Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Israeli Values

Here is an interesting summery of the illegal organ trade and Israel, which is a center for it due to a shortage of organs and apparently little moral compass when viewed from a western morality.

I highly urge you to read the whole thing slowly and thoroughly.


This fascinating article from Agence-France Presse offers blockbuster information. A retired Israeli army officer named Geldaya Tauber Gady was arrested in Brazil for his participation in this international organ trafficking ring. (I suspect that the information from Scheper-Hughes -- which was taken seriously in Brazil -- led to Gady's arrest.)

He told the court that the Israeli government financed the operation. Not only that:

Gady told the court that an Israeli government official, identified only as Ilan, put him in touch with an intermediary in Brazil...

Gady's courtroom testimony puts the Rosenbaum case in an entirely new light.

Should we be financing a country with these types of morals?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Orthodox Treatment of Female Reporter

It is a strange religion indeed whose most observant members would act in this way:

I found myself herded against a brick wall as they kept on spitting - on my face, my hair, my clothes, my arms.

It was like rain, coming at me from all directions - hitting my recorder, my bag, my shoes, even my glasses.

Big gobs of spit landed on me like heavy raindrops. I could even smell it as it fell on my face.

Somewhere behind me - I didn't see him - a man on a stairway either kicked me in the head or knocked something heavy against me.

I wasn't even sure why the mob was angry with me. Was it because I was a journalist? Or a woman? Because I wasn't Jewish in an Orthodox area? Was I not dressed conservatively enough?

In fact, I was later told, it was because using a tape-recorder is itself a desecration of the Shabbat even though I'm not Jewish and don't observe the Sabbath.

It was lucky that I don't speak Yiddish. At least I was spared the knowledge of whatever filth they were screaming at me.

As I tried to get away I found myself up against the line of riot police blocking the crowd from going any further.

The ABC's Middle East correspondent Anne Barker became caught in violent street protests involving ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem at the weekend. This is her graphic account of her ordeal.

As a journalist I've covered more than my share of protests. Political protests in Canberra. Unions protesting for better conditions. Angry, loud protests against governments, or against perceived abuses of human rights.

I've been at violent rallies in East Timor. I've had rocks and metal darts thrown my way. I've come up against riot police.

But I have to admit no protest - indeed no story in my career - has distressed me in the way I was distressed at a protest in Jerusalem on Saturday involving several hundred ultra-Orthodox Jews.

This particular protest has been going on for weeks.

Orthodox Jews are angry at the local council's decision to open a municipal carpark on Saturdays - or Shabbat, the day of rest for Jews.

It's a day when Jews are not supposed to do anything resembling work, which can include something as simple as flicking a switch, turning on a light or driving.

So even opening a simple carpark to accommodate the increasing number of tourists visiting Jerusalem's Old City is highly offensive to Orthodox Jews because it's seen as a desecration of the Shabbat, by encouraging people to drive.

I was aware that earlier protests had erupted into violence on previous weekends - Orthodox Jews throwing rocks at police, or setting rubbish bins alight, even throwing dirty nappies or rotting rubbish at anyone they perceive to be desecrating the Shabbat.

But I never expected their anger would be directed at me.

I was mindful I would need to dress conservatively and keep out of harm's way. But I made my mistake when I parked the car and started walking towards the protest, not fully sure which street was which.

By the time I realised I'd come up the wrong street it was too late.

I suddenly found myself in the thick of the protest - in the midst of hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews in their long coats and sable-fur hats.

They might be supremely religious, but their behaviour - to me - was far from charitable or benevolent.

As the protest became noisier and the crowd began yelling, I took my recorder and microphone out of my bag to record the sound.

Suddenly the crowd turned on me, screaming in my face. Dozens of angry men began spitting on me.

Spit like rain

I found myself herded against a brick wall as they kept on spitting - on my face, my hair, my clothes, my arms.

It was like rain, coming at me from all directions - hitting my recorder, my bag, my shoes, even my glasses.

Big gobs of spit landed on me like heavy raindrops. I could even smell it as it fell on my face.

Somewhere behind me - I didn't see him - a man on a stairway either kicked me in the head or knocked something heavy against me.

I wasn't even sure why the mob was angry with me. Was it because I was a journalist? Or a woman? Because I wasn't Jewish in an Orthodox area? Was I not dressed conservatively enough?

In fact, I was later told, it was because using a tape-recorder is itself a desecration of the Shabbat even though I'm not Jewish and don't observe the Sabbath.

It was lucky that I don't speak Yiddish. At least I was spared the knowledge of whatever filth they were screaming at me.

As I tried to get away I found myself up against the line of riot police blocking the crowd from going any further.


Israeli police in their flak jackets and helmets, with rifles and shields, were yelling just as loudly back at the protesting crowd.

I found them something of a reassurance against the angry, spitting mob.

I was allowed through, away from the main protest, although there were still Orthodox Jews on the other side, some of whom also yelled at me, in English, to take my recorder away.

Normally I should have stayed on the sidelines to watch the protest develop.

But when you've suffered the humiliation and degradation of being spat on so many times - and you're covered in other people's spit - it's not easy to put it to the back of your mind and get on with the job.

I left down a side street and walked the long way back to the car, struggling to hold back the tears.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three Billion Doesn't Get You Much

We give the small nation of Israel three billion a year, plus lots of other extras. You would think that would get you some pull.

Apparently not.

Israel has rejected a call by the United States for a total freeze on settlement expansion in the occupied territories.

Israel said construction in Jewish settlements will continue despite U.S. pressure. President Barack Obama began pressing the settlement issue at a White House summit last week with Israel's hawkish new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed growing impatience with the Jewish state.

"With respect to settlements, the president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here," Clinton said. "He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions."

The settlements are neither ethical nor are they in the US interest.

Is that Chutzpah, or what?


Congressman Ackerman on Natural Growth

The settlements in Israel create great conflict between the East and the West, and between the US and Arab nations in particular. They are not a source of good and the official US policy is that they should be stopped.

However, Congressman Gary Ackerman thinks the are "natural growth" and need not be stopped.

Internal growth is not an obstacle — it is life,” said the congressman, Gary Ackerman (D-L.I.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. “There is no moral equivalence between settlements and terrorist activity,” he said by phone shortly after leaving a 90-minute meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. “Bibi mentioned settlements,” Ackerman continued, using Netanyahu’s nickname. “He pointed out that unlike previous administrations that said they would not build them but built them, he is not building new settlements. But he has a position that you cannot stop people on the issue of internal growth.”

Should the US naturally grow in to Mexico or Canada? Would we not expect conflict to result?

Does Congressman Ackerman have US interests in mind when he makes such statements?

There is more interesting stuff here:

[This] position is NOT surprising especially when you come to find out [Ackerman] is not only the United States House Chairman on Middle East and South Asia foreign affairs but Ackerman is also President of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians, making sure that influential Jews within governments all over the world can coordinate and push for Israel's position on 'all' policy matters[.]

"Arik Puder, the spokesman for ICJP Israel -- ICJP "...goal is to put together parliamentarians from all over the world in order for them to cooperate with one another and promote Jewish issues/AGENDAS in their respective countries...""

You couldn't make it up if you wanted to.



Holy Land Foundation Sentencing

This trial has been an increadable miscarrage of justice from the start, and it has just gotten much worse.

To summarize, the first trial ended in a mistrial (which is amazing considering the paranoid climate at the time). A retrial that involved the use of non-public Israeli testimony resulted in a conviction resulting in a conviction.

The sentencing was handed down recently and the worst was a 64 year jail term! This is shocking for a case that was obviously very weak from the start.

This is the Zionification of the American justice system.

Money quote (from British source)

As grounds for an expected appeal, lawyers for the men are expected to challenge testimony given by an anonymous Israeli government agent, whose evidence was kept secret from the defence.


Israeli Values Not Western Values

The Israeli Knesset is considering a set of laws that, to say the least, are very anti-western and completely contrary to the US understanding of freedom of speech.

First we have:

"a bill that would institute a one year jail sentence for anyone who speaks "against Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state."

Well, would we allow someone to speak against the US being a Christian state? You bet we would. In fact, many (including many Jewish organizations) would more likely prohibit discussion of the US as a Christian state.

Second we have:

a bill spearheaded by Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party to outlaw public commemoration of the Nakba in Israel can move on to the Knesset and cabinet for a vote. If the bill is passed, someone caught commemorating the Nakba could face up to three years in prison.

So, could Germany ban discussion of the Holocaust because it was unpleasant for them to hear about it? Again, the opposite is more likely.

Finally, we have the loyalty oath bill:

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party plans to propose controversial legislation requiring citizens to swear loyalty to the state, a party spokesman said on Monday.

The party intends to seek cabinet approval for the bill before presenting it to the Knesset where it would have to pass three votes and a committee review before taking effect, according to the spokesman.

The proposal was a key part of Yisrael Beiteinu's campaign in February's general election, in which it grew to Israel's third largest political party.

How would Jewish groups in America react to a bill demanding they swear loyalty to the US over all other foreign nations including Israel? Outrage would just begin to describe it.

So, again we have a big difference between the way7 Israel acts and the Western values we have here in the US. Also, we have a big difference between the conduct supported or condemned by Jewish organizations here when compared to the reaction when Israel seeks to undertake such conduct.




Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick Hits

Has David Singer of the NYT become the next Judith Miller?

David Sanger continues his stellar work of conveying Israeli propaganda about a non-existent Syrian nuclear program by conveying Israeli propaganda about an non-existent Iranian nuclear program, using the purest Judy Miller style - note the use of the telltale 'outside experts' and 'administration officials', i. e., Dennis Ross - made so infamous by the New York Times ...

Did Bibi box Obama into taking action on Iran? From Amconmag:

In return for Bibi’s willingness to talk to the Palestinians, Obama agreed to a December deadline for progress in talks with Iran. If the talks are not fruitful by then, America will step on the escalator.

“I’ve been very clear that I don’t take any options off the table with respect to Iran,” said the president.

Bibi got what he came for.

By setting a six-month deadline, Obama has given an incentive to Israel, AIPAC, the neocons, and even al-Qaeda, which wants Shia Iran bombed back to the stone age, to provoke collisions with Iran, until December, then demand that Obama keep his word, suspend talks, impose severe sanctions and start us on the escalator to war.

More discussion here.

In other news, super AIPAC devotee Jane Harman called for ethhnic division of Iran and then retracts s reported here.

NIAC is reporting that Rep. Jane Harman has retracted and apologized for her comments advocating that Iran be divided up by ethnicity. Harman claims she her comments were "taken out of context." Judge for yourself (begins around 1:25):

News of Note

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Times Confirms Harmon Pressure

The NYT has confirmed that congresswoman Jane Harmon pressured them not to puplish the Bush illegal wiretapping story in 2004.

he New York Times confirmed late Monday that a top Democratic congresswoman called the paper in 2004 and tried to keep it from publishing an article exposing the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program — possibly helping to sway the balance in the 2004 presidential election.


“Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement Monday that Ms. Harman called Philip Taubman, then the Washington bureau chief of The Times, in October or November of 2004,” the Times writes. “Mr. Keller said she spoke to Mr. Taubman — apparently at the request of Gen. Michael V. Hayden, then the N.S.A. director — and urged that The Times not publish the article.”

So, this took place before she became aware that her own call was wiretapped and that should could be in trouble with the law.



Harmon is asking for the tapes to be release, but she wants 'everything' which will surely make it impossible to do so and therefore this is a bluff.

I would like to see the materials released, I just don't think it will happen.

Jane Harmon AIPAC Scandal Exposed

Jane Harmon's illegal deal with AIPAC, and the Bush Administration cover-up, has been exposed, and it is ugly.

Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference,” according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.

Seemingly wary of what she had just agreed to, according to an official who read the NSA transcript, Harman hung up after saying, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

More interestingly, the Alberto Gonzalez elected not to prosecute becuase Rep Harmon was supporting the illegal wire-tapping program being pushed by the Bush administration.

Key points to note are:

* Harmon had supported the wire-tapping program prior to being told she was under investigation.

Harman, [Alberto Gonzales] told Goss, had helped persuade the newspaper to hold the wiretap story before, on the eve of the 2004 elections. And although it was too late to stop the Times from publishing now, she could be counted on again to help defend the program[.] ... And Eric Lichtblau himself described how Harman, in 2004, attempted very aggressively to convince him not to write about the NSA program.

* The wiretap that cought Harmon was FISA approved, and therefore legal, and involved monitoring a foreign (Israeli) agent, not a Harmon.

the CQ story says that Harman's conversation was recorded as part of "a court-approved NSA tap directed at alleged Israel covert action operations in Washington."

* What Harmon did was a crime.

As for those wondering what the possible crime would be, the allegation is that Harman agreed to use her influence as a member of Congress to intervene in a pending criminal proceeding directed at AIPAC officials in exchange for receiving something of value (namely, AIPAC's lobbying for her to be appointed Chair of the House Intelligence Committee). It's exactly what Pete Domenci was accused of: trying to influence DOJ prosecutions for political ends, though in the case of the allegations against Harman, it's even worse, since the suggestion is that she agreed to interfere in the criminal proceedings in exchange for AIPAC's support of her quest to become Intelligence Committee Chair.

This is receiving a lot of attention, as it should, but we should all bang the drums on this one.

The Harmon denial and comments thereon can be found here.

Other Links

Daily Kos (Needs Updating).


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Illegal Immigration and Israel

While I have no problem with Israel enforcing its immigration laws, it stands in stark contrast to many US supporters of Israel such as the ADL who essentially advocate for open borders.

[Israeli] Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz recently instructed ministry officials to develop a comprehensive plan for deporting 100,000 illegal foreign workers from Israel within a year.

"What's going on is an outrage," said Steinitz at a meeting a few hours prior to the Passover Seder. "There are a 100,000 people taking jobs illegally while Israelis remain unemployed. The plan must involve painful economic sanctions on those who employ illegal workers."


"The point is to make it fiscally unwise to hire an illegal worker," he told ministry employees. "It is a financial crime. It is not enough merely to deport the workers; we must also hurt the employers."

"We must fight such employers, must look for them, publish their names, indict them - and do it by this year! It is inconceivable that, of the 400,000 foreign workers in Israel, 100,000 of them are illegal and meanwhile unemployment in Israel stands at over 200,000 persons," the new minister said.

Seems reasonable to me. If only the US, and US supporters of Israel, would take this position locally.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Zionism is Nationalism is Racism

Interesting quote from Abe Foxman of the Anti-defamation league:

“Can you be anti-Zionist and not be an anti-Semite? Almost never. Unless you can prove to me you're against nationalism. If you're one of those unique individuals in this world that's opposed to American nationalism, French nationalism, Palestinian nationalism, then you can be opposed to Jewish nationalism. Is it racist? You bet it is. Every nationalism is racist. It sets its laws of citizenship, it sets its own capital... It sets its songs, it sets its values. It is, if you will, exclusive, and you can even call it racist. But if the only nationalism in the world that is racist is Jewish nationalism, then you're an anti-Semite.. I don't want to make any apologies for it.

This is interesting because the ADL's other reason for being is to prevent nationalism in America. Hence, this appears to be a hypocritical stance by Foxman.

Or, as a commenter said:

Now I expect him to quit pestering Vdare, American Renaissance, FAIR, and Kevin MacDonald. We're nationalists, okay? Just like you!

Think that will happen?