US’ NSA Gave Palestinian-American Family Ties to Israeli Military

NSA shared unedited data on Arab Americans’ calls with IDF intel unit

Ex-NSA contractor Snowden told author Bamford that data could enable Israel to target callers’ relatives in Israel and territories.

By Haaretz | Sep. 18, 2014

Snowden

Ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden told a U.S. author that the agency gave Israel unedited data about Arab Americans’ calls.

By Anshel Pfeffer | Sep. 15, 2014

The U.S. National Security Agency shared unredacted private communications from Americans – particularly Arab-Americans – with a key Israeli military-intelligence unit, an author and professor wrote.

In a New York Times op-ed piece, James Bamford said that he’d met this summer with Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents.

Snowden found that the data NSA was passing to Israel’s Unit 8200 included IDs for who was calling whom.

Snowden said that the callers’ relatives in Israel and the territories could become targets based on the data, Bamford wrote in the Tuesday op-ed. When NSA shares information with other countries, it normally removes that identifying data, Bamford wrote.

Unit 8200 is the largest unit in the Israel Defense Forces and one of the military’s most prestigious divisions. It focuses on signals intelligence, or communications eavesdropping.

A week ago 43 former members of Unit 8200, including some officers, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top military officials, saying they would refuse to do reserve service because of Israel’s `political persecution’ of the Palestinians. Continue reading

43 Israeli Reserve Soldiers Stand Against IDF and SIGINT

[“A significant part of what the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] does is not the “title” [ie defence]. The “title” of what the IDF does in the occupied territories is ruling another people. One of the things you need to do is defend yourself from them, but you also need to oppress the population. You need to weaken the politics, you need to strengthen and deepen your control of Palestinian society so that the [Israeli] state can remain [there] in the long term … We realised that that’s the job of the intelligence.”: — from the interview with 3 of the “refuseniks”, in the 2nd article posted below. The unity of these “refuseniks” is a rejection of the colonial mission to control all aspects of Palestinian life.  They do not, as a group, object to other aspects of Israel and Israeli military policy and practice.  Nonetheless, their stance is noteworthy, though limited. — Frontlines ed.]

.2014/09/18

Jean Shaoul

Forty-three reserve soldiers and officers in Israel’s prestigious military intelligence gathering unit, Unit 8200, have refused to take any further part in the gathering of information on Palestinian society in the West Bank.
Their stand is the latest expression of the growing opposition within the armed forces to the ongoing repression of the Palestinian people.
Refusal to enlist was once considered unthinkable among Jewish Israeli youth other than among the ultra-orthodox, but now, as one young refusenik, Shaked Harari, explained, they “are not embarrassed that we are refusing. We believe that this declaration can make an ideological change, and it will not happen if we don’t stand behind it and we are not honest with it.”

Unit 8200 is under the control of the Israel Defence Force’s (IDF) Military Intelligence Directorate, whose role is similar to that of the National Security Agency in the United States. It collects signal intelligence (SIGINT), including eavesdropping on telephone calls, text messages, and emails. As the largest part of the IDF, the views expressed must therefore reflect a much wider layer than the number who actually signed the letter.
The unit has acquired an iconic status, in part because as a result of its technical expertise a number of 8200’s alumni have gone on to found or manage some of Israel’s high-tech start-up companies. Its operations are secret and subject to censorship, while the identities of its leading personnel are never revealed.
It is therefore all the more significant that it is the ethical and political character of the Unit’s work and above all its methods that have come to public attention. While a number of pilots, soldiers and officers from combat units faced with the daily task of humiliating and arresting Palestinians—and worse—have refused service, this is the first time that anyone in electronic surveillance has spoken up and refused to enlist.
Jewish Israeli men are required to carry out three years of military service from the age of 18 and then at least a month a year of reserve duty until the age of 40. They typically spend a few weeks each year in active duty. While women are also obliged to do military service, they are not required to serve in combat units, while their service and reservist duties are shorter.
The 43 signatories, collected over a year, to an open letter to Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, chiefs of the IDF and its SIGINT branch stressed that they believed that the information they collected was often used to exert control over innocent Palestinian civilians and to set West Bank residents against each other. At the same time it was an invasion of the privacy of the Palestinian, said the signatories. Continue reading

When the smoke clears in Gaza

by Robin D. G. Kelley, August 8, 2014

http://blackeducator.blogspot.com/2014/08/gaza-massacre-continues-us-academia-and.html

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” –Nelson Mandela

Israel’s illegal, genocidal war on the people of Gaza has the characteristics of a massive tsunami.
Waged with even greater ferocity than Operation Cast Lead or any other assault since the Nakba of 1948 or the 1967 War, its destructive impact may even be worse. Masked as a war of “self-defense,” the euphemistically-named “Operation Protective Edge” is state violence at warp speed; it is completely indiscriminate yet calculated in its targeting of children and adult civilians, hospitals, schools, shelters, markets, and neighborhoods. So massive the onslaught, so swift the reports on social media, that my twitter feed resembles a ticker-tape machine. No one can write or speak fast enough to keep up with the body count.

As I write now, the Palestinian dead is inching toward the 2,000 mark, the injured close to 10,000; a quarter of Gaza’s population is displaced; about 10,000 homes were destroyed—including 141 schools; entire neighborhoods have been razed to the ground; morgues are filled to capacity as dead bodies lay strewn in streets, under rubble or placed in vegetable refrigerators or commercial ice cream freezers. The lack of electricity, clean water, food, sanitation, medical supplies, among other things, means a variety of infectious, nutritional and water-borne diseases are imminent.

If you are reading this, you’re probably familiar with these terrifying facts. Continue reading

Greenwald Details the US Hand on the Gaza Genocide

[Well, after all, it IS an IMPERIALIST SYSTEM, and the lines between who's in and who's out are fairly sharply defined, (though this line is redrawn from time to time), with accompanying rhetoric about rights and national interests reflected in the mass media templates for mass deception.  The Snowden and now other revelations pull the cover off of so much of this, it enables the discarding of illusions by the boxcar-load, and it enables a far more clear-sighted path for anti-imperialist and revolutionary internationalist solidarity. Why does the New York Times and CNN and ABC/CBS/NBC tell this news?  Apparently, it is not "fit to print"!  -- Frontlines ed.]

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

By Glenn Greenwald, August 4, 2014
Featured photo - Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

President Barack Obama (L) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference on March 20, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.
Continue reading

Greenwald: NSA Docs Show ‘Israeli Action In Gaza Has US Fingerprints All Over It’

[It's really quite amazing how supporters of imperialism believe Obama's statements of outrage and dismay at Israeli genocidal murder of Palestinians, most recently in Gaza.  In fact, the US government has largely paid for and armed the colonial aggression, and the US' NSA has provided targeting data to the Israeli forces for the aerial attack on Gaza's people.  So, Obama's "outrage" notwithstanding, it appears the debate in Washington is about whether the Israelis have not gone far enough, and if they should, right away, again with US funds, arms, and "intelligence," further aggress toward what Israeli politicians, especially from the Likud Party, are calling the "Final Solution." --  Frontlines ed.]

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New documents leaked by Edward Snowden show how intellegince cooperation enables repeated Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
By Jon Queally, Common Dreams | August 4, 2014

John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks with the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations. Boehner said Monday, July 28, the administration should “stand with Israel, not just as a broker or observer but as a strong partner.”

A new analysis of the intelligence and military relationship between the U.S. and Israeli governments—bolstered by new top secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden—exposes the deep complicity of American foreign policy when it comes to enabling Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories and its ongoing aggressive military assault on the Gaza Strip.

Reported by The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald on Monday, the new NSA documents show how the U.S. spy agency “has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians.”

According to Greenwald, the “new Snowden documents illustrate a crucial fact: Israeli aggression would be impossible without the constant, lavish support and protection of the U.S. government, which is anything but a neutral, peace-brokering party in these attacks. And the relationship between the NSA and its partners on the one hand, and the Israeli spying agency on the other, is at the center of that enabling.” Continue reading

Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

http://blackagendareport.com/content/cowardly-hypocritical-subservient-congressional-black-caucus-endorses-israeli-apartheid-and-

Israeli president Shmon Peres meets with Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the Congressional Caucus at the president's residence in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Mark Neyman/GPO/FLASH90)

                                         Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the caucus at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.  (February, 2014)

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, July 30, 2014

Back in the 1970s, when the Congressional Black Caucus began calling itself “the conscience of the Congress,” that was almost literally true. CBC members could be relied upon not just to reliably vote for raising wages and expenditures on housing, health care and education, but to keep the issues of full employment and opposition to unjust war near thefront of their public agendas.

By the late 1980s, a gaggle of former CBC staffers had moved through the revolving doors of elite affirmative action to become corporate lobbyists, with the same ethics and table manners as their white colleagues, but with black faces. Thanks in large part to their efforts, by 2000 a tsunami of corporate cash began filling up the coffers of incumbent CBC members, their black replacements, or in the cases of Alabama’s Earl Hilliard and Georgia’s Cynthia McKinney, their black opponents.

Only a single member of the CBC, Rep. Barabra Lee opposed President Bush’s blank check for invading anywhere he pleased in Septermber of 2001, and by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, four CBC members, some of them swimming in donations from military contractors, raced down to the White House to have their pictures taken with Bush as the bombs were about to explode over Baghdad.

Continue reading

“Boycott Israeli Products” App Gets 350,000 Supporters

By Anthony Cuthbertson, International Business Times, 
August 7, 2014

An app that allows users to search for a product linked to targeted companies or countries in order to boycott them has seen a significant surge in users signing up to anti-Israel campaigns.

Buycott catalogues brands and their affiliations and lets users set up campaigns to either help or avoid funding certain causes. By scanning a product’s barcode with their smartphone camera, consumers are able to determine which brands are associated with which campaigns.

The two most popular campaigns currently on Buycott are Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel and Avoid Israeli Settlement Products. Between them they have close to 350,000 supporters, over a quarter of which have joined in the last 12 hours (at time of publication).

Included on the list of companies implicated by the Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel campaign are McDonald’s, Intel, Nestle and Marks & Spencer.

“This campaign is about ordinary people around the world using their right to choose what they buy in order to help bring about an end to oppression in Palestine,” the campaign’s page states.

Continue reading