Colin Powell’s Lies Stampeded US into Iraq, and now…….

Boehner and Netanyahu’s Lies Press for War on Iran, or no deal on curbing nukes.  AlJazeera digs into the facts with whistle-blower-released Israeli Intelligence Cables, as reported, below, on Democracy Now.  The video (followed by transcript) also contains details of the US-Israeli relations, as well as revealing that the collaborationist Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, had prior knowledge about the Israeli assault on Palestinians in Gaza, but did not reveal or sound the alarm.  A very interesting report, from start to finish.  While Democracy Now leans toward the White House challenge to the Boehner-Netanyahu obstructionist initiative, they do not go into why the Democrat’s US-hegemonic-imperialist interests are expressing some rare tactical differences with Republican-allied-Israel’s regionally aggressive pursuits.  That is a subject for further study and analysis.  —  Frontlines ed.]
Democracy Now, February 24, 2015 — As Netanyahu Tries to Stop U.S.-Iran Deal, Leaked Cables Show Israeli Spies Reject His Nuke Claims

Guest:  Clayton Swisher, director of investigative journalism at Al Jazeera.

In what has been described as the biggest intelligence leak since Edward Snowden, Al Jazeera has begun publishing a series of spy cables from the world’s top intelligence agencies. In one cable, the Israeli spy agency Mossad contradicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb within one year. In a report to South African counterparts in October 2012, the Mossad concluded Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.” The explosive disclosure comes just as the United States and Iran have reported progress toward reaching a nuclear deal, an outcome Netanyahu will try to undermine when he addresses the U.S. Congress next week. We go to Doha to speak with Clayton Swisher, the head of Al Jazeera’s investigative unit, which broke the Iran story and several others in a series of articles called, “The Spy Cables.”

AARON MATÉ: Just days before his controversial speech to the U.S. Congress, an explosive report has raised new questions about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s effort to thwart a nuclear deal with Iran. According to Al Jazeera, Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, contradicted Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb within one year. In a leaked cable to South African counterparts in October 2012, the Mossad concluded Iran was, quote, “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.” The assessment was sent just weeks after Netanyahu went before the U.N. General Assembly with a far different message. Netanyahu held up a cartoonish diagram of a bomb with a fuse to illustrate what he called Iran’s alleged progress on a nuclear weapon.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: This is a bomb. This is a fuse. In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages. By next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb. A red line should be drawn right here, before—before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September of 2012. The Mossad assessment contradicting Netanyahu was sent just weeks after, but it was likely written earlier. It said Iran, quote, “does not appear to be ready” to enrich uranium to the higher levels needed for a nuclear weapon. A bomb would require 90 percent enrichment, but the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, found Iran had only enriched to 20 percent. That number was later reduced under an interim nuclear deal the following year.

That 2013 agreement laid the basis for the ongoing talks in Geneva this week between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. The U.S. and Iran are seeking a framework agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program and impose international monitoring in return for an easing of U.S.-led sanctions before a March 31st deadline. The talks appear to be gaining momentum, with the involvement of high-ranking officials from both sides and leaked details of a plan to limit Iranian nuclear production for at least 10 years. They are set to resume next week.

AARON MATÉ: The advancing talks and the leaked cable come just as Netanyahu prepares for a controversial U.S. visit, where he’ll try to undermine the nuclear deal. On March 3rd, Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on Iran at the invitation of Republican House Speaker John Boehner. The trip has caused a major rift with the White House, to the point where Obama has refused to host Netanyahu for a meeting. Administration officials are also reportedly withholding details of the talks from Israeli counterparts. Speaking last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Israel has spread false information about the proposed nuclear deal.

PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST: There’s no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate. There’s no question about that.

Continue reading

The Colonial Condescension of Those Who Ask for a “Palestinian Gandhi”

[The people of Gaza have, in their determined resistance, brought many issues to the fore among its supporters and defenders.  Central to these is the right of resistance itself — “by any means necessary” i.e., with whatever force the defenders can bring to the battlefield.  The forces of self-defense and the struggle for self-determination include moral force, political force, and military force.  Those who claim to support the victims of imperialist and settler-colonial military aggression, but argue against popular military resistance and armed liberation strategies, are denying the very means by which defense is made and by which liberation is won.  In the essay below, Ramzy Baroud of Palestine Chronicle details the background and recent history and “debate” over this issue.  (And, an important, but here secondary, difference with Baroud’s concluding paragraphs which cite ‘Gandhi’s inspiring greatness in the struggle against colonialism’ — this is disputed in India and elsewhere, as, most recently, Arundhati Roy and many others have challenged the iconization of Gandhi as a false anti-colonialist who ushered in an “independent” India without breaking the colonialist cultures and structures and laws of caste, class, and repressive state violence, and without empowering the people who, in their overwhelming majority, live today in the same same oppressive conditions that characterized the period of direct British colonial rule.  But this is a side-point here, which will be further explored separately and soon). — Frontlines ed.]

Gaza’s resistance paradigm
By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle

“Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? In Israeli prison, of course!,” was the title of an article by Jo Ehrlich published in Mondoweiss.net on December 21, 2009. That was almost exactly one year after Israel’s concluded a major war against Gaza. The so-called Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009) was, till then, the deadliest Israeli attack against the impoverished strip for many years.

Ehrlich was not in the least being belittling by raising the question about the “Palestinian Gandhi” but responding to the patronization of others. Right from the onset, he remarked: “Not that I’m in any way playing into the Palestinian Gandhi dialogue, I think it’s actually pretty diversionary/racist. But sometimes you have to laugh in order not to cry.”

Indeed, the question was and remains condescending, ignorant, patronizing and utterly racist. But the question was also pervasive, including among people who classify themselves as “pro-Palestinian activists”.

Now that Israel’s latest war – so-called Operation Protective Edge – has surpassed Cast Lead in terms of duration, causalities, level of destruction, but also the targeting of civilians – the Gandhi question seems more muted than usual. To understand why, one needs to first examine the reason of why Palestinians were demanded to produce a non-violent Gandhi alternative in their struggle for freedom in the first place. Continue reading

Israel/Palestine: Where “Peace Process” is Sham by Design

“Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream”
— Gilbert & Sullivan, HMS Pinafore

[The ongoing repressive Israeli settler-colonial project on the Palestinian people, facing growing exposure and international opposition, has increasingly brought Zionist ideologues (an echo of American “manifest destiny” expansionists) as well as “soft Zionist” real-politicians to resort to ever-more arrogant and hyperbolic deceptions to prevent their imperial allies from thinking they’ve outlived their usefulness.  At the same time, the collaboration of the corrupt Palestinian “leadership” with the “realities” of imperial power and Israeli settler-colonialism, has spun a very thin theatrical disguise of Palestinian identity and loyalty.  Both the Israeli colonist-settlers and the Palestinian quislings (struggling to extend their credibility in their mutually-symbiotic weakened states) depend upon blasting the mutually-reinforcing lies and deceptions of each other.  The details of this slimy and shadowy faux “opposition” are revealed in this recent article by author Jeff Blankfort.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Palestinian Collaboration Overshadows Latest Talks

“Imagine for a moment, what the reaction would have been in Northern Ireland if the IRA had taken to guarding the streets of Belfast and Derry for Her Majesty’s occupation forces.”

by Jeff Blankfort, Dissident Voice, May 7th, 2014

Shortly after the signing of the Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993, the Jerusalem Post ran a cartoon that depicted a critical aspect of those accords which has rarely been discussed much less acknowledged. In the cartoon, a smiling Yasser Arafat was sitting upright on a stretcher giving a “V” sign. The stretcher bearers were Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

Its message was clear: the Oslo agreement had come to the rescue of the PLO chairman whose reputation among his fellow Palestinians had sunk to the bottom of the barrel. The price they were to pay was dear: the legitimizing of Israel’s presence in 62% of the West Bank, what is commonly known as Area C and which Israel is quite likely to annex. Arafat’s representative at Oslo who negotiated the accords that effectively signed away West Bank land to Israel and ended the first intifada was Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu, Obama, and Abbas  --  Partners in a Theatrical Crime

Netanyahu, Obama, and Abbas — Partners in a Theatrical Crime

Now, let’s jump ahead 21 years to the present where the support of West Bank Palestinians for Abbas, Arafat’s successor, has been even lower than it was for the late PLO chair and with good reason: By any definition one chooses, Abbas is a traitor, a collaborator with the enemy. His Palestinian Authority “Preventive Security” police force closely coordinates its activities with Israel’s security forces with the goal of suppressing resistance to Israel’s ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing while leaving Palestinians without a semblance of protection against Israeli raids on West Bank towns and refugee camps. For all intents and purposes, that goal has been achieved.

Continue reading

Protests, hunger strikes mark Palestinian Prisoner’s Day

Palestinians gather to commemorate Prisoners' Day in Nablus on April 17, 2013. Palestinians across the territories are attending marches and rallies as a show of solidarity with prisoners from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza held in Israeli facilities, whose numbers according to Israeli rights group B'Tselem reach 4,713. (Photo: AFP - Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

[Palestinians gather to commemorate Prisoners’ Day in Nablus on April 17, 2013. Palestinians across the territories are attending marches and rallies as a show of solidarity with prisoners from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza held in Israeli facilities, whose numbers according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem reach 4,713. (Photo: AFP – Jaafar Ashtiyeh)]
 Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Palestinians across the territories attended marches and rallies Wednesday as a show of solidarity with prisoners from the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza held in Israeli facilities.

Some 3,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails on Wednesday refused breakfast as part of a one-day hunger strike to mark Prisoners’ Day, an Israeli prison official said.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem estimates some 4,713 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.
Activists reached the Ofer prison perimeter on Wednesday morning, and tore down 50 meters of the prison fence, mounting a Palestinian flag on prison grounds.

“After around four minutes of being at the fence, Israeli soldiers showed up. They fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and sound bombs at the protesters,” Abdallah Abu Rahmeh, spokesman of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, told Al-Akhbar.

“It is necessary to pressure Israel to release the Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers,” he added. Continue reading

BBC: “Israeli forces arrest Hamas members in the West Bank”

4 February 2013

Israeli forces during raid in Nablus December 2012[Photo:   Israel launches regular operations in Palestinian run areas of the West Bank.]

Israeli forces in the West Bank have arrested at least 20 members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.  Those arrested, in overnight raids all over the West Bank, included three members of the Palestinian parliament.

Israel regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation, but has not said why the arrests were carried out.

Palestinian human rights groups condemned the arrests, saying they aimed to undermine the reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions.

Israel holds more than 4,500 Palestinians in its jails, 12 of them members of the Palestinian parliament, according to Palestinian reports.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967, settling more than 450,000 people in the territory.

In the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections Hamas won 74 seats to rival Fatah’s 45 seats in 132 seat parliament.

Armed clashes erupted in Gaza between the two faction sides. Hamas violently forced out Fatah from Gaza in June 2007.

Hamas continues to control Gaza while Fatah remains dominant in the West Bank. In May 2011 Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal but it has not yet been implemented.

Fatah-Hamas Discuss Release of Political Prisoners While Mutual Repression Continues

[As this article shows, neither Fatah nor Hamas, who have recently embarked upon some levels of co-operation with each other, have displayed the leadership or the authority to unite the Palestinian people in struggle today against the Zionist settler-colonial occupation and its imperialist partners and paymasters.  Many new grassroots initiatives (both within historic Palestine and throughout the diaspora), of varying degrees of independence from both Fatah and Hamas, are being discussed and debated. — Frontlines ed.]
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Thursday, 23 June 2011
Dolev Rahat, Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Although the scheduled meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal in the matter of establishing a Palestinian unity government was recently cancelled over disagreement on the identity of a new Palestinian prime minister, talks between Fatah and Hamas continue on the issue of political detainees.

Palestinian Legislative Council Member Muna Mansour (above) was attacked by West Bank PA police officers during a demonstration

In the framework of the national unity agreement signed in Cairo on 4 May, both Fatah and Hamas committed themselves to cease political detentions, and to free political prisoners already detained.

On Wednesday 22 June, Ashraf Jumaa, a member of the Fatah delegation to the Palestinian unity talks in Cairo, noted that both sides exchanged lists of people they define as political prisoners held by the other side. The reconciliation agreement determines that a committee will be established to discuss these lists and decide which are indeed political prisoners who must be freed.

On Wednesday Jumaa met with mothers and wives of political prisoners from Gaza, and noted a general dissatisfaction with the pace of progress in the matter of political prisoners and their release.

In the meantime it appears that the governments controlled by both movements continue to prosecute political activists of the other side. Continue reading

Jordan Times: “Palestinians unite as they mark Nakba”

Friday, May 13, 2011
Activists hold Palestinian flags and orange flags of an Arab Israeli  political movement during a rally marking the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’, Arabic for catastrophe, in East Jerusalem on Saturday (AP photo  by Sebastian Scheiner)
Activists hold Palestinian flags and orange flags of an Arab Israeli political movement during a rally marking the anniversary of the ‘Nakba’, Arabic for catastrophe, in East Jerusalem on Saturday (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner)
AgenciesLeaders of rival Palestinian factions displayed rare unity on Saturday as they marked their “day of catastrophe” or Nakba at a rally in Gaza, raising hopes of reconciliation between the two bitter rival parties.

It was the first time leaders from Islamist Hamas and the more secular Fateh movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had shared the platform at a large public gathering since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from Fateh in a 2007 civil war.

Palestinians mark “nakba day” on May 15, the day in 1948 when more than 760,000 Palestinians – estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants – were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict that followed Israel’s creation 62 years ago. Continue reading

Israel’s Army Gears up to Suppress Nakba Events

 [In the  following article, the Palestine News Network reports the Israeli threat to attack this weekend Nakba commemoration in these terms:  “According to the Israeli army site several regiments will be joining units already in place, in case Palestinian rallies needed to be suppressed“! (our emphasis)— Frontlines ed.]
Thursday May 12, 2011
by Palestine News Network & AgenciesReport post

Israeli media sources reported on Wednesday that the Israeli Army are set to increase West Bank deployment as Palestinians prepare to commemorate the Nakba, or in English ‘catastrophe’ from the period of 1948 which saw the establishment of the state of Israel after an estimated 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes.

palmsunday_4.jpg

The annual ‘Nakba Day’ will be marked on May 15. Israeli Security chiefs have been closely monitoring the situation in advance, and as of Wednesday the Israeli troop deployment throughout many areas in the West Bank and close to the Gaza strip will increase significantly, the army announced. Despite considerations that the Palestinian security forces will be aiming to keep tensions low, the Israeli army is preparing for various scenarios, including cases of extreme violence envisaged, sources reported on Wednesday.

According to the Israeli army site several regiments will be joining units already in place, in case Palestinian rallies needed to be suppressed or clashes take place Israeli forces and settlers. Continue reading

Palestinian unity: details still unclear

al Jazeera

[While details of the PA-Hamas deal are still largely unclear, the largest question is whether or how Palestinian people–in Gaza, in the West Bank, inside Israeli areas, and throughout the diaspora–can assert some meaningful level of control over the process, or will be manipulated once again.  At the same time, there is concern from the (US/EU) imperialist powers about how they may control or strongly influence this process–through their old corrupt subordinates in the PA and through the traditional US-tied Egyptian military, which is being touted as “the Palestinian deal-makers.” — Frontlines ed.]

Wikileaks: Economic Reasons Behind the Siege of Gaza

The Alternate Information Center                                                  Thursday, 10 February 2011

Shir Hever, JNews

The ripple effects of the Wikileaks documents are still being felt, but until recently Israeli officials continued to boast that the documents were ‘good for Israel’.

break-siegeAs opposed to the way the Palestinian Authority (PA) was portrayed in leaked cables, leading to scandalous revelations, for a while Israel suffered no such scandal from the documents pertaining to its conduct. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even came out in support of the leak of the papers, suggesting that the documents can do no harm to Israel’s foreign policy.

He spoke too soon. More recent cables have provided unflattering revelations about Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip, quoting Israeli officials spelling out their attempts to keep the Gaza Strip on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. They have also described how corruption is rife at the checkpoints through which goods are brought into Gaza.

Yet this information failed to shock. It was already well-known and widely reported by UN bodies, NGOs, scholars and journalists.

One cable, however, does contain some new information and has so far received no coverage at all.

The cable, titled “Shin Bet Talks Gaza Economics,” was written by David R. Burnett, Economic Counselor in the US embassy in Tel Aviv. It describes a briefing given to Embassy officials by senior members of the Israeli Shin Bet*, on how Israel uses the banking system in Gaza to increase the political influence of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza, by attempting to starve the Hamas government of cash.

The Shin Bet informed the US embassy that banks in Gaza know that they must neither allow Hamas members to open bank accounts nor have salaries deposited into existing accounts. If the banks disobey, they will lose their stamp of approval from the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), a branch of the PA that is under constant pressure by Israel and the US to prevent any dealings with Hamas members. The Shin Bet expressed satisfaction that the Gaza banking system has indeed been cowed into submission. Continue reading

Al-Jazeera will release ‘Palestine Papers’

By Janine Zacharia, Washington Post Staff Writer

January 24, 2011

JERUSALEM – Palestinian negotiators were willing in 2008 to concede sections of East Jerusalem to Israeli control as part of a final peace deal, according to a newly exposed cache of memos that al-Jazeera TV said came from the talks. 

Minutes detailing the concession came from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2008 between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators mediated by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The document is one of more than 1,600 that al-Jazeera’s English-language Web site is calling the Palestine Papers, which it plans to post, WikiLeaks-style, over the next several days. 

Palestinian negotiators were quick to deny the reports, telling the Associated Press that parts of them had been fabricated.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said late Sunday, in a tweet, “The U.S. government is reviewing the alleged Palestinian documents released by Al-Jazeera. We cannot vouch for their veracity.” Continue reading

Israeli troops kill 66-year Palestinian in cold blood

January 7, 2011

al Jazeera

“]Israeli troops shot dead al-Qawasmeh during a dawn raid on Friday to arrest suspected Hamas fighters [AFP] Israeli troops have shot dead a sleeping Palestinian man during a dawn raid in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Family members found Suliman al-Qawasmeh, 66, in a pool of blood in the bedroom after soldiers broke into several homes in the city’s al-Sheikh neighbourhood on Friday.

The raid came less than 24 hours after six Hamas fighters who had been on hunger strike in Palestinian jails were released on Thursday.

Five of them were from Hebron, and one of them, Wael Bitar, arrested by the Israelis, lived one storey below the victim, residents said.

“I was praying when they entered. I do not know how they opened the door. They put their hand to my mouth and a rifle to my head,” al-Qawasmeh’s wife told the Reuters news agency.

“I was shocked. They did not allow me to talk. I asked them, ‘What did you do?’ They asked me to shut up.”

Later, the Israeli army issued a statement acknowedging that al-Qawasmeh’s killing was unintended. It said he “was present in one of the terrorist’s homes”.

An Israeli military spokesman told the AFP news agency: “There is no indication that [al-Qawasmeh] was involved in any terror activity at any stage and therefore we regret the incident.” Continue reading