, he was a reliable U.S. ally.

Ban Ki-moon is of course the UN Secretary-General who, as South Korea’s foreign minister, pressed for the deployment of South Korean troops in that same Iraq war based on lies. We know from Wikileaks that, prompted by the U.S., he urged the UN Security Council to ignore the UN Board of Inquiry’s report on the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2008-2009 to avoid U.S. and Israeli embarrassment. It’s safe to call him a reliable U.S. puppet.

Towards the end of the intercepted phone call Nuland signs off: “So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.” Fuck them, that is to say, if their ideas about Ukraine’s future differ from our own.

So much for respect for anybody’s “European aspirations.”

In the same phone call, Nuland notes that Yatsenyev “will need Klitschko and Tyahnybok on the outside, he needs to be talking to them four times a week.” One hast to ask: what’s more disgusting, the fact that the U.S. State Department would so attempt to micro-manage a regime change in a sovereign state, or that this neocon Nuland (who just so happens to be Jewish) representing the U.S. government, would urge the U.S. puppet to routinely network with a neo-fascist who describes Jews as “scum”?

In this case, commitment to the expansion of NATO cause plainly trumps the resistance to anti-Semitism cause. Nuland ought to be ashamed.

When confronted last May in a House hearing by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher with photographic evidence of the role of neo-Nazis in the Maidan events, Nuland acknowledged that “there were many colors of Ukraine involved including very ugly colors.” She didn’t mention her own photos with Tyahnybok, all smiles, or her instruction to “Yats” to be on the phone with him four times a week with him.

The Radio Free Europe article referenced above begins: “The controversial leader of Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector paramilitary group has been named an army adviser. Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman Oleksey Mazepa announced on April 6 that Dmytro Yarosh would ‘act as a link between volunteer battalions and the General Staff.’ Yarosh’s Right Sector militia claims to have some 10,000 members, but so far has not officially registered with the government as other paramilitary forces have done. The Right Sector militia is fighting alongside Ukrainian government troops against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.”

The neo-fascist Right Sector was formed in 2013 during the Maidan protests in Kiev, amalgamating a number of groups aligned to the Svoboda Party. As the latter was striving for international respectability, its leaders meeting with Nuland and John McCain among others, the Right Sector functioned as its violent activist contingent. It was almost certainly involved in sniper fire on the square, attributed to the regime and used to validate its overthrow.

Now its head is awarded a government post, to coordinate the actions of the right-wing militias (most notoriously the Azov Battalion, which proudly sports Nazi insignia and has attacked civilian targets in east Ukraine). Does this not validate the Russian charge that there is a strong fascist component to the regime?

The situation is complicated. The neo-fascist shock troops deployed to pull off the putsch are not in favor of EU membership. They don’t want its tolerance for diversity, its immigration rules. They have a vision of White Power manifest in their varied symbols, that include Confederate flags, certain Celtic crosses, and swastikas. They might not even favor NATO membership. But as the Radio Free Europe article indicates, their support is valued and needed by the regime.

No matter that Dmytro Yarosh is wanted by Interpol for “public incitement to terrorist activities” for threatening to destroy Russian pipelines in Ukraine. He’s a necessary part of a team, and Washington backs the team. And the State Department and captive media pooh-pooh any suggestion that there’s any fascism here, or any underhanded effort to encircle Russia. It’s all about Ukrainian “freedom,” supported by its benign self, which has in recent memory visited such memorable liberations on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.

There is a fascist-friendly regime in Ukraine, ushered into power by the U.S. State Department. And it does want to enter NATO, and weaken Russia–if possible, by re-establishing control over Crimea and booting the Russian fleet out. Given German opposition to its admission into the alliance, it is doubtful that will occur short-term.

But with crazies running the U.S. State Department, successfully promoting a bogus narrative about what’s happened in Ukraine over the last two years–a narrative echoed slavishly by a clueless mainstream media–it’s just barely conceivable that there might come a day in which U.S. forces join the Azov Battalion in battling forces of the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

It won’t have anything to do with “freedom,” any more than the last few U.S. wars have had anything to do with that abstraction. It will be about imperial expansion, which while it might serve the .01% that rules this country, is not in your interest at all.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Gary.

Indelible: Traces of War Across Generations

The Indelible Traces of War

by Luciana Bohne - CounterPunch

September 1965 

I see Peter Watkins’ BBC-banned documentary, The War Game, at the New York Film Festival. It’s a “what if” documentary—what if an atomic bomb, the size of the one dropped on Hiroshima, exploded over Kent in Southern England? Watkins takes us through the event, before, during, and after. As a US-USSR crisis is mounting over Berlin, Watkins interviews Londoners in the street, checking how good a job the relevant defense committees have done in educating the public to the dangers of nuclear war. “What is strontium-90?” he asks. “I dunno. A kind of hairspray?” is the answer from a giggling young woman with a beehive hairdo. As tensions mount, a soldier is shot in Berlin.

He is “the first victim of WW III,” Watkins’ voice tells us–a nuclear war.

Pathetic preparations ensue, amounting to door-to-door delivery of pamphlets about what to do in case of a nuclear attack—pamphlets that were real, had involved expense, and had never been delivered to the public to prevent alarmism. When the bomb detonates—the “sound of a door closing on Hell’– a blinding light, a fireball, and hurricane winds fanning the flames to a cosmic frenzy.

Using footage from the bombing of Hiroshima, we see the effects: a shadow on the steps of what had been a person, vanished while waiting for the bank to open shortly after 8 am on 6 August, 1945. Naked bodies with evaporated clothes tattooed on their charred skins. A river clogged with bodies, seeking relief from the torture of burning flesh. The aftermath comes as the time when “the living envies the dead.” Radiation sickness sets in. The body is drained of fluids.

Three months after the bomb, it is a dark, smoky Christmas. Fires in the streets protect from looters. The chaplain asks three vacant-eyed children what they want to be when they grow up, “Nuthin’. I don’t want to be nuthin’,” they murmur almost inaudibly. The film gets an Oscar for best documentary, but it remains banned in Britain for decades.

I leave Lincoln Center badly shaken.

January 1968

I’ve been happily pregnant for seven months. I am in the tiny shelter of the kitchen of our 18th-floor apartment overlooking midtown Manhattan from Union Square. As the water flows rinsing the dinner dishes, I think I hear the faint rumble of bomber planes. I know I am imagining, but my hands begin to shake. I walk out to the living room and look up to my husband, “There’s going to be a war.” “I thought we were happy,” he says. He doesn’t take me in his arms. We step apart. I have frightened him. He is not afraid of war; he’s afraid for us. It’s the American versus the European encounter. I must keep this fear to myself.

That night, the nightmare returns: I am in a solidly built stone house. Men with rifles, advancing, surround it. They are German soldiers. The walls of the house vanish, and I stand alone, exposed.

In the morning, I hear on the radio that 80,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops have struck one hundred cities in South Vietnam. It is the beginning of the Tet Offensive on Tet Nguyen Dan, the lunar New Year. The Pentagon is considering using tactical nuclear weapons in response. My husband shuts off the radio. We eat breakfast in silence.

February 1968

I am in a drugstore on University Place, off Washington Square. I am looking for a birthday card for my sister-in-law. On a bookrack, I see the paperback edition of Peter Watkins’ screenplay of The War Game. I open at random: the grainy photograph of a soldier lifeless on the ground. The caption reads, “First victim of WW III.” I snap the book shut.

Now I can no longer eat. A knot of fear constricts my throat. The doctor reassures my husband, “She is a sensitive girl. It will pass after the birth. Make sure she takes vitamins.” They talk as if I weren’t there.

My husband suspends the subscription to the New York Times. So that I may not listen to the radio, he takes me listless to the office where we both used to work as advisors to undergraduates at New York University—and now only he does. On the way back from work one evening, I rest my arm on my husband’s arm, heavily pregnant in my little black raincoat. We pass the Grand Union supermarket just as a man exits with a broom in his hand. A few steps further, my husband turns around to look at the man with the broom. He says, “That was Edward Albee. He’s looking back at us.” Politely, I look back. Indeed he is. My husband says, “He probably thinks that he invented this couple, and now here we are.” The reference to Albee’s play A Delicate Balance, about the Bomb, is not a fortunate one. I force a wan smile.

24 March 1968

On a Sunday at 8:06 pm, our Catherine is born. She has lovely feet. From my bed, in my single room in Doctors’ Hospital uptown, I stare out on Riverside Drive. The stream of traffic flows uninterrupted in the black night—a red artery for north; white lymph for south.

After five days, on a spring-clear and lucid-cold Friday morning, we are all back home. On 4 April, Martin Luther King is killed. From our windows, we watch the red glow north of Harlem burning. At night I nurse her. Down below in the street, I see the air shelter sign. I think, how will I protect her from the war, how can I make her safe.

It is, of course, myself I’m thinking of—myself, born into a war. I hear my father’s voice, “You were not born in a war. You were born in a cataclysm.”

Epilogue: 1974 and 2015

Peter Watkins is staying at out house in Pennsylvania. He’s on a speaking tour through universities showing his latest film, Edvard Munch. Away from the monster city for five years, I feel safe among cows and fields. I can even refer to my breakdown of 1968—though not often and not when Catherine is present. I try it now, “You know, Peter,” I say, at breakfast, “I saw your War Game at Lincoln Center. It was powerful.” And I told him about the drugstore, the book, and the fear. He seems to freeze. Years later, I read that one of the reasons for banning the showing of The War Game in England was precisely that reason—that it would unhinge pregnant women.

Our Catherine has left America for good. Ironically, she chose the Balkans, where I began—a remote hamlet in the mountains where it is still possible to imagine a hard working, tightly knit humanity at peace with the chores of daily life and the bonds that sustain it.

This is an excerpt from autobiography in process.

Luciana Bohne is co-founder of Film Criticism, a journal of cinema studies, and teaches at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. She can be reached at:

Vancouverites Not Waiting for "World Class" Oil Spill Response

Oil Spill Disaster in English Bay ... this is why we say NO PIPELINES, NO TANKERS!!!

by Directly Affected

Regular people of ‪Vancouver‬ are attempting to clean up the beach after a toxic fuel spill because they see no professional clean-up crew doing it.
We interviewed these volunteers to understand what they were seeing last night in English Bay.

Friday, April 10, 2015

RIP R2P: Debunking Finally the "Responsibility to Protect" Doctrine

Neocons, R2Pers and Hypocrisy

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

April 10, 2015 

Sometimes I’m challenged over my linking belligerent neoconservatives with “liberal interventionists” who justify U.S. military invasions under the “humanitarian” banner of “responsibility to protect” – or R2P – meaning to intervene in war-torn countries to stop the killing of civilians, like the 1994 slaughter in Rwanda.

President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Samantha Power, 
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, following a 
Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Sept. 12, 2013. 
 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 And, most people would agree that there are extraordinary situations in which the timely arrival of an external military force might prevent genocide or other atrocities, which was one of the intended functions of the United Nations. But my overall impression of R2Pers is that many are careerist hypocrites who voice selective outrage that provides cover for the U.S. and its allies to do pretty much whatever they wish.

Though one can’t generalize about an entire group – since some R2Pers act much more consistently than others – many of the most prominent ones operate opportunistically, depending how the dominant narrative is going and where the power interests lie.

So, while many R2Pers were eager to seek war against the Syrian government when it cracked down on both peaceful and violent opponents in 2011 – and especially after a mysterious Sarin gas attack in 2013 – many of the star R2Pers went silent when Israel bombarded Gaza in 2008-09 and again in 2014.

The reason is obvious: There was no powerful lobby defending the Syrian government but there was one protecting the Israeli government. Additionally, the mainstream U.S. media is hostile to the Syrian government but almost universally supports the Israeli government. In other words, many R2Pers practice a double standard depending on who’s doing the killing of civilians.

In 2011, the neocons and the R2Pers teamed up for a war against Libya, which was sold to the United Nations Security Council as simply a limited intervention to protect civilians in the east whom Muammar Gaddafi had labeled “terrorists.” However, once the U.S.-orchestrated military operation got going, it quickly turned into a “regime change” war, killing Gaddafi and unleashing bloody chaos across Libya and neighboring African countries. It turns out that Gaddafi was right about many of his enemies being Islamic terrorists.

The Ukraine Case

We saw this neocon-R2P “chaos promotion” again in Ukraine where neoconservative officials and “liberal interventionist” activists rallied to the cause of the Maidan protesters when they challenged the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych in late 2013 and early 2014.

On Feb. 20, 2014, when unidentified snipers killed both police and protesters, the neocons and R2Pers along with the Western media blamed Yanukovych – though he insisted that he had ordered the police NOT to use deadly force – and later studies suggested the snipers were likely working for the anti-Yanukovych side and had fired from locations controlled by the Right Sektor, extremists associated with the Maidan’s neo-Nazi “self-defense” commandant Andriy Parubiy.

If indeed the sniper attack was a false-flag provocation, it worked, laying the bloody groundwork for the violent overthrow of Yanukovych two days later. Since then, the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev has dragged its feet on the sniper investigation, but independent field reports, including one from the BBC, indicated that the snipers likely were associated with the protesters, not the Yanukovych government. [Another worthwhile documentary on this mystery is “Maidan Massacre.”]

But the West favored a Ukraine narrative that made the Maidan coup-makers the good guys and Yanukovych’s supporters the bad guys. This was the view not only of neocons, like Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, but prominent R2Pers like New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. In April 2014, he returned to his family’s ancestral home in Karapchiv in western Ukraine to interview some of its residents and presented their views as the true voice of the people.

Kristof depicted his father’s old home town as an idyllic place where everyone loves the music of Taylor Swift and dreams of their place in a prosperous Europe – if only President Barack Obama would send them weapons to kill Russians (or go “bear-hunting” as Kristof wrote in one column).

Pretty soon that desired outcome had become a reality. On May 2, 2014, pro-regime neo-Nazis massacred scores of ethnic Russians by the burning down of the Trade Union Building in Odessa. Amid the horror – and reports of graffiti hailing the Galician SS, one of western Ukraine’s contributions to the Nazi war effort – there was little protest from the R2P community or from the West in general. [See’s “Ukraine’s Dr. Strangelove Reality.”]

Similarly, when Kiev’s coup regime announced its “anti-terrorist operation” to destroy the resistance in eastern Ukraine – and again dispatched neo-Nazi militias to spearhead the killing – the thousands of deaths, mostly among ethnic Russians, were blamed on “Russian aggression” and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The R2Pers showed very little outrage even when the Kiev forces began shelling cities and leveling towns. [See’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]

Muted Outrage

A couple of human rights groups did take note of some outrages. Amnesty International reported abuses committed by Kiev’s far-right Aidar militia against civilians: “Members of the Aidar territorial defence battalion, operating in the north Luhansk region, have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions. … Some of the abuses committed by members of the Aidar battalion amount to war crimes, for which both the perpetrators and, possibly, the commanders would bear responsibility under national and international law.”

Human Rights Watch said “Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city” despite the fact that “the use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.”

However, the language in these reports was relatively restrained, possibly because both groups receive large donations from billionaire George Soros, who has sided with the Kiev authorities and is supporting the crushing of the eastern Ukrainian resistance. The human rights complaints also drew scant notice in the mainstream U.S. news media, which has also taken sides against the ethnic Russians and in favor of the Kiev regime.

So, although more than 5,000 Ukrainians have been killed – the vast majority ethnic Russians in the east – there has been virtual silence among the R2Pers about the responsibility to protect the ethnic Russians. Indeed, when the Russian government has supplied these people with weapons to defend themselves, many “liberal interventionists” have joined with the neocons in condemning Moscow and Putin, fuming about a “Russian invasion.”

So, it’s apparently okay for the U.S.-backed government in Kiev to engage in the slaughter of an ethnic population in eastern Ukraine – even employing neo-Nazis to do the dirtiest work – with many R2Pers cheering what looks a lot like ethnic cleansing.

Bombing Yemen

A similar situation is now playing out in Yemen where a long-running civil war saw Houthi rebels capturing the capital Sanaa and other major cities. President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia seeking protection and encouraging the Saudi royal family to reinstall him.

The Saudis, citing alleged Iranian support for the Houthis, began a U.S.-backed bombing campaign that has apparently killed hundreds of civilians, prompting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to denounce the airstrikes as “a crime” and “a genocide.”

Though the Saudis are undeniably intervening in another nation’s civil war, the Obama administration supports this intervention and doesn’t seem too troubled by the large-scale civilian deaths being inflicted. Instead of restraining the Saudis, the United States is rushing military resupplies and providing logistical and intelligence support.

Rather than protest this Saudi “invasion,” Secretary of State John Kerry chastised the Iranians for supposedly helping the Houthis. In one of his most clueless and disingenuous remarks – and there is plenty of competition – Kerry told the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday that Washington was “not going to stand by while the region is destabilized.”

Kerry, of course, was one of the U.S. senators in 2002 to authorize President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, a conflict that not only killed hundreds of thousands of people but gave rise to the hyper-violent “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” which has since morphed into the “Islamic State,” which has spread its particularly savage brand of jihad across the Middle East and into Africa.

Another major breeder of Mideast destabilization has been the Saudi royal family, which spurred Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in 1980, reviving the ancient Sunni-Shiite rivalries which have escalated to the present day. Elements of the Saudi royal family also supported Saudi Osama bin Laden as he founded and built Al-Qaeda to engage in terrorism against the West. [See’s “The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

For Kerry to present himself and the Saudis as the protectors of Middle East stability would be laughable if there weren’t so many dead and maimed innocents across the region. [See’s “What’s the Matter with John Kerry?”]

Kerry also reprised his infamous fact-free-rush-to-judgment style that he used in pushing the United States nearly into a war with Syria over his dubious charge that President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible for an Aug. 21, 2013 Sarin attack outside Damascus – and in blaming Russia for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. In both cases – still unresolved – subsequent information suggested a different conclusion. [See’s “Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment.”]

Regarding the Saudi bombing of Yemen, Kerry justified the attacks by blaming Iran:

“There are obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran. … There are a number of flights, every single week that have been flying in. We trace those flights, and we know this. We are well aware of the support that Iran has been giving to Yemen.”

Beyond the hypocrisy of Kerry’s protest – given U.S. interference in dozens of civil wars – there is the contrary analysis by many Yemen watchers that – while Iran may have given the Houthis some money and possibly weapons – Tehran exercises very little control over the Houthis who are Zaydi Shia, an offshoot of Shiite Islam considered relatively close to Sunni Islam.

The Houthis also are not anti-American — and they are anti-Al-Qaeda. They made overtures to the Obama administration, expressing a desire to press ahead with the war against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. But the Saudi intervention, with U.S. support, has damaged the Houthis’ ability to continue that fight and, indeed, has allowed Al-Qaeda to capture more territory and free scores of its imprisoned militants.

Yet, while this tangle of contradictions and hypocrisies may be expected from the U.S. State Department, one might think that the “principled” R2Pers would hold themselves to a higher standard and denounce the Saudi-led and U.S.-backed slaughter of innocents. But, again, the cries of humanitarian protests have been muffled.

High-Profile Hypocrite

Possibly the most high-profile R2P hypocrite is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who earned wide acclaim for developing R2P theories and scolding U.S. officials for not stopping the Rwanda genocide in 1994.

Power even got in trouble in 2002 when she responded to a hypothetical question about the possible need to dispatch U.S. troops to prevent Israel from committing genocide against the Palestinians. In her rambling and convoluted answer, she suggested that a military solution might have to be imposed on Israel:

“It may mean, more crucially, sacrificing, or investing I think more than sacrificing, literally billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military but actually investing in the new state of Palestine; in investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support I think what will have to be a mammoth a protection force — not of the old Srebrenica kind or of the Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence.

“Because it seems to me at this stage – and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just major human rights abuses which we’re seeing there – that is that you have to go in as if you’re serious, you have to put something on the line.
“And unfortunately — imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful, I mean it’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic — but sadly… you know, we don’t just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy, there are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or they are meant to anyway, and there it’s essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to people who are fundamentally, politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people.”

Power also did some of the political calculation involved, saying: “What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in the service of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import” – an obvious reference to Jewish-American supporters of Israel.

However, when it became clear that her answer had upset that powerful constituency and thus threatened her future employment in government, she scurried away from it, disavowing her comments to an Israeli journalist.

Then, in a closed 2011 meeting with 40 Jewish leaders, Power reportedly broke down in tears showing what Rabbi Shmuley Boteach described as “her unabashed display of emotional attachment to the security of the Jewish people.” Boteach is a self-professed supporter of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In other words, when her career was in danger, she pitched the Palestinian people and their human rights over the side. She also has been a staunch defender of the Kiev regime’s brutal “anti-terrorist operation” against the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, showing little regard for their lives and safety.

Clearly, Samantha Power and many other R2Pers fashion their responsibility to protect around protecting their own political and financial interests.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Yarmouk and Beyond: Sixty-Seven Years of Palestinian Refugees

Deir Yassin to Yarmouk and beyond

by Mazin Kumsiyeh - Popular Resistance

On 9 April 1948, my mother’s friend in school (both 18 at the time in teacher school in Jerusalem) chose to go back to her village of Deir Yassin. That was the last time my mother saw Hayah Balbisi was dead in a massacre. April 9th is a day before good Friday on our Eastern Christian Traditions. My mother now 82 years old told me not to travel and that she has been having bad dreams.

I reassured her even though my own heart sends me negative signals. Deair Yassin was not the first or the largest massacre committed by Zionist forces during that era of ethnic cleansing. But it was prophetic and emblematic for us because its deliberate effect was magnified to scare the villagers (even some survivors were paraded in the streets of Jerusalem and loudspeakers told of more impending massacres).

Dozens of massacres were indeed committed just in the six weeks leading up to Israel’s creation and more after. 534 villages and towns were depopulated in the bizarre 20th century attempt to transform a  multicultural/ multireligious Palestine to become the “Jewish state of Israel”. 67 years later massacres are still being committed whether in Gaza last year or in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.

Yarmouk was home to 160,000 Palestinian refugees. It was the largest Palestinian refugee camp. It was besieged and starved. People ate grass and over 200 died of starvation. Now the fanatical forces calling themselves the Islamic state entered the camp, burned Palestinian flags, and spread their terror on the remaining civilians. Necks were cut and women were raped. Different but connected perpetrators.

These and other thoughts race through the mind from 11,000 meters above the ground on my way to Paris.  A flight was canceled and I had to fly to Athens then Larnaca (Cyprus) then Paris. Larnaca airport is full of Israelis because that is the closest European airport to Lod (renamed BenGurion) Airport. Cyprus is used  also as a transit point for the tens of thousands of Mossad agents that travel back and forth to some 140 other countries. Countless teams of assassins passed through this airport I left behind. I also think of other massacres committed in places I know well (like Kenya) or places I do not know well (like the deliberate downing of an Iranian civilian aircraft by the US and that of a German airplane by a terrorist on French soil).

But then I thought how can I gain a bigger perspective on our lives and all these tragedies? Here in we are tiny creatures among 7 billion “humans” that have spread around and damaged this beautiful blue planet. A planet that is small in a small inconspicuous solar system, one of billions of solar systems in this galaxy, itself a small galaxy among billion and billions of galaxies. Maybe we take ourselves too seriously, I thought. How can I help get people to know that there is enough resources to feed everyone (now over a billion go hungry). The scientist in me want to find logical explanations for why people kill each other and do not simply share and care for one another. I try to convince myself with my own words to visitors to Palestine: lighting a
candle better than cursing the darkness, first do no harm, travel the path of your conscience even if few are doing it, etc.

Maybe lack of sleep makes my mind wonder into Budhist philosophies (Joyful participation in the sorrows of this world) and to mystic philosophies (Rumi’s words come slushing around my brain). These thoughts are like shields to help us in this stark reality. The reality is that the vast majority of people on this airplane and the thousands I left behind at the airport do not know and do not care. Yarmouk, Deir Yassin, Tantura, Sabra and Shatila and others represent a heritage for us Palestinians and the few other humans who care. A country was robbed, 7 million of us are refugees or displaced people. Zionists are happy they succeeded in getting Arabs and Muslims to kill each other whether in Yemen or Syria.As the pilot announces descent to Paris, I think of the French equivalent of the Balfour declaration (Jules Cambon declaration of French support for Zionism also issued 1917). But I know I am a minority and most people on this airplane are thinking of their next meal, of sex, of work obligations, of other thoughts.

Perhaps that is how it was and how it will be. Perhaps all we can do is try our best (successfully or not) to create a ripple effect for a better more peaceful world. Perhaps that I and fellow volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History are trying to do. Perhaps, as the old song says: in the end only kindness matters.

It is good to be here in beautiful Paris with Eitan and Tal and all the other good people. But I already miss my mother and miss Palestine.

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Obama! Rescind Sanctions Against Venezuela

Why Obama Should Rescind the Sanctions Against Venezuela

by Eva Golinger - CounterPunch

This week regional leaders from 35 Latin American and Caribbean nations meet at the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City. The meeting is staged to be a historical, celebratory encounter ending the exclusion of Cuba from the Organization of American States for more than fifty years. Both presidents Obama and Raul Castro will be present and a highly-anticipated meet and greet between them has the potential to rapidly advance a thaw in relations and an end to the unpopular U.S. embargo against Cuba.

While Latin American governments have applauded the Obama administration’s efforts to reestablish ties with Cuba, hope for a renewed relationship with the region has been tainted by the U.S. government’s recent actions against Venezuela. A unanimous statement from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which represents all 33 countries in the region, has firmly condemned the March 9, 2015 Executive Order issued by President Obama declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”. The CELAC statement also rejected the corresponding sanctions imposed by the U.S. government against Venezuelan officials, considering them “coercive measures contrary to international law”.

The Venezuelan Government has mounted a successful international campaign to denounce the absurdity of Obama’s Executive Order, pointing out that their country has neither the military or economic might to pose a threat to the United States. In addition to CELAC, the 134 nations of the Group of 77 + China also issued a statement deploring the measures against Venezuela, and more than 10 million people have signed a petition demanding Obama retract the Executive Order. Even the U.S. Government’s closest ally in the region, Colombia, has called on President Obama to reconsider his posture towards Venezuela.

The designation of Venezuela as “an extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security has not only been considered baseless by the region, but now even President Obama’s own National Security Advisors have publicly stated the U.S. Government does not consider Venezuela a threat to its national security and they have admitted the language used in the Executive Order was “pro forma” in order to justify the sanctions. This admission cynically came on the eve of Obama’s trip to Panama for the Summit of the Americas.

The Obama administration could reverse the downward spiral of its reputation in Latin America by positively engaging President Nicolas Maduro at the Summit of the Americas and accepting Venezuela’s, and the region’s, calls for bilateral dialogue. A good first step was this week’s visit of State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon to Caracas to meet with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister. But the most effective move would be to rescind the Executive Order and eliminate the sanctions imposed against Venezuelan officials, as the region has petitioned.

By admitting the language used to invoke the executive authority to impose sanctions against Venezuela was just a template and not reflective of legitimate belief or fact, the Obama administration has essentially invalidated its own decree. This moment should be seized as an opportunity to set relations with Venezuela back on track.

The two nations have continued to be important commercial partners, despite the deterioration in diplomatic relations. Venezuela remains a major provider of oil for U.S. consumption and a significant importer of U.S. goods. But the sanctions could hinder this relationship and cause undue hardships for communities and businesses in both nations.

The cohesive response of Latin American governments in support of Venezuela should not be taken lightly by the Obama administration. Through organizations such as CELAC and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the region has shown that unity and integration is not only possible but necessary to advance development, despite ideological differences.

If the United States truly wants to be a regional partner, as President Obama has suggested, then it’s time to abandon interventionist policies and forge relations based on respect for sovereignty and the right to self-determination. The olive branch to Cuba is a positive step. But if he wants to ensure a genuine legacy in the region, President Obama should listen to Latin American leaders and rescind his recent measures against Venezuela.

Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code. She can be reached through her blog.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Right to Exist? Questioning the Legitimacy of the Israeli State

Questioning the Legitimacy of the Israeli State

by William A. Cook

Dear Folks, We have had a long history of sharing opinions and editorials on the conflict in Palestine and Israel. The subject stirs many minds and many hearts. It appeared that a major academic institution was going to address a critical, and little considered issue this month--the legitimacy of the state of Israel. This as you know was to take place at a conference at Southampton University in the UK on the 17th and 18th of this month. But it appears that even in academia we are not free to explore such ideas as they seem critical of the Israeli State. Silence and fear control the voices that would address this matter. Over the years I have published with you articles on this very issue. I have culled four from my past that seem to address this concern head-on.

I've attached a series of four articles taken from "Decade of Deceit: Reflections on Palestine," published by Lambert Academic Press in Germany in 2012, a collection of my pieces on the subject. Two cover the historical facts of the founding of Israel and two reflect on the consequences of that founding. I thought that the limitations of time and the closure of the conference on relatively short notice necessitates that some presentation of the issues raised by the conference should be aired and the silencing of the academy be overcome. Should you agree with me, please use offer these pieces to your readers so they can reflect on the issues that would have been discussed had the University President and its Board not capitulated to the power of the Zionists that forced closure. I considered the possibility that they might be used in sequence in separate issues or run together as you might determine. I can also understand that you may not want to run pieces already published, but thought that the cancellation of the conference made addressing the topic essential.


A Tale of Lies, Deceit, and Terrorism: the Birth of Israel: The Untold Story of the Zionist intent to turn Palestine into a Jewish State

May 11, 2010

(Based on classified documents from the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations seized by the British Mandate Police, materials that confirm that the Zionist controlled Jewish community intended to remove the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their land and make the whole of Mandate Palestine a Jewish State, an intent that continues to the present day as the new book, The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction, available at, demonstrates.)

A Tale of Lies, Deceit, and Terrorism: the Birth of Israel

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because Geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either … There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.” (Moshe Dayan, Address to the Technion, Haifa, as quoted in Haaretz, 4-4-1969)
Thus began in November of 1947 what is euphemistically called the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the combined forces of the Jewish armies, the Haganah, the Stern, and the Irgun as they drove more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes leaving them destitute, homeless and abandoned without a country in what is now the largest refugee Diaspora in the world.

More truthfully, the plight of the Palestinians that began so ruthlessly in 1947, and is now called the Nakba, was an intentional, calculated campaign to force the Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine, a systematic genocide of a people as defined by the United Nations in its adoption of Genocide Convention, Article II.

The United Kingdom had mandatory authority from the League of Nations to govern the Palestine area with the establishment of the Palestine Mandate in 1922. Prior to the official implementation of the Mandate in 1922, the British Government had enunciated a “declaration” concerning the desirability of His Majesty’s Government in the “establishment of a national home for the Jewish people,” called the Balfour Declaration. Command Paper 1922 from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School underlines this intent: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is no part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.”

The View from Inside the Mandate

One of the curious ambiguities that surrounds the decade that preceded the declaration by the Jewish leaders in Palestine of the state of Israel is the dearth of information and perspective from the British Mandate forces governing Palestine between 1940 and May 15, 1948, the date of implementation of the partition resolution. Fortunately, Sir Richard C. Catling has left us a file that provides insight into conditions that prevailed in Jerusalem while he was Deputy Head of the Special Branch of the Criminal Investigation Division in Jerusalem in 1944 and a year later Assistant Inspector General. Catling’s “TOP SECRET” file has lain untouched in the Rhodes House archives of the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University until two years ago.
Two documents dominate the file with 62 appendices of evidence totaling close to 500 pages of materials. The first is a dispatch sent to the Secretary of State, dated 16th of October, 1941, by the High Commissioner of Palestine, Harold MacMichael, labeled “Most Secret”; the second, a Top Secret “Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence,” prepared by the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, The Palestine Police, Jerusalem, dated July 31st, 1947. [Sir Richard C. Catling, #145, Mss.Med. S20][1]

What should be obvious now, with the materials preserved by Sir Richard C. Catling, is the truth about the creation of the state of Israel: acceptance of UN Resolution 181 by the Jewish Agency Provisional Government as the designated Jewish state was not done with intent to abide by the goal of the UN General Assembly, to provide a state for two peoples in the land of Palestine, but rather to use it as a means to gain eventual control of all the land and cleanse that land of its indigenous people to whatever extent possible. Put bluntly, as the chapters in Macmillan’s new book, The Plight of the Palestinians attests (to be released in June), the current government in Israel continues the practices of past Israeli governments: cleanse the land of its rightful inhabitants to make that land part of the Jewish state. This is what is termed in numerous chapters in this volume, “slow motion genocide.”

Jump Starting the State

Consider the events of April 9-11, 1948, the eradication of the citizens of the town of Deir Yassin, a month before the Agency declared the existence of the Israeli state and the implementation of the UN Resolution to partition. This massacre became then and remains the signature example of the intent of the Zionist Consultancy and its agents to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its non-Jewish inhabitants.[2]

During the six months between the adoption of UN Resolution 181 and in subsequent months, the new state of Israel launched a massive military incursion into territory designated by that same Resolution for the Palestinian people, creating in its wake “three quarters of a million Palestinian refugees,” the destruction of “hundreds of entire villages … not only depopulated but obliterated …and houses blown up or bulldozed.” Walid Khalidi’s massive study focuses on 418 villages, once the homes of Palestinians, 292 completely destroyed, 90 others “largely destroyed,” the remainder replaced by Jews called Israeli settlers.[3]

Perceiving the Reality

The “despatch” sent by MacMichael to the Secretary of State resulted from an investigation into the funding practices and use of those funds by various Jewish organizations.

The memorandum illustrates … the fact that the Mandatory is faced potentially with as grave a danger in Palestine from Jewish violence as it has ever faced from Arab violence, a danger infinitely less easy to meet by the methods of repression which have been employed against Arabs. In the first place, the Jews … have the moral and political support … of considerable sections of public opinion both in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. … all the influence and political ability of the Zionists would be brought to bear to show that the Jews in Palestine were the victims of aggression, and that a substantial body of opinion abroad would be persuaded of the truth of the contention.[4]

Quite obviously, MacMichael understands that the Mandatory has little power at home over the zealous actions of the Zionists as they manipulate public and political opinion even as they expand their terrorism against the British Mandate government in Palestine. This is an untenable position to be in, responsible for government control and security of those under its authority, i.e. Palestinians as well as Jews, knowing that the Jews are set on driving the British out of Palestine, and knowing that the home government can offer little help.

To bolster his points, MacMichael offers the following:

… the Jews in Palestine are by no means untrained in the use of arms … large numbers have received training in the Palestine Police… or in His Majesty’s Forces. At the present time, in addition to approximately 10,000 Jews in His Majesty’s Forces, there are 5,800 in various units of the police force and 15,400 special policemen (31,000) … When to those men … are added the illicit ‘defence’ organizations of the Jews (Haganah alone had an estimated 60-70,000 men by 1945, see Mss, Med. S20 Appendix XXI), it will be evident that the Jewish people in arms would numerically and in calibre be a very formidable adversary.[5]

This is in 1941before the full deployment of Jewish terrorism against the legitimate Palestine government got under way.

MacMichael and Catling found themselves missing one of Catling’s primary supports for the waging of “irregular warfare” drawn from his image of the 3-legged stool that required the support of the people, the commander and his army and the government, an image, no doubt, from his childhood in Suffolk where his family were butchers and farmers. But the situation only got worse as the end of WWII loomed. The Haganah carried out anti-British military operations, including the kidnapping, killing and booby trapping of soldiers’ bodies, conducted against the Mandate Government while the home government remained silent under the pall of Israeli Zionist propaganda.[6]

But recording the acts of terrorism does not do justice to the conditions the Mandate government faced. MacMichael describes the reality of the forces aligned against the police in Palestine.

A second matter which deeply impressed me is the almost Nazi control exercised by the official Jewish organizations over the Jewish community, willy nilly, through the administration of funds from abroad, the issue of labor certificates in connection with the immigration quota…. The Royal Commission were, in my view, fundamentally at error in describing the Jewish community in Palestine as “intensely democratic”. …
 The Zionist organization, the whole social structure which it has created in Palestine, has the trappings but none of the essentials of democracy. The community is under the closed oligarchy of the Jewish official organizations which control Zionist policy and circumscribe the lives of the Jewish community in all directions…. The reality of power is in the Agency, with the Haganah, the illegal military organization, always in the background.[7]

And so the authorities in Palestine, the legal authorities, have no power to enforce measures that would curtail terrorism against their own police. “The use of force cannot be contemplated at present as any such action would have to be on a very large scale.” MacMichael understands that he can get no help from the Jewish community, even from those who find themselves at odds with the Agency’s methods or morality. The consequences to the individual Jew for disobedience is horrendous as the second document seized from the Zionists in 1947 attests.

Between Two Worlds

Nothing makes more obvious the meaning of the “Zionist Juggernaut” than Catling’s TOP SECRET “Memorandum of the Criminal Investigation Department” of July 31, 1947.

The purpose of this memorandum is to furnish documentary evidence of the extent to which the supreme Jewish national institutions in Palestine and their principal officials have been parties to acts of sedition, violence, incitement and other offences against the laws of Palestine….The bulk of the memorandum concerns the war and post war years… the memorandum will therefore concern itself solely with an attempt to establish the links between the supreme Jewish bodies and illegal activity…[8]

Catling’s memorandum begins with an understanding of the “intricate Jewish political, social and economic structure in Palestine.” A series of appendices chart these structures marking in passing that “…the Palestine Royal Commission Report of 1937 understood ‘The Agency is obviously not a ‘governing body’; it can only advise and cooperate in a certain wide field.’ But allied as it is with the Vaad Leumi, and commanding the allegiance of the great majority of Jews in Palestine, it unquestionably exercises, both in Jerusalem and in London, a considerable influence on the conduct of government” [emphasis mine]. Catling’s frustration with the actual control of the Jews over British policy in Palestine glares through this document. “This powerful and efficient organization amounts, in fact, to a government existing side by side with the Mandatory Government…” (2-3) [emphasis mine].[9]

What Catling doesn’t state in that sentence, but what he demonstrates in the memorandum, is that the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations are at war with the UN authority in Palestine, the British Mandate Palestine Government. The appendices include detailed information on the personnel in interlocking Jewish organizations and the function of each. The memorandum goes further. It notes that the activities of the Jewish Agency through its controlled organizations send emissaries and instructors abroad “to stir up Zionist sentiments among the Jewish communities and displaced persons, to bring pressure to bear upon the Palestine problem, to organize illegal immigration and engage in espionage.” As a result of its investigations, the Department itemizes six areas of subversive activities undertaken by the Jewish Agency against the British Mandate Government:

1. Maintenance of a secret army and espionage system;
2. Smuggling, theft and manufacture of arms;
3. Illegal immigration;
4. Violence and civil disobedience;
5. Seditious and hostile propaganda;
6. Encroachment upon the civil rights of Jewish citizens.[10]

In short, the Zionist controlled Jewish Agency, the Yishuv, actively undermined the legal authority in Palestine even as it operated to undermine support for that government in Britain, placing UK forces in harms way as they attempted to fulfill their authorized responsibilities in Palestine. It also demonstrates the determination of the Agency’s leadership in undermining the very nation that gave it a means of establishing a “homeland” in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration. Needless to say, Catling and his CID forces recognized the impossible position this defiance placed them in and understood the deception and violent means used by the Zionists to ensure that their will and theirs alone would be fulfilled at any cost.

However, the real power behind their efforts, what effectively held together the multiple strands of the web, was the use of extortion on all the Jewish people in Palestine, “…the extortion of money for unauthorized funds and self imposed taxes to further the illicit political ends of the national institutions” (42). Catling’s Memorandum provides evidence of how effective this consolidation of the web’s network operated including the systematic compilation of all wage earners, measures to be adopted in event of refusal to pay, publishing of names of those who failed to contribute, deductions from salary, sanctions on businesses, compulsory assessment, withholding of immigrants certificates, and Jewish Agency officials assessments.

There follows the measures to be taken against shirkers including actions to be taken against anyone aiding a shirker. There is no need to go into the details of these imposed actions; the consequences amount to total ostracism of an individual from his/her community to kidnapping and disappearance.For those entering the military forces of the Jewish Agency, the Hagana, there is the Hagana Oath (XVI A 157).

I hereby declare that of my own free will and in free recognition I enter the Jewish defence organization of the Land of Israel, (Irgun Haganana Haivri Be’Eretz Israel).

I hearby swear to remain loyal all the days of my life to the defense organization, its laws and its tasks as defined in its basic regulations by the High Command.

I hearby swear to remain at the disposal of the defense organization all my life, to accept its discipline unconditionally and without limit, and at its call to enlist for active service at any time and in any place, to obey all its orders and to fulfill all its instructions.

I hearby swear to devote all my strength, and even to sacrifice my life, to defense and battle for my people and my Homeland, for the freedom of Israel and for the redemption of Zion.[11]

In one sense, these two methodologies of control, one imposed by fear, the second by moral obligation, make comprehensible the complete control the Zionists were able to achieve over a protracted period of time toward their distant goals. The fear imposed by extortion rests on its use in providing access to jobs, the protection offered by the “gangs” and Haganah forces, and the enforcement of the rules and regulations as itemized above.

The Haganah Oath goes deeper than fear. In effect, it declares that an individual has turned his/her conscience over to the High Command thus accepting what is right and what is wrong as determined by that authority regardless of local, state or international law, indeed, regardless of the morals, values and traditions of Judaism. This commitment is forever, to death. It is bolstered by a document issued to the Commander and Troops of the Haganah labeled “Security Instructions” that notes at the outset, “Remember, you are a member of an illegal military organization according to the Laws of the government, its existence, activity and membership of it is forbidden” The remainder of the document obligates the recruit to unconditional obedience, absolute silence, and the pragmatic and utilitarian virtues of deceit and lying.[12]

Selling the Soul

From the moment an individual takes the oath, they are committed to a life of secrecy and hence of disloyalty and betrayal to those they are most intimate with in their day to day life. Neither their actions nor their true identity is discernible to those with whom they interact regularly. This is a life that encapsulates the necessity of lies, deceit, coercion, extortion, and obedience to a group that dictates the actions one must pursue; freedom no longer exists, self-direction no longer exists, loyalty to others no longer exists, indeed, friendship with others is compromised or impossible, one becomes the subject of that group, a veritable slave to their desires and wills. The mindset that promotes such control allows for spying, for deception of friends, for ostracism in one’s own community for thinking differently, for imprisonment without due process, for torture, even for extrajudicial executions. It is a total commitment to a cause that supersedes all others determined and dictated by an oligarchy in silence and subject to no legitimate institution and to no one.

[1] Catling, Sir Richard C. Personal Classified “Top Secret” files. Rhodes House Library Archives. #145. Mss. Medit. S 20 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Appendices circa 475 pages of seized documents. Oxford: Bodleian Libraries.
[2] Morris, Benny. (1999). Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001. Knopf. 208.
[3] Khalidi, Walid. (1992). All That Remains. Institute for Palestinian Studies: Washington, D.C. xv.
[4] MacMichael, Harold. (1947). “Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence” The Palestine Police, Jerusalem, 7-31-1947 in Catling file.
[5] MacMichael. “dispatch.” 1.
[6] Ibid., “Despatch.” 2.
[7] Ibid., “Despatch.” 2.
[8] Catling. “Memorandum.” 1-2.
[9] Ibid., “Memorandum.” 2-3.
[10] Ibid. “Memorandum.” 5.
[11] Ibid., Appendix, XVIA, 157.
[12] Ibid., Appendix, XXVIII, 219.

A Nation Born in Deception

April 27, 2010

As Israel attempts today to gloss over the reality of its birth 62 years ago with a sweeping public relations campaign extolling the miraculous “resurrection” of ancient Zion in contemporary times, a new nation seeking only peace with its neighbors, it might be enlightening and valuable to examine the truth.

On May 14, 1948 President Harry S. Truman received a letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine announcing the impending proclamation of the independent republic of Israel (Harry S. Truman Library, document filed August 22, 1949). That date marks not only the beginning of the State of Israel but, sub missa voce, the assumption by the State of Israel of the calculated, systematic and determined ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of the land of Palestine that had been the business of “The Consultancy” and its agents before May 14, as identified by Dr. Ilan Pappe in his monumental The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

The letter notes that the republic has been established within “frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.” The letter was signed by Eliahu Epstein, Agent, Provisional Government of Israel.

The letter is notable not for what it announces, but for what it does not reveal. Truth requires revelation of all the facts, not concealment by omission of that which would prejudice an understanding. During the six months between the adoption of UN Resolution 181 and the date of this letter, and in subsequent months, the prospective state of Israel launched a massive military incursion into territory designated by that same Resolution for the Palestinian people, creating in its wake “three quarters of a million Palestinian refugees,” the destruction of “hundreds of entire villages … not only depopulated but obliterated …and houses blown up or bulldozed” (Walid Khalidi, All That Remains, xv). Khalidi’s massive study focuses on 418 villages, once the homes of Palestinians, 292 completely destroyed, 90 others “largely destroyed,” the remainder re-inhabited by Jews called Israeli settlers.

In blunt terms, the Jewish Agency for Palestine lied to the American President that it had established a provisional government that “has been charged to assume the rights and duties … for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel … and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law.”

The Agency’s deception made no reference either to the President or the international community that it had created the “Catastrophe,” or as the Palestinians termed it, the Nakba, the days of infamy that created what has become the largest Diaspora of refugees in the world and a time of remembrance for those killed in a series of massacres, estimated at 24 by Benny Morris, Israel’s preeminent Historian of that period. Indeed, the Agency had acted against international law in invading Palestinian land as designated by the very Resolution that had given them the right to a state of Israel even as it lied without remorse to the international community that it would live in accordance with their laws.

This letter, coupled with an earlier one to the President, dated May 10, 1948, will serve as a microcosm of political deceit characteristic of the Zionist led forces that controlled the nascent state of Israel. This second letter from The Nation Associates, notified the President that:

“Tomorrow morning the Washington Post will carry, in the form of a full-age (sic) advertisement, the text of an open letter to you requesting the implementation of the November 29 resolution on Palestine…I have been requested to send you the enclosed text of this open letter by the signators …It is our hope that in the week which remains before the end of the British Mandate, action will be taken by you to insure the recognition of the Jewish state as a means of maintaining the prestige of this country, the authority of the United Nations, and peace in the Middle East (Signed by Freda Kirchwey, President; document available at the Truman Library).”

The Nation Associates supported the establishment of the State of Israel and used its publishing arm to further that goal. The “Open Letter” referred to above argued against the moves by “the British and our own State Department” to “sabotage” the partition resolution despite the President’s determined effort to support Israel. Indeed, the Associates went so far as to publish “The British Record on Partition” published in The Nation, America’s Leading Liberal Weekly, on May 8, 1948 detailing their selected reading of “British Military Intelligence Sources.” This document was simultaneously submitted to the Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Open letter published in the Washington Post amounted to a synopsis of this larger document including its primary argument that “there was no reason why the Jewish state could not be set up (if the Arabs resisted partition) and the Arab area turned over to the Trusteeship Council.” Note that this argument is being made even as the Jewish Agency and its affiliates have driven hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and villages and massacred untold thousands in the area designated for the Palestinians recommended to be turned over to the Trusteeship Council.

The open letter cited an amendment to the resolution inserted by Truman’s representative, Herschel Johnson, “the Security Council should determine as a threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 29 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution.” Yet no mention is made here of the invasion by the Jewish forces of the towns and villages in the area designated for the Palestinians. Rather, the Associates allege that it is the British Mandate government that has supported the Arab League against Israel since 1945, “under the direction of Foreign Minister Bevin, {who} (has) resisted every American proposal for a decent settlement of the Palestinian question.”

“This was true,” the letter continues, “in 1946 when he refused to accept the proposal of the Anglo-American Committee and your own, for the admission into Palestine of 100,000 Jews.” What is left unsaid by the Associates is the British promise to the Arabs in the Balfour Declaration that they would maintain a strict ratio of Jews entering Palestine to the indigenous population, the second of the Balfour Declaration promises never referenced as the companion piece to the establishment of a home for the Jews in Palestine.
So now we see the strategy of the Zionists as they manipulate the President: (a) advance publication of a major document detailing British subterfuge in eroding the possibility of establishing a Jewish state sent to the United Nations, thereby placing blame for the deterioration of conditions in Palestine on the British; (b) a subsequent letter to the President informing him that a public “open letter” will be published in the Washington Post detailing subversion of the Jewish people, placing him in the unenviable position of not aiding the “victims” of this subversion or carrying through with recognition of the Jewish state “as a means of maintaining the prestige of this country”; (c) and, finally, another letter, this from the Jewish Agency for Palestine, on the 14th, seeking his recognition by “welcoming Israel into the community of nations” with no reference to the breaching of international law by the very Agency seeking his support.

Control and manipulation of the events coming out of Palestine has been and continues to be the modus operandi of the Zionist leaders of the state of Israel. The above letters to President Truman offer insight into this manipulation. Moreover, Truman was acting on behalf of the American people in recognizing the State of Israel on the 15th of May 1948. What the American people knew was the suffering of the Jews under Hitler and the apparent logic of the United Nations partition plan to provide a state for the two peoples residing in Palestine. What they did not know was the Zionist entity that had different goals and the will to deceive the citizens of America to achieve them. But the American people were not alone in being deceived. More importantly is the deception kept from the British people about these “disappeared years,” as Robert Fisk terms them. What’s missing is the perspective of the Palestinians and the British Mandate government.
The United Kingdom had mandatory authority from the League of Nations to govern the area with the establishment of the Palestine Mandate in 1922, an action that imposed a western colonial and national mindset on an area familiar with tribal and imperial authority. Prior to the official implementation of the Mandate, the British Government had enunciated a “declaration” concerning the desirability of His Majesty’s Government in the “establishment of a national home for the Jewish people,” called the Balfour Declaration.
Discussions that resulted in the final text of the Balfour Declaration clarify the intention of its wording. The use of "national home" was used intentionally instead of "state.” Additionally, the first draft of the declaration referred to the principle "that Palestine should be reconstituted as the National Home of the Jewish people." In the final text, the word “that” was replaced with “in” to avoid committing all of Palestine to the Jews only.
Between 1939 and 1947, the mandate Government found it more and more difficult to maintain its position as the responsible governing force servicing the Arab population and the growing Jewish population, determining by 1947 that these two populations could not coexist. As a result, the British Government placed the resolution of the problem in the hands of the United Nations. That in turn resulted in a partition plan of the land of Palestine, proposed in November of 1947 to the General Assembly, to be implemented in May of 1948, sixty two years ago this May.

British authority in Palestine continued under the United Nations until the implementation of the Partition Plan in May 1948. Consequently, the mandate government had to abide by the Charter of the UN and its Conventions. Ironically, as the Zionist forces, estimated by the Jewish Agency personnel in documents seized by the Mandate Police at 20 to 60 thousand (see top secret file of Sir Richard C. Catling, The Plight of the Palestinians), continued their massacres of Palestinians into 1948, the UN debated the adoption of a Convention defining “genocide” based on Nuremberg principles, a definition approved that same year.

In 1944 the term “genocide” appeared in Raphael Lemkin’s Axis Rule in Occupied Europe created out of the conditions that allowed for the Nazi action against those suffering in their concentration camps. Therefore once the State of Israel was created by the Jewish leaders of the area by declaration May 14, 1948, and, subsequently, was recognized for membership in the UN in 1949, it was expected to abide by the UN Conventions. The United Nations does not appropriate to itself the authority to create states. The United Nations only authorizes itself to recognize states for membership, states that are formed or proclaimed by the people of said state.

What should be obvious now, after the carefully researched and scholarly work of Dr. Ilan Pappe in his Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and the equally well-researched work of Dr. Benny Morris in his Righteous Victims, both based on recently released evidence from the Israeli archives and those of the Israel Defense Forces Archives, complemented now with the materials preserved by Sir Richard C. Catling, to be made available in The Plight of the Palestinians from Palgrave Macmillan in June, is the truth about the creation of the state of Israel: acceptance of UN Resolution 181 by the Jewish Agency Provisional Government as the designated Jewish state was not done with intent to abide by the goal of the UN General Assembly, to provide a state for two peoples in the land of Palestine, but rather to use it as a means of subterfuge to gain eventual control of all the land and cleanse that land of its indigenous people to whatever extent possible. Put bluntly, what was true then is true today; the current government in Israel continues the practices of past Israeli governments, cleanse the land of its rightful inhabitants to make that land part of the Jewish state. This is what is termed, “slow motion genocide,” not, one would hope, a civilized policy to be extolled either by the Israelis or the international community.

NOTE: On March 16, 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu, now Prime Minister again of Israel, announced to the world, in his bid for reelection, that there would be no Palestinian state “on his watch.” This followed extensive efforts by the Obama administration to bring about a two state solution. Reality tells us, the Zionist governments ruling Israel had from the beginning no intention of ever creating a Palestinian state as the above history records.

A Miscarriage of Birth; a Miscarriage of Justice

May 10, 2008

A nation cannot be born in torture and terror and be born whole; it is a deformity of humankind, an abomination that must be cleansed through repentance and reconciliation if it is to join the civilized world. Israel, like the United States before it, will be haunted by its past as the living literature that enshrines it captures the hypocrisy of its public statements even as the truth is unearthed beneath the parks, towns and cities that hide the memories of those it devastated to build a mock nation. The world will see eventually how the public relations and tourism firms gloss the reality of its aborted birth, the tearing of the womb that erupted from the blood of the defeated that were powerless against the terrorist forces that defied the British authorities and the United Nations, a nation conceived in terror and executed in blood as its founders Weizmann and Ben-Gurion promised:

If further action is taken against them (by the British Mandate Government) …to destroy Zionism, then there would be a blood bath. Nothing could prevent it. … Nobody would be safe in Palestine (July 12, 1946, Rhodes Archive Documents). If need be, we shall take the country by force. If Palestine proves too small – her frontiers will have to be extended (Ben Gurion, Appendix LVc).

Thus began the rape of Palestine as the Jewish force entered Deir Yassin, thrusting its power into the defenseless victim, legs wrapped around the town like pinchers, exploding its passion in fires that engulfed every house, destroying any resistance with bullets or blades, slashing innocent mothers and children in a merciless massacre that even Jacques de Reynier of the International Red Cross could not believe when he arrived at the scene greeted by one of the butchers who proudly showed him a knife still dripping with blood. From that assault, the veritable hallmark of Jewish savagery in these early months of its gestation, the seed of Cain entered Palestine only to be torn from its womb, a blighted beast that slithered over the hills and valleys of Galilee devouring 418 towns and villages before it quenched its thirst for Arab blood.

What rage, what passion, what desperate hysteria propelled this convulsive ferocity? Ironically enough, blind mass unbridled insanity is the product of the intelligent mind imposed through fear on those under its control. It is designed, calculated and impervious to feeling, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction wrapped in the armor of indifference to all, brothers and sisters alike. It is the Nazi soldier‘s obedience to his Fuhrer‘s logical program to cleanse the evil from his country. It is the ―Hagana Oath imposed by the Zionist controlled Consultancy that ruled over the Jews in the 1940s and mapped out a series of planned operations, plans A, B, C and Dalet, to cleanse Palestine of its non-Jewish inhabitants:

I hereby declare that of my own free will and in free recognition I enter the Jewish defense organization of the Land of Israel. I hereby swear to remain loyal all the days of my life to the defense organization, its laws and its tasks as defined in its basic regulations by the High Command. I hereby swear to remain at the disposal of the defense organization all my life, to accept its discipline unconditionally and without limit, and at its call to enlist for active service at any time and in any place, to obey all its orders and to fulfill all its instructions. I hereby swear to devote all my strength, and even to sacrifice my life, to defence and battle for my people and my Homeland, for the freedom of Israel and for the redemption of Zion (Appendix XVI A, Rhodes Archive Documents).

Consider the import of this oath on the individual: the very conscience is sucked out of the soul, the last free act of the will has been made to the High Command; absolute obedience in belief and behavior has been sworn forever to those who determine the meaning of Zion. Now exists blind mass unbridled insanity governed by the few zealots that have committed their people to genocide of the Palestinians. In that oath resides self-justification for any act defined by the High Command; individual responsibility has been abrogated to a higher authority; guilt ceases to haunt the soul; no retribution follows; no other authority exists, legal or moral, but the redemption of Zion. Compare the actions now in place in Gaza, the inevitable consequence of the High Command‘s indifference to the Palestinians that, in Plan Dalet, called for their systematic and total expulsion from their homeland (Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 28).

Compare the conditions that faced the American slave before the Civil War to that of the Palestinians living in Gaza now. Americans stood around the scaffold as humans were bought and sold, so much property to go to the highest bidder. But from that point on, the owner bore responsibility for his property with the added protection that state or federal law offered. Under the slave system, the owner benefited if he protected and cared for his property; while freedom did not exist for the slave, his basic needs had to be met most of the time.

Now stand outside the chain link fences adorned with curled barbed wire that surrounds the people of Gaza; watch as the IDF gatekeepers prevent UN shipments of food and medicine from getting to the people incarcerated in this brutal steel cage; smell the waste that swirls into Gaza from Israeli settlements contaminating the earth, flowing in streets, threatening the weak and the children with disease and death; listen to the missiles soar overhead then slam into an apartment building where a mother and her four children are eating breakfast, then listen to the wail of the neighbors as their bodies are carried from the rubble; listen as the Israeli authorities deny any responsibility for the slaughter and the genocide and then compare this newly designed enslavement of people with that America finally recognized as inhumane in 1860. These people, the Zionists that compel their people to acts of brutality against their neighbor, to savagery no Jew dedicated to Judaism could or would accept unless imprisoned by fear created by the deranged minds of the High Command, obey no laws but their own, heed no voice but their own, respect no people but their own, bear no responsibility for their viciousness, suffer no pangs of conscience, offer no mercy, harbor no regrets, yet demand that all respect their nation as comparable to those that live in peace with their neighbors, demand that all accept their laws over those of the International community, demand that none impose the Geneva Conventions or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upon their behavior, demand that no human rights violations be visited upon Israel, and demand that all nations understand that Israel and its people are the true victims in this world and that alone justifies any acts it takes against any people or any state. Such is the mind of Cain that believes there is no day of judgment, no judge, no retribution and hence no consequence for blind mass unbridled insanity, the reason Isaiah‘s cry rings so true today: “your hands are full of blood.”

Thank God that a new day dawns as the forces of the true Jewish conscience rise against these oppressors of their ancient values and morals that have sustained them through centuries on every continent and in every country on the planet. Now in Britain and in the US, with those who have joined Harold Pinter and those who have joined the J Street lobby, with those already committed to the Jewish Voice for Peace, with the multitude of groups in Israel and in the United States that have not capitulated to the Zionists’ oath of absolute obedience to the slow, calculated genocide of the Palestinians, we find a revulsion against this inhumanity and a promise that justice at last may prevail.

The Birth Date of Fratricide: May 14, 1948

April 22, 2008

“The voice of your brother‘s blood crieth unto me from the ground.”

May 14th, 2008, marks the anniversary of two momentous events, the Declaration of Independence of the new born state of Israel and the calamitous day of infamy, the al Nakba, that marks both the massacre in their homes of Palestinian people or their mournful march into exile. Ironically, like the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, this date carries the mark of the Almighty, brothers in blood, enemies in intent.

Listen to Cain as he walks beside his brother along the path of death: There is no judgment and no judge and no world to come! No reward will be given to the righteous nor any account given of the wicked. Such is the belief of those who would declare their independence of any responsibility for their brother, accept any blame for their deception as they accompany him to his death, or bear any guilt for the wickedness they inflict. Without judgment for behavior determined as good or bad, without reward for acts of love or compassion, without retribution for evil and wickedness against his brother, Cain is free to do what he wills to do. Ultimate freedom, a declaration indeed of independence. Abel responds to his brother in the only terms left to him as he walks to his death, a plea to conscience that binds all in mutual existence, a belief that ―There is indeed a judgment and a Judge and a world to come … and the wicked will be called to account. Without that understanding, those who will can, with impunity, plunder the poor, oppress the defenseless, act to pervert justice, and wreck violence and bloodshed on the world.

This May 14th, as the State of Israel basks in the congratulatory speeches of Australian, Canadian, and American legislators, as our talking heads wax poetic on the screen about turning an empty land into a land flowing with milk and honey, as the myth of a people returned to their ancestral homeland engulfs the airwaves obliterating the very existence of the indigenous people who live there, as we are told again and again that this new Israel is threatened by the Islamo fascists and Hamas‘ terrorists who intend to erase it from the map, the people of Palestine are left alone in an ever more constricted prison left to the mercilessness of their oppressors who plunder their land and wreck violence and bloodshed on the defenseless.

As scenes of joy and lavish festivities glow on the television screen, would the people of the world, could the people of the world imagine the misery that engulfs the harried families encircled by the Jewish forces that have locked down their every movement? These people, once locked behind walls themselves, once the victims of might imposed by brute power, once the abject objects of humiliating abuse, once the forgotten of the world crying in the wind for solace and comfort, now clothe themselves in the uniforms of the occupying forces that drove their fathers and mothers to the railroad cars and the chambers of death, isolated and alone, now resurrected as a new nation replete with all the heinous accouterments that have given license to the most depraved peoples on the earth to inflict their avarice, plunder, deceit, and instinctive debauchery on the defenseless. The Israelis have now revealed themselves to be animals of prey that corral their victims into corners where rapine and love of bloodshed rule the heart, driven by passions to obliterate from their fellow man any shred of happiness so long as subtlety, malice and force triumph over weakness or even the semblance of justice. On this the sixtieth birthday of the new Jewish State, should we not welcome Israel to the ranks of nations that have inflicted their devastating power on the indigenous people they invaded, the people they massacred at Deir Yassin and its brother towns that were destroyed in the merciless rampage that marked the months before the May 14 birth, and those now caught behind the Wall of Hate that pens them in like cattle subjecting them to a slow ethnic cleansing and calculated genocide, should we not welcome Israel to the ranks of the very nations that extol them for establishing their nation on the graves of those they‘ve slaughtered – Australia, Canada and the United States?

What power resides in the indifference that accepts no responsibility; what amorality accompanies the arrogance of racism that denies a brothers’ equality; what savagery exists when impunity rules. Beneath the elegant and glistening glass of the ballroom chandeliers, the toastmaster lifts his crystal goblet of blood red wine for the fourth time, oblivious to the irony he holds in his hand, and calls to all assembled to congratulate all who made possible the new birth of Israel, especially the comatose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who did so much to design and implement the creation of this state that stands atop the towns and villages of its former inhabitants. Beyond that ballroom, beyond the pearl necklaces draped around elegant ladies standing demurely beside their husbands imperially dressed in pin striped suits, beyond the blue glass fa├žade of this modern skyscraper, beyond the beaches and umbrellas that line the Mediterranean, beyond the clean and tidy streets where shoppers roam through rich goods from all over the world that fill jewelry cases and store fronts, beyond the annoying gray wall that slides in the shadows behind hedges, unseen, unheard, ignored, live in squalor and want the people who resided in Palestine for centuries upon centuries reduced now to beggars dependent for their food on people from nations they do not know, homes reduced to rubble in a landscape of rubble, thousands upon thousands homeless, living in Gaza without electricity, without running water, without sanitation – the living detritus of indifference, arrogance and appalling inhumanity. And for pointing this out, for giving voice to the reality they do not want their own people to see nor let the world see, the Zionist government and its lackeys will cry foul, declaim such words as hate speech, anti-Semitism, when in fact it is the state of Israel that is anti-Semitic, that is filled with hate speech splattered on the very wall of fear they have erected, hate against the Palestinians, and the destroyer of the soul of Judaism.

Let us learn from this ancient Biblical story of blood brothers that appears in Genesis 4:1-16 and the Qur‘an 5:26-32, as well as in the Dead Sea Scrolls 4Q242, that we see metaphorically a depiction of the first innocent victim of the power of evil. Ironically, it is that victim, according to the Book of Enoch (22:7) and the Testament of Abraham (A:13/B:11), that is raised to the position of judge of souls. God proclaims that each man shall be judged by men, and ultimately by the 12 tribes of Israel and the last judgment by the Lord Himself shall be perfect and unchangeable. “The voice of your brother‘s blood crieth unto me from the ground,” cries the Lord, and so the act must be judged and justice done. All humankind will don the robes of justice to condemn the fratricide; all 12 tribes of Israel will sit in judgment on their own; and God Almighty will cast the ultimate curse -- the very ground Cain tilled, the land he stole from his brother, will no longer yield fruit and, as a consequence, he will be a fugitive once more and a wanderer on the earth.

Thus will Cain‘s intent -- satiating his selfishness, appeasing his jealousy, releasing his aggression – reveal the disconnect between his inherent evil and his higher nature. In time these are the birth gifts Israel will inherit from a world that is witness to its wanton killing of its brother, the Semitic people of Palestine, who die daily one by one in the scorching heat of the noon day sun, forgotten and alone. No candles light the darkness now, no songs are sung, no ribbons adorn the gifts, no laughter greets the guests, for the Nakba is not a day of celebration, it is a mark of catastrophic wickedness that tolls the death knell of the Jewish soul even as it blares to the world the power of indifference to one‘s brother, the ultimate birthright that severs the very blood of the family. And so will the words of Isaiah ring on this day:

“Ah, sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, offspring who do evil, children who deal corruptly, who have forgotten the Lord. May all of us who hear that cry not forget, that evil may be purged from the earth.”