Tag Archives: Israel

Some Cherry Garcia, Please, by Patrick Lawrence

The hair-on-fire reaction to Ben and Jerry’s decision to no longer market its products in Israeli settlements on the West Bank when current contracts expire at the end of 2022 seems wildly disproportionate to the scope of the decision. It calls to mind the line from Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much . . .” American conservatives who wail about cancel culture and Big Tech censorship have implemented anti-Boycott, Divest, and Sanction legislation, almost certainly an abridgement of the First Amendment rights they claim to champion, in 35 states. The real danger is that people may be starting to take a hard look not just at the Palestine-Israel issue, long one of America’s least favorite topics, but at the bipartisan and slavish devotion of so many US politicians to the Israel and Jewish lobbies. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

Targeting and killing Palestinian children could not accomplish what a decision by an ice cream company has achieved. To be sure, the visual impact of Israel’s recent onslaught on Gaza turned many against that country’s war crimes and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, but what the Israeli government really has feared most is an economic and cultural boycott such as the one that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa. That blow came last week when Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which is sold in the food shops in the illegal-under-international-law Israeli settlements on the West Bank, would no longer market its product in those areas after the current contract with suppliers expires at the end of 2022.

Social media and mainstream media normally censor any posts or stories that are too critical of the Jewish state, but in this case the decision reverberated throughout the media as ice cream wars are both newsworthy and exceedingly rare. But the dramatic response by both Israeli politicians and their spear carriers in the US Congress indicated just how serious the move, little more than a gesture in practical terms, was considered to be.

There was also a touch of irony to the tale as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were and still are both politically liberal Jewish New Yorkers who moved to Vermont to open their business. The fact is that they were not party to the decision as they had sold their company to British food and consumer home products conglomerate Unilever back in 2000, which is precisely the problem for the Israeli government. Even though Ben & Jerry’s has an independent board, its parent company Unilever is a major corporation. The fact that it accepted a decision that it knew would be extremely controversial is significant as there would have to have been a consensus over the issue by the company’s top executives and board as well by major shareholders. There are indeed reports that the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s wanted to boycott all of Israel but was restrained by Unilever management. Either way, for Israel it was perhaps the shape of things to come with other companies possibly following the Ben & Jerry example by limiting their involvement in the country’s economy or pulling out altogether.

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Joe Biden Bows to Force Majeure, by Philip Giraldi

A picture of the US president—even a weenie like Joe Biden—kneeling before anyone is unsettling. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

If one were only limited to viewing or reading the US mainstream media the story of how President Joe Biden went down on his knees to honor two visiting Israelis would never have surfaced. Fortunately, the story did make considerable waves in both the Israeli and the alternative media, though not enough to convince the faceless editors at CBS news and elsewhere to run with it. The kneeling incident reportedly took place while Biden was meeting in the White House with soon-to-be retired Israeli president Reuven Rivlin. Rivlin was doing something like his victory lap, having presumably completed his term of office without being charged with corruption, which is what the Jewish state’s leaders have traditionally been noted for.

In fact, the good news re Israeli corruption is that recent ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been dogged by corruption charges for years, no longer can claim immunity and just might now have to pay the piper and go to jail together with his lovely wife Sara. The thought of Netanyahu in the slammer brings tears of joy to my eyes, not only because he is dishonest and a thief, but also because he was part of an Israeli spy ring that obtained nuclear triggers to construct bombs, which was operating against the United States back when he lived here in the 1970s-80s. But that is another story for another day.

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Government admits that half of new Covid-19 cases in last month were fully vaccinated, by Y Rabinovitz

It’s kind of gaping vaccination plot hole if the vaccines don’t prevent Covid-19 and they have dangerous side effects, including death, to boot. From Y Rabinovitz at israelnationalnews.com:

Coronavirus ward, Ichilov Hospital Tel Aviv

Coronavirus ward, Ichilov Hospital Tel Aviv

Eitan Elhadez / TPS

Israel’s campaign to promote the coronavirus vaccine – now focusing on young teens – is going full steam ahead, in spite of statistics presented by government officials showing that half of those recently infected with Covid-19 were fully vaccinated, Behadrey Haredim reports.

Head of Public Health Services, Dr. Sharon Alray-Price, revealed the disturbing facts at a media presentation on Wednesday. According to her data, of the 891 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the last month alone, half had received both doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.

According to a report on Channel 12, in the months since the vaccines were rolled out, 6,765 people who received both shots have contracted coronavirus, and epidemiological tracing has revealed that an additional 3,133 people contracted Covid-19 from those vaccinated individuals. The 6,765 represent a little more than one percent of the total number of those vaccinated, which now stands at over 5,100,000.

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Change in the Middle East? by Philip Giraldi

Don’t be counting on a lot of change in the Middle East, especially as regards the US’s relations with Israel. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

The media focus on the Summit meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin has to a certain extent crowded out news about the new government in Israel, headed by hardline nationalist Naftali Bennett. In those media outlets that are actually discussing the change there is an odd sort of perception that Israel’s new government will have to adjust to the new regime in Washington. That would imply that the Israelis will have to mitigate some of their more outrageous behavior to accommodate themselves to Biden’s intention to take actions that will be disapproved of in Jerusalem, to include a possible rapprochement with Iran over its nuclear program and a White House reengagement with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015.

The New York Times has an interesting article written by its Washington bureau diplomatic correspondent Michael Crowley with contributions from its new correspondent in Jerusalem Patrick Kingsley. The article is entitled “Shift in Israel Provides Biden a Chance for Better Ties” with a sub-heading that reads “The departure of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister is a relief for Democrats, but Iran and the Palestinians could test Mr. Biden’s relations with a fragile new Israeli government.”

The article argues that the fact that Biden did not call Netanyahu for three months after his own inauguration but called Bennett within three hours is significant. In the phone call Bennett reportedly blamed Netanyahu for “poisoning” the relationship with the United States, which should surprise no one as that was one of the issues hammered at repeatedly by Bennett during his own electoral campaign.

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As the Strategic Balance Inverts, Israel is Politically and Militarily Paralysed, by Alastair Crooke

Israel is playing a weaker hand than it looks in the Middle East. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

So fatigued by their own rhetoric have Israeli and western leaders become, that they will not think or say that Israel has run out of options.

Many Israeli commentators are bracketing Trump with Netanyahu. Veteran correspondent Ben Caspit, for instance, asks: Is Netanyahu “a Middle Eastern clone of Donald Trump?”. He continues: “The worst could still be ahead. Barring a last-minute change, the Knesset is scheduled to swear in the new government June 13 … Will Netanyahu in a last-ditch effort, engineer a Capitol-style invasion in Jerusalem? Will he call on his followers to march on the Knesset to prevent being unseated? … his Likud party has issued statements in English, informing the world that deposing Netanyahu means turning Israel into a dictatorship and comparing his designated successor Yamina leader Naftali Bennett to the leaders of North Korea”.

To be fair, Caspit answers his question with a ‘both yes and no’. But actually, the asking of this question is a pure ‘red herring’. Superficially, some parallels might have merit; but to frame the issue in this way is disingenuous, and misses the key point that Israel’s situation is far graver, than widely understood.

Israel has painted itself into a tight corner. Trump certainly helped Netanyahu with this, but the dynamic was as much a child of Clinton-Obama myopia, as that of Trump. Netanyahuism has been a phenomenon many years in the making; although undoubtedly was accelerated, and put on steroids, during the Trump era, when the power and platform of the U.S. government became the echo chamber of the Israeli Right.

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The Israeli Government Is Changing, but Some Things Remain the Same, by Philip Giraldi

Meet the new Israeli boss, same as the old Israeli boss. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

However, there is growing sentiment even in Congress and the Zionist controlled media that “what is wrong is wrong,” Phil Giraldi writes.

Israel is undergoing a change of management, with reliably hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being replaced by extreme nationalist Naftali Bennett. Bennett has at intervals favored the disenfranchisement of non-Jewish Israeli citizens and the ethnic cleansing of all non-Jews from historic Palestine, killing them if necessary. He opposes the creation of any Palestinian state and routinely describes Palestinian protesters as terrorists while stating his belief that they should be shot on sight. He has also boasted of his shooting Palestinians during his military service, saying at one point “I already killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there is absolutely no problem with that.” He was heavily involved in “Operation Grapes of Wrath” in Lebanon in the 1980s, where his commando unit killed numerous civilians, and takes pleasure in recounting his participation in Israel’s war crimes.

All of which means that there will be no respite from the brutal Netanyahu reign of terror which has been prevailing on the West Bank, in Gaza and also in Jerusalem itself. If anything, the pressure on Arabs forcing them to leave will intensify. Evidence that the recently negotiated cease fire was little more than a pause in the plan to mitigate international pressure before continuing to make the former Palestine Palestinian free is already available. Israeli police and army units have been arresting hundreds of Arabs, many of whom are Israeli citizens, not because they have broken any of the “rules” imposed by the Netanyahu government, but as a preventive measure to have them identified, allowing them to be safely locked away when the next round of fighting begins. Eighteen hundred arrests have been reported since unrest began in April, but the figure is probably much higher than that. An estimated 25% of those who are detained are children and 85% of those children arrested report that they were physically abused.  Also, at least 26 Palestinians have been killed while resisting. It has been claimed that the police, embarrassed by being ridiculed by protesting Palestinians, are “settling scores” and “closing accounts,” frequently using savage beatings during arrests and as collective punishment to break the Arab resistance.

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Israel Wins Big in Washington, by Philip Giraldi

Israel is America’s trust fund kid and it’s definitely been spoiled. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

$1.2 billion more is on the way!

Now let me get this straight. A nation bullies and harasses a much smaller neighbor which eventually leads that neighbor to strike back with largely home-made weapons. The larger and more powerful country, armed with state of the art killing machines, attacks its basically unarmed opponent and kills hundreds of civilians, including a large number of children. It also destroys billions of dollars of infrastructure in the poorer and weaker neighbor. Almost immediately after the fighting stops, senior legislators from a third nation that had nothing to do with the war apart from supplying the larger nation with weapons appeared on the scene and promoted the lie that the larger nation had actually been the victim of an unprovoked attack by the “terrorists” running the small nation. They did so publicly while meeting with and endorsing the actions of the government officials from the large nation, which, it would seem, is about to be investigated by an international body for war crimes. They were joined by an ex-officio former foreign minister of the third nation who likewise echoed the propaganda being put out by the large nation. Several of them also promised to provide military assistance worth $1 billion so the large nation could rearm itself.

Of course, I am writing about how Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Bill Hagerty traveled to Israel over the Memorial Day weekend and bowed and scraped before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and company. During his meeting with Bibi, Graham even held up a sign reading “More for Israel.” They were joined in Jerusalem by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who was in town visiting with his old friend Yossi Cohen, head of the Israeli Intelligence service Mossad, who is retiring soon.

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Another Claim of ‘Mission Accomplished’ Collapses, by Alastair Crooke

It’s been a long time since the US government had a foreign policy “mission accomplished.” From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

A provocation at the al-Aqsa enclosure by one or other of the extreme Settler cults, is not probable – it is inevitable, Alastair Crooke writes.

The post WW2 policy iceberg – like that of the Artic Cap – may still be solid – but only just. And, like the real Ice Cap, it too is disintegrating. It no longer serves purpose for our internationalist oligarchs. Bits of it are crumbling; some are purposefully being offered up (i.e. Gates/Fauci). Though, to extend this metaphor to geo-politics would be to say that we may be on the cusp of a multi-facetted cascade of the post-war, ‘forever’ political certainties – some intended; many not; but all disruptive.

On the one hand, the U.S. outsized military establishment demands a new raison d’être – just as Russia and China unveil their smart new weaponry. The ‘bigger play’, of course, is that the social decay eating away at the fabric of America has become all too visible – and damaging to the desired recasting of the American mission (Green-washing and now LBGTQ ‘washing’ – as mechanisms to firstly disrupt, and then reset, politics and geo-finance).

Belligerent ‘competition’ with China is ramped as the means to reunite this fragmented America. Yet, however much Washington keeps pushing Europe and Japan to decouple from both China and Russia, a Cold War 2.0 on two simultaneous fronts has very few takers. The (self-harming) EU provocations of China and Russia over Belarus or the Uyghurs – as naively woke, as they are – are no accident, however.

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Abby Martin Beats the Israel Lobby: Attack on Free Speech and Association Fails Court Test, by Philip Giraldi

That a foreign nation can try to tell US citizens what they can and cannot say about it in their own country is repugnant. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

Abby Martin’s efforts must be applauded for she has won a major victory in the struggle to maintain freedom of speech in the United States.

Many Americans who follow developments overseas would concede that Israel and its supporters in the United States exercise a fairly high level of control over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Some are also aware of Congressional attempts to introduce legislation that would define criticism of the Jewish state as a federal hate crime. That would narrow the options for discussion, infringing on First Amendment free speech rights, and further tighten the grip on policy. It would also make violators of the new law subject to fines and even imprisonment at the hands of the Department of Justice, which has traditionally responded favorably on issues of concern to Israel and its supporters.

Still fewer Americans, however, are aware of the ability of the Lobby to promote legislation favorable to Israel and its perceived interests at state and local levels. Possibly the most insidious program being advanced by the friends of Israel is the attempt to make boycotts and public criticism of Israel a punishable offense. Legislation is now in place in many states that requires prospective recipients of government jobs, services or compensation to agree not to participate in boycotting or otherwise seeking to damage the Israeli economy. The details on how the legislation works and what exactly it covers varies from state to state, but the intention is to create disincentives for anyone who seeks to harm Israel as defined by Israel itself. It particularly targets the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is popular on many university campuses. And the prohibition goes beyond just sanctioning those who are taking action personally, as in a number of states one also cannot publicly or even privately encourage others to take action that might be damaging to the Jewish state. In some U.S. states, the recipient must even sign a legal document under oath indicating that he or she will not engage in anti-Israeli activity.

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Twisting UK Law to Criminalize Dissent on Palestine, by Craig Murray

The British have destroyed their traditional freedom of speech and the press, even more so than the US. From Craig Murray at consortiumnews.com:

raig Murray denounces the U.K.’s persecution of Richard Barnard for calling out his country’s role in the manufacture of instruments for the death and maiming of Palestinians. 

Matam high-tech park in Haifa, Israel, where military manufacturer Elbit Systems has one of the buildings in the foreground. (Zvi Roger, Haifa Municipality, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Once you have been active in politics for a few decades, you get used to the popular convulsions of support for Palestine every few years when Israel military action against Gaza becomes particularly intense. Then follows a ceasefire, the media move on and Israel resumes the daily routine of low-level evictions, destruction of tree crops, imprisonments and murders that accomplishes the gradual extinction of the territories that the Western powers pretended to intend for a Palestinian state.

For the media, 50 Palestinian children killed in a week has been a story. The regular killing of 50 a year is not; and anybody who thinks it is must be labeled an anti-Semite and hounded from political life.

As a young man, the two great injustices we campaigned on were South Africa and Palestine. I never dreamt the latter abuse would possibly outlast me. These two issues resonated so much because they were both remnants of European colonial arrogance, founded on racism and a sense of cultural superiority.

Nowadays I cannot even think myself into a mindset that says that for the greater good of the United Kingdom, it is O.K. to deport the entire population of the Chagos Islands to make way for a military base. But that was the view not just of governments, but of Labour governments, inside my own lifetime.

I should like to think that the undeniable openness of Israeli apartheid rule has made a fundamental shift in thinking towards Palestine, but I do not think much has in fact changed. The media and political class remain bought and paid for on the issue.

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