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Myra Bronstein
11-08-2008, 05:45 AM
Can anyone explain, in a couple of sentences :D, how Israel fits into the big picture? I need serious remedial ed on this.

I have a vague sense that the practical value in Israel is in it's location--it provides the US with a base in the middle east from which to potentially launch missiles and such. Obviously that's where the oil is, and a good climate for opium poppies I suppose. It also seems like a prototype for the type of oppressive power that the US wants to be, like a test lab.

And it appears that sheeple of the gringo persuasion are persuaded to go along with US support of Israel's by depicting it as the mythical portal to the mythical rapture. Obviously since it encompasses the "holy land" that makes it more important to certain religions and more believable that it's the rapture site.

Beyond that I'm hazy.
Anyone want to help out... if you dare. Such an incendiary topic... :eek:

Myra Bronstein
11-08-2008, 05:47 AM
One more thing--do you guys think we need a new folder for discussion of various countries and geography? I don't know that the above post really belongs in this folder.

Magda Hassan
11-08-2008, 08:28 AM
I see Israel as like a cookoo bird. It sits in a nest not their own. A European out post in the Arab and Turkish world. It was a creation of colonialism. Part of the play between France, England Russian and the Ottoman empires with not a small role by the US. Naturally France and England wanted control over the Ottoman empire remains and it was the Ashkenazi (European) not Sephardi Jews who ruled the roost. Most of the land was bought from wealthy and absent Turkish landlords by the Rothschilds and other wealthy European Jewish families. They still lived in Europe though but the poor Jews of Europe were encouraged to move there and work. The poor Plaestinians who lived there for centuries and who got licked off their land. In most cases they never knew someone else owned it. Land was also taken from the Turkey by Britain as reparations for the war. The early Zionist considered many other locations before settling in Palestine. Uganda, Patagonia, Australia. It was a political movement not religious. For many religious Jew the state of Israel is illegitmate though it is supported by other religous elements in Judaism and Christianity. The creation of Israel was supported by the European powers in some cases as a mean of dealing with the 'Jewish' problem there. In the case of England and the US it also served as a means of controling oil fields. Perfidious Britain made promises to both Palestinians and Jews. Britain needed the help of the Arabs in their war against the Turks (who were allies of the Germans) to keep access to the oil of the middle east (Lawrence of Arabia) . Palestinians were promised independence after the war. The Balfour Declaration promised British backing for a Jewish home land. Jewish capitalists just wanted to expand their business opportunities and they were happy to use poor and idealistic European Jews to make it happen. They were also funding the British government and had some leverage.

Well that's a couple more sentences than you wanted.

Just want to stress that class interests play a huge part in this. Rich Jews bought much of the land from Rich Turks and Arabs moving in poor Jews and dispossessing poor Palestinians. The rich Jews and Arabs have always lived else where. There are huge tax breaks and lots of incentives (and bigger houses) for those Israelis who want to live in the occupied territories. And an army to protect you. Life is hard for the average Jewish Israei but not as hard as the average Palestinian who is probably living in a refugee camp outside Israel and they are not permitted to return. Generally speaking Israeli industry and business is better integrated into Europe and and US economies (and vis-a-versa) and also rides on the back of Palestinian dispossession. Israel also serves to keep the Arab world divided and disorganised. Arab ruling class are bought by the US and European business interests. Palestinian interests are sacrificed all round.

Does that answer your question?

Myra Bronstein
11-11-2008, 06:25 AM
...
Does that answer your question?


It's starting to. I'm percolating on it. It's still nebulous to me.
Is there a specific resource--book, movie, etc--you recommend?

Thanks for the input Maggie. I like the cuckoo bird simile.

Magda Hassan
11-11-2008, 06:53 AM
Somethings to read here:

http://www.alnakba.org/
http://www.alnakba.org/links/organizations.htm
http://www.palestineremembered.com/
http://electronicintifada.net/new.shtml
http://www.jkcook.net/
http://www.jkcook.net/Useful-Links.htm

David Guyatt
11-11-2008, 02:01 PM
I would add my brief cynicism here in that I wonder if Palestine, and then Israel, was midwifed into being for the purposes of creating a perpetual rift in the Middle East so that the west could control the oilfields in the ensuing chaos, under the old divide and rule rubric.

Magda Hassan
11-11-2008, 10:45 PM
Since the British are behind this and they do that so very well I believe you may be 100% right David.

Myra Bronstein
11-22-2008, 02:27 AM
I would add my brief cynicism here in that I wonder if Palestine, and then Israel, was midwifed into being for the purposes of creating a perpetual rift in the Middle East so that the west could control the oilfields in the ensuing chaos, under the old divide and rule rubric.

This is a really good and succinct take on the topic.
Thanks David.

The 'divide and conquer' strategy should never be overlooked or underestimated.

Mark Stapleton
11-26-2008, 05:04 AM
I agree with David's take on Israel being strategically beneficial to the West in running interference within that oil rich region---up to a point. Beyond that, Israel's unique and disturbing paranoia takes on a life of its own. During the Suez crisis in 1956, Israel displayed wanton disregard for its allies (and the UN) in initially refusing to withdraw from captured territories. Only after serious threats from the US did Israel reluctantly and slowly withdraw.

Israel's disregard for world opinion concerning Palestine (now the West Bank and Gaza) is notorious. Immunity from criticism in the Western press is apparently ample justification for Israel to continue its disgusting ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

But the issue of nuclear weaponry provides the most stunning exhibition of Israeli paranoia. This spoilt brat among nation states is the only nuclear power within the region. The duplicity with which Israel acquired this capability is legendary and is best explained in Avner Cohen's ''Israel and the bomb''(1998). In 1963, Shimon Peres promised JFK that Israel would not be the first nation in the region to acquire such weapons. He lied. Golda Meir lied. Ben-Gurion lied. So did many others. The US even supplied Israel with a research reactor at Nachal Soreq in order to placate the Israelis and preclude the construction of the larger reactor at Dimona. However, it wasn't enough. It's never enough for Israel.

The nuclear club now includes the US, Russia, UK, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Israel. I don't think I missed any. Countries like India have learned to live with a nuclear armed Pakistan (and vice versa). Russia and the US, China and North Korea all have accepted the reality of a nuclear armed neighbour. Not Israel. Never Israel. As journalist Paul Sheehan writes, Israel is now preparing to attack Iran and its nuclear sites, regardless of the implications for the rest of us:


http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/paul-sheehan/israeli-hawks-ready-to-fly-on-iran/2008/11/23/1227375056994.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

Israeli hawks ready to fly on Iran

Paul Sheehan
November 24, 2008

Prepare for war. Last week I met the Boogie Man, the former head of the Israeli Defence Forces, General Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon, who is preparing the political groundwork for a military attack on Iran's key nuclear facilities. "We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately," he told me. "There is no way to stabilise the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped."

Defeating the theocratic regime in Tehran could be economic or political or, as a last resort, military, he said. "All tools, all options, should be considered." He was speaking in the tranquillity of the Shalem Centre in Jerusalem, where he was, until last Thursday, one of Israel's plethora of warrior-scholars, though more influential than most.

Could "all options" include decapitating the Iranian leadership by military strikes, including on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel's destruction? "We have to consider killing him," Ya'alon replied. "All options must be considered."

That's why he's called Boogie. This is significant, for several reasons. Ya'alon has decided to enter what he called "the cold waters of Israeli politics". He will run for the conservative Likud party in the general election in Israel on February 10. Likud is leading the opinion polls. So I could have been speaking to Israel's next defence minister or, at least, an influential member of the next cabinet.

He is not known for making idle threats. Ya'alon is a former paratroop commander and was deputy leader of the Israel Defence Forces from 2000 to 2002, then chief of staff from 2002 to 2005, during the most recent Palestinian uprising, or intifada. He is credited with shutting it down.

Events are moving quickly. The Israeli Atomic Energy Commission has estimated that Iran will have produced enough highly enriched uranium by the end of next year to produce a nuclear bomb. Next year is widely regarded in Israel as year zero for the strategic decision about Iran's nuclear program.

"There is a growing sense of anxiety here, from the top levels down," said Eran Lerman, a former senior member of Israel's Directorate of Military Intelligence. "The anxiety is built on the knowledge that the Iranians are pressing ahead. The centrifuges are whirring away. Next year will be critical."

Boogie Ya'alon agrees. He has long regarded Iran as the main wellspring of instability and terrorism in the region.

"I was chief of staff during Operation Iraqi Freedom [the US invasion of Iraq in 2003] and I was surprised the US decided to go into Iraq instead of Iran … Unfortunately, the American public didn't have the political stomach to go into Iran."

Ya'alon does. "Military intervention would not be one strike. It needs to be a sustained operation … Any military strike in Iran will be quietly applauded by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states. It is a misconception to think that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most important in the Middle-East. The Shiite-Sunni schism is much bigger, the Persian-Arab divide is bigger, the struggle between national regimes and jihadism is much bigger. And I can't imagine the US will want to share power in the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran."

The Boogie doctrine is mainstream, not fringe, in the Israeli strategic debate. "We cannot accept a nuclear Iran, we cannot be reconciled to it," Major-General Amos Gilad, the head of the Defence Department's Diplomatic Security Bureau, told The Jerusalem Post last Thursday.

"Israel is preparing for an attack on the Iran nuclear facilities," Dr Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Centre, told me in Tel Aviv last week.

"Sanctions won't work against Iran. Only a military action against Iran will work," Professor Efraim Inbar said. "I know the Israeli military is preparing its capacity to destroy the Iranian nuclear threat."

Inbar is another of Israel's warrior-scholars, a former paratrooper who is professor in political studies at Bar-Ian University and Director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies. He does not accept the argument, popular in America, than the Iranian nuclear facilities are already impregnable to attack. "I'm a paratrooper. If you are committed, if you are willing to pay the price, you can destroy the target."

Inbar also believes the Iranian regime, by spreading Persian and Shiite power, is widely unpopular in the Sunni Arab world.

In effect, Israel has already conducted a test run into an enemy country and been encouraged by the results. In September last year, Israeli Air Force jets destroyed a nuclear facility under construction in Syria. Israel never said a word. Syria never said a word. No government in the Middle East ever said a word.

"Israel's raid on Syria was greeted by a thunderous silence from the rest of the region," Eran Lerman said. "What that silence told us was that the rest of the region regard Syria as part of the Iranian problem. If Iran obtains the bomb, even if they don't use it or threaten to use it, they will have positioned themselves in a way that will transform this region into a much more dangerous place. Iran has influence on the Shiia communities, not just in Iraq and through Hezbollah in Lebanon but in Syria and the Gulf states. The position of the moderate states in the Gulf will have been rendered more fragile."

Lerman, too, believes next year will be year zero. "Unless the pace [of developing Iran's nuclear program] is slowed down, we will need to face some bitter decisions within a year. The sanctions have failed.

"The Iranian regime's need for a nuclear bomb is a reflection of the profound crisis in which it finds itself after almost 30 years in power. They promised the earth and the country is in disarray. The regime has failed to create or sustain stable social structures. So the last validated remnant of the Iranian revolution is to destroy Israel."

Israel is preparing accordingly. The message is now clear.


Iran has just as much right to a nuclear capability as Israel--or anyone else for that matter. Of course, Israel doesn't see it that way and is prepared to risk a global conflict to (once again) get its own way.


Just how paranoid are these fuckers?

Magda Hassan
11-26-2008, 08:09 AM
The nuclear club now includes the US, Russia, UK, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Israel. I don't think I missed any. Countries like India have learned to live with a nuclear armed Pakistan (and vice versa). Russia and the US, China and North Korea all have accepted the reality of a nuclear armed neighbour.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=oRLON3ddZIw&feature=PlayList&p=8552E5734F10A4F1&index=14

Peter Lemkin
11-26-2008, 08:26 AM
I have no problem with many Jews wanting to return to where they feel is their 'biblical home'. I DO have a problem with their taking the land, homes, water, all from those who were living there when they 'returned' - and keeping most of those persons [the Palastinians] as refugees in their own country or adjacent to it. Israel and Israelis could live in peace there, I believe - and I think more than half of Israelis would like to - but [as in the USA] the rulling elites are the right; the militarists and connected to a kind of 'western rule' of the world. There is a close parallel with what happened to the Native Americans in America and what is happening to the Palistinians in the Middle East and the same sense of empire and rascism was sadly behind both. There is one additional problem in the Middle East and that is the small size of Israel and the region....with nukes and even with conventional weapons there is good reason for the oppressor to worry if the oppressed might well seek justice - and they and their allies are just a hair's breath away. By the way, there is a large and sane anti-colonialist and peace movement in Israel. May they eventually prevail there and in America. In the meantime, Israel stands as a kind of permanent base for US and W. European Elites to keep control of the area. Israel far from being a pawn uses its important position to get what they want and even to spy on the western intelligence agencies more than they are spied upon by them.

Magda Hassan
11-26-2008, 09:47 AM
W.A.S.P. White Ashkenazi Sabra Paratrooper
WASPs are the elite there too.

Mark Stapleton
11-26-2008, 01:13 PM
Maybe Obama surrounding himself with Zionist hardliners means he's planning a global diplomatic effort to secure an agreement with Iran on the nuclear issue.

I can't see what's in it for Iran or why they would get sucked in.

Watch for the massive anti-Iran media campaign.

Dawn Meredith
12-29-2008, 05:07 PM
And what I will never understand is why is it ok for all the other countrys to have nukes but "very bad" for Iran, etc. I am tired of the "they are crazy" response I get. After all only the US has ever actually used nukes. Twice.
(I favor abolition of all weapons, especially nukes so I am not advocating Iran getting one, just critical of the irrational response I get from US citizens on this.)

I remember reading an article in the Boston Globe back in about '84 or maybe '85 - on an important nuking anniversary- that this was totally unnecessary, that Japan was about to surrender. It made me bonkers. So it seems to me that the country to fear is the US.
Dawn
ps Thanks for the reminder of this thread Myra.

Mark Stapleton
12-29-2008, 06:39 PM
From Syd Walker's blog, an article by Diane Mason which, with great clarity and brevity, answers the title of this thread better than any article I have ever read.

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2008/12/30/not-too-hard-to-grasp/comment-page-1/#comment-550

Americans and British in particular--PLEASE READ IT. (I rarely use upper case) :D.

Dawn Meredith
12-29-2008, 08:50 PM
Mark: Thanks for those links. Daine Mason has made me finally understand all of this in one short blog. My friend David Skinner in Ariz has been trying for now 37 years to explain this to me. And he's Jewish. He is so angry about the political situation in the world right now that when we speak - like for two hours yesterday- it's primarily about our families. (He has not forgiven me- or anyone- for voting for Obama so we leave politics for another day). I just sent this to him. He will be glad to see Ms. Mason's article because it really does explain the whole thing, simply, and in a way no American can fail to understand. All Christians need to read this. I have long understood that the unfairness about uprooting people from their homeland is wrong, and wondered why all could not just "live there in peace", but I did not understand the numbers involved. The percentages. The inherent inequality being demanded/inflicted. Just staggering.

Dawn

Myra Bronstein
12-30-2008, 03:49 AM
From Syd Walker's blog, an article by Diane Mason which, with great clarity and brevity, answers the title of this thread better than any article I have ever read.

http://sydwalker.info/blog/2008/12/30/not-too-hard-to-grasp/comment-page-1/#comment-550
...

Thanks very much for that link Mark.

Here's what Naomi Klein has to say about the subject in The Shock Doctrine (I know, I quote her a lot), Chapter 21 "Losing the Peace Incentive: Israel as Warning." Her focus is more contemporary, starting with the 1990's.

"The extraordinary performance of Israel's homeland security companies is well known to stock watchers, but it is rarely discussed as a factor in the politics of the region. It should be. It is not a coincidence that the Israeli state's decision to put "counterterrorism" at the center of its export economy has coincided precisely with its abandonment of peace negotiations, as well as a clear strategy to reframe its conflict with the Palestinians not as a battle against a nationalist movement with specific goals for the land and rights but rather as part of the global War on Terror--one against illogical, fanatical forces bent only on destruction.
...
What makes Israel interesting as a guns-and-caviar model [wherein fighter jets=guns and executive jets=caviar both sell well] is not only that its economy is resilient in the face of major political shocks such as the 2006 war with Lebanon or Hamas's 2007 takeover of Gaza, but also that Israel has crafted an economy that expands markedly in direct response to escalating violence. The reasons for Israeli industry's comfort level with disaster are not mysterious. Years before U.S. and European companies grasped the potential of the global security boom, Israeli technology firms were busily pioneering the homeland security industry, and they continue to dominate the sector today. The Israeli Export Institute estimates that Israel has 350 corporations dedicated to selling homeland security products, and 30 new ones entered the market in 2007. From a corporate perspective, this development has made Israel a model to be emulated in the post-911 market. From a social and political perspective, however, Israel should serve as something else--as stark warning. The fact that Israel continues to enjoy booming prosperity, even as it wages war against its neighbors and escalates the brutality in the occupied territories, demonstrates just how perilous it is to build an economy based on the premise of continual war and deepening disasters.

Israel's current ability to combine guns and caviar is the culmination of a dramatic shift in the nature of its economy over the past fifteen years, one that has had a profound and little-examined impact on the parallel disintegration of prospects for peace. The last time there was a credible prospect of peace breaking out in the Middle East was in the early nineties, a time when a powerful constituency of Israelis believed that continued conflict was no longer an option. Communism had collapsed, the information revolution was beginning, and there was a widespread conviction inside Israel's business community that the bloody occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, compounded by the boycott of Israel by Arab states, was putting Israel's economic future in peril. Seeing the explosion of "emerging markets" around the world, Israeli corporations were tired of being held back by war; they wanted to be part of the high-profit borderless world, not penned in by regional strife. If the Israeli government could negotiate some sort of peace agreement with the Palestinians, Israel's neighbors would have to lift their boycotts, and the country would be perfectly positioned to the Middle East's free-trade hub.
...
Shimon Peres, then foreign minister, explained to a group of Israeli journalists that peace was now inevitable. It was a very particular kind of peace, however. "We are not seeking a peace of flags," Peres said, "we are interested in a peace of markets." A few months later the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman, Yasser Arafat, shook hands on the White House lawn to mark the inauguration of the Oslo Accords. The world cheered, the three men shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize--and then it all went horribly wrong.

Many factors contributed to the subsequent breakdown....However, two factors that contributed to Israel's retreat into unilateralism are little understood and rarely discussed, both related to the unique ways that the Chicago School free-market crusade played out in Israel. One was the influx of Soviet Jews, which was a direct result of Russia's shock therapy experiment. The other was the flipping of Israel's export economy from one based on traditional goods and high technology to one disproportionately dependent on selling expertise and devices related to counterrorism. Both factors were greatly disruptive to the Oslo process: the arrival of Russians reduced Israel's reliance on Palestinian labor and allowed it to seal in the occupied territories, while the rapid expansion of the high-tech security economy created a powerful appetite inside Israel's wealthy and most powerful sectors for abandoning peace in favor of fighting a continual, and continuously expanding, War on Terror.
...
Len Rosen, a prominent Israeli investment banker, told Fortune magazine, "It's security that matters more than peace." During Oslo, "people were looking for peace to provide growth. Now they're looking for security so violence doesn't curtail growth." He could have gone much further: the business of providing "security"--in Israel and around the world--is directly responsible for much of Israel's meteoric economic growth in recent years. It is not an exaggeration to say that the War on Terror industry saved Israel's faltering economy, much as the disaster capitalism complex helped rescue the global stock markets.
...
Clearly, Israeli industry no longer has reason to fear war.
...
This recipe for endless worldwide war is the same one that the Bush administration offered as a business prospectus to the nascent disaster capitalism complex after September 11. It is not a war that can by any country, but winning is not the point. The point is to create "security" inside fortress states bolstered by endless low-level conflict outside their walls. In a way, it is the same goal that the private security companies have in Iraq: secure the perimeter, protect the principal. Baghdad, New Orleans and Sandy Springs provide glimpses of a kind of gated future built and run by the disaster capitalism complex. It is in Israel, however, that this process is most advanced: an entire country has turned itself into a fortified gated community, surrounded by locked-out people living in permanently excluded red zones. This is what a society looks like when it has lost its economic incentive for peace and is heavily invested in fighting and profiting from an endless and unwinnable War on Terror. One part looks like Israel; the other part looks like Gaza.
...
This discarding of 25-60 percent of the population has been the hallmark of the Chicago School crusade since the "misery villages" began mushrooming throughout the Southern Cone in the seventies. In South Africa, Russia, and New Orleans the rich build walls around themselves. Israel has taken this disposal process a step further: it has built walls around the dangerous poor."

Mark Stapleton
12-30-2008, 05:47 AM
Mark: Thanks for those links. Daine Mason has made me finally understand all of this in one short blog. My friend David Skinner in Ariz has been trying for now 37 years to explain this to me. And he's Jewish. He is so angry about the political situation in the world right now that when we speak - like for two hours yesterday- it's primarily about our families. (He has not forgiven me- or anyone- for voting for Obama so we leave politics for another day). I just sent this to him. He will be glad to see Ms. Mason's article because it really does explain the whole thing, simply, and in a way no American can fail to understand. All Christians need to read this. I have long understood that the unfairness about uprooting people from their homeland is wrong, and wondered why all could not just "live there in peace", but I did not understand the numbers involved. The percentages. The inherent inequality being demanded/inflicted. Just staggering.

Dawn

Yes Dawn, it's the underlying historical injustice which is always forgotten. This is by design of course.

If I lived in Gaza I would support Hamas, as would most other people reading this, I suspect. Portraying a legitimate resistance movement as evil incarnate, with mass slaughter of civilians as a justifiable means to an end, is arguably the biggest of Israel's many lies.

Mark Stapleton
12-30-2008, 05:56 AM
This is what a society looks like when it has lost its economic incentive for peace and is heavily invested in fighting and profiting from an endless and unwinnable War on Terror. One part looks like Israel; the other part looks like Gaza.
...
This discarding of 25-60 percent of the population has been the hallmark of the Chicago School crusade since the "misery villages" began mushrooming throughout the Southern Cone in the seventies. In South Africa, Russia, and New Orleans the rich build walls around themselves. Israel has taken this disposal process a step further: it has built walls around the dangerous poor."

[/B]

I can see why you are a fan of Naomi Klein, Myra. She puts it very nicely.

Being immune from MSM criticism and being feared by western politicians has served Israel very well, up to now.

Myra Bronstein
12-30-2008, 06:52 AM
I can see why you are a fan of Naomi Klein, Myra. She puts it very nicely.

Being immune from MSM criticism and being feared by western politicians has served Israel very well, up to now.

True Mark. But the MSM is toast. Newspapers are going bankrupt, TV stations are losing their audience. People are getting their information from the internet, so more and more they're seeing things as they really are.

Obviously this fact vexes the disaster capitalists and they'll do everything then can to hobble the revolutionary exchange of information. But for now it's a huge benefit.

David Guyatt
12-30-2008, 09:32 AM
Myra Bronstein post No. 20


The last time there was a credible prospect of peace breaking out in the Middle East was in the early nineties, a time when a powerful constituency of Israelis believed that continued conflict was no longer an option.

One reason why Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by Shabak, Israel's internal security organization was the danger that peace was about to break out. To make his murder more telling, he was shot after speaking at a peace rally...

Sorry to change topic somewhat but it is not something to be overlooked in this respect.

Magda Hassan
12-30-2008, 11:12 AM
Many factors contributed to the subsequent breakdown....However, two factors that contributed to Israel's retreat into unilateralism are little understood and rarely discussed, both related to the unique ways that the Chicago School free-market crusade played out in Israel. One was the influx of Soviet Jews, which was a direct result of Russia's shock therapy experiment. The other was the flipping of Israel's export economy from one based on traditional goods and high technology to one disproportionately dependent on selling expertise and devices related to counterrorism. Both factors were greatly disruptive to the Oslo process: the arrival of Russians reduced Israel's reliance on Palestinian labor and allowed it to seal in the occupied territories, while the rapid expansion of the high-tech security economy created a powerful appetite inside Israel's wealthy and most powerful sectors for abandoning peace in favor of fighting a continual, and continuously expanding, War on Terror.Perhaps there is another underlying influence which she hasn't mentioned. South Africa. South Africa was part of the Jewish diaspora like the other English (and non-English, for that matter) speaking nations. While the role played by some Jews in the anti-aparteid movement is exemplary others were involved in less noble and more lucrative activities. Since the end of the apartheid era many people have left South Africa amongst them S.A. Jews. Some have gone to Israel and some have gone elsewhere. Amongst the many South Africans I have met here during that time some were involved in 'security' in South Africa. 'Security' in South Africa is more than just deadlocks on the doors and windows or sending a security guard to check the factory gates are locked. Way more. I also recall during the early 1980's looking at the undergraduate courses available externally at the University of South Africa (UNISA) Half the handbook was full of Police Studies, Security Studies and Prison Studies that would thrill the cold shriveled heart of a dyed in the wool fascist like Darth Vader and UNISA was considered a most liberal university compared to others. It was obviously a HUGE industry there. South Africa had a very healthy arms industry in those days too. Self funded? Funded by whom? What was the UK connection especially during the boycott? It is interesting the whole parallel apartheid wall (existence) being built around parts of the occupied territories and the bantustans of old South Africa. Also, as two pariah states apartheid South Africa and Israel had strong ties.

Myra Bronstein
12-30-2008, 03:11 PM
Myra Bronstein post No. 20

One reason why Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin was assassinated by Shabak, Israel's internal security organization was the danger that peace was about to break out. To make his murder more telling, he was shot after speaking at a peace rally...

Sorry to change topic somewhat but it is not something to be overlooked in this respect.

That is not a change in topic David. It's central to the topic.

Do you have an opinion on what the Kemplar video reveals?
Was he shot inside the limo or outside the limo or both?
And who was inside the limo with him?

Mark Stapleton
12-30-2008, 03:15 PM
It is interesting the whole parallel apartheid wall (existence) being built around parts of the occupied territories and the bantustans of old South Africa. Also, as two pariah states apartheid South Africa and Israel had strong ties.


There is a strong bond between South Africa and Israel, imo.

For years they shared similar geopolitical circumstances. They might have shared nuclear technology as they emerged with nuclear capability at roughly the same time. Of course, when it comes to the military application of apartheid, Israel is in a class of its own.

There's also the story of Malcolm Fraser's pants. I was told by an ex spook, who I regard as honest, that the pants swiping was the work of a Mossad spook, who was in town at the time, and did it as a favor to his South African fellow spooks. Fraser was a vocal critic of South African apartheid at the time.

I can't verify the accuracy of it, but it seems plausible.

David Guyatt
12-30-2008, 05:41 PM
That is not a change in topic David. It's central to the topic.

Do you have an opinion on what the Kemplar video reveals?
Was he shot inside the limo or outside the limo or both?
And who was inside the limo with him?

Myra, I watched the Kemplar video fully and in slo-mo in a hotel room in Leeds in the company of a Brit TV doco maker and Barry Shamish. I was trying to get the TV producer to make a doc for British TV on Rabin's murder. As Barry Chamish took us both through the footage it became evident -- no, obvious -- that Rabin's bodyguards had betrayed him.

The TV producer took the project on and worked hard at it and we had a ton of actual evidence, but ultimately no UK Broadcaster would touch the idea with a barge-pole.

Barry's view was that Rabin was actually shot in his limo or at the hospital. This view is probably correct when all the forensic evidence is weighed. I still have a copy of the surgeons handwritten report of his initial examination of Rabin. The death shot was a contact shot to the chest. If you remember the events, the official story (and Ronnie Kemplar's video footage) shows Rabin was shot twice in the back from a distance of a foot or two away.

Then, of course, we need to ask just how Kemplar, allegedly just a tourist in the city, managed to get on the rooftop to film Rabin's planed exit route from the Peace rally to his limo. That rooftop had armed Shabak officers on it.

This is just a fraction of the of the surface that we collectively scratched.

Barry was sure that it was the Americans who were ultimately responsible, albeit Shabak were the contracted party.

Magda Hassan
12-31-2008, 02:26 AM
This is fascinating David and Myra. I have not seen this video. Do you have a link?

Mark Stapleton
12-31-2008, 03:33 AM
I second what Maggie says. Very interesting.

Never looked closely at the Rabin hit but already one sees the parallels to JFK--SS betrayal, amateur filmmaker records assassination. Spooky.

Myra Bronstein
12-31-2008, 04:02 AM
This is fascinating David and Myra. I have not seen this video. Do you have a link?

Maggie the video is here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7368409094401324350&ei=g-5aSdSuO4H0-wHdxazQDg&q=Kempler+video+rabin
The audio has a horrible buzz and it can just be muted since commentary is in Hebrew anyway. According to the URL "The Yitzhak Rabin murder video is the ten minute video that was shown on Israeli TV one time in December,1995 and the Israeli government realized that the video reveals the dishonesty of the "official" version of the assassination. the complete video was never shown or mentioned again on Israeli TV."

It was supposedly filmed by some guy on a roof named Kempler. Of course there are questions about his authenticity, as David indicated.

Some of the supposed contradictions with the official story are listed at the Wikipedia page (I know I'm a hypocrite 'cause I mistrust Wikipedia, but I'm a lazy hypocrite and it's easy to paste a URL): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yitzhak_Rabin_assassination_conspiracy_theories

I really can't see enough in the video to know if what is depicted contradicts the official account. It does seem to show that he was shot in the back, not in the chest however.

The Wikipedia site has some good links. This looks interesting: http://www.tisanim.com/Web/Sites/hadar/PAGE17.asp

Echoes of JFK and RFK in much of this.

On edit: Good overview here: http://www.gamla.org.il/english/article/2000/aug/rabin.htm

David Guyatt
12-31-2008, 12:34 PM
The Kempler video had been doctored with when it was first broadcast, which didn't do any favours to its credibility. But I notice that the copy Myra posted above has been even further doctored with when compared to the copy given to me by Barry Chamish and which Ricard & I first viewed in the Leeds hotel room.

In that copy it was very clear that the bodyguard walking to the rear left of Rabin suddenly stopped, turned, placed his hands together in front of him and stood still. Rabin and his other bodyguard (positioned on his right rear shoulder) continued walking. Thus a space opened behind Rabin and it was in this exact space that Yigal Amir stepped into to shoot the two shots. The firing of these two shots were also able to be seen in the original footage, as well as Rabin being tumbled to the floor and then literally thrown in the limo.

The subsequent journey to Ichilov hospital, approximately 800 hundreds yards distant -- with the roads pre-cleared of all traffic by security -- was truly remarkable. A runner could have covered the distance involved in under 4 minutes, whereas a panic race by his security driver to the hospital bearing the twice shot (apparently) head of state should have taken no more than 1 minute in real life (and probably half of that).

In reality, this journey took 8.5 minutes.

Plenty of time to administer the fatal contact shot to the chest.

Mark Stapleton
12-31-2008, 11:50 PM
Fascinating material.

Magda Hassan
01-01-2009, 02:58 PM
A new US-staffed radar base on Israeli soil may indicate that Israel is shifting from an American ally to an American protectorate.

By Jonathan Cook
Adbusters Magazine
November 2008

Almost unnoticed, Israel and the White House signed a deal over the summer to station an early-warning missile radar system, staffed with US military personnel, in Israel’s Negev desert. The media here described the Joint Tactical Ground Station, which brings Israel under the US protective umbrella against missile attack, as a “parting gift” from President Bush as he prepared to leave office.

The siting of what is likely to become America’s first permanent base on Israeli soil was apparently not easily agreed by local defense officials. Aware of the country’s vulnerability to missile strikes, they have been trying to develop their own defenses – so far without success – against the varying threats posed by Palestinian Qassam rockets, Hizbullah’s Katyushas, and Iran and Syria’s more sophisticated arsenal.

In finally accepting that it must rely on the US shield, Israel may have answered the Middle East’s biggest question of 2008: will it launch a go-it-alone strike against Iran’s presumed nuclear weapons program?

The local media reported that the early-warning station would limit Israel’s freedom to attack Iran since it would be the prime target for a retaliatory strike, endangering the lives of US personnel. Or as the Haaretz newspaper noted, Israeli officials viewed the radar system “as a signal of Washington’s opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program”.

Although ostensibly the warm relations between Israel and the US are unchanged, in reality recent events are forcing a reluctant Israel to submit to the increasingly smothering embrace of Washington.

Tel Aviv has long seen itself as a military ally of the US, largely sharing and assisting in the realization of Washington’s strategic objectives. But it has also prized a degree of independence, especially the right to pursue its own agenda in the Middle East.

For some time, the key point of difference between the two has been over the benefits of “stability.” US planners have promoted regional calm as a way of maintaining American control over the flow of oil. In practice, this has meant keeping the Arab peoples, and Arab nationalism, in check by bolstering reliable dictators.

In contrast, Israel has preferred instability, believing that weak and fractious neighbours can be more easily manipulated. A series of invasions of Lebanon to accentuate ethnic divisions there and the fueling of civil war in the occupied Palestinian territories have been the template for Israel’s wider regional vision.

The implicit tension in the Israeli-US alliance surfaced with the ascendance under President George W. Bush of the neocons, who argued that Washington’s agenda should be synonymous with Israel’s. The US occupation and dismemberment of Iraq was the apotheosis of the White House’s application of the Israeli doctrine.

The neocons’ partial fall from grace began with Israel’s failure to crush Hizbullah in Lebanon more than two years ago. All the evidence suggests that both Israel and the neocons regarded Hizbullah’s defeat as the necessary prelude to a US attack on Tehran. Israel’s loss of nerve during the month-long war – attributed by critics like the former defense minister, Moshe Arens, to the general softening and feminisation of Israeli society – proved the country’s once-celebrated martial talents were on the decline.

In the war’s immediate wake, there was much discussion in Israel about how such a high-profile failure might damage the country’s standing in the eyes of its US sponsor. Penance arrived in the form of the exculpations of the Winograd post-mortem – and with it the inevitable undoing of Ehud Olmert as prime minister. Washington’s stables, meanwhile, were cleaned out less ostentatiously.

But where does this leave Israel? Certainly not friendless in Washington, as cheerleaders like AIPAC and the fawning of US presidential candidates amply demonstrate. But the relationship is changing: it looks increasingly as though Israel is turning from US ally to protectorate.

The consequences are already visible in the buckling of Israel’s commitment to launch a unilateral attack on Iran. Months of bellicose talk have been mostly stilled. A few believe this is the quiet before the storm of a joint US and Israeli strike. More likely it is the sign of an Israeli-fueled war agenda running out of steam.

Washington, already overstretched in the Middle East and facing concerted opposition to its policies from China and Russia, seems resigned to living with an Iranian nuclear bomb. In the new climate that means Israel will have to accept that it is no longer the only bully on the Middle East block. Israel is on the verge of its very own regional Cold War.

As in the earlier Cold War, this one will be played out through alliances and proxies. But there the similarity ends. Iran is emerging as a regional superpower, quickly developing the financial and military clout to sponsor other actors in the region, most obviously Hamas and Hizbullah. Israel, on the other hand, is losing ground – quite literally, as the radar base reveals. It can no longer impose its own agenda or build alliances on its own terms. Its strength is becoming increasingly, and transparently, dependent on US approval.

The most immediate and tangible effects will be felt by the Palestinians, though their plight is not likely to let up any time soon. Just as before, Israel needs a long-term solution to the Palestinian problem, but cannot concede on the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Now, however, it no longer has the luxury of biding its time as it dispossesses the Palestinians. It needs to find a solution before an Iranian bomb – and an ever-more confident Hamas and Hizbullah – force a settlement on Palestine not to its liking.

Israel is therefore engaging in a frenzy of West Bank settlement building – up six times on a year ago – not seen since Oslo. It only appears paradoxical that, just as Israel’s leadership is intoning the end of a Greater Israel, the most influential and optimistic supporters of a two-state solution on both sides – including Sari Nusseibeh and Shlomo Ben Ami – have been reading the last rites of Palestinian statehood.

This disillusionment, it might be expected, would provoke a new resolution towards a one-state solution among Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the Palestinian leadership’s growing threats that it might adopt a one-state campaign are little more than that: blackmail designed to galvanize Israeli public opinion behind two states.

Instead of a fledgling state, however, Israel is creating a series of holding pens for the Palestinians – or “warehouses,” as the Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper has referred to them – on the last vestiges of the occupied territories. For Halper, warehousing means containing the Palestinians at minimal economic and political cost to Israel as it steals more territory.

But is the warehousing of the Palestinians intended by Israel to be the equivalent of storing unwanted books? Or, to continue this disturbing metaphor, are the Palestinians being warehoused so that at a later date they can be given away – or, worse still, pulped?

The answer again suggests Israel’s growing dependence on the US. Washington has for some time been strong-arming the Sunni Arab world, especially loyal regimes like Egypt and Jordan, against Shia Iran. With its back to the wall, Israel appears willing to use this leverage to its own advantage.

Its leaders are increasingly thinking of “peace” terms that, passing over the heads of the Palestinians, will be directed at their neighbours in Jordan and Egypt. A regional solution requires a further entrenchment of the physical and political divisions between the two “halves” of the occupied territories, with control over the Palestinian parts of the West Bank handed to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt.

It is a sign of the terminal loss of faith in their leaders and Israeli good faith that the latest poll of Palestinians shows 42 percent want their government-in-waiting, the Palestinian Authority, dismantled. More than a quarter are ready to abandon the dream of independent nationhood, preferring instead the establishment of a joint state with Jordan.

Palestine’s fate, it seems, rests on the resolve of the Arab world. It is not a reassuring prospect.

Jonathan Cook is a journalist living in Nazareth, Israel. His latest book is, Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books).

************************************************** ********************************

http://www.eucom.mil/english/FullStory.asp?art=1915

United States European Command
American Forces Press Service
December 30, 2008

U.S. military team in Israel reported safe despite
attacks
Donna Miles

WASHINGTON, D.C. — About 100 U.S. European Command
soldiers, airmen and Marines deployed to Israel to
help set up an early warning radar system reported no
close encounters with air strikes or retaliatory
attacks along the Gaza Strip, a EUCOM spokesman said.
....
Air Force Lt. Col. John Dorrian confirmed Stars and
Stripess report that the EUCOM team is operating on an
Israeli air base nowhere near the targeted areas.

The EUCOM troops deployed to Israel to help set up an
Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance system,
Dorrian confirmed. The Israeli government requested
the system....

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the
deployment order in mid-September, Pentagon Press
Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed during a Sept. 30
news conference.

Once fully operational, the system will be capable of
tracking and identifying small objects at long
distance and at very high altitude, including space,
according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials.

It also will integrate Israells missile defenses with
the U.S. global missile detection network.

This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and
long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better
than their current radar allows them to,, Morrell
said. It will more than double the range of Israel's
missile defense radars and increase its available
engagement time..
....
"Israelis...have asked for our assistance. And we have
now provided it in the form of this X-band radar
equipment..

About 120 U.S. servicemembers initially deployed to
Israel to set up the system, a number Dorrian said is
now down to about 100.

Morrell estimated that the system will take about half
that many U.S. personnel to operate once it is up and
running. This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,,
he said. This is not something we are giving or
selling to the Israelis.

The system, he said, is another sign of U.S.
commitment to Israel. We are committed to the
Israelis, to Israells defense, Morrell said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
expressed concern about escalating violence in Gaza.

"We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar
attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for
breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence
there," Rice said in a statement....

Myra Bronstein
01-01-2009, 05:37 PM
This first article is excellent Maggie. I wonder if it's merely a "radar station" or something with a little more sizzle.



For some time, the key point of difference between the two has been over the benefits of “stability.” US planners have promoted regional calm as a way of maintaining American control over the flow of oil. In practice, this has meant keeping the Arab peoples, and Arab nationalism, in check by bolstering reliable dictators.

In contrast, Israel has preferred instability, believing that weak and fractious neighbours can be more easily manipulated.


Candid and insightful.



Instead of a fledgling state, however, Israel is creating a series of holding pens for the Palestinians – or “warehouses,” as the Israeli peace activist Jeff Halper has referred to them – on the last vestiges of the occupied territories. For Halper, warehousing means containing the Palestinians at minimal economic and political cost to Israel as it steals more territory.

But is the warehousing of the Palestinians intended by Israel to be the equivalent of storing unwanted books? Or, to continue this disturbing metaphor, are the Palestinians being warehoused so that at a later date they can be given away – or, worse still, pulped?


Does this warehousing remind anyone else of the Warsaw Ghetto?

Magda Hassan
01-02-2009, 07:07 AM
Does this warehousing remind anyone else of the Warsaw Ghetto?
It reminds me exactly of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The two state solution is not viable. Palestine will never be permitted to prosper on its own terms even if it could given the dud hand it has been dealt by others. It must be subordinate to Israel especially economically. As we are seeing now the Palestinians have elected the wrong representatives and must be taught a lesson by being bombed into submission or oblivion. Other Arab nations are not all that interested in it either and have their own interests to persue.

The one state solution is no solution for the Israeli elite as they will eventually be out numbered demographically as the Palestinians are more in number and traditionally have larger families than the Israelis and since Israel is a 'democracy' the Palestinians could and probably would vote according to their needs (return of the Palestinian refugees) not Israeli Jewish needs (to maintain an exclusively Jewish homeland). They don't really want to test how 'democratic' they can be because they know the outcome and are not prepared to go there. Israel has had more in common with Iran being in effect more a theocracy than a democracy. Despite some secular institutions like some anarchist and communist kibbutzes (which have nearly all been privatized btw) religion seeps into everyday Israeli life in so many ways. All marriages and divorces must be done through a religion of one kind or another regardless of personal beliefs. They are in the process of trying to export as many Arab Israelis out of Israel as they can as they will eventually be a majority. So many Israelis just wish the Palestinian 'problem' would disappear. And it does for so many Israelis. Separate roads, phone books, housing, schools, language, tv, media. So much of the troubling issue of Palestinian existence has been cleansed from Israeli life and life is so unremittingly miserable for the majority of Palestinians they oblige and are happy to go anywhere else and get on with what remains of their lives much like Jewish tribes or families had to do not so long ago. So Palestinians are warehoused in tiny ghetto islands controlled by others unable to move freely to visit family, conduct business, go to work, farm, go to school, seek medical treatment, or have anything resembling a normal human life. The nazis regarded Jews as a security threat to the Reich too.


I wonder if it's merely a "radar station" or something with a little more sizzle.

I don't know but it will serve empire well even if it only has a fire cracker there. It will also serve Halliburton and all the rest of Satan's little helpers. It is part of pulling Israel into the NATO (even though it is 1,000's of miles from the North Atlantic) fold and is part of the Star Wars defense corporate welfare black hole.

Magda Hassan
01-08-2009, 12:33 PM
This may go some way to explain the very muted response by 'leaders' of nations with a vested interest in this to the Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza. Ties in nicely with Israels involvement with Turkey and Georgia.



War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza's Offshore Gas Fields

By Michel Chossudovsky

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11680 (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bmTO19tZwZjacEpkyuFKp6zC24I67 FsSz4JesQSJk4wY9yiBPYh8pXoBaL8m8WjSc7nnDQnxZah5N1B ofi2q2NV7BBbBSpVsXfNHX6OsLKsavSlg667n6imZNi6A_-tipYUJOwBSSF5yTK-36anSV2xWZtoLCNi8s8=)

Global Research (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7blOcwO102zO51MRnEuUpF--T-mhh82QaUEGB5a0Qr302D3aeRxbZzEndmPCF5s-MoF-PC-3GAucl0oJZeaIaP-ofPKsEAJnXGuzYQ2F7kaVFQ==), January 8, 2009

The military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves.
This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
British Gas (BG Group) (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bmgj28WVDSFaPqrJ4ZXKgSPmucDed Dlu8iVfIGqMO6QyzmvHycyja4-JMALw77sOBXFGowUeLxhvuMdOoHyP7LegFD6kCZKeT0wT9rVbv UZvK0jijUtR_clvZDqKnB_O_pW8F4Fkz_cBW4U0y0mht8EGogr 8PX1CKBxMRxjQ4gwj1Gi9J14eWCjR6o1R1L19JoJbu0A2TLzf4 BYBOnFwhwP) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bkjhtOpXr3TPVsSdXjjev4StuqS0V UseooDmkniPzRHPK3vnrDe_u0QO1eCUN6Pugf1g9mn5cSkComd gb_cL0kJrucAMpLvh6Y=) (CCC) owned by Lebanon's Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.
The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21, 2007).

The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).
The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.
The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine's gas reserves could be much larger.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/gazagasmap.jpg
Map 1
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/gazagasmap2.gif
Map 2
Who Owns the Gas Fields
The issue of sovereignty over Gaza's gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.
The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza's offshore gas reserves.
British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.
The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine's sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that "Israel would never buy gas from Palestine" intimating that Gaza's offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.
In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza's offshore wells. (The Independent, August 19, 2003)
The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.
In 2006, British Gas "was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt." (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.
The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority." The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.
Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:
"Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government." (Ibid, emphasis added)
The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.
Under the proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza's offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel.
The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended:
"Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror". (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on "The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas," March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza's Coastal Waters Threaten Israel's National Security? (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7blUOpyUYd-B-hwnFXu8ddoRb35I0NVqwrAg39lGMoF8v4YIxPZ4DZglG1J1iaF 1lhANLZ8wawBSrKfvyEXJ6cPr8JufYefR9ynjoQqKi08J9PdWj JtBwrWcat5pUPq4RmvvkIqwpXVMfz_zvM8ZuUnZ4GZX66puRL1 e_kuIHz4E8k7NJoDZgQVXQrwjZz3UIvcbnnxpDh1VcctXzVDCm Tmn0YxJzYPh09BQla5gYAni_A==) Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)
Israel's intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel.(BG website (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bmgj28WVDSFaPqrJ4ZXKgSPmucDed Dlu8iVfIGqMO6QyzmvHycyja4-JMALw77sOBXFGowUeLxhvuMdOoHyP7LegFD6kCZKeT0wT9rVbv UZvK0jijUtR_clvZDqKnB_O_pW8F4Fkz_cBW4U0y0mht8EGogr 8PX1CKBxMRxjQ4gwj1Gi9J14eWCjR6o1R1L19JoJbu0A2TLzf4 BYBOnFwhwP)).
Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board
The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under "Operation Cast Lead" was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:
"Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas."(Barak Ravid, Operation "Cast Lead": Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bmBFOfiPwTbDYoEAj8Am1Y0meJ_HT GkhNohzL96nbPjxpX0ZVcSIyPk_NG-agaS7DTaYbtjm7H3sCNZFJRpHW-xEUUb31HB0mA7pBaM2RJEtZvQyp8fOi1-2GPOuvoKjC0S0yNZia0wxsFO31EzWdQ4A48lip0KlRo=) Haaretz, December 27, 2008)
That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza's natural gas:
"Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel's wish to renew the talks.
The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel's request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials." (Globes online- Israel's Business Arena, June 23, 2008)
The decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage.
Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board and that a new political-territorial arrangement for Gaza strip was being contemplated by Israel.
In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.
In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG's offshore concession in Gaza. (Globes, November 13, 2008)
"Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government's decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.
The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender." (Globes Nov. 13, 2008)
Gaza and Energy Geopolitics
The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.
What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine's Natural Gas reserves?
A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or "peacekeeping" troops?
The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel?
The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza's maritime areas?
If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel's offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above).
These various offshore installations are also linked up to Israel's energy transport corridor, extending from the port of Eilat, which is an oil pipeline terminal, on the Red Sea to the seaport - pipeline terminal at Ashkelon, and northwards to Haifa, and eventually linking up through a proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline. "What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel's Tipline." (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bmHas9Ww5IvwEezmFEOEhS3Jn4blc VIyAxk4yIibv-lDljftjk209_7HtSSyAgRCSaeTqNfV1hQnVyvsEvsJF6wvad7f LbMyrOmoWXJtettJ0ca1on6TOg9quLTPrrka-juveIwNKuZPM0u9hedehrcq89k56at9JI=)Global Research, July 23, 2006)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/LevantineEnergyCorridor.gif
Map 3

Mark Stapleton
01-09-2009, 05:24 AM
Well well well.

Very interesting. Thanks for that post, Maggie.

Myra Bronstein
01-09-2009, 07:54 AM
Well well well.

Very interesting. Thanks for that post, Maggie.

Yeah, most interesting. Thanks Maggie.
Again, it's just business.

More and more I understand JFK's disdain for businessmen.

Myra Bronstein
01-09-2009, 10:24 AM
...
Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board
The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under "Operation Cast Lead" was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:
"Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas."(Barak Ravid, Operation "Cast Lead": Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, (http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001yDKcZRME7bmBFOfiPwTbDYoEAj8Am1Y0meJ_HT GkhNohzL96nbPjxpX0ZVcSIyPk_NG-agaS7DTaYbtjm7H3sCNZFJRpHW-xEUUb31HB0mA7pBaM2RJEtZvQyp8fOi1-2GPOuvoKjC0S0yNZia0wxsFO31EzWdQ4A48lip0KlRo=) Haaretz, December 27, 2008)
...

This makes me wonder if there is any truth at all to Israel's claim that they're retaliating against Hamas missiles from Gaza. It's sounding more and more like a cover story.

Magda Hassan
01-09-2009, 02:18 PM
This makes me wonder if there is any truth at all to Israel's claim that they're retaliating against Hamas missiles from Gaza. It's sounding more and more like a cover story.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10123.shtml

Israel's fabricated rocket crisis
Jim Holstun and Joanna Tinker, The Electronic Intifada, 6 January 2009

In The Iron Wall (2001), Israeli historian Avi Shlaim shows that in July 1981, US diplomat Philip Habib brokered a ceasefire between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel. For the next year, the PLO infuriated Israel by refusing to violate the ceasefire and thereby provide an excuse for Israel's long-planned attack on PLO refugee camps and bases in Lebanon. Then, on 3 June 1982, a member of the Abu Nidal organization shot and wounded Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador in London. Abu Nidal, or Sabri Khalil al-Banna, was a Palestinian, but he was anything but a PLO stalwart: "Abu Nidal was supported by Iraq in his struggle against Arafat's 'capitulationist' leadership of the PLO. Abu Nidal customarily referred to Arafat as 'the Jewess's son.' The PLO had passed a death sentence on Abu Nidal for assassinating some of its moderate members who advocated a dialogue with Israel."

The next day, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin called an emergency cabinet meeting. When his advisor Gideon Machanaimi and Avraham Shalom (the head of the General Security Service) began to discuss the nature of the Abu Nidal organization, Begin cut them off: "'They are all PLO.' [Army Chief of Staff] Rafael Eitan was equally dismissive. Shortly before entering the conference room, an intelligence aide told him that Abu Nidal's men were evidently responsible for the assassination attempt. 'Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal,' he sneered; 'we have to strike at the PLO!'"

Two days later, Israel invaded Lebanon, which would kill over 18,000 people, including the massacres of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatila, and push Lebanon further into a morass of imperial and sectarian violence. Of course, the lying excuse endlessly proffered for the invasion, enshrined in its nickname "Operation Peace for the Galilee," and obligingly circulated by the American media, was that Israel could no longer be expected to tolerate a constant barrage of PLO rockets across its northern border.

In Israel's recent rush to invade Gaza, we witness the same predisposition to violence, the same aching aggravation with Palestinian peace offensives, and the same willingness to conflate all resistance, all frustrations, into a single enemy: "They are all Hamas!" And we see that Hamas, like the PLO, refused to oblige Israel with a single provocative act. For more than four months after 19 June 2008, Hamas refrained from any military actions that might endanger the negotiated truce or "calm" with Israel.

The evidence for this is ready to hand. For example, the Wikipedia entry on the events of the summer, "List of rocket and mortar attacks in Israel in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_rocket_and_mortar_attacks_ in_Israel_in_2008&oldid=261804495)" (revised 4 January 2008), based almost exclusively on Israeli newspapers and government sources, confirms that there were no rocket or mortar attacks claimed by or plausibly attributed to Hamas during the calm. This can also be verified by surveying archives of news reports from the period.

The few that were launched, none of them causing any casualties, were claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, by Islamic Jihad, by "the Badr Forces," or by nobody. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called repeatedly for a cessation of rocket fire, and denounced those factions who broke the truce. A Hamas spokesman criticized Fatah for allowing the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is affiliated with Fatah, to fire rockets. Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces' murders and settler pogroms continued unabated on the West Bank. They included an attempt by a settler to fire a homemade rocket toward the Palestinian village of Burin, which nearly killed another settler. During the lull, then, Israeli settlers fired more rockets (i.e., one) than did Hamas.

In a document entitled "The Hamas terror war against Israel (http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian+terror+since+2000/Missile+fire+from+Gaza+on+Israeli+civilian+targets +Aug+2007.htm)," The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides striking visual evidence of Hamas's good faith during the lull. It reproduces two graphs drawn up by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center:

http://electronicintifada.net/artman2/uploads/2/090106-holstun2.jpg Monthly distribution of rockets hit

http://electronicintifada.net/artman2/uploads/2/090106-holstun3.jpg Monthly distribution of mortar shells

The graphs show that the total number of rocket and mortar attacks shrank from 245 in June to 26 total for July through October, a reduction of 97 percent. Even this was not enough for Israel, which violated the truce by imposing a terror-famine in Gaza for most of these months. But despite these violations, Hamas refrained from launching rockets until Israel definitively cancelled the truce on the night of 4-5 November by sending an Israeli commando squad into Gaza, where it killed six Hamas members. Hamas responded with 30 rockets.

These charts proved too revealing for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the night eve of 4 January 2008, as Israeli occupation forces launched a ground assault on Gaza, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs removed them from its website, substituting an almost illegible graph in which the labels obscure the data, while the caption does all it can to hide the de facto end of rocket and mortar fire during the calm, until 4 November.

http://electronicintifada.net/artman2/uploads/2/090106-holstun1.jpg

This document was also titled "The Hamas terror war against Israel." But a Korean webpage has cached the original document (http://www.donga.com/e-county/sssboard/board.php?tcode=01001&s_work=view&no=343743&p_page=1&p_choice=&p_item=&p_category), preserving the evidence of Israel's sticky-fingered hasbara, or propaganda.

Clearly, the Israelis violated the truce in order to increase the number of Qassam attacks, not to end them. Qassams provide Israel with its best shot at its favorite media role of plucky little David fighting the Palestinian Goliath. And by nimble revision of its webpage, the Israeli MFA is able to turn cause into effect -- turning the retaliatory Hamas Qassams of 6 November into the cause of Israel canceling the truce on 4 November, and smashing it flat on 19 December.

We have heard, and we will continue to hear, a droning litany of "Qassams! Qassams! Qassams!" The repetition will be difficult to resist, but for all of us who remember the reiterated US lies about Iraq of 2002-2003, whether with pride for our skepticism or shame for our credulity, a good first step might be for us to think "WMDs!" every time they say "Qassams!" Like the US Coalition of the Willing, Israel's Operation Cast Lead has not let the absence of actual provocation get in the way of a good bloodbath. Indeed, chronology itself proves no obstacle, as Israeli commandos, Apaches and F-16s retaliate for rocket attacks that haven't occurred yet. In the immortal, influential and profoundly depraved words of neoliberal crusader Michael Ignatieff, "Against this kind of enemy ... it makes sense to get our retaliation in first."

When the history of the war on Gaza is written, Hamas's remarkable restraint during the lull, as Israel attempted to starve Gaza into submission, will form an important prelude to what Joseph Massad has called the heroic Gaza Ghetto Uprising (http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10110.shtml). But for the moment, it's vital to remember that what we are witnessing in Gaza is not Israeli retaliation, but an act of unprovoked Zionist genocide using American-made weapons, based on a bloody lie about Qassam barrages obligingly circulated by American media. The question for Americans to ask now is this: what must we do, with our American-made mouths, brains, and bodies, to stop it?

Jim Holstun teaches world literature at SUNY Buffalo. He has previously written "Nonie Darwish and the al-Bureij massacre (http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9646.shtml)" for The Electronic Intifada. He and Joanna Tinker live in Buffalo, New York.

Myra Bronstein
01-09-2009, 04:41 PM
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10123.shtml

Israel's fabricated rocket crisis
...

Preemptive retaliation. Of course.

Great article Maggie.