Tag Archives: Israel

Russiagate Becomes Israelgate, by Philip Giraldi

If you want to go after the government that takes first prize for interfering in US politics, the title surely belongs to Israel’s government. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Reading the mainstream media headlines relating to the flipping of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to provide evidence relating to the allegations about Russian interference in America’s last presidential election requires the suspension of one’s cognitive processes. Ignoring completely what had actually occurred, the “Russian story” with its subset of “getting Trump” was on display all through the weekend, both in the print and on the live media.

Flynn’s guilty plea is laconic, merely admitting that he had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about what was said during two telephone conversations with then Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, but there is considerable back story that emerged after the plea became public.

The two phone calls in question include absolutely nothing about possible collusion with Russia to change the outcome of the U.S. election, which allegedly was the raison d’etre behind the creation of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel office in the first place. Both took place more than a month after the election and both were initiated by the Americans involved. I am increasingly convinced that Mueller ain’t got nuthin’ but this process will grind out interminably and the press will be hot on the trail until there is nowhere else to go.

Based on the information revealed regarding the two conversations, and, unlike the highly nuance-sensitive editors working for the mainstream media, this is the headline that I would have written for a featured article based on what I consider to be important: “Israel Colluded with Incoming Trump Team to Subvert U.S. Foreign Policy,” with a possible subheading “FBI Entraps National Security Adviser.”

To continue reading: Russiagate Becomes Israelgate

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From ‘Russia-Gate’ to ‘Israel-Gate’, by Justin Raimondo

There is a foreign power that has influence American politics and elections for years, and it’s not Russia. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

As one fake scandal fades, a real one emerges

Life is full of surprises. Like that time you were counting on a new bike for Christmas, and were totally certain your parents were going to come through, and then – lo and behold! – on Christmas morning there it was: a spanking brand-new Segway! The final evidence that, despite your best efforts, you’d always be a nerdy little dork. (And yes, a pocket calculator turned up in your stocking,)

That’s just what happened to #TheResistance this holiday season. For months they’ve been salivating heavily in anticipation of the turning of Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor now charged with lying to the FBI. Flynn has admitted doing so on at least two occasions, both involving his answers to questions about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kisylak. During the transition – after Trump’s election but before he took office – Flynn was talking to the Russians about two subjects: the possible blowback from the Obama administration’s decision to impose more sanctions and close the Russian compound in Maryland, and the Russian position on the controversial UN resolution condemning Israel for building yet more “settlements” on Palestinian land.

The incoming Trump team was “intensely focused on improving relations with Moscow and was willing to intervene to pursue that goal,” as the New York Times phrased it, even as the war cries in the Democratic party got louder and demagogues like Adam Schiff waved the bloody shirt of Russia-gate. That took balls: and here’s another instance where the alleged non-interventionists ensconced in the world of thinktanks and academia fail to give the Trump people the credit that is their due.

To continue reading: From ‘Russia-Gate’ to ‘Israel-Gate’

 

US Bows to Israeli/Saudi Alliance in Blaming Iran, by Ted Snider

Israel opposes Iran’s “radical Islam,” but not Saudi Arabia’s. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

At first, American officials couldn’t believe it. In 1993, the Israelis began pressuring the Clinton administration to view Iran as the greatest global threat. Only a short time earlier, in the 1980s, Israel had been cooperating with the Iranians militarily and selling them weapons to fight Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War.

Back then, the Israelis were Iran’s best lobbyists in Washington, pushing the Reagan administration to talk to Iran, to sell arms to Iran, and even to ignore Iran’s tough talk on Israel. In that process, Israel was aided by a group of staunchly pro-Israeli officials within the Reagan administration whom we now know as the neoconservatives.

In 1981, just months after Iran had held 52 American diplomatic personnel hostage for 444 days, senior State Department officials Robert McFarlane and Paul Wolfowitz were advocating on behalf of the Israeli desire to sell Iran weapons. That initiative, which was continued by McFarlane when he became President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, ultimately led to the Iran-Contra scandal of 1986 when Reagan’s secret approval of U.S. arms shipments to Iran became public.

Yet, even in the wake of that scandal and the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, the neoconservatives who remained influential under Reagan’s successor, President George H.W. Bush, pressed ahead with the goal of getting the US to warm its relations with Iran. Iraq’s defeat at the hands of the US military and its allies in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 further reduced the Arab threat to Israel’s security and encouraged more thinking about a possible U.S.-Iranian détente.

The Bush-I administration’s 1991 “National Security Strategy of the United States” said the US was open to “an improved relationship with Iran,” a country that a 1991 National Intelligence Estimate said was “turning away from revolutionary excesses . . . toward more conventional behavior.”

However, in 1993, with the Clinton administration in power, the Israelis changed their tune, urging the US government to find Iran lurking behind every terrorist attack, every conflict and every threat.

To continue reading: US Bows to Israeli/Saudi Alliance in Blaming Iran

Putin Is Mediating A Secret Deal Between Assad And Netanyahu, Bombshell Report Reveals, by Tyler Durden

The deal is that Syria will reportedly accept a demilitarized zone around the Golan Heights if Israel will quit trying to depose Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A bombshell report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to attack all Iranian facilities and assets within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Israel’s Golan Heights is circulating in Israeli media. The story, first picked up by The Jerusalem Post based on Israeli and Arab sources, also indicates that intense and potentially breakthrough back channel diplomacy between Assad and Netanyahu is currently being mediated via Vladimir Putin.

Though unconfirmed, what appears to be an ultimatum by Netanyahu could be the catalyst that finally pushes the Levant either toward broader war, or in the direction of de-escalation and regional stability after months of intensifying and provocative Israeli airstrikes on Syria and a corresponding war of words. The report also follows on the heels of a rare and unexpected visit of Assad to Sochi, Russia where he met with Putin just prior to trilateral talks between Russia, Iran, and Turkey over the future of Syria.


SAM defense system (Image Source: Iran Review)

Netanyahu himself recently met with Putin in a reportedly contentious summit in August where the Israeli prime minister declared, “We cannot forget for a single minute that Iran threatens every day to annihilate Israel. Israel opposes Iran’s continued entrenchment in Syria. We will be sure to defend ourselves with all means against this and any threat.”

And now after months of Israel issuing threats of “red lines” concerning Iranian troop and militia presence in Syria, The Jerusalem Post reveals the following:

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida revealed on Sunday that an Israeli source disclosed a promise from Jerusalem to destroy all Iranian facilities within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Israel’s Golan Heights.

The source, who remains unnamed, said that during Syrian President Bashar Assad’s surprise visit to Russia last week, Assad gave Russian Premier Vladimir Putin a message for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Damascus will agree to a demilitarized zone of up to 40 kilometers from the border in the Golan Heights as part of a comprehensive agreement between the two countries, but only if Israel does not work to remove Assad’s regime from power.

To continue reading: Putin Is Mediating A Secret Deal Between Assad And Netanyahu, Bombshell Report Reveals

Lebanon in the Crosshairs, by Philip Giraldi

Is Lebanon the next Middle Eastern disaster for the US? From Philip Giraldi at lewrockwell.com:

If the United States climbs into bed with the Israelis and Saudis and commits to take down Iran it will wind up having to do the hard fighting in a war that could be unwinnable in any conventional sense.

There has been much discussion surrounding the travel of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to Saudi Arabia on November 4th. Al-Hariri, who is a Saudi-Lebanese dual national with considerable business and other personal interests in Saudi Arabia apparently complied with a summons to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been shaking up his government as part of what appears to be an attempt to concentrate more power in his own hands being marketed as a campaign against corruption. Al-Hariri was by some accounts met at the Riyadh airport unceremoniously and placed under something like house arrest. He shortly thereafter read a statement – or was it a script? – claiming that he had fled Lebanon in fear that he might be assassinated. He resigned his office and proceeded to denounce Iranian influence over his country, saying that Tehran was seeking to gain control through its dominance of Hezbollah and the acquiescence of the president, a Maronite Christian, Michel Aoun.

Al-Hariri was allowed to leave Saudi Arabia on Saturday, flying to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, but his children and business interests are still in Saudi Arabia, suggesting that his actions will be dictated by Riyadh. Al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, was in Beirut on Wednesday for Lebanon’s Independence Day, where he was convinced to hold off on formally submitting his resignation to the government so more discussions could take place. This temporarily avoids a government crisis for the country, where a coalition carefully designed to balance the country’s three major religious constituencies only came together last year.

To continue reading: Lebanon in the Crosshairs

 

Saudi-Israeli Friendship Is Driving the Rest of the Middle East Together, by Federico Pieraccini

Saudi Arabia and Israel may find themselves the odd men out in the Middle East. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:

Through its top official, Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), Saudi Arabia continues a wave of internal arrests, having seized nearly $800 billion in assets and bank accounts. A few days later, MBS attempted to demonstrate his authority by summoning Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Saudi Arabia, where he was forced to resign on Saudi state TV. Trump tweeted support for Bin Salman’s accusations against Iran and Hezbollah, and the future Saudi king even obtained Israel’s secret support. Iran, meanwhile, denies any involvement in Lebanon’s domestic affairs or involvement with the ballistic missile launched by Houthi rebels towards Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport a few days ago. Meanwhile, Trump, Putin and Xi met recently and seem to have decided the fate of the region in an exercise of realism and pragmatism.

News that upends the course of events has now become commonplace over the last few months. However, even by Middle East standards, this story is something new. The affair surrounding Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri generated quite a bit of commotion. Hariri had apparently been obliged to announce his resignation on Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel while being detained in Riyadh. His most recent interview seemed to betray some nervousness and fatigue, as one would expect from a person under enormous stress from forced imprisonment. In his televised resignation statement, Hariri specified that he was unable to return to Lebanon due to some sort of a threat to his person and his family by operatives in Lebanon of Iran and Hezbollah. The Lebanese security authorities, however, have stated that they are not aware of any danger faced by Hariri.

In an endless attempt to regain influence in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has once again brought about results directly opposite to those intended. Immediately after receiving confirmation that the resignation had taken place in Saudi Arabia, the entire Lebanese political class demanded that Hariri return home to clarify his position, meet with the president and submit his resignation in person. Saudi actions have served to consolidate a united front of opposition factions and paved the way for the collapse of Saudi influence in the country, leaving a vacuum to be conveniently filled by Iran. Once again, as with Yemen and in Syria, the intentions of the Saudis have dramatically backfired.

To continue reading: Saudi-Israeli Friendship Is Driving the Rest of the Middle East Together

Israel Gives Official Confirmation Of Covert Ties With Saudi Arabia, by Tyler Durden

It’s Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Sunni axis versus Russia and the Shiite axis: Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Hezbollah. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Yet more confirmation emerged today regarding the recently established relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which is being defined by a shared desire to see Iranian influence and expansion rolled back in the Middle East. For the first time a high level Israeli government official has formally acknowledged the increased ties between the two countries which have historically been bitter enemies, and which have never had official diplomatic relations.

The historic news, which is worrisome for the fact that it could bring the region closer to major war as the newfound “allies” eye the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, follows the leak of an Israeli diplomatic cable sent to all Israeli embassies throughout the world which revealed Israeli and Saudi behind the scenes coordination. The cable gave instructions to Israeli diplomats to express support for the Saudi war against Shia forces in Yemen and also urged embassies to aggressively lobby their host governments to take steps toward pushing Hezbollah out of Lebanon.

Image result for israel saudi ties

And today the Times of Israel reports the following Reuters story under the bombshell headline, Israel Has Secret Contacts With Saudi Arabia, Senior Minister Reveals:

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior Israeli official of such contacts. In an interview on Army Radio, Steinitz was asked why Israel was hiding its ties with Saudi Arabia, which does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

And in response Steinitz replied in the affirmative, explaining that:

“We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually (we are) the party that is not ashamed. It’s the other side that is interested in keeping the ties quiet. With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side’s wish, when ties are developing, whether it’s with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries, and there is much more … (but) we keep it secret.”